Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Tale of 2 GOP Headquarters': Evanston and Niles Twp.

I believe that you can tell a lot about an organization by the status of its physical presence in the community in which it operates.

By this measure, the Evanston GOP is in a pretty clear state of full bored retreat.

For decades it worked out of a very impressive storefront located directly across Davis St. from the monumentally stately Evanston Post Office building. Its very presence there suggested that it was a pillar of the Evanston establishment like the Post Office itself -- which it had been from about the time of the Civil War until about 2000.
Niles Twp. GOP Committeeman Joe Hedrick
built a new Republican HQ

Around 2004, an unknown elementary school secretary named Linda Lafianza came from out of nowhere to assume the Evanston GOP committeman's post.

Just about her first move was to close down the impressive downtown Evanston HQ and move it to a hidden away, hole-in-the-wall, 2nd floor office in a Bank building on the very fringe of Evanston.

It is so far on the fringe of Evanston, located across the street from the seedy Howard & Western shopping center, that if someone fell out of the window of Lafianza's HQ, they would land in Berny Stone's 50th Ward of Chicago.

Needless to say, little of practical political value takes place in the inaccessable, invisible, usually closed Evanston GOP HQ.

During the recently concluded Evanston mayoral elections the Evanston GOP was about as much a factor as the Women's Christian Temperance Union (which was founded in Evanston and oddly still has a vestigial presence there.)

In that election, the ultra-left candidate of the Schakowsky-Creamer Democrat machine waltzed to a landslide victory without even breaking a sweat.

If Evanston is clearly a Republican organization in retreat, the neighboring Niles Township Republican Party seems to be one in a revanchist mode.

It just elected one of its own members Mayor of Morton Grove.

For years, the Niles Township Republicans had a large airy headquarters in the solid old Bronx building, right across from the Skokie Swift terminal and a few blocks from downtown Skokie and from the Morton Grove village line.

There, a little army of precinct captains would meet, get their walking orders and walking around cash from GOP committeeman, Sate Sen. John Nimrod. They would reportedly only get their walking around cash when Nimrod decided not to simply pocket it for himself.

When Nimrod flew the coop to a sturdier GOP base in Park Ridge, a succession of nondescript figures assumed the role of committeman and eventually the HQ was closed and GOP business was conducted haphazardly in library and park district meeting rooms.

As late as 2002, a liberal-Republican committeeman named Sheldon Marcus had a "headquarters" which consisted of a lone desk set aside in the office of his personal PR firm. For this GOP "headquarters" desk, he paid himself rent from the organization coffers.

Then Joe Hedrick, a longtime conservative activist from Morton Grove, assembled a precinct army of 2nd amendment advocates, right to lifers and assorted other Republican activists and blew the do-nothing Marcus out of the water in the 2002 election for GOP committeeman.

Among the things Hedrick promised in that campaign was to reestablish a concrete GOP HQ in Niles Township. After his landslide win, he did just that and for the past 7 years Republicans in Niles Township (Skokie, Morton Grove, Lincolnwood and parts of Niles and Glenview) have had a physical presence in a nice little storefront at the corner of Lowell and Oakton in Skokie.

It has an actual electrified outdoor sign to announce its presence.

The Niles HQ has served as a meeting place for the organization and as a seminal campaign office for local GOP candidates, who could not afford to rent one.

And neighbors actually walk in in to just chat and shoot the breeze about politics-- how about that!

In sharp contrast to Evanston, where the GOP was a non-factor in the recent municipal elections, Hedrick and the Niles Twp. GOP just elected one of their own, Dan Staackman, Mayor of Morton Grove.

Like I said, you can tell a lot about an organization by the status of its physical presence in the community in which it operates.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Tale of Two Chicago Party Headquarters

A few years back I had the experience of travelling down to Chicago's 11th Ward. That's essentially Bridgeport and the Back of the Yards and is the home base of the Daley clan, Michael Bilandic and legions of prominent Democrat City jobholders, contractors and Federal indictees (the subsets of which have often overlapped.)

While there, I was amazed to get an eyeful of the 11th Ward Democratic Organization headquarters. Having spent much of my wayward youth wandering in and out of various suburban and city Township and Ward political HQs, this was truly stunning to me. I had never seen anything like it.

