Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The New Life Temple Church of God in Christ fire

When I heard there was a fire in Lawndale my first thought was one of the old Synagogues. Turns out it was the former Beth Jacob Anshe Kroz. Ley Bey tells its story and links some wonderful pictures from Frederick Nachman.

The Herman Cain Train Music Video

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Maybe we need a Tahir Moment in Illinois too: Thousands of protesters occupy Puerta del Sol square in Madrid

Via The Telegraph. Unemployed Spanish youth trying to bring the Spirit of Egypt's Tahir Square to Spain. Sounds like Illinois and Chicago too when you consider the job prospects for kids here at home.
With tents, mattresses, a kitchen, a workshop and even a pharmacy, a protest camp in Madrid has grown into a real 'urban village' for thousands of young people. Under blue plastic tarpaulins, demonstrators have gathered in the landmark Puerta del Sol square in the centre of the Spanish capital,. Many of them have spent several days and nights there, to decry politicians who left Spain with a 21 per cent unemployment rate. Calling for "Real Democracy Now," the protests popularly known as M-15 began on May 15, lamenting Spain's economic crisis, politicians in general, and corruption.

Thanks Governor Quinn!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Letter to DACOR Regarding Trita Parsi Speech at Forum Lecture Series

I'm one of the signatories and proud to have been asked.
For some background check the Weekly Standard from 2009. DACOR is an organization for Foreign Affairs professionals.

Letter to DACOR Regarding Trita Parsi Speech at Forum Lecture Series

May 19,2011

Sherry Barndollar Rock, Executive Director
1801 F. Street, NW
Washington, DC 2006

Subject: Upcoming Forum Lecture Series with Trita Parsi of NIAC

The honorable members of the board and staff of DACOR,

We, the undersigned, express grave concern regarding your upcoming Forum Lecture Series with Trita Parsi scheduled for Tuesday, May 24, 2011. While we appreciate your attention to issues related to Iran and the U.S. foreign policy towards Iran, The Iranian-American community considers the "self-appointed" Trita Parsi of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) an intellectually dishonest regime apologist and an unofficial and unregistered lobby for the Iranian regime. He contributes to the regime’s agenda and serves the interests of those in power in the Islamic Republic of Iran, not the Iranians, nor the Iranian-Americans. In a recent survey, 96% of the Iranian-Americans expressed that Trita is a lobbyist for the Iranian regime.

For over three decades, various governments have used dialogue and diplomacy with the regime in Iran to no avail, starting with the administration of President Jimmy Carter, who did everything possible to assure the new regime of American friendship and failed miserably. Since that time, the more world governments have tried to engage the regime’s leaders, the more belligerent, emboldened and abusive they have become. President Obama in his speech stated: "We support a set of universal rights. Those rights include free speech; the freedom of peaceful assembly; freedom of religion; equality for men and women under the rule of law; and the right to choose your own leaders – whether you live in Baghdad or Damascus; Sanaa or Tehran." Well, the regime in Iran has violated all of stated of universal rights and then some. Yet, the West continues to appease this regime. It is time for the United States to support the pro-democracy movements in the region with actions and just the empty rhetoric.

The Islamic regime’s apologists such as NIAC deceptively portray the Islamic government in Iran as a pragmatic and rational entity. They suggest that dialogue and diplomacy are the best way to deal with Iran. They falsely claim that sanctions are not effective and hurt ordinary Iranian people. Recently, primarily due to opposition leaders Mousavi's and Karoubi’s arrests, these apologists are attempting to shift the focus from Iran’s weapons program to what they have decided is more acceptable and palatable human rights issues. They have blamed the regime’s blatant human rights violations, which have recently overtaken China's as the worst in the world, on U.S. pressure and ridiculously claimed that recognition of the IRI would improve the human rights violations in Iran.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is a study in contrasts. The ruling theocracy is draconian and dangerous. It is a very real and imminent threat not just to our national security but also to world stability. Lobbyists such as Trita Parsi who use the pretext of easing the sanctions to help the ordinary Iranians, are deceitful, and are meant to intentionally misguide the American public, Iranians-Americans and the government officials. NIAC’s recent strategy of advocating human rights is merely a cover to hide its true intention which is carried out behind the scene to ease sanctions so that big corporations can sell nuclear technology, military gear, sophisticated surveillance technologies, electronic hardware and software applications to a criminal regime which uses them to spy on, arrest, torture, rape and kill its own citizens.

