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Beer summit? It looked more like a high school tutoring session

Here is today's news, as I see it. Let's call it the Kaufmann-cast:

A story: At dinnertime, I went over to the Billy Goat to get my nightly triple-cheeseburger and I saw our new Senator Mark Kirk! I guess he was having a beer with some meathead blackhawks fan. I think he was tutoring him?

They didn't let the media get close enough to hear the conversation. But if we were close enough, my guess it that we would have heard this: 

Kirk: So have you thought about what you want to do this semester? 

Alexi: I dunno. I like computers? Could I take some classes in computers?

Kirk: Alexi, you can do anything you set your mind to.

Alexi: Cool. Welp, I'm gonna bail and hit up Barleycorns for the Hawks game. I didn't want to be senator anyway. I just ran cause my buddy Barry told me to.

B story: There is an article today in the New York Times about the RNC blueprint and strategy for this election. It leads us to believe that the republican leaders orchestrated and manipulated every house race in America. If that's the case, I feel dirty. Chicago (and IL) never reacts well when a syndicated media personality comes into the market. We pride ourselves on being free-thinkers. We don't accept the corporate shill and we will always root for the hometown talent.  So why do we let the national political parties set our candidates and set the agenda for the elections?

Most of the attack ads that we had to stomach over and over and over were paid for (and produced) by both national parties. Most all the candidates were hand-picked or slated by national leaders. And it worked like a charm. Just as it did for the democrats in the mid-term cycle in 2006. Where do you think the GOP learned it from? That's right, Rahm Emanuel. So it is obvious to me that when a national party pulls the strings, they win. But do voters think they are voting for the man or woman or do they think they are voting for the national party-line? So we have this crazy battle of rhetoric going on. Hope and Change vs. Jobs & the Economy. Same thing, just different. Am I missing something? Or is this a warped 2010 version of the Starbelly Sneetches?

C story: Ron Huberman is leaving CPS. It will be interesting to see what people think of his tenure. I don't follow education that closely, but I do get the vibe that Huberman was much more of a cost-cutter than an educator, and it is much easier to cut train routes than it is schools and teachers. I wish he would stay for a few more months, because I want to see him threaten the state with schools shut-down over funding like he famously did at the CTA (a few times). Just for fun.

D story: Dolinsky has a great post today - 5 top french fries in Chicago.

Weather: Cold enough for my winter hat today.

Sports: Jason Marck produced a mini-doc today for Eight Forty-Eight on the 25th anniversary of the 1985 Chicago Bears. The world needs to hear this story. Remember when a Bears team actually was feared? When they didn't start hot and then come down to earth? When they didn't win on accident? Tell this story Jason! Shout it from the rooftops!

Kicker: This week, one of our very own was on Jeopardy! No, not the Greg Kihn cover-band, but the quiz show that has become a college dorm-room favorite for its late afternoon time-slot (great for between classes and dinner). Molly Adams (co-host on Vocalo 89.5's morning show) made the cut and went out to LA and taped an episode. She didn't win - but she was in first come final Jeopardy. She bet too much on a wrong answer and the third place guy won with the right answer and a huge bet (In my opinion, the worst way to go out). But I give Molly awesome props for her answer, which was "What was my score before?" We welcomed her home with a viewing party this week. Molly surpasses Engineer Mike Gilmore, who made it to the auditions (and did quite well) but was not brought in for the show. Congrats Molly!!!!Here is the clip from the show, taped from the TV...

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