Being Sneed means you don't have to ask

This from Tony Peraica’s blog is quite good on Sneed:

In a city full of good newspaper columnists - the kind who actually break news - there’s one gossip-hound who traffics in weeks- and months-old “news.”

# Translation: Columns written by Michael Sneed are full of interesting “information,” if by “information” one understands “unverified gossip and news that was old weeks ago, yet is still delivered in a breathless, ‘Ssshhhh! Listen to what I found out!’ tone, as if it were actually NEWS.” Today’s column by Michael Sneed, for instance, includes reference to a year-old endorsement of Tony Peraica by the late Mayor of Westchester, John Sinde. Sneed suggests “we’ll never know” if Sinde actually endorsed Peraica, because he died in 2005. [Not if we never ask]

# The problem: Sneed, as per usual, hasn’t bothered to do her homework. John Sinde endorsed Tony Peraica for Cook County Board President IN APRIL OF LAST YEAR as Tony Peraica kicked off his campaign for Cook County Board President, long before he passed. Tony Peraica was proud to receive that endorsement, and he was proud of his relationship with Sinde. Tony Peraica even sponsored a County Board resolution in memoriam for Sinde.


Some possible sense about Katrina

. . . that takes us beyond the standard blame-Bush, blame-city and/or state officials position:

Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.
Keeping you up-to-date on the latest by Manhattan Institute Scholars August 29, 2006



Katrina's Real Lesson

Nicole Gelinas, RealClearPolitics.com, August 29, 2006
(This originally appeared on
City-Journal.org, 08-28-06)
Though President Bush declared on Saturday that Hurricane Katrina exposed "deep-seated poverty" in America, the disaster isn't ultimately a story of poverty or of race, but of the greatest failure of civil engineering in American history. Luckily, while the nation has never been able to solve poverty, it can solve the engineering problem at the heart of southern Louisiana's potential recovery. . .

And something new about asbestos:

Asbestos double-dipping
Posted by Ted Frank
Must-read coverage of how asbestos plaintiffs "double-dip" into billions of dollars of asbestos bankruptcy trusts run by plaintiffs' lawyers (like Baron & Budd, the namesake of John Edwards's money man, Fred Baron) through making boldly inconsistent claims of exposure. (Daniel Fisher, "Double-Dippers", Forbes, Sep. 4). Courts are cracking down for the first time, though the only people suffering consequences so far are clients, rather than the unethical attorneys-the shareholders who lost their money and the workers who lost their jobs in the fraud are out of luck. . .



L'Affaire Stroger, Part CDXXXVII

The saga marches on, you might say.  Bobbie Steele, veteran county board commissioner named temporary replacement for the incapacitated president, John Stroger, is "uncomfortable," she said -- make it all past tense when reporting this business -- with the hiring-freeze hiring of 1,300 employees, as we presume she was uncomfortable with the Stroger patronage chief, whom she bumped laterally.  But not uncomfortable in either case to fire anyone.  It is encouraging, however, that a few weeks in the job has gotten the party grin off her puss in newsp pix.
In addition, she's knocking John Stroger now: his administration was "insulated."  But she didn't fire the patronage man, who is able to sing or hum the old favorite:
I'm bidin' my time/
"Cause that's the kinda guy I'm
Actually 'cause Baby Stroger has all that patronage army working the precincts for him.  It's the confidence that led Ald. Beavers tell reporters when the stricken Stroger was still president, "We can do anything we want."
Steve Patterson is all over this story in Sun-Times, offering us nothing cute and keeping stories down to 500 or so well chosen words, which is how they all should be written for daily newspapers.

Wal-Mart coverage

Sandra Guy story, Sun-Times 8/28/06 says Wal-Mart is big in 'burbs, where it's considered to do great things.  Good Jobs First man in Wash DC, however, wants govt to decide the issue, not believing in The Power of the People, and I'm only half kidding here.  Rather, let them vote -- with their pocketbooks -- on what's good for The Community.  Note especially the Forest Park info, where the Wal-Mart on Roosevelt Rd. has contributed to improvements galore by its taxes, which are contributed by The People when they buy things that They Want.  Give the lady (and gentleman) what she wants, as Marshall Field used to say.


He's baaaack!

