Sunday, June 30, 2013

New al Qaeda video features magazine editor, discussion of Arab Spring - The Long War Journal

New al Qaeda video features magazine editor, discussion of Arab Spring - The Long War Journal

McHenry County Blog : Mike Tryon, Pam Althoff & Karen McConnaughay Cast More Votes for Gambling Expansion Bills Than Other Legislators Representing McHenry County

MCB on legislators efforts to get the good times rolling in Illinois.

McHenry County Blog | Mike Tryon, Pam Althoff & Karen McConnaughay Cast More Votes for Gambling Expansion Bills Than Other Legislators Representing McHenry County

Joe Walsh talking Third Party at Center Right Coalition convention

Joe Walsh also spoke to the Center Right Coalition convention and was talking third-party.  More so than I've ever heard him in the past. A little discordant with some of the progress Tea Parties have been having in some county GOP organizations. Walsh said Tea Party's all but taken over Will County's organization.

I wish Walsh Freedom might be amended a bit to Walsh Freedom and Jobs.  Six years of Obama and Progressives have crushed working people despite all the Prog blather on Working Class.  Freedom, Liberty, all things Americans have died for and at threat now.  But how about a job too?

Jeanne Ives at Illinois Center Right Convention

Heard Representative Ives at the convention yesterday. She's got a very impressive down-to-earth way of explaining how Springfield works, and the ways it's closed to anyone to figure out what's working (Madigan Cullerton and Co retreat behind closed doors for the real dealing).

Ives gave some a couple examples of how she at least tries to nail 'em down on their stands and in this case, make them face their own words.  Ives said Elaine Nekritz was sheperding another pension holiday for Chicago Public Schools through the House.  Ives turned up Nekritz's prior statements on the irresponsiblity of a previous holiday and had them read into the record.  Embarrassment killed the current bill.

Unions hate  Ives so watch for them to recruit a phony Republican to primary her.

Kirk Dillard at Illinois Center Right Coalition Convention

I attended yesterday's Center Right Coalition convention in Elgin and heard Kirk Dillard make an unscheduled speech to the group.  Dillard said he aligned perfectly with the group's program and if Dan Proft opted to stay out of the primary there'd only be two such conservatives; and Dillard would be the only one of them electable in the general.

Group received Dillard well I thought.  Surprised me a little but as a friend said, Dillard may be the guy we all end up with.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Kerry Lester on Bev Fawell

I gotta go to twitter now for a KL fix on Illinois politics. No more Lester and Riopell greeting me hardcopy in my morning Daily Herald.



A creepy tweet from Brad Schneider D-IL10

Not exactly the postion I'd want to see my Rep assume. An odd tweet from an odd man.



Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Enroll America's database of Americans and their insurance status

Via Modern Healthcare's Enroll America kicking off its ACA push, but hospitals and insurers have their own campaigns
 
....the group is using data analytics to find the uninsured and will use social-networking tools, phone calls, mailed items and door-to-door visits to reach them. And it will host strategy sessions to educate volunteers about what they need to know about the campaign before they educate members of the public. In addition to working with partners across the country—including hospitals, insurers, drug companies, businesses, retailers and labor groups—Enroll America's events this week will involve having a presence in communities, including a table at a farmer's market in Austin, Texas, and visiting churches on Sunday.
 
Curious where that database of Americans the non-government, volunteers, from Enroll America will do their analytics on comes from.  Who controls that database?  Will it have health information on it?  It certainly must have a flag for insured or not.  Who has custody of this database and how will it be used in the future, and by whom?
 
The governments punting it's mission to the vendors who will gain billions from the government's program.  We don't have a clue how it all works.




 

Joke or Not? Ayers Says He Wrote "Dreams" | RealClearPolitics | RCP Morning Commute

Joke or Not? Ayers Says He Wrote "Dreams" | RealClearPolitics | RCP Morning Commute

My bet's no joke.  Regarding Ayer's on his shared dislike of Liberalism with Conservatives, consider John P. Diggen's Up From Communism.   Diggen's describes the constant theme throughout the lives of Radicals gone Conservative: they never cared for Wislonian/FDR Liberalism much.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Today's Press Conference on HB3303 on Illinois Pension Reform


Illinois Policy Institute - Institute on WGN-TV: Lawmakers talk pension reform ahead of special session

Illinois Policy Institute - Institute on WGN-TV: Lawmakers talk pension reform ahead of special session

State Funded Projects for Same Sex Marriage votes

Illinois Review asks if Gov Pat Quinn offered State Funded Projects to House Members for their votes in favor of Same Sex Marriage.  
 
