The [Wednesday] Papers
"Shadeed Mu'min said he was being questioned almost 25 years ago by Chicago Police Lt. Jon Burge about an armed robbery when Burge pulled out a .44 Magnum revolver, unloaded all but one bullet and put the gun to the middle of Mu'min's forehead," the Tribune reports.
"Click. Click. Click. Three times Burge spun the cylinder and pulled the trigger, Mu'min testified Tuesday at Burge's federal trial. Mu'min said he still refused to talk.
"Angry, Burge stepped from behind his desk and tried to put a typewriter cover over Mu'min's face, he told jurors. Mu'min said he tried to stand up as Burge again covered his mouth and nose. Burge instructed another cop to hold Mu'min, he said. 'It's fun time,' he quoted Burge as saying. 'I became afraid I was going to die,' Mu'min testified."
"He passed out from lack of oxygen and was revived by Burge, only to be smothered again and lose consciousness, Mu'min said."
"'I told him, Just don't do it anymore, that I'd tell him what he wanted to know.'"
That, of course, is the problem with torture: You'll say anything to end the torment.
There is a connection between the false confessions drawn out of suspects in Jon Burge's Area 2 and this nation's "war on terror" policy - if anyone bothers to make it.
Neil Steinberg - yes, I know, I'm trying to ignore him, but he's Exhibit A of so much of what's wrong with the media - writes today that the Burge trial "has not exactly captivated the city."
It would be more accurate to say that the Burge trial has not exactly captivated the city's media. For one thing, how in the world do you measure the level of captivation by the citizenry - and in particular, in what quarters of the citizenry? For another thing, how can a city be captivated by something the media is basically ignoring?
The level of captivation might be different, for example, if the front page of Steinberg's paper screamed "Click! Click! Click! It's Fun Time!"
Memo to cop author Martin Prieb, who figures prominently in Steinberg's column today: Blame folks like Burge and your other colleagues for "what was commonplace during my career" for all those cameras trained on cops today.
And while you (weirdly) mourn the fact that bartender-beater Anthony Abbate faced jail time - though he didn't get any - consider those water shots that helped save John Ardelean and then get back to me.
Public Affairs Strategy Memo
1. Leak bullshit to Michael Sneed.
The Toni Show
From The Beachwood Bobbie Steele Files:
Oct. 23, 2006: "Many expect board President Bobbie Steele to retire after the election, handing her district seat to someone else - likely one of her children," the Sun-Times reports.
New reform proposal: Require Illinois politicians to be childless.
Nov. 29, 2006: "You can't bitch and moan about Todd Stroger without being outraged at Daley's hand behind the curtain. You can't scream bloody murder about Bobbie Steele's shenanigans without understanding that Daley gives the blessing."
Nov. 30, 2006: "Among her accomplishments as presidents, Steele cited lifting of the burn moratorium at the forest preserve district and an order to end politics in hiring in the county."
Then she announced plans to install her son Robert on the Cook County board.
"She dodged questions about whether pushing her son, Robert Steele, as her replacement was nepotism, or whether she was disingenuous in waiting until after the election to announce she would retire on her president's salary, which allows her to draw a double pension instead of returning to her board seat," the Sun-Times reports.
"'I am finished answering questions,' she said abruptly, after entertaining just a few queries, and left the dais.'"
She learned that from the mayor.
"For Steele, jumping through a loophole pays great dividends," the Tribune editorial page noted. "She took office four months ago with only one big responsibility other than warming a chair for her successor: She need to propose a Cook County budget for the fiscal year that begins Friday.
"Steele never did get around to drafting a budget. So many inauguration parties, so little time."
Dec. 5, 2006: God wanted Bobbie Steele to be Cook County president for four months - but He didn't want her to write a budget.
Apparently Bobbie Steele will remain as a consultant to Todd Stroger for a dollar a year.
A) And the county is so broke it will have to borrow that dollar. At five over prime.
Dec. 7, 2006: Ald. Michael Chandler originally said the press couldn't be at the meeting in which Robert Steele was installed as his mother's replacement on the Cook County board. Because unlike Third World dictatorships, we conduct coups in private.
Hey, when the troops come home, can we bring them to Illinois for a little nation-building?
"I think my mother and our family [have] provided a long list of wonderful things that we've done for the citizenship," Robert Steele said in accepting his new county board seat, according to the Tribune's account. "And so I think the citizens of Cook County will be better served by having somebody familiar with Cook County."
And it's really up to him to make that decision.
"I'm familiar with the commissioners who are on the county board so the transition for me to go into office will be a lot easier than for anyone else who's trying to come into the office and learn the system."
Because it's been such a problem teaching newcomers how things work.
"I know the system because it's at my home table every Sunday afternoon."
So you know how to not write a budget. Sweet.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Steele, we'd like to place your child in the school of your choice, but we're going to give that slot to the principal's kid instead."
"I'm sorry, Mr. Steele, your daughter would be a great candidate for that job but we're going to give it to the manager's kid instead."
"I'm sorry, Mr. Steele, but those jobs are restricted to the children of those who already have them. They think it would be best for the citizenship that way."
She's "glad to pass on the mantle."
Because that's what elected office in Illinois is - a mantle to be passed.
Oct. 18, 2007: "A portrait-hanging ceremony for former interim Cook County Board President Bobbie Steele rose to near worship this week at the County Building," Sneed reports (and this time we'll take her word for it, though I'm sure there are errors elsewhere in her column today).
"Let us translate: Invitations were sent out to more than 1,000 people to attend what became a lovefest for Steele, a former Cook County commissioner, who had a four-month tenure as board president, enabling her to double her pension before installing her son to replace her as Cook County Board commissioner."
Aug. 25, 2008: Bobbie Steele, who was Cook County board president for a second before bequeathing her seat to her son, said on CLTV over the weekend that "no one said a word" about nepotism when George W. Bush ascended to the presidency in part due to his family connections.
Steele was out of the country that year.
Worse, CLTV host Garrard McClendon was so enthusiastic about Steele's defense of the very sort of nepotism that kept people of color out of jobs for decades that he told Steele she was "blowing this up!"
Mental Health vs. Daley
It's Good To Be Vlad
Drew's Summer To-Do List
"Americans have become just as dissatisfied with President Barack Obama's work on the Gulf oil spill as they were with his predecessor's handling of Hurricane Katrina, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll released Tuesday."
The Beachwood Tip Line: Beyond B.S.
Posted on June 16, 2010
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