Chicago Cubs: The Adbert Alzolay breakout is finally happeningMark Steubingeron May 14, 2021 at 10:19 pm

In a season full of uncertainty for the Chicago Cubs, one thing has become clear and that is the team can count on Adbert Alzolay to be a part of the starting rotation for years to come. It is nice to see that the Chicago Cubs might have finally developed their own pitcher. After short […]

Chicago Cubs: The Adbert Alzolay breakout is finally happeningDa Windy CityDa Windy City – A Chicago Sports Site – Bears, Bulls, Cubs, White Sox, Blackhawks, Fighting Illini & More

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Black woman nominated as city’s fire commissionerRachel Hintonon May 14, 2021 at 10:13 pm

Annette Nance-Holt
Annette Nance-Holt | Chicago Fire Department

If Annette Nance-Holt’s nomination by Mayor Lori Lightfoot is approved by the City Council, she will be the first woman to serve as fire commissioner in the department’s 162-year history.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot nominated Annette Nance-Holt — a Black woman — to lead the Chicago Fire Department.

If Nance-Holt’s nomination is approved by the City Council, she will be the first woman to serve as fire commissioner in the department’s 162-year history.

The 30-year CFD veteran was named acting fire commissioner after former Commissioner Richard Ford II retired in April.

“…In a time where more work remains in order to eliminate discrimination, racism and sexism from the firefighter profession, Commissioner Holt’s history-making appointment as the first woman and Black woman to lead as Fire Commissioner couldn’t have come at a better moment,” Lightfoot said in a statement.

Nance-Holt was named first deputy commissioner by Ford in 2018, making her the first woman to hold the department’s number two spot.

Nance-Holt, in a statement, said the department “must have membership and leadership that mirrors the communities it serves every day.”

“As a child, I never laid eyes on either a female firefighter or a firefighter of color,” Nance-Holt’s statement reads in part. “There were no role models who looked like me, and so I never thought that becoming a firefighter, which was my dream, would be a possibility for me. As Fire Commissioner, I intend to show the next generation of young black women that they too can achieve any and everything they set their minds and hearts to.”

Along with her long career in the CFD, Nance-Holt is also the founder of two nonprofits, Purpose Over Pain and the Blair Holt Scholarship Foundation, which focus on gun violence.

The second nonprofit is named for her son, a 16-year-old honor student at Julian High School who was shot to death on his way home from school by a reputed gang member in 2007.

Once Nance-Holt formally takes helm of the CFD, she will have a host of matters to address.

Last month, an audit by the city’s inspector general revealed that 73 out of 285 male and female CFD members reported they experienced sexual harassment “at least once.”

Even more troubling is the rate of sexual harassment among women in the department. Of the 45 women who answered survey questions, 28 of them — or 62% — reported they were sexually harassed on the job.

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Israeli military accused of using media to trick HamasAssociated Presson May 14, 2021 at 10:27 pm

Palestinians inspect their destroyed houses following overnight Israeli airstrikes in town of Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, Friday, May 14, 2021.
Palestinians inspect their destroyed houses following overnight Israeli airstrikes in town of Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, Friday, May 14, 2021. | AP

Militaries around the world have long used deception and trickery against their enemies.

JERUSALEM — Early Friday, just after midnight, the Israeli military put out an ominous statement to the media: “IDF air and ground troops are currently attacking in the Gaza Strip.”

The terse statement set off frenzied speculation that Israel had launched a ground invasion of Gaza — a much-feared scenario that would mark a bloody escalation of this week’s operation against Hamas militants. Some reporters were even told outright the incursion had begun.

Hours later, the military issued a “clarification.” There were no troops inside Gaza. But by then, several major news outlets had erroneously reported the ground offensive was under way.

While the army attempted to play down the incident as a misunderstanding, well-placed Israeli military commentators said the media had been used as part of an elaborate ruse to lure Hamas militants into a deadly trap that may have killed dozens of fighters.

“They didn’t lie,” said Or Heller, a veteran military correspondent on Israel’s Channel 13 TV. “It was a manipulation. It was smart and it was successful.”

