Peoples Gas discovers 4 new Prehistoric creatures




If I did not get my "Paperbillasaurus" in the mail this weekend, I would never have been educated on the four new Prehistoric creatures discovered by Peoples Gas. I have to admit that I have been paying bills online for some time, avoiding such creatures like the Stampadactyl, Checkosourus Rex and the Envelopatops. OK, since the Paperbillasaurus came with the Envelopatops, I did encounter the Envelaptaops, but not have to deal with another Envelapatops to put the Checkosouras Rex in, which also would have me deal with the Stampadactyl.
Seriously, most banks have electronic payment, where you put in all the bills you normally pay, Peoples Gas, The Chicago Tribune, ComEd, AT&T etc., most payments are electronically paid overnight without you having to give out your bank account number. With so many companies having breech of security, through hackers, why put your bank account number out there with so many sites? Maybe Peoples Gas should also encourage people to learn how to use their banks online payment as well?
Yes, AT & T emails you a bill, so do others. But with Peoples Gas sending new discoveries in the Paperbillasaurus, why miss out on this new discovery only privy to Peoples Gas Customers? cough,cough

Nice voter buttons to wear



The Chicago Tribune has some nice voter buttons. These are good reminders of who goes along with Todd Stroger. I am on the fence about whether Moreno needs to be voted out, but certainly agree the rest of the group pictured does.

Business along the Cook County border have signs in their windows or on Marquees. "NO Cook County Taxes" It is not hard to figure out when you have left Cook County by all these signs. I have done shopping many times just outside the Cook County Border myself, and when I am in the parking lot I see so many Chicago vehicle stickers, almost half. I know a few years back Cook County was loosing money on the car sales tax, but that was taken care of with a new law that requires the car dealers to collect taxes where the buyer is from, not where they are buying.

I have heard Commissioner Bill Beavers, talk of retirement. I am sure he will do things the County way, get in, then anoint daughter Darcel to his post, just like he did his Alderman's post to her when he was anointed the Cook County Commissioner post. Commissioner Butler appears to be half asleep at most County Board meetings, I am wondering if retirement isn't so far off for him either.

Commissioners Sims and Murphy, need to be voted out for so many reasons, from joining together to get their workers Shakmann decree exempt, to other things their constituents should be concerned about, should be voted out. Commissioner Sims has had calls on Burr Oak Cemetery before things blew up, and well things blew up, but not on her, Dan Hynes got most of the backlash. Commissioner John Daley has little to no competition, some unknown GOP is running against him. John Daley has the 13th ward in his district, one of the highest populous to come out and vote, whether their Alderman, Olivio who is usually unopposed or not. The 13th Ward is a solid Daley vote always, whichever Daley is running.

Todd Stroger's allies, Sims and Murphy




It has been said there are only two things certain in life: death and taxes.


What did not surprise me at all was that Commissioners, Sims and Murphy voted together, and voted with Todd. Todd Stroger is already bellyaching this will affect health care. Sims is worried about Oak Forest Hospital in her district. Murphy is in the next district to Sims, but seems to go along with Todd, Sims on most votes.
Commissioner Peraica is always ready to speak out first, especially in a victory against Todd. Peraica's neighbor, or at least a few blocks away is Judy Baar Topinka, in North Riverside.


On Tuesday, Cook County Board President Todd Stroger equated the two in arguing that cutting the county's sales tax increase, imposed 17 months ago, would jeopardize people's lives because less money would be available for health care for the poor and uninsured.

"Some people will die needlessly for lack of access to the health care our system provides," Stroger said, in the heat of his losing battle to prevent a rollback of the tax hike.

In a 12-to-5 vote, county commissioners on Tuesday overrode Stroger's veto of their similar Nov. 17 vote to trim in half the penny-on-the-dollar increase. The lower tax takes effect July 1, exactly two years after the increase was effective. The county's share of the sales tax will drop from 1.75 percent to 1.25 percent.

Most commissioners dismissed Stroger's warnings, saying county government can be run more efficiently and consumers and businesses should be spared an onerous tax during the worst economic downturn of our time.

"This is a $195 million rebate to the people of this county," Commissioner Timothy Schneider (R-Streamwood) said.

Commissioner Forrest Claypool (D-Chicago) called the rollback the culmination of a "full-fledged voter revolt. What people see ... is a county government that is too often a friends-and-family plan, a jobs machine for the politically connected."

"If we don't do something to break the cycle we will never force this government to come into the 21st century to (take) the necessary steps to streamline and modernize" and show that taxpayer dollars are being used responsibly, Claypool said.

Commissioner Jerry "Iceman" Butler (D-Chicago) said Stroger's damaged credibility' with commissioners likely hurt his push to keep the higher sales tax in place.

"No matter how much truth you tell them or how many facts you put on the board, they do not want to hear it because your credibility has been damaged," Butler told Stroger. "Even though you've fired all your cousins, you've still been damaged."

Butler apparently referred to Stroger's cousin Donna Dunnings, whom Stroger fired last spring as the county's chief financial officer amid a controversy over another employee's salary and job duties.

Commissioner Larry Suffredin (D-Evanston), a pivotal vote last year in approving the tax increase, said he changed his position because "in February 2008, we felt we needed to do something to stabilize this government. We had a $283 million deficit, and we did what was necessary to make this government go forward. But there's been change since (then), there's been change in the economy."

Stroger previously had vetoed three separate measures to roll back the sales tax hike, with commissioners unable to summon the 14 votes then required to kill the veto.

But with the issue taking center stage in the 2010 county election, the Legislature recently approved lowering the board majority required to override a veto from four-fifths to three-fifths - meaning 11 votes would be needed by the 17-member board instead of 14.

THE VOTE

The Cook County Board voted Tuesday to override board President Todd Stroger's veto of a measure to roll back the county's sales tax from 1.75 percent to 1.25 percent as of July 1.

Voting "yes" to override: Democrats Forrest Claypool, Earlean Collins, John Daley, Bridget Gainer, Edwin Reyes, Robert Steele and Larry Suffredin. Republicans Elizabeth Gorman, Gregg Goslin, Tony Peraica, Timothy Schneider and Peter Silvestri

Voting "no": Democrats William Beavers, Jerry "Iceman" Butler, Joseph Mario Moreno, Joan Murphy and Deborah Sims

Going home after the holidays







I am so glad I did not have to go home via one of our airports. Our local news people have been reporting at the airports live all through the Thanksgiving Holiday. I am sure they are glad to have a change of scenery.
I saw many travelers on the CTA orange line these past few days, with all their luggage. It's a smart way to get to the airport. We are fortunate that the blue line goes right into O'Hare, and the Orange line goes right to Midway.

After Thanksgiving....






After Thanksgiving, the balloons from the parade are deflated. People rush to travel home. The busiest day at O'Hare Airport is the Monday after Thanksgiving, and the busiest day at Midway Airport is the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Many things just don't add up



Yesterday when Michael Scott's body being found was all the news in Chicago, along with the Thompson Prison, downstate. Many news radio, and local news stations were calling this a suicide. Yes, some of the things our Republicans in this state were saying about Thomson prison, political suicide, especially those running for office, but also Michael Scott committing suicide. Many things did not add up to me. Yes, John Kass is right, this is not an easy location to navigate day or especially night. Also how do you shoot yourself, end up in the river, fall on the weapon?
Jody Weis is now on all the local news saying it is still a death investigation even though the Medical Examiner says it was a suicide.

