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[31 Dec 2008 | No Comment | ]

“Very, very low key,” said Don Rose, a former Democratic political consultant in Chicago, describing Mr. Burris, 71, who was named on Tuesday by the state’s embattled governor, Rod R. Blagojevich, to fill the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama. “He’s just not a terribly exciting figure. But there’s never been a breath of scandal about him.”

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[31 Dec 2008 | No Comment | ]

A big notice for CDOBs editorial board member Dennis Byrne today, leading off the Wall Street Journal Best of the Web with his piece on Blagojevich, Burris and Bobby Rush from the Chicago Tribune.
Here’s Dennis:
Blagojevich and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), who showed up at the announcement press conference, praised Burris’ “fine record of public service,” although my own view is that just getting through a political career here without the usual political taint qualifies as the finest of records. Burris accepted the accolades without seeming to understand the irony.
But Rush …

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[31 Dec 2008 | One Comment | ]

Icasualties has the casualty count at 14 total and 7 by hostile fire in Iraq for the month of December.
There were 19 homicides in the city of Chicago so far in December, with 9 days of reporting remaining. Garfield Park is currently the leading neighborhood for Murder in Chicago.

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[31 Dec 2008 | One Comment | ]

Wow, that was close. On Thursday, Dec. 11, the New Madrid fault shifted, sleeping volcanoes rumbled, and a Texas-size asteroid veered from its orbit, heading straight to Chicago.
Four days later, the fault line settled with a quiet wheeze, the volcanoes yawned, and the asteroid mysteriously vanished. What luck!
What had changed? Attorney General Lisa Madigan signed a document which she had refused to sign four days before.
Madigan apparently was the sole official who heard apocalypse threatening early this month when the governor’s office routinely prepared an OS (offering statement) for $1.4 …

From Blogs »

[31 Dec 2008 | One Comment | ]
The Latest on Homicide Rates

Nothing grabs headlines like dire warnings about homicide trends. The New York Times writes: “Homicides by Black Teenagers Rise, Bucking a Trend.”
The numbers in The New York Times graphic and most of the James Alan Fox report fail to control for the change in the population of young black males over this time period.
According to U.S. Census data, the number of blacks aged 15 to 19 rose by about 15 percent between 2000 and 2007.
So even if any individual black teen’s propensity for crime was unchanged over this time …

Local Media »

[31 Dec 2008 | No Comment | ]

resident-elect Barack Obama spent yesterday afternoon in Honolulu, going to the zoo with his daughters and visiting his high school campus. And yet, he couldn’t escape the political melodrama unfolding more than 4,000 miles away.
While Obama vacationed, some of the main characters from his political past took turns starring in a bizarre Chicago news conference. First to the lectern was embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was arrested this month on federal corruption charges, and from whom Obama has worked to distance himself. Blagojevich then introduced Roland Burris, his appointment …

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[31 Dec 2008 | 3 Comments | ]

Roland Burris’ appointment to the U.S. senate by Gov. Blagojevich seriously complicates an already jumbled political atmosphere for Illinois Democratic leaders.
The best description of Burris is that he’s a black Alan Dixon. Listen, that’s not a bad referral. I very much liked Dixon and like Burris. Dixon was a thoroughly honorable moderate senator…a friend of mine…who was the only senator who had served the state in all three branches: judicial, legislative and executive. He was far from aloof. Like Burris, Dixon, an inveterate glad-hander and non-confrontational regular Democrat who served …

From Blogs »

[30 Dec 2008 | No Comment | ]

Burris was the Chairman of the Governor’s Commission on State Pensions as recently as 2005. Illinois State Pensions were then, and are now, the most underfunded in the country. – State pension panel nears vote on proposed cuts, Copley News Service, January 7, 2005
Pay To Play
A company headed by former state comptroller and attorney general Roland Burris has been awarded a $150,000 state contract to advise disadvantaged businesses on how to improve their operations and ultimately win state contracts. – Consulting firm awarded $150,000 contract by IDOT, State Journal-Register, June …

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[30 Dec 2008 | 2 Comments | ]

So the Governor installs Roland Burris into the Senate seat vacated by Obama. I thought Harry Reid wouldn’t seat anyone appointed by Governor Blagojevich? What does or will Blago get for this appointment? What about someone turning down the heat?
Does anyone think that the General Assembly might slow down it’s impeachment process now? Do anyone think the Democratic leadership will now say that the proper thing to do is to wait until the US Attorney brings his case so that Blagojevich or his henchman’s trials won’t be tainted?
Will naming Burris …

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[30 Dec 2008 | One Comment | ]

There is no earthly reason why I should defend Richard Nixon who fired me as assistant commerce secretary in 1970…when I had four kids and a wife to support (fortunately it all worked out)-but defend him I will from the worst thing that can happen to a president barring assassination, the fictionalizing of history in which he played a vital part. A leading candidate for the Academy Award is a dramatization of an interview between David Frost, a British journalist and Richard M. Nixon. You see TV clips all the …