This is how it unfolded:

Late Thursday, after days of airstrikes, Israel announced it was calling up thousands of reservists and amassing troops along the border ahead of a possible ground invasion. In another sign of escalation, Israeli tanks stationed along the border opened fire at targets inside Gaza.

In previous rounds of fighting, ground incursions have resulted in widespread destruction in Gaza and heavy casualties on both sides.

That set the stage for the late-night deception. According to Heller, Israel began scrambling forces along the border in what appeared to be final preparations for an invasion. Then came the announcement to the media, issued simultaneously in Hebrew and Arabic on Twitter. There followed alerts in major outlets that the invasion was under way.

The Israeli moves sent Hamas fighters rushing into defensive positions in an underground network of tunnels known as the Metro, according to Heller and other Israeli reports.

Israel called in 160 warplanes and bombarded the tunnels for 40 minutes, the military said. Heller said it was his understanding that scores of militants had been killed, though he said it was impossible to say.

“What we saw tonight was a very sophisticated operation that had a media aspect to it,” Heller said.

Hamas has not commented on the incident, and it was impossible to confirm the Israeli reports.

Heller said veteran Israeli correspondents, who have close ties to the military and in many cases have served themselves, knew that there was no way Israel was sending troops across enemy lines at this stage. Heller and other military correspondents even put out statements on Twitter assuring the jittery public that there was no ground operation.

The Associated Press, based on its analysis of the army’s statement, phone calls to military officials and on the ground reporting in Gaza, concluded there was no ground incursion and did not report there was one.

But others said the military had misled them or even lied when asked to clarify, turning the foreign media into an accessory of sorts.

Felicia Schwartz, correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, said she alerted news of a ground offensive after receiving explicit confirmation from Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman.

In a statement posted on Twitter, she said Conricus “told me directly, `There are ground troops in Gaza.’ That was the basis for a first story saying so. He retracted that statement two hours later and I changed the story to reflect that, and that is noted in the text and will be corrected.”

Speaking to reporters on Friday morning, Conricus blamed an “internal miscommunication.”

“These things can sometimes happen in the midst of a complex operation with many moving parts and with an unclear picture of what was happening,” he said. “As soon as I understood that I had the wrong information, I updated the relevant people with a clarification.”

Militaries around the world have long used deception and trickery against their enemies. Two years ago, the Israeli military reportedly faked the injuries of soldiers at the scene of a Hezbollah missile strike, going so far as to evacuate them to a hospital in a helicopter.

According to reports at the time, the army staged the injuries to trick Hezbollah into thinking it had inflicted casualties and therefore would agree to a cease-fire.

Friday’s misleading statement further strained what has often been a rocky relationship between the IDF and the foreign media.

Peter Lerner, a former military spokesman to the foreign media, said the Israeli public in general has long felt the international media focus too heavily on the Palestinian side of the story while minimizing Israeli concerns and suffering — and the army is similarly inclined.

Lerner said he felt it was unlikely the military intentionally lied, but damage was done regardless.

“Your currency is credibility,” he said. “I think this is a crisis of that credibility in the way it’s being portrayed.”

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Red Stars look to set the tone for 2021 NWSL season with a win on the road against ThornsAnnie Costabileon May 14, 2021 at 10:38 pm

Getty

Sunday, on the road against the Portland Thorns at 6 p.m. the Red Stars begin their pursuit of the NWSL Shield and a league title.

At the start of 2021 NWSL play, which kicked off with the Challenge Cup tournament, the Red Stars said they had the goal to bring home every trophy available this season.

They already fell short, but there are still three titles up for grabs.

Sunday, on the road against the Portland Thorns at 6 p.m., they begin their pursuit of two of them: the NWSL Shield and a league title.

“Portland has not been a kind place for us to go to in the past,” Dames said.

The team took a week off following its disappointing fourth-place finish in the Challenge Cup tournament’s western division.

Kealia Watt and Danny Colaprico said ahead of Sunday’s match that it was a critical break. The Thorns are coming off a week break after beating Gotham FC in the Challenge Cup Final in a penalty kick shootout.

Dames said it’s a great opportunity to start the season off against Portland. Facing an opponent like that at the top of the schedule exposes a team’s weaknesses. If the Red Stars plan to be competing for a championship in the fall, they need to be exposed early.

