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The [Monday] Papers

The Beachwood would like to thank the Academy for providing us the grist to bring you the planet's best Oscar coverage.

For example, how prescient was our very own Bethany Lankin, who correctly predicted in her fashion preview that Eddie Murphy would be wearing " a foam-latex, female fat suit by Rick Baker and a short, purple, pareo-style Hawaiian muumuu with floral-shirred sleeve and ruffled neck from Hilo Hattie of Waikiki. Hair by Wig Barn of Beverly Hills. His accessories - advertising fliers for his new movie, Norbit?"

Or that Kate Winslet "will look stunning in a hand-beaded, hand-woven, Bombyx silk Badgley Mischka gown in shades of gendale. Her shoes will be Stuart Weitzman's diamond stiletto sandals studded with 565 platinum-set Kwait diamonds. She will wear two 30-carat, pear-shaped diamond drop earrings worth $8.5 million by Harry Winston. Her hair will be done by Industrial Light & Magic. Her $64,800 Hermes "Birken" bag, adorned with tangerine crocodile skin and trimmed with palladium hardware and a diamond clasp will contain: 2 broken crayons, an expired McDonalds kid's meal coupon, a handful of napkins from KFC, a tube of Walgreens Chap-ette brand lib balm, and $1.23 in change"?

Our Oddscars predictions were also dead-on - Ellen DeGeneres indeed made the show even longer by joking about the show running long - and we were right when we said the deserving Randy Newman wouldn't win Best Song - even though that Melissa Etheridge tune is abhorrently awful.

We've got the geeky Sci-Tech rundown, and we'll have more in an Oscar wrap-up later today.

Oscar Bulletin
Our Weekend Desk was also on top of late-breaking Oscar news, noting that "the Democrats are trying to give back their 2002 award for Best Supporting Actors in a Foreign Policy Blunder of Epic Proportions."

Inconvenient Truths
* Al Gore won the 2000 election.

* The Electoral College still exists because Democrats lack the guts to dispose of it for fear of looking like sore losers and both parties, which are private companies not enshrined in our Constitution, would rather continue to find ways to game the system than deliver democracy to the nation.

* Even the most diehard Republican cannot honestly think we would have been worse off had Al Gore been president the last six years.

* The best post-presidential careers belong to Democrats; Gore, Clinton, Carter - it's undeniable. Reagan, Bush, Ford, Nixon - compare and contrast.

* That Melissa Etheridge song still sucks. She's brutal, and her career success fairly inexplicable.

* Al Gore was right about global warming, he was right about the Information Superhighway, he was right about the Iraq War, he was right about supporting Howard Dean, he was wrong about rock lyrics. I bet today he regrets the PMRC nonsense.

* If you don't think experience doesn't matter, contrast the Al Gore who ran for president in 1988 with the Al Gore of today. Now tell me which one is ready to be president and which one wasn't.

* What you might not have known about Theresa LePore: "To accommodate the large number of Presidential candidates eligible in Florida, LePore designed a staggered two-page format with candidate names on alternating sides of a central punch button column. In the 1996 election, the butterfly ballot caused an estimated 14,000 votes for the second candidate on the left (Bob Dole) to be miscast."

* Ralph Nader had every right to run, and voters had every right to vote for him. Neither works for the Democratic party.

King Daley
Maybe the mayor's re-election would be in doubt if the police department tortured yuppie financial planners and fat real estate developers instead of black nobodies.

If the mayor really wanted to set the truth of Jon Burge & Co. free, he would have established a Truth Commission 18 years ago when he first became mayor - and presented himself for public testimony. Instead, he's had his Law Department to play games for all these years.

Grading Daley
Today we begin two days of excerpts from a recent assessment of the mayor's performance by people in-the-know, as opposed to your press corps. It's not as pretty a picture as you have been led to believe.

Blame the Bears
According to Fran Spielman, the media was just too caught up in the Bears to cover the mayoral campaign.

