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The [Thursday] Papers

So a tooth saga that started in August finally (hopefully) ended yesterday when they just pulled that sucker out, and by "they" I mean my favorite dentist of the five who ultimately looked at the thing (six if you count the supervisor of a UIC dentistry student).

I had never had a tooth pulled before, and I was surprised at how quickly it went. Like, bim boom bam. Gone.

I was prescribed painkillers - Tylenol 3, which has codeine in it, and 800mg ibuprofens, which I call superprofens - but the thing is, there's no pain. And this, I've learned, is not unusual. Often, once the tooth is gone, the pain is gone too, for the pain was in the tooth.

I'm on antibiotics - for the third time since this wonderful journey began - because the gum is still infected. Other than that, I'm back to my normal state of crappiness, and I can start eating like a normal person again, though there is now a hole at the very back of my lower left rack of teeth. Maybe I'll store stuff there, or insert a Bluetooth something or other. Or maybe the government already has . . .


I'd show you a picture of the tooth, but they didn't let me keep it. Apparently it was hazardous medical waste.


Council Was Lit
"Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's unscripted and heartfelt speech on the floor of City Council chambers Wednesday may be remembered for changing the course of how aldermen do business," Shia Kapos writes in her Politico Illinois Playbook.

I'm not quite sure about that, but it was A Moment.

Lightfoot had stood silent while aldermen hashed out whether to study set-aside contracts for LGBTQ business owners. The mayor proposed the plan but got pushback from minority aldermen concerned it could cut into contracts that people of color and women were trying to get.

They worried "privileged" gay white men would find ways to abuse the system and went so far as to suggest testing to determine if an applicant really was gay.

The language was sometimes sophomoric and unsophisticated, but one would like to hope it was not intentionally homophobic.

Much of the pushback toward the proposal came from African American aldermen led by Black Caucus Chairman Jason Ervin (28th) and caucus member Ald. Walter Burnett (27th), spotlighting the larger disconnect with the LGBTQ community.

Not so long ago, expecting Chicago's black community to back a mayoral candidate who happened to be gay seemed impossibly far-fetched. And when aldermen wrapped up their discussion, Lightfoot began to speak and it's hard to see who else could've moved the chamber so convincingly.

You'll have to click through to get the goods.


From the Tribune:

"Lightfoot criticized the tenor of the aldermen's questions, which included Burnett during a committee hearing about the ordinance on Tuesday invoking the Adam Sandler film I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, in which two straight firefighters pretend to be gay so one can earn health benefits."


From the Sun-Times:

"Ald. Maria Hadden (49th), the only gay black woman on the City Council, said she doesn't know whether to react with anger or laughter to the debate, which included Ald. Walter Burnett's reference to a 2007 Adam Sandler comedy about two New York City firefighters who pretend to be gay to secure medical benefits for a child.

"We've got to do better, you guys. Being afraid is never an excuse to dismiss" a legitimate concern about discrimination, Hadden said.


"Ald. David Moore (17th) demanded the roll call and cast the only 'no' vote."

Huh. I wonder why.

To CBS2 Chicago:

"Ald. David Moore (17th) said his questions about the study were not answered sufficiently when the measure was approved in committee earlier this week.

"I want to make sure that the policy is right, and right now I'm not feeling that the policy is right, because I don't want to even hurt the very people that we're trying to help," he said.

How so? After all, this is about conducting a study, not implementing a policy.


Previously from David Moore, when he and others tried to delay the legalization of recreational pot in Chicago either out of ignorance about how the social equity piece works (see the item Pot Shots) or for the purpose of political grandstanding, via CBS2 Chicago:

Ald. David Moore (17th) - who voted for the delay - was so incensed by the fact the Black Caucus did not stand united in favor of the ordinance, he said he was resigning from the Black Caucus.

"I'm upset about many of the members of my Black Caucus, because at the end of the day, if we can't stand for equity for black people, we don't need a Black Caucus, and as of today David Moore is not in the Black Caucus," he said at the December City Council meeting. "They're going to have to show me why I should be in the Black Caucus, because if they can't stand up for equity for minorities, then what are we fighting for?"


I wasn't able to determine this morning if Moore is a Preckwinkle dead-ender, though I did find this from the Daily Line in 2017:

"Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has tapped John Roberson as her new director of external affairs - the person who serves as go-between with outside and community groups. Roberson, who has a long history in the Daley administration, replaces Jonathan Buckner. Roberson's previous gig was as chief of staff to Ald. David Moore (17)."


Moore is a member of the progressive caucus, and as far as I can tell seems to have a progressive agenda. He has also been relatively outspoken about minority contracts, once telling the Sun-Times that his aldermanic role model was Pat Dowell, "because of her commitment to getting contracts for African-American businesses."


