Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Media pundits Monroe Anderson and Dan Proft tear into each other over Obama appointments

Dan Proft and Monroe Anderson tore into the issues in discussing the preliminary appointments and possible appointments by president-elect Barack Obama, including the rumor that US Senator Hillary Clinton will become Secretary of State. What impact with former President Bill Clinton have on the decision. The controversies surrounding former Congressman and now Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, the son of a former member of the terrorist organization the Irgun, and also the appointment of Eric Holder.

Check the 11-19-08 audio podcast on the Flash iPod player on this blog, or go to for more information. Also, watch a live video and audio broadcast of the radio show live on the internet off the web page, too.

-- Ray Hanania

Monday, November 17, 2008

Property taxes skyrocket -- local fees quietly increase too

After months of backdoor tax increases from the Village of Orland Park, my actual Water Rate did go up this last bill, 19 cents per unit of water I consume every two months, or about $1.61.

But the bulk of the increases reflect backdoor tax increases (fees) quietly approved by the Village of Orland Park while they have been telling the sympathetic local news media that they are not increasing taxes and are rebating our village taxes -- well, not all of it. But according to one paper, that's "good news."

No. It's mnot good news, especially when the other fees in our water bill, for example, increase quietly, too, with noe xplanation from Mayor McLaughlin, or, as I will be calling him from now on, King Dan. Under King Dan's Chicago Machine Manual of Politics, you don't explain anything. You just keep putting out press releases showcasing the positive news, and avoid any accountability or explanation on the bad news. And, when the media does hold his royal feet to the political fire, no wonder he is so arrogant and believes he can do whatever he wants.

Storm water and sewer service also went up. The others, went up already months ago.

On top of it all, it's just a drop int he bucket of how you, the naive sheep-like taxpayers, are being screwed. But that's the way you like, it right. Rough. And without warning or consent. Because in this Chicago Machine town, which is a satellite of the bigger Machine in Chicago and Cook County, raising taxes is just a part of the blame-game.

Have you looked at the letter from Cook County Assessor Jim Houlihan this week, announcing a major increase in your property assessed valuation?

Oh yea. While your property values are dropping like federal indictments in a typical Chicago City Council year, your property assessments are skyrocketing. Most homes will increase about 15 percent in assessments, even though the actual value of the homes has dropped by as much as 30 percent and more in some regions.

Nayor Daley, Kig Dan's sponsor, says it is because of Houlihan. Daley -- I have to laugh every time I hear him speak -- says (that's being generous) that Houlihan is responsible because he is the "Assessor."

No, Mayor. The Assessor does not determine the assessments. The assessor basically translates the tax increases divide up based on the number of homes and properties being taxed, and that's how your assessment increases.

But Daley knows the blame game better than most. In reality, the reason for your property tax hike -- which will equal as much as $1,000 to $2,500 for many homes in Orland Park and across Cook County -- is that Mayor Daley has increased his budget and it is the increase in government spending that is driving up taxes. Daley's pal, Cook County Board President Todd Stroger, also jacked up his own budget spending, and part of that spending will be covered by the humongous increase in the sales tax -- which combined with the King Dan .75 sales tax increase of 2001 (which King Dan said would be off-set by the village tax rebate, which is being off-set this year by his political arrogance and poor budget management to just over half of what it was promised to be) -- is making your depressed property on the free market look like a worthless piece of junk. But on the Chicago and county and Orland Park tax rolls, it looks like a mansion that has increased significantly in value.

The value of your home goes down. But not Mayor Daley's salary or Todd Stroger's salary. You pay more. And Daly and Stroger know of stupid you really are, so gullible you will believe anything they say and still vote for them in exchange for a new garbage can lid -- the bartering system set up when the Chicago Machine was first built by slaves in the 1950s.

And the taxes on your home go up.

