by Teri O'Brien
Mix up that pitcher of martinis, brew up some strong coffee, or just bring a strong stomach as we deconstruct the Dear Reader’s latest bloviation, his campaign speech about Iraq tonight at 9 pm Central at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Teri-OBrien. I predict an orgy of cringe-inducing self-congratulation, in which this narcissistic former affirmative action Ivy League teacher’s pet rewrites history and proudly takes credit for presiding over the Iraq withdrawal time line that President George W. Bush established in December 2008.
I guess I can see why this unaccomplished empty suit needs to take credit for the achievements of others, and why he tries to run away from his embarrassing statements like saying the Iraq surge would never work, that couldn’t be more wrong if his name was Barry Wrongman, which actually wouldn’t be a bad alias, if he’s looking for to try a third name. He’s had at least two others, including the one on his birth certificate, which is …wait …oh never mind.
By Ghost of John Brown
An ALL-ELECTRIC, let me repeat that, in case you skipped over it - ALL ELECTRIC car company has been cited $275,000 for failing to obtain a Certificate of Compliance from the EPA under the Clean Air Act. Are there people that still wonder why business has not taken off lately? Forget about tax incentives, stimulus money, etc., etc.. - how about just a little common sense from the regulators. Is that too much to ask? In a similar story, which Rush talked about on his radio show, a tuckpointing business was fined by OSHA - you have to read the story - click here. What is REALLY crazy about the original story is that Tesla received $465 million in loans from the Feds, they then turn around and give some of that back to the EPA for an Administrative fine. Can we just make that a $464 million loan and call it even? Since Tesla has put about 1,000 cars out on the streets, that turns out to be about $500,000 per car.
Today Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, called on Gov. Pat Quinn to be up front and honest about the true size of the income tax hike he has planned for Illinois families and job providers. In a letter to the governor, Norquist cited Quinn’s four separate calls for an income tax increase, each specific plan different than its predecessor.
Quinn’s different proposals, from Norquist’s letter:
•May of 2009: 50 percent income tax increase. This proposal would have increased the income tax rate from 3 percent to 4.5 percent and taken roughly $4 billion from the private economy near the peak of Illinois’ recession. It failed in the legislature, largely because of voter disapproval by a 30 point margin.
•March of 2010: 33 percent income tax increase. Believing it was the size of his previous plan that turned off constituents, Gov. Quinn presented a scaled-down income tax hike that would have increased the rate to 4 percent, a $3 billion tax increase. This also went nowhere.
We always appreciate the context former State Rep.Cal Skinner gives to current news. On a recent post, he explains what happened ten years ago in a Supreme Court race and how things are different this time around in the Justice Kilbride retention vote ...
No opposition candidate will be on the ballot in the 3rd Judicial District.
But, there’s a hitch.
He has to get a 60% favorable vote to be retained in office.
Only rarely does a judge, a pretty low-profile office, get kicked out of office.
Mark Kirk is predicted to win over Alexi Giannoulias in November, in today's Chicago Now ...
Stuart Rothenberg—a frequent guest on Sunday morning talk shows, an on-air election night analyst, and editor of the Rothenberg Political Report—is one of the go-to guys for nonpartisan predictions of political races. (The other is Charlie Cook). He said despite the résumé scandal that has dogged Kirk since Memorial Day weekend, the congressman should win in November.
“This cycle is bad for the Democrats and particularly bad for Illinois Democrats,” Rothenberg added, citing the ongoing Blagojevich trial, among other things. If the economic numbers in September and October are clunkers, then, he said, the Democrats are in big trouble.
“Unless there is another question about Kirk’s integrity, character, which would change everybody’s opinion about him,” Kirk should emerge the winner, the analyst said.
These questions the IL GOP poses to the Madigans seem fair enough to us ... we'd actually like to know the answers, too. We're tired of state policies being determined at the Madigans' dinner table.
