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The [Wednesday] Papers

The provision in the gambling expansion bill now before the General Assembly that would reimburse a star-studded cast of political insiders for their lost investment in the failed Emerald Casino has been removed, and the excessive cash the legislation would deliver to Chicago State University has been trimmed back. But this is a bill that keeps on giving. Call it an Emil Jones Special.

Carol Marin writes this morning that "The proposed legislation provides for four new casino licenses, one of which would be for the south suburbs, specifically designated to be within 'eight miles from the Indiana border.'"

You don't need to consult Mapquest to figure it out. As Marin notes, the town of Dolton, ruled over by the notorious Shaw brothers, fits the bill.

"And the Shaws still have powerful friends in high places, not the least of whom is Senate President Emil Jones, an ardent fan of gaming, a 30-year friend of the twins, and a ferocious supporter of a south suburban casino location," Marin writes.

"There is plenty of concern down in Springfield that the Brothers Shaw might be holding a fistful of aces on this deal."

State Sen. James Meeks (D-Chicago) confronted Jones, Marin reports.

"Jones told him, 'This would not be a Dolton boat.' Was that assurance enough for Meeks that a riverboat is not going to Dolton? 'I am not convinced it's not,' was the senator's grim response."

Ebert's Bad Review
John Kass weighs in on the casino legislation from Hapless Taxpayer World, focusing on the now-disappeared Emerald investor bailout.

"Another investor is Chaz Ebert," Kass writes, "wife of the renowned Sun-Times movie critic Roger Ebert. I wanted to feel sorry for her too. Then one day, after one of my columns ran on another bailout attempt, she called to complain about my tone, while she was en route to the French Riviera."

Party Pattern
Funny how state and national Democrats could hardly have been given a better opportunity to lead following the George Ryan Era here in Illinois and the historically failed Bush Administration in Washington, and in both cases they have fumbled it away.

Kucinich-Paul is looking better all the time.

Corporate Ruling Party
"The four-figure checks taxied into Rep. Jerry Costello's campaign account in the final weeks of the 2006 congressional elections: $5,000 from American Airlines, $3,000 from United, $1,000 each from Delta, Southwest and a trade group for private jet ownership. Together, they could have funded a few television commercials and helped in a tight race," the Tribune reports.

"Too bad Costello was running unopposed."

Barack Obama released his health care plan on Tuesday and its hardly an exercise in transcendence.

"The presidential candidate and Illinois Democrat placed himself in the center of his party's mainstream with a plan that relies heavily on the promise of cost savings through a big investment in technology," the Tribune reports.

Um, technology to come up with a better plan?

"He's talking about something that takes the existing system and makes it work," a Harvard professor of health policy told the Tribune.

On what planet?

"Like Edwards, Obama would preserve the current employer-based health insurance system and so reduce the risk of stirring opposition from those who are satisfied with their health coverage," the Tribune says.

Like senators and their major benefactors.

"The financing of Obama's plan depends heavily on often-elusive cost savings, which he said would result in the average family saving $2,500 a year in insurance premiums," the Tribune reports.

Problem solved.

Charlestown Chief
Sun-Times sports columnist Greg Couch has lunch with Steve Carlson of Slap Shot fame - "You know, the guy who beat up the Coke machine because the ''[expletive] machine took my quarter," Couch writes.

Be a Patriot
Smoke the weasel out.

O'Hare Syndrome
"Canadian National Railway Co. chief executive Hunter Harrison voiced frustration over the congestion his freight trains have been experiencing in Chicago, saying he did not see things improving at North America's largest rail interchange hub any time soon," the Financial Post reports.

"The outspoken Tennessee born chief executive said moving goods from the south side of Chicago to the north side sometimes takes as long as it would to move them to Winnipeg, while speaking to a group of analysts in Toronto yesterday."

Product Placement of the Day
A new restaurant in Darien!

PR Arms
It's no coincidence that when NBC Nightly News broadcasts from Chicago on Thursday the show will include a profile of Michelle Obama. The campaign has been spoon-feeding Michelle Obama profiles nationwide as part of its media strategy. Even the most vaunted of media outlets happily go along; seeing as how they have no strategy of their own, they're thrilled to have one provided for them.

25 Strikes and You're Out
Why is this man still driving?

Dumb Cubs
Both the Sun-Times and Tribune take up the continued stupidity of the Cubs today without getting to real issue: The fact that general manager Jim Hendry has made a habit of acquiring players lacking in baseball smarts (not to mention fielding skills).

Michael Barrett, Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, Jacques Jones, Matt Murton, Cesar Izturis, Mark DeRosa . . . these guys and those before them didn't come out of the Cubs crappy farm system - a problem in its own right - but were brought in by Hendry.

And after an off-season spending spree, what does it say when manager Lou Piniella says of using a set lineup every day, "I don't think we have that type of situation"?

It says Hendry spent $300 million and still didn't give his manager a starting lineup.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Scouts?


Posted on May 30, 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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