Trita Parsi is detested and shunned by the majority of the Iranian American community. Parsi claims to represent Iranian-Americans, but he is not an Iranian-American. Parsi is not a U.S. citizen; he holds passports from Iran and Sweden. Parsi's apologists and corroborators claim his critics have unfairly questioned Parsi's loyalty to this country--or accused Parsi of dual loyalties. If Parsi's loyalties are divided (and it's not clear that they are), then they are divided between Sweden and Iran and not the United States of America.

The Center for Security Policy cites NIAC as a lobby organization for the government of Iran. As a result of a lawsuit, numerous NIAC documents have surfaced that show NIAC lobbies for policies favorable to the regime in Iran. Law enforcement experts, who have reviewed some of NIAC’s emails, memos and board minutes, believe that NIAC has operated as an undeclared lobby and may be guilty of violating tax laws, the Foreign Agents Registration Act and lobbying disclosure laws. Trita Parsi falsely purports to represent Iranian-American interests in the United States. NIAC, as the Iranian-American's "self-appointed" representative in the U.S., has less than 2,000 members, yet Mr. Parsi asserts that it represents the majority of the nearly one million Iranian-Americans in the USA. We are convinced that NIAC and Parsi will eventually be subjected to criminal prosecution and organizations and individuals that collaborate with NIAC will come to regret their affiliations with them. In addition, NIAC has received millions of dollars in grants-including, outrageously, from the Congressionally-funded National Endowment for Democracy, because of its false claims, which could actually have been allocated to further the interests of real Iranian-American human rights and other important causes in the U.S. and around the world. Instead this money has effectively been redirected to furthering the aims of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Currently, the Middle East is in crisis. Pro-democracy forces are springing up daily to demand basic human rights and better living conditions. It is about time that countries such as the United States truthfully align themselves with the democracy seeking people who have suffered brutally at the hands of rapists, dictators and tyrants. It is time to give honor, dignity, moral imperatives and ethical values precedence over lucrative financial contracts that often occur, wrongly, at the expense of ordinary citizens' lives.

By supporting pro-democracy Iranian opposition groups, the world community not only can avert a regional and potentially global catastrophe, it will help establish a lasting democratic system of government in the region. If Iranians are successful in shaking off the yoke of theocracy, their success could herald the failure of a political and militant Islam. Helping Iran become a democracy is not only is a moral imperative, but should be considered an essential foreign policy priority that will bring a more sustainable and lasting peace to the Middle East.

It might help DACOR to remember that the Islamic government of Iran does not have any regard for the international laws and occupation of the American embassy was the first step to show their disregard for the international conventions, followed by the execution of top ranking Iranian military officers who had remained neutral based on Iran's constitution and their reign of terror, rape, torture, imprisonment, stoning of women and killings, continues to this day.

We respectfully request the cancellation of this event. We do not think you want to be associated with such an organization or a person. Additionally, we suggest that you include in your future Forums representative experts who can provide a more honest and accurate account of the current situation and opposition forces inside and outside Iran. Furthermore, DACOR must have an enduring commitment to encourage democracy and human rights throughout the world and cannot ignore the fact that the current regime in Iran is a major threat to world’s economic stability and world peace.

DACOR must encourage and support every group that truly advocates freedom and the rule of law and oppose any regime that denies such progress. At this time, Iran is dominated by a vicious dictator who has proven his lack of concern for his own people on countless occasions. There should be no question that DACOR must have every ethical, moral and strategic reason to encourage Iranian democratic movements. .


