Chicago - Apr. 3, 2020
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A discount-store employee is time-warped to a medieval castle, where he is the foretold savior who can dispel the evil there. Unfortunately, he screws up and releases an army of skeletons. (tvguide.com)
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The [Tuesday] Papers

"By at least one metric, there's been a changing of the craft beer guard in Illinois: Revolution Brewing has become the state's top-selling brand," the Tribune reports.

"In an intensely competitive market, the Logan Square brewery pushed past Blue Moon, Leinenkugel and Goose Island to become the state's biggest-selling craft brand in 2019, according to Chicago-based market research firm IRI Worldwide."

Note: Blue Moon is owned by Molson Coors, Goose Island is owned by Budweiser/Anheuser-Busch/InBev and Leinenkugel is owned by Leinenkugel Miller Coors, too. So if part of your definition of a craft beer is an independent beer, Revolution is really in the lead.

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"The story, however, isn't Revolution growing past its competitors. Amid the intense competition, Revolution managed to lose less share than its competitors."

Oh.

"According to IRI, Revolution's sales were down about $288,000 in Illinois in 2019. By comparison, Blue Moon was down $1.4 million, Leinenkugel was down $3.3 million and Goose Island was down $1.7 million. Those drops allowed Revolution to vault from the state's fourth-biggest selling craft beer brand in 2018 to the top spot in 2019."

I wonder what accounts for the falling sales. Less drinking overall, an unlikely return to non-craft "regular" beer or more competitors in the craft market? Doesn't say, but CNN says beer is dying. Thanks, White Claw!

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Back to the Trib:

"Lagunitas, Samuel Adams, New Belgium, Bell's, Founders and Sierra Nevada rounded out the top 10 top selling craft brands in Illinois in 2019, according to IRI. Those breweries were followed in terms of dollar sales by three local brands: Half Acre, Three Floyds and Two Brothers."

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Chicago Way Conway
A week ago in the Beachwood:

Also from Politico Illinois Playbook:

"Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx attacked challenger Bill Conway for running a campaign fueled by his father's wealth. Conway's father, Carlyle Group co-founder Bill Conway, just gave another $3 million to his son's campaign, putting his donations at more than $10 million.

"The irony, of course, is that Foxx's re-election bid is being aided by billionaire George Soros, who's backing a super PAC targeting Conway."

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How is that ironic? One candidate is getting money from a longtime political activist with a longtime interest in criminal justice while the other is getting money from his daddy, who co-founded one of the world's shadiest investment firms.

What it really is is yet another example of bothsidesing it.

Today from the Tribune, and it's about time:

"While [daddy's firm, Carlyle's] defense contracts have gotten attention in the race, another investment with broad implications has gone unnoticed. For a decade, Carlyle owned the for-profit nursing home chain HCR ManorCare as it racked up allegations that it neglected elderly patients, committed Medicare fraud and ultimately drove the company into bankruptcy."

Oh, that's just the tip of the dirty iceberg. It's Carlyle, c'mon!

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"Asked about Carlyle's control of ManorCare, the candidate said, 'this isn't something that I'm particularly familiar with.

"'We all have relatives that we don't agree with, but I'm certainly not going to sit here and disown my own father,' he added."

Or his money!

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"Conway, who said he has never worked for the Carlyle Group, said he manages some of his father's fortune, but he declined to say how much."

Everything but the ManorCare part, apparently!

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"The elder Conway rose through the ranks at First National Bank in Chicago, then became chief financial officer at Washington-based telecommunications giant MCI. In 1987, Conway's father left to form the Carlyle Group.

"The Carlyle investors sought to differentiate themselves from the rest of the so-called leveraged-buyout industry by basing the firm in Washington rather than New York, according to a Washington Post story on the company's founding.

"Carlyle hired former government officials to leverage their ties, especially in the defense industry, published reports show."

The way someone might try to leverage a connection to help a celebrity-friend in a jam?

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"When asked about Carlyle's investments, Conway told the Tribune he has not closely studied the firm's holdings."

