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-Lurid Crime Tales-
Ill Keeping it Classy
Scott Lee Cohen -- a pawnbroker who shocked state Democratic leaders Tuesday night by winning the party's nomination for lieutenant governor -- was arrested about four-and-a-half years ago and accused of holding a knife to a former live-in girlfriend's neck, newly obtained court records show.

The misdemeanor charge against Cohen was dropped weeks later when the woman -- who had just been found guilty of prostitution -- failed to show up to testify, according to those records.

This isn't the only piece of information Republicans might try to use against the Democratic gubernatorial ticket, the other half of which was being sorted out as Gov. Quinn and Dan Hynes ran neck-and-neck with ballots still to be counted.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Beavis || 02/05/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6488 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The only function the lieutenant governor of Illinois serves is to fill in the gap when the current Illinois governor is imprisoned.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 02/05/2010 1:10 Comments || Top||

#2  Oh, come ON! How is this shocking? From the same state where the governor tried to sell Obama's Senate seat? Which resulted in the chain of events that culminated in this election?
Posted by: gromky || 02/05/2010 6:06 Comments || Top||

#3  Well, it's shocking that it got reported.
Posted by: lotp || 02/05/2010 9:10 Comments || Top||

#4  Cohen told anyone who would listen about his arrest and messy divorce. At least one columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times, house organ for the Democratic Party, skated around it FOUR TIMES since March 2009 as did the rest of the Chicago media. Why? Because they are: a) LAZY b)pick the Democrat side in any election or on any issue.
Cohen won his election, his opponents did not bring this issue up during the campaign. Quinns, and the medias immediate reacton was to dump the results of a free election and default to banana republic dictatorship tactics. Cohen isn't the problem, the Chicago Media and the Governor candidate is the problem.
Posted by: Waldemar Gleamp1150 || 02/05/2010 9:41 Comments || Top||

#5  "information Republicans might try to use"

Payback for Ryan?

Couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch of assh*les.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 02/05/2010 10:14 Comments || Top||

#6  An aggressive, ambitious reporter could have a heckuva lotta fun in Chicago providing, of course, that his editors don't muzzle him...or the bosses don't have him whacked.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 02/05/2010 11:46 Comments || Top||

#7  Ebbang Uluque, there are always 'accidents' (or 'potholes' to be 'filled') on the Dan Ryan Expressway.
Posted by: Mullah Richard || 02/05/2010 13:08 Comments || Top||

#8  The word here is that the machine is #*&^%%-ed simply because this guy comes pre-smeared. Nobody's got nothing on him.

The GOP, of course, is thrilled, but need to watch out for the Kirk-Giannoulias race - plenty of mud will be thrown there.
Posted by: Halliburton - Mysterious Conspiracy Division || 02/05/2010 16:49 Comments || Top||

Washington's ears are still plugged
When pollsters ask people about government, politicians, and the direction of the country, a frequently expressed frustrations is that officials aren't listening to their constituents. Signs asking "Are you listening now?" were prominent during the celebration of Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown's victory in the recent special election for the Senate seat. President Obama's insistence that Congress pass his health care reform despite the opposition of a strong majority of Americans illustrates the way Washington thumbs its nose at people beyond the Beltway. Another example is Obama's announcement Thursday of more than $8 billion in economic stimulus grants for 13 high-speed rail transit projects.

The president says these projects should be built because they will put trains capable of traveling at 168 mph on routes between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Tampa and Orlando, Fla., and 11 other "transportation corridors." But the people who will have to pay for these massive spending programs have been voting against heavy rail projects for decades. Automobiles account for 88 percent of all passenger travel in this country, and commercial airlines make up most of the rest. Commercial passenger rail lines -- think Amtrak-- have been money-losing propositions for so long that only continuous infusions of federal tax dollars have kept them operating.

Public administration expert Randal O'Toole told The Examiner that Obama "has effectively committed the federal government to tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars for an obsolete technology that few people will use. California's high-speed rail plan will cost at least $45 billion to $60 billion and the state fully expects the federal government to pick up half the cost. So this initial grant will have to be followed by at least $20 billion more." He also notes that the Florida project's environmental impact statement recently recommended against approval, and that rail is always much more expensive than going by bus or car. That means the few who use the high-speed trains will be wealthier (remember the Concorde?), so once again the middle-class taxpayer gets hit in the wallet to pay for somebody else's ride in life.

