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Blame Can Be Spread Widely for Minimum-Wage Failure PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 07 December 2014 16:41

Pretty much every Statehouse finger of blame was pointing north toward Chicago for the minimum-wage-hike bill’s failure during the legislative veto session that ended last week.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel does indeed have a lot of explaining to do. His decision to move up a vote to pass a $13-an-hour minimum wage for his city completely undercut Springfield’s efforts to pass a statewide minimum wage capped everywhere at $11 an hour.

 
Internet-Gambling Ban: A Winner for Sheldon Adelson, a Losing Bet for the Rest of Us PDF Print E-mail
Guest Commentaries
Written by Ron Paul   
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 09:47

Most Americans, regardless of ideology, oppose “crony capitalism” or “cronyism.” Cronyism is where politicians write laws aimed at helping their favored business beneficiaries. Despite public opposition to cronyism, politicians still seek to use the legislative process to help special interests.

For example, Congress may soon vote on legislation outlawing Internet gambling. It is an open secret, at least inside the Beltway, that this legislation is being considered as a favor to billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson. Mr. Adelson, who is perhaps best known for using his enormous wealth to advance a pro-war foreign policy, is now using his political influence to turn his online competitors into criminals.

 
GOP Legislators Overeager About Appointments PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 23 November 2014 05:13

Whenever a new governor is about to be sworn in, one of the most popular Springfield parlor games is figuring out who is on their way out and who is on their way in.

Of course, when a new governor is sworn in from a different party, the “who is out” part is relatively easy – pretty much everybody without civil-service job protection is out. Governor-elect Bruce Rauner is a Republican who just defeated Democratic Governor Pat Quinn, so almost all of Quinn’s people are surely gone.

But who will Rauner bring in to run the government? I cannot tell you how many times I’m asked that question every day.

Much of the recent local speculation has focused on Republican state legislators, partly because most of the people closest to the outsider Rauner are unknown to the Springfield crowd. Legislators, on the other hand, are very well known. Some of those legislators are not-so-subtly floating their own names; some are just naturally assumed to be on a short list.

As a result, there are so many rumors going around about so many legislators being “sure thing” appointments that I long ago lost track of the count. It seems at times that the number could be half of the Republican caucus.

 
Rauner Should Be Able to Work with Madigan PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 16 November 2014 05:23

Last December, Bruce Rauner appeared on a WLS Radio talk show and revealed that he planned to form a new campaign committee to counter the power of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

“We’re gonna raise a PAC, we’re gonna raise a fund dedicated to the state legislature, members of both parties who take the tough votes,” Rauner said. “We’ve gotta protect the members who take tough votes.”

“Right now,” Rauner continued, “Madigan controls the legislature from his little pot of cash. It isn’t that much money. And he runs the whole state government out of that pot. We need a pro-business, pro-growth, pro-limited-government, pro-tax-reduction PAC down there in Springfield working with the legislature for those who take tough votes.”

Word is that Rauner’s new legislative PAC will be launched relatively soon – perhaps after the governor-elect’s transition committee has finished its job.

 
Iraq War Stories: An Army Nurse’s Perspective PDF Print E-mail
Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy and Ann Hochhausen   
Thursday, 13 November 2014 11:02

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Ann HochhausenOn November 9, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Davenport hosted a most compelling presentation by retired Lieutenant Colonel Ann Hochhausen – Colonel Ho as she is affectionately called. This 27-year veteran in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps shared her experiences and perspective as chief nurse of the 28th Combat Support Hospital (CSH) in Tikrit, Iraq, during 2003 and 2004.

Colonel Ho’s one-year odyssey included serving as one of two chief nurses, in split operations, in large canvas-tent hospitals resourced and manned for 200 beds. This all took place in a hostile desert where they performed more than 1,000 surgeries over just the first four months. The 28th CSH provided care for more than 21,000 coalition military personnel and Iraqi civilians and prisoners of war in the course of its one-year deployment. With her specialty skills in obstetrics and gynecology, Colonel Ho was a rarity in that theater, and she was awarded the Bronze Star for her care of pregnant Iraqi women and their unborn children.

Most Americans cannot fathom the harsh and brutal environment in which the 28th CSH provided compassionate and expert medical care for U.S. soldiers and Iraqi civilians and combatants alike. Our notions of war have been glorified and sanitized to prevent triggering the American people’s collective outrage for such impossible conditions and horrific results.

Colonel Ho’s perspective is critical in conveying the feelings and realities that our military personnel deal with – not just during service, but for the rest of their lives.

 
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