Saturday, February 28, 2009

Chicago's Chicago Tea Party in Perspective

I was sorry that I couldn't be at yesterday's Chicago Tea Party, put on by the growing anti-government spending movement. Much of the nation is concerned. Some with getting Michelle Obama arms. Others tut-tutting that Michael Smith--the decorator who re-did the million dollar office for Merrill Lynch's John Thain recently slammed by the President-- is re-decorating the White House for the Obamas. Some are commenting that the White House social secretary is being paid by you the taxpayer to go New York's "fashion week." Some are more serious. The President of the American Bankers Association, Edward Yingling, has some harsh words for the White House and its miserable words about banks, most of which have nothing to do with the current crisis. Larry Kudlow's opinion is that the President has declared war on some segments of society. In some quarters, there is growing alarm that when it comes to Washington D. C., the fox is indeed in charge of the hen house.

Almost everyone I know is mad, frustrated, and dismayed by the spending bender in Washington, D.C. Nevertheless, it was surprising to see so many people used to comfort, and usually content to be part of the chattering class, willing to show up and speak out on such a cold day at the Chicago Tea Party. The Backyard Conservative has video coverage as well as a ton of pictures. El Rider at Flying Debris has a number of posts, and Google is reporting (as of this moment) over 42,000 blogposts on Chicago's Tea Party phenomenon.

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Chicago's Tea Party Report

Thought you'd enjoy the cute pictures of the Backyard Conservative in her red hat! You can see her just after the ad and at about 1:20. Sorry about the ad, but it came along with the video.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

So What's in the Stimulus Anyway?
A Report

I hope you weren't counting on me to slog through the 400 + pages of the Stimulus Bill and give you a report. Reading the whole thing would not only mean you would have to be a glutton for punishment, you would have to know something about the dozens of other pieces of legislation that the bill references . The quick peek I took convinced me that "Spend! Spend! Spend" pretty well sums it up, but I know your thirst for knowledge won't be so easily satisfied.

Nevermind. We found a good little summary, and by little summary we mean 124 pages, but it's laid out nicely and its pretty quick reading. It's freely availalable to you online. Top-flight Washington, D.C. lawyers, Patton Boggs, have come up with an Analysis of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. It's easy to understand and a quick look will keep you from thinking you'll never understand the Stimulus Bill at all. Unless you are a direct beneficiary of some program, you may read it and weep, but it won't help to keep your head in the sand.

Do you like the charming mini pig? His name is Tetley, and yes, he is as small as he looks. These little mini pigs are all the rage in England, where they live. Pennywell Farm, where the mini-pigs live, have just welcomed a new litter. The picture was snapped by Richard Austin, who has a website where he sells his animal photographs, as well as other subjects. His prices are quite reasonable, by the way, so you might want to take a look.

Give Me a Break: A Portuguese Water Dog from a Shelter?

The Portuguese Water Dog is very costly. The price for a puppy ranges from $1,500 to $2,500, and it's very unlikely that these noble beasts--ancestor to the charming bichon--find their way to a shelter. It is a rare type of dog, fit for a White House family who requires the very best of everything.

Today, Michelle Obama is looking for a shelter Portuguese Water dog for the first children, Melia and Sacha. Has anyone told her these dogs are rare? Shelter dogs that are extremely costly are not found very often, and even if one shows up the pedigree papers are never passed on. For that reason, the adopting family will never know whether the dog is purebred on not.

While I am not much for the animal right group PETA, a Youtube video makes a very important point about dog breeds, and I am quite sure you will enjoy seeing it. I hope Michelle Obama sees it, too.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Happy Blogiversary to Wilmette!

Happy News! Today this blog is four years old. Hurray!

Barack Obama Channels Huey Long

Every man a king!

Obama to America: "Spend! Spend! Spend! Spend! Spend!"

