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Sneed: Is Joe Biden missing shutdown talks because of son’s health?

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden (right) takes walk with his father Vice President Joe Biden ScrantPa. July 4 2012.

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden (right) takes a walk with his father, Vice President Joe Biden in Scranton, Pa., on July 4, 2012. | Butch Comegys/Scranton Times-Tribune via AP

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Updated: November 16, 2013 6:22AM



The Biden beat . . .

Sneed hears Vice President Joe Biden has been eerily silent during the government shutdown — maybe because of the health of his beloved son, Beau Biden, who is the attorney general of Delaware.

◆ Backshot: Veep Biden is first and foremost a family man — and he has been dealing with the health of Beau, who was transported to Chicago from Indiana for an undisclosed illness that caused dizziness — Sneed scoop Aug. 16 — and was subsequently taken to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where he underwent a complicated biopsy of a brain mass.

◆ Upshot: Although there has been no public statement about the results of the biopsy, Beau Biden, 44, subsequently returned to work.

◆ Earshot: “AG Biden was with the Vice President at Camp David this weekend,” emailed his spokesman.

◆ End shot: But no word was forthcoming on Beau’s health.

Stay tuned.

The Tylenol case . . .

Tragedy and levity: Sept. 29 marked the 31st anniversary of the unsolved cyanide-laced Tylenol case, which resulted in the deaths of seven Chicagoans and changed the way over-the-counter medication is packaged and sold.

◆ Update: The frustrating case, which had been handled by the FBI until a few weeks ago, is now being ramrodded by local law enforcement, the Arlington Heights Police Department.

◆ “No one is throwing in the towel yet,” said Mike Hernandez, commander of criminal investigations for the Arlington Heights Police, adding that the investigation is open and remains a priority.

◆ Any new leads? “Nothing new that we’ve dug up” since taking over in September, Hernandez tells Sneed. “We’re still working with the task force, the information they developed.”

◆ Tips do still trickle in, though. “People are calling about things that don’t make sense or were already investigated,” Hernandez said.

The cancer file . . .

Truth and consequences: In case you missed it, actor Michael Douglas told the Brit talk show “This Morning” that he was treated for tongue cancer — rather than the throat cancer that garnered international headlines.

◆ Business as usual: The aging actor claims the whole truth went missing because he didn’t want anyone to know how negative the prognosis was on the eve of a press tour for his upcoming film “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.”

Gellin’ with Yellen . . .

Former U.S. Labor Secretary Lynn Martin, who served under former President George H.W. Bush, is weighing in on Janet Yellen’s nomination as the Fed chairman as the latest crack in the glass ceiling.

◆ Quoth Lynn: “The fact the best person to get that job is a woman is no surprise,” Martin told Sneed.

◆ The ceiling shot: “But in the financial field where many women have a difficult time [climbing the ladder], Yellen’s choice finally begins to make a big difference. Her management style is viewed as congenial, consultative and transparent,” said Martin. “That hasn’t always been so. Maybe that’s how the glass ceiling really gets cracked.”

Royal bunting . . .

Ho ho ho: The wealthy commoner parents of Kate Middleton, a k a the Duchess of Cambridge, have been invited by Queen Elizabeth to spend Christmas with her at her Sandringham estate . . . thereby ensuring that both sets of grandparents will be able to spend the holiday with baby Prince George.

◆ Translation; Prince William, the baby’s father, prefers spending time with the Middletons and spent Christmas with them last year.

I spy . . .

Kip Moore, country western star, had dinner at Chicago Cut on Sunday. . . . Patrick Kane,Marian Hossa, Duncan Keith, Andrew Shaw, Brandon Bollig and Nick Leddy all came in after Saturday’s game to celebrate their win . . . ditto Harvey Levin, founder of TMZ.

Sneedlings . . .

Tuesday’s birthdays: Sarah, Duchess of York, 54; Tito Jackson, 60, and Emeril Lagasse, 54.



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