In Bloomintong Illinois, right next to Normal Illinois, home of Illinois State Universtiy, someone is collecting reindeer terd, and making Christmas ornaments with it. Really, sell it for fertilizer if you must, but ornaments?

This is not the way to go green and recycle
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The Christmas ornaments for sale at the Miller Park Zoo's gift shop are partly manufactured by reindeer. Honest!
Staffers make decorations out of droppings from the zoo's two reindeer, Ealu and Rika. The droppings are dried, then clear-coated and either painted or rolled in glitter.
Zoo marketing director Susie Ohley has named the products "magical reindeer gem ornaments," and each comes with a label of authenticity. They cost $5 at the zoo gift shop.
Staffer Katie Buydos, who makes jewelry as a hobby, donated wire and beads, saying, "Susie asked me to bring some creativity to the table."

Some folks are surprised at the size of the "gems," which are only about as big as marbles. "Reindeer are so big," zoo maintenance worker Sheldon Williams said. But the droppings are "just a big pile of small."

Dick Durbin needs to meet with Patrick Collins

Yesterday I heard Dick Durbin is pleading for the pardon of George Ryan, again claiming Ryan has a sick wife to care for. George Ryan was on multiple visits out of the country and in the country, all without his sick wife he had to care for. There are numerous pictures of Ryan having a good time, without his wife. Right before George Ryan was put away he was seen at sky boxes at Bears games, without his wife. Dick Durbin needs to sit down with the lead prosecutor Patrick Collins before he pursues a pardon for George Ryan, I am quite sure he will stop asking for a pardon. And what kind of mixed message is Durbin giving us, free Ryan but keep Fitzgerald as US Attorney? Again Durbin needs to have lunch with Patrick Collins, maybe over a hamburger at Charlie Trotter's?

The Antoin “Tony” Rezko jury reaffirmed that the Illinois way of doing business for far too many public officials and their associates is unacceptable. What remains to be seen is whether the verdict will change the systemic public corruption that demoralizes citizens and ultimately disengages them from their government.

Sadly, there is ample reason to be pessimistic.

One of the many disheartening facts coming from the Rezko trial was this: At the same time that a high-profile corruption investigation—culminating in the conviction of former Illinois Gov. George Ryan and some of his high-ranking cronies—was exposing the corrupt underbelly of our state government, a number of people affiliated with the Blagojevich administration were engaging in similar, if not more brazen, acts. The Rezko trial showed that Illinois’ bipartisan corruption virus is a particularly resistant strain.
in his own words, Patrick Collins

And the rumor mill is at full till in Illinois.
- The latest Rahn Emanuel's Congress seat is being considered by Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley.
- Jesse Jackson Jr. is off the short list as a Senate replacement for Obama.
- Bill Daley on a Chicago tonight interview with Carol Marin said he is not interested in going to Washington, but danced around the possibility of running for Governor.
- Alexi Giannoulias, the very cute Illinois State Treasurer considering running for Governor.
- Lisa Madigan considering running for Governor.
- And many more to come out of the woodwork to consider running for Governor.

And lest we not forget the Toddler, aka Todd Stroger, wants to borrow money for Cook County to balance the budget. Yep more debt because his really high sales tax did not generate enough money.

With so many rumors going on around here I am surprised at this one, I have even heard people say Blagojevich should appoint Fitzgerald to the Senate seat Obama opened up, to get him out of here, rather out of Blagojevich's hair.

There are so many openings in this state for political positions. The Senate appointment may create another opening. If Jesse Jackson Jr. gets it that leaves his Congressional seat open.
Some say Emil Jones, soon to be former State Senate President, retired for a reason, maybe another Senate seat?
Rahm Emanuel leaves a congressional seat open, possible contestants for it are two of the Cook County Commissioners, either Forrest Claypool or Mike Quigley. That may lead to a CC Comish seat being opened up for anointment/appointment, (interchangeable terms here).
Then there is the Governor's race, and really who hasn't been mentioned? Every day I hear another one.
Not to mention the fact that Obama still has not picked his staff in DC. How many more will exit and leave a vacancy?

Since we have not had a President from Illinois in the lifetime of it's residences we get to hear more of each and every move Obama makes on local news. We are at an advantage of knowing the appointments from this State. We have been seeing many interviews re-run that Barak Obama did before he was ever in the running for President.
I would not want to live in his neighborhood, with all the police and secret service visibly there and blocking off many roads this must be a headache for the locals.