In ringing tones, President Obama’s message to America last night was clear: “Spend! Spend! Spend! Spend! Spend!” And how will we do this? “Borrow! Borrow! Borrow! Borrow! Borrow!” Borrow for a car! Borrow for a house! Borrow for college! Save nothing! We can have guns, butter, free education, the cure for cancer, everything! Economics, the dismal science is dead! Scarcity is a thing of the past!

Even better, President Obama taught us that Americans invented the car!. I guess that was before we had 57 states? God Bless the President who rewrites history!

Seventy-five years ago, the corrupt populist governor of Louisiana, Huey Long, gave his famous “Every Man a King” speech. I thought you might want to look at it. The thematic similarities between his speech and Obama's are very interesting. I’ll post the video in a separate post above. I yet again learned in the school of hard knocks, that the nasty habit that Blogger has of eating my entire post when a video is added has not been corrected.

FACT CHECK: Obama's emphasis on education (rather than knowledge) ends up as a joke on him. Despite 20 years of education at some of the nation's most prestigious schools, Obama's speech contained mistake after mistake after mistake.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Chilly George Washington's Birthday in Chicago

I think it's more likely that the average Wilmette resident has seen the original statue of George Washington on horseback in Paris than the copy that is in Chicago's South Side and pictured to the right. This statue of George Washington is located in Washington Park at 51st and Martin Luther King Drive, and I don't think I've ever been there. If it wasn't so cold, I would take a Sunday sightseeing drive for a look-see in honor of George Washington's birthday.

I don't think many people celebrate Washington's birthday anymore. That is a shame, because George Washington was America's greatest president and the most important hero and patriot in our country's history. Cherry pie used to be a featured items in all the stores around his birthday, based on the old story that George Washington chopped down a cherry tree as a youth. While pie isn't exactly a healthy food--and I don't care too much for it myself--there was no cherry pie in sight at Jewel when I went shopping yesterday. That is a shame, because or eating one with family and friends was guaranteed to move the conversation to George Washington's virtues. They were many, and our politicians today would do well to contemplate them, whether over a cherry pie or not.

Happy George Washington's Birthday! Hope you spend some time today discussing him and his impact upon the United States with your family or friends.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Has Barack Obama Gone to Ga-Ga Land?

I am not sure whether Barack Obama has gone to ga-ga land or whether pay-to-play politics has him firmly in his grasp.

Front page headlines in the Sun Times this morning was the fact that the Obama campaign has failed to pay Chicago the nearly $2 million owed for holding the Obama victory party on public property. That would be the same campaign that Barack Obama said qualified him for President as having exercised executive authority. Also in headlines, is Obama's meeting with 85 mayors to discuss what's in the Stimulus for their cities. Said Obama, "You shouldn't have to succeed despite Washington; you should be succeeding with a hand from Washington, and that's what you're getting now," Obama said at a White House reception."

Two and a half months later, the campaign says they are still looking into various bills for the event.

Is President Obama Lying to the American People?

The middle class is angry at the shenanigans of Barack Obama and the give-away Congress, and the Boston Tea Party is being widely recalled as the first American tax payers revolt. Rick Santelli's "Chicago Tea Party" has gone viral, 94% of over 200,000 Internet voters have indicated that they would like to join. To add insult to injury, the Wall Street Journal is pointing out that Barack Obama's new housing plan not only will rescue the unscrupulous or irresponsible by throwing good taxpayer money after bad loans, it will also reward people who bought homes they knew the could not afford. This is in direct contradiction to what President Obama said yesterday, and it's sad to note that makes Barack Obama a liar. You can read the Wall Street Journal for details, but we warn you that the article may ruin at least part of your day.

The article ends with the heart of much of the problem: "What investors, businesses and working Americans want to hear is a President with ideas to spur economic recovery. What they've been getting are plans for a long national Chapter 11 workout."

I would note that my inbox is full of messages from people who can't believe that this is happening in America. The mood is not good.

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Rick Santelli's Chicago Tea Party

Signing onto Rick Santelli's Chicago Tea Party? (video) We are. Vote first here and we'll figure out the details later. A country is a terrible thing to waste.

