Clinton Campaign Threatens Chicago Comedy Club for Making Fun of Her

By on 11.19.15 | 12:38PM

Poor, sweet, shrinking violet Hillary Clinton is very angry with a Chicago comedy club, the local Laugh Factory franchise, for making a video poking fun at her. After all, there's absolutely nothing funny about Hillary Clinton and anyone who thinks otherwise should face a severe and swift punishment.

At least, that's what the Laugh Factory owner says the Clinton campaign actually thinks. Five of the house comedians made a video called "Hillary v. The First Amendment" (ironically), mostly recylcing old jokes about Hillary's wardrobe, hairstyle, close relationship with Huma Abedin among other, occasionally crass observations. The Laugh Factory posted the video online, something triggered a warning klaxon in Clinton world headquarters, and Jamie Masada, the club's owner, quickly got an earful from a "prominent" Clinton campaign staffer who demanded the video be taken down, requested the names and home addresses of the comedians in the video, and threated to shut Masada down if he didn't comply.

Chicago Has 47 Shootings, 16 Dead Over Holiday Weekend - But It’s Better Than Last Year!

By on 7.6.15 | 1:24PM

I had friends come to stay with me over the holiday weekend, and normally, when you welcome guests into your home, you go over some of the basics. Here are the clean towels, here's the extra toothbrush, don't let the dog out, etc. In Chicago, though, we the few brave residents, have to field a variety of questions about our relationship to the wave of gun violence sweeping the city: no, we're nowhere near the gangbangers, please don't arm yourself with an automatic weapon, don't wander the city after midnight, and there's only a 17% chance you'll die even if you do get shot, because its mostly teenagers and their aim is terrible. 

Nothing to worry about. Have a mojito.

This weekend, we actually had an improvement over last year: only 47 wounded! Only 16 dead! We're doing so well. 

Chicago was yet again riddled with a flurry of shootings this Fourth of July weekend, with at least 47 wounded and nine killed, according to multiple media reports. 

Moody’s Downgrades Chicago Bonds to “Junk”

By on 5.13.15 | 11:39AM

Yesterday, Chicago got the Obama Presidential Library and thank heavens, since Chicago also lost any semblance of dignity in terms of our bond rating, and we'll most definitely need the kind of multi-million dollar public works project the Library promises to be in order to survive financially.

After years of teetering on the edge of fully bankrupting the city, Moody's finally pulled the plug, dropping Chicago's status two notches to "junk," in a (probably futile) effort to encourage either pension reform or a tax increase. The move came (at least in part) as a response to an Illinois Supreme Court decision that dropped late last week, declaring that the pension reform package the legislature had concocted was unconstitutional, and wiping it off the books. 

Moody’s Investor’s Service on Tuesday dropped Chicago’s bond rating two more notches — to junk status — turning up the heat on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to raise property taxes and on the Illinois General Assembly to approve a Chicago casino.

Chicago Wins Bid to Host Obama Presidential Library

By on 5.12.15 | 10:58AM

Oh, thank heavens. Our long, national nightmare has finally come to an end.

In a move that surprised literally no one - except those of us who live here and thought that our President, warrior of the downtrodden minority communities, would rather the money go to building a much-needed trauma center on the city's South Side rather than a vanity project of a tourist attraction - Chicago has won the right to build the Obama Presidential Library, a project of the Barack Obama Foundation, which launched yetsterday with the comforting tagline, "his Presidency was just the beginning."

President Barack Obama's presidential library will be located in Chicago, the Barack Obama Foundation officially announced Tuesday.

The University of Chicago beat out its competitors, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Columbia University and the University of Hawaii, which also touted their ties to Obama and vied for the opportunity to host his presidential center.

Trump Sign Angers Chicago Obama Supporters

By on 6.14.14 | 1:40PM

You just have to love this flurry of indignant stories (as here, to cite just two) coming out of Chicago.

It seems that some prominent denizens of that fine city are outraged — outraged! — at the fact that Donald Trump’s brand new Trump Tower that graces the banks of the Chicago River has a huge sign going up on the side of building that says…wait for it… “TRUMP.”

Oh the humanity! Mayor Rahm Emanuel is enraged. He called the sign — really, no kidding — “tasteless.” And the Chicago Tribune’s architecture critic, one Blair Kamin, is beside himself, calling it a “self-indulgent branding exercise.” And more.


One has to wonder if any of these Trump critics actually live in Chicago. Why would I wonder that? Well, I’ve been to Chicago. A terrific city, with many things to see. Like what?

Unions and their war against the public

By on 4.6.14 | 3:13PM

Thanks to the Cato Institute's Walter Olson, a former colleague of mine, for highlighting public employee unions and their war against the public. Via his Facebook page, Olson gave his characteristically sharp take on an article about a recent train crash at Chicago's O'Hare Airport:

Don't you love unions? "The CTA's contract with the Amalgamated Transit Union authorizes the agency to fire rail operators who have had *two* [emphasis added - W.O.] serious safety violations in a short period of time, and officials said the two incidents when Haywood dozed off qualify her for termination." Falling asleep just once at the controls of a train wasn't enough!

In Chicago, Every Day Is “Ditka Day”

By on 12.10.13 | 11:31AM

My beloved Chicago Bears honored the greatest mustache in NFL history Monday night by retiring Hall of Fame tight-end and coach Mike Ditka. Governor Pat Quinn—Democrat, Peoples Republic of Illinois—did what he does best and raised the stakes (think: taxes) even higher. 

From CBS News Chicago:

Gov. Pat Quinn’s office says Monday that he’s declared it “Mike Ditka Day” in honor of the former Chicago Bears player and football coach.

The Hall of Famer’s No. 89 was retired during a halftime ceremony Monday night as the Bears played the Dallas Cowboys.

It continues:

Ditka was drafted by the Bears in 1961 and played for the team through 1966. He also played and coached (as an assistant to Tom Landry) for the Cowboys.

He returned to coach from 1982 until 1992.

ShoreBank Prez: White Bankers ‘Deserve to be Pressured’

By on 7.2.10 | 3:09PM

Crain's Chicago Business reports that politically-connected, Obama/Clinton-favored ShoreBank got extra nervous this week when Congress killed TARP in order to help pay for measures in the financial reform bill, but according to an anonymous administration official, the community lender with a global heart is still alive as those who applied before June 25 still qualified for funds.

Denial Runs to the Shore(Bank)

By on 6.25.10 | 11:30AM

Earlier this week the White House issued denials to the Chicago Sun-Times that it played any role in pressuring Wall Street firms (including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup) to ante up $20 million each to help bail out the presidentially pampered community institution, ShoreBank.

The Obama Watch

The Obama Olympics

By 6.25.09

Last week, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley led a delegation to Lausanne, Switzerland, where the Windy City made its bid in front of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. Chicago is competing against Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo to host the games. The IOC will announce the host city on October 2 in Copenhagen.