A blog focusing on politics in Central Illinois.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Blunders and Wonders of the Week

My nomination for Blunder - Pres. Bush proposal on changing SS benefits - front page article in The Chicago Tribune about how even Republicans aren't supporting it, not the moderates but the conservative Republicans as well.

My nomination for Wonder - Rep. Shays R-Connecticut refusing to support Delay.

I guess I should make this clear because I am willing to bet there is some misunderstanding here. I don't dislike most Republicans. I count among my closest and most dear several ardent Republicans. I don't disagree with issues Republicans hold just because I am a Democrat. In fact I like the Republicans we have in local offices here, heck I don't even mine Judy Baar. However, the policies and actions the National Republicans over the last 5 years have taken, have left me angry and outraged at them. I enjoy the meaningful dialogue that has taken place on this and other area blogs, and hope that they served to keep things civil and rational. Keep up the good work everyone, and know that I respect all of your thougts and all of you.

Obstructionist, or will of the people

On a Social Security comment frequent poster VPCheney labeled Democrats as obstructionist for opposing Social Security reform simply because it came from Bush. Ignoring the fact that it is not only Democrats opposing Social Security Reform in Congress it is Republicans too, I just wanted to run some SS poll numbers past everyone and ask if we are obstructing or if we are serving the will of the people.

"Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bush is handling Social Security?"

Approve Disapprove Unsure

% % %


31 64 5


35 56 9

"Would you support or oppose a plan in which people who chose to could invest some of their Social Security contributions in the stock market?"


Support Oppose Unsure

% % %


45 51 4


56 41 3

"Who do you trust to do a better job handling Social Security: Bush or the Democrats in Congress?" Options rotated


Bush Democrats Both (vol.) Neither

% % % % %


32 50 2 11 3


37 49 2 11 2

"Do you have confidence in George W. Bush's ability to make the right decisions about Social Security, or are you uneasy about his approach?"


Confident Uneasy Unsure

% % %

ALL 25 70 5

Republicans 59 33 8

Democrats 6 92 2

Independents 19 76 5

"As you may know, one idea to address concerns with the Social Security system would allow people who retire in future decades to invest some of their Social Security taxes in the stock market and bonds, but would reduce the guaranteed benefits they get when they retire. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?" Form A (N=519, MoE ± 5)


Good Idea Bad Idea Unsure

% % %


33 61 6


33 59 8

"As you may know, a proposal has been made that would allow workers to invest part of their Social Security taxes in the stock market or in bonds, while the rest of those taxes would remain in the Social Security system. Do you favor or oppose this proposal?" Form B (N=521, MoE ± 5)


Favor Oppose Unsure

% % %


39 56 5


45 47 8

I guess it is obstructing these days to ensure that the will of the people is carried about, I guess it is scary to the Republican administration to have to deal with average joes instead of screwing them over relentlessly.

Friday, April 29, 2005

$2 Billion or $382 Billion

The Republican Congress last night passed a budget for this year that leaves a $382,000,000,000 budget deficit while at the same time handing out tax cuts to the tune of $106,000,000,000, the vast majority of which goes to the ultra wealthy who are already living fat thanks to Bush, while not allocating the full amount of money needed for Iraq and Afghanistan meaning another supplemental bill will be needed this year pushing the deficit up even higher for this year. I would think this would be of a key interest to people, but instead today's wonderful Herald & Review editorial board takes Sen. John Cullerton too task for proposing a bill which will not pass, and saying the only way to solve the budget problem is to reduce state government's size. I think the bigger issue would be to call on the Republicans in Washington to even at least pretend a bit that they care about fiscal responsibility, but instead they choose to focus on a $2 Billion dollar gap in Illinois, which will be harder to bridge by the way due to the Republicans cutting $10 Billion from the Medicaid budget being cut. But then again why criticize Republicans when you can take a swipe at a Democrat?

