Another airport bombing took place this morning in the Glasgow, Scotland. Yesterday, two car bombs with gas and propane cylinders with nails failed to detonate, averting potentially deadly attacks in London. Al Quaida is suspected of using these attacks to intimidate Britain's newly-inaugurated prime minister.
Eyewitness accounts report that a man ran from the SUV carrying a similar gas cylinder was seen at the Scotland airport. Sky News indicates several persons at the airport were injured and three people have been arrested.
Currently, the U.S. Homeland Security air transportation level is orange, where it has been since August 2006, when it rose to "red" when a terrorist plot to down British flights was discovered.
The Census Bureau now lists Joliet as Illinois fifth largest city, following Naperville (4), Aurora (3), Rockford (2) and Chicago (1).
Joliet also is listed as the nation's 12th most quickly growing city with a population of over 100,000 .
Barack Obama, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president, is expected to celebrate the Fourth of July with the Iowa Cubs.
Jim Nahas, vice president and assistant general manager for the Cubs, said the Obama campaign purchased 500 tickets for the 7 p.m. game against New Orleans.
The tickets were purchased for the reserved grandstand sections behind the first-base dugout. The tickets cost $9 each.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed the increase into law in December. It calls for the state's minimum wage to increase from $6.50 to $7.50 Sunday and increase another 25 cents on July 1 of 2008, 2009 and 2010, topping out at $8.25.
By Mark Rhoads
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants American troops out of Iraq as fast as possible, and so do I. He says he wants them home almost right away whether their mission is accomplished or not because he does not really believe in the mission in the first place. I want them to leave safely when Iraq is sufficently able to defend itself and keep itself free. I know that is a very hard goal to achieve, but I still have to reject out of hand the defeatists who make self-fulfilling prophecies and say it cannot be achieved. The strategists for Al Qaida would rather win the battle of wills in Washington as a shorter route to victory for them, and that puts Sen. Reid in a tough spot.
Four U.S. House members from Illinois declared a war on conservative radio talk shows yesterday when they opposed U.S. Rep. Mike Pence's amendment prohibiting Federal Communications Commission from using federal funds to implement the so-called Fairness Doctrine.
At one time in our nation's history, taxes were not considered merely a special interest group's "fiscal" issue, the imposition of higher taxes by the British government on the colonies was considered a crucial "moral" issue.
Today's social conservatives often focus only on important traditional values hot button issues such as abortion and the homosexual agenda as the most threatening enemies of the nuclear family. Each year, politicians keen on buying new votes to secure their elected offices take more and more hard-earned dollars from taxpayers whose attention is easily diverted elsewhere.
I haven't chimed in on the Paul Froehlich party switch, and I'll admit I don't know the State Rep personally, but as an outsider, one can't help but note how much this party switch is like a sex change.
My transgender friends tell me that before they underwent the surgical operation and changed their birth certificates from "male" to "female," they dressed like the opposite sex for a longtime beforehand. As a man, they pretended to be a woman, and experimented with women's clothes, makeup and hair, to see if they liked it.
By Ralf Seiffe
A generation ago, I worked in Philadelphia at about the time the “Rocky” movies were popular. If you saw the original movie, you will remember the market scenes and the hustle on the streets of South Philadelphia that served as the supply system for locals. Going to Ninth Street was a treat for anyone interested in food, authentic Italian restaurants or simply a glimpse of another culture. A couple of years ago, I visited the street and found it nearly vacant and in this development, the solution to the immigration question can be found.
Guest Opinion by Jeff Ferguson, Chairman, Coalition of Public Awareness
We speak of Democrats and Republicans as if they are two different classes of people. What is the difference when both have sold out and continue to sell out America and the American people? The only difference I can see is the source of their money.
The Democrats tend to get most of their support from the likes of George Soros and the Hollywood crowd while the Republicans appear to get most of their money from corporate America. Either way, the money goes for the same purposes, to further the agendas of both parties to destroy the United States of America.
The illegal immigration issue is a perfect example. The Democrats see the immigrants as a vote while the Republicans see them as a cheap labor pool for their corporate friends. Unfortunately, neither side cares about what the American taxpayer thinks. Forget the fact that illegal immigrants are bleeding us dry.
What’s the difference between them and our politicians? Both are ruining America and both are above the law. What happens when the leeches outnumber the legal working class, the American taxpayers? Where will the politicians get their support? America will have become a third world country. I guess they won’t need it at that point.
(Click on image to see more)
Four states -- Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas and Arizona -- have banned the sale of these anti-war shirts because they list names of troops who have made the ultimate sacrifice fighting terrorism in Iraq. Congress is considering a similar proposal to ban the unauthorized use of fallen troops' names.
Is banning these shirts respect for the fallen and their families or government censorship? Is the First Amendment at stake?
