Monthly archives: October, 2010

The League of Women Voters DEFINES Patriotism

The League of Women Voters is clearly patriotic.

Glenn Beck is clearly insane.

I am a member of the League of Women Voters of the Park Forest Area.

Glenn Beck is still insane.

From Elisabeth MacNamara, President of the League of Women Voters:

It is unbelievable that anyone would suggest that the League of Women Voters is unpatriotic, but it is happening, right now. And frankly, it’s a bit scary.

League offices and League volunteers are receiving threats because of the League’s nonpartisan role in sponsoring and moderating a congressional debate in Illinois.

We are just not going to stand for it. With your support we will stand proud, “Making Democracy Work” in our fair and nonpartisan way.

Here’s the almost unbelievable story: someone in the crowd at a Congressional debate hosted by a local League in Illinois called for the Pledge of Allegiance, and when told that this was not part of the pre-negotiated agreement reached by the candidates, many stood and recited it anyway.

One of the candidate’s campaigns put the video up on the Internet soon afterwards—so it was likely a planned stunt. And now, fueled by Glenn Beck, conservative extremists are calling in threats to League offices and local League volunteers’ homes, accusing us of opposing the Pledge and being unpatriotic.

But you and I know the truth.

The League of Women Voters and our members are patriotic to their core—in the way that makes a difference each and every day.

And we need your immediate support now to take our message of informed voter participation to the public. That’s real patriotism. Please contribute today.

Like you, we are average citizens who put our time and money into making democracy work in our communities.

We sponsor nonpartisan debates. We publish nonpartisan voters’ guides. We assist in voter registration. We are active in our communities not only at election time but throughout the year.

No matter what craziness Glenn Beck and the misled and misinformed circulate, the League of Women Voters and our members will continue our important work.

These far-fetched attacks are just a distraction from next week’s pivotal midterm elections.

Please help us keep the focus on making democracy work. Please make a contribution today.

Thank you for helping us keep the discourse civil and advancing our work to engage citizens in meaningful and productive ways.

Support the League of Women Voters today!!!

Prepare for the Summer of Blagojevich, Part Deux

He’ll be back.

The Blagojevich retrial is scheduled to start April 20, 2011, the Sun-Times reports.

Dr. Joycelyn Elders: Marijuana, Masturbation and Medicine

From The Nation:

A group called is flooding California airwaves with a scary-scary ad against Proposition 19, which would legalize marijuana. We don’t know who they are but we do know that there is a former Surgeon General who has come out in favor of Prop 19. She’s Joycelyn Elders, also now a professor emeritus at the University of Arkansas School of Medicine and an associate at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Here’s a rough transcript of her comments today on GRITtv.

Laura Flanders (host): Your response to those who say those things: it harms children, it’s a gateway drug and it’ll just do terrible things to law enforcement?

Joycelyn Elders: I would say that if it does anything it will help law enforcement because they could spend more time taking care of… very harmful things. Proposition 19, as I understand it, is really for adults over 21, they can have only one ounce, it’s to be smoked in their own home or in a place that’s authorized. Now, the drug cartels regulate who buys the drug. If we regulated it or decriminalized it, it could be sold and taxed and we could use the money to do more valuable things for our bright young people.


NPR Fires Juan Williams After Comment About Muslims; Sarah Palin Tries to Capitalize

Sarah Palin, opportunist par excelence,has worked her way into a story that has nothing to do with her at all.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

NPR has fired longtime news analyst Juan Williams, also a commentator on the Fox News Channel, after he told Bill O’Reilly that he gets nervous when he sees people in Muslim garb on an airplane. Sarah Palin has called for NPR to lose its federal funding over Williams’ firing.

In a statement late Wednesday, National Public Radio said it was terminating Williams’ contract as a senior news analyst over his comments on Fox’s "The O’Reilly Factor."

NPR executives had previously complained about his remarks on Fox and asked him to stop using the NPR name when he appeared on O’Reilly’s show.

The latest comments came Monday, when O’Reilly brought on guests to discuss his own appearance last week on ABC’s "The View," during which Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg walked off the set to protest his views on Muslims.

