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That’s a wrap

Thursday, Dec 21, 2006

It’s been real, but now it’s time to relax. Have a great holiday week and I’ll see you sometime after New Year’s.

Before I go, I want to thank you for everything this year. All of you, from subscribers, to commenters, to readers and advertisers. Have a great break one and all!

If you need someplace to go to satisfy any holiday urge to converse, I’d suggest Illinoize:

*** UPDATE *** My last Sun-Times column of the year, “Pundits lose grip on reality when dealing with the Internet,” is here.

What is it about the Internet that makes some political pundits, columnists and reporters so goofy? It seems like almost every time I read a mainstream media story about political Web sites and bloggers, the pieces are full of ill-informed junk.

(By the way, many thanks to the blog My Left Nutmeg for the kind words about the piece.)

My syndicated column, a letter to Santa, will be posted here on Monday.

OK, now I’m really done.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Obamarama - Backlash beginning?

Thursday, Dec 21, 2006

* I just heard from a respected Chicago reporter who said he, too, is having difficulty getting responses from Barack Obama’s press staff.

That’s not a good idea for many, many reasons.

* Meanwhile, Lynn Sweet has an interesting blog post today, “The Obama backlash. It’s started.”

While Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is vacationing in Hawaii–might be the last quiet time for years, poised as he is for a 2008 White House run– a body of anti-Obama material is surfacing–centering around his record and his religious beliefs and yes, his middle name, Hussein. It’s a backlash–and a foreshadowing of what is to come.

* I excerpted some bits from Carol Marin’s piece below, but here’s another one.

Like most politicians, Obama was not averse to bringing home the bacon. According to published reports, Obama secured $100,000 in Illinois FIRST funds from then-Gov. George Ryan. The money went to the Museum of Science and Industry for an exhibit on the concept of time.

So, we got Barack and Rezko and Barack and Ryan. Since he didn’t speak up during the fall campaign, we got Barack and Blagojevich. And he just got Mayor Daley’s endorsement. Not to mention Alexi.

* Some people have claimed Obama is the anti-war candidate, but some anti-war people ain’t so sure.

Obama’s position on the Iraq war was pretty much summed up by his comment, cited at Alex Cockburn’s Counterpunch, as follows:

“On Iraq, on paper, there’s not as much difference, I think, between the Bush administration and a Kerry administration as there would have been a year ago. There’s not that much difference between my position and George Bush’s position at this stage. The difference, in my mind, is who’s in a position to execute.”

* And then there are the wingnut oddballs who somehow manage to retain their mainstream media credentials, yet write utterly ridiculous claptrap.

So, even if he identifies strongly as a Christian, and even if he despised the behavior of his father (as Obama said on Oprah); is a man who Muslims think is a Muslim, who feels some sort of psychological need to prove himself to his absent Muslim father, and who is now moving in the direction of his father’s heritage, a man we want as President when we are fighting the war of our lives against Islam? Where will his loyalties be?

Is that even the man we’d want to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency, if Hillary Clinton offers him the Vice Presidential candidacy on her ticket (which he certainly wouldn’t turn down)?

NO WAY, JOSE . . . Or, is that, HUSSEIN?

- Posted by Rich Miller   33 Comments      


Question of the day

Thursday, Dec 21, 2006

Which charities do you regularly contribute to at this time of year? Are there new ones you’ve discovered this holiday season?

Also, if you can, please provide contact info (a link would suffice) for your recommended charity or charities.

- Posted by Rich Miller   44 Comments      


Brand names and Chicago families

Thursday, Dec 21, 2006

We know this situation all too well, but the AP has a story about Chicago nepotism today.

Chicago politics seems to practice the royal form of succession.

“It’s our political culture,” said University of Illinois at Chicago political science professor Dick Simpson. […]

Politics as the family business doesn’t just happen in Chicago. On the national scene there are the Kennedys and the Bushes. Tennessee has the Fords, Indiana the Bayhs, and Minnesota the Humphreys.

Simpson said the practice of appointing relatives to political posts can deny the voters their right to choose the best candidate.

Names are like brands, so voters see, for instance, “Lipinski” on the ballot and they go with the brand they’ve trusted for years. I really don’t see much of a way to stop this until the people catch on. Suggestions?

- Posted by Rich Miller   34 Comments      


Morning shorts

Thursday, Dec 21, 2006

* Obama’s record

* NBC5: In what he called one of the toughest votes — and one that could become a presidential issue — Obama voted against a bill allowing gun owners to claim self-defense when using their own gun in their own home. He said he worried it would take away local governments’ right to regulate themselves.

* A third in U.S. still haven’t heard of Obama

* The ‘swiftboating‘ of Obama?

* Sneed: …the feds may be delivering an early Christmas present to one of Gov. Blagojevich’s closest pals. Stay tuned.

* Ice Bar’s mob links

* Chicago developer scoops up Philly casino license… More here

* Could Stroger cuts cost county more?

* IDOT says wait till next storm

* Ex-DCFS director hired by Chicago Public Schools

* Judge shifts millions in wrongful-death award from family to state agency

* Des Plaines sues ComEd to get a look at records

* Declining classified ad revenues at the Chicago Reader are forcing the free weekly newspaper to consider job cuts.

* Madison County looks to state for money to extend Governors’ Parkway

* Trustees, not Congress, will decide Chief’s future

- Posted by Rich Miller   41 Comments      


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