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Afternoon roundup

Wednesday, Nov 15, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Ugh…

* SJ-R

The U.S. House approved a temporary measure to fund the government Tuesday, keeping fears of a federal shutdown at-bay through the end of the year. […]

U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Chicago, was one of two Democrats voting against the continuing resolution and was joined by all Illinois GOP members in opposition. All remaining Illinois Democrats voted ‘yes.’

No cuts to spending led to ‘no’ votes from Reps. Mary Miller, R-Oakland; and Darin LaHood, R-Peoria — Miller calling on zero funding to the Department of Education and World Health Organization. Quigley, who also voted against the prior stopgap measure, wanted more funding for Ukraine. […]

U.S. Rep. Nikki Budzinski, D-Springfield, said in a statement that she voted in favor of the resolution due in-part to a one-year funding extension of the Farm Bill. The spending bill funds federal agriculture and food programs for five years will now continue through September 2024, the end of the fiscal year.

* The Illinois Farm Bureau found the price of a Thanksgiving meal has dropped a bit since last year…

Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) volunteer shoppers reported a state-wide average price of $63.87 for a classic holiday feast for 10, or around $6.39 per person. This reflects a 2.5% decrease over the previous year’s state average of $65.53. […]

AFBF reported a national average of $61.17, or less than $6.20 per person, for a classic holiday feast for 10. This is a 4.5% decrease from the previous year’s record-high of $64.05, but a Thanksgiving meal is still 25% higher than it was in 2019, which highlights the impact high supply costs and inflation have had on food prices since before the pandemic.

The centerpiece on most Thanksgiving tables – the turkey – brought down the overall cost of dinner. The national average price for a 16-pound turkey is $27.35. That is $1.71 per pound, down 5.6% from last year. […]

“Traditionally, the turkey is the most expensive item on the Thanksgiving dinner table,” said AFBF Senior Economist Veronica Nigh. “Turkey prices have fallen thanks to a sharp reduction in cases of avian influenza, which have allowed production to increase in time for the holiday.” […]

Individual Prices

    • 16-pound turkey: $27.35 or $1.71 per pound (down 5.6%)
    • 14-ounces of cubed stuffing mix: $3.77 (down 2.8%)
    • 2 frozen pie crusts: $3.50 (down 4.9%)
    • Half pint of whipping cream: $1.73 (down 22.8%)
    • 1 pound of frozen peas: $1.88 (down 1.1%)
    • 1 dozen dinner rolls: $3.84 (up 2.9%)
    • Misc. ingredients to prepare the meal: $3.95 (down 4.4%)
    • 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix: $4.44 (up 3.7%)
    • 1 gallon of whole milk: $3.74 (down 2.6%)
    • 3 pounds of sweet potatoes: $3.97 (up .3%)
    • 1-pound veggie tray (carrots & celery): $.90 (up 2.3%)
    • 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries: $2.10 (down 18.3%)


Americans for Prosperity-Illinois (AFP-IL) will be joined by House Republican Leader Tony McCombie and Senate Republican Leader John Curran at Montrose Food Mart & Deli in Chicago to provide free groceries for customers for a limited time.

The event will connect the rising grocery costs to the disastrous Bidenomic agenda in Washington and tax increases coming out of Springfield. The Leaders will join AFP-IL to chat with customers about the challenges they face with rising prices –especially around the holidays and discuss how Illinois can tackle inflationary policies moving forward.

Years of Biden and Pritzker’s reckless spending and inflationary policies have wreaked havoc on the American economy, making it harder than ever for Illinoisans to make ends meet. Governor Pritzker recently increased the grocery tax by one percent, hitting Illinois families even harder during economic uncertainty. From gasoline to groceries, everything seems more expensive nowadays.

Prices for groceries are up 24.4 percent since January 2021, costing a family of four an extra $59.08 per week for a moderate-cost plan. To highlight the consequences of the broken policies coming out of Washington, DC and Springfield, AFP will provide $60 gift cards to be used on groceries for Montrose Food Mart & Deli. To highlight the consequences of the broken policies coming out of Washington, DC and Springfield, AFP will provide $60 gift cards to be used on groceries for Montrose Food Mart & Deli.

