Policy Review

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Fritchey works toward his Teen Genocide Promotion award

Fritchey5_1 Rep. John Fritchey spoke in circles while trying to defend his legislation that would gut Illinois' parental notice law, as quoted by the State Journal-Register, Feb. 23:

"Judicial bypass is not a way for a minor to get advice on health and safety issues," said Rep. John Fritchey, D-Chicago, sponsor of the new legislation. "This is about how best to let young girls in a very difficult situation get the support and advice they need."

When a minor girl doesn't talk to a parent before seeking an abortion, Fritchey said, "there's often a very, very good reason for that."

What is the "very, very good reason for that," Rep. Fritchey? 

Are you inferring that a girl might not want to tell a parent she is pregnant because her parent is abusive - perhaps an incest perpetrator?  Is that the "safety issue" of which you spoke?

Yet you think alerting the authorities is "not a way" to stop the abuse?  Rather, you think alerting the abortion clinic getting money for her abortion is the way?

Rep. Fritchey needs to work on Planned Parenthood's talking points a little more. 

[Photo is of Rep. Fritchey receiving a Genocide Education award in 2005. He is now working toward his Teen Genocide Promotion award.]

Shimkus, Biggert Selling Out the Private Ballot? Updated

by Greg Blankenship

Listed below are  some of the Republicans who are being trotted out by the labor unions as supporting "Card Check" legislation to end free elections for unionization.

Americans United for Change and American Rights at Work Series of conference call briefings to urge members of congress to support the "Employee Free Choice Act." Schedule:

10 a.m.: Call with Rep. Randy Kuhl, R-N.Y.

11 a.m.: Call with Rep. Phil English, R-Pa. and Rep. Todd Platts, R-Pa.

1 p.m.: Call with Rep. Judy Biggert, R-Ill. and Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill.

2 p.m.: Call with Rep. John Kline, R-Minn. and Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.

3 p.m.: Call with Rep. Marilynn Musgrave, R-Colo. [Note: Call-in, 641-297-7250; password, 833206.]
Location: None given. 10 a.m.
Contact: 202-263-4576

Update:  I called the Springfield office.  It doesn't appear to be on Cong. Shimkus' schedule.  I have a call in to the DC office.

More...  I just heard back from the DC office. via email.  "We have never been contacted about any such call."  I've followed up with a question on how Cong. Shimkus intends to vote.

This just  In: The labor union conference calls were not, as advertised, held with various Republican congressmen who were supporting the “card Check” legislation.

They were union conference calls to attack them for not yet supporting “card Check.’

Some of the republicans listed were possible targets to swing bad.

Others have been leaders of the good guys side.

That's good news.

IL abortion stats rising - in time for abortion free-for-all

These are dark days indeed for the sanctity of life in IL.  Now that liberals have taken over the General Assembly, the other side is engaged in a free-for-all - introducing every bill it has ever dreamed. 

I've always thought that while abortion proponents outwardly cursed us, they inwardly appreciated our voice of reason.  Well, that voice of reason is now being shouted down.  Illinois' abortion industry on on the verge of abortion nirvana.

Meanwhile, where are the 2005 abortion statistics, the gauge whereby we truly know the death toll of abortion in IL?  It is six months overdue.

I called the IL Department of Public Health this morning.  There is bad news and bad news.

First, the 2004 stats that showed abortion was declining in IL are wrong and will be corrected.  The IDPH rep indicated some abortion facilities did not report as they should have.  He said in reality the number of abortions rose in 2004.

Abortion_coupon_2Second, the reason the 2005 stats are delayed in in large part because some abortion facilities did not respond to the IDPH and needed written reminder(s) that they were mandated by law to report.  The 2005 reports were not all received until last month.  The rep said to anticipate another rise.

Meanwhile, the Family Research Council reported yesterday that Illinois abortion clinics are offering $20 coupons off one's "first visit."  I did a search, and this is indeed true.  The coupon is at IllinoisAbortion.com.

Liberal are getting what they wanted.  I hope they're happy.

Gatto's 12 Reflections on an Educated Person

Former NY Teacher of the Year John Taylor Gatto always causes one to think outside the box on the topic of education.  A friend pointed me to this great piece available on line.  It's great to see Mr. Gatto still in the battle.  He, Marshall Fritz and Cathy Duffy are the most creative educational minds I've ever had the privilege to meet.  Enjoy a sample of Gatto's writings:

Twelve Reflections on an Educated Person

1) An educated person writes his own script through life, he is not a character in a government or corporation play, nor does he mouth the words of any intellectual's Utopian fantasy. Education and intelligence aren't the same things. The educated person is self-determined to a large degree.

2) Time doesn't hang heavily on an educated person's hands. She can be alone, productively, seldom at a loss for what to do with time.

3) An educated person possesses a blueprint of personal value, a unique philosophy which tends toward the absolute, not one plastically relative, altering to suit present circumstances. An educated person knows who he is, what he will tolerate, where to find peace. Yet at the same time, an educated person is aware of and respects community values.

4) An educated person knows her rights and knows how to defend those rights.

5) An educated person knows the ways of the human heart so well he's tough to cheat or fool.

6) An educated person possesses useful knowledge. She can ride, hunt, sail a boat, build a house, grow food, etc.

The piece lists six more "reflections" . . .

Link: The Guerrilla Curriculum: How to Get An Education In Spite of School by John Taylor Gatto

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Source of the GRT/Tax Problem(s)

by Bruno Behrend

Greg Blankenship of the Illinois Policy Institute, just put up a post sounding the dangers of a "Gross Receipts Tax (GRT). "  Given that I'm getting to be more and more of an agnostic on the ideological hodge-podge of debating one form of tax over another, I'm less interested in what form at tax takes than I am in seeing either a freeze or reduction in taxation - particularly in Illinois.  I asked Greg for some sources of information on the effects of a GRT and he sent me to the Tax Foundation, where I found this...

Continue reading "The Source of the GRT/Tax Problem(s)" »

Mainstream media: Googlephobic on human cloning

by Jill Stanek

I realize dissecting the topic of human cloning may be tough for my mainstream media friends, but really, the following are displays of terrible journalism regarding the state Senate's passage of a human embryonic stem cell/human cloning experimentation bill last week.

Chicago Tribune reporters Ray Long and Rick Pearson reported this on Feb. 23:

The bill also would outlaw human cloning.

Chicago Sun-Times reporter Dave McKinney said this Feb. 24:

Schoenberg's legislation would... ban human cloning.

In the State Journal-Register on Feb. 22, Dana Heupel reported:

Legislation advancing Wednesday in the Illinois Senate would promote research into all types of stem cells - including embryonic - while banning human cloning.

These reporters are taking the bill sponsors' word for it, which is sloppy if not slanted.  Easily spotted on page 1 of the bill, lines 10-11, is that "somatic cell nuclear transplantation" will be permitted.

All one has to do is google "somatic cell nuclear transplantation" and "cloning" to see almost 1 million sources explaining they are one and the same.

Cross/Schoenberg change definition of "cloning"... again

by Jill Stanek

That Sen. Jeff Schoenberg and Rep. Tom Cross changed the definition of "cloning" in their current embryonic stem cell research bills from previous versions should give honest liberal supporters pause for thought.  Scientific definitions are not subjective.  Is it possible we are right that they are engaging in deceptive word play to legalize taxpayer-funded human cloning without the public knowing?

New definition of cloning in HB318 and SB0004:

to transfer to a uterus or attempt to transfer to a uterus anything other than the product of fertilization of an egg of a human female by a sperm of a human male for the purpose of initiating a pregnancy that could result in the creation of a human fetus or the birth of a human being.

Continue reading "Cross/Schoenberg change definition of "cloning"... again" »

Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" wins

Think conservatives are paranoid about the state's radical political climate change, bringing on a liberal legislation avalanche?  It could yet be another "inconvenient truth."

Let's just say traditionalists should all be on notice that the state's liberal agenda tsunami could be tied to the Earth's global warming crisis and meltdown of polar caps.

Former Vice-President Al Gore's Oscar-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" wouldn't lie.

Link: Gore's Inconvenient Truth wins documentary Oscar | Reuters.

"My fellow Americans, people all over the world, we need to solve the climate crisis," Gore said after taking the stage.

"It's not a political issue, it's a moral issue. We have everything we need to get started with the possible exception of the will to act. That's a renewable resource. Let's renew it."

To steal from Gore (something that happened once before in 2000), conservatives should just dig in and solve the liberal agenda climate crisis.  It takes only  renewing the will to act.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Wisdom needed in making stem cell laws

by Fran Eaton

On Friday, the Illinois Senate voted 35 to 23 in favor of embryo experimentation.  State Rep. Tom Cross plans to call the bill for a vote in our Illinois House this week.  If it passes as it has in the past in our Illinois House, the bill will be signed into law by an eager Governor. 

Today's Star column calls once again for our Illinois lawmakers to exercise caution and display wisdom in this crucial vote . . .

KingsolomonIllinois lawmakers are being asked to make a moral call similar to one Solomon faced in Old Testament days. You remember King Solomon, one of history’s wisest men. Two women were fighting over a baby, both insisting the infant was hers. Solomon settled the dispute by threatening to slice the baby in half. The baby’s real mother instinctively gave over her little one rather than have him die. Wise Solomon immediately recognized who was more committed to the child’s welfare and awarded the baby to that mother.

A modern version of this story is being played out in our Illinois Legislature. This time the “baby” is incredibly tiny, even microscopic. This new life is less than eight weeks old - an embryo. The question our legislators face is whether to allow tiny humans to be experimented upon for the greater good of potentially helping other humans through embryonic stem cell research.

Link: THE STAR :: OAK FOREST :: Fran Eaton :: Wisdom needed in making stem cell laws.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

What will happen to those "unused" tiny humans?

by Fran Eaton

A question raised over and over in Illinois stem cell research debate this week was, "Okay, we agree that life begins at conception.  But what do we do with those thousands of embryos frozen in labs?  Rather than being flushed into the sewer system, shouldn't we use them to help find a cure for juvenile diabetes, Parkinson's or spinal cord injuries?"

Two things:  One, there's not that many "unused" viable human embryos available for medical research and two, the shortage of available, unused embryos has already created a market for human eggs.

Continue reading "What will happen to those "unused" tiny humans?" »

John Fritchey and amazing grace

by Jill Stanek

John Fritchey and I engaged in an email exchange a couple weeks ago that brought him as close as possible to understanding the consequences of his bill to gut parental notice in IL.

I prayed John would fully grasp his bill’s ramifications if he had been duped by Planned Parenthood. I prayed he would do the right thing and back off.

But John did not. And he was not duped. He said during the House committee hearing this week he understood some of the “counselors” his bill would allow aside from parents were Planned Parenthood agents at the abortion mill.

Continue reading "John Fritchey and amazing grace" »

First, We Should Do No Harm

(Delivered by Senator Chris Lauzen in the Illinois State Senate on 2/23/07 in opposition to SB4)

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

In this proposal, we will legalize spending an open-ended commitment of taxpayer funds to conduct controversial and speculative embryonic stem cell research.

The Civic Committee of Commercial Club has recently made the case that Illinois is insolvent considering only its current obligations. Now our attention and taxpayer funds are being diverted from education, property taxes, safe transportation, and reduction of pervasive corruption by seductive promises of cures for diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer's, and even cancer.

I support privately-funded stem cell research that does not destroy innocent human life. I am sponsoring SJR4 to that end. Obviously, we all want cures for diseases; the question is, "What are we willing to sacrifice to get them?"

Continue reading "First, We Should Do No Harm " »

Friday, February 23, 2007

Commentary on the Gross Receipts Tax

One of the bone headed things I've seen come down the pike in a long time -- the Gross Receipts tax. 

Link: Article Illinois Policy Institute.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

House Republicans Agree to Remove Citizens' Rights

The Illinois House Environmental Health Committee unanimously approved (8-0) to send to the full House a bill that bans smoking statewide. Like the prohibitionists of early times, the members of the committee voted to remove another of our rights of choice.

Most disturbing are the Republicans who went along with it: Dave Winters, Patricia Bellock, Paul Froehlich, Patricia Lindner, and Bob Pritchard.

See the State Journal-Register article here.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Embryo stem cell bill moves forward

by Fran Eaton

Feeling invigorated with larger voting muscle in the Democratic Senate caucus, the Senate Human Services committee effortlessly pushed through Sen. Jeff Schoenberg's (D-Chicago) embryo experimentation bill Wednesday with an 8 to 3 vote.  One Republican, Sen. Christine Radogno, sided with the Democrats.

Continue reading "Embryo stem cell bill moves forward" »

Reflections on Springfield Democrats

In watching the debate on mandating the Merck HPV vaccination, I’m struck by some of the lessons one can learn about the Democrats. For example:

Democrats are anti-choice: The party whose raison d’etre is the preservation of a woman’s right to choose, now seems to believe that this “right” is limited. When presented with the opportunity to legislatively mandate the HPV vaccine, the Democrat’s no longer promote their position that women (not government) should have control over their own bodies. As long as they're in control of the government, they find nothing wrong with the state forcibly invading a woman's body through the end of a needle.

Democrats are pro-corporate welfare: The party that accuses others of being in the service of Big Oil, seems to have their own corporate sugar daddy - Big Drug. The news is now filled with connections between the major drug company Merck and state legislators. As they say: follow the money. This drug corruption leads right to the Democrats – who seem more than willing to remove women’s rights for a mere 30 pieces of silver.

Democrats are anti-science: Democrats refuse to accept the overwhelming scientific evidence that the HPV vaccination is not ready for market. Both the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have publicly come out against this vaccine. AAFP said it was “premature” to consider HPV mandates because “long-term safety with widespread use” needs to be clarified. AAFP President Rick Kellerman, MD, said problems can crop up with a vaccine after it goes to market. He cited as an example Rotashield, which was FDA approved in 1998 to immunize against rotavirus but withdrawn from the market a year later after 76 cases of intussusception were reported. And Dr. Joseph A. Bocchini, MD, chair of the AAP’s Committee on Infectious Diseases, agreed that “it’s too early to consider mandates. There are other priorities that are more important right now.”

Democrats are anti-freedom: The party that preaches freedom, while accusing others of removing it, are themselves the real threat. The fact is HPV is contracted via sexual intercourse only. The liaison that results in HPV is a choice made by two individuals in a free society. That choice has consequences. If it did not, then it would not be a choice. The Democrats want to mandate a vaccine in reaction to this choice. In short, they want to remove the responsibility from the individuals. But by removing the responsibility, they remove the choice and thereby the freedom. For you cannot have freedom without choice. And you cannot have choice without responsibility.

Democrats are obsessed with sex: When it comes to the issue of government mandated HPV vaccine, all the Democrats can focus on is sex. Unable to argue their pro-mandate position on merit, they’ve been forced to throw up a smoke screen that attempts to focus debate solely on the erotic aspect of their proposed legislation. They introduce the issue via Sen. Halverson’s public discussion of private behavior; then take umbrage when the anti-mandate side engages in the debate. They accuse detractors of being obsessed with sex. But the Democrats single-minded focus – to the exclusion of all other debate (e.g. choice, rights, science, profits, etc.) – is an obsession with sex akin to that of a teenager.

So, when it comes to the Democrats accusations against conservatives - me thinks they do protest too much. Pay no attention to the truth behind the curtain. Power corrupts. And absolute power (in the form of the Springfield Democrats' absolute majority) corrupts absolutely. So much so that they betray their own principles to exercise it.

A Thought To Ponder

The American Indians found out what happens when you don't control immigration.

HPV bills on hold

A Springfield contact reports state Sen. Debbie Halvorson has decided not to call her HPV bill for a vote in the Public Health Committee today as previously scheduled, and state Rep. Naomi Jakobsson is not calling her HPV bill tomorrow in the Human Services Committee as previously scheduled.

Why not mandate condoms for boys?

by Jill Stanek

It doesn't seem fair that legislators are focusing solely on adolescent girls to try to slow the spread the sexually transmitted disease human papillomavirus....

Lawmakers around the country are introducing legislation faster than sperm swims mandating that 11- and 12-year-old girls be injected with the three-dose HPV vaccination regimen (well, maybe six, or more, since the vaccine has only been proven to last four years)....

But the feminist in me says this mandated vaccine is patriarchal. After all, women already bear almost all the responsibility for sex-without-consequences.

We're the ones who have to ingest birth control pills packed with female steroids, or transport that copper IUD with the weird vibes it sends throughout our uteruses and who knows where else, or insert that clumsy diaphragm, or wear those birth control patches that cause heart attacks. And then we end up pregnant anyway and have to get the abortions or raise the products of conception as single moms.

Continue reading "Why not mandate condoms for boys?" »

Dangerous Nation indeed

This is where to go to say "Thanks."

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

About that "Local Control"

Here is a cool site. If you saw the math video from a few weeks ago, highlighting the absurd educational malpractice in math education, you should enjoy Where's The Math.

Here is another video for you to peruse at your leisure. Your child's mind is a terrible thing to waste. Wasting your child's mind while dogmatically (stupidly even) supporting Public Education out of nothing more than "peer group" pressure (Soccer Moms) is even more terrible.

If your airline served you this poorly, you'd be dead in a plane crash. But your fear of your peer's rebuke prevents you from attacking public education as it needs to be attacked - aggressively, relentlessly, and unapologetically. OH! By the way, yes, it is just as bad in Illinois as it is in Washington. The fact that this tripe is found in nearly every district in the USA is yet more evidence that your district is nothing more than a franchise of the same morally bankrupt entity.

Continue reading "About that "Local Control"" »

Don't forget to thank the UK Troops

By Mark RhoadsBritish20lion_1

There are times when producers and reporters at CNN are so anxious to please their boss Ted Turner that they go overboard on their anti-Bush Administration spin. Thus some typical CNN hype tonight to the effect that Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has been a faithful ally, is pulliing back on British troops in Iraq.  Reducing yes, pulling out, no.

It has been expected for many months that Britain would pull 1,500 of its 7,100 troops from southern Iraq.  Blair will confirm that fact to the House of Commons tomorrow.  Blair further expects to take out an additional 1,500 by December 2007 which would bring the total of British troops in southern Iraq down to 4,000 by the end of 2007.

Continue reading "Don't forget to thank the UK Troops" »

Monday, February 19, 2007

A once in a lifetime opportunity

submitted by Jim Leahy

As the executive director of the Republican Assembly of Illinois, it has come to my attention that the conservative meetings in the Chicago area have become a basis for argument, anger and even ridicule among some bloggers and conservative leaders.

The meetings were the idea of Republican Assembly of Lake County chairman Ray True, it’\s executive director Jack Martin and myself. Why? It was obvious after the November elections that the GOP was without leadership. When the Democrats took total control of the state and started announcing their intentions the silence on our side was deafening. When talk of the huge tax swap broke out, then the pay increase for the General Assembly passed, both with GOP defectors it showed a lack of leadership!  We thought enough was enough.

Continue reading "A once in a lifetime opportunity" »

The Moron of the Decade: George Soros

By Mark RhoadsSoros_1

According to The New York Times, George Soros recently told a group of reporters that "America needs to follow the policies it has introduced in Germany." America must apologize for going to war in Iraq. "We have to go through a certain de-Nazification process."

This is not the first time Mr. Soros has compared the president of the United States to Aldolph Hitler or the Bush Administration to the Third Reich. At least once or twice in the recent past Soros had enough decency to semi-apologize for things he has said or written along similar lines.  

Continue reading "The Moron of the Decade: George Soros" »

Sen. Raoul wants to lower compulsory school age -- again

Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) wants to lower the compulsory school attendance from its current age 7 to 5 years . . . no, make that 3, as he stated two years ago when he tried to pass the legislation once before.

Homeschoolers led the charge two years ago.  They are sounding the alarm on homeschool blogs once again.

Continue reading "Sen. Raoul wants to lower compulsory school age -- again" »

Sunday, February 18, 2007

United Republican Fund Launches 'Heritage Project'

by Curt Mercadante

Heritageprojectlogo The United Republican Fund of Illinois (URF) announced last week that it has formed 'The Heritage Project', a regional project focused on electing honest, ethical Republican candidates to office.  The Project will initially help train and campaign for Republican candidates in the upcoming Morris municipal elections.

The Heritage Project has launched an advocacy Web site at www.heritageproject.org.

Continue reading "United Republican Fund Launches 'Heritage Project'" »

Time to Scrap the Property Tax for Education

by Bruno Behrend

The Education Apartheid caused by the absurd education funding system in Illinois is unsustainable.

As we all know, tax increases masquerading as "tax swaps" are a bad idea, as they simply increase spending on an already failing system.

On the other hand, a REAL tax swap, that cuts the obscene property taxes that are pushing people across Illinois out of their homes, may not be a bad idea - particularly if coupled with a newer system that funds children, not ficticious contructs like "school districts."

Continue reading "Time to Scrap the Property Tax for Education" »

Dear Congressman Kirk

To Congressman Mark Kirk from one of his disappointed constituents -- a retired Naval Intelligence Specialist -- concerning Kirk's vote on the Iraq War surge resolution which passed the House on Friday:

Continue reading "Dear Congressman Kirk" »

What's really "mean"?

by Fran Eaton

Dubbing the HPV vaccine controversy "A New Level of Mean Girls," Daily Southtown's Kristen McQueary chides Jill Stanek today for her ongoing Illinois Review's "Debbie Does . . ." series here and here.

From the perspective of IR's editor,

  • It's "mean" to lower expectations for our daughters to levels that assume they will make poor behavior decisions 
  • It's "mean" to not provide them with the information they need how to avoid contracting the HPV virus, rather than assume they'll engage in destructive behavior 
  • It's "mean" not to care for those uninformed young women whose bodies may become protected by the HPV vaccine, but whose damaged hearts and broken dreams due to promiscuity will take years to heal

Continue reading "What's really "mean"?" »

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Affirmative Action Mutual Fund?

I’ve got some money in the State employees deferred compensation program, so I get quarterly statements. Included with the one that arrived on Lincoln’s Birthday was a letter from William R. Atwood, Executive Director of the Illinois State Board of Investment.

If was peculiar. There may have been others, but this is the only one I remember. It says that the Board of Investment “has concerns regarding recent performance of Ariel Capital Management.”

Apparently, it has done well enough over the “longer term,” that is, over ten years, but “the performance over the one, three and five year time periods has caused a great deal of concern.”

Catch that? “…a great deal of concern.”

Continue reading "Affirmative Action Mutual Fund?" »

Congressman says no to federal funds for HPV

At least one Congressman understands the problems with mandating the HPV vaccine.  It happens that he's an OB-GYN from Georgia.

Continue reading "Congressman says no to federal funds for HPV" »

Friday, February 16, 2007

GOP Cook Co Chairman backs statewide smoking ban

by Fran Eaton

Newly-elected Cook County GOP Chairman Liz Gorman -- who is also Orland Township GOP Committeeman AND a Cook County Commissioner -- apparently sides with liberals in her support of the statewide smoking ban.  She says so in a letter to the Star editor published last week:

There has been a great deal in the press recently regarding my position on the smoking ban in Cook County. I would like to take this opportunity to make my position clear. I am in favor of a smoking ban. I wholeheartedly support it when it puts everyone on equal ground.

Mrs. Gorman reprimanded the Orland Park City Council last month for passing a smoking ban, but apparently her only beef (another endangered consumption) was that the city was moving faster at banning than Cook County and the state.

As a non-smoker I ask, why stop with cigs and cigars?  We should also ban gambling, alcohol drinking and dessert consuming.  All are destructive behaviors that unquestionably endanger others.

But this position is particularly troubling for a Republican leader.  What happened to the Republican platform plank of upholding the free market system?  What happened to personal responsibility?  What happened to encouraging small business owners?   

Someone needs to tell Liz that enforcing a statewide smoking ban isn't going to work, either.  As I mentioned in my January 28 Star column, to get the effect Gorman and other freedom stealers want, smoking has to be banned nationwide. 

Link: THE STAR :: HOMER GLEN :: Opinion :: Gorman backs statewide ban.

The world's most desired body

Annanicole_1Just a thought . . . and, yes, I admit, a morbid one.

We haven't talked much at all on IR about Anna Nicole Smith's death, but it struck me last night how tragic and ironic that the same body that made Anna Nicole famous internationally and created a lifelong obsession for Anna herself laid lifeless and unattended in a morgue, decomposing for days, while those who love her most continued to fight over it.

How unseemly and how sobering. . . 

RIP: Chief Illiniwek succumbs to PC

Chiefilliniwek31501_1Rest in peace, Chief.

CHICAGO - Unless a judge stops them, University of Illinois officials will announce Friday that Chief Illiniwek, the controversial and storied mascot who has performed for 81 years, is to dance for the last time next week.

University officials had made extensive preparations for Friday's announcement. But according to a source familiar with the university's plan, the process took a turn Thursday when the two students who portray the chief filed a lawsuit against the university and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Link: KRT Wire | 02/16/2007 | University of Illinois prepares to retire Chief Illiniwek.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

When we lay down with dogs

by Jill Stanek and Fran Eaton

An article in The Hill today about Barack Obama's obstruction of IL's Born Alive Infants Protection Act when he was state senator reopens an old wound, in particular, this passage:

Obama’s campaign did not return calls for comment, but Pam Sutherland, president of the Illinois Planned Parenthood Council, said the Illinois legislation was misleading and a far cry from the Senate’s legislation. Obama was aware of this difference, she added.

Sutherland noted that every medical group in the state was opposed to the state legislation, which would have opened the door to “civil suits and criminal charges” for doctors and led directly to an overall ban on abortions.

“The legislation was written to ban abortion, plain and simple,” she said. “Sen. Obama saw the legislation, when he was there, for what it was.”

On the narrower issue of “born alive” infants, Sutherland said, Planned Parenthood of Illinois worked last year with the anti-abortion group, the Illinois Federation of Right to Life, to pass legislation that protects infants that survive abortion procedures.

Sutherland et al are liars, which comes as no surprise to pro-lifers:

Continue reading "When we lay down with dogs" »

Tsarpalas, Salvi, and Heffley

By Charlie Johnston

I was disappointed to read today that John Tsarpalas will be stepping down as Executive Director of the Illinois Republican Party (IRP). He will join the Sam Adams Alliance as a national alliance director. Speaking with him this morning, he said the job largely entails helping local groups organize to fight tax and regulation hikes.

Rumors had begun to bubble a few days ago that he might be departing but I had hoped they were not true. Tsarpalas brought real-world experience to the post, experience in the trenches. He was deeply committed to grass-roots action and collegial consultation across all spectrums of Republican thought, commitments he had lived as a successful volunteer organizer. At last month's State Central Committee meeting, Tsarpalas had announced he would be focusing on work to develop a coherent Republican message for Illinois. It was a critical component that largely got lost in the shuffle during the last cycle.

Continue reading "Tsarpalas, Salvi, and Heffley" »

PROFT: Lincoln Day Dinner revolt

a commentary by Dan Proft

Rank-and-file Republicans of Illinois, put down your salad forks and take up the pitchforks!

Continue reading "PROFT: Lincoln Day Dinner revolt " »

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

l RA-IL So-called Conservative Caucus Chooses Oberweis as Chief Spokesperson for Group and State?

Exclusive by RFFM.org News  -- used by permission   

Chicago, IL  -- As RFFM.org exclusively reported on in an article published January 16, 2007, titled "Republican Assembly of Illinois (RA-IL) Fails to Appoint Oberweis State Conservative Spokesman / Meeting Draws Ire of Some Pro-Family Leaders," the RA-IL has now accomplished what it failed to do during a January 6th meeting by appointing wealthy businessman Jim Oberweis as the group's chief spokesperson during their latest meeting which was held February 10th.  Also, Bruno Behrend was appointed deputy spokesperson during the gathering. 

Although the full body of the organization was not present, including representatives of the Republican Assembly of Illinois' west suburban Cook County Chapter, approximately ten individuals selected Oberweis for the position by what can only be called an informal agreement.

"It was a strange experience," said one RA-IL member who attended the meeting, but requested anonymity.  "I wasn't even sure what Oberweis had been appointed spokesman of.  Was he appointed spokesperson for RA-IL or the entire state?   There was no show of hands.  There was no ballot counting.  It was a vote like no other I've ever seen, closer to a coronation."

Some say no matter what position Oberweis was appointed to, the procedure did not follow any formal rules of order, therefore, the informal vote lacked credibility.

Continue reading "l RA-IL So-called Conservative Caucus Chooses Oberweis as Chief Spokesperson for Group and State? " »

More "Spokesperson" Stuff

This was originally posted as a comment on Lee's Post below.  With the Post below by Greg circulating what I believe to be a draft announcement that no one vetted, I think it is fair to say that much of what many detractors have written has come to pass.  Oh Well.

To cut to the chase, I want who ever cares to know that I've resigned from the effort, though I believe the concept held a great deal of merit.  The remainder of this post contains responses to  many of the people who have chimed in on the issue.

I must say that I truly do appreciate the sentiments expressed here, even where there is disagreement.

Continue reading "More "Spokesperson" Stuff" »

Minister Sues Democrats for Reparations

by Eric Wallace, PhD

A good friend of mine, Rev Wayne Perryman, author of the book Unfounded Loyalty, has been pursuing litigation against the Democrat Party for the past several years. His case is now being considered by the Supreme Court (Download Brief_To_U.S._Supreme_Court-1.pdf )

He is looking for people to send letters to the Supreme Court in support of his case. He recently sent me an appeal to ask my friends and me for these letters ASAP. Here is his appeal:

Continue reading "Minister Sues Democrats for Reparations" »

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Some Lessons From the San Diego GOP

Congratulations to Ron Nehring, a good friend of the Illinois Policy Institute, who is going to take over the California GOP.  Recently, the San Diego Union profiled him and the challenges he faced when he first relocated to San Diego to run the San Diego Cty organization.  It seems that much of his tenure there was dedicated to fixing many of the same problems plaguing Illinois:

Continue reading "Some Lessons From the San Diego GOP" »

Blagojevich initiates plan against global warming

In the midst of a 12-inch snowfall in Springfield today, Governor Blagojevich blasts the Bush Administration for not acting with enough alarm as to the global warming crisis facing Illinois. . .

If his plans progress, Illinois will be a leader in passing along "a healthy world full of opportunity . . ." 

Sounds like Utopia on the way to Illinois -- fewer people, fewer consumed goods, fewer businesses, fewer taxpayers, fewer discretionary dollars and fewer free minutes to spend with the family just to make ends meet in an economically-depressed state.

Continue reading "Blagojevich initiates plan against global warming" »

Contract with Illinois

by Eric Wallace, PhD

Since the great debacle of November 7th there has been an uproar from the grassroots activist and, many of us believe, the general public.

An uproar that says the GOP of IL must somehow become relevant again. We must have ideas that inspire and show leadership. Ideas that distinguish the GOP from the Democrats.

For we are the party of freedom. We are the party of unlimited possibilities. We are the party that preaches hope and prosperity. Yet that message has been forgotten.

Continue reading "Contract with Illinois" »

Cook Co: 10 cents a bullet

Cartoonbullets

Nine months after 1947 Roswell UFO Encounter

submitted by IR reader Bob Kupienski
Many will recall that on July 8, 1947, witnesses claim an unidentified object with five aliens aboard crashed on a sheep and cattle ranch just outside Roswell, New Mexico. This is a well known incident that many say has long been covered up by the US Air Force and the Federal Government.

However, you may NOT know that in the month of March 1948 --  roughly nine months after that historic day -- Albert Arnold Gore, Jr, Hillary Rodham, John F. Kerry, Howard Dean, and Nancy Pelosi were born.
I hope that this information has cleared up a lot of things that have been troubling you.

Brrrrr - It Must be Global Warming

by Joyce Morrison

“We lost another calf,” were the dreaded words uttered discouragingly by my farmer husband after he had finished the morning chores. Unexpectedly, three cows decided this bitterly cold weather was a good time to calve, and by the time the babies were found, they were almost frozen. Extra care with good bedding and heat lamps were not enough to save them.

Continue reading "Brrrrr - It Must be Global Warming" »

Monday, February 12, 2007

Are you ready for Lou Lang's gambling expansion?

Thursday afternoon, the newly-formed House Gaming committee will hold one of its first hearings to accept or reject St. Rep. Lou Lang's HB 480, a 300+ page proposal that will

  • add four casinos = 10,000 new gambling positions
  • allow slot machines at racetracks -- 5 additional land-based casinos -- 3,800 additional gambling positions
  • increase gambling positions by 800 at Illinois' nine existing casinos -- 7,200 new positions

HB 480 would allow 21,000 Illinoisans new access to gambling at any given time.

Tell the committee members what you think about Lang's idea.  . . let them know before Thursday afternoon's hearing.  Committee members and their email addresses are inside . . .

Continue reading "Are you ready for Lou Lang's gambling expansion?" »

Cellini's YouTube Numbers

Every week the number of people who have looked at the 30-second YouTube posting of Crystal Lake Mayor Aaron Shepley and successful businessman Bill Cellini creeps up. When I looked Sunday, 77 had looked at it.  Those viewing the extended version is up to 33.

Here's the background. There's an amazing thing about Shepley’s reiteration that the council would not use condemnation on properties in the Vulcan Tax Increment Financing district.

The Crystal Lake City Council, with Councilman Howie Christensen absent, voted to condemn three properties in that TIF district two months before what you hear on this video.

Continue reading "Cellini's YouTube Numbers" »

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Problem with Le Socialism

By Mark RhoadsSgolne_royal55l_1

According to the International Herald Tribune, Ségolène Royal, the presidential candidate of the French Socialist Party, unveiled her long- awaited platform on Sunday, veering sharply to the left on economic policy while also stressing discipline and "traditional values." In a two-hour speech (the time it used to take Fidel Castro to clear his throat), Royal told 10,000 of her endangered admirers north of Paris that she wants smaller class sizes in the schools of the Paris suburbs.  When your platform contains 100 planks, you tend to get to items such as classroom size in local schools. If you are a socialist down in the polls, you have nothing to lose by going exteme left to energize your base and hope Le Pen nationalist and moderate conservatives split the vote.  It is the French political equivalent of a Hail Mary pass.

Continue reading "The Problem with Le Socialism" »

Baby Rowan 911 call

This is a 911 call unlike any other you may ever hear. It was just posted on You Tube. Made on April 2, 2005, the call was to report a baby had been aborted alive in an Orlando abortion mill. It was not clinic workers who made the call but a friend of the aborting mom, reporting clinic workers were attempting to ensure the baby's demise. It seems to me 911 operators also helped ensure the baby's demise by mishandling the call, solely because the person in life-threatening distress was an aborted baby.

Clinic workers turned the response team away at the door, and the response team complied. Rowan died in his mother's arms as she sang to him, alone in the bathroom where he was aborted.  The photos you will see are of Rowan, taken in the morgue.

I interviewed and later met Rowan's mother. You can read Rowan's story here. Rowan's mother is a gentle, sensitive person who made a terrible decision under distressing circumstances.

The abortionist, James Pendergraft, is still in business.

A TIF for Schools

TIF fighter Steve Stanek is from McHenry, but has a wide reach because he is Managing Editor of Budget & Tax News, a national monthly publication of The Heartland Institute. Yesterday he laid out academic finding s of the failure of TIFs. Now, Stanek came up with the “modest proposal.”
Here's a thought:

Continue reading "A TIF for Schools" »

URF: Grassroots activists brave the cold to learn campaign strategy

by Fran Eaton

Just wanted to thank everyone who came out yesterday in Wheaton to brush up on campaign strategy.  It was exciting to meet several local school board candidates who were motivated and ready to win their local elections after leaving the day long training.  It was also great to see young people -- some coming from as far as Eastern Illinois University -- to learn how to win in their districts.

The United Republican Fund will be holding another grassroots training school on March 3 at Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville. 

Please join us. . . I am very proud to be associated with the United Republican Fund, serve on their advisory committee and assist at the schools.  Selfishly, I love meeting good-hearted and high-spirited people who are resilient and determined to make Illinois a better place to live.  There's no better place to meet real movers and shakers -- not mere talkers -- than at a URF Grassroots Activist Training School.

Check out the URF's website at www.unitedrepublican.com for details on the March 3 school.  We hope to see you there.

Continue reading "URF: Grassroots activists brave the cold to learn campaign strategy" »

Friday, February 09, 2007

Abstinence and Marriage conference planned in Arlington Hts

"Restoring the Dream:  Teaching the Objective Benefits of Marriage" is a conference open to the public that will be held February 28 in Arlington Heights.

Featured speakers include Maggie Gallagher, founder of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, along with Focus on the Family's Glenn T. Stanton and Abstinence & Marriage Education Partnership's Scott Phelps.

Continue reading "Abstinence and Marriage conference planned in Arlington Hts " »

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Logic of Chief Illiniwek

Chiefilliniwek31501 By Ralf Seiffe

The esteemed leader of the Illinois Senate, Democrat Emil Jones, wants to speed the process of jettisoning the University of Illinois’s long-time mascot, Chief Illiniwek.  The Sage of the Senate is apparently offended by the vivified symbol the University has used since the beginning of big-time college football in the Roaring Twenties.  Despite his bluster, is Senator Jones entitled to be offended?  If so, his feelings may be the first evidence of a much bigger problem than the fate of an imaginary, Native American logo.

Continue reading "The Logic of Chief Illiniwek" »

Cronyism in Grundy County?

by Curt Mercadante

Amidst a questionable deal between the city of Morris and SenreQ, LLC to build a "waste gasificaiton" facility, several Grundy County Democrat officials were called upon this week to return political contributions from SenreQ and its chairman, Myron Brick ... who also happens to be chairman of the Will County Democrat Party.  This is from GrundyGOP.com:

"The holding of an elected office is a public trust. Elected officials are servants of the people, said John Peacock, chairman of the Grundy County Republicans. "An open, honest and ethical government is necessary in our democracy in order to accomplish legitimate goals and functions of government. Maintaining public confidence in our system of government is of the utmost importance."

Continue reading "Cronyism in Grundy County?" »

White Privilege or White Guilt?

Wise

by John Ruskin

Emily Krone reported in the Daily Herald Wednesday about Tim Wise, an "anti-racism activist" (read: speakers fees) who spoke to an assembly of college students at the taxpayer-funded Elgin Community College (photo right: George LeClaire/Daily Herald). Krone titled her story: "Speaker reveals how deep race goes". (story here)

As we scrape the bottom of victim-hood in this country, it is little wonder that people like Wise can sell their racism, dressed up as enlightenment, to a group of college students fed a steady diet of Oprah-ized self hate.

When the legislators in Springfield tell you we need more money for education, this is the "re-education" they're talking about.

Continue reading "White Privilege or White Guilt?" »

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Rest in Peace, Captain Landeck

submitted by IR Reader Jim Economos

It's with a sad and heavy heart I learned today about the passing of a brave Army captain, Kevin Landeck of Wheaton,  IL.  His mother Vicky Heinz,  was one of my classmates from high school, his father, Rich,  has been a friend for 20 years as her husband and a representative of the dental supply company I use (Patterson Dental).   

I was able to speak today with both parents to tell them their son died a hero, as has been the story of many brave people who served our country to make it what it is today, that being a beacon of light and hope which is the example for much of the world who wish to come to this country to live in peace and prosperity. 

Continue reading "Rest in Peace, Captain Landeck" »

ERA faces defeat in Arkansas

Washington, Feb. 7 / Christian Newswire / -- Supporters of the so- called "three-state strategy" to revive the federal Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) – approved by Congress in 1972 – suffered a stunning setback today in the Arkansas legislature, as a House panel voted down a ratification resolution (HJR 1002) after 20 co-sponsors abandoned it.

HJR 1002 is part of the "three-state strategy," which is based on the hotly debated premise that the 1972 ERA can be ratified if three new states join the 35 that ratified during the 1970s – even though the ratification deadline passed in 1979, and even though five states had rescinded their ratifications before the deadline. (Ratification of a constitutional amendment requires 38 states.) A national organizer for the "three-state" campaign was quoted in the Kansas City Star (February 7) explaining, "This is very much under the radar."

Ratification resolutions have been introduced this year in a number of other states that never ratified the 1972 ERA, including Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, and Mississippi.

Continue reading "ERA faces defeat in Arkansas" »

IDOT: Making Offers You Can't Refuse

Pacinogf2_1The Daily Southtown reported on how IDOT is attempting to seize people's land by threatening to have it condemned. Like some mafia goons from the Godfather, IDOT is using threats and intimidation to shake down Illinoisans and run them off their private property. All in the name of "the public good" of course.

Michael Corleone would be proud. IDOT is making offers we citizens can't refuse.

A vaccine-induced nightmare

by Fran Eaton

Few things set a person back on his or her heels quicker than getting a call out of the blue from the former chairman of the Republican National Committee asking how he or Merck could convince you to support mandating a vaccine against a virus transmitted by sexual activity.

I suspect Governor Perry of Texas may have received such a call before issuing an executive order mandate for all 11 year olds.   A call like that, in addition to pressure from his Chief of Staff, whose family member lobbies for the HPV vaccine producer, was probably just enough to push him into the hot water he's boiling in right now.

And if he got such a call, he should know he's not the only one.  Several conservative activists throughout the nation heard from a particular Merck consultant over the last few months, asking how resistance to the HPV vaccine could be pared down.

I was one of them.

Continue reading "A vaccine-induced nightmare" »

Incrementalists and purists vs. the South Dakota abortion ban

by Jill Stanek

Over the 34 years abortion has been legal in the U. S., pro-life organizations have adapted certain philosophies.

I'm thinking now of strategists who incrementally plot our legal course based on court decisions and a head count of pro-life and anti-life judges. I'm also thinking of purists who won't support legislation with compromises or exceptions. No stopgaps allowed.

The South Dakota abortion bans of 2006 and 2007 present quandaries for both these camps....

Continue reading "Incrementalists and purists vs. the South Dakota abortion ban" »

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Democrats Fight... With Themselves?

You've got to love the headline in today's Lake County News-Sun. It reads: Lawmakers Predict Uneasy Session Over State Finances (story here).

