Chicago Tribune

My Plan for the National Tribune

Because competition is healthy

Because competition is healthy. 


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Troubled newspapers across the country are selling off their headquarters buildings. But unlike other for-sale properties, the Washington Post's headquarters is iconic for its interior, not its facade. I should know: I started my career in the newsroom's Hollywood replica.

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Education reformers think fixing schools will fix the economy, but the reverse is more true

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When President Obama announced that Bill Daley would no longer serve as White House chief of staff, he pronounced himself chagrined by the move but explained that Daley had an understandable desire to return to Chicago. “In the end,” the president told reporters in the State Dining Room, “the pull of the hometown we both love—a city that’s been synonymous with the Daley family for generations—was too great.” As a face-saving gesture this may have been understandable, but as an explanation for Daley’s departure it strains credulity.

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Last weekend’s Saturday Night Live opened with a gray-haired Fred Armisen as Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Donning a jacket with lapel pins and a blue tie, Armisen spoke in a dry cadence that amplified the mayor’s at once lenient but strident response to the Occupy Wall Street protests pitched at Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan. “Occupy Wall Street, I’m on your side,” said Armisen’s Bloomberg. “Come to New York and let your voice be heard. You’ll be treated with dignity and respect by the city and the police.

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This week, the Census bureau released new data that further illustrates the troubling impact of persistent economic woes. Since 2007, the Bureau reports, millions of American households have “doubled up”—meaning that in nearly one out of every five American households, “a person 18 or older who is not enrolled in school and is not the householder, spouse or cohabiting partner of the householder” has moved in.

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Among the many distinctions David Axelrod has achieved in his career, there is one that requires special elaboration: He is, it turns out, one of the few customers to have ever run a tab at Manny’s, the Chicago cafeteria and deli. This is not because the odd knish ($4.25) or side of potato chips ($0.75) threatened to leave him cash-poor. It is, rather, because Axelrod has long styled himself someone who accumulates wisdom at places regular people frequent, not the lacquered haunts of downtown Washington. What the Oval Room is to Beltway consultant-dom, Manny’s is to Axelrod.

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A reader sends in this cartoon published in the Chicago Tribune in 1934: You'll note that the predictions have failed to come to pass... so far.

I don't usually re-publish emails straight from political parties, but this collection of quotes following the 2001 elections, emailed by the DNC, is pretty telling. NRCC Talking Point: “The 2001 Off-Year Elections Have No Bearing On Next Year’s Mid-Term Elections. These Races Revolved Around Local Issues And Local Candidates. There Were No Discernable National Trends.” NRCC Talking Points: “The 2001 off-year elections have no bearing on next year's mid-term elections. These races revolved around local issues and local candidates.

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Not murder in the literal sense, of course, though in this case the metaphor is less distant than one would prefer.

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