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The [Wednesday] Papers

On the Friday before New Year's Eve weekend, the campaign of Mayor Richard M. Daley announced the mayor was once again refusing to debate his opponents.

"There is no need for Daley to engage in a public debate since he has answered more questions than any local elected official during his nearly two-decade reign, campaign manager Terry Peterson said," the Sun-Times reported.

I didn't know that was the standard.

"Plus, Peterson said, the proposed debates are 'nothing more than a political strategy of our opponents to get their names out there.'"

As opposed to the political strategy of refusing to debate so your opponents can't get their name out there.

"For the most part, the people of the city know where the mayor stands on the issues,' he said."

Yes. Silent.

"Daley has not participated in a debate since 1989 when was first voted into office."

Ever since then, the people of the city have known where the mayor stands. For the most part.

The people of America know where a president stands, and a governor, too, but the mayor apparently did not issue an opinion on whether he thinks they ought to participate in debates. Apparently, feeling he hasn't had anything to learn, the mayor has never watched a debate.

And why get caught up in the past? This election isn't about asking the mayor to justify his installation of Todd Stroger as Cook County President, or the whitewashing (pun intended) he got in the Burge report, or if he really believes supporters of the big box ordinance are racists, or if he would have prosecuted Robert Sorich while he was Cook County State's Attorney, or why corruption persists in his administration at a rate far out-pacing any government in America that we're aware of, as well as the private sector he so often holds up as equally scandalous.

This election, at least as the mayor would like you to believe, is about the future. And as far as the mayor's plans for his next term, well, he'll keep you posted.

Five-Ring Circus
If Chicago doesn't get the Olympics, will the mayor still raise and invest the money promised for infrastructure and other improvements in and around Washington Park? Or is that kind of investment only justified as a by-product of holding a really big track meet?

Minority Report
When Mary Mitchell says the right people were given the contracts and the right people were given the jobs, does she mean the white people posing as black people, or the men posing as women?

Patron Saint
Gerald Nichols is finally off the county payroll, the Sun-Times reports.

A) He named his son as his successor.
B) Nonetheless, he was given a 17 percent raise.
C) He starts his new job with the city on Monday.

Subway Hero
"A Man Down, A Train Arriving, And A Stranger Makes A Choice."

Perfect Fit
"It takes no thought whatsoever to cut across the board," said Forrest Claypool.

Which is a perfect plan for Todd Stroger because . . .

God Factor
"Robertson: God Warns Of Terror Attack In '07."

Rain also likely.

Down Button
Todd Stroger's private elevator is no more.

"Private car 'isn't necessary,'" the Sun-Times reports.

Neither is Stroger, but hey, you can't have it all at once.

Menage Orr Trois
"For the past 17 years, Orr has offered to marry the first couple of the year to obtain a marriage license," the Sun-Times reports.

So far, though, no couple has felt comfortable with Orr's snoring.

Touting Tony
"The conference room of Rezko's real estate office on North Elston ended up being the place where many appointments were made to influential boards and commissions, where certain state jobs were decided upon, and where Cabinet-level positions were clinched," Carol Marin writes this morning.

"Whatever the governor did or didn't know, the feds believe that Rezko was a staggeringly talented shakedown artist who traded plum appointments for large donations to Blagojevich, got massive 'consulting fees' for himself and his friends in exchange for state investment business, and, along the way, wiggled his way into all manner of lucrative deals and contracts, some of which came with government tax breaks or subsidies."

When the Tribune, like other news organizations, reported in its year-end review that the Dow Jones hit an all-time high in 2007, topping 12,000 for the first time, it failed to take inflation into account. Oops.

"Top Ten Ways U.S. Enabled Saddam Hussein."

Beachwood Bests
Catch up with what you missed over the holidays, both in The Papers archive and the archives for each section, located on the top left rail of each page.

Also, check out our Home for Holidays series, The Gift Card That Saved Christmas, The Ford Tapes, and our predictions for 2007.

And this week we've started our first series of the new year, On The Juice. There is the potential for real human disaster here, so jump aboard early and take the ride.

Ford Edsel
Historians will re-assess this brief re-assessment and conclude that we're idiots.

Even Nixon said the country deserved to know whether it's president was a crook. Apaprntely Gerald Ford didn't believe we were (formally) owed that.

In interviews Ford justified his pardon of Nixon by saying he was spending 25 percent of his time on what to do about Nixon. Should've been a hundred! Besides, Ford has acknowledged already deciding on the pardon before taking office, so this is a lie.

Ford is now lauded as Mr. Bipartisan, but nobody thought that during the 1976 campaign, when he dumped vice president Nelson Rockefeller for partisan pit bull Bob Dole in a move even Ford later called "an act of cowardice."

Ford did not heal nor unite the country. Then again, neither did Jimmy Carter. The truth is, that's what Reagan's claim to greatness is - though it was largely his 1984 re-election campaign that did the uniting. And true enough, he united the country around greed, blind ambition, and blind patriotism in an administration that was also wracked with criminality. But still.

George W. Bush has divided and wracked the country so badly that Barack Obama has a rationale for a presidential campaign.

Ford's loyalty to his party was higher than his loyalty to his country. While the House Minority Leader, Ford was Nixon's last best staunchest defender, and serious historians agree - and Bob Woodward's recently released tapes show - that his pardon of Nixon was based in large part on their friendship. Nixon never acknowledged his guilt - that's why Ford carried around in his wallet a legal decision that said accepting a pardon was an acknowledgement of guilt. Seems Ford needed to carry justification around with him.

Take a look at the impeachment articles and remember that those only scratched the surface.

Crazy Diamonds
"Contrary to popular mythology, you don't make good records when you're crazy. You make them when you're not."

The Beachwood Tip Line: Random precision.


Posted on January 3, 2007

MUSIC - Who's Next In Chicago Rap.
TV - Tribune-Nexstar Deal Is Bad News.
POLITICS - Big Soda Hates You.
SPORTS - The Ex-Cub Factor.

BOOKS - Wright Brothers, Wrong Story!

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - The Bad News About Human Nature.

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