Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Vote to Retain Judge Karmeier: Southern IL

Curt tells me: A legal update email I got today had a blurb about the anti-Karmeier campaign, and confirms what I thought, that is, the plaintiff's lawyers with big money are trying to smear Karmeier because he is a conservative. The following is a fairly objective article, I think, and it demonstrates who is really against Karmeier. Just TWO LAWYERS from one PI law firm contributed $500,000 between them. They have BIG FEES at stake, obviously.

Some of our local friends may have received the mailing that went out which DOESN'T say Karmeier is too conservative or is against plaintiff's lawyers, but rather implies that Karmeier is NOT conservative and freely GIVES money to people who are in the wrong...i.e., It is a mailing to conservative people trying to imply that he is a liberal!!! But their real problem with him is that he applies the law instead of responding to their emotional efforts to get huge jury awards for "injured" parties.

When the "Korein Tillery" law firm wants a judge ousted, then we KNOW it is a good judge who is not easily moved by the sue-happy trend in society.

Posted Oct. 28, 2014 @ 11:36 am
ST. LOUIS — An Illinois Supreme Court justice seeking retention again is embroiled in a big-money campaign, this time with a group of plaintiffs' attorneys contributing more than $1 million in hopes of ousting the Republican they accuse of being partial to corporate interests.
Voters in Illinois' 37 southernmost counties will decide Nov. 4 whether Lloyd Karmeier of southern Illinois' Okawville keeps the Illinois Supreme Court seat he won in 2004 after a tight race that cost the two candidates more than $9 million, shattering state and national spending records for a judicial seat. On Tuesday, at least 60 percent of the voters must side with him if he's to win.
Now hoping to unseat Karmeier, several attorneys and law firms have formed an anti-Karmeier "Campaign for 2016" that since being launched on Oct. 16 has collected more than $1 million, state campaign-finance records show. Those funds have helped fund television commercials, automated calls and mailings that label the justice as too tight with big business.
Though it is campaigning against Karmeier in 2014, the opposition group includes 2016 in its name because it is focused on the future, chairman Barzin Emami said in an email Tuesday to The Associated Press.
Karmeier's campaign manager, Ron Deedrick, on Tuesday accused the Campaign for 2016 of "trying to buy this southern Illinois seat, seeing this as an investment" in hopes of influencing who is chosen to replace Karmeier. If voters retain Karmeier, Deedrick said, those seeking his ouster could argue that he should recuse himself from their cases because they spent millions against him.
"This particular Supreme Court seat represents a third of the counties of Illinois and a large swath of the judiciary," Deedrick said. "The ads, mailers and robocalls (opposing Karmeier) just smack of the ugliness being employed by the Campaign for 2016. They're doing everything in their power to smear the integrity and fairness of an otherwise honorable man."
Illinois State Board of Elections records show that two of the biggest contributions to Campaign for 2016 in recent days were $300,000 from George Zelcs and $200,000 from Christine Moody, both attorneys for the Korein Tillery law firm with offices in St. Louis and Chicago.
Stephen Tillery, a St. Louis-based principle of Korein Tillery, is seeking Karmeier's recusal from the Illinois Supreme Court's consideration of an appeal of a decade-old $10.1 billion class-action verdict against Phillip Morris USA. A lower court ruled in Tillery's favor over the nation's biggest cigarette maker's marketing of "light" and "low tar" designations.
In court motions, Tillery has argued "there is an objective and reasonable public perception" that Karmeier has bias favoring Philip Morris. The company and groups supporting it have contributed millions of dollars to Karmeier's 2004 campaign, Tillery added.
Karmeier has refused to step aside, insisting he has no conflict.
Zelcs disagrees. "Justice Karmeier consistently favors and bends over backwards to defend corporate interests, and I don't think people are aware of that," Zelcs said,
He said that Campaign for 2016 donors have contributed openly while Karmeier's retention quest is funded by "a dark-money (political action committee) that doesn't disclose the identities of its donors."

