Thursday, February 28, 2008

Tiny Polar Bear Wilbär Introduced at Stuttgart's Wilhelma Zoo

Welcome to tiny Wilbaer (Wilbär), the latest German baby polar bear, born at Stuttgart, Germany's Wilhelma Zoo. His name is a combination of the zoo's name and "eisbaer," which is German for polar bear. Unlike the other famous polar bear babies who had been abandoned by their mothers, Wilbaer is doing fine with his mom, Corinna, so it is likely there will be fewer pictures and videos available. Wilbaer was born on December 10, 2007, and at birth was just a little larger than a guinea pig. Because polar bears are so tiny at birth, Wilbear is just now being introduced by the Zoo. You can see some cute pictures at the zoo website by clicking here. There is also two very cute videos of Wilbear with mom Corinna, one of which you can see by clicking here, and the other by clicking here.

Wilbaer now weighs 13 pounds, and his name has already been trademarked. Don't hurry to make plane reservations now, however, as he won't be introduced to the public until May.

Click here to see all of Wilmette's posts on polar bears!


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

日本福井県小浜市 - Crazy for Barack
Obama Onsen, Japan

Dream-peddler Barack Obama might not end up being good for business in America, but Obama, Japan is counting on the US candidate for President to put their famous hot springs (onsen) on the global tourist map. Obama (the town) is crazy for Obama (the candidate) in a totally non-political sort of way, and they are putting up posters, watching election returns, and baking their signature sweets complete with pictures of Barack Obama.

Blogger Erika reports that Obama is a "beautiful, quaint fishing town with lush green hills, beautiful coastlines, and yummy sea food. They also specialize in luxury chopsticks."

The mayor of Obama--located between Kyoto and Fukui--has been hoping that Mr. Obama would visit, but to date the candidate hasn't even acknowledged the DVD, guidebook, and chopsticks which were sent to him. Undaunted, Obama's mayor is planning to send him another gift, a laquerware doll with the word "victory." Unfortunately, there is no information about the town's efforts on the official website for the hot springs. Click here for some pictures of the now-famous town, whose enthusiam for self-promotion is one of the more interesting stories this election season.

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Massachusetts Census Finds Black Bears Thriving

It never occurred to me that they have wild bears in Massachusetts, but they do! There are now over 3,000 bears in central and western Massachusetts, thanks to repopulation efforts by state wildlife experts. This week they are taking a census of the 13 black bears who are wearing radio collars.

To their delight, the wildlife scientists found that one bear has three newborn cubs. The employees of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife snapped a number of very cute pictures which you can see by clicking here. There is also a video. The picture above shows a cute little black baby bear--which has been put in a knit cap--being weighed.

Please note: Bears, especially mother bears, can be dangerous to humans, and the wildlife experts traquilized the mother before inspecting the babies. Click here for further information about black bear problems and control from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Friday, February 22, 2008

Just Words? Celebrating George Washington's Birthday

Today is George Washington’s Birthday, still America’s greatest President. It's a good day to re-read Washington's Farewell Address, and remember his words, "Citizens, by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism . . ."

Since we have lately been discussing political wives, we offer you this link to an excellent group of short articles on George Washington, a perfect quick read for February 22. They were written by Congressional wife Anne Petri, a successful lawyer with her own career. There we find this quote by celebrated jurist John Marshall, on the death of Washington, "The hero, the sage, the patriot of America, the man on whom in times of danger every eye was turned and all hopes were placed, lives now only in his own great actions, and in the hearts of an affectionate and afflicted people."

I hope you will be celebrating George Washington’s Birthday. Baker’s Square has some pretty good cherry pie, the traditional treat. Think I’ll call a friend.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Chilly? You'll Enjoy this Video from Minnesota

Minnesotans for global warming?