There will be those who are quite pleased by the projects, however. As O'Toole points out in his book, "The Best-Laid Plans," rail transit projects mean big bucks for engineering and design firms, construction contractors, rail car manufacturers, and a host of other transit businesses. Does anybody doubt these firms will eagerly show their gratitude with millions of dollars in campaign contributions to the politicians behind the projects?
Posted by: Fred || 02/05/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6525 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I have benefited from engineering contracts for transit in Dallas. (Now I'm working on a big roadway job in DC.) The Dallas transit ridership vastly exceeded initial projections and several communities that had opted out wanted in when they saw it.

A lot of people want an option to sitting in traffic. Metro in DC carries 750,000 people a day, saving some 600,000 trips by car. It, too, suffers from a budget shortfall and will have to raise fares.

The powerful airline lobby and even more powerful highway lobby don't want any funds diverted to other modes.

Subsidized? Get a grip. There's not enough lanes on the roads we have, too many potholes, bridges falling down, and not enough gas-tax revenues. Which came first, the B-52 or the 707? Many airports are disused military facilities - Chicago, Orland, Austin. Who built the new ones - DFW and Dulles? Not the airlines. Do airlines really pay all the costs of air-traffic control?

Because of their powerful lobbies, the public costs of other modes of transportation are not listed on a line called "subsidy". Dallas (Texas) was very nearly a seaport, but the barge companies were not fronting the money. You were.

Do you count the cost of your city streets as part of the cost of driving? Your home's cost included the local streets (and other utilities). Parking lots at the malls are built into the cost you pay for purchases. Free parking? Somebody pays, we just don't have any idea how much.

A lot of you folks here are smarter than this.
Posted by: Bobby || 02/05/2010 6:34 Comments || Top||

#2  Good points, Bobby and thanks for making them.

I'm torn about the whole 'high-speed rail' issue. Sure, nice to have, and perhaps it would take pressure off our transportation grid. I do think we have plenty of options to travel 500 or 1000 miles already. Personally I'd like to make the 30 miles I travel daily to work easier but that's just me.

But there's one reason I'm against high-speed rail right now:

we seriously don't have the money.

The California proposal will be $60 billion (at least). The state pays half. Really? California has $30 billion in change laying around? Someone tell the Governator. And does the Federal government, running a current $1.35 trillion deficit, have the money to put into projects like this?

Show me a state that has a balanced budget right now and can afford to sell bonds for a high-speed rail system. There isn't one.

Even if 'high-speed rail' could be built efficiently and then operated without too much of a subsidy, I'd argue that we can't afford it now. Bring it back sometime when the federal budget is nearly in balance and the states can afford to take on new projects.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/05/2010 8:40 Comments || Top||

#3  Bobby:

Always wanted to chat with someone involved in roadway construction like yourself. I've traveled a bit and have been perplexed at how our roads and bridges continue to, as you say "fall down" while many of the ancient roads and structures in Europe built by predominately by Roman engineers and soldiers, appear to have stood the test of time. I speak of the Ponte Saint-Martin, Pont du Guard, the Alvantara, the stone pillar bridge in Trier to name a few.

Were the Legions of Rome and it's soldiers better trained in engineering and construction, or had programmed obsolescence and the need for future contracts simply not caught on yet?
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/05/2010 8:44 Comments || Top||

#4  One interesting custom of Roman engineering: When an arch on a bridge or viaduct was completed, the man in charge would stand under the arch as the wooden scaffolding was taken down. It's no surprise that so many are still standing.
Posted by: Grunter || 02/05/2010 10:06 Comments || Top||

#5  I'd be interested in hearing what knowledgeable folks have to say.
I have a fuzzy memory from about 25 years ago of someone complaining that the older Chicago tracks and bridges were in better shape than the new El stations and bridges. They suggested that the new structures were "over engineered" for minimal materials use while the old ones were overbuilt with extra safety factors. It sounded plausible, though there might be Chicago-specific factors as well.
I don't suppose the Romans ran a lot of 18-wheelers on their bridges.
Posted by: James || 02/05/2010 10:14 Comments || Top||

#6  Highway construction money has been political money down to the local level with graft and kickbacks and various family connections for generations [google anti-trust highway construction]. Roads could be built at higher related costs of better materials and practices, but then you couldn't put a new contract out sooner to 'repair' them, which is basically ripping up what remains and putting back the same materials. Less opportunity for graft and kickbacks.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/05/2010 10:31 Comments || Top||

#7  Steve, the reason you have a 30 mile problem has much more to do with the geographical spread of population than Transport.

The only way Mass Transit works is if you have a true mass of people to get from point A to B. Because of our development patterns, which have a lot to do with ideas of individual freedom, you can't get enough of a mass at at least one end of the connection.

