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The [Wednesday] Papers

It was a particularly egregious day of lying on Tuesday.

Our star practitioners of were at the top of their game.

Bruce Rauner opened the festivities claiming that Minnesota is "struggling like we are," as a way to evade the inescapable fact that the economic model of that state has vastly outperformed Midwest cohorts Wisconsin and Indiana, the states Rauner looks to as examples of prosperous right-wing governance. The governor simply refuses to let the facts get in the way of his ideology.

Then Rahm Emanuel and his schools chief Janice Jackson wholly insulted a raft of parents with children needing special education by claiming satisfaction that they had agreed to an independent monitor to oversee that realm of the district. Their self-congratulations directly opposed the fact that for years the mayor has ignored the desperate pleas these parents made to Rahm's previous schools chief (and board president) that services were frittering away, in one of the grandest recent examples of mass gaslighting.

Meanwhile, the normally sober and relatively competent Toni Preckwinkle made an astounding preachment of the necessity of moral and political courage in the every day moments in which we, and our institutions, such as Cook County, face racism and segregation. This, after standing stoutly and defiantly behind Cook County Assessor and Democratic Party machine leader Joe Berrios even after the startling discovery that his assessment system stole from poor people of color and redistributed their meager wealth to the already wealthy white folk of the sort whose contributions kept the ethically addled Berrios flush all these years.

Rauner returned to cap off the day with a tweet commending the U.S. - he carefully substituted the country for the name of the man responsible - for moving the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Rauner has steadfastly refused to comment on Donald Trump or virtually any position he has taken or decree he has issued, outside of cutting taxes on corporations, of course, and yet somehow found this nugget of perilous foreign policy worthy of comment (while ignoring the carnage that just accompanied it). We know why, of course; he's appealing to the hard right he's trying to bring back into the fold after his near-death primary experience. For someone who entered the arena proclaiming to the high heavens that he wasn't a politician, Rauner has proven to be one of the biggest political animals we've seen around these parts, which is saying a lot considering the nature of the competition. In fact, Rauner's problem is that he's so political he's unable to govern; after all, the General Assembly isn't the Chicago City Council, or, as I call it, the Department of Aldermen. You think Rauner doesn't wish his power was unfettered? He'd shut up about term limits in a hurry.

I'm sure many other public officials and private punks lied, spun and evaded you and your interests on Tuesday, but this grouping struck me as unusually vile.


At least the news wasn't all bad. Of course, this is Chicago, so all that really means is that something scurrilous was at least partially, and at least temporarily, rectified.

"A Cook County judge has found that Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his office violated state law by withholding for nearly a year-and-a-half e-mails sent and received on his personal cellphones that related to city business, including e-mails about the scandal-plagued red light camera program," the Tribune reported.

"Judge Kathleen Pantle agreed with the Chicago Tribune that Emanuel and his office violated the state's open records act by belatedly releasing the e-mails, handing the newspaper a victory in its ongoing court battle over the mayor's use of personal devices and accounts to conduct the public's business.

"In addition, the judge opened the door to having Emanuel testify about whether he and his office failed to preserve texts and e-mails on his personal phones and accounts in violation of another state law relating to the preservation of government records."

Maybe if forced to testify Emanuel will regale the court with this theory that e-mails are simply phone conversations on paper - and the public doesn't get to listen in!

Trib reporter David Kidwell: But you do have an e-mail. Some of it gets done by e-mail?

RE: That's a phone conversation in my view.

DK: Do you think under the law, under the public records law, they are the same thing?

RE: I believe, and I am not talking about the law, I believe that a large part of what is done by e-mail, yes, no, OK, is all like a phone call. It's not like what you guys think is a written memo.

From the same interview:

DK: The question is whether or not you have conducted city business through e-mail or on your phone or on your . . . ?

RE (interrupting): I have a cellphone. I call my staff on my cellphone. That's the answer.

DK: And you e-mail them?

RE: I have a government e-mail, I deal with it. I assume it's a government e-mail.


