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The [Thursday] Papers

Maybe I've underestimated "Love Is . . . " all along.

I hope tomorrow we hear his excuse.

Wisdom of Crowds
"Well, that just about answers the question of whether televising home games will hurt the box office, doesn't it? Despite the broadcast, the Blackhawks recorded their first sellout (20,511, described as 100.1 percent of capacity by the box score on of the season on Wednesday - that's right, "on Wednesday," our very own Jim Coffman writes in Hawk TV!

Bowl Games
University of Illinois President B. Joseph White's teachable moment continues.

And Vice-Versa
"BEIJING - John Thomson, Chicago's first ambassador to China, casually dispenses the kind of nuggets that are usually buried in a heap of China analysis," the Tribune reports.

"First, the person with fancy titles on a Chinese business card is very likely not the real person in charge.

"Second, if heading to a work dinner in the hard-drinking north, start off with a swig of Pepto-Bismol to keep you coherent after rounds of local firewater.

"And third, if you're getting impatient with bureaucratic dead-ends, take heart that 'in China, anything is possible; nothing is easy.'"

I imagine a similar story in the Beijing Bugle about a Chinese ambassador to Chicago could say the exact same thing about us - or worse. So let's quit with the exoticism already.

Lobby Mularkey
"Three political aides on Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) payroll were registered lobbyists for dozens of corporations, including Wal-Mart, British Petroleum and Lockheed Martin, while they received payments from his campaign, according to public documents," The Hill reports.

"The presence of political operatives with long client lists on Obama's campaign contrasts with his long-held stand of campaigning against the influence of special interests."

In fact, Obama recently went so far as to say "not in my White House."

It's amazing what you can learn if you go beyond the hometown press.

Now, can someone explain that Tony Rezko land deal to me again?

Sling Blade
"So, then, why Hillary? Her chief rival, Obama, has disappointed in the debates, appearing to lack confidence and talking mostly in generalities. George W. Bush has certainly lowered the bar when it comes to expecting experience in our presidential candidates, but Obama was an Illinois state senator just three years ago," the Washington Blade says in an endorsement editorial.

"By contrast, Clinton has demonstrated a mastery of detail during the campaign. Whatever you think of her, there's no denying her intellect and willingness to work hard . . .

"For those who doubt her ability to win over moderate and conservative voters, look at what she accomplished in upstate New York, where she carried 'red' counties in a landslide Senate re-election victory. I've interviewed elected officials, including conservative Republicans, from those areas and they agree that Clinton is a hard-working and accessible leader with a focus on constituent service. In addition, she worked from day one in the Senate to cultivate relationships with even her most conservative Republican colleagues."

As I've written many times, I'm not endorsing, supporting or even voting for Hillary Clinton. Not in the primary - I don't believe journalists ought to vote in primaries because it's an internal party activity; we shouldn't be helping parties choose their nominees - or in the general election, unless my vote for her would be the only thing keeping us from, say, a Duncan Hunter presidency.

I'm just trying to inject some reason into the local political bloodstream - especially in advance of coming Tribune and Sun-Times endorsements of Obama, who still hasn't adequately answered questions about Rezko, his kinky stock deal, his relationship with Machine bosses, his record in Springfield, the fabrications in his memoir . . . and so on. In part because he's dodging the Chicago press.

Biden Time
The New York Times forgets to interview its own editors while it searches for mysterious reasons why Joe Biden hasn't gotten a fair hearing for such a serious man.

"Mr. Biden's supporters will tell you that this is all the media's fault for not covering him more - much the same argument you hear from Bill Richardson and Christopher Dodd's supporters, too," Matt Bai writes. "This has some validity, but personally, I think Mr. Biden is less a victim of the media itself than of the distinct political culture that we in the media have wrought. Ten years of endless blather about the game of politics on cable TV have trained the most engaged American voters to handicap candidates rather than hear them, to pontificate about who might win rather than deciding whom they actually want to win. Voters seem to approach politics increasingly as pundits, and they look to poll numbers to tell them who's electable and who isn't, never stopping to realize that they are the ones who get to decide."

That's just insane on so many levels my head is spinning too fast to comment further.

Machine Man
"I am sick to death of no-bid contracts and cronyism and incompetence and indifference and corruption," Hillary Clinton said the other day.

Words Obama has never said to his Illinois pals.

Screw You

Hometown Hype
A more sober view of Fukudome.

God's Newspaper
Sun-Times Christmas Day headline: 'Something God Wanted To Happen," with story about a kidney donation.

Why didn't they use the page 7 story: 'She Went Off On Her Husband: Accused of Killing Him Over Guests"?

Does God only intervene when it's good news?

"Escorted by police, four charter buses cruised past bumper-to-bumper traffic in the left lane of the northbound Kennedy Expy. on Sunday afternoon after the Bears trounced the Green Bay Packers," the Sun-Times reported this week.

"Who received such royal treatment?

"The Packers, belive it or not."

By longstanding arrangement, opposing teams hire off-duty state troopers to escort team buses. Frank Main reports that the teams pay the troopers for their work and that because they are off-duty, they don't compromise manpower.

But those aren't the right questions: The right questions are: Why do pro sports teams get to pay to get special treatment to bypass traffic? Can anyone buy such an escort? And . . . here's the kicker: Why are the off-duty troopers allowed to use State Police cruisers?

This is an outrage, not a joke.

Love Is Creepy
"In The Simpsons episode, "A Milhouse Divided," Homer suggests the comic strip to a couple that is facing divorce, explaining it's 'about two naked eight-year-olds who are married.'"
- From the "Love Is . . . " Wikipedia entry

The Beachwood Tip Line: Cross at your own risk.


Posted on December 27, 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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