Chicago Circling "O" In Bid for Olympics Gold

Chicago street banners congratulating Barack Obama
Earlier this week I blogged at Fiercely Strategic Marketing about how Chicago is surfing the Barack Obama wave, hoping to leverage the president-elect's win for its 2016 Olympics bid. Today, the Fashion & Style section of the New York Times offers its take on the very same about the Second City.

A New Wind Is Blowing in Chicago quotes a few of our notables -- Rick Bayless of Frontera Grill, Jeff Tweedy of the band Wilco, and author Scott Turow among them -- on what native son Obama's victory means for Chi-town.

Copycats! The Times even used the same shot of downtown Chicago's glossy Obama banners that I took. Well, sorta... ;-o

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Melting Pot News - Beyonce 'n Justin, Sarah Palin, Katt Williams

A quick riot act to watch: Beyonce. Single Ladies video. Justin Timberlake among them? Only on Saturday Night Live:

And quick "riot acts" to read:

~ The governor of Alaska stands to make nearly $7 million in a Sarah Palin book deal, according to the Huffington Post. But don't Dick Cavett at New York Times, who in this entertaining Sarah Palin piece -- The Wordsmith of Wasilla -- may fret having to read more Sarah Palin doozies like this:
My concern has been the atrocities there in Darfur and the relevance to me with that issue as we spoke about Africa and some of the countries there that were kind of the people succumbing to the dictators and the corruption of some collapsed governments on the continent, the relevance was Alaska’s investment in Darfur with some of our permanent fund dollars.
~ Mrs. Obama's bringing "sexy back" to White House, literally. See First Lady Got Back at, where a female African American writer expresses appreciation for Michelle Obama's bootiliciousness.

~ A First Lady with other assets, Hillary Clinton clearly is emerging as Barack Obama's secretary of state; the Guardian is reporting that Clinton "will accept." But the New York Times says questions about Bill Clinton's finances persist. If things look that shady, why would Senator Clinton expose her family to so much scrutiny and more embarrassing criticism?

~ Another Chicago South Side Star emerges: Barack Obama's barber, Zariff. In an interview with US Magazine, the president-elect's head-cutter discusses our famous neighbor's creeping gray hairs. Interestingly, I just wrote a humor essay wondering if anyone at the Hyde Park Hair Barber Studio was getting a "cut," selling a hot commodity called Barack Locks In a Box.

~ And finally, this... I've worked with a couple of comedians and have noticed this: Some of them seem woefully unstable (e.g., insecure, easily aggitated, too close to the edge emotionally). Some fall off - you know who they are. Now this about comedian Katt Williams... I wish him well.

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Obama, Hillary, McCain, Palin - Where Are They Now?

Where are all the candidates now? Well, you'll find President-elect Barack Obama addressing the nation on a YouTube video, which I link you to watch here at his transition site,, instead.

But first, this funny Obama video message from an Obama-alike comedian to watch...

[Video - Obama spoof to T.I.'s "Whatever You Like"]

And what ever happened to Hillary Clinton? It's widely known that Senator Hillary Clinton was here in Chicago on Thursday, meeting with President-elect Barack Obama. Discussing, it is said, the possibility of Clinton serving as secretary of state. Don't miss opinion about all of the hillary hillary hillary hillary hillary talk, as New York Times political humor columnist Gail Collins so aptly writes.

Not to be left out of the loop, Senator John McCain is scheduled to hit Chicago this week to meet with Barack Obama. I don't suppose he, too, is up for a job with That One. Although he might qualify. I can't imagine Mr. McCain's got embarrassing pics to any MySpace friends floating out here. Why, he doesn't even use email.

Last but not least: the hot, sexy mini-skirt in photos wearing Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. The best-loved vice-presidential running mate ever known to men -- I mean man -- has turned all Tina Fey on us. Suddenly, we can count on Palin to be on television, in interviews. According to, Sarah Palin may be eyeing the Alaska senate seat of convicted Ted Stevens, if his peers vote for him to vacate it.

