Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Free stuff for voting

You voted! Good for you! Truthfully, democracy should be its own reward, but we all love freebies. So here’s a list of free stuff you can get for voting. Happy Election Day!

(photo by kalandrakas)

Obama Grant Park Rally Guide

The Trib has a great article that answers all your questions about the Obama rally in Grant Park tomorrow. I got an e-mail from the Democratic Party saying that I will get a ticket this afternoon. I’m hoping it’s legit and not a Nigerian spam scam using Obama tickets. I’ll probably see you there.

(photo from hryckowian)

Get your Tickets to Obamafest

The election night rally for Barrack Obama in Grant Park is not just a show-up-if-you-like thing — you’ll have to have a ticket and you can sign up for them now.

Vote Early, Vote Often

The above quote has a few possible sources, but the most likely one is William Hale Thompson, mayor of Chicago from 1915 to 1923, and again from 1927 to 1931. His second stint came about thanks to the support of Al Capone. Is it a coincidence that Thompson is also the last Republican elected to the office of mayor in our fair city? You decide.

Regardless of Thompson’s political leanings I did follow the first half of his advice and got my vote on yesterday up at Welles Park. The whole process took about forty-five minutes, including the wait in line – and that was in the middle of a Saturday. If you haven’t voted yet, you can still participate in early voting through this coming Thursday. Click here to find the early voting location closest to you.

Obama in Grant Park on election night

According to the Chicago Tribune, Obama will hold an election night eventin Hutchinson Field on the south side of Grant Park. I guess you should start silk screening your “Obamapalooza” shirts now for the November 4th fete.

(photo from enigma personification)

Vote for Judges

Here in Cook County we get to vote whether our judges get to keep their jobs. And since it’s a retention election, the judges have all already been doing the work of being judges, and so we can evaluate what kind of job they’ve been doing. And by “we” I mean 10 different bar associations* who have independently evaluated all of the judges that you’ll be encountering on this year’s ballot and posted their recommendations at Vote for Judges.

It’s a nice long list with lots of different detailed reports, and I encourage you to be an educated voter, but I will highlight the only three judges to get less than 70% or less retention recommendations:

Casandra Lewis – 7 of 10 bar associations recommend that she not be retained. The Chicago Council of Lawyers says says “Judge Lewis has adequate legal ability for her current assignment and is praised for her temperament. She receives mixed reviews, however, for her work ethic – many lawyers complain that she is not well prepared and is often not punctual in taking the bench. The Council has received reports that some lawyers will take a substitution of judge rather than appear before her.”

Edward N. Pietrucha – 5 of 10 bar associations recommend that he not be retained. The Chicago Bar Association says “While Judge Pietrucha knows the law, serious concerns were raised about his temperament, which reflects a disregard and disrespect for the litigants and lawyers who appear before him.”

Shelli D. Williams-Hayes – 4 of 10 bar associations recommend that she not be retained. The Chicago Council of Lawyers says “While many lawyers say she is a good jurist, many others complain about the length of time it takes to get to trial in her courtroom. Some lawyers report that she can get frustrated during court and make grossly inappropriate remarks to lawyers and litigants. Some lawyers also complain about her punctuality.”

* Asian American Bar Association, Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, Chicago Council of Lawyers, Cook County Bar Association, Decalogue Society of Lawyers, Hellenic Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago, Puerto Rican Bar Association of Illinois, and Women’s Bar Association of Illinois

I’m an Obama, she’s an Obama, wouldn’t you like to be an Obama too?


In Brazil, political candidates can put any name they want on the ballot as long as it is not offensive. That explains why Obamas were running for various Brazilian offices. According to an Associated Press article titled “No Luck for Obamas in Brazil Elections” there were eight politicians who listed their names as Obama on the ballot, and all of them lost. Other famous (or infamous) names used for political gain on the ballot: Bin Laden, and French soccer player Zinedine Zidane (the headbutt guy from the 2006 World Cup). No one was listed as “John McCain”. I would have been more likely to vote for John McClain.

(photo from Here in Van Nuys)

Amy Goodman from Democracy Now! to speak tonight

If you’ve been keeping up with the conventions, I’m sure you know all about the protests and scary police tactics used against journalists and protesters at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul. Amy Goodman, reporter for Democracy Now!, was one of the more famous journalists arrested last week, partly due to the whole incident being captured on camera and put on youtube:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYjyvkR0bGQ[/youtube]

She gives an entire account of the incident in a press release here.

Anyone who has interest in the freedom of press and/or this election, would do themselves good by heading over to hear Ms. Goodman’s talk at the University of Illinois at Chicago Student Center (828 S. Wolcott Ave). Her talk is entitled “The Politics of Race, Gender, and Economics in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Race”. The talk is free and will go from 5-6:30pm.

Cook County Digital Photography Project

Cook County Digital Photography Project van

While I was having a (delightful) brunch at La Tache in Andersonville with Erica last weekend, a white van with a big camera sticking out of the side sloooowly pulled out the alley beside the restaurant. It said “Cook County Digital Photography Project” on the side (along with a phone number) and took some time to manuever out of the alley. Unlike Google Street View’s panoramic cameras, there was a single large camera sticking out of the one side of the van. Which may be why the project has been in progress since 2007, while Google Street View covered all of Chicagoland in one meth-fueled weekend.

A Year at the Wheel posted a video where they ask the driver of the van what he’s up to. His answer, “Cook County property taxes,” is more straight-forward than the hand-waving “increased efficiencies of County personnel, and the enhanced abilities of the public safety agencies” and “more accurate emergency dispatching, planning for disaster management and increased support of homeland security” touted in the PDF handout about the project.

Obama, the comic book

As reported on the LA Times blog, Hero Complex, both presidential candidates are getting their own comic books. I am digging the cheesy super hero pose on the front cover. I wonder what bad guys they will have to fight. I’m guessing Obama will have to face off against his enemy Smear, while McCain has to fight off old age in order to gain the attention of his love interest Ms. Media. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait till October 8th to find out. Drat!

(photo from Beth Rankin)

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