It is a 2 story concrete free-standing, edifice with "Democrat Organization of the 11th Ward," prominently etched right into the crown of the building. It evoked an image of solidity and confidence and permanence--kind of like a bank building in the era before banks decided to operate out of checkout lines at the local Jewel Supermarket (The bank? Take a left at the Deli Counter, a right at produce and it's there at the end next to the cumquats.)

This was a truly stunning building. If not for the identification etched into the stone, it could easily have passed for the main post office in Appleton, WI.

And mind you, this was only a Ward party headquarters. The Cook County Democratic headquarters occupies a suite of offices at a respectable building in the loop.

Fast forward to the new shared headquarters of the Cook County Republican Organization/Republican Party of Chicago.

It recently moved to a hole-in-the-wall storefront at 1549 W. Blackhawk.


You need a mapquest search to find that it is a 3 block long side street that juts off of Ashland Ave. in the congested, hipster-doofus, Wicker Park neighborhood.

The office itself is a single room in a storefront beneath a 1910 vintage apartment building, complete with iron fire-escape ladders. I speculate that it must have once been home to the local cobbler or perhaps seamstress.

It contains 2 1/2 desks, a conference table, a 1-seater powder room and (for some inexplicable reason) a big screen TV. There are 6 parking meters out front to accomdate the half-dozens of party activists who may choose to visit.

There is no sign -- the makeshift one they had out front, I am told, was ripped down by the local hipster-doofuses and never replaced.

This pathetic little hovel represents the Republican party's retreat from decades of operating out of one or another respectable loop address, last one having been on West Washington -- as might befit the local outpost of a major national political party.

This eccentric choice of locale, was apparently dictated by the fact that the building is owned by Eloise Gerson, 42nd GOP Ward Committeeman and Chairman of the Chicago Republican Party, the latter being a largely ceremonial title. Presumably she takes a tax writeoff in return for donating the essentially unrentable space.

What is actually a little outrageous about this absurd location, aside from the fact that there is no actual parking for visitors, is that it is literally miles from any actual Republican voters and activists (if there still are any.)

Those few stalwarts left in the city are congregated in the far-Northwest side 41st Ward (which has the lone Republican Alderman) or on the far Southwest side in Cong. Dan Lipinski's district.

Of course to locate their headquarters in either of those realms, after retreating from the respectability of the Loop, would imply some shred of common sense on the part of Cook County and Chicago Republicans.

No wonder the denizens of the formidable stone edifice in Bridgeport smugly deride Republicans as "the stupid party."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

More on Car Repo in West Rogers Park/Lincolnwood

Eli, the Repo-man, native of West Rogers Park, had two amusing tales of his adventures in West Rogers Park and Lincolnwood, where uncharacteristically, car repossession is becoming more common.

Once he pulled his tow truck in front of a house in the Eastern part of the 50th Ward, where he spotted the target car. When he went to the door to serve the repo papers to the owner, a heavily tatooed fellow wearing short pants, the man denied that he was the owner of the vehicle and refused service of the paperwork.

The owner was someone named James Davison and the man answering the door at Davison's address, repeatedly denied he was that person. Eli then inquired as to why he was sporting a Jimmy Davison tatoo of his left calf: "If it isn't you, are you wearing the tatoo because he is your life-partner or something?"

Apparently Jimmy thought the concept that he would have a gay life partner more odious than parting with his vehicle, so sadly, he signed the papers.

Eli related the tale of his encounter with what he called a household full of gypsies in Lincolnwood.

The thought that there are gypsies or organized Romany living in affluent Lincolnwood may seem somewhat incongrous. But the chief investigative specialist for organized Romany crime activity in all of Cook County is located at the Skokie Police Department, so that would seem to indicate some settlement of gypsies in the area.

Tow truck in full view, Eli went to the door of the home of the deadbeat Lincolnwood car buyer to serve the repo papers and reports that a swarm of 6 or 7 gypsies began running out of the house to their cars, firing up the engines and driving off like a scene from a NASCAR event starting line.

Apparently they weren't sure whose car was being repo-ed, but were all assuming the worst.

I don't believe that Eli ever got the gypsy car in question.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Car Repo Biz Booming in West Rogers Park/Lincolnwood

Last night, while quietly bicycling to the Rogers Park School park, mini-bikepath, I ran into an unusual occurrence. A Honda mini-van being repo-ed on the 2700 block of Chase Avenue.

This would have been considered aberrant for, usually sedate, West Rogers Park in more normal times --and and certainly for affluent Lincolnwood. But is apparently becoming a part of the social fabric during the new Obamanation.