UPDATE: (2/21/09) Lacking the Community Organizers of the Left, our tea party plans seem most unsettled, but theoretically plans are being made on a TCOT Twitter feed on Ning, a sign-up here, and a general info article in the UK Times (which gets totally wrong the type of traders first involved). Meanwhile, the Obama White House is busy smearing Santelli, who spent 20 years as a trader. There is a transcript of Santelli's broadcast on the Tea Party Website, which seems to have the most info.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Obamacles of Illinus:
Epic Poem "The Idiossey"

Fresh from the pen of Iowahawk is "The Idiossey.The "Not-Really-That-Epic Poem of Obamacles, with appologies to Homer." The beginning question for the Muse sets the scene,

"Speak to me, O Muse, of this resourceful man
who strides so boldly upon the golden shrine of Potomac,
Between Ionic plywood columns, to the kleig light altar.
Fair Obamacles, favored of the gods, ascends to Olympus
Amidst lusty tributes and the strumming lyres of Media;"

and tells us the tale of Obamacles' many adventures until he reached the Isle of Manhattus

"Yet bold Obamacles was equal to the challenge. "Give us your thesis," said the masters at Columbius,
and Obamacles conjured a mighty paper on Soviet disarmament, double-spaced and expertly margined.
Its beauty was such that the masters wept, and laid a baccalaureate wreath upon him;
But the masters ordered the beautiful thesis destroyed that so no mortal would again read it."

and on to Chicago, where before meeting the fair Victimia, the Oracle Speaks:

" 'Prepare at Kaplan for thy LSATs, for the abyss of uselessness at Harvard Law awaits.
And then must you return to Chicago to conquer the legion of monsters.' "

After returning to Chicago, Obamacles is yet again tested in the battle for Demos where Hildusa is slain after warning of "a phalanx of Chicagomon, the demons from the pits of Illinois." Obamacles trials continue through the Contest of November, his battle with Crustius who has grown old while sailing the Sea of Maverikus. Finally, Obamacles emerges victorious:

"Now behold him, brave Obamacles,
Who strides triumphant down Pennsylvania Avenue,
With Victimia at his side in a gown of golden brocade,
Hewn from the finest hotel draperies.
Behold his ascent to the marble dais to swear his oath,
Which Justice Roberts flubs; so dazzled is he by our hero's pure magnificence."

I am sure you will want to read Iowahawk's entire poem, a gem which is bound to take your mind off the adventures of Burris, confounding us all in Illinois this cold, sunny February day.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wilmette Blogger Found to be Violet

Almost always I pass up those endless web quizes. I know myself pretty well, so I don't need to figure out who I am. The other day, however, I saw a link for "find out what kind of flower you are." That was something I never thought about. So I took this little quiz, and thought you might enjoy the results. That's me, yes, the total shrinking violet. Well, as they say, I guess you always are the last to know.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Due to Technical Difficulties We Nearly Missed President's Day

We always try take a bi-partisan approach to Presidential Humor on this blog. What I found for you this year's President's Day had me howling with laughter, and created more than a few minutes of merriment at our house. I found a blogger who had posted up a number of @#$%& quotes--read by Barack Obama--from his book. While I briefly considered using them as comments to blogposts, then I remembered that I don't know how to embed MP3's. Then I read the blogpost's comments, and discovered a Youtube video. Despite my complaints about our President, we would note that he does have a pretty good sense of humor

Unfortunately, any blog posts with Youtube links have been eaten alive by Blogger of late. I'm sorry I missed correcting the empty version of this post which appeared most of President's Day. That's almost over now, so I'll just post a link to the silly video which can be found at

February 16 - Happy President's Day

Not much question why there isn't a Congressional Day, is there? Oh, and you might like this article from England on why the President's new New Deal is the same old blunder, and this one on fearmongering as an art form. Too much reading? Hulu has a number of short videos on the earliest US Presidents.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

It's Valentine's Day and Time for Fun!

