Tuesday, July 31, 2012
A quote from Cardinal George,
I was born and raised here, and my understanding of being a Chicagoan never included submitting my value system to the government for approval. Must those whose personal values do not conform to those of the government of the day move from the city? Is the City Council going to set up a “Council Committee on Un-Chicagoan Activities” and call those of us who are suspect to appear before it? I would have argued a few days ago that I believe such a move is, if I can borrow a phrase, “un-Chicagoan.”
Any thoughts on who should sit on such a committee? Alderman Burke as Chair I suppose.
Feel free to suggest in comments. Take it for granted exemptions to appear before such a committee could always be obtained through the purchase of enough tickets to Golf outing fundraisers. That’s a fundamental Chicago value. (And you better sell your quota buddy if you want to keep that City job.)
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Chicagoans make bets now on the numbers in each weekend’s Butchers Bill: X dead, Y shot, what do you bet? This fool of a Mayor dodges questions quoting Henry Kissinger. If the streets weren’t so bloody, this’d be funny. It’ ain’t. Quit laughing Rahm.
When he does take questions from reporters, Emanuel assiduously stays on his message.
In an interview at Think Tank last week, Emanuel gave insight to his discipline with the press.
“Henry Kissinger used to have a great quote. Does anyone have any questions for my answers?,” laughed Emanuel.
Motorola should have moved into that gleaming hulk Illinois sunk big bucks to help them build in Harvard. It’s still sitting there empty as far as I know. Below via the DH (link below) with Joe Walsh on the move.
With the announcement of Motorola Mobility moving from Libertyville to downtown Chicago, Congressman Joe Walsh said Motorola’s move only gives off the appearance that Chicago is “on its way back.”
During a taping of WBBM Newsradio 780-AM’s “At Issue” from his Schaumburg congressional office, the McHenry Republican criticized the move and Democratic Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s part in the announcement that came Thursday, saying luring “symbolic” companies like Motorola Mobility and its 3,000 jobs from the suburbs won’t solve Chicago’s financial problems. The series of congressional interviews is being produced by WBBM in collaboration with the Daily Herald.
I asked a couple of State Workers in the office what was going on and they said they thought it was wrong.
I told the woman on the left in this picture I thought it was wrong for her to be there collecting signatures and she told me to go complain if I didn't like it. She identified herself as Donna Griffen Leggo of the Elgin Democrats.
No idea if this is legal or not, but like the workers inside, it sure feels wrong. So guess I'll complain. I was standing at the doorway into the office when I took this pic so they weren't far from the entrance. The whole area is State property.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
More from Crains on Austin.
BREAKING VIDEO: CARNEY REFUSES TO FLATLY STATE WH WAS NOT INVOLVED IN LEAKS/ CONFLICTS WITH CAMPAIGN
All - Today, in Obama's most conflicting answer to date on serious national security leaks, his own White House Press Secretary couldn’t explain conflicting answers – twice – between Obama’s campaign and the White House:
After repeated denials, it’s clear neither the President nor his advisers are prepared to answer tough questions about the source of sensitive national security leaks. As Romney has himself strongly stated, the time for stonewalling is over, and it’s time for a full, prompt, and independent investigation.
When Asked If He Could “Say Flatly That Nobody From The White House Was Involved In The National Security Leaks That Are Being Investigated,” Spokesman Jay Carney Did Not Deny White House Involvement. FOX NEWS’ ED HENRY: “Can you say flatly that nobody from the White House was involved in the national security leaks that are being investigated?” CARNEY: “Well Ed as you know this is a matter being investigated by two experienced prosecutors. I can’t specifically speak about it. I can point you to the statements of the President, the statements I’ve made in the past about this, about the seriousness with which he takes this issue…” (White House Press Briefing, 7/26/12)
When Asked Pointedly If He Could “Today Say That Nobody From The White House Was Involved,” Carney Asked: “In Which Particular Case?” HENRY: “One of your past statements from June 11 when you said it’s absurd when Senator McCain suggested people inside the White House leaked this information for political gain. In June, David Axelrod flatly said on ABC that nobody in the White House was involved and David Axelrod was on MSNBC yesterday and said the President did not leak anything and then followed up by saying the President did not authorize any leaks. That’s different. That leaves up the door that there were unauthorized leaks by White House people. So, have you moved the goal posts?” CARNEY: “No, Ed, I think you’re conflating a lot of things. All of those statements are completely true. I stand by what I’ve said and Mr. Axelrod and the President has said…” HENRY: “He said no one from the White House was involved. Can you today say that nobody from the White House was involved?” CARNEY: “Involved in which particular case are you talking about? I can tell you that the President takes this very seriously.” (White House Press Briefing, 7/26/12)
Yesterday, Senior Obama Campaign Adviser David Axelrod Couldn’t Deny That National Security Leaks Came From Within The Obama White House:
When Told It Is “Very Obvious The White House Is Leaking Classified Information,” Axelrod Did Not Deny The Charge And Called It A “Diversion.” MSNBC’s JOE SCARBOROUGH: “It is very obvious, it is very obvious the White House is leaking classified information.” AXELROD: “Well, Joe, I can tell you, that the President of the United States did not leak classified information, as Mitt Romney suggested yesterday, didn't authorize the leak of classified information, as Mitt Romney suggested yesterday, and I think it was largely a diversion because what's he going to talk about?” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 7/25/12)
