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A bit of Monday fun

Monday, Aug 11, 2008

NEW: City Club speakers are traditionally given a coffee mug for their efforts. Gov. Blagojevich reportedly quipped today when he was presented with the cup that he guessed a mug was better than a mugshot.

The man has no internal editor. But the wisecrack got a big laugh, as you might imagine.

There’s no real “news” to report from the speech, apparently.

* The governor is speaking at a City Club luncheon today. I’m hearing of a planned protest by Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn outside the venue. Quinn’s gonna demand that the Senate reject the legislative pay raises this week. He already has a website on the topic.

…Adding… Comptroller Dan Hynes has apparently decided not to rule on whether the pay raise clock expires this week (I’m not sure it does, by the way). Instead, he just sent out a press release saying that the raises won’t be paid because there is no appropriation…

“We cannot implement the pay raises without an appropriation. But more importantly, I am of the opinion that this is no time for pay raises,” Hynes said, pointing out the drastic cuts to health care providers and social service programs in the FY09 budget.

The raises could legally kick in before the election, and then be retroactively funded in a future budget (that retroactive funding happened last time), but Hynes is apparently refusing to make a ruling on that point. Instead, he’s saying that nobody will get a bigger check until there’s an appropriation. True, but they’ll all get a lump sum check in the future when these raises are included in a budget.

Courageous, no?


…Adding more… The comptroller just called, and after much back and forth, I finally just asked him to tell me when the clock expires. He said he’d get back to me. I’ll let you know.

Adding still more… From the AP

Quinn says he doesn’t have a ticket for the City Club of Chicago event Blagojevich is headlining. But he’s outside handing out information alongside a staffer holding a sign that reads “Vote Now, Vote No.”

* Here’s a brilliant, must-see parody ad by Joe Fournier. Click the pic to watch…

* A YouTube person who goes by the name Altgeld’s Ghost created quite a racey pro con-con video last week that I never posted. AG’s latest pro con-con effort is here.

* You may have seen Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s recent outrage over “Meth Coffee”…

The back of the package for Meth Coffee suggests drinkers “chew them whole, snort the powder dry, cook it over a lighter and huff. . . .”

But Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is having none of it.

Madigan is demanding a San Francisco company stop what she calls the misleading marketing and sale of the coffee.

“Parody or not, it’s still glorifying drug use and it’s sending a terrible message,” said Madigan’s spokeswoman Robyn Ziegler.

But Scott Reeder thinks AG Madigan is being a bit of a prude, and digs up a New Yorker cartoon drawn by Madigan’s husband, Pat Byrnes

[Byrnes] drew an office worker with a meth lab set up on his desk telling a co-worker with a cup of Joe, “Meth doesn’t upset my stomach the way coffee does.”

Gee, I hope she doesn’t sue her own husband.

See her husband’s toon here. Watch the Meth Coffee ad here, and Zorn’s take is here and here.

* Not fun

A 2006 survey by Response Insurance, a national car insurer, found that 57 percent of American drivers don’t signal when changing lanes. Men are less likely to signal than women, and drivers under 25 are less likely to signal than older drivers. Their reasons were a bit scary:

• 42 percent said they didn’t have time,

• 23 percent said they were lazy,

• 17 percent said they don’t because they forget to turn it off,

• 12 percent said they changed lanes too frequently to bother,

• 11 percent said it was not important,

• 8 percent said they don’t because other drivers don’t. And, most disturbing of all,

• 7 percent skipped the signal to “add excitement” to their trip.

* And, now, your moment of Zen.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 11:52 am:

    I don’t know about the Fournier bit.

    Humor is most effective when it has some basis in reality. The CTA has some problems, but head-on crashes is not one of them. Based on the Chicago Theater sign, that’s meant to represent the Green Line at State Street. That’s been my train and my stop for 10 years, and I have no complaints.

    The folks riding north on the Brown, Red and Blue might have a different opinion.

  2. - Rich Miller - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 11:54 am:

    wordslinger, dude, it’s a parody. It’s not meant to be reality.

    Do you work for Lisa Madigan?

    See? More parody.


