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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

RNC Chairman Steele a "token" no longer needed

Well Electronic Village is a long way from being a Republican blog so, I shouldn't be surprised to have found that graphic over there. All the same that image said OUCH to me, but there was a justification for it:
I think that the Michael Steele served his ONLY PURPOSE for the Republican Party. He was an African American face for the GOP elected in January 2009 to serve as a counterbalance for the remarkable election of Barack Obama ... the first African American president in our nation's history.

Be honest. That is the ONLY reason that Michael Steele was elected GOP chairman in the first place. The Republicans couldn't afford to have another old white man as their 'talking head'. Michael Steele became the puppet.

Steele didn't mind. In fact, he enjoyed it. Steele did his 'Bojangles' best to entertain the media and the public when he first got elected.

But, it's not January 2009 any longer and the Republican Party is now powered by the Tea Party ... and the GOP doesn't see any need to pretend like they are a diverse political party. They are very comfortable being the party for white folks in America as evidenced by the prominent role that Senator McConnell (R-KY) and Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) and Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) have as party spokesperson.
I'm sure there are quite a few Republicans who read my blog and indeed who reads Electronic Village who may disagree with this assertion. The question is how would they seek to refute this claim that Steele was only a token?

EDIT: I'm with this guy right here from the comments to the Electronic Village post:
Steele is a Republican and I am not, therefore I don't really care what they do. I do, however, care very much about the "Bojangles" reference. I think that it is time for us, as a people, to stop talking about our own in that fashion.
Partisanship is OK as long as it doesn't degenerate into outright disrespect.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Chicagoist: Bears Gaining Respect: Pats Game Moved to 3:15 Start

The NFL is moving up the Patriots vs. Bears game to a later start time at 3:15 PM on Dec. 12th. Chicagoist further speculates that if the Bears face Green Bay for the NFC North title that game on January 2nd, that game may be pushed up as well.

It's safe to say this blog rarely becomes an NFL blog during the football season. Just can't get into football, but it's mostly because the Bears can't help but disappoint. They're doing surprisingly well this year and most of the time I'm working when I could be watching a Bears game.

I do look forward to watching the Bears in the playoffs in the near future, but not sure they'll be in the Super Bowl like they were almost four years ago.

Also, the Bears are doing something right when you see a thread for them over at Capitol Fax. And Rich Miller is more of a baseball fan.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

They are not liberals and they are not progressives

So what are those who call themselves either liberal/progressive?
Underneath these unsatisfactory labels, which the statist (a better word for these people in my opinion) enemies of liberty and progress have chosen for themselves and have been using for decades, is an assumption, both by the statists and by those who really do believe in liberty and in progress, that the statists are the people who will inevitably continue to decide about such labels.

But the statists no longer do. One of the biggest events to have happened in the entire world in the last two or three years is that the statist tendency has lost its monopoly control of the media in the USA. The statist media used to be "mainstream". No longer. Now, their bias is utterly clear and out in the open, because there is now a whole different torrent of different media outlets exposing this bias, every day, every hour, every minute. The statists no longer control the agenda. The statists no longer control the language.

Well, that's not quite right. Statists are still controlling the language, because they are still being allowed to.

But statist words will go on meaning what the statists want them to mean only if the real liberals and the real progressives allow such foolishness to continue. For the people who really do believe in liberty and in progress can now decide their own language. They can use their own preferred words amongst themselves and they can attach their own preferred words to their enemies, and when they do, there will not be a damn thing that the statists will be able to do to stop them.
I can see how calling them "liberals" could be seen as incorrect. I try to watch my use of the word by saying that in spite of my rather conservative views, I do consider myself a liberal in a classical sense. My term for "liberals/progressives" are to just refer to them as the Left. Most of them in general are to the Left as opposed to the conservatives/classical liberals/libertarian are considered largely to the right. Although I'm uncertain of the term "left libertarian". So now I have to be wary of even that.

Via Instapundit!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

35 Ways You Can Help the Homeless

I'll be honest I tend to just not respond to the homeless. Just have my ideas about some of them mainly that they beg and offer nothing else. Perhaps I don't trust them.

Well this list gives me something to consider. If the homeless begs who's to say I have to give them money. Could always offer a donation to a local homeless shelter. At that I could always offer them some information that could help them get off the streets. Ultimately that would be what I would like to see. Not sure standing on the streets looking for a handout is what will get them off the streets.

Let me also be honest I don't know much about how they got to where they are or what their backgrounds are. All the same I would never offer money, but certain offer them something that I take for granted such as food.

Via Chicago News Bench.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Illinois' FOID card policy next?

Mishaga vs. Monken (Monken being the director of the Illinois State Police) was recently decided by the Springfield Division of the United States District Court for Illinois' Central District. Basically a motion to dismiss was denied and could this go on to the Supreme Court.

