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Afternoon roundup

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Enraging…


I think some of those 2023 employment numbers may actually be too high.

* Quad City Times

The future of Moline’s long-planned passenger rail to Chicago now appears to rest with Amtrak.

Moline Mayor Sangeetha Rayapati announced Monday that negotiations had broken down between the Illinois Department of Transportation and Iowa Interstate Railroad in the state’s quest to access the rail line for Moline-to-Chicago passenger service.

“We’re here to make sure our constituents know that the Iowa Interstate Railroad appears more interested in corporate welfare and someone else paying the bill for their track improvements than in being a good partner and bringing passenger rail to Moline,” Rayapati said.

Scroll down

“We have certainly offered to assist Illinois DOT in these negotiations,” Amtrak spokesperson Marc Magliari said. “We have made the offer several times.”

Asked whether the Illinois DOT had taken up Amtrak’s offer, Magliari declined to say.


* Much of this is the times, part of this is that the police pulled back on arrests and part of this is just downright mismanagement of human and fiscal resources…

* Speaking of gross mismanagement…

* National Politico

President Biden, well-placed sources tell me, may endorse Lightfoot if she makes the runoff against Vallas, but that could prove of little comfort if she finds herself in third (or worse) Tuesday.

Biden won the city with 82.5 percent.

Not sure what this means, unless it’s that Vallas hasn’t been truly called out on this, which would be accurate

That the first Black woman to be mayor of this racially fractured city is judged more harshly by some than her white male predecessors is self-evident, look no further than the racist and homophobic tweets Vallas is now facing criticism for “liking.”

* Press release…

– The journey to equality must push forward. On Tuesday, February 28, 2023, Illinois Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton, along with constitutional experts, ERA advocates, and U.S. senators testified before the full Senate Judiciary Committee at a hearing entitled, “The Equal Rights Amendment: How Congress Can Recognize Ratification and Enshrine Equality in Our Constitution.”

Stratton’s testimony focused on the need to give concrete voice and constitutional protection against gender discrimination regardless of race or socioeconomic background. She highlighted the entrenched disparities that continue to impact women, particularly women of color, that bring urgency to the efforts for gender equality.
“We simply cannot be our best selves as Americans, if we don’t proactively and intentionally seek ways to strengthen freedoms,” Stratton said.

In 2018, then-State Representative Juliana Stratton joined a bipartisan vote to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in Illinois. When combined with the ratifications of Virginia and Nevada, the constitutional threshold required for it to become part of the Constitution was met.

On January 31, 2023, Chair and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin joined a bicameral, bipartisan group of his colleagues to unveil the introduction of a joint resolution affirming the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Stratton is raising her voice, not only as Lt. Governor, but as the mother of four daughters, and for the generations of women and girls to come, who deserve to be seen as equals. Please find key quotes from her testimony and background on the ERA.


“We live with the stark reality that despite being the most educated demographic in the United States, Black women are only paid 64 cents for every dollar paid to white men. There should be stronger remedies to make sure women, all women, are paid an equal wage based on their abilities and qualifications without discrimination based on sex.”

“We are seeing the eroding of women’s rights and their ability to determine what is best for their futures. Recent events have shown us all too well how easily decades of progress can be erased when our rights are not guaranteed by the Constitution.”

“Make no mistake: Should the ERA pass, it will not guarantee that women will be treated equally overnight. We all know, for example, that the struggle continues for racial justice and equal rights for Black people and other people of color under the 14th Amendment and women will also need to remain vigilant. But we need a firm foundation for equality that is long overdue.”

* Isabel’s roundup…

    * Reuters | Some US Caterpillar workers plan possible strike once contract expires : - Union workers at four Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N) U.S. facilities have threatened to strike for wage increases, improved safety measures and better healthcare benefits once a six-year labor contract expires this week. The contract, which covers roughly 7,000 union employees represented by the United Auto Workers at three manufacturing plants in central Illinois and a parts and distribution center in York, Pennsylvania, will end on March 1.

    * Healthcare Dive | Illinois nurses file class action lawsuit against Ascension over wage issues: The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of Illinois last week, pointed to Ascension’s cost-cutting practices more broadly, claiming that the Missouri-based nonprofit Catholic health system engages in “a variety of improper cost-cutting practices” in order to maximize its revenue and executive compensation, despite having $18 billion in cash reserves.

    * Crain’s | Target and Solo Cup are opening huge warehouses in the southwest suburbs: In the larger deal, Target confirmed it has leased a 1.2-million-square-foot industrial building under construction in the Third Coast Intermodal Hub, an industrial park under construction in Joliet. It’s the biggest industrial lease in the Chicago area in more than two years and part of a multiyear expansion of Target’s local distribution network.

