it's pronounced blah-goy-a-vich

Illinois Tells Politicians To Quit Putting Their Names On Every Road Sign

meanest punishment everIllinois finally got tired of having to remove the names of indicted politicians from the thousands of public signs that elected state officials treat as dog patch where they get to leave little territorial name-plate marks at taxpayer expense. Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law prohibiting state officials from putting their name or likeness on any public sign paid for by the state, mostly because beloved human comedy routine Rod Blagojevich spent a half million dollars in state funds to litter his name all over the Illinois Tollway. BOO. Poor Blago. What is the point of even having a ridiculous name if you can’t make sure people see it everywhere they go?

From the Chicago Tribune:

The measure was a response to Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s decision years ago to plaster his name on nearly three dozen signs on the Illinois Tollway at what Quinn said was a cost of almost $500,000.

“Sometimes there are those in politics and public office who want to glorify themselves at public expense, and I don’t think that’s right, I don’t think the public feels that’s what Democracy is about,” Quinn said during bill signing ceremony at the Cermak Toll Plaza on Interstate 294, which used to display Blagojevich’s name.

There is absolutely zero fun left in being a politician. [Chicago Tribune]

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182 comments

  1. Boredw/Gravitas

    Those politicians should just start naming the prisons they will eventually live in after themselves instead.

  2. horsedreamer_1

    Here's an idea: automated signage. If it's good enough for gas stations — &, for that matter, some highway signage — it's good enough for honouring public officials.

    1. Lascauxcaveman

      Take that one step further: sell the naming rights. Raise funds to keep the infrastructure intact. They already do this for sports arenas ranging form the largest NFL stadium right down to the 1/2 acre grass playfield at my kid's tiny, impoverished Catholic school.

      Why should a person care if they drive to work on the US BANK Expressway or live on Geico Avenue?

      1. OneDollarJuana

        Here's the problem: "Just go up the Geico Expressway, take the Geico Avenue exit, go two blocks to Geico Street, turn right at the intersection of Geico Way and Geico Place."

      2. SorosBot

        They've already started that with the subway system here in Philly; what was Pattison Avenue Station, which is the stop for all of the sports stadiums, is now AT&T Station.

  3. KathrynSane

    "There is absolutely zero fun left in being a politician."

    Seriously. Can't plaster your name everywhere, can't fuck in an airport bathroom, can't stick a cigar inside a lady, can't send dick pix on Twitter… At least they can still get off from screwing the American people.

    1. horsedreamer_1

      Can hold hands & affectionately kiss the crown prince of Saudi, though. Which is hot. & prolly worth the price of admission (no cigar-dildonics, lavatory love-making, etc.).

        1. SorosBot

          Well duh, of course it is. Thank you for reminding us that the right-wing media is so dumb they actually tried to claim there was something wrong with the President showing basic manners there.

    2. Terry

      Don't forget giving plum jobs to your friends and directing contracts to your associates, particularly those who will give you a wee kickback.

      1. Noman

        "According to the Center for Public Integrity, the Obama Administration has hired more political bundlers who collected more than $500,000 for his campaign in the first two years of his administration than his predecessor did in his four years in office."
        Link1
        Link2

        1. Noman

          "The Center, a non-partisan organization that does original investigative journalism projects, pointed out the

          differences between what candidate Obama suggested during his campaign and what he has done as president.

          “The cynics, the lobbyists, the special interests who’ve turned our government into a game only they can afford to play,” said then-Sen. Obama in his February 2007 announcement speech. “They get the access while you get to write a letter…

          The time for that kind of politics is over.”"

        2. GOPCrusher

          Do you show this level of outrage over Republiklans Senators and Congressmen that have entire organizations that fund raise for the next election before the results of current election are in?
          Or are you just pissy about the fact that President Obama will have over 4 BILLION DOLLARS in his Presidential war chest for the 2012 election, while the Republiklan nominee will have asking if someone will give them five bees for a quarter?
          The taste of Tears Of Impotent Rage are so sweet.

          1. Noman

            I just posted a factual statement demonstrating Obama's hypocrisy to give you libunatics the opportunity to share in that hypocrisy.

  4. KeepFnThatChicken

    It's only because of the number of characters in "Blagojevich". If his name was Al Lee, no one would have cared.

      1. BaldarTFlagass

        Likewise. I bet the air traffic controllers that work there shudder every time they go to work.

        1. Preferred Customer

          There is a bit of a pre-nap shudder, yes, but it goes away quickly once they close their eyes.

      2. Terry

        Me, too. Ask someone to say the name of that airport and you can tell a true local immediately.

