Thursday, July 25, 2013

New York gets a new scandal, Chicago gets a new alderman

The aptly named Anthony Weiner is so enamored of his male appendage that he continued to send pictures of his manhood to various women in various places (including, apparently, Chicago) even after he was forced to resign from Congress. Now running for Mayor of New York, Weiner wants to stop talking about his package and start talking about his plans for the city. The New York Times would like Weiner to go away, but he is intent on staying in the race, while his wife grimly continues to offer her support.

Who knows? Until these latest revelations, Weiner looked like a winner. His short-term poll numbers will surely take a hit -- even in New York -- but he may yet prevail.

But if he does win... well, hopefully someone will carefully police the 'Welcome to New York' signs that Mayor Weiner may wish to, um, erect. Children, avert your eyes!

New Ald. Deb Mell flanked by Mayor Emanuel and Mell's
wife, Christin Baker. Photo obtained from the Sun-Times.
Meanwhile, in Chicago, the 33rd Ward has a new alderman this morning as former Ald. Richard Mell has stepped aside after 38 years in office... only to be replaced by his daughter, Deb. (Deb is vacating her seat in the Illinois House to come home and become an alderman. In Chicago, that's been considered a promotion since before the time of Daley I.)

Wait, you say. Didn't Mayor Emanuel promise that outgoing aldermen would no longer be given the opportunity to hand-pick their successors? Didn't he say that screening committees would be set up to vet future appointments?

He did and there was -- and, if there were those who doubted the outcome of the committee's deliberations, they had to be from out of town.

Way out of town.

Indeed, there are those who are trying (with a straight face) to spin Deb Mell's appointment as progressive and an example of diversity. Deb, you see, is a lesbian. If she'd been Mell's son the good government types would be really all-atwitter over this appointment... instead of just mildly so. Of course, if Deb had been Mell's son, Rod Blagojevich would never have been governor.

Oh, wait. I suppose I have to back up here for the benefit of those who come here from out of town.

Deb has a sister, Patti. Patti married Rod Blagojevich -- and Patti's dad, the newly-retired alderman, helped make Rod a state representative, congressman, and (eventually) governor. (Indirectly, at least, Dick Mell is also responsible for Rod's downfall, breaking so publicly with his son-in-law over the closure of a landfill that he attracted the attention of the Feds.) Now do you remember?

Anyway, my friend Steve says that someday psychiatrists will identify a desire to become involved in politics as a symptom of mental illness -- and maybe as a disorder all its own. Exhibit A for Steve's hypothesis is Mr. Weiner.

But, in Chicago, it's not mental illness.

It's just business as usual.

Family business.

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