    * Press release | State of Illinois Launches Coalition in Effort to Eliminate Viral Hepatitis in Illinois: The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) launched a new effort today to eliminate viral hepatitis in Illinois. The Illinois Hepatitis Coalition held its inaugural meeting, bringing together key stakeholders - including clinicians, academic researchers, and community partners - with the goal of formulating an equity-driven strategic plan to end the viral hepatitis epidemic in the state. The work of the coalition is funded through a $1.5 million federal grant.

    * NYT | Why Chicago’s Mayoral Election Matters, Even if You Don’t Live in Chicago: America’s cities increasingly face similar problems, particularly worries about crime and hangovers from the pandemic. That’s why the mayor’s election in Chicago on Tuesday is about more than Chicago.

    * Fox | Feds raid suburban Chicago home of businessman who ran for state office: The amounts Regnier and Keranen allegedly received in unemployment benefits, Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Paycheck Protection Program loans totaled to at least $400,000. Regnier previously ran for election, looking to fill Illinois’ 1st Congressional District seat in the U.S. House, but lost the race last June.

    * Illinois Newsroom | Some school board candidates this year are pushing to limit lessons on Black history. Where do Champaign Unit 4 candidates stand?: Some conservative groups are mobilizing in Illinois school districts against what they call “critical race theory,” or teaching about systemic racism. With early voting for April 4 school board elections underway, we asked the Champaign Unit 4 Board of Education candidates for their positions on the topic.

    * BGA | Chicago’s City Council Spends One-Third of Its Meetings on Honorary Speeches: Chicago’s City Council is off to a slow start in 2023: Only about 40% of its time in session so far this year – or about two of every five hours between the opening and closing gavels– has been spent legislating. The other 60% was spent noting significant birthdays, retirements, tributes and other non-binding resolutions.

    * Crain’s | Red ink threatens Allstate’s stock-buyback machine: Northbrook-based Allstate spent $2.5 billion on share repurchases last year despite posting a $1.4 billion net loss. In response, Allstate has slowed buybacks slightly. A $5 billion repurchase program that was supposed to be completed by the end of March has been extended through September. There was $802 million left on that authorization at year-end, and CEO Tom Wilson has said that will be completed.

    * Crain’s | State Farm isn’t done raising auto rates: State Farm is raising rates for Illinois drivers it insures by 6.5% on average. The rate hike, the latest in a series from the state’s largest auto insurer, will add about $58 to the annual premium for the average policyholder, according to a filing with the Illinois Department of Insurance.

    * NYT | What Layoffs? Many Employers Are Eager to Hang On to Workers.: Despite a year of aggressive interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve aimed at taming inflation, and signs that the red-hot labor market is cooling off, most companies have not taken the step of cutting jobs. Outside of some high-profile companies mostly in the tech sector, such as Google’s parent Alphabet, Meta and Microsoft, layoffs in the economy as a whole remain remarkably, even historically, rare.

    * Tribune | ‘The Black guy dies first’: A Northwestern provost is our leading expert on representation in horror movies: “I get asked a lot about the renaissance of Black horror as connected to ‘Get Out,’” Coleman said, “and I lean into it, but at the same time, as the title of ‘Horror Noire’ says, Black people were showing up in horror for more than a century. Not always in great ways, of course. In caricatures. But unlike ‘Get Out,’ there are those Black horror films that didn’t win an Oscar but are beloved. Like Rusty Cundieff — Black folks know him.” His “Tales from the Hood” anthology horror films (executive produced by Spike Lee) have taken on abusive policing, gangs, white supremacy and the murder of Emmett Till.

    * CNN | The 10 biggest revelations from Dominion’s explosive Fox News legal filing: Murdoch rejected that Fox News, as an entity, endorsed former President Donald Trump’s election lies. But Murdoch conceded that Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, Maria Bartiromo, and former host Lou Dobbs promoted falsehoods about the 2020 presidential contest being stolen.

    * Media Matters | On CNN, Kara Swisher discusses how Rupert Murdoch let Fox News hosts lie about the election: Swisher: Well I’m just completely shocked having worked for him for many years. This is ridiculous. They lied. That’s all. I mean it’s very simple as they knew what they were doing. They did it anyway. He used the term green. He did it for the money. He did it for the ratings and he could have stopped it and he nonetheless didn’t. And the distinction between — that he was trying to make there between people that work for him, sort of sounds a little like Donald Trump. Who are these people? I don’t know who they are.

