Saturday, April 30, 2016

Report: Harvey IL stiffs some bondholders

Abandoned Harvey house
I hate to keep repeating myself,  but when Harvey, Illinois is in the news it's nearly always for something bad.

From Bond Buyer:
The cash-strapped Chicago suburb of Harvey has stiffed some of its bondholders.

The impoverished city south of Chicago, in local headlines for internal governance turmoil, appears to have initially made debt service payments owed in December on a $37 million new money and refunding general obligation issue from 2007 but then pulled back the payments, according to one investor.

The next payments are scheduled for June 1 on the bonds, for which an ad valorem property tax is pledged.

The city, which was the subject of an unprecedented move by the Securities and Exchange in 2014 to block a bond deal, did later make some payments on the tax-exempt portion of the deal, but not the taxable piece. That's according to a representative of a fixed-income investment management firm that purchased a portion of the taxable bonds for his firm's retail clients.
The good news is that Harvey may finally begin collecting property taxes, according to the Cook County Clerk.

Such is life in a Blue State.

Related posts:

ILL-inois: Chicago State lays off 1/3 of employees

The Illinois budget impasse is ten months old. A goofball liberal I know blames this quagmire on the Land of Lincoln's reform governor, Republican Bruce Rauner. I explained to him that state Democratic boss Mike Madigan of Chicago, who is also the speaker of the state House, has veto-proof majorities in the General Assembly and that the Dems can pass a budget to fund schools such as Chicago State. If Rauner vetoes the budget--the legislature can override it. Simple. His response? "It's an election year, you can't expect these guys to make a tough vote."

With thinking--or what passes for thinking--like that, it's easy to understand how Illinois ended up with the worst credit rating of the 50 states and the worst funded pension system in the union as well.

From ABC Chicago:
Chicago State University laid off more than 300 people due to lack of funding during the ongoing state budget impasse. The layoffs were announced Friday and effective immediately.

The school has been struggling with budget issues for months. Just last week, state lawmakers approved $20 million in emergency funding, but school officials said was not enough. About 30 percent of the university's budget comes from the state, and the school serves a predominantly minority, low-income student population.

CSU's president said in February all 900 employees received notice that layoffs were imminent, and about 10 percent of staff have been laid off since the beginning of 2016. The university has also cut 20 percent of its administrative costs.

CSU has been hardest hit by the higher education crisis triggered by the state's historic budget impasse. It received $20.1 million from the long-stalled emergency funding bill, but the funds were less than 60 percent of the $37 million the South Side school had counted on getting from the state this year.

Cheap Trick performs "I Want You to Want Me" and "Clock Strikes Ten"

Let's go back to 1978 and watch Cheap Trick perform two songs from their second album, In Color--"I Want You to Want Me," and "Clock Strikes Ten."

Rockford, Illinois' best-known band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this month.

Feds charge man angry over being docked vacation pay with starting massive Chicago area fire

This creep may be facing a very long vacation from work.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:
A disgruntled employee faces federal arson charges in connection with a blaze that destroyed a huge, southwest suburban furniture warehouse last week, to the tune of an estimated $70 million in damage.

Ruben Antonio Ochoa Cruz, 20, of Joliet, was charged with one count of arson Friday in the fire that ravaged The RoomPlace warehouse at 2501 Internationale Parkway in Woodridge.

Cruz, who authorities say confessed to the crime, made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Chicago, where U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez ordered him taken into custody. He is being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center and is next scheduled to return to court for a detention hearing May 4.

A criminal complaint accuses Cruz, who worked as a high lift operator in the warehouse, of using a Bic lighter to spark the April 21 fire after meeting with his supervisors regarding an issue with his work attendance
Cruz was angry, according to the Sun-Times, because his vacation pay would be docked because of his poor attendance at his warehouse job.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Mexican-flag waving mob, some nude, try to disrupt Trump rally

2010 Chicago Marathon
Did you hear about the Americans driving south of the border who disrupted a campaign appearance by a candidate for the presidency of Mexico? You didn't? That's because it never happened.

From SFGate:
If Bay Area protesters wanted to get Donald Trump's attention during his Friday appearance at the California Republican Convention in Burlingame - mission accomplished.

"That was not the easiest entrance I ever made" Trump said after taking the stage at the Hyatt Regency. "It was like crossing the border."