When Asked “Why Is It Leaking Out Of The White House?” Axelrod Again Didn’t Deny White House Leaks, Saying “There Are Leaks Out Of Every Administration.” SCARBOROUGH: “Why is it leaking out of the White House? How do we stop it?” AXELROD: “Joe, there's an investigation going – well, you stop it by sending strong signals. Strong signals have been sent. There are leaks out of every administration.” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 7/25/12)
Yet Just Last Month, President Obama Flatly Denied That His White House Was Responsible For The Leaks:
President Obama: “The Notion That My White House Would Purposely Release Classified National Security Information Is Offensive.” PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: “The notion that my White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive. It's wrong. And people I think need to have a better sense of how I approach this office and how the people around me here approach this office.” (President Barack Obama, Press Conference, 6/8/12)
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: “Any Suggestion That The White House Has Leaked Sensitive Information For Political Purposes Has No Basis In Fact…” CARNEY: “This administration takes all appropriate and necessary steps to prevent leaks of classified information or sensitive information that could risk ongoing counterterrorism or intelligence operations. Any suggestion that the White House has leaked sensitive information for political purposes has no basis in fact and has been denied by the authors themselves, as one of the authors of The New York Times story on Obama's counterterrorism record said, ‘The notion that the White House prompted the story or controlled our reporting and writing is absurd.’” (White House Press Gaggle, 6/7/12)
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D): “I Think The White House Has To Understand That Some Of This Is Coming From Their Ranks”:
Senator Feinstein: “I Think The White House Has To Understand That Some Of This Is Coming From Their Ranks.” “A prominent Democrat is giving the White House heartburn over national security leaks. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, told a World Affairs Council forum yesterday, ‘I think the White House has to understand that some of this is coming from their ranks.’ … The leaks have included news that the U.S. has launched cyberattacks against Iran's nuclear program and details of an investigation into an al-Qaeda bombing plot.” (USA Today, 7/24/12)
McHenry County Blog | Peter Breen Introducing Resolution in Support of “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day”
Wonder what Tammy Duckworth’s thoughts are on this?
Lombard Trustee Breen to Introduce Resolution in Support of “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day”
Breen invites businesses forced out of Chicago due to their sincerely held beliefs to relocate to Lombard
Read the whole thing. Dan Cathy never condemned same sex marriage. He only said what he believed marriage to be.
So that a reason to ban his stores from Chicago?
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Judy Baar Topinka’s criticism of Blagojevich’s evasion of Veterans Hiring rules. Stuff Tammy Duckworth should have followed up on.
Here’s from the Chicago Tribune back in July 2006 on sensible reforms Topinka was recommending to protect Veterans hiring rights with the State of Illinois. Reforms that have never been enacted. Reforms that Tammy Duckworth should have looked into after getting hired by Blagojevich as Illinois’s Director of Veterans Affairs in Nov 2006.
Topinka's criticisms come amid a flurry of recent news reports questioning how state hiring was conducted. It also follows the recent disclosure by U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald that his office was looking into allegations of "endemic hiring fraud" in Blagojevich's administration and that agents have "developed a number of credible witnesses" implicating multiple state agencies.
In addition, the Tribune recently disclosed that the governor's own inspector general wrote a report critical of Blagojevich's Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. The report said the office played a major role in subverting state laws that give veterans preference in state jobs and that ban political consideration in hiring for most jobs.
If elected, Topinka said, she would propose requiring state agencies involved with employmentcertify that veterans-preference laws were followed with all civil service hiring throughout the state and that a panel would be created, overseen by the lieutenant governor, that would scrutinize all records related to employment.
"Currently, neither the governor nor the lieutenant governor has taken steps to ensure compliance," Topinka said. "In fact, it appears that they are taking steps to actively subvert the rules."
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Good speech. Mitt quotes Gates' SFU remark to the West Wing over leaks and names a nuclear Iran as the major National Security threat, not to mention a weak economy and our own unilateral disarmament should the Administration have its way.
Read the whole thing…
MITT ROMNEY DELIVERS REMARKS AT THE VFW NATIONAL CONVENTION
Boston, MA – Mitt Romney today delivered remarks at the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Reno, Nevada. The following remarks were prepared for delivery:
Thank you. Commander Richard DeNoyer, I appreciate the introduction, and I’m proud to see a combat veteran from Massachusetts serving as National Commander of the VFW.
Ladies Auxiliary President Gwen Rankin, incoming National Commander John Hamilton, incoming Ladies Auxiliary President Leanne Lemley, Adjutant General Allen “Gunner” Kent, Executive Director Bob Wallace, distinguished guests and members of the VFW: Thank you for your generous welcome.