Hat-tip to Volokh Conspiracy:
According to the Complaint, Plaintiff Ellen Mishaga is a resident of Ohio who frequently travels to Illinois. Mishaga stays in the home of friends while in Illinois. She wishes to possess a functional firearm for her personal protection while residing in her friends’ home in Illinois. Possession of firearms in Illinois is governed by the Illinois Firearm Owners Identification Card Act (Act). 430 ILCS 65/0.01 et seq. The Act generally requires individuals to have an Illinois Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (FOID Card) to possess a weapon in Illinois. 430 ILCS 65/2. The Illinois State Police (ISP) issues FOID Cards. 430 ILCS 65/5. Mishaga has applied for a FOID Card twice, but the ISP denied her application both times because she does not have an Illinois driver’s license....

The Second Amendment generally guarantees an individual the right to possess a weapon for protection in case of a confrontation. The right includes a right to possess a weapon within one’s own home that may be used for personal protection.2 The Act generally prohibits a person from possessing a weapon in Illinois unless the person has a FOID Card. Mishaga alleges that the ISP has refused to issue her a FOID Card because she does not have an Illinois driver’s license. The Act requires an applicant for a FOID Card to provide the ISP with the applicant’s driver’s license number or Illinois identification card number. The Act only requires a driver’s license number, not an Illinois driver’s license number. Thus, it is unclear whether an Ohio driver’s license number would suffice. Mishaga, however, alleges that the ISP has twice denied her application for a FOID Card because she does not have an Illinois driver’s license.

For purposes of the Motion, the Court must assume that the Director and the ISP interpret the Act to require an applicant to provide an Illinois driver’s license number or an Illinois identification card number. The Act, therefore, interferes with Mishaga’s right to have a weapon at her temporary residence in Illinois that she may use for personal protection.... The Complaint ... alleges that the Act prohibits Mishaga from possessing a weapon at her temporary residence in Illinois that she may use for personal protection in violation of her constitutional right to bear arms. Mishaga states a claim.
Well the courts basically have knocked down Chicago's gun restrictions. I may have exaggerated on the FOID card thing. This is about allowing an out-of-state resident to carry a firearm and at that a person to apply for a FOID, but only have an Illinois license. If anything if you're not a citizen of Illinois you can not have a gun with you.

I will not be surprised however if someone decided to challenge the validity of a FOID card anyway.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Todd Stroger gets a Turkey award

You know I try to restrict myself to at least three posts per day if I was to post frequently although recently it has been a general rule to not post more than one post per day. This post by Crain's Greg Hinz was just way too golden to ignore!
Somehow, a turkey seems redundant for outgoing Cook County Board President Todd Stroger. His graceless decision to play hardball with incoming prez Toni Preckwinkle because she said some nasty things about him at election time is the ultimate proof he never should have had the job in the first place.
Wow!

His family lineage was enough to get him into not only his dad's nomination four years ago, but as County Board President as well. Effectively he got the job his father John Stroger formally had and he lost it in less than four years. What happened in 2006 another midterm wave year was controversial.

Depending on what circle you're talking to they say that the county is in better fiscal shape than a lot of other governmental bodies. Including the State of Illinois and even the very much well run City of Chicago. In the end he gets the boot in favor of Ald. Toni Preckwinkle in this year's primaries.

YoChicago: I had to disrobe some, said the architect

You know I think you'd like this story. Joe Zekas recalled the story of an architect who, back in the 1970s, was frustrated by state architecture licensing authorities that he showed up taking the test in a Batman costume. Officials administering this exam weren't very happy needless to say.

Blacks divided over possible menthol ban

A general stereotype of Black people who smoke is that they love the menthol cigarettes. Now there are those who seeks to ban the sale of such products:
The longest Samuel Johnson has ever been able to give up menthol cigarettes is three months. Every time he tries to quit, he said, that cool, minty flavor that first drew him and other African-American smokers to menthols lures him back.

"Everybody has a habit and mine is smoking cigarettes," said Johnson, 20, standing outside Harold Washington College downtown between classes with other young students, many of them puffing on menthols.

Johnson, who began smoking at age 17, is unfazed, he said, that the Food and Drug Administration is considering whether to ban the sale of menthol cigarettes, which for decades were heavily marketed to minorities. If they do, he said, he'll just try to find a way to get them on the streets.
...
The controversy intensified last week, when 11 new studies funded by the National Cancer Institute and published in a special supplement to the journal Addiction found that African-Americans and young adults disproportionately smoke menthol cigarettes and are less successful when they try to quit.

The NAACP's Legal Defense and Education Fund has joined forces with the American Legacy Foundation, an antismoking group, to support an FDA ban in an effort to keep another generation of young people from being drawn in.

According to the NAACP, the FDA discriminated against African-American children by banning the sale of clove and fruit-flavored cigarettes last year while exempting menthol-flavored cigarettes. The FDA formed a committee that recently heard testimony on menthol safety and its impact on blacks. A report is expected next spring.