I hope you have plans for Valentine's Day! I am having a Valentine's Day Party and almost everyone is coming! It will be this afternoon, so people who want to go out afterwards for a special celebration will still have plenty of time.

Some people seem to think that Valentine's fun has to be especially romantic, like in the movies. Some people even get depressed or sad. But think back to grade school, didn't you love getting all those cards and having fancy cupcakes? Of course you did. It always was a very exciting day! Valentine's Day is for friends, too. If you are down in the dumps, call a friend and invite them to coffee or a movie. I know they will love to hear from you, and be excited to have an invitation. I hope you have as much fun as I am planning to have!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Congress and the Spending Disease

Pushing America's IOU's to more than the GDP of the entire world, and financed 100% by debt, you tell me how the stimulus bill is any different from the wild-eyed spending of the American consumer, wild-eyed lending by American Banks, wild-eyed asset purchasing by the American financial community, etc., etc., etc.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Stimulus Bill Passes in Time for Pelosi Vacation!

The "stimulus" bill passed quickly as Nancy Pelosi was off to Rome. Ta ta!

Republicans held the line and 7 patriotic Democrats did as well.

Survivor's Guide for Presidential Nominees

"Washington offers rare pleasures and satisfactions to senior and even mid-level executives on the president’s team: invitations to White House receptions and the Easter Egg roll, perhaps a seat at a state dinner, concert or lecture in the East Room. There are embassy parties, performances at the Kennedy Center, galas at Smithsonian museums, fireworks and festivals on the Mall, and family nights at the National Zoo. Then there are more quiet pleasures, such as walking beneath the cherry blossoms in springtime." -

Need a quick Valentine's Day president for someone in your life who really likes politics? The 76 page Survivor's Guide for Presidential Nominees, written for the Obama transition, is bound to be appreciated! Since it's available in Pdf format, all you need to do is print it out, bind it up (Heavy duty staples should fit the bill, or perhaps a little folder), wrap it, and you have a gift that's sure to please and won't strain your budget! Or, download it and email it along with a Valentine's greeting. Do take a look at this great little guide! It's filled with inside information, well written, and extremely timely.

Reception at the Illinois Governor's Mansion

From St. Louis to Carbondale to Galesburg, come the stories of Governor Quinn's reception at the Executive Mansion for the people of Illinois on the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln. The positive upbeat tone in those articles is something we haven't heard about government here here in Illinois for a long, long time. That is nice.

I felt badly that I didn't find anyone to go the reception with until it was too late to go at all, but I enjoyed reading about the people who stood in line for a chance to meet Illinois new Governor Quinn and see the inside of the Illinois Governor's mansion. In Washington DC, a similar reception was held yearly (with some exceptions) at the White House on New Year's Day from 1801 through the end of Herbert Hoover's presidency in 1932. Franklin Roosevelt did not hold the receptions and the practice was never revived.

We are hoping that Governor Quinn is feeling okay today; there is no shortage of stories about Presidents who suffered for days from the pain of shaking so many hands.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Your Own Lincoln Library
Happy 200th Honest Abe

Today is the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln. I loved Lincoln's birthday when I was growing up. It was a day off school. Sometimes I visited the Chicago Historical Society to see the Lincoln exhibit, sometimes I bought and addressed valentines, or sometimes it was a day playing in the snow. For days before, boring school routine vanished in favor of a flurry of Lincoln projects, a common experience among the school children of Illinois. A couple of years ago--with President's Day crowding out the memory of Honest Abe--I re-discovered exploring Lincoln around the time of his birthday, as every February I felt something was missing.

While I am not a tremendous Lincoln fan, there is much to admire about this self-taught frontiersman. He loved books, and went to great lengths to obtain them during his youth. Sometimes I think about how much Lincoln would have enjoyed the Internet; Lincoln would love the concept of free books online. I can't think of a more fitting Lincoln project this year than to page through some outstanding books on him. The ones I've chosen for you are very old, and present a portrait of Lincoln far less filtered by history than modern accounts.

