Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011
8

A Guide to Topics Discussed and Ignored in Today's Election in Chicago

Discussed

Crack

Wimps

• "Starving people in Africa"

• Coffee and donuts in an airport

Jimmy John's

Bill Clinton

Jesse Jackson

Barack Obama

• A woman's own mind

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7

Things Which The Likely New Chair of the House Immigration Subcommittee Has Said About Immigration

1. "A slow-rolling, slow-motion terrorist attack on the United States."

2. "Every time we give amnesty for an illegal alien, we deport a liberal."

3. "As a result of this perverse incentive, an entire ‘anchor baby’ industry has developed which exploits a legal loophole caused by a misinterpretation of the Constitution."

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4

Pedro Espada: Down For The Count?

It resonated richly, bouncing off the walls on Bainbridge Avenue: "Mierrrrrrrrrrrrrrrda." Pedro Espada, Jr., his squat frame gone tense, just received word of a massive lawsuit filed against him by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. It was April 20th. A day later, the FBI came. At least that's how I imagine his response. The endless saga of the Bronx politico's corruption and malfeasance is so farcical, so theatrical, that it easily could be scripted by David Simon. For a moment, it appeared that Espada would evade his ethical conundrums, scot-free, just like another Democratic State Senator, Clay Davis from Maryland. But now the state's Democratic party is trying to [...]

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11

The West Bank In Brooklyn

It was an event in which egotistical agitators provoked the fragile, isolated state of Israel. Or it was a case of baldly shameless Israeli commandos attacking ambassadors of humanity. Or a little of both. Or, maybe, neither. It all depends on where you stand. The attempt of the Mavi Marmara ship to pass through the Gaza blockade ballooned an already intractable conflict, one that has been waging for years and years.

And for a couple hours last Thursday evening, motivated New Yorkers stood firmly on the sidewalks of Atlantic Avenue, entrenched on their respective sides.

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11

Vito Fossella's Comeback: Staten Island Loves Family

It's been a rough couple weeks for family values guys. George "the long stroke" Rekers is adjusting to his new therapy chair, instead of his usual expert witness seat. Jonathan I. Katz is busy scrubbing "Crackpot Science Team to Fix the Oil Spill" off his resume after his raging homophobia became evident in his old but constantly-resurfacing essay, "In Defense of Homophobia." And the recently resigned Rep. Mark Souder is in shock at his whole ordeal, considering the unspoken "bros before hos" policy of Congressional Republicans (e.g. John Ensign, David Vitter, Strom Thurmond). Fellow Indiana Republican, Mike Pence, tattled after Souder, an ardent abstinence [...]

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7

Times Square Evacuated Again: So What About NYC's Anti-Terror Surveillance Campaign?

Today, a week after an major attempted terrorist bombing, Times Square was evacuated due to a "suspicious package"-a "white cooler" found at 46th and Broadway. About 1:50 p.m., the bomb squad arrived. In the end, it turned out to be a false alarm-the seventh since Saturday. And as for the previous real attempts-well, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and Faisal Shahzad were both, thankfully, woefully incompetent at actual terror. But they did prove effective at spurring furious debates over national security, civil liberties, and citizenship that make Glenn Beck appear sane. (Although, I'm pretty sure that was not their intent.) Now Shahzad–perhaps to confirm his resume's boast of being "result-oriented"–may help [...]

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12

Haven on Earth: How Far Rich Folk (Like Mike Bloomberg) Will Go To Avoid Taxes

Mike Bloomberg is an extremely generous rich man. Arianna Huffington dubbed him one of her "Game Changers" in giving, so you know it must be serious. With his $1 salary and relentless check-writing, the NYC Mayor is practically the Platonic ideal of a charitable tycoon: our Philanthropist-King.

All that benevolence looked pretty petty, however, when news broke that his charity invested so as to keep tax payments out of the U.S. The New York Observer unearthed the documents that show how the Bloomberg Family Foundation's money management team shuffled nearly $300 million into far-flung tax havens. The reporters smartly cull up a sarcastic quip from then-candidate Obama, pledging [...]

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10

Understanding ChoochGate: New York's Slushy Pension Fund Fiesta

I flocked from LGA to O'Hare earlier this week on a grad school visit. Conversations veered-as they preternaturally do with Chicagoans' stodgy inferiority complex-to contrasts between the two American cities. Since this was a public policy school, the boasting rights were based less on cultural attributes than political corruption. Less deep dish v. thin slice, math rock v. post-punk. Think Blago v. Eliot & Dave. They had a Lt. Gov. candidate dethroned for "allegedly" attacking his prostitute girlfriend with a knife. To which I countered, "we've got our very own girlfriend-slasher too!" Plus, we've got Carl Paladino, a tea-partying gubernatorial hopeful who sent out graphic e-missives [...]

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12

I Got 99 Problems, But Eminent Domain Ain’t One: White Brooklynites Against Jay-Z

Jay-Z has been dipping his toes in the political waters of late. First, he and Beyonce showed up at the White House (which was stellar). Then, he surfaced as entrenched in an imbroglio (not so stellar) with the New York Guv, a potential Queens "racino," and Rev. Floyd Flake, the borough's behemoth ex-Congressman-cum-powerbroker. Then the governor, even while busy swimming in a flood of scandal, killed the deal. And yesterday, Jay-Z appeared standing shoulder-to-shoulder with dozens of New York politicos and dignitaries to take a big step towards building his dream: a stadium for the Brooklyn Nets. And lots of people are peeved about it. [...]

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