Monthly archives: March, 2010

Politician On Facebook: Anime Proof That Two Nukes Weren’t Enough for Japan

I was originally drawn to this story because of a post on Wil Wheaton’s (Wesley Crusher from Star Trek’s) Twitter account imploring someone to run against Democratic New Hampshire State Rep. Nick Levasseur. Wheaton called him a “racist a$$hole” and provided a link to NPR.

Here’s the scoop from NPR:

It must be a relief to many that our petty indiscretions, those that appear online and seem to haunt us daily, will soon become so normal as to be irrelevant.

It must be a particular relief to Nick Levasseur, a Democratic New Hampshire state representative, who, according the Huffington Post, used Facebook to offer his rather strong views on anime. Reports failed to record why Levasseur is so pained by the rather beautiful Japanese style of animation.

However, he is reported to have written on his Facebook page these rather difficult words: “Anime is a prime example of why two nukes just wasn’t enough.”

Yes, he really said that.

Firefighter Brian Carey, 28, of Evergreen Park, Dies a Hero

Cook County, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Firefighters in the South Chicagoland area and beyond will be ringing the bell for one of their own soon. The Southtown Star reports that a Homewood man who was in a wheelchair and a firefighter were killed in a house fire Tuesday night. The ceremonial ringing of the bell in memory of those who died in the line of duty is a tradition of the Fire Services that dates back over 150 years.

Another firefighter suffered severe burns fighting the blaze and is hospitalized in critical condition, the Star reports.

The fire was reported about 9 p.m. in the 17600 block of Lincoln Avenue.

Wendell Elias, 84, was dead on the scene, the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.

The man, who was in a wheelchair when found by firefighters, died shortly after he was pulled out of his home, officials said.

Firefighter Brian Carey, 28, of Evergreen Park, died at South Suburban Hospital.

More here

Video: Fox News Cuts Away From Obama Bill Signing To Cover Plane That ‘Had No Problem Landing’

From our friends at Media Matters.

Honestly, this sounds like a headline out of The Onion.

R.N.C. Dismisses Aide Over Outing to Club With Topless Women Imitating Lesbian Sex

This just in from the New York Times:

A Republican Party spokesman said Monday evening that a staff member has been dismissed following a February outing to a risqué Hollywood nightclub, where a party donor submitted a $2,000 tab and asked for reimbursement from the Republican National Committee

Doug Heye, the communications director for the R.N.C., issued this statement:

“At the outset, Chairman Steele was not at Voyeur West Hollywood. He had no knowledge of the expenditure, nor does he find the use of committee funds at such a location acceptable. While some in the press have suggested Chairman Steele was at the venue, he was not and no proof has been offered that he was. When the expense was incurred, Chairman Steele was on United flight # 0084, returning from the RNC Winter Meeting.

“Upon finding out of the expenditure this morning, Chairman Steele demanded the committee get to the bottom of this matter immediately.

“The committee has taken appropriate steps to address the issues relating to the reimbursement of certain expenses. First, as reported, the expenditure in question will be recouped by the RNC. Second, appropriate personnel actions have been taken and accounting and reimbursement processes are being revised to ensure that such an action cannot reoccur. We recognize the difficulty this incident has caused and assure our members and supporters that any necessary and proper remediation is being implemented immediately.

“It is unfortunate that a loyal GOP donor who has recruited other donors became involved in this incident while merely trying to help what turned out to be the improper request of a staffer who is no longer with the committee.”

In fairness, I posted the entire statement from the R.N.C.

Health Insurance Industry Agrees To Fix Kids Coverage Gap

The threat from the health insurance industry came Monday on an apparent loophole which apparently gave insurers wiggle room to deny coverage to children with preexisting conditions.

From the Associated Press:

The fine print of the law appears to have been less than completely clear on whether kids with health problems are guaranteed coverage starting this year. If there’s a problem, some parents and their children may have to wait a long time: The legislation’s broad ban on denying coverage to any person on account of a health condition doesn’t take effect until 2014.

The sticking point is that the immediate benefit for children may not be as sweeping as Obama has claimed in extolling the legislation.

That’s because the law can also be read to mean that if an insurance company accepts a particular child, it cannot write a policy for a child that excludes coverage for a given condition. For example, if the child has asthma, the insurer cannot exclude inhalers and respiratory care from coverage, as sometimes happens now.

But the company could still turn down the child altogether.

Now, that will not happen. Again from the AP:

The insurance industry says it won’t fight President Barack Obama over fixing a coverage gap for kids in the new health care law.

In a letter Monday to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the industry’s top lobbyist says insurers will accept new regulations to dispel uncertainty over a much publicized guarantee that children with pre-existing medical problems can get coverage starting this year.

The president of America’s Health Insurance Plans said the industry will "fully comply" with the regulations, expected within weeks.

Onward to what’s next…

RNC Spent Nearly $2000 At Club With Topless Women Imitating Lesbian Sex

Yes, you read that headline correctly, and, as of this writing, Michael Steele is still employed by the Republican National Committee. Michael Steele and the RNC submitted filings to the FEC indicating that huge amounts of conservative RNC-donor dollars went for wild GOP planning meetings in front of topless women at a bondage-themed nightclub.

Double Yoy!

