Sunday, October 25, 2015

After 136 Years, Family-Owned Business Closing In Chicago « CBS Chicago

After 136 Years, Family-Owned Business Closing In Chicago « CBS Chicago

Friday, October 23, 2015

Obama Got Punked | The Weekly Standard

Obama Got Punked | The Weekly Standard

Samantha Power's on Hillary Clinton: She is a monster, too....


Her voice was soft and waver­ing as Clin­ton de­livered what polit­ic­al pun­dits call a heart­felt mo­ment. A theat­er crit­ic might call it a quietly power­ful per­form­ance.

One after an­oth­er, GOP com­mit­tee mem­bers ques­tioned Clin­ton about why her de­part­ment re­jec­ted Stevens' re­peated re­quests for ad­di­tion­al se­cur­ity. She de­flec­ted the ques­tions by claim­ing the re­quests were handled by State De­part­ment se­cur­ity ex­perts. The pleas nev­er got to her.

One after an­oth­er, GOP com­mit­tee mem­bers ques­tioned Clin­ton about her ad­vocacy for the ill-fated in­ter­ven­tion in Libya. She de­flec­ted the ques­tions by say­ing Pres­id­ent Obama made the fi­nal de­cision. Not her.

One after an­oth­er, GOP com­mit­tee mem­bers ques­tioned her about the stream of emails she re­ceived from polit­ic­al trouble­maker Sid­ney Blu­menth­al, who passed along in­tel­li­gence on Libya and his neg­at­ive views about the Obama White House.

They kept ask­ing: Why could a former re­port­er lobby the sec­ret­ary of State dir­ectly while there was no evid­ence that Stevens had her private email ad­dress?

The am­bas­sad­or and his ur­gent se­cur­ity con­cerns went through oth­er chan­nels, Clin­ton replied.

Every time I see Clinton I hear Samantha Power's words to The Scotsman from 2008.

Earlier, clearly rattled by the Ohio defeat, Ms Power told The Scotsman Mrs Clinton was stopping at nothing to try to seize the lead from her candidate.

"We f***** up in Ohio," she admitted. "In Ohio, they are obsessed and Hillary is going to town on it, because she knows Ohio's the only place they can win.

"She is a monster, too – that is off the record – she is stooping to anything," Ms Power said, hastily trying to withdraw her remark.

Read more: http://www.scotsman.com/news/hillary-clinton-s-a-monster-obama-aide-blurts-out-attack-in-scotsman-interview-1-1158300#ixzz3pPIWXG00 
Follow us: @TheScotsman on Twitter | TheScotsmanNewspaper on Facebook

Monday, October 19, 2015

Aldertrack's Budget Hearing Attendance Report

A Professional Guide To Chicago Politics 
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Aldermanic Attendance At Budget Hearings
by Brendan Moore – brendan@aldertrack.com & A.D. Quig – ad@aldertrack.com

For two weeks of budget hearings aldermen publicly grilled city commissioners and department officials on line items, programs, and overtime, often running from morning to night. Aldertrack monitored aldermanic attendance at each budget hearing, starting with the best attended meeting, the all-day overview with Budget Director Alexandra HoltChief Financial Officer Carol Brown, and City Comptroller Dan Widawsky, to the final hearing on Friday October 9.

These attendance totals are based on the amount of hearings alderman attended for each individual agency, not total days they were present. And since it is common for aldermen to walk in and out of the chambers during meetings, Aldertrack, which attended every meeting, marked aldermen present if they showed up at some point in the meeting, even if it only for a few minutes. Here's our spreadsheet for a breakdown of attendance by hearing.

As Budget Vice Chair, Jason Ervin (28) attended every meeting. He took over whenever Chairman Carrie Austin (34) took a break. While some Council watchers expected Austin to break early because of her lengthy hospitalization last month, she chaired a large chunk of hearings and often stayed until the end of the day.

Aldermen with the best attendance (Top 10)

  • Ald. Leslie Hairston (5) - attended 28/32 meetings

  • Ald. David Moore (17) - attended 27/32 meetings

  • Ald. Raymond Lopez (15) attended 27/32 meetings

  • Ald. Anthony Napolitano (41) attended 26/32 meetings

  • Budget Chairman Carrie Austin (34) attended 26/32 meetings

  • Ald. Scott Waguespack (32) attended 26/32 meetings

  • Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson (11) attended 26/32 meetings

  • Ald. Nick Sposato (38) attended 25/32 meetings

  • Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30) attended 25/32 meetings

  • Ald. Michael Scott, Jr. (24) attended 24/32 meetings

In addition to the first budget hearing, where 90% of the Council was present, the budget hearing for the Police Department and the Department of Streets and Sanitation had at least 40 aldermen present. The 9:00 a.m. morning meetings tended to have the lowest attendance rate and shortest meeting times.

