Tag Archives: rahm emanuel

Sign of the times: Trump Tower sign reveals more Rahm Emanuel hypocrisy

18 Oct

Trump Tower signBack in June 2014, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel ripped the sign on Trump Tower which spelled out Trump’s name as being “tasteless” and—despite the city already having approved the signage—declared he would seek any possibilities of forcing its removal.

Mayor Emanuel believes this is an architecturally tasteful building scarred by an architecturally tasteless sign,” spokeswoman Kelley Quinn said. “The sign – which was already reduced in size and scope – does comply with the provisions of the planned development ordinance and the City Council sign order, but he has asked his staff to determine if there are any options available for further changes.”

Then in September 2014, King Emanuel announced a new city ordinance that would prevent future Trump-like signs along the Chicago River.

The fact that people bothered to critique the sign is, well, a sign of the times (pun fully intended). For liberals, you are NOT entitled to your opinion if it contradicts my opinion because my opinion is always right. So the liberal Emanuel, emboldened by a critique of the sign by Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin, decided to take the conservative Trump to task for his sign.

James_R_Thompson_Center_behind_Chicago_City_Hall

The spaceship-styled Thompson center nestled among traditional buildings in downtown Chicago

Remember, Emanuel decried the sign as “architecturally tasteless.” Aside from signs that may be phallic in imagery, the phrase “architecturally tasteless” is completely subjective. Building architecture, by definition, is often viewed as “works of art,” and art is wholly subjective. Some people love Vincent Van Gogh’s style of art and loathe Pablo Picasso’s style, and vice-versa…while still others may love both. There is no standard when it comes to art. So what Emanuel perceives as “architecturally tasteless” may be perceived as “architecturally tasteful” to others (like me).

Predictably, Emanuel did what liberals love to do: create more legislation and rules. What these liberals don’t realize is that while such legislation is consistent with their worldview, it is inconsistent with the real world. For example, Kamin’s issue with the metal signage on the Trump building is that it clashes with the “cluster of 1920s skyscrapers” and might spoil the view for the city’s Riverwalk. But look at the picture above of the James R. Thompson Center in downtown. The all-glass exterior evokes a definite modern feel reminiscent of a spaceship, yet it is next-door neighbors to many traditional stone buildings built in the 1900s and 1910s. If Emanuel were to be consistent, he would blast the Thompson Center for being “architecturally tasteless” too and push legislation that would ban modern buildings sitting next to traditional buildings.

Of course, anyone with Minor Insights would see how ridiculous an argument that is. Yet it is the same ridiculous logic that Emanuel uses to conveniently blast the Trump sign.

The Loews building has a name

The Loews building has a name

But wait…there’s more.

There are plenty of signs on riverfront buildings. Look on the left photo. It’s a shot of a building that says “Loews” on it, right along the river. Logically speaking, it too clashes with the “cluster of 1920s skyscrapers” and could spoil the view for the city’s Riverwalk. Did Emanuel blast Loews? Yeah, I missed that press conference too.

The Westin Hotel prominently displays its name

The Westin Hotel prominently displays its name

How about this photo on the right? It’s a shot of the Westin Hotel, right along the river. Logically speaking, it also has a name attached to it, just as Trump’s does. Did Emanuel take Westin to task? Hm, I don’t recall him ever blasting Westin either.

There are other buildings along the river with names on them but I don’t have room to display all the photos in this post. But I took these two shots right next to the Trump tower…which somehow draws all the attention despite neighbors that do the same thing Trump did.

Some liberals howl that it’s the size of the sign that is so offensive. They argue that the sign takes up nearly 2,900 square feet and half-jokingly say that the sign is big in order to match Trump’s ego.

What these liberals don’t realize is that the Trump building contains 2.6 million square feet of floor space. A 2,900 square foot sign on the second tallest building in the western hemisphere is merely one-tenth of one percent (0.001) of the size of the building. If you view the infamous letters in person, it actually looks very proportionate to the size of the mammoth building from which the letters hang. This is cause for a new city ordinance?