    1. Preferred Customer

      Sorry, I believe the proper formulation to avoid downfisting is Ronald Wilson Reagan (PBUH).

  5. Serolf_Divad

    Surely they are still allowed to beautify the city entrance with a gaint arch of two crossed swords being held by hands that were modelled on their own, right?

    1. CapeClod

      No. It just leads to a carefully staged demonstration of city inhabitants tearing down the statue of their former leader so the media can give the impression that the trumped up invasion was justified.

    1. GOPCrusher

      Why can't politicians just hoist their leg and piss on the sign post, to mark their territory?

  6. Monsieur_Grumpe

    Politician’s names should be associated with what they are best known.

    Mark Foley Montessori Center
    Vitter Women’s Health Center
    Larry Craig Memorial bathroom
    Bachmann Rubber Room Emporium
    and so on.

    1. Guppy06

      Jim Gibbons Womens' Shelter
      Mark Sanford Hiking Trail
      John Ensign Family Counseling Center
      Newt Gingrich Oncology Center
      Lee-Weiner School of Photography

      1. Guppy06

        Denny Hastert Home for Exploited Children
        John Edwards Oncology Center (across street from previous)
        Sarah Palin Academy for Wayward Girls

    2. Geminisunmars

      Dan Rostenkowski Philately Museum
      Richard M. Nixon Hydraulics College
      George W. Bush Institute of Oratory

    3. Doktor Zoom

      The Wilbur Mills Aquatic Center
      The Dan Quayle Institute for Potatoe Agronomy
      The Neal Horsley Equine Appreciation Annex

    1. Lascauxcaveman

      If my last name was "Main," I'd totally run for a statewide office in IL, just to see if they'd rename the streets to something else when I won.

  7. jus_wonderin

    Well, the upside is that this frees up plenty of consonants for other more permanent signage.

    A BLVD CHORE JOG I
    A BORG CHILD JOVE
    JACOB HID GROVEL
    BAD RICH LOVE JOG
    ACE BLVD JIG OR HO

  8. ThundercatHo

    What if they named them after their biggest campaign contributors instead? Then there'd just be Kochs everyfuckingwhere.

      1. Moonbat

        We should learn from the monkeys. At least from the bonobos. If we spent more of our free time pleasuring each other, would we be spending so much time and energy screwing the poors and the browns?

  9. EatsBabyDingos

    Blago should change his name to "Interstate Chicago Illinois." Might be a few signs with those names in them.

  10. charlesdegoal

    Are you referring to the You're-No-John-Kennedy Bentsen quote or was he famous for anything else? The Bentsen burner, perhaps?

  11. fartknocker

    Well at least we in Texas have cool, rednecky sounding names. I like how our Legislature renamed the UT Engineering Research Center in North Austin about 15 years ago. The new name: J.J. Pickle Research Center.

    It sounds like we do a lot of research for Vlasick pickles here in Austin.

      1. genxr

        It would have been awesome for about 5 minutes, until we realized how much money we spent changing the signs and now have to look at that name every fucking day.

  12. horsedreamer_1

    All Shake Shacks will be rebranded A Weiner & A Shake.

    Yes, I am predicting a Weiner solo sex-tape.

  13. ganmerlad

    Putting your name on a toll road isn't very bright in the first place. It constantly reminds drivers who to be mad at. With that in mind, they probably should have left them up.

    1. Ducksworthy

      Hmmm. Maybe Minnesota can name its toll lanes (formerly free HOV lanes) the TPaw/Lexus lanes.

  14. Boredw/Gravitas

    Every third thing here in Houston is named after Bush (the "read my lips" one). It sucks.

        1. BaldarTFlagass

          At least in San Antonio, most of our public places are named after Democrats, though the trend of course has changed over the last 30 years or so on the northside where the white people predominantly live. Lib colleague of mine experienced some real anguish that his daughter had to attend both Barbara Bush Middle School and Ronald Reagan High. Poor thing.

    1. horsedreamer_1

      "So, one day, I was working on this masterpiece, just this big, veiny thing, & your precious Becca walks by my desk, knocks it to the floor, picks it up, &, looking at it, screams. I had to go to the principal's office after they found my Ghostbusters lunchbox dick treasure-chest, & my parents were called, & they let the principal exorcize me, since he thought I was possessed by some dick devil. I wasn't even allowed to eat any food that looked like dicks. You know how many foods are shaped like dicks? The best kinds!"

  15. Terry

    Personally, I'm glad that the State of New Jersey names their rest stops after famous residents. Otherwise, I'd have never realised that Joyce Kilmer was a guy. There's a portrait of him hanging on the wall at the entrance to his rest stop.

