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The [Monday] Papers

"Questions abound about whether Cutler can stay healthy enough to lead a team to a championship and whether he is simply good enough to do so, and they have been out there way before the Bears embarrassed themselves 11-54 last night (I'm using the backwards score kind of the same way the military uses an upside down flag - to signal extreme distress)," our very own Jim "Coach" Coffman writes in SportsMonday: Bears Stinks.


At least Henry Melton put up a fight.

Too easy?

Pinball Press
"For more than a decade, Stern Pinball was the only manufacturer of pinball machines. The Chicago-based company's last rival closed down in 1999," NPR reports.

"But Stern's pinball monopoly may be drawing to an end. In 2011, the start-up manufacturer Jersey Jack Pinball opened for business, and it's working hard to grab a slice of the industry."


"Stern Pinball did not respond to press inquiries for this story."

Passive Footprint
"Builder Brandon Weiss of Weiss Building and Development LLC completed the first ever passive house in the Chicago area, which was designed by architect Tom Bassett-Dilley," Jetson Green reports.

"Located at 1430 Jackson Ave., River Forest, IL, this 3,598-square-foot single-family residence has a HERS rating of 28 and has received the Passive house certification (PHIUS), while it is also a DOE Challenge Home and Healthy Home Initiative Certified. This home is the first PHIUS certified house in the Chicago area and only the 28th such home in the U.S."

Sticker Shock
"While the Affordable Care Act clearly benefits those at the low and high ends of the income scale, many middle-class Americans don't qualify for health care subsidies, and are facing steep premium prices," the New York Times reports.


"As a key enrollment deadline hits Monday, many people without health insurance have been sizing up policies on the new government health care marketplace and making what seems like a logical choice: They're picking the cheapest one," AP reports.

"Increasingly, experts in health insurance are becoming concerned that many of these first-time buyers will be in for a shock when they get medical care next year and discover they're on the hook for most of the initial cost."


See also the Beachwood archives for a huge heaping of I Told You So.

Return Game
"Based on its annual return policy survey, ConsumerWorld says that three major stores have shortened their return periods, but most retailers' return policies have remained about the same as last year.

"According to the National Retail Federation, 28% of stores surveyed change their return policies for the holidays, while 72% keep them the same. These special holiday policies typically extend the normal return period into January or even February. Consumer World found a few high-profile stores, however, have tightened restrictions for goods like electronics and appliances."

Chairman Rahm
"Mayor Rahm Emanuel is in China to promote Chicago business opportunities on a trip paid for by the city's economic development agency," the Tribune reports.

"During the two-day trip that wraps up Monday, Emanuel is expected to sign an economic partnership agreement with eight Chinese cities, mayoral spokeswoman Sarah Hamilton said Sunday."

Later, he'll join Mariah Carey's tour.


"Emanuel has hosted Chinese delegations in Chicago, including the country's vice minister of commerce, Wang Chao, and last month, Vice Premier Liu Yandong."


Liu Yandong is "the eldest member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China . . . Between 2002 and 2007, she served as the head of the United Front, an organization that keeps non-Communist Chinese political parties in line with the general ideology of the Communist Party. Having long been an ally of Party General Secretary Hu Jintao and ascended from the ranks of the Communist Youth League, she entered the 17th Politburo of the Communist Party of China in 2007."

Sources say they discussed unelected school boards, rubber stamp legislative bodies and elite schools for kids of party leaders.

Too easy? Hey, it's a holiday week.

Fixed It
Tribune Company Embarks On Latest Cockamamie Scheme To Satisfy A CEO's Ego.

Chicago's Opportunity Artist
"At times inspiring as hell, at other times aggravating in its indulgence and dilettantism; awesome in vision and frustrating in failing to explain more fully how this all works, how the money truly flows (is it just toys for rich people?) and the socioeconomic & political implications of what he's doing. A new model? True change? Or dependent on million-dollar art projects from the CTA? Read comment from LR, NYC, for example . . . "

Stop Undermining Encryption
Presidential panel says to NSA.

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

The Pietasters, the Green Room Rockers, The C-Sides, Church of Misery, Lonnie Brooks, Starstruck, One Life, The Bret Michaels Band, and Steel Panther.

Northbrook Elves
In a holiday PSA.

Happy Canoe Year
New Year's Day Paddle on the Chicago River.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Passive investment.


Posted on December 23, 2013

MUSIC - Millions Of New Guitar Players.
TV - "One America News" is AT&T.
POLITICS - When Wall Street Came To My Mobile Home Park.
SPORTS - Tonyball, Bears On The Run, Eyes On The Sky & More!

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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