June 10, 2006

17th District Congressional Race Discussion

Have at it.


At 6/25/2006 9:51 PM, Blogger Randy Thomas said...

I have noticed that you have Zinga and Beals race up but not Harrington's race. He is the republicans best chance to win this November. With this being the number one race for the State Republicans and Rich Miller calling Boland unliked and not trustworthy by his pears. Comming off a dismal showing for the Congressional race makes Boland very beatable. Please be fare and make this a fair race for Harrington.

At 6/25/2006 10:08 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Mr. Thomas,
I was reluctant to put any links up for these races, as it still is a bit early. But at least the Hare/Zinga is set, and the Jacobs/Beals race is fairly firm.

The Boland race isn't quite there yet.

I intend to be "fare" to all, but not having a link to that race as of yet doesn't constitute any unfairness.

It's not certain who the challengers will be against Boland, and so I would hope to wait a bit longer for things to shape up.

It has nothing to do with purposely omitting the race, but rather that there's just not much happening so far.

At 6/26/2006 9:39 AM, Blogger del said...

Steve Haring has an office with a big sign that says 71st state rep candidate. It's down in East Moline. That sounds like a contender to me.

At 6/26/2006 10:56 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Well Del, I hadn't made it a point to drive around looking for Haring campaign offices.

But since at least two people are very anxious to discuss this race, I'll put up a link to see what they have to say.

At 6/26/2006 11:59 AM, Blogger Lootie said...

We are just sad down here in the Q !

We were pulling for our Boy , but alas the QC unions and hacks ended that for us .

We will take it out on you in WB 6 play .

At 6/26/2006 12:26 PM, Blogger IHG said...

The first question will be answered to a great degree by July 15 (filing date with the FEC).

Zinga guru, Charlie Johnson, stated to the QC Times that they were on track for $200,000. If so, they may get National assistance. If not, and if they are far shy of $200,000, then they (1) will be proven to have lied and (2) if they are off much (and have not been able to succeed on their own), the RNC will have other places to put their money.

Hare likely get's a pass on fundraising as he has had so little time. The question that I have is will the special interests that kept Lane Evans bankrolled over the years, bankroll Hare as well? If so, he'll have a hard time not losing, if not, we might have a race (as Dem's in the 17th have never written checks even for lane).

At 6/28/2006 8:34 PM, Blogger nicodemus said...

Yesterday the National Journal came out with their list of the "50 Most Vulnerable House Seats". It is interesting to note that Illinois' 17th district slipped off the list. Why?

It seems that since the Dems picked a weak nominee, Phil Hare and since Zinga has a comparative fundraising advantage, the National Journal feels that the Dems cannot hold this seat. What's worse, it's not even in play anymore.

At 6/29/2006 7:59 AM, Blogger IHG said...

The fact that it is not on the list tells me that they do not feel as though the Democrat is not vulnerable in the retention of this seat - is not that list dealing with retention? If the seat was not in play anymore (a Zinga win), it would be #1 on the list.

Can one come to the conclusion that Zinga has an advantage in fundraising? I do not believe that this answer will be known for 2-weeks.

At 6/29/2006 10:04 PM, Blogger nicodemus said...

IHG: I have read this statement of yours about 5 times and I still don't understand what this means or what you mean to say. Does you not know how to talk?!

Zinga has the fundraising advantage because Phil Hare has to start from scratch raising money. That is a "comparative advantage". I realize that $200,000 is only about 20% of what Zinga needs, but it's still a helluva lot more than zero, which is what Hare has.

At 6/30/2006 6:49 AM, Blogger IHG said...

Sorry nic, I read it myself after posting and I must have been in a great rush. I am as confused at the garbled wording as you!

My point is that the fact that the race was taken off of the list tells me that they believe that the seat will remain in the hands of the Democrats, (as the list is specific to seats that are vulnerable to a switch).

As for fundraising, history tells us that Zinga is challenged in fundraising (2004 general election and the 2006 primary she performed rather poorly in each). Hare being "Lane's boy" can lean on the Evans sources for money (special interests and unions) and in a seat that the national Dem's absolutely cannot lose, has far more weapons at his disposal with respect to fundraising. Did Zinga have a 50-day advantage, sure, but Hare has so many more fundraising advantages...

Again, I apologize for the earlier post...I'll make certain to be awake from now on!

At 6/30/2006 8:24 PM, Blogger nicodemus said...

We'll see what the National GOP does. The 17th district Republicans always seem to come up short. McHard and Baker were empty suits.
I support women in the political arena and am well satisfied with Mrs. Zinga. She mentioned Lane's health one time and one time only, in her announcement speech, and it backfired and the Dems played it like a banjo. Now I am afraid that she is tainted. But then it turns out that she was right about his health problems. This should have exonerated her and she can say "I told you so", but people still aren't giving her credit.
Let me ask you this: Let's pretend for a moment that this congressional race was an open primary and that it wasn't rigged like it was: What Republicans do you think would have run? Do they have anybody viable?

At 7/01/2006 4:20 PM, Blogger JUST-THE-FACTS said...

I do not like either one of these candidates. Can Mark Schwiebert still run as an independent?

At 7/05/2006 9:09 AM, Blogger Sue Preston said...

I saw Phil Hare at the 4th of July parade and he looked awful. This man needs to be a roll model for our children and to see him so overweight is a bad standard for our children. get some self respect if not for you for the people that you want to represent. Andrea Zinga is a good roll model for our children.

At 7/05/2006 2:43 PM, Blogger del said...

What makes Zinga such a good role model? The fact that she's not overweight? I guess it's all about looks for shallow people.

At 7/07/2006 1:06 PM, Blogger Craig said...

No del, it's the fact that she has soooooo much respect for citizens with disiblities. Also, she is a good civic role model because she didn't vote until she was on the ballot in Rock Island County. O yea, and she is skeleton skinny, something everyone should strive to be.

At 7/08/2006 1:57 AM, Blogger Scott said...