We reached out to every alderman who had attendance on the lower end for comment. Most didn't respond. Aldermen who did respond were quick to point out it's common to send a staffer in their place, to have private conversations with commissioners offline, or in the case of committee chairs, to listen to a speaker that live broadcasts what happens in the chamber to their office. "Just because we aren't down there doesn't mean we aren't listening," Ald. Walter Burnett (27) told us. We noted him present at 15 of 32 meetings.

Christian Ficara, a staffer for Ald. Brian Hopkins (2), said he often sat in place for Hopkins, whose wife gave birth to a baby boy on Sep. 29. "While Alderman Hopkins was tending to the birth of his first child, myself, and at times a second member of our staff were present during the hearings. We would update the alderman on a daily basis, and he was in contact with commissioners by phone if he had questions regarding their testimony. Obviously, he did attend hearings when time permitted to be away from his wife and newborn son."

Ald. Derrick Curtis (18), another new alderman, also missed hearings for family reasons. He was on his honeymoon for most of the budget hearings. Ald. Deb Silverstein (50) wasn't present certain days due to the Jewish holiday of Sukkot (Sep. 27-Oct. 4). "I'm a very observant Jew," she told Aldertrack, "I don't even drive during it." She added that the Mayor knew and she had staff present every day.

Ald. Matt O'Shea (19) had one or two staffers at meetings in his place when he couldn't attend. He also attended the International Council of Shopping Centers convention.

Chicago Political News

Emanuel working on limit to garbage fee hikes, alderman says [Tribune]

Will Mayor Emanuel's tax increase survive intact? [Sun Times]

Boot fees to rise 66 percent under Emanuel plan [Tribune]

Emanuel's dessert debt: $53,000 in cheesecakes [Tribune]

Dumke beats mayor's lawyers in cop spying case [Reader]

City Colleges adds administrators, boosts tuition [BGA/Sun Times]

Chicago Board of Education Named Defendant in "Believers" Abuse Lawsuit [NBC5]

CTA to restart Yellow Line on Oct. 30 [Tribune]

A double whammy on property taxes [Crain's] - For commercial properties, there's the tax hike and rising assessments.

Marina City towers closer to landmark status [Tribune]
Marina City Coasts Through Landmarks Hearing Without Opposition [DNA Info]

Opinion

Miller: How the CPS scammers tricked the city's elite

Washington: African Americans keep waiting for 'better' from Emanuel

Crain's Editorial: Cook County budget proposal takes half-steps on tough issues

Chicago Tribune Editorial: The future of Chicago schools

 

Additional Aldertrack Resources
Read the Clout Wiki for backgrounds on Chicago's politicians.
Follow us @aldertrack for great tweets.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Taliban controls or contests 70 districts in Afghanistan | The Long War Journal

Taliban controls or contests 70 districts in Afghanistan | The Long War Journal



LWJ writes,



We argue that this force is insufficient to halt the Taliban’s advance. The Taliban seized the provincial capital of Kunduz for two weeks and dozens of districts this year, despite the presence of 9,800 US troops in country.
The Taliban also makes the case that a force of 5,500 soldiers is not enough.
“If the invaders lost the war in Afghanistan with the presence of hundreds of thousands of troops, their hopes of reversing the tide with five thousand troops are also misguided,” the Taliban said in an official statement that was released on Voice of Jihad.
We are loath to admit that the Taliban has a point.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani rallies Iranian officers, Hezbollah in Syria | The Long War Journal

Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani rallies Iranian officers, Hezbollah in Syria | The Long War Journal

Aldertrack links for 14 Oct 2015

A useful set of links if you're into Chicago Politics.


A Professional Guide To Chicago Politics
Since 2007.