So there. Sarah Palin may be doin' some pallin' around of her own. Perhaps loadin' up the truck and movin' to Washington after all.
[Sarah Palin video spoof]

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Miriam Makeba - Tribute to Mama Africa

Miriam Makeba (1933 - 2008) wrote in her 2004 biography, "Makeba," that she would sing until she died. And that she did. Emerging in the sixties, Makeba was the first African singer to gain worldwide popularity. She died this week in Italy, there in concert taking a political stand for writer Roberto Saviano, author of "Gomorra," a book that dangerously outed the Italian mafia in Naples.

But hers was a life worth celebrating. Known as "Mama Africa," Miriam Makeba sang at President John F. Kennedy's birthday bash; she performed at the historic "Rumble In the Jungle" boxing match between Muhammed Ali v. George Foreman.

Makeba was married a number of times, including to African jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela amd Black Panther Stokely Carmichael. She testified at the United Nations and spent decades in exile from her South African homeland for taking a stand against Apartheid.

God love you, Mama Africa!

Miriam Makeba bio at Independent UK

Miriam Makeba - "Pata Pata" (1966 worldwide hit)

Miriam Makeba - "The Click Song (1966 worldwide hit)

South African Children Rapping in Xhosa Language

Miriam Makeba & Paul Simon

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Nikki Giovanni, Kanye West Poetry Book: Hip hop Speaks to Children

Time sure flies... Christmas and Kwanzaa again are around the corner. If you'll be making a list and checking it twice for a child, here's a cool gift that's excellent edutainment for little ones. It's "Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry With a Beat," a picture book edited by famed poet Nikki Giovanni.

Extra nice is that the book comes with a companion CD featuring some of hip-hop's most high: Mos Def, Queen Latifah, and Kanye West to name a few. In fact, A Tribe Called Quest rules the mic for a funky rendition of "Green Eggs 'n Ham," which Q-Tip performs. (Why do I hear parents muttering the Dr. Seuss jazz the Q-Tip way, with more zest than their kids?)

Maya Angelou and other African American literary figures joined Giovanni to make "Hip Hop Speaks to Children" a real powerhouse. It ends with Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" prose. This alone makes it a hot gift I'll be giving: It is worrisome that some African American children don't have a clear picture of why they have a day off from school, thanks to Dr. King. (One told me that Dr. King was a basketball player [my 2006 humor essay about this].)

Nice to learn, too, that an African American work has reached #3 on the New York Times best-sellers list in the children's books category.

To read all about Giovanni's latest poetry gift, check this New York Times article and this Nikki Giovanni interview on NPR. You can also get book info here on

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Jimmy Kimmel Video - Where Is Sarah Palin Now?

The new American Idol, sexy Sarah Palin as shown in a Jimmy Kimmel video parodying her Where Are They Now? style
Good thing I had nothing in my mouth. Because I laughed out loud when I saw this on Jimmy Kimmel the other night. It's from Kimmel's hilarious video send-up giving Sarah Palin the "Where Are They Now" treatment. I'm blogging it for all to enjoy, but mostly for the hundreds who come here every day searching for my hot, sexy Sarah Palin photos in boots and blouses post.

Some of us may not realize it, but Sarah Palin is a MILF extraordinairre. (MILF meaning Mothers I'd Like to F***.) The high number of people (men!) who land here via Google and Yahoo! searches for sexy Sarah photos reveals just how powerful Palin's sexual allure. How much did this figure in John McCain choosing her as running mate? Why else would the man pick a person as his veep who doesn't know that Africa is a continent?

Anyway, here's the Jimmy Kimmel video...

via The Insider

Of course, if you don't find Sarah Palin laughable -- I mean a laughing matter -- and will never again watch Saturday Night Live or Tina Fey, maybe you'll appreciate this New York Times story. Republican campaign insiders have imploded post-election, and their wrath seems aimed at outing the sexy would-be Madame Vice President as opportunistic diva and ditz.

