Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Hey, it's something

White House spokesmen have been all over TV this morning making a big deal about how Pres. W-imbecile has cut his vacation short to return to Washington D.C. to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

He cut his FIVE-week vacation TWO whole days short.

Such a sacrifice.

Hundreds (thousands?) are dead, hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions are homeless. The economy of the entire U.S. (perhaps the Western Hemisphere) has been impacted.

At least he's making an effort.

However symbolic.
(In all honesty, I'm not sure what more he could do.)

You can make an effort too. Donate to the Red Cross.

The logo at the top of the post came from Kiyoshi at Swag Blog Thanks.

And so it goes.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

State of denial

Illinois will start a brand new era in its football tradition Saturday, as new head coach Ron Zook starts his term at the helm of the University of Illinois.

Great things are (eventually) expected of Zook and his young charges. Maybe not this first year, but in the near future. Things seem to be looking up for UI football. Even Ol' Guy is optimistic.

So what is UI sports columnist Loren Tate worried about? Whether there will be a halftime Native American minstrel show at Saturday's opener against Rutgers.

Tate's column in Tuesday's News-Gazette is all about speculation about whether the minstrel will dance at halftime. Nothing about halfbacks or quarterbacks or cornerbacks.
At this point, with five days to go, student Kyle Cline is under the impression he will perform as the Chief. Tom Hardy, UI spokesman, said Monday he 'hadn't heard that he would not dance' and believes it is a 'status quo situation.'
So watch for an eruption of cheers cascading down the Memorial Stadium stands while photographers squint and TV cameras zero in.
For just a moment, Tate, come out of your insulated press box and listen. If the minstrel show goes on, listen. Notice how many of those cheers are boos. Notice how many seats are empty at halftime as people leave rather than be embarrassed by the outdated uncomfortable spectacle.

One can only hope that at least one part of Tate's column comes true:
But if Larry Eppley and the board have a strategy of compromise in mind, they might think twice about offending the NCAA board members (who will act on the UI's anticipated appeal) by putting the Chief back on the field.
There were rampant rumors last weekend the UI might be willing to make an offer of retiring the Chief in exchange for the NCAA's clearance to keep Fighting Illini, a nickname the board already has voted to retain.
By the way, Tate and all those others; the issue of whether the state name Illinois has any bearing on the name fighting illini is a red herring, attempting to confuse a pretty cut-and-dried issue. It is a non issue. Illinois will continue to be Illinois. The cheef and the fighting illini are dead men walking. They are 'hostile and abusive.'

Deal with it.

And so it goes.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Say a prayer

With the horrendous devastation going on in New Orleans, Mobile and the rest of the Gulf Coast, I find it hard to concentrate on the triviality of local issues right now.

Say a prayer for the folks down south. May be two.

They need it.

And so it goes.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Circular illogic

The W-imbecile just keeps giving. You can't make this stuff up.

Earlier this week, in another feeble attempt to justify the war in Iraq, the W-imbecile answered with logic that is almost perfectly circular. Speaking to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Salt Lake City, he explained that our troops must keep fighting and dying in order to justify the sacrifice of those who fought and died before them.

You must die because they died, and they they must die because you died and .... aaaaargh, I think I just hurt myself.

Check THIS link out. Or THIS. Or THIS.
To date, 1,875 Americans have died in Iraq. Americans are dying at a rate of about 18 per week. Is that acceptable? To whom? Another 15,000 to 38,000 have been wounded (Officially 14,021). And that doesn't count the 26,765 civilian deaths. These aren't numbers. They're people.
It has cost us $190.3 billion so far. Instead, we could have provided 9,226,345 students four-year scholarships at public universities.
And NO weapons of mass destructions have ever been found.
And NO al Qaida connection has ever been found.
And NO terrorist camps. (Camps operating prior to the invasion).
And NO plans to spread worldwide terrorism have ever been found.
And, given the price at the pump, the oil isn't even flowing. It's good to be in the oil bidness, isn't it, W?
One accomplishment, however: while Iraq under Saddam was NOT friendly to terrorists, it's now a major terrorist staging ground. Even the W-imbecile administration admits that.
Anyone read the Downing Street memo yet? And the lies continue.
Why, again, are we there?

And so it goes

Friday, August 26, 2005

I think

Random musings about Rick Winkel's decision not to run for re-election:

I THINK ... I think it's entire plausible that we can take what Winkel said on face value; that he's leaving politics (at least temporarily) because he wants to take his career in a different direction. It's possible he wants to resume private life because as a lawyer he can make more money than as a state senator. (At least as an honest state senator, and there's every indication that's what he was).

I THINK ... I think it's also plausible that Winkel WON'T be involved in any Edgar gubernatorial campaign.

I THINK ... I think the political season just got a LOT more interesting in central Illinois given the opening. Both parties - on a statewide basis - want that seat. They want it BAD. That means lots of money coming in and lots of statewide party arm twisting.

I THINK ... I think Bill Black will make a serious run at the seat. He's already indicated that. 'I am interested'. he's quoted as saying in Friday's News-Gazette. I don't know whether that's a good decision. He's in a position of some considerable power in the House; he gives that up as a freshman senator, even given his political pedigree.

I THINK ... I DON'T think Black's as much of a slam-dunk as many GOP people would think if he runs. I question his support in Champaign County. Media reports for years have portrayed him as something of a loose cannon on the House floor. And I question whether Champaign County folks will rally around a Vermilion County candidate in the numbers the GOP might hope for. Do Champaign folks really want to adopt Danville's loose cannon?

I THINK ... I also don't think Mike Frerichs is a slam dunk for the Democratic nomination. He has pretty good name recognition, but he's lacking in statewide campaign strength. Auditor's nice, but this is the state Senate. He hasn't played too successfully on a statewide stage yet. This is closer to the big time. He's probably the front-runner right now, however.

I THINK ... I think you can expect candidacies from Judy Myers and Tom Berns (or at least strong exploratory pushes) and probably an early push from Mark Shelden.

I THINK ... I don't think any of the following will be able to launch viable candidacies: Shelden (too much bad pub, too much baggage), Naomi Jacobsson, Todd Satterthwaite, Deb Feinen, Scott Tapley, Laurel Prussing or Dannel McCollum. Not even Matt Varble.

I THINK ... I think before this is sorted out, there will be a few more names that aren't as well known exploring the possibilities.