Questions for the Madigan Family (and the Democrats) about the state payday loan legislation that wound up helping the Speaker’s son-in-law:
from Schilling for Congress
EAST MOLINE, IL--Bobby Schilling, Republican candidate for Congress in the Illinois 17th District, recently came out against Rep. Hare's vote on H.R. 1586. The bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Hare, doled out $16.1 billion to states in increased Medicaid reimbursements and $10 billion intended to create education jobs. However, the bill was paid for through several cuts to important programs. Over $2.2 billion was rescinded in Department of Transportation stimulus contracts ($76.4 million from Illinois contracts) and $47 million was raided from the Social Security budget. Schilling did not approve of these specific cuts.
"The payment strategy for H.R. 1586 is flawed," Schilling said. "I don't support raiding Social Security, and I certainly don't support taking funds away from crucial infrastructure projects. There aren't Republican roads or Democrat bridges, there is only American infrastructure and we need to be investing in it. There are plenty of other places to make spending cuts such as the $2.5 trillion healthcare reform, much of the $787 billion stimulus package, and the billions in taxpayer dollars wasted on government bureaucracy every year."
Monday, U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias took another step into the far left wing of his Democratic base as he called in the back up forces with former General Wesley Clark. Clark was in Chicago Monday to endorse Giannoulias, but it's not the first time Clark's judgement has been questioned. The former NATO Allied Commander blames George W. Bush for supposedly ignoring former President Bill Clinton's warnings about the danger of Osama Bin Laden. Clark also was vocal about his opposition to Bush's Iraqi troop surge in 2007, as seen below on Fox News' Bill O'Reilly.
Ironic Giannoulias' grasped Clark's support the day before President Barack Obama addresses the nation, claiming victory in Iraq, three years after Bush's military surge in Iraq. Clark's answer was to send diplomats and talk to the terrorist regime. Clark's influence over Giannoulias' foreign policy votes should be of interest to Illinois voters.
Niles, IL — MoveOn.org and Citizen Action/Illinois, two far-left groups, have told their members to protest at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago on Wednesday at 12:00 p.m., outside the fundraiser for Republican Joel Pollak’s campaign to unseat 9th district incumbent Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).
The fundraiser will feature Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), ranking member of the House budget committee and author of the “Roadmap for America’s Future."
In an e-mail circulated to activists, local MoveOn.org coordinator Jacob Hoag calls for a “Rally to Protect Social Security” outside the hotel, which will “protest the dismantling of Social Security and Medicare."
Pollak welcomed the demonstrators.
by Mark Rhoads
National Democrats are bravely whistling past the graveyard to shout that 2010 will not be like the debacle that 1994 was for them. They are right in a way, 2010 could be much worse for them than 1994. The latest Gallup Poll shows the largest generic advantage in history for GOP candidates for the U.S. House at plus ten percent.
Other polls show this sudden surge for Republican candidates is NOT because voters have suddenly redeemed the Republican brand name from where it was only two years ago but the surge is primarily due to the common-sense reason that voters understand that voting Republican is the fastest way to throw up some speed bumps on the Obama superhighway to socialism.
Both U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Roland Burris of Illinois scored "0" on Christian Coalition's 2010 Scorecard. On the other hand, five GOP Congress members received a "100" score: Roskam, T. Johnson, Manzullo, Schock and Shimkus. Democrats Jackson, Gutierrez, Quigley, Schakowsky, Halvorson and Hare scored "0."
The votes counted are available at CC's scorecard vote listing available HERE. The scores are below the fold:
Chicago: Republican Gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady today launched a two-day, statewide tour highlighting a comprehensive new plan to make Illinois more competitive, and to help create more jobs for families across our state.
Brady kicked off his jobs tour at Lapham-Hickey Steel in Chicago, where he also received the endorsement of the Illinois’ Manufacturers Association.
“The greatest concern of the people of Illinois is jobs - and so is mine,” said Brady.
Bobby Schilling, Republican candidate for Congress in the Illinois 17th District, visited the Caterpillar plant in Decatur today. Schilling spoke with employees about the role of Caterpillar in international trade and took a tour of the plant. Schilling said Caterpillar has a significant impact on the economy of the 17th District.
"Caterpillar provides thousands of jobs and plays a huge role in the economy of the 17th District," Schilling said. "They're also a perfect example of how international trade can create jobs. Over 70% of the trucks made in Decatur are exported to foreign countries. I believe we must continue to support American manufacturing by working to open new markets into which we can sell our goods. We also need to work to create a stronger business climate here in the 17th District. My opponent believes that somehow raising taxes across the board will help bring jobs to our area. The ugly truth is that tax increases will result in further layoffs and more businesses outsourcing our jobs to foreign countries."
Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady issued the following statement today regarding the Chicago Sun-Times report that House Speaker Mike Madigan and Attorney General Lisa Madigan supported or were involved in drafting legislation affecting “payday loans.” The bill, signed by Governor Quinn, ended up benefitting lobbyist Jordan Matyas, who recently married Mike Madigan’s daughter:
“Why don’t we just change the name of our state from Illinois to ‘Madiganville?’ It’s obvious we’re all here to serve the Madigans. Mike uses his position to benefit his law practice, he gets his daughter elected to statewide office and now he helps out his new son-in-law. “Can the argument for change this November be any stronger? Time for a clean break.”
Chicago Magazine features a hard-hitting piece on Democratic candidate for Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios, who's also Cook County Democratic Party chairman. An excerpt:
... His campaign coffers reflect hefty contributions from the attorneys who appear before him, presenting more potential conflicts of interest. For example, the Chicago News Cooperative reported in The New York Times that the law firm Crane & Norcross donated more than $143,000 to Berrios over the past decade, and between 2006 and 2008 alone, the firm’s clients received $467.6 million in assessment reductions—second only to Madigan’s law firm, Madigan & Getzendanner, which won the largest total of reductions in that time, $490.4 million.
Overall, the generosity of the property tax bar raises questions about whether the county’s campaign donation limits are being ignored. (See “The Friendly Bar”) And the lawyers contribute in other ways, too: When Berrios is on the ballot, for example, it’s not uncommon to find property tax attorneys standing outside polling places passing out campaign pamphlets on his behalf, even in the frigid winter primary season. “It seems to be a clear conflict of interest to accept campaign contributions and other political assistance from lawyers with such obvious financial stakes in government decision making,” says Andy Shaw, the executive director of the Better Government Association (BGA).
The Cook County state’s attorney is investigating a possible influence-peddling case involving tax appeals that has been linked to Berrios’s office. The case centers on allegations that Paul Froehlich, a Democratic state representative from Schaumburg, worked through close associates of Berrios to win tax reductions for constituents in return for campaign donations. (See “Curious Deals”)
The good news:
GOP Takes Unprecedented 10-Point Lead on Generic Ballot
Republicans also maintain wide gap in enthusiasm about voting
by Frank Newport
PRINCETON, NJ -- Republicans lead by 51% to 41% among registered voters in Gallup weekly tracking of 2010 congressional voting preferences. The 10-percentage-point lead is the GOP's largest so far this year and is its largest in Gallup's history of tracking the midterm generic ballot for Congress.
The other news:
If we let any such info reduce our effort we may fail to pick up all of the seats we should.
The only way to campaign: Is like we are five points behind.
The Washingtonian magazine lists the worst and best members of Congress in an array of categories, and two Illinois Democrats and one Illinois Republican is listed -- U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Roland Burris, as well as Congressman Aaron Schock. As listed in the Tribune today:
by Ghost of John Brown
Cheap rip-off from Ace, but worthy of re-print. I couldn't agree with the First Lady more (well, at least on this quote).
I hope you will agree with the First Lady and be involved, and be informed. The nation depends on it.
Join Deb & Tim Kraulidis, organizers of Illinois Tax Day Tea Party, who got 10,000 folks out last Labor Day in New Lenox IL. They'll be at RightNation2010 on 9.18.2010. Be there! Get your tix @ www.rightnation2010.com
Think it really doesn't matter who's in control of Illinois politics? Think what happens in Springfield doesn't effect you? Check this out...the Democrats nifty cureall to fix our state's budget woes is costing us hundreds of millions...
The nonpartisan, Chicago-based Civic Federation analyzed the near-record borrowing that the state has undertaken since last September and looked at similar borrowing during the same period in other states that have higher bond ratings than Illinois.
The result was a staggering $551.3 million extra that state taxpayers are having to devote to support the state's thirst for debt because of a series of rating downgrades, the group says in a report being released today.