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Election Night Photos - Behind-the-Scenes in Obama Suite

Barack Obama and Michelle Obama on Election Night in hotel watching the results
My favorite cousin, Kelvin, isn't big on Obama, but *loves* Michelle Obama's "big legs." Ha! So, I'll tell you -- but not him -- about this wonderful Obama Election Night photostream on Flickr. These photos are so intimate, so telling...

Obama photographer David Katz captured Obama every step of the way. You'll find here Obama behind-the-scenes images and on-stage shots from Springfield to Chicago and all points beyond on the campaign trail. Amazing work, David!

Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Sasha and Malia on Election Night in hotel with Michelle Obama's mother

Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Sasha and Malia on Election Night, walking out for Barack to hit the Chicago stage for his Acceptance Speech
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Michael Crichton, Prolific Writer-Filmmaker, Dies

Many are saddened by the news that one of the writing world's tallest blades, Michael Crichton, died today of cancer. Crichton, 66, authored numerous fiction best-sellers, many of which became blockbuster movies. Who didn't see and love his work in films such as Jurassic Park, Congo, Disclosure, and Twister?

The Huffington Post write-up about Crichton's death includes these quotes from film director Steven Spielberg and Crichton's "ER" partner, executive producer John Wells:

..."Michael's talent out-scaled even his own dinosaurs of `Jurassic Park,'" said "Jurassic Park" director Steven Spielberg, a friend of Crighton's for 40 years. "He was the greatest at blending science with big theatrical concepts, which is what gave credibility to dinosaurs again walking the Earth. ... Michael was a gentle soul who reserved his flamboyant side for his novels. There is no one in the wings that will ever take his place."

John Wells, executive producer of "ER" called the author "an extraordinary man. Brilliant, funny, erudite, gracious, exceptionally inquisitive and always thoughtful. "No lunch with Michael lasted less than three hours and no subject was too prosaic or obscure to attract his interest. Sexual politics, medical and scientific ethics, anthropology, archaeology, economics, astronomy, astrology, quantum physics, and molecular biology were all regular topics of conversation."

Dr. Michael Crichton was born here in Chicago, was educated at Harvard College. He taught anthropology at Cambridge University and writing at MIT. His first bestseller, Andromeda Strain, won acclaim while he was still in college.

Condolences to the Crichton family. Fan around the world share the family's grief, but forever will delight in his provocative imagination. It's not for nothing this prolific literary giant stood 6 feet 9 inches tall.

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Oprah Show and Henry Louis Gates Celebrate Obama

President Barack Obama was celebrated on the Oprah Show

Distinguished Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. was among the guests on today's Oprah Show, a post-election focus on the Obama win. During the interview, Oprah pointed out an essay Dr. Gates has posted at The Root.

The piece, titled "In Our Lifetime," gives poignant African American perspective on the ascension of a man named Barack Hussein Obama to the White House. A quote:

...What would Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman say? What would Dr. King himself say? Would they say that all those lost hours of brutalizing toil and labor leading to spent, half-fulfilled lives, all those humiliations that our ancestors had to suffer through each and every day, all those slights and rebuffs and recriminations, all those rapes and murders, lynchings and assassinations, all those Jim Crow laws and protest marches, those snarling dogs and bone-breaking water hoses, all of those beatings and all of those killings, all of those black collective dreams deferred—that the unbearable pain of all of those tragedies had, in the end, been assuaged at least somewhat through Barack Obama's election? This certainly doesn't wipe that bloody slate clean...
Yes, we've come far -- shockingly far, thanks to a gifted black man who is Obama. But we still have a long way to go... much work to do. Here's the latest evidence that the struggle continues...

The Secret Service arrested a man with an assault rifle yesterday in the Chicago suburb called Rosemont. He apparently had deadly designs on president-elect Obama. The man was found in his car with his laptop turned on; he was on a YouTube video about the fear of African American rioting if Obama won.

We should be so proud of the Chicago youth. To my knowledge, there wasn't a single crime incident at the Obama victory celebration in Grant Park. The audacity of hope, indeed.