“One of our coaches said, ‘However this game goes is going to set the tone of the season,’” Watt said. “He’s right. We need to go in, play well and get a win. That’s a must for us.”

Watt said the Challenge Cup gave the team a chance to figure out their identity. Despite a disappointing loss in Seattle to finish the tournament, Watt said that was their best game in terms of cohesiveness.

The team will be without Morgan Gautrat in the midfield against the Thorns. The league gave her a one-game suspension for unsportsmanlike conduct against OL Reign in the 56th minute of play during their April 27 match. Dames said he encourages Gautrat to play with more physicality.

Colaprico said it will be challenging to replace her, but the midfield is deep. In situations like this, they can rebound. Everybody else on the roster will be available to play, except for Emily Boyd.

The NWSL completed its independent anti-discrimination investigation on May 4 into Sarah Gorden’s claims that she and her boyfriend were racially profiled by a BBVA security guard following the team’s opening match of the Challenge Cup in Houston. Players took to social media to express their outrage at the league’s decision to close the investigation and take no disciplinary action.

As a team, Dames said they are committed to making sure Gorden is supported even if she wasn’t supported by the league.

“The people within our locker room certainly didn’t need an investigation to tell us what did or did not occur or if it was or was not ok,” Dames said. “Regardless of what any investigation turns up, it doesn’t change the way [Gorden] was made to feel.”

Dames did not detail Mallory Pugh’s status and whether or not she will be playing on a minutes restriction in Sunday’s match. He did say Pugh has continued to make progress week to week.

As a whole, it’s been a good week of training, the team said, which was critical as the Red Stars have a challenging start to the season. After playing on the road against the Thorns, the team’s season opener against Gotham FC on May 22 kicks off a three-game stretch in eight days.

The core group within this organization has been in Chicago for a considerable amount of time, and Dames said they help keep emotions at a moderate level. Still, expectations surrounding this team remain high.

“I do think when it’s all said and done [the Red Stars and the Thorns] will be two teams standing when it counts,” Dames said.

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WATCH: Cat survives leap from burning building in ChicagoEmmanuel Camarilloon May 14, 2021 at 9:00 pm

Screenshot of a video showing a cat leap from a building to escape a fire May 13, 2021, in Englewood.
Screenshot of a video showing a cat leap from a building to escape a fire May 13, 2021, in Englewood. | Chicago Fire Department

Smoke can be seen billowing from several windows in the building in video of the fire posted to Twitter by fire officials. 

A cat put one of its nine lives to the test Thursday after it jumped out of a fifth-floor window to escape a fire in Englewood.

The blaze broke out at an apartment building about 3 p.m. in the 6500 block of South Lowe Avenue, Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said.

Smoke can be seen billowing from several windows on the fifth floor of the building in video of the fire posted to Twitter by fire officials.

While crews were working to extinguish the fire, onlookers on the sidewalk began pointing at one of the open widows as the cat approached a ledge, Langford said.

“It was looking out for quite a while,” Langford said. “After a couple of minutes the cat got closer to the edge and it looked like she was getting ready to go and she just did.”

The cat can be seen stretching out its paws as it leaps from the window and narrowly misses hitting a wall on its way down, according to the video. The cat appears to bounce a single time off of a patch of grass before strolling away.

“It went under my car and hid until she felt better after a couple of minutes and came out and tried to scale the wall to get back in,” Langford said.

The cat was not injured, Langford said, adding that he was still trying to track down its owner.

The blaze was put out by 3:25 p.m. and was contained to a single unit, officials said. No one was injured.

Elizabeth Thomas, who lives above the unit where the fire started, was in her apartment when she smelled smoke and started to get worried.

“I’m sitting there thinking this ain’t nobody BBQing, this smells a little bit more like a grease fire or something that’s getting out of hand,” said Thomas, 49.

She exited her apartment and walked outside of the building, where she says she saw smoke coming out of the unit below hers. Other residents joined her outside.

Thomas said she didn’t see the cat make the leap, but heard everyone around her react to its daring escape.

“Everybody was like, ‘Oh my god, oh my god,’ thinking that it might be hurt but eventually we saw it get up and go limping away,” she said.