Look at metro Boston. There are two major ring roads next to which the high tech businesses built. The bedroom communities that provide the workers are spread all over the place. There's no way to make trains effective in such an environment. Time is another key factor. Even with traffic it takes twice as long for me to take a train the 40 miles to Boston as it does to drive. You have to factor in the drive to the train station and the walk/subway to the office as well as the wait between scheduled trains.

If you have very high density domiciles and a high density industrial center this can work, if not, not.

Notice I did not even mention relative cost.
Posted by: AlanC || 02/05/2010 10:42 Comments || Top||

#8  Maybe we could take some baby steps with buses. They don't have to be the stinky, old diesel monstrosities of old with the uncomfortable naugahyde seats. And the way it is at our airports you don't have to go 168 mph to beat an airplane from Anaheim to San Francisco either. Buses are a lot more flexible in that they can go where ever there are roads which is a lot more places than trains or airplanes can go. Buses use existing infrastructure and you can start out with just one bus to see how many people find that it meets their needs. If ridership is good you can add more buses. If ridership declines you can leave a few buses in the parking lot for a while.

Bobby, one question I've always had for road builders is why do they insist on carpool lanes? In San Diego we need more lanes for everybody, not just an elite few, but the only lanes they're building are designated for carpools only. That's my money they're pouring down the drain. Unless you have a fleet of buses to take advantage of them they make absolutely no sense at all. It looks like just one more way that Big Brother is trying to bully people into doing something that doesn't make sense for them. That's what they mean when they say the politicians aren't listening. They just do whatever the hell they want regardless of the reality on the ground.

Marie Antoinette: Did you hear something?

Louis VI: Non.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 02/05/2010 12:14 Comments || Top||

#9  That's Louis XVI. Spell checking doesn't work on Roman numerals.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 02/05/2010 12:28 Comments || Top||

#10  Slugging is the ultimate answer. I recommend a US Bureau of Slugging (USBS), modeled after the highly successful TSA scheme. Free slugger mileage awards and lunches at the Pentagon. Special licensing and fees/gummit insurance for slugger drivers. 'Three rider minimum' to enter the beltway. High fines or vehicle confiscation for repeat violators, inflatable riders, etc.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/05/2010 12:33 Comments || Top||

#11  EU, HOV lanes are a political ploy to "encourage" carpooling, not an engineering solution.

Cost, materials, forecast of use are all factors in Transportation Engineering. Note that before computers (slide rules or a sheet of paper) that the Safety Factors in the design were at least 2-3 times more than was calculated as needed for the design. Meant that things lasted much longer than the design estimate and in many cases almost forever. But--In many cases that structure or road needs to removed as it no longer meets needs or serves the purpose intended and is just in the way of bigger, better, faster, safer.
Posted by: tipover || 02/05/2010 12:38 Comments || Top||

#12  Low bid drives contractors right to the edge and more thorough engineering (computer)analysis drives agency designs closer to the edge.

But that's OK, in 50 years the whole thing is obsolete anyway, (nobody uses the Roman stuff anymore, right?) and if a bridge doesn't fall down every once in a while, we're wasting our money. The Minneapolis bridge that fell had the defect for 40 years before added dead weight from improvements and unbalanced weight from the rehab contractor finally overloaded the factor of safety. The gussets that failed were about half the thickness they should've been.
Posted by: Bobby || 02/05/2010 16:13 Comments || Top||

#13  And I agree with Steve, we don't have the money now.

But in 1969 we went to the moon while maintaining 500,000 troops in another country. Oh, but that was before the Great Society.
Posted by: Bobby || 02/05/2010 16:15 Comments || Top||

#14  Bobby, it was always my understanding that light rail is the darling of leftist politicians because it directly benefits urban populations (is highly visible and benefits them for transportation) and doesn't do anything to help business or commerce.

Why can't some of these projects be heavy rail? Many cities have heavy rail as a part of their transportation systems, and it could have dual use in terms of moving goods. This also has the added benefit of removing trucks from the streets of crowded cities. And it still provides work for folks like you.
Posted by: no mo uro || 02/05/2010 16:36 Comments || Top||

#15  Y'all forget the huge drawback of rail travel, when you get there how do you move about with your automobile parked a couple of hundred miles away?
Plus worying if your wheels are being towed, stolen, or Vandalised.

I think a form of rail that includesauto transport, either roll on/ roll off or towed behind, I'll ride that.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/05/2010 16:46 Comments || Top||

#16  Free parking? Somebody pays, we just don't have any idea how much.
A lot of you folks here are smarter than this.