The bottom line

Emanuel’s clash with Trump has nothing to do with architecture but everything to do with ideology and political worldviews. As a liberal, Emanuel jumped at any opportunity to try to dump on the conservative Trump. Whether you are a liberal, conservative or moderate, the facts are the facts. And just as ABC7 revealed that the hypocrisy that Emanuel’s motorcade “regularly” runs red lights and speeds (AND has all those tickets thrown out) despite his public comments about the importance of not running red lights and speeding for safety purposes, the facts here show that hypocrisy again reigned in Emanuel’s lame attempt to diss Trump.

Tangential note: after Emanuel was caught by ABC7 for running red lights, Emanuel put a nice public spin on it, saying that he told his drivers: “I said, ‘Follow the law, nobody’s above the law, slow down, period.” But several months later, ABC7 caught Emanuel’s motorcade violating the law eight more times! What a bold, two-faced hypocrite. Emanuel, who—in another display of hypocrisy—didn’t even meet the city residence requirements before running for mayor, is easily the worst mayor Chicago has ever seen, which is saying something.

Advertisements

Illinois lawmakers seek to grant driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants

26 Nov

Tomorrow, Illinois lawmakers convene for their post-election lame-duck session.

The Illinois State Assembly is entirely in the hands of the Democrats, much like the United States was when Obama won the 2008 election.

The governor is a liberal Democrat. The state senators are Democrat-controlled, as are the state representatives.

When Obama took office in 2009 with a Democrat-controlled House and Democrat-controlled House, he made his agenda social-oriented rather than economic-oriented, such as repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and enacting Obamacare.

Now after the 2012 elections, the state of Illinois appears to be following Obama’s footprints. That is, many items are on the state agenda, some of which are economic-oriented (such as dealing with the burgeoning pension debt) while others are social-oriented (such as gay marriage)—and so far, it appears that the social policy bills are taking priority over economic policy bills.

One particularly loony social issue that is on the Illinois state agenda is revisiting the twice-failed idea of allowing illegal immigrants to receive driver’s licenses.

What part of “illegal” in “illegal immigrants” do these liberal lawmakers not understand?

Why would lawmakers want to grant any kind of legal status to people who are by definition in the country illegally?

In their own words, these lawmakers say they want money. “Economic growth,” explained Governor Pat Quinn.

That is, Democrats are happily willing to prostitute themselves—and the people of Illinois—for money.

Currently, immigrants without a Social Security number cannot obtain a driver’s license. And of course, illegal immigrants do not have Social Security numbers.

The Democrats’ idea is, according to a press conference and statement by Quinn and Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, to fast-track a bill that could give licenses to as many as 250,000 people who are driving but haven’t passed a driving test or, in many cases, have no insurance.

Naturally, these liberals will try to deceptively market this idea as something else. “This is a safety issue,” Quinn initially explained before admitting the money factor.

Liberals also argue that immigrants who can drive legally are more likely to work and otherwise contribute to the economy.

Newsflash: illegal immigrants already work. Heck, some of these same politicians probably hire them for themselves. But illegal immigrants who work do NOT add to the economy because they are simply taking the place of legally qualified workers.

It’s also uncertain whether this move would indeed make roads safer. From a practical standpoint, many illegal immigrants already drive very carefully because they know that causing an accident is the easiest way to be detected and subsequently deported.

But furthermore, passing a driver’s test clearly doesn’t mean drivers are safe drivers. If that were true, there should not be ANY accidents since the vast majority of drivers are people who have passed that highfalutin driver’s test.

Apparently, these liberals don’t know that there’s a big difference between knowing the rules of the road and being a safe driver.

And these liberal lawmakers are truly naive to think that illegal immigrants would also be willing to happily fork over thousands of dollars to pay for car insurance when they are barely scraping up enough money with their low, under-the-table wages.

But despite all the missing logic, this bill has the support of all the biggest liberal names in Illinois politics: Quinn, Cullerton, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and House Speaker Michael Madigan.

