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The [Tuesday] Papers

The latest from the Family Secrets trial:

"Calabrese Jr. went from collecting quarters at mob-controlled peep shows when he was a teenager to role-playing in planning scenarios set up by his father and uncle as they plotted out how to kill someone. Calabrese Jr. once retrieved his uncle's murder weapon that had been thrown in a sewer, made easier since Calabrese Jr. ran a city sewer crew."

* * *

The latest from the Kwik-E-Mart Affairs Desk:

"Turns out our Southwest Side Apu is Frenko Rahana - a diehard Simpsons fan."

Now offering this pledge: "Every item guaranteed fresh or your money begrudgingly refunded."

* * *

The latest from the Springfield Secrets Desk:

"Illinois Senate President Emil Jones has blocked legislation to put the names of state subcontractors on the Internet as his stepson's technology firm continues to rake in millions of dollars in under-the -radar government business . . .

"Since January, the bill has languished in the Senate Rules Committee, which Jones controls.

"'I have no problem with the public knowing everything,' he said."

* * *

The latest from the Missing the Point Bureau:

"Police Presence at Wrigley Hits Home Run With Neighborhood: Band's two shows during July 4th week went so well, prominent neighborhood group wants a five-year deal for one concert a year at Wrigley Field . . .

"The president of Wrigleyville's most established community group is so pleased with the outcome of last week's back-to-back concerts by the Police and Sting, he wants to negotiate a five-year agreement with the Cubs that would lock in one act a year through 2012."

Um, I think what the neighborhood is trying to do is to limit the number of concerts at Wrigley - to just one a year. For the next five years. Get it?

* * *

The latest from Jim DeRogatis on Live Earth:

"Hey Steve - Seems you missed a lot of my points in that Live Earth article! Yikes! I'm all for spreading the message about global warming. I just think it could have been done much better, and if it had, this event would have had the impact it should have had."

* * *

The latest from the Division of Unnecessary Explanations:

"In the controversy over the firing of nine U.S. attorneys, Congress and the administration are engaged in a game of chicken. To refresh your memory, that's a contest in which two motorists speed toward each other to see who will yield - or 'chicken out' - first."

If the Tribune editorial page thinks it has to explain to its readers what "playing chicken" means, it should either just not use the phrase or get new readers.

* * *

The latest from The Desk of Beachwood Music Editor Don Jacobson:

"The promos for The Bronx Is Burning are cheesing me off because they're using the Ramones on the soundtrack. It's the WORST KIND OF REVISIONISM! NO ONE except British punks and a few Bowery hipsters were listening to the Ramones in 1977. It's not like they represented anything about New York's 'zeitgeist' in the Summer of Sam. No one knew who the fuck they were. Use "Stayin' Alive" on the soundtrack . . . THAT's what people listened to then . . . crap like that. 1977 was a LOW point in the culture that the Ramones wanted to DESTROY! The whole thing about them is how they could never get a break in the U.S. . . . and it basically killed them. Please don't retroactively make New York look better by disingenuously using their art to represent a time that TOTALLY REJECTED THEM!!!!"

Later in the evening:

"Now I'm watching the Son of Sam killing . . . the victims are listening to the Ramones on the car radio when they're shot! What the hell station were they listening to? The Ramones got ZERO airplay . . . that was the whole point! Jeez. I'm getting sick."

* * *

The latest from Not So Crazy After All presidential candidate Mike Gravel:

"Back in 1971, when President Nixon's Justice Department blocked The New York Times from reporting on a classified study about government deception in the Vietnam War, Senator Gravel put the study on public record by reading aloud about 4,000 pages of what came to be known as 'The Pentagon Papers.'"

* * *

The latest from the real Springfield:

"I'm listening to Matt Groening, creator of America's best-known fictional family, tell me that he thinks the Simpsons are probably Republicans, and I feel a twinge of real-life distress. 'They're pretty politically apathetic,' says Groening, 'but they do go to church and they do pray, and I get the feeling that if they voted, they would probably vote for the, uh . . . for the wrong candidate.' He pauses before reiterating, 'If they voted' . . . .

"Despite the outcry, most of the country was flocking to Springfield, and the show's instant popularity shielded its creators from feeling the political backlash. 'I think Barbara Bush spoke out during the show's fifth season about [The Simpsons as] the idea of what's wrong with society,' remembers founding producer James L. Brooks. 'I so didn't take it seriously that I was later on a receiving line and she was there, and I made a joke about it to her. She just looked at me stonily.'"

* * *

The latest lie from the Bush Administration:

"As he sought to renew the USA Patriot Act two years ago, Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales assured lawmakers that the FBI had not abused its potent new terrorism-fighting powers.

"'There has not been one verified case of civil liberties abuse,' Gonzales told senators on April 27, 2005.

"Six days earlier, the FBI sent Gonzales a copy of a report that said its agents had obtained personal information that they weren't entitled to have. It was one of at least a half dozen reports of legal or procedural violations that Gonzales received in the three months before he made his statement to the Senate intelligence committee, according to internal FBI documents released under the Freedom of Information Act."

* * *

The latest thought I had this morning on the Libby fallout:

The utterly absurd demonization of Patrick Fitzgerald, the straightest arrow in the land, harms national security because it makes him a potentially politically unviable choice to someday hold Gonzales's job, or be the next FBI chief, or to head the Homeland Security department, or to act as this country's anti-terrorism czar - all positions he is eminently qualified for. Not that I want to see him leave his current job. So it's a good thing for us. But still.

* * *

The latest Open Letter from Cate Plys:

"I still can't believe I got someone fired, possibly ruining her New York magazine career, because of a silly article about company dress codes. That's why I still worry about individual words."

* * *

The latest reason why I hate The Who:

"The last thing the planet needs is a rock concert."
- Roger Daltrey on Live Earth.

* * *

The latest in landmark desecration:

"Car-bob seen in Wayne's World to make way for Walgreens."

[Note to Sun-Times: Cool it on the lingo. It only makes you look stupid. A nice essay on why the Spindle is so awesome would have been a better choice. Also, put that photo/story on front page and they'll fly off the newsstand. Appropriately so.]

* * *

The latest example of elections, patronage and nepotism having consequences:

Cook County prosecutors struck by blue flu.

* * *

The latest news out of Iraq both buried in the press and which will still fail to prompt any acknowledgment that the critics of the surge were right and lives have been needlessly lost in the meantime:

"A progress report on Iraq will conclude that the U.S.-backed government in Baghdad has not met any of its targets for political, economic and other reform, speeding up the Bush administration's reckoning on what to do next, a U.S. official said Monday."

* * *

The latest example of the fungibility of newspaper editorial pages according to business strategies and ownership whim rather than independent, reasoned analysis:

"[The Sun-Times] is returning to our liberal, working-class roots, a position that pits us squarely opposite the Chicago Tribune - that Republican, George Bush-touting paper over on moneyed Michigan Avenue. We're rethinking our stance on several issues, including the most pressing issue facing Americans today: Bush's war in Iraq."

So forget everything we've told you over the last decade or so.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Thank you, come again.


Posted on July 10, 2007

MUSIC - Holiday Hullabaloo.
POLITICS - Bank Profits Soaring.
SPORTS - Chicago vs. Michigan, 1903.

BOOKS - Dia De Los Muertos Stories.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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