With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Rahm finds $100M for air conditioners. Does Ari have an A/C company client?

A cool $100M for A/C. 
A hundred million here. A hundred million there. It soon adds up.

But that doesn't seem to be a problem for Chicago's mayor, who can always find $100M lying around whenever he needs it for one of his favorite projects. It just so happens that contributing the city's required share to the pension fund or paying teachers and municipal employees what they deserve is not one of those projects.

This week, air conditioners are.
Chicago Public Schools put a $100 million price tag Tuesday on Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s sudden mandate to air-condition classrooms in 206 schools, even as CPS faces a $1 billion shortfall and many other pressing capital needs.
Irony is that the CTU pushed to make air-conditioned classrooms, especially following Rahm's longer-school-year mandate, part of the contract negotiations back in 2011. The mayor's response then was:
“Everything here is down to two final issues, and it’s not air conditioning, OK? ...We don’t go on strike for air conditioning.”
The change in course wasn’t lost on the teachers. “We were told it wasn’t possible to get, it was cost prohibitive. They couldn’t promise us and we would create a committee to discuss it. That committee hasn’t met. We never discussed it,” CTU vice president Jesse Sharkey said. -- Sun-Times
The number of schools without air conditioning, 1 in 4,  is about the same as the number of CPS schools without libraries or librarians.

Rahm & Ari.
My guess is that brother Ari or one of his pals must have a stake in the air-conditioning business. Maybe like Ari's stake in Uber, the web-based share-ride firm being hailed as the new alternative to taxi cabs. It's also become a favorite of the Mayor who's greasing the way for Uber to create hell-on-earth for cabbies everywhere.
Christian Muirhead, a spokesman for Ari Emanuel’s William Morris Endeavor agency, confirmed Tuesday that the agency continues to hold a stake in Uber. In a phone call from the agency’s offices in Beverly Hills, Muirhead said he couldn’t provide the exact size of the investment. “We made a minimal investment in Uber a few years ago,” he said. Minimal is, obviously, a relative term. Uber has reaped total investments of more than $410.6 million, according to PrivCo, a provider of financial information about private companies. -- Politics Early & Often
To paraphrase former Mayor Richard J. Daley: If a man can't reach out and help his own brother, what kind of society are we living in?

The city's cab drivers haven't had an increase in 9 years and are now trying to unionize. Good move cabbies.
Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the 17,000-member New York Taxi Workers Alliance and the president of the National Taxi Workers Alliance called cabdrivers among the “most exploited” workers in America because they are universally “misclassified” as independent contractors. But she called the working conditions for Chicago cabbies a new low. “It’s unacceptable to have conditions where thousands of taxi drivers are earning below minimum wage after laboring 60 to 70 back-breaking hours” a week, Desai said. -- Sun-Times
 I can relate. I wish we had a union back in the days when I was driving for American United and going to school at night to get my doctorate.

In Chicago, it's profits uber alles.

NO SURPRISE HERE...Guess what? Out of the 10 ten schools named best in the state by USNWR, 5 are CPS schools. All 10 have union teachers. And there's not one charter school or virtual school in the bunch. Go figure.


  1. Why paraphrase when the original is so well-spoken?
    "“If I can’t help my sons then they can kiss my ass! I make no apologies to anyone. There are many men in this room whose fathers helped them, and they went on to become fine public servants. If a man can’t put his arms around his sons and help them, then what’s the world coming to?” - Richard J Daley to a meeting of the Cook County Democratic Central Committee.

  2. As someone who's sat in a sweaty class room with twenty other sweaty kids, this is important. Librarians are needed, but so is basic comfort! I remember a day in middle school where it was so hot my mom was passing out water bottles to everyone before she signed me out.


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