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Quote of the month

Friday, Jan 11, 2008 - Posted by Rich Miller

* This deserves its own post. It’s Gov. Blagojevich’s answer to a reporter’s question about how he came up with the idea to give senior citizens free rides on mass transit in exchange for breaking his campaign promise to veto every tax increase on “people.” The statement is hilarious

“You know it’s interesting. It’s funny how these ideas come up.

“I was reading a book not long ago about Ronald Reagan’s summit with Mikhail Gorbachev and how it began a whole process of nuclear arms reductions and it was a historic second term for president Reagan in reducing the nuclear arsenal between the Soviet Union and the United States and ironic that Ronald Reagan, who several years before had declared that the Soviet Union was an evil empire, that they were the source of all that was wrong in the world, that they reserved to themselves the right to lie and cheat and all the rest that Reagan said back then.

“But then, as I was reading on, what I thought was very interesting was that he, in spite of what the state department and professional diplomats were telling him, decided to write a personal note to the Russian leadership about how he wanted to bring about dialogue and how fearful he was about the possibility of nuclear war between two powerful countries. And he had an idea to discuss that with them and he had an idea that was called star wars that ultimately didn’t get of the ground but an idea that was taken very seriously that actually led to those discussions and it was his idea, not the experts but his.

“So I thought about that and then I thought about real life circumstances, people who take public transportation, thought about my own background growing up with a mother who was a ticket agent for the CTA, thought about the story I just said about my dad when he was a senior citizen and envisioned the possibility that we could find ourselves where this was the only option I had as we approached the precipice of a scenario where there would be drastic service cuts and fare increases, and I thought why not then see what you can do, as I said, turn a lemon into lemonade and make it better, and the idea for seniors came up and that’s where it began and it’s been an idea that I’ve had since before Thanksgiving and one that we are really happy now to have a chance to be able to execute and implement.”



  1. - Macbeth - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 9:51 am:

    Well, I give Blagojevich credit for reading. I assumed he didn’t read.

    And I given extra credit for *thinking* about what he was reading.

  2. - A Citizen - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 9:53 am:

    Sentence structure “F”
    Content “D-”

  3. - Enemy of the State - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 9:53 am:

    I told you those Commies were up to no good. OTOH, Free bus rides! Soon, we can expect free plane rides between Chicago and Springfield. Where does the line form?

  4. - tom73 - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 9:54 am:

    I suspect the book is Rhode’s “Arsenals of Folly,” which I also have read, and to make this comparison makes me wonder something I don’t often do when it comes to public officials: Is Blago really off his rocker? I don’t say this merely because I disagree with him nearly 100%, but because this seems more than a mere case of outsized ego in a politician.

    For the love of god, how on earth did we elect this man a second time?

    This has gone beyond absurb, but I don’t know what the word would be anymore.

    By the way, Rich, the column you wrote about mass transit was nice and spot on. I would have added the major Chicago media (with the expection of Crain’s) to the blame list, but that’s a minor point. Why we’ve not had a citizen revolt is another thing I do not understand.

  5. - Stephen King's M-O-O-N - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 9:56 am:

    He is making this up. Was he reading this while riding around in his motorcade looking for African American kids?

  6. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 9:56 am:

    Reminds me of when Rich Kotite left as head caoch of the New York Jets: “I didn’t quit, and I wasn’t fired.” Um….what?

    On a completely unrelated matter, when Desiree Rogers was in charge of the Illinois Lottery, was that under Edgar? I ask because she hosted the fundraiser for Obama last night and I thought she was a GOPer.

  7. - DC - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 9:57 am:

    Reagan ignored staff and experts. Blagojevich ignores staff and experts. Ergo, Blagojevich is Reagan.

    Did he really use the term precipice? I think he got the term confused with priopism.

  8. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 9:59 am:

    I can’t wait for Bill’s take on this.

  9. - The 'Broken Heart' of Rogers Park - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 9:59 am:

    From the US/USSR Star-Wars conflict to the CTA Doomsday budget crisis. It all makes sense now.

  10. - OneMan - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 10:00 am:

    So the Seniors Ride Free thing is like Star Wars?

    At least he could have tried the Chewbacca defense

  11. - Garp - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 10:03 am:

    Being a veteran volunteer of many senior citizen picnics, I am well aware what happens when the word free and seniors collide. All I can say is watchout because we might have to rename all the lines the grey line.