I THINK ... I think where Winkel will be missed the most will be in the area of education. While the Ol' Guy didn't agree with Winkel all that often (OK, very rarely), in the area of education, both in UI support and in school funding, he was a pretty positive force for our schools.

I THINK ... I think Champaign County's GOP had best get its act together pretty quickly or it's gonna end up looking pretty bad in relation to this state Senate campaign. And the Champaign County Dems had better not sit back and count on the GOP disarray, either. This is gonna end up as a 12-round cage match.

I THINK ... I'm probably totally wrong about 98 percent of the above.

I THINK ... I think that as an observer, this is gonna be fun.

And so it goes.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Wink wink

In case you haven't heard the latest political bombshell in this afternoon's News-Gazette, State Sen. Rick Winkel has surprisingly announced he will not, repeat not seek re-election. The paper reports:
The Urbana Republican said he is leaving the Legislature for personal reasons, adding that he's about to turn 49 and it is time to make a career change if he ever is going to.
Speculation is already beginning about why, and what's next for the veteran Republican. He pretty much declined to say what he's planning, according the article:
He said he would not rule out running for office at some later date, but had no position in mind.
Although he had kept quiet about the decision, it had been coming for months, when he stopped fundraising efforts for re-election.
And since he's not saying what his plans are, let me add my speculation.

There was a delightful hint in the story that I'll expand into a full-fledged, unfair and totally baseless rumor.
He said he would endorse former Gov. Jim Edgar against Gov. Rod Blagojevich if Edgar chose to run, but said "at this time" he is not part of an Edgar campaign.
Although he is quoted as saying 'This has nothing to do with Jim Edgar' one can't help but wonder about the 'at this time' line. With the rumors abounding that Edgar folks are sniffing around and hinting more openly at a gubernatorial candidacy, could Winkel become a part of the campaign? More than a part?

Could Winkel become a campaign manager?

Could Winkel become a lieutenant governor candidate?

Could it be that he's just dropping out of politics? For a while? Permanently?

Only time will tell.

This should be fun

And so it goes.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Catching up

RUMOR CENTRAL The blogosphere is all atwitter about the prospects of Jim Edgar actually considering a run at governor again. Eric Zorn seems to indicate that by reading other blogs, including Capital Fax that Edgar's folks are sniffing around Springfield checking on Blago weaknesses.

Edgar folks may be sniffing, but I don't buy the fantasy that Edgar's gonna run. Granted, he may be the only Republican capable of taking on and perhaps defeating Blago, but he has everything to lose and nothing to gain by running this time around.

MELTDOWN It's been interesting watching Christian idealogue Pat Robertson melt down in public. Calling for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez? Sure, Pat. Just ask yourself, What Would Osama Do?

Many people have been aware of what a nutcase Robertson is since his aborted presidential run a couple decades ago.

I actually tuned into his 700 Club last night to see who he would recommend bumping off next. Looked like a rerun, but CNN said he'd be live tonight. Don't think I can stand him two nights in a row.

SEMINOLE MISTAKE So Florida gets to keep its Native American minstrel show. How sad. How pathetic. How much pressure did the Bush family have to put on the NCAA to bring that about?

Fortunately for the Flailing Illini, we've got a Democratic governor and two Democratic senators. Not much leverage there.

There's also the argument that the Florida minstrel might actually represent in some small way the Seminole tribe. The chief? He represents the Sioux, or the Crow or Hollywood's warped version of Native Americans or ... oh, yeah, the Boy Scouts. But not Illinois or anything resembling the Illini tribe. (Tip of the hat to foleyma. )

MTDEALINGS Plenty of blog action about Sunday's News-Gazette editorial calling for reason and civility (and maybe even a negotiated settlement) between the MTD and its enemies. Imagine, calling for reason, thoughtfulness and a peaceful solution. How radical.
Perhaps it's time for a cease-fire, for the MTD and its detractors to declare an end to hostilities and - perhaps with the help of a mediator - to sit down and discuss what each side wants. Because at the rate each side is going, they will create years of antagonism and perhaps even form separate taxing districts that don't work together, waste money and duplicate services. That's how this community ended up, nearly 150 years ago, with two separate city governments. Do we want to repeat that mistake?
That's crazy talk. It's so much more fun to scream, shout, posture, preen and pass petitions and try to position yourself as the savior of something, isn't it? Save yourself 37 cents in property tax, screw up a great little transportation system.

THEY'RE BACK Judging from the increased traffic around town (and the almost total lack of Mac-and-Cheese at my local grocery yesterday) the students are back. Welcome back. We're glad you're here.

Just one request: Every week, pick out one traffic law to obey and stick to it, OK? Just one. And thanks.

And so it goes.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Walking man

Computer probems have kept me from blogging (or reading) for a few days. I'm sorta back, thanks to WiFi.


Driving home tonight I saw a gas station dropping its price to $2.64.9. And I thought, 'gosh, that looks low...' $2.64.9 is LOW?!?

Time to start walking and looking into hybrids.

And so it goes.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Happy happy joy joy

From the reports that I've read, Republican Day at the State Fair was a resounding success.

Unless you happen to be a Republican. And in that case, you're just pretty darned happy that punches weren't thrown. (At least not in public).

U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood, on the same day he declared he won't be candidate for governor, called for the GOP to make nice nice and perhaps try a little unity and tenderness.

According to The Sun Times, the unity lasted all of 17 minutes.
That was when Aurora dairy owner Jim Oberweis took to the podium and unloaded on top party official Bob Kjellander over the millions of dollars in consulting fees Kjellander has made with the Democrats in control of state government.

In one of the more dramatic and strange moments of the campaign, Oberweis turned to Kjellander, who was seated about 10 feet behind him, and urged Kjellander to give up his positions as Republican national committeeman and treasurer of the Republican National Committee.

"You cannot serve two masters," Oberweis lectured to Kjellander. "You cannot serve the Republican Party while serving the Democratic Party. So Bob, I'd ask you on behalf of the good of the Republican Party to step down and to do it soon."
Of course, Kjellander couldn't leave well enough alone:
Kjellander later dismissed the criticism, telling reporters "considering the source, I'm not embarrassed at all.

"He's clearly the candidate of [conservative activist] Jack Roeser, and his campaign manager was Jack Roeser's executive director, who spent the 2002 campaign chasing [GOP gubernatorial hopeful] Jim Ryan around in a chicken suit, so what would you expect?"
The Chicago Tribune reports that other party officials were NOT amused at Oberweis' antics:
Afterward, some Republicans said Oberweis went too far on a day meant to portray party unity and to concentrate on defeating Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Others commended him.

