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The [Wednesday] Papers

This reporter is attending to business this morning. The Beachwood will return on Thursday.

The [Tuesday] Papers
"A 7-year-old Chinese girl was not good-looking enough for the Olympics opening ceremony, so another little girl with a pixie smile lip-synched 'Ode to the Motherland,' a ceremony official said - the latest example of the lengths Beijing took for a perfect start to the Summer Games," AP reports.

"A member of China's Politburo asked for the last-minute change to match one girl's face with another's voice, the ceremony's chief music director, Chen Qigang, said in an interview with Beijing Radio.

"'The audience will understand that it's in the national interest,' Chen said in a video of the interview posted online Sunday night."

This would never happen in America!

"The news follows reports that some footage of the fireworks exploding across China's capital during the ceremony was digitally inserted into television coverage, apparently over concerns that not all of the 29 blasts could be captured on camera."

This would never happen in America!

Opening Ceremonies
"Emerging technologies that threaten to destroy the current paradigm can have precisely the opposite effect. Remember when VCRs and then DVDs were going to lay waste to the movie industry and ended up saving it instead? The Web leaks of entertainment that NBC bought and paid for served as a kind of trailer for the real thing," David Carr writes in the New York Times.

"On Saturday, Mr. Stelter's wonderful article in The New York Times on how people were working around the blackout on the Olympic ceremony began as a post on Twitter seeking consumer experiences, then jumped onto his blog, TV Decoder, caught the attention of editors who wanted it expanded for the newspaper and ended up on Page One, jammed with insight and with plenty of examples from real human experience."


The Beachwood looks ahead to Chicago's opening ceremonies in 2016.

Pay Raise Politics
"With lawmakers returning to Springfield this week, Illinois Senate President Emil Jones said on Monday that he is considering placing a controversial pay raise for legislators up for a vote," the Tribune reports.

"'That's a great possibility,' the Chicago Democrat said during an appearance in Chicago, adding that he will consult with his Democratic colleagues before deciding."

That statement is at odds with state Sen. Susan Garrett's claim last night on Chicago Tonight that Jones "promised me he would get it called."

State Sen. Donne Trotter also appeared on Carol Marin's panel, and if you haven't put Trotter on your list of Worst People in Chicago, do it now.

Trotter launched his performance by stating that legislators hadn't had a pay raise since 1999. In fact, they get automatic cost-of-living increases - and if I understood what was said last night, their last one was 3.5 percent.

"We shouldn't forget that we're public servants," Garrett said. "We should put the interests of the state first."

Garrett said the average state worker makes $54,000 a year. Illinois lawmakers make $66,000 - for a part-time job. The proposed pay raise would lift that figure to $73,000. And of course, "leadership" makes six figures.

"I think we deserve it," Trotter said. "We work hard."

How hard can it be to do what Emil Jones tells you to do?

"These jobs are not guaranteed," Trotter said (after noting that he did not have an opponent in the upcoming election).

As opposed to the jobs that are guaranteed?

Trotter said that his colleagues who oppose the pay raise simply shouldn't take the money, as if they have no other responsibility over the allocation of taxpayer funds.

I have another idea: If you don't like your salary, go get another job.

"My conscience remains the same," Jones told the Trib.

Meaning it's still missing in action.

"I have members of my caucus who are single parents who feel very strongly they deserve a pay raise."

A) What about members of your senate district? You work for them, not your caucus.

B) Taxpayers should subsidize single lawmakers?

C) Married members don't deserve the raise?

Dunkin' Donuts
"The governor, who has been making more frequent public appearances recently after curtailing them the past two years as the federal probe deepened and investigative newspaper stories dropped, also mulled a new way to raise money for his long-stalled statewide construction program: a trip to the dunk tank," the Trib notes.

From "Blago's Special Session" in the Beachwood:

"Fundraising idea: Dunk the governor! This would come close to closing the budget gap."

Political Pushback
"Obama tries to turn 'celebrity' label on McCain."

Compares him to Ali Lohan.

Central Committee Time
"Beijing is 13 hours ahead of Chicago."

Daley will fix that once he gets back home.

Olympic Excuse
"As one audience member put it in a question to [University of Chicago economist Allen] Sanderson, 'Don't you agree that throwing a party can be an impetus to clean up the house?'" the Chicago Weekly reports.

"'I don't think anyone ever had a party on a Saturday night because they wanted to clean up the house,' replied Sanderson, who argued that while the Olympics might leave behind a legacy of improvements, it would be more prudent to simply spend the money on those projects now. For example, if Chicago's bid is successful (as all panelists seem to agree was highly likely), an empty truck parking lot near McCormick Place will become the Olympic Village and then, after 2016, a new public housing complex; but if we want the housing complex, why not just build it now? Sanderson argued that the question we should be asking is 'We have a plan; how do the Olympics fit in?' rather than 'How can we benefit from hosting the Olympics?' Furthermore, he rejected the pro-Olympic argument that much of the financial backing for the games would be provided by contributions from the private sector; after all, each philanthropist who donates money to make the Olympics happen isn't donating that money to another worthy cause such as a charity."

Help Tequila
"Tequila Mockingbird, paralyzed from the neck down eleven months ago in a Windy City Rollers bout, has taken her first steps!!!" the team reports.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Staying gold.


Posted on August 13, 2008

MUSIC - Lyric Opera Strike An Old Story.
POLITICS - USA Today's Op-Ed Disaster.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Kanye, Chili, Jimmy, Tarik.

BOOKS - Conway Barbour & The Black Middle Class.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Recall! Malone's Pork Head Cheese.

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