Friday, July 31, 2009

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) Rips Katrina Vanden Heuvel For 'Using Capitalist Rhetoric' To Move Anti-Market Obamacare

Vanden Heuvel shows we're not making Socialist like we used too. She sets herself up for a knockout here. HT Chicks on the Right

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mostafa Kiarostami


The name and identity of another supporter of the Freedom Movement, who got killed has been revealed. Mostafa Kiarostami whose only sin was taking part in the first "green" friday prayers, was beaten by baton on head in proximity of the friday prayers location, and a few hours later passed away.
via Revolutionary Road

Death to Khamenei on Public Buses!

via Revolutionary Road. Iran's going to blow. I hope the Administration is ready for Revolution.

Chomsky on The Iran Protests

He gets it. Via RFL/RL
U.S. linguist and political activist Noam Chomsky spoke to RFE/RL's Radio Farda on July 24 about the postelection unrest in Iran. A couple of choice quotes:

"There was an expectation that this election would somehow be different and there would be opportunities for change, which certainly a substantial part of the population wants. And those hopes were dashed. The election results, both the manner in which they were presented and the numbers that came out, really lacked credibility and many people thought they were inaccurate, so they rose in protest. But to predict such protests has never been possible, too many factors are involved. Nobody I know predicted it in this case."

"Putting aside the details of the election, about which we don't know much, the whole structure of the regime is oppressive and authoritarian, and undermines basic civil and other human rights. Protest against it is not only honorable but courageous, because it faces extreme violence."

The Beer Summit

I guess outside so they could smoke. What a ridiculous moment for America.



Update: Well, I guess we have a tradition,

Paul Krugman proves the worth of the Canadian healthcare system

Ht CUUMBYA,

Murder in Chicago: it's among friends

Arlene Jones writes The carnage continues while elected officials do little.
As many of you who read this column know, I am not a fan of Mayor Daley. While I was watching Channel 7 News' coverage of the rally that occurred after the murder of Rosalyn Tripp, someone asked the mayor about the effect of Chicago's murder rate on his Olympic 2016 bid. His response: "It has no effect because, first of all, you look at all the victims; they know each other and the offenders..."

Well, ain't that just dandy?
Enough is enough. Chicago needs to be swept clean of politicians like this.

Mary Fletcher: Fall of President Ahmadinejad seems likely after brutal acts

I pray she's right.
The security forces have failed to crush the opposition. Mr Mousavi is about to launch a broad political front to demand justice and democracy.

Mr Ahmadinejad has forfeited whatever support he had in parliament, has powerful enemies within the political establishment, and faces a severe economic downturn that could be compounded by yet harsher international sanctions next year if the deadlock over Iran’s nuclear programme persists.

He knows, however, that his fate and the Supreme Leader’s are now inextricably entwined. Mr Khamenei has supported Mr Ahmadinejad so robustly, and sacrificed so much authority to ensure and defend his re-election, that to jettison his wayward protégé now would almost certainly destroy both of them.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

NHS blog Doctor on saving bucks on Health Care by redefining it as Social Care

The NHS Doc on bean counters deciding who is sick and who is not,
One of the greatest problems we face in the UK is getting people to realise that their attachment to the NHS is emotional rather than rational. Criticisms of British health care are usually met with disbelief and incredulity. I get emails and comments saying that the picture I paint of the NHS is unnecessarily gloomy. Then the writers of these comments are admitted to hospital or, more likely, their elderly grandmothers are admitted, and I get an email saying, “I had not realised…”.

The government’s attitude to this is simple. They lie. They are obsessed with the “process” of healthcare rather than its delivery. They bombard us with figures showing that more money has been spent and more targets have been hit and so all is well. And woe betides anyone within the NHS who does not toe the party line.

Carville off to Kabul

via RFE/RL,
KABUL -- Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani has hired U.S. political consultant James Carville to join his campaign team.

Carville was the lead strategist for former U.S. President Bill Clinton during his successful 1992 campaign.

Carville said Ghani, who is currently Afghanistan's finance minister, has an excellent chance of defeating incumbent President Hamid Karzai in elections next month.

The announcement of Carville’s joining Ghani's team came as the former top U.S. commander in Europe, General John Craddock, predicted that Karzai would win the election, but warned that the Afghan people will lose faith in Karzai and his U.S. backers if he does not provide better leadership.

Combridge Police speak in support of Sgt Crowley

Racial profiles that hide and obscure

Some racial profiles hide people. They don't single poeple out. Fellow blogger Arlene Jones writes of that kind of screen over at Austin Weekly News about events that happened within a few blocks of Chicago's Third Unitarian.
Back on April 2, I wrote about already dreading the long, hot summer. Even before the weather broke, while the days were balmy and the sun shone for more than just a few hours a day, I was already predicting that this would be a horrific summer. The news over the weekend that seven people were shot in just one hour's time in Austin should have this entire community in an uproar.

