Friday, February 23, 2007

Let's All Talk

Just found out that the House is going to meet as a Committee of the Whole next Tuesday at 1p.m., a day earlier than session was set for next week. The purpose of the committee hearing is to discuss the electric rate issue that has set people into somewhat of a frenzy, especially downstate.

While I fully sympathize with my downstate colleagues about the need to address the concerns of their constituents, it sure would be nice if we were able to get the same attention paid to the property tax issue that is ravaging many of the families in Cook County.

On a tangentially related note, Tuesday's hearing is going to pose a logistic issue for many House members. Next Tuesday is the municipal election, and there are a number of people that want/need to tend to local battles back home.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Picking a Winner

Found an interesting article in the New York Sun titled, "Why Daleys Endorsed Obama". The author draws upon Chicago political history and changing national times to attempt to explain the Mayor's going with Barack over Hillary Clinton.

You should read the whole article, but if you don't want to, I'll give you the last two paragraphs which pretty well sum it up.

Illinois history also explains the Daleys' endorsement of Mr. Obama. The brothers learned not only from their father's victories but also from his mistakes. They don't want to look out of step with their times, as he did in 1968.

When it comes to general elections, Old Democrat often trumps New. If the Daleys are to prove they are as good at picking winners as their father generally was, they have to prove to themselves, Chicago, and the nation that Mr. Obama isn't another George McGovern. One thing is already sure about Campaign 2008 —whatever political behavior we see this year, much of it was learned in Chicago.

It's Just Not Right

I don't like this one bit. I understand it in light of the business aspect of professional sports, but I still don't like it.

From the Chicago Tribune:
Bricks and ivy have made up most of the outfield walls at Wrigley Field for the last 70 years, but the Cubs will alter the ballpark's famous backdrop for at least the next two years with advertisements on the old green doors.

The Cubs announced a multiyear deal Wednesday with Under Armour, a sports apparel company, agreeing to place its logo and name on the outfield doors. Terms of the agreement were not announced, but the ads will be in place at least through 2008.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Stupid is as Stupid Says

So I was reading a story on CNN about the whole Anna Nicole Smith fiasco when I came across this stunningly ignorant quote from a lawyer interviewed about her opinion of the custody issues surrounding Smith's baby:
Many men who father children don't want to be found after they are born. But in this case, there are motives to come forward.

"One is they actually want to raise the child because they love her," said (Beverly Hills family law attorney Alexandra) Leichter, who has practiced family law for 34 years and handled her share of celebrity cases. "The other motive is money. You wonder if so many fathers would be coming forward if this was a child born in a tenement on the south side of Chicago." (emphasis added)

Maybe there is still a little naivete left in me, but I am shocked that an innately bigoted and racist comment like that would flow so trippingly off the tongue of a supposedly intelligent person.

There were a thousand ways for her to convey her opinion that the men may be after the child's potential inheritance. But to say what she did makes her come off as a modern-day Archie Bunker. Then again, maybe she is.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Barack On!

The main reason that I have stayed away from doing much posting about Barack to date is that, well, hell, how much more can be written about the man?

At some point, I'll write about my experiences serving with him and knowing him on an informal basis. For right now, I just want to touch on the big picture. And today's announcement.

The amount of attention that has been placed on Barack is downright surreal. I honestly cannot think of any celebrity, sports figure, or politician that has drawn the incessant scrutiny that Barack has. And one must not forget that, for all of the eyes wanting to learn about the man and his message, there are just as many eyes searching for flaws. Such is the nature of politics.

I have said before that he has weathered it superbly, and I think that the excess attention will relent long before Barack does.

The Audacity of Hope

Due to a prior commitment, I wasn't in Springfield for the speech today. But like countless others, I watched it on TV. I also got to watch the post-speech coverage on CNN (amusing to see Emil Jones and Kirk Dillard on CNN).

Visually, I think that the Old State Capitol was a great backdrop against a bright blue sky. The crowd looked to be as vibrant as it could be in single-digit temperatures.

I don't know if having Barack by himself on the stage was planned, or was a weather-related decision. But at times, I thought that it made him look too isolated from the crowd.

His message was consistent, tying in elements of his DNC speech ('we are one people'), while connecting it to his ideas for the future of our country.

I thought it was a great finish. Barack has always been at his best when he finds his comfort zone. And when he does, the passion that comes through rivets people.

Remember that people have to hear you before they can listen to you.

Barack has gotten people who were previously disconnected from the political process to hear him, and as they now actually listen to what he is saying, I believe that they will appreciate his message and become activated in the process of determining the direction of our country.

When I talk to people older than me who have been involved in politics for a long-time, they can almost all point to somebody who gave them a sense of hope about public service and civic involvement.

History tells us that it is obviously way too early to have any idea of what will happen in the 2008 election. But one thing is certain, for those looking for a new voice on the political landscape they have found one.