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The [Wednesday] Papers

"Before it was discovered to have been plagiarized from Michelle Obama, Melania Trump's speech yesterday at the 2016 Republican National Convention had initially been praised by members of both parties as one of the best speeches of the RNC, a moving performance," Oren Nimni writes for Current Affairs.

"If anything, the whole plagiarism scandal reflects somewhat poorly on Michelle Obama. One reason Obama's words were able to play so well at the RNC was that in the lifted passages, Obama was speaking using the conservative language of 'bootstrapping.' Obama's sentence, that 'the only limit' to one's achievements is the height of one's goal and the 'willingness to work' toward it, is the Republican story about America. It's the story of personal responsibility, in which the U.S. is overflowing with opportunity, and anyone who fails to succeed in such a land of abundance must simply not be trying hard enough.

"People on the left are supposed to know that it is a cruel lie to tell people that all they need to do is work hard. There are plenty of people with dreams who work very hard indeed but get nothing, because the American economy is fundamentally skewed and unfair. This rhetoric, about 'hard work' being the only thing needed for the pursuit of prosperity, is an insult to every tomato-picker and hotel cleaner in the country. It's a fact that those who work the hardest in this country, those come home from work exhausted and who break their backs to feed their families, are almost always rewarded the least."




"Trump delegate Cynthia Schaffer of Tinley Park denied plagiarism. She says they were words 'anyone would say about her husband.'"

I give up.


This would only be cool if Carson was actually introducing Him.



The Kurson Convention

Ken's brother is Chicago author Bob Kurson, whose wife is the Kurson in Reyes Kurson, as in Victor Reyes. (Ken was, as many will remember, in the Chicago band Green.)


Assignment Desk: The Kursons!


Redaction Rahm
"A Cook County judge on Tuesday ordered the Emanuel administration to turn over e-mail chains sought by the Chicago Tribune related to the multimillion-dollar no-bid Chicago Public Schools contract that led to a federal criminal investigation and the resignation of schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett," the Tribune reports.

"Judge Anna Demacopoulos ruled that the city must turn over email chains the Tribune sought in a 2015 Freedom of Information Act request. The Tribune had sought 25 e-mail chains that contained correspondence to or from Mayor Rahm Emanuel and two of- his senior aides between Sept. 1, 2011, and Aug. 31, 2013. The city had withheld six email chains entirely, and it redacted portions of the remaining 19."

A spokesman for the city's law department responded to the ruling in what I can only imagine was a heavily redacted e-mail.

"The City is committed to complying with the Freedom of Information Act and each year it responds without objection to thousands of requests. While in this case we believed that the requested records were correctly withheld or properly redacted, we respect the court's ruling and will comply with it," Bill McCaffrey said in an e-mail.

I can state something here that the city's journalists will agree is 100% objective: The Emanuel administration is not committed to complying with the Freedom of Information Act.

The City may respond without objection to thousands of requests each year, but that's only because not everyone has the time, energy and resources (such as money) to object to being dealt with unlawfully.

When it comes to complying with the Freedom of Information Act, the Emanuel administration is a serial lawbreaker. Fact.


"Demacopoulos' ruling was the latest legal victory for the Tribune in its ongoing disputes with the city over Freedom of Information Act requests. In late May, a Cook County judge ruled that Emanuel's e-mails, texts and other communications are not exempt from disclosure simply because they are transmitted over private devices. The city is seeking to appeal.

"In early June, another Cook County judge ordered the Chicago Police Department to give the Tribune e-mails from former police Superintendent Garry McCarthy's account. The Tribune had filed a lawsuit accusing the department of violating the Freedom of Information Act by failing to produce the e-mails."


If you want to know how Rahm sets the tone of his administration from the top when it comes to transparency, revisit this classic 2012 interview he gave to the Trib's invaluable David Kidwell.


Rahm's Happy Hour
"At the end of a year when he lost more principals than ever under his tenure, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is trying to make nice with school leaders, inviting principals to a first happy hour reception the night before their budgets are due," the Sun-Times reports.

