Chicago Sun-Times
Staff reports on all things politics - from City Hall to Springfield to Washington, D.C.

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View Map of proposed Chicago digital sign sites in a larger map

Our Fran Spielman reported today that the city has released a list of proposed sites for new digital signs along highways in the city. Above is a Google Map of those locations and a PDF of those locations is after the jump.

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For good or for ill, GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney thrust an unsuspecting segment of the population into the spotlight two weeks ago when, during the first debate, he called out PBS and, specifically, Big Bird as targets for his projected cuts. (Of course, funding to public broadcasting in 2011 only amounted to .00012 percent of the total federal budget so there's that.) But that not only started a tussle on Twitter over protection of Big Bird (who, lest it be forgotten, was at one point a child runaway); it also prompted the Obama campaign to use the big, yellow lug in a new ad targeting Romney.

But soon after the ad hit the air, Sesame Workshop, the folks who own Big Bird and pals, ask that the ad be spiked because it's copyright infringement and Muppets are bipartisan which seems weird given that all of Sesame Street seems like a socialist commune straight out of a Hunter S. Thompson nightmare, but, hey, whatever. Don't politicize Elmo. Got it.

That request, though, isn't stopping a newly announced event for November 3 being called The Million Muppet March. It evens has a Facebook page so you know it's totally legit. Strictly speaking, no official muppets, like Kermit or Scooter or Gonzo, will be taking place because, again, they're muppets, you see. But the march will include thousands of non-affiliated muppets who will march for muppetkind.

Oh, and there are Republicans who are in favor of supporting public broadcasting so TAKE THAT, ROMNEY.

This might not be seen a lot in Illinois. Certainly not in Chicago. But as the ad wars between President Obama and Mitt Romney's camps intensify, Obama at least is breaking out the big guns: Morgan Freeman.

The actor narrates the latest Obama spot with a theme of "recovery" and "moving forward." Here's the script:

Few have faced so many. Four years later... Our enemies have been brought to justice. Our heroes are coming home. Assembly lines are humming again. There are still challenges to meet. Children to educate. A middle class to rebuild. But the last thing we should do...is turn back now.

Of course, Freeman has some experience with "hope." Perhaps "forward" helps avoid the typecasting.

Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding:

I find I'm so excited I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it is the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend, and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.