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The [Tuesday] Papers

Wow! Did Obama really say that?

CNN'S JOE JOHNS: The Nobel Prize-winning African-American author, Toni Morrison, famously observed about Bill Clinton, "This is our first black president, blacker than any actual black person who could ever be elected in our children's lifetime."

Do you think Bill Clinton was our first black president?

OBAMA: I have to say that, you know, I would have to, you know, investigate more of Bill's dancing abilities.

You know, and some of this other stuff before I accurately judge whether he was in fact a brother.


Yes, he did.

And he also explained Tony Rezko this way: "I was an associate at a law firm that represented a church group that had partnered with this individual to do a project and I did about five hours worth of work on this joint project."

A church group! This individual!

We all know there's just a smidgen more to the story.

Barack Obama got waxed last night - and not just by Hillary Clinton, but by John Edwards in the sidekick role as her Boy Wonder.

Catch up with the madness in our latest installment of Mystery Debate Theater 2008. Best Debate Ever?

Secret Sentence
If you missed it, Maury Possley of the Tribune delivered an extraordinary story on Saturday about a pair of lawyers whose client admitted to a murder that another man was imprisoned for - and kept their client's secret.

This is also a story about botched police work and further fallout from the Jon Burge school of law enforcement.

Fool Him Twice
"U.S. District Judge Wayne Andersen bucked his own monitor Friday, agreeing to let Mayor Daley's administration create a new 'Office of Compliance' to guard against patronage instead of letting the inspector general handle it," the Sun-Times reported over the weekend.

This is the same Wayne Andersen who "acknowledged in 2005 that he was disappointed in himself for 'having taken at face value' the city's claims that it was complying with the court order."

Wayne Andersen: The most naive judge on the federal bench.

"The city had agreed to keep politics out of most hiring decisions under a decades-old civil court decree named for lawyer Michael Shakman, who filed a civil lawsuit against patronage," the Tribune account notes.

"But in 2005, federal prosecutors uncovered a massive hiring fraud scheme that had operated for years out of the mayor's office in which Daley's allies were rewarded with jobs and promotions."

A massive hiring fraud scheme had operated for years out of the mayor's office in which Daley's allies were rewarded with jobs and promotions.

What more do you need to know?

Few if any other mayors in America survive such a scandal; none survive the entirety of Daley's scandalous reign. Endorsed by Obama!


Ironic, isn't it, that Obama's predecessor as U.S. Senator, Peter Fitzgerald, defied the political establishment in appointing an outsider as U.S. attorney here while Obama almost certainly would have considered doing no such thing if it had been his decision to make.

Light Speed
"Hackers literally turned out the lights in multiple cities after breaking into electrical utilities and demanding extortion payments before disrupting the power, a senior CIA analyst told utility engineers at a trade conference," the Sun-Times reported on Saturday near the bottom of its TidBytes column on page 28 in the Business section.


Doesn't this sort of seem like big news?


Yes, I read TidBytes so you don't have to.

Murder Spree
"Chicago Police detectives solved 36 percent of murders committed in Chicago last year - about the same percentage cleared in 2006," the Sun-Times reports.

Is it just me, or does that really suck?

Transit Trophies
We had a bit of a debate on Chicago Tonight: Week in Review last Friday as to whether the governor came out a winner or loser in the mass transit debacle. I count the governor a loser, but Richard M. Daley as the biggest winner because the governor and Springfield took all the flak for a system that has deteriorated under the mayor's 18 years of management. The news about the CTA prior to the funding disaster was about the discovery that 80 percent of maintenance records from the Blue Line were either lost or forged; Frank Kruesi resigned shortly thereafter. The annus horribulus of the CTA will now be remembered as the year the legislature couldn't get a budget done while the governor went to a Blackhawks game instead of the year Daley's management skills were further exposed as disastrous.


Carol Marin persuasively puts Evanston Rep. Julie Hamos, a Democrat, and House Minority Leader Tom Cross, a Republican, in the winners' column.

Judging Anne
"In an unusual move, Illinois Supreme Court Anne Burke's campaign will return most of her $1.5 million war chest to contributors," the Tribune reported on Monday.

Now that she's intimidated any would-be challengers from getting in the race, she won't be needing that money anymore.


There's still some unfinished business where Anne Burke is concerned, however.

Wrigley Ruse
An example of how Tribune Company executives have successfully framed their desire to sell Wrigley Field to the state:

"The Cubs want to sell the park to the Illinois State Facilities Authority to keep a new owner from moving the team," Paul Sullivan wrote on Monday.

Is this claim now assumed as fact? Sam Zell doesn't give a crap where the Cubs play; he wants to sell Wrigley to the state for a financial advantage. And no potential new owner has whispered a breath about moving the team. In fact, potential new owners are likely to want Wrigley for themselves.

This is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen!

Note to Readers
Yes, I know . . . cuts at the Sun-Times and more Tribune turmoil at the Los Angeles Times. I'll have something to say about each later this week.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Tales of the tape.


Posted on January 22, 2008

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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