Thank you, Minnestota for reminding us that we have it good here down south, comparatively speaking . . .

h/t kingjr

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Whipped-in for John McCain

"Our purpose is to keep this blessed country free, safe, prosperous and proud. And the changes we offer to the institutions and policies of government will reflect and rely upon the strength, industry, aspirations, and decency of the people we serve. "
-John McCain

The stakes in the coming election will be high. The challenges will be great. Republican unity is essential. I am pleased to report that our entire family is unanimous in our support of John McCain for President. I hope you are having the same political harmony in your home.

Are you whipped in? It's time.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Michelle Obama: Jane Fonda "Patriot of the Year" Award

I would like to be on record that I am proud of my country, and have been not only all my adult life, but for all my life. What does that matter? Michelle Obama, 44, wife of Presidential candidate, Barack Obama, doesn't agree, and I'm speechless. After all, if there is a job for First Ladies, that job is making America look good. Mrs. Obama, on the campaign trail, said, "[L]et me tell you something -- for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country. "

Don't take my word for it; you can see the video by clicking here. This might be one of those quotes that will go down in history, and the hundreds of comments following the video, are mostly very negative. As John Podhoretz comments, "it suggests the Obama campaign really does have its roots in New Class leftism, according to which patriotism is not only the last refuge of a scoundrel, but the first refuge as well — that America is not fundamentally good but flawed, but rather fundamentally flawed and only occasionally good."

As for me, I'm awarding Mrs. Obama the Jane Fonda "Patriot of the Year" award.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Off to the Elections in Pakistan

I like that headline for the great picture, above, taken in Balochistan, Pakistan even though this group is not off to the polls. Pakistan's National Assembly elections are being held today. There are an enormous number of political parties, some of which are boycotting the election. I don't understand how that benefits, but they do; I think. The Election Commission has an online guide for the election judges, but working at the polls takes on a new meaning when you find out that capturing the polling station is one of the election no-no's.

Despite diligent study, I've pretty well given up understanding the specifics of this far-away exercise in democracy, but I remain fascinated by pictures of the country. Could we suggest, this outstanding new video at Offroad Pakistan of a 4-wheel trip to the Goran Ghatti deep in Pakistan's Hingol National Park? It features Jeeps, camels, the fully restored Ford F1, pictured above, and has a fine soundtrack.

You may have read that Pakistan's President, who is not running in this election, is quite unpopular, and quite unpopular would mostly be a euphemism. One of the hundreds of reasons is an order from the Musharraf government blocking the website of Offroad Pakistan and the above video. Personally, I can't think of anything more subversive than a four wheel drive, but the real target is Wired Pakistan along with its popular tech forum, which likely includes detailed information on how to get around the Internet blocking imposed by the Musharraf administration. As a sign of the forum's value, a number of Internet providers have simply ignored the blocking order.

The video was just posted Friday, and while many Pakistani voters won't be able to access it--either due to the digital divide or Internet blocking--here in America we can enjoy it.

h/t KO

Learning About the US Presidents

It's President's Day, but I prefer the old way of celebrating (separately) the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. While many people will be out shopping at the President's Day sales, if you are looking for info on all the US Presidents, one of the best sites is the White House. There is a section for adults, and a section for children. Parents with bored little ones might want to click here for a link to coloring pages for children for every US President. Do enjoy your holiday!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Welcome to the New Nation of Kosovo

Kosovo declared its independence today, which was not an unexpected event. The Sebians are hopping mad, but the people in Kosovo are delighted. What a pleasure it was to find the image above while looking for pictures and videos about Independence Day celebrations. Forever is a long time, but right now we can enjoy this gesture of friendship, as well as the American flags that figured prominently in the celebrations.

Kosovo is a very poor country, and sadly enough the available pictures and videos celebrating the Indepence are mostly from expatriates living and working abroad, who have enough money to have the technology to record this historic event. There are pictures of celebrations in Switzerland, in Germany, in New York, and in Belgium, although I found a video of a very noisy car rally in Kosovo itself. Most of the rest of the videos uploaded today are pictures with music, which yielded the friendship picture above, or videos taken with cell phones of very poor quality.

