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The Mechanics
« Chicago Teachers Twelve Votes Away from City-Wide Protest Day By Daley, Wednesday 12 November »

Daley Tue Nov 11 2008

Day by Daley, Tuesday 11 November

Good morning Chicago, and happy Veteran's Day! Please take a moment today to think about all the most terrifying war movies, like Saving Private Ryan or Full Metal Jacket, and then think about how awful war is and how grateful you should be that it wasn't you that had to save that ungrateful Matt Damon.

Like sands through the hour glass, this is the Daley of our lives:

Maybe We Won't Pass It--Psyche. When the budget gets really bad, the City Council suddenly has a reason to get "legislative-y", rather than acting like a coalition of ward executives. Why? Because they see the writing on the wall, which is that they are going to have to start competing for services in a threadbare budget. The result? Independence, or some reasonable facsimile. Or, what passes for independence in Chicago. From Fran Spielman:

"We are supposedly the legislative branch of government -- even though 99 percent of our job is out there catching spears for the administration," said Ald. Richard Mell (33rd), demanding "some respect" from the mayor.

Where City Council opposition exists*, a contested Mayoral election looms. Can the Olympics save you, Your Elective Majesty?

Escape From Chicago? When is the situation in a city seriously deteriorated? When key services disappear due to strikes. When is the situation really critical? When the people striking are usually impossible to organize. In our case, cabbies. Here's a pool of workers who speak a dozen different language, operate like independent contractors, and almost never see a "co-worker" except to honk at in passing. Drip, drip, drip.

Speaking of drip... Dan Mihalopolous and company report that the greeters that translate and direct traffic at O'Hare are on the chopping block. Goodbye, patronage jobs. Hello, increased confusion at O'Hare.

And finally today,

Richard M. is No Richard J., In a Good Way The Tribune's Washington political blog, the Swamp, makes the case that President-Elect Obama isn't the product of a Chicago Machine because there is no Chicago Machine. And while the Machine of Cermak-to-Daley has disappeared, the idea that there isn't a vaunted urban political organization in Chicago is ridiculous. Do they think the "Friends of Michael J. Madigan" are actually his friends? Please. The reason President-Elect Obama isn't the product of a Chicago Machine is that he didn't win the primary nomination or '04 general election on the strength of the Machine, and hasn't needed it for anything integral since--although its enormous fundraising apparatus surely helped him in early 2007.

*Why do I love writing about local politics? Because of quotes like this: "My goal is to try to exempt dumpsters on private property," said Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), who would pay the fee as the owner of Ann Sather's Restaurants.

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Anna / November 12, 2008 8:04 AM

Ramsin, we tootally need to get together. I'm on Twitter @AnnaTarkov and @DailyDaley. I'd love to talk local politics with another passionate local like yourself.

Anna / November 12, 2008 8:05 AM

And btw, "psyche" is not the same as "psych." You were looking for "psych" there I believe :-) Just doing a little copy editing :-)

Ramsin CanonAuthor Profile Page / November 12, 2008 8:30 AM

My English language skills come almost entirely from Hollywood, and if I remember correctly, in the Trey Parker/Matt Stone comedy Baseketball, they spelled it "psyche."

So unless you're saying that a blockbluster flop comedy from a decade ago can be wrong, well, I think we know the proper spelling.

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Parents Still Steaming, but About More Than Just Boilers

By Phil Huckelberry / 2 Comments

It's now been 11 days since the carbon monoxide leak which sent over 80 Prussing Elementary School students and staff to the hospital. While officials from Chicago Public Schools have partially answered some questions, and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool has informed that he will be visiting the school to field more questions on Nov. 16, many parents remain irate at the CPS response to date. More...


Substance, Not Style, the Source of Rahm's Woes

By Ramsin Canon / 2 Comments

It's not surprising that some of Mayor Emanuel's sympathizers and supporters are confusing people's substantive disputes with the mayor as the effect of poor marketing on his part. It's exactly this insular worldview that has gotten the mayor in hot... More...

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