Thursday, June 30, 2011

Green Hornet's Nest:
The Phantom Menace

The dog days of Summer have arrived early because it sure is doggone hot. But for the twelve bucks, your LakeCountyEye would be coolin' right about now to a triple-3D double feature at a surroundsound IMAX. Instead your LakeCountyEye has copped for the next best thing, hunkered down the basement and cold downloading pirated open-source movies courtesy a T-splice into the parental unit's AOL dialup connection.

The one movie everyone is waiting for is the long awaited sequel to The Green Hornet's Nest -- which your LakeCountyEye trenchantly reviewed here, some time ago:
The Green Hornet's Nest
Part One ended with a cliffhanger, where super-duper villain Dr Coroner had the Green Hornet trapped, with no way out, in a hornet's nest of bad management. The plot is way too convoluted to explain, but suffice it to say that the Green Hornet's only escape route turns on producing a full independent public audit report. Lacking any such promised public audit, however, the Green Hornet tries to bluff his way out with a press release full of politically charged hiring recommendations. The document, fabricated by one of his office managers, succeeds in fooling no one.

Having viewed three different R5 bootlegs rough-cuts of the sequel, your LakeCountyEye can confirm the working title of the new movie is ...
Green Hornet's Nest: The Phantom Menace
Spoiler Alert: the big surprise of Part Two is the unexpected appearance of the Green Hornet's infrequent ally, Morainiac. The evil genius Morainiac uses his super-power encyclopedic legal knowledge to lawyer-up and successfully litigate the Green Hornet out of the hornet's nest of bad management, to freedom. For your LakeCountyEye's money, this cameo role saves the film. Posthumously played by veteran British actor Jonathan Adams, Morainiac steals not only his too-few scenes but the entire movie. The grave luckily was no barrier to this once-in-a-lifetime role that Adams was born to play.

Your LakeCountyEye gives the Green Hornet's Nest: The Phantom Menace an enthusiastic two-thumbs-up:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Green Hornet's Nest

Politically speaking, it's been a slow no news week, not only in Lake County but throughout the State. Luckily the Summer Movie Season is in full swing, which means your LakeCountyEye can be found illegally downloading waiting in long lines to shell out twelve bucks for Hollywood's latest blockbuster. It's no secret your LakeCountyEye can't get enough of those IMAX 3D Superhero Films. Nothing beats an afternoon jam-packed with deep-fried popcorn, CGI graphics and fightin-fists-o-fury. So when the latest two-thumbs-up, five-star, NC-17 action-comedy adventure-thriller hit the theaters ...
The Green Hornet's Nest
your LakeCountyEye was pumped and ready.

This one in particular garnered some rave blurbs:
By day a simple county sheriff and said sheriff's faithful undersheriff. After dark the two become masked avengers. The Green Hornet and faithful sidekick Kato take a bite out of crime the vigilante way.

The Green Hornet's Nest is true-to-life action ripped from today's headlines. Watch as the Green Hornet matches wits with the most villainous super-villain ever, the super-evil Dr Coroner.
The Daily Herald leaked a taste of one suspense-packed scene:
Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran said Thursday he "essentially walked into a hornet's nest" this week when he was named interim coroner.
Lake sheriff says coroner's office is a 'hornet's nest of bad management'
Unable to resist fast forwarding to the good parts -- Spoiler alert! -- your LakeCountyEye will reveal how the Green Hornet plans to escape from super-villain Dr Coroner's hornet's nest of bad management. According to one News-Sun reviewer:
In a statement, Curran said he expects to disclose a full report on the audit findings before the next coroner takes office.
Sheriff to undertake audit of coroner's office
Well that was back in February. And the next coroner took office in late March. It's nearly July and your LakeCountyEye is still waiting for The Green Hornet's Nest to deliver on that full audit findings report. Will the Green Hornet ever escape the hornet's nest of bad management? Frankly, Scarlet, your LakeCountyEye doesn't give a damn.

While The Green Hornet's Nest seemed poised to sting up some big bucks at the boxoffice, your LakeCountyEye has to report this disappointing movie is all hat and no cattle, sound and fury signifying nothing, two bricks shy of a load.

Two thumbs down for The Green Hornet's Nest

Monday, June 27, 2011

Turnouts & Turnovers

Will it be Barack Obama (D/IL) v Joe Walsh (R/IL) in 2012? Not since 1860, when back in the day Abraham Lincoln(R/IL) went mano-a-mano against Stephen A. Douglas (D/IL), has Lake County been as excited over the prospect of another All-Illinois, cross-town-classic presidential election.

While Joe Walsh mulls his re-election options, for your LakeCountyEye's money it is a fait accompli that Walsh will jettison any plans to try to win in a congressional district and will set sail direct for the big-kahuna of American electoral politics, the Oval Office -- in Washington DC. And as readers of this blog are fulsomely aware ...
You Gotta Fight for Your Right-Wing Party
a Joe Walsh Presidential primary in 2012 will attract Republican voters in Biblical proportions -- resulting in a deluge of Republican ballots not seen since they had to blow up those dams in Missouri to save Cairo IL.

With everyone and their uncles asking for a Republican ballot, expect a proportionally low Democratic turnout in the 2012 Primary. This would favor insurgent campaigns from the Left, those that would cater to a low primary turnout of Democratic Party faithful.