Thomas said the cat was seen walking near the building after firefighters left, possibly trying to get back inside. However, later Thursday evening she and other residents were unsure where the cat had gone; the owner of the unit that caught fire could not be reached.

“I’m just glad no one got hurt. Thank god that cats do have nine lives. I hope I got nine,” Thomas said.

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Retired Black players say NFL brain-injury payouts show biasAssociated Presson May 14, 2021 at 9:12 pm

Former NFL player Ken Jenkins exits the building after delivering tens of thousands of petitions demanding equal treatment for everyone involved in the settlement of concussion claims against the NFL, to the federal courthouse in Philadelphia, Friday, May 14, 2021.
Former NFL player Ken Jenkins exits the building after delivering tens of thousands of petitions demanding equal treatment for everyone involved in the settlement of concussion claims against the NFL, to the federal courthouse in Philadelphia, Friday, May 14, 2021. | AP

Former Washington running back Ken Jenkins, 60, and his wife Amy Lewis on Friday delivered 50,000 petitions demanding equal treatment for Black players to Senior U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody in Philadelphia, who is overseeing the massive settlement.

PHILADELPHIA — Thousands of retired Black professional football players, their families and supporters are demanding an end to the controversial use of “race-norming” to determine which players are eligible for payouts in the NFL’s $1 billion settlement of brain injury claims, a system experts say is discriminatory.

Former Washington running back Ken Jenkins, 60, and his wife Amy Lewis on Friday delivered 50,000 petitions demanding equal treatment for Black players to Senior U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody in Philadelphia, who is overseeing the massive settlement. Former players who suffer dementia or other diagnoses can be eligible for a payout.

Under the settlement, however, the NFL has insisted on using a scoring algorithm on the dementia testing that assumes Black men start with lower cognitive skills. They must therefore score much lower than whites to show enough mental decline to win an award. The practice, which went unnoticed until 2018, has made it harder for Black former players to get awards.

“My reaction was, ‘Well, here we go again,’” said Jenkins, a former running back. “It’s the same old nonsense for Black folks, to have to deal with some insidious, convoluted deals that are being made.” Jenkins is now an insurance executive and is not experiencing any cognitive problems, but has plenty of NFL friends who are less fortunate.

In March, Brody threw out a civil rights lawsuit that claimed the practice is discriminatory. But she later said in a filing that the practice raised “a very important issue” and asked a magistrate judge to compile a report on the problem. She told The Associated Press she did not know when it would be completed.

The majority of the league’s 20,000 retirees are Black. And only a quarter of the more than 2,000 men who sought awards for early to moderate dementia have qualified under the testing program. Lawyers for Black players have asked for details on how the $800 million in settlement payouts so far have broken along racial lines, but have yet to receive them.

Race norming is sometimes used in medicine as a rough proxy for socioeconomic factors that can affect someone’s health. Experts in neurology said the way it’s used in the NFL settlement is too simplistic and restrictive, and has the effect of systematically discriminating against Black players.

“Because every Black retired NFL player has to perform lower on the test to qualify for an award than every white player. And that’s essentially systematic racism in determining these payouts,” said Katherine Possin, a neurology professor at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center.

In other major settlements, including those tied to the the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the Boston Marathon bombing, all claimants were treated the same.

“We concluded, fairly quickly, that we would take the top compensation for the white male and everyone would get the same, the top dollar,” said lawyer Ken Feinberg, who has overseen many of the largest settlement funds. “We would cure this compensatory discrimination by having a rising tide raise all ships.”

The first lawsuits accusing the NFL of hiding what it knew about the link between concussions and brain damage were filed in 2011. A trickle soon became a deluge, and the NFL, rather than risk a trial, agreed in 2013 to pay $765 million over 65 years for certain diagnoses, including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. But as the claims poured in, Brody feared the fund would run out early and ordered the cap removed.

The NFL, which foots the bill, began challenging claims by the hundreds, according to the claims website.

In appealing one filed by Najeh Davenport, the NFL complained that his doctor had not used “full demographic norms” in the cognitive scoring. That meant factoring in age, education, gender — and race.

