The [Thursday] Papers
Thank you, Huffington Post Chicago!
Now, was that really so hard?
"For the second time in four months a federal court judge has ruled former Mayor Richard M. Daley can be sued in an ongoing legal battle over allegations of police torture," Carol Marin and Don Moseley report.
"U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer on Wednesday denied a motion to reconsider her prior ruling, setting the stage for Daley to be deposed by attorneys representing men who claim they were tortured by a small band of Chicago Police officers in the 1970s and 1980s."
"We have patiently awaited this decision before proceeding to question Daley under oath at a deposition," said plaintiff's attorney G. Flint Taylor. "Now the path is clear, Daley has no legitimate grounds to object, so we will [Thursday] subpoena Daley for questioning in early December."
"As Cook County state's attorney from 1980 to 1989, Daley is granted prosecutorial immunity. But as mayor, Pallmeyer ruled, Daley doesn't have the same privilege.
"The lawsuit charges that Daley was part of a conspiracy to cover up the torture allegations.
"In her original ruling, Pallmeyer wrote that Tillman had 'presented more than 'naked assertions' and his conspiracy claim survives.'
"In her ruling denying the motion to reconsider, Pallmeyer concluded 'that Plaintiff sufficiently alleged that Daley, as Mayor, participated in a conspiracy that included the concealment of exculpatory evidence.'"
"The corporate tax rate is 35 percent, but an examination of 280 of the nation's largest corporations suggests that many aren't paying anything close to that," CNNMoney reports in a story republished by the Tribune.
"The real tax rate paid by a slew of major corporations averages closer to 18.5 percent, according to a study released Thursday by two liberal tax research groups."
I'm not sure why CNN felt compelled to label the tax research groups as liberal; the facts are the facts and conservatives (Tea Partiers, at least) aren't happy about it either.
"According to the study, utility Pepco Holdings and conglomerate General Electric have the highest negative income tax rates.
"Pepco's profits totaled $882 million over the three-year period, while the company had a negative tax rate of 57.6 percent. GE earned $10.5 billion, with a negative rate of 45.3 percent, according to the study."
The Beachwood Media Company pays more in taxes than GE!
"It wasn't always like this. The corporate tax code was cleaned of special tax breaks during the Reagan administration."
That's simply not true - and Dan Rostenkowski was the main reason why not.
"When Congress passed the Tax Reform Act of 1986, radically overhauling the Internal Revenue Code, Rep. Dan Rostenkowski (D., Ill.), chairman of the tax- writing House Ways and Means Committee, hailed the effort as 'a bill that reaches deep into our national sense of justice - and gives us back a trust in government that has slipped away in the maze of tax preferences for the rich and powerful,'" legendary investigative reporters Don Barlett and James Steele reported in "The Great Tax Giveaway."
"In fact, Rostenkowski and other self-styled reformers created a new maze of unprecedented favoritism. Working in secret, they wove at least 650 exemptions - preferences, really, for the rich and powerful - through the legislation, most written in cryptic legal and tax jargon that conceals the identity of the beneficiaries.
"When they were finished, thousands of wealthy individuals and hundreds of businesses were absolved from paying billions upon billions of dollars in federal income taxes. It was, an Inquirer investigation has established, the largest tax giveaway in the 75-year history of the federal income tax."
A missive from MoveOn.org:
Some people just don't get it.
Tens of thousands of Americans have taken to the streets to demand accountability for the banks. But some members of the Obama administration - including members of his Cabinet - are pushing for a terrible deal to let the big banks off the hook for selling bad mortgages and then illegally foreclosing on homeowners - destroying the American Dream for millions of families.1
The president's top campaign advisors have said that he's going to run for re-election on his record of holding Wall Street accountable2 - but that'll be impossible if his administration pushes for another giveaway for the Wall Street banks who crashed our economy. And that could happen any day now.3
Can you sign our petition to President Obama right now telling him that we need a full investigation into the banks' wrongdoing, not another "deal" that lets them off the hook?
Add my name to the petition to hold the banks accountable.
We'll deliver it to the White House and to the campaign headquarters in Chicago. Here's what it says: "The banks have to be held accountable for destroying the American Dream for so many families. No immunity for the banks before a full investigation is done."
Members of the Obama administration have said that the immunity they're offering the banks would be very narrow. But we can't know if what the banks are being asked to pay is fair without a full investigation. What's already come out is shocking - intentionally overlooking problematic documentation, hiring "robo-signers" to sign thousands of documents without reading them, and even forging critical legal documents.4
And while the administration says we have to cut a deal because it's the only way to get homeowners relief quickly, what the banks are offering would only help a fraction of the homeowners who are in trouble, and it's not even clear how many of them it would allow to stay in their homes.5
Some state attorneys general - led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden - have walked away from the deal, because they believe it doesn't go nearly far enough.6 But members of the administration, including Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, are continuing to push for a deal - any deal - so they can say they won something against the banks.7
That's why it's so critical that we speak up now and say that granting the banks immunity before we know the scale of their wrongdoing makes no sense. A deal could come any day, so we all need to send a message to the president that he needs to step up and hold the banks accountable. Click below to sign now:
Thanks for all you do.