Really? The Democrats control the Illinois Senate, the Illinois House, every statewide constitutional office, and the Governor's Mansion. Where exactly is the "uneasiness" coming from? Certainly not the Republicans!

Debbie does... ??

by Jill Stanek

Responding to a barrage of criticism for signing on executive order that will force adolescent girls to receive the HPV vaccine regimen, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is quoted in the Houston Chronicle today saying, "If the medical community developed a vaccine for lung cancer, would the same critics oppose it claiming it would encourage smoking?"

I have thought of that analogy myself.  It is perfect.  Lung cancer is predominantly caused by cigarette smoking, which is currently a politically incorrect behaviorChicago and Illinois lawmakers have increasingly sought to discourage this behavior by making it more difficult to carry out this behavior.

So to answer Perry's question, we would welcome a lung cancer vaccine but wouldn't turn around and say, "Great, let's all smoke!"  Because we know smoking causes a myriad of other cancers as well as health problems like emphysema and hardening of the arteries.  Furthermore, we know this behavior has secondary consequences of endangering the health of other people who come in contact with the smoker.

Debbie So when state Sen. Debbie Halvorson admitted she had HPV and worried others might get it, you would think she'd focus on her behavior that caused her to contract that sexually transmitted disease.

Halvorson would be most helpful by discussing the health consequences of pre- or extra-marital sex.  Here are some potential topics:

Continue reading "Debbie does... ??" »

Think it's cold now?

Cartoon_global

From the pen of Glenn McCoy . . .

Common sense could rule on HPV vaccine

by Fran Eaton

This morning the Sun-Times takes a cautious "not so fast" approach on the HPV vaccine mandate and the Trib labels such a mandate as "premature."  Kudos to them both for bringing common sense into the discussion.

Merck's attempt to sweep the nation with a stealth campaign to force its Gardasil vaccine on 11 year old girls is finding resistance among traditionalists as well as progressives, as well it should.

 

Continue reading " Common sense could rule on HPV vaccine" »

Monday, February 05, 2007

Grassroots training this Saturday in Wheaton

What's the real nature of politics and elections? 

  • To change the world by sitting around blowing hot air? 
  • To change the IL GOP by ranting and raving with mass mailings?
  • To change your town by telling your best friends how bad things are?

How about finding a way to really change things by organizing your neighborhood, your issues contacts or just the people in your church who ask you how they should vote?

The United Republican Fund is joining with local Republican groups to offer you a day of training that could make a difference immediately in your local bid for school board, city council or trustee board.  Positive change can start as soon as Leadership Institute's nationally-renowned instructions are put into place. 

Join the United Republican Fund at their February 10th school located at Wheaton College.  For more info, check here.

Coming American Eclipse

By Charlie Johnston

Very soon those who believe America to blame for most of the world's ills will get to see what the world is like without American pre-eminence. Unfortunately, so will the rest of us.

In the last 120 years, the decline of great western powers has, with the exception of Spain, come as a result of loss of will rather than loss of power.Spain blundered into the Spanish-American War when it did not have sufficient strength to back up its claims on Cuba. Effective diplomacy could have maintained Spanish influence in Cuba, although a diminished influence, and bought her time to recover her strength. War not only exposed her weakness, but made her weaker by ending her influence in both the Americas and the Pacific. Spain exited the table of great powers as America took its seat.

Continue reading "Coming American Eclipse" »

Facts on HPV vaccine politics

FACT:  Senate Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson (D-Monee) has been leading the quest to mandate the HPV vaccine for 11 year old girls in Illinois.   

FACT:  Senator Halvorson went public last September with a story sharing her own HPV diagnosis and how it led to her decision to have an hysterectomy, based on her doctor's concern that the HPV virus could lead to cervical cancer.  The story is featured on her website here.

FACT:  Women in Government has been successful in promoting an HPV vaccine mandate in Michigan and Texas. 

FACT:  Senator Halvorson also serves on the Board of Directors of Women in Government, a national women legislators' group that is partially financed by Merck, the sole makers and distributors of the Gardasil vaccine.

FACT:  Senator Halvorson received a $1000 campaign donation from Merck last year.

More on the topic here, here and here . . .

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Culture War

by Lee Congdon, Ph.D.

To few Americans is Antonio Gramsci a familiar name. That is to be regretted because the work of the late Italian Marxist sheds much light on our time. It was he who first alerted fellow revolutionaries to the possibility that they would be able to complete the seizure of political power only after having achieved "cultural hegemony," or control of society's intellectual life by cultural means alone. His was an incremental, rather than an apocalyptic, revolution-the kind, that is, that we have been witnessing in the United States, and the Western world generally, since the 1960s. With this in mind, we ought not to treat the contemporary "culture war" lightly; the fate of what remains of civilized life may well be decided by its outcome.

Continue reading "Culture War" »

Chicago Tribune: Against a new vaccine mandate

by Fran Eaton

In light of the pressing urgency Merck has placed upon the Illinois General Assembly to mandate the HPV vaccine for 11-year-old girls, sexually active or not, perhaps it would be a good time to re-visit some of the arguments the Chicago Tribune used in 2000 to oppose another mandated vaccine:

No question the recommendation is well-intentioned.  But it also is ill-advised.  Not everything that is desirable deserves to be mandated by the state.  Such mandates ought to be reserved for matters of genuine public peril.  . .

. . . Now a state mandate certainly would inoculate the majority against that discomfort and the infinitesimal minority against hospitalization or death from the disease.  But is that the sort of use to which we want to put the coercive power of the state? 

We think not.

Read the Tribune's whole editorial inside . . . Will our General Assembly listen?

Continue reading "Chicago Tribune: Against a new vaccine mandate " »

Brace for Blagojevich HPV executive order

He hasn't thwarted the legislative process since last October.  Get ready.  Change the names, and this is in IL's future?

AUSTIN, Texas Feb 2, 2007 (AP)— Bypassing the Legislature altogether, Republican Gov. Rick Perry issued an order Friday making Texas the first state to require that schoolgirls get vaccinated against the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer.

Continue reading "Brace for Blagojevich HPV executive order" »

Friday, February 02, 2007

Wheeling High student news promotes oral sex

Just imagine your mom's face if she got a letter like this from your high school PTA:

Hello Fellow District 214 Parents and Concerned Citizens,

Just a quick reminder of the upcoming meeting that is scheduled with our District 214 Superintendent Dr. David Schuler next TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2007 from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.  The meeting will take place at the Forest View Educational Center at 2121 South Goebbert Road, Arlington Heights, Il. 

Again, please know that your presence at this meeting is so essential to getting our message to those in authority who make decisions for our school district.  In addition to discussing the latest actions Dr. Schuler plans on taking in response to our concerns, we will have the opportunity to bring up any new concerns we have as parents. 

What's the big deal, you say?  Keep reading . . .

Continue reading "Wheeling High student news promotes oral sex" »

HPV Vaccine: If Merck can't sell it, mandate it

by Fran Eaton

Truth be told, State Rep. Naomi Jakobsson's (D-Champaign) HPV Vaccine mandate (HB 115) is really just a ploy for a drug company to make obscene profits at the expense of taxpayers.

Evidently, Merck (the maker of the vaccine) is unable to convince enough clients to step up and pay $360 to be vaccinated against four (of 19) strains of the sexually-transmitted HPV. So, they’ve turned to the state legislature to force 11-year old girls to be forceably vaccinated – whether they are sexually active or not.

Continue reading "HPV Vaccine: If Merck can't sell it, mandate it" »

And Biden's off, outta the starting gate

Cartoonbiden

From the pen of Dana Summers . . .

Continue reading " And Biden's off, outta the starting gate" »

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Stop taxpayer subsidies to anti-religious groups

Should taxpayers be forced to pay legal fees to groups who fil lawsuits against veterans' memorials and public displays of religion?

Senator Sam Brownback thinks no, and has reintroduced S.415, federal legislation that would protect religious expression in the public square.

Citing millions of taxpayer dollars awarded to the ACLU over the past few years, the American Legion lauded Brownback's attempt to shut down this profit-making scheme anti-religious groups.

"It is not fair for taxpayers to pay the legal bills for groups like the ACLU," said Brownback. "Currently many towns comply with the demands of the ACLU rather than risk going to trial and paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to the ACLU if they lose the case."

The chances of this legislation moving forward with the ACLU-loving Democrats in control of Congress are nill.  Without the 60 votes needed to break a Senate filibuster, Brownback will be as unsuccessful as he was last session.

But whether it will proceed or not, the scandal continues.  The thought of my tax dollars fattening up those ACLU cats really irks me.  I'm glad someone is at least trying to get public attention to this outrageous windfall for God-haters.

Continue reading "Stop taxpayer subsidies to anti-religious groups" »

Obama concerned about voter intimidation, not ballot integrity

by Fran Eaton

Our esteemed U.S. Senator Barack Obama is sponsoring federal legislation to end voter intimidation.  Maybe someone should suggest he also become concerned about ballot integrity in Cook County, where no one who used touch screens really knows if their votes were counted or not. . . But somehow, that's not the real concern. 

Oh, and maybe he should be concerned about whether illegal immigrants voted, as well?  Nah . . .

From the New York Times . . .

Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama of Illinois and the party’s Senate re-election chairman, Charles E. Schumer of New York, introduced legislation Wednesday designed to punish attempts to deceive and intimidate voters.

Their bill is a response to civil rights groups’ complaints of attempts to mislead voters in predominantly minority neighborhoods.

Since 2000, civil rights groups have documented cases of voters receiving calls and fliers with false information about the location of polling places and endorsements, or that warned their voting could result in imprisonment of immigrants.

Link: Obama-Schumer Bill Proposal Would Criminalize Voter Intimidation - New York Times.

Mary Cheney: Pro-life

mary.jpgDespite my differences with Mary Cheney on other issues, I found her quote, from today's New York Times, touching:

"When Heather and I decided to have a baby, it was not going to be the most popular decision ever," Ms. Cheney said, referring to her partner of 15 years, Heather Poe.

She then gestured to her middle - any bulge disguised by a boxy jacket - and asserted: "This is a baby. This is a blessing from God. It is not a political statement. It is not a prop to be used in a debate by people on either side of an issue. It is my child."

Cheney made that statement at a college event hosted by pro-abortion Glamour magazine, which I'll be surprised to see included in its coverage.

[Photo from New York Times]

Black Activists React to Biden

From the black leadership network Project 21,

In an interview published in the February 5 issue of The New York Observer, Biden said of Obama: "I mean, you've got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man."

"Joe Biden's comments are completely unacceptable and clearly elitist," said Project 21 member Ak'bar Shabazz. "By praising Obama as the first 'articulate, bright and clean' black presidential candidate, he isn't only insulting the senator from Illinois, but all black Americans who strive to polish themselves and provide a positive image in the community. Biden clearly needs to open his aristocratic eyes and realize that there are many well-qualified, educated and capable blacks out there who are serving our country in the government and the private sector."

Continue reading "Black Activists React to Biden" »

Code Pink meets Hillary 2003

Hillary IR Reader Brian Smith writes: 

"Here is an interesting video of Senator Hillary Clinton at a Code Pink Forum opposing the Iraq War on March 7th, 2003 that directly contradicts her statements last week in Iowa that she said we had to go in with allies, President misused authority he was given, and that she was misled by President Bush into voting yes for the resolution.   

"Yet the media will not bring up clear contradictions in a matter this important when they know she is lying."

From the clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYATbsu2cP8):

Hillary Clinton:  "It is wrong that we have a president leading us into war, and wanting to cut taxes at the same time.  . . that is the height of  cruel, arrogant irresponsibility. . ."

Hat Tip:  IR Reader Brian Smith, Springfield

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Conservapedia: Wiki-pedia's alter ego

Here's a link you need on your "Favorites" list . . . a response to Wiki-pedia's liberal bias. 

Link: Conservapedia:About - Conservapedia.

Tired of the LIBERAL BIAS every time you search on Google and a Wikipedia page appears? Now it's time for the Conservatives to get our voice out on the internet!

Continue reading "Conservapedia: Wiki-pedia's alter ego" »

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Rep. Franks (D) Moves Against Free Speech

Check out the lefty's latest attack on our civil rights (story here). Like a modern day prohibitionist, State Rep. Jack Franks (D) now wants to take away our freedom of speech - like they have our right to use our cell phones in our cars, eat fois gras or trans fats, and smoke.

Saying he's concerned about our privacy (tell that to his fellow Democrat Daley who puts cameras on every corner) and the well-being of senior citizens, he's working on a new law (because we need more laws) that would prevent organizations from making automated calls on behalf of candidates OR legislation! And like some Pepe La Pew of the General Assembly, Franks can't smell his own hypocrisy. Fact is, he's used automated calling himself!

Of course, when it comes to protecting himself and his Party by not allowing his constituents to know what he's doing (or not doing), Franks' (D) solution is to prevent anyone from telling them.

Exactly what is a political party?

By Mark RhoadsDonkeyelephant

Different people have different hopes and expectations for their work for a political party.  Parties are a hybrid of people who want to advance policies and ideas but who must share a platform with people whose primary interest is just filling public jobs.  Discussions about how to "reform" the Illinois Republican Party are complicated by the fact that not everyone agrees on the exact definition of a party and who the authentic "party members" really are. 

Since last June I have had a running debate by email with some IR readers who are elected GOP precinct committeemen outside of Cook County.  Some of them seem to think that they "are" the Illinois GOP along with the eighty ward and township committeemen in Cook County.

Continue reading "Exactly what is a political party?" »

Monday, January 29, 2007

Sex Offender Work Places Available

by Cal Skinner

Folks have long known that they can find out where released sex offenders live. But, did you know that there is a file of where some of them work? According to the State Police, “local police agencies provide the information and we print it as submitted.”

Here’s a question for you. How much restitution does a person arrested of a sex crime have to make? Should he—and the almost 120 who show up as McHenry County employees are all men—have the right to support himself and not be hassled at work?

Continue reading " Sex Offender Work Places Available" »

Cook GOP Chairman Skoien to Resign

CHICAGO, IL, January 29, 2007 - Due to family illness, Gary J. Skoien will resign as Chairman of the Cook County Republican Party effective upon the selection of a replacement. A special meeting of the Cook County Republican Central Committee has been called for Monday, February 12, 2007 at the Hyatt Regency to elect a new Chairman. . .

IR's response was posted Sunday here, when the news was leaked by CapitolFax's Rich Miller. . .

Continue reading "Cook GOP Chairman Skoien to Resign" »

Conservative women say no to all GOP prez suitors

Schlafly by Fran Eaton

Conservative Republican women leaders from around the nation declared over the weekend that they are not happy with any of the current "Tier 1" Republican presidential candidates, and vowed to stop progress of the likes of John McCain, Rudy Guiliani, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. 

Conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly (pictured right), who hosted the weekend Eagle Forum state presidents' pow-wow in St. Louis, said that conservatives need to engage now to eliminate leading unacceptable candidates to clear the field for true conservatives to emerge in the next couple of months.

Continue reading "Conservative women say no to all GOP prez suitors" »

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Top Ten: Myths of the Iraq War

From Strategy Page comes the top ten myths of the Iraq War:

This one has been the subject of some of my recent posts. 

10- The War in Iraq is Lost. By what measure? Saddam and his Baath party are out of power. There is a democratically elected government. Part of the Sunni Arab minority continues to support terror attacks, in an attempt to restore the Sunni Arab dictatorship. In response, extremist Shia Arabs formed vigilante death squads to expel all Sunni Arabs. Given the history of democracy in the Middle East, Iraq is working through its problems. Otherwise, one is to believe that the Arabs are incapable of democracy and only a tyrant like Saddam can make Iraqi "work." If democracy were easy, the Arab states would all have it. There are problems, and solutions have to be found and implemented. That takes time, but Americans have, since the 18th century, grown weary of wars after three years. If the war goes on longer, the politicians have to scramble to survive the bad press and opinion polls. Opposition politicians take advantage of the situation, but this has nothing to do with Iraq, and everything to do with local politics in the United States.

People are beginning to take notice that with even the threat of the surge that things are moving in a new direction.  Sadr has signalled support for the surge and told his thiry followers in the Iraqi parliment to end their boycott.  One leader of the radical shia's has fled to Iran.  The Iranians have felt the heat as has PM Maliki.  Finally, the oil law talks are moving again... That's not a bad a start.

hatip: Instapundit

Worshipping with a Congressman

by Fran Eaton

Think a river doesn't make a difference?  When it comes to perspective on government, I beg to differ.

This morning, I sat in a worship service led by a U.S. Congressman who preached a sermon he entitled, "Government is not God."  He went through the Old Testament Judges passage when the Israelites rejected God's preferred system of governing -- judges -- and demanded a king.   

U.S. Congressman Todd Akins (R-MO) told his small congregation that anytime people look to government rather than God to meet their needs, they are doomed to destruction -- sooner or later.

Continue reading "Worshipping with a Congressman" »

Sticking up for smokers

by Fran Eaton

I hate cigarette smoke.  It gives me headaches.  But today, I defend smokers in this week's Star "Always Right" column.

Well, you say, smokers and their second-hand smoke are a public health hazard. Smokers should be shunned and forced to stay home or in their cars, where they can harm no one but themselves.

On the contrary. Cigarette smokers are my heroes, and they should be yours, as well. For one thing, cigarette smokers bear more than their fair share of taxes. In a growing number of cities, a pack-a-day smoker pays more in cigarette taxes than he pays in state income taxes.

Read more . . .

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Who's the Conservative?

From nwi.com:

"GOP House Minority Leader Tom Cross said Friday he doesn't favor raising the income tax to collect more money for the state, an idea the Senate's Democratic leader has said is up for discussion."

Contrast that with this:

Continue reading "Who's the Conservative?" »

Friday, January 26, 2007

Why the state will lose if it fights the Choose Life court decision

Eric Zorn and I have continued the conversation on Choose Life license plates on his blog, which led to an important point.

Zorn said:

Continue reading "Why the state will lose if it fights the Choose Life court decision" »

Aliens Cause Global Warming

A little something on scientific consensus by Michael Crichton | Download Crichton2003.pdf

Kids think the darndest things

by Fran Eaton

A young African-American just sent me the link to this TV infomercial about how black children perceive others and themselves, based on the color of skin.

I'll admit it's fascinating and troubling.  The comment attached was, "This will bring tears to your eyes," then he proceeded to blast the Irish and Polish for the pride they demonstrate and questioned why similar cultural pride is wrong for blacks.

My response to the young friend was, "I understand cultural pride.  I don't understand cultural superiority."

Continue reading "Kids think the darndest things " »

Check your weapons at Cook County's border

If you live in Cook County, you should be aware that a list of common firearms and large capacity magaines became illegal November 14, 2006.  An analysis of the law is found on Illinois State Rifle Association's website now.  Those living outside Cook County should also become familiar with this ban . . . believe it or not, it's headed your way.  It's a matter of time.

You should also be aware that on March 15, 2007, smoking will be banned in most public places.  Again, be aware, it's coming your way . . . its only a matter of time.

Anyone else feeling the squeeze on politically-incorrect behavior?   You ain't seen nothing yet . . .

Continue reading "Check your weapons at Cook County's border" »

Thursday, January 25, 2007

More Proof That Schools Commit Educational Malpractice

The video below is more evidence that what passes for curriculum in our schools is rubbish.  If you are short on time, wait until you have time to view this.  It is something you should forward to all your soccer mom friends who have been drinking the "suburban schools are good" Kool-Aid.

Hat tip to Kevin over at www.illinoisloop.org for finding this.


Invasion of Privacy: State has no Business Mandating HPV Vaccine

by John Bambenek

No one wants the government rifling through his or her bank accounts. The FBI has no business perusing your grocery lists. The right of privacy is clear in this country. With very few exceptions, the government has no reason to mandate that you tell them about your finances, your relationships, or your personal health.

That is why Representative Naomi Jakobsson's bill, HB115, is unconstitutional. The bill requires that sixth grade girls receive the vaccination for HPV before going to public or private school. Many similar laws and proposals have cropped up in other states as well.

Continue reading "Invasion of Privacy: State has no Business Mandating HPV Vaccine" »

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Take the Pledge To Stop Stupid Republicans From Undercutting the President

By Lee Newcom

You need to immediately sign the pledge to the National Republican Senatorial Committee to express your anger at the cut-and-run Republicans who are turning on the President.  This is being joined by hundreds of bloggers around the nation, including heavyweights like Hugh Hewitt.  Sign that pledge HERE.

UPDATE: 11-26 11:30 PM  More than 23,000 people have signed the pledge to stop stupid Republicans in Congress from undercutting the President.  That's in just about 36 hours.  If you have not done it yet, add your name!

Continue reading "Take the Pledge To Stop Stupid Republicans From Undercutting the President" »

Parental notification coincidences

by Jill Stanek

The IL Supreme Court issued parental notification rules last September 20, instructing AG Lisa Madigan to tell a federal judge to lift the injunction on the 1995 law. 

I had a feeling Madigan was stalling to give Rep. John Fritchey's repeal bill time to work through the system.

So four months later - coincidentally - Fritchey introduced his repeal bill January 18, and Madigan announced January 19 she would indeed follow the Supremes' instructions, "ask[ing] the federal court to give the state's circuit courts time to train their staff to handle the new procedures," according to the Chicago Tribune.

Enough time for Fritchey to keep the bloodgates open.   

Fritchey2The current law would ensure a little girl got help from the authorities if she turned up pregnant.  Fritchey's bill would allow her pedophile to get her an abortion before anyone was the wiser.

Should his bill pass, I hope Fritchey will be able to sleep at night, knowing some little girl somewhere isn't, thanks to him.

A great marriage is . . .

Wedding5_4 Okay, all you traditional family values readers. . . We agree that the one-man/one-woman marriage is the accepted norm.  We know well that American society is built upon the bedrock of strong marriages.   

Describe what you think a great marriage is. . .

Stumped? 

Continue reading "A great marriage is . . . " »

Syverson Wants To Hike Income Taxes

Berkowitz has it.  Sen. Syverson also says he wouldn't sign a pledge to constituents to oppose any and all tax increases:

"Jeff Berkowitz: Is that a problem with the Republican image? Should Republicans take the pledge? Would you take the pledge not to raise the income or the sales tax?

Sen. Dave Syverson: No.

Jeff Berkowitz: So, you don’t believe in that?

Sen. Dave Syverson: No, because as a conservative, it doesn’t mean that you’re—it means doing the right thing. Every generation in this country, the leaders have sacrificed so that the next generation could have a better life. This is the first generation we have elected officials who are saying: we don’t care about the next generation. We’re going to spend today. We’re going to..."

There's just one problem.  Syverson took the pledge in 1992 and has been listed as a signatory since.  I confirmed that Americans For Tax Reform has his pledge on file. Here's the list of all state signatories.

Now, 1992 was awhile back, but if he can't recall such a solemn pledge then perhaps he's been in office to long.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Iraqi Surge All Ready Paying Dividends?

It seems just the announced new strategy for Iraq is all ready beginning to pay some dividends according to this mornings SJ-R:

"Iraq’s prime minister has dropped his protection of an anti-American cleric’s Shiite militia after U.S. intelligence convinced him the group was infiltrated by death squads, two officials said Sunday.

In a desperate bid to fend off an all-out American offensive, the radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr last Friday ordered the 30 lawmakers and six Cabinet ministers under his control to end their nearly two-month boycott of the government. They were back at their jobs Sunday."

Does this mean the new counter insurgency policy, in the end will be successful?  No.  But it does mean that some of the incentives on the ground have shifted.  It's a sign that we can be taken seriously.

Continue reading "Iraqi Surge All Ready Paying Dividends?" »

Sunday, January 21, 2007

IL gun packin' activist rides off into the sunset

Cowboy_sunset_op_420x287 Frustrated by what appears to be four long years of more and more gun control in Illinois, Concealed Carry's John Birch told the Trib he's headin' for IL's border to get out of town sans a dramatic High Noon gunfight.

The colorful years of John Birch fighting Chicago's political gun stealers appears to be drawing to a close, as he rides off into the sunset. . .

Continue reading "IL gun packin' activist rides off into the sunset" »

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Believe in Global Warming or Else

By Mark RhoadsEarth_2

Let's agree for the sake of argument that the study of long-term climate change is an important area of research that needs to be approached with intellectually honest intentions and evaluated with honest data that is hopefully free of influence from pre-determined political agendas.  If it is so completely obvious to all scientists that the Earth is warming in all places at a much faster rate than one hundred years ago, then why would it be necessary to bully doubters into accepting a premise that should be taken for granted?

Last year some senators started beating up on Exxon-Mobil for funding private research by dissenting scientists who question the degree to which human activity affects enhanced "greenhouse gas" emissions over a long period of time.  Other scientists have been slammed for asking if the measurements of the atmosphere 100 years ago are accurate enough to be relied on today when the measuring instruments are so different.  This week a TV station weatherman for the ABC affiliate in Birmingham, Alabama is being threatened with having his certification as a meteorolgist taken away only because he too questioned the degree to which human activity is responsible for warmer temperatures.

Continue reading "Believe in Global Warming or Else" »

Friday, January 19, 2007

Brownback to kickoff presidential bid Saturday

Brownbacksign Watch Senator Brownback's Presidential Campaign Kickoff Announcement Speech LIVE Tomorrow...

United States Senator
Sam Brownback (R-KS)

Will announce his intention to run for President of the United States tomorrow in Topeka, KS.

You can watch this historic event LIVE at 1:00 PM EST tomorrow morning on C-SPAN.

Please spread the word to your friends and family so they can also tune in. Thank you!

When:

C-SPAN Live Coverage of Senator Brownback's Announcement
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Coverage Begins: 1:00 PM EST
Coverage Ends: Approximately 1:35 PM EST

Check out new IR poll: What's the most pressing issue before the IL GA in 2007?

Voice your opinion as to which issue is most important in 2007 today on Illinois Review's new poll . . . located in IR's left hand column.

BTW, in case you missed the final tally IR readers said Chicago's Mayor Daley is the most powerful Democrat in Illinois with 50% of the vote.  House Speaker Mike Madigan (and head of state Democrat Party) came in second at 39.7%. 

The state's least powerful Democrat, IR readers said, is the Governor.  Even State President Emil Jones eked out Blago, 5.9% to the governor's 4.4%.

National Sanctity of Human Life Day, 2007; By the President of the United States of America -- A Proclamation

From this year's proclamation:

Among the most basic duties of Government is to defend the unalienable right to life, and my Administration is committed to protecting our society's most vulnerable members. We are vigorously promoting parental notification laws, adoption, abstinence education, crisis pregnancy programs, and the vital work of faith-based groups. Through the "Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002," the "Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003," and the "Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004," we are helping to make our country a more hopeful place.

Continue reading "National Sanctity of Human Life Day, 2007; By the President of the United States of America -- A Proclamation " »

Thursday, January 18, 2007

La Hood, Johnson: Proven Liars

by Greg Blankenship

The House of Representatives voted to raise taxes nearly $8 billion today. According to Dan Clifton of Americans for Tax Reform this the first time in 16 years a Republican has voted to raise taxes.  Of the 192 Republicans who took the tax pledge to oppose tax hikes 28 members lacked the personal integrity to keep a written  pledge to their constituents.  Today we learned what Cong. Tim Johnson and Ray La Hood think of their constituents. It wasn't even a tough vote.

Continue reading "La Hood, Johnson: Proven Liars" »

It's All About Politics

by Greg Blankenship

I've always approached Iraq more with grim determination rather than outright approval.  If in your judgement, as President, in the aftermath of 9-11 you think finishing off Iraq and preventing its use as a terror base should be US policy, that's fine.  Just engage to win.

The first indication that we were'nt engaging to win was the adherence to the WMD argument  simply because it was the one argument that the bureaucracy agreed upon.  That doesn't exactly show strength of backbone especially when an entire list of good, maybe or maybe not sufficient, rationales were ignored.  What was worse however, is a strategy memo that I vaguely re-call from James Carville and Stan Greenberg. It basically argued that if Democrats were going to take back power, then they were going to have to be against the war.  That's what made me more anti anti-war and it continues to drive my take on the war on terror today.  More evidence for the rationale that this is more about politics and not about policy appears in WT's "Inside the Beltway:"

Continue reading "It's All About Politics" »

A Brief Primer for Illinois and National Republican Elected Officials

Dan Patlak submits his ideas in a thoughtful essay on how the GOP can regain popular support . . .

These principles are still clearly understood and enjoy almost universal support from Republicans and many independents despite external (and regrettably internal) attempts to dilute these foundational tenets of the Republican Party.

  • Lower taxes are good for everybody.
  • The welfare state is bad for the long-term interests of the poor and the middle class.
  • Balanced budgets are preferable to continuing deficits.
  • Government closest to the people is better than Washington running things.
  • We ought to reduce the size of the federal government.
  • The paramount responsibility of the federal government is to provide for the common defense.

Continue reading "A Brief Primer for Illinois and National Republican Elected Officials" »

The 2006 Civic Committee Report of the Commercial Club : Another Perspective

submitted by Jim Economos

Recently I read about the Civic Committee’s desires to have the State of Illinois raise the sales tax and service taxes.  Being the curious fellow I am, I called John Rowe, Chairman of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, who took a few moments of his time to return my call.  He was very gracious in his response to my concerns, and sent me a copy of the report. 

He also happens to be the president of Exelon Corp.  He said the others, in particular R. Eden Martin is the person I needed to speak to.  I did have an interesting conversation with Mr. Martin as well, and he was very nice to me in terms of his frustrations with trying to enact reforms in this heavily unionized state.  At the time of this writing, Mr. Martin’s  received a copy of this report, but has not make any comments.

Continue reading "The 2006 Civic Committee Report of the Commercial Club : Another Perspective" »

Cole-Simon Showdown Looms in Carbondale

submitted by Charlie Johnston

Illinois Rte. 13, the main east-west drag through the southern Illinois City of Carbondale, in Jackson County, is like a boulevard straight from an old Frank Capra movie. Entering students at Southern Illinois University (SIU) have to be struck by the small-town charm of the dual one-way streets housing a business distrinct in between.

There are ample shopping and dining opportunities in what will be their home for four years. Few cities in the state are surrounded by so many state parks, lakes, wildlife refuges and nature preserves. And for those who pine for an occasional night in the big city, St. Louis is only an hour and a half away.

Continue reading "Cole-Simon Showdown Looms in Carbondale" »

Catholic Schools Legislative Conference this Saturday

The Office Of Catholic Schools Presents a Legislative Conference

  • When:                  Saturday, January 20, 2007
  • Where:                 Catholic Charities Building, 721 N. La Salle Street, Chicago, IL  60611
  • Time:                   8:30 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.

Continue reading "Catholic Schools Legislative Conference this Saturday" »

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Being an IL conservative and Jack Bauer

Bauerjack by Fran Eaton

Everyone is talking about the 6th season of "24."  If you missed the closing scenes of Monday night's FOX series, you might not know that terrorists have the president at their mercy.  They've had lone human bombers sacrifice themselves as they blow up buses and subways, they've caused friends and neighbors to shoot each other, torture one another unmercilessly and, the ultimate, had a nuclear bomb blow up Los Angeles. 

Continue reading "Being an IL conservative and Jack Bauer" »

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

State GOP Sets a Tone

submitted by Charlie Johnston

The Illinois Republican Party's State Central Committee evoked cheers and jeers last Saturday by formally calling on National Committeeman Bob Kjellander to resign and by suspending the ability of two organizations, the Republican Assembly of Lake County (RALC) and the Forum of Independents and Republicans of Schaumburg Township (FIRST), from using the name, 'Republican', in official documents.

Both actions may be largely symbolic. Kjellander insists he will not resign regardless of who calls for it. While FIRST has been quiet, the RALC and its supporters have been screaming about the rebuke. Unless the State Republican Party is prepared to file suit for infractions, there is probably little recourse against either organization continuing to use the word 'Republican' in general usage.

Continue reading "State GOP Sets a Tone" »

Sunday, January 14, 2007

A Call to Arms from MLK

by Eric Wallace

Mlk_photo_1In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday, I thought I’d apply some of his best quotes to our search for our identity and someone to run against Dick Durbin.

Dr. King once said, “We must learn to live together as brothers, or perish together as fools.”  This was said in a call for better race relations, but I believe it applies to the dysfunction of the Republican Party.

Continue reading "A Call to Arms from MLK" »

A View Inside the Womb

From David E. Smith, IFI Executive Director

National Geographic Channel will be airing a special entitled “Multiples in the Womb” this Sunday evening, January 14. This special documentary uses “4- D” ultrasound technology to show twins, triplets, and other multiple siblings within the womb as they grow, interact, and even develop their relationships before birth. This special program proves again how advances in science will continue to demonstrate the undeniable humanity of the unborn.

Continue reading "A View Inside the Womb" »

There are more polar bears in the world today, not less

From Eagle Forum:

Our good friend and ally, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), has taken the initiative in rebutting the claims about global warming and its supposed effects on the environment. In response to the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service's recent action to begin formal consideration of whether to designate the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), Sen. Inhofe stated that the polar bears are not at all endangered, but are more plentiful than they were 40 years ago! He stressed the need for conclusions about the bear populations to be based on actual field data, as opposed to hypothetical models, and he asked the Senate to consider the ramifications that climate change or greenhouse gas emissions law enforcement could have on private property rights.

Read the full Sena te floor speech.

HAT TIP:  Eagle Forum's News & Notes

Stop Congress from Silencing Their Critics

In the first few days of the new session of Congress, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and big Washington insiders such as Public Citizen and Common Cause will try to silence critics by regulating us through quarterly reports to Congress. Failure to report would result in civil and potential criminal penalties.

We need to act fast to keep Congress from silencing us.

Continue reading "Stop Congress from Silencing Their Critics " »

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Make up your mind, Nancy . . .

Cartoonasay4

From the pen of Colorado Springs Gazette cartoonist Chuck Asay. . .

IL Delegation: Eight of 19 uphold sanctity of human embryos

Link: Illinois Family Institute.

Pro-lifers should note that of Illinois' 19 U.S. Representatives, only 8 voted in the interest of preserving the sancity of human life, 10 voted for human embryonic stem cell research, and one member (Denny Hastert) failed to cast his vote. Republicans Mark Kirk and Judy Biggert voted for taxpayer-funded research, while Democrats Dan Lipinski and Jerry Costello voted against H.R. 3.

U.S. Senator Sam Brownback commented about the House vote:

"The House of Representatives fell well short of the votes they would need to override a presidential veto of legislation to increase taxpayer funded research that destroys human life," Brownback said.

Continue reading "IL Delegation: Eight of 19 uphold sanctity of human embryos" »

GOP hits Pelosi's 'hypocrisy' on wage bill

Link: GOP hits Pelosi's 'hypocrisy' on wage bill - Nation/Politics - The Washington Times, America's Newspaper.

House Republicans yesterday declared "something fishy" about the major tuna company in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco district being exempted from the minimum-wage increase that Democrats approved this week. "I am shocked," said Rep. Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican and his party's chief deputy whip, noting that Mrs. Pelosi campaigned heavily on promises of honest government. "Now we find out that she is exempting hometown companies from minimum wage. This is exactly the hypocrisy and double talk that we have come to expect from the Democrats."

HAT TIP:  Robert Krupienski

Friday, January 12, 2007

Republican cooperation

From Senator Carole Pankau's latest newsletter:

The 95th General Assembly convened Wednesday. The newly remodeled Senate Chambers were filled with the families and friends of the new lawmakers who were sworn into office. There is an air of excitement at the start of a new legislative session, but hanging over the festivities is the harsh reality that our state finances are in a real mess. The Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, a nonprofit group of business leaders, told us in December that Illinois faces $106 billion in liabilities - which boils down to a debt of $8,800 for every single Illinois resident. Democrat leaders must accept the responsibility for their four years of "borrow and spend" budgets, and should start working with Republican lawmakers to get our fiscal house in order.

Continue reading "Republican cooperation" »

Relentless Fight to Defend Property Rights Continues

For the IR Bulletin Board from Scott Bludorn:

As you know, the Village of Arlington Hts. is planning on abusing its eminent domain authority to seize the property belonging to the small business owners at International Plaza and turn it over to a private developer.

We are asking you help us stop this ill-advised project, after all, your home or business could be next.

Continue reading "Relentless Fight to Defend Property Rights Continues" »

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Sen. Cullerton Introduces Comprehensive Measure to Make Illinois Smoke-Free

Cigar Enjoy a good Cuban now and then? 

Get ready to head for the borders. A statewide ban on smoking is on its way.

Funny...everyone sponsoring this legislation is all for giving women the right to make choices over her own body and that of the unborn baby she's carrying. 

How can they be so hypocritical?

*******************
SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Jan. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Comprehensive legislation that would make Illinois workplaces and indoor public places smoke-free has been introduced by Senator John J. Cullerton (D-6th District). Joining Senator Cullerton as co-sponsors of the Smoke-free Illinois Act (SB500) are Senator Christine Radogno (R-41st District) and Senator Mattie Hunter (D-3rd District). In the House, the legislation is being sponsored by Rep. Karen Yarbrough (D-7th District).

Continue reading "Sen. Cullerton Introduces Comprehensive Measure to Make Illinois Smoke-Free " »

Bush Speech Hits the Mark

by Andrea Zinga, former GOP candidate for Congress, 17 CD

I would really like to dislike George Bush.

When he got elected in 2000, well, women call it "intuition" and men call it "gut", but "that thing" told me he would be trouble for me and my hopes for Congress.

Privileged, Texan, accustomed to his way or the highway--smug and sophomoric --he obviously expected to do as he had always done...surround himself with an inner circle, keep things to himself, and tell the people how it would be.

As a woman, I feel Mr. Bush to be a  well-intentioned man.  As a  Republican, I am loyal to this President.  As an American, I am loyal to any President, our freely--and, it is to be hoped, wisely--chosen leader.

Continue reading "Bush Speech Hits the Mark" »

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

IL Dems teach the political game

You gotta be impressed.  Those Dems do appear to understand how to make love, not war.  Maybe Republicans could watch a few game tapes and learn a few things . . .

Take, for instance, the amazing demonstration of love and kindness House Speaker Mike Madigan showed today for Illinois U.S. Senator Barack Obama, when he proposed moving the Illinois primary election day up to the first Tuesday of February 2008.   

Continue reading "IL Dems teach the political game" »

First, Do No Harm

By Senator Chris Lauzen

In the next six months, I anticipate that there will be a vote in the General Assembly to legalize spending $125,000,000 of taxpayer funds to conduct controversial and speculative embryonic stem cell research. Although financial experts have recently made the case that Illinois is insolvent considering only its current obligations, our attention will be diverted from education, property taxes, safe transportation, and reduction of pervasive corruption by seductive promises of cures for diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer's, and even cancer.

I support privately-funded stem cell research that does not destroy innocent human life. Obviously, we all want cures for diseases; the question is, "What are we willing to sacrifice to get them?"

Continue reading "First, Do No Harm " »

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Out of the Mouth of an Alderwoman

by Cal Skinner

Troutman_dancing“Well, the thing is, most alderman, most politicians are hos.”

That’s what’s on page 13 of FBI Special Agent Joan Marie Hyde’s affidavit used in the arrest of 20th Ward Alderwoman Arenda Troutman.

You know what a “ho” is, right?

Hint:  It has nothing to do with Santa Claus.

= = = = =
The photo is from Alderman Troutman's campaign web site.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Althoff Says Empathic "No" to $2 County Cigarette Tax

by Cal Skinner

On the wish list of DuPage County Republicans is the authority to level a $2 per pack cigarette tax.

They want to be just like Cook County.

The way the bill is written, the McHenry County Board (of Cat Tax fame) would be able to levy the same tax.

When State Senator Pam Althoff was speaking to Crystal Lake Kiwanis last Wednesday the subject came up.

When asked by yours truly if she was going to vote against the cigarette tax increase, she empathically said, "Yes. Absolutely. I can tell you right now."

Continue reading "Althoff Says Empathic "No" to $2 County Cigarette Tax" »

Springfield lawmakers appear dim on utility issue

Lightbulb_1 Com Ed says if Illinois' rate freeze is extended, as the Illinois House voted to do Sunday night with 71 yes votes and 43 no or present, the company could lose $1.4 billion annually.

Under this extreme financial pressure, the company says it could be forced to cut operational expenditures such as storm damage repair, preventative maintenance and system expansion.

While customers could see an increase of up to 55 percent if the rate freeze isn't extended, Com Ed says the cost of electricity has increased over the last ten years, and sooner or later, that increase will need to be passed on to its consumers.

Continue reading "Springfield lawmakers appear dim on utility issue" »

Amniotic fluid another rich source of stem cells

by Fran Eaton

With umbilical blood cord so rich in viable and usable stem cells, it would make perfect sense that amniotic fluid would be another source of stem cells that doesn't take ending a human life to cultivate.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina and Harvard reported yesterday on these "AFS cells" in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

Continue reading "Amniotic fluid another rich source of stem cells" »

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Good thing his name isn't Schaivo

Overheard at a restaurant this weekend . . .

"Maybe there is hope that the Democrats are beginning to see the light on end-of-life issues.  Look how hard they are fighting to preserve [U.S. Senator] Tim Johnson's life. . .

"Good thing his name isn't Schaivo. . . "

Eww. 

Continue reading "Good thing his name isn't Schaivo" »

Psychological Testing for School Board Members & Union Negotiators

by Cal Skinner

In the "Doesn't this beat all?" category goes this story. It isn’t happening in McHenry County, but it is so off the wall that I want you to share it with you anyway.

Up in Harlem School District, located in the northernmost parts or Rockford and Machesney Park and nearby, the school board has hired someone to give Meyers-Briggs Personality Inventories to school board members and union negotiating representatives.

Continue reading "Psychological Testing for School Board Members & Union Negotiators" »

Saturday, January 06, 2007

No Tears for Fidel Castro

By Mark RhoadsFidel_castro_mug_3_2

U.S. Intelligence official John Negroponte told The Washington Post on Dec. 15 that the pending death of Fidel Castro was a matter "months, not years" away and other intelligence officials repeated that assessment to other newspapers yesterday.

