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Open thread

Wednesday, Dec 16, 2015

* Blogging will be light the rest of the day because of my City Club thing. So, talk amongst yourselves. But, please, be nice to each other. It’s the holidays.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 9:54 am:

    First round of drinks is on me.

  2. - Gruntled University Employee - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 10:02 am:

    Happy Holidays to all of my friends at Capitol Fax. Oh what the heck, Happy Holidays to everyone at Capitol Fax.

  3. - Dome Gnome - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 10:12 am:

    I baked ya’all a nice cake!

  4. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 10:28 am:

    Look forward to seeing you at lunch. Rich, let’s play a game of commenter ID. Which commenters will be at City Club today?

  5. - illini - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 10:36 am:

    I was just reminded this morning that it has been 8 years since Dan Fogelberg left us. I am glad to have known him slightly while we were both at the UofI.

    Like his music, or not, he was talented and his passion for people, the environment and to a much lesser extent politics is missed.

  6. - Union Man - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 10:37 am:

    OK….. How’s this: If you knew Rauner thought “Shaking up Springfield” during the campaign meant the worse mess we are in today than last year, would you have still voted for him?

  7. - Beaner - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 10:37 am:

    Rich has been nice enough a couple time to post information regarding bills R’s have proposed on limiting Union Bargaining. The Governor proposed a budget which was out of balance and in need of revenue. Has the Governor had any Rs propose bills to make up the billions in revenue? Any bill numbers? Just wondering.

  8. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 10:44 am:

    I asked someone “what’s your favorite holiday movie” and they responded “Gremlins”.

    While “Gremlins” takes place during Christmas, and it includes the “It’s A Wonderful Life” scene of George Bailey wishing “Bedford Falls” a Merry Christmas, is “Gremlins” a valid holiday movie choice?

  9. - Gooner - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 10:47 am:

    Since Rich will never devote an open thread to a real sport, this will have to do.

    Any predictions on Arsenal and Manchester City on Monday?

    I’m thinking Arsenal 2-0, and City starts the long race to the bottom, with City and Chelsea fighting to avoid relegation by the end of the season.

  10. - Touré's Latte - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 11:06 am:

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all! I tip a toast to you. Should you not be of a mind to share these sentiments for whatever reason, I tip a toast to you!

  11. - Downstate Commissoner - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 11:08 am:

    Willy, I voted no… How about Star Wars VII?

  12. - Norseman - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 11:09 am:

    Willy, that has been the source of much discussion at my house between my sons and my oldest son’s wife. They put Gremlins and Die Hard in the Xmas movie category. She disagrees. Me, I grew up with Jimmy and Clarence, Christmas in Connecticut and Scrooge. I can take the upbeat Gremlins, but Die Hard is a little harsh for the Xmas season. However, I do like Die Hard’s RUN - DMC’s Christmas In Hollis and Vaughn Monroe: Let It Snow.

  13. - Norseman - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 11:11 am:

    Oops, corrected link for Vaughn Monroe’s Let It Snow.

  14. - Mongo - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 11:12 am:

    Wow, Hans Gruber as a Christmas season character…who woulda thunk it?

    Happy holidays to all…

  15. - Big Joe - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 11:16 am:

    Great Question Unionman. I would wager that at least half of the voters that wanted to Shake Up Springfield would not have voted Rauner if they knew how this is turning out. The long term pain is far greater than anyone expected.

  16. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 11:23 am:

    The radio machine is reporting that the White Sox have a deal with the Reds for Todd Frazier to play third base. Frankie Montas in the mix for the Sox.

    In 2015, Frazier .255 BA, 35 taters, 89 ribbies, 44 Ws, 137 Ks, .498 Slg, .806 Ops, 30 years old on Opening Day.

  17. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 11:27 am:

    - DC -,

    I’d put the newest Episode as a Holiday Memory, and the movie is the gift. I have a few of those.

