Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Real China Challenge – Can We Compete and How?

John Rogers will discuss The Real China Challenge - Can We Compete and How? at a forum hosted by the Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy:

Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy
International businessman, attorney, strategist, and educator John Rogers has spent the past 25 years commuting between Chicago and Asia. Beginning in 2014, Rogers will live in China where he will teach business and law at Beijing Foreign Studies University (Beiwai) and serve as Guest Fellow at the Shanghai Academy of Social Science (Institute of Law). He has held faculty appointments at Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management and Chicago Kent College of Law. He has also served as Adjunct Professor at Aalto University, Helsinki; and as Guest Professor at Beijing Language and Culture University. China is actively increasing its level of research and development spending, and is dedicated to next generation technologies that may or may not be compatible with Western standards. Can the U.S. compete? If so, how?
  • Sunday
    February 2, 2014
    2 PM
  • The Stevenson Center on Democracy
    25200 N St Mary's Rd
    Mettawa (Libertyville), IL 60048
  • Coffee and conversation following
  • Cost $15

Friday, January 24, 2014

Nom de Plum

An actual, unretouched screencap from the Daily Herald website ...

Stolman, Atleson vie for GOP treasurer nom in Lake County
Stolman in this case appears to be David Stolman, a Commissioner and former Chair of the Lake County Board. Atleson, on the other hand, is more than likely Jeri Atleson, treasurer of the Lake County Republican Party central committee. Both are GOP candidates for Lake County treasurer.

Stolman is a fixture among the Lake County Republican establishment. While Atleson has a leadership post in the Lake County Republican Party. It is unclear which of the two has locked up the Lolcat vote:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Nationalize Me!

Is this any way to run an airline? You bet it is! They are just going to have to learn to live with it over there -- O'Hare Illinois is no longer the only city in the Land of Lincoln that has a National Airport. As of this week, Waukegan Regional Airport has been renamed the Waukegan National Airport. The News-Sun reports the name change was mandated by the Federal Government ...
the new moniker wasn't something sought out by the Waukegan Port District — FAA officials required it.
FAA requires name change for Waukegan airport
While there is no truth to the rumor that naming rights have already been secured by Greyhound ...
The Waukegan National Airport Greyhound Terminal
... and Leave the Driving to Us!
privately, Lake County officials are fuming over the change mandated by the Federal government. "It was only a matter of time before government started nationalizing the airports." one unnameable official told your LakeCountyEye. "What will be next -- the interstates?"

What next indeed? Ten of them by your LakeCountyEye's reckoning:
Ten Lake County Destinations that may be Nationalized
  1. Lake County Fielders Nationals
  2. National Girls Gone Wild on Blarney Island
  3. Route 53 National Extension
  4. Lake County National AR 15 Association
  5. Illinois Beach State Park National Park
  6. Fort Sheridan National Golf Course
  7. Lake County National DNA Bank
  8. Six Flags Great National America
  9. Lake County National Election Commission
  10. Great Lakes Naval Station
Look for your LakeCountyEye, on a national level.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Do Ambulance Chasers Ever Get Stuck in Traffic?

Tacoma Narrows BridgeLake County, no slouch when it comes to petty & vindictive political retributions, takes a backseat to New Jersey. According to the Chicago Tribune ...
As if he did not have enough headaches, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is facing a potential class-action lawsuit arising from the monster traffic jams his aides are accused of creating, although experts question the strength of the case. A personal injury lawyer from Fort Lee, New Jersey, filed the case in federal court on behalf of six local residents who missed work or suffered other alleged damages due to the traffic jam last September.
Another headache for New Jersey's Christie: Class-action lawsuit
To get the lowdown on the monster personal injury suit, your LakeCountyEye had a conversation with Dr. I.M. Bhatschidtkhrazzi, Professor of Frivolous Litigation at the College of Lake County.

