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The [Friday] Papers

"Obama calls for end to 'partisan games' at 50th birthday bash," CNN reports.


"Working mainly behind the scenes, the Obama campaign, which does not need to worry about a primary challenge, is already at work planting seeds of doubt about his potential opponent, whomever that may be," the Los Angeles Times reports.

"Dozens of staffers, including a rapid-response team at party headquarters in Washington and researchers at the president's Chicago campaign office, monitor statements by leading Republican candidates and strike back, often within minutes. Their work is supplemented by a new Washington-based 'super PAC,' American Bridge 21st Century. It employs 15 video 'trackers' who record Republican campaign events around the country and ship the results to a war room in Washington that employs 25 people and can provide the footage to other pro-Obama organizations.

"Super PACS are groups that can raise and spend unlimited amounts on behalf of a candidate, as long as they don't coordinate directly with the campaign. One such group, Priorities USA, created by two former Obama White House aides, has already run TV attack ads against Romney."


"Republicans have used the new rules to pump millions in untraceable funds into elections," Talking Points Memo reports. "President Obama has attacked the ruling, and Democrats have sought to make it a campaign issue. At the same time, Priorities USA seeks to level the financial playing field by engaging in the same sort of anonymous unlimited spending the Democrats publicly deride."


"We can't expect to solve our problems if all we do is tear each other down," Obama said in a speech in May 2010 as well as throughout the 2008 campaign when he promised a different kind of politics.

Obama's Wars
"Last year, Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post reported that U.S. Special Operations forces were deployed in 75 countries, up from 60 at the end of the Bush presidency," Nick Turse writes for Salon.

"By the end of this year, U.S. Special Operations Command spokesman Colonel Tim Nye told me, that number will likely reach 120. 'We do a lot of traveling - a lot more than Afghanistan or Iraq," he said recently. This global presence - in about 60 percent of the world's nations and far larger than previously acknowledged - provides striking new evidence of a rising clandestine Pentagon power elite waging a secret war in all corners of the world."

Beachwood Tweet
Left calls for original birth certificate; believes Obama was really born a Republican.

How Obama (And Rahm) Blew It
Stimulus bill was a sign of things to come.

Mark Kirk's Spotless Mind
From our junior senator's interview on Monday with Fox News's Neil Cavuto:

CAVUTO: How and why did it come to this brink and the credibility both sides have suffered in the interim?

KIRK: I think this was a 40-day, very tough battle that changed 40 years of overspending and borrowing. It may stretch back to when LBJ decided to run the Vietnam War without a tax increase, then exploding under both the Bush and Obama administrations with the catastrophic failure of stimulus. And so I think we need to make a change, but it's 40 years of culture we're changing just in 40 days here.


Um, Senator Kirk, the federal government had a $128 billion surplus when George W. Bush entered office in 2001. So no need to go back 40 years. Eleven will suffice.


The Sun-Times, though, thought Kirk put it well.


From that editorial:

"Between now and Thanksgiving, as the debate rages over spending cuts vs. revenue increases, let's remember what we're really arguing about:

"Should the wealthy be asked to pay their fair share?

"And do we still want a middle class?"

Funny how the poor have disappeared from our discourse even as their ranks keep growing.

Emerging Narrative
"On healthcare, for instance, Obama passed a Heritage Foundation-inspired bailout of the private health insurance industry, all while undermining other more-progressive proposals," David Sirota writes for Salon. "On foreign policy, he escalated old wars and initiated new ones. On civil liberties, he not only continued the Patriot Act and indefinite detention of terrorism suspects but also claimed the right to assassinate American citizens without charge.

"On financial issues, he fought off every serious proposal to reregulate banks following the economic meltdown; he preserved ongoing bank bailouts; and he resisted pressure to prosecute Wall Street thieves. On fiscal matters, after extending the Bush tax cuts at a time of massive deficits, he has used the debt ceiling negotiations to set the stage for potentially massive cuts to Social Security and Medicare - cuts that would be far bigger than any of his proposed revenue increases.

"As hideous and destructive as it is, this record is anything but weak. It is, on the contrary, demonstrable proof of Obama's impressive political muscle, especially because polls show he has achieved these goals despite the large majority of Americans who oppose them."

Obama Pals Around With Economic Terrorists
Grassroots not really his thing. In a recent NPR interview, President Obama was asked if he has a special responsibility to Black people and he gave his standard he's the president of everyone answer. Do you think that he does, given that community's economic state?

Cornel West: I think that every citizen in a democracy has a moral obligation to be concerned about the weak and vulnerable and the president of the United States is a citizen. When he says he has the exact same responsibility to every member of society, I just say it's not true, he's lying. It's clear that he has more commitment to investment banks than he does to poor people.


Welcome aboard, Cornel! Took you a long time to get here . . .

Richard Roeper Demands "K-Cav" Put On Bra
"In the meantime, Cavallari was caught on camera walking her dog and flipping off the paparazzi, bouncing around braless, wearing a short skirt to a popular L.A. club - you know, the usual things a girl does right after the engagement has been called off," Richard Roeper wrote this week.

First, her dog isn't going to walk itself. And second, I didn't know that there was something inappropriate about a heartbroken woman not wearing a bra and going out with her friends.


Roeper Index: 8.9

The Roeper Index is an algorithm created by Google engineers that estimates the time he has spent writing each day's column while waiting at an airport gate for a flight or perhaps dictating via Bluetooth while driving to a poker game multiplied by the staleness of each item's theme and the lack of originality commenting thereupon. The resulting number is then divided by the lameness level of his jokes and subtracted from his salary.

Why The Cubs Stood Pat
Each Cub, in his own way, proved indispensable.

The Week in WTF
Ahem, ComEd, we can hear you . . .

The Week in Chicago Rock
Wasn't that great, frankly.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Bouncing braless.


Posted on August 5, 2011

MUSIC - Madonna vs. Moderna.
TV - Sundays With The Military-Industrial Complex.
POLITICS - Private Equity In The ER.
SPORTS - Suspicious Betting Trends In Soccer.

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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