Almost from the start of his career as a Marxist revolutionary, Castro was a darling of some American journalists including in particular the embarrassingly pro-Castro and gullible Herbert Matthews of The New York Times.  While major human rights organizations generally concede that Castro was personally responsible for ordering thousands of executions of political opponents in the 1960s, the exact number may never be known.  The figure of fifty thousand political prisoners is also considered low by famous former prisoners such as Armando Valladares who was the author of Against All Hope in 1986, his personal memoir of his 22 years as a political prisoner in Cuba.

Continue reading "No Tears for Fidel Castro" »

HPV Vaccine demands frank discussion

by Fran Eaton

There needs to be a frank discussion about State Rep. Naomi Jakobsson's rush to mandate another vaccine, this one geared to preventing the spread of HPV, a sexually-transmitted disease.  To be considered:

  • The vaccine, Merck's Gardisil,  will be three different shots: the first, the second two months later, and the third 6 months later.  For full efficacy, all three doses must be injected on schedule.
  • Gardisil is promoted as preventing the contraction of 70 percent of the various strains Human Papillomavirus, a disease spread only by sexual contact.  (That means that for every 2 strains, the young girl could be vulnerable to one)
  • Vaccine promoters suggest that because HPV makes one more vulnerable to cervical cancer, Gardisil may prevent cervical cancer.
  • The vaccine will be required for school attendance of girls as young as 9 years old. 

Continue reading "HPV Vaccine demands frank discussion" »

Friday, January 05, 2007

HR 6 sponsor to chair Ed & Workforce Committee

For all those who think it doesn't really matter whether the Democrats or the Republicans are in control of Congress, there's one House committee chairmanship that should send chills down the spine of homeschoolers nationwide.

Remember H.R. 6?  The federal legislation several years ago that would have required ALL teachers in the U.S. -- including those teaching their own children at home -- be federally certified? 

.

Continue reading "HR 6 sponsor to chair Ed & Workforce Committee" »

Killing human embryos as an act of power

guest opinion by Bill Beckman
The culture of death has a new leader.   Nancy Pelosi has proclaimed her power to the world and the lapdogs in the media willingly report her proclamation as news.  What does Speaker Pelosi want to accomplish with her new power?   First, she wants to use Federal funds to sacrifice human embryos for the goal of finding treatments to overcome human ailments. 

Continue reading "Killing human embryos as an act of power" »

2007 Gay Wish List

What would be your top ten legislative priorities if suddenly the U.S. Congressional leadership was at your beckoned call?

The homosexual activist news source, The Washington Blade, listed their top ten wish list last month, includes:

Employment Non-Discrimination Act: Calls for banning private sector employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Continue reading "2007 Gay Wish List" »

Bureaucrats Accuse Other Bureaucrats Of Not Being Bureaucratic Enough

Around and around they go. Overpaid, under-performing, taxpayer-funded state employees filling their time with meaningless activity.

State-Paid Professors Accused by State Workers of Cheating on State Ethics Exam

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Mom to give birth after Katrina embryo rescue by Illinois police

Stemcell_3 AP carried a great story yesterday about a baby to be born next week that was one of hundreds of stored embryos saved last year from Katrina floodwaters overtaking a New Orleans fertility clinic.

The quote of the day from this story is Lt. Eric Bumgarner, one of the Illinois Conservation Police officers involved in the rescue who told the AP reporter he wondered about what happened to the embryos, thinking "One of these embryos could be the next president."

Continue reading "Mom to give birth after Katrina embryo rescue by Illinois police" »

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

MA lawmakers OK ballot initiative to protect marriage

Too bad it took a State Supreme Court to force Massachusetts lawmakers to do their duty and vote on whether or not to allow citizens to vote on a marriage amendment, but at least they are giving their voters a voice in the next election.

Illinois' voters aren't so lucky.

Continue reading "MA lawmakers OK ballot initiative to protect marriage" »

Further Bankrupting of a Bankrupt System

Check out the further bankrupting of the Social Security system (story here).

Don't expect Bushlosi (Bush/Pelosi) to do anything but head straight for the precipice - at full speed.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Campaign 'Reformers' Miss the Point

by Curt Mercadante

Surfing the Web last night, I happened upon this recent blog post from our friends at the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform (ICPR).

Seeking, no doubt, to justify its effort to institute publicly-financed elections, ICPR highlights a recent research study that shows, among other things:

Continue reading "Campaign 'Reformers' Miss the Point" »

Dead rat in Coke can story lives on

Coke20can Who hasn't heard the urban myth about the dead rat in a Coke can? 

Well, anyone watching this latest Governor-related deal should be able to smell something really raunchy . . .

The Springfield Journal-Register reports today that the State of Illinois is about to go with one single vending machine provider for the state's facilities, amounting to an $8 million/year contract for the winning bidder. . .

Continue reading "Dead rat in Coke can story lives on" »

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Economics 101: Pelosi Style

And now for some quotes from our incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

When asked about the strong economy and tax cuts, Pelosi said:

"Just another example of Bush policies helping the rich get richer. Bush cut taxes for the rich and the economy has rebounded with new record low unemployment rates, which only means wealthy employers are getting even wealthier at the expense of the underpaid working class".

Continue reading "Economics 101: Pelosi Style" »

Friday, December 29, 2006

Radical homosexual groups receive UN accreditation with US support

by Fran Eaton

With the support of the Bush Administration, this week three radical homosexual groups -- including one that promotes adult/child sex -- were accredited as non-government organizations (NGOs) by the United Nations.   Such accreditation allows the groups to actively consult UN participants.

Austin Ruse, president of the UN watchdog group Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute, reports 23 nations supported the accreditation, 16 voted against it and ten abstained.

After promoting a federal marriage amendment for the past couple of years, this apparent fluctuation in the Bush Administration's social issues policy is a devastating slap to the faces of Bush's base -- traditional family voters who uphold the sanctity of marriage.

See Ruse's Friday Fax . . .

Continue reading "Radical homosexual groups receive UN accreditation with US support" »

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Pettiness of Local Politics and Frivolity of Illinois Election Law

The election season for local offices is heating up in Champaign. Recently the deadline passed for city mayor and city council. Of the 13 sets of petitions to get on the ballot, 11 had objections. Some of those objections are significant. For instance, mayoral candidate Mingee did not get enough signatures. Others border on absurd, such as the objection to city council candidate Freddie Gordon (he didn't staple the forms). The entire list of petitions and objections can be seen here.

First, candidates for office should follow the rules and be fully familiar with them. If a candidate cannot be trusted to file paperwork correctly they can't be trusted with political power. It should be just as simple as that. Some of the packets that were filed in the election show that the candidates simply did not put much effort into them. There should be no reason to have "scratched out" content when the form can be submitted with no errors in the first place.

Continue reading "The Pettiness of Local Politics and Frivolity of Illinois Election Law" »

When Ford addressed the United Republican Fund

Just six weeks after pardoning former President Richard M. Nixon in 1974, President Gerald R. Ford keynoted Illinois' United Republican Fund's 40th Anniversary Dinner at Chicago's Conrad Hilton Hotel.

In the audience that night were notables such as Bears' owner George Halas, Mrs. Everett Dirksen, Senator Chuck Percy, Gov. Richard Ogilivie and at least one URF Board member who still serves the URF today -- Chicago businessman Bill Croft.

That night, Ford told a personal story about Senator Dirksen that would behoove us all to hear today  . . .

Continue reading "When Ford addressed the United Republican Fund" »

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Former President Gerald R. Ford, RIP

By Mark RhoadsGeraldford

Former President Gerald Ford died last night at 93.  Everyone will weigh in now on his legacy which includes years as Republican leader of the U.S. House and as president from August 1974 to January 1977.  He was a decent and honorable man who had a mostly conservative voting record but who nevertheless had little understanding of conservative political philosophy. 

The "Ev and Charlie Show" as reporters once called the news conferences of Senate GOP leader Sen. Everett M. Dirksen (R-Ill.) and Rep. Charles Halleck (R-Ind.) became the "Ev and Gerry Show" after Mr. Ford became GOP leader of the House in January 1965 until Dirksen's death in September 1969.  Dirksen and Ford worked well together.  If Ford lacked boldness in those years, his defenders would say it was because he had very few troops--fewer than 144 House Republicans to rely on.  He remained GOP leader in the House after Everett died until President Nixon needed him to serve as a vice presidential replacement for Spiro Agnew. 

Continue reading "Former President Gerald R. Ford, RIP" »

Thursday, December 21, 2006

An Open Letter to Fellow Illinois Republicans

Fellow Republicans,
I wish to call your attention to a lawsuit that seeks to restore a measure of equity and fairness to Republican State Central Committee elections in Illinois. The suit, Raymond True, et al v. Illinois Republican Party, et al, seeks to end the state-wide disenfranchisement of elected Republican precinct committeeman by Republican county chairmen in State Central Committee elections. It is disingenuous for one of the defendants, Lake County Republican Central Committee Chairman Dan Venturi, to claim that the suit is just a nuisance lawsuit all about him. As Cuba Township Republican Chairman Tom Gooch has clearly indicated, Dan Venturi is trying to deflect the discussion away from the facts and the law. His strawman argument is baseless and will not achieve his goal of sidestepping or ignoring this issue. Should the plaintiffs in this suit prevail, Dan Venturi will still be the Lake County Republican Chairman, so his hysterical public claims of a "take over [of] the Lake County Republican Party" ring false.

Continue reading "An Open Letter to Fellow Illinois Republicans" »

No Future for Bush: Thank Goodness

Poor Jeb Bush. He may be a really nice guy; and a very good politician. But he will probably never have a chance to reach for the office that most thought would be his -- even before his brother George. (see story here) Daddy and bro have pretty much screwed it up for him.

No loss. We need another Reagan. Not another Bush.

Future of the IL GOP: A commentary in response to Froehlich

by Eric Wallace

As a Republican who happens to be African American, I appreciated Representative Froehlich’s article in the Tribune on Dec. 19th 2006. I believe his attempt to reach out to minority communities is genuine. But it is somewhat misguided and incorrect.

Continue reading "Future of the IL GOP: A commentary in response to Froehlich" »

Another Myth Bites the Dust

The Rocky Mountain News is reporting that the line of applicants hoping to fill the jobs vacated by illegal aliens taken away by immigration agents at the Swift & Co. meat-processing plant earlier this week was out the door Thursday. (story here)

I thought that the illegal aliens were doing jobs that Americans won't do?

I guess that myth is now busted.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

State Rep. Paul Froehlich's map to GOP political oblivion

Yesterday, State Representative Paul Froehlich wrote a Chicago Tribune op-ed piece titled Map to the future of the Illinois GOP. My comments below are in response to some of the points Rep. Froehlich raises in his Tribune editorial.

Let Rep. Froehlich show us the demographic math he uses to support his arguments that Illinois has changed demographically. I'm not buying into the notion that demographics are to blame for the recent failures of the GOP brand in Illinois. It seems far more likely that voters saw little difference between the two major political parties and opted for 'none of the above' by voting for third-party candidates or staying home. When Democrat-lite fails for Republicans, the answer is not to become even more liberal.

Continue reading "State Rep. Paul Froehlich's map to GOP political oblivion" »

Stan Lee To The Rescue

Justice_leagueReading the news that President Bush now supports the Democrats' proposal to increase the U.S. minimum wage, I was reminded of a story about one of the late Milton Friedman's trips to India. Upon arriving, he was escorted by the Indian Finance Minister to his meeting. Along the route, they came upon a large crew of men digging roadside ditches using only shovels. Friedman asked his companion why they weren't using backhoes and other equipment, which would eliminate the back-breaking work and significantly increasing productivity. The Finance Minister explained that the Indian government was trying to provide jobs for all its citizens, and that digging by hand allowed them to employ more people. Hearing this, Friedman responded that if the Indian government was trying to employ more people, they should have them dig with spoons.

The same applies to the minimum wage in this country. If the point is to provide people more money, then why stop at $7.50 (State) or $7.25 (Fed)? Why not $8.50 or $12.50, or $72.50 per hour? Of course, if the federal and state governments really wanted to give us working people more money, they could simply lower our taxes. Funny thought, I know. If there's one belief that garners unquestionable bi-partisan support, it's that government exists to redistribute wealth -- be it your paycheck or your property. And such is the muddled thinking of our dear President, and several Republican members of the Illinois General Assembly.

Continue reading "Stan Lee To The Rescue" »

IR Question of the Day: Is Bush ignoring November's election message?

Any question as to whether the President is swallowing the Iraqi Surrender Group's recommendations hook, line and sinker, can be laid to rest.  At today's press conference, he told reporters

We have an obligation to ensure our military is capable of sustaining this war over the long haul, and in performing the many tasks that we ask of them.  I'm inclined to believe that we need to increase in the permanent size of both the United States Army and the United States Marines.

He went on to restate some of the reasons he urged US troops commitment to Iraq.  Then he said,

We enter this new year clear-eyed about the challenges in Iraq, and equally clear about our purpose. Our goal remains a free and democratic Iraq that can govern itself, sustain itself, and defend itself, and is an ally in this war on terror.

Is the President ignoring the 2006 election message or is he staying focused on the bigger picture?

Continue reading "IR Question of the Day: Is Bush ignoring November's election message?" »

Just how many ways can we use aborted babies?

by Fran Eaton

One of modern medicine's best-kept secrets is the use of cell lines from aborted babies such MRC-5 and WI-38, which were used to develop vaccinations against chicken pox, rubella and Hepatitis A, among others. 

The Federal Drug Administration is taking comments through December 28th about the use of aborted fetal cell lines in vaccines.   Children of God for Life has provided information on who, what, and how to write your thoughts to the FDA about permitting drug companies to use aborted fetal cells lines for vaccine development.

Continue reading "Just how many ways can we use aborted babies?" »

"Is God allowing abortion to save eternal lives?"

by Jill Stanek

A volunteer driving me from the airport to a pregnancy resource center speaking engagement described a heart-wrenching incident.

She said during a recent luncheon with three friends, all four admitted to having abortions. One had never told anyone before that day....

I am increasingly aware of the eternal lives God is saving through abortion. I don't understand. Can it be that God is allowing the catastrophe of abortion to save the eternal lives of the parents who kill their babies?....

Continue reading ""Is God allowing abortion to save eternal lives?"" »

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Problem with the Culture of Drive-Thru Abortions

In the quest to remove any and all obstacles and delays in the race for a woman (or girl) to get an abortion, people starting become aware that abusive men were coercing women against their will to get them. By bringing down the full force of constitutional law to make it not only constitutional to kill one's unborn child, but to be able to do so as fast as possible, it made it possible for women to be abused in the process.

First, Planned Parenthood knows and knowingly covers up obvious cases of abuse. One study shows that Planned Parenthood and related organizations failed to report about a minimum of about 10,000 cases of child sex abuse in Illinois in the year 2000 alone. The law is clear that medical providers are required to report suspected cases of abuse. When authorities try to investigate child rape, they are thwarted by Planned Parenthood, who has a financial stake in the problem remaining unaddressed. Legally, this is called a "conflict of interest."

Continue reading "The Problem with the Culture of Drive-Thru Abortions" »

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Friday, December 15, 2006

With Leaders Like This...

At a time when the state is groaning under a $106,000,000,000 budget shortfall, Republican Rep. Tom Cross (House Minority Leader) has introduced a bill that would devote $125,000,000 to stem-cell research. A bill that doesn't differentiate between adult stem cell research, which HAS resulted in the advancement of medical science, and embryonic stem cell research, which has NOT (that's a scientific fact!).

So, on top of continuing to promote the Republican antithesis of bigger government and increased spending, Cross is sticking his finger in the eye of conservative Republicans who have real concerns over the ethics of "embryonic" stem cell research ONLY. In so doing, he's perpetuating the anti-science stereotype of his own Party members who have very real and very specific concerns with taxpayer-funded research that is morally and scientifically questionable.

The fact is, this legislation would have been introduced and passed by the Democrats alone. But instead of letting the other side take the political hit, Rep. Cross felt compelled to snatch Democrat defeat from the jaws of Republican victory - a continuation of his '06 House election strategy that landed us yet one more down in the Illinois House of Representatives.

Of course, he's not alone. Sen. Watson (Senate Minority Leader) wasn't even in the country the last few weeks of the election.

Come on guys! Is this all you have to offer us?

With leadership like this....

I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this any more!

Rewind to 1976. Veteran TV news anchor Howard Beale (Peter Finch), whose evening news program has tanked as viewers tuned out from its muddled, tired message in droves, gets the axe from management, contemplates on-air suicide, but then turns the tables by encouraging America to rant along with him: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this any more!"

For those too young to remember, the 1976 movie Network takes a jaundiced look at TV network programming and the utterly cynical hubris networks sometimes show toward public opinion, their own loyal personnel and their viewers.

Fast-forward 30 years to Illinois 2006. The IRP ‘network’ brand is mired in ‘low ratings’ and its programming shows decided disdain for its loyal staff, its traditional ‘viewers’, and public opinion. The voting public is tuning out in droves. Instead of adopting fresh new ‘programming’ more in line with its viewer tastes, IRP-GA ‘network executive’ Tom Cross (R-sell-out) serves up an embryonic stem-cell softball to the competing network, confirming GOP acquiescence to their debauched morality and vainly trying to raise IRP ‘ratings’ by imitating the liberal Democrat competition. Cross has come out in favor of using public funds to support embryonic stem-cell research, a slap in the face to the pro-life majority of Illinois Republican voters.

This action is a fundamental violation of good political policy. It adds credence to the competing brand by furthering an issue their voters support, it alienates the conservative Republican party base, and it further blurs the distinction between the conservative Republican brand and the liberal Democrat brand.

Is it any wonder voters reject the Illinois Republican brand? Why should they embrace Democrat-lite when they can get the genuine article across the aisle? Why should conservative Republican voters support Repubican politicians whose actions are indistinguishable from liberal Democrats? Our IL GOP House caucus has forgotten our core Republican Platform beliefs, principles and political objectives. They cling to the failed policies that spelled disaster for the IL GOP just five weeks ago, proving that even that “thumping” didn’t teach them a thing. They demonstrate the insanity of repeating disastrous failed actions, vainly hoping for a different outcome.

Yes folks, it’s time to loudly proclaim, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this any more!"

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Emperor Has No Clothes

By Mark RhoadsByrd

Last night Associated Press reported, "There will be no congressional earmarks," Rep. David Obey, D-Wis, and Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., said Monday in a statement announcing their plans, which were quickly endorsed by incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D- Nev."

"Earmarks are congressionally mandated projects such as grants for local governments, home-state universities and hospitals, roads, bridges and flood control construction, and economic development efforts not included in the president's spending proposals."

Taken at face value this statement would be good news and a positive sign that Democrats want to deliver on a campaign promise of reform.  But there is also a big problem for the Democratic leaders. Rep. Obey of Wisconsin has some credibility to address the topic of reforming earmarks, but Sen. Byrd has none.  Byrd has been the all-time King of Pork for many decades who boasted he would bring one billion dollars in pork to West Virginia and he delivered. Of all the members of Congress in either party, Byrd stands apart from the pack as the worst offender.  Not even Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) can hold a candle to Byrd for slipping spending projects for his home state into the must-pass spending bills.  For Robert Byrd to now campaign against pork-barrel spending is like Typhoid Mary starting a campaign against disease. On the other hand, if Byrd becomes an authentic reformer, who could know how to fight pork better than the number one porker?

Continue reading "The Emperor Has No Clothes" »

Monday, December 11, 2006

I was right about Hastert

Hastert_1 by Bruno Behrend

I was roundly criticized by Republican "True Believers" when I called for Hastert to step down over his profiting off of the Prarie Porkway. I was also chided by the same folks when I called for Hastert to step down over his horrible management of the Foley scandal - and Republican issues in general.

It is my view that even though the number of House Seats that swung Dem was large, the margin in many of those races was thin enough to posit that if the party hadn't been hit with this scandal, they may still be in control. Certainly, the margins were so thin in the Senate, that the drop off in Evangelical suupport, combined with the drop in Independent support can be laid directly at the doorstep of the Speaker.

Continue reading "I was right about Hastert" »

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Read the Entire Civic Committee Report

I've uploaded both the Executive Summary and Full Report of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago. They are on my website.

Executive Summary

Entire Report

___

Boy, they sure are lining up the ducks for a huge tax hike. Do you think the Republicans have enough of a spine to make sure no Republican votes "yes" unless they get significant concessions on spending cuts?  Is there even a Republican in Illinois who would support spending cuts in public?  Do you think the Democrats  - who now control virtually everything -  will read the segment below?

Significant cost savings are possible. Retirement and healthcare benefits for State employees are more generous and expensive than those of most of the taxpayers asked to pay for those benefits. By bringing State plans into line with reasonable private and public benchmarks, total State level costs can be reduced by approximately $1 billion per year. Substantial savings also can be achieved through more widespread outsourcing and restructuring of State services. The cost of many programs can be reduced through tightening of the rules governing campaign contributions, hiring and contracting.

___

Of course, it is hard to make good policy when some of the most reasonable voices in Illinois politics are writing stuff like this.

Continue reading "Read the Entire Civic Committee Report" »

Out of wedlock

Cartooncheney_1 

From Washington Post's Tom Toles . . .

JOHNSTON: No Mea Culpas on Iraq Here

CloudsSubmitted to IR by Charlie Johnston

A multitude of conservative commentators has lined up these last few weeks to offer their regrets and mea culpas for having initially supported the Battle for Iraq. Among them are William Buckley, Jonah Goldberg and John Derbyshire. I’ll not be joining them.

Donald Rumsfeld is gone as Secretary of Defense and John Bolton has left his post at the United Nations. Great multitudes are merrily humming, “Ding, dong, the witch is dead.” Among them are diplomatic ‘realists’ in the West and Islamofascist leaders in the Middle East. I’ll not be joining them, either.

Continue reading "JOHNSTON: No Mea Culpas on Iraq Here" »

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Entering the Cone of Silence era

Smartcone CNet News.com reports that the FBI can activate cell phone mics to listen in on conversations, unbeknownst to the user and when the customer is not engaged in online conversation.

Called a "roving bug," and used by Department of Justice officials in gathering evidence on an organized crime family, Nextel is one company the CNet News.com story mentions that cooperates with the feds.

For complete security CEOs are removing their phone batteries when involved in highly-confidential conversations.

Why does this make me think of Maxwell Smart and the Cone of Silence?  Maybe it wasn't a joke after all?

Link: FBI taps cell phone mic as eavesdropping tool | CNET News.com.

The Iraq Study Group Report- What now?

By George Dienhart

Seems that today is the big day.  After weeks of media coverage, the Iraq Studies Group released it's big report. 70 pages of wisdom from James A. Baker III and Lee Hamilton. It seems to support yesterday's testimony from Robert Gates that we are not winning, but we are also not losing.

The report states "The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating. There is no path that can guarantee success, but the prospects can be improved." And adds "change in the primary  mission of U.S. forces in Iraq that will enable the United States to begin to move its combat  forces out of Iraq responsibly." I advocated something similar last week. The key here is the Iraqi government needs to stand on its own, but we cannot cut and run as many liberals advocate.

Continue reading "The Iraq Study Group Report- What now?" »

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Reform education, not just funding

submitted by Pete Speer

The idea of fixing education funding is a political fix, not an education fix.

I have been involved with School Districts and their funding for thirty years, reviewed budgets and audits, the lot. I can assure you that more money does not beget greater Education Value. It does beget reelection in the General Assembly with continued campaign funding by the unions.

Continue reading "Reform education, not just funding" »

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Who Will Lead a Platform for Prosperity?

Six_for_06_035_3(Illinois Review proudly introduces another conservative voice to our prestigious array of commentators.  Welcome, Eric!)

by Eric Wallace

In the last few months much has been said about the need for someone to lead the GOP out of the wilderness and into the Promised Land. I believe the first step we need to take before we elect a leader to do this is to determine the cause we want them to lead.

It is time to look in the mirror and ask ourselves "What do the Republicans of Illinois stand for?" "What values do we share?" "Are we willing to sacrifice to see these things reflected in our government?" "What is the Promised Land, and who is the right person to lead us there?"

Continue reading "Who Will Lead a Platform for Prosperity?" »

The Truth About the Flying Imams

Check out the true story about the flying imams at Pajamas Media (click here)

You won't get this information in the mainstream media. Nor will the ACLU mention it.

District 300 Tax Hikers' Cost-Benefit Aptitude

by Cal Skinner

The folks at Advance 300, Carpentersville School District 300's tax hike committee, don’t seem to have a clue about the geo-political dynamics of Springfield politics.

(As to local politics, they won a huge tax rate and bond referendum last spring, then gave 17.4% 4-year raises to their teachers.)

They have been pushing for Ralph Martire’s shell game, which will raise and broaden income and sales taxes, promising a cut in property taxes. (This group of tax hikers even gave his tax hiking group $10,000.)

Continue reading "District 300 Tax Hikers' Cost-Benefit Aptitude" »

Friday, December 01, 2006

Comforting embrace

Air Force Chief Master Sgt. John Gebhardt, of the 332nd Expeditionary Medical Group of Balad, Iraq, cradles a young girl as they both sleep in the hospital.  The girl's entire family was executed by insurgents; the killers shot her in the head as well.  The girl received treatment at the U.S. hospital in Balad, but cries and moans often. According to nurses at the facility,  Gebhardt is the only one who can calm down the girl, so he has slept the past several nights holding her while they both sleep in the chair.

Snopes says this story is true.  The photo was taken in October, just before Gebhardt came home. 

Continue reading "Comforting embrace" »

Thursday, November 30, 2006

GA Can't Change Economic Laws

(Illinois Review welcomes Vernon Township GOP Committeeman Don Castella to our growing list of contributors.)

by Don Castella

Although the Soviet Union collapsed 15 years ago, its policies clearly live on here in Illinois. The utopian myth that the General Assembly can dictate minimum wages in violation of the law of supply and demand is straight out of Marxist ideology.

The twisted notion that prosperity for low-income wage earners can be legislated smacks of hubris by the GA. While their self-serving rhetoric justifying minimum-wage hikes may sound attractive and buy some votes, economic realities are quite different in the real world. Economics dictate that forcing Illinois employers to pay more wages to low-skilled workers, without a concomitant increase in labor productivity, will simply decrease the number of entry-level jobs available. This is an example of the law of supply and demand, something the GA cannot change by legislation.

A recent estimate by the NFIB suggests that raising the federal minimum wage to $6.65/hour would cost roughly 215,000 jobs nationally. In addition, over time, businesses would tend to replace higher-cost labor with greater investments in plant and technology, further reducing the number of low-wage entry-level jobs. There is also a tendency for more businesses to enter the gray market for labor as minimum wages increase, costing the state tax revenues and increasing the burden on other taxpayers. This trend is particularly true for increasingly exploited illegal-alien workers. Still other businesses will simply be forced to shutter, unable to compete due to higher labor costs.

Continue reading "GA Can't Change Economic Laws" »

GOP chairman urges party to get on track

Outgoing RNC Party Chairman Ken Mehlman told a group of Republican governors today that as Republicans, "we have lost our way."

"It must be our party that faces the new challenges of the 21st century head-on. It must be our party that recommits itself also to being the party of change. Because it's the Republicans who are the party of reform on all these issues:  health care, job creation and the war on terror," he said.

Continue reading "GOP chairman urges party to get on track " »

Minimum wage passes Senate with 8 GOP votes

Read 'em and weep.

There's no defense for solid Republicans to assist liberals in stifling small businesses by voting with the Democrats to increase Illinois minimum wage by a dollar-an-hour.

Continue reading "Minimum wage passes Senate with 8 GOP votes" »

The "epitome of the best"?

Accuracy in Media's Cliff KIncaid wrote yesterday about the "Secret Gay Network" that was key in revealing Congressman Mark Foley scandal before the November 7 election.

Jeff Trandahl, of whom Kincaid wrote, left the second highest constitutional officer position in the U.S. House -- Clerk of the House for six years -- to become ED of the National Fish and Wildlife Federation last November.  Trandahl wasn't just a House staffer.  He oversaw a staff of 300 and a budget of $20 million.

Continue reading "The "epitome of the best"?" »

GOP House members help pass minimum wage increase

Take note:  Ten House Republicans either 1. fear their seats are in danger, or 2. they're Democrats sitting on the GOP side of the aisle, or 3. they're confused and disoriented because they're meeting in the Old State Capitol. 

There is no other excuse for Republicans to vote for a state minimum wage increase that will exceed what our bordering states will be forced to pay in an upcoming federal minimum wage increase.  Not to mention the effect this second increase in three years will have on entry level jobs.

Continue reading "GOP House members help pass minimum wage increase" »

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Message of the Day – An Elephant

by Cal Skinner

I’m not sure what this elephant in a net with a Christmas wreath on its butt means, but when I saw in at Disney World near the “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” playground, I knew it had a place on McHenry County Blog.

What message does it convey to you?

McHenry County Blog has a "Message of the Day" each day.  Most are a bit easier to understand than this one.

Al-Sadr withdraws from Iraqi government (for now).

by George Dienhart

      

When will the Iraqi Government decide enough is enough? Muqtadà al-Sadr is once again up to his old tricks, this time withdrawing his 30 member block of the Iraqi parliament.

    

This is an example of where the Iraqi’s need to do more. Everyone says the Iraqi’s need to do more about stabilizing their country. The Iraqi’s now have a military. They are also now receiving equipment. The first thing they need to do is start rounding up the bad guys. The Iraqi Government knows who in the government is corrupt. They need to appoint prosecutors and then go pick up the corrupt members of government. I know the initial responses on the street will be protests and bad feelings and violence. Unfortunately, giving birth to a democracy is painful. Without taking these measures, the nascent democracy will fall.

Continue reading "Al-Sadr withdraws from Iraqi government (for now)." »

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Schools Fighting TIFs

by Cal Skinner

I noticed a Chicago Tribune article on Monday by Susan Kuczka about more school districts fighting a Tax Increment Financing district.

Other school districts may have been ahead of Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 and High School District 155. If so, I wasn’t paying attention because my tax bill was not in jeopardy of being hiked by a mayor and city council whose fate I have no influence over.

If you are new to the subject of TIFs, it’s a method through which cities and villages can grab all increased tax revenue from property for 23 years (or even more, if they can get the General Assembly to pass an extension).

Continue reading "Schools Fighting TIFs" »

Save Nancy from Nancy Part 2

Bloomberg and AP report Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) came out of his meeting with Nancy Pelosi just now and he is out as Chair of the Intelligence Committee.  Both will issue statements shortly.

Score one for common sense and against cronyism. Good for Nancy.

The assault on Christmas comes to Chicago

by George Dienhart

To me, it seems like a marketing plan made in heaven. In Chicago there is an annual event, German Christkindlmarket. It is a Christmas Market. New Line cinema had struck an agreement to show a trailer for "The Nativity Story" on television screens at the  annual event. New Line also thought there was a natural synergy in advertising a movie about Christ and Christmas at a Christmas market.

Sadly, it is not to be. It seems that the City of Chicago has asked the Christkindlmarket not to show the advertisement during the festival. It seems the city is afraid of offending non- Christians.

Continue reading "The assault on Christmas comes to Chicago" »

Monday, November 27, 2006

NARAL's Thanksgiving Message

So, what were you thankful for last weekend?  NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League, formerly National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws) blasted a Thanksgiving message to their supporters, giddy about pro-abortion victories in the past year . . .

Continue reading "NARAL's Thanksgiving Message" »

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Statue for Denny Hastert - Part 3

by Cal Skinner

Dirksen_3_1121a021xI caught all sorts of grief for suggesting a statue of House Speaker Denny Hastert

It started with my being chided for spelling statue "statute." 

I admit that I won my last spelling bee in my 8th grade class at Olympus Junior High School southwest of Salt Lake City. And, we all know that spell check cannot tell you when you use the wrong word.

My readers on McHenry County Blog were not sarcastic, however.  They were on Illinois Review.

Continue reading "Statue for Denny Hastert - Part 3" »

Save Nancy From Nancy

By Mark RhoadsPelosi

After foolishly backing Rep. John Murtha (D-Pennsylvania) of Abscam fame over the popular Rep. Stenny Hoyer (D-Maryland) for House Majority Leader and losing by a two to one margin, it looked like Speaker designate Nancy Pelosi might dive off another cliff by hinting broadly she wanted former convicted Judge and Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Florida) to chair the ultra-sensitive House Intelligence Committee instead of her California Democratic rival Rep. Jane Harmon who has the seniority on that committee. 

Continue reading "Save Nancy From Nancy" »

Boots: this year's political fashion statement

Boots2_1If you want to see the hottest winter fashions, you can take a walk either down Chicago's Michigan Avenue or along Springfield's Second Avenue. 

Continue reading "Boots: this year's political fashion statement" »

We’re Number 43

The latest federal numbers show Illinois ranks 43rd in the nation in job growth and continues to lag behind surrounding states after nearly four years under Governor Rod Blagojevich.

Continue reading "We’re Number 43" »

Friday, November 24, 2006

Black Squirrels in Lakewood

White_squirrels_2_from_olney_city_site_3 Downstate Olney has its white squirrels.

The Country Club Additions part of Lakewood have black ones.

Continue reading "Black Squirrels in Lakewood" »

Why is Obama's Evil in Rick Warren's Pulpit?

Sunday after next, Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life and pastor of Saddleback Church in California, will be hosting U.S. Senators Barack Obama and Sam Brownback to discuss the AIDS crisis in Africa.

Kevin McCullough, at one time radio talk show host on Chicago's WYLL 1160 AM, explains why he, as a committed evangelical, finds the upcoming forum so offensive in his Townhall.com piece, "Why is Obama's evil in Rick Warren's Pulpit?"

Continue reading "Why is Obama's Evil in Rick Warren's Pulpit?" »

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving 2006

Rockwell_thanksgivingWhile our modern day lives may not allow us all to experience today Norman Rockwell's "Freedom from Want" portrait, its abstract setting expresses all of our deepest human longings for acceptance, security and peace.

Continue reading "Happy Thanksgiving 2006" »

Being ungrateful could be hazardous to your health

If you're having a difficult time being thankful today, you might want to do some soul-searching.  Your overall health and well-being may be at stake.

A University of Colorado research project on the physical and emotional value of being "grateful" showed the following results:

Continue reading "Being ungrateful could be hazardous to your health" »

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Oberweis responds to True's IL GOP chairmanship suggestion

On Tuesday, IR wrote here that Colonel Raymond True announced Jim Oberweis would be assuming the role of Republican Assembly of Illinois chairman.  As noted in today's GOPUSA Illinois Daily Clips, RAI Executive Director Jim Leahy disagreed with True's comments.

Continue reading "Oberweis responds to True's IL GOP chairmanship suggestion" »

It's okay to shop at WalMart

If fighting Big Box ordinances or anti-union chains is your thing, don't read on, nothing's changed at WalMart.  But if you're interested in supporting pro-family issues, there's news this morning that it's okay to start your Christmas shopping at WalMart this weekend after all. 

Continue reading "It's okay to shop at WalMart" »

New Stanek WND column: "Abortion and the end of the world"

by Jill Stanek

The U.S. did not legalize abortion in a vacuum in 1973. The Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood's research division, states abortion laws worldwide were undone "rapidly" between 1950 and 1985.

Guttmacher estimates 46 million babies are aborted worldwide each year. This means almost 1 billion babies have been aborted worldwide just during the past 20 years.

If current world population is 6.5 billion, as the U.S. Census Bureau indicates, all must acknowledge the profound impact of abortion on the human race, no matter where they stand on abortion.

In that regard, I have some theories on the impact of abortion on world history....

Continue reading my column today, "Abortion and the end of the world," on WND.com.

Brokeback Iceberg

Cartoonbrokeback

Glenn McCoy on "And Tango Makes Three" . . .

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tony Peraica, where are you?

Mayor Richard Daley's former hiring boss Robert Sorich was sentenced to 3 years and 10 months in jail yesterday by an angry and emotional U.S. District Judge David Coar.

"If I thought that by sentencing you I could stop this type of hiring corruption in the city of Chicago, I would throw this building at you.  But it won't," Coar told Sorich.

Continue reading "Tony Peraica, where are you?" »

Best Deer Hunting Areas in Illinois

Deerhuntingillinois_1You've got better than a 1 in 2 chance of bagging a deer this year in Illinois' hottest deer hunting counties, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources reports this week.

The word about Illinois' good hunting is evidently getting around. After announcing last week he is considering a run for  president in 2008, U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-California) was unsuccessful in trying his luck at deer hunting this past weekend in Downstate Hamilton County. 

Continue reading "Best Deer Hunting Areas in Illinois" »

White Scholarship Draws Protests at Boston University

The College Republicans of Boston University are offering a Caucasian Achievement and Recognition Scholarship as a protest against racial preferences in admission.

The opponents argue that the CR's have "polluted" reasoned discourse on this issue. It's hard to accept this considering that anyone who questions racial preferences is immediately labeled a racist and considered a member of the KKK by the supporters of such preferences. The fact is there has been no reasoned discussion on racial preferences because ad hominem attacks are thrown the minute the subject is brought up.

Continue reading "White Scholarship Draws Protests at Boston University" »

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First Durbin challenger enters 2008 race

Attention Bill Brady, Jim Oberweis, Ron Gidwitz, Jim Durkin, John Borling, Andy Martin or any other person considering challenging Dick Durbin in 2008:

Better get your campaigns into gear, guys.  There's already one candidate who's beat you to the punch -- Mike Psak.

Continue reading "First Durbin challenger enters 2008 race" »

Children from intact two-parent homes happier, study says

From Rockford's Howard Center's weekly mailing, another luscious reason for promoting one-man/one-woman traditional marriage:

Find a young man or young woman happy with life and you've likely found someone who grew up in an intact two-parent family. The relationship between young adults' happiness and the type of family that reared them receives attention in a study recently published in Psychological Reports by psychologist Kevin Marjoribanks.

Continue reading "Children from intact two-parent homes happier, study says" »

Consequences for corruption

by George Dienhart

I find it incredible that there is even a debate as to whether or not George Ryan deserves his pension.

Here is a man that that has become the poster child for what Illinois politics has become- corrupt. He was convicted of 18 counts of corruption, including selling state business to the highest bidder and killing corruption fighting initiatives to protect political fundraising. He is the living embodiment of the spirit of corruption that plagues this state to this day.

Continue reading "Consequences for corruption" »

Oberweis to head Republican group

040803ilgop_002_1 by Fran Eaton, IR Editor

Former GOP candidate for Illinois governor Jim Oberweis will soon become chairman of the Republican Assembly of Illinois and reportedly is willing to chair the Illinois Republican Party.

"We believe Jim Oberweis should be the spokesman for the conservative base of our party," Colonel Raymond True, Libertyville resident and chairman of the Republican Assembly of Lake County said Monday night.   

"Jim came in second in the Republican primary governor's race, and he is the party's titular head since Topinka lost in November.  We want to bring the Illinois Republican Party back to upholding the Republican platform."

Continue reading "Oberweis to head Republican group" »

Monday, November 20, 2006

Who will pay for All Kids?

by Fran Eaton

A key question Republicans asked on the Senate floor the day Governor Blagojevich's All Kids health care program was passed a year ago was a simple one:  What are the residency requirements to be covered by All Kids?

There was no definitive answer given that day.  That's because there are no residency requirements to qualify for Illinois' universal health care program for residents under age 19. 

Continue reading "Who will pay for All Kids?" »

Let the generals win the war

(Illinois Review welcomes George Dienhart to our list of esteemed conservative commenters.  Welcome George, to Illinois crossroads for the conservative community.)

by George Dienhart

The Democrats haven’t even taken control of congress yet, and already they are plotting and planning. Drawing up plans for a draft and a strategy to cut and run. The left is  proving yet again that for Democrats, its party first, let the republic be damned.

Continue reading "Let the generals win the war" »

Child protection agency fails to protect 53 children from death

by Fran Eaton

With all the well-placed criticism of the mainstream media, there should also be backpats when deserved.  The Belleville Democrat released a story over the weekend about the deaths of 53 children who were abused to death while under the responsibility of the state's Department of Children and Family Services.

Continue reading "Child protection agency fails to protect 53 children from death" »

Thank you for a great first year

This week, Illinois Review begins our second year of providing a venue for news and conservative discussion. 

Without the wit and wisdom of our faithful commenters and our passionate posters, Illinois Review would not be one of Illinois' most visited political blogs.  We appreciate all they contribute to further reasonable and respectful political discussion.

We also want to thank you, our readers, for your support and interest over the past year.   

We at Illinois Review look forward to another year of serving as the crossroads for Illinois conservative movement.

As always, your ideas and suggestions are welcomed.

Dennis LaComb, publisher

Fran Eaton, editor

Who did they thank?

Cartoonthanksgiving

From the pen of the Indianapolis Star's Gary Varvel

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Penguin book stirs Illinois school

Tango_2by Fran Eaton

A dispute over a school library book in a little town just west of Downstate Scott Air Force Base has attracted national attention this weekend.  The book, And Tango Makes Three, tells the story of two male penguins at New York's Central Park Zoo which adopted a penguin embryo as their own.

The controversy was raised when Shiloh Village School parent Lily Del Pinto read to her five year old daughter that the story's zookeeper said the male penguins were "in love."  Mrs. Pinto complained to the school library and principal about what she thought was inappopriate material for 5 year olds.

Continue reading "Penguin book stirs Illinois school" »

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Minimum wage & compassion

Cartoonwageasay

The Colorado Springs Gazette's Chuck Asay concerns about raising minimum wage at the federal level also apply to what's about to happen in Illinois, as the Governor pushes raising the state's minimum wage again, this time to $7.50/hour.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Awaiting sentencing, former governor addresses DePaul U students

RyangeorgeIf you caught yourself wondering what former Governor George Ryan is doing these days while awaiting beginning his 6 year sentence for federal offenses, you need look no further than DePaul University.