"This is an actual quantification of what the cost of the state's fiscal irresponsibility has been because of the Illinois General Assembly and governor's failure to stabilize state finances and to allow our credit rating to drop so low we are now the lowest credit-rated state in the country, with California," said Laurence Msall, the Civic Federation's president.
Americans for Prosperity Foundation just wrapped up the fourth annual Defending the American Dream Summit yesterday with a great day at Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor Rally.
On Friday over 2,400 fired up activists joined us at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C. to learn more about free market principles and how they can effectively share them with family and friends. Throughout the day we heard inspiring speeches from speakers such as George Will, Dick Morris, Governor Bob McDonnell, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and many others. Attendees also participated in breakout sessions with free market experts from leading conservative organizations. The breakout sessions covered topics such as state budgets in crisis, the lame duck session threat, the ticking tax bomb, leadership training and much more.
by John F. Di Leo in the American Thinker
Growing up a century ago in sunny Calabria, on the shore of the Tyrrhenian Sea, my grandfather would never have dreamed that the common shrimp and calamari he had to eat every day would ever be considered a luxury; but for his grandson, growing up in Chicagoland sixty years later, a thousand miles from any coast, they certainly were. A luxury, a rare treat.
These little extravagances -- not the major ones like Rolls-Royces and Ferraris -- are important to one's enjoyment of life, and they represent, as much as anything else, the great opportunities of America. For here, even the broke, even the unemployed can indulge in a little luxury now and then. It can help us get through the day, help us endure life's little problems.
For one, it's the appetizer of fried calamari before the meal; for another, it's the dessert afterward. For one, it's splurging on a collectible to display in an étagère; for another, it's the solid brass door handle to install on the front door. Some might call one a waste of money; others might ask why something they think a necessity is on this list at all.
IFRW Conference Charts Map for Turning Illinois Red
State candidates shared their vision of a Republican-led government when the Illinois Federation of Republican Women opened its conference on Aug. 27 in Carbondale.
GOP women from across the state came to southern Illinois for the two-day conference to share ideas, strengthen forces, and promote efforts that will help Republican officeholders get elected to local, state and federal posts.
State treasurer candidate, Sen. Dan Rutherford, flew in with Comptroller candidate, Judy Baar-Topinka, to detail the duo's plan to work together to merge their offices if elected.
An overwhelming majority -- 65% -- of illinoisans are very unhappy with the federal government, a new Rasmussen poll shows. Just 32% of voters are not angry at the government’s policies.
But the established political parties need to reach out to these voters, because they don't think either the Republicans or the Democrats have the answers or even know what's needed ...
Fifty-four percent (54%) of Illinois voters believe that neither party’s political leaders have a good understanding of what is needed today. Twenty-nine percent (29%) disagree with that assessment, while 17% are not sure.
While strong majorities of Republicans and voters not affiliated with either party are angry at the current policies of the government, over half of Democrats (54%) say they are not angry with the federal government.
Congrats to YR President Lauren Fleming and the Lake County Young Republicans for a successful 2nd Annual BBQ Saturday in Barrington. Great food, great people and great music by Knightfall.
What does it say about Sharpton's message when one contrasts the 3,000 attendees to the hundreds of thousands of people across town at the Beck rally who were focused on honor as opposed to the color of one's skin?This is good news, America. Good news that may signal a death knell for racial and grievance politics and, hopefully, a return to basic American values that are shared by all Americans, regardless of their color.
Who knows, maybe one day soon Al Sharpton may have to go out and get a real job. And maybe one day soon, our elected officials will recognize that America is still a Christian nation. Hope springs eternal.
Chicago Republicans welcomed Bill Brady to the North Side this morning for a breakfast before a rally at the statue of Abraham Lincoln on North Avenue.
Cook County GOP Chairman Lee Roupas started the day with supporters, saying Illinois Republicans have identified more voters through the state party's Victory Program than any other state organization in the country.
BIll and Nancy Brady, and their son Will, turned out at the Lincoln Restaurant.
An overwhelming majority of Americans are opposed to taxpayers funding stem cell research, a new Rasmussen poll says:
Fifty-seven percent (57%) say funding for such research should be left to the private sector.