For those who haven't figured it out yet, I'm supporting Fred Thompson for the nomination. For what it is worth, I'd vote for pretty much any of the Republican field over Obama or Hillary, not to mention the poltroon, Al Gore. (who I think is better than 50-50 to enter the race)
Anyway, I thought I would leave you some links for your amusement. Look for more here, and on my site in the coming weeks and months. If you have a blog, join blogs for Fred.
by Greg Blankenship
I've joined. You should too. It's based on the idea that government shouldn't be striving to ensure "universal health care coverage" because health care shouldn't be run like the USPS, the DMV or hurricane relief. Here are Michael Cannon's guiding principles for the club:
# Health policy should focus on making health care of ever-increasing quality available to an ever-increasing number of people.
# To achieve “universal coverage” would require either having the government provide health insurance to everyone or forcing everyone to buy it. Government provision is undesirable, because government does a poor job of improving quality or efficiency. Forcing people to get insurance would lead to a worse health-care system for everyone, because it would necessitate so much more government intervention.
# In a free country, people should have the right to refuse health insurance.
# If governments must subsidize those who cannot afford medical care, they should be free to experiment with different types of subsidies (cash, vouchers, insurance, public clinics & hospitals, uncompensated care payments, etc.) and tax exemptions, rather than be forced by a policy of “universal coverage” to subsidize people via “insurance.”
by Jill Stanek
Whose fault is it when aborting women die? It depends, according to abortion proponents. If the abortion was illegal, we are. If the abortion was legal, she is.
Cases in point, yesteryear's illegal abortion of Gerri Santoro and this year's legal abortion of Edrica Goode.
You've likely seen the haunting, iconic photo of Gerri Santoro, dead, naked, knees to chest with bloody bottom in the air on a hotel room floor, the result of an illegal abortion in 1964 at age 27....
Ms. Magazine called Santoro a "victim" of "butchery" by an "unskilled abortionist."...
Flash forward 34 years to these sunny days of safe, legal abortions.
On Feb. 14, 2007, 21-year-old Edrica Goode became the third woman in four years to die after an abortion at a California mill....
According to blogger World Wide Rant, "Edrica Goode died because of her own willful negligence or general stupidity." ...
Continue reading my column today, "Who's to blame when aborting women die?"on WorldNetDaily.com.
You thought the Feb 5, 2008 presidential primary was early. How about an online caucus December 7, 2007?
Organizers of the latest online political initiative hope to trump the early primary season by holding a nationwide presidential caucus on Dec. 7. The plan is to build on the more than five million people who used the Internet in the 2004 election to organize political meetups, town hall meetings and house parties. . . ”
While Governor Blagojevich continues his month-long temper tantrum, insisting he will hold his breath until every post-birth human in Illinois has government-funded health care, he could check out Massachusetts plan. Maybe we could watch how Massachusetts' citizens fare with their new health care plan kicking in next week.
(Any parent of a toddler knows that diversion is often an effective means to end temper tantrums. Let's see if this one works on Rod. Who knows if the Massachusetts' plan will work? We just want Rod to move on. . .)
Connecticut's governor just vetoed in-state tuition for illegals, a benefit Illinois has been offering illegals for a couple of years now . . .
Governor M. Jodi Rell has vetoed a bill approved by the General Assembly that would have allowed illegal aliens in Connecticut to pay in-state tuition at State colleges and universities. The bill also would have required such students to file an application to legalize their immigration status or state that they will file as soon as they are “eligible to do so” – however, absent federal reform, many of these students will never become eligible to legalize their status.
“I understand these students are not responsible for their undocumented status, having come to the United States with their parents,” Governor Rell said. “The fact remains, however, that these students and their parents are here illegally and neither sympathy nor good intentions can ameliorate that fact.”
How important are news blogs like Illinois Review becoming to state public policy?
The University of Illinois-Springfield's recent poll indicates that most Illinoisans surveyed say they still get their news from old media sources. Four percent said they get their info from radio news and radio talk shows. Almost twice that number (7%) say they get their political news from . . . yes . . . blogs.
by Lee Newcom
Citgo is the wholly owned US arm of Petroleos de Venezuela S.A., the state oil company of Venezuela, controlled by Venezuelan dictator Hugh Chavez. You might want to know what dictator Chavez told his military about the US yesterday, and how he uses the profits from your patronage of CITGO gas stations. According to the AP:
Venezuela (AP) - President Hugo Chavez urged soldiers on Sunday to prepare for a guerrilla-style war against the United States...[he spoke] before hundreds of uniformed soldiers standing alongside armored vehicles and tanks decorated with banners reading: "Fatherland, Socialism, or Death! We will triumph!"
Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. Senate voted to continue debate on Kennedy-Kyl immigration proposal in a 64 to 35 vote. Twenty-four amendments are on the docket to be considered, and U.S. Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN) says the bill is DOA in the U.S. House.
