• The Name Game: What if Your Name is Polish and Voters Prefer Irish?

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    Yep. You change that name.

    Phillip Spivak –shazaam!–is now Shannon O’Malley

    Spiwak, a failed candidate for judge in Cook County (Chicago and suburbs), has decided the new name has more curb appeal for voters.

    Here’s the story in the Chicago Tribune:

    In the hit AMC shows “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul,” Bob Odenkirk plays Slippin’ Jimmy McGill, an Irish-American attorney who changes his name to the Jewish-sounding Saul Goodman to lend his business an air of legitimacy.

    But if you’re running for judge in Cook County, history shows there’s no better name to have printed on the ballot than an Irish woman’s.

    That appears to be the rationale behind the curious name switch adopted by the lawyer formerly known as Phillip Spiwak, a Schaumburg criminal defense and bankruptcy attorney who now goes by (say it with a brogue) Shannon P. O’Malley.

    Spiwak unsuccessfully ran for judge in 2010 under his old name as a Republican candidate in Will County. He changed his name in 2012, according to the state Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. Now he’s running as a Democrat under his new name. . . .

    Alas, for O’Malley, the [suburban] seat is routinely won by Republicans. In a down-ballot race in which voters typically vote strictly on party lines, his name change in unlikely to be enough.

    ’Tis a shame!

    –Chicago Tribune

    Kudos to the Trib’s reporter, Kim Janssen, for that final sentence.

  • “Cats” Musical interrupted by dog, literally

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    It’s the same old story, the fight between dogs versus cats.

    In this case, a service dog got loose at a Broadway performance and went after a Cats performer.

    A spokesperson for the megamusical confirmed the incident, adding, “In the storied history of ‘Cats,’ this is the first time one of the actual cats was involved in an incident with a dog. –Page Six

    An NBC executive said privately the dog will no longer be hosting the Today program.

    Thanks to Tom Elia for this gem