Tag: chicago

Chicago’s New Obama Burden


The proposed construction of the extensive Obama Presidential Center on some 19.3 acres in Jackson Park on the south side of Chicago has long been a simmering issue of deep and continuous controversy. This past February, I stated my multiple objections to the choice of the historic site for the center and argued that on every conceivable ground it would be far better for the City of Chicago to construct it in Washington Park, located just to the west of Hyde Park. Washington Park is largely under-utilized and is a stone’s throw from the Chicago expressways. The Washington Park site will not require closing the major northbound roads that now run through Jackson Park, and it will not clash with other lakefront fixtures, including the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry located on the north end of Jackson Park. My views were hardly idiosyncratic;  they were shared by at least 200 members of the University of Chicago faculty.

Objections to the project were effectively overridden when the Chicago City Council’s Committee on Housing and Real Estate gave the project its unanimous blessing on October 11. By that time, however, the action had started to shift to the courts: On May 14, a long-time activist group, Protect Our Parks, joined by several Chicago residents, filed a lawsuit whose sole purpose was to block the construction of the Obama center in Jackson Park. The suit seeks to invalidate the transfer of property rights in the Jackson Park land from the Park Department to the City of Chicago for the nominal price of $1, after which the City plans to designate it for use by the center, without making a formal transfer of title.

One of the grounds on which this transfer is challenged is that the City is barred by the so-called public trust doctrine from making the transfer. In response to this complaint, seven prominent law professors prepared a brief in which they announced that the public trust doctrine under its current interpretation gives the City ample grounds on which to complete the deal. In their view, the Court must give deference to the legislative decision and allow the transfer to go through. On this question, the precedents are divided and often confused. What follows is my analysis of how the public trust should apply, and why.

Will David Beat Goliath in Chicago?


The Chicago Tribune has an article about a college student running for alderman, who has run up against the Chicago bosses.

…David Krupa, 19, a freshman at DePaul University who drives a forklift part time. He’s not a political powerhouse. He’s just a conservative Southwest Side teenager studying political science and economics who got it in his head to run for alderman in a race that pits him against the most powerful ward organization in Chicago.

Aaron Renn and Rafael Mangual join City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s legacy, the Windy City’s ongoing homicide epidemic, and its severely underfunded public pensions.

Chicago’s energetic leader shocked the political world this week when he announced that he would not seek a third term as mayor. Emanuel leaves behind a mixed record: he enjoyed some successes, but he largely failed to grapple with the city’s two biggest problems: finances and violent crime.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America savor three good martinis for conservatives.  First, they applaud Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse for reminding his fellow senators of the constitutional purpose of the judicial branch, how Brett Kavanaugh out to be evaluated, and why the political “charades” needs to stop.  They also cheer Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey for naming former Sen. Jon Kyl to replace John McCain in the U.S. Senate until the 2020 election.  And they welcome Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s decision not to seek another term and reflect on his disastrous record in both Washington and the Windy City.

A Liberal Icon Speaks Truth – and the Left Goes Wild!


Here’s an interesting situation. Rahm Emanuel is speaking truth from power (emphasis added). To no one’s surprise, he is catching flak for this.

In this city, someone gets shot an average of about once per hour. That was the sobering reality in Chicago this weekend, when at least 58 people were shot between Friday afternoon and late Sunday night, according to the Chicago Police Major Incident Notification System…. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has already vented his frustration about the gun violence in his city. In the first weekend of August, Chicago had 66 shootings — including 12 killings.

“We as a city, in every corner, have an accountability and a responsibility. If you know who did this, be a neighbor, speak up,” Emanuel said earlier this month.

Welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast for July 18, 2018 it’s the Trump Industrial Complex edition of the show with your suave and fascinating hosts, radio guy Todd Feinburg and, holding down the left coast, AI-guy Mike Stopa.

This week we bring two topics of very intellectual weight and concern. The first involves the military industrial complex, the deep state and the fate of the Republic. The second concerns the nature of Man and the importance of the Will to Power in Man’s survival. Must Man always struggle to be higher in order to still remain, in his essence, a Man?

A Comeuppance for Obama’s Presidential Center


When Barack Obama was President of the United States, he eagerly used his “pen and phone” to achieve his grand environmental objective of locking up public lands to keep them from private use. In January 2017, he used the Antiquities Act of 1906 to designate 1.3 million acres of land in Utah as a National Monument. The month before he mounted an all-out resistance to both the Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota Access pipeline—two projects that offered more reliable delivery of oil and fewer adverse environmental effects than the railcars and trucks that they displaced.

Citizen Obama uses a different playbook now that he is embroiled in his own personal land-use controversy. The Obama Foundation is in a fierce struggle over its proposal, now before The Chicago Parks Commission, to locate the new Obama Presidential Center (OPC) in the high-rent district of Jackson Park on the South Side of Chicago. The park is now a scenic area near Hyde Park, originally designed by the great landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Many compelling objections to the Jackson Park location are outlined in an excellent group letter (to which I added my name) by over 200 University of Chicago professors, as well a powerful letter to the Chicago Tribune by Professor W.J.T. Mitchell, one of the leaders of the opposition, who rightly blasts the Tribune’s architectural critic Blair Kamin for his defense of an ungainly project, which is just too big for its proposed home.

