Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Brett Favre's Open Fly Jeans

Every now and then SNL gets it just right...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Desperate Rickey Hendon Disgraces Himself

Illinois State Senator Rickey Hendon goes pretty routinely by the nickname "Hollywood" for his flamboyancy and over-the-top rhetoric.  Yesterday, in introducing Governor Pat Quinn he went as over the top as it possibly gets.
"I've never served with such an idiotic, racist, sexist, homophobic person in my life," Hendon said before introducing Gov. Quinn. "If you think that the minimum wage needs to be three dollars an hour, vote for Bill Brady. If you think that women have no rights whatsoever, except to have his children, vote for Bill Brady. If you think gay and lesbian people need to be locked up and shot in the head, vote for Bill Brady."
After covering the podium, at a church no less, in this spewed pile of garbage, Hendon received a hug from Pat Quinn, as Quinn waded his way through the verbal filth.  Covered in Hendon's pile of trash, Quinn has proceeded over the past day to distance himself from the comments, though he refuses to denounce Hendon, or even what he said, rather just the nature of the commentary.

Local media outlets have given Hendon the opportunity to explain himself today, with the best interview being this approximately ten minute clip from the Cisco Cotto show today on WLS.  Cisco goes heavy after Hendon, holding him to what he said, driving Hendon at what point to threaten to give up on the interview.

Hendon offers the typical non-apology "apology" wherein he basically says, "Hey guys, sorry if anybody out there didn't have the stomach for what I was dishin' out, but it's all true anyway."

Apparently, in Rickey Hendon's mind, we are living in a world where your voting record propels you to the position of being a hate-driven mass murderer.  This is desperation attack politics at its worst, and it's absolutely a disgrace.

Let's not forget this lunatic is running for Mayor of the City of Chicago, and that back in February, during the primaries, he mounted an unsuccessful bid (big surprise there) for Lieutenant Governor.  In the meantime, he's supposed to be representing the Illinois' 5th Senate District.  East Garfield Park, Humboldt Park, Lincoln Park, the Loop, the Near West Side, North Lawndale, Old Town, UIC, the Medical District, Ukrainian Village and West Garfield Park all make up this district.  That's a huge and diverse grouping of people for a guy to pretend to represent while he's out trying to advance his career by being a loudmouthed jackass.

Live in one of those neighborhoods?  Horrified by your level of underrepresentation delivered by a bombastic careerist politician?  Why not let him know how you feel?

Springfield Office:
Senator 5th District
627 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL   62706
(217) 782-6252
District Office:
2928 West Madison
Chicago, IL  60612
(773) 265-8611
(773) 265-8617 FAX

Take Your Endorsement and Shove It

From the Democrat candidate for Governor of Rhode Island, Frank Caprio, to President Obama:
“I never asked President Obama for his endorsement and what’s going on here is really Washington insider politics at its worst,” Caprio said. “He can take his endorsement and really shove it as far as I am concerned.”
Caprio today charged that the president is “coming into Rhode Island treating us like an ATM machine. I will wear it as a badge of honor and a badge of courage that he doesn’t want to endorse me as a Democrat.“
How the mighty have fallen.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Alexi Giannoulias: The Would-Be King

Listening to the debate for Illinois Senator last night, it was difficult to pick out who was worse to listen to speak.  Mark Kirk played the professional politician and tap-danced around simple, direct questions, and Alexi Giannoulias came off as an economic illiterate, and a flat out buffoon on every other issue.  I don't particularly like either of these guys, but have enjoyed the fact that Kirk has turned into something of a fiscal hawk over the past couple years, so have been leaning his way in any case, and one statement by Alexi last night finally sealed the deal.  It seems Alexi Giannoulias considers the role of Senator to be something more akin to being a king.

Gentlemen, in the desert of polarized politics, there's one oasis of bipartisan. Both parties have overspent in the federal budget for years and years. And I'm wondering, if you go to D.C., facing these multitrillion shortfalls, where do you look to cut? What one or two places do you look first, and what is sacrosanct, what wouldn't you touch?

Four things. The first is we need to immediately do everything we can to promote economic growth. When people aren't working they're not paying taxes, that's less revenue long term. Again, when people aren't working, when they don't have jobs.