* Politico

The race for Democratic state Rep. Kelly Burke’s seat in the suburban 36th District is about to get interesting.

Sonia Anne Khalil is filing paperwork to run. She faces Rick Ryan, an attorney in Evergreen Park who’s been endorsed by Burke.

Khalil is known in Democratic circles in part for her work in the Cook County Clerk’s Office. Her father is Samir Khalil, founder of the Arab American Democratic Club.

About the district: It includes Palos Hills, Oak Lawn and Evergreen Park, where Burke is also the mayor. The district also has a large population of Arab Americans.

Khalil has close connections to progressives and former Cook County Clerk David Orr.

* Media advisory from SoS Alexi Giannoulias…

Giannoulias will be joined by elected officials and environmental leaders to celebrate the unveiling of the state’s new Monarch butterfly license plate.

Deposits for the plates raise funds for the Roadside Monarch Habitat Fund, which is part of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

The Monarch butterfly, Illinois’ state insect, is considered endangered. The fund helps foster habitats to support the butterflies during their twice-yearly migratory journey from Mexico to Chicago with a goal to add 150 million new milkweed stems and other nectar resources to the Illinois landscape in the next 15 years.

* Notice anything off about this calendar?…

There is no month of May. July is listed twice.

…Adding… From Mike Phillips, a geology professor at Illinois Valley Community College…

At 4:42 am (Central), an earthquake occurred in eastern Putnam County, Illinois. The epicenter was approximately 1 mile south of Standard, Illinois (6.5 miles southwest of LaSalle/Peru). The earthquake focus is estimated to be 2.75 mi (4.6 km) below the surface. Reports to the US Geological Survey indicate that the earthquake was felt primarily within a 25-mile radius of the epicenter, but people as far away as Chicago, Illinois, and Dubuque, Iowa, also reported minor shaking. The most common report from my students and co-workers was that people were jarred awake as if someone hit their bed or something hit their house. While there is no known fault at this location, earthquakes happen in our area about once every 5-10 years.

The cause of the earthquake is still to be determined and includes several possibilities. The first is the result of pressure on our tectonic plate. The Earth’s surface is made of plates that move and interact with each other. That interaction results in earthquakes where the plates are touching, but some of that stress can result in the occasional earthquake in the middle of the plate where we are located. A second possibility related to the glaciers that left our area around 12-15,000 years ago. When they melted back, the loss of weight results in our part of the crust rising very slowly (about 1 mm/year) which can also result in the occasional earthquake.

For context, this is a normal experience for our area. Our area experiences a small earthquake about once every five or ten years. There was a M4.2 near Troy Grove in 2004 and a M3.5 near Dixon in 1999. The largest on record was a M5.1 in eastern Ogle County (west of DeKalb) in 1909. The Earth is a very active planet with earthquakes occurring all the time. They tend to make the news when they occur where people live. So, we can expect more earthquakes in the future.

Earthquakes are relatively minor, but it is always a good idea to have fragile, important items attached to something so they do not fall and break, and you probably shouldn’t have a shelf with things that could fall off directly over your bed.

I encourage anyone who experienced the earthquake or would like to know more about it to visit to learn more and to share what they experienced. The Did You Feel It? reports are a very important data source for researchers.

* From Isabel…

    * Tribune | Chicago judge rules federal statute barring felons from possessing guns is unconstitutional but says it’s a ‘close question’: As a five-time convicted felon, Glen Prince was facing a mandatory minimum 15 years behind bars when he was charged in federal court with being a felon in possession of a handgun stemming from an armed robbery on CTA train in 2021. Instead, Prince’s case was tossed out earlier this month by a federal judge who ruled the statute barring felons from possessing handguns is unconstitutional in light of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.