The Tea-Party-2.0 Republicans at the TeamAmerica10th blog have already identified one such Walsh-style insurgent Democratic campaign, Ilya Sheyman running -- where else? -- in the 10th Congressional District. That drip-drip-drip you hear are the salivary glands over in the TeamAmerica10th war-room, where they can barely contain themselves at the thought of a Sheyman victory ...
you can still tell he's a dyed-in-the-wool progressive, with a liberal agenda that even President Obama would find it hard to embrace. On balance, though, if I were Bob Dold, I would be crossing my fingers that the Dem field holds no more terror for him than this guy.
Congressman Bob Dold Should Be So Lucky...
Ha ha, in politics, crossing your fingers is not a strategy for victory. Your LakeCountyEye wishes to observe that Walsh's congressional brethren could do worse for themselves than kick-off a Draft-Walsh-for-President movement, and tout suite.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

You Gotta Fight for Your Right-Wing Party

Gov Pat Quinn this week signed the new Illinois congressional map into law. Lake County, once host to the fightin' 8th and 10th congressional districts, is the beneficiary of a 50% increase in fightin' power, as the county will now be host to the fightin' 6th, 10th and 14th congressional districts. Perhaps inspired by the play-acting battles commemorated in Civil War Reenactments, the Republican congressional delegation has vowed to continue fighting the new map. According to the News-Sun ...
Tenth District Congressmen Robert Dold, R-Kenilwort [sic], and 8th District Congressman Joe Walsh, R-Johnsburg, joined the state's Republican congressional delegation in condeming [sic] the new districts that could reverse GOP gains from 2010.
GOP vows to fight congressional remap
An apparent stalling-for-headlines tactic, there is little downside to delaying the inevitable for one Congressman, Robert Dold. Dold has already announced through the blogs that he will run for re-election in the 10th District, regardless. The same cannot be said for Joe Walsh who has seen his 8th District remapped down into antebellum rural Illinois. Walsh has announced he is running for re-election but he hasn't announced where, and for obvious reasons. He doesn't have many good options. Every good district where a Republican can win is held by an incumbent Republican. The effect of the added uncertainty to where the final district lines will be drawn can only be to delay Walsh's decision.

This comes at an inopportune moment, when the crucial 2012 primary election is some 6 months away, which converted into campaign time is barely a hiccup. And as readers of this blog matter-of-factly expect ...
Primary Schoolin'
the 2012 Primary will draw a heavy Republican turnout. Which is more bad news for Walsh, who relied on a narrow Republican turnout of Teaparty truebelievers in the 2010 Primary to beat his six moderate Republican opponents. Don't expect that trick to work again, where Walsh would be up against some pesky Republican incumbent in every closeby Congressional District, and vying for votes from independents and moderate Republicans.

Given the opportunity, Walsh would no doubt prefer to run to be Congressman of cable-news. Your LakeCountyEye notes that if Sarah Palin runs for President there will be an opening for a contributor at FOXNews. And if that plan fails Walsh can always run for President too:
Walsh for President!
In that case, operatives are advised to expect for the 2012 Primary not just a heavy but a huge Republican turnout. Huge!

Friday, June 24, 2011

License to Steal

Doubtless Illinois is broke. But not so broke what can't be fixed by selling to companies, for a price, the right to plaster their logos on Illinois license plates. That's the plan of the Legislature, which wants the Secretary of State to get on the stick and start licensing space on license plates to their big corporate donors. Your LakeCountyEye estimates the plan would put the state in the black within a year, and -- woohoo! -- without raising taxes. It's working in Texas — the only state that offers corporate-sponsored plates — no doubt about it. Since some politically connected company began producing corporate plates for Texas in 2009, a sizable 505 have been sold, bringing in a whopping $53,000 for the Beehive State's general revenue fund. Does the Land of Lincoln really want to become the Land of Nike? That, in the opinion of your LakeCountyEye, would be a far sight better than the Land of Hush Puppies! What a long strange trip it's been.

