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It's been a bit, shall we say, warmish, around these parts for the better part of a week with no relief foreseen for at least a few more days.
MyDD notes the following:
NPR has a new survey on the House out today that was conducted by Democrat Stan Greenberg and Republican Glenn Bolger. This poll is particularly interesting because of the district level detail it offers on the generic ballot question. The poll only focused on the fifty most competitive districts this year, forty of which are held by Republicans, and ten of which are held by Democrats. Here are some of the findings:Take a look at the poll results here. Good news for Democrats across the board.
In the fifty most competitive House districts this year, Democrats lead the generic ballot 48-41. While this is a smaller lead for Democrats than many national polls reveal, it is important to remember that this is primarily a survey of Republican-held. When candidates are named across the fifty districts, Democrats lead 49-43. Within the ten Democratic held districts, Democrats hold a whopping 60-29 advantage. This may only be a sample size of around 200, but these numbers show the tremendous strength of Democratic incumbents around the nation. We hold a 31-point generic ballot advantage in our ten most endangered seats? Amazing. Within the "top tier" Republican held seats (not sure how many districts this included), Democrats hold a sizable 52-42 advantage in the generic ballot. These are the sort of numbers that make a takeover very likely. Within the "bottom tier" of the competitive Republican held seats, Democrats still hold a generic advantage of 47-44. This is particularly amazing. This shows Democratic competitiveness across a wide swatch of districts. Bush is at 45% "strong disapprove" in these districts, and only 24% "strong approve." Remember--these are in districts that Republicans hold. Voters also indicate a high level of enthusiasm to vote, and Demcorats hold a significant edge in that category. However, I'll believe that when I see it, considering low turnout during the primary season so far.
Candidate for Rock Island County Treasurer Lu Ann Kerr is holding a fundraiser tomorrow evening (Fri.) from 5 to 7:00 p.m. at the Milan American Legion, 515 West 1st Avenue.
As noted on the "Iowa's First" blog, a go-to source for information on Iowa's hot 1st district senate race, the Iowa 85th house district race is also attracting some bigfoot national attention, as documented in this Ed Tibbetts piece in the QC Times.
The Bush administration is quietly remaking the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, filling the permanent ranks with lawyers who have strong conservative credentials but little experience in civil rights, according to job application materials obtained by the Globe.Because God knows that if any group is really struggling to get by, suffering horrible discrimination, and being held down, it's white Christians.
The documents show that only 42 percent of the lawyers hired since 2003, after the administration changed the rules to give political appointees more influence in the hiring process, have civil rights experience. In the two years before the change, 77 percent of those who were hired had civil rights backgrounds.
In an acknowledgment of the department's special need to be politically neutral, hiring for career jobs in the Civil Rights Division under all recent administrations, Democratic and Republican, had been handled by civil servants -- not political appointees.
But in the fall of 2002, then-attorney general John Ashcroft changed the procedures. The Civil Rights Division disbanded the hiring committees made up of veteran career lawyers.
At the same time, the kinds of cases the Civil Rights Division is bringing have undergone a shift. The division is bringing fewer voting rights and employment cases involving systematic discrimination against African-Americans, and more alleging reverse discrimination against whites and religious discrimination against Christians.
The funeral of slain serviceman Jerry Tharp of Aledo, cut down by an IED in Iraq, was held in Geneseo Saturday afternoon, attended by The Patriot Guard Riders.
NAME THAT BARN!!! [CHEESY APPLAUSE TRACK]
Add this to the growing mound of evidence that the Bush/Cheney White House truly think they are simnply dictators, above the law, above congress, above the supreme court, and even above their own Justice Dept.
President Bush effectively blocked a Justice Department investigation of the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance program, refusing to give security clearances to attorneys who were attempting to conduct the probe, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Tuesday.
Bush's decision represents an unusually direct and unprecedented White House intervention into an investigation by the Office of Professional Responsibility, the internal affairs office at Justice, according to administration officials and legal experts. It forced OPR to abandon its investigation of the role played by Justice Department officials in authorizing and monitoring the controversial NSA eavesdropping effort.
