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Morning shorts

Monday, Jan 30, 2006

The governor regifts.

‘Twas the week before Christmas in 2003 when Gov. Rod Blagojevich showed up in the metro-east to pass out $187 million worth of gifts. Among the road projects on his list:

• $22.5 million for the Interstate 55-70 interchange at Illinois 162 in Troy.

• $15 million for Illinois 3 in Waterloo.

• $12 million for Illinois 159 in downtown Belleville.

• $13.5 million for the Governor’s Parkway in Edwardsville.

“I just love doling out this money,” Blagojevich said with a laugh.

He wasn’t kidding. He likes it so much that he has decided to regift many of the projects — to the same recipients.

In his recent State of the State address, he proposed a $3.2 billion capital program. The four projects mentioned above are all part of the new list. The Republicans say there are similar examples like this all around the state.

Jim Oberweis compares government healthcare to the old Soviet Union and says the free market is better.

Ron Gidwitz has already spent $33,000 on TV ads in Quincy alone.

Governor’s Keno explanation challenged.

Is one of Congressman Lipinski’s opponents a ringer? Sure looks that way.

It appears the governor overestimated the number of qualified familes for All Kids.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Bill Baar - Monday, Jan 30, 06 @ 7:31 am:

    The All Kids overestimate is no surprize. They need to give us the ranges on these estimates (and I was a dummy not to post much earlier asking what those ranges where.)

    I’m betting there are never more then 10k kids ever enrolled in this program.

    The future is with the Health Savings Accounts. Terry Savage wrote on them in Today’s Sun Times.

    Kids would be better off if we created account for them. Somehow I think the big winners for All Kids will be the people administering it.

  2. - Cassandra - Monday, Jan 30, 06 @ 7:42 am:

    If, in fact, only about 5 percent of Illinois children are uninsured, one wonders if Allkids
    was necessary, or merely another bread and circuses initiative from the Santa Claus governor. One also wonders how many of those children were negatively affected by the lack of health insurance. Children are generally healthy and there are already state and federal low-cost programs for those with chronic diseases as well as free health clinics to provide immunizations and checkups. Perhaps their parents decided health insurance was not necessary. And that’s their choice, Blago’s political needs notwithstanding.

    As the uninsured are more likely to be Latino, one wonders to what extent the program will benefit illegal immigrants. Perhaps we should bill Mexico’s public health system for their costs.

    More importantly for my pocket book, one wonders how many parents will drop their employment insurance and get the lower-cost state insurance. It’s hard to believe that a parent with choices would limit themselves to Medicaid doctors but doing so could free up some cash to
    pay taxes or for an SUV or plasma tv. If a significant numbe do so, what will be the effect on the costs of paid health insurance for the rest of us. I doubt it will mean those costs will go down.

    This is another unneeded government welfare program from a governor desperate to win votes, in this case, Latino votes, in his re-election bid.

  3. - DOWNSTATE - Monday, Jan 30, 06 @ 9:28 am:

    Way to go AROD.Keeping the press people running after these nickel and dime stories instead of asking you some hard questions.Like “Governor how much of a tax increase will you and the rest of the Democrats ask for in order to pay the 20 BILLION you have borrowed since you have been in office.

  4. - Pat Collins - Monday, Jan 30, 06 @ 9:41 am:

    Look at the bright side - Gun Ban gets a lot of press, and it costs the state less than we thought.

    Novak had some Bean info in his column today.

  5. - So-Called "Austin Mayor" - Monday, Jan 30, 06 @ 10:14 am:

    Jim Oberweis compares government healthcare to the old Soviet Union and says the free market is better.

    Under the Soviet Union tuberculosis was kept under control — today, drug-resistant tuberculosis is a grave threat to the Russian state and is one of Russia’s chief exports.

    Who says? USAID:Russia ranks 11th among the world’s 22 countries with a high tuberculosis burden. After gradually declining in the years before 1990, TB incidence in Russia has since been on an upward trend. According to the World Health Organization’s Global Tuberculosis Control: WHO Report 2004, the TB incidence rate in 2002 was 126 new cases per 100,000 population. *** Russia’s TB indicators reflect the deterioration of its health care system since the breakup of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. This breakup facilitated the spread of infectious diseases, including TB and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), in many former Soviet republics.

    The Soviet communism was a crime against the Russian people, but the Soviet v. Russian comparison is a damn poor choice for a free-market health care advocate.