But that's not a budget cut.

But it's important. It's an important-- investment to make. The second thing we need to do-- is enact pay gold legislation, something that the Congressman voted against, to end these deficit-busting budgets that have been-- all too familiar in Washington D.C.

The third thing we need to is let the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire. We don't have $700 billion to give to millionaires and billionaires. And the fourth thing is, when the deficit commission comes out with their report in December, we're going to need a bipartisan spirit. We're going to have to take a long hard look at some very difficult decisions we're going to have to make, and because--
Gentlemen-- sorry.

--this country has lived-- within its means for a very long time-- Andy, we're going to have to take our medicine. We need people who are willing to make-- tough decisions.

The bold line above is my emphasis, and is the most important thing Alexi Giannoulias has said in his entire campaign.  We don't have $700 billion to give to millionaires and billionaires.

The man is talking about tax rates here, so he's discussing the topic of how much the government takes from its citizens in order to operate.  But his words reveal him as the statist that he is.  He doesn't conceptualize tax rates as a percentage of what the government is taking, rather as a percentage of what the government is generous enough to allow its citizens to keep.  In his mind, the government owns that $700 billion, and can't possibly afford to give it to those people.

This is not the mindset of a leader in a democratic republic.

This is the mindset of an authoritarian to whom all property belongs.  This is the mindset of a person who believes it is his right to control how much people are allowed to have.

This is the mindset of a king.

And this is not the mindset of someone worthy to represent the State of Illinois in the United States Senate.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Battered Media Syndrome

Many people would be familiar with the term "Battered Wife Syndrome" ("wife" now replaced by "person" apparently in order to be PC toward beat down men who don't need more psychological scarring than is necessary) wherein the violent husband is so abusive, either physically or emotionally or both, toward his wife that she loses all sense of self reliance and becomes dependent upon that abuse, actually needing it in a sick way.  It would seem that Chicago's media has developed its own version of this sickness, a Battered Media Syndrome.

I've written in the past about the way that Emperor Daley has treated the press here in Chicago, mostly to relate it to the way President Obama first began treating the national media after he was initially elected.  Daley's general practice has been to answer softballs, and then verbally bludgeon anybody that would dare to be so bold as to ask him a remotely serious question.
Quite simply, whenever Richard Daley decides he doesn't like a certain line of questioning, he either berates the press for being so stupid as to ask it, or he decides to move on to the next line of more convenient questioning
More recently, we were even treated to Daley descending from the throne long enough to offer to introduce a rifle to a reporter in a place where the sun don't shine.

This abuse of local journalists has been going on for so long that those very same local journalists don't know any other way.  And now that King Daley has decided to run away from the cesspool of debt he has worked so diligently to create, in a time that the local media should be working their asses off to discover what the real, hard issues are that Chicago's next mayor will face, our long-abused media is instead searching out its next source of sickly-sweet beatings.  Doubtless by now most of you have seen the video of CBS's Jay Levine threatening to deck William Kelly, but before I re-post it here, let's have a look at it in the context of Battered Wife Media Syndrome:
In lay terms, this is a reference to any person who, because of constant and severe domestic violence usually involving physical abuse by a partner, becomes depressed and unable to take any independent action that would allow him or her to escape the abuse. The condition explains why abused people often do not seek assistance from others, fight their abuser, or leave the abusive situation. Sufferers have low self-esteem, and often believe that the abuse is their fault. Such persons usually refuse to press criminal charges against their abuser, and refuse all offers of help, often becoming aggressive or abusive to others who attempt to offer assistance. Often sufferers will even seek out their very abuser for comfort shortly after an incident of abuse.
Now let's watch the clip, as William Kelly, albeit with questions that have basically zero bearing on the mayoral race, goes after Rahm Emanuel with questions designed to at least challenge the candidate.

We could easily insert William Kelly into the description of BMS as the party who is attempting to offer assistance to the locally battered media.  He's someone outside the normal Chicago-Mayor-beats-down-unruly-reporter relationship, who is trying to help the media pull itself up by its bootstraps and regain some self respect by asking something, anything challenging.  But the media, so very desperate for that abuse that it is so used to, that it now so desperately craves, becomes aggressive and abusive to the party offering assistance.  After threatening the attempted helper, the abused slinks away with its new abuser, practically groveling for his comforting platitudes about "change."

