Tag: Illinois

The Times They Are A-Changin’

Wow:

The momentum continues to build for same sex marriage in Illinois.

On Wednesday, Pat Brady, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, said he was putting his “full support” behind marriage equality legislation pending in Springfield.

“More and more Americans understand that if two people want to make a lifelong commitment to each other, government should not stand in their way,” Brady said. “Giving gay and lesbian couples the freedom to get married honors the best conservative principles. It strengthens families and reinforces a key Republican value – that the law should treat all citizens equally.”

“Importantly, the pending legislation would protect the freedom of religion,” Brady added. “No church or religious organization would ever be required to perform a union with which it disagrees.”

I’m actually not surprised. Gay marriage won in four elections this year and the tide has clearly turned, especially with young voters. Moreover, the tide is turning among conservatives, who see this as a way to better integrate gays into the broader society. The GOP is slowly moving toward a much more defensible position: allowing gay marriage while protecting the right of churches to define marriage as they see fit. There is a wedge here: the Obama Administration attacked the ministerial exemption last year and was soundly thrashed by a unanimous Supreme Court. With the ministerial exemption now resting on extremely solid constitutional footing, the GOP can pivot on marriage and allow it for those who want it.

This is yet another hopeful sign that the fever is breaking in the GOP and they are moving not necessarily toward moderation, per se, but toward a more practical and sensible approach to governing. If they can find a straddle that respects both sides of the culture wars — as this one seems to — it will allow them to make inroads in Democratic constituencies and defuse some of more contentious issues in politics.

But more important than that is that it’s a step toward getting government out of our private lives, for good or ill. For that lone, this is a good thing.

Proof is in the pudding..

A while back, when we where debating the democrat’s demand that they be allowed to raise taxes as part of the strategy being looked at to bring the outrageous and out of control government spending that has been going on since the democrats took control of congress and the purse strings back in 2007. Some of us pointed out how horrible an idea allowing them to raise revenue now , while pretending to make cuts a decade down the line, would turn out. Those of us that understand the tax-and-spend nanny-staters and the way the real world worked, pointed out that all extra revenue would do was encourage these crooks to keep spending or even spend more. And those cuts ten years down the line would, based on historical precedent, never happen. In short we would end up with more spending and higher taxes, and the same if not a bigger budget gap.

Look, the LSM and the left have fooled a lot of people into believing democrats can be fiscally responsible by pretending the boom Clinton years happened because him instead of despite him. The fact is that Clinton was dragged kicking and screaming after the 1994 election into cutting government bloat – and while the welfare state took a big hit because of the contract with America a lot of those savings also came at the expense of military spending – by a republican controlled congress. Slick Willy signed the spending bills congress gave him because he liked the power to prowl on chubby interns and needed to keep power to thwart anyone investigating his lying more than he liked or believed the bullshit collectivist policies that democrats falsely claim will address all the injustices of the world. But the truth is that democrats, and especially today’s crop of democrats, have zero intent or ability to do anything about managing the bloat in government.

So, you can understand why those of us that grasp these basic facts about democrats and how they use tax payers, remained baffled by those that somehow thought allowing democrats to raise revenue – that is code for steal more money from the productive through taxation – before we got immediate concrete and hard cuts was a good idea. Maybe those that agreed with the democrats though they where serious about fixing this financial mess we are in. I for one see nothing that indicates that. They sure ass hell pretend they wanted to, but that’s all I see. Lucky for those of us that they wanted to fleece, these crooks didn’t get their way in that fight. And I should point out that despite that victory, which was hollow, we didn’t get any serious cuts either. But if you will allow me the latitude, I can point at a real and current example where the democrats promised their constituents that if they where allowed to raise taxes – to the tune of an unbelievable 67% on income taxes coupled with a big jump in corporate taxes as well – they would solve all their fiscal problems in one fell swoop.

Enter the democrat owned state of Illinois, where the current Campaigner in Chief cut his teeth learning all the best dirty political tricks, and their plan to tax their deficit and debt away. One year ago the people of Illinois where sold the whopper that if they allowed their political masters to tax the productive even harder, they would finally close the fiscal gap and be able to pay for the utopian socially just system all these leftists pine for. Reality however is that things are just as bad if not worse, now that the nanny staters got more revenue:

As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, officially, the state has a backlog of more than $4.25 billion in unpaid bills. Illinois State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says when one factors in other bills, the figure is closer to around $8.5 billion. Those other outstanding bills include tax refunds, employee health insurance, and bills that have not yet reached her desk.

