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The [Tuesday] Papers

As our very Natasha Julius wrote in this space six months ago, shit's bad, people.

The economy is in deep doo-doo.

It's worth noting that Natasha also wrote back in September that "Bank of Dad Chairman Ben Bernanke insisted he's not bailing us out of this latest mess. Someday we're going to have to learn to sink or swim on our own."

And that's just how it's turned out. We're sinking, and the bankers who created this mess are watching from the deck chairs on their taxpayer-subsidized yachts. Playing bridge.

eBay Economy
We here at The Beachwood Media Company have a new business strategy.

"I am looking for a frosted flake that looks like the eBay logo," the Beachwood's Iowa bureau chief, Jay Wagner, says. "Instant goldmine."

At last check, by the way, bidding for the the Illinois Flake was over $200,000.


Jay, by the way, is the proprietor of Essential Iowa.

Edit Acid Test
Gov. Rod Blagojevich was asked on Monday if he would appear before the city's editorial boards like Barack Obama just did and answer all questions put to him about his relationship with Tony Rezko.

Forget Blago, why not ask Richard M. Daley if he'll appear before the editorial boards and answer questions about . . . well, the list is long. But maybe start with Angelo Torres and go from there.

From Beachwood reader Hugh Devlin:
"Forget the editorial boards! Ever watch Prime Minister's Questions on C-SPAN on Sunday nights? I'd like to see Daley take questions from real people every Friday afternoon until they're done asking."

Graphic Images
Got a chuckle this morning at the Trib headline "Economy Moves Into Uncharted Territory" over a half-page chart of the economy.

McCain vs. McRib
McCain: Claims to oppose pork
McRib: Claims to be pork

And more!

From Beachwood reader Andre Delattre:
"Your McRib piece reminded me of a peculiar thing that I thought you'd appreciate: I was in D.C. yesterday, and while on the Metro I noticed an ad that said 'VOTE' in large text, and had a much smaller tagline that was some platitude to the effect of 'any reason is a good reason.' But what really caught my eye was the golden arches logo in the bottom right corner, and the web address "". There are many things to be said about McDonald's marketing ploy, but it seems that the first would be their failure to recognize the bitter irony of encouraging D.C. residents - the most disenfranchised citizens in the country - to vote 'for any reason'. Truly demonstrates their 'Deep roots in the community!'"

Cop Shop
"Mayor Richard Daley on Monday strongly defended a just-promoted senior police official who received early warnings from underlings complaining about a lack of action against rogue cops in the department's Special Operations Sections," the Tribune reports this morning.

The mayor's defense comes in response to a Trib story from Monday that reported this:

"A Chicago Police Department internal affairs investigator wrote a memo in 2005 expressing frustration that for months his bosses had not approved a more aggressive probe of officers in the Special Operations Section, despite a growing pattern of misconduct allegations.

"Police Agent Christopher Taliaferro notes in the memo that five months earlier, a colleague had sent a similar request to Assistant Deputy Supt. Debra Kirby informing her of the mounting evidence of wrongdoing, but that no action followed.

"The memo, which was obtained by the Tribune, sheds light on why federal prosecutors decided last year to widen the probe into the SOS scandal to include the internal affairs division under Kirby.

"It also raises questions for new Supt. Jody Weis, who last week promoted Kirby to be his top legal adviser. Weis, a former FBI official, was hired to clean up the department's image after a string of scandals, most notably the indictments of SOS officers."

"Daley insisted that Kirby was on top of the situation, even though it was the Cook County state's attorney's office that eventually took the lead in the probe of SOS, filing charges against four unit members for kidnapping, robbery and making false arrests. Three more officers subsequently were charged.

"Chicago police previously claimed the open investigations that Internal Affairs conducted on SOS complaints led to the charges in September 2006. But over the weekend, in response to questions from the Tribune, police officials acknowledged for the first time that the investigation that led to the charges was prompted by the state's attorney's office."


The Sun-Times reports that "Former Supt. Phil Cline said Monday he recalls meeting with Cook County State's Attorney Richard Devine in 2005 or 2006 to talk about the progress of both his and the department's investigations into the misconduct. Devine's office had launched its own probe after an assistant state's attorney noticed a pattern of the SOS officers not showing up for court to prosecute drug busts."

And: "On Monday, Weis defended Kirby, saying her office was already pursuing the rogue cops with those very tactics when the memo was written. 'They were already monitoring the actions of the officers through a variety of surveillance techniques and undercover operations,' department spokeswoman Monique Bond said.

"The investigation began in the IAD's 'confidential section' at least seven months before the memo was written."

Two side points:

* Weis's quick shake-up has police officers and watchdogs wondering who the new chief is taking advice from. One clue: "The FBI has had a close working relationship with Deb Kirby," Bond said. "Supt. Weis has full confidence in all of the command changes he made."

Weis used to work in the FBI office here and, presumably, has tight relationships with folks over there.

* On the other hand, when Daley says "I interviewed [Kirby] for superintendent, that's how good she is," you've gotta wonder. And you're reminded of how Daley sidestepped the process to name Weis by going around the police board to interview candidates on his own.

Mea Rock Culpa
Jim DeRogatis writes in response to my recent comment that "Maybe DeRogatis and Kot should take their Sound Opinions franchise and turn it into . . . a website, a magazine, a music festival and even a record label. Just a thought."

Writes DeRo: "Then we'd be A&R men or concert promoters. And all we ever wanted to be was critics and journalists. Why ain't that enough?"

Touche. My enthusiasm for a larger Sound Opinions franchise got the best of me. But I still think a Sound Opinions music portal could be pretty cool - including all of the boys' archives, an index of their record collections, sound clips . . . oh, there I go again. Just keep writing, guys. I'm a fan.

Abba Drummer Joins The List
Of the weirdest rock deaths.

County Web Snag
The Cook County Board of Review - which handles property tax appeals - accidentally let its URL ( expire, the Sun-Times reports, and "For nearly 17 hours anyone could have submitted a bid to take over the Web site."

Another missed opportunity for The Beachwood Media Company, and this one really hurts.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Unexpired.


Posted on March 18, 2008

MUSIC - Lyric Opera Strike Settled.
POLITICS - USA Today's Op-Ed Disaster.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Come On, Vic!

BOOKS - Chicago Book Haul: The Dial.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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