I ran into an interesting fellow, named Elijah, who was as burly as the monstrous diesel-fueled tow truch that he was using to effect the bank repossession of the vehicle.

Eli -- as he called himself, was a scary looking, enourmously rotund, yet wildly muscular fellow. The sort of which would readily qualify for a WWE wrestling bout.

His closely cropped hair, earring and menacing body tattoos (one of which was the famous Grateful Dead's icon of a pot-smoking, rolling paper advertisement) made you think that this was surely the kind of guy that you would definitely want on your side in a free-for-all bar fight.

(Memo to self: Get Eli to go barhoppping with you next time you go to Wells St. or to Madison, WI. publick houses. And guarantee to pay for all his booze.)

But aside from looking menacing, he was a very articulate fellow. He apprised me as to the astounding rate at which bank repossession of cars is now occurring in even, usually solid neighborhoods like West Rogers Park, Chicago, Lincolnwood, IL and even posh, Sauganash, Chicago.

Eli apprised me that he was a native of West Rogers Park, a grad of St. Gertrude's School and Mather -- and seldom had had calls to perform his trade in his old neighborhood.

But on this night, he politely apprised the African-American, new and probably, sub-prime-mortgage, affirmative-action homeowner on Chase Ave., that he had legal and lawful papers for the banks repo of his Honda mini-van. Eli told me that the man was in the process of bank foreclosure on his newly acquired home.

The African-American gentleman asked Eli for a copy of the repo notice for his files. Eli demurred, saying it was not part of their standard repo procedure, but I intervened and said, "What the hell, Eli, let the poor guy make a copy for his files."

He did.

Eli apprised me that it was weird for repos to occur in areas like this, and even in Lincolnwood -- of all places.

More amusing details on that in tomorrow's piece, which will be entitled:

"Eli's coming,
hide your car girl,
Eli's coming
hide your car"

Until Tomorrow, when I'll have some rather amusing tales to relate as to Eli's re-po's of some really crazy charachters in West Roger's Park and his wild adventures re-poing a short-bed pickup truck from a family of Gypsy homeowners in Licolnwood.

I am just relating what he reported.

I am not making this stuff up.

It is too weaird for words.

But nothing should surpirse in the Brave New Obamanation.

This is, after all, Obama's Chicago.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Larry "Butts" Suffredin Spews Forth a Smokescreen

Cook County Commissioner, Larry "Butts" Suffredin (D- Peoples Republic of Evanston) -- the former Springfield lobbyist for the tobacco industry today tried to salvage his flagging political career by coming out on WLS-AM radio and asserting that he was the anti-Todd Stroger "reformist" pol on the Board -- despite having been the only surburbanite to have voted for the Toddling's -- highest in the nation -- Cook County sales tax increase.

Even the devoted lemmings of Suffredin's ultra-left wing Schakowsky Democrat political mob, pay taxes.

And some of even those knee-jerk lefties aren't thrilled with him. Even they aren't thhrilled with shelling out an extra 11 cents on the dollar every time they buy a carton of tofu or pack of nearly-rotten organic pears at their local overpriced Whole Foods Market.

They didn't expect this.

They just thought that only Kenilworth yacht purchasers would have to pay it.

Not so.

And now Palatine Township voters (and those in several other thoughtful outlying Townships) have passed a referendum suggesting that they are not thrilled with the prospect of footing the bill for Ms. Schakowsky's and Mr. Suffredin's lumpen-proletariat illegal-alien freebie Cook County Hospital users, nor their enormously enthusiastic cohort of liberal Democrat voters in the Cook County Jail.

So Larry "Butts" Suffredin is in a bit of an electoral sticky wicket.

Fortunately for sober Cook County voters, Larry "Butts" has to sell his shameless schtick to a larger suburban realm than just his Evanston lefty lemmings.

No wonder that Larry "Butts" Suffredin was groveling on WLS this morning.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Skunks in West Rogers Park

There are skunks in West Rogers Park.

Lots of them.

I am not talking about the octagenarian Alderman and do-nothing Vice-Mayor of the City of Chicago, Bernard "the Snoozer" Stone.

Nor am I talking about his rotund Ward Secretary (who is ostensibly in charge of riding herd on these matters) Alan "the Weasel" Crown.

