Coffee is For Closers


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In the post below, I brought up Hynes’ response to the Governor and the Leaders:

He said the General Assembly could build in safeguards, as well as checks and balances, if that mistrust is the reason for the failure to approve a capital spending bill.
“Distrust can’t be used as an excuse,” he said.

He just walked back on what could have been a statewide story with him owning several newscycles with his tour.

As I’ve said before:

et me issue a challenge to Hynes on this. Dan is a good public servant, competent, steady, able. But he never takes that next step to lead and stand out. This is his chance. Connecting the dots on the state’s fiscal condition and the corruption and mismanagement of this administration is tailor made for him. This is a good start, but pound it and pound it and pound it.

There is no more need to pretend that anyone has to work with this guy, Blagojevich is on his way out whether he realizes it yet or not. Hynes has always been seen as too cautious which isn’t a bad characteristic in a public official dealing with the state’s fiscal condition, but it doesn’t move you up the ladder.

It was clear that in November the Lege could have impeached him for violating the Constitution and I urged them to do so then, but now we have boring corruption reasons to do so and it’s not a hard case to make to the public now.  Let’s get this over with….

Dan Hynes will never be Governor until he learns to throw a punch and not help the guy get up off the floor.  He’s a good public servant and a decent human being, but if he wants the Governor’s office, he has to take it for himself.

Prostitution sting leads to bike arrest

One of those headlines you cannot resist:

Aurora Police arrested a 41-year-old man Tuesday for riding his bike during a prostitute sting.

Brian K. Buck Sr. of Aurora was charged with riding a bicycle on the sidewalk after repeatedly being told to leave the area of the undercover operation because his actions were interfering with the sting, police said.

Five other men were charged with solicitation of a sexual act after offering an undercover female Aurora Police officer money in exchange for sexual favors, police said.

So they named the cyclist, but not the Johns? Interesting choice.

Strangely, not mentioned in the new Transportation blog that has a good bike commuting post.

Inane Editorial of the Day

And it’s not even by Dold.  The Sun-Times blasts Madigan for not sitting down with the Governor:

We know Blagojevich isn’t the best partner. His penchant for demonizing, his bad habit of circumventing the legislative process, his unyielding thirst for a splashy headline have endeared few.

But Blagojevich is reaching out to Madigan and has been doing so for at least the last two months.

Yeah, reaching out like

* If you want to know how the rest of the year is going to go, just check out this Gov. Blagojevich quote that John Patterson pulled from yesterday’s press conference

“I think there’s great cause to be concerned. If Speaker Madigan and the House leadership pick up a veto-proof majority … then they’ll be in a position to easily override a veto.”

As Patterson notes, “That sounds an awful lot like the Democratic governor is urging voters to shun Democrats this fall so his intraparty rival – Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan — doesn’t get any stronger.”

The governor’s obvious intent was to shift the blame for these and other impending cuts to Madigan, which Madigan doesn’t appear too concerned about. It’s unlikely they’ll be coming back to Springfield to take any action, Madigan’s lieutenants told the media.

* The Governor is continuing to gear up his PR blitz on the disastrous impact of budget cuts:

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s administration is escalating its public-relations blitz for more state budget money, pressing legislators directly and through the media to approve $1.5 billion in new revenue sources –- and warning that everything from Amtrak riders to AIDS patients will suffer debilitating budget cuts if they don’t.

“The House . . . (should) come back and finish what they started,’’ Deputy Gov. Bob Greenlee said today in a conference call with the Post-Dispatch editorial page. It was one of several such meetings administration officials are conducting this week around the state with newspapers, social agency heads and lawmakers themselves, in an attempt to pressure the Legislature into providing more money to the budget.

In newspaper meetings, and in an unusual mass conference call with lawmakers yesterday, Greenlee pressed House Dems to rethink their opposition to those revenue sources.

* Nobody wants to talk to the press, but they’re still ginning up the hatred. Check out a couple of photos from yesterday’s protest rally. Gee, I wonder who might’ve sponsored these guys?…

* Somebody finally notices, but he buries it way down so nobody else will likely notice

With all of the budget folderol from last week, it’s worth remembering that back in May, the House passed another budget that didn’t increase spending nearly as much as the one that landed on Blagojevich’s desk. However, it was never called for a vote in the Senate, so that was that.

