Oak Park schools hosted state legislators a few days ago. It’s an annual grilling, which went this way in 2013 . . .

. . .  when Senators Harmon and Lightford and Reps. Lilly and Ford faced parents and taxpayers at Julian School, Oct. 9, 2013.

As recounted in Chapter 8, “Legislators go to school,” in Illinois Blues: How the Ruling Party Talks to Voters.

The legislators were welcomed cheerily by the district superintendent as people who had come for the “festivities,” which had been many months in the planning.

He noted “gridlock in Washington” as a problem, ignoring the much publicized, recently concluded Springfield version, in which legislators had been locked in combat about pension reform.

Indeed, legislators had just recently received their pay checks, two months late, held up by Gov. Quinn in an effort to get them to stop disagreeing with each other. Not a red cent until you stop bickering.

Small crowd:

“The citizenry,” also welcomed, had not materialized as expected. Dozens of empty chairs took up space in a small meeting room where 40 or so citizens were seated, including two Oak Park village board members and presumably the school board, which was not introduced.

Indeed, on entering this room — from the mall-like entrance to the school on a pleasant fall evening — it looked like a church, with all seated as far back as they could. What’s more, the entire front two rows were reserved and so marked — for whom it was never clear, because they remained unoccupied throughout the 90-minute meeting.

The superintendent

. . . read from a lectern to the left of two long tables — one for the interrogators (three mothers), the other for the legislators.

His text was a lengthy “strategic plan” statement salted with such school-professional staples as “challenge” and “risk-takers.”

He held his head down throughout, reading it, he said, so that the lawmakers would know “where our board is coming from,” which was pretty much where liberal-progressive school boards were coming from throughout the land.

What’s up?

He explained “why we are here,” reading several paragraphs. He congratulated the organizers of the gathering. It “took a lot of work,” he said. “It took a year,” spent presumably in formulating questions, prepping the questioners, and (probably most time-consuming) scheduling senators and representatives.


He introduced these one by one, requesting and getting “a hand” for each. He did the same for the three women at their table, members of the district’s Committee for Legislative Action, Intervention and Monitoring (CLAIM). They would do the questioning, he explained.

More more more in a day or so . . .

Illinois Blues: How the Ruling Party Talks to Voters is available in paperbackepub and Amazon Kindle formats.

President Obama two days ago: Elections are not rigged. Running in 2008: Elections have been rigged, but this time in Ohio we control the machines

You have to wonder if he even remembers the 2008 bit.

I say not, he does not remember, but he’s so feverishly determined to shoot Trump down (not literally, for cry-iiii), he says just anything.

It’s a problem.

Send condolences to Congresswoman Jan about her husband losing his job

He having been cruelly outed as “diabolical” by an approving colleague with whom he works to create havoc at Trump rallies. The colleague added, “I love it” to his applying this normally opprobrious term.

It was in the midst of praising Mr. Jan’s tactics. Bob Creamer is his name. He also has done time for fraud. Nice Democrat family.

You should not miss the offending video in which Creamer is outed, not only by the colleague but in his own words. Project Veritas is the hero of this piece.

I love the Lynn Sweet notation:

The video, which had more than 4 million views as of Wednesday afternoon, surfaced as Trump is stepping up his assertion, without evidence, that the election system is rigged against him.

The “without evidence” part is cute, she having linked to what many would call evidence, if not of a rigged system, then of something that interferes mightily with the working of that system — undermining in fact. But Ms. Sweet has her position, does she not? Which at least did not stop her from doing the story.

Tooth twine? How some people talk(ed). American Scholar looking lively online

Falling love with a creative language-user:

Not just families but couples have words of their own, ones that can have great personal resonance. The essayist E. B. White said that what first attracted him to his wife-to-be Katharine was the fact that she considered tooth twine an improvement on “dental floss.” So did he. As White later observed, “I knew that a girl who called dental floss ‘tooth twine’ was the girl for me.”

Lots more at this refreshing site.

Illinois blues strike again: Candidate pretended to be a judge, wants to become a real one, is indicted but remains on ballot

It’s all here, folks, in your morning Chicago Tribune.

Donna B., the “Christian woman,” slams Obama economy

In a “stolen” email which stolen or not shows how The Ruling Party talks to each other but not to voters:

In an email to Hillary Clinton campaign Chair John Podesta from February 2016, released Friday by WikiLeaks, now-acting chair of the Democratic National Committee Donna Brazile gave a frank and honest assessment of the Obama economy — and it wasn’t good.

“I think people are more in despair about how things are — yes new jobs but they are low wage jobs,” she admits. “HOUSING is a huge issue. Most people pay half of what they make to rent,” she continued.

But you can’t quote here, no sirree sir, and she “won’t be persecuted” for telling how she really thinks to Hillary’s campaign chair or anything else she says, anywhere. Oh my, even though it’s hardly news she feels this way.

Bravo WikiLeaks!

Good to see Chi Trib making much of this food-truck business . . .

. . . Would be nice to see news editors in general taking sides with entrepreneurship, as in this piece, opening thus:

For Chicago food trucks, the fight for business begins before dawn, with a race to save downtown lunch spaces in popular, city-sanctioned serving locations.

Not every operator participates in the early morning scramble, but those who don’t run the risk of losing out on the choicest lunch spots.

“The city just hasn’t given us more food truck zones, so we’re all as food truck operators forced to do these crazy things, like using spot cars and getting there at 5 a.m.,” said Sam Barron, who runs the Fat Shallot and Fat Pickle food trucks with his wife, Sara Weitz.

Stepped-up enforcement of a 2012 city food truck ordinance is creating havoc on the streets. While the fight for legal and profitable parking spaces downtown has intensified, other food trucks have abandoned busy areas like the Loop in favor of neighborhoods with more parking options or towns with more friendly regulations. Still others have gone out of business or closed their trucks altogether.

I speak of importance giving the issue with this slant and maybe hard-copy placement (haven’t read hard copy Trib today). Or maybe I don’t read it enough and miss similar treatments in other issues.

(Not to story reveals a bias, but that any story’s lead ‘graph as above and its closer,

“The rule only serves to protect brick-and-mortar restaurants as a means of preventing competition,” said Robert Frommer, an Institute for Justice attorney representing the food truck. He argues that the ordinance — specifically, its 200-foot-rule and GPS requirement — is unconstitutional.

Pekarik said the restrictions have damaged her business, hurt sales and made it “quite impossible” to find parking in Chicago. She said the situation has gotten progressively worse over her 5 1/2 years in business.

At a brief news conference after the court hearing, city attorney Andrew Worseck said that while he can’t comment on pending litigation, “the city believes that the ordinances challenged in this case strike the right balance between the interests of food trucks and brick-and-mortar restaurants.”

gives a sign of sympathy with the regulation-complaining entrepreneur.)