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READER COMMENTS CLOSED FOR THE WEEKEND

Friday, Jul 28, 2006

Talk at you Monday!

Here’s your Illinoize fix:

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Question of the day

Friday, Jul 28, 2006

It’s Friday, so it’s time to change gears.

Have you vacationed any place special in Illinois this summer? Describe your experience.

- Posted by Rich Miller   26 Comments      


The “City that works” a potential national laughingstock

Friday, Jul 28, 2006

My Sun-Times column this week is a bit of a departure for me. I blog about Chicago and Cook County politics, but I don’t often write about them, unless they have a state connection. This one has no such connection.

Most pundits have decided that they no longer want Mayor Daley’s political machine running things, but almost no thought has been given to what could happen if the “enemy” is ever vanquished.

It’s a little bit like the debate over enforcing democracy in the Middle East. Is the end result worth the chaos?

Unlike Iraq, there won’t be gun battles in Chicago’s streets if the Machine finally falls, but there will be plenty of political chaos.

And for those of you too lazy to click through and read the whole thing but still motivated enough to post comment, this is in no way a pro-machine column.

- Posted by Rich Miller   39 Comments      


Governor criticized for slow response to devastating storms

Friday, Jul 28, 2006

Did the governor drop the ball during the aftermath of the Metro East storms last week? The governor was on vacation last week, and it wasn’t until Saturday that his IEMA director arrived on the scene - three days after the first major storm hit. On Wednesday, the governor finally asked President Bush to declare five counties a federal disaster area.

The move by Blagojevich was made a week after Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt’s decision to activate the National Guard and five days after Bush’s emergency declaration on Friday covering St. Louis…

Meanwhile, the local emergency management guy is upset.

“Whenever Ameren tells you this is something like four times bigger than anything they’ve had, that ought to tell somebody something,” said Jack Quigley, director of Madison County’s Emergency Management Agency. “Why they weren’t moving faster on getting federal aid here, I don’t know.”

The local Democratic state Senator is fuming mad.

State Sen. William Haine and state Rep. Dan Beiser, both Alton Democrats, penned a curt letter Wednesday afternoon asking for the state to act on the federal aid request as soon as possible. Haine said he had been told that state officials were questioning whether to seek aid at all because the storm’s damage might not be severe enough.

“The state director said to me that there wouldn’t be an application,” Haine said. “I don’t know how they could possibly conclude that we don’t meet the requirements at this stage.”

And the governor has yet to visit the region.

A spokesman for the governor said Wednesday that he would visit the Metro East area soon but provided no details.

I got about ten e-mails a day from the governor’s office after Hurrican Katrina hit the Gulf coast describing everything the guv was doing for residents of other states. He ought to get on the stick.

How big were last week’s storms?

The National Weather Service believes seven tornadoes touched down in the St. Louis area last week as part of two storms that ravaged the region.

Scientists have analyzed the damage from the storms that hit July 19th and again two days later. They believe tornadoes touched down July 19th near Bunker Hill on the Missouri side of the Mississippi River, and Edwardsville on the Illinois side.

The Friday storms spawned at least five tornadoes, including two just south of Troy, Illinois.

The storm’s straight-line winds were almost tornado-like. The Weather Service believes winds reached up to 90 miles per hour.

And then there’s this.

Some of the tons and tons of debris from last week’s storms began going up in smoke Thursday.

The fire could last until Wednesday, said East St. Louis Fire Chief William Fennoy, who supervised the start of the burn.

He had no estimate on how much debris would be burned, but the city’s application filed with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency sought permission for burning 300,000 cubic yards of material.

The debris is mainly from East St. Louis, Cahokia, Centreville, Alorton and Washington Park. Another burn site is planned in Granite City.

- Posted by Rich Miller   37 Comments      


What the heck is going on here?

Friday, Jul 28, 2006

Jenner & Block defends IDOT against a lawsuit filed by former IDOT workers who say they were illegally fired. Jenner & Block decides it wants off the case. Attorney General Lisa Madigan, the state’s top lawyer who officially represents the state in all legal matters and who appointed Jenner & Block to the case in the first place, asks the firm for its files. Firm says No. Lisa asks why. Firm says IDOT’s chief legal counsel ordered it not to hand over the files. No reason for IDOT’s order given.

Then things get bizarre.

Matt Vanover, a Transportation Department spokesman, defended the agency’s refusal to give Madigan the lawsuit files.

He said IDOT wants to continue using Jenner & Block, which has handled the case for nearly two years. Vanover said IDOT is the defendant and should be the one to decide what attorneys to use.

Despite Jenner & Block’s request to withdraw, Vanover said the firm has agreed to stay on the case. The attorney general’s office said it had never heard that claim until Thursday.

Huh?

- Posted by Rich Miller   45 Comments      


Is the 10th District in play?

Friday, Jul 28, 2006

Cook and Rothenberg differ on the 10th District race between incumbent Mark Kirk and Democrat Dan Seals.