EagleEyed™ operatives will note your LakeCountyEye be cold rippin-off the News-Sun again ...
No question about it, Illinois is broke. But are we so desperate to put, for a price, company logos on state license plates? That's the plan of a bill passed by the Legislature which directs the Secretary of State's Office to study the possibility of offering corporate-sponsored plates to drivers at a discount. Proponents of the plan say it would be a terrific way for the state to pull in new revenue without raising taxes. But based on how it's working in Texas — the only state that offers corporate-sponsored plates — we doubt it. Since a private company began producing corporate plates for Texas in 2009, a mere 505 have been sold, bringing in just $53,000 for the Lone Star State's general revenue fund. Does the Land of Lincoln really want to become the Land of Nike? This is one proposal which needs a road trip. A long, long one.
Darts & Laurels
DoubleEagleEyed™ operatives will note the News-Sun be rippin-off the Sun-Times ...
No question about it: Illinois is broke. But are we this desperate? The General Assembly passed a bill this spring to direct the secretary of state's office to study the possibility of putting company logos on state license plates. — for a price. The corporate-sponsored plates would be offered to drivers at a discount. Proponents of the plan say it would be a terrific way for the state to pull in new revenue without raising taxes. But based on how it's working in Texas — the only state that offers corporate-sponsored plates — we doubt it. Since a private company began producing corporate plates for Texas in 2009, 505 have been sold, bringing in just $53,000 for the state's general revenue fund, a company spokeswoman said. Illinois might fare better by offering drivers a discount for the special plates, something Texas doesn't do, but likely not enough to justify cheapening the state's image. There also are the questions of which companies would be allowed to advertise on plates and whether the state would open itself up to lawsuits by turning would-be advertisers away. Honestly, people, does the Land of Lincoln really want to become the Land of Nike? Let's not go down that road, especially for so little gain.
Editorial: License plate ads a tough sell
LegalEagleEyed™ operatives will note that while the News-Sun has been known to liberally "borrow" from other publications in order to fill their Darts & Laurels column ...
Q the Eye/06.17.11
the Sun-Times, technically, was not ripped-off here -- because they own the News-Sun. As far as your LakeCountyEye can tell the only party actually ripped-off was the reader. No harm no foul.
Operatives are advised to copy and e-mail this to 10 other blogs. The last blogger who broke the chain is now blogging somewhere. In the blogosphere.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Primary Schoolin'

Tuesday was the first day of Summer -- which, as every operative knows, means there are some 500 days remaining before the 2012 election. And while in election years, 500 days may be a trip to Mars, it also means there are only 6 months before the 2012 Primary. 6 months is a trip to the bathroom in election years -- and, as every operative knows, a trip to the bathroom is no trip to Mars.

Like every Primary election before it, the 2012 Primary will be unlike the Primary elections before it. Operatives are advised to caveat elector accordingly.

So do not expect the 2012 Primary election to be a three-peat of either the 2010 or 2008 primaries. 2010 was not a presidential year but saw Gubernatorial and Senatorial contests at the top of the primary ballot. Turnout in 2010 was hampered by lackluster candidates, and a foregone conclusion -- Mark Kirk for Republican Senator. On the other hand, 2008 broke box-office voting records, enticing voters with a George-Clooney-caliber candidate -- Barack Obama, in a nail-biter against Hillary Clinton (played by a youthful Jennifer Lopez). Your LakeCountyEye expects the 2012 primary turnout to exceed the 2010 numbers but to not approach 2008.

More interesting, 2012 Republican Primary ballots should exceed Democratic by margins not seen since before 2008. The typical simple-country-voter shows up at a primary to vote for a President or maybe (on a nice day) a Governor or a Senator. Only operatives and wingnuts show up at primaries to vote for anyone farther down on the ballot, for instance a Congressman. 2012 is a presidential year, but President Obama is already the Democratic nominee. With no state-wide or Senatorial contests, the only game in town drawing voters to the polls will be a Republican Presidential contest.

Operatives are advised to expect long lines of Republican of voters in the 2012 Primary. And shoving matches. Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman are notorious for their rabid supporters. If someone is observed asking for a Democratic ballot, a good chance they are machine muscle bused up from Cook County by Mayor Rahm. To make sure the right Democratic congressperson gets their nomination.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Island Lake, a community of friendly people™, have lately gotten their share and more of media attention. The Daily Herald for instance observes ...
The political infighting that has overtaken the Island Lake village board in recent years has served mostly as a lesson in ineffective local government. Leaders in other towns should take note, lest they be tempted to allow personal passions to draw them down a similar path. The Island Lake tragicomedy, with its bad behavior and gridlock, plays out a couple of Thursdays each month for all to see.
Money wasted on dueling lawyers
Of course whenever a village board is perceived as a tragicomedy of bad behavior and gridlock, they have a problem. More specifically a problem of perceptions, and one that some aggressive PR damage-control would turn around in a jiffy. And by aggressive PR damage-control your LakeCountyEye means, of course, a new website.

Well thanks again to the Daily Herald, your LakeCountyEye is happy to report there are no flies on the Island Lake village board:
Island Lake Trustee Laurie Rabattini is seeking local residents to join a subcommittee that will discuss improving the village's website. Meetings will be in the evenings and weekends as needed. If interested, email
Island Lake website group forming
Your LakeCountyEye notes that the domain name ...
is still available.

Operatives wishing to be subcommittee members are urged to act quickly before domain squatters get there first.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

While Labor Day marks the traditional start of the election season, in Lake County that honor goes to Libertyville Days. Every summer, ops and hopefuls from both political parties march in the Libertyville Days parade. And every summer, the Tea-Party-istes at the TeamAmerica10th blog handicap the field for the benefit of subscribers to their Internet tip-sheet.

This year TeamAmerica10th blundered by missing an easy call, which your LakeCountyEye quickly rectified:
LakeCountyEye Rebuttles TeamAmerica10th
As a precaution against future embarrassment, your LakeCountyEye has compiled an Internet widget that local bloggers are invited to use for posting any forthcoming Libertyville Days Parade reports. Simply select one item from each section, paste the items together, and post next year. Report the parade without ever having to leave your basement! All items are 100% recycled material from past posts. More importantly the finished result is guaranteed accurate to under one standard deviation:

Look for your LakeCountyEye -- where else? -- at the next Libertyville Days Parade.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

LakeCountyEye Rebuttles TeamAmerica10th

Lake County can't get enough parades, and just as nature abhors a vacuum, Lake County abhors a parade vacuum. The proof is the mid-June vacuum separating the Memorial Day and Fourth of July parades that is stop-gapped by the Libertyville Father's Day Libertyville Days Parade.

