Archpundit responds to my call for the environment to stop being a R v. D issue.

Caution. This is not a Joincross like post where we talk about bands, or what we ate, or have pictures of Willaim Ligue Jr...

Rather this is wonk talk. And *good* wonk talk at that.
I like to be righteous and support independent record stores and independent book retailers. I figure I should pay the extra couple of bucks to buy my records at Threshold Records than Best Buy. I mean, corporations control music enough, I don't want to give them any more profits than they already make from the distribution, concert ticket sales, radio station ownership, and bland cookie cutter artist development.

But on June 22, I'm going to have to think long and hard about not going to Borders or Barnes and Noble. The whole 'books and music' concept hitting home for this guy. Maybe I'll even pose as a real upwardly mobile hipster and pick up a frappacino....Maybe not.

Big Day. Wilco's new record and President Clinton's new book. A two-fer.
Mr. Greg Blankenship, the Director of the Illinois Policy Institute, which most Illinois Leader readers fall all over each other about, had this to say about our fearless Leader:
As far as Tom Cross goes, he just passed property tax relief for the state. In Collinsville I thanked him for proving that it was indeed possible for republicans to cut taxes in this state when I congratulated him on his great win. Realistic conservatives recognize that we need people like him if we are going to win.
I agree with Greg. But I drink the kool-aid. You would have thought with a board who directs this executive director which includes John Biver, Chris Lauzen, Dan Proft, Patrick O'Malley, Jill Stanek, and Joe Wiegand, Greg would not be allowed to compliment Cross.

Yep. We're awful. Keep trying 'to find candidates against House Leadership'--that's a winning idea
And you won't find 'em with Camp, Stevens, or Rhodes....

Archpundit says we're 'fun and bright'!
For all those of you who don't get the blog (see below), I think we're investigating a wiki....

According to 'smart guy' Rick Klau, Kos just announced the dKosopedia, an open collaborative wiki that the community edits.

I posted over at Rick's site asking him what he thought.

Kos is going to have a progressive political junkie's political encyclopedia, I was thinking of starting Illinois' political junkies encylopedia.....

Could be fun....
This bothers me and maybe it shouldn't....

On Joe Trippi's blog-- Change for America they list a bunch of sites under the heading of "democratic action". This list includes some sites such as, and Young Democrats of America--that frankly, the Democrats can have, but they also list 2 sites in particular that bother me by being listed here.

They have both the Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife listed in this "democratic action" category.

This needs to change. And that change has begun, if you ask me. I am a Republican, and I feel that I 'own' the Sierra Club and their issues as much as anyone--especially the Democrats. This should not be a 'Democratic Action' Group item--it should be everyone's including Republicans. Maybe this is a age-thing, but I think as we mo
We're got some stuff up on this guy's blog now, too. As described by One Man, he is a 'smart guy'.

I've been reading his blog for a couple of weeks. He talks a lot about technology and how it evolves, helps, and hurts business/commerce.

He was also very heavily involved in the Blog for America of Dr. Howard Dean. (Which we all know was very successful....)

Check out his blog. He has some interesting things to say.

Oh...I forgot to tell you. He lives right up Route 59 in Naperville. Which is nice.

Our friend over at Archpundit is looking for some people to fill in and post over in his space while he is on holiday.

This is a great opportunity....He won't want a bunch of GOP nonsense, but I am sure that he'd take some intelligent bipartisanship....and a little Jack Ryan rah-rahing.

One Man I am looking in your direction....

I think I might be able to twist Marc Camp's arm a little. Hopefully, he'll be back from the Patch by then. Or maybe he's decided to start a new life in Central Illinois?

"A man can get used to this", says Marc Camp about walking to work, hibaching, and runs in the park.

On the Leader , someone didn't get what they wanted, so they decided to lash out at Watson and Topinka. Take a look at the Leadership of the Leader and that of Jack's! campaign.

Draw your own conclusions.

I agree that this whole "stalker" story should have been a nonstory, but it became one and I guess these guys at the Leader think it will go away by bashing Frank and Judy. They should start focusing on what Barack voted on last week.