    * Center Square | Prosecutors want life in prison for ComEd 4, defense attorneys say: Defense attorneys had asked for more time to deal with what they said were complex issues regarding sentencing guidelines. At a hearing Wednesday, defense attorney Patrick Cotter said prosecutors would be seeking life sentences for the defendants. “The government apparently is going to suggest that the guidelines of this case are life,” Cotter said. “And we are asking for what we believe to be adequate time, a couple extra weeks, to respond not only to the [pre-sentencing report] but to what the government files when they’re asking to put our clients in jail for life. And I think that that’s not unreasonable.”

    * Crain’s | Rivian lines up $15B fake bond plan to snag tax break: The debt is structured as what’s known as “phantom bonds” that are used by companies to get a property tax break in Georgia, and involve no real financial or accounting impact for the company involved, according to a report by law firm Smith, Gambrell & Russell LLP. In Rivian’s case, it’s a workaround because the state doesn’t have legislation allowing for companies to get abatements that provide such relief.

    * ABC Chicago | Inside STIC, the Illinois terrorism intelligence agency fighting real and viral hoax terror threats: At a time when authorities say threats to public safety are mounting and coming from new directions, the ABC7 I-Team went to the STIC for a rare look at the safety net operation that’s working to keep Illinoisans and others across the county safe. Aaron Kustermann, chief intelligence officer for STIC, said there is more suspicious activity than ever before coming into the facility.

    * Tribune | Michael Frerichs and Nell Minow: Those who want to ban sustainability-focused investing are on the losing end: In his ruling on the lawsuit, which was brought forward by 26 Republican attorneys general, Kacsmaryk acknowledged that the rule permits environmental and other risk factors to be considered in determining an investment’s risk and return while requiring pension investment firms to act “solely in the interest” of working people whose retirement they’re protecting. Unsurprisingly, none of the challengers was able to provide a single example of an investment decision that was not justified by strictly financial considerations.

    * The Marshall Project | An Illinois Warden Tried to Fix an Abusive Federal Prison. He Faced Death Threats: “When the regional director called me and said, ‘Well, they looked into it and put those guys back on their post,’ I’m like, ‘Are you freaking kidding me right now?’” Bergami said. “My staff were saying to stab me and the captain. I’ve got to worry about our safety.”

    * The Nation | How We Ended Cash Bail in Illinois: Leaders at these organizations recognized that none of us had the power to win on our own, so we came together and launched the Coalition to End Money Bond in 2016. We intentionally assembled a set of groups with important complementary capacities in the movement ecosystem: base building, electoral work, inside game, policy expertise, political education, and direct service. We anchored the work in an abolitionist orientation but worked to bring in more moderate groups who were willing to join because the abolitionist organizers were serious about power and created a clear center of gravity for the broader bail reform movement in Illinois.

    * Tribune | Jennifer Hudson, Chance the Rapper and Quincy Jones teaming up to reopen Chicago’s Ramova Theatre: Chicago icons Jennifer Hudson, Chance the Rapper and Quincy Jones have teamed up to reopen and revitalize the Ramova Theatre, located in the South Side neighborhood of Bridgeport, after the venue’s nearly 40-year dormancy. With Hudson, Chance and Jones as co-owners, the Ramova will reopen in fall 2023 as a 1,500-capacity live music venue with a grill, beer garden and brewery in partnership with Other Half Brewing.

    * AP | Northern Illinois can become bowl-eligible by winning its final game after shutting out Western Michigan 24-0: Antario Brown ran for 159 yards and two touchdowns, and Northern Illinois kept its postseason aspirations alive with a commanding 24-0 win over Western Michigan on Tuesday night. The Huskies (5-6, 4-3 Mid-American Conference) last shut out an opponent on Oct. 26, 2019, when they beat Akron 49-0. NIU will get a chance to become bowl-eligible when it closes its regular season Nov. 25 at Kent State (1-9, 0-6).

