Division Street was an experiment – along with California Faultline in L.A. – by the good folks at NBC Universal. With the launch of new local sites such as NBCChicago.com, the NBC folks have decided to shut down Division Street and Faultline. In turn, I will be increasing my contributions to NBCChicago.com, including material that you might have otherwise found here, and of course you can still read me at The Beachwood Reporter. Thanks for reading me here, and I’ll see you there.
As an infomercial junkie, I gazed in particular wide wonder at the $4 million (!) advertising buy last night featuring our probable next president – and not just because I couldn’t get my head around the idea that one antidote to our broken political system was to spend more money than ever on campaign ads!
I truly consider myself a student of the form, and at times, considering his thin resume, I’ve considered Barack Obama to be little more than the next great televangelist or Ginsu knife salesman.
In March 2007, when Obama was still just a baby candidate, I wrote this (item No.9):
“Being a great speaker is also an overrated skill. Judgement and policy skill are far more important. We’re not electing a televangelist. In fact, if great oratory were the overriding quality to look for in a president, we’d elect Tony Robbins or Kevin Trudeau (or better yet, Joel Osteen). The value of being a skilled speaker should never override the value of what it is someone is saying.”
So I’ve listened very hard to the content of Obama’s rhetoric throughout this campaign – truly to my detriment, because apparently you’re not supposed to do that as it makes you a spoilsport.
Nonetheless, I watched and listened very closely last night to Obama’s “big gamble,” which struck me as hardly a gamble at all. I mean, c’mon! Where was the risk? That somehow David Axelrod would produce a video accidentally including a stray frame of Bill Ayers in it?
Anyway, let’s take a look at it in the inimitable style of the Infomercial Reviews we feature (or used to, submissions welcome!) on the Beachwood Reporter.
Beginning today, Division Street will focus exclusively on national politics and the presidential campaign through the election. You can continue to track local political follies at The Beachwood Reporter.
At the Beachwood, including:
1. Miss Manners on patriotism.
2. Kim Wilde’s Kids in America.
3. Regulated Militia Well. A poem.
4. 13 Anthems. Including The Respangled Banner, The Alphabetically-Spangled Banner, The Star-Spangled Forecast, and The Redacted Banner.
Posting here at Division Street will resume later today.
A nice nugget from Lynn Sweet on Saturday: “Pfleger is the subject of a documentary being made by Chicago-based David Axelrod, Obama’s top strategist. On Friday, Axelrod told me in an e-mail that the film project has ‘been dormant for much of the last two years due to other commitments.'”
Working title: Irony Man.
More on Pfleger (and his weird apology on Sunday blaming YouTube) over at the Beachwood.
An investigation by Chicago Talks and published jointly with The Beachwood Reporter shows that the Chicago City Council’s committees frequently meet without quoroms and conduct business anyway, a clear evasion of the law that could make the full council’s actions subject to legal challenge.
Similarly, our investigation found that Chicago City Council committees frequently fail to keep minutes of their meetings – and sometimes even basic information such as which members were actually in attendance.
Please give it a look-see – and see what our fair aldermen have to say for themselves.