"The rationale for eliminating candy flavor was entirely about stopping kids from smoking," said John Payton, president and director-counsel of the NAACP's legal defense fund. "Black kids are lured in by menthol cigarettes. So if you really want to do something about that, you ought to do something about that one remaining flavor."
You know, I'm grateful that I've stayed away from cigarettes. If I ever do start smoking I'm just going to find some real natural tobacco that hasn't be souped up with chemicals. My view of cigarettes is that well so many chemicals are placed upon them that they would be addicting and also could make a person sick eventually. Although too much of one thing can be bad for you anyway.

This article is worth a complete read anyway.

Monday, November 22, 2010

On the last day of petition registration...

Not only did I sign Sen. Roland Burris' petition to run for Mayor. Interesting story one guy had me sign a petition then the other guy had me sign his. WTF??? What would I expect Burris is out of the Senate by the end of the month!

And after appearing to shut down his bid when it came time to submit petitions, Rahm Emanuel's tenant has filed petitions to run for Mayor:
The Emanuel renter, Rob Halpin, an industrial developer, said he has collected more than 20,000 signatures -- more than the 12,500 valid signatures needed to be placed on the ballot.

Halpin said he wasn't running as a lark, although he acknowledged some people encouraged him after it was publicized he wouldn't move from Emanuel's Ravenswood home when the ex-White House chief of staff returned from Washington to run for mayor.

"People approached me and they thought I would be a good mayor," Halpin said after dropping off his signature petitions. "There's no denying that some people met me as a result of being there (Emanuel's house) but it's very coincidental."
Don't feel too bad if you were lead to believe that Halpin was out of the race.Halpin had been listed as out of the race on Early & Often as well.

The last Jew of South Shore Gardens

She died this past April and I just now found this article. Found it very interesting. She was the last Jew in the area called South Shore Gardens. Well I just refer to that area with it's boundaries as Pill Hill although that may not entirely be accurate:
Gloria Kolodny Chanenson, the last Jewish resident of the Chicago neighborhood of South Shore Gardens, died while visiting her daughter in Cincinnati on April 8, at age 90. She refused to move from her home, which was built in South Shore Gardens in 1954. South Shore Gardens suffered an acute epidemic of white, and especially Jewish, flight between 1967 and 1972, while the neighborhood was new and building up. These tumultuous times were reviewed in the book "The South Side" by Louis Rosen (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, Inc., 1999). The neighborhood is bounded by 87th Street on the North, Jeffrey Boulevard (2000 East) on the West, 93rd Street on the South and Anthony Avenue on the East.
...
When their neighbors began to move in the late 1960s, the Chanensons decided to stay in their home, and they became friendly with their new African-American neighbors as they moved in. "We integrate the neighborhood," Irving said. Eventually, only a few other staunch and stubborn Jewish families refused to "go with the flow." Among the last couples to remain in their homes in South Shore Gardens or neighboring Pill Hill were Esther Malkin Lesner, a retired elementary school French and adjustment teacher, and her husband, Samuel J. ("Sam") Lesner, retired movie and night club critic of the Chicago Daily News and a columnist for the Hyde Park Herald; Minnie Brainin Lieb and Dr. Bernard Lieb, a physician; and Dr. Max Martin Jacobson, a distinguished ophthalmologist who had studied in Vienna early in his career, and his wife, Eugenia ("Jeanne") Rydnik Jacobson, a pianist and piano teacher.

These three couples all died while remaining in their neighborhood homes, and Irving passed away in 1990, leaving Gloria as the last Jew in the South Shore Gardens area and probably the only Jew in the entire South Shore-South Chicago area from 71st Street southward to the city limits and from Lake Michigan to Stony Island Avenue.
An interesting story taking place on the South Side.

If you want to know more about this racial change that took place in that particular area then I would like to refer you to this post I had written in 2005 about a book I had checked out of the library. It was about this very community that was populated by the Jews and what happened when Black Americans started moving in.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Black Republican: Black Caucus preaches victimization and dependency

OK well basically this article is something of a rehash of what you saw in that previous video where Congressman-elect Allen West was on The O'Reilly Factor.

Congressman-elect Allen West (R-Fla.), who said he plans to become the only black Republican in the Congressional Black Caucus, accused the organization of failing the black community by promoting dependence on government welfare programs.

"The Congressional Black Caucus cannot continue to be a monolithic voice that promotes these liberal social welfare policies and programs that are failing in the Black community, that are preaching victimization and dependency, that's not the way that we should go," West said on Fox News Friday. "And those are not the types of principles that my mother and father raised me with in the inner city of Atlanta, Georgia."
...
"I think it's important that we have varying perspectives and insights that can challenge in the Congressional Black Caucus, and I think it will make things better for the Black community as we go forth in the 21st century," he said.
I probably need to watch that video again. He did note that no prominent Black came to his defense when he was the subject of racist attacks during the course of his campaign. Yet John Lewis mentioned that Charles Rangel was down for the struggle four years ago in Selma, Alabama. Almost as if that absolves him of those ethics lapses that he was convicted of this past week.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Allen West on the O'Reilly Factor talking about the race card

West, Republican Congressman-elect from Florida talks with Juan Williams as guest host of O'Reilly Factor about John Lewis comments (well Lewis is West's soon to be colleague on the Congressional Black Caucus) in defense of his fellow colleague Charles Rangel who was convicted on ethics violations this week.