Among noteworthy participants in Libertyville were the Republican operatives at the TeamAmerica10th blog:
Since I was marching and snapping photos, I can't say I saw the entire parade, but from what I did see, and many people that I asked, I did not see one Democrat organization or candidate marching. I would be happy to be corrected, but I just saw nothing from them at all, which is perhaps unsurprising in an off-election year when they don't need anything from the voters.
Lake County GOP Takes Libertyville Days Parade by Storm; Dems are AWOL Preparing to Sandbag Bob Dold at Town Hall Meeting
Your LakeCountyEye, it goes without saying, is happy to correct any blog that is happy to be corrected. So, if Facebook can be believed, then this should make for some happy blogging at TeamAmerica10th:

Libertyville Days Parade June 18, 2011
Incontrovertible photographic evidence indicates that Ilya Sheyman, a Democratic candidate for the 10th Congressional Distinct, was seen marching in Libertyville.

Your LakeCountyEye notes that some rare bloggers are indeed happy to be corrected. How many are happy to countenance a LakeCountyEye Rebuttles™?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Motto Industry

Wauconda is getting a new village motto. Which has prompted some operatives to ask: Just where do village mottoes come from? Back in the day, a village board would call a special session after a regular board meeting and convene at the village liquor commissioner's tavern. Around 2am, one of the trustees would burst out that he just had the most awesome new village motto slogan idea.

Of course nowadays the Illinois Open Meetings Act is enforced. Villages looking for a new slogan are now expected to throw a bunch of hospitality-budget money at a downtown PR firm to come up with something suitable to everyone's liking. Unless it is a Lake County village, in which case for that downtown PR firm substitute a village committee. And for that hospitality-budget money substitute some slogan ideas donated by villagers. According to the Lake County Journal ...
The committee – made up of several former board members and nearly a dozen villagers – narrowed them down to three choices. "Wauconda: Preserving our past, envisioning our future" and "Work, play, live – the unique spirit of Wauconda" also were top picks. But "Village With a View" won out.
Wauconda to roll out new village motto
Small-town villages are no different than tweeners. So when one village gets a new motto, then they all have to get new mottoes. Your LakeCountyEye has learned that several villages are already evaluating proposals. The best are tightly held secrets, but a few rejected village mottoes have been leaked to your LakeCountyEye. Here are ten:

Ten Rejected Lake County Village Mottoes
  1. Help me Wacounda, get me out of this town.
  2. Gurnee: Smile for the red light cameras.
  3. Long Grove, your gateway to the Route 53 Extension.
  4. Keep Waukegan, there's nothing to see here.
  5. Cruise the scenic Great Lakes from Port Barrington.
  6. Buffalo Grove: Stone Free
  7. For what it's worth, Wadsworth.
  8. Park City: we have the loosest slots around.
  9. Kenosha: Not in Lake County. Not even in Illinois. 'Nuff said.
  10. Island Lake, a community of friendly people.

Some classics are destined never to change, like your LakeCountyEye motto:
To fear God, tell the truth and make money.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Q the Eye/06.17.11

Dear LakeCountyEye,

Now that the suits from Chicago call the shots at my newspaper they expect us to do some actual reporting. Or at least provide a few columns of original content. Where do they think content comes from, the content-tree? How do you find your stories?

Charles in Charge

Dear Value-Subtracted Reselle,

Quite frankly, your LakeCountyEye plagiarizes other media vendors. Here is a snippet from an unreleased blog-post, waiting galley review:
Did you know a special session will cost taxpayers $50,000 a day???? To put that figure in some perspective, with that kind of money your LakeCountyEye could buy 50,000 things at the Dollar Store!!!!
Well, Isn't That Special?
In Press
Sharpeyed operatives will recognize that this was cribbed nearly word-for-word from the News-Sun:
With Illinois political leaders talking about a special legislative session this summer to take up added spending bills and the statewide construction plan, it will cost taxpayers nearly $50,000 a day to pay salaries for House and Senate members while in Springfield. That could cover nearly two years of tuition, room and board, and fees for one student at the University of Illinois. That would also pay for a well-appointed luxury sedan.1

Or, according to Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, it could be used to erode the state's 114,530 unpaid bills, dating back to Dec. 29, that sit on her desk.2

Gov. Pat Quinn says he wants a special session so lawmakers can work out a dispute over $430 million in new spending for education and human services that has been linked to the construction program.3
Darts & Laurels
Sure, you're probably thinking: that's not right to take someone else's stuff. Except, where do you suppose the News-Sun got their story -- from the content-tree? Nope, from the Illinois Statehouse News:
1 With nearly $50,000, a taxpayer could cover nearly two years of tuition, room and board, and fees for one student at the University of Illinois. Or he could buy a new 2011 Cadillac CTS sedan with heated leather seats, GPS and MP3, a sunroof, and four cupholders. Instead, taxpayers will shoulder nearly $50,000 a day, if Gov. Pat Quinn calls lawmakers back to the Capitol for special session.

