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The [Monday] Papers

"Finding that the Chicago prosecutor's office has a conflict of interest, the top criminal judge in Cook County, Ill., said on Thursday that he will appoint a special prosecutor to review the cases of at least five jailed men, and perhaps dozens of others, who say they were tortured into confessing years ago on the watch of a former city police supervisor," the ABA Journal notes today.

Now, what about a special prosecutor for Gitmo?

Rahm Knows Best
"Buried in a recent Fox TV report was this tidbit: multiple City Hall and CPS sources said that Barbara Byrd-Bennett had determined that the district could handle closing 40 schools this year," Curtis Black notes in Newstips.

"But Mayor Emanuel overruled his new schools chief and insisted on upping the number to over 50."

In other words, Rahm just picked a number out of thin air.


"An official spokesperson denied the report."

That spokesperson is the now-infamous Becky Carroll, so you can believe her or multiple CPS and City Hall sources.


"It wasn't the first time warnings about overreaching have been overruled. In January, someone on Byrd-Bennett's advisory commission on closings let it be known that they were considering recommending no more than 20 closings - perhaps as few as 15 - in one year."

Unfortunately, Rahm's advisory committee - consisting of himself - has more votes.

"Something happened to change their minds by March 6 - perhaps a fiat from the mayor's office - when the commission's final report recommended 80 closings, based on its assessment of the district's capacity to move students safely to better performing schools.

"Even then, the commission suggested the option of staging the closings over two years, noting the risks of moving too quickly.

"'The quick turnaround may make community members feel that CPS's engagement with them was inauthentic and undertaking just for show"' - and 'the compressed timeline may lead to the district making avoidable mistakes' in handling the vast logistics of moving dozens of schools and thousands of students, according to the commission's final report."

Thousands of students? More like the entire population of Biloxi.

Plus, make sure our fake engagement looks authentic!


"This language echoes that of the Broad Foundation's School Closing Guide, which recommends taking 18 months - 12 months max - to plan and implement school closings, a timeline which only starts after a decision-making process including evaluating capacity and developing school closing criteria and lists of schools to close with community input.

"The Broad Foundation, of course, is the school reform outfit financed by billionaire Eli Broad that trained Byrd-Bennett and J.C. Brizard, and where Byrd-Bennett is still a paid consultant. The group recently hosted Emanuel on a panel of 'education mayors'; Eli Broad gave Emanuel $25,000 when he ran for mayor, according to Gapers Block."

So, with 54 school closures, twice the value for their money than they expected.

So Transparent
"It's a battle that pits President Barack Obama against whistleblower advocates, against some of the largest federal employee unions, and against a bipartisan contingent in Congress," Politico reports.

"The fight, over the rights of thousands - perhaps hundreds of thousands - of federal workers, has even divided Obama's own administration.

"The White House - which has repeatedly pledged to be the most transparent in history and to embrace whistleblowers - has sided with the Pentagon and the intelligence community, but agencies charged with protecting whistleblowers and officials who investigate discrimination complaints have loudly dissented.

"'This is an administration at war with itself. It's Obama versus Obama,' said Tom Devine of the Government Accountability Project."

It always is. And Obama always wins.

Tom's Town
Last night's 60 Minutes feature on Marfa, Texas, included our very own Chicago ex-pat Tom Michael, who brought public radio to the tiny town.

Digital Divide
CTU new media guru Kenzo Shibata notes that a recent Huffington Post piece he wrote is being taught in library science classes at the University of Illinois.

On Second Thought, Rosemont Can Have Them
"What is the point anymore? If you take away everything everyone loved about the Cubs, all that's left is a loser franchise so bad that it's unwatchable. Then you'll be advertising to no one," I write in The Cub Factor.

New Cubs Way Same As Old Cubs Way
"Let's be clear about one thing: when a team doesn't care about winning, everything deteriorates quickly," our very own Jim Coffman writes in SportsMonday.

Crazy Carlos Quentin
"Quentin's behavior last week wasn't the first time he's visited the bizarre," our very own Roger Wallenstein writes in The White Sox Report.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Cued up.


Posted on April 15, 2013

MUSIC - Millions Of New Guitar Players.
TV - "One America News" is AT&T.
POLITICS - When Wall Street Came To My Mobile Home Park.
SPORTS - Tonyball, Bears On The Run, Eyes On The Sky & More!

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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