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The [Tuesday] Papers

I don't know enough about the 7th Ward to handicap the aldermanic race there, but if Sandi Jackson wins, she figures to be a compelling and sophisticated fresh face on the moribund City Council - and a potential future mayoral candidate.

Still, she seems to be trimming her sails already.

"Asked her view on the mayor, Jackson said, 'I think he's a great mayor. I'd like to see some of those great things that he's done for the City of Chicago come further south,'" Channel 5 reports.

"It's been my sense that your husband, the congressman, does not regard him as a great mayor," Carol Marin asked. "Would that be a correct assessment?"

"No, I wouldn't say that," Jackson answered. "He would like to see it spread around . . . We don't see it in our own back yard, and the question is why?"

That's a good question, but the Jacksons are either being disingenuous now or were being disingenuous then, when they rose up as voices against the rampant corruption and injustice of the mayor's tenure.

Cool Kid
The Jacksons' son, Jesse III, is nicknamed "Tre," according to the Sun-Times.

Chip and Block
"I'm running on my name," Darcel Beavers told Channel 5.

"Gates Warns Of 'Calamity' If U.S. Fails in Iraq."

If U.S. succeeds, too.

"A $52 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security brought the Chicago area a host of public safety improvements - including an obvious and ungainly camera atop each of Plensa's giant glass towers," the Tribune reports.

Foiled, al-Qaeda just called an emergency meeting to pick out a new target - perhaps the Lurie Gardens.

The Chicago-Bhutan Way
"The king of Bhutan has handed over the reins of power to his son," the AP reports.

Bill Beavers says the king has the votes and can do whatever he wants.

Dock the Halls
The Dock Walls reform plan includes term limits.

House Proud
"The Obamas purchased the house, which had been on the market for several months, for $300,000 below the list price," the Washington Post reports in its account of the controversial real estate deal they made with Tony Rezko. "On the day they closed, Rezko's wife, Rita, closed on the 9,000-square-foot lot next door for the asking price of $625,000."

So the Obamas got their house for $300,000 below list price while the parcel next door went for the full asking price.

"Obama said Rezko, who knows the neighborhood, was one of several people he called for advice on the real estate market. Rezko told him he knew the developer who renovated the house. In a later conversation, Rezko said he intended to buy the empty lot and build on it."

This is a different version from what Obama told the Sun-Times. The most logical explanation is that Obama was looking for a buyer of the adjacent lot who wouldn't build on it.

"Later, the Obamas bought a 10-foot-by-150-foot piece of the lot for $104,500. An appraisal put the value of the strip at $40,500, a spokesman said, but Obama considered it fair to pay one-sixth of the original price for one-sixth of the lot."

So Obama just decided to do the right thing and pay $64,000 more for than the strip's appraised value.

Now that Rezko has granted them the favor of buying the adjacent lot and selling him a strip of it, the Obamas are virtually assured that they won't have a pesky neighbor building next to them. In fact, they are mowing Rezko's lawn; in effect, the Obamas got both parcels for significantly less than the list price for the one.

The Post account also says that "Obama said that he was unaware of Rezko's brewing troubles in 2005."

How is it that the entire political community (and the media who cover them) were well aware of Rezko's brewing troubles in 2005 but Barack Obama wasn't?

Treasury Man
At Reverse Spin, Dan Curry reminds us of Barack Obama's backing of already-controversial state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.

Curry also reminds us that Obama lectured Kenya about corruption just weeks after sharing a stage at the Illinois State Fair with Rod Blagojevich.

And guess who's reportedly coming aboard the Obama presidential campaign? Bill Daley.

Perhaps the only thing different about Obama is the quality of his rhetoric.

Little Drummer Boy . . .
. . . recast for Obama. And other Beachwood Christmas carols.

Mission Accomplished
"In 1999 the [CHA] estimated more than 140,000 Chicago families had extremely low incomes and needed cheap places to live," the Reader's Harold Henderson notes. "At the same time, the agency put forth a plan to reduce its housing stock from 38,000 units to 25,000 units. Since then it has accomplished 88 percent of its demolition goal by tearing down nearly 19,000 units, while by the most generous count it has constructed or rehabbed just 1,937 units, 31 percent of its rebuilding goal."

"More than 3,000 public-housing residents have found work during the last seven years through one of the country's most ambitious welfare-to-work programs," the Tribune reported recently.

"A quarter of all CHA adults had at least a part-time job in 1999, when the agency began its $1.6 billion remake of public housing in the city. By June, the percentage working had risen to nearly 40, according to figures released by the [CHA]."

Those numbers are suspect, but even the CHA acknowledges that one-third of the jobs it cites are part-time. So it really comes to, say, the equivalent of 1,500 full-time jobs found in seven years. Which may have happened with or without the CHA's help.

State of Denial
Delusion: "I do know that there are a lot of good things that are happening [in Iraq] that aren't covered," Laura Bush said recently. "And I think that the drum beat in the country from the media, from the only way people know what is happening unless they happen to have a loved one deployed there, is discouraging."

Reality: "Reporting from Iraq is always dicey. Dozens of journalists have been kidnapped, injured or killed since the U.S. invasion almost four years ago," USA Today reports.

"But network and cable news reporters say the escalation in sectarian violence, coupled with uncertainty about the future U.S. role in Iraq, have prompted Iraqis to be more wary of them and have made an already dangerous assignment even more perilous.

"Reporters say their ability to paint a full picture of Iraq is increasingly difficult because of safety restrictions that they or their news organizations have imposed.

"'We now have the 15-minute rule: We never stay anywhere longer than 15 minutes to reduce the chance of kidnapping or attack,' CBS' Elizabeth Palmer says."

The Beachwood Tip Line: Reality-based.


Posted on December 19, 2006

MUSIC - Holiday Hullabaloo.
POLITICS - IRS Lax On Tax Cheats.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Bears' Real Goat.

BOOKS - Frederick Douglass: Prophet Of Freedom.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Persuading Midwestern Climate Change Skeptics.

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