[ • 26 Mar 2015 • No Comment]
There is an ancient political saying: Don’t let the grass grow under your feet. That means not standing still. It means broadening one’s voter base and universe of support. It means using and maximizing one’s incumbency. In the Far Northwest Side 41st Ward, where Alderman Mary O’Connor is completing her first term, the proverbial grass under and around her feet is knee-high and choked with weeds. Despite 4 years of incumbency, the bland, colorless and reliably pro-Rahm Emanuel...

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[ • 25 Mar 2015 • No Comment]
For the past six years, investors have faced one fear after another. One of those fears has been the more than $1 trillion of student loan debt outstanding. This debt is up 160% since the start of 2006 (and growing) while the share of student loans with payments 90 days late, or longer, has risen from 6.4% to 11.3%. Look, we’re not thrilled with this debt. Just like with low-income housing loans, the government is pushing hard, providing subsidies and creating avenues to avoid paying it back....

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[ • 24 Mar 2015 • One Comment]
I have long believed, and written several times, that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not want and never wanted a Palestinian state–the basis of the so-call two-state solution for peace in what many call the Holy Land–though until the eve of the recent Israeli election, he always piously said he supported the idea. (Neither, to my reckoning does Hamas, so I have no illusions about Netanyahu being the sole obstacle.) Then remarkably, apparently faltering in the polls,...

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[ • 23 Mar 2015 • No Comment ]
Days after Pat Quinn lost the November election, Chicago’s busiest film studio asked the lame-duck governor for a hefty state grant to buy industrial land around its West Side campus, where “Chicago Fire” and other TV shows and movies are produced. Three weeks before Quinn left office, Cinespace Chicago Film Studios got a $10 million check from the cash-strapped state of Illinois. The check’s been cashed. But the studio has yet to buy any land, and the owners of six properties listed in...


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[ • 20 Mar 2015 • No Comment ]
The president of Chicago State University tried to pressure a high-level administrator to file false claims of sexual harassment against an outspoken professor to help the college try to silence him, according to court documents filed Thursday as part of an ongoing lawsuit. In a sworn statement, LaShondra Peebles, the college’s former interim vice president of enrollment and student affairs, said before she was fired that President Wayne Watson pushed her to accuse Phillip Beverly of sexual...


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[ • 19 Mar 2015 • One Comment ]
A week before the February city election, Mayor Rahm Emanuel stood alongside Earvin “Magic” Johnson and his billionaire business partner to announce their $10 million donation for a summer jobs program in the city’s toughest neighborhoods. But that’s not all Johnson and his partner did to help Emanuel. Four days after the news conference, the week-old company Johnson formed with partner Mark Walter to fund the jobs program donated $100,000 to Emanuel’s campaign. Last...


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[ • 17 Mar 2015 • No Comment ]
The New York Post, always conservative, always sensational, published a front-page story this weekend accusing Barack Obama’s muse-in-chief Valerie Jarrett of leaking the story of Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail system while secretary of state–along with other supposedly White House-generated nastiness about Clinton.     The e-mail story itself has legs and will haunt Clinton until she comes fully clean, which she is reluctant to do. I doubt if it can prevent...


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[ • 16 Mar 2015 • No Comment ]
From Greg Hinz Since he took office, Emanuel has approved $1.3 billion in TIF projects.  The biggest discrete chunk, $303.8 million, went for local street resurfacing, reconstruction and streetscaping in every ward in the city. Just over $155 million went for new or rebuilt Chicago Transit Authority stations, $54 million for school projects, $39 million for bridge reconstruction and $76 million for residential projects, mostly low-income and senior housing that otherwise would not be built. Smaller...


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[ • 14 Mar 2015 • No Comment ]
t’s reality check time in the Chicago mayoral race. Chuy Garcia is not Harold Washington. This is not 1983. The Hispanic base vote is nowhere near the black base vote, then and now. The result of the Feb. 24 municipal election, which set up an April 7 runoff between Garcia and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, may or may not be a “consciousness-raising” event. “They are energized,” Frank Avila, a longtime political activist, said of Hispanic voters. Will Hispanic turnout on April 7 be anemic as usual...


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