History's tide needs bucks to grease-the-wheels it seems. Nothing's inevitable in Illinois except that nothing gets done without a deal.  Usually a deal taxpayors stuck paying.


 

While Illinois Democrats fight, quit watching and try offering some ideas like HB3303

Illinois Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno's quoted in the Trib saying of her recent meeting with Gov Quinn, Mike Madigan, and John Cullerton,
Meanwhile, Republicans say they are poised to offer their support for pension reform, but are waiting for the ruling Democrats to get on the same page.
"I kind of felt like I was witnessing an awkward family fight," Senate Republican Christine Radogno of Lemont said following Friday's closed-door meeting.

 "It was uncomfortable and it's clear there is not even close to an agreement between the Democrats. It was them sort of dancing around the problems they have."
Radogno should have offered a new page  to this dysfunctional family instead of watching the free-for-all.  State Reps. Tom Morrison, R-Palatine, and Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton have done just that and it's called HB3303. 
 
Illinois Policy Institute's Ben VanMetre wrote this on it,
The Illinois General Assembly is gearing up for a special session to discuss pensions next week because of lawmakers' reform inaction during the recent spring session, which resulted in back-to-back credit rating downgrades.

The debate during session will likely be over which of two plans will solve Illinois' crisis – House Speaker Mike Madigan's proposal or the one introduced by Senate President John Cullerton.

The irony of the crisis is that a model for pension reform already exists and operates in Illinois. And no one is talking about it.

In the mid-1990s, Illinois began offering state university employees a choice between the politician-controlled defined benefit plan and a new self-managed plan, or SMP.

Here are the basics of the SMP:
  • The employee contributes 8 percent of his or her salary toward retirement savings.
  • The employer matches 7.1 percent of the employee's salary.
  • In total, an amount equal to 15 percent of the employee's salary goes toward a retirement savings account each pay period.
  • More than 17,500 workers have chosen this 401(k)-style SMP.
  • At retirement, the employee can roll the money over to another qualified plan, take a lump-sum withdrawal or purchase a lifetime monthly annuity.
  • If the employee leaves government service before retirement, the worker has several options available, including leaving the money in the self-managed account at the State Universities Retirement System, moving the money to another qualified plan or taking a lump-sum refund.
This kind of plan creates greater budget certainty for taxpayers, empowers government workers with control over their own retirement savings and ultimately moves retirement costs to a more sustainable path.

Lawmakers introduced legislation this spring that would give all government workers in Illinois portability and security in a retirement system modeled after the 401(k)-style plan that exists in SURS.

State Reps. Tom Morrison, R-Palatine, and Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, along with Sen. Jim Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove, are leading the efforts to modernize Illinois' broken pension system with a 401(k)-style defined contribution plan.

The plan to solve Illinois' dire pension crisis is already here, and it has been since the 1990s. For Illinois to become competitive again, the General Assembly must move forward with a 401(k)-style plan for all state workers.  
And then there's this video,
 

 
 
Not to mention many links here and here.  Lots Radagno could have done besides watching the squabble.  It's time for ideas, not fights.  Plenty are working on ways to avoid Detroit's fate.  Time for the GOP Leaders to offer them up.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Syria

So it's into Syria  with arms to the rebels and a no fly zone.  I've been covering Syria for a very long time now.  The price of leading from behind has been become the follower and now the US is left to follow Al Nursa that filled the void we left.  Not much of a choice.

Obama needs to get before Congress and make the case for US interests here or the country will not be with him.  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Blackfive: First verified lie from Ed Snowden

Blackfive takes a harder look at Snowden's claims.  The first to go down was breaking his legs in Special Forces training.  Seems he never made it into training.  I suspect more whoopers coming.

Monday, June 10, 2013

NY Times admits Markey has lost support among women and independents: NEW POLL

Mass news!
New Massachusetts Senate Poll Suggests Support for Markey Is Slipping
Katharine Seelye, New York Times
June 10, 2013
BOSTON — Representative Edward J. Markey's lead over Gabriel Gomez, a Republican businessman and former member of the Navy SEALs, in the special Senate election in Massachusetts has slipped by 10 percentage points since May, according to a new poll, which suggests that Mr. Markey has lost support among women and independents.
The poll, by Suffolk University, shows Mr. Markey with 48 percent support and Mr. Gomez with 41 percent among likely voters – a difference within the poll's margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. The same poll in May showed Mr. Markey ahead by 17 percentage points. Some considered the May poll an outlier, as most other polls showed Mr. Markey with a smaller lead, though special elections are notoriously difficult in polling since turnout is so unpredictable.
The new poll found that support for Mr. Markey had flagged just as concern about President Obama's handling of various controversies in Washington had grown. Mr. Obama is scheduled to campaign here for Mr. Markey on Wednesday.
David Paleologos, the director of the Suffolk poll, said that since the White House controversies, "voters seem to be pulling back or pausing" on support for Mr. Markey's candidacy.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Iraq breaks up al Qaeda chemical weapons cell - The Long War Journal

