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20 Nov 2011 11:20


Tech, U.S.: Report: Illinois industrial water pump damaged by … Russian hackers?!

  • Because that’s not weird or anything. On November 8, an industrial water pump in a rural Illinois town went down. Reportedly, the culprit was a Russian hacker who had gained access to the pump via compromised details from the software firm that produced the water pump’s remote-control software. The hack damaged the water pump, making it the first confirmed (but not claimed) cyber attack on an industrial system in U.S. history. The hack harkens back to last year’s Stuxnet attack on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. Stuxnet, a piece of malware reportedly created by the U.S. and Israel with the expressed purpose of damaging the country’s budding nuclear program, reportedly gave the Iranian nuclear program a huge setback. Excuse us, we’re gonna hide out in a bunker to protect ourselves from the fallout from the forthcoming cyberwar. source

06 Nov 2011 09:29


Politics: Ron Paul wins another straw poll; Herman Cain right behind

Despite a scandal that chewed up much press energy this week, Herman Cain was only two points behind Ron Paul in a Republican straw poll in Illinois. But Paul still kicked his butt. source

27 Jun 2011 13:31


U.S.: Blagojevich saga might finally come to an end

  • Guilty as charged? Rod Blagojevich may learn his fate later this afternoon. About a year ago, Blagojevich, accused of trying to appoint a senator to replace Obama’s senate seat that would help him personally, went to trial for similar reasons. However, the jury at that time could only make up their minds on two of the charges (see the Red Eye cover, via Flickr user quinn.anya, above). It’s not because of a lack of evidence, however: Federal regulators secretly began recording Blagojevich’s phone calls after Obama’s presidential win, after getting word that the former Illinois governor was scheming for campaign contributions, a cabinet post, or even a new job in exchange for appointing someone to Obama’s former senate seat. We’ll see where this one goes — a partial verdict should come out at 1 p.m. Central time. source

24 May 2011 15:58


Politics: Trial of the Century: Blagojevich may testify in his own defense

  • Big day for Blago? The Chicago Tribune is reporting that “sources” indicate disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich may take the stand to testify in his own defense. We forgive you if you’re skeptical, as we heard repeated proclamations from the man himself that he would testify in his last trial, only for his defense to rest without his name being called. Now in his retrial, will Blagojevich give the public what they want? His defense team has also implied they might call some high-profile witnesses from the political world, among them Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. source

22 Mar 2011 13:03


U.S.: Blago runs up against no-nonsense judge in retrial

  • NO Rod Blagojevich won’t get his corruption retrial canceled source
  • » “…intended for an audience other than the court.” When Rod Blagojevich and his legal team requested that his retrial be canceled and that the judge proceed to sentencing on the lone conviction from his first trial, lying to the FBI, that was the response Judge James Zagel gave in shooting the idea down. First of all, we didn’t realize you could try to pitch such a self-serving idea to a judge, although in this case it failed pretty epically, so maybe you really can’t. But moreover, this doesn’t bode well for Blagojevich — despite escaping the fullest punishment last time, and the media tour he’s gone on since to be thought of as “that funny corruption guy” instead of an unprintable expletive, if he’s staring down a stern judge and a new jury, anything could happen (remember, Blagojevich’s last trial was deadlocked by just one of the twelve jurors insisting his innocence).

21 Mar 2011 20:26


U.S.: Absent Indiana Dems one-up absent Wisconsin Dems

Those Wisconsin pansies? Old news. Try cutting out over the GOP’s ENTIRE agenda, like Indiana House Dems did, five weeks and counting. GOP state Rep. Jeffrey Espich looks pissed. source

09 Mar 2011 10:26


Politics: Trial of the Century: Rod Blagojevich wants to be sentenced (!?!)

  • Uh-oh. Appears Blago’s out of money: Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has asked a judge to pause the retrial in his corruption case and sentence him now. Why, you ask? Well, he’s out of money. “Should this motion be granted…funds for the second trial would no longer be necessary,” the motion said. Oh yeah, there’s a benefit for taxpayers, too: The decision would be of “no further cost to taxpayers.” Always looking on the bright side, Mr. Haircut. source

23 Jan 2011 11:07


U.S.: The NYT makes Rockford, Illinois look as depressed as possible

  • “Dear residents of Rockford, Illinois: This is The New York Times. We’re doing a photo feature on why your town is so depressed and lacking in jobs. (16 percent unemployment?! We need to do this story, stat!) We need to take photos of your citizens. None of you are allowed to smile. If you smile, we’re going to find someone else who looks plainer than you. OK? Thanks. We’ll send a photog from Manhattan to the Rust Belt on a private jet sometime next week. Remember. Plain. No smiles. Optimism is dead. Thanks.” source

13 Jan 2011 09:22


U.S.: How extreme are Illinois’ huge state tax increases, guys?

  • 67% the size of Illinois’ tax increase, quickly pushed through this week by some lame ducks
  • 5% the current tax rate, up from 3 percent – a change retroactive to January 1st
  • $3,300 the amount you’ll have to pay in state taxes now if you had to pay $2,200 before source

11 Jan 2011 21:37


U.S.: Illinois about to become sixteenth state without death penalty

  • then Since January of 2000, Illinois hasn’t executed anybody on death row, because it was discovered that the state executed people later found to be innocent.
  • now In a slow-coming-but-now-here move, Pat Quinn is about to sign legislation abolishing the death penalty in the state. They’ll be joining 15 states and DC. source