And the lies and twist, and turns, and spin from the elected officials, including King Dan, continue. No accountability at all. They just decide they will break their promise to off-set the Orland Park home rule sales tax increase of .75 percent by rebating our full property tax. They did it just long enough to win your votes. Gain your confidence. And then. WHAM!

They shove it up your tax bill.

Merry Christmas everyone.

-- Ray Hanania

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hate crime declared in racist attack in Orland Park

Despite the local media's "Happy Talk" spin, thinsg are not so happy in Orland Park.

Read this story about the hate crime attack at Wenday's Restaurant on 145th and LaGrange Road.

Former Frankfort Trustee behind Draft Tom Cross for Governor

Jake Parrillo, who now works for Google, is the designer behind the very popular web blog Draft Tome Cross for Governor at which is promoting Illinois Republican House Minority Leader Tom Cross to run for governor of Illinois against Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Parrillo discusses the draft and the use of the internet in such a very effective way in an election campaign on my radio show on WJJG 1530 AM Radio, which was broadcast live this morning at around 8:45 am. (You can hear the full podcast and other audio files by visiting

but, it was interesting to catch up with Jake who was one of th estate's youngest elected officials, serving in Frankfort in the early 1990s. He moved when he married a to Elmhurst and now works for Google.

I hope you tune in to the interview.

And, as an aside, Radio Chicagoland is now not only broadcast live on the radio, we also simulcast the radio broadcast on the Internet.

But, beginning today, we started to also video and audio broadcast the radio show on our web site at so you can watch the show and hear it live.

I hope you check out the live video broadcast tomorrow morning. The show is broadcast on radio Monday through Friday from 8 am until 9:30 (until 9 on Fridays).

-- Ray Hanania

Monday, November 10, 2008

Inundated with letters and thanks ...

I am humbled by how many people now read this blog in Orland Park and by all the email letters I am receiving. Thank you.

I try to reply to every email. I know that Orland Park is run by a vindictive dictator so I am careful when I do post a letter I will not post your name to protect you from Mayor McLaughlin's wrath. The guy is just mean.

But clearly, from the emails from within the and from the employees, there is a LOT of dissastifaction in Camelot.

Residents are upset about the rising fees, and the taxes, and the mayor's broken promise on the tax rebate. You should be. You deserve better.

If Orland Park is going to be the great town all the fluff and PR claims it already is, the mayor will have to do a better job of managing the excess waste in government and trim the fat, starting with his office.

It is amazing how the Mayor is responding directly to this little blog by pushing fluff press releases in the local newspapers that talk about how great he is and how great his programs are and how great everything he does is.

Congratulations Your Greatness!

-- Ray Hanania

Also, sign up for my new newsletter for my radio show, columns and blogs. Go to

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Andy Shaw close, but ...

WLS TV's Andy Shaw reported tonight that David Axelrod was probably playing basketball with Barack Obama tonight waiting for the election results ... close Andy -- weren't you the guy who once said Ed Vrdolyak would never be convicted? You were close. He wasn't convicted. He pled guilty to a kickback scheme today.

Actually, I stopped at Manny's Deli on Roosevelt Road after being turned away from the celebration for Barack Obama at Grant Park. And while chomping on a corned beef sandwich, potato latke and bowl of matzo ball soup, who do you think came up and said hello? David Axelrod. Axelrod, one of the real stars behind the rise of Barack Obama, was sitting with political consultant colleagues awaiting the results coming in. Axelrod and I covered Chicago City Hall together. He worked for the Chicago Tribune, before moving on to launch his very successful political consulting firm.

Congratulations to Axelrod. He deserves the accolades for managing the Obama campaign. There's no question that Obama's very successful efforts are the direct result of Axelrod's guidance.

As for Vrdolyak -- he once vowed during the Cicero battle in 1996 "I'll bury that Hanania" when he was manipulating the greedy Betty Loren-Maltese. When Maltese was accused of corruption, and she refused to answer my questions about the subpoenas, I quit/she fired me ... and she went on to jail, thanks to Vrdolyak's manipulation of the town. Who buried who Ed? Vrdolyak was one of the smartest politicians in Chicagoland history, but also one of the sleaziest. Sources say there were some terrible FBI recordings of him bragging about things that were extremely embarassing to his family. If it's true, it's out of his character to do the right thing! but he did.

