Category Archive 'Illinois'
21 Jun 2017

Partitioning Illinois

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Illinois pols gave government employee unions the key to the vault and the state is now bankrupt and without a plan. John Kass has a modest proposal for what to do next.

Dissolve Illinois. Decommission the state, tear up the charter, whatever the legal mumbo-jumbo, just end the whole dang thing.

We just disappear. With no pain. That’s right. You heard me.

The best thing to do is to break Illinois into pieces right now. Just wipe us off the map. Cut us out of America’s heartland and let neighboring states carve us up and take the best chunks for themselves.

The group that will scream the loudest is the state’s political class, who did this to us, and the big bond creditors, who are whispering talk of bankruptcy and asset forfeiture to save their own skins.

But our beloved Illinois has proved that it just doesn’t deserve to survive.

So why not let our friendly neighbors like Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri and Kentucky just take the parts they want?

As you can see by the excellent “Kevorkian Illinois” map that accompanies this column, this plan is visionary.

The alternative is hell. Illinois hasn’t had a state budget for years. The state continues to spend money it doesn’t have, and the state’s credit ratings have dropped, increasing the cost of borrowing more money we don’t have to keep the rotten shebang going.

Bills pile up; Moody’s Investor Service says taxpayers are on the hook for $251 billion in unfunded public union pension liabilities.

Boss Mike Madigan, king of the Democrats who control things, wants tax increases but no real structural reform to bring stability to The Venezuela of the Midwest.

And the whispers of bankruptcy won’t help the average (remaining) taxpaying chumbolones like you and me who don’t want to leave our homes but who’ll get stuck with the bills.

Since our neighboring states are doing better, taking Illinois jobs and businesses and Illinois workers and taxpaying families, they might as well just take the rest of Illinois, too, dammit.

Wisconsin can have Chicago and begin calling it “South Milwaukee.”

Naturally, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will fight this. He needs a job. And he’ll most likely beg his friends at The New York Times and the Washington Post to write angry editorials to save him. And these will be full of concern for the republic and those dispossessed Midwestern salt-of-the-earth taxpaying Americans, as if.

Sadly, Wisconsin probably won’t want Rahm, either. So to spare hurt feelings, I propose carving out 40 acres around the mayor’s home so Rahm might be prince of his own country:

Rahmonia.

And Cook County Board President Toni “Taxwinkle” Preckwinkle will fight it, too, so she needs something to soothe her ambitions:

A grant of land as large as a case of the soda pop she taxes, so that she might stand on it and proclaim herself Queen of Taxwinkletopia.

If there are portions of Illinois that the other states don’t want, they may be left as federal territory, a wilderness where only the strong survive and peasants and friendly propagandists kneel and beg for crumbs.

RTWT

17 Aug 2010

Rep. Melissa Bean (8th-IL)’s Town Meeting With Thug

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Rep. Melissa Bean, democratic incumbent of the 8th-IL congressional district (Phil Crane’s old district) turns in a remarkably unresponsive performance at a town meeting held at the Round Lake, Illinois Public Library on August 12. The congresswoman was accompanied by a large male who loomed threateningly over persons daring to ask questions.

This 6:30 video is clearly edited with partisan intent, but it shows enough that is obviously real to be disturbing.

Any bets on whether Rep. Bean will be returning to Washington next year?

Hat tip to Jim Hoft.

03 May 2010

Blagojevich Trial May Include Obama

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An unnamed public official

Mark Brown, at the Chicago Sun-Times, is very amused by the determined efforts of the District Judge to keep a certain unnamed public official from having to testify in the trial of Rod Blagojevich

[A] three-paragraph letter that they say was turned over to the defense by prosecutors during a recent closed-door session in the governor’s chambers, laying out new information that convicted political insider Tony Rezko allegedly has told investigators, particularly this: that Rezko said he “believed he transmitted a quid pro quo offer from a lobbyist to the public official, whereby the lobbyist would hold fund-raiser for the official in exchange for favorable official action, but that the public official rejected the offer.”

It also said the public official “denies any such conversation.”

Without flat-out naming Obama as that public official, the governor’s lawyers did everything but draw us a picture, saying Obama “is the only one who can testify as to the veracity” of Rezko’s allegations.

