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Friday Night Lights – Week 6 September 29, 2006

Posted by j-dub in H.S. Football, Sports.
2 comments

Games I’m picking: 

Champaign (Centennial) at Urbana (H.S.)
Normal (Community) at Normal (Community West)
Argenta (A.-Oreana) at Monticello
Champaign (St. Thomas More) at St. Joseph (S.J.-Ogden)
Fithian (Oakwood) [Coop] at Bismarck (B.-Henning)

My Picks:

Centennial, Normal-Community, Monticello, St. Joe, and Bismarck-Henning

2006-2007 College Football – Week 5 September 29, 2006

Posted by j-dub in College Football, Sports.
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Week 5 isn’t much better than week 4, still a lot of crappy games. However, next week looks promising with several great games lined up.

For this week, here are the games I’m picking:

Illinois at Michigan State
#24 Georgia Tech at #11 Virginia Tech
#1 Ohio State at #13 Iowa
#3 USC at Washington State
#14 Oregon at Arizona State

My Picks:

Michigan State, Georgia Tech, Iowa, USC, and Oregon

Upset Alert: Ohio State – Iowa is tough a home, OSU struggled last week, this will shake up the polls.

Also, Auburn, a sexy pick for the National Title, looked crappy tonight against South Carolina. This season could be the single most difficult to decide who the best team in the country is. I don’t think we’ll really know until the last week of the season.

Tax Breaks September 28, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.
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I’m not an expert on enterprise zones, and I don’t pretend to play one on TV.  However, I found the efforts of our beloved County Board to be quite amusing last Thursday.  They didn’t want to give Christie a tax break, but they wanted to give the proposed ethanol plant a tax break.  Okay, I might be able to see the reasoning behind that.  Giving a tax break to the ethanol people looks better than giving the hospital a tax break.

Read this story to get caught up.
What I don’t get is Board Member Weibel’s assessment of the land, and his reasoning for voting the way he did.  Here’s what Mr. Weibel had to say about the Christie Land:

Fellow Democrat C. Pius Weibel of Champaign said the purpose of enterprise zones is to entice new businesses, particularly to depressed areas. Neither was this a new business nor is the outlying neighborhood depressed, he said.

Here’s what he said about the Anderson’s land:

Weibel called the affected area “neutral” and more suited to help from the government.

I don’t get the comparison.  And just by reading the legal descriptions, the land isn’t that far apart from each other.  I’d say both chunks of land are neutral.  There isn’t a whole lot going on in either location.  So essentially, not much difference in makeup.  The only problem I see is that the Christie chunk of land appears to be somewhat larger (60-80 acres).

Also, WHO CARES if Provena would be affected by Christie’s new facility? Board Member Putman and others  took the “I don’t want to take sides” approach, which basically means, I’m too chicken to vote one way or the other.  I’m not saying we throw Provena under the bus, but seriously, when did the County Board have to start babysitting every business in the County?  So if both businesses were up for a tax break on land, then it would be okay to give them both a break?  I don’t understand that logic either.  You give Christie the break now and when Provena needs help in the future, you give them help also.  It’s as simple as that.  Also, you can just as easily upset Christie, by taking sides, and protecting Provena (which is essentially what they are doing and saying).

Even if Provena folds, Carle, Christie, the University, or somebody else would buy up Provena’s land in a heart beat.  They’d put more jobs right back in there and be successful in that location.  I guess I get tired of the cry babies who can’t handle competition from other businesses.  I want this area to thrive and grow, not fester with businesses who aren’t smart enough, or motivated enough to be the best.

Open Thread September 28, 2006

Posted by j-dub in General.
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Consider this an “open mic” of sorts….

Sorry for the lack of posting this week.  Life can be crazy for given stretches of time, and that’s my lame excuse.

This pisses me off…. September 26, 2006

Posted by j-dub in National, Politics.
2 comments

read this and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

And this quote, from Sen. Arlen Specter,  makes me sick to my stomach:

My instinct is once the (November) election is over there will be a lot more hard thinking about what to do about Iraq and a lot more candid observations about it.