About Judge Karmeier:

Lloyd A. Karmeier was born January 12, 1940, in rural Washington County, where he attended a one-room grade school and graduated as valedictorian in 1958 from Okawville Community High School. He received his B.S. degree in 1962 and his J.D. degree in 1964, both from the University of Illinois.
Justice Karmeier clerked for former Illinois Supreme Court Justice Byron O. House from 1964 to 1968, served as state’s attorney of Washington County from 1968 to 1972, and clerked for former U.S. District Court Judge James L. Foreman from 1972 to 1973. He was engaged in the general practice of law with the firm of Hohlt, House, DeMoss & Johnson from 1964 to 1986. He was resident Circuit Judge of Washington County from 1986 to 2004, when he was elected to the Illinois Supreme Court.
Justice Karmeier is a member of the Illinois Judges' Association, the Washington County, St. Clair County, East St. Louis and Illinois State Bar Associations, and past member of the American Bar Association and the American Judicature Society. He served as a member of the Assembly of the Illinois State Bar Association from 1996 to 2002, and as chair of the Bench and Bar Section Council. He also served on the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Pattern Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases, chairing the committee from 2003 to 2004. He is a member of the Southern Illinois American Inn of Court and served as President of the Executive Committee from 2003 to 2007.
Justice Karmeier and his wife, Mary, reside in Nashville, Illinois. They have two children and six grandchildren.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Super Moist Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Creamy Fudge Icing

Last weekend I made some cupcakes that were supposed to be super moist, "the ultimate best on the Internet." I thought they were dry, but I really liked the icing. So, I experimented yesterday and found my favorite (so far)--made at home but yummy as the cupcakes in DC cupcake shops--cupcake recipe; far better than the ones I made last weekend. 

Moist Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

1 box (15oz) Devil's Food cake mix
1 3.9 oz instant chocolate fudge pudding (dry)
1 1/2 cups Hershey's Special Dark chocolate chips
4 eggs
3/4 cup Canola oil
3/4 cup hot water
8 oz. sour cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a large bowl combine cake mix, chocolate pudding, and chocolate chips.
Stir until combined. Mix in eggs, canola oil and water. Finally add the sour cream.
Pour cake mix into cupcake liners. 
Bake for 25 minutes or until they spring back when touched. 
Remove from oven and allow cupcakes to cool on a cooling rack.
Frost with fudge icing below.

Chocolate Fudge icing

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
12 oz. Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Chips
6 T unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla paste or extract

Combine the cream and corn syrup in a small saucepan and whisk well to mix.
Place over low heat until simmering and pour into a bowl to cool to lukewarm, about 110F.

Add the cooled cream mixture to the melted chocolate and whisk until smooth. Distribute the butter in small pieces all over the top of the chocolate mixture, then whisk it in smoothly. Whisk in the vanilla. Cool the icing until it is firm enough to spread. 

 Ice the cupcakes and enjoy!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Cheeseburger Soup

1/2 lb. ground chuck
3/4 C. chopped onion
3/4 C. shredded carrots
3/4 C. diced celery
1 t. dried sweet basil
1 t. dried parsley
4 T. butter divided
3 C. chicken broth
4 C. diced peeled potatoes
1/4 C. flour
8 oz. Velveeta cheese
1 1/2 C. milk
3/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 C. sour cream

In a 3-qt. pan, brown beef, drain and set aside. 
In the same pan saute onion, carrots, celery, basil and parsley in 1 T. butter until veggies are tender, about 10 minutes.
Add broth, potatoes and beef, bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10-12 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt remaining butter.
Add flour, cook and stir 3-5 minutes, or until bubbly. 
Add to soup, bring to a boil. 
Cook and stir 2 minutes. 
Reduce heat to low. 
Add cheese, milk, salt and pepper, cook and stir until cheese melts. 
Remove from heat; blend in sour cream.

This is a favorite dish at our house!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Quiet Retreat On Lake Michigan

Last week on our way to Hillsdale College parent's weekend, Curt had a day of CE in Chicago. When we left downtown Chicago we had a little extra time, 
and so we stopped at the small town of New Buffalo, MI for a night and half-day. 

The Harbor Grand

I had found a small hotel online that ended up being a delightful place to stay. Called the Harbor Grand, it was not super impressive at first sight but was sparkling clean with amazing service and beautiful views from our lake-side room.

The marina near our hotel.

The views directly out our window


We were invited to free s'mores on the fire in the evening before bedtime. We ate supper in the hotel restaurant--delicious food in a quiet, classy atmosphere. Free breakfast of our choice brought to our door in a basket in the morning at our preferred time was part of the package. It was lovely.

We enjoyed a long walk down by the water.

I recommend this quiet little town in southwestern Michigan.