Sunday, December 7, 2008

Tribune Company to File Chapter 11?

For the last several months, Drive and Dish has followed the demise of several print media publications (more here). Of particular interest to Drive and Dish has been the precipitous decline of the Chicago Tribune following the sale of Tribune Company -- the parent company of the Chicago Tribune -- to Chicago real estate mogul Sam Zell (more on Mr. Zell's takeover of Tribune Co. via The New York Times).

This afternoon, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Tribune Company may be preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy:

In recent days, as Chicago-based Tribune continued talks with lenders to restructure its debt, the newspaper-and-television concern hired investment bank Lazard Ltd. as its financial adviser and law firm Sidley Austin to advise the company on a possible trip through Chapter 11 bankruptcy, people familiar with the matter say.

Edit:

Interestingly, the Tribune Company's law firm, Sidley Austin, used to employ both President-elect Barack Obama and future First Lady Michelle Obama. It was at Sidley Austin in the summer of 1988 that Michelle Robinson and Barack Obama first met. At the time, Ms. Robinson was a young lawyer and recent graduate of Harvard Law. She was tasked with mentoring a summer associate (and Harvard Law student) named Barack Obama.

Sidley Austin also used to employ Bernadine Dohrn. Ms. Dohrn is the former leader of the Weather Underground, a former domestic terrorist, a former fugitive, and the current wife of controversial University of Illinois-Chicago Distinguished Professor of Education (and fellow ex-Weatherman, bomber and fugitive) William Ayers. More on the Weathermen (later known as the Weather Underground) and Bernadine Dohrn here (Ms. Dohrn reads a declaration of war on the United States 40 seconds into the video), and here. View the FBI's 1976 file on the Weather Underground here. Finally, The Claremont Institute discusses Ms. Dohrn's past here.

President-elect Obama's friendship with Ms. Dohrn and Mr. Ayers (as well as his work with Mr. Ayers on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and on the board of the Woods fund) was a source of controversy in both the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary and the 2008 general Presidential election.

Bernadine Dohrn began working as an associate at the prestigious Chicago law firm of Sidley & Austin in 1984, four years after ending an eleven year run as a fugitive. Ms. Dohrn worked at Sidley Austin from 1984 to 1988. As the Northwestern Chronicle notes (Ms. Dohrn is currently a faculty member at the Northwestern University School of Law), " at the time, the law firm was headed by Howard Trienens, who (represented) Dohrn's father-in-law Thomas Ayers when he was running Commonwealth Edison."

The Chronicle noted the concern of some Northwestern Law alumni that Ms. Dohrn's employment at Sidley Austin may have "represented a serious conflict of interest and reeked of influence peddling." It also noted that Ms. Dohrn was unable to pass the Character and Fitness portion of the New York bar due to her criminal past, and cited one Northwestern Law alumnus' befuddlement as to the kind of work she could have done for the firm, given her criminal record:

"Show me another law firm that hires a known criminal who can't get into the bar," O'Shea said.
In October, Drive and Dish noted the Tribune Company's close ties to (and apparent sympathies with) the campaign of then Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama.

So what is Drive and Dish trying to say? We're just noting that Sidley Austin is a firm that has clout. And in Chicago, there's nothing more important than clout. But while the word clout may have originated in Chicago, the old saying that it's not what you know, but rather who you know is not exclusively applicable to the Windy City. No one enters the spheres of power and influence without having connections.

At his old blog, the Belmont Club, Richard Fernandez discussed three pieces which dealt with Barack Obama's rise in Chicago politics and Mr. Obama's place in what Mr. Fernandez termed the "Byzantine labyrinth of Chicago connections." Mr. Fernandez cited the work of University of Santa Clara law professor Steve Diamond who asked "who sent Barack Obama:"

(Mr. Diamond) explains the context of the word "sent".

In Chicago politics a key question has always been, who "sent" you? The classic phrase is ... from an anecdote of Abner Mikva's, the former White House Counsel (Pres. Clinton) ... As a young student ... he walked into the local committeman's office ... and was immediately asked: "Who sent you?" Mikva replied, "nobody sent me." And the retort came back from the cigar chomping pol: "Well, we don't want nobody that nobody sent."

So it is reasonable to ask, who "sent" Barack Obama? In other words, how can his meteoric rise to political prominence be explained?


Mr. Fernandez continued:

Diamond's answer is speculative, but informative because it provides a look back into the youthful life and times of the man who might be the next President of the United States.