A big news event, Porter Airlines is now at Midway. This is good that after loosing ATA Midway is getting another airline, but I am surprised at how few jobs will be created because of it. But it will bring in revenue to the Airport, any is better than none.

Only 20 more jobs with this?

Porter Airlines made its debut in Chicago Wednesday under a water canon salute.

The airline is providing 20 new jobs to Chicagoans and service between Chicago and Toronto where Porter is based.

"Midway has not seen service to Canada in nearly 20 years, so it's a milestone on two fronts - international service to Midway and new service to Canada," said Erin O'Donnell, Chicago Aviation Department.

Officials on both sides of the border hope the new airline will further enhance the relationship between the U.S. and its number one trading partner.

"The U.S. exports four times as much to Canada as we do to China," said John Nay, U.S. Consul General. "It's that big, and it's that important to the U.S."

Local News people showing up on CSpan

Hannity and Martin

Tonight I watched Mike Flannery, our Political reporter on CBS2 Chicago on CSpan. First off it's nice to see your local people on national news. He took calls from
all over the country, both sides of the election, McCain/Obama supporters and many different views. Half happy with the outcome, the other half not happy with the election outcome.

Having Barak Obama being elected President we will be seeing more of our local people on national news. This is good and bad. It's good that we will see own well known and familiar people on national news and know who they are, it's bad that many may end up out of our hometown.

David Axelrods' son having an incident at a Bulls game was big news here, when it occurred. but now no one anywhere else thought this was news, because they had no clue whose son that was, but now they know Mike's Dad is David Axelrod It's like Benny the Bull, the Bulls mascot incident at taste of Chicago one year, the kind of news that will not go national...until now, now that people will be watching what is what in their President's hometown, now that people will be watching those close to their next President. They now know who David Axelrod is, among many others from our area.
That could be why we will be seeing more of our local political reporters on National news.

I just got done watching Mike Flannery (CBS2 local) on CSpan he was taking calls, one caller called in and was asking if Obama is really an American Citizen, born here, had Arabs put him through college, and Mike Flannery said to her "you must watch Fox news and you are referring to Hannity's show where he had Andy Martin on"

Mike Flannery went on to say that Obama's Birth Certificate from Honolulu, Hawaii was posted on his website. Mike Flannery then went on to say that Andy Martin is a perennial candidate in this state, he has tryed to run for Mayor, Governor, etc and is not allowed to practice law in this state due to his Psychosis'. Mike Flannery went on to say he is not a credible source for any information, but he could be like a stopped clock, right twice a day but all the other times wrong. So I wonder, will this Hannity, Fox news fan start to think? Fox news is the biggest source of GOP Koolaid, and Sean Hannity is always pouring.

Anyhow that was Hannity's big credible witness. But if your only source of news is Fox, I really feel sorry for you. And if you are a fan of Sean Hannity's, I feel even sorrier for you. If you think Fox news is "Fair and Balanced" just because they flash it with a moving transparency across the screen so often, or they say it, you need to watch another news source just to compare.

And I give Mike Flannery "the testicular virility" for the first thing out of his mouth to this woman caller is "you must watch Fox news, Hannity" You could tell by Mike Flannery's tone, and innuendos that he shares the same feelings so many good news people feel. Fox news is so one sided, and Sean Hannity is even worse. The new coined term Testicular virility is from our current Governor Rod.

I am sure so many other serious news people who try to get the whole story, be responsible reporters, work to stay neutral and give all sides of an issue must roll their eyes at Fox news, and more so at Hannity. I am sure many serious reporters keep wondering "Why?", "Why do so many people take this as their source for news?"

Mike Flannery made a good point, when you have just one party in control they get comfortable and bold and that's when corruption occurs. He pointed out this current Administration as an example. But he did point out you need both political parties to go up against each other for checks and balances. Mike Flannery also pointed out to the caller he is from a State that is all Democrat, in the State Capital, to the County to the City.

I have to wonder, what will happen to Fox news now that their party is not in power in the White House, the House or Senate?

Politicians saving us money

Why don't they all learn from Fast Eddie, Plead guilty save the taxpayers money on a trial

Vrdolyak's lawyer, Michael Monico, said that being under indictment for nearly 18 months had been difficult for Vrdolyak and his family.

"We avoid a lengthy and bitter trial as a result of this," Monico said.

