Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Roland Burris

What is missing in today's world are all those fabulous old sayings that the old people would mutter about the young. It appears that Roland at age 71 didn't listen when he as a young man was probably told; "IF YOU LAY DOWN WITH DOGS, YOU'LL COME UP WITH FLEAS". No matter how innocent and honest Mr. Burris was, his association with the disaster known as our governor is making all those who maintain contact with Blago to come up smelling as bad as he does. (Kind of like accepting a date with OJ Simpson or Drew Peterson. No proof that they killed their wives, but still there's something about them that folks with common sense would know to avoid.)

What is it about some blacks who were once in politics that they worry so little about their legacy that they would be willing to sell their souls to the devil for an ounce of further political success?

At the end of a career, which from all accounts has been stellar, Mr. Burris' response today on TV about accepting the appointment and I paraphrase was "it's nothing illegal that the governor has done". But no mention of the morally wrong asthetics.

Poor Mr. Burris. So warped and wrapped up in himself that he can believe that the taint of Blago won't affect him. But the reality is that it does. Everything that he does will contain a whiff of possible impropriety.

Now on to Bobby Hush. Is there a pay-for-play motive in his new found support for Blago? Could it have anything to do with his son the ex-prison guard sentenced for having sex with a female inmate?

I was disappointed when I saw the black preachers falling all over themselves to get in thru Blago front door to "pray" with him. Now this?

Danny Davis gave an interview where he says he turned Blago down for the job. That means that Roland wasn't even a first choice. How come they couldn't get the entire IL house to agree on Roland being an interim senator until the 2010 elections?

Lastly can't wait for Patrick Fitzgerald to release the tapes. I still want to know who UNDERCOVER BROTHER Jesse Jackson Jr's embassary was. For the life of me, what person could be so familiar with the governor that he could walk into his office and speak so openly????????????

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Victory or defeat? The battle rages on in 2009

The ending of an old year brings about reflections of all that has happened, and 2008 will go down in history for a multitude of historic events that each outshone the other.

There was no bigger event in 2008 than the historic winning of the presidency by Barack Obama. In many ways, his win fulfilled my favorite African Proverb: On the day of victory no one will be tired. Nothing proved that more than the sight of millions of people going to vote who would not let a wait in line prevent them from performing their civic duty.

However fantastic Obama's win may be, the reality is that it's just one in an endless list of victories that need to occur. For example, the verdict in the case of R. Kelly was not a victory for young girls who are victims of sexual predators. The continued murder of young black men means we have not overcome the violence that permeates our communities.

There has yet to be a victory over the AIDS epidemic in the black community. Here in Austin, the opening of Food for Less is one more step toward a victory over the lack of quality grocery stores in this community. Yet the trash that litters our streets means we have failed to be victorious in getting a "do not litter" message out as well as a lack of sanitation enforcement by all three of the Streets and Sanitation superintendents in Austin. It would be nice to see the city put the same vigor into ticketing an overflowing dumpster as it does in ticketing a car whose meter has run out of time.

In Chicago, every parked car is seen as a source of revenue for the city. Yet more than 48 hours after the last snowstorm, businesses that occupy major corners as well as those along our avenues still hadn't cleared the sidewalks in front of their stores. Considering all the anger car owners exhibited over the lack of plowing of the city's sidestreets, pedestrians should show the same outrage about the city not fining those businesses and homeowners who are too trifling to shovel the sidewalks. A double fine should be given to corner businesses and homes who fail to shovel on all sides. We taxpayers have been funding the city's program to put disabled access curbs at every intersection only to have those same sidewalks impassible during the winter months when irresponsible people choose not to shovel.

Crime is still an issue we need to become victorious over. Our community will never get the business community that we desire if shoplifting is portrayed and glamorized as an acceptable behavior pattern. Drug dealing on the streets is another scourge in our community as some residents choose the lazier method of selling drugs over the diligence of becoming legitimate entrepreneurs. We have unsolved murders and drive-by killings and worst, we have those who created that havoc living among us.

Politics is another area where we lack true victory. We continue to re-elect the worst representation and then wonder why our community gets so little. When we take more interest in a presidential race and pay no attention to the mayoral race, we have our priorities backwards. The mayor affects our daily lives a lot more than the president does.

We watch silently and get no victory from the city leasing out every available taxpayer-funded entity to patch a budget shortfall without ever fixing the root of the problem. Nor do we question how money is always found for any pet project the mayor wants for the downtown area while those of us living in the neighborhoods are ignored like uninvited guests at a party. We pay the highest sales tax in the nation-including a nickel a bottle tax on bottled water-while politicians continue with their failed ideology that everything can be resolved by increasing taxes. Those politicians fall short of taking into account human nature and the ability of many Chicagoans to avoid the taxes by refusing to shop within the city and county limits. I confess to being one who buys the majority of my gasoline in Indiana and all my bottled water outside of the city limits.

In 2009, let us all remember that we can never be too tired to strive for victory.

Obama Raffles Off Inaugural Tickets - Guess He agrees with me!

Arlene --

Barack Obama will be sworn in as President of the United States of America on January 20th, 2009.

It will be an unprecedented event in the history of our country, and hundreds of thousands of people will come together in Washington, D.C. to share the moment.