"'An evening with Mayor Rahm Emanuel for Chicago's principals,' read the invitation obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

"'We invite you to join us for a celebration to express our gratitude and appreciation to the principals of Chicago Public Schools. We wish to thank you for your hard work over the past year and to personally recognize you for your ongoing commitment to the students, teachers, families and communities of Chicago,' it continued.

"Drinks and appetizers are to be served Thursday evening in the Cancer Survivors Garden at Maggie Daley Park for 'all active principals,' Board of Ed members and top CPS brass. Added guests are not welcome 'due to limited capacity.'"



Restricting the event to "all active principals" means mayoral thorn and possible election opponent Troy LaRaviere, the president of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association, is not invited.

Prohibiting "added guests" means "No teachers!"

"Due to limited capacity" means "We really mean it, Troy is not invited!"


LaRaviere spoke to the Sun-Times and got off a good line:

"Rahm wants to buy you a drink. Ask him if he can buy you an assistant principal and a special-education teacher instead."


Every principal who attends needs to ask Rahm to tell the world the truth about their budgets (see the item Mystery Meat).

The latest:


"CPS declined to comment on the party, referring all questions to the mayor's office. Mayoral spokeswoman Lauren Huffman said the party had been planned before the budget deadline was set. She said the mayor is footing the bill - no city or district money will be used for the party. The mayor's office says more than 200 have said they will attend the event."

But capacity is limited - if your name is Troy and the principals at the event elected you to be their leader.


Police Payoffs
"With frustration and resignation, the City Council's Finance Committee on Tuesday signed off on three more police misconduct settlements totaling $4.72 million, including the last of 25 lawsuits stemming from the dirty work of former Special Operations Section kingpin Jerome Finnigan," the Sun-Times reports.

Finnigan link added because readers can hardly be expected to remember his "dirty work," which is hardly described sufficiently later in the article. Hell, reporters don't even remember Finnigan's handiwork.


"Downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) asked for the 'grand total' of settlements triggered by Finnigan's actions. He was surprised to learn that the total - not including $550,000 to Cook - was $1.38 million.

"'Both this administration and the prior administration, given the large number of cases, I think did pretty well with settling many of them for a small amount of money,' [city lawyer Jenny] Notz said."

I'll say. The city got off easy on the Finnigan settlements - which is good for taxpayers, but bad for citizens that these cases weren't fully aired in court.


An idea that I haven't fully researched:

"A petition to place a police insurance amendment on November's ballot was approved at a Minneapolis City Council committee meeting [last week]," the Minnesota Daily reports.

"Though the measure requires another step of council approval before it's placed on any ballot, the proposal - backed by the Committee for Professional Policing and more than 7,000 signatures - would require every Minneapolis Police Department officer to carry professional liability insurance.

"Under the amendment, Minneapolis would pay the base rate of the insurance. But if misconduct or lawsuits cause premium overages, the officer responsible would pay out of pocket."




DePaul DeMilo DeTwittered
"On Tuesday evening, [Twitter] permanently suspended the account of conservative commentator Milo Yiannopoulos, a day after he incited his followers to bombard Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones with racist and demeaning tweets," BuzzFeed reports.

Yiannopoulos's talk at DePaul in May was shut down by protesters who rushed the stage, touching off a furor (mostly) in right-wing precincts.


U.S. Bombs In Syria Kill 77 Civilians Including Children
Before the airstrike in Tokhar on Tuesday, Airwars, a website tracking U.S.-led coalition killings of civilians in Syria, said this is the "worst ever week" for deaths caused by the coalition in the two years since the conflict started.


Chicagoetry: I Walked Into Rainbo
And I need to take the Metra BNSF. And there's just no way.



Why Michael Jordan's House Has Been On The Market 4 Years.


A sampling.


The Beachwood Tronc Line: Jarring.


Posted on July 20, 2016

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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