    - Norseman -

    I ha schmo believe if you go with “Gremlins” as a Holiday Movie, “Die Hard” is also one. Christmas is the theme in both as to why the plot is happening.

    I’d also add “Love Actually” to the “it’s a Wonderful Life”, “Miracle on 34th Street” in the traditional thought category.

  18. - Amalia - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 11:29 am:

    am I hearing that the Sox traded Trayce Thompson as part of this three team deal? that’s disappointing. Frazier, ok. hoping he’s not another Adam Dunn.

  19. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 11:43 am:

    - Norseman -,

    Great grab on the music. Brought me back.

  20. - Grounds 'N Maintenance - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 11:45 am:

    Five Thirty-Eight had an interesting article about movies that are “kind of about Christmas” last week.

  21. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 11:50 am:

    - Grounds ‘N Maintenance -,

    Thanks for the link. Interesting using the math of both “Metacritic and IMDb score” as the formula, however, as noted, a Chrustmas scene(s), like in “The Godfather” are measured and taken into account.

    Interesting read.

  22. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 11:57 am:

    A while ago a list of Rutan exempt employees was published here. Has anyone heard anything about efforts to boot the union members on the list out of the union or do anything else to them?

  23. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 12:01 pm:

    For Christmas movies, I recommend “Three Godfathers,” 1948, by John Ford, starring John Wayne, Harry Carey Jr., Pedro Armendariz, Ward Bond and Ben Johnson.

    It’s a Christmas-time take on the “Three Wise Men” story, if the Three Wise Men had been on the run after robbing a bank in the Old West.

    Trust me, it works.

    A great Wayne role, very funny, touching and with magnificent Death Valley scenery as only Ford could film it.

  24. - walker - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 12:01 pm:

    Oh wait.

    Just when we’re ready to sit down to holiday dinner, there’s pounding at the front door. A Guy and Precinct Captain are standing there with walk cards in hand. Do we answer? Yeah, invite them to sit down and enjoy.

  25. - jerry 101 - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 12:03 pm:

    OW - I vote yes. Gremlins is totally a Christmas movie. The whole thing starts because Billy’s dad wants to get him a great Christmas present.

  26. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 12:10 pm:

    - Wordslinger -, I’m embarrassed that I’ve never seen that, sounds great.

    - jerry 101 -, yeah, the premise revolves around the gift, and Christmas, no doubt, with winks to Chrismas traditions all over the place. Hoyt Axton was great.

  27. - Liandro - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 12:59 pm:

    OW–I fall into the category that “Die Hard” is a Christmas movie, so I suppose I have to stay consistent? Watching Love Actually with my wife (and some wine or champagne) is a Christmas Tradition at this point.

    A Christmas Story is a also tradition with my brothers. Since I have five brothers, the odds are usually pretty good that I catch a scene of the movie with at least one of them over the holiday…and at this point in life that counts!

  28. - Stones - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 12:59 pm:

    Nice pickup by the White Sox (Todd Frazier) from the Reds but I fear moving Trace Thompson as part of the deal will bite them in the long run. The kid looks like an athlete.

  29. - blue dog dem - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 1:00 pm:

    Me like “Rudolph”.not necessarily a movie, but the songs are classic. Whenever it shows, I am singing for hours on end. FyI. I just got invited to Monroe Counties Bicentennial birthday celebration in January. Am going to have to be on my best behavior cause I hear the RAUN Man is making a cameo!

  30. - Liandro - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 1:01 pm:

    “It’s a Christmas-time take on the “Three Wise Men” story, if the Three Wise Men had been on the run after robbing a bank in the Old West.”

    I’m intrigued…

  31. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 1:07 pm:

    I have to second the Three Godfathers. I’m not a fan of the genre or the Duke, but John Ford. There’s a Complete JF dvd set I want, but I probably will have to buy it myself in the after 12/15 sales.

