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Showing posts from 2004

We're back...

But over here. Thanks for making the trip. Having this site up here instead of JoinCross will allow me a bit more flexibility. It will also allow me to put up stuff that didn't always 'make it' past the 'Standards & Practices People'... Now...I'm the 'Standards and Practices' People. As I get settled in to my new home, I want you guys to NOT forget about my old home . I'll still be posting over there, but it won't be as regular. Shortly I'll get to the whole story as to why this all happened. It's quite a good yarn...

Passenger Side

I've only lived downstate during my 4 years at UIUC , so I don't know too much about rural life. I do know that at least 2 guys on our staff who happen to be related* have gotten into a bit of a pickle with having a few too many pops and then driving. In the Missouri legislature, at least on  one member  is going to side with my guys. Missouri Transportation Committee Chairman Jon Dolan announced last week that it will be a top priority to pass tougher seat belt laws and open alcohol container laws. Sen. John Cauthorn, R-Mexico, said he's not happy to see those as priorities. "The rural community feels threatened by someone telling them what to do," Cauthorn said. I can see  Ron Stephens  get up and say something like that. Too funny..... Ummm...I think it's already against the law to Drink and Drive. How is this going to make the 'rural community' any different? *2 of the nicest guys in the world and my collegues, btw.

Too Much?

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Are the critics heaping too much praise on Wilco? That's  Kevin 's  argument. Wilco has gone from a small band with a cultish following to a heavily hyped, critically loved behemoth. And rock critics are heaping praise -- a little more than is warranted -- on the band's latest album, A Ghost Is Born. They laud its mix of understatement and obstinacy, even while couching those accolades with qualifiers. Rolling Stone makes unsurprising comparisons to canonical figures such as Neil Young and the Band; it also calls Ghost "eerie." Spin labels it both "engagingly complex" and "willfully obscure"; The New York Times declares it "stunning" and "an evasive maneuver, intended to frustrate listeners." ...The media latched onto the story, and who could blame them? The David-and-Goliath angle made for great drama -- especially when, upon its release in 2002, Foxtrot became the band's most commercially successful album t

Shipping Out

Patrick Daley, Mayor Daley's boy, is set to ship out for the Army after the first of the year. My claim to fame is that he stole a lady away from me. Seriously. Down in Champaign there was a girl named Elizabeth who I dug pretty hard. She played hoops for the Illini . She was tall. real tall. And...a woman. Not a girl. Sneedless to say, I was no match for the 'Daley Prowess'....or the fact that looked like this . God Speed, Patrick.

We may know something about that.

The LA TIMES ponders what's hip and why? I think that we may know a thing or two about being hip...at least according to Carol Marin : Cross knows a lot about Metros and Retros. His district out in suburban Plainfield has plenty of both.  His staff includes some very young, hip guys who know the Internet like the back of their hand . They, too, like Topinka, are recruiting a farm team, but by borrowing a page from the book of one-time presidential hopeful Howard Dean. Go to JOINCROSS.com and you'll see what I mean. There, you can play the ''Take Back Illinois'' video game, a four-week contest moving electronic little people around a screen addressing issues like medical malpractice and education. The ultimate goal, of course, is to retake the Illinois House and Senate from the Democrats who now control it. Wait until the Holiday party invites go out to the office--then we're really going to show our 'hip chops'. I think that some of the weine

Credentials

All right...I am working on getting credentialed for the GOP Convention in NYC. How cool would that be. I have been putting the heat on some of the folks around the office about the credentials and about a new powerbook... As David Dring says, "Keep asking until someone says 'no'."

