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The Weekend Desk Report

By The Beachwood Nobel Nomination Affairs Desk

The Weekend Desk Report will not appear this weekend, what with our very own Weekend Desk Editor Natasha Julius celebrating the success of her greatest prank yet. And to think the rest of us here at Beachwood HQ thought the Nobel Peace Prize committee would never fall for her Barack Obama nomination. After all, it was written in crayon. Oh well.

The Beachwood will return on Monday.

The [Friday] Papers
I'm stunned by the Nobel Prize news too.

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But seriously, I'm fairly certain that Barack Obama himself thinks this is a crock. He may be a phony, but he's not a dummy.

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I'm reminded of Obama's statement to frenzied reporters upon his seating in the United States Senate: "I'll let you know when I actually do something."

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Why do stories about Obama's position on gay rights always omit his own statements about opposing gay marriage because of his religious beliefs?

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This just in: Lou Piniella named 2010 NL Manager of the Year by Nobel committee. Voters cite Piniella's hopes, dreams and promises for next year's Cubs as being sufficient.

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The Sun-Times says on its front page today that with new owner Jim Tyree aboard, "We will continue to fight for Chicago."

As opposed to against it?

And against who? Milwaukee?

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This just in: I just won the Nobel Prize for Medicine because I really, really, really promise to cure cancer before the end of my term.

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Maybe Tyree will invest in extension classes for his reporters and editors because, well, they need them. For example, we turn once again to our Journalism 101 textbook to instruct the Sun-Times on how to cope with simple statistics. In this case, the paper has listed how many sworn police officers the city has had in six other years as well as this one (13,500 this year; 13,366 ten years ago, etc.)

Of course, this infographic is complete without meaning. Why? Because it fails to break those numbers down to a per capita rate.

If the city has grown significantly in 10 years but has the same number of police officers, that's a bad mark against the city.

But if the city has lost population in 10 years but has the same number of police officers, well, then good for us!

It's not hard, folks. Get it together.

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Also, according to the Sun-Times, the city will use federal stimulus funds to pay overtime to 44 police officers whose shifts will be extended to cover the end of the school day.

That's a fine idea, but is that really proper use of stimulus funds? Were those delivered in block grants or something? Because that doesn't sound, um, appropriate, to me.

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Similarly:

"With $60 million in federal stimulus grant money, Mr. Huberman's plan uses a formula gleaned from an analysis of more than 500 students who were shot over the last several years to predict the characteristics of potential future victims, including when and where they might be attacked. While other big city school districts, including New York, have tried to focus security efforts on preventing violence, this plan would go further by identifying the most vulnerable students and saturating them with adult attention, including giving each of them a paid job and a local advocate who would be on call for support 24 hours a day."

I thought stimulus money was supposed to be used to, you know, stimulate the economy, mostly by creating jobs. Whatever happened to that big public works program we were promised?

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Turns out, as I and others have been saying, that the stimulus plan is really a re-election plan.

If a Republican president pulled this, liberals would be livid.

People's lives are at stake.

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Let's take up a collection and buy Dorothy Brown a new copy of Ethics for Dummies.

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Emil Jones is back - and still up to no good.

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"Chicago police have stressed Derrion's death was not gang-related," the Sun-Times reports. "He was killed in a brawl between students from Altgeld and a neighborhood closer to Fenger."

A neighborhood apparently without a name.

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Now, I'm aware of the discussion about neighborhood rivalries, and how I've been writing about gang territory and, essentially, conflating the two. I've been reading accounts both ways regarding Derrion Albert. But when we talk about youth violence in the city, we're talking about gangs. That's the structural issue.

I hope to write something further about this next week.

For now, though, I give you: The Mayor's Got Boundary Issues.

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Doing Mad Men. Watch them all. Trust me.

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What the Bears did on their bye week. In The Blue & Orange Kool-Aid Report. This is funny. Trust me.

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Our man on the rail is always a joy to read.

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20 Tweets: Bill Rancic.

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Here's what CHANGE Illinois! wants you to know.

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IjustMadeLove.com.

(I didn't, but if you did you should be aware of this resource.)

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Just like love.



Permalink

Posted on October 10, 2009


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Slow TV Chicago.
POLITICS - Dangerous, Low-Wage Industries Depend On Immigrants, Refugees.
SPORTS - Wrong Foot Louie vs. The Fireball Kid!

BOOKS - Meet Chicago's American Writers Museum.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Meet Limo Bob.


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