Clarity. That's what I need after sitting in disbelief after viewing the recent headlines concerning Tank Johnson, and felt badly for someone who was trying to straighten-out their life and get on with their career.
As someone who considers himself pro-entrepreneur and a civil libertarian, I am acutely aware of the societal cost and impact associated with over-zealous forms of government and self-righteous corporate management, which is likely part of the reason that I have remained independent, both as a writer and voter, for more to 10 years. Having worked in the advertising and entertainment industry, I'm also acutely aware of the risks and pitfalls inherent in taking a job that brings one into the public eye.
This morning at Paul Froehlich's press conference he gave a statement explaining his decision to abandon the IL GOP and become one of Madigan's boys. It can be found here.
So, Rep. Froehlich chose to join the Dem-coats. I asked him yesterday if he had changed his mind. He said he had, and gave a reason why that I haven't read anywhere else in today's busy IL blogworld.
Speaking of charitable giving, Illinois Republican Party chairman Andy McKenna has been taking some heat on a report that came out last week, accusing "Andy McKenna Jr" of giving thousands of dollars to Democrats over the past several years.
Those allegations are nothing new. They were raised in 2003, when McKenna was running for U.S. Senate. As managing editor for the now-defunct Illinois Leader, I did a series with the array of 2004 GOP primary U.S. Senate candidates. During the interview with McKenna, he explained the questionable donations to Democrats.
The best line I've heard about Kirk Dillard, so far, was that he had to do something big... Afterall, his career isn't going anywhere. I though that was priceless.
At Spontaneous Solutions this morning I noted that yesterday's bizarre developments were a yawner and the big story continues to be the budget and Leader Cross' stance against taxes:
"The big story remains and will continue to remain the budget. If, actually IF Democrats can come to some sort of agreement on the budget that raises taxes they will be have deal with a House Republican Leader and his caucus that has repeatedly and firmly stated that they are against any tax increases. They will be necessary to pass a budget and the left and their minions in the press will be relentless in trying to force them to surrender. Given the current opposition to tax hikes, if Republicans go wobbly now it will surely mean a new depth to party's woes. All eyes should be on that and the center-right should be excited and ready to support Cross' efforts to hold the line.
A McCain supporter bashing Republicans and a self serving ineffective legislator with a penchant for undermining himself is hardly worth lamenting or punishing in the wake of potentially grabbing the holy grail of issues -- the tax issue."
Friends of ATR has a provocative post on how National Review can split the center-right.
Which brings us back to NRO. Today, there are 13 articles with today's date on the front page. Millions of conservatives around America get these via an RSS feed, or kick it late-90s style and type in the URL in their browser. Either way, they're getting a snapshot of the "conventional wisdom" about what conservatives should care about today--as readers of National Review have now done for several generations of conservative activism.
What your average activist would find today, out of these 13 articles, are no fewer than 7--a majority--on the issue of immigration. In addition, there is a flash screen at the top of the page bashing Republican Senators who support the "amnesty" bill.
The Trib carries a story today about Giving USA Foundation's annual report released Monday that says Americans are incredibly generous -- and not just the Gates and Soroses, but so are Americans who make under $100k a year.
And this says nothing about the billions of dollars America sends overseas through government-related agencies.
Maybe we're not so selfish and greedy after all . . .
About a year and a half or so ago, I wrote a blog post about possible formation of a 3rd Party in Illinois. At the time, I was only agitating for some good policy on the part of the Republican Party, which I have more affinity with than the Democrats.
Little did I know how right I was.
First, last week's news gave us the stage-managed Andy McKenna Road Show, along with the revelation that McKenna himself donated to Democrats a few years ago. Today's news is even better.
Kirk Dillard is appearing in Iowa ads touting Barack Obama, while Paul Froelich is bolting the Republican Party for the Democrats.
Everybody Loves Barry . . .
****UPDATE **** Senator Dillard just made Fox News with his kind words about Obama.
by Ed Murnane
Sometimes the calls by "reformers" for "reform" deserve a close inspection.
Why are these particular people or institutions calling for these particular "reforms?"
On their surface, some "reforms" seem to make a lot of sense but a deeper look can reveal some suspicious -- if not selfish -- motivation.
Such is the case with the report circulated last week and reported locally by Kevin McDermott in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (link below).
The report points out that Illinois holds the "record" for the most expensive judicial election campaign in U.S. history (2004 Supreme Court race) and blah blah blah.
I know this is insider baseball, but I was just was thinking. . .
You know how conservatives hate those cut-and-run Democrats who do everything they can to demoralize U.S. troops in the lose/lose situation in Iraq? Our homesick troops are in 100+ degree heat, wearing armored vests, doing their best to avoid IEDs, landmines and suicide bombers. They courageously fight against devastating terrorism and preserve the right for those same liberals to criticize them.