"Since its creation some 31 years ago, OPR has conducted many highly sensitive investigations involving Executive Branch programs and has obtained access to information classified at the highest levels," chief lawyer H. Marshall Jarrett wrote in a memorandum released Tuesday. "In all those years, OPR has never been prevented from initiating or pursuing an investigation."
In testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Gonzales said that in matters involving access to classified programs, "the president of the United States makes the decision."
Remember that campaign speil where they said Bush would return "honor and dignity" to the White House? I do to.
John Marx, who pens tepid pieces for the Dispatch/Argus featuring what I guess is humor apparently aimed at those who find the comic strip "Nancy" hilarious, today did his thing on his experience getting stuck in a traffic jam waiting for Dick "Dick" Cheney's motorcade to pass.
What's neat about my world is that if I'm covering a big shot -- and Vice President Dick Cheney, aka The Great White Hunter for his ability to shoot a hunting partner in the bee-hind, is a big shot -- I never get stuck in a big-shot roadblock.No, what's neat about your world, John, is that you don't have to know what you're talking about. (and neither apparently, do your editors)
A little more than a year after former city administrator Steve Verdick resigned, the city has named his replacement.This is the guy that seemed absolutely zealous in his quest to give Triumph more and more and yet more breaks, perks, and freebies. He's obviously not a fave of the union either.
Rich Keehner, who was assistant city administrator, was appointed to the position late Monday.
Last year, Mayor John Thodos hadn't wanted to fill the vacant administration post to save the city money. But now East Moline needs someone to focus on duties such as union grievances and contract negotiations, the mayor said.
Representatives of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1234 are unhappy with Mr. Keehner since he's been the prime negotiator with them on a new contract to replace on that expired April 30. AFSCME Council 31 staff representative Dino Leone said that Mr. Keehner's promotion is a "worst-case scenario" for city employees.
If you weren't careful, you may have overlooked the tiny 3.5" column tucked away next to the fold on page A12 of today's Dispatch/Argus, but it reveals that Sen. Dick Durbin has gotten $1.2 million appropriated for the Quad Cities.
Davenport police officers tell protesters marching along River Drive they had orders to collect the wooden sticks on their American flags as a security measure. The marchers demonstrated and raised banners while Vice President Dick Cheney attended a fundraiser in Davenport.
The Rev. Fred Phelp's Westboro Baptist Church, a group of psychopaths if ever there was one, has announced their plans to protest at the Galesburg funeral of Petty Officer 1st Class Jerry Allen Tharp, a Naval Reservist from rural Aledo who was killed by an IED in Iraq.
Anti-gay protesters from a Topeka, Kan., church will picket a U.S. Navy Seabee's funeral in Galesburg Saturday -- the third time the group will descend on the city.Well, there ya go. But are the Quad Cities going to stand idly by while Galesburg beats us in the evilness deparment? I think it demands some studies and PR efforts to turn this around.
Westboro Baptist Church members will be outside the funeral of Petty Officer 1st Class Jerry Allen Tharp, a Naval Reservist from rural Aledo, protest organizer and church member Shirley Phelps-Roper said in a telephone interview Wednesday.
The group believes soldiers are being killed in Iraq because God is punishing the United States, especially its military, for tolerating homosexuality, she said.
Even though Gov. Rod Blagojevich in May signed the "Let Them Rest in Peace Act" barring protests within 200 feet of a funeral site, the law hasn't deterred the group from heading to Galesburg's Bethel Baptist Church for the third time.
Ms. Phelps-Roper said she believes "Galesburg is a particularly evil place" because residents do not serve God.
07/19/2006 1:08 PM AlertThe group is planning to provide honor guard duty at Tharps funeral services in Galesburg as well. I don't think Freddy's gang will want to mess with them.
This is why I do what I do with the Patriot Guard Riders (PGR)...
Last evening/night (Tues, 7/18), I was on a PGR mission, escorting the hearse with a fallen SeaBee and his widow from O’Hare to Aledo (Iowa Border, near Quad Cities).
