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The [Friday] Papers

1. Kreepy Ken Kurson.

"Ken Kurson is a confidant of Rudolph W. Giuliani. He is a onetime speechwriter for Donald J. Trump. And he is a close friend of Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump's son-in-law, who appointed Mr. Kurson to run his weekly newspaper, The New York Observer," the New York Times reports.

This spring, those relationships appeared to yield a prestigious offer from the Trump White House: a seat on the board of the National Endowment for the Humanities, a federal body that doles out millions of dollars a year in grants to cultural institutions.

First, Mr. Kurson had to undergo a government background check. As part of that process, the Federal Bureau of Investigation learned about allegations that he had harassed a New York doctor in 2015, according to Mount Sinai Hospital, where the doctor worked.

Kurson, of course, is a Chicago expat. See the item The Kurson Convention.


"Mr. Kurson, 49, spent years as a journalist before moving into political consulting. He became a speechwriter for Mr. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, and was a co-writer of his 2002 book, Leadership. Mr. Kurson then spent several years at Mr. Giuliani's consulting firm and helped run his short-lived 2008 presidential campaign.

Over the years, Mr. Kurson had also become close to Mr. Kushner and his father, Charles, who was an important New Jersey political donor until his 2005 imprisonment for tax evasion and other crimes. Mr. Kushner appointed Mr. Kurson to run The Observer in 2013.

During his four years there, The Observer published critical pieces on adversaries of Mr. Trump and Mr. Kushner. As Mr. Kurson advised Mr. Trump's presidential campaign, The Observer endorsed him for president. While still editing the newspaper, Mr. Kurson sat in the Trump family box at the Republican National Convention.
Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan said it had investigated a doctor's claims of harassment against Mr. Kurson in 2015.

It was during his time at The Observer that the alleged harassment took place.

Click through to learn how ugly it (allegedly) became.

2. Ex-Mayor Daley Avoids Deposition In Police Torture Lawsuit Tied To Burge. Again!

"A federal judge will not force former Mayor Richard M. Daley to sit for a deposition in a civil case brought by a man who alleges former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge's crew tortured him into confessing to a 1982 sexual assault," the Sun-Times reports.

"U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheila Finnegan agreed in a 10-page order filed Thursday to quash a subpoena calling for Daley's deposition, finding that the man who filed the lawsuit, Stanley Wrice, had "failed to demonstrate that Mr. Daley knows what took place" even though he was the Cook County state's attorney at the time."

Emphasis mine.



->2016: "U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve's ruling sets the stage once again for Daley to potentially be forced to give sworn testimony about what he knew of the painful legacy of police torture that first came to light when Daley was Cook County state's attorney and later exploded during his more than two decades as mayor.

"Twice before, Daley has been ordered to give a sworn deposition in other lawsuits over torture claims, but the city settled those cases before he was questioned under oath.

-> 2016: "I know I had Mayor Daley on the verge of having to testify or give depositions two or three times, and then we'd get a settlement offer we couldn't turn down," attorney Flint Taylor said.

-> 2013: "On Friday March 3, 2013, former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley filed his opposition to Chicago police torture survivor Ronald Kitchen's motion for a court order compelling him to sit for a sworn, videotaped deposition," the People's Law Office says.

"This is the latest skirmish in a nine-year long legal battle to force Daley to answer about his central role in the police torture scandal and its cover-up.

"This involvement began with his refusal, while the elected State's Attorney of Cook County, to prosecute Jon Burge, the mastermind of a now notorious police torture ring, when damning evidence of Burge's sadistic brutality was first presented to him in 1982; continued on his watch as scores of African-American torture survivors were subsequently prosecuted and wrongfully convicted on the basis of tortured confessions; and culminated with his role in the cover-up of the scandal after he became mayor."

-> 2012: City Settles Burge Torture Case, Avoids Daley Deposition.

See also: The item Daley Depo.

-> 2011: "The Daley deposition is off - for now.

"'Daley, through his city-paid attorneys, sent [attorney Flint] Taylor a letter saying no,' Carol Marin writes. 'Under no circumstances will he sit for questioning by lawyers representing men who claim to have been tortured by Chicago Police.'"

-> 2007: "The Tribune is pretty generous today with its top-of-front-page headline "City Aims To Stop Rogue Cops."

"More like 'City Aims To Stop Exposure Of Rogue Cops.'

"Mayor Daley taking control of the machinery investigating complaints about police officers - as if he hasn't already been in control - is a fox-in-the-henhouse story for the ages.

"After all, this is a mayor who has reneged on his pre-election promise to sit for a deposition about police torture, is fighting a federal judge's order to release the list of officers with citizen complaints against them, has already dismissed the significance of cops who rack up a disproportionate number of complaints, and compares the code of silence in the police department with so-called codes of silence within every other profession on Earth."


Back to today's Sun-Times:

"Finnegan noted that Daley also mentioned an 'undisclosed medical situation' as further reason to scuttle his deposition."


-> 2017: "An undisclosed medical issue could affect whether former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley must give a deposition in a federal lawsuit alleging he ignored evidence of widespread torture by a former police commander."

-> 2014: "Former mayor Richard Daley will not have to testify in the Park Grill case. Lawyers for the restaurant withdrew their subpoena on Wednesday after a judge held a closed door hearing to discuss Daley's medical condition."