“I remain unsure what you are talking about. He was done using standard norms like everyone else. Using different racial standards is indeed discriminatory and illegal. We stand by our scores,” the physician said in response, according to court records.

Ultimately, the appeal was reviewed by a pair of University of Pennsylvania legal scholars serving as special masters for Brody. They rejected the original reviewer’s finding that race norms were mandatory under the settlement. Still, they concluded that Davenport’s doctor had to explain whether he typically uses them or only waived them so Davenport would get an award.

“Using race-specific norms can be enormously consequential, and the adjustments may often make the difference in a clinician’s determination of cognitive impairment and a determination of normal functioning for retired NFL players seeking benefits,” special masters David A. Hoffman and Wendell E. Pritchett wrote in the Aug. 20 decision.

Days later, Davenport and another former Pittsburgh Steeler, Kevin Henry, filed the civil rights lawsuit, calling public attention to the issue for the first time. Their lawyers hoped to learn through the litigation how often Black players are denied payouts.

Instead, Brody dismissed the suit, saying they were bound by the settlement because they had not opted out years ago. But as concerns about race-norming grew — and with the racial unrest of 2020 still simmering — Brody in April opened the door to changing the practice when she ordered lawyers for the league and the players back to the table to work out an agreement.

Jennifer Manley, a Columbia University neuropsychologist hired by Davenport’s lawyers, called race norms in medicine ill-conceived and outdated in a court filing.

Race-based adjustments for neurology — known as “Heaton norms” — were designed in the early 1990s by Dr. Robert Heaton to estimate how socioeconomic factors affect someone’s health. They are widely used, but in recent years, scientists in the field have begun to recognize the limitations of the normative comparison groups they have used for years.

The small sample group of Blacks Heaton chose to create his adjustment protocol came entirely from San Diego, a military town where the Black population hardly reflected the diversity of Blacks across the U.S. The racial classifications are also binary — Black or white — even though hundreds of NFL retirees, and millions of Americans, identify as mixed race.

‘White and Black retired NFL players may be more similar to each other than they are to the reference populations … used to develop Heaton or (other) race-specific norms,” Manley wrote in her brief in the Davenport lawsuit. Several neurology experts have said the NFL’s assessment program is flawed. Possin said UCSF had considered participating in the assessments but decided against it.

“We declined to participate in these evaluations because it just didn’t feel like good clinical practice to us,” Possin said. “There’s probably a number of these players who, the neurologists who evaluated them were pretty sure they had a neurodegenerative disease and they had dementia. But maybe they didn’t score quite low enough. They didn’t pass the threshold, so they didn’t meet the NFL settlement criteria for a payout. And that’s really, I think, unfortunate.”

Dr. Francis X. Conidi, a neurologist and former president of the Florida Neurologic Society, who has treated hundreds of former NFL players, wrote a critique of the settlement’s assessment program in 2018, saying it had developed a system where players would be classified with “fictional diagnostic categories” of level 1, level 1.5 and level 2 neurocognitive impairments. Only those classified as levels 1.5 or 2 would qualify for a settlement.

Conidi said these categories could leave the patient confused about the cause of his symptoms and recommended that they adopt a protocol that includes a standard workup for dementia, including neuroimaging and other testing that is not currently done under the assessments.

The NFL’s dementia testing evaluates a person’s function in two dozen skills that fall under five sections: complex attention/processing speed; executive functioning; language; learning and memory; and visual perception. A player must show a marked decline in at least two of them to get an award.

In an example shared with The Associated Press, one player’s raw score of 19 for “letter-number sequencing” in the processing section was adjusted using “race-norming” and became 42 for whites and 46 for Blacks.

The raw score of 15 for naming animals in the language section became a 35 for whites and 41 for Blacks. And the raw score of 51 for “block design” in the visual perception section became a 53 for whites but 60 for Blacks.

Taking the 24 scores together, either a white or Black player would have scored low enough to reach the settlement’s 1.5-level of early dementia in “processing speed.” However, in the language section, the scores would have qualified a white man for a 2.0-level, or moderate, dementia finding — but shown no impairment for Blacks.

