Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Byrd-Bennett: 'It may have seemed like last minute, but it wasn't'

Yesterday's press conference.
That kind of exotic travel can only enhance Emanuel’s cartoon-like reputation among his harshest critics as “Mayor 1 Percent.” Which is apparently why Emanuel got a bit defensive when asked why he chose not to cut the Christmas trip short when Chicago’s weather forecast went south. -- Sun-Times
Rahm, all dressed up in Eddie Bauer polar fleece, seemed really pissed about having to rush back from his beach junket in Indonesia to fix another Byrd-Bennett screw up -- this one on the schools-open, schools-closed fiasco. BBB, knowing that wind-chill temps in Chicago were going to drop down to a deadly -45° initially ordered schools to remain open and for teachers to suck it up and report to work. Of course no parent in their right mind was going to risk their child's life and limb by having them outside, waiting for a school bus in this weather.

CTU Pres. Karen Lewis would have none of it. And faced with another un-winnable war with parents and teachers, BBB backed down and closed schools. I suspect the cell phone calls right from the beach in Indonesia, with a greased-up mayor screaming, "What the f%#k are you doing to me?" had lots to do with it.

The Trib's John Kass writes:
He [Rahm] was asked about how he let things get so far with the 40-below wind chill and parents not knowing late into Sunday afternoon whether schools would be open, when he stepped back and bravely allowed his schools chief, Barbara Byrd-Bennett to answer for him.
"That's not quite accurate," she told reporters of the Lewis-rolled-Rahm-again scenario. "As we began to take a look at the decrease in the temperature, and a decrease in the wind chill factor … we thought it best. … It may have seemed at the last minute, but it wasn't."
Byrd-Bennett was asked, didn't the teachers union compel you to close schools with its social media campaign?
"I actually was not aware they had done that," said Triple-B, proving she was the only person in Chicago who didn't know. "Somebody did send me an email that there was a press release or whatever but that had no effect on the ultimate decision I've made … and the recommendation I made to the mayor."
This scene had me reflecting on this morning's AP story about a naked man in Australia who had to be greased in olive oil after being stuck in a washing machine. I thought it was a great metaphor for once again, having to remove Rahm's private parts from the wringer. BBB will also need lots of grease to survive this one. Maybe she can borrow some of Rahm's tanning lotion.

ALSO: Be sure and read Todd Mertz' excellent piece on Brother Fred's blog about why the Sun-Times backed a pension bill that "kicks ordinary working people–secretaries, clerks, teachers, and the like–in the teeth." And why so many pols did so with shit-eating grins on their faces.

1 comment:

  1. Well which is it, BBB? Either, "I actually was not aware they had done that," or "Somebody did send me an email that there was a press release or whatever..." You can't have it both ways.


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