Chicago - Mar. 31, 2020
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The [Wednesday] Papers

A few months ago, as I was preparing to go into an important conversation with someone I was in conflict with, I told a friend that I was going to work really hard to keep it civil. And then I realized: "She won't let it be civil." Therefore, true communication could not take place. It made me wonder if trying to resolve our differences was even worth it or a waste of time because the other side wasn't willing to listen from the get-go.

I've thought of this often since then when thinking about folks trying to have serious, good-faith discussions with Donald Trump and his followers. Trump befouls everything, including good faith attempts at serious discussion. And his supporters are dug in. Just look at his approval ratings in the midst of his historic and deadly handling of the coronavirus crisis.

So when Mayor Lori Lightfoot appeared to chide Gov. J.B. Pritzker this week for expending energy criticizing Trump, I thought she had a point: Trump isn't open to being persuaded. And now you're down in the mud with him, along with everyone else in his orbit.

On the other hand, I liked seeing Pritzker fight - fight for us. Someone has to, even if it's to eternal frustration and fleeting psychological satisfaction. And Pritzker's exchanges with Trump weren't just to move Trump, but to reveal to the public what's going on behind the scenes as the state tries to acquire the medical supplies it desperately needs to save lives.

And it doesn't distract a public official from doing their job to call out the president of the United States and then move on. Also, there is an election (scheduled) in November. People need to know.

Finally, you can't just ignore Trump. We are living in his world, as much as it pains me to type that, and the gravity he exerts, like a black hole, is impossible to escape. Which Lightfoot just learned.

From this morning's Politico Illinois Playbook:

"Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot didn't contain her contempt for Trump's latest salvo. 'He has said things that are flat-out wrong." Trump has "very, very able people at his disposal. He can tap into a worldwide network of science experts. He's not doing that."

Trump is contributing to fake news, she said. "The things we're hearing on a daily basis coming from the president are unreliable and frankly scary, because there are people who still credit him as a reliable source of information. We're not doing that here in Chicago."

Lesson: The only way to "keep things civil" with someone who will not allow it is to ignore the problem. And that only allows the problem to fester - and let's the bad actor win.

Some people can't be reached. That's when you marshal allies and fight.

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Also, don't appease the bully.

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Police Chief Check
"Like almost everything else in Chicago during these extraordinary times, the appointment of a permanent replacement for fired Supt. Eddie Johnson is on hold as City Hall marshals all of its resources on the war against the coronavirus," the Sun-Times reports.

Until the pandemic, the Chicago Police Board had vowed to complete its nationwide search no later than the end of February and announce the names of three finalists from which Mayor Lori Lightfoot has promised to choose.

By most accounts, the search is over.

Sources say the three finalists have already been chosen from these four: former Dallas Police Chief David Brown; Sean Malinowski, a former chief of detectives for the Los Angeles Police Department; Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman; and Chicago Police Department Deputy Chief Ernest Cato.

For a long time, Malinowski appeared to have the inside track, but aspects of his tech-driven approach to policing have been found - at least elsewhere in the country - ineffective, despite media-amplified hype.

The Sun-Times offers another reason why he may not have made the list of finalists: "[T]here have been signals that Malinowski may have fallen out of favor because he has been viewed as having campaigned for the job in a way some at City Hall see as heavy-handed."

Signals? Do tell. (She doesn't.)

"If Malinowski does not make the top three - despite his slick video and intimate knowledge of CPD as a consultant who helped create Strategic Decision Support Centers across the city - that could open the door for Lightfoot to choose a dark horse in Ziman."

I find it hard to believe the police chief of Aurora is going to get promoted to police chief of Chicago, no matter how talented she may be. Brown would be an interesting choice, but I would not dismiss Cato's chances (see the item CPD Short List here).

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Also: unlike the others, Malinowski is a white guy.

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Back to the Sun-Times:

"But the Police Board did not announce the names of the three finalists, and won't any time soon. That means Interim Supt. Charlie Beck will hold down the fort - and lead the law enforcement response to the pandemic - when he had hoped to return to his family in Los Angeles by now."

You know what? I'm good with that. In fact, it may be for the best right now. An experienced hand at the helm without any of the inevitable continuity issues that come up with a leadership transition.

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"'Because of this unprecedented crisis that we're dealing with, the Police Board has decided to hold off on formally submitting anything as it relates to the superintendent search so we can put all of our efforts across the city to focus on dealing with a crisis the likes of which none of us has ever seen,' Police Board President Ghian Foreman told the Sun-Times.

"He reacted angrily when asked how the indefinite hold would impact Lightfoot's plan to have a new superintendent in place in time to craft an all-important summer plan at a time when homicides are already up by more than 50 percent over last year's total.

"I've got family members in New York right now with coronavirus and pneumonia. And you want to focus on when we're choosing a superintendent? Is that what you really are doing? Come on," he said.

