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The [Thursday] Papers

Today in the Paradise Papers: Development dreams lost in the offshore world.

Dear Steve,

When one of the world's biggest miners turned up in a small town in Africa, the local residents and officials had hopes of a better life. Our story on Burkina Faso, home to a Glencore mine, paints a very different picture. While Appleby helped Glencore reduce its tax bill, it was also charging nearly 950 times more than one engineer working on the mine earned.

Next, come on a journey to the Indonesian jungle, or what's left of it. Our reporter Scilla Alecci visited the Indonesian island of Padang and spoke with locals about how an expanding paper company is devastating their environment. A good place to start is this amazing video and this photo gallery.

Back in the U.S. the Wilbur Ross story continues to kick along. Former presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders has called for an investigation into offshore tax evasion.

The ICIJ team.

P.S. If you have any questions about our Paradise Papers project, we're hosting a Facebook Live Q&A at 5:30 p.m. ET (America). Leave your questions for us to answer!


* 'Paradise Papers' Reveal Tax Avoidance, Shady Dealings Of World's Rich And Powerful.

* Just How Much Money Is Held Offshore? Hint: A SHIT-TON.


Cairo Calling
A devastating report from The Southern's Molly Parker:

The following political leaders have visited Cairo since the public housing crisis in Illinois' southernmost city came to a head:
  • Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson
  • U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, both Democrats
  • U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro
  • Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill
  • State Sen. Dale Fowler, R-Harrisburg
  • State Rep. Natalie Phelps Finnie, D-Elizabethtown
  • Former State Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Eldorado
  • Former Illinois Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno, of Lemont
  • Democratic gubernatorial candidates J.B. Pritzker, Chris Kennedy and Daniel Biss and former candidate Ameya Pawar

Meanwhile, one prominent Illinois political leader has not visited Cairo since HUD announced in April its decision to relocate about 400 people from two derelict public housing complexes that have been deemed beyond repair:

  • Gov. Bruce Rauner

One could just end the story there. But it gets better/worse.

"It's also been difficult for The Southern to get much detailed information about what Rauner's administration is doing alongside the federal government to assist public housing residents and the city through this housing crisis, or to address the related health and economic issues facing southernmost Illinois."

That's because the Rauner administration appears to be doing absolutely nothing to assist public housing residents in Cairo. Or any residents there, for that matter.


"Since July, The Southern has discussed the situation with at least seven different officials in Rauner's communications office. There have been numerous staff changeovers since that time, and many of those people are no longer in the governor's employ.

"Patty Schuh, Rauner's current spokeswoman, who recently transitioned from her role as spokeswoman for the Senate Republicans, said that though the governor himself has not been to Cairo since April, the office is plugged in to the situation. She said the issue for the governor's office at this time is that state officials have not been able to obtain the information it needs from HUD to develop the appropriate state response."

Really? What happened to driving results?


Maybe the appropriate state response is for the governor to actually go there in person and find out what the hell is going on and how he can help.


"The governor's office has been actively involved in the discussions about Cairo but there very clearly is federal action that has to take place. We need information," Schuh told Parker. "We don't feel like we're getting the full story yet."

As Parker notes, the Southern has published "dozens of stories" about Cairo's housing crisis since 2015.

So have media outlets in Chicago and across the nation. The Rauner administration should have a pretty good idea of what the "full story" is.

Asked about the comments from the governor's office, HUD spokesman Jereon Brown said HUD stands ready to work with any public officials in Illinois to provide whatever information is needed. He offered to reach out to the governor's office directly.

In a follow-up interview, Schuh said that wasn't necessary because during a "task force" meeting on Cairo in July, which a representative of the governor's office attended, it was decided that the federal delegation would handle the communication with HUD so as not to duplicate efforts or create confusion . . .

Therefore, Schuh said that the governor's office has not directly reached out to HUD, and isn't requesting HUD reach out to Rauner's office to provide the information they are seeking.

1. We have not been able to get the information from HUD we need to form an appropriate response.

2. HUD: We'll give you anything you want!

3. That's okay, we've been waiting since July on a federal delegation to give us the information we need. We're good.

4. HUD: Do you want us to just answer your questions right now?

5. No, that would be confusing.


"As of press time, the newspaper was unable to obtain clarity on why the governor's office would not speak with HUD directly for the information it needed when the offer was made, given that's what Schuh said is holding up the administration's response."


"Asked why Rauner has not been among the many regional and statewide officials to visit the city and meet directly with the residents, Schuh said he's been tethered to Springfield as session ran long this summer, and for the current veto session.

"'Given the distance, I'm not sure he's gotten that far down in Southern Illinois in recent months,' she said.

"Since April, when HUD announced the relocation decision, Rauner has traveled on trade and research missions to China, Japan and Israel and announced his 2018 re-election plans."


Patty Schuh, you are Today's Worst Person In Illinois.


Rich "Capitol Fax" Miller on longtime political flak Schuh when she was hired into the administration last month:

"I love me some Patty. She's a pro through and through. I sure hope this works out for her."


Harvest Moon
"Gov. Bruce Rauner has declared a statewide harvest emergency to help agricultural workers hit hard by rain-related delays," AP reported last weekend.

"The Republican issued a statement saying the declaration is in effect for 45 days starting Sunday. The declaration means drivers of trucks carrying agricultural commodities, like grain, can get a free permit to exceed gross vehicle limits. Local authorities can also waive the permit requirement."

Three weeks after the Illinois Farm Bureau asked for it. Because it was an emergency.


Chance & Obama

Sorry, Chance, but you're big wrong on this one.


Also, has anyone asked him about this?


But let's write cute stories about the $17.20 he got for being such a great citizen and showing up to jury duty - as he is required to do by law.


Chicagoetry: The Moon Must Be Heaven, Desolate
(We've mentally rehearsed jumping off the Michigan Avenue bridge.)


Three Richest Americans Now Own More Wealth Than Bottom Half Of U.S. Combined
Billionaire Bonanza 2017 shows that the vast gulf that currently exists between the rich and everyone else is not the product of some inexplicable "natural phenomenon." It is, rather, the result of "unfair economic policies that benefit those at the top at the expense of those at the bottom."



Two Encounters: You Can't Reason With These People.


In E-Mails, NASA Denies Child Slave Ring On Mars, Confirms Politician-Eating Tentacle Monster On Europa.


A sampling.



It's not even close.

I love early Tom Petty, but "Learning to Fly" is emblematic of his insipid mid- and late-career radio ready midtempo jock jams. Borrrrrring.


Let's face it, he was never the same after he did that stupid Alice in Wonderland song.






The Beachwood Tronc Line: Tumble dry.


Posted on November 9, 2017

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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