    * NYT | So Thieves Nabbed Your Catalytic Converter. Here’s Where It Ended Up: An examination of business records and social media posts, as well as interviews with more than 80 officials on three continents who have ties to the industry, showed that the stolen devices pass through middlemen, smelters and refineries in the United States and overseas. Along the way, their provenance becomes opaque, leaving beneficiaries of the thefts with plausible deniability and little incentive to stop them. During processing, the metal is blended with legitimate supplies from mines and scrapyards, The New York Times found, before being sold primarily to companies that make catalytic converters for automakers, as well as pharmaceutical companies for cancer and other drugs, military contractors for weapons production, and banks for their precious-metals trading desks, among others.

    * Sun-Times | Sister Jean’s latest fan? President Biden, who sent flowers during Chicago visit: During his visit to Illinois Thursday, Biden sent a bouquet of flowers to Sister Jean, the 104-year-old icon at Loyola University Chicago, as an amiable gesture to a fellow Catholic. “Dear Sister Jean, Thinking of you during my trip to Chicago today! Keep the Faith!” Biden wrote in a note sent along with the flowers, which were purchased from a florist in Rogers Park.

    * NBC Chicago | Suburban Chicago hot dog joint to be inducted into ‘Hot Dog Hall of Fame’: Scooby’s Hot Dogs, in the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove, will be inducted into Vienna Beef’s Hot Dog Hall of Fame at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, a press release from Vienna Beef said. Customers are encouraged to join the ceremony, organizers said.

    * Sun-Times | Earthquake measured at 3.6 magnitude confirmed in Putnam County: There were no reports of injuries but about 120 people reported feeling it, according to the U. S. Geological Survey. The quake happened at 4:41 a.m. about 2 1⁄2 miles south of Standard, in Putnam County, said the USGS. It did not occur along a fault line, according to a USGS spokesman.


  1. - Big Dipper - Wednesday, Nov 15, 23 @ 2:28 pm:

    There are very few people I want to have twelve pictures of on the wall. She is not one of them.

  2. - Norseman - Wednesday, Nov 15, 23 @ 2:35 pm:

    === (AFP-IL) will be joined by House Republican Leader Tony McCombie and Senate Republican Leader John Curran at Montrose Food Mart & Deli in Chicago to provide free groceries for customers for a limited time. ===

    Political bait and switch stunt. Tiny amount of free food now and cut food programs later after attaining the majority.

  3. - Jockey - Wednesday, Nov 15, 23 @ 2:36 pm:

    Great calendar by Treasurer Pappas!!! I would really like to work for her, but I’ve never been able to find a career opportunities link on her page??? Are you suppose to call the office and ask about vacancies?

  4. - mjrothjr - Wednesday, Nov 15, 23 @ 2:43 pm:

    That calendar may help explain why Cook County never issues the second installment property tax bills on time.

  5. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Nov 15, 23 @ 3:01 pm:

    Best wishes to The Southern crew.

  6. - OneMan - Wednesday, Nov 15, 23 @ 3:07 pm:

    Not only should one report to Did you feel it…

    But also enjoy this classic of 80’s music video by the Jackson 5

    Can You Feel It.

  7. - DS - Wednesday, Nov 15, 23 @ 3:12 pm:

    Leader McCombie goes with the Willie Wilson strategy. It has never worked.

  8. - DMC - Wednesday, Nov 15, 23 @ 3:20 pm:

    Life sentences for the COMED 4? Now, if they would have car jacked someone and then subsequently went out and killed someone in that said car, they would be out on the street in 24 hours under Kim Fox. This is nuts.

  9. - illini - Wednesday, Nov 15, 23 @ 3:26 pm:

    A week ago my local newspaper and 4 other weekly hometown papers were sold to an out of state media group. The “daily” which had won many awards over the years had become an unrecognizable advertising flyer that was only delivered 3 days a week. I have to admit that I have not relied on it for any information for a long time. By the time it is delivered the “news” is at least 3 or 4 days old. And it refused to develop an online presence. So it has become another casualty after over 120 years of family ownership.

    On a more positive note, I hope I will still be able to follow the excellent reporting that Molly has done both for the Southern and for ProPublica. She is a rare talent,

  10. - H-W - Wednesday, Nov 15, 23 @ 3:27 pm:

    === 16-pound turkey: $27.35 or $1.71 per pound (down 5.6%) ===

    I saw turkeys advertised at $0.89 per pound in a Quincy ad yesterday.

