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The [Wednesday] Papers

"Investigators of steroid use in baseball are seeking medical records from at least two of the game's premier sluggers over the past dozen years, Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro, along with records from dozens of other players suspected of using performance-enhancing drugs, a baseball official with direct knowledge of the request said," The New York Times reports.

"I don't want to talk about that thing," Sosa said when asked about the investigation before last night's game against the Yankees. "No comment."

Olympic Spirit
* Glasgow 2014 Committee Releases Bid Book Online.

* Vancouver 2010 Committee Releases Balanced Budget.

* Chicago 2016 Committee Won't Release Revenue Forecast.

Insuring Secrecy
Chicago 2016 Committee Chairman Patrick Ryan won't even say which insurance company has promised to provide a $500 million policy.

Hmm, let's see. Who does the mayor know who is in the insurance business?

KidNews Put To Bed
Once a free-standing section, then a weekly back page, now the Trib's KidNews is the latest to succumb to budget-cutting that somehow presumes that giving readers less is a winning strategy toward increasing . . . readership.

On the other hand, while the Trib's Eric Zorn asks readers what they think is the best way to get kids to read the paper, maybe the question ought to be what the best way is to get kids to read a newspaper's website. Just musing.

Hole In The Story
I wanted to say that the rendering for this building looks pretty cool, but the Trib didn't put that part online. Too bad; even kids would have enjoyed looking at it.

Diet Fad
Are diets a waste of time? This fascinating article pretty much says yes.

Rahm's House Organ
"Naftali Bendavid, the Tribune's deputy Washington bureau chief, was given 'insider access' to Emanuel's operation, expecting to write a newspaper article. When the Democrats triumphed, he expanded it into The Thumpin': How Rahm Emanuel and the Democrats Learned to Be Ruthless and Ended the Republican Revolution. It's a 218-page celebration of Rahm," Salon reports.

Just what we need - unsupported assertions stretched to book length.

Aides billed a recent speech Emanuel gave at the Brookings Institution as "a broad and far-reaching indictment of the GOP and the Bush administration that seeks to find a common thread in all the GOP scandals from the Attorney Purge to the Katrina failure to the mendacity that brought us the Iraq war," TPM Cafe reported.

He asked Mayor Daley for help constructing a common thread of corruption flow chart.

The Divider
Barack Obama celebrated Cinco de Mayor in part by calling it "a day for all of us to commit to comprehensive immigration reform, so we can secure our borders while offering the twelve million who are here illegally the chance to step out of the shadows."

I didn't see any of the coverage mention Obama's vote in favor of George W. Bush's 700-mile fence on the Mexican border.

Dining Dope
"Coffee, tea and sodas, for example, typically cost restaurants 15 to 20 cents per serving, and pasta, which costs pennies, can be dressed up with more expensive fare and sold for $25 a dish or more. At a fine-dining restaurant, the average cost of food is 38 to 42% of the menu price, says Kevin Moll, CEO and president of National Food Service Advisors. In other words, most restaurants are making roughly 60% on anything they serve," reports SmartMoney in "Ten Things Restaurants Won't Tell You."

At the same time, however, profit margins for most restaurants, as I understand it, are razor-slim. Just sayin'.

Strategic Thinking
Yet another example of what drives me crazy about modern political reporting, which instead presents itself as a conversation between strategists and journalists about how best to manipulate voters, who are presumably out of the room. This one is about what Republican presidential candidates should say about President Bush.

"Mr. McCain's advisers said their candidate, who spent the day at his condominium in Coronado, expected - and welcomed - an opportunity to expand on his differences with the White House," Adam Nagourney of The New York Times writes.

"[B]ut it is a risky strategy, as even Mr. McCain's advisers acknowledged, and it is one that has been explicitly rejected by aides to Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Romney over the last few days as they have assessed Mr. McCain's decision. Advisers to both Mr. Romney and Mr. Giuliani said that it was foolhardy to attack a president who remains so popular among Republican primary voters, and that Mr. McCain, whose position with this group was already shaky, was making a mistake by moving in effect to a general-election strategy before he had won a primary."

So once again a journalist is assessing various strategies for misleading voters for electoral gain, rather than measuring candidates' strategies against their professed values, beliefs, and policy positions.

An alternate way to write the story is to say that the Republican candidates for president are making strategic decisions about whether to hide their true feelings about the president, based on how they think they can best deceive voters.

Blame Game
Larry McCarthy, director of training, Community Investment Corp., wrote to the Sun-Times recently:

"In the April 24 story, ''Broken homes, broken promises,' Antoin 'Tony' Rezko associate Daniel Mahru was quoted as saying that their buildings with low-income tenants failed because '[T]here's no money in affordable housing . . . there's no money to clean it up or fix it up.'

"I strongly disagree. Often, buildings in housing labeled 'affordable' fail because they are poorly managed and/or undercapitalized. Blaming the tenants is neither appropriate nor necessary. Community Investment Corporation and other agencies provide training for landlords that is widely available at low cost. And we have many dozens of our borrowers who will refute the claim that there's no money in affordable housing. Perhaps Mahru and his partner just couldn't cut it in a business that requires a professional approach."

Global Hysterics
* "Migratory Whales, Birds Confused By Warming: U.N."

Maybe they were watching this.

- Tim Willette

Daily Obamathon
* "'What's stopped us is the failure of leadership, the smallness of our politics - the ease with which we're distracted by the petty and trivial, our chronic avoidance of tough decisions,' Obama said in his announcement speech. But a closer look at the presidential candidate's record in the Illinois Legislature reveals something seemingly contradictory: a number of occasions when Obama avoided making hard choices," The Rothenberg Political Report says.

* "Obama spent more (taxpayer) money on trips than any other first-term senator," CBS2 says.

* A little while back on Week in Review, just catching up.

Channel 7 political reporter Andy Shaw: [Obama] is testy For someone who has benefited from the most hype driven rise to the top of anyone I've seen in years . . . he's gonna have to show a much tougher hide . . . he's prickly and oversensitive . . . coddled by the media for so long.

Air Wars
Airfare deals too good to be true. Or not.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Probably on your side.


Posted on May 9, 2007

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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