  3. - Wumpus - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 12:15 pm:

    I imagine those numbers are worse for Chicagoans as no one seems to signal or keep their lane, or drive like they have any sense

  4. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 12:17 pm:

    Understood, but parody has a sharper edge when it has some basis in reality.

    Say, for example, Blago announcing that he’s going to improve the ethics bill and then walking into a fundraiser with state contractors at Tavern on Rush. Oh wait, that IS reality.

  5. - The Doc - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 12:20 pm:

    Rich, will you be dispatching Kevin to cover the City Club luncheon? Wondering if Blago will be fielding questions, and how many “plants” will be called upon (randomly, of course) in order to avoid any dicey situations, or actual questions.

  6. - Rich Miller - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 12:23 pm:

    Kevin is studying for his LSAT.

  7. - Rich Miller - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 12:24 pm:

    And the normal procedure is you wait in line at a microphone to ask a question.

  8. - Cmon Rich - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 12:27 pm:

    Post the first Con-Con video that AG put up :)

  9. - Rich Miller - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 12:28 pm:

    Follow that link and click on “More From: AltgeldsGhost”

  10. - IrishPirate - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 12:41 pm:

    Snicker Altgeld’s Ghost is a funny person.

    The Fournier toon is great too.

    The power of the net………… make one chuckle.

  11. - Hynes Employee - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 12:47 pm:

    It isn’t a time for raises, but Hynes’ union emps are getting nice bonuses and/or raises at the cost of 10 merit comp jobs in the next month with more at the beginning of the next calendar year.

  12. - Skeeter - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 12:49 pm:

    Why would you hire someone who would think it is a good idea to take a test the only purpose of which is to attend law school? Is he taking it just for kicks or does he really want to go to law school?
    With intern-hiring decisions like that, I’m starting to question your judgment.

    At the same time of course, I’m starting to question Lisa Madigan’s. I thought it was only the right wingers who got so upset about every drug reference. Lisa has to learn the difference between “I don’t like this” and “This should not be legal.” So far, she’s not doing well.

  13. - Rich Miller - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 12:51 pm:

    Skeeter, his internship is over. He’s doing the blog stuff as a big favor to myself, and to keep his name out there, which is a good idea.

  14. - Bill - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 12:51 pm:

    Finally, a victory for the people who do the real work in the comptroller’s office.

  15. - Bill - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 12:53 pm:

    Just what we need, another republican lawyer!

  16. - Rich Miller - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 12:54 pm:

    LOL. Wait until he sees that.

    BTW, do you need a place to crash when you’re here, Bill?

  17. - Bill - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 1:01 pm:

    Maybe, I’ll call you. thanks.

  18. - Rich Miller - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 1:03 pm:

    …Because there’s a lot of space under a bridge near my house.


  19. - Bill - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 1:04 pm:

    I think I’ve been there!

  20. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 1:31 pm:

    Wordslinger -

    How’s this for a basis in reality:

    CTA called hurdle to Olympics

    Chicago has the ingredients for developing a world-class transportation system, but unless reinvestment begins promptly, the city may have few mass-transit services left when the 2016 Olympics are held, federal lawmakers warned Monday….

    …CTA President Ron Huberman said the transit system could serve the Olympics well—but only if it is brought up to a state of good repair. Huberman summarized $6.3 billion in unfunded capital projects at the CTA ranging from rail slow-zones in need of new track and railroad ties to replacement of aging trains and buses.

    And this….

    Chicago blows millions in CTA money on Daley vanity project
    Remember when I said Block 37 was a Daley vanity project sucking taxpayer money away from transit for train station and development project nobody needs? Daley defenders insisted the city knew best, make no small plans and that sh*t, downtown needed it and riders would benefit someday, CTA cost was minimal, etc.

    And finally this…

    CTA Fire, Derailment Forces Blue Line Evacuation


    Chicago mass transit falls short in evacuation planning, federal report says

  21. - Rich Miller - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 1:32 pm:

    dude, it’s a cartoon.

