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Celebrating 20 Years of the River Cities’ Reader PDF Print E-mail
Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy and Todd McGreevy   
Thursday, 14 November 2013 09:18

Twenty years of questioning the status quo and providing readers with exhaustive resources and perspectives on all things cultural in the Quad Cities merits some reflection and review. We continue to publish the River Cities’ Reader because it is fulfilling and meaningful.

The Reader is independently owned and operated. It started as a monthly newsprint publication, with a regional circulation in Iowa and Illinois – from Galena to Iowa City to Cedar Rapids to Muscatine to, of course, the Quad Cities. After 20 issues, we reined in our distribution to the Quad Cities and immediate outlying areas. This was 1995, and we made the plunge to publish weekly and lived up to the promise of “Every Wednesday Everywhere” for 13 years. We starting publishing our content on the World Wide Web in 1996 at RCReader.com.

 
Gay-Marriage Bill Clears Path for GOP Candidates PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 10 November 2013 11:00

Perhaps the biggest loser in November 5’s historic passage of a gay-marriage bill in Springfield was the National Organization for Marriage.

The group, based in Washington, DC, has been at the forefront of attempts to stop gay marriage in states throughout the country. A Maine investigation uncovered what it claimed were internal NOM documents about the group’s strategy, including this passage: “The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks – two key Democratic constituencies. Find, equip, energize, and connect African-American spokespeople for marriage; develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay-marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and -women as bigots. No politician wants to take up and push an issue that splits the base of the party.”

The organization tried all that in Illinois, spending tens of thousands of dollars on politically connected consultants and robo-calls into black districts in the spring, summer, and right up until the day of the vote, and holding media-friendly events in the black community. The bill wasn’t called for a vote last spring mainly because black House members were overwhelmed by fervent local opposition.

 
Madigan Makes Another Misstep with “King-Maker” Comment PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 03 November 2013 06:03

The rich irony of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan denouncing somebody for attempting to be a “king-maker” is so obvious and laughable that I can’t help but wonder why a guy who’s been a take-no-prisoners king-maker himself for so long in this state would ever think of saying such a thing.

You may already know the story. The Better Government Association and the Chicago Sun-Times took a look at some of Madigan’s campaign petition-passers to see if they had government jobs.

What they found wasn’t surprising at all. Seventeen of 30 people who passed Madigan’s nominating petitions worked for the government. Another 12 had at one time worked for the government.

 
Government Secrecy Threatens America’s Rule of Law PDF Print E-mail
Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 09:47

The conclusion of John Whitehead’s August commentary “The NSA: The Abyss from Which There Is No Return” (RCReader.com/y/nsa1) deserves serious consideration: “Once you allow the government to start breaking the law, no matter how seemingly justifiable the reason, you relinquish the contract between you and the government that establishes that the government works for and obeys you – the citizen, the employer, the master. And once the government starts operating outside the law, answerable to no one but itself, there’s no way to rein it back in, short of revolution.”

For the past six months, the more egregious mass-surveillance activities of the National Security Agency (NSA) have been disclosed to Americans, confirming our worst fears. Nearly every form of communication we engage in is being recorded and stored for purposes that are seriously unconstitutional, regardless of judicial oversight done in secret by a special court. And even though our leaders, both political and bureaucratic, assure us that its activities are legal, they are only speaking to administrative sanction. This means that the legality of what they are doing is not necessarily constitutional, nor apparently does it need to be when perpetuated under the guise of national security and/or keeping us safe from terrorists.

 
Can Chicago Mayor Get Something Done on Gun Control? PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 27 October 2013 05:11

Back when Richard M. Daley was Chicago’s mayor, Hizzoner would hold a big, splashy press conference every year with cops and prosecutors and crime victims to unveil his new state gun-control legislation.

The Chicago media poobahs would shout their huzzahs, the NRA would fume and raise tons of money from angry members, and then Daley would quietly go back to his job as mayor and nothing much would ever happen in Springfield.

Rahm Emanuel is not Rich Daley.

Mayor Emanuel’s Statehouse lobbyists are engaged in serious talks with the NRA and even the more strident Illinois State Rifle Association (something that Daley would never do, and vice versa) to try to work out a compromise on legislation to force convicted gun-possession violators to remain in prison for a lot longer than they already are. Emanuel himself is said to be actively involved by phone.

 
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