Daily archives: January 9th, 2010

Giuliani Forgets 9/11: ‘No Domestic Attacks’ Under Bush

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The Mayor of 9/11 forgot about all that, apparently. Or maybe he’s engaging in historical revisionism.

Yes, Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has had the senior moment par excellence: he has officially forgotten September 11, 2001 ever happened.

From CBS 2 Chicago:

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani set off a tempest about terrorism Friday with his claim that this nation "had no domestic attacks" under President George W. Bush. 

Giuliani somehow neglected to mention the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks as he was contrasting President Barack Obama’s handling of terrorism with that of Bush in light of the failed Christmas Day attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound flight. The Sept. 11 attacks toppled New York’s World Trade Center, killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania and earned Giuliani accolades as "America’s mayor." 

The Republican said of Obama on ABC’s "Good Morning America" that "what he should be doing is following the right things that Bush did." 

While saying he believes Obama "turned the corner" on understanding the nature of terrorism when he publicly declared the U.S. at war, Giuliani added that Obama has plenty of room to improve on terrorism. 

"We had no domestic attacks under Bush," Giuliani said. "We’ve had one under Obama."

Oh, Rudy.

While I appreciated the analysis of Giuliani’s remarks on MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow really did it all justice. Enjoy the video above.

Study Says Chicago Wal-Mart Bad for Area Jobs

According to a new study, Wal-Mart is bad for jobs in Chicago, ABC 7 Chicago reports.

From WLS:

A new study out shows the one and only Wal-Mart in the city of Chicago may not be a job-generating machine like many supporters claim. But some question the conclusions reached by local researchers.

As early as next week, the City Council is expected to revive the debate over plans for a new Wal-Mart on the South Side. But a conveniently timed study says the retailing giant leaves less of an economic footprint than you may expect.

"Usually by this time of year we have a lot. But, as you can see, it’s empty," said Mike Ramirez, thrift store assistant manager.

Mike Ramirez says given the recession, business at his West Side thrift shop should be booming. It’s not. And he blames his new neighbor.

"This new Wal-Mart is taking a lot of my customers away," said Ramirez.

The city’s one and only Wal-Mart opened in the Austin neighborhood in 2006. A new study study by researchers from Loyola and UIC claims 82 businesses within a four-mile radius of the store have closed, thanks -at least in part- to the mega retailer’s presence. That, the study’s authors say, has cost the community nearly 300 jobs, about as many as Wal-Mart added.

The WLS report says the Chicago City Council will probably consider concerns of organized labor, however, Chicago should also consider Walm-Mart’s pitiful record on diversity. The Human Rights Campaign gives Wal-Mart a low 40/100 on the Corporate Equality Index criteria. Go here for the HRC’s complete analysis.

Click here to read the study.

On the Complete Disintegration of the Village of Matteson

Matteson fractured

The Southtown Star reported today that the Village of Matteson layed off 22 employees without warning Tuesday, the result of a reported $2.3 million budget gap. The Matteson Village Board hired financial consulting firm Theobald Associates in April at an estimated cost of over $200,000. Estimates are that the 22 layoffs will save the village $900,000 per year.

This is astounding, and the entire South Suburbs should be very concerned.

From the Southtown Star:


On Tuesday, Matteson laid off 22 village employees in efforts to trim a $2.3 million budget deficit. Those let go included two building inspectors, a building permit technician, two secretaries, a clerk, three administrative assistants, two customer service representatives, a community affairs coordinator, a community affairs assistant, a fire inspector, a community service officer, a building maintenance worker, four park maintenance workers and a park maintenance supervisor.


Matteson deputy village administrator Brian Mitchell said the layoffs this week of 22 employees might result in longer waits to pay village bills and the cancellation of some village-sponsored events, such as the Taste of Matteson. Additionally, he said, the firings will affect the village’s ability to plow snow. Although main thoroughfares always will be plowed no matter the time of day, “curb-to-curb” snow removal on the side streets will wait until morning if it snows overnight.

It is of interest that the mayor’s wife, Toni Ashmore, was not let go.

Morale at Matteson Village Hall is understandably low:

Matteson resident Matt Stipek said he witnessed the ugly, post-layoff scene after stopping by village hall Tuesday morning to pick up recycling bags.

“The lady there at the counter was crying, and the other ones looked like they just saw a murder,” he said. “The one lady who was trying to get recycling bags for me was catatonic.”

Matteson is a crucial business hub for surrounding communities. The intersection of Lincoln Highway and Cicero has been a long time coming back. Lincoln Mall is at a crucial juncture right now. The out lots are doing well, but the mall itself needs nurturing and attention.

Just a few years ago, Matteson hosted a “Green Day,” touting the opening of new businesses. Then U.S. Senate candidate Barack Obama was in attendance. Things looked so promising, before the Great Bush Recession.

Matteson residents should be concerned. Crisis necessitates a cohesive board which clearly has the interests of the residents at heart. Matteson’s board has been combative for far too long.

In November, Matteson fired the village administrator, an incredibly stupid move, as I’ve already noted. Haney was clearly not fired for cause.

That leaves politics.

According to some close to the village, the former village administrator would not* give his public blessing to the most recent raise the mayor intended to give his wife, the Director of Community Affairs.  If so, kudos to him.

When Andre Ashmore ran for mayor, he promised that his wife would not be employed long with the village. This week, he told the Star:

“We’re looking at all contracts, services, stuff that we contract out,” Ashmore said. “When I say everything is on the table, everything is on the table.”

Why, then, is the mayor’s wife still employed with the village?

I’m hoping groups of citizens are organizing now, preparing to put good, ethical people on the ballot.  Matteson has not completely disintegrated yet, but it is not now in a good place.

The South Suburbs need Matteson to recover.

* Errata: This posting originally said that the former village administrator would give his blessing to the most recent pay raise the mayor intended to give his wife.  That is incorrect.  We regret the error and we are grateful to a reader for bringing that error to our attention.