My first pick is Abraham Lincoln, a biography, written by Lincoln's law partner, William Henry Herndon, and Jesse W. Weik.

My second pick is Life of Abraham Lincoln, a biography written by J. G. Holland in 1865 , shortly after Lincoln's assassination, and dedicated to President Andrew Johnson.

My third pick is full of excerpts from Lincoln's speeches, letters and saying , as well as memoirs by Lincoln's contemporaries. The Lincoln Memorial by Osborne Hamiline Oldroyd, et. al., was dedicated to "The American People" in 1882

My final pick is The Political Debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas, published in 1912, which features the complete record from the Lincoln Douglas Debates, as well as additional speeches in the Illinois Senatorial Campaign in 1858.

You can read these books online, or download them (they are in Pdf format) to print out or read later. I hope you enjoy them!

Gettysburg Address and Spending Sprees

"Government of the people, by the people, and for the people" is under grave attack in Washington, D.C. Our President has resorted to election style campaigning to sell rather than hope, fear. The Republicans offer an alternative, one with real job creation, and Michael Steele explains.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Illinois Executive Mansion Open House on February 12, 2009

Pictured above is the Illinois Governor's Mansion in Springfield. It has been the official residence of Illinois' governors since 1855. When new Governor Pat Quinn held his first press conference, not even two weeks ago, he mentioned that he was going to try to arrange an open house for the people of Illinois on February 12, 2009, Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday. Today I checked to see whether Mr. Quinn had done anything about this, and he is hosting an open house at the mansion from 3 to 6 pm tomorrow. Everyone is invited.

If I can find someone who can figure out how to get off from work tomorrow I would like to go. It's been a long time since I've seen the mansion, and celebrating the 200th birthday of Abe Lincoln in Springfield would be memorable. At the moment, it's not looking too good, so I may simply have to content myself with a tour online.

Because of the Lincoln Bicentennial, this is a good year to go to Springfield. There is a lot to see there and it's not too far away. I'm hoping if I can't get there tomorrow, I can go later this year. Hope you are making plans, too!

What About the Children?

So while I was screaming, I almost forgot about the children.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

So So In Trouble Due to Stimulus

OH NO! The stimulus bill passed and I totally forgot to get a dream house with a large mortgage I couldn't afford. How stupid was that??

I am the idiot of the Western World!

Can you hear me screaming?

Helping President Obama

When I saw this picture the other day of President Obama saluting before his first ride on the Marine One helicopter, I instantly knew that something was very wrong. I couldn't put my finger on what it was, so I did some research. I opened the photo in Picassa and upped the mid-tones a little bit. Was it the salute? Turns out that what the New York Times termed a crisp salute doesn't conform to saluting standards at all. I opened the picture in Paint, and put some marks on the picture so you could see the problem, too.

No question that less than a month into office, President Obama is having some major difficulties. Thank goodness we have identified one that he can easily solve right away! The Army Study Guide webpage on how to salute makes the answer to this problem very clear: "Your hand, wrist, and forearm are straight, forming a straight line from your elbow to your fingertips. Your upper arm (elbow to shoulder) is horizontal to the ground."

Since a lot of people from Illinois know Barack Obama, perhaps you will be seeing him soon. If you plan to, will you please print out the page from the Army Study Guide and take it to him? I know President Obama is really trying to be a good American, occasionally wearing a flag pin, remembering to say, when prompted, "God Bless the United States" at the end of his Prayer Breakfast speech, and tackling the salute. Let's give him a hand.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Mark-to-Market Yet Again

I found this information about the "mark-to-market" rule at an article posted over at the Backyard Conservative. The ending was pretty interesting,

"According to Milton Friedman, mark-to-market accounting in the Great Depression caused the failure of many banks. Little known by economic historians is that in 1938 President Roosevelt’s administration finally realized the mistake and suspended mark-to-market accounting.

