Saturday, January 31, 2015

Bad play; Quinnbowski exits stage left; Raunerfeller enters extreme stage right

It's only been 18 days but I sorely miss The Mighty Quinn. Since the Koch Brothers' dream candidate, Bruce Rauner, took the oath of office as Illinois' 42nd governor, we've experienced his 36% increase in administrative staff salaries, a new six figure administrator to keep wife Diana happy, hiring a Chief Financial Officer notorious for cutting Red State budgets hurting the needy, and telling fut...ure 1% er's at the University of Chicago Business School that Illinois' financial woes are all due to labor unions, state employees and Medicaid recipients. Rauner revels in the drastic flat tax cut that will mainly make his rich backers richer, promotes a sales tax increase that hurts the poor, and disdains a progressive income tax that could really alleviate Illinois' financial mess. Most disgusting of all is the $20 million slush fund he scarfed up since his election to bypass the media and legislature to promote his discredited austerity policies on the same gullible Illinoisans who elected him. Another Illinoisan, Abe Lincoln, said "You can't fool all of the people all of the time." The Rauner corollary is "With enough billionaire wealth, you can fool enough of the people enough of time." If Rauner's fraudulent play on Illinois citizens was on Broadway, it would already have closed. Hold onto your loved ones, folks. We've still got 1,442 days to go.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Backhanded complement of the year

Only 22 days into the new year and the Backhanded Complement of the Year award for 2015 goes to Robert L. Breuder, President of College of DuPage. Breuder received this backhanded complement from the College of DuPage Board of Trustees in their contract addendum specifying the terms of Dr. Breuder's early separation of his employment contract which runs through June, 2019:

"The Board will install a sign on the Homeland Security Education Center naming the building in Dr. Breuder's honor SUBJECT TO THE PRESIDENT MAINTAINING CONDUCT THAT IS NOT MATERIALLY DETRIMENTAL TO THE REPUTATION OF THE BOARD AND/OR THE COLLEGE."
Besides being about as backhanded a complement as could be delivered, the Board's action for protecting the College's and their reputation is a little like closing the barn door after the horses have escaped.

Breuder failed to leave on a high note

College of DuPage President Robert Breuder must have missed Seinfeld episode No. 172, 'The Burning' aired March 18, 1998. The story revolved around one of life's great lessons: leaving a situation on a 'high note'. Jerry counsels George, depressed after he told a bad joke following a good suggestion at a business meeting, that a nightclub comic always saves his best joke for last; then leaves the stage with the audience laughing.

Dr. Breuder stayed one year too long at College of DuPage following 33 years at three community colleges in Pennsylvania and Illinois. In his last year several major scandals erupted on Breuder's watch involving exorbitant spending by Breuder and his Board on extravagant facilities, Board members and on Breuder himself. At last night's Board meeting to approve his severance package worth over $750,000, 400 local residents showed up to protest Breuder's package and condemn his betrayal of students, faculty and taxpayers during his six year tenure. Sixty citizens, including two state representatives, spoke during the public comment section, and every one blasted Breuder and the Board; not a word was uttered on Breuder's behalf. Commenters demanded he not stay another day at COD, not have the Homeland Security Education Center bear his name, and not participate in the search for a successor, least he pick someone with his character.

Given a microphone Dr. Breuder can speak endlessly about his accomplishments at COD. But last night he spoke not a word, the audience wasn't laughing, and when he left the stage he had to look up to look down.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Kirk website a big commercial for the war party

My Illinois Senator Mark Kirk is a danger to Illinois and the nation. Just check out his Senate website There are 14 story links on the home page. Five of them tout his leading effort along with Senator Bob Menendez (D. NJ) to scuttle the delicate IS-Iran negotiations over Iran's nuclear program. Most sensible leaders and pundits are aghast at Kirk & Company's dangerous machinations which are the surest road to war with Iran, something to which Kirk appears oblivious. He has supported every US intervention in the Middle East that have cost trillions in dollars and hundreds of thousands in human beings. Instead of expressing regret for this horrific loss of blood and treasure, Kirk is obsessed in sabotaging our best chance for peace with Iran.

Illinois and America need senators who will put peaceful American interests ahead of the war party. We don't have that in Senator Mark Kirk. He should retire next year instead of running for re-election. If he doesn't we should fire him on Nov 1, 2016. He can always get a job shilling for the war party. But it at least there he can no longer vote for more war, more squandered treasure, and more bloodshed.