I got wind of this vid via Publius Forum whose blogmaster, Warner Todd Huston,stated:
We are seeing it more and more: black Americans decrying other blacks for throwing the race card.
I would be very impressed if we weren't hearing only Allen West who unfortunately is largely in a very vocal minority decrying Congressman Lewis from utilizing the race card. Or whatever it was he was doing.

Well I was tempted to say this wasn't the race card, but it does come in different forms. In this case in the clip of Lewis, all he had to do was mention that Rangel was down there in Selma, Alabama back during the Civil Right Movement to march for the struggle. Almost as if to absolve Rangel of what he was convicted of and Lewis even admits that he doesn't know the facts of this case.

That seems like a common tactic. Many of these old-school politicians or civil rights leaders like to refer to the various events of their struggle just to stifle a debate, mainly to force people to back off a particular subject, or just as easily a lead in to a more serious use of the race card. Well most of those are my guesses.

But my main point is to say West can't be the only one to say this. Surely someone else on the Black Caucus has a problem with that. They can't all want to coalesce around a colleague whose ethical problems won't just sink him but sink them. Especially if they attempt to stick up for him like this.

Check out these wallets

This first wallet is from the Chicago Transit Authority's (CTA) Gift Shop:
The Mighty Wallet is printed with the licensed graphics of the CTA and is not only functional for quick transfer info on the go but it also adds a level of stealth that safeguards your valuables from theft. Mighty Wallets have actually evaded theft in real life situations through their uncommon stealthy design.

Made from Tyvek (think express mail envelopes), the Mighty Wallet resists tearing because of thousands of interlocking plastic fibers spun in random patterns giving the wallet incredible strength.
This might be very cool. Such a wallet can foil theft attempts, especially if a potential pickpocket thinks that this is merely a CTA Map.

Also check out this second wallet:
A dot-matrix wallet from ThinkGeek. The description doesn't mention foiling thieves, but it does mention that it's made of a similar material to the CTA Mighty Wallet. The fact that it's a dot-matrix wallet should ring a bell to old-time computer geeks.

Some of the other wallets you might find at ThinkGeek may have some added features that may foil criminals. Although the hazard isn't necessarily to think of actual pickpockets or theft as opposed to a theft of a different type.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Detroit and the US House office lottery

Once again we're going to take another quick trip to the city of Detroit to see that that often disparaged city has a new US Representative in Washington. In this case, however I was introduced to him thanks to a lottery to determine who has the first choice of office space in the US Capital:
Hansen Clarke, a Democratic freshman lawmaker representing the district that encompasses Detroit says he's not too focused on which office he gets, or the view from that office."That's The last thing I want is to look at the Capitol. I want to put people to work in Michigan," said Clarke. "I want to look at the unemployment lines and see them reduced."
US Rep-elect Clark defeated incumbent US Rep Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick in the August 13th, 2010 Democratic Primary for the seat representing Michigan's 13th US House District. Congresswoman Kilpatrick is the mother of the disgraced former Mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick.




Dennis Kucinich v. the Congressional Black Caucus

I really wonder what this is about?
In a move which presages a brawl between three top Democrats, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) has let it be known he wants the ranking member slot of the powerful House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

According to Roll Call, Kucinich announced Wednesday he would run for the position against current Committee Chair Edolphus Towns (D-NY). Towns is widely seen as less than effective against Darrell Issa, the current ranking member and presumptive chairman, (R-CA) and Democrats worry he will not be able to contain the aggressive Issa after the turnover of power in January.
...
This challenge pits Kucinich against the powerful Congressional Black Caucus as well as other more senior members of the committee. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) has seniority over Kucinich. According to sources close to the committee, she had let it be known she would like the ranking member slot as well. She has since backed Towns. Towns is a member of the CBC and is backed by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), who was also mentioned as a candidate for the spot. Cummings has publicly backed Towns, but has also said if Towns were to back out he would challenge for the spot.

This faction fight puts Kucinich, a bare-knuckles brawler if there ever was one, in the position of trying to shoulder aside three more senior representatives in his quest for power.
And you know, there is a lot more drama from where that came from. Although I would pay to see this fight unfold to be very honest about it. Can those various members of the CBC prevail of Kucinich?

Via Instapundit!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jay-Z blames Reaganomics and Iran-Contra for drugs in urban communities

He was on Late Show last night with David Letterman and I got wind of this via Newsalert!