"Then, from 1939 to 2007, the US had a relatively subdued business cycle and experienced no panics or depressions, even in the 1980s and 1990s when more than 3000 banks and S&Ls failed. In 2002 with Sarbanes-Oxley and in 2007 with FASB 157, mark-to-market accounting made its comeback. Since then, the economy has had serious troubles. Once again, correlation is not causation, but it sure is an awful coincidence."

Why haven't we heard anything on this from Washington? Could it be that very few in Congress understand it?

Pay No Attention to that Spending:
O Has Spoken!

Text of the Cartoon:
"Do you presume to critize the great and powerful O? You ungrateful creatures! Think yourselves lucky that I've granted you an audience at all. The great O has spoken. Err . . . Pay no attention to that spending behind the curtain."

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Overnight Hacking of Government Websites!

Bad news. Something terrible happened in the night to a number of Washington, D. C. government websites. Harry Reid's website has been afflicted, as has Nancy Pelosi's. It's afflicted the Senate Website and the House website as well. Even the White House website did not escape. But don't take it from me; click on the links to see it yourself. Do it fairly quickly, however, before someone gets wind of what has happened.

Republicans Ripping on Quinn Sends Wrong Message

It is inappropriate for state Republican leader, Andy McKenna, to start taking jabs at Governor Quinn his first week in office. What is the point? In one week in office, our new governor has met with all state constitutional officers for the first time in recent memory, he went to Washington via commercial aviation and met with White House officials and the entire Illinois Congressional delegation, he gave press conferences, and also travelled around the state. This is the first week in a long, long time, that Illinois taxpayers have gotten their money's worth from the state's #1 political servant.

I am grateful that we have a governor who is putting Illinois first. Quinn came to this office honestly, and following his actions this week, it is impossible to think that he hasn't thrown his heart and soul into his new job. Yes, Gov. Quinn is a Democrat, but he has spent this week doing precisely what public servants are supposed to do: serving the people. And Mr. McKenna had best be careful: no fewer than two solid Republicans told me this week that if Mr. Quinn continues taking coach class on his official flights that they would consider voting for him. Parties are good and necessary things, but they need to take a back seat to the important business of setting things in this state right. Let's save the campaigns for election season.

We don't know what the future will hold when it comes to Governor Quinn. For the moment, at least, he deserves our confidence, our support, and--as he requested--our prayers.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Emperor Obama and the Spend-Everything Congress

Today, on World Nude Day, it is gratifying to read that some are willing to tell Emperor Obama and the Spend-Everything Congress that they wear no clothes . . .

“It's not just pages and pages of special-interest tax breaks, giveaways and protections . . . It's not just the waste . . . It's the essential fraud of rushing through a bill in which the normal rules (committee hearings, finding revenue to pay for the programs) are suspended . . . The Age of Obama begins with perhaps the greatest frenzy of old-politics influence peddling ever seen in Washington.” -Krauthammer

"But Obama didn't campaign on a sprawling, nearly $1 trillion new spending plan. If he had pledged in October to double federal domestic discretionary spending in a matter of weeks - including increasing the budget of the National Endowment for the Arts by a third, spending hundreds of millions more on federal buildings and throwing tens of billions on every traditional liberal priority from job training to Pell Grants - he'd have been hard-pressed to win at all." - Lowry

"Obama, speaking to about 200 House Democrats at their annual retreat at the Kingsmill Resort and Spa, dismissed Republican attacks against the massive spending in the stimulus. 'What do you think a stimulus is?' Obama asked incredulously. 'It’s spending that’s the whole point! Seriously.' " -Joyner

"The Congressional Budget Office, the non-partisan official budget watchdog, issued a scorecard on the long-term impacts of President Barack Obama's and Congressional Democrats' proposed economic stimulus plan . . . and found that the stimulus bill would actually lower the nation's total economic output more than if the Administration did nothing." -Impomeni

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has a plan if you know that defeat of this bill is a vote for the future, with details on how to call or fax those Senators wavering in support for an alternative.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Penguins in the Snow

These charming penguins, seen at the Times Online, are out for a walk at the London Zoo.

