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Articles Posted by rellimpank

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  • Rahm Emanuel not the only loser on election night

    02/26/2015 6:01:00 AM PST · by rellimpank · 22 replies
    Chicago Tribune ^ | 26 feb 2015 | John Kass
    There were plenty of winners and losers in this week's Chicago city elections, and you can always follow the losers by the echoes of their shrieks through the alleys. And there are famous names of Chicago Democratic politics among them, names like Berrios and Mell and Daley and Preckwinkle. We'll get to them. The biggest loser of all, of course, is Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He was forced into a runoff campaign with Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, and given the unrest in the wards and Emanuel's huge likability deficit, it's looking as if he could be a loser in...
  • Right-to-work: the ultimate lost cause for Wisconsin unions

    02/26/2015 5:20:07 AM PST · by rellimpank · 17 replies
    Milwaukee J-S ^ | 26 feb 2015 | Christian Schneider
    During Chuck Nevitt's undistinguished NBA playing career, he earned the nickname "The Human Victory Cigar," as he only made it onto the court after his team was ahead by an insurmountable margin. The 7-foot-5 center played only 826 minutes over the span of nine NBA seasons, which is equivalent to about 18 full games. When Nevitt pulled his sweatpants off, the starting players began making dinner plans. In Wisconsin politics, the billionaire Koch brothers have now become the Republican human victory cigars. When the left has exhausted every talking point and political strategy, it trots out uncles Charles and David...
  • Take a gun to the mall

    02/25/2015 6:22:49 AM PST · by rellimpank · 30 replies
    Chicago Tribune ^ | 25 feb 2015 | John R. Lott, Jr.
    Over the weekend Somali terrorists threatened to attack the Mall of America in Minnesota. They called for a massacre similar to the 2013 Westgate shopping mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya, that killed and injured scores of people. With the large Somali population in the Twin Cities area, the threat is hard to ignore. On Sunday, when asked a couple of times if Americans should still go to the mall, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson would only say: "I'm not telling people to not go to the mall." Somalia extremists urge attacks on U.S. shopping malls Somalia extremists urge attacks on...
  • Do Chicago a favor, don't let Rahm win Tuesday

    02/22/2015 6:40:30 AM PST · by rellimpank · 25 replies
    Chicago Tribune ^ | 22 feb 2015 | John Kass
    Chicago really doesn't need a presidential temple of worship masquerading as a presidential library, or a fancy downtown college basketball palace, or a Star Wars museum on the lakefront. And downtown doesn't need a big casino, either, not even a glitzy one with monstrous video billboards depicting the giant, pitiless eyes of the mayor staring down at those from the neighborhoods who dared to look up. Downtown has been getting quite a bit of attention, and though it might be nice to have all these things, (or not) — they aren't vital to the future of Chicago. But there is...
  • Bruce Rauner, unions and Illinois taxpayers

    02/14/2015 5:50:31 AM PST · by rellimpank
    Chicago Tribune ^ | 14 feb 2015
    You could conclude from the hot political bombast across frigid Illinois that Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to destroy public sector labor unions, starving them of fees from state workers. Or you could conclude that Rauner wants to end what he calls a corrupt bargain between unions and Springfield politicians that's crushing taxpayers. As the governor and organized labor square off, their battle to control the narrative — their battle for your approval, really — is ferocious. Rauner on Monday issued an executive order to free state employees who don't belong to unions from paying fees that support union operations. He...
  • Rauner takes dead aim at unions

    02/11/2015 6:03:58 AM PST · by rellimpank · 16 replies
    Chicago Tribune ^ | 11 feb2015 | Eric Zorn
    WHEREAS Gov. Bruce Rauner issued a sweeping executive order Monday "respecting state employees' freedom of speech," and WHEREAS this order began with 26 "Whereas ..." paragraphs, many of which mistily invoked the violated rights of public sector workers who are now "forced against their will" to fund "activities to which they object," and WHEREAS our patience for hand-waving, smoke screens and general rhetorical folderol is limited ... THEREFORE let's cut the rubbish. Rauner's order isn't animated by empathy or some fastidious concern with constitutional fine points. It's animated by a desire to put public employee unions into a death spiral,...
  • Rauner reveals face he tried to hide from voters — the anti-union ideologue one (barf alert)

