Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A DAY IN THE LIFE (of Chicago): Not living up to bloody reputation Trump tries to tag our city with?

Whatever shall Donald J. Trump have rants about when he sits at his keyboard and taps out another 140-character missive meant to make himself feel better about his existence?
TRUMP: He should stifle self on Chicago

For a common topic for Trump to get worked up over is the homicide rate for Chicago, which is actually running a little bit lower this year compared to last but is still significantly higher than it has been in most recent years.

BUT FOR THE time period stretching from Feb. 26 through Saturday, there were no deaths in Chicago caused by any other human being's deliberate actions. On Sunday, a 23-year-old man was shot repeatedly in the Austin neighborhood, dying from his wounds. You have to go back to a week in December of 2009 to find a stretch of time with less fatal activity than we had in Chicago this past week.

Now as the Chicago Tribune points out, we have had more shootings occur in Chicago this year compared to last. But fewer fatalities. People are surviving. Which is good.

For everybody except Trump and his miscreant followers who are absolutely determined to look down upon the Second City. My own suspicion is they are bitter that a Chicagoan provided our society with the president they came to despise so intensely because he was so unlike them, so they're going to keep up the rants for as long as they're alive.

Maybe we'd hear less ranting about Chicago if the city hadn't been so overwhelmingly opposed to Trump last Election Day that his campaign might have been somewhat competitive in Illinois and this state might have joined other Great Lakes/Rust Belt states like Michigan and Ohio in backing the Trumpster.

De Blasio: Ate a Portillos, but prefers Nathans
WE'D BE HEARING more about New York or Los Angeles or the neighborhoods of Washington, D.C., that many of us don't have a clue even exist. Anacostia?

Even New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, in Chicago for a speaking engagement last week said he was tired of hearing Trump's Chicago rants, adding they surprise him because Trump himself is not some rural bumpkin but a genuine Noo Yawker.

Although I'd argue the view on the 69th floor of the Trump Tower in Manhattan provides a much different glimpse of urban life than does living in a place like Brooklyn. Particularly if they have the Mar a Lago mansion in Florida (whom various reports have pointed out is near a Florida municipality whose crime rates per capita are remarkably similar to that of Chicago).

An old Peanuts comic strip has Lucy spew a slew of statistics for Charlie Brown about how bad their baseball team is, with the final panel having Charlie retort, "Lucy, tell your statistics to shut up!" Don't you wish we could do the same to The Donald? What else is notable about life these days on the southwestern shores of Lake Michigan?

RAUNER: Needs to find education solution
YOU WILL LISTEN TO WHAT I HAVE TO SAY!!!: Chance the Rapper, who on Friday was granted a token audience with Gov. Bruce Rauner to talk about the financial problems confronted by the Chicago Public Schools, felt the need to speak out again Monday.

Then again, he only got a half-hour, and I suspect the governor wasn't exactly subtle in letting it be known he wasn't terribly interested in hearing opinions other than his own about how the state's financial mess (which he wants us to believe is the fault of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and state Comptroller Susana Mendoza) is impacting public education programs.

Anyway, the music star who actually won a Grammy Award this year held a press conference at the Westcott Elementary School in the Auburn/Gresham neighborhood, where he made a $1 million donation to the Chicago Public Schools. People were able to watch his largess via his personal Instagram account.

Which means you could have heard the whole lot of nothing being spewed that Rauner was ignoring. Of course, I have to confess the entity that is most worthy of criticism in this whole matter are those news media organizations that felt compelled to cover any of this as though it mattered. Focusing on the trivia is the easy way of pretending to have significance, rather than pushing people to try to find a real solution to the state's financial mess.

IT'S GOOD TO BE THE KING (and Queen):  Barack and Michelle Obama may not live at their Kenwood neighborhood residence these days, but they are capable of possessing drivers' licenses issued by the state of Illinois.
Nobody gets drivers' license photos ...

The State Journal-Register newspaper in Springfield reported that the secretary of state's office issued the now-former first couple new licenses without them having to make a return trip to Illinois. The deal was done through the mail, and the state even waived the $30 renewal fee, sending the new licenses -- which used old photographs the state already had on file -- to a D.C.-area address.
... that look this good

Officials said the deal was done right about the time of Election Day, and they say they would have made a similar accomodation for anyone "serving in that office" who happened to have an Illinois license. Not that any others have had one.

It also helped that both Barack and Michelle qualified for the automatic renewal program intended for anyone who manages to go all four years without accumulating traffic tickets. Then again, it's not like Obama has been in a position to get a ticket -- unless you really think some motorcycle beat cop is going to pull over the presidential motorcade to cite the president for having a busted taillight.


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