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updated: 8/1/2011 6:25 AM

The Soapbox

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Daily Herald Editorial Board

The $117,000 Walsh owes his kids:

Well, we guess you could call U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh of McHenry a role model of sorts. He says government must spend less. And then he reportedly goes out and shows how it can be done with his own child support obligations.

The $117,000 Walsh owes, Part 2:

Walsh blistered the timing of the Sun-Times revelation of his apparently late child support payments as a "hit piece." Tell us, Congressman, are you saying there's a time when it's OK to be a deadbeat dad?

More efficiency:

Chalk Algonquin and Huntley up as the latest communities to show the value of sharing. Taxpayers in both towns will benefit from a contract on IT services.

A deflating thought:

Is it just us or is there not a gas station to be found with a functioning air pump? Like the tire in need of air, the searches come up empty. And when one is finally located, a weary driver (or bicyclist) may have to drop as much as a buck to use it.

What's in a name?

The answer to that question, of course, is a lot -- when the name is hurtful or derogatory. That's why we were glad to see Gov. Pat Quinn sign legislation this week that removes the words "retarded" and "crippled" from state statute books. The changes were suggested by a Palatine attorney and are clearly a step in the right direction.

Looming layoffs:

Admirably, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle continues to break new ground in both responsibility and transparency by unveiling a preliminary 2012 budget. Yet, while it may be said she is truly "right sizing" what has long been a bloated workforce, we take no glee in the prospect of a second year of layoffs.

The price of an O'Hare burger:

We noticed this week that the Chicago City Council has approved another concessions contract for O'Hare International Airport. That's a pretty rich monopoly for the winner. In exchange, the contract should require reasonable prices. Seriously.

The price of a ballpark hot dog:

While we're at it, publicly subsidized stadiums like US Cellular Field and the United Center ought to mandate reasonable prices for the concessions monopolies too. A 95-degree day in the bleachers, and it's $4.50 for a bottle of water? Seriously?

It's the jobs:

The traditional teen jobs of the past are tougher to find now. That's why Elgin Mayor David Kaptain is thinking about hiring youths next summer to mow problem lawns. We think they could mop floors, too. Heck, why not have them work the front desk with some supervision? That's local job creation with great community benefits.

Raging skies:

A new survey by Public Policy Polling shows 52 percent of Americans approve of God's job performance and 9 percent disapprove. If the poll were asking about Mother Nature's job and had been taken in the suburbs last weekend, we're thinking the marks probably would've been much lower.

Any port in the storms:

To all of you throughout the suburbs who helped your neighbors set up sump pumps or clean out moldy basements with sopping carpets, thank you. You make communities home.

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