    * Reuters | US Supreme Court conservatives question Biden student debt relief: Under the plan, the U.S. government would forgive up to $10,000 in federal student debt for Americans making under $125,000 who took out loans to pay for college and other post-secondary education and $20,000 for recipients of Pell grants awarded to students from lower-income families.


  1. - RNUG - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 2:28 pm:

    == Union workers at four Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N) U.S. facilities have threatened to strike … ==

    Have a friend that works at the Decatur CAT plant. He expects to be on strike this Spring, and already has projects planned out to work on.

  2. - lake county democrat - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 2:28 pm:

    On a tangential note to “Enraging” - for months the Twitter feed for the Lake County News-Sun (owned by Alden/Chicago Tribune) was linking stories to Lake County, Indiana instead of Lake County, Illinois. No amount of tweeting to either account did any good.

    (The News-Sun used to bhe the Waukegan daily - in the 60s and 70s they ran tv listings for both Chicago and Milwaukee because the signal carried about as much from both cities - VHF at least).

  3. - regular democrat - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 2:30 pm:

    No toddlin town roundup?

  4. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 2:31 pm:

    Biden could just get dragged down in 2024 if/when Lightfoot’s house of cards falls. I don’t see any upside for him and a lot of downside to sticking his nose in.

  5. - Telly - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 2:34 pm:

    == is judged more harshly by some than her white male predecessors ==

    Plenty of truth to that, no doubt. But the Politico columnist could have provided his national audience some context by pointing out that Stacy Davis Gates and Jeanette Taylor are among the mayor’s most notable critics.

  6. - supplied_demand - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 2:42 pm:

    ==I don’t see any upside for him and a lot of downside to sticking his nose in. ==

    The downside is Vallas winning. Then the Republicans running for president disingenuously use it as an example of people rejecting Democratic governance.

  7. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 2:46 pm:

    - supplied_demand -

    The Tee-Vee say Vallas is a Democrat, pictures with Democrats, endorsed by Democrats, calls *himself*, you guessed it, a Democrat.

    Now, if ya wanna go full FOP, policy, MAGA, odd quotes and strange political bedfellows, I can’t help Vallas there or you in isolating the Republican thingy.

    If Vallas “flips” to be a governing Republican, by identity, boy, that’d be some news.

  8. - Amalai - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 3:09 pm:

    yeah I’m with supplied_demand. the media, starting with the Daily Mail, is gonna view the result tonight as a toe in the water for MAGA types, charter school types, return to law and order, on and on. and if the rest of the candidates can band together, and progressives can stop fighting, the second round is going to be loud and painful. not looking forward to this for Illinois but here we are. OR Goldmine was not unearthed soon enough and Chuy got in late.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 3:19 pm:

    ===the media, starting with the Daily Mail, is gonna view the result tonight as a toe in the water for MAGA types, charter school types, return to law and order, on and on===

    Vallas is running as an self-identified Democrat

    This would be a self-own claiming a Dem is a Republican, when in actuality what makes Vallas MAGA acceptable is the warming to racist thinkers, conspiracy theorists, and Dems who thought Bernie Epton or Vrdolyak were gonna “save” Chicago.

    If this media thingy happens, that not great for a Chicago that has the terrible reputation for “there’s only one map of Chicago” and if you know, you know.

  10. - Steve - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 3:23 pm:

    - we need a firm foundation for equality that is long overdue-

    Imagine thinking Section 1 of the 14th Amendment doesn’t exist or something.

  11. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 3:33 pm:

    ===Imagine thinking Section 1 of the 14th Amendment===

    Imagine being so utterly and embarrassing ignorant that you ignore… women suffrage, Civil Rights Act of 1964…

    It’s a pathetic way to live, thinking that in 1868 everyone became magically “equal”, and yet legislatively it took nearly 100 years to force upon racist legislators to pass the Civil Rights Act.

    Of course, Dixiecrats, they became Republicans after the passage, welcomed, as making everyone equal made being a Dem “unacceptable”, gotta be a Republican thereafter…

  12. - Proud Papa Bear - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 3:47 pm:

    The Northwest Herald in Crystal Lake just announced they’re switching to an online-only format on Mondays.

  13. - Telly - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 3:57 pm:

    I see the national media connecting a first place Vallas finish to Eric Adams’ win in NYC and saying it’s evidence of big Democratic cities embracing law and order policies.

    But I don’t see Biden trying to fight that narrative by endorsing Vallas’ opponent in the runoff. Biden could be okay with that message, partially because it’s in-line with his long held personal beliefs and partially because having prominent law-and-order Dems as part of the political landscape will help him push back against Republican attacks on crime.