There's no such thing as a free lunch.
in 1969 we went to the moon
Buddy can you spare a trillion?
Were the Legions of Rome and it's soldiers better trained in engineering and construction Their leadership was thinking in terms of centuries, while our leadership is only thinking of the next election. There are middling-quality houses in Europe that have been used for homes for 250 years, and should last indefinitely into the future. How many homes in the US are like those?
Many cities have heavy rail as a part of their transportation systems, and it could have dual use in terms of moving goods. Chicago can serve as a bad example. It's a choke point for both rail and truck traffic. It would be easier to build a highway and rail bridge across Lake Michigan from southern Wisconsin to NW Indiana than to deal with the political crap heap that is Chicago.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 02/05/2010 18:48 Comments || Top||

#17  Even if they build it, it will probably be too expensive to ride. Look at Amtrak, they have a decent commuter line in the Bay Area that can get you from San Jose, San Fran, Sac. But its expensive, and its subsidized already.
Posted by: Elmick Johnson1148 || 02/05/2010 20:26 Comments || Top||

#18  Not to worry, soon they will suggest we swallow a tiger to get the dog who got the cat and so forth, so all Yurtle the Turtles can be a shell higher.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 02/05/2010 22:52 Comments || Top||

Gangster government targets Toyota
What is it about the automotive industry that inspires such thuggish attitudes in the Obama administration? The Examiner's Michael Barone coined the term "gangster government" to describe threats by the White House last spring against Chrysler creditors who had the temerity to insist that bankruptcy laws be followed in the bailout of the perennially ailing third member of the once-fabled Detroit Big Three. Now along comes Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood muttering darkly that "we're not finished with Toyota" in the controversy over sticking gas pedals in vehicles made and sold in America by the Japanese automaker.

The basis for these threats is little more than anecdote-based suspicions that an electronic malady related to electro-magnetic interference from power lines might be the problem instead of the mechanical wear identified by Toyota engineers. Regardless, LaHood, headline-chasing congressmen like Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and a chorus of Naderite auto safety nannies led by former National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration Administrator Joan Claybrook are demanding that Toyota submit to a punishing new round of subpoenas, hearings, and media inquisition. It's not enough that Toyota -- the auto industry's perennial leader on respected measures of initial and long-term quality -- has already taken the unprecedented step of suspending production and sales of eight of its most popular models, undertaken a crash course to identify the cause of the problem, and guaranteed a fix for every one of the 2.3 million affected owners.

Given the Obama administration's catering to one of its favorite special interest groups, the United Auto Workers union, during the government's bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler last year, it is difficult to avoid wondering whether Toyota has become a victim of the Chicago Way of dealing with competitors. Toyota overtook GM several years ago as the world's leading automaker. The potential of the current sticking gas pedal controversy to inflict damage on Toyota here in its largest single market is seen in the January sales figures. Toyota sales are down 16 percent while GM is up 14 percent (Ford, which declined a government bailout last year, is up 25 percent, while Chrysler is down 8 percent). Keep the controversy going and odds are good that Toyota sales will continue to drop. The biggest losers besides American consumers will be the men and women who own and work at Toyota's 1,200 U.S. dealerships and the 30,000 Americans who build Toyotas in its five factories here. LaHood might as well have said "Nice car company ya got there, be a shame if anything happened to it."
Posted by: Fred || 02/05/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6520 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The basis for these threats is little more than anecdote-based suspicions that an electronic malady related to electro-magnetic interference from power lines might be the problem instead of the mechanical wear identified by Toyota engineers. Too much conspiracy speculation in this article to suit me. This is the only article I've read speculating about 'interference from power lines'. A drive-by-wire throttle system such as Toyota's has more ways to fail than the simple mechanical linkages of days gone by. Of course politicians will let no crisis of any kind go to waste.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 02/05/2010 1:07 Comments || Top||

#2  Well, earlier this week D.C.'s most popular commercial, news, commercial, traffic, commercial, weather, and commercial radio channel made it a point to note some "transportation officals had to travel to Japan in December to remind Toyota of their obligations" to the consumer.

I saw it as another taxpayer-paid vaction to Tokoyo Disney World. Call me cynical.
Posted by: Bobby || 02/05/2010 5:44 Comments || Top||

#3  NY Times quick review of computerized auto controls
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 02/05/2010 5:58 Comments || Top||

#4  No surprise here, other than the media now seems to be tracking it.

I, like I'm sure others here, immediately called it what it was.

Heaven forbid if the media should actually grow a pair and have an opinion on something controversial...

