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The [Thursday] Papers

Still slightly hobbled by my ISP issues, but I'm reporting live again today from the Beachwood's Palmer Square bureau. Beachwood HQ should be up to full speed later today.

Nonetheless, we have a new Over/Under, the wildly popular football column by the wildly popular Eric Emery; and in case you missed it yesterday, a new Periodical Table featuring Rick Rubin, Tina Fey, loud eyeballs and the conservative U of C scholar who found the White House's abuse of power too much to bear, as well as a 9/11 poem by our poet-in-residence, J.J. Tindall. Plus, the Beachwood debut of longtime local personality Chicago Ed Schwartz.

And now, on to the news.

Blago Blackjack
Rosemont Mayor Bradley Stephens says Rod Blagojevich told him to his face that he supports a casino in Stephens' town, the Tribune reports.

We all know, though, that the governor keeping his word about anything is:

A) A crapshoot.
B) A long shot.
C) A bluff.

"Representatives of Blagojevich and legislative leaders would not confirm the meetings were held."

Officials from the governor's office would also not confirm that Blagojevich was, in fact, the governor nor rumors that he was an android.

Duty Calls
"[S]ometimes, as we have learned repeatedly in Iraq, optimism is just another word for self-delusion."
- The Trib's Steve Chapman, "More False Optimism on the Iraq War"

Alt Police
"[T]he city has signed an $8.7 million contract to buy as many as 300 Toyota hybrid vehicles that use electric power and plans to buy the first city police cars ever to run on alternative fuel," the Tribune reports.

Apparently, though, we can't afford alternative policing.

Bug Out
I wonder if Wilco played their Volkswagen commercials between songs last night.

Slipshod Accounting
The Chicago Park District has agreed to one of many coming contracts to spend $67 million building two new harbors that could be used for the 2016 Olympics, the Sun-Times reports.

"Park officials say that even if Chicago doesn't win its bid for the Games, demand for harbor space will make the sites successful. Slip revenues from pleasure boats would cover construction costs, parks Supt. Timothy Mitchell said."

A) And if not, Mitchell will pay the difference out of his own pocket. Er, I mean, you will.
B) Then Mitchell stuffed a red flag back in his pocket.
C) Then Mitchell burst out laughing.

Great Godson
John Stroger's godson gets a six-figure "referral fee" every year for an introduction he made to a state board in 2004, the Sun-Times's Chris Fusco reports.

That's the same godson being pursued by Las Vegas police in an alleged kickback scheme.

The one who used to work for Tony Rezko.

BREAKING NEWS 10:16 A.M.: Orlando Jones Found Dead.

Nondisclosure Agreement
"The Better Government Association says 66 people appointed to state boards, commissions, authorities and task forces have failed to file a required state contracts disclosure form with the secretary of state's office," the Sun-Times reports.

The list includes deputy governor Sheila Nix, chief operating officer John Filan and CTA board chairwoman Carol Brown.

"We don't need no stinkin' disclosure forms," a source close to the governor said.

Top 10 Dealbreakers
Danielle writes to Cheryl Lavin's Tales From the Front:

"There are 10 dealbreakers for me. And guess what? My ex had all of them. (Except No. 6.)

1. Married.
2. Criminal history.
3. Addiction (alcohol/drugs/sex/gambling.)
4. Lives with 'roommate' of the opposite sex.
5. Unemployed.
6. Lives at home with mom who doesn't need him for medical reasons.
7. Has been married more than twice.
8. Is behind in his financial obligations.
9. Has history of infidelity.
10. Has children for whom he has never assumed financial responsibility."

Well, nine of 10 ain't bad.

Grow Up Now
The Sun-Times's front page editorial about the CTA would be more convincing if - given the run of desperate and silly front pages in recent months - it didn't smack of a marketing ploy.

It might also be smart for the Sun-Times at this point to steal a page from RedEye and give itself away free at train stations.


The Sun-Times chastises the political hacks who have sent the CTA into crisis but the paper hasn't exactly done its part, covering transportation and state budget issues on the cheap just like those they criticize.


Ultimately, it would have been more effective if the Sun-Times put a photo of the mayor riding bikes in Paris on the front page with its editorial and amended its cover language to "Mayor Daley, Fix the CTA Now!"

He should be in Springfield not only fighting for his constituents - us - but facing the music for allowing the system to deteriorate so badly under his watch.


The opening to today's superior Tribune editorial on the CTA: "Transit riders, stand down. Your crisis has been rescheduled for Nov. 4."

The Beachwood Tip Line: Stand up.


Posted on September 13, 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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