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The [Wednesday] Papers

That was a pretty amazing All-Star game last night, and even though I hate the way the outcome now determines who gets home-field advantage in the World Series, I have to say I love the All-Star game. It's really amazing to watch (for the most part) the best of the best not only competing, but as teammates and, truly, historical athletic figures.

That point was driven home last night with "the biggest collection" of All-Stars in the game's history gathered on one field. Some of these guys I didn't even know were still alive. Ralph Kiner! Whitey Ford! And you forget that legends like Willie Mays are still around.

I thought it was a pretty emotional moment when they went through the introductions of these guys, paired with the current players at each position. I love baseball.

Top Cop
At least for now I have become Chicago's biggest fan of police chief Jody Weis merely because the city council members he was dragged before on Tuesday once again exhibited that they are by and large buffoons whom I want nowhere near the police department - or anything else they can harm us with.

Frankly, Weis isn't exactly a dynamic guy, but my God . . . I imagined him sitting there next to Easy Ike Carothers wondering to himself how it could be that such a collection of self-serving bumblers could be allowed to hold public office anywhere outside of Berzerkistan.

"The toughest barrage came from Ald. Isaac Carothers (29th), chairman of the Police and Fire Committee, who called the hearing to question what the former supervising FBI agent was doing to improve police morale and stop crime," the Tribune reports. "He also made it clear that Weis has to answer to more than the mayor.

"The Police and Fire Committee has 'jurisdiction over all issues relating to the Police Department"' Carothers bluntly noted, asking Weis if he 'understood that now'."

I understand you're a dick, I could see Weis thinking.

The main thrust of the council's message to Weis seemed to have been that they want cops to start kicking ass again. They might as well raise the sales tax again to fund a legal defense fund in that case. My, memories are short.

If I'm not mistaken, crime is rising nationwide. It's just possible - and I'm just throwing something out there - that a declining economy has something to do with it. That's usually the way these things go.

As for the idea that cops are less aggressive because they fear lawsuits, well, one thing we know for sure is that there is no reason they have to fear losing their jobs. If this won't get you fired, not much will.

Morale Officer
Usually an outgoing editor praises the talents of their replacement, and Ann Marie Lipinski is nothing if not politic. That's why this struck me:

"Lipinski declined to comment on her replacement, Gerould Kern."



Don't wanna even wish him luck?

And then this:

"[Deputy managing editor for features Jim] Warren would not comment specifically on Lipinski's replacement, Gerould Kern, but said the change in leadership brings "an unavoidable period of significant ambiguity," adding that it is also impacted by "significant pending layoffs, significant pending newsprint reduction and the coming of a very different editor."

One who must not be talked about!

Change Agents
"A career FBI agent brought in from the outside, Weis argued that you can't change the culture of an organization by leaving the same people in place."

Gerry Kern, meet Jody Weis!

Office Politics
"Chicago politics have historically been important in the selection of police commanders and top brass," John Kass writes. "Just a few years ago, even the Chicago mob had a big say in who worked where in the top echelons of the department."


Similarly, office politics have historically been important in the selection of editors and reporters. Even FOAMs (Friends of Ann Marie) had a big say in who worked where in the newsroom. And now? Morale is low and journalists are afraid of being too aggressive!

1. Surge scrub.

2. "After a brief bout of Obamamania, some Capitol Hill Democrats have begun to complain privately that Barack Obama's presidential campaign is insular, uncooperative and inattentive to their hopes for a broad Democratic victory in November," Politico reports.

"'They think they know what's right and everyone else is wrong on everything,' groused one senior Senate Democratic aide. 'They are kind of insufferable at this point.'"

3. "Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) told Gwen Ifill of PBS' The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer that his rival for president, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has shifted on issues more than he has," Politico reports.

"Obama has faced a torrent of stories about moving toward the middle for the general election, on issues ranging from gun control to Iraq policy."

Sayeth Obama:

"'[I]f you compare sort of my shift in emphasis on issues that I've been proposing for years, like say, faith-based initiatives, which have raised questions in the press . . . if you compare that to John McCain's complete reversal on oil drilling, complete reversal on George Bush's tax cuts, complete reversal on immigration where he said he wouldn't even vote for his own bill, that I think is a pretty hard case to make that somehow I've been shifting substantially relative to John McCain."

And my whole campaign has been based on being one degree less a shameless posturer than my opponents.

"When Ifill pointed out that Obama's decision to reverse himself on accepting public financing for his fall campaign had 'raised hackles in the press,' Obama interjected: 'Well, raised hackles amongst some in the blogosphere.'"

A) Oh, that was just the press pointing out my hypocrisy.
B) Oh, that was just the blogosphere that gave me so much money I had cover to reject public financing.

Beer Smear
* "Buckingham Renovation To Add Glitz: Park District wants $25 million project to help Olympic bid."

At Caesar's they've set the Over/Under on the final bill at $53 million.

* "Beer Giant To Locate In Chicago."

Assisted by more than $20 million in state and city subsidies.

I have a better idea: The MillerCoors Buckingham Beer Fountain.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Elbows out.


Posted on July 16, 2008

MUSIC - Christgau Loves Chicago Neonatologist.
TV - Amazon & The Way Of The World.
POLITICS - The Political Odds.
SPORTS - Another Week Of Trubisky Analysis.

BOOKS - Writers Under Surveillance.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Original Warrior.

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