With all the blue light camera's in the city, the area Michael Scott was found did not have any. Was this planned on the part of Michael Scott, or the killer?
If one would of wanted a remote location, and one that is away from the blue light camera's you would easily find a remote place, say the Cook County Forest Preserves?

Many things Republicans are saying about Thomson Prison are also not adding up. Why would so many GOP oppose the use of Thomson Prison, something that is favored by the GOP constituents that make up the downstate area, and more so the area around the Thomson Prison. We have an under utilized prison, along with an area that was built up with restaurants, gas stations, convient stores, hotels and the like in anticipation that this would be a viable employer. Now the area does not have this facility, Thomson Prison, up and running, employing people, and supporting the area.
Local residents are angry at what they hear coming out of the mouths of the GOP, especially the GOP candidates. They want the jobs, and wonder why candidates, and politicians talk about creating jobs, when, right at their doorstep is the opportunity.
The area residents most affected by the Thomson Prison being utilized should also be looked at. Why not listen to the people most affected by this?

John Kass certainly makes a lot of good points

Michael Scott made his living in Chicago politics as one of Mayor Richard Daley's guys out front.
The mayor put him on a series of public boards, from the Park District to the Chicago Board of Education. He made a decent living in real estate, and for 30 years he did what all front guys do:

Talk to reporters, sit in front of news cameras and lend his face to the mayor's policies and enterprise.
What's strange is that this very public man found an extremely private place to die.
The place where Scott was found early Monday, with a single gunshot wound in the head, is on the maps as part of the vibrant and high-tech River North neighborhood.

But actually, the place where he fell is a no-man's land along the North Branch of the Chicago River, a difficult place to reach, especially for a 60-year-old stumbling around in the pitch darkness, over uneven ground, with no light and no moon.
Visitors Monday to the spot where Scott died didn't see any police or security cameras that might have recorded Scott's last living seconds. With all the high-tech in Chicago, the spot where Scott died is seemingly off the grid.

It is not a place for public men like Scott. Rather, it is a place for homeless junkies and rats. It is a place to hide.
It's certainly not a place for Daley's 1983 deputy campaign manager and, until Monday, the mayor's president of the Chicago Board of Education.

The Cook County medical examiner's office ruled Scott's death a suicide. But police aren't so sure.
"We know what the ME ruled," said Police Superintendent Jody Weis. "But there are a lot of questions out there."
Scott's blue Cadillac was found in a parking lot next to the Apparel Center building at 350 N. Orleans St. It had been left near a blue trash bin.

From there to where his body was found, Scott would have walked about 20 yards to a fence near an old, deserted railroad bridge. Commuters can see that bridge, its black steel trestle permanently raised skyward, sticking out of the River North landscape like a broken arm.

And in Monday's daylight, after the TV cameras had left, it seemed reasonable that Scott could have easily made his way there.

But the night before, in the dark, it would have been all but unnavigable. He would have had to walk right under the cement counterweight for that old drawbridge, then scramble underneath an iron fence, then down a little embankment overgrown with weeds and strewn with trash.
He'd have walked over broken bottles, old rags from some homeless wanderer. There was a syringe on the ground.
Scott would have walked out along part of the cement river wall running under the bridge. It is about 5 feet below street level, next to an old boarded-up bridge house. It's quiet, even in the day. At night it would be all but silent.
And again, remember: There are no lights, apparently no security cameras to capture the pull of the trigger and the muzzle flash.
After the bullet entered his brain, Scott fell into the shallows along the riverbank, behind some wood pilings. Police found the gun underneath him.


Phil Krone, a longtime Daley adviser and a friend of Scott's, openly questioned the medical examiner's ruling in a short article on the Chicago Daily Observer, an Internet news and opinion site.

"While the news reports indicate it was a suicide I do hope that an appropriate investigation is done to make sure that it was not a murder masked to look like a suicide," Krone wrote. "There are many angry people in this world. and you never know who might act out."
Krone told me later over the phone that he and Scott were to have breakfast next week.

"I don't believe he would have killed himself," Krone said. "And I don't believe he would have done it there. That's why I wrote it. To raise the question."
Those of us who've had friends kill themselves know that there is nothing rational about suicide.

But I just can't imagine Scott, the public man, tromping around down there, exploring during the day, running the risk of being seen. And how would he have found such a place at night, alone, by himself?

For a man who for decades maintained a public profile, it was a sad and desperate landscape. There must have been other, easier places.


This was a guy who made a living giving face time to TV news cameras, and it's difficult thinking of him crawling along that river wall at night. He must have known he'd fall either into the river proper, to wait for March and the long thaw, or onto the shallow bank, to be left for what scuttles around down there.

No man, public or private, should have to end like that.

jskass@tribune.com

One argument against housing Guantanamo Bay inmates at the Thomson Correctional Center in northwest Illinois could already be moot.

Administration officials have floated a plan to hold military tribunals at whichever prison ends up taking the inmates, according to the Chicago Tribune. Right now, it looks as though Thomson is the leading candidate, the Sun-Times reports.

Over the weekend the Obama administration put out feelers about potentially transferring up to 200 inmates from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to domestic prisons. The Thomson prison was mentioned as a destination, but some Illinois Republicans lambasted the plan as a bad idea.

Among their complaints is the idea that carting inmates to and from court would pose a serious security risk.
By holding tribunals at the prison, there would be no need to transport the prisoners to places like Rockford and Chicago for trials in federal courts.

"The current thinking is it will be one-stop shopping," Charles Stimson, a former Pentagon official in the Bush administration and current legal scholar at the Heritage Foundation in Washington told the Tribune.

In order to make the transition easier, some officials recommend that the government house only foreign detainees at the prison and build a secure, on-site courtroom that allowed outside groups to observe and prosecutors to present classified evidence.

The administration official, who spoke to the Tribune anonymously, said it is too early in the planning stages to theorize about what steps the government would take with detainee trials.

Meanwhile, officials who toured the Thomson prison Monday left the impression that the northwest Illinois facility is leading the pack for becoming the next Gitmo.

"My impression is this is probably their No. 1 choice," Dixon Mayor Jim Burke, one of dozens of local officials briefed Monday about federal interest in the prison, told the Sun-Times.

Other’s said it’s too early to tell who is the front-runner, because other prisons need to be inspected.

"This is a very preliminary assessment," said Harley Lappin, director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

An early estimate of the economic benefit of housing the detainees in Illinois leads some to believe the prison could create up to 500 new jobs and generate $85 million in payroll.

3 Cadillacs and 3 tragedies



Another Tragic end to another well known Chicagoan

Anyone in Chicago who turned on the local news, the radio or TV woke up to a body being pulled out of the Chicago River by the Merchandise Mart. If you turned on a local news program you saw a blue Cadillac being towed.

This is the third tragic event of famous Chicagoans that involved Cadillacs, the start was Chris Kelly and his Black Cadillac Escalade, then was Garrard McClendon's parents green Cadillac Eldorado that was taken by their murderers, now a Blue Cadillac belonging to Michael Scott was found by the Chicago River.

The first reaction heard on the news did not specify if this was a suicide or murder. Later on we find out that Michael Scott has a gunshot wound in his left temple, but it is still not known if this was a self inflicted gun shot wound or an act of violence. You would still have to wonder if, it was suicide how did he get in the river?

