UIUC College Dems

This blog is published by the UIUC College Democrats. We focus on state and local politics, but are willing to discuss pretty much anything.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Who will Chair the County Board?

The Champaign County Board will swear in its new members tonight at its organizational meeting. The board will also elect a new Chair, who will serve a two year term. The position of Champaign County Board Chair is a quasi-full time job and pays $30,000 a year. The chair has considerable influence, most importantly the power to appoint members of county boards such as the CUMTD and the Public Health District.

Who will be the new boss? Will it be the same as the old boss? (yes I couldn't resists The Who lyric). As of the time of this post, it looks like this will be the vote breakdown on the first ballot: 12 votes for Republican John Jay (there are 12 members of the Republican caucus), 11 votes for former County Board Vice Chair Tony Fabri (the Democratic caucus minus the Wysocki crew), and 4 votes for incumbent Chair Barb Wysocki (Wysocki, Beckett, McGinty and newcomer Carrie Melin).

It takes a majority, 14 votes, to win election as Chair. That means there will be a deadlock after one round of voting. That means there will have to be some kind of compromise. Either the Wysocki crew will swing their votes to Jay and have a GOP Chair preside over a Democratic controlled board, or they will come to their senses and vote for Fabri, the duly elected choice of the Democratic caucus.

What will happen? It's still anyone's guess at this point, but I should have an update later tonight.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Your liberal media...

ON MAY 29, 2003, 50 days after the fall of Baghdad, US President George Bush proclaimed a fresh victory for his Administration in Iraq: two small trailers captured by US troops were long-sought mobile "biological laboratories". He declared: "We have found the weapons of mass destruction."

The claim, repeated by top Bush Administration officials for months afterwards, was hailed as a vindication of the decision to go to war. But even as Mr Bush spoke, US intelligence officials possessed powerful evidence that it was not true.[Link]
George W. Bush is a liar.
Although legal experts agree that the president has broad authority to declassify information, there are limits. For example, it is unclear whether a president can override laws designed to protect certain categories of sensitive information, such as a 1982 statute that makes it unlawful to expose the identity of an undercover CIA officer.[Link]
So were trusting this guy to conduct unwarranted wiretaps when he declassifies sensitive information to silence critics even though Wilson was correct and endangering an operative tracking Iranian WMDs? Nepotism had nothing to do with Wilson's assignment, unlike George W. Bush's entire Presidency.
The notion that President Bush held unrealistic or naïve views about the consequences of war was further advanced recently by a Bush supporter, the evangelist Pat Robertson, who revealed that Bush had told him the Iraq invasion would yield no casualties. In addition, in recent days, high-ranking US military officials have complained that the White House did not provide them with adequate resources for the task at hand.
“He told me that as a leader, you can never admit to a mistake,” Herskowitz said. “That was one of the keys to being a leader.”[Link]
We have a LUNATIC for a President.
And then we'll get to the bottom of this and move on. But I want to tell you something -- leaks of classified information are a bad thing. And we've had them -- there's too much leaking in Washington. That's just the way it is. And we've had leaks out of the administrative branch, had leaks out of the legislative branch, and out of the executive branch and the legislative branch, and I've spoken out consistently against them and I want to know who the leakers are.[Link]
Well we sure have gotten to the bottom of it haven't we? George W. Bush is willing to do anything to avoid being held accountable. He puts his person and party over reality while the Right-Wing noise machine and lazy traditional media prevent the American people from ever knowing the truth.