I've heard some crazy statements, but this takes the cake. We should vote based on a person's wieght. Well, there goes Teddy Roosevelt.

At 7/08/2006 3:26 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

You're absolutely correct. If your vote is influenced by someone's body type or appearance, you're not serious.

Unfortunately, the public has been trained and brainwashed for decades by adverstising, etc. to make judgements of a person's worth, intelligence, etc. based solely on looks, including weight, height, and of course, race.

Consider that anyone wearing a beard or facial hair wouldn't stand a chance of being elected president today. (or someone who's bald, for that matter) Kind of weird, but a fact that shows how appearance conscious the public is.

To allow any of those factors to play a role in deciding who to vote for is shallow and irresponsible.

At 7/08/2006 1:30 PM, Blogger Scott said...

Agreed. If you look back at our Presidents, you will find that not many were "electable" in our present sense of the word.

Washington: bad teeth
Lincoln: isn't going to win a beauty pageant
TR: Overweight
Taft: Extremely overweight
FDR: Disabled (Andrea Zinga would say he was unable to handle the job)
etc, etc, etc

At 7/10/2006 3:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll remember all of this stuff you folks are saying about ugly fat bald guys and gold you to it if I ever run for office.

At 7/10/2006 5:03 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Huck, all that superficial stuff only applies to presidential contests...

You can be as old, fat, or bald as you wannna be and run for anything else. Look at Henry Waxman, who's bald, and a few others. There's also many legislators who have facial hair, and lord knows there's a glut of those who are old and fat.

At 7/10/2006 5:39 PM, Blogger Scott said...

Anyone who questions if ugly guys can get elected, I direct your attention to Dennis Kucenich and Phil Hare. (Sorry Phil, but I'm ugly with you)

At 7/10/2006 6:43 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Again Scott, I think the beauty paegant aspect only applies to presidential contests.

There's a slew of politicians in the capitol who look like their faces caught on fire and someone put it out with a bag of nickels. (not to mention some of the female legislators.)

And don't even get me started on the weird phenomena of "D.C. Hair".

Where these guys come off thinking that they'd rather look like some circus clown than have skin showing on their heads is beyond me. (and hell, half the time you can see tons of skin, despite their heroic efforts.)

There must be architects working on the physics of some of the comb-overs I've seen.

But alas, we lost one of the true vanguards of hair style in D.C. when they sent James Trafficant up the river.

And if I had a dollar for every hairpiece that looked like roadkill or obvious dye job, I'd be a rich man.

At 7/10/2006 9:37 PM, Blogger nicodemus said...

Scott, Dennis Kucinich didn't do so well in his presidential campaign.

Dope, you are right. "Au natural" is the way to go. But many of us were glad when Lane stopped using a tupperware bowl to cut his hair.

DC's Worst hair is probably a tossup between Sen. Byron Dorgan's combover and the "green toupee" worn by the old Delaware Senator Bill Roth. (I think it was mold)
Something to ponder: If a politician can't be honest with his/her own looks, can they be honest with anything else? And I gotta give him credit, Lane Evans got re-elected many times with his Moe Howard haircut. Not too shabby.

At 7/11/2006 12:39 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

ha! Well, Lane's haircut was nothing if not "honest", that's for certain.

At 7/11/2006 12:56 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

ha! Well, Lane's haircut was nothing if not "honest", that's for certain.

And how could I forget that Roth guy??! OMG... what an incredible rug!

Your first clue is that here's this lush, thick, shiny mop of generic grey hair stuck on top of this face that is so old, wrinkled, and lined that it looks like the guy could be the last surviving Civil War vet.

He looks like one of those dried apple faces with the scalp of a particularly hairy 20 year old plopped on it. Absolutely ludicrous.

And of course, we shouldn't leave out the amiable dunce himself, Ronald Reagan, who continued to insist into his 80's that he didn't dye his hair.

Ohhhhhhhh kaaaaaaay.

And on the other side of the aisle, we had Joe Biden's plug job. That came off well. He looked like a freaking 50 cent doll head there for a while until the plugs filled out, with neat rows of little clumps of hair planted in his scalp.

And there's Sen. Levin, whom I like a lot, but who still bothers to comb about 4 foot long strands of hair over his bald spot for some reason, kinda like Homer Simpson.

And old Trent Lott, Mr. Helmet Hair himself. His hair looks like it's been varnished into place. He must put his hair on a rack each night before he goes to bed. (It's also reported that he re-starches and irons his shirts after they come back from the cleaners.)

The list goes on, but there's clearly some bizarre and troubling thing that happens to men when they get to D.C. that causes them to go to such perfectly ridiculous and vain extremes to attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of the public. (or comb the hair over the bald spot, as it were)

It's truly as if they think that no matter how obviously ancient they are, they MUST do whatever trick is known to science to try to pretend that they're not over 40.

It's simply bizarre and disturbing, don't you think?

At 7/11/2006 12:55 PM, Blogger Scott said...

nicodemus, I guarantee that Kucinich didn't lose the primary due to his hair, and for some reason the people of Ohio still like the guy.

At 7/18/2006 11:42 PM, Blogger youngdem503 said...

how about the Phil-a-buster kicking Zinga in the nuts on fundraising? (and yes I'm pretty sure she has them)

At 7/19/2006 3:06 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Well, you gotta have a pair if you think that being a talking head on teevee qualifies you in any way, shape, or form to be a United States representative.

I mean, that takes some cojones.

At 7/29/2006 9:31 AM, Blogger Lootie said...

You know Dope your a typical LEFTIST that moderates differing views. maybe this is why I am not shocked that once again the PEOPLE of the 17th get the SHAFT with no lube.

I hope you call the PC police and have them shove your moderation straight up your Che wanna be @SS

At 7/29/2006 3:14 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

So.. what's your point? Besides calling a bunch of stupid names, your comment makes no sense.

I moderate different views so now I'm some radical leftist that you hate?

Maybe you should kick your dog instead of venting your unfocused, irrational bile here. No, don't do that. Just have another beer and fondle some guns or something.