I have family in the service.  Family which served a tour of duty in the first Iraq war, and fortunately has not had to go this time.  I’d want to personally BLAST ANY congressman who puts a f%&*ing election before our troops.  There are all sorts of political types who want to paint those anti-war folks as anti-american.  Sure, some may fit that mold, but by and large all Americans wans our troops to come home SAFE.  Forget the anti-war folks, I have a bigger problem with a congressperson waiting until after an election to get serious about troop safety, withdrawal, etc.  The troops should never be used as a political tool.

What have U.S. politics come to?  Personally, if Specter’s comments are true (Sadly, I think they are), to the most disgraceful level I can recall.  I’m not calling out a specific party either, because they are ALL to blame.

I cringe every time I read a story like this one.  The problem is, I’ve been reading an awful lot of them lately.

I’m not advocating a quick withdrawal of military from Iraq.  That would be foolish.  And, honestly, I actually supported going into Iraq in the first place and voted to re-elect Bush in 2004.

My problem is the lack of initial planning which has hampered this war.  I think its clear that we had little to no strategy on setting up a government, and the rebuilding of the country.  I think we clearly underestimated the efforts needed and unfortunately our troops are paying the price now.

2006-2007 NFL – Week 3 September 24, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Football, Sports.
4 comments

There are some very good divisional games this Sunday.

Games I’m picking:

Jacksonville at Indianapolis
Chicago at Minnesota
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
Carolina at Tampa Bay
Denver at New England

Monday Night Football:

Atlanta at New Orleans (First game in Superdome since Hurricane Katrina)

My Picks:

Jacksonville, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Carolina, Denver, and Atlanta

Friday Night Lights – Week 5 September 22, 2006

Posted by j-dub in H.S. Football, Sports.
1 comment so far

Games I’m picking:

Salt Fork vs Bismark-Henning
Iroquois West vs St Joseph
Danville vs Normal West
Bloomington vs Central
Centennial vs Normal Community

My Picks:

Salt Fork, St Joseph, Normal West, Bloomington, and Normal Community

2006-2007 College Football – Week 4 September 21, 2006

Posted by j-dub in College Football, Sports.
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Week 4 is a let down week after all of the excellent matchups last week. The good news…Big Ten play starts this week.

Here’s what I’m picking:

Wisconsin at #6 Michigan
#14 Iowa at Illinois
#24 Penn State at #1 Ohio State
#22 Arizona State at #21 California
#12 Notre Dame at Michigan State

My Picks:

Michigan, Iowa, Ohio State, California, and Notre Dame

Upset Alert: Michigan – They’re coming off a dominating performance against Notre Dame (in South Bend), and they face a familiar foe in Wisconsin. Michigan, as of late, has been known to slip up in games they should win and this is that type of game. This will also be the first Big Ten game for either team, and if Michigan is sluggish, look out. If they play like last week, they’ll be fine.

Rush is an IDIOT… September 21, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, National, Politics.
6 comments

I listen to bits and pieces of Rush Limbaugh on a daily basis. I keep contemplating the need for a clinical evaluation, but I figure it’s just my open mindedness getting the better of me.

Tuesday I was listening to Rush and he made this absurd comment (I’m paraphrasing, but this is very close to original. I’d love for a Rush subsciber to give me the exact text!):

“Democrats can do all the voter registration drives they want. They can register thousands and thousands of voters, but their cumulative intelligence will be the same as the eraserhead of a pencil.”

Basically, he was saying Democrats are stupid (which he stated several times) and un-informed about politics. He then proceeded to talk about how Democrat voters were duped by a Republican mailing (which he deemed a joke and found quite humorous) that stated election day was on wednesday instead of tuesday. I guess that was his justification for Democrat voters being stupid. I understand his point about the mailing, but seriously, why stereotype every single Dem voter?

I hate to re-hash history, but this is the same guy who stated the following about Donovan McNabb (a black NFL quarterback) while an employee of ESPN:

“The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well”, Limbaugh said. “There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn’t deserve. The defense carried this team.”

