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Today’s quotable

Tuesday, Nov 25, 2014

* From the twitters…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - OneMan - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 10:30 am:

    True that…

  2. - A guy... - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 10:30 am:

    that refined piece of prose must have been ready and in the can for a few months waiting for the opportunity to be tweeted.

  3. - John A Logan - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    Charlie Wheeler everybody!

  4. - LincolnLounger - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    Hope people in the AGs office read it.

  5. - Walter Mitty - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 10:34 am:

    So simple, so true.

  6. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 10:36 am:

    Charlie Wheeler, your work for the year is complete, see you in January.

    Well done.

  7. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 10:37 am:

    Guy, actually Charlie thinks quite well, and quickly, on his feet. He is one of the ones I would hesitate to debate about much of anything relating to state government

  8. - Frenchie Mendoza - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 10:37 am:

    Hope people in the AGs office read it.

    Hope Rauner and his brain trust *understand* it. Business folks — at least the ones I’ve had the displeasure of meeting and working with — are usually bereft of language skills.

    They hate plain language. They figure they’re being tricked.

  9. - A guy... - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 10:39 am:

    Schnorf, I don’t doubt you for a single moment on this. Having spent some years “Canning words”, this one is clever enough to have had some forethought.

    PS. I don’t disagree with the sentiment whatsoever.

  10. - Casual Observer - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    Is he saying the legislature, Governor and AG are illiterate or is he implying they all willfully betrayed their sworn oath to uphold the constitution?

  11. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    C. O. - perhaps “willfully illiterate” would be more accurate.

  12. - Lil Squeezy - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    I am only critical of the use of “reasonably literate”. I disagree with the assumption that some reading skills are required. I suppose you need some knowledge of the English language - unless you have a translator.

    The more I think about it, the more I disagree with his tweet.

  13. - Georg Sande - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    This is pure genius indeed, just as all here in the echo chamber acknowledge. Mr. Wheeler’s wonderful, thoughtful and deep constitutional analysis is certain to be adopted, verbatim, by our State Supreme Court if not first used by Attorney General Madigan as a mea culpa.

  14. - RNUG - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    Yep, it was a nice line.

    I also heard a good line this past weekend from a friend in the legal profession after they read the Belz opinion. Their translation: “I’m not going to be overturned. I dare you to appeal this!”

  15. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    If only every issue could be this simple. Lisa, Bruce… stop yourselves!

  16. - Pius - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 10:59 am:

    State House with Charlie Wheeler and Co. is the best talk radio show on Illinois politics. It is a great supplement/complement to CapitolFax!

  17. - CircularFiringSquad - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 10:59 am:

    Wow that Charley is a “Bleeping” Genius. He should have been named the new U of I president rather than the out of towner.
    He will be right until the court
    a. says the state has sovergn powers in the time of emergency, or
    b. affirms the circuit court judge and threatens Charley’s pension
    Happy Thanksgiving

  18. - Beetlejuice - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    How about Governor Quinn’s future pension. Guess he won’t be in the bread line.

  19. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 11:09 am:

    The bill got the deep thinkers of the Tribbie edit board off Quinn and GA’s back on the issue through the election, which was the real objective.

  20. - Casual Observer - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 11:17 am:

    Knowingly passing and signing unconstitutional legislation for political purposes should be an impeachable offense. I shudder when I think “oh well, this is Illinois”.

  21. - Dirty Red - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 11:19 am:

    They really just need to call that program “The Charlie Wheeler Show.”

  22. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 11:24 am:

    To Charlie’s credit, he’s been saying/cautioning this for at least 20 years.

  23. - Jack Handy - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 11:41 am:

    Lets say hypothetically that the state can and does declare bankruptcy. With this ruling in mind, where does pension debt fall in relation to bond debt?

  24. - Norseman - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 11:41 am:

    So right Charlie. Next week’s quote: Gov-elect Rauner don’t expect any guidance.

  25. - Smitty Irving - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 11:44 am:

    Perhaps Illinois politicians speak an until now unknown dialect that inhibits the understanding of clear definitive English?

