The [Thursday] Papers
1. To support the president at this juncture requires us to believe that George W. Bush is smarter, wiser, and more visionary than the following people: The distinguished members of the Iraq Study Group; Colin Powell; Chuck Hagel; George Will; Jon Stewart; your barber; Gerald Ford; your bartender; Al Franken; Jacques Chirac; Thomas Friedman; your 12-year-old daughter; Brent Scowcroft; Barack Obama; the Beachwood Weather Monkey; William F. Buckley; Ted Kennedy; Neil Young; the illegal immigrant who tends your lawn; George H.W. Bush; Al Franken; the vast majority of the American citizenry; the vast majority of the rest of the world; the aliens who visited O'Hare recently.
I just find that hard to believe.
3. Whoa. "A partial examination of about 1,100 signatures submitted jointly by Walls lawyer Sidney B. Smith and Daley lawyer Michael Lavelle found problems with 40 percent," the Sun-Times reports. "The remaining 60 percent were deemed legitimate."
Forty percent of the mayor's signatures were no good?
4. "Your Travel Time Home Will Double," the Sun-Times reports, referring to the impact of the CTA's next phase of Brown Line reconstruction. Jeez, I was joking yesterday when I wrote that the re-opening of the Kimball station would be followed by the closure of the rest of the system. When reality outpaces sarcasm, it's time for somebody to lose their job.
But really, how will they know the difference?
7. "Does the CTA want to get rid of all its riders? That's one way to alleviate overcrowding on trains," one commuter told the Tribune.
"It currently takes 45-plus minutes to get from the Loop to the Kimball station," she said. "It is now going to be 1 1/2 hours to travel nine miles as the crow flies?"
Plus, multiple transfers are free on crows. And on some trips you can even get meal service.
8. "And that's if everything goes according to plan, which would be almost unprecedented for the CTA," the Trib's Jon Hilkevitch reminds us.
9. So, let's see. The mayor does what well?
Oh yeah. Contracts and patronage.
10. I mean, the airports are a disaster, property taxes are out of control, the city's finances are shaky, school reform isn't working, the CHA's grand plan is five years behind schedule (among other problems), Millennium Park won't be paid off until 2036, the entire city will soon be under surveillance, Todd Stroger is the Cook County president, the city's hiring system is so fradulent a federal monitor now has to approve every move, we still have the worst gang problem in the country, and all aldermen are ho's.
11. Tribune Company is considering a joint online advertising network with fellow publishers Gannett and McClatchy. TribCo also has a new cooperative venture with the Sun-Times. Here is their first effort.
12. Arenda Troutman's lawyer, Sam Adam Jr., seems to think that the criminal background of the FBI's informant in the case is relevant. But he doesn't say why; nor do the Sun-Times reporters who dutifully record what he says.
The Tribune has the real story on the informant.
13. Though, again, it doesn't inspire confidence in the FBI.
"An initial FBI affidavit in the Troutman case said the bureau was not aware that [informant Andre] Johnson had a criminal background," the Tribune account says. "The FBI said it learned of Johnson's criminal past 'after the government received information/an inquiry regarding [his] background from a third party.' A source said that third party was a Tribune reporter."
14. The president also announced last night that when American troops stand up, British troops will stand down.
15. Ald. Bernard Stone told the Sun-Times that Troutman told him she was only repeating what a lawyer once told her when she was caught on tape by the FBI saying "Most aldermen, most politicians are ho's."
"She claimed she just repeated what he said and told him he was wrong. But when [the FBI] quoted it, they took out the part that she was repeating."
The Beachwood has obtained the unedited excerpt.
TROUTMAN: This lawyer dude once said to me, he said, 'Well, the thing is, most alderman, most politicians are ho's."
CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANT: Uh-huh.
TROUTMAN: I said, no honey, that's not true. Some of 'em don't even get paid!
TROUTMAN: But seriously, what do I get out of it?
She also listed 22 lovers in her 1987 biography, including Billy Wilder, Burt Lancaster, Howard Hughes, and Robert Stack.
Thank God the days are over when actresses were only valued for their bodies.
17. Is it easier to get on the ballot in Chicago or in Baghdad?
18. It's the third anniversary of Stella Foster's "column," which means it's been three years since I asked Sun-Times publisher John Cruickshank how in the world this woman rated a column in (theoretically) a major metropolitan newspaper. Loyalty counts for something, he told me, with a pained look that seemed to acknowledge that she is a joke.
Yeah, I said it!
19. Rick Telander's comparison this morning of Chicago and Los Angeles includes "Chicago has neighborhoods; L.A. has drive-by zones." Actually, Chicago has always had a worse gang problem than Los Angeles. They just have better gangsta rappers.
20. I wish Steve Jobs would buy Tribune Company and start publishing iPapers.
The Beachwood Tip Line: A new way forward.
Posted on January 11, 2007
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