While 55% of voters who identify themselves as pro-choice support government funding of stem cell research, 83% of pro-life voters are opposed.
In March of last year, 52% of all voters agreed with President Obama’s decision to lift the ban on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, but 38% were opposed. A federal judge this week blocked that decision, but the Obama administration intends to appeal the ruling. The issue at hand is whether the research destroys living human embryos.
Media estimates there are an estimated 500,000 in DC at Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor rally in D.C. today. In addition to those in person, over 109,000 are watching via UStream on the Restoring Honor Facebook page.
Keynote speaker just before Beck was Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
by Phyllis Schlafly
Americans are being treated to welcome entertainment during the dog days of summer as we watch the Democrats wring their hands over Barack Obama's tone deafness about political reality. Their despair about Obama is so painful that they are even calling on George W. Bush to come back and rescue Obama from his own mistakes.
The Democrats are reluctant to admit the truth that Obama is not a smart politician (like Bill Clinton, for example). Obama is a radical ideologue determined to "transform" America into the socialist mold regardless of voter retaliation against Democratic candidates.
Let's tick off the issues where Obama staked out his lonely position at the same time public opinion polls showed that the majority of Americans lined up on the other side. Obama's determination to achieve "change" doesn't include obeying the wishes of We The People.
The rest is HERE.
Anyone who thinks a middle-of-the-road, non-controversial bid for office will please the likes of the NBC Chicago Ward Room's venomous Ed McClelland is a fool. He's deceptively nice in person and yet is clearly determined to single-handedly destroy any candidate that appeals to average Americans that love the Constitution and liberty. You know, those imbeciles like you and me that would fight for his right to publish such vile and hysterical attacks on Senator Bill Brady as this one, published last night in a fit of Eminem-like rage ...May I have your attention please? Will the real Bill Brady please stand up?
Y’all act like you haven’t seen a Republican since the Stone Age
Jaws all on the floor like Glenn Beck just burst onto the Sears Centre stage
And started cursin’ Obama in a white-hot rage
Like a Walmart greeter after I cut his minimum wage
Look at him drivin’ around in his wife’s German sports car
Skippin’ votes on the Senate floor
Not payin’ income taxes since about 2004
But he showed half his construction workers the door
by Teri O'Brien
While the economy continues its pathetic limping along on the road to no where (or is it the road to serfdom?), the Dear Reader and his bitter half continue their revelry at the $30,000 a week resort. Not that you’d know that from watching LSM (Lame Stream Media) reports. We’ve seen more news out of North Korea in the last couple of weeks than we have from Martha’s Vineyard, and for good reason: with the downward revision of the second quarter economic growth to a feeble 1.6%, it’s not good for business for the boss to be seen living large while everything is going down the toilet, and his PR flaks know when to say icks-NAY on the arty-PAY stories.
DIXMOOR, Ill., Aug. 27 /Christian Newswire/ -- Today, the Power of Praise Worship Center Church (PPWC) filed a lawsuit against the Village of Dixmoor for violating a Federal land use law. The case has been assigned to Federal Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan The Religious Land Use and Institutional Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA) provides that no government shall impose a land use regulation that unreasonably burdens religious assemblies. The suit alleges that Dixmoor's Code Enforcement Officer, Fred Cody, took matters into his own hands when he forced the church out of the building they were renting, citing that the church was in an area not zoned for religious use. This was after Dixmoor's Village Board of Trustees agreed that PPWC could lawfully use a facility it rented.
The 88th DuQuoin State Fair is this weekend's downstate big event. Fair organizers predict 500,000 attendees this year. State Senator Dave Luechtefeld displays on his Facebook page the great group of supporters that marched with him in the Fair Parade Friday.
from Eric Wallace's FreedomsJournal.net , the black conservative group Project 21 responds to Rev. Fauntroy comparing the Tea Party movement to the KKK:
Some Project 21 members point to an event at the National Press Club three weeks ago featuring prominent black conservatives who defended the Tea Party movement. “That press conference lasted close to two hours, yet one sentence by Tea Party Express activist Selena Owens was all that made the airwaves. Six seconds out of 111 minutes,” Parks said.