Spielman also congratulates the mayor on his strategic acumen for not debating his opponents since 1989 because he saw what happened when Harold Washington bested Jane Byrne in such a forum: "Daley, who finished third in that race, was not about to make that same mistake."

Hey Fran, you're a reporter, not a campaign aide.

"That decision - and his refusal to respond to his challengers' daily charges - left Brown and Walls without a platform to engage Daley," Spielman continues.

Because a newspaper is apparently not a platform for candidates to engage each other, and Spielman certainly wasn't going to engage the mayor herself.

Message to pols: The media admires you when you ignore and degrade them.

Campaign Trip
The Tribune continued its aldermanic campaign coverage on Sunday, introducing us to the contestants in the 49th Ward. Again - why do these stories appear at the end of the campaign instead of the beginning, followed by, you know, coverage of the campaigns?

Because the Tribune is lazy and uninterested. I can't say for sure how the Trib organized its coverage this year, but historically the paper works from a pre-set schedule of "duty" stories in which it assigns a few races to reporters with instructions to write a single story, name every candidate, and include the usual boilerplate. Instead of, you know, covering the campaigns.

As a result, the 49th Ward story (rehashing foie gras as the central issue) mysteriously shows up now when all the action seems to be in wards like the 2nd, 7th, 15th, and 50th.

From the Vault
Up the Academy, our 2006 Oscar report.

Religious Rite
"Using law to define marriage as being between a man and a woman might satisfy the GOP frothful, but it is as if legislators in the 1970s defined a telephone as having a dial and a cord - life is going to thunder by, and go where it's going, whether the politicians like it or not," Neil Steinberg writes (second item).

Except for the inconvenient fact that it takes politicians to make gay marriage - and the legal, economic, and social benefits that would go with it - a fact of law. Gay marriage isn't technology; the private sector can't make new and improved versions. It takes the support of politicians - say, someone like Steinberg's buddy Barack Obama, who could use his influence to great effect on this issue. Except that his frothful GOP Christian beliefs tell him that marriage is only between a man and a woman.

Sneedling
Sneed's encomium to Barbara Amiel Black forgot to mention the part where "Ms Amiel Black was also awarded a 'no show' corporate post that paid $1.1m but 'did not require her to do anything,'" according to a Hollinger International report.

You know, while your Sun-Times was being stripped into a carcass of a newspaper.

Todd in Wonderland
The county budget lays off about 1,500 frontline workers and 200 managers - just the opposite of what is needed. Ten public defenders will lose their jobs. We need more public defenders, not less. Twelve neighborhood clinics will close. We need more clincis, not less. More than 135 registered nurses will lose their jobs. We need more nurses, not less.

Congratulations to the following commissioners, who voted with Stroger sacrifice the health, safety, and well-being of the most vulnerable Cook County residents: Beavers, Butler, Daley, Gorman, Goslin, Moreno, Quigley, Silvestri, Sims, and Steele.

Grading Grossman
Sun-Times reporter Kate Grossman gave the CHA a B- for its Plan for Transformation. The Developing Government Accountability to the People project is less charitable.

Olympic Remorse
"It's a complete waste of money. We should have let Paris take it."

Park Slope
A faithful Beachwood reader points out that the Tribune's endorsement of Burt Natarus's re-election states "He is justly proud of bringing 32 acres of new park land to the ward."

A check of his website reveals that 24.5 of those acres are called Millennium Park, which nobody remembers Natarus having much to do with.

My reader's favorite Trib line, though, is: "He expertly guides complex zoning and development issues."

C'mon, I don't think even Burt believes that.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Downzoned for your protection.



Permalink

Posted on February 26, 2007


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Vizio Settles Spying Complaints.
POLITICS - WikiLeaks Reveals Staggering Breadth Of CIA Hacking.
SPORTS - Fantasy Fix Draft Guide Pt. 3: The Professor!

BOOKS - Bannon, The Best And The Brightest.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: Ray Rayner & Friends.


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