Wednesday, August 31, 2011

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Roskam example of what's wrong in Washington

Peter Roskam underlines what's wrong with Washington

Wed, 31 Aug 2011 16:12:00 GMT

You'd think that, when it comes to healthy food for our kids, Washington at least could set aside its ideological wars and get something done.

You'd be wrong. Here's an example from right at home, courtesy of U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Wheaton.

Mr. Roskam was back in the Chicago area this week on what sounds like, and is, a reasonable mission: reducing unneeded federal rules and regulations that many firms say discourage them from focusing on their business and creating jobs.

Mr. Roskam and other Republican leaders obviously are on to something. The Obama White House of late has been busily rolling out plans to slash that red tape and reduce the number of new rules, and they are considering junking a bunch of the old ones.

The centerpiece of Mr. Roskam's visit this week was a joint press conference with C. J. Fraleigh, CEO of the North American division of Sara Lee Corp., the Downers Grove-based food giant.

New rules proposed by the Obama administration would so over-reaching that Sara Lee would be restricted in advertising a lean turkey sandwich on whole-wheat bread during the Super Bowl, Mr. Roskam said. The company is being nickeled and dimed by the bureaucracy.

A follow-up op-ed piece written by Mr. Roskam in the Sun-Times made the same point.

Sara Lee could soon face lower sales and higher costs and provide fewer jobs if the administration goes through with a particularly overreaching food regulation that would dramatically restrict their ability to advertise many food products — in the name of fighting childhood obesity, Mr. Roskam wrote.

A sponsorship deal for Ballpark Hot Dogs, the turkey sandwich ad, even pictures of athletes on Wheaties boxes, all would be eliminated because those under 18 make up a big share of audiences for such ads.

Added the congressman, The regulation of hot dog advertisements at baseball games won't create a single job.

Sounds awful, doesn't it? But the facts are, shall we say, a bit more complicated.

The regulation involved deals with how much sodium food products can contain if those products are pitched to kids. Congress a few years ago — at the suggestion of Kansas U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, a Republican — decided that youth obesity is a rising problem and directed the president to draft a proposal on how to deal with the matter.

Now, the experts disagree on how much sodium is bad for children. An industry trade group calls for 600 milligrams maximum per serving. Sara Lee's hot dogs and turkey products are in the 400-to-500-milligram range. The proposed regulation is 210 mgs. Obviously, there's some room for debate.

But the thing is, that regulation isn't a regulation. In fact, it's strictly voluntarily, something that Mr. Roskam knows but skims over to simplify his case.

To repeat. It's voluntary. The regulation would have no force of law.

Mr. Roskam, through an aide, insists that, once the proposed regulation is finalized — if it's finalized; it's only a proposal out for public comment now — Sara Lee will have to comply, because of market pressure and the like.

Somehow, I suspect he underestimates the company's ability to act in its own interest. Only last month, well after the proposed voluntary rules came out, the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, a program of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, proposed a voluntary 600-milligram standard per serving for sodium.

What really is going on is an effort to squelch debate.

Federal agencies — in this case, including units of the Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control — shouldn't be allowed to give their views, even when Congress asked them to do so. We can trust to the big food companies to ignore their bottom line and act strictly in our kids' self-interest.

That, at least, seems to be Mr. Roskam's view.

That may explain why Mr. Roskam's solution to over-regulation is to require every federal rule of consequence to be approved first by a majority of the House and Senate.

Right. The same gang that barely kept America from defaulting on its debt will get a chance to go back and forth on every rule, as lobbyists all around whisper in their ears.

You want to know why Washington doesn't work? You'll never get a better example.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lawndale Prep freshman visit DePaul University on 1st day of class |

White professor's critique of "The Help" by Tenured Radical - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Protesters Criticize Dold’s Position On Jobs - Lake Forest-Lake Bluff, IL Patch

Michael Madigan attends John Boehner fund-raiser in Lemont - Chicago Sun-Times

Michael Madigan attends John Boehner fund-raiser in Lemont

BY DAVE MCKINNEY  AND ABDON M. PALLASCH Staff Reporters August 23, 2011 11:43PM

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    Michael Madigan (left); John Boehner

    Updated: August 24, 2011 2:11AM

    Talk about strange bedfellows.

    Two weeks ago, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) came to Hinsdale to raise money for Republicans to fight the congressional map drawn under the direction of state Democratic Party chief and Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

    The very next night, the congressman broke bread with Madigan (D-Chicago) at a fund-raiser for Boehner’s leadership fund at the Lemont home of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Chairman Terry Duffy.

    Madigan’s little-known appearance has left partisans in both political camps in a state of disbelief.

