Archive for October 2011

AFSCME’s deceptive math

Henry Bayer, executive director of AFSCME’s Council 31 laid a huge egg with this claim in an interview with Illinois Statehouse News last week: State employee salaries are a minor fraction of the over-all budget; probably about five percent of the overall budget. Illinois doesn’t have a huge deficit because state employees make too much... Read more »

PETA: Whales are people too

Just as we’re discussing when a human life becomes a person (and entitled to human and civil rights), along comes People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) suing SeaWorld for enslaving whales in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution. More accurately, the whales  are suing, not PETA. The five SeaWorld ocra whales... Read more »

Sen. Mark Kirk inexcusably silent about South Suburban Airport

For decades, transportation planners, politicians and others have been talking about relieving the jam-packed O’Hare Airport by building a new one in the south suburbs. Under the leadership of Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., Bensenville, Elk Grove Village and others, a private investor/builder/operator was found to partner with government, to the extent that it would cost... Read more »
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Electoral College reform; would it work in Illinois?

Illinois is one of 48 states that give all of its electoral votes to the presidential candidate that wins all of the state’s electoral votes. Because of widespread discontent over the occasional  loser having a bigger popular vote than the winner, various kinds of reform have been offered. One that appears to be gaining steam,... Read more »

Illinois' budget crisis possibly the 'worst the nation has ever seen'

That’s the analysis of  State Budget Solutions, a non-profit organization that advocates the application of more rigorous accounting rules (such as those used in the private sector) to more closely and accurately assessing the states’ true financial condition. The findings about Illinois so alarmed the organization that its president, Bob Williams, issued this warning: “This... Read more »

A good round-up of major bills to be debated in Illinois legislature's veto session

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Putting our children in hock for Illinois pensions

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Occupy Chicago is right about one thing, but....

Occupy Chicago and other practitioners of those new and spreading protests want us to better understand and empathize with the poor. So let’s work on that. The U.S. Census Bureau provides evidence that America is in the grip of a poverty pandemic, as the occupiers would have it: Last year, more than 15 percent of... Read more »

A White Sox fan views the Cubs' Theo Epstein

The Cubs’ hiring of Theo Epstein is great and exciting news for this White Sox fan. I view it as an important step in bringing an all-city World Series to Chicago for the first time in more than a century. (Of course, the White Sox will have to do their part too.) A re-invigorated Cubs... Read more »
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Starz' 'Boss' accurately portrays the Chicago Way

Some of my colleagues have observed that the excellent new Starz series “Boss” about a fictional Chicago mayor isn’t really real. And former Mayor Richard M. Daley said the show is not about him. In a pig’s eye. This show accurately captures that essence of what makes Chicago run, as Daley ran it. Jobs, contracts,... Read more »
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    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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