The [Wednesday] Papers
I have some business to attend to today so there won't be a Papers column, but please go read every column Bob Somerby has written this year. And before that. He's not always right, but he bats about .900, and nobody does a better job of exposing the folly of the political press's pre-conceived notions, illogical leaps of faith and general immaturity.
Oh wait, I do have one new item for today:
"Sun-Times Media Group To Outsource Ad Creation."
Will outsource advertisers too, mostly to RedEye. Ha ha.
And I've tacked on some additional material to Tony's Tour, I mean, c'mon people!
And also new today is Christian Men's Deepest Secrets Exposed.
Plus, everything I wrote yesterday is still true. See you tomorrow.
The [Tuesday] Papers
Fidel Castro announced his retirement as Cuba's dictator this morning. The Beachwood's Havana Affairs Desk has the scoop.
1. He wants to spend more time with his family.
2. He will not release his superdelegates.
3. He's reportedly in the running for Bud Selig's job.
4. He's expected to join Patton Boggs' Havana office.
5. He did not have sex with that woman. He did, however, have sex with that man and that goat.
6. He will testify before Congress that he never took steroids, though he once sold cigars and a couple of joints to Brian McNamee.
7. He thinks this could be the Cubs' year.
8. He's taking a better-paying job as activities director at Guantanamo.
9. He also revealed he secretly mediated the end of the writers' strike.
10. He's got a three-picture deal with Universal.
- Inspiration and assistance by Tim Willette
Web World of Wonder
The second-most viewed story on the ABC News website after the Castro story, at the time of this writing: "Drunkbook? College Nights Out on Facebook."
Reason #4,373,494 why the Internet ranks right up there with beer, baseball, sex, and rock 'n' roll as one of the greatest inventions of mankind.
"Before he bought his South Side mansion in 2005, Sen. Barack Obama took his friend and fundraiser Antoin 'Tony' Rezko on a tour of the premises to make sure it was a good deal, Obama's campaign revealed Monday."
For more, see Tony's Tour.
"Federal investigators have requested city zoning records on four West Side zoning changes pushed by Ald. Isaac Carothers (29th), amid questions about Carothers' relationship with a Chicago developer who made secret recordings as an FBI mole," the Sun-Times reports.
"Carothers, the powerful chairman of the City Council's Fire and Police Committee, did not return phone calls seeking comment. He also declined to answer written questions."
He did hint, however, that if the written questions weren't too "negative" and included a "pretty please," he'd think about it.
"If the palms tell a story about our future, then the toes reveal something about where we've been. That's according to Chicagoan Gabrielle Loomis, a life coach who has added toe reading to her toolbox."
That's according to the Sun-Times, which has added buffoonery to its toolbox.
Next: Can your pet read your future?
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen complaining to the Sun-Times about the Roger Clemens hearings:
"Why did baseball have to put him in that situation?"
1. It was Clemens who insisted the congressional committee hold the meeting, and chairman Henry Waxman has since said he regrets having acceded to Clemens' wishes.
So when Ozzie says "I tip my hat to Clemens because he showed up," he's got it backwards. He should tip his hat to Congress for showing up.
2. Clemens put himself in that situation, not Major League Baseball.
Because nothing says NASCAR like Kool & the Gang.
"After a day of rest, Wilco resumed its residency Monday at the Riviera and continued gnawing away at its catalog with a 33-song, 2 1/2-hour performance," Bob Gendron writes. "Perhaps owing to the holiday or colder weather, the mood was more relaxed than those of the weekend shows. Violinist Andrew Bird returned as a guest, as did the three-piece horn section. The local sextet pulled out a few rarities and repeated several tunes for the third straight concert."
Gendron has the set list with commentary.
Chicagoist calls bullshit on the Tribune's dumb "beards are back" story.
You know what else is back? Swing dancing and real men.
"It's been called the whitest place on Earth, and at 90 degrees it could be the coolest place on the planet for astronomy."
"It was certainly a marriage of convenience. After Fidel Castro led a revolution that toppled a friendly government in 1959, the CIA was desperate to eliminate him. So the agency sought out a partner equally worried about Castro - the Mafia, which had lucrative investments in Cuban casinos," the Washington Post reported last spring.
"The plot, described in detail in CIA documents released yesterday, involved six poison pills, a bungled wiretapping and CIA operatives working with two mob bosses on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list.
"The CIA's efforts to assassinate Castro were documented by the Church Committee in 1975, based on the testimony of the key players, but the documents show that the agency's actions in the early 1960s still have the capacity to shock."
Raul Castro's Wikipedia entry.
Fidel's "Dear Compatriots" letter.
The Beachwood Tip Line: Fired up.
Posted on February 20, 2008