Supporters like you made this happen. You know that real change comes from the bottom up, not from the top down, and Barack and Joe want you to join them on this historic day. They want to start off this administration with the people who worked so hard and will continue to fight for change with them.

Between now and January 8th, 10 supporters and their guests will be selected to join the Inaugural activities.

If you make a donation -- in any amount -- to make the Inauguration a success, you and a guest could be flown to Washington, D.C., put up in a hotel, and be there as Barack is sworn in as the 44th President.

Make a donation of $5 or more right now. You and a guest could receive your ticket to history.

Unlike past inaugurations, this year's event will not be paid for by Washington lobbyists or corporations.

This campaign was funded by 4 million ordinary people giving only what they could afford, and Barack and Joe are counting on you again. Help start this administration off right -- independent of the special interest donors who have shaped Washington for too long.

This Inauguration will be open to as many Americans as possible. We'll all come together to celebrate the hope and optimism that define this movement for change.

But you could be one of 10 selected to join us in Washington for all Inaugural events. Any donation you make between now and January 8th counts -- whatever you can afford.

Show your support for a different kind of politics and a different kind of inauguration with a donation of $5 or more today:

The Inauguration will be a once-in-a-lifetime event. I hope you can join us.

Thank you,


David Plouffe
Campaign Manager
Obama for America
could still be selected to receive your ticket to history.

P.S. -- If you cannot make a donation, you and a guest

Friday, December 26, 2008

Why Black People Don't Feel The Republican Party

The Democracts take black people for granted and the Republicans spew racism: What's a black voter to do?

(CNN) -- A candidate for the Republican National Committee chairmanship said Friday the CD he sent committee members for Christmas -- which included a song titled "Barack the Magic Negro" -- was clearly intended as a joke.

"I think most people recognize political satire when they see it," Tennessee Republican Chip Saltsman told CNN. "I think RNC members understand that."

The song, set to the tune of "Puff the Magic Dragon," was first played on conservative political commentator Rush Limbaugh's radio show in 2007.

Its title was drawn from a Los Angeles Times column about President-elect Barack Obama's appeal to those who feel guilty about the nation's history of mistreatment of African-Americans. Saltsman said the song, penned by longtime friend Paul Shanklin, should be easily recognized as satire directed at the Times.

The CD sent to RNC members, first reported by The Hill on Friday, is titled "We Hate the USA" and also includes songs referencing former presidential candidate John Edwards and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, among other targets.

According to The Hill, other song titles, some of which were in bold font, were: "John Edwards' Poverty Tour," "Wright place, wrong pastor," "Love Client #9," "Ivory and Ebony" and "The Star Spanglish Banner."

Saltsman was national campaign manager for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's presidential bid in 2007 and 2008. Before that, he held a variety of posts, including a number of positions under former Sen. Bill Frist of Tennessee.

All AboutRepublican National Committee • Barack Obama

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Let's Raffle Off the Vacant Senate Seat of Barack Obama

“I will fight. I will fight. I will fight.” So proclaimed our Gov. Rod Blagojevich is his only official press conference since being arrested. The charges against him are for criminal conspiracy. The conspiracy includes his alleged attempt to sell the vacant senate seat as well as getting campaign contributions in exchange for other official actions.

Now I don’t know if Gov. Blagojevich’s fight is one of his innocence or the fight coming out of someone who is guilty as heck and is fighting to draw attention away from the guilt. But what I do know is that we have a vacant senate seat that needs to be filled. A seat that if filled before Congress reconvenes after the holiday would give our senator seniority over those who are seated later. And in the U.S. Congress, seniority matters.

Now Illinois is not the only state where the Governor gets to fill the vacant senate seat. The Governor of Delaware has already filled the vacant senate seat of Joe Biden. The Governor of New York is soon to appoint a replacement to the senate seat of Hillary Clinton. So why can’t Gov. Blagojevich still appoint a replacement for the vacant senate seat of Barack Obama? Some people are claiming that the arrest of Gov. Blagojevich has tainted the process. Some are even calling for a special election that could cost us taxpayers 35 or more millions of dollars.

I for one, still feel that Gov. Blagojevich should still get to appoint the replacement senator even if he is under a cloud of controversy. The controversy shouldn’t be in who Gov. Blagojevich appoints to the seat. The controversy is how that decision is made. That where I’d like to offer a suggestion. Let’s just pull the name out of a hat. Because in truth, whenever someone has been appointed to a position, none of us have ever known the logic or illogic behind that decision.

For example, Mayor Daley has appointed a number of aldermen to replace other aldermen who have gone to jail in scandal after scandal. Even though those individuals affected us a lot more than a replacement for a senator, many of us have gone along with the process with very few complaints. There has never been any transparency in the mayor’s choices. And had Gov. Blagojevich not gotten arrested, there wouldn’t have been any transparency in his process as well.

So let’s make the senate seat that was available “for sale” to the highest fundraiser for the governor a “for sale” fundraiser for the State of Illinois in the form of a raffle ticket. Let those who wanted the seat purchase blocks of tickets and then the governor can pull the winner’s raffle ticket out of a hat on live TV. Those individuals who were willing to raise hundred of thousands of dollars for Blagojevich’s campaign fund can raise the same hundred of thousands of dollars for raffle tickets for their favorite candidate.

