Saturday, November 15, 2008

Here's to you, Old DePauw!

DePauw retained the Monon Bell for another season, rolling over No. 3 Wabash 36-14 after picking off Matt Hudson four times.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

I assume you've heard the rumors, of Sen. Clinton headed to Foggy Bottom.

I'm OK with that.

And who would REALLY like to see the junior senator from New York gone on LENGTHY foreign missions?

Well, hello, Newman

This one is special.
A South Carolina Roman Catholic priest has told his parishioners that they should refrain from receiving Holy Communion if they voted for Barack Obama because the Democratic president-elect supports abortion, and supporting him "constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil."

The Rev. Jay Scott Newman said in a letter distributed Sunday to parishioners at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenville that they are putting their souls at risk if they take Holy Communion before doing penance for their vote. "Our nation has chosen for its chief executive the most radical pro-abortion politician ever to serve in the United States Senate or to run for president," Newman wrote, referring to Obama by his full name, including his middle name of Hussein.
Where to begin...First of all, Obama does not "support" abortion and he is not "pro-abortion." He wants the government out of the question so that personal decisions may be made personally. And from the way you singled out Obama I'm guessing you're OK with endless, unprovoked wars, torture and indefinite imprisonment without charges?

And beyond you, Rev. Newman, shall we look at your organization? I have no quarrel with the faithful who find comfort and solace in the ancient liturgy and the sacraments. But just for a second, let's recall the "WWJD" bracelets. What would a rabbi who spoke of self-sacrifice and sharing think of Vatican City, perhaps the largest art hoarder and landowner in the world? What you he think of an institution that initially ignores and then protects sexual predators preying rather than praying, on the most vulnerable?

And you, Rev. Newman, dare criticize your congregants merely for voting for a man of peace and good will?

I can't do this but I know someone who can--

Damn you.

Obama Resigns His Senate Seat - Now What?

There is pretty much universal agreement that Rod Blagojevich has been a train wreck as governor of Illinois. Six years ago, he sold himself to his constituents as a progressive, a reformer and a "doer." When his agenda got bogged down in some partisan bickering, he STILL won re-election, although many of us who voted for him, did so while holding our collective noses. And it turned out that we should have trusted our noses. He has proven to be a magnet for corruption, and despite a legislature literally brimming with fellow democrats, he has been a total failure at getting anything substantive done with regards to ongoing budgetary timebombs. He is universally despised. However, he IS the sitting governor of the home state of the president-elect. Said p/e has filed his resignation paperwork with the appropriate senatorial office, and so Illinois will be light one senator come Sunday.

So what will our beloved Blago do? Let's dispatch with one possibility right away: He will NOT name himself to fill the remainder of Obama's term - and believe me I am sure that it has crossed his mind. There isn't much question that going to Washington would allow him to be extricated from the quagmire he's created in state government. It must be equally obvious that he would have to face a group of cannibals in a 2010 democratic primary fight. That said, he could NEVER get re-elected, and should he get indicted while a sitting senator (a real possibility given an ongoing federal corruption investigation), he'd turn himself into a national joke along the lines of Ted Stevens.

Nope, Blago needs to go to the bench and name someone else. In my mind there are three groups of contenders, those who would be there to keep the seat warm for two years, those who really want the job, and those who I think might be rolling around in Blago's mind. Here are those I see as being on those short lists:

Seat Warmers
Emil Jones - President of the Illinois Senate. Pros: At 73 years old, he would have no designs on staying on past 2010. As an African American, he would "fill" the Af-Am slot that so many pundits think is SOOOOO important. Oh, and was Barack Obama's political mentor.
Cons: He has a heart condition, and while he is a grizzled veteran legislator, he has absolutely NO national experience.
Jesse White - Illinois Secretary of State. Pros: Another aging Af-Am politician, who would have no designs on holding the seat past 2010. He is undeniably popular statewide. He is acknowledged as a stand-up guy. Cons: None, except for the lack of any substantive legislative experience and the fact that he has publicly stated that he has no interest in the job.

Wanna Bes
Tammy Duckworth - Director of Illinois Department of Veteran's Affairs. Pros - Amazing backstory - multiple amputee veteran of the Iraq Debacle. Gained scads of positive national exposure during her unlikely (and nearly successful) run at Henry Hyde's vacated congressional seat in 2006 (she lost by fewer than 2% in a + GOP district). Cons - She has very little governmental experience, and she hasn't ever won so much as a local elected office. She would be in for a well-funded challenge by the GOP in 2010.

Jesse Jackson Jr. - Sitting Congressman. Pros - A veteran national legislator who would hit the ground running. He knows politics, Dick Durbin could be a huge help to get him onto high profile committees - Normally, I'd say that being an African American would be a "pro" but he carries his father's name, and while his positives in the minority community and the south suburbs are very very high (he is a main proponent of the moribund effort to bring an international airport to Peotone's cornfields) the negatives attached TO HIS FATHER in the mostly white suburbs and downstate would assure a credible GOP challenge in 2010. I really don't like his chances to win a statewide election. His future may be as a challenger to "Da Mayor."

Dan Seals - Two-time (2006, 2008) loser to Mark Kirk in IL-10. Pros - He is Af-Am, and his agenda matches Obama's. Cons - He has ZERO name recognition outside of the Chicago metro area and hasn't ever won an election. While he has run well in a +GOP congressional district, that district is far more socially liberal than downstate. This makes a credible GOP run at him in 2010 a certainty.

