The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Want a better Congress?

Here are three ways to help, right in TDP's back yard. You can contribute a few bucks to Melissa Bean, running for re-election to Congress from Illinois' 8th district, to Tammy Duckworth, running for Henry Hyde's seat in the Illinois 6th, or to Dan Seals in the Illinois 10th.

Duckworth is currently polling within the margin of error against her opponent, Peter Roskam, who continually sinks to new depths in his desperate campaign to keep the seat in Greedy Old Party hands. The GOP has just given almost half a million dollars to Roskam, all for negative ads attacking Duckworth. So her campaign might need a little more than the other two right now.

Update: Duckworth picked up the Chicago Tribune's endorsement today. The Tribune generally leans right of center, in much the same way that Ronald Reagan did; so their endorsement is notable.

Disclosure: I have contributed money to all three campaigns mentioned in this post, and I plan to volunteer for Duckworth on election day (19 days, 4 hours).

Cook County, Illinois, judge guide for voters

The Chicago Bar Association has released its recommendations for judicial retentions in the upcoming elections. Illinois voters have the opportunity to reject judges each year. A judge needs to get 60% yes votes to keep his or her seat, and every year, the CBA and other organizations recommend that a few not be retained. This year's losers include:

CYNTHIA BRIM - NOT RECOMMENDED

The candidate declined to participate in the Judicial Evaluation Committee (JEC) screening process and, therefore, according to The Chicago Bar Association's governing resolution for the JEC, is automatically found NOT RECOMMENDED.

BARBARA J. DISKO - NOT RECOMMENDED

The candidate declined to participate in the Judicial Evaluation Committee (JEC) screening process and, therefore, according to The Chicago Bar Association's governing resolution for the JEC, is automatically found NOT RECOMMENDED.

LORETTA EADIE-DANIELS - NOT RECOMMENDED

Judge Loretta Eadie-Daniels is not recommended for retention as a Circuit Court Judge. Judge Eadie-Daniels was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1977 and has served as a judge since 2000. Judge Eadie-Daniels enjoys the respect of those who appear before her for her integrity. However, it is the considered view of the Committee that Judge Eadie-Daniels does not possess the necessary depth and breadth of legal knowledge to serve as a Circuit Court Judge.

DONNA PHELPS FELTON - NOT RECOMMENDED

The candidate declined to participate in the Judicial Evaluation Committee (JEC) screening process and, therefore, according to The Chicago Bar Association's governing resolution for the JEC, is automatically found NOT RECOMMENDED.

MARCELLA CARMEN LIPINSKI - NOT RECOMMENDED

Judge Marcella C. Lipinski is not recommended for retention as a Circuit Court Judge. Judge Lipinski was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1980 and has served as a judge since 2000. Judge Lipinski does not possess the necessary temperament and demeanor to serve as a Circuit Court Judge.

P. SCOTT NEVILLE, JR. - NOT RECOMMENDED

The candidate declined to participate in the Judicial Evaluation Committee (JEC) screening process and, therefore, according to The Chicago Bar Association's governing resolution for the JEC, is automatically found NOT RECOMMENDED.

AMANDA S. TONEY - NOT RECOMMENDED

Judge Amanda S. Toney is not recommended for retention as a Circuit Court Judge. Judge Toney was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1985 and has served as a judge since 1994. Judge Toney needs to improve her punctuality and diligence in managing her courtroom call. Many cases assigned to her sit for much too long a period without disposition.

PAMELA E. HILL VEAL (D) - NOT RECOMMENDED

The candidate declined to participate in the Judicial Evaluation Committee (JEC) screening process and, therefore, according to The Chicago Bar Association's governing resolution for the JEC, is automatically found NOT RECOMMENDED.

GLORIA CHEVERE (D) - NOT RECOMMENDED

The candidate declined to participate in the Judicial Evaluation Committee (JEC) screening process and, therefore, according to The Chicago Bar Association's governing resolution for the JEC, is automatically found NOT RECOMMENDED.

ELLEN L. FLANNIGAN (D) - NOT RECOMMENDED

Ellen L. Flannigan is not recommended for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Ms. Flannigan was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1988. While Ms. Flannigan is well respected for her integrity and diligence, she does not possess the breadth and depth of experience to serve as a Circuit Court Judge.

JILL C. MARISIE (R) - NOT RECOMMENDED

Jill C. Marisie is not recommended for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Ms. Marisie was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1990. While the candidate has a fine demeanor, she lacks the requisite depth and breadth of legal experience to serve as a Circuit Court Judge.

DANIEL PATRICK BRENNAN (D)- NOT RECOMMENDED

The candidate declined to participate in the Judicial Evaluation Committee (JEC) screening process and, therefore, according to The Chicago Bar Association's governing resolution for the JEC, is automatically found NOT RECOMMENDED.

We'll try to stay serene and calm

...when North Korea gets the bomb.

Wow. Try as I might, I can't think of any worse result of the President's (834 days, 4 hours) foreign policies than North Korea exploding a nuclear bomb this morning. (The USGS felt it; did you?)

