• Category Archives Ethics
  • Obama Continues to Kick Ass as POTUS: U.S. Says Navy SEAL Team Captures Shabab Leader in Somalia

    From the NYTimes:

    A Navy SEAL team targeted a senior leader of the Shabab militant group in a raid on his seaside villa in the Somali town of Baraawe on Saturday, American officials said, in response to a deadly attack on a Nairobi shopping mall for which the group had claimed responsibility.

    The SEAL team stealthily approached the beachfront house by sea, firing on the unidentified target in a predawn gunbattle that was the most significant raid by American troops on Somali soil since commandos killed Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, a Qaeda mastermind, near the same town four years ago.

    The Shabab leader was believed to have been killed in the firefight, but the SEALS were forced to withdraw before that could be confirmed, a senior American official said. Such operations by American forces are rare because they carry a high risk, and indicate that the target was considered a high priority. Baraawe, a small port town south of Mogadishu, the Somali capital, is known as a gathering place for the Shabab’s foreign fighters.

    Read more here.



  • Quash the Teabaggers! Reclaim America!

    The following is from Congresswoman Robin Kelly:

    This morning at 12:01am, Congressional Republicans shut down the government.

    Millions of Americans are going to suffer — seniors, veterans, students, businesses, and workers — while those responsible for the shutdown get paid.

    Democrats in Congress need to hear that the public is on their side in this fight and we need them to stand strong.

    Click here to call Rep. Robin Kelly and tell her to stand strong against Tea Party demands.

    This shutdown will end in one of two ways:

    1. Democrats will cave and cut vital programs like Social Security or
    2. Republicans will cave to immense public pressure. 

    Flooding Democrats’ offices with phone calls will make sure it’s not option 1. We’re also running online ads targeting Republican Speaker John Boehner to make sure he feels extra pressure back home. 

    Can you call Rep. Kelly and tell her that the American people need Democrats to stand strong? Click here.

    Thanks for being a bold progressive. 

    From Turning Left:

    Thank you, thank you all, for being bold progressives!

    Stay true, and reclaim America from the Tea Baggers!



  • Oak Park Plays Annual Shell Game with Property Taxes

    Here’s the “big news” from Oak Park:

    Orland Park trustees on Monday night approved rebating a portion of the village’s property tax paid by homeowners this year.

    A total of $2.2 million is being earmarked for the program, with applications being accepted this fall. Postcards with application instructions will go out in late October or early November.

    Read more here

    Okay, here’s my problem with this.

    Rebating $2.2 million means that Oak Park levied $2.2 million too much.

    OR, let’s assume for the moment that they were levying exactly what they thought they would need, even on a conservative estimate.

    Why? why?

    Why not use the current $2.2 million surplus to “buy down” the levy for next year, so Oak Park residents don’t have to pay so much out-of-pocket, and then wait so long for this so-called “rebate?”

    That’s what Park Forest, and other wise municipalities, do, year after year after year after year.

    Sending a “tax rebate” and then levying more than you need, so that you can send a “tax rebate,” well, that’s just bad politics and a dishonest shell game.

    If you aske me.



  • I Don’t Trust the Government with All This

    Wow.

    This has been going on for quite some time.

    I don’t trust the government with all this.

    Not. At. All.

    From the New York Times:

    The National Security Agency is winning its long-running secret war on encryption, using supercomputers, technical trickery, court orders and behind-the-scenes persuasion to undermine the major tools protecting the privacy of everyday communications in the Internet age, according to newly disclosed documents.

    The agency has circumvented or cracked much of the encryption, or digital scrambling, that guards global commerce and banking systems, protects sensitive data like trade secrets and medical records, and automatically secures the e-mails, Web searches, Internet chats and phone calls of Americans and others around the world, the documents show.

    Read more here.



  • Suffer the Soccer Children: Crestwood Mayor Lou Presta is a Real Piece of Work

    Village of Crestwood
    First the water, now the vindictive mayor.

    It wasn’t too long ago we were all saying, "If you go to Crestwood, don’t drink the water."

    Now?

    "If you go to Crestwood, beware the mayor."

    Especially if you play soccer.

    Play soccer in a league that has been in existence for more than 40 years.

    A league that is its own not-for-profit (NPF).

    Do you get that?

    An independent corporation.

    In existence for more than 40 years.

    Feel so, so very sorry for this Illinois village, stuck with a mayor hell-bent on stepping on children for political gain, clawing his way to the headlines, making a name for himself as a perpetrator of political vendetta.

    The mayor wants to see the books.

    The mayor wants a cut of the pie.

    The mayor has a political vendetta.

    Suffer the children.

    Here’s some background from Phil Kadner’s recent contribution to the Southtown Star, Kadner: Mayor picks fight with soccer club.

    I like and enjoy reading Phil Kadner. Please make a point of reading him.

    Ahem. Yes. The background, from Phil Kadner:

    At issue are the soccer fields just south of 138th Street and Lavergne Avenue, which are on ComEd land overlooked by high-tension towers.

    According to soccer club board members, 32 years ago former Mayor Chester Stranczek agreed to let the club use the property rent-free after the village signed an agreement with the utility company for use of its easement.

    Volunteers with the soccer club leveled the land by hand, raised money to construct a $22,000 fence and gate, more money to buy soccer goals and an additional $13,000 to build a garage to house equipment.

    The village cuts the grass on the field. But, for 20 years, the field has been in use by the not-for-profit Crestwood Soccer Club, composed of "more than 500 children signed up for its fall season; about 70 percent Crestwood residents and the rest from the surrounding suburbs," according to Kadner.

    Seventy percent is an amazing figure for a club, and political suicide for anyone to mess with. Especially a 20-year agreement.

    But why should that stop Lou Presta?

