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The [Monday] Papers

"Rahm Wants New Gun Laws in Wake of Newtown School Shooting," NBC5 Chicago - and others - reported over the weekend.

Of course. And wouldn't it be nice to suspend our cynicism in the wake of such a tragedy.

Well, I will if they will.

For example, consider this weekend tweet from Rahm:

Now consider what Rahm did as Barack Obama's chief of staff (and previously as the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee).

To which Karen Lewis expressed little surprise.

So back to you Rahm: STFU.

Fundamental Health
Nancy Lanza, the mother of Newtown shooter Adam Lanza, reportedly was a gun enthusiast who had a legal and registered collection of weapons, though it seems a bit odd that she would own a Bushmaster, if that was indeed hers.

But like many similar incidents, this story is at least as much about mental illness as gun control, though there is an obvious intersection.

In November, I wrote this item:

Father Fixation
"A Deerfield woman charged with stalking the Rev. Michael Pfleger told authorities that God told her that she was supposed to marry the priest, prosecutors said today."

A piece of toast shaped like Jesus told her so.

I thought more than twice before joking about a person obviously suffering from some sort of mental illness, but followed with this item:

Insane Surplus
Emanuel Has $4 Million After NATO Tab Settled.

Gee, that's more than enough to open a few mental health clinics to keep our clergy safe.

A longtime reader called me out for what she thought was a poor choice running the first item, and I agreed. I thought in combination with the second item I was making the point that we're all endangered by the inadequacies of our mental health care system - even more so as officials like Rahm find it easier to cut funding for the most vulnerable instead of asking for sacrifice from those who can best afford it (and from those who caused the financial meltdown we're trying to recover from and seemed to have escaped unscathed.)

I apologized to that reader for not executing better in making my point, which I am reiterating here.

Hitting The Trifecta
* At Schools, An Upsurge In Mental Health Crises.

* State Mental Health Cuts Hit Low-Income Patients Hard.

* Justice Dept. Shelved Ideas To Improve Gun Background Checks.

CPS Response
"Chicago Public Schools officials say principals have been asked to review their existing safety plans and grief counselors will be on hand Monday," AP reports.

"School officials say CPS schools have been vigilant in conducting drills for tornadoes, fires and lockdowns situations, which would cover a school shooting."

Dog Team
"A team of golden retrievers made an 800-mile journey from the Chicago area to Newtown, Conn., over the weekend to comfort those affected by the recent school massacre," the Tribune reports.

"Lutheran Church Charities deployed about 10 of the canines Saturday evening for residents who want to pet them while they talk or pray with the dog's handler, said Tim Hetzner, president of the Addison-based organization."

From the QT Archive of Knowledge
+ There were 98,411 gun homicides in the United States from 2003 to 2010.
+ Comes to three 9/11s a year.

In today's QT.

Political Odds
Updated since the weekend's Dem slating session, but not by much. Very little has changed.

And as Dan Mihalopoulos reports in the Sun-Times, gun control was barely mentioned at that the party confab.

"[T]he day after the second-deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, the would-be members of Congress did not address the issue of gun control in their public speeches," Mihalopoulos reports.

Bill Beavers found it appropriate to make a joke at Donne Trotter's expense ' "Have gun , will travel!" - but otherwise party leaders declined to suss out differences in each candidate's position on the issue.

"Instead, they sought and received confirmation that virtually all the most prominent candidates to succeed Jackson are in favor of abortion rights and they learned that the only significant player in the race who opposes gay rights is Napoleon Harris, the retired pro football player and state senator-elect.

"Austin also asked almost everybody how they would help her develop a big, old industrial site in her ward. Ald. Leslie Hairston sought positions on long-running dispute over the re-construction of the Promontory Point shoreline - limestone or concrete? - in her lakefront 5th Ward."

I'm guessing there was no discussion of mental health issues either.


"If the Democratic bosses had bothered to ask some questions about gun control , they might have found more reason to sort out a favorite," Mihalopoulos points out.

"State Sen. Toi Hutchinson of Olympia Fields voted with the National Rifle Association's positions 92 percent of the time and has enjoyed the Illinois State Rifle Association's endorsement. Rival Deborah Halvorson, a former congresswoman from Crete, also had NRA backing.

"At the other end of the spectrum were Robin Kelly (a lifetime grade of F from the NRA for her votes while a state lawmaker) and the pistol-packing Trotter (only voted with the pro- gun lobby 33 percent of the time)."

I don't presume at all that the district automatically would prefer the positions of Kelly and Trotter - the opposite is just as likely to be true if I understand the district correctly. But that makes for some clear choices between candidates who probably agree on much more than they disagree and it would be nice to know more.

The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Gangnam Style.

Tipping Point For Lovie
"If nothing else, we need someone else to kick around around here," our very own Jim Coffman writes in SportsMonday.

Listen to Coffman talk Bears with Rick Kogan on WBEZ's Afternoon Shift later today.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Hypoallergenic for your protection.


Posted on December 17, 2012

MUSIC - Madonna vs. Moderna.
TV - Sundays With The Military-Industrial Complex.
POLITICS - Private Equity In The ER.
SPORTS - Suspicious Betting Trends In Soccer.

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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