Still another tragedy. He could be another innocent victim. Still he has done a lot for the CPS, and will be missed.


Chicago School Board President Michael Scott had a gunshot wound to the left temple when authorities found his body in the Chicago River near the Merchandise Mart early this morning, sources said.

An autopsy will be performed later today to rule how Scott, 60, died. He was reported missing from his home in the Monroe police district on the Near West Side in Chicago Sunday, sources said.


Chicago School Board president Michael Scott was reported missing from his home in the Monroe police district on the Near West Side in Chicago Sunday.

His car -- a blue Cadillac -- was found parked near the river where the body was found, police said. It was towed from the scene.
Fire crews arrived about 3:20 a.m. to recover the body just west of the Apparel Center at 350 N. Orleans St., home of the Chicago Sun-Times.

A Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman did not return calls for comment.

Belmont Area detectives are conducting a death investigation.

A stunned Rev. Jesse Jackson showed up at the scene Monday morning after hearing about Scott's death on the news. He said he spoke with him last week -- and Scott sounded normal to him.

"Everyone thought Michael was their guy," Jackson said. "People are so very sad. .. . The suddenness of it all -- midday has become midnight. The sun has been eclipsed."

Jackson described Scott as someone equally comfortable working with Chicago's poorest children or sitting courtside at a Bulls game.

"That's why I think the mayor leaned on Michael the most," Jackson said.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the former CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, issued a statement saying he was "shocked and saddened."

"Michael cared passionately about public education and made many courageous decisions as President of the Board," Duncan said. "He gave his time, energy and talents to improving the life chances of children. Chicago has lost a great leader and the city's schoolchildren have lost a devoted champion. I extend my deepest condolences to his wife and family."

Mayor Daley was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at a conference in Michigan today, but abruptly canceled his plans when he heard the stunning news about his longtime friend.

Sources said the mayor had to pull himself together before making a personal visit to the home of Scott's widow, Diana.

"He's not just the mayor's school board president, he is his friend of more than three decades," said mayoral press secretary Jacquelyn Heard. "He was a reliable partner -- someone who unquestionably cared about Chicago neighborhoods, the West Side, and cared about children and people who were down on their luck."

Friends say Scott was extremely distraught recently about the death of his first wife, Millicent, the mother of his children.

Ron Huberman, who replaced Arne Duncan as schools CEO, was at Scott's Near West Side condominium this morning to offer condolences to family and friends. He was joined by schools spokeswoman Monique Bond and Rev. Jackson, who was offering prayers.

Cook County Board President Todd Stroger issued a statement through a spokesman Monday morning offering his condolences.

"My wife and I would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family of Michael Scott," Stroger said. "Mr. Scott was a strong advocate for education. His contributions to the minority communities of Cook County will be sorely missed. In particular, his love for the upward mobility of residents from Chicago's West Side where he spent his life."

Scott was Daley's long-time go-to guy but raised eyebrows earlier this year when he disclosed to the Sun-Times that he had been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury investigating how students were selected for the system's elite selective-enrollment high schools.

Scott insisted he had done nothing wrong, but the system responded with a massive crackdown on college prep principals' ability to handpick up to five percent of their seats outside the normal selection process. An aide to Scott had requested such a pick at Whitney Young High School, but later withdrew the request at Scott's insistence, sources said at the time.

The furor emerged after Daley had appointed Scott to serve a second stint as school board president. Scott had recommended that sports agent Rufus Williams succeed him in that job, but Williams ruffled so many feathers that he resigned under pressure and Daley re-installed Scott to head the school board and oversee the city's public schools -- a top Daley priority.

Scott was an activist president, meeting on his own time with local residents, and even recently visiting troubled Fenger High School to personally observe an effort to bus kids from Altgeld Gardens to Fenger in the wake of the murder of Fenger honor student Derrion Albert. He was a calm and steady leader at sometimes raucous School Board meetings, often diffusing angry outbursts from the audience or speakers.

Scott, a West Side resident, also had served on the Mayor's 2016 Olympic committee and as former head of the Chicago Park District.

In August, he was forced to answer questions about his involvement in a development proposal near the the proposed Douglas Park Olympic site.

He insisted he would not profit from the deal.

"I would not profit . . . not at all," Scott told reporters at a Chicago Board of Education press conference.

He was responding to a published report contending he was "potentially positioning himself to cash in" if the Olympics come to Chicago because he was helping a group of ministers try to turn some city-owned lots across from what could have been an Olympic site into affordable housing. Chicago eventually lost out to Rio de Janiero, which will host the 2016 Summer Games.

Scott noted at the time that the ministers, whom he said he has known for years, came to him with their development idea in the summer of 2006 -- a year before he was appointed to a committee that has been trying to bring the Olympics to Chicago.

Scott said he agreed to advise the ministers on how to put the deal together, navigate city departments and train people on how to sell affordable housing.

Any profits were to be split among the ministers because "I have no monetary interest," Scott said. "These people are my friends. They asked for my help and I helped them on a part-time basis."

The city has shown no interest in the idea for two years, said Scott.

"The city has no formal plan or deal for any lots to be sold or conveyed for any amount of money for this proposal," Scott said.

Scott owns Michael Scott and Associates, a real estate development firm.

West Side Ald. Isaac Carothers (29th) praised Scott on Monday, saying "he was a great individual who added value to every position he served" in city government.

Carothers -- who was indicted in May for allegedly accepting $40,000 in home improvements, meals and sports tickets from a West Side developer in exchange for zoning changes that netted the developer millions -- spent a year secretly recording public officials and real estate developers for the feds, the Sun-Times disclosed earlier this year.

On Monday, Carothers cut off a conversation with a reporter when asked whether he had recorded any conversations with Scott.

He would only say, "He was just a great friend and a great individual. My heart goes out to his family. It's just a tragedy."

Carothers said he has known Scott for "15-to-20 years, at least."

"He was a great negotiator, a great facilitator," the alderman said.

Pressed further about any business dealings he might have had with Scott, Carothers said, "All I have is what I gave you." He then hung up the phone.

A story that keeps getting worse


More senseless deaths

When this story broke yesterday about a married couple in their 70s being found shot and beaten in a Cook county Forest Preserve, it was bad. I thought: How could anyone do this?, Why?
As the day went on and Chicago News was all over the story, we later find out that it is Garrard McClendon's parents. Garrard McClendon the author of Ax or Ask, and host of CLTV News, and former radio host on other news stations in Chicago.
Later we find out what an asset to the community Garrard's parents, Milton and Ruby were, making this even sadder.
Many of the Chicagoland area, has either watched or heard Garrard McClendon speak out about violence, and senseless acts. This unfortunately hits too close to home for him now.
Many condolences Garrard and family.


The car belonging to the slain parents of a CLTV host was found early this morning on the Dan Ryan Expressway after a woman called police to report she saw the vehicle on which police had issued an alert.

Meanwhile, the investigation into the slayings of Milton and Ruby McClendon--parents of CLTV host Garrard McClendon--shifted from the south suburban forest preserve where they were found to their Hammond, Ind., home.

Tuesday evening, Cook County Forest Preserve police turned the probe into the shooting deaths of Milton and Ruby McClendon over to Hammond police after investigators determined their home in the 1000 block of Field Street appeared to be the crime scene.