While there are troubling stories of possible war, this day of joy for Kosovo and its citizens--who are grateful for the help of the US, the EU, and Switzerland-- should not go without the notice of those who love freedom.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

New Cartoon Protests as Denmark Defends Free Speech

Those contraversial cartoons have been republished in Denmark, and "youths" in Demmark have been rioting for five days. In Multan, Pakistan, evidence that protesters are speaking to the West can be seen in the picture above, where the slogans are mostly in English. Elections in Pakistan are Monday, and this protest appears to be a political party rally, with party flags flying freely and the name of the party emblazoned across the bottom of the banner.

With the original cartoonist under serious death threats, any signs that advocate death are more than troubling. Chants calling for death are even worse. Nevertheless, the strong reaction of the West--and in particular its bloggers--against the riots of two years ago may be beginning to pay off. You will note that the sentiment on the large banner is that the government should take what are legal actions. That, folks, is rule of law, something that Pakistan is having a very hard time learning.

Of course, we would note that this protest also included plenty of burning of flags and effigies. What we are wondering is why the government of Pakistan seems to think this protest is fine, while tear-gassing and using water cannons against lawyers who have been protesting for restoration of the pre-Emergency judiciary.


Will We Have Pictures of Che in The Oval?

I can’t imagine why the blogosphere was atwitter the other day about Che Guevara flags in Barack Obama’s Texas campaign office. Anyone who knows much about Obama would find that a ho-hummer, indeed. Make no mistake about it, Obama is thoroughly grounded in Socialist theory, and it is reflected completely in his campaign. A new report at Accuracy in Media tells the story, along with some interesting information about the political involvement of Bob Creamer, husband of Wilmette Congresswoman Jan Shakowsky(D-9), and convicted felon.

Missing Book Fair Cash and Checks in Wilmette

There is a terrible story making the rounds in Wilmette. It’s about the recent book fair at Romona School and nearly $8,000.00 in missing cash and checks, mostly cash that somehow evaporated into thin air. No one seems to know anything at all, and WBBM has the story. There is the possibility that there is an accounting error.

We remember how through the years, no matter what the activity or class, some parent who I never had heard of would send a note home asking for money for a gift for a teacher or coach, either cash or a check made payable to the parent, please. If you ever called to ask about this, the collector always made you feel like a creep to ask any questions. The amount requested multiplied by the students involved always seemed to be lavish for persons paid for their work. No accounting was ever made of the funds, and no receipts were ever provided. Neither the Park District nor the schools seemed to have any policy, or at least a policy that was enforced, regarding presents to paid personnel.

Over the years I began to wonder if some of these fund collecting efforts were perhaps a bit suspicious. For that reason, I certainly hope that the police will investigate thoroughly, and that the School will provide frequent updates rather than sweeping the matter under the rug. Wilmette may be a nice neighborhood, but there remains the distinct possibility that someone out there isn’t nice at all.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Thoughts and Prayers for NIU, Its Students and Families

This is a very sad day in the north Chicago suburbs, who send many of their young off to Northern Illinois University. Today we suspend blogging with a link to the news.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Be my Valentine!

Maxin’ and Relaxin’ on Wilmette’s Controversial Linden Square Redevelopment at the 4th and Linden

Did you love it when TV heroes Mighty Mouse or Sky King zoomed in from above to save a perilous situation back in the day? I did. I was reminded of them when I read this post yesterday. It seems that three of our Wilmette trustees are all for doing away with height restrictions in the new Linden Square Development at 4th and Linden, destroying the pedestrian intent of the area, filling it with pedestrian unfriendly autos, and cavalierly dismissing their anti-Citizen plans for Wilmette’s future with an offhand "You have to play the developer's game."