"Ya, the fat is in the fire, metaphorically speaking." Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi told your LakeCountyEye. "New Jersey has demonstrated that official malfeasance with respect to the proper oversight of the public thoroughfares is actionable in a court of law. This is huge!"

Actionable, wondered your LakeCountyEye. How so?

"Here's an example even your operatives can understand." said Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi. "How long have you been waiting for the Route 53 Extension to be built -- fifty years, at least? Well, during those fifty years how many times were you late to work or school or somehow delayed because that highway never got beyond the planning stage? A million times, right?"

At least, thought your LakeCountyEye.

"And whose fault is that?" asked Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi. "The government of Lake County Illinois, right?"

At the very least, thought your LakeCountyEye.

"OK, if I can file a personal injury suit against the Governor of New Jersey for shutting down some little bridge and making me late," continued Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi, "then what stops me from filing a personal injury suit against the government of Lake County for neglecting to build their Route 53 Extension, and making me late?"

Your LakeCountyEye laughed involuntarily -- who would contemplate something like that?

"My law firm." replied Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi.

Your LakeCountyEye pantomimed a double-take -- you're an associate at a law firm?

"No, not an associate." sniffed Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi. "Partner. A founding partner of Dewey, Cheatem & Bhatschidtkhrazzi. Look us up in Sullivan's. We're building a class-action lawsuit against the government of Lake County to recover damages and lost wages that are a direct result of being stuck in traffic because of their ongoing failure to construct a Route 53 Extension."

Your LakeCountyEye heard enough. Did Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi have any parting observations?

"I thought you'd never ask." he said. "This is our walkcard. Will you post a copy on your little blog?"
Route 53 Extension Class Action Lawsuit




This is an announcement for Lake County motorists who wish to join a class action lawsuit to recover their unpaid expenses. If you were ever delayed in Lake County traffic because the Government of Lake County neglected to construct a Route 53 Extension in a timely manner, then you are entitled to compensation.

You qualify to be a member of this class action suit if, within the past 50 years, you were delayed in Lake County traffic when driving to:
  • Your Work
  • Your School
  • Your Video Poker Machine
  • Your Medical Marijuana Dispensary
  • Your Shootin' Range
  • Get registered to vote with the Lake County Election Commission
If you meet any of the above criteria, or believe you qualify for any other reason, do not hesitate to contact:
Do not delay. You may be eligible for a handsome settlement!

We guarantee to keep your identity and the information you share with us strictly confidential until the class action lawsuit is filed.

Monday, January 13, 2014

70 is the New 55

reverse engineering Lake County, no stranger to sitting at redlights, will just have to wait some more. Illinois's long anticipated upgrade from 55 to 70 MPH highways hit a speed bump. Recent bad weather has delayed the posting of new SPEED LIMIT signs. According to the Northwest Herald ...
State officials have asked drivers not to start driving 70 mph until the new signs are installed.
70 mph sign installation delayed because of weather
This is unwelcome news to both Lake County's drivers as well as its 2nd Amendment advocates. It is currently not known exactly when it will be legal to drive 70 MPH in Lake County. Or to take advantage of those brand new 70 MPH SPEED LIMIT signs for midnight moving-target practice.

Of course, when it comes to traffic law in Lake County, there is legal and then there is legal.  The Chicago Tribune noted that 70 MPH has not only been legal for years ...
On Chicagoland expressways, the speed limit is 80
... but 70 is perhaps rightly reserved for the break-down lane.

Your LakeCountyEye has been told that the new signs are scheduled to be first posted up and down the Route 53 Extension. Gentlemen, gun your engines!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Extension Gate!