In other words, they’re saying Rezko reported trying to bribe Obama, and that while Rezko said Obama turned him down, Obama said it never happened.

Even if the prosecution avoids using testimony from Antoin Rezko in order to avoid deposing that particular unnamed public official, the Blagojevich defense may yet succeed in dragging Obama into the mess to testify about his own role in the negotiations over Blagojevich’s appointment of a successor to Obama’s seat in the Senate.

According to Blagojevich:

On the day before he was elected president, then-Sen. Obama personally called a union official about his desire for Blagojevich to appoint Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to replace him in the Senate, according to Blagojevich’s defense filing in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

14 Dec 2009

Newt Gingrich Opposes Copenhagen, Promises Repeal of Health Care Reform

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Back in April of 2007, when Newt Gingrich was still being looked upon as a potential candidate in the upcoming presidential contest, during a debate with John Kerry, Gingrich climbed on board the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) bandwagon and even endorsed carbon regulation.

Distancing himself from AGW-skeptic Senator James Inhofe at the time, Gingrich said:

“My message I think is that the evidence is sufficient that we should move towards the most effective possible steps to reduce carbon-loading of the atmosphere.”

And then proceeded to propose that the rest of the Conservative Movement should follow his own example by knuckling under to a popular delusion and developing a so-called “green conservatism.”

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Campaigning over the weekend though in Illinois’ 14th Congressional District for Ethan Hastert, the son of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, it sounded like Gingrich has jumped back onto the right side of the fence on AGW. Gingrich said:

“Copenhagen in its current form is a fraud by the left around the world to take power away from people and give it to government and bureaucrats and is a combined effort by the bureaucrats and the academics to take power away from free people and turn them over to the international organization, and it is going to be a disaster. And we should be committed to not implementing Copenhagen [global warming treaty] in its current form under any circumstances.”

Gingrich was back in good form as well on Health Care Reform, advising democrats in danger of losing their seats that voting with Harry Reid may not be worth it.

“If the left manages to drive through a bill which is opposed by 65 percent of the country on health care, our commitment should be simple — when we get a majority, we’re repealing the whole thing. And I want every Democrat who is about to sacrifice their seat for socialized medicine to understand: after you lose your seat, you’re going to lose the socialized medicine too.”

1:36 video

21 Oct 2009

FBI Raids Islamic Slaughterhouse

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Government vehicles on scene of investigation

Last Sunday, the FBI conducted a mysterious large-scale raid on First World Management Meat Processing, an Islamic slaughterhouse, in Kinsman, Illinois, owned by Dr. Syed Hamid, a resident of Chicago. No one was arrested on Sunday, but apparently authorities were still searching the place on Monday.

Voz iz Neias?:

Federal agents conducted a raid Sunday afternoon at a goat meat processing plant near Morris, Illinois. The secretive operation was led by the Chicago FBI office, the Feds are being very tight-lipped on what they found and why they were even there.

Spokesman Ross Rice confirms agents were at 6260 Kinsman Road, in Kinsman, Illinois. The business is called First World Management. Rice would not say why agents were there but said nobody was taken into custody.

The FBI said the raid began Sunday morning and ended in the late afternoon. They were at the plant about nine hours total.

According to sources, the plant provides goat, beef and lamb meat which is prepared in the Halal way in accordance with Muslim custom.

The government workers inside First World Management meat packing plant in Kinsman Monday wouldn’t say why they were there or why scores of FBI agents and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were there Sunday.

The trouble is the FBI isn’t saying much about what happened at this rural Grundy County plant. A spokesman confirms that the plant, which has a Muslim prayer room, was raided as part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

Several witnesses reported that the Grundy County Sheriff’s office was involved, as well, saying sheriff dept. vehicles were visible at the scene. The Sheriff’s department denies it was present.

When asked if the raid had something to do with undocumented aliens, the person wouldn’t say. A neighbor suggested that undocumented immigrants live in a trailer behind the facility and work there.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said the agency assisted in the raid, but had no further comment. According to sources, many of the FBI and ICE agents were armed.

Several USDA criminal investigators were on site at the plant on Monday, but they would not comment on the situation.

One man who was talking about the raid was Jim Cavaness. He’s a handyman who occasionally works at the plant where goats, sheep and cows are slaughtered. On Sunday, he witnessed the raid and says he was questioned by FBI agents.

