Save the CTA

The CTA has become a mess . I’ve emailed by both my alderman and County Commissioner to no avail at this point. I agree with Crain‘s call on the Mayor to fire Kruesi:

Chicago’s middle-class renaissance has come mainly in neighborhoods with access to Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) train and bus lines. Residents of these neighborhoods depend on the CTA to get them to work every day. But the CTA isn’t doing its job….No great city of Chicago’s size can thrive for long with such a sub-par transit system…[Kruesi]blows hundreds of millions on an ill-conceived “super station” at Block 37 and tries to sneak through secret pension sweeteners for himself and other top brass.

On the other had, the CTA mess has increased my reading time significantly. Last week, I read Joshua Green’s lengthy Atlantic Monthly feature on Hilary Clinton. The highlights:

Clinton’s answers to questions about the war can be fugue-like in their complexity, and often assume a processional quality: the laundry lady, pinning up every fact, every conversation, every tidbit of exculpatory evidence for public display, attempting to disappear behind a screen of detail…

On big issues like the war, Washington judges you not by whether you were right or wrong—at least not in the short term—but by how systematically and formidably you maintain your position. Get caught skating in circles (“I voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it”), and you’re finished. Clinton’s position on the war may feel like justification after the fact for a decision that is coming to look much worse in hindsight. But over the last four years she has managed, with lawyerly precision and in politically acceptable gradations, to shift from a stance of Thatcherite fortitude before the war to one of betrayed dismay and anger at the Bush administration afterward without any jarring breach of consistency or abrupt shift in direction. When the judges are scoring you on form, that’s like landing a triple Lutz.

When Clinton prepares to answer a reporter’s question, there’s a split-second pause when you can almost see her imagining, in floating cartoon bubbles above her head, the worst-case headline that a candid answer could yield, and then pitching her reply in the least-objectionable terms…. I couldn’t find an instance where she had taken a politically unpopular stance or championed a big idea, like health-care reform, that might not yield immediate benefits but was the right thing to do. Interviews with colleagues and observers seemed to imply an unspoken disappointment that her talents promised a record of more height and substance than she had displayed…


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