Say what? As Wilmette developer Antoin Rezko cools his heels awaiting trial at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, one would think it would be a good time to be a bit wary of developers, not banging the drum for their financial benefit. While we will be learning a great deal more about how government officials “play the developer’s game” on the nightly news later this month, if we’re not careful we might be living it in real time here in Wilmette. I am sure Rezko's trial will provide ample evidence of how it’s fair game for the developers to line their pockets while the Citizens suffer, all while government officials nod approvingly. While we are all for the fair profit, we know that the first duty of a Trustee is toward the people of Wilmette.

But me worry? You’ve got to be joking. Noted architectural blogger and new Wilmette resident, JB Powers, is on the case, big-time, with this post on the redevelopment plans for the 4th and Linden (Linden Square), zooming through cyberspace to make a fast save for the People of Wilmette. The Backyard Conservative is already echoing his concerns, and Conservativebrand is even questioning the legality of the meeting.

Meantime, I’m sending my citizens’ cap out for a well-deserved cleaning; I would suggest you do the same. While we now have our hero, its best to be prepared.

Click here for the JB Powers post, here for Backyard Conservative’s post, here for a link to Conservativebrand. Click here for the Linden Square Ordinance, here for the Report, and here for a great Mighty Mouse cartoon.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

No! Not Like This!
How NOT to Clean Your Computer Monitor!

Concerned that the world is going to the dogs? Looking for evidence of that on the Internet? Whatever the answer may be, under no circumstances is this the way to clean your computer monitor!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Lincoln's Birthday - Learning About the Real Honest Abe

Today is Abraham Lincoln's Birthday, still celebrated as an official state holiday in Illinois. When I was a child, Lincoln's birthday was still a school holiday, and a good day to visit a museum. I remember especially the extensive Lincoln collection on display at the Chicago Historical Society.

Lincoln was born in Kentucky. Galen Frye Singer, a pioneer of the Internet travelogue, has a series of picures of Lincoln's birthplace in Hodgenville, Kentucky. That's a lucky find, because the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace is closed today, due to icy conditions; luckily the Internet site is still open.

Lincoln spent eight years in downstate New Salem, Illinois. If you have ever visited there, you know that it became a ghost town years ago, and really is in the middle of nowhere, but the town has been recreated for Lincoln fans. With snowy and icy roads, why not click here and take a virtual visit?

Lincoln may be America's most mythical president, but most of those myths are good ones, even if they are not true. Take for example, the Lincoln Bedroom in the White House, considered a sacred place by many. Lincoln never slept there; that's the myth. The truth is that he held Cabinet meetings there, and it never was a bedroom until Teddy Roosevelt's administration. The White House Museum has a fabulous online exhibit on the Lincoln Bedroom, which you can view by clicking here. The exhibit is principally a series of photos and pictures of the room from 1856 through 2007, showing the extensive changes undergone by the Lincoln Bedroom over 1 1/2 centuries.

Photography was an emerging technology at the time of Lincoln, and about 130 photos of Lincoln are known to exist. Amateur historian James has put together an online collection of most of them which is fascinating; just click here to see them.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Brrrr! It's Cold Today

No, that isn't whales heading out to sea, it's the frozen shoreline of Lake Michigan. It's hard to think that in only a few short months we'll be swimming nearby . . .

Another winning photo sent by reader JMcD. Thanks!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

A View From Abroad

I took this picture of the Hungarian Parliament in Budapest just after Thankgiving on my Fall Vacation. It reminds me that Hungary became a Communist country through the ballot box. Of course, the Communists made everybody's life miserable in their usual fashion, and the citizens had a devil of a time restoring freedom. You can still see bullet holes in the buildings, and the effects of poverty that a nation undergoes when it turns its face from Capitalism.

Super Delegates: This is the New Frontier?

I am a firm believer that it is up to the parties how they come up with their candidates for office, but when it comes to the Democrat "Super Delegates" I am glad I voted Republican. As the primaries continue, we are going to be hearing a great deal more about the these 796 (or 842, but that number likely includes those who have been stripped of their ability to vote due to the fact that no vote counts in Florida or Michigan as well as Joe Lieberman who has been kicked out for bad behavior) party leaders and elected officials who will comprise 20% (some say 40% of the vote needed) of the 3,253 voters at the Democrat nomination for president. Are you confused? I am.

