Thursday, February 09, 2017

Yemen to Uncle Sam: Stop slaughtering our women and children

The tiny, war ravaged country of Yemen kicked Uncle Sam in his proverbial shins (maybe even a bit higher), kicking out our special ops killers who slaughtered a bunch of women and children while leveling their village January 29, in a botched raid against suspected bad guys we kill with impunity around the Middle East. But we're still killing Yemenis with drone bombs and aiding the neighboring Saudis in their murderous war against the Houthi faction in the Yemen civil war. Over 16,000 are dead and a quarter of Yemen's population are starving due, in part, to American support of Saudi involvement. Saudi Arabia is our best bomb buyer, causing defense makers into overdrive to replace US made ordinance depleted in the war. A US commando is also needlessly dead while Uncle wipes egg from his face and rubs the sore spots. How dare little Yemen tell us who we can't kill. Don't they know we're the greatest country on the face of the earth?

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Rauner tops Payton's dazzling runs around defenses

Illinois's primary, secondary and higher educational institutions are sinking from the unprecedented and unconscionable budget crisis Gov. Rauner precipitated on Illinois students two years ago. College cuts are so drastic many of Illinois' best are crossing the border for a stable, well funded education; likely to find employment close by in a state that values infrastructure and business development as well as education. Poorly funded primary and secondary school districts are being shredded, with Chicago's $215 million in lost assistance resulting in cuts to teaching days, teacher salaries, textbook funding, instructional materials, after school programs to name a few. 

But when it comes to his own children, our billionaire governor makes sure they get the hundred thousand dollar treatment. Rauner unwittingly injected his daughter into his 2014 gubernatorial bid when it was discovered he made end run around inspector general James Sullivan who ruled she was ineligible to upgrade from elite North Shore New Trier HS to super elite Chicago Walter Payton Academy. Facing a seemingly impregnable line, Rauner happy-footed around end, calling CPS Chief Arne Duncan, who tickled a subordinate at Payton Academy. Voila! Rauner danced into the end zone as daughter entered Payton Learning Place. Five months later Rauner drops a cool quarter million on his daughter's new school. Completing the Quid Pro Quo? Hmmmmm. 

Though this occurred nine years ago, it's important to remind every student, every parent, every voter of the Rauner educational mantra: for me and mine the tops; the rest of you, the dregs. Even Walter Payton never made a move like that.

Monday, February 06, 2017

After decade Roskam must finally confront issues, voters

My Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-6) must rue the day his 'wild card' candidate Trump was elected president. It unleashed a groundswell of pushback by a sizable minority of Sixth District voters Roskam has ignored for a decade. Roskam has never represented the Sixth District. He serves the 1%, the climate change deniers, the heartless striving to de-insure the 20 million newly covered by the Affordable Care Act, the religious zealots seeking to block women from their gynecologist, the neocons promoting confrontation with Iran, the xenophobes lusting to tear apart undocumented families, among other special interests not connected to decent public service. When a morally compromised con man offered both a path to satisfy these dysfunctional agendas and keep Roskam's similarly inclined base voting for him, Roskam didn't blink, going all in with his vote and support, even though he claimed he'd never condone within his family Trump's bragging about his penchant for sexual assault. So much for decent, responsible leadership on behalf of all his constituents.
Those Sixth District constituents will no longer ignore Roskam's fraudulent stewardship. They have exposed his refusal to serve their needs by confronting him publicly, forcing him to reveal his utter lack of interest, concern, indeed, decency. When 16 citizens showed up for a meeting to discuss his eight year campaign to abolish of Obamacare, his staff cancelled the meeting, citing a reporter present. God forbid the public learn of Roskam's cowardice to engage outraged voters. When 400 showed up to protest his preaching to a closed door choir in support of the Muslim ban, Roskam used the side door coming and going. Only the true believers get to connect with the congressman.
Roskam's imagined lifetime sinecure raking in a cool quarter million a year plus in salary and benefits has suddenly become uncomfortable. He's become the phantom to constituents looking for serious discourse on critical issues of public interest; indeed, life and death. Any congressman who conducts himself that way is not a public servant and is unfit to hold office. But the protests, the negative publicity, the confrontations are just beginning unless Roskam hides in his DC bubble for the next 23 months. And he's finding out his wild card is no joker.