    02/10/2015 5:16:14 AM PST · by rellimpank · 4 replies
    Chicago Sun-Times ^ | 10 few 2015 | Mark Brown
    And so it begins. Gov. Bruce Rauner fired his first shot Monday in his campaign to give all Illinois workers the right to choose to work for less money. Rauner’s legally dubious executive order relieving state employees of the requirement they pay union dues was a loud declaration the new governor aims to restore Illinois to prosperity — by undercutting the organizing power of its work force. The governor’s initial targeting of public employee unions was no surprise given his election rhetoric, but his use of an executive order to impose his will seemed to catch everyone off guard. “I...
  • In Illinois, concealed carry of guns has quiet first year; expansion sought

    02/04/2015 6:39:47 AM PST · by rellimpank · 4 replies
    Chicago Tribune ^ | 04 feb 2015 | Robert McCoppin and Lizzie Johnson
    Keith Hearn was getting out of his car in front of his home in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood when, as he tells it, police pulled up and told him he had committed a minor traffic offense. Hearn, 34, has a concealed-carry license and said he voluntarily told the officers he had a handgun on him. Nonetheless, he said officers arrested him and took him to their station, claiming his gun was partly showing. After checking, he said, police found the concealed-carry law allows a gun to be "mostly" concealed, and let him go without charges. "I was disgusted," Hearn said....
  • Wisconsin concealed-carry permit applications slowing but still strong

    02/04/2015 6:23:30 AM PST · by rellimpank · 7 replies
    Milwaukee J-S ^ | 04 feb 2015 | Bruce Vielmetti
    Wisconsin residents continue to seek and obtain licenses to carry concealed guns, submitting more than 37,000 applications in 2014, the third full year after concealed carry was approved, according to a report released Tuesday. Nearly 34,000 were issued permits, raising the total number in Wisconsin to 242,488, according to an annual report from the Department of Justice. More than 500 applications were rejected because the applicants were not legally qualified to carry a gun, much less have a concealed carry permit, according to the report. The reasons for rejection included applicants with a felony conviction, having been found mentally incompetent...
  • Chicago needs a champion in the fight against guns (barf alert)

    02/03/2015 5:53:21 AM PST · by rellimpank · 25 replies
    Chicago Sun-Times ^ | 03 feb 2015
    When the five men running to be mayor of Chicago sat down Friday with the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board, they were at times eloquent in describing the social roots, such as a dearth of jobs and inadequate schools, of Chicago’s gun violence. But they often left us wondering just how serious they would be about getting rid of illegal guns. A good mayor must be able to pat his head and rub his stomach at the same time. He must be able and willing to attack the root causes of gun violence while also aggressively going after illegal guns. We...
  • Educators frustrated by Walker's comments about faculty work

    When Gov. Scott Walker remarked this week, while discussing proposed budget cuts to the UW System, that faculty and staff should be teaching more classes and doing more work, it bared one of the most enduring sources of friction in higher education. To listen to many university critics, the primary function of faculty members is that of a teacher in a classroom — someone who educates students in a model that is, in many respects, a continuation of high school. Working with students whose families may have saved for years and taken on significant debt to afford higher education is...
  • Enough with the fake service dogs and 'emotional support' pigs

    01/17/2015 5:57:02 AM PST · by rellimpank · 42 replies
    Chicago Tribune ^ | 17 jan 2015
    Frequent fliers offer up a silent prayer each time they board a plane: Please, God, don't let me be seated next to a gregarious blowhard or a crying baby. Soon enough, they might want to add, or a pig. In November, a woman and her "emotional support pig" were thrown off a USAirways flight after the 70-pound ham became disruptive — relieving itself in the aisle and grunting while the woman tried to stow her carry-on. That was a first for most passengers, we suspect. But it's not unusual any more to find all sorts of emotional support livestock in...
  • John Nichols: It is time to apply the rule of law to Dick Cheney (barf alert)

    12/30/2014 9:10:31 AM PST · by rellimpank · 10 replies
    Madison.com ^ | 30 dec 2014 | John Nichols
    Arizona Sen. John McCain, who during his time as a prisoner of war came to know something about the abuse of incarcerated combatants, provided the soundest assessment of the revelation that the United States abandoned its values and international standards in order to permit practices that the world knows as torture. “We gave up much in the expectation that torture would make us safer,” McCain said after the release of details from the Senate Select Intelligence Committee on Central Intelligence Agency abuses. “Too much.” McCain's calculation raises a question: If the United States has given up too much moral territory,...
  • No silver bullet solution to flying bullets

