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The [Wednesday] Papers

1. The 20 All-Time Greatest Chicago Guitarists.

2. If privatizing Midway is such a great idea, why not privatize O'Hare and really make a bundle?

3. "Stuart Levine was a man of big and crooked dreams, deep grudges and a twisted sense of integrity."

4. "2. Chicago Cubs (94-68, 795 RS, 677 RA). The Cubs don't have a leadoff hitter, so adding Brian Roberts would be worth a bit more than the models suggest. The switch-hitter with OBP would really help a lineup that lists to the right side. As good as the 2003 and 1998 teams were, this is the best Cubs team in a very long time. They'll score, they'll strike out a bunch of guys, and the defense is pretty good. The Cubs aren't just NL Central good; the Cubs are MLB good."
- Baseball Prospectus projection

5. "Reforming the hurricane-ravaged New Orleans school system has proven an easier task than running the schools in Philadelphia, former city schools chief executive Paul Vallas said here yesterday," the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

"In his first appearance in the Philadelphia area since leaving in June, Vallas said that there are no union contracts tying his hands in New Orleans and that there is more funding than he had in Philadelphia. He has extended the school day to 4:30 p.m. and the school year into July . . .

"But the job, he said, has proved less stressful. He's lost 30 pounds and no longer pulls his eyebrows out, he said, showing off the bushy crops. With his wife and sons living in Chicago, he can focus on the job 24-7, he said. He visits his family at least once a month, sometimes more often, he said.

"Vallas said he has committed to staying in New Orleans for two years and then may consider another run for Illinois governor, a position he sought before coming to Philadelphia. 'You never say never,'"

Vallas is scheduled to speak to the City Club here on April 28.

6. "From Behind Bars, Milwaukee Alderman May Be Re-Elected."

7. "Wrigley Field Now On Endangered List."

8. Dutchie spelled backwards is "give it a rest".

9. Cook County's living, breathing structural deficit.

10. The award of $75,000 by a federal monitor to defeated aldermanic candidate Jay Stone seems out of whack, but now that the mayor is whining about it I'd like to see it doubled.

"At a news conference Tuesday, Daley noted that volunteers associated with labor unions helped unseat many of the mayor's allies in last year's City Council election," the Tribune reports.

"I guess all the candidates that lost will blame the unions and file a complaint against the unions for stacking it against them, taking political money and taking people off of jobs, so I think it's silly to tell you the truth," Daley said.

This is a thousand times more disingenuous than anything Todd Stroger has ever said.

"According to testimony in the federal corruption trial of Daley's then-patronage chief, mayoral political operatives directed workers to help Matlak against Stone's challenge," the Trib account notes.

"Mr. Stone presented persuasive evidence that the City of Chicago used its employees and its resources against him," monitor Noelle Brennan said.

Think about that for a second.

"[Brennan] said Daley's comment equating political patronage and union activism 'is not an apt comparison.'

"The city as a government entity is prohibited from using its resources to support or oppose a political candidate and then offer jobs or promotions to individuals because of their support of a particular candidate,' Brennan said.

"Daley's remark also sparked an angry response from the Service Employees International Union, which spent about $2 million and deployed hundreds of its members in council races a year ago. Jerry Morrison, executive director of SEIU's State Council, said most volunteers for union-backed candidates work for private companies.

"'It shows you the level of corruption that has existed in this city that people can't tell the difference between a campaign volunteer and a political worker,' Morrison said.

"Morrison said the only things SEIU offered as inducement for campaign help were better government, a T-shirt and some pizza.'"

11. Christopher Kozicki rigged the test scores to make sure that a 19-year-old son of a massive Daley campaign contributor - who was a clouty union official - got a job as a $50,000 a year building inspector.

Noelle Brennan wanted him fired. So did city inspector general David Hoffman. It's a good bet that an overwhelming number of citizens of Chicago familiar with the case did too. Those unfamiliar would only need to be told to fall in line with common sense.

But not Richard "It's Silly" Daley.

"In the end, it wasn't important that a 19-year-old who barely knew which end of a hammer to use was suddenly going to make life-and-death decisions about building safety," Carol Marin writes today.

"Mayor Daley and his people weren't going to budge. Worse, the mayor and his minions came up with the utterly absurd, not to mention untrue, claim that they really couldn't fire Kozicki because it would discourage others from coming forward to testify in federal court.

"Oh please. Kozicki, let's recall, got immunity from the feds. That lucky fairy dust at work again, I guess."

12. "Decrying the recent spate of slayings and shootings involving Chicago teenagers, Mayor Richard Daley on Tuesday deplored what he said was the lack of discussion of the issue in national political campaigns," Clout Street reports.

"'They better start talking about violence in America,' Daley said at a press conference. 'It doesn't matter where you are or who you are, but there is something wrong in America when we have teen-agers killing teen-agers. There is something we have lost in a generation.'

"After alleging that the gun lobby has 'purchased Washington, D.C.' to prevent the passage of more restrictive laws, Daley added that in the campaign debates 'you never hear the word Gun, you never hear the word Violence.'

"But when a reporter asked if his criticism applied to both Democratic presidential candidates, the mayor laughed and replied, 'I'm not going to go after Obama - I'm an Obama supporter.'"

The Beachwood Tip Line: Begging for change.


Posted on April 2, 2008

MUSIC - Who's Next In Chicago Rap.
TV - Tribune-Nexstar Deal Is Bad News.
POLITICS - Big Soda Hates You.
SPORTS - Harold vs. the Haters.

BOOKS - Wright Brothers, Wrong Story!

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Go Ahead, Eat Raw Cookie Dough!

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