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The [Thursday] Papers

"U.S. securities regulators plan to 'make aggressive use' of their authority to levy penalties, the head of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday," Reuters reports.

"'Meaningful monetary penalties - whether against companies or individuals - play a very important role in a strong enforcement program,"'SEC Chair Mary Jo White said in a speech in Chicago, according to prepared remarks."

Um, right.


See also: Obama's Friends In Low Places.


Central Obama Agency
"A federal judge has chastised the CIA for 'inappropriately' withholding routine documents," McClatchy reports.

"In a recent decision, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell denounced several of the CIA's legal arguments. At one point, she accused the CIA of a 'shameless twisting of the factual record.' Other assertions by the agency, she called 'dead wrong' and 'implausible.'"


You Are Either With Us Or Against Us, And So Are We
"Some of Syria's most effective rebel forces, including at least three that previously were aligned with the U.S.-backed rebel command, have formed a new alliance with an al-Qaeda affiliate, a development that undermines Obama administration efforts to build up Syria's moderate opposition and to plan negotiations for an end to the civil war," McClatchy reports.

"About a dozen fighting groups announced the new confederation late Tuesday in a move that caught U.S. officials by surprise. The groups include Jabhat al Nusra, which the Obama administration has designated a terrorist organization linked to al-Qaeda, as well as Liwa al Tawheed, Liwa al Islam and Suqor al Sham, which were considered part of the U.S.-backed Supreme Military Command."


"The United States signed a U.N. Arms Trade Treaty regulating the $70 billion global trade in conventional arms on Wednesday," Reuters reports.

"The United States [is] the world's No. 1 arms exporter."


Syrian Rebels Just Started Receiving U.S. Weapons (From The CIA).


American exceptionalism.


Weak Constitution
"Illinois' youth prison system is violating the constitutional rights of inmates by failing to provide adequate mental health care and education and by unnecessarily keeping youths in solitary confinement, three court-appointed experts found this week," the Tribune reports.

America: Both Lawless And A Police State. Exceptional!


Mayor Banksy
"A bank that has city business plans to wipe off the books up to $2.2 million in loans for a financially struggling Southwest Side arts center that's favored by some of the state's leading Democratic politicians," the Tribune reports.

"The debt forgiveness by Fifth Third Bank is part of a bailout plan that Mayor Rahm Emanuel and 19th Ward Ald. Matthew O'Shea plan to announce Thursday for the Beverly Arts Center, which has teetered on the edge of insolvency for years.

"The plan includes Emanuel granting the center $250,000 from a pot of money created when the city hosted NATO in 2012 and $10 million in private funding for the summit went unused. Millions of those funds have been used across the city for after-school programs and park improvements.

"The announcement would come just a day after an arbitrator determined that the city owed $1 million to Chicago police officers for overtime around the time of the NATO visit. That payment also will come out of the leftover NATO fund, said Roderick Drew, a spokesman for the city Law Department."

Chicago exceptionalism.


A) What is the city doing covering a private organization's debt? Where do the rest of us apply?

B) Why didn't the mayor simply return the $10 million in private, unused NATO funds? Spending the money for other purposes - no matter how noble, though also at the whim of one person - is essentially a misappropriation.

C) Why didn't the city put one-tenth of that money toward police overtime, which seems to legitimately fall under the purpose for which it was raised, instead of fighting the cops over their pay?

D) How does the money spent by the city - meaning us - stack up against the promised economic development of hosting NATO? I think we know the answer to that.


"The city's business relationship with Fifth Third had nothing to do with the deal hammered out to save the arts center, city spokesman Bill McCaffrey said."

Wait for it . . . bah ha ha ha ha!

"Asked why the bank was forgiving the arts center's debt, a Fifth Third spokesman said the motive was helping the community."

Oh Lord, you're killing me.

"What we are about is investing in the communities we work in, and the Beverly Arts Center is a perfect example of that," bank spokesman Andrew Hayes said. "At the end of the day, we want the Beverly Arts Center to be as profitable and successful as possible."

Except that it's never been close to being profitable.

"O'Shea said the financial problems at the center have been growing since it opened in a new building in 2002 that ended up costing $12 million. The center's revenue couldn't keep up with the resulting debt, he said . . .

"Over the last 13 years, it received nearly $2.8 million from the state."

Does it have copper doors?


Chicago Breaks Laws Of Physics
Something Fishy Happened Here After The Fed Made A Major Decision.

Sasha Goes Harder
Plus: Bump J Has Gone Up The River But Is Not Forgotten. In our Local Music Notebook.

Conversion Rate
"I'm beginning to think that Marc Trestman is still under the impression that the Bears are playing some kind of Canadian-style football in which there are three quarters, moose wearing flannel shirts roam the sidelines, the orange coolers are full of either Labatt Blue or maple syrup, everybody is polite yet gainfully employed and Rush performs the national anthem every night," our very own Carl Mohrbacher writes in this week's Blue & Orange Kool-Aid Report.

Sharks Are Sublime
And So Is The Hulk. In our Local Book Notes.

What's It Like To Be Blind
The folks at The Good Stuff asked Chicago author Beth Finke - and she obliged.


The Beachwood Tip Line: No exceptions.


Posted on September 26, 2013

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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