The Wedge

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  1. I have lived in the Land of Lincoln for over half my life now and I'll be damned if I move back to Missouri any time soon. That said, John Kass, the Trib columnist who is getting all the viral attention for this, is a complete jackass. His page 2 column is red meat to anyone who likes to blame Chicago for any and all problems within a 500 mile radius. I'm with him on one thing, though: Nothing will happen in Illinois to address our self-inflicted budget woes until State Emperor Mike Madigan is either run out of office or dies. Governor Rauner has played his term so far as an immovable object to Madigan's unstoppable force. It's ugly because neither will budge. And it matters not a whit to either because they are rich beyond belief. Nothing is getting done. People are moving away. Folks with real needs (e.g. developmentally disabled folks) are being left to wither on the vine because no state budget means nobody is getting paid to take care of them. Chopping up the state solves nothing. I'd love to hear real solutions, painful as they might be.
  2. We got one as a Christmas gift for out-of-state relatives. Just connected it to our account so they don't have to feel the pinch when traveling from Wisconsin to Indiana. That said, tolling for non-transponders has gotten nefarious. In many places there are no ways to pay cash. They have a new whole tollway (IL-390, formerly the "Elgin-Ohare Expressway") that doesn't have a single tollbooth. If you don't have a transponder, you're supposed to call or go online to pay tolls. That's insane. That said, I'll pay a few bucks to use the tollways, as is reliably faster than surface streets, construction notwithstanding.
  3. If you do get pulled into the vortex of Chicagoland tollways, the I-Pass transponder will pay for itself fast. I think it's still $10, but paying cash on the tollways costs double. Also, it works in other states (I can attest it works in Indiana, New York, Ohio, etc.). To your original point, yeah, why aren't Google maps marked in Green like old road atlases? That would make a lot of sense.
  4. This may be the byproduct of Gloria not triggering sensors. That character trait has been a tough one for me to suspend disbelief on since the start of the season. Next up: Gloria walks undetected through laser security mesh to rob a bank.
  5. I maintain that if Hillary had asked Joe to stay on as VP for another term and he accepted, she would have wiped Trump off of the electoral map. I mean, the job of VP isn't Constitutionally limited to two terms, is it?
  6. Because the U.S. should not be in the business of putting other countries out of business. Because they are not businesses. They are nations.
  7. Blaine! Mya... I just PayPal'd. Thank you for taking point on this.
  8. My uncle gifted me his Indy tickets this year. Alonso's dead car drifted to a stop right in front of us at the end of pit road. Too bad, as he was having a strong race. There was a big cheer when they called his name during driver introductions. When he hopped out of his car the folks sitting in our section gave him a standing ovation.
  9. My brother is a reporter / columnist for a newspaper in a mid-sized conservative midwestern city. It's amazing the abuse he puts up with from readers for simply doing his job reporting on events. The letters and phone messages are filled with vitriol. He takes it all in stride and is frankly thankful that anyone is reading a newspaper these days. It is disturbing and worrying to me, though. I wish I had his chutzpah to ask the hard questions to his local reps, as well as to civic leaders and the local major university's president (a former governor of the state). It's thankless, but I'm thankful he does it. That said, screw anyone who thinks a reporter asking questions is deserving of assault and battery. I hope it becomes a millstone around Gianforte's time in Washington and he becomes ineffectual for it. He's up again in 2018, right?
  10. The first thing that should happen to Representative-elect Gianforte is for a journalist to ask him about the CBO score. Every question to him should be about it until he answers it. Journalists should not be cowed by this bully. Hit him where it hurts: In his ignorant empty brain pan.
  11. Trump is so ignorant that he doesn't realize German auto makers like Mercedes and BMW have assembly plants in the US. Even more ignorant of Trump is that these plants are in ALABAMA and SOUTH CAROLINA. I'm sure his supporters in those deep red states will applaud his defiance of those evil Huns, just like Eisenhower done back in Double-U Double-U Two.
  12. There was a photo of Barron kicking a soccer ball in full Arsenal kit a few weeks back. No sympathy for that! Anything associated with Stan Kroenke is by definition unsympathetic! Pick a better club shirt to kick around in, Barron!
  13. Wasn't he the one claiming that anyone asking for immunity is guilty as hell? And he was the one leading the RNC nitwits in the Lock Her Up! chants, right? Irony is a stone cold b*tch.
  14. I almost quit watching when Varga filled the World's Greatest Dad! mug and made Sy drink it. Unnecessary to tell this story. And just vile. The key to Malvo was that he was crazy, but in a sort of charming way. He played cat-and-mouse with his victims in a way that I wanted to see how it unfolded. Varga is just malevolent and cruel. I have no interest in his plot. He's sick.