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READER COMMENTS CLOSED FOR THE WEEKEND

Friday, Feb 23, 2007

I was looking forward to heading to Chicago on Sunday to spend a few days checking out the local elections there, but that’s now a no-go. The House has called a meeting of the Committee of the Whole for Tuesday afternoon to discuss electric rates. Bummer for me.

Anyway, have a great weekend and if you haven’t collectively burned yourselves out from posting hundreds of comments this week, head on over to Illinoize, where the party never ends.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Obamarama - Memo to pundits *** Updated x2 ***

Friday, Feb 23, 2007

[Updated and bumped to the top.]

The coverage and analysis in the national media of how Obama’s support is supposedly shaping up in the black community has irked me for weeks. So, I decided to literally send the pundits a memo via my Sun-Times column

Memo to all national political journalists, columnists, pundits, etc.: Please, get a clue.

Perhaps because I live in and cover the politics of a state which has elected two African-American U.S. senators, a black mayor of our largest city and a black secretary of state who four years ago carried all 102 counties, I find your coverage of the ‘’race issue'’ in the presidential contest to be utterly devoid of insight and context. I’ll try to fill you in.

First, just because a prominent African-American leader endorses Hillary Clinton, that doesn’t mean Barack Obama’s campaign has suffered a mortal wound. It may seem unusual to you that some black leaders aren’t supporting a black candidate, but, take it from me, this happens all the time. […]

Next, you “experts” assume that just because viable, credible black candidates end up winning overwhelming majorities of black votes that polls currently showing Hillary Clinton leading Obama among African Americans are somehow important.

Wrong again.

Go read the whole thing for plenty of examples, context and more analysis, then come back here and discuss.

*** UPDATE *** Not all the national coverage is mindless. The Wall Street Journal has a pretty good article on Obama’s time at the Statehouse.

…a lawmaker of lofty, liberal rhetoric who nonetheless pragmatically accepted bipartisan compromises that won over foes — and sometimes left supporters dissatisfied. […]

As for sharp elbows, the scraps for which Mr. Obama is remembered — including near-fisticuffs once on the Senate floor — were with fellow black Democrats, some of whom were resentful of his ambitions and his successes. […]

When the legislature revisited the ethics issue in 2003, Mr. Jones was among those who resisted changes Mr. Obama promoted. “He wouldn’t buck Emil Jones,” Ms. Canary said. The Senate and House agreed to a weaker bill.

The credit that went to Mr. Obama for the racial-profiling and videotaping measures stoked tensions among black colleagues who had sponsored similar proposals only to see Mr. Jones promote his protégé’s efforts. One was state Sen. Rickey “Hollywood” Hendon, an outspoken Democrat, who once had to be separated from Mr. Obama in the Senate after confronting him for reasons that witnesses don’t recall and Mr. Hendon won’t discuss.

*** UPDATE 2 *** By the way, I was there during that fight with Hendon. I thought this incident looked familiar, but I couldn’t remember the details. It all came back to me when a former PAR intern sent me an e-mail this afternoon reminding me that he was there in the press box with me.

As he remembers it (and I’m pretty sure he’s right), Obama had voted against one of Hendon’s amendments for the South Side. Then Obama spoke in favor of a different amendment for the region. Hendon rose to complain during debate.

Afterwards, the two talked, and Obama wagged his finger in Hendon’s face. Well, Hendon didn’t like that much so he swatted Obama’s hand away. There was a throwdown and then they were separated.

- Posted by Rich Miller   24 Comments      


Question of the day

Friday, Feb 23, 2007

We’ve had a similar discussion here before, but we might as well do it again.

First, the setup

(S)upporters of a proposed statewide indoor smoking ban say that aside from the health benefits of clearing second-hand smoke from the air, it can quell competition issues among smoking and smoke-free establishments.

The plan took its first step toward becoming law Wednesday when a legislative committee approved it by an 8-0 vote.

But, Wednesday’s committee vote doesn’t guarantee success when the full House or Senate debates the idea.

In the committee, for example, state Rep. Mike Boland voted ‘’yes.'’ But, he said he may not support the measure when it reaches the full House. […]

Among the coalition of health groups lined up to support the measure was Barb Nation, a Springfield resident who says second-hand smoke gave her a tumor. A part of her lung was removed.

As I noted below, just because a bill passes a committee doesn’t mean it will pass (the often-goofy Boland is a perfect example here).

