August 4, 2006

What I Learned during an Overnight All-Nighter Drive

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:26 pm

Note: I’ll be away from the blog until sometime Saturday morning (although previously prepared posts are going up in the meantime), as I did a necessary overnight drive from Greater Cincinnati to Chicago and back, and am quite wiped out.

I learned some interesting things during that drive, courtesy of Chicago’s all-news CBS affiliate WBBM (links are to related items I found after I returned):

  • There were two sniper reports in Northwest Indiana on Thursday, making a grand total of nine this summer. The area where the sniping has occurred has apparently been named the “Cline Triangle” after the exit near which the sniping has occurred, and for the fact that police can’t solve the mystery of who is doing it. Given that there were two routes for getting to the airport, and that the snipings took place on one of those alternatives, your humble servant chose the other. (latest on the story is here.)
  • Target has told the city of Chicago that it will cancel its plans to build a “Super Target” (I don’t recall exactly what it’s called) at a site that it has already selected on the South Side of Chicago if the “Big Box Bill” recently passed by City Council becomes law. The company also said that will also abandon its efforts to find another suitable “Super Target” location on the north side. The law, as noted in this previous post, will require big box retailers to pay their employees $13 in wages and benefits by 2010. The law passed Chicago City Council by a margin of 35-14. If Mayor Dictator for Life Daley, whose signature is still required, vetoes the measure, two or three aldermen (the news said two, but it seems like it should be three for a less than 2/3 majority to occur) will have to change their original yes votes to sustain the veto. The Mayor says that the big box stores will get their business from Chicago residents by locating in or just outside of the city in the inner suburbs, and it’s up to the city not to chase them away. Some aldermen apparently have stated their belief that the city is too important for the stores to avoid locating in it (I’m not kidding).
  • Chicago’s Mayor Dictator for Life Richard Daley apparently has a real live rival in the next election, an African-American pastor named Meeks, who is currently a state legislator. Apparently, in the course of criticizing the mayor and his handling of Chicago’s public schools (which the mayor essentially seized control of in the mid- or late-1990s), Meeks used the N-word (yeah, THAT N-word) in some fashion. Outrage ensued. PASTOR(!) Meeks sort-of apologized for his use of the word, said he wouldn’t use it again, but said that his allegations about how the schools were being mismanaged were more important. (Fill in your own blank in this sentence — “If ___________ said this, his or her political life would be over” — On that basis, Meeks appears to be getting quite a pass.)Mayor’s Dictator’s response was on the order of “That’s nice, but it should never have happened; however, it is nice that he has seen the light.” The genius of Daley, inherited from his father (who was on TV so much during the local newscasts in his heyday that he was essentially the co-anchor at all the stations) is that he NEVER, EVER misses an opportunity to get in front of a camera and say something reasonably memorable (note the pastoral play on words in response to Meeks) — which explains why, barring a scandal of earth-shattering proportions or his simply tiring of running the city, he is indeed Dictator for Life.

I never thought that coming back to Greater Cincinnati would feel like such a return to sanity. I’ll ponder that as I catch up on sleep.


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