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The [Thursday] Papers

1.Kwik-E-Marts are doing a booming business.

ABC News reports that sales at the converted 7-11s, like this one on the Southwest Side, have doubled.

The stats:

* 960,000 cans of Buzz Cola sold
* 880,400 Sprinklicious donuts sold
* 1.1 million Squishees sold

And Krusty O's? Can't keep 'em in stock. The Kwik-E-Mart near Times Square in Manhattan ran out by 1 p.m. on the first day of the promotion.

2. The joyless Tribune not only wants to Spike the Spindle, they want you to think they're clever for using that wacky Wayne's World lingo.

3. Save the Spindle.

4. "The names of the characters were changed. Timelines were shifted."

Oh, just like Obama's memoir!

5. "[Cook County prosecutors] ripped Stroger after learning he will oppose a 12 percent pay increase for the state's attorney's office this year after promising to deliver it," the Sun-Times reports.

"Stroger's [latest] spokeswoman, Ibis Antongiorgi, said he 'is committed to cost-of-living increases for the state's attorneys and for all nonunion employees, but the issue is finding a way to pay for them."

So it depends on what you mean by the word "committed."

6. "I think what is irresponsible and naive is to have authorized a war without asking how we were going to get out," Obama said.

"And that's why I endorsed Joe Lieberman over Ned Lamont."

7. There is some justice in the world.

* Number of copies of Back in Black sold last year: 440,000
* Number of copies of Whitney Houston's self-titled debut: 7,000

8. "Even as Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has promoted a large following of small-dollar contributors representing ordinary Americans, his campaign has built an old-school political fundraising machine that relies heavily on the wealth and the powerful," the Tribune reports on its front page this morning.

Welcome to the party! Glad you could make it.

"The network of fundraisers generating money for the Illinois senator's campaign includes a heavy representation of attorneys at well-connected law firms and members of the financial industry, including highly paid managers of hedge funds and private equity funds whose lofty compensations have recently generated public controversy.

"The Obama campaign is hardly unique in depending upon fundraisers drawn from the nation's financial elite . . . But the Obama fundraising operation provides a contrast to an image that the campaign has ceaselessly cultivated as a movement powered by everyday Americans."

9. "Your friends may be more important than your genes in determining whether you gain weight, according to a new study billed as the first to demonstrate that obesity tends to spread through social networks," the Tribune reports in its lead front page story today, "Friendship at Heart of Obesity."

"The study, which followed a group of Americans for more than three decades, found that a person's chances of becoming obese increase dramatically after a close friend or relative fattens up. The same thing happens when someone close slims down."

Um, I dunno, I'm not so sure the researchers - or the media - is quite getting it right. Maybe people of similar body type and lifestyles tend to become friends. I think the cause-and-effect may be backwards. You don't tend to see a tall person with a short best friend or a budding young athlete hanging out with a sedentary bookworm.

10. "The front-page 'teaser' made sure I would read the story. It had a tough picture of Sen. Barack Obama and a headline "Obama Inc. Is our man of the people already beholden to fat cats? Abner Mikva wrote in May.

"I could not believe what I read when I turned to Page 6 of the Sun-Times last Monday. It said that Obama had taken more than $165,000 from the second-largest bank in Europe, almost $160,000 from Exelon Corp., $143,000 from one Wall Street corporation, $50,000 from Citigroup, and $40,000 from another Wall Street firm. The story even intimated that the Obama campaign had confirmed these numbers.

"If Obama had taken one dime from any of these corporations, he and the corporations would have been in clear violation of the federal Corrupt Practices Act that flatly prohibits any corporation from giving money to a federal campaign. There is a special law that has even stiffer penalties for any foreign corporation making such contributions. Not only can't corporations make such contributions, they cannot be involved in any activities leading to others making such contributions."

From today's Tribune: "Obama: 260 'bundlers' raise about $13 million."

11. "Dusty Baker and two of Barry Bonds' ex-teammates claim the San Francisco Giants star has been unfairly targeted by the government and media," AP reports.

"Baker said he noticed no signs of Bonds' alleged steroid use while he was managing the Giants. He said even if a manager suspected a player was using performance-enhancing drugs, proving it was another matter.

"'How was I supposed to know what a guy was doing when he left that baseball field?' Baker said.

I saw part of the ESPN forum where Baker made his comments. He also said: "You can go up to a guy and ask him and he won't tell you nuthin'."

Baker is also reportedly managing Lindsay Lohan.

12. How John Records Landecker almost got fired for playing the Dixie Chicks.

13. "Despite the media attention the [Obama] campaign has grabbed by attracting 258,000 donors - in many cases people of modest means who have given over the Internet - a much smaller group of large donors provides most of the funds for the campaign," the Tribune continues.

"Obama's campaign theme of reform has left him open to criticism of his fundraising operation. On the campaign trail, he regularly criticizes the influence of established special interests in shaping national policy . . .

"At least 17 of his major fundraisers are managers of either hedge funds or private equity funds."

14. "Among the next top cop's first challenges will be restoring faith in the Police Department, both inside and out, insiders and community leaders say," the Tribune reports.


"By 16, he had graduated to armed robberies, [Robert "Bobby the Beak"] Siegel testified, and he had become aware of the neighborhood's Outfit toughs," the Tribune reports.

"'They made the money, and they didn't go to jail,' testified Siegel, chuckling at the memory. 'Most of the police were on the [Outfit] payroll at that time.'"

The Beachwood Tip Line: Bundle your thoughts.


Posted on July 26, 2007

MUSIC - Lyric Opera Strike Settled.
POLITICS - USA Today's Op-Ed Disaster.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Come On, Vic!

BOOKS - Chicago Book Haul: The Dial.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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