You can click here for a link to a webpage that tries to make sense out of the super delegate count, but good luck! If CNN and CBS can't agree on the count, the numbers are slippery indeed.

You think I'm going to make a comment about a Party who screams "Make every vote count!" then makes some votes more equal than others? Why bother; you're smart enough to figure that out for yourself.

In Support of American Religious History Week

Americans United for Separation of Church and State are in a panic about a proposed "American Religious History Week," and they are just plain wrong. It is high time that the citizens of our nation learn about the history of religion in our country. Conservatives and Liberals of every religious stripe—including none at all--need to get on board for such an initiative, especially in light of the Presidential primaries.

Was Mitt Romney dealt a bum deal simply because he was a Mormon? Does Huckabee’s Baptist faith make him a danger as a candidate? What about Barack’s UCC church, and what are the very good and very historical reasons that theological luminary Martin Marty spoke out in its defense and ended the controversy? The amount of misunderstanding surrounding the different candidates' religions ignores American religious history and has more basis in prejudice and ignorance than in fact.

What are the excellent reasons that our founding fathers chose to separate church and state? What was the religious history of America at the time of the writing of the Constitution that prompted them to do so? Isn’t the viewpoint that people who practice religions new to America are suspect in public life at odds with the vision of the men who wrote our Constitution?

The time has come to support a period of time designated for learning about American religious history.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Nuremberg Zoo's Baby Flocke Gets a New Tooth

Cute little Flocke, the latest baby Polar Bear cub at the Nuremberg Zoo, has a new tooth. In honor of this momentous occasion, the zoo has released a very cute set of new pictures. The Germans, who do a super job of promoting everything that you might want to visit their country to see, have also posted 14 videos of Flocke at Youtube, each one cuter than the next.

We would note that Flocke is a very modern little Polar Bear, and even has her own webpage in both English and German where you even can send a postcard to a friend, or sign her guestbook.
Update: Flocke now has her own song! Click here to hear it.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Rats! Have a Happy Lunar New Year

Gong Xi Fa Cai! If you have rats in your inbox, you've got friends celebrating Lunar New Year!

Our hardier readers might enjoy a trip to Chicago's Chinatown. Hop on the Purple Line to the Red Line (stop: Cermak-Chinatown) for Sunday's New Year Parade featuring a 100' mystical dragon, which takes place on February 10, 2008 at 1:00 pm on Wentworth Avenue. Before you go, read up at Wikitravel. While it would have to warm up for a parade to interest me, here is a list of restaurants and a map.

We'll be heading over to our favorite, the House of Chan, across from the train on Green Bay, for some carryout, which magically stays hot all the way to the table! The best thing about this holiday, is it lasts for a couple of weeks, so plenty of time to celebrate the beginning of the Rat Year.

Mitt Romney says Good-Bye

Mitt Romney says good-bye.
"I entered this race because I love America, and because I love America, I feel I must now stand aside, for our party and for our country.”

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Did You Like the Blizzard?

Are you enjoying the snow? I am. This picture arrived from a friend via email, and I thought I would share it with you. Since it was taken nearby, I knew you would like it.

Thanks to reader JMcD, who took the photo and sent it along!

Election Perspective

Today I am counting blessings, and have nothing bad to say about candidates. Hats off to the winners, and condolences to the losers.

Elections are tough. If you have ever volunteered your time to work on a campaign or run for office, you know that. There is the pain--financial, emotional, physical--for every loser who went out there and did his or her best to keep our country a thriving democracy. For the winners there is exhaustion, maybe a brief vacation, and the sure knowledge that after a brief hiatus they are back to talking on the phone, going to endless rounds of political events, being pushed around by their campaign staff, and smiling and shaking hands with yet one more voter who maybe, just maybe, will go to the polls and cast a vote in their favor in November.

