Friday, September 30, 2005

Paging Alan Keyes

I really hate to say I told you so, but ... I told you so.

Former Gov. Jim Edgar announced Friday that he will NOT be a candidate for governor, ending months of ridiculous speculation that the former governor would come riding in on his downstate white steed and save the state from those nasty Democrats (expecially Blago-blunder).

Didn't happen. Never was gonna happen.

The Chicago Tribune reports on its Web site that Edgar had actually considered a run but his family and his health both ruled out the attempt.
"I have to tell you, I'm not looking for another job. Life is very good for the Edgars, and that's why (it) is not that easy to make that call," the former governor said Monday. "Also, as Brenda has pointed out, we've been there, we've done that, we know better."

At the same time, Edgar also said health considerations would play a factor in his decision.

Edgar had previous heart-related hospitalizations. Though he has previously refused to say what specific advice doctors had given him, he said he felt well and that doctors were satisfied with his test results.

There probably was one more consideration. Winning right now is a no-win situation for any politician in Illinois. It was when Blago ran and won and it still is. The state's got a LOT of troubles. George Ryan left Blago a real mess. While Blago, in between bunders, has managed to fix a few things, the state's a long, long way from getting its house in order. Years and years. Perhaps decades.

The next governor - probably Blago again - still will be faced with a long list of no-win situations. It's gonna take more than a few years to straighten things out, even if we DO elect an honest governor. (If we can find one).

Why, I ask, would Edgar want to take over the job right now? Why would ANYONE?

As the Tribune reports:
Edgar's indecision had all but frozen the Republican efforts to recapture a governor's office it had held for 26 years until Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich's election in 2002. Besides Edgar, at least six Republicans had announced or said they were considering a bid for the party's nomination for governor next spring.

The field includes announced contenders Brady, Oberweis, businessmen Ron Gidwitz and state Sen. Steve Rauschenberger (R-Elgin). Birkett and state Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka are weighing their own bids.
I don't especially like Blago-blunder, but does anyone see in there a name that can challenge and defeat him and his $14 million warchest?

I don't either.

And so it goes.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Dream on

In yet another attempt to delude itself, UI pro-Cheefers are attempting to paint a rosy face on the NCAA's decision to deny North Dakota's petition to retain the hostile and abusive Fighting Sioux mascot and imagery. Face it guys, it was a decision to DENY. Not much positive there, is there?

In Thursday's News-Gazette, speaking of the NCAA decision
"I think the decision by the NCAA on North Dakota is specific to North Dakota, and anything we would do is separate and independent from that appeal decision," said UI spokesman Tom Hardy. He said the UI will likely appeal the NCAA decision regarding the Chief Illiniwek symbol and Fighting Illini nickname, but administrators have not yet made a final decision.
"I think that we have circumstances regarding the Chief Illiniwek tradition and the University of Illinois that are distinct and different from these other institutions," Hardy said. "In the event we were to file an appeal, we'd make a strong case on the distinct characteristics of our tradition."
Sorry guys, your argument simply doesn't wash.

Fighting Sioux = Hostile and Abusive
Fighting Illini = Hostile and Abusive

Simple math.

And just how much are you willing to spend, gamble and waste on an appeal attempting to defend the indefensible?

Florida State, Central Michigan and Utah were exempted by support from local tribes. (And support from a presidential brother.)

How unlikely is it that the Cheef is going to get support from a 'local tribe'? Only local tribe you're likely to find is a tribe of white suburban frat boys who like their beer, like their cheef and like to party. And a few equally delusional but extremely loud alumni who also like their cheef, like their beer and like their pathetically misguided opinions on the rocks, thankyouverymuch.

And so it goes.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Whoda thunk it?

According to The Cupid.Com Politics test, I'm pretty messed up.

Never suspected it.

You are a

Social Liberal
(78% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(16% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

And so it goes.

Friday, September 23, 2005


Posting will be light to non-existant for the immediate future.

Life and life-type issues have its hands pretty firmly around my throat and show no signs of letting go any time soon.

Besides, the three issues most dominant of late (the Cheef - on shaky life support; the smoking ban - coming off life support; and the MTD - working itself out behind the scenes without my help) don't seem to require my input at the moment.

Carry on without me for a while.

And so it goes.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Temper, Temper

Poor Mayor Jerry.