Dr. Arash Irandoost, Founder
Pro-Democracy Movement of Iran


The Honorable H. Hakimi, Retired Ambassador

Dr. Arash Irandoost, Pro-Democracy Movement of Iran (PDMI)
Kenneth R. Timmerman, President and CEO, Foundation for Democracy in Iran (iran.org)
Cina Dabestani, Chairman of Constitutionalist Party of Iran, Washington DC Chapter
Walton K. Martin III, Director, the Iran Information Project, USA
Dr. Gill Gillespie, Director, the Iran Information Project, UK
Sayeh Hassan, Barrister & Solicitor, pro-democracy activist, Canada
Mehdi Zolfaghari
Parvin Irandoost, Human Rights Advocate
Sohrab, Shabnameh.org
Dr. A. Samadani
Arman Nouri, Political Activist
Moteza Nouri, Journalist and Political Activist
Bill Baar
Debora M. Andress
Dr. Mansur Rastani
Dr. Siavash Abghari, Professor of Finance
Jeff Baird, CEO, Right Side Publications
Amir Ebrahimi
Shahin khordehpaz
Kevin Shook
Jay Ewasiuk
Fariborz Farhan
Yasamine Gaeini, Khashm, Toronto Branch
Masooud Nasseri
Saied Shemirani, Political Activist: United Persian Organization (Iranbozorg)
Shabnam Assadollahi, Radio Hamseda
Sheri Alvandin, Human Rights Activist and Publisher
Firouzeh Ghaffarpour, Political Activist
Dr. Bijan Eftekhari, Professor of Economics
Arezou Lotfi
Tony Kantering, Political Activist
Caspian Makan, Filk Maker-Human Rights Activist
Tarek Fatah, Founder, Muslim Canadian Congress
Zohre Mizrahi, Attorney, Human Rights Advocate
Frank Salvato, Executive Director, Director of Terrorism Research, www.BasicsProject.org
Yasamine Morteza Gaeini, Khashm, Toronto Branch
Morteza Gaeini, Khashm, Toronto Branch
Rabbi Dr. Daniel M. Zuckerman, D.D., Chairman, American for Democracy in the Middle-East
Jay Ewasiuk, Edmonton, AB
Behnaz Shariari, Member Stop Child Execution and Human Rights Activist
Hassan Darashti
Roxanne Ganji, Human Rights Activist

cc: The Honorable Senator Mark Kirk
The Honorable Jon Kyl
General Wesley Clark

New challenges face Larson in seventh term as Schaumburg mayor - DailyHerald.com

New challenges face Larson in seventh term as Schaumburg mayor - DailyHerald.com:

Makes a lot more sense than high speed rail,

"Larson is convinced that transportation improvements are the key to economic growth as they would take cars off the road and quicken the speed of travel throughout the region.

He serves on many regional boards to help advance his vision, but has been frustrated that such groups as the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning have bought into the notion that an improvement like the STAR line is financially unrealistic at this time.

Other mayors that continue to share his passion for the project include Arlington Heights’ Arlene Mulder, Hoffman Estates’ Bill McLeod and Naperville’s George Pradel."

US Department of Justice plans to prosecute Hezbollah commander captured in Iraq - The Long War Journal

US Department of Justice plans to prosecute Hezbollah commander captured in Iraq - The Long War Journal

I'm glad the administration is acknowledging the role of Iranian Al Quds forces in Iraq over the years. Now it might be best to deal with the larger problem of Iran and leave this POW to cool in GITMO for the duration.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Daniel T. Frawley's singing to the Feds of Rezko's cash to Obama; but will they listen?

Bessie (our very own local DeepThroat?) points me to the lastest at RBO on Daniel T. Frawley of train Iraqis to use AK47 fame,
Long-time RBO readers dating to the RezkoWatch days may vaguely recall Daniel T. Frawley of Companion Security fame and the plan to fly Iraqi trainees to Illinois to be trained as security guards for a power plant to be built at Chamchamal in Kurdish Iraq.

This was the little scheme dating from sometime in 2005 that involved then-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, then-Senator Barack Obama, then-Illinois Homeland Security advisor Jill Morgenthaler, Obama’s then-personal real estate fairy and political cash bagman Tony Rezko, Rezko’s Chicago pal and personal bail bondsman (and former Iraqi Minister of Electricity) Aiham Alsammarae, and British-Iraqi billionaire businessman (and one of Carter-Ruck’s frequent-flyer clients) Nadhmi Auchi.
Seems Frawley's been doing more than teaching those who already would know how to use an AK47, and was working for the Feds on those who know how to grease rails with cash. RBO writes,
As always, there’s a little more to the story. Thanks to a faithful RBO watchdog, we have documents from a separate legal matter, a law suit between plaintiff Frawley and his former attorney, George Weaver. We find some interesting details regarding that “cooperation” in a deposition given by Frawley earlier this year.

Weaver, Frawley alleges, advised him on at least one occasion, on March 13, 2006, not to cooperate with the government, namely the FBI. In a separate allegation, Frawley says Weaver told him to withhold information from the FBI.

Frawley relates the latter occurred during a telephone conversation with Tony Rezko regarding keeping a planned luncheon date while Frawley was in a meeting with the FBI at the Federal Building in Chicago. FBI agents were present when Weaver came into the room and told Frawley to cut off the conversation.

The purpose of the meeting was for Frawley to record his luncheon conversation with Rezko.

Frawley also confirmed in the deposition that the information he was to obtain was “about the payments made by Rezko to Obama.”