Heck, even some of us who want our own candidate to be the one to get the seat can contribute to their chance by purchasing tickets for them. Forget the instant tickets for the lottery. We can go and purchase ten dollars worth of Jesse Jackson, Jr., tickets, five dollars worth of Tammy Duckworth, twenty dollars worth of Danny K. Davis tickets, etc. Whenever someone buys a raffle ticket for their candidate, the proceeds from that purchase can go into the state’s coffers. The state can make money on the deal and the selection of the replacement will be open and honest to the public. And for once voters can finally benefit in the “pay to play” world of Illinois politics!

Interestingly - This Is The Story We Didn't Hear This Year....

Last year we have several news stories regarding some churches who claimed that thieves broke into the church and stole all the gifts. The economy is now worst this year as opposed to last year. So one would assume that we would hear numerous cases of Grinches who stole Christmas.

Yet this year, that hasn't been the story. Now the cynic in me last year didn't believe some of those store front churches had the money to have one single present. So the claims of lost of thousands of dollars in gifts made me skeptical. But no stories this year mean either the thieves have changed, there weren't any gifts being bought this year or the bad economy would have made a made-up story a waste of time.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

How Come Sarbane Oxley Didn't Prevent the Wall Street Crisis

Several years ago, Congress implemented Sarbane-Oxley (SOX).

In a nutshell and according to Wikepedia, "The legislation establishes new or enhanced standards for all U.S. public company boards, management, and public accounting firms. It does not apply to privately held companies. The Act contains 11 titles, or sections, ranging from additional Corporate Board responsibilities to criminal penalties, and requires the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to implement rulings on requirements to comply with the new law. Debate continues over the perceived benefits and costs of SOX. Supporters contend that the legislation was necessary and has played a useful role in restoring public confidence in the nation's capital markets by, among other things, strengthening corporate accounting controls. Opponents of the bill claim that it has reduced America's international competitive edge against foreign financial service providers, claiming that SOX has introduced an overly complex and regulatory environment into U.S. financial markets.

The Act establishes a new quasi-public agency, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or PCAOB, which is charged with overseeing, regulating, inspecting, and disciplining accounting firms in their roles as auditors of public companies. The Act also covers issues such as auditor independence, corporate governance, internal control assessment, and enhanced financial disclosure."

So can someone tell me why SOX didn't prevent what happened on Wall Street? Is the outsourcing of so many IT jobs the reason that many foreign programmers do the work but not being US citizens they care less about our regulatory laws?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Senate Seat For Sale

CAPTION SHOULD BE: So How Much Do You Think I can Get For Barack's Empty Seat?

Rumor Has It .....

That Oprah Winfrey may be offered the empty Senate seat previously held by Barack Obama. Any opinions? I'm not feeling it personally because I think Oprah has gone too "new wave" lately. But I understand daley is supporting the idea.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christ Child House

Thank God for them. Christ Child House.

Drive Drunk - Crash into Truck - Sue Truck Driver!

Convicted last year of intoxication manslaughter for the death of her boyfriend, the 21-year-old daughter of a state district judge is suing the truck driver she ran into during a drunken driving crash.

Elizabeth Shelton, the daughter of juvenile judge Pat Shelton, is accusing truck driver Lance Bennett of negligence in the Oct. 23, 2007, wreck that killed her boyfriend Matthew McNiece.

Shelton had a blood alcohol concentration more than three times the legal limit, two tests showed. She was sentenced to eight years' probation and had to serve four months in jail.

Shelton, her family and the family of the boyfriend who was killed are suing for $20,000 for the destruction of the Lexus SUV she was driving and an undetermined amount for mental anguish, pain and suffering.

Bennett was driving the box truck that Shelton rear-ended on the Southwest Freeway near Kirby around 2 a.m.

Bennett's attorney, John Havins, said the lawsuit, filed in October, was the last chance to make a claim before the statute of limitations ran out.

He noted that Shelton named 16 defendants, including insurance companies and banks. "They're just throwing everything against the wall to see if anything sticks," Havins said.

During Shelton's trial, an expert for the defense testified there was evidence that Bennett swerved into Shelton's lane. An expert for the prosecution, however, said there wasn't evidence that Bennett got in her way.

Testimony also showed that the company Bennett was working for let the insurance on the truck lapse.

"The injuries and property damage sustained by (Shelton and her family) were not the result of intentional acts, but were accidental and caused by the negligence of the uninsured/underinsured driver," Shelton's attorney Mark Sandoval wrote in the lawsuit.

Play By The Dead - End Up With Them!

The parents of a 2-year-old boy who was crushed to death by a headstone at a funeral last week have filed a lawsuit against the Pearland cemetery.

Giovanni Rodriguez died Dec. 13 when police say a group of children may have been playing on the headstones at the Southpark Funeral Home-Cemetery-Crematory at 1310 North Main in Pearland. The lawsuit alleges the funeral home operator was negligent for not making sure the headstones were more stable.

"Giovanni died shortly before turning three," said John Padilla, the Houston lawyer representing the parents. "To me, it's intuitive. You shouldn't have these headstones around loose."

