Illinois Jumps From 30th To 15th In States For Business Ranking

A ranking of America’s Top States For Business was recently updated for 2021, and Illinois has climbed from 30th to 15th in the last two years. CNBC’s rankings score all 50 states across 85 different metrics, and then divides those up into broader categories. The methodology is here. When the rankings were released for 2019, Illinois ranked 30th. Since then, Illinois has improved: five spots in cost of doing business, 15 spots in infrastructure, two spots in access to capital, 23 spots in education, and one spot in cost of living. Illinois has dipped in economy, business friendliness and technology. … Continue reading Illinois Jumps From 30th To 15th In States For Business Ranking

Sales Tax Potential Is Matched By Concerns

*Column originally ran in the Wayne County Press. Anytime a new tax is afoot, a crowd will congregate. And Tuesday’s public hearing in Fairfield on the proposed business tax district was no exception. For most, tax is one of the few three-letter curse words. So that there were speakers against the proposal was no surprise. That the proponents matched them in number may have been. That Fairfield is one of the few towns to not have this tax or a similar one was quickly glossed over. We are the exception in this regard, not the rule. That sort of negates … Continue reading Sales Tax Potential Is Matched By Concerns

Book Nook: What Unites Us, by Dan Rather

I’m 43. I’ve had the conversation with some of the elder generations at the newspaper that I was largely the last generation that grew up wanting to be a “newsman”. Kids younger than me really didn’t grow up seeing newspapers or magazines as a possible future. I was lucky to have a couple of strong newsmen to look up to locally. Nationally, I grew up on Dick Schapp and Peter Gammons in sports. For news, it was Dan Rather. He was the news voice of my childhood. I’m not sure why it was Rather, and not Brokaw or Jennings or … Continue reading Book Nook: What Unites Us, by Dan Rather

Public Polling On Our Role In Ukraine

Feb. 24, 2022 Now that Russia has invaded Ukraine, I thought it would be worth documenting where public opinion stood on what our role should be. I fully expect the narrative to shift here, similar to the partisan shift on the view of the economy immediately after the election. According to an AP-NORC poll completed this weekend, only 26 percent of those polled believed the US should have a major roll in the conflict, with 52 percent saying we should have a minor role, and 20 percent said no role at all. And in this poll, Democrats were saying we … Continue reading Public Polling On Our Role In Ukraine

Let’s Get Reel: Boys State

Covering American Legion baseball for several years, I always got invited to the end-of-year awards dinner, held at the local Legion post. It was usually a pizza party and then awards were handed out to the team. For most of the time I attended this event, it also served as a chance for the girls the Legion post sponsored for Girls State in Charleston to speak on their experience there. I always enjoyed that aspect. Most of the time, the girls did not get into much detail, but I have always had an interest in politics, locally and beyond, so … Continue reading Let’s Get Reel: Boys State

A New Star Delivers A New Entry In the Poetry Pantheon On Inauguration Day

Just last week, I went back and re-read Maya Angelou’s And Still I Rise. I can’t remember why. It was referenced in something I was reading or watching or listening to, I just can’t remember what at this point. I even included it in my 2021 reading log. It’s always good to go back and read the great works as a reminder that some things transcend time or events. And as of today, we have a new entry in this pantheon, and I almost missed it. I watched President Joe Biden’s speech, but a good chunk of the day, the … Continue reading A New Star Delivers A New Entry In the Poetry Pantheon On Inauguration Day

Criminal Justice Omnibus 3653

Collection of stuff I’m reading on the bill. Capitol News Illinois: Black Caucus passes criminal justice omnibus bill through Senate Reddit Thread State’s Attorney Association Letter Follow up to the above letter from a private group I can not link to or attribute. Again, I am just trying to track what I’m reading. The Illinois State’s Attorney’s Association’s statement is a more factually based position on the bill (but doesn’t comment on the qualified immunity or collective bargaining issues for LE), authored by Hamilton County State’s Attorney Justin Hood for ISAA. For example, this infographic states that the bill “completely … Continue reading Criminal Justice Omnibus 3653

Fact Checking Posts And The Signals You Can Send On Social Media

The Information Superhighway is a good thing, right? For the most part. But, there is also an entire subset of folks who simply don’t have the skillset to navigate the deluge of information. Luckily, we have a fairly simple network to help us along the path. Still, mistakes can happen. Mistakes are learning opportunities, right? Well, maybe not for some. If I post something on social media that is easily proven wrong or out of context (let me have my context-less jokes though, please), please feel free to link to an article showing that my post is wrong or false. … Continue reading Fact Checking Posts And The Signals You Can Send On Social Media

Election Day Is Nigh

It has all led to this. Four years of whatever you consider this last four years to be. Most years, we would have a nearly concrete idea Tuesday evening who our next president is going to be. But as we have heard a million times in 2020, these are not normal times. So, let’s take a look at where we stand and what we can expect on Election Day. First, let’s start with National polling averages. 538 has Biden 53.4, Trump 45.4.Realclearpolitics has Biden 50.7, Trump 44.0.NYT Upshot just lists Biden +8. But, as we saw in 2016, National averages … Continue reading Election Day Is Nigh