Because the deposition was specific to the Frawley-Weaver law suit — namely a possible change of venue requested by Weaver — no further details about the “payments” are included.

The deposition further reveals that the FBI instructed Frawley to not speak with Weaver anymore.
So Frawley's singing for Fitz but will Fitz ask him to change the tune a bit? Keep it a Serbian folk song and please no Kenyan beat? Bessie, please, deconstruct all of this.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Fox News Chicago: Homeless Chicago Man Donates Thousands to Down-On-Her-Luck Banker

Not every story on the West Side is harsh. Saw this on Fox News last night: Homeless Chicago Man Donates Thousands to Down-On-Her-Luck Banker.

I'm sure I've passed this guy many times as I often got on the Ike at Central.

Homeless Chicago Man Donates Thousands to Down-On-Her-Luck Banker: MyFoxCHICAGO.com

DH: Attendance numbers show half of Kane County Board misses 20% of meetings

If the board members are going to "no show" maybe Kane's better off with fewer of 'em. It's a paid position and if candidates are committing to represent us, they ought to show up for the meetings. James Fuller in the DH: Attendance numbers show half of Kane County Board misses 20% of meetings

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Capitol Commentary with Sen. Bill Brady (5-6-11)

Geez would Illinois have been better off with Brady.

Lauzen: It's about respect for our laws

No kidding...

Lauzen: It's about respect for our laws

Ron's Rundown with Senator Ron Sandack (5-6-11)

H/T Illinois Review

Rep. Adam Kinzinger on Gas Prices and National Security

Rep. Adam Kinzinger on Gas Prices and National Security: MyFoxCHICAGO.com

Emanuel Calls Immigrants "New Americans"

Via the Ward Room: Emanuel Calls Immigrants "New Americans"

What a failure in Geography. Everyone from the Yukon to Terra Del Feugo is an American of the Southern, Central, or Northern persuasions.

Caterpillar CEO tells industry to lobby Quinn on biz agenda | Manufacturing | Crain's Chicago Business

Caterpillar CEO tells industry to lobby Quinn on biz agenda | Manufacturing | Crain's Chicago Business

The Caterpillar guy's back.

Noting that Illinois’ workers' comp rate is seven times that of Indiana’s, Mr. Oberhelman said lawmakers must rewrite the law so it protects only workers hurt on the job. He also said the state should adopt the American Medical Assn.'s physician guidelines for compensation settlements, which are used by 37 states. “Those are two things we’re very close on,” he said.

Also on his list: improving the state’s infrastructure. “Infrastructure in this country, for the most part, is a dirty word,” he said, admitting that his company directly benefits when the state invests in roads and bridges. “Our infrastructure is crumbling across the board.”

“There’s a whole competitive thing brewing,” he said. “(Illinois) just can’t compete.”

Mr. Quinn is being called on increasingly by corporate chieftains for financial aid. He announced a deal with Motorola Mobility last week. In exchange for keeping its head office in Libertyville and maintaining its staff of 3,000, the state will grant the mobile-phone company $100 million in tax breaks over the next decade.

Would have been easier to just keep taxes lower than put the stuff up for bid to corporate chieftains.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

KCC: Kane expected to reduce districts, map still under study

Can someone please explain why Board Chair McConnaughay wants a smaller 18 district board? As we pare away per below,
The task force charged with reducing Kane County Board districts took a step closer to resolution Monday.

The task force will have an ordinance for the full county board to vote on at its meeting this morning, but a map will wait for further review by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund. The task force is charged with redrawing district boundaries to reduce the number of districts to 24 from 26. So far, District 9 will be gone and possibly Elgin districts of 18 and 19, officials said.
Who wins? Who loses? And I don't buy the cost-savings idea. That can't be driving this.

Monday, May 09, 2011

What the GOP Can Learn From Canada's Conservatives

What the GOP Can Learn From Canada's Conservatives

The Conservatives' triumph offers a couple of lessons that may be relevant to U.S. Republicans. One is that smaller government policies, far from being political poison, are actually vote-winners.

The second is that a center-right party can win immigrant votes. Conservatives won 35 of 54 seats in metro Toronto, many heavy with immigrants. One tactic that seems to have worked was to circulate videos of Indian- and Chinese-Canadian Conservative candidates appealing for votes in their native tongues.The simple message is that this is a party that likes and respects you. Republicans could do something similar, with Sen. Marco Rubio, Govs. Susana Martinez and Brian Sandoval, and Reps. Allen West, Tim Scott and Quico Canseco, all elected in 2010.