Flight in with the body was 2 hours late, then the hearse driver got misplaced from the airport to the Park Ridge VFW, so we didn't get on the road until about 10. Police escorted us down 294/88/355/55/80 at up to 95mph – about 12 bikes started from VFW, some others met us along the way to Princeton. Stop at Princeton to gas, meet with more family and more PGR. Had probably 60 bikes (maybe more) on to Aledo.
Starting about 15 miles out from Princeton - other officers and fire personnel were parked, lights on, in the median or on overpasses, at attention, saluting. One overpass had to have had 50 people and police with candles and flags lighted by the LEO's spots.
The truck stop in Princeton that was the gas/meeting point looked like a little city of its own, street and parking lot lined with folks with candles, flags and well wishing signs.
Once off the interstate – at every bump-in-the-road town -- police, fire, residents, lining the sides of the road - again flags, candles, signs and salutes.
The entire town of Aledo was in Central Park with flags and candles – at midnight. Local VFW had a color guard there. Every vehicle that had any kind of flashing light lined the road into town and surrounded the park. The SeaBee's business partner had one of those cement pumping rigs there with the boom extended and a huge flag suspended from it. A bagpiper was playing as we pulled in (order was police escort, PGR, hearse, family cars, Navy cars). The local choir sang the National Anthem, Amazing Grace and his favorite hymn. Buglers played dual trumpet taps.
Not a dry eye in town... certainly not mine.
Family expressed their appreciation, individuals from both VFW’s thanked us for what we do, strangers from the town came by to shake hands or hug and say thanks – and my answer is – “It is Our HONOR to be here”.
It was an expensive night for me - riding at warp speed shredded my large flag, broke the shaft on my small flag, took my CB antenna off and cracked the cover on my airhorns... Due to the delay, I ended up in a B&B room for 5 hours at $60... Then this morning on the way home, passing an odd shaped oversized load that created some weird turbulence, I lost my PGR hat...
AND I"D DO IT ALL AGAIN IN A MINUTE!!!!
PGR - “Riding with Respect”
McHenry County, IL
The Illinois Quad City chapter of Drinking Liberally is gathering tomorrow night (Fri.) at Jack's Place 425 5th Ave. in downtown Moline at 7:30 p.m.
A stubborn "don't bother me with the facts" Bush bucks his own party to gratify the anti-science "know-nothings" on the right.
President Bush, defying a bipartisan majority in Congress and a strong current in public opinion, exercised the first veto of his presidency Wednesday by blocking an expansion of federal support for embryonic stem cell research that he considered immoral.But the American taxpayers arent' asked whether they want their tax dollars to fund the deliberate destruction of literally hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women, and yes, children.
Within hours of Bush's announcement, a House effort to override the veto fell 51 votes short of the required two-thirds majority, effectively killing the bill for the year. The vote for the override was 235 to 193, with 51 Republicans siding against the president.
Bush said the veto was not a setback for science but rather a victory of conscience, as taxpayers should not pay for research that destroys human embryos — even in the service of obtaining stem cells to develop potential cures for disease.
"This bill would support the taking of innocent human life in the hope of finding medical benefits for others," Bush told a crowd of supporters, including children born of the type of fertility clinic embryos that would have been used for research under the bill. "It crosses a moral boundary that our society needs to respect, so I vetoed it."
The bill Bush rejected would have eased restrictions that he imposed in 2001 on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Supporters of the loosened rules decried the veto, saying it had dashed the hopes of American scientists and patients and their families.
"Vetoing this bill is one of the greatest mistakes of his presidency," Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) said.
The most remarkable thing about Bush's decision may not be that he vetoed this particular bill, as he had repeatedly threatened to do. More significant may be that it took so long in his presidency before he vetoed anything.
Every president after James A. Garfield has issued at least one veto, and Garfield served less than a year, in 1881. Thomas Jefferson was the only two-term president to issue no vetoes.
Many Republicans say Bush's extraordinarily long veto-free period is a tribute to how far the GOP-controlled Congress has gone to accommodate him — authorizing the war in Iraq, giving him almost every tax cut he proposed, meeting his overall budget targets.
The president's uncompromising defense of his 2001 stem cell policy, despite changes in the scientific and political landscape over the last five years, is in keeping with a leadership style that his admirers call principled and his detractors call bullheaded.