One of the seven individuals shot Sunday night was a 9-year-old child. I don't care what is going on. There is no excuse for individuals to be doing drive-by shootings - ever. And when the unintended target of those shootings ends up being a child, the outrage from this community should be fast and swift. Everyone in this community should be ranting and raving about the violence. We should be demanding that those responsible for the carnage receive a punishment that would make a lifetime sentence at Tamms Correctional Center seem like a holiday.

Now, if the Chicago police had accidentally shot a 9-year-old child, the Austin community would have been outraged. All over the television, we would have seen a variety of livid West Side ministers. But let the sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters - or even some of their own church members shoot a child - and all I am hearing is silence. Even the online version of this newspaper didn't have it as a breaking news story. So let's all just be honest. We just don't give a damn.
Next weekend will be the same. (Last night was the same: 5 shot on South Shore). Few care... few care to know. Have my friend Arlene over to the White House for a cup of coffee maybe? It would be a huge step forward.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Juan Williams: teaching moments based on lies

Kristol in full from the Weekly Standard Blog.
Today, on Fox News Sunday, Juan Williams came up with a fine formulation, in the context of the Henry Louis Gates imbroglio:

"But in this situation, the president spoke without the facts. And so you can't have a teachable moment if it's based on a lie."

Amid all the blather about "teachable moments," I don't recall anyone else making this simple but profound observation: "You can't have a teachable moment if it's based on a lie." Another way of putting it might be to say that it's not a "moment" that's teachable, it's the truth that's teachable.

So a moment in which everyone colludes to obscure the truth (which seems characteristic of most "teachable moments" in contemporary America) is not a moment of teaching; it's a moment of deception, of misdirection, of obfuscation. Call it an obfuscatable moment.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

McCotter Readies House Resolution Calling for Presidential Apology to Cambridge Police Sergeant

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 24, 2009

CONTACT: Jameson Cunningham
Office: 202-225-8171
Cell: 202-288-2147

McCotter Readies House Resolution Calling for Presidential Apology to Cambridge Police Sergeant

Washington, D.C. – Unless President Obama apologizes for impugning the professional conduct of Cambridge, Massachusetts Police Sergeant James M. Crowley, when Congress returns on Monday, U.S. Representative Thaddeus G. McCotter (R-MI) will introduce a House Resolution calling on President Obama to do so.

Note: Please find below the draft resolution.

DRAFT

House Resolution

Whereas on July 16, 2009, Cambridge, Massachusetts Police Sergeant James M. Crowley responded to a 911 call from a neighbor of Harvard University Professor Henry Louis (“Skip”) Gates, Jr. about a suspected break-in in progress at his residence, which had been broken into on a prior occasion;

Whereas on July 22, 2009, in responding to a question during a White House press conference President Barack Obama stated: “Skip Gates is a friend, so I may be a little biased here. I don’t know all of the facts involved in this local police response incident”;

Whereas President Obama proceeded to state Sergeant Crowley “acted stupidly” for arresting Professor Gates on charges of disorderly conduct;

Whereas, as a former Constitutional Law Professor, President Obama well understands that all Americans are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, and their actions should not be prejudged prior to being fully and fairly judged by an appropriate and objective authority after due process;

Whereas, President Obama’s nationally televised remarks may likely detrimentally influence the full and fair judgment by an appropriate and objective authority after due process regarding this local police response incident and, thereby, impair Sergeant Crowley’s legal and professional standing in relation to said incident; and

Whereas, President Obama appeared at a daily White House Press briefing on July 24, 2009 to address his denouncement of Sergeant Crowley and stated: “I could have calibrated those words differently” but “I continue to believe, based on what I have heard, that there was an overreaction in pulling Professor Gates out of his home to the station.”

Whereas, President Obama’s refusal to retract his initial public remarks and apologize to Sergeant Crowley and, instead, reiterate his accusation impugning Sergeant Crowley’s professional conduct in the performance of his duties;

Now therefore be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

Calls upon President Obama to retract his initial public remarks and apologize to Cambridge, Massachusetts Police Sergeant James M. Crowley for having unfairly impugned and prejudged his professional conduct in this local police response incident.

Dan Proft: Dr Rezko will see you now


Dan nails Obama Care.
July 24, 2009

Dr. Rezko Will See You Now

The President, who suggested Wednesday night that doctors routinely perform unnecessary, dangerous surgery on children for profit, thinks that government bureaucrats are more qualified to prescribe treatment for these children than are physicians. His superior faith in unelected, unqualified bureaucrats over medical professionals should be no surprise. He learned it while serving quietly as an appendage of the Chicago Democrat political establishment and protecting corrupt state entities like the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board.