Trumps motorcade was delayed by a raucous protest outside the event, with activists showing up nude, waving Mexican flags and blocking surface streets. The arrival of Trump's entourage was captured on video taking an alternate entrance.
These antics are banana republic type stunts. Yeah, I said it.

By the way--your humble American blogger has two words for you: Vote Trump!

The demolition of an old Skokie motel

I was not out urban exploring when I came across the razing of the former Rodeway Motel on US Route 41, which is known as Skokie Boulevard in these parts. I was heading a supermarket after getting an oil change for my car.

It opened as a Howard Johnson's motel in 1963.

The demolition workers foolishly left the gates open.

After I suffered from a stress fracture my fibula and suffered torn knee cartilage in 2010, I underwent physical therapy in this pool.

Once the old inn is gone a small shopping plaza will replace it, which will include Bank of America branch, a AA car repair facility, the favorite restaurant of conservatives, Chick-fil-A.

The final days of the property were sordid. In 2014 a young man was shot there. And the following year there were two gun incidents involving prostitutes.

Howard Johnson would not have liked that.

Related posts:

Upper Peninsula Upventure: US Route 41

(Photos) The abandoned Greystone Motel in Three Rivers, Michigan

(Video) Protesters turn violent outside Trump rally

Have you ever heard about conservative picketers staging a violent protest? No, because it never happens.

Last night outside a Donald Trump rally in Costa Mesa, California a police car was damaged, rocks were thrown at motorists, and there were hundreds of Mexican flags waving.

One year ago today: Baltimore riots force least attended baseball game in history

Last year's Baltimore riots, which will take years for the troubled city to recover from, forced the cancellation of the first two games of a Baltimore Orioles-Chicago White Sox series. The third game was played--but because of security concerns no fans were allowed into Camden Yards. Zero was the official attendance--the lowest figure in 140 years of Major League Baseball and a record that will never be broken.

The O's beat the South Siders in the match-up. And in an ironic twist Baltimore is hosting the Sox again this weekend.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Hastert stripped of teacher pension, still gets legislative and congressional ones

One down, two to go. The Illinois Teachers Retirement revoked sexual predator Dennis Hastert's yesterday. The state has the power to pull his General Assembly pension. What will Congress do about Hastert's federal pension?

From NBC Chicago:
Illinois state Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant announced Thursday that she wants disgraced former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert stripped of all taxpayer-funded pensions in the wake of his recent criminal conviction for violating banking rules and lying to the FBI.

"I urge you to immediately revoke Hastert's pension," Bertino-Tarrant wrote in a letter to the General Assembly Retirement System. "In light of what we now know about Hastert’s abuse of children and misuse of the public's trust, the taxpayers should no longer be required to pay for his retirement benefits."

For the kids: Video shows staff stealing items from high school students' lockers in liberal suburb

Of course everyone who works at a taxpayer-supported high school is "for the kids," especially in ultra-liberal Evanston, Illinois, which is two towns east of me.

From Evanston Now:
After students this morning staged a protest at the start of classes, Evanston Township High School officials issued a statement saying they are aware of a video that appears to show staff members stealing from student lockers.

Assistant Superintendent Marcus Campbell in the statement says the matter is being investigated by the Evanston Police Department and that the school "will take appropriate actions as more details become available."
Related Evanston post:

A "teabagger" attends an Organizing for America training session

Detroit school principal pleads guilty in kickback scam

Abandoned Detroit school
Remember--when you pay your property taxes most of that money is "for the kids."

From the Detroit News:
The first of 14 defendants charged in a $1 million bribery and kickback scheme at Detroit Public Schools has pleaded guilty to a felony charge in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

Clara Smith, former principal at Thirkell Elementary, appeared Thursday morning before U.S. District Court Judge Victoria Roberts and entered into a plea agreement for her role in the scheme, which deprived DPS students of more than $2.7 million in resources.

Smith, who had a 45-year career at DPS and had been principal at the school from 2008 to earlier this month, admitted to Roberts that she took kickbacks and bribes from school supplies vendor Norman Shy.

In return, she repeatedly submitted fraudulent purchase orders to DPS that claimed Shy delivered goods when he had not.
Yep, for the kids.

Barbara Byrd-Bennett, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's handpicked choice to run Chicago Public Schools, used to work at DPS. She pleaded guilty last year for her role in a Chicago kickback scheme.