  14. - Amalia - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 4:04 pm:

    will be interested in who is with whom tonight for the first and second place winners. as we move through to April 4, focus will become sharper on who works for the candidate now and who is likely to work for the candidate when they are elected Mayor. Will there be some usual suspects, return from days long ago?

  15. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 4:05 pm:

    OW - it is worse. Much worse.

    In 1883 the US Supremes threw out the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which banned discrimination. The USC said individuals could discriminate, governments no (which Plessy overturned).

    That is why civil rights legislation invokes the Interstate Commerce Clause, which gives Congress plenary power.

    However, based upon the 1883 case, individuals can still discriminate … if not engaged in interstate commerce.

  16. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 4:12 pm:

    ==Imagine thinking Section 1 of the 14th Amendment doesn’t exist or something.==

    This current Supreme Court doesn’t seem to be all that concerned about individual rights. So I don’t fault them for not wanting to take any chances.

  17. - DuPage - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 4:15 pm:

    Union workers at four Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N) U.S. facilities have threatened to strike for wage increases, ===improved safety measures=== and better healthcare benefits once a six-year labor contract expires this week. The contract, which covers roughly 7,000 union employees represented by the United Auto Workers at three manufacturing plants in ===central Illinois=== and a parts and distribution center.

    Caterpillar has had some safety issues.

  18. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 4:19 pm:

    - Anyone Remember -

    Whenever the worst of America felt empowered and emboldened, rights were stifled or worse taken away

    I picked two of far too many that existed between 1868 to even 1964… let alone after 1964.

    Since 2013, 2014… 2015… the worst of America, empowered and emboldened, with a President calling them “good people” and later telling others “stand back and stand by”…

    … it’s the silly, the purposeful ignorance to push this “but the 14th Amendment”…

    Yeah. No. And no. It’s no.

    It’s tiring, but as the push to curtail rights, eliminate rights, make rights harder to hold… this silly “but the 14th amendment” is apologetic to accept the regressive change

    Be well.

  19. - Sue - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 4:29 pm:

    We still subscribe to 3 newspapers at my house. One hard copy two digital. Unfortunately the decline in newspapers and readership in general says more about the population changes than the news products themselves. Anyone today under 30 is glued to an electronic device and is addicted to social media- Facebook - Tik Tok instagram etc. our schools have done the nation a horrible disservice in terms of the people we are graduating. If schools imposed the obligation to actually study current events and news worthy issues while requiring folks to read newspapers ( even if only on line)perhaps we would be raising citizens who care more about the news of the day then whatever it is they are focused on. I apologize for over generalizing but those of you who went thru our schools in the 60’s or 70’s were encouraged to know something about history civics and current events. If you have any interaction with students today you know that is no longer true

  20. - Steve - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 4:29 pm:

    -… it’s the silly, the purposeful ignorance to push this “but the 14th Amendment”…-

    Imagine thinking Section 1 of the 14th Amendment is being applied today like it was before the incorporation doctrine cases…

  21. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 4:34 pm:

    ===Imagine thinking===

    Women couldn’t vote when that passed.

    Sit down. The adults are talking

  22. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 4:34 pm:

    OW - be well.

    The point of my post was to point out a complete discussion would violate Rich’s “rules” against Ph.D. thesis length posts.

  23. - Rudy’s teeth - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 4:35 pm:

    Regarding President Biden’s potential endorsement of Mayor Lori Lightfoot, “we don’t want nobody nobody sent.”

  24. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 4:39 pm:

    - Steve -

    Your beloved 14th Amendment was so special that it took the 19th Amendment to give women suffrage

    In short…

    ===is being applied today like it was before the incorporation doctrine cases…===

    There was a need for an amendment for women so they could vote.

    It was needed to enshrine the right… so it couldn’t be taken away

    That’s ONE example.

  25. - Steve - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 4:40 pm:

    For you rookies out there the incorporation doctrine cases certainly apply to women in 2023.

  26. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 4:41 pm:

    (Tips cap to - Anyone Remember -)

  27. - up2now - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 6:50 pm:

    I spent 39 years in community journalism as a reporter and editor. The rule of thumb used to be a newspaper had one newsroom employee per 1,000 of circulation. The Carbondale paper leading with an Iowa story does not surprise me, as it is a Lee Enterprises property.

  28. - btowntruth from forgottonia - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 8:06 pm:

    My local papers (SJ-R,Jacksonville Journal Courier) have declined greatly in the last 20 years and especially the last five.
    Who knew that could happen by eliminating 75% of the staff?

  29. - Suburban Mom - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 11:52 pm:

    ===For you rookies out there the incorporation doctrine cases certainly apply to women in 2023.===

    How many uteruses are you currently in possession of … rookie?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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