    12/30/2014 6:36:26 AM PST · by rellimpank · 33 replies
    Chicago Sun-Times ^ | 30 dec 2014
    When crimes rates drop for a year or two, nobody can really say why. It could be freakish good luck. When crime rates drop steadily for more than 20 years, as they have in Chicago and across the country, you might suspect the underlying forces driving the trend would become clear. But, in fact, the experts continue to scratch their heads. About all they can say for sure is that it’s complicated. No single factor, such as sending more people to prison, explains why crime rates have plummeted across the country. And, so it follows, we should be wary of...
  • Dividing Lines: Already polarized, Wisconsin's fault lines now wider

    12/28/2014 5:54:16 AM PST · by rellimpank · 58 replies
    Milwaukee J-S ^ | 28 dec 2014 | Craig Gilbert
    At first glance, Gov. Scott Walker’s re-election last month looks like a carbon copy of his victory four years earlier. He won the same kinds of voters. He won the same parts of the state. And he won with virtually the same share of the vote: 52.25% in 2010 and 52.26% in 2014. But on closer inspection, there is an important difference: Wisconsin is even more polarized today than it was four years ago. Based on almost everything we know about the Nov. 4 election, the state’s fault lines are deeper and more sharply defined, its voters are more divided...
  • Clerk: 'I wasn't scared' as gunbattle erupts with robbers, 7-Eleven staff

    12/27/2014 5:32:53 AM PST · by rellimpank · 8 replies
    Chicago Tribune ^ | 27dec 2014
    After an armed man pointed a gun at the head of 60-year-old convenience store clerk Ibrahim Rahmoun, he and his boss grabbed a gun and took action leading to an exchange of gunfire outside a Northwest Side 7-Eleven. “The guy shot two bullets at us,’’ Rahmoun said. “We shot back at them. We shot eight.’’ “I wasn’t scared. ... I don’t care, it doesn’t bother me. When you work the night shift, a lot of robberies happen’’ said Rahmoun, who was at the counter when two men entered the 7-Eleven at 2900 W. Montrose Ave. about 1:25 a.m. Friday and...
  • Bang: The troubled legacy of toy guns

    12/23/2014 6:11:20 AM PST · by rellimpank · 48 replies
    Washington Post ^ | 23 dec 2014 | Marc Fisher
    Two cops rush to the scene. “This sounds like a gun battle — over there!” one calls to his partner. They see the suspects: two little boys, wielding rifles. The police officers do not shoot. Rather, they examine the boys’ weapons and break into big smiles: “Hey, is it real?” one officer asks. “Looks like real,” his partner marvels. “And it sounds like real,” the first officer confirms. “Right — every shot!” says the announcer, because this is on television. It’s an ad, from 1967, for the Sound-O-Power M-16 military rifle, a big hit for Marx Toys at Christmas that...
  • Keeping the lead in: Efforts to thwart toxic ammo caught in political crosshairs

    12/21/2014 6:40:50 AM PST · by rellimpank · 17 replies
    Rapid City Journal ^ | 21 dec2014 | Seth Tupper
    Lead is malleable. Some opinions about lead ammunition are not. That’s what critics of lead bullets and shells are finding as they advocate a switch to nontoxic alternatives such as steel. In a fight reminiscent of the climate-change debate, evolving evidence of threats to the environment, wildlife and humans from lead ammo and tackle is facing a firing squad of politicians and special-interest groups. Caught in the crossfire are hunters and anglers. So is the Environmental Protection Agency, a favorite target of rural-state lawmakers like U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., who is a co-chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus. Thune...
  • Targeting "Assault Weapons" Again

    12/18/2014 5:34:24 AM PST · by rellimpank · 22 replies
    Townhall ^ | 18 dec 2014 | Steve Chapman
    The 1994 federal law banning "assault weapons" was a high point of the gun control movement and Bill Clinton's presidency. Signing the bill, he said it was the beginning of "our effort to restore safety and security to the people of this country." But something happened that he and his allies had not predicted: nothing. Duke University scholars Philip Cook and Kristin Goss, who are sympathetic to gun control efforts, assessed the ban in a book published this year and concluded, "There is no compelling evidence that it saved lives." A 2004 study led by Christopher Koper of the University...
  • Judge refuses to return gun to man involved in freeway shootout