  12. - GA Watcher - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 10:03 am:

    The problem with the free ride for seniors is that not all seniors use public transportation, including many who are on fixed incomes (i.e. the ones the Governor said he is most concerned about.) A better idea would have been to create a state income tax credit for low income people (not just seniors) that offsets the added sales tax burden.

  13. - S. Illinois - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 10:07 am:

    I think one could argue that Blago has been using some form of the Chewbacca Defense since day one.

  14. - beavis - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 10:07 am:

    Thanks for that great insight Rich. To quote Steve Martin from Parenthood “Now I feel so much better after that little story . . .If your grandma is such a genius, how come she’s sitting in the neighbor’s car!”

    What Blago doesn’t realize is that he’s actually going to subsidize tons of wealthy seniors and punish the rest of us with his stupid idea. Metra already provides a senior discount on all fares. Yet, I know several riders who I see and talk to on my train who are very wealthy and commute downtown every day. Their monthly passes now cost about $85 with the senior discount, mine is about $110. And the governor wants to give those passes out for free? I’m betting their cost estimate is way off. Ask Metra how much they’ll lose if every senior fare suddenly equals zero.

    In what dream world does being a senior citizen suddenly entitle you to all free public services? Wealthy seniors ride free, poor young people have to pay more. Great idea, really.

    This method of policy development is typical for the worst governor in Illinois history (I previously only used worst ever title for Bush). He thinks of an idea and does it without any research about the impacts, without any cost or benefit analysis, without any discussion with the other stakeholders. The results are predictably worthless and unproductive. What if someone else had an idea about how to make his proposal better? Who cares, they won’t have the chance.

    This is as bad as his one time election year $500 per college student cash grant for all IL families who make up to $200,000 per year. That was $35 M down the drain for a bad idea. Again, sort of more a Bushy idea.

    Thanks for the continuing great coverage Rich. I’m so frustrated, I have to go punch a wall.

    - beavis
    “huh huh, I said cost benefit analsysis”

  15. - Muskrat - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 10:09 am:

    I know a lot about the INF Treaty that was Reagan’s fist arms control breakthrough, and it was the product of clear aims, steadily pursued, but also of hard work on detail, thousands of staff hours, and a lot of communication to make sure all parties (Soviets, Congress, NATO allies) were on board. Even if the inspiratiopn was one man’s (argauble), the execution was through grindingly hard back-room work, and the result was possible because of the win-win nature of the outcome - everybody got something, and everybody was invested in the success of the venture. Random eye-poking and back-of-the-envelope grandstanding are the antithesis of that process.

  16. - zatoichi - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 10:10 am:

    I was riding a roller coaster several years ago when I realized no matter how scary the twists and turns are, it works out in the end. My parents taught me than when you are at the precipice of a scenario that looks tough, stick to your principles, follow your convictions, and things will be fine. Stay off corkscrew coaster though, stuff happens.

  17. - Sacks Romana - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 10:12 am:

    It’s rare that a quote from an Adam Sandler movie is appropiate. From Billy Madison, after he gives his debate response:

    “Mr. [Blagojevich], what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

    So this is what’s really behind all of Blagojevich’s delays and excuses. For the last several months he’s been working on a junior-high book report to impress the General Assembly, the media, and the public. But he obviously didn’t reading the whole book and waited until the last minute to throw something together. And just because he made transit free for seniors (pending GA approval), he thinks he deserves an A.

  18. - Bill S. Preston, Esq. - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 10:13 am:

    GA Watcher - that would have been the best thing to do if the program were actually about helping seniors. But I think we all know that this was just another opportunity that the Governor took to look like a hero.

    You really have to hope that people with half a brain see that when you’re trying to find money to fund something, giving away something for free isn’t really the best course of action. Complete fiscal irresponsibility… I don’t care what subset of the electorate you’re pandering to.

    It’ll be interesting to see if it only costs the $20 million he says it will.

  19. - babs - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 10:13 am:

    Rich, I can’t believe you decided to skip the Elvis reference from the quotes. This reminds him of a song. Of course he got in his King mention. What a glorious morning to be able listen to his story on my way in to work. Reagan, Elvis and lemonade - all in one fell swoop.

