Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

Interesting Phone Call

Thursday, January 26th, 2006

In my second consecutive non-Annelle-related post, I, again, wade into the political sphere.

I received a phone call tonight from Illinois Senatorial District 33 candidate Jim Morici. Mr. Morici asked me for a public show of support after giving his basic introductory spiel wherein he mentioned that he is a business owner (he owns a law firm), a father of three (a hockey dad and teeball coach) and that his main focus is on reforming health care to make it affordable to everyone and weeding out corruption at all levels of Illinois government (good luck to him).

I found this announcement from Kent-Chicago Law School, where Mr. Morici will be appearing on January 31st. Sadly, this announcement has more information about Mr. Morici than his website.

Mr. Morici earned a lot of points in my book for two reasons:

  1. I informed him early on that I don’t generally vote Democratic and that my wife, the effervescent Mrs. Bixby (Not Her Real Name), is the only one who does, and he didn’t politely end the call and move on, he continued to talk to me and answered my questions.
  2. He answered my question. Well, actually, he responded to my question, and gave me his opinion, when he knew it was different than mine. He didn’t feed me some line of bs, trying to lie his way to my vote.

I asked him what his position was on Tort Reform.
For those unfamiliar with the concept, the idea is that by legislating some formulaic limit to the amount that juries can award in personal injury cases (above and beyond incurred medical costs), malpractice insurance providers will have to pay out less, thereby reducing their premiums to doctors, who can reduce their operating costs, charging the insurance companies less, causing the insurance companies to charge less for coverage and making healthcare more affordable for all.

Mr. Morici doesn’t believe that that is the case nor would it be the effect. His focus would be on regulating the insurance companies, “one of the few, if not only, industries not governed by anti-trust legislation” in setting the price of premiums and costs. He didn’t specify what he would do, but his aim is to further regulate (or, I should say, differently regulate) the medical insurance corporations to lower costs for the uninsured. I asked him to flesh out his web-page and provide some more specific information regarding this on there so I had something to read and to link to. I believe in the power of the internet in the political process and those who take advantage of it will do well. See my posts on Kathy Salvi (one more link). Incidentally, President Bush apparently has similar intentions as well. Mr. Morici did point me toward the Illinois Trial Lawyers’ Association site where there should be an article or write-up on a study they commisioned about health care costs, tort benefits and reform. I haven’t found it yet, but when I do, I’ll post a link.

I expressed my pleasure at having a politician or political candidate actually talk to and take time to speak with his constituents or potential constituents and so I promised him that I would advocate for him if I felt comfortable doing so, but at the very least I would link to his site.

I get a good feeling about him. Much as I did about Jack Ryan. (That’s not damning with faint praise, by the way: I’m still upset with the Illinois Republican Party for shooting themselves in the foot by freaking out over a dispute between a husband and wife; granted, it was about what kind of sex they would and would not have and that always makes for odd political candidacies, but he didn’t force anything, he just asked and was denied. He had good ideas and seemed like a good man. It’s a real shame – ed.)

It was clear he wanted a quick three-minute phone call to plant his name in my brain and instead took 20 to 25 minutes to try to convince someone who isn’t wasn’t a likely voter. He still doesn’t have a lock on my vote, but he sure didn’t sound like a liberal weenie trial lawyer elitist democrat (even though he is a trail lawyer democrat ;) ) . I wonder what his tax policy is.

Mr. Morici, if you are reading this, please leave me a comment if you feel I misrepresented any of your views or our conversation.

To my five readers, those of who live in the 33rd district check him out. Hopefully, he will update the site more, and maybe start a blog.

I don’t know anything yet about the incumbent Cheryl Axley. Maybe she’ll call tomorrow.

Damn that global warming!!!

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

Snow falls in Hawaii.

Where’s Al Gore when we need him most?

OK, one more

Tuesday, January 17th, 2006

Kathy Salvi finally starting using her blog, with only ten weeks to go before the primary. There are three posts on there. I hope she and her contributors pick up the pace.

Really encouraging though is that commenting is allowed (although it is moderated, understandably, of course). I hope some actual dialogue comes from this.

This ought to be the last political post for a while. Character A premieres on Sunday.

Why I shouldn’t blog.

Thursday, December 22nd, 2005

Jeff Dircksen over at Government Bytes blogs about the impending Nanny State starting with the anti-smoking laws I posted about here, only he did it better and much more concisely than I did. Also, less ranty. Go read that post, then check out his whole site.

I hope my government-issued Nanny is hot! and Swedish! and speaks no English! Don’t tell Mrs. Bixby (Not Her Real Name)!

YAY! SHE’S BACK!!!

Friday, December 16th, 2005

Kathy Salvi will NOT be running as Lieutenant Governor, making me one of her potential constituents again, which means I can keep posting on the subject of her race, her non-existent blog and her campaign mailers!

I’m such a happy blogger!

Hat Tip again to Cal Skinner at the McHenry County Blog

Think of the CHILDREN!!!!!!

Friday, December 16th, 2005

Unbelievable. With every public facility smoking ban, I’ve kind of said, “Fine, whatever, I’ll go outside.” I always thought, “At least I can still smoke in my car and at home.”

