Thursday, October 26, 2006

Odd ends

Just leftover thoughts and pretty marginal stuff:

-- The CU Chamber of Commerce sure is sounding a lot like a spoiled little brat concerning the Big.Small.All. Champaign County community planning project. A little tantrum this week along the lines of, "I don't like the score of this game so I'm just gonna hold my breath and run home." To which most of the folks involved likely yawned "So what?" If there's a less effective organization in the county than the CofC, I'd like to see it. I'd almost forgotten we had one.

-- Although I know few of the details and am far from an expert, I still liked the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board's decision to deny Carle Foundation Hospital bid to build an outpatient surgery center in Coles County. 'Bout time SOMEONE said 'NO' to that giant just once. Probably the decision was wrong. Probably Coles County needs the center. Probably. But still it was heartening to see someone slap that big unruly dog in the nose with a newspaper just once. Gets tiresome hearing the chorus of 'Whatever Carle wants... Carle gets...' all the time.

-- The nursing home's mold problem and it's political aftermath to me has been the biggest and most enthusiastic flogging of a dead horse I've seen in years. And all the righteous talk that it's about the $2-plus million cost and doesn't have a thing to do with politics. Bull hockey. It's obviously a transparant political ploy to embarass the County Board's Democrats (and the two Republicrats). And since it's been ramrodded by the county GOP's No. 1 hacksaw....

-- No surprise here, the Champaign library construction's behind schedule. Think it could have something to do with the big hole in the ground being filled with rain water and mud most of the spring? Municipal projects are almost always behind schedule. It's tradition. Beats me how private construction projects seem to take about half the time. Still, it's beginning to look like a building. And even at this stage it's more attractive than the current library building.

All for now, carry on, folks.

And so it goes.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Vote to shut them up

A few general thoughts on the upcoming election.

-- Think Mike Frerichs has worn out the 'tough independent auditor' phrase yet? His ads have become so bland and so repetitive that most people just tune them out. At this point either he changes his approach or he might as well stop running them. He needs to find another message that will resonate with voters. (And 'tough independent auditor' is in about the same category as 'wild and crazy librarian.'

-- Meanwhile, Judy Meyers' ads have become so negative and are attacking in such a foul manner that it's becoming increasingly obvious that hers is a desperate campaign trying to make up a lot of ground in any way possible. They'd have to be trailing badly to resort to such tactics. One listener, upon hearing one of Meyers more odious attack ads, commented to me 'is there an honest Republican anywhere in Illinois?' Sadly, I had to say 'No.' Doubt there is more than one honest Democrat left in the state either.

-- Is Tim Johnson actually running, or just expecting to be carried by his incumbency?

-- Still haven't heard much about the alleged county board elections. Not even too sure which district I'm in. Not sure it matters.

And so it goes.

Friday, October 20, 2006


go tigers
-(and so it goes)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I wish

-- I wish I was feeling more positive about the Cubs' hiring of Lou Pinella. It's just that he's got too many miles, too many losses and too many embarrassing tantrums on his resume to suit me. Besides, without a roster of actual major league players to work with, he won't make a difference anyway. I suspect secretly Joe Girardi is cheering the hiring. Why would any good young manager want to go to Wrigley right now? And don't forget, I'm a lifelong die-hard Cubs fan and will die one.

But one manager won't solve decades of corporate neglect. Especially not Lou.

-- I wish the election was already over. I'm so tired of all the negativity from both sides in every race. I've been an election watcher for many years. This year is the worst by leaps and bounds. Never seen anything like it. And two candidates spending close to $100,000 EACH for a state Senate seat? Ridiculous. For what? Does anyone really think one inconsequential little downstate legislator is going to make any difference on any issue anyway? Grow up folks. We live in the Great State of Chicago (and lesser downstate counties). When Chicago sneezes, we get boogered.

-- I wish the Ron Guenther boo birds would sit back and take a look at what the man's really done. The entire system's so much better, and the infrastructure's so much better than 10 years ago that it's nearly unrecognizable. Ron can't take the field and tackle folks; he's used up his eligibility. All we can hope for is that Ron Turner's recruits leave soon so Ron Zook can run HIS program with his players.

-- I really really hope that the UI halftime minstrel show is in its last year. It's an embarrassment to a great university. (But then again, judging from the sorry, ingrained racist attitudes of its alumni, maybe it's not such a great university after all. Didn't anyone teach them to think in the time they were on campus?)