Should be a no brainer.... start fiddling with google translate fellow righty bloggers.

Daily Herald: Sears could leave Hoffman Estates, costing suburbs big money and jobs

How about just making Illinois a profitable place to do business instead of letting ourselves getting shook down. Or does this kind of crony Capitalism just fit our shake down political culture? Why not just reduce the tax burden on those with clout and little clout alike instead of putting the state up for sale?
Twenty-two years ago, Sears Roebuck and Co. leveraged an impending move from Sears Tower and fears it would move out of state into a sweet deal valued at $240 million and a sprawling new headquarters in Hoffman Estates.

Now, with the last of those state and local incentives set to expire in 2012, Sears again has been quietly evaluating where it wants to call home.

Read more: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20110509/news/705099965/#ixzz1Lqx8YJIl

Blago's lawyers to cross-examine Harris this week

Blago's lawyers to cross-examine Harris this week

Among upcoming witnesses will be Chicago union official Tom Balanoff, who was acting as a messenger in 2008 between Blagojevich and the incoming Obama administration on the Senate seat opening.

Ask Balanoff if he ever considered suggesting a special election to replace the Senate seat instead.

Civic group: Gov. Quinn’s proposed 2012 budget not ‘realistic’ - Chicago Sun-Times

Civic group: Gov. Quinn’s proposed 2012 budget not ‘realistic’ - Chicago Sun-Times

In a 95-page report being released today, the federation takes aim at Quinn’s proposal, claiming his budget artificially inflates the state’s revenues while increasing spending “beyond what is realistic.”

Amazing Quinn's increasing spending at all. Illinois's broke.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

NBC LA: A New Party Within a Party? Labor-Skeptic Democrats

Expect more of this: San Francisco's Jeff Adachi, and Los Angeles's Bernard Parks suggesting Progressivism ought to be more than public employee unions. Via NBC LA
What binds Adachi and Parks together is their critique of public sector workers and their shared sense of alarm at the long-term threats to their cities' fiscal viability. Each argues that public employee perks must be reined in -- not in the name of lowering taxes or other right-wing ideological gains -- but so that there's enough money to protect progressive programs that benefit the public at large.

That's a powerful argument. And while public employees unions have tried to make both men pariahs, so far each has survived. (Parks appears to have beaten back a union-funded challenge to his re-election this week). One wonders if these two men -- each of whom, like the majority of younger Californians, is non-white -- may represent the vanguard of California progressive politics: a party within the Democratic party that is committed to progressive institutions and programs first, rather than  public employees who make their living from running them.

Chicago Tea Party May Meeting with American Majority, Freedomworks and a Candidate for U.S. Congress

Tonight! Chicago Tea Party May Meeting with American Majority, Freedomworks and a Candidate for U.S. Congress

Sorry I missed this....

....Hector Concepcion, who announced he's running for Congress against Rep. Luis Gutierrez in the 4th Congressional District at the 2011 Chicago Tax Day Tea Party will also speak at the meeting. You'll be able to meet Hector and participate in a Question and Answer session with him Wednesday night.

Yale Lifts ROTC Ban | The Weekly Standard

Yale Lifts ROTC Ban | The Weekly Standard

Good news..

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Justice | The Weekly Standard

Justice | The Weekly Standard

Or Eric Holder, please leave the room.
....is it too obvious to point out that this admirable and effective act was not particularly “progressive”? The action against bin Laden was militaristic, unilateral, and secretive. It was non-U.N.-approved, non-NATO-consultative, non-Miranda-compliant, and non-politically correct (though we must say that we’re sympathetic to the complaints of American Indians about giving bin Laden the code name Geronimo, who was in many ways a noble and impressive figure, and a part of the American story).

The act’s protagonists were non-gender-diverse, pre-Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell-reform, and had undergone a notably nonprogressive training. Attorney General Eric Holder and his merry band of lawyers who are proud to have defended al Qaeda terrorists seem not to have been in the loop (the Justice Department is not represented in the now-famous photo of the gathering in the Situation Room, for instance). Indeed, the operation was based on information developed by intelligence professionals of the kind Eric Holder wants to prosecute, and planned and carried out by servicemen unaccompanied by a JAG.

Senator Righter: Pay bills, balance the budget, make tax hike temporary

Senator Righter: Pay bills, balance the budget, make tax hike temporary

Hope the GOP keeps these 2 minute drill segments coming. Here's Sen Righter H/T Illinois Review's link above.