  32. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 1:09 pm:

    Babes in Toyland by Perry Como. I was real disappointed when I found out it was about Christmas, but I was into the sauce that Christmas Eve lot so many years ago, and I still love that song. But rarely ever hear it.

  33. - 32nd Ward Roscoe Village - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 1:11 pm:

    Here is a third vote for Three Godfathers. I agree with Wordslinger that it is a masterpiece. My younger son has three godmothers because of this movie.

    OW: Greatest holiday movie: I really like “Holiday Inn” with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. First appearance of the song White Christmas and very entertaining with Irving Berlin songs for most holidays including for George Washington’s Birthday.

  34. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 1:12 pm:

    “lo so many years ago, not “lot so many years ago”

  35. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 1:15 pm:

    “A Christmas Story” is solid, with that 24 running, love that you can at any point catch a scene you missed before.

    Anything by Rankin/Bass; Rudolph, Santa Claus, Shiny New Year, all classics. The homage in “Elf” by John Favreau with “Leon the Snowman” says it all his it fits into many people’s holiday experiences.

  36. - 32nd Ward Roscoe Village - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 1:15 pm:

    Best Christmas movie, or a really good one: “Remember the Night” with Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray. Shoplifter Stanwyck prosecuted by prosecutor MacMurray who postpones the trial because it is hard to get a conviction at Christmas…really a sleeper good movie.

  37. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 1:18 pm:

    “Holiday Inn” is one of the best.

    Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Vera-Ellen… Rosemary Clooney.

    The birth of “White Christmas”. That movie and song has a side story with me too.

  38. - Mouthy - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 1:20 pm:

    “Where am I”? “Why am I here”?

  39. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 1:30 pm:

    Never seen “Remember the Night” either. Love my some Barbara Stanwyck, McMurray is always solid and steady.

    I first saw “Love Actually” alone. I was traveling and during the afternoon I was alone abd heard about the film and where I was has a downtown theatre showing it as a matinee.

    It’s one of those Holiday movies that’s just delicious.

    My favorite story? The writer and the maid. No spoiler. Sorry.

  40. - Bogey Golfer - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 1:34 pm:

    From the Sox website, they plan to use Frazier at third with Brett Lawrie moving to second. Anyone know how many games/fielding percentage Lawrie has playing 2nd?

  41. - cdog - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 1:36 pm:

    ELF!!!! Who can be bahumbug with Buddy the Elf makin’ ya laugh!?! (Will Ferrell)

    “You don’t smell like Santa. You smell like beef and cheese”
    “I am sorry I ruined your lives and crammed 11 cookies into the VCR.”

    One of the best Christmas characters ever!

  42. - wjc - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 1:48 pm:

    @Stones….I like but don’t love the Sox trade.

    Not worried about losing Thompson. He looked great during his call up, but he has never hit above .250 in the minors. I think he’ll have a long career as a 4th outfielder/pinch runner. They sold high on him. I worry a little more about losing Micah Johnson, who seems ill-suited as a second baseman (I’d move him to LF) and Frankie Montes, who can hit 100 mph on the gun — though he only has one pitch and seems destined to be a late game reliever.

    They didn’t give up their top prospects (Anderson and Fulmer) and still improved their weakest position both offensively and defensively. But the Sox’ recent history of pulling power hitters out of the National League hasn’t worked so well, has it?

  43. - Blago's Luxurious Grey Mane - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 1:54 pm:

    “Meet Me in St. Louis”. I’m as unsentimental as they come, but Judy Garland singing “Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas” gets me every time.

  44. - Stones - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 2:00 pm:

    @ wjc

    I just don’t want to mortgage our future for a 29 year old player. I feel like it’s going to be a 4-5 year rebuilding job to put us back into contention.

  45. - Norseman - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 2:10 pm:

    Word, I concur on 3 Godfathers.

  46. - L.A. - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 2:12 pm:

    is “Gremlins” a valid holiday movie choice?

    my first inclination is heck no!!

    but I agree with Die Hard being a X-mas movie, so I’m willing to concede to Gremlins.