  22. - the Other Anonymous - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 1:47 pm:

    On the subject of not using turn signals:

    Failure to use turn signals is just half the scary story. The other half is the number of drivers who take a turn signal as an invitation to drive more aggressively, closing the gap for a safe lane change or other maneuvering by the signalling driver.

  23. - Skeeter - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 1:53 pm:

    I believe the turn signal numbers are skewed due to the fact that 100% of cab drivers never use turn signals.

    It is also skewed by the 80% in the GOP who think that required turn signal use is just another sign of Big Brother telling us how we should run our lives, and gosh darn it, nobody by Rush tells us how we should run our lives.

  24. - One of the 35 - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 1:56 pm:

    The insurance company survey did not include the reason my uncle gave when not signalling; “You don’t tip the other cars what you want to do! They will try to stop you from doing it!”

  25. - Ghost - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 1:56 pm:

    We must stop this parody stuff now before it gets out of control. Stephen Colbert where are you when we need you….

  26. - John Bambenek - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 2:21 pm:

    The poll forgot one reason people don’t use turn signals, especially in the Chicago area on the interstates… it is a universal sign to have the person hanging out in your blindspot to accelerate and cut you off from behind to prevent the lane change.

  27. - Maggie - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 2:37 pm:

    John is right. I used to be the polite driver and signal changing lanes every time.
    When on the expressway I would signal and all of the sudden the car in the other lane would speed up so I couldn’t change lanes. This happened every time.
    So now I don’t signal and I just slide right in.

  28. - Rich Miller - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 2:50 pm:

    I’ve had the same experience. Signals = weakness on expressways. I use them everywhere else, though.

  29. - Bill - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 2:58 pm:

    lol at mugshot. Good one, Rod!

  30. - Levois - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 3:07 pm:

    In that AG vid, the Governor’s speech was a nice touch in supporting a con-con, but I have to really figure out the significance of that roast pig.

  31. - Wumpus - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 3:12 pm:

    Bill, we agree. The mugshot quip was funny. People have been talking about it, but Fitzgerald’s indictment will not be based on a joke.

    The only time I speed up in if someone is using signals is if theya re cheating. If you see a lane closing/merging and speed up in the closing lane, I will speed up. Other than that, i am very courteous.

  32. - Simple Man - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 3:54 pm:

    Absolutely hysterical cartoon. No more takes, please! Now we really need a capital bill.

  33. - DeepFriedOnAStick - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 3:57 pm:


    No word yet from the courageous comptroller? Surprise, surprise!

    What was he thinking by calling you? If he didn’t anticipate that you would put him on the spot, that tells us all something about his political judgment.

  34. - Bookworm - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 4:44 pm:

    To Altgeld’s Ghost: “I’ll have what she’s having!” :-)

  35. - Is "I'll cut his apple" like "I drink your milkshake"? - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 4:48 pm:

    Blagojevich and Jones praise each other, shun Madigan
    By Rick Pearson at 3:13 p.m.

    Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Senate President Emil Jones used an appearance before the City Club in Chicago today to lavish praise on each other as the governor tempered his rhetoric against House Speaker Michael Madigan, while still trying to politically isolate the powerful Democrat.

    Speaking for nearly an hour before several hundred people at a downtown luncheon, the Democratic governor urged members of the business community who know Madigan to give the veteran Southwest Side lawmaker a call and urge support for a state construction program that Madigan and his House Democrats have stalled, largely because they don’t trust Blagojevich.

    “One of the great regrets I have about what’s happened so far in my second term, and happened in many ways in the first term, is that when you have members of your own party—and two of us get along very well and we don’t agree on everything—and the third, for whatever reason, doesn’t want to talk to us, it’s a very difficult way to govern,” Blagojevich said.

    “And again, I urge you, if you know Speaker Madigan and talk to him, tell him I said, ‘Hello.’ I’ll cut his apple, get him a cup of coffee, come to the table, work with us and be part of this process,” the governor said. “Nothing personal. Let’s help people. We’re Democrats.”

  36. - DeepFriedOnAStick - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 4:50 pm:

    ==Emil and I are homeboys, man. There are times I consider myself the first African-American governor of Illinois so I don’t mind that at all.”==

    Rod actually said that today.