    It all comes as the wily Illinois House speaker is supposed to be fighting to regain congressional seats lost last year to Republicans who helped Boehner become speaker.

    And Boehner, the principle impediment to President Barack Obama’s congressional agenda, is supposed to be leading Republicans against Madigan’s map so they can keep their U.S. House majority and he can remain speaker.

    So why was Madigan there?

    “We’ve said for more than a year, one of the messages of 2010 is the need for people to cooperate, and that’s what Madigan’s tried to do,” Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said.

    Brown underscored that Madigan was an invited guest of Duffy’s and that the speaker did not make a contribution to Boehner during the Aug. 13 function.

    A Boehner campaign spokesman declined comment about Madigan’s unexpected appearance.

    The odd political coupling prompted jokes from the state Republican chief.

    “I’d like to hear what their conversation was like. ‘Hey, Mike, nice map.’ ‘Hey John, can I have a cigarette?’” quipped state Republican chairman Pat Brady.

    But other Republicans took a less light-hearted view of Duffy’s invite, questioning why anyone would allow a Democratic enemy like Madigan into such an exclusive GOP realm.

    “That’s a damn good question. I’m astounded by that,” said Mike Birck, a Hinsdale Republican who hosted the redistricting fund-raiser that Boehner attended.

    “I had no idea that had happened,” Birck said when told by the Chicago Sun-Times about the next night’s Boehner event where Madigan appeared. “I don’t know why they’d invite Mike Madigan, and I don’t know why he’d show up. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.”

    After making the Boehner event, Madigan skipped last week’s Governor’s Day Democratic day at the Illinois State Fair, opting instead for an out-of-state vacation with his family. His absence drew murmurs from some Democrats about why the speaker would miss the traditional Downstate party pep rally.

    That same day, Madigan was a no-show for Obama’s visits to four stops in northwestern and central Illinois and didn’t attend Obama’s Aug. 3 birthday fund-raiser on Chicago’s North Side, which Gov. Pat Quinn, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Mayor Rahm Emanuel and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) attended.

    Though Madigan was re-elected state party chairman without opposition in 2010, his appearance at the Boehner event on top of his recent string of absences at key Democratic functions has drawn ire from some within his party.

    “Going to a fund-raiser for the speaker of the House, who has done nothing to cooperate with the president of the United States, really is unfortunate,” Democratic Party strategist and consultant Kitty Kurth said. “I think that the speaker could strengthen the Democratic Party in Illinois if he showed the same kind of respect and cooperation with other Democrats, including Gov. Quinn.

    “I would hope that the chairman of our Democratic Party in Illinois can find some time to attend events with Democrats across the state and support their campaigns,” she continued. “If you want Democrats to show up for you, you need to show up for them.”

    But such criticism drew merely a shrug from Madigan’s forces.

    “I don’t think anybody can question the success of Democrats in Illinois since Mike Madigan has been chairman,” Brown said, referring to a stint as Democratic Party of Illinois chairman that began in 1998. “That record speaks for itself.”

    Republican sources said the Friday night fund-raiser to fight the Democratic map raised about $150,000 and the Saturday night event to raise money for Boehner’s leadership fund raised about $700,000.

    Over the years, Duffy has contributed more than $150,000 to the Republican party and candidates such as Boehner, President Bush, and Reps. Peter Roskam, Judy Biggert and Randy Hultgren and Sen. Mark Kirk. He has given more than $40,000 to Democratic candidates including Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Rahm Emanuel, Sen. Dick Durbin and Alexi Giannoulias. The only time he voted in a primary election, in 2002, he pulled a Republican ballot.

    Copyright "+yr+" Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

    Posted via email from Brian's posterous

    Quinn, Emanuel, Preckwinkle say 3,000 jobs created - Chicago Sun-Times

    Quinn, Emanuel, Preckwinkle say 3,000 jobs created

    BY ABDON M. PALLASCH,  FRANCINE KNOWLES  AND MITCH DUDEK Staff Reporters August 23, 2011 12:44PM

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    Gov. Pat Quinn announces a $146 million project to create an underpass to undo the intersection of train tracks and roads near 130th & Torrence, at the Ford Assembly Plant. Tuesday, August 23, 2011 | Brian Jackson~Chicago Sun-Times

    Updated: August 24, 2011 2:13AM

    Gov. Pat Quinn, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle all held news conferences Tuesday taking credit for bringing jobs to the region.

    Quinn stood near the Ford assembly plant at 130th and Torrence to say that a $146 million project to lower the intersection beneath two new bridges to carry freight trains over the roads will create 1,200 new jobs.

