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The [Thursday] Papers

"Following a trend seen around the country, the percentage of people in Chicago living below the poverty line didn't nudge from 2012 to 2013, according to new data," the Sun-Times reports.

"About 14 percent of people in the Chicago metropolitan area, or more than 1.3 million people, lived below the poverty line in 2013, the Census Bureau reported Thursday. That's nearly unchanged from 2012.

"For children, the poverty rate is significantly higher. One in five children in Chicago lives in poverty."

One in five.

Rauner Can't Handle The IDOT
"If elected governor, [Bruce Rauner] said he would request a federal hiring monitor at the Illinois Department of Transportation, which is facing a federal lawsuit over patronage hiring," the Sun-Times reports.

Huh? Is Rauner saying that IDOT patronage would be even beyond his control if he were governor? Doesn't that let Pat Quinn off the hook? Shouldn't Rauner, if elected, clean up IDOT himself?

Bruce Rauner: I'll Bring In The Feds To Shake Up Springfield.

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"He also would back a one-year revolving-door ban to prevent senior executive officials from having served as lobbyists in their preceding 12 months or from becoming a lobbyist within 12 months after they leave their government positions, he said."

To be fair, I have to say that generally answers a point I made in Wednesday's column. But it still has nothing to do with medical marijuana licenses.

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"Rauner, a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, said he has not talked with anyone from the Steelers regarding the National Football League's handling of the cases of domestic abuse against Ray Rice and child abuse against Adrian Peterson.

"I am working here in Illinois to win an election and transform our government so it's run for the people," Rauner said. "That's 100 percent of my focus."

Okay, that was stupid. Why not just say that as a minority owner, you don't have anything to do with policy-making and you rarely talk those who do - but that you obviously are as disgusted with everyone else with those cases?

Wouldn't you feel it in your bones to say something like that?

My only guess is that any emotion he may have felt was instantaneously squelched by the political calculation that any comment he made on the matter might step on the ethics plan he wanted out front in media coverage.

Too bad - and an incorrect calculation. His campaign later issued a statement lambasting Quinn for cutting funding for domestic violence shelters by 15 percent (see Update 2), which is interesting and fair. It would also be fair to ask Rauner how he would restore funding to social service budgets as governor, given that what he's proposed so far is either "pure fantasy," a "lie,"doesn't add up," and a "mathematical impossibility."

Believe me, Quinn cutting funding for domestic violence shelters - if true - is noxious. Quinn's priorities, sadly, are as upside down as every other pols. But Rauner would surely make things worse, not better.

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P.S.: First he came for the college journos, then . . .

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That's Donne!
"State Sen. Donne Trotter took $2,000 in cash from a convicted felon who got the money from an undercover FBI agent posing as an Indian businessman, lawyers for a South Side man allege," the Sun-Times reports.

Uh-oh.

"Trotter did not return calls seeking comment Wednesday afternoon, but prosecutor Barry Jonas told the judge that Trotter 'cannot recall' receiving the cash."

Right.

"I vaguely remember a brown paper bag, but I'm not really sure what was in it. I've been really busy!"

Signs Of The Times
No garish signs on the river or along Michigan Avenue but inside Wrigley Field? Bizarro Chicago.

Journalists Criticize White House Secrecy Again
"Editors and reporters meeting in Chicago raised concerns Wednesday about what they described as a lack of access and transparency undermining journalists' work, several blaming the current White House for setting standards for secrecy that are spreading nationwide," AP reports.

"The AP's Washington chief of bureau, Sally Buzbee, said the Obama administration's efforts to control information extend even to agencies not directly involved in intelligence gathering. Some sources, she said, have reportedly been warned they could be fired for even talking to a reporter.

"Day-to-day intimidation of sources is also extremely chilling," she said.

Buzbee said she's frequently asked if the Obama administration, when it comes to transparency, is worse than the administration of President George W. Bush.

"Bush was not fantastic," she said. She added, "The (Obama) administration is significantly worse than previous administrations."

Okay, that's already been well-established. But when is the media gonna do more than just complain? Some possible actions off the top of my head include shaming the fuck out of Obama with a steady stream of screaming headlines about how chilling his policies are - maybe the network newscasts coordinate lead stories about it for a week; ever more intensive strategies to completely ignore the president's press conferences and photo ops and tilt coverage significantly toward the subjects where secrecy is at its heights; and a flood of FOIA lawsuits or even one big one - or, come to think of it, all three of these and more. This is the core of democracy.

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"White House spokesman Eric Schultz said Obama is committed to transparency."

"Over the past six years, federal agencies have gone to great efforts to make government more transparent and more accessible than ever, to provide people with information that they can use in their daily lives, and to solicit public participation in government decision-making and thus tap the expertise that resides outside of government," Schultz said in a e-mailed statement.

Here's another idea: No more e-mailed statements, fer chrissake. And no more spokespeople. Just stop with it all. Time to completely overhaul White House reporting - and all the rest.

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P.S.: Gwyneth Paltrow has more access to Obama than James Risen . . .

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The Blue & Orange Kool-Aid Report
The Incredibly True Stories Of The Bears' San Fransciso Feat, Kyle Fuller's Childhoold & Jets Fans In The Wild.

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BeachBook
* Naperville Bans Major Beer Discounts.

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TweetWood

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Commas are typos, btw.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Walk the high-wire.



Permalink

Posted on September 18, 2014


MUSIC - Blues Fest 2017.
TV - The Queen's Speech.
POLITICS - Psychopath CEOs Destroy Value.
SPORTS - Why Todd Frazier Should Lead Off.

BOOKS - The Fresh Air Fund's Complicated Racial Record.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - The Great Lakes Have Tsunamis.


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