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Question of the day

Tuesday, Jan 15, 2013

* The setup

The Presidential Inaugural Committee says a float honoring Illinois will be among eight commissioned by the committee in Monday’s parade after President Barack Obama is sworn in.

Illinois is Obama’s home. But the float honors the Prairie State as First Lady Michelle Obama’s native land.

Floats for Hawaii and Pennsylvania represent the birthplaces of President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. One for Delaware honors the home of Biden and his wife, Jill.

Monday is the observance of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. The late civil rights leader’s float will feature his quote, “Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”

More info on the parade is here.

* The Question: What should be the theme of Illinois’ float?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Pale Rider - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 10:38 am:

    Apparently pensions & gun legislation

  2. - NIref - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 10:43 am:

    Squeezy the Pension Python: The musical

  3. - gathersno - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 10:45 am:

    Get our of jail free.

  4. - unclesam - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 10:46 am:

    A rusty, beaten-down yugo. That about sums it up.

  5. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 10:46 am:

    Instead of a float we should have a sink.

  6. - Ahoy! - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 10:48 am:

    We could probably be the mountain of despair.

  7. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 10:49 am:

    A running tote board of unpaid bills and pension shortfall…

    With Squeezy, got to have Squeezy..

  8. - Boone's is Back - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 10:49 am:

    Crazytrain- with Ozzy’s song on loop and poorly made fireworks shooting off the back.

    (That is unless members of the Black Caucus decide that the contractor selected to make the fireworks was a politically favored crony and block the vote on the display)

  9. - sigh . . . - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 10:49 am:

    Whatever the theme, there should definitely be more people riding in the float than pulling it.

  10. - 32nd Ward Roscoe Village - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 10:50 am:

    Up the mountain of debt, Sisphysus rolls the stone of pension reform.

  11. - Nearly Normal - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 10:51 am:

    Squeezy–slithering our way to the future?

  12. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 10:51 am:

    theme should be “the ship be sinkin’” in reference to one-time NBA star Micheal Ray Richardson, who received a lifetime ban for drug use. with a big flashing number of $9,000,000,000 to represent the bill backlog.

  13. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 10:52 am:

    It should look like the biggest Rose Parade floats this year, but instead of flowers, it should be decorated with unpaid bills, IOU to the state employee pension funds, worthless bonds with ratings lower than Portugal’s, and be shaped like a jail cell holding one of our ex-officials.

    And a giant balloon of of the President’s head, tethered by a parade of General Assembly members wearing Madigan masks.

    Theme: From our disfunctionally governed state to the Oval Office!

  14. - zatoichi - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 10:53 am:

    Guns for everyone and Joe Walsh with a megaphone.

  15. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 10:53 am:

    A giant animatronic Lincoln showing empty pockets while 3 well-dressed bankers stand by laughing.

  16. - Irish - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 11:00 am:

    The float should be a stage with a corral at one end labeled “Everyone in no one left out” and then on the stage should be Pee Wee Hermann in a purple tie trying to herd a whole bunch of cats with mask of the GA members, Rahm, IPI members, Civic Committee members, NRA, etc. etc.

  17. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 11:00 am:

    A giant blown-up Squeezy held by pairs of same-sex couples wearing orange jumpsuits and toting AR-15s.

  18. - MrJM - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 11:02 am:

    What should be the theme of Illinois’ float?

    A man in a suit kicking a can down the road.

    – MrJM

  19. - Johnny Q. Suburban - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 11:03 am:

    I’m not sure if borrowing from another float is allowed, but borrowing just the “Mountain of Despair” part seems pretty fitting.

  20. - WazUp - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 11:05 am:

    An advertisement on the side of the float; ‘Sponsored by the law firm of Dewe Cheatem and How’

  21. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 11:09 am:

    People are going for bills, which is too obvious and not really focused on the President.

    It would be far more interesting and appropriate to focus on the fact that this term, the President is trying to portray more of a “bad-ass no more negotiating with people who won’t negotiate” image.