2 Brad Hahn, spokesman for Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, said these daily expenses could be used to whittle away at the 114,530 unpaid bills, dating back to Dec. 29, that sit on Topinka's desk.

3 Quinn has said he wants a special session so lawmakers can work out a dispute over $430 million in new spending for education and human services that has been linked to the statewide construction program.
Special session price tag — $50,000 a day
So, heck, go ahead and "borrow" this LakeCountyEye post, everybody rips-off everybody else anyways. Just one other thing, make sure you rip-off someone who knows what they are talking about. Or at least check the CapitolFaxBlog, before going to press ...
First of all, despite what you may be reading, the session beginning next Wednesday will not cost taxpayers $50,000 a day ...
The median family income for a Freeport family is around $47,000 a year according to the 2010 U.S. Census. That compares to the U.S. median for a family of four at $50,006. One day of special session for the Illinois General Assembly would cost Illinois' beleaguered taxpayers $50,000. Nonetheless, Gov. Pat Quinn this past week said he will call a special session this summer to address Illinois’ $31 billion statewide construction plan.
The governor will not actually be calling a "special session," which would require that members receive their per diem checks. Per diem can't be disbursed for regular session days after the end of May, and that's what next week's session will be. The two chamber leaders are calling their members back to town, so the taxpayers won't be on the hook for that extra cost.

Thoughts on next week's session
Take it from your LakeCountyEye, if your goal is accurate reporting, you can't go wrong plagiarizing FOXNews.

If you are an elected official, or a previously elected official, or just a private citizen under indictment, send your political questions to Q the Eye c/o ...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Prize Weiner

If blogging is a sport then the goal of the blogger is to bag some big game. And one local blogger -- TeamAmerica10th -- should be crowing for having reeled in a big one indeed.

Embattled NY Congressman Anthony Weiner resigned today, and the same TeamAmerica10th deserves much of the credit. Earlier this week TeamAmerica10th threw down the gauntlet, posting a no-holds-barred challenge to President Obama: Either stop your nanny-state government from dictating how we should live our lives or at least make Anthony Weiner resign. TeamAmerica10th quite frankly observed that President Obama ...
won't tell Anthony Weiner to resign, because, well, apparently that would be imposing his judgment on a fellow liberal, and gosh, we just can't make those kind of judgment calls.
Why Will President Obama Dictate Every Aspect of My Life But Not Call On Anthony Weiner to Resign???
It's not often that one witnesses an Internet blogger speak truth to power. But in this case when TeamAmerica10th spoke the truth, power listened. And quickly. An interview was hastily arranged where Obama told NBC News ...
"When you get to the point where, because of various personal distractions, you can't serve as effectively as you need to, at the time when people are worrying about jobs, and their mortgages, and paying the bills -- then you should probably step back."
Obama: 'I would resign' in Weiner's situation
The POTUS-to-English translation is ...
"You heard me, [expletive], and if you come back here by the telephones, where the press can't see it, I will kick your ass right now."
State Senator Ricky Hendon Resigns!
But, Who Knew Obama Was An Ass-Kicking Stud?
Weiner, no doubt, got the message -- loud and clear.

Now, deep in the recesses of a blogatorium of a nearby blogger is a trophy room. And among the 2nd Amendment protected firearms there is to be found is a trophy-case. There, under the glass, is Anthony Weiner's ... scalp.

The LakeCountyEye eye-shade tips to TeamAmerica10th. Skeptics who say that bloggers are a gaggle of irrelevant blowhards are deserving of some schoolin' from TeamAmerica10th.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Junior G-Man

Is it sweetest day or something? The Chicago Tribune yesterday sent an unabashed front-page valentine to Senator Mark Kirk:

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk using gravitas of office to influence home-state politics, policy
He's restoring the traditional role of Illinois' junior senator, he says
Asked by the Tribune for some thoughts on the US Senate, Kirk took the opportunity to blow his own horn:
"It provides that the senator who is mainstream and can work with Republicans and Democrats, who is well-grounded in facts, figures and preparation with the administration, can move the whole Senate toward what is in your state's interest," he said.
Kirk may fancy himself as a modern-day boy-wonder Robin to Senator Dick Durbin's Batman:
"So it's been awhile since we've had a full dynamic duo, Republican and Democrat, senior working national and junior working local."
Is there any wonder the Tribune holds feelings such as these for Illinois's self-proclaimed junior Senator? If they still made those laminating machines, that brooding Kirk photo would now be in the LakeCountyEye wallet. Pensive, but steely-serious -- backlit and against a brick backdrop shot at a noirish angle -- Kirk is hands-down the James Dean of the US Senate. Your LakeCountyEye only wishes there were more photos like this to be had. Many more.