Yeah, nevermind the fact that McNabb is/was one of the top 10 QBs in the league with almost no supporting cast on offense. However, I guess stereotyping is just another day on the job for Rush. As such, I shouldn’t be surprised with his latest comments.  Let me put the shoe on the other foot for a moment; so that means Rush is a pain-killer/meds addict who is put on a pedestal by all republicans.  Also, every Republican who registers to vote is a toothless, imbred, hillbilly who loves to shop at wal-mart, and drink beer.

All I can say is, WOW, what an idiot. I apologize for picking on such a Republican icon, but comments like this are ludicrous. Rush does have some great points (especially about the media), and he usually backs them with source information. That’s what I listen for. It’s the times where he give his opinions that I change the channel.

PS:  My comments above are to illustrate a point, and are not intended to be read as truth; merely to illustrate my point. 

Blogroll: Deadspin September 20, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Blogroll.
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deadspin.com is a sports-centered blog, that was created by a U of I graduate named Will Leitch. The blog is absolutely hilarious. I heard the guys on 670 The Score interviewing him and I went and checked it out. Good stuff.

It’s also cool, because the editor is a U of I grad, so they cover our sports area more than most people do.

If you like to laugh and/or you like sports, check this out.

George Bush is the DEVIL!!! September 20, 2006

Posted by j-dub in National, Politics.
5 comments

Honestly, I couldn’t stop laughing when I heard that Hugo Chavez (Venezuelan President) called George W. Bush the devil during a speech he gave at the U.N. today.  Click here to view the video.  Absolutely priceless.  I can’t stand this Chavez guy, but this was extremely funny.  Politics at its best.

All I could think of was the Adam Sandler movie, The Waterboy, where Kathy Bates (who plays Sandler’s Mom in the movie) keeps calling everything the devil.

Here is the perfect clip, just insert George Bush instead of Ben Franklin!

Go here to listen to more Waterboy clips.

Taking the high road… September 20, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.
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Well, the folks over at Illinipundit would like you to think Judy Myers is against negative advertising, and that negative advertising is only an act of desperation by a candidate who is in trouble or trying to avoid trouble.

However, Judy Myers is running negative ads of her own against her opponent Mike Frerichs; about 10 days after Mike’s first negative ad. Mike did run negative ads first, but who really cares who ran them first? I guess, if I was a republican, I could point that out everytime the issue came up. Of course, if I were a democrat, I could always bring up the fact that Judy is running negative ads also. Point being, neither candidate is better than the other for running negative ads. The common voter, myself included, thinks they both could have (and should have) avoided negative ads and in the end things balance out. Maybe if one candidate stays positive it helps them, but I also think that negative ads are prevalent for a reason; they must work.

Speaking of negative ads, CU Listener has a great post detailing the negative campaign that has been happening at Illinipundit for at least the better part of 6 months. I know it’s not the same thing, but in this day and age, it’s probably even better than an ad buy.
Also, what does this say about the Myers’ campaign? Over at IP, I was told Frerichs is running negative ads because he is “trailing badly” (as the negative Judy Myers ad states). I thought Judy had a huge lead? I also asked why Blago was running negative ads, and I was told the following:

“Blago has much higher name recognition than Frerichs, and voters already have an opinion of Blagojevich. For many voters, the first time they’re going to hear/remember Frerichs name is in association with a negative ad.”

So, how many people have heard of Judy Myers recently? I’m guessing roughly the same number that have heard about Frerichs. Which completely negates the quote above.

In the end, I’m trying to illustrate a classical example of politics today. Each candidate, NO MATTER WHICH PARTY, is trying to tell you exactly what you want to hear. Personally, I get really tired of Republicans AND Democrats trying to paint these wonderful pictures of themselves.  Then, the next day, doing exactly what they criticized their oppenent for doing. My best advice, get out and research the candidates for yourself, and be careful of your sources of information. If something a candidate, or a staffer, says is questionable; look it up. Ask somebody you trust. Don’t be naive, politics today feasts on the naive and uninformed people.

Boring! September 19, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.
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That’s how I’d describe this election season in Champaign County.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still interested, I just think there aren’t a whole lot of races in doubt.  I think we have too many uncontested races, and too many poor opponents against the handful of incumbents with opponents.