Ryan will be addressing impressionable young student members of the DePaul Chapter of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty this evening at 7:30 at the DePaul University Student Center. 

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Some ideas for an idea-less IL GOP leadership

Since thus far a Newt Gingrich-esque political mind has not stepped forward in Illinois yet, perhaps IL Republicans could glean some valuable ideas from Newt's latest newsletter as to what we should do in the days ahead . . .

There are some key questions and key principles to keep in mind as we work through the process of earning back the majority.

  1. Republicans lost the 2006 election. Do not hide from this. Do not shrug it off. Our team lost. Why did we lose? What do we have to do differently?
  2. Are House Republicans electing a leadership team to be an effective minority or a leadership team to regain the majority? These are very different roles and require very different considerations, very different strategies and very different leaders.
  3. To regain majority status, we have to focus on the country first and on Washington and the Congress second. If we are responsive to the country, they will support us and return us to power. If we are focused on action in Washington (whether White House action, legislative action or lobbyist and PAC action), we are probably entering a long period in minority status.
  4. Are House Republicans electing leaders to represent House Republican values and strategies to the White House or leaders to represent the White House to House Republicans? Over the next two years, House Republicans and the White House will have very different institutional interests and very different time horizons. If we want to regain majority status, we have to focus on the building of a grassroots coalition which supports real change in Washington.
  5. From a House Republican standpoint, the center of gravity should be the 54 Blue Dog Democrats. If we and the Blue Dogs can find a handful of key things to work on together, we can almost certainly create a majority on the floor just as the Reagan Republicans and conservative Democrats did in 1981. Bipartisanship can be conservative and back bench rather than liberal and establishment leadership defined. What did the Blue Dogs promise to get elected? What was the nature of their coalition back home? They give us the best opportunity to create grassroots efforts to pass solid legislation. Remember, the liberals will find it very hard to write a budget acceptable to the grassroots that elected the Blue Dogs. We have real opportunities if we are creative.
  6. House Republicans should establish new principles for appointing people to the Appropriations Committee. Nothing infuriated the Republican base more than the continued process of earmarks, set asides and incumbent-protection pork. There is no reason for the House Republican conference to reappoint a single appropriator unless they agree to be part of the Republican team. First establish the principles of representing Republican values on appropriations and then ask each appropriator to commit themselves to living by those principles or accept appointment to another committee. There is a legitimate role for set asides in the legislative-executive branch process, but there is no reason to give the executive branch a blank check. There has to be some limits, and those limits should be set by the Conference and not by the committee members.
  7. All of this will take time. As rapidly as possible there should be a three-day member-only retreat to discuss issues like this and to set strategies for the next two years. These kinds of decisions should be a key part of thinking through who should lead House Republicans for the next Congress and how they should lead.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

GOP: if we can't trust you to vote right on minimum wage, who can we trust?

Evidently, some Republicans don't understand the concept of acting like the "opposition party," something every Illinois Republican lawmaker should be required to take a crash course in immediately.

We've got three Republican senators who seem to be uncomfortable with holding the line on the state's minimum wage requirement -- something that will hurt small business owners.  Senators Dan Cronin, Kirk Dillard and John Millner (all DuPage County GOPers) voted "present" on SB 1275 today (see Senate roll call vote here) .

And no explanation is needed for the ridiculous "YES" vote Senator Cheryl Axley cast today, the only Republican caucus member who lined up with the Democrats to make Illinois' minimum wage to soon be $7.50/hr.

Senator Axley, who was appointed to fill Dave Sullivan's vacancy, lost her first re-election bid to a Democrat in a formerly strong Republican north suburban district.  No one will notice the Senator's gone next January -- she votes with the Democrats almost as often as she votes with the GOP. 

The vote now moves to the Democrat-controlled House, where House Speaker Mike Madigan has picked up sponsorship for himself.  Guess how the vote will go in the House?

Thursday's Trib discusses the pros and cons of minimum wage increases here.

DuPage County Board -- What are they Thinking?

The DuPage County Board is seeking the right from the General Assembly to tax cigarette sales locally.  This might not be big issue to you, now, but if they are successful I imagine they'll go back to the well and seek more authority to tax.  Why?  Because the taxes won't bring in the revenue they need to close their budget gap.  Moreover, why make the tough decisions on what to cut when you can go get more from taxpayers? 

What's worse is that you can expect that in two years the Democrats will be dropping fliers into DuPage pointing out that the GOP hiked taxes.  Why vote Republican when you can vote for the real thing?   It won't be just the Board paying the price, either.  Newly minted US Rep. Peter Roskam will have the kitchen sink thrown at him again.  This won't help.   And state reps. and sens. such as Kirk Dillard will have to fight in this environment as well.  If DuPage goes blue, last week will look good comparatively.

If you are a GOP candidate or current official, I'd distance myself from these people, now.  Or, at least attempt to talk some sense into them.

Do you think I'm over-reacting?  Look who weighed in with a letter to IL state legisltors today (.pdf)

Tuning Out: Students Paying Less and Less Attention in Class

I remember very clearly the first law class I took. I arrived just moments before the class started and sat in the back of the room which is generally my custom. I realized right away that every desk had power and an internet jack which I found kind of cool at the moment.

The person just in front of me (who intended to be in the back of the class before I showed up) turned around and asked me as I sat down, \"Hey, do you mind if I look at porn during class?\"

This event was memorable not just because of the absurdity of the question but it was one of the few times in my life that I was left speechless. Any number of obnoxious comebacks would have done but I was taken aback at not only the boldness of asking such a question but the concept of looking at pornography during a class on jurisprudence.

Continue reading "Tuning Out: Students Paying Less and Less Attention in Class" »

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Conservative Star Search Proposed

submitted by George Dienhart

When I was a kid, I collected baseball cards. Topps used to print cards not just for the projected roster of the upcoming season, but also a card called “Future Stars”. This card would have 3 minor league ballplayers that had the potential to develop into future stars. 

It is unfortunate that we, as Republicans, do not have the benefit of “politician cards” to fall back on in identifying our future stars.  However, we are fortunate in that we have the Illinois Review. I would like to present a Future Star and invite you to reply in the comment section with selections of your own.

Continue reading "Conservative Star Search Proposed" »

Matrire's dream "real reform" about to become reality

Real reform is on its way, says Sun Times columnist and tax swap advocate Ralph Matrire in Saturday's column.

Now that the Democrats have consolidated power at the State House, there will be no one to blame for failing to accomplish fundamental state funding reforms, Martrire wrote.

Continue reading "Matrire's dream "real reform" about to become reality" »

Monday, November 13, 2006

Rahm Emanuel – Getting Less Respect at the Sun-Times

by Cal Skinner

Did Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg know about Congressman Rahm Emanuel’s having given exclusive access to the Chicago Tribune before he wrote Monday’s column?

Continue reading "Rahm Emanuel – Getting Less Respect at the Sun-Times" »

Illinois HB 750: The Amazing Tax Increase

Illinois, now that the Democrats have complete control of the state, is poised to pass HB 750, the so-called tax swap to reform education funding. The idea is that reducing dependence on property taxes for education and increasing dependence on income tax, business tax, and other tax increases. Now, in theory if it was a 1:1 swap, that'd be one thing (though I doubt the integrity of the state government in actually passing that money down to school districts).

This is a tax increase under the guise of a tax swap. Income tax will increase by 2%, business income tax will increase by 4%, and there will be a new tax on services at 6%. It is theoretically going to include a tax abatement to reduce the education portion of property tax bills. The estimated increase in taxes will be $7.2 billion; the estimated property tax reduction will be $2.5 billion.

Continue reading "Illinois HB 750: The Amazing Tax Increase" »

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If it’s a big tent, why are conservatives always left out in the rain?

submitted to IR by George Dienhart

I’m not going to turn this into another “Andy Go Home” rant. By now, everyone knows where I stand on this issue. I am going to talk a little about the larger problem. Why the party leadership keeps selling the citizens of Illinois the sad story that only a moderate can win. It simply is not true.

Continue reading "If it’s a big tent, why are conservatives always left out in the rain?" »

Conservativism is doomed

by Fran Eaton

World Net Daily's Joseph Farah hits the nail on the head when he predicts the impending doom of conservatism in America today here

I agree with Farah.  "Conservatism" is a passive, non-inspiring political ideology. 

Continue reading "Conservativism is doomed" »

Sunday, November 12, 2006

IFI to kick off marriage amendment petition drive in 2007

Via press release on Thursday, the Illinois Family Institute unveiled plans to try a second time to gather enough signatures to place the marriage amendment advisory on the 2008 ballot.

Citing eight successful state constitutional referendums in last week's election, Smith also reported on central Illinois' Cartwright Township, where the marriage referendum passed in a township-wide poll with a 5 to 1 majority.

“There is little doubt in my mind that if a marriage protection measure were put to the voters of Illinois, the referendum would win handily,” said Illinois Family Institute Executive Director David E. Smith.  “The sample from Pleasant Plains, the center of the state, is a good indication of that.   Why are House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President Emil Jones denying ALL the people of Illinois a chance to vote to protect marriage?”

NRSC: Rescind pro-gay PC policy

Americans for Truth's Pete LaBarbera called this weekend for the National Republican Senatorial Committee to rescind their sexual orientation policy.  LaBarbera said in a press release that the NRSC's "pro-gay political correctness contributed to Sen. George Allen's narrow loss for re-election in Virginia," and of course, the loss of the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate.

Continue reading "NRSC: Rescind pro-gay PC policy" »

GOP be forewarned: your vote on HB 750 could seal our fate

As soon as this week, Illinois House and Senate Republicans will have a chance to show us  they know how to use their minority status to begin the rebuilding process by standing firm for local control and against a tax swap.

Illinois Senate Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson told Star reporter Ben LeFebvre she intends to demand HB 750 be pulled out of committee and called for a vote in next week's veto session.

The Illinois General Assembly will reconvene Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to tie up loose ends before the new, stronger and more powerful Democratic Senate is sworn in next January.

Ralph Matrire must be so excited he can't sleep nights.  Finally, after year after year of plodding throughout the state of Illinois selling his tax scheme to legislators, school boards, parents, property owners and voters, it seems  a given with the Democrats in full control that Illinois will move away from a property-tax based school funding system to an income-tax-based system.

That means we lose control over our local school boards -- no more property tax referendum.  That means our income taxes will need to increase as schools seek more funding.  No more will district voters determine how much money schools will get through property taxes -- that whole decision will be placed in the hands of 177 lawmakers and 1 governor.

Local control will be out the window.  All funds will go through Springfield before they are returned to our local schools. 

Are we doomed, or is there a chance we can return to local control? 

It depends on what the Republican voting bloc in each state chamber does this week.  Let's hope our Republicans learn how to play hardball and fight back with everything they have to resist this impending disaster.  If ONE Republican votes in support of HB 750 or any other such bill, he or she alone will seal the fate of a Democrat majority for as long as we can foresee.

Republicans can't stop the passage, but they can darn well not be a part of it.  They had better.  It's not theirs to screw up for the rest of us.

Where Does Illinois Go From Here? Part 1

If one is up to date on what is happening in the rest of the world, they might notice that the Meccas of "social democracy" are in precipitous states of decline.

France's economic growth is cratering while its police force is losing it's war on Islamic violence.

Meanwhile, Germany, once known for its exports of cars and chemicals, is now a net exporter of its own people.

What does this have to do with Illinois' future?  It's pretty obvious.  The reigning power structure here is hell-bent on turning Illinois into a "Euro-Style" failed state, though they would never admit to themselves that the policies they promote will lead us there.

Continue reading "Where Does Illinois Go From Here? Part 1" »

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Lefts' True Colors

Drudge reported today that Leftist spokesman/entertainer Elton John declared that he would "ban religion completely."

Noted the Drudge Report: 'Sir Elton John wants religion banned completely -- because he believes it promotes hatred of gays.

Speaking to the Observer Music Monthly Magazine the singer said religion lacked compassion and turned people into "hateful lemmings".

The PRESS ASSOCIATION reports: In a candid interview for a dedicated Gay issue of the magazine he shared his views on topics as varied as being a pop icon to Tony Blair's stance on the war in Iraq.

He said there was a lack of religious leadership, particularly in world politics, and complained that people do not take to the streets to protest any more.

Sir Elton said: "I think religion has always tried to turn hatred towards gay people. Religion promotes the hatred and spite against gays.

"But there are so many people I know who are gay and love their religion. From my point of view I would ban religion completely.

"Organised religion doesn't seem to work. It turns people into really hateful lemmings and it's not really compassionate."

Continue reading "The Lefts' True Colors" »

Try Becoming the Party of Tax Cuts

It looks like after the election some leading Republicans in Illinois are looking for ways to re-build. 

Some suggest, the GOP become the party of ethics.  My guess is that if you have to tell people you are ethical, then that signifies you have a problem.  Voters know an honest person when they see one.  It's just like when someone has to sell me on the idea that they, or their candidate, really is a conservative.  Look, if you sell me on it, you have a problem.

Perhaps instead of ducking the tax issue, namely the Pledge and pro-growth tax cuts why doesn't the GOP rally to the tax issue.  It's perfect for them in many respects.  First, the right tax cuts lessen the burden of government and grows the economy returning more revenue over time. Second, when politicians talk about tax cuts the issue becomes popular.  Third, when they carry through on tax cuts earn the voters' trust.  Fourth, it forces politicians to make choices and show leadership -- something very lacking in Springfield. 

Finally, it unites the whole party.

Link: AP Wire | 11/10/2006 | Election leaves Illinois Republicans wondering how to rebuild.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Now's the time to demand change

submitted by George Dienhart

This must be the Illinois conservative movement's “Boston Tea Party moment”. If not, we risk being irrelevant for the next 20 years. The key to saving our party is at the grassroots level. We have to organize, demand McKenna's resignation and let our county chairmen know what our agenda is.

Continue reading "Now's the time to demand change" »

Midwest hotel chain boycotts CNN

Looking for a post-election peaceful getaway somewhere nearby? 

According to the Des Moines Register, you might want to head for East Peoria, Galena, Moline or Quincy's Stoney Creek Inns.  The hotel chain's owner James Thompson has removed CNN from the hotels' TVs because, in Thompson's opinion, CNN supports terrorists.

"Regardless of your views on the war, a recent CNN broadcast of sniper assassinations of American soldiers in Iraq is offensive," Thompson said this week.  "We will not be a party to propaganda for terrorists."

Kudos, Mr. Thompson. . .

Your thoughts can be conveyed by visiting the Stoney Creek Inn website or phoning 641-424-5241.

Link: DesMoinesRegister.com.

If you want to make Illinois GOP leaders accountable, get rid of "Alternative A" Now

By Mark RhoadsVotemachine_1

I am repeating here a reply I made to a post below submitted by George Dienhart on "A Life Preserver to the Illinois GOP."

The reason I want to emphasize my reply in a separate post is that I am not sure many Republican primary voters in Illinois really understand how they lost their right to elect state party leaders and how they can get it back.  If you are a Republican and you are serious about wanting to make Illinois GOP leaders more accountable to Republican voters and less a tool of the party insiders, then launch a campaign to attack and repeal Alternative A of the Election Code provision for electing the Republican state central committee.  Here's why:

Continue reading "If you want to make Illinois GOP leaders accountable, get rid of "Alternative A" Now" »

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Illinois should be the first to promote chromosone-based gender identity

Wedding5_3by Fran Eaton

This week, eight more states considered amending their constitutions to define "marriage" as between a man and a woman.  The traditional definition of marriage suffered its first defeat in Arizona when the referendum lost, 51% against and 49% for.  [UPDATE as of 9:30 pm:  David Smith of IFI says the AZ referendum may not fail after all . . . will update when the final count is in.  Stay tuned . . . ]

Illinois Family Institute asked its readers today if Illinois would be the last state to protect the one-man/one-woman marriage.   A fair question.  All Illinois needs is for our radical left-winged Democratic state leaders to call the amendment for a vote in the General Assembly.  Senate President Emil Jones refuses.  So does House Speaker Mike Madigan.

But maybe it's not so bad that Illinois has delayed action.  No need to waste energy on political fixes that won't be effective, is there?

Continue reading "Illinois should be the first to promote chromosone-based gender identity" »

Standing outside of history in the making

Jill Stanek, an OB-GYN nurse who held a live aborted baby for 45 minutes in 1999, now a nationally-renowned prolife activist, is standing this morning outside the U.S. Supreme Court, waiting in the "3-minute line" for a chance to hear arguments on the partial birth abortion case before the nation's highest court.

Via text message . . . "Standing in line with a Carhart employee.  Sharing my umbrella with him.  Surreal."

"Carhart employee"? -- Carhart is the abortionist on whose behalf the case has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Continue reading "Standing outside of history in the making " »

Monday, November 06, 2006

One of the best posts I've ever read

What ever the outcome of tomorrow's elections, the fact remains that more battles will be fought over good and bad policies here in Illinois and the nation.

While emotional appeals work to fire up the true believers on all sides, it is always nice to hear the clear ring of logic in a given article or post to a blog.

Below is one such post.  If you have time, read it.  It's motivating in it's clarity.

Seeing the Unseen - Bill Whittle

Forward to your friends who may be undecided

After looking at the late shift toward Republicans, I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that they will hold the House and Senate.

If there is anything that may persuade your undecided friends, this may be it.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A "Nightmare" Indeed

Yesterday's Tribune headline blared "Illinois' pension nightmare."  Here are some excerpts, with thoughts attached.

Illinois, with an estimated $45.8 billion pension shortfall, has among the worst funding records in the country. From Connecticut to Oklahoma, pension obligations are threatening to overwhelm budgets, pinching states' ability to pay for pressing priorities such as education, transportation and health care.

From a political perspective, this offers the best opportunity in a generation to create real political reform.  The culture has always been able to digest a little corruption, but  the politicians here have a) created a huge patronage army of government workers (yes Virgina, teachers are government workers), and b) showered them with unsustainable benefits, which sadly, are Constitutionally protected once vested.

What few people understand is that there isn't enough future tax revenue to pay off these promises.  Taxation will only yield economic decline that destroys the ability to pay the promises.  Reform is no longer an "option," it's now a force of nature.

The parsite no longer lives in harmony with it's host.

Continue reading "A "Nightmare" Indeed" »

Friday, October 27, 2006

Sun-Times sets up defense for alleged homosexual killer to commit the ultimate hate crime

Talk about setting up a defense -- just read the Sun-Times headline "Defense: Killing payback for gay taunts" about a murder trial that started yesterday in Chicago. 

The Sun-Times, rather than objectively report, apparently will be the defense attorney to Chicago's public on behalf of a homosexual on trial this week, accused of beating, raping, stabbing, suffocating, killing a 51-year-old Chicago woman and then stuffing her body into his apartment's crawl space.

Continue reading "Sun-Times sets up defense for alleged homosexual killer to commit the ultimate hate crime" »

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Updated - Mark Steyn Interview

Today's interview with Mark Steyn, author of "America Alone - The End of the World as We Know It"

Listen to the show everyday at 10AM to Noon at a www.wkrs.com.

If the "Listen Live" link appears not to work, try it a few times.  It will come up.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Reponse to MJ Fox misinformation ad

The following ad is planned to play tonight during the World Series, although there are last minute details still being worked out. It features Jim Caviezel of "The Passion of Christ;" Cardinals pitcher Jeff Suppan, Arizona Cardinals QB Kurt Warner, and Patricia Heaton of "Everybody Loves Raymond."

Continue reading "Reponse to MJ Fox misinformation ad" »

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Maybe too little too late, but good nonetheless

Friday, October 06, 2006

Hastert Could Lead by Stepping Aside

Given the personal nature of Lee's recent post, I felt it necessary to reply "above the fold."  Thought there is not much more to be said about this issue that hasn't already been said,  I  want to explain and clarify my stance so as to inform Illinois Review readers where I am coming from.  After this post, I will refrain from posting on this topic again (though I may respond to comments).

Also, over at my blog, I will soon have a podcast of an on air debate with Al Salvi (and its aftermath).  Al agrees with Lee's view on this matter.

Continue reading "Hastert Could Lead by Stepping Aside" »

That's Not Responsibility

The headlines read "Hastert takes Responsibility, Refuses to Step Down."

The selfishness is breathtaking.

Continue reading "That's Not Responsibility" »

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Loyalty v. Principles

Some are suggesting that "loyalty" is a worthwhile attribute.

Let us ask "Loyal to what?"

In politics, there are principles that one stands for, (or say they do).  There is also party cohesion, maintainance of power, compromise, and other forms of negotiation with our putative principles.

Continue reading "Loyalty v. Principles" »

Lotts 'o Luck Speaker Hastert

Time to pile on and make it happen.

Resign, Mr. Speaker

Continue reading "Lotts 'o Luck Speaker Hastert" »

Monday, October 02, 2006

Time for Hastert to Go II

Leaving aside all the huffing and puffing by the ersatz "righteous indignation" of the left, one can't be conservative and not be utterly disappointed in the ineptitude (and decrepitude) of Republican Leadership.

Yes, I'm talking about the Foley Scandal.

Continue reading "Time for Hastert to Go II" »

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Just when you think you've seen it all . . .

An alert IR reader has just pointed out to us the newest fundraising idea to fight breast cancer.   And you thought you'd seen it all . . .

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, you can make a $50 donation to take a peek at, yes, well . . . photos of covered and uncovered boobies!  It's all at www.Boobiethon.com.

Our astute IR reader writes, "What's next?  Brothels for the Cure?"   I'm wondering what to expect when Prostate Cancer Awareness Month rolls around. 

Our IR reader then poignantly quips, "The vulgarity of this promotion is equal to the obscenity of covering up the Abortion Breast Cancer link."  How true.

Hat tip:  IR Reader

To be gay or not to be? That is the question

by Fran Eaton

It's incredibly fascinating to me exactly why "sexuality activist"* (note: not "sexually active") groups would be upset about researchers at Evanston Northwestern initiating a study to determine whether sexuality is genetically-based.

A piece in the NWTimes.com today is troubling.  It quotes Dr. Alan Sanders, the psychiatrist heading Northwestern's ongoing research, as speculating on what he expects to find with 100 pair of gay brothers: that sexual orientation is 60 percent environment and 40 percent genetic.

Continue reading "To be gay or not to be? That is the question" »

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Live from New York with Hugo Chavez

Cartoonhiggins_1

Chicago Sun-Times' Jack Higgins' comments on Hugo Chavez' visit to America last week, when speaking to the U.N. the Venezuelan President dubbed America's President Bush "the devil."

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I don't give a damn about teachers

by Bruno Behrend

Yet another piece describing the woefully inadequate class of teachers produced by the iron triangle of Teacher's Unions, "Education" Schools, and the absurd regulatory structure of "Public Education."

Most of the article highlights the utter vacuity of the "education curriculum."  However, the real problem lies with editorial's inability to get out of the current corrupt and unproductive paradigm.

See the excerpt and comment below.

Continue reading "I don't give a damn about teachers" »

Friday, September 22, 2006

Jersey County group will appeal judge's ruling

The people of Jersey County are fighting an incredible battle in the courts over the insidious use of safety bonds to demolish repairable old school buildings to construct expensive new ones.

Despite the a two-to-one rejection of a school building referendum, Jersey County school district officials allegedly took safety bond funds, sought a matching state grant, and used that money to build two new schools, circumventing local citizens' opinions.

Yesterday, Jersey County citizen Jeff Ferguson took the matter before a local court.  The judge dismissed the suit, saying the plaintiff waited too long to file the complaint.  During that "wait," Ferguson was tenaciously gathering documentation through FOIDs and financial records inspection.

An email from the Jersey County folks who filed the lawsuit is circulating Illinois loops this morning (see below), warning fellow Illinoisans as to how their money is being used to build unwanted new schools in Jersey County, and appealing to fellow taxpayers to wake up and hold our elected officials and their spending addictions in check.

Ferguson says he will appeal the judge's decision and move forward.  Good for him.  He's fighting a battle in Jersey County for all of us.

The Jersey County discovery should be all of our concerns.  What's happening there could very well be happening in Christian, Peoria, McLean or Cook.  It's our battle, too.

Continue reading "Jersey County group will appeal judge's ruling" »

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Apologize or die

Muslimcartoon_1 

One wonders what will happen to the Washington Post for publishing this Glenn McCoy cartoon yesterday.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

State teachers and state workers should offer salary cuts if they really care

by Fran Eaton

So the state workers and the state schools' teachers union have decided not to endorse in the race for governor this time around.  AFSCME didn't endorse in 1990 or 1994 (Edgar won both times).  It's a first for the IEA.

Blagojevich is happy with the non-endorsement.  That means union members aren't being told to vote for Topinka.  But it also means the union members are free agents of sorts -- free to support just who they want, if anyone, in the governor's race.

Continue reading "State teachers and state workers should offer salary cuts if they really care " »

Friday, September 15, 2006

George Soros Enters Rosie Ranting Contest

Soros_3

If you think Rosie O'Donnell is ranting, just take a look at the CNN clip on You Tube where George Soros tries to defend his comparison of the Bush Administration to both Communist and Nazi propagandists.  His delusions are reaching Michael Moore proportions. Just amazing.

Rather than admit the obvious conclusion that he probably did not actually take the time to write the book with his name on it and hired a ghost writer, George Soros instead allows Wolf Blitzer to back him into a corner where he finally admits that "maybe I did go over the line."

See the Blitzer interview with Soros on You Tube.

Embryonic Stem Cells are Fool’s Gold

Stemcell_2 submitted by Charlie Johnston

Democrats think they have found gold with the issue of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. They may have for this election cycle, but sooner or later the people who are suffering from chronic disease will discover it is fools’gold the Democrats are peddling – and then they will pay a heavy price for their disingenuousness.

Let me tell you about Gina Rugari, originally of Dunham, North Carolina. Gina was born with a rare enzyme disorder that kills most infants before their second birthday. It had killed her brother before her. But with that family history, doctors were able to develop the missing enzyme using umbilical cord stem cells. Gina began school in Cincinnati last fall. She is one of many people who have been helped by over 70 adult and umbilical cord stem cell therapies. Dramatic improvements have been recorded in sufferers of Parkinson’s Disease, victims of spinal cord injuries and many other diseases and injuries.

Continue reading "Embryonic Stem Cells are Fool’s Gold" »

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

"Show me your books . . . or else "

by Fran Eaton

Homeschoolers: If someone comes to your door, demanding to see your children's textbooks, kindly but firmly tell them they're out of line and close the door.  It's just that simple.

Home School Legal Defense Association just released an e-lert to their Illinois members, reminding them that school officials have no authority to demand registration or evaluation of their school textbooks.

Truancy officers in downstate Franklin/Williamson Counties evidently believe Illinois law allows public schools to determine whether private schools which meet in the home are offering an acceptable education.

Reminds one of a McDonald's inspector appointing himself to determine whether or not a Wendy's salad is acceptable for consumption. 

As more and more parents remove their children from an atmosphere and curriculum which undermines their root beliefs like the public school system does, this trend of nosy, out-of-line school officials will accelerate if not squelched. 

Add to that state senators such as Deanna Demuzio who want home schools to be more accountable to the state, and we're ripe for another legislative confrontation similar to the one homeschoolers faced in 1999. . .

Continue reading ""Show me your books . . . or else "" »

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Not so quick, Governor

Not so quick with the executive orders, Governor.  Five pharmacists who have lost their jobs after refusing to dispense morning-after pills are fighting back.

Illinois' Gov. Blagojevich is finding it a bit of challenge to legally bully pharmacists into compromising their religious beliefs or leave their chosen professions.  Last week, a federal judge sided with the pharmacists and is allowing their suit to progress.

Lifenews.com reports,

In a 28-page opinion, issued on Wednesday, Judge Jeanne E. Scott said that the pharmacists’ allegations, if proven at trial, “may establish that the object of the Rule [morning-after-pill mandate] is to target pharmacists, such as the Plaintiffs, who have religious objections to Emergency Contraceptives, for the purpose of forcing them either to compromise their religious beliefs or to leave the practice of pharmacy."

"Such an object is not religiously neutral," Judge Scott wrote.

Finally, someone challenges the autocratic rule that's emerged in Illinois.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Stuart Levine To Plead Guilty Right Before Election

by Cal Skinner
The Chicago Sun-Times Saturday reported that Stuart Levine’s guilty plea agreement will be made public 12 days before the November election.

Why is that interesting, maybe important?

The most impact will probably be upon Governor Rod Blagojevich. 

Levine is a member in good standing of Illinois’ bi-partisan combine. 

Continue reading "Stuart Levine To Plead Guilty Right Before Election" »

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The dominoes continue to fall . . .

03_05_16dominoes2_leader

First published in May 2003, the Illinois Leader predicted what would happen with an array of key accused Illinois politicians. 

The prediction was eerily close, except for a couple of changes in the order of dominoes falling. 

Uedsten led to Stanley to Fawell to George Ryan.  Mike Tristano, Lee Daniels' COS recently was found guilty as well.  Altogether, 69 state employees have been accused.  65 have served or are serving prison time.

Of the six above, the last one  left standing is former House Republican Leader Lee Daniels.  While speculations continue to swirl around Daniels and legal bills continue to mount, the state rep has not yet been accused of wrongdoing.

Looking for organized evangelicals

by Fran Eaton

So exactly what can social conservatives in Illinois gather from yesterday's Florida GOP primary, where overwhelmingly -- according to this author -- Christian Coalition-esque candidates are being rejected in the Bible Belt.

Citing Ralph Reed's loss in Georgia and other key social conservative losses in the past few months, traditional family values are out, moderation is in.

This isn't to say social conservatives and the organizations through which they speak and act -- like the Christian Coalition -- won't again rise to prominence. But for now, Republican voters across America are tending toward moderation on social issues. They are instead showing more concern for things like immigration, energy costs, security and their own financial futures.

So here's a memo to prospective Republican candidates for president in 2008: If you're looking for an army of organized evangelicals to carry you to the White House, you'd better put on your X-ray glasses. Right now, they're hard to see.

What say ye?  Where's Illinois in this cycle? 

My take is that Illinois evangelicals are not organized, and never have been.  Illinois missed the Reagan Revolution.  Now, it appears, Illinois evangelicals and conservative Catholics missed the Bush Morality Era.

Continue reading "Looking for organized evangelicals" »

Monday, September 04, 2006

Smoke Detectors Can Save Lives

By Mark RhoadsFirecodebook

According to a story in The Chicago Tribune, six children, including five brothers and sisters from the Ramirez family, died Sunday in a fire in their Rogers Park apartment in the 7700 block of North Marshfield Avenue. The Tribune also says that in spite of statements of the landlord to the contrary, no evidence has yet been found in the building of working smoke detectors.  The deaths of those six children might have been prevented if working smoke detectors were in their apartment or the hallway or both.

Continue reading "Smoke Detectors Can Save Lives" »

IR Poll disses Topinka's Chicago casino

Last week's unscientific IR poll indicated IR readers are split on GOP gubernatorial candidate Judy Baar-Topinka's proposal to open a Chicago casino to fund public schools.

Continue reading "IR Poll disses Topinka's Chicago casino" »

Katrina teaches a lesson, columnist Armstrong Williams writes

Arm Kudos to Townhall.com's columnist Armstrong Williams this morning for his piece "Katrina," which calls on his African-American brethren to look within themselves rather than the government to fix problems.

Continue reading "Katrina teaches a lesson, columnist Armstrong Williams writes" »

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Labor Day immigration march counter-protest planned

While Elvira Avellano continues to be holed up at Chicago's Aldaberto United Methodist Church, the Chicago Minuteman Project will counter-protest this weekend's four-day immigrant march Monday at Speaker Dennis Hastert's Batavia office.

The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights is an organizer of the Labor Day weekend march.  Four days were selected because it is the amount of time it takes for Mexicans to travel by foot through the Mexican desert and cross the Texan border.

U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-14) and Congress' Republican majority has not supported amnesty the ICIRR is seeking for illegal immigrants.   

The Minutemen support Hastert's position. 

Friday, September 01, 2006

A Conversation with NW Burbs

by Bruno Behrend

Those of you familiar with IllinoisReview are probably aware of many of the debates we have with NW Burbs - our local "progressive" troll. (That's a term of endearment, NW)

Furthermore, those of you familiar with my views (or my web site) are probably aware that I'm promoting a workable -- but admittedly aggressive -- tax and education reform for Illinois. The first version is on my web site and the second version will be shorter on heated rhetoric and longer on the features, benefits, and numerous details - like transition issues.

Regardless, in a recent comment on one of the posts here, NW asked some substantive questions that deserve answers. Rather than post an extensive comment, I thought it was simply be better to answer in a separate post.

Let's start with the general outline of my plan. (Incidentally, I'd love it if the plan was the "Republican Plan," The Fritchey Plan, or even the Topinka Plan, but even the best people in the legislature suffer from a failure of imagination. They are all too afraid to question the absurd notion that we need to increase `education spending.'

___

1. Zero out property taxes for education.

2. Pass HB 750 tax increases (broaden sales tax services, income tax goes to from 3% to 5%).

Both of these together represent a $2.5 to $3.5 billion tax cut for Illinois individuals and businesses.

3. Abolish all school districts as entities. (892 Bureaucracies disappear)

4. Convert every IL public school to a charter school managed by the parents who choose it.

5. Combine increased state revenues with existing education spending to fund every Illinois child equally with a "fully funded" scholarship redeemable at any Illinois school.

6. Repeal all mandates (and the entire existing school code) and replace them with a rational testing regime that features sequenced, objective content standards. Testing should take place at the end of every student year, and it should be administered by an entity 100% independent of the school. Simply require that any participating school has a 90-95% "pass rate", along with a "remediation plan" for those who fail.

The education reform portion creates 100% "local control" (not the current illusory local control) while abolishing the horrific education apartheid created by this awful property tax system.

As I've discussed this with numerous people, including some legislators, I've been forced (thankfully so) to think about some of the more difficult issues involved in such a dramatic reform. I remain convinced that this plan is workable. (Yes, I'm ignoring the political realities at the moment - abolishing slavery was once thought impossible too.)

The hard work will be in the transition from the current system to the new one. With that in mind, let's get to NW's questions (in bold).

Continue reading "A Conversation with NW Burbs" »

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Remembering The Sharon Statement

Yaf_logo_3The IR blog is a crossroads of the conservative community in Illinois.  But there seem to be as many definitions of the word "conservative" as there are people who describe their own beliefs with that label.  That is not surprising given that many conservatives are individualists.  Conservatives are far from monolithic as is demonstrated on this blog every day. There is healthy diversity among conservatives and honest differences of opinion as to the merit of different candidates and positions.

So is there a common denomiator of basic principles for most conservatives?  I think so, and that is the idea that indivudal freedom and responsibility are very high values.  Economic conservatives stress the free market while social conservatives stress the importance of the Creator, church, and family in our society.  But both groups agree on the whole and for the most part in the bedrock constitutional principles of America and the rule of law.

I have not recently seen a cohesive statement of general conservative principles even as many people discuss their principles by references to a particular issue of the moment.   But I do recall one from almost a half century ago that still resonates with many today.

Continue reading "Remembering The Sharon Statement" »

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Should parents pull their kids from public schools?

Classroomby Fran Eaton

A group called Consider Homeschooling says Christian parents have no business sending their children to public schools, especially since a California court just ruled that pro-homosexual curriculum can now be dictated in taxpayer-funded schools. 

"Instead of the traditional 3 R's in California's public schools, children are learning Rebelliousness, Relativism, and an R-rated lifestyle," said Charles Lowers, Consider Homeschooling's founder.

"Christian parents have been misguided in thinking their children can be 'salt and light' in the public schools when in fact, the opposite has occurred. Public school is no place for innocent little kids. If they don't get molested by the John Karr's who are in the system, their minds and hearts will be molested by the curriculum."

Pretty strong language for a Christian. . .

Continue reading "Should parents pull their kids from public schools?" »

Monday, August 28, 2006

Immigrant controversy continues in Chicago

Biesada4Sunday, Chicago Minutemen's Rick Biesada attempted to enter Chicago's Adalberto United Methodist Church, which continues to act as a sanctuary for immigrant rights' activist Elvira Arellano. 

Arellano, a Mexican, is fighting deportation back to her homeland. 

Check out more on this story below, with additional photos taken by Rick Biesada, who's scheduled to appear on Geraldo Rivera's Fox News show Monday.

Continue reading "Immigrant controversy continues in Chicago" »

Friday, August 25, 2006

Feast with us next Monday night

by Fran EatonFamily_on_d_dayjpg_1

Having a son-in-law serving his second stint in Baghdad now, I am especially high on the Kane County Young Republicans' effort to "Feast for the Troops" Monday night, August 28, in Batavia.

I know firsthand how much sacrifice our young men are making in being away from their loved ones, and how difficult it is for the wives and babies they leave behind.  They all deserve our support and appreciation.

Jon and I correspond almost daily via Yahoo Messenger, and he tells me each day that it's 120 degrees there and that he's proud of what he's doing.  He never complains about the Cindy Sheahan's of the world. He's focused on doing his job and getting back home once again.

That's why I plan to spend $15 to "Feast for the Troops" with Mark Vargas and the Kane County Young Republicans next Monday night in Elgin.  I hope you'll be there, that I get to shake your hand, and that we'll altogether raise lots of money for the military families left behind.

Continue reading "Feast with us next Monday night" »

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

IR Watercooler Q of the Day: Should air travel security measures include profiling?

Watercooler_2_7Florida congressional candidate Mike Flanagan's suggestion that Muslim airline passengers as profiled as potential terrorists is being decried by Arab groups today.

Flanagan said in a statement Monday,  "It is a fact that over the past thirty-four years, starting with the Munich Olympics, the majority of terrorist attacks have been carried out by Muslims."

"It defies logic to pull out elderly ladies and young children, while those who fit the profile of a terrorist walk right through at the airport," he added. "We must stop playing games with security in the name of political correctness."

Flanagan is the third GOP candidate to raise the issue in the past few weeks. 

Should airline passengers be profiled based on appearance?  Should they be asked questions about their religious beliefs?  Would it be foolish to focus all suspicious on Muslim-looking persons?

What do you think?

Am I in the Twilight Zone?

Twilight_2by Fran Eaton

I'm disappointed in LaRaza reporter Vicente De La Cruz's take on the ongoing voter registration drive controversy found here.  I'm insulted by the story's accusations that I was part of a conspiracy to entrap undocumented immigrants.

Hopefully, Mr. De La Cruz will consider a followup story which includes quotes from my perspective found here.  I'm hoping the current online story was published before he interviewed me Tuesday morning, and that a more balanced response will be available on the LaRaza website soon.

I'll emphasize the point I tried to make in the now-controversial posting (here):  All U.S. citizens 18 years and older who are not convicted felons should be registered to vote. 

Now, if that displays bigotry, I'm sure I'll hear from 17 year olds, murderers and non-citizens who are not yet qualified to vote.

Why do I feel like I'm living in the Twilight Zone here?

UPDATE:  At 9:52 am, Mr. De La Cruz emailed me to inform me the LaRaza story had been updated to include my reaction.  I note the addition at the bottom of the story.   

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Pros and Cons of Early Voting

By Mark RhoadsPollingplace_1

According to the Courier News, Kane County Clerk John Cunningham is setting up an ambitious program to open up a "voting window" between Oct. 16 and Nov. 7.  The idea is to open up more polling places where voters can vote before the traditional Election Day in order to off load some of the traffic on Nov. 7 to other days.

Continue reading "Pros and Cons of Early Voting" »

Monday, August 21, 2006

Human life as a commodity

Guest editorial by Bill Beckman, Illinois Right to Life Executive Director

When the founders of our nation stated in the Declaration of Independence that we are “endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights,” they declared their belief that human life is not to be treated like a commodity.  They recognized that each human being is unique with the same rights as every other human being. 

Fast forward from 1776 to 2006.  Last week, three separate reports demonstrated just how far we have fallen from protecting this principle proclaimed in 1776.  How can we claim to be more advanced when human life has become a commodity?

Continue reading "Human life as a commodity" »

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Feasting for the troops . . .

You gotta love it. 

The Kane County Young Republicans, disgusted by the recent anti-War on Terrorism hunger strikes led by Cindy Sheehan and Hollywood celebrities, think its time to fight back.  Well, maybe more like a major "eat back."

Kane County Young Republicans' President Mark Vargas will be featured on Deborah Rowe's talk show today at 2:20 PM.  Tune into WLS 890 AM to hear the details.

And plan to join Illinois Review at the August 28 event. . .

Continue reading "Feasting for the troops . . . " »

Monday, August 14, 2006

Can illegal immigrants register to vote?

by Fran Eaton

This immigration issue should remain on the front burner.  Yesterday I wrote that Illinois conservatives need to understand the urgency of determining the best way to deal with illegal aliens.  It is quickly emerging as one of the top three issues in the 2006 election cycle.

Over the weekend, several hundred immigrant rights leaders gathered in Hillside to discuss blanket amnesty for illegal immigrants and a moratorium on deportations being enforced by the U.S. Dept of Homeland Security.

Continue reading "Can illegal immigrants register to vote?" »

Anyone promoting universal preschool should be spanked

Toddlers6

by Fran Eaton

Last week, Governor Mitt Romney (R-Massachusetts) vetoed a plan for his state to provide universal preschool.  Before that, California rejected an attempt to place a universal preschool program on the November ballot.  While a couple of other states offer preschool for 4 year olds, Illinois continues to be the national leader in pulling toddlers away from their mothers.

Continue reading "Anyone promoting universal preschool should be spanked" »

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Airport insecurity

From the pen of Newsday's Walt Handelsman

Cartoonairport

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Protect Marriage Petitioners Appeal Clinton Judge Rejection

by Cal Skinner

Immediately after being turned down by Clinton-appointed Judge Elaine Buckro, Protect Marriage petitioners appealed her decision. Appellate Court Justices in the case are Hon. Richard A. Posner Hon. Daniel A. Manion Hon. Michael S. Kanne.

