Today’s Headlines

  • Editorial: Too Bad IDOT Can’t Find Report That Would Convince Rauner to Kill the Illiana (Tribune)
  • Emanuel Implies Ashland BRT Won’t Move Forward Until Loop Link Succeeds (Sun-Times)
  • 1 Killed, 1 Injured After Driver Strikes Pole in Altgeld Gardens (Sun-Times)
  • Hit-and-Run Driver Critically Injures Man on 4000 Block of West Division (Tribune)
  • SUV Driver Critically Injures Cyclist on 2600 Block of West North, Flees (DNA)
  • Marine Vet Escapes After Leg Is Caught Between Red Line Platform & Train (DNA)
  • Work to Eliminate Brown Line Slow Zones Started Last Weekend (Sun-Times)
  • Wilson Stop Construction Will Cause Street Closures, Noise (DNA)
  • Things Are Getting Real: CDOT Erects Columns for Navy Pier Flyover (DNA)
  • LSNA, Logan Square Preservation Request Another Public Meeting on Logan Towers (DNA)
  • CTA Riders’ Gripes: Budget Cuts, Faulty Fare Boxes, Bad Grammar (Tribune)
  • Vote in the Divvy Data Challenge (Active Trans)

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  • DR

    Is it just me, or is Chuy pushing Emanuel to the right?

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    Re BRT, Emanuel says “Before you do anything — even discuss it— you’ve got to make sure this thing, which is a better and cheaper alternative than the light rail, works.”

    Does he not realize keeping all discussion clamped down, will eventually cause it to blow up in his face.

  • CL

    They weren’t kidding – the construction at Wilson is very loud.

    Getting stuck between the train and platform sounds completely horrifying. That poor person.

  • BlueFairlane

    The leftist labor leader is pushing the corporate-focused big business guy to the right? That’s a weird read.

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    The only good thing to come out of this election is that it shows the Emanuel is defeatable. Next round, he’s out.

  • JacobEPeters

    It is a weird read, but then again I never thought the progressive candidate would be against 2 of the most progressive transportation investments proposed in the city, or against holding dangerous drivers accountable for flaunting the law. His initial stances claiming support for prioritizing transit over driving gave me hope, but nothing he has said since has made me confident that the hope is well placed.

  • The other thing is, we know how BRT works in other cities. Not every city has to reinvent the wheel.

    And the operational and rider experience characteristics of the bus routes that use Loop Link and the single route that uses Ashland BRT are very different. They’re different destinations, different connections, different speeds, etc.

  • DR

    What issues has Chuy forced Emanuel to move on:
    -Red Lights

    Rahm has clearly become more regressive on those points.

    What issues has Chuy forced Emanuel to double down on:
    -Fiscal austerity

    I would also argue that the other area in which Rahm has modulated or softened his tone is in major infrastructure funded by TIFs. This isn’t clearly progressive or conservative, but I think the realist’s take is that reduced central infrastructure won’t lead to increased social services, but, instead, an overall smaller role for government, so I score it as leaning conservative.

    In all likelihood, Chuy will lose today, and we will have a
    more conservative mayor because of the pandering campaign he chose to run. I would have loved to have voted for a progressive who actually took clear progressive positions, and I think many people feel the same. This election will be widely misread because of the rhetoric-driven and reactive campaign Chuy ran.

  • David Altenburg

    I think the reality is that he’s hoping the Loop Link will be a success he can point to as evidence that the the Ashland BRT will be valuable. While the Ashland BRT may share more in common with other cities’ BRTs than with the Loop Link, I think of lot of Chicagoans won’t see it that way.

    I’ve heard, “This is Chicago, not X” wrt bike lanes, crosswalk enforcement, woonerfs, speed limits, TOD, and just about everything else related to transportation. As an aside, does anyone know if that’s endemic to other US cities as well, or is it a uniquely Chicago thing?

  • I think that the fact that Madison has been reduced to two mixed-traffic lanes for a couple of weeks now, and the only backlash has been a single Sun-Times piece quoting grumpy cabbies on the first day of the closure, is a good sign that Loop Link is going to be a success.

  • ohsweetnothing

    I’ve argued your last two sentences with several friends repeatedly. I worry that in the same matter media (especially national media lately) have been quick to tout Garcia as a progressive without showing evidence of…ya know…progressive policies, a Chuy loss will almost certainly be used as evidence that progressive politics aren’t electable. Frustrating.

  • R.A. Stewart

    Very much what I’ve been thinking.

  • cjlane

    “Next round, he’s out.”

    You have a candidate in mind?

    Don’t say “Toni”, cuz she ain’t gonna run for a new seat when’s she’s *seventy-frickin-two*. And, sure, Karen Lewis might run, but I think she’d be likely to run second, force a run-off, and scare enough into Rahm again.

    So, who’s the new face??

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    I don’t think there is a strong candidate that will come out in the next two years, but someone will.

    Because as much as Rahm says he’s learned his lesson and won’t be so obnoxious, it’s pretty hard to change your basic nature. Besides, I think Rahm himself won’t hang around long as I believe he has bigger ambitions.

  • cjlane

    “I believe he has bigger ambitions”

    If he seriously thinks he can be elected POTUS having IDF experience, but no comparable US military experience, that’s delusional. Since I do not believe that he is delusional, I think that those who project that ambition upon him are blinkered.

  • Of course, Bill Clinton and Obama have no U.S. military experience. Or are you saying that Emanuel’s stint fixing truck brakes for the IDF is a political liability?

  • BlueFairlane

    I don’t think Emanuel could ever come close to winning a single primary, much less a major party nomination, but that owes more to his personality and the way he carries himself on TV than anything else. Your reasoning means he probably wouldn’t carry Mississippi, but not much else. It’s kind of nutty.