And despite the state’s much more pressing need to cure its fiscal woes, this absurd social policy bill is getting fast-track treatment.

Why?

Because this is how the Democrats tap into the growing Latino vote: by selling their principles for votes. It’s ok to circumvent immigration laws if it can get you re-elected.

As Crain’s Chicago Business blogger Greg Hinz wrote:

Democrats like Messrs. Quinn, Cullerton, Emanuel and Madigan — and President Barack Obama — owe Latino voters a ton after the recent election. It’s payback time — and that’s how politics works.

Principled voters should be outraged. If you live in Illinois, write your own state senator and representative and tell them to vote down this ludicrous bill.

Update on Stupidity vs. Chick-fil-A: Emanuel backs off but STILL is wrong

27 Jul

Last we left the comedic reality show known as “Stupidity vs. Chick-fil-A“, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago alderman Joe Moreno and Philadelphia councilman Jim Kenney promised to block any Chick-fil-A plans to expand in their areas.

Aside from the obvious hypocrisy—which Moreno still refused to recognize—there was the issue of unconstitutional abuse of government authority.

We now have an update on the situation. (Side note: the liberal Chicago Tribune side publication RedEye—of which I am the token conservative columnist—rejected my article on the subject. Well, blogging is more real-time than a newspaper—this is now my second column on the topic before RedEye published its first—so I guess it’s providential that I wrote online rather than having RedEye print it.)

Chick-fil-A Support Keeps Pouring In

Amusingly, several other liberal, gay-marriage-supporting writers have also condemned Emanuel, Moreno, etc. since my original article.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (Reuters)

Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic points out Emanuel’s double standard that Emanuel campaigned for two presidents who opposed gay marriage.

The liberal Boston Globe Editorial Page denounced the same conduct by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and wrote: “which part of the First Amendment does Menino not understand? A business owner’s political or religious beliefs should not be a test for the worthiness of his or her application for a business license.”

Doug Mataconis from Outside the Beltway blasted Alderman Moreno not only as a liar but also as a heavy-handed law-breaker: “Chicago Alderman have extraordinary power over the issuance of building permits in their wards. [Since] an Alderman can grant or deny a permit for any reason,…there’s nothing to stop him, at least not inside the Chicago political system. Regardless of Chicago politics, though, it is really rather obvious that what Moreno is attempting to do here is completely unconstitutional.”

Glenn Greewald of Salon added, “[A business owner’s personal beliefs being irrelevant to a business license] is so basic that it’s just astounding that anyone, let alone Mayors of big cities, need to be told this.”

Mary Mitchell of the Chicago Sun-Times is in disbelief: “[T]he city shouldn’t be bullying this CEO because an alderman disagrees with his interpretation of the Bible. If this is allowed, what’s next? Will the city start granting business permits based on whether or not a company’s owner supports gay marriage? Will prospective business investors be required to check off a box indicating they believe marriage can be between same sex couples before they are allowed to do business in the city? Is that where we’ve arrived?”

Adam Serwer of the blog Mother Jones wrote: “Blocking construction of Chick-fil-a restaurants over Cathy’s views is a violation of Cathy’s First Amendment rights. If Chick-fil-A discriminates in hiring or refuses to serve customers on the basis of sexual orientation, the local authorities can and should hold him accountable. Until then, the politicians should get out of the way.”

Digby at Hullabaloo wrote: “[I]f this fellow wants to open his business there and conduct himself within the laws of the state, the beliefs of the owner is none of the state’s business.”

Atrios at his Eschaton blog wasn’t surprised that Rahm Emanuel said something “really horrible and stupid” regarding Chick-fil-A.

Scott Lemieux, John Cole and many others have echoed those sentiments.

Remember, these people are all liberal and support gay marriage, not conservative Christians.

But here’s the real kicker.

The ACLU—of all voices—criticized Emanuel and Moreno, saying, “When an alderman refuses to allow a business to open because its owner has expressed a viewpoint the government disagrees with, the government is practicing viewpoint discrimination. We don’t think the government should exclude Chick-fil-A because of the anti-LGBT message. We believe this is clear cut.”