Related posts:

(Photos) Detroit's Abandoned Caroline Crosman Alternative High School

(Photos) Detroit's scavenged Harry B. Hutchins School

Not funny: Will Ferrell to play Reagan in film where he suffers from Alzheimer's in his second term

Berlin wall segment,
Eureka College
Considering that Alzheimer's--because of longer life spans--is becoming much more common, barring a cure it's proabably a former Democratic president will be afflicted with this dreaded ailment.

Hollywood will not make a comedy film about that president. Nor will it make a movie about Franklin D. Roosevelt as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars.

Will Ferrell is slated to play Reagan who is suffering from Alzheimer's during his second term.

The real Reagan in his second term signed into law an ambitious and historic tax reform package and set the stage for the defeat of the Soviet Union in the Cold War.

From the Hollywood Reporter:
The comedic actor, who has already portrayed President George W. Bush in skits and onstage, has set his sights on another Republican, President Ronald Reagan.

Ferrell is attached to star in and produce Reagan, a Black List script by Mike Rosolio, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. Ferrell will produce via his production banner Gary Sanchez Productions.

No director is on board but the project is being packaged in order to be shopped.

The logline, via the Black List, describes the story thusly: "When Ronald Reagan falls into dementia at the start of his second term, an ambitious intern is tasked with convincing the Commander-In-Chief that he is an actor playing the President in a movie."
UPDATE April 30:

Because of the well-deserved backlash Will Ferrell, according to Variety, is no longer involved with this vile film project.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Insolvent Harvey IL still unable to collect property taxes--updated!

Marathon Pundit in Harvey this year
The corrupt and essentially insolvent Chicago suburb of Harvey, Illinois is back in the news again. And as I've remarked many times before that is almost always a bad thing.

Today is no different.

From the Chicago Tribune:
Cook County clerk's office has quickly rejected a controversial mayor's attempt to levy property taxes against the wishes of the majority of his suburb's council members in what has become a highly unusual suburban political showdown.

The clerk's office said not enough votes were received to support the levy at a City Council meeting Monday night — further prolonging an already bitter political saga that the mayor has said could lead to massive layoffs.

For months, at meetings — like Monday's — often cut short by chaotic scenes and shouting matches, Harvey Mayor Eric Kellogg and four aldermen have been at odds over one of the most basic functions of a local government: passing a levy for property taxes. Local governments must approve them annually, no matter whether taxes are lowered, raised or stay the same.

But this often routine duty has sparked a vicious battle between the mayor and a slim majority of the City Council in a suburb where Tribune investigations have documented years of insider deals that have drained the town of millions, sparking an FBI investigation.
>UPDATE April 30:

The Cook County Clerk reversed himself. It appears Harvey will be able to collect property taxes.

Related posts:

Day after losing 5 states to Trump, mathematically eliminated Cruz picks running mate

Is there a Texan equivalent to the work "chutzpah?" Donald Trump wiped the floor with Ted Cruz in five Republican primaries yesterday. Today he picked former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina as his running mate. Cruz cannot possibly gain a majority of the vote at the Republican National Convention in July--his only prayer is a brokered convention.

And here is some odd news. Last summer a Ted Cruz super PAC contributed $500,000 to a Fiorina super PAC.

Such activity is unprecedented.

Oh, the National Enquirer alleges that the married Cruz had affairs with five women. One of those women is Sarah Isgur Flores, a former deputy campaign manager for Fiorina.

Mother's Day is coming: Remember Marathon Pundit when shopping on Amazon

Mother's Day will be here very soon! And if you are looking for a well-deserved gift for mom on that special day--click on the Amazon Mother's Day ad on the upper-left corner of this blog.

It costs you nothing extra and I get a very small commission.

Or just click here.

Happy shopping!

No jail for Hastert: Two years of supervised release--CORRECTED

Breaking news out of Chicago.

From CLTV:
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert on Wednesday was sentenced to two years of supervised release in a hush money case that revealed he was being accused of sexually abusing young boys as a teacher in Illinois.

Judge Thomas M. Durkin of the Northern District of Illinois also stated that Hastert should participate in a sex offender treatment program.

"I'm deeply ashamed to be standing before you here today," Hastert said in court during his sentencing. "I know I'm here because I mistreated some of my athletes as a coach."
Hastert arrived to his sentencing in a wheelchair. He can ditch it now.

UPDATE 1:30pm: He may need that wheelchair after all. Hastert has been sentenced to 15 months in prison.

"Individual D" Hastert victim is brother of former IL GOP leader

A bombshell has already released from the sentencing hearing for former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL).