Here are my general thoughts:

A lot of uncontested races, which sucks for a variety of reasons.

CB 7 & 9 should be interesting.

Rod Blago, Jesse White, Tim Johnson, Hynes, and Madigan should roll easily. At the county level, Shelden should win easily also.  (Some of these, I wish weren’t the case)

The 52nd Senate (Myers, Frerichs, and maybe Joe Pa) and the 103rd State Rep (Naomi, Rex, Tom) are the only races that will be close. The State Treasurer could be close, but I think Alexander G, will roll also.

What do you think? Is there a race you think I’m misjudging? What, if anything, am I overlooking?

52nd District: Sign War September 18, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.
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Who’s winning the “Sign War” in your neck of the woods?

I really love those GIGANTIC signs….

My neck of the woods….Frerichs is winning…

PS: I know volume of signs means nothing in this race, but for some reason the signs (and the ridiculous number of them) fascinate me. So please, humor me would ya…

2006-2007 NFL – Week 2 September 17, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Football, Sports.
2 comments

Some good divisional matchups this week.

Week 2 Games I’m Picking:

Buffalo at Miami
NY Giants at Philadelphia
Detroit at Chicago
Tampa Bay at Atlanta
Arizona at Seattle
STL at San Francisco
NE at NY Jets
KC at Denver
Washington at Dallas

Monday Night Footbal:

Pittsburgh at Jacksonville

My picks:

Miami, Philly, Chicago, Atlanta, Arizona, San Francisco, NE, Denver, Dallas, Jacksonville

Upset Alert:

Chicago – Detroit played well defensively against Seattle and if Kitna takes care of the ball; this could go down to the wire.

Friday Night Lights – Week 4 September 15, 2006

Posted by j-dub in H.S. Football, Sports.
1 comment so far

Week 4, here we go:

Bismark-Henning vs. Westville
St. Joe vs. Clinton
Urbana  vs. Bloomington
Oakwood/A-P vs.  Hoopeston Area
GCMS vs. Fisher
Danville vs. Centennial

My picks:

Westville, St. Joe, Bloomington, Oakwood/A-P, GCMS, and Centennial

2006-2007 College Football – Week 3 September 14, 2006

Posted by j-dub in College Football, Sports.
2 comments

In week 3, things start to heat up in college ball. We start to see some conference games which always stir the pot up pretty good. I’m picking a crap load of games this week since 14 of the top 25 teams play AGAINST each other this week. That has to be some kind of record or something.

Games I’m picking this week:

Syracuse at Illinois
Iowa State at #16 Iowa
#11 Michigan at #2 Notre Dame
#6 LSU at #3 Auburn
#17 Miami (FL) at #12 Louisville
#15 Oklahoma at #18 Oregon
#24 Texas Tech at #20 TCU
Clemson at #9 Florida State
#19 Nebraska at #4 USC
#7 Florida at #13 Tennessee

My Picks:

Illinois, Iowa, Notre Dame, LSU, Miami (FL), Oregon, Texas Tech, Clemson, USC, and Florida

Upset Alert: Florida State (see my pick above) – they’ve been weak on offense all year and Clemson always plays them tough. I also think they’re one of the most overrated teams in the country. Iowa was my second choice, because Drew Tate is hurting and Iowa State has surprised them in the past.

As much as I would love to see USC lose, they’ll have too much speed on the field in the Colisseum and they’ll blow the Nebraska boys away. Notre Dame will light Michigan up in South Bend. LSU knocks off Auburn in a game that could have national title implications. Oregon knocks down the overrated Sooners. Clemson pulls an upset in Tallahassee. Florida smokes Tennessee at Rocky Top.

$16,419… September 13, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Politics.
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That’s George Ryan’s pension….PER MONTH. Or just over $197,000 each year.

That according to the Channel 3 news at 10PM last night (9/12).

Well, hopefully Lisa Madigan and her crew will get this taken care of. They are looking at taking away his pension, due to his various conviction(s) while in office. Read this article for more.

