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It begins

Thursday, Mar 31, 2005

Buried way down in a press release today:

In addition to the $140 million in new funding the Governor proposed in his Fiscal Year 2006 Budget, the Governor is proposing an additional $300 million in new funding for education, by authorizing an increase of positions at Illinois’ existing riverboat casinos.

Waiting on a callback, but the AP says this:

His plan would allow a total of between 23,000 and 24,000 gambling positions at the casinos … up from the current 11,000.

The dam has been breached.

- Posted by Rich Miller   4 Comments      


Too late

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2005

I sent Blogger support a nasty email yesterday demanding to know why their system is so messed up. I received this form response today:

Hi there,

We’ve had to rollback to an earlier build this morning in order to fix some outstanding publishing bugs. This has had stability implications which we are now in the process of addressing.

Further updates will be posted to the Status blog as they become avalable: http://status.blogger.com/

We apologize for the inconvenience of the recent problems and we appreciate your patience.

Sincerely,
Blogger Support

Too late. I’m leaving. More info next week.

- Posted by Rich Miller   6 Comments      


Scary stuff

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2005

The feds uncovered a disturbing cache of weapons and hate literature in southern Illinois.

Federal agents and prosecutors announced Tuesday the largest seizure of machine guns in the history of Southern Illinois, and 11 people face weapons charges linked to the seized guns.

Agents seized more than 50 machine guns, silencers, 128 destructive devices, 115 improvised explosive devices, gun powder, a spring-loaded booby trap, more than 100 firearms, 19 crates of ammunition and thousands of rounds of ammunition seized from a Madison County home.

They also found a Nazi flag, neo-Nazi literature and scrawled on a wall of a home three words: “Hitler was right!” […]

Several of the guns bore swastikas, as did the wooden crates holding ammunition.

The indictment also included photographs of Randal Brown holding targets which prosecutors said were made in the likeness of blackface images.

Meanwhile, the governor wrings his hands about video games.

- Posted by Rich Miller   5 Comments      


What really happened

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2005

If you want to know what was really going on in the brief but very intense fight between SEIU and AFSCME over the right to represent thousands of childcare workers, read this.

For a while last week, Illinois was home to the kind of union-against-union labor war that America hasn’t seen since American Federation of Labor (AFL) unions and Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) unions used to clobber each other while fighting for new members, in the days before the two federations merged 50 years ago.

Hundreds of organizers from both the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) were pounding on doors in rival efforts to persuade the state’s 48,000 child-care workers to vote to join their respective unions. What made the campaign exceptional, however, was that the SEIU was able to enlist hundreds of additional organizers from other unions to pound the pavement on its behalf. […]

Indeed, the unions’ interventions only make sense in the context of the civil war now enveloping American labor. The unions that sided with the SEIU in Chicago are the same unions that sided with the SEIU at the AFL-CIO executive-council meeting in Las Vegas earlier this month in its battle against the administration of AFL-CIO President John Sweeney. Conversely, AFSCME is Sweeney’s biggest supporter. The relationships among AFSCME and the SEIU and its allies were already strained before AFSCME’s late-in-the-game decision to contest SEIU’s multiyear campaign for the right to represent the child-care workers. Coming as it did less than three weeks before workers were to start voting, and on the eve of what was clearly going to be a highly contentious executive-council meeting in any event, AFSCME’s entry to the fray set off fireworks in Vegas, with SEIU President Andy Stern and AFSCME President Gerald McEntee engaging in several shouting matches and with Stern trying to get Sweeney to persuade the federation to call AFSCME off.

This is an excellent article that even delves into a bit of Illinois politics.

- Posted by Rich Miller   5 Comments      


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