The guts of the case is that Illinois law treats citizen initiated statewide advisory questions (as well as citizen initiated statewide petitions for a constitutional amendment…, statewide candidate petitions and new party petitions differently. Very differently.

And, we can thank (blame) current Lt. Governor Pat Quinn for the General Assembly’s having made issue petitioning much tougher to do than getting on the ballot as a candidate or even forming a new political party. Quinn’s “cut-back” amendment eliminated 59 seats in the Illinois House, not to mention virtually every minority—political, not racial—state representative in both power parties. (Except that the GOP did lose all of its black state reps.)

Continue reading "Protect Marriage Petitioners Appeal Clinton Judge Rejection" »

Homeland Security Threat Level High

By Mark RhoadsBrit747_1

Due to the arrest of 21 terrorists in London early on Thursday, August 10, the US Department of Homeland Security as raised the alert level to its highest status for international flights particularly from the United Kingdom to the United States.  Read Alert Statement here.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Real Gold Star Mothers Are Not Political

GoldstarbannerBy Mark Rhoads

About 25 years ago, I had the sad duty of making a trip to the WGN Flag Company at 7984 S. Chicago Avenue to purchase a Gold Star banner for the mother of my next door neighbor, a sailor who had lost his life in the line of duty.  WGN Flag is still in business and is a very old family-owned business that started up ninety years ago in 1916.  Even during World War I they sold the famous blue and gold star banners and they still sell a few today. 

Continue reading "Real Gold Star Mothers Are Not Political" »

A "state of total shakedown"?

by Fran Eaton

I agree with Cindy Canary's assessment of Illinois as "a state of total shakedown."  But I disagree with her proposed remedy, which is taxpayer-funded campaigns.  Why?  Because, believe it or not, our current system is working.

This past week, we've had an avalanche of stories on campaign disclosure filings made public via internet last week.  While those D2 forms may not be pretty, and in some cases embarrassing, the disclosures show Illinois "wild west" system of free and open campaign finance system is doing the job.

Continue reading "A "state of total shakedown"? " »

Saturday, August 05, 2006

NOWAK: "Raise wages or get outta town"

Ircartoonnowak_1

from Chicago free lance cartoonist Paul Nowak, who calls it like he sees it. 

Friday, August 04, 2006

Thanks, Moms . . .

Ever wonder why some people can handle stress better than others? 

A newly-released U.K. study indicates possible answers to that question could be found in one (or should I say two?) reasons . . . breasts.   Children who were breast fed as infants seem able to cope with stress better than those who were bottle fed.

Continue reading "Thanks, Moms . . ." »

Illinois leads way in promoting umbilical cord blood donations

EmbryoThe national infozine website featured a story Thursday about state initiatives leading the way on umbilical stem cell research.  Illinois State Senator Bill Haine (D-Belleville) told Infozine.com that umbilical cord blood cells research was so popular a bill he sponsored this spring won unanimous passage marking a "rare Kumbaya moment" in Springfield.

"[Umbilical cord blood] provides an avenue for extensive stem cell research without raising the concerns about the creation and destruction of human life," Haine said.

Continue reading "Illinois leads way in promoting umbilical cord blood donations " »

Guest OP-Ed: The morning-after pill is not a silver bullet

by William Beckman, executive director of Illinois Right to Life

In at least one Chicago newspaper on August 1, Steve Trombley, president of Planned Parenthood Chicago Area, claims that if only over-the-counter sales of the morning-after pill Plan B had been allowed 550 days ago (when first considered by the FDA) “2.25 million unintended pregnancies and 1.2 million abortions could have been prevented.” 

Continue reading "Guest OP-Ed: The morning-after pill is not a silver bullet" »

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Dick and Obama Rob Peter to Pay Paul

Surprise, surprise, Dicky Durbin and junior senator Obama are taking leading rolls in defeating a bill that would raise the minimum wage. See story here.

Why? Why would Durbin/Obama want to harm all those millions upon millions of poor, downtrodden, Depression-like minimum wage earners that the Dems tell us make up our economy?

Answer: Because they don't want those who have worked hard their entire lives to go to the grave with a single dime. Or at least not with more than $5.15, which is the current minimum wage. The Dems will, of course, tax that $5.15 so it is actually less.

Just as a reminder of who the Peter is that Durbin and Obama are robbing:

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Source: Internal Revenue Service
* Data covers calendar year 2003, not fiscal year 2003 and includes all income, not just wages, excluding Social Security

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

BREAKING NEWS: Clinton Judge Throws Out Protect Marriage First Amendment Suit

by Cal Skinner, Jr.

Judge Elaine Buckro gave a local lesson as to why who is appointed to the Federal judiciary matters when she dismissed a federal suit filed on behalf of the Protect Marriage Illinois petition drive.

Protect Marriage attorney Michael Levelle  filed a Federal suit trying to invalidate the extra-restrictive rules that the Illinois General Assembly has imposed on statewide petition gathering.

Continue reading "BREAKING NEWS: Clinton Judge Throws Out Protect Marriage First Amendment Suit" »

Is the Grand Victoria a blessing or a curse?

Grandvictoria While driving in downtown Elgin today, I noticed how many vacant storefronts lined the west side of Fox River.  Within a stone's throw is Elgin's Grand Victoria casino, whose adjusted gross income in 2003 was an astounding $381 million.

There's no doubt the Grand Victoria casino is a busy place.  At 1:30 pm on a Wednesday afternoon, the casino's massive parking lot was 3/4 full.

Continue reading "Is the Grand Victoria a blessing or a curse?" »

GEORGE RYAN, STILL GIVING BAD ADVICE ON CUBA

Ryancastro a guest commentary by John Curry, attorney at law

Former Illinois Governor George Ryan's recent conviction in a Chicago federal court due to egregious episodes of government fraud and corruption appears to be the ultimate word on Ryan's five-decade political career.  Of course, Illinois conservatives still smart over Ryan's numerous policy initiatives as Governor which resulted in serious blows on the issues of life, law and order, government spending, gun owners' rights, and many others, all served up under the umbrella of Ryan's claim to be a committed Republican. 

Continue reading "GEORGE RYAN, STILL GIVING BAD ADVICE ON CUBA" »

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Democrats' Idea of Job Creation

by John Ruskin

The New York Sun reports that, "Democratic lawmakers in the House are expressing strong opposition to legislation that would deny attorney's fees to individuals and groups [such as the ACLU] who win cases challenging government actions as a violation of the Constitution's prohibition on the establishment of religion."

As the Sun noted, the bill is needed because the ACLU and other groups "use the threat of large legal fee awards to intimidate local governments into dropping religious references in seals, monuments, and elsewhere." According to the bill's sponsor, Rep. John Hostettler (R-IN), local governments "capitulate to these organizations and their often questionable pronouncement of what is or isn't constitutional." And when localities don't capitulate, the ACLU (and others) sue the citizenry and collect large legal fees and awards - thereby fueling their ongoing war against American culture.

Of course, Democrats such as Shelia Jackson-Lee, Jerrold Nadler, and others are accusing the bill's backers of racism and Orwellian-ism. The usual pablum from the Left-Wingers. In response to veterans groups who support the bill and who have been the target of ACLU lawsuits seeking to remove religious symbols from veterans gravestones and memorials, the Dems brush aside their concerns as "red herrings". The Dems' proof? Nadler submitted a letter - from the ACLU! - saying the organization would "vigorously defend" the rights of veterans to use religious symbols on grave markers. Of course, the ACLU letter did not address the use of religious symbols on publicly owned group memorials or tombs for unknown soldiers.

Only the Dems could consider a letter from ACLU as a trump to the U.S. Constitution. I guess providing more work (and money) for lawyers is the Dems' idea of a job creation.

Chris & Carole: "You go, girls . . ."

by Fran Eaton

I love it.  It just may take tough, menopausal women to step in and straighten out the Illinois mess as it is.  And if that's what it takes to wipe up Democrats' messes, you go, girls. . .

Radogno_1  Over the weekend, GOP candidate for State Treasurer State Sen. Christine Radogno (R-LaGrange) politely stayed with campaign issues when debating the Democrats' best, 35 year old Alexi Gianoullis (here) but afterwards let the poor thing have it with both barrels. 

Giannoulis, who is the top loan officer at his family's bank, says that he didn't know that his family loaned several million dollars to convicted felons to fund their Atlantic City gambling operation.  Radogno held back and then blasted her opponent's qualifications to be Illinois' next treasurer. 

You go, Christine.

Pankaucarole_1Then today, GOP candidate for Comptroller State Sen. Carole Pankau (R-Bloomingdale) shames Democratic incumbent  Dan Hynes for enabling a spending-addicted governor to continue his scheme to destroy the state's financial future by pittering away millions to start new programs and forget about paying overdue bills.

Pankau says the state needs to stop pooling federal Medicaid funds into the general revenue coffers.  She says those funds need to go directly into a set aside fund to make sure doctors and hospitals are paid, no matter who's in charge. 

You go, Carole.

You go, girls. . . Tell it like it is.  We're right behind you.      

Monday, July 31, 2006

Alert: Sign on-line petition telling Senate Democrats to stop obstructing Child Custody Protection Act

Today the IL Federation for the Right to Life launched a nationwide on-line petition drive telling U.S. Senate Democrats to stop obstructing the Child Custody Protection Act.

This is an urgent matter.  The Congressional Pro-life Caucus reported this morning the clock is ticking: "If we hope to see this important legislation signed into law this year, the Senate must act this week to send the bill to conference."

Please sign this petition now at www.ifrl.org/ccpa and forward the link to pro-lifers and blogs.

Read IFRL's press release here.

Thank you.

Fight terrorism. Boycott Citgo.

CitgoSunday, two of the world's most notorious USA-haters Venezuela dictator Hugo Chavez and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad joined forces in Iran, calling on Iranians to "finish off the U.S. empire" and "save the human race" (see story).

Continue reading "Fight terrorism. Boycott Citgo." »

Cross proposes legislation making internet safer

Laptop Kudos to State Representative Tom Cross for taking on what many parents today consider their worst nightmare -- protecting their children from online predators.

Cross sent out a press release today announcing a bi-partisan effort with State Senator Arthur Wilhelmi (D-Joliet) to toughen penalties for adults who use the internet to find their sexual prey.  Included in the package of five bills are other issues concerning student online activities, child pornography and death threats.

Continue reading "Cross proposes legislation making internet safer " »

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Using Tax Dollars to Get Votes

The quid pro quo use of Chicago Streets and Sanitation Department services for votes described by the Sunday Chicago Tribune story is excellent and difficult reporting, even though most is posted as one really bid run-on paragraph. Reporters Lauie Cohen, Todd Lighty and Dan Mihalopoulos found new garbage carts, tree trimming, graffiti removal were used to help allies win tight elections.

Continue reading "Using Tax Dollars to Get Votes" »

Danger of those pesky embryos

Cartoonstemcells_1

Glenn McCoy's July 27, 2006 Washington Post.com cartoon makes the point . . .

Time to think about our national addiction

If you've got some time to sit and read online today, take time to read a fascinating piece entitled "A tank of gas, a world of trouble," by Chicago Tribune correspondent Paul Salopek. 

The piece reads like a novel, but describes -- from his perspective --the story behind (or is it under?) your local gas station.   

You'll think differently about the people who run the BP up the street, what it takes to get gasoline into those underground tanks and whether it's time we as a nation reassessed our fuel addiction.      

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Women and children first . . .

Cartoonhezbollah_1

From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's cartoonist Gary Markstein yesterday . . .

Friday, July 28, 2006

"In God We Trust" today. Will we in 2056?

by Fran Eaton

This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of Congress voting the words "In God We Trust" as America's motto. 

A couple of weeks ago, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution "re-affirming our nation's acknowledgement of and dependence on God," Concerned Women for America wrote in a press release yesterday.

The idea that our U.S. Senate agreed on such wording caused me to doubt CWA's assertion, so I looked up the wording of Sen Res. 96 for myself, and to my surprise, their description was accurate.  The actual wording is perhaps even bolder than I would have ever imagined, especially without a floor squeak from Illinois' notoriously open-minded U.S. Senators Durbin or Obama.

This all led me to think about who was in the U.S. Senate the summer of 1956, and what the national atmosphere was like when this discussion took place fifty years ago . . .

Continue reading ""In God We Trust" today. Will we in 2056?" »

Shake hands via internet?

The day is coming, a Chicago Tribune story says today, when you'll be able to shake hands and carry on a conversation via 3-D internet.

Can you imagine such use for good -- or for bad?   

Read about the fascinating developments in web technology stemming from Chicago's Northwestern University that is coming to your home . . . here

Who's the owner?

Asay060727_4 You gotta love Colorado Springs Gazette's political cartoonist Chuck Asay who never fails to nail the issue of the day . . .

Monday, July 24, 2006

IR Q of the day: Is porn viewing morally acceptable?

Watercooler_2_4Morality in Media released a poll today showing 64 percent of men and 81 percent of women say that watching porn is not morally acceptable.  The younger those polled, the more tolerant of porn viewing they were. More Democrats than Republicans seem to find porn viewing acceptable.

Continue reading "IR Q of the day: Is porn viewing morally acceptable?" »

Sunday, July 23, 2006

ED Dept. Report Says Conservative Christian Schools Are Worst

The New York Times has reported that "an Education Department report says public school students 'performed as well or better in reading and mathematics than comparable children in private schools.' According to CT Online, "it also found that students in conservative Christian schools lagged significantly behind their counterparts in public schools on eighth-grade math. … The report separated private schools by type and found that among private school students, those in Lutheran schools performed best, while those in conservative Christian schools did worst.

Continue reading "ED Dept. Report Says Conservative Christian Schools Are Worst" »

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Why liberals reject moral absolutes

Illinois Right to Life Committee's Executive Director William Beckman writes in a guest op-ed today:

So why did liberals reject moral absolutes?  Only because they disagreed with them!  They could never have really rejected the concept of absolutes because in their eyes, it is absolutely true that liberals are always right, and everyone else is always wrong.

Continue reading "Why liberals reject moral absolutes" »

IRS Intimidation of Churches Continues

The Los Angeles Times reports that 15,000 tax-exempt organizations, churches, and tax preparers are getting a memo from the IRS reminding them of the Political Activity Compliance Initiative, which was announced earlier this year. The memo, from IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson, informs the organizations that the IRS will no longer wait until it gets a tax return or until the end of the tax year to investigate allegations of wrongful campaigning. Instead, the IRS will now bring the full force of the Federal Government down on churches that they "believe" are violating the law at any time they deem necessary.

It would be interesting to know which churches are being targeted for intimidation by IRS. We all know which ones are not.

Read the LA Times story here.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Blagojevich forced to stop fetus farming plans

The day before Gov. Blagojevich forced Illinois taxpayers to advance $5 million more for embryonic stem cell experimentation, President Bush forced Blagojevich to shut down his plan for tax-funded fetus farms.


On July 19, President Bush signed the "Fetus Farming Prohibition Act of 2006,” a law that prohibits growing human embryos in animals or humans for research.


Blagojevich’s 2005 embryonic stem cell research executive order included “payment” for “transplantation, or implantation of [embryonic] tissue,” with no age restriction.  It also included “payment” for “cadaveric fetal tissue,” or dead fetuses.


In other words, Blagojevich was planning to harvest a new crop in Illinois, fetuses, in uterine farms.


Continue reading "Blagojevich forced to stop fetus farming plans" »

Hezbollah makes Al-Quaeda look unorganized, expert says

Let's face it.  We're all consumed with what's happening at the Israel-Lebanon border. 

The Bush Administration is reaching out to Saudi Arabia for assistance in negotiating a possible cease fire between Hezbollah and Israel.  As air assaults continue, Israeli ground troops are poised at the border.  An invasion of southern Lebanon is anticipated.

One terrorist expert just commented that Hezbollah, formed 24 years ago, makes Al-Quaeda look weak and unorganized.   The War on Terrorism apparently is expanding.

What are your thoughts about what's happening today?  Was Gingrich right Sunday when he suggested World War III has begun?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Blagojevich Lies to Downstate Dems

Blagosmooch_6It's IR's understanding that Gov. Blagojevich has just signed an Executive Order that provides $5 million for embryonic stem cell research in the state of Illinois. This, after he promised his fellow downstate Democrats that there was no hidden funding for such research in the budget.

At a time when Illinois can't even pay its Medicaid bills, the Governor has decided to exercise his extra-legislative privilege and foist upon the taxpaying citizens of Illinois a $5 million expenditure that we (or our children) will have to pay. This, despite the fact that our duly elected representatives in the Illinois General Assembly voted against it.

Make no mistake. This was no veto. This was an act of a Governor who is hell bent on winning re-election -- no matter what the cost to our families, finances, or freedoms.

Who Is The Aggressor?

Something from one of our readers.

Hamas_2_2

Monday, July 17, 2006

What does George Soros Really Want?

By Mark RhoadsGeorge_soros

Mr. George Soros has made a large fortune as a financial speculator.  Never mind if that sounds a little fuzzy, good for him and is this a great country or what?  Soros is also generously described as a "philosopher" in some venues that tilt to the port side of the boat.  There is no doubt that this super rich man would like the world to see him as a Great Thinker of Deep Thoughts.  But just exactly where his Deep Thoughts take him is a little cloudy at the moment.

Continue reading "What does George Soros Really Want?" »

Sunday, July 16, 2006

World War III?

"This is, in fact, World War III," former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich said today on NBC national news concerning the ongoing attacks between Israel and Lebanon.

What do you think -- is it?   Is Newt right? 

Gay Games glide into Crystal Lake

The 2006 Gay Games held in Chicago this year kicked off  in sunny, humid and almost-100 degree weather.  One of the week's first competitive events -- rowing -- was held Sunday in the far northwest McHenry County's Crystal Lake.

Former State Rep. Cal Skinner, who lives in the area, has been documenting the town's controversy surrounding the Gay Games for a couple of months on his McHenry County Blog.

Illinois Family Institute, in association with several churches and activists, is sponsoring protests throughout the Chicago area, and one will be featured at a bathhouse catering to homosexuals in a north Chicago neighborhood.

Read more about the Gay Games controversy here, here and here

IR welcomes Rep. Skinner to our growing cadre of talented conservative bloggers as we add one more voice to the crossroads of Illinois' conservative community.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Once a Trial Lawyer, Always...

By Thurlow Weed

Today's Washington Post reports:

The venerable Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA), the folks who sue tobacco companies, asbestos users, car manufacturers and so on for humungous amounts of money -- and are the targets themselves of the business community -- is changing its name.

Continue reading "Once a Trial Lawyer, Always..." »

Don't count your prairie chickens before they're hatched . . .

PrairiechickenWe have war in the Middle East, gas prices at over $75/barrel, and from southern Illinois we learn of yet another looming crisis -- the shortage of prairie chickens.

No kidding. . . a shortage of Illinois prairie chickens.

Which begs the burning questions:  Why did the Prairie State chicken cross party lines?     Have they checked for the Prairie State's political chickens coming home to roost in federal prisons?

Let the jokes begin. . . and don't get serious on us.

The mindgames begin . . . watch out, fellow Babies

David Horsey stirs the debate on Social Security.  While SS was an honorable way of taking care of seniors for the generation before the Baby Boomers, Horsey expresses the growing frustration about the phenomenal burden Social Security will be on the next generation.

Picture1_12

Let's pit the spoiled Baby Boomers against the even more spoiled Gen-Xers and see what we get . . .

Those Ads Worked

Blagojevich now up by 11 points.

Rasmussen is reporting that Rod Blagoevich is up by 11 points. It sounds to me like all those ads did what they were supposed to do, and raised Topinka's negatives dramatically.

Continue reading "Those Ads Worked" »

Thursday, July 13, 2006

A political victim's perspective

by Fran Eaton

Former State Rep. Cal Skinner's take on former Daniel's COS Mike Tristano's sentencing provides insight few others will.  Cal lost a GOP primary in 2000 when the House Republican leadership decided they didn't want their own 16-year incumbent to be re-elected.

I've never asked Cal why he and Daniels fell at odds, and I'm not sure I want to know.  It's likely that Cal was just too independent.  Daniels used Cal's loss to primary challenger Rosemary Kurtz as an example to keep others in line.

Over the couple of years Cal and I worked together on Illinois Leader, few things frustrated Cal more than being reminded that he did not lose his state rep seat fair and square.  Rightfully so. He was betrayed by colleagues focused on power and deals.

Evidently Tristano received minimum prison time in exchange for testimony leading to the conviction of bigger fish.  The "fish" in this case is likely to be State Rep. Lee Daniels, whose name was mentioned in yesterday's sentencing.  Wonder if Daniels will soon understand how it feels to be betrayed by a colleague focused on keeping prison time short . . .

Check out Cal's postings on yesterday's sentencing on his McHenry County Blog here and here.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Get your Chicago Gay Games ads here . . . a mere $25k

Illottery If you're fed up with all the belly achin' about how Illinois tax dollars are being spent, get ready for a little more indigestion . . .

Yesterday, the Illinois Lottery authorized a no-bid contract to Chicago Games, Inc. for the amount of $25,000. 

With those dollars from our wallets, the Illinois Procurement Bulletin says here among other things, we bought:

  • Exclusive sponsorship of the Gay Games closing ceremony at Wrigley Field
  • Display space at the Gay Games basketball competition
  • Display of the Lottery logo on posters, ads, and soon-to-be on the Chicago Gay Games website

If you'd like to express your thoughts on the purchase you just made, the purchasing agent's email address is lisa.crites@illinois.gov.

But that's not all . . . Cal Skinner says instead of helping to pay some of the overdue Medicaid bills that are putting small mom and pop drug stores into debt or out of business, almost $500,000 will go to subsidize the Chicago Gay Games this week. . . check out the McHenry County Blog.

Too bad if you're looking for taxpayer R-E-L-I-E-F, the drug store's closed.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Obama is dangerous . . . and brilliant

041005obama_013_2_1

by Fran Eaton

Last week, I suggested that Illinois' junior U.S. Senator Barack Obama was dangerous.  Read his opinion piece featured Monday in USA Today's "Politicians need not abandon religion" and see if you don't agree.

Obama's danger and strength is that he doesn't fear differing opinions -- he thrives on them.  He's not intimidated by others' views -- he merely states his opinion based on the facts as he sees them.

If he were to wilt when challenged, he would be harmless and ineffective.  But his consistent, calm responses and the confidence he displays in his own worldview is something conservatives in Illinois could learn from and incorporate into their own public discourse.

In today's piece, he refers to the questions Alan Keyes raised when he said Jesus Christ would not vote for Barack Obama.  The national attention Obama is getting as he continues his soul search is endearing the public.

He's dangerous and he's brilliant.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Medicaid money slow or non-existent

Illinois' flaunted All Kids program continues to get national attention (here), although those examining how we can afford full medical, dental and hospital care for all (including the children of illegal immigrants) minors are questioning whether Governor Blagojevich's dream will become a nightmare.

The Governor is very proud of his state-funded All Kids health insurance for families of four making up to $70,000 annually.  But little attention is being given to the growing number of doctors, dentists and pharmacists who are either leaving the state or the profession because Illinois can't pay its pre-existing Medicaid bills.

Southern Illinois lawmakers continue to hear heart-wrenching stories how local medical professionals have been forced to get business loans or dip into their children's college savings just to keep their businesses afloat while waiting for Medicaid payments.  Illinois is behind up to 120 days. 

According to law, if a 99 percent of a Medicaid bill is not paid by 90 days, the state forfeits the federal payment portion.  Illinois is starting to lose millions of dollars in Medicaid assistance because it doesn't have the money to pay its bills on time.  Yet, apparently, Illinois has the money to expand universal health care's Kid Care program to include moderate-income families. 

Read about the growing controversy on Clay County Daily Advocate's website here.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Endangered freedoms

Picture1_10

From Creators Syndicate's Chuck Asay . . .

Thursday, July 06, 2006

If there's any question about Stroger's condition . . .

Stroger_sigs_070606_285If there's any question as to the post-stroke condition of Cook County Board President John Stroger, the Chicago Sun Times features a comparison of Stroger's signature before and the one attached to a recent letter supporting his son Todd as his successor.

A friends close to the Stroger family told the Sun Times the board president's left side was paralyzed in mid-March, but yesterday's letter signature was supposedly signed with Stroger's right hand.

A member of the board is to fulfill the current term, and a heated discussion is currently going on as to who will replace Stroger and run for board president in November.  Wednesday, Mayor Richard M. Daley's brother John said he was not interested.

Leading contenders to succeed Stroger include, of course, Stroger's son Todd, and Congressman Danny Davis.  Cook County Board Commissioner Tony Peraica is the Republicans' challenger for the now-open seat.

IR Q of the day: Are you concerned about North Korea's missile launches?

Watercooler_2_3_1North Korea ignored concerns raised by the international community and proceeded with experimental missile launches on July 4th and 5th.

Does North Korea have a right to nuclear weapons?  Should the UN intercede?  Are you more concerned about the threat of a nuclear holocaust today than you were a month ago?

Or does the price of unleaded gasoline upset you more?

What's the discussion about the IR water cooler on this topic today?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Illinois leads in deep poverty

Finally.  Something a deep blue Illinois can boast about. 

An AP report coming out today says Illinois is leading the Midwest in . . . drum roll, please . . . the most residents in deep poverty.

In 2005, almost three-quarters of a million Illinois residents living in families of four made $9700 or less, the definition of "deep poverty."

Think our Dem-dominated executive and legislative branch leaders will bat an eye?  Only if a sense of "Throw the bums out" among voters emerges.

I'm wondering if this "revelation" isn't simply a warm up to a push for another raise in the state's minimum wage requirement.

Continue reading "Illinois leads in deep poverty" »

Obama Okay With Flag Burning

Our junior senator Obama told the Rockford Register Star yesterday that he voted against the flag burning amendment because it is difficult "to find more than a few instances of flag-burining each year." (see quote here)

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported yesterday on an annual flag burning celebration. (see story here)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Got July 4th photos?

060704parade_077_1Send us your July 4th parade and fireworks photos, and we'll share them with Illinois Review readers .  . .

Here's a few to get us started . . .

From Homewood, Illinois . . . Republican candidate for State Senate in the 19th district Eric Wallace had parade watchers jivin' as the parade car played "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" to the chagrine of Democrat incumbent Maggie Crotty who moped along ahead in the parade. . .

Send your photos to featon@illinoisreview.com.

Continue reading "Got July 4th photos?" »

President's Proclamation Independence Day 2006

Independence Day, 2006 Fireworks

On July 4, 1776, our Nation's Founders declared "That these United Colonies are, and of Right, ought to be free and Independent States." This declaration marked a great milestone in the history of human freedom. On the 230th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, we pay tribute to the courage and dedication of those who created this country, and we celebrate the values of liberty and equality that make our country strong.

The patriots of the Revolutionary War acted on the beliefs that "all men are created equal" and "that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights." By advancing these ideals, generations of Americans have unleashed the hope of freedom for people in every corner of the world.

As we celebrate our independence, Americans can take pride in our history and look to the future with confidence. We offer our gratitude to all the American patriots, past and present, who have sought to advance freedom and lay the foundations of peace. Because of their sacrifice, this country remains a beacon of hope for all who dream of liberty and a shining example to the world of what a free people can achieve. May God continue to bless the United States of America.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do  hereby proclaim July 4, 2006, as Independence Day. I call upon the people of the United States to observe with all due ceremony our Independence Day as a time to honor our Founders and their legacy of freedom and remember with thankfulness the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-sixth day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirtieth.

GEORGE W. BUSH

Monday, July 03, 2006

Right to bear arms overruled by criminal rights?

"Lock up your guns, or you could be locked up," the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled today, Gunwoman2 CNS News reports.

The state court decided today if a homeowners' gun is stolen and used to commit a violent crime, the person from whom the gun was taken could face criminal charges.

Evidently, the right to bear arms is superceded only by a criminal's right to blame someone else for the crimes he or she commits. 

Leave it to Massachusetts . . .

Marriage amendment faces another hurdle

Associated Press is reporting today that the State Board of Elections' initial findings are that the number of qualified petition signatures may be ruled insufficient to place the advisory on the November ballot.

Election law requires that the counties evaluate signature samplings and decide whether or not to recommend the State Board place the advisory on the ballot.  Ninety-five percent of the signatures must pass muster in order to receive the recommendation.  The State Board said today that 91 percent are qualified signatures. 

Peter LaBarbera, Executive Director of Illinois Family Institute, told the AP those supporting traditional marriage will appeal the board's findings and continue to work toward the advisory's inclusion in the November ballot.

In 2004,  traditional marriage amendment supporters in Ohio were credited with getting George W. Bush supporters to the polls and ultimately pulling off a victory against Kerry in Ohio, providing key electoral votes. 

A stiff challenge is expected in order to keep Illinois values voters at home November 7.

Illinois wine required

This week, Winetrails Carbondale Mayor Brad Cole will be asking Carbondale's Liquor Advisory Board  to pass a resolution requiring all alcohol-serving establishments within the city limits to offer wine produced in Southern Illinois, specifically south of Highway 50.

This is an interesting proposal.  Cole says he wants Carbondale to encourage an industry in which the state has invested millions of dollars.  A mandate to have a particular wine available at any given time would benefit the producers, that's true.

But on the other hand, Mayor Cole is also the Republican State Central Committeeman for the 12th Congressional District.  Would such a proposal be Republican and free market in nature, or would simply prodding product consumption be a compassionate conservative antidote?

My Republican gut instinct tells me that instead of requiring establishment offer Illinois wine, the product should be so desirable that customers demand an Illinois choice.  The industry salesmen should do their jobs and sell their product.  Requiring certain products be "available"  just doesn't fit the open competition principles of a free market system -- especially when such a proposal is coming from a prominent Republican. . .

What say ye?

Democrats' way of dealing with budget shortfall

Cashstacks_1 Rockford Register's Aaron Chambers does a pretty good job today of evaluating Governor Blagojevich's "creative financing" in order to skirt around raising the state income tax. Chamber explains how Blago has used the tactics of putting off paying bills, selling assets, refinancing, and raising business fees to meet the state's constitutional requirement to balance the budget.

While hinting that the inevitable reality is raising the income tax, Chambers doesn't suggest the Democrats are thinking of cutting fees and minimizing taxes to stir the state's business climate, increase job production and raise the economic tide overall. 

Why would they?  They're Democrats.

A combination of cutting expenditures while increasing revenue in a sustainable way is the way any business survives rough times.  Hopefully, our Republican lawmakers will act Republican and not fall into the trap of agreeing that raising taxes and fees is the way to go . . .

Speeders beware: you're being caught

Radar_laser_class05 There's a serious epidemic spreading in Chicago, the Illinois State Police told the Belleville News-Democrat over the weekend.  The deadly virus isn't one that's passed between humans, it's being passed on Illinois highways -- a marked increase in speeding cars.

Over the past years, there's been a 25 percent increase in issued speeding tickets.  The biggest speeder was a driver clocked at 145 mph on I-57.

On a trip downstate on I-55 this past weekend, I saw ten State Police issuing tickets to southbound speeders, all within a one mile track.  It was obvious they were clamping down as holiday travelers were escaping the city.  Evidently, State Police are no longer looking the other way.

The Belleville News-Democrat piece reports the speeding epidemic, but offers no idea as to why it's happening, except to speculate that more may being caught because of the increased use of laser beam to track car speeds.

I wonder if its related to the freedom one feels when escaping the intolerable traffic congestion in the suburbs.  Any ideas why Chicago area drivers are speeding more these days? 

Saturday, July 01, 2006

David Doty: A Uniter, not a Divider

On Saturday, Lyons Republican David Doty will be laid to rest after years of faithful service to Cook County GOPers.

In memoriam, Chicago attorney John Curry shares his thoughts about Doty, calling him "A Uniter, Not a Divider. . . "

Continue reading "David Doty: A Uniter, not a Divider" »

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Opportunity Lost ... Again ... and Again ...

By Thurlow Weed

Well, the bad news continues for the Illinois business climate.  The latest:  Honda chooses Indiana over Illinois to build a new assembly plant. 

Should this come as any surprise?  The Blagojevich Administration has done its level best to destroy the state's business climate.  From raising more than 300 taxes and fees on Illinois employers (and chasing the trucking industry out of the state in the process), to blocking meaningful lawsuit reform, Blago should not be surprised that our state continues to shed good manufacturing jobs -- and, apparently, repel new ones.

Continue reading "Opportunity Lost ... Again ... and Again ..." »

Obama is a dangerous man

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by Fran Eaton

Barack Obama is a dangerous man. 

He's dangerous because he's smart, cunning and daring.  He demonstrated it once again today when he urged fellow Democrats in a Washington DC conference to tap into the energy and passion that drive churchgoers. 

Associated Press reports:

Obama said millions of Christians, Muslims and Jews have traveled similar religious paths, and that is why 'we cannot abandon the field of religious discourse. ... In other words, if we don't reach out to evangelical Christians and other religious Americans and tell them what we stand for, Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons will continue to hold sway.'

Then Illinois' junior U.S. Senator spontaneously shared his own soul-awakening experience a few years ago:

"Kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side of Chicago, I felt I heard God's spirit beckoning me," he said of his walk down the aisle of the Trinity United Church of Christ. "I submitted myself to his will and dedicated myself to discovering his truth."

There is no doubt that Barack Obama has been searching for years.  He was an independent young man when he challenged Bobby Rush in a Democratic primary.  He appeared thoughtful when asking questions in the Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee.  He touches the hearts and souls of a troubled community when he calmly and soothingly responds. 

Therein lies the danger.  You expect him to be as obnoxious as Dick Durbin or as abrasive as Hillary Clinton,  but he's neither, despite the fact he is right on track with their radical leftist agenda.  Obama's strength is the manner in which he presents himself.

Shortly after he won his U.S. Senate seat in 2004, Obama returned to his Springfield stomping grounds to do a victory lap and thank all those who supported him.  He was walking alone along the rail, and I reached my hand out to congratulate him on winning the race against his Republican opponent Alan Keyes.   

Previously, he and I had had a few discussions about the Born Alive Infant Protection Act he so adamantly opposed in the Illlinois Senate.  It had been a hot topic during the 2004 U.S. Senate debates.  But with some agreements and some amendments (which I am sorry to say weakened the legislation) it appeared that the Illinois General Assembly would soon be passing the bill into law, with Governor Blagojevich's signature.  An agreement had been reached because Planned Parenthood and the pro-abortion lobby were assured protecting newly-born babies would not infringe upon abortion in any way.

"Senator, this year Illinois is going to pass a law protecting babies born alive," I told him.  I waited for a reaction.  In a split second, he continued to shake my hand and said, "I know, and I want you to know I've encouraged the Democrats to support that legislation. . ."

Obama's good.  He's very, very good.  He will do what it takes to win.  It's what makes him so dangerous.

I suppose it's only a matter of time before Obama, like Blagojevich, will have some Illinois conservatives helping him, too.  After all, he at least recognizes the need to reach out to churchgoers, right? 

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Flag Amendment Fails by One Vote

Flag By Mark Rhoads

Since the post below was published, on Tuesday night the US Senate failed by just one vote to pass an Amendment to the US Constituion that would allow Congress to enact legislation to protect the American flag from desecration.  Illinois Senators Dick Durbin and Barack Obama both voted against the amendment.  The measure received 66 affirmative votes, one short of the two-thirds affirmative vote required by Article V of the Constituion for Congress to propose an amendment, already passed by the House, that would then be sent to the fifty state legislatures for debate and votes on ratification.

I don't know if the amendment could have resulted in successful prosecutions that were nullified by a 1989 Supreme Court case called Texas v. Johnson.  As a practical matter, maybe its true that the amendment would be difficult to enforce through legislation to implement it.  But that is why it only empowered Congress to pass laws on this topic.  It would not by itself reverse Texas v. Johnson, but would give Congress the opportunity to fashion a new law that would not be overly broad and might meet the court's objections.

Continue reading "Flag Amendment Fails by One Vote" »

IR Q of the day: Did the NYTimes tell too much?

Watercooler_2_2How much information is just too much?

U.S. Congressman Peter King (R-NY) is looking for a way to prosecute the New York Times for doing a story over the weekend that reveals an intelligence operation that was tracking terrorist financial transactions.  When Vice President Dick Cheney was in Chicago last week, he blasted the media for aiding the enemy with the story. 

What do you think?  Does the American public have a right to that information?  Or are there some things we are better off not knowing? 

Could the NYTimes story revealing covert operations backfire and actually harm the American public?

Should we be accessing foreign banking information because terrorists may be involved?

Discussion around the IR cooler this morning . . .

Monday, June 26, 2006

Ozzie's Critics Calling Kettle Black

Whitesox by Scott Thomas

Ozzie Guillen, manager of my beloved World Series Champion Chicago White Sox, said a really stupid thing.  Ozzie Guillen was insensitive.  Ozzie Guillen was offensive.  When Ozzie Guillen called Chicago Sun Times columnist Jay Marriotti a "f-----g fag", he offended not only homosexuals, but thousands of grown adults who've learned to express themselves in ways that show an intelligent command of language.  Ozzie Guillen was flat out wrong.

Continue reading "Ozzie's Critics Calling Kettle Black" »

Are Earmarks Really a Big Deal?

By Mark RhoadsPorkbusterssm

I used to edit a newspaper for Citizens Against Government Waste (www.cagw.org) which was then chaired by J. Peter Grace who also chaired the Grace Commission under President Reagan.  That commission 22 years ago made hundreds of recommendations to reduce government waste and while some were adopted, many were not. Few conservatives and some liberals don't like government waste. I read General Accounting Office (GAO) reports which I thought were well researched and I praised inspectors general who found waste and corrected it.  CAGW continues to offer a yearly pork report called The Pig Book and has recently praised Members of Congress such as Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) for offering practical amendments to reduce pork in several department budgets.

Like most people, I look down on "pork barrel" spending and special projects that Members of Congress promote that have only a local appeal and may not be needed at all from a national perspective.  But if you sense the word "however" in the near future here it is.

However, compared to so many different ways that the federal budget can get out of control, I wonder just how much pork barrel spending or "earmarks" by Members of Congress contribute to the budget deficit compared to say, a clerical error in calculating the so-called "automatic" cost of living increase for social security payments.

Continue reading "Are Earmarks Really a Big Deal?" »

Thursday, June 22, 2006

What's it worth to teach in Chicago?

by Scott Thomas, AM 1160 WYLL afternoon talk show host

According to an article in the Chicago Sun Times State Senator Rev. James Meeks is pushing the Chicago Board of Education, through pressure on Mayor Daley, to use the proposed new funding generated by Gov. Blagojevich's latest Illinois gambling scheme (the direct result of Senator Meeks threat to run for Governor) to pay a $50,000 incentive to bring the best teachers to Chicago's worst schools.  Responding to reports showing Chicago Public Schools having, overall, the worst teachers in the state, Meeks said, "The worst schools are getting the worst teachers...We can't keep letting that languish."

The solution Meeks proposes is to find top-notch teachers, pay them an immediate $25,000 signing bonus, and an additional $5000/year for 5 years to come and teach in the worst schools.  Well, I'm against the Blagojevich funding scheme in the first place.  But, if he gets it through, I think this free-market approach to hiring teachers is at least worth discussing.

Continue reading "What's it worth to teach in Chicago?" »

Former Marine opines

by George Dienhart, guest contributor

As a former Marine I am keeping a watchful eye on the sevem Marines and one Navy corpsman that are being held at Camp Pendleton. To say that I have some mixed emotions on how this is being handled would be a gross understatement. It angers me to think that a United States Congressman would use this situation to push an ultra left wing defeatist agenda.

Continue reading "Former Marine opines " »

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Palos Township GOP Chairman responds to IR critic

Earlier this week, IR hosted a discussion of a guest column written by Worth Township Committeeman Maureen Murphy in the Daily Southtown. 

One of the respondents to "Murphy's Law Applies in Cook County?" took to task a committeeman recently elected in Palos Township, 23-year-old Lee Roupas.  Mr. Roupas asked for the opportunity to respond to his critics.

In the spirit of providing discussion at IR's conservative crossroads, Mr Roupas replies:

Continue reading "Palos Township GOP Chairman responds to IR critic" »

Mr. Governor, Honor Your Airport Promise

060617wallace_085_1 060617wallace_088

Signs calling on Governor Blagojevich to "honor your airport promise" are currently being displayed on Country Club Hills lawns. 

The reverse side says "Abraham Lincoln National Airport: 15,000 jobs."

The signs are credited to Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr's ALNAC (Abraham Lincoln National Airport Commission), based in south surburban University Park.  Jackson and his co-horts claim Governor Blagojevich backed ALNAC's plan and believe he should follow through with his support for a state-funded land lease upon which to build the proposed airport.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Logic Eludes the Dems Once Again

by John Ruskin

The Chicago Tribune reports today on yet another election year initiative of left-wing Democrats designed to make everyone think they're solving problems. Problems which they have, in fact, either created or inflated simply to advance their Potemkin politics. See story here.

Continue reading "Logic Eludes the Dems Once Again" »

Peraica calls again for succession resolution

Armed with yesterday's agreeing legal opinion Cook County States Attorney Richard Devine, Tuesday morning Cook County Commisioner Tony Peraica (R-Lyons) will once again propose to the Cook County Board a resolution to find out who should be and who is minding the shop. 

Cook County Board Chairman John Stroger has not been seen or heard from publicly since his debilitating stroke before the March 19 primary.  There is confusion about not only who is currently at the county's helm, but  how the situation should be legally handled, should Stroger not be able to continue as Cook County Board chairman.

Peraica, a Republican challenging Stroger in the November election, has been calling for several weeks for more information about the ailing chairman's condition, to no avail.

Continue reading "Peraica calls again for succession resolution" »

Monday, June 19, 2006

Juneteenth, when Republicans ended slavery

Today marks "Juneteenth," a celebration of the June 19, 1865 signing of the Emancipation Proclamation to end slavery in America.  Courtesy of the Cook County Republican Party, we learn that Abraham Lincoln signing the proclamation marked the beginning of two more long years until freedom was implemented for 19th century African-Americans.

