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The [Thursday] Papers

As usual, local media coverage fails to give you anywhere near the flavor of last night's debate in Philadelphia between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

That's why we have Mystery Debate Theater!

Few people, including the media, seem to care much about actual facts, but the facts from last night are these: Obama had a terrible night, not only because he seemed despondent for some unknown reason, but because he was caught several times making statements that simply were not true.

Is that important?

Not to our intrepid pundit class.

Take Obama courtier Eric Zorn.

"Never mind whether [Clinton] has a good point about Obama's recent remarks in California (I think she does; they made me cringe) or whether a full-frontal trashing of Obama is her best hope to pull off a comeback win for the nomination (it probably is).

"If criticism for the Cling Thing becomes the bludgeon that kills Obama's candidacy, Clinton should not - must not - have her fingerprints all over it. Yet she does."

Never mind whether she makes a good point! She should cover her tracks better!

Of course, of all the voices yammering about Obama's comments about bitter Pennyslvanians, Clinton's has been about the softest.

"Should she happen to win the nomination, Obama backers will remember how she did it. They may not vote for McCain, but many of them will likely sit on their wallets during the campaign and sit on their couches on election day, too angry with Clinton to support her in any way."

Really? The hope and change people? But that's not what Obama said last night. Was he lying? Would he not plead with his supporters to put a Democrat into the White House? And vice versa isn't true? Many people paying closer attention than most won't forgive Obama for playing the race card and blaming the Clintons.

"Is Obama all sunshine and optimisim and positive messages? No. Neither is he running 'Liar, Liar Pantsuit on Fire!' ads about Clinton's 'sniper' fables and her husband's appalling fibs trying to excuse her mendacity."

Liar, Liar Pantsuit on Fire. That's the elevated discourse the Obama campaign has brought us.

Of course, there have been plenty of problematic Obama ads. And Obama has his own record of fibbing.

But as Bob Somerby often writes, only one side fibs when you've chosen sides.

"He's not running ads hammering the Clintons for their big-money connections to lobbyists and foreign interests, for her slippery positions on trade or for the airport luggage carousel full of unpacked baggage from the 1990s that the Republican attack machine is itching to open up."


Connections to big-money lobbyists and foreign interests? Slippery positions on trade? Unpackaged baggage from the 1990s Republican hit machine? Do you mean this baggage, or are you just dying to mention Bill's blowjobs?

Bridgeport Bullies
They're praying for Robert Sorich and Patrick Slattery in Bridgeport.

"They're my friends and I will try to help their families," says Ald. James Balcer (11th).

Will he also try to help the families of those whom Sorich and Slattery screwed?


"The Rev. Dan Brandt led prayers at Nativity for the two 'as we would for anyone who's been a victim of any type of miscarriage or error, and for anyone who's sick or going away to the hospital or going away to this kind of thing. It's just sad.'"

So, Rev. Brandt, you believe the prosecutors, jury, judge and appellate court were all wrong?

"He said parishioners are 'hoping something will be reversed in the future and come out right."

So, Rev. Brandt, you don't have a problem with giving city jobs to dead people?

"But for now, they'll go where they're sent. They're obeying as a sheep would his shepherd. But usually the shepherd has the best in mind for their sheep. That doesn't seem to be the case here."

Well, if the shepherd is Mayor Daley, I see what you mean.


"[Daley] wouldn't take questions about it Wednesday."

He was too busy tending to his flock.


"Asked if she expected [Sorich] to cooperate and tell secrets he may know, [Marge] Mossman scoffed.

"Robert will never talk," she said. "He'll take it to the grave."

But the mayor is always screaming at neighborhood folk to snitch to the cops, so I'm sure he's told Sorich to give up the goods.

Beachwood Flashback: "Anderson Cooper recently broadcast a special report called "Stop Snitchin'" on 60 Minutes about the code of silence among Chicago police officials with knowledge of torture and abuse in the department, as well as a segment on the likes of former Daley patronage chief Robert Sorich, convicted of running a massively fraudulent City Hall hiring scheme. The coup de grace was when Cooper confronted Daley about his refusal to reveal who hired Angelo Torres.

"Oh wait. That wasn't what the show was about at all. It was about poor black people in the 'hood who don't like to cooperate with the police."

Today's Worst Person in Chicago
"It made me feel good. It made us feel good because we don't want to be the favorite," Chicago 2016 chief Pat Ryan said upon learning that Chicago is not among the front-runners.

In fact, Ryan hopes Chicago isn't even a finalist; that would be a death blow.

The Beachwood Tip Line: A fan favorite.


Posted on April 17, 2008

MUSIC - Lyric Opera Strike Settled.
POLITICS - USA Today's Op-Ed Disaster.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Come On, Vic!

BOOKS - Chicago Book Haul: The Dial.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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