-- Ray Hanania

Monday, November 3, 2008

Suspect wanted in slaying of Rana Ishmail in Bridgeview

You can get information and photographs on the suspect wanted by the Bridgeview police in the murder of the young woman at 87th and Harlem Saturday by visiting:

Arab America's Most Wanted


Arab American Media Services

Information on the funeral services for the victim:

Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilaihy Rajeoun

with deep sorrow, I inform you that the beloved daughter of Hajj AbuTariq Ismail, sister of AAAEA member Engr. Tariq Ismail, and niece of Dr. Mahmoud Ismail of the Aqsa School Board & Univ of Chicago, has tragically passed away yesterday in Bridgeview.

May Allah bless her soul and may Allah grant her family patience.

Condolences (Beit A'zaa) will be as follow:

Tonight, Sunday Nov. 2
At the Community Center (Youth Center) 2nd Floor, 7260 W 93rd St., Bridgeview, IL, from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

Tomorrow, Monday Nov. 3
Hann Funeral Home, 8230 S. Harlem Ave, Bridgeview, IL, morning before Thuhr prayer

Janazah prayer after Thuhr prayer at the Mosque Foundation, 7360 W 93rd St., Bridgeview, IL, then will proceed to burial at LaGrange

At the Aqsa School, lower level, 7361 W. 92nd St., Bridgeview, IL, Monday evening.

Tariq may be reached at

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Kristen McQueary doing PR for Renee Kosel?

Kristen McQueary, the narrowly-focused hard-hitting writer for the SouthtownStar did a nice hatchet job on Dick Kelly who is running for the 81st house District against incumbent Renee Kosel. (The district is the same one I ran in 16 years ago).

Although I haven't had much contact with Kelly over the years -- and Kosel doesn't talk to "Democrats" -- it seems McQueary's attack against Kelly might be one-sided.

Click here for the link to the story.

Although McQueary picks and chooses who she hammers -- she's no different than most other writers -- she did a nice job of fist-bumping Kosel, the do-nothing Republican incumbent who has held the legislative seat for the past 10 years. (She makes her predecessor Larry Wennlund look like a genius.)

McQueary loves to dish out the criticism, but her colleagues report she has a very thin skin when it comes to any criticism of her. (They call her "Miss Touchy.") Too bad. Of course, maybe she's looking for something beyond as the SS is struggling like all community newspapers these days. A great newspaper squeezed by it's selfish owners -- Wow. Nothing's changed since I was last there in 1985.

-- Ray Hanania

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Roving lawn care companies slam Orland Park every weekend morning

I don't mind lawn care companies working like everyone else, but at 8 in the morning with three giant lawnmower machines that look like they belong on a farm not a suburban neighborhood, the lawn care companies rip up the lawns and disrupt the community.

Shouldn't they be licensed and regulated?

Who are these companies? They operate with crews of workers and while they care about one person's lawns, they are ALWAYS disrespectful to the other people's lawns who have not hired them.

A few months ago, the lawn care company was digging the ground at a home nearby but instead of parking their dirt-covered machines in front of that house -- they wouldn't want to upset the people paying them -- they parked in front of my house and the houses of two other neighbors tracking clumps of mud all over the sidewalks and the streets.

The guy stands atop this huge yellow tractor zipping through the neighbor's lawns and parts of anyone else's lawns that are in the way and their trimmers do great damage to the lawns and grass edges.

It's careless. And honestly, they're sloppy.

I used to have them do my lawn but they were never careful and stuff would be missing from the backyard all the time so I dumped them.

I mow my own lawn and trim my own trees and not only does it save money but it also looks far better than the machine chopped lawns of a few neighbors.

-- Ray Hanania