After a resounding success in sabotaging the smoke-free ordinance, Jerry took one in the teeth Monday night.

And he's mad. So mad, he's gonna take his toys and go home. Game's over. I don't like you anymore.

King Jerry doesn't like to lose.

Seems last night the Champaign school board decided not to endorse an agreement about a special district the city wants to create in the South Research Park area. The plan, according to a story in Tuesday's News-Gazette, says the district's purpose is to accommodate UI expansion plans, along with city plans for a downtown taxing district. Makes sense, I suppose.

But not, apparently, to the School Board, which hopes that some of the taxable areas remain out of the TIF district. The board, looking straight into the teeth of a deficit, can't afford to surrender what could be hundreds of thousands of tax dollars.

You can see their point. You can see King Jerry's point.

But Jerry's so mad he's gonna take his TIF and go home.
And an angry Mayor Jerry Schweighart, who attended the meeting, declared negotiations dead.
"We made an agreement, and now they want another agreement," Schweighart said. "They want more. If they don't bring it up tonight, I'm not sure there will be further negotiations. We agreed to put more money up front, but that was contingent on action tonight. We're past negotiating now. I'm extremely upset."
Awwwwwww, poor Jerry.

The school board doesn't necessarily see the issue as dead. They think there's room for compromise and negotiation.
Scott Anderson, president of the school board, said he believes there's still room for agreement and time to negotiate so the district, which needs state approval, could be approved at the fall veto session.
"We've been negotiating for years, and there are very few items left," Anderson said. "They want to include a lot of taxable property in the TIF district, and given the tax caps that limit our income, we can't support that."
King Jerry doesn't think so. It's my way or no way.

Maybe there was a tacit agreement which was ready for approval and now the school board wants to change things at the last minute, Maybe negotiations were still open Monday night. Depends on who you listen to. But Jerry thought all that was left was approval. When that didn't happen Jerry called the board a bunch of welshers for not approving his plan. The school boared still thought the matter of the TIF boundaries required more negotiation.
The city originally wanted the tax increment district to extend three miles in all directions from the research park south of St. Mary's road, but negotiators have agreed to the district's demands that it extend one mile, Anderson said. But he said boundaries are still a key sticking point.

Not to Jerry.
Schweighart said he believes the schools' action is counterproductive because the UI can choose to build in the area and not pay taxes on the property.
That more or less makes sense. The school board sees it differently. Their side is that
"For us to encourage them to put taxable properties in the TIF district, that's not an appropriate thing to do," he said. "We want to stick with the original intent and make it apply to new development."
--- snip ---
"For some reason, the city has chosen to bundle the TIFs to coerce the board," Anderson said. "The first year, we'll be losing hundreds of thousands of dollars because of the property that will come off with the TIF."
This, to me, sounds like a situation that can be resolved with a little more negotiation. A bit of compromise on both sides. Who is right? I don't know. Who's wrong? Likewise, I don't know, probably no one. But getting mad and giving up isn't the answer. Negotiation and compromise would seem to be the answer.

King Jerry compromise? "Vision is lacking here," Schweighart said of the board's stance. Yeah, but who's vision? Govern Jerry; don't rule by royal fiat. It'll work better.

And so it goes.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Good deal

While George the II is busy trying to reinvent himself at FDR, that little nastiness in Iraq goes on unabated. With all the focus on Katrina, bet the W-imbecile hopes we've forgotten about that. Looks more and more like we've managed to provoke a religious civil war. Democracy? Riiiight.

To what end?

Check THIS link out. Or THIS. Or THIS.
To date, at least 1,899 Americans have died in Iraq. Americans are dying at a rate of about 17 per week. Is that acceptable? To whom? Another 15,000 to 38,000 have been wounded (Officially 14,265). And that doesn't count the 27,963 civilian deaths. These aren't numbers. They're people.
It has cost us $195.05 billion so far. Instead, we could have insured 116,791,443 children for one year. Or maybe done something to insure the Gulf Coast wouldn't be nearly destroyed by a hurricane. $195 billion could go a long way toward building an acceptable levee system in New Orleans, don't you think?
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

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Where you headed?

Would seem to me that, given the price of gas, a smart person would start considering the advantages and cost of public transportation.

That is, if there are any smart persons in southwest Champaign.

And so it goes.

