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The [Thursday] Papers

A profile in audacity. Is the case finally closed?

Kenya Or Bust
"Back in 2006, Obama visited Kenya and railed about wholesale political corruption there that robbed the people of their right to honest government," John Kass writes.

"Then, he was campaigning for president of the United States as a reformer, though he forgot to mention that if elected, he'd bring half of Chicago's Daley Machine to the White House."

In case you're keeping score at home, Lisa Madigan and the Lake County sheriff have now weighed in against commuting George Ryan's sentence.

1. From Kevin B. O'Reilly:

Didn't Durbin have his staffers do a search of the entire federal prison rolls to identify all the 70-plus-year-old nonviolent offenders who have served only a fraction of their sentences and have ailing spouses at home? I mean, I assume Ryan's the only one who fit the bill. That's the way it happened, right? Right?

2. From Brian Rhodes:

I just heard that President Bush is going to pardon both the White Sox and the Cubs for their performances in last year's playoffs.

Compare and Contrast
The city is offering a six-week parking ticket amnesty in which you get 50 percent off your fines, which is less of a break on your penalty than George Ryan would be getting if he is let out of prison one year into a six-and-a-half year sentence.

Meter Madness
"During a 3-1/2 hour hearing, Finance Committee members complained about everything from rates that sock it to motorists and a requirement that meters be fed seven days a week, including holidays, to allowing the private operator to write parking tickets as frequently as every two hours at two-hour meters," the Sun-Times reports.

And then committee members approved the 75-year deal with only one dissenting vote. So what was the point?


The lone dissenting vote, by the way, was cast by Ald. Ray Suarez (31st). Apparently he drew the short straw this time that Billy Ocasio drew last time.


Ray Suarez?

Meter Mania
And on the seventh day, Chicago motorists had to feed meters too. And holidays. Welcome to the world of Chicago Parking Meters LLC!

Something in the company's press release jumped out at me, though:

"The City retains all power and authority to set rates and periods of stay and operation for all of the parking meters in the System."

Huh? Then what's this all about?

Mega Meter
"A council committee gave preliminary approval to Daley's plan Wednesday, with alderman complaining they had just 72 hours to consider the deal."

Believe me, that's 72 hours more than the mayor had to give them to get his deal passed. Why even call the meetings anymore?


"Why is every billion-dollar deal an 'emergency'?" the Tribune editorial page asks today.

Because we're at war?


"If we did not have this, this budget would be way out of whack," Daley said.

Shouldn't that be your problem, Mr. Mayor?


Does Daley Hate Drivers?


I'd rather the city just send me a bill every year - call it a driving surtax - instead of making me go through the hassle of feeding meters and dodging permit parking zones and fighting with the bureaucracy over one stupid thing or another every year.

Or fix the CTA so I can drive that much less.


I'm pretty sure I heard on Chicago Tonight last night that some aldermen were handed the text of the deal just minutes before debate started.

The show also showed video of Ald. Ike Carothers asking city officials to break down the Goldbergian ownership chart presented to the finance committee and identify at least one human being involved in the deal.

And Ed Burke asked, "Does the Law Department want us to do business with entities that, No. 1, we can't figure out?"

Yes. Yes they do. That's the point.


"Private investors from Australia and Spain paid the City of Chicago $1.83 billion for a 99-year lease on a toll bridge three years ago. The State of Indiana took in $3.8 billion for its main toll route. Governors in New York and Florida, desperate for cash, are considering similar deals," the Boston Globe reports this week.

"Now, as Massachusetts ponders leasing the turnpike and the Big Dig tunnels to the highest bidder, questions are being raised about whether an abundant short-term gain would outweigh the long-term loss of one of the state's most valuable assets with the likelihood of frequent, incremental toll increases for decades to come."

Music Media
"Pitchfork Media, the hipper-than-thou music site, may still consider itself too cool to bother reviewing the occasional over-hyped indie rock album," Ad Age reports. "But the Chicago-based indie empire has opted to let the folks at Fader Media into its exclusive club, via a new strategic content and ad sales partnership."

Lovie Less
The Trib notes today that the Bears are 9-10 in December under Lovie Smith.

"Odetta, the classically trained folk, blues and gospel singer who used her powerfully rich and dusky voice to champion African American music and civil rights issues for more than half a century starting in the folk revival of the 1950s, has died. She was 77," the Los Angeles Times reports.

"She was said to have influenced the emergence of artists as varied as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Janis Joplin and Tracy Chapman.

"'The first thing that turned me on to folk singing was Odetta,' Dylan once said. 'From Odetta, I went to Harry Belafonte, the Kingston Trio, little by little uncovering more as I went along'."





The Beachwood Tip Line: Shine a light.


Posted on December 4, 2008

MUSIC - Lyric Opera Strike An Old Story.
POLITICS - USA Today's Op-Ed Disaster.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Kanye, Chili, Jimmy, Tarik.

BOOKS - Conway Barbour & The Black Middle Class.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Recall! Malone's Pork Head Cheese.

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