Chicago - Nov. 15, 2018
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Army Of Darkness
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A discount-store employee is time-warped to a medieval castle, where he is the foretold savior who can dispel the evil there. Unfortunately, he screws up and releases an army of skeletons. (
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The Weekend Desk Report

For completists, there was no column on Friday.

"Mayor Rahm Emanuel has brokered a deal that would allow the Cubs to sell beer and wine at an open-air plaza adjacent to Wrigley Field, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned, but the team says it won't accept it."

Then the mayor hasn't brokered a deal at all!

"We are miles from a deal that includes these terms," Cubs spokesman Julian Green told the paper.

So not only did the mayor not broker a deal, he didn't even come close.

"Negotiations are over," an anonymous mayoral aide said.


FYI: Is the Sun-Times website back to being basically unusable or is it just me?


Politics vs. Governance
"Returning to the Capitol last week after making a dozen campaign-style stops across Illinois beginning the day after the Democratic-controlled legislature failed to approve a state budget on time, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner offered an assessment: 'We're in election mode now,'" the Tribune reports.

"The governor was talking about the super-heated rhetoric among himself, Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan and Mayor Rahm Emanuel as the Springfield stalemate worsens. But the stops Rauner made along his recent road trip also carried significant political overtones as he tries to elect more Republicans to the General Assembly this fall."

This is not the way forward.

"Focusing his fire on Madigan and Democratic Senate President John Cullerton, all but one of Rauner's stops came outside the Chicago area. And the governor used the time-honored politics of regionalism as he blasted rank-and-file Democrats for risking the opening of local schools in the fall by siding with their leaders and 'the Chicago political machine' pushing a 'Chicago bailout' for its schools . . .

"It's the second consecutive year Rauner has adopted post-spring session campaign-style tactics to go after Madigan, the nation's longest-serving House speaker, as controlling Democrats' loyalty and votes to block the governor's efforts to win his pro-business economic agenda."

And it's working just as well as it did the first time. The irony is that Rauner is trying to use his immense wealth to control his party members' loyalty. Another strategy might be to try to win the argument and/or exhibit superior statesmanship. The way to Democratic members' hearts is through their constituents, and the governor is losing that battle every single day.

Meanwhile, the GOP leadership in the General Assembly is just as recalcitrant - as are their members. At one time I thought Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno might have it in her to be the one to break the stalemate - and thus put herself on a path to higher office - but she hasn't even come close. Of course, if any other governor - Republican or Democrat - were in office, Radogno and her House counterpart Jim Durkin would have cut a deal by now. Their urgent loyalty to holding the budget hostage in order to get workers comp and tort "reform" began only on the day the Rauner and his millions were sworn in.


"On Friday, at a South Side veterans event, Rauner vowed to 'travel the state every day going forward' to push the passage of the GOP bills and told reporters he was working to get his message out 'through your viewers and your listeners.'"

Oh joy.

"But in a rare acknowledgment lacking the heated political blame the Republican governor often throws at Democrats, he also said he believes people are 'very angry with a failure to get results."

"'We haven't passed a balanced budget. We haven't made reforms to grow jobs. We haven't passed reforms to protect taxpayers. We haven't passed reforms to get term limits and fair maps to have competitive General Assembly elections. We haven't gotten anything done. I've tried my best to negotiate with Speaker Madigan and the supermajority Democrats for almost a year-and-a-half now and I don't blame anybody for being frustrated and angry. I'm very frustrated. I am not happy at all,' Rauner said."

The governor, like a child, now uses the phrase "supermajority Democrats" every chance he gets. If the Democrats had a working supermajority instead of a technical one, things might be different in Springfield. (I say "might" because, as others have noted, Madigan might still be averse to his side wearing the tax-hike jacket without any Republican ownership.)

"But we've got to stay the course," Rauner said. "We've got to stay strong and that's what we're going to do."

No matter the human cost. Making it less expensive for companies to maim workers is worth it.


TrackNotes: The Test Of Champions
"It's Belmont Stakes Day Saturday and if you dig the ponies, you gotta be there. You'll learn about some of the most steeped horse races we have, tradition-wise. The toughest race of the year, furlongs-wise. And the prospect of improving yourself, wagering-wise," writes our very own Tom Chambers.


Beachwood Photo Booth: You Are Beautiful
From 100 stickers to thousands of artists.

Junk: The Book That Launched The Young Adult Novel
A book about drug addiction and prostitution aimed at "young adults" was then a very daring thing, and many thought that this was a book that was simply too depressing for the market and would languish on library shelves. Wrong.


By the way, according to various archives, Junk was never reviewed by the Tribune, Sun-Times or Reader.

Beachwood Sports Radio: Transaction City
The White Sox are or aren't like the Cubs.

Plus: Groupthink is Poopthink!; Warriors Will Win Wonderfully; Sharks On Ice; COPA!; About Alshon; and Sammy & The Donald Sittin' In A Tree.

Germany Bans Costly Wall Street Tax Scheme
The strategy helped foreign investors, many of them Americans, avoid an estimated $1 billion or more a year in taxes on dividends paid by German companies.

The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Vic Mensa, Tame Impala, Cage the Elephant, Portugal. The Man, Flag, Howard Jones, OMD, The Magnifiers, Justin and the Phonographs, and the Dixie Chicks.


The Sound Opinions Weekend Listening Report: "After making her mark in the indie duo The Fiery Furnaces, singer-songwriter Eleanor Friedberger launched a solo career blending her former band's experimentalism with classic '70s sounds. She joins Jim and Greg for a conversation and live performance. Plus, a review of the new mixtape from Chicago hip-hop artist Chance the Rapper."


Weekend BeachBook

Exclusive: Obama Approves Broader Role For U.S. Forces In Afghanistan.


FDA Too Slow To Order Food Recalls, U.S. Watchdog Finds.


Can Chicago's Luxury Market "Loop" Around?


Frontier The First Airline To Fly to Cuba From Chicago.


Dispensa's Castle Of Toys.


Weekend TweetWood









Weekend YouTube

Chicago Stamping.


The Weekend Desk Tronc Line: Stamp it out.


Posted on June 11, 2016

MUSIC - Spring Awakening Wake-Up Call!
TV - Exclusive! Rahm's New TV Gig.
POLITICS - The Political Odds UPDATED.
SPORTS - NHL: CTE Not Our Fault.

BOOKS - Stan Lee, Flawed Hero.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: I Am Iron Man.

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