Quick Hits – April 4, 2016

Who needs state universities anyway?

Apparently not Bruce Rauner who’s doing his damndest to make sure they all disappear. And once folks start believing state schools aren’t financially stable, it’s gonna take a lot of effort to bring ‘em back.

Even the Trib finally caught up with the story on Sunday, but over the last three weeks, various local legislative aides have told stories about parents calling their State Reps and Senators to say they’ll be sending their children to out-of-state universities because they don’t want to risk a budget battle borne shutdown.

NIU

Those same parents are also saying that a number of high school counselors are urging their young charges to avoid Illinois as they move forward. And the University of Aurora is already making students pay back their absent MAP Grants – at a whopping 6.8 percent interest rate – which has forced a number of them to leave the school.

Yet somehow Governor Rauner thinks destroying the State this is going to make the Democrats suddenly see the folly in the Prevailing Wage Law. But make no mistake, as bad as things have gotten under Darth Madigan’s tutelage, regular folks understand that the Governor is making things much worse and they’re starting to point the finger directly at him.

So all the Speaker has to do sit back and wait until he fails which does seem to be the thing he does best.

I’ve never understood non-contagious diseases like cancer that tend to kill their host, and thus, themselves, because it goes against the most basic survival instinct that’s infused into every living cell. But I gotta tell ya, Governor Rauner is truly helping me understand Roman Emperor Nero’s mindset.

Keep fiddling Bruce!

And speaking of the Tribune…

Have any of y’all noticed there’s no more Sunday ads?

A scant year ago, the Trib went as far as sealing  their Sunday circulars in a separate plastic bag so grocery store patrons couldn’t purloin their favorites. Now, there really aren’t any flyers to take.

best buy adTake yesterday’s today’s Trib for example. There were no Best Buy, H. H. Gregg, Kohl’s, Sports Authority, CVS, Dollar Store, 5 Below, Cabella’s, Lowes, Home Depot, or Ulta weekly ads. And some of ‘em haven’t been in the paper for months.

Of course, this bode well for Tribune Publishing because it will inevitably turn into a self-perpetuating death spiral.

With content continuing to suffer those circulars are still a draw. So as the ads continue to fade, so will the print readership. And as readership continues to fade, retailers will be less inclined to advertise in the Sunday Trib. And those stand-alone Sunday flyers still bring in the big bucks.

To make matters much worse, when a favorite flyer is missing, I simply turn to the Web to the point where I would’ve long since canceled the Trib if my wife didn’t insist upon keeping it. I’m sure that Net advertising works out really well for enterprises like Target because beyond the graphic artist, it’s virtually free.

Yet newspapers across the board remain fully engaged in the Einsteinian definition of insanity by utterly refusing to entertain any possibility that might actually stave off their almost inevitable irrelevance.

In the words of the great Roger Waters, “All in all, it’s just another brick in the wall.”

It’s been a bad day

I thought I’d seen it all when, last fall, while waiting at that Elgin westbound Highland and Douglas stoplight, a southbound Douglas driver turned right-on-red right in front of an EPD squad car who clearly had the right of way.

That driver didn’t even make it to Grove before he was pulled over.

rear endedBut that gentleman’s bad judgment pales in comparison to what 57 year-old Elgin motorist, Janet Montan, managed to pulled off last week.

With a .198 BAC, no driver’s license, and no insurance, Ms. Montan somehow managed to rear-end an unmarked EPD squad car at Liberty and Villa – complete with a plastic cupful of beer sitting in her center console. Just for good measure, she had a crack pipe in her purse too.

Unable to remain silent, she told the arresting officers that she hadn’t had a valid driver’s license in 20 years. As you might imagine, all that quickly added up to two class four felony counts.

So the next time you think you’re having a bad day, please try to remember that it couldn’t possibly be worse than Ms. Montan’s.

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