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The [Wednesday] Papers

1. The Rod & Judy Show.

2. YouTube co-founder Steve Chen is from Arlington Heights. "Steve was an above-average kid who, at the time, didn't seem very motivated," his former calculus teacher tells the Daily Herald.

3. We found WMDs! They're in North Korea.

4. Bush has been president for six years and North Korea is Clinton's fault.

5. Steinbrenner: Yankees loss is Clinton's fault.

6. I remember the Clinton era. It wasn't totally great, but it sure beat this.

7. "The tone of Powell's tenure was set early in the administration when he announced that he planned "to pick up where the Clinton administration had left off" in trying to secure the peace between North and South Korea, while negotiating with the North to prevent its acquisition of nuclear weaponry," Eric Alterman and Mark Green wrote in The Book on Bush: How George W. Bush (Mis)leads America.

Bush, however, with his considerably well thought-out foreign policy ideas and wealth of experience as a diplomat, had other ideas.

8. "The closer U.S. President George W. Bush gets to the end of his term, the more troubled his foreign policy legacy looks, including potential all-out civil war in Iraq and the prospect of leaving behind two new nuclear weapons states, Iran and North Korea."

- "Bush Foreign Policy Legacy Dogged By Crises," Reuters

9. Okay, I'm still not clear just how this guy was able to get in to see Dennis Hastert. Was Hastert gonna pray with the guy?

10. "I had zero friends when I first came to Columbia as an 18-year-old with a bad haircut and terrible social skills. Not only was I friendless, but I had no idea how to make friends," writes Hayley Graham, Editor-in-Chief of the Columbia College Chronicle, in "How Not To Make Friends." "I realized quickly that a direct approach is more counterproductive than one would expect. There was a girl in one of my classes who seemed like she had similar interests as me and I thought would be a good match for a new best friend. So during an awkward silence while riding the elevator after class, I blurted out 'I like your style; we should be friends.' Of course she smiled awkwardly and half laughed, and that was the first and last time we ever spoke."

11. Shouldn't the mayor have gone to Athens - and Beijing and Los Angeles - before submitting an Olympic bid? In fact, shouldn't this thing been planned out, you know, like, at least a year in advance?

12. It's about time somebody vetted the obviously juiced economic development numbers associated with the Olympics that the mayor's people are spouting. Journalism 101, people.

13. Okay, wasn't Daley the guy who crashed the party here?

14. "Bud Selig Nervously Informs Ozzie Guillen That White Sox Aren't Making Playoffs."

15. In a recent review, the Columbia College Chronicle's Mark Byrne gives Panda Express four hearts. "Chinese food is always better when it's fake. Real Chinese food, like, the stuff from Chinatown, tastes horrible. It doesn't make any sense but trust me on this one. Chinese food should taste like Panda Express, and various trashy buffets around the city; those guys, somehow, have it dead on."

16. Is there fake American takeout in other countries? (Yes. It's called McDonald's.) Why is there no French takeout? (Because then the terrorists would win.)

17. The real debate yesterday wasn't between the candidates for governor, it was was between the candidates for Cook County board president, Todd Stroger and Tony Peraica. It sounds like it was a real doozy. Of course, the Sun-Times only managed to give it 154 words compared to 363 words and requisite photo for "Cosmo Is Hot For This Teacher" and 507 words and a full-page spread for "Fight On To Deliver Best Pub Grub," with its incomparably hilarious observation that there's a "brew-haha" going on.

The Tribune's report, meanwhile, carried this gem: "Peraica noted that Stroger missed 340 votes while in the legislature, and voted present on key gun and crime bills. 'I know when to be there and when not to be there,' Stroger replied. 'I spent nine years in Springfield and I know how it works.'"

Todd Stroger knows when not to be there. Perfect.

It got even better in the Daily Herald's report. "Perhaps the most surprising new topic came after the debate at the Union League Club, when Stroger admitted having other legislators vote for him on the House floor when he was a state representative," Rob Olmstead wrties. "While the practice is fairly common, it's usually officially denied and a no-no.

"Stroger made the revelation in a news conference after the debate in responding to a Peraica charge that he had voted 'present' on three tough-on-crime bills.

"'I'm sure that at that time, I was not at my seat. When you're in Springfield, there's a lot of things going on at the same time . . . Sometimes you're out talking to constituents . . . and your seatmate will try to take care of you, but sometimes, they feel like they don't know what your position will be . . . and there's two people sitting by me . . . (who) decided that they should vote 'present' since I wasn't there."

Voting present since he wasn't there. Perfect.

18. That big Sneed "The Scoop on Illinois' Political Family Feud" promoted on the Sun-Times's front page? An aggrieved member of the Mell family putting up a Topinka lawn sign. Sneed earns her paycheck again!

19. Kate Grossman once again skims the surface of what we already know about Chicago's public housing. Another way to write her story with the same facts at hand is this: "The mayor's vaunted transformation of public housing in Chicago was an unrealistic plan built on a shaky financing scheme that insiders knew could never get done in the 10-year time-frame sold to the public, and broken promises to tens of thousands of displaced families who will never benefit from the so-called mixed-income communities that are replacing the city's projects on valuable strips of real estate long coveted by developers."

20. Ald. Tom Allen (38th) wants to spend the $7.5 million generated by red-light camera tickets on hiring more traffic officers. What Allen doesn't seem to understand is that the city is grateful to traffic violators for the revenue - the last thing it wants to do is improve public safety and lose all that cash.

21. Incredulous Unverified Statement of the Day Appearing in the Sun-Times: "The [new radar] guns have been used for the past month in the Jefferson Park District, where more than 400 tickets were issued. Residents were so happy to see officers wielding the speed guns that they offered them food to stick around. 'They begged us to come back,' said Sgt. Greg Reynolds."

22. The genius that is the Sun-Times editorial board: "Daley's decision will likely take the steam out of any election-cycle criticism." Because who would criticize the mayor for making a change in the Police Department's Office of Professional Standards only after a report about long-standing police torture embarrased him into making a political move in an election year about something he previously showed little interest in?

"The mayor's move may very well be politically calculated," the editorial continues.

Well, at least they're not naive.

23. An election-year budget.

The Beachwood Tip Line: For your election-year needs.


Posted on October 11, 2006

MUSIC - Holiday Hullabaloo.
POLITICS - Bank Profits Soaring.
SPORTS - Chicago vs. Michigan, 1903.

BOOKS - Dia De Los Muertos Stories.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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