Luis Gutierrez - Sitting Congressman (IL-4). Pros - Another veteran legislator who knows his way around Washington. As the only Hispanic in the conversation, he might be a formidible opponent for anyone the GOP throws at him in 2010. Cons - He is all-but-unknown downstate, and he hasn't exactly been much more than a reliable vote in the US Congress, despite having served there for multiple terms. His history as a fire-brand liberal might cause the GOP to see him as vulnerable to a challenge from a strong moderate candidate.

Jan Schakowsky - Sitting Congresswoman (IL-9). Pros - Steady, progressive and (like Jackson and Gutierrez) a veteran presence on Capitol Hill. She can draw on her close relationship with Dick Durbin to get on some plumb committees. She'd be tough for the GOP to attack in 2010. Cons - Another Chicago area politician with little-to-no name recognition outside the Chicago TV market.

Dark, Dark Horses
Bill Foster - Sitting Congressman (IL-14). Pros - Beat a well-funded GOP candidate TWICE in less than a year in a +GOP district. Seen by voters in his district as a moderate with a brilliant mind (FermiLab scientist), and a business background. Received the endorsement of the conservative Chicago Tribune. Cons - Would probably cause the democrats to lose a house seat in a special election for the IL 14 seat. Hard to say if he could generate lots of heat in 2010.

Lisa Madigan - Illinois Attorney General. Pros - She has high positives statewide, and if she went into 2010 as a sitting senator I see no credible GOP presence in the state to oppose her. Her father has the testes of an entire house of the state legislature in a jar by the door of his office. They would make sure to deliver her a decisive victory. Cons - If she is a sitting US Senator, then she probably won't run for governor in 2010 -and this is almost a sure thing if she isn't tabbed for this gig.

My money is on Madigan, especially if Blago has deluded himself into believing that he's still viable to run for re-election in 2010.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Which "ist" are you?

Are you a good witch or a bad witch? No, wrong question.

Apparently the Obama camp and the periphery are dividing into "transformationalists," who want to take an electoral mandate for a spin and the "incrementalists" who take a cautious Clinton-like view to proceeding.

Are you a good witch or a bad witch?

Roberto Martell, please find a life

After a banishment of nearly two years, Chief Illiniwek once again is putting on the buckskins, beads and turkey feathers...a student group paid $4,500 to rent Assembly Hall on campus, where Chief Illiniwek will perform his traditional dance—free for students, $5 for the public. Roberto Martell (an inside joke for the Love Boat crew!), president of Students for Chief Illiniwek, said the group encountered no resistance from the administration. Tom Hardy, a university spokesman, said the students will be allowed to hold the event and that it is not sponsored by the university.

"Chief Illiniwek is a big priority," said Martell, a 20-year-old junior. "It inspired me to be a complete man." Link
Many of you that know that I'm a huge Illini fan and I hated to see the chief gone. But the operative word is "GONE." LET IT GO.

Chief Illiniwek made games more exciting for me (let's face it, there have been a lot of lean years in Illinois football!). However, Roberto, if the chief inspired you to be a complete man, you need to re-examine your priorities.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Why Larry Summers cannot have a Cabinet post

Yes, we know he's generally a tool.

Yes, he said in rough paraphrase that girls can't do math (tell that to my math major wife)

BUT the ultimate disqualifier:

He dated winger hate harpy Laura Ingraham.

Case closed.

A piece of "original intent" to neutralize the mouthbreathers

Over the last several months, as the probability of Obama's election became greater, the right-wing screech machine started to look for ANY kind of dirt to use to derail his chances. My favorite though is this one, and it hasn't gone away - even as the countdown to the inauguration commences: Obama is NOT a natural-born citizen of the United States, and therefore is not constitutionally qualified to run for (or win) the presidency. They say that his Hawaiian birth certificate is forged or falsified or written in secret Islamic code, or made of rice paper, or something.... As absurd as this idea is, let's indulge the mouthbreathers for a moment and allow that Obama was born in some exotic foreign location (say, Indonesia or Kenya, or even Georgia). As long as there isn't any question that he was born the son of Ann Dunham, then Barack IS a natural born citizen, regardless of where the birth took place. The reason is simple: his mother was a citizen of the USA, and therefore he was entitled to USA citizenship AT BIRTH. The first US Congress made this clear in the Naturalization Act of 1790:

"And the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond the sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens."

Now, while it can be argued TODAY that the act could be interpreted to mean that BOTH parents needed to be USA citizens in order for the child to be "natural born" - there is absolutely no problem in looking deep in history to find that the MOTHER is key (you COULD prove who a mother was in 1790... not so easy to prove paternity back then). So clearly the original intent of the framers would be to say that any child of a WOMAN citizen is a natural born citizen regardless of WHERE the child was born...

What is the point of "code names" for the first family ---

if you tell everyone what they are?

Monday, November 10, 2008

More unpopular than Nixon

CNN's latest "approval" poll for W includes an approval number so small they don't even bother to list it.
Seventy-six percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday disapprove of how President Bush is handling his job.

That's an all-time high in CNN polling and in Gallup polling dating back to World War II.

"No other president's disapproval rating has gone higher than 70 percent. Bush has managed to do that three times so far this year," says CNN polling director Keating Holland. "That means that Bush is now more unpopular than Richard Nixon was when he resigned from office during Watergate with a 66 percent disapproval rating."

Before Bush, the record holder for presidential disapproval was Harry Truman, with a 67 percent disapproval rating in January of 1952, his last full year in office.

The only downside to a McCain defeat

If Grampy had won, I would have been spared the indignity of finally being older than the president.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

I would love to be a fly on the wall for the Bush-Obama meeting

The differences between the two are so jarring. I would love to hear what was said between the most honorable and decent man to enter the White House in more than 30 years and one of the most disgusting to leave it--ever.