  47. - How Ironic - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 2:16 pm:

    OW, with all of your ‘Christmas Movie’ nonsense, I can’t believe you left the #1 Christmas Movie of all time out. Christmas Vacation. BEST.EVER.

  48. - How Ironic - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 2:17 pm:


    You sit on a throne of lies!

  49. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 2:17 pm:

    The “Die Hard” Corollary seems to be the benchmark.

  50. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 2:21 pm:

    - How Ironic -

    You’re right. “Christmas Vacation” - John Hughes.

    Then there’s the discussion “Home Alone” v. “Christmas Vacation”, best Hughes Christmas movie, but before anyone sleeps on “Home Alone”, two words; John Candy.

    Nice catch on “Vacation”

  51. - Almost the Weekend - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 2:25 pm:

    In a game of kick the can who would win: Rauner or Madigan?

  52. - Vee - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 2:25 pm:

    ELF! Yes!

    “This place reminds me of Santa’s workshop. Except it smells like mushrooms and everyone looks like they want to hurt me.”

    I could quote that movie all day long.

  53. - Amalia - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 2:36 pm:

    Christmas Story. so evocative of memories of my childhood. saw it in the theater and could not believe how much it resonated with me. it’s still not too far past Thanksgiving to dial up “Home for the Holidays,” as that family dinner scene is epic and applicable to any holiday family dinner. as are all the back stories and back biting.

  54. - hank kissinger - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 2:36 pm:

    Not a Christmas movie, but, speaking of John Ford, The Last Hurrah is a charming little movie about machine political campaigns.

  55. - jump in - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 2:36 pm:

    O’Malley for President
    ‘Nuff said.

  56. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 2:46 pm:

    Bill Murray, Scrooged

  57. - RNUG - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 2:46 pm:

    Since the boss is away, we can play … here’s a QOTD: If you were buying Rich Miller a Christmas gift, what would it be?

    I’ll start it off (and date myself) by saying one of the Mike Royko books.

  58. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 2:49 pm:

    “Scrooged” with the Murray boys, including a brother playing Bill’s father, just some great fun.

    John Forthsythe describing playing, and dying at Winged Foot, and the “golf ball”, man that’s good.

  59. - 32nd Ward Roscoe Village - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 2:50 pm:

    Christmas good chick flick: The Holiday with Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Jack Black, Kate Winslet and a very cute Eli Wallach. It sounds terrible but works.

  60. - L.A. - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 2:51 pm:

    Home Alone v. Christmas Vacation

    The nod has to go to Chevy Chase.

    All of the scenes with the lights are the best Chevy Chase scenes ever!!! I have tears every time I watch them.

    Not to hate on John Candy, I do love me some John Candy, may he RIP.

  61. - downstate commissioner - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 2:53 pm:

    At my wife’s insistence (Maybe to get away from her parents), we took our kids to a movie on Christmas day. Turned out to be a new kids’ movie called “A Christmas Story”… May have been the best Christmas afternoon of my life…

  62. - wjc - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 2:54 pm:


    If they’re in a 4 to 5 year rebuild, you’re right, this is a dumb trade. But this trade and the move for Lawrie prove they want to contend now — while they have Abreau and Sale under control.

    Problem is, if they’re going to go for it, they really have to go “all-in” by signing Cespedes or one of the other top remaining free agents. I don’t think they’ll wanna spend that kind of cash. Which means this is more of a typically White Sox half-***ed “all-in.” If they’re not willing to push the payroll over 150 mil, they should trade Abreau and Sale and do a full re-build.

  63. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 2:55 pm:

    - 32nd Ward Roscoe Village -

    Great pick. Jack Black is charming. If he isn’t as good as he was, even Jude Law and Cameron Diaz wouldn’t work.

    Kate Winslet is great, and the premise makes it work, 100% agree.

