Feel that sting? It's the power brokers slapping you

Days ago, O'Halloran repeatedly denied to the Tribune that he was ever named in the memo. But it's right in front of me, and it turns out that O'Halloran was mentioned 27 times.

Please, sir, may I have another?

The Metra board will become targets of easy outrage. But they're pawns, mere functionaries. Not Boss Madigan. He's the Khan. His pet mouthpieces and lickspittles will say this is just politics. But here's the thing, my fellow chumbolones.

Madigan makes millions as a private attorney reducing the taxes of wealthy real estate interests. He represents much of the real estate in downtown Chicago, and much of that real estate is owned by Republicans who subsidize the Democratic boss.

If Madigan wanted to take care of a political toady, why didn't he just hire him in his private business and spend his own cash?

Why would Madigan insist Ward get a nice public raise at public expense?

Because he can. Because he thinks it's his money. And that attitude, that arrogance, is the biggest slap of all.

They take our taxes and use public money to build political control. Then they leverage that control to make private fortunes.

Our state is broke, drowning in red ink. Jobs run across the border, but our politicians sure live well, don't they?

They receive incredible, six-figure pensions. Their spouses always seem to get great jobs. Their kids go to the best schools and develop lucrative business connections.

And you and your kids? Just ask yourself about it, next time you're near a mirror. But please, at least have the decency to wince.

Trees don't wince. Stones don't wince. And livestock doesn't wince. The herds just calmly move through the chutes as they trot toward the hook.

It's not our state anymore, my fellow chumbolones. The pols run it. We just pay.

It's called Madiganistan for a reason.

jskass@tribune.com

Twitter: @John_Kass

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CHICAGO

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