"He's looking to try to get some gain out of this, and he didn't get the message that all Republicans ought to be talking well about other Republicans," Kjellander said later. "Considering the source, I'm not embarrassed at all."

Sure it's all entertaining, but then you have to look at the bottom line.

Four more years of Blajo. Which ain't the worst thing that could happen to state, but it sure ain't the best, either.

And so it goes

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Going on

From the Associated Press: Four U.S. soldiers were killed Thursday by a roadside bomb in the tense, religiously mixed Iraqi city of Samarra, the U.S. military said.
Samarra, located 60 miles north of Baghdad, is among a series of towns and cities in central and western Iraq which fell into insurgent hands last year after the United States transferred sovereignty to the Iraqis. U.S. forces regained control last year but the situation there remains uncertain.

'But I think it's also important for me to go on with my life...'
-- President George W Bush

From the AP: At least 1,864 members of the U.S. military have died since the Iraq war started in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

'But I think it's also important for me to go on with my life...'
-- President George W Bush

From the AP: Since May 1, 2003, when President Bush declared that major combat operations in Iraq had ended, 1,719 U.S. military members have died, according to AP's count. That includes at least 1,332 deaths resulting from hostile action, according to the military's numbers.
The latest deaths reported by the military:
-- Three soldiers were killed Monday when their vehicle overturned in Baghdad.
The latest identifications reported by the military:
-- Army Spc. Jose L. Ruiz, 28, Brentwood, N.Y.; killed Monday in small-arms fire in Mosul, Iraq; assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash.
Soldiers killed Monday in Mahmudiyah, Iraq, when their vehicle rolled over into a canal; assigned to the Army National Guard, 1st Battalion, 108th Armor Regiment, Calhoun, Ga.:
-- Army Spc. Joshua P. Dingler, 19, Hiram, Ga.
-- Army Sgt. Paul A. Saylor, 21, Norcross, Ga.
-- Army Sgt. Thomas J. Strickland, 27, Douglasville, Ga.

'But I think it's also important for me to go on with my life...'
-- President George W Bush

And so it goes.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Now I understand

I think I finally understand just what's going on with the CUMTD versus the city of Savoy. It's personal. It has nothing to do with taxes. It has nothing to do with access or rights or service or municipal justice.

It's personal.

A story in today's News-Gazette pretty much explains it.

CUMTD Board Chairman George Friedman held a press conference (sort of) yesterday to attempt to explain just why the CUMTD was doing what it was doing in annexing areas around the central C-U metropolitan area.
"Much has been made in certain quarters to the effect that the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District board of trustees does not listen to people who say they don't want to be annexed to the district," said MTD Board Chairman George Friedman. "The problem is that those people are not our only constituents. We also have to listen to those people who are already in the district.
"People living within the MTD boundaries have every right to expect that all the members of the community, including those on the outer edges, participate in funding all the services needed by the community."
Even those in the ritzy southwest Champaign neighborhoods with flocks of lawyers and a fervent desire to hang on to every penny they have, justice be damned. George! How undemocratic of you!

He continues:
Friedman said the MTD can justify its annexation proposals because the Champaign-Urbana Urbanized Area Transportation Study's transportation plan recommended the annexation of areas on the fringe of Champaign-Urbana.
Friedman said areas of southwest Champaign already receive city park and sanitary services.
"Why would they resist paying the tax to support transit, but not the tax to support all the city services?" asked Friedman. "In our society, we do not pick and choose those services that our tax money will support."
Even the most fervent critics must admit that he makes a good point.

But the people of southwest Champaign and the people of Savoy disagree. Finally, toward the end of the article, the critics admit the real reason they're so adamantely against the CUMTD: It's personal.

Three Savoy Village Board members said they weren't convinced after Friedman's news conference:
"Indeed, after listening to George Friedman's arrogant comments, I'm more convinced than ever that Savoy should form its own mass transit district," said Savoy Trustee Bill Smith.
I see. Friedman's arrogant; let's take our ball and go home.

That statement was followed by one of the more ridiculous quotes by a municipal official I've heard in a while:
"All this extra federal money will just make the Champaign-Urbana MTD that much more inefficient," said Savoy Trustee Brant Lewis.
That statement's so baseless it really can't be commented upon. Just read it again:
"All this extra federal money will just make the Champaign-Urbana MTD that much more inefficient," said Savoy Trustee Brant Lewis.
I guess the bottom line is George Friedman is arrogant so we're gonna cut our own citizen's (and our town's business') throats for spite.

Now it makes sense.

And so it goes.


GOT GAS? Driving to work this morning I saw one of my regular stations changing the sign to $2.76.9 for regular. $2.76.9? Are you serious? You don't suppose this is what the W-imbecile really meant when he said 'But I also think it's important for me to go on with my life.' Ain't the oil bidness great?

9 TO 5 Ever drive by a road crew doing street repairs? How many times have you seen one person working and three watching? I know they all work hard and I do appreciate how well they maintain our streets. But it is curious.

A TREE FALLS IN C-U I know Champaign needs a new library. I know the new library is gonna need a new, bigger parking lot. I know they must build a new lot before taking over the old lot to build the new building. I accept this. But it still is hard to see those beautiful trees falling along Green Street.

HE'S BACK Good to see ILPundit return. The blog was missed. At the same time, the Ol' Guy 's sorry to see Champaign Common Sense throw in the towel. Guess common sense isn't in as much demand in the blogosphere as some thought. He'll be missed.

And so it goes.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Next: Petitions!

I see University of Illinois Board of Trustees Chairman Lawrence Eppley pretty much made a complete ass of himself in response to the NCAA's ruling on hostile and abusive Native American mascots.

In response to the NCAA's actions and statements from NCAA President Myles Brand, Eppley fired off a letter to USA Today! A letter to USA Today? How harsh! How forceful! Next thing you know, he'll arrange a 'Save the Cheef" bake sale to attempt to resurrect the comotose UI mascot. Buy a cookie, save an honored offense.

In today's News-Gazette, Eppley is quoted as saying the NCAA's actions concerning American Indian imagery is "a giant step backward" in the debate over use of such imagery.

He continuerd
Eppley said he was disappointed by the organization's use of the terms "hostile" and "abusive."
"A lot of us locally have seen how unhelpful that has been," he said. "We've spent a lot of time getting that out of our (discussions)."
Right. All the BOT has done for the last few years is stall while attempting to placate the big bucks contributors who demand they retain the sad halftime minstrel show.