The Return of Stroger will be celebrated tonight on Channel 11.  As of 3:16 pm today, he was expected on Chicago Tonight when he and challenger Peraica will “square off.”  Also on hand with be Commissioner Mike Quigley.  That’s 7–8 pm, if you can tear yourself away from Cubs v. Pirates, which is 6–8 on cable 37.

Wecome back, Barack

Good question if you’re looking for one: To what extent is Sun-Times woman Lynn Sweet and her editors aware of the foto-ops and all-around glowing top-of-line coverage they are providing free of charge to Sen. Barack Obama as he makes his l-o-n-g African junket.  The thing (series) is still going strong today, its — what? 8th day?  9th?  It’s been a long time. 

Thing (point) is, who’s reading it?  It doesn’t matter.  The PICTURES, my friend, are the thing (point).  They are blowin’ in the wind.  Another question: What if one of the crowd stood up and yelled, “Yankee, go home!”  Now that would take this out of the category of a 17th-century “masque” of the sort characterized by the Beaumont and Fletcher character in “The Maid’s Tragedy,” where Lysippus, the king’s brother asks Strato about one being planned.

Lys. Strato, thou hast some skill in poetry: What think’st thou of the masque? Will it be well?

Strat. As well as masque can be.

Lys. As masque can be?

Strat. Yes; they must commend their king, and speak in praise
Of the assembly; bless the bride and bridegroom
In person of some god. They are tied to rules
Of flattery.

Anybody here seen Stroger?

County board presidency candidate Peraica is worried enough about his opponent Todd (Baby) Stroger after the latter’s absence from public view for nine days that he has authorized an all-points bulletin to find him and says he may have to put Baby’s picture on milk cartons if he is not found soon.

That’s his position.  I think young Stroger is dropping out, with his father’s payrollers preparing a massive write-in campaign for someone else.  This is not as foolish as it seems, because his father had about 100,000 payrollers if you count their families and friends, and if each gets five others, there you have it, a landslide.


Zeroing in

Sun-Times has a bead on Baby Stroger, with (a) this on the 1,300 hires since Daddy got sick and (b) Mark Brown’s column on being Republican in Chicago:

Everybody knows Chicago is a Democratic town, but you forget sometimes just how bleak the landscape can be for Republicans.

My most recent Wednesday Journal column addresses the matter of deciding to vote Republican even if your daddy and other forebears were “Dimmycrats,” to use the Mr. Dooley pronunciation, where I ask:

[H]ow are all you Oak Park and River Forest Democrats doing today, as you face the Ides of November, when Todd Stroger turns up on your ballot? You went big for supposed reformer Claypool in April. What now? There's this guy from Riverside, a supposed reformer, which Todd ain't. You went for supposed reform in April, now you face a stark choice: non-reform or, God save us, a Republican.

It’s not easy,” I say.

Counselling may be in order. "How could you?" a former Democrat was asked by someone near and dear when he said he had become a Republican. If he had said he'd become a Methodist, she would have understood, because we are all ecumenical these days. The best people are.

Oh, the trials of democracy.


Egad, the New Orleans city council president, Oliver Thomas, did not show up for his Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, nor did he show for a briefing on Hurricane Ernesto, which is headed for his city.  “He apparently overslept,” said Wallace at 10:20 or so Eastern time. 

A bad day indeed for one who is thus described officially:

Caring for others is a way of life for Councilmember Oliver M. Thomas, Jr. Whether working with youth in our community, or working to advance economic development and neighborhood revitalization, Mr. Thomas strives to enhance the quality of life for citizens of all ages of the City he calls home.

That’s not the half of it.  He “ founded the Boys-To-Men Program for youth ages 8 to 18, who primarily reside in single parent households.”

He recruited role models, who tutored, counseled, and accompanied these young men to ball games and other activities, leading them on a positive, hope-filled path toward adulthood.

For this and more, he

has received numerous honors, including the Legislator of the Year Award from the Alliance for Good Government, and the Jefferson Award for Community Service from WDSU-TV.


is a Fellow of the Loyola University Institute of Politics.

Busy guy, all tuckered out, apparently.