Sunday, September 4, 2005


They raised around $18,000 in donations for Hurricane Katrina relief Saturday at the Illinois football game. That's great. Generous. There were 50,000-plus in attendance. Too bad it couldn't have been more. You can still donate.

No matter how much was raised, it isn't enough. PLEASE DONATE TO THE RED CROSS. There may be up to a million Americans who now qualify as refugees. This is not right. This is the United States. We can rectify this situation. We must.

DOWNTIME I will be out of town (and part of the time out of the country) on a business/pleasure trip for about the next 10 days or so. That means posting will be light. Perhaps close to nonexistant.

I have always relied on the WiFi of strangers.

And so it goes.

Saturday, September 3, 2005

Where's the relief?

Our president's response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster:
"The good news is -- and it's hard for some to see it now -- that out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic Gulf Coast, like it was before. Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house -- he's lost his entire house -- there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch.

Meanwhile, in New Orleans, the mayor is begging for any help he can get. If that audio clip doesn't move you, you have no heart. Meanwhile Washington spins the disaster for political purposes. Would we expect anything less?

PLEASE DONATE TO THE RED CROSS, it doesn't look like the aid will come from anywhere else.

And so it goes.

Friday, September 2, 2005


Like this makes any sense.

Driving home Friday night, I notice gas stations are dropping the price of gas to $2.99.9 per gallon.

Most welcome. Most confusing.

This is the last long travel weekend of the season. Saturday's the first home football game.

Think someone's getting nervous about the 500-plus calls the Attorney General's received concerning price gouging?

Is there any other reason?

And so it goes.

Impeach Hastert

WASHINGTON (AP) -- It makes no sense to spend billions of dollars to rebuild a city that's seven feet under sea level, House Speaker Dennis Hastert said of federal assistance for hurricane-devastated New Orleans.

"It looks like a lot of that place could be bulldozed," the Illinois Republican said in an interview Wednesday with the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Illinois.
Have you EVER in your LIFE heard a more assinine statement from an elected official?


If that was Chicago or Peoria, Hastert would be first in line at the federal trough.

And how much have we spent so far rebuilding Baghdad?

He should be removed from office forthwith.


And so it goes

Thursday, September 1, 2005

I think


This is likely the greatest natural disaster in the U.S. since perhaps the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. It may be worse. As Americans, we need to come together like never before.

GUARDING WHOM? The South desperately needs all the help it can get. National help. National Guard help. Problem is, much of the National Guard is in Iraq. Fighting for oil while Americans at home die, gas prices rise, cities fall and despair sets in. Methinks someone picked the wrong battle to fight. But you already knew that.

JUST SAY NO, ROD Legislators (so far not surprisingly mostly pro-business anti-public GOP legislators) in Illinois are calling on Gov. Blago to suspend state sales tax on gasoline during the current crisis. My lone voice in the wilderness is this: NO! Don't do it! My reasoning: If the state rolls back the gas sales tax 5 percent, you and I both know that retailers, who already are unmercilessly and unconscionably gouging the public, will maybe roll back their prices by one or two percent. That means they line their pockets with the other 3 to 4 percent. How does that help us? Mean time, rolling back the sales tax, which will not help the consumer in any measurable way, will instead, end up hurting the already shakey state financial situation. Any rollback now will mean a larger tax increase later. A tax increase is coming. Don't make it worse than it is.

SORRY SCOTT Scott Tapley's little headline-grabbing crusade took a shot to the bow Wednesday. The CU MTD annexed the neighborhoods he's fighting to separate from the city of Champaign. Now it's gonna be many many times harder for Scott to ride his staggering horse at that pathetic little windmill. Will one portion of government decide that another portion of that same government has acted improperly? Likely? I think not. Don Qui-Tapley vows the fight isn't over. Scott, how much are you willing to spend to save how little? And, by the way, couldn't this problem have been solved by the Champaign County Board taking action? Say, Scott, why don't you contact your local county board member and see if you can get something done. Oh ......... yeah.

SILLY QUESTION Local TV Channel 8 and TV Channel 15 will switch network affilliations Monday (or may be Tuesday, I'm not sure). Does this really matter to anyone (anyone not employed with the two stations)? In the era of cable and satellite TV with 60 or 80 or more networks to deal with, does the switch of two local stations matter? Why?

Pray for the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

And so it goes.