Nor am I talking about the noisy political opponents, such as Zach "Vladimir Illyich" Schiffman, chair of the West Rogers Park Community Council and Soviet. Nor am I talking about the Socialist Democrat Ward Committeeman, Mrs. Silverstein's husband, Ira.

I am talking about the scores and, as the weather improves, soon to be hundreds of live, living skunks who populate and nocturnally frolic in the alleys, backyards and parks of the West Rogers Park section of Chicago.

I was sensitized to this issue by a neighbor and fellow dog-walker, Marc, who lives near the Rogers school. My Lab-mix, Mac and his collie Zach used to frolic together at the Rogers School Park.

They are both now passed on to the doggie heaven, and hopefully frolicking on there, but Marc and his wife are inveterate collie fanciers and have a new adoptee.

And he, like most dog walkers in our area, live in absolute terror of the skunks which have proliferated in our area.

This is no laughing matter.

When a dog approaches a skunk and is sprayed, one has to spend hours cleaning the noxious gasses from the dog's coat. It may take several days to thoroughly get it out.

Both Marc and I have had to do this as have innumerable dog owners in the Roger's School and Indian Boundary neighborhoods.

I have ridden my bike through the Rogers School Park late at night and have seen literally a half-dozen skunks, brazenly grazing in the field.

This is no laughing matter.

A family in Highland Park recently got a $500,000 settlement from their homeowners insurance policyholder, because a skunk burrowed into their house, rendered it inhabitable and essentially destroyed it.

This is no laughing matter.

But you would think it is if you listened to Alderman Snoozy's paid Ward Administrative Assistant, and daughter, Ilana "Leona Helmsley" Stone.

As most people in the 50th Ward know, this girl, who has all of the graciousness and elan of a Wendy Ward Charm School dropout (yes Montgomery Ward's used to have a "charm school" for teenage girls in the 60's) answered the phone at her daddy's Aldermanic office the other day.

She has an office there that is painted (I am not making this up) pink.

I asked her what the status was as per the skunk infestation of our neighborhood.

She said: "It is a state issue, you should call your State Senator."

This was an obvious barb at Mrs. Silverstein's husband, Ira, who recently out-Socialisted Ilana "Leona Helmsley" Stone's daddy to become the new 50th Ward Democrat Committeeman.

I said, "What do you mean it is a State issue, doesn't the City of Chicago have a well-funded Department of Animal Control?"

She said, "We can't even get traps from them for our people. If you really think there is a problem, call 311."

I said, "Well then what is the purpose of having a paid constituent service staff in the 50th Ward Alderman's office"

Stony (no pun intended) silence on the line.

So much for Alderman Snoozy's clout at City Hall and so much for the crack responsiveness of Miss "Leona Helmsley" Stone's constituent service operation.

I said, "Ilana, can I quote you on this?"

She blurted out, "No!"

So much for Alderman Snoozy's transparency.

So much for the openess of our liberal-Democrat, elected representative.

And so it goes.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Open Season on Bikes in Chicago -- And Daley's Cops Don't Care

Mayor Richie "Shortshanks" Daley's PR people try to characterize him as a "green" bicyclist and one machine pol who is intent on making Chicago one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the USA.

Well, mayor-for-life, "Shortshanks," has done some good things in terms of expanding the configuration of bicycle paths and we ought give credit where credit is due.

But the corrupt, creaky, 1920s vintage Capone-era, liberal Democrat kleptocracy that he lords over is doing its utmost to undermine those stated fine intentions.

I have been back in Chicago for almost a decade now, and have had six -- count them 6 -- bicycles stolen and the crooked, inept, Democrat machine cops think its either kind of funny -- or of no importance.

In fact Daley's Democrat crooked cops have actually been said to have put together a market to sell hot bikes near the public housing projects near West Madison Avenue.

To wit -- a 10 speed AMF bike stolen by African-American kids out of a garage near Dempster in Evanston in 1993 -- the Evanston machine Democrat clods oversaw this -- so not directly Daley's fault.

One down.

A 3 speed, mint condition, Raleigh, made in England, Sprite, away from which my dog and I were about 100 yds. away, mounted and rode off on by an obviously Mexican resident in Chicago's 50th Ward. CPD response -- there's nothing we can do about it. Liberal Democrat, Richie Shortshank's viewpoint, "we're a sanctuary city -- let them all in. Tough luck to you. Just pay your taxes and fines And p-off. I need the Latino vote"

Two down.

