Readers of Kristen McQueary’s Tribune column may have found themselves bewildered by a recent column in which she wished, literally, for Hurricane Katrina to hit Chicago so that the city would be forced to reset its social, educational, and economic policies. After the “chaos, tragedy, and heartbreak” of Katrina, in McQueary’s words, came a “rebirth” of the kind that Chicago needs. Never mind the fact that Katrina caused some of the most systematic and inhumane mistreatment of African-American people in recent memory. After the uproar, McQueary wrote a follow-up column clarifying that when she said she wanted “geysers bursting through manhole covers” she was speaking metaphorically.
In one of the most excellent pieces of non-news to come out of Chicago in months, DNAInfo recently reported (in a 700-word article) that the Barack Obama Presidential Library (South Side location still TBD) will serve up Michelle Obama’s famous healthy food options to tourists and visitors. This in contrast to the candied bacon burger served at Clinton’s Little Rock library and the Irish pub at the Reagan library. What’s more remarkable here is that, even though there has been literally no news about the UofC-led Obama library project since early spring, Chicago news organizations are still finding a way to talk about it. Talk about slim pickings.
She Won’t Be Back
Donna Arduin, the “superstar” budget consultant to Gov. Bruce Rauner, has “departed” from Rauner’s team as the state continues to work towards a budget that pleases both state politicians and their pesky anti-austerity opponents, who continue to pursue impossible demands, such as the humane treatment of low-income people. Arduin, who received $30,000 a month while on Rauner’s team, has previously worked under another (much better-looking but equally dubious) governor: Arnold Schwarzenegger. There, too, she only worked for eleven months—unfortunately for the writers of these notes, she quit, and was not “terminated.” Spending in Illinois continues to outpace revenue by over $6 billion.