All Sortsa Stuff

As usual, I am running in about 15 different directions. I have 45 things in my head and I can't get one of them done. We had a special guest in today from Southern California to work on a project that we're going to be rolling out on September 20th. It should be really cool. You'll all hear a ton more about it. In the meantime, we have a ton of other stuff to work on. Thanks to Rick Klau's encouragement , we're really working hard to move the blog to a different space and to make it a bit better. We have a great vendor in 1871media, but we (read I) want to do some stuff that I'm not sure that they are capable of.... We'll see. Their guys have been great, but I think that we're overwhelming them a bit. In the mean time...we're working on a "TV" site. I'll let you guys go try to figure out what the url is. Hopefully by tomorrow we'll have more than a "landing" page over there and by Monday, we'll launch a litt

The Gospel According to Trippi

My co-contributor Lance Stevens pointed out some stuff to me yesterday. He was all a twitter with excitement over the DNC and the online resources at his fingertips. He pointed out Chris Matthews Hardblogger and some of his contributors. One of those contributors is none other than Mr. Joe Trippi. I've recently gotten to page 139 and 149 and someone's name twice! (more on this later) Anyway, Joe had some things to say about 'Market Demos' and trying to attract some youth's to the movement : It’s all wrong. The key to this election will be young people, disaffected young people, young people who have never voted before- and I’ll be damned if I am going to come up with some cutesy name for them "like Sons and Daughters of Nascar Dad and Soccer Moms." Just shoot me! What is remarkable about this election cycle is how for the first time in decades the younger generation of Americans is the most active and energized. How they communicate with each oth

First Lady's Wax

The Washington Post writes about Laura Bush and her record collection . I've always been a Bushie, but this pushes me firmly into the Laura camp. I'm all over her, now. She sent Bob Dylan's "at Budokan" to the girls at a summer camp when they were in the sixth grade. I'd love to pow-wow with Barbara and Jenna. Sit around listening to "Just like a Woman" or "I shall be Released" on bean bag chairs. Anyway...back to reality.... That's just crazy. Good crazy. I have all sorts of imagery about that Laura the Librarian and the counter-culture now.... I'd love to see what else is in the collection. GW probably threw in some of his Oak Ridge Boys...

We're Back....Sorta

All right, now that all of that DraftDitka nonsense has been settled, we can get back into the groove over at in the JoinCross space. It was certainly a fun ride while it lasted. I never thought that it would have blown up so rapidly and reached so many people. This really tells me the power of the blogosphere. I kinda used this as a test case for myself. When I compiled the initial media list to blast out the press releases, I only used a handful of 'traditional' print journalists. The top dogs. You know? But what I also included was about 1,000 blog writers. Everyone that I could find, I included in our media list. That's really how this whole thing blew up. I have been talking to reporters the past few days and have been telling them this same story. They tell me how they read blogs and how they (the blogs) have a way of keeping stories going, creating stories, and pointing out stories that the "mainstream" or traditional press misses. Let this be a lesso

Pats on the Back

Dan Johnson-Weinberger who is a bright, but progressive political follower had some things to say about the Draft Ditka Movement : My hat is off to the Illinois GOP media operatives who have launched the Draft Ditka campaign. My guess is it's ... the smart guys running ... Tom Cross' online media work.  It's a brilliant tactical move.  ...And to get Mike Ditka in the converation about the Senate race? Brilliant! They've got *nothing* right now. They don't even have a candidate! And somehow just talking about Mike Ditka as a potential candidate gets more attention than Barack Obama. It's great, great media work by the GOP operatives. Notice the conversation isn't about the almost unprecedented train wreck where there isn't a candidate in mid-July and the potential replacements keep saying no (Rauschenburger pulled out a few days ago). Instead the converation about the IL GOP is about a fresh, fun story involving a Chicago icon. Just great work.  I

SSC Takes Applications

For the U.S. Senate Seat, that is. I've heard a bunch of names bantied about and some make sense and others don't. The obviously most intriguing one is Patrick Fitzgerald. It seems like he's not interested in the job. His spokesman for the 'G' says: “[Patrick Fitzgerald] is not running for any electoral office. He has had no discussions with anyone about this matter," Sanborn said. "He is very happy with and intends to keep performing the job he has. I am denying there is anything to this whatsoever.” So, of course, the Illinois Leader (the conspiracy theorists that they are), say that the 'insiders' floating Fitzy's name just want him out of Illinois. There may be a bit of truth to that, but more importantly, he may be the only  guy  that can win. There are some other interesting names that I can think of. Corrine Wood. I always thought that this was going to be her seat. She had to run for Governor a few years back. She could have pas

Odenkirk Goes Down

It looks like Budweiser outsmarted Miller . I really like Bob Odenkirk and I thought that those commercials were pretty funny, but the Bud ones are great zingers. I never knew the Miller wasn't American. This is a great response ad campaign.