Even as he vetoed the bill, Bush signed legislation passed unanimously by the House and Senate to address the fears of some critics that scientists were aiming to create "fetal farms" in which human fetuses would be grown for their organs and tissues.
Proponents acknowledged that the law was preemptive, because the procedure was not known to have been practiced on human fetuses.
The stem cell controversy has centered on research that is progressing around the world but is narrowly funded by the U.S. government. It entails destroying human embryos to obtain stem cells, which are thought to be able to develop into any type of cell in the body. Many scientists believe this research may lead to medical insights and cures for diseases such as diabetes and Parkinson's.
In vetoing the legislation, Bush said that "if this bill would have become law, American taxpayers would for the first time in our history be compelled to fund the deliberate destruction of human embryos, and I'm not going to allow it."
[I] recall something I heard an authority say on the news yesterday regarding the current stem cell action (or inaction) in the Republican congress.
The Republican (read fundy) "War on Science" (hey, it's a distortion, but why not borrow one of their tactics?) is truly draggng our country back to the dark ages.
While Bush panders to the know-nothing fundy base and refuses to allow any meaningful stem cell research, other countrys in the world are eating out lunch on the issue.
Biotechnology is going to be the "next big thing" as far as investment and profit goes, and the relatively few fundys which have influence way beyond their numbers are sticking their heads in the sand by believing that a microscopic clump of cells has the moral equivelence of say, a patient suffering from Parkinson's or any number of other debilitating disease.
So while Bush and the fundys try to enforce their rather odd beliefs on us, other countries are going full steam ahead, as they should.
This ensures that our strained economy will be deprived of the lucrative and expanding biotech research and development, and that the U.S. will never be able to take the lead in this area as it should.
Another great moment in stupidity and regressive thought from the Republican right.
Dope, maybe you could post a thread on the stem-cell debate itself and relocate this comment, but I wanted to say it before I forgot I was thinking it.
In debate today, Sen. Santorum and others made the argument that because a significant portion of American did not want to spend federal tax dollars to destroy life, that it was unacceptable for him to vote for the bill. The thought that comes to my mind is that there are a lot of think that I do not want my tax dollars to pay for, and that I would think many others would agree. For example, I would prefer my tax dollars not be spent on the war, and I think polls and public opinion show that a significant portion of the population agree. I find it highly doubtful, however, that Sen. Santorum would respect that and vote to not fund the war.
I can accept many Senators' moral perspective on the issue, although I do not agree. However, I would hope that politicians would keep to that argument without resorting to the nonsense that because many people are opposed to a particular practice tax dollars should not be spent on it.
I've hesitated to put up anything about the recent crisis in the mideast simply because it's so insane, and the information about same has been so incredibly twisted and one-sided that it makes discussion in any rational way difficult.
Here's a bit from St. Joseph, MO based KQTV which deals with the issue of hogs being delivered to slaughter suffering from extreme stress. (though the idea that you can't yell at a hog is kinda odd, considering that they've just been loaded and packed tightly together in a bouncing, swaying semi and driven for great distances. I guess workers may end up being required to take hog sensitivity training?
Another safety issue for Triumph Foods concerns the livestock.You can inject me with drugs, raise me in confinement pens, feed me the waste of other animals, haul me packed in trucks, use stun guns on me, beat me with bars, hang me upside down from chains while you slit my throat and then dunk me in boiling water, tear out my guts and cut me up, but please don't yell at me."
The high heat can be deadly on hogs -- literally stressing them to death.
Triumph loses revenue every time a hog doesn`t make it to slaughter, but that`s not the only concern.
The handling of the hogs could be a food quality issue, and perhaps a legal matter.
Truckloads of hogs ready for slaughter approach Triumph Foods in the dead of the night. It`s the coolest time of day, easing some of the stress put on the hogs.
"The stress of course would be heat and then yelling. Anything that stresses us, stresses [the hogs]--terrifies them," Gary Silverglat, a 30-year veteran of the pork processing industry, says.
University and veterinarian research shows stress in hogs causes lactic acid to build up, resulting in mediocre meat.
