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Articles Archive for November 2007

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[26 Nov 2007 | No Comment | ]

I was catching up on local news about the CTA last night, and drifted in to differing outlooks for the French Rail Strike.
The Chicago Tribune thinks the strike is still going on
Neither The Wall Street Journal nor the Sun-Times published any news about the strike since the 23rd, the day before the strike ended.
The Financial Times thinks “Sarkozy victorious as strike ends”
To (les) echo Dennis Byrne, if only our Illinois leaders could show the leadership of the French, we may be able to resolve the CTA “Crisis”.

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[26 Nov 2007 | No Comment | ]

Iraqi parliament has shown more courage in solving its problems than Illinois legislators
For all of the Iraqi parliament’s flaws, I would trade it straight up for the crowd that we’ve got in Springfield. Ridiculous, you say? Then, consider what both have accomplished. First, the Illinois state government: (This space left intentionally blank.)
That’s right, nothing. Maybe the Iraq parliament hasn’t done much more but think about its challenges compared with Illinois’ crew. Iraq has to repair centuries of tyranny and brutalization. The country is split in three, marked by a centuries-long …

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[23 Nov 2007 | One Comment | ]

Democrats, in 2006, gained 30 U.S. House seats, for a 232-203 majority. Despite control, and abysmal congressional approval ratings, Democrats are poised to gain up to 20 more in 2008, primarily in the northeast, where Republicans are reviled and President Bush is toxic.
But Illinois, a heavily Democratic blue state, sends nine Republican and 10 Democratic representatives to Washington. That may change in 2008. Democrats could gain up to four seats, or Republicans could gain one.
Three Downstate Republicans are retiring, and the North Shore’s Mark Kirk (R-10) is vulnerable. Melissa Bean …

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[21 Nov 2007 | No Comment | ]

130 Years of Authentic Compassion
Chicago’s Pacific Garden Mission has been serving the poor since 1877. At its new location it will be able to provide men’s and women’s services under one roof while accommodating about 25% more people (up to 900) per night. It receives no public support of any kind, operating entirely on private donations.

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[21 Nov 2007 | No Comment | ]

The recent revelation that the FBI has received information about “possible holiday terror attacks on Chicago and Los Angeles shopping malls” has caused some alarm, even though, as the Chicago Sun-Times points out, “[t]he FBI downplayed” the warning, while an FBI spokesman told the L.A. Times that “There is no information to state this is a credible threat.” According to the L.A. Times, “a declassified version of an intelligence report” detailing possible threats was “distributed to thousands of law enforcement agencies across the country” and—surprise, surprise—was quickly leaked to …

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[21 Nov 2007 | 3 Comments | ]

A year ago John McCain was the certain GOP nominee and almost a shoo-in for election—the one guy who could cross party lines and lure Democrats in a Reagan rerun.
That was then. This is now.
The Arizona senator slid down the slippery slope of immigration reform faster than an Olympic bobsled.
Yes, he was and probably still is the strongest supporter of and apologist for Bush’s war—though Giuliani runs a close second—but he also supported Bush’s “amnesty” immigration plan along with Ted Kennedy. This, the one seriously acceptable social program the administration …

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[21 Nov 2007 | No Comment | ]

Every once in a while, one really gets what one pays for. And then some. Seriously.
There I was with my Wall Street Journal a few weeks ago, and I was drawn to a column about “choice in education” initiative recently defeated in Utah. While rightly lamenting its demise, writer Adam Schaeffer of the CATO Institute in Washington pointed out that there is another effective and saleable way to go about advancing the cause of choice in education. Tax credits. Personal use tax credits …

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[21 Nov 2007 | One Comment | ]

“Looking for Bobby Jindal.” That’s not a recent movie, or a sequel to “Looking for Mr. Goodbar.”
Instead, it’s a quest, perhaps utterly forlorn, by Illinois Republicans to find somebody to run for governor in 2010 like Jindal, Louisiana’s new Republican governor. Stressing the issues of competence and honesty in a state where corruption and cronyism are the norm, Jindal won a solid 54 percent victory in October, in a field with 11 other candidates.
Like Louisiana in the past, Illinois is a cesspool of corruption. A former Louisiana Democratic governor, Edwin …

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[20 Nov 2007 | No Comment | ]

“Trib” Scooped and Out-Pointed in Coverage of Catholic Bishops’ Parley. Then it Covers Voting Statement as if it were Important—Hah!
The “Tribune” has been improving markedly…in solidity, editorial content and seriousness. All the reason why it is problematic that the paper published a vacuous story on the Catholic bishops’ vapid so-called letter to the laity headed (as Thursday’s main story): Catholic bishops say voters’ souls at stake. The story by Manya A. Brachear its religion writer didn’t do anything for comprehension, didn’t analyze the bishops’ message. For which …

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[20 Nov 2007 | No Comment | ]

Could Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley survive as the head of a corporation as infected, as is his administration, with the same level of corruption, waste, incompetence and red ink?
Business Week raised that question in an interesting and readable account, “The CEO of City Hall,” of the Chicago business community’s love affair with Daley and its tolerance of destructive and illegal practices they would never allow in their own operations.
“Admittedly, Daley’s admirers overlook some shortcomings,” wrote correspondent Joseph Weber with longtime Chicago business observer Bob Reed. “In fact, if he …