Iraq breaks up al Qaeda chemical weapons cell - The Long War Journal
The Iraqi military announced today that it arrested five members of an al Qaeda cell that was seeking to manufacture chemical weapons, including sarin nerve gas, and plotting to conduct attacks within Iraq, Europe, and North America. 
The Defense Ministry announced that it arrested the five members of the al Qaeda in Iraq cell and raided two factories in Baghdad that were used to research and manufacture the deadly chemical agents. The arrests were made with the help of undisclosed foreign intelligence services. 
The chemical weapons cell was seeking to produce sarin as well as mustard blistering agents. The group had acquired some of the precursor chemicals as well as the formulas needed to manufacture the agents. 
According to the Defense Ministry's spokesman, the cell was plotting to use remotely-piloted model aircraft to spray some of the chemical weapons sometime next week as Shia mourners commemorated the death of Imam Kadhum. 
The cell also had contacts with a network that would have attempted to smuggle the chemical weapons for use in the United States, Canada, and Europe, the Defense Ministry said.
As a LWJ commenter noted, We can unsafely say that the chemical genie is out of the bottle.


Friday, June 07, 2013

Marine general speaks from a broken heart at memorial's dedication - U.S. - Stripes

Marine general speaks from a broken heart at memorial's dedication - U.S. - Stripes

Ali Hashem: Qusair, the Stalingrad of Syria

Ali Hashem one of the first outsiders to visit Qusair,
A city that lies in rubble, where ghosts and soldiers share the deserted streets and where dead bodies lie. Qusair, the Stalingrad of Syria, the revolution's fallen icon and the regime's turning point. From north to south, east to west, it is obvious that the city is under the regime's full control. Soldiers can be seen everywhere doing all that comes to mind: cleaning, searching, eating, singing, blazing and looting. Nothing here indicates that life will go back to normal soon; there is no sign of civilians except a few dozen who returned to check on their homes and some civil workers who were sent to the city to inspect its needs 24 hours after its fall.

Read more:
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/06/qusair-syria-falls-hezbollah-rubble.html#ixzz2VYUZPJJP

Joe Walsh Town Hall event tomorrow

Joe Walsh's holding a Town Hall tomorrow (via WalshFreedom).  Should be an event with all that's  happened this past week.
The IRS targets and harasses Americans based on their political beliefs and spends $50m on lavish conferences to teach employees how to line dance, the White House plays politics with intelligence to cover up a terrorist attack and lies to the American people, Eric Holder spies on journalists, and now we find out our government is secretly collecting our phone records, emails, and internet usage. And, oh yes, we're almost $100t in debt, the real unemployment rate is close to 15%, and Obamacare is leading to huge premium increases and doctor shortages.
 
I've had it! We have to stop this! This is not the Country our Founders created. Our politicians in both Parties don't get it. It is truly time to take this Country back from them!
 
Join me, Congressman Joe Walsh, talk show host on AM560 The Answer, this Saturday, June 8th at 1pm at Jersey's Pizza and Grill in Hoffman Estates if you've had it as well. We'll discuss what we have to do to stop this headlong rush into an America our kids and grand kids will never forgive us for.
 
Jersey's is located at 2360 Lakewood Blvd, Hoffman Estate, IL. I'll be there from 1-2:30pm.
 
Join me, stop by and be prepared to fight for this great Country. We don't have much time.

Obama: 'Nobody Is Listening to Your Telephone Calls'

Obama: 'Nobody Is Listening to Your Telephone Calls'

NWI.com: Caterpillar CEO backs GOP businessman for governor

Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman said Thursday that his frustration over the state government's financial mess has led him to look beyond Illinois' elected leadership for a solution, endorsing businessman Bruce Rauner in his bid for governor.
 
Oberhelman has been one of the most vocal critics of how Illinois has handled its pension crisis, budget deficit and other financial affairs. He said after his Thursday appearance at a downtown Peoria hotel that he'd never before endorsed a candidate.

It's gonna take more than fresh air to fix Illinois, and the problem with the Business guys is they've been too willing and too scared not to play ball with the powers-that-be. 

