Archive for August, 2011

IL-14: Hultgren town hall meeting video, Yorkville, August 29, 2011

by , posted on Tuesday, August 30th, 2011 at 7:12 am

Originally posted at robynsward’s YouTube Channel.

To view in full screen mode, click on the little box with the four arrows in the lower right hand corner of the screen. To escape full screen mode, press your “Esc” button.


Kendall Republicans Welcome Racial Profiling as New Family Value

by , posted on Monday, August 29th, 2011 at 2:38 pm

The Kendall County Republican Central Committee invited one of the most divisive people in America to be the keynote speaker at their annual family picnic. I guess the six or seven Republican presidential hopefuls are skipping Kendall County, and Sarah Palin was not available, so they turned to the other media hound, Joe Arpaio.

What is scary is that Joe Arpaio, who put Arizona taxpayers on the hook for his illegal racial profiling, and is also being investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, drew several hundred Republicans to a fundraiser. 

I read this Beacon News article and decided Sunday afternoon was an appropriate time to pen my response.  On this Sunday, I am certain that many Republicans who pledge to the Christian faith were in church pews, but where were they on Saturday when Joe Arpaio was in town?  Were they at the protest outside or did they venture inside the GOP fundraiser?

Being raised on the mission field in West Africa I learned a Sunday School song that has this verse, “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world.  Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight.”



Klinkhamer for which office?

by , posted on Friday, August 26th, 2011 at 12:02 pm

I kept hearing persistent rumors to the effect that former Bill Foster staffer Sue Klinkhamer would once again be running for Mayor in St Charles, a post she held for a term before going to work for the City of Chicago, and from there to a position as Bill Foster’s IL-14 District Director. So this morning I did some digging.

I couldn’t find anyone who would definitely confirm or deny the rumor that Klinkhamer is getting ready to run against current St Charles Mayor Don DeWitte – closest I got to it was an individual close to Sue who gave it as their opinion that it would be “a real step backwards” for Klinkhamer.

But what I did hear – and this from no less than four individuals so close to Klinkhamer that I have trouble disbelieving any of them, much less all four of them – is that she is by far more likely to run for Kane County Board Chair.

Meh. There is no reason she can’t do both – the Kane County Board Chair election is in 2012, and the next St Charles Mayoral election is in 2013. In fact Kevin Burns, current Mayor of Geneva, is hedging his bets in just this manner – running for County Board Chair in 2012, with his next Geneva mayoral election in 2013 in reserve if he loses.


Keep the Focus on the Unemployment Crisis!

by , posted on Sunday, August 21st, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Last week I attended a town hall meeting (THM) with freshman Repesentative Randy Hultgren in Sandwich, and a second in Geneva.  The third THM is in Yorkville on Aug. 29.  See details at the end of this post.

Question after question, the crowd pushed for Jobs-Jobs-Jobs!  Many also called for a fair, progressive tax on the wealthiest of our society, the card-carrying members of the millionaire and billionaire clubs.  Others pushed more spcifically for H.R. 870, the Humphrey-Hawkins 21st Century Full Employment and Training Act, a bill that imposes a speculation tax of .25% on Wall Street trading.  The revenue would be used to create 2.5 to 10 million jobs.

Keep reading for press coverage, video of the THM’s, and details for the next THM. 



What About the Real Crisis – Unemployment?

by , posted on Monday, August 15th, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Northern Illinois Jobs With Justice (NIJWJ) has been holding monthly events and rallies on the first Friday of every month when unemployment numbers are released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The last rally was covered by The Voice  (Not an on-line article, but their website tells where you can pick up a copy), and The Beacon News.

August unemploymet numbers (9.1% unemployed) showed little improvement in the economic crisis facing millions of American families.  The Chicago Political Economy Group (CPEG) points out that adding the 13.9 million unemployed together with the 6.5 million discouraged workers means that over 20 million American families are still suffering even though the Great Recession was declared “over” more than two years ago.

The question is, what are we going to do about it?