Cavaness says the FBI asked him if he had seen anything unusual at the plant. He says he’s never seen anything unusual, but, he says, judging by the amount of firepower on the scene, the FBI wasn’t just working an immigration case.

“Way too much overkill for immigration,” Cavaness said.

Neighbors who saw the raid on Sunday told CBS 2 it was a huge operation, involving more than 100 agents, police officers and even what one believed to be National Guard troops.

Sources say during the raid, the driveway was filled with more than 50 government vehicles. There was a helicopter flying overhead and a command center set up. On top of it were government sharpshooters with rifles at the ready.

Channel 2 (Chicago) 2:29 video

The Chicago Tribune (Tuesday) says “a source” told them that Dr. Hamid had been taken into custody at his home in Chicago.


Also raided on Sunday
was the owner’s home and two other locations in Chicago.

31 Dec 2008

Don’t Underestimate Blagojevich

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The Chicago Tribune’s John Kass advises. Playing the race card was a brilliant stroke which instantly put the national democrat party on the defensive.

Since he was federally charged with trying to sell President-elect Barack Obama’s Senate seat to the highest bidder, Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been wrongly caricatured as some kind of hapless jester prancing on the edge of madness.

Jesters hold rattles with a likeness of their heads on the end of a stick, and they hop off into a corner, prattling to themselves. That’s what jesters do.

Jesters don’t pick up the race card in a nationally televised news conference and slam it into the face of every Democrat in the U.S. Senate, a palm heel strike to the tip of the nose, leaving all of them watery-eyed, their lips stinging.

Yet that’s what Blagojevich—aided by former Black Panther-turned-Daley-machine-functionary Bobby Rush—did at that stupendous news conference in Chicago on Tuesday. That’s when the governor appointed Democratic empty suit Roland Burris, an African-American, to fill the Senate seat vacated by Obama.

“Please don’t allow the allegations against me to taint this good and honest man,” said Blagojevich.

It was a brazen move, and a smart one, and though the race card was ugly, there was no passion in it. There was no lunacy involved.

“This is not about Roland, this is about Rod,” said savvy political consultant Thom Serafin when I called him while watching the circus of the politically bizarre. Serafin correctly predicted weeks ago that it would be Burris, shortly after Blagojevich was arrested and most other Senate hopefuls pulled out lest they be infected by the governor’s dilemma.

“This is Rod telling the political class that he’s still active, that he’s still around, that he’s still the governor,” Serafin said. “And how do they deny Roland Burris? They can’t.”

Read the whole thing.

15 Dec 2008

Tribune Blows Federal Case

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Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

The Wall Street Journal notes that the Chicago Tribune isn’t only financially bankrupt. It’s ethically bankrupt as well.

The Tribune’s selfish decision to break the Blagojevich corruption story early probably prevented the FBI from catching the actual sale of a Senate seat (to Jesse Jackson, Jr.) on tape, losing federal authorities half the bust.

Conventional wisdom holds that U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald ordered the FBI to arrest Rod Blagojevich before sunrise Tuesday in order to stop a crime from being committed. That would have been the sale of the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

But the opposite is true: Members of Fitzgerald’s team are livid the scheme didn’t advance, at least for a little longer, according to some people close to Fitzgerald’s office. Why? Because had the plot unfolded, they might have had an opportunity most feds can only dream of: A chance to catch the sale of a Senate seat on tape, including the sellers and the buyers.

The precise timing of Tuesday’s dramatic, pre-dawn arrest was not dictated by Fitzgerald, nor was it dictated by the pace of Blagojevich’s alleged “crime spree.” It was dictated by the Chicago Tribune, according to people close to the investigation and a careful reading of the FBI’s affidavit in the case.

At Fitzgerald’s request, the paper had been holding back a story since October detailing how a confidante of Blagojevich was cooperating with his office.

Gerould Kern, the Tribune’s editor, said in a statement last week that these requests are granted in what he called isolated instances. “In each case, we strive to make the right decision as reporters and as citizens,” he said.

But editors decided to publish the story on Friday, Dec. 5, ending the Tribune’s own cooperation deal with the prosecutor.

Read the whole thing.