Next thing you know, they'll editorialize this blog. And start calling Chris Rhodes a RINO!

You can check the archives. We're solidly behind Jack! We just think he should be doing more online.

This morning, Leader Cross is going into Chicago to tape a program for Channel 5 (NBC Chicago) for Sunday Morning with Dick Kay. I kinda like Mr. Kay. I've been watching him for a few years and he seems to enjoy his gig. I liked when he had all the Senate Candidates on. I think he could tell that some of them were real odd balls....

Since Spokesman David Dring was successful in getting the Leader on Dick Kay's show, now I feel it is time to put the full weight of the Crossblog behind my efforts to get Leader Cross on to the Steve Dahl Show.(105.9 WCKG 2-7p.m.)

Not sure if any of you guys watch David Letterman or listen to Steve Dahl, but Letterman had a bit involving getting him on Oprah. It went on for some time. Quite funny and was easy laughs. In conjunction with that, Steve Dahl wanted to help him out (and maybe get a little pub for himself), so he sent out "Big Steve"--an inflatable Steve Dahl--over to Harpo Studios and had him march with a sign that said "Oprah put on Dave".

Well guess what? I ordered the sandwich boards. Ours say: "Steve put on Tom".

Marc Camp may be having his own deal by staying down in Springfield and counting the days, but here at the blog, we'll be starting Steve Dahl Watch. Today is SDW: Day 1.

The world is waiting, Mr. Falato and Mr. Dahl.....
Where do I begin? Should I start with the new line-up? The venue? Tweedy's Salad?

All of it was amazing. I kinda consider myself a hardened concert-goer. I see a lot of shows and enjoy a lot of stuff, but this was over the top.

I went with my brother-in-law Marc out to Dekalb. We arrived at something like 8ish and headed over this cool bohemian coffee shop on the main drag in DeKalb. (I had a turkey panini and he had a 3 cheese... which to me is just a toasted cheese (or some of you may call them grilled cheese))

Anyway we get there and the security was really tight...... They had a granola girl sitting on a bar stool checking your name off a list. Sweet.

$4.50 24 oz sodas. Which was nice. Otto's is tiny. Tiny stage. Ever been to Mabel's in Champaign? About like that. It was cool. We were near the soundboard and kind of on a riser. Could see everything except when Tweedy went down on his knees for one song....

Well they opened with "ashes of american flags"--which was cool...then went into a buch of new stuff. It all sounded amazing.

At least that's what you said
handshake drugs
wishful thinking

sunken treasure
i'm the man who loves you
poor places
i am trying to break your heart
war on war
Jesus, etc. (which tweedy called "Jesus Christ as an interjection"

Then they jammed a couple of new ones

I'm a wheel
The Late Greats.

Jeff Tweedy talked little, but he did say something like "I've been going through some hard times lately....and I just wanted to say that you guys have been unbelievable"

For you wilco nerds like me, check out more nerd talk here: (LINKY)

I could go on for a while, but alas, you all will get bored and the boss will wonder why this is on here, who Chris Rhodes is, and is anyone reading this?

I'm not going to lie....those are all good questions!

You guys know that I am a Rod guy by default. I mean when you're surrounded by Rod guys all day you tend to wear some rose colored glasses. Some people tend to take him to task (Mr. Miller and Arch ) I am looking in your direction. (Not to mention that pretty funny opinion piece in the Tribune by Rick Pierson.) Anyway....I have to give those guys a little credit for something. Someone over there is at least a little with it if they can do this....

I was watching the Channel 9 news last night and I saw a commercial for Illinois Tourism. Nothing spectacular about the commercial, except the music. That's right, this guy talking about music? Go figure, huh? When the topic of tunes comes up on some dates, that is probably about when the girl tunes out and chalks me up for being a turd. Anyway, on this commercial was "War on War" by Wilco. How cool is that? I know, I know. Commercialism and selling out. Blah Blah Blah. This isnt really commercialism. This is about promoting Illinois. Kudos Guv and Tourism staff for picking Chicago's best band Wilco to highlight what's shaking here in the Land 0 Lincoln. That's one thing that I probably would have never seen with an old stodgy blue hair governor. (not that there is anything wrong with that)...

