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The [Wednesday] Papers

State of the Union.


Jim Webb vs. Barack Obama. Discuss.


We already know that George W. Bush's foreign policy has been a disaster. But you have to wonder if there's a single thing this president has done right when the Tribune editorial page cites as the president's two key domestic achievements "the No Child Left Behind law that introduced a powerful culture of accountability to public education" and "the succession of tax cuts that provoked the American economy into a flush era of job creation, market growth and rising government revenues."

Yes, thank God we were rescued from the Clinton economy. That sucked.


Apparently the editorial board doesn't read - or doesn't believe - its paper's own reporting.


Neat trick to cite "rising government revenues" (I thought conservatives wanted to starve government) instead of "a mind-blowing out-of-control deficit."

Scooter Pie
"I. Lewis Libby Jr., the vice president's former chief of staff, was made a scapegoat by White House officials to protect the president's longtime political adviser, Karl Rove, Mr. Libby's lawyer asserted in his opening statement on Tuesday," The New York Times reports.

Just to make sure you read that right - that's Libby pinning Plamegate on Rove, not the prosecution.

Olympic Fever Dreams
Fran Spielman transcribes her recording of Pat Ryan's press conference.

The Tribune's Kathy Bergen reports the news.

The Chicago Way
"A nationally known contractor has signed a pledge to build [the Olympic stadium] for the guaranteed amount, adjusted for inflation, Ryan said, though ultimately the project will go out for bid," Bergen writes in her account.

Olympic judges have also already decided who will win the women's 100-meter butterfly, but ultimately they'll hold the race for show.

Red Flag
"To drive down the stadium's height and costs," the Tribune's Blair Kamin writes, "concessions and restrooms would be located outside."

Just like at Wrigley.

Let Them Eat Flowers
"Patrick Ryan, the insurance executive who is Mayor Richard M. Daley's point man for Chicago's Olympic bid, said Tuesday he expects public hearings for the amphitheater plan only. He feels there is little, if any, opposition to the stadium," Kamin writes.

Forgive Ryan. He only reads the Sun-Times.

"But the record shows otherwise. After the stadium plan was announced last fall, several residents of Hyde Park, which sits east of Washington Park, expressed their unhappiness that a chunk of the park would be closed during the stadium's construction. Some don't want the stadium there at all."

Well, Ryan meant no opposition among those who won't be directly affected.

Everyone Must Stand Naked
So no skyboxes or suites at the Olympic stadium? The mayor is going to stand in line at the urinal trough with his loyal subjects?

Chicago Way Tonight
Chicago Tonight's Web blurb promoting last night's show.

"Chicago's Olympic committee unveils its plans to host the 2016 games. The temporary stadium has shrunk in size, but the estimated costs have risen."

Here we go.

"Could the media please stop selling Barack Obama as if he is the next iPod?" asks Alan Perlman of Highland Park in a letter to the Tribune today. Perlman has declared his mind a No-Obama zone.

In fact, all the Trib letters today are about Obama. My favorite excerpts:

* From Noah Warman, of Chicago:

"If I want cheerleading, I'll go to a sporting event.

If I want recommendations on how to win an electoral office, I'll hire a political consultant.

And if I want reporting on politics, facts, not commentary, about 'playing to the center,' 'the Clinton factor,' or other bunk, I'll be looking to some source other than your newspaper."

* From S.E. Gustafson, of Valparaiso:

"Would someone please finally tell me why Barack Obama is such a wonderful choice for president besides the following?

- Giving a great speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention

- Writing two published books

- Going on multiple book tours

- Visiting Kenya

- Being photogenic and (supposedly) charismatic

- Being a person of color.

Besides the above, what has he accomplished?"

Chicagobama Times
The good news: "This is my last Scribble column."

The bad news: "With the expected announcement of Obama's run for the White House, we need to put more writing and reporting resources into our coverage. Jennifer Hunter is leaving the editorial board next week to join the city desk team and will produce a regular Obama diary column. She will begin writing just before the Springfield announcement next month."

- Memo from Michael Cooke, S-T editor-in-chief

I thought producing an Obama diary was Lynn Sweet's job.

Family Values
So the publisher's wife is on the Barack beat. Interesting. The publisher's wife. On the Barack beat.

You know, the Scribble columnist. Promoted to covering a presidential campaign. Interesting.

Sun-Times Mash-Up
"Mayor Daley's Obama Olympic Dream, coming Sunday!"

Machinists Union
Barack Obama (D-Daley).

Full Tank
The media is giddy about a judge's decision to allow Tank Johnson to travel to the Super Bowl ("The Tank will roll into Miami."), but Greg Couch asks, "Does this sound anything like in high school, when the jocks skipped detention because they had to go to practice?"

Bear Down
Super Bowl Shuffling.

"E2 Guard Says He Talked To God During Melee."

Guard told God: "This really isn't a good time. Can't You see I'm kind of busy here?"

Silly People
* A new poll shows that most people are against torturing animals to create foie gras and in fact think it should be outlawed. The mayor said it was the silliest poll he had ever seen.

* George Cheyne, quoted in a New Yorker essay about vegetarianism:

"To see the Convulsions, Agonies and Tortures of a Poor Fellow-Creature . . . dying to gratify Luxury . . . must require a rocky Heart, and a great Degree of Cruelty and Ferocity."

Daley says Cheyne is just silly.

Beachwood's Buckner
Best TV writer in the city.

The Beachwood Tip Line: FISA-approved.


Posted on January 24, 2007

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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