Bush's Super Secret Don't Tell No One Gotta Do It Or The Terrorist Win Social Security Plan Unveiled

And Here it is:
"What I propose is simple, once again we screw the working men and women of America, poor people stay the same, rich people get tax cuts, Middle Class America, well let's cut their benefits and screw them on tax breaks, damn I'm smart."

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Is Poshard up to something?

A late notice of DownLeft a southern Illinois based blog let me in on this little tidbit of information

The Poshard Question

Marking earth day the Southern Illinoisan ran an article about Glen Poshard's new campaign to beautify the region. The positive article makes a good point that litter is a problem across Southern Illinois and I am glad some efforts are being made to address the issue, especially considering the wonderful natural beauty of the region...

That being said there is a political impact to this story. Democratic insiders have wondered for several months just exactly what Poshard is up to. Glenn was a longtime resident of Marion however in the fall of 2004 he moved to Murphsyboro about 25 Miles away. By making the move he changed State Senate, State Rep and Congressional districts.

One of the interesting aspects of the SI story is Poshard states there are organizers for the cleanup committee in 16 counties....sounds like how one would organize a political campaign to me.

The move combined with the step up in media presence make his activities a question, especially since he has no desire to return to Washington. Maybe an attempt to return to Statewide politics is in the cards....stay tuned.
If so I am eagerly anticipating, Poshard and I differ signifigantly on almost every Social issue there is, but I don't know what it is about this guy, he is by far my favorite public servant I have ever had. Here's to hoping that he comes back one more time.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Rants regarding Lane

From The Inside Dope a Republican left a comment talking about Lane and his health, in reply came the best. rant. ever.
Here Here, Republican Joe! It is about time for someone to come forward without any moral compunctions about discrimination on the basis of physical disability! For far too long, Republicans have brandished their prejudice with a base alloy of hypocrisy and pretext! Good for you, republicanjoe, for coming out and saying what the rest of your party thinks but does not say. The God that you Republicans invoke for the purpose of gaining political power is a wrathful one indeed. There is no place in his Heaven for gimps or queers.

I, for one, agree with you. After all, why SHOULD we be represented by someone who has the misfortune of an affliction with Parkinson's Disease, when there are so many potential candidates out there who do not suffer from physical disabilities?

While we're on the subject, if you ask me, they should have gotten rid of the Pope the first time his hand trembled! That cripple's time had come and gone years ago! And, of course, Dennis Hastert is fat. We should get rid of him. God knows that obesity creates a veritable plethora of health problems, all of which might interfere with his ability to serve as Speaker of the House. And don't get me started on Rehnquist! Can you BELIEVE that our Supreme Court is led by a man afflicted with cancer!? If God meant for him to preside over our high court, he would not have afflicted him with a terminal disease!

Americans with Disabilities Act my ass! I do not know WHAT those Democrats were thinking when they enacted legislation to protect those weaker than us. I am sick and tired of wheelchair ramps and Braille elevator buttons. It's about time we bring back good ol' stairs and blind people getting off on the wrong floor! God created physical disabilities for the purpose of separating the wheat from the chaff. So let's get rid of the chaff and start electing the wheat!

Indeed, republicanjoe, it is time for the poor, the weak and the disabled to get out of the way. For the republicans are coming, backed with the invocation of an angry and wrathful God, unburdened by the annoyance of compassion for the poor and the weak, unfettered by the hindrance of fundamental protections guaranteed by a once great Constitution.
I couldn't write it better myself. People like Lane and Pope John Paul II should serve as an inspiration. It would be easy enough to sit on the sidelines and say I can't do this, it is too hard on my body. But, instead they have both exhibited courage and strength by continously fighting for what they believe is right, even given the circumstances that should be setting them back. Attacking someone with a long history of great service by labeling them everything short of crippled is despicable, and I would certainly hope good Republicans in the 17th District would denounce such hateful campaigning.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Social Security

