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The [Thursday] Papers

* If the Bears lose on Sunday, Jay Mariotti will:

A) Blame the Bears for partying too much while the Colts arrived late in an all-business mode.
B) Declare that Rex Grossman cannot be the starting QB when the season opens next year.
C) Blame Lovie Smith for failing to make adjustments and suggest the team let him go to Dallas.

If the Bears win on Sunday, Mariotti will:

A) Credit the Bears for staying loose and enjoying the ride while the Colts arrived late in an all-business mode and played tight.
B) Proclaim Grossman the franchise.
C) Castigate Bears management for not locking up Lovie within minutes of the victory.

* Here's something that Indianapolis can do that we can't.

* Fun with Photoshop.

* Funny how no one questions the value of experience when it comes to quarterbacking a professional football team, but when it comes to the presidency . . .

* Big endorsements are on the line for several Bears players. The Beachwood investigates.

* Kass in Miami with Mayor Loco.

Code Aqua
Boston law enforcement authorities apparently don't have cable.

This Is Our Country
Just to give you an idea of how right FDR was about that fear thing, here is the Aqua Teen Hunger Force that struck fear into the East Coast - and even has Chicago officials upset.

Of course, you can't totally blame the authorities. Check out how scary the "suspicious device" was, pictured here on the right rail.

Teen Surge
President Bush has just called up the Hunger Force to supplement the surge.

Apparently Maliki said he'd like fries with that.

Achilles Hillary
"Jim Webb knew. Barack Obama knew. Even I knew, for Pete's sake. The administration's trickery was clear in real time," Maureen Dowd writes about Hillary's support of the Iraq war.

Dowd could have added, though the pundits find it easy to forget, that Howard Dean knew too.

War Powers
Too bad The New York Times and Chicago Tribune couldn't see the trickery in real time.

Defendant Bush
"Last Aug. 17, Judge Anna Diggs Taylor of the United States District Court in Detroit issued her ruling in the A.C.L.U. case. The president, she said, had 'undisputedly violated' not only the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution, but also statutory law, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act," James Bamford writes on The New York Times's Op-Ed page, wondering why the president isn't under criminal investigation.

"The issue is not original. Among the charges approved by the House Judiciary Committee when it recommended its articles of impeachment against President Nixon was 'illegal wiretaps.' President Nixon, the bill charged, 'caused wiretaps to be placed on the telephones of 17 persons without having obtained a court order authorizing the tap, as required by federal law; in violation of Sections 241, 371 and 2510-11 of the Criminal Code."

Bush, by contrast, placed taps on thousands of phones.

Henry Hyde is never around to catch the falling flag when you need him.

George W. Stroger
"Illinois public hospitals could lose $623 million annually, including as much as $235 million for the Cook County hospital system, under a change to Medicaid rules being pushed by the Bush administration, state officials said Wednesday," the Tribune reports.

Glad to see the president turning his attention back to domestic issues.

Old School
Barack Obama's national finance chair donated $2,000 to Bush's re-election in 2004, Lynn Sweet reports.

It's an old kind of new politics.

Hillary's War
A Saturday Night Live bit recounted by the otherwise noxious Jonah Goldberg on the Trib Op-Ed page today:

"I think most Democrats know me," the fake Clinton told the fake Chris Matthews. "They understand that my support for the war was always insincere. Of course, knowing what we know now, that you could vote against the war and still be elected president, I would never have pretended to support it."

Though when Goldberg writes that "Hillary Rodham Clinton comes across as stiffer than Trent Lott's hair and more tightly wound than a rubber-band ball," he's as off-base as the tiresome and entirely factually wrong references to Al Gore as wooden, Howard Dean as unhinged, and George W. Bush as the kind of guy you'd like to have a beer with.

As incisive media critic, Bob Somerby writes of the political press, "they're so fucking stupid it makes your bones hurt."

Somerby's latest example is Dowd's latest: "When she was little, Hillary Rodham would sit on a basement bench and pretend she was flying a spaceship to Mars," she wrote. "Her younger brother Hugh, perched behind, would sometimes beg for a chance to be captain.

"No dice. 'She would always drive, and I would always have to sit in the back, he once told me.'

See, if a little boy wanted to drive, that's okay. But a little girl wanting to drive means she's ruthless.

Invented the Vet Spit
Another lie the media keeps repeating because they can't think for themselves.

Judy's Surge
"In 2003, I reported on Miller's spat with the Times's Baghdad bureau chief, who scolded her for writing about Iraqi exile leader Ahmad Chalabi after being notified that someone else would handle the assignment," Howard Kurtz writes. "'I've been covering Chalabi for about 10 years, and have done most of the stories about him for our paper, including the long takeout we recently did on him. He has provided most of the front page exclusives on WMD to our paper,' Miller wrote in an e-mail.

"Months later, I wrote about Miller's unusually forceful role while embedded with an Army unit looking for WMD. When the unit, Mobile Exploitation Team Alpha, was ordered to withdraw, Miller wrote to two public affairs officers: 'I see no reason for me to waste time (or MET Alpha, for that matter) in Talil. . . . I intend to write about this decision in the NY Times to send a successful team back home just as progress on WMD is being made.'

"Miller later challenged the pullback order with Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, then commander of the 101st Airborne, and on his advice to a subordinate, the withdrawal order was rescinded. Petraeus, you may recall, has just been put in charge of the Iraq war effort."

Daley Doses
* The Sun-Times editorial page chides the mayor for keeping Christopher Kozicki on the payroll, saying it "sends yet another mixed message."

I'd say the message is anything but mixed.

* The business community is filling the mayor's campaign coffers beyond overflowing for an election in which he will cruise to easy victory. "Daley has not raised this much cash since his first successful run for mayor in 1989," the Tribune reports.

So . . . what is it the donors want? Or is the mayor putting on a major squeeze to send a decidedly unmixed message?

Oh the Irony
"How dare the Cook County Board of Commissioners balance the county's budget on the backs of poor people! Many of these people are the same people who flocked ot the polls to elect board President Todd Stroger over his Republican opponent, Tony Peraica," Mary Mitchell writes this morning.

Near as I can tell, though, it's Stroger, not the board, that wants to balance the budget on the backs of poor people.

Bay of the Dock
Daley challenger Dock Walls, who already wrongly predicted the mayor's nominating petitions wouldn't survive legal challenge, now says "I assure you, we will win by a landslide."

So if you hear who Dock is picking in the Super Bowl, let us know. We'll know what to do.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Fill our coffers.


Posted on February 1, 2007

MUSIC - Who's Next In Chicago Rap.
TV - Tribune-Nexstar Deal Is Bad News.
POLITICS - Big Soda Hates You.
SPORTS - Harold vs. the Haters.

BOOKS - Wright Brothers, Wrong Story!

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Go Ahead, Eat Raw Cookie Dough!

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