13 Dec 2008

Schadenfreude Time

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Jonah Goldberg gleefully deconstructs all the shades of meaning in the Blagojevich indictment.

There are so many things to love about the Rod Blagojevich scandal it’s hard to know where to begin.

Wait. That’s not right. There are so many bleeping things to love about this bleeping-bleep Blagojevich scandal it’s hard to know where to begin.

For starters, the folks at the Chicago Tribune are Christmas Pony Happy because Blago tried to strong-arm the Trib’s owners to fire members of the editorial board. Instead, Trib editors will get to have a big tailgate party outside Blago’s cell window.

Newspaper people love that sort of thing. …

For partisans, there’s the schadenfreude that comes with watching the Democrats — self-proclaimed anti-corruption zealots in recent years — explain why Blagojevich shouldn’t be lumped in with Congressmen Charlie Rangel (cut himself sweetheart deals), William Jefferson ($90,000 in his freezer) and Tim Mahoney (tried to bribe an aide he was sleeping with not to sue him — and you thought romance was dead) as part of a new Democratic “culture of corruption” storyline.

There’s the enormous I-should-have-had-a-V8! moment as the mainstream press collectively thwacks itself in the forehead, realizing it blew it again. The New York Times — which, according to Wall Street analysts, is weeks from holding editorial-board meetings in a refrigerator box — created the journalistic equivalent of CSI-Wasilla to study every follicle and fiber in Sarah Palin’s background, all the while treating Obama’s Chicago like one of those fairy-tale lands depicted in posters that adorn little girls’ bedroom walls.

Read the whole thing.

12 Dec 2008

Obama Senate Seat Offered on Ebay

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Macon News:

For sale: One Senate seat. Goes to the highest BLEEP-ing bidder. Seller’s positive feedback rating: since Tuesday, just about zero.

Outraged by the arrest of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, more than a dozen people have put the state’s vacant Senate seat up for bid on eBay.

The offers popped up on the Internet auction site after Blagojevich was accused Tuesday of trying to benefit financially from his power to appoint a Senate replacement to President-elect Barack Obama.

Daniel Finnegan, a student at the University of Georgia, said he started an auction because he’s “extremely upset about what happened” and wants to voice his opinion.

Finnegan says he’s glad others posted similar auctions so the accusations against Blagojevich don’t go unnoticed.

University of Illinois student Matt Platino says he posted his entry to be funny, but also because he’s upset with Blagojevich. …

And folks are bidding, some jokingly. One posting (“Used Illinois Senate seat, all wood and leather, willing to deal on this one! Please be advised I will be away from my office for a while…”), had 78 bids and was going for $99,999,999.00 Wednesday morning.

Literal Senate seats have been eliminated as of this morning, but Internet domains named ObamaSenateSeat, newspaper clippings, and numerous joke references can be found.

10 Dec 2008

Chicago’s Reeking Politics

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John Kass is gloating in the Tribune at seeing some of the local sleaze facing a cleanup.

Now that Gov. Dead Meat has been arrested at his home and charged with selling Illinois by the pound—and Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat by the slice—let’s just savor the aroma.

I love the smell of meat over coals in the morning.

It smells like . . . victory.

The people of Illinois needed some good news and they got it. Former Republican Gov. George Ryan is in prison, and the arrest of his successor, Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich, surely means that the Illinois Combine that runs this state can stop with the rumors that U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald will be leaving town.

And, as Blagojevich most likely prepares to be Ryan’s bunkmate, let’s not forget the scores of other politicos, of all parties, who’ve gone down on corruption charges—including some of Mayor Richard Daley’s guys who helped rebuild that Democratic machine the mayor says doesn’t exist.

At a news conference in the federal building in Chicago, authorities were asked about Illinois corruption.

“If it isn’t the most corrupt state in the United States, it’s certainly one hell of a competitor,” said Robert Grant, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Chicago office. …

Though Illinois isn’t surprised—this is after all the home of the Chicago Way—the national media must be shocked.

They’ve been clinging to the ridiculous notion that Chicago is Camelot for months now, cleaving to the idea with the willfulness of stubborn children. It must help them see Obama as some pristine creature, perhaps a gentle faun of a magic forest, unstained by our grubby politics, a bedtime story for grown-ups who insist upon fairy tales. But now the national media may finally be forced to confront reality.