If you read the comments at BreitBart.tv you will see that there are many who disagree. And they blame "liberal" (leftist) policies. The slums there are some in the comments who advocate for allowing people to use drugs. Others just say that this is another Hollywood "genius".

To be sure, this isn't the best interview in the world. In answering Letterman's questions, well it seems Dave had to pull them out of him. This wasn't the best interview I have ever seen and perhaps this was a better venue than anything that was serious. Let's say like either Tavis Smiley or even if he had been interviewed by the late Ed Bradley. They tend to be serious.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

VIDEO: Do African-American Values Align With Republicans?

I saw this on Huckabee over the weekend. It turned into less of a political discussion than it did a religion discussion. K. Carl Smith referred to biblical scripture to justify his turn from Democrat to Republican. He does discuss the propaganda of the Kennedy's supporting the Civil Rights Act but then he says they actually didn't support the Civil Rights Act. He also notes that many Black families had pictures of the Kennedy's with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Smith also wrote a companion guide for The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. A book that I had started to read but gotten sidetracked. Also noted in this segment the original FDR, Frederick Douglass Republicans. They even outlined what Douglass' Life Empowering Values:
  • Respect for Constitution
  • Respect for life
  • Belief in limited government
  • Belief in personal responsibility
OK this is going under philosophy right now!

Also want to note that I wrote an earlier post on the reticence of Democratic members of the Congressional Black Caucus, well it seems as if they are willing to let the two new Black Republican members of Congress to join their ranks. Although I will expect hostility of some sort from many of the more senior members of the caucus. At that however that story was published when I posted on that subject.

They may not need the headaches since well one of their membership is going down in flames. He's been convicted of ethics violations today.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Rahm Emanuel's Tenant Rob Halpin Ends Mayoral Bid

Who is Rob Halpin exactly?
Rahm Emanuel's tenant at 4228 North Hermitage, the man who declined to void his lease and move out when Emanuel was moving back, will not pursue a candidacy for mayor, despite reports in the Chicago Tribune that he had been approached by encouraging supporters last week.
Well there were rumblings that he was going to run for Mayor against his landlord, but ultimately he chose not to pull the trigger. Of course we've heard about this news for a while, he started a little too late to get to circulating petitions. In the long run he realized that it started to cost too much:
In truth, Howington acknowledged in an interview with HuffPost Chicago, Halpin and his campaign team of friends and supporters simply got out of their depth. While many had offered their support if Halpin made the ballot, few were willing to fork over cash to help get him there, and the process began to look prohibitively expensive.

"The coup de grace was that the people we were going to engage in the signature drive, they kept amping up the cost of the service. At one point we were quoted low five figures; a couple of days later it was low six figures," Howington said. "And that was from an organization that prides itself on getting people on the ballot."
Would he have won? I doubt it, but there would've been some excitement. Right?

Also to note, today was the first day for candidates for various city offices to file petitions and even then the horse race doesn't end. You need advocates that will fight for you to stay on the ballot as in Chicago there are those who will find every technicality to knock you off the ballot!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

DeVry to undergo Dept. of Education scrutiny

Once upon a time I could've been accused pf being a snob towards schools such as DeVry. I did look down on such schools although my POV has softened over time. Basically my acceptance is based upon the idea of choice in the education marketplace. A traditional college environment isn't for everyone, whatever that may entail.

For those who continue to view DeVry in the worst light how would they view this news from Crain's:
In a regulatory filing, DeVry said the U.S. Department of Education intends to conduct an onsite program review of DeVry University's administration of federal student aid programs.

The review will commence on Dec. 6, and initially cover the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 award years.

The department reviews programs periodically to make sure institutions meet certain criteria, but some issues such as increase in student-aid recipient complaints can trigger reviews.

The department is already investigating several for-profit schools for fraudulent practices in recruitment and financial aid.

The for-profit education sector has come under fire for failing to educate students and leaving them heavily in debt. After a year-long process, the department recently finalized most of the new rules it plans to implement for the industry.
Of course, this may have to be done throughout higher education. That is how tuition charges are determined and how students should be able to pay. Loans should be last resort not the first option.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Black Coalition: Lost Opportunity

Charles Thomas political reporter at the local ABC affiliate on the attempt by many in the Black community to bring back the era that resulted in the election of Harold Washington as my city's first Black Mayor.
From the moment it announced it would interview only black prospective candidates, the Coalition was doomed.


  The election of the city's third African-American mayor would require a multi-racial coalition because the "non-partisan" process adopted in 1995 requires the eventual winner to achieve 50% plus one.   The Coalition acted as though it was the 1980's when a democratic black plurality could carry the day in a primary and their candidate would automatically win the general election against a republican.

