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Unclear on the concept

Wednesday, Nov 16, 2011

* This ever-more-common excuse about how an incredibly offensive comment was only a few seconds out of a longer speech is just bizarre to me

The president of the Chicago Teachers Union says she isn’t stepping down over an “inappropriate” joke she made about Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

Karen Lewis said Wednesday that while her remarks were insensitive, they were just 120 seconds of her 35-minute speech at a social justice event in Seattle last month.

Lewis said at the event she could tell Duncan “went to a private school, because if he had gone to a public school, he would have had that lisp fixed.”

So, we’re only supposed to be upset if she spent all 35 minutes saying stupid things?

For crying out loud, get a clue and just apologize if you’re sorry and move along. If you’re not sorry, then there is no need for these lame excuses.

Sheesh.

* So, um, I thought the GOP was the states’ rights party these days? Apparently not

U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson says he’s not done trying to alter federal law to allow Illinoisans to carry concealed firearms.

The Urbana Republican’s bid to attach an amendment bringing Illinois in line with the rest of the nation failed to reach the House floor this week, but a Johnson aide said the congressman is planning to re-introduce the measure in December.

Johnson and four other Illinois Republicans want to allow Illinoisans to be able carry loaded firearms in public if they have a concealed carry permit from another state. […]

Johnson was joined in pushing for the change by U.S. Reps. Bobby Schilling of Colona, Aaron Schock of Peoria, Adam Kinzinger of Manteno and Randy Hultgren of Winfield.

In a statement, Johnson said he believes the federal government should step in and supersede Illinois law.

* The Pro-Life Action League appears to be completely unclear on the concept. This is from a press release about a rape victim who disagrees with Jennie Goodman, who is receiving an award from Gov. Pat Quinn at a Personal PAC event. Goodman cut a TV ad for Personal PAC last year blasting Bill Brady for wanting to outlaw abortions, even in cases of rape and incest..

Mary Higgins is one of many other victims of rape and hopes that her press conference will put a face on the other innocent victims of rape. When Mary was sexually assaulted at age 18, she was faced with the choice that Jennie Goodman never had to make: what to do when she discovered that she had become pregnant with her rapist’s child.

As difficult as her situation was, Mary refused to punish her unborn child for its father’s crime. Mary chose life for her unborn daughter, and placed her for adoption. She says, “It was the best choice I ever made.” [Emphasis added.]

I mean absolutely no disrespect to Ms. Higgins. She obviously endured a terribly traumatic time, and I’m very glad that her choice turned out so well. But pro-choice folks would actually agree with her about her choice to not have an abortion. The operative word here is “choice,” and the Pro-Life Action League is not at all about “choice.”

We can disagree on what we believe on this subject, and I will always respect your position. But the Pro-Life Action League should stop using the word “choice” when want it wants to do is legally prohibit almost all women from ever having an abortion.

- Posted by Rich Miller   57 Comments      


Question of the day

Wednesday, Nov 16, 2011

* The setup

Voters in Maine overwhelmingly approved a “people’s veto” of a Republican-backed law that tightened voting regulations. The vote on Nov. 8 restores Maine’s decades-old policy of allowing same-day registration at polling places.

The state’s Republican-led legislature passed a law earlier this year requiring new voters to register at least two business days prior to an election. Supporters of the law said it would prevent voter fraud. Opponents argued fraud is not an issue in Maine and said the law would make it more difficult to vote. […]

In Maine, the people’s veto was included on the state-wide referendum election ballot after receiving more than 70,000 petition signatures. Roughly 60 percent of voters approved the veto, favoring same-day registration.

Other state voters vetoed laws as well. Ohio, for example

Last week, Ohio voters resoundingly rejected a ballot measure known as Issue 2 by a 61 percent to 39 percent margin. A “yes” vote would have affirmed Ohio’s version of Wisconsin’s collective bargaining law, which would have made it more difficult for public sector workers to organize and bargain with the state government. By rejecting Issue 2, Ohio voters repealed the law championed by Gov. John Kasich, and did so by a wide margin.

* The Question: Would you favor a “voter veto” of recently enacted Illinois state laws? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please. Thanks.


- Posted by Rich Miller   38 Comments      


An investigation is definitely warranted and cooperation is a must

Wednesday, Nov 16, 2011

* No argument here

Gov. Pat Quinn took four months to remove his director of child welfare after being told state inspectors believed the man had turned a blind eye while a friend ripped off state government, and Quinn kept quiet about problems at the agency even after conducting his own review.