1. "A Deal That Wouldn't Sting," The New York Times, October 29, 2011
"'Robo-signing' of mortgages still a problem," CBS News, July 18, 2011
2. "White House officials defend economic efforts, hit Republicans for blocking," The Hill, October 30, 2011
"Obama plans to turn anti-Wall Street anger on Mitt Romney, Republicans," The Washington Post, October 14, 2011
3. See 1.
5. "State accuses Bank of America unit of thousands of illegal foreclosures," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 5, 2011
"4ClosureFraud Posts Lender Processing Services Mortgage Document Fabrication Price Sheet," naked capitalism, October 3, 2010
"Robo-signing: Just the start of bigger problems," CNNMoney, October 22, 2010
6. "Shake-Up in Mortgage Investigation," The New York Times, August 23, 2011
7. "Geithner seeks swift foreclosure pact with banks," Reuters, March 15, 2011
This solicitation from the Obama campaign arrived at almost the same time:
Election Day 2012 is almost exactly a year out.
So this weekend, supporters will be joining days of action across the country. We'll come together to phone bank and reach out to people in our neighborhoods. We'll ask our friends and members of our communities to step up and help spread the word about the progress we've made over the last three years - and why we should re-elect President Obama a year from now.
Whether you're already a regular volunteer for 2012, or if you haven't had a chance to pitch in just yet, this day of action is for you. Come out and work alongside other supporters to ensure that we have a strong ground game in Chicago.
Maybe the best thing Obama can do to ensure his re-election is to forget about campaigning and get his governing together. It just might work.
The Local Redistricting Song & Dance
Yesterday we posted ProPublica's examination of how redistricting works to shrink democracy.
For a local take, here's the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform:
A coalition of civil rights and public policy organizations supports a plan aimed at giving Chicago residents a chance to monitor the redrawing of the city's 50 wards, but said the resolution, which will be considered at Wednesday's City Council meeting, doesn't go far enough.
The redistricting transparency resolution, which was approved by the City Council committee charged with overseeing Chicago's once-in-a-decade remapping process Tuesday, mandates six preliminary hearings on redistricting and one public meeting on any draft ward map to be presented to the full City Council.
But the Illinois Campaign for Accountable Redistricting (ICAR), a coalition of civil rights and public policy non-profit organizations working for a more transparent and accountable redistricting process, said aldermen need to take more steps to ensure Chicago residents can participate meaningfully in the process. ICAR is comprised of the Asian American Institute, Citizen Advocacy Center, the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, the Latino Policy Forum, the League of Women Voters of Illinois, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF).
ICAR has asked aldermen to hold at least five public hearings, with two weeks' notice, on any draft ward map to be considered by the City Council.
"Transparency and public participation are essential to a fair and accountable process of redistricting," said ICAR Member Margaret Herring, President of the League of Women Voters of Chicago. "Transparency ensures that Chicago residents have access to information about the remapping of Chicago wards and encouraging public participation offers Chicago residents the opportunity to weigh in on this important process."
The resolution, sponsored by Ald. Richard Mell (33rd Ward), also mandates that the Committee on Committees, Rules and Ethics make redistricting computer terminals available to the public so residents can draw their own maps, and provide an explanation of any full redistricting plan considered by the City Council.
However, the resolution does not prohibit use of political considerations in map drawing. ICAR believes that aldermen should not consider their home addresses, or that of likely opponents, when drawing ward boundaries.
Song of the Moment
Jiffy Helmet vs. Slim Shady
In The Blue & Orange Kool-Aid Report.
Tony La Russa vs. Chicago
"No rival manager has been as entwined with both Chicago baseball teams as Tony La Russa, who started his managing career with the White Sox - and whose firing is famously Jerry Reinsdorf's biggest regret - and who went on to manage the Cubs' greatest rival.
"Buzz Bissinger's 3 Nights in August, in fact, is a profile of La Russa as reported through the prism of a three-game series against the Cubs in 2003 - and includes plenty on his White Sox days.
"Now that La Russa has retired following his World Series win, it's a good time to go back and take a look at the Chicago portions of Bissinger's book, as well as a few other tidbits."
Do Lions And Tigers Ever Mate?
A Chicago zookeeper has the answer.
The Beachwood Tip Line: Roar.
Posted on November 3, 2011