I haven't heard much lately on the Republicans plan to give us a few trillion dollars in new debt and screw millions of working people lately, or I could have just said I haven't heard much on the Republicans plan on Social Security lately. Is Social Security reform as we know it dead, no, simply because the Republicans never gave the American public a plan for reform, there plan on reform was say private accounts enough in the people will like it. So let's see the D.C. Republicans success rate since the November election.
  1. Terri Schiavo
  2. Social Security
  3. The Nuclear Option
  4. Bolton for Ambassador
Maybe if the Republican's had bathed these ideas in the kind of grand words they have used for other plans to screw the people then they would have been more succesful. Here are my ideas, feel free to contribute your own.
  1. Terri Schiavo = Freedom to Live Bill
  2. Social Security = Freedom in applying seniors cash opportunity - The F.I.A.S.C.O. Bill
  3. The Nuclear Option = The Jesus says they're good Bill
  4. Bolton for Ambassador = The U.N. Remodeling appointment, a tip to his comment of knocking off 1o floors of the U.N.
And in a late addition to help Social Security George Bush has brought out Tom Delay to help push it. I wish I was making this up. Keep up the good work guys!

"There are some people out there who are Christians...who believe that homosexuality is a sin. You know what? I'm a Christian. I do believe that it's a sin. You know what else? I believe divorce is a sin. Guess what? I've been divorced. Guess what? Jesus talks about divorce a lot more than he talks about homosexuality. I don't know why people obsess over it so much, but they do. Wait a second, I do know why they obsess over it. Because they get votes bashing gays."
--Joe Scarborough

Monday, April 25, 2005

lets behave ourselves

lets behave ourselves on commenting until changes are made. I'm opening them back up, play nice.

Herald & Review, news or not

I ran to the door today to read the newspaper with great interest. After reading the newspaper all I could think is, if this is a newspaper where is the news? As a recap, the front page covered a tea party and a kid that makes movies in Mt. Zion, besides that there was an article on the Formosa Explosion in Illipopolis, past that everything was an AP or Knight Ridder article or a news brief. To steal an old commercial, where's the news? Anyone can make a newspaper that takes articles off the wires, where is the news that matters to Decatur? 3 articles and briefs, in the eyes of the directorship of the Herald and Review that is all the news Decatur deserves.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

input and advice

On the advice of some people, who's opinions I tend to value, I have for the time being taken down comments. I've been undertaking something new for me over the last month which has slowly but surely greatly dwindled my time I have to devote to this. I would like the advice from all of you on what my policy on comments should be. What Im tentatively looking at is a team approach with other people who I trust monitoring the comments as well, with the ability to delete the profane and libelous comments. If you feel you are up to this challenge, or have other suggestions email me at TheDecaturDemocrat@gmail.com and let me know your thoughts, Marucco, LightnerForMayor, JacksonFile, Bob Sampson, and hey even some of our republican bloggers, I strongly encourage you to email me about this as well. Look for comments to be down for the next few days.

Friday, April 22, 2005

County Administrator

The talk of a county administrator has come to the forefront again. I am a bit confused because it seems some believe that if we have a county administrator, then we can't have a county auditor. The herald and review article on this same subjects points out that Champaign County has two county administrators, but they also have an auditor as well. On the whole I am not in favor of a county administrator, for the same reason I am not in favor of a city manager. I believe if we instill people with power, such as that a county administrator or city manager has, they should be answering to the voters, not 4 or 11 people. Though I agree with Oliver, the time of business by committee has passed. Might it be in the best interest of the county to have a full time board chairman, or possibly look into the executive form of government f or the county. Both interesting prop0sal, that would hopefully ensure everything is being done the same way a county administrator would, but they would be answering to the voters as well.

Ratzinger or Benedict XVI

We have a new pope, or as they might say in the Vatican Habimus Popi, I think. I can't say I'm too happy with Ratzinger as Cardinal. I was hoping the college of cardinals would recognize the fact that the church is growing in areas, and fading in others. Ratzinger represents the old guard, and I think the day is fresh for a new guard. The church should look for ways to make itself grow, and to help its members that need it the most, the members in Africa, Asia, and South America. I'm not saying Ratzinger isnt up for the job, but I think we would be better served by a pope more in touch with these consituencies. Then again there is probably a reason I am not a cardinal. What are your thoughts?