Normally, I wouldn’t kick a man while he’s down, but this is actually a great move by state pension officials. Hopefully Madigan will do her part, and we’ll actually have some good news come of this whole Ryan fiasco. I really hope Madigan supports revoking Ryan’s pension.

What a nice pension, I’m sure being Illinois governor constitutes such a gracious amount of money for the rest of one’s life (that’s all sarcasm by the way). That is ridiculous. It’s more the the pension given to a former President of the United States (if you just look at pension figures alone and ignore the first lady pension). I know former presidents (and first ladies) get other perks that add up to way more than what Ryan would get each year, but for the pension of the Illinois governor (or any state official) to be more than the president…is insanity. No wonder other state pensions are being raided.

Let me repeat myself. I really hope Madigan supports revoking Ryan’s pension.

Judy Who? September 12, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.
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Is Judy Baar Topinka still running for Governor?judy.jpg

I hope somebody can tell me, because I sure can’t tell.

The sad thing is, Blagojevich was/is vulnerable in this race. A formidable candidate could have definetely knocked him out of office. The problem is, a formidable opponent was not put up against him. No, the statewide Republican party selected Judy-I’m-connected-to-George-Ryan-Baar-Topinka instead of another viable option. Great move considering George Ryan just got sent to jail for over 6 years. The only real reason I’ve heard for Judy’s selection is because the Republicans thought she was the only one who could take Rod down.

That’s a great reason for selecting a candidate; another thing I hate about politics (let’s pick who we think can win, even if that person isn’t out best candidate). Nevermind the fact that everytime she starts to talk, I want to change the channel. She has to be one of the most annoying/rude personalities I’ve ever seen in politics. That is just my opinion, but the Blagojevich campaign must have similar thoughts. Every one of Rod’s commercials has Judy making some weird face or saying something ridiculous/annoying.

Illinipundit has a link to Judy’s latest ad. She finally began running TV spots last week. I know Blago has 4-5 times the money as JBT, but her campaign doesn’t have to be overload to get a win. She just has to be smart, and I don’t think she’s been that way so far. Anyways, we probably won’t see too many of them downstate, I guess she is focusing her money up north; which could be a smart move. However, I don’t think you win by trying to change your opponents mind(in this case, chasing after Chicago Democrat votes). I think you win by supercharging your base, like Bush did in 2004.

Basically, I think Blago blasts Judy in November. IP also has a post on polling numbers for the 52nd district with respect to the Governor’s race. They don’t seem too promising to me. I figured any decent Republican would be blasting Rod, in this area at least, by this time in the race. I don’t think she will put too much more distance between her and Rod here, since she’s spending a majority of her TV dollars up north, but maybe I’m wrong.

A Wall Street Journal/Zogby Poll shows Rod leading the State by 13 pts (give or take 3 pts). I’m sorry, but that’s terrible this stage of the game. Especially with Rod hammering the TV at least triple the amount as JBT, and her obvious disadvantage in funds/appeal.

I think it’s a shame the Republican party in Illinois is such a joke. I was really hoping for a better option in November. Unfortunately, I’ll probably skip this race on the ballot. I don’t think I can vote for either one of these jokers. I hate living in a state where politics appear to be some of the most corrupt and ludicrous in the entire nation.

Does Judy stand a chance? What’s to be done with the Illinois Republican Party in general? Would it matter in a typically blue state?

Your thoughts appreciated as always…

Where were you… September 11, 2006

Posted by j-dub in News - National.
1 comment so far

…5 years ago today?

I’m sure you’ve read all sorts of 9/11 material today, with this being the 5 year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.

I give my thanks to all those who gave their lives and efforts to help others in this time of need.  I give my sentiments to the families and friends of all who were taken from us on this day five years ago.

Now, returning to my first question…Where were you 5 years ago today?   What were you doing when you heard, seen, or read the accounts of the attacks?

I’ll never ever forget where I was when I watched, live, the second plane hit the towers; and subsequently the buildings collapsing.  It’s one of those moments that will be etched in my memory forever.

Also, etched in my memory forever, are the images of rescue workers raising flags at the site afterwards.  And the images of all the heroic things that happened in the wake of the attacks.

Please, share your thoughts.