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The [Tuesday] Papers

"President Barack Obama's presidential library will be located on the South Side of Chicago, not in Kaka'ako, the president confirmed in an online video released early Tuesday morning," Hawaii News Now reports under the headline "President Obama Officially Picks Chicago, Not Hawaii, As Site For Presidential Library."

I guess all news really is local.

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"In the end, President Obama decided to build his legacy facility in the city where his political career began instead of his home state, despite Hawaii being one of four finalists."

In the end? In the beginning, I'd say.

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"President Obama's foundation says they still plan to collaborate in some capacity with the three other finalists, though it was not immediately known in what capacity.

"I speak on behalf of my brother when I say I know he will be so pleased that Hawaii will be a part of it," said Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng, President Obama's half-sister. "I'm looking forward to working with everyone in Hawaii to bring this project to life."

"Dr. Soetoro-Ng said that Hawaii made a compelling presentation, which helped convince the president to do something here in Hawaii."

It's so funny how important it is to assuage everyone's feelings - people's very existence needs validation in the face of such monumental rejection!

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"What kind of ex-president will Barack Obama be?" the Washington Post asks.

My guess: the same kind of president he's been - a royal disappointment to those who still don't understand who he is.

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"A 2014 study from the University of Chicago found that the library would be an 'economic boon' for the city, attracting some 800,000 visitors a year, creating 1,900 permanent new jobs and generating $220 million in annual revenue. In all, the report found the library's construction would boost Chicago's economy by $600 million and create 3,280 new jobs," Time notes. Italics mine, because duh.

I believe Obama's library has a chance to exceed the economic impact of other presidential libraries because of the historic nature of Obama's presidency and the siting of the library in a city that already does a healthy tourist business. But history tells us that - like the Olympics and, in fact, most ballyhooed projects backed by elites for their own enjoyment - the economic impact will be far, far less than advertised.

"It would be fantastically unprecedented for 800,000 visitors to come to a presidential library," Anthony Clark tells Marketplace.

Five years ago, Clark was a senior aide in the U.S. House of Representatives, focusing on oversight of the National Archives and presidential libraries. He has since authored a book on presidential libraries, The Last Campaign.

"The idea that the library creates an economic boost that lasts indefinitely is just not borne out by the numbers," says Clark. "In fact, library attendance, no matter which library . . . declines over time."

Many of the 13 current presidential libraries have attendance figures in the tens of thousands, or low hundreds of thousands.

"The most-visited temporary exhibit at a presidential library in history was at the Reagan a few years ago, and it wasn't on the wit and wisdom of the great communicator, it wasn't on the secrets of the Cold War, it was on the treasures of the Disney vault," says Clark.

So, the impact the libraries have on local economies is modest, he says.

Benjamin Hufbauer agrees. He is the author of Presidential Temples, and teaches a course about presidential libraries at the University of Louisville.

Hufbauer, by the way, recently wrote a piece for Politico called "Turning Presidents Into Pharaohs: Obama's library will no doubt be the grandest temple of spin ever created. When will the falsifying of history stop?"

Which is another issue no one around here really wants to talk about - we're not going to see a collection of Tuesday Kill Lists on display.

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"For the moment, Chicago is setting aside its reputation for political gamesmanship and celebrating the pre-dawn announcement that the Barack Obama Presidential Library and Museum is coming to the city," the Tribune reports.

Not everyone in Chicago is celebrating, but I guess by "Chicago" the Tribune means Official Chicago, and like Bender in The Breakfast Club, those of us who are not a part of Official Chicago may as well not even exist in this school.

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"It doesn't really matter that an exact site may not be determined for a few months."

Oh good, we can celebrate the site selection all over again this summer!

Stretch things out much, Obama Foundation?

Roadside Rahm
"Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday declined to talk about why Chicago police tend to set up roadside sobriety checkpoints much more frequently in neighborhoods with large minority populations than in majority-white areas with high instances of alcohol-related accidents as detailed in a Chicago Tribune investigation," the paper reports. Link to investigation mine, because duh.

"During a question-and-answer session with journalists following a technology center ribbon cutting, Emanuel was asked what he's doing about the Tribune report, which found that 127 of 152 Chicago police roadside sobriety checks from February 2010 through June 2014 were in majority black or Latino police districts."

I'm here to cut ribbons, damn it! Report that!

"I believe the (police) superintendent addressed that question the other day," Rahm said.

Which - no surprise - isn't actually true.

"Asked later Monday how [Supt. Garry] McCarthy has addressed the roadside sobriety checkpoint issue, police spokesman Martin Maloney e-mailed a statement similar to what the department previously issued, which read in part, 'Anytime you take people who are driving under the influence off the street, it's a success.'"

Of course, that's not what's happening. From the Trib's report:

"The Tribune found that nearly 270,000 citations were issued through roadside checks and special DUI patrols across Illinois during the state's fiscal years 2008 to 2013, the most current span for which Illinois records are available. Of those citations, 93 percent were for relatively minor traffic infractions or non-moving violations.

"Nationally, the stops have never proved all that effective in leading to alcohol-related arrests, said Sam Canzoneri, executive director of the Illinois chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

And, of course, that wasn't even the main thrust of the report, which documented that sobriety checkpoints are set up mostly in black neighborhoods - and black neighborhoods with relatively low levels of alcohol-related traffic incidents, especially compared to white neighborhoods that rarely face checkpoints.

When asked whether McCarthy has spoken publicly about the issue, Maloney responded in an e-mail "that CPD addressed it."

By ignoring it. I mean, that's one way of addressing it, I suppose.

"Emanuel did not respond when asked whether he has discussed the issue with [McCarthy]."

He was too busy posing with a ribbon.

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If you watch the Trib video that goes along with the article, you can see Rahm not answering the question for yourself. What's even more disturbing to me than Rahm's evasion is the way other reporters let the evasion go and simply move on to other questions - in this case Bill Cameron of WLS rushes in to ask a question about pensions.

Why, Bill? The answer you got in that brief moment was talking-point nonsense. But I guess if it gives you audio for your report, the actual content doesn't matter.

And just because the DUI investigation was a Tribune report doesn't mean everyone else in the press corps shouldn't be eager to follow up. Maybe if the press corps included people living in the unfairly targeted neighborhoods that session with the mayor might have gone differently.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

I also mentioned the sourcing for Hersh's report - which is not based on just one anonymous person, as much of the media keeps saying - on The Beachwood Radio Hour #56, before the inevitable backlash, I might add.

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Also discussed on The Beachwood Radio Hour.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Check point.



Permalink

Posted on May 12, 2015


MUSIC - Roger Waters In Chicago.
TV - 24 Hours With Velocity.
POLITICS - Chicago's Unwelcoming Ordinance.
SPORTS - TrackNotes: Lazy Hazy Crazy Dog Days.

BOOKS - The Origins Of Environmental Bullshit.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Daisies.


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