The [Thursday] Papers
"Chicago is emerging from a 'lost decade' economically and needs to take bold action to avoid a repeat over the next ten years, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday," the Sun-Times reports.
Wow, a lost decade! I wonder who the mayor was all those years. Curiously, neither the Sun-Times nor Emanuel says.
The Tribune takes a stab at it. Briefly.
"But it also raised the question of whether Emanuel was criticizing his predecessor, Richard Daley. Emanuel's office rejected that notion," the paper said.
He was blaming teachers, the office explained.
No, but seriously . . . is Rahm Emanuel's butt jealous of the shit that comes out of his mouth? (Believe it or not, I stole that line from Real Housewives of Orange County).
"This was simply a realistic look at the challenges and opportunities facing Chicago," said spokesman Tom Alexander.
More of a fantastical look - the decade just lost itself!
Nobody is fooled. The more important question, though, isn't whether Rahm blames Daley. Obviously he does. The question is where Rahm was for the last 10 years on this subject. And we know the answer: Trying to convince us that Daley was the greatest mayor who ever walked the planet.
It's fun to pretend. But for Rahm, it never ends.
Hogs And Nuts
"Alvarez had fought the Koschman family's request to review those transcripts. She had asserted that doing so 'would disrupt the ongoing criminal investigation' by her office and Ferguson's staff 'and further undermine an already-dim prospect of any future criminal prosecution.'
"Judge Michael P. Toomin disagreed. He noted that Alvarez had quoted the interviews in a court filing arguing against naming a special prosecutor."
"Instead, he might consider various 'alternative sanctions,' with an emphasis on the fact that police could still make arrests if they chose. Skeptics worry that this approach would simply encode current policies that essentially criminalize pot possession for African-Americans while letting whites off the hook, though most reform advocates would support it as a baby step in the right direction."
Ever the media message massager, it's always about how things look politically with Rahm, never about the policy or public interest. (Rahm was known in Washington for never caring about what was in any particular bill, just caring that he could get it passed to notch a "win.")
"For the time being, though, the language issue is moot, because Emanuel has put the discussion on hold. After county officials demanded reforms last year, the mayor privately promised them that he would propose new policies by January. But January came and went, and now the mayor has tabled the discussion pending further 'study,' which is expected to continue at least through the NATO and G8 summits in May."
What's fascinating in this piece is how much Alvarez appears to be struggling to defend continued pot prosecutions. First, she says she believes marijuana is a gateway drug. So is having divorced parents. And so is your DNA. Isn't this a settled question already?
Alvarez goes on to wonder herself about the effectiveness of low-level prosecutions. But like Rahm, she's driven by her own personal political needs - and that overrides the public interest including how taxpayer dollars are spent (and wasted) as well as, more importantly, the lives of actual real humans rung up in this ridiculousness.
Funny. But sad. I guess I was never enthralled with this style of "getting things done."
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Posted on March 1, 2012
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