Eppley defends the BOT's work, saying,
The board of trustees has been trying to reach a consensus solution to the Chief Illiniwek issue, which Eppley said has moved the discussions from "harsh rhetoric" to "constructive dialogue." But he said the NCAA's use of the terms "hostile" and "abusive" could mean a loss of common ground.
Excuse me? What common ground have they achieved? The common ground of continuing to stall making a decision on a politically sensitive but hostile and abusive issue?

I think Brand said it best:
"This is not about an effort to be politically correct. It is about doing the right thing," Brand wrote. "It is time to bring such practices to an end."
We can only hope.

And so it goes.

Constitutionally speaking

From Wikipedia:Theocracy:

The term theocracy is used to describe a form of government in which a religion or faith plays a dominant role.

In the most common usage of the term theocracy, in which some civil rulers are identical with some leaders of the dominant religion (e.g., the Byzantine emperor as head of the Church), governmental policies are either identical with or strongly influenced by the principles of a religion (often the majority religion), and typically, the government claims to rule on behalf of God or a higher power, as specified by the local religion. However, unlike other forms of government, a theocracy can be unique in that the administrative hierarchy of government is often identical with the administrative hierarchy of a religion. This distinguishes a theocracy from forms of governments which have a state religion or from traditional monarchies in which the head of state claims that his or her authority comes from God.
See: Iraq.

(Weren't we supposed to be installing a democracy?)

And so it goes.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Picking up the tab

I see State Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, D-Urbana, will buy coffee for her constituents from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Tuesday at Aroma Cafe in Champaign.

Wonder who's gonna buy all that coffee? Sure would hate for her to use public money to keep constituents educated on legislative goings-on.

After all, it might anger some rightwing nattering nabobs of negativitism if she doesn't use campaign funds.

And so it goes

The Harris files

I see in today's News-Gazette.that Parkland College President Zelema Harris is going to retire in June of 2006. She's been on the job a remarkable 15 years!

The Ol' Guy (and a few others, I would assume) are old enough to remember a time before Harris was president of the energetic, vital and growing community college. He's also old enough to remember a time when the junior college wasn't quite as energetic, vital and growing.

Harris did a lot of good things for the college and for our communities. Her time was, of course, not without controversy. But it also was not without triumphs. And there are many more triumphs.
She also led a dramatic expansion in college-bound, technology, work force preparation and other programs and helped put Parkland on the international map by forging ties with universities abroad, most recently Beijing Vocational College of Agriculture.
At a time when state funding's been a challenge, Harris presided over stable financial conditions at the college and major expansion projects that included building a new west-side wing.
We'll miss her. If we're smart.

And so it goes.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Short attention span

The W-imbecile is still on vacation.

The mother of one of the W-imbecile's dead soldiers is still waiting to talk to him.

And young Americans are still dying in the W-imbecile's macho adventure in Iraq.

For what?

And has the W-imbecile lost interest? Has he forgotten? Does he care?

Check THIS link out. Or THIS. Or THIS.
To date, 1,846 Americans have died in Iraq. Americans are dying at a rate of about 18 per week. Is that acceptable? To whom? Another 15,000 to 38,000 have been wounded (Officially 13,877). And that doesn't count the 26,559 civilian deaths. These aren't numbers. They're people.
It has cost us $187.2 billion so far. Instead, we could have hired 3,244,818 additional public school teachers for one full year. But does the W-imbecile care?
And NO weapons of mass destructions have ever been found.
And NO al Qaida connection has ever been found.
And NO terrorist camps. (Camps operating prior to the invasion).
And NO plans to spread worldwide terrorism have ever been found.
And, given the price at the pump, the oil isn't even flowing. It's good to be in the oil bidness, isn't it, W?
One accomplishment, however: while Iraq under Saddam was NOT friendly to terrorists, it's now a major terrorist staging ground. Even the W-imbecile administration admits that.
Anyone read the Downing Street memo yet? And the lies continue.
Why, again, are we there?

And so it goes

Friday, August 12, 2005

Flying and falling

Remnants and ramblings:

CATCH THE BUS: I'm sorry, but no matter how serious they sounded in their meeting (at least from what I read and heard on the radio) I don't believe Savoy will go ahead with its own MTD district. As angry as some city officials are about how the CU MTD has gone about its annexation business in the last few months, it simply would not be to Savoy's advantage to go it alone. In fact, it would be stupid in the long run. What MIGHT work, however, is the leverage the threat carries. Savoy just might get the kind of bus service it wants that way. But to break off from the 'metropolitan area' serves no one particularly well. I cannot imagine how Wal-Mart, the Orchard Lanes complex and every other Savoy business could want anything other than access to every C-U dollar it can get its hands on.

DROP IT: Is is possible that the tourism dollars Rantoul receives from the World Free Fall Convention can overcome the bad publicity of dead skydivers? At what point does the community begin to measure the profit and loss?

APPLAUSE APPLAUSE: Everyone applauds Carle and others for the generous actions in helping the Francis Nelson Health Center relocate to the old Leath Furniture store on Bloomington Road in Champaign. What they're doing is great. It's completely necessary while at the same time it's something that Carle and Provena and the banks didn't have to do.

But let us not forget the other side of the equation. The rent-free agreement has a couple nice benefits for Carle: It should be a very nice tax deduction for the Foundation, plus it does provide good, positive publicity for a company that needs it.

And don't forget one other little thing: The more low-income, Medicaid and Medicare patients Frances Nelson handles, the fewer Carle (and Provena) have to handle. Good for that bottom line, too.

ONE FOR ROD: It's hard to find too much to cheer about when it comes to our governor. But I did appreciate his veto of the measure that would have lowered the age at which a kid could get a tattoo from 21 to 18. Personally, I find tattoos stupid at any age (I like to quote Maj. Charles Emerson Winchester III: 'An attempt to provide distinction from without where nature has failed to provide it from within...'). But to a generation of young people trained by TV to believe that life is a 30-minute sitcom, a tattoo is just another impulse buy that they will regret later. Those who fall into the trap should at least have the maturity to understand that permanent doesn't mean 'until next week.'

DON'T CALL ME: I'm still waiting for the first teenager to be ticketed for driving while talking on a cellphone. I believe the law's been signed and has taken effect.

