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The [Monday] Papers

Barack Obama - taking the money out of politics.

Bandwagon Blues
The Cubs Bandwagon Starter Kit.

Best Movie Promotion Ever
How cool is this?

How can you not love Wikipedia?

Springfield Shoppers
Better newspapers than the ones we have would've jumped all over this. Buzz cola and Krusty-O's started appearing at my corner 7-11 a week ago.

I mean, c'mon!

It gets better.

Air Daley
"Mayor Daley is piling up the frequent-flier miles," Fran Spielman reports. "He has taken 67 out-of-town trips since January 2004 - nearly half of them entirely or partly funded by Chicago taxpayers, records show.

"The cost of Daley's travel is not known. In response to a Freedom of Information request, the mayor's office said it does not maintain records on trips 'not funded by the city' and it would take too long to compile bills from taxpayer-funded trips."

Right. That's the old It Would Take Too Long To Compile Bills From Taxpayer-Funded Trips Exemption.

Why not just say the mayor does not believe in freedom of information?

"Nor would aides disclose how many staffers and bodyguards accompanied Daley on each trip, citing security concerns."

Besides, it would take too long to add up.

This, by the way, is the second Spielman story that I recall in recent weeks based on a Freedom of Information Act request. And the Cubs are winning. Did I wake up in an alternate universe?

Holiday Classics
* BBQ Talking Points.

* 13 Anthems.

And summer classics:

* Postcard Pablum: The Failure of Millennium Park.

* Bean: A Love Story.

* The Human Bean and the City.

Hate Complaint
You don't have to agree with the existence of hate crimes statutes to write about them, but you oughta know how they work before parading yourself to the public as someone with insight, like Kathleen Parker so often and misguidingly does.

Money Honey
Tavis Smiley and other guests on Meet the Press yesterday agreed that while Obama is spending nearly every waking hour raising money, Hillary is beating the stuffing out of him on substance - most recently at the Smiley-moderated "All-American Presidential Forum."

Mary Mitchell agrees. Twice.

Focus Pocus
Smiley said that even members of a focus group who came into the debate supporting Obama left saying Hillary had won. I'm not supporting/endorsing/voting for Hillary; I'm just noting once again the disconnect between the tenor of the media coverage and reality.

Fireworks Foes
"Ninety-nine successive years have we set aside one whole day for killing small boys, putting out eyes, rending limbs [and] scaring horses . . . as a glorification and symbol of the American idea of freedom."

- A July 4, 1875 Tribune editorial cited in yesterday's Sunday magazine

Geez, even back then the Trib was joyless.

Reagan Romance
"People continue to be fascinated by Reagan," the Trib's Julia Keller writes. "There's no explaining it - except, perhaps, by Richard Reeves, who writes of Reagan: 'He knew how to be president.' Such a simple but profound sentence."

Really? He knew how to trade arms for hostages and mine Nicaraguan harbors and create an exploding and unprecedented deficit and preside over the death of American manufacturing and ignore AIDS and make fun of poor, homeless, and hungry people and blow up Marines in Lebanon and go to Bitburg and appoint indictable Cabinet officials and let his schedule be set by an astrologist?

Reminds me of the 1996 Democratic National Convention, when I was doing a lot of reporting for Newsweek and found myself at a dinner seated near then-national editor Jon Meacham, who is now the magazine's editor. Meacham much preferred Reagan to Clinton, explaining that Reagan "just seemed like he was the president."

Yes. That's what public relations is good at - making things "seem."

Just like some folks "seem" to be journalists.

I'm not sure who exactly constitutes the "ubiquitous purity police" that Greg Kot refers to, but maybe music fans are just looking for a little more truth and a lot less greed from their favorite bands.

After all, as Kot says, the new Smashing Pumpkins lineup "hardly constitutes a true reunion. It feeds the perception that Corgan has done little more than revive a once-lucrative brand, not an actual band."

I never liked them anyway, and with Corgan playing all the instruments except drums in the studio, they were never an actual band to begin with. But for those to whom the Pumpkins meant something . . . well, let's just say that if we can't preserve oases of integrity around the things we most believe in in a world of people trying to rip us off at every turn, then what's the point? Can nothing be sacred? Not even rock and roll?

Sick Bed
A University of Chicago Medical Center emergency room doctor and Department of Medicine faculty member writes in The Washington Post:

"It's honest to say that most poor people - not just those from communities of color - suffer from inadequate or nonexistent care. But I've found that decisions that seem race-neutral at face value can systematically hurt such groups. These decisions create racial disparities in health care that go beyond what can be explained by class alone. The challenge presented by that emergency case at 4 a.m. was determined by the earlier decision not to require physicians to provide care at both hospitals. The difference in care between these two facilities went beyond just a single car-accident victim and wounded the entire community that Hospital A was supposed to serve.

"These are the kinds of systemic problems that lead to widespread racial disparities in health. Consider the medical picture for my black male peers. According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, black men are the least healthy ethnic group in the United States. Their death rate (1,282 per 100,000 in 2004) outstrips that of all other ethnic groups, including non-Hispanic whites, 949; Native Americans, 750.2; Hispanics, 702.7; and Asians, 534.1. Black men also have higher rates of heart disease, HIV/AIDS and certain kinds of cancer, including prostate, lung and colon.

"Such statistics send a larger message about medical care and race: The lack of equity seen in wealth, income, education and insurance has considerable impact on health."

Primary Colors
Isn't Illinois moving up its primary date to help Barack Obama's candidacy a sort of cynical move that, like big-dollar politics, represents the enemy?

"Calls placed to Obama's Chicago campaign office went unreturned this week."

Is there anything about Obama's campaign that represents a new kind of politics?

Homer Hawks
Teams should not hire their own broadcasters.

After all, they don't hire the beat reporters who cover them. Let teams hire players and TV stations hire announcers. Is that so hard?

The Beachwood Tip Line: Holiday hours.


Posted on July 2, 2007

MUSIC - Spring Awakening Wake-Up Call!
TV - Exclusive! Rahm's New TV Gig.
POLITICS - The Political Odds UPDATED.
SPORTS - NHL: CTE Not Our Fault.

BOOKS - Stan Lee, Flawed Hero.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: I Am Iron Man.

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