50-0. Is that the score of a high school football game or how the alderman voted on the Chicago budget?

November 17, 2011

After 50-0, this sign makes sense (AP)The city budget passed 50-0 yesterday, bringing the phrase "rubber stamp" back into the Chicago lexicon. 50-0? That's a shut-out.

Not one Waguespack voted against the city budget with its massive cuts and increases for tickets, taxes and services?

No one used their vote to distance themselves from the mayor?

No one used their vote to let their constituency know that the garbage rebate reversal, the water and sewage cost increases and the library cuts were not the right ways to balance the budget?

Sure, the budget process was arguably more transparent (and respectful) to alderman this time around, but there isn't one dissenting voice in our city government? Should we be concerned about that?

B story: A judge tossed out the convictions of the two nightclub owners involved in the E2 nightclub stampede. I remember being a producer on Eight Forty-Eight when that story came across the wire. It was a gruesome story, one that was hard even to imagine. The image of people trapped in the doorway, desperate to exit, as police and fire officials struggled to help is etched on Chicago's collective consciousness. So as the argument continues about "should they have occupied the 2nd floor,"  the real issue for Chicago is justice. Has it been served after 23 people died while trying to go to exit through one stairwell, when the others were all closed? Also, E2 changed the game for all theaters and clubs in Chicago, bringing citations and extra rules and regulations to smaller venues who have performances. So even if you didn't live here to see those images, you've felt the impact of E2.

C story: According to the latest reports, Chicago Cubs have offered a deal to Milwaukee Brewers' hitting coach Dale Sveum to manage the team next season. No official word from the Cubs, but they may have company as the Red Sox also may offer him a contract. Which leads me to the following questions: Who the heck is Dale Sveum? And why does he have two major baseball teams bidding over his services? And if he gets competing offers will we have to pay the Red Sox for him too?  I'll tell you what, if the Cubs outbid the Red Sox, it better be worth it. Because last I checked, Sveum doesn't have a full season under his belt as a major league manager either, which was one of the reasons given for not considering Sandberg.

Weather: Wait, wasn't it 60 on Monday? The Chicago weather is kind of like the White Sox. Inconsistent.

Sports: I went to the circus last night and it reminded me that the Bulls would start their famed West Coast road trip this week. But alas, no basketball. Being in the UC last night was the first time where I felt a tinge of sadness over the lockout. Seeing the banners, feeling the history in the building, it made me nostalgic for Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver. I talked to some concession workers who said that the no Bulls games essentially loses them two days of work. So there ya go, NBA. You've lost working people two days of pay right before the holidays.

Kicker: Bill Ayers made an appearance on this week's Paper Machete. Nice pull!!!!!