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The [Thursday] Papers

Now I understand why Mayor Rahm Emanuel has that pained, smirking grimace on his face all the time: You would too if your pants were on fire as often as his.

"Mayor Rahm Emanuel today refused to back away from his remarks that commuters can choose whether to drive or take the CTA when fares increase, instead saying his earlier comments were misinterpreted," the Tribune reports.

"What I said is, (it's) a choice. People have a choice between public transportation and private," Rahm said.

Add misinterpretation to the list of things we're defining down.


"Public transportation is different from driving to work. You will make that choice," Emanuel said Monday.

Along with: "Now you, as a commuter, will pick. You can either drive to work or you can take public transportation."

In fact, Rahm repeated the talking point - along with comparisons to gas price increases - so often that there's little doubt he very deliberately chose the frame and spin with which to sell the fare increases. And now he can't admit he was wrong to do so.


"I did not say or imply that you could just drive," Emanuel said Wednesday. "I said there's a choice."



"At an unrelated news conference Wednesday, Emanuel was asked as he was leaving the podium whether he regrets suggesting that Chicagoans can choose to drive to work, rather than taking the CTA," the Sun-Times reports.

Visibly annoyed, the mayor returned to the podium - something he seldom, if ever, does - and answered the question.

"That's not what I said," the mayor replied.

Emanuel noted that Chicago's "reliable public transportation system" is one of many reasons businesses and residents are choosing to return to the city. And, after years of neglect, Chicago is now investing heavily in the CTA, he said.

"That is a choice that individuals will make. And I said it in [that] way because I think public transportation is competitive against private transportation - on price, convenience, service and comfort," the mayor said.

As he walked away from the podium for the second time, Emanuel was asked to explain how he believes his earlier comments had been misinterpreted. He ignored the question.

Maybe he was in a hurry to douse his trousers.


Note: I feel a bit sheepish using the "pants on fire" meme. Overdone. And "trousers?" It just sounded right - maybe because of its proximity to "douse."

Reynolds Wrap
"Mel Reynolds, an ex-con convicted of bank fraud and having sex with a 16-year-old girl when he was in his 40s, wants to replace the embattled Jesse Jackson Jr. in Congress," the Sun-Times reports.

That bank fraud conviction tends to get overshadowed by the sex crime. Here's what an adequately footnoted Wikipedia entry says:

Reynolds was sentenced to five years in prison [on the sex charges], thus he expected to be released in 1998. However, in April 1997 he was convicted on 15 unrelated counts of bank fraud and lying to SEC investigators. These charges resulted in an additional sentence of 78 months in federal prison. Reynolds served all of his first sentence, and served 42 months in prison for the later charges. At that point, President Bill Clinton commuted the sentence for bank fraud.

Of course, Reynolds' past crimes will result in media attention that other, more worthy candidates would pay good money for - and might have to.


If I have my numbers right (kind of hurried this morning), Jesse Jackson Jr. notched 88 percent of the vote when he ran against Reynolds in the 2004 primary, compared to 58 percent of the vote against Debbie Halvorson earlier this year.

Some commentators think Reynolds is a serious candidate, in large part due to his name recognition.

You know, Ted Bundy has name recognition too. There is such a thing as bad publicity.


Deja Jackson:

"Federal authorities investigating U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds' personal finances are attempting to determine if money paid to his wife's consulting business was for work or political contributions converted into a down payment on the couple's Dolton home, according to records and interviews," the Tribune reported in 1995.

Reynolds said Wednesday that he has his own consulting firm now (apparently Reynolds Consulting, which does not appear to have a website) that facilitates business between American and Zimbabwean companies. Further reporting on that if warranted.

Ask What You Can Do For Your Family
Cook County Assessor and chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party on Wednesday proved once again that you can always find a way to justify your own unethical behavior by citing someone else who also acted unethically and therefore opened the door for the rest of us.

"Look at a great president that we had, President Kennedy. Who'd he appoint attorney general? You know? Same thing," Berrios told the Sun-Times after testifying in a Senate committee in Springfield.

"You're saying Bobby Kennedy wasn't fit for the job? He appointed his brother," Berrios continued, referring to JFK. "And in government, people help many people. This is part of the process."

A) Yes, I'm saying Bobby Kennedy wasn't fit the for the job. I think we can all agree at this juncture that JFK naming his brother to the post was a terrible mistake and nearly inconceivable today.

Also: why not cite all those politicians who don't practice nepotism as your guide?

B) If nepotism was part of the process, the Cook County ethics board wouldn't be trying to collect a $10,000 fine from Berrios and seeking the firing of at least three family members on his staff.

Dreamin' Cowboys And Bacon Fat
In our Local Music Notebook featuring The Sundowners, the Flaming Lips, Appletree Records, Luke Winslow-King, Bloodshot Records and Andre Williams.

Michael Jordan Had A TV Show
The year was 1989 and Phil Jackson had just been named head coach.

Thanking Marvin Miller
"It was the voice that I remember," our very own Roger Wallenstein writes. "Very steady. No high or low pitches. A hint of New York and exceptionally clear, reasonable and amazingly friendly. It was as though Marvin Miller was seated in my living room, chatting about the labor issues that required the ballplayers' and owners' attention.

"Of course, Miller, who died at 95 this week, wasn't in my home. The year was 1971, and the White Sox's flagship radio station was none other than WEAW-AM in Evanston. I was the post-game host because my pal Tom thought it would be a good idea to buy the time at the cost of a dollar per minute."

Helmut Jahn Explains The O'Hare Tunnel
And talks Thompson Center.

SEA Is For Cupcake
In The Blue & Orange Kool-Aid Report.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Drive by.


Posted on November 29, 2012

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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