A near mint 70's vintage Schwinn Suburban, made in Chicago, 10 spd. locked to a post on the street near Clark and Devon in the 49th Ward of Chicago. Locked cut off. When my dog and I were later walking in Warren Park, we saw an obviously Mexican, resident kid riding that very bike. When I confronted him, he said that he was given it by "Hector" at the carwash. I didn't grab him and punch him. I should have. When I called the 24th didtrict cops, they came and said, "there is nothing we can do."

Three down.

When I was working out of an office at Lawrence and Western, I locked my Trek 820 bike outside. When I came outside during a break, I noticed that it was missing. I stood by the entrance of the building for a few minutes, fuming, and then a Puerto Rican girl came by riding my bike on the sidewalk. I thrust out my arm and grabbed the carrier and arrested her progress. Told her it was my bike and what the hell was she doing riding it? She said her boyfriend gave it to her.

Four down (but this one recovered)

I was commuting down the Damen Ave. bikepath from Wicker Park to the far North side last fall, when a cloudburst ensued and I ducked into a Jiffy John in an alley in Roscoe Village to get out of the rain. Left my Peugeot road bike outside, but put a bungee cord in the spokes to preclude someone getting on and just riding away. With rain pounding and earphones on, stayed there for about seven minutes until rain subsided. When I poked my head out of the door to leave, I saw an illegal-alien Mexican metal trash collector truck tearing down the alley with my Peugeot in his truck bed. My briefcase containing eyeglasses, a paycheck, personal papers and a Chicago Public Library copy of John Dos Passos' "America" Trilogy went with the illegal alien trash vendor. I now owe $40 to the CPL for the book. You know what, Democrats -- there not going to get it. I'm on strike.

Five Down

I parked a $400 Schwinn mtn bike in front of the Dunkin Donuts on Devon and Troy 2 months ago and walked into the office. Within 3 hours the limp, severed cable was there, but not the bike. Reported it to the 24th district CPD -- their response, "probably nothing we can do."

Six Down

I found a rather nice and rather new Specialized mtn bike with very expensive Continental road tires. It was near Foster and Pulaski. Being a good citizen, and having been victimized by these bike theft creeps, myself, I decided to turn it in to the CPD station on Pulaski near Lawrence. The desk Sgt. summoned the cop in charge of bike reclamaton, who seemed totally bored with his job and essentially told me that he didn't want to be bothered so why don't I just keep the bike.

I did and gave it to some neighbor kids.

So much for Daley's "Bike-Friendly Chicago."

And so it goes.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Frigid Wrigley Field -- Filthy Chicago Weather

It was 35 degrees with a bellowing northeasterly wind at game time for the Cubs home opener yesterday. MLB attendance reports suggested that all 40,077 seats were sold out, but in reality it seemed only about half that number were masochistic enough to actually sit thru the entire ordeal.

Certain days become hallmarks in ones mind against which to measure certain developments and for me the weather on opening day has always been one of those. It makes me appreciate how entirely filthy Chicago's weather usually is.

I had the good fortune to escape Chicago for a bit more than a decade. Living in one of the balmy states of the Old Confederacy, I would still monitor the Cubs via the WGN superstation and recall one wonderful opening day in 1992 when I was basking in the Virginia warmth, wearing my shorts and a knit polo shirt. Yesterday, on opening day in Chicago, I was wearing my down parka, scarf, gloves and 180 earmuffs.

One of my childhood friends aspired to become a sportswriter in the footsteps of his uncle, a storied sports columnist for the Chicago Daily News. So he was more fanatic than most of us in following the Cubs and was crazy enough to take the El down to Wrigley on a wintry opening day in the late 60s.

It actually snowed that day and only about 85 people actually showed up for the game -- this being the era when the skinflint, P.K. Wrigley fielded real dogs year after year.

Apparently, P.K. , who Royko used to say "threw nickels around as if they were sewer covers," was in an unusually magnanimous mood that day, because he had the Andy Frain ushers hand out vouchers for free tickets to the next game to the 85 or so stalwarts.

P.K. Wrigley was so cheap that for a couple of seasons, he would actually send the ushers to collect foul balls caught by fans, so that the Cubs could reuse them. The fan would then get a certificate attesting to the fact that he had caught or otherwise captured a foul ball at Wrigley field.