    12/12/2014 6:10:17 AM PST · by rellimpank · 8 replies
    Milwaukee J-S ^ | 12 dec 2014 | Bruce Vielmetti
    One of two concealed gun permit holders involved in a rolling shootout down Milwaukee streets and freeways last year was turned down Thursday when he asked a judge to order the return of the gun seized after the incident. Roy Anthony Scott told police he was merely trying to escape from Eric Adamany, 29, and fired in self-defense. Scott was never charged in the June 2013 shootout. Adamany was, and his case of recklessly endangering safety is pending. Scott, also 29, was charged in September 2013 with being party to the crime of armed robbery at an auto-parts store three...
  • These Las Vegas businesswomen take their (gun)shots seriously

    12/06/2014 6:00:37 AM PST · by rellimpank · 5 replies
    VegasINC ^ | 06 dec 2014 | Ashley Oñoz-Wright
    Karissa Neff and Sara Shertz drive away from the hustle and bustle, down a lonely stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard South until they reach their turn-off, a road where asphalt meets gravel. It’s late afternoon and their truck is loaded with about a dozen semi-automatic handguns, revolvers, and bolt action and high-powered rifles. A utopia for gun enthusiasts seeking outdoor target practice, the location near Sloan is barren isolation with a touch of lawlessness. Pockmarked by divots and peppered debris, the off-road stretch is lined with pickup trucks and empty ammunition shells. For the women of Gun Play Vegas, it’s...
  • Plain Talk: Giving up on a state headed to rock bottom (barf alert)

    12/05/2014 9:23:27 AM PST · by rellimpank · 38 replies
    Madison.com ^ | 05 dec 2014 | Dave Zweifel
    Steve Anderson and his wife Sally are planning to move to Minnesota. They have spent nearly all their lives living and working in Wisconsin, participating in civic projects, volunteering their time for worthy causes, and extolling the virtues of the state whenever the opportunity arose. But no more. In the past few years they've watched a state known for its enlightened government and political vibrancy turn into what Steve believes is a state headed to rock bottom, which, then again, might actually be good because it's only when an addict reaches rock bottom that he finally realizes he has to...
  • The coming right-to-work fight in Wisconsin

    12/05/2014 5:26:54 AM PST · by rellimpank · 18 replies
    Milwaukee J-S ^ | 05 dec 2014 | David D. Haynes
    Is Wisconsin better off with weaker unions? Some conservatives think so. Legislators will consider the question when right-to-work legislation is introduced early next year. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said members in his house would begin debate within weeks. But I think Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican leadership should tread carefully. There is scant evidence that right-to-work laws boost job creation; there is evidence that weaker unions hurt working people. And there is no doubt whatsoever that a fight over right to work in Wisconsin will be bloody. Remember Act 10? Under right-to-work laws, workers in unionized shops...
  • Fight guns in Chicago, Michael Bloomberg (barf alert)

    12/04/2014 5:09:28 AM PST · by rellimpank · 10 replies
    Chicago Sun-Times ^ | 04 dec 2014
    Come to Chicago, Michael Bloomberg — in a big way — if you really want to fight gun violence in America. If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. Among American big cities, Chicago suffers one of the highest per capita rates of gun violence. And you, since stepping down as mayor of New York, have established yourself as a national leader — certainly the leader with the deepest pockets — in the uphill fight for sanity in gun laws. No city or state could use you more. As we wrote in an editorial last month, Chicago...
  • The Ox-Bow Incident,' Ferguson and the rule of law

    12/03/2014 6:09:01 AM PST · by rellimpank · 16 replies
    Chicago Tribune ^ | 02 dec 2014 | John Kass
    Remember "The Ox-Bow Incident?" No? It's positively ancient, and it's easy to see why it's been forgotten. For one thing, it's in black-and-white. And it offers no eye candy: no explosions or moaning flesh, or fast cars or epic battles. But I've been thinking about it lately, especially now, with what's going on in Missouri, in Ferguson and in St. Louis. "The Ox-Bow Incident" is a film of a novel that speaks to the rule of law. And it admonishes us against mob rule, the kind that turns men into a lynch mob. Or — and this is taken from...
  • Be smart about gun-crime sentences