I have committed this campaign to sharing with you the true nature of state government systems and unelected entities that are fixed against our interests. The Health Facilities Planning Board, which the Chicago Tribune recently referred to as a “Soviet-style exercise in central planning,” is yet another life-threatening example.

Before your community can build a new hospital, it must go before the politically-appointed Health Facilities Planning Board and prove to its members that the new hospital will not compete with any with existing hospitals. You heard right: the state actively restricts the number of healthcare providers in your community.

Do you think a new kidney-transplant facility would be a good thing for Illinois?

Oak Lawn’s Advocate Christ Medical Center is seeking state approval to start Illinois’ first new kidney-transplant program in more than decade. This plan has been approved by the United Network for Organ Sharing, the national transplant accreditation body. But that’s not enough in Illinois.

Advocate must now seek approval from friends of the Governor who sit on the Health Facilities Planning Board. Why must a provider of life-saving services kneel before bureaucrats in order to save lives?

Because building hospitals is big business for the political class. There is money to be made and influence to be sold. You might have first heard about the Health Facilities Planning Board during the Tony Rezko federal corruption trial. A former member of the board, Stuart Levine, was using his influence to get kickbacks on projects the board was reviewing, and splitting those kickbacks with Rezko.

But this is not simply a personnel problem. Corruption in Illinois state government is like water, it finds its own level. The corruption that has plagued the Health Facilities Planning Board flows from the very existence of an unelected body of political appointees with such decision-making power.

The Board itself is the problem.

But instead of abolishing this counter-productive and, frankly, dangerous entity, the state has decided to expand it, from 5 to 9 members. Only under the reign of the Chicago 9 is expanding membership on a corrupt body whose very existence impedes the sensible development of our state’s health infrastructure seen as reform.

If President Obama feels ill, he is welcome to visit Dr. Rezko or Dr. Levine for his diagnosis. But in Illinois, under a Proft Administration, you’ll be able to see a doctor at a hospital in your neighborhood. I will abolish the Health Facilities Planning Board and expand, rather than restrict, medical access in Illinois by freeing hospitals and health care professionals—the people who actually know what they are doing in the health care sector—to make the sensible decisions about the needed developments to our health care infrastructure.

Bringing system change reforms to Springfield may require a collective spine transplant for the General Assembly, but at least such a procedure would not require Health Facilities Planning Board approval in a Proft Administration.

For those in both parties content to tinker on the margins while the quality of health care in Illinois suffers, Dr. Junkyard Dog is ready to see you now.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Take the Red Pill Mr President

"If there's a blue pill and a red pill, and the blue pill is half the price of the red pill and works just as well, why not pay half price for the thing that's going to make you well?" -- President Obama

Some good advice to the Prez about which to pop, and some fun videos. The last brings back memories.

All via RBO



Nation’s ENT Surgeons Respond to President Obama’s Press Briefing Remarks on Tonsillectomy Procedures

Evidenced based Medicine speaks out. Clinical Pathways speaking truth to power I guess,
ALEXANDRIA, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS), which represents 12,000 ear, nose, and throat surgeons in the U.S., issued this statement today in response to remarks made by President Obama during his press briefing on July 22, 2009.

Responding to a question, President Obama said, “Part of what we want to do is to make sure that those decisions are being made by doctors and medical experts based on evidence, based on what works…. Right now, doctors a lot of times are forced to make decisions based on the fee payment schedule that's out there. … the doctor may look at the reimbursement system and say to himself, 'You know what? I make a lot more money if I take this kid's tonsils out … I'd rather have that doctor making those decisions based on whether you really need your kid's tonsils out, or whether … something else would make a difference…. So part of what we want to do is to free doctors, patients, hospitals to make decisions based on what's best for patient care.”

In reply, the AAO-HNS stated, “We, too, are in favor of evidence-based medicine that supports quality patient care. President Obama’s statement highlights the complexity of medical decisions like this. However, the AAO-HNS is disappointed by the President's portrayal of the decision making processes by the physicians who perform these surgeries. In many cases, tonsillectomy may be a more effective treatment, and less costly, than prolonged or repeated treatments for an infected throat.

“For the past several years, the Academy has been developing clinical guidelines based on evidence and outcomes research, including ‘Quality of Life after Tonsillectomy,’ a January 2008 supplement to the journal Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery. We are in agreement with the President’s statement that physicians, patients, and hospitals should make the decisions, based on the evidence, about what’s best for patient care.”