It's great that Moore is such a fierce advocate for contract equity, but not so great that he can be so misguided and myopic in that pursuit.


Also, a reminder that Mayor Lori Lightfoot is not only gay but African American. Seems relevant, somehow.

Lipinski & Labor
"By the narrowest of margins, the state's largest labor group has decided to stick with embattled Southwest Side congressman Dan Lipinski in his bid for re-election," Greg Hinz reports for Crain's.

"Multiple sources report that the Illinois AFL-CIO late Wednesday chose to endorse Lipinski over rivals Marie Newman and Rush Darwish in the March Democratic primary by a margin of roughly 20 out of 1,000 votes cast by the trade group's affiliated unions."


I don't know how AFL-CIO voting works, but does that mean that Lipinski beat his nearest rival but had fewer votes than Newman and Darwish combined - in other words, his opponents split the vote?


"The action came even though the Chicago Federation of Labor dumped Lipinski, recommending that labor remain neutral in the contest after backing Lipinski against Newman in 2018. The Illinois AFL-CIO usually - but not always - follows the recommendations of the CFL in Chicago area contests . . .

"Other sources tell me that the race has caused increased consternation among labor groups, with Service Employees International Union strongly pushing Newman but more conservative trade unions and AFSME preferring the incumbent."



"In related news, CFL announced that it backs Kim Foxx for reelection as state's attorney and county tax appeals Commissioner Michael Cabonargi for clerk of the circuit court.

"The organization was neutral four years ago when Foxx unseated then-incumbent Anita Alvarez."

I wonder: Is it Foxx's policies or her incumbency that won them over?

Oberweis's Overbite
"House GOP hopeful Jim Oberweis loaned his campaign $1 million, according to a Federal Election Commission report posted Wednesday, while former Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance - pardoned by President Donald Trump for the murder of two civilians in Afghanistan - headlined a series of fundraisers this week for the state senator," Lynn Sweet reports for the Sun-Times.

"Oberweis, from Sugar Grove, is in a seven-way Republican primary for the 14th Congressional District seat held by freshman Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Ill."

He's also at least a seven-time loser who keeps trying to buy his way into higher office, right?


Here's Oberweis's telling of the Lorance saga, via press release:

Jim Oberweis is hosting several events with 1st Lt. Clint Lorance who was just recently pardoned by President Donald Trump after serving time in Fort Leavenworth military prison for alleged war crimes.

"The story of Clint Lorance is a compelling one," Oberweis said. "What he had to endure is shameful. President Trump did the right thing pardoning him. I think everyone who comes out to the events we are hosting will enjoy having the opportunity to meet him."

In March of 2012, Clint Allen Lorance deployed to Southern Afghanistan as the Squadron Liaison Officer to the Commander for the 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. In June 2012, Clint was selected to replace an Infantry Platoon Leader who was medically evacuated dues to shrapnel wounds to his eyes, face, and abdomen incurred from the blast of an IED. Three days after taking charge as the Platoon Leader, on July 2, 2012, Clint directed the men of his platoon to open fire on three Afghan males speeding toward his platoon on a motorcycle.

Just after a year later, Clint was convicted of two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. Evidence surfaced showing a direct link between the motorcyclists to known terrorists. Eventually, President Trump agreed with the evidence and gave Clint a full pardon.

Now, here's the truth, first via Wikipedia and its sourced footnotes:

"Clint Allen Lorance (born December 13, 1984) is a former Army officer previously commissioned as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army who in August 2013 was found guilty on two counts of second-degree murder for ordering soldiers in his platoon to open fire at three men on a motorcycle in southern Afghanistan in July 2012 . . .

"He was confined in the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas until he was fully pardoned and ordered released by President Donald Trump, on November 15, 2019 . . .

"At the end of a three-day trial, Lorance was found guilty of two counts of second-degree murder, obstruction of justice, and other charges 'related to a pattern of threatening and intimidating actions toward Afghans' as the platoon's leader. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison, forfeiture of all pay, and dismissal from the Army . . .

"On January 5, 2015, the Commanding General of the 82nd Airborne Division, Major General Richard Clarke, completed a review and upheld Lorance's conviction."

Now, from Lorance's own platoon:

"Though many members of the platoon have never publicly expressed their views of the case, nine came forward to testify against Mr. Lorance at his trial, and in interviews several have contradicted Mr. Lorance's account of a split-second decision to protect his troops. The picture those soldiers paint is of a young lieutenant who, during just three days in command, ordered soldiers to fire repeatedly on unarmed Afghans, tried to falsify reports in order to cover up his actions and so alienated and outraged his troops that they refused to follow orders and turned him in."


Also, it just occurred to me: Does Oberweis mean Overwhite?

Don't answer that, I'm just going to believe it does.



Anyone have experience dealing with huge bills after towing? from r/chicago



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