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The [Tuesday] Papers

Is Barack Obama a fabricator?

The Tribune's Washington, D.C., blog considers the question raised by Republican National Committee talking points - some based on the paper's own reporting - and wishy-washily concludes: "This isn't to say Obama isn't a liar. That would take an exercise in trying to prove his intent, to read his mind which reporters aren't probably that good at. But do we have enough evidence at this time to accuse him of fabrications which would make him a fabricator?"

Can someone please explain to me the difference between a liar and a fabricator?

Olympic Dream
Speaking of lying and fabricating, lost in the news of the Tribune Company sale, the CTA's experiment in hell, Phil Cline's resignation as police chief, and the opening of baseball season was a Tribune article thoroughly debunking assertions by the mayor and his Olympic point man, Pat Ryan, that virtually every Olympics has turned a profit.

Quite to the contrary.

My question to the Trib and the rest of the media, though is this: What took so damn long?

Olympic Math
From the Trib:

Atlanta 1996
Estimate: $400 million
Spent: $503 million

Sydney 2000
Estimate: $895 million
Spent: $1.1 billion

Athens 2004
Estimate $5.5 billion
Spent: $16 billion

Beijing 2008
Estimate: $14.2 billion
Estimated actual: $40 billion

London 2012
Estimate: $5.9 billion
Estimated actual: $18 billion

Chicago 2016
Estimate: Oh, it won't cost you a thing.
Estimated actual: You're screwed.

I added that last one. But it's based on a thorough economic analysis.

Olympic Spin
"A spokeswoman for the mayor said many city projects are completed on time, and on or under budget, including reconstructions of Wacker Drive, South Lake Shore Drive and the Chicago Skyway. As for Millennium Park, the rising costs were due to the changing scope fo the project, she said, rather than overruns on the original plans.'It went from open landscape to a world-class attraction, responsible for 3 million visitors annually,' said Jodi Kawada, the spokeswoman."

A) All City Hall can point to is road improvements - not building projects - coming in on time and under budget. If they did.

B) The changing scope line about Millennium Park is the same one I saw on the talking points issued to Ald. Billy Ocasio - presumably by the mayor's office - that he so intensely studied before we went on the air together on a Chicago Tonight panel recently. First, it's bullshit. Second, even if it was true, what makes anyone think the scope of the Olympic plan won't change? Third, how do they get that 3 million figure? It's not like there are turnstiles to tally visitors or tickets sold.

Daley Dose
"Daley To Participate In Final Olympics Pitch."

"Chicago is a world-class city, to be very frank. Everybody knows that. Let's be realistic."

Howard Fineman is an idiot.

Racist Relativism
See, it's not that jokes about nappy-headed ho's were never a good idea, it's just that times have changed. Times have changed, I-Man. We're no longer allowed to express our true racial feelings in public. It's not that our views are wrong, it's that this new enlightened culture is suffocating us. Now, back to the presidential race . . . that Hillary is a bitch!

Stroger Straddle
One day after publishing a press release written by staff with the mayor's byline attached to it, the Sun-Times publishes this morning a press release written by staff with Cook County president Todd Stroger's name attached to it.

Ironically, Stroger is complaining about media coverage of moves like hiring Andre Garner at $100,000 a year to "shape" Stroger's message. I don't know why he needs Garner when he has unfettered access to the Sun-Times's editorial pages. Then again, he needs someone to write those Op-Eds for him. Unfortunately, we're paying Garner's salary so he can figure out how to best lie to us - sometimes through the pages of the Sun-Times!

The Tribune editorial page took a different approach today: they shaped Stroger's message for free - and got it right.

Public Servant
One ad accompanying the Sun-Times's redesign proclaims "More Watchdog. Less Lapdog."

Does that mean that instead of writing lapdog editorials, the paper will now watch public officials do it themselves?

Doggie Doo
And isn't that slogan an acknowledgement that it has been too much a lapdog in the past?

Obama's Mentor
He sure knows how to pick 'em.

Three Links
Via Consumer World.

* Fly Hawaiian.

* 23 Surprising Things You Can Get For Free.

* The Best Time [of day] To Buy A Plane Ticket.

Ridiculous Hester
Devin Hester was the seventh-inning stretch singer at the Cubs game yesterday and turned in a positively awful, and not even comically so, performance. But what was really interesting was his revelation that this was the first baseball game he had ever attended.

Faith Healers
"A majority of American doctors believe God or another supernatural being intervenes in patients' health, a [University of Chicago] study has found," the Sun-Times reports.

A) Which other supernatural being?
B) But God has so far refused to solve the health insurance crisis.
C) Doctors, however, refuse to split fees.

Q: Why wouldn't God just intervene in the first place and keep people free from illness?

Today's Chuckle
A Beachwood reader responds to our Easter humor yesterday.

"Reminds me of a joke . . . Pope is meeting with the Cardinals, talking big church business when there's a knock at the door. Phone call for the pope. Pope's busy, they say. This is important, guy says, you really ought to take this one. So the Pope leaves the room for a few minutes. When he comes back, he says, well, guys, there's good news and bad news. Good news is that the phone call was from our eternal Lord and Savior calling to say that he's back. The resurrection is a go. Cardinals reply that's great! What's the bad news? Pope says, well, he was calling from Salt Lake City . . . "

Wrigley Ruckus
Buying the Cubs and ditching Wrigley Field would be like buying a car and ditching the wheels. Without Wrigley Field, the Cubs are the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Haven't we read ad nauseum over the years that Cubs continue to draw fans despite losing because of the Wrigley experience? You'd be better off buying Wrigley and ditching the Cubs. You could move the Kane County Cougars there and still draw a crowd.

Dunkin' Dream
Mmmm, pizza donuts . . .

Beachwood Award Alert
The Beachwood Reporter is a finalist in two categories for a Lisagor, the local Society of Professional Journalists awards. Our Home for the Holidays series is up against the Trib's Washington, D.C., bureau in the Commentary category, and our Barista! column is up against two AP features, including one about Hurricane Katrina, in the Features or Sports Reporting category. I kid you not.

I also kid you not when I noted that Debra Pickett and Mancow Muller are the two finalists in the Television Commentary category. Presumably because they were the only ones nominated.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Best Local Tipline Finalist.


Posted on April 10, 2007

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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