He's right, because it's not as if the department is without a chief to craft an "all-important summer plan" - a chief who appears to be doing a decent job. The police board is making the right call here - not that it ought not be questioned. But the questions can be a little smarter.

Foreman:

"After 9/11, would you have called us and said what are we doing with the superintendent search? Come on. You're better than that."

No, they're not.

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Osama bin Gibbs
"Robert Gibbs, a former White House press secretary in the Obama administration who later became global chief communications officer at McDonald's, is going to the public affairs firm Bully Pulpit Interactive," Politico Illinois Playbook also reports in a congratulatory note today. "He'll be a senior counsel based in the firm's Chicago office. He's already familiar with the firm, which is full of Obama alumni."

As I've noted many times on this site over the years, Gibbs is one of the guys who was behind the ad in Iowa in 2004 that morphed Howard Dean into Osama bin Laden, helping torpedo Dean's presidential campaign. Welcome to Chicago!

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To wit:

"That effort included an ad defended by Gibbs that morphed Howard Dean into Osama bin Laden while an announcer said: 'Americans want a president who can face the dangers ahead. But Howard Dean has no military or foreign policy experience. And Howard Dean just cannot compete with George Bush on foreign policy. It's time for Democrats to think about that - and think about it now.'"

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Beer Diet Not Cute
I'm sorry, Block Club Chicago, but we should be concerned about Patrick Berger, not charmed.

Berger is finishing a 40-day beer-only fast this week, and has the headline says, he's lost 33 pounds.

That's not a surprise; if you stop eating, you lose weight. Especially on a starvation diet. I can't imagine any health professional blessing this approach.

You'll have to scroll to the 15th paragraph to see this addressed - and then dismissed.

His primary care doctor finally learned of the fast a few weeks ago, and although she still doesn't approve of drinking four to five beers a day, she told him he's not in any immediate danger of dying.

First, if he's drinking four to five beers a day - every day, and for 40 days - he has a drinking problem. And when people with drinking problems estimate how much they're consuming, a good rule of thumb is to double it. ("I only had two, officer" is always a tip off to cops. "With dinner" seals it.)

Second, not being in immediate danger of dying is an awfully low bar.

It's also not sustainable weight loss, as he reintroduces food into his diet.

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"Now, he'll have some garlic soup.

"It's an old Czech hangover cure, and I certainly could use a hangover cure," he said.

I'll say. You've been drunk for 40 days.

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"'I'm not promoting this as a healthy diet or a healthy way to lose weight. It is simply a mental challenge," he told Block Club.

A better challenge would be a food-only diet.

"'If you choose to take it on, the consequences are on you. I'm taking zero responsibility,' he said with a laugh."

How much responsibility is Block Club taking?

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The article doesn't say how old Berger is (!) but notes he has three kids.

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"Berger criticized Pritzker's measure to defer a host of taxes for small businesses as a 'political sham.'"

Okay, drunky.

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From a previous article about Berger:

At his last doctor's visit, Berger told his doctor he typically drinks a few beers each day.

"She told me I needed to cut back, so I didn't really feel encouraged to go to her with this diet," he said. "I did not tell my doctor."

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"Tossing back four beers a day wasn't out of the ordinary for him before his beer-only fast."

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

Missing Chicago's Game
Jim "Coach" Coffman remembers.

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ChicagoReddit

Just because the weather is nice, its not ok to play basketball from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

View this post on Instagram

The Chicago Department of Public Health has been around for a long time. Between 1894 and 1918 the Department of Health built 19 public bathouses across the city, mostly in the older and poorer neighborhoods that surrounded the loop. Many apartments in these areas lacked in home plumbing. The public baths were the product of years of public lobbying by progressive social reformers. As laws changed to require plumbing in apartments the public baths were slowly closed over the years. The final bath closed in 1979. Only four former bathhouses remain. To learn more about public baths, go check out @forgotten.chicago 's website! The Joseph Medill Public Bath was opened in 1906 at 2140 W. Grand Ave. It is now a private home.

A post shared by Brick of Chicago (@brickofchicago) on

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ChicagoTube

"Search And Destroy" at the Metro in 1988, remastered live WXRT recording.

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BeachBook

Uber And Lyft Are Blocking Unemployment Pay.

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Who Was Alexander von Humboldt?

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Newly Relevant: Ibsen's Enemy Of The People.

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

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The Beachwood Tip Line: End date.



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Posted on March 25, 2020


MUSIC - Chicago Drill vs. Brooklyn Drill vs. UK Drill.
TV - The John Oliver Coronavirus Chronicles.
POLITICS - Boeing vs. Public Broadcasting.
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BOOKS - A First: Comics Industry Shut Down.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Testing Chicago Electric's Drill Bit Sharpener.


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