SMOKIN' I see at The Eleventh Hour blog that Springfield is getting closer to going smokeless, at least in its restaurants.
I also see in today's News-Gazette that
A fundraiser for C-U Smoke Free Alliance will be held Monday at Ned Kelly's Steakhouse, 1601 N. Cunningham Ave., U.
The group is working to create smoke-free workplaces in Champaign-Urbana, and Ned Kelly's has been smoke-free since Feb. 1.
The restaurant has promised anyone buying a meal from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday who mentions the fundraiser will get a 10 percent discount, and it will donate 10 percent of the cost of the meal to C-U Smoke Free Alliance.
Get there, if you can. The more that show up, the closer we can come to clearing the air around here.

Really; if Springfield can do it...

And so it goes.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Sorry, wrong windmill

I see where the town of Savoy has decided to go ahead and create its own mass transit district, in the latest attempt to put that big ol' meanie CU MTD in its place.

According to today's News-Gazette,
The board on Wednesday directed village attorney Paul Hendren to prepare an ordinance that would create the mass transit district and to begin a search for three to five trustees to manage the district.
Hendren told the board it has the authority to create such a district with a simple majority vote, which is scheduled for Sept. 7.
The creation of a Savoy district would prevent the Champaign-Urbana MTD board from annexing Savoy, because state law requires at least a 30-day notice and a public hearing before that board could forcibly annex territory. Hendren said municipalities don't have to meet those requirements to create their own districts.

Sounds pretty straightforward. They create a district, lock out the CU MTD and everyone's happy, right?

Well, except for the CU MTD and any CU MTD passenger who wants to get to the Savoy Wal-Mart. Or any Champaign-Urbana shopper who might want to get to any other Savoy business - to spend money. And wouldn't it be nice to ride the CU MTD out to Willard Airport and avoid those ridiculous long-term parking fees? Sorry.

Because Savoy has just said 'We don't want your steenkin' money, Champaign and Urbana folks. We'll be just fine without you.'

Will they?

There's one more little problem with this little scheme that I don't quite understand.

According to everything I've read throughout the CU MTD mess over the last few months, it would appear that a part (although it sounds like a small part) of Savoy already is a part of the CU MTD and is being served by the CU MTD.

I wonder, given the legal hammer the CU MTD wields under state law, if Savoy will be able to withdraw from a district which part of the community already belongs?

I'm not a lawyer (and I don't play one on TV), but this doesn't sound like it's gonna work. And it sounds like something that could kill the whole deal for Savoy, despite what Hendren is quoted as saying in today's N-G article:
According to Hendren, if the board votes to establish its own district, the C-U MTD board could not forcibly annex Savoy. But the northern portion of Savoy, already in the C-U MTD, would remain there, Hendren said.
Hendren said the village board, would appoint members to a Savoy mass transit district board. The county board appoints members to the C-U MTD board.

Can part of an incorporated municipality chose to opt out of a district such as this? That doesn't sound really plausible to me. Not to mention the fact that SOME of Savoy's residents will end up paying higher taxes (to the CU MTD) than others. Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen.

I'd have to say this ain't over yet.

And so it goes.

DANGER, Tasteless post ahead

I see where another Rantoul World Free Fall Convention skydiver has died during that community's highly successful tourist event.

I have to agree with a comment the Squire made earlier this week. This could be natural selection at work. Mother Nature just recalled another model.

(I said it was tasteless).

And so it goes

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

It's just TV

Ever since it became clear that the long-rumored switch of network affiliations between WAND and WICD was going to happen, I've been bothered by the same question:

Who cares?

After all, it's just TV.

Nevertheless, there are folks out there treating this like it's a really big deal. And I keep running into those folks.

It seems, if I'm to believe what I've read on the Web and elsewhere, that WICD, the local NBC affilliate from somewhere around the first ice age, and WAND, Decatur's ABC affiliate, will switch networks on Labor Day. WAND gets NBC. WICD gets ABC.

To quote my nephew: Big whoop. And this matters because ... ?

On Sept. 5 I'll still be able to see all the same programs I watched or ignored the day before. They'll just be two clicks up or two clicks down on my remote. Maybe if I didn't have cable it would matter. But it's my experience that most people either have cable or a dish. (I have a non-cable TV in my garage and it gets both stations adequately through it's little antenna.)

I don't watch much of either network, anyway. I gave up on WICD's news during the last presidential election when the station decided to air as news an hour-long W-imbecile campaign propaganda piece. You don't get to recover news credibility that's been so easily surrendered. I don't watch the Decatur news because, well, I don't live in Decatur.

About the only things I can think of that I regularly watch from either network are: Monday Night Football on ABC, which now moves to ESPN, I believe, so that's a non-issue; and a little bit of the Today Show in the morning with my Rice Krispies. OK, so now Today (and Katie's legs) will be on cable channel 10 instead of 8.

So what?

OK, this may matter to the affected stations; this may matter to the station personnel. It may matter to the stations' respective ratings.

But does it really matter to anyone else? Then why do I keep hearing about it in near-apocalyptic terms?

And so it goes.

Elevator going up

I notice that gas prices in C-U have jumped 20 cents (in two 10-cent increments) over the past two days.

Why? Anyone got an explanation?

And can anyone explain while these increases seem to affect every station in town almost in unison?

$2.39.9? May be time to dust off the old Schwinn.

And so it goes

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Falling for you

No more C***f today, my head hurts.

For the past four years, Rantoul has hosted the World Free Fall Convention.

And every year at least one person dies from falling from a plane, getting chopped up by a plane, bouncing off a lake after jumping from a plane or some related leaving an airplane and screwing up problem.

Another one died Sunday, as you know if you read lbop

The News Gazette reported that A Florida sky diver died at the World Free Fall Convention in Rantoul on Saturday after reportedly experiencing difficulty with his parachute.
The convention isn't over yet. Cross your fingers.

Every year, following the festival, Rantoul folks declare that the festival has been a resounding success.

And every year I keep wondering: What's the acceptable fatality rate for a resounding success?

And so it goes.

Monday, August 8, 2005

Weekend remnants

A little of this, a little of that. And some of the other.

