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The [Thursday] Papers

1. When being a simple-minded Republican is actually the correct approach.

2. Best Iowa Caucus Moment Ever.

3. Four years ago I was sitting in the Beachwood with our very own Tim Willette on the night of the Iowa caucuses when I spotted Howard Dean on the TV. The sound was turned down, but judging from the looks of it, I turned to Tim and said, "It looks like he's giving the speech of his life!" True story.

I still think Dean got a raw deal.

4. "Not content to stand idly by and watch the events in the world of human politics unfold from afar, two of the star characters for the upcoming Wideload Pants political minigame title Hail to the Chimp are heading out to the Iowa Caucus to get a handle on things first hand," Kotaku reports.

"Woodchuck Chumley and Crackers the Chimp (who looks suspiciously like a current, high-level politician), will be on location at the Iowa Caucus Thursday covering the latest news for The live coverage also coincides with the launch of the game's official site.

"Publisher Gamecock promises that the team of crack cosplay reporters will be delivering election polls, gossip, stock tips and interviews with candidates."

5. "Tonight, Iowans, it's up to you," the Des Moines Register says in an editorial today.

6. On the other hand, a recent e-mail solicitation from Duncan Hunter began: "Dear Iowegians".

7. "The forecast for caucus day on Thursday in Iowa is clear with a high of 34 degrees. The day before is also expected to be sunny. That's Hillary Clinton Weather," writes Register bigfoot David Yepsen.

"The roads and sidewalks will be clean and the ice melted enough to allow older women to get out and caucus for the New York senator."

This is no way to run a democracy.

8. Bombs raining down on Des Moines is thought to be Rudy Giuliani Weather, while a plague of locusts would bode well for Mike Huckabee.

9. Radar O'Reilly was from Ottumwa, Iowa. There is no record of him ever attending a caucus.

10. Iowans caucusing.

11. Mayor Daley has reversed position and now says Illinois should acquire Iowa. I mean, Wrigley Field.

We'll only know why if Sam Zell was wearing a wire when he spoke to Daley about it.

12. Rod Blagojevich can deny he made the statements alleged against him in a federal probe, but he can't deny that he is Public Official A because that's just a fact.

13. The mayor named Montel Gayles as his umpteenth purchasing chief on Wednesday, the Tribune reports.

"Gayles took no questions at the City Hall news conference and declined comment later Wednesday through a spokesman."

And he will never be heard from again until he is replaced for failing like all his predecessors to increase the amount of business the city does with minority contractors.

14. "The Amazing Kreskin, the celebrity mentalist, announced Wednesday that he will offer his help in the search for Stacy Peterson, the missing 23-year-old mother from Bolingbrook."

No, really. I'm not making that up.


Hey Kreskin, while you're here, find out who hired Angelo Torres.

15. "Pointing at reporters trying to ask a question about the federal investigation, Blagojevich said: 'If you guys want to cover this [transit] issue and cover the substance of it, then we can get that message out. But if you want to cover tangential, collateral things that have no impact or relevance to people, then you don't get that message out."

The governor then left for a hockey game.

16. Today's Corporate Profile by Tim Willette:

"Successful market penetration of our highly recognized valued brand and products, through a wide variety of distribution channels, continues to provide new and exciting growth opportunities for our Company." (Nathan's Famous)

17. Today's Least Surprising Development by Tim Willette.

18. Bob Reed's predictions for 2008, including media upheaval, Olympic backlash, the Cubs, and our next president.

19. "Illinois taxpayers - who are the ultimate backers of ISFA bonds - shouldn't be involved in a deal that's already attracted a small parade of rich people willing to pay up to $1-billion-plus to acquire the Cubs and Wrigley," Reed wrote recently.

"The newspapers say Tribune Co. thinks it can maximize its price by selling the team to one party and the real estate to another. Maybe it can, but the ISFA shouldn't be salting the way for TribCo. to win the highest price.

"That's what investment bankers and management are suppose to accomplish."

20. We'd like to welcome Kenzo Shibata to our pages today; Kenzo has a fine piece on the CompStat-ing of Chicago teachers. And don't forget to check out the rest of today's Beachwood. We made it just for you.

The Beachwood Tip Line: At your service.


Posted on January 3, 2008

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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