How lucky we are as Americans that there are so many people who are willing to run for office! To every candidate--including those who I have taken to task on this blog--I say "Thank you." You have done our country a great service.

Happy Reagan's Birthday!

"Those who would trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state have told us that they have a utopian solution of peace without victory. They call their policy 'accommodation.' And they say if we only avoid any direct confrontation with the enemy, he will forget his evil ways and learn to love us. All who oppose them are indicted as warmongers." -Ronald Reagan

Monday, February 04, 2008

Super Tuesday 2008 - Wilmette Voting Information

*If you are looking for a sample ballot or polling place for Wilmette or anywhere else in suburban Cook County, Illinois click here (information via Voter Infonet)

*If you want to find out whether you are registered to vote in Wilmette or anywhere else in suburban Cook County, Illinois click here (information via Voter Infonet)

*If you want a list of all candidates who are running for office in Wilmette or anywhere else in suburban Cook County, Illinois click here (information via Voter Infonet)

*If you want judicial evaluations for candidates running for judge in Wilmette or anywhere else in Cook County click here for a printable pocket guide (information via Chicago Bar Association)

*Note: Wilmette precincts 67, 68, 69 & 70 were merged into other precincts as of August, 2007. See the above link for updated information. If you want a list of all Wilmette precincts for the February 5, 2008 primary, click here. (information via Village of Wilmette in pdf format)

Polls are open from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Telephone number for New Trier Republican Organization is (847) 251-6100. Telephone number for New Trier Democratic Organization is (847) 446-8030.

Wilmette Blog Endorsements

Undecided who to vote for on Tuesday, February 5, 2008? Wilmette makes the following endorsements:

For President: John McCain
For 10th Congressional District: Mark Kirk (unopposed)

John McCain has the best possibility of uniting the party for a November win. Mark Kirk is unopposed.

For President: Hillary Clinton
For 10th Congressional District: Jay Footlik

Hillary Clinton is a known quantity and has greater experience at the national level. Barack Obama needs more experience.

While not the favorite of local Democratic organizations, Jay Footlik has longer continuing ties to the area of the 10th district. He will be the toughest challenger to Mark Kirk in November based on experience, intellect, and viewpoint.

Note: This blog subscribes to the idea that the public is best served by the best candidate in both parties, NOT endorsing what might be viewed as a weaker candidate.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Dan Seals, the Surge, and Access to Information

For the past few years, there has been an eerie parallel between Democrat sentiment and Jihaddist propaganda about Iraq. As Iraq begins to stabilize and terrorists become so desperate for volunteers to "die for the cause" that they resort to the heinous practice of blowing up mentally disabled women, Democrats have been scrambling to redefine themselves as something more than peace cadidates. This includes 10th District Congressional candidate Dan Seals, who has been removing his 2006 platform from the Internet, even while he clings to the dated viewpoint that "the surge has not worked."

Seals, who has made a career out of running for Congress continuously since 2005 or 2006 and doesn't live in the district which he seeks to represent, has taken several steps to scrub the Internet of evidence of the viewpoints he held during his first campaign. There is the famous "peace video," which has been removed from Youtube, and more recently Seals has blocked all access to his old campaign website pages at the Internet Archives.

But I digress. Of late, there has been growing evidence that Iraqis, themselves, are becoming increasingly interested in the future of their own country. I was very surprised to find an in depth article on the positive results of the surge and the efforts of the people of Iraq from a most unlikely source--the largely Democrat and left-leaning Council on Foreign Relations. Take a look, the news is very promising.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Groundhogs Mostly United In Early Spring Prediction

Chicago area Groundhogs from Woodstock and Brookfield Zoo are united in the fact that winter is over. In agreement are their fellow rodents from Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Georgia. The sole holdouts at this time are Birmingham, Alabama, and that most famous groundhog of all, Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil, who both predicts 6 more weeks of winter. For those who care to keep count, Canada's National Post is hosting a roundup of groundhog results.