Captured US soldiers father pleads for sons release

Captured US soldier's father pleads for son's release

Maybe less said the better, but this story has sure been under the radar for two years.

Intel shows bin Laden played active role in al Qaeda - Threat Matrix

Intel shows bin Laden played active role in al Qaeda - Threat Matrix

And it seems Chicago area Railroads were on his mind.

Capital Fax: Motorola Mobility gets huge state tax credit

Miller's got the story over at Capital Fax on this,
Gov. Pat Quinn says the state of Illinois will provide $100 million in tax credits to Motorola Mobility as part of a deal with the company to keep its headquarters in the Chicago suburb of Libertyville.

Under the deal announced Friday, the Motorola spinoff will keep a workforce of about 3,000 at the facility. Motorola Mobility designs mobile phones and other related products.
My first thought was all the money Illinois spent to induce Motorola on that huge facility in Harvard that quickly became vacant and stayed that way for years.

DH: More job losses in Rolling Meadows, Elk Grove Village

The Northwest Burbs taking another hit.

Illinois's slipped 3 to the 48th worst state to do business in (H/T Illinois Policy Institute).

Quinn's flushing Illinois down a toilet.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Arlene Jones on Illinois's Dream Act

Not every Progressive buys into the Dream Act. The West Side's Arlene Jones over at Austin Weekly News on what I'm sure she'd call a hijack of African American history,
One of the underlying efforts of the illegal immigration movement is to forge the gains made by blacks onto their movement. It is no coincidence that Dr. King is constantly portrayed as limited to his "I Have a Dream" speech. So what word do they come up with to try and give American citizenship to the millions of young illegal immigrants? The Dream Act. Coincidence? No.

And speaking of the Dream Act, the Illinois Senate has been sent a bill to give students who are here illegally money for school and driver's licenses. That's right. The same folks who tell us that we need to up the age for licenses for American young people are quick to want to legitimatize hundreds of thousands of folks who are here illegally with a driver's license. They also want to open up the state's limited coffers so that college saving programs and prepaid tuition programs are for all Illinois residents.

One has to only sit back and marvel at how in less than 30 years, the gains which took one segment of this country centuries are being rewarded to folks who not only just showed up at the table, but showed up uninvited.
Arlene, time for a West Side Tea Party? You'd be the perfect leader.

DH: Partisan politics takes over Kane Co. redistricting

I haven't a clue why Kane County's Board putting so much energy into this one,
Political party affiliation took center stage Wednesday night for the first time in Kane County’s redistricting process.

The county’s redistricting task force hoped to complete their work and send a 24-seat map to the full county board for a final vote next Tuesday. Late political changes to a handful of districts derailed that plan. Republicans and Democrats will battle over the future political balance on the board with a concentration on the north and south parts of the county.

Read more: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20110505/news/705059963/#ixzz1LZRdIaFf
Pure partisanship or what, although my experience at this level of gov is personality outweighs partisanship lots.

Fuller's doing a poll over at his facebook page. I'd leave well enough alone. 26 seats just fine.

Miguel del Valle on What's Next for Chicago Public Schools?

I think del Valle right Chicago can't charter school its way out of the mess. It might be able to voucher its way out though. He's right on the focus on neighborhoods too. Chicago as festival city isn't going to make it.

H/T Beachwood Reporter

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Rich and me: How we fell out

Rich and me: How we fell out

John Kass on the Mayor. Check the link for the column too.

Illinois Review: Indiana Gov. Daniels Signs Historic Voucher Bill into Law

Illinois Review: Indiana Gov. Daniels Signs Historic Voucher Bill into Law

Indiana catching the wave...

@QuilliamF tweets....

Quilliam tweets,
In last 24 hrs while world debated #OBL death, jihadists killed 20 in Iraq, 4 in Thailand and more in Somalia. All victims Muslim civilians.

Mark Kirk: Iran Human Rights and Democracy Promotion Act of 2011 Press

Illinois Policy Institute - Blog - Adopt-A-District Program in Western Burbs

Illinois Policy Institute - Blog - Adopt-A-District Program in Western Burbs

Late last year we launched a new program at the Illinois Policy Institute called the “Adopt-A-District” program. One of the early adopters of the project is the Tri-Count-Teas Tea Party group that regularly meets in Bartlett, Illinois.

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a meeting of this group and got to see firsthand how they have started to implement the program. Afterwards, I talked with one of the group’s leaders, Rick Newton, to discuss the details of their newly formed “Adopt-A-District” program.
Check out the link... this makes way too much sense.

