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The [Monday] Papers

"Federal authorities Sunday arrested Elvira Arellano on a downtown city street, ending a yearlong standoff that intensified recently after the illegal Mexican immigrant began what was to be a nationwide campaign to push for new immigration reforms," the Tribune reports (link to updated version 10:37 a.m.)

The Trib had a reporter in Los Angeles on the scene, as it should have.

Debate Mystery
"It was the most provocative Democratic presidential debate yet," the wife of the Sun-Times's publisher who will make the paper's endorsement writes this morning.

Funny, after the debate ended last night, the Beachwood Mystery Debate Theater team agreed that it was the lamest of the Dem debates so far.

See our witty and insightful commentary - including how Carrot Top fits in - in the latest episode of our wildly popular debate series.

An audio version will be available this week on Details as we get them.

Gov. Baloneyvich
"As midnight Monday approached last week, Gov. Rod Blagojevich decided to turn his back on a campaign pledge and boosted legislative salaries by nearly 10 percent, or about $5,500 each for rank-and-file lawmakers," the Tribune reports.

"Though Blagojevich opposed pay increases for state officials in his two successful campaigns for governor, he said he thought that if he signed the bill to give legislators fatter checks, they might reciprocate with a political favor in return - backing his plan for a massive expansion of state-subsidized health care."

So, how's that recall effort going?

"Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) said the idea that pay raises would coax lawmakers to look favorably on the governor's health-care plan is 'ludicrous thinking on his behalf.'"

Most ham-handed, incompetent governor of Illinois ever?

"This time, though Blagojevich bucked his campaign vow and further risked his standing among voters, he also was able to satisfy [Emil] Jones, the governor's lone ally among the legislative leaders and an ardent advocate for the pay increases."

Jones, of course, maneuvered to delay the pay raise until after last November's elections. Blagojevich signed the bill shortly before midnight last Monday.

"When asked why he retreated from his campaign opposition to pay raises, [Blagojevich] provided a different take on the matter.

"'I don't know that I ever got asked that in the campaign,' he said.

I doubt that. But if true, it's a technicality. In May 2006, the Tribune reported this:

"Gov. Rod Blagojevich's office said Monday that he would block any efforts by legislators to give themselves pay increases after the election, just days after state senators left the issue open after adjourning for the summer."

(And at his inaugural launching his second term, the governor claimed that in his first term he had "changed a system of government that was more interested in serving itself than the people it was supposed to serve.")

"The governor's latest comment came as no surprise to Rep. Jack Franks (D-Woodstock), who voted against the raises," the Trib account says.

"'He does this all the time,' Franks said. 'He'll say anything and do the exact opposite. For him to do a complete flip-flop, I would say, it's the only consistent thing he does.'"

Revisiting the Numbers
"State and city tourism officials in June trumpted that the city attracted 44.2 million domestic visitors in 2006, a rise of nearly 10 percent from 40.2 million in 2005," the Tribune reports.

"What they did not disclose is that the figures for 2006 and prior years were based on a revised formula that dramatically bolstered the Chicago visitor numbers, pumping up the 2005 total, for instance, by a cool 8.2 million people."

8.2 million!

Hey, doesn't that mean our tax receipts ought to be higher too?

"Chicago Still Among Paltrow's 'Favorites.'"

Don't you feel validated now?

"A random thought and observation," Sneed wrote (second item) on Sunday.

Wait, she has thoughts that aren't random?

"The public's rapacious hunger for tasty Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie morsels is a pain in the butt for reporters wishing to divert their attention to more 'serious' news."

A) What, Mike Flannery was reassigned to the Brangelina beat?
B) What a bunch of buzzkills! It's heaven for me.
C) By "public" you mean Sun-Times editor Michael Cooke, right?

And then, after that caveat, Sneed delivers her little Brangelina morsels. Classic.

Lolla Letter
"My jaw almost dropped when I read your quote where Perry Farrell came off sounding like a fear-mongering red state politician," Matt Sobczyk writes (third from bottom) to the Jim DeRogatis. "To raise the specter of communism when questioned about ticket prices seems beyond absurd.

"What's next, Islamofascists sponsoring the next Eagles reunion if we don't charge $900 a ticket?"

Dirty Taco Bomb
"You don't go in the Internet and spend a day reading and become an expert on how to put together a dirty bomb," a counterterrorism expert says of Jose Padilla. "I'm not knocking folks who work at Taco Bell, but that's not a place to go to ramp up your skills."

Back Story
"[Aaron] Harrison was shot Aug. 6 as he ran from police," the Sun-Times editorial page recounted on Sunday. "The medical examiner determined he was hit in the upper rear shoulder - which would be consistent with the police explanation that Harrison was shot as he was turning toward them pointing a gun."

This keeps getting repeated, but I'm still waiting to hear what makes that consistent with the police account.

Hastert Highway
The next time the Sun-Times editorial page rails against pork, remember the fond farewell they gave to Dennis Hastert for delivering the goods - and how former Sen. Peter Fitzgerald (unlike his successor, Barack Obama) took on Hastert and his own party by saying that just because a pet project is in Illinois doesn't make it worthy of taxpayer funding.

Oh, and the Hastert Highway and that silly page scandal? Forgotten. He's just a cuddly ol' wrestling coach. Don't bother following the money.

Comic Fool
Breaking News! Comics not just kid stuff!

File with years upon years of stories about how bikers aren't just drug-addled losers, people with tattoos actually hold down jobs, this isn't your father's pool hall, and other stereotypes that seem to persist only in the minds of newspaper reporters constantly reminding us that the stereotypes aren't true!

The Beachwood Tip Line: Adults use it too!


Posted on August 20, 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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