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Is Obama the Next JFK? PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Wednesday, 24 January 2007 02:18

My grandmother tells the story of when she met John F. Kennedy.

It was back in 1959, as Kennedy was still gearing up for his presidential run. Grandma and my grandfather, an active Teamsters Union member and a Democratic precinct committeeman in Kankakee, traveled to Chicago for a labor event featuring JFK.

Kennedy, the story goes, was working the room, and when he made it over to my grandparents he put his arm around my grandmother, kissed her on the cheek, and told my grandfather that he had a "beautiful wife."

Grandma swooned, of course, and decades later when I asked her how she reacted, she joked that she didn't wash that kissed spot on her face for two weeks. To this day, you can't say a bad word about JFK in front of Grandma for fear of risking the evil eye.

Madigan Publicly Bows to "The Messiah" PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Wednesday, 17 January 2007 02:15

You'd think that Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, who is forever being touted as one of the smartest politicians in Illinois history, would have realized long ago that Barack Obama was immensely popular and needed to be treated differently than others. Yet it wasn't until last week that Madigan finally offered a public bow to the man widely considered to be a top-tier candidate for the U.S. presidency in 2008 and who has a rock star's ability to turn grown men and women into giddy teenagers.

Attorney General Could Be on Both Sides of Legal Dispute PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Wednesday, 10 January 2007 02:15

The Better Government Association (BGA) filed a lawsuit last week that could create lots of fireworks. The BGA wants to force Governor Rod Blagojevich to release federal grand- jury subpoenas his administration has been served between January and July of last year.

The BGA initially filed a Freedom of Information Act request last year to pry loose the subpoenas. The Blagojevich administration had made it a standard practice to disclose subpoenas until the feds started nosing around the governor's office itself about a year ago, then all cooperation stopped.

Holiday Wishes for the State’s Politicos PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Wednesday, 27 December 2006 03:11

Dear Santa,

As I look back on things, I realized that you've been pretty darned good to me over the years. You brought me that electric guitar I wanted when I was nine, the telescope I begged for when I was 10, the Daisy Pump-Action BB gun with scope I craved when I was 11, etc., etc., etc.

As I grew older, your presents became more sophisticated. Stereos, vacations, computers, cell phones, fine Irish whiskey. I've just been overwhelmed by your generosity and thoughtfulness. I can't imagine what I've done to deserve your grand beneficence throughout these many years, but, trust me on this one: I've appreciated every gift you've bestowed upon me.

In fact, Santa, you've been so overwhelmingly kind that I hope this year you turned your attention to others and showered them with presents instead. Here's my list of what some people need.

Leader’s European Visit Upsets Some Republicans PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Wednesday, 20 December 2006 02:20

After losing five state Senate seats and ending up on the wrong end of a veto-proof majority, there's bound to be a lot of second-guessing and finger-pointing. But Senate Republican Leader Frank Watson probably did himself no favors by going to Europe for 10 days just a month before the November election.

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