(or should that be 'grow back'?)
Posted by: logi_cal || 02/05/2010 7:10 Comments || Top||

#5  "Maybe if youse guys would let yer workers organize, yer problems might 'go away'."
Posted by: Mullah Richard || 02/05/2010 8:24 Comments || Top||

#6  I hear Mr. Toyota woke up this morning to find a horse's head in his bed.
Posted by: Parabellum || 02/05/2010 8:46 Comments || Top||

#7  The biggest losers besides American consumers

...don't forget those folks employed in Right to Work State Toyota manufacturing facilities.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/05/2010 8:49 Comments || Top||

#8  I doubt that the Chicago gangsters want to mess with the Yakuza.
Posted by: AllahHateMe || 02/05/2010 9:17 Comments || Top||

#9  "Chicago gangsters . . . mess with the Yakuza"

I'd pay damned good money to see that, Allah! :-D
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 02/05/2010 10:11 Comments || Top||

#10  Too much conspiracy speculation in this article to suit me.

Maybe. But there does seem to be a conflict of interest.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 02/05/2010 12:23 Comments || Top||

#11  Ray LaHood has his roots in Illinois Politics, with a lot of connections to Cellini the Asphalt King. He learned bullying from the experts
Posted by: mom || 02/05/2010 13:42 Comments || Top||

Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/05/2010 21:14 Comments || Top||

#13  There does seem to be some gaps in what is going on with this recall, whatever it is people sense they are not getting the whole story. With a fondling media, heavy handed speeches and actions it is no wonder a story like this, true or not, is published.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 02/05/2010 22:28 Comments || Top||

Pennsylvania State Capital Mulls Bankruptcy as a Budget Option
(Bloomberg) -- Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania, will consider Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection along with tax increases and asset sales as options to address $68 million in debt service payments due this year, the chairwoman of a City Council committee said last night.

Every option, including tax and fee increases, bankruptcy and a state takeover through Pennsylvania's Act 47 municipal oversight program will be considered, said Susan Brown-Wilson, chairwoman of the Budget and Finance Committee, which began a week of hearings last night to consider a 2010 spending plan.

The $68 million in debt service payments that Harrisburg faces in connection with the construction of a waste incinerator this year is four times what the city of 47,000 expects to raise through property taxes, and $4 million more than the city's entire proposed operating budget.

"We need to see, what does Act 47 do for us; what does bankruptcy do," Wilson said in an interview during a break in the opening budget hearing at Harrisburg City Hall. "You have to have all of them on the table."

Harrisburg skipped more than $3.5 million in debt-service and swap payments last year, prompting draws on reserves and back-up payments by Dauphin County, where Harrisburg is located. The county has sued the city to recover its payments.

Wilson was among five Council members who voted last year to reject a 2010 budget proposal by former mayor Stephen Reed, who left office last month after 18 years. The proposal would have attempted to cover the debt service costs by selling assets such as an historic downtown market, an island in the Susquehanna River that includes the city's minor-league baseball stadium, and the city's parking, sewer and water systems.

Selling Assets
The plan to raise $69 million by selling downtown features was reinstated last month by Linda Thompson, the newly elected mayor, in a substitute budget. The seven-member council has until Feb. 15 to approve a final 2010 budget.

Brown-Wilson said she would support leasing only city assets that don't generate revenue, as the parking and water systems do.

Carol Cocheres, bond counsel for the incinerator's operator, the Harrisburg Authority, told the city council at a Dec. 14 hearing that the city is already in danger of legal action for payments that were missed last year on $288 million in debt it has guaranteed with its full faith and credit.

"There's never been a default like this in Pennsylvania municipal history," she said. "This is all new territory."
Posted by: Fred || 02/05/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6476 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The poverty evident in Harrisburg is all the more shocking considering the prosperity of the surrounding communities.
Posted by: Pstanley || 02/05/2010 2:51 Comments || Top||

#2  Expect to see lots more of this from other cities, counties and states this year.
Posted by: DarthVader || 02/05/2010 7:38 Comments || Top||

#3  I live here in the Peoples Republic of Pee Aye, and the urban areas are a mess thanks to 40+ years of 1 party (guess which) rule. We have the second oldest population in America after Florida, but those retirees are not living here by choice. More like they are broke (how's that union thing workin' out for ya?) If we could pawn off Philly on NJ and Pittsburgh / Erie on Ohio, we could have a pretty nice state here...
Posted by: M. Murcek || 02/05/2010 11:06 Comments || Top||

#4  Keep one hand on your wallet, California is also desperate for money and is resorting to such worthwhile pursuits as beefing up jay-walking patrols. You haven't seen nuthin yet, its going to get really weird in the next year.
Posted by: Elmick Johnson1148 || 02/05/2010 20:19 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Politix
Sen. Richard Shelby and the horrible hold
Posted by: tipper || 02/05/2010 19:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6501 views] Top|| File under:

Durbin threatens Cohen and Family?
Midway in the article hides this little gem.