Statement by House GOP Leaders Boehner and McCotter on End-of-Life Treatment Counseling in Democrats’ Health Care Legislation

One of many bioethical issues Uncle Sam will wade into with ObamaCare. It will be up to the guys writing the regulations to work out the details on this kind of stuff and placing that kind of power into the hands of the green-eye-shade types frighting.

Statement by House GOP Leaders Boehner and McCotter

on End-of-Life Treatment Counseling in

Democrats’ Health Care Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC – House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and Republican Policy Committee Chairman Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) today issued the following joint statement regarding a provision targeting seniors contained in Section 1233 of H.R. 3200:

“Section 1233 of the House-drafted legislation encourages health care providers to provide their Medicare patients with counseling on ‘the use of artificially administered nutrition and hydration’ and other end of life treatments, and may place seniors in situations where they feel pressured to sign end of life directives they would not otherwise sign. This provision may start us down a treacherous path toward government-encouraged euthanasia if enacted into law. At a minimum this legislative language deserves a full and open public debate – the sort of debate that is impossible to have under the politically-driven deadlines Democratic leaders have arbitrarily set for enactment of a health care bill.

“This provision of the legislation is a throwback to 1977, when the old Department of Health Education and Welfare proposed federal promotion of living wills for cost-savings purposes described as 'enormous.' At that time, the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago decried this effort by saying: 'The message is clear: government can save money by encouraging old people to die a little sooner than they otherwise would. Instead of being regarded with reverence, and cherished, human life is subject in this view to a utilitarian cost-benefit calculus and can be sacrificed to serve fiscal policy and the sacred imperative of trimming a budget.'

“With three states having legalized physician-assisted suicide, this provision could create a slippery slope for a more permissive environment for euthanasia, mercy-killing and physician-assisted suicide because it does not clearly exclude counseling about the supposed benefits of killing oneself.

“Health care reform that fails to protect the sanctity and dignity of all human life is not reform at all.”

Bin Laden's son killed by Hellfire Missile: Now ask Congresswoman Shakowsky if this was a botched assasination

via NPR HT Gateway Pundit,
NPR.org, July 22, 2009 · U.S. officials believe Saad bin Laden — a son of Osama bin Laden — has been killed by an American missile in Pakistan.

Saad bin Laden reportedly spent years under house arrest in Iran before traveling last year to Pakistan, according to former National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell.

It's believed he was killed by Hellfire missiles fired from a U.S. Predator drone sometime this year.

A senior U.S. counterterrorism official tells NPR that without a body to conduct DNA tests on, it's hard to be completely sure. But he characterized U.S. spy agencies as being "80 to 85 percent" certain that Saad bin Laden is dead.

The U.S. counterterrorism official says Saad bin Laden wasn't important enough to target personally — that he was "in the wrong place at the wrong time."

He was active in al-Qaida, but was not a major player, the official said. He was believed to be in his late 20s.

"We make a big deal out of him because of his last name," the official added.

It's not known whether Saad bin Laden was anywhere near his father when he died.
Congresswomen Shakowsky is going to investigate the CIA for failing to notify Congress about assassination plans that would violate our laws prohibiting that. So does she think this was a botched assassination. Did she know in advance of the plan from the CIA? A legacy order from Dick Cheney hidden from Congress?

We've Rescued the Economy

Pence v Hoyer on Job Loss

Hoyer gets tangled in the timeline,

Obama, Gates, and that Chicago Police Misconduct List

Had to chuckle last night listening to Obama call the Cambridge Cops stupid on the Gate's arrest, when Obama's been silent for a very long time about the Chicago PD's refusal (backed up by Mayor Daley) to make public its list of misconduct claims.

A Police Department with considerable misconduct problems and some inlaws of Obama's are members of it. Never any issues with his conduct. We have no reason to think he's as stupid as the Cambridge cops. But then Chicago Democrats don't want us to see the list of Misconduct complaints either, so who really knows who is stupid.

Update: A little about that stupid Cambridge cop.

The really stupid thing was for a National leader to comment on a local case without knowing any facts. If Obama's smart enough to stay out of the frequent messes in the Chicago PD since the days he was in the Illinois Senate, he should have been smart enough to say little last night. Especially when he has an agenda he wants America keep in focus.

Last night's closing words were a rookie mistake. One of many and given the moment couldn't have been more poorly timed.

Update: If you don't know the facts, keep your opinions to yourself. Don't joke in front of the Press when you haven't seen the facts. Don't talk about yourself. Axelrod had to have been having apoplexy watching this last night.