Who could have imagined we'd see the same demoralization strategy attempted right here in Illinois political circles?
**** UPDATED below ****
State Rep. Paul Froehlich (R-Schaumburg) has called an emergency meeting for his Schaumburg Township Alliance of Republicans (STAR) for Tuesday night.
Insiders predict that at the meeting Froehlich will be announcing that he is leaving the Republican Party.
There's sure been a lot of heat generated among transgenders about my suggestion that the wicked step she/he in Shrek the Third was to desensitize children and their parents towards abnormal sexual behavior. But I may not have been too far wrong.
There's yet another transgender making news today . . .
Apparently if you want to spend private time over dinner with Barack Obama, you need to tell him you're a former Republican-leaning soldier who has become an anti-war Democrat. But if it's the case, don't forget to mention you're a former guy who has undergone a sex change. It's the kind of thing you don't necessarily want them to find out reading the papers.
Not that it matters to Barack, anyway . . .
Good news for free speech today from the U.S. Supreme Court:
WASHINGTON /Christian Newswire/ -- In a tremendous victory for citizens and citizen organizations, the U. S. Supreme Court today created a safe harbor for grassroots lobbying from the blackout period created by the "electioneering communication" prohibition in McCain-Feingold. The opinion in FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life (No. 06-969, consolidated with McCain v. Wisconsin Right to Life, No. 06-970) is available on the Supreme Court's website at http://www.supremecourtus.gov along with other case documents.
by John Ruskin
A friend and fellow Illinois Review reader sent me the following satire - a possible resignation speech from President Bush.
FROM THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
Normally, I start these things out by saying "My Fellow Americans." Not doing it this time. If the polls are any indication, I don't know who more than half of you are anymore. I do know something terrible has happened, and that you're really not fellow Americans any longer.
I'll cut right to the chase here: I quit. Now before anyone gets all in a lather about me quitting to avoid impeachment, or to avoid prosecution or something, let me assure you: there's been no breaking of laws or impeachable offenses in this office.
Talk radio is being blamed for the demise of Bush's immigration proposal. U.S. Senators Trent Lott (R) and Dianne Feinstein (D) discussed their concerns about the power of conservative talk shows on Chris Wallace's Sunday morning Fox News show. . . and the Fairness Doctrine came up. .
Immigration will be the topic of a panel discussion hosted by Chicago Sun-Times this Thursday noon at Navy Pier's Beer Garden.
The panel will consist of six spokepersons representing various views on immigration, including Rosanna Pulido of "You Don't Speak for Me" and Dave Gorak of the Midwest Coalition to Reduce Immigration.
The discussion is free and open to the public.
What do Barack Obama, Anna Nicole Smith, Dick Cheney and Jesse White have in common?
Over 90 percent of Illinoisans recognized them in a recent University of Illinois-Springfield political survey, although not all correctly identified their status. Obama is one of Illinois U.S. Senators and a presidential candidate, Smith is a recently deceased cultural phenomena, Dick Cheney, of course, vice president and Jesse White's name is on all of our Illinois license plates as the state's secretary.
The next most commonly recognized political name was House Speaker Mike Madigan, then Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn and Senate President Emil Jones.
A slide show of the survey findings is available online here.
Illinois Congressman Mark Kirk (R-10) argued last week that the US should give out free contraceptives to Mexicans as a way to fight illegal immigration. On stuff.co.nz, Reuters says Kirk told his U.S. House colleagues here:
"A slower rate of growth of Mexico's population would improve the economy of Mexico. It would also reduce the environmental pressure on Mexico's ecosystem. But a slower rate of growth would also reduce the long-term illegal immigration pressure on America's borders," reasoned Rep. Mark Kirk, who also supports stronger border security in the short-term.
West Point graduate and former GOP congressional candidate Jim Nalepa acknowledged on Tom Roeser's WLS 890 Shootout Sunday night that "several" Republican leaders have asked him to run against Dick Durbin for U.S. Senate next year.
Nalepa, 50, said that he is open to the run, but that the "leaders" are on a fundraising hunt and if Nalepa's requirements are met, he may take on the challenge.
(See 6/24 --10:44 am and 6/25 -- 6:55 am UPDATES below the fold . . .)
In his June 22, 2007 blog post on www.imwithfred.com, potential presidential GOP candidate Fred Thompson provides a possible answer to how Governor Blagojevich can get more health coverage for children in Illinois without a tax increase or universal government-provided health care . . . believe it or not -- Thompson suggests tax cuts as the answer.
Republicans, conservatives, traditional family values advocates -- wake up and quit squabbling.
Obama's new campaign song will catch on . . . and hardly anyone will notice the symbol of rebellion and power raised with the right fist at the end of Ben Harper's hip, catchy, inspirational "I Believe in a Better Way."
Wake up. Read the lyrics . . .