Monthly archives: September, 2008

Officer Nathaniel Taylor Jr. Fatally Shot – One Man Charged

Officer Nathaniel Taylor Jr. was shot Sunday as officers attempted to execute a search warrant.

Lamar Cooper, 37, was charged this evening with murder.

From the Sun-Times:

Cooper, who was shot by officers, was in “stable” condition at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County.

Several officers were conducting surveillance and waiting to serve a warrant at Cooper’s home in the 7900 block of South Clyde early Sunday when the suspect pulled up in a car, according to police.

Several sources said the officers announced their office and Cooper opened fire. He had two packets of drugs in his mouth — possibly cocaine — in an apparent attempt to destroy evidence, sources said. The suspect’s handgun was recovered at the scene, police said.

This is incredibly sad.

This is not the time for politics.  This is not the time for ranting.

This is a time for silence – a profound pause – as we let this sink in.  An officer is dead, and his family begins to feel the loss.

And the Chicago Police Department has lost a colleague.  Every cop in the Chicagoland area has lost a brother.

Help International Medical Corps Earn $1.5M

Los Angeles–(TURNINGLEFT)– International Medical Corps (IMC) has been matched for the American Express Top 25 Members Project, ‘Saving the Lives of Malnourished Children.’  The project was selected from 1,190 submissions nominated by American Express card members.  As the organization matched to the project, IMC is eligible for a part of $2.5 million in funding.  The project that receives the most votes from cardholders by September 29 receives $1.5 million; second $500,000; third $300,000, and fourth and fifth $100,000.

We need your help between now and September 29th. Voting is easy and doesn’t cost a thing! In just a click, you can save the lives of thousands of malnourished children. Click here to vote:

For severely malnourished children, we offer a step-by-step treatment program that gives them what they need to recover, including nutrient-dense food supplements like the peanut-based product, Plumpy’Nut. Our comprehensive monitoring system saves more than 90 percent of children being treated in our feeding centers. Being one of the Top 5 would mean our nutrition could reach more children around the world who need our help.

“As a mother of children who go to bed with a full stomach every night, it is heartbreaking to consider the millions of kids who do not have the nutrients their little bodies need to survive,” says Paige Strackman, who submitted the idea to American Express.  “I hope this project will bring people to the same conclusion I have – we can solve malnutrition through nutrient-rich, ready-to-eat food.  With enough votes from American Express card members, thousands of children’s lives can be saved.”

Hunger and malnutrition kill more people in the world than HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria combined. As food prices rise, this funding is even more critical. More people are being driven deeper into poverty trying to afford basic staples. Many have nothing to eat at all. Your vote makes it possible for fewer young lives to be lost because they do not have enough to eat.

“International Medical Corps is honored to have the opportunity to match Paige’s passion for this cause with our 24 years of experience in helping children in need,” said Rebecca Milner, Vice President of Institutional Advancement. “We are a vital lifeline for hundreds of thousands of children every year, saving more than 90 percent of the children we treat.”

Through nutrition programs that provide relief while creating sustainable solutions, International Medical Corps brings nutrition-rich, ready-to-eat food to some of world’s most food-insecure environments, including Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Chad, and Sudan.  With a mission that focuses on training, International Medical Corps works to empower individuals and communities, providing education on how to treat malnutrition, identify warnings signs, and intervene before malnutrition worsens. Health care workers and parents are educated on proper diet and hygiene, and communities are equipped to grow their own food and reduce their vulnerability to rising prices.


Getting the word out to your friends and family makes a huge difference! Forward this link to a friend and you bring us that much closer to the $1.5 million to help malnourished children around the world!

International Medical Corps (IMC) is a global, humanitarian, nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives and relieving suffering through health care training and relief and development programs.

Established in 1984 by volunteer doctors and nurses, IMC is a private, voluntary, nonpolitical, nonsectarian organization. Its mission is to improve the quality of life through health interventions and related activities that build local capacity in underserved communities worldwide.

By offering training and health care to local populations and medical assistance to people at highest risk, and with the flexibility to respond rapidly to emergency situations, IMC rehabilitates devastated health care systems and helps bring them back to self-reliance.

For more information visit our website at

Vote “NO” on Palin

For what it’s worth, people on the left and right are all in a tizzy about a completely unscientific poll running on the PBS web site.  So, have fun, I’m passing on to you to vote NO to Palin.

Here’s the email:

PBS is polling whether we support Palin and think she’s ready. So far, this PBS poll shows positive support for Palin. Let’s at least set one record straight! It takes @ 2 seconds. The far right has everyone signing on and voting….. we need to counter it. They ask no personal information, just yes, no, maybe.

Here’s the link:

Just click & vote NOW.


McCain and McBush: Are They McSame?