  20. - beavis - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 10:18 am:

    DC - LOL most appropriate medical term / blago insult ever
    One Man - LOL Chewbacca defense. I think that he’s already paying Winston & Strawn for that one.

    I surrender, you guys are way funnier than me.

  21. - A Citizen - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 10:19 am:

    Free transit for seniors. Done
    Free Property Taxes for seniors. Next
    Free Ill. Income Taxes for seniors. Coming soon.
    Blago is good, blago is great, yay blago!
    Being a senior, Priceless! err pricey.

  22. - Anonymoose - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 10:22 am:

    This is all so that when an a jury of all senior citizens is empaneled in the case of US v. Blagojevich, they will find him not guilty.

  23. - Trafficmatt - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 10:23 am:

    Tying nuclear weapons to mass transit??

    Has the Governor been talking to Aaron Schock?

  24. - Anon III - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 10:25 am:

    The real world explanation is pretty simple. He promised not to raise taxes. Now he is going to raise taxes. So now he needs to make up a story.

    I used to be pretty good at this. My best one was that my dog ate my homework.

  25. - Rod sez I'm pork - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 10:38 am:

    Hey Rich,

    How about a Q of the Day of what G-Rod should read next? My suggestion: 1984. Might help him make his linguistic contortions a bit more pithy. War is Peace. Love is hate. Lemonade…mmmm…lemonade.

  26. - Dan S. a Voter - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 10:47 am:

    He has lied about everything else since he took office why is it a problem for him to lie about tax increases? Just when it appears he is doing something and compromising with the GA he has to open his mouth and ruine it? As a previous poster question, how did this guy get elected twice?

  27. - Former IL resident - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 10:47 am:

    Did anyone notice that he said he’s had this idea since Thanksgiving? Why then, was this idea not put forward so that it could be part of the legislative package that hits his desk? Why require the legislature to vote twice on a controversial package? Why take AV action that pushes (or, really, exceeds) his constitutional authority? Could it be that no legislator would have believed him if he promised to approve a tax increase if they included free rides for seniors? Or perhaps they would have actually debated the merits of the idea. Yikes.

  28. - Anonymous45 - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 10:57 am:

    say what? I am sooo confused

  29. - Long-time Lurker - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 11:03 am:

    Some news reports are saying that Blago hopes offering free public transit rides to seniors will help get them to give up their cars. Yeah, right. His logic, as usual, is flawed. If the cost was an issue for the seniors, meaning the reduced fare was too expensive, how could they possible own and maintain a car with today’s gas prices?

  30. - Cold War Comics - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 11:13 am:

    While he has certainly had plenty of time to read while relaxing at home the prospect of him actually having read a book on such a serious topic would have such long odds that I am not sure Individual B would consider putting action on. Perhaps it was the abridged comic book version of this story line that he is referring to.

    While the ongoing saga in Springfield certainly has parallels to the Cold War, and the nuclear arms race, on the long-shot chance that the story was read however; what was actually learned and understood as a result?

    Was there any genuine concern on his part how fearful he was about the possibility of nuclear war between two powerful camps. Was there any personal note sent to bring about dialogue and an invitation to a Reykjavik Summit? Was there any notion formulated similar to Reagan’s Star Wars, that would serve both as negotiating leverage for advancing the agenda. Was there any concept to be ntroduced which could have been accepted and adopted by both sides that would represent the basic foundation for a conceptual agreement and foster future dialogue?

    No, instead he apparently he decided to develop the Neutron Bomb in his own laboratory and then drop it by surprise at the 11th hour and destroy all the legislators and their enormous time, energy and effort towards crafting a politically acceptable mass transit solution, in order to make himself appear all powerful while at the same time maintaining the appearance that what remained of the capitol and the legslature was actually still intact.

    Had he spent any time in the capitol; rather than for fake bill signing photo opportunties and bully pulpit press conferences, he could have walked down a few blocks to the library and found some constructive readng which may have served him far better.

    Springfield, Illinois, June 16, 1858

    If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could better judge what to do, and how to do it. We are now far into the fifth year since a policy was initiated with the avowed object, and confident promise, of putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.