  Alderman Walter Burnett (27th Ward)--who chaired the Coalition--says he fought for a more inclusive process but was shouted down by "Old Schoolers" who wanted to replicate the 1983 selection of Congressman Harold Washington as the black community's "consensus" candidate.
A sign that some of the players who've been around 30-40 or so years needs to go.

You know these last two or so years has been disappointing. Yeah we got a Black President, but year before he became President he wasn't taken very seriously by the Black politicos in Chicago. He gets elected in 2008 and they're solidly behind him. Hell they wanted to ask him for stuff when he may not have owed them much.

We had two opportunities to elect Blacks to US Senate and to statewide offices this year. As a matter of fact we could have elected a Black woman to the US Senate again! And at that she would've succeeded the Black man who holds the seat now. He just so happened to have been appointed in a controversial fashion by a Governor who was on his way out. And he was aided and abetted by a US Rep who basically raised the race card for anyone who dared oppose this because well the Senate isn't exactly known as a body of great diversity. Oh and at that, this US Senate seat was vacated by the aforementioned Black President.

Also we could've had a Black Lt. Governor. Unfortunately he also had a Black challenger in the primary who mainly jumped in because of a rivalry. This guy was in second place and many Black politicos wanted him to be the nominee when the winner of that Lt. Governor primary race withdrew because we found out a little too much about his personal life. Needless to say however despite the rumblings the Governor who wanted a term in his own right selected a downstate woman as his Lt. Governor running mate.

Finally two blacks this year ran for state Treasurer and Comptroller respectively. They both lost! This year we could've had three (or four if there had been a black for Lt. Governor) in statewide office. We already have one as Secretary of State.

OK my point is that the opportunity to put blacks in important positions in the city of Chicago or even the state itself have been blown once too often. Some of which is due to short-sighted decisions made all too often. It's OK to have a Black Senator, but you should want to be sure that this person can stay in that seat. It's OK to have a Black Lt. Governor, but be sure this individual can win the race. It's OK to want a black mayor, but you also want someone who can win. At that you want someone who can be effective enough to stick around.

In the case of Roland Burris, Rep. Bobby Rush may have had the right idea, but bad execution. It was about having a Black man in the US Senate, not merely finding one who might have the ability to remain in the Senate. And when a Black (Cheryle Jackson) did step forward to run for Obama's old Senate seat well where was Bobby Rush? In fact where were they for state Rep. Art Turner, state Rep. David Miller, or even Robin Kelly.

And surely it would've helped as Rich Miller stated on his blog:
It would’ve also helped if Miller and Kelly had put together better campaigns on their own, of course. Nothing attracts campaign assistance like success.
Another way to view this. Thomas wanted to see if this coalition could reduce the number of Black aspirants for Mayor. That's all great and good, however, perhaps this form of "anarchy" is good. We may see who may well be capable of running a good campaign that can bring success.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Black Caucus mum on Tea Party Republican who wants to join

In the news of last weeks US House gains there are now two new Republican members of Congress who just so happen to be Black. One of them was a veteran of the Iraqi war. And it's his story that I'm posting:
The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) is staying silent about a Tea Party Republican's bid to join the group.

Rep.-elect Allen West (R-Fla.) indicated last week he intends to join the CBC to challenge the group's "monolithic voice."

"I plan on joining, I'm not gonna ask for permission or whatever, I'm gonna find out when they meet and I will be a member of the Congressional Black Caucus," West, one of two black Republicans elected to Congress last Tuesday, told WOR radio. "I meet all of the criteria, and it's so important that we break down this monolithic voice that continues to talk about victimization and dependency in the black community.

"We've got to turn this thing around, and I think it's time for some different voices to be in that body politic."
They laughed former Congressman JC Watts out of the room when he tried it when he served in the House. I don't mean literally, but they sure didn't take his bid very seriously. Many of the members of the CBC are largely entrenched and old school and very partisan. Instapundit was right to refer to this committee instead as the Black Democratic Caucus.

And you know what else, the caucus that is referred to as the "conscious of Congress" doesn't speak for me anyway!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Been wanting to write a post about Bill Brady over the weekend

Obviously it's old news that the Republican nominee for Governor, Bill Brady, has conceded the race for Governor on Friday. Brady who is a State Senator from Bloomington, IL (home of Illinois State University) was expected to win this election and it has been said his campaign was already planning a transition.

Either way Pat Quinn our incumbent Governor who took over for Rod Blagojevich - Ousted governor - since his removal from office in 2009 was able to eke out a victory. I had expected Quinn to lose this election based upon what he's done the past almost two years since he ascended to our Governorship. He's an honest man who has the tendency to not follow though and change his mind quickly about how to settle our state's fiscal problems.

I though Brady was a better choice for Governor, but neither he nor Gov. Quinn were the most ideal candidates at all. Both had their issues, but it was Brady's for the taking apparently and if Brady hadn't starting planning for the transition who knows if Brady could've eked out a win on Election Day. He needed workers on the campaign trail all the way through Election Day.