Basically, this budget mess didn’t have to be this way.

Blagojevich has demonstrated time and time again he cannot be trusted. He has tried to dismantle JCAR, he tried to implement health care expansion without legislative approval, and he specific to the capital bill, he has routinely targeted House member initiatives as pork while leaving Republican House and Senate Democratic initiatives in place.

Madigan allowing Curry to represent him is probably the best thing he can do.  It keeps the personalities at bay in the room and allows them get down to business.   I have plenty of complaints about Mike Madigan, but blaming him for Rod Blagojevich isn’t one of those complaints.

And via Rich:

Hynes in the Galesburg Register Mail

While Gov. Rod Blagojevich has come under fire for seemingly not wanting to work with the Legislature, Hynes admitted that the budget passed by the House, which was $2 billion out of balance, put the governor on the hot seat. He maintained, however, that Blagojevich has brought on many of the problems through his own actions.

“I do think the governor wasn’t given very many attractive options,” Hynes said during a visit with a reporter and three members of the editorial board of The Register-Mail. “But, this whole environment was created by him. They’re trying to make him look bad, he’s trying to make them look bad. Unfortunately, the victims are innocent.

“The cuts that he made, they are deep and they are harmful. I think he was making a point” that these weren’t going to be minor changes, Hynes said. As a result, he said, many people depending on social services are left without the help they need.


“To just basically say, ‘We’re going to have this massive gambling expansion in the city of Chicago’ without discussing it with the mayor … I think he (Blagojevich) has made missteps,” Hynes said.

He said the problems run deep. Of the Legislature, he said, “They just do not trust this governor. I think they have reason not to trust him. I don’t trust him, but you have to get past that.”

He said the General Assembly could build in safeguards, as well as checks and balances, if that mistrust is the reason for the failure to approve a capital spending bill.

“Distrust can’t be used as an excuse,” he said.

The problem with this is that the Governor has refused to accept those institutions we have to overcome distrust.  JCAR is a perfect example.  It’s designed to allow the Executive to make rules while giving the Legislature some power if he goes too far.  What happened to that institution? The Governor insists it’s unconstitutional after expanding it.   The Governor has systematically undermined the institutions of state government and now people are trying to blame Madigan for that.  That’s rich.  The funny thing is that many of Madigan’s members are more angry than Madigan himself.

JRyan–Something is Not Quite Right–Or I Told You So

I imagine he pretty much thinks that everyday now.

I agree with his complaint about NCLB, but for different reasons.  NCLB isn’t the reason people have low levels of political knowledge.  People have lives is why they don’t pay attention closely to politics.  The kind of angst created by every study showing low levels of political knowledge is silly.  Since the advent of modern polling in the 1950s Political Scientists have understood that voters are incredibly ignorant.  The thing is, the system works despite that.  In the short run, we often elect boobs, but then when they goof up to much we find someone else.  Illinois is just having a particularly rough go of it with GRyan and Blagojevich back to back.
Let’s also point out very simply, the students affected by NCLB are mostly not voters or are new voters.  On top of that young voter participation has been increasing in recent years so the argument about NCLB doesn’t work.

Finally, we shouldn’t be teaching civics.  We should be teaching social science and history so that people have the ability to reason about their government. Civics is often code for supporting the system when the real measure should be can citizens critically engage their community which studying history and social sciences does.

Power and Persuasion

John Maki has a really good article in the Windy Citizen regarding Obama’s past work as a community organizer and how it can uniquely qualify him to be President. Here’s an excerpt, but go read the whole thing

Here is a typical community-organizing scenario. Let’s say you are a community organizer who has cultivated and trained a strong base of support and identified a particular problem to attack. You then target a public official who can get you something you want. Let’s call him Official X. He chairs an appropriations committee that is deciding whether to fund a program your base supports. You and your base request a meeting with him. Official X agrees and asks that you come to his office. Before you go, you coach a core group of your base, the people you call ‘your leaders,’ on what to say and how to behave at the meeting.