This morning, Illinois State Police said the car belonging to the McClendons has been located. Master Sgt. Anthony Hoop said the 1997 Cadillac Eldorado was seen by a female driver who told police she had seen a broadcast report about the murders and missing car and spotted the vehicle on the northbound express lanes of the Dan Ryan around 55th Street about 1:45 a.m.

Police had asked the public to look for the couple's green 1997 Cadillac Eldorado two-door, with Indiana license plate 365ZTN that expires in 2010.

Hoop said the woman said she saw two males getting out of the vehicle. One, he said, was described as carrying a backpack, the other as wearing a red hoody. He said Illinois State Police along with Hammond and Chicago police were on the scene and conducting a general search in the area for the two possible suspects.
Hoop said the woman who called police told them she was on her way to work when she saw the vehicle. Illinois State police turned the car over to Hammond police officials who would not comment this morning.

The couple's bodies were discovered about 12:30 p.m. Monday in the Wentworth Woods of the Cook County Forest Preserve off Campbell Road between Pulaski and Michigan City Roads.
An autopsy performed Tuesday determined that Milton McClendon died from a gunshot wound to the head and Ruby McClendon died from multiple gunshot wounds. Milton McClendon, who was identified through his heart pacemaker, was 78, and his wife was 76, records show.

Inside the couple's Fields Street home, police could be seen conducting their investigation. Outside, longtime neighbors, friends and acquaintances reeled in shock at the death of the elderly couple who were rarely seen apart.

"It (doesn't) make sense," neighbor Tommie Dorsey said. "It would be curious to see how all of this unravels. I just can't see them letting someone in the house," Dorsey said.

The husband and wife had been one Hammond's first African-American residents and were pillars of the community, said Jeff Morrow, whose sister is married to the couple's son, Duane. "They wanted to stay in this community. They took a lot of pride in living here and being from here."
Milton McClendon, a retired postal worker, and his wife promoted education to neighborhood children, while raising their three sons, Garrard, Duane and Theodore.

In recent years, the couple acted in the role of neighborhood grandparents, Dorsey said, with Ruby McClendon as recently as Saturday baking a pie for Dorsey as payment for his grandson cutting the couple's grass.
"You can't say enough about people like this, and you just can't imagine them dying such a tragic death," Dorsey added.

Anyone with information is asked to call Hammond police at (219) 852-2906.

CLTV, in a message posted on Gerrard McClendon's blog, said the station's thoughts are with McClendon and his family.
WGN-TV's Marcus Leshock offers prayers for McClendon and his family on ChicagoNow

Dark Pin striped suits





I first turned on the television last night to C-Span, there was former Cook County Commissioner and now 5Th District Congressman Mike Quigley speaking in the House, dressed in a dark pin striped suit, with a gold paisley tie. He was saying that our enemies have no borders.

I then turned on local news to see Todd Stroger, also in a dark pin striped suit getting the endorsement of about 100 Ministers in Cook County. Todd Stroger went on to say there were no furlough days, and no black out days in Cook County. He went on to say the City and the State have deficits in there budgets, and his was in the black. He kept Cook County running, the health care system up and running, and Cook County is in the black. Todd Stroger did not mispronouce any words and looked, and sounded like a formidable candidate. One of the ministers pointed out that Todd's opponent's constituents, such as Danny Davis would like him to stay their 7th District Congressman, and that the others also have constituents that would like them to stay in their positions. He was referring to Brown, as Cook County Clerk, and Preckwinkle as 4th Ward Alderman.

Yes Todd Stroger looked and sounded like a good candidate, but in polls he has a 10% approval rating.


Stroger endorsersAbout 100 African-American ministers gave embattled Cook County Board President Todd Stroger their much-anticipated endorsement for re-election today, saying black voters must stay "united" or risk losing the government seats they hold.

Two of Stroger's three African-American rivals in the Democratic primary boycotted the ministers' stated attempt to find a "consensus" black candidate because they said the group was dominated by Stroger supporters, and the outcome was pre-ordained.

Bishop John Richard Bryant said of the endorsement, "It's about the people in this city who need quality leadership."

"Quality! Quality!" shouted a minister in the audience at Quinn AME Chapel.

"You da man!" Rev. Joanne Long said hugging Stroger. That prompted chants of "You da man! You da man!"

"We stand with him as we stood with his father, John Stroger. We stood with that giant as we are now standing with his son," Bishop Cody Marshall said.

Accepting the endorsement, Stroger extended an olive branch to his rivals Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.), Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th) and Clerk of the Court Dorothy Brown, inviting them to join his campaign. Davis and Preckwinkle did not seek the ministers' support.

All three have said they planned to stay in the race despite today's long-anticipated endorsement. Supporters of the other candidates say they fear Stroger is too unpopular to hold the seat even if he won the Democratic primary.

Only one white candidate, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District President Terry O'Brien, is in the race, and these ministers say he will win if all four African-American candidates stay in the race.

Stroger said these ministers will help tell their congregations "the truth" about what a good job Stroger has done as County Board president

Stroger's ratings tank, and the new Steele rift




Even though Todd Stroger has a lower rating than Rod Blagojevich ever had, Todd may still be a force to be reckoned with the next Cook County Presidential Election.
OK, I have to give Todd credit for going to Stroger hospital when he injured his head during a basketball game. At least it shows that he is not to be a patient at one of the medical facilities under his jurisdiction.
Robert Steele did not go with the Stroger flow, as his mother, Bobbie Steele who anointed him the position did. Bobbie Steele for the most part supported Todd, as well has his father John Stroger before him.
When Robert Steeles' brother, Byron Steele lost his job, and was told it was due to a higher up decision, that did not set well with the Steele family. I am sure this will affect how Robert Steele supports issues. If this was, and many think it was, of Todd Stroger's doing, then this was not a good move for Todd Stroger.

Byron Steele believes it was revenge. His brother, Cook County Commissioner Robert Steele, had voted twice against County Board President Todd Stroger’s veto of a sales tax repeal.

Today’s firing does not sit well with the politically prominent Steele family.

Bryon’s mother is Bobbie Steele, Todd Stroger’s immediate predecessor in the president’s post, who served as interim head of the Cook County Board after his father, then-President John Stroger was felled by a massive stroke in 2006. Though she considered seeking the nomination herself, Bobbie Steele retired and threw her support behind Todd Stroger.

Reached at home this afternoon, she told NBC5 and the Sun-Times, “I’m angry, I don’t believe in revenge to anybody.”

Cook County Commissioner Robert Steele expressed his own outrage.

“Politics are being played...It’s a terrible thing,” he said by phone, adding, “I’ve stood by Todd on everything. The sales tax veto was the only issue on which we disagreed.”

Commissioner Steele said he called the president, “But Todd is not returning my phone calls.” Commissioner Steele said he believes others are also in the process of being terminated but declined to provide details.

Byron Steele’s $100,000 a year job has been to manage the 5 million square foot physical plant for the Cook County Department of Corrections, supervising the maintenence of the entire jail compound including 180 tradesmen and engineers.

Called in by his boss, James D’Amico, Byron Steele said he was told, “‘This is a decision from the president, it comes from on high.”

From the Conservative paper in town




I was surprised that the Conservative paper had this article. It was in the Sunday, September 27th edition of the Chicago Tribune. Author Don Wycliff calling Limbaugh, Beck and Hannity the goon squad without one fuctional brain together with no guts and zero decency.

