Thursday, December 31, 2009

Online challenge: Donate $20.10 to the Jim Ryan campaign before midnight

On February 2, Illinois voters will head to the polls to select nominees for November's general election.

I have endorsed Jim Ryan for governor, and I'm urging my fellow Republicans to vote for the two-term former attorney general.

The campaign laid down an online challenge today--to get as many people as possible to contribute $20.10 to the Ryan campaign before midnight.

Click here to do so.

Let's take back the state!

And click here to visit the official Jim Ryan site. You'll find Ryan's Facebook group here, and you can follow his tweets here.

Related posts:

Ill. gov race poll: Republican Jim Ryan leads Pat Quinn

Marathon Pundit endorses Jim Ryan for Illinois governor

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Last Blago post of 2009

Barring something unexpected, this will be my final Blago post of 2009.

It's hard to believe, but it has been almost three years since Barack Obama announced his entry in the 2008 presidential race in front of Springfield's Old State Capitol--pictured on the right.

A few days before the Red Sea parted to accommodate him, three staffers for since-disgraced Governor Rod Blagojevich wrote a dripping press release in which the hair-brained one endorsed Obama.

But state resources were used for that presser, which has led the Illinois Ethics Commission (Yes, we really have one of those) to fine one of them $1,500. The other two are just $1,000 lighter for their effort.

Blago's trial will be one of the major stories of 2010.

Happy New Year!

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Illinois: Victim still suffers, but early-release attacker was free

On her 36th birthday last year, Chicagoan Jennifer Hall, who had hair down to her waist, was attacked by Derrick Hall and another man. After the assault she awakened from a drug-induced coma bald and with 85 staples in her head. And toothless.

What brought on the assault? Hall and her boyfriend were asked if they had any cigarettes. They didn't.

From the Chicago Tribune:

When King, 48, pleaded guilty this October to two criminal charges in the attack and was sentenced to three years in prison, Hall and Hoffman thought he wouldn't be able to harm anyone else -- at least for a while.

But just 18 days after that plea, state records show, King was paroled as part of the early-release program that Gov. Pat Quinn on Wednesday called "a big mistake." And the next day, King allegedly threatened another woman, near the same place he attacked Hall, yelling, "Remember the couple who got beat real bad for not giving a cigarette? That was me," police said.

Arrested again, King is back in prison after being charged with assault. Despite the three-year sentence for the attack on Hall, King was released from prison after receiving credit for serving a little more than 13 months in Cook County Jail. He was one of more than 1,700 inmates released from Sept. 16 to Dec. 13 under the Department of Corrections' accelerated Meritorious Good Time Program.

Meanwhile, the last year has been difficult for Hall.

For the rest of the story, click here. Warning--graphic image.

Hall has difficulty speaking--sometimes her jaw falls out of joint. She has seizures, and nerve damage limits the use of her left foot.

Related posts:

At least 18 of Quinn's early-release jailbirds accused of new crimes

Ill. early release inmates not exactly 'low-level offenders'

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Doug Ross' 2010 prediction: Illinois-based terrorists to be freed, unionized, and hired as TSA baggage screeners

Two days before I fly out of O'Hare International Airport, Doug Ross humorously (I think) predicts that Gitmo North terrorists will be hired as unionized baggage screeners by the Transportaion Security Administration.

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Auld Lang Syne at the Scottish Parliament

Scotsman Robert Burns wrote "Auld Lang Syne" in 1788. Watch and listen as it is sung at the Scottish Parliament.

Lots of hand-holding going on here.

Happy New Year! Oh, and a Happy Hogmanay too.

Obama-tied words on 2010 Banished Words list

During my Upper Peninsula Upventure trip, I visited Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie Michigan, which reminded me that each year the institution issues its Banished Words list.

Besides ObamaCare (which I will continue to use), other "winners" include "shovel ready," "stimulus," "transparent/transparency," and "czar."

Why hasn't "saved or created jobs" been included? Because we all know there is no way to measure a "saved job."

Related posts:

Lake Superior State University

Upper Peninsula Upventure: The Finale

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

T-Paw, Romney headed to CPAC

I won't be able to attend--maybe next year--but the 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference, better known as CPAC, will take be held February 18-20 in Washington.

It's never too early--especially in Washington--to speculate about presidential elections, so it's worth noting that Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and former Massachussets Governor Mitt Romney are confirmed speakers at the annual event. Both men are believed to be considering throwing their hats in the 2012 ring.

Related post:

Video: Gov. Pawlenty in Washington for fundraiser

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At least 18 of Quinn's early-release jailbirds accused of new crimes

Earlier this month AP discovered that Illinois Governor Pat Quinn approved the release of 850 prisoners, secretly, in a cost-cutting move.

The other shoes--at least 18 of them--are dropping, as AP digs deeper.

At least 18 men released early from prison under a secret program in Illinois are back behind bars, most of them accused of committing new, violent crimes, The Associated Press has learned.

Some were arrested just one day after they were freed. The new allegations against them include domestic battery, unlawful weapons use, aggravated battery and assault, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the records. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of restrictions on talking to the press.

The men were among 850 who were released in the fall after as little as three weeks behind bars after Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's administration's secret policy change that was reported by the AP earlier this month. The men's average time in state prison was just 16 days and their convictions included drunk driving, using drugs and battery and weapons violations.

In an effort to save money, the Corrections department changed a practice that required all inmates to stay at least 61 days. The inmates were awarded up to 180 days of good-conduct credit as soon as they entered prison, allowing them to leave almost immediately.

Quinn, who served as Rod Blagojevich's running mate--twice--is dropping the get-out-of-jail-early program.

Related post:

Ill. early release inmates not exactly 'low-level offenders'

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