Friday, April 15, 2005

Blunders and Wonders

Political Blunders and Wonders from this week, hit it boys.

As it looks

As of today it looks like Bean stays, thank goodness. It is a hard issue to comprehend, and I dont have the time right now to map it all out. But someone screwed up big time, Im not going to point fingers because I dont know the whole picture, but someone has to step up and say I am the reason this happened.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


Matt Jackson is going to be appearing on Byers and Company regularly now. No offesne Matt, but I really think you are the Joe Lieberman of Macon County. Feel free to attack someone besides Democrats at some point in time!


Does anyone know if there is any truth to the Bean rumors that have been flung around here, if it is true it would tie up some loose ends and make sense of some grumblings I have heard. I would hate to see it, Steve is one of the last of the good guys. If you have the scoop email me thedecaturdemocrat@gmail.com

Monday, April 11, 2005

My analysis

While I haven't had the time to crunch the final numbers or look at precint by precint results, I'll give you a recap of what I just emailed Dan Caulkins with. This is what I think happened, Shampine took the ground game, Caulkins took the air game, sometimes the ground game works sometimes teh air game works. I think they were both in contention for the same seat. McDaniels didn't grow much from the primary to now, and I expected that. He is a great guy, and I hope he sticks around, but I didn't see him making the final cut. Stockard and Edwards were guaranteed to stay on, in fact Edwards didn't have to do anything to get re-elected. How nice that must be. So what it came down to were Shampine and Caulkins going for the same seat. Caulkins did a media campaign, Shampine did a ground campaign. Both cant be winners, Caulkins won, oh and the DUI didn't help. I'll be back later.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Obama, us guy vs. them guy

I just stumbled across Sen. Obama's new blog through Rick Klau, and I realized he is an us guy as opposed to a them guy. I guess I should explain what that means, read this then I'll explain:

Good luck to all of you Illini fans out there. Tonight, I'll be watching the game with my staff in Washington. Since we can't actually be in Illinois, we plan to pack as many Illini fans as possible into one room so that it at least feels like we're there. Though I have to say, anything will be better than watching the Illini-Arizona game in Scottsdale, AZ.

When Deron Williams hit that three to take the game into overtime, I yelled so loud that the entire restaurant went silent and turned to stare at us. Surprisingly, from then on the service was a little slower and the waitress wasn't quite as nice. But I guess that's the price you pay for victory.

Call central and request a Senator, they'll send a them guy. A them guy is someone you couldn't imagine yourself being, an us guy is someone who you could imagine being. I don't know about all of you, but when Deron Williams hit that three I went nuts, the whole state erupted, our senator erupted. Obama, he's an us guy, check out his blog.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Wanted your recaps

I'm looking to publish recaps of the elections in all the muncipalities and townships in Macon County if possible. For example a Long Creek person could contribute a bit on what happened in Long Creek such as Greenfield's negative ads, etc. If you would like to submit anything in line with this email it to TheDecaturDemocrat@gmail.com and let me know if you want it published under a handle or under your name.
P.S. Im still waiting for biographies on important democrats in macon county from the past and now.

What we have here is a failure to agree

Decatur's 'turned the corner:' Mayor paints vibrant picture about progress

Intermet kills hopes for Decatur plant: State official frozen out of testy, four-hour talks

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


This might shock some of you to hear, but with the exception of Shampine losing, I would say last night was a good night overall for Democrats. We managed to hold on or expand almost everywhere. The Decatur Township Democrats swept with their whole slate winning. I can only hope that puts the blue house is evil meme to rest. We elected some good Democrat school board members. We elected a Democrat to the Richland Board. I'm sure I am going to hear from the flamers, yeah but what about the city council race. There were three things that could have happened last night with it, best case scenario, worst case scenario, and the status quo. Best case scenario, Mike and Shad get elected, worst case scenario Mike and Shad lose, status quo, Mike loses Shad wins or vice versa. Nothing really changed with that, so am I disappointed yeah, but am I upset no. I'll be back later with more and better analysis.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Final Thoughts?