Topinka says this is extremely disappointing, since a year ago, the state sharply increased income taxes (by 67 percent) and corporate taxes. “After the largest tax hike in our history, the state continues to be in this precarious fiscal position with persistent payment delays, and frankly, the situation is unlikely to significantly improve in the near term,” she said.

Heh! Disappointing? Seriously, was that a joke? So you drastically jack up taxes but the corrupt bunch of crooks that have been screwing the people of Illinois for decades now still can’t close the debt gap? Really? How surprising is that to all those that where advocating we should have let the clique of crooks that learned their ways from the bunch running Illinois do the same to us to cover the $1.3 trillion annual deficit? It isn’t to me. You let the big government nanny-staters that get their power from a bloated government everyone depends on get more revenue to feed the monster, and they are not only not going to bother to try and get things under control, but actually just spend more. Yeah, this piece doesn’t mention that they are doing that, but only a blinkered fool would think given this massive tax hike, that they end up billions in the red still without both the revenue stream not being as big as they expected AND the spending going up.

What could be the solution to this morass and impasse that remains despite the big tax hike? Well, from the article we get:

Some state officials say the solution is more borrowing to pay the bills, but Topinka says the solution is to cut spending.

Heh, some want to keep doing more of the same old stuff that got them into trouble in the first place. What’s the definition of insanity again? I am however surprised most of them don’t feel they should just jack taxes up again. Maybe they do feel that way but they simply do not say so. Or the author of the article neglects to point that out for some reason. Who knows? But what I am certain about is that Topinka’s solution – to cut spending – will never be entertained. Where is the opportunity for graft and power expansion in that? Don’t for a second kid yourself into thinking these crooks care about the people that elected them either beyond doing whatever token gestures are needed to secure enough votes to keep their cushy jobs. That’s nonsense. Remember how allowing the nanny staters to implement “revenue increases” always turns out the next time we hear some democrat tell us that raising taxes needs to be part of a comprehensive package. One where they tax us now, or even retroactively, but promise cuts a decade from now.

Photography Is Not A Crime

It would appear that there’s a rebellion going on in Illinois. Illinois is one of the few states that will bring felony charges against people who record cops. Earlier this year, a jury basically nullified that law when they refused to convict a woman who recorded internal affairs cops pressuring her to drop a harassment complaint. Now … this:

An Illinois judge ruled the state’s eavesdropping law unconstitutional as applied to a man who faced up to to 75 years in prison for secretly recording his encounters with police officers and a judge.

“A statute intended to prevent unwarranted intrusions into a citizen’s privacy cannot be used as a shield for public officials who cannot assert a comparable right of privacy in their public duties,” the judge wrote in his decision dismissing the five counts of eavesdropping charges against defendant Michael Allison.

“Such action impedes the free flow of information concerning public officials and violates the First Amendment right to gather such information,” he wrote.

Damn. Fucking. Straight.

We have to enjoy our small victories like this; they don’t come often. But a strong consensus is building for the digital age among conservatives, liberals and everyone in between: photography is not a crime. You have the right to record public officials when they’re acting badly. And they don’t have the right to shut you up.

Start scattering, guys. The lights are going on.

Blago Goes Down

Enjoy prison, asshole:

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was found guilty Monday of 17 out of 20 federal corruption charges — including all charges tied to allegations that the Chicago Democrat tried to trade an appointment to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama.

That’s two convicted governors in a row. Another one and Illinois wins the coveted “How the Fuck Do You Guys Screen Your Governors” Award.

Of the counts, 11 of them involved the alleged sale of Obama’s vacated Senate seat — nine wire fraud counts, as well as conspiracy to commit extortion, attempted extortion and conspiracy to solicit a bribe. Prosecutors broke down the case into five alleged shakedown schemes, including regarding the Senate seat and charged that he held up official acts on the Illinois Tollway, horse-racing legislation, a school grant and on Children’s Memorial Hospital while demanding campaign contributions.

The jury’s decision in this trial came after Blagojevich made his biggest legal gambit, deciding to take the witness stand in his own defense. Blagojevich did not testify during his first trial.

Not surprisingly, to those of us who have followed the smug asshole’s career, he didn’t do himself any favors there. His testimony apparently was the turning point for the jury.

I don’t know if Aaron still reads us, but he’s got to be dancing over this. One of the most corrupt governors in America has finally gotten justice.