Breuder could use an Elvis announcement

In his Trib letter today, lamenting likely reduction in state funding to colleges while touting College of DuPage's massive building campaign and huge surplus, COD President Robert Breuder made this astounding statement:

"With state funding dwindling and caps on our ability to raise taxes, community colleges, like our four-year counterparts, have consistently raised tuition. But College of DuPage reduced tuition this spring for the first time in our history".

That is utter sophism, the use of false arguments to deceive people. Dr. Breuder has been, for his entire six year tenure at COD, a champion tuition increaser. Just last Spring he proposed a huge $6 per hour increase, which was mercifully reduced by the COD Board to $4, still outrageous with COD's massive surplus. Then when Breuder's disgraceful email surfaced showing his cynical ploy to extract $20 million from the state with no approved project booked, he road into the next Board meeting on a white horse, trumpeting a $2 tuition decrease. But he spent a full 10 minutes droning on how his magnanimous action could put the College at risk if the economy sours. The Board wisely doubled his belated initiative to aid students into a $4 reduction, thus wiping out Breuder's entire $6 tuition proposal from just 6 months earlier.

Dr. Breuder is leaving COD early, but not early enough. Today would be a great day for the Board to announce that Dr. Robert L. Breuder has "left the building...for the last time."

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Obama bombs ISIS beheaders; mourns with Saudi beheaders

The other day Saudi gendarmes chased down a lady wanted for murder and chopped her head off in front of mob of cheering locals. She was the tenth head separated from its body and tossed in the Saudi Arabian trash this month, in likely the beheading capital of the planet. Yet while President Obama's war machine is busy bombing suspected ISIS beheaders, he's getting ready to mourn with the Saudi nation over the death of their leader King Abdullah. There is no truth to the rumor that the Saudi's will invite Obama to witness the next Saudi beheading, number 11 in January if your counting heads.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Saudi Arabia no like free thinking blogger

As a blogger who sometimes defends atheists, of which I'm one, and ridicules religious figures when they deserve it, I'm sure glad I don't live in Saudi Arabia. Just ask Raef Badawi, who was recently sentenced to 1,000 lashes for doing just that in the land of the House of Saud. Least you think this sentence extreme, consider that the lashers will humanely dole out the 1,000 over 20 weeks at only 50 per. All things considered, America still a pretty good place to blog in.

New name for venerable news show

On Face The Nation yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R. AZ) was trotted out for hundredth or more time to trash the relatively sane foreign policy of President Obama and call for more war against Iran and Russia. 'Get more boots on the ground to stop Iran', bellowed McCain, 'and start giving arms to our warmongering buddies in Ukraine to stop Russia.' War party stooge, host Bob Schieffer, who feigned incredulity at the president's cautious foreign ...policy explained by White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, brought out McCain with verbal guns blazing. If Schieffer was honest he would have asked McCain why he hooked up with fellow warmongers Carl Gershman, head of the National Endowment for Democracy, and Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs in the fall of 2013, to foment an illegal and immoral coup in Ukraine which started all the bloodshed that has now killed thousands and has whetted McCain's appetite for much, much more.

Face The Nation, which just celebrated it's 60th anniversary, needs a new name. Next time, McCain appears, here is how they should introduce him:

"Today, Sen. John McCain, calling for more needless deaths of innocents around the world, will Face The Warmongering Nation."

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Banks gone...but Minnie still promoting baseball, Sox

The death of Cub great Ernie Banks, first black to play for the Cubs, reminds me that Saturnino Orestes Armas MiƱoso Arrieta, known simply as Minnie Minoso, the first White Sox black to play, is not only still alive at 89 (or maybe 91) but still working for the Sox. Minoso had this to say about Banks' death: "The city belonged to him. "Everywhere you move, they don't just talk about him like a ballplayer. They talk about him like a person." That's Minnie, still connected to the Sox nearly 64 years after his debut on the South Side, hitting a center field homer on the first pitch of his first at bat, May 1, 1951. That, and an early season 14 game winning streak is what made me a Sox fan at age 6. Banks was more fortunate than Minnie, breaking the Cubs' color barrier two and a half years later at just 22. That gave him a full 19 years to pile up stats that got him a first ballot entry into the Hall of Fame. Minnie was 26 (or possibly 28) in his first full Sox season but he still was one of the best left fielders, hitters and base runners of his era for 15 years, 12 with the Sox.
Minnie is still swinging for the Hall fences, and striking out due to forces beyond his control.

If you attend Sox opening day you may see two Minnies; the statute erected in 2004 and the flesh and blood Minnie, the best goodwill ambassador a club could have. Come on Hall voters, put Minnie up their where he belongs  with his north side soul brother "Lets play two" Ernie.