Barack Obama, of course, is an intimate associate of Illinois’ current governor, shared the same political contributors (Antoin Rezko), and was, like him, a loyal servant of the Daley Machine.

09 Dec 2008

Illinois Governor Arrested For Trying To Sell Obama’s Senate Seat

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Patrick Fitzgerald described Governor Rod Blagojevich’s conduct as “a new low.”

The affidavit contends Blagojevich discussed getting a substantial salary for himself at a non-profit foundation or an organization affiliated with labor unions. It also says Blagojevich talked about getting his wife placed on corporate boards where she might get $150,000 a year in director’s fees.

The affidavit also quotes Blagojevich as saying “I want to make money” in one conversation.

Blagojevich and John Harris, the governor’s chief of staff, were each charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and solicitation of bribery.

The FBI affidavit alleges that Blagojevich also sought promises of campaign cash, as well as a cabinet post or ambassadorship in exchange for his Senate choice.

Blagojevich is accused of saying on November 3 that if he is not going to get anything of value for the open seat, then he would appoint himself to the post.

“I’m going to keep this Senate option for me a real possibility, you know, and therefore I can drive a hard bargain,” the affidavit quotes the governor as saying.

He noted becoming a U.S. senator might remake his image for a possible presidential run in 2016, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit quotes Blagojevich telling an adviser later that day that a Senate seat “is a [expletive] valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing.”

In a conversation with Harris on November 4, the day of the election, Blagojevich is alleged to have compared his situation to that of a sports agent shopping a potential free agent to the highest bidder.

On November 5, Blagojevich allegedly told an adviser, “I’ve got this thing and it’s [expletive] golden, and, uh, uh, I’m just not giving it up for [expletive] nothing. I’m not gonna do it.”

On November 7, while talking on the phone about the Senate seat with Harris and an adviser, Blagojevich said he needed to consider his family and that he is “financially” hurting, the affidavit states.

Harris allegedly said that they were considering what would help the “financial security” of the Blagojevich family.

The complaint alleges that the governor stated, “I want to make money,” adding later that he is interested in making $250,000 to $300,000 a year.

The charges also state that in a conversation with Harris on November 11, Blagojevich said he knew that President-elect Obama wanted a specific candidate for the open Senate seat but added “they’re not willing to give me anything except appreciation. [Expletive] them.”

Fitzgerald, the U.S. attorney, said the charges “allege that Blagojevich put a ‘for sale’ sign on the naming of a United States Senator.”

Actual indictment.

13 Nov 2008

Oak Park Fails T-shirt Test

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Catherine Vogt

John Kass, at the Chicago Tribune, has a little story of a middle school student’s experiment which tells us a lot about life in America today. Catherine Vogt’s Oak Park, Illinois could just as easily have been any other fashionable upper middle class community from coast to coast.

Just before the election, Catherine consulted with her history teacher, then bravely wore a unique T-shirt to school and recorded the comments of teachers and students in her journal. The T-shirt bore the simple yet quite subversive words drawn with a red marker:

“McCain Girl.”

“I was just really curious how they’d react to something that different, because a lot of people at my school wore Obama shirts and they are big Obama supporters,” Catherine told us. “I just really wanted to see what their reaction would be.”

Immediately, Catherine learned she was stupid for wearing a shirt with Republican John McCain’s name. Not merely stupid. Very stupid.

“People were upset. But they started saying things, calling me very stupid, telling me my shirt was stupid and I shouldn’t be wearing it,” Catherine said.

Then it got worse.

“One person told me to go die. It was a lot of dying. A lot of comments about how I should be killed,” Catherine said, of the tolerance in Oak Park.

“In one class, I had one teacher say she will not judge me for my choice, but that she was surprised that I supported McCain,” Catherine said.

If Catherine was shocked by such passive-aggressive threats from instructors, just wait until she goes to college. …

One student suggested that she be put up on a cross for her political beliefs.

“He said, ‘You should be crucifixed.’ It was kind of funny because, I was like, don’t you mean ‘crucified?’ ” Catherine said.

Other entries in her notebook involved suggestions by classmates that she be “burned with her shirt on” for “being a filthy-rich Republican.”

Some said that because she supported McCain, by extension she supported a plan by deranged skinheads to kill Obama before the election.

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