As part of the plea deal, prosecutors agreed not to charge Vrdolyak in connection with the same alleged extortion attempt that led to last week's indictment of Springfield power broker William Cellini. During the trial of Blagojevich fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko earlier this year, political insider Stuart Levine testified that Vrdolyak was to have passed a $2 million bribe from Hollywood producer Thomas Rosenberg as part of an extortion plot over state investment business, but the scheme fell through when Rosenberg threatened to go to authorities. Why not? This was the fast deal

The case against 'Fast Eddie' Vrdolyak
Five things you need to know about the former alderman who goes on trial today
November 3, 2008

His wheeling-and-dealing as a powerhouse Chicago alderman won him the nickname "Fast Eddie." Today, former 10th Ward Ald. Edward Vrdolyak is set to go on trial on federal bribery and fraud charges that stem from one of his deals. The trial promises to be colorful and well-attended.

Vrdolyak's lively personality is legendary. And his two defense lawyers are among the best-known in Chicago: former prosecutor Michael Monico and longtime defense attorney Terry Gillespie. The prosecution team includes Christopher Niewoehner, who was the lead prosecutor in Tony Rezko's corruption trial.

Former 10th Ward Ald. Edward Vrdolyak is set to go on trial today on federal bribery and fraud charges that stem from one of his deals.

Here are five things you need to know about the case against Vrdolyak:

1. Gold Coast scheme
Vrdolyak faces bribery, wire fraud and mail fraud charges. The case prosecutors have brought against him involves what prosecutors describe as a single scheme: the $15 million sale of a Gold Coast property belonging to the former Chicago Medical School. Prosecutors say Vrdolyak agreed to split a $1.5 million kickback with Stuart Levine, a board member for the school who'd agreed to persuade the board to sell the building to Smithfield Properties. Smithfield, in turn, agreed to pay Vrdolyak a 10 percent fee, or $1.5 million, according to prosecutors.

2. A familiar face
The star witness against Vrdolyak will be a familiar face: Levine. The businessman, lawyer and longtime Republican Party fund-raiser testified for 15 headline-grabbing days and helped convict Rezko last June of wide-ranging corruption involving state deals. But Levine -- who has known Vrdolyak for decades -- comes with a lot of baggage. He pleaded guilty to charges in the Rezko case and made a deal with prosecutors to cut his prison sentence. Expect Vrdolyak's defense team to point out the prosecution witness is an admitted drug user, thief and con man.

3. All about the tapes
A wire tripped up Vrdolyak -- and Levine was wearing it. So if jurors don't trust Levine's testimony, prosecutors will try to back it up with what was caught on secretly made recordings. The tapes could ultimately be what convicts -- or clears -- Vrdolyak.

4. This case and only this case
Prosecutors have said they won't bring up past allegations of wrongdoing against Vrdolyak. Among them: At Rezko's trial, Levine testified that, in the 1980s, he paid Vrdolyak bribes to win government contracts for clients and for one of his own companies.

5. No more 'Fast Eddie?'
Vrdolyak earned that moniker as an alderman. But some of those close to him say the nickname doesn't fit anymore. "He's 71 years old. How fast do you think he is?" said one person close to him.

Natasha Korecki

So many firsts and so much more to come

It is great having someone from your hometown make President. We were on local, National, and International news. We had the opportunity to watch everything on local or national news. It was interesting seeing our local news people with so many newscasters from all over in the background.

We had every local politician interviewed either at Grant Park or on local news. Jesse Jackson Jr. really got chatty, but he's next in line for....well there are so many rumors.

So many are rumored to being going to DC, even State Treasurer Alexi Giannouliasm also rumors he could be running for Governor. As exciting as it is to watch Obama win, we now will have a lot of movement of many politicians because of this.

Not that political news in this city, county and state have ever been boring, but political reporters will have the best job security ever.

Rahn Emmanuel, Arne Duncan and many other names being tossed around as moving to DC.
This will shake things up, open seats, a Senator vacancy, Jesse Jackson Jr. is rumored to be considered for. Then we have two Congressional seats, Jackson's and Emmanuels left to fill. Politics will not get boring in this State, ever.

There is a lot of excitement in this City, County, and State tonight. For the first time that anyone can remember we are the center of attention because we have someone from our own hometown getting national attention.

Will this be good for tourism? Will people who have never been to Chicago decide they want to visit Grant Park? Has Springfield Illinois where the Presidential announcement occured benefited from increased tourism?

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