Based on the fact that the Chicago groundhogs are in agreement, and that Georgia's General Lee--who boasts not only a high accuracy rate but several honorary doctoral degrees, we are confident that winter is through.

With such good news, I now have the strength to bundle up, put on my boots, and finish getting rid of several inches of snow that we didn't bother shovelling yesterday. I also won't be packing away the wool sweaters just yet--after all, sometimes Spring can be very, very chilly!

Happy Groundhogs Day!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Barack Obama and Wilmette's Tony Rezko

Barack Obama's campaign has been furiously backpeddling since the Rezko matter started picking up steam. We have Hillary Clinton to thank for alerting the American voter to a situation which Chicago has known about for quite some time now, and which must be considered before casting a ballot. I was happy and relieved to find out that now this situation has garnered national attention, there is a new blog, Rezkowatch, devoted solely to the political fallout from the Rezko issue. Since I really would prefer to blog about the animals, I am glad blogger B Merry is willing to do some of the hard work in acquainting the rest of the country with the normal machinations of Cook County politics.

Media attention has focused on Obama's rhetoric, and how his theme of "hope" has resonated with many voters. These voters seem to be nice people,who sincerely believe that voting for Obama will make a difference. I believe that Obama, if elected, will only deliver business as usual--Cook County style--rather than the unicorns and rainbows his speeches seem to promise. I would hate to see those nice people disappointed and disillusioned by the political process. At least, they now will know that there is some question about Obama's political connections and whether his history raises genuine issues about his commitment to the downtrodden, for whom he seeks to be a champion.
As an update, Tony Rezko will apparently remain in jail, having had his bond revoked earlier this week for undisclosed financial resources which were deemed to make him a flight risk.

Professorgate: Interest in Resume of 10th Congressional Candidate Dan Seals Widens

Two years ago, 10th District Congressional candidate, Dan Seals, was a darling of the “Act Blue” crowd, who couldn’t line up fast enough to send out-of-state money to an out-of-district candidate who, by any historic measure of past local election results, was trounced decisively at the polls in November, 2006. Following his loss, Seals never really stopped running as a candidate, and lately has come under fire for padding a resume which is suitable for a downstate representative, but thin for a Congressman.

Since Seals campaign has a history of national interest, it’s no surprise that the issue of Seals describing himself as a “professor” is being discussed around the country. Yesterday we weighed in with a “Professorgate” post, and today the Team America blog has a round up of who is discussing the teaching issue swirling around Seals. In addition, today’s Daily Herald takes off the gloves. According to the Herald,

"Seals doesn't begin his position as a part-time School of Continuing Studies lecturer until April, a Northwestern spokesman said. Shrugging it off as a miscue, Seals has started calling himself a lecturer in public forums, though as of Tuesday afternoon, his Web site still listed him as an adjunct professor.

'What it might show is I don't know what the proper terms are," said Seals, 36. "The idea that I'm trying to mislead or be deceitful is baseless.' "

Thin as Seals’ resume may be for a job in Congress, we would note that Seals major life pursuit to date—other than running for Congress—is gathering up degrees from prestigious educational institutions. Nevertheless, Seals seems to be lacking the skill to perceive the differences in teaching academia mastered by most college freshmen. We would submit that Seals—who has been the recipient of an education most 10th district parents only dream of for their children—has, in the words of lawyer Team America, “an issue of his veracity and credibility.”

Truth and believability are important issues in any campaign. According to the Herald, John Jackson, a political scientist and visiting professor at Southern Illinois University's prestigious Paul Simon Institute, said "[T]hat while all politicians exaggerate, they must be careful not to cross a line in campaign materials, interviews or at public events. 'It's a job application,' Jackson said. '"And you're not supposed to lie on your job application about what your credentials are.' "

Trouble for Seals, for sure, but it is a problem of his own making. If Seals had been honest and upfront with the voters from the beginning, he would never have had this problem.