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.

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.)

Election results and what if rigged?

Rigged? Then what?

The establishment . . . recoiled in horror from Milwaukee Sheriff Dave Clarke’s declaration that it is now “torches and pitchforks time.”

Yet, some of us recall another time, when Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas wrote in “Points of Rebellion”:

“We must realize that today’s Establishment is the new George III. Whether it will continue to adhere to his tactics, we do not know. If it does, the redress, honored in tradition, is also revolution.”

Baby-boomer radicals loved it, raising their fists in defiance of Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew.

But now that it is the populist-nationalist right that is moving beyond the niceties of liberal democracy to save the America they love, elitist enthusiasm for “revolution” seems more constrained.

What goes around comes around.

Hey, no fair, Pat Buchanan. These leftist people are on the right side of history, aren’t they? No?

More about election results a la Trump

Checkered history there:

In 1824, Gen. Andrew Jackson ran first in popular and electoral votes. But, short of a majority, the matter went to the House.

There, Speaker Henry Clay and John Quincy Adams delivered the presidency to Adams – and Adams made Clay secretary of state, putting him on the path to the presidency that had been taken by Jefferson, Madison, Monroe and Adams himself.

Were Jackson’s people wrong to regard as a “corrupt bargain” the deal that robbed the general of the presidency?

And so is unreasonable for Trump to make it a front-and-center issue, as he has immigration and media bias and collusion with Democrats. He gets us talking about things, does  he not?

About honoring elections Trump-wise

Try this on for size.

Six months ago, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, the Clinton bundler, announced that by executive action he would convert 200,000 convicted felons into eligible voters by November.

If that is democracy, many will say, to hell with it.

And if felons decide the electoral votes of Virginia, and Virginia decides who is our next U.S. president, are we obligated to honor that election?

Hanging chads or not?

An establishment in panic

The Donald gives them a hotfoot. With what he said about election results.

. . . what do these chattering classes and establishment bulletin boards think the Donald is going to do if he falls short of 270 electoral votes?

Lead a Coxey’s Army on Washington and burn it down as British Gen. Robert Ross did in August 1814, while “Little Jemmy” Madison fled on horseback out the Brookville Road?

What explains the hysteria of the establishment?

Source: An establishment in panic