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Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’

Emmanuel, Rahm

The lead article in today’s Chicago Tribune reviews the chronology of City Hall events following the shooting of Laquan McDonald in late 2014. Rahm met frequently with his top aides and Police Superintendent Gerry McCarthy. Rahm expects the people of the City of Chicago to believe that no one bothered to tell him about the McDonald shooting, about the dash cam tape that gave the lie to all of the Chicago Police Department after-action reports on the shooting, or about the pressure applied to civilian witnesses to change their stories.

The thought that Rahm Emmanuel’s top aides and advisors, including a top-level attorney in the Law Department and the Chicago police superintendent, would not tell him about the McDonald shooting, that they would withhold from him information about a matter that was likely to lead to a multi-million dollar settlement payout by the  City of Chicago, is laughable on its face.

And that’s just the dollar side of the equation. The political side makes his claims of ignorance even more laughable. No one could work in any position of responsibility under Rahm Emmanuel without having a very finely-honed political sense; maybe not as fine as Rahm’s own, but certainly far above average. While the McDonald drama played out, Rahm was in an unusually close election, followed by an even more unusual run-off election against Chuy Garcia. No one working for Rahm could not know what a political bombshell this was, especially in this election year. Yet the Mayor expects us to believe that nobody told him anything substantive.

Right.

Remember, we’re not talking about just any Chicago mayor. We’re talking about Rahm Emmanuel. This is the same Rahm who cherishes and flaunts his reputation as the ass-kicker to end all ass-kicking, the same Rahm who could give lessons in micro-management to the likes of Walt Disney, Frank Perdue and Bill Marriott, each a notorious micro-manager.

What fairly leaps out of the email trail is the complete absence of Rahm’s name as an addressee. That is precisely the kind of trail a participant wishing to be viewed subsequently as a non-participant would try to establish.

One of the chief duties of Rahm’s acolytes is to keep as much distance as possible between Rahm and any scandal. If there’s a smoking gun lying around somewhere, you’d better be sure Rahm’s fingerprints aren’t on it, or you’ll be looking for a new job. If Rahm had a coat of arms with a motto, it would probably run something like this: “Honi soit qui mauvaises nouvelles ne garder pas tres loin de Rahm.” (“Evil be to him who fails to keep bad news far away from Rahm.)

Rahm apparently thinks that Chicago ought to just accept his story and get over it. (“Move  along, nothing to see here.”) It is this type of attitude that explains why outsiders like Trump and Sanders are leading in the polls in this political year.

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CPD Violence

Chicago Police demonstrating standard procedure for requesting citizens to return home.

As police brutality scandals continue to roil Rahm’s administration, and as the Justice Department steps in, a modest proposal for a solution comes to mind.

As matters now stand, all of the incentives undermine the rule of law and the administration of justice.

Here’s one way that we might realign incentives. When police are determined by a court to have violated a citizen’s civil rights and the City of Chicago must respond in damages, those damages should be paid with moneys withdrawn from the police pension fund. This would  very likely encourage the vast majority of officers who act within the law to rid the CPD of those officers who break it.

After all, the underlying problem with the CPD is that they have absolutely no skin in this game. When they break the law, Chicago taxpayers foot the bill, and the Rahmulans spare no effort to cover it up.

 

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