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The [Monday] Papers

Editor's Note: Sorry I'm so late this morning, as I neared the completion of the column I lost the whole thing and had to reconstruct the whole damn thing. The things I do for you people.


1. Devin Hester is obviously ridiculous.

2. So is Adrian Peterson.

3. A $2 tax for every TV in sports bars? A $3 tax every time Gov. Blagojevich runs past you? A $50 tax every time you get your picture taken with Ronnie Woo-Woo or Mike Ditka?

Schadenfreude takes a crack at the mayor's budget.

4. "Who wants the title of 'The Best Unaffordable City'?" says Billy Ocasio, alderman of the 26th Ward.

Welcome aboard, Alderman! Do you think the media has figured it out yet?

5. I heard yet another story over the weekend of a couple - both employed - with young kids moving out of the city because they can't afford it. That's not right. This is not our beautiful city.

6. "The Mekons formed in Leeds, England, in 1977. They began hanging around Chicago in 1985 when they were on tour with the Three Johns and hooked up with local underground DJ and promotion man Terry Nelson. [Tom] Greenhalgh recalls, 'My first impression of Chicago was how it was much nicer than I imagined it would be. I was amazed with the tree-lined avenues. I liked the architecture. What impressed me was how we never really went downtown,'" Dave Hoekstra reported in the Sun-Times on Sunday.

"[Jon] Langford adds, 'People who didn't grow up around Chicago don't understand the neighborhoods. Our friend Uncle Dave came from New York when we played New Year's Eve around 1996. We knocked around Bucktown, Wicker Park, Lincoln Square. He kept pining to the skyscrapers and saying, "I've been to Brooklyn, I want to go to Manhattan." We'd say, "There's nothing there, mate." He had this idea we'd be wandering around the Loop all night.'"

I wonder what the Mekons would think if they arrived in Chicago today. Not as much to fall in love with.

7. And Mr. Mayor, I hope you never think that your critics don't love this city as much as you claim to, seeing as how you're loving the city to death.

8. Of course, official Chicago and City Hall never comprehended the role that the Mekons and their ilk have played in the cultural vibrancy and coolness of the city up til now. As Deanna Isaacs reports in the Reader, the art of Langford and other notable locals is astonishingly missing from the Museum of Contemporary Art's "Sympathy for the Devil" exhibit, billed as an examination of the "dynamic relationship" between art and rock.

That's like not including the Cubs in an exhibit about the relationship between sports teams and their fans. The omission could hardly be more glaring.

Do you think the mayor knows who Jon Langford is?

9. Neil Steinberg is taking the day off. What, he couldn't find the 15 minutes it takes to write his column?

10. Jennifer Hunter found 15 minutes to type up the handout of an Obama speech.

11. Obama's new campaign ad is phony. And we get it already - you were against the war. At least you said so once, in a paragraph. That's why had to go into a studio and re-create the moment. Might be time to move on.

12.. The CTA has posted signs at bus stops and El stations blaming potential route cuts on "Insufficient State Funding." I wonder if those signs say "Richard M. Daley, Mayor."

13. "Daley drafted a budget with no tax increases a year ago as he prepared to run for re-election," the Tribune reported last week. "But he insisted that the list of proposals now on the table have nothing to do with the fact the election now is behind him."

Proposed: The Insisted With A Straight Face Tax.

14. Maybe there wasn't enough water at the Chicago Marathon because race officials thought the water tax had already been enacted.

15. A tax on marathoners?

16. "News Item: 'The Russian government under Vladimir Putin has amassed so much central authority that the "power grab" may undermine Moscow's commitment to democracy, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said."

"We hear he even spies on his own people without warrants."

- Quick Takes

17. "In fact, the city has been negotiating settlements in more than a dozen federal civil-rights lawsuits involving officers in the Special Operations Section - disbanded on Tuesday because of an ongoing corruption scandal," the Sun-Times reports.

So that's where the new DVD rental tax money will go.

18.. "Chicago's inspector general has launched a sweeping investigation to determine whether the company that manages O'Hare Airport's international terminal got favored treatment because the city's terminal operations chief had an ethical conflict," the Sun-Times reports.

So that's why the mayor wants to undermine the inspector general's office.

19. "Obviously, we're spending some money for monitors and hiring," Ald. Pat O'Connor (40th), the mayor's floor leader, told the Sun-Times. "But that's not the reason we're in bad shape. The economy, changes in the housing market. These holes are not created by us spending off the charts."

Maybe not, but the city has to be monitored. Like children. Would you trust children with your budget?

20. We want our CPD-TV!

"Speaking at a West Side news conference, Daley reminded reporters of critics who complained the cameras were invasive when he introduced them in 2004," the Tribune reported recently.

"They [mis?]underestimated people who live in this city, people who have to deal with gangs, guns and drugs on a daily basis," Daley said. "All wealthy people have cameras in all the high rises, suburban areas . . . Why can't the average person in the city of Chicago?"

See? The mayor's sticking up for the average person!

Of course, wealthy suburbanites don't have cameras at every intersection, they have cameras outside the gates to their mansions, but close enough.

Beachwood Tip Line: Non-invasive.


Posted on October 15, 2007

MUSIC - Lyric Opera Strike Settled.
POLITICS - USA Today's Op-Ed Disaster.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Come On, Vic!

BOOKS - Chicago Book Haul: The Dial.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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