Overall, the scores would result in a 1.5-level dementia award for whites — but nothing for Blacks. Those awards average more than $400,000 but can reach $1.5 million for men under 45, while 2.0-level dementia yields an average payout of more than $600,000 but can reach $3 million.

Breton Asken, a neuropsychology fellow at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, helped administer several assessments around 2016, when he was a student at the University of Florida. The assessments he was involved in took 4 to 6 hours, and produced a score, which would then be adjusted based on the Heaton norms.

“So the male Black athletes that we saw would be compared essentially to a group of otherwise healthy Black individuals with a similar number of years of education and of the same age,” Asken said.

Even at the time, he said he and his colleagues worried the assessments and adjustments were not appropriate.

“I think we were always hesitant to be robotic about this,” Asken said. “We understood from a legal standpoint why there’s a push and a need for making something a little more algorithmic and robotic, that it can be standardized and so forth. But I think there’s also a lot of challenges when you take expert clinical decision-making out of things.”

They would report the person’s level of impairment by the “letter of the law” and would also provide comments conveying “anything else we thought was relevant to the patient’s brain health, physical health, mental health and so forth that we thought would be important for us to include in something like a standard neuropsychological report.”

The test battery also included questionnaires about mood and personality. But those scores were not included in the algorithm to determine compensation, he said.

“They’re getting full neurologic exams from these neurologists who are able to pick up on other aspects of the nervous system that might be having problems and so forth. Feels very odd for us to put this comprehensive neuropsychological report together and just ignore those pieces of data,” Asken recalled.

“Norming by race is not the stance that the NFL ought to take,” said Dr. Art Caplan, a New York University medical ethicist. “It continues to look as if it’s trying to exclude people rather than trying to do what’s right, which is to help people that, clinically, have obvious and severe disability.” He noted that the long history of racial bias in medicine includes the long-held myth that Black people feel less pain.

“There’s always been this race-norming in medicine,” he said, “that has been problematic because it’s tied in too closely to racism.”

Jenkins, the former Washington player, believes it all comes down to money.

“Race-norming may have had a benign origin, but it quickly morphed into a tool that can be used to help the folks in power save money,” he said.

Yet Caplan is not alone in thinking there may be even more at play here: the future of the NFL.

“These may be fights to escape the conclusion that football’s too dangerous. That’s always looming in the background,” Caplan said. “That opens the door to a lot of moms saying ‘I’m not sure that’s the right sport for my kid.’”

In March, the same month Brody dismissed the civil rights lawsuit, the league announced an 11-year deal with TV partners worth $113 billion.

___

Smith reported from Providence, Rhode Island.

___

Follow Maryclaire Dale on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Maryclairedale and Michelle R. Smith at https://twitter.com/MRSmithAP.

Contact AP’s global investigative team at Investigative@ap.org or https://www.ap.org/tips/

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Donald Trump may have met his match in Liz CheneyMichael Sneedon May 14, 2021 at 9:39 pm

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks to reporters Wednesday after House Republicans voted to oust her from her leadership post as chair of the House Republican Conference. | J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Wyoming Republican is a reminder of Sarah Palin, another conservative woman who stood her ground

Bamboozle me not!

Mr. Trump.

Mr. Mayhem.

Mr. Former fibber-in-chief.

The perpetrator of “The Big Lie,” his stolen election.

The big question?

Has this Goliath of vanity finally met his slingshot?

Will U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, a Republican from Wyoming, actually have a shot at stopping Donald Trump from “unraveling our country’s democracy?”

“The truth will come out,” she claims.

Well, it’s hard not to admire Cheney’s courage to trammel Trump on the basis of truth —even if the conservative Cheney is so far right of the Constitution she’s practically in a country of her own.

Can the eldest daughter of her fighter father, former GOP Vice President Dick Cheney, successfully erase Trump’s Republican party power?

So before getting overly enthusiastic, let’s not forget the explosive entrance 13 years ago of another defiant female Republican with Wyoming grit … Alaskan-style.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin had taken the political stage by storm when Republican presidential contender John McCain chose her as his running mate in 2008.

Palin also liked to call things out.

And, in the beginning, it was impressive.