Wow. When the ACLU tells a liberal he is doing something wrong, that is the ultimate slap in the face.

Revisionist History

With the proverbial handwriting on the wall as they continue to get hammered by even their liberal comrades, both Emanuel and Moreno have backtracked from their stances, arguing that they never said they were going to block Chick-fil-A’s expansion plans.

In a statement to FoxNews.com, Sarah Hamilton, a spokeswoman for Emanuel, said: “He did not say that he would block or play any role in the company opening a new restaurant here. If they meet all the usual requirements, then they can open their restaurant, but their values aren’t reflective of our city.”

Really? But Emanuel is on record saying:

“If you are discriminating against a segment of the community, I don’t want you in the First Ward.”

Alderman Moreno also has tried to rewrite history. When Fox News reached him Thursday, he said traffic concerns were the basis of his objections to the store.

Really? But Moreno is on record saying:

“Initially, I had some traffic concerns with their plan. But then I heard the bigoted, homophobic comments by Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy, who recently came out against same-sex marriage. There are consequences for one’s actions, statements and beliefs. Because of this man’s ignorance, I will deny Chick-fil-A a permit to open a restaurant in my ward.” (emphasis added)

Please. Spare us the revisionist history. Just admit you were wrong. And stupid.

Still Wrong

Even when backtracking, Emanuel and Moreno are still wrong.

Recall Emanuel said, “If they meet all the usual requirements, then they can open their restaurant, but their values aren’t reflective of our city.”

Maybe Emanuel needs to get out more.

As explained in my original post, at least half the city opposes gay marriage.

Take me, for example. I live in the city. And Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy’s values reflect mine.

So, Rahm, you’re wrong. (What a surprise.)

As for Moreno, recall he tried to blame traffic concerns as his reason for blocking Chick-fil-A from his ward.

But when pressed further and asked if his objection to the restaurant had nothing to do with Cathy’s beliefs, Moreno backtracked on his backtrack: “No, I’m not saying that, I’m not walking back from that. That’s another part of it. I think businesses should be neutral on that. They should be selling chicken.”

Apparently Moreno needs to get out more too. Newsflash, Joe: Chick-fil-A does sell chicken.

And Chick-fil-A, as a business, is neutral on the issue of homosexuality. As pointed out by me as well as liberal commentators, Chick-fil-A has never discriminated against anyone on the basis of their sexual orientation.

So Moreno is still wrong. (What a surprise.)

Even when backtracking, Emanuel and Moreno still don’t get it.

Chick-fil-A 2, Stupidity 0.

Stupidity vs. Chick-fil-A

26 Jul Alderman Joe Moreno

Politicians from Illinois can be some of the most nonsensical in the nation.

Alderman Joe Moore once famously sponsored legislation to ban foie gras, being mocked and derided until the bizarre law was thankfully repealed.

Now comes two extremist empty-headed Chicago politicians who make Joe Moore look like a normal person.

Chicago’s Two Stooges

First is Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Emanuel entered the Chick-fil-A saga—and into lunkhead infamy—by saying that “Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values.”

Elaborating, Emanuel explained, “What the CEO has said as it relates to gay marriage and gay couples is not what I believe, but more importantly, it’s not what the people of Chicago believe. We just passed legislation as it relates to civil union and my goal and my hope … is that we now move on recognizing gay marriage. I do not believe that the CEO’s comments … reflects who we are as a city. This would be a bad investment, since it would be empty.”

Emanuel’s reference was to Chick-fil-A CEO president Dan Cathy’s defense of traditional marriage and anti-gay marriage stance.

That’s funny. Apparently, Rahm’s values are not Chicago values either. Looks like Emanuel is a bad investment too.

Anyway, despite having had the best public education money could buy, Emanuel apparently flunked math. A 2010 Chicago Tribune poll showed 42% of Chicago-area residents support gay marriage while 42% opposed it.

In other words, dead even.

Looks to me like Chick-fil-A values are at least half Chicago’s values, Rahm.