Weekday Review
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
 Now with 5,123 subscribers.
Subscribe here
This is the Aldertrack free weekday political news aggregation edited by Mike Fourcher & Ramsin Canon. It includes an overview of pertinent Chicago political reporting, data and opinion from across the spectrum. Aldertrack also provides original City Hall political reporting for subscribers. Learn more here.
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Here's What Subscribers Are Reading Today...
City Budget Ordinances Expected Today
Finance Recap: Pension Fund Levy Requests Held, But TIF Amendments, SSA Budgets Approved
Appointments to Community Development Commission, Tax Breaks Pass Committee
From the Wards
  • Ald. Joe Moreno (1) changed his profile picture to support Planned Parenthood.        
  • Ald. Raymond Lopez (15) shared pictures from the Hispanic Heritage Breakfast with Ald. Sue Garza (10), Ald. Danny Solis (25), Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30), Mayor Emanuel, Fire Dept. Commissioner Jose Sanitago, ZBA member Sol Flores, Human Relations Comm. Mona Noriega, and Board of Ed VP Jesse Ruiz.
  • Ald. David Moore (17) shared emergency heating information in conjunction with Cook County Commissioner Robert Steele.
  • Ald. Michael Scott Jr. (24) is holding a job fair today from 11 to 2 at the Douglas Park Fieldhouse. 
  • Ald. Danny Solis (25) shared pictures from the re-naming of Ping Tom field house in honor of Leonard M. Louie with Mayor Emanuel.
  • Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26) is holding his first annual Domestic Violence Awareness Walk and Rally from 9AM-10AM today at 25th District Station Auditorium.
  • Ald. Deb Mell (33) is accepting gently-used winter clothing items for donation during business hours until Oct. 24.
  • Ald. Carlos Rosa (35) released a statement on the Barbara Byrd-Bennett guilty plea, and live tweeted from a #FeeltheBern Democratic Debate watch party with Rep. Will Guzzardi. Both are Bernie Sanders delegates.
  • Ald. Anthony Napolitano (41) shared the Edison Park Chamber of Commerce's upcoming events.
  • Ald. Michele Smith (43) shared some ideas on how to make the city budget more cost-efficient
  • Ald. John Arena (45) is calling for an elected school board. He also canceled ward night last night. We Wonder Why. 
  • Ald. James Cappleman (46) shared pictures from a debate watch party at Drink and Ink.
  • Ald. Ameya Pawar (47) has been joined by Senate President John Cullerton in calling for a return of the #11 bus.
  • Ald. Harry Osterman (48) is hosting three town hall meetings over the course of the week.
Chicago Political News
Civic Federation: $588M property tax hike won't be enough to shore up finances [Sun Times] - Emanuel's budget depends on Springfield and state court ruling too much, Civic Fed says.
The Origins of IPRA [South Side Weekly] - How Chicago was pressured to establish an independent police review authority.
Why Chicago should care about the Big Beer mega-merger [Crain's] - Job cuts. That's why.
Opinion

Additional Aldertrack Resources
Read the Clout Wiki for backgrounds on Chicago's politicians.
Follow us @aldertrack for great tweets.

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Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Tablet Magazine: Send a Salami to Your Boy in the Army

An excerpt from Pastrami on Rye via Tablet Magazine.

While the war exposed Jews to other types of food, it also provided opportunities for non-Jews to learn about Jewish food. Lieutenant Colonel Harold Dorfman realized how much he missed delicatessen food when he served as navigator in a B-24 bomber on September 12, 1944. As the plane approached its target, the submarine pens of northern Germany, the pilot was ordered to inquire and record what was in each crew member’s mind. Each responded, in turn, that he was thinking about his family back home—each, that is, except for Dorfman, who said that he was consumed with a desire for a hot pastrami sandwich. The response from the pilot: “How do you spell pastrami?” The crew endured an eight-hour attack by enemy gunfire by laughing and joking about the episode. But to actually taste the unfamiliar delicacy, most had to wait until they arrived in New York eight months later on their way back to Fort Dix.

Divided, They'll Fall by Fred Siegel, City Journal October 6, 2015

Divided, They'll Fall by Fred Siegel, City Journal October 6, 2015



The Democrats are deeply dependent on black votes. “African-American voters,” explains The Cook Political Report, “accounted for Obama’s entire margin of victory in seven states: Florida, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Without these states’ 112 electoral votes, Obama would have lost decisively.” With Obama on the ballot, black voter participation exceeded white voter participation in 2012. The great fear among Democratic Party operatives in 2016 is that African-Americans will stay home. The Democratic National Committee, looking to pump up black turnout, issued a resolution in August joining “with Americans across the country in affirming [that] ‘Black lives matter’ and . . . condemn[ing] extrajudicial killings of unarmed African American men, women and children.”

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Crains: ConAgra move shows how corporations can see Chicago through rose-colored glasses

Shows the great strengths of Chicago: it's people, transportation infrastructure, and geography. Strengths which overcome the decades long incompetent Political Leadership that yet may still sink us all. Lets hope these newcomers get involved and become Political leaders too, and don't fall into the habit of just paying guys off.

The Crain's piece here.