    Emanuel stood at DePaul University’s downtown campus to announce that Boston-based EMC Corp. will create a Midwest headquarters in Chicago, bringing 200 jobs to the city. That brings to 4,400 the number of promised jobs he has announced since taking office.

    Preckwinkle toured Franklin Park-based construction company The Hill Group, which she said would be adding 30 new full-time jobs and 25 construction jobs after the county used tax incentives to keep the company from moving out of state.

    EMC and Emanuel noted there were no tax incentives to get them to start a headquarters in Chicago, just a longtime friendship between Emanuel and EMC CEO Joe Tucci and Emanuel’s “persistence,” Emanuel said.

    Quinn said Ford will kick in $1 million to the cost of the new bridges that will cut the delays experienced by 32,000 motorists a day.

    The state of Illinois is paying $64.8 million of the price tag, and Norfolk Southern, federal government, city and Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District are contributing as well.

    Preckwinkle said more than 1,600 jobs have been created in the county this year due to steps taken by her administration, including providing business tax incentives, rolling back the controversial Cook County sales tax, and better allocation of federal block grants.

    The county has awarded $9.4 million in 2011 Community Development Block Grant funds to 101 projects, Preckwinkle said. More than 50 percent of the funds target capital improvements in the suburbs.

    Preckwinkle’s office also noted the county has spent roughly $2 million in federal Workforce Investment Act funds to provide more than 500 Cook County youth with summer employment and workforce training.

    Quinn said businesses are leaving other states to come to Illinois — Navistar coming back from Indiana; a company that makes railroad cars moving here from Wisconsin, he said.

    A young, educated workforce was the enticement for EMC to come to Chicago, Tucci said.

    “This is Chicago — young people really want to be here,” he said.

    Copyright "+yr+" Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

    Posted via email from Brian's posterous

    Donna Brazile's Advice for Living Without Fear


    Author and political commentator Donna Brazile reveals four things she's no longer rattled by (and you shouldn't be either).

    Fear is one of the worst, and most limiting, emotions in life. It's also a fact. We're all unsettled by something—after Katrina and all the hurricanes I grew up with in New Orleans, my greatest concern is rising water. But I think life is a process of moving items from the "scared of" to the "not scared of" list. So, you know what I'm not worried about anymore?

    Failure. It doesn't exist. "Failure" is just what happens when we lose perspective. I thought I'd failed when I got fired as deputy field director for the Dukakis campaign. If I'd known then that I needed to go through that in order to be ready to manage the Gore campaign, I would've seen it for what it was: an unavoidable low point, no more or less important than the experiences I call successes.

    Being taller than others. I used to slouch, but I never fooled anyone. Now I take up all the room I fill, instead of apologizing for it with my body language.

    Accepting compliments. I thought acknowledging praise meant you were arrogant, but I've learned that knowing your strengths enables you to make use of them. Golda Meir was right: "Don't be so humble; you're not that great."

    The "bitch" label. If everyone likes you, it probably means you aren't saying much.

    Donna's 6 rules to live by
    Related Reso

    Read more:

    Posted via email from Brian's posterous

    Monday, August 22, 2011

    Paul Ryan Tries To Create Tax Loopholes For His Biggest Donors

    WASHINGTON -- House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has for months argued for closing tax loopholes as a way to pay for his proposed tax cuts. But it turns out he has a penchant for creating those same loopholes when it comes to helping out his biggest donors.

    Since unveiling the House GOP budget in the spring, Ryan has been touting provisions aimed at ending tax loopholes and deductions in exchange for lowering tax rates in general. "We're talking about keeping revenues where they are, but having a better tax system to collect those revenues with an eye on economic growth and job creation," he said during an April interview on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered."

    He added, "You have to remember, the people in the top tax brackets are the ones who enjoy most of the loopholes and deductions."

    But a look at Ryan's record since he was elected to Congress in 1998 shows that he has tried to create an array of special loopholes for his top contributors, whose interests range from air fresheners to fraternity housing to beer.

    Take S.C. Johnson & Son, one of Ryan's biggest donors. The multibillion-dollar company, which is based in Ryan's district and manufactures popular cleaning products like Pledge and Windex, donated $41,092 to the congressman between 1998 and 2012, according to

    Ryan introduced two bills in May 2005 that would have granted the company special exemptions from tariffs. Specifically, his bills sought to suspend duties for imported components of "unique air freshener products … assembled by S.C. Johnson in the United States," Ryan said during floor remarks at the time. Neither bill advanced.

    A year later, Ryan put forward another bill to reduce the duty on S.C. Johnson cleaning appliances "capable of dispensing cleaning solution into a tub or shower enclosure using a button-activated, battery-powered piston pump controlled by a microchip." That bill didn't move.