(So), who did “send” Obama? The key I think is his ties not to well connected uber lawyer Newton Minow, as Kaufman suggests, but more likely to the family of (in)famous former Weather Underground leader Bill Ayers – not just Bill Ayers, but also Bill’s father Tom Ayers and his brother John as well. Obama was a community organizer from about 1985 to 1988, when he left Chicago for Harvard Law School.



In a May, 2008, article about Mr. Obama's connections with Mr. Ayers, the Chicago Tribune's Ron Grossman wrote of how Ms. Dohrn's and Mr. Ayers' connections had helped to propel the former fugitives to prominence in Chicago:

(I)t's hard for an outsider not to see the map of family connections behind their paths.

Ayers' father moved in philanthropic circles with Howard Trienens, an attorney with the powerhouse firm of Sidley Austin. The two served together on Northwestern University's Board of Trustees. Ayers was chairman of that group, then handed the post off to Trienens in 1986.

Trienens headed Sidley Austin when the firm hired Dohrn in 1984. She had never practiced law and had been out of law school for 17 years.

Ultimately, the Tribune Company's retention of Sidley Austin to handle it's rumored bankruptcy proceedings is more instructive than it is surprising. As Mr. Grossman wrote in the Chicago Tribune, Sidley Austin is a "powerhouse" law firm; it has deep ties to many of Chicago's movers and shakers. And Chicago, like New York and Washington, D.C., is a city where powerful individuals run in small, insular circles.

There's nothing wrong with the Tribune Company's retention of a powerful law firm to represent it's interests. To the contrary: hiring Sidley Austin was an obvious move for Tribune Co. But it's worth noting that in Chicago -- the city that gave rise to the concept of "clout" -- the Tribune Company's law firm has more clout (i.e., connections to the powerful) than almost any other.

2 comments:

Cedar Falls Hawk said...

dude, i had to file for bankruptcy after i got laid off a couple years back. let me tell ya, that sucked ass.

didnt matter though. still got a subprime loan after the bankruptcy. problem is, i defaulted last march. now im totally screwed.

what sucks the most is, i was basically broke (i couldnt pay my bills, i couldnt buy food w/o foodstamps, etc.) but i kept spendin on my girl. i mean, ya gotta treat your girl like a princess, ya know!! but the thing is, she spent like a drunken sailor, and i ran through what little money i had left on her.

hell, thats how i got into $$ troubles in the first place.....treated my ex (the one before the one that i talked about a couple sentences ago) like a princess to & racked up $38,000 in credit card debt on the ho.

Anonymous said...

George W. Bush’s secret dislike or hatred of Barack Obama must be made known.

“PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH was accused in a criminal complaint and lawsuit of raping Margie Schoedinger, who later mysteriously committed suicide. Tammy Phillips, a former stripper, claimed she had an affair with Bush that had ended in 1999” (Larbabe. Retrieved November 29, 2008, from http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/7/11/11211/3539).

“And George Bush killed/had killed Margie Schoedinger” (Retrieved November 29, 2008, from http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive/Alt/alt.sports.baseball.ny-mets/2005-11/msg00613.html).

In the case that George W. Bush hired or caused another to murder Margie Schoedinger for him, the law says that Bush is criminally responsible for the murder of Margie Schoedinger in the way he would be if he had murdered her with his own hands—first degree murder. Maybe not every person would have known that this is the way the law works.

“George W Bush raped Margie Schoedinger, who later committed suicide” (Retrieved November 29, 2008, from http://perceptionmanagers.org/2006_09_24_archive.html).

George W. Bush is wicked. Bush is in big trouble. There is no statute of limitations for murder, and thus the government can indict or charge Bush for the murder of Margie Schoedinger at any time if and when it is prepared to prove that Bush committed this gruesome crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

“George Bush needs to go to jail for the murder of Margie Schoedinger” (Rayrayischillin. Retrieved November 29, 2008, from http://www.bossip.com/56978/for-discussion-a-dick-is-indicted/).

Moreover, George W. Bush needs to burn in hell for the murder of Margie Schoedinger.

“Who is Margie Schoedinger? A MUST READ! Woman had a law suit against then, Texas Governor George W Bush for rape and kidnapping. She turned up murdered” (Retrieved November 29, 2008, from http://www.spirituallysmart.com/bush.html).

Everybody should know that Margie Schoedinger was an African-American woman who was murdered by George W. Bush.

“One of those very least were George Bush’s personal complicity in the death (murder to be precise) of my friend Margie Schoedinger in September of 2003. Determining the exact whereabouts and contacts of [then] president-elect George Bush on September 21 thru 22, 2003, should be entirely lacking in difficulty” (Leola McConnell (Nevada Progressive Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in 2010). Retrieved November 29, 2008, from http://leolaforussenate.blogspot.com/2008/02/leola-mcconnell-for-us-senate.html).