I want to start today with a few words about the unimaginable tragedy in Colorado last week. We’ve since learned that among the victims were four people who had served – or were serving – our country in uniform. Today, our hearts go out to the families of John Larimer of the U.S. Navy; Rebecca Wingo, an Air Force veteran; Jesse Childress, an Army veteran and member of the Air Force reserve; and Jonathan Blunk, a Navy veteran who died shielding his girlfriend from the spray of bullets. The loss of four Americans who served our country only adds to the profound tragedy of that day. All Americans are grateful for their service and deeply saddened by their deaths. We mourn them and we will remember them.
The VFW is now over two million strong. It has a special place in America’s heart. Some of you fought recently, in Iraq or Afghanistan. Others are old enough to have marched, flown, or sailed by orders of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Whatever your age, whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, whenever you served – there’s one thing you have in common: You answered the call of your country in a time of war. From December 7th, 1941 to September 11, 2001, whenever America has been tested, you stepped forward. You come from our farms, our great cities, our small towns and quiet neighborhoods. Many of you have known violence so that your neighbors could only know peace. You have done more than protect America; your courage and service defines America. You are America at our best and it is an honor to address you.
Our veterans are part of a proud tradition that stretches back to the battlefields at Lexington and Concord – and now to places like Fallujah and Kandahar. Year after year, our men and women in uniform have added proud achievements to their record of service. And President Obama pointed to some of them yesterday in his speech.
Any time our military accomplishes a vital mission it is a proud moment for our nation. But we owe our veterans and our military more than just an accounting of our successes. They deserve a fair and frank assessment of the whole picture – of where we are and where we want to be. And when it comes to national security and foreign policy, as with our economy, the last few years have been a time of declining influence and missed opportunity.
Just consider some of the challenges I discussed at your last national convention:
Since then, has the American economy recovered?
Has our ability to shape world events been enhanced, or diminished?
Have we gained greater confidence among our allies, and greater respect from our adversaries?
And, perhaps most importantly, has the most severe security threat facing America and our friends, a nuclear-armed Iran, become more or less likely?
These clear measures are the ultimate tests of American leadership. And, by these standards, we haven’t seen much in the President’s first term that inspires confidence in a second.
The President’s policies have made it harder to recover from the deepest recession in seventy years … exposed the military to cuts that no one can justify … compromised our national-security secrets … and in dealings with other nations, given trust where it is not earned, insult where it is not deserved, and apology where it is not due.
From Berlin to Cairo to the United Nations, President Obama has shared his view of America and its place among nations. I have come here today to share mine.
I am an unapologetic believer in the greatness of this country. I am not ashamed of American power. I take pride that throughout history our power has brought justice where there was tyranny, peace where there was conflict, and hope where there was affliction and despair. I do not view America as just one more point on the strategic map, one more power to be balanced. I believe our country is the greatest force for good the world has ever known, and that our influence is needed as much now as ever. And I am guided by one overwhelming conviction and passion: This century must be an American Century.
In 1941, Henry Luce called on his countrymen – just then realizing their strength – “to create the first great American century.” And they succeeded: together with their allies, they won World War II, they rescued Europe, they defeated Communism, and America took its place as leader of the free world. Across the globe, they fought, they bled, they led. They showed the world the extraordinary courage of the American heart and the generosity of the American spirit.
That courage and generosity remains unchanged today. But sadly, this president has diminished American leadership, and we are reaping the consequences. The world is dangerous, destructive, chaotic. And the two men running to be your commander-in-chief must offer their answers to the challenges we face.
Like a watchman in the night, we must remain at our post – and keep guard of the freedom that defines and ennobles us, and our friends. In an American Century, we have the strongest economy and the strongest military in the world. In an American Century, we secure peace through our strength. And if by absolute necessity we must employ it, we must wield our strength with resolve. In an American Century, we lead the free world and the free world leads the entire world.
If we do not have the strength or vision to lead, then other powers will take our place, pulling history in a very different direction. A just and peaceful world depends on a strong and confident America. I pledge to you that if I become commander-in-chief, the United States of America will fulfill its duty, and its destiny.
American leadership depends, as it always has, on our economic strength, on our military strength, and on our moral strength. If any of these falter, no skill of diplomacy or presidential oratory can compensate. Today, the strength of our economy is in jeopardy.
A healthy American economy is what underwrites American power. When growth is missing, government revenue falls, social spending rises, and many in Washington look to cut defense spending as an easy out. That includes our current President.
Today, we are just months away from an arbitrary, across-the-board budget reduction that would saddle the military with a trillion dollars in cuts, severely shrink our force structure, and impair our ability to meet and deter threats. Don’t bother trying to find a serious military rationale behind any of this, unless that rationale is wishful thinking. Strategy is not driving President Obama’s massive defense cuts. In fact, his own Secretary of Defense warned that these reductions would be “devastating.” And he is right.