With that in mind, here’s the question: Would you prefer a statewide smoking ban to allowing individual localities to impose their own bans?

- Posted by Rich Miller   37 Comments      


“Teen driver on board”

Friday, Feb 23, 2007

Just how tough do we really want to get on teenagers? One legislator wants them to display the equivalent of a scarlet letter on their cars when driving.

Getting a driver’s permit or a license is big news for a teenager - and one Peoria lawmaker wants to make sure everyone hears about it.

Under legislation introduced by Republican state Rep. David Leitch, R-Peoria, any Illinois driver younger than 18 who has a learner’s permit or graduated driver’s license would have to attach a sign to their vehicle indicating that they’re a new driver.

The sign would have to be up every time a minor takes the wheel until he or she gets an unrestricted license at age 18.

The proposal, approved by a House committee Thursday, originated with one of Leitch’s constituents, Metamora resident Amy DeFreitas.

According to the article, some other countries have similar laws.

And for those of you unfamiliar with Statehouse ways, just because a bill passes a House committee doesn’t mean it will pass the full House. It’s pretty easy to get a bill out of committee in that chamber. But reporters have to do something with their time, so we get lots of stories (and blog posts) this time of year about unusual legislation like this one.

Anyway, have at it.

- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      


Phones vs. cable

Friday, Feb 23, 2007

A battle of the titans is looming at the Statehouse, with AT&T (through its front group which advertises here) and the big cable companies squaring off.

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers on Thursday touted a proposal they say would save money for Illinois’ cable television subscribers.

But opponents of House Bill 1500 do not believe those claims. Gary Mack, a spokesman for the Cable Television and Communications Association, called the plan “a Trojan horse” and “absolutely terrible legislation.”

The debate figures to shape up as a showdown between traditional telecommunications businesses, specifically AT&T, and cable TV companies. Because of technology advances in recent years, the two industries overlap in some areas, such as high-speed Internet service. […]

At a state Capitol news conference, Brosnahan said that cable rates have increased by 93 percent nationwide in the past 10 years. In Illinois, he added, they rise by about 7 percent a year. […]

Mack rejected that assertion, saying: “We already have competition. They are able to get into any market that they choose.”

I haven’t written much about this yet, but I plan to soon. Also, there’s more to the story than the above article reports, and I’ll try to post some stuff in the subscriber-only section.

I’m not sure what sort of debate we’ll have on this, but I suppose you could talk about your cable bills and the benefits of competition. Remember, though, it’s not as simple as it looks. If it was, AT&T wouldn’t be ready to spend a fortune to pass it.

- Posted by Rich Miller   16 Comments      


Morning Shorts

Friday, Feb 23, 2007

* Questionable deals in Steele’s 16-week tenure

* No board vote means Chief is still U. of I. symbol: says trustee

* Neil Steinberg: U of I made mess with Chief Illiiniwek

* Stroger wins $3 billion budget battle: it appeared Stroger had locked up 10 of the 17 votes necessary, including winning the support of Republicans Peter Silvestri, Gregg Goslin and Liz Gorman, along with surprise support from Mike Quigley.

* Budget debate goes well into the night

* Illinois’ campaign finance laws are nation’s worst says national advocacy group

“Illinois is one of the only places in America where literally anyone can walk in the door and spend whatever they want to influence the outcome of an election. The system is almost an open invitation to corruption,” said Suzanne Novak, lead author of the report.

* Forum to discuss possible gender bias at state agencies

* Steve Huntley: Some rules we ignore

* Campaign worker calls Gorecki voice mails a “shock”

* Audit report call for overhaul of Chicago Regional Transportation Authority

But as the General Assembly prepares to address what the RTA and the three transit agencies portray strictly as a funding crisis, the audit said more money alone would not remedy many core problems.