Thanks for the intelligent debate.

At 8/04/2006 10:26 AM, Blogger Craig said...

I was doing some research and no one is predicting this to be that close of a race. CQ and a bunch of other prediction sites and polls have Phil winning by 5 to 10 points.

What do you think Dope? What is your prediction.
I'm not trying to use it against you, or throw it back in your face at all just wanted to know what you thought.

Other than that I will see you at drinking liberally tonight.

At 8/04/2006 3:21 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Well Craig,
I like to avoid predictions, as it seems to me that there are just too many variables to have any real ability to say what a result would be.

But since you pressed me, I'd have to say I imagine that Hare will win by a pretty comfortable margin, barring any big scandals or mistakes.

The infusion of money from the national Republican organization could make it tighter than it otherwise would have been, but I truly don't see Zinga making too much progress.

I've not seen any data, but I don't see the district swinging to R to the extent that Zinga would have a good shot.

The danger is always there that Dems might sit on their hands, so turnout will be a bit more crucial for Hare than it otherwise might be.

But with all that said, if I had to bet, I'd put my money on Hare.

I suppose you want a margin?

I'd go with your 10 points.

But again, what do I know? So many things can change.

Perhaps a better way to put it is that the race is Hare's to lose, and I doubt that will happen.

At 8/04/2006 3:43 PM, Blogger Craig said...

Thanks for the input, just wanting to know a local view on the race.

At 8/04/2006 4:15 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Well there it is. Now you know what I think.

But there's many people out there with more information, more data, and more experience that could give you a much more informed guess.

I believe there was a thread over at The Passing Parade recently where for no apparent reason, people started to leave their predictions on the outcomes of local races.

That's a good place to check out.

As the election gets nearer, I imagine I'll ask for reader's predicitions at that time and see where the gurus are at.

At 8/06/2006 5:44 PM, Blogger Craig said...

Why Phil Hare needs to be our next Congressman....

I just got back from an event of Phil's and I was amazed. He seemed to want to know everyone in the room, granted over 60% of the people there have known Phil for years, but he made an honest to God attempt to talk to all of the upwards of 150 people there. This may not seem like much, but in the day when Congress is becoming so distant from what the people want it is good to see someone speaking as a concerned citizen, that wants to help others out. Phil spoke tonight as well he brought up the recent debate that he had with Andrea Zinga and he told us, as he did at the debate, the one or two things he would focus on when he gets to Washington. His answer was simple and concise.
1) Fix the mess caused with the new Medicaid bill, and rewrite it by members of Congress not major pharmaceuticals
2) Provide all the benefits that were promised to every veteran

These two issues, goals were so simple it astounded me. Instead of talking about something meaningless like flag burning or banning gay marriage, he spoke about something that matters. He went on to say that he would try to do these things as well.
-Make health care a right, not a privilege
-Work for labor to make sure that the pensions aren't cut, and trying to keep jobs here
*He did mention that although it would be hard to beat Lane's 100% voting record for labor, he would match it.

These are simple goals and simple things we need to have done. The last thing I want to mention, Phil brought up a month or so ago when I saw him. We need to hire teachers in this country not testers, and we need to focus on funding the public schools, and helping to keep our children competitive in the global economy.

It is for these things and many more that we need to send Phil Hare to Congress.

*Notice I mentioned nothing negative about Andrea Zinga. Would her supporters give Phil the same courtesy?

At 8/07/2006 1:17 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Craig, I appreciate your comments on Phil and know you're sincere, but I can't help but observe that you seem to be awfully easy to impress.

A politician says they want to fix Medicaid and give veterans the benefits they deserve and it sounds like you were awestruck.

It's either getting pitifully easy to be a candidate these days or voters no longer expect anything at all from them.

When people think it's extrordinary and remarkable that a poltician mentions two "gimme" no brainer issues and does what polticians do, namely, shake hands and try to meet as many people as possible, I'd say that the bar has sunk pretty much to the ground.

I'm sure there's more reasons for your support than what you mentioned, but I sometimes am stunned at just how little it takes to impress some people.

At 8/07/2006 2:05 AM, Blogger Craig said...

No, Dope I really think that just those two gimme issues is impressive enough. What has Congress talked about these last two months.

Banning Gay marriage
Flag Burning
Deadlock Immigration
Estate Tax
Vote down the minimum wage increase

So, you see it is getting very easy to impress. I wish that Congress would focus on any of the issues Phil spoke about, and I feel that as soon as Speaker Pelosi sets the docket that will change.

Also, I don't think these are stump issues for Phil, I think he really wants to help.

At 8/07/2006 3:10 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I'm sure that Hare is sincere about wanting to do something about both of those issues, medicaid which is near impossible, and of course, veterans justice, which I'm sure he'll be very committed to.

But all the things you list that congress is wasting time on are REPUBLICAN agenda items.

If you're suggesting that Hare is better than a Republican, that's not a high bar to clear.

Unless the Dems get a majority, neither Hare or anyone else will be able to do much about all the phoney-baloney issues that this fundementalist influenced crowd of right wingers insist on fiddling with while the country (and the mideast) burns around them.

But I sincerely think we should expect a bit more than shaking hands and pledging action on a couple universally popular issues before we begin to feel someone is really special.

At 8/07/2006 3:13 PM, Blogger IHG said...

It certainly is not tough to come up with one, two or four key issues.

Mr. Hare has come up with two - good for him. How does he propose to fix all the problems with Medicare bill - and fully fund the veterans. Admirable goals both, but HOW does he plan to do this? (Everyone in DC believes in what Mr. Hare has stated, but, to date, these problems exist).

It is nice to say, "healthcare should be a right, not a priveldge" - but what does that look like and how on earth does one fund it - and how does one overcome the FACT that no where on earth has a system like this worked anywhere close to how US citizens will DEMAND that their own personal healthcare work?

Again, easy issues to identify - challenging, at best, to try to find a solution.