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Go read the whole thing, but this gives you an idea of the ill-gotten gains that have singularly propelled Conway into this race:

Carlyle followed the typical private-equity playbook in its ManorCare dealings. The firm sold the chain's real estate to a new landlord in 2011 for $6.1 billion - the same price it had paid for the whole company four years before, according to published reports. The chain then struggled to pay rent, which amounted to about $472 million a year, the Washington Post reported.

The debt-laden business became unprofitable even as Carlyle extracted more than $80 million in fees from the nursing home chain, according to the Post. With $7.1 billion in debt, ManorCare declared bankruptcy in 2018. Carlyle walked away from the chain's hundreds of facilities in the bankruptcy settlement.

Along with the financial wreckage, Carlyle's ownership of the nursing homes had substantial consequences for residents, the Post reported. Carlyle imposed cost-cutting measures including layoffs, and health code violations rose 26% from 2013 to 2017. Alleged neglect led to bedsores, medication mishaps and falls in some of the homes, the Post wrote.

ConwayCare.

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The Chicag O'Way
"An oversight group is reminding voters to not necessarily cast votes for a judicial candidate in Illinois' primary on St. Patrick's Day just because that person has an Irish last name," AP reports.

"The Illinois Civil Justice League, located in Elmhurst, says it's long been known that less-informed voters can mark ballots for judges based on the ethnicity a name suggests. In cities like Chicago, with large Irish-American populations, candidates with Irish names can fare better . . .

"A paper published in the DePaul Law Review in 2011 supported the notion that candidates with Irish names, especially with female Irish names, have an advantage.

"Watchdog groups in 2018 widely accused Chicago-area lawyer Phillip Spiwak of changing his name to Shannon P. O'Malley to boost his chances of winning election as a Cook County judge. He ended up winning the seat. O'Malley, who said he changed his name to honor a mentor, not to gain electoral advantage, had lost a 2010 race in a neighboring county as Phillip Spiwak."

Good for the Illinois Civil Justice League, though I wish I knew just how they were reminding voters to not be dunces. Sending out a press release? I don't think those folks read the news, but I could be o'wrong.

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Also - and this doesn't mean they're wrong about the Irish name thing:

"The Illinois Civil Justice League is a group representing businesses that says its mission is to 'work for fairness in the Illinois civil justice system,'" according to SourceWatch.

"The group advocates a 'tort reform' agenda, which it calls 'civil justice reform.' The ICJL has a political action committee called JUSTPAC, which supports candidates that support 'tort reform' - placing limits on peoples' access to the courts for harms caused by corporations.

"The group's membership consists mostly of big businesses, including the Illinois Hospital Association, the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Business, the Retail Merchants Association, Caterpillar Inc, Motorola, State Farm Insurance, CNA Insurance, Deere and Company, Brunswick, Allstate Insurance, and Kraft General Foods, and the Illinois Farm Bureau."

Late Note: I missed/forgot that the ICJL was behind an effort to defeat a state supreme court justice up for detention. His name? Kilbride.

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Today's Coronavirus Novel

Also: Time is still around?

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Also: Should the president be replaced by a Vulcan?

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Rutter

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ChicagoReddit

Is this a good or a bad time to go to the DMV? from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Yonder Mountain String Band at Bottom Lounge last Friday night.

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BeachBook

Wells Fargo Officials Resign Days Before They Were To Testify To Congress.

See also from Crain's today: Feds Allege Wells Fargo-Like Practices By Fifth Third.

"Fifth Third entered the Chicago market in the late 1990s but largely spun its wheels until last year's $5 billion takeover of MB Financial. Chicago now is the single most important market to the bank in terms of deposits and loans, supplanting Fifth Third's headquarters city of Cincinnati, where it dominates. In the much larger Chicago market, Fifth Third now is the sixth largest bank by deposits."

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Chiropractors Are Bullshit.

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

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Antiviral.



Permalink

Posted on March 10, 2020


MUSIC - Chicago Drill vs. Brooklyn Drill vs. UK Drill.
TV - Jonathan Pie On Lockdown Pt 3.
POLITICS - Boeing vs. Public Broadcasting.
SPORTS - The Truth About Ed Farmer.

BOOKS - A First: Comics Industry Shut Down.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - NASA At Home.


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