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The [Thursday] Papers

1. The rolling clown show.

2. Memo to mayor: Turns out maybe it could have been prevented. But you don't look back. To be very frank.

3. New mayoral media stategy: Stop reading the papers!

4. Jackie Heard, the mayor's press secretary and a former Tribune reporter, didn't even brief her boss on the Luis Gutierrez zoning story because she found it confusing. Guess she made the right career choice.

5. Michael Miner answers the question before I got a chance to: what's the deal with the Sun-Times's suspicious (again) circulation claim?

6. At CTA Tattler:

* Answers to questions such as "What with the whole Block 37 quagmire, will the stop be reopening (to serve its old role as just a regular stop with a Blue Line transfer, if not its magical role as airport-express-luggage-dropoff-whatever)?"

* Answers to questions such as "Why did (Huberman) take the very consumer-hostile move of doing away with schedules on the train lines, and when will he restore them?"

* A report on the latest budget hearing including a suggestion that the new CTA gift store "The Block 37 Black Hole Bank - you put money in it and it disappears down a black hole."

7. Millennium Park Maples Aflame.

8. The Reader in the news:

* Muckraking's Reward: A Pink Slip

* "Hope I Die . . . ", a superbly written and provocative essay about the Reader's evolution.

9. Todd Stroger is scheduled to serve as Principal for a Day at Kenwood Academy today. We have a preview.

10. Tubular bagels.

11. Gaming the Presidency.

12. Axelrod's Other Job.

13. "All in all, it's a lot like being in Chicago; everyone loves, loves, loves the Barack but no one can really tell you why," our very own Natasha Julius reports from India. "Once people find out I am American, they frequently mention that Obama will be our next president soon and that the rest of the world will thank us for it . . . I'm interested to see just what will happen if Obama hangs on for the win. My impression is that people will be pleased and will generally go about their business, but it's possible this could be a bigger deal than that."

14. Natasha adds:

"I just read the three local papers on hand here at the airport lounge (not a very difficult feat). You'll be happy to know that Indian papers run the same tired seasonal stories our papers do.

"Stories in the Deccan Herald (local Bangalore) included a back-to-school guide for parents after Diwali (this on the heels of the classic 'holiday traffic is bad' story on Sunday), a feature on how to bundle up now that winter is here, and the latest on Brittney's financial drama.

"The Times of India had a classic on Teen Speak, including the tired glossary section and quotes from 'achievers' (i.e., nerds) saying how Teen Speak is only for the weak who submit to peer pressure.

"Outside of that, the Deccan Herald is hugely concerned with local environmental issues. Not surprising as Bang is somewhat lacking in regulations. Apparently, there was a huge fish kill yesterday that some are suggesting might have a little something to do with the gallons of untreated sewage routinely dumped into local lakes.

"Also, the Herald had to go and piss all over the fun of Diwali by pointing out that eye injuries are up this year and that, even though sales of firecrackers are down; environmental agencies have declared this the most polluted Diwali ever due to high levels of particulate matter. In other words, people bought more noxious explosives in slightly reduced quantities.

"All three papers are obsessed with slapping some kind of happy bow on the shitty economic news, with the Herald declaring that heavy losses in the domestic aviation sector have been a boon for train and bus sales and the Times of India is excited that the Indian tourist industry beat domestic industries elsewhere. Sure we're down, but not as far down as those suckers in Indonesia!

"Deccan Chronicle, a Bang-centric tab, thinks the financial markets will like the final figures on the holiday because, again, they won't suck as bad as expected.

"The top national stories include the lynching of a migrant worker in Mumbai. It's the third serious incident of this nature in the time I've been here and has led to unrest as far afield as my temporary home of Pune. Ministers in Maharashtra, Mumbai's state, are reluctant to label this a hate crime but all three papers seem to be in little doubt that the murder has its roots in regional Indian prejudices.

"Maharashtra attracts a lot of workers from throughout India, particularly poorer states in the north such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Assam. This has created a great deal of tension. Apparently, the man who was killed was attacked by a group of Maharashtrans who had first called him a well-known anti-migrant epithet. It may have been taunting that got out of control, but it's an ugly situation that appears to be worsening.

"Also, you'll be interested to learn as I was that the president of the Maldives has been ousted after 30+ years in power.

"Man, this is the nicest keyboard in the whole of India, I swear. That's not saying much, but still.

"Anyway, the bombings in Assam broke too late to make these editions and, in fact, it's a bit difficult to figure out what's going on there as the TV broadcasts are mostly in Hindi (shocking, I know). And India is playing yet another interminable test match with Australia and this one appears to be getting a bit nasty, with players blocking each other's wickets or some such nastiness. It's just not cricket, don't you know.

"Indian papers have the best games in them. There's this one where you have to draw a continuous loop around a bunch of numbers on a grid . . . I'm totally addicted.

"Finally, the Kingfisher lounge seriously needs new music. This is, like, the 40th time I've heard 'Careless Whisper' and at this point I feel like it's stealing time from more deserving songs in my life."


You can read more about Natasha's excellent adventure in India on her excellent travel blog, NJ in India.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Costumes welcome, but not required.


Posted on October 30, 2008

MUSIC - Pandemophenia.
TV - NBC's Bicentennial Special.
POLITICS - Defund Private Schools.
SPORTS - Blackhawk's Life Mattered.

BOOKS - The Slave Who Escaped George And Martha Washington.


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