Carol Felsenthal
On Politics

3 years
ago

To Mayor Rahm, Dogs Just Another Source of Revenue

“I’m going to kill that fucking dog.” So said President Obama’s then-Chief-of-Staff, Rahm Emanuel—according to White House insider Jonathan Alter, the former Chicagoan and Newsweek correspondent. Rahm, it seems, was not exactly besotted by Bo, the Obamas’ Portuguese water dog. I remembered the quote while reading about Emanuel’s plan…

Carol Felsenthal

3 years
ago

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis on Rahm, Brizard, Arne Duncan, and the Longer School Day

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis has had some ugly squabbles with Rahm Emanuel—the longer school day battles, for starters, including his recent charge that the union is “cheating children out of an education”—and, in my opinion, she has often emerged the loser. Here’s part one of an edited transcript of our conversation—about Rahm, Jean-Claude Brizard, Arne Duncan, and the longer school day…

Carol Felsenthal

3 years
ago

Why Robert Blagojevich Wants to Appear Before the House Ethics Committee Investigation of Jesse Jackson Jr.

After the government dismissed charges against Robert “Rob” Blagojevich, the brother of former Governor Rod Blagojevich returned to Nashville with his wife to try to rebuild his business and his life. Why is he putting himself back in the spotlight, offering to travel to Washington to appear before members of the House Ethics Committee in its investigation of Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.?

Carol Felsenthal

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3 years
ago

Bill Clinton on Bill Clinton, Steve Jobs, and Fixing the Economy

My last book was about Bill Clinton’s post-presidency. He was in exile back in 2001, almost broken by the Lewinsky scandal, with his outlandish pardon to billionaire Iran arms trader Marc Rich nearly finishing him off. Today, soaring in mass affection while his onetime nemesis Barack Obama (think 2008 primaries) sinks, Clinton is no longer anything close to an exile; he’s the toast of every town and country he visits. When news broke that he was coming to town for Chicago Ideas…

Carol Felsenthal

3 years
ago

The President and His Mother-in-Law: Once a Lovely Notion, Now Material for Opponents’ Jokes

In 2009, Michelle Obama asked her widowed mother to leave her beloved South Shore bungalow to move with them to Washington. Back then, the country, no matter political affiliation, was taken with this family, and there seemed to be a general feeling of good will and admiration for the Obamas as they established an extended family in the private White House quarters. These days, not so much…

Carol Felsenthal

3 years
ago

A Chat with Jean-Claude Brizard, the Personal and Professional

Jean-Claude Brizard, 48, a big man at six feet five—“I’m too fat,” he tells me—was standing outside his office at Clark, just north of Adams, waiting for me as I arrived last Thursday for a sit-down interview. His musical accent reveals his Haiti origins, although he has been in the U.S. since 1976, when he arrived in New York as a 12-year-old. He has been a…

Carol Felsenthal