"There are hormones in your body that cause the stress condition. In cattle, it`s called `firery carcuses` because when they kill the animal and take the hyde off, the fat would be bloody red, because the blood comes to the surface,similar to when the human body gets excited, your blood goes into stress mode to fight. The same thing happens in hogs, so you want a hog calm when you go to slaughter because the meat will be better," Silverglat says.
But it`s not just the heat or the quality of the meat that worries one animal rights group. KQ2 showed People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, footage of hogs being off loaded at Triumph Foods. Some of the hogs were dead. Others were yelled at and whipped to move off of the truck.
"What we see on this video is cruelty to animals," Bruce Friedrich, vice president of PETA`s international grassroots organization, says.
PETA believes the video may be in violation of state and federal laws.
"The beating the animals until they squeal appears to violate the American Veterinary Medicine protocol for moving pigs to slaughter. The, by definition, it would not be standard agricultural practice, at least by Missouri state law, and it would be illegal," Friedrich says.
The Hare is winning the race this time around, at least when it comes to raking in dough.
Illinois Democratic congressional candidate Phil Hare has surged ahead of Republican opponent Andrea Zinga in the scramble to collect campaign dollars for their 17th District election showdown.Internet donations?? I thought no politician gave a damn about those, and they're stupid and not even worth bothering with, right trolls? (ahem)
Despite having only three weeks of fundraising compared with Zinga’s three months, Hare, of Rock Island, had raised $226,799 by Saturday, the July 15 deadline to report second-quarter campaign donations to the Federal Election Commission. Zinga, of Coal Valley, however, came close to her goal of $200,000, collecting a reported $192,690 since April. That number may be amended, though, with an additional $11,000 in Internet donations that were not officially reported, said her campaign manager, Charlie Johnston.
I don't know why or how I stumble across stuff like this, but I'm kinda glad I do.
I'm very sorrry to hear this came out this way.
Iowa's constitution doesn't bar cities from enforcing municipal laws against things like speeding, a Scott County magistrate judge ruled Monday in a Bettendorf man's challenge of the constitutionality of Davenport's automated traffic cameras.
Thomas Seymour was joined by the American Civil Liberties Union in his challenge of Davenport's authority to create municipal traffic ordinances against speeding, and whether the traffic cameras meet due process requirements or abdicate police power.
In August 2005, Davenport aldermen approved an ordinance authorizing the use of the speed cameras. Tickets issued from speed cameras are civil fines and are sent to the vehicle's owner, not necessarily the person driving.
Randall Wilson of the ACLU of Iowa Foundation argued the main issue was whether Davenport could create the ordinance in the first place. "We say the uniform speeding ticket is the means to enforce speeding. The judge disagreed and we'll study his ruling," he said. "We're inclined to appeal."
In court filings, Mr. Seymour's attorney, Michael McCarthy, argued because the tickets are civil violations and not a simple misdemeanor like a traditional traffic tickets, the ordinance establishing use of the cameras deprives a vehicle owner of federal and state constitutional rights of due process.
"The City of Davenport does not possess the authority to diminish the protections that would be available to the defendant had he been prosecuted under a state statute covering the same subject," Mr. McCarthy's court brief states.
Judge Williamson wrote there is case law that shows cities enforcing municipal infractions, such as speeding, is not prohibited by the Iowa constitution. He denied Mr. Seymour's motion to dismiss the charges and ordered him to pay his $125 ticket.
Mr. Seymour argued his due process was diminished because it is up to the defendant to prove he or she was not the driver of a ticketed vehicle. The judge ruled Mr. Seymour "misses the point" and that the city still must prove a violation occurred and the vehicle was registered to the person who got the ticket.
Judge Williamson's ruling continued on to address Mr. Seymour's argument that the traffic enforcement cameras relinquish authority from the police regarding the fines. The traffic cameras aren't city property, but leased from Redflex Traffic Systems Inc., of Scottsdale, Ariz., and are paid for using proceeds from fines.
The judge ruled that because an officer reviews, signs and files each ticket, the ordinance doesn't conflict with case law preventing police authority from being delegated to private companies.