Padilla said his clients were too distraught to talk about their son's death Friday. He said parents Francisco Rodriguez Cardenas and Maria De Los Angeles Yanez Laura filed the lawsuit Tuesday so the court could make sure evidence was not altered at the cemetery.

"We feel strongly the evidence will show there were numerous other headstones there not affixed to a base. Loose headstones pose an extreme risk to children, older people, even praying people who could reach up and touch one," Padilla said.

John Shipp, the Dallas-based lawyer for the Southpark funeral home and cemetery, said his client works to provide caring, quality service. "We're deeply saddened by this tragic accident and offer the family our sincere condolences," Shipp said on behalf of Southpark, which is a part of Stewart Enterprises Inc.

Shipp would not comment specifically on the death since a lawsuit is pending.

Patty Goolsby, of the Pearland Police Department, said emergency crews were dispatched to the cemetery after receiving a 911 call. Goolsby said the family was at a funeral service and "kids were jumping around on" the headstones nearby.

But Padilla said he has no evidence kids were playing on the headstones. He said the boy did not die at the cemetery, but later from injuries sustained there.

Padilla said he filed the lawsuit under a Texas law which requires reasonable care be taken to make a premises safe. But he said, the United Kingdom and some other European countries have separate laws addressing headstone safety though he didn't find anything like that in the United States.

Donald Burger, a Houston lawyer who lectures on Texas cemetery law, said the state has many regulations about health and safety at cemeteries. "Some are even bizarre like that you can't bury a murderer near his victim if you have notice. But I have not come across cases on headstone liability in Texas," Burger said.

Bob Fells, general counsel for the Virginia-based International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association, said he has seen a few cases involving children harmed by headstones in his 25 years with the group.

He said American privately-owned cemeteries generally have insurance and know that checking headstone stability is part of maintenance. He said cases like this may be won or lost based on the maintenance record and habits of the cemetery involved.

Sarah Palin's Grandbaby's Daddy's Mama Arrested on Drug Charges!

WASILLA -- A 42-year-old Wasilla woman was arrested Thursday at her home by Alaska State Troopers with a search warrant in an undercover drug investigation. Sherry L. Johnston was charged with six felony counts of misconduct involving a controlled substance.

Johnston is the mother of Levi Johnston, the Wasilla 18-year-old who received international attention in September when Gov. Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, announced their teenage daughter was pregnant and he was the father. Bristol Palin, 18, is due on Saturday, according to a recent interview with the governor's father, Chuck Heath.

Troopers served the warrant at Johnston's home at the "conclusion of an undercover narcotics investigation," said a statement issued Thursday by the troopers as part of the normal daily summary of activity around the state.

Troopers charged Johnston with second-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance -- generally manufacturing or delivering drugs -- as well as fourth-degree misconduct involving controlled substances, or possession.

Troopers released no other information, including the kind or amount of drugs, because details could jeopardize an ongoing investigation, spokeswoman Megan Peters said.

Asked how long the investigation had proceeded before Johnston's arrest, Peters would only say "a while."

The Palmer District Attorney's office had no comment.

Sherry Johnston was arrested around noon and booked at Mat-Su Pretrial Facility, according to a booking officer there. She was released on a $5,000 unsecured bond just after 2 p.m.

No charging documents had been filed at Palmer courthouse by the end of the day, a clerk said.

Levi Johnston sat with Bristol and the rest of the Palin family in St. Paul, Minn., during Gov. Palin's speech to the Republican National Convention, and he joined the family on the stage afterwards.

When asked about the arrest, Palin's spokesman, Bill McAllister, issued the following statement by e-mail: "This is not a state government matter. Therefore the governor's communications staff will not be providing comment or scheduling interview opportunities."

Johnston didn't come to the door of her home on Caribou Loop Road outside Wasilla on Thursday afternoon. A teenage boy who answered the door said he couldn't provide any information.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Why Are Black Preachers The First Ones To Be Called When White Politicians Gets Busted?

I don’t know which was more embarrassing. Hearing U.S. Attorney General Patrick Fitzgerald read what Gov. Blagojevich was alleged to have said on secret tape recording or hearing what black folks actually said over the air while listening to WVON 1690AM.

True, at the point that the press conference was held, Gov. Blagojevich wasn’t being indicted. But a warrant for his arrest had been issue based on those recordings that the government had been authorized to hear and make. The recordings according to Fitzgerald, show our governor’s willingness to not only offer to sell the vacated U.S. Senate seat previously held by Barack Obama to the highest bidder, but the governor was also willing to hold up funding to Children’s Memorial Hospital unless those in charge of it gave to his campaign. Every citizen of the State of Illinois should be offended that the governor’s displayed a willingness to put sick kids at risk for his political gain.

The governor’s arrest and the release of what is purportedly on the recordings became the talk of WVON. What I was most amazed to hear were callers acting as if it was a guarantee that an African-Americans would get and keep the vacant senate seat. One caller said, “its ours (the senate seat) and ain’t no one else going to get it…”. Huh? “Ours” as if black people were the majority in this state. “Ours” as if no one else could possibly run an election and win it. “Ours” as if the senate seat was a “legacy” to be passed from person-to-person -- the rest of the state population be damned!