Wow...that is really slamming the self proclaimed voices of the GOP, good. I am unable to turn Fox news on because of these guys, along with Bill O'Reilly. Fox News Network, has become the Faux Nutwork. Fox has so many hosts on that are so far off to the right angry side, with such extreme one sided views, that they are not even in the realm of being considered a news source.
Any time these angry hosts have a guest on with an opposing view, they talk over them, they rant, they rave, and they don't let that guest get a word in edgewise.

It's no wonder President Obama will not be a guest on their show. Will they let him speak? Or will they rant and rave over him while he talks. Beck has lost many sponsors because of his off color remarks, and rightly so, why would a sponsor want to be associated with Beck? This is 2009 not 1909.

Hopefully we will see the end of Faux Nutwork as we know it now. Maybe someone will wake up and get rid of the trash that pollutes the airways, revamp it to real news, not a forum of the angry rabid right wing.

Big relief for Kelly's family


Charges dropped against Chris Kelly's company

At least this should help Kelly's young daughters out. I am sure they could not collect any insurance money due to the fact their Dad's cause of death was suicide
September 25, 2009 12:09 PM
Federal prosecutors dropped criminal charges today against the roofing company of Christopher Kelly, who died of an apparent suicide about two weeks ago.

The firm, BCI, had been charged with Kelly in a kickback scheme for roofing contracts at O'Hare International Airport.

Kelly pleaded guilty in that case earlier this month, days before his death. Kelly died of an apparent drug overdose Sept. 12.

All charges against Kelly in the case against former Gov. Rod Blagojevich were dropped the week after his death.

A lawyer for Kelly and BCI, Thomas Leinenweber, applauded the decision to drop the case against the roofing company. Leinenweber said the government chose to end the matter regarding Kelly and the firm instead of pursuing fines or other penalties.

The company's assets will support his family, the attorney said, including his three daughters.

"This was a compassionate and just thing for them to do," he said.

DuPage County has the Cook County fugitive




Let's hope they can hang on to this guy in Du Page County now that they have him. Hopefully they will have extra guards around him. This was the big story in Northern Illinois, you could not turn on a TV or radio without hearing all kinds of tidbits, constantly updated on it. The press conferences on this were nothing compared to the Mayor Welch way of conferences. These conferences were short, and without blow by blow details.



A crowd of about 80 spectators at Route 59 and James Avenue clapped and cheered as Maday was driven away in an ambulance

Robert Maday, the career criminal who was the subject of a massive manhunt in the west and northwest suburbs after escaping from custody Thursday, was apprehended Friday after a police chase ended in a crash in West Chicago.

Maday crashed the stolen Volkswagen Jetta he was driving at James Avenue and Route 59, according to Bloomingdale police.
Robert Maday was caught in West Chicago on Friday after he crashed the stolen Volkswagen Jetta he was driving.


"I couldn't be happier," said Bloomingdale Police Chief Tim Goergen. "I'm glad it's over."

A crowd of about 80 spectators at Route 59 and James Avenue clapped and cheered as Maday was driven away in an ambulance.

Nicole Bratko, 29, of St. Charles, was driving home on Route 59, about to turn onto James Avenue when she saw squad cars with flashing lights coming toward her.

Then she saw the Jetta coming up behind her.

She said the Jetta clipped the back of a black Jeep, smashed into a traffic light and then went through some bushes and into a yard on James Avenue.

"It was like a movie when the cops came out," she said. "He clipped the Jeep and then he hit the pole. The pole flipped up like a toy. Then he went through the bushes, then all of a sudden, the cops cam with their guns drawn."

She credited officers for their quick action.

"I have to say the cops were right on top of it," she said. "I'm still shaking. I was afraid we were going to get shot."

Bratko said the driver of the Jeep was injured, too. Both he and Maday were taken on stretchers to waiting ambulances.

Goergen said West Chicago police officers spotted the Volkswagen and gave chase.

"Mr. Maday is in custody. He was involved in a chase, a pursuit, with West Chicago police who did a fine job spotting the vehicle," he said.

The West Chicago police officer initially pulled Maday over into the parking lot of a Taco Bell on Route 59 near West Chicago's downtown, said West Chicago Deputy Chief Bruce Malkin.

His gun drawn, the officer approached Maday, who bolted north of Route 59 in the Jetta before eventually crashing. He was taken to Central Dupage Hospital and is expected to be released today.

"He will not get away," said Kim Widup, U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of Illinois.

Both stolen weapons were recovered, including one from Maday's waist band, Widup said.

On Friday, Maday also allegedly included hijacking the Jetta from a woman in Hoffman Estates and robbing a bank in west suburban Bloomingdale, a bank the FBI said he robbed in 2008.

"I'm the guy that's been on the news -- give me the money," Paul Bock, supervisory agent for the FBI, quoted Maday as telling an employee at The First American Bank, 80 Stratford Drive, around 9 a.m. Friday, according to the FBI's Chicago office.

Earlier Friday morning, Hoffman Estates Sgt. Greg Poulos said a woman was driving to her job in a business complex in the 2000 block of Hassel Road at 6:45 a.m. and saw a man sitting on the curb.

As she opened the door, the man approached her, showed her a gun and she gave him her car, Poulos said.

She later identified the carjacker as Maday, Poulos said. He was last seen driving the Jetta west on Hassel Road toward Barrington Road.

The witness told police he was wearing blue jeans, a green T-shirt and a white baseball cap with lettering.

Schools throughout the west and northwest suburbs were on lockdown Friday morning, according to information on the district Web sites.

Sally Daly, spokeswoman for the Cook County State's Attorney's office, said police spent the night and morning combing the suburbs for any sign of Maday, following up on tips pouring in to local police stations.

"We want to bring an end to the disruption that has occurred in the northwest suburban communities," she said. "Understandably

How? What? And other confusion.


Yesterday I heard on two different news radio stations that an inmate being transferred to court by two armed correctional officers, overtook the officers while in handcuffs. This was hard to believe. Both news stations said they posted his picture on their websites and needed the public help if they saw him. They also said he was 5'6" and 150 pounds. Hm, he does not sound like a guy big enough to overcome two correctional officers.
Many different reports throughout the day. When I turned on the local evening news they said Robert Maday the fugitive, was not only handcuffed but shackled. Some news stations report that he took the pants of one officer, also drove to a store bought things? New reports are out each hour, now they say he has hijacked another car, and robbed a bank.

Yesterday as news was breaking the local reporters were saying it was wall to wall police in armored gear. some reports said he had family at the Apartment complex, some say it was his previous residence. Then other reports said no he just had handcuffs, then some said he did not even have handcuff. Whatever the case is I hope someone can find this guy, he has supposedly hijacked a few cars, robbed a bank, caused lock downs of schools, and cost enormous amounts of law enforcement resources.

He must be a pretty smart guy to outsmart so many and still be on the Liam.

And there were pictures on every local news website and local broadcast news of the Cook County Officer in the orange prison pants. This must of been quite embarrassing for this guy.


The U.S. Marshal's office said Thursday night it considers Maday "extremely, extremely dangerous" and says it is offering a "substantial award for information leading to his capture. Their tip line is (888) 869-4590.

