Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Pesach with Paulie

Round One Fundraising Winners & Losers
Numbers don't tell the whole story

By first glance it appears undoubtedly that Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) are the big campaign fundraising winners for the first quarter of 2007. Raising 26 and 23 million dollars respectively, both candidates are out and about claiming their fundraising figures are the real indicator of the strength of their bids for the White House.

Even though numbers don't lie, they also don't tell the whole story. Clinton's total is much less impressive than what is predicted to be Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL). Obama's camp has not released his figures yet, but they are believe to be over 22 million. Considering she has been running for the Presidency since the day her husband left the Oval office and has clearly been the front runner for her Party's nomination since election day 2004, means she should be annihilating her competition. Clinton campaign finance chairman, Terry McAuliffe, has admitted Obama probably has raised a similar amount. What was suppose to be an easy primary for Clinton this time last year, has turned into a real dog fight. It should be noted that former North Carolina Senator John Edwards (D) raised a strong 14 million, while New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson (D) raised a respectable 6 million with literally no media coverage.

With what has been publicly released so far, the big story has to be Romney's 23 million. Considering that Romney is a newcomer to the national scene and has a questionable conservative record, the fact his totals rival Clinton is nothing short of amazing. It also must be noted that fundraising figures are no signal of popularity among voters. The former Massachusetts governor is currently 5Th is most GOP Presidential polls.

Depending on your point of view, the biggest winner may be former New York Mayor, Rudy Giuliani (R), who raised a reported 15 million dollars. The intriguing figure for America's mayor is that he raised 10 million in March alone. Giuliani didn't officially enter the race until early February of this year, marking his candidacy as the shortest of the major candidates.

As it stands now, Hillary should be happy, but very concerned. Obama should be confident. Romney should be standing on cloud 9, while Giuliani is standing next him with the edge going into the next quarter. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who was the front runner only a few months ago, raised a mere 12.5 million. Right now, he has to be asking himself, what went wrong and if he can compete with the strong bank balances of Romney and Giuliani?

Tribune Co. Bought by Sam Zell
Col. McCormick rolling over in his grave

Real Estate investor Sam Zell will soon be the new CEO of the Tribune company. The media company has agreed to a buyout offer from Zell worth 8.2 billion dollars. Upon announcing the deal, Zell stated that the company will be selling the Chicago Cubs at the end of this season.

Your brilliant blogger won't go into details or discussion about the positives or negatives regarding this sale. The fact is that the Tribune company was in deep trouble and a brilliant business mind such as Zell can only be a great improvement to a company terribly hit by the increasing number of people getting their news from the Internet as well as the scandals plaguing Tribune owned newspaper the Los Angeles Times.

What makes this business deal so intriguing is that the Tribune Company, which was viewed as a leading voice of anti-Semitism as well as pro-Fascism during the first two World Wars, is now finding itself headed by an American Jew.

The late Robert "The Colonel" McCormick who ran the company founded by his grandfather starting in 1911, was well known for his disdain for Jews as well as his isolationist views. McCormick was in the first WWI newsreel showing him meeting with Russian Czar Nicholas II. Under his direction the Chicago Tribune was the leading advocate for the United States not to get involved in WWII to rescue Britain. It's safe to say that today he is rolling over in his grave.

A great day for sports
Baseball begins, Congrats Florida

Sunday night officially, but in reality yesterday was the start of the baseball season, which means summer is on it's way. The opening day of the baseball season is in itself cause for celebration. In Chicago it usually means that opening day attendees will still need a mid-size jacket if not your winter coat if they plan on being somewhat warm during the home openers.

As far as my Chicago White Sox are concerned, I am excited about the new season. However, I will admit I am not very confident in their chances. They still will put up runs, but they have not improved their pitching and the American league central is the toughest division in baseball.

Florida Repeats

My apologies to readers who expected more NCAA coverage from me during the past few weeks. I can't really explain why I didn't write more about the tourney, especially since I followed it as much as an overpaid sportswriter. Anyway, it has been a fun tourney, not as many upsets as in recent memory, but arguably one of the most competitive tourneys in years. As far as last nights game, Florida proved without any doubt that they are #1. Ohio State put forth a good effort and should hold their head high, but the Gators combination of great team play and superb coaching, proved to be too much for the Buckeyes. National Champs in the two major college sports and defeating the same school in both title games. Wow!

Chag Sameach (Joyous Festival)

Pesach (passover) is upon us and Jews world wide are celebrating this joyous festival. Pesach is one of three biblical pilgrimage festivals, which means Jews from around the world make pilgrimages to Jerusalem to make offerings in the Temple in honor of these holidays. The other two festivals are Shavo'ut and Sukkot.

Pesach is of course the holiday commemorating the Jews Exodus from Egypt after being freed from slavery. The name Passover comes from when the Angel of Death passed over the homes of the Jews, because they had been forewarned, and had put lambs blood on their doors, so that death would spare their first born child. The last of the ten plagues on Egypt was that the angel of death would take the first born male child from each Egyptian house, which included the Pharaohs son.

For my Christian friends, depending on your beliefs, Yeshua (Jesus) last supper was a passover meal (Synoptic Gospels) called a Seder. So put down the Ham and bread when you celebrate Sunday with your family.

Chag Sameach



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