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The [Thursday] Papers

As Phil Ponce put it, Barack Obama made a "rare" appearance before Chicago reporters on Wednesday, and he made a challenge to the locals that they failed.

"You will recall that for my entire political career here, basically, I was not the the endorsed candidate of any political organization here. That I didn't go around wielding a bunch of clout. That my reputation in Springfield was as an independent. And my reputation here was also as somebody who would to try to work with everybody. There is no doubt I had friends and continue to have friends who come out of the more traditional school of Chicago politics but that's not what launched my political career and that's not what I've ever depended on in order to get elected and I would challenge any Chicago reporter to dispute that basic fact."

Ooh, ooh! Me! Me!

"But you once told Emil Jones that he could make you a United States Senator. And you exchanged endorsements with Richard M. Daley - whom your wife once worked for - and your political career here was funded by Tony Rezko. You also endorsed the organization candidate over the reformer every single time and never spoke out against 'the more traditional school of Chicago politics', by which you mean 'corrupt,' or led an independent or reform movement. In fact, while traveling around America as the candidate of change, you recently told the Tribune editorial board that you would leave criticism of Chicago corruption up to others, like John Kass."

Not a single reporter said anything even close to that. In fact, in the video of this exchange I saw on Chicago Tonight, no reporter responded to Obama's challenge.

But the Sun-Times has an entire page today about what's on Obama's iPod, another half-page about good luck charms he and others carry in their pockets, and Obama's response to Ralph Nader's ridiculous proposition that Obama is "talking white" to appeal to voters.

Public Service Announcement
I suppose now I have to disclaim to my more sensitive readers that I am not supporting John McCain for president, just as I did not support Hillary Clinton in the primary. Nor did I support Obama. I support reporters doing their jobs, politicians telling the truth, and citizens thinking rationally without blinders.

"Obama showcased a pocketful of trinkets to reporters in New Mexico on Tuesday" - Tuesday! - "including a lucky poker chip, an American eagle pen, and a small gold statue of a Hindu monkey god, which he said represented his faith in luck and voters," the Sun-Times reports today.

Setting the Hindu monkey god aside, does Obama also employ an astrologist?

Barack's Blarney
"I think one thing about Chicago is that people try to get stuff done for their constituents."

Um, is this the start of a George Carlin joke?

"I do think that there is a non-ideological approach to Chicago."

Yes. There are no Republicans here and Cook County Democrats have no ideology.

"It's not unique to Chicago, I think it's Midwestern in some way."

Right. Chicago politics is very similar to, oh, let's say politics in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa . . .

Policy Wonk
By the way, in case you didn't notice, Barack Obama supports the death penalty, which came up yesterday. And just to remind you, he's against gay marriage - on religious grounds. The right-wing notion that Obama is some sort of ultra-liberal or even radical is absurd, just as it was with folks like Michael Dukakis, Bill Clinton and Howard Dean. More importantly, liberals should understand that Obama is a centrist, and that includes his positions on the economy.

More Change
From today's Quick Takes:

"News Item (2007): Barack Obama says he will filibuster against an updating of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that includes legal immunity for phone companies that helped carry out domestic spying without court permission.

"News Item (2008): Barack Obama says he will vote for an updating of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that includes legal immunity for the phone companies.

"Or do you have something against the politics of change?"

Left Flank
The liberal netroots are livid about Obama's FISA vote, by the way, but you'd never know it was even an issue by reading the local press. If only it was on his iPod.

Along with campaign finance reform, meeting with dictators and his record in Illinois, Obama is ceding flip-flop territory to McFlipFlop himself.

Getting Things Done
"A longtime city contractor and boyhood friend of Mayor Richard Daley was the winning bidder for industrial property owned by the developers of Bridgeport Village, a luxury housing development that fell out of favor with City Hall and ended up in bankruptcy," the Tribune reports today.

"In July 2004, state pension board member Allison S. Davis voted to turn over as much as $100 million in state workers' retirement cash to an investment management firm. Months after it won the lucrative deal at Davis' urging, that investment firm hired Davis," the Sun-Times reports today.

"Davis is a 67-year-old lawyer and real estate developer with long ties to Mayor Daley and Sen. Barack Obama, as well as to the governor.

"He served on the Chicago Plan Commission and, with his former law firm, Davis Miner Barnhill & Galland, was a boss to Obama early in the presidential hopeful's career."

For Constituents
"City Hall's inspector general is investigating whether Richard Daley's budget director fully reimbursed the city for the cost of a shower installed in the director's office in February," the Tribune reports today.

Beliefs You Can Change
"The Obama campaign, getting ready for an expected Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of Washington, D.C.'s gun control legislation, reverses a statement it put out last year that the ban was constitutional," Politico reports today.

Fair Warning
From an impassioned Obama supporter.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Your local change agency.


Posted on June 26, 2008

MUSIC - A Plan To Pay Musicians.
TV - Jonathan Pie: Back To School.
POLITICS - 5 Things An Angry Old White Man Wants To Say.
SPORTS - Triple Crown Tomato.

BOOKS - How The Post Office United America.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Premature Ejaculation Market Exploding Quickly.

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