Later:  Not so, apparently, per this from Mr. T, whom I asked if he’d overslept:

No was at there studio and he wouldn't let me go on because he had [Jefferson conty

] sheriff [Harry] Lee on , so I went to WDSU and did my report there .
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Device


Here comes the judge again

Judge Anna Diggs Taylor again, again at PowerLine, this time as “judge-shopper” in the 1998 U. of Michigan law school affirmative action case, from which she recused herself because married to a U Mich regent.  The lady is incorrigible, though U Chi Law’s Geoffrey R. Stone praised her “courage” for holding “unlawful a program that the president of the United States asserts is essential to national security.” 

He offers his own arguments why the NSA listening is unconstitutional without quoting her opinion, which has been picked apart by PowerLine lawyers and others.  He is vastly impressed, again, by the “courage” she showed in Mississippi in 1964, when as a young lawyer she confronted white-seg cops.  He is not impressed by the conflict of interest argument — she’s an ACLU supporter, ACLU brought the case.  But, again, he has nothing to say about her argument as legally respectable, which PowerLine’s people say it isn’t.


Lois Wille open and clear

Ronald Reagan was “the Teflon president because he could brush away scandals with the sunshine of his smile,” says Daily News and Chi Trib veteran Lois Wille, now retired, in a Chi Trib op-ed.

He said he never knew the details of his administration's illegal weapons sales to Iran, didn't know it was illegally shifting the profits to anti-Marxist rebels in Nicaragua.

He seemed blissfully unaware of the mounting AIDS crisis, the soaring deficits and the corrupt activities of senior aides. And he got away with it.

That said, and it must have felt good to say it, she goes on to consider Mayordaley II as teflon also, thanks to his “strong relationship with legions of Chicagoans,” counting herself among them: she herself applauded one of his fairly recent dominative, we may say boss-like actions, his tearing up Meigs Field in the dead of night, decapitating our lakefront control tower in the name of protecting us from airborne terrorists. 

Why did she applaud?  Because he was “atoning for what he did to the lakefront when he OKd the Soldier Field renovations,” which is what I would be tempted to say if I’d also written a book about the lakefront.  I hope not, however, because it imparts a tentative quality to a column that might have given substance to the teflon part.

Maybe not, because on further reading, the column is a paean to Daley, even as it’s an angry indictment of racist others who committed more “social crimes” than she has space to relate, though she does list quite a few.  But more than that, for Chicago newspaper readers it’s a look at Wille’s unalloyed leftism and her anger at what racist others have done to ruin things such as mere editorials could not provide over her many years of writing them.


A culture of blame prevents moral, social and political progress. This is a self-help universe. The nonsensical Arab insistence that all Arab problems are the fault of America and Israel (or the Crusades) ignores the fact that Arab civilization has been in decline for 700 years - and has been in utter disarray for the last 200.

ARABS' LAST CHANCE By RALPH PETERS - New York Post Online Edition: Postopinion.


There goes a country

Unless we goose the UN on the matter of disarming Hezbollah, we lose Lebanon, says Krauthammer, because

Hezbollah is not just returning to being a "state within a state." It is becoming the state, with the Siniora [Lebanese] government reduced to acting as its front.

Dig it

A Dem hack hath spoke, as explained at Power Line:

Who's afraid of Anna Diggs Taylor? Anyone who knows what legal analysis and legal argument look like -- anyone who knows the requisites of legal reasoning -- must look on the handiwork of Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in the NSA case in amazement. It is a pathetic piece of work. If it had been submitted by a student in my second year legal writing class at the University of St. Thomas Law School, it would have earned a failing grade.


Later, more, from WaPo:

The angry rhetoric of U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor will no doubt grab headlines. But as a piece of judicial work -- that is, as a guide to what the law requires and how it either restrains or permits the NSA's program -- her opinion will not be helpful.

NYT doesn’t think so, however:

The New York Times editorial today, cheering on Judge Taylor's lame and irresponsible decision striking down the Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP), is, like Taylor’s opinion, a joke.

It’s here.



Honest Abe was not the rail-splitter we thought, but a nicely situated landowner. Didn't come up from poverty, therefore. What's that about a log cabin?

Church and watchdog

Eric Zorn tells me what I did not know, that it’s a storefront church in which the illegal immigrant woman is taking sanctuary on Division Street.

