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The [Tuesday] Papers

1. I miss Mike Gravel.

2. President Bush visited Horace Greeley Elementary School on the North Side on Monday to campaign for an extension of his signature No Child Left Behind law.

The Sun-Times reported the story with its typical wide eyes.

The Tribune, to its credit, didn't.

3. "Greeley Elementary was named a 'blue-ribbon school' by the U.S. Department of Education last October, based on test score improvements," the Community Media Workshop notes. "[School reform advocate Julie] Woestehoff points out that the test gains came after the school instituted a program for gifted students."

The Tribune didn't address this point. The Sun-Times sort of did, reporting that "Though 90 percent of Greeley students are from low-income homes, 80 percent are passing their state tests. Only about 30 percent of Greeley kids are in the school's gifted program, noted Principal Carlos Azcoitia. The rest hail from the neighborhood. Scores have been rising among all of them, Azcoitia said."

This begs a couple questions. First, just because Azcoitia says it doesn't make it true. Doesn't anyone "check it out" anymore?

Second, Azcoitia is implying that no neighborhood kids are in the gifted program. True?

4. Is it really necessary to waste valuable space with such pablum as "Bush said Chicago has 'a great [Olympic] plan,' adding, 'I can't think of a better city to represent the United States.'"

It's the only city representing the United States!

Is it worth reporting that Chicago 2016 chairman Pat Ryan "called Bush's vow of support 'a wonderful statement . . . he really means it'"?

My God, you might as well just turn your Op-Ed page over to the mayor and your letters column over to the governor.

5. Jody Weis continues to not impress. I'm pretty sure cops won't be happy to know he views the job of sergeants to be the department's moms and dads.

6.. Mayor Daley continues to not impress.

"[Ald. Fredrenna] Lyle, a lawyer, peppered Weis with several tough questions, including how he plans to run both the police department and the city's office of emergency command center, previously an entirely separate job," Mark Brown writes.

"Weis made it pretty clear that an underling will run the emergency command center, and that naming him to to the two posts was just a means to justify his jaw-dropping $310,000 salary."

7. "The top executive at ABC's Good Morning America said it was 'cheesy' of CBS to run an old interview with Barack Obama on The Early Show Monday at the same time as Diane Sawyer's sit-down with the Democratic presidential contender," AP reports (via Sun-Times).

The executive was also angry that Sawyer failed to ask Obama why he endorsed Joe Lieberman over the anti-war candidate who went on to win the Democratic primary in Connecticut if he was so against the war.

Or did I just dream that?

8. "The Clinton team, looking to the Feb. 5 primaries, is going to continue to press ahead and challenge Obama on fact-based contradictions in his own record, such as having a lobbyist co-chair his New Hampshire campaign when he is out bashing lobbyists or accepting the endorsement of former South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges, who is a federal lobbyist," Lynn Sweet reports.

"Inside the Clinton camp, there is the belief that they are drowning in a tsunami-level media frenzy where the press, enamored with a tale of Obama's rise and Clinton's downfall, has been giving Obama a pass."

You think?

9. "With two presidential votes behind him, Democratic frontrunner Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)) starts a new round of fund-raisers in New York, Boston and Chicago as the candidate who is making transparency a centerpiece of his White House bid continues to with-hold details of his higher-end fund-raising operation," Sweet reports.

"Obama will headline fund-raising events in Boston and New York on Wednesday involving his elite donor networks. He starts Thursday in New York, flies to Charleston, S.C. for a rally and then returns to Chicago for a 'Welcome Home' $1,000-per-person reception at the home of Desiree Rogers on Chicago's Gold Coast. The hosts include Obama Finance Chair Penny Pritzker and his top Illinois fund-raisers and bundlers.

"The Obama presidential campaign also refuses to disclose the names of his National Finance Committee or the Illinois Finance Committee. Obama does disclose the names of his top bundlers, many of whom probably are on the finance committee.

"Obama has long resisted putting on what he calls his 'public' schedule information about all the fund-raising events where he appears. President Bush does disclose fund-raisers he attends."

Change delivered!


Sweet notes that the campaign does aggressively promote and disclose its low-end donations. Get it?

9. Jennifer Hunter reprints an e-mail she received from a friend in Iowa:

"Let me tell you 2 quick caucus stories I've heard.

"I keep marveling at the fact that they say Hillary finished 3rd in Iowa even though she only finished 7 delegates behind John Edwards.

"In my aunt's caucus, Edwards and Clinton were tied for the final delegate so they did a coin flip and Edwards won.

"In my dad's caucus, they couldn't convince the Hillary folks to give them three people to make their combination group (Biden/Richardson/Dodd) viable even though it wouldn't have taken a delegate away from Hillary.

"As a result, they all went to Edwards and the extra people put Edwards over the top for the extra delegate. Do you think this would have been spun any differently if she'd finished second?"

10. I don't know what's worse, the fact that there's no correction from Bob Novak (lead item) or that we're reduced to examining a presidential candidate's record as an Illinois state senator because he hasn't done anything else.

11. "I'm wondering why Zell isn't trying something simpler: Why not sell Wrigley Field to . . . the Chicago Cubs?"
- Joel Boehm at Agony & Ivy

12. I never imagined Sam Zell to be a master of corporate bullshit. I figured him for more of a straight shooter, but this tops the signs he had put up on Tribune properties saying, disingenuously, "You Own This Place Now." That will only be true when the company defaults on its debt payments.

From: Talk to Sam Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2008 12:18:24 -0600 Conversation: Bad Language Subject: Bad Language


I am personally reading the messages you've been sending to, and I am energized by your enthusiasm for the future of our company. We need to make sure that nothing gets in the way of our enormous potential for success.

So, I want to share my thoughts about some disturbing language I've heard used by Tribune employees internally. While I'm not opposed to using colorful language to make a point, there are a few words by which I won't abide. One of them is the "C" word. I'll bet you know the word I mean, and I'll bet it bothers you too. The word is "can't."


13. Joe Biden on, via The Economist: "John doesn't have a record in the Senate. John's only passed four bills. They're all about post offices. I mean, literally."

I miss Joe Biden already.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Eat the spinach.


Posted on January 8, 2008

MUSIC - Spring Awakening Wake-Up Call!
TV - Exclusive! Rahm's New TV Gig.
POLITICS - The Political Odds UPDATED.
SPORTS - NHL: CTE Not Our Fault.

BOOKS - Stan Lee, Flawed Hero.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: I Am Iron Man.

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