Food for Thought: Downsides of Growth

by , posted on Monday, August 15th, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Cross-posted from the website of the Center for the Advancement of the Steady-State Economy (CASSE).

There is a Conflict between Economic Growth and:

(1) Environmental Protection

A growing economy consumes natural resources and produces wastes. It results in biodiversity loss, air and water pollution, climate destabilization, and other major environmental threats.

(2) Economic Sustainability

A healthy environment is the foundation of a healthy economy. We need healthy soils for agriculture, healthy forests for timber, and healthy oceans for fisheries. Along with clean air for breathing and clean water for drinking, these are the building blocks of a prosperous economy and a good life.

(3) National Security and International Stability

When economic growth threatens the environment and economic sustainability, social unrest is the result, and national security is compromised. Economic growth was once used for building military power, but in an overgrown global economy, economic sustainability is more conducive to diplomacy and stability among nations.


WI Recall: The Day After

by , posted on Wednesday, August 10th, 2011 at 8:50 pm

My Dad was fond of that old cliche that “close only counts in horseshoes” and I have to admit that last night’s attempt to recall at least three Scott Walker Republicans yesterday, in order for Democrats to take control of the state senate struck me as that way. 2. Close, but it doesn’t count. Only it does in that it’s going to be a lot harder for Scott Walker to get reallly insane legislation through. And it’s a gain of territory.

And of course, today is not just the day after the Wisconsin recall, it’s the day the Wisconsin Democratic Party turns the bulk of its efforts to defending the two Democratic seats that are subjects of attempted Repub recalls. And after that, why it’s Scott Walker’s turn.

You can still volunteer to help.


WI Recall: Busy this Afternoon? Too Busy for This?

by , posted on Tuesday, August 9th, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Then how about this evening?

Wisconsin recall elections are happening today and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy for America have set up a website where you can volunteer to help get out the vote right from the comfort of your own home.

They provide the numbers and the script.

The next call shift is this afternoon from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. CDT. If you can’t call this afternoon there will be a last shift from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. CDT (polls close in Wisconsin at 8:00 p.m CDT.)

C’mon, you know you want to change the world – it’s really very easy – just click on this handy link and volunteer now. You’ll feel much better in the morning.


UPDATE: I just found out about this site (that’s another handly link for you) belonging to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. You can make calls through this site too, and it has a handy rundown of the races.

UPDATE: Polls are closed, results will be available online here at the Journal Sentinel


WTF S&P? Shock Doctrine? Inside Job? Both?

by , posted on Monday, August 8th, 2011 at 12:48 pm

So today S&P downgraded the credit ratings of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the mortgage giants which were taken over by the feds in 2008 after the mortgage disaster/scandal/swindling-of-American-homeowners-and-investors in which S&P was a co-conspirator. I realize some people are going to have a big problem with me describing S&P as a “co-conspirator” but hey, facts are facts: look it up.



Waiting for the Markets on Monday Morning

by , posted on Monday, August 8th, 2011 at 8:25 am

Well, a better title might be waiting for the markets on this particular Monday morning. Since the S&P’s historic downgrade ot the U.S. rating, from AAA to AA+ happened after the markets closed on Friday, this will be the first chance we have to see how investors will react.

Signs from abroad, as well as futures trading this morning, suggest we will see a decline. Generally I am seeing multiple reports that analysts think there may be an initial shock – blunted, I think intentially by S&P, by the timing if the announcement for maximum cool-off before the markets next opened – followed by stabilization. Analysts seem to agree there is no tangible reason that the stock market should react at all to the U.S. rating downgrade.

But then I keep thinking there is no tangible reason the market should react to nine out of ten news events – it just does. People are strange, and unpredictable, and irrational, and subject to herd mentality, especially where the behavior of markets is concerned. And people make those buying and selling decisions. Then too, there is no precedent to look to in order to predict what will happen with the markets, as a downgrade to the U.S. credit rating has never happened before.


Update: DJIA down around 200 points within minutes of opening. Bad, but not all that shocking. Will be interesting to see where market closes.

Update: Is S&P on a mission? They’ve just downgraded Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, DJIA down 356 as I type this.