That devastation starts at home. These cuts would only weaken an already stretched VA system and impair our solemn commitment that every veteran receives care second to none. I will not allow that to happen.
This is not the time for the President’s radical cuts in the military. Look around the globe. Other major powers are rapidly adding to their military capabilities, some with intentions very different from ours. The regime in Tehran is drawing closer to developing a nuclear weapon. The threat of radical Islamic terrorism persists. The threat of weapons of mass destruction proliferation is ever-present. And we are still at war and still have uniformed men and women in conflict.
All this and more is ongoing in the world. And yet the President has chosen this moment for wholesale reductions in the nation’s military capacity. When the biggest announcement in his last State of the Union address on improving our military was that the Pentagon will start using more clean energy – then you know it’s time for a change.
We’re not the first people to observe this. It is reported that Bob Gates, the President’s first secretary of defense, bluntly addressed another security problem within this administration. After secret operational details of the bin Laden raid were given to reporters, Secretary Gates walked into the West Wing and told the Obama team to “shut up.” He added a colorful word for emphasis.
Lives of American servicemen and women are at stake. But astonishingly, the administration failed to change its ways. More top-secret operations were leaked, even some involving covert action in Iran.
This isn’t a partisan issue; it’s a national security crisis. And yesterday, Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said, quote, “I think the White House has to understand that some of this is coming from their ranks.”
This conduct is contemptible. It betrays our national interest. It compromises our men and women in the field. And it demands a full and prompt investigation by a special counsel, with explanation and consequence. Obama appointees, who are accountable to President Obama's Attorney General, should not be responsible for investigating the leaks coming from the Obama White House.
Whoever provided classified information to the media, seeking political advantage for the administration, must be exposed, dismissed, and punished. The time for stonewalling is over.
It is not enough to say the matter is being looked into, and leave it at that. When the issue is the political use of highly sensitive national security information, it is unacceptable to say, “We’ll report our findings after Election Day.”
Exactly who in the White House betrayed these secrets? Did a superior authorize it? These are things that Americans are entitled to know – and they are entitled to know right now. If the President believes – as he said last week – that the buck stops with him, then he owes all Americans a full and prompt accounting of the facts.
And let me make this very clear: These events make the decision we face in November all the more important. What kind of White House would reveal classified material for political gain? I’ll tell you right now: Mine won’t.
The harm done when national security secrets are betrayed extends, of course, to the trust that allies place in the United States.
The operating principle of American foreign policy has been to work with our allies so that we can deter aggression before it breaks out into open conflict. That policy depends on nurturing our alliances and standing up for our common values.
Yet the President has moved in the opposite direction.
It began with the sudden abandonment of friends in Poland and the Czech Republic. They had courageously agreed to provide sites for our anti-missile systems, only to be told, at the last hour, that the agreement was off. As part of the so-called reset in policy, missile defenses were sacrificed as a unilateral concession to the Russian government.
If that gesture was designed to inspire good will from Russia, it clearly missed the mark. The Russian government defended the dictator in Damascus, arming him as he slaughtered the Syrian people.
We can only guess what Vladimir Putin makes of the Obama administration. He regained the Russian presidency in a corrupt election, and for that, he got a congratulatory call from the Oval Office. And then there was that exchange picked up by a microphone that President Obama didn’t know was on. We heard him asking Dmitry Medvedev to tell Mr. Putin to give him “space.” “This is my last election,” President Obama said, and “After my election I’ll have more flexibility.”
Why is flexibility with Russian leaders more important than transparency to the American people?
President Obama had a moment of candor, however, just the other day. He said that the actions of the Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez have not had a serious national security impact on us. In my view, inviting Hezbollah into our hemisphere is severe, serious, and a threat.
But at least he was consistent. After all, this is the president who faltered when the Iranian people were looking for support in their struggle against the ayatollahs. That uprising was treated as an inconvenient problem for the President’s policy of engagement, instead of as a moral and strategic opportunity. That terrible misjudgment should never be repeated. When unarmed women and men in Tehran find the courage to confront their oppressors, at risk of torture and death, they should hear the unequivocal voice of an American president affirming their right to be free.
I will leave Reno this evening on a trip abroad that will take me to England, Poland, and Israel. And since I wouldn’t venture into another country to question American foreign policy, I will tell you right here – before I leave – what I think of this administration’s shabby treatment of one of our finest friends.
President Obama is fond of lecturing Israel’s leaders. He was even caught by a microphone deriding them. He has undermined their position, which was tough enough as it was. And even at the United Nations, to the enthusiastic applause of Israel’s enemies, he spoke as if our closest ally in the Middle East was the problem.
The people of Israel deserve better than what they have received from the leader of the free world. And the chorus of accusations, threats, and insults at the United Nations should never again include the voice of the President of the United States.
There are values, causes, and nations that depend on American strength, on the clarity of our purpose, and on the reliability of our commitments. There is work in this world that only America and our allies can do, hostile powers that only we can deter, and challenges that only we can overcome.
