Sicko Trailer from Michael Moore’s new film (Official trailer)

4 Stars ****

A must see film for those that care deeply about health care. For those that support universal health care, this is a great film. I prefer to call it “Medicare for All.” Michael Moore has done it again. John Presta.

Tell us how many stars you give it.

BHMP Garden Walk A Huge Success

The 20th Annual Beverly Hills-Morgan Park Garden Walk held on Sunday, June 24, 2007 was a financial and aesthetic success.

Ten brand spectacular gardens were highlighted in our historic community.

Our community is known for their outstanding historical architecture, local entrepreneurship, community activism and racial diversity. And of course, outstanding landscape architecture. Additionally, Central and East Beverly, with their extraordinarily large lot sizes, have historically been part of the garden district of Chicago.

A very special thanks to our sponsors: Beverly Bank, Founders Bank, The Plaza, Munro Landscaping, Alderman Ginger Rugai, State Representative Kevin Joyce and Cliffco Concrete Construction.

All proceeds on the walk benefit community gardens and help support free community events.

For information about next year’s Garden Walk, call John at 773-233-7633 or Carol at 773-233-7092.

Reading on Walden Bookstore Online
Chicago, IL 60643

Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s "daily flights to nowhere"

If the governor was actually out trying to get the budget passed, that would be one thing. But this is clearly for show. The governor intends to shut down the state, ala Bill Clinton versus Newt Gingrich. Problem is this. Governor, you are no Bill Clinton.

Even more important Governor, Speaker Madigan is no Newt Gingrich.

In other words, you are in a lose, lose situation. And Madigan is in a win, win situation.

But you will need to learn the hard way.

So please, enough with the “daily flights to nowhere,” especially when you have no intention of working out a budget.

John Presta.

Crain’s Chicago Business reports the following about our governor.
Gov spent $76,000 on trips to capital: analysis

June 20, 2007

(AP) — Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s practice of flying from Chicago to Springfield and back for daily budget negotiations is costing taxpayers more than $5,800 a day, for a total of roughly $76,000 and climbing.

An Associated Press analysis of state flight records shows Blagojevich made eight round trips on state airplanes from May 22 to June 7. He spent an average of less than five hours in Springfield each time, including travel time to and from the capital airport.

On a ninth trip, he stayed over two nights as lawmakers tried to meet their May 31 budget-approval deadline.

The cost of the travel was $52,540.

Since then, Blagojevich has appeared to follow the same pattern, making at least four more round trips to Springfield. Detailed records are not available, but averages from previous day trips suggest an additional cost of $23,300.

Several of the flights came while Blagojevich aides were admonishing lawmakers for not spending enough time in the Capitol negotiating a budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

“There’s not a single person back home who doesn’t recognize the enormous waste of that type of travel,” said Sen. Chris Lauzen, an Aurora Republican who serves as co-chairman of the Legislative Audit Commission. The price is “more than it costs for a teacher in Illinois,” he said.

Past governors have either lived in Springfield or stayed in the capital while the Legislature was in session. Blagojevich lives in Chicago and prefers to go home at the end of each day.

Lawmakers typically meet in Springfield three days a week, and Blagojevich has been flying to Springfield each day. If he arrived at the start of each week’s session and stayed at the Executive Mansion until the end, the cost of his flights would be about two-thirds less.

Blagojevich’s office did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

The Illinois Department of Transportation charges state agencies just 41 cents a mile per passenger for flights from Chicago to Springfield. And users are not charged anything for the plane flying empty to pick them up or to return to its Springfield hangar after dropping them off in Chicago.

But Auditor General William Holland found in an audit released in January that the actual cost of flying the plane is $9.81 per mile.

The governor’s office was charged $1,098 for Blagojevich’s flights. But using Holland’s formula, flights for which official records are available actually cost $52,540.

Officials had hoped to pass a new budget by May 31, but the Democrats who dominate Illinois government remain deadlocked. State services could be endangered if a budget isn’t approved by month’s end.

Deputy Gov. Sheila Nix and spokeswoman Abby Ottenhoff have denounced the House for not working five days a week on a budget during the overtime session. At the same time Blagojevich has typically arrived at the Springfield airport at noon and departed at 5 p.m. three days a week.

“His work habits in the overtime need to be more reflective of what his administration rhetoric is,” said Sen. Martin Sandoval, D-Chicago. “That’s physically spending day and night here trying to figure this out with us in the General Assembly.”

Critics have long targeted the second-term chief executive for absentee governing, both for living in Chicago and for spending little time at the Capitol during the legislative session.