Mike Murphy on the sportstation WSCR once quipped to a caller that P. K. Wrigley was so cheap that he filled the resin bags on the mound with kitty litter to save money -- to which the caller retorted, "USED kitty litter."

Anyway Chicago weather really stinks and one of the only celebrities I ever heard speak truthfully about it was John Cleese, of Monty Python fame, who spent a year or two here with the Second City troupe in the '60s.

While plugging a movie during a recent WGN radio interview, he was asked what he thought of Chicago.

He said, "I suppose it's a nice enough place, but your weather is just so awfully filthy."

I always liked John Cleese.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Black Market Cigarette Trade in Chicago Parks

I knew it was just a matter of time. I predicted it months ago: a black market in cigarettes. And of course Chicago, in the true spirit of Alphonse Capone and Bugs Moran, has taken the lead.

One doesn't have to be a direct blood descendent of Adam Smith to comprehend that when there is a popular demand for a product and government arbitrarily curtails its availability, provenders will arise -- whether legally or not -- to supply and profit from the demand.

So it came as no surprise to me when the other day, while dog walking, I was approached by a rather seedy but eminently resourceful young entrepreneur, who asked me if I cared for a pack of Newports for "only" five bucks. It was a genuine bargain, given the fact that a simple pack of cigarettes, which costs about 30 cents to produce, now approaches $20 at Walgreens.

The budding young Rockefeller showed me the pack, which had Illinois, Cook County and Chicago tax stamps affixed, which led me to believe that he was either a merchandising and cost accounting genius or a thief.

His torn blue jeans and stubble of beard suggested the latter.

I declined the purchase, not because I am above buying hot goods, but rather due to an aversion to menthols. I told him to get back to me if his purchasing agent should happen to acquire Pall Mall straights.

But within a half an hour this guy was the most popular fellow in the park. Teenaged kids from Sullivan High School and St. Scholastic H.S. were literally running after him throwing fins at his feet, much to the envy of the illegal-alien elote vendors, whose business was dismal by comparison. (Look for them to expand their inventory any day now, "I'll take an elote slathered in mayonnaise and a pack of bootleg Marlboro Lights.")

So why is there now an embyonic -- and soon to be burgeoning -- black market trade in tobacco products in Chicago?

Well, in March of this year, the Hyde Park Messiah (to the delight of health conscious school marms, do-gooders and hall monitors everywhere) signed into law, Nancy Pelosi's 62 cent per pack increase on cigarettes, bringing the total federal tax to $1.01 per pack -- more than 3 times the actual cost of production. Piled on top of this are Illinois, Cook County and Chicago "sin taxes," which have driven the cost of smokes into the stratosphere and supply into the hands of Al Capone wannabees.

It was the inane goo-goo experiment spawned by the little old ladies of the temperance movement that managed to elevate Alphonse "Scarface" Capone from a lowly Bronx olive oil saleman to the lofty heights of a multimillionaire organized crime kingpin.

Now the accidental Illinois Governor, Pat Quinn, wants another 60 c state tax increase on cigarettes.

I am reasonably confident that in the coming months my dog and I will be running into a lot of new entrpreneurs in the Chicago parks, ready to cash in on the new tobacco prohibition folly.

This should really come as no surprise to anyone in Chicago.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Chicago Lampoon

Chicago is a very funny city.

In fact, it is a windswept glacial burg that is the source of a never-ending supply of knee-slappers and outright horselaughs.

From the neophyte community organizer that it foisted on an unsuspecting American electorate to the mop-topped sociopathic boy-Governor that it sent to the Letterman show, to its storied depression era, tommy-gun toting philanthropists, it has produced some truly amusing and amazing characters.

It has a Mayor who is a stranger to proper employment of the English language, but a key source of employment to legions of Democrat ward heelers. It has a Republican Party that relocated its headquarters to a hole-in-the-wall office storefront, with no parking in the hipster-doofus part of town and still regularly slates a guy known as "Sparky the Clown" for high civic office.

It has 50 sleepy Alderman and 5, usually somnolescent, professional sports franchises

It has two Jesse Jacksons!

It has more potholes per capita than Nairobi, a creaky 1940s-era elevated train system, cops who get caught on tape punching out bar maids and businessmen and still thinks it can sponsor the International Summer Olympics.

I am only going to report and comment on what actually happens in Chicago. To make up stuff that weird would tax my inventive capabilities to the limit (or at least as high as the, highest-in-the-nation, Cook County sales taxes.)