For the past decade, among those challenges has been the war in Afghanistan. As commander-in-chief, I will have a solemn duty to our men and women in uniform. A president owes our troops, their families, and the American people a clear explanation of our mission, and a commitment not to play politics with the decisions of war.
I have been critical of the President’s decision to withdraw the surge troops during the fighting season, against the advice of the commanders on the ground. President Obama would have you believe that anyone who disagrees with his decisions is arguing for endless war. But the route to more war – and to potential attacks here at home – is a politically timed retreat.
As president, my goal in Afghanistan will be to complete a successful transition to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014. I will evaluate conditions on the ground and solicit the best advice of our military commanders. And I will affirm that my duty is not to my political prospects, but to the security of the nation.
We face another continuing challenge in a rising China. China is attentive to the interests of its government – but it too often disregards the rights of its people. It is selective in the freedoms it allows; and, as with its one-child policy, it can be ruthless in crushing the freedoms it denies. In conducting trade with America, it permits flagrant patent and copyright violations … forestalls American businesses from competing in its market … and manipulates its currency to obtain unfair advantage. It is in our mutual interest for China to be a partner for a stable and secure world, and we welcome its participation in trade. But the cheating must finally be brought to a stop. President Obama hasn’t done it and won’t do it. I will.
We’ll need that same clarity of purpose and resolve in the Middle East. America cannot be neutral in the outcome there. We must clearly stand for the values of representative government, economic opportunity, and human rights. And we must stand against the extension of Iranian or jihadist influence.
Egypt is at the center of this historical drama. In many ways, it has the power to tip the balance in the Arab world toward freedom and modernity. As president, I will not only direct the billions in assistance we give to Egypt toward that goal, but I will also work with partner nations to place conditions on their assistance as well. Unifying our collective influence behind a common purpose will foster the development of a government that represents all Egyptians, maintains peace with Israel, and promotes peace throughout the region. The United States is willing to help Egypt support peace and prosperity, but we will not be complicit in oppression and instability.
There is no greater danger in the world today than the prospect of the ayatollahs in Tehran possessing nuclear weapons capability. Yet for all the talks and conferences, all of the extensions and assurances, can anyone say we are farther from this danger now than four years ago?
The same ayatollahs who each year mark a holiday by leading chants of “Death to America” are not going to be talked out of their pursuit of nuclear weapons. What’s needed is all the firmness, clarity, and moral courage that we and our allies can gather. Sanctions must be enforced without exception, cutting off the regime’s sources of wealth. Negotiations must secure full and unhindered access for inspections. As it is, the Iranian regime claims the right to enrich nuclear material for supposedly peaceful purposes. This claim is discredited by years of deception. A clear line must be drawn: There must be a full suspension of any enrichment, period.
And at every turn, Iran must know that the United States and our allies stand as one in these critical objectives. Only in this way can we successfully counter the catastrophic threat that Iran presents. I pledge to you and to all Americans that if I become commander-in-chief, I will use every means necessary to protect ourselves and the region, and to prevent the worst from happening while there is still time.
It is a mistake – and sometimes a tragic one – to think that firmness in American foreign policy can bring only tension or conflict. The surest path to danger is always weakness and indecision. In the end, it is resolve that moves events in our direction, and strength that keeps the peace.
I will not surrender America’s leadership in the world. We must have confidence in our cause, clarity in our purpose, and resolve in our might.
This is very simple: if you do not want America to be the strongest nation on earth, I am not your President. You have that President today.
The 21st century can and must be an American Century. It began with terror, war, and economic calamity. It is our duty to steer it onto the path of freedom, peace, and prosperity.
Fewer members of the Greatest Generation are with us today – and they can’t hold the torch as high as they have in the past. We must now seize the torch they carried so gallantly and at such sacrifice. It is an eternal torch of decency, freedom and hope. It is not America’s torch alone. But it is America’s duty – and honor – to hold it high enough so that all the world can see its light.
Believe in America.
Thank you and God Bless the United States of America.
This should be great fun!
For the second year in a row, a member of AFF-Chicago's leadership committee will be participating in the main debate at the annual Bughouse Square Debates this coming Saturday.
Last year, I was honored to participate in this grand Chicago free speech tradition, debating the question "Is Collective Bargaining Compatible with the Public Sector?" with Kenzo Shibata of the Chicago Teacher's Union.
This year, AFF-Chicago's vice-chair Eric Kohn will debate Jon Anderson from Occupy Chicago on the question, "Who’s to Blame for the Great Recession: Big Government or Big Business?"
The Bughouse Square Debates are this coming Saturday, July 28th beginning at 1pm, with the main debate scheduled to begin at about 4pm. They will be held at Washington Square Park (a.k.a., Bughouse Square), 901 North Clark Street, just across the street from the Newberry Library.
More information on the Bughouse Square Debates is available here on their website: http://www.newberry.org/07282012-2012-bughouse-square-debates
I hope you can join us this Saturday!