A 2005 Associated Press analysis showed a sharp increase in the Blagojevich administration’s use of state aircraft over its predecessor’s. That prompted lawmakers’ call for Holland’s audit, which found commercial flights are cheaper than the state’s.

Including the 48-hour layover in Springfield May 30 to June 1, Blagojevich’s average stay in town was 9½ hours, from touchdown to liftoff.

Rep. Jack Franks, a Woodstock Democrat who last week took to the House floor to criticize Blagojevich’s work habits, said more face time with the governor might end the impasse.

“That’s a real reason he has such poor relations with the Legislature and can’t get any of his agenda passed,” Franks said, “because he doesn’t talk to anybody.”

Michael Moore, We Need You Right Here!

The medical disaster is not just on screen…it’s right here in Cook County, growing worse with Todd Stroger’s “Let Them Eat Patronage” attitude.

With oversight comparable only to Mr. Magoo’s, the medical oath “First, do no harm” is now being amended to “First, do none of my pals and kinfolks out of some money.”

Our fellow citizens in distress, need and pain deserve better!

And who amongst us may not need help someday?

They are the Beverly All Stars, embedded every Wednesday at Cafe Luna

HI EVERYBODY – Please join us for our regular Wednesday evening session of classic jazz tomorrow, June 13, at CAFE LUNA, 1742 W. 99th St. in Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood. We expect another evening of fine weather on the patio. Our thanks to EULALIA DADE for stopping by to sing with us last week, and to our regulars who attend faithfully each Wednesday evening. . . . Congrats to Bob Helme for weighing in effectively on last week’s quiz – white regulars in the Ellington band. Bob correctly named Louis Bellson, and also mentioned Forrest Buchtell, trumpet, which is probably also correct. The second player I had in mind, also on trumpet, was Bill Berry. . . This week’s quiz: name the two fine 20th century singers and songwriters who attended Chicago’s Hyde Park High School. . . . . . Please keep the BEVERLY ALL STARS in mind when planning your next party, anniversary, reception, fundraiser or concert. We are:

George White, Eric Williams, James Seaberry, Steve Thomas

Obama Inspires at Chicago Union Station

Senator Barack Obama and his wife Michelle energized the crowd at Chicago’s Union Station late Friday night June 8. At a fundraiser attended by more than 1500 supporters, Senator Obama spoke of the civil rights movement and how it had inspired his move to Chicago. Just as activists in the civil rights movement had to do things they had never done before, so we now must make our wish for positive change personal too. Each day we must work toward the change we want to see in the country.

We do need a change in the Illinois House and Illinois Senate leadership posts

The leaders of the Illinois House and the Illinois Senate have failed the people of the state of Illinois. It is time for a change. Call your state representative and your state senator and encourage them to initiate steps to effect this needed change. Unfortunately, we are stuck with this governor; however, we are not stuck with our current leadership downstate.

I encourage citizens to start thinking carefully about this and come up with steps where we can take actions as citizens. Blogging is a great start. Write your newspapers. talk to people. Form groups. They have failed rank-and-file Democrats, they have failed the school children, they have failed the senior citizens of this state, they have failed property taxpayers, they have failed users of public transportation, they have failed state pensioners. The list of failures goes on and on and on.

We need leaders that will take this state to the next level. The current leadership is either unwilling or unable to accomplish this simple task.

The time for political action is now. Tell us what you think and what you are willing to do. We will be listing in this space who you can call or email. Change must come quickly.

Immediate Help Wanted: Illinois State House and Illinois State Senate Leaders

Must be Democrats. No DINO’s please. Real Democrats only.

Speaker of the Illinois House. Must be able to pass timely budget bill, preferably with modest to dramatic increases in educational funding, this being a minimum requirement. Knowing how to pay for these increases would be nice. Raising the state income tax (hey, how about a more progressive tax system just like the feds do) and slight changes in the state sales tax (increasing luxury items). Ability to pass an electric rate freeze, cap property taxes (the Cook County Assessor’s bill would be a good start), effective tax swapping proposals, increase funding for public transportation (not just Chicago) and being to at least fake a civil relationship with the governor. Must also get along with the President of the Illinois Senate. Contact your state representative.

Also needed immediately, President of the Illinois Senate. Staying out of the pockets of big power companies (like Exelon or ComEd, one in the same) is essential. Power money can poison. Pass HB 750 (or if you prefer SB 750 is ok too). Ability to pass an electric rate freeze, cap property taxes (the Cook County Assessor’s bill would be a good start), effective tax swapping proposals (that is if you don’t like 750) and increase funding for public transportation (not just Chicago). But just pass something. Must also get along with the Speaker of the Illinois House. Contact your state senator.