"Durbin earlier told WBBM Newsradio 780 that Cohen should leave the ticket and spare himself and his family what lies ahead, but Durbin won't specify what that is. Durbin says Cohen should sit down with somebody he trusts who will explain it to him."
Ev'ryone in Chicago knows what it means to sleep in da River ...
Posted by: Waldemar Gleamp1150 || 02/05/2010 15:40 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6497 views] Top|| File under:

Another Kennedy Seat in Trouble
John Loughlin is not named in the poll, but he may have fared far better than the elected officials who were.

Nearly 6 in 10 registered voters in the First Congressional District would consider another candidate or vote to replace Loughlin's opponent, U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy, according to a WPRI-TV, Channel 12 survey released Thursday night.

The poll offers a snapshot of an abysmal political climate for Democrats that could present serious problems for the eight-term incumbent Kennedy, according to pollster Joseph Fleming.

"It looks like it could be a very competitive race, which we haven't seen in many years," Fleming said, noting that Election Day is still nine months away. "I think people, right now, are really looking at who's in office, and they're considering somebody else."

Kennedy's office declined to respond to the WPRI poll, in which 28 percent of respondents from his district said they'd vote to replace the congressman if the election were held today; 31 percent said they'd consider another candidate; while 35 percent said they'd vote to reelect him.

Loughlin was not mentioned in the telephone poll of registered voters, conducted between Jan. 27 and 31 with a margin of error of at least 3.8 percent.

The Republican state representative downplayed the results, released on the same day he formally announced his candidacy. (Fleming said he had no contact with Loughlin and the timing was a coincidence.)

"At the end of the day, the only poll that counts is Nov. 2. You can't pay too much attention to this," Loughlin said.

Kennedy may have fared the worst, but none of Rhode Island's congressional representatives -- all Democrats -- did particularly well.

Just 33 percent approved of Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse's job performance, down 11 points from a mid-December Brown University poll. Fleming said a factor may have been the senator's controversial December statement that floor opponents of health-care reform were fueled by fanatics, "right-wing militia" and Aryan support groups that hate President Obama.

A spokesman for Whitehouse -- who's not up for reelection until 2012 -- declined to comment.

When asked to list their "most important issue," the majority of respondents (57 percent) cited the economy and jobs. Health-care was a distant second (14 percent), followed by taxes (8 percent), the deficit (8 percent), education (6) and national security (5).

At 51 percent, Mr. Obama's popularity is virtually unchanged from a Brown University poll in mid-December. But support for Mr. Obama's top domestic priority -- a national health-care overhaul -- has waned considerably. Just 38 percent of respondents favored Washington "health-care reform," down from 45 percent from December.

Sen. Jack Reed earned favorable ratings from 54 percent of respondents, while 44 percent of Second Congressional District voters approved of Rep. James R. Langevin.
Posted by: Beavis || 02/05/2010 12:52 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6530 views] Top|| File under:

#1  time for the Kennedy's to go away
Posted by: 746 || 02/05/2010 14:01 Comments || Top||

#2  As an aside, though it is a closely guarded secret, the Kennedy fortune has been in serious decline, because Old Joe Kennedy was the only one of the family who was better at making it than spending it.

Only for about the last 10-15 years, did Teddy, who controlled the purse strings, start cutting back on the 30-60 clan members spending, and spinning off some of them entirely.

In 1998, they sold off the Merchandise Mart, which was their big cash cow, for about half a billion, then probably lost a lot of money in the crash of 2000, and even more with the 2008 market drop.

By now, some estimates put them as low as only $30m to $100m, though $300m is a more reasonable estimate. The big question is who holds the purse now, as the younger Kennedys are even worse losers than Teddy.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/05/2010 15:00 Comments || Top||

#3  time for the Kennedy's to go away

Can the Clintons be next. Please.
Posted by: BrerRabbit || 02/05/2010 15:08 Comments || Top||

#4  Keep digging, Patrick...

Kennedy (D-R.I.) told The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room yesterday, “Brown’s whole candidacy was shown to be a joke today when he was sworn in early in order to cast his first vote as an objection to Obama’s appointment to the NLRB.”