The Cook Political Report, a Washington-based non-partisan on-line analysis of congressional races across the country, now lists the 10th District race as one of 54 Republican seats nationwide that could be competitive in November. The seat is still listed as “likely Republican,” the least competitive of three categories identified in the report. It was previously considered a safe seat. […]

“We’re watching it,” said Nathan Gonzales, political editor of the Rothenberg Report. “We met with Seals and thought he was a good candidate but right now we don’t see the seat being in danger,”

Amy Walter, senior editor of the Cook Political Report, said “the reality is Mark Kirk is very difficult to beat one on one” during a normal election year and he’s still favored to win the race at this point. […]

[However] “It’s not really about Mark Kirk or Dan Seals,” she said. “It’s about the political climate.”

Read the whole thing. This is a very good political story from a suburban weekly. That’s not a common thing.

Also, take a look at a recent bipartisan poll of the 50 most hotly contested congressional races in the country, 40 of them which are Republican. [pdf file] It’s not great news for the nation’s majority party.

- Posted by Rich Miller   53 Comments      


Morning shorts

Friday, Jul 28, 2006

· The I-Team investigates *999, a state-funded emergency call service that critics call confusing, dangerous and a waste of tax dollars.

· Editorial: State must protect patients from felons in nursing homes - Agency has not looked into a single case

· Chicago Federation of Labor President Dennis Gannon threatens “World War III” if Daley vetoes big box ordinance.

· Downtown march to demand better teachers

· Gas prices arise in gubernatorial race

· “Neither Gov. Rod Blagojevich nor his challenger, Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, responded directly to a candidate survey from an anti-gambling group. Instead, both sent letters about their positions on gambling to Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems. ‘They (the letters) are very vague and leave a lot of wiggle room,’ said ILCAAAP Executive Director Anita Bedell.” Read the governor’s letter here, Topinka’s letter here.

· “Nobody in an oversight position at the Illinois tollway or the governor’s office knew about plans to spend nearly a half-million dollars on the big blue signs that advertise Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s name to thousands of motorists a day on Chicago-area toll roads, the toll authority’s chairman says.”

· Ameren debt ratings downgraded - ‘Political and regulatory environment’ in Illinois played into decision

· Blagojevich grants clemency to dying woman

· Officials feud over agency merger

· “llinois Central College will join other community colleges in a lawsuit against Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan over her interpretation of a state ethics law.”

· Editorial: Failed festival blows the whistle on budget deals

· The governor’s pet ferret

- Posted by Rich Miller   12 Comments      


« NEWER POSTS PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Question of the day
* School has kid slapped with felony eavesdropping charge
* AG Madigan to file lawsuit challenging "cruel and unconstitutional policy" at southern border
* Rep. Andersson tries a comeback
* CTU's Lewis to retire
* *** UPDATED x2 *** Rauner brags he's "dramatically" reduced Medicaid enrollment, but hit on "failing" computer system
* Fitch: "The enacted budget entails significant implementation risk"
* *** UPDATED x2 - Pritzker campaign calls comments "racist" *** After Black Caucus backlash, Gov. Rauner says he's "Not surprised they're sensitive because the black legislators really have not been serving their community very well"
* Rep. Chad Hays to resign
* The local news memory hole
* No Janus ruling today
* Police chiefs want Rauner to veto hemp bill
* *** UPDATED x1 - Rauner campaign responds *** New Pritzker TV ad blames Rauner for job losses to neighboring states
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Yesterday's stories

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* Is Melania Trump rising to Evita status?..
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* EXCHANGE: Marengo families seeking normalcy year after blast
* EXCHANGE: Students find second Fort Kaskaskia site
* Man convicted of escaping ICE custody at NYC airport
* Man convicted in slayings of 2 officers released on bond
* The Latest: Man convicted in slayings of 2 officers released
* Chicago Teachers Union president stepping down
* Man gets 8 years for kidnapping 2 brothers later slain
* Illinois bridge put on National Register of Historic Places
* Ex-priest who abused child allowed access to Chicago schools
* WHAT'S HAPPENING: Trump order sows confusion on the border

* Illinois stands to gain from Supreme Court decision
* Records: Mansion used in Rauner's 'Porcelain Prince' ad got its own tax reduction
* Illinois politicians seek answers to family separations at border
* 80+ years later, Meredosia woman sees the opening of another new bridge
* Chatham man wins Illinois Bicentennial coin design contest
* Rauner to consider allowing medical cannabis for opioid patients
* Bipartisan work yields gun bills, fate rests with Rauner
* Rauner names Justin Blandford curator of Governor's Mansion
* Rauner names Williamsville woman interim HFS director
* Both Rauner and Pritzker have donated to Mansion renovations

* Mariano's parent buys turnaround time
* Trump's tariff tweet spurs consternation at local car dealerships
* Illinois' existential problem: Shrinking number of young people
* Chicago set for another big TV year
* Chicago manufacturer automates—then hires


* 3 wounded Friday in city gun violence
* Driver shot in Logan Square
* Man charged with murder in fatal Near North Side crash
* Man caught in crossfire in Roseland
* 5 shot on South Side
* Woman, 21, shot in South Chicago
* 14-year-old girl reported missing from Palmer Square: police
* Dear Abby: 2 women in their 20s depend on dad for rides
* Man shot in face in Lawndale
* Horoscope for June 23, 2018