CBS 2, NBC 5, ABC 7, WGN, FOX 32, Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun Times, this is your time to stand up and be counted for.  You've been a battered little bitch of a wife for 21 years.  You don't know any differently than to sit down and shut up, and only to speak when spoken to.  But you have a chance now to affect the right kind of change for the City of Chicago by being a better media in a time of transition, to shed light on what needs to happen for this City to turn the corner into a new day.

Will you step up and seize the moment?  Will you break free of this disease, this Battered Media Syndrome?  Or will you continue to timidly sidle up next to a new abuser, hoping for brief flashes of meaningless comfort?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Charlie Crist Misses the Mark

As if his ludicrous, careerist political odyssey over the past year or two in a vain attempt to become a senator weren't embarrassing enough for him, there's always the first pitch at a baseball game...sometimes there just are no words.

Hat Tip: Cisco Cotto

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Is the Illinois Governor Recall Amendment Fake Reform?

Last week I posted a copy of the proposed amendment to Illinois State Constitution to insert a procedure to recall the governor. There are multiple pros and cons to the amendment that are discussed in the amendment notification booklet itself, that are pretty self explanatory, but there is one issue that has jumped out as a hot topic of discussion: the caveat requiring approval of the recall procedure by both parties:
The recall of the Governor may be proposed by a petition signed by a number of electors equal in number to at least 15% of the total votes cast for Governor in the preceding gubernatorial election, with at least 100 signatures from each of at least 25 separate counties.  A petition shall have been signed by the petitioning electors not more than 150 days after an affidavit has been filed with the State Board of Elections providing notice of intent to circulate a petition to recall the Governor.  The affidavit may be filed no sooner than 6 months after the beginning of the Governor's term of office.  The affidavit shall have been signed by the proponent of the recall petition, at least 20 members of the House of Representatives, and at least 10 members of the Senate, with no more than half of the signatures of each chamber from the same established political party.

Kristina Rasmussen of the Illinois Policy Institute calls this fake reform:

Basically the argument is that this is far too stringent of a requirement for recall, that it doesn't put enough power into the hands of the people.  Kristina argues that it should be easier to initiate a recall, that we should do it the way it's done in other states.  In most cases I would tend to agree, however given the political landscape in the State of Illinois, I am leaning toward agreeing with this caveat.


First and foremost, let's look at the initial requirement that at least 100 signatures for recall be gathered from each of the 25 counties.  For anyone determined enough to spearhead a recall campaign, that's going to be an easy step, and actually lends itself to being a precursor to pressuring the representatives into going along with supporting the recall.  As to capturing the representatives, let's look at that requirement.

Basically it's saying that a recall will require 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans in the House to approve the affidavit.  Currently the House has 119 seats, with 69 Democrats, 48 Republicans and 1 vacant seat.  This means a recall is approved by the House with 14.5% support by seated Democrats, and 20.8% support by seated Republicans.  Next we go to the Senate, where we need 5 Democrats and 5 Republicans.  The Senate has 37 Democrats and 22 Republicans, meaning a recall is approved in the Senate with 13.5% support from seated Democrats and 22.7% support from seated Republicans.


To begin with, 20 people out of 119 and 10 people out of 59 are not exactly difficult coalitions to put together, but allow me to go back to my aforementioned point of the State's political landscape.  I like to think of Illinois as two states.  There is the State of Illinois, and there is the State of Chicago.  For the most part, the State of Illinois is largely center-right and trends Red, while the State of Chicago is as Blue as it gets.

Taking a look at the makeup of the House bears this out.  Of the 69 Democrats in the House, 30 are listed as being in the City of Chicago, with another 6 being from towns with different names, but that may as well be within city limits anyway:  Maywood, Skokie, Evanston, Cicero, Blue Island, Calumet City.  36 of the 69 Democrats in the House come from the State of Chicago.  By comparison, the State of Chicago has produced 1 Republican Representative.  This means the rest of the State of Illinois trends Republican by a margin of 47 to 33.