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President Barack Obama - The Dream 3000

This is more than a dream come true. Inconceivably, Barack Obama has made world history as the first African American president of the United States of America. But his accomplishment represents so much more. That One is a rare gift. An exceptional leader. A uniter. A visionary progress-maker.

Obama got game, and it appears to be precisely the game America needs.

What a remarkably inspiring victory speech! The closer he gets to the White House, the better Barack Obama gets. Truth is, he won't have to shoulder all the burden he'll inherit. His words and manner are the magic that make people want to move the ball down the field.

Obama has painted a magnificent vision of our future. We owe it to ourselves to keep believing in it. He is living proof the unimaginable can happen. Every parent, every child, every teen, every nation -- from Kenya to Kansas : Here is your crystal clear mirror. Walk and talk the Obama way.

For this moment enormous gratitude and much respect is owed, directly or indirectly, to:

John F. Kennedy

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Malcolm X

Reverend Jeremiah Wright

Senator Dick Durbin

Senator Ted Kennedy

Secretary of State Colin Powell

And last but not least Senator Joe Biden, the next Vice President of the United States. I didn't tear up during Obama's remarks until Biden came out looking ebulliently set for the great assist.

And Oooooooooh ... I forgot two "Black History Makers" without whom this 2008 presidential election result seriously wouldn't have happened, regardless of Obama's brilliance:

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VOTE 2008 Election - Housecleaning Day

Yes we CAN!!!
If you haven't already, please vote. We have a choice. We can do better, it begins with YOU.
A mere 537-vote difference last election.

Time to turn the page. Two wars. No WMD. A disregard for too much else. Time to clean house. Imagine a facelift for America... Jobs. Healthcare. Education. Foreclosures.
And our dear planet, Gaia, better protected and no longer taken for granted.

If you don't vote, don't complain.
You have until 7 p.m., so HURRY UP and take your time!

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Obama Chicago Celebration Hysteria. But Sadly, Grandmother Dies

President Barack Obama. Yep, I said it!
Millions of Americans have already cast their votes to elect either Barack Obama or John McCain the next U.S. president. Tomorrow, those of us who're stragglers -- procrastinors who'll vote on election day -- worry nationwide our votes won't count. The election machines are this. The paper ballots are that. Doesn't matter though: We're all showing up this time! Chads hanging, machines rigged, and all.

And while we get our vote on, both presidential candidates shockingly will still stomp the campaign stumps, intent on snagging every undecided voter crumb on the table. "They may not know it, but The Mack is back!," McCain warns. "We are one day away from changing America!," That One promises. Hard to believe, but by midnight tomorrow, the evil campaign ads will cease. Hey, somebody's going to Disney World! Time to Super Bowl Shuffle.

Meanwhile, nothing much going on here in Chicago... NOT. Mother-to-be Chicago? Her water has broken: The baby is COMING!!! And like proud Baby Daddys, we're all but passing out the cigars now... A huge patch of downtown Chicago already is closing to traffic for the Obama celebration. The international press have been in town for days. So have the Secret Service and an army of sniper guys charged with protecting the next president of the United States.

Mayor Daley and the City of Chicago have turned schizophrenic. First, it was EVERYONE COME ON DOWNTOWN FOR THE MEGA-CELEBRATION IN GRANT PARK! Then it was No, wait... DON'T come unless you have one of the special 70,000 Obama election night event tickets. Sorry, but we forgot we having the highest crime rate in America -- and with all the racial tension and black history that's being made, you people won't know how to act. Bang-bang.

Oh, this just in: We're all invited again. Chicago gonna' party like its 1999. But the rest of us can only gather around the far edges of the Obama mega dancefloor. 30,000 uninvited are expected to come. And the black market to buy those free tickets rages wild.

... No way. Stop the presses... NPR just reported that Barack's grandmother, Mrs. Madelyn Dunham, has died. R.I.P., Mrs. Dunham. Job extraordinarily well done.

There simply aren't words to express how staggering a day on Earth can be. Or how crazy this election cycle will continue to get. We're all sitting on the edge of our seat. But that bitch called life has us paying for the whole damn thing. Read the whole post...

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