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The [Thursday] Papers

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Illinois' most deadly 24 hours of the coronavirus crisis Thursday, with 125 deaths recorded by state authorities. Of course, for numerous reasons, the death counts are almost assuredly higher than the official numbers, which I'm almost certain Pritzker has acknowledged.

The deaths paired with another 1,140 cases of infection, which is not nearly the highest daily number Illinois has recorded, though it's still . . . an awful lot.

We have no idea if we're at the peak. That's not the sort of thing you ultimately know until you're well past it. Talk of "re-opening" the economy is just nonsense right now.

That doesn't mean Pritzker's efforts forming a Midwestern pact with other states to coordinate "re-opening" is a waste of time right now; to the contrary, like its coastal counterparts, such agreements represent regional power bases to counter the madness coming out of the White House. Planning what needs to happen before the economy is restarted is not a bad idea either; governors can figure out where to put resources and how to get from here to there. But let's face it, reopening is not happening any time soon. That conversation needs to be tamped down.

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Mask Munis
"Officials in at least three Chicago suburbs have issued an order requiring in some form that everyone wear masks in certain public spaces during the coronavirus pandemic," NBC5 Chicago reports.

Skokie, Cicero and Glenview.

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We're just starting to see masks made mandatory. That doesn't signal to me that we're anywhere close to reopening the economy.

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Smoke-Filled Zoom
"Cook County Democrats didn't crowd into a smoke-filled room for their virtual convention Wednesday afternoon, but they still managed to prove that even in a pandemic there's time for politics as usual," the Sun-Times reports.

"Hours after the party's virtual convention was conducted in the increasingly familiar socially distant online style, a smaller group of Democrats gathered in a more typical suburban hall Wednesday evening to pick a replacement for embattled Cook County Commissioner Jeff Tobolski.

"And while the online gathering featured debate about party loyalty and staying true to the slated candidates, the group that met face-to-face later opted to elevate a former Republican state legislator to replace Tobolski on the County Board."

Wait, what?

"Those who were allowed to enter the building - only those serving on the committee or candidates to replace Tobolski were able to do so - were greeted by protesters pleading with them to pick anyone but former Republican state Rep. Frank Aguilar, who represented Cicero in the Legislature.

Police officers and Berwyn Ald. Anthony Nowak (8th) made sure no one else got inside.

Esteban Rodriguez, a member of the Rizoma Collective, a political action committee in Cicero and Berwyn, said the group of about 20 protesters were chanting in the cold to advocate for anyone but Aguilar because of his Republican background and because they were unhappy with his tenure on the board of trustees at Morton College.

"We realize that his track record is . . . dangerous for a role that's as massive as a Cook County commissioner, somebody who has this type of mentality and ideology to lead our jails, our parks, our hospitals, our property taxes - that's just a formula for a very bad situation," Rodriguez said.

Aguilar was the first candidate to make his case to the panel, which included state Rep. Aaron Ortiz, the newly sworn-in 14th Ward committeeperson; Yarbrough, the Proviso Township committeeperson, and Cicero Township Committeeperson Blanca Vargas.

Eight committeepersons were entitled to participate in the selection process, because they represent parts of Tobolski's old commissioner district. But only six were present. One voted by proxy and another was on a conference line, said Nowak, who also coordinated getting candidates in and out of the building.

Aguilar said the protesters have a right to be out protesting against him, but insisted he's no longer a Republican. The former state representative said he'd tried to make "inroads" with Latinos and African Americans but "failed" to do so.

"They have a right to their opinion, and I respect that, but my heart is in the community," Aguilar said.

Despite the protest, sources told the Sun-Times that Aguilar was the committee's pick.

"I'm disappointed that instead of restoring the faith and trust in government, the party committee appointed to fill the replacement did the exact opposite tonight," said Mike Porfirio, the clerk of Lyons Township, who also sought the position.

"By picking a former Republican state representative, the party decided to keep the same old guard of power and leadership. The residents of the 16th district deserve much better. I look forward to giving the voters a voice and a choice in 2022."