Alderman Joe Moreno

Alderman Joe Moreno (Alex Garcia, Chicago Tribune / January 7, 2011)

Then there’s Alderman Joe Moreno.

Like the enlightened mayor, Moreno said he refuses to allow Chick-fil-A to build a new restaurant in his ward because of Cathy’s anti-gay marriage viewpoint.

David Smith of Illinois Family Institute, a conservative Christian organization, said Moreno’s actions were “hypocritical.”

“Here’s the alderman turning around and being intolerant and discriminatory because somebody has a different view than he does. Would he do that to a Muslim company?”

Moreno angrily responded with an unwittingly self-indicting reply.

“It’s not about someone having a different view than you,” Moreno said. “That’s not what it’s about. What it’s about is discriminating against individuals in our society. Okay?”

Okay, Moreno, but that’s what you’re doing too: discriminating against individuals in our society—namely Chick-fil-A’s Dan Cathy.

Hypocrisy upheld.

Moreno revealed more stupidity with this nugget of wisdom: “This is a restaurant whose CEO has practices that are anti-against the rights of individuals that live in my ward and I’m not gonna stand on the sidelines and allow that to happen.”

Newsflash, Joe: neither the restaurant nor its CEO has any discriminatory “practices”. As a matter of fact, the Chicago Chick-fil-A has gay employees. And it serves gay customers.

Cathy has a personal viewpoint. That’s, um, not the same as a restaurant practice of discrimination.

But wait, there’s more. And this one’s a doozy.

Breaking the law

Apparently, Chicago does not have the patent on political stupidity.

Boston’s mayor preceded Chicago’s by saying he didn’t want Chick-fil-A opening up a restaurant there.

Then Philadelphia Councilman Jim Kenney followed Chicago alderman Moreno by saying “as…an elected member of [sic] Philadelphia City Council, …There is no place for this type of hate in our great City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.”

Here’s where it gets funny.

Emanuel, Moreno, Kenny and all others like them emphasized that as elected officials, they are going to prevent Chick-fil-A from opening up restaurants based solely on an executive’s personal beliefs.

There’s a word for that kind of political action: unconstitutional.

So not only do these people not have logic, but they don’t know the law either.

In fact, liberals are—ironically—coming to Chick-fil-A’s defense against this onslaught of stupidity and ignorance.

The Chicago Tribune‘s Steve Chapman, who agrees with gay marriage, disagreed with Moreno. Calling Moreno seemingly “ignorant”, Chapman said the First Amendment “forbids the government from ‘abridging the freedom of speech.'”

“It’s as black-and-white a case of illegal censorship as anyone could find,” Chapman continued. “And if the company wants to challenge Moreno’s decision in court, he wouldn’t stand a chance.”

There’s more.

Glenn Greewald of Salon, a gay marriage supporter, said, “Free speech rights means that government officials are barred from creating lists of approved and disapproved political ideas and then using the power of the state to enforce those preferences.”

Kevin Drum of the blog Mother Jones said, “[T]here’s really no excuse for Emanuel’s and Menino’s (sic) actions. If you don’t want to eat at Chick-fil-A, don’t eat there. If you want to picket them, go ahead. If they violate the law, go after them. But you don’t hand out business licenses based on whether you agree with the political views of the executives. Not in America, anyway.”

Eugene Volokh of the blog The Volokh Conspiracy said, “[D]enying a private business permits because of such speech by its owner is a blatant First Amendment violation.”

As Time magazine blogger Michael Scherer points out, Emanuel, Moreno and others have run into an illegal “First Amendment Buzzsaw.”

I find it funny that this saga has united conservatives and liberals, as both come to Chick-fil-A’s defense. In fact, Boston’s mayor Menino has backtracked from some of his statements, chalking it up to a Menino-ism.

That doesn’t excuse the obvious stupidity, ignorance and hypocrisy of Emanuel, Moreno and others. But it’s refreshing to see it spotlighted by so many.

Chick-fil-A 1, Stupidity 0