Quick Hits – August 18, 2017

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On to Illinois Idiocracy!

I suppose I should take some solace in the fact that my Republican friends aren’t abjectly rejoicing over State Rep Steve Andersson’s recent retirement announcement. Considering his role in breaking the budget deadlock, they may not be unhappy to see him go, but they all admit he’s a good guy, a good politician and they greatly respect him.

Steve and I did have a brief conversation yesterday and as he’s publicly put it, “there’s just no room for moderates in Springfield.”

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Though I desperately wanted him to stick with the gig, and I think I could’ve run the kind of campaign that would’ve worked, I couldn’t bring myself to apply my most humorous persuasive possibilities. Who, in their fucking right mind would want to serve in the Illinois General Assembly right now?

I’ve watched that gig turn State Rep Anna Moeller into the kind of person I have no intention of dealing with for the foreseeable future.

Look at all the other excellent Springfield politicians who are also retiring:

·         57th District State Rep Elaine Nekritz

·         49th District State Rep Mike Fortner

·         66th District State Rep Mike Tryon

·         64th District State Rep Barb Wheeler

·         104th District State Rep Chad Hays

·         70th District State Rep Bob Pritchard

·         101st District State Rep Bill Mitchell

·         47th District State Rep Patti Bellock

·         45th District State Senator Tim Bivins

I’m sure I missed a couple, but that list is way too long as it is. In short order, with all due respect, we’re going to be left with ideologues like State Rep Allen Skillicorn and State Sen Jim Oberweis, who have no interest in actually governing.

Their specialties are pandering and constantly campaigning.

And the irony is, most of the people on that list – especially Steve Andersson – were the kind of astute public servants who could’ve created the kind of compromise reforms that Illinois so desperately needs. They actually understood that political goals are always a marathon and never a sprint.

But no! The current conservative mindset, the one that most closely approximates a two-year old with a dirty diaper and no nap, insists that they get their cookie NOW! Of course, the irony is, when you act like a spoiled two year-old you get tossed in the crib with the door shut while the adults actually craft a budget.

Mark my words, as we continue to watch the good guys go, this bullshit is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

You see, even if Michael Madigan gets wheeled out of the house chamber on a gurney – with that gavel firmly clenched in his right hand tomorrow – his successor will carry on that proud supermajority stranglehold tradition.

And just like Messrs. Oberweis, Skillicorn, Brady and their ilk, the zealots who replace our retirees will shriek, howl, gnash their teeth, rend their garments and make all sorts of fascinatingly impossible pronouncements as they accomplish absolutely nothing.

What further proof do you need than conservative Republicans currently control the U.S. Senate, Congress and the White House, and they still can’t get a goddamn thing done. And now the top guy is supporting Nazis, while conservatives are suddenly silent!

You really gotta love folks who are so stupid and oblivious that they utterly fail to see they’re their own worst enemies. And trust me, this ain’t Steve Andersson’s loss, it’s ours.

Mike Royko’s ode to the end of summer vacation

Though he wrote it regarding the demise of the Chicago Daily News, my all-time favorite Mike Royko passage echoes my youthful sentiments on the end of summer vacation. I despised that final vacation day even more than school itself. So, to all you teachers, students and similar staffers heading back to the grind next week, enjoy!

“When I was a kid, the worst of all days was the last day of summer vacation, and we were in the schoolyard playing softball, and the sun was down and it was getting dark. But I didn’t want it to get dark. I didn’t want the game to end. It was too good, too much fun. I wanted it to stay light forever, so we could keep on playing forever, so the game would go on and on.

That’s how I feel now. C’mon, c’mon. Let’s play one more inning. One more time at bat. One more pitch. Just one? Stick around, guys. We can’t break up this team. It’s too much fun.

But the sun always went down. And now it’s almost dark again.”

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