Continue reading "Juneteenth, when Republicans ended slavery" »

Friday, June 16, 2006

The view from the left . . .

JokeshrubThere are property rights, and there are property rights.  .  .

Things can get a little "in your face" during a neighbor dispute, can't they?

Photo doesn't indicate the political affiliation of the parties, but the guy with the view is on the left . . .

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Bad News for the Hastert Camp

It's time for a little bi-partisanship.  It's time for Hastert to go, and it is in the interests of every conservative to say so.

___

Hastert's $2 million land deals questioned

[Just read it, everyone...]

___

I'm way past the point of attempting to defend this type of 'legalized corruption" on the part of a Republican while excoriating it on the part of Blagojevich, Daley, & other Democrats.

I frankly don't care whether the types of schemes in the article are "technically legal."  They simply destroy the trust that people have in their leaders.  The fact is that Hastert has outlived his usefulness if he's going to enrich himself this way.

On a broader note, we all know that even if they felt the same way, Peter Roskam and Dave McSweeney couldn't publicize their views. The damage Hastert could inflict with his clout is still much greater than the benefit a candidate could get from saying and doing the right thing.

This is how parties rot.  It will be interesting to see how many Republicans call for Hastert to step down as speaker, and how many Republicans hide behind "But Blagojevich...."

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Light's out on Hi-Lite

UPDATE:  The Aurora City Council voted 10-to-2 last night to close the Hi-Lite Drive In Theatre.    It sounded like a good idea yesterday, and after learning more, there's no doubt that they did the right thing . . . despite the disappointment of nostalgia buffs.

According to a Daily Herald story this morning, a developer had purchased the vacated drive-in and had offered to donate it to the city.  The City said it was too expensive to renovate and wasn't interested in running the Hi-Lite.   Supposedly, Bigelow Builders will be donating a similar sized lot to the local school district for their use.

While campaign donations were cited as a reason the mayor was pushing to shut down the theatre, as an admitted outsider, it looks like shutting down the historic site was the right decision. 

City government shouldn't be in the business of operating drive-ins and even if a few citizens are willing to donate $200 this year to fix it up, a tax levy would be needed to keep it operating in the years to come. 

Bid the old girl farewell, and move on.  There's got to be more pressing issues in Illinois' third largest town outside Chicago . . .

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Turn the lights off at Hi-Lite

Okay, it's time for an afternoon mental break.  Sit back, close your eyes and relax . .  .

Think about those summer nights spent at the local outdoor drive-in, where Sandy and Danny were re-united . . .

Now think about what you'd do if you were a city councilman in Aurora tonight.  The fate of Aurora's 60 year old Drivein Hi-Lite Drive In would be in your hands.

Too expensive too renovate?  Too memory-precious to destroy?  What would you do?

Me?  I say tear the sucker down.  Let it go.  Life moves on and drive-ins are gang magnets.  Kids want DVDs, video games and iPods now.  Save the sign.  Set up a parking lot.

An inspired education concept

A Chip Bok cartoon from today's Akron Beacon-Journal clearly outlays a suggestion for Illinois' education plan dilemma. . . would it be sacreligious to call it "inspired"?

Which one of the gubernatorial candidates would be gutsy enough to advocate something so radical as education $$ following a student?

Unions wake up to the damage they've done....

...but probably too late to save GM.

When I talk about Public Education (Ed-Mart - Always the high price, Always), I often use the following metaphoric sentence. "A true parasite lives in harmony with its host." The same metaphor applies to the UAW, which acts as parasite to both its workers AND the Auto Companies. Like Ed-Mart, which has bankrupted entire states while stupefying the children, the UAW, has bankrupted GM, destroying its membership's source of work.

Continue reading "Unions wake up to the damage they've done...." »

Monday, June 12, 2006

Notes on the Continuing Infantilization...

It isn't every day you get to read an article from another country that pinpoints the problem across all of Western Civilization.

As I witness entire classes of people who slam on the brakes when a pedestrian is with in yards of a sidewalk, I'm struck by the fact that far too many Americans are now acting like frightened rabbits and/or overcautious cowards.

Whether it is the stifling soccer-mom helmeting and strapping us to their fearful worldview, onerous "Sarbanes-Oxley" regulations stifling corporate innovation, or ossified politicians unable to promote reasonable refroms, fear seems to be the overriding cause of our actions.

Continue reading "Notes on the Continuing Infantilization..." »

Simple Truths that Angry Conservatives Can't Seem to Understand

The idea that Bush is a failed President is a lie so often repeated that it has nearly become the truth. The facts, however, indicate that Bush has changed much more below the radar than most people even bother to ponder. On top of that, the Roberts Court hasn't even started to have its impact yet.

Remind people of this when they say utterly stupid things like "we'd have been better off under Kerry."

Continue reading " Simple Truths that Angry Conservatives Can't Seem to Understand" »

How well do you know your neighbors?

Gaymarriage

by Fran Eaton

Chances are you'll be discussing gay marriage with your neighbors in the days to come -- that is if Illinois homosexual activists follow their Massachusetts and Florida cohorts' strategy of publicly identifying marriage petition signers.

KnowThyNeighbor.org announced today it will be publishing the names of 450,000 people who signed the marriage referendum petitions in Florida. 

Protect Marriage Illinois' advisory referendum submitted over 350,00 petition signatures to the State Board of Elections last month.  The referendum is now undergoing a verification process and within the next few weeks, the ISBE will determine whether the required 283,111 signature goal has been met and whether the advisory will be on the November ballot.

Continue reading "How well do you know your neighbors?" »

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Drive home with Illinois' "Prince of Darkness" Monday

Wyll_feb06 Conservative political commentator Dan Proft (not-so-fondly nicknamed "Prince of Darkness" by his political nemeses) tells IR he'll be filling in for Scott Thomas Monday afternoon from 3 to 5 PM on Chicago's AM 1160 WYLL. 

Proft's stepped into Thomas'  big radio talk show shoes several times in the past, and this time he's got some pretty impressive guests scheduled:

  • Mike Flannery, CBS-Channel 2 Political Editor, to talk about the latest developments in the political corruption soap operas in Chicago, including the Sorich trial and the Blase arrest.
  • Josh Hoyt, ED of IL Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights to talk immigration reform Robert McGinnis, Fox News Military Analyst, to talk War in Iraq and the larger GWOT (global war on terrorism) developments.
  • Col. Robert McGinnis, Fox News Military Analyst to talk War on Iraq and the larger GWOT (global war on terrorism) situation.

ED NOTE:  Hey Proft, Scott Thomas does his fair share of posting here on Illinois Review.  When can we expect to hear from you?

First there was American Idol . . .

Americanidollogo There's American Idol, and soon there will be another coveted award in Illinois.

Monday, Illinois Review will start a weekly posting in which we feature our favorites among Illinois conservative movers and shakers.

We'll be taking nominations for future picks, but watch tomorrow to find out IR's first nominee . . . could it be you?

Friday, June 09, 2006

Who says Chicagoans are prudes?

by Fran EatonNudeparade_3

If you're looking for unique entertainment this weekend in Chicago, you might want to go downtown. There you'll see things you've probably never seen before, from King Tut's artifacts at the Field Museum to nude bike riders.

 

Continue reading "Who says Chicagoans are prudes?" »

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Just one big, happy bipartisan combine

You've got to love how Bernie Shoenberg in his SJR column today connects the gambling dots between former Governor Jim Edgar, his horses and the Youbet.com internet gambling site's board of directors. 

Youbet.com, Bernie writes, came up when Blagojevich's budget director John Filan was pitching the Governor's plan to sell the lottery to the SJ-R editorial board:

Edgar, a horse enthusiast, was appointed to the Youbet board in June 2002. Also that month, according to an annual report for the year ended Dec. 31, Youbet entered into a three-year consulting contract with Edgar "to provide political and legislative advice as directed by the Chief Executive Officer." In return, Edgar received options to buy up to 60,000 shares of common stock at an "exercise price" of 50 cents.

As of Dec. 31, Edgar owned 20,000 shares and had options to buy 135,000 more, the report states. The stock closed at $4.48 Wednesday on NASDAQ.

Another little dot that should be connected is the Springfield area horse farm that Governor Edgar and Republican National Committeeman Bob Kjellander's wife jointly own.

Aren't we just one big, happy, bipartisan combine family in Illinois?

Will Illinois become the 21st?

Despite the U.S. Senate's decision to not advance the federal Marriage Amendment yesterday, this week the state of Alabama became the 20th state to define marriage as between a man and woman, with 81% of the vote.

Currently, the Protect Marriage advisory referendum is undergoing petition signature verifications throughout all 102 counties and eight jurisdictions.  The Belleville News-Democrat carries an AP story today about the ongoing initial process which will be completed by mid-June, the state board of elections estimates. 

If the counties recommend acceptance of their counties' submitted signatures, and 283,111 succeed the challenge,  the advisory is expected to be on Illinois General Election ballot in the fall.

No state thus far has rejected defining marriage as between a man and a woman.  Illinois is likely to be a defining state on the issue.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Illinois and National Marriage Debates Converge

Vernon Township GOP Chairman Don Castella writes this week that he agrees with U.S. Senator John McCain's opposition to the federal marriage amendment, based on the need for states to make those decisions. . .

He's hopeful Illinois' Protect Marriage amendment advisory is successful. . .

Continue reading "Illinois and National Marriage Debates Converge" »

Planned Parenthood boasts booming business

Planned Parenthood's abortion business is booming. 

Last year, PP made its second-largest profit and performed more abortions than ever before.

According to Life News.com, PP committed 255,015 abortions in 2005 and set a new record income of $882 million, profitting $63 million.

Now isn't that something to be proud of?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Governing by press conference

Isn't it interesting that House Speaker Mike Madigan would take his response to the Governor's proposed lottery sale straight to the people, rather than to the governor himself?

In a letter to the editor distributed last Friday, Madigan asked Blagojevich several questions about how selling the lottery would bring in the magical education funding promised to keep State Senator James Meeks out of a third-party gubernatorial bid.   

Continue reading "Governing by press conference" »

An ironic (or not-so-ironic) Dist 214 twist

Guest commentary by Sonja Dalton

Sonja Dalton has found that one of the pastors who spoke at the District 214 board meeting in favor of requiring high schoolers to read books with pornographic passages sponsors a gay youth support group in her church.

Dalton asks:

If the "Reverend" believes it is inappropriate for Leslie Pinney to advocate for Judeo-Christian values on the school board, then why is it acceptable for the Countryside Unitarian Church to promote its religious tenets on a taxpayer-funded website for a public school?

Continue reading "An ironic (or not-so-ironic) Dist 214 twist" »

Monday, June 05, 2006

Clash of the Think Tank Titans

An Immigration debate from one of last week's shows.

Rector v. Griswald.

CATO and Heritage go head to head on the Robert Rector's study that narrowed the Senate Bill.

Easy listening for the afternoon.

What happens when there is no where left to move to?

The Pacific Research Institute has added a "State Freedom Index" to their National Index. Good thing, too. Live Free or Move

Continue reading "What happens when there is no where left to move to?" »

Bush Knows History

RealClearPolitics has Michael Barone's latest:

Two weeks ago, I pointed out that we live in something close to the best of times, with record worldwide economic growth and at a low point in armed conflict in the world. Yet Americans are in a sour mood, a mood that may be explained by the lack of a sense of history. The military struggle in Iraq (nearly 2,500 military deaths) is spoken of in as dire terms as Vietnam (58,219), Korea (54,246) or World War II (405,399). We bemoan the cruel injustice of $3 a gallon for gas in a country where three-quarters of people classified as poor have air conditioning and microwave ovens. We complain about a tide of immigration that is, per U.S. resident, running at one-third the rate of 99 years ago.

George W. Bush has a better sense of history.

Continue reading "Bush Knows History" »

Friday, June 02, 2006

Immigration: The State of the Debate

By Greg Blankenship

Cross Posted at Spontaneous Solutions.

Mary Ann Glendon, a Harvard University Professor at Law, has penned a wonderful article that comprehensively addresses the issue of immigration June/July edition of "First Things," a publication that deals with public sphere from a conservative Roman Catholic perspective. At the core of the piece, she compellingly addresses the need for a better informed public discussion:

Continue reading "Immigration: The State of the Debate" »

God bless the Gonzalezes

Dgonzalez_1 by Fran Eaton

Shortly before midnight on Memorial Day this week,  Michael Gonzalez received a call dreaded by any family whose loved one is serving in Iraq.  His 22 year old son David had been critically injured while on a military highway patrol in Baghdad.

Mr. Gonzalez did what any parent would do.  He asked his friends to pray for David. Unable to sleep, Michael sent out an email in the middle of the night to those he knew would pray and share concern.  I was honored to be in that loop.

Journalling for the past few days the agony of being so far away, unable to assess the situation without appropriate information, talking on the phone to a young soldier who feared he was in enemy hands, awaiting a prognosis of his son's medical condition. . . Michael shared his heart with us all and we agonized with him.

Continue reading "God bless the Gonzalezes " »

How the Welfare State Destroys Families

by Bruno Behrend

By now, this should be obvious, but I guess we need to keep "studying" the issue to keep proving it over and over again.

Canada's Universal Childcare Hurt Children and Families

Continue reading "How the Welfare State Destroys Families" »

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Roeser responds to Blankenship: "And for dessert . . . "

Armwrestle Well, Greg, Mr. Roeser has taken you up on your gentlemen's wager.

In a posting on his Tom Roeser blog, Mr. Roeser shares with his readers what he intends to order at Gibson's in Rosemont -- all on you.

Roeser threw out the gauntlet last week, blaming Bill Brady supporters for Illinois not having a conservative choice in the 2006 gubernatorial race, an unsettled dispute that apparently has driven an even deeper wedge in Illinois' already cantankerous conservative movement.

Springfield-based Greg Blankenship, who called into question Roeser's position that immigration was a winning issue, pushed back last week in a challenge here on Illinois Review.

Today, Mr. Roeser (who has been invited to be a contributor to IR, but has thus far chosen not to participate) confidently answers Greg on his blog.  So confident he is, in fact, the old curmudgeon details his anticipated dinner course selections.

Fascinating back and forth.   Perhaps we should run a poll on IR to decide who the winner is.  I'm not sure its fair that Mr. Roeser makes that determination. . . 

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Peraica asks again, "Who's in charge?"

Perica2_1 Questions continue to abound as to who is running Cook County as news came out today that Board President John Stroger was readmitted to the hospital after suffering a stroke several weeks ago.

While Stroger's wife has called on him to retire, Stroger's son Todd is positioning to become the potential replacement for his father.  With that revelation, various Cook County Democrats began rumblings that they were also interested in Stroger's job.

In the meantime, GOP Cook County Commissioner and Board Presidential candidate Tony Peraica raised questions today about who is currently in charge of Cook County government and expressed curiosity about who exactly he will be facing in the November 2006 election. 

One board commissioner called today for a legal opinion as to the Board's presidency succession protocol.

It's a fair question.  Just who is in charge? 

Continue reading "Peraica asks again, "Who's in charge?"" »

How about the tollway users?

"Suburban communities should have more input, not less . . . "

Today, two of DuPage County's state senators -- Peter Roskam (R-Wheaton) and Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) called on Governor Blagojevich to hold hearings on the proposed tollway leasing so citizens in suburban Cook County and western DuPage County get a chance to voice their opinions on the matter.

The senators accused the governor of scheming the tollway lease for short-term political gain.

Let's see if the "powers that be" care what those outside of Chicago think about the plan . . .  You'd think he'd want all the support he could get. . . 

But maybe it's time the suburbs understood how the rest of the state feels when it's dissed by a Chicago-preferring governor or maybe after fighting all the hours on I-88, I-294 and I-355, Blago figures tempers may be just a little too heated for public comment time. 

Ya think?

Continue reading "How about the tollway users?" »

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The definition of child abuse

Hands by Fran Eaton

What is child abuse?

Imagine being confronted with the decision of sending your child back into a situation where he had been physically harmed or facing the threats of a state official who had the mechanism to put you in jail if you did not comply.

A mother in Williamson County was recently faced with such a dilemma.  Her son had been physically assaulted at school on more than one occasion, and apparently, the school officials could not control the situation.  Rather than have it happen again, the mother told public school officials she would "home school."

The local Regional Superintendent didn't like her decision.  He began to send a truancy officer to check on the family.  The mother didn't offer evidence of an "established" curriculum to the truancy officer.  She faced charges of causing her son to be truant. 

   

Continue reading "The definition of child abuse" »

Education plan meets resistance from anti-gambling group

Be careful what you promise . . .

Despite Blago's 2002 promise to ILCAAAP that he will not expand gambling, the governor's $10 billion education plan demands gambling options increase, the anti-gambling group alerted members over Memorial Day weekend.

Continue reading "Education plan meets resistance from anti-gambling group" »

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Where were District 214's "men of God?"

A guest commentary by Sonja Dalton

From IR Editor:  A thus-far unaddressed perspective on the District 214 controversy concerning offensive passages in the high school students' required reading list is the lack of interest demonstrated by local pastors. Sonja Dalton, who was present at the meeting's start all the way through to it's 1:30 AM Friday morning decision, expresses her disappointment that area pastors ignored what is happening within their communities.

After fifty conservative churches were contacted in the district, not one sent a pastor or staff member to speak at the meeting, she writes:

Two so-called "Christian" ministers came to Thursday night's District 214 school board meeting...to speak in favor of books with vulgar language, graphic violence, and explicit sex, including masturbation, male homosexual rape, and even drunken public sex with a dog.

Sonja shares more . . .

Continue reading "Where were District 214's "men of God?"" »

Saturday, May 27, 2006

A tribute to our troops

Usflag_2 In a moving Memorial Day tribute letter, State Senator Dan Rutherford (R-Pontiac) shares these thoughts about our veterans and active military:

At this time, our country is involved in another conflict. On this Memorial Day I encourage you to pay tribute to the many soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and all over the world who are engaged in a battle against the evils of terrorism and oppression, miles from their homes and those they love. Though each day they wake to encounter innumerable obstacles, their courage and unwavering patriotism should serve as an example to us all.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said: “All gave some…and some gave all.” The price of freedom is high, but precious. This Memorial Day please take a moment to remember the sacrifices made by the men and women who died in the name of peace, liberty and democracy.

Kudos, Senator.  We here at IR are in 100% agreement. 

Take time to honor those who are fighting today, who fought yesterday, and who will be on the lines in the future to protect our freedom to banter public policy and ideas back and forth. 

There's no question, this untidy, undisciplined nation in which we live is the best place on the planet to be.

*******************

(Personal note to our son-in-law:  Thanks, Jon, for serving us all there in Iraq.  I know you read Illinois Review to keep up on what's happening here at home.  We love you, and count the days until you get back home.  We're doing our best to take good care of your wife and new baby girl while you're away.  See you soon . . .)

Continue reading "A tribute to our troops " »

Friday, May 26, 2006

IR Stories Update

Updates on stories Illinois Review has been following this week:

Continue reading "IR Stories Update" »

Catholics and Republicans join to protect marriage

While the Protect Marriage Illinois state advisory referendum awaits notification as to whether it will be on the November 6 ballot, the same topic is now being addressed at the federal level.

Continue reading "Catholics and Republicans join to protect marriage" »

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Fair Tax begins to move . . . finally

Irs Is it possible that we could -- in our lifetime -- witness the demise of the IRS?   Popular conservative radio talk show host  Neal Boortz and Georgia Congressman John Linder's new book on Fair Tax is stirring renewed hope for tax reform throughout America.

The whole idea is based on an across-the-board 23 percent national sales tax.  All withholding of taxes -- from income to FICA to SSI -- would end.  No more April 15 filings, no more IRS accumulated fines. 

According to Linder,  Denny Hastert thinks Fair Tax is a pretty cool idea, and within the next two weeks, Hastert will take Lindner to pitch the concept to the President. 

Fair Tax may even be a part of a new Contract for America the Republicans are reportedly in the midst of composing, something desperately needed to  help the GOP retain the majority in Congress.

Continue reading "Fair Tax begins to move . . . finally" »

Cast your vote and win a million

Speaking of lotteries, how about a new idea just proposed in Arizona where casting a vote on Election Day could win you a million bucks?

The Arizona Republican story says that the funds would come from unclaimed lottery winnings.

If we enacted this in Illinois, the obvious question would be how would that dead Cook County voter claim his or her winnings?  Would the next of kin pay estate taxes?   

Then, are Illinois snowbirds who nestle in Arizona qualified to enter?

Well . . . it doesn't hurt to ask.

Cold cash, Constitutional dilemma

by Fran Eaton

I'm so glad I'm not the only one confused about this . . .

Last night, I saw our esteemed U.S. Speaker of the House Denny Hastert (R-IL) telling reporters how upset he was with the FBI raiding Congressman William Jefferson's apartment, where those federal intruders found $100,000 in the Congressman's freezer. 

The freezer!  $100,000!

I kept listening, waiting to hear the Speaker's outrage about the cold cash, and the possible implications of political corruption in DC and how it should stop.  Instead, he was uncharacteristically indignant about the FBI defying the separation of powers. . . He was defending the Constitution.

Huh?

Today, my favorite Chicago area columnist (both his writing style and him personally) John Kass made me chuckle out loud as I read his thoughts about the Congressional dilemma.

As usual, if you're looking for wit and wisdom, read the Trib's John Kass.

(Someday I'll ask John if I can publish the hilarious column he personally wrote for me in response to my suggestion he run for Governor of Illinois . . . )

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Education funded by sin. Why not?

About the governor's idea for education funding . . .

Since we're on our way to education purgatory, why not develop this industry of taxing questionable activities more?

If we really want to fix schools, why would $10 billion from a lease on the state lottery be enough?  We could pay the teachers and administrators even more and get nicer carpeting in the new buildings if we had $100 billion, couldn't we?

Here's an idea that Jeff Trigg and our Illinois Libertarians could embrace. 

Continue reading "Education funded by sin. Why not?" »

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

On the way to education purgatory

by Fran Eaton

Well, now we know the education plan that bought off Senator Meeks' third party run for governor.  Indeed, the pastor chose a high stakes game of lottery lease.

To hit the high points of the plan offered today, Governor Blagojevich wants your kids in government schools earlier (3-4 years old), longer (days and school years) and in nicer, newer buildings with smaller-size classes,  better-trained teachers, consolidated school districts and a centralized curriculum -- all paid for by either a private leasing contract or a one-time all purchase of the lottery, which he estimates is worth $10 billiion.

Think of it:  First the lottery and gambling in general were shunned.  Then it became acceptable, thought of as "entertainment."  Then gambling became desirable, something to be sought.  At that point, it became valuable, and therefore, taxable. 

Continue reading "On the way to education purgatory" »

Two glaring omissions in Bush's Chicago speech

Bushchicago by Fran Eaton

President Bush's comments to the National Restaurant Association members while in Chicago on the White House website (here) featured not only a scripted speech but answers to audience questions.

There were two glaring omissions, however . . .

Continue reading "Two glaring omissions in Bush's Chicago speech" »

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Finally: Answers to our major dilemmas

Finally, answers to the major dilemmas America is currently facing.

Received via email today:

A win win situation.

Dig a moat the length of the Mexican border, take the dirt and raise the levies in New Orleans and put the Florida  alligators in the moat.

Any other problems you have for me to solve?

I'm wondering if he could find a way to get gas back down to $1.00 per gallon...

The campaign donation dilemma

by Fran Eaton

CashstacksThose chafing under the unbearably restrictive McCain-Feingold federal contribution laws  will find a story in the the St. Louis Post Dispatch very interesting today.   Missouri removed state political contribution caps last week, and those opposed to unrestricted donations are taking their case to the people.

The donation cap supporters point to Illinois as a prime example of what corruption and potential graft unrestricted political contributing can bring to state politics.

Full and quick disclosure of campaign contributions will fix the problem, some say.  And, anyway, there's always a way around the law if you want to get money to the right influential person or persons, they say.

Illinois' full disclosure requirements for unlimited contributing does not provide a panacea.  If we are looking to the media to shed light on undue influence by unions, corporations, billionaire philanthropists, it is a rather naive approach.  The same people who have money to give to candidates are the same people who buy expensive ads in media outlets and influence what and how much the public knows.

Illinois' own paying-to-play and influence peddling stories in today's state politics have led to a corrupt legislative industry -- one that determines its citizens' welfare and ability to prosper. 

There's a problem here, there's no question.  And there is no clear solution. 

The scariest thing of all is that citizens living normal, balanced lives will naturally leave the complicated problem to fix to the same politicians who abuse it.

Wow.  Let's move on to happier thoughts. . . and think about this another day.

Link: STLtoday - News - St. Louis City / County.

The free speech controversy continues

Phelpsprotest

by Fran Eaton

Sunday's St Louis Post-Dispatch story penned by Adam Jadhaw about Missouri and Illinois' new ban on funeral protesting is an example of excellent objective and analytical reporting.      

Jadhaw describes the Westboro Church's response to Illinois' new law restricting protests within 200 feet of a military funeral.  The first such funeral since the ban went into effect was held Friday in Shumway, IL to honor fallen Army co-pilot Christopher Brian Donaldson.   Our deepest sympathies to Donaldson's family.

Jadhaw provides some contemporary and historical context to the debate over free speech and points out potential problems in applying the law.  The ban passed the Illinois General Assembly with unanimous votes in both houses, a "Kumbaya moment," Senator Bill Haine (D-Belleville) said.

Today's story is well worth the read.  Kudos, Adam.  You've obviously done your homework. 

Link: STLtoday - News - St. Louis City / County.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Yes to Porn, No to Chips

The new PC rule for PC-challenged conservatives:  Say "Yes" to porn, and "No" to Chips.

I don't get it. 

The bigtime liberal blog The Daily Kos links to Illinois Review's posting on Cook County District's book debate.  The concern is whether or not books with pornographic passages (as made available on Culture Campaign's website) should be a part of required reading at several area high schools.

Let me get this straight.  It is perfectly acceptable to ban soda, junk foods, potato chips and of course, the evil legal vice tobacco, but restricting access to pornographic literature is "censorship."

Come on. 

It's like a 3-pack-a-dayer trying to defend his habit.  Those who fight for kids to get hooked on porn and robbed of their sexual innocence at younger and younger ages should be the ones who are scoffed and ridiculed, not the ones who want the best for our next generation.

You go, Ms. Pinney. . . It's time we finally had grownups on school boards. 

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Environmental groups hit the lottery

by Joyce Morrison

According the Alton Telegraph (which there is no link), Attorney General Lisa Madigan said that as a result of the coal-fired plant in Baldwin's failure to meet the requirements of the federal Clean Air Act, Dynegy Midwest Generation, Inc. will be required to provide $15 million for environmental projects in Illinois.

Continue reading "Environmental groups hit the lottery" »

A Hundred Years’ Thinking On Immigration

By Ralf Seiffe

As a family that traces its first New World grave to 1630’s Boston, we have been debating immigration for a long time.  While I have little idea what a multiply-great grandfather might have thought about the “flood of Irishmen” 150 years ago, my opinion was congruent with the Wall Street Journal until recently.  In the last several months, however, I’ve changed my mind like a lot of my neighbors have.  Americans are reacting to a new sort of immigrant and deciding, for historically justifiable reasons, that it is time to stop the flood over our southern border.

Continue reading "A Hundred Years’ Thinking On Immigration" »

Rove comes to town

As reported on Illinois Review earlier this week, Karl Rove will be visiting the Chicago area this weekend.  Word is he'll not only visit with Lake County Republicans at their annual fundraising dinner, he'll meet with the campaigns of Congressional candidates Dave McSweeney (R-8) and Peter Roskam (R-6).

Last year, Rove was featured at Will County GOP's annual fundraiser.  For the last few weeks, Rove has been focused on the November elections.

Link: 'Bush's Brain' to keynote GOP fund-raising dinner.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The biggest boobs

BreastIn today's World Net Daily, Illinois' pro-life leader Jill Stanek takes on the hypocrisy of the National Breast Cancer Coalition in its all out effort last week to defame the work of the Illinois-based Abortion/Breast Cancer Coalition by bestowing upon the ABC Coalition the "Golden Boob Award."

Stanek, trained as an ob/gyn nurse, writes:

On May 4, NBCC announced the Golden Boob Awards, to "highlight the biggest boobs of all – the organizations that are using breast cancer purely as a way to make money or to promote an ideology."

"Biggest boobs"? That NBCC would so crassly refer to a body part carrying such deep sexual and maternal significance to those mourning or fearing its loss is shameful – the equivalent to announcing the Little Baldy Awards for child leukemia research.  . .

Warning women about the link between abortion and breast cancer is responsible medical practice.  It's time women demanded the truth.  It will save lives.

Link: WorldNetDaily: The biggest boobs.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Is tax policy a "Christian" issue?

Should Christians care about tax policy?

There's a growing sentiment that the abortion, gay marriage and unfiltered pornography political issues are "godly" concerns, but increasing taxes are not of concern for "spiritual" people.

That's especially been a hot topic among conservatives who are building support for Rev. James Meeks, a state senator who has announced that Saturday he will kick off a petition signature campaign to get him and a slate of others on the November ballot as third party candidates. 

Meeks wants more public funding (tax dollars) for public schools, and has energetically promoted a property/income tax swap which many believe will ultimately lead to an income tax increase.

So, should Christians (values voters) care about tax policy?  Is it a spiritual issue? 

Continue reading "Is tax policy a "Christian" issue?" »

The Road to Hell Is Paved With...

The President, Vice President and all their surrogates have been telling us how this administration has captured (and presumably returned) 6 million illegal aliens. But Rich Lowry has an interesting perspective and some interesting numbers in his article in National Review today. (see article here)

Continue reading "The Road to Hell Is Paved With..." »

What Are They Trying To Hide?

by Fran Eaton

An Aurora family recently struggled with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services about their homeschooling because both parents have disabilities.  Upon the counsel of Home School Legal Defense Association, the Romo family refused to allow the DCFS to enter their home or interview their children.

The social worker queried HSLDA attorney Chris Klicka as to why the family wouldn't cooperate with the state's demands, then asked, "What are they trying to hide?"

The Romo family held fast to their 4th Amendment rights, and after obtaining references from families who attend their church and their pastor, the DCFS dropped the charges of neglect.

This suspicious attitude toward homeschooling families is alarming. 

Continue reading "What Are They Trying To Hide?" »

The Kiss of Death

When asked about President Bush's Monday night proposals on border security and illegal aliens, Sen. Dick Durbin responded: "The President gets it."

Probably not the endorsement the President was looking for.

The speech was yet another questionable move on the part of the administration. Perhaps Karl Rove's upcoming visit to Chicago will allow him to get out of his grand jury testimony long enough to hear what the base is truly concerned about.

Don't hold your breath.

Monday, May 15, 2006

TOP SECRET: Meeks' mate mystery continues

Agent_jpeg_6Psst . . . here's the latest on the Meeks' running mate mystery . . .

Charlie Johnston tells IR Central Informant Agency that just because he had dinner with Senator James Meeks last week, the rumor is not true that he is Meeks' new gubernatorial campaign manager.  Johnston says he is busy working on 17th CD GOP candidate Andrea Zinga's and 8th CD GOP candidate Dave McSweeney's races, but thinks the potential Meeks' entry is very interesting.

Johnston does tells CIA that Senator Meeks is "very serious" about running and has been pleased with the reasonable response of conservatives throughout the state who apparently are open to him running for governor. 

Continue reading "TOP SECRET: Meeks' mate mystery continues" »

One GOP committeeman's thoughts on the immigration debate

Vernon Township GOP Committeeman Don Castella anticipates what the President will say Monday night in an open letter, highlighting these thoughts:

Mr. President, I have a simple message for you: Protect our Rule of Law by ensuring full enforcement of existing immigration laws, Protect our borders by proposing and supporting proper legislation, organization, funding, and execution of enforcement activities by immigration agencies, and help protect our English language and American culture that make America unique.

The President will address the nation tonight at 7 PM CST.

Continue reading "One GOP committeeman's thoughts on the immigration debate " »

What you'll hear the President say tonight . . .

Gators What do you think the President will say Monday night about immigration? 

This speech will be as dicey and measured as the one he gave a few years ago on stem cell research.  It's another one of those issues in which he will have a difficult time pleasing the vast majority of Americans.

Visualize him walking a tightrope tonight with alligators snapping at his heels from both sides.

The White House has just released some quotes from tonight's speech. . .

Continue reading "What you'll hear the President say tonight . . . " »

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Udstuen get eight months in federal prison

Close advisor to former governor George Ryan, Don Udstuen was sentenced today to eight months in federal prison and eight months in house arrest.   In addition, Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer added two years probation and  a $30,000 fine.

For the most thorough coverage on the former Illinois State Medical Society head's troubles, see Cal Skinner's McHenry County Blog.

This is not a hoax. Parents, hide your babies

Toddlers by Fran Eaton

We can't figure out why the Illinois Senate and the Illinois House so overwhelmingly jumped on Blagojevich's $45 million universal preschool bus.

It had to be because Capitol phones didn't ring off the walls in opposition.  No "Mothers Against Preschool" organized and picketed their offices.  No tiny little toddlers with "Don't Take Me from My Mommy" t-shirts were plopped on their desks, pulling their emotional heart strings.  No stroller boycott blocked the Capitol rotunda. 

That's got to be the reason why the Illinois House and the Illinois Senate voted overwhelmingly to go along with Governor Blagojevich's outlandish teacher jobs program initiating the nation's first universal preschool program. 

Continue reading "This is not a hoax. Parents, hide your babies" »

Conservatives flee the President

by Fran Eaton

Oh, how the MSM loves this stuff. . . dissatisfied conservative Republicans are abandoning the President, a new Gallup poll says.

I understand the frustration conservatives are having with Republicans at the national level.  It is bad that government spending is up 25 percent, that Congress can't find a way to begin dealing reasonably with the immigration issue and that social issues appear to have been set aside.

I understand.  I sympathize that things haven't worked like we all hoped it would with a Republican stronghold,  but forgive me if I don't have the energy to join that chorus right now.  I live in Illinois. 

Continue reading "Conservatives flee the President" »

Downstate Herrin hit with Maytag plant closure

by Fran Eaton

"It's a recession when it's someone else's job, it's a depression when it's yours," the saying goes.  Ironically, amidst a booming national economy with the stock market edging its way toward the 12,000 level, one Downstate town was jarred yesterday when it learned their town of 11,000 residents could be facing a depression at the end of 2006.

Residents learned Wednesday that 1000 workers will lose their jobs at the Herrin Maytag plant as it closes its doors December 31 and moves to Ohio.  Herrin is located just northeast of Carbondale.

Continue reading "Downstate Herrin hit with Maytag plant closure" »

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Fast food: Schlosser's evil frontier

Junkfood Since Illinois is banning junk food from the state's public school cafeterias, Eric Schlosser will feel very welcome tonight when he visits Lincoln Park's Borders to push his new book blasting fast food. 

He'll be at 2817 North Clark at 7:30 PM if you want to ask him if what he's really selling is government takeover of unhealthy edibles.

Sure, it sounds ridiculous.  But a similar scenario played out toward cigarette smoking:  create a crisis, come up with a response to the crisis and appropriately adjust attitudes and behavior.   

The end result:  Can you find an inside smoking section in Chicago these days??  Well, can you?

UPDATE: DuPage County parents, Mr. Schlossel visited your kids in school today if they attend Glen Crest Middle School in Glen Ellyn.  He signed copies of his book and talked to your kids about obesity.

Continue reading "Fast food: Schlosser's evil frontier" »

Anyone else not covered?

As Illinois Review pointed out last week, Illinois taxpayers will begin providing health care benefits for same sex partners of state employees starting July 1.

Governor Blagojevich's office issued a press release this week which spells out the new benefit -- costing taxpayers about $2.2 million annually -- is just another step toward making Illinois the first state in the nation to offer universal health care for all.  Read it for yourself here.

Apparently several of the department heads quoted in the press release agree with the Governor's vision for bigger and better state-funded health benefits.

“Gov. Blagojevich has been very clear about his vision to expand access to healthcare to children through his sweeping All Kids initiative, senior citizens, and now domestic partners,” said CMS Director Paul Campbell.

Let's speculate about who will be the next needy group to be brought into the universal health care web . . . maybe the parents of All Kids?  Or perhaps all the children and grandchildren of all the state's senior citizens?  That covers about everyone, doesn't it? 

Is there anyone else not covered?  Speak now.  The Governor's revving up his re-election platform.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Tenhouse resigns

Tenhouse_2Quincy news reported Tuesday night that Republican State Rep. Art Tenhouse, 56, will be formally announcing his resignation Wednesday.

A farmer by trade, Tenhouse served most recently as the Republican spokesman on the House Environment & Energy Committee.  He was first elected to office in 1989.

Oh say, can you sing it?

Singingdean_1Last night, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution calling for the National Anthem to be sung in English. Last week, as reported by Illinois Review, the Illinois House passed a similar resolution.

Today, ABCNews.com is running a video of federal lawmakers who were asked to spontaneously belt out the national anthem here. (Yes, we realize Howard Dean is not a federal lawmaker, but hey, he's singing.)

Continue reading "Oh say, can you sing it?" »

White Guilt and the Western Past

Steele_1

In the wake of recent illegal alien marches, Shelby Steele has written an important article that we are providing here for those who may have missed it.

Mr. Steele, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, is author, most recently, of "White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era," published this week by HarperCollins.

Continue reading "White Guilt and the Western Past" »

Monday, May 08, 2006

345,199 Signatures to Protect Marriage

Pmi_boxes_of_petitons_1Today, 345,199 signatures were submitted by the Protect Marriage Illinois coalition to the State Board of Elections to place an advisory on the statewide ballot in November.

The press release indicates the coalition collected over 420,000 through the participation of over 35,000 petition distributors.

We agree that organizing such a feat and then successfully executing it is truly a victory for Illinois' conservative grassroots.

Pro-life activist Scheidler honored

Schiedler2_1_1Kudos to Chicago's own Joe Scheidler, the founder and national director of the Pro-Life Action League, who was presented with an honorary degree Saturday at Naples, FL's Ave Maria University. 

Seen in the photo with Father Joseph Fessio, Scheidler recently won a twenty-year court battle with NOW.  The dispute, which ended up with two U.S. Supreme Court decisions, was over the constitutional right to protest at abortion clinics. 

Throughout the years of battling in the courts, Scheidler continued to organize abortion protests.  He shared those experiences during the university's 2006 graduation commencement .

Thanks for the tip, Dan Gura.  Few deserve such honors as Joe Scheidler. (Photo by Lexey Swall / Naples Daily News)

Friday, May 05, 2006

How secure are state employees' pensions?

The Illinois Constitution demands that state employees' retirement be paid.   Public school and university staff as well as state employees will get their pension checks before any other funds are disbursed.  It's the law.

But are those funds so secure?  In reality, the state of Illinois has been dipping into those resources, leaving a simple IOU to be paid sometime in the future.  The amount now owed is breathtaking -- currently at the $92 billion mark.   

The fact is there is nowhere to dip anymore.  Illinois' total assets were exhausted almost $40 billion ago.

Continue reading "How secure are state employees' pensions?" »

Truckers should be outraged

TruckprotestIllinois-based independent truckers ought to wise up.  They need to learn how to conduct business in the Prairie State.  That means cozying up to the Governor and writing his campaign hefty checks.  If someone clues them in, and they learn to play by the Governor's unspoken "rules," why those poor truckers could find themselves with tax credits they could use to offset the exhorbitant diesel fuel prices they're paying these days. 

That's only if they learn to to play like Hollywood evidently has.

In legislation passed yesterday which gives a hefty employee tax credit to Blagojevich's Hollywood film industry pals, politically weak and disconnected independent truckers will be forced to haul a bigger share of Illinois' tax load next year. 

Continue reading "Truckers should be outraged" »

IL House says, "Sing it in English"

Usflag_1 In an interesting aftermath to Monday's controversial 400,000 participant immigration march in downtown Chicago, the Illinois House declared Thursday that the Star-Spangled Banner should be sung in English (HR 1291).  The resolution was passed Thursday at the urging of State Reps Michele Chavez (D-Cicero), Shane Cultra (R-Paxton) and Mike Tryon (R-Crystal Lake).

A discussion on the topic arose nationally last week when several popular Latino recording artists recorded a Spanish rendition which includes a few wording tweaks many find offensive and disrespectful.

Continue reading "IL House says, "Sing it in English"" »

Thursday, May 04, 2006

A day of prayer

Prayinghands Today, the first Thursday in May, Americans all over the nation will gather in front of court houses, capitols, government buildings -- not to protest the war in Iraq and not to demand rights.  Illinoisans in Will County, DuPage County and all around the state will be bowing their heads on the National Day of Prayer.

Continue reading "A day of prayer" »

Gallup poll shows Illinois average in church attendance

Congregation20worship by Fran Eaton

A new Gallup poll shows that 42 percent of Illinoisans go to church, higher by far than Vermont's 24 percent but lower than our friends in Alabama, Louisiana or South Carolina, where 58 percent set aside Sunday mornings for worship.

Actually, according to the findings of 68,000 interviews conducted over the past couple of years, Illinois church attendance is right at the national average.

Continue reading "Gallup poll shows Illinois average in church attendance" »

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Will the real hypocrite stand up?

Hastertfuel An Illinois Review reader points out a Yahoo! photo of our House Speaker Denny Hastert and labels the photo "Hastert the hypocrite."

Continue reading "Will the real hypocrite stand up?" »

Proposed budget puts Illinois at all time high in state spending and state debt

A few weeks ago, we were assured that House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) was going to lob off $200 million of Governor Blagojevich's proposed budget, pass it quickly without one Republican vote, and plop it on Senate Majority Leader Emil Jones' (D-Chicago) lap as his problem.

Now we hear that the "real deal" Emil Jones is predicting will pass this week has a bottom line of $250 million  MORE than Blagojevich originally wanted. 

Let's see, according to what the Republican Senate has been allowed peek into, FY 2007's state budget will be $1.4 billion more than last year's, bringing the grand bottom line up to over $24 billion annually. 

If the Democrat-controlled General Assembly passes Blagojevich's budget this week as predicted, they will put state spending, state debt and backlog of unpaid state bills at an all-time high.

How does he intend to pay for it?  Stay tuned . . . 

Delivering the pro-life message

Realwomensvoices_1 by Fran Eaton

Last Wednesday, 46 U.S. Senators heard from home when a coalition of conservative women from 22 different states traveled to DC to urge support of three Senate bills:  1) the Child Custody Protection Act, 2) the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2005 and 3) the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act.

(Seen in the photo to the right are IR Editor, Concerned Women for America's new President Wendy Wright, CWA-IL's acting State Director Karen Hayes, and Dr. Alveda King, now on staff at Priests for Life.)

IR's editor shares her experience in delivering a prolife message to Illinois' U.S. Senators Barack Obama and Dick Durbin's offices. . .

Continue reading "Delivering the pro-life message" »

Jackson & Sharpton's example

You gotta love Belleville News-Democrat's Glenn McCoy's toon yesterday about Monday's nationwide Immigrants' March:

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

by John Ruskin

Manifest014_1We've all seen the photos of happy marchers tramping through Chicago streets under a contrived assortment of international flags. If it weren't for the captions, one would have thought the opening ceremony of the Olympics had hit the Windy City.

But aside from the MSM's agitprop, another picture story is told. Check out some photos from various marches that took place on Monday. SEE HERE.

Hat tip to Michelle Malkin

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Blago's 07 budget includes taxpayer-funded same-sex health benefits

On July 1, 2006, Illinois taxpayers will begin generously providing medical, dental and vision health benefits for same sex partners of state employees.

"Domestic partners" (as the AFSCME contract labels them) are people of the same sex who are at least 19 years old, have lived together for at least one year, have a joint credit card or checking account and share domestic financial responsibilities.  That, or if they are residents of Cook County, they can provide Cook County domestic partnership certification. (Read it for yourself here.)

Continue reading "Blago's 07 budget includes taxpayer-funded same-sex health benefits" »

Don't leave home without it...

Okay, you're out with the guys at a bachelor's party.  The tab comes.  No one has cash.  Everyone looks to you -- after all, you are the mayor of booming Will County's New Lenox, Mike Smith.

Continue reading "Don't leave home without it..." »

Facts Vs. Anecdotes

by John Ruskin

The mainstream media feeds us an endless diet of heart-rending, anecdotal stories about individual illegal aliens who've snuck into the country "for a better life". Problem is, they've not come for a better life. They've come for better wages. And in doing so they take jobs from law-abiding, legal immigrants and American citizens, and lower all our chances for a better life.

Dave Gorak has an excellent piece on this issue in today's Chicago Sun-Times. I encourage you to read the column. It can be found here.

Continue reading "Facts Vs. Anecdotes" »

Wheaton: "Taken advantage of"

God bless Dave Diersen.  It's tough living in a town "taken advantage of."

Having participated in last year's Fourth of July parade in Wheaton, I know what great opportunities parades are for politicians.  I agree with Dave, that Wheaton's newly-imposed fee of $250 for politicians while keeping the fee at $25 for non-profits does seem unfair.

Continue reading "Wheaton: "Taken advantage of"" »

Getting to know McFadden

by Fran Eaton

You can't help but like Brian McFadden in the way Bernie Schoenberg introduces Judy Baar-Topinka's new campaign manager today in S J-R.  The 41 year old obviously supports the one man/one woman definition of marriage.

With the sweet public declaration McFadden (who is now on leave as the Republican Senate chief of staff) makes about his wife, you wonder how he will finesse a smooth correlation between his Republican candidate for governor and the statewide advisory sharing the November ballot, asking the General Assembly to amend the Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. 

Continue reading "Getting to know McFadden " »

Monday, May 01, 2006

Illegal Immigration: Did you miss them?

by Scott Thomas

Did you miss them?

Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants, accompanied by legal (presumably) U.S. citizens who support them, took to various streets, parks, and church parking lots on Monday in a massive showing of solidarity.  Regardless of how you feel about the various facets of the broader issue of Illegal Immigration, you couldn't help notice the phenomenon that Monday's rallies represented.

Continue reading "Illegal Immigration: Did you miss them?" »

A Celebration of Anarchy

by John Ruskin

The main stream media tells us that today's marches are for "immigrant rights". If legal immigrants (vs. law breakers) are being denied rights, then all of us should be marching in the streets today.

Unfortunately, the only rights being denied today are those of legal American citizens (and immigrants) who live by the laws collectively set forth to ensure the freedom and liberty of us all. When any of those laws are broken, it is not a violation of the rights of those who break them. Rather, it is a violation of the rights of all those who live by them.

And when the latter happens, anarchy reigns.

Chicago shut down by protestors

CHICAGO -- Several weeks ago, an estimated 100,000 illegal immigrants and their supporters protested Congressional legislation that would make it a felony to be or to assist an illegal alien.  Today, hundreds of thousands are staying home from schools, work and stores and gathering in downtown Chicago to show how much illegal immigrants contribute to American society.

Continue reading "Chicago shut down by protestors" »

Feeling poorly? It just may be your spiritual health . . .

by Fran Eaton

Chicago Sun-Times' medical reporter Jim Ritter has two stories today about the medical field's new recognition of the importance of their patients' spiritual healthOne story focuses on a doctor who commonly prays with his patients.

This really isn't a new phenomenon.

Continue reading "Feeling poorly? It just may be your spiritual health . . . " »

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Top 10 Places to Shop and Eat on May 1

Check out Human Events' Online's Top 10 Places to Shop and Eat on May 1.  Reason?  They are the top 10 biggest donors to national Republicans.

Listed are:  Outback Steakhouse, Michael's, Wendy's, Scotts Miracle-Gro, Russel Stover Candies, Domino's Pizza, Best Buy, Ruby Tuesday, Fruit of the Loom and Krispy Kreme.

Hat Tip:  Teri O'Brien, Conservative Warrior Princess

Link: HUMAN EVENTS ONLINE -.

Unwilling to do menial work? Not so

Business owners are preparing for a massive rally on Chicago's streets Monday.  Some are closing down restaurants and excusing employees from coming downtown to deal with an expected 300,000 extras flooding buses, trains and subways. 

The nationwide boycott is to emphasize how much America depends on illegal workers each day to do the work Americans don't want to do.

Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly firmly rejects the notion that Americans are unwilling to get their hands dirty in this week's syndicated column found here.

Continue reading "Unwilling to do menial work? Not so" »

One president's views on immigration

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. "Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."
— Theodore Roosevelt 1907

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Hosea, can you see?

Who hasn't heard the silly joke about the Hispanic guy who climbed to the top of the stadium flagpole because he heard the baseball game fans sing, "Hosea, can you see by the dawn's early light. . .?"

Who would have ever thought that a media-manufactured debate about whether the national anthem should be sung in Spanish would emerge the weekend before the city of Chicago will be shut down with 300,000 upset Latinos marching the streets?

Continue reading "Hosea, can you see?" »

Friday, April 28, 2006

Limbaugh charged for 'doctor shopping;' Pleads not guilty

Even though for the past two and a half years Rush Limbaugh has been seeing the same doctor for help with his prescription drug addiction, the West Palm Beach state's attorney who has been investigating Limbaugh for the past three years put out a warrant for the radio talk show host's arrest Friday. 

Continue reading "Limbaugh charged for 'doctor shopping;' Pleads not guilty" »

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Once a Black Panther, now a Congressman

Rushdavis

by Fran Eaton

Yesterday the Chicago City Council evaded a potentially explosive situation when a city alderman decided not to call for a vote whether to name a Chicago street in honor of slain Black Panther leader Fred Hampton.

WTTW Channel 11 played an excerpt Monday night of a late 1960s television interview with then-Black Panther Defense Minister Bobby Rush.  Seeing Bobby Rush as the radical Marxist he was in 1969 was stunning to me.   

Today he's my Congressman.

Continue reading "Once a Black Panther, now a Congressman" »

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Marriage Amendment Petitions

There are only 4 days left to get petitions signed and sent to Protect Marriage Illinois. If you've not signed the petition...do so. If you have petitions...send them in.

The where, what and how can be found here.

Pass The Plate And Damn The People

The Chicago Sun-Times reported today (see here) that Rev. Meeks is meeting with Gov. Blagojevich to try and work out a "financial" deal that will keep Meeks out of the gubernatorial race.

Like some political televangelist, Meeks' recent "preaching" to conservatives is entertaining, but politically (and theologically?) suspect. After all, as long as he gets "his", what does he care about anyone else.

In other words, Meeks' Faustian deal with Blago proves he's not fit to serve -- only to take.

"Day of Silence"

Today, high schools throughout the nation will be strangely quiet as students refuse to speak to each other and their teachers to demonstrate support for fellow students who are homosexual.  Dubbed a "Day of Silence," thousands of high schools are now participating in the annual observance.

Continue reading ""Day of Silence" " »

In Case You Forgot

by John Ruskin

In case anyone needed to be reminded about one of the reasons we're in Iraq, take a look at the attached videos that has been used as evidence in the Saddam Hussein trial.

CAUTION: THESE ARE GRAPHIC VIDEOS

Here , here, here and here. (right click and hit "Save Target As" to download)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

$175 Million in Windfall Profits

Correction:  It's a 5% sales tax on top of the taxes charged to pay for roads and infrastructure.  I mistakenly had it as $.05 even though I know better.  Thank you Jeff Trigg for helping me out.

$175 Million in excess revenue is what the state has brought in as a result of higher gas prices.  The Governor and Democrats are pointing the finger at Washington, they blame Bush of course, but the problem has been the Republican Congress, not Bush.  According to the WSJ editors lead editorial today it's now "Denny Pelosi" and deservedly so.

Illinoisans have been willing to pay gasoline taxes to pay for roads and infrastructure -- not that we're doing that now -- not for general revenues.  The $.05 we pay in sales taxes goes to the GRF.  If we're going to point the finger of blame at Big Oil and then it should be fair to point the finger at Big Government, too. 

And we should point that finger vigorously.  JBT's call for a cap on the tax is the kind of half measure that ensured the GOP was the minority party in Washington for forty years.  If the tax is bad, kill it.

Link: Herald & Review - Topinka proposes cap on gasoline tax to help keep surging prices down, By MATT ADRIAN - H&R Springfield Bureau Writer.

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Agenda-driven MSM strikes again

by Fran Eaton

For those liberal lurkers who insist the Chicago Tribune and Peoria Journal are trusted objective sources for news, check out today's Exhibit A demonstrating how the mainstream media is blatantly agenda-driven. 

Continue reading "The Agenda-driven MSM strikes again" »

Marriage amendment organizers optimistic

From within the doors of Family Taxpayer Network, John Biver assures us in his piece, "Topinka v. Keyes:  can Judy do better than Alan?" that the advisory on the Marriage Amendment will be on the November 2006 ballot.

Continue reading "Marriage amendment organizers optimistic " »

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Amen! This IS how the GOP lost its way . . .

IR agrees with GOP-IL News editor Dave Diersen about the importance of the following quote from Saturday's Washington Post piece "How the GOP lost its way":

". . . Far from being driven by xenophobia and intolerance, conservative populists are motivated by a profound respect for the rule of law and by a patriotic regard for America's sovereignty and national security.

Upholding the rule of law and protecting our country's borders is important to conservative populists and to most Americans...

Link: How the GOP Lost Its Way.

Continue reading "Amen! This IS how the GOP lost its way . . ." »

Friday, April 21, 2006

Windfall Profits Redux

In the period of high gasoline prices during the 1970's Congress passed a windfall profits tax in order to stick it to the oil companies for -- essentially -- being in a commodities industry.  The results?  Even higher gasoline prices and a drop in domestic prices.  Congress shot at oil executives and hit tax payers... Go figure...

Now, expecting a different outcome -- as if the laws of economics have somehow changed since 1970's...you know....suppy and demand... comes Ray LaHood suggesting another windfall profits tax. 

If you really mad at someone...the state government charges a sales tax on gasoline on top what we pay for our roads.  Since the sales tax is a percentage on the price of gasoline, Illinois has been recording windfall revenues.  Maybe we should look at punishing state government instead of us.

Granted, there won't be enough money to clean salt domes if we did such a thing... but hey sacrifices have to be made...and for once in Illinois maybe it should be the political class.

Link: SJ-R.COM - LaHood: Time to tax oil companies.

Don't forget Earth Day April 22

Spring holidays didn't end with the Christians' Easter celebration last Sunday.  There's more still to come . . .

As you make your plans to celebrate Earth Day on April 22, you may want to read a little more about what IR contributor Joyce Morrison writes this week about the radical nature of today's environmentalist movement.

Morrison suggests tree-hugging is nothing compared to the planet-worshipping going on in these circles in this week's NewwithViews.com column, "Earth Day or Earth Worship?"

Link: Joyce Morrison -- Earth Day or Earth Worship?.

Shouldn't IL pay her bills?

Checkwriting

While AFSCME is funding robo-calls complaining about Republican senators voting "no" on the Governor's new program to build roads in southern Illinois, it's refreshing to see pharmacies, hospitals, small dental and medical practices writing to their lawmakers about being crippled with outstanding debt because the state is now up to to 150 days behind in its Medicaid reimbursements.

Seems like Illinois' agencies should at least get caught up on their bills before investing in new programs, even those providing jobs to AFSCME -- don't you think? 

Beauty mag denies abortion-breast cancer link

The Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer is a Chicago-based organization which has been working for several years to educate women about abortion increasing the risk of breast cancer.   

In 2001, the coalition worked to promote a state task force to study the connection.  Then-Lt. Governor Corinne Wood, a breast cancer victim herself, testified against establishing the study and halted its progress.  Since that time, any resolution or legislation requiring women to be informed about potential post-abortion medical dangers has been squelched in the General Assembly.

Karen Malec, the Coalition's faithful head, challenged Glamour magazine this week for blatantly trying to cover up the link eight medical groups have recognized between breast cancer and abortion.  Glamour has denied the connection twice in less than a year.

"Follow the money," said Malec. "Glamour uses sex to sell its product. What's most appalling about these widespread efforts to propagandize the public is the stone-cold disregard for women's health."

Continue reading "Beauty mag denies abortion-breast cancer link" »

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Who's In Charge?

Blagosmooch_5_2by John Ruskin

After their investigation into gouging textbook sales, the Chicago Tribune ran a follow up report today in which they gathered responses from those in the majority. The comments were amazing. From Blagojevich, to Jones, to del Valle, to Lightford, each spoke as if they bore no responsibility for this state and local government chicanery.

Blagojevich - Governor - Democrat
Madigan - House Majority Leader - Democrat
Jones - Senate Majority Leader - Democrat
Quinn - Lt. Governor - Democrat
del Valle - Senate Assistant Majority Leader - Democrat
Lightford - Senate Education Chairwoman - Democrat

Need one say more? What ever happened to the Liberals' bleeding hearts?

"TV Turn Off" Week

Next week, your TV screens should be dark, a group called TV Watch says.  They have proclaimed the last week of April as "TV Turn Off" Week.

Continue reading ""TV Turn Off" Week" »

Mercury, Mumps and Weasels

Vaccines by Rhonda Robinson

“Top Republicans -- Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., -- recently sold the future of our children to Big Pharma for a paltry $4 bucks a pop.”

Continue reading "Mercury, Mumps and Weasels" »

God Bless the Patriot Guard Riders

Usflag Last night's 10:00 news featured footage of  300 flag-bearing Patriot Guard Riders as they lined South Holland streets surrounding the church where the family of a soldier slain in Iraq mourned yesterday. 

Continue reading "God Bless the Patriot Guard Riders " »

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Thought On Illegal Immigration

By Ralf Seiffe

The immigration situation seems intractable.  On the one hand, conservatives demand that their government actually exercise its sovereignty and enforce our existing laws.  For this, they are called racist.  On the other, liberals, ignoring those same laws, propose to absolve anyone who can beat the border patrol and stir them into the melting pot.  For this, they are called opportunists.  Common to both sides is the imperative that the government be the arbiter of the issue.  This proposes another path.

Continue reading "A Thought On Illegal Immigration" »

"No Cook County Taxes"

Cookctytax_2 Taxes on "sins" such a liquor and cigarettes are painless to those who don't partake, but Cook County's newest hike in cigarette taxes has been a boon to the county's neighbors.  "No Cook County Taxes" has become a sign commonly posted to entice cigarette buyers into convenience stores in Cook collar counties such as DuPage, Will, Lake and Kankakee.

IR Reader Jim Economos, who sent us this photo, says he talked to a friend of his who owns a convenience store in Cook County, who reports cigarette sales have dropped by 50 percent since last month's Cook County tax increase.  The store owner says with licensing, regulations, fees and taxes, it has become too expensive to sell cigarettes in Cook.

Wait until the next property tax bills come out in the fall," Economos writes.  "Maybe then Cook County residents will say, 'Enough is enough,' and want to elect a new county board chairman." 

Republican Tony Peraica is challenging Democrat County Board Chairman John Stroger in November.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

"Of all the words of tongue and pen"

By Mark Rhoads

"Of all the words of tongue and pen, the saddest of these are it might have been."  This once famous quote is of dubious origin but it has circulated for decades because it has the ring of truth.  The closest quote similar to it that one can document is from the writer Arthur Gutterman (1871-1943) whose work Prophets in Their Own County included the words "Of all cold words of tongue or pen, the worst of these are, "I knew him when."

I am sad about the Ryan verdict not because I think the jury was arbitrary or justice was not served, it was.  I am only sad because when I knew George Ryan as Speaker of the Illinois House in the early 1980s, he was always fair with me, supportive, and always appeared to be trying to do a decent job under difficult working conditions.  Were it not for the Willis family tragedy, one could be more sympathetic for the self-made series of wrongful acts that have resulted in the conviction of the former governor.

Continue reading ""Of all the words of tongue and pen"" »

The Willises

by Fran Eaton

In all the reporting on the Ryan jury decision yesterday, the only thing I really wanted to know was what Rev. Scott and Janet Willis thought about it.  CBS 2's Jon Duncanson spoke with Scott Willis yesterday (here).

I've been in the Willis' home and discussed the tragedy with the two of them a few years ago and have worked with them as they lobbied the Illinois General Assembly promoting the "Choose Life" license plates.

Continue reading "The Willises" »

Monday, April 17, 2006

What's Really Failing Our Students

Children_lovejoy_3by John Ruskin

The Chicago Tribune's lead story yesterday (see here) was a multi-page canard about Illinois students being forced to use out-of-date and dilapidated textbooks. The headline was "Aging Textbooks Fail Illinois Kids".

With out-of-control property taxes paying the ever-increasing costs of always-failing schools, does anyone really believe that textbooks are the problem?

It's not broken books that are failing our kids. It's the broken educational system stupid.

Civil rights or entitlements?

Parker Conservative black activist Star Parker questions the motives of Mexican illegal immigrants who, by the hundreds of thousands, are banding together on American streets, demanding they be accepted as citizens. 

In today's Townhall.com column, "Se Habla Entitlement," Parker rejects their claim to civil rights and questions whether they are simply demanding entitlements, two points few have had the courage to publicly ponder.  It is a fair question to ask if Mexicans are coming to America for freedom and opportunity, why do they continue to vote for radical leftists to run their government? 

Parker will be in Oak Lawn, IL May 20th to address the Pro-Life/Pro-Family Coalition's 20th annual fundraiser.  For more information, contact 773.483.1131.

Link: Townhall.com :: Columns :: Se habla entitlement by Star Parker - Apr 17, 2006.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Donation limits on federal 527s: a reason to lose the GOP U.S. House majority?

Not one member of Illinois' Republican U.S. Congressional delegation was one of the 18 GOPers who voted against limiting contributions to federal 527s last week, a vote which disqualifies Republicans from deserving to retain the U.S. House's majority rule. 

At least that's what conservative columnist George Will wrote this past weekend in the Washington Post.  Will wrote that supporting a limit on 527s was a vote to restrict freedom of speech, something Republicans should have strenuously upheld. 

Will predicts serious implications could result from the April 5th vote in the days ahead.  He wrote:

``In 2006, you Republicans said that because Democrats have done better than Republicans with 527s, the 527s should be restricted in order to 'level the playing field.' Now we will level the playing field by restoring the 'fairness doctrine' to broadcasting, thereby eliminating conservatives' unfair domination of talk radio.''

Listing those U.S. House members who stood for free speech such as Indiana's Mike Pence, Florida's Connie Mack, Texas' Ron Paul and Arizona's John Shadegg, Will threw up his hands as he described the eighteen as a "remnant of libertarian, limited-government conservatism" upon which a future House majority can be built.

Was that vote really that significant?  What do you think?

Link: Townhall.com :: Columns :: Free speech on life support by George Will - Apr 16, 2006.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Happy Easter, from George & Laura

Easter The following text is a message from President Bush for Easter 2006:

Easter 2006:  "He is not here; for He is risen, as He said."  Matthew 28:6

I send greetings to those observing the joyous holiday of Easter. On Easter, Christians around the world join together with family and friends to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the triumph of love over death. This is a season of renewal, a time for giving thanks and praise and for remembering that hope overcomes despair.

Christ's extraordinary sacrifice and compassion continue to inspire people around the world. His promise of new life gives hope and confidence to His followers. His service and love for His neighbors offer a profound lesson for all people.

During this Easter season, we celebrate God's gifts of freedom and justice. We pray for peace and ask for God's blessings on the brave men and women who wear our Nation's uniform and their families.

Laura and I wish you a Happy Easter.

GEORGE W. BUSH

Trifecta of Truth

Blagosmooch_5_1by John Ruskin

The mainstream media (MSM) is hitting the Democrats with a trifecta of truth today. The Dems - who control all branches of Illinois government - are finding it difficult to hide the mess they've made over the last several years.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported today that Fitch Ratings, a leading Wall Street bond house, has issued a negative outlook toward Illinois' state government finances because of concerns over the billions of dollars owed to Illinois' public pension systems. See story here.

The Daily Herald reported today that negotiators are saying that many of Rod Blagojevich's proposals to end tax breaks are out because they lack enough support to pass. Infighting has resulted, with House Democrats suggesting that more money be taken out of special-purpose funds. A proposal the election-year Blago is resisting. See story here.

Finally, the Chicago Tribune reports today that Illinois is nearly $1.5 billion behind on payments to doctors, pharmacies, hospitals and other medical providers, causing experts to finally wonder how the state can launch a major new insurance program for children when it can't even pay current bills. See story here.

Poor Rod, Mike and Emil. I wonder how they're going to blame Republicans for this one.

Senate GOP's Blogger Briefing

Congratulations to the Illinois Senate Republicans, who have been creatively feeding bloggers discussion-stirring info for several months now. 

Rather than rehash today's Blogger Briefing sent out weekly by GOP Senate staffer Mark Gordon, take a peek for yourself at the info sent out in this week's version, specifically warning of Illinois' financial outlook being downgraded due to the Blagojevich Administration's ongoing pension raids.

In case you missed it . . . .   

Continue reading "Senate GOP's Blogger Briefing" »

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The crisis: Mumps. The remedy: MMR

Mumps by Fran Eaton

Get ready.  First you create a crisis, then propose a remedy.  Effective public relations tactics on a gullible citizenry.

The newest medical crisis?  A looming mumps epidemic.  Why, already 46 confirmed or probable cases have been reported to the Illinois Department of Public Health this year.  The rise is attributed to two infected airline flight attendants based in Iowa, who may have spread the virus to their passengers.

Remedy?  You can bet it's a urgent plea for an increase in the measles/mumps/rubella vaccine mandated by the Illinois Department of Public Health for all school age children.  The MMR is suspected to have taken a nose dive as parents have learned about potential links of the MMR to the increase in autism.

Most interesting is that since the Blagojevich Administration's takeover in 2003, not one meeting has been called for the state's Immunization Advisory Committee. During the Ryan Administration, several meetings of the committee were held to advise the state's Illinois Director of Public Health on immunization policy. 

As one who was asked to serve on the original committee, and to continue serving during a second term, I was not made aware of any such meetings over the last four years.   

I expect to hear soon that an emergency meeting will be convened to deal with the swelling mumps crisis. :)

Link: Mumps spikes, number of cases to climb.

Just how local and spontaneous are anti-war protests?

Even on a state policy-focused discussion center like Illinois Review, the topic of the war on terror has become one of the hottest.   

One question recently raised in discussion between conservative commentor "Don Castella" and a pesky and persistent liberal online lurker "NW burbs," who is clearly anti-Bush, anti-war and anti-Republican.

"Don Castella" suggests Iraqi war protests are linked to shadow "Commie" groups and "NW burbs" insists they are spontaneous, local efforts. 

This morning's S-JR story points out that a Capitol Township referendum on November's ballot questioning whether Bush should pull the military out of Iraq was proposed to the Township council by a man who is backed by a national student group affiliated with Center for American Progress.

The Center, founded by Bill Clinton staffer John Podesta and funded by George Soros and mortgage billionaires Herbert and Marion Sandler, started in 2003 to counter conservative think tanks Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute.

The Center for American Progress' second annual student conference in July will feature Illinois' own U.S. Senator Barack Obama.

NW burbs, just how spontaneous and local is that?

Advisories may be the trick to increase voter turnout -- for good or for bad

Voting_5_machines_ap The old "all politics is local" adage will ring true this November when eight townships in Kane, DuPage, Cook and DeKalb counties give voters uneasy and unhappy with the war in Iraq a place to voice their frustration -- on their local township ballots.

It doesn't matter that the referendums are non-binding.  What does matter is voters may just be angry enough to get to the polls to voice war protests and while they're there, vote for candidates who share their sentiments. 

Case in point:  Democratic candidate for Congress in the 6th District Tammy Duckworth.  An injured veteran herself,  6th District anti-war voters will support Duckworth over Republican Peter Roskam, who supports the war in Iraq, saying he would "rather have the battle in the Mideast than here in the Midwest."

With an anti-war non-binding referendum on local ballots, anti-war voters will be motivated to go to the polls.  With a Republican gubernatorial candidate at the top of the ballot who has mocked, ridiculed and shunned the conservative base and who was rejected by 62 percent of the Republican primary voters, candidates like Roskam who in other circumstances would be a shoe-in may now be facing a tough battle on Election Day.

In 2004, a marriage referendum energized conservatives in Ohio to get to the polls.  While they were there, they elected George W. Bush as president.  In Illinois, a petition drive to advise the Illinois General Assembly to consider a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman will soon wrap up.  With 283,111 valid petition signatures, the non-binding referendum will be on the November ballot across the state.

Imagine on one ballot two referendums -- one against the war in Iraq and another supporting traditional marriage.  Voters jaded by phony political candidates may decide something is worth stopping at the polls for. 

Advisories may be the wave of political action in the future -- for good or for bad.

UPDATE:  The State Journal-Register notes a similar anti-war advisory passed in the Capitol Township Tuesday night.

Link: Daily Herald | Kane County.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Help Wanted: Ex-felons preferred

In a vote along partisan lines yesterday, the Illinois Senate Democrats Helpwanteddecided to reward companies who hire ex-felons with up to $600 in tax credits.

Thanks to an amendment tacked on at the last minute by State Senator Kimberly Lightford (D-Chicago) to SB 1279, a bill created to assist veterans returning to Illinois back into the employment pool, now job applicants with criminal records will be preferred when applying to businesses seeking tax breaks, and what Illinois business isn't?

The amendment, co-sponsored by Democrat Senators Trotter, Hunter, Collins, Meeks, Clayborne and Hendon, will move into Speaker Madigan's Democrat-controlled House.  Whether the Speaker favors the preferential treatment for ex-felons as well as returning veterans will be clear as soon as next week if SB 1279 moves out of Rules Committee and is assigned to committee.

Evidently, downstate normally-conservative-leaning Democratic senators such as Forby, Demuzio, Haine and Sullivan, believe their constitutents will not be troubled by their support of SB 1279.

Banning junk food not enough -- who will save the legislators?

by Fran Eaton

Well, for Pete's sake, if state lawmakers are not content enough to protect our nutritionally-ignorant and high fatty-content children by banning school junk food, now Frenchfriesthey're going to set up a task force to re-evaluate cafeteria food standards.

While they're at it, why not overhaul the Capitol Rathskellar and Stratton Building's cafeteria menu?  Look at the overweight and unhealthy-looking lawmakers who eat greasy chicken and fatty french fries while they're working. . .  don't they know better?

Who will save the lawmakers from themselves?

Link: State panel rejects ban on school junk food.

Online ammo to bust military myths

by Fran Eaton

After just returning from a long weekend with our new grand-daughter (whose daddy is in Iraq) this morning's Townhall.com column "Dispelling myths about American soldiers" was particularly refreshing to read

It's hard to describe the atmosphere of a big Army town.  The youth of America -- young men and women, their spouses, their children -- populate the streets and restaurants.   

Sitting in a doctor's office and seeing the faces of concerned wives when the waiting area's CNN broadcast breaks in about a bombing in Iraq, watching them gather around the screen, holding their babies and wondering where and if it could be their loved one changes one's perspective on our nation's future. 

It makes one think that this next generation will understand sacrifice for a country, a cause and another human. . . a human experience many others have missed.

Smith's "Snopes-like" report on military myth-busting is worth the time to read.  You'll appreciate some good news and have something to counter the liberal downers at the office.

Link: Townhall.com :: Columns :: Dispelling myths about American soldiers by W. Thomas Smith, Jr. - Apr 12, 2006.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Widespread abuses of parents by schools prompts investigation

by Rhonda Robinson

Elementary graduate Gabriel Lavigueur was kicked out of his middle school because his mother refused to put him on psychiatric drugs. . . and the same thing is happening to other children throughout Illinois.

Continue reading "Widespread abuses of parents by schools prompts investigation " »

Monday, April 10, 2006

The April Fools

by Ralf Seiffe

April starts with a day on which the quick amongst us are encouraged to play tricks on each other.  Most are small stunts that victims easily debunk but others are truly inspired.  One of this year’s best was a furniture company advertising they were renaming Wrigley Field the Walter E. Smithefield.  Very funny and when I need a sofa, I’ll remember these guys don’t take themselves too seriously.  This sort of foolin’ is stuff that makes life fun.  We should have more of it and the best way to do this is to extend April Fool’s Day to April Fool’s Month.

Continue reading "The April Fools" »

History Repeats Itself

by John Ruskin

China_flag_2I just wanted to make IR readers aware of two very disturbing articles that were brought to my attention recently. They have to do with the Chinese concentration camps and the harvesting of organs from Falun Gong members incarcerated therein.

Let me warn you that these article are disturbing. The truth usually is. Most especially the fact that 60+ years after the horrors of WWII, the U.S. government is again turning a blind eye.

See the reports here, and here.

Illinois does have a voice. Several in fact. Sen. Obama sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Congressman Hyde chairs the U.S. House Committee on International Relations, and Congressman Weller is also a member.

Edgar's key to winning

In a Chicago Tribune story Monday morning, we find the key to the Republican Old Guard's thinking about winning a statewide race in Illinois.   Former Governor Jim Edgar explains why a social moderate such as Judy Baar-Topinka is the only type of Republican that can be elected in the Land of Lincoln:

"There's not enough Republicans in this state to get you elected to anything," Edgar said. "The key is going to be, you got to also get a good number of independents and what I call thoughtful Democrats."

Interesting way to win an electoral battle, but not an ideological or political war. 

One would think the way to gain enough Republicans to win in Illinois would be to build up the party by promoting an appealing Party message and getting more Republican-leaning voters registered and to the polls on Election Day. . . What are we missing here?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Fox News reports on 10 years of Junk Science

by Joyce Morrison
Fox's source for the 10 top junk science stories in the past 10 years is Steven Milloy who is celebrating his 10th year in publishing JunkScience.com.  He also publishes CSRWatch.com. Milloy is a junk science expert, an advocate of free enterprise and an adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

The Ten Top Junk Science stories, listed in no particular order are: 

Continue reading "Fox News reports on 10 years of Junk Science " »

The 527 Killers

By Ralf Seiffe

With this week’s passage of the so-called “527 Reform Act,” the Republican congressional delegation once again reveals its hostility to the Bill of Rights.  Every single Illinois Republican joined all but 18 House GOP members to shank our First Amendment right to assemble and to spend our money to support--or oppose--candidates for federal office. 

Continue reading "The 527 Killers" »

Let's make a deal, Comptroller

by Fran Eaton

A feature story in yesterday's USA Today pointed out the stem cell funding controversy state legislatures throughout the nation are facing, jusr as we are here in Illinois. 

Several times Governor Blagojevich has blamed the Bush administration for the controversy, saying the President is stifling stem cell research.  In August, 2003, President George W. Bush limited the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research to using only those cell lines which were in existence at the time.  That, obviously, was not enough for those focused on embryo experimentation.

Again, for the sake of emphasis:  there are at least three different types of stem cells used in research.  One of them is controversial.  One.

Using stem cell-rich blood from umbilical cords is very promising and has already led to phenomenal results.  Adult stem cells found throughout the body from fat cells to testicular cells can be effective in fighting disease.  In both cases, no human life is lost. 

The only controversial type of stem cell research is using embryos for experimentation.   

Yesterday, Maryland became the fifth state to publicly fund stem cell research, increasing competition for research dollars.  If Comptroller Dan Hynes' ongoing phone calls to members of the General Assembly are effective, Illinois '07 budget will add $100 million more over four years to develop Governor Blagojevich's executive-ordered  Illinois Institute for Regenerative Medicine's stem cell research. 

Let's make a deal, Comptroller (and Governor). . .   Prolifers are not unreasonable, and we also want to fight disease effectively.  Let's agree that no taxpayer funds will be used for embryonic experimentation and we'll support funding for umbilical cord blood and adult stem cell research.  You show respect for our religious convictions about protecting innocent human life and we'll join you in promoting medical research that is not only compassionate, but ethical.

Deal?

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-04-06-stem-cell_x.htm

Thursday, April 06, 2006

No Republicans allowed

"Republicans:  Keep Out."

Reminiscent of childhood treehouses with signs saying "No Girls Allowed," the Governor, Speaker Mike Madigan and Senate President Emil Jones all huddled together yesterday divvying up the budget -- just three days before the original projected session adjournment.

Looks like the final version will be a pared down version of Blago's dream budget, with a $400 million education hike in tact which will include funding for establishing the nation's first universal preschool.   

The sign on the door reportedly said:  "Republicans, Keep Out."

Those tax dollars they're spending come from both Democrats and Republicans.  Who's representing the taxpayers in those meetings?

Hello?  Anyone see a need for at least one Republican-led chamber in the Illinois General Assembly?

Link: Pantagraph.com - News.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Message to Rahm: Tammy Needs Some New Material

by John Ruskin

Disappointed that she's losing the only issues she's been briefed to talk about, the Chicago Sun-Times reports today that Tammy Duckworth recently wrote her supporters saying: "Pete Roskam's agenda reflects the values of his mentor, Tom DeLay. It does not reflect the interests and concerns of the 6th Congressional District."

Interesting analysis from someone who has never lived in the district. I wonder how she knows what the values and concerns of the 6th CD are? I'm guessing she didn't even know what the boundaries of the district are until her mentor and puppet-master Rahm Emanuel told her. Proof? When asked recently who her state representatives were, she had no idea.

Rahm better start getting Tammy up-to-speed on real issues. Her DeLay schtick is getting old.

Running low on funds isn't always a bad thing

Voices for Illinois Children and Ounce of Prevention want $2 million more dollars from this year's state Department of Human Services budget to screen more children (ages birth to 18 years) for mental health issues.  They also want $6 million from the State Board of Education's budget to determine whether our children have social and emotional hangups. 

Mind you with $8 million from you and me, more newborns, more toddlers, more preschoolers, more children, more teens, and more young adults will be exposed to busybody psychological questionnaires.  And if that's not offensive enough, Illinois law does not require parents know their children are being psychologically interrogated.   

Indeed, the vast majority of parents will not know their children have been psychologically screened until they get a note from their local school recommending their child see a psychiatrist or get professional help.

All this session and last, Eagle Forum of Illinois and Concerned Women for America of Illinois have been pleading with the Illinois General Assembly to force schools and public agencies to notify parents or guardians before their children are screened for mental health issues.   

The bill, HB 3130, is laying dormat in the Senate Rules Committee today.  Its Senate sponsor is a Democrat -- a legislator who grabbed up State Rep. Patty Bellock's HB 3130 as soon as it passed the House unanimously last spring.  But Sen. Jeff Schoenberg (D-Chicago) has decided that HB 3130 will not become law this session.  Parents will not be notified or allowed a chance to say no to their children being screened by public school staff. 

Children simply don't have a natural way to gauge for themselves whether questions being asked of them are inappropriate.  In general, most children innocently trust adults and try to please them.  Screening for mental health issues and determining a child's social and emotional development is an intimate relationship between humans -- one that can be easily misused.

Misdiagnosis by well-meaning but misguided minimally-trained mental health screeners can result in undeserved lifelong stigmatizations for otherwise healthy children.

Our only hope is that the state's budget is too tight for the funds Voices and Ounce of Prevention are demanding to expand this intrusive program.

In this case, running low on funds isn't always a bad thing.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

It's The Economy Stupid

Jobloss_1by John Ruskin

Figures from the U.S. Department of Labor show that during the last three years of Rod Blagojevich's administration, Illinois had a job growth rate of just .7 percent (Jan. 2003 - Feb. 2006).

Illinois continues to have a weaker job creation rate than any of our surrounding states. Nationwide, the Land of Lincoln ranks 46th in job creation.

The reason: Tax and spend, anti-growth Democrat Rod Blagojevich and the Democrat controlled Illinois House and Senate. Hey Rod - it's the economy stupid.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Conservatives Target Judicial Activism and ERA

060325eagleforum_019 A recent American Bar Association poll showed that a majority of Americans believe judicial activism is in crisis, that judges ignore traditional morality and those who are arrogant and out of control should be impeached, conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly [pictured right] told Eagle Forum luncheon attendees last Saturday in Park Ridge.

"I can tell you, the American Bar Association was in total shock with those results," Schlafly, now 80, said.  "But it means we are making progress in getting the message of judicial activism danger out to the American public."

During a 25 minute speech, Schlafly, who stopped the federal Equal Rights Amendment in the 1980s, listed a litany of court decisions she believes has eroded property rights, religious freedoms, traditional marriage and parental rights.

Schlafly said the judicial activism points out the need for conservatives to elect executives to appoint good judges.  She commended President George Bush's recent U.S. Supreme Court appointments of Samuel Alito and John Roberts. 

State Senator Peter Roskam (R-Wheaton) [pictured center above] was given an award for his work on behalf of traditional family values in the General Assembly and north suburban resident Elise Bouc was recognized for her work against a recent attempt to pass the ERA in Illinois.

Two years ago the ERA surprised opponents when, after 13 tries since the 1980s, the measure passed the Illinois House, but was stopped in the Illinois Senate.

"The battle to stop the ERA will continue," former State Rep. Penny Pullen, current president of Eagle Forum of Illinois [pictured left above], said. 

Illinois Review is pleased to make Schlafly's speech in its entirety available online: (Download 208_pm.wav)

Friday, March 31, 2006

Who do you stand with?

Censurehome2_1Did you catch the national news broadcast when Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin said he didn't rule out impeaching the President?

Durbin is featured among a host of Democrats attacking the President on a new Web ad released this morning by the Republican National Committee, titled "Censure?  Impeachment?"

The video highlights Democrat attacks on the President’s plan to fight terrorists trying to communicate in our country, including Feingold’s outlandish assertion that the President should be censured for working to keep Americans safe. 

You can watch the video here: http://www.gop.com

The ad concludes, "Who do you stand with?"

Downstate soldier featured on local TV

Joyce Morrison, an IR contributor, is beaming with pride this morning about a local tv station's coverage of her great nephew Mark Wright, who is serving what the local television station is calling a "mission of kindness" in Afghanistan.

Joyce writes this morning:  "Sometimes we get tired of the battle - but then we remember why we are doing what we do.  This is my niece's son, Mark...and yes I am prejudiced,  but he is a real A one kid."

You've got a lot to be proud of, Joyce.  We all share the pride of our tremendous young men and women spreading good will as they are fighting the war on terrorism.

Link: WSIL TV • NATIONAL NEWS.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

No school? No drive

Drivephoto The Illinois Senate just followed the Illinois House's example by unanimously passing HB 1463, a bill which will keep any person under age 18 from being issued a driver's license if they do not maintain school attendance or are considered habitual truants.

In response to complaints from the Decatur Public Schools (which reports an increase in chronic truancy rates from a previous 1.6 percent to a current 4.3 percent),  bill sponsor Senate President Frank Watson said the legislation was to encourage school attendance.

The bill will now proceed to the governor's desk.

One can't help but wonder, will police now be stopping high school aged young people during school hours in order to determine whether they are chronic truants?  Will home schooled young people be forced to register their school affiliation or face losing their driving privileges during school hours?

No school, no drive.  While it would seem strange to be on the side of appearing to defend the rights of chronic truants, home schoolers who allow their teens to drive during school hours might want to be aware of this school code shift as soon as the governor signs it into law.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Session to be Extended Until May?

This just in from the halls of the Capitol -- seems like our legislators aren't going to get early recess. Word on the street is they may be delayed until May!

20 years in the ongoing battle

by Fran Eaton

Twenty years ago a group of parents formed a fledgling organization out of necessity.  Its purpose was to protect parents who had chosen home education for their children. 

In 1986, the revival of freedom in education had begun in earnest.  At the same time, lawmakers were threatening to clamp down on these freedom-seekers.  As a result, the Christian Home Educators Coalition was formed. 

CHEC's leaders consistently fought against numerous attempts to regulate and supervise home schooling.  A Supreme Court case in 1950 established home schools as private schools in Illinois. 