This election was close at last count it was around 20,000 votes separating Quinn and Brady. Both men had 46 and tenths of a percent of the vote. It's almost like maybe Bush v. Gore in 2000 perhaps that type of percent and even worse Bush didn't run away with it in the popular vote. Remember the Electoral Vote counts more than the popular vote. If Bush won the most popular votes in certain states as he had in Florida for example he could win the election without a plurality of American voters casting a ballot for him.

In 2010 Illinois, it appears that Brady won most of the state, but Cook County carried it for Quinn. It's often true if a Republican is competitive in Cook County not merely win, but is competitive he might have a shot. Let's not forget that Chicago at the very least is a very Democratic town.

I've got to say however, I almost saw this coming. One day I wrote a comment at the Capitol Fax that someone is going to call for a state electoral college because of what happened with Brady. Not that I support that, but it seems someone did call for one. We haven't yet figure out what to do with a federal one let alone create one for the state. And Rich Miller was right, counties and such don't vote people do. Even if you created a delegation from the 118 counties to cast their votes for a Governor. And at that do we choose electors similarly to what is done in practice around the nation.

Another thought I had. I would've had no problem with Brady prolonging the inevitable if it had to be verified. Of course I was of another mind of it. With the problems that this state is having currently who would want to be Governor. I did believe Brady would've been better, but that's not to say he'd have been more successful than Quinn. My advice to Brady is to just let Quinn have this one, because then he'll have to deal with the many issues instead of Brady himself.

Reading the cynical comments at the CapFax many believe that whoever won this year wouldn't have a chance in four years. Speaker Madigan who maintained his majority in the state House of Representatives this year wants to see his daughter (state Attorney General Lisa Madigan) ascend to the governorship in four years (even if many are expecting her to run for Mayor next year even if she had appeared to had denied interest in a race for Chicago Mayor). The cynics think that Madigan won't do everything it takes to solve Illinois' issues if it may impact the political future of his daughter.

Either way even if the economic picture will have changed by 2014, Brady could learn from this year and try again. He had run in 2006, but was behind Judy Baar Topinka (our then state Treasurer) for the GOP nomination for Governor.

While running multiple times and losing is never a good thing. Besides Quinn lost a couple of big time elections himself. He had lost a race for Attorney General and another for US Senate. Then he came back as Lt. Governor to find himself as Governor himself.

Even more in Brady's favor or any other potential candidate for Governor in four years is the fact that Quinn signed into law changes that allow Gubernatorial candidates to choose their own Lt. Governor running mates. Thus future nominees won't have the issues that Quinn had originally with Scott Lee Cohen and then the issues when it came time to select Sheila Simon (many Black politicos in this state wanted to see State Rep. Art Turner to be the Dem. nominee for Lt. Governor). Of course Brady had to deal with the baggage of his running mate Jason Plummer with his inexperience on the statewide level and those dreaded tax returns.

Well let's see what happens in these next four years.

I want you to read this piece by a Republican activist from downstate who wanted Brady to stand up for his conservative values. For many that was an issue especially in his stances on abortion and gay-marriage. I may largely agree with those stances however I also recognize that those aren't the most pressing issues right now.

Friday, November 05, 2010

brain terminal: A Fork in the Road

Evan Coyne Maloney in his first post in a few months but this is before the recent mid-term election. As we know the Republicans have a majority in the House of Representatives, but failed to take the Senate. Mark Kirk, an IL congressman took Barack Obama's old US Senate seat.

Either way Evan makes the comparison between Bill Clinton's ascension to the Presidency. Then the Republican takeover of the house in light of Clinton's move to the left even after campaigning to the center. Then Clinton finds himself moving to the center and working with Republicans.

I so wanted to answer those question marks for after 2010, but to be sure I have none. Pundits have insisted Obama may not move to the center as I hoped he would when he campaigned and then won the Presidency in 2008. So who knows what Obama does in the next two years until the next Presidential election may or may not impact upon his chances for re-election.

I thought Clinton was weak before 1994. Then 1996 happened and he got elected. He was able to use that Republican Congress' achievements and present them as his own. Welfare reform, balanced budget to name a couple off the top of my head. He didn't attempt to be difficult about it, he signed them into law. Clinton's a smart man, even if he didn't always seemed to govern as one.

When the new Congress is inaugurated we shall see how Obama will govern. Of course indications are that well he doesn't like governing as much as Clinton Apparently did.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

What going on in Illinois' 2nd Congressional District?

In the same vein as Tom Mannis writes about Joel Pollak who attempted to take Jan Schakowsky's congressional seat I will write about Isaac Hayes.

Let me be honest when I say that I really didn't pay attention to this race. Up until maybe September, Jesse Jackson Jr. my congressman didn't seem to be vulnerable until speculation heated up that he would attempt to run for the open Chicago Mayor office. Then we knew more about his dealings with Ousted governor and we found out about that pretty blond haired restaurant hostess.

