Thursday, October 19, 2006


The enterprising muckrakers at the scrappy Chicago Sun-Times just kicked the conservative Chicago Tribune's corpulant ass with an astonishing piece of investigative reporting. Writers Tim Novak and Art Golab show that some 20 percent of patronage workers* have been "injured" on the job and filed disability claims with the city -- which pays to settle out of its own (i.e.; OUR) pocket.

"The city has spent more than $38.9 million to resolve 1,719 claims filed by those patronage workers during the last two decades. Another 708 claims are pending. Some with pending cases have been off work for years, disappearing even from the city payroll, as if they were ghosts -- but still, in most cases, getting 75 percent of their salary while on "duty disability."

The story is accompanied by a photo of a city truck driver bending over and doing lawn work -- while on paid leave for injuring his back after falling out of his truck for the third time during his decade on the job.

Perhaps this, combined with the myriad other scandals rocking his administration, means that Mayor Daley II's 17-year reign is about to end.


The sheep that populate the Windy City would never permit it.

*patronage worker = a relative of a politician or a local who has done political favors for someone in power and has been rewarded with a cushy job for which they possess little or no qualifications.


  1. Today is start of Diwali, a major Hindu festival. Known as the "Festival of Lights," it symbolises the victory of good over evil, and lamps are lit as a sign of celebration and hope for mankind. The festival of Diwali is rooted in the mythological epic Ramayana, and is a celebration of the return of Lord Ram after killing Ravan the demon during his exile for 14 years. The day that Ravana was slain is celebrated as Dussehra (19 to 21 days before Diwali). Celebrations focus on lights and lamps, particularly traditional diyas (as illustrated). Fireworks are associated with the festival in many regions of India.

    Diwali is celebrated for five consecutive days in the Hindu month of Ashwayuja. It usually occurs in October/November, and is one of the most popular and eagerly awaited festivals in India. Hindus, Jains and Sikhs alike regard it as a celebration of life and use the occasion to strengthen family and social relationships. For Jains it is one of the most important festivals, and beginning of the Jain year. Jains celebrate Diwali because Lord Mahavira achieved Moksha. It is also a significant festival for the Sikh faith.

  2. Sweet homw Illinois?
    How much will ComEd's rate hike zap your budget?
    Here's what you need to know about the increase

    News of the proposed ComEd rate hike came as a shock to many Chicagoans, but the issue has been brewing for years. If you're wondering how we got here, here's a primer on the coming rate hike, and the fight to prevent it.

    How much are rates rising and when?

    ComEd rates for residential and small-business customers will rise about 22 percent starting Jan. 2 after the end of a nine-year rate freeze. Rate hikes for non-ComEd customers Downstate will be higher -- 45 percent to 55 percent.