Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Government — Rick Moran @ 1:55 pm

It’s “My Kind of Town.” It’s the “City of Big Shoulders.” It’s “The City That Works.” It used to be “Hog Butcher to the World” until the hogs left and allowed their cousins on the City Council to wallow and feed at the public trough - much to the amusement and entertainment of its citizens. For, in truth, before there was television, or radio, or talking pictures, there was the endless diversion and riotous comedy offered by the antics of one of this country’s most colorful and peculiar legislative bodies; the City Council of Chicago.

Recently, one of this body’s more colorful and peculiar members, Alderman Joe Moore, apparently decided that the City Council had been maintaining too low of a national profile of late and sponsored a couple of colorful and peculiar pieces of legislation that changed the image of the Council from “colorful and peculiar” to “overbearing and ludicrous.”

The so-called “Big Box” ordinance, passed in July, requires stores with more than 90,000 square feet of retail space and $1 billion in annual sales to pay their employees an absolute minimum wage of $10 per hour plus $3 an hour in benefits. The economic geniuses on the Council, including Ald. Moore, actually believed that Wal-Mart, Target, and other giant retailers would shrug off the nearly doubling of an entry level workers’ wage and gladly continue with their expansion plans within the city.

“There is a buck to be made, a lot of bucks,” asserted Moore. “If they are to continue to remain profitable, they must expand.”

Wal-Mart had a rather bemused reaction. They were in the process of opening their very first “Superstore” within the Chicago city limits in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city. They promised that they would open that store but “[P]ut more time and effort in the suburbs, in particular focusing on those close to the city in order to draw shoppers across city lines. It would stand to reason that we would ring Chicago with Supercenters,” according to Michael Lewis, Wal-Mart’s VP of Store Operations in the Midwest.

Making the city an economic graveyard was apparently not in the re-election plan of Mayor Daley who vetoed the legislation yesterday:

Three aldermen, including one hungry for the jobs that a new Wal-Mart store would bring to her impoverished South Side ward, said they will switch sides and support Mayor Richard Daley’s veto Monday of the “big-box” minimum wage ordinance.

It was his first veto in 17 years as mayor, and he obviously knew he had the support to make it stick.

Indeed, if Daley’s opponents thought the Mayor may have been wounded by the charges of corruption in hiring practices swirling around his office, Daley disabused them rather quickly. All Hizoner had to to was crack the whip and he immediately peeled away three Alderman that made sure his veto would be upheld.

The business community breathed a huge sigh of relief:

“I think that this encouraging news is not only good for the business community,” said Gerald Roper, president of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, “it’s equally good for parts of the city that need economic development and jobs.”

“I understand and share a desire to ensure that everyone who works in the city of Chicago earns a decent wage,” Daley said in the letter. “But I do not believe that this ordinance, well intentioned as it may be, would achieve that end.

“Rather, I believe it would drive jobs and businesses from our city, penalizing neighborhoods that need additional economic activity the most,” Daley said. “In light of this, I believe it is my duty to veto this ordinance.”

But Daley’s sudden spasm of rationalism didn’t end there. Going on the offensive against another one of Alderman Joe’s nanny state phantasms, the Mayor attacked the recently passed ordinance banning the sale and serving of foie gras and may have some allies on the Council who are having second thoughts about being made to look like nursemaids to their constituents:

As Mayor Richard Daley vetoed a controversial ordinance on Monday, two aldermen said they are seeking to repeal another: Chicago’s ban on foie gras.

Ald. Bernard Stone (50th) and Burton Natarus (42nd) originally voted in favor of the measure when it was approved by the City Council in April. But both since have had second thoughts.

Stone contended that Chicago has become a national laughingstock since outlawing the delicacy, which is made from the livers of geese and ducks.

Daley, who enjoys foie gras, referred to the ordinance as “the silliest law to come down the legislative pike at City Hall.” And the backlash against the city may be causing other aldermen to rethink their original position:

“Hallelujah!” declared Chris Robling, an industry spokesman, after hearing of the repeal attempt. “This is wonderful.

“My fingers were crossed,” said Robling, who speaks for Artisan Farmers Alliance, which represents North America’s foie gras producers and some distributors. “That’s great news.”

Copperblue executive chef and owner Michael Tsonton, who last week became the second restaurateur cited by the city for serving foie gras after the ban went into effect, also cheered the move by Natarus and Stone.

“The foie gras thing was beyond silly,” Tsonton said. “It was irresponsible.”

One of my commenters on this post where I highlighted the foi gras ban gave the lie to the animal rights nutter’s claims about goose torture in force feeding the birds:

This comment is about food animal welfare. I sell cattle for a living and used to have hogs as well. Food animals ARE NOT TORTURED OR MADE TO SUFFER in any way. An animal that is suffering and/or is ill will not grow, will not gain weight and will not make the producer money. This is true across the spectrum, regardless of species. What animals want is 1) a steady water & food supply 2)a dry place out of the wind to rest and 3) a desire to breed (if they haven’t been neutered. They don’t want anything else.

This thought is echoed by one of Chicago’s finest chefs:

“Some of my friends, chefs outside Illinois, have named Chicago the `Nanny City’–nanny, like the person who takes care of your children,” said Allen Sternweiler, executive chef at Allen’s–The New American Cafe, 217 W. Huron St. “I’ve gotten a few letters, with people saying, How would you like a tube stuck down your throat?

“My throat is not like a duck’s throat. If you have some tragedy like an oil spill or a fire around a wetland, they would be using an exact same feeding tube to feed those injured ducks.”

Alderman Joe seems unbowed by the fact that his campaign to make Chicago a socialist nanny enclave seems to be falling victim to an outbreak of clear thinking and rationality:

Ald. Joe Moore (49th), who sponsored the foie gras measure, said Monday that it “is simply an ordinance that tried to stop the practice of animal torture, pure and simple.

“My reaction is the City Council had a vote,” Moore said. “It was 48-1 in favor. Time to move on.”

My own theory is that the reason the Council debated and passed these ordinances is that they simply don’t have enough to do. Idle minds are the devil’s playground and all that. Maybe we should design some kind of jobs program for them.

Anything to keep them away from the Council chambers. They seem to be doing a lot of damage there lately.

1 Comment

  1. Daley is a race baiter? Who knew?

    Read the latest Ray Hanania missive, straight from downtown Orland Park.
    So get this, according to the Arab Guy who is the Only Expert (TM) about the South Side of the city, Daley is baiting the black vote by accusing the South Side white folks of being r

    Trackback by MoveOnAndShutUp.org — 9/13/2006 @ 6:51 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress