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The [Thursday] Papers

Well, Twitter's done it again. Just like they did in August, Twitter changed its embed code in such a way, without warning, so as to cause embeds to widen beyond the breaking point of my pages and, presumably, the pages of many others on the Internet.

So right now, any page on the Beachwood with an embed code is kronked. That's a lot of them. In August, they found a solution for folks like me. Now I'm back on the case. If they don't fix it, I'm utterly fucked.

So I'm placing this unfinished column here now as a placeholder for the real thing so I don't have to look at my wrecked front page anymore. Let's hope this problem is solved soon. Until it is, I won't be embedding any new tweets on the site - but I will be posting as usual otherwise, including a real Papers column later this morning. below.

In the meantime, let's take this opportunity to let Beachwood reader Paul DiGiulio tell a few jokes.

1. New Gift Item: The Mayor Rahm Emanuel Action Figure.

Comes with an Elementary School and a Sledgehammer! First elementary school you break for free; the other 49 you have to buy and break separately.


2. During Rahm's Cuban vacation (he was the keynote speaker for the Conference for Repressive Regimes), a truck-load of blankets and comforters were delivered to his office on the fifth floor at City Hall. He had them specially ordered for his next round of cover-ups!


3. When Emanuel first became mayor in 2011, he did three things:

One: He closed libraries.

Two: He closed schools.

And three: He closed mental health facilities.

Rahm understood if he was ever to be re-elected as Mayor of Chicago, voters had to be:

One: Uninformed.

Two: Poorly educated.

And three: Fucking crazy.


Stick around, the late show gets better. And tip your webmaster.


The Central Committee's Foxxy Lady
The Cook County Democratic Central Committee endorsed Cook County State's Attorney challenger Kim Foxx this morning.

"In October, committeemen reversed course and took away the circuit court clerk endorsement for incumbent Dorothy Brown and gave it to challenger Ald. Michelle Harris. Ald. Raymond Lopez, 15th Ward committeeman, said the party risks undermining itself," the Tribune reports.

"It hasn't been a very good year for the Democratic Party. It seems we can't get our house in order," said Lopez, who has not endorsed for state's attorney. "That is the bigger question for me, as a committee, as a Democratic Party: Are we putting ourselves into the irrelevant category if we keep going back and forth like this?"

Maybe they should wait to see who wins before issuing an endorsement. Or stop endorsing crooks and incompetents. Either way.


"John Daley, committeeman of the 11th Ward organization that gave rise to his politically powerful family, said he continues to back Alvarez."

Just so you know where everyone stands.


"Alvarez has alleged that Foxx would be a political 'puppet' of Preckwinkle."

Reminder: John Daley, committeeman of the 11th Ward organization that gave rise to his politically powerful family, said he continues to back Alvarez.


You know who else supports Alvarez: Ed Burke. Just so you know where everyone stands.


Foxx is declaring her independence, but it might be politically wiser to embrace her ties to Preckwinkle by comparison to Alvarez's ties. "You bet Toni Preckwinkle is a mentor of mine," she might say. "I'm proud of that. Anita is funded by Ed Burke. So you have a clear choice."


Speaking of Burke . . .


Generally Inspecting The City Council
"The City Council's two most powerful aldermen on Wednesday temporarily derailed a groundbreaking change decades in the making," the Sun-Times reports.

"Finance Committee Chairman Edward Burke (14th) and Budget Committee Chairman Carrie Austin (34th) used a parliamentary maneuver to postpone until Feb. 10 a vote on an ordinance that would have empowered Inspector General Joe Ferguson to investigate aldermen and their employees."

Burke and Austin may be the council's most powerful aldermen - though I think the mayor's floor leader Patrick O'Connor may quietly top them both - but it's important to note that Burke and Austin are the council's finance and budget chairs because Rahm put them there (or, more accurately, Rahm left them there after taking over for Richard M. Daley, despite promising repeatedly that the days of a rubber stamp city council were over).

That's why this quote from Austin is hilarious:

"I believe in separation of power. Two different branches of government: the executive and the legislative. That's what I believe in. Ain't got nothing to do with Joe Ferguson. Nothing at all. I just believe that to my soul . . . It's the executive branch and it's the legislative branch. And we are elected separately."


Also priceless:

"Last fall, Austin lashed out at Ferguson for what she called the 'witch hunt' investigation that forced the resignation of her son.

"Kenny Austin resigned from his $72,384-a-year city laborer's job after an internal investigation concluded he crashed a city vehicle while driving on a suspended license, then had a co-worker cover for him to avoid taking a mandatory drug test."

Why do I get the feeling Kenny will wind up back on a public payroll soon?


"We don't mind being investigated," she added. "At least I don't, because I don't have anything to hide. Neither do my employees have anything to hide."

Open that investigation!


"A few years ago, Burke clashed with Ferguson over access to workers' compensation claims administered by the finance committee."

(For more on that, see Rahm's Fiscal House.)

"Burke brushed past reporters seeking his comments about the parliamentary maneuver Wednesday."


Rahm fan Will Burns is also a piece of work.

"Earlier this week, Ald. Will Burns (4th) questioned what 'protections' were built into the ordinance to prevent aldermanic candidates or developers angered by zoning and land-use decisions an alderman makes from filing baseless complaints.

"We tell people 'yes' or `no.' And sometimes when you tell people 'no' and you make difficult decisions . . . you could anger those people and they could file complaints and . . . abuse, unfortunately, the ethics process to harass and to seek retaliation against an alderman," Burns said.

Oh for crying out loud, really? Is there any evidence that this has happened a single time - and the inspector general has been unable to sniff it out? That's incredibly weak, Will.

Besides that, when's the last time you said no to a developer?


I could actually see some merit to the separation of powers argument if it was being made by someone else. After all, the inspector general is appointed by the mayor.

Also, the inspector general's office has their hands full. There are some calls to put the Chicago Police Department under its aegis too. There's an argument to be made to create separate inspector generals offices for each agency/department/unit of government. (CPS has their own inspector general, for example.)

The one thing that really bugs me about this ordinance that seems to be going unspoken is how much it is driven by personality. The former legislative inspector general, Faisal Khan, was largely seen as incompetent, while the city's current inspector general, Joe Ferguson is well-regarded. So the council has confidence in coming under Ferguson's purview. But that's not the basis by which jurisdictions should be decided. After all, the next inspector general could be another Khan, and then where will everyone be? That's why there was some merit to the idea that Khan should just have been replaced. But that would have made the council look bad, too.

The narrative driven by the media, though, is simply one in which this change represents reform. There seems like no better alternative right now, and I certainly don't think Austin and Burke are sincere, but the issue actually isn't as clear as it may seem.


Tracing Slave Patrols To New Trier High
In Local Book Notes.

The Chicago History Museum's MLK Day
Arts, crafts and no mayor.



I've always wondered this too; Illinois Public Media featured here.

Posted by The Beachwood Reporter on Wednesday, January 13, 2016





The Beachwood Tip Line: Webbed.


Posted on January 14, 2016

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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