Whatever Daley's undisclosed medical condition is, it hasn't stopped him from holding a number of lucrative business positions since leaving the mayor's office in 2011.

See also: Daley Named To Coca-Cola Board; Threatens To Pound A 2-Liter Up Reporter's Ass.


Again, back to today's Sun-Times:

"[Finnegan] also noted that Daley, in a sworn statement to special prosecutors in 2006, insisted he had no specific recollection of a letter warning him of abuse claims."

Ah, but there's more to the story of his statement than that. From the Beachwood at that time:

But their questioning of Daley, as far as we can tell, seems awfully weak. All Egan and Boyle can bring themselves to write of his version of events is, "We accept his explanation, but would not do it the same way he did."

What was Daley's explanation? We don't really know. As the Defender reports, "Daley was not subpoenaed, but special prosecutors took court-recorded statements from the mayor under oath. Daley's statement - alone among those interviewed, according to one TV station - is not in the report.

3. "Rapid eye movement, or REM, sleep was discovered in 1953 - more than 15 years after stages 1 through 4 had been mapped - by Eugene Aserinsky and Nathaniel Kleitman at the University of Chicago," according to National Geographic in "While We Sleep, Our Mind Goes On An Amazing Journey."

4. Assignment Desk: The Wendy's in Logan Square has automated ordering via touchscreens at the front counter instead of humans taking your order. (It sucks. And human employees are right there, like, watching and stuff!)

5. "Three years into Yemen's civil war, more than 16,000 civilians have been killed and injured, the vast majority by airstrikes. The deaths have continued unabated despite assurances by the U.S.-supported coalition that it would take steps to reduce accidental fatalities."

6. "Ghian Foreman is Mayor Rahm Emanuel's handpicked Police Board president and a prominent Chicago real estate developer. In 2005, he borrowed $50,000 from Karyn Usher's mother to help finance a Bronzeville condominium project. The units sold but the Usher family has waited 13 years to be paid."

7. Autocracy in Illinois.

Reporter 1: So, why are you here today and not in Granite City?

Rauner aide: We're just keeping it on-topic . . .

The governor and his people apparently believe that reporters should only ask the questions the governor wants to answer. Of course, the governor is hardly the only American politician who tries to control "the message," but do they ever consider the implication of those efforts to the American democracy they extol so much? This drives me crazy. They purport to believe in, say, the freedom of the press, but spend a lot of their time devising ways to manipulate and deceive reporters and the citizens who consume their work. Seriously, it's not a game, and it shouldn't be treated as such.

Rauner: Well, I'm here because this is a very significant piece of legislation that passed at the end of the General Assembly. And this was scheduled long time ago. Uh, and today, [laughs] my day is very full. I was in Chicago and Itasca and Rockford, and I'm heading back to Springfield tonight.

Reporter 2: You didn't think it was important to support the president in Granite City today at all?

Rauner: Well, what's important is that we support economic growth for the entire state of Illinois. And that's what this legislation does. We need to bring down tax burden in our communities and grow more jobs and that's what we're here to do right now.

Rauner aide: Alright, thank you everybody!


Hey, look, Bruce Rauner on LiveScience!


Mary Ann Ahern is at her best when public officials are trying to shut down reporters:


h/t: Rich Miller.



"Brent Johnson, the president and owner of Midwest Aero Support wrote in a Facebook post that he was notified on Wednesday that Rauner would visit his company," the Sun-Times reports.

"I feel honored he selected MAS [Midwest Aero Support] for this occasion. What is even more humbling is that President Trump will be in Illinois the same time tomorrow in a different city," Johnson wrote. "The governor declined the president's invitation to join him in Granite City to visit MAS instead. How we were selected is a mystery, but I feel it is an opportunity / experience of a lifetime."

Rauner's campaign spokesman Will Allison said both campaign events "had been in the works for weeks." Allison said the events were planned on Jan. 26. He said there was talk of visiting a different company in Rockford, however.

"If someone is trying to imply that we had nothing on our schedule at then Trump shows up, and we added events, that's not true," Allison said. "Both have been in the works for awhile."

Lots of wiggle room there, Will. Just tell the truth: "We're in a tough spot. We don't want to alienate the base of the party any more than it already is from the governor by not appearing with Trump, but at the same time we don't want to alienate swing voters we still hope to attract by appearing with Trump. So we decided to try to fool everyone by scheduling visits to manufacturers even as the president is here to talk about trade. Apparently it didn't work."

8. Early Warning: Free Dragon Boating Lessons At Ping Tom Park.

9. Report: More Than Half Of PR Pros Are Willing To Create Fake News.

I don't believe it; it's way more than half.

10. #FridayFlashback: LiLo vs. Blago.





The Oddities and Curiosities Expo 2018 in Chicago | I Can't Believe What We Just Experienced.



Food Deserts Don't Benefit From More Supermarkets In Chicago, Study Finds.


The Dirty Truth Is Your Recycling May Actually Go To Landfills.


Afraid Of 'Political Repercussions,' HUD Delayed Action On Crumbling Public Housing In Cairo.


At East Bay Express, Racism Charges Prompt Resignations.


Metallica Shapes Its Live Shows Around What Fans Are Listening To On Spotify.


A sampling.










The Beachwood Tronc Line: Okay?


Posted on July 27, 2018

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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