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Thursday, Nov 30, 2006

* IDOT’s winter road conditions map

* Weather radar

* National Weather Service

* Weather Underground

Be careful out there.

*** UPDATE *** These ice storms are awful. I just heard one of my trees crack under the pressure and fall down.

…And there goes another one.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Frankly, considering the amount of freezing rain that’s falling during this ice storm, I’m amazed that I still have electricity.

About two-point-four (M) million Ameren customers are without power this morning across swaths of central and southern Illinois and parts of Missouri.

That represents about 158-thousand total outages.
The region is being battered by a winter storm that is expected to dump six to ten inches of snow in some areas by this afternoon.

- Posted by Rich Miller   18 Comments      

Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Snow; CUB; Watson; Hospitals; Roundup; Consultants; Touch-screen; Engagement announcement; Parker (Use all caps in password)

Thursday, Nov 30, 2006

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Enter your password to view comments      

Question of the day

Thursday, Nov 30, 2006

House Speaker Michael Madigan has said several times that he won’t do it, but do you think the Democratically controlled Illinois legislature ought to redraw congressional district maps next year (perhaps producing two or even three more Dem seats) as Texas Republicans did a few years back? Why or why not?

- Posted by Rich Miller   67 Comments      

“No option will be ignored”

Thursday, Nov 30, 2006

John Patterson has a very good article in the Daily Herald today about a bipartisan group of legislators who plan to work on the state’s education funding issue next year.

Saying no option will be ignored, a group of state lawmakers on Wednesday said they expect to offer up this spring a comprehensive and viable plan to overhaul how the state funds education. […]

History isn’t on their side. Like-minded groups have, for decades, launched similar efforts with much fanfare but ultimately few results. […]

Political observers noted that for possibly the first time in recent history, the lawmakers involved acknowledged it’s the state’s regional, not political, differences that have thwarted similar efforts.

And that translates into reaching out to suburban lawmakers rather than bashing property-rich suburban schools. Those involved said the debate is too often framed as rich versus poor, a stereotyping that dooms any plan.

As Patterson notes later, the odds are definitely stacked against this group, but go read the whole thing.

- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      

Durbin on Blagojevich

Thursday, Nov 30, 2006

Bernie Schoenburg interviewed US Sen. Dick Durbin this week. You should really go read the whole thing, but here’s an excerpt.

“I really believe that the governor could have handled his relationship with downstate a lot better in his first term,” Durbin said. “I hope he’s learned. People downstate, all of us, want to believe that we’re not taken for granted, and that our elected officials care about us. I think there were a couple of things that the governor did along the way which bothered people in central Illinois and downstate, and I hope, in his next term, he takes that to heart.”

Asked for specifics, Durbin noted the “big issue” developed out of the way the governor handled the Executive Mansion.

Durbin said he would never second-guess a family decision, such as the governor wanting to allow his children to continue going to school in Chicago.

“But I think he could have handled his presence downstate and his use of the mansion in a different way and had a more positive relationship with Springfield and downstate Illinois,” Durbin said.

I’ve posted this link before, but more of the interview can be found here.

- Posted by Rich Miller   39 Comments      

Morning shorts

Thursday, Nov 30, 2006

* Tribune: Illinois lawmakers might end up getting an even bigger raise than originally planned… The AP story is here.

* Sweet: I think Sen. Barack Obama, who is seriously considering a run for president, is going to jump into the 2008 race. I predict the freshman Illinois Democrat will announce near the end of this year or the beginning of 2007, sometime after he returns from a holiday break in his native Hawaii.

* Sun-Times: John Daley, the mayor’s brother and the No. 2 power on the Cook County Board, lashed out at Gov. Blagojevich on Wednesday, accusing him of breaking a promise to give the county more time to repay money to the state.

* Former governor Ryan loses pension, but gets to delay prison term.. More here, here and here

* Steele out to uphold city’s political tradition - She could be latest to help son into office

* Kass: Judges can wipe smirks off corrupt pols

* Rush praises former rival Daley - Once scathingly critical, he now backs mayor

- Posted by Rich Miller   13 Comments      

* Here we go...
* Question of the day
* Kirk's confidence
* Unclear on the concept; And pot, meet kettle
* *** UPDATED x2 *** The supreme power of video
* More lip service
* A union overreach?
* Duckworth fires back against Zopp for "cheap political" shot
* Republicans side with unions in court case
* Rauner pushes Gaming Board to back off fantasy sports site issue
* No known impact of Rauner opposition to refugees
* Benton circulating against McCann
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