Chris Jackson, a city attorney handling the case, said when creating the ordinance Davenport's legal department anticipated challenges like this. The ruling "really only applies to Mr. Seymour," Mr. Jackson said. "If this thing goes to the U.S. Supreme Court, this becomes precedent."
I found one of my favorite TV moments on YouTube.
Bettendorf lawyer Brian Kennedy in as Frist's Iowa PAC.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., has hired a Bettendorf lawyer to chair his political action committee’s Iowa efforts.I'm taking bets on whether Frist will run the entire course. Any takers?
Brian Kennedy, who lost a bid for the Republican nomination in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District last month, will head the Volunteer PAC’s Iowa arm. The PAC announced the appointment on Thursday.
Kennedy also said Thursday that Frist will be in Davenport on July 29, when he plans to run the Quad-City Times Bix 7 then campaign for Iowa Statehouse candidate Roby Smith and 1st District congressional candidate Mike Whalen.
Long time publisher of The River Cities Reader and promoter of the arts in the area, Todd McGreevy has apparently branched out into the advertising game. His media and marketing company "Admospheres" has landed a contract with the city of Moline to turn their new fleet of robotic arm garbage trucks into rolling billboards.
Moline aldermen this week moved ahead with a novel idea to wrap their new automated garbage trucks with the colorful, eye-catching advertising we’ve seen around here on MetroLink and CitiBus vehicles.
Moline fleet manager J.D. Schulte estimates the new garbage truck deal will net $12,000 to $15,000 annually from its contract with Admospheres. Admospheres president Todd McGreevy expects to sign his first client to the garbage truck ads by summer’s end.
We’re impressed Moline took the plunge on their five new automated garbage trucks. We’ll be interested to see if it can generate enough money, as Schulte hopes, to cover tires, oil changes and other maintenance on the trucks. In a community loaded with new automated garbage trucks (Davenport, Rock Island and Bettendorf) we hope others are watching, too.
Readers in the Springfield area, come on down.
Pizza Buffet fundraiser for Sangamon County Board Candidate Will Reynolds
Bernie & Betty's Pizza
1101 Spring St, (On the corner of Spring and Allen)
Thursday, August 3rd. 5pm-7pm.
$20 per person. $200 per sponsor.
I hope you'll be able to attend! You can pay at the door or send money in advance to:
P.O. Box 13341
Springfield, IL 62791
Make checks payable to Citizens for Will Reynolds
That seems to be the equation applying to the incident at a Moline bar which resulted in Republican candidate for 36th District state senator Jim Beals' broken jaw.
Just happened to notice this in the sidebar at the very popular Eschaton blog.
Eschaton Approved Candidates
Fundraising totals as of 6/27:
Lois Murphy $15422
Joe Sestak $3622
Ned Lamont $29579
Patrick Murphy $9903
Louise Slaughter $6172
Nick Lampson $1488
Chris Carney $697
Jon Tester $456
Ted Stevens, (R-Alaska), in addition to being a sputtering loon most of the time and the king of pork spending, is the guy who has enormous power over the future of the internet and whether service providers (the corporations such as AT&T and Verizon who own the on-ramps to the information superhighway) are allowed to charge us to view popular sites which utilize a lot of bandwidth. (The "net neutrality" issue).
Judge Vicki Wright of Whiteside County will be the honored guest at aIt is a fact that the right is, and has been, making an enormous and largely effective effort to fill court vacancies at all levels with judges who support their "values", "values" which often are unrecognizable to people with the quaint idea of the rights of individuals, privacy, the right to sue for redress of grievances, even if it's against a large corporation, and other basic premises of justice.
fundraising reception to boost her 3rd Appellate District candidacy on
Wednesday, July 19, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the home of Stewart Winstein (3535-
24th Street in Rock Island). $50 is the fundraising reception ticket price.
Questions? Call 309-786-8337.
The accomplice of Sarah Kolb in the murder and dismemberment of Adrianne Reynolds received 45 years in prison today.
In a packed Rock Island County courtroom, Cory Gregory looked Adrianne Reynolds’ parents in the eye and said he was sorry for the 16-year-old’s murder. About 30 minutes later, he was given the maximum sentence of 45 years for his role in it.