Eric Holder's bin Laden Moment The moment has come for Mr. Holder to end his investigation of the CIA's interrogators of terrorist detainees.

Dan Henninger in WSJ,
After 9/11, when the fraying started, George W. Bush passed through a seven-year political minefield of media leaks and lawsuits over the Patriot Act, surveillance, renditions, Guantanamo and CIA interrogations. Now bin Laden is dead, and Barack Obama's got the credit. We're all fine with that, just as we're fine with people chanting "USA" over the dead terrorist who tried to kill us. Now how about letting those CIA interrogators come in from the cold and join the celebration?
Investigating the CIA for water-boarding a guy for intel so the US can violate a sovereign Nation's borders and pop a guy twice in his head in front of his family strikes me odd.

I'm not fine with that investigation. End it.

Arlene Jones on Blagojevich: Play the tapes? Heck Sell the tapes in a fundraiser for Illinois

From Arlene's Facebook page.
I still say release all the tapes. Sell them in fact. A fundraiser for the state and enough comedy material to keep Second City alive for a hundred years! LOL. As my friend Garfield would say, Gob'nor Big-Ol-bytch ya' just gotta luv him! LOL
Now buy this sage West Sider's book.

DH: Catholic adoption agencies want civil union exemptions

Directors of Catholic Charities from the suburbs and across the state gathered in Springfield Wednesday to push for legislation that would allow them to continue refusing to place children with gay or lesbian couples.

Catholic Charities wants to keep referring those and all other non-married couples to state adoption agencies.

Read more: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20110504/news/705049866/#ixzz1LTTzbIVT
I have no idea why Marriage Equality means Catholic Charities should alter their placement criteria.

The damage from government intervening in Church business outweighs any gain from civil unions in my book.

Springfield ought get its act together here and clarify this law.

Better yet, the Libertarians get this one right, why don't Illinois counties just get out of the Marriage licensing biz all together. It's beyond them.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Killing bin Laden: the bigger prize - Threat Matrix

Killing bin Laden: the bigger prize - Threat Matrix
Another result of the raid and captured information will be its effect on Pakistan. The raid is embarrassing to the Pakistani military, given how bin Laden was hiding in plain sight. But beyond this, the captured information could prove even more embarrassing. For example, it may contain the smoking gun, identifying who within the Pakistani establishment is supporting and protecting al Qaeda and how they are doing it.

Read more: http://www.longwarjournal.org/threat-matrix/archives/2011/05/killing_bin_laden_the_bigger_p.php#ixzz1LRIgEUMi
I wonder if ISI had planned for that eventuality? If maybe OBL was more prisoner than guest; much less fugitive in hiding. The trove might not offer so much if ISI gave OBL up. See how many come down next should tell.

Blogger Call w/ Reps. Hastings, Roskam on Energy

Blogger Conference Call To Discuss Gas Prices and The Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act (H.R. 1230). Update on House Republicans’ efforts to address rising gasoline prices and expand American energy production. 

Guest Speaker: Chairman Doc Hastings, Natural Resources Committee (Follow: @NatResources)

Call Hosted By: Chief Deputy Whip, Rep. Peter Roskam (IL-6) (Follow @PeterRoskam)
I wasn't there for all of it, but Hasting's said the number one question Reps received over the Easter recess was on Gas prices.  

This Bill, HR 1230, will pass with bipartisan support.  HR 1229, Put the Gulf Back to Work, will put a 30 day requirement on the Feds to decide on leases.

Illinois Review: Hispanic Group Supports Passage of School Choice Act

Illinois Review: Hispanic Group Supports Passage of School Choice Act

Hispanics have a huge stake in School Choice.

Geronimo, Bin Laden, and the Dutch Reformed Church

Zorn ponders the choice Geronimo noting
The top staffer for the Senate Indian Affairs Committee is objecting to the U.S. military's use of the code name "Geronimo" for Osama bin Laden during the raid that killed the al-Qaida leader.
The Dutch in me had a problem too knowing,
Several years later, in 1894, he [Geronimo] was moved to Fort Sill in Oklahoma Territory where he attempted to "fit in.” He farmed and joined the Dutch Reformed Church, which expelled him because of his inability to resist gambling.
Seems like a better choice of names could have been found other than this fellow American's.

Geneva History Center wins grant - Beacon News

Geneva History Center wins grant - Beacon News

Casino money well spent. The Rev Charles Lyttle was a founder of the Geneva History Center.