She's not a dangerous outlaw or a threat to anyone. But the media/activist vigil at Camp Elvira in Humboldt Park is a bad business all the way around. It's generating lots of heat but shedding no light, whipping up ill will and retarding the cause of compassionate immigration reform.

Arellano, 31, is fighting deportation to Mexico by claiming sanctuary in a storefront church, defying the government to "send agents to a holy place" to arrest her.

He also explicates the illegality issue as well as can be done. Fish or cut bait, he advises: get her out of there now rather than later and in the broader matter, decide what’s good for the country:

The U.S. must have laws on immigration. Every nation must. And we can't let sentiment or popularity or claims about what God would or wouldn't want to happen inside a church cause us to ignore them.

In another Metro story, Chi Trib writer Art Barnum tells me far more and far more clearly than Sun-Times about legalities surrounding conviction of the drug-seller father to whom his 2 1/2–year-old in diaper and tee shirt led cops. She was watched over by a good-dog doberman who gave S-T cause for its “Doberman baby-sat 2-year-old; dad convicted” p-1 screamer. Not bad, if I do say so, but story got murky as to charges and convictions. S-T is going for the headless-corpse-in-topless-bar prize but has not quite made it.

Neither story goes into our draconian drug-law legalities, of course. The guy faces 12 to 50 years, for cryin’ out loud! Trib is good on his stated basis for appeal, however:

Assistant Public Defender Jeff York said Johnson . . . believes the police search was illegal because he . . . gave police permission [only] to check the apartment to ensure the child's safety. [Judge] Thompson previously ruled the search was legal.

As for the kid,

[Chief of Police] Anderson said there were no signs that the child was physically abused.

She was returned to her mother, Johnson's girlfriend, the night of her father's arrest. The dog went with her. [Italics added]



NY Sun has a quite reasonable, telling commentary on the Wallace-Ahmadinejad interview, “a journalistic coup” that found Wallace not “up to the task . . . outfoxed, outwitted, and outflanked.” He was

hesitant in this interview, unwilling to press the wily Iranian president, and was thrown off stride by the tough, even snide, comebacks, including a threat to end the interview prematurely.

Moreover, Mr. Wallace seemed unexpectedly charmed, perhaps even won over, by the president, which also may have dulled his usually sharp instincts.

“It wasn’t even close,” said David Harris, of the American Jewish Committee.

Here was a chance to press the leader of a country that seeks nuclear weapons, actively supports Hezbollah, calls for Israel's annihilation, engages in terrorist activity far from its borders, imprisons political reformers, protesting students, and independent journalists, subscribes to a disturbing theology, and suppresses the rights of the Baha'is, among others.

Oy veh.

The Judge Who Couldn't Stop Lying, etc.

My friend in Queens, Nicholas Stix, discusses a certain kind of judge here.

He calls him a "high hat," using the Harry Truman phrase. Yes, as in "Miller's Crossing," the Coen brothers movie that opens with the dago [sic] pleading with the Irish mob leader. People were "high-hatting" him. And it was set in a Kas. City-like burg, thus the Harry S (no period) Truman usage.

And Stix' sister finishing liars' (law) school where she learned how to use a convincing item, the bat!

However, for "since long-defunct," my friend Usual Usage says put "long-since defunct."

In the relevant literature arena, for turning "minor infraction [into] major felony," see Peter Peebles in Walter Scott's Redgauntlet, which beat Bleak House to the punch by half a century in telling of law's delays with Peebles as marvelously comic complainant-victim being also to blame. Set in Edinburgh, 1770s or so.

As for the ineffable Rev.-Sen. Meeks, who wants better teachers in ghetto schools, does he have combat pay in mind? Trouble is, many teachers won't go there for love or money. Put another way, there's not enough money to pay them to go. Let us call Meeks, ah, unsophisticated in his approach, which presumes and counts on a very unsophisticated constituency. It won't fly: this may be the Second City, but its voters are not dumb. (Are you sure about that? a small voice asks.)

