Good Morning. High today 54, partly cloudy. [Forecast]
In the wake of the twin blasts at the Boston Marathon, a White House official tells the Sun-Times that overnight, President Barack Obama "received updates from his Assistant for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco on the ongoing response efforts and investigation into the explosions in Boston, including the continuing federal support for those activities.
"The President made clear that he expects to be kept up to date on any developments and directed his team to make sure that all federal resources that can support these efforts, including the investigation being led by the FBI, be made available. Later this morning the President will receive a briefing from his Assistant for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco, FBI Director Robert Mueller and other senior members of his team."
Takeaways: The first major attacks on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001 now overshadows a week where Congress is starting to grapple with two major items on Obama's legacy agenda, immigration and gun-control. The Boston tragedy will likely mute--for a few days--critics and supporters.
Anchors for the morning network shows--NBC, ABC, CBS--in Boston; the marathon bombings will dominate the news today.
The Senate "Gang of Eight"--including Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)--unveil their long-awaited bi-partisan immigration bill with a key provision in the sweeping measure a 13-year path to citizenship for the millions of people living in the U.S. illegally. The bill would cover individuals in the U.S. prior to Dec. 31, 2011. The 11 a.m. ET press conference was cancelled as the Boston blast dominates the day. [Washington Post] Durbin played the key role in adding Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) to the "Gang of Eight." First Judiciary Committee hearing on the bill is set for Friday.
The aftermath...From the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications: "At this time, we are not aware of any additional threats." Tighter security in Washington D.C. on Tuesday morning, especially around the landmarks. Ramped up security on the Metro.
Explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday afternoon--12 seconds apart--killed three and injured at least 144. [Sun-Times]
Nightmare: Brothers watching marathon each lose a leg. [Boston Globe]
Photo gallery: [Sun-Times]
Chicago's security challenges. [Bowman, Sun-Times]
Bombing turns Marathon area into a war zone. [New York Times]
The hunt for the bomber(s) [Time]
London marathon on Sunday; planners are "confident" there will be no security problems. [London Telegraph]
For updates through the day: [Sun-Times]
Wrigley Field Deal: Not so fast
There are still big discrepancies between what Emanuel has
agreed to support and what the Cubs say they need to preserve Wrigley for 50
years and make it the moneymaker Ricketts says he needs to turn the Cubs into a
perennial contender. [Crain's Chicago Business, [Sun-Times]
Oust Rahm Drive
Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis isn't waiting for 2015 to try to oust Mayor Rahm Emanuel, whom she blames for closing a historic number of public schools, she said Monday, announcing an aggressive campaign to train his possible replacement. "If the mayor and his handpicked corporate school board will not listen to us, then we must find those who will," Lewis said.The popular Lewis, who hit the national stage during the historic Chicago teachers strike in September, strongly denied she'd be the one seeking to replace Emanuel. Nor would she name candidates she had in mind. Instead, the CTU and other partners are launching a new effort to get 100,000 new voters registered in time for the 2015 elections when Emanuel is expected to seek reelection. They also plan to train possible candidates for mayor, alderman and statehouse offices, and increase donations to their political action committee to financially support potential candidates. [Sun-Times] [Crain's Chicago Business]
Meanwhile, Emanuel continues to raise a lot of money for his political war chest; see Political Business below. And note to CTU: you can't beat someone with no one. At some point, a candidate--not a concept--will need to surface if this political attack is to be taken seriously.
Gun-control fate uncertain
The immigration bill gets dropped in the Senate as the chamber grapples with gun control. Despite efforts from Vice President Joe Biden on down, the Senate votes may not be there. [Politico]
Washington Post/ABC News Poll shows "most Americans, including half of all gun owners, say it is possible to enact new laws without infringing on gun rights, and overwhelming majorities support expanded background checks at gun shows and for online gun sales."
And on immigration, "There are deep partisan differences on the other marquee issue slated to soon start moving in the Senate: comprehensive immigration reform. Overall, support for legislation that includes a way for undocumented immigrants to live legally in the U.S. is higher than ever, with nearly two-thirds of Americans backing a pathway to legal status. However, while three-quarters of Democrats and at least six in 10 independents support such a move on immigration reform, support drops sharply among Republicans. As with gun legislation, the results are yet another reminder that Republican lawmakers face a fractured base on these two volatile issues." [Washington Post]
While the CTU ponders mounting a challenge to Emanuel, the union besides a voter drive, needs a face (as noted above) and a lot of money. Emanuel's latest campaign disclosure, filed Monday--covering Jan. 1-March 31 shows that in the first quarter of this year he raised $378,700 and has $1,908, 696.08 in his "Chicago for Rahm" war chest.
The report shows Emanuel picked up a lot of Hollywood money from producers, directors, writers and studios. I'm told he threw himself a fund-raiser when he was in Los Angeles a few weeks ago for an "Education Mayors" conference. Brother Ari Emanuel is the big Hollywood agent.
A sampling...Aaron Sorkin, $2,500; Michael Eisner, $2,500; Laurie David, $2,500; Lionsgate Entertainment, $10,500...Check out my blog later for more details....[Sweet]
.....Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) sworn-in last week, is staffing up in Chicago and Washington. Among the first wave of hires:
Audra Wilson - District Chief of Staff (former Director of Diversity Education and Outreach and Adjunct Professor, Northwestern U. Law; former welfare advocacy staff attorney, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law; former Deputy Press and Policy Director, U.S. Senate Candidate for Barack Obama.
Dante Sawyer- Chicago Office Coordinator/Constituent Services Representative - former Field Director, Robin Kelly for Congress
Anthony Beckham - Constituent Services Representative/Caseworker - Ministry Outreach Coordinator, Robin Kelly for Congress; former small business owner
E. Brandon Garrett - Chief of Staff - Policy and Political Advisor for Vice President Joe Biden at Obama for America; former Policy Director for the Congressional Black Caucus.
Kayce Ataiyero - Communications Director (former Chicago Tribune reporter, former Deputy Communications Director at Illinois State Treasurer's Office, most recently did communications in the Quinn administration).
Tony Presta - Scheduler and Office Manager (former scheduling and logistics coordinator at Illinois State Treasurer's Office, former special assistant to the Chief Administrative Officer at Cook County Government)
President Barack Obama meetings with United Arab Emirate Crown Prince Moammed Bin Zayed, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, NASCAR's Sprint Cup series champ Brad Keselowski
Gov. Pat Quinn speaks at groundbreaking ceremony for Grundfos' new North American headquarters in Downers Grove.
Visitation for Anne Smedinghoff, U.S. diplomat from River Forest killed in Afghanistan. Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home in Oak Park.
Panel discussion on the legacy of the late Mayor Harold Washington. Chicago State University
Chicago native and Academy-award winning director William Friedkin joins Filmspotting co-founder and host Adam Kempenaar to discuss his new memoir "The Friedkin Connection." Harold Washington Library, Pritzker Auditorium. In case you did not get the reference, Friedkin directed the French Connection. He is married to former Paramount Pictures CEO Sherry Lansing, another Chicago native. [Tribune]
NPR "All Things Considered" host Michelle Norris speaks in the Columbia College "Conversations in the Arts" series. Film Row Cinema, 1104 S. Wabash Ave. Very fun to guest on her show.
Cubs play the Texas Rangers at Wrigley Field; White Sox in Toronto for match with the Blue Jays. The Blackhawks and the Bulls are both off Tuesday.