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The [Monday] Papers

"During his 12 years in politics, Sen. Barack Obama has received nearly three times more campaign cash from indicted businessman Tony Rezko and his associates than he has publicly acknowledged," the Sun-Times reports.

In particular, Obama relied on a cocktail party at Rezko's mansion in June 2003 to show he could compete in the U.S. Senate primary with fellow candidates Blair Hull and Dan Hynes.

"At the time of the party, the state was in the process of foreclosing on a low-income apartment building Rezko's company rehabbed in Obama's state Senate district - a rehab project on which Obama's law firm worked on," the Sun-Times reports. "Rezko had also abandoned many other low-income apartments, leaving numerous vacant units in need of major repairs."

It's all coming together.

Green Screen
"Mayor Richard Daley vowed six years ago to make Chicago a leader in emerging efforts to fight global warming, but city government is churning out more heat-trapping pollution every year," the Tribune reports.

"The city's lack of progress highlights how the mayor's environmentally friendly speeches failed to translate into aggressive action at City Hall."

You mean all that PR was just . . . PR? And reporters just . . . bought it?

"For instance, as Daley traveled around the country giving speeches that touted the city's involvement [with the Chicago Climate Exchange], staff members at the Department of Environment struggled to gather electricity and fuel bills to verify the city's emissions baseline and annual report," the Trib reports.

"Records show that officials fell well short of targets for curbing electricity usage by city buildings despite the construction of energy-efficient buildings and the installation of green roofs across the city."

Like the green roof on City Hall that makes so many reporters gush.

Ironically, some of the city's rising electricity demand came from the very buildings it was touting as energy-efficient.

Now, "taxpayers could be required to make up the difference" in greenhouse allowances from the Exchange.


City officials would only comment to the Trib via e-mail. I wonder if that takes more electricity than picking up the phone?

Uncle Lou
Girls are dumb.

Surge Protectors
"The 'surge' is a failure. The 'surge' is a success. Come September, it is likely you'll be hearing both verdicts from politicians, analysts and your neighbors."

And editorial pages.

"And it's likely that evidence in Iraq will support either conclusion."

If you're a relativist or ideologue.

"That's because success and failure hinge on definitions and expectations - how much better or worse is Baghdad? - not to mention rough statistics and anecdotes that tell at best only a sliver of the story."

Like the one we're trying to tell.


As the Trib editorial says, the Bush administration is already looking at a "post-surge" strategy that would cut the U.S. presence there - in other words, to unsurge.

But I suppose that's a matter of how you define it.

I did it. I defied the explicit instructions of The Cub Factor and looked into the light. It happened on Saturday when D-Lee threw that punch. The Fightin' Cubs! What's gotten into them?! And what with the Cicadas - Theriot, Fontenot, Pie - I was starting to like a Cubs team for the first time in years.

Even the most hardened among us never learn.

China Syndrome
The Trib editorial page chides Darfur activists who have targeted LeBron James, who is one of only two Cleveland Cavaliers not to sign a petition asking China to demand that its trading partner, Sudan, accept a U.N. peacekeeping force. James has a $90 million deal with Nike, which has factories in China. "Connect the dots and . . . James is enabling genocide for fear of jeopardizing his relationship with Nike."

The Trib says that with sarcasm. But it's true.

Daley Dose
"As [Aldermen] Brookins and Fioretti were talking to reporters, Daley aide Lance Lewis, one of the few straight shooters I've met in the mayor's administration, was standing in the middle of the throng with a recorder that captured every word they said," the Reader's Mick Dumke reports. "'When I take notes, I can't read my own writing,' he explained. I asked why anyone from the mayor's office needed to write down OR record what aldermen were saying to the press. 'Well, if the mayor gets asked questions about it, he needs to be prepared.'"

Lance Lewis, Tool of the Week.

"Later, when the mayor was asked if the 11 'no' votes bothered him, he engaged in a classic Daley deflection. 'No, I think public art is really important in Chicago,' he said. 'I think we need more of it.'

"'Right, but they don't like the way you're going to choose the artists,' said Fran Spielman of the Sun-Times.

"'I'm not choosing the artists. I'm not choosing the artists. [Cultural Affairs commissioner] Lois Weisberg is,' Daley said. 'We have more public art in Chicago than in most cities in the country. If you look at our public art, it's all over. I mean, it's really fantastic . . . '

"After several more minutes, the question was pressed again, this time at a much higher volume: Were you concerned with the 11 no votes?

"'No,' Daley said. 'No, no.' He hurried out of the room."

R.I.P. Fluff
The Sun-Times's Fluff section is dead. Long live Fluff.

Last Supper
From a faithful Beachwood reader:

"The Trib Metro section last week ran an article on Taste of Chicago, with an accompanying photo that shows a handful of empty chairs surrounding a food-laden table. The caption: 'Taste of Chicago presented a sampling of its offerings to members of the media at a preview of the event on Tuesday.'

"There are no members of the media in the photo; there are no people in the photo, period. Do you supposed this is supposed to symbolize Tribune employees who've taken buy-outs?"

Urban Education
The city is considering creating an arts high school. Within five years the school would be converted into yuppie condos.

Joey the Clown
Today we start a three-part series called "The Secret Life of Joey "the Clown" Lombardo," who goes on trial this week with a few of his alleged mob compatriots. We also have outstanding new offerings throughout the rest of the site. Please consult "Inside the Reporter" to guide you, and don't forget to generously send out our links to both friends and enemies. We thank you for your support.

The Beachwood Tip Line: See the light.


Posted on June 18, 2007

MUSIC - Who's Next In Chicago Rap.
TV - Tribune-Nexstar Deal Is Bad News.
POLITICS - Big Soda Hates You.
SPORTS - Harold vs. the Haters.

BOOKS - Wright Brothers, Wrong Story!

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Go Ahead, Eat Raw Cookie Dough!

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