    The Wisconsin Republican has also pushed legislation that would have created tax loopholes for fraternity and sorority housing. Ryan himself was a member of Delta Tau Delta and, in 2004, received the fraternity's alumni achievement award. A year later, Fraternity & Sorority PAC began giving donations to Ryan that, by 2010, totaled $24,500, according to

    During those same years, Ryan sponsored or cosponsored three bills that would have allowed college fraternities and sororities to accept tax-deductible charitable contributions for the construction of more housing. None of the bills became law.

    Ryan has also backed numerous tax loopholes for the beer industry. The National Wholesalers Association, his second biggest contributor, gave him more than $72,000 between 1998 and 2010, according to

    During those years, Ryan cosponsored five bills to cut taxes for beer brewers, reduce beer taxes to pre-1991 levels and repeal occupational taxes relating to distilled spirits, wine and beer. None became law.

    The list goes on: In 1999, the congressman tried to give a tax break to a group the Los Angeles Times referred to as "the golf-course underprivileged." That year, he cosponsored the Caddie Relief Act, which would have allowed golf caddies to forgo paying taxes on their earnings.

    Ryan has also opposed efforts to close offshore tax loopholes. He voted against an amendment in 2006 that would have barred funding for contracts with U.S. companies incorporated offshore to avoid paying U.S. taxes. In 2004, he opposed an amendment that would have prohibited the Export-Import Bank from approving direct loans to U.S. companies incorporated offshore to avoid U.S. taxes.

    Ryan spokesman Kevin Seifert said the lawmaker's record is consistent when it comes to special interest tax breaks.

    "Paul Ryan believes the tax code is fundamentally broken -- imposing burdens on small businesses and working families and creating barriers to job creation," Seifert said. "He has proposed specific solutions that eliminate or scale back all special interest tax breaks while advancing pro-growth reforms to help get America back to work.”



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    RIP Nick Ashford

    brian banks (@blbanks) has shared a Tweet with you:

    "nytjim: RT @BreakingNews: MORE: Songwriter Nick Ashford ('Ain't No Mountain High Enough') dies at age 70; had throat cancer - AP"

    Posted via email from Brian's posterous

    Did You Hear The Great News?

    ---------- Forwarded message ----------

    Dear Brian,

    Over 1200 of us signed the People of Faith petition last week, asking Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam to negotiate with his employees in good faith. Our voices were added to a chorus of workers and worker advocates all over the country who, together, created positive pressure to end this strike. On Saturday, Verizon agreed to go back to the bargaining table - which means that tomorrow 45000 Verizon employees are going back to work.

    Help us let Verizon know that we are going to be watching these negotiations carefully.

    We are grateful that Verizon has agreed to negotiate with their employees. The company – which has been demanding $20,000 per employee in cuts to pay and benefits – earned $20B in profits in recent years and its top 5 executives have been paid more than $258M in the past 4 years. We want Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam to know that we are glad he's back at the bargaining table – and that we'll be standing with the workers until a fair settlement in reached.

    If you haven't had a chance to send a message to Mr. McAdam, CLICK HERE to add your name to the People of Faith petition.

    Today the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC is open to the public for the first time. A champion of justice and an advocate for worker's rights, Dr. King reminds us of our responsibility as people of faith to stand with those whose dignity is under attack. Dr. King wrote, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

    Thanks for adding your voice to the cause of justice.

    Jonathan Currie
    National Organizer
    Interfaith Worker Justice

    To ensure that you continue receiving our emails, please add us to your address book or safe list. Click here if you want to modify your email communication preference or to unsubscribe from the Interfaith Worker Justice e-mail list.

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    Interfaith Worker Justice | 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. | Chicago, IL 60660 | ph (773) 728-8400

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    ICIC Urban Economic Development Summit in Chicago

    The sounds of movement

    AUGUST 22, 2011 Where the Action Is Across the country, new industry hubs are drawing entrepreneurs and investors—and offering start-ups support and safety in a turbulent economy

    Saturday, August 20, 2011

    Friday, August 19, 2011

    Emanuel hires firm to find cost-savings in city contracts - Chicago Tribune

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today the city will pay a private consulting firm to find cost savings in existing city contracts, a move he hopes could save at least $25 million by 2013. Accenture LLP has saved other large cities and states millions of dollars, Emanuel said at a news conference. The firm will receive up to 10 percent of the money it saves the city. The company will look at $500 million worth of city contracts, searching for ways to change, consolidate or end contracts. Potential savings could include areas where the city is getting similar things for different prices, or contracts where the city can get a better price by buying in greater bulk, the mayor said.

    "Some of it will be in better negotiations with who we're buying from, some of it will be in the bulk purchasing," he said.