    There are 40 recreation teams and five travel teams in the club.

    That’s amazing.

    So why, pray tell, is the mayor, Louis Presta, messing with this fine organization, and the 500+ children (70% from Crestwood) who are members?

    First, Crestwood Trustee John Toscas is president of the not-for-profit (NFP) Soccer Club.

    And Toscas, it appears, is not a strong-enough supporter of the mayor.

    The proposed solution?

    Again, from Phil Kadner:

    A proposed village ordinance would create a new seven-member parks commission appointed by the mayor, and create a new position of director of parks and recreation.

    Presta told me the position would be filled by a current village employee at no increase in salary.

    But the ordinance says compensation for the director “shall be established by the board of trustees annually.”

    Get this straight.

    Crestwood does not own the land. ComEd owns the land. Kids play under high tension wires. ComEd leases the land to Crestwood.

    Now Presta wants to call that land a park.

    A village park.

    Even though Crestwood does not own the land.

    And there’s more, and it’s about money:

    Not only that, Presta indicated he wants the soccer club to share the money it raises with the rest of the village’s recreational programs.

    “Some recreation programs make money and some don’t,” Presta said. “I believe the money should be spread around so that those that make money can help support those that don’t to provide opportunities to everyone.

    Of course. So this private corporation must now open its books to the village.

    And pay, pay, pay.

    Because Lou Presta, mayor of Crestwood, is a real piece of work.

    A real, real piece of work.

    Please read Phil Kadner’s entire column here.



  • Rick Santorum Calls For End of Public Education, But He Took $100,000 From Pennsylvanians to Educate His Kids

    Here’s the truth about Rick Santorum’s commitment to home schooling:

    Between 2001 and 2004, Santorum enrolled five of his children in the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School. Since Pennsylvania law requires school districts to pay for students who live in their district but enroll in cyber schools – and since Santorum claimed his residence was a house in Penn Hills, Allegheny County – the Penn Hills School District paid $100,000 for the Santorum children’s tuition.

    But wait a minute – it turns out Rick Santorum, his wife, and their children don’t actually live in Penn Hills…in Allegheny County…or even in Pennsylvania. They actually live in a big house he owns in Leesburg, Virginia.

    Yes, that’s correct. And everyone, even conservatives in Pennsylvania, know that to be true.

    Rick Santorum took $100,000 from the taxpayers of Pennsylvania to pay for his childrens’ tuition, even while living in Virginia.

    And he’s okay with that.

    He has not re-payed that.

    Nor has he offered to repay that.



  • U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) Has Not Lived in Indiana for 30+ Years

    Senator Richard Lugar
    Is Senator Richard Lugar a Carpetbagger?

    Would you like to serve in the United States Senate in Indiana? Turns out you don’t even have to live there. And there is more than three decades of legal precedence.

    U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar allegedly represents the people of the state of Indiana, a state where he has not resided for over 30 years.

    In 1982, then-Indiana Attorney General Linley Pearson said that the senator is not required to actually live in the state he represents because he is acting “on business of this state or of the United States,” according to Will Rahn at The Daily Caller. The Attorney General issues legal opinions that are not binding. The AG does not make the law.

    Here’s the truth: Sen. Richard Lugar is running for re-election in a state he has not lived in for over 30 years.

    Should that matter to anyone in Indiana or the rest of the United States?

    From The Daily Caller:

    Lugar sold his home at 3200 Highwoods Court in Indianapolis shortly after first assuming office in 1977. But due to a loophole in Indiana law, both he and his wife Charlene Lugar are still registered to vote at that address.

    Greg Wright, an Indiana tea party member and certified fraud examiner, told The Daily Caller that he has been investigating Lugar’s residency situation “for a few weeks” and has not been paid for his efforts. He just heard one day from some tea party friends that Lugar didn’t actually live in the state, and took it upon himself to find out if it was true.

    According to The Daily Caller, Richard Lugar and his wife Charlene both have driver’s licenses indicating that they currently live at 3200 Highwoods Court.

    The current resident of 3200 Highwoods Court was surprised to hear that Lugar still claims that address as his own:

    “I knew [Lugar] built it,” Hughes told TheDC. “Every now and then we get his mail, and we couldn’t figure out why after all these years we were still getting his mail every now and then. And now we know why.”

    “I was surprised, but I was more surprised that no one seemed that interested,” she added.

    Is it enough that Lugar slips through a loophole in the law? Would you be concerned if you found out a pol was claiming your address as his or her own? Would you be concerned if that same pol had a legal document – a driver’s license – indicating that he or she resided at your address?

    I wonder which address he uses for his tax returns?

    Only in America.

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com



  • Bloomberg: Gingrich Sued for Using ‘Eye of the Tiger’ at Campaign Stops

    From Bloomberg News:

    Newt Gingrich, fighting for the Republican Party’s nomination to challenge President Barack Obama in the 2012 election, was sued for unauthorized use of “Eye of the Tiger,” the Grammy-winning theme song from “Rocky III.”

    Rude Music Inc., an Illinois corporation owned by Frank Sullivan, a co-author of the song, sued the candidate today in federal court inChicago, seeking a court order blocking Gingrich’s unauthorized use of the song at campaign rallies. Rude Music is also seeking unspecified money damages.

    Newt 2012 Inc. and the American Conservative Union, a political advocacy group, are also named as defendants in the five-page complaint.

    You mean you can’t just take anyone’s music and play it anywhere, particularly for the purpose of raising money for your own political campaign? What? What about the First Amendment.

    Oh. Right.

    That doesn’t apply in this case.

    Yoi. Another ethical lapse for the former speaker?

    And, yes, you can be sued for stealing music.

    Is that what Newt did? The courts will decide.