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The [Tuesday] Papers

Did you know that the Chicago Blackhawks mascot is Tommy Hawk? He's portrayed as a hawk, but how offensive is the play on words?

Maybe John McDonough will fix this in his new role as Blackhawks president.

Meanwhile, the Beachwood has obtained the first draft of McDonough's marketing plan. It's really good.

Oprah Doprah
Oprah's scheduled campaign appearances for Barack Obama made page one of the Tribune today and page four of the Sun-Times, which was a big score for the campaign because page 22 of the Sun-Times featured a story about Obama's campaign that has appeared in at least three other major outlets in the last week that Obama would rather you not pay attention to.

"In the last six months, White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) used his HOPEFUND political action committee - which has accepted contributions from federal lobbyists - to make donations to Democrats in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, states with the first presidential votes in January," Lynn Sweet writes.

A perfect congruence: Oprah as the new public face of a candidate who complains about the shallow nature of our celebrified politics even as he poses for GQ and appears on The Tyra Banks Show whose backroom maneuverings exemplify the exact kind of politics he pretends he's running against. If only it were so. If only . . .

"This spending, reflected in the latest HOPEFUND report filed with the Federal Election Commission on Nov. 15, seems puzzling since Obama is making his refusal to take money from federal lobbyists and PACs in his presidential contest a centerpiece of his campaign.

"Obama did take money from federal lobbyists and PACs for his U.S. House and 2004 U.S. Senate race, his own HOPEFUND political action committee and his 2010 U.S. Senate re-election war chest. The latest report shows he is using money gained from sources he now will not touch to donate to players who could help his presidential bid."

Sweet notes that Congressional Quarterly reported last week that Obama "has been the most aggressive of presidential candidates" in using his PAC to help candidates in the early voting states.

She also notes a Washington Post report about Obama's HOPEFUND spending, which "triggered a strong response from the campaign of chief rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), which raised questions about legality of the donations.

"It is our understanding that a candidate's campaign is barred from using the candidate's leadership PAC to benefit his or her campaign, which is why we shut down HillPAC when Sen. Clinton announced her run for the White House," the Clinton campaign said in a statement."

The most delicious irony, though, was this:

"One question raised by the Clinton campaign - noting that 'Sen. Obama talks about his efforts to be transparent' - was who decided on HOPEFUND's contributions.

"Because the question was asked by the Clinton campaign, an Obama spokesman, Ben LaBolt, said he would not respond."

And if a reporter asks the question?


"Obama spokesman Joshua Earnest said there was no connection between the PAC's giving and Obama's presidential aspirations," the Post reports.

Senator Obama, why do you employ spokespeople who lie? Isn't that sort of cynical?


Here's a question to consider, with all due respect to Sweet and her prodigious work ethic: Why are the most interesting and important (and real) stories about Obama's campaign coming out of the East Coast press (and the Los Angeles Times) instead of Chicago?

Recount Regret
"Bush Welcomes Gore to Oval Office."

"It's all yours, Al."

- Tim Willette

Management Chops
The head of the Chicago Housing Authority resigned over the Thanksgiving holiday so people wouldn't notice.

The mayor, then, has to find a housing authority chief executive for the second time in a year after poaching the old one to run his re-election campaign amidst a massive and controversial restructuring that is already five years behind schedule; he has to find a police chief after two of his last three resigned in scandal; he recently appointed a new CTA chief who has been no more effective than the old one in preventing a transit meltdown; and his school board chief, amidst stalled reforms, is talking nonsense about how soon the city's schools could be the nation's best.

The City That Manages.

Bloomberg Time
"New York City is on track to have fewer than 500 homicides this year, by far the lowest number in a 12-month period since reliable Police Department statistics became available in 1963," the New York Times reported last Friday.

Daley will hold a press conference tomorrow taking credit.

Tough Stance
The Sun-Times editorial board came out today against planting pepper spray in other beauty contestants' gowns.

Thanks for the guidance. I was on the fence before I read this.

Us and Them
The Sun-Times editorial board counted our blessings on Thanksgiving.

* "The jobless rate is still holding at a comfortable 4.7 percent."

Yes, that feels quite comfortable. Unless you're one of the 7.2 million people without a job.

* "Even during these troublesome economic times, Chicagoans are able to buy new cars and homes because of the city's diverse economy."

Unless you are among the one in five Chicagoans living in poverty.

* "Most people are not planning to retire anytime soon."

A) They never are!
B) They can't afford to.
C) Huh?

* "Either [elected officials] will fix the [transit] system, finding a permanent funding source, or voters will kick them out come the next election. It's up to you."

A) Because voters always kick out incompetent pols.
B) Ooh, Rich Daley and Mike Madigan and Emil Jones are really scared!
C) It's up to you. Don't look at us.

* "Sure, we're enjoying warmer temperatures because of the looming disaster that is global warming, but our politicians are working to fix that."

A) Where? At some top secret summit on Mars?
B) And if they don't, voters will kick them out come the first election after the ice caps melt!
C) So smoke up, Johnny. It was a banner fucking year at the Bender family.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Oprah's favorite. Really.


Posted on November 27, 2007

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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