If what was said on WVON had been said on any white radio station, the same people would be screaming racism at the top of their lungs. Yes it was good to have the U.S. Senate which is now currently 100% white to have a person of color in there. But there is no guarantee in any state that just because your skin has melanin that you can win and keep a senate seat. Did those callers on WVON forget that it was because the republicans had put up a carpetbagger by the name of Alan Keyes as Obama’s opponent that also led to Obama’s win? The choice in 2004 was between two black men. That is not guaranteed to be the case in the event of a special election or the regular election scheduled for 2010.

I am also perplexed by when it became “de rigueur” for some white politicians to call on black preachers whenever they find their butts in trouble for doing something that is scandalous. From Bill Clinton after his Monicagate to now Blagojevich with his allegations, why are black preachers the first ones to flock following the sins? No other ethnic or racial group seems to have ministers who come to the aide of sinners as quickly as those in the black community. Do those ministers have a better hot line to God than the pastors of the churches those sinners regularly attend? And if so, can some of those prayers be first for those sick children at Children’s Memorial whose health the Governor put at risk playing political games with their healthcare!

When the governor cares so little for the feelings of the black community and especially the Westside by helping to feed the homeless with Congressman Danny K. Davis for Thanksgiving while referring to him as Senator only to find out Congressman Davis wasn’t even on Blagojevich’s short list, then those ministers have no regards for the fools that the governor played many of us for. When talent and service by an elected official isn’t taken into account unless there is money to be paid, our governor is sounding like a political version of Rev. Ike. Those minister need to remember that Rev. Ike was famous for telling people when it came to his offerings, he didn’t want anything that jingled. He didn’t take change.

PS: An update on the story I wrote about concerning Taneka Talley’s death and Dollar Tree. Dollar Tree has now agreed to pay the death benefits to Taneka’s son.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Jesse Jackson Jr - 007?

If Jesse jr was working with the feds, then why did his embassary offer money? The more I hear of this "version" of the story, the fishier it smells!

And does the "perceived corruption" include his father?


Jackson Jr. went to authorities about Illinois governor
Story Highlights
NEW: Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. rejects use of word "informant" regarding his role

"We're going to fight this case," Gov. Rod Blagojevich's attorney says

Illinois House panel discusses whether basis for impeachment exists

Illinois governor arrested last week on federal corruption charges

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) -- Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who was cited in a criminal complaint against Rod Blagojevich, went to the U.S. Attorney's office about alleged wrongdoers, including the Illinois governor, a Jackson spokesman said Tuesday.

Jackson rejected being labeled with the term "informant" in a message to CNN contributor Roland Martin.

Spokesman Kenneth Edmonds described Jackson's interaction with federal authorities this way: "As a responsible citizen and elected official, Congressman Jackson has in the past provided information to federal authorities regarding his personal knowledge of perceived corruption and governmental misconduct.

"This was completely unrelated to the current investigation regarding the U.S. Senate appointment. And it is absolutely inaccurate to describe the congressman as an informant," Edmonds said in a written statement.

Jackson, a Democrat, has given information regarding the embattled Democratic governor of Illinois, though not in the case currently under investigation, Edmonds said.

In addition, two sources close to Jackson told CNN that, in 2002, Blagojevich -- then running for governor of Illinois -- solicited a $25,000 campaign donation from Jackson, which he did not get.

At the time, Jackson's wife, Sandi, was a candidate for the job of director of the state's Lottery Commission, a post she did not win, the sources said.

After Blagojevich took office, in early 2003, he told Jackson something to the effect of, "You see what $25,000 would have done?" the sources said.

In 2006, Jackson reported the incident, which he believed to have been an attempt at a shakedown, the sources said.

The report, the sources said, came three three years later because Jackson's memory was jogged by another case -- that of developer Tony Rezko, whose fraud and corruption trial included testimony about $25,000 donations to Blagojevich.

Jackson did not endorse Blagojevich in his initial campaign and tried to stay on the sidelines during the governor's re-election bid, one of the sources said.

Blagojevich's office did not return calls seeking comment.

The comments by Jackson's spokesman come on the same day members of an Illinois House of Representatives panel met to determine whether there is a basis to impeach Blagojevich.

Federal prosecutors accuse Blagojevich of trying to sell President-elect Barack Obama's former Senate seat.

The governor was arrested December 9 on federal corruption charges and has since ignored calls to resign.

Although Blagojevich, 52, has not commented publicly on the charges, his lawyer Ed Genson said the governor had done nothing wrong and does not intend to step down.

"We're going to fight this case," Genson said.

The 21-member panel is "not a committee to impeach the governor, but rather to investigate whether or not there exists a basis for the drafting and consideration of an impeachment motion by the full House," said Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, the majority leader and chairwoman of the committee. Watch as panel begins its work »

The proceedings will be fair, Currie said.

"Many Illinoisans today, including some of the lawmakers chosen to sit on this committee, have strong feelings about the governor and the crimes of which he's been accused," she said. "But let us remember that we are not 'Alice in Wonderland.' We're not the Red Queen; we do not sentence first and then do the verdict." Watch as panelists debate governor's capacity to serve »

The committee, which includes a dozen Democrats and nine Republicans, was meeting to discuss its investigation and procedures.