Quinn aides said the governor acted as quickly as possible to determine the truth and then make changes without causing major disruptions at the Department of Children and Family Services. They say state ethics laws barred him from revealing that inspectors were investigating then-Director Erwin McEwen, information that didn’t become public until three weeks ago. […]

Two Illinois House committees plan a joint hearing, said Rep. Greg Harris, a Chicago Democrat and chairman of the House Human Services Committee. […]

Rep. Jack Franks, chairman of the State Government Administration Committee, said he was troubled that Quinn did not remove McEwen far more quickly, particularly when the report said McEwen was no longer cooperating with investigators as required by law.

* Gov. Quinn received a report on serious ethics problems at DCFS way back on May 25th. The governor ordered a further review, which was completed August 1st. But McEwen was allowed to stay on the job until September, when he was then allowed to quietly resign.

The governor has refused to say why he let McEwen keep his job all those months and why he allowed McEwen to resign and not be fired. It wasn’t until mid October that the public was informed about what had happened

According to the Illinois Inspector General, McEwen was siphoning millions in state grant money to one of his close friends.

The investigation looked at McEwens tight connections with George E. Smith, who ran several mental health and social service businesses in Chicago.

According to a lengthy report prepared by the state executive inspector general, Smith received a grant bonanza between 2008 and 2011, more than $18 million from several government agencies, primarily DCFS.

The investigation found that Smith forged a 100 signatures to cover up misspending, had excessive expenses including $100,000 in Chicago sports tickets and kept do-nothing ghost payrollers on the books to steal state funds. That was accomplished because McEwen allowed his friend to get away with it, according to state investigators.

McEwen refused to cooperate with the inspector general, but Quinn didn’t step in then, either.

* House committees only have subpoena powers if the House Speaker grants them. So far, that hasn’t happened. As a result, the administration could easily stonewall these two committees. But that would be a very bad idea.

Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

* Other stuff…

* Social Security numbers revealed on Illinois college savings program mailing: Officials with the state treasurer’s office say they’re taking steps to make sure no problems result from an error on a mailing to 36,000 people who participate in Illinois’ Bright Directions college savings program. The Bright Directions account holders received a quarterly newsletter with their Social Security numbers printed on the outside.

* Illinois’ promise to pay not a guarantee: “As of this week, the state has 162,934 unpaid vouchers totaling $3.525 billion, dating back to July 8, 2011,” Hahn said.

* How Quinn reshaped tollway board: A check of political campaign records shows no direct contributions to Quinn from any of the appointees or close family members.

* Quinn ‘optimistic‘ on budget deal for facilities

- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      


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Wednesday, Nov 16, 2011

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Stupid administrators and teacher tenure

Wednesday, Nov 16, 2011

* And people wonder why teachers demand tenure

A Eureka High School teacher has been suspended until Nov. 28 for showing three segments of “The Daily Show” in his government and law class and warning students against an Internet search that yields results deemed to be pornographic.

School Superintendent Randy Crump suspended first-year teacher Rhett Felix on Tuesday morning following a two-hour executive session of the Eureka-based District 140 school board Monday night. During the public portion of the meeting, parents complained about bleeped obscenities and some sexual content of the segments and about a perception that Felix appears to have a liberal political bias.

“Mr. Felix has been suspended,” Crump said. “When he returns, he will be reassigned to another teaching assignment. That’s all I can share at this time.”

Felix, who lives in Bloomington, could not be reached for comment Tuesday. His salary of $40,189 will continue through his suspension.

Mr. Stone was my 9th Grade math teacher at Hanover High School. As I think I’ve told you before, Mr. Stone canceled class one day so he could play a videotape of a Bob Dylan TV special, “Hard Rain.” That video did more to change my life than any other high school math class I ever took. But if we’d been in Eureka, Mr. Stone would’ve probably been vilified as a flaming liberal and suspended.

Sheesh.

…Adding… From the Hard Rain album

But nothing really matters much, it’s doom alone that counts

- Posted by Rich Miller   68 Comments      


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* Good morning!
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* *** UPDATED x3 - Script *** Quinn airs radio ad of Rauner joking about being "scared" of four African-Americans
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