Update: A comment from O-Fish-L,
BREAKING:

Michele McPhee on 96.9 WTKK is reporting that the ceremonial Mayor of Cambridge is fighting hard to prevent the release of the police radio tapes containing Prof. Gates "sounding like a maniac" (so much for the bronchial infection) at the scene while Sgt. Crowley is completely calm.

Cue up Johnny Most: "It's all over! It's all over!"

DEVELOPING:::

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bill Foster and Jan Shakowsky on "hunting down" and "destroying" Osama Bin Laden

From Foster's site,
Rep. Bill Foster Responds to Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker
Congressman encourages leaders to focus on al-Qaida in Afghanistan

Washington, Apr 9, 2008 -

In a response to Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker’s testimony in Congress on the issue of the War in Iraq, Rep. Bill Foster (IL-14) issued a statement today, which can be downloaded via satellite.

“This war will cost us over $2 trillion dollars and will impact the financial future of our children and grandchildren,” Rep. Foster said. “They will be forced to pay our bills in the generations to come. This is a war that has deprived us of improving health care, providing a middle class tax cut and investing in science and education.

“I strongly encourage the General to reaffirm our true mission in the Middle East to hunt down and destroy Osama Bin Laden and the al-Qaida network in Afghanistan.”

The Congressman will also be available for media comment throughout the day. Please schedule a time with the press office to speak with the Congressman.
And from Schakowsky' site,
WASHINGTON, DC (July 17, 2009) – Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-IL, Chairwoman of the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Investigations & Oversight, issued the following statement to announce a full investigation into certain CIA programs and the Congressional notification process.

“The House Intelligence Committee will move forward with a full investigation that will explore certain CIA programs and the core issue of how the committee is kept informed. My subcommittee will take the lead on significant portions of the investigation; we will explore instances where the Congress was not informed in a timely way and situations in which laws may have been broken.

“This investigation will seek to review the process for notifying Congress and the Committee’s role to oversee the intelligence community. It is very important for us to set the record straight going forward that the Congress wants to be, and needs to be, able to conduct its oversight function.

“We want to look very closely at every aspect of the notification process and various programs. If it is determined by this investigation that the Vice President of the United States ordered Congress not to be told there is reason to believe that is a significant violation of the National Security Act, we’ll follow that thread where it takes us and determine if there’s reason to refer to the issue to the Justice Department or clarify the laws regarding notification.

“Currently, we’re collecting necessary documents from the appropriate agencies to proceed with our investigation. In the near future I hope to develop a timetable and soon after we’re going to begin our investigation with hearings.”
So the issue here is Schakowsky missed the urgency of hunting down and destroying Bin Laden?

Bin Laden's destruction what Foster thinks our true mission in the Middle East to be (although Pakistan not exactly in the Middle East his point's understood)?

Is it too much to ask of Illinois Democrats to get their line together when Americans and our allies are laying down their lives?

Walmart: Jobs & Opportunities? Yes, we CAN

Gotta wonder if Chicago Dems will make Walmart Good Guys now they're behind Obama care. Watch the reaction on this one to see.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contacts:
Susie Gura, Serafin 312-943-1955

John Bisio, Walmart 1-800-331-0085

Jobs & Opportunities? Yes, we CAN

New Web site features South Side residents, community leaders

supporting new Walmart Store in 21st Ward

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 20, 2009: Walmart today unveiled the Chicago Walmart Community Action Network (CAN), a proactive Internet drive to inform Chicagoans about the jobs, community benefits and economic opportunities the proposed Supercenter would bring to the South Side and rally members of the community to make their voices heard. The Web site features videos and testimony from local residents and community leaders enthusiastically supporting a new Supercenter in the Chatham neighborhood. Videos also feature local Walmart employees discussing their personal experiences working for the nation’s largest retailer. View the site at: www.chicago.walmartcommunity.com

“We are asking for an opportunity to put this store on the South Side of Chicago,” says Alderman Howard Brookins (21st) in one of the videos. “We’re asking for the opportunity to put people to work.”

“This needs to happen now to reduce 10.7% of unemployment, to reduce the food desert, to get people back to work, to get families feeling whole again,” says President of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Jerry Roper.

“It’s about the people of Chicago of the South Side. We need some jobs and we need to tear down this bureaucracy that is stopping us from controlling our communities and our neighborhoods,” says Pastor Larry Roberts Sr., President of the 21st Ward Ministerial Alliance. “I say take it back to the neighborhoods and let us take control of our destiny.”

“Not only is it a job, it’s a career, it’s a sense of security, it’s a sense of family,” says Walmart Facility Manager of the Country Club Hills store Jason Thomas, who started out as an hourly associate.