George W. Bush should come forward and confess that he murdered an African-American woman—Margie Schoedinger.

“Who Killed Margie Schoedinger? . . . The Schoedinger death is just the latest in a string of strange ones surrounding the Bush family - Bush biographer J.H. Hatfield, Sen. Paul Wellstone, Sen. Mel Carnahan, and others that are detailed on various sites” (Ruffhowse. Retrieved November 29, 2008, from http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=104x2802130).

George W. Bush must repent relative to his murder of an African-American woman—Margie Schoedinger.

“It has been gnawing at my brain, an unpleasant blight underlying everything, and I am finally compelled to devote some space to the strange, heartbreaking, outrageous, depressing and terrifying story of Margie Schoedinger, literally driven crazy to death (or most likely physically murdered outright) after being robbed of her humanity and right to any kind of meaningful existence by the former governor of Texas, the fraud, the incompetent imperial barbarian who cheated his way into the position of president of the formerly great United States of America, George ‘Waste-product’ Bush . . . Who Killed Margie Schoedinger?” (Retrieved November 29, 2008, from http://blatanttruth.org/bushcrimefamily.php).

Of course George W. Bush killed Margie Schoedinger. As described in the quotation above, Bush robbed an African-American woman of her humanity and right to any kind of meaningful existence. Bush must be punished for this.

“The Strange Death of the Woman Who Filed a Rape Lawsuit Against Bush . . . Early one Saturday afternoon in July 2003, I made a simple phone call to Margie Schoedinger, a Texas woman who filed a rape lawsuit against George W. Bush in December 2002. . . . She sounded like someone who wanted the truth to come out. And now she’s dead” (Jackson Thoreau. Retrieved November 29, 2008, from http://www.opednews.com/thoreau1103bush_rape_suicide.htm).

She is dead because George W. Bush murdered her. This is, in a way, like the period of slavery in America in that a white person killed a black person, and there is no court, prosecutor, or sheriff around to uphold the rule of law or seriously pursue punishment against the killer. George W. Bush’s murder of an African-American woman is shocking to the conscience. According to the law, Bush should be incarcerated for the rest of his life or executed for this murder.

“When George W. Bush is convicted of having Margie Schoedinger murdered, will he have to share a jail cell?”

“Call me MISTER PRESIDENT” responded: “No, he should be sent to serve in IRAQ until the MISSION is ACCOMPLISHED.”

“Falstaff” responded: “I hope that something is done by the justice department during the next administration.”

Retrieved November 29, 2008, from http://au.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080522105639AAiR4mT

“See Raymond Ponzini’s ‘An American Caligula’ to learn more about Bush’s murder of Margie Schoedinger” (Jim. Retrieved November 28, 2008, from http://www.websitetoolbox.com/tool/post/whosarat/vpost?id=1914428).

George W. Bush murdered an African-American woman. Margie Schoedinger is gone forever. George W. Bush must pay for this. I can’t believe Bush murdered an African-American woman within the period of the modern-day democracy of the United States of America and is still getting away with it.

“George W Bush A Rapist? . . . In December 2002, a 38-year-old black woman from Texas filed a civil lawsuit against George W Bush accusing the President of drugging and raping her. Nine months later, she was dead. . . . Maybe this poor woman was deluded and killed herself but the authorities had to admit under duress that Bush did indeed have a relationship with her. It would not be the first time that the Sugar Land Police Department and Harris County Medical Examiner’s office have been involved in a murder covered up as a suicide (former Enron executive John Clifford Baxter for example). . . . I am pretty certain that George Chimpy McSmirker Bush is the sort of individual that would do anything to cover his tracks and certainly holds the power and influence to do so in our world’s most corrupt nation” (Retrieved November 28, 2008, from http://www.slimybastards.com/2007/09/george-w-bush-rapist.html).

“Lawsuit Alleging Bush as a Rapist!? . . . Woman files lawsuit against President . . . Margie Schoedinger of Missouri City, Texas has filed a lawsuit against George W. Bush in Fort Bend County Court. In her suit she is alleging ‘race based harassment and individual sex crimes committed against her and her husband.’ The suit lists numerous offenses and asks for actual damages, punitive damages and judgments against George W. Bush” (Posted by Drizzten. Retrieved November 28, 2008, from http://drizzten.com/blargchives/000130.html).

George W. Bush is absolute evil.