"Where am I going wrong here, Juan?" O’Reilly asked.

Williams, 56, responded that too much political correctness can get in the way of reality.

"I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country," Williams said. "But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."

He went on to say that not everyone in a religious group — Christian or Muslim — should be lumped together with extremists.

In statement on her Facebook page, Sarah Palin called for NPR to lose its federal funding over the incident.

Sarah Palin, the Pol Who Quit, campaigns from Facebook.

God Bless America.

Obama Has Ethics: Pakistani Troops Linked to Abuses Will Lose U.S. Aid

From the New York Times:

The Obama administration plans to refuse to train or equip about a half-dozen Pakistani Army units that are believed to have killed unarmed prisoners and civilians during recent offensives against the Taliban, according to senior administration and Congressional officials.

The cutoff of funds is an unusual rebuke to a wartime ally, and it illustrates the growing tensions with a country that is seen as a pivotal partner, and sometimes impediment, in a campaign to root out Al Qaedaand other militant groups.

The White House has not told Pakistan of the decision, even though senior Pakistani military and civilian leaders are here for a series of meetings, according to officials from both countries.

It has privately briefed a few senior members of Congress, but it has not given them details about which Pakistani units will be affected by the suspension. One senior administration official said there was “a lot of concern about not embarrassing” the Pakistani military, especially during a week in which officials are here for the third “Strategic Dialogue” in a year.

Well, I guess Pakistan knows now. Let’s hope they hear about this from Turning Left!

Christine O’Donnell Regrets ‘I’m not a witch’ Ad

In yet another bizarre turn in a campaign that has brought us Democratic U.S. Senate candidate for South Carolina Alvin Green, Christine O’Donnell steps in it again on Good Morning America, ABC’s morning fluff show.

From the Sun-Times:

Republican Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell says she regrets making the campaign ad in which she declared “I’m not a witch.”

Speaking to ABC’s “Good Morning America” in an interview broadcast Thursday, O’Donnell said the ad was meant to put to rest the controversy surrounding her past statements as a TV commentator but instead simply brought it up again.

Good Morning America, now home to George Stephanopoulos and his mile-wide inch-deep grasp on politics.

‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Is Back, For Now… (Yawn)

From The Christian Science Monitor:

A federal appeals court in California granted a temporary stay on Wednesday, reversing aworldwide injunction against enforcement of the US military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

The action means the Pentagon’s ban on service members who are openly homosexual is, once again, in full force.

The policy was thrown into doubt last week when a federal judge in Riverside, Calif., declared the 17-year measure unconstitutional. As the government scrambled to halt the injunction, military recruiters for the first time began to consider openly gay recruits. Those efforts are now on hold.

In granting the stay, the three-judge panel of the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals is allowing government lawyers more time to prepare their argument. The government is seeking a longer-term stay that would hold the injunction in abeyance for the duration of the appeal.


Look.  There are already gays and lesbians serving in the military.  Gays and lesbians have shed  blood for the United States of America.


Let them serve.

Let them serve as they are.

State Sen. Toi Hutchinson To Be Inducted Into Rich Central H.S. Hall of Fame

It’s good news, and we offer congratulations to Sen. Hutchinson!


Rich Central High School will induct 14 into the school’s Hall of Fame.

“We, at Rich Central High School in Olympia Fields are very proud of all of our students, present and past,” the school said in a press release. “On Saturday, October 23rd we unite to honor some of our former students and their great accomplishments. This is a wonderful event for all of our communities to enjoy. Our Keynote speaker is Senator Toi W. Hutchinson – Class of “91 and we will be joined by several board members, mayors, aldermen and friends of Rich Central.  Our award winning RC Jazz Band, under the direction of Mr. Phillip Crews, will provide the entertainment.”

The following are the 2010 Hall of Fame inductees:

A. Jason Bonaparte ‘97
President, Bonaparte Corporation

Michael Brock ‘88
Owner, Pacesetter Ground Transport & Global Logistics

Glen Brooks, Jr. ‘88
Chicago Police Dept. Area Coordinator & Special Projects

Gene A. Cross  ‘89
Head Coach College Basketball

Linda R. Delaney Milam ‘84
Software Engineer for NASA at Johnson Space Center

Michael C. Garner, Jr. ‘97
Football All-Star & Community Volunteer

Gregg Garofalo ‘88
Attorney, Garofalo & Thiersch, P.C.