  64. - Amalia - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 3:12 pm:

    @RNUG, one more day with JBT.

  65. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 3:14 pm:

    - RNUG -

    Maybe a book on music; a label, a band, a music genre…

  66. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 3:18 pm:

    Like thousands of others, I imagine Rich would like the state to pay him its overdue bills.

  67. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 3:20 pm:

    Try “We’re No Angels” starring Humphrey Bogart, Peter Ustinov and Aldo Rey. Great Christmas movie from the 1950s.

  68. - Freedomoia - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 3:27 pm:

    A foia to all the government entities for communications to from rich. Snark, there is no there there!

  69. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 3:40 pm:

    The Shedd’s dolphin is named Makoa.

  70. - Anon - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 3:41 pm:

    ==I would wager that at least half of the voters that wanted to Shake Up Springfield would not have voted Rauner if they knew how this is turning out.==

    No one knows yet how this is turning out. I would wager the vast majority who voted for Rauner are willing to see what happens. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have voted for him to begin with. Maybe ask again in six months?

  71. - Boone's is Back - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 4:04 pm:

    Nice job at City Club Rich!

  72. - Gruntled University Employee - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 4:06 pm:


    After today’s speech I think more Pink Floyd CD’s and weed. Yes, lots and lots of weed.

  73. - illini - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 4:21 pm:

    RNUG - a very good bottle of red wine, maybe a Burgundy or Merlot ( with his Doctors approval ).

  74. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 4:36 pm:


  75. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 4:44 pm:

    - Wensicia -

    I know of the movie but seen very little of it. The parts I did see were clever and well-written, and Bogart and Ustinov, I need to make time to see that. Thanks!

  76. - Anonin' - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 4:56 pm:

    Capt Fax sez the SuperStarLoopers will spend $3 mil on SSL Jason G. So we would give him a t.v. station to scoop up the ad buy.

  77. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 5:28 pm:


    It is well written, has a stellar cast and shows Bogart can do comedy as well as any of his dramatic roles. I first saw this at a very young age and catch it whenever it shows on classic movie channels. The scene stealer of the movie was Rey’s lethal pet snake, Adolphe, though you never actually see it. Good stuff.

  78. - Amalia - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 5:41 pm:

    re the weed present for Rich, that bit of the luncheon discussion today re Hopkins was quite amusing!

  79. - Mama - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 6:13 pm:

    Have a merry little Christmas Rich. I appreciate you for all of your hard work to keep us informed.

  80. - @MisterJayEm - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 6:50 pm:

    “The Shedd’s dolphin is named Makoa.”

    Yay! (It’s been far too long since I was on the winning side of an election.)

    – MrJM

  81. - Cal Stone - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 6:52 pm:

    IDOC employee here just in from a local union meeting.

    I asked our AFSCME representative about the upcoming hearing at the Illinois Labor Relations Board concerning AFSCME and CMS and the tolling agreement without step increases. Our rep. stated the meeting was yesterday. I eagerly await a decision. I am anxious to see how this decision goes … not to diss the holiday movie trend, which for me is Christmas Vacation.

    I will try and follow-up, but I would also love to read other thoughts on this seemingly obscure point of contention between AFSCME and CMS (Governor Rauner).

    Merry Christmas, all! Long-time reader, first-time poster.

  82. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 8:30 pm:

    Nice talk today Rich, I really enjoyed it. One minor point- same time as last year? Pink tie at Christmas? Save that for breast cancer month

  83. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Dec 17, 15 @ 7:47 am:

    To those who would give Rich weed I would like to recommend that they add the following note: “If you don’t want the weed, please re-gift it to Grandson of Man.”

    I wish Rich and the many people who make this a great place happy holidays and the best of health.

  84. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 17, 15 @ 7:49 am:

    ===Pink tie at Christmas? Save that for breast cancer month ===

    Most of the ties I wear these days are pink.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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