July 19, 2017
ILLINOIS' "REFORMS" ARE NON-REFORMATIVE

If, as now looks likely, Rahm Emanuel wins a third term as Chicago’s mayor in 2019, he can attribute his triumph to two unlikely people – Pat Quinn and Pate Philip. The ubiquitous Quinn, Illinois’ governor from 2009-15, was a longtime political gadfly, and will go into posterity as the man who reduced the size of the Illinois House from 177 to 118, thereby wiping out the Republican Party in Chicago, wiping out the Democratic bench in Chicago, and making it possible for Mike Madigan to remain as speaker now and forevermore. Quinn’s “Legislative Cutback Amendment” to change the state’s Constitution passed overwhelmingly in 1980, but eliminating 59 state representatives, effective 1982, didn’t realize any appreciable savings. Philip was the Republican Senate president in the mid-1990s, when Republicans dominated the legislature. Until that time, Chicago had a bifurcated election system, with a partisan election for the citywide offices of mayor, clerk and treasurer, entailing a primary and subsequent election, but non-partisan elections for the 50 aldermen, with runoffs if no candidate received a majority, as was the case since the 1930s. At that time, every ward has two aldermen. Effective 1999, Chicago had non-partisan primary/runoff system, with no party designation, no party primary, and a runoff if no candidate received a primary majority. The result of these so-called “reforms” was pernicious and counter-productive. Full Article...


July 12, 2017
ECONOMY BOOMS UNDER TRUMP'S PRESIDENCY

Mike Madigan, like that poetic old gray mare, just ain’t what he used to be. The speaker is no longer the undisputed master of Springfield. He has failed his members; he has failed his party; and he may have insured the 2018 re-election of Illinois Republican governor Bruce Rauner. By passing a personal and corporate income tax hike, and a $36.1 billion budget, Madigan has done precisely what he has been trying to avoid for over 700 days – namely: hang the blame on the Democrats. Madigan wanted to get a bi-partisan deal, with Rauner and the Republicans “signing on,” so as to make legislative Democrats immune from attack in 2018. He failed. Rauner has been portrayed as heartless and insensitive, but now he has the opportunity to redefine himself based on his character, not his actions (or inaction). Much of the Rauner agenda, including workers’ comp reforms, curbing unions and term-limits fell by the wayside, but it is the Democrats who enter 2018 on the defensive. Full Article...


July 5, 2017
ECONOMY BOOMS UNDER TRUMP'S PRESIDENCY

Contrary to prevailing opinion, America has really not gone to hell since the advent of the Trump Administration. Gasoline prices are the lowest since the early 2000s, lower than $2-per gallon in many localities, and hovering around $2.50 in the Chicago area. The controversial XL pipeline is under construction, bringing Canadian crude oil to refineries in the Gulf. Domestic oil and natural gas drilling has exploded and American energy dependence on OPEC and the oil cartel has diminished significantly. Based on history, Republicans will suffer loses in 2018. But it is by no means certain that Trump will not win in 2020. Full Article...


June 28, 2017
ELECTED CHICAGO SCHOOL BOARD WILL CAUSE RACIAL STRIFE, POLITICAL TURMOIL

In politics, "great" ideas invariably and inevitably cause more chaos than cure. Such a concept is having an elected Chicago school board, which is poised to become a reality in 2023, and precipitate a great amount of racial polarization and political machinations. As if the CPS and existing Board, which oversees 400,000 children in 600 schools with a $5.41 billion budget, hasn't enough problems (like underfunded pensions, too-large class sizes, school closures, etc.), this new brainstorm will politicize Chicago education. There will be 15 Board Members, one each from 14 single-member districts and one elected citywide as president. Blacks and Hispanics will jockey ferociously for that job, which is a great steppingstone to mayor. There are about 5,000 LSC members throughout Chicago, and hundreds of them will run in their districts, but it will be the Democratic committeemen who will control the outcomes. Each district is about 3.5 wards. The districts will be created by a special commission appointed by the Chicago Election Board, controlled by the Democrats; at least 3 will have white majorities, so there will be 11 blacks and Hispanics elected elsewhere. The jobs are unpaid, but the CTU and other unions will spend millions to get their people elected, and school-choicers and charter school advocates will also spend heavily. The whole scheme has SNAFU written all over it. Full Article...


June 21, 2017
YARBROUGH THWARTS ARENA'S HOPES TO BE COUNTY CLERK IN 2018

In the northwest side's 45th Ward, Ald. John Arena believes in the Biblical proverb that one should "love thy neighbor"...as long as it is he who chooses that neighbor, which is from the CHA's waiting list, and they get "affordable housing" in Jefferson Park or Gladstone Park. Arena is a Bernie Sanders-supporting leftist, and wants to colonize the north part of his ward with people who did not/will not vote for Donald Trump. Arena would also like to be elected as county clerk in 2018, but that is not going to happen. With the consolidation of the Recorder's and Clerk's offices, effective 2020, incumbent Recorder Karen Yarbrough, a black woman, has already sewn-up slating for retiring Clerk David Orr's job next year. And, in the contemporary Democratic Party, a black woman will always get preference over a white man -- even a flaming liberal like Arena. But Arena will still be 45th Ward alderman for the forseeable future. Full Article...


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