Thursday, March 30, 2006


-So is it Kossacks or Bush who live in a bubble?
-Great satire series at DailyKos.
-Jill Carroll is released then savaged by a lunatic.
-Cool animations about how blue our country is becoming.
-Insurgents in Iraq continue aim at soft targets.
-Seems more like an idol of crass consumerism than pro-life sculpture to me.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


-Bush's chief of staff resigns.
-The immigration bill moving to the Senate has lost much of its teeth.
-Jack Abramoff to be sentenced tomorrow.
-McCain is snuggling up to Jerry Falwell, what a political hack.
-Emptywheel gives a great run-down of the role of pseudonyms in American history.
-PastorDan is promising to take the airwaves back from religious extremists.
-Homeland security is working hard for the pharmaceutical companies.
-We now have a party chairman who will hold Republicans accountable for their actions, which is somehow controversial.

copy/paste update:

Today: at 8:00pm in 213 Greg Hall, Illini PAC is holding a panel on the Israeli elections (also on March 28th). There will be a debate between the three candidates for Prime Minister of Israel (people playing them obviously) and a vote among audience members.

Wednesday: at 8:00pm in 210 Illini Union, a team of College Democrats will debate a team of College Republicans on a wide range of national issues, from Iraq to Social Security. Come cheer on your fellow Democrats!

A day you will forget in the not too distant future: The Annual College Dems Spring Bar Crawl will be on Thursday, April 6th, we'll send out the schedule next week. The t-shirts will be $10 and will be black. The back will feature an FDR campaign poster promoting his opposition to prohibition and will say "Democrats: The party that ended prohibition" and "celebrating the 73rd anniversary of the 21st amendment." If you would like to order a shirt, please e-mail your size to Jake ( smallhor@uiuc.edu).

Election Results: Well it was a good day for incumbents, boring for us blogger underdogs.

Governor- Rod Blagojevich
Treasurer- Alexi Giannoulias
Cook County Board President- John Stroger
3rd District Congress- Dan Lipinski
6th District Congress- Tammy Duckworth
14th District Congress- John Laesch

Sunday, March 26, 2006

What it's like to be poor

It's hard to sleep at night.  Your mind is so anxious with burning thoughts of how to survive can only be calmed by substances, preferable a $1.70 40 oz. of Ice House.  Being poor doesn't justify violence, stealing, or vandalism but it affects every action you take.  It weighs on your mind like a burden, it forces a fatalism onto your every thought and spoken word.  It means walking your sneakers thin and wearing whatever you raided from Old Navy's clearance rack for years.  You cling to all your possessions and your past because it's all you have.

Your dreams are haunted with scenarios that you awake from relieved that it's just your weary imagination. But then reality hits and it's little better. You're always on the brink, waiting for the next disaster that if it doesn't kill you, desensitizes you even more. Thankfully, for now, living in poverty in America still provides many comforts, food is plentiful and cheap, the police guard your safety, there are public libraries, and tv or radio to inform and entertain. You probably don't have a car, so you either adventure to work, school, or the store on unreliable, time-consuming public transportation; walk yourself scrawny, or car pool. Car pooling forces you to associate at work with whoever is friendly enough to take you, but most likely your fast-food job has a turn-over rate so high that soon you'll fell like a car-whore. High-turnover jobs force you to become desensitized to the coming and going of the new same-old-face as they come and go.

But maybe instead of working retail of fast-food you're a janitor, which is like being a better paid but less glamorous house-wife: you're only acknowledged when you mess up. If you're paid by the hour but improve your inefficiency you take home less pay, and for some reason it's physically strenuous jobs like Fed-Ex package handling that don't offer health-care.

Human beings are social animals, and that doesn't change when you're poor. We spend to conform in an attempt to feel secure and live comfortably among friends. The poor like everyone make stupid choices in an attempt to fit-in. It's hard having to see the upper-middle class norm in tv shows, magazines, and movies and not become hopelessly envious which clouds our decisions. It's equally hard to watch people drown in New Orleans or come back from Iraq minus a limb and resist the urge to give what little you have to charity when it may mean missing your rent. Our generosity and weaknesses are scientifically exploited by advertisers who prey upon our insecurities and desires. You slap "all natural" or "reinvested directly back" on anything and it's hard for me to resist buying even if it costs an extra dollar that I really shouldn't be paying.