-- MORE CHIEFISM: Surprising, even Loren Tate sounded a bit resigned to the fact that the Chief may be on his last leggings. In his Sunday News-Gazette column, after stating that AD Ron Guenther is on the hot seat no matter what the school (and especially the Board of Trustees) decides, Tate states
At the same time, it no longer can be denied that the Chief is a divisive educational issue that bites ever deeper into campus life.
The NCAA's ruling of last week doesn't hurt Tate's babies, the major sports of men's basketball and football (probably...) but if the Chief and other hostile and abusive mascots and imagry remain, it will be the smaller sports that suffer.
The UI has been slapped in the face and put on notice, all this after the trustees have overseen a consistent effort to remove those practices that might be viewed as unintentionally disrespectful.
It has been a highly contentious 15 years. The trustees seemed poised this year to strengthen the status of the Chief. Then came Thursday's bombshell. This forces everyone to reconsider. Some programs that never see the Chief are likely to be punished. It gets tougher all the time.

-- ON THE ROAD AGAIN: The MTD game is afoot. The newly-named Champaign Southwest Mass Transit District will get its day in court on Aug. 29, only a few hours before the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District holds a hearing on enlarging its boundaries, according to the News-Gazette last week. Meanwhile, the CU MTD is being predictably coy as to whether it will take legal action concerning Scott Tabley's little crusade. In last week's News-Gazette,
[Tom] Costello said the district's lawyer is investigating the possibility of a suit to block the formation of the southwestern district, but MTD had not made up its mind to move in that direction.
"I think there's certainly far more unanswered questions that have to do with forming a district that need to be addressed," he said.
Certainly didn't sound like a denial (or a non-denial denial) of a lawsuit to me. This is a long way from being over.

And my opinion still stands: While the CU MTD is acting like the bully in this matter, they're right. If everyone enjoys or has access to municipal services, everyone should pay. Period. Don't want to bus, don't ride it. But don't be so petty as to deny your neighbor. You live in a municipal area. You enjoy municipal services. Or you have the opportunity to enjoy them. You should pay for them. Deal with it. Or move.

-- WAIT 'TIL...: Spent a painful three hours Sunday night watching the Mets dismantle the Cubs. As much as I love my Cubs, they were playing like a team that had given up. Granted, their Wild Card chances are slim. But at least I expect an honest effort from the team. Only question is who gave up first, the players or Dusty Baker?

-- PLAYING THE FIELD: I defy anyone save a few pundits and political wonks to name all the declared candidates, undeclared declared candidates and candidate pretenders for Illinois governor. It's frankly getting ridiculous. From the AP today:
"Our gubernatorial field is on the outer limits of being unmanageable, and we are wasting untold millions of dollars fighting ourselves when that money should be used against Governor Blagojevich and the Democratic General Assembly," said Sen. Kirk Dillard, the DuPage County Republican chairman.
And given the inimaginable hell whoever is elected will face in attempting to straighten things out, I still can't imagine why anyone in their right mind would want the job.

Maybe that's the key phrase in their right mind.

And so it goes.

Saturday, August 6, 2005

What price?

OK, ask yourself:

How much are you willing to pay to keep the Chief?

You can bitch all you want, but these are non-negotiable prices.

Are you willing to give up all post-season NCAA athletic events on the UI campus? Including women's basketball, softball, soccer, tennis, baseball, track and field, volleyball, cross country. Giving that up means giving up revenue realized from the events. It also means giving up hotel and motel revenue, restaurant revenue, shopping revenue, service station revenue, vendor revenue, traffic ticket revenue. Even ticket scalping revenue.
Is it worth it?

Are you willing to give up playoff home field advantatage in all those sports to keep the Chief?
Are you willing to give up the victories that advantage might produce?
Are you willing to give up the opportunity to easily attend those postseason competitions?

Are you willing to give up the prestige that hosting an NCAA post-season event brings in order to retain the Chief?

Are you willing to give up post-season men's basketball and football appearances to keep the name Fighting Illini? (This is not a certainty yet, but it's still a question worth asking.)

The organization to which the UI belongs and which governs intercollegiate athletics has ruled that certain mascots depicting Native Americans in negative light are 'hostile and abusive. It has said the Chief and Fighting Illini are among those mascots.

Bitch as much as you like, you don't have a say in who decided what is 'hostile and abusive.' That decision was ceded to the NCAA when the UI paid its dues. (If you drop out of the NCAA, you also drop out of the Big Ten, and essentially drop out of sports. Does the NAIA still exist? Are you sure?)

The UI belongs to the NCAA. The NCAA makes the rules. The UI must follow them. The UI can't on its own decide that a 19-food jump shot should be worth 4 points. A field goal won't be worth 5 points because we might like that. The UI must follow the NCAA rules to be a member of the NCAA. In order to compete in the NCAA.

(Oh, sure, you can sue the NCAA. It'll cost, well, how much are you willing to pay? And realistically, what are the odds of winning? Not good.)

How much are you willing to pay to keep the Chief?

And so it goes.

New Daytime Drama: As the Bush Sinks

Things aren't exactly looking rosy for the W-imbecile W-hitehouse

His political hit-man Karl Rove keeps getting investigated by federal prosecutors for leaking the name of a covert CIA operative for political purposes. (No, this won't go away). His Supreme Court nominee is taking hits from all sides (conservatives are mad because Roberts did pro bono work in favor of gay rights (the SHOCK!); the rest of us are disturbed by the remainder of his right-wing idealogue nutcase leanings.

And more and more Americans finally are waking up to the disingenuousness of the W-imbecile's little macho adventure in Iraq. And how many American lives this macho adventure is costing.

Poll numbers aren't good. According to Associated Press Writer Will Lester Bush's poll numbers are in freefall.
Americans' approval of President Bush's handling of Iraq is at its lowest level yet, according to an AP-Ipsos poll that also found fewer than half now think he's honest.

A solid majority still see Bush as a strong and likable leader, though the president's confidence is seen as arrogance by a growing number.

Approval of Bush's handling of Iraq, which had been hovering in the low- to mid-40s most of the year, dipped to 38 percent. Midwesterners and young women and men with a high school education or less were most likely to abandon Bush on his handling of Iraq in the last six months.
It's beginning to sound like the majority of Americans are finally waking up to what/who the W-imbecile really is.

Lester continues:
Continuing worries about Iraq may do more than drag down Bush's standing with the public. They could become a major issue in the 2006 midterm congressional races, and if the war is still going in 2008, they could be a factor in the presidential race.

Bush's overall job approval was at 42 percent, with 55 percent disapproving. That's about where Bush's approval has been all summer but slightly lower than at the beginning of the year.

The portion of people who consider Bush honest has dropped slightly from January, when 53 percent described him that way while 45 percent did not. Now, people are just about evenly split on that issue - with 48 percent saying he's honest and 50 percent saying he's not.

