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The [Thursday] Papers

"Foul trouble was far from Rose's only obstacle Wednesday. The bending, twisting layups United Center fans have grown accustomed to seeing weren't falling. Neither were his jumpshots," Vaughn McClure writes for the Tribune.

"In the first half, Rose made just four of 11 shots for nine points, missing four layups. The Heat hit him with a constant diet of doubles teams off the pick and roll, forcing Rose to give the ball up. His teammates failed to convert some of Rose's pinpoint passes.

"The second half started off as much of the same story for Rose. He was 3-for-8 shooting in the third quarter, watching three of his layup attempts kick off the rim and seeing another get blocked while going 1-for-3 from 3-point territory.

"And fouls came back to haunt Rose again. His third foul was a silly and uncharacteristic blunder as he slapped at LeBron James in the open court. James converted the basket and completed the three-point play.

"At the end of the third quarter, Heat guard Dwyane Wade stole the ball from Rose, keeping the Bulls from getting off a final shot."


Here's our report, titled Bulls Ruin Unrealistic Dream of Sweeping The Heat Spawned By Game 1 Rout; Lose Home-Court Advantage Though They Play Just As Well If Not Better On The Road In The Playoffs.

Weekend Preview
How The Chicago Media Will Cover The Rapture.

The Hip Chicago Way
"A new social sharing app - Bribespot - allows users to check-in each time they've paid a bribe."

Symbolic Promise Symbolically Fulfilled
"Emanuel said more than $31.2 million in savings will come from better grant management, but it's unclear how that precise number was determined," the Tribune reports.

"The administration also did not cite specific grants or explain how their handling would be changed. The generalities Emanuel offered were similar to those that punctuated his successful campaign for mayor, his transition report and his inaugural address Monday. One of Emanuel's strengths as a political operative has been his ability to craft a message and stay on it."

Of course, this can only work if the media allows it to. Nearly every major news outlet in town simply reported that Emanuel had cut $75 million from the budget on his first day in office, fulfilling a campaign pledge. This story is a welcome antidote, but the message train has already left the station. The narrative is set and those pointing out the real facts are once again marginalized as "critics."


"Another $17.5 million will come from freezing nonessential contracts, while purchasing items like road salt in bulk with other governments, he added. Although the administration did provide the road salt example, it said it had yet to determine which contracts were nonessential."

If the administration doesn't know which contracts are non-essential, how does it know they add up to $17.5 million?


"Further cost cuts would come from a series of steps that include reducing the number of managers and their salaries, assigning more legal work to city staff instead of hiring outside lawyers, and merging departments while centralizing now-fragmented operations."

That's a lot of "ifs." Cuts like these often end up costing more in overtime, unforeseen circumstances and screw-ups from agencies without enough manpower to do their jobs properly.

But it's the legal services bit that caught my eye. I have no doubt the city could save money by refraining from showering favored firms with lucrative business. But a year from now I bet this looks silly.

"There's only a certain number of cases each (in-house) attorney can handle," outgoing corporation counsel Mara Georges told the Sun-Times in 1999. "You can't say to an attorney, `Here. Handle another 100 cases.' You can't spread somebody that thin."

Not that I give much credence to anything Mara Georges says. But then there's this from 2009:

"Earlier this year, Police Supt. Jody Weis asked Georges to be more aggressive in fighting lawsuits against police officers by going to trial instead of settling to cut the city's losses.

"The new strategy includes farming out cases seeking less than $100,000 to outside lawyers who receive a flat fee, instead of being paid by the hour. It's already paying off, Georges said."

So until we actually see the plan (and the results), Rahm, you don't get credit for it.


"'The symbolism of this is not lost on anybody,' said Emanuel at his debut news conference as mayor at the city's vehicle management headquarters. 'It's Day One, $75 million, what I pledged.'"

Of course, the city's budget deficit is actually about $700 million; Rahm's $75 million pledge was symbolic - random, even - from the get-go. It got good press but you know what? I just symbolically saved my household $750 a year by estimating some cost savings. Somehow, though, my income and outgo remain the same. Symbolism sucks when it's only, um, symbolic.

Hired Schmucks
"Emanuel also is expected to officially introduce already announced appointments to top Cabinet posts - like Garry McCarthy as police superintendent - who already are on the job. That way they can be assigned to committee for full confirmation, and the word 'acting' can be removed from their titles."

I was going to ask if it's legal for McCarthy (and Jean-Paul Brizard, for that matter) to be on the job before they've been confirmed, but I guess that's where the "acting" comes in.

At the same time, wouldn't Daley have had to appoint them, then? Rahm didn't legally have the power to do so before Monday, did he?

I know, quit nitpicking the law. Silly technicalities, such as residency, only apply to the little people.

Flies On The Walls
Tweet from Sun-Times reporter Abdon Pallasch:

Rush of reporters as Rahm leaves to use restroom. The cameras line up. Ald. Rick Munoz rolls his eyes: "Did you get the 'First Flush'?"

About Oprah's Favorite Book
Let's be clear about who this woman is and what she's pitching.

Obama's Substitute Teachers
Leadership void.

Git Er Don't!
Cubs' new slogan.

Paul Simon's Two-Night Stand
Played the Vic, then the Chicago Theatre. We have highlights.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Still crazy after all these beers.


Posted on May 19, 2011

MUSIC - Madonna vs. Moderna.
TV - Sundays With The Military-Industrial Complex.
POLITICS - Private Equity In The ER.
SPORTS - Suspicious Betting Trends In Soccer.

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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