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The [Tuesday] Papers

1. Lazzarus on Captain America.

2. "Gonzales Aide Rated Fitzgerald Mediocre."
Wow, tough crowd.

3. Conrad Black may be fighting for freedom in federal court here in Chicago, but his successor may have even bigger problems. The new boss of the Sun-Times Media Group, Cyrus Friedheim, was in charge of Chiquita from March 2002 to April 2004. Chiquita has admitted in federal court that it paid Colombian terrorists for years, including when Friedheim was at the helm, to protect its banana-growing operation. And now the president of Colombia wants his head.

4. "Alderman Madeline Haithcock is the right leader for continued progress in the 2nd Ward. I am proud to have her as my Alderman."

- Testimonial from "Mayor Richard M. Daley, 2nd Ward Resident" on Haithcock's website.

"NOW President Kim Mongoven was so incensed by Haithcock's continued smear campaign against Fioretti, she held a news conference Monday to denounce the tactics - and re-endorse Fioretti," the Sun-Times reports.

5. The dismantling of the Sun-Times.

6. And why it was so sad.

7. "But the [CHA's] Plan for Transformation, a national model in its scope and original ambition, is off schedule and in need of more money," The New York Times says. "The goals were to demolish obsolete buildings and to break up pockets of poverty by incorporating public housing into mixed-income communities. Seven years into it, slightly less than 30 percent of the new housing for those residents in mixed-income developments have been built or rehabilitated."

8. "What drives us is money," CHA chief executive Sharon Gist Gilliam told the Times. "If I could get my hands on a quick $2 billion we could get this done in three or four years."

A) You mean the mayor to embarked on a grand plan filled with promises based on a risky financing scheme that is now overbudget and dramatically behind schedule?
B) Don't worry, Sharon. If Chicago gets the Olympics, every remnant of public housing will be swept out of the city well before 2016.
C) You apparently don't have Pat Ryan's phone number.

9. The Times reports that 15,000 displaced families are on a waiting list for relocation housing and another 90,000 people are on a general waiting list for public housing. The mayor's solution? Get rid of the lists.

10. "If Chicago does get the [U.S. Olympic bid], Daley, Ryan and the other leaders of the Chicago bid should consider themselves put on notice," the Tribune's Blair Kamin writes. "Not only should the games themselves be fair; so should the urban planning processes leading up to them."

Put on notice, that is, from page 13 of the Arts & Entertainment section. I'm sure the mayor is quaking in his boots.

Is the same kind of notice the mayor was put on after Millennium Park, or the notice he was put on after Meigs Field? Or is it more like the post-Soldier Field notice? I keep getting all these notices mixed up.

11. "Reaction To Gay Slurs Is Evidence Of Change," the Tribune's Rex Huppke muses. But where is Obama in the mix? From deep in the Times on Friday: "Gay advocates, including representatives of the Human Rights Campaign, also spoke to Mr. Obama's campaign yesterday. Mr. Obama side-stepped the morality question three times on Wednesday, then put put out a statement that night that rebuked General Pace but did not directly address morality. He did so in a statement yesterday, saying he did 'not agree with General Pace that homosexuality is immoral.'"

Obama did not square his new, post-sidestepping position with his previously stated belief that his Christianity informs him that gay marriage is wrong. Gay rights advocates, I'm told, are livid with Obama.

12. Last night Obama told Larry King this: "You know, I don't think that homosexuals are immoral any more than I think heterosexuals are immoral. I think that people are people and to categorize one group of folks based on their sexual orientation that way I think is wrong."

They just shouldn't be allowed to marry, according to his religious beliefs.

13. KING: Senator Clinton has said if she were president, she would leave some troops in Iraq to fight al-Qaeda, much after the rest come home. What do you think?

OBAMA: You know, I'm not familiar exactly with what Senator Clinton's proposal is, so I don't want to characterize that.

I know our greatest enemy is cynicism, but does anyone really believe Obama isn't familiar with every inch of Clinton's position? Maybe he'll issue a statement in a couple of days.

14. Dear Person Who Let Their Dog Defecate Near The Southeast Corner Of 58th And Kimbark . . .

15. "In most states, the practice of appointing U.S. attorneys is rigged," former Sen. Peter Fitzgerald tells John Kass. "Appointments are controlled by political sponsors, with the tacit understanding that the new prosecutors will protect the people that put them in and go after the others."

16. "Fitzgerald had two major moments in the spotlight in the Senate, the first in 2000 when he filibustered a massive federal spending bill because it included funds for the Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield. He did it to bring light to the Republican-controlled Illinois state government's failure to promise competitive bidding for the project," Wikipedia notes.

"His second major moment was following the September 11th attacks, when Congress quickly passed a massive bailout measure for most of the major airlines which were in trouble financially. Standing alone out of all members of the US Senate, Fitzgerald delivered a speech entitled 'Who will bail out the American taxpayer,' arguing that the airlines would simply go through the money and remain financially unstable. The bill passed 99-1."

Peter Fitzgerald's record battling cynicism as state senator and U.S. senator versus Barack Obama's record in the same jobs. Discuss.

17. The Proper Way to Hang a Confederate Flag. (via Sun-Times)

18. "Over 50 percent of (Illinois) corporations don't pay a dime of taxes," says Jack Lavin, director of the state commerce and economic development department. (via Capitol Fax)

19. Still, the gross receipts tax sounds like a bad idea.

20. "To many, the Olympics now look less like an opportunity for the city as a whole and more like a familiar Daley power play, along the lines of his Meigs Field shutdown and his Soldier Field overhaul," a Crain's editorial says. "From the beginning, Mayor Daley's approach to the Olympics bid has smacked of secrecy, fiat and elitism. A small group of mayoral lieutenants and corporate power brokers control the process, making decisions in private and guarding information jealously."

Where has everybody been up to now? And how soon will they forget?

21. Channel 7's Ben Bradley said on The Week in Review Friday night that his station had filed several Freedom of Information requests with the mayor's office for documents about the Olympic bid - all denied. I'm not aware, however, of any Channel 7 newscast leading with the story "Daley Withholds Olympic Documents," nor any such story screaming across the top of a local newspaper.

22. "Now, the Democrats know that U.S. attorneys serve at the pleasure of the administration. They also know that President Clinton had his attorney general, Janet Reno, fire all 93 U.S. attorneys when he was in the White House - marking the first time such a mass firing was ever ordered by any administration. Prior to that, prosecutors were replaced when their terms had lapsed or the attorney general decided it was time to bring in a replacement," Mary Laney writes in her Sun-Times column.

"Sen. Hillary Clinton has stated that the Clinton administration's massive firing was OK because it came at the beginning of the Clinton administration and all new administrations have a right to make changes. What she didn't mention was this: The U.S. attorney in Arkansas was in the middle of an investigation into the Clintons' questionable dealings in that state. When that U.S. attorney was fired, the investigation went up in smoke. Why? Could it be because President Clinton replaced the U.S. attorney in Arkansas with his friend from law school, Harry E. Cummins III? Just asking. Cummins, by the way, is one of the U.S. attorneys whom Gonzalez just ousted."

So the Bush administration found Cummins to be acceptable for six years?! Not a bad choice!

Now, will Laney quit getting her talking points from Drudge and the noise machine and check her facts and then write a correction? Or is she as unaccountable as all those lamentable bloggers in their pajamas?

23. Monday nights with the travellin' Irish.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Join the unity ticket.


Posted on March 20, 2007

MUSIC - Britney's IUD.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - Climate Deniers' 4 Top Scare Tactics.
SPORTS - The McEnroes In Antarctica.

BOOKS - Foxconned.


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