Currie said she met Monday with U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, the lead prosecutor in the case, to ask for help and information as well as "to make sure our investigation doesn't trample on his."

Fitzgerald had asked the committee put its request in writing, and Currie said the committee planned to do that.

Currie adjourned the hearing until Wednesday so Genson could attend. She said she had also written a letter to Blagojevich, inviting him to participate in the proceedings.

She said that on Wednesday, members will probably examine the 76-page federal criminal complaint, which includes transcripts of several expletive-laced taped phone conversations the governor had, in which he allegedly tried to personally benefit from the Senate vacancy.

Many members said Tuesday they regretted having to call impeachment proceedings but said it was necessary.

"It's unfortunate we're here," said Republican Rep. Jim Durkin, "but we have responsibilities."

Democratic Rep. Frank Mautino added, "No one takes any joy in watching someone stumble, but in the course of going forward, we all have a job to do."

On Monday, Obama said a review of his transition team's activities showed that he and his staff had no inappropriate discussions with either Blagojevich or Blagojevich's staff about filling the vacant Senate seat.

"There is nothing in the review that was presented to me that in any way contradicted my earlier statements that this appalling set of circumstances that we've seen arise had nothing to do with my office," Obama said.

Obama noted that Fitzgerald has requested a week's delay of the public release of the review so that it would not "interfere with an ongoing investigation" of the governor.

On Sunday, the governor spoke briefly to reporters.

"There will be an appropriate time to talk about this, but let me just wish everybody happy holidays," he said. "Things will work out just fine."

Blagojevich and his former chief of staff, John Harris, 46, were each charged with a count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and a count of solicitation of bribery, authorities said. Do you trust your leaders?

Harris has since resigned but has not commented on the charges.

On Friday, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan petitioned the state Supreme Court to temporarily remove Blagojevich from office or, at least, strip him of some of his authority. Madigan says that Blagojevich is "disabled" and cannot carry out the functions of his office.

"We are not looking to try to convict him criminally with the pleadings that we brought to the Illinois Supreme Court," she said Sunday. "We're simply recognizing that these are extraordinary, unprecedented circumstances and that we need to have a governor who can actually use the powers of that office and govern our state, or else our state becomes paralyzed."

"There is also this serious concern that absolutely everything that he does from here on out is going to be tainted," she said. "It's going to be illegitimate. And so we think it is absolutely obvious that he is incapable of governing, and the best thing to do is to move aside."

Taneka Talley's Son To Get Benefits Previously Denied by Dollar Tree

From the Mercury News:

FAIRFIELD, Calif.—Retail discount chain Dollar Tree has agreed to pay death benefits for a Fairfield employee who was stabbed to death at work, after the company initially denied the claim.
Tommy Joe Thompson is facing trial on charges of killing 26-year-old Taneka Talley in March 2006 while she was stocking shelves at a Dollar Tree store.

At a pretrial hearing, a psychiatrist said Thompson admitted he attacked Talley because she was black. Thompson is white.

The discount chain's insurer used that statement to deny benefits under California's workers' compensation laws, saying the killing was motivated by race and not work-related.

But Chesapeake, Va.-based Dollar Tree reversed course Monday, saying it would pay the full benefits—a minimum of $250,000.

Talley's mother said the change was motivated by public outrage over the initial denial.


Thank You Andre Johnson!

Not only does this video say a lot, of all the gifts one little girl can get, it appears to be an inexpensive jewelry set that has made her the most happy!

Anti-Kidnapping Expert KIDNAPPED in Mexico

Sometimes you just don't need to say anything more:

MEXICO CITY — An American renowned as an anti-kidnap expert has himself been abducted in northern Mexico after several days of seminars in which he was teaching police and citizens how to deal with kidnappings.

Felix Batista, 55, is a senior consultant with ASI Global, a Houston-based firm that assists clients with security issues, including both preventing and resolving kidnappings. He was taken Wednesday evening outside a restaurant in the industrial city of Saltillo in the state of Coahuila, which borders Texas.

A former U.S. Army intelligence officer, Batista has worked for nearly two decades as a security consultant in Latin America from his base in Miami. He has become a frequent source for journalists writing about security issues in the region and has often lectured industry and citizens groups in the United States and Mexico.

Charlie LeBlanc, ASI Global's president, told the Houston Chronicle that Batista was "not there on ASI business."

Local press in Saltillo reported that Batista had given security seminars to local police and citizens groups last week.

Batista, in a bio for a recent conference, said he had successfully negotiated the release of nearly 100 kidnap victims, including with Colombian leftist guerillas and some of Mexico's more notorious kidnapping gangs.

LeBlanc declined to comment whether the company or anyone else had received ransom demands from the kidnappers. The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City also declined to comment on the case.

Although often overshadowed by narcotics-related violence, kidnapping has become a scourge in Mexico.

Kidnappings have hit upper and middle-class civilians hard. Even poor families have been targeted. Hundreds of new cases are reported each year, with still more going unreported for fear of endangering the victims.

Just last summer, the 14-year-old son of one of the Mexican capital's wealthiest merchant families was kidnapped and slain. And police last week identified the remains of the 19-year-old daughter of Mexico's former top sports official Nelson Vargas. She had been kidnapped on her way to school in Mexico City 15 months ago

Jesse Jackson Jr - Snitch?????