The drop in the number of people who see Bush as honest was strongest among middle-aged Americans as well as suburban women, a key voting group in the 2004 election. A further erosion of trust could make it tougher for Bush to win support for his policies in Congress and internationally.

"The reason that trust is so important has to do with the long-standing belief that you could trust him, even if you don't always agree with him and don't understand what he's doing," said Bruce Buchanan, a political scientist at the University of Texas. "The honesty dip is partly caused by a loss of faith in his credibility on Iraq."

And WHY, you might ask? The toll in Iraq and lack of results in Iraq are becoming more apparent every day. The reason and justification for being there are becoming fuzzier as people start to ask questions.

Check THIS link out. Or THIS. Or THIS.
To date, 1,829 Americans have died in Iraq. Another 15,000 to 38,000 have been wounded (Officially 13,559). And that doesn't count the 26,396 civilian deaths. These aren't numbers. They're people.
It has cost us $185.7 billion so far. Instead, we could have fully funded global anti-hunger efforts for 7 years. How's that for exporting democracy?
And NO weapons of mass destructions have ever been found.
And NO al Quada connection has ever been found.
And NO terrorist camps. (Camps operating prior to the invasion).
And NO plans to spread worldwide terrorism have ever been found.
And, given the price at the pump, the oil isn't even flowing.
One accomplishment, however: while Iraq under Saddam was NOT friendly to terrorists, it's now a major terrorist staging ground since we opened the borders. Even the W-imbecile administration admits that.
Anyone read the Downing Street memo yet?
Why, again, are we there?

And so it goes

Friday, August 5, 2005

Shot across the buckskin bow

The Chief took a shot in the tailfeathers today. It's certainly not a fatal shot, but it's gotta be painful. And it's about time.

The NCAA finally issued its ruling on Native American mascots today, and while it didn't outright ban them (which many had hoped) it put them in mini-leg irons and suggested that schools using offensive mascots like the Chief might consider looking for something else. It's not a death sentence, but I'm sure it's a ruling that can't make chiefists happy.

In a report found on ESPN.COM today, the AP reported:
INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA banned the use of American Indian mascots by sports teams during its postseason tournaments, but will not prohibit them otherwise.
The NCAA said it really can't ban any mascot, no matter how hostile or abusive it is, from internal campus use. If an institution of higher education chooses to be offensive, hostile and abusive to Native Americans, sobeit. But once that mascot enters the NCAA arena, it certainly can act.
The NCAA plans to ban schools using Indian nicknames from hosting postseason events. Harrison said schools with such mascots that have already been selected as tournament sites would be asked to cover any offensive logos.
Such logos also would be prohibited at postseason games on cheerleader and band uniforms starting in 2008.
That, my friends, is the key. And that key is starting to lock up offensive mascots such as the Chief.

What that particular part of the ruling means, according to this afternoon's News-Gazette, is that
The University of Illinois will not be able to host any NCAA championship competitions if it continues to use Chief Illiniwek as the symbol of its athletic teams.
The UI (and the News-Gazette) is careful to label the Chief as a 'symbol,' rather than a 'mascot,' as if that little word somehow reduces the offensiveness. It doesn't. You can call a mouse a moose, but it still won't have antlers.

I'm aware that the Chief rarely travels with the team or the band, but now there are more restrictions, more doubts, more times when they have to ask is he welcome? And more times when the answer will be No.

Will this have any impact on the UI? It's probably too early to tell, but the guess is yes, in one way or another. Again from the News-Gazette:
In the past year, the UI hosted NCAA postseason competitions for soccer and men's tennis.
The NCAA also prohibited teams from displaying American Indian imagery on their uniforms during such competitions. All UI team uniforms say 'Illinois' and do not include any imagery of the Chief.
In making the recommendations, NCAA officials said they tried to respect the autonomy of individual schools to decide what their mascot should be, but also to exercise their authority to control what is displayed at an NCAA event.
The UI has hopes in the near future of hosting NCAA baseball, NCAA women's basketball, NCAA soccer, NCAA tennis, NCAA women's softball and other postseason tournaments. If the Chief remains as the UI mascot, this most certainly will not happen. That means a considerable loss of revenue.

Suddenly it becomes a financial issue. How much does the UI stand to lose by not hosting home post-season events? Who knows, but it could be substantial; they wouldn't so actively pursue them otherwise. Ron Guenther's no dummy. How much athletically do the UI teams stand to lose by playing their postseason games on someone else's home court? Who knows? Probably again substantial. The Chief now comes with a price tag. Perhaps a big one.

Now there's a financial bottom line, rather than oftentimes just an emotional one... A measurable bottom line.

Is this the end of the Chief?

Unfortunately, probably not. There are still enough delusional, blinded old alumni with deep pockets who will fight this. There are a handful of vocal students who will, too. Some day they might begin to understand the issue. To them the Chief is thrilling. To many others, especially to Native Americans, who the Chief is supposed to 'portray' (mimic, mock, caricature, diminish, belittle, deride), the Chief is simply offensive. The fight's not over yet.

This may be a start toward the end. A good start. Since the Chief now essentially is restricted to campus, excluding all postseason activity, his impact is further diminished. As is his prestige.

The hope is the it will continue to diminish. The UI, Champaign-Urbana and Illinois simply do not need a controversial, hostile and abusive mascot to serve as its symbol.

And so it goes.

Thursday, August 4, 2005

It's nice in Texas in August

Four U.S. Soldiers were killed in Iraq yesterday.
14 U.S. Soldiers were killed in Iraq Tuesday
All told, 27 U.S. Soldiers have been killed in Iraq this month.

The total for the 'mission accomplished' war is 1,826 U.S. Soldiers who have lost their lives.

President G W-imbecile Bush just left on a five-week vacation. The longest vacation, according to news reports, of any president in the last 36 years.

Just thought you'd like to know.

And so it goes.

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Safe and secure

I can't tell you how much better I feel since I discovered in today's News-Gazette that my driver's license will soon become a national ID.

Big Brother is alive and well and living amidst the bureaucracy in the Department of Homeland Security.

It seems that soon the federal government is going to create something called Real ID, a national license system keyed apparently to each state's drivers' license system.
The law, passed with a federal military appropriations bill, gives the Department of Homeland Security the power to set standards for state drivers' licenses and other identification. Only approved identification can be used for such things as boarding an airplane or entering a federal courthouse, Burns [Jim Burns, inspector general for the Illinois secretary of state] said.
Oh, that gived me a warm, fuzzy feeling all over.