  26. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 11:49 am:

    Jack, how could anyone answer that question? There’s no case law on states filing bankruptcy because no state has filed bankruptcy because states can’t file bankruptcy.

  27. - ZC - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 11:52 am:

    Ugh. What a bad argument / sentiment by Wheeler. Shall we all just spike the football more?

    “If you didn’t agree with X, you just must be an illiterate or unable to read clear English” — borders on _ad hominem_, as an argumentative fallacy.

    It’s even worse because we’re talking interpreting a constitutional text here. Anytime anyone claims, “Well, the plain text of a constitution just states and anyone who doesn’t see that, is illiterate …” grab your wallet and hang on for dear life.

    To be sure there were plenty of strong reasons to see these 2014 rulings coming down the pike; RNUG admirably articulated them. But “you must be illiterate if you missed this”? Ain’t one of them.

  28. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 11:57 am:

    ===we’re talking interpreting a constitutional text here===

    That’s only difficult when the terms aren’t defined. What really is “freedom of speech”? Courts have had to figure that out for centuries.

    “Membership in any pension or retirement system of the State, any unit of local government or school district, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, shall be an enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.”

    No undefined terms there.

  29. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 12:00 pm:

    ZC, thenjudge pretttty much said the same thing.

    And CFC, that “police powers in time of emergency” was a loser from the get-go.

    “I don’t want to to pay back what I borrowed” hardly constitutes an emergency.

  30. - Anon. - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 12:05 pm:

    ==Lets say hypothetically that the state can and does declare bankruptcy. With this ruling in mind, where does pension debt fall in relation to bond debt?==

    That would be an issue of federal bankruptcy law. Although bankruptcy law frequently incorporates elements of state law (e.g., the homestead exemption), it would be an invitation to abuse to allow states to file bankruptcy and also to enact laws that grant preferences to some of their creditors over others in bankruptcy proceedings.

  31. - BIG R. Ph. - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 12:07 pm:

    Same goes for Ferguson

  32. - Sir Reel - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 12:07 pm:

    Word is right. This was all about getting an issue off the table for the election. Quinn et al knew they were wrong. But they still can’t admit they were wrong. I think politicians are incapable of it.

    I just hope it is quickly put to bed.

  33. - Nieva - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 12:30 pm:

    Dang Rich you need a like button!!

  34. - Name Withheld - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 12:36 pm:

    Charlie Wheeler has that incredible gift for taking complicated and difficult topics in state government and distilling them down to the essence, while providing that historical context so that you understand - to the extent possible - how events came to be. You start finding fault with his analysis - you better be on rock-solid ground.

    Forget the word choices - the intent of his statement is clear: you have to have been willfully ignorant of the plain-text language in the Constitution to believe this could have come down any other way.

  35. - Federalist - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 12:37 pm:

    It would be incredible if the courts ruled that a millionaire’s tax were legal without a Constitutional Amendment.

  36. - Norseman - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 12:41 pm:

    You need to throw the Kanerva ruling into the mix. Read that and you know what was going to happen.

  37. - Federalist - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    The big question is making the tax increase permanent. That is where the real money is.

    Rauner may be in driver’s seat on this. I am not certain that he would be overridden in both the House and Senate. A number of downstate Democrats might jump ship and side with Rauner.

    So what will Rauner do about it? Eventually support it, cut it back some, or cut the budget rather drastically. I don’t claim to be able to read his mind.

    I have heard that the IBHE is being told to expect a 30% cut for public universities. But they are an easy target and have absorbed a disproportionate percentage share of budget cuts in the last decade. So, in the political world of Illinois I would assume they will continue to be targeted.

  38. - A Jack - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 12:51 pm:

    The federal constitution does not allow bankruptcy by states. Probably the same people who think the federal constitution can be ignored are the same people that think the state constitution could have been ignored.

  39. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 12:52 pm:

    Federalist, I wouldn’t worry about any tax increase votes that Rauner hasn’t signed off on ahead off time. Doesnt work that way.

    In fact, any tax increase will be known as the Rauner Plan.

    No one sticks out their neck for new taxes at the risk of a veto.

    Rauner will wear the jacket for new taxes or deep cuts. Comes with the big chair. Always has.