    Wow, that man is crazy (notwithstanding Rich’s diagnosis to the contrary).

  37. - 2ConfuseCrew - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 5:56 pm:

    Thank Goodness Capt Fax got someone to post Rick’s story.
    BTW folks should remember that about 3 hours after Blagoofer made the same, lame apple comment last week he flipped out and made the now discredited claim Madigan was threatening legidlators with a 2nd job unless they opposed the “jobs plan”
    Let review quickly:
    Good Blagoof–I’ll slice apple.
    Bad Blagoof –Madigan threatens firings.
    Bad Blagoof –can’t afford Ponitac.
    Good Blagoof–Give me capital and Pontiac stays.
    Good Blagoof –Education Special Session.
    Bad Blagoof –No idea what they should do.

    That’s all in a week. Any wonder why some question the wisdom of giving this very confused person @25 billion to dole out at full whim warp speed.
    No thanks.
    P.S. based on the “speed” being shown by the IL road builder out on I-55 I would say they are maxed out now.

  38. - Alexis - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 6:37 pm:

    Last time I checked, lawmakers’ current salary, 66k/year, is three times the federal poverty level. And don’t state lawmakers receive between 6k and 25k for committee chairmanships and leadership positions? With our state’s fiscal problems, I can’t believe the Senate is actually considering not blocking the raise…

  39. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 8:37 pm:

    Deep Fried, he did not say that, he could not say that without men in white coats tossing a net over him. Again, humor works best when there’s a basis in reality, no matter how scarce that might be in Springfield.

    Regarding those of you rationalizing your failure to signal, I must say I’m shocked and appalled. Once you use the lowest common denominator to justify your outlaw ways, we’re just steps away from total chaos, Bolshevism, Nihilism, and dogs and cats sleeping together.


  40. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 8:56 pm:

    The play on the TV news up north here was Quinn’s protest out front.

    Blago got some seconds; his latest spiel is that everything would be okay if Madigan showed up for meetings; “I’ll cut his apples, get his coffee… etc.” He called Hannig and Currie “minions.” Look up the definition of that word. Not flattering.

    On WBBM radio, the clip was a heartfelt plea from the gov, I paraphrase, for Madigan “whatever problems he has with me, or the Senate president, or the Republican leaders, come sit down with us and let’s put people to work.”

    Almost like a plea for a the Black Sheep to return, all is forgiven. Madigan should answer. I’ve always thought that Madigan has not been aggressive enough in the media. If he lets Rod paint him as the problem, he deserves it.

  41. - Bookworm - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 9:17 pm:

    Word, the “homeboys” remark is an exact quote from the Tribune story. Either Blago said it or Rick Pearson is putting words in his mouth. I’m betting on the former.

  42. - anon - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 10:36 pm:

    He said homeboy, and its no problem. He is the states first African American governor. He got more African American votes in cook county than Todd stroger. He says it because its true.

    And, for the record, the speech was great, pay Quinn looked like an amateur outside passing out pamphlets, and Dan hynes is still a coward.

  43. - 47th Ward - Monday, Aug 11, 08 @ 10:57 pm:

    ==Signals = weakness on expressways==

    I disagree. Using turn signals is not a sign of weakness. A sign of weakness is the attitude that blind-spot drivers are secretly lurking back there, waiting for you to make your move, so they can race up and screw you out of position. That attitude, and it appears prevalent in Chicagoland, is a big part of the problem on our roads.

    Try this instead: use your signal just to spite them. And also, if you’re worried about looking “weak” on the highways, maybe you are simply afraid of the conditions and NASCAR-like behavior on the roads up here. It’s OK to be afraid. Really.

    But it is not OK to behave like the idiots whose driving scares us all. Use the turn signal people. For the love of God, use the turn signal.

    We’ve already lost the stop sign, the speed limit and the entire concept of the proper yield. Turn signals are all that separate us from anarchy.

  44. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Aug 12, 08 @ 7:08 am:

    Bookworm, it keeps getting weirder. I thought he was over his Clinton fixation. For the record, Clinton never claimed to be the first Black president; Toni Morrison tagged him with it.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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