 

Rauner's got to sound a whole lot more decisvie on all the issues and quit waffling on Same-Sex-Marriage, and any other wedge issues that arise.  We need the frankness on what needs to be done that comes from courage, character, and conviction.  Rauner's shown that with the Unions but not with much else yet IMO.

Speaker Madigan’s reluctance to implement Obamacare in the President’s home state is probably the most interesting story that hasn’t been covered this session

A comment over at The Capitol Fax: Speaker Madigan's reluctance to implement Obamacare in the President's home state is probably the most interesting story that hasn't been covered this session.
 
Go read the whole thread.  I made a few comments.  Speaker Michael Madigan's no fool and not about to take on the risk of failure implementing this exchange; not to mention risking donations from Illinois large Medical and Insurance Lobbies that may arise out of conflicts of interest managing the exchange.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Bruce Rauner enters Illinois Guv Race

Rauner tweets he's in the race. Heard Joe Walsh on WIND 560 say Rauner's advantage is being the non-politican and outsider, but he has a lot of explaining to do about his past donations and endorsements.



Bruce Rauner responds to Steve Cochran on Same Sex Marriage

Heard Cochran on the radio coming home today ask Bruce Rauner how he felt personally on Same Sex Marriage.  Rauner said he wanted a referendum in Illinois to decide but refused to answer Cochran on how he felt about it.

Man, exactly the wrong thing to say for a guy trying to run as an outsider.

Rauner goes no where waffling around like that.

Governor: Madigan 'unavailable' to discuss pension crisis

Governor: Madigan 'unavailable' to discuss pension crisis

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

BND.com: Do leaders want to fix pensions?

Via Belleville News Democrat,
 
Are you a fan of conspiracy theories? One making the rounds in Springfield is that Senate President John Cullerton and House Speaker Michael Madigan purposely let pension reform flop because they don't want Gov. Pat Quinn running for re-election in 2014. They are trying to clear the way for Bill Daley, President Obama's former chief of staff. Or maybe Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Mike's daughter.
 
It seems pretty farfetched. Then again, how else do you explain the two most powerful Democrats in Illinois failing to address the state's pension crisis for the third year in a row?

Read more here: http://www.bnd.com/2013/06/03/2641992/do-leaders-want-to-fix-pensions.html#storylink=cpy

Perfectly plausible IMO.

 

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Rebel Pundit: Everybody Protests Obama Fundraiser: Right, Left and In Between

Everyone protested although the anti-pipeline folks were a bit spooked by Breitbart



IL GOP finally gives up, picks Democrat as new Party Chair | Republican News Watch

The sad story on Jack Dorgan via IL GOP finally gives up, picks Democrat as new Party Chair | Republican News Watch

Fire Jack Dorgan

It's a facebook page now!

Rutherford's In

ABC's report Dan Rutherford's running for Gov. Here's some video of him speacking to the City Club recently. The guy's tireless and could write the book on winning state-wide. Let's see how hard work compares to lots of money with Rauner in this primary.



Bail set at $20K for CeaseFire Illinois director in domestic battery


No Interrupters at the Tio Hardiman household.  Turns out the guy had a history too which makes me wonder how so many were hoodwinked by this guy.
Hardiman and his wife live in west suburban Hillside. His wife arrived to village police station at about 8 a.m. Friday with “signs of injury” and filed a formal complaint against him, according to police Chief Joseph Lukaszek. Hardiman was taken into custody an hour later. 
Prosecutors said that Hardiman was convicted in 1999 of misdemeanor domestic battery. Serpe said that case involved a different woman. Hardiman is scheduled to appear in court again on Tuesday.

Another Top Illinois GOP Official working against Republicans | Republican News Watch

Just some high lites from Doug Ibendahl on Jack Dorgan from 2007,

Dorgan contributed $15,500 to Rod Blagojevich – $500 through a personal contribution on July 31, 2002, and $15,000 through his lobbying firm between August 2003 and September 2006.

Dorgan did NOT contribute to Blagojevich’s Republican challenger, Jim Ryan. 

Speaker of the House Michael Madigan received $2,200 from Dorgan’s lobbying firm between April 2000 and April 2001.

Lisa Madigan received $2,000 from Dorgan’s lobbying firm on July 14, 2000. 