    12/02/2014 5:58:22 AM PST · by rellimpank · 16 replies
    Chicago Sun-Times ^ | 02 dec 2014
    Illinois has a chance to get smarter about penalties for gun crimes, hitting offenders with longer sentences where needed and shorter ones where appropriate. We urge the Legislature to seize the opportunity. So much is at stake, especially in Chicago, where the bloodshed from guns is constant and horrific. Within the next couple of days, the Legislature’s Joint Criminal Justice Reform Committee will present a series of findings on gun violence and gun laws, reflecting months of listening to law enforcement officials, national criminal justice experts and others. The committee’s findings are expected to be the basis for new laws...
  • OPEC Cannot Kill U.S. Shale Oil Boom with Low Crude Prices

    12/01/2014 10:08:44 AM PST · by rellimpank · 30 replies
    Breitbart ^ | 01 oct 2014 | Chriss W. Street
    Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and United Arab Emirates—the only OPEC members financially solvent enough to afford temporarily reducing crude oil production—are believed to have refused to cut output on November 27, 2014 to push oil prices down to $68 a barrel in hopes of killing the U.S. oil boom. But unlike traditional oil wells that lose future production capability if temporarily shut down, U.S. shale oil wells have the flexibility to close and then reopen without a long-term loss of production capability. From an annual low of $1.21 a barrel in 1970 to an annual high of $108.90 in 2012, OPEC,...
  • Let's talk about 'black on black' crime (barf alert)

    12/01/2014 6:28:38 AM PST · by rellimpank · 35 replies
    Milwaukee J-S ^ | 01 dec 2014 | Leonard Pitts
    OK, fine. Let's talk about "black on black" crime. That, after all, is where the conversation seems to inevitably turn whenever one seeks to engage a conservative on the American habit of shooting unarmed African-American boys and men. So it was exasperating, but nowhere near surprising, to see former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani go there last week on "Meet the Press." Asked by host Chuck Todd, during a discussion of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Mo., about the fact that African-American communities like that one are often served by snow white police departments, he offered some perfunctory words...
  • Black Friday gun buys test background check system

    11/26/2014 4:04:14 AM PST · by rellimpank · 27 replies
    Milwaukee J-S ^ | 26 nov 2014 | Matt Stroud
    BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (AP) - Black Friday isn't just when shoppers rush to stores for holiday sales. It's also one of the busiest days of the year for gun purchases. In the U.S., there are nine guns for every 10 people. Someone is killed with a firearm every 16 minutes. And every minute, gun shops make about 40 new requests for criminal background checks on people wanting weapons. On Black Friday, the rush accelerates to nearly two checks a second, testing the limits of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. "We have a perfect storm coming," says Kimberly Del Greco,...
  • Jonathan Gruber flap on Obamacare reopens not-so-old wounds

    11/22/2014 5:49:20 AM PST · by rellimpank · 12 replies
    Milwaukee J-S ^ | 22 nov 2014 | Jonah Goldberg
    I understand we've turned the page to the next controversy -- Obama's unconstitutional immigration pander -- but I'd like to dwell a little longer on the previous travesty. Obama administration health care consultant Jonathan Gruber was discovered to have boasted that Obamacare was designed to exploit the "stupidity" of American voters and elude honest accounting by hiding both its cost and the taxes necessary to pay for it. When asked about this in Brisbane, Australia, the president rolled his eyes at the controversy. "I just heard about this," President Barack Obama said. "… The fact that some adviser who never...
  • Fighting illegal guns is God’s work (barf alert)

    11/20/2014 6:18:02 AM PST · by rellimpank · 15 replies
    Chicago Sun-Times ^ | 20 nov 2014
    Blase Cupich’s arrival as archbishop presents a historic opportunity to turn Chicago away from its horrific gun violence. As Cupich officially assumes his duties Tuesday, we urge him to take a leading and visible role in fighting the devastating flow of illegal guns into our city. Nothing could be more God’s work. Cupich has said he is “prepared to speak” on a gamut of pressing social issues in the Chicago archdiocese, from the “deep pockets of poverty” to income inequality to compassionate care for the elderly — all profound matters. But arguably no issue is more pressing than the violence...
  • How Rauner can target illegal guns (Illinois)

