We like to think of Barack Obama as “one of us” when it comes to the strong Chicago ties he and his White House staff have these days. Yet Obama is trying to put to rest the conspiracy theories peddled by his most stringent critics by reminding us all of how he’s a native Hawaiian.
Officials in the 50th State made public documentation that purports to claim beyond a doubt that Obama was born in Hawaii. Checking out the Chicago Tribune website will (http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2009/07/obama_hawaiianborn_hawaii_insi.html) give one a glimpse of the document that purports to be a birth certificate for Obama.
WITH THAT DOCUMENTATION comes a statement from Hawaii officials claiming that this shows once and for all that Obama was born in Hawaii, which makes him a U.S. citizen (Hawaii had been a full-fledged state for nearly two years by the time of Obama’s birth in 1961).
Of course, those of us with common sense realize two things about this so-called controversy (which is peddled by the types of people who think G. Gordon Liddy is a rational human being).
1 – This “issue” will never go away. No documentation will ever convince those people that Obama is a U.S. citizen. In fact, even if you could convince them, the argument would then change to how the laws are flawed so that someone like Obama could be a U.S. citizen.
2 – It was a mistake to even try. Because now, we’re going to be burdened with rants from the right about how this documentation is irrelevant, if not forged.
FOR THE RECORD, the document released by Hawaii officials contends that our president is the son of Stanley Ann Dunham and Barack H. Obama, who is identified racially as an “African.”
What this shows us is that the records in the computers of Hawaii state government confirm what we have been told all along. But by feeling the need to dignify this issue, one only ensures that it will live on – regardless of the lack of “evidence” to support an argument against it.
Of course, if it weren’t for this issue, there would be those who would find another “critical” problem to obsess over – what kind of beer will Obama serve at the White House when he meets later this week with Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and the Cambridge, Mass., cop who arrested him outside the professor’s own home.
What other issues were of interest on the shores of Lake Michigan between Gary, Ind. and Waukegan?
WILL STROGER WIN BY DEFAULT?: Leave it to the Daily Herald newspaper of Arlington Heights to come to the conclusion that should have been obvious – Todd Stroger may be the big winner by Mayor Richard M. Daley’s choice to serve on the City Council.
Daley picked Robert Maldonado to replace Billy Ocasio, who gave up an aldermanic post to be a top adviser to Gov. Pat Quinn. Maldonado now gives up his Cook County commissioner post to become an alderman.
Stroger benefits in the ongoing political fight to force him to back away from the sales tax increase he pushed for last year to help fund county government. He vetoed that measure next week, and the County Board will consider whether to override him when they meet again in early September (the board takes August off).
The problem (for those who want a repeal of the tax increase)? There were barely enough votes (http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=309759&src=1) to override. Without Maldonado, an override of the veto will fail, which means Stroger will prevail. That is, unless William Beavers, Jerry Butler or Joseph Moreno were to change their mind. Fat chance.
FURLOUGHS AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO LAYOFFS: It seems to be the favorite cost-cutting tactic for government officials. Force workers to take some days off without pay.
If they complain, let them know they ought to be thankful (http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/clout_st/2009/07/daley-outlines-unpaid-days-off-for-top-schools-park-district-and-cta-officials.html#more) to have jobs at all.
Daley on Tuesday said he wants employees of six agencies – the Chicago Transit Authority, the park district and housing authority, the Chicago Public Schools and City Colleges of Chicago, and the Public Building Commission – to take the unpaid days off similar to how non-union city employees were asked a few weeks ago to take up to 15 days per year without salary.
Getting those 2,000 employees at the six agencies to take the days off is expected to save the city about $18 million, which officials say is necessary if this year’s municipal budget is to remain balanced.
WILL FOOTBALL RETURN TO THE HUMBLE ABODE OF ONE ELWOOD J. BLUES: Excuse me for not getting the fascination with teams being able to play games in the 95-year-old building at 1060 W. Addison St.
It appears there has been talk of having Big 10 football played at Wrigley Field – specifically, the all-Illinois game (http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/chi-28-big-ten-wrigley-field-jul28,0,2115854.story) between the University of Illinois and Northwestern University. This comes after the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team managed to stage a game there back in January. Could football return to Wrigley Field after a nearly four-decade hiatus?
It doesn’t shock me that some would rather stage the game in Chicago, and I also understand that the Chicago Park District isn’t exactly the most understanding landlord when it comes to teams other than the Chicago Bears using Soldier Field.
But back in the days when the Chicago Bears played their games at Wrigley Field, the place was known for having a field that was too small to accommodate a regulation football field. With changes made in recent years to bring even more seats closer to field level, there definitely isn’t room now. Or does the sight of a Wildcat football player stumbling into the dugout (or a Fighting Illini crashing into the outfield wall) really amuse that many people?