  40. - UIC Guy - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 12:56 pm:

    @Federalist, 12:37
    Yes, I’ve been thinking that if we were in a fiscal emergency that justified overriding the constitution, why not pass a graduated income tax (such as almost all states with an income tax have)? Funny no one in the legislature thought of that, isnt’ it?

  41. - Anotherretiree - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 12:58 pm:

    ==No undefined terms there.==
    True for this bill.But what about the next one(s)that target health benefits?. Allowable changes to health care benefits haven’t been defined by the courts yet. Is it just access to the same level of plan current employees have? Can they degrade it through ever increasing copays ? Narrower networks ? Lower reimbursements ? The State currently offers us $500/month to go away health carewise. I predict Rauner will try and weaken health care benefits to the point the $500 will be the better deal. What will the courts say ?

  42. - Under Further Review - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 1:18 pm:

    The law’s sponsor, State Senator Daniel Biss is an M.I.T. graduate. He claims to be a mathematician.

    Too bad he did not major in English, eh Charlie?

  43. - Federalist - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 1:22 pm:

    A graduated income tax is also unconstitutional without a constitutional amendment.

    We have been over this issue many times before.

  44. - Federalist - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 1:24 pm:


    I believe you are correct in your analysis.

    I just don’t know what he plans to do.

  45. - UIC Guy - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 1:26 pm:

    Federalist: I know. My point was: why violate the pension provision of the constitution not the flat tax provision?

  46. - Federalist - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 2:34 pm:


    Sorry, missed your point.

  47. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 2:39 pm:

    Federalist, it’s too bad Rauner didn’t have the time or resources during the campaign to fill everyone in on his plans, lol.

    A budget plan being a constitutional mandate for every governor and all.

  48. - Enviro - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 3:03 pm:

    Federalist - 12:44pm - Madigan is the only one in the drivers seat on the tax issue or any other issue. But Rauner will no doubt be made to own the needed tax increases and budget cuts.

  49. - Enviro - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 3:09 pm:

    UIC Guy 1:26 pm - In answer to your question:
    “…why violate the pension provision of the constitution not the flat tax provision?”

    Reducing state pensions plays better in an election year than raising taxes.

  50. - A guy... - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 4:05 pm:

    === Wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 2:39 pm:

    Federalist, it’s too bad Rauner didn’t have the time or resources during the campaign to fill everyone in on his plans, lol.

    A budget plan being a constitutional mandate for every governor and all.====

    That’s a luxury (and burden) of incumbents who have every bit of data at their disposal and all the levers of government within the office. A challenger can be discredited by a policy wonk in a second who has information not nearly as available to a guy outside of government.

    Making you happy Sling would garner the lifetime achievement award for being perfect every day (aka you) Trouble is, not many would consider the award worth the process. lol.

    He ran a campaign the way he needed to. And he won without your vote or your advice. He’s not Dawn Clark Netsch. He won. Campaigning is hard too. Just as governing is hard. He was pretty good at one, how bout you give him and honest shot at the other.

    When he runs as an incumbent, you get to demand more. That’s got to be something you’d look forward to.

  51. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 4:36 pm:

    - A Guy -,

    I find it ironic that you yap far more than you hear the Transition Team speak, and you set them up, for things even they won’t say or promise.

    Maybe it’s you that needs a lil more watching, and a lot less yapping.

  52. - RNUG - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 4:53 pm:

    - Jack Handy - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 11:41 am:

    You do understand that States can’t declare bankruptcy?

    Skipping that part, to answer the hypothetical, we don’t know for sure. My guess under State law is at least co-equal in ranking, with the possiblity of pensions nosing it out. In Federal court, I would guess co-equal class(es) of debt.

  53. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 5:13 pm:

    == should come as no surprise to anyone who is reasonably literate and speaks the English language ==

    How did Governor Quinn, Speaker Madigan, the conference committee, Attorney General Madigan and the Civic Committee get is so wrong?

    It appears someone needs to drop a junior high English pop-quiz on them all.

  54. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 25, 14 @ 5:56 pm:

    Guy, you’re just a spinner, and not a very good one.

    What information did Rauner not have if he wished to be specific during the campaign about budget matters?

