Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Another Memorable Parade

If someone who was unfamiliar with DuPage County's political landscape happened to follow Operation: Turn DuPage Blue as its members marched in Elmhurst's Memorial Day Parade, chances are they would assume that the Democrats were in power locally, or at least a few of them were in office. For as was the case in Elmhurst's St. Patrick's Day Parade, OTDB was met with plenty of rousing cheers, very little negativity and handed out everything it brought -- in this case, approximately 500 business cards. And aside from marching bands, OTDB seemed to have one of the larger contingents in the parade, with far more marchers than accompanied U.S. Congressman Peter Roskam. In a humorous twist, and hopefully a foreshadow of things to come, leading into the parade's main drag, OTDB's 60+ marchers were positioned directly behind a car containing Dennis Rebolletti, the Republican who had barely beat out Joe Vosicky for an Illinois state house seat in Elmhurst's district. Clearly uncomfortable at being dwarfed by the OTDB contingent, Rebolletti -- accompanied only by a driver -- frequently looked behind him with dismay until, thankfully for him, other groups provided a buffer as the parade moved down York St. Watch out Dennis, objects in your rear view mirror may be closer than they appear.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Most Ridiculous Statement Ever.

From last Thursday's NYT:
President [SIC] Bush told Congressional leaders Thursday that he would veto any legislation that weakened federal policies or laws on abortion.

In a two-page letter sent to the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Mr. Bush said his veto threat would apply to any measures that "allow taxpayer dollars to be used for the destruction of human life."

Except, of course, if those humans happen to live in Iraq. Or Iran. Or Afghanistan. Or if they've been convicted of a capital crime by Texas' kangaroo court system. Or....

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Republicans reward VA incompetence

This is CNN:

Months after a politically embarrassing $1 billion shortfall that put veterans' health care in peril, Veterans Affairs officials involved in the foul-up got hefty bonuses ranging up to $33,000.

The list of bonuses to senior career officials at the Veterans Affairs Department in 2006, obtained by The Associated Press, documents a generous package of more than $3.8 million in payments by a financially strapped agency straining to help care for thousands of injured veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Among those receiving payments were a deputy assistant secretary and several regional directors who crafted the VA's flawed budget for 2005 based on misleading accounting. They received performance payments up to $33,000 each, a figure equal to about 20 percent of their annual salaries.

Also receiving a top bonus was the deputy undersecretary for benefits, who helps manage a disability claims system that has a backlog of cases and delays averaging 177 days in getting benefits to injured veterans.

The bonuses were awarded even after government investigators had determined the VA repeatedly miscalculated -- if not deliberately misled taxpayers -- with questionable methods used to justify Bush administration cuts to health care amid a burgeoning Iraq war.

Why does this remind us of some people a little closer to home?

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Calling For Our Help

The Human Rights Campaign is asking for everyone to call their Congressional Rep to weigh in on Thursday's "Hate Crime Bill". Apparently legislators are being so heavily bombarded with calls and emails from the radical right that some are getting very nervous about voting for the bill. Knowing how close we are, that's not good.

Please call Representative Peter Roskam at (202) 225-4561 and ask the staffer that answers the phone these points:

- As a constituent, I am deeply concerned about hate crimes. Do you know whether Rep. Roskam is going to vote YES on the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act?
- [If the answer is yes, thank the staffer and hang up. If it's no, or if they're not sure, urge your representative to vote YES on the bill, using these bullet points as a guide.]
- We must take a strong stand against violence committed against our neighbors for simply being who they are.
- The purpose of our government, first and foremost, is to protect all citizens regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or disability.
- The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act would provide critical resources for local law enforcement agencies, so they can investigate and prosecute hate crimes. Please tell Rep. Roskam to vote yes!

(Note: This information was passed along by an OTDB member)