About Walmart Chicago CAN

The Walmart Community Action Network is dedicated to bringing a brand new Supercenter to the 21st Ward at the corner of 83rd and Stewart in the Chatham neighborhood. A new Supercenter would create over 400 good-paying jobs in the community, foster local economic development and increase accessibility to healthier foods in an area struggling with ever increasing obesity and diabetes rates.

For more information, visit www.chicago.walmartcommunity.com

Bill Foster on "Swine" flu


We're not Iowa, but you'd think a Rep from an Ag District would be a little more sensitive about calling H1N1 flu "Swine" flu.

A scientist and a businessman sensitive to folks in the business of raising and selling hogs should know better.

A pair of Kane County's finest from the Kane County Fair.

Mayo Clinic on Obama Care

Couldn't be more blunt from the folks Obama's told us are the models,
Although there are some positive provisions in the current House Tri-Committee bill – including insurance for all and payment reform demonstration projects – the proposed legislation misses the opportunity to help create higher-quality, more affordable health care for patients. In fact, it will do the opposite.

In general, the proposals under discussion are not patient focused or results oriented. Lawmakers have failed to use a fundamental lever – a change in Medicare payment policy – to help drive necessary improvements in American health care. Unless legislators create payment systems that pay for good patient results at reasonable costs, the promise of transformation in American health care will wither. The real losers will be the citizens of the United States.
Update: Mayo on some reforms that should be considered: (a PDF file)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Kane County Fair, July 2009 - Food





Kane County Fair, July 2009

Democrats and the GOP booths at the Kane County Fair. Also booths for an anti-abortion group, and the Peace & Freedom folks. No pics of them though.


Breakfast at The Depot Diner, West Roosevelt Road, Chicago, Illinois



Late breakfast at the end-of-the-line for the Roosevelt Road bus... one of the best cups of coffee around. Next time a picture of the hamburger... everything nicely seasoned here. A great spot for breakfast or lunch.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Senator Boxer and the Black CEO

Thank God one man has the courage to stand up to an idiot Senator.

Dan Proft: Illinois Democrats pass a stimulus bill for Indiana‏

A Proft Press Release in full. The guy's thought about Illinois and the release shows it. So here it is in full. As far as the nine go, check this for the names of the crew who've given us this mess.
July 16, 2009

The Chicago 9 Pass Stimulus Bill -- For Indiana

Recently, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels wondered why Indiana needed a federal stimulus bill. After all, he said he already had the best stimulus he could ask for; it’s called Illinois and Michigan.

In keeping with their commitment to drive businesses and jobs to Indiana and elsewhere, Gov. Pat Quinn and the Democratic leadership congratulated themselves last night on a budget compromise they described as a necessary short-term solution to avoid a financial meltdown.

But what they avoided was something more crucial to our state’s future: an opportunity to put this state on sound financial footing.

Once again, Illinois legislators took the easy way out and saddled taxpayers with more debt rather than make the politically-uncomfortable decisions required to pull us out of this financial mess.

And today, Illinois’ unemployment rate hit 10.3% -- the highest since 1983. And not a day had passed from passage of the bill to the announcement from Moody’s Investors Service that it has placed Illinois’ general-obligations bond ratings on review for possible downgrade. As the Moody analyst who wrote the report said, “The state has essentially kicked the can further down the road in terms of making decisions.” This follows on the Standard and Poor’s Rating Service’s downgrade in March. Meanwhile, Mike Madigan, Pat Quinn, and the rest of the Chicago 9 do nothing but dig the hole a little deeper.

A hidden aspect of today’s shovel-full is that the governor and General Assembly might as well have just passed a tax increase, rather than hide behind their borrowing measure. The $3.5 billion the state will now borrow to pay the bills will lead to roughly $700 million in interest payments. And who’s on the hook for that? You, the Illinois taxpayer, that’s who. And be forewarned, Gov. Quinn still hopes to pass his 50% income-tax increase in six months, conveniently after Illinois legislators have survived any primary election opposition.

We will never end our perennial budget crises through tax increases and painless spending cuts. We must enact serious system change ideas that radically reorganize the way Illinois government functions. That means we have to be clear about the problem:

1. Illinois doesn’t have a revenue problem. It has a spending problem. Over the last 20 years, state general fund spending, in real terms, has outpaced population growth by a factor of four—and what do we have to show for it?

2. The Chicago Democrats who run Illinois will always choose the solution that benefits them politically, rather than what benefits the citizens of Illinois.

If we don’t recognize these fundamental facts, no amount of tinkering on the edges will solve the problem. We will find ourselves at the same place we are today, only in much worse shape, if we choose to ignore what’s really going on in Springfield.