    He did not want to be specific. I get it. That’s strategy.

    Why do you feel the need to make stuff up? And ridiculous stuff at that?

  55. - A guy - Wednesday, Nov 26, 14 @ 5:35 am:

    I’m sorry Willy, did you say something? I was listening to the transition team while you were making some silly statement.

    And Sling, you’ve had Rauner right all along, haven’t you. Voted early and angry for the first time in your life to smite him. Dispensed venom every day. And then the usual…you’re spinning, you’re not smart, blah, blah.

    I’ll predict this: Rauner will play to your need to be a hindsight expert. But, he won’t make you happy as he succeeds. You need to be more hopeful man, you really do.

    How about I spin you a happy Thanksgiving?

  56. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 26, 14 @ 6:46 am:

    - A Guy -,

    “You’re not helping”

    Actually, all your doing, is reminding about all the negative, while the real Rauner Crew has been strategically silent and working very quietly.

    You are acting quite the opposite of Your Guy.

    Speaks volumes.

  57. - À guy - Wednesday, Nov 26, 14 @ 7:47 am:

    Willy, you ARE helping??? Oy.

  58. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 26, 14 @ 8:08 am:

    - A Guy -,

    I am not part or parcel or speaking for Rauner’s Crew, not do I see that happening anytime soon.

    You’ve taken it upon yourself to speak for: Pat Quinn’s Mom, the voters, other volunteers, the campaign, now the Transition Team.

    I know I won’t be, or not speaking for, them. You seem to think you do;

    “You’re not helping”

  59. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 26, 14 @ 8:30 am:

    Guy, pick a made up story and stick to it.

    You claim that Rauner couldnt be specific in the campaign because the information wasn’t available to him.

    I say it was as part of strategy.

    You felt the need to make up some ridiculous tale to rationalize the game plan. Why, I have no idea. No one actually involved with the campaign said such silly things, and I’m quite certain they were able to speak for themselves.

  60. - A guy... - Wednesday, Nov 26, 14 @ 9:55 am:

    == Wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 26, 14 @ 8:30 am:

    You claim that Rauner couldnt be specific in the campaign because the information wasn’t available to him.

    I say it was as part of strategy.

    You felt the need to make up some ridiculous tale to rationalize the game plan. Why, I have no idea. No one actually involved with the campaign said such silly things, and I’m quite certain they were able to speak for themselves.===

    I felt the need to offer some perspective from my point of view, you know, (like a dude saying the rating system is just a big scam, nothing to see here and pensions are super safe with no chance of default ever)

    I think both of those things you’ve identified could be correct: Hard to get the most recent hard numbers if your not in the administration AND reveal as little as possible so you have more latitude later on.

    Is that so implausible to your very advanced mind, Sling? Hard to imagine it is. While you guys did nothing but call them Cheez Whiz and other insults for months, they stayed the course and proved you to be very, very wrong.

    I’m glad you’ve come to the conclusion that they know what they’re doing and they have some pretty great minds working on all these issues. Welcome to the more intellectual view of serious people doing serious things.

    Wilbur, you’re just making noise. Aside from belaboring the obvious, you seem to hang around to say things you usually need to amend or take back altogether. Really dude, I don’t mind the interaction, but bring more than snipe to the table. For heaven’s sake, it’s Thanksgiving. We’re all hungry for the good stuff.

  61. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 26, 14 @ 10:06 am:

    - A Guy -,

    I wish you knew what you were talking about.

    Your statement above reminds me that as Wilbur, you speak from the wrong end of the horse.

    You prove It’s just too much to ask to be realistic, speak for yourself, and stop pretending you have a clue.

  62. - The Colossus of Roads - Wednesday, Nov 26, 14 @ 10:06 am:

    Where is Quinn? Did he fall off the face of the earth? Lame Duck or not, he should be weighing in on an issue he was put on this earth to fix.

  63. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 26, 14 @ 10:12 am:


    You say of me..,

    ===you usually need to amend or take back altogether.===

    You then say above that…

    ===I felt the need to offer some perspective from my point of view, you know…===

    So you felt the need to clarify?

    You are a Dope

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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