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The [Monday] Papers

Richard M. Daley, the man who has presided over a thoroughly corrupt administration for 17 years, will stage an artificial event today "announcing" he is running for re-election.

According to Fran Spielman's report this morning, he will not take questions.

Rainbow Shrimp
Spielman dutifully records how Daley will surround himself with a rainbow coalition, noting the moves the mayor has made in recent months to pander to blacks and Hispanics. She forgets to note that after 17 years in office, he still had the need to decide questions about public policy on the basis of having to pander to blacks and Hispanics on the eve of a re-election campaign.

Record Deal
Daley wants to be judged on his entire record, not just the crimes committed in his administration. The same way a prisoner asks a parole board to weigh his crimes against how well he's organized his cellblock and how nicely he's decorated his cell.

"For months, Daley has played a cat-and-mouse game with reporters," Spielman writes. "He has insisted he had not made up his mind about running and wouldn't until he talked to his wife, Maggie, searched his soul, and determined whether he had the 'fire in the belly' to continue in the job he loves."

Just to be clear, reporters were the mice.

Gut Check
So it took the mayor this long to really decide because Maggie hasn't been available for that talk until now. Nor has his soul.

Lonely at the Top
Of course, there is no viable opposition to Daley, but then, there was no viable opposition to Brezhnev either. This is the nature of one-man rule.

Oscar D'Angelo tries to get back into Daley's good graces by speaking into Fran Spielman's tape recorder.

Battle of Midway
Maybe the safest thing to do is to not have an airport in the middle of a city neighborhood.

Mission Accomplished
Meet Arlen Pietrowski, Fox News viewer. (second letter)

Pinochet was our guy, so let's not romanticize our exceptional devotion to exporting democracy.

Food and Drug Administration
The Tribune editorial page today says "Daley is right: Chicagoans don't need the City of Chicago telling us what not to eat."

Then the page calls from the elimination of restaurant inspections and comes out in favor of city subsidies to lure a chain of Ratburgers restaurants here.

Fast Food Nation
Likewise, Trib columnist Steve Chapman says consumers who don't want trans fat in their fast food can just go to Wendy's. But have you ever tried to find a Wendy's when you really need one?

Gang Bangs
Despite what the Trib editorial page says this morning, there is no evidence that the murder rate has declined here in recent years because of gang takedowns. The murder rate has declined nationwide. And disrupting gang leadership is probably more likely to spark an increase in violence, not a decrease.

Wrong From Right
Dennis Byrne's column today is just one more piece of evidence that the punditocracy is not a meritocracy.

Grave and Deteriorating
"For some members of the Iraq Study Group, the turning point came during four days in Baghdad in September. They found the trip so harrowing, they said, that they wondered if they could afford to wait to speak out about the disaster in Iraq," The New York Times reported.

Dennis Byrne couldn't make the trip. I think he was coaching a soccer game or something.

Culture Warrior
Bill O'Reilly is Dennis Byrne with style.

One-Way Mirror
The Tribune obviously means less to more people everyday. Perhaps a better column would have been to ask people why that is.

Better yet, ask newspaper readers in Los Angeles, Baltimore, Hartford, and New York what Tribune Company means to them.

Ealy Outrage
The cops and prosecutors blew it, not the courts.

Going to Market
"When did the dream of being a trucker turn sour?"

When the industry was deregulated. Now trucks are "sweatshops on wheels."

QT: Way better than Q.

Family Business
"Saddam's Nephew Escapes From Jail."

Cook County Democratic Party slates him for uncle's old office.

Heaven on Earth
Mmmm, hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls . . .

Marquis Bust
The most fitting reporting I saw of the Jason Marquis signing was of him getting a called-third strike on a pitch that was obviously a ball. Apparently footage of a real strikeout wasn't available.

Lilly Chopped Liver
Marquis joins Ted Lilly in the Cubs new version of an mediocre rotation. Beachwood rock and baseball correspondent Don Jacobson reports: "Out of the 150 pitchers in the AL last year who started a game, Lilly was 105th in what they call GO/AO ratio, or ground out/fly out ratio, meaning he was among the leaders in giving up fly balls. If you factor out the occasional starters and just go with regulars, here's the complete list of who's worse than he is: Weaver (Angels), Lee (Indians), Ervin Santana (Angels), Wakefield (Red Sox), Byrd (Indians), Washburn (Mariners), Wright (Yankees) and Kazmir (Devil Rays).

"That's it. Outside of those guys, no starter in the AL gave up fly balls more often than Ted Lilly. Just FYI, the regular starters with the best GO/AO ratios in baseball are: Webb (Diamondbacks), Lowe (Dodgers), Wang (Yankees), Westbrook (Indians), Cook (Rockies), Wright (Giants), Halliday (Blue Jays), Hernandez (Mariners) and Hudson (Braves). Obviously, I think if you take a look at who produces the most grounders vs. who produces they most fly balls, you'll see a kind of general breakdown of good pitchers vs. bad or mediocre ones."

Bad Taste of Chicago
The Sun-Times can't even resist self-promotion when reporting on tragedy, publishing a photo on Sunday of the son of downtown office shooter Joe Jackson sitting at a table leafing through the shameless tab.

Nothing To See Here
The Sun-Times buried "Foley Scandal Report Rips Hastert, Shimkus, Aides." And they got off easy. The Tribune played it, appropriately, on page one.

More on Hastert to be posted on the Politics page later today.

Great View, Extra BR
Slightly used congressional seat near Prairie Parkway for best offer.

History 101
John Kerry was right.

History 202
Jimmy Carter is wrong.

History 303
Just when you think revelations about the incompetence in Iraq can't get any more breathtaking.

School of Rock
Point at which I lost interest in the Reader's new music columnist Miles Raymer: At the end of his first sentence.

Really? Were you forced to take the job at gunpoint?

Lesser of All Evils
Thought while watching Sunday Night Football: What's worse, the Pink song or the Mellencamp song?

The Beachwood Tip Line: Short of breath.


Posted on December 11, 2006

MUSIC - Lyric Opera Strike An Old Story.
POLITICS - USA Today's Op-Ed Disaster.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Kanye, Chili, Jimmy, Tarik.

BOOKS - Conway Barbour & The Black Middle Class.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Recall! Malone's Pork Head Cheese.

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