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The [Thursday] Papers

1. Village To Stick With Current Skunk Policy.

2. Funny, I don't see Barack Obama's name on here.

Maybe that's because he supports the death penalty despite this bit of cutesiness. Sometimes even without a trial.


"Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, Clinton's closest competitor for the Democratic nod, is embarrassingly hypocritical on the issue," John Nichols wrote in 2008. "With death penalty abolitionists, he cites his work as an Illinois state senator to reform that state's capital punishment system. With death penalty supporters, he says allowing executions is a way of saying that 'the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage.'"


"When Barack Obama first ran for the Illinois state Senate in 1996, he said in a campaign questionnaire that he opposed capital punishment," the San Francisco Chronicle reported in 2008.

"By the time Obama ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004, he was not advocating abolition of the death penalty, but was saying the system of investigating and prosecuting capital crimes was so flawed that the nation should declare a moratorium on executions, like the one imposed in Illinois by Republican Gov. George Ryan. Obama has abandoned that position as a senator, accepts the death penalty for the most heinous crimes, and calls for reforms like those he championed in Illinois to guard against wrongful convictions, such as the tape-recording of all police interrogations."

("On gun control, Obama answered the same 1996 Illinois questionnaire by endorsing a statewide ban on handguns. He soon disavowed that position, claiming that a staffer had filled out the survey in error, but he was still calling for a national ban on carrying handguns as a U.S. Senate candidate in 2004, according to a Chicago Tribune report.")


See also: "Obama's Record Does Not Match His Rhetoric."

3. "Mayor Richard Daley, the former Cook County state's attorney, reiterated his support today for the death penalty," the Tribune reported yesterday.

"Daley also suggested expanded use of DNA testing could prevent the erroneous and wrongful prosecutions that fed the movement in Illinois and across the country to abolish the death penalty.

"'As a former prosecutor, I believe DNA testing should be part of the whole criminal justice system here in the state of Illinois,' Daley said. 'It prevents any abuse whatsoever if you get DNA testing.'

"'That solves all the human issues, dealing with the witnesses, dealing with police or anyone else,' the mayor added. 'You need DNA testing. And not just on the death penalty or life imprisonment - for all cases. That takes all the discretion away from human beings.'"

You can read the comments to this story to get just a flavor of how horrifically absurd those statements from the World's Greatest Mayor are.

4. And what in God's name is up with Lisa Madigan?

5. Let's face it, Pat Quinn - heretofore a death penalty supporter himself - finally did something right. Illinois is the poster state for why the death penalty is untenable under any argument and anyone who lives here and believes otherwise simply isn't paying attention.

6. "JPMorgan Chase executives discussed downgrading their internal credit rating for Tribune Co. just hours after the media company completed a leveraged buyout the bank helped finance," AP reports.

7. I know Stella Foster shouldn't be worth my time, but after all these years I still can't get over the fact that she actually draws a paycheck from a metropolitan newspaper while so many other actual journalists go unemployed. So once again, I turn your attention to quite possibly the world's worst "columnist."

Item 2 on Wednesday:

"WHY IS IT THAT YOUNG Americans are so quick to embrace violence and negative behavior? Charlie Sheen is out of control, yet he has millions of followers on Twitter. Northwestern University is negatively in the news due to a couple, Faith Kroll and her fiance, Jim Marcus (not students), demonstrating how to use a high-powered sex toy at an optional seminar at the university last month. The couple was asked to speak to the students about the world of kinky and fetish sex for a Human Sexuality class, and Marcus used the toy on her while Kroll was butt naked.

"Over 100 students watched. And in the immortal words of Mr. Brown on the Tyler Perry Meet the Browns sitcom, 'That's just nasty!' What was really gained by that disgusting demonstration? . . . as if those 100-plus students didn't already know exactly what to do! If they are that stupid and uninformed, how the hell did they get into Northwestern in the first place?? Especially since this society thrives on gratuitous sexual images, right? Most assuredly, those brainiacs were there just for the titillation, and they ain't foolin' me!"

All of which is typical Stella, but the piece de resistance is that item 1 (with photo) was about a guy who got famous on a show made popular because of its almost total emphasis on sex and violence, not to mention rampant alcohol abuse (all of which I favor, but that's beside the point):

"JERSEY SHORE reality star Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino will be the special guest at the Raven Club in Schaumburg on Saturday. Sorrentino, whose abs and personality have made him a bunch of money, not only from the hit show but also from endorsements for vodka, Reebok shoes, a book, workout DVD, etc., will be flexing onstage starting at 10:30 p.m., with the doors opening at 9 p.m. This is his pre-St. Pat's Day celebration. For more info: (847) 885-2222."

Stella, you are beyond irony. Or not even up to it.

8. On the other hand, Mary Schmich is also a contender.


Are there bigger buzzkills in Chicago than Schmich and Zorn? They should rent themselves out as party killers.

9. Local Honey For A Living Ale: South Side beekeeper hooks up with Goose Island Brewery.

10. Can The Blackhawks Repeat? Maybe!

11. Dear President Obama: Please Stand In Front Of Workers, Not Behind Them.

12. Death And The Powers: The Robots' Opera. At the Chicago Opera Theater.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Domo.


Posted on March 10, 2011

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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