Judge rebukes Blago defense after first witness - Beacon News

Judge rebukes Blago defense after first witness - Beacon News

A federal judge wasted little time laying down the law Tuesday on the very first day of witness testimony at the corruption retrial of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, scolding the defense more vigorously than he had at the first trial.

The rebuke from a visibly annoyed Judge James Zagel came after defense attorney Lauren Kaeseberg repeatedly tried to ask the government’s first witness, FBI agent Dan Cain, how many hours of FBI wiretap recordings of Blagojevich exist. A prosecutor objected each time before she could finish the question.

Zagel had already ruled that the ousted governor’s lawyers could not try to suggest to jurors that prosecutors were hiding evidence by withholding hundreds of hours of recordings that, if played, would clear their client — an accusation Kaeseberg was clearly attempting to hint at.

Hiding the rest of the tapes exactly the Feds are doing. A lot of History of Illinois will be lost for ever if they're not played. Illinoisans deserve to hear what was powerful enough to flip Lincoln in his grave. You can't talk like Fitz here below, and then withhold the tapes.

Blagojevich on tape: Did they think I would appoint Jarrett for nothing? - The Blago Blog

Blagojevich on tape: Did they think I would appoint Jarrett for nothing? - The Blago Blog

It never occurred to them to hold a special election. Would have kept them out of the news and court.

The Intellectual Dishonesty of Nancy Pelosi

The Intellectual Dishonesty of Nancy Pelosi:
Here’s Nancy Pelosi from a press conference on September 7, 2006: [E]ven if [Osama bin Laden] is caught tomorrow, it is five years too late. He has done more damage the longer he has been out there. But, in fact, the damage that he has done . . . is done. And even to capture him now [...]

Read all of it. Pelosi's quite a piece of work.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Symbolism, Sympathy, and the Boutique Fuel Reduction Act

via Symbolism and sympathy: Obama's risky gasoline strategy
To ease voter angst, analysts said Obama has to show his concern -- a feeling the White House is eager to project -- even though his options are limited.

"What you try to do is basically show that, hey, I've noticed," said Mark Hansen, a political science professor at the University of Chicago.

"It's largely symbolic. It's more an expression of concern than anything that's going to have a substantive effect on prices that people are paying at the pump."
ahem...it seems like passing S. 511 Boutique Fuel Reduction ActA bill to amend the Clean Air Act to provide for a reduction in the number of boutique fuels, and for other purposes might be a step towards a more efficient market for cheaper gas. At least it's more than a statement of feeling our pain.

Trump says jokes about him by Obama, Meyers were 'inappropriate' - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room

Trump says jokes about him by Obama, Meyers were 'inappropriate' - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room

Feels like Obama's in trouble when he's getting shut down by The Donald,
"I don't think the American people are having a good time paying $5 gasoline and their clothing prices doubling and all of the other problems that they've got," Trump said. "You look at what's happening with food, so I was thinking to myself as they were doing this, the American people are suffering and we're all having a good time. I think it's inappropriate in certain respects, but I thought the delivery was good."

Billion Dollar Winner - Book Trailer

How Paul Ryan Won the Recess | The Weekly Standard

How Paul Ryan Won the Recess | The Weekly Standard

Despite having a Democratic party tracker and Center for American Progress Action Fund blogger covering Ryan's town halls, all they have out of 19 hours of footage are a few clips of Ryan getting booed. They have a video of a constituent yelling "liar!" at Ryan. What they do not have is video of Ryan actually lying or getting stumped by a question. Liberals might not agree with him, but Ryan had a persuasive answer, filled with facts and figures, to every question he was asked.

Ryan needs to run for Prez. Just to watch him bury Obama in debates. With Rubio as Veep... just imagine Rubio v Biden in a debate.

Hastert hand-me-downs

H/T Kerry Lester

Skip the snark on Michels and Hastert. I like the history and connections here. Roskam's doing a great job now and that's what really counts.

Newark’s top cop, Garry McCarthy, emerges as favorite for Weis replacement spot - Chicago Sun-Times

Newark’s top cop, Garry McCarthy, emerges as favorite for Weis replacement spot - Chicago Sun-Times

I think Chicago could do a lot worse than McCarthy. He's done some amazing stuff in Newark. The city went murder free for months.

Local Share of State Income Tax: Vernon Hills

My State Tax doubles and then Gov Quinn wants to cut the share going to local governments. Here's Vernon Hills talking about the hit Quinn plans to deliver them.