Just how, exactly, did a drivers license morph into a national ID?
People seeking driver's licenses in any state must produce documents with their full legal name, including a full middle name, a photo identity document, birth records, proof of Social Security number and proof of name and principal residence.
The federal law requires the state to verify the documents and then scan and store them electronically. The system must be in place by May 2008, according to Burns. That will mean new computer systems and may require additional employees, he said.
That's nothing I CAN'T comply with. Although it doesn't really seem to be anything I actually WANT to comply with. How many more agencies need to know every little detail of my existance?

Unless I'm mistaken, a driver's license gives me the right to drive, provided I have proof of insurance, abide by the laws of the state in which I drive and provided I have or can procur a motor vehicle.

Just exactly who decided that document should become an all-powerful, all encompassing Real ID? And what happens to people who don't drive? My dear little mother gave up her driver's license a couple years ago. She no longer drives, which is good for national security. But does this mean that if she decided she wants to fly out to visit me, she'll have to get herself down to the driver's license station, get a driver's license or another form of ID? How silly is that?

My point is, not everyone has a driver's license. Not everyone drives. It's NOT mandatory in this country. Will it soon become mandatory? And WHY? It appears we will have no say in this not-too-well-thought-out adventure.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the cost of implementing Real ID would be $100 million over five years, or less than $2 million per state, with the District of Columbia included.
"Our attitude is it's going to be done," Burns said. The feds have said it's going to be done. It's being done from a security standpoint, so we aren't going to sit by and wait. Let's buckle down and get going."
What ever happened to passports? They used to work pretty well. (And don't tell me passports are too easy to conterfeit. Every college student in America knows how to or knows someone who can make them a fake driver's license...) Instead, why not, oh, just tattoo a security number on everyone's forearm...?

I'm all for homeland security. Please, protect my butt.

My real point in all this is: If you want to create a national ID, create a national ID. Don't try to softpeddle it and attach it to a VOLUNTARY system like the driver's license system. Don't pretend it's something it's not. Don't pretend you're not taking away just a few more of our liberties under the questionable auspices of 'homeland security.' And DON'T try to slip it in with a military appropriations bill in a time of war. That's just dishonest.

And just plain stupid.

And so it goes.

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Yo, Sancho! A windmill!

Heard on WILL news this morning that Scott Tapley had turned in his MTD petitions with, I believe I heard, around 1,000 signatures to create a new mass transit district in southwest Champaign. I'd expected to clarify the details with a N-G report, but I can't seem to find one.

Anyway, it appears, if I heard the report correctly, it's now up to a judge to determine whether a subdivision can opt out of one mass transit district (or a potential district) and create its own district. (And whether there ever was an agreement with the subdivision and the city to join.) I'll be curious to know just what arguments the CU MTD brings to the hearing, if, in fact, they have a voice in it.

Those questions aside, one thing that struck me this morning was the number of times I heard the name Scott Tapley in the report. Frequently. More than I heard CU MTD.

Brought to mind another name from the distant C-U past: Gary Shae. Don't know how many remember him, but in the late 80s and early 90s, Shae was instrumental in Champaign's controversial withdrawal from the Champaign-Urbana Intergovernmental Solid Waste Disposal Association, which changed the way garbage is handled in the county. (And not for the better, in my opinion). Shea also had a hand in the eventual end of C-U's excellent recycling center, handing the operation over to the waste haulers. In effect, Shae hooked his wagon to that star, hoping it'd become the vehicle to propel him to bigger and better things. He was mentioned as a mayoral candidate.

Shae lost his next election bid (to current Mayor Jerry Schweighart). Don't think he ever ran again.

What brought Shae to mind was Tapley, a county board member. One wonders if he thinks he's found the vehicle to hitch a ride on to bigger and better public office destinations?

Just wondering, you understand. But it sure does seem to be 'Scott Tapley's Petition.'

And so it goes.

Monday, August 1, 2005

It's good to be king

I see in today's Chicago Tribune that President W-imbecile has decided to ignore the U.S. Senate in order to do as he darned well pleases.
WASHINGTON-- President Bush sidestepped the Senate and installed embattled nominee John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations on Monday, ending a five-month impasse with Democrats who accused Bolton of abusing subordinates and twisting intelligence to fit his conservative ideology.
That the Democrats were united against Bolton wasn't enough. Turns out there were enough GOP Senators who were opposed to the rightwing idealogue nutcase to assure his defeat. Which was why his nomination was never called to a vote. Which is what angered Bush the most.
Bush had refused to give up on Bolton even though the Senate had voted twice to sustain a filibuster against his nominee. Democrats and some Republicans had raised questions about Bolton's fitness for the job, particularly in view of his harsh criticism of the United Nations.
Turns out this kind of underhanded appointment is legal under the Constitution, but at the same time is a mean-spirited way for a spoiled brat president to get his way even though no one else wants to play by his rules.
'This post is too important to leave vacant any longer, especially during a war and a vital debate about UN reform,' Bush said. He said Bolton had his complete confidence.Bush put Bolton on the job in a recess appointment -- an avenue available to the president when the Congress is in recess. Under the Constitution, a recess appointment during the lawmakers' August break would last until a newly elected Congress takes office in January 2007.
So, after serving a year, the Senate will get a second chance. And if there IS a vote, you can be assured there will be enough Senators angered at being bypassed by royal edict that if the vote actually comes, it won't be pleasant for Bolton and the W-imbecile.
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., sharply criticized the move.
'It's a devious maneuver that evades the constitutional requirement of Senate consent and only further darkens the cloud over Mr. Bolton's credibility at the U.N,' Kennedy said."
Republican Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio also said he was disappointed.
'I am truly concerned that a recess appointment will only add to John Bolton's baggage and his lack of credibility with the United Nations,' Voinovich said.
The W-imbecile, of course, ignored the advice of everyone who chose not to agree with him and went ahead with the appointment. Was there any doubt?
In a letter released Friday, 35 Democratic senators and one independent, Sen. Jim Jeffords of Vermont, urged Bush not to give Bolton a recess appointment.
'There's just too much unanswered about Bolton, and I think the president would make a truly serious mistake if he makes a recess appointment,' Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, said in an interview.
We all know, of course, that the king can do just about anything the king darned well pleases. Yes, it's good to be king.

And so it goes.