Even if he had been weakened I had my doubts about an upstart Republican actually winning Illinois' 2nd Congressional District. It's said to be solidly Democrat. It runs from Chicago's Far South Side going as far north as the South Shore neighborhood into the south suburbs of town. From some other people who are in the know about politics Hayes may have won this election if he had the south suburbs. No doubt for any Republican, Chicago is a tough deal as Bill Brady is finding out right now as he hopes to still win the Governor's race as I write this.

Hayes didn't appear to be just another jobber in this race. He may have given Jackson a reason to sweat, even if  he was more sweating about his negative press than a Republican challenger. Hayes had TV ads on cable before Election Day as well.

He even got press (he was covered by the AP) for his campaign and notice in right wing circles as well. He was endorsed by at least the Southtown Star a major south suburban newspaper. In the end, it wasn't to be. When I saw the results last night Hayes was still in the teens as far as percentage of the vote.

All the same too many of these Republican insurgents who run in these races in Chicago's "bluest" areas have all too often disappeared from the scene or otherwise just went back to the dominant Democratic machine. Hopefully Isaac Hayes will continue his efforts to not allow incumbents to go unchallenged in the general election. Hopefully they can learn a lesson from Hayes. 

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Obligatory ballot receipt shot

I voted early this morning. Just now took a picture of it and posted it on twitter. I hope those of you reading this blog has voted already.

Oh yeah that is one of my Moleskine notebooks that the receipt is sitting on.

Monday, November 01, 2010

White House Insider On Obama: The President Is Losing It

Well this "insider" may not say that he's going crazy, it just means that he's largely in out of depth in his current position. Seems a shame too as this individual seems to believe Obama is a great campaigner. He really is, but governing is not for him apparently.

This quote seems almost similar to another politico who didn't like governing:
So if Obama doesn’t appear interested in the job of president, what does he do day after day? Well, he takes his meetings just like any other president would, though even then, he seems to lack a certain focus and on a few occasions, actually leaves with the directive that be given a summary of the meeting at a later date. I hear he plays a lot of golf, and watches a lot of television – ESPN mainly. I’ll tell you this – if you want to see President Obama get excited about a conversation, turn it to sports. That gets him interested. You start talking about Congress, or some policy, and he just kinda turns off. It’s really very strange. I mean, we were all led to believe that this guy was some kind of intellectual giant, right? Ivy League and all that. Well, that is not what I saw. Barack Obama doesn’t have a whole lot of intellectual curiosity. When he is off script, he is what I call a real “slow talker”. Lots of ummms, and lots of time in between answers where you can almost see the little wheel in his head turning very slowly. I am not going to say the president is a dumb man, because he is not, but yeah, there was a definite letdown when you actually hear him talking without the script.
Ironically enough as I write this I'm watching Fox Report with Shepard Smith  and they got on the subject of the recall amendent to our state constituion that would only apply to the state's governorship. They mentioned by name our very own Ousted governor Rod Blagojevich. And that's the politico who didn't like governing.

Well outside of our state you may not know how badly he governed Illinois. Many would consider him a lightweight. He also had the best education having a Northwestern University degree although not as prestigious a law degree. Still he loved to talk sports especially as Chicago Cubs fan although he turned around and attempted to extort the Cubs' then owner, Tribune Company, for better press coverage like I would imagine a banana republic dictator would.

Well enough about Blago. :P

Does this insider think that President Obama should remain as President for another term?
But would another four years of an Obama presidency be the best thing for America? (Long pause) Now that is a much more interesting question right there, and a question I think more and more Democrat Party insiders are asking themselves these days, myself included. I am going to come right out and say it – No. Obama is not up to the job of being president. He simply doesn’t seem to care about the work involved. You want to know what? Obama is lazy. He really is. And it is getting worse and worse. Would another four years of Obama be the best thing for America? No it would not. What this country needs is a president who is focused on the job more than on themselves. Obama is not that individual. I actually hope he doesn’t run again. Looking back, as much fun as the campaign in 2008 was, Hillary Clinton should have been the nominee. Hillary was ready to be president. Obama was not ready. He had never lost a campaign. Everything was handed to him. He doesn’t really understand the idea of work – real, hard, get your heart and soul into it work. And frankly, that is very disappointing to a whole lot of us…
OK, this is a good article and I'm not going to excerpt too much out of it. I couldn't vote for him two years ago, doesn't look like I can vote for him in two years. He created an excited environment out there in 2008, but it might have been about President Bush more than anything. I wonder what his support is on America's college campus these days?

Are the men of Morehouse or the ladies of Spelman or even the co-ed of Clark Atlanta University still enthused about our 1st Black President of the United States?

Also look for anything on Obama's relationship with his wife, his relationship with his Vice President, in addition to his Secretary of State and her husband of course we know who he is. :P

Read the whole thing! Via Instapundit Newsalert!