An open request to the Senator, and all Illinois elected officials: Blogging is a lonely avocation, please send your photos to ...
Your LakeCountyEye has yet to meet the politician who can't resist casting an admiring eye toward the mirror, or an admiring camera lens. These might be grainy Blackberry photos, or candid shots from the gym, or just relaxing in the jacuzzi, your LakeCountyEye doesn't mind. Send photos to ...
Utmost discretion is 100% guaranteed!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Nickle & Dime Bets

Is Lake County imploding? It would seem so. First there was news that the County Board is being reduced from 23 to 21 reps. Then there was news that bids are being sought in an effort to privatize the County Courts Winchester House. And the final last straw, Lake County's first, full-blown casino is now in danger of being downsized. As readers of this blog are decreasingly aware ...
Double Downsize
Illinois Gov Pat Quinn thinks the gaming legislation on his desk is much too big, and wants to see the casino bill shrunk down before he signs it.

In an effort to appease the Governor, plans to build a industrial gaming campus in Waukegan -- or Park Place -- or somewhere else up there where nobody ever goes -- are already being scrapped. Instead a downsized casino has been proposed, location FPD TBD. The new, lilliputian casino, in a nutshell, will be a scaled-back version of a real casino, except with everything much smaller.

Gamers are going to have to wait until if & when the proposed itteh bitteh Lake County casino sails past the Governor's desk. In the meantime, your LakeCountyEye suggests getting familiar with all the new downsized casino games that will be mandated by a revised gaming bill:

Ten Most Popular Games to Play at the
Downsized Lake County Casino
  1. 1 Card Stud
  2. Stingy Bingo
  3. Rabbit-Ear Video Poker
  4. Rhode Island Hold'Em
  5. Charcoal-Gray Jack
  6. Three Card Runty
  7. Scottish Roulette
  8. Mini Craps
  9. Whack-a-Nit
  10. Penny-pinching Slots

Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GET-A-JOB

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Double Downsize

With an armada of gambling-boat casinos poised to set sail up the Des Plaines River, Lake County has -- at long last -- caught the gamblin' fever. In fact, Lake County has been waiting so long for casino action, that the high rollers here have all but forgotten their remedial gaming strategies and skills. If that sounds like you, your LakeCountyEye recommends one of many State of Illinois on-line refresher courses in how to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run -- before trying your luck.

Of course no casino will be a done deal until Gov Pat Quinn signs whatever it is he is supposed to sign. And Quinn may welsh. According to the Northwest Herald ...
State Sen. Terry Link, D-Waukegan, who sponsored the legislation, said Quinn "has indicated very strongly that he wants to see a reduction. He doesn't want to see it as big," Link said. "So his message was loud and clear to us, and we have to see how we can do this to appease what his concerns are."
Bill to expand gambling may be downsized
It goes without saying that when the request is for -- not so big -- Lake County can & will accommodate. Your LakeCountyEye has been informed that the experts at downsizing -- the Lake County Board -- are working on a proposal designed to satisfy Gov Quinn's demand that smaller is better, while at the same time keep that gamblin' money flowing into the county treasury.

So, instead of one big-box mega-casino somewhere in the crime-riddled upper-right quadrant, look for a network of boutique mini-mart casinos scattered throughout the County. These so-called slots-in-a-box would be downsized casinos catering to the suburban gamer who may be looking for some fast blackjack action while stopping for a gallon of milk and a carton of Marlboros. Drive-thru lanes will be available for late-night, after-hour gamers. Most franchises will be located near a convenient pawnshop or payday loan outlet.

Wealthy political-donor/contractors are poised and ready to dig, the minute the casino bill is signed into law. Look for one coming to a strip-mall at the busy intersection nearest you.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Sabonjian Smidgin

Readers of this blog may recall sighting the sulli-mander, a fabulous creature defined as a map gerrymandered to the mutual benefit of adjacent office-holders:
Madigan ♥s Sullivan
Another beastie to emerge from the terra incognita of reapportionment is the sabonjian-smidgin, and one can be found meandering the canyons of the Lake County Board's new, downsized, economy, 21-district map:
Lake County's District 8 is represented by Bill Durkin. A previous & noteworthy representative of District 8, Bob Sabonjian, is now Waukegan's Mayor. The new District 8 encompasses much of central Waukegan -- well give or take a city block or two. Sharpeyed operatives will notice that one block was cut out of the district's northern border:
That single block -- known in cartographic circles as a sabonjian-smidgin -- is the street where Mayor Sabonjian lives. Did your LakeCountyEye mention that Sabonjian had been a District 8 Commissioner? Well, ok, your LakeCountyEye did. But your LakeCountyEye hasn't mentioned that Bill Durkin is a member of the 2011 County Reapportionment committee.

Anyhow, Bob Sabonjian has been on-the-record saying that he will not run for a second term as Waukegan Mayor. And this has the chattering nabobs whispering that Sabonjian was exiled out of District 8 for, well, the obvious reasons. But your LakeCountyEye knows better than belabor the obvious, no matter how obvious it may be. Your LakeCountyEye has it on the highest authority that Sabonjian's block was excluded because that is where they plan to dig the Route 53 Extension.

You heard it here first!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Winchester Casino

Will gambling be the next sure-thing in Lake County? Maybe, according to the News-Sun ...
Lake County could soon be in the casino business now that the Legislature has approved a major expansion of legalized gambling in Illinois, proposing a gaming venue for Park City. But will Gov. Pat Quinn, who helped scuttle a previous casino expansion bill, sign the measure into law?
Our View: Roll the dice
Will he or won't he? Step right up, ladies and gentlemen and operatives, there's still time to place a bet!