With that definition, these emboldened parents converged on the state capitol.  They were not professional lobbyists.  They were citizen activists -- forced into the process to protect their right to teach their children at home.

Today, thousands and thousands of home-taught young people are leading the way throughout the nation.  They are preachers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, computer technicians, homemakers.  The list is as diverse as the families who chose home education.  Estimates are that 60,000 families now home school in Illinois alone.

Congratulations, CHEC, for your faithfulness and persistence throughout the years.  The freedom you worked so hard to preserve is precious and very fragile.  May those who come behind the founders pick up the mantle with passion and commitment. 

The Immigration Bill--Why is it good or bad?

By Mark Rhoads

I promised Fran Eaton I would not comment on the immigration debate since I am among millions who have done little real homework on the topic.  But today I saw a press release from the American Conservative Union critical of the guest worker bill favored by President Bush that passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.  Those of you who have really studied this issue know that it generates a lot of heat and not as much light.  Here are my questions for anyone to comment.

Continue reading "The Immigration Bill--Why is it good or bad?" »

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Rational Thought About Drilling in ANWR

by Lee Newcom46coastal_plain_spring_2

Liberals love to use emotion to deflect our attention away from the real issue and to stop rational discussion of national public policy.  Unfortunately, when conservatives fall into that trap, we get ourselves tied up in the same conundrum the liberals are in, with the same effect, rational debate becomes impossible and bad public policy results. 

Case in point is the issue of developing our petroleum reserves located under a very small and remote portion of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge.   Please look at the photo contained in the posting of my IR colleague Jacob Swain below.  It is beautiful and pristine.   Who would possibly want a bunch of ugly, pollution spewing, animal killing oil rigs in that photo.  That is a real photo of the ANWR.  Problem is, it is nowhere near where the oil exploration will take place.  Look at the photo I post here.  This is the real portion of ANWR in which the oil development will take place. It is remote, not populated, has very little wildlife and is seldom used by any Caribou.   As Alaska State Representative Joe Green told me, "If it wasn't covered by ice all year, it would be a desert."

A rational look at the ANWR issues has the same effect as comparing the photos.  There is nothing wrong with questioning, but you have to be willing to look at the answers and accept them.  When looking at this issue, I believe the answers overwhelmingly show that development of the oil reserves under this part of ANWR is safe, compact, does not threaten wildlife and is necessary for our national security.

Continue reading "Rational Thought About Drilling in ANWR" »

Is Breaking the Law a "Christian" Value?

by John Ruskin

5005context3_3Yesterday, Illinois Review's Editor asked if "being anti-immigrant is a 'Christian' value". In a Hillary-esque sort of way, the Editor implied that the mere discussion of the issue of immigration is somehow "un-Christian". After all, Jesus and his disciples were "poor" and (initially) a "huddled mass". Therefore, those breaking the law to enter this country today are the moral equivalent of the Son of God and the founders of the Christian church. Ergo, breaking the law is now a Christian value.

Grab a brick fellow Christians. Time to go wilding! Breaking the law is a virtue. Sort of like suicide bombing is to Muslims.

I know what you're thinking. I'm being ridiculous. The IR Editor was just drawing some parallels. I agree. But the parallels drawn were based on specious theology and a caricature of immigrants propagated by Hollywood. The celluloid images have been burned into our collective minds. You know, the rag-clad Southern European on the boat entering New York harbor (legally I might add).

Yes, Christians are commanded to take care of the poor -- and we do! But why is it assumed that all immigrants are "poor"? And why does poverty allow one to break the law? What is the appropriate poverty threshold for Christians? If a person enters the country illegally and is "relatively" prosperous, do they not deserve the same "Christian" largess? Is there some primer or sliding poverty scale we Christians can use to judge who is poor enough to break the law?

And if poverty is now a Judeo-Christian legal basis for breaking the law, then why can't a poor person steal or even murder? By the IR Editor's logic, their virtuous indigency should allow them to do just that. And Christian guilt should require us to turn a blind-eye.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Doing The People's Work -- The Illinois Way

From AP:

"A veteran state senator made sexually suggestive comments to a freshman colleague Monday during the ritual "hazing" that occurs in debate over a rookie's first bill.

Republican Cheryl Axley of Mount Prospect [photo at right] was offering legislation on road maintenance by township governments when Assistant Democratic Leader Rickey Hendon of Chicago suggested that Axley go "on a township road with me later on tonight."

The presiding officer of the chamber, Sen. Debbie Halvorson of Crete, said the question was inappropriate and told Axley she was not obliged to answer.

Hendon then replied, "Madame President, don't deny me my opportunity, here. I mean, she looks like she's only 16 or 17, I might be able to trick her, or something."

"All the more reason you shouldn't be asking," Halvorson said.

It has long been tradition for members of the General Assembly to "haze" newcomers when they present their first piece of legislation, peppering them with innocuous or highly technical questions.

Other senators grilled Axley about the number of miles of township-maintained roads in the state and whether she'd traveled them all."

The story goes on to say that State Sen. Axley was a good sport over what I find to be more demeaning than sexual in nature.  She was warned ahead of time and took it in stride as a rookie.  That's usually a sign that you are in the club.

What bugs me is that this the group that makes laws for the rest of us.  I mean this how we do the people's business in Illinois?  Explains a lot, doesn't it.  Hazing??? 

And yes I'm sure someone more intune with Springfield's political culture will haze me as a stick-in-the-mud or something similar.  But think about this... Would you get away with the same kind of behavior in your job?  I'm sure laws passed by that same august body in Springfield over the past decades suggests that...No, you wouldn't get away with it.

Someone should make it their goal to make Springfield un-fun for our political class.  I recall that being a common refrain in Washington, DC in 1995.  We could use something like that, here.  Less fun, more adults, a better government.

Link: SJ-R.COM - Breaking News.

So...What's the News?

by John Ruskin

There certainly is a lot of hubbub today about Steve Rauschenberger receiving financial support from his running mate Ron Gidwitz. Why does this come as a surprise? Is everyone suddenly realizing that money is involved in politics? Or is it the amount of money that is bothersome?

If the latter, why aren't the papers covering how much Birkett got to run with Topinka? Or how about the fact that Blagojevich has a war chest of $15+ million!

In short, there is no "news" here. Just lazy mainstream media writing about a campaign that is no more. And they wonder why their subscriptions are down.

Is being anti-immigrant a "Christian" value?

by Fran Eaton

A national group called Christians Reviving America's Values (CRAVE) is calling for the U.S. House to pass legislation to build a 700-mile long wall on the American/Mexican border and to fine employers $50,000 for employing illegal aliens.

Don Swarthout, President of Christians Reviving America’s Values, CRAVE, said in a press release today, “America is a nation of laws. We cannot continue to allow the laws of our nation to be broken by people who are free loaders, criminals and drug smugglers. We must get a handle on who is coming into our country.”

Interesting.  . .  A Christian group who rejects free loaders, criminals and drug smugglers.  Sounds vaguely like a description of a group of twelve who Jesus called to follow Him.  That motley crew ended up changing the world when their hearts were radically changed by the love and forgiveness He bestowed on them.

Anti-immigration attitudes are troubling to me.  I'm uncomfortable with building a wall to keep out people who want a better life.   

Sunday night on Tom Roeser's show, State Rep. Suzanna Mendoza (D-Chicago) said it was almost impossible for Mexicans to get legal authorization to come into America.   Visas are few and the requirements are very difficult to fulfill.  Her own parents came into America on a visa, but overstayed their allotted time and became "illegal."  She, herself, was "lucky enough" to be born in the U.S., and therefore, is "legal."

Rep. Mendoza's story was compelling.  It's multiplied by millions now, an issue that has been complicating itself for decades. 

But for a "Christian" organization to call for a wall to be built to keep out aliens, I'm very troubled.   I think it's more "Christian" to say, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. . ."

Tell me where I'm wrong . . .

Continue reading "Is being anti-immigrant a "Christian" value?" »

Sunday, March 26, 2006

WWJD?

Wwjdd1cpby Ralf Seiffe


Governor Blagojevich plans to beat Judy Baar Topinka by making the state’s Minimum Wage a central strategy.  By showing his “compassion”, he mimics national Democrats and takes a completely predictable and thoroughly liberal position.


For conservatives, especially economic conservatives, the Minimum Wage is one of those defining issues like abortion and gun control. Republicans who voted for someone else in Tuesday’s primary wonder not "What Will Rod Pitch?" but "What Will Judy Do?" . . . 

Continue reading "WWJD?" »

Live embryo experimentation front and center in IL General Assembly this week

As the General Assembly winds down for this spring, live embryo experimentation may very well be the social issue of the session.

Watch over the next two weeks to see if Downstate conservative Democratic Senators Gary Forby, Bill Haine and Deanna Demuzio line up with their pro-life constituents, or if they succumb to the pressure of hard-line embryo experimentation advocates Gov. Blagoejvich, Comptroller Dan Hynes, Senate President Emil Jones and powerful Senator Jeff Schoenberg, all Chicago Democrats.

All 27 Republican Senators have signed onto Senator Bill Brady's letter to the governor saying they will not support FY 2007's budget if it forces taxpayers to pay for stem cell research on live embryos.

IR Reader Arlene Sawicki addresses three "strikingly erroneous impressions" about experimentation on live embryos:

Continue reading "Live embryo experimentation front and center in IL General Assembly this week" »

Immigration protest breaks into fisticuff

Rickwithcut Chicago Minutemen's fight for immigration laws to be enforced broke into hand to fist confrontation Saturday in Munster, Indiana.

Illinois conservative activist Rick Beisada was cut above the eye when he was shoved to the ground by members of a counterprotest immigration group.  Chicago Minutemen were demonstrating against Bank Calumet's practice of offering home loans to undocumented immigrants.

When asked this morning if the NWTimes story is accurate, Rick Biesada wrote:

Yes, the story is fairly accurate. While arguing with one counter protestor who tried to block my path, another counter protestor grabbed my sign. When I went to retrieve it, I got sucker punched from behind, then jumped on by 3 or 4 counter protestors. A more accurate view from a witness Michelle Jacobson can be found [online].
I am looking into the possibility to sue this bank for creating an "attractive nuisance," by engaging in the illegal activity of granting loans to illegal aliens. These counter protestors would have never came out to try to stifle our First Amendment right to warn the people of this banks unlawful policy if the bank had not engaged in illegal activity. We would have never come out to protest this banks criminal loan policies had they complied with federal law; Title 8 U.S. Code 1324 - 1326, and the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1996. This bank has created an attractive nuisance.
Rick

The same controversial practice is in Illinois, where Governor Rod Blagojevich initiated a program to extend to illegals low-interest mortgages.  The argument is these people need a place to live, and owning homes will make them taxpayers. 

Rick Biesada and the Chicago Minutemen believe federal immigration laws should be enforced and that special privileges such as lower interest rates should not be extended to lawbreakers.

Where are Illinois Review readers on this topic?

Link: Northwest Indiana News: nwitimes.com.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Dial IDOT . . . for fun

Did the Department of Transportation have a Freudian slip yesterday? 

Advertising phone sex numbers to Dan Ryan drivers under the guise of providing construction information just doesn't seem to be conducive to safe, concentrated driving.  . .

No wonder I always do a double take when I see the "IDOT" signs.  They look an awful lot like "IDIOT."

The correct Dan Ryan construction info line number is  (877) 411-IDOT.   The other number wasn't provided in the Daily Herald story. 

Guess you had to be there.

Link: Daily Herald | Illinois.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

What Republicans Should Stand For

By Mark Rhoads, former Illinois State Senator

Viewed from a distance, there appeared to be four honorable campaigns for governor in the GOP primary.  Yes, there were negative ads, shots across the bow, lapses in honesty, and needless personal remarks.  But they were relatively tame compared with many states and none were so far out of bounds in the heat of a campaign that wounds cannot diminish with time.

But there was an odd lack of solid content in all four campaigns.  That is, at least content that voters could understand through the noise of a campaign.  I hinted at this before when I said they lacked an emotional connection with average, lesser-engaged primary voters who are not party activists, candidate groupies, or issue advocates. 

The latter groups always care about primary outcomes whereas the former group will vote but does not see a great stake in the election for them.  I understand the background and context of the last decade of Illinois politics but I urge conservatives to take a much longer view if possible. . .

Continue reading "What Republicans Should Stand For" »

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Weak Market Signals Doom Tax reform

by Ralf Seiffe

Eleanor Holmes Norton, the fake representative for Washington D.C., appeared on Brit Hume’s Special Report last Friday night giving perhaps the most revealing interview I’ve ever seen.  The subject was the latent proposal that an experimental “Flat Tax” be offered in Washington D.C.  Featuring a novel, “dual boot” system in which taxpayers could choose either the flat tax or stay with the current rules, Washington residents would be first in the nation to use a modern tax system.  Despite the obvious empirical value of conducting such an experiment, Delegate Norton’s attitude in this very short interview shows reformers why, without a change in strategy, tax reform is a dead letter.

Continue reading "Weak Market Signals Doom Tax reform" »

Monday, March 20, 2006

Election Day Open Forum on Illinois Review

The more you post on Illinois Review Tuesday, the more mainstream media will pay attention to conservative ideas. 

IR's Fran Eaton has been asked to share her conservative views with WBEZ's audience Tuesday night as they discuss the primaries on  Chicago Public Radio. 

And CapitalFax's Rich Miller will be on Fox News Chicago, referring to comments and reports found on political blogs.  IR Contributors Greg Blankenship and Fran Eaton participate periodically in Miller's group blog "Illinoize."  Miller keeps an eye on IR and your participation will keep IR on the blog discussion's front burner. 

Tell us what's happening in your area, how the weather's affecting turnout and how a low or high turnout in different areas may affect the results.  What's the hottest race in your neck of the woods?  Who had the most people standing at the polls? 

All these things will give us all insight into Primary Election Day 2006.  Comment, predict, observe.  Share your insights with the rest of us here at the crossroads of Illinois' conservative community. . .

They Made The Ultimate Sacrifice - Why?

by John Ruskin

Fox News is reporting that an Afghan man who allegedly converted from Islam to Christianity is being prosecuted in a Kabul court and could be sentenced to death.

While I'm certainly not anti-war, I have to ask: What did the 255 brave U.S. soldiers, who gave their lives in Afghanistan, die for?

Shame on us and shame on the Bush Administration if this man is subject to the barbaric and hideous Shariah law that has butchered so many innocents for far too long. Our Illinois Congressional Delegation should stand up for the sacrifice in blood that Americans have made for that county, and should refuse another Lincoln penny of support until this backward belief system is forced to recognize basic human rights and freedoms.

Friday, March 17, 2006

What Happened On Lake Avenue?

by Ralf Seiffe

Lake Avenue is the main east-west route through Wilmette, one of Chicago’s wealthy, northern suburbs.  It is a delightful street graced by massive old trees and even older, single family homes.  The village is more than 130 years old and has been an upscale bedroom community for the city for most of that time.  One can imagine University of Chicago professor Thorstein Veblen taking the train to Wilmette in 1899, looking around and beginning work on his magnum opus The Theory of the Leisure Class.

Continue reading "What Happened On Lake Avenue?" »

UPDATE: A personal investment in the war on terror

Family_on_d_dayjpg by Fran Eaton

(Indulge me, folks. . . we've updated with a photo from yesterday, D-Day at Ft Hood . . . )

Jacob Swain had no idea when he wrote "Three Long Years" how painful it would be for me to read that post today.

We all heard first thing this morning about the major air assault in Iraq to exert more strength over the radicals who plague our troops.

Minutes before I heard that first news broadcast, our new son-in-law was deployed from Ft Hood Texas to fight in Iraq for his second time.  He will be gone until the end of the year, and left behind our daughter and their brand new baby girl. . .

Continue reading "UPDATE: A personal investment in the war on terror" »

Is Dems' hold on blacks slipping?

Aarcil_2 by Fran Eaton

The San Francisco Chronicle's Deroy Murdock believes the Dems' hold on blacks is slipping -- because the Democratic Party takes the African-American vote for granted and because attractive, high-level black Republicans are making their way to the electoral arena.

Right, many Republicans will say.  Don't waste your time.  Blacks will never come around when they are so comfortable with the Dems. . .

Continue reading "Is Dems' hold on blacks slipping?" »

Pre-Preschool for all

North County Times

Preschool_cartoon

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Dumber Kids, Richer Teachers

by Ralf Seiffe

Today, The Wall Street Journal ran an opinion piece on another "for the children" scam, this one involving the California initiative sponsored by the once and ever "meathead", Rob Reiner.  He's spending state money to coerce preschool attendance, a program that sounds much like the recent Blagojevich proposal.  The article contained an interesting factoid; according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, Georgia and Oklahoma, two states with a decade of mandatory preschool program, scored in the bottom 10 states.  Alternatively, none of the states enjoying a spot in the 10 states had a mandatory preschool program.

Hmmm. Looks like Rod hasn't done his homework.  Unless, of course, his plan is designed to benefit someone other than all the kids.

Three Long Years

by Jacob Swain

Three years.

That is how long it has been since the United States first began military action in Iraq. It’s hard for me to believe that it has only been three years because in so many ways it has seemed so much longer.

Far from being the week long liberation of the masses we were prepared for, it has turned into a difficult and, at times, chaotic situation that consumes the headlines and drains the United States politically and economically. Many of you know that I have supported the troops and, independent of that, supported the President in his decision to go to war in Iraq.

Nonetheless, I’m frustrated with where things are at in Iraq. . .

Continue reading "Three Long Years" »

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A Safer World?

by Ralf Seiffe

Last week The Chicago Tribune  published another chapter in its unending effort to erase the Second Amendment.  Ronald S. Safer wrote this week’s assault; a tear-stained opinion that exploits the tragic death of honor student Starkeshia Reed.  The former federal prosecutor accuses legislators who did not act to extend the ban on so-called “assault weapons” as corrupt and fearful of the National Rifle Association.  Safer blatantly shows his disgust for the Second Amendment but his argument also shows contempt for the First.

Continue reading "A Safer World?" »

No License - Unless You Break the Law

The Quad City Times reports today that legislation is moving through the Illinois Senate that would take away the drivers licenses of high school dropouts until they turn 18 or return to school.

Good idea. However, I'm sure there will be an exception for illegal aliens - regardless of age and educational status.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Governor's office intolerant of pro-family group

by Fran Eaton

Excerpted from IR's linked op-ed:

I don't think I've read anywhere that the Governor's office has felt free to call Farrakhan's anti-Semitic comments as "spewing intolerance."  Frankly, I think Abby Ottendorf showed the Governor's hand with this comment.  He's blatantly bigoted against those who advocate the natural one-man/one-woman structure of marriage.  And it's okay for the Governor to now spew intolerance, because, well, it's politically correct.

The only way that the Governor can make up for this grievous error is to invite Illinois Family Institute's Pete LaBarbera onto the commission. 

Calls should be made to the Governor today. . .

Continue reading "Governor's office intolerant of pro-family group" »

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Snorer in the court? Ruth Bader Ginsburg snoozes

Ginsburgsnooze1

by Fran Eaton

In all the Illinois primary furor last week, I missed a story sent my way about U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  If you've already heard about it, forget it.  If you haven't, read on. . . this story should be discussed around water coolers and kitchen tables.

When is it time to step down from the Supreme Court?  I'd suggest a good indication would be when you fall asleep while listening to oral arguments that could change the course of history.  Don't you think?

At first I thought this was a joke, but indeed, the courtroom sketch is not a spoof -- it is a rendition of what the courtroom artist saw last week during an appeal about Texas political redistricting.

Perhaps a few vitamins, a little coffee or a sleep apnea study would help the 72-year-old?  Maybe she needs to retire, WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah suggests, so she can take mid-day naps at her leisure.  Ouch.

Link: WorldNetDaily: Snorer in the court? Ruth Bader Ginsburg snoozes.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Science Of Social Thought

by Ralf Seiffe

Of those filler courses we all took in college, a surprisingly valuable one offered at The University of Wisconsin was “The History of Science”.   Unlike required courses such as trigonometry or sociology, this obscure three-credit has proven its enduring value in the half-lifetime that’s passed since I took it.  By applying its main doctrines, today’s controversies are better understood and their outcomes can be better predicted.

Continue reading "The Science Of Social Thought" »

State Board of Education lowers math standards

"We suspect; if given the power; the Illinois State Board of Education would allow four strikes before you’re out.  They’d probably also lower the baskets in basketball and make the holes bigger in golf so that more people could be successful."

                                                                  Decatur Herald and Review.

According to the Herald and Review editorial, the new lower requirement will open the door for 32,000 more eighth-grade students to meet the state's math standards.

IDOT Chief Claims He Can Eliminate Death

by John Ruskin

Grim20reaper_3The Daily Herald reported today that the Illinois Auditor General has revealed that IDOT's reorganization, which they (IDOT) claimed would save Illinois taxpayers $2 million a year, is actually costing us at least $440,000 more annually!

When asked about this almost criminal misrepresentation, Illinois Transportation Secretary Timothy Martin suggested (in so many words) that we should ignore the financial incompetence behind the curtain, and focus on the rather minuscule reduction in highway fatalities that Illinois has seen over the last couple of years.

What?

Put aside his fiscal ineptness for a moment, and consider his boorish leap in logic. Martin wants us to swallow his bureaucrat argument that the more money we give IDOT, the fewer fatalities we'll witness on our highways. Well Mr. Martin, using your god-like calculus, how much will it take to eliminate death all together? If your reasoning is true, shouldn't we spend whatever it takes to make the grave a thing of the past? Just think Mr. Secretary, Illinois could become the lick-spittles' nirvana.

Universal Preschool buses on the fast track

by Fran Eaton

A few weeks ago, I wrote an off-the-cuff op-ed in reaction to Governor Blagojevich's proposal to establish the nation's first universal preschool program.  I was doubly frustrated, because not only did the Governor think it was a grand idea to haul 3 and 4 year old babies off to government nurseries, so did one of the Republican candidates for governor.

Yesterday at the Capitol I learned that my warning "Parents, Hide Your 3-year olds" wasn't the rantings of an hysterical woman. It is widely accepted in Springfield that Governor Blagojevich will indeed get his program into the FY 2007 budget within the next few weeks.

"It's on the fast track," I was told by a Democratic senator.

Continue reading "Universal Preschool buses on the fast track" »

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Profamily groups deem Gov's budget "unacceptable"

by Fran Eaton

Governor Blagojevich's FY 2007 Budget has a little bit in it for everyone -- including three ways to tick off social conservative groups who will reportedly be telling lawmakers at the Capitol today to vote no.

Statewide affiliates of groups such as Concerned Women for America and Eagle Forum are upset about three items in particular:

  • The Governor's $100 million over the next few years set to fund live embryo experimentation
  • The $45 million he's setting aside to expand the current "at risk" preschool program to include all three and four year olds, with no need-based eligibility limitation
  • The at least $10 million to expand mental health screening for children ages 0-18 years, without their parents knowledge or consent.

"Governor Blagojevich's radical social agenda is clear in the proposed budget for FY 2007," the pro-family groups write.  "Please reject further funding on these controversial budget items."

Word is the whole Republican Senate Caucus has signed onto a letter to the governor, circulated by Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington), saying they are voting NO on the budget because they are unanimously opposed to public funding of embryonic stem cell research.

The question is what will the prolife conservative Downstate Dems do when they're forced to support their leaders' radical agenda?

Continue reading "Profamily groups deem Gov's budget "unacceptable"" »

Monday, March 06, 2006

How To Solve Illegal Immigration In One Day

by Ralf Seiffe

We could solve the illegal immigration problem in one day by a simple Treasury Regulation.  On the day we decide to end the invasion, the Treasury Secretary should issue a regulation that henceforth, money transfers to countries with which we have an immigration problem are forbidden without an FEIN number.

Continue reading "How To Solve Illegal Immigration In One Day" »

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Gazette.com's Asay: Is that Plan A. B or C?

Cartoon_1

Thursday, March 02, 2006

ADL to Rod: What Don't You Get?

The ADL just announced that it is resigning from the Illinois Hate Crimes Commission because the Governor won't demand that the National of Islam representative (that HE appointed) step down. (see press release here)

Why should we be surprised? Blagojevich has treated everyone, including his own Party, this way since he took office. Not the modus operandi for an effective Governor.

Illinois, home to top two most dangerous professors

Billayersmugshot by Fran Eaton

The two most dangerous university professors in America teach in Illinois, according to Human Events' David Horowitz -- former Weather Underground commander Bill Ayers, professor of childhood development at University of Illinois (see mugshot at the right), and Chicago and WU leader Bernardine Dohrn, law professor at Northwestern University.

In the late 60s, Ayers and Dohrn were both involved in the radical socialist organization Students for a Democratic Society before helping to establish the more revolutionary Weather Underground. 

The two were fugitives from the FBI for years before turning themselves in.  During the years they lived together running from the feds, they parented two children and adopted a third, a fallen fellow Weathermen's orphan.

Just think of the enlightenment and education your university kids are getting from the likes of these two. . . right here in Illinois.

Link: HUMAN EVENTS ONLINE - Conservative News, Views & Books --.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The French declare one-man/one-woman marriage worth defending

Wedding5_1 For once, the French have it right.

An official French commission recommended in a recent report that the natural definition of marriage -- consisting of a man and woman -- should be protected for the welfare of the children.

While we'd like to say simply, "Duh!" we will respectfully applaud the French findings. 

Rockford's World Congress of Families' founder Allan Carlson said it beautifully: "When pro-family groups have said the same thing, we were derided by the elite as backward and religion-obsessed. Now a commission of the French government – a nation revered by the liberal chattering class – endorses our position. No wonder the report has been largely ignored in the mainstream media.”

Well, we at IR think this report is worth noting.  Chalk up yet another reason for protecting the one-man/one-woman definition of marriage in Illinois. . .

Continue reading "The French declare one-man/one-woman marriage worth defending" »

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Keeping An Eye On Elmwood Park

by Ralf Seiffe

A friend who grew up in Elmwood Park once told me a story involving a neighbor who lived on her block.  It seemed that all day and all night, there was a Cadillac idling at the curb in front of one particular house.  Inside were two men who kept an eye on things in the neighborhood.  Given the opulence of the automobile, it’s doubtful these watchdogs were policemen.

Continue reading "Keeping An Eye On Elmwood Park" »

US Supreme Court victory for the Scheidlers -- and the rest of us, too

Speakout4

by Fran Eaton

After twenty long, grueling years of having the National Organization for Women on his trail, today Chicago-based Pro-Life Action League founder Joe Scheidler says he has been vindicated for a third time as the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled in his favor.

Today's decision forced the Chicago area Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to vacate its previous injunction and reverse judgment, based on the U.S. Supreme Court's 2003 decision in favor of Scheidler.

Scheidler and his wife Ann have been through an exceedingly difficult time as they faithfully continued to fight for the right to protest at abortion clinics.  During this whole twenty-year long ordeal, the Scheidlers continued to educate the public on the value of life and suffered financial hardship with no complaint. 

We celebrated the victory with the Scheidlers in 2003 and we celebrate with them once again the inalienable right to life and the precious First Amendment right to express our opinions in the public arena. 

Continue reading "US Supreme Court victory for the Scheidlers -- and the rest of us, too" »

High schoolers promote taxpayer-funded masturbation instruction

by Fran EatonUnihigh_2

Some parents of Champaign-Urbana's University High School aren't happy that today their kids will be bussed off to the Capitol to lobby on behalf of Planned Parenthood's current legislative passion -- promoting "responsible and age-appropriate" sex ed in the public school system.

“So, forget reading, writing and arithmetic.  Students of a state-funded school are now being ushered out of the classroom and in to lawmakers’ offices, and, eventually into each other’s beds or SUV back seats,” Concerned Women for America - Illinois' associate director Karen Hayes said via press release on Monday.

Hundreds of high schoolers from throughout the state will be used by Planned Parenthood at the Capitol Wednesday to demand more than the $1.3 million PP got last year from the state's budget to teach kids beginning at age 5 "age appropriate" sex info. 

Continue reading "High schoolers promote taxpayer-funded masturbation instruction" »

Monday, February 27, 2006

Actually, The Solution Is Easy

by Greg Blankenship

Up in Freeport, the Journal-Standard has published an article on the state's inability to pay its bills.  It's part of a series on state and federal cuts. What Illinois "not" paying its bills has to do with "cuts" is beyond me. One's a matter of priorities and funding, the other is a matter of competence:

"While state officials agree delays in Medicaid reimbursement are a problem, they also agree there is no easy fix.

Christine Glunz, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, said the state is adhering to a six-week payment policy agreed to during budget negotiations two years ago in the General Assembly.

She said nursing home claims for reimbursements from the state go through several stages of checking - particularly if there is a perceived discrepancy in the claim. When the claim gets to the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, that's when the payment cycle starts, she said.

“Right now the payment schedule is at 46 days, but in two weeks it could be higher or lower. It fluctuates. There's more processing. It's just not that simple,” Glunz said. “We're turning it around more quickly than the General Assembly agreed to.”

As my title suggests it's pretty easy to solve the problem.  It's called reforming the system.  But to paraphrase President Reagan, solutions are easy...implementing them is the hard part.

Continue reading "Actually, The Solution Is Easy" »

Mr. Bradley, Tear Down This Bureaucracy

H444asA few days ago, The Southern Illinoisan reported on legislation that the Illinois House passed last week. The legislation penalizes the state police for failing to renew Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) cards in a timely fashion. For those of you who are not aware, Illinois requires its law-abiding citizens to carry Soviet-like identification cards if they wish to own a firearm. Yes, I know what you're thinking. Just accept the fact that we've suspended the U.S. Constitution here in Illinois -- except for criminals, who seem to continue to own guns without FOID cards.

The point is, the General Assembly had to force the bureaucracy to allow us our already very limited rights and freedoms. The state police have been abysmally slow in providing and renewing their citizen ID cards to those who have applied, had a background check, been cleared on the Federal and State levels, etc. In short, their refusal to do so made felons out of thousands of citizens.

Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion), who voted for the legislation, asked The Southern Illinoisan: "Name me another situation where the state not doing its jobs makes a person a felon."

Well Representative Bradley, we can't name another situation where the failure of the state makes a person a felon. However, we can name a situation where it makes them a law-breaker. One need look no further than your fellow Democrat, Jesse White, whose mismanagement of the Secretary of State's office led to thousands of citizens not receiving their license renewal letters and thereby driving illegally. Of course, his (White's) incompetence did result in millions of dollars in revenue collected by the state and police through fines collected on tickets they wrote to innocent (and law-abiding) Illinois citizens. So, I guess that makes it alright. (more info here)

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Won't Someone Please Think of the Children!

Children_lovejoy

by John Ruskin

This past Friday, the Illinois General Assembly managed to actually do something right. The House defeated Rep. Deborah Graham's (D-Chicago) fatuous legislation that would have made it illegal to allow a minor "around" (whatever that means) a gun.

With logic that only a Chicago Liberal could understand, Ms. Graham believes that the current law requiring firearms to be stored in a "reasonably" safe place is some sort of loophole. Pompously confident that Illinois parents are "unreasonable" morons who fancy their kids blowing their heads off with the family 12 gauge, Ms. Graham took it upon herself to legislate our best interests.

Thank goodness we have Ms. Graham around to keep us safe! Next she'll be introducing legislation making sharp objects, sugar, and running with lolly pops in your mouth crimes punishable by up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Incredible Government Statements

by Ralf Seiffe

Two items in the news and one that's missing make me suspicious of what I read from the government.  These fishy reports include the governor's claim of how many jobs Illinois' businesses  have created, the government's conflicting and embarrassing claims regarding l'Affaire Ryan and the state's missing financial statements.  One wonders what the purposes of these less-than-credible official efforts might be.

Continue reading "Incredible Government Statements" »

Thursday, February 23, 2006

A more transparent democratic process moves in Springfield

by Fran Eaton, IR Editor

Maybe we at IR are just a little too tough on the Democrats.  After all, Thursday, the Democrat-controlled Illinois House unanimously passed HB 4157, a quiet, unassumimg bill that would lead to a more transparent democratic process.

HB 4157 would require the governor to annually report to the General Assembly the fiscal impact of his executive orders, something he is not now required to do. 

For instance, this year the Governor would need to report that the Illinois Regenerative Medicine Institute would cost Illinoisans ten million taxpayer dollars.  A simple request, one would think.

State Rep. David Reis (R-Effingham) successfully maneuvered HB 4157 through Rep Jack Franks' State Government Committee last week, where it also passed unanimously. 

The bill has been passed onto the Senate, where State Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) will face his first obstacle in just getting the bill out of Rules Committee.

Assigning the bill for a fair hearing in the Senate will indicate whether or not Senate President Emil Jones (D-Chicago) is looking for a more open, democratic process in Illinois. 

Too hard on Dems here on IR?  Hmm. . . remains to be seen.

The Universal Acceptance Of Universal Pre-School

By Greg Blankenship

Blagojevich is applauded for making early childhood education a priority. But there is a financial reality. The state has the means to provide an opportunity for kids, but not an opportunity for parents of reasonable wealth to cost-shift their education expenses to the state."

Some of the commentary around the state surrounding the "Pre-School For All" proposal has been astounding.  It's as if we should change the state motto from the Prairie State and simply refer to ourselves as the kneejerk state.  That's because when the Governor announced his proposal most of those in politics and the press (especially the editorial pages) went with some construct of, "Sounds great but can we afford it?" 

The problem is, it's not that great.

Read on . . .

Continue reading "The Universal Acceptance Of Universal Pre-School" »

Smoking to be banned in college dorms

Nosmoking by Fran Eaton

Wednesday, the Illinois Senate had a short debate on a bill making its way through the General Assembly which would ban tobacco smoking in college dormsSenator John Cullerton (D-Chicago) says he is very concerned about fires being started in college dorms as a result of cigarette smoking.

Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) asked the senator to amend his bill to exclude college dorms that have lounges for smoking.  Cullerton agreed to amend the bill, although, he said, it would not address the fire hazard cigarette smoking in college dorms presents.

Senator Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) protested the legislation, saying the decision as to whether or not to ban smoking in college dorms should be left up to the college's board of trustees to decide what is best for their students.

With such weak discussion, the tobacco police effort to ban college dorm smoking appears imminent.  As a non-smoking citizen, I have some questions and observations . . .

Continue reading "Smoking to be banned in college dorms" »

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Thanks for the Memories...of our Jobs!

Another 32,000 manufacturing jobs lost from Illinois! See story here.

What's the problem?

Governor: Rod Blagojevich (Democrat)
Lt. Governor: Pat Quinn (Democrat)
Attorney General: Lisa Madigan (Democrat)
Secretary of State: Jesse White (Democrat)
State Comptroller: Dan Hynes (Democrat)
Illinois Senate Majority Leader: Emil Jones (Democrat)
Illinois House Majority Leader: Mike Madigan (Democrat)

Need we say more?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Fairer, Flatter Tax Tricks

One of President Bill Clinton’s real political triumphs occurred when he seized the street crime issue from the Republicans.  By announcing he was putting “100,000 cops on the street”, Clinton reversed the presumption that Democrats mollycoddled criminals and had no real concern for the crooks’ victims and this brilliant strategy reclaimed many of the Democrats that had drifted towards the Republicans during the Reagan years.  Now, two smart Democrats are apparently reprising this co-option strategy, this time attempting the larceny of tax reform.

Continue reading "Fairer, Flatter Tax Tricks" »

Monday, February 20, 2006

Let's be men about this. Call the Marriage Amendment for a vote.

posted by Fran Eaton

Thousands of petition signatures are being accumulated throughout the state of Illinois in an all out heroic effort led by Illinois Family Institute and Family Taxpayers Network to protect marriage in Illinois. 

At least 283,000 signatures must be submitted to the State Board of Elections by mid-May in order to get the initiative on the November 2006 ballot. 

If 283,000 valid signatures are acquired, Illinois voters will be asked to support an appeal to the General Assembly to vote on the amendment.  If the initiative passes and the General Assembly decides to heed the Illinois voters' request by voting on the amendment, it is very likely to pass overwhelmingly in both houses. 

The problem is that the Democratic leadership simply won't allow a vote. 

Continue reading "Let's be men about this. Call the Marriage Amendment for a vote." »

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Bloggers are Key for GOP

Karl Rove is advising GOP operatives to make blogs a key element of their efforts to spread the message to constituents.

Will the IL GOP follow suit?  Already the Senate Republican Caucus sends out periodic mailings to Illinois bloggers, giving them ideas of things to write about.  And a month or so ago, Tom Cross' staff held a blogger conference call.

Every week I'm in Springfield, another legislator admits that he or she checks Illinois Review "every now and then."

Uh huh.  Now and then . . . Illinois Review is slowly becoming the crossroads of the conservative community.  Tell your friends about us and drop us a note on things you'd like to see us write about. 

I mean, if Karl thinks blogging is effective and important, shouldn't you??

Link: HUMAN EVENTS ONLINE :: Rove Sees Bloggers as Key for GOP Robert B. Bluey.

Executive power doesn't equal carte blanche

Blago4_1 by Fran Eaton

Seems that there's even some Democrats who are embarrassed with Governor Rod's unleashed power abuse carte blanche.

Yesterday in the House State Government Administration Committee, HB 4157 sponsored by State Rep. David Reis (R-Effingham), passed unanimously. 

Now HB 4157 is headed to the House floor for a vote, and there's a good chance this "good government/transparency" bill could pass that chamber.

"All we're asking is that the Governor tell the General Assembly how much his executive orders are costing Illinois taxpayers," Rep. Reis told the committee.

Indeed.  Last year's Executive Order #6 revealed a secret line item in last year's budget which the Governor decided would be used to establish the Illinois Regenerative Medicine Institute, a harmless-sounding title which set up taxpayer-funded experimentation on embryos.

When Concerned Women for America-Illinois recently submitted a Freedom of Information request about how the $10 million were spent, the Governor's office wrote them back, effectively saying it's none of their business where and how the money was spent.

That's an outrageous and unreasonable response.  The public has a right to know how ten million of their hard-earned dollars is being spent.   So does the General Assembly.

Being governor doesn't give you a slush fund to spend billions on the initiatives you want and to line the pockets of your friends and campaign donors.

Oh, wait.  I forgot. We're in Illinois.  . .

What Reiner (and Blago) is not telling us about Government Nurseries

by Fran Eaton050509momsday_014

One of the pillars of Governor Blagojevich's 2007 budget presented yesterday at the Capitol is universal preschool for 3 and 4 year olds.

I'm fascinated by this, because not only does the Governor want our babies in government nurseries, so do some of the Republican gubernatorial challengers.  Why are these politicians so focused on our babies?

They already have all of the state's children compelled to attend school from ages 7 to 18.  The academic level of the children they hold hostage everyday is below the national standards in many of the state's districts.   

Why would any thinking person or politician give more responsibility to a system that is already failing?

California is another state grappling with government nurseries.  Out on the Left Coast, actor Rob Reiner (formerly known as "Meathead") has become obsessed with snatching up babies and whisking them away from their mothers.

Maybe Illinois' Governor Rod has been spending too much time with his elitist pals in Hollywood?

Pacific Research Institute gives another side of the stats being spewed by the Leftists on Government Nurseries. 

Fact is that the studies cited by Government Nursery advocates are weak and there are no long term benefits to institutionalizing babies.

"Government Nurseries" are nothing more than a jobs program to increase the number of teacher union members.   

Link: What Rob Reiner’s Not Telling Us About Universal Preschool.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Lincoln honored by Illinois State Society

P2120027_2reporting in from D.C., Mark Rhoads, former Illinois state senator

Blizzard or not, the Illinois State Society of Washington, DC was determined to observe tradition and present a wreath at the Lincoln Memorial on Honest Abe's real 197th birthday, Feb. 12. 

On Feb. 14, the society held a reception for Dr. Lonnie Bunch, former president of the Chicago Historical Society, in the Mansfield Room of the Senate.  Chicago native Father Daniel Coughlin, Chaplain of the House of Representatives; Congressman John Shimkus (R-Ill.) and Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) were among the guests. 

A lone lawmaker testifies for Ryan

posted by Fran Eaton

According to this morning's WLS 890 AM news, today State Rep. Larry McKeon (D-Chicago) won't be in Springfield for session at noon because he will be in Chicago testifying as the only lawmaker willing to be a character witness for former Governor George Ryan.

McKeon, the only openly gay state legislator, reportedly will convey to the jury Ryan's commitment to the gay and lesbian community and his actions to support to those -- like McKeon -- who battle the HIV/AIDS virus.

Where is the love?

by Fran Eaton

Over the weekend, a few conservatives were discussing the term George W. Bush made famous in his 2000 presidential election campaign, the term "compassionate conservatism."  We also heard about education reform to end the "soft bigotry of low expectations."

What happened to these feel-good, mushy euphemisms?  Is it possible for one be tender-hearted and caring towards fellow human beings while being politically conservative?

Continue reading "Where is the love?" »

Monday, February 13, 2006

DuPage Co GOP: "You've been warned"

by Fran Eaton

DuPage County conservative Republicans shouldn't be so politically smug. 

Case in point:  Last Saturday morning, as I drove up to the Illinois Citizens for Life breakfast held at Elmhurst's Diplomat West, I was stunned by the number of leather-jacketed tough guys standing outside the door.

"Hmm, looks like we've tapped into a whole new stream of prolife activists," I thought.  "This is going to be interesting."

As I darted around the crowd entering the prolife breakfast, I was disappointed to note a logo prominently displayed several jackets: "Brotherhood of Teamsters . . ."   

The "new blood" wasn't at the Diplomat West to honor retiring Republican Congressman Henry Hyde.  They were there to meet their featured speaker for the day, Democratic 6th Congressional district candidate/Iraqi War veteran and amputee Tammy Duckworth.

Comparing the numbers and enthusiasm displayed in Diplomat West's two adjoining rooms last Saturday, if I lived in the 6th Congressional District, I wouldn't be resting at home on my laurels on weekend mornings, I'd be out knocking on doors for Peter Roskam. 

It's not going to be as easy as you may think.  . .  You've been warned.