Working with the Feds - by choice or forced to because of what they caught on tape? BTW, imagine the debt the state would be in if we had gone ahead with the third airport in Peotone? And last but not least, since the black westside sits directly in between O'Hare and Midway, why have we never benefitted from those airports?????


Jackson has been fighting for his reputation since the federal complaint revealed his supporters were willing to raise money for the governor, if Jackson was appointed to the Senate.
The new information appears to support Jackson's claim that he was not involved in a scheme to buy a U.S. Senate seat.
ABC7 has learned that since late last summer, the congressman has worked with federal prosecutors, informing on an alleged Blagojevich administration scheme two and half years earlier.
The meeting in June of 2006 at a Gold Coast hotel included Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Blagojevich fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko.

The topic was a proposed third airport at Peotone, Jackson's pet project which needed more state money. Rezko allegedly demanded that the governor be given control of the airport's board. Jackson refused and state support for the project stopped.
Then last summer, weeks after Rezko was found guilty of un-related corruption, the U.S. Attorney's Office interviewed the congressman as a possible witness against the governor in the Peotone matter.
And sources tell ABC7 that Jackson has been in regular contact with the feds and has told the government that in 2003 Blagojevich denied the congressman's wife Sandi an appointment as Illinois lottery director because Jackson would not donate $25,000 to the governor's campaign fund.
Hours before Blagojevich and his chief of staff John Harris were arrested, Jackson says prosecutors gave him a 'courtesy call' to let him know he was mentioned in the criminal complaint.
The U.S. attorney may have been referring to Jackson when he issued a warning to reporters last week.
"There may be people who had no idea what was going on...who had no idea they were being discussed," said Patrick Fitzgerald, U.S. attorney. "We ask that the press in particular not cast aspersions. This complaint is only about the two people who were charged."
A U.S. attorney's spokesman said of Jackson's role months ago in the Blagojevich case: "We don't confirm or deny the contacts. We have consistently refused to comment on the status of any individual not charged in this investigation."
Jackson supporters ABC7 talked to on Monday want the U.S. attorney to give the congressman a clean bill of health so to speak.
In1998, then U.S. Attorney Scott Lassar did that for Republican gubernatorial candidate George Ryan. Ryan was eventually convicted of corruption and now sits in a federal prison.

What's in a Name?????

To all the folks who get upset with the names black folks come up with, check out this article taken from the Detroit Free Press:

UPDATED AT 9:44 PM: EASTON, Pa. — The father of 3-year-old Adolf Hitler Campbell, denied a birthday cake with the child’s full name on it by a New Jersey supermarket, is asking for a little tolerance.

Heath Campbell and his wife, Deborah, are upset not only with the decision made by the Greenwich ShopRite, but with an outpouring of angry Internet postings in response to a local newspaper article over the weekend on their flare-up over frosting.

“I think people need to take their heads out of the cloud they’ve been in and start focusing on the future and not on the past,” Heath Campbell said today in an interview conducted in Easton, on the other side of the Delaware River from where the family lives in Hunterdon County, N.J.

“There’s a new president and he says it’s time for a change; well, then it’s time for a change,” the 35-year-old continued. “They need to accept a name. A name’s a name. The kid isn’t going to grow up and do what (Hitler) did.”

Deborah Campbell, 25, said she phoned in her order last week to the ShopRite. When she told the bakery department she wanted her son’s name spelled out, she was told to talk to a supervisor, who denied the request.

Karen Meleta, a spokeswoman for ShopRite, said the Campbells had similar requests denied at the same store the last two years and said Heath Campbell previously had asked for a swastika to be included in the decoration.

“We reserve the right not to print anything on the cake that we deem to be inappropriate,” Meleta said. “We considered this inappropriate.”

The Campbells ultimately got their cake decorated at a Wal-Mart in Pennsylvania, Deborah Campbell said.

About 12 people attended the birthday party Sunday, including several children who were of mixed race, according to Heath Campbell. “If we’re so racist, then why would I have them come into my home?” he asked.

The Campbells’ other two children also have unusual names: JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell turns 2 in a few months and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell will be 1 in April.

Heath Campbell said he named his son after Adolf Hitler because he liked the name and because “no one else in the world would have that name.” He sounded surprised by all the controversy the dispute had generated.

Campbell said his ancestors are German and that he has lived his entire life in Hunterdon County. Today, he wore a pair of black boots he said were worn by a German soldier during World War II.

He said he was raised not to avoid people of other races but not to mix with them socially or romantically. But he said he would try to raise his children differently.

“Say he grows up and hangs out with black people. That’s fine, I don’t really care,” he said. “That’s his choice.”

Friday, December 12, 2008


No wonder JJ jr didn't take any question during his press conference where he strongly denied any wrongdoing in the "pay to play" scandal. Here the youtube video. Go to around minute 4:00 thru about 4:35 and see if you notice what I did.

Hint: Pay attention to the day of the week mentioned.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

No Taxation By Misrepresentation

Where will you be in 75 years? I will be dead and most anyone reading this column will be dead. I will even guesstimate that the majority of children living today will be dead and for the most part, it will be our great-great-grandchildren who will be the ones living and paying taxes when the lease of the Chicago parking meters finally comes to an end.

