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The [Thursday] Papers

I'll be attending to various unpleasant tasks and chores today. The Papers will return on Friday. In the meantime, spend some quality time around the rest of the site. Set aside an hour or two. Treat yourself - and us.

The [Wednesday] Papers

"In New Hampshire, Clinton started raising questions about Obama's record as an Illinois state senator and in the U.S. Senate - something she decided to do only very late in the Iowa contest, thinking the press would do the job for her," Lynn Sweet writes.

"Realizing that if she had something to say she would have to say it herself, she did so more forcefully in New Hampshire, with an assist from Bill Clinton.

"The Clinton camp is determined now to start a more aggressive conversation about Obama's record - health care, energy, taxes, his work in the Senate."

Meanwhile, Sweet writes, "Obama has been saying these past days that he thought he was done being vetted. I'm not so sure where he got the notion that there was a place called 'done' in a big presidential contest."

Bizarro Primary
"Two extraordinary speeches," NBC anchor domo Brian Williams said after Obama and Clinton had spoken last night.

Huh? Were we watching the same speeches?

There was one extraordinary speech, and it was Obama's.

Read more in my Mystery Primary Theater journal.

Let The Vetting Begin
* "Presidential candidate Barack Obama's victory speech Thursday referenced universal health care in Illinois," the Daily Herald reports. "The comment has had many scratching their heads, since Illinois doesn't have universal health care."

* "A new television spot for Obama doctored the audio of a speech made in November to delete the phrase where Obama says lobbyists 'will not get a job in my White House,'" the Sun-Times reports near the end of this piece.

Not a new tactic.

* "Meanwhile, on NBC's Meet the Press, host Tim Russert was grilling Obama over a debatable claim in one of his television spots that his health insurance plan will 'cover everyone,'" Sweet also reported.

"Clinton and Edwards have health insurance plans with mandates. Obama's does not - his relies more on market forces and government bullying to lower the costs of insurance. It has been a big issue.

"Obama sidestepped whether his spot was a stretch. He said that under his plan, if people waited to buy insurance until they got sick, they should pay a penalty."

She Didn't Cry
* "It's worth asking why, precisely, their national-media counterparts pounced on the Clinton story with such speed, ferocity, and, occasionally, thinly veiled glee," the Columbia Journalism Review campaign desk writes.

Welcome aboard, fellow media critics!

* As Bob Somerby might ask, is our press corps human?

* Hillary Clinton's raw deal, and Obama's unremarked upon moment.

* It's turning into a media trend! TNR: Has Clinton Gotten a Raw Deal?


NOTE: As I told a friend - again - yesterday, I'm not defending Hillary Clinton, I'm defending journalism.


* "The journalistic scrutiny usually visited on instant front-runners has been replaced by something akin to a standing ovation," Howard Kurtz writes!

* John Kass apologizes for calling Hillary a bitch.

* "If our media stars ceased spewing the type of worthless (though destructive) chatter that (when directed at Hillary Clinton) has been more apparent in the last week than it has been for a long time, they'd be left with nothing to do," the estimable Glenn Greenwald writes.

Hear Them Roar
"The woman in question became a lawyer after some years as a community organizer, married a corporate lawyer and is the mother of two little girls, ages 9 and 6. Herself the daughter of a white American mother and a black African father - in this race-conscious country, she is considered black - she served as a state legislator for eight years, and became an inspirational voice for national unity," Gloria Steinem wrote in the New York Times on Tuesday.

"Be honest: Do you think this is the biography of someone who could be elected to the United States Senate? After less than one term there, do you believe she could be a viable candidate to head the most powerful nation on earth?"

Curfew Crazy
"Kids under 17 would have to be off Chicago streets by 10 p.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. on weekends under a curfew rollback proposed Tuesday by Mayor Daley to stop the epidemic of youth violence," the Sun-Times reports.

"To those who will resist, the mayor's message was simple: 'If I save one child, it's all worth the criticism,' he said."

So why not roll it back even further and save even more lives?

"The mayor wouldn't explain exactly how he fixed on resetting the curfew clock by just 30 minutes, though, except to say it was 'common sense,'" the Tribune reports.

Of course, the unanswered question is the most important one: Do curfews work?

"On Tuesday, Daley said that in the year after [a 2006] crackdown, 398 fewer young people under the curfew age were crime victims."

In the same time period, however, there were fewer crime victims of all ages. That's a useless figure unless we have something to compare it to. And during that same time, police issued 25,947 curfew citations last year. (And wouldn't it be interesting to find out where those citations were issued by neighborhood and race?)

I'm not sure government has any business mandating curfews. But when it does, it ought to have more facts on its side than Daley has presented so far. Or we could just pen kids in after dinner and leave it at that.

Police Pushovers
The Sun-Times editorial page is impressed with incoming police chief Jody Weis because he has such bold plans for the department as making Chicago safer! He even wants to drink coffee with cops at 2 a.m. and go on runs with them at the police academy! You're hired!

The Beachwood Tip Line: Curfew unenforced.


Posted on January 10, 2008

MUSIC - Who's Next In Chicago Rap.
TV - Tribune-Nexstar Deal Is Bad News.
POLITICS - Big Soda Hates You.
SPORTS - The Ex-Cub Factor.

BOOKS - Wright Brothers, Wrong Story!

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - The Bad News About Human Nature.

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