    Have we no tendency to the latter condition? ……

    Senator Douglas holds, we know, that a man may rightfully be wiser to-day than he was yesterday — that he may rightfully change when he finds himself wrong. But can we, for that reason, run ahead, and infer that he will make any particular change, of which he, himself, has given no intimation? Can we safely base our action upon any such vague inference? Now, as ever, I wish not to misrepresent Judge Douglas’s position, question his motives, or do aught that can be personally offensive to him. Whenever, if ever, he and we can come together on principle so that our cause may have assistance from his great ability, I hope to have interposed no adventitious obstacle. But clearly, he is not now with us — he does not pretend to be — he does not promise ever to be.

    Our cause, then, must be intrusted to, and conducted by, its own undoubted friends — those whose hands are free, whose hearts are in the work — who do care for the result. Two years ago the Republicans of the nation mustered over thirteen hundred thousand strong. We did this under the single impulse of resistance to a common danger, with every external circumstance against us. Of strange, discordant, and even hostile elements, we gathered from the four winds, and formed and fought the battle through, under the constant hot fire of a disciplined, proud and pampered enemy. Did we brave all then, to falter now? –now, when that same enemy is wavering, dissevered and belligerent? The result is not doubtful. We shall not fail — if we stand firm, we shall not fail. Wise counsels may accelerate, or mistakes delay it, but, sooner or later, the victory is sure to come.}

    Instead of introducing the “seniors ride free” concept and engagng in good fath negotation in order to gain both public and legislative support for this concept, this one upsman designed sneak attack will only perpetuate the feelings of mistrust and betrayal which currently permeate the atmosphere in Springfield.

    Next years budget has now become that much more difficult to undertake, and the prospect of potential compromise has become that much more difficult, such that a capital spending is now far less likely than it may have been before, and this is all due to the continued efforts to blur the separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches.

    Rather than taking on the role of Reagan and negotiating peace through strength, instead it appears as though Gorbachev has decided to thumb his nose at us and invade Afghanistan.

    Instead of celebrating a hard fought compromise, where everyone feels as they they won, even though nobody got everythng they wanted I suspect we are now at the precipice of “Charlie Wilson’s War”. Rather than a negotiated peace, those invaded will now be perhaps not so clandestinely armed to the teeth and trained to fight with those arms, until such time that the invaders are decimated and ultimately subjogated to retreat, or all sides are self consumed by the battle and there wll be nothing let to fight for when all is said and done.

    Oh, the movie never ends
    It goes on and on and on and on………..

  31. - The Curmudgeon - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 11:24 am:

    “[I]t’s been an idea that I’ve had since before Thanksgiving and one that we are really happy now to have a chance to be able to execute and implement.”

    So… he’s sat on this since WHEN? How many special sessions, summit meetings, and doomsday settings have there been since he’s had this epiphany? And what, pray tell, has been the cost to the public purse?

    Even if this were a good idea (it isn’t) his holding this idea under his well-coiffed hair, waiting for a bill (any bill) to pass so he could thus “improve” it, would be pretty near criminally irresponsible.

  32. - one of the 35 - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 11:31 am:

    With free rides for affluent seniors, will the IRS require a 1099 for the financial benefit of free rides received? (just kidding)

  33. - Sweet Polly Purebred - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 11:33 am:

    OK. That’s it. I have had it! It is time to retire the Blago stand up comedy act. Please, someone explain to me how he can be reading about Reagan and the Soviets and come up with free mass transportation for seniors - in Illinois? Just what IS this guy smokin’ when he is holed up in his Northside bunker??????? Someone needs to point out to the guv that this “free ride” can’t last long, with the huge number of baby boomers that are becoming seniors every day, pretty soon the majority of mass transit seats will be filled with non-paying riders. Who is going to subsidize this??? The cost may not be to much now, but just wait!

  34. - tubbfan - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 11:52 am:

    He’s lying. He didn’t read about that incident in a book. He recently saw it on the History Channel. I saw it too!

  35. - GoBearsss - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 11:56 am:

    I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for Lake Forest seniors driving jaguars to give it up and take mass transit.

    But if this is what finally gets them to do it, I say hooray!

  36. - Little Egypt - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 12:01 pm:

    The next Russian summit will be held in Chicago at Camp Hannah Montana between Blago and Putin to agree on disarmament of the Russian/Illinois nukes. Sounds to me like Blago has turned into a Reagan Republican.