In just the past couple of years, we taxpayers have, for the most part, stood silently by while the mayor and the city council have leased out infrastructure work that was originally paid for by our parents and grandparents. The mayor and his band of 50 cronies have leased the Skyway, the Chicago parking garages, Midway and now the parking meters. Each time a city entity was leased, it was done with the tale that it would solve a "current economic crisis." I won't even begin to write about the money the city lost when Daley ordered Meigs Field destroyed in the middle of the night.

Only two of the three Austin aldermen, Ed Smith (28th Ward) and Emma Mitts (37th Ward) were present and voted to lease the parking meters. Alderman Ike Carothers (29th Ward) was absent. I looked up the number of parking meters in each ward and according to published reports, the 28th Ward has 196 meters, the 29th Ward has 110 meters and my ward, the 37th, has 18.

The city will get $1.2 billion for leasing the meters. The company giving the city that money plans to not only recoup their $1.2 billion over the next 75 years, but they also will make a profit. And that is where most Chicagoans should focus their thoughts. How much profit?

We know the amounts to feed a meter will go up. And if the higher amounts the meters earn will cover the amount of the payout on the lease and the profit back to the company, I guess we all have to live with that. But what we shouldn't have to live with is the city installing one new meter anywhere. Because any new meter installation will mean that the money from it will go back to the leasing company and theoretically would be an additional tax on the citizenry of Chicago by forcing us to pay profits to a company above and beyond what they should be earning.

We as citizens need to be very vigilant when Daley leases a city property and then the proceeds don't ever seem to fix the budget problems. There is a finite number of things in the city that can be leased. There is also a finite amount that a budget can maintain.

For example, recently the city's budget director, Bennett Johnson III, resigned his $163,656-a-year job after it was revealed he had spent $5,000 to have a shower installed in his office-so that he could clean up after biking to work. Huh? In today's economy, the city can cut that salary in half and find hundreds of applicants among all the people who have been laid off from companies all over the city.

By the way, when the new CTA headquarters was built, they too had showers installed in the building at Clinton and Lake so that workers who biked to work could shower. That sort of irresponsible leadership and corresponding lack of public outrage is why the budgets for the city and other agencies are so out whack. Taxpayers are seen as an endless ATM machine that can be tapped whenever there is a nickel needed for this or a dime needed for that. All the while the economy is tanking, people are out of work and it may take years for us to recover.

The Boston Tea Party took place on Dec. 16, 1773 because of "taxation without representation." Now 235 years later, we need to protest because of "taxation by misrepresentation."

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Can Murder By A Stranger be "Personal"?

Thanksgiving weekend officially began the Christmas shopping season. In our tough economic times, many of us will be shopping at the dollar stores in order to save money while buying items that give us a good value for an inexpensive price. As each and every one of us makes the decision to shop at one store or another, I want to bring to your attention the death of a young black woman named Taneka Talley and the dollar store where she had worked.

Taneka was employed at a Dollar Tree in Fairfield, Calif. In March, 2006 while on the job, she was stabbed to death by a white male customer who reportedly wanted to kill the first black person he saw. Taneka, who was a single parent, left behind a then 8-year-old son who is now being raised by Taneka's mom.

The travesty of Taneka Talley's death doesn't just end with her murder. In California, there is a state law that says if a worker is killed on the job, Taneka's son would be eligible to file for state workers' compensation benefits. But according to media accounts, Dollar Tree, via its insurance company, Specialty Risk Services, is fighting the payout. Why? Because there is another caveat to that California law, which states if the person who was killed had a "personal" relationship with the killer, then the workers' comp benefits aren't payable. The intent of that law was to prevent payouts when a worker is killed on the job by someone they know.

So did Taneka Talley have a relationship with the white man who killed her? No, she didn't. So how is it that the insurance company is now denying her heir the money to which he should be legally entitled if the man who killed his mom didn't even know her? Well, it seems a lawyer who represents Specialty Risk Services has managed to come up with a "personal" connection between the victim and her killer. The alleged killer killed Taneka Talley because she was black. Therefore the murder was a "racially motivated crime" and as such, then the "crime" was "personal," and therefore they don't have to pay the claim.

Huh? A woman is at work doing her job and is subsequently killed at work by a customer who is a complete stranger, but because that stranger hated black people, the crime is now "personal" and therefore the insurance claim benefits can be denied. Does everyone who reads this story understand the implications of this? A woman can be murdered by someone she didn't know and, according to former chief judge in the state's Division of Worker's Compensation, Steven Siemers, "this would be the first case where a hate crime, in and of itself, established a personal connection."

Taneka's family, after learning of the denial of the benefit payout, is reportedly using their legal options against Dollar Tree. But the legal implications of this case are far-reaching. The "alleged" killer was only charged with murder and not a "hate crime." But the "hate crime" aspect is the reason the attorneys for Dollar Tree have used the logic to make the crime "personal." The killer was not charged with a "hate crime," but rather the charge against him was simply "murder."

As the final outcome of this case evolves, I will keep you informed either via this column or my blog. In the meantime, people should think twice before giving Dollar Tree another dollar.