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Articles Archive for November 2008

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[30 Nov 2008 | No Comment | ]

If it’s Sunday, it must be worship time at the Temple of Obama, at least at the Chicago Tribune. Today the top of the front page has a picture of Barack and Michelle embracing. The headline is: “White House romances: Obamas’ affection is notable among presidential pairs.” Page 4 carries the story, also shown on the Trib’s Web site with the headline “Scenes from Obamas’ love story.” We learn:
Over the last two years the future first couple has made a practice of sharing such small, …

Local Media »

[30 Nov 2008 | One Comment | ]

In the weeks since Mr Obama’s election, Chicago – a city used to proclaiming its global status while often measuring up short next to New York and Los Angeles – has been basking in the international spotlight. The president-elect’s victory celebration in Grant Park showcased its handsome skyline, parkland and lakefront to millions all round the world. His transition team is based in the city, attracting a global media circus. Many of his appointments have come from Chicago’s political elite.
Chicago has not lacked promoters. Since he was elected 20 years …

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[30 Nov 2008 | No Comment | ]

Chicago forks over more money in lawsuits—especially lawsuits against the police—than LA, Houston, Phoenix, Philly, and Dallas put together.
In January, after years of legal and political battles, the city agreed to pay $19.8 million to settle lawsuits by four men who were tortured by police under former commander Jon Burge. Signing off on the deal, aldermen condemned the abusive officers and hoped aloud that the settlements would let the police department start a new era. “I’m glad this is over,” said the Fifth Ward’s Leslie Hairston. “It’s definitely a black …

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[28 Nov 2008 | No Comment | ]

Conservatives shouldn’t chortle too much over the beginning appointments made by Barack Obama, jibing that they are re-treads from retaining George W. Bush’s secretary of defense Bob Gates to picking Hillary Clinton for secretary of state, recycling Paul Volcker (an original Jimmy Carter appointment) to plucking up Larry Summers and making him a White House adviser. I had feared from the outset that the appointments would be denizens of the Harvard or University of Chicago faculty lounges…theorists with no experience whatever, similar to those Franklin Roosevelt picked and who paralyzed …

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[28 Nov 2008 | 2 Comments | ]

Before her death, Barack Obama’s grandmother in Hawaii gave his campaign $2,300, which is precisely $2,300 more than Obama himself donated to his $639 million, record-breaking war chest.
And in this practice, Obama is in good company. Buried in federal election records is a curious fact: Candidates often don’t financially support their own campaigns.
Records show that John McCain, he of the seven houses, did not donate to his presidential campaign. Neither did Sarah Palin. Joe Biden didn’t chip in for his own national run either. Mayor Richard Daley also has a …

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[26 Nov 2008 | 7 Comments | ]

Does anyone remember when advertisements for the Christmas retail blitz began after Thanksgiving? Now, it seems that the holiday shopping season begins immediately after Halloween. Someday, I am afraid that the nonstop commercials will start airing following Labor Day.
In a more innocent time, we contented ourselves during the long winters of our discontent with such wonderful gifts as board games. The names of companies such as Milton Bradley, Parker Brothers, or the Chicago based game manufacturer, Cadaco, were familiar to all of us as children. We did not …

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[26 Nov 2008 | 3 Comments | ]

If I don’t look fast, my suburban garbage truck will have come and gone without my noticing. And unlike in Chicago, which has three people working each truck, my scavenger service has only one—the driver.
The holy writ in Chicago is that you can’t have just one, and therein lies one of the reasons that Mayor Richard M. Daley’s city is in such awful financial shape: Chicago’s government doesn’t exist for the benefit of those who pay for it; it’s purpose is to feather the nest of the people who run …

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[26 Nov 2008 | No Comment | ]

Despite attracting millions of new contributors to his campaign, President-elect Barack Obama received about the same percentage of his total political funds from small donors as President Bush did in 2004, according to a study released today by the non-partisan Campaign Finance Institute.
The analysis undercuts Obama’s claim that his supporters “changed the way campaigns are funded” by reducing the influence of special-interest givers.
“The myth is that money from small donors dominated Barack Obama’s finances,” said Michael Malbin, the institute’s executive director. “The reality of Obama’s fundraising was impressive, but the …

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[25 Nov 2008 | 3 Comments | ]

f you are of a certain age…as I am…you can readily see even now the definite similarities between Barack Obama’s ascension to the presidency and the 12 years of Franklin Roosevelt. I’m a geezer expert on FDR’s influence on this country: he was the only president I knew in my entire life, from kindergartener to high school senior. Like Obama, FDR depended on the support of a largely adulatory media. He tried to socialize the economy in fruitless experiments while liberals cheered his “decisiveness” and good intentions…notwithstanding that he “solved” …

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[25 Nov 2008 | No Comment | ]

If Illinois were a country, it would be Iceland.
That’s the country whose high-flying economy collapsed recently, the first to fail in the global economic slump. Crowds, angry at the government’s failure to prevent the crisis, have taken to the streets and called for an immediate election.
Don’t expect any mobs to show up in Illinois demanding the expulsion of our government for Illinois’ fiscal mess. Illinois voters are so tolerant that the government could sell the state to the Outfit for a box of trinkets and no one would notice. Illinois …