Money is the prime tension between broken families and marriages, and it's not hard to imagine why (except to the Bush dynasty I'm sure). Living with limited resources forces one to adopt a de-facto Social Darwinism philosophy that no matter how hard you try to combat keeps being proved true again and again. You calculate a parents love by comparing what they do for you compared to another sibling. It makes men feel impotent and any sexual act becomes an expression of frustration rather than love. All your social relationships are affected. Any friendship will naturally wane when you can't go out to eat or on that even-modest spring-break trip when others can. Soon you feel like a parasite and act out, hyper-defensively, to prove you aren't, straining the friendship even more. If you ever do crawl out of poverty you wonder if one of the countless friends that disappeared from your life will one day turn-up on your porch to ask for some ridiculous favor. You fear the nightly-sirens are coming for a friend who crossed that precarious line between desperate and criminal. People wonder why you don't talk about yourself and its because you'll just depress them and yourself.

And even though you might be white, strait, and male you too know what it's like to be pre-judged negatively when your credit card bounces at the grocery store or you're flagged and followed at Wal-Mart by "disguised" security guards because of your worn-out clothes. And it makes you fear taking control of your life and planning your future because your past is full of disaster. You lack job-skills because your family didn't have that spare computer to tinker with. Your public school is full of both wonderful teachers and those who couldn't care less about you because they have their own problems, let alone whatever potentially violent adventures you might face walking home or on the playground that day.

And from the comments of Booman Tribune, you can find the original essay here:

Being poor is getting tired of people wanting you to be grateful.

Being poor is knowing you're being judged.

Being poor is a box of crayons and a $1 coloring book from a community center Santa.

Being poor is checking the coin return slot of every soda machine you go by.

Being poor is deciding that it's all right to base a relationship on shelter.

Being poor is knowing you really shouldn't spend that buck on a Lotto ticket.

Being poor is hoping the register lady will spot you the dime.

Being poor is feeling helpless when your child makes the same mistakes you did, and won't listen to you beg them against doing so.

Being poor is a cough that doesn't go away.

Being poor is making sure you don't spill on the couch, just in case you have to give it back before the lease is up.

Being poor is a $200 paycheck advance from a company that takes $250 when the paycheck comes in.

Being poor is four years of night classes for an Associates of Art degree.

Being poor is a lumpy futon bed.

Being poor is knowing where the shelter is.

Being poor is people who have never been poor wondering why you choose to be so.

Being poor is knowing how hard it is to stop being poor.

Being poor is seeing how few options you have.

Being poor is running in place.

Being poor is people wondering why you didn't leave.

This is the sad reality of our current system:
Being poor means having to pay your bills with money orders because all the banks have you blacklisted and won't let you open a checking account.

Being poor means having to pay a fee to a check-cashing service because you can't open that checking account.

Being poor means having to pay your car insurance bill monthly, including the $3 service charge that you wouldn't have to pay if you could pay the whole bill at once.

Being poor means late charges.

Being poor means higher interest rates.

Being poor means no sick days; if you don't go to work, you don't get paid.

Being poor means having to pay a $50 fine becuase you got a ticket for a busted muffler that you couldn't afford to fix in the first place.

Being poor means throwing mud on your license plates because you couldn't afford to renew them on time, and hoping that you don't get stopped in a roadblock.

Being poor means higher heating bills because you live in poorly-insulated housing.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Ides of March

-So basically the Government now has Googles sex searches, which lord knows what they're going to do with it. If they really are just using it to prevent children from accessing pornography then I suppose it's a good thing. Especially considering this DISGUSTING revelation (gee I wonder why they acted now?). Imagine having those leaked to your mom!
-Disputed number of Iraqi's killed.
-Problems with our only 9-11 Trial, thank goodness bin Laden promised to save us the trouble (good I say, since I oppose capital punishment).
-Read this.
-Why I love the internet.
-Bush caught in another war exaggeration (at least).
-Heh, Clooney's post explained.
-Support Feingold's censure.