Another Top Illinois GOP Official working against Republicans | Republican News Watch

The Fracking Fight Continues in Illinois (Photos) | Just BloNo

Fractivists fret on SB1715,

In a shameful capitulation to corporate power and influence, both chambers of the Illinois legislature voted Friday to give polluting industries – both oil and gas – regulatory protection to frack Illinois land. SB 1715 passed the House 108-9 on Thursday evening, and then the Senate approved it Friday afternoon. It is certain to be signed by Governor Quinn, who has erroneously labeled it a jobs bill.

The Fracking Fight Continues in Illinois (Photos) | Just BloNo

It’s not corporate power capitulated too here, but the potential for wiping out Illinois Pension debt and bailing out the newly expanded Medicaid Program swaying Springfield.  Important to keep those powers straight.  Lets hope they use the new Revenues to bail Illinois out a bit, and don’t throw it away into an even bigger hole.

The Drogan vote in the Illinois GOP Central Committee

A good comment from Illinois Review,
We shouldn't lose sight of the those who voted for Nalepa - Oberweis, Dawson, Peterson, Winchester, and Syverson. Those who voted to maintain IL's lowly status quo were Kachiroubas, Daglas, Diekelman, Saviano, Garcia, Donovan, Dorgan, Clarke, Dudek, Bigger, Shaw, Claar, and Detmers. Though I hope I'm wrong about Dorgan, let's not forget that it was him who turned to a very upset audience at the April 13th SCC meeting in Tinley Park and said "Please, it's not your meeting." Though arguably and technically true, the underlying tone and attitude of Dorgan was one of utter dismissiveness to anyone who would question the party insiders.
Few pay much attention to the State Central Committee.  Time we started.  Remember these names and votes.

WALSH REACTS TO JACK DORGAN'S ELECTION AS INTERIM ILGOP CHAIR

Here's Joe Walsh's reaction to Dorgan's election as interim GOP chair h/t Illinois Review. (Drogan profiled here by the AP's Kerry Lester.)  A combine guy for sure but at least a guy out of Rosemont isn't going to insult us with blather about History's Tides.

Joe's take...

This afternoon, the state central committee of the Illinois Republican Party selected Jack Dorgan to become the party’s new chairman, succeeding Pat Brady, who resigned several weeks ago. The committee interviewed seven candidates, including myself, as part of the selection process.
My hope had been that the Illinois Republican Party would have heard the voices of grassroots conservatives loud and clear after too many years of establishment insiders running the party. We have needed a reform-minded conservative who can energize the base and rally independents to our cause. Unfortunately, those voices have fallen on deaf ears.

Jack Dorgan is the absolute wrong choice to become chairman of the party. He is the quintessential party insider. His career has consisted of ongoing associations with establishment Republicans like former Gov. Jim Thompson and Gov. Jim Edgar. Dorgan has been described as being a part of the inner circle of Rosemont Mayor Bradley Stephens. His time as trustee for the Village of Rosemont has been marked by conflicts of interest due to Dorgan’s other job — lobbyist.
His partner in that lobbying firm has been James McPike, who was a former majority leader for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. The lobbying firm of Dorgan-McPike has donated to both Republicans and Democrats, including former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
Jack Dorgan is a living, breathing manifestation of the Illinois combine, in which Republicans have been marginalized as Democrats have continued to wield power and run the state into the ground.
As I wrote earlier this week, I did not expect the state central committee to select me as the new party chairman. However, I had held out some hope that the party would recognize its ongoing record of failure as a true alternative to the Democrats and would turn the party in a new direction. I was wrong.
It appears now that the selection process was nothing more than theater of the absurd. For weeks now, we've been hearing that Jack Dorgan was the presumptive choice. Then today, the state central committee interviewed candidates behind closed doors, with the public only able to hear brief opening statements from each candidate. All we needed was the proverbial smoke to fill the backroom in which this deal was cut. It seems now that Dorgan was the inevitable choice, regardless of what the grassroots of the party wanted.
The next seventeen months will be critical for this state as both our unpopular Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin will face reelection challenges in 2014. Does the Illinois Republican Party stand a chance to recapture either of these seats? After today, I’m not confident.
Joe Walsh can be heard weekdays on AM 560 The Answer in Chicago from 7 to 9pm. From 2011 until 2013, Walsh represented the 8th Congressional District of Illinois in Congress.

Lois Lerner to 1996 U.S. Senate Candidate Al Salvi: "We'll get you!" - Illinois Review

Lois Lerner using the Chicago Way on Al Salvi during her time at the Federal Election Commission.  #IRS scandal started way before Citizens United. Political thuggery’s bred-in-the-bone with this crowd.

The link here: Lois Lerner to 1996 U.S. Senate Candidate Al Salvi: "We'll get you!" - Illinois Review