Counter that, says Park, against media coverage of a news conference held yesterday, also at the National Press Club. Rev. Fauntroy, a past chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, stated, “We are going to take on the barbarism of war, the decadence of racism, and the scourge of poverty, that the Ku Klux – I meant to say the Tea Party…. You all forgive me, but I – you have to use them interchangeably.”
Parks says, “ABC treats this as breaking news.”
By Phil Kerpen, Americans for Prosperity
Races to fill the unexpired terms of Biden and Obama might make the difference in thwarting Harry Reid's plans to ram through a big government agenda during the lame-duck session after the elections.
Last week I wrote about the first of three key strategies to neutralize the lame-duck threat: persuading moderate Republicans. That strategy, however, may not be enough to stop all of the lame-duck threats, especially on taxes and spending (Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, for instance, seems eager to vote for tax hikes recommended by Obama’s deficit commission). The numbers of U.S. senators inclined to oppose Harry Reid’s runaway lame-duck agenda, however, can be increased on Election Day and that’s where the second key strategy comes in: educating voters in the key special election states whose new senators will be seated for the lame-duck session.
Ever want to meet that person you know well simply by just reading their daily blog updates? They're those people who have slugged away, hour after hour, most of them without compensation, at their keyboards and video cams to bring you the news from their neighborhoods and counties. Some of them are best at spouting off the very things you're thinking. Sometimes their news is welcomed, but lots of times it's not.
They're the 21st century's Paul Reveres. And their value in our modern day lives is immeasurable. They are helping us clean up the messes lame stream media has ignored or refused to expose. They are making a difference. And in our opinion, it's time they were given the recognition due.
Well, at least ten of Illinois' most talked about bloggers have agreed to make public appearances at Right Nation 2010's Activist Training Conference in the afternoon hours leading up to the Right Nation 2010 Convention Saturday night, September 18th. They'll be joining the controversial Andrew Breitbart, founder of BigGovernment.com and reporting on Glenn Beck's keynote later in the evening.
These gutsy, opinionated bloggers (who've agreed to leave their pjs at home) are
If anyone wants to know what St. Clair County residents think about anything, all you have to do is ask. I did, and more than 1,000 concerned citizens answered in a series of 15 public forums throughout the County.
The most common concerns expressed are, first, citizens clearly are ready to pay their fair share of taxes, but they wonder about the fairness of individual tax bills, and, second, they’re tired of the “business as usual for 40 years” attitude in the Assessor’s Office.
Many are confused, some are upset and most feel used because of what they perceive as wide-spread over-assessment coupled with an apparent inconsistent approach to property assessment. That’s topped-off by a lack of communication from the Assessor’s Office.
Because of the special election in which Illinois voters will need to select not only their next U.S. Senator to be sworn in next January, but select one in an election judge-ordered to complete Barack Obama's unfulfilled first U.S. Senate term, the donation limits for Alexi Giannoulias and Mark Kirk have increased:
Republican Mark Kirk will receive a major money boost for his Senate bid, thanks to a recent special election ruling in Illinois that ups fundraising limits for the race.
POLITICO has learned the National Republican Senatorial Committee has dedicated $3.4 million in coordinated funds to Kirk’s campaign against Democrat Alexi Giannoulias.
Confronting the Politics of Division
By John F. Di Leo
Former Bush II operative and RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman is gay. People are talking about it from almost every imaginable angle. Why was he Republican? Why did the Republicans want him? How did such an allegedly anti-gay party as the GOP ever allow him to reach such high office?
But they don’t ask the important question: Why is this a news story?
In these United States, around one or two percent of the public is gay. So one or two of every hundred people isn’t straight. Why on earth should an announcement about one of them – someone whom less than one percent of the American people has likely ever heard of, by the way – coming out of the closet make national news?
Because, despite the veneer, it doesn’t really have anything to do with the Republican Party platform, the conservative movement, or any specific political issue. It’s all about the most important official Democratic Party strategy: the Politics of Division.
Statehouse News Online was at Blagojevich attorney Sam Adam Sr's press conference Thursday after the government dropped its case against former governor Rod Blagojevich's older brother Robert and indicated the case against Rod would be retried after the first of the year. Here's an excerpt of that press conference: