Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel humbly congratulated himself Wednesday for submitting a balanced budget. He also gave city taxpayers an early Halloween gift by terrifying them with the threat of taxes doubling to cover $1.2 billion in new pension costs.
But like a great movie villain secretly terrorizing a city, Emanuel is expected to first let public panic mount a bit. Then he’ll swoop in with a Faustian alternative that requires state approval of that long-dreamed for Chicago casino.
“Rahm sees this as his Obamacare,” said political adviser David Axelrod. “National health care was the culmination of more than a generation of hopes, dreams and failed plans. For just as long, the Chicago political machine has seen its long-term health tied to getting into organized gambling.”
Chicago has been without organized gambling since the days of Al Capone, but Axelrod was confident Rahm will “not only keep the organized crime element out of gambling but – since this is Chicago government – probably keep the organized element out too.”
Said Emanuel, “Yes, as Barack’s Chief of Staff, I did oppose healthcare reform, but that taught me the value of rolling the dice and gambling big. Chicago can’t just stand still and expect to stay a world-class city when cities like Detroit, Biloxi and Elgin are years ahead of us.”
Axelrod said Emanuel is deeply aware of the larger historical context of this struggle.
“He sees himself as heir to great men like Bugsy Siegel, Arnold Rothstein and Meyer Lansky,” he said. “Those men worked tirelessly to bring to the masses a fun, accessible entertainment that can bankrupt lesser men. If Rahm can do this, he’s sure to be remembered as the Godfather of Chicago gaming.”
Emanuel added that a casino will also make Chicago the greenest metropolis in America. It will help cut millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions by reducing gamblers’ long drives to Joliet and Michigan.
“My environmental strategy boils down to four words: ‘Think Global.
Gamble Local.’ ”
SkitSketchJeff is Jeff Burdick, who enjoys giving directions to Chicago tourists using only the brown honorary street signs. For more FluffingtonPost humor, see BurdickComm.com.
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