    Mayor Richard Daley tried in recent years to get vendors to agree to give-backs, but was only modestly successful. City Chief Procurement Officer Jamie Rhee said she expects Accenture to do more.

    "(Daley's effort) was a voluntary renegotiation," Rhee said. "This is going to come with some data that says 'Listen, we believe we can get this cheaper, and if you're not willing, then we will terminate for convenience -- which is in all of our contracts -- and go back out to bid, or tap into another agency's contract that has a better price.'"

    Accenture already has a consulting deal with Cook County. Emanuel and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle have already agreed to find ways to consolidate city and county contracts.

    Posted via email from Brian's posterous

    Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Gov. Quinn accused of sandbagging Mayor Emanuel

    * Oh, man, this is not good at all

    Earlier this week, Emanuel ticked off the wish list of projects he intends to build with casino cash. It includes: 40 miles of roads and water mains; 25 new schools; 45 renovated CTA stations; 20 miles of new rail; 150 buildings to be made more energy efficient.

    The mayor also talked about the other side of the equation: the steady “withdrawal” of state and federal funding that has created the infrastructure crisis.

    The pressure tactic didn’t work with Quinn, who accused the mayor of “putting the cart before the horse” and spending casino cash he doesn’t have.

    On Thursday, the mayor fired back on that point, too. Emanuel argued that he had shared the wish list with Quinn — and it was the governor who encouraged City Hall to make it public.

    “I told him beforehand that this was how I was gonna use the money, and he asked me to lay it out specifically, which I’ve done,” the mayor said. [Emphasis added.]

    Seriously, why would you do this to the mayor of the biggest city in your state?

    * Meanwhile, Abdon Pallasch has a fascinating story in today’s Sun-Times listing all the questions from a lengthy new Rahm Emanuel poll

    A telephone survey of Chicago voters offers the most extensive clues yet about what Mayor Rahm Emanuel might do to close a $636 million budget gap.

    Closing libraries; a 15 percent cut to police, fire and emergency management administration; a $2.5 million cut to programs for seniors, low-income housing and domestic violence are all proposals respondents are asked to give their opinions on.

    The survey also opens a window into what issues weigh heavily on the mayor’s mind:

    “Rahm Emanuel has been a disappointment as mayor so far and is no better than Mayor Daley,” is one of the statements voters are asked to say whether they agree with.

    Another asks whether voters support Emanuel’s school board hiking property taxes $150 million or whether they view that as the mayor “going back on his word” not to raise taxes.

    Go read the whole thing. Lots of interesting stuff in there, including a question about a Chicago casino.

    * In other news
    , the Rockford Register Star continues its cheerleading for a local casino on its news pages. Check out this lede

    The latest group to join the Rockford Casino Coalition did it on their turf — the ground was covered with dirt and hay, excited 4-H kids milled about and cows flapped their tails back and forth.

    That was the backdrop for this morning’s news conference, the latest in a series of official proclamations from local groups pledging their support to Senate Bill 744, also known as the gambling expansion bill, which includes a casino in Rockford.

    As wholesome as mom and apple pie.

    - Posted by Rich Miller     


    1. - Dirt Digger - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 9:28 am:

      “Seriously, why would you do this to the mayor of the biggest city in your state?”

      Counterpoint: why ask questions with self-evident answers.

  • - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 9:29 am:

    That was Bad Pat.
    Don’t worry, Good Pat … err … Soy Boy will save the day.

  • - Cassiopeia - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 9:33 am:

    I am beginning to think that Pat’s memory lapses may be indicative of early dementia. Even he can’t be this bad on purpose.

  • - just sayin' - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 9:33 am:

    Governor, there’s a delivery for you at the gate.

    Oh it’s a package of dead Asian Carp.

    Well that can’t be good.

  • - Aristotle - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 9:46 am:

    Rich, your premise is wrong. When Quinn asked Rahm to give him a specified list, he did not necessarily mean go out and publish it publicly. So, perhaps it was Rahm who tried to muscle Pat.

  • - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 9:48 am:

    ===Rich, your premise is wrong. When Quinn asked Rahm to give him a specified list, he did not necessarily mean go out and publish it publicly===


    ===Emanuel argued that he had shared the wish list with Quinn — and it was the governor who encouraged City Hall to make it public.===

  • - Coach - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 9:53 am:

    Having thoroughly submitted to the superior power and skills of Madigan and Cullerton on the budget and other matters, it’s amazing that Quinn would suddenly decide to publicly fight with Rahm. And in classic Quinn fashion, it’s evident he’s making up strategy one moment at a time; yesterday, his spokeswoman resurrected the city parking meter “fiasco” and implied the city can’t be trusted to properly manage the casino. Whoa, this is a battle that Quinn won’t win.