Now he's the celebrity

Oh boy, if you were wondering about Mike Wallace whoring after audience share, you will find this at Power Line “interesting,” as the columnist says when he means disgusting. The PL man cites questions "Mike Wallace forgot to ask" sent by a reader, such as “Would Osama Bin Laden be a welcome guest in your country?” and “Should Muslims living in Western nations be allowed to apply sharia law within their communities, or must they follow the laws of their country?” adding this of his own:

[Wallace might have askee] perhaps immediately after []his attestation to the great honor of interviewing him:

Do you think that the United States has a legitimate bone to pick with you in connection with your leadership of the student group that took 66 Americans hostage in the American embassy in Tehran in 1979?

There once was a Mike Wallace who asked tough questions -- his was a "no-holds-barred interviewing technique," says CBS. It’s how he got his start or made his initial splash, in the early days of TV, with a “Confidential” show in which he got celebs to come on camera and then put embarrassing questions with patented Idon’tgiveashit look in his beady eyes. Now with a 4th– or 5th-generation Hitler, he plays softball.

For a good rundown on the interview, go here, where Media Research Center's Tim Graham acknowledges "Some Tough Questions" in the Iran interview while citing "Some Apple-Polishing Interludes."


Lazy Saturday

OPPORTUNITIES KNOCKED: Daley’s on p. 1 of Chi Trib as genial fun-loving talk show personality. Why? He's on hot seat, isn’t he? Why give him the foto-op for free? Or anyone else, including GW chopping wood, etc.

Why not? Because it encourages jerks like Gov Blago to lift up his 3–yr-old as hostage when he finds himself in war zone attacked by reporters. He picked her up after they began badgering him -- when all he wanted was a foto-op, for crying out loud!

HEAD TRIP: Sun-Times had that item big on p-1, rightly so. But moving to its op-ed page, we ask, who is Ralph Martire, whose stuff reads like a memo to staff? We have an email address but no i-d for this producer of turgid prose. And where the heck is Tom Roeser, who used to fill us in on Illinois politics on that very page? Martire’s a lobbyist, which Roeser used to be but hasn’t been for several years, and besides, he had life for a long time as City Club rejuvenator and, yes, real-life talk-show host, which he still is, Sunday nights, WLS-AM. And besides with a flourish, Roeser knows how to write for THE PUBLIC -- see his daily blog.

Martire's organization is the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability -- maybe for motherhood too, who knows? -- where he is executive director, for crying out loud. He must know what he's talking about, whatever it is. What he needs is a writer. Get the guy or gal who does Rev. Jesse's boiler-plate leftism, also regularly in Sun-Times. (Oh, am I mad today. You'd never know I'm entertaining lovely grandchildren this week, would you?)

HERE COMES JUDGE: While in Sun-Times op-ed arena, see Judge Egan dismantle DePaul law prof so-&-so for his statute of limitations argument meant to show Egan up for his non-prosecutable verdict in the Burge torture business. In addition to substantive stuff, several times he notes the man's "academic" aura as leaving him unsuited for solving this problem. He also notes that the two presumed good-doing lawyers who objected to his decision -- Flint Taylor and Locke Bowman (no relation) -- were asked during their investigation to show cause why the statute did not limit but didn't. Good piece.

SO THERE: As for Ozzie Guillen, and you knew we'd get to him, didn't you, he's in his nasty-kid mood these days about shortstop Uribe, who has to come to Ozzie to say he wants to play: Ozzie is not going to him, no. Uribe has to come to "the boss," you see. That's how it's done in the Land of Ozzie. None of which matters today, of course, Contreras that beautiful Cuban exile from Castro having blanked the first-place Tigers on three hits last night.

CONFESSION: Then there's Gunter Grass, who after years as a professional Leftist Novelist, with a book of memoirs to sell, says he's been "burdened" all these years knowing he served in the Waffen SS (storm troopers) and so now, finally, with book of memoirs to sell, tells us. Here's it's time for him to don sack cloth and pour ashes on himself and enter a monastery, and he's got himself a book-selling point. It's people like that who give Leftism a bad name. Among others.

DEATH OF A GOOD GUY: Finally, R.I.P. Al Kirk SJ, who was found dead in his room at Loyola U. at 72. For years he was head head-knocker at St. Ignatius High, Chicago -- disciplinarian. I met him as an incoming novice at Milford OH in 1952 but my best memory is of him at Ignatius, where I showed up one day to interview a student for a series at the Daily News.