Not for long, should “Action on Smoking and Health” get their way.

“Children are the most vulnerable and the most defenseless victims of tobacco smoke,” Executive Director John F. Banzhaf III said. “They should be entitled to the same protection as adults.”

You see, I’m a parent. Obviously, as such, I am completely incapable of making intelligent health choices for my children. I can’t be trusted not to engage in an unhealthy, yet perfectly legal, habit around those I care about most. Especially considering that I don’t want them to take up the habit themselves. It’s completely unthinkable that I don’t actually smoke in front of my children, let alone in my house. Who could possibly imagine that I have the self-restraint to wait to smoke at home until they are in bed asleep, and even then, only do so on the patio outside of my house. It is, therefore, imperative that the government mandate that I follow such strictures.

Today, it is the subject of laws in three states regarding Foster Care laws and Custody Battles. Tomorrow, I won’t be able to smoke in or around my own home, property, vehicle or, frankly, at all. If I choose to engage in behaviour thats risks my own body for disease, illness, or injury that harms no one else, I have the right to do so.

Do yourself a favor and visit ASH’s website. You can learn all kinds of wonderful things like:

  • “Protect Foster Children:
    Click here to urge your state to protect foster children from secondhand smoke. “
  • Sue Big Tobacco Now:
    Click here to see how you can sue or join class action law suits against big tobacco companies.
  • Custody and Smoking:
    Click here to learn how to raise the issue of smoking in a child custody case.

  • Class Action Law Suits:
    Click here to learn about the many class action law suits against big tobacco companies.

You can also take a survey and win a prize. It must be a good prize because they have an animated arrow pointing to this one. You can get a free individual assessment of your cancer risk for which you must take a survey and get a chance to win a prize (this one looks like it was designed by the same folks who sell herbal medicine online).
< derail>
Oh my god. I’m looking through their website for purposes of writing this post and I’m just astounded by this site. It’s amazing. It’s like some sad combination of a V1Agra or C1@lis spam email/site and a cult. In order to learn “How you too can sue tobacco companies for wealth and fame” you must make a donation and join their scary little group. Check out the “Why Join” page. It’s like a RonCo informercial. At least their donation revenue is not going to something as unimportant as Web Design. I couldn’t hate this website more if they used the < blink> tag. Wow.
< /derail>

Real scientific evidence for the dangers of second-hand smoke are false, fabricated or misrepresented. Yet, for the children’s sake, we must prevent all first-hand smoke just in case.

Where is the ACLU clamoring for my rights to engage in a legal activity without fear of interference and harrassment by the government? On a smoke-break?

Perhaps I can classify my cigarettes as an armament, a weapon, and therefore be protected under the second-amendment. Should I have a lit cigarette and be attacked, I can poke it in the eye of an attacker. I can blow smoke in his face and “put him at a higher risk of lung cancer, heart disease and SIDS.” If it’s so dangerous, so deadly, then it must be a weapon and they can’t take that away from me.

The best part of the article is this little snippet:

The smoking-at-home issue also sparked debate about whether such rulings will lead courts to become involved in such matters as parents’ making poor TV programming choices for their children.

My TV too? This has gone too far!

Salvi Redux… Redux…

Sunday, December 11th, 2005

So Cal Skinner left me a comment to update the Kathy Salvi race since it appears that Jim Oberweis has offered her the position of his running mate in the Illinois Gubernatorial Race.

So far neither Ms. Salvi’s site nor her “blog” has any indication that she has changed races, but Oberweis’ site has a petition for Kathy Salvi as Lt. Governor.

I hope she let’s Oberweis handle the campaign mailers. I suppose I can leave Ms. Salvi alone now and focus on the Governors. It’s too bad

Veddy intuhreshtink!

Friday, December 9th, 2005

This referral is more intriguing than the one I got from the Ministry of Information, People’s Republic of China!

So I have posted about Kathy Salvi twice in the last week. I hope this isn’t becoming an obsession!

At any rate, I noticed this in my referral logs:
Google Search for Kathy Salvi Hits Me!

I find it very interesting that someone on Capitol Hill is trawling through Google looking for information on Ms. Salvi. Rep. Melissa Bean (D-Ill.) or one of her staffers perhaps? How weird that they hit upon my lowly little blog, especially considering the fact that the first post that mentions Ms. Salvi has a large phallic building covered in a pink condom in it. I hope they found what they are looking for.

My blog is on page 7 of the results for the search, by the way, so they were really searching. By that page there are only 4 sites, including mine, that refer to this Kathy Salvi. Let’s take a look shall we?

Around The Arena 10_05 This is a stable newsletter with updates on a whole bunch of people. It’s also where I first encountered the name of her husband, Al Salvi

Americans for Tax Reform Here I see she signed the The Taxpayer Protection Pledge, as did a gentleman named Al Salvi. Confused why her husband would run against her, I found that according to Capitol Fax, Al Salvi was going to run for that seat, but decided not to, and now his wife is running instead. That must have been a very interesting conversation

Al: “You know, hon, I’m not going to run for Congress after all.”
Kathy: “That’s ok, honey, it’s probably for the best you stay retired from public life. … By the way, Al, apropos of nothing, I’ve been doing some thinking …”

Which leaves only s link from FindArticles.com which links to a list of articles from September 14th, including this article by Scott Fornek of the Chicago Sun-Times. According to this article, Ms. Salvi has three opponents for the Republican candidacy in the race, one of whom has Former US Senator Peter Fitzgerald (R-Ill.), a man I respect very much.

