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The [Tuesday] Papers

BREAKING: The news broke this morning that federal authorities have arrested Jon Burge and he will face and "charges that he obstructed a civil rights investigation by lying in a civil deposition."

Message Control
"In the first day of City Council hearings on Mayor Richard Daley's 2008 budget, several aldermen questioned why the administration spends millions of dollars to get out its message to the public," the Tribune reports.

In order to drown out stories like this one!

"The aldermen on Monday cited a recent Tribune article detailing how City Hall spends $4.7 million on salaries for more than 50 public information officials and has paid millions of dollars more to public relations firms."

The mayor apparently told disgruntled union officials that if they get three men to a garbage truck, he gets three men to a press release.

"[Daley budget director Bennett] Johnson said public information officials deal with inquiries from the media and Freedom of Information Act requests."

And it takes a lot of people to say No!

"Daley has defended the public relations contracts as being 'worth it'."

And he's said it brandishing election results as he's rushed off to another puff interview with Time.


But to be fair to the mayor, I have to point out a correction I added late Monday afternoon to the item "Mayor Bribes Students." Sometimes the mayor wastes private money, not public. Still, I regret the error.

Unity Ticket
"He will have a role as one of my advisers," Barack Obama says of Colin Powell.

"Like, if I ever need to send someone to the United Nations for something really important!"

Health and Stealth
Obama's doctor won't talk, but his dentist will.

Polling Place
Rich Miller finds some nuggets in the Tribune's poll data today that didn't make it into their story.

Tales From The CTA
I didn't know they still played the shell game on the El.

Patti's Problems
Peter Contos is the investment bank executive who hired Patti Blagojevich for her connections but was disappointed by her failure to bring in business, including state pension funds. A Peter G. Contos III is described on his firm's website as the company's chief compliance officer.

I don't know what a chief compliance officer does at a financial services firm, I'm just sayin'.

Rock Lobster
I came across the fake receipt for this yesterday on several websites. I thought the signature was off.

Morning Man
WVON's new morning host is Jeremy Levitt. Levitt will fill the 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. slot Monday through Friday.

Levitt's bio from the station's website says that he is "a public international lawyer, political scientist and Africanist . . . [he] has traveled, researched or worked in 27 African countries. He has authored one book, The Evolution of Deadly Conflict in Liberia: From Paternaltarianism to State Collapse . . . and is currently working on a ground-breaking study, Illegal Peace? Examining the Legality of Power-Sharing with African Warlords and Rebels . . . [he] has served as a consultant or technical expert to various institutions, including the World Bank Group, Directorate-Operational Policy and Country Systems; World Bank Institute; International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty; and the United Nations Commission for Refugees."

Duh 101
It took a lot of supposedly smart people gathered by the Nieman Foundation at Harvard to figure this out:

"A panel of top journalists tries to derive some lessons from the elite media's failure to challenge what turned out to be a specious argument for war in Iraq. Among its conclusions: Journalists should aggressively defy the spin machine; should build on each others' work; should write for Americans outside the Beltway; should embrace accountability reporting on every beat; and should avoid the he-said she-said stories and instead adopt the directness and transparency increasingly found on journalistic blogs."

In other words, go back and read your Journalism 101 syllabus. I mean, really.

Hero of the Week
Some people choose to be happy.

Blaise of Glory
A friend from my college paper, The Minnesota Daily, starts a new series at his upstate New York newspaper about his battle with cancer.

The Wondrous World Wide Web

The Model Train Master
The Trib's Rob Elder profiles Ron Barber today, an artist who works on the model train exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry, which "replicates the trip from downtown Chicago to Seattle."

The best part of the story is near the end when we learn that "Each builder/designer has his own fingerprint, usually a hidden oddity - or 'Easter egg' in the model.

"For example: A tiny Bigfoot lives up in the hills. Somewhere in downtown Chicago, the Incredible Hulk lurks. Dozens more lie hidden away, including a scene from 'Singin' in the Rain.'

"Even today, Barber is sketching out a UFO crop circle, a la the movie Signs. But he won't say where.

"'Oh, that's the trade secret,' he says. 'That's the puzzle. Little kids go nuts trying to find 'em.' (Their presence in the model is mentioned on the museum's Web site.)"

Here is the video that goes with the story:


The Beachwood Tip Line: Out of this world.


Posted on October 21, 2008

MUSIC - Holiday Hullabaloo.
POLITICS - Bank Profits Soaring.
SPORTS - Chicago vs. Michigan, 1903.

BOOKS - Dia De Los Muertos Stories.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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