Draft Ditka Comes Alive

There's so much out there, it's hard to digest it all. I've been reading all afternoon, and I'm not anywhere near the end of it. It's going to be interesting. This will certainly make a fun case-study. How someone who won a primary walked away from a General Election.... On another note, check out Draft Ditka . My dreams have become a reality. The site is not in conjunction with Leader Cross. Some operatives have cobbled it together. Thinking about it, this movement should be for real. The ILGOP can't take more hits.

I Stand Corrected

A few days ago, I posted some comments about Mr. Rich Miller and his abilities as a journalist, commentator, web designer, and as a Don Juan. Yesterday, I checked the ole' inbox and I got this friendly reminder from Rich: To: chris@joincross.com From: capitolfax@aol.com Subject Playboy?  not any more, bubbah. playboy is married I stand corrected. My apologies to the lovely Mrs. Miller.

Lunch Encounter with Rick Klau

I just got back from lunch with Rick Klau who made his name with the Dean for America Campaign. I have to tell you...He's such a genuine nice guy. Very knowledgeable and respectful. He's clearly a partisan, and so am I, but he had some nice comments and suggestions for us and our blog. 1. Improve the blog format 2. Start a Diary over at Daily Kos 3. Read "interface" and others. Thanks, Rick. I want to hook back up with him in the future. He's so knowledgeable about the future of all this stuff.

The Terminal

Am I the only nerd who gets a big grin on his face when he hears "End of the Line" by the Traveling Wilbury's during the commercial for "The Terminal" with Tom Hanks. For those of you guys who don't know about the Wilbury's, I would check them out. Volume One is amazing and Volume Three ain't bad either. Some people call "Full Moon Fever" by Tom Petty Volume Two. They're such a power. Put on Side Two of Volume One and it is pure heaven. These guys were such giants solo, but put together, they're amazing. I was never a big Jeff Lynn guy.... you know.... Don't bring me dooooowwwwnnnn, Brrrrruce. Don't bring me dooooowwwwnnnn, Brrrrruce. The ELO stuff never did it for me, but I became a beliver when those 90's Beatles stuff came out. You know, "Free as a Bird" and "Real Love". Listen to those, and then put on a Wilbury's record, and you can tell that Jeff really held his own in the TW s

Seventy minus One

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.

Sellout

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.

All We Need Are Looks!

And you won't find 'em with Camp, Stevens, or Rhodes.... Archpundit says we're 'fun and bright'!

Something Wiki This Way Comes

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....

Republicans Can Hug Trees, Too

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 MoveOn.org, 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

Some New Friends

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. Rhodes....out.

California Stars

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&qu

I am an American Aquarium Drinker....I assassin down the avenue....

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 pro

Convention Wrap-Up

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. Rhodes....out.

Untan Lunch

First of all. Check your inboxes. We sent out our 3 reasons for $3 today. If you're not on the list, then fill in your email address up on the top right and click the box for the 'Cross Connection'... On to the business of the day..... This Chief stuff is nonsense. I mean....Come on. As a proud grad of the fine University of Illinois, I am proud of the Chief and how he conducts himself. This symbol or as some in the legislature call it "a mascot" is simply not a mascot. When a new car wash opens in Champaign The Chief doesn't go there and do a dance and hand out foam tomahawks. He doesn't do endorsements. In fact, the university does not use his image anywhere to promote anything! A smart man named Chapin Rose said yesterday, "I think it's a little bit ludicrous to hijack a tier-one university's funding over an athletic symbol." Right on, Chapin. Many do not know how revered the Chief is inside the locker room and around campus.

We're part of the Stream of Commerce!

I've been slobbering all over the Arch Pundit lately... Well, we here at the joincross blog have decided to put our money where our mouths have been. We decided to take the plunge and advertise with him. I may not always agree with everything he says, but it certainly is interesting. Now, for all of you consiracy theorists out there... we didnt do it to get 'positive coverage'. I actually find him a interesting read. Some of the stuff is good, the federal dem stuff bores me to death. He has a pretty wide readership and they appear to be quite regular. He doesn't get a ton of 'comments' but neither do we and we get a ton of hits when we send out the emails. He is usually pretty good at keeping up with the news of the day. They are going to have him blog over at the DCCC @ Stake Blog . What a great idea. They claim that the GOP doesn't 'get it', but guess what....over here at CFI, we're not your father's GOP. We do get it and want to t

You say you wanna a...