DK: Do you avoid e-mail? Do you tell people, don't e-mail me? Do you have a . . .

RE: Again, you want to know how I set goals and hold people accountable. I have cards I write every other day what I've got to get done. I showed you what the president wrote.

DK: Is there a policy on e-mailing you or you e-mailing other people?

RE: No.

DK: I mean, is there . . . You have to understand why it's confusing to us that you, in our log of e-mails, you are completely absent.

Rahm came clean, sort of, in December 2016:

"Under pressure from a pair of open records lawsuits, Mayor Rahm Emanuel acknowledged for the first time Wednesday that he has used personal e-mail accounts to conduct public business, a practice that allowed him to hide some of his government correspondence from the public since he took office," the Tribune reported.

"Emanuel's admission came as he directed the city's Law Department and his personal attorney to settle a lawsuit brought by the Better Government Association. The watchdog organization took Emanuel to court in October 2015 over a Freedom of Information Act request that sought official emails the mayor sent from a non-government account.

"The settlement was announced 12 days after the Chicago Tribune won a round in its ongoing lawsuit alleging the mayor violated the state's open records laws by refusing to release communications about city business Emanuel conducted through e-mails and text messages."


Back to the current-day Tribune:

"The city has never turned over any texts in response to the Tribune's request. The Tribune contends that texts relating to public business were deleted or not properly retained. The city refused to answer any interrogatories where certain records were not preserved. Instead, the city filed an affidavit from Emanuel's personal lawyer stating that 'text messages cannot now be located on the Mayor's phones.'"

Look, even on Snapchat the messages aren't really really gone.

"In her ruling, Pantle noted that Emanuel and his office 'have produced no evidence on the actual issue in this case: whether public record stored on the Mayor's phones or in his privately-owned e-mail account existed and then were destroyed. Defendants now try to sidestep the issue by arguing that they voluntarily adopted a policy on the use of mobile devices by City employees."


Now let's travel back to that December 2016 article for a moment:

"Many of the e-mails released by the mayor's attorneys show Emanuel writing very little. Most show the mayor either on the receiving end of an email or forwarding one to his staff. What's clear, however, is that Chicago's top power brokers, including a handful of aldermen, knew they could reach Emanuel through his personal address."

Including some members of the media, including the paper's top editor, Bruce Dold.

"There also were a handful of messages between Emanuel and Dold last year, when Dold was the Tribune's editorial page editor. Some of the e-mails centered on a time for the two to have a phone conversation or lunch, while in another, Emanuel complained that an editorial on plans for a new Whole Foods store in Englewood had not given his administration enough credit for attracting the high-end grocer to one of the city's most violent neighborhoods.

"While it is a great mission and worthy of editorial it does not tell the whole story of why chicago of all places," Emanuel wrote.

"Ok, but hey - this is nothing but a positive editorial about Chicago," Dold responded.

It's not clear that Dold was asked about this by the Trib reporter. It is clear that Dold provided the reporter with a statement about the paper's glorious victory against the mayor.


Now, back to Rauner.

On Monday: Home Of The Whopper.

Today: Rauner's Alternate Reality On The Mitsubishi Plant.

What a week he's having.


I'm reminded once again of this quote from our post Monday about the ethos of Mad magazine:

The editorial mission statement has always been the same: 'Everyone is lying to you, including magazines. Think for yourself. Question authority.'


New on the Beachwood today . . .

Charles White Retrospective
"Charles Wilbert White was born on April 2, 1918, to Ethelene Gary, a domestic servant, and Charles White Sr, a railroad and construction worker, on the South Side of Chicago . . . "

A public library, a public park and the Art Institute would come to change his life.

Harvest Talk.jpg


Supreme Court Delivers For Sports Bettors. Now States Need To Scramble
Now it comes down to, essentially, who gets a cut.



New Television's New Families
Amidst the breakdown of normative authority, traced back to Twin Peaks and better than film.






Castles, Episode 1.



That Weekend In Chicago Rock.


A sampling.




The Beachwood Tronc Line: Ginger ale.


Posted on May 16, 2018

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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