    11/13/2014 6:15:24 AM PST · by rellimpank · 23 replies
    Chicago Sun-Times ^ | 13 nov 2014
    Chicago desperately needs a real leader in the fight to get illegal guns off our blood-stained streets. Nothing is more important to our city’s future. We believe that leader can and must be Bruce Rauner. That may seem counter-intuitive. Rauner is a Republican who ran for governor as a strong defender of the Second Amendment, against an incumbent Democratic governor, Pat Quinn, with a long record in support of gun control. But it is precisely because Rauner is a Republican and a staunch defender of legal gun rights — and because he now faces the prospect of finding common ground...
  • Coal trumps the IPCC, again

    11/13/2014 6:00:07 AM PST · by rellimpank · 10 replies
    Milwaukee J-S ^ | 13 nov 2014 | Robert Bryce
    Rajendra Pachauri, the Indian academic who chairs the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, recently declared that we have "the means to limit climate change" and that "all we need is the will to change." That's a rather glib statement given that just five years ago, Pachauri was lamenting the fact that so many of his fellow Indians were living in dire energy poverty. In July 2009, Pachauri asked reporters, "Can you imagine 400 million people who do not have a light bulb in their homes?" He continued, saying, "with the resources of coal that India has, we really don't have...
  • Healing community and new policies can curb gun violence

    11/09/2014 6:12:06 AM PST · by rellimpank · 12 replies
    Milwaukee J-S ^ | 09 nov 2014
    Experts on gun violence met at a symposium Friday afternoon in Milwaukee as another Milwaukee family mourned the death of a child hit by a stray bullet Thursday night. Laylah C. Petersen — remember her name — was sitting on her grandfather's lap when she was hit. She was 5. Sierra Guyton — remember her name, too — was killed while playing on her school playground last May. She was 10. In Racine, a 4-year-old girl was shot the day before Petersen was shot. Our hearts reach out to Petersen's family and echo the words of Laylah's aunt, Jocelyn Petersen:...
  • Experts offer concrete steps for lowering gun violence (barf alert)

    11/08/2014 5:52:27 AM PST · by rellimpank · 35 replies
    Milwaukee J-S ^ | 08 nov 2014 | Gina Barton
    On Thursday night, 5-year-old Laylah C. Petersen became one of about 300 Americans per year killed by stray bullets. Laylah, who was sitting on her grandfather's lap when a bullet pierced the wall of her home and struck her in the head, joins Sierra Guyton, 10, fatally shot on a playground in May, and at least nine other Milwaukee children killed by errant gunfire since 1995. On Friday, city residents were once again left with this question: "What can we do?" While the answer is multifaceted, one thing is clear, according to Joshua Horwitz, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based...
  • As divider-in-chief, Gov. Scott Walker is a roaring success (barf alert)

    11/01/2014 6:04:22 AM PDT · by rellimpank · 41 replies
    Milwaukee J-S ^ | 01 nov 2014 | John Gurda
    In American politics, it pays to be a fighter. Candidates of every stripe and in every age have found it useful to pose as advocates for the common people, champions who will go to the barricades on our humble behalf. Genuine populists have worn the mantle most effectively. "Fighting Bob" La Follette was an impassioned rabble-rouser through his long career in Wisconsin politics, and fiery Dan Hoan regularly "gave 'em hell" during his 24 years as Milwaukee's mayor. Both men, and many of their contemporaries, were on a never-ending crusade against the "special interests" who sought to rig the system...
  • Labor unions weren't about to negotiate over Act 10

    10/27/2014 5:37:46 AM PDT · by rellimpank · 6 replies
    Milwaukee J-S ^ | 27 OCT 2014 | David Fladeboe
    A recent Journal Sentinel editorial concerning Gov. Scott Walker's budget-saving Act 10 reforms attempts to take readers to an alternate universe, complete with happily negotiated labor contracts and good governance that didn't require hard decisions from lawmakers in Madison ("A trip to Scott Walker's parallel universe where Act 10 never happened," Our View, Oct. 21) . One would indeed need to be in an alternate universe to expect a world free of the dysfunction that has plagued state and federal government. In no universe real or otherwise were powerful labor bosses and their unions ever going to make meaningful concessions...
  • Political fictions no stranger than reality — but at least they're less depressing

