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The [Tuesday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes

"A city starving for the playoffs must demand to know, if the Bears can look this good against a quality team, why have they looked so bad so often the rest of the season?" Tribune columnist David Haugh writes in this morning's best Bears commentary.

"The better the Bears played, the more they looked like a team with the most unrealized talent in the league. The more they relished how competitive they played, the more they must have regretted how badly their season went.

"Does beating a Super Bowl-caliber team create more faith in Smith's coaching ability or doubt?

"Are we supposed to celebrate the way wide receiver Devin Aromashodu won the game in overtime with a 39-yard touchdown catch or second-guess why the Bears waited until December to unwrap him? Should the coaching staff be commended for inserting safety Craig Steltz into the lineup to make plays or criticized for having Steltz spend the past four weeks inactive?"


"It's hard to get excited about the Vikings' comeback," St. Paul Pioneer Press columnist Tom Powers writes. "They were down 16-0 at halftime and on the short end of total yardage 225-82. If the game wasn't over by then, it should have been.

"Any decent team - any playoff team - would have slammed the door after that. Yes, they made some adjustments at the intermission. But how can it be that the mighty Vikings have to adjust to the lowly Bears instead of the other way around?"


Madden 10 predicted it, as did Jarvis from Bet Republic.

Traffic Tip
CBS2's Mike Flannery reports that the new state law prohibiting texting while driving that goes into effect on Friday may have to be broadened to include other forms of distracted driving. Like broadcasting while driving? Watch the video (upper right).

The Roland Burris Show
"Sen. Roland Burris insisted he would never vote for an overhaul of the nation's health insurance system unless the bill included a strong public option," the Sun-Times reported on Monday. "And he promised that position wouldn't change.

"But last week the Senate passed a health insurance bill that included no government-run health insurance to serve as a public option for those seeking low-cost coverage - and Burris voted for it.

"Burris insists he did not flip-flop.

"He says there are a lot of definitions of public option."

A) The option to be sick in public.
B) The public's option to not guarantee health care to its citizens.
C) I said it was an option, okay?


"'I will vote against any plan that doesn't include a public option.'

"You read that here in an Oct. 9 commentary piece for the Tribune by U.S. Sen. Roland Burris, D-Ill," the paper's editorial page says today. "He insisted that a government-run insurance plan was the key to affordable, accessible, quality health care. 'A public option must be a central component of any health insurance reform legislation,' he wrote.

"A couple of weeks later, he said on C-SPAN: 'I have stated it, unequivocally, that if the final package does not carry with it the strong public option that would allow individuals to have competition . . . then I would not vote for that legislation.'

"He even threatened to conduct his own filibuster.

"The darn thing is, some people took him at his word. For a while there, a few Democrats thought Burris just might be the savior of government-run health insurance.

"After all, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid needed every Democratic vote, and Burris said he wouldn't vote . . .


"Burris voted, along with every other Democrat in the Senate, for a bill that doesn't include even a whiff of the public option.

"And for those who may have though that 'unequivocally' meant 'unequivocally'?

"'We don't want to get caught up in language,' he told the Associated Press."


The Trib edit is titled "Fooled ya again!"

But nobody was more fooled than the Tribune, which published Burris's Op-Ed even after repeatedly calling him a liar in the wake of his false testimony to a legislative panel in Springfield about how he got his U.S. Senate appointment.

So, you know, shame on you.

Slime Time
"In one of the many e-mails [Andy] Martin sends to Chicago media - often in the middle of the night - Martin offers links to a tape of a radio show in which [Jack] Roeser and [Ray] True did make the comments referenced in the ad," the Sun-Times reports.

"'You've got Mark Kirk, who's been so strong on his homosexuals so long that the solid rumor is that he himself is a homosexual,' Roeser said on the program."


"True said Monday that he 'never made that statement' attributed to him by Martin," the Tribune reports. "True said he appeared recently on a show hosted by Roeser on WIND-AM and 'I made a comment not about him (Kirk) at all, but that there were some people on his (Kirk's) staff that had a special orientation.'

Which is what Martin said.


Jack Roeser is the founder of the Family Taxpayers Foundation. True is described in news reports as "Lake County Illinois Republican leader Ray True," but that appears to be a general description; he is not listed on the website of the Lake County Republicans.


"Mr. Martin will no longer be recognized as a legitimate Republican candidate by the Illinois Republican Party," state party chairman Patrick Brady said in a statement.

You mean he was recognized as such up til now? I guess this wasn't enough:

"In federal court filings from the 1980s related to bankruptcy proceedings against him, Martin called one federal judge a 'crooked, slimy Jew, who has a history of lying and thieving common to members of his race.' He also expressed sympathy to the perpetrators of the Holocaust."

Then again, he did receive 34 percent of the Republican vote in his U.S. Senate primary campaign against Steve Sauerberg - in 2008.


"Part Of The Conspiracy Since 1969!"


"'Beachwood' is receiving money from outside sources to fund its operations. So NBC is using on its own web site 'news' generated by someone who is being funded by third parties and reportage is by Steve Rhodes, whose journalistic credentials are nowhere to be found."

- Andy Martin letter to NBC5


"Eric's motives are pure, but Steve Rhodes is the Andy Martin of Chicago journalism - to engage him is to give him a victory. I stopped trying to counter Rhodes' falsehoods and fantasies a long time ago."

- Neil Steinberg, commenting on a Michael Miner post

State Secrets
In a news service interview about his new conspiracy show on TruTV, published in the Sun-Times today, former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura said that "the CIA is embedded in state government . . . yet nobody even cared when I wrote that in [Don't Start The Revolution Without Me!."

Here's a passage from the book:

"But I was stunned to learn that here are CIA operatives inside some state governments. They are not in executive positions - in other words, not appointed by the governor - but are permanent state employees. Governors come and go, but they keep working - in legitimate jobs but with dual identities. In Minnesota, this person was at a deputy commissioner level, fairly high up.

"Here's how I found out about this: The CIA person contacted my chief of staff, who then set up a meeting between the three of us. My chief of staff and I were informed that only we would know of the operative's identity, nobody else in state government. Later, when there was a change of status, I was also briefed by the new CIA person.

"No one ever made me swear that I wouldn't talk about this and, now that I'm out of office, maybe I'm taking a chance. But I want to get it on the record. I could only speculate about other states, but I'm fairly certain the same situation exists all across the country. It would seem odd that only Minnesota would have CIA operatives, especially since Minnesota is not exactly a world port and doesn't have any really immense cities.

"Are they put there to spy? To see the direction that state government is going, what's happening, and report back - to whom? And for what purpose? Do they think there are traitors in certain states?

"I don't know. That part, I wasn't told. I'm left to wonder why our Constitution is being violated."


A CIA spokesman later confirmed that "on occasion CIA officers meet with senior state government officials, as they did in this case, to discuss issues of mutual interest" . . . and that "I wouldn't think of CIA officers as being in state governments. They're federal employees."


The Beachwood Tip Line: Fantastical


Posted on December 29, 2009

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