Speaking of Wilco.....Who's going to see them in DeKalb tomorrow night? (***raises hand*****) This guy. I'll let you know how it went. I am excited. I really dig the new album. Top to bottom it is great. IMO, better than YHF. Some really great rocking numbers.

Now on to the political stuff. Message to Archpundit. Knock it off. Quit telling the DPI to get a new site. We (HRO, Cross, et al.) don't have many advantages in Illinois, but this appears to be one of them. Keep the DPI in the dark ages technology-wise. Thank you very much.

Well, some of us are back and some are still out today. This past weekend, I spent some time down in Collinsville, IL and St. Louis, Mo. It was a great weekend, even though I went to bed way to early on Saturday evening...from what I hear.

Anyway, Leader Cross gave a great speech as did Gov. Edgar, Gov. Thompson, Speaker Hastert and Senate Candidate Jack Ryan.

We ate dinner at a place called Tony's. I highly recommend it. Tell the Matire'd Gene, that Chris sent ya.

Gene's the best. More tomorrow. I've got to hit the books for my exam tonight.

Well, well. I am back somewhat after a rigourous exam last night. One down, one to go. I have a wonderful weekend to look forward to in Collinsville, Illinois!

I will be down there. Give a holler if you are too....

Roll Call:

Chris Rodes : Present
Marc Camp : Present
Chesty LaRue : Present
Ryan Seacrest: Present
Lance Stevens: Fishing with the Grand Pubaah

That's right folks. You heard it here first. Our very own Lance Stevens won't be attending the IRP Convention this weekend. Too bad. Instead he's decided to go fishing.

I've also got some news for you joincrossites. Check out your 'registration bag' when you check in at the convention. There should be some 'Cross' swag in there!!

We're also trying something. Leader Cross is planning on speaking at 10:30ish on Saturday morning. Help us out and go bananas when he gets introduced.

If you want a t-shirt to wear this weekend, stop by our booth. We'll be happy to give you one.

Oh, yeah. "snap it" too. We're almost at $2,500!!!

Chris Rhodes...out!
Before I get to the political stuff, I thought I'd let everyone know that tickets to see Wilco at Otto's in DeKalb go on sale this morning....Check it out here.... This will be the first show (post rehab) of the new line-up. It will be a pretty cool show, I bet.

I've got a feeling that at least one lurker (Boyd....I'm looking in your direction) will be going to the show. (That's pretty good, Boyd. Two mentions in the blog in 3 days. Kinda a superstar....)

Anyway, now on to the substantive stuff.....

Remember that news story last week (check it out here) about how the Guv and his guys were dumping health alliance from coverage of state employees and retirees.

The House Republicans bowed up and stood with the 90K employees and said that it was not right to dump these guys in exchange for John Deere Health..... (From what I understand, and I am not Mark Beaubian or Steve Raschenberger; the budgeteers, the idea to dump Health Alliance had a lot to do with cash flow issues....)

Anyway, this was a bad move by Rod and Co. and they probably knew it. Well, yesterday it looks like they have reconsidered.

That's huge.

Leader Cross and the House Republicans can now take a victory lap. (I heard that some members were doing that yesterday!).....

I am sure that the Guv will spin it his way and say that the staff made a mistake and he recognized that, but what really happened is that someone called him on something.

This was a good fight to pick with him and I for one am glad Leader Cross did. (the next one should be for Rod to get a backbone and stand with Chief Illiniwek)

On another note, check out the bottom of any Illinois Leader Story....Those mopes apparently don't have an original bone in their body. They've decided to crib our refer stuff. Check it out. They aren't even original enough to come up with their own language....

Maybe I can crib some of Churchie's stuff in exchange.... Maybe not.

See you on the blog, Churchie.

My name is Christopher Rhodes, and I approved this message!