Archive for May, 2012

Why We Need A Stronger Volcker Rule

by , posted on Thursday, May 31st, 2012 at 11:11 pm

from the Center for American Progress

Center for American Progress’ Jennifer Erickson, Director of Competitiveness and Economic Growth, describes the Volcker Rule and explains why it needs to be strengthened.


Politicians Flee the ‘Peons’

by , posted on Monday, May 28th, 2012 at 7:00 am

You could identify the politicians at Illinois’ Capital Building by their demeanor. And the same for the lobbyists who were courting their attention. Watching them all was like watching ‘Singles Date Night’ at a local country club. Only instead of alcohol being the drug of choice, it was power and influence. But if you didn’t have the power and influence of either a politician or a lobbyist, the politicians treated you like a peon.

Last week during Illinois’ General Assembly session, people came to Springfield to speak with their Senators and Representatives. They were requesting a seat at the table where changes to the Illinois’ pension system and Medicaid system are being made.

Most of them were teachers and state mental health workers, all worried about cuts their Senators and Representatives were rumored to be planning for their jobs and their pensions. They were easy to identify given they wore green shirts printed with the letters of their union, AFSCME.



Representative Schmitz Willing to Kiss off $12,300,000,000 in Illinois Revenue

by , posted on Friday, May 25th, 2012 at 8:19 pm

“We don’t lower taxes here in Illinois,” State Representative Tim Schmitz (R) 49th district, said. “I’ve been here for fourteen years and we’ve never done that.”

“Even if it means lowering those taxes would bring in more than $6,300,000,000 in revenue for Illinois?” she said she asked.

She could hardly believe her ears. Perhaps he didn’t understand. So she explained how a graduated income tax would work for Illinois. She pointed out that forty-three states already have this kind of tax, that it would provide relief for middle and low-income residents, and that research has shown it boosts consumer spending and the local economy.



Why Congress Needs to Renew Clean Energy Subsidies

by , posted on Thursday, May 24th, 2012 at 6:22 pm

from the Center for American Progress

President Obama is slated to visit TPI Composites on Thursday, a wind turbine blade manufacturer in Newton, Iowa, where he will urge Congress to extend two key renewable energy tax credits — the Production Tax Credit for wind and a clean energy manufacturing credit.

Wind energy provides thousands of jobs in Iowa, like this one of a turbine maintenance worker in Franklin County. The Center for American Progress traveled to Iowa to talk to experts and officials about how uncertain federal policy is hurting the wind industry.

See also: “Wind Energy Provides Stable Middle-Class Jobs in America’s Heartland: Congressional Inaction on Key Tax Credit Threatens to Undermine the Industry,” by Andrew Satter,, December 20, 2011


Why Bain Matters

by , posted on Thursday, May 24th, 2012 at 1:23 pm

from Political Action

While at Bain Capital, Mitt Romney destroyed middle class jobs to help the rich get richer. Is that what we want in a president?


Attorney: “NATO 3” Activists Detained on Terror Charges Are Victims of Police Entrapment

by , posted on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012 at 2:46 pm

from Democracy Now!

Following a weekend that saw nearly 100 arrests of protesters at the NATO summit in Chicago, we speak with National Lawyers Guild attorney Sarah Gelsomino, who represents one of the five activists charged with terror-related crimes. Two are accused of attempted possession of explosives or incendiary devices, and three more are accused of conspiracy to commit terrorism, material support for terrorism and possession of explosives. Gelsomino says the so-called “NATO Three” were set-up by government informants who planted the explosives.


Orwell’s Thought Police Meet the Baby Boomers

by , posted on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012 at 7:00 am

It was a simple ride with a stranger on a train. She and I were both carrying signs from the Nurses United Rally in Chicago held on Friday, May 18. By our signs, we both knew we were on the same side of the political ‘discourse.’

Of course, the word ‘discourse’ is such a polite word that it implies what is going on in our national political blood fest is polite. It is anything but. And that is exactly what we were talking about.

“What can they be thinking?” I asked, thinking there is no real answer.

“That’s the problem,” she replied. “They’re not.”

And for the first time in a long time, I had the opportunity to think out loud with another person who was also thinking out loud about the nastiness, vitriol really, that is going on in our national political scene.

For the first time I began to understand. I began to see the big picture of how and why people can so easily be influenced to believe and act in ways that are so contrary to their own self-interests.



2012 IL-13 general election campaign archive

by , posted on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012 at 6:35 am

updated 23 May 2012

General election

David Gill (D)

campaign website:



2012 IL-13 primary campaign archive

by , posted on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012 at 6:30 am

Democratic primary



We’re a Country Needing Heroes

by , posted on Monday, May 21st, 2012 at 7:49 pm

We’re a country needing some heroes. And we really need them here in Illinois where for decades politicians have joined with the rest of our country’s politicians in selling out the middle class, starving the funding for our public schools and communities, and protecting large corporations and the One Percent.

For forty years, at the state and federal level, politicians have worked for big business interests attacking our labor unions, pension plans, small farms and businesses. Big business interests lobbied politicians, sometimes people in them became politicians or formed “Think Tanks” to lobby politicians. They ended regulations (Glass-Steagall) and opened up the banking system to gambling. They’ve gambled 401 Ks and mortgages. They lobbied for corporations to become monopolies. They lobbied for tax breaks, loopholes, and subsidies.

This has been a systematic, well thought out plan carried out by large moneyed interests and big business. A corporate lawyer named Lewis F. Powell in 1971 first outlined the plan on paper. Powell wrote a long memo to Eugene Sydnor, Jr. the then Director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Called the Powell Memo, it outlined the plan for advancing corporate influence by deregulating corporations, building an array of institutions to push for unbridled corporate capitalism, and to diminish individual’s interests. It targeted unions and schools.