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The [Thursday] Papers

"[Todd Stroger] and his wife just sort of wanted to get it done, taken care of and not have to deal with the media circus," Stroger's doctor said Wednesday.

Mission accomplished.

Missing in Action
A lot of the pundits are missing the point about Stroger not disclosing his illness sooner. It's not so much about not informing voters 10 months ago that he had a very treatable, non-life threatening medical problem - though that would have been nice - but that he didn't show up for work one day and his aides would only say he would be out for the next three weeks with no explanation.

Legacy Vote
"It's too soon to say with certainty that Todd Stroger will go down as an amateurish one-termer," the Tribune editorial page says today.

Yes. He could be a half-termer if we can figure out how to impeach him.

Playing Favorites
The Trib editorial about Stroger says "Stroger's choice of secrecy over candor reminds voters that it's all about him, not them."

And in its next editorial, the paper goes easy on the mayor's refusal to acknowledge the truth about the city's greenhouse gas emissions, saying "The city has fallen well short of its goals, but it has the right vision."

It's not about goals and vision, it's about facts. The mayor doesn't like them. Alternate editorial message: Stop lying.

Or that thing they said about Stroger.

Earmarks in the Dark
"Only five of [Illinois'] 21 [congressional] members gave their complete earmark requests to the Tribune: Democratic Sen. Barack Obama; GOP Reps. Roskam, Judy Biggert and Mark Kirk, and Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the Democratic conference chairman, who started the disclosure ball rolling in May," the Tribune reports.

[Insert name of Illinois congressperson]'s choice of secrecy over candor reminds voters that it's all about [Insert name of Illinois congressperson], not them.

Barrett Bungle
"By liberating embattled catcher Michael Barrett from the Chicago Cubs yesterday, Padres evaluators say they bought low and sold high," the San Diego Union-Tribune says.

"[Padres GM Kevin] Towers said the Cubs initiated trade talks with him last week. Barrett had landed in the doghouse of manager Lou Piniella, a man not renowned for patience or tact.

"Geoff Blum, a friend and former minor league teammate of Barrett's who played for Piniella in Tampa Bay, said Barrett should benefit from the change of managers.

"'This environment will be good for Mike, because Lou Piniella and catchers don't get along, in my experience,' Blum said."

Cubs Curse
A better GM than Hendry would have sized up Barrett's skills long ago and traded him when his value was at its highest, knowing he wasn't the long-term answer behind the plate.

A better manager than Piniella wouldn't have had to ask his captain to hold a players-only meeting just a couple months into his first season on the job to see if he had already lost the team, only to see his clubhouse implode and force his general manager into making a really bad, rushed trade.

Sox Suck
They're not happy over at South Side Sox either.

Crosstown Crucible
Take the Quick Hits quiz.

Cold and Watery
"A big bowl of state budget clam-up chowder."

Teaching Moment
"Suburban officials are treating public documents as if they contain national secrets that would expose the country to terrorist attack."

Human Calculator
"A soon-to-be-released biography of Sen. Barack Obama portrays the Democratic presidential candidate as a far more calculating politician than his most ardent supports might imagine," the Tribune reports.

No! Say it isn't so!

"One such calculation was his much-heralded 2002 speech in Chicago about the impending Iraq war," the Trib says.

"Obama gave the speech not just because of a desire to speak out about the coming war, [the book's author asserts], but also to try to curry favor with a potential political patron, Bettylu Saltzman, a stalwart among Chicago's liberal elite, and to win over political adviser David Axelrod, who was close to Saltzman.

"'Obama, still an unannounced candidate for the U.S. Senate, did not immediately agree to speak [at the rally],' according to an advance copy of the book obtained by the Tribune. 'But he told Saltzman that he would think it over.'

"After consulting with a political aide, Obama, who was personally opposed to the invasion, agreed to make the speech."

Meanwhile, U.S. News reports that the mostly favorable book also reveals Obama's calculating plan to win the White House, including how he would manipulate a compliant press. Among the plan's elements:

* "Avoid controversy and tone down his liberal image. And overall: Keep the press at bay, allowing the senator to control his message while being portrayed as a rising star in the Democratic Party."

* "One of the final elements was a media-crazed congressional delegation trip to Africa, where Obama would trace some of his fascinating roots. 'The hope among Obama's team: To raise the senator's profile nationally and internationally; to solidify his support among a key constituency, African Americans; and to bulk up his foreign policy credentials.'"

* "The final act of the plan was turning up the talk about a potential presidential bid, which was greatly aided by his positive press and suggestions by pundits that he run for president."

The Beachwood Tip Line: Deflate the hype.


Posted on June 21, 2007

MUSIC - A Plan To Pay Musicians.
TV - Jonathan Pie: Back To School.
POLITICS - 5 Things An Angry Old White Man Wants To Say.
SPORTS - Triple Crown Tomato.

BOOKS - How The Post Office United America.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Premature Ejaculation Market Exploding Quickly.

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