  • - OneMan - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 9:54 am:

    Hey it’s Aristotle not Socrates

    At this point I am wondering if we should take one of those SNL bits about Rahm and replace in Pat Quinn where nessesary..

  • - jerry 101 - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 10:08 am:

    “Seriously, why would you do this to the mayor of the biggest city in your state?”

    To show downstaters that you don’t spend all your time catering to every whim of said big city’s mayor?

    I’m glad that Quinn did “sandbag” Rahm. Going back to the Mayor’s race, Rahm’s been acting like being elected Mayor of Chicago gives him the right to dictate policy in Springfield as well as Chicago. He spent half of his campaign running around talking about repealing the income tax increase and replacing it with his “luxury tax” (which seems to have vanished from the agenda since Rahm was elected - I wonder why…). Now, he’s trying to strongarm the Governor.

    Someone needs to remind Rahm that he doesn’t dictate policy beyond the borders of Chicago. If he plays nice, he can get quite a bit done for Chicago down in Springfield, but making demands and expecting the Governor and the GA to roll over isn’t gonna work. Daley certainly didn’t get everything he asked for down in Springfield, despite all of his power. Rahm’s the newbie. Why should Pat Quinn roll over for him? What’s he ever done for Pat Quinn? Why should the GA roll over for him? What’s he ever done for Madigan and Cullerton?

    I hope that Quinn rebukes him a few more times. Maybe he’ll learn that he can’t just threaten his way into getting everything he wants.

    “Emanuel argued that he had shared the wish list with Quinn — and it was the governor who encouraged City Hall to make it public.”

    He said, she said. If Quinn’s not sure he wants to sign the gambling bill, then why would he ask Rahm to make his life more difficult by showing all these goodies that Chicago can “expect” if the gambling hall goes up? Rahm’s trying to strong arm him.

    And those numbers that Rahm put out there seem highly suspect. One casino, in an area that’s already inundated with gambling options, is gonna generate that much revenue? I doubt it. The revenues might -might- get the budget deficit covered.

  • - Cincinnatus - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 10:15 am:

    Was that list Pat is talking about in that book he was reading in the Caption contest from a couple of days ago?

  • - Aldyth - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 10:20 am:

    “Seriously, why would you do this to the mayor of the biggest city in your state?”

    There’s a dozen ways to answer this question, none of which are complimentary to Quinn.

  • - walkinfool - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 10:51 am:

    Rahm didn’t make this list public at Quinn’s request, he did it for his own purposes. Rahm is no rookie, and is famous for knowing how to pressure other politicians.
    Pat, on the other hand, often doesn’t consider the political implications of what he says.

  • - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 10:57 am:

    walkinfool, then you’re saying that Emanuel lied.

  • - Wensicia - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 11:04 am:

    Emanuel must have been away from Illinois too long. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be surprised at Quinn saying one thing, then doing a complete 180. Live and learn.

  • - anon - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 11:23 am:

    This back-and-forth reflects on Quinn’s unusual, and difficult, style as an executive. Quinn plain and simple does not know how to engage the process and key players, as Governor, to make big things happen.

    He sits back, keeps his own counsel (which continually shifts), and lets all sides guess what his final direction will be. He’s reactive and acts alone, rather than in collaberation with others. No wonder the process has evolved to work around him, as if the Governor didn’t exist.

    Can you imagine a Fortune 500 business being lead in this manner…such a chief executive would be gone in a flash. Ditto for a university president, or virtually any other kind of executive leader.

    Our Governor sees virtue in sitting back, detached from the other players in the process, and acting in a reactionary manner to what comes his way…because Quinn sees himself as a moral figure who safeguards the citizen interests. Aloof and detached, a morality cop who reacts to what others put forth.

    Actually engaging, and making big things happen, would sully that self image.

    Rahm is a doer, who plays the inside game like a traditional executive. He and Quinn are equally stubborn and strong willed. Their two styles do not mesh.

    If Quinn takes Rahm on, yet another major political player will be ready to support a Democratic challeger to Quinn in 2014. Quinn’s patchwork of alliances gained through appointments (Giannoulias, Kennedy, Mike Smith, Coreen Gordon, Hamos, etc.) will look weak by comparison (Madigan, Cullerton, Emanuel, labor).

    Quinn’s best bet on the casino bill would be to work out a trailer to address his concerns, which would require him to specifically engage rather than throw out vague sound bites (”top heavy,” etc.). The pragmatic Emanuel would no doubt respond well to that approach, and politically help the Governor. Rahm would likely even find some humility.

  • - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 11:35 am:

    Jerry 101, the one thing in the bill that Quinn supports is the casino for Chicago. All the stuff for downstate (read non-chicago) he wants out.

  • - Lulabell - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 11:36 am:

    Has Quinn forgotten what a junk yard dog political the mayor is? If I were a betting person my money wouldnt be on Quinn in this one (or actually any one!)

  • - Bill - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 11:41 am:

    == then you’re saying that Emanuel lied.==
    You say that like it has never happened before.

  • - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 11:42 am:

    Is Quinn being accused of outsmarting Rahm? LOL

  • - Cincinnatus - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 12:51 pm:

    anon said,

    “Our Governor sees virtue in sitting back, detached from the other players in the process, and acting in a reactionary manner to what comes his way…because Quinn sees himself as a moral figure who safeguards the citizen interests.”

    Leading from Behind® appears to be an Illinois trait.

  • - OneMan - Friday, Aug 19, 11 @ 12:59 pm:

    Later Quinn apologized to Rahm and said thought he was talking to AFSCME so could lie to him

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    Posted via email from Brian's posterous

    Coburn, Obama and ‘dependency’ - PostPartisan - The Washington Post

    Posted at 04:15 PM ET, 08/19/2011

    Coburn, Obama and ‘dependency’

    The problem with live television is that you don’t have nearly enough time to get all of the things sloshing around in your head out of your mouth — or in a manner that is coherent. Case in point: my discussion with Melissa Harris Perry last night of the unfortunate comments by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) about President Obama and the “advantages” he received as an African American man.

    Take a gander at what Coburn said when Tulsa World reporter Randy Krehbiel asked him whether he thought Obama was trying to destroy the country.

    No, I don’t . . . He’s a very bright man. But think about his life. And think about what he was exposed to and what he saw in America. He’s only relating what his experience in life was. . . . His intent isn’t to destroy. It’s to create dependency because it worked so well for him. I don’t say that critically. Look at people for what they are. Don’t assume ulterior motives. I don’t think he doesn’t love our country. I think he does.
    As an African American male, coming through the progress of everything he experienced, he got tremendous benefit through a lot of these programs. So he believes in them. I just don’t believe they work overall and in the long run they don’t help our country. But he doesn’t know that because his life experience is something different. So it’s very important not to get mad at the man. And I understand, his philosophy — there’s nothing wrong with his philosophy other than it’s goofy and wrong [laughter] — but that doesn’t make him a bad person.

    As I said on Last Word last night, Coburn needs to put out a list of these programs that provide “tremendous benefit” to black men. There are millions who would love to know. All jokes aside, Coburn’s words seriously sting. I am not nor have I ever been a racial grassy-knoll type who views everything through a racial prism. So, I’m not even going to venture down the route of calling Coburn a racist as others have. I cannot get into his heart to judge whether his assessment is motivated by animus.

    But I must point something out to folks who equate collecting public assistance and “dependency” with being black. When Obama was a child, his mother did collect food stamps. His white mother.

    Coburn’s stated view is a prime example of the attitude that keeps African Americans from even listening to what the Republican Party has to say, despite the efforts of latter-day would-be Harriet Tubmans. And it highlights, as Greg Sargent also noted in his Plum Line post, the philosophical difference between progressives and conservatives.

    Then there’s affirmative action and the imagined advantages Obama may have received. Access to opportunity previously denied is what they are meant to redress. What they do not do is guarantee outcomes. You have to work for success, and work hard. That’s the American way. More importantly, you have to come to the table with ability to make all that hard work pay off. So, let’s say affirmative action made it possible for Obama to go to Occidental, Columbia and Harvard. But it was the man himself who was elected editor of the Harvard Law Review and graduated from the law school magna cum laude.

    What Coburn and others who share his philosophy fail to appreciate is that anyone given a choice between collecting a welfare check and collecting a paycheck will pick the latter. But there have to be jobs for them to go to. There has to be equal access to educational opportunities that make landing that job possible. And there must be a safety net for those times when opportunity, ability and luck aren’t in sync. Does that mean people should be allowed to rely indefinitely on government until that happens? No. But it does mean government ought to be there. That’s not creating dependency. It’s just the right thing to do.