I bounced into his office on a lower-level floor as students were charging out at day's end. He just walked out in the hall and collared one walking by, a Bridgeporter whose take-home books included a paperback copy of Royko's Boss -- assigned reading. The kid made a very good interview. Boss had gotten Sis Daley very mad; she had tried to get it removed from supermarket shelves in Bridgeport. Royko got wind of it and, what do you know, out went next day's column on that very subject.

For the same DN series, I went to Gordon Tech at Addison & California on the NW Side, where the Resurrectionist principal led into my presence a hand-picked senior, an all-honors student heading for West Point. Good interview too, but my, the contrast with Al Kirk and the climate at Ignatius.


Oldest profession revisited

This widely reported photo-doctoring by Reuters seems ideology-driven, the photographer being an Islamist sympathizer. Reuters has admitted the fakery and fired the fotog. This interviewing of and platform-providing for this year’s Hitler clone by CBS’s Mike Wallace, on the other hand, seems something else. Let’s call it whoring after audience share.


Sneed's people

They file Michael Sneed among “people” columnists at Sun-Times, with the reliable and readable Bill Zwecker (H’wood), Stella Foster (Kup’s heir), Cindy Pearlman (also H’wood), and the incomparable (to what shall I compare her?) Susanna Night Out (photo-op shots of fun-timers grinning ear to ear). But she does like to be a regular Democrat tell-all sometimes, as today, when she refers to the Republican candidate with slight lead over Toddler Stroger in the county board presidency race as Tony "The Whiner" Peraica.

She had just puffed Toddler with an item about State Sen. Mike Madigan having “handpicked” Toddler’s campaign manager, noting that both Madigan and Toddler are Ignatius High graduates. (Has she ever noted that stepdaughter Lisa, the state’s attorney general is a Latin School alum?) The campaign manager is one Mike Noonan, from whom she quite likely got the “whiner” bit.

Not only that, she used it in reference to “GOPers . . . wishing they had a stronger candidate,” which is the perfect nasty item to plant, because Peraica does a lot of complaining, though not about trivial things, which is what whining is, but about huge waste thru patronage in a miserably run $3 billion operation.

And ditzy though shrewd Sneed injects this Dem-campaign bit a few pages in today’s paper before a full-tabloid-page story about the county’s health department as exposed by Northwestern U. researchers as hugely wasteful and miserably run.


Mel drinks

When does interesting mean disgusting? When LA Times man Tim Rutten does a lead ‘graph on Mel Gibson as noxious:

Given all that's been written and broadcast about the anti-Semitic tirade Mel Gibson delivered when he was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, it's interesting that the story's most significant implication barely has been touched. [Italics added]

If Gibson were not a wealthy and widely admired celebrity, he'd be just another lush dragging around a mental rat's nest of kooky opinions and morbid animosities. However, he's not a noxious nobody; he's a noxious actor and filmmaker dragging around a mental rat's nest of kooky opinions and morbid animosities [repeated for emphasis] — and the only part of this affair that legitimately concerns anyone but Gibson and his family is whether any of those views made their way into his work.

And on goes Rutten, telling us what’s so darn interesting, i.e. disgusting, about it. “The press” — good for him, leaving stupid TV out of it — has not “reopened discussion” of Gibson’s movie “The Passion of the Christ,” which depended too much on Matthew’s gospel and what an anti-semitic nun wrote two centuries ago and in any case had a “sadomasochistic aura.”

Or did it? Rutten can’t quite say so but uses the venerated “some . . . argued” expression, allowing him to make the point while shrugging his shoulders. Not even neatly done, Rutten. But it’s interesting how you do it.

There’s more, which you can find here if you are willing to surrender some of your marketing demographics to his employer.

However: If kooky and morbid stuff came out of Gibson when roaring drunk, we know it was in him, else how did it come out? But his defenders, including the Jewish ones, hadn’t seen it from him in his sober moments, that is, moments when he was in control. I do believe our character depends on the latter moments. In this I am in tune with (a) how our society judges people — temporary insanity, anyone? and (b) the Catholic Christian teaching I grew up on, and millions of others too.

Rat’s nests? Please, we all have them, of one kind or another. Question is, what do we do about them? Sober, Gibson has done just fine, his friends say. Drunk, he becomes a man possessed, as if by devils depicted in Matthew’s gospel. So open the envelope and name the exorcist, please, 12–step program or whatever cleanses him. That will be the interesting part.