I am not picking on Mr. Hare or anyone else, but the fact is that the QUESTIONS are easy, it is the ANSWERS that seem to be problematic. I'd be quite impressed if Mr. Hare actually came up with a rational thought on how to make these things happen - other than 'tax the rich.'

At 8/15/2006 11:25 AM, Blogger illinidem said...

I agree that it is easier to identify issues than it is to propose solutions. I disagree with your premise that everyone in Washington agrees with what Hare is proposing. Clearly the Republicans do not agree with either the need to fix the new Medicare Part D prescription plan or fully funding Veteran’s benefits based upon their actions. At least Mr. Hare is identifying specific programs. Ms. Zinga seems content to go along with whatever the Republican leadership identifies as her priorities.

I have heard specific proposals from Hare on fixing the Medicare Part D mess. At the same event that prompted this line of discussion he said that he wanted to simplify the plans, allow CMS (the agency which manages Medicare programs) to negotiate for better pricing, and not have the pharmaceutical companies administer these programs.

As for Veteran’s benefits, it is a matter of spending priorities. Do we continue to cut taxes in the face of deficits that cripple the United States economically and strategically? In IHG’s post, the poster calls for anything other than “tax the rich”, but how about an equitable tax system? The most recent proposal to tie a minimum wage increase to estate tax repeal would have resulted in about a $1,200 increase for those making minimum wage versus a multi-million dollar tax cut for the richest 1%. I think it is intellectually dishonest to limit debates on public programs by saying you can’t include tax adjustment discussions. Revenues and expenses have to play into every policy discussion.

At 8/15/2006 11:29 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Well said IlliniDem.

At 8/16/2006 1:41 PM, Blogger IHG said...


You stated that, "the 'minimum wage/ estate tax' bill would have resulted in about a $1,200 increase for those making minimum wage versus a multi-million dollar tax cut for the richest 1%."

I have to call bull****!

(1) Someone making minimum wage pays no income tax. People making twice the minimum wage do not pay income taxes. Please identify where on earth you come up with such a wild claim.

(2) Yes, a permanent repeal of the estate tax will benefit the rich - and even I as a Conservative do not see the logic of a full repeal (I do support modifications however). However, your statement leads one to believe that the poor get an annual tax hike (which is blatently false in any sense of the word) and that the rich get a annual (and big) "tax cut". In reality, there is a one-time (upon death) benefit.

At 8/16/2006 2:47 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Allow me to step in here and at least note that you seem to be incapable of conceiving that there's any other taxes than income taxes.

You contantly base your arguments and figures on that alone while ignoring the miriad of other taxes that lower and middle class people are hit with every day.

Secondly, Tiz never said he was referring to only income taxes, yet you challenge his statement while assuming he was.


At 8/16/2006 4:08 PM, Blogger IHG said...

Please do not deflect the question.


Thank you -

At 8/17/2006 9:38 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I'm not "deflecting" anything Mowen, and you surely know that.

I'm just trying to stop you from arguing oranges when tiz didn't specify he was talking about oranges at all.

If anything, YOU are trying to alter the discussion by not so subtly changing what is being argued by limiting it to only federal income taxes which weren't even mentioned by tiz.

Go ahead and ask your question, I'm not trying to "deflect" anything, but don't continue to try to narrow the subject.

I'm sure Tiz can give a good answer if he ever notices that you've challenged him.

I'll say it once again, slowly. Don't try to rebut someone who makes a statement about total tax burden on certain groups by throwing out assertions based solely on income taxes.

Just trying to keep you honest, which isn't easy.

I hope Tiz returns to answer you sometime soon.

At 8/17/2006 10:01 AM, Blogger IHG said...

Come on Dope, your response to the incorrect post that included,

"would have resulted in about a $1,200.00 increase for those making minimum wage", was

"Well said, IlliniDem."

So, if you think that his post was so great and you agree with it (which is a reasonable assumption, is it not, based on your response), let's ask you to elaborate on the $1,200 tax increase for the minimum-wage worker (which is a full 11.4% tax-incrase).

He said it.
You agreed with it (without figuring out that it has no fiber of truth), and
Now you dodge it.

He is going to duck the request for verification - and you will as well.

Standard operating procedure for liberals - make something up and HOPE that no one calls you on it. If they do, call them a name and deflect the call for facts.

Can ANYONE back up the claim?

I was fair in agreeing that the Estate Tax cut is wrong. The Estate Tax needs to be modified, not repealed. Why can't ultra-liberals deal with the same reason?

At 8/17/2006 11:47 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Jim, here's a tip for ya.

If you don't think something someone writes is accurate, it's your duty to prove it wrong, not yammer and demand that they back it up.

You show how it's wrong, then they can dispute that if they wish.

I'm not going to spend my time researching data in someone else's comments just because you, of all people, demand it.

YOU go figure out if it's correct.

For God's sake, if I demanded that you back up all the crazy stuff you assert, we'd be here for eternity.

I'm sure tiz can back it up, but I'll leave that up to them.

At 8/17/2006 11:56 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

OOOPs... I've been making a bad mistake. For some reason I thought you were responding to a comment by commenter "Tiz". That was mistaken.

It's "IlliniDem" who you are disputing.

I hope they'll come around and oblige your desire to get set straight.

At 8/17/2006 11:57 AM, Blogger IHG said...

Dope, how am I supposed to prove that something that is absolutely made up is wrong? I have provided links to IRS websites on my blog.

Do you want me to find a document that states,

"The minimum wage bill does not include a tax hike of $1,200 for those making minimum wage."

He made it up - and a made up fact like this cannot be disproved - IT NEEDS TO BE PROVED.

As I predicted, he will duck it - and so will you.

I at least was hoping that you might have a little dignity and integrity to state that, "I do not know this to be true and I agree with you Jim, that the logic behind it seems a little flawed.'

Like, I said, ultra-liberals make something up, throw it out ther and hope it sticks. When they get caught, they duck the questions.

Thank you for proving me right.


At 8/17/2006 12:08 PM, Blogger IHG said...