    We can look forward (or not) to the next three years of continual legislation being “improved” by Elvis Himselvis. Only an egomaniac of a governor would try to get a press release out of each and every piece of legislation he signs by “improving” it. Heaven forbid if he should actually work with the legislature to have his own language put into a bill and thus reduce the time it takes for a bill to be signed. Mr. Press Release will be looking for each and every opportunity to put a positive spin on himself for the next three years.

    As for seniors and free bus rides, rich seniors would never take buses. They drive their Mercedes and Escalades at 20 mph to get where they want to go.

  37. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 12:03 pm:

    tubbfan, he reads a lot. Whether he fully comprehends is another matter.

  38. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 12:15 pm:

    Little e-

    As for seniors and free bus rides, rich seniors would never take buses. They drive their Mercedes and Escalades at 20 mph to get where they want to go.

    The flip side of that was covered in a post at Illinoize by Cal Skinner. The trains and buses can now be effectively used as free rolling homeless shelters by the elderly homeless. I knew there would be intended and unintended consequences, and people are starting to figure them out now.

  39. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 12:17 pm:

    ===The trains and buses can now be effectively used as free rolling homeless shelters by the elderly homeless. ===

    That’s probably a bit of a stretch and can be looked at as classist fearmongering.

  40. - anon - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 12:24 pm:

    Reads like something Michael would say on The Office.

  41. - Marty - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 12:33 pm:

    “Hilarious”?? If it had been on the old Seinfeld show, with Kramer explaining his latest harebrained scheme, THAT could have been hilarious.

    Regardless of what one thinks about the Gov’s proposal, if this is how he came to it, he’s insane.

    Was there any discussion of how the CTA, Metra and Pace get made whole for the lost revenue? Increase the State grant for reduced fare reimbursement? and, if so, how is that paid for? Or??? If the revenue loss isn’t made up in the right way, it will reduce system-generated revenue and present outsized complications…

  42. - Mr. Cub - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 12:44 pm:

    Again, as always, Blago’s actions are defined by what makes him, personally, feel good when he wakes up in morning and goes to sleep at night. And that makes him more of a Dr. Seuss character than a leader.

  43. - Huh??!! - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 1:19 pm:

    Is it just me, or did this idiot just compare giving seniors a free seat on a bus to ending the cold war? Sure, that and the whole Berlin wall thing.

    I’m sure when the history channel runs a speacial on the great accomplishments of 2008, Blago will be right at the top of the list.

    Two words - RECALL VOTE!!!(Is Jesse, the Body, Ventura available for another political run?)

  44. - In the Sticks - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 1:41 pm:

    If the governor is going to spend every afternoon in his library reading and contemplating, I suggest a few books on economics. Maybe something on maintenance of physical facilities too - to give some understanding of the massive backlog of deferred maintenance that exists in state-owned facilities. That might benefit the citizens of the state rather than reading and contemplating history.

    Even more useful would be visits, with the appropriate departmental deputy directors, to a few state-owned facilities to see the existing conditions.

  45. - Huh? - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 2:27 pm:

    Huh??!! get your own nickname, this one is taken.

    Regarding the book that blago read, was it printed on newsprint with cartoonish pictures?

  46. - A Citizen - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 2:38 pm:

    I heard he has a Complete set of Classics Illustrated comic books . . . most never opened. Almost fills his library along with his complete set of Illinois Blue Books.

  47. - A Citizen - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 2:40 pm:

    Oh, I almost forgot - A brand new Illinois Revised Statutes set still in their shrink wrapping.

  48. - Hugh - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 2:52 pm:


  49. - M.A. - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 3:15 pm:

    and Blago’s little story should have ended with “then I closed the book, set it on my bedside table, pulled the covers over my head, went to sleep and when I woke up the tooth fairy had left $5.00 under my pillow, the easter bunny had hid eggs in my back yard, Santa had left tickets to Hanna Montanna’s next stop under my Christmas tree and Mike Madigan was no longer a resident of Illinois.”

  50. - Wondering - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 3:16 pm:

    First post… I think.
    The govorner is an idiot. And he is stupid too. And dumb.

    How in the world the guy gets up in the morning and prepares himself for the day is beyond me.

    How he thinks this latest giveaway makes sense is completelt baffling. As someone said ealier, how are the transit agencies ging to be made whole for the senior “discount”?
    And what about te fact that the number of +65 year olds is about to explode? Oh, that will be someone else’s problem soon enough.
    And, finally, how does it make sense for that 66 year old while collar worker to ride free while the 56 year old with no job, no money and no likely future stands at the bus stop watching the bus pass by.

