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The [Tuesday] Papers

I would like to advise a certain portion of my readers to abstain from voting today. A journalist ought not participate in internal party activities, and that's what a primary is. It isn't your job to help a political party choose nominees for public office. You are supposed to stand outside the system.

And let me tell you, it's a much clearer perspective from out here.

Cheerleaders in the Press Box
It's also not the job of journalists to cheerlead, particularly for their hometown guy. If anything, a hometown candidate should get more scrutiny from the hometown media than from anywhere else. This is the first line of defense.

To that end, I recommend the Tribune's fine - and seemingly forgotten - series from last spring, "The Making of a Candidate." I'm not sure how anyone who reads this - or the links I've provided in Obamathon - can truly believe Barack Obama is a reform candidate with a record of change who is practicing a different kind of politics.

In fact, I'm not sure I've ever seen a more deviously cynical campaign in my lifetime. Well played, Mr. Axelrod.

And a reminder: Thinking critically about Obama's campaign isn't a signal of support for someone else's campaign. It's a defense of the truth. I have no horse in this race. I am not a Democrat. Their nominee is their business. Vetting candidates is just what journalists - not cheerleading apologists - ought to be doing. And here in Chicago, that means Obama.

Programming Note
I will be hosting an online chat tonight and providing some commentary thereof as part of Fox Chicago's Super Tuesday coverage. Please join in; I'm told you will be able to find me here.

Endorsement Endgame
Is there a worse-managed newsroom in America than the Sun-Times?

The paper has returned to the scene of a previous crime and muddied its hands in the endorsement process once again, and the fact that "outsiders" rewrote endorsements that didn't change who the paper supports makes it even more comical than the time when former publisher David Radler overturned his editorial board for reasons still unexplained to support Rod Blagojevich (and a few other hacks) in his first run for governor.

The Michael Cooke Show rolls on . . .


Human Sacrifice
Now that the Sun-Times has thrown some bodies overboard, it has put itself up for sale.

Mr. Transparency
Barack Obama talks a lot about transparency on the campaign trail - health care negotiations on C-SPAN! - but he not only refuses to answer questions about Tony Rezko and often demands questions from reporters in writing which he then doesn't answer, he now wants sessions with the media on his airplane to be off-the-record.

Actions speak louder than words, people.

And to that end, take a look at Obama's Record: The Truth Is Out There.

Machine Politics
Mayor Daley and Emil Jones are leading a get-out-the-vote drive on behalf of Obama. What more do you need to know?

Green Dream
The candidates are all talking about how green they are, but there is only one Green Party, and it's also holding a primary today.

Greene Nightmare
Bob Greene is back, and he's in an elevator with two women.

He's also the first one on the planet to riff on people who seem to be talking to you but are actually on the phone, and how technology is isolating us from each other. Because, you know, talking to strangers in elevators is such more important civic discourse.


A Bob Greene refresher.

Dumb and Dumber
Garry Jaffe writes: "I'm conflicted about whose column is worse today.

"First there's Sneed who wasted a couple of hundred words telling us that Heath Ledger might have ridden a skateboard in Chicago last summer. And she didn't even write them, some guy sent it in to her. Just lazy!

"And then Stella Foster says, 'It's Classy to be seen reading the Sun-Times - and it's only 50 cents.'

"It's so classy, I never see it being read on the bus or L anymore, just the free RedEye.

"One of them is worse . . . yeah, I said it!"

"[I]n retrospect, we learned that it was only a myth," Barbara Blades of Evanston writes. "John F. Kennedy inspired the country with rhetoric but wore a suit of tarnished armor."

You might even say it was a fairy tale.

"If Mrs. Clinton gets the Democratic nomination, there is some chance - nobody knows how big - that we'll get universal health care in the next administration," Paul Krugman wrote in the New York Times on Monday. "If Mr. Obama gets the nomination, it just won't happen."

Read the whole thing and find out why.

By the way, this is the most e-mailed Opinion piece from the Times as I write this - and it's just the latest in a series of columns Krugman has written criticizing ObamaCare. The Obama campaign has responded - disingenuously, as shown in this comment, for example, on this post. The Obama campaign also doesn't take into consideration Krugman's complaint about the changed tone and rheotric of Obama's attacks on mandates.


"From where I sit, a dream is dying - and progressive Obama supporters, caught up in the romance of his candidacy, don't understand that he's actually undermining their cause," Krugman writes on his blog, which is worth sitting down with and giving a good perusal.

Cop Shop
"Despite recent reporting that incoming Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis intends a review of the Cozzi beating case, he is powerless to address the issue," Tracy Jake Siska writes at Chicago Justice. "The contract between the City and the FOP is truly where all the regulations regarding the operations of the accountability mechanisms are codified. The rhetoric that was spun by Weis during his confirmation hearings in front of the City Council did not truly reflect reality. As Weis was appearing in front of the City Council the latest version of the contract between the City and the FOP was being negotiated in secret. Weis and the rest of the authorities within the Department and the City will have to live with the results of these secret negotiations."

Debating Obama
Just to widen some horizons.

* "Fundraising Collides With Rhetoric."

* Obama's Right-Wing Economists.

* The War Vote 1.

* The War Vote 2.

* Now, I happen to think that the vote to authorize the Iraq war is reason enough to not support Hillary Clinton. But I also don't remember Obama being anywhere near the leadership of the anti-war movement. (In this interview with the Windy City Times during his U.S. Senate campaign, the war was not among his top agenda items and, in fact, was an afterthought to him.)

* And here he is another interview with NPR from 2004 enunciating the Clinton position.

NPR: This ticket, obviously, John Kerry and John Edwards, both senators voted for the war.

OBAMA: Yeah. Well - and I think that there is room for disagreement in that initial decision. Where I think we have to be unified is to recognize that we've got an enormous task ahead in actually making Iraq work. And that is going to take the kind of international cooperation that I think the Bush administration has shown difficulty pulling off, and I think that the Kerry-Edwards campaign is going to be better prepared to do.

Industrial Disease
Jim DeRogatis passes on one of the more brilliant light bulb jokes I've seen. And it has nothing to do with Obama.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Turn us on.


Posted on February 5, 2008

MUSIC - Britney's IUD.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - Locked Out And Loaded.

BOOKS - Foxconned.


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