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The [Monday] Papers

"It is where the government has hidden the most secret information: plans to relocate Congress if Washington were attacked, dossiers on double agents, case files about high-profile mob figures and their politician friends, and a disturbing number of reports about the possible smuggling of atomic bombs into the United States," reports the Boston Globe.

"It is the FBI's 'special file room,'' where for decades sensitive material has been stored separately from the bureau's central filing system to restrict access severely and, in more sinister instances, some experts assert, prevent the Congress and the public from getting their hands on it . . .

"The special filing location was even used to protect information about politicians believed to be involved with criminals.

"'The information is of a very sensitive nature in that it contains frequent reference to highly placed persons in Chicago law enforcement as well as city, county, and state political figures and their relations with the hoodlum element,' one 1960 memo stated, requesting a file be routed to the special room. 'References are also made to prominent businessmen and occasionally newspaper reporters.'

"Longtime observers of the FBI say the memos are not just historically valuable, but also provide a roadmap for researchers who can now request some of the files cited in them, at least those with titles or file numbers that appear in the newly released documents. The memos will be posted at governmentattic.org, a website run by volunteers that publishes hundreds of government documents released under the Freedom of Information Act."

Warren's World
One might infer from James Warren's latest atrocity in the New York Times that if he had been named the editor of the Tribune, as he angled for before being sent packing, the paper's series on the CPS clout list might never have appeared.

Warren's dismissal of the Chicago Way as a problematic mode of governing follows an earlier bizarre column that took the meek City Hall press corps to task for not recognizing the greatness of our kick-ass mayor.

I'll take a closer look if and when I can muster a new Pundit Patrol installment this week.

New World Order
"Russia Eliminates 2 Time Zones."

Yes, 1958 and 1963.

Roeper's World
I stopped reading Sunday's excerpt from Richard Roeper's new book about 30 straight days of gambling after the very first sentence, which went like this:

"On Day 14 of the adventure, I'm going to the dogs. Literally."

If only I was as bad as he is, I'd be rich.

Simon Says
"But [Sheila] Simon quickly sought to downplay the idea that Democrats - fearing voter backlash from the Rod Blagojevich scandals that put Quinn in the governor's chair - were trying to trade on the reputation her late father established," the Tribune reports.

She even volunteered to use her husband's last name from here on out.

Oh wait, that didn't happen.

*

"The famous name gets my foot in the door, and that's only the start."

Exactly.

*

"I'm ready to play hardball."

Yup, the "kind of pol we should want."

*

"We were not very close. [Blagojevich] had a friend of his call and ask if I would introduce the governor. I gave him a list of other officeholders that I thought would be better suited, but he specifically wanted me."

For the same reason Quinn wants you: To trade on your name.

*

I wonder if Simon gave Quinn a list of officeholders she thought would be better suited to be lieutenant governor.

*

"Perhaps the most telling moment was after Sheila Simon was announced as the Lt. Governor nominee," John Laesch writes at The Progressive Fox. "Turner's entire half of the room was dead silent, drowned out by the sounds of camera flashes and applause from those who fought side-by-side with Paul throughout his career. It will be interesting to see how this one plays out in the general election.

"Was this a Democratic, bottom-up process or a top-down, back-room deal-making process?

"We will never know what made Rep. Boland, Sen. Garrett and Sen. Koehler decide to step aside. By getting out of the race, those candidates freed up more votes for Sheila Simon, the eventual winner. We know for a fact that Governor Quinn was making calls on behalf of Sheila Simon. We know for a fact that Speaker Madigan was counting votes for Sheila Simon, or perhaps just counting votes to help determine if he should use his 80,000 votes or just pass (he did officially pass). There was some evidence that members of Senator Durbin's staff were involved in whipping votes for Simon. With that many players all pulling in the same direction, it would be hard to see how this vote could have turned out any differently."

Fall Guy
Arne Duncan loyalist David Pickens resigned his CPS post on Friday amidst revelations that he kept a secret admissions clout list for his boss, now the U.S. Secretary of Education.

"Pickens bristled at suggestions that he was maintaining a clout list, saying that he took a beating when favored applicants were rejected, as often happened," the Tribune reported.

Um, let me try to follow the logic here: The fact that aldermen and folks from the mayor's office and people who knew people blasted Pickens when they didn't get their way shows the list he maintained had nothing to do with clout?

*

Hey, their names just got them in the door.

*

"As much grief as I took from these elected officials," Pickens told the Trib, "it's hard for me to hear (accusations) that we were just letting all these kids in."

No, you were just asking principals to let them in.

*

Um, let me try to follow the logic here: The fact that so many kids sponsored by aldermen and folks from the mayor's office and people who knew people were so ill-qualified that their special pipeline to the city's principals still wasn't enough to get so many of them into their schools of choice - though it was enough for plenty - shows that nothing untoward was going on?

*

"Through a spokesman, Duncan declined to comment."

Because it's not like a Cabinet officer owes us an explanation or anything. Who are we, Jim Warren?

*

The deputy chief of staff to former school board president Michael Scott got laid off on Friday.

"[Greg] Minniefield said he didn't know about Pickens' list," the Sun-Times reports.

Apparently clout lists were above his pay grade.

Bracket Busters
Anne State out of the Midwest region; Jewel starts accepting payment in organs. In The Weekend Desk Report.

The True Value of Education
"Chicago is still behind a number of cities that are composed of more college graduates, including Seattle and San Francisco," Beachwood demographer Kiljoong Kim finds.

This He Misses About His Imprisoned Best Friend
The latest list from our very own Drew Adamek.

One Knee Backhands
Our latest training drill from the White Sox Academy.

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Make the team.



Permalink

Posted on March 29, 2010


MUSIC - The Week In Chicago Rock.
TV - Slow TV Chicago.
POLITICS - Dangerous, Low-Wage Industries Depend On Immigrants, Refugees.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Dear Cubs, Make It Stop.

BOOKS - Meet Chicago's American Writers Museum.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Beachwood Photo Booth: Mail Call.


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