The [Tuesday] Papers
"Dr. Quentin Young, the crusading progressive physician to President Barack Obama among others, died Monday at his daughter's house in California," DNAinfo Chicago reports.
"Young, 93, was a lifelong Hyde Parker and the physician to Obama, former Mayor Harold Washington and to writers like Studs Terkel and Mike Royko."
Young made quite a few interesting appearances in the Beachwood over the year that bear revisiting. (Some external links, sadly, are dead.)
January 19, 2010: "The race to fill the U.S. Senate seat that was held by Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts may be (in part) a referendum on President Obama, but it's also (in part) very specifically a referendum on his health care reform package. Voters there surely know that that the health care bill in Congress is at stake. You might think that that would be enough to rally Democrats in a blue state like Massachusetts to the cause, but I wonder how many Democrats would like to sink this version of health care too. I haven't had time to check any polling data, but in the aftermath of tonight's results, that would be interesting to look at. After all, the esteemed Quentin Young, a longtime Obama confidante (and MLK's Chicago doctor), repeated on Monday his lament that 'What's coming out of Congress is really bad. It's rotten.'"
July 8, 2010: "Quentin Young is right, of course; if only we elected a change agent as president."
May 15, 2012: "Catching up with Quentin Young joining activists opposing Rahm's closing of six city mental health clinics."
Nov. 2, 2012: Sadly, this was Young's final Beachwood appearance.
"In a stunning political maneuver, the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority elected former TV reporter and gubernatorial aide Kelly Kraft as its new CEO," Crain's reports.
Quinn was worried that the fix was in, so he put the fix in. And now the ISFA is doubly broken.
"The governor dumped one of his board members, Manny Sanchez - without telling him beforehand - to pave the way for a 4-3 vote in favor of Kraft for the $175,900-a-year post," the Tribune reports.
"Quinn's replacement for Sanchez, longtime ally and renowned physician Quentin Young, joined the governor's three other appointees in supporting Kraft. The mayor's appointees voted against her."
To review: Pat Quinn wanted to reward a political ally wholly unqualified for the job by installing her in the post so he could control the authority instead of Rahm Emanuel, who wanted to install a wholly qualified lackey of his own so he could control the authority. But one of Quinn's appointees wasn't playing along, so Quinn replaced him - with heretofore unsullied Dr. Quentin Young, who for unknown reasons decided to play the good mope and join the authority, which was apparently in need of a health-care professional, and give Quinn the vote he needed to pull one over on all of us.
"Kraft was a TV reporter for about a decade before joining state government in 2009, the same year she filed for personal bankruptcy," the Tribune notes. "She was selected over Diana Ferguson, a Yale graduate who served as chief financial officer at Sara Lee Corp. and Chicago Public Schools."
Crain's helpfully posted both of their resumes: Kraft. Ferguson.
Now, make no mistake, Ferguson is a piece of work.
But Kraft is a better fit to be the authority's spokesperson, not its executive director.
Ultimately, though, this is a battle of insiders for control of a public agency with no interest in the public. Otherwise there would have been a third candidate whose only qualifications were the experience, skill and gumption to do the job with complete disregard for the wishes of Quinn and Emanuel.
Now, I saved this one for last.
Aug. 27, 2008:
"In my own small way, I've tried to give back to this country that has given me so much," Michelle Obama said in her speech last night. "That's why I left a job at a law firm for a career in public service."
"One of Michelle Obama's signature efforts has been working to relieve crowding in the emergency room, the second-busiest in Chicago," the Washington Post reports.
"Backed by a federal grant, Michelle Obama in 2005 launched the South Side Health Collaborative, under which counselors advise patients with noncritical needs that they can receive care elsewhere at a reduced cost. The medical center said in a report that some patients 'make frequent visits to the ER because no one in the family has a personal doctor . . . '
"[A] hospital report quotes Michelle Obama as saying, 'The world is seeping in, and our salvation will be the success of our partners' at local clinics.
"Obama's program has enjoyed favorable news media coverage in Chicago and was eventually expanded into a broader program, the Urban Health Initiative . . . Critics, however, describe the program as an attempt to ensure that the hospital retains only affluent patients with insurance.
"If you put enough money into it, you could save a whole bunch of community health centers," [Quentin] Young said. "But to date, they haven't."
"Edward Novak, president of Chicago's Sacred Heart Hospital, declined to discuss the center's initiative in particular but dismissed as 'bull' attempts to justify such programs as good for patients. 'What they're really saying is, Don't use our emergency room because it will cost us money, and we don't want the public-aid population,' Novak said."
This is where things get cozy. Susan Sher, former corporate counsel to Mayor Richard M. Daley, hired Michelle Obama for a job that had not previously existed ("We really didn't know what this office would be, so it was really her creation," Sher said). Michelle Obama worked with Sher at City Hall - that's right, Michelle worked for Daley, though little has been reported about what she actually did. Once ensconced at the University of Chicago Medical Center, Michelle turned to an old friend: David Axelrod.
"In December 2006, the medical center hired a public relations firm, ASK Public Strategies, to help sell the Urban Health Initiative. ASK is co-owned by Axelrod, Obama's chief campaign strategist. ASK was selected on the recommendation of Michelle Obama . . . ASK started work in January 2007; the next month, Barack Obama launched his campaign.