From the Daily Herald:
The younger brother of a political protégé of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert has identified himself as a victim of sexual abuse.

Scott Cross, known in prosecutors' court filings as "Individual D" has taken the stand at Hastert's sentencing in a federal hush money case.
Cross is a former wrestler at Yorkville High School and he was the man who revealed that Hastert would sit in a La-Z-Boy chair and watch boys shower.

Cross' older brother is Tom Cross of Oswego, which is near Yorkville. He's the former Republican leader in the Illinois House.

(Video) #BernieOrBust backer says she’ll never support Clinton, hits her on issues, trust

An eloquent Bernie Sanders backer explains why she won't support Hillary Clinton in the general election if she is not the Democratic nominee.

She hits Hillary on lack-of-trust and other issues.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

#TrumpTuesday: Front-runner sweeps five states

Republican front-runner Donald J. Trump swept all five primaries today: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania. On the Democratic side Hillary Clinton won four of these states, openly socialist Democrat Bernie Sanders won in Rhode Island.

Back to the GOP: Ted Cruz and John Kasich have no chance to win their party's nomination on the first ballot and their opposition to Trump is looking more like a childish hissy fit as each day passes. The real enemy is not Trump, who has won most of the Republican primaries, but Clinton.

When will they wake up?

Amazon reminder time: When purchasing from Amazon, use Marathon Pundit.

Here's still another friendly reminder that when you need to purchase something from Amazon, click on an Amazon ad on this site and shop from there. Or click here. It costs you nothing extra and I get a tiny commission. It's a great way to say "thank you" to me for my blogging.

Oh, did you know that Mother's Day is coming up? There's a banner ad to the left. Just click...

Detroiter says her street has been seized by thieves, vandals, and drug dealers

Abandoned Detroit home
What was that about Detroit's comeback?

From Fox Detroit:
Detroit's police chief spoke out Monday after a recent string of violence and unveiled a new plan to fight crime.

One homeowner says he can start on her street where she routinely witnesses people breaking the law and says police are doing nothing to stop them.

"I don't want to get involved either," said Monique Kelly Robinson. "I don't want this at my house."

But Robinson, who owns one of only a couple houses still occupied on Faust Street in Detroit - feels she has no choice. Her neighborhood has been inundated by vandals stealing any metal they can find. Vacant garages have become hiding places for stolen stripped cars.
And at all hours of the day drug deals are taking place.

And that's just one street.

Chiraq: 2 dead and 13 wounded Monday and early Tuesday, including a cop

St. Sabina Church
A bloody Monday reached into Tuesday in Chicago. Two males were shot to death in separate South Side shootings and at least 13 others were wounded, including a Chicago police officer who was shot in the shoulder as he chased a suspect on the Southwest Side. The cop is expected to recover.

As they say even a broken clock is right twice a day. Chicago's leftist meddlesome priest, Father Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Church, bemoaned that Chicagoans care more about this week's NFL draft and its Draft Town party downtown than about steady drumbeat of killings.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Third brother shot in seven years on Chicago's South Side

Of course no one is in custody.

From the Chicago Tribune:
Davon Barrett gathered at a home in West Englewood on Sunday to celebrate and remember. A friend had just gotten out of jail, and it was the birthday of his younger brother — who was slain seven years ago, according to family and police.

As he sat on the porch in the 2000 block of West 68th Place, someone fired shots from a vacant lot east of Damen Avenue shortly after 11 p.m., police said.

Barrett, 38, was hit in the head and died at the scene. Another man, 26, was hit in the chest and killed. Three others were wounded and taken to hospitals, where they were stabilized, according to police.
Barrett was the third brother in his family to be shot. Earlier in the weekend, Barrett's other brother Cadavius, 36, was shot and seriously wounded. In 2009, Barrett's brother Martel was killed at 17.
The Trib goes onto explain that some people in the group that was fired upon may have had ties to a faction of the Gangster Disciples street gang. The "GDs" are the predominant criminal element on Chicago's South Side. And of course that means they are quite horrible. The co-founder of the thugs, Larry Hoover, is serving a life sentence at the supermax facility in Florence, Colorado.

(Photos) Abandoned homes in Chicago's violent Auburn Gresham neighborhood

Last Thursday I continued my urban exploring travels and ventured into Chicago's Auburn Gresham neighborhood on the South Side.

This photo series has a family tie-in.

The notoriously-violent Englewood neighborhood sits on Auburn Gresham's northern border. Crossing into A-G on you'll find this vacant Craftsman home at 7511 S. Union.