Because of the situation, many suburban school districts are on a precautionary or "soft" lock down. This means students are not allowed outside for gym or recess and, in many cases, volunteers and part-timers are told to go home. Among those include schools in District U-46, District 220, District 211, District 54, and District 13.

Maday was released from a Pennsylvania prison in 2003 after 12 years and was expected to be given 13 years Thursday for local bank robberies which he committed with a toy gun.

Instead, he disarmed the officers, shed his shackles and escaped into Rolling Meadows, leaving the officers handcuffed in their squad car and triggering a manhunt that involved at least a dozen agencies.

Maday then pulled a gun on a woman in a Meijer parking lot in Rolling Meadows, who surrendered her car. When he couldn't get the car started, he ordered the woman back inside to start it for him, Rolling Meadows Deputy Police Chief Dave Scanlan said.

Police say Maday abandoned the car on the 300 block of Algonquin Road in Arlington Heights and from that point moved on foot, as far as they know.

Police from all around the suburbs came to Arlington Heights, making the Wellington Restaurant their staging area. By mid afternoon they narrowed their focus to one apartment building on the 2300 block of Goebbert Road.

But shortly after 5 p.m. police determined he was not inside.

Maday is described as about 5 feet, 9 inches tall, white, bald, with a slender build.

Police are continuing to urge public caution as Maday is thought to have the two handguns still in his possession.

A SWAT team was called in, and several area schools were put on lockdown.
Maday was expected to be sentenced to 13 years for previous crimes.

Maday is white and bald and stands about 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-9 inches tall and weighs about 150 pounds, the Tribune reported
Thursday morning, Maday, 39, overpowered two Cook County state's attorney's investigators in a sedan while being transported to the courthouse near Arlington Heights and Central Roads




Fox news had commissioner Deborah Sims on after she decided to change her vote to keep Todd Stroger's sales tax intact. Now they have been following her around and watching how her $95,000 a year staff member is driving her around in her red Cadillac, which by the way the County is also making payments on. They are following her to church where, yep, her $95,000 a year staff member is driving her on Sunday in the Red Cadillac. Yes, Deborah Sims put up with an unhappy constituent Caller wishing bad things for Sims, Deborah Sims because of her change of vote now is in the spotlight.

Cook County Democrat endorsements Todd Stroger did not get the Cook County Democrat endorsement, but Pat Quinn did, and so did Alexi Giannoulias. Surprisingly US Rep Danny Davis, also running for Cook County President, had a vote as a Democratic Committeeman and could not resist pointing out that this is the first time he can remember the incumbent not getting endorsed.


There are a lot of holes in the Chris Kelly story. Since the story broke we heard he was found unresponsive in his home found by his wife. Lately we have been hearing it was his girlfriend that picked him up at his lumberyard on the far South Side and brought him to a hospital. This story has been all over local news radio and TV, and just when I thought I could turn CNN on for some other news, they are covering it too. We had stations have the video of Blagojevich's response which also had him say he felt bad for Kelly's wife, and daughters. Obviously making things worse that Kelly's last moments were with his girlfriend.

Just this morning I heard on WGN news radio that they had to break into Kelly's Cadillac because there were no keys to be found, and also his cell phone is missing.

There will be a news conference on Wednesday about all of this. Obviously there is a lot to sort out.


Chris Kelly no longer with us
Country Club Hills Mayor Dwight Welch did his best Sunday morning to unfurl a murky chain of events that led to the death of one of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's top aides early Saturday morning.

Christopher Kelly, of Burr Ridge and formerly of Frankfort, died at 10:46 a.m. Saturday at Stroger Hospital in Chicago from an apparent self-induced drug overdose after being taken by ambulance from Oak Forest Hospital. He was just a few days from reporting to federal prison to serve an eight-year sentence for a scheme to get his roofing company to win bids for work at O'Hare International Airport and for hiding $1.3 million in income.

When he pleaded guilty to the O'Hare scheme Tuesday, Kelly spoke of feeling intense pressure by prosecutors to abandon his loyalty to Blagojevich and cooperate with the feds.

His girlfriend, identified by Welch as Clarissa I. Flores-Buhelos, drove Kelly to Oak Forest Hospital in his black Cadillac Escalade after he sent her for help from the parking lot of Forest Lumber in the 17200 block of Cicero Avenue in Country Club Hills.

A Country Club Hills police officer spoke to Kelly, who was sitting up and alert in his room at Oak Forest Hospital.

"Kelly was very hesitant," Welch said. "He was very ill and not feeling well. And he was defensive."

Welch refused to say what they discussed, except to reveal Kelly told the officer he had recently undergone surgery to his genitals. That was about 3:30 a.m. At 4:15 a.m., Kelly, 51, was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he later died.

"At this point, we're thinking it's a suicide investigation. But we're treating it like we would a homicide because it's such a high-profile case," Welch said at a news conference Sunday. "Cook County Hospital (Stroger Hospital) is one of the finest hospitals in the nation. So for someone to die after going through those doors is very irregular."

The Coook County medical examiner's office performed an autopsy Sunday but has yet to release its findings. Country Club Hills police continue to investigate the incident, with help from Chicago area detectives and the FBI, an agency close to the case through its investigation of Blagojevich.

While at Oak Forest Hospital, officers also questioned Flores-Buhelos, who has since "lawyered up," as Welch put it, and won't talk to police. Her wallet was found in the Escalade, which officers searched in the hospital parking lot. They also found drugs, though Welch would not comment on whether they were illegal, over-the-counter or prescription drugs.

"Flores told us she moved (Kelly) to the other seat and drove him from the lumberyard to Oak Forest Hospital," Welch said. "She drove a car to (the lumberyard) or got a ride. So there has to be a third party here. There has to be a second car."

A white man with gray hair was with Flores-Buhelos in the hospital waiting room while officers talked with her. A white man with gray hair - possibly the same man, Welch said - approached officers at the Escalade with the intention of driving it away. He had keys, but officers would not allow him to take the sport utility vehicle. Officers did not get the name of the man, or men, in question. Welch said they're looking for him now.

At the scene, officers found vomit in the parking lot, as they did on the Escalade. Kelly's clothing, now in evidence, was also "soaked in vomit," according to Welch. The Escalade had been in the parking lot of the lumberyard, outside an area secured by a locked gate and adjacent to a storage facility. Welch said police are looking into whether Kellly had a vehicle - possibly a boat - or other belongings stored at the site.

Welch showed reporters at the news conference Flores-Buhelos' driver's license. The 30-year-old lives in a downtown Chicago apartment on Columbus Drive. "I'm giving you all this because we're not getting cooperation," he said.

Welch said he'll update the case at a news conference scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday.

"He has three daughters, too, so say prayers for them because this is just awful," Welch said.

On Sims:
"Sims' staff played the voicemails at a news conference Thursday.

"I'm very disappointed in your vote. You flip-flopped, actually lied, and I hope you get f - - - - - - AIDS and die," the unidentified caller said in one message.

The messages were left by the same caller at her downtown office about 7:10 p.m. and 10:45 p.m. Wednesday, Sims' staff said. She also was repeatedly called a racial epithet, "fat" and a "bitch."

"I feel like it was a threat," Sims said.

