Archive for November 2010

Congressional showdown looms on corpulent ethanol subsidies

December brings the biggest showdown with Illinois’ and possibly the nation’s most gluttonous corporate freeloader: the corn ethanol industry. Symbolically, the upcoming battle of budget hawks against ethanol’s special pleaders is as significant as the fight over continuing the Bush tax cuts. At issue is whether Congress will allow corpulent ethanol subsidies and a tariff... Read more »

NEW UPDATE: Officials change accounts of Notre Dame investigation

Well, if that don’t bet all. Now that sexual assault has made the news, stories are changing fast. The latest is: The St. Joseph County Police Department said today that university officials did inform them of the sexual attack allegation by a 19-year-old Northbrook woman made shortly before she died from an apparent suicide in September. In... Read more »

Is Daley Chicago's George W. Bush?

Will Mayor Richard M. Daley become Chicago’s own version of former President George W. Bush? The guy who gets blamed for everything bad that has happened? Could be. As the campaign to succeed Daley unfolds, it’s becoming apparent the strongest candidates — or at least the most credible ones — are campaigning on a platform of fixing Chicago’s... Read more »
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Yikes! Petitions filed for Burris run for mayor!

Is this a joke?  Nope. The story is here. Don’t you think that there already are enough black stalking horses in the race? Why is another one needed to further split the African-American vote for the sake of Rahm Emanuel? Burris says he knows of the petitions being filed on his behalf, and–unbelievably–hasn’t yet said... Read more »

Finally, a peek inside the Kremlin, aka, Chicago City Hall

I’m not sure I want to see all the inside working of Chicago’s City Haul; I imagine it would look something like a dark cesspool. But, look we must. Otherwise, how do we prevent such disasters as the parking meter deal? Where do you go to find your neighborhood’s trend in crime? How about pending... Read more »

Poor fed workers; they'll get only a 1.4% pay increase this year

For years, the accepted wisdom was that working for the government wasn’t all that lucrative.  Not any more. With federal government employment at an all-time high, and President Barack Obama pitching for a 1.4 percent pay increase, roles have reversed.  As USAToday reported: At a time when workers’ pay and benefits have stagnated, federal employees’... Read more »
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Beavers, he of the thick head

Of high-speed rail, a CTA red line extension and other transportation fantasies

Thoughts about the dismal state of transportation planning in Chicago, Illinois and the nation. Thankfully, someone had the courage to step in front of the runaway train called “high-speed rail.” Wisconsin Republican Gov.-elect Scott Walker campaigned against the Badger State accepting the $810 million in federal stimulus money earmarked for an 80-mile Madison to Milwaukee... Read more »
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Union members drive their own jobs out of Illinois

Some 1,000 jobs will be leaving Illinois because union members refused–twice–to approve concessions that would have kept one of the Downstate Illinois’ biggest manufacturers here. Olin Corp. earlier this month announced that it will move its Winchester Centerfire operations–a subsidiary bullet making plant–from the Metro East area of Illinois to Oxford, Miss., to “enhance the... Read more »
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    Dennis Byrne

    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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