Archive for June 2012

CeaseFire? Do the names El Rukn and Jeff Fort ring a bell?

In an act of desperation, Chicago has handed over $1 million to  CeaseFire, an anti-violence organization that counts ex-felons among its “interrupters” who try to calm street disputes and thus prevent shootings. Well, I wouldn’t know what else to do if I were Chicago’s police superintendent Garry McCarthy, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the City Council and... Read more »

Irony: Obama said health care mandate not a "tax." Supreme Court says it is.

As a political strategy, the Obama administration and Democrats had argued that forcing Americans to buy health insurance was not a “tax.” Admitting that it was a tax would have made it more difficult for Democrats to vote for it. But it turns out that the Supreme Court’s rationale for declaring that the mandate provision... Read more »

The SCOTUS Obamacare dissent complete text

An important quote from the dissent (complete text is here): Construing the Commerce Clause to permit Congress to regulate individuals precisely because they are doing nothing would open a new and potentially vast domain to congressional authority. Con- gress already possesses expansive power to regulate what people do. Upholding the Affordable Care Act under the... Read more »
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Obamacare SCOTUS decision: Could be bad news for Obama

While political reporters and pundits are proclaiming the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Thursday upholding Obamacare’s individual insurance mandate as a big victory for President Barack Obama, I have a caution to raise: The decision puts the decision back into the political realm, which means that the issue goes back to Congress where the fires... Read more »

Guess where most of the "dark" campaign money comes from?

If you said sneaky right wing nuts, the “1 percent” (i.e. superrich Americans) or corporate powerhouses, you’d be wrong. The biggest hunk of money came from Planned Parenthood Action Fund Inc., yeah them, the abortion industry. The second biggest chunk came from our friends at American  Federation of  State,  County  and  Municipal Employees. Interestingly, the bulk of the... Read more »

Public-sector unions still don't get it

This analysis in Governing states and localities ezen makes an interesting point: Instead of continuing to pour money into the Democratic party, unions should be concentrating a greater effort on organizing. It notes a dramatic drop in union membership in the private sector, something the author believes is a bad sign because we need unions. He... Read more »
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America's least celebrated war deserves better

Monday was the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the War of 1812, which pitted the United States against Great Britain and Canada. As if anyone noticed. But America’s least celebrated war deserves better. The War of 1812, while one of the most bungled in American history and least remembered, may have been one of the most... Read more »

That's what grandpas do

God bless this man. From the Tribune: A Mount Prospect man died over the weekend in Virginia while saving his 8-year-old grandson, who was pulled into the ocean by waves while the two were walking on the beach, according to a daughter. My sincerest condolences to the family.  

Read ChicagoNow's least-read post

Or to put it another way: You’ll might stop reading this when you discover that the post is about today (Monday, June 18) being the bicentennial of the start of the War of 1812. The war of what? A few people might recall the war as the occasion for the composition of the National Anthem,... Read more »
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Has Cook County State's Atty. Anita Alvarez violated her sworn duty?

“The Civil Actions Bureau defends the county and its officeholders and employees in civil suits….” This is how Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez describes one of the duties of her office on her website. A Cook County officeholder– Clerk David Orr is a defendant in a civil lawsuit filed by same sex couples for refusing to grant... Read more »
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    Dennis Byrne

    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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