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The [Tuesday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes

1. "[T]he benefits of the Recovery Act in Illinois have been narrowly concentrated," Crain's reports. "As of Dec. 15, the state had received $2.48 billion - less than half its total $6.43-billion award - creating or saving about 24,448 jobs, according to federal figures. But that stimulus money represents less than half of 1% of the state's gross domestic product of $633.7 billion in 2008. And the jobs saved also represent less than half of 1% of the state's total workforce of 6.6 million. Overall, in sectors outside infrastructure - even those that directly supply builders - the benefits have been scant and the effect on employment negligible."

2. Just catching up with these examples of how much Terry O'Brien sucks.


"[E]ven District President Terrence O'Brien admits having the right DNA helps," Fox Chicago reported in August. "Now running for Cook County Board President, O'Brien made a candid admission during a recent appearance on Fox Chicago Sunday, when I asked about his kids getting jobs in the past.

"He said: 'I'm a father, like a lot of fathers and mothers out in the community, if they can't help their children when they're in need of some experience in the workplace, shame on me'."

O'Brien has a television ad out, though, claiming that folks at the Water Reclamation District that he runs get hired only on what they know, not who they know.



"O'Brien runs afoul of Dems on questionable endorsement claims."

3. The race to fill the U.S. Senate seat that was held by Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts may be (in part) a referendum on President Obama, but it's also (in part) very specifically a referendum on his health care reform package. Voters there surely know that that the health care bill in Congress is at stake. You might think that that would be enough to rally Democrats in a blue state like Massachusetts to the cause, but I wonder how many Democrats would like to sink this version of health care too. I haven't had time to check any polling data, but in the aftermath of tonight's results, that would be interesting to look at. After all, the esteemed Quentin Young, a longtime Obama confidante (and MLK's Chicago doctor), repeated on Monday his lament that "What's coming out of Congress is really bad. It's rotten."

4. "Daley pointed to the massive relief effort under way in earthquake-ravaged Haiti to underscore the point that Americans are willing to give their time and money," the Sun-Times reports.

"No other country does that," Daley said. "That is . . . the difference [between] America [and] the rest of the world: the generosity."

No other country, except almost every other country on the planet.

5. "The Kankakee County Farm Bureau wants to stop net neutrality," Nate Anderson writes at ars technica. "So does the Erie Neighborhood House, along with Downtown Springfield Inc, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Will and Grundy Counties, and the mayor of North Chicago.

"The organizations all share several things: they are located in Illinois, they want the FCC to focus on broadband adoption rather than net neutrality, and . . . they all have connections to AT&T."

6. From Bridget Gainer:

"Bridget Gainer, Cook County Board Commissioner, along with The Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (CCJTDC), host a special screening of the documentary film GIRLS ON THE WALL for CCJTDC residents followed by post screening discussions.

"The documentary GIRLS ON THE WALL (GOTW), chronicles the story of teenage girls within the Warrenville Prison who create a musical based on their lives, showing the emotional journey as they take their first steps toward breaking free of the prison system. The screenings will be held on January 19, 2010 for the young women and January 23, 2010 for the young men.

"The film's Director, Heather Ross, followed the girls beginning in 2005 and worked closely with Chicagoan, Meade Palidofsky, of the Storycatchers Theatre. Palidofsky, began her work with incarcerated boys in 1990 at CCJTDC with the program, 'Temporary LockDown' focused on young men facing long jail sentences. In 1996, she recognized a lack of programming designed for incarcerated girls. To address this need and expand opportunities for young people, in 2003, Palidofsky established an additional program site at the Illinois Youth Center, in Warrenville, Illinois.

"I believe this film can tell the stories of the young men and women in the CCJTDC in a way that is compelling, tender and funny-but-true by taking their stories beyond the walls of the detention center, said Gainer. This is a great documentary and I hope because of this event more people become interested in the lives of young people at the CCJTDC.

"The Chicago broadcast premier will air on WTTW, Channel 11 on January 21, 2010 at 10."


"Please give this movie your support; it really deserves it," our very own Marilyn Ferdinand wrote in her review at Ferdy on Films last fall.

7. "The press is all a flutter over the fact that some of the individuals released under the MGT program committed new offenses after their release from the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC)," Tracy Siska writes at his Chicago Justice Project blog.

"The reporting on the issue leads the reader to believe that if only these individuals had not been let out after serving 7 days rather than the 61 days that was mandatory they would never have reoffended. The media has presented no evidence to demonstrate this.

"It's true that if the re-offender had not been released until after serving the mandatory 61 days in state prison they would not have been able to victimize the specific individuals that they did. However, even if the re-offender had served the full 61 days behind bars, it is more than likely that a victimization would have still taken place resulting in a different victim, not an elimination of the new crime from ever taking place.

"The question is: would the extra 54 days in state prison have altered their propensity to commit a violent crime? If it only delayed the crime from taking place then the net result of the full incarceration would have just altered who was victimized. Should our incarceration policies simply be based on altering who is victimized and when?"


That doesn't excuse Pat Quinn's dissembling about the program, which is the main problem as I see it, but still, I think Siska is right.

8. Fun with the Ford Fiesta Movement.

9. Remembrance: Wax Trax.


The Beachwood Tip Line: A drug against war.


Posted on January 19, 2010

MUSIC - Riding Illinois' Storm Out.
TV - How White Republicans See BLM.
POLITICS - Car Wash Workers Finally Win.
SPORTS - Cubs Screwing FO - And Themselves.

BOOKS - How Comics Make Sounds.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Illinois Caverns Reopening After 10 Years.

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