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The [Wednesday] Papers

"Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed records from Gov. Rod Blagojevich's campaign fund as part of a sweeping corruption investigation into whether top aides and advisers exchanged state business and jobs for political support," the Tribune reports today atop its front page.

Here's the part I like.

"On Tuesday, Blagojevich offered a rare opportunity for news media interviews. The administration refused an interview request from a Tribune reporter who rejected the condition that the questions remain solely about the governor's budget proposal."

Damn straight. That's newspaperin'!

And it gets better.

"In March, following a meeting with the Tribune editorial board, Blagojevich sidestepped a question about whether he had been interviewed by federal authorities since 2005, saying he wasn't at the meeting to discuss those matters but would set up a time to do so later.

"'I'm happy to make an appointment to talk to you guys about that,' said. 'But I feel real good about all the different things that we do because we follow the rules and we do things right and at the end of the day, as they say in the Bible, the truth shall set you free. The truth is what it is. And the truth is we do things right.'"

"But in the weeks and months that followed, as the Tribune pressed for the sit-down interview, the administration declined."

Nation's Worst Governor?
"[Sen. James] Meeks is yet another member of Blagojevich's own ruling party who 'can't figure out [this governor] to save my life,'" Carol Marin reports.

That's Todd!
* "What's the biggest challenge facing Cook County right now? The $500 million budget deficit? Layoffs and cutbacks? Management of the county juvenile detention center? Nope. Board President Todd Stroger said Monday it is the media," the Daily Southtown reports.

* "Cook County Board President Todd Stroger has another high-level advisor: Sean Howard, who just months ago resigned in embarrassment from the Stroger campaign because he'd been arrested for allegedly stalking a girlfriend," the Sun-Times reports. "Howard, 39, is the new director of public affairs for the county hospital system."

The job pays $85,000 a year.

"Stroger insisted last year that Howard would have no role with his campaign after his arrest."

Well, at least by waiting until after the election to bring Howard back in the fold, Stroger didn't break a campaign promise.

Best News of the Day
"Chicago's largest philanthropic organization, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, announced Tuesday that it will invest $26 million during the next five years to help redevelop 16 of the city's lowest-income neighborhoods," the Tribune reports.

"The New Communities Program seeks to revitalize beleagured neighborhoods and preserve the diversity of others in the path of gentrification, officials said."

Best Campaign Ad So Far
Goes to Bill Richardson.

"Michelle Obama resigned her position as director of TreeHouse Foods on Tuesday, ending the relationship with the Wal-Mart supplier that had threatened to become a problem for the presidential campaign of her husband, Sen. Barack Obama," the Tribune reports.

Black Crack
"In 2002, angry shareholders confronted Conrad Black about controversial multimillion-dollar payments that he and other Hollinger International Inc. executives had received from the sale of newspaper assets. He fired back, calling them idiots," the Tribune reports in its continuing coverage of Black's trial in federal court here.

Black, the paper reports, also "brushed aside their complaints as 'nonsense,' 'foolish', and a 'scandalous slanderfest.'"

Separation of Powers
Here's a silly thought: Maybe the mayor should have absolutely nothing to do with naming city council committee chairpersons.

Simpsons Sagacity
* Rupert Murdoch's secret.

* How to submit a script to The Simpsons.

Taxi Twist
Business writer Bob Reed suggests our cabs go hybrid in exchange for that fare increase.

I'm confused. Is it still spring training? Because the Cubs are still deciding who their closer is, who should bat lead-off, and who should play second base, shortstop, and each outfield position.

And how long until Lou Piniella's daredevil managing has Jason Marquis in left field in the bottom of the ninth?

Earth Angel
Angel Pagan would be a decent rock band name, but Pagan Angel would be even better. For an all-girl metal group from LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

Democratic Deconstruction
While not generating much interest locally, the lead story of The New York Times today is the one in which Democrats stop pretending to have spines.

Creatures of the Abyss
How freakin' cool is this?

In Today's Reporter
* A lot more going on in that Styx rhythm section than you ever thought. In RockNotes.

* Creepiest cab ever? In Taxi Cab Journal.

* Women who magically fart on command. In What I Watched Last Night.

* E-mails to Al Gore. A Beachwood exclusive.

The Beachwood Tip Line: A life raft to sanity.


Posted on May 23, 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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