Chuck Greenberg ‘68
Grammy Award –Winning Musician

Col. Steven R. Grimes ‘71
Chief of Ophthalmology, COL, Medical Corps, US Army

Sen. Toi W. Hutchinson ‘91
Illinois State Senator, 40th District & Community Service Volunteer

Derrick Murphy ‘00
Community Service Volunteer & Professional Athlete

Thomas K.R. Stovall ‘97
Small Business Expansion Consulting

Angela K. Walker ‘89
American Cancer Society & Community Activist

Rachel W. Williams ‘88
Attorney, HR Director for Avatar Corporation

‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Is Now History

This today from the United States Department of Defense:

Openly gay men and lesbian women now can apply to join the military, Defense Department officials said today.

The department issued guidance Oct. 15 to process paperwork for openly gay men or lesbian applicants. The instructions come from a California federal judge’s decision that the so-called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law is unconstitutional.

On Oct. 12, U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips enjoined DOD “immediately to suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation or other proceeding that may have commenced under the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Act or its implementing regulations.”

Pentagon officials said the department will abide by the judge’s order, and that part of that compliance is allowing openly gay people to apply to join the military. But citing uncertainty over final disposition of the matter in the courts and on Capitol Hill, a DOD spokeswoman said potential applicants must be aware that the situation may change.

“Recruiters are reminded to set the applicants’ expectations by informing them that a reversal in the court’s decision of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law/policy may occur,” Cynthia Smith said.

Phillips said yesterday that she is leaning against granting the government’s request for a stay of her order. The Justice Department has indicated it will appeal her decision declaring the law unconstitutional to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Defense Department wants a deliberative, long-range look at any changes in the law, said Pentagon spokesman Marine Corps Col. Dave Lapan. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates set up a working group to examine the ramifications of a possible repeal of the law that bars gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. The group is scheduled to submit its report Dec. 1.

“The review that is going on would look at all the far-ranging impacts of what changing the law would mean,” Lapan said.

A long-range plan for changing the law would include a period of transition to conduct training, to ensure that everybody was informed about new policies and procedures, Lapan explained.

“In the current environment with the stay, you don’t have the time to go through all these processes and make sure you determine what effect this has on housing, benefits, training on individuals across the board,” he said.

The legislative remedy would allow that work to move forward, Lapan said, as the department would have “the chance to study the impacts, to get the input from the force and to make adjustments and changes before an abrupt change in the law occurs.”

Lapan said it is too early to draw any conclusions about Phillips’ stay and what is happening in the force.

“I would caution against conclusions made from just a few days of having a stay in place,” he said. “A repeal of the law will have far-reaching effects. Now we are sort of in a holding pattern on discharges and proceedings related to enforcing the current law.”


Retire From Chicago Politics in Style

Retire from Chicago politics in style.

Keep your campaign contributions.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Mayor Daley isn’t the only elected official who could retire from Chicago city government and take a pile of money in campaign cash with him.

Twenty-two of the city’s 50 aldermen also would be eligible, when they retire, to keep some or all of their campaign funds, a Chicago Sun-Times review finds. The amounts they could walk away from office with range from as little as $629 to $2.4 million.

When he retires next year, Daley can keep nearly $1.5 million or, if he chooses, do whatever he wants with the money, the Sun-Times has reported.

The amount of campaign money that the aldermen could keep is largely a matter of whether they took office — and took in campaign contributions — before June 30, 1998.

An Illinois law enacted that year barred state and local officials from converting campaign funds to personal use but also left an exception: Anyone who had money in their campaign accounts as of the 1998 date could keep the amount they had in the bank then whenever they eventually might retire.

Like Daley, four aldermen have announced they won’t run for re-election next year.

Too bad for those of us who contributed before 1998.

The numbers are incredible.

Check the Sun-Times.