Open Thread

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Pope John Paul II

To be honest I didn't think I would be moved to much by the Pope's passing. It was inevitable, we all knew it was coming, for all intents and purposes there was a media countdown. But, after it happened, I suprised myself. Thinking of all that man has strived for his whole life isn't much more different then mine. He was a conservative prelate, but at the same time he recognized the fact that if you believe in "the culture of life" then that has to be all life. You can't be against abortions, and pro-death penalty, you can't be pro-life and pro-iraq. He recognized the fact that though we may disagree, in the end we are all sons and daughters of a great and mighty god, that we owe it to each other to care and provide for others when they cannot do it themselves. He recognized that each person no matter how high and mighty, or how low and shameful they may be has an inherent worth to them as a human being, and that as such we all are equal, he was the rare person who could walk with kings, yet not lose the common touch. Above all, he was a great man, who loved and cared for all that he met, if we all took a lesson from him this would be a just and righteous world. We're losing to many of the ones we need most, I sincerely hope we have all learned lessons from those that we have lost this year.

H & R endorsements

The Herald & Review announced who they were endorsing today. They are as follows:
  1. Betsy Stockard
  2. Pat McDaniel
  3. Dan Caulkins
Although they are pretty predictable, there are some things to disagree with. For starters,

In recent days, Stockard has been unfairly characterized by Edwards in an article in the Waterloo, Iowa, Courier as not living in the inner city and perhaps not representing the views of all of the black community

Now I cant say I read the Waterloo Courier on a regular basis, but I figured I would check out their website and see what all this fuss is about. The only article with Shad in it on their website mentions nothing about Betsy, so I searched Lexis-Nexis and found nothing as well. I'm not saying the article doesn't exist, but I am saying that if they want to dig for info on candidates they can at least start out by checking out their businesses they run, but more on that in a bit. But, again we're making nothing out of nothing.

Now onto Pat, I won't say much about Pat, I think he would be a decent councilman, would he be a great councilman probably not, would he be a great yes man, probably.

Finally this gem makes it in there:
Our third choice for council is Dan Caulkins, a local businessman. From what we've seen, Caulkins will bring some much-needed small business and customer service expertise to the council, and he promises to keep a closer eye on city expenses. Caulkins appears to be well-versed on issues facing the city and hasn't been afraid during the forums to take some strong stands.
There have been a few allegations tossed out there, and I've been sent some things regarding Dan's small business. Suffice to say, I would not want to recieve that type of customer service, and we'll leave it at that.

Other endorsements
  1. Betsy Stockard
  2. Shad Edwards
  3. Mike Shampine
  1. Betsy Stockard
  2. Shad Edwards
  3. Mike Shampine
City Workers
  1. Betsy Stockard
  2. Shad Edwards
  3. Mike Shampine
Anyone want to guess who Garman's dogs in this race are?

Comments re-opened

Pretend we're all reasonably responsible adults.

Saturday, April 02, 2005


I have GMail invites, anyone want one, email me at TheDecaturDemocrat@gmail.com

Illini Nation

Illinois by 8 today, thats my prediction. What are all of our blog readers doing for the game today? TDD will be at anyone of a long list of bars in Decatur today, I don't make it out often, but today is the exception. Does anyone know where Ralph's Illini Club will be? Where will all of you be?

Friday, April 01, 2005


After the craziness that ensued with 4th grade arguments today I have chosen to change over to registered users only can comment for the time being. We'll see how it goes after the election, but i don't feel like cleaning up after you all. Go to blogspot.com to become a registered user.

Political Play of the Week

Who's up? Who's Down? Who's all around?

Open Thread

For whatever you choose to discuss over this weekend, any comments that havent fit elsewhere, throw them out here.