George W. Bush’s murder of Margie Schoedinger may also constitute criminal retaliation against victim or witness.

“I believe that George W. Bush hates Moslems. All that garbage about freedom, democracy, and the right to vote is a pollution of their culture. I believe that George W. Bush hates immigrants. There were a lot of immigrants working in the World Trade Center and George W. Bush didn’t warn them ahead of time” (Janet M. Stroble. (2006, April 12). Now I Believe. http://www.military.com/. Retrieved November 26, 2008, from http://www.military.com/opinion/0,15202,94064,00.html).

“[In addition to black people, George W. Bush also dislikes] arabs, muslims, asians and pretty much anyone not white” (Allen Bina. Retrieved November 26, 2008, from http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=7231047&blogID=55351762&indicate=1).

It appears that Allen Bina’s statement is, in any case, sufficiently true or accurate or valid. George W. Bush is so mentally ill and requires involuntary psychiatric hospitalization.

“I believe that George W. Bush hates black people. Through secret government machinations, he caused Hurricane Katrina to form and aimed it at New Orleans on purpose, just so he could wipe out lots of poor blacks. I also believe that before the hurricane hit, he snuck into New Orleans and stole the keys to every school bus in the city to make evacuation of poor people impossible” (Janet M. Stroble. (2006, April 12). Now I Believe. http://www.military.com/. Retrieved November 26, 2008, from http://www.military.com/opinion/0,15202,94064,00.html).

George W. Bush’s relentless racial discrimination against black people is tragic.

“I believe George W. Bush stole the 2004 Presidential election. He did it by making it rain in Ohio on election day, then by denying government-funded umbrellas to poor black people waiting in line” (Janet M. Stroble. (2006, April 12). Now I Believe. http://www.military.com/. Retrieved November 26, 2008, from http://www.military.com/opinion/0,15202,94064,00.html).

George W. Bush must change: he must abandon his hatred of black people. Bush has gone off the deep end in his racial discrimination against black people.

“I believe George W. Bush stole the 2000 Presidential election in Florida. He did it by confusing illiterate black people, by declaring thousands of soldiers’ votes invalid, and by promising not to aim any more hurricanes at the state as long as he was President” (Janet M. Stroble. (2006, April 12). Now I Believe. http://www.military.com/. Retrieved November 26, 2008, from http://www.military.com/opinion/0,15202,94064,00.html).

George W. Bush’s vicious hatred of black people will blow you away.

“‘We have a president who was selected rather than elected. He stole the presidency through family ties, arrogance and intimidation, employing Republican operatives to exercise the tactics of voter fraud by disenfranchising thousands of blacks, elderly Jews and other minorities’” (Barbra Streisand at BarbraStreisand.com. Retrieved November 26, 2008, from http://mindprod.com/politics/election.html).

There seems to be no end to the racial prejudices of George W. Bush: he is just about the most disgusting person one can imagine.

“Feds Raid Al Sharpton’s Office . . . This is only happening because he’s a black man living in BusHitler’s America” (Posted by Dirty Harry. Retrieved November 23, 2008, from http://dirtyharrysplace.com/?m=200712).

George W. Bush hates black people.

“I noted before how Galloway invoked Katrina (the Bush Regime’s shocking racism revealed by, the shame of troops in Iraq when they should be in New Orleans, the opulent Bush vacations, tax cuts for the rich instead of money for levees, etc etc etc.), along with almost every other hot button in the campus Left agenda. He also worked himself into a righteous froth over Barbara Bush’s Astrodome remark. The student activist who introduced the event (which you can hear here, about a third of the way in) proudly announced some initiative - which had Galloway’s imprimatur - to send students down to Mississippi to help with Katrina relief. Coordinated with Veterans for Peace, but that’s just a coincidence, right? This is about helping poor black people oppressed by the Bushitler’s racism, not about forcing a connection between Katrina and Iraq, right?” (Yehudit. Retrieved November 23, 2008, from http://www.orglearningblog.com/archives/natural-disasters/).

George W. Bush’s hatred of black people is extremely disturbing.

“So I wonder if they are going to run into folks like these poor oppressed black victims of the Bushitler in the Astrodome. . . .” (Yehudit. Retrieved November 23, 2008, from http://www.orglearningblog.com/archives/natural-disasters/).

Submitted by Andrew Yu-Jen Wang
B.S., Summa Cum Laude, 1996
Messiah College, Grantham, PA
Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, PA, 1993

Retrieved December 11, 2008, from http://andrewyu-jenwang.blogspot.com/2008/12/andrew-yu-jen-wang-responds-to-stokely.html