Knives and guns in city government

While running for his first presidential election in June, 2008, then candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-Illinois) expressed his political philosophy at a fundraiser in Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, with a quote attributed to Elliot Ness from "The Untouchables." movie  Then, as now, Chicago, Obama's political hometown, in the 1930s, was totally corrupt; Ness, a federal agent, was not, he was untouchable.Ness cleaned up Chicago a bit, he brought down notorious gangster Al Capone.

"Obama made the comment in the context of warning donors that the general election campaign against McCain could get ugly."

The Morning Call of Allentown, Pa., published the entire pool report, which included the quote now attributed to Obama.

Chozick, June 13, 2008: He [Obama] warned that the general election campaign could get ugly. “They’re going to try to scare people. They’re going to try to say that ‘that Obama is a scary guy,’ ” he said. A donor yelled out a deep accented “Don’t give in!”

“I won’t but that sounded pretty scary. You’re a tough guy,” Obama said.

“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama said. “Because from what I understand folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.”

Obama is now, of course, totally in favor of banning guns.  And knives.  He wouldn't bring either to a fight, would he?  He is all for compromise and getting along isn't he?

Chicago is still corrupt.  It is still Democratic.  It is also broke.  Its credit rating is now officially the lowest/ of any city's except Detroit, which, not so coincidentally, is also Democratic. 

Hey, no big deal; probably a racist move by a racist credit agency against Obamas hometown, right?  And so, on Tuesday the city's aldercreatures (political correctness restrains me from identifying them by gender in the suffix), the representatives, met in a City Council session where they diligently attended to the important business of the day.

Aldermen (sic) passed a symbolic resolution opposing the naming of the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to honor Chicago Prohibition-era crime fighter Eliot Ness. Some aldermen argue Ness' role in the conviction of gangster Al Capone has been overstated.

Ness  was probably too honest for them. 

They also proposed legislation, that, if passed, might increase unemployment and therefore the city's debt.

All private employers in Chicago would be required to provide paid sick days to their workers under a new proposal backed by a majority of the city’s 50 aldermen.

If the proposal sponsored by Aldermen Proco “Joe” Moreno, 1st and Toni Foulkes, 15th, were enacted, Chicago would follow other cities — including New York, San Francisco and Seattle — that have laid down similar mandates in recent years.

“Just about everyone has had to take time off for themselves or for a sick family member that they need to care for,” said Anne Ladky, executive director of Women Employed, a Chicago-based group leading the paid sick day movement in Illinois.

“When (workers without paid sick days) get sick, they have to decide whether to come in sick or take a day off without pay, and in many cases if they do take that day off without pay, they are in danger of losing their jobs,” Ladky said.

Tanya Triche, vice president at the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, questioned the accuracy of studies that show an overall benefit to businesses. “There’s a claim that the benefits outweigh the costs, but there’s no evidence of that,” Triche said.

Advocates said that in Chicago, 42 percent of private sector workers, or more than 460,000 people, don’t get paid sick days.

Under the ordinance, workers would get one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, with a limit of five or nine days a year, depending on the size of the employer. A first violation could trigger a $500 fine, a second double that and a third $1,500. Workers also could take their cases to court to recover back pay and benefits.

Paid leave for illness and other emergencies is a problem for workers and employers alike with valid arguments for and against.  Is the corrupt Chicago City Council a place to solve it?  Maybe workers and employers can bring their knives and guns to the fight and, as noted in The Untouchables, if one side ends up in the hospital, the other side is in the morgue.