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Illinois has a long history of corruption at the governor level. Shoe boxes of cash in a dead governor’s closet. Governors going to prison. Governors who should have gone to prison and didn’t. The “for sale” sign has been on the door of the office for a century, if not longer.

Illinois has a new governor, a billionaire, with no need to take in envelopes of cash. Here is an excerpt from his inaugural address. Speeches are easy to make as our current president, Mr. Blah, blah, blah has demonstrated. He has made thousands of hours of speeches and said nothing. The only quote in all of that garbage will be: “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”, a blatant lie. After all, this president came from Illinois with empty pockets and with a third hand growing out of his back, like a sleazy maître de. There is faint hope for Illinois. Weighted down by a state legislature heavy in corruption led by a man who has been running the state for a quarter of a century, Michael Madigan. Madigan will fight the new governor, Bruce Rauner, every step of the way. He and his cronies have no interest in the next generation. Except, in Madigan’s case, to get his daughter elected to replace Rauner in the next election. See, she’s the attorney general of Illinois, Lisa Madigan. Lisa can keep the family business running for another 25 years. If Illinois lasts that long.

Mr. Rauner’s words:

Our government has spent more than we could afford; borrowed money and called it revenue. Rather than responsibly budgeting the money we had, we implemented programs we couldn’t afford. In the face of a declining economy, we raised taxes. This hurt our economy even more, put more stress on our social safety net, and pushed more Illinoisans out of our state, leaving fewer taxpayers to support the government. As a result, today Illinois is not as competitive as we need to be and cannot be as compassionate as we want to be.

Some in government will be tempted to once again take the easy road and leave the real problems for another day and the next generation.
But, we can not do that because to do so, to conduct business as usual, would be morally corrupt.
Instead, we have an opportunity to accomplish something historic: to fix years of busted budgets and broken government; to forge a path toward long-term prosperity and a brighter future; to make Illinois the kind of state others aspire to become, a national leader in job growth and education quality.

To achieve that will require sacrifice.
Sacrifice by all of us – politicians and interests groups, business and labor, those who pay for government and those who depend on government’s services.   Each person here today and all those throughout the state will be called upon to share in the sacrifice so that one day we can again share in Illinois’s prosperity.  We all must shake up our old ways of thinking.

I promise to you this administration will make our decisions based on the next generation; not the next election.

I pledge to work on a bipartisan basis to drive results and get things done.

We must be united by our willingness to sacrifice and do what is right even if it is difficult.
We must accept the challenge and the sacrifice, knowing that it will lead us to something greater.
We must forget the days of feeling good about just making it through another year – by patching over major problems with stitches that are bound to break.
Those stitches are now busting wide open and we must begin by taking immediate, decisive action.
That’s why today, my first action as governor will be to direct every state agency to freeze non-essential spending.
I’ll ask them to review and report on every contract that’s been signed since November 1.
And I will follow through on my pledge to reduce my own salary to $1 and decline all benefits.

Our state’s crisis is not only financial. We have a MORAL crisis, an ETHICAL crisis as well. We have a state government that too few have faith in; that lack of faith is JUSTIFIED, and undermines people’s willingness to sacrifice and help the government in its mission.
Illinoisans see insider deals and cronyism rewarded.
They see lobbyists writing bills for special interests and taxpayers being left with the tab.
They see government union bosses negotiating sweetheart deals across the table from governors they’ve spent tens of millions to help elect.
It’s a corrupt bargain and the people of Illinois are left to wonder where they fit in.  Who’s looking out for them and their families?
Taxpayers’ money belongs to them; not the government. We have a moral obligation to minimize how much we take and to ensure what we do take is spent efficiently and effectively

Every dollar we spend unnecessarily inside government is a dollar we can’t put into classrooms or social service providers, or leave in the pockets of entrepreneurs and homeowners.

To the people of Illinois, and the people outside our state who have been reluctant to invest in Illinois because of the insider deals and cronyism, I say this:

I’m nobody that nobody sent.

And I’ve come to work for you.

I will send a clear signal to everyone in our state, and to those watching from outside our borders, that business as usual is over. It stops now.

Tomorrow, I will sign an executive order that will improve ethics and accountability in the executive branch of state government. These actions and others to follow will focus on regaining our state’s good name and reputation. We must prove every day that we have learned our lessons and are changing our ways.

In everything we do, we must ask ourselves, what does this mean for the next generation?
For in order to thrive, we must prepare the next generation for success.  From cradle to career, the people of Illinois deserve world-class educational opportunities.
From early childhood and K through 12 schools, to vocational and technical training, to community colleges and higher ed, we need to invest adequately in every neighborhood. Next to being a mother or a father, teaching is the most important job in the world, and we must support our many good teachers. That means putting more directly into the classrooms, reforming the education bureaucracy, rolling back costly mandates and giving more students access to great schools.
A high-quality education is essential for higher lifetime earnings, a competitive, world-class workforce and strong economic growth.
It is the key to bringing back the American dream for every family in Illinois; for making the American dream a REALITY for everyone here; a truly better life for the next generation.

If we work together, Illinois can be great again.


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  1. Bill Robertson says:

    Tom, this is the test to see if comments work.

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No place in this country has a greater incentive to put solar panels on your roof than the state of Arizona. Residents of the state have done so in droves. With federal, state, and utility company incentives it seemed like a good investment.

You generate excess power during daylight hours and sell it back to the utility company. You buy back the power you need at night when the solar panels are dormant.

You buy or lease panels and you assume levels of power with and without solar and with assumed future  power costs. From this you calculate the years it will take to recover your investment. If it makes sense, up goes the unsightly crap on your roof. The average investment will run from $10-20 thousand dollars.

