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Daley Thu Nov 13 2008

Day by Daley, Thursday 13 November

Oh, Chicago. Don't worry. Nobody can tell you're hungover. But shake those cobwebs off, friend, and get in the game.

The Only Thing We Have To Fear Is a Terrifying Economy. Mayor Daley was kind enough to let us know yesterday that the city is facing an unbelievable amount of layoffs in the coming 14 months. Apparently business leaders are warning him that the economy is in the worst condition since the Great Depression. Are you employed by a Chicago-area employer? Well, you're screwed. Hopefully they'll deem fit to tell you and not just the Mayor.

How bad is it? Let our fearful leader instill the fear himself:

"This is going to be all year, so it's going to be a very frightening economy," Mayor Daley said. "Each one tells me what they're laying off, and they're going to double that next year. We're talking huge numbers of permanent layoffs for people in the economy. It's going to have a huge effect on all businesses."

The mayor said the gravity of the situation cannot be underestimated.

"We never experienced anything like this except people who came from the Depression," Mayor Daley said. "When you have that many layoffs early - and they're telling me this is only the beginning of their layoffs - that is very frightening."

Nobody is advocating sugarcoating anything, but seriously -- can't you use some inspiring language? Can't you promise to look into how the city can use its vast resources (and it is the third largest city in the country) to soften the blow of Chicagoans? I don't know, something?

Fran Spielman has the story, too:

On Wednesday, the mayor was asked if he was still intent on keeping his hands off that Skyway money.

"So far -- unless everything goes into the bottom. Unless everything hits a Depression. That word is dangerous to use. But this is going to be a very difficult economy. I keep saying it. It's very, very serious," he said.

At the moment, Daley's tough times, 2009 budget is precariously balanced with 929 layoffs, slow police hiring and $52.5 million worth of taxes, fines and fees.

A final vote on the $5.97 billion spending plan is scheduled for Nov. 19. But, aldermen are threatening to introduce a slew of ammendments to soften the mayor's plan to license garbage dumpsters -- at an annual cost of $80-to-$780.

"No one is happy with the budget," Daley said.

Mayor Daley has many fine points along with his many bad ones. I think realism is one of his strong points. We'll see how he handles the potential breakdown of our city's economic fabric.

"They Didn't Die in Vain." Mayor Daley lectures Ald. Ed Smith on inappropriate politicking when an honor resolution was up for a vote:

On the day after Veterans Day, the mayor rose to lecture Smith about the need for war, painful as it may be, and about the young men and women who put their lives on the line to uphold the freedoms we hold dear.

"They represent the good of society. There's evil in society. Right in Chicago, there's evil....And men and women decide to stay on the side of good. They're out there serving and protecting us all over the world and right here in Chicago...They're doing that right now in dangerous conditions," Daley said.

"Just the last few weeks, we went to funerals for two police officers killed in the line of duty. They didn't serve in vain. They served with great pride. They dedicated their lives [to] serving and protecting...No one likes war. No one likes violence. But there are evil people out there. And all those who have joined the military understand what evil is all about."

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