Well, this should be interesting. Word is President Barack Obama will be going to a Chicago Cubs-Chicago White Sox interleague game. More specifically, going to one of the Crosstown Classic contests — at Wrigley Field. Even more specifically, going to the game Saturday night (May 19). And, of course, he will be going there as a Sox fan.
Word is the Cubs players have been told they will not be able to park in their usual location near the ballpark. Of course, there are other precautions to be taken when a president comes to town. With all the security affiliated with the NATO Summit — which is to be held May 20-21 in Chicago — security should not be a problem.
What is something of a problem would seem to be the Ricketts family. More specificaly, Joe Ricketts. He is the father of the clan that owns the Cubs. And a billionaire. Not that there’s anything wrong with owning the Cubs or being a billionaire.
The New York Times reported in Thursday’s editions (newspapers still have editions, don’t they?) Joe Ricketts and other family members — reportedly his sons Todd and Pete — had met last week in Chicago to hear a proposal that would have had Joe Ricketts (and the Super PAC — Ending Spending Political Action Fund — that he had started) finance a $10 million ad campaign that would have linked Obama to comments by his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Even though Wright has not played a part in Obama’s first term in the White House.
The outcry and backtracking from what some observers have viewed as race-baiting was loud and immediate. Liberal groups encouraged investors to close their accounts with TD Ameritrade, the brokerage firm Joe Ricketts founded.
Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel — Obama’s former chief of staff and the man Cubs ownership has been working with in an attempt to pry $150 million from the city as part of a $300 million Wrigley renovation — bristled (if that’s not an understatement) at the anti-Obama proposal: “I don’t think that’s fitting in a campaign of any nature. You can have disagreements without being disagreeable. America is too great a country with too great a future with the content they are talking about. “And it’s insulting to the president, it’s insulting to the country.”
Brian Baker, president of the Ending Spending Political Action Fund, issued a statement: “Joe Ricketts is a registered independent, a fiscal conservative, and an outspoken critic of the Obama Administration, but he is neither the author nor the funder of the so-called ‘Ricketts Plan’ to defeat Mr. Obama that The New York Times wrote about this morning. Not only was this plan merely a proposal – one of several submitted to the Ending Spending Action Fund by third-party vendors – but it reflects an approach to politics that Mr. Ricketts rejects and it was never a plan to be accepted but only a suggestion for a direction to take. Mr. Ricketts intends to work hard to help elect a President this fall who shares his commitment to economic responsibility, but his efforts are and will continue to be focused entirely on questions of fiscal policy, not attacks that seek to divide us socially or culturally.”
Tom Ricketts, son of Joe Ricketts, said in a statement: “As chairman of the Chicago Cubs, I repudiate any return to racially divisive issues in this year’s presidential campaign or in any setting — like my father has. I shall have no further comment on this or any other election year political issue. My full-time focus is on making the Chicago Cubs a World Series champion, preserving Wrigley Field and making the Chicago Cubs a great corporate citizen.”
Laura Ricketts, daughter of Joe Ricketts and an Obama supporter, said in a statement: “All of my family members and I love this country and are passionate about doing what is right for the country. That love of country was instilled in us by my father. We have different political views on how to achieve what is best for the future of America, but we agree that each of us is entitled to our own views and our right to voice those views.
“Though we may have diverse political views, above all we love and respect each other,” Laura Ricketts said in a statement. “My own personal view is that President Obama has been a great leader in very difficult times. He has been leading us to an economic recovery; served with great honor as commander-in-chief during a time of war; been a strong proponent on issues important to women and just last week he exhibited great courage in endorsing the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian Americans.”
Emanuel reportedly is not taking phone calls from the Ricketts camp.
It’s always interesting to see small-government advocates (Joe Ricketts among them) asking for government funds to finance a private project — even if the private company’s endeavors do impact a greater sphere of businesses. Funny how capitalists can oppose socialism until such a system works in their favor.
Anyway, it would seem safe to say Emanuel won’t be trying to help the Cubs’ cause any time soon.
OK, enough of this serious stuff. How about some more bikini competition. You know, as we have used earlier in the week. Sounds like a plan — or as close to one as the great minds (mind?) at elliottharris.com get. Speaking of plans, the plan around here is to attend the NABBA Chi-town Showdown on Saturday at Bolingbrook High. If things go as planned (and on occasion they do), there will be fresh video from the event — promoted by Joe and Heather Perez — that figures to include figure, fitness and bikini competitors, among others. Information on the event is available at chitownshowdown.com.
Here is video from a recent competition in Pittsburgh:
The May 17 edition of “Sports & Torts” with co-hosts David Spada and Elliott Harris was very good. Not necessarily because of the co-hosts (although we do like to think we do a decent job of interviewing interesting people), but because of the guests: broadcasting legend Roy Leonard, boxing manager Jackie Kallen and former NBA player and coach Al Attles. The only problem with the show is that it is limited to one hour. All three guests could have gone on longer than they had time to do so. To check out their interviews, you can click here.
Anyone interested in joining the “Sports & Torts” fun as an advertiser (a status that could include the chance to be in the studio when we interview one of the lovely ladies that tend to show up on the show) should contact david@injuryinillinois.
Anyone familiar with disco dancing knows Donna Summer (aka the Queen of Disco). The singer worked hard for her money. She died Thursday at 63 from canecer. Great memories, great songs. She did perform at the 2004 World Series, in case you were looking for some sort of sports connection — not that one is needed to justify video of her singing:
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