The hammer came down on Occupy LA last night. 200 people were arrested. My favorite line from this morning's Reuters story:
Police Commander Andrew Smith said about 200 people were arrested, mostly hold-outs who defied orders to clear the area. Several were removed from trees.
Is there video of that last sentence? I would love to see that comedy of errors. But this story ultimately makes me think about Occupy Chicago. I've gone past Jackson & LaSalle a few times in the last couple nights and nobody is there. I've heard the Chicago movement moves from spot to spot, night to night. Is that correct? Well, what I do know is that last night the Illinois House debated a proclamation to support Occupy Chicago. It failed.
B story: The Illinois House also voted no on giving a huge tax break to Sears and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The CME has threatened to leave Chicago unless they get a tax break from the state. And Sears? Well, I don't know why Sears is involved in this bill. I guess they need a bailout, too. Again. Read this piece by Kristen McQueary. Nice description of the vote and the reaction.
C story: Blagojevich week begins. The convicted former governor will be sentenced next week - either Tuesday or Wednesday. The prosecution came out today and filed with Judge Zagel their desired length of sentence. 15-20 years. The defense wants time served. Well, we don't know what the defense wants, but that's my guess. The Feds say they want Blagojevich to serve more than Governor Ryan (6 1/2) and more than Tony Rezko (10). Really? What do you think about that? I don't know if justice will be served if you give Blagojevich 20 years. That seems to be super overkill, right?
D story: We are about to kill a bunch of horses and put them on plates.
E story: My colleague Shawn Allee pointed this out to me this morning. Davenport, Iowa is ripping up their parking meters. Not enough people come downtown to justify the expense of revenue collection and enforcement. So instead, they are ripping them up and selling them. Yep, you could get a parking meter for $30. Put that sucker right in the bathroom and you will have a lifetime of puns and bad jokes.
But hey, not a bad idea Davenport. Maybe we could do the same thing here in Chicago. Rip up the new parking meter machines and sell them for $100k a piece. Boom, budget solved. Oh that's right. We don't own them.
Weather: Not a bad day to end November. Kind of cold, but still.
Sports: Don't look now, but inside sources are saying that the Cubs are interested in Albert Pujols. Pujols is a free agent and going to cost an arm and a leg to sign. He wants big money and a long contract. The Cubs have a few of them already. But this is interesting, because most local pundits and analysts said the Cubs would not be pursuing Albert. So Theo does something that the experts didn't think he would do. I like!!!!
Also, this story is incredible. Derrick Rose has a rule named after him in the new NBA contract. How weird/cool is that?
Kicker: This was sent to me a few times this weekend. Former Chicagoan and Second City star Keegan Michael Key is teaming up with his longtime comedy partner Jordan Peele for a new two-person sketch comedy show on Comedy Central. It will debut in January 2012. The duo worked together on Mad TV and can be seen everywhere on TV these days. Keegan did a great interview with Eight Forty-Eight before he left Chicago (although I can't find it anywhere). This sneak preview is hilarious and a good indication of what we can expect from the show. Congrats!