Carol McCain gives this one an unqualified “True” rating:

Carol McCain

McCain likes to illustrate his moral fiber by referring to his five years as a prisoner-of-war in Vietnam. And to demonstrate his commitment to family values, the 71-year-old former US Navy pilot pays warm tribute to his beautiful blonde wife, Cindy, with whom he has four children. But there is another Mrs. McCain who casts a ghostly shadow over the Senator’s presidential campaign. She is seldom seen and rarely written about, despite being mother to McCain’s three eldest children.

She was the woman McCain dreamed of during his long incarceration and torture in Vietnam’s infamous ‘Hanoi Hilton’ prison and the woman who faithfully stayed at home looking after the children and waiting anxiously for news. But when McCain returned to America in 1973 to a fanfare of publicity and a handshake from Richard Nixon, he discovered his wife had been disfigured in a terrible car crash three years earlier. Her car had skidded on icy roads into a telegraph pole on Christmas Eve, 1969.

Her pelvis and one arm were shattered by the impact and she suffered massive internal injuries.

When Carol was discharged from hospital after six months of life-saving surgery, the prognosis was bleak. In order to save her legs, surgeons had been forced to cut away huge sections of shattered bone, taking with it her tall, willowy figure. She was confined to a wheelchair and was forced to use a catheter. Today, she stands at just 5′ 4″ in and still walks awkwardly, with a pronounced limp. Her body is held together by screws and metal plates and, at 70, her face is worn by wrinkles that speak of decades of silent suffering.

For nearly 30 years, Carol has maintained a dignified silence about the accident, McCain and their divorce. But last week at the bungalow where she now lives at Virginia Beach, a faded seaside resort 200 miles south of Washington, she told The Mail on Sunday how McCain divorced her in 1980 and married Cindy, 18 years his junior and the heir to an Arizona brewing fortune, just one month later.

“My marriage ended because John McCain didn’t want to be 40, he wanted to be 25. You know that happens … it just does.”

In 1979 — while still married to Carol — he met Cindy at a cocktail party in Hawaii. Over the next six months he pursued her, flying around the country to see her. Then he began to push to end his marriage. Some of McCain’s acquaintances are less forgiving, however. They portray the politician as a self-centered womanizer who effectively abandoned his crippled wife to ‘play the field’. They accuse him of finally settling on Cindy, a former rodeo beauty queen, for financial reasons.

Ted Sampley, who fought with US Special Forces in Vietnam and is now a leading campaigner for veterans’ rights, said: “I have been following John McCain’s career for nearly 20 years. I know him personally. There is something wrong with this guy and let me tell you what it is — deceit.”

“When he came home and saw that Carol was not the beauty he left behind, he started running around on her almost right away. Everybody around him knew it. Eventually he met Cindy and she was young and beautiful and very wealthy. At that point McCain just dumped Carol for something he thought was better.”

“McCain is the classic opportunist. He’s always reaching for attention and glory,” he said. “After he came home, Carol walked with a limp. So he threw her over for a poster girl with big money from Arizona. And the rest is history.”

Ross Perot, a billionaire Texas businessman, and a former presidential candidate, who paid her medical bills all those years ago, now believes that both Carol McCain and the American people have been taken in by a man who is unusually slick and cruel — even by the standards of modern politics.


Tell the Media to Call Sarah Palin a LIAR

From our friends, the Democrats:, the Aggressive Progressives - 500,000 strong and growing! email the democrats

Tell The Media to Call Sarah Palin a Serial Liar

email the democrats It is now thoroughly documented that Sarah Palin supported the $398 million “Bridge to Nowhere” when she ran for Governor in 2006, even though Congress cancelled the earmark in 2005.

She only opposed it in September 2007 after her final efforts to get $329 million more from Congress failed. Yet she kept the partial funding from Congress!

So when Palin repeatedly says “I told Congress, ‘Thanks, but no thanks’ on that bridge to nowhere,” she is repeatedly lying.

It is long past time for reporters to call Sarah Palin exactly what she is – a serial liar.

Sign our petition to the Media:

Why Obama Must Win

From Andrew Sullivan:

This decision is not worthy of a great power. Whatever skills Palin may turn out to have, however fabulous a person she may turn out to be, even if she becomes the Eva Peron of Christianism, McCain had no idea when he picked her.

He winged this. That’s the critical, unavoidable, devastating point.

John McCain has demonstrated with this insane decision that he is unfit to be president of the United States. This was an act of near-criminal negligence. If he can behave this recklessly and impulsively with this decision, the idea of allowing him to become president of the United States is only a smidgen less terrifying than thinking of Palin in that position.

Whatever few doubts I may once have still had about this election, they are resolved now.

Obama has to win. The alternative is unthinkable.

John McCain is actually suggesting that Palin is qualified to be President of the United States because Alaska is near Russia.

Yes, I called it.  But never in a million years did I think the Republicans would try to sell that malarkey.  Republicans don’t think too highly of Americans if they think the majority will fall for that noise.