We seem to always be disagreeing. I do not want to be thought of as rude, obnoxious, whatever. We look at the world differntly, that is ok. You certainly have a right to be wrong. :)

I do, however, want to commend you on posting all responses, I do believe that by doing so you show great integrity.

Thank you - Jim

At 8/17/2006 12:12 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I always have posted any comments which were within bounds and didn't contain wild personal attacks or vicious non-sense.

But in your case, I was happy to post your stuff.

To me, it was the "give 'em enough rope..." sort of thing.

At 8/17/2006 12:22 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

In response to your comment at 11:58


Are you nuts?

Now I don't have any decency or dignity if I don't freaking AGREE with you? What sort of pompous ass thinks that way?

What if I DON'T feel that "the logic is flawed"?? What then?

What freaking "dignity" is there in agreeing with you just so you can feel better?

I'm almost tempted to do it because you're grasping at straws and it's almost pitiful.

And for once and for all, would you STOP ACTING LIKE YOU'RE STUPID?

Or is it even an act?

If you don't think the figures are correct, find something that shows that they're not.

That's not impossible, so why would you even suggest it is?

You dance all over the freaking place to an embarassing degree, you haven't proved a damn thing, you haven't added any facts to the argument, and you haven't proved anything whatsoever.

All you have to offer is grade school bullshit and trite cliche's.

You're an endless font of excuses, whining that you can't understand something or don't get something or saying essentially "I know you are, but what am I??" blah, blah, blah.

Yet you're so arrogant or desperate that you think I'm some wild radical IF I DON'T AGREE WITH YOU??!!!!!

Why should I, Jim? Can you tell me why I should if I just don't?

You've not provided any reason why I should. You don't back up your views or assertions with any credible arguments.

Why should I agree with anything you say, when I happen to either know it's wrong or feel what you advocate would be a dangerous mistake?

Is that what you consider "dignity"? Is that what it would take in your mind to prove I'm "reasonable" or not "partisan"???

For me to agree with you?

OK, Fine. I'll agree with you.

As soon as you say anything that makes any sense, or that I actually agreew with, I'm there.

Otherwise, save all your sanctimonious claptrap about dignity and all that other horseshit.

I'm sorry, but until you make a case, I simply am not going to roll over and agree with you just so your feelings won't be hurt.


I've got to go to a dentist appt. which will be a lot less painful than dealing with this crap.

At 8/17/2006 12:25 PM, Blogger IHG said...

Dope, this has nothing to do with 'agreeing with me."

It has to do with an ultra-liberal post that made an outlandish and totally fabricated 'fact' up.

You agreed with the post.

I have done nothing other than asked IlliniDem or yourself to provide proof of the fabrication.

I have not gotten on you for not agreeing with me, but for getting behind a utterly rediculous fabrication (a tax of 11.4% of the income of a minimum wage individual (when income taxes are not even collected from someone until approximately $25,000))) - and ducking the request to prove that the statement was anything but fabrication.

You are an intelligent person, you now know that the statement was made up. I don't understand why you just would not make a statement to that effect rather than ducking the subject and putting it off on IllniDem.

At 8/17/2006 1:35 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Jim, I'm simply tired of your (hopefully) willful ignorance.

Illinidem didn't say "income taxes", yet that's your entire argument, that minimum wage people don't pay income tax.

As I've said about four times now, there are other taxes besides income tax, and Illinidem didn't specify what taxes he was talking about... so why insist on discussion income taxes ONLY?

I mean, how many times, and in how many different ways do I have to try to get this through to you?

You simply refuse to think or understand.

I don't know if the figures are correct or not, but I certainly agree with the premise of Illinidem's comment, and I think that whether the numbers cited were off or not really doesn't change the truth of the statement in any substantial way anyway.

Secondly, I DON'T know the statement was made up, and neither do you. Period.

And again, you plainly stated that I didn't have the dignity and all the other crap to agree with you and admit that the figures were wrong or made up. Do I have to quote you? Why are you so deliberatly dense?

Here ya go,
"I at least was hoping that you might have a little dignity and integrity to state that, "I do not know this to be true and I agree with you Jim, that the logic behind it seems a little flawed."

What the hell else does that perfectly plain statement by you mean, Jim?

It clearly says that, well, exactly what it says. That you hoped I'd have "a little dignity and integrity" and essentially say, "Yeah Jim, you're right."


I do have dignity and integrity, and I simply don't agree with you. OK?

I'm not getting into whether the figures are "made up" or not. I have no idea, and frankly, it wouldn't change my opinion of the comment even if it were.

So you and Illinidem battle it out.

Trying to discuss or argue things with you is like trying to nail Jello to the wall. You act dumb as a way of pretending you don't get it.

That's pathetic.

All I can say at this point is, whatever.

I'm done with it.

You and Illinidem deal with this.

I'm out.

At 8/17/2006 2:05 PM, Blogger IHG said...

Thnks for the continued dodge.

All I have ever asked was for someone to back up the statement that "the minimum wage bill is going to raise the taxes of minimum wage workers by $1,200"

I do not care if you answer this, or IlliniDem.

I do not care if this is income taxes, or sales taxes (how on earhth that can happen, I will love to see).

But for you to say, "how am I to know if it is made up" - you have got to be kidding me?

This is so rediculously and logically false that any reasonably intelligent person knows that it catagorically cannot be true.

The simple fact is that it was an easy 'fit' into your hybrid-socialist thinking (those greedy rich bastards!) that to you, it had to be true.

You know it, that is why (1) you are blowing agasket every time you respond, and (2) have avoided trying to address the statement (or its inability to be correct) in every way possible.

I will not hold my breath waiting for IlliniDem, or you, to deal with this - you have repeatedly proven my point.

Thank you - Jim

At 8/17/2006 2:56 PM, Blogger IHG said...

Dope I just read your response of 1:35 again...

You stated that 'I am not getteing into whetehr the figures are made up or not. I have no idea, and frankly, it wouldn't change my opinion of the comment even if it were true."