    I’m thinking the cake float from Animal House, but in a tribute to Illinois political culture “Bite Me” rather than “Eat Me.”

    The cake can be decorated with tributes to the people who have tried to stand in Barack’s way — Alice Palmer, Gery Chico, Blair Hull, Dan Hynes, Jack Ryan, Alan Keyes, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and Mitt Romney.

    It would veer off course a number of times but eventually get to the destination.

  22. - Anon. - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 11:09 am:

    “Out of a mountain of unpaid bills, stone soup.”

    Or maybe a kite with a tail made of checks, with the motto “Playing the float to stay afloat.”

  23. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 11:11 am:

    “Proud to represent and support fiscal debt!”

  24. - Ha! — - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 11:12 am:

    “Out of the mountain of sloth, an astonishing answer of nope.”

  25. - Liandro - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 11:12 am:

    “Out of the Mountain of Debt, rises only blasts of hot air.”

  26. - Pale Rider - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 11:14 am:

    How about MJM sitting on a throne. He is the undisputed King of Illinois.

  27. - Hank - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 11:14 am:

    “Brother Can You Spare a Dime”

  28. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 11:17 am:

    Straight Up - We’re Crooked

  29. - Anyone Remember? - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 11:18 am:

    Tina Turner singing the Phil Spector production of “River Deep Mountain High” … . The “river deep” portion of the float would be for the barge owners on the Mississippi, showing politically connected construction firms dredging near Thebes. The “mountain high” portion would show people in masks of Illinois State politicians, led by Jim Thompson, Jim Edgar, and the two headed Blagojevich / Filan, building a mountain of pension IOUs.

  30. - Commonsense in Illinois - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 11:21 am:


    Ubi Est Mea

  31. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 11:21 am:

    I think the float should represent the river that Quinn loves so much. The Mighty Mississippi. We could use all the unpaid bills stapled together end to end to form the great waterway. There would probably be some bills left over.

  32. - AnotherAnonymous - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 11:22 am:

    “Snake on the Plains”

  33. - BIG R. PH. - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 11:28 am:

    A big light switch would be great with the title “The last one to leave please turn off”

  34. - Crime Fighter - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 11:31 am:

    A Rub Goldberg contraption that chews up effigies of money and people and spits them out as debris.

    For further explanation, see manifesto below:

    This would fit Illinois approach to both public policy and governing.

    - Public policy: We conduct our debates and analyses based on the most round about and convoluted ways to solve problems. Rarely, if ever, taking them on directly or addressing the root cause. This ranges from traffic safety to pensions.
    Just two examples: - The pension debt debate focuses on non-causal benefits rather than an inadequate tax system that has historically thwarted funding of every government function, including pensions.
    Traffic Safety: We focus first on seat belts which really only helps after other existing measures, which we don’t even bother with, have failed. Why not a “click-it or ticket” public education and enforcement campaign for turn signals,supporting of lawful right-of-way compliance to avoid crashes?

    In governance and administration it’s even worse: Our first response to any task is to concoct ways to contravene personnel rules, procurement laws, contracts, federal grant agreements, safety, and ethics rules. Our “honesty is the worst policy” or “compliance as a last resort” costs more time,money, and lives than just operating by the proven rules in the first place. Instead of outcomes, we get botched projects, disputes,injuries, audit findings, federal funds clawbacks, investigations, and a disillusioned state. Further, our state courts and boards aggravate these situations by treating this dysfunction as a God-given right, treating victimized and aggrieved citizens and workers as interlopers, while emboldening the perpetrators.

    The convoluted way we do things is unjust to Illinois state’s workforce, it’s citizenry, and ultimately our nation.

  35. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 11:33 am:

    dead beat state

  36. - AnonAnon - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 11:34 am:

    Just a deadbeat state. Not a deadbeat nation.

  37. - Judgment Day - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 11:44 am:

    Pat Quinn, running on a treadmill, with the treadmill pointed backwards. With a group of AFSCME protestors waving protest signs and running around the float at all times.