The son of former U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, whose seat Brown is now filling, added that the newly confirmed GOP senator is a key vote against the nomination of union lawyer Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

“This is where he shows that when they need him, he’s in the tank for the Republicans,” Kennedy is quoted as saying.

Brown has denied any hidden agenda in moving up his swearing-in from Feb. 11 to yesterday afternoon.

Camelot's dead, lightweight. Daddy's not around to pull your sorry, useless ass out of the fire anymore. Your big decisions in your next career will probably be "paper or plastic".
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/05/2010 15:18 Comments || Top||

#5  he's in the tank for the Republicans

Sow what if he is? At least he's not in the tank for the Socialists and Communists like you and your dear departed...
Posted by: CrazyFool || 02/05/2010 16:11 Comments || Top||

#6  Old Joe Kennedy was the only one of the family who was better at making it than spending it.

Which means they're major failures as professional politicians as well.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/05/2010 21:49 Comments || Top||

#7  Give Patches a Vicodin, a Scotch, and the car keys. He'll be out of our hair for 3-4 months or so
Posted by: Frank G || 02/05/2010 22:04 Comments || Top||

America Rising Video An Open Letter
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/05/2010 11:33 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6472 views] Top|| File under:



* SAME > [German Report]GLOBAL OCEAN PROTECTION MEASURES HAVE FAILED [utterly completely].
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/05/2010 21:19 Comments || Top||

White House Prepares for Possibility of 2 Supreme Court Vacancies
Lawyers for President Obama have been working behind the scenes to prepare for the possibility of one, and maybe two Supreme Court vacancies this spring.

Court watchers believe two of the more liberal members of the court, justices John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, could decide to step aside for reasons of age and health. That would give the president his second and third chance to shape his legacy on the Supreme Court.

Last week, when Obama took the nearly unprecedented step of criticizing the court's opinion in a major campaign finance case during his State of the Union speech, some believed he was showcasing for the American people that presidential elections, and Supreme Court nominations count.
Posted by: Fred || 02/05/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6474 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Stevens has long let it be known that he will only leave when they have to scrape his decayed remains out of his chair.

Ginsburg is even worse, because she believes that her chair is now the "Jewish" chair, and she would never trust Obama to only nominate another Jew for it.

Such "seat politics" is not that uncommon on the court, because Democrats firmly believe there should be a "black" justice, a "Hispanic" justice, at least one female justice, etc. Ginsburg just thinks that there should be a perpetual Jewish justice as well.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/05/2010 8:35 Comments || Top||

#2  Lawyers for President Obama have been working behind the scenes...

Imagine that!

Posted by: Besoeker || 02/05/2010 12:00 Comments || Top||

#3  Maybe Barry will nominate himself and resign. SCOTUS gotta be a helluva lot less aggravating then his current position, and him being an alleged constitutional "scholar" and all...
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/05/2010 12:07 Comments || Top||

Video: Obama salutes Navy
h/t: Hotair.com
I've heard him extolling the virutes of the Peace Corpse too. They do, like, really good work...
A ticky-tack mistake, but then so was Bush's pronunciation of "nuclear" and the left had fun with that. As always with this sort of gaffe, it resonates to the extent that it appears to confirm a suspicion about the person that uttered it. Bush was supposedly a dummy, ergo "nu-cu-lar" caught on; Martha Coakley was out of touch with voters, ergo the Curt Schilling thing had legs; The One is a dovish Ivory Tower egghead with no military background, ergo we've gotten half a dozen e-mails about this in the past few hours. Look on the bright side, though: At least he's trying.

I can't believe that a guy with a Harvard Law degree wouldn't know how to pronounce "corps," so I'm guessing some dumb staffer in charge of TOTUS decided to try to "help him out" by typing the phonetic pronunciation — incorrectly — into the machine. And in true Ron Burgundy fashion, O read it as is right off the 'prompter. You stay classy, Navy corpse-men! Click the image to watch.
Posted by: Tom- Pa || 02/05/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6560 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Silly, everybody knows that a 'corpse'-man is he who provides an autopsy, a coroner, unless of course the coroner happens to be female, then she is a 'corpse'-woman.

And that person could of been from any one of the '57' states, here in the US..
Posted by: Tom--Pa || 02/05/2010 2:31 Comments || Top||

#2  Too damn bad his feeble recognition was not directed toward the JAG "corpse."
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/05/2010 4:25 Comments || Top||

#3  Jumping crickets in the underwear, does this guy just read and not think until a performance review is released?