The Cook County Sheriff's Office is investigating

Once again, Todd is all over the Chicago Papers





Introducing Edward Reyes, and goodbye Jim and Jose





What a news day, first off the White Sox traded Thome and Contreras. I am glad to have been at games where Jose pitched and Thome hit home runs for the Sox.
Edward Reyes is now the 8th District Commissioner, replacing Roberto Maldonado now 26th Ward Alderman. Reyes is a former bodyguard to Blagojevich, and recently current Governor Quinn. Reyes joins the board just in time for the repeal vote of the Todd Stroger sales tax hike.
Today we now have higher sales tax in Illinois. This is probably the most confusing tax hike. Candy, liquor, toiletries are among some of the new higher taxed items. Some things that are considered candy aren't because of flour content, some things that weren't considered candy are now.New higher taxed items in Illinois starting September 1
The Chicago City Council will have a finance meeting today, most importantly on the Olympics.Chicago City Council meet today
And finally Blagojevich has a new tell all book out today. Rod Blagojevich, the author



Thome and Contreras headed out west

MINNEAPOLIS -- With the S.S. South Sider in full-fledge sink mode, Captain Ken Williams was frantically trying to lighten the load with anything that wasn't nailed down.

A big piece of cargo was tossed overboard Monday night after yet another embarrassing loss to the Minnesota Twins, this time 4-1, on a road trip filled with embarrassments.

The White Sox have dealt veterans Jim Thome and Jose Contreras.

With an 11 p.m. deadline for players to be moved and be playoff-eligible for their new team, an ESPN report had White Sox general manager Williams sending out a list of players that were available, including Jim Thome, Jermaine Dye, Scott Linebrink, Scott Podsednik, Jose Contreras and Octavio Dotel.

By the time the deadline passed, Thome was sent to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Contreras to the Colorado Rockies.

But that wasn't the only news the team received after dropping to 1-7 on this dismal road trip. The MRI exam of Jake Peavy's elbow showed no structural damage, but there was fluid in the elbow after it was hit by a comebacker in a rehab start Aug. 24 for Class AAA Charlotte.

It sounds like good news, but considering the Sox are 64-68 and six games behind the first-place Detroit Tigers in the American League Central, there might not be a reason to pitch Peavy this season.


It was just Sunday that manager Ozzie Guillen insisted of the series against the Twins, ''The next three games, win or we're out. If we don't win this series in Minnesota, I don't think this ballclub is going to be as high as it can be.''


New Cook County commissioner appointed
May give board 14 votes needed to kill sales-tax hike
Comments

September 1, 2009

BY ABDON B. PALLASCH, Sun-Times News Group
Just in time for a critical vote on repealing Cook County's higher sales tax, a new commissioner has been appointed to the 17-member board.

Democratic committeemen on Chicago's Northwest Side on Monday chose Illinois State Trooper Edwin Reyes to replace Commissioner Roberto Maldonado, who resigned recently to become Chicago's 26th Ward alderman.

County board President Todd Stroger has vetoed the board's rollback of the controversial sales-tax increase, which took effect July 1, 2008 and boosted the county share of the tax by one percentage point to 1.75 percent. Commissioners have been trying to muster the 14 votes needed to override Stroger's veto.

That looked unlikely after Maldonaldo resigned. But Commissioner John Daley (D-Chicago), chairman of the board's finance committee, said that with Reyes' appointment the board now has the 14 votes to rescind the tax hike in a vote scheduled for today.

Meanwhile, Maldonado complained Monday that even though his county board seat has been a Hispanic seat, Chicago Ald. Dick Mell (33rd) got his way in picking a replacement other than the candidate that Maldonado preferred.

"I think was a battle between a group of Latino committeemen and possibly Mell and others," Maldonado said. "Mell thinks he still needs to control the future fate of the Latino politics on the North Side."

Mell denied that, saying "it's very difficult to deny the ethnic background of Ed Reyes."

Reyes, 46, was born in Chicago to Puerto Rican parents and for 18 months ran a Puerto Rican restaurant called Isabel's.

For the past three years, he has served as a state police bodyguard for Gov. Patrick Quinn and for indicted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Is this supposed to be news? And some real news


Stroger injured shooting hoops\


August 27, 2009

Sun-Times News Group
Cook County Board President Todd Stroger was injured playing basketball Wednesday, his office reported today.

Stroger received eight stitches above his right eye after a pickup game at Chicago's East Bank Club, his office said. Stroger was injured by "accidental contact" and was taken to Stroger Hospital about 2:30 p.m., his office said.

He was released at 4:45 p.m. with a "small gauze" above his right eye and was ordered to wear the "protective piece" during the evening.

Stroger expects to make all of his appointments today.

But this is really good news. At least the horrific reminder that a 14 year old child was brutally murdered by not one, but a few adult men can be put on display for his senseless and unnecessary murder, rather fall to more disintegration at the hands of the Burr Oak mess.

Till's casket will get a much better homePlans are in the works to exhibit the casket that once held the body of lynching victim Emmett Till at the Smithsonian Institution's planned National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington when it opens in 2015.

The glass-topped casket held the 14-year-old Chicagoan's mutilated body for 50 years after his 1955 slaying in Mississippi for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Till's body was exhumed from Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip in 2005 when the FBI tried to find possible accomplices in the killing.

Till was reburied in a new casket, and the original was recently found rusting in a shed at Burr Oak during investigation of an alleged grave-reselling scandal.

Museum officials and members of Till's family are expected to announce the casket's donation before a ceremony Friday to commemorate 54 years since Till's murder.

More than financial problems are keeping Burr Oak closedBurr Oak Cemetery's parent company and the bank holding money in trust for the Alsip graveyard's operations can't agree on how $450,000 will be repaid.

So the money a court-appointed receiver has requested to repair and reopen the cemetery will remain frozen until at least Sept. 22, his attorney, James Geoly, said Wednesday after a court hearing.

But Roman Szabelski, who's been put in charge of Burr Oak in the wake of former employees being charged in an alleged grave-reselling scheme, ought to get $50,000 this week from a frozen account to rehire eight cemetery workers laid off since Aug. 14, Geoly said.

The bank wants repayment if and when the cemetery is sold; Burr Oak parent company Perpetua Inc. wants the state comptroller to decide, Geoly said.

Robert Fishman, an attorney representing Perpetua Inc. in numerous civil suits, refused to comment on any of the court proceedings.

The cemetery has been closed and in the hands of Catholic Cemeteries' director since late July when Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart declared the cemetery a crime scene.

The Goverment should be picking up costs of reburial for Veterans at Lincoln Memorial Veterans Cemetery

Robert Davis, a past president of the state's premiere black American Legion post, Dorie Miller 915, is among those pushing to move veterans graves to Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, where their perpetual care would fall to the government. His members are livid.

"The Korean War vets are very upset. You know it's devastating to me - it's got to be devastating to them," he said. "Those are the comrades they went to war with."

Reburial costs would also fall to the government once the veteran's body has been delivered to Abraham Lincoln's front gates, said Mike Nacincik of the National Cemetery Administration. But families have to shoulder the cost of disinterring the veteran and having the body moved, he said. Families also have to prove the service member's eligibility for military burial by locating discharge papers. Any kind of discharge but dishonorable qualifies, he said.

If families can't locate their loved one's remains, they still might apply for a memorial headstone at Abraham Lincoln.

"Abraham Lincoln would be a wonderful option," said Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D-Crete), whose district contains the national cemetery, and who sits on the Congressional subcommittee overseeing veterans' burial issues.

