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The [Tuesday] Papers

Item: "Prime Minister Tony Blair condemned the African slave trade and expressed deep sorrow for Britain's role - but stopped short Monday of offering an apology or compensation for the descendants of those victimized by it."

Item: "The homicide rate on the Ute Mountain Ute Indian reservation has soared to nearly 50 times the national average, prompting Colorado's new U.S. attorney to label it the state's 'murder capital.'"

Item: "Last week on Dan Patrick's radio show, ESPN analyst Michael Irvin jokingly suggested the success of Dallas quarterback Tony Romo could be due to an African-American heritage. '[There might be] some brother in that line somewhere,' Irvin said of the white quarterback. 'If a great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandma pulled one of them studs out of the barn . . . '"

Item: "Prime Minister Ehud Olmert reached out to the Palestinians on Monday in one of his most conciliatory speeches yet, saying he was prepared to grant them a state, release desperately needed funds and free prisoners if they choose the path of peace. But the Palestinian Cabinet, led by Hamas militants who reject Israel's right to exist, accused Olmert of posturing.

''This is a conspiracy. This is a new maneuver," a spokesman said.

Item: 50 shots.

Item: "Consider the media. There were no African-American regulars on Seinfeld, even though it was set in New York City. TV is no longer a completely white ghetto. Oprah Winfrey remains a remarkable phenomenon. But look at the talk show hosts from the news hour to midnight: There is not an African American or Latino among them. Tavis Smiley is the sole notable exception - and he's on the educational channel, PBS."

Item: "John Cruickshank, Publisher. Michael Cooke, Editor in Chief. John Barron, Executive Editor. Steve Huntley, Editorial Page Editor. Don Hayner, Managing Editor." The all-white, all-male Sun-Times management team.

Item: "In recent months, Daley has made a series of moves aimed at courting black and Hispanic voters," the Sun-Times reports. "They include vetoing the big box-minimum wage ordinance and framing the debate in racial terms; proposing an Olympic stadium in Washington; overhauling the police department's Office of Professional Standards; and appointing state Sen. Miguel del Valle (D-Chicago) as city clerk and Stefanie Neely, an African-American, as city treasurer."

Item: Black voting patterns.

Item: "Protesting the removal of six imams from a US Airways flight last week, a group of Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders staged a 'pray-in' Monday near the airline's ticket counter at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport."


Heard while writing this column.


Is it a civil war? Yes.

Iraq Extends State of Emergency.


Not every soldier is a hero fighting for freedom (second and third letters). A lot of them join the military for purely socioeconomic reasons, with little interest in the noble principles newspaper editors like to affix to them from behind their desks.


Were you better off than you were four years before? No.


But according to a campaign mailer I received, Richard M. Daley says Todd Stroger has been working hard on your behalf when it comes to property taxes. So I'm not sure what to think. Except that my rent will probably go up.


Bobbie Steele could do the right thing if she wanted to. It's our money she's filching, by the way.


Wait, the Blackhawks have been playing long enough to fire their coach? When does the Bulls season start?


Is Denny Hastert planning to retire to Wisconsin?


"Instead of having elections, we have appointments. The machine has never been stronger."
- Forrest Claypool, on Fox News Perspective last Sunday.


Murray Chass of The New York Times wrote recently in a story I linked to that Alfonso Soriano led the National League in errors among outfielders last season. He was wrong - it was Adam Dunn.

Find that factoid and more in Don Jacobson's essay on how opening the corporate checkbook doesn't solve the Cubs' problems.


John Kass of The Chicago Tribune wrote recently in a story I linked to that Rahm Emanuel "narrowly defeated" Nancy Kaszak in 2002. Actually, as the Tribune reported at the time, Emanuel "handily defeated" Kaszak (by 11 points). Kass is still right about Emanuel though.


"The Cubs gave Henry Blanco a two-year, $5.25 million contract to be their backup catcher. This came a few months after the Twins gave their backup catcher, Mike Redmond, a two-year, $2 million deal."

Guess which one is better.


Blanco used to be with the Twins. He was replaced by Redmond.


"New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton scored ninth of the 20 leaders with a score of 49. Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic nominee who was roundly criticized before the election for suggesting that students who don't study could end up stuck in Iraq, came in last at 39.6.

"Kerry later apologized for what he said was a botched joke."

And that's how fiction becomes fact in American politics. It was a joke - about the president. Just go look at it yourself, or read the transcript. If you do, you'll have done more work than nearly every journalist who now lazily repeats this as if they actually know.


"In a low point in Democratic Party history, Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey was banned from speaking at the 1992 Democratic Convention for being opposed to abortion rights," Kirsten Powers wrote in a column that appeared on the Sun-Times Op-Ed page on Sunday.

And that's how fiction becomes fact in American politics. Casey was banned from speaking because he wouldn't endorse the party's nominee, which isn't an unreasonable prerequisite at a national convention.


Ralph Martire explains it all.


"Ouch. Keef and Ronnie don't even know the chords, they just noodle."


The Beachwood Tip Line: Joining hands.


Posted on November 28, 2006

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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