I think thats it, he had done this before with the Palin/lipstick on a pig deal...you can see in his face he had no idea that line was coming and once said, had a look of oh crap whatta I say? More disturbing is this double down with no recognition of his mispronunciation.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 02/05/2010 22:49 Comments || Top||

See Anything in Common?
High Speed Rail Plans

2008 Election Map
Posted by: Beavis || 02/05/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6565 views] Top|| File under:

#1  No surprise here - personally I more concerned about future SOVIET/COMMIE BLOC-STYLE "TRAVEL PAPERS, PLEASE, COMRADE(S)" being heard around the country, particularly to our descendants.

Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/05/2010 0:23 Comments || Top||

#2  Was it really necessary to post link to NY Times web site thus giving it some ad revenue? Wasn't it possible to find a 2008 election Map somewhere else?
Posted by: JFM || 02/05/2010 5:36 Comments || Top||

#3  Sorry, guys, no connection here, except for the fact that high-speed rail connects big cities filled with Democrats.

Five or ten years ago, Florida DOT committed one interchange a year - $75 million - for 30 years to high speed rail, Miami-Orlando-Tampa. The Governor shot it down, then the people got it voted on as a constitutional amendment, and that was overturned. Southwest Airlines killed it in Texas in 1993, on the premise there was no need for it. Then.

I know there's a lot of anti-HS Rail sentiment here, but this is hardly a political connection.
Posted by: Bobby || 02/05/2010 6:00 Comments || Top||

#4  there's a lot of anti-HS Rail sentiment here

No, there's a lot of anti-Government funded anything. Sell AMTRAK and make the Interstates toll roads and I'd be happy. If HS rail can make money, by all means let venture capitalists fund it. But I'm not a VC and I don't want my tax money spent that way by someone who can't find their way to Sand Hill Road.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/05/2010 6:55 Comments || Top||

#5  and make the Interstates toll roads

Technically, you pay for the interstate every time you fill up. Those federal and state taxes were rationalized as being to pay for the roads [before, of course, the pols stole redirected the money elsewhere].
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/05/2010 8:40 Comments || Top||

#6  Bobby makes a fair point here and in the other high-speed rail post today: all forms of transportation are subsidized. It's just a question of how you spread it around.

For the interstates, I have no problem making all of the toll roads. Put in an EZ-Pass or similar system, make the highways open-road tolling compatible, and have people carry transponders in their cars.

You want to get somewhere quickly? Pay the toll.

You don't want to pay the toll? Take the side roads.

I'd re-introduce market principles to the traffic grid and get people to see the indirect subsidies that are all around us.

I also agree with Nimble: there is, indeed, a lot of anti-government funded anything right now. It's the price government pays for decades of stupidity, graft, mistrust and cavalier arrogance. High-speed rail might be a good idea, but it's going to get whacked if for no other reason that it's a convenient target right now.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/05/2010 8:47 Comments || Top||

#7  You want to get somewhere quickly? Pay the toll. Posted by: Steve White

No argument there Doctor. But if you're commuting from say Rockford, IL to O'Hare... count on paying somewhere around $1500. per year in tolls. Chalk up another 57.9 cpg tax for gas. Add on another 12.5 cpg if you make the mistake of going downtown and buying fuel in Chicago.

Anyone looked that Illinois Tollway books in a while, ie, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, D&T, Ernst & Young, KPMG? No, and they never will either.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/05/2010 8:59 Comments || Top||

#8  Beso has it right. It's not just the anti-funding it's the anti-accountability problem. All of the roads and tolls are a major source of graft, pork and corruption in general. Look at the Mass Turnpike. Something like 2/3rds of the toll takers have direct connections to the statehouse polls.
Posted by: AlanC || 02/05/2010 10:55 Comments || Top||

#9  Actually, the project I'm working on now is HOT Lanes. High Occupancy (the old HOV concept) or Toll. Three folks in the car ride free, buses can mantain a schedule on the Beltway, and soccer moms in a hurry to get to the game can pay the toll. Tolls will be varied to maintain a speed (45 or 55, I forget). At 3 am, the toll might be two cents a mile; at 5 pm it might be a dollar a mile. Opening on 14 miles of the DC Beltway 12/20/2012. Unless the Mayans were right.
Posted by: Bobby || 02/05/2010 16:21 Comments || Top||

#10  Our gov, Jim Doyle, quacked his way through the latest State of the State, the high point of which was the unveiling of the high speed rail line between Chicago, Milwaukee, and Madison. It'll go through our town, but we'll have to drive into Madison to use it.

$820 million dollars for this line. Using what for money?
Posted by: mom || 02/05/2010 22:01 Comments || Top||

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