-- Still haven't heard of a single restaurant in Urbana closing because of the non-smoking ordinance that went into effect, what, three months ago? Don't expect I will.

-- Getting tired of telephone push-polls. Been polled by both parties in the last week and in both cases the slant of the questions was ridiculous.

-- And to answer both parties, no, I'm not going to be putting your candidate's signs in my yard. There isn't a candidate in the area I personally want to be associated with.

And so it goes.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Tis the season

Just a month to go before the election and finally it's getting interesting:

-- Never in my life have I seen the number of and vehement nature of the spins on an issue as have been coming from the GOP concerning the Rep. Foley affair. This is one scandal they can't blame on the press. Or the Dems. But they sure are trying. Blame anyone and everyone but themselves. If they'd just owned up to it, quickly dealt with it and got over it, it never would have blossomed into such a brouhaha. Every party has its bad apples. Just get rid of them; don't try to blame anyone else.

But it does mean that the GOP is in even more danger of losing the House than it was a couple weeks ago. Talk about blowing it. I would have bet a bundle a month ago that the GOP would keep hold of the House. Not now. The only thing they had going for them was the moral ground. Which has turned into quicksand. The faster they pedal, the deeper they sink.

-- So far, I've seen just one - one - Tim Johnson yard sign in Champaign. Does that mean he has just one supporter left? Lotsa Gill yard signs. Lotsa Frerichs signs. A few (very few) real hard to read Meyers signs.

-- Getting tired of Naomi Jacobsson phone polls. She's sure trying hard and awkwardly for someone with no real opponent. Rex who?

-- Never seen such a schizophrenic campaign as that being run by Judy Meyers. First she tried to attack Frerichs. Didn't take. Then she tried running on her record. People checked her record. Didn't take. Then we had some 'celebrity' endorsements which basially said 'she's not as bad as they've been saying.' Didn't take.

And now, she's decided to campaign against Gov. Blago. That's not taking, either, since Frerichs has been running an anti-Blago campaign for months.

Makes more believable the rumors that a quick change in campaign leadership is coming. Heard that from more than one source lately.

-- Aren't we also having local elections? County board, for example? Talk about a stealth campaign.

And so it goes.

Monday, October 9, 2006

Name game

Just wondering ...

Is it true that GOP stands for Greedy Old Perverts?

And so it goes.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Change is good

Dusty Baker is an excellent baseball manager.

He's gonna make the right team very happy.

Unfortunately, Dusty Baker was not even close to a good fit for the Cubs. Simply put, Dusty can manage one kind of baseball team: The kind with power hitters, little speed and a self-managing (and self-healing?) pitching staff.

The Cubs this year, and in the past few years, consisted of some power (which was good for Dusty) some speed (which was lost on Dusty) and a whole staff of young, fragile arms.

Dusty wasted most of the power; he wasted nearly all of he speed. (Did he ever call for a hit and run?) and he probably irrevocably damaged at least two and perhaps three of the best pitching arms in baseball by his mis-managing.

That said, I'm not sorry to see Dusty and the Cubs part ways. It's sad when anyone gets fired for any reason, but in this case ....

Dusty will land on his feet. He's a good baseball man.

It remains to be seen if there's enough left of the Cubs after his tenure for them to land on their feet.

So far, it sounds like the consensus pick to replace Baker is Joe Girardi. I'm not opposed to that. As a former catcher, he should know a little about pitching. As a self-made hitter, he should know a little about hitting and hitting philosophy. As a manager, he's been successful wherever he's been. And he's an Illinois boy, so he knows how long we've suffered.

The Cubs could do worse. (They could have kept Baker.)

Now it's up to Hendry (if he's still around in a week) and the Tribune Co. (unless they finally decide to sell) to decide if they really want a winner or whether putting 38,000 fannies in the seats at every home game is enough of a measure of success.

As an incurable Cubs fan. I really hopes some people in the organization finally decide to try and make the Cubs into a winner.

We deserve it.

And so it goes.

Monday, October 2, 2006

A moment, please

I strongly suspect that this story is some kind of Onion-esque parody, but nevertheless...

If I were an Iraqi, I'd really want a quick explanation for what they mean by 'not yet.'

And so it goes.