  16. carlgt1

    but surely they could make the money back (and more) by selling the Rod B. signs on ebay as souvenirs?

  17. Noman

    Since we friends are discussing Illinois, here's another bit of news from today's
    Chicago Tribune:
    City worker unions must choose whether to ignore financial reality or help government cut costs, an alderman closely allied with Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Thursday.

      1. Peace in our time

        What do you think about what that Democrat alderman said about labor unions and financial reality?

      1. Noman

        Maybe you don't get the concept of snark?

        And how are posts about OJ or Scott Walker more "on-topic" than a post about another situation in Illinois?

        1. genxr

          Was that really your attempt at snark? What did you do, get the definition of snark from conservapedia?

          1. Noman

            I ordered a book about snark from a Nigerian prince. It was expensive, but very informative.

    1. KathrynSane

      I'll say the same thing I say whenever there's a news item about Rahm Emanuel: I wish I didn't want to hit that, but I totally, totally would.

  18. neiltheblaze

    Blago had those signs and they were fucking golden and he wasn't just going to give them up.

  19. soojank

    Here in Maryland, the State Senate office building is named after the current senate president. So, yes, Mike Miller works in an office named after himself.

    Uhhh… disgusting/normal?

  20. Mahousu

    Anton Cermak was the mayor of Chicago who was killed when Giuseppe Zangara tried to assassinate FDR.

    I suppose if we just limited naming rights to assassinated politicians, it would cut down the competition a little.

  21. AJWjr.

    Since I used to make highway signs, I feel as if I speak for highway signmakers everywhere when I say "fuck those guys."

  22. Noman

    "Hey, where did you go?"

    It's fascinating that you immediately complain about not receiving a response.

    What is your opinion about what the Democrat alderman said about labor unions and fiscal reality? Or, do you really really need to change the topic?

    1. SexySmurf

      It's called a joke. You should tell one sometime.

      And by the way, public unions around the country, including in Wisconsin and my home of Washington State, have agreed to massive give backs, which is more than Goldman Sachs and the other bailed-out banks have agreed to do.

      Most Democrats are just as clueless as Republicans when it comes to economic policy.

      1. genxr

        I know I get impatient when I'm half finished typing a post, haven't hit submit, and nobody has responded yet.

      2. Noman

        OK, following libunatic protocol, here goes:

        "T"

        or

        "All of them, Katy."

        OMG, those are hilarious! Thanks for the suggestion.

  23. kissawookiee

    I hope the newly freed-up funds stay in IDOT. Many many years ago they set up a series of signs through the interminable I-88 construction zone that turned it into a 5-mile-long knock knock joke (who's there? orange. orange who? orange you glad you're through the construction zone now?). It was actually kind of awesome.

    1. HarryButtle

      In northern AZ, we’ve got these spaced about ¼ mile apart:

      Sign #1: KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN
      Sign #2: AND YOUR SPEED SLOW
      Sign #3: LOOK OUT FOR ELK
      Sign #4: AS YOU GO

      Though I hear they’re planning to change “elk” to “Messicans”

  24. fuflans

    i don't know, in the age of the scotts (walker and rick), IL seems to be on the better side of history.

    weird.

  25. el_chupacabra

    Seriously. My previous fuckwit Alderman stuck his name on every-fucking-thing. alley signs. road barricades. Alderman Schulterman says LOOK OUT FOR THE SLOW CHILDREN. Fuck that guy.

  26. UpFistTroll

    You forget that in their fucked up little fascist world, that was a big win for the First Amendment, because Money equals Speech, therefore More Money = Greater Right to Speak.

      1. ChapterUndVerse

        Corporations shall be free when politicians are all paid for! Which may be sooner than we think.

  27. Noman

    Is being a Snarkpoliceman one of those high-paying Green jobs Obama promised?

    Don't worry, I won't harm anyone like that obsessed, Bush-hating liberal Jared Lee did.

    1. Come here a minute

      Unfortunately there's no way to express it in writing, but the correct pronunciation of that institution's name requires speaking the word "library" sarcastically.

  28. Preferred Customer

    I will thank you not to call to mind Weiner's vein again, for now I have to go find some mental bleach.

  29. donner_froh

    Quinn said during bill signing ceremony at the Cermak Toll Plaza on Interstate 294, which used to display Blagojevich’s name.

    Which is now known as the Governor Pat Quinn Toll Plaza at Cermak Road.

  30. Noman

    Seriously, I'm wondering who the Dems will run for President in 2012 since it's obvious if they stick with Dear Leader, they'll experience even greater losses than they did in November, 2010.

    1. Tommmcattt

      Well that settles it: if you think what you just said is true you are a complete idiot. A six-year-old child can see which way the wind is blowing for the Republicans come 2012.