"We'll do everything in our power to help any family, a family not even from my district," she said.

Usually the government only pays for one burial, but extenuating circumstances at Burr Oak could warrant an exception, she said.

"I think we have to find a fair conclusion to this," she said. "Rest in peace means truly rest in peace."

The Chicago Tribune introduces Blagosphere

From The Sunday Papers, Tribune Aug 17









Most people figured out that it was more than a working relationship between, former CC CFO Donna Dunnings, cousin of Todd Stroger, and Tony Cole, questionable hire. Numerous phone calls, at all times of day, and in the middle of the night, on major Holidays, are not normal for a normal business relationship, but this certainly does not look like a normal professional relationship. Donna Dunnings did not use any common sense here at all. Hiring an unqualified person to begin with, not doing a background check, and well not having a professional relationship with that individual. When there is such a lack of judgement, do we really trust this person in a position of CFO for such a large county? Obviously neither was smart enough to use their own private property, as in phones to conduct numerous questionable calls.


Politics is fluid in this State
This appointment of Roberto Maldonado from the Cook County Commissioner post of the 8th district to the 26th Ward Alderman is business, or fluidly in politics in this State as usual. The 26th Ward Alderman Billy Ocasio went to work as one Governor Pat Quinns Senior advisers.
Let's face it: Anyone Mayor Richard M. Daley appoints to the city council is automatically suspect.

You don't work your way into Daley's favor by being an advocate of good, clean, honest government.

You do it by getting your hands dirty - and keeping your mouth shut.

"Why did I pick Roberto Maldonado?" Daley said on Monday when he announced his choice to replace outgoing Billy Ocasio to represent the 26th Ward. "That is the question."

Daley likely picked Maldonado for three reasons: he's confident Maldonado will be a reliable vote for him; he wanted the post to remain in Hispanic hands for political reasons; he wanted to screw the disliked Ocasio, whose own terrible suggestions included a gay-hating reverend and Ocasio's own wife. That part isn't difficult to suss out.

The real question is: Who is Roberto Maldonado?

First the personal, then the political.

"Reminiscent of the hopes of so many immigrants from around the world who have come to America, Roberto’s parents migrated to New York City in 1947 from the impoverished island of Puerto Rico - in search of the American Dream," says Maldonado's website.

"Born in the South Bronx on August 28, 1951, Roberto learned the values of hard work and perseverance from his mother, Carmen, and from his father, Jose, who both worked long hours in factories and small grocery stores in the face of economic exploitation and discrimination."

Long story short after that, Maldonado arrived in Chicago at the age of 27 to pursue his studies at Loyola University while working full-time in the Chicago Public Schools as a psychologist. He opened what he called the first Hispanic-owned mortgage-banking firm in the Midwest, and latched on to Luis Gutierrez, then an alderman, running at least one of his campaigns.

In 1994, he won his seat on the Cook County board, representing the 8th District.

His wife and three children live in Humboldt Park.

Politically, Maldonado has always been seen as a man with a future in higher office, "perhaps in Washington," the Tribune editorial page said in 2003.

Over the years, though, the Tribune has become less enchanted.

"[Commissioners Joan Murphy, Earlean Collins and Deborah Sims] all fell for empty rhetoric from board member Roberto Maldonado, lead sponsor of the cigarette tax hike, about how the new revenue would help treat childhood asthma and other diseases caused by smoking," the paper said in 2004.

"Baloney . . . Maldonado's noble-sounding fiction was exposed when [Commissioner Larry] Suffredin confronted him with an amendment to spend all revenue from the cigarette tax not to balance Stroger's budget, but to treat lung illnesses and campaign against smoking. All that piety about helping children? That suddenly went right out the window."

27 Up 27 Down! Perfect Mark Buehrle pitching!





First off I would like to congratulate Mark Buehrle on his no hit perfect game!

Next I would like to thank President Obama for using O'hare airport on the North side of town, verses Midway on the South Side of town. Even before Air force one touched down on the Northside, major roads were blocked off during rush hour for the Presidential motorcade. The traffic reports were reporting no less than a traffic nightmare for Northsiders. Again Thank you President Obama for choosing O'Hare.


Mark Buehrle's first 26 outs seemed to fly by -- though out No.25 seemed to stop every one's heart for an instant.

After recording his 27th consecutive out Thursday, Mark Buehrle begins the celebration. Buehrle delivered a curveball that started high in the zone. Tampa Bay Rays No. 9 hitter Jason Bartlett chopped at it and hit a high-bouncing ball to shortstop. Alexei Ramirez glided over a few steps, scooped up the ball and delivered a looping throw to first base.

Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle is embraced by teammates, including catcher Ramon Castro, after throwing a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays Thursday in Chicago. The Sox won 5-0.
(AP)


Mark Buehrle's perfect game

PERFECT GAMES
AMERICAN LEAGUE

David Cone 07-18-1999 New York 6, Montreal 0

David Wells 05-17-1998 New York 4, Minnesota 0

Mike Witt 09-30-1984 California 1, Texas 0

Kenny Rogers 07-28-1994 Texas 4, California 0

Len Barker 05-15-1981 Cleveland 3, Toronto 0

Catfish Hunter 05-08-1968 Oakland 4, Minnesota 0

Don Larsen 10-08-1956 New York 2, Brooklyn 0*

Charlie Robertson 04-30-1922 Chicago 2, Detroit 0

Addie Joss 10-02-1908 Cleveland 1, Chicago 0

Cy Young 05-05-1904 Boston 3, Philadelphia 0

* Game 5, 1956 World Series

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Randy Johnson 05-18-2004 Arizona 2, Atlanta 0

Dennis Martinez 07-28-1991 Montreal 2, Los Angeles 0

Tom Browning 09-16-1988 Cincinnati 1, Los Angeles 0

Sandy Koufax 09-09-1965 Los Angeles 1, Chicago 0

Jim Bunning 06-21-1964 Philadelphia 6, New York 0

Monte Ward 06-17-1880 Providence 5, Buffalo 0

Lee Richmond 06-12-1880 Worcester 1, Cleveland 0


But the last out to secure his second career no-hitter? That seemed to unwind in slow motion.
Buehrle delivered a curveball that started high in the zone. Tampa Bay Rays No. 9 hitter Jason Bartlett chopped at it and hit a high-bouncing ball to shortstop. Alexei Ramirez glided over a few steps, scooped up the ball and delivered a looping throw to first base.

Josh Fields steadied his hands and gathered in the routine throw. Twenty-seven batters, 27 outs.

Buehrle had thrown the majors' first perfect game in five years -- and just the 18th in major-league history -- and he couldn't believe it, covering his head with his mitt as his teammates mobbed the left-hander on the mound after a 5-0 victory Thursday in front of 28,036 thrilled fans at U.S. Cellular Field.

''I don't know how to explain it,'' Buehrle said minutes after delivering just the second perfect game in White Sox history.

''I never thought I'd throw a no-hitter, never thought I'd throw a perfect game, I never thought I'd hit a home run. Never say never in this game because crazy stuff can happen.''

Buehrle has won a World Series ring -- working as a starter and closer in the Sox' 2005 sweep of the Houston Astros -- started and won an All-Star Game and now has two no-hitters, the first coming on April 18, 2007, at U.S. Cellular Field against the Texas Rangers.

Not bad for a 38th-round pick.

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