Bernie Madoff's Client List

The list of Bernie Madoff's clients--several thousand in number who were fleeced by the New York con man--is available in pdf format.

Comrade Obama and Socialism

I posted this up because the intro is terrific. Beyond that, you already know what is discussed.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Obama Apointees Special Tax Return:
1040 - SLEEZ-E

Special tax return for Obama apointees--the 1040 SLEEZ-E. Click on the picture to see it more easily.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Why We Are Better Than the English

As you can clearly see in the picture, a tremedous amount of snow has fallen on London and it is completely shut down. I reviewed 50 photos, and it looks as if up to 4 inches has fallen in some areas! Don't call London today; everyone is at home or stranded at a bus stop somwhere.

Gov. Quinn Contemplates Tax Raise, Takes Coach

Talk about suffering! My property tax bill just appeared in the mailbox, and I can't help remarking that it has doubled in just a few short years. With talk of an income tax increase I am feeling very down in the dumps. I am hoping that our new Governor, Patrick Quinn, will be looking toward cutting spending instead. We all know that there is waste in state government. Wouldn't we be lucky if Gov. Quinn has the patience and fortitude to find some of it and trim it from our state budget instead of increasing taxes?

While Gov. Quinn has not ruled out a tax increase, I am hoping against hope that doesn't happen. Gov. Quinn went to Washington last night, and we are pleased to note that he flew coach class on United. I hope this isn't a one-time gimmick. This modest method of travel (and a quick Orbitz search showed that the taxpayers may be paying only $310. for the ticket) should be well received by taxpayers; we certainly were happy to hear about it at our house.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Happy Groundhog's Day but Forget the Prediction

I have so had it with the Groundhog. Mr. Groundhog is, after all, a rodent, and a particularly pixilated one at that. Will I ever forget standing around outside last January 31 and confidently predicting "it looks like we're in the clear, all we have to get through is February; what an easy winter" ? The predictions of just about every groundhog in North America backed me up: winter was over.

Ha! It started snowing right about the time of the Groundhog's prediction, and snowed and snowed and snowed. Then it snowed some more. I don't think winter really ended until about May.

So don't expect any great groundhog links like last year. While the groundhog is cute and furry, I don't think that there is any truth in him at all.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Bacon Explosion: Perfect Superbowl Food

Long about now, with weeks of cold and snowy weather behind and in front of us, comes the Superbowl. This day is Chicago's excuse to eat lots of high fat food, and in particular meat--washed down with plenty of booze--in the company of friends. Two years ago I did the definitive blogpost on how Chicago eats at Superbowl time, which was quickly followed by some worried emails from abroad with links to nutrition sites. I appreciated the kind thoughts, but extended periods in freezing weather do take their toll.

Would I disappoint you at Superbowl by offering nothing new? Of course not! Today we are featuring the Bacon Explosion (complete with recipe and videos) which is the latest Internet food craze and seems perfectly designed for the hungry folk huddled around your widescreen. How can you quarrel with a recipe that features two pounds of bacon (woven like a basket) and two pounds of sausage all wrapped around a bacon core? I can't think of a better way to make you a hero or heroine of hearty eating than to put this one out in front of hungry Chicago sports fans.

And just in case you are seriously going to serve wine for the Super Bowl (hey, stop laughing, the Internet is Global, and they actually do things like that in California and I think maybe in Barack Obama's old neighborhood, Hyde Park) you can see the comments to a post on the Dr. Vino blog. for some ideas of what wine to serve with the bacon explosion.

I suppose that by now you are imagining me weaving that bacon and cooking up one of these monster pork rolls. You want me to die? We're bypassing the snacks and taking a early dinner at one of the restaurants enticing people out of their family rooms by offering a good discount!