After painstakingly rehearsing everyone’s roles, so that no part of the meeting is left to chance, you are ready to do the real thing. You take your leaders to the meeting, and you have one of them present your base’s demands. Your leader explains to Official X what you want him to do, and why it is in his self-interest to do so. Whatever arguments your leader uses to make their case, he also makes sure that Official X understands that he will pay a price for not helping. If Official X stands in your way, your base is going to try to find a way to hurt him, whether it’s by attacking him through the press, or turning out people to vote against him. If this tactic makes Official X angry, you could care less. You do not want people in power to like you. As a community organizer, you want them to respect and fear you.

But you also make sure that Official X knows so long as he helps you out, you will help him out too. After all, as a community organizer, your job is not to change the system; it is to master and use the system’s rules to your advantage.

If you think these tactics resemble standard forms of political intimidation, you are right.

Many of us have bad memories of the twits who wanted to be community organizers because they wanted to ‘bring people together’ and ‘help’ them.  When they failed out of organizing they show up in political science or sociology grad school being bad at being a scientist as much as they were bad at organizing.

Good organizers understand, as John points out, it’s about raw political power and being such a pain in the ass that others with power want you to go away enough to give you what you want is the way to be effective.  Of course, good organizers don’t go away either and just keep moving goalposts as they slowly achieve objectives.

The Presidency is the ultimate community organizer in many ways.  Neustadt talks about the Presidency being mostly about the power to persuade.  That’s exactly what a community organizer does.  An organizer doesn’t have any formal power, but instead stitches together coalitions based on shifting interests and allegiances, exactly as a President does.  Go check out John’s piece, I think it’s one of the more thoughtful pieces on Obama and his style we’ve seen.  Admittedly, the national press has set a low bar, but several local writers have done better and John is amongst them.

Daily Dolt: Roeser’s Psychoanalysis

Someone really should take the keyboard away:

We all know the emotional stress that settles on a child when one father abandons the child. What happens when TWO fathers abandon the same child, as happened with Obama? I mean Obama’s mother who took husband number two, Lolo Soetoro when Obama was six. He was an Indonesian student with whom she moved to Jakarta. Obama relates in his autobiography that she was shocked to discover Soetoro was a male chauvinist. So she divorced him and sent 10-year-old Barack, Jr. to live with her parents in Honolulu while she and his half sister stayed in Indonesia. All the while Obama’s polygamous natural father takes up again with his first wife, then marries another white American woman and adds a mistress, eventually fathering eight kids by four women.

Spider-web complications for genealogists and psychologists to work on for the prospective 44th president. Not exactly like George Washington marrying the widow Martha Custis, is it?


Odds are even my bringing up this chaotic background will be assailed as “unfair” even “racist.” That’s standard operating procedure for Obama’s aficionados. You can’t criticize anything about him…his wife, his religion, the size of his ears, his announcing that he has traveled to all 57 states in the Union, his statement that Israel is Israel’s best friend (which had McCain said this would be written widely as an example of a senior moment). Now they will howl it’s unfair to report his murky, very murky, familial past.

But the question remains: How much emotional stability can accrue when you come from a mad house non-family background like his? When two fathers have abandoned you? This hasn’t been reported very much.

Well I just did.

I believe the end needs some heavy dark classical music playing to signal how ominous it is to have a family situation that isn’t simply a nuclear family.

It doesn’t make Roeser a racist, it makes him a twit.  By his standards my Republican sister who attends  Willowbrook is dangerously unstable because my mother had three husbands at different times while she was growing up.  He would be the first and only person to make such a suggestion about her.  The American family seldom was the nuclear family that conservatives pretend existed other than in a short period of time after World War II.  Families always were messy and while divorce wasn’t as common, simply taking off occurred frequently.  Two of my grand parents had nuclear families, two did not.  I would argue that the two who did not were the strongest and most committed to their families.  Both of my parents were raised in nuclear families and yet, not so good at the nuclear family.  My sister and I were brought up in non-nuclear families and amongst our cousins on my Mom’s side, we are the only ones married with children.  Funny thing about psychoanalysis–it often tells more about the person trying it instead of who is being analyzed.