Rod Blagojevich may have to relinquish the title of America's Most Asinine Ex-Governor -- that's because Chris Christie's political career is collapsing faster than the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Someone in the New Jersey Governor's office who thought it a was good way to punk their enemies, gave an order last September to shut down the George Washington Bridge. While brutally epic in scope, the political prank dubbed Bridge-Gate has now backfired, undermining Governor Chris Christie's presidential aspirations. According to the Chicago Tribune ...
More than 1,000 pages of documents subpoenaed by New Jersey lawmakers investigating the massive, four-day traffic jam in Fort Lee were made public after days of damaging disclosures about the role Christie's staff played in the September shutdown, which appeared to be political payback.
Documents cast new light on Christie bridge scandal
New documents just released indicate that Christie has political enemies as far away as Lake County. Prior to his landslide re-election, New Jersey Governor Christie had solicited endorsements from some high-ranking Lake County elected officials. But when the endorsements did not materialize, your LakeCountyEye has learned, the following e-mail was issued from Christie's office:
The e-mail clearly says ...
Time for some traffic problems in LAKE COUNTY ILLINOIS
One anonymous Lake County elected official spoke to your LakeCountyEye under the condition of anonymity: "You may not have noticed, but soon after that e-mail was sent, the Route 53/120 Blue Ribbon Advisory Council issued a report saying that the Route 53 Extension was going to cost the taxpayer $3 Billion. That was no coincidence. There had been a secret deal in the works to pay for the Route 53 Extension -- the Illinois Toll Authority was going to dip into petty cash to become a silent partner in a new Donald Trump casino in Atlantic City. But when Christie didn't get the endorsements he wanted, the deal all of a sudden went south."

"Politics ain't beanbag in New Jersey." said this anonymous official. "The Illinois Toll Authority is now going to have to get all that money from out of the wazoo of the Lake County taxpayer. Don't expect to see the Route 53 Extension built in my or your lifetime. And I put the blame 100% on Chris Christie."

Your LakeCountyEye will keep you posted as further developments warrant.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Lake County Under the Weather

Audrey JrLake County thermometers may all read minus 30 below (and in the shade) but your LakeCountyEye has nothing to complain about. The LakeCountyEye franklin stove is stoked and aglow with this month's medical marijuana prescription.

Haha, as of January 1, medical marijuana became street-legal in Illinois. But operatives are advised not to line up outside their 24-hour drive-thru pharmacy just yet. The State still has to approve who gets to grow and sell the stuff. Furthermore, the Daily Herald says ...
Even if the state starts regulating growers and sellers at the end of the year, marijuana might not be available immediately. Medical marijuana sold in Illinois must be grown in Illinois, and setting up infrastructure could take time.
Medical pot legal, but state needs time to write rules

Happily, however, Lake County has already named a task force to draw up rules needed to regulate the cultivation and distribution of marijuana within the County. Your LakeCountyEye hasn't the time to obtain the specifics of those rules and regs, but does know Lake County will be ready to rock'n'roll when marijuana does become available. According to the Daily Herald ...
Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor praised the task force's work.
Lake County task force creates model rules for pot businesses

It goes without saying that medical marijuana is for medicinal use only. This means operatives have only about 12 months to contract a State approved medical condition before they can ask their MDs for their prescription cannabis. Your LakeCountyEye does have the time to obtain the names of illnesses that qualify. There are at least ten of them -- the good news is, you only need to come down with one:
Ten Medical Conditions
Treatable with Medical Marijuana
in Lake County
  1. The Waukegan Pneumonia

  2. And the Blarney Island Flu

  3. Radiation Sickness
    Available to CLC Students Only

  4. An Itchy Trigger Finger

  5. The Vapors
    Available to Countryside Landfill Patrons Only

  6. Gambling Addiction?
    Call 1-800-DOOBIE

  7. Route 53 Extension Dysfunction

  8. The Backyard Chicken Pox

  9. Faced

  10. Reefer Madness
Look for your LakeCountyEye, not just some potted plant.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Story Power: Breaking through Compassion Fatigue

The Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy will feature Sue O'Halloran, nationally and internationally acclaimed writer, story teller, television personality and keynote speaker at a program on Story Power: Breaking Through Compassion Fatigue:

Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy
The Chicago Reader says Susan O'Halloran "has mastered the Irish art of telling stories that are funny and heart-wrenching at the same time." Seen on PBS, Nightline and The New York Times, the National Storytelling Festival/International Storytelling Residencies, and at the National Storytelling Network as keynote speaker, Susan produces storytelling events including Stories Connect Us All, a 2013 online festival with participants in 45 countries. Susan's work demonstrates that stories shed light on the light and dark corners of the soul through the perfectly imperfect, common experience of being human.
  • Sunday
    January 12, 2014
    2 PM
  • The Stevenson Center on Democracy
    25200 N St Mary's Rd
    Mettawa (Libertyville), IL 60048
  • Coffee and conversation following
  • Cost $15

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Recharting the Remap Referendum

As sure as 2014 comes after 2013, every person in Lake County will be writing down their New Year's resolutions. And if every person in Lake County is anything like your LakeCountyEye, they are resolving to enact an Illinois Constitutional Amendment to change how legislative maps get re-drawn every 10 years.

According to a Daily Herald editorial that your LakeCountyEye just read ...
The voters in the area around Buffalo Grove always seemed to think Sidney Mathias was a likable guy and a responsive legislator. So every two years, they elected him by fairly comfortable margins to the Illinois House. Mathias had a built-in advantage in those races. He once had been village president of Buffalo Grove, and most of the community provided the core of the old square-shaped 53rd House District he represented. Then last year, Mathias got trounced.
A Remap Referendum: It's time to tell party bosses, 'Enough'
Sad but true: former State Representative Sid Mathias was an election-day casualty of the redistricting process. After his hand-drawn legislative district was re-drawn again in 2010, Mathias was handed his lunch at the voting booths in 2012.  And if someone who has a train station named after him ...
cannot win a election on home turf, then either they are just totally sleepwalkin' it or the system is seriously broken.

Which is why your LakeCountyEye is fightin' mad, just like the Daily Herald. Mad enough, in fact, that your LakeCountyEye sat down and wrote an opinion-laden editorial. Just like the Daily Herald:
The voters in the area around Wauconda & Island Lake seemed to think Joe Walsh was a charismatic guy and a promising legislator. So for two years, they elected him -- against nearly impossible odds -- to the US House of Representatives.

Walsh had a built-in advantage in that race. He loudly professed the Tea-Party gospel to the low-information voters of Lake and McHenry Counties, and most of that community provided the core of the old tea-cozy-shaped 8th Congressional District he would represent.

Then last year, Walsh got trounced.

Had there been a scandal? Had the voters tired of him? Had he suddenly become unlikable and unresponsive?

None of the above.

When Congressional districts were redrawn after the 2010 census, the Eighth District was sent through a cartographic wood chipper and Walsh, a Republican, was given the bum's rush into a flounder-shaped new district that pitched down to Villa Park & Lombard and then yawed in a narrow band all the way up the tollway into Schaumburg and to the edge of Wheeling. That geography provided welcome turf for a popular Democrat, Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates, and she used it to full advantage.

You might say ol' Joe never knew what hit him, except he knew it full well: the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Your LakeCountyEye's point here isn't to defend or lionize Walsh. For these purposes, he's simply an example, and there are many, many others.

But the reality is, Walsh wasn't turned out by the voters. The reality is, under the legislative map-drawing process that Illinois now follows, the voters have very little say. The machine politicians have taken it out of the voters' hands.

Republicans knew the day after the 2010 election put Democrats firmly in charge of the remapping process in Illinois that they were eventually going to be free of Walsh -- who was becoming a state-wide and national GOP embarrassment -- in the 2012 elections.

And Walsh knew the day the new map was released that his time as a legislator was over.

This wasn't a map that would make Walsh's re-election chances tough. It was a map that made them impossible.
Note to ops: If you think Joe Walsh belongs in the US House of Representatives and needs to be sent back ASAP, then say yes to map reform. Work to get a constitutional amendment on next November's ballot!