From The Daily Caller:

While Steele has not purchased a plane, he continues to charter them. According to federal disclosure records, the RNC spent $17,514 on private aircraft in the month of February alone (as well as $12,691 on limousines during the same period). There are no readily identifiable private plane expenses for Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine in the DNC’s last three months of filings.

The RNC explains that Steele charters jets only when commercial service is unavailable, or when his tight schedule requires it. “Anytime the chairman has taken any private travel has been a either to a route that doesn’t exist or because of connections and multiple travel to where he just wasn’t able to do so,” Heye said. Yet Steele’s office repeatedly refused to explain in specific terms the circumstances of the February charter flights.

Once on the ground, FEC filings suggest, Steele travels in style. A February RNC trip to California, for example, included a $9,099 stop at the Beverly Hills Hotel, $6,596 dropped at the nearby Four Seasons, and $1,620.71 spent [update: the amount is actually $1,946.25] at Voyeur West Hollywood, a bondage-themed nightclub featuring topless women dancers imitating lesbian sex.

That’ll keep your trunk up.


Talk about Conservatives Gone Wild.

Photo of the Day: President Obama at Prairie Lights Bookstore in Iowa City

President Obama

President Obama, preparing to read the books of those who want to do him in.

No wonder they keep losing to him.

Gotta love this guy. And gotta love that smile.

Sorry, haters.

Photo from The Daily Please visit them and say, "Thanks."

Dems Pick Sheila Simon to Run With Quinn; Does GOP Have a Candidate Yet?

Sheila Simon will complete the ticket, and the Dems are ready for November in Illinois.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Shortly before Sheila Simon lost her bid for Carbondale mayor nearly three years ago, incumbent Republican Brad Cole predicted a defeat could end Simon’s political career.

But state Democratic officials jump-started that career Saturday, ratifying Gov. Pat Quinn’s request to make the daughter of the late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon Quinn’s running mate for the Nov. 2 general election. Cole, meanwhile, lost his bid for the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor in last month’s primary.

The vote of the Democratic State Central Committee selecting Simon over veteran state Rep. Art Turner of Chicago reflected the belief that she would bring a pedigree of ethics reform — as well as some geographic balance — to the Chicago-centric fall ticket. After the vote, Quinn hugged Simon, 49, a university law school professor and former Carbondale City Council member.

"I think anyone who’s encountered any of the Simons knows that that’s a family that does believe in the ethics of service, of public service, integrity (and) friendliness," Quinn said. "It’s an honor to be on the same ticket with Sheila Simon."

I’m looking forward to getting to know Sheila Simon.

The New York Times tells me the GOP has a candidate for governor in Illinois, but I really don’t know who he is.

As Bill Brady made his way through a crowded ballroom at the Hilton on Michigan Avenue the other evening, heads did not turn to glimpse a political big shot. The Republican nominee for governor of Illinois, at least for now, is an unfamiliar face in the city.

Mr. Brady, a state senator from Bloomington who won the primary without running a single advertisement in the Chicago market, thrust out his hand and introduced himself to anyone who cared to chat at the dinner for construction executives.

One of the bystanders, Bob Fiascone, could muster only a shrug about the candidate.

“Hey, I only just now met the guy,” Mr. Fiascone said.

And I’ve never met him, but, then, you already knew I was voting for Quinn.

Good luck to Brady and his bunch, but this year will be the year of the Dems.

Obama: The Big ‘Effing’ Deal

the big effing deal

I love this.

From a friend at Facebook.

Fix The Schools; Don’t Empty Them With Private School Vouchers

Indian Prairie Unit District 204 hopes a little shame goes a long way toward making the state pay its growing debt. Every sign at each of the district’s 33 schools in February read "The state of Illinois owes District 204 $7.8 million."

The Chicago Tribune reports that a bill just approved by the Illinois State Senate would give vouchers to kids in worst CPS schools.

This is a mistake.

As much as I support private schools — and, believe me, I do — I am also a strong believer in the public school system. The state has an obligation to provide an education for our children. Spending money on educating our youth can only be a win-win for society. Illinois still falls pitifully near the bottom in its willingness to properly fund education.

From the Chicago Tribune:

The Illinois Senate today approved legislation creating a small-scale voucher program that would provide money for 22,000 students at the worst-performing Chicago Public Schools to attend private schools.

The students would get a voucher equivalent to the minimum amount of money the state requires districts to spend on each child. The vouchers would be part of a test program and could be used toward expenses at any private school in Chicago that is willing to participate.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. James Meeks, D-Chicago, passed 33-20 with three present votes.

This is wrong on so many levels.

According to the Tribune, Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline, argued the bill doesn’t go far enough to correct the root problems in education. “Maybe the problem starts at home,” Jacobs said. “Are there vouchers so that we can replace the parents who aren’t doing a good job?”

Seeing anyone in Springfield blaming others for the sad state of Illinois public education is the definition of irony. I know there are plenty of young people who face incredible challenges at home. But the home environment is not the root cause. Home and other challenges faced by our children are only ancillary. Residents of Illinois must be willing to accept an increase to the state income tax so those in less affluent districts can enjoy a quality education. Refusal of the state — all of us in the state — to properly fund education is the root cause of the problem.