So, Dope - what you are saying is that -

"as long as a lie benefits the ultra-left/ hybrid-socialist agenda, it is ok! Truth be damned if it furthers my beliefs!"

Shocking - screw the truth - further the agenda! I sincerely appreciate you helping me to understand the thought process of the ultra-left.


At 8/17/2006 4:38 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Um.. no.
That's NOT what I'm saying.

I don't think that particular figure is something that the entire comment hinges on.

The dollar amount doesn't change the basic thrust of the comment in any way.

You're free to obsess over whether IlliniDem's figures are exact or not, but I don't have time for it.

When you do the research and figure out if they're "made up" as you say, or if Illinidem provides a source, then I'll check back in.

Otherwise, this is past ridiculous.

At 8/17/2006 4:43 PM, Blogger IHG said...

Dope, I am saying that there is no increased tax burden on the minimum wage person (unless one wants to be rediculous and say that if they earn (and spend) an additional $2,000, they will pay sales tax on those expenditures, then ok, there may be a $100 issue), but to suggest that there is a $1,200 tax liability - NO!

False, lies, fabrication - regardless of degree. And no amount of fudging will make that post reflective of the truth.

IlliniDem is a periodic (at least) and likely consistent commenter, he has deliberately ducked a response because his post was 100% liberal lies - and you bought it hook, line and sinker.

Your disregard for logic and the truth (and passing it off as 'degree') is not right.


At 8/17/2006 5:27 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

That's bullshit.

I say I'm not concerned about whether Illinidem's figures are correct or not and suddenly I have "no regard for logic or the truth" about anything?

You're a very strange man, not the least because of your near obsession with this relatively meaningless issue. (whether the figure is right or not)

Secondly, it's pretty odd that you're in a rush to assume that Illinidem is "ducking" your question.

No one knows that, nor could they.

Previous to the comment in question, Illinidem hadn't commented for a week or more. I can count his comments on one hand. I wouldn't exactly call him a frequent visitor.

This entire thing has gotten so ridiculous that i barely remember the comment you're so fixated on.

Go ahead, say it's a wrong figure. Maybe it is? Who knows?
You don't. I don't.

I haven't tried to look it up, and neither have you. Frankly, I don't even care at this point.

And the fact of the matter is, that even if it's wrong, how does that change anything? Why all the wasted energy and attempts at incredibly broad slurs?

In other words, beyond insisting that someone agree with you that the figures are wrong, what's your point?

I'm done. This is stupid.

Go ahead, have the last word if it's that important.

At 8/17/2006 11:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TID, perhaps after Labor Day, when the Hare Zinga race might actually start becoming a race, would you post a fresh new "Hare/Zinga Discussion" so I don't have to scroll through this incomprehensibly incongruous, irrational, dirt-road-off-topic exchange every time I visit?

At 8/18/2006 2:13 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...


HA! Amen to that brother. That's an excellent suggestion and one which I'll take you up on.

We can archive this thread and provide a link should anyone want to re-read the pearls of wisdom contained within.

However, should I forget, don't hesitate to remind me.

I was planning on re-jiggering things a little once, as you correctly put it, this actually becomes a race.

At 8/18/2006 12:37 PM, Blogger nicodemus said...

You are correct and now I can say that I agree with you: the 17th is looking LESS and LESS like a race. And I hate to finally admit it, but you were right: Phil wins by default.

Zinga's website has not been updated since July 4th. Looks like she has thrown in the towel.

Nobody thought Phil could catch up in fundraising. But he did and rather quickly I might add. It was nothing short of amazing.

I saw an AP article in this morning's newspaper about female congressional candidates in "swing" races. You guessed it, former CNN anchor Andrea Zinga was NOT even mentioned. (Duckworth was). I was disappointed.

If the Republicans could have seen this one coming...who do they have in the entire district who would have been viable and would have made this the competitive race that it shoulda been?!

At 9/20/2006 1:15 PM, Anonymous truthsayer said...

I've not lived in the 17th CD long, but it seems that in some counties the truly saavy Republican politicians run as Democrats to get elected. While, that may work to keep the Dems in the majority it actually hurts both parties.

First of all it gives the Dems an identity crisis because of a lack of concensus and secondly it leaves the GOP with fewer candidates.

At 10/13/2006 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting that all the Republicans that come to the QC area do nothing for Zinga - yet Hare has had many Democrats in town.

My goodness, even Haring get's the former gov - and he does not even make a stop-over at a Zinga event.

She is toast!
Still kind of offended that she is the nominee, as though getting blown out by Evans was not bad enough, now she is going to get blown out by Hare (who most Dem's don't even like).

At 10/13/2006 11:45 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

It's almost pathetic isn't it?

But judging from his writings on his blog I think old Jim Mowen would have embarassed himself even worse than Zinga.

I think he would have been an even more entertaining train-wreck when his off-kilter beliefs dribbled out, which they would have.

I think a reporter or an opponent could pretty much get him to blow up his entire candidacy if they simply asked the right questions.

At 10/15/2006 6:49 PM, Blogger Craig said...

So, should we ask Zinga if we should start profiling Yankee's pitchers?

At 10/16/2006 7:49 PM, Anonymous Nicodemus said...

Nicodemus writes at 7:42 10/16/06:

Phil Hare chose not to submit an NRA questionnaire, so it seems that he is trying to ride the fence. The gun owners and sportsmen in his constituency deserve to know where he stands. There was speculation that Phil would be more supportive of gun owners' issues than was Lane Evans (which isn't hard). Still, he can't have it both ways. Whose side is he on?

Where has Phil ever gone on record as supporting extending the "assault weapons" ban? And what is his definition of "common sense gun laws"? That is an oxymoron if I ever heard one.

(comment moved from unrelated thread - ed.)

At 10/17/2006 1:23 PM, Blogger illinidem said...

Nic – Do you really think there are no “common-sense gun laws”? I don’t think it’s unreasonable at all to provide a higher standard of control for assault weapons, 50 caliber weapons and armor piercing rounds and I have heard Hare specifically say that during debates and at public events.