The Chicago 9 and their functionaries will do whatever they can to protect their power, even if it means bankrupting Illinois. We must take the fight to them, make them defend what they have done to our state, and force upon them system change solutions that include statutory spending caps and tax cuts. We must make Illinois a growth state again, instead of driving businesses and entrepreneurs away.

That is what it means to un-fix Illinois.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Wurf While: When Bipartisanship Clogs Health Care Reform…

“Doctor why have you stopped the bypass surgery - the patient is dying!”

“I’m sorry. It’s not bipartisan.”


Above via Wurfwhile from Sen Bernie Sanders.

Now, from a few years ago in the Canadian Med Society Journal about patients who never make it to the table to worry about clogs,
The fact that Canadians must regularly queue for health services - often for months - is a continuing source of frustration and dissatisfaction with the health care system. The situation is particularly fraught when patients die while waiting for services that might have prolonged their lives. Such deaths probably occur most frequently among patients waiting for coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), although patients dying of cancer while waiting for diagnostic and therapeutic services are also a source of concern.
Americans aren't going to tolerate queue's. Neither would Sanders. I have a feeling the Gov Option will turn into a regular Health Care Ghetto and US Senators aren't going to give up the Federal Health Insurance to join it. They're not going to let a clogged wait list block their access to care. No Canadian-like patiently-waiting-in-queues folks sit in the US Senate. They'll do what it takes to get to the head of the queue they'll create.

Cook County Commissioner Beavers on States more corrupt than Illinois: Utah and Oregon

Tony P getting under Beaver's skin. If Utah and Oregon are more corrupt, than we have to beat them on body count with 11 shot dead over the long weekend. We need more than a Peace Making Pledge for this City.



xp Praire Politics

Jan Schakowsky and a Truth Commission

Rep. Eshoo released Letter to CIA Dir. Panetta (PDF here) asking for Panetta to correct his previous testimony that the CIA really does lie on a systematic basis since 2001. Illinois's own Jan Schakowsky cosigned.

When folks are laying themselves on the line like this, we need a truth commission more than ever to figure out what in the world is going on between the Hill and Langley 'cause somebody's lying.

18 Tir 1388, Tehran Bolvare keshavarz

Today's protests on the anniversary of the 1999 demonstrations.


Stimulus: Done its Job?

via GOPHD,

Live RPG removed from soldier

Video over at Military Times. Pretty heroic stuff on the part of the Medical Staff not to mention the Solider who got hit.

Iran election: faces of the dead and detained

Over at The Guardian,
Hundreds, probably thousands, have been arrested in Iran since the
presidential election on 12 June. Human rights and campaign groups such as Human Rights Watch, the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran and Reporters Without Borders have been collecting and publishing the names of those dead or detained.

We have brought those lists, and reports from trusted media sources, into a database that we are asking readers and those elsewhere on the internet to contribute too.

Since we launched this exercise we have had hundreds of emails, photographs and names sent to us. Keep them coming.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Dan Proft: "The Candidate most likely to choke some people."

Well he has been working in Cicero. As my step Dad told me, he read the Cicero-Berwyn Life because the only real news was Cicero news. From NRO,
Among the Republicans running for Illinois governor is Dan Proft, who NRO reader Doug, a friend of the candidate, describes as, "the candidate most likely to choke some people."


Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Two minutes with VP Biden

I can't think of an American so universally disliked in Iraq. Here's two minutes of him: pre and post surge, from Mudville Gazette.

Auto Enrollment for Congress into the Gov Health Care Plan

From a Press Release,
Rep. John Fleming, M.D. (LA) has introduced new legislation to keep House Members accountable. The resolution calls for Members who support government-run health care to automatically enroll themselves. In a statement, Fleming said:

“As a physician, I am amazed at the number of bureaucrats in this House who are quick to claim a government-run health care plan is the reform this country needs. This resolution will offer members of Congress an opportunity to put their money where their mouth is, and urge their colleagues who vote for legislation creating a government-run health care plan to lead by example and enroll themselves in the same public plan.”

Bill Foster and Barney Frank let the Good Times roll.

First, Byron York writes, Let's spend TARP profits before taxpayers can get them, on Frank's HR 3068 to redirect TARP money to Frank's projects,
When President Obama announced on June 9 that some financial institutions would be allowed to repay Troubled Asset Relief Program dollars, he said the massively expensive TARP bailout had made money for the federal government. "It is worth noting that in the first round of repayments from these [TARP recipients], the government has actually turned a profit," the president said. Indeed, TARP supporters have long held out the hope that the program might be profitable.