In all, I am intrigued by Ms. Salvi’s story and am very open to the idea of her candidacy, pending investigation of her opponents (as named in the aforementioned article):

former investment banker Dave McSweeney, Mundelein businesswoman Teresa Bartels and Wauconda lawyer Aaron Lincoln.

Lincoln’s an awfully important name in Illinois. He’s not a direct descendant biologically, but if he fits the bill as Abraham’s great-great-grandson politically, I’m all for it.

Even though the front of Ms. Salvi’s campaign flier (from her official campaign, by the way) is ridiculous in the extreme, it had the intended effect of making me talk about her and think about her, didn’t it? In fact, I really hadn’t paid any attention to this race to this point, and didn’t even know who her opponents were until this little exercise.

This should be an interesting race.

Salvi – redux

Thursday, December 8th, 2005

Kathy Salvi has a blog now. She is using Blogger (with coincidentally, the exact same template I used on my old blog) rather than hosting a WordPress or other CMS on her site. I wanted to leave her a comment welcoming her to the blogosphere and offering a small piece of advice, as well as cover my hind-end about my last Friday Funnies Post which ripped on one of the mailers an organization affiliated with her campaign (or her campaign itself?) sent out. I know I wrote in my last post as if she personally put it together, but I don’t know if it was a 527 organization or anything that may have sent it out and been legally obligated not to consult and conspire with her official campaign.

Anyway, I saw “0 comments” at the bottom of her first Welcome post and wanted to leave her a note. Then I saw that commenting was restricted to Team Members Only – meaning that it is a team blog and may or may not really provide any real commentary from her. Also, they are hostile to constituents talking to the candidate. That’s a BAD idea. One of the cornerstones of the blogosphere is the two-way communication allowed by reader’s comments and blogger’s responses. It grinds my nerves when politicians try to steal some of the cachet of “being a blogger” and ignore the spirit. “Hey, read my blog, written by my staffers to not alienate anyone at all, and ignore the fact that you can not respond to anything or begin any conversation.” Bloggers are not fooled, and we are not amused. So, in the spirit of fairness, I will publish my comment here and email it to her as well. They are most likely new to blogging and may not be aware of the cultural mores.

“Welcome to the blogosphere Ms. Salvi. I am a registered voter in your district and received a flier from an organization calling itslef “Friends of Kathy Salvi” and I thought I’d try to learn more about you. I look forward to further posts by you on this blog (or on your own site using a separate blogging software like WordPress, which is free).

Should you follow my link back to my blog and see the post regarding your flier, please take the advice in the spirit it was given and know that the offer is a valid one.

I hope that you would open commenting to anonymous and non-blogger users to generate some real conversation in our political process. I have a blogger account, but I do all my blogging today at Catastrophic Success – http://www.misterbixby.com.”

I hope she gets it and embraces her new role as the blogging Congresswoman.

Happy Birthday Audrey

Sunday, November 20th, 2005

As of 3:40 a.m. this morning, I have been a father for 4 years. That’s actually a little scary to think about.

Sorry for the no posting, work has been hectic, I and other members of my family have been sick, I’ve been pooped, [another excuse], [some flimsy reason], and on top of all that [rationalization]!

I’ve been reading with interest all the hubbub about OSM and its attempted implosion. First the lack of true business plan, then the inscrutable writers’ agreements amd the unfortunate naming choice. I’m sure they got so blinded with the greatness of the OSM vs. MSM parallel that they just plum forgot how to Google it. At any rate, I really don’t care.

Toward the end of October, I celebrated my blogiversary. My Blogspot version of Catastrophic Success was started on 10/28/04. I celebrated by completely missing the date and doing nothing of note. Maybe I’ll celebrate the date I moved into my own space away from blogger with a .gif cake or something… does anyone but me care?

My final fantasy team is in 6th place going into today with a 5-5 record and the toughest part of my schedule ahead for the last 3 games. I don’t foresee a championship in my future.

Mrs. Bixby (Not Her Real Name), Audrey, Madelyn and I will be headed to Cheeseburger in Paradise for Audrey’s birthday lunch in a few minutes, so I’ll wrap up here, but look for a belated Friday Funnies/ThoughtBucket Dump sometime this week….

By the way, Creepiest Moment of the Morning ™: Flipping through channels and there is SecDef Donald Rumsfeld talking to Tim Russert on Meet the Press… then flip up two channels and there he is talking to George Stephanopoulos on This Week… At THE SAME TIME!!!!! I knew there was something wicked in the Bush Administrations stern refusal to discuss cloning… look what happened with the first experiment! TWO RUMMIES! We wouldn’t that to happen with, say, Teddy Kennedy or John Kerry, would we? Thank goodness for Bush’s incalcitrance!