The usual informed sources inform your LakeCountyEye that not only is gambling coming to Lake County, but the Lake County Board wants in on the action. It's no secret to readers of this blog ...
Privatized Residence
that the County Board wants to outsource Winchester House operations to a private interest. Now it's a well known fact that casinos make most of their profit off of senior citizens -- the so called little-old-lady-brigade buses. (The real impetus behind the Route 53 extension, btw, was to open a superhighway corridor to ensure senior buses could arrive at Potawatomi before the end of the breakfast buffet.) Suffice it to say that the unnamed private interest in question plans to rebrand Winchester House with a new corporate identity:
Winchester Casino
The plan will, so to speak, kill two birds with one stone -- and sources inform your LakeCountyEye that it is regarded as an all-around win-win for everyone. Preparations for the Winchester Casino are already under way, including a marketing campaign complete with TV and radio buys. Operatives are advised to keep an ear pricked for a snappy new jingle:
Winchester Casino, we're doubling down,
Bet the farm, we're all in, we're going to town.

You were instituted, a hospice retreat,
But you've added no income, to our balance sheet.

Now everyone wants to hear that you're feeling well,
But the clock is on, let's hear the ding-ding of those slot-machine bells!

Winchester Casino, we're doubling down,
Bet the farm, we're all in, we're going to town.
Look for your LakeCountyEye Boh-Dee-Oh-Dee-Oh-Doh-ing in the dark near you.

Monday, June 6, 2011

No Ifs, Ands or Rebuttles

An actual unretouched screencap from a local Lake County blog:

CBGIL Rebuttles DH investigation into Island Lake legal bills
Sharpeyed operatives will recognize the screencap is from one of your LakeCountyEye's Blogs of Note ...
What's Happening in Island Lake
The blog is the soapbox of current Island Lake Trustee, Laurie Rabattini. Their most FAQ is probably not: What's Happening in Island Lake? No doubt it must be, instead: What is a Rebuttles?

One fanboy operative sent your LakeCountyEye this inspired guess:

The Rutles
Well that was certainly a blast from the back-in-the-day. The correct answer is no farther away than the OED -- the Operative's Electioneering Dictionary:
Rebuttles \Re*but"tles\, n.
The business end of a mallet-wielding hobo chipping away at some thingy with an embossed dollar sign.
[syn: Bum]

Mark Beaubien Dies

Mark H Beaubien Jr

From the Daily Herald:
State Rep. Mark Beaubien, Jr., a moderate Republican who represented the Barrington area in Springfield for nearly 15 years, died Sunday after collapsing at a GOP event in Arlington Heights.
State Rep. Beaubien dies at 68
Our condolences to Beaubien's family and friends.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Privatized Residence

The Lake County Board is looking for a kick to the privates. As in privatization. No doubt envious of the success of Chicago's Parking Meter Fiasco Deal, the Lake County Board is banking on the quick buck that can be turned by privatizing county assets. Informed sources inform your LakeCountyEye that no reasonable offer will be refused, everything must go -- including the county-run nursing home, Winchester House. According to the News-Sun ...
Two Lake County Board committees have recommended seeking bids from private companies to run the county's Winchester House nursing home, and the matter will now go to the full board for consideration. The Lake County Board's Financial and Administrative Committee voted 4-1 Wednesday to recommend soliciting bids from private firms who specialize in the operation of skilled-nursing facilities for the possible management of the Libertyville-based nursing home.
Privatization of Winchester House moves closer
When a unit of government decides to have a fire-sale, first-in-line for a piece-of-the-action are aways the boodlers, the well connected, the big money players. This unit-of-government fire-sale is no exception, and your LakeCountyEye has already learned of ten corporate interests interested in turning around Winchester House into a cash-cow money making operation:

Ten Private Sector Interests
Submitting Bids for Winchester House
  1. Hollywood Casino
  2. CVS
    Now with 24 Hour Drive Thru
  3. Grave Concern Funeral Homes
  4. Old-Haunts Halloween Haunted Houses
  5. Denny's
    Ask for the senior discount!
  6. Wurlitzer's Organ Exchange
  7. Doc-in-a-Box Instant Health Service
  8. US Olympic Septuagenarian Village
  9. Ambulance Chasers, LLC
  10. Starbucks

Look for your LakeCountyEye driving around your town, with a turn signal on.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Big Map Attack