Lo and behold, power generation costs have gone down, not up. Cheap natural gas is being used to put power on the Grid. So the cost a solar investor put in the decision formula is too low stretching the payback period. But, that’s not the biggest issue. The power companies can buy power on the grid far cheaper that the contract price they pay solar customers for the day-time power they purchase from the roof-top solar they the are obligated to buy. They want relief, lot’s of relief, claiming they must eat the cost or pass it on to non-solar customers. Salt River Power in Arizona wants to charge solar customers an average of $500 a year more or pay them that much less for purchased daytime power.

When you get in bed with politicians and utility companies you have become part of an unholy threesome. You will be screwed by the utility company while the politician watches and cheers for the other guy.

The lesson. Before you put unsightly crap on you roof, think twice. If you care enough about Al Gore to lose money, go for it. If not, don’t do it. First, you will be wrong about forecasting future prices. Second, the utility company will not lose money. If it’s your ass the hide must be taken from to insure the utility company stays whole, your elected officials will provide the knife.

Not one homeowner in Arizona, the state with the most sunlight in a calendar year, will meet their investment projections for installing solar panels. Ten year paybacks will stretch to twenty or longer. The maintence and need for replacement parts will create a replace or scrap decision long before the investment is recovered.

Scrap will be the final decision with a tax loss write-off. The utility company will be out nothing and the politicians will move on and take their campaign contributions from the utility companies and be re-elected.

Life goes on and solar panels pile up in junkyards next to Edsel carcasses.

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The USA Today Sports section today(1-22-15) has four, count them four, articles about the supposed New England Patriots cheating by deflating game balls by 2 pounds against the Colts. Let’s see, first half score NE 17-7 lead, second half when balls were fixed, NE 28-0. Let’s see, how do I make this the central issue of the Super Bowl and dedicate the sports section to this story? Easy, I politicize sports. I set out to destroy the NFL. I make the Ray Rice problem the centerpiece of the sports world for weeks. I try to get Roger Goodell fired over that. I fail. I, being the media, I am really pissed. I like to call the shots on everything in this country, including sports. I’ve done pretty well. Steroids in baseball. Took that all the way to congressional hearings. Got players suspended. Kept guys from the Hall of Fame. Not bad. Tiger Woods and his little scandal. Made that a story for weeks. See, we can get a loser president reelected, we can do anything. But, we get bored just dealing with politics. We want to trash sports too. We like regulations, lots of regulations. The more the better. Controversy creates regulations.

The NFL needs more attention. They make too much money. They get ratings that are far better than the trash we put on our networks. No one watches our news anymore, they all watch cable. No one reads our papers anymore, they get their news from the Internet

. We’ve just about finished our work on golf. The golf business is on life-support. courses are closing, ratings are down, and we have it on the ropes. With golf we get a lot of internal help from those who run the business. The Royal and Ancient’s, those old farts in Scotland who make rules decide to outlaw long putters. Lot’s of amateurs use those putters. So what if a few quit the game. There is one unique golf tournament in the world. It’s the Phoenix Open, or the Waste Management Phoenix Open, as it’s now known. It’s unique in many respects. First of all, there may be as many as 600,000 people who come out to see the event this week. They get more in one day than the LA Open does all week. Why, the group that puts on the tournament get’s it. They make it fun. The 16th hole, a par three, has become an arena with sky boxes and three tiers of seats surrounding the hole. Quiet, forget it. The fans know the golfers and sing their school songs, yell their dog’s names, and boo bad shots. They had caddy races from the tee to the green. Spectators bet on the caddies. The PGA of America decided that was way too much fun. They banned that last year. Golfers threw hats, gloves and other items to the crowd. This year the PGA banned that. See the PGA wants to cut attendance down in Phoenix to be more like LA. See if they can screw up something that works. That’s what the media and the committees do. The tournament will top a total of $100,000, 000 in charitable contributions since inception this year.

So, if you buy into the deflated footballs as significant, drive your little stake into the heart of the NFL. Let’s destroy another popular and fun diversion by making it more political than athletic. Do your part to destroy professional football. Bill Belichick doesn’t give the media the time of day. They absolutely hate his ass. Now they have an opportunity to bring him down like a wounded animal. Watch how hard they try. I am not a Patriots fan. I admire Belichick because he’s a good coach. I admire Tom Brady because he has always been a class act. I did not personally see anyone deflate the footballs at the express direction of either Belichick or Brady, so I can’t pass judgment. That has not deterred the media from passing judgment. In the eyes of the media, both are guilty. Just as the Duke lacrosse team was guilty. Just as the cop in Ferguson, Mo, was guilty. The media in America is guilty. Guilty of pandering to a president who lies often. Guilty of shoving their beliefs down our throats instead of reporting facts. Guilty of trashing reputations without remorse. Guilty of having a hit list of things they want to diminish. The NFL is moving up on that list.

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  1. Doug Gordon says:

    I’ve done the calculation of the change in pressure on the balls, using the Ideal Gas Law equation from chemistry. Assuming no change in the number of atoms inside the ball, assuming no change in the volume of the ball, if they were filled to 12.5 psi indoors at a room temperature of 76 F, and were measured outside at a temperature of 40 F, just the change in temperature would lower the pressure to 10.6 psi. Any abuse of the balls by being used that caused a leak would only make the pressure lower.

    So, this whole scandal is a gigantic triumph of scientific illiteracy of the American public, sports writers especially. Must be from all that high quality education the union teachers are providing!

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