"The firm delivered its report in May 2007 saying that, while nurses were generally favorable about the Urban Health Initiative, 'primary care doctors were more negative, viewing it as a break with UCMC's community commitment.'"
Axelrod's survey research found that "While most of those surveyed expressed favorable views of the center and its program, critics complained of arrogance and a lack of empathy . . . More than a few staff members - particularly medical staff - express strongly worded concern or disappointment with UCMC in its commitment to the community . . .
"One survey question asked for reaction to a particular criticism that had been leveled:
"'This new health initiative is not really about helping the residents of the South Side of Chicago. It is simply a way for the University of Chicago Medical Center to save money and reduce costs by serving fewer poor people without health insurance.'"
* * *
"'I've had some complaints from my constituents,' said Alderman Toni Preckwinkle, a former teacher who represents Chicago's 4th Ward and who will be an Obama delegate at the Democratic National Convention. 'It's hard to know whether this is motivated by the interests of the patients or by the financial interests of the medical center.'
"Asked her personal conclusion, Preckwinkle paused. 'They have decided they need to have as many paying patients as possible," she said. 'That's all I'm going to say.'"
Michelle Obama, an American success story.
Actually, that wasn't all Preckwinkle had to say. In a Sun-Times story, she said "I've heard complaints from a handful of constituents, but I've also had calls from people in the health care profession complaining. The medical professionals who have come to me are accusing the university of dumping patients on its neighboring institutions . . . Whether it's being implemented in the way that's in the best interest of the patient, I can't tell you."
Oh, but you just did.
Let's just segue into this:
"TreeHouse Foods may be the biggest company around here with zero brand recognition. And that's exactly the way its executives and customers like it," Crain's reported recently."
"Chances are you've seen its products - soup, salsa, salad dressing, single-serve coffee pods and such - selling under store brands at Target, Costco, Kroger, Jewel and Trader Joe's. There's another reason you've never heard of it: The company doesn't want you to know which products it manufactures, and the retailers don't either. You won't find 'TreeHouse Foods' anywhere on the packaging.
"But the Oak Brook-based maker of private-label foods is finding it more difficult to hide. Following its $2.7 billion purchase of ConAgra's private-label food business, TreeHouse is the largest producer of store-branded grocery items in North America by a wide margin, with projected 2016 revenue of about $6.5 billion. In 2005, when it was spun off from Dean Foods, its $700 million in sales came entirely from nondairy creamer, cheese sauces and pickles."
Here's why I was interested in TreeHouse. From the Beachwood vault:
April 27, 2007: "'Not long after Barack Obama entered the U.S. Senate, for instance, his wife was offered a position on the board of TreeHouse Foods, a Westchester-based maker of specialty foods,' the Tribune has reported.
"In 2006, the company paid her $51,200 for her board activities, according to the Obamas' just-filed federal income tax return. Factoring in stock options and other payments, the value of her compensation package for serving on the TreeHouse board last year was $101,083, a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows.
"TreeHouse packages pickles and other private-label foods for retailers. By far its largest customer is Wal-Mart. Barack Obama has been sharply critical of Wal-Mart's business and labor practices - criticizing the giant retailer last fall for paying low wages and poor benefits while making big profits."
(As you'll see in the YouTube clip later in this column, Walmart haranguing Democrats have done quite well by the poster-chain for everything wrong with America.)
May 23, 2007: "'Michelle Obama resigned her position as director of TreeHouse Foods on Tuesday, ending the relationship with the Wal-Mart supplier that had threatened to become a problem for the presidential campaign of her husband, Sen. Barack Obama,' the Tribune reports."
Somehow resigning her position during the campaign erased her past in the minds of both the Obamas and the media. And if the senator from Illinois wasn't running for president, she would have kept the gig and that would have been alright.
That reminds me, Bill Clinton is in town today.
The "strategic coordinator" of the 1994 crime bill? Rahm Emanuel. (Click through and you'll see Rahm is nothing if not consistent, sweater or no.)
And, of course, the legislative driver of the 1994 crime bill was good ol' Uncle Joe Biden. #UniteBlue.
U.S. Can't Find Anyone At Citigroup To Pin Fraudulent Loans On
"The Justice Department has faced years of criticism for failing to prosecute banking executives over conduct leading up to the financial crisis, even while it secured billions of dollars in settlements with big banks," Reuters reports in an article the Beachwood is carrying today.
The government cases came out of a task force formed by President Barack Obama in 2012 to probe misconduct that contributed to the financial crisis.
Obama said he was creating the group to "hold accountable those who broke the law" and "help turn the page on an era of recklessness."
In February 2015, then-Attorney General Eric Holder said he had given federal prosecutors a 90-day deadline to try to develop cases against individuals related to mortgage bonds and report back if they could be successful.
Despite that push, no such cases have emerged to date.
Here's the thing: Criminal activity no doubt occurred.
"The totality of the evidence and testimony obtained showed that Citigroup knowingly and purposefully purchased and securitized loans that did not meet representation and warranties or in many cases were outright fraudulent loans," the report said.
And who knowingly and purposefully did all that? Nobody.
No. 1 Triton Men Advance To Juco Dance
The Trojans have won 27 consecutive games, and boast an overall record of 31-2.
What's A Planet?
Apparently not Pluto! At the Adler.
Our Very Own Helene Smith
Welcome Home, Lovie
The Beachwood Tip Line: #UniteBlue.
Posted on March 8, 2016