    By  |  04:15 PM ET, 08/19/2011


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    I think a 2001 book published by Princeton University Press, "The Shape of the River" pretty much determined that affirmative action never meant much. At elite universities, nepotism and sports were much bigger deals. The book is one in a series based on massive databases from universities and colleges, both elite and not-so-elite (like Penn State).
    8/19/2011 5:55:00 PM CDT


    Coburn is bending over backwards to say nice things about Obama. Geez.
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    8/19/2011 5:36:01 PM CDT


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    Posted via email from Brian's posterous

    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    President Obama's Unemployment Inaction Puts Approval Among Blacks At Risk

    Maxine Waters and Congressional Black Caucus need to be ‘unleashed’ - PostPartisan - The Washington Post

    Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) took part in a Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) town hall meeting on jobs in Detroit on Tuesday and found herself in the middle of a family fight. It’s a fight that brought to the surface the complicated, schizophrenic bind that black members of Congress find themselves in with the administration of the first black president of the United States and their constituents who love him. And her response was a plea for freedom, for constituents to “unleash us.”
    We don’t put pressure on the president. Let me tell you why. We don’t put pressure on the president because y’all love the president. You love the president. You’re very proud . . . to have a black man [in the White House] . . . First time in the history of the United States of America. If we go after the president too hard, you’re going after us. . . . When you tell us it’s all right and you unleash us, and you tell us you're ready for us to have this conversation, we’re ready to have the conversation. . . . All I’m saying to you is, we’re politicians. We’re elected officials. We are trying to do the right thing and the best thing. When you let us know it is time to let go, we’ll let go.
    A woman in the crowd loudly called back, “Let go!” That must have been music to Waters’s ears. And to the ears of other African American lawmakers who want to do to the Obama administration what they’ve done to every other administration — hold it accountable. With 16 percent unemployment in the black community, being able to challenge the president and his administration on policy without fear of reprisal from the folks back home is imperative. But it has been tough.
    As Waters said, CBC members are catching hell from their constituents over the lack of jobs and a host of other problems. With any other president, CBC members would be able to say they couldn’t get the attention of the White House or that they can’t get the administration to focus or that the proposals coming from the president are inadequate. Not so with President Obama.
    Because of the deep affection for the first black president, as Waters noted, constituents didn’t want to hear anything that remotely came close to criticizing Obama or his administration. It’s an emotional response, to be sure, especially when you recognize that those same folks agree with every knock on the president and the administration on policy grounds. But to criticize Obama was to ask for a beat-down. (Trust me, that threat extends to African American pundits who dare to say something negative.) This, in turn, caused black members of Congress to pull their punches or go mute on important issues for fear of riling up the folks back home who would view them as disloyal. Or as a friend put it to me yesterday, the relationship between Obama, black members of Congress and their constituents is like that of children of divorced parents. Congress is the mom. Their constituents are the kids. And Obama is the father who’s seen only once in a while. Mom won’t say anything bad about the father in front of the children because they’ll shout back: “Don’t talk bad about my father!”
    All that changed at that in Detroit on Tuesday. The people shouting down Waters at that CBC town hall signaled an end to the idea that having policy disagreements with Obama and having love or admiration for Obama are mutually exclusive. Which is good, because when the president unveils his jobs plan next month, the CBC must be “unleashed” to ensure that their constituents’ needs and concerns are part of the mix.
    By Jonathan Capehart | 09:46 AM ET, 08/18/2011

    Posted via email from Brian's posterous

    Allen West: I Am The Modern-Day Harriet Tubman

    Loyola study: Want to stave off Alzheimer’s? Have a drink

    s White House jobs approach focused on keeping Obama employed

    Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    George Curry: England struggling to understand cause of riots

    Mayor Unveils Foreclosure-Fighting Funds | NBC Chicago

    View more videos at:

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    Nine Chicago neighborhoods ravaged by foreclosures will get special attention for rejuvenation under a $20 million loan program announced Wednesday by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

    The "Micro-Market Recovery Program" brings together the resources of the city, the lending community and the non-profit community in dealing with blighted neighborhoods.

    "It needs an integrated, comprehensive approach rather than home-by-home because the system is too big and too complicated for that alone," said Emanuel.

    Neighborhoods targeted in the initial program include Belmont-Cragin; Chicago Lawn, Chatham, West Woodlawn, Humboldt Park; Grand Boulevard, Auburn-Gresham, Englewood and West Pullman.

    Emanuel said he expects the program to bring new homeowners to roughly 2,500 homes through a $20 million loan grant from the John T. and Catherine D. MacArthur Foundation.

    That seed money is expected to eventually leverage $50 million in total capital to help stabilize home values, regenerate market forces and reoccupy foreclosed properties, explained Andrew Mooney, the Commissioner of Chicago's Department of Housing and Economic Development.

    It's the second installment in Emanuel's two-pronged approach to dealing with what he called a "foreclosure crisis." The Chicago City Council last month passed legislation that requires banks and other financial institutions to better maintain the foreclosed homes on their books.

    Emanuel said roughly 10,500 properties went into foreclosure last year, a 20 percent increase from 2009. About 95 percent of those properties are now vacant, he said.

    Posted via email from Brian's posterous