Back on Sept. 16, 2008, this columnist, a die hard Hillary Clinton supporter, reported being impressed by Palin’s acceptance speech as McCain’s veep mate. She climbed to the podium in red high heels.

Yikes!

Thus, I wrote:


AP file photo
Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin addresses supporters during a campaign rally in September 2008 in Green Bay, Wis.

“I’m tired of women working hard for a hammer that never breaks the glass ceiling; disgusted when Hillary Clinton, an incredibly capable, brilliant woman, lost the fight of her life.

“And then along came Palin, a woman of the tundra who could be America’s next best frontier story — and I was pleasantly surprised.

“Hell, I was delighted.

“So what if she’s a Republican?

“So what if she didn’t know the definition of the Bush Doctrine? Her performance was a Western draw. Bravery intact. But no one shot.

“So I asked myself — what fault is there in admiring a woman who is against abortion — even though I believe in freedom of choice?

“What’s wrong with huge respect for a woman who chose to give birth to a Down Syndrome child knowing full well what was in store for her and her family?

“She is real. She is rural. She may not be a brilliant tactician, but she’s got street sense.

“Thus, it now appears Palin has emerged as ‘everywoman’ to a huge portion of our female population; a woman never really identified with what we thought was our quintessential role model — a highly educated woman who wears tailored suits, whose voice is never shrill and who has a husband who makes more than she does.

“I don’t know what perfume Palin wears, but to me she smells of the soil.”

It didn’t take long to pull the plug on my Palin admiration, especially since she didn’t know where Russia was actually located in reference to Alaska and cribbed answers to questions on her hand when being interviewed on TV.

In the meanwhile, I will continue to admire Cheney’s grit, formidable style, critical thinking and resolve.

And pray for Palin’s recovery from COVID-19.

Scary Harry . . .

Prince Harry is now a man of words.

In a recent Armchair Expert podcast, a once merry Harry claimed life amid the royal Brit monarchy was a mix he eventually wanted to nix.

Unhappy Harry now describes his royal life as a “mix between being in a zoo and ‘The Truman Show,’” a film about a guy unaware his life exists on a TV set. He cites the tragedy of the life of his mother, Princess Diana, ending in a paparazzi hunt.

  • Upshot or buckshot? Is the escapism Harry sought with American wife, Meghan nee Markle, among the security surrounding their Montecito mansion in California and amid time spent on TV queen Oprah Winfrey’s film sets?

Ya think?

A meow moment . . .

Checking it out!

Here’s a rare report: The press actually used mathematical calculators last week when covering the amazing fire escape of a black cat, which jumped from the fifth floor of a burning apartment in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood last Thursday afternoon.

  • To wit: Some newsies actually fact checked the terminal velocity of the cat pitching itself out of a window before miraculously surviving the fall.

Kay’s way . . .

Veteran Chicago political reporter Dick Kay, who “doogied” out last week at 84, was a film noir character in a starring role on his remarkable TV news career.

Kay was a “meet;” an unforgettable WMAQ reporter, storyteller, scoopster, and guy with a baritone chuckle accompanied by a query. He loved the angles.

Once you met him, you never forgot him.

Condolences to his beloved family and goodbye to the newsman with the wry smile, deep laugh, and unforgettable voice.

Sneedlings . . .

Saturday’s birthdays: Ray Lewis, 46; Emmitt Smith, 52; and Andy Murray, 34. . . . Sunday birthdays: Megan Fox, 35; Janet Jackson, 55; and Danny Trejo, 77.

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Man fatally shot in GreshamSun-Times Wireon May 14, 2021 at 9:53 pm

A man was fatally shot May 14, 2021, in Gresham on the South Side.
A man was fatally shot May 14, 2021, in Gresham on the South Side. | Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file

He was walking about 2:17 p.m. in the 7900 block of South Paulina Street when someone drove up in a vehicle and opened fire, striking him in the back, Chicago police said.

A man was killed in a shooting Friday in Gresham on the South Side.

He was walking about 2:17 p.m. in the 7900 block of South Paulina Street when someone drove up in a vehicle and opened fire, striking him in the back, Chicago police said.

The 19-year-old was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office hasn’t released details.

Area Two detectives are investigating.

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