Perhaps the last thing an operative wants to look at this weekend is another gerrymandered political map. So as Friday night news dumps go, this was probably the perfect Friday for the Lake County Board to post its own new map of the County Board Districts.
It should come as no surprise to operatives that the board is to be reduced by two districts, from 23 to 21 -- and why:
the move had to be justified. State law says county boards need to be reduced to 18 if county population reaches 800,000. "We might get up to that number in the next ten years," said member Mountsier, "so we should start shrinking now." Huh? You start planning now for a hypothetical situation that might never occur? When do governments ever do that? So the plan is to reduce the board to 21 members. Of course, since the population of Lake County increased dramatically since 2000, each district will be significantly bigger in the remap. Republican plan, apparently: fewer districts, less representation. 'And we'd save $75,000 if we cut two board members,' said Aaron Lawlor. 75K? That's pocket lint in a budget of more than $300 million. Another member mentioned that two Republican county board members were retiring anyway.
County Board Remap Magic
Your LakeCountyEye does concede that the county population might reach 800,000 by 2020 -- there could be an invasion by Red China or something. But everyone knows why two districts really had to go poof. Ha ha, to get rid of Democrats (who are two seats away from a majority). According to the Daily Herald ...
some sitting commissioners will find themselves living in the same districts as other members. That's the case for Grayslake Democrats Pat Carey and Melinda Bush, who live a few blocks from each other in what is proposed to be the new 6th District. Bush represents the 6th District now, while Carey serves the 11th District. "We knew this might happen," Carey said. "That's life in government and politics." Also set to double up are the board's longest-serving members, North Chicago Democrat Audrey Nixon and Waukegan Democrat Angelo Kyle. Both will find themselves in the 14th District, which Nixon now represents, if the proposed map is approved. Kyle, who represents the 12th District, said he was stunned by the proposed boundaries. "We did not expect it, not in the least," Kyle said.
Lake County Board proposes new district boundaries
Carey, Bush, Nixon and Kyle all just happen to be Democrats. Board Chairman David Stolman denies the map was drawn to achieve political goals:
"If we wanted to be political, we could've carved it up and put three people in one district," said Stolman, a Buffalo Grove Republican.
Lake County Board proposes new district boundaries
So, what are the chances that 4 Democratic Lake County Board Commissioners could be chosen at random for district consolidation? Operatives familiar with their probability & statistics will recognize that this is a classic ...
Urn Problem
In this case an urn contains 23 balls, where 13 are Republican-red and 10 are Democratic-blue. What are the odds that the first 4 balls drawn will all be blue? The solution is an easy calculation:
(10/23) * (9/22) * (8/21) * (7/20) = 2%
There is about a 2% chance that 4 Democratic commissioners would be chosen in a fair drawing. 2% is less than the margin-of-error for most polls. Human beings and E.coli share about 2% of their genes in common.

It would even have been as nearly as difficult to select 4 Republicans at random:
(13/23) * (12/22) * (11/21) * (10/20) = 8%
To put this in some perspective, 2% is what your LakeCountyEye pours on the Cap'n Crunch in the morning. There were pictures of Pat Carey, Melinda Bush, Audrey Nixon, Angelo Kyle on the milk carton.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Q the Eye/06.02.11

Dear LakeCountyEye,

Having been 100% committed to the people's important business of talking to the cable cameras, I failed to notice that the district I represent is, poof, all of a sudden gone! My term ends in 2012. I am fired up and ready to run but with nowhere to go. I could use some direction, please.

Behind the Eighth Ball

Dear Section Eight,

All those newly gerrymandered districts were drawn to benefit either a Democratic or Republican incumbent. And most of these Congressional districts will be decided in the Primary election -- March 20, 2012 -- some 9 months from now, which converted to campaign years amounts to about a long weekend at the Dells. So if your Congressional re-election campaign office isn't up-and-running and targeting likely voters, ha ha, it's probably already too late.

No surprise, but eagle-scout Congressman Robert Dold already leaked it to the canaries at the TeamAmerica10th blog that he plans to run for re-election in the new 10th Congressional District.
Bob Dold Is "In" For 10th District Race
This was an obvious shot-across-the-bow aimed at Congressman Joe Walsh or anyone else contemplating a run in the Tenth District Republican primary. Dold will be redistricted into the new 9th Congressional District. And by "leaking" his intention in advance, Dold can avoid announcing it at a press conference where reporters are sure to ask embarrassing questions like ...
  • Why don't you run against Jan Schakowsky in the 9th?
  • Your campaign criticized Dan Seals for living in the 9th -- do you plan to move to the 10th?
With the cat out of the bag, all Dold needs to do now is issue a press release confirming his plans, while safely out of reach from those pesky reporters.

As for your dilemma, Mr Eight, you could do worse than follow the lead of State Rep Jack Franks. As reported by the parrots at the McHenryCountyBlog, Franks ...
does not want to run against 8th District Congressman Joe Walsh. Walsh has a dynamism that Franks cannot begin to approach. But, if Walsh decides to run in the 10th District and 14th District incumbent Randy Hultgren runs unopposed in the 14th, then I think there is better than a 40% chance that Franks will challenge him.
What Will Jack Franks Do Next to Get Publicity?
That's all you need to do: watch Joe Walsh. Where Walsh decides to run, you run someplace else.

And rinse. And repeat.

If you are an elected official, or a previously elected official, or just a private citizen under indictment, send your political questions to Q the Eye c/o ...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Chicago Tribune Creepy Cartoonist™
Breeds the Screaming Memes

Your LakeCountyEye is thinking of switching to a decaffeinated blend; breakfast is definitely not for the faint of heart when it comes to reading the Chicago Tribune:

Chicago Tribune, 05/31/2011
Is this a sign from the Chicago Tribune Creepy Cartoonist™ that Halloween or Armageddon is supposed to come early this year, or something?

Anyways, here's the cellphone photo of your LakeCountyEye this morning, caught off guard:
From now on, your LakeCountyEye plans to Munch down on a heapin' bowl of Count Chocula or Franken Berry before going again anywhere near the Tribune editorial page.