* One of my goals in life is to never get on the wrong side of Neil Steinberg. The dude can write…
It is disingenuous for the Sun-Times, my beloved mother ship, to post a daily front page count of how long it has been since Illinois has had a budget. The idea is that doing so will somehow shame our leaders into coming to an agreement and getting on with the business of trying to right the capsized and foundering vessel that is Illinois.
But really, if embarrassment were a possibility with the speaker of the house and the governor, this would have resolved itself long ago. I’ve met crackheads living in a nest of blankets on Lower Wacker Drive who had a more highly developed sense of shame than these two jokers.
I do not want to fall into the easy “a plague on both their houses” trap. Yes, they are equally unpleasant men.
Bruce Rauner is a callous, sneering billionaire who comes across in person like the human model of C. Montgomery Burns on “The Simpsons.” Rauner expressed no interest whatsoever in public life beyond enriching himself until, perhaps bored, he took some of his bottomless lake of money and began fire hosing it at Illinois — a kind of political waterboarding. Eventually the state, sputtering and gasping, cried uncle, and elected him governor over Pat Quinn. Good old Pat, standing at the mound in his zigzag T-shirt, lowered his head as if weighed down by the brim of his enormous baseball cap, uttered a sigh and padded home.
And Mike Madigan is a grim slip of a man: think of a last year’s jack-o’-lantern mounted on a broomstick, the whole thing marinated in vinegar then hung out to dry. […]
If rich old white men like Madigan and Rauner were being hurt by this impasse, it would have been resolved yesterday. But it damages the poor, the struggling young — who rely on public universities and colleges that are dropping staff, injecting furlough days into their academic calendars, and, in general, suffering on starvation rations. Plus those with disabilities, victims of crime, and all the unfortunates who must fall back onto a safety net that both men are pawning to the rope merchant.
Go read the whole thing.