America's Future Foundation- Chicago
Via Felsenthal Files on J Street funding Duckworth,
The Tribune’s Rick Pearson reported last week that Tammy Duckworth, the Democratic challenger in the race for the 8th Congressional District, outraised the tea party-backed freshman, Joe Walsh, in the second quarter. Duckworth’s $888,790 total take included almost $50,000 “steered” to her by J Street, a D.C.-based PAC that is finding a stronghold here in Chicago as it strives to be the alternative to AIPAC, the powerful, sometimes hawkish granddaddy of lobbyists for Israel.
A relatively new (circa 2008) group whose purpose is to promote the two-state path to a Middle East peace, J Street “steered” $47,733 to Duckworth, who is on the record favoring “a two-state solution”—while Walsh wrote in a Washington Times op-ed piece that “…everyone who continues to cling to the delusion of a two-state solution is insane.”
Eli Lake had a piece in the Washington Times Sep 24, 2010 on J Street as largely a George Soros creation, and a connection J Street took some effort to hide.
Weekly Standard explains best what’s behind J Street efforts in Illinois Congressional races. Michael Goldfarb in the Weekly Standard: J Street Goes Even Further Left,
As Ben-Ami wrote on the Huffington Post this week, in the wake of a failed campaign to dissuade members of Congress from signing on to AIPAC-sponsored letters in support of Israel’s right of self-defense, Congress should stop offering unqualified support for Israel and “stand behind the President - or at least not stand in his way - if he steps forward in the coming months with a meaningful initiative to lead the way to a negotiated two-state agreement.”
Translation: Stand with President Obama as he pressures Israel to take decisions that are not in what Israeli leaders, and the Israeli public, see as their best interests.
And after yesterday’s unanimous vote in the Senate passing a tough new round of unilateral sanctions on Iran, J Street put out a statement that plainly said, "We are opposed to the use of military force by Israel or the United States against Iran." Even the Obama administration leaves open the possibility that force might ultimately be the only option, and reins in senior officials who suggest otherwise. Certainly no one in Livni’s Kadima would publicly rule out the use of force should sanctions fail to dissuade the Iranian regime from it current course.
J Street clearly does not share a viewpoint with Kadima. If anything it shares a viewpoint with Meretz, Israel’s hippy-dippy left-wing eco-party that boasts all of three seats in the Knesset. The views J Street espouses have been overwhelmingly rejected in Israel. They’ve been overwhelmingly rejected in Congress.
Unfortunately, this White House is exactly where J Street is on the peace process, on the blockade, on settlements, and you have to worry they’re in the same place on Iran, too, despite the occasional half-hearted insistence to the contrary.
Questions on the middle east Duckworth really ought to answer if she would only bring herself to debate with Walsh. She’s not inclined to do that. I wouldn’t want defend J Street though either.
Monday, July 23, 2012
Bryan Preston writing on Michael Ahearn’s First Solar. This isn’t building companies. It’s looting the US Treasury.
When President Obama talks about businesses not getting to where they are on their own, perhaps First Solar and Solyndra are the kinds of businesses he has in mind. They certainly didn’t waste millions in taxpayer dollars on their own. They had help, and as long as Obama and his crony socialists are in power, they will continue to have help.
Listen to what Lewis said on a recent radio broadcast - She blames "students of working or lower class" and "students of color." Note the last 30 seconds of this audio - captured by EagNews.org:
This unions gotta go. They're devastating Chicago's Schools and blaming the kids and parents for it.
Chilling book to read. First chapter is on Obama's plan to gut National Defense and wage a war on global warming instead.
Stuff you won't hear Obama talk much about (Romney and Bain the re election frame) because it would turn off most Americans if they heard.
So read it instead from two who know.
Crain's Chicago Business on the costs of doing business in a neigborhood I've known since a kid. Get an handle on crime and the hoodlums, and then these communities would thrive. The housing stock is good. Austin's not a slum. Just a neigborhood in the grips of thugs who terrorize all the decent people.
Friday, July 20, 2012
Via Crain's... geez can you blame them given Obama's trashing of Bain?
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Another Romney presser quoting Rubio on Obama's Socialism or Social Democracy or plain disdain for markets (and admiration for central planners!)
SENATOR MARCO RUBIO: PRESIDENT OBAMA IS HOSTILE TO AMERICAN FREE ENTERPRISE
“[President Obama is] not a believer in the American free enterprise system. They'll never admit that because the American people support the American free enterprise system so they have to dress it up as something else. But the fundamental fact is that this President believes at his core, and has always believed, that the way the economy grows is when he and government have more power to take money and redistribute it into the economy.” – Senator Marco Rubio “Fox and Friends”FOX NewsJuly 19, 2012
Click Here To Watch Senator Marco Rubio Discuss President Obama’s Views On American Free Enterprise
STEVE DOOCY: “Okay, so a couple of days ago, the President talking about, you know, business people who'd been successful and he said you didn't build that. Everywhere that I have gone over the last four or five days, people have said, can you believe he said that? And I've got friends who voted for President Obama and are independents and they said "what was he thinking?" What's this going to do for Florida?”
