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The [Wednesday] Papers

EDITOR'S NOTE: While our crack staff puts the finishing touches on our move to a new server this morning, I'll be out tending to some Beachwood business as well as trying to find an adequate replacement for my favorite Just Tires store, which has been displaced by Brown Line construction. We've kept posting light this week as we've been transferring bits of data through the Internet universe, however that works. They keep me away from those things, and by "they," I mostly mean our star art director Cate Nolan. But we have a lot of witty and incisive new material ready to go, and many new projects in the works. In the meantime, everything I wrote in yesterday's column, appearing below, is still applicable.

The [Tuesday] Papers
According to a post on Rich Miller's Illinoize website, the following folks received write-in votes for various state offices in last month's election: Cap'n Crunch; Kim Jong Il; George Carlin; "Me"; Penn Jillette; three pages of variations on Stufflebeam including Stumblebee, Stifflebean, Shacklebean, and Shufflebarger; SpongeBob SquarePants; and "We Deserve Better."

The full post, by Jeff Trigg, is a nice little read, and makes me mad that I lost my sense of humor in the voting booth.

Mafia Mayor
"Despite progress in the wake of an ongoing federal corruption probe, Mayor Richard Daley's administration has continued to violate restrictions on political hiring, according to a report filed Monday in federal court," the Tribune reports this morning.

"The overt criminal activity," court-appointed monitor Noelle Brennan said, "has ceased, but there are still pockets of resistance in the city."

Like in the mayor's office.

Mr. Management
The "overt criminal activity" has ceased. The rest of it remains.

Doesn't that make our mayor a crime boss?

Loud and Clear
"Although the mayor reacted to the hiring scandal by promising reform, Brennan said many people in the city might feel Daley is sending 'somewhat of a mixed message' by defending Sorich and his co-defendants," the Tribune report says.

"When there are persons who have been proven guilty in hiring corruption being so publicly supported by the city, and at the same time you're talking about encouraging reforms in city hiring, some people may be confused about that," Brennan told the paper.

Brennan is wrong about that. There is no confusion. I think we all get the message the mayor is sending.

Elite Force
The problem isn't so much "the people" who have no real choice in who their mayor is, it's the elite power structure - including the media - that tolerates it.

Language Gap
The word "corruption" connotes political business-as-usual. Perhaps the media should start using the word "criminal" more aggressively instead.

Usual Suspects
Didn't someone once say that getting elected in Illinois constituted probable cause?

Police State
"Cook County prosecutors on Monday charged three more members of an elite Chicago police unit with using their badges and guns to break into homes and shake down residents for money over a two-year period," the Tribune reports.

"There were also additional charges against three of the four officers already implicated in the ongoing investigation of the department's special operations section."

The mayor said the cops were fine young men and he would arrange for a church-based fundraiser for their defense. Rev. Daniel Brandt said Jesus was tried with a thief too, and that was good enough for him.

Teeny Toddler
Todd Stroger was upstaged at his inaguration by a 12-year-old. That pretty much says it all.

When Sneed says she "hears" that Heather Mills will represent herself in court today, she means she "read it somewhere."

Bench Press
Speaking of Sneed, the Tribune writes today about how professions other than sports handle poor performers, as opposed to the way Lovie Smith is handling Rex Grossman. Because we all know the management specialists in our news organizations don't tolerate poor performers.

Contrary Mary
Reader mail responding to Mary Schmich's admiring column of Lura Lynn Ryan: "Oh, god, Mary Schmich headed into new territory. Usually she reserves her powers of musing and compassion for the downtrodden, the voiceless. Here it is for someone who just never happened to notice that all of life's expenses were being paid for with cash."

Merit Pay
Well, this makes sense, because our legislators are certainly among the best in the nation.

Her Boys
If you take a drink every time they make a ridiculous, strained, and error-riddled Chicago reference in this show tonight, you'll be pretty frickin' sloshed by 9:15 p.m.

Next time we bemoan how uneducated our kids are, let's direct that energy instead at educating our adults about how to conduct a democracy.

"[Cook County board commissioner Mike] Quigley is also an adjunct professor of political science, and likes to focus on the area's history and environment," Conscious Choice reports. "When he teaches his students about the Underground Railroad, many ask why runaway slaves had to hide once they got north. He reminds them they had to hide because it was against the law to help them to freedom. That is why he believes places like the Ton property are important.

"We have to remember what happened here in Cook County," Quigley said.

Wakeup Call
They're putting a TIF district in my kitchen.

Steele the Same
God wanted Bobbie Steele to be Cook County president for four months - but He didn't want her to write a budget.

Steele Deal
Apparently Bobbie Steele will remain as a consultant to Todd Stroger for a dollar a year.

A) And the county is so broke it will have to borrow that dollar. At five over prime.
B) The new deal for Steele will triple her pension.
C) If by a "dollar" you mean with a more expensive consulting contract to come once things die down, yes, then she will only be paid a dollar.

I've always been a bit puzzled by the idea of Barack Obama on a ticket as a vice presidential candidate. Who on the top of the ticket would want to be overshadowed by his or her more popular running mate? Seems like Hillary is the only one who could handle it.

And when you think about it, that would be one monster ticket.

Dog Style
"I don't care what anyone says, I like Hillary Clinton."

- Brian on a Family Guy rerun last night, while reading the newspaper

Peter Principle
The real-life Peter Griffin.

Rod's Nod
If Obama did become president or vice president, who would Rod Blagojevich appoint to replace him in the Senate? Let the jockeying begin.

Prisoner X
Or will Pat Quinn be doing the appointing?

The Beachwood Tip Line: Staying the course.


Posted on December 6, 2006

MUSIC - Lyric Opera Strike Settled.
POLITICS - USA Today's Op-Ed Disaster.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Come On, Vic!

BOOKS - Chicago Book Haul: The Dial.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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