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The [Friday] Papers

Thanks to the Internet, you can read the same news Pakistanis read.

- "A Dream Snuffed Out."
- From Pakistan's most widely circulated English newspaper

And thanks to Google News, without which I wouldn't have found this, just as one example.

- "The deeply disturbing assassination Thursday of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has the effect of a boulder crashing down a mountainside. Whether it will trigger a landslide in this volatile region remains to be seen, and tragically there is not much more the U.S. can do but observe, and perhaps regret the climate it helped create there," Maine's Bangor Daily News says in an editorial.

"Ms. Bhutto's death recalls the assassinations 40 years ago of presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. But despite the depth of those terrible losses, most Americans clung to their belief in our democracy and its rule of law, and remained confident the assassinations would not tip political power toward one faction. Pakistanis are not so fortunate."

All news is now both local and international. That's the new reality.

The Audacity of Axelrod
The Obama campaign changes the tone.

Hometown Hole
The discussion about Obama that isn't taking place in Chicago.

1. "What a disappointment Barack Obama has become," David Zephyr writes in heavily commented post on Democratic Underground.

"You know, I winced at Senator Obama's brazen insult to my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters last month and bit my tongue as his staff flat out lied to the the gay community regarding the extent of a role a terrible homophobe played in his events. The guy that was to represent a 'new' politics showed us that he also had a talent and an inclination for playing 'old' politics when it suited him.

"But, for me, this time, Mr. Obama really went too far with his gratutious and completely uncalled for insult to such a great American as Tom Hayden who was fighting for Civil Rights, being beaten and jailed for Civil Rights when Baby Barack was shitting in his diaper."

2. "Barack, I thought Hillary Clinton was known as the Great Triangulator, but you are learning well," Tom Hayden writes on The Huffington Post in "An Appeal To Barack Obama."

3. "Every now and then in American politics, normally balanced people get swept up by delusions of greatness about a presidential candidate, based on an emotional attachment to the candidate's oratory or image. The youthful William Jennings Bryan brought down the house and swept up the nomination with his famous 'Cross of Gold' speech at the Democratic National Convention in 1896 - only to be crushed by the dreary William McKinley in November," Sean Wilentz writes in for The New Republic in "The Delusional Style in American Punditry."

"Political journalists have never been immune to the delusional style. But editorialists and pundits are supposed to be skeptical experts, who at least try to appear as if they base their perceptions in facts and reality. Enthusiasm for a candidate because of his or her 'intuitive sense of the world,' 'intuitive understanding,' and discovery of 'identity' - the favored terms in some recent press endorsements of Barack Obama - is presented as the product of such discerning, well-considered thinking. But it is in fact nothing more than enthusiasm, based on feelings and projections that are unattached to verifiable rational explanation or the public record."

4. "Yesterday the London Times reported central questions about Senator Obama's shocking dearth of international experience: 'Fresh doubts over Barack Obama's foreign policy credentials were expressed on both sides of the Atlantic last night, after it emerged that he had made only one brief official visit to London - and none elsewhere in Western Europe or Latin America.' It also reported: 'Mr. Obama had failed to convene a single policy meeting of the Senate European subcommittee, of which he is chairman,'" Joseph Wilson writes on Huffington Post in "The Real Hillary I know - and the Unreal Obama."

5. "Over the last few days Mr. Obama and Mr. Edwards have been conducting a long-range argument over health care that gets right to this issue. And I have to say that Mr. Obama comes off looking, well, naive," Paul Krugman writes in The New York Times in "Big Table Fantasies."

And believe me, that's just a small slice.

Bald Cap
I Had a Crush on Obama, my friend.

Season Greetings
- On the 12th day of Christmas, the Cubbies gave to me
100 years of heartbreak and futility

- This one goes out to all our Jewish friends out there.

- This one goes out to all our African-American friends out there.

Give the gift of the Beachwood! You will be rewarded in Beachwood Heaven.

Water Wussies
"Bottled-Water Tax Story Even Bigger Sham Than Bottled Water."

The Daley Show
It turns out all that foreign travel the mayor is doing isn't being paid for by taxpayers. And that's bad news. Why? Because that means what he's doing can't be justified as the public's business. Instead, he's taking corporate junkets. Riding bikes in France and visiting Milan while the governor is whacked for attending a Blackhawks game during the CTA-inflected state budget meltdown. In secret. Because the trips aren't public.

New Year's Eve Advice

Year in Review
Listen to Outside the Loop Radio at 6 p.m. tonight (WLUW-88.7 FM) for a fine and funny roundtable featuring myself, Margaret Lyons of Chicagoist and David Schalliol of Gaper's Block. This is more like how these things should go. (Thanks to Andy and Mike)

The Beachwood Tip Line: Let it be.


Posted on December 28, 2007

MUSIC - Holiday Hullabaloo.
POLITICS - Bank Profits Soaring.
SPORTS - Chicago vs. Michigan, 1903.

BOOKS - Dia De Los Muertos Stories.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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