MARCO RUBIO: “Well he was being honest about what he feels. I mean that's and that's what we've been saying all along. He's not a believer in the American free enterprise system. They'll never admit that because the American people support the American free enterprise system so they have to dress it up as something else. But the fundamental fact is that this President believes at his core, and has always believed, that the way the economy grows is when he and government have more power to take money and redistribute it into the economy. They've always believed that. You remember back in 2008, he said that on the campaign trail, and he's saying it again now. This is fundamentally what he believes and I think it's a reminder to voters in my state, in Florida, but across the country what, a dramatic choice they have here in November between two very different views of our future, one where the President and the government is in charge of our economy, and the other where we, the people of the country, are in charge of the economy.”
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Romney Press Office
July 18, 2012
Monday, July 16, 2012
Curious The Forward omits there are many Muslims in the 8th.
There are few Jews living in Illinois’s 8th Congressional District. But Israel and the proposed two-state solution to its conflict with the Palestinians are front and center in the heated congressional race.
To the surprise of many, the race between incumbent Republican Joe Walsh and Democrat Tammy Duckworth has become a battleground for supporters and opponents of the two-state solution. As the race sharpens, advocates for both sides are adding their dollars to the war chests of the two candidates.
On the Republican side, Congressman Walsh, known for his close ties with the Tea Party movement, is the only sitting member of Congress to openly call for a one-state solution, in which Israel will rule the entire occupied West Bank and Gaza, and the area’s approximately 4 million Palestinians will have only “limited voting power.”
“Everyone who continues to cling to the delusion of a two-state solution is insane,” Walsh declared in an opinion piece he wrote for The Washington Times in May. “There is no such thing as a two-state solution. It cannot work, it has not worked, and it will not work.”
Saturday, July 14, 2012
The rot in Kane County. Voters hate stuff like this, and it makes it awfully hard for the Board to give legitimate pay increases later on. Settle this quick and don’t make Kane County suffer through a drawn out battle.
A press release issued by Jon Zahm, Kane County Conservative Coalition chairman, indicates the raises in question were issued in 2009, awarded to 13 executive staff members. Development Director Phil Bus saw his salary rise from $91,000 to $153,000—a 61 percent increase—that also boosted his pension from $5,000 to about $9,000 a month.
Board Member Drew Frasz, District 26, said he has no problem with staff being compensated for expanded duties.
"I think most of the people on the board just have a concern whether it was by design or serendipitous that Mr. Bus got this tremendous increase in responsibilities and therefore pay, when everybody knew he was probably going to be retiring in a few years," Frasz said. "It certainly gives the perception of pension-bumping."
Frasz said he believes in addition to litigation or ratifying the raises retroactively, there is a third option: settle the case.
Friday, July 13, 2012
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
This is precious. Doesn’t the Congresswomen think and reflect a moment before she shoots her mouth off?
Monday, July 09, 2012
Unintended Consequences Of Steps To Cut Readmissions And Reform Payment May Threaten Care Of Vulnerable Older Adults
An abstract from Health Affairs. The penalty on acute readmissions going to be a killer. Unintended is usually how it goes too. What an understatement….
The US health care system is characterized by fragmentation and misaligned incentives, which creates challenges for both providers and recipients. These challenges are magnified for older adults who receive long-term services and supports. The Affordable Care Act attempts to address some of these challenges. We analyzed three provisions of the act: the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program; the National Pilot Program on Payment Bundling; and the Community-Based Care Transitions Program. These three provisions were designed to enhance care transitions for the broader population of adults coping with chronic illness. We found that these provisions inadequately address the unique needs of vulnerable subgroup members who require long-term services and supports and, in some instances, could produce unintended consequences that would contribute to avoidable poor outcomes. We recommend that policy makers anticipate such unintended consequences and advance payment policies that integrate care. They should also prepare the delivery system to keep up with new requirements under the Affordable Care Act, by supporting providers in implementing evidence-based transitional care practices, recrafting strategic and operational plans, developing educational and other resources for frail older adults and their family caregivers, and integrating measurement and reporting requirements into performance systems.
Attention Secretary LaHood: about that Chinese central planning prowess. Via the BBC last month….
In 2008, in response to the global financial crisis and imminent recession, the Chinese government announced a massive $590bn spending splurge over the next two years.
It did the trick - China's growth rate barely dropped below the magic 10% figure at a time when the West fell into its deepest recession since World War II.
A lot of that money poured into infrastructure - new roads, bridges and airports.
But, just as with the housing boom, China may have overstretched itself.
For example, China has built the world's biggest high-speed rail network, five times the size of France's TGV, from scratch.
But most Chinese cannot afford the train tickets. And the regular trains that they can afford have actually become less frequent as they make room for the shiny new high-speed trains.
And it seems the lines were built in too much of a rush - a string of dangerous incidents, including a major train crash at Wenzhou, have been blamed on poor design and shoddy building work.