* U.S. House passes bipartisan package to fight opioid crisis
* Why the state of the big-screen comedy is no laughing matter
* White House seeks to expand immigrant family detention
* Servais: Who was that mustachioed man?
* Supreme Court adopts digital-age privacy rules to track cellphones
* Cubs offense sputters and Jose Quintana ineffective in 6-3 loss to Reds
* Blackhawks draft defensemen Adam Boqvist and Nicolas Beaudin in first round
* White Sox hold on for 6-4 win to split doubleheader vs. A's
* Elgin man charged after pot, guns, 480 rounds of ammo found during raid, police say
* Michael Cohen's photo with Tom Arnold fuels Trump tape speculation


» ‘That’s A Sad Woman’: Struggling Lincoln Foundation To Sell Monroe, Sandburg Photos
» The Week in Review: Immigration Debate Explodes in Chicago
» Rauner: Black Legislators Not Serving Their Community
» State Week: Online Sales Taxes; CPS Scandal; Rauner Takes On Black Caucus
» WBEZ’s Chicago And Illinois News Roundup: June 22, 2018
» Jurors Get Close-Up View Of Chicago Politics In Probes Of Shootings By Cops
» Ailing Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis Retiring
» Rebecca Makkai, Author Of ‘The Great Believers’; Crowded Starved Rock; Illinois Outdoor Destinations
» Cook County To Hire Sexual Harassment Watchdog
» #656 Hinds & Opinions on Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Parquet Courts & More


* George Will: Charles Krauthammer, a diagnostician of our public discontents
* Ed Rogers: Democrats still have no message on the economy or jobs
* Point: Obamacare's constitutionality ends when its tax ends
* Counterpoint: Injustice reigns as Trump's Justice Department attacks Obamacare
* Juliana Stratton: Black community wants more than just proclamations from leaders
* Thumbs Up: To Illiopolis boy for helping shepherd bill through the Statehouse
* Illinois stands to gain from Supreme Court decision
* Records: Mansion used in Rauner's 'Porcelain Prince' ad got its own tax reduction
* Our View: A welcome start at cleaning House
* Our View: White Oaks Mall smart to diversify offerings


* Births for Saturday, June 23, 2018
* Deborah S. 'Debbie' Trigg
* Birt 'Buzz' Ward
* Virginia Leach
* Billy Ray Mathews
* Edwardsville man charged with producing, distributing child porn
* The 64th Piatt County Trail Blazers Rodeo
* Granite City teacher resigns amid allegations of a relationship with a student
* Bio Blitz time at Nahant Marsh
* KWQC's Gary Metivier: 'I will never retire from telling stories'


* AP source: Thunder's Anthony to opt in, take $28 million
* Giolito helps White Sox snap eight-game losing streak
* Blackhawks take pair of defensemen on first day of NHL draft
* Boomers rally to top Wild Things
* Ex-S. Korean premier Kim Jong-pil, spy agency founder, dies

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* 'Zero Tolerance' Policy Shows Niel...
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* House passes Farm Bill by two votes
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* Chicago group says finding minors' fam......
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* Pulse of the Voters: The increasing influe......
* Tammy Duckworth TV Commercials Ads...
* Mazie Hirono, Tammy Duckworth, and ......
* Canadian Minister Breastfeeds During Parli......
* Democratic senators blast DeVos for mishan......

* High-minded ideals to do battle against the “red wave” – will anybody win?
* World Cup Notebook: Ronaldo Is The King Of The World
* Elonorail
* The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #206: Bulls Draft Safe And Sound
* How to Create Successful and sustainable Makerspaces in Low-Income and Rural Schools
* Can Online Programs and Digital Tools Help Students Spend Less Money? #DLNchat
* Pearson Releases Study on Demand-Driven Education
* A Major Issue in Business Law: Regulators Gone Wild — Judicial Support for a Roll-Back?
* Trustees add five initiatives to Purdue strategic plan – Purdue
* Final Day of the International Conference on E-Learning in the Workplace Conference at Columbia University


* Chairman Fratianni selected for national workers' comp leadership role
* Unemployment Rate Continues Falling in All Metro Areas

  
* Nokia 5.1 is now available to pre-order
* You might break someone’s jaw if you throw the Panasonic Toughbook FZ-T1 at them
* Say hello to the ultra-slim Asus Chromebook C223
* Moto Z3 Play in Brazil has 6GB RAM configuration
* vivo product is the first to get Qualcomm 5G millimeter wave antennas
* Security Researcher Discovers Method for Brute Forcing iPhone Passcode in iOS 11
* Supreme Court rules cops need a warrant to get phone location data

* White Sox Minor League Report: June 22, 2018
* Mieses' single leads AZL White Sox to 9-3 win over AZL C...
* A's split doubleheader against White Sox
* After ending skid, White Sox pursue another win over A's
* White Sox Minor League Report: June 22, 2018
* White Sox Minor League Report: June 22, 2018
* Lucas Giolito's best stuff rescues White Sox from grueli...


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