On the southern reaches of Auburn Gresham at 8409 S. May is this boarded-up Dutch Colonial.

According to the Chicago Tribune Auburn Gresham is tied for eighth in violence of Chicago's 77 official neighborhoods over the last 30 days.

And now the family part: Behind me, at 8135 S. Halsted, is where the home of my mother's childhood home stood. My grandfather, Richard Harold Lucy, was born there on March 3, 1907. His father, William Patrick Lucy, owned the home. The elder Lucy, whose parents were born in Cork, Ireland, was born in Deptford, Kent, England, which is not part of London.

A commercial street, houses are rare on Halsted. I'm standing on what was called a "prairie," in reality it was--and is--a vacant lot. During my mother's time it was filled with rats--Powers Tavern at 8125 S. Halsted had something to do with that--as did the frequent sanitation worker strikes. The friendly woman who took my picture had just left Three Chefs Restaurant, which operated out of the old Powers building.

Yes, I'm wearing a White Sox shirt. Only Sox fans lived in that home--and the Lucys, my grandmother's brothers and the children would sit around the radio listening to the South Siders nearly every summer day. As I drove through Auburn Gresham that day I was tuned into the White Sox game as they hosted the Los Angeles Angels. They lost, which was common for the team in the team's post-Black Sox scandal funk.

The population of Auburn Gresham was divided then. "Catholics were White Sox fans," my mother told me, "and the Protestants were Cub fans."

Either the owners of this mint green bungalow on May Street are awaiting the zombie apocalypse or this is an abandoned home.

My mother was born during the Great Depression--at one time there were nine people--including five adults--living in their tiny home, which had just one bathroom. The good old days weren't so great. My mother reminisced to me often that her Uncle Bud would take her to fish at Jackson Park--they bent needles in the hopes of catching carp--fish hooks were unaffordable to them.

At one time this vacant two story home at 7711 S. Lowe with a huge attic must have been paradise.

During the 1960s Auburn Gresham went from being predominately white to being majority black. The Encyclopedia of Chicago says blockbusting and panic peddling were less of a problem than in other Chicago neighborhoods at the time. At the start of the decade my grandparents moved to the more prosperous Beverly neighborhood on the Southwest Side. Ironically, the South Side Irish Parade, which originated in A-G, followed my grandparents to Beverly.

Blacks were barred from most white neighborhoods by covenants that prohibited home owners from selling to them. Click here to read a 1929 letter from the ominously named Auburn Park Property Restriction Association, Inc. which explains an Anti-colored Restriction Agreement to John Wagner of Englewood. Covenants were ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court in 1948.

Racism has not vanished from Auburn Gresham. The black-supremacist Nation of Islam operates a retail store, The Final Call, at 734 W. 79th Street, it what appears to be a former bank building. Admittedly this is not a great photograph but there were some young males muttering behind me as I took my only shot.

A half block away is the NOI's Salaam restaurant. It was closed on Thursday but it advertises a Sunday brunch--perfect for after church.

Two blocks away on the 7800 block of Union are three abandoned houses--including a "red X" home.

Outside a boarded-up apartment building on the corner of 77th Street and May is this sign: No loitering, littering, standing, drinking, or drug deals. But there is good news because this building is being rehabbed.

When Auburn Gresham is in the news, particularly nationally, it's usually has something to do with St. Sabina Church, where committed leftist Father Michael Pfleger has served as pastor for an unheard of, at least in the Archdiocese of Chicago, 35 years. Pfleger. who is white, has worked on projects with radicals such as the Nation of Islam's Louis Farrakhan and Barack Obama's former minister, Jeremiah Wright.

However Pfleger, despite allowing a personality cult to envelope him, has his merits. The church compound also includes a large senior residential complex and a grade school, as well as social service, job training, and technology centers. That brings a whole bunch of people to the St. Sabina complex, which is near the intersection of 79th and Racine, and that corner has noticeably more retail activity than the rest of Auburn Gresham. The church, in a way, boosts 79th and Racine in a way that monasteries did to nearby towns in the Middle Ages.

But that hiccup of activity has its limits. Two blocks from St. Sabina's is this boarded up two-flat on Elizabeth Street. The front of the building doesn't look much better.

Aluminum scrappers discovered this eyesore on the 900 block of W. 86th Place before I did. The joke is on the thieves because beneath the panels is asbestos-laden asphalt