Any way you look at it, it’s gotta be Obama.

When Illinois Dems Joined the Mile High Club

Speaker Michael Madigan hugs Gov. Rod Blagojevich

The image of Governor Blagojevich and Speaker Madigan hugging at the Democratic National Convention was one for the books.  I’ve been reflecting on the Democratic love-fest for over a week now, not quite sure how to respond.  What does any of that mean?  What really happened?  Who started singing Kumbaya first?

According to news reports, Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. started things off with an apology to Rep. Bobby Rush.  Carol Marin tells the story:

On Wednesday morning at the breakfast meeting of the Illinois delegation, Rep. Bobby Rush rose to say a few words. Recovering from the aftershocks of radical cancer surgery, he is physically a shadow of his former self. But, like the good Baptist preacher he also is, Rush rose to the occasion, telling delegates the parable of the eagle and the storm.

“I am that eagle,” he declared.

Thanking those who had been supportive, Rush also noted “some who were not there, but that’s all right.”

He gave a nod to forgiveness, but didn’t name names.

Next up was Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. It isn’t clear that Rush was talking about Jackson, but there is no question they’ve been on a rocky road.

Jackson Jr. began his prepared remarks about unity, talking about burying the truckloads of hatchets that weigh down these Democrats.

And then it happened.

Jackson folded his speech in half. Stuck it in his breast pocket. And turned directly to Rush saying, “Bobby, if there is anything that I’ve ever done to offend you, I’m leaving it at this convention. You are my friend . . .”

For a second, every one of us was stunned.

Rush made his way to Jackson, Jackson jumped down from the dais and they hugged.

It was real. And touching.

Marin, arguably the sharpest political journalist in Chicago, said it was real.  If she saw authenticity, then that’s what happened.

Then Jackson apologized to Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed and State Senate Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson.  If these were also sincere, then kudos to Jesse.

Then Daley ran to Jesse.  According to Marin:

“Who else out here has been mad at me I haven’t figured out yet?” Jackson asked.

Mayor Daley jumped up and hugged Jackson. And Jackson was stunned. Tears sprang into his eyes.

And that, too, was real.

Finally, Gov. Blagojevich and House Speaker Madigan embraced, evidence that hell did indeed freeze over.  I’ll take Carol’s word that what she saw was real.

According to Rich Miller, some aides who apparently did not share in the love tried to downplay the loving:

“It’s all theater,” confided one top Blagojevich aide later in the day. A Madigan lieutenant pointed out that Madigan was the one who walked over to Blagojevich at Jackson’s urging and had to practically pry the governor out of his seat. No happy talk could be found.

But could it be that the aides de camp hadn’t gotten the message? That very evening, Madigan and Blagojevich continued their detente by sitting next to each other at the Democratic convention.

Miller posits any photographs of Illinois pols hugging Gov. Blagojevich would be tremendous cannon fodder for Republicans in upcoming elections.  No one wants to be seen with Blagojevich, whose popularity continues to plummet.

So what really happened at the Mile-High City?  Will the love-fest have any impact on policy in Illinois?  Will Gov. Blagojevich finally develop the capacity to treat lawmakers with civility?  Will Halvorson and Jackson exchange Christmas cards come December?  Will Daley and Jackson finally go out for a cold one?

I give Jackson credit.  Some movement toward reconciliation between he and Bobby Rush is welcome indeed.  Rush is an icon in Illinois and national politics, and Jackson is incredibly astute.

For too long, Illinois Democrats have wrangled over nonsense — egos colliding at the expense of the electorate.  If they don’t learn how to play together real soon, then Republicans deserve another crack at leadership.

That would be a shame.  Illinois needs to stay on a progressive track, and that won’t happen under Republican leadership.  Democrats need to dialog with Republican opposition and stop creating their own internal opposition factions.  This is more of a struggle with an obstructionist governor.

Rush and Jackson should meet again publicly, showing the rest of the Illinois Democratic Mile High Club that it was all for real.

The first time took guts.  The next steps will demonstrate character.

Nightmare on McCain Street

John McCain is his own worst enemy.

If the video above doesn’t play, go here.  It’s worth watching several times over.

Unemployment Up by 6.1%

This says it all:

Joblessness grew by an additional 84,000 in August 2008, bumping the national unemployment rate up to 6.1 percent. This is the highest level in five years and the eighth straight month of job losses. The economy has lost more than 600,000 over that time period.

Hardest hit were manufacturing jobs and the construction industry, fueled by the housing crisis and more movement of manufacturing jobs out of the country. Economists have tied the movement of jobs offshore to the free trade policies advocated by John McCain and George W. Bush as well as to Republican Party tax policies that encourage the creation of jobs in other countries.

Manufacturing has been hit by job losses for the past 26 straight months, totaling more than three quarters of a million lost.

So why is John McCain running on the policies of George W. Bush?