At 10/23/2006 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Illini Dem, you are absolutely correct.

At 10/26/2006 7:37 AM, Blogger IHG said...

We have some serious issues in the midwest in general and the 17th District of Illinois leads the way.

Job losses (specifically manufacturing), economic stagnation, few decent replacement jobs, shrinking tax base, population decline, not retaining our young people, etc...

The national economy, although sluggish presently, has enjoyed 17+/- quarters of economic growth and we have enjoyed years and years of stagnation.

While this has many many causes, Lane Evans did little to help in this arena. This is not a knock, it's just not an arena that he understood.

I see no leadership in this area from either Phil Hare or Andra Zinga, not because they don't care, but because neither would have a clue where to start or what to do.

The result, a Representative that can provide no value in the one area that we need true leadership. The 17th loses regardless of who wins.

Jim Mowen

At 10/30/2006 2:47 PM, Anonymous Rock Island -R- said...

It seems as though the D/A agrees with Mr. Mowen - judging from this mornings (reluctant) endorsement (for Hare).

I agree as well and wish that Mr. Mowen was not on the sidelines.

At 10/31/2006 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim Mowen lost to Andrea Zinga within his own party. What more can be said. He is a loser and a right wing nut that the voters passed over for a washed up ex-TV personality.
He was worse than Zinga.
Try not to talk Mowen. You are better when you are quiet.

At 10/31/2006 10:51 AM, Blogger IHG said...

A wonderfully insightful comment from...oh, what a shock, someone that does not even use their own name!

It never ceases to amaze me, the people that criticize those who take a 'visible' stand - from a position of anonimity.

You state that I am better off being quite - you, my friend, are better off remaining anonymous!

If you would like to make a comment specific to the earlier post, then go for it. But your foolish name-calling conveys a great deal about you - and those that think like you.

Have a wonderful day...

Jim Mowen

At 10/31/2006 11:01 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Not to be too harsh, Jim, but your views would be just as objectionable whether you used your real name or not.

The fact that you don't have a "person" to attack or lash back at should be of no importance.

You're right to expect them to provide reasons for their opinions, but demanding their name is irelevant.

You can refute or respond to the views/logic/opinion/veracity of the comment or the person who left it. It's utterly unecessary to attack the the person by their real name.

And of course, you have the same oportunity to be anonymous as everyone else.

As a matter of fact, you choose to use "IHG" which has nothing to do with your name.

At 10/31/2006 1:04 PM, Blogger IHG said...

Dope, the issue is someone choosing to personally attack another individual - and not having the backbone to stand up and be counted.

If the person wanted to discuss an issue, comment on something that I said, and do so anonymously - ok. But to make a statement that had little to do with anything stated - to knock me because I hapen to lose a Primary, seems quite senseless...to knock someone for standing up and trying to make a difference (whether you agree with that persons position or not) while hiding your face, well, seems quite spineless.


At 10/31/2006 1:18 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Spineless? Perhaps. Harsh, yeah. They're just expressing a dim view and why.

A cheap shot? Yeah, I'll give you that.

And as I said, you're right to expect people to back up what they say, but I'm not sure I'd go as far as to say that someone can't bang on a public figure without revealing their names first.

If this bugs you, what would it be like if you had won? You'd be beaten up one side and down the other, and not always by people who signed their names.

It's not pleasant, but again, you did throw your hat in the ring as someone who wanted to make decisions affecting people's lives and well-being. And you also freely make your identity known. So I suppose you're not immune to this sort of harsh criticism.

The irony here is that if you chose to be anonymous, then people couldn't attack you personally. They'd have to deal with your views and opinion, as you'd rather that they do.

At 10/31/2006 9:35 PM, Anonymous IHG said...

Again Dope, I really could not care about the mindless comments of someone that says, "he is a right-wing nut who got passed over for an ex-TV personality."

The disappointment that I tried to share was, 'what has this got to do with the comments that I posted (specific to jobs and the economy?'

We have real issues in this District, in this State, and this is the mindless dribble that is posted? What a shame...yes, I lost to Zinga, does this person think that I am going to be wounded over a reminder of this?

Come on, add to the dialogue in a positive manner. We all have far too much at stake in this area to lower the dialogue to such dribble.


At 11/01/2006 1:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm, this isn't the Hare/Zinga thread I thought it would evolve into.

I'm trying (hard) to look past the cheapness of the cheapshot anonymous comment, and perhaps a rehash of the GOP primary isn't the core of the comment....but:
Why did more Repbulicans vote for Zinga than Jim Mowen? Was it because of his ideas? Did Republicans choose Zinga's lack of ideas over Jim's ideas? Were his ideas too far right to compete district-wide in the eyes of Republicans? Did they like Jim's ideas and simply dislike Jim. Is the anonymous commenter trying to say that since Jim didn't make it out of the primary that his ideas are worthless to the district?

We do have real economic issues in the 17th that haven't been aggressively addressed. I'm not sure that a U.S congressman can be the one that deserves the blame, except that there is a crowd of sheep that tends to push for status quo politically. If there was a grass roots push from within the Dems, there'd more folks besides myself who get summarily dropped from party invites and mailings, as long as the status quo power base keeps control.

I'd think that the state government would have more to do with local economics, but there are certainly issues. I'm not displeased at all with what I've seen Mike Jacobs do.

So what's the core problem, Maybe hard stands on wedge issues like abortion are preventing local GOP folks from succeeding (or at least challenging the status quo) here? Maybe union money is pulling Dems away from entrepenurial progress?

I don't know. I guess we'll have two years to see how our district plays out.

P.S. Jim, gotta ask, why did you delete the blog?

At 11/01/2006 3:22 PM, Blogger IHG said...

I deleted the blog because (1) it was taking up too much time, and (2) I discovered that the world of blogging is awfully inconsequential. Even TID, which seems to be well run and reasonably well read, still has such a tiny audience. (Generally) Only a few ultra-left comments are made - and it just became clear to me that it was a tremendous waste of my time.