Josh Marshall has a fair summary of how this happened, but I think we all know already:

The origins of the failure are ones anyone familiar with the last six years in this country will readily recognize: chest-thumping followed by failure followed by cover-up and denial. The same story as Iraq. Even the same story as Foley.

All diplomatic niceties aside, President Bush's idea was that the North Koreans would respond better to threats than Clinton's mix of carrots and sticks.

Then in the winter of 2002-3, the US prepared the invade Iraq, the North called Bush's bluff. And the president folded. Abjectly, utterly, even hilariously if the consequences weren't so grave and vast.

And where is China in all this? Apparently they've decided that a nuclear-armed and insane regime on their flank is better than no regime at all.

How long will it take to undo the damage our administration has caused? How much more damage will we suffer as a result?

Broken link fixed 2014-10-12

The Dow isn't important, really

Paul Krugman (sub.req.) points out that the record Dow closing comes at a very high price to most Americans:

Should we be cheering over the fact that the Dow Jones Industrial Average has finally set a new record? No. The Dow is doing well largely because American employers are waging a successful war against wages. Economic growth since early 2000, when the Dow reached its previous peak, hasn't been exceptional. But after-tax corporate profits have more than doubled, because workers' productivity is up, but their wages aren't—and because companies have dealt with rising health insurance premiums by denying insurance to ever more workers.

Also, I apologize to readers who want more political posts. The fact is, the Greedy Old Party (GOP) are hanging themselves right now, and while I'm feeling a little Schadenfraude for them, I don't think I can add much. The election is in 32 days. Let's see whether the voters in close Republican districts understand that the Republican Congress hasn't helped them and won't.

"Kip Hawley is an Idiot"

A passenger at Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee got detained by the TSA last week because he insulted the TSA's director:

A Wisconsin man who wrote "Kip Hawley is an Idiot" on a plastic bag containing toiletries said he was detained at an airport security checkpoint for about 25 minutes before authorities concluded the statement was not a threat.
Ryan Bird, 31, said he wrote the comment about Hawley—head of the Transportation Security Administration—as a political statement. He said he feels the TSA is imposing unreasonable rules on passengers while ignoring bigger threats.
A TSA spokeswoman acknowledged a man was stopped, but likened the incident to cases in which people inappropriately joke about bombs. She said the man was "a little combative" and that he was detained only a few minutes.

I recommend everyone write "Kip Hawley is an Idiot" on their toiletries bags. Sadly, though, the TSA will still spend billions protecting us from shaving cream without actually making flying safer.

(Thanks to Anne for the article.)

Something has changed

Anne and David I'm David Braverman, and this is my blog.

This blog has actually been around for nearly a year, giving me time to figure out what I wanted to do with it. Initially, I called it "The WASP Blog," the acronym meaning "Weather, Anne, Software, and Politics." It turns out that I have more than four interests, and I post to the blog a lot, so those four categories got kind of large.

I also got kind of tired of the old colors.

And, today, I finally had the time to upgrade to das Blog 1.9, which came out just a few days ago.

I may add categories as time goes on, and I'm going to start using sub-cagetories. But at this point, here are the main topics on the Daily Parker:

  • Anne. For reasons that passeth understanding, she married me, and now she's the most important part of my life. And now that I've dropped the clever acronym, she can be Topic #1.
  • Biking. I ride my bikes a lot. This year I prepared for two Century rides but, alas, my gallbladder decided to explode earlier this month. I might not have a lot to say for the next few months, but next year, I have big plans.
  • Jokes. All right, I admit: when I'm strapped for ideas, sometimes I just post a dumb joke.
  • Parker, our dog, whom we adopted on September 1st.
  • Politics. I'm a moderate-leftie by International standards, which makes me a radical left-winger in today's United States. More than 848 days and 22 hours remain in the worst presidential administration in history, so I have plenty to write about.
  • Software. I own a small software company in Evanston, Illinois, and I have some experience writing software. I see a lot of code, and since I often get called in to projects in crisis, I see a lot of bad code. Posts in this blog about software will likely be cross-posted from the blog I'm about to start, Inner Drive Software.
  • The weather. I've operated a weather website for more than seven years. That site deals with raw data and objective observations. Many weather posts also touch politics, given the political implications of addressing climate change under a President who's beholden to the oil industry.

This is public writing, too, so I hope to continue a standard of literacy (i.e., spelling, grammar, and diction) and fluidity of prose that makes you want to keep reading.

So thanks for reading, and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog.

Is bin Laden dead?

The Saudis and French seem to think so:

Osama bin Laden is dead. At least according to Saudi intelligence sources cited by a French newspaper, which in turn claims to have obtained a document leaked to them by French counter-intelligence services.
The news of the death of al-Qaida's chief was reported in the Saturday edition of l'Est Republicain, a respected regional daily. The French paper cites a memo they claim was obtained from the French counter-espionage agency, the Direction Générale des Services Extérieurs, or the DGSE.

Wow.

(The story was first broken this morning by Talking Points Memo.)