    Oh, but it all provided a nice photo op for the dumb, stupid idiot.

    I cannot wait until he’s wearing stripes.

  51. - Angry Chicagoan - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 3:44 pm:

    The guy is so full of horse manure you wonder where there’s room for it all, though then again there’s a lot of space under that big hair.

    Huh?, I think Jesse decided he was through. But after what he did in Minnesota it would sure be interesting to have him here. He did more than any single politician in the last 30 years to destroy the political power of rural Minnesota. Not too surprising given that his political base consisted of a suburban tax revolt; the interesting part is how the central cities bought into it as well. If he could get Chicago and its suburbs talking like that, who knows what would happen?

  52. - Little Egypt - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 3:44 pm:

    We can’t recall Elvis - Illinois doesn’t have that provision in the current constitution. The legislature has to impeach him.

    Rich, any word on the guy who was “Governor for a Day?” I’m betting he had a blast.

  53. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 3:52 pm:

    Angry Chicagoan-

    The one advanage here would be, rural IL has so little political power now, the loss of the remainder would be barely norticeable.

  54. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 3:56 pm:

    Rich said:

    That’s probably a bit of a stretch and can be looked at as classist fearmongering.

    Maybe, but it’s good to know if I’m old, cold and penniless, there’s always a warm train waiting for me at Richton Park.

  55. - Walkergirl - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 5:33 pm:

    What is going on in our state? We are the laughing stock of the country. He is just plain nuts. I am a senior and I would never vote for him,ever.

  56. - southern illinoisan - Friday, Jan 11, 08 @ 7:34 pm:

    I am a card carrying member of the He-Man Blago Hater’s Club, but let’s consider the dialogue. Everyone is talking about the free ride that seniors are getting and there is very little discussion of the governor’s broken tax pledge. Either Blago is a complete idiot or an evil genius. Why an evil genius? Because he has effectively minimized the tax hike discussion. Only Madigan was quick to point this out. He knew he had the governor right where he wanted him and was prepared to inflict a humilating defeat on Rod. But now we are all amazed at this ridiculous senior free ride “sweetner” that we aren’t paying attention to the real story. Blagojevich has raised taxes on the “people”. He said that he wouldn’t and now has broken that pledge. But apparently the evil genius has miraciously diverted us away from this bit of truth as we debate how he could possibly be this stupid. As I said, he is either incredibly stupid or a genius.

  57. - Greg - Saturday, Jan 12, 08 @ 10:35 am:

    Rarely does a major political issue strike home for me. I mean, to where I feel it, viscerally, on a daily basis. For example, I have not had the honor, nor exerienced the pain, fear, or deep personal sacrifice, of having a relative (or myself) serve, suffer, or surrender a last breath for this wonderful country during the War in Iraq.

    However, the CTA and Blagojevich’s posturing have crept into my every-day space. I hear the doomsday scenerio repeated, even during my morning bus-ride, over the CTA speakerphone. It irks me that Blago has extended the timeline and risked closure on an issue that will impact the lives and pocketbooks of many hard-working Chicagoans who depend upon the CTA, and it bothers me that most of us take a laissez-faire approach to the governor’s stewardship, unless it impacts our daily life. Well, given the responses to your article, I think that many citizens like me are expressing the fact that they are fed up with Blagojevich.

    Why would the Governor circumvent the normal legislative process, and tack-on a seemingly unrelated piece of legislation, while trying to rationalize a connection between CTA funding and senior-citizens? Is this really serving the people of Illinois and Chicago?

    Maybe Blagojevich should take a break from his Cold War reading, and think about what would be best for the working people of his State and for the people of Chicago, rather than thinking about how he can be viewed with the same level of honor and distinction that Ronald Regan earned during his life and career.

    I think that the Governor is a smart man, and that he means well, and he has proven that he is electable. He just needs to really put the people before his own political agenda.

  58. - Esteban - Saturday, Jan 12, 08 @ 11:17 am:

    I always suspected that there was a connection
    between nuclear weapons and mass transit…

  59. - obfuscated - Saturday, Jan 12, 08 @ 2:05 pm:

    I cannot believe that an educated adult (I assume he is educated and adult) would use longwinding meaningless gobbledegook sentences like this. And this guy is what ? governor ?

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