The State Senate breaks down similarly.  Of the 37 Democrats, 17 are from the City of Chicago, and another 2 qualify as State of Chicago: Evanston and Burbank.  The State of Chicago produces zero Republican State Senators.  This means the rest of the State of Illinois trends Republican 22 to 18.


One of the cons of Recall listed in the amendment booklet is that the party not holding the governorship would use the recall procedure to play political games, leading to an endless string of recall proposals.  Given the divide between the State of Illinois and the State of Chicago, this would be very likely to be the case.  If a Republican governor were elected by the State of Illinois, how long would it be before the Machine revved its engines and began a State of Chicago only recall process?  They'd have the Democrats without even thinking about it.  The reverse process would also take place.  If the Machine put a State of Chicago governor into office, it would not be long at all until the Republican State of Illinois fought back via the recall process.  We'd be looking at an intrastate political civil war pitting Democrat Chicago against the Republican rest of the state.

Essentially, the bipartisan cooperation requirement means that the State of Illinois and the State of Chicago have to play nice.  It puts a check on all out political posturing for its own sake, and requires that there be an actual legal and/or ethical reason for initiating the recall process.  I don't call this fake reform, I call this smart reform, and given that the recall amendment does not replace the impeachment process, but rather supplements it, I like the idea of voting for this amendment.

I'm Voting Republican

A little morning ridicule for Republicans from some folks who believe government is the answer to everything. They manage to run the gamut from supporting "soulless corporations" to using black people to backhandedly call all Republicans racists.  If you had something like a junior high level education, or were named Bill Maher (oops, no difference), this might be funny.

Hat Tip: SGP on Facebook

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Boehner Steps In It Up

Well if nothing else, I guess we can say that John Boehner has stepped out of the spray tan booth long enough to notice which way the political winds are blowing:
Most spending bills come to the floor prepackaged in a manner that makes it as easy as possible to advance government spending and programs, and as difficult as possible to make cuts.
Again, this is not a new problem. But if we're serious about confronting the challenges that lie ahead for our nation, it's totally inadequate.
I propose today a different approach. Let's do away with the concept of "comprehensive" spending bills. Let's break them up, to encourage scrutiny, and make spending cuts easier. Rather than pairing agencies and departments together, let them come to the House floor individually, to be judged on their own merit. Members shouldn't have to vote for big spending increases at the Labor Department in order to fund Health and Human Services. Members shouldn't have to vote for big increases at the Commerce Department just because they support NASA. Each Department and agency should justify itself each year to the full House and Senate, and be judged on its own.
This is probably the most common sense idea I've seen pass through the lips of anyone residing in Washington, DC in quite some time.  Boehner should realize that while this is a phenomenal idea politically, that he did just stick the GOP's neck out onto the chopping block.  Ace sees hope:
Still, it's a good sign that Boehner is thinking about new ways to do business. We aren't going to translate the conservative/tea party wave into anything concrete if Congress simply continues to play by the same old rules that have perpetuated the go-along, get-along ways of doing business.
Maybe, just maybe an old bull like Boehner is starting to see the light.
There should be one gigantic caveat to that statement, though.  Boehner has got to realize that if they don't act on what he laid out, the retribution will be as swift and as forceful as has been the anti-Democrat wave over the past two years.

Illinois Turnaround Plan

The Illinois Policy Institute is one of my favorite organizations in the state for the work they do every year in compiling the information necessary to hold our state government accountable for its actions.  You might think of them as an Illinois-focused Cato Institute.  They promote Health Savings Accounts (which, if tax policy were correct, would be the best path to free market healthcare reform) and an Illinois Honest Taxation Pledge, and compile a Legislative Vote Card in order to simply convey who voted for what.  Probably my favorite item that they produce, however, is the yearly Illinois Piglet Book that outlines all of the pork barrel projects passed in our state budget.  They've even produced a subsequent report on the recently issued Capital Improvement budget entitled "If You Build It, Debt Will Come" that highlights billions in wasteful government spending on supposed capital improvements (land acquisition and construction projects).