* Editorial: Make sure Fitzgerald keeps his job

* Eric Krol: Blagojevich getting ready to sock it to business with budget

* Bill introduced to ban horse slaughter

* Friday Beer Blogging

- Posted by Paul Richardson   7 Comments      


« NEWER POSTS PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Transitions: Baise, Denzler, Demmer, DeWitte, Mazzochi
* Caption contest!
* *** LIVE *** Campaign finance reports
* Rauner denies tacking to the right with Pence praise
* Rauner signs Firearms Restraining Order Act, 72-hour gun purchase waiting period, will veto gun shop regulation bill
* John McGovern: "An honorable man in politics"
* *** UPDATED x1 - Rauner to veto *** Raoul to Rauner: "Get us out of Crosscheck"
* Unclear on the concept
* Mitchell is "a foot in the door for the next generation"
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Yesterday's stories

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* Rauner signs law allowing guns to be removed fr.....
* Gov. Rauner signs two gun control bills..
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* Rauner OKs bill so families can cite mental iss.....
* With New Illinois Gun Law, 'Red Flag' S.....
* Governor Signs Gun Legislation..
* First black lawmaker to run Illinois Democratic.....
* *** UPDATED x1 - Rauner to veto *** Raoul to Ra.....
* Unclear on the concept..
* Gillibrand in Chicago boosting Pritzker, Underw.....


* Chicago activist demands all footage from police shooting
* Rauner signs gun order of protection, waiting period laws
* Groups getting $11.5 million for children’s mental health
* Authorities: 2-year-old child dies after Illinois house fire
* Jeff Keicher to finish Bob Pritchard’s term in state House
* Man killed by Chicago police ran away, reached for waist
* The Latest: Video: Chicago man ran away, reached to waist
* CVS apologizes after managers call cops on black customer
* Injuries at poultry processing plants often underreported
* Woman fatally shot in Chicago during attempted carjacking

* Londrigan outraises Davis in 2nd quarter; Davis has more in fund
* Gov. Rauner signs two gun control bills
* Londrigan outraises Davis in 3rd quarter; Davis has more in fund
* Durbin not confident Illinois election systems are secure
* Jeff Keicher to finish Bob Pritchard's term in Illinois House
* New Illinois program to offer retirement savings plan
* Illinois Governor's Mansion reopens to public
* State agency director Mays has spent $66K on travel
* Governor's Mansion reopens to public on Saturday
* State officials: Illinois was Russian hackers' target

* FCC rejects Sinclair plan for TV station sales in Tribune deal
* Tribune, Sinclair fall as FCC rejects TV station spinoff plan
* Chicago's first food boat serving up Texas BBQ
* DTF? The Chicago Transit Authority isn't
* To sue Trump or not to sue Trump: That's the question in Illinois AG race


* Ms. Lauryn Hill, Raphael Saadiq, Chaka Khan & 7 more acts to catch at Pitchfork
* Bears position breakdown: The defensive line
* Some heart drugs being recalled
* Crystal Lake man charged with 11 counts of child pornography possession
* Prince Louis christening photos released by Kensington Palace
* Should Bears fans worry about Roquan Smith’s contract?
* Unneeded task force puts naturalized citizens at risk
* Judge halts deportations of reunited families
* Inspector general: Some city workers not getting #MeToo message
* Soccer diplomacy: World Cup host Vladimir Putin gives Donald Trump a ball


* Former Illinois Congressman clarifies: 'Does Joe Walsh believe kindergarteners should be armed? No.'
* Troubled detainee at center of unusual court fight by Loyola hospital with Sheriff Dart
* Prime time: A day of deals at Amazon, and at its rivals
* Rauner doesn't want Illinois pulled from multistate voter registration system that Democrats call prone to hacking
* Judge temporarily halts deportations of reunified families
* Roquan Smith unsigned as Bears rookies report to training camp
* Woodman's Food Market to open early September in Buffalo Grove
* Guns can be removed from those deemed dangerous under law signed by Rauner
* Jared Kushner's family firm accused of pushing out tenants
* Reactions to Sacha Baron Cohen's 'Who is America?': 'One of the bravest uses of comedy' that 'sparks a very deep moral conversation'


» Durbin Says He Hasn't Taken Position on SCOTUS Pick — Also Has Doubts About Election Security
» Look Inside The Renovated Governor's Mansion
» Angry Crowd Protests After Chicago Police Fatally Shoot Man
» Chicago Police: Man Killed By Police Appeared To Be Armed
» State Week: SCOTUS Nominee, Dan Ryan Protest, Misleading Ads
» Controversy Over Firing Of Popular Chicago Public Schools Principal
» Russia Indictments Likely Cover Illinois Hack, State Official Says
» Science Heroes In Children’s Books; Creating Manufacturing Jobs; The Miller Park Zoo
» WBEZ’s Chicago And Illinois News Roundup: July 13, 2018
» The Week in Review: Hate Crime Charges Follow Forest Preserve Rant