Sunday, July 08, 2012
Friday, July 06, 2012
It’s not just a Blagojevich / Rezko player switching sides. It’s also the appalling speech Alsammarae made on Radio Sawa in Arabic (so we dopes in the US wouldn’t catch it?)
Via Nibras Kazimi's Talisman’s Gate on the speech in the link above,
In an astounding and blatantly treasonous assertion for a U.S. citizenship holder, he stated that “the [insurgency] in Iraq is a legitimate resistance [movement] and it is against occupation and any resistance in the world against occupation is considered legitimate, and I hope that the [insurgency] continues and avenges the Iraqi people and I look forward to expanding its political agenda.”Romney and the GOP don’t need this donation. Dan Rutherford please call the campaign and let them know who they're partnering with here.
I know there’s free speech and all, but isn’t calling for more attacks on U.S. troops a violation of sorts? Isn’t it ethically reprehensible? If Alsammarae’s citizenship can’t be revoked, can’t he be prosecuted on something else?
Kick in the gut is right. This is devastating. Watch the video here: Romney: 'This Kick in the Gut Has Got to End' - U.S. Election 2012 - CNBC
What a hole Obama’s dug for America.
WASHINGTON - Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus released the following statement on the June unemployment report:
"Once again, the monthly jobs report brings devastating news for the millions of Americans looking for work. The Obama economy is defined by chronically high unemployment. Our country is coming out of the worst quarter of job creation in two years. ObamaCare and President Obama's other policies simply are not working and disappointed Americans are ready for a new direction," said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.
"After taking office, President Obama promised he would fix the economy in three years or face a 'one-term proposition.' While the president believes 'the private sector is doing fine,' the rest of the country knows we are not 'doing fine' at all. We cannot afford another term of this president because we cannot endure four more years of painfully high joblessness.
"Gov. Mitt Romney is uniquely qualified to provide the leadership our economy needs. With his successful record in business, at the Olympics, and in Massachusetts, he has a proven track record. It's time to accept President Obama's offer of a 'one-term proposition,' send Mitt Romney to the White House, and finally get America working again."
Wednesday, July 04, 2012
The story over at the Daily Herald.
Democrat Tammy Duckworth Tuesday accused Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh of attacking her military service and a video of some of his comments is drawing national attention, providing another blow in the heated contest for Congress from the 8th District.
I was at that Town Hall. Walsh’s quote is in the Daily Herald link. He didn’t question her Heroism. He questioned her refusal to debate how much more Heroism the US is going to ask of the troops in the coming months.
Duckworth is silent on the Drone Wars in Pakistan in a district with one of the largest Pakistani populations in the US. She is silent on Obama’s support for NATO intervention in Libya without advice of Congress. She is silent on Iran as we send more ships to the Gulf.
What we owe the troops is complete discussion of what we’re going to ask of them. Joe does Town Hall after Town Hall. I’m the only guy who asks Foreign Policy questions. He’s always responsive.
Tammy’s not available or responsive. Yes she’s a hero but now the questions are how much more heroism is America going to ask for? She shouldn’t be ducking those questions. We owe the troops much better.
Monday, July 02, 2012
A quote below on a event at Grinnell College that occurred a few years before I entered. Came to my mind reading Kerry Lester’s account of Bill Foster using Playboy Bunnies for a fund raising event. Lapdog playthings with idealized proportions running through Bill Foster’s scientific mind I suppose. Finding the slopes of those curves.
From the early years of women's liberation, Playboy was a consistent target of protests and picketers for its "perpetuation of degrading stereotypes of women." (21) Hefner biographer Russell Miller writes: "[Feminists] infiltrated the Playboy Mansion in Chicago and plastered the paintings in the ballroom with anti-Playboy stickers. Demonstrations took place outside Playboy Clubs and at Grinnell College in Iowa, [where] half a dozen male and female students stripped during a visit by a Playboy representative." (22) One Grinnell woman declared: "We protest Playboy's images of lapdog female playthings with idealized proportions.... The Playboy bunnies are an affront to human sexual dignity." (23) Despite Hefner's perception that militant feminism was the thorn in his side, activists from various points on the feminist spectrum targeted Playboy.
A nice example of price controls at work. Soon we’ll look like these hapless Iranians when it comes to our healthcare.
تجارت استان تهران با بیان اینکه ناظران این سازمان به صورت شبانهروزی در کشتارگاههای تهران حضور خواهند داشت تا مرغ به موقع بین عرضهکنندگان توزیع شود، گفت: «بر اساس توافقی که با بخشخصوصی و اتحادیه مرغداران انجام شد، روزانه 170 تن مرغ در بازار توزیع میشود». در تصاویر زیر از ایسنا ازدحام مردم برای خرید مرغ دولتی از این فروشگاه ها را مشاهده می کنید.
Sunday, July 01, 2012
Marathon Pundit: Shame: Occupiers trash home they squatted in--they wrongly thought it had been foreclosed on (Video)
A pretty cold bunch Occupy. View the video. MP has the whole story. Follow the link.
If you're unclear about what the Taliban want.