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The [Thursday] Papers

1. What will it be a year from now - Governor Topinka or Governor Quinn?

2. "Blagojevich told the Sun-Times Wednesday night he was shocked by the indictment . . . "

Then he's the only one. Political insiders have been expecting this for the better part of a year. Political insiders would also not be shocked if Christopher Kelly and Joe Cini were indicted next. So don't let Blagojevich tell you he's shocked if and when that happens.

3. Will Blagojevich be implicated? Three sources in a position to know have confirmed to me that at least one figure cooperating with authorities has told investigators that the governor personally offered political favors in exchange for campaign contributions. That doesn't make it true, but it likely makes the governor a target.

4. Blagojevich has reportedly reached out to Big Jim Thompson for advice. You'd think he'd have learned from George Ryan's mistakes by now.

5. The Sun-Times says the kickback scheme laid out by prosecutors is "almost Whitewater-like in its complexity." What is this, I Love the 90s week? Does anyone even remember Whitewater - you know, the Clinton scandal in which the Clintons were never implicated, though the press was?

6. It's actually not that complex. The governor's people required kickbacks and/or campaign contributions if you wanted to do business with the state, like, say, get the teacher's pension fund to place its investments with you. You know, business as usual.

7. The White Sox have made a deal with 7/11 to start all home games at 7:11 p.m. The Beachwood Reporter is also working on a 7/11 sponsorship deal.

8. Tony Rezko may be on the lam. John Kass checks in with another fugitive to see what it's like - someone City Hall hopes never returns.

9. The Sun-Times's Fran Spielman writes that Mayor Daley had a "freewheeling exchange" with the Sun-Times editorial board on Wednesday. I wonder if we'll ever get to read about it.

10. Is it really true that Chicago's camera technology "is more advanced than any other city in the world?" I mean, the mayor said it, and Spielman and her Sun-Times editors published it, but that doesn't necessarily make it a lie.

11. The White Sox have made a deal with 7/11 to start all home games at 7:11 p.m. The Beachwood Reporter is also working on a 7/11 sponsorship deal.

12. Is it a good thing that by 2016 Daley will have installed cameras on every block in the city?

13. At least there'll be almost as many cameras as Starbucks' by then.

14. How 'bout cameras on the tieclips of every campaign contributor?

15. City Hall's Sun-Times bureau used this subhead on its story about the mayor unveiling his 2007 budget proposal: "Spending Plans 'Seem to Ring True With The Needs of the People.'"

16. 0: How many people at the Sun-Times are likely to have read - really read - the mayor's proposed budget.

17. Nonetheless, city budget expert Fran Spielman calls the mayor's proposal "the perfect platform" for a re-election bid.

18. Is Chicago's economy really "booming" as Spielman says? Because the national economy is stagnant, so it would be pretty big news if somehow Chicago was an exception.

19. Daley is getting a lot of credit for "holding the line" on taxes. Which line?

20. "It's a good political budget," said Ald. Edward Burke (14th). Wait a minute, I thought this budget rang true with the needs of the people?

21. "Alluding to City Hall scandal, Daley said that 'We've learned from past mistakes and are working to prevent misconduct from happening in the future." All evidence to the contrary.

22. The intellectual luminaries that make up the Sun-Times editorial board have decided that the experts polled by their staff reporter were too critical in giving the CHA a B- for its failing Plan for Transformation. The editorial board gives the CHA a B+ instead.

The editorial board didn't have time to actually do its own research, it just blamed residents and an unrealistic timeline for the mess that has unfolded just as critics warned. "Having completed only 29 percent of the 7,900 homes planned for mixed-income communities, the agency is being asked whether it will be able to raise the funds to complete this $1.6 billion plan. And having placed only 25 percent of the original families in new or heabbed housing, the CHA faces a daunting challenge in delivering on its resettlement promises," a critical report says. Oh wait, that's from the very same Sun-Times editorial. Talk about grade inflation.

23. Maybe every editorial board in the city should have a public housing resident on it.

24. In the Sun-Times's other editorial today, "Illinois Voters Deserve To See Debate," the page takes its own newspaper to task for ignoring the gubernatorial debate that took place at the Tribune on Tuesday. Oh wait, it decided voters didn't deserve to read about that debate.

25. "We don't want to get involved in the finger-pointing over whose responsible for [Blago and Topinka's] inability to agree on a [debate] schedule," the editorial says. Yes, the last thing we want to do is take a position on this page. I mean, what's the point of writiing editorials if you're not going to engage in finger-pointing?

26. Zorn has the transcript of Phil Ponce sticking it to the governor.

27. The CTA has Sick Train Line Syndrome.

28. The story "Tribune Parts With Company Jet" includes the observation that "It is unknown whether the pilots remain with the company." Um . . . am I the only one who sees the problem here?

29. "Tribune executives used the plane, which was purchased in 2000, for business and personal travel." Personal travel? Sounds like there's a story there.

30. "Bush Sees No Need To Change North Korea Policy." Because it's working so well.

31. "Bush Sees No Need To Change Iraq Policy." Because it's working so well.

32. "Bush Sees No Need To Change." Because . . .

33. Participating in today's Sun-Times Product Placement Program: Glenlivet. Fore sure.

34." With an average of 7.04 million viewers, Couric's audience last week was the smallest she'd had since taking over the evening news anchor desk, and it's lower than the number that tuned in for her predecessor Bob Schieffer's last week on the air in late August, according to Nielsen Media Research."

CBS executives are considering Photoshopping Scheiffer's brain into Couric's head.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Accepting overseas calls.


Posted on October 12, 2006

MUSIC - Holiday Hullabaloo.
POLITICS - IRS Lax On Tax Cheats.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Bears' Real Goat.

BOOKS - Frederick Douglass: Prophet Of Freedom.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Persuading Midwestern Climate Change Skeptics.

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