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The [Friday] Papers

I don't like Pat Quinn's broken promises or the way the tax increase was pushed through in a lame-duck session, nor the actual structure of the deal, but did we need some sort of tax increase? Yes.

"Jon Stewart gets it," Rich Miller writes at his Capitol Fax Blog.

But where's the White House in all of this? (Watch the video.)

Peas in a Pod
"Daley Hails Hu As 'Man of Vision.'"


Next week: A state visit by Kim Jong-Il, a man Boeing and McDonald's would love to do business with.


"The dinner at the Chicago Hilton and Towers featured a jazz band and the political elites: Gov. Quinn, the states two U.S. senators - Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk - and Education Secretary Arne Duncan, a former CPS chief.

"Also attending were James McNerney, CEO of the Boeing Co., and the heads of Caterpillar Inc., Motorola Solutions Inc., and JP Morgan Chase. All do business in China.

"'My colleagues and I are deeply touched by the warmth of your hospitality,' Hu said as guests dined on dry aged Midwestern filet mignon, braised short rib, almond ginger tea cake and chocolate pot de creme."

Awww, a good time was had by all.

A hearty thanks to those who prepared the gift bags.


"Chinese media praised President Hu Jintao's visit to the United States on Friday as a diplomatic 'masterstroke' in easing tensions, but reports largely ignored thornier questions of currency and human rights," Reuters reports.

Here too!

"State television news channels gave blanket coverage of the ceremony of Hu's state dinner and welcome at the White House, in a reflection of China's desire for its leader to be portrayed as a valued and honored player on the world stage."

Here too!

"[B]ut some bloggers questioned Sino-U.S. relations, which have been also strained over issues ranging from U.S. arms sales to Taiwan to China's control of the Internet."

Here too!

"While Hu's awkward answer to reporters' questions about human rights was essentially ignored by Chinese media - hardly a surprise in a country that carefully stage-manages its leaders' public image - there was some oblique reference to currency issues."

Here too!


Daley: Tell me, Jintau. What's your secret?

Hu: No, you tell me. What's yours?

(Convulsive laughter.)


A newspaper with some courage might have greeted Hu with a front page asking him why he values money and power more than the lives of poor children.

But then, we could ask ourselves the same thing.


Memo to Chicago media: You don't work for the mayor's office. Embarrassing both Daley and Hu is your job if the method is asking the most important questions of men in power.


In other words, treating this as a victory lap for Daley is not in your job description. A huge journalistic opportunity missed.

Steven Spielberg Has More Votes Than You Do
"Rahm Emanuel took in an eye-popping $11.7 million for his Chicago mayoral campaign in just three months, notching big contributions from Chicago's business community, Hollywood heavyweights and other out-of-state donors," the Sun-Times reports.

"The Chicago Mercantile Exchange gave Emanuel $200,000, records released Thursday show. He also took in $100,000 apiece from wealthy Chicago businessmen James Crown and Fred Eychaner, plus another $100,000 from Hollywood mogul David Geffen, $75,000 from film director Steven Spielberg and $50,000 from Apple CEO Steve Jobs."


Rahm shouldn't run for mayor, he should be appointed fundaiser-in-chief. It'd be nice to see this money spent on our schools instead of insipid campaign commercials trying to portray Rahm as a compassionate reformer dedicated to telling hard truths.


"Though he's been criticized by his opponents for raising big bucks from outside Chicago, Emanuel's campaign said 74 percent of his 2,494 contributors live in Cook County and more than half gave him $250 or less."

Is 74 percent typical? Critics never said that most of his contributors came from outside Chicago. My guess is that most candidates raise 90 percent of their money or more inside Cook County. Besides that, the important figure is how much money comes from outside Chicago, not how many contributors. If you have 10 contributors from Chicago and two from Hollywood and the 10 give a hundred bucks each and the two give $100,000 each, would you say the critics were being unfair?

I also don't understand why it's dispositive that more than half of Rahm's contributors from Cook County gave $250 or less. Maybe this is supposed to show some sort of grassroots support, but doesn't it show that without the big bucks from Hollywood and elsewhere he wouldn't be doing that well? Doesn't it indicate a lack of local financial support?


UPDATE: 10:12 AM: From the Chicago News Cooperative:

"But the Chicago News Cooperative's analysis of the report showed that a large percentage of what Emanuel received came from a small group of his supporters. Less than 1 percent of contributors accounted for 23 percent of the total, the CNC found.

"Seventy-five donors gave at least $50,000 each. Of that group, 23 wrote checks of $100,000 or more. Eight of the six-figure checks came from out of state."

Thank you.


Bill Kurtis last night on Emanuel's fundraising: "I suppose it's impossible to know where the money came from."

Bill Kurtis, everybody.

Inside The Onion News Network
Debuts tonight on IFC.

The (Fake) Story of President O
By some anonymous asshat who has gripped Washington's shriveled imagination.

The Blue & Orange Kool-Aid Report
Blue Balls, Orange Chicken.

The Myth of Zenyatta
Oughta be renamed Costanza.

The Week in WTF
College kids, Cubs fans, and Walter Jacobson.

The Week in Chicago Rock
They played at a venue near you.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Always on the right side of history.


Posted on January 21, 2011

MUSIC - Millions Of New Guitar Players.
TV - "One America News" is AT&T.
POLITICS - When Wall Street Came To My Mobile Home Park.
SPORTS - Tonyball, Bears On The Run, Eyes On The Sky & More!

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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