Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Ryan Watch

More members of Illinois’ congressional delegation have weighed in on the possible commutation of George Ryan’s prison sentence. All are in the No category:

* Jesse Jackson, Jr. (Democrat)
* Judy Biggert (Republican)
* Debbie Halvorson (incoming Democrat)

Democrats Bobby Rush and Dan Lipinski didn’t return phone calls to the SouthtownStar, the paper reports.

Chief of Cash

The New York Times delves into what it calls “a little-known episode of Mr. Emanuel’s biography” – you know, those 36 months in which he made $18 million working as a mergers & acquisitions guy.

My favorite part is this:

“Confidants of Mr. Emanuel’s said he decided to try his hand at business because he wanted financial security for his family, before eventually returning to public service.”

Oh, the sacrifices he’s made for us!

“He had a number in his head to make enough for the family,” one of Rahm’s brothers, Ezekiel, told the Times.

And he fell just short!

Going Blue

From Chicagoist:

“As if it hadn’t yet, we can now firmly say Obama merchandise has jumped the shark. Or something like that . . . “

Obama Punts

“Add president-elect Barack Obama to the growing list of politicians across Illinois issuing statements this week about former George Ryan being released from federal prison,” NBCChicago.com reports. “He doesn’t have an opinion.”

You know, I wrote the other day over on the Beachwood that I wasn’t going to spend the next four years saying “I told you so,” but that doesn’t mean I’m never gonna say it. So consider it said.

Luis’s Folly

So Luis Gutierrez’s pitch to Rod Blagojevich to replace Barack Obama in the Senate was that he only wanted to serve as a place-holder for the next two years in order to work on immigration reform. Then he’d be out.

Um . . . huh?

Let’s do some good ol’ fashion speculatin’.

1. Face value is reality. Nah.

2. Face value is partially reality. Gutierrez wants two years in the Senate not only to work on immigration reform, but to raise his profile for his next move: mayor, governor, who knows.

3. Gutierrez thinks his wife will be able to make even more lucrative real estate deals on the side if he’s a senator instead of just a rep.

4. Gutierrez mistakenly believes that Obama’s Hyde Park mansion comes with the seat.

5. Gutierrez mistakenly believed that Blagojevich preferred a place-holder; his real intention was to run for re-election to the Senate in 2010 because the people would demand it.

Obama Elementary

Richard Roeper thinks it’s “ridiculous” that the school board in Hempstead, New York, has voted unanimously to change the name of Ludlum Elementary School to Obama Elementary.

Eriz Zorn disagrees. “Normally I’m an advocate for the Hall of Fame rule – that we wait five years after a famous person retires, leaves office or dies before naming anything after him. But this is not a normal situation. Obama has already, inarguably, become one of the most famous, important Chicagoans of all time.”

But enough about us. What do the folks in New York think?

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Obama Bowl

I’m glad Rick Morrissey said it first last Friday in the Tribune so it wouldn’t seem like just another attack on Barack Obama. Because Obama is wrong: We do not need a college football playoff system. In fact, we should roll back the BCS and just go back to the old-fashioned and glorious bowls before they were bastardized beyond recognition. Let’s go back to the future. Here’s why.

1. The fact that college football is pretty much the only athletic endeavor of its kind that doesn’t crown a champion after a playoff is a quaint and unique characteristic of the sport that should be cherished. It’s a big part of what makes college football popular – the weekly debate about the polls and end-of-season debate about who is really No. 1. Must we homogenize everything? We tried that with baseball stadiums in the 70s and found that ballparks like Fenway and Wrigley endure because, for whatever odd reasons, they came to be shaped certain ways. The same with college football. The lack of a playoff system is one of the great hallmarks of the college game. Are we really less well off as a civilization because we don’t crown an official champion (BCS notwithstanding)? Is this really an injustice?

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O’Hare Wars

While the mayor was celebrating the opening of a new runway at O’Hare and fending off questions about the opposition of six airlines to his airport expansion program, foes of the plan ran a full-page ad in the Daily Herald. I had trouble wrestling the entire image into this post, so I’ll just provide you with the text.


Chicago has made many unchallenged public relations claims about Mayor Daley’s much ballyhooed “O’Hare Modernization Program” or “OMP”. But when one looks at the details it is quickly apparent that the public relations claims are mostly “hot air”.

The Aviation Benefit Claims are Bogus!

* The infamous “Western Access” – a one hour bus ride around the airport. Chicago admits that passengers with baggage, who use American Airlines and who park in the western parking lot, will face a one hour bus ride around the airport to get to the American terminal. Same goes for United passengers with baggage who land at Terminal 1. Imagine: $15-20 billion of your money for a Rube Goldberg design that eats up an additional hour of your time! That’s “modernization”?

* The 45 minute taxi ride from the Northern Runway to the United Terminal. Because Daley’s massive plan fails to fix a critical taxiway choke point on the northern side of the main terminal complex, FAA controllers anticipate major taxi delays in good weather (let alone bad weather) from the northern runway to the United terminal complex.

* Minor Delay reduction rapidly disappears. FAA’s own studies show that the new runway will not provide any significant long term delay relief.

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The O Line

DCist reports that the Metro in Washington intends to produce commemmorative Barack Obama “SmarTrip” cards.

“Metro spokesperson Steven Taubenkibel confirmed that the commemorative SmarTrip cards should be available for sale in early January, while special paper Metro farecards marking the inauguration will be sold somewhat earlier, in late December.”

Chicagoist suggests that the CTA one-up the Washington Metro by relabeling all Orange Line signage with the familiar “O” logo of Obama’s campaign.

Penny’s Thoughts

Penny Pritzker tells Lynn Sweet that she is will not be the next Commerce Secretary. Several news organizations, citing “sources,” reported overnight that she was President-Elect Obama’s choice for the post.

Perhaps this explains the turnabout: The most popular post on Sweet’s page as of this writing is “Obama’s Billionaire Finance Chair Penny Pritzker’s Failed Bank Lost Money For 1,400,” from last April. The sixth most popular post is “The Power of Penny Pritzker: Bloomberg’s Inside Look At Obama’s Finance Chair,” from August.

In any case, the leak-proof Obama campaign seems to be a thing of the past, no? By design as his transition team practices the art of the trial balloon? Or the inevitable result of an expanded loop of those in-the-know?