RAHMWATCH: What does Rahm do when he can't get potholes fixed? He hosts a Lake Shore Drive publicity stunt to announce a 'Pothole app' ... and nutsy 'data' management, viz... '50,000 potholes in streets in alleys across Chicago, using 1,000 tons of asphalt patching material...'

As the sun set on the third Saturday of 2014, Chicagoans in most communities had to decide whether to drive on the dark streets and risk their cars' undersides because of the plague of potholes that have greeted America's third largest city since its mayor returned home from his tropical vacation on the coldest day of the century. So naturally as things got worse on the streets, the mayor chose propaganda instead of performance and unleashed his highly paid media minions on the story of potholes unfilled and autos unhinged.

Did it work? Consider whether the city's corporate and Rahmfriendly media moguls sent reporters out to the streets or got their version of reality from Rahm's suites? Guess which wins?

By the third weekend of January 2014, citizens all over Chicago were irate because the city was not fixing potholes caused by the recent (and predictable) rash of potholes cratering city streets and busting wheels and axles since the mayor returned home from his Indonesian family vacation during the below zero days of early January. And the story that's been spewed out -- at public expense -- will some day serve as a minor example of propaganda as a substitute for fact in a dictatorship (albeit in the context of dictatorships, Rahm's is a tinpot one...).

Unlike the usual Rahm Emanuel staged propaganda photograph, the one above (distributed at City expenses on January 17, 2014) doesn't show the mayor surrounded by a Rahm's Rainbow of smiling multi-cultural and mutl-racial children (or adults). When he is shown as above with city workers, Rahm makes sure the only face showing is the mayor's because the danger is that most of those standing around are laughing at Rahm or snarling. Officially, the caption for the photo above is: Photo Caption: "Mayor Rahm Emanuel uses his smartphone to demonstrate the new Pothole Tracker during a stop to thank CDOT crews filling potholes on North Marine Drive. Photo Credit: Brooke Collins. City of Chicago."Chicago citizens who have been paying attention already know that for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, media manipulation is a full-time and expensive job paid for on behalf of Rahm Emanuel by the city's taxpayers as an undisclosed amount -- but definitely in excess of $1 million per year. Every day, "24/7", an entity called "The Mayor's Press Office" sends out propaganda pieces worthy in many cases of Josef Goebbels, who perfected the art 80 years ago until his version of reality crashed and burned -- only to serve as any example for generations of dictators to come.

Some of the Rahm events are droll, like the one staged as the snow again began to fall depicting Rahm surrounded by city workers (none of whom is shown decently in the official photo) who are watching Rahm show an "APP" that supposedly helps the city understand its pothole situation. Like many of the mayor's corporate (and privatization) reforms, the "APP" is a substitute for reality. Part of the problem with pothole elimination in Chicago in 2014 is that Rahm claimed he had a killer app to change the way in which Streets and Sanitation was organized, shifting from what had been a ward-based system to what Rahm called a "Zone Based" system.

A few aldermen complained, noting that the "zone based" version of reality would remove much of the responsibility for some of the most important city services from the elected officials closest to the citizens. But for Rahm, "accountability" is a one-way street: everyone is accountable to Rahm and his propaganda image crafting; not to citizens for actual services. By 2014, the list has grown enormous, but the loss of investigation by most of the city's media guaranetees that mostly the RahmReality seeps in as "news."

Also noted was that, as usual, Rahm's claims of "austerity" and savings when he took the job away from the wards were just that: claims that could neither be checked nor proven. (Both have turned out to be false -- services are lower; costs higher.

So, with actual pothole patrols falling to all time lows and citizens watching their cars destroyed at all-time highs because Rahm's Reforms have made pothole fixing more and more complex and dysfunctional -- the mayor hosts a media event and announces another technical "fix" that fixes nothing.

On January 17, 2014, the "Mayor's Press Office" issued the following press release, complete with the photo (above) touting the mayor's latest surreal version of reality. One of the reasons why the official photo doesn't show the faces of the workers who actually go around trying to repair potholes is that they were laughing with the mayor's stupidity. But, heck, the official version of reality is most likely what Rahm's buddies in the plutocratic press will present to the citizens. So consider the following (and this analysis) a preliminary of what you will be reading in the Sun-Times and Tribune in a day or two -- without the background facts or context.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. January 17, 2014. CONTACT:. Mayors Press Office



Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced the Citys new Pothole Tracker, which allows Chicagoans to monitor a weeks worth of pothole patching activity by the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT).

The City of Chicago is filling thousands of potholes every day in response to resident requests for service, Mayor Emanuel said. This new website tool allows residents to track the patching work in their neighborhoods and across Chicago.

Pothole Tracker, powered by the Citys Open Data Portal at, gives Chicagoans a snapshot of the potholes that CDOT crews have filled during the past seven days.

On the Pothole Tracker site, each blue dot is a location where a resident has reported a pothole and CDOT crews have subsequently been busy repairing roadways. An information box on each dot provides the service request number, the date of the completed work and the total number of potholes repaired on each block.

Since the start of the new year, CDOT crews have patched more than 50,000 potholes in streets in alleys across Chicago, using 1,000 tons of asphalt patching material. In 2013, CDOT repaired more than 625,000 potholes. Developers interested in viewing the open dataset can visit here.

Photo Caption: Mayor Rahm Emanuel uses his smartphone to demonstrate the new Pothole Tracker during a stop to thank CDOT crews filling potholes on North Marine Drive.

Photo Credit: Brooke Collins // City of Chicago


January 21, 2014 at 12:46 AM

By: Jay Rehak

Potemkin Village

There are more potholes in my neighborhood than ever before. It's time the CIty used the TIF money it has skimmed from schools, parks and libraries to fix the potholes. It feels like we are living in a Potemkin Village that most Chicago media are buying into and promoting. It is sad and shameful that Substances News has to be the lone voice in pointing out the difference between the media releases and reality.

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