Aguilar indeed served one term in the state House.

He was defeated in his re-election bid by a candidate suspected of being put up by . . . Aguilar.

From the Tribune at the time:

Michelle Chavez didn't have any campaign signs in her front yard in Cicero. She didn't pass out fliers. She didn't have a massive political war chest.

But she took Democrats and Republicans alike by surprise in Tuesday's election, unseating Rep. Frank Aguilar (R-Cicero) with 53 percent of the vote and leaving politicians to argue about whether she's the real deal or a ghost candidate who accidentally won.

Chavez, who ran as a Democrat, said Wednesday that she, too, is surprised that she's headed to Springfield. But she insists she's no pawn.

"Time will show," she said.

But House Democrats, who did not support Chavez in the primary, said she was placed on the ballot by Aguilar's supporters to provide token opposition in his bid for re-election.

"There's no doubt she is a shill candidate," said Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Cicero). "She never campaigned a day in her life and never espoused any beliefs or political values or outlined a political platform."

Chavez was then knocked out after a single term when she lost in the Democratic primary to a former rival - not Aguilar - from her previous race.

And so on. It's too late in the day to follow all the threads. I'm just pretty sure Aguilar is an awful choice.

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Ironically, the Party earlier in the day made it known that loyalty remained its predominant organizing principle.

Back to the Sun-Times:

Cook County Democratic Chair Toni Preckwinkle was unopposed in her bid for another term as head of the party. But when it came time to vote on members of the executive committee, some members voted against the Cook County Board president's picks.

Preckwinkle wanted to dump Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30th) from the party's executive committee and install Northfield Township Committeeperson Tracy Katz Muhl in his place.

Muhl and Reboyras each got a chance to make their pitches, painting themselves as dedicated to the party. Others chimed in favor of either Muhl or Reboyras.

Reboyras ran afoul of Preckwinkle for not backing all of the party's slated candidates in the last month's primary, particularly Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx, Preckwinkle's protegee.

Preckwinkle described Muhl as a strong supporter of the "entire slate in a difficult election," and said that while it's true that not all party members support the entire slate "if you're going to be a leader of the party it seems to me it's your obligation . . . to support our candidates."

This is why Preckwinkle is not the mayor today. She is a Machine politician enforcing the Party Line as chair of the Central Soviet Committee Cook County Democratic Party, the locus of local corruption. There is no evidence she has reformed the party, and her party loyalty explains at least in part her loyalty to the disgraced and disgusting Joe Berrios and her tolerance of Ed Burke all these years. There should no longer be any question about that - though if anyone wants to call the CTU to talk about it, they are welcome to!

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Speaking of the CTU . . .

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

The Solace Of Playing Golf In The Navajo Nation Amid The Pandemic
"Rez golf is embedding itself in the Navajo sports culture, one course at a time. There are at least three rez golf courses on the nation's 27,425 square miles spanning swaths of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. The gritty courses, set amid red and gray sands and wind-sculpted cliffs, share the landscape with livestock, coyotes and rabbits. They hold special meaning to many Navajo golfers because they wind through clumps of sagebrush, a plant thought to have physical and spiritual healing power."

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A History Of Canned Laughter
A divisive and often-misunderstood tool.

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National Dog Bite Prevention Coalition Offers Tips For Safely Sheltering At Home With Pets During The COVID-19 Crisis
It is National Dog Bite Prevention Week.

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ChicagoReddit

I am looking for vegetable seeds! from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Driver John B Rides Chicago.

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BeachBook

The Devastating Decline Of A Brilliant Young Coder.

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Wisconsin DNR Encourages Social Distancing During Spring Turkey Season.

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TweetWood
A sampling of the delight and disgust you can find @BeachwoodReport.

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The Beachwood Q-Tip Line: Ear me out.



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Posted on April 16, 2020


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SPORTS - The Big Ten's Blood Money.

BOOKS - Searching For The World's Largest Owl.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - New Mop Shaped Like Taco.


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