This year, continuing on their fantastic work, the Illinois Policy Institute has launched the Illinois Turnaround Plan, that clearly outlines just how bad our state's financial situation really is, and provides solutions for how we can right the ship.  Their broad spectrum positions are:
- Stopping out of control state spending
- Expanding government transparency
- Reforming our bankrupt state pension system
- Removing government roadblocks to transparency
The plan itself is excellent and well worth the read, and as their promotional video says, real reform has to come from the ground up. Good ideas gaining support in the electorate will drag the politicians onto the right path eventually.  Give the plan a read (embedded below), and visit the website for updates on where members of Illinois Turnaround will be speaking next.  Tonight they are at PJ Klems in Lyons at 5:30, and feature the following current candidates for office in Illinois
Roger Keats (R) - Candidate for Cook County Board President
Tom Tresser (G) - Candidate for Cook County Board President
Tony Peraica (R) - Candidate for Cook County Commissioner, 16th District
Jeff Tobolski (D) - Cook County Commissioner, 16th District
Also invited but not confirmed are Toni Preckwinkle (D) - Candidate for Cook County Board President, and Joe Berrios (D) - Cook County Assessor.
Illinois Turnaround Plan Handbook

Rand Paul's Medicare "Lie"

Andrew Sullivan catches a new Rand Paul campaign ad being run to clarify Paul's views on Medicare, and flies off the handle at what he perceives as it's hypocrisy.  Before we look at the video at explain why, as usual, Sullivan is a scatterbrained moron, let's take a look at what said moron had to say:
Seriously, when Rand Paul is attacking the first ever serious cuts in Medicare in the health insruance reform bill, why on earth should anyone believe the Tea Party's fiscal resonsibility message one iota? They're total frauds - Christianists and obstructionists in fiscal conservative clothing.
Now, let's take a look at the video shall we?

A thinking person, rather than the goober Sullivan has degenerated into, would understand that this ad is saying Rand Paul is against the $500 billion in Medicare cuts because it is a part of the Obamacare boondoggle as a whole.  No Obamacare means no Medicare cuts.  No Obamacare is far more fiscally responsible than Obamacare.  See how that works?

Aside from that, Sullivan also seems to think that this ad makes Rand Paul an outright liar.  Taken from Paul's debate with Jack Conway, Sullivan was actually impressed by the following:
Mr. Paul said he would raise the retirement age for Social Security and Medicare — he did not say to what age — and the deductibles for Medicare, casting these steps as the responsible approach.
This is where paying attention to the words being used comes in handy.  Paul's ad says he is against raising deductibles on seniors specifically.  Watching the debate, this is exactly in line with what Paul discussed.  Raising deductibles and the retirement age on younger people, keeping it the same for seniors and people long invested in the program.

Perhaps Sullivan would do well to start paying attention, or perhaps he's just lost that particular mental capacity.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Rand Paul Debates Jack Conway

And dominates across the board.  From Fox News Sunday, with Chris Wallace, a pretty good way to start your Monday.  Time for the Left to start digging for more crazy extremist behavior, I suppose.  Enjoy!

HT: Cubachi

Friday, October 1, 2010

Song of the Week

My song of the week this week is a fantastic brand new tribute to our troops.  Ever since I was introduced to what was their first hit, What a Day, and shortly thereafter their second major release album, Development, I have consistently enjoyed Nonpoint.  They are heavy rock without being too heavy for my liking, and since they're kind of a niche style, their shows never get so big that they border on being unenjoyable.  For their newest album, Miracle, lead singer Elias Soriano describes his inspiration for his tribute to our troops, Frontlines:

"When I wrote the concept for Frontlines, I wanted to make sure the focus was on the commitment of what our soldiers do for us. The weight they carry, and the intensity they hold steadfast to protect people they don't even know." 
"I say this with as much meaning as I could possibly have," says Soriano. "God bless the men and women of our military, and thank you for allowing me to be what I am, and do what I do. Every single one of you are the reason I'm free to do so."

Nonpoint will be donating the proceeds of the digital sales of Frontlines to the USO and Soldiers Angels Foundation.  I've got three videos here.  The first is one Soriano put together because he was moved by the imagery he was seeing, and couldn't wait for the official video to be released, the second is the band's official video, and for fun (albeit low quality) the third is a video I took on my phone from their show in Dekalb on Tuesday.  Give it a listen, and if you like what you hear, give it a download for the troops!