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The [Monday] Papers

City, county, and state offices will be closed today in honor of Barack Obama's presidential candidacy. In a symbolically-timed gesture, it's also Lincoln's Birthday.


* JUST IN: Obama Speaks.

* The Obama Kool-Aid Report.

* Lincoln vs. Obama.

* Barack Obama (D-Daley).

* The Trouble With Obama.


Slow Zone
The fix isn't in at the CTA. If only they'd listen to their customers.

Wildcat Strike
"Getting Into NU Just Got Tougher," the Tribune reports.

And this is a good thing? Slicing elitism ever thinner? Boosting credentialism even further? Creating a tyrannical ruling class of rich dorks?

"Northwestern applicants still are required to also write one of four essay questions and two shorter statements unique to the university. (One of this year's statements was: 'If you could pose for a formal oil portrait in the style of Hans Holbein's 'The Ambassadors,' what possessions would surround you and why?')

Not that everyone has to be able to answer such a ridiculous question. You could be a legacy. How do you think George W. Bush got into Yale?

In an excerpt that ran in the Sun-Times on Sunday from his book The Price of Admission, Daniel Golden writes "These preferences of privilege amount to nothing less than affirmative action for rich white people," pointing out that Al Gore and Bill Frist had "middling grades" and yet "both were admitted ahead of thousands of stellar candidates to their first and only choices, two of the nation's best and most selective universities, Frist to Princeton and Gore to Harvard , where their fathers had gone before them."

When it gets tougher to get into schools like Northwestern, it only makes schools like Northwestern that much less appealing to anyone interested in a well-rounded college experience. And that includes what happens in the classroom.

Dawn Patrol
"I am more and more convinced that African Americans and whites occupy two different perceptual worlds," the Trib's Dawn Turner Trice writes this morning.

Welcome to America! Just get in?

Council Counsel
Refreshingly, the Tribune endorses five challengers to sitting aldermen today, including Sandi Jackson.

Fran Spielman Too
"New York Times Reveals 'Reporter' Michael Gordon Actually Voice-Activated Tape Recorder."

"According to Jill Abramson, the paper's Managing Editor, Gordon was purchased for $27.95 at a Radio Shack on West 43rd Street. Describing the situation as 'a prank' that had 'gotten slightly out of hand,' Abramson said the paper had decided to acknowledge Gordon's identity because - after the tape recorder's front page story today, 'Deadliest Bomb in Iraq Is Made by Iran, U.S. Says' - there 'was no place left to take the joke.'

"[Executive Editor Bill] Keller described how he and Abramson 'really had a good laugh' while editing the Iran story, which is based on the following sourcing:

"'U.S. Says...United States intelligence asserts....reflects broad agreement among American intelligence agencies...civilian and military officials from a broad range of government agencies provided...military officials say...The officials said...The assessment was described in interviews over the past several weeks with American officials...Administration officials said...according to the intelligence...According to American intelligence...Some American intelligence experts believe...they assert...notes a still-classified American intelligence report...a senior administration official said...according to Western officials...Officials said...An American intelligence assessment described to The New York Times said...Other officials believe...American military officers say...American officials say...According to American intelligence agencies...Assessments by American intelligence agencies say...Marine officials say...American intelligence agencies are concerned...Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last week.'

"You can't deny that's funny," said Keller, adding that the lack of skepticism displayed by Gordon was "literally inhuman."

Comment from SPIDERWEB: Well that explains why he never answers my emails.

Five Golden Rings
Eithne McMenamin of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless has a question about the Olympics that no one else seems interested in investigating (last item).

Creation Conspiracies
A Sun-Times story on Sunday purports to explain "Why Conspiracy Nuts Persist" in this day and age. It ain't nothing new. Aren't the world's religions the greatest conspiracy theories of them all?

Grammy Notes
Anyone who thinks the Grammys represent the best music in the land is an idiot. As I've said often, there are more than five records/bands/songs coming out of Chicago each year easily superior to the dreck nominated for Grammy awards.

As pointed out by Jim DeRogatis, the roots of the Grammy awards are anti-rock.

As DeRo points out, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones never won a Grammy in the 1960s, Help! lost Album of the Year to Anita Kerr Group's We Dig Mancini.

In 1968, Bobby Russell's "Little Green Apples" won Song of the Year. As Rolling Stone magazine points out - not that they have a great track record either - that was the year of "Sittin' On The Dock of the Bay," "Sympathy for the Devil" and "Helter Skelter."

In 1976, the Starland Vocal Band was the big winner. Not Patti Smith, the Sex Pistols, the Ramones, or Miles Davis.

In 1982, Toto IV won Album of the Year. Not 1999 or Nebraska.

These aren't just convenient exceptions. The Grammys suck, but the industry behind them is held to account about as much as the war pundits who still have their jobs and like to make the occasional Howard Dean crack.

Rolling Stone or Onion?
"This was up there with the Pontiac Silverdome Show in '76. Excellent."

- Chuck LeVack, 48, Marion, NC, on the Bob Seger's January appearance at Bobcats Arena in Charlotte

Christian Colt
Rick Telander gets it right on Tony Dungy's intolerable comments.

Unhired Trucks
"City Tow Trucks Stolen."

"So far, police said they've had no reports of unauthorized towing."

Office Boy
Josh Golden, a high school senior in suburban Chicago, made a video spoof of the NBC series The Office that drew praise not only from those attending his school's film festival, but from the real show's producers. They liked it, and him, so much that they offered him an internship with the show," The New York Times reports (second item).

You can get a Sweetheart of a Deal at American Mattress. Sale ends at 9 p.m. the 13th, though.

Shaky Platform
The CTA denies an icy platform is to blame for the death of a man who apparently slipped onto the tracks. Maybe, but crowded icy platforms have been disasters waiting to happen for years, and if the CTA wants to deny that we might as well just shut down the whole operation.

Strike Force
The Boston police should be the ones resigning.

Planet Mellencamp
Johnny Cougar tells Rolling Stone, "First of all, the thought that an album can be tainted because of overexposure is crazy."

And yet, so true.

Dirty Daley
I didn't know this until I saw Emerson Rose's letter to the Trib, but in 2005 Reader's Digest named Chicago America's Dirtiest City.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Clean and articulate.


Posted on February 12, 2007

MUSIC - Riding Illinois' Storm Out.
TV - How White Republicans See BLM.
POLITICS - Car Wash Workers Finally Win.
SPORTS - Cubs Screwing FO - And Themselves.

BOOKS - How Comics Make Sounds.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Illinois Caverns Reopening After 10 Years.

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