  11. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, Nov 15, 23 @ 3:37 pm:

    “A second possibility related to the glaciers that left our area around 12-15,000 years ago. When they melted back, the loss of weight results in our part of the crust rising very slowly. ”

    Ah yes Isostic Rebound - fond memories of Geology classes in college

  12. - Big Dipper - Wednesday, Nov 15, 23 @ 3:49 pm:

    You know Blago is envious he never had a calendar like that.

  13. - New Day - Wednesday, Nov 15, 23 @ 3:58 pm:

    Wait, did I miss a memo? The Southern is closing???? WTH, man.

  14. - btowntruth from forgottonia - Wednesday, Nov 15, 23 @ 4:00 pm:

    My “local daily” ran a front page story today on someone who passed away last Thursday.
    Took them that long to report it.

  15. - New Day - Wednesday, Nov 15, 23 @ 4:00 pm:

    “Prices for groceries are up 24.4 percent since January 2021,..”

    Watch for the inflation metrics to change pretty dramatically since inflation has plummeted this year. Yesterday and today we learned that year over year inflation is down to 3.2% with month over month flat and wholesale prices down 0.5%. So they gotta keep the fires burning somehow.

  16. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 15, 23 @ 4:03 pm:

    ===The Southern is closing?===

    Nobody knows. They’re shedding all their existing reporters without saying what they’re gonna do next.

  17. - Sycophantic Averse - Wednesday, Nov 15, 23 @ 4:21 pm:

    Great, another Orr acolyte. The one the building has now has been a rousing success.

  18. - Jibba - Wednesday, Nov 15, 23 @ 4:25 pm:

    As opposed to cronyism as I am, life sentences seem extreme. Although, as they say, any real amount of prison time might be an effective life sentence.

  19. - illini - Wednesday, Nov 15, 23 @ 4:40 pm:

    @ btowntruth - exactly. That was one of several reasons for me dropping my subscription several years ago. I can get all of my state and national news online when it is still news, local HS sports results are available online as well and the funeral homes email me all their obits. So I really do not need to spend $150 a year for old news that I only get 3 times a week.

  20. - Give Us Barabbas - Wednesday, Nov 15, 23 @ 4:44 pm:

    I can picture a news aggregator page that, like cable Tv or streaming services, could let you create your own daily front page, so to speak, by selecting individual, independent reporters or media groups. The page then generates something that works like the first section of a regular newspaper.Each reporter is treated like a syndicated source, you pay some microtransactional price per story or per week for anything that reporter puts out.

    This isn’t a new idea, but I’ve never been impressed by previous implementations of the idea. What it could maybe do, though, is make it a money-earning proposition to be a reporter again, by skipping a lot of middle-man stuff. You’d still want an editor, I suppose, or, maybe the reporters get ranked for accuracy in some way that’s a visual metric when you are selecting which reporters are in your fantasy paper. It appeals to me for several reasons, one being you customize the coverage, so, if you want your daily feed to be 80 percent business and economy stories, that filters out the stories you don’t want and just gives you what you do want. Science? Government beats? Sports? the reporters get a cut of every reader. If you wanna put adversing into the thing, it really lets an advertiser select for very specific types of customers…

  21. - Teacher Lady - Wednesday, Nov 15, 23 @ 5:09 pm:

    Re: calendar
    I see “May” on there twice; no “July”
    The opposite of what Justin Laurence said…

  22. - Proud Papa Bear - Wednesday, Nov 15, 23 @ 6:52 pm:

    I support two Julys. I’d be even happier if they replaced January instead of May.

  23. - Lefty Lefty - Wednesday, Nov 15, 23 @ 8:22 pm:

    My kids are now in college so it wasn’t that long ago I had a household of 4. I honestly don’t think we ever spent $1,000/month - roughly $30-35 per day - on groceries. That’s what the Curran/McCombie math is. (Over $1,200/month now?)

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