Other than The Passing Parade that at least generates reasonable comments, everything else seems to be too combative.

Thanks for asking!

(Although I have to say blogs do provide great comedy at times!)


At 11/01/2006 5:06 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Jim, Not sure what you're baseing your idea that I have a tiny audience, but I'm averaging just shy of 400 visits per day.

While that's miniscule compared to major national blogs, it's a far sight better than any other independent local blog.

Blogging isn't as easy as most people think. It takes a lot of time and it takes a lot out of you. It's not a walk in the park, as I'm sure you found out.

At 11/02/2006 11:08 AM, Blogger IHG said...


Again, not trying to insult you in any way. My thinking is only that most people that hit your site hit it more than once a day. Some, if they are in a dialogue, possibly 5 or more times. 400 hits in no way means 400-people. In a market of 370,000 people (QC-MSA) and a region at least twice that size, even a successful blog like yours is a far cry from what I thought the blog world was.

Again, you do a wonderful job with your site and the time that you put in shows.


At 11/02/2006 1:41 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

This is obviously off topic... but....

I take your point, which I guess it's that you thought a blog in this area would attract hundreds of thousands of readers?

I never had that illusion, being thrilled that anyone read it at all.

You can't sit down and look at population figures and think it's going to corellate to blog readers. That's a big mistake.

I certainly have noticed that MANY people have wildly erroneous ideas of what a blog is, how they work, etc. etc.

And one of the most common, and the most simplistic mistake made is judging a blog's traffic by the number of comments left or inferring that since many commenters are regulars, that it means that the visitors are all the same people visiting numerous times a day, as you have.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. It would seem obvious that there's more people visiting and reading the blog by a factor of about a hundred than those who leave comments. Let's say 350 visits in a day and about 10 comments? Clearly the vast majority of readers do not leave comments.

Judging from some of the simply outrageous reactions to my blog and the many threats, attacks, and blackmail attempts, it seems to be clear that there are many people who seems to think that TID is somehow more influential than it likely is.

In the primary, it was clear that some thought I could influence the results of elections, an idea I find preposterous.

I've never figured out why people considered TID such a threat myself, and I surely can't imagine why they've gone to such lengths to try to threaten and intimidate me or try to control or eliminate TID. It all seems completely stupid.

But while traffic may not be what you'd imagined a blog would get (again, I never had any preconceptions) I would add that tracking records indicate that your assumption that most readers are repeat readers doesn't hold up.

There are many regulars, to be sure, but I get visitors from literally around the world, and many from the region, such as many from Rockford, Quincy, Iowa City, etc.

If you chose to look at it as you do by comparing the total market with the traffic figures, it's true that it has a tiny "market share". But I think that's pretty simplistic.

Who these readers are is the important factor.

First of all, the market isn't the entire population, obviously, but only those who have computers AND internet access. Narrow that down to those who are even aware of blogs, then narrow it again to those who are interested in political affairs, then narrow that down to those who have even heard of the blog through word of mouth or links, and it becomes clear that the numbers aren't near what you apparently imagined.

Could they be larger? I certainly think so. But I chalk it up to this area simply being behind the times as usual. What's been established for some time in urban areas is still something new and mysterious here.

My biggest surprise was just how ignorant of blogs people were around here. It simply amazed me, as they've been around for some time and I was completely familiar with them. I thought there would be at least a sizable minority around here who would feel comfortable with it.

That this didn't materialize is my greatest disappointment and/or failure, depending on if it's possible at all.

Now of course, the local media blogs do much better than TID.

They better.

They advertise their blogs prominently to literally tens of thousands of people DAILY in their newspapers, plus QC Online has all the subscribers to the D/A as well as those who use it as their ISP.

With that sort of massive promotional capability and reach, if you can't get some huge numbers, you might as well give it up.

It's almost a given that they'd get many, many times the readership that an independent blog gets.

Some people also have the misconception that blogs compete with each other, that if one site comes along and gets big traffic, it must hurt the other blogs, or that having more blogs takes away from established blogs.

Not true.

It's not a zero sum game, obviously, and the more blogs there are attracting readers, the more likely the traffic for all blogs is to rise, that is if they provide something people enjoy reading.

I get many referal visits from people coming from The Passing Parade or the D/A's blog page.

So it's kind of a mutually beneficial situation as I see it, not competition.

I regularly send readers to Beydler's page and other blogs and link to the papers nearly daily.

So once you've narrowed the potential reader number down to a more rational number, TID does ok. Whether it's up to it's potential is nothing but a guess. I suppose that if a blog was the greatest thing around and people simply loved it, word would spread. But what is the number of visits that such a blog would reach? It's impossible to say.

If nearly everyone who spent time online and on blogs in the quad cities visited a page, what would that number be? Again, impossible to say.

It's not the sheer numbers of visitors but who those readers are that gives TID some importance.

Readers consist of influential people in the community, the politically active, and opinion leaders from across the legal community, large corporations and businesses, regional colleges and public schools, local government, the military, and federal and state goverments.

It routinely gets sizable traffic from Springfield and Chicago as well as towns and cities around the state and region.

TID logs regular visits from D.C. as well, including both the Senate and House as well as political professionals.

Many businesses now exist which track blogs for corporations and others in order to gather and track public opinion either about their sector or issues, and as such, with RSS feed technology, what appears on TID often appears on dozens of other sites across the country on these aggregator services.

It's also linked to by nearly 80 other websites, which obviously draws a lot of readers from around the country and region.

What you found out by giving it a try is that it's not as simple as putting up a blog an starting to write stuff and the crowds roll in.

If a blog doesn't get recognition, if it doesn't offer a steady stream of content which is interesting to readers, it dies.

That's not easy, is it? ha!

There's a hell of a lot more to it that that, and it's been my experience that nearly no one realizes it or understands what's involved.

If you now do, then I'm very happy to know that at least one other person has a clue.


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