    The motto of the float could be “There’s A Finish Line Out There Somewhere”.

    Got to find a place for Squeezy…

  38. - walk in my shoes - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 11:46 am:

    Good thing in a state that consistently cries “Illinois is Broke” - we even have the funds for a float.

  39. - Jake From Elwood - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 11:46 am:

    Great post. Where else do we get references to Sisphyus, Micheal Ray Richardson and Phil Spector in the same thread.
    I vote for MrJM’s response. Perfect.

  40. - Judgment Day - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 11:48 am:

    Oh, and we somehow have to pay tribute to the fact that we’re working “night and day” to address our issues….

  41. - Homer J. Simpson - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 11:58 am:

    I don’t know about a theme, but I heard the float only has one gear and it’s reverse.

  42. - siriusly - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 12:12 pm:

    Your theme is malaise. You have 30 seconds to sketch it. Go!

  43. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 12:12 pm:

    Cheryl 44 & Homer Simpson-together A sink going backwards….

  44. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 12:34 pm:

    A “Peanuts” theme for Illinois….

    Pat Quinn as Charlie Brown trying to kick the football that is taken away, and yet, Charlie Brown tries again….

    Speaker Madigan as Snoopy… laughing at all the comedy of errors that he helped create…

    Title of the Float - “Illinois - A ‘Cartoon’ for the Ages”

  45. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 12:36 pm:

    I like the night and day reference. Have a Frank Sinatra look alike sing the song on the float -

    “Night and day, you are the one…..”

  46. - Gtmeotahere - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 12:44 pm:

    who’s gonna pay for this. Not the DNC - We still haven’t gotten pd for his awesome anounncement for office in Spfld. Lesson learnt? Nothing should happen in ILLINOIS w/o pmt up front. Cause I don’t OWE you NOTHING>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  47. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 1:21 pm:

    A group of legislators with their pockets turned out standing in a bread line, singing the depression era classic:

    “Brother can you spare a trillion dollar coin?”

  48. - Cook County Commoner - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 1:31 pm:

    “Illinois: The Home of Fantasy Accounting”

  49. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 1:43 pm:

    Squeezy coiled around an empty refrigerator.

  50. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 1:49 pm:

    Theme: Livin’ Safe in Illinois

    Illinois is immune to the assault rifle epidemic.

    Number of deaths by assault rifle last year: 0

  51. - 3rd Generation Chicago Native - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 1:50 pm:

    a prison theme with all politicians, one with really good hair….

  52. - nobody - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 1:53 pm:

    The Chicago Cubs

  53. - southof i80 - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 1:58 pm:

    Welcome to the “peoples state”. or maybe “less guns,more crime?”

  54. - Robo - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 2:01 pm:

    A pony coming out of a pile.

  55. - CIC - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 2:16 pm:

    “Eat Me” and then splits apart to reveal Deathmobile (Animal House)

  56. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 3:21 pm:

    Al Capone theme with the slogan: Illinois - We Rob the Taxpayers!

  57. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 3:22 pm:

    Whatever it is, it should be covered in red ink!

  58. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 3:25 pm:

    Great ideas, guys.
    Willy, who will be “Lucy” on your float?
    Skeeter, should you add Osama bin Laden to your group?

  59. - Mama - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 4:53 pm:

    An Abe Lincoln theme float deco with colored IOU bills.

  60. - Mama - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 4:57 pm:

    A corn float with all the presidents who came from IL (Lincoln, Reagan, Obama). Lets see who did I miss?

  61. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 5:19 pm:


    could probably claim Ulysses S Grant, he lived in Galena before and after his term

  62. - Du Jour - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 5:24 pm:

    A backed up toilet with A Little Less Conversation A Little More Action playing in the background.

  63. - Dirty Red - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 12:51 am:

    The Henry Bayer Appreciation Float. Meanwhile, back in Springfield, the Speaker introduces his pension reform bill in committee and there’s a bill on the governor’s desk by the end of the day.

    Deja vu all over again.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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