  • cjlane

    Um, yeah, that he volunteered to serve in a *foreign* military is a political liability, electorally speaking.

    Lotsa folks in the US Army/AF/Marines/Navy fix stuff, too–the particular assigned duties are immaterial. OR are you implying that if one is in the Navy band (or whatever), that one shouldn’t be considered a “real” veteran? [for rhetorical effect only–I don’t think you think that John].

    Fairlane: If you doubt that the IDF stint would be the basis for a series of negative ads, and doubt that those ads would have a *serious* effect in even D primaries, then I think that you are out of touch with America and, especially, ‘Murica. It’s a liability on the Left, in part because of the out-sized effect that Israeli national politics have on US foreign policy, and it’s an issue on the Right for all the obvious reasons (and on both sides for less savory reasons that we prefer wouldn’t exist).

    And, anyway, he’s on record saying that there’s only one political job that he has *any* chance at he thinks is better:

    “”There are five major chief-executive jobs in the United States,” Rahm Emanuel told GQ. “The president, the governor of California, the governor of New York, the mayor of New York, and the mayor of Chicago.”

    and I think he’s aware enough of the *electoral* politics to realize that POTUS is out of reach.

  • BlueFairlane

    I think I have a pretty good grasp of red state America, as that’s where I grew up and lived for the first 30 years of my life, it’s where most of my family still lives (both geographically and mentally) now, and I still go down there every other month. So here’s how I think this would work. Folks on the left wouldn’t really care, which is why the issue’s never really come up while he was working for Clinton or Obama, or when he ran for the House, or either of the times he ran for mayor. The conservative right–which isn’t going to vote for him anyway–isn’t really going to care, because Israel is about the only country with a military they admire. The country’s rabid support for the nation of Israel originates from a particular fundamentalist reading of the Book of Revelation that took hold in Reagan’s time and is far enough entrenched in the right to overshadow the other, less savory impulses they might have, so that working for the IDF is akin to serving in the army of God. (These are real views I’ve had spoken to me in ‘Murica.) I suspect that were Rahm to run for national office, this issue would get zero attention … or about as much attention as it’s ever gotten, which is virtually zero.

    Now, I do think you’re right that Rahm knows the political equations well enough to know there’s no point in him running for an elected office, but I think the IDF thing is the least of the reasons why.

  • cjlane

    “the IDF thing is the least of the reasons why”

    I think that (nationally speaking) basically no one is aware of his IDF service–just like “no one” knows that Ted Cruz had dual citizenship until 10 months ago, like “no one” knew McCain was born in the Canal Zone before he was the R nominee, like “no one” ‘suspected’ Obama was really born in Kenya until he started to beat Hilary. *IF* (and we seem to agree that this is a very unlikely if) Rahm entered the primary, and started to do well, *then* it would become a substantial (mostly made up) issue, and one that he would respond poorly too and one that would take on a life of its own, that I think everyone suggesting that Rahm has bona fide presidential aspirations underestimates the negative effect of that *for someone wanting to be the CinC of the US Military*.

    All that said, it’s nice to find someone else on the intertubez who acknowledges that Rahm (most likely) ain’t stupid enough to run for POTUS.

  • BlueFairlane

    The thing is, though, that when people did hear the details about the various birthplaces of Ted Cruz (Alberta) and John McCain (the Canal Zone), nobody cared. Only a small but noisy group of far right crackpots cared about Obama and the difference between Hawaii and Kenya, and those crackpots never had any impact at all on a presidential campaign or an election’s outcome. These same crackpots might also be full of sound and fury over the IDF thing, but I doubt it for the reasons I stated, and if they are it will signify nothing. It’s a crackpot issue.

  • cjlane

    No one chooses where they were born. Everyone (since the draft ended, and some before that) chooses whether they join the military. I’m in the ‘different priorities’ camp, myself, but see a non-crackpot distinction between ‘not serving’ and ‘serving in/with a foreign army’, particularly in a conflict that the US is actively participating in.

    But the whole discussion is moot, as he ain’t running for POTUS, even had he *not* gone and fixed truck brakes or whatever. And I simply do not understand *why* anyone thinks that he will.

  • cjlane

    PS: You pretty clearly have a higher opinion of the American electorate than I do. Optimism is a good thing.

  • BlueFairlane

    I think the distinction also depends heavily on whether the foreign army in question is an ally. Israel is (for reasons with which I don’t necessarily agree) one of our strongest allies, and the alliance grows stronger the farther into right-wing red-state territory you go. I think the equations would be different if Rahm had fixed trucks for the Russians or some neutral Islamic state. Say, Tunisia or somebody.

    But yeah, it doesn’t matter anyway, because he’s not running. I think people like to say he will because they naturally assume any Machiavellian figure will try for the highest office, when really he just wants the most power possible. These people don’t realize that running for President and losing results in a loss of power, and Rahm knows that’s very likely what would happen.

  • BlueFairlane

    I don’t know … you made the assumption that people wouldn’t have had to google the acronym “IDF.” I wouldn’t have made that assumption.

    (Full disclosure: Guess who had to google “IDF.”)

  • cjlane

    Well, *were* Rahm to run, and *were* he to be seen as a real contender, *then* the “foreign military” thing would get a lot of play. I just shorthand it, bc that’s what’s in my head. The hit piece ads wouldn’t say “IDF”, they’d say something like “when the gulf war started, and Rahm Emanuel wanted to serve his country, did he join the Marines, or the Air Force? Nope, he volunteered with a [scare quotes] foreign military [scare quotes]”. Negative campaigning is about innuendo and unflattering implications. It’s a jab that doesn’t have a particularly strong comeback that doesn’t feed into the desired implication.