* Londrigan outraises Davis in 2nd quarter; Davis has more in fund
* Gov. Rauner signs two gun control bills
* Londrigan outraises Davis in 3rd quarter; Davis has more in fund
* Durbin not confident Illinois election systems are secure
* Jeff Keicher to finish Bob Pritchard's term in Illinois House
* George Will: Don't fix baseball, even if it may be broken
* New Illinois program to offer retirement savings plan
* Illinois Governor's Mansion reopens to public
* Our View: A year after the impasse, all is not well
* UIS perspectives: UIS campus stays busy in summer


* Rep. Mike Bost recognizes O’Fallon Boy Scout
* Columbia man broke into Millstadt garage and a tavern, police say
* Breakers coaches dive in to help raise money for cystic fibrosis
* Breakers remain undefeated after posting wins against Highland, St. Clair, Westhaven
* Cubbie Conversation, July 16, 2018
* Noon update: Mostly sunny this afternoon
* Primus to perform at Adler Theatre in October
* July 18 Illinois basketball chat
* Years ago, his dad died in a motorcycle crash. His mom was just killed in one, too.
* Did a mysterious star inspire Cahokians to build Monks Mound?


* Boy seriously injured after boat hits him on Fox River
* Trump and Putin end historic summit that Trump says 'changed' bad relations
* Feder: FCC throws Sinclair/Tribune deal in doubt
* Tens of thousands welcome Croatia home after World Cup final
* Chicago activist demands all footage from police shooting

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* Luby Equipment Services hosts lawmakers
* How the definitive Obama White House oral ...
* Tom Kacich | Independent wants board to be...
* Letter: Unseat Rodney Davis
* Bernard Schoenburg: Londrigan moves up a n...
* Libertarian candidate answers questions
* Davis Pursues Bipartisanship
* Midterm elections could test GOP's pat...
* Key area congressional votes on campaign f...

* Durbin not confident Illinois election sys......
* Durbin: More work needed to make sure Russ......
* Democratic Voters Want To See A Fight Agai......
* Dems reveal plan of attack; focus on impos......
* Have Democrats forgotten their manners?...

* Seeking clarity on racial disparities, Dem......
* Senator Tammy Duckworth Doesn't......
* DRAMA on the South Side — City Club JAW-DR......
* Trump and Putin meet in Helsinki...
* Bernie Sanders: Bold Politics Is Good Poli......

* Thorner: Be Grateful Trump Won the Presidency
* Former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh explains how he was pranked by Sacha Baron Cohen
* Di Leo: When the Rights of the Many are Trampled by the Rights of the Few
* Thorner: Kavanaugh in line with Hamilton's thinking in Federalist No. 78 to interpret laws, not make them
* The [Tuesday] Papers
* How The Fight Against Affirmative Action At Harvard Could Threaten Rich Whites
* Former Presidents Support Trump's Immigration Plan
* Left's Grand Idea: Illinois Professor Argues Need to Expand Supreme Court in Order to Save It
* Stare Decisis, The Supreme Court, And Roe
* Good News: Trump Rescinds Obama’s ‘Affirmative Action’ Guidance


* Gov. Rauner meets one of oldest living WWII veterans
* IDOT reopening lanes where possible for July 4 travel
* Bellock named DHFS director
* Follow-Up Samples from the Illinois River Show No Microcystins
* Illinois Department of Public Health Heat Safety Tips

  
* A Raspberry Pi 3 is the key to making coding fun
* The Verge guide to Amazon Prime Day 2018
* Instapaper is going independent — again
* Chrome and Firefox gain Windows 10 Timeline support with a new extension
* Huawei Mate 10 Pro at $499.99, that’s $300 off at B&H
* It’s telling that we don’t know if Samsung’s CEO is holding a Galaxy Note 9 or Note 8 in this pic
* Nathan Fillion stars as Nathan Drake in what might be film’s only good video game adaptation

* Lambert, Johnson on Pipeline Team of the Week
* AZL White Sox Weekend Wrap-Up
* White Sox rout Royals 10-1
* White Sox prospect Michael Kopech on Triple-A experience
* White Sox Take Two of Three From KC
* White Sox strengths lie in farm system
* White Sox Weekly: Turn back the clock to 1993 with Ozzie, Ro...


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