Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight

"We don't need no stinkin' vote!" Pension robbers Quinn and Nekritz agree.  (Sun-Times)
O.K., the great pension robbery has failed -- at least for now. The Quinn-Nekritz gang that couldn't shoot straight, ended up shooting each other and their plot to violate the State Constitution and raid the pension fund of struggling retirees fizzled out with barely a whimper.

But the culprits are still at large, parading around disguised as "progressives." Quinn is already political toast by my reading of the tea leaves.  But Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook) still roams the political landscape. There must be a way to punish her at the ballot box. On second-thought, if you've got to fight the pension robbers, maybe it's better to leave the incompetent ones in there.

Football metaphors abound for the Quinn-Nekritz last-minute, illegal move to have their bill become law without the legislature even having to vote on it. After Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago), called the move unconstitutional and unions lined up in unison against it, AFL-CIO prez Michael Carrigan said, "“I’d characterize this as a desperate Hail Mary pass.”

Another member of the gang, John Cullerton (D-Chicago), had the most cynical, if ill-conceived scheme of all, forcing retirees to choose between putting food on their table (COLA increase) and their health care. That plan also never even came to a vote. You might say, it petered out. If there's any justice in this world (or beyond), he will someday be forced to make the same choice.

Best quotable of the day came from Speaker Mike Madigan:
“You know, it’s kinda hard to have thoughts, isn’t it?” Madigan said as he left the Capitol.
Yes it is, Mike. Yes, it is.

Also, more kudos to CTU prez Karen Lewis for giving us all a lesson in labor history and for getting wing-nuts Michelle Malkin and Greta Van Susteren's undies all in a twist.
“We are in a moment where the wealth disparity in this country is very reminiscent of the robber baron ages,” Lewis said in the speech videotaped Dec. 2. “The labor leaders of that time, though, were ready to kill. They were. They were just — off with their heads. They were seriously talking about that.”

They still are.

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