      Turn off the computer and let the intelligent adults talk. Maybe if you turn on Hannity he'll tell you what you want to hear some more.

      Fool.

      1. Noman

        I'm delighted I was able to provide you an opportunity to remind us of the extreme arrogance and elitism which pervades the libunatic community.

        1. Tommmcattt

          Yep. It's hard not to patronize and look down on people who can't tell a lie from the truth. I firmly believe that I am better than you, that's also true…and obvious to any unbiased observer. So if by elitist you mean "better spoken and of superior intelligence" it's the only true thing you've said all day.

          But you're used to it, I'm sure. I mean, you can barely string two words together unless you're quoting some pundit hack, am I right? People must look down on you all the time.

          Enjoy the next few years of Conservative decline. People are on to you.

          1. Noman

            "I firmly believe that I am better than you, that's also true…and obvious to any unbiased observer. "

            Most libuantics have similarly overdeveloped egos, so you aren't alone in your insecurity.

            I don't judge people as much as you do. I feel more of a kinship to my fellow humans; I seek to find the worth and goodness in everyone rather than to harp on some petty comparison.

            Try it some time, you might like it.

            FWIW, I don't listen to or watch political pundits.

          2. Tommmcattt

            Oh bullshit. I do judge you, and your entire mouth-breathing tribe. You'd let a child starve in the street rather than make Donald Trump pay a red cent more in taxes, and I'm sure you'd have a thing or two to say about the fact that my boyfriend and I would like legal marriage rights, so don't play at feeling "kinship" or trying to find "worth" in others. That is plain bullshit.

            Yeah, I am judgmental towards you, because the philosophy you espouse is evil, discriminatory, based on lies, and not consistent with real American values.

            But it's useless going back-and-forth with you; doesn't work and annoys the pig, right? Fuck you very much, and here's hoping you don't get the government you so richly deserve.

          3. Noman

            What an angry angry person we are.

            You project a lot onto others. Where have I commented about gay marriage? I'm fascinated by your perspective. I'll discuss it with my homosexual adult child.

            Are we displacing unresolved anger from daddy or mommy or both?

          4. Tommmcattt

            Is that really the best you can do? No wonder the Republican field is so weak.Sent from my iPad

          5. Noman

            Ah, you deserve the best? Not from me.

            "No wonder the Republican field is so weak."

            Psssst…I'm not a candidate for any public office.

            You still haven't said if it is mommy or daddy or both at whom you are still angry.

          6. Noman

            Keep in mind that it was you who turned our exchange personal and hostile.

            Does that tell you something about yourself?

      2. Noman

        CNBC: How Miserable? Index Says the Worst in 28 Years
        When it comes to measuring the combination of unemployment and inflation, it doesn’t get much more miserable than this.

        In fact, misery, as measured in the unofficial Misery Index that simply totals the unemployment and inflation rates, is at a 28-year high, reflective of how weak the economic recovery has been and how far there is to go.

        The index, first compiled during the soaring inflation days of the 1970s by economist Arthur Okun, is registering a nausea-inducing 12.7—9.1 percent for unemployment and 3.6 percent for annualized inflation—a number not seen since 1983. The index has been above 10 since November 2009 and had been under double-digits from June 1993 through May 2008.

        The good news, of course, is that the Fed-led Paul Volcker embarked on a highly successful inflation-slaying campaign that brought the level of misery down sharply through the rest of the ’80s recovery decade.

        The bad news, of course, is all the bad news.

        (don't forget to thank Dear Leader)

      3. Noman

        NPR:

        Liberal Bloggers: Obama 'Not Our Boyfriend Anymore

        President Obama took his licks from progressives who are meeting in Minneapolis at the Netroots Nation Convention, the annual gathering of liberal bloggers and other social media activists.

        The panel that drew one of the biggest crowds at Netroots Nation so far was called "What To Do When The President's Just Not That Into You."

        "It's like the president's not our boyfriend anymore," Joan McCarter, an editor at the Daily Kos website, said during the discussion.

        John Aravosis, another panelist, who blogs about gay-rights issues on AMERICAblog, reminisced about the heady early days of the left's relationship with Obama.

        "I honest to God thought I was voting for these guys and that it was going to be the first time in my lifetime that I'm finally in a position of power, where I could be working with the White House on a regular basis, saying, 'OK what could we do this year on gay stuff?' Wouldn't it be cool, oh, 'Don't ask, don't tell,' this is great.' "

        But panelists agreed that it hasn't turned out so well for progressives on overhauling health care or financial systems or the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and a host of other issues.

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