    10/09/2014 4:40:58 AM PDT · by rellimpank · 9 replies
    Chicago Tribune ^ | 09 oct 2014 | John Kass
    In an early scene on "Madam Secretary" — a kinda Hillary Clinton political soap opera on CBS — our heroine mucks horse manure out of a barn. As played by Tea Leoni, Madam Secretary is a former CIA-analyst-turned-professor in the Virginia horse country, in jeans and boots. She holds a pitchfork in her hand. And bits of straw and road apples cling to the tines. She's asked: Why clean up horse poop? "Why?" asks Madam Secretary. "I like it. It relaxes me." Just then the president of the United States (Keith "I'm Easy" Carradine) rolls up the dusty road in...
  • A bleak future for the average chumbolone of Illinois

    10/06/2014 3:34:13 AM PDT · by rellimpank · 9 replies
    Chicago Tribune ^ | 05 oct 2014 | John Kass
    If you're an Illinoisan who isn't on a political payroll — meaning you won't have a fat six-figure pension like many of our public officials — you'll likely spend this last month before the Illinois governor's election in deep contemplation. Democratic incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn and businessman Bruce Rauner, the Republican, are in a daily knife fight, but if you're wise, you might also spend this time asking yourself these eternal questions: •Since I don't have a government pension, what kind of sauce will I put on my dry dog food to make it tasty when I'm old? •Would bottled...
  • Hispanic independence movement?

    10/06/2014 3:27:42 AM PDT · by rellimpank · 24 replies
    Milwaukee J-S ^ | 05 oct 2014 | Esther J. Cepeda
    Hispanics contemplating the upcoming elections must be wondering: "What now?" President Barack Obama has shown Hispanics that he takes us for granted. The midterm elections won't feature a "Latino vote" storyline in the most contested high-level races. As far as 2016 is concerned, it's a crapshoot. How best to proceed then? Disengage from the political process? Carry on with straight-ticket voting and hope that any new officeholders will be better than the current ones? Decide that -- at least in the voting booth -- maybe the devil you know is really no better than the devil you don't? These questions...
  • Obama throws liberalism under the bus

    10/03/2014 3:16:50 PM PDT · by rellimpank · 3 replies
    Chicago Tribune ^ | Jonah Goldberg
    President Barack Obama had a choice between liberalism and the Democratic Party. He chose the latter and it cost him dearly. Liberalism, as an ideology, insists that government can do good and great things for the people and the world, if the people running the government are smart liberals. The Democratic Party says the exact same thing. But liberalism is an ideal, while the Democratic Party is that ideal’s representative here in the real world, and in the real world political parties disappoint. Just to be clear — and to avoid a lot of “Oh, yeah? What about Republicans?!” responses...
  • CARROLL: Energy grid not free for all

    10/01/2014 5:39:18 AM PDT · by rellimpank · 23 replies
    Rapid City Journal ^ | 01 oct 2014 | Frank Carroll
    It seems counter-intuitive and more than a little greedy to spend tens of thousands of dollars building green energy facilities so you can live off the grid and then fight the power company because they aren’t paying you for the extra power you give back to the grid. Let’s have our cake and eat it, too. Most people invest in solar panels and wind energy to relieve themselves of the burden and insecurity of depending on the giant energy grid most of us depend upon. And it is a dependable grid. Not having power in America is not common and...
  • Are we headed for recall redux? (Wisconsin governor's race)

    10/01/2014 5:25:54 AM PDT · by rellimpank · 6 replies
    Milwaukee J-S ^ | 01 oct 2014 | Christian Schneider
    On Monday, first lady Michelle Obama swooped in to Milwaukee to help reinvigorate a struggling Mary Burke for governor campaign. Weighed down by accusations that her staff plagiarized large portions of her jobs plan, Burke called upon Obama to do a little cheerleading for the Democratic base. "We need to be just as passionate and as hungry as we were back in 2008 and 2012," Obama told the crowd. "They're assuming we won't be organized and energized. And only we can prove them wrong." Well, not quite. Perhaps the first lady can be forgiven for not following Wisconsin politics that...
  • Putting guns in schools is reason to recoil

    09/24/2014 5:09:18 AM PDT · by rellimpank · 45 replies
    Milwaukee J-S ^ | 24 sept 2014 | Tony Norman
    America has always been awash in bad ideas. The Founding Fathers spoke a good game about liberty but allowed America to become a slave republic, because they didn't want to alienate the Southern farmers and merchants who helped bankroll and fight the war for independence against the British. The Southern states wanted access to American liberty based on skin color. They got their wish for disproportionate representation in the early republic with the three-fifths clause enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. Tolerance of slavery was not only a bad idea, it has had disastrous consequences for America ever since. Right up...
  • Bill Berry: Give cops the firepower to outgun the bad guys