But now Rep. Barney Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has come up with a proposal to spend any TARP profits before they can be returned to the taxpayers. Last Friday, Frank introduced the "TARP for Main Street Act of 2009," a bill that would take profits from the program and immediately redirect them toward housing proposals favored by Frank and some fellow Democrats.
Now we have Frank and Foster teaming up on an internet gambling bill to get what's ever left from taxpayers,
Congress has their sights set on cleaning up the economic mess in the US these days, but they still have their eye on Internet gambling. Five new co-sponsors have signed on to Representative Barney Frank's proposed online gambling legislation.

Representative Frank has acknowledged that the online gambling legalization issue will have to wait until at least September before his committee begins discussions. That has not stopped Frank, however, from gaining support for when those discussions do take place.

The latest co-sponsors include Rep. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii, Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, Rep. Bill Foster of Illinois, Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, and Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York. The group of Representatives that have now signed on to be co-sponsors is a bipartisan collection.
Viva Las Vegas I guess with Frank & Foster. Get a feeling we'll all be fleeced when these two get done with America?

Stimulus Swindle

















The latest GOP Graphic, and Louis Woodhill's 14% unemployment forecast.
Virtually everything the Obama administration wants to do will have the effect of increasing unemployment. As bad as joblessness is now, be prepared for it to get much, much worse.
It looks like a huge train wreck's coming.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) Delivers Weekly GOP Address On July 4th And The Iranian Protests

Tony Blair's speech The Chicago Council on Global Affairs on Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The conclusion from a speech made by a real Socialist in Chicago a few weeks ago,
Finally, we are required to do something that it seems rather odd to have to say. We have to re-discover some confidence and conviction in who we are, how far we've come and what we believe in. By the way, I think this even about the economic crisis. It is severe. It's going to be really, really hard. But we will get through it and not by abandoning the market or open economic system but by learning our lessons and adjusting the system in a way that makes it better. But on any basis, this system has delivered amazing leaps forward in prosperity for our citizens and we shouldn't, amongst the gloom, forget it.

The same is true for the security threat we face. We are standing up for what is right. The body of ideas that has given us this liberty, to speak and think as we wish, that allows us to vote in and vote out our rulers, that provides a rule of law on which we can rely, and a political space infinitely more transparent than anything that went before ; that body isn't decaying. It is in the prime of life. It is the future. And though the extremists that confront us have their new adherents, we have ours too, nations democratic for the first time, people tasting freedom and liking it.

And that is why we should not revert to the foreign policy of years gone by, of the world weary, the supposedly sensible practitioners of caution and expediency, who think they see the world for what it is, without the illusions of the idealist who sees what it could be.

We should remember what such expediency led us to, what such caution produced. Here is where I remain adamantly in the same spot, metaphorically as well as actually, of ten years ago, that evening in this city. The statesmanship that went before regarded politics as a Bismarck or Machiavelli regarded it. It's all a power play; a matter, not of right or wrong, but of who's on our side, and our side defined by our interests, not our values. The notion of humanitarian intervention was the meddling of the unwise, untutored and inexperienced.

But was it practical to let Pakistan develop as it did in the last thirty years, without asking what effect the madrassas would have on a generation educated in them? Or wise to employ the Taliban to drive the Russians out of Afghanistan? Or to ask Saddam to halt Iran? Was it really experienced statesmanship that let thousands upon thousands die in Bosnia before we intervened or turned our face from the genocide of Rwanda?

Or to form alliances with any regime, however bad, because they solve 'today' without asking whether they will imperil 'tomorrow'? This isn't statesmanship. It is just politics practiced for the most comfort and the least disturbance in the present moment.

I never thought such politics very sensible or practical. I think it even less so now. We live in the era of interdependence; the idea that if we let a problem fester, it will be contained within its boundaries no longer applies. That is why leaving Africa to the ravages of famine, conflict and disease is not just immoral but immature in its political understanding. Their problems will become ours.

And this struggle we face now cannot be defeated by staying out; but by sticking in, abiding by our values not retreating from them.

It is a cause that must be defeated by a better cause. That cause is one of open, tolerant, outward-looking societies in which people respect diversity and difference in which peaceful co-existence can flourish. It is a cause that has to be fought for; with hearts and minds as well as arms, of course. But fought for, nonetheless with the courage to see it through and the confidence that the cause is just, right and the only way the future of our world can work.
HT Tom Bevan's: 10 Years On, Blair Restates the Case

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Progressive Fox: Bill Foster and the Gambling Mystery

The Fox writes,
Foster has signed on as a co-sponsor of Barney Frank’s Internet gambling bill.
and wonders about the impact on the Fox Valley's 2,332 gaming jobs between the Elgin and Aurora Casinos. (And I'd like to add all that revenue generated from those casinos to spruce up downtown in Aurora and Elgin.)

Foster's office is saying no public statement yet. Wonder what the attraction is to this bill for our Scientist and Businessman in Congress?