War hell, some warriors more hellish than others

A view from Canada of Israeli-Hezbollah culpability that you don’t run into often enough, including details of Palestinians etc. upping body count with imported corpses: 

On Thursday, Israel apologized for last weekend's bombing of an apartment building in Qana, Lebanon, in which more than two dozen civilians were killed. As a result of faulty military intelligence, Israel believed the building was being used as a "hiding place" for terrorists. In fact, it was a refuge for innocent men, women and children.

But while Israel has admitted its role in these deaths, the terror organization Hezbollah has not. Hezbollah's cowardly practice of hiding behind human shields was the reason the Israel Defense Force (IDF) began bombing Qana in the first place. Since the beginning of this war, Hezbollah has sought to maximize civilian deaths on both sides, not only by firing rockets at the heart of Israeli cities, but also by firing those rockets from inside Lebanese homes and apartment buildings -- thereby ensuring more civilian casualties when Israel protects itself by striking back at the rocket launchers.

more more more . . .

Unhelpful media criticism

Rocky Mountain News editor targets Editor & Publisher as leftist rant:

[E&P editor] Mitchell is mistaking standard opinion journalism for media criticism. There are plenty of places to debate the right approach to Iraq or to the current Mideast Crisis, but what he's doing is not media criticism.

Even if he's going to wear his politics on his sleeve, he should be taking on the quality of the reporting, not recounting his unhappiness with the editorial positions of journalists or newspapers. At a minimum, he should have his Web site provide an opposing view. But what he should really do to make his publication relevant is critique journalism, not tell us what he thinks newspapers should be saying on their editorial pages or in their columns.

Now.  In this presumed media-critique blog, do you find positionism leaking in?  That’s entirely possible, but this editor’s slam at the E&P man serves as a good reminder not to let it do so.  (Hat tip to Romenesko)


Joe Moore's excellent adventure

Ald. Joe Moore, of the far northeast side of Chicago, can put a notch in his belt: Target will NOT be building anew in Ald. Carrie Austin’s far south side ward or anywhere else in Chicago, thanks to Joe the Liberal’s pushing through the so-called living-wage ordinance that does for wages what scorching does to earth in a military campaign.  Moore can hold his head up with pride in the coffee clatches of those who know zilch about business except that “corporations” have “millions” and can spare some for his constituents.

"No matter how much money these corporations have, each individual store has to operate as a profit center. This can add upwards of $1 million a year to the cost of operating these stores," the city’s Planning and Development Commissioner Lori Healey told Sun-Times.  (Chi Trib does NOT have this story, which is a Fran Spielman special.)

Here is a lesson for Joe Moore and friends, who may be asking what a profit center is: Corporations — companies, businesses, executives and managers who keep things running and produce wealth rather than merely distribute it as Joe does — do NOT donate money to certain neighborhoods and cities.  They do NOT discriminate among municipalities, some of which make them pay more, some of which do not. 

So forget the new mall at 119th and Marshfield: Calumet Park, a town which has no living-wage ordinance “has land right across the street they can develop,” says Austin . “Our development will just sit there for another century. I don't need more housing. I need sales tax revenue and jobs. How do I pull my community out of the slump that it's in? How do we get a rebirth? Sales tax revenue. That's how."  Nice going, Joe.


Nicely said.

Good, clear comment here on big box/living wage legislation by Chi city council:

The “big-box” wage law represents one of the major problems with Chicago politics, and it is not a new one: the domination of unions and their obvious use of politicians to transfer money from our pockets to theirs.

Mayor Daley is right to fear what such a law might do to the development of large retail stores and their accompanying employment in the city. Beyond this specific worry, we should all shudder at the idea of union-owned politicians claiming to have power over employment contracts in the marketplace. A minimum wage is interference enough, but trying to legislate high wages and benefits for their union masters is an intolerable power grab into the private sector.

Luckily, even if a Daley veto does not happen or is overridden, this law is likely to be thrown out in court, just as the Maryland Wal-Mart law was. The law violates ERISA and probably the 14th Amendment as well. So, while we should be horrified that this “Big-Box law” was even attempted, a judge will likely crush it with the vehemence it deserves.