Here are the salient objections. The proposed 20-acre site will have its epicenter—a massive tower that could reach 160 to 180 feet—near East 60th Street, close to both the Museum of Science and Industry as well as the University of Chicago, two major South Side institutions. The scale of the major and auxiliary buildings requires closing a six-lane north-south artery, Cornell Avenue, which winds its way through the park. As a result, the city of Chicago, which is hard-pressed for cash, will have to spend untold millions to make major alterations to expand two nearby arteries, Lake Shore Drive on the east and Stony Island Avenue on the west. Additional parking facilities will have to be built somewhere inside the park. Meanwhile, an initial OPC proposal to build a massive structure above ground was withdrawn after it was met with a chorus of boos. But Chicago’s high water table makes it an expensive proposition to build a substitute facility below grade. The tight boundaries around the complex will make it difficult to develop complementary businesses in the immediate neighborhood.

Chicago Wants to Tax Lyft and Uber to Help Public Transit. Hmmm…


Chicago likes to think of itself as a “Silicon Prairie” hub of tech startups. And in a recent report on US “startup communities” and their readiness to capitalize on “next-wave startups,” the city ranked 14th. (Boston and the Bay Area were tops.)

So OK, but hardly impressive given both Chicago’s size and proximity to two elite universities, Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. Clearly city officials there, like their counterparts around the country, hope a winning bid for Amazon’s second headquarters might catapult them into the top tier.

Yet given all that, why on earth would Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel propose a tax on ride-hailing companies like Lyft and Uber? Seems sort of anti-tech. I mean, I get the basic reason: It’s a way of raising revenue for the city’s public transit system. But more broadly, the tax might be an effort to help bolster public transit in the face of a competitive threat from ride sharing companies. It’s becoming an evermore common story: Public transit problems boost Uber and Lyft, to the detriment of public transit.

John Fund on Election Integrity and Voter Fraud


John FundJohn Fund (National Review and Fox News) returns to Whiskey Politics to update us on the issues discussed during our last podcast visit regarding the bipartisan Election Integrity Commission and how some 2.8 million people are registered in two or more states, and 1.8 million registered voters are dead.

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I know what you’re thinking. “First the Colombian Cartel and now the Latin Kings. Why is RightAngles even still alive?” Welp, sometimes I don’t even know the answer myself. I seem to be some kind of Bad Boy magnet. Anyway, the Colombians were in my 20s. Travel with me now to my 30s when I […]

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There’s been a fair bit of chatter about a “Detroit renaissance”, with artists and entrepreneurs supposedly moving to the city and breathing new life into it. There’s also perennial chatter and debate about how Chicago is able to avoid the decline that Detroit has suffered. Preview Open

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  The Dodo bird was prevalent on an isolated island that was a safe space from many predators. When European explorers discovered this rather good natured, plump, and flightless bird it was in no way prepared for what was to come. The poor, hapless bird didn’t know enough to protect itself (nor was it very […]

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Richard Epstein analyzes the major initiatives on health care, trade, immigration, regulation, and crime coming out of the first week of the Trump Administration.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are very encouraged by the final two names President Trump is reportedly considering for the Supreme Court vacancy.  They also cringe as Trump once again insists he lost the popular vote only through rampant voter fraud by illegal aliens.  And they slam Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for claiming a lack of federal assistance is to blame for the huge number of murders in his city.

Unions vs. Children


By and large, teachers are wonderful people who dedicate their lives to helping children achieve their full potential. Their unions, by contrast, have a very different mission.

Take the Great Chicago Library Lockout of 2017, for example. As a parent recently described in the Wall Street Journal, Pritzker Elementary in Chicago had to lay off its librarian due to a combination of budget cuts and lower-than-expected enrollment, so parents volunteered to help out to keep the library open. According to Michael Hendershot, whose daughter attends Prtizker, “There was so much interest that the parent-teacher organization created a rotating schedule of regular volunteers to help out.” That’s when the Chicago Teachers Union (and affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers) intervened:

 But before parents could begin volunteering, a teachers union member filed a formal complaint with the school system, objecting to the parents’ plan. Several weeks later, a union representative appeared at a local school council meeting and informed parents that the union would not stand for parental volunteers in the library. Although the parents intended to do nothing more than help students check books in and out, the union claimed that the parents would be impermissibly filling a role reserved for teachers. The volunteer project was shut down following the meeting and the library is currently being used for dance classes.

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Once again I am going to the Chicago Auto Show and will host a Ricochet Meetup while in town. We held the 2015 Chicago Meetup at Havana Grill and it was very good, so back we go. While there are many terrific restaurants in Chicago, I like that they have a separate basement room where […]

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Congratulations to my Chicago Cubs on their exciting clinching victory last night in Game 7 of the World Series. Cubs fans have been waiting a long, long, long time for this. I also want to commend the Cleveland Indians on their great season, they are a young and scrappy and talented team that will be […]

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