We're more than half-way to our goal. This is the first time we're trying this here at CFI. (cross for illinois) I was speaking with the webguys and they were stunned by all the $3 dollar donations. We're almost to 1000 of 'em. That's incredible. Thank you so much. This is not a sprint. This is going to be a marathon. All of us here at CFI, and there are a lot of excited people around here, (and it's not because Gino is going to close the office at noon today), are grateful to all the contributors thus far. We knew that there were people who shared our sentiments. The Revolution is now on-line. "It's time for this crowd to go." That is going to be our mantra. "Illinois can't take two more years of this crowd in the Statehouse." There's still time to contribute. If you haven't...you should. Wouldn't you give up just $3 on your credit card to change Illinois? >>>>If you're feelin' it, click here t

My name is...

Tuesday is a session day. Back in Springfield for the Legislators. Ever been in Springfield on a non-session day? Not so cool. A couple of years back, my buddy Todd took me and a couple of rawhides to Quincy to see the President. On the way back, we stopped at a place called Norb Andy's. (Linky) Anyway, they have something called a Horseshoe. I not a huge fan of it, but I could see some 'big' dudes just loving this. Most of the 'big' guys and gals in Springfield have a full plate today. There is a lot of bills on their second reading. (Linky) Today is the announcement of the capital budget by the Guv. According the Rich Miller, it should 'mend some fences' P.R.-wise.....

Sunday, Sunday... Parade in Plainfield

Parade today in Plainfield. We will be on Lockport Street with the Giant Elephant. Wave hello as we pass by. Later in the day we will be heading in all different directions. Palatine, Morris, DeKalb and others.

Junkies

It's that time of year when our mailboxes at home are flooded with political mail. For junkies like myself, this is a fun time. I already know who I am voting for in most races, but I find it interesting to check out some of the mail ideas. This year, the Will County State's Attorney Race is turning out to be the hottest race around. Both sides have already sent 'hit' pieces against each other. Everyone says that negative ads are bad and that they shouldn't be used, but bottom line is that they work. The US Senate race is going to be fun too, in the mailboxes. My house is full of Hard R's, so we just get the R stuff. It would be nice to see both sides of the mail. I guess, like I said before, only junkies like this stuff....

Event next week--Mardi Gras

Next Monday, Citizens to Elect Tom Cross is having a Mardi Gras event at the Pasfield House in Springfield. I am pretty excited about it. I was talking to Julia Costello about it and she said that they are going to be doing it athentic New Orleans style--gumbo, hurricanes, and beads.... I've never been to actual Burbon Street, but I would be that there is going to be a lot, I mean a lot, less nudity at the Pasfield House then at the real thing. That's ok, though. They may have the drinking in the street, the debauchery and the beads, but we have the idea of taking our state back. With your help and resources, we can and we will win back seats this year. If we pick up a couple here and a couple there, we can take Illinois back from the Chicago Machine. If you want to go the Mardi Gras event next Monday, please call Natalie at (815)609-0099. Peace.

Monday--A holiday, but working anyway...

The State is shut down today, but that doesn't mean business doesn't get transacted.  I am in the campaign office--they have a full staff in today. I guess with all the hot primaries we are going to have, you need to take advantage of every day.  Yesterday, if you watched the news, Rod was on talking about budget stuff. He likes to work on Sundays....I think that is so he is the story and there isn't anyone to compete with him. Anyway, today were working on jobs and how to create them. Then tonight it is off to Michael McAullife's event in Chicago. Mike is a strong campaigner. Those guys up there take care of each other. They don't like fights and they especially don't like fights that are public. I am pretty confident that Mike will win and be back down in Springfield in January. Did you catch Prez. Bush on the NASCAR race? It looks like the campaign is in full swing. I wonder what he and Laura did for Valentines day? Something nice, I am sure....