    09/23/2014 4:55:48 AM PDT · by rellimpank · 54 replies
    Madison.com ^ | 23 sept 2014 | Bill Berry
    STEVENS POINT — OK, the concern over militarization of cops is legitimate. But as someone who has been accused of being a flaming liberal, allow me to add this question: In a country that is buried in guns, do we want the enforcers of our laws to walk around with billy clubs while criminals tote semi-automatic weapons? If the bad guys have semi-automatics, then don’t we want cops to have at least that amount of firepower? Surely, we all know there are tens of thousands of semi-automatic weapons out there. Does anyone want to see a single cop killed because...
  • Climate change rallies are call to action policy-makers should heed

    09/23/2014 4:42:14 AM PDT · by rellimpank · 13 replies
    Milwaukee J-S ^ | 23 sept 2014
    More than 300,000 people rallied in Manhattan Sunday, calling on world leaders to act on climate change — the largest climate change rally in history, according to reports. And while New York's rally was the largest in the People's Climate March event, rallies also took place in London, Paris, Berlin, Melbourne and more than 2,000 other locations around the globe, according to the BBC. And hundreds more showed up Monday in New York and marched to Wall Street to protest the role they say investments play in financing practices that cause climate change, The New York Times reported. The rallies...
  • Las Vegas cop behind controversial killing now influential union leader

    09/21/2014 4:51:44 AM PDT · by rellimpank · 4 replies
    LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL ^ | 21 sept 2014 | MIKE BLASKY
    Detective Bryan Yant was the face of incompetence at the Metropolitan Police Department: a poster child for wrongful shooting deaths and million-dollar payouts, a driving force behind sweeping reforms to the agency’s deadly force policies. In other cities, an officer who kills an unarmed man under suspicious circumstances and is accused of lying to cover his tracks might be prosecuted. In Las Vegas, Yant kept his job. And he’s taken on a role that will make him more influential at Metro. The officer, in­famous for the 2010 killing of Trevon Cole, a small-time marijuana dealer, is doling out advice in...
  • William Schuth: Do Madison police really need assault rifles?

    09/16/2014 5:12:08 AM PDT · by rellimpank · 31 replies
    William Schuth
    Ten years ago I was in Iraq and carried an M16 rifle everywhere I went. I propped my M16 beside me while I drove our medical evacuation Humvee on monotonous yet foreboding convoys from Fallujah, Al Asad, Haditha and around western Al Anbar. When we searched vehicles at checkpoints, I covered my fellow Marines with my M16. I slung my M16 in front of me on visits to a truck stop between Jordan and Ramadi where — against orders — we would buy roasted mutton or chicken cooked with tomatoes and peppers and wrapped in flatbread to alleviate the tedium...
  • Mayors, top cops to meet in Milwaukee on gun violence

    09/11/2014 5:01:39 AM PDT · by rellimpank · 15 replies
    Milwaukee J-S ^ | 11 sept 2014 | Don Behm
    Around 50 mayors and law enforcement officials from Wisconsin, Minnesota and Chicago will meet in Milwaukee on Thursday to discuss ways to reduce gun violence. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges are hosting the 2014 Milwaukee-Minneapolis Summit to Combat Gun Violence at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center on Wisconsin Ave. The event is funded with a $38,000 grant from the Joyce Foundation. It is not open to the public. This year's summit will focus on law enforcement perspectives on gun violence and include a review of new models for crime gun investigations, as well as information on...
  • Taking stand vs. gun traffickers makes us all safer (barf alert)

    09/08/2014 5:29:29 AM PDT · by rellimpank · 13 replies
    Chicago Sun -Times ^ | 08 sept 2014
    In a regular Monday ritual, Chicago Police display the numerous illegal guns they have most recently taken off the street, and there is always a dismayingly large cache. So, yes, cops are getting illegal guns off the street. But the river of new illegal guns replacing those recovered by police is so huge that Police Supt. Garry McCarthy has likened police efforts to drinking from a fire hose. Last year, police recovered more than 7,000 illegal firearms, but plenty more remained on the streets to be used in new crimes. On Saturday, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence set...