    But the use of that comparison demonstrates the quality of judgment that we have come to expect from the Ice-cream Headache.

  6. - Larry Horse - Monday, Jan 30, 06 @ 11:45 am:

    Hahaha, Kudos, Mr. Oberwies! Spoken like a true U of C Business School graduate!

    That being said, people who say that any government involvement in health care is putting us on track to socialism are as dumb as people who say letting gays get married will break down the traditional family.

  7. - Anonymous - Monday, Jan 30, 06 @ 12:15 pm:

    Office of New Americans Policy and Advocacy

    What is Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s stated goal?

    To help immigrants and their children access state services.

    What is Blagojevich creating?

    A task force of representatives from state agencies which serve the public.

    Two advisory boards composed of state and national immigration experts.

    A two-person Office of New Americans Policy within Illinois government to compile and implement recommendations of the board and task force.

    Who is paying?

    The Office of New Americans Policy will cost the state $150,000. Outside grant-making institutions will support the task force and the advisory boards.

    Who will benefit?

    Any immigrant or child of an immigrant who needs state services and is eligible for them.

    How many immigrants are there in Illinois?

    More than 1 million legal immigrants, eligible for the same state benefits as citizens.

    An estimated 400,000 to 500,000 ILLEGAL immigrants (ALIENS); those under 18 are eligible for some state benefits, including health care.

    About 1 million children whose parents are immigrants.

    - Sources: U.S. Census, Pew Hispanic Center

    The ILLEGAL’s will use the Matricular Consular card that Senator Brady sponsored as ID. Goog thing he is against home loans we would be broke. But we have home loans anyway using his Matricular consular card as ID. Thanks Senator


  8. - Regan Democrat - Monday, Jan 30, 06 @ 12:26 pm:

    This is why I am a Reagan Democrat, Democrats like the ones here standing up for the Soviet Union and Government sponsored health care. There was NOTHING good about soviet communism! This just proves no matter what Oberweis says you guys will take the other side

  9. - Pat Collins - Monday, Jan 30, 06 @ 12:35 pm:

    Ofcourse, TB is on the rise here,also.

    But that’s due to immigration, so we won’t mention that…

  10. - Bill Baar - Monday, Jan 30, 06 @ 1:38 pm:

    I knew a Communist in the maritime union. Back in 1945 he sailed on a frieghter with relief supplies for the Soviet Union that had been purchased by the Communist lead maritime union.

    When he was in Odessa he heard the Soviet Guards shooting every so often at the ropes holding the ship at dock. He thought they were shooting at rats at first. Then he realized they we’re shooting small kids who were trying to board the ship to steal food from the ship. He quit the party on return to the US and later lead the Mennonite Church in Oak Park.

  11. - Anonymous - Monday, Jan 30, 06 @ 2:40 pm:

    My God, Bill, no one is arguing the merits of communism here. We all agree that it has been rightly relegated to the trash heap of history as one of the dumbest ideas in human history. The question is whether government involvement in health care makes us the Soviet Union, which I believe is a gross exaggeration, although insurance vouchers would be a much better way to do it than government run bureaucracies.

  12. - FrustratedRepublican - Wednesday, Feb 1, 06 @ 4:31 pm:

    Anon 12:15

    First, you people in the Oberweis herd need to READ THE BILL regarding that ID card. I decided to today, and the law is clear. It is already ILLEGAL to use that card for what you say it’s being used for. Here it is a little slower:


    I sure hope this joker and his cronies are the face of the GOP from March 22nd to the election in November.

    If the abominable milkman knew what he was talking about in the midst of his tirades against illegals, he might actual propose a solution. Probably no real chance of that happening though if his horrendous failures of campaigns for the U.S. Senate were any indication.

  13. - FrustratedRepublican - Wednesday, Feb 1, 06 @ 4:33 pm:

    Correction (a major one!)

    I sure hope this joker and his cronies are NOT the face of the GOP after the primary!


  14. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 1, 06 @ 4:37 pm:


    You forget that governing has never really been important to Mr. Oberweis. He’s never run for anything before losing twice for the U.S. Senate. He’s flip-flopped like a waffle on uppers on abortion, guns, and who knows what else.

    It’s all about winning. For what? Who can tell. Pretty bad when the prospect of another four years of Hairdo seems less of a threat to the state than Mr. “I am not a politician” Oberweis. I guess candidates are politicians? Hmmmm. What about perennial candidates?

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