Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Gov. Blah-go Ready to Approve Transit Plan

As happy as I am that Governor Zhivago Blagojevich is getting ready to approve the funding bill for CTA (and believe me, I was having nightmares about this and even getting ready to look for scooters to ride to work), I rolled my eyes way back in their sockets when I read about his little appearance at a South Side Baptist Church, during which he fired back at Mayor Daley for criticizing his "senior citizens ride for free" proposal.

"Looks like the Mayor needs to come to the House of Hope and get a little hope," Blah-go said in a cynically-rehearsed play on words which he knew would have the desired effect on a bunch of Baptist holy rollers.

Later, in an effort to get these frothing snakehandlers even more firmly on his side, he said, "Let me hear from you if you think giving your grandma a free ride on the bus is a good idea" (I'm paraphrasing on the exact wording, but "grandma" and "free ride" are verbatim). Again, cynical staff members had clearly briefed him on the audience's guaranteed reaction as cries of "Amen" filled the air.

I wonder if he launched into a spicy version of "The Old Landmark," complete with dancing in the aisles, a la "The Blues Brothers."

I'm all for giving seniors a break on transit. But they're already getting one now, and this will place a further tax burden on us, and while .25% may not seem like much now, you can add it to the further tax increases that Little Caesar Tod Stroger will undoubtedly be piling on us later in the year.

I'm sure he didn't mention that part at the House of Hope, though. Just like he didn't mention how he snuck this little proviso in without any prior discussion with legislators after he vetoed their previous version, and made it a condition for accepting the new bill. Rep. Julie Hamos of Evanston said (I'm paraphrasing again), "None of the lawmakers like it very much, but they have no choice but to accept it if they want to avert service cuts and fare hikes."

So. Blah-go is an arm-twister who holds communities hostage to get his way.

I'm surprised he and Boss Daley don't get along better.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what's up with these freaking Democratic politicians lately? They act all liberal and friendly while running for office and once they get in they turn all Reagan/Bush on us. My Governor is an AssHole of the highest order but at least he claims to be a Republican. He must have a huge pair because he's actually running again. A snowman has a better chance of running through Hell than Gov. Mitch has of a second term. I'd trade Gov's with you but it would be six of one and half-dozen of the other. Ed

9:32 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Well, before Blah-go-you-bitch, we had George Ryan, a big fat crook, who's actually IN jail now. I guess we were so desperate for change that we voted for the opposite party (and believe me, this motherfucker didn't sound anything like he does now--he's about the most hands-off, "I-don't-give-a-shit" governor ever. Despite his holy rollings with the House of Hope fanatics. (Who, if they each had half a brain in their heads, would recognize that he's scarcely paid them any attention before, and that doing so now is a sickening and manipulative political ploy. But I'm sure they're all too busy lining up for pictures.)

10:30 AM  
Blogger Tilly Screams said...

Right now I hate riding CTA and being with the rest of the Great Unwashed. But it seems soon I will be having to trip over walkers, and old cunts with canes everytime I try to get from point A to point B.

Don't you think the Red Line (aka the Soul Train) will become one big mobile Alzheimer's ward?

6:24 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

I wonder about this sometimes, but what I've noticed is that most elderly folks tend more towards the buses than the trains. I don't think old folks are crazy about stairs, and every L terminal requires a hike of at least 25 steps or more to reach the platform (unless there's an escalator or elevator and, let's face it, those are always out of order). So I don't think it will make much difference in terms of the trains.

Actually, if it makes a difference at all, it will be on the buses, since many of the bus lines are closer to their homes, and the buses (when the drivers aren't assholes) can lean to the side to allow them on.

But lots of old folks think the free ride thing is sort of unnecessary--they already ride for close to half price anyway. One old lady named Marie that was interviewed in the Trib this week said, basically, that it wasn't really necessary to abolish fares for old people, but that of course they wouldn't turn that perc down (well, who the hell WOULD?). But I remember her saying, "if my dollar helps keep the system going, then they can have it," or words to that effect.

That's the thing about old people--they think about the BIG picture, because they know that nothing's REALLY free...they've experienced it for decades.

8:16 PM  

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