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The [Wednesday] Papers

It's no secret to readers of this column that I do not like George W. Bush. I found the president oddly likeable for a brief moment, however, at his press conference this morning. When the president spoke honestly and openly about the struggles in Iraq, it was impressive. There is an enduring appeal of the honest officeholder. If only this president had been so frank in his assessment of the war from the start. Americans will forgive mistakes and even incompetence, if joined by authenticity and accountability.

And then the president stopped reading from a script and turned into himself again.

And for the gazillionth time in the last six years, I could only marvel that this man had somehow not only become our president, but led this country into a war that the previously hawkish The New York Times editorial page is now acknowledging may be the worst foreign policy disaster in this country's history.

In the question-and-answer period with reporters after his opening statement, the president showed once again that he is a man out of his depth; that critics who wondered if this was a man smart and sophisticated enough to be president were right. He's not.

Most disturbing - and frightening - were the calvacade of inappropriate jokes and asides he uttered as he struggled to articulate coherent thoughts. His reframing of questions he perceived as "Washington tricks" was sophomoric; his odd segue into a call for extending his tax cuts for the rich was just spooky. He is not a man who appears to have his wits about him.

Mayor Bush
Speaking of inarticulate, craven chief executives, I'd sure like to see a transcript of Mayor Daley's session with reporters yesterday to see how reporters reacted to his description of Todd Stroger as a "wonderful candidate" who is "going to be a great president of the county board." Not even his most ardent supporters believe that. But then, hat's how much contempt Daley has for the media, the public, and your tax dollars.

Mayor Blue
Daley can't admit he was wrong about the blue bag program.

"Asked if blue bag has been a failure," the Tribune reported, "Daley insisted Tuesday, 'No, it wasn't.'"

He's just replacing it for the helluva it.

"Now we tell [people] instead of putting it in a blue bag, you put it in a blue cart," Daley cracked. "If you want a pink one, I'll give you a pink one. If you want a red one, I'll give you a red one."

What if we wanted an adult one?

Daley Dose
The mayor's selective outrage is appalling - and revealing. Had enough?

Who Is Rod Blagojevich?
The Tribune carries a front page profile of the governor today. The best profile I've read, though, is here.

Trib Treasure
Sounds like Trib executives are setting themselves up for a sweet exit strategy.

Old Crony
This seems to answer the John Madigan question - for now.

City of Broad Condos
"[R]oughly 900 apartments in Rogers Park have been converted to condominiums each years since 2003," a new report says.

Ink Blot
Buy printers, not ink. (second item)

Sneed Screed
In Sneed's first item, she doesn't disclose that she's pals with Topinka. In Sneed's second item, when she says she "hears rumbles," she means that she's just checking up with what was reported in the papers more than a year ago. In Sneed's third item, when she says sources tell her Tony Rezko was not singing, what she really means is that her earlier item that he was was just plain wrong. In Sneed's fourth item, she grabs a London Daily Mail item because she has to fill out her column some way. In Sneed's fifth item, she fails to name the actual person involved and move the item to the top of her column because it's probably not true. In Sneed's sixth item, she uses a BBC item because she has to fill out her column some way. In Sneedlings, Sneed forgets that it's not 1955. But good to know it's Marion Ross's birthday today!

The Not-So-Bright One
* The Sun-Times exploits the execution-style killing of a police officer to sell a few more papers at the newsstand.

* Ed Feulner, your home planet is calling. They're bringing you back as part of a pundit exchange.

* Can we put a moratorium on Sun-Times staffers telling their own sob stories? And poorly at that.

* Does Fran Spielman have to turn every utterance of the mayor into a "story"?

* Another candidate for assignment most likely to demoralize a reporter. Are you guys running out of ideas over there, or what?

* The on-the-street interviews at the end of this story appear to come from AP, though it's not clear. Still, I really don't care what Emily Krone, 24, of Wrigleyville, thinks we ought to do about Iraq. And neither should you.

* Word is the Sun-Times's circulation is way down.

It's come to my attention that I misread this column by Monroe Anderson as endorsing Todd Stroger's bid for the Cook County board presidency as well as the practice of keeping public offices in the family. The column, in fact, was meant to convey just the opposite.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Buy one, get one free.


Posted on October 25, 2006

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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