Gallup conducted a poll last month and found that 72 percent of Americans believe the individual mandate, which requires every American to buy health insurance or pay a fine, is unconstitutional.
Public opinion is not supposed to play a part in the U.S. Supreme Court hearings on the Affordable Care Act of 2010, which take place through Wednesday. The justices are supposed to focus strictly on whether the health care law violates the U.S. Constitution.
A breakout of poll results shows that 70 percent of independents and 56 percent of Democrats think the health care law goes beyond the constitutional authority granted to Congress. Another question in the poll elicited a 72 percent response that the health care law will make things worse, or won’t help the nation.
Two Israeli professors produced a study that indicates that more attractive members of Congress get more television coverage.
Professors Israel Waismel-Manor and Yariv Tsafati of the University of Haifa asked students to rank the attractiveness of members of Congress. After screening out presidential candidates and top leaders who would naturally draw more attention, the study found that good looking members get more TV play. They did not find the same in radio and newspaper coverage.
“In an ideal democracy, the amount of news coverage representatives receive should be determined by the quality of their work and the originality of their ideas,” the professors wrote.
Illinois Statehouse News has a good story about Knapheide Manufacturing Inc. of Quincy, under a headline about Illinois workers facing the challenge of keeping up with manufacturing.
The story, linked here, tells part of the story of David Del Castillo, who worked on an assembly line before he was laid off in April 2009 and upgraded his skills with an associate’s degree in advanced manufacturing. Now he’s back at work at Knapheide with a higher income and more responsibility.
It’s great to see a local company get notice statewide.
A new Associated Press-GfK poll indicates that 68 percent of respondents think 2011 is a bust, while 62 percent believe 2012 will be better.
Survey analysts said that 40 percent of Democrats were pleased with 2011. Republicans and independents were not as happy with the year, bringing the positive total for all respondents to 29 percent.
Partisan differences also were evident in the expectations about the presidential election. Three-quarters of Democrats say they think President Barack Obama will win re-election. Three-quarters of Republicans say Obama will lose.
Morry Taylor, the CEO of Quincy-based Titan International, was interviewed by the Daily Caller about this year’s crop of Republican presidential hopefuls.
Taylor campaigned for president in 1996 and has been a frequent commenter on all things presidential since that campaign year.
“To straighten our country out, the person who does it, if it ever happens, will be somebody who will step in and do the job in four years, and everybody will hate his or her *** and then 30 years later they’ll say ‘pretty smart,’ ” Taylor said in the story.
The reporter calls Taylor “the no-nonsense, swear-like-a-sailor businessman.”
Illinois Rep. Bill Mitchell, R-Decatur, has gotten some attention after proposing House Joint Resolution 62 that would exclude Chicago and suburban Cook County from the state of Illinois.
Mitchell made headlines last month when he said there are “irreconcilable differences” between Chicago and the rest of the state. His contention is that Cook County Democrats have been responsible for spending more money than the state takes in.
WGN television in Chicago reported that Chicago brings in 81 percent of total revenue for the state. That has been disputed by state officials, who say Cook County brings in a large share of the income, but in order to approach 81 percent the reporter must have been including all the collar counties.
Although the resolution is just a publicity stunt, it prompts one to wonder — “If there was a split, who would get the $8 billion budget shortfall?”
A report by the Illinois auditor general indicates there may be too many state-owned vehicles and there are lax usage standards in many agencies.
In a synopsis within the 338-page report that came out Thursday, researchers said there were 16,592 vehicles in the state fleet during fiscal 2010, with 5,375 assigned to individual employees and 5,150 of those were authorized to be taken home. An outgrowth of the take-home provision meant that 30 percent of all mileage put on vehicles was for commuting — which generally is not eligible for reimbursement.
Central Management Services accountants calculated that vehicles need to be driven at least 18,000 miles per year to justify state ownership. In cases where those mileage levels were not achieved, auditors said it would be less expensive to reimburse state employees to use their own cars.
Total expenditures for purchase, repair and operation of state vehicles was $121 million in fiscal 2010.
This is likely to become a big issue in the Legislature in the next year.
Gov. Pat Quinn has said for months that he does not like some of the things proposed in Senate Bill 744, which would expand gambling in the state.
Quinn’s generalizations about the bill led Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, to hold onto it, preventing a veto. Cullerton hoped to pin Quinn down on what changes it would take to win the governor’s signature.
Today, Quinn finally spelled out his conditions.
“To promote and protect the interests of the people of Illinois, I can only support a smaller, more moderate expansion that prevents corruption and provides adequate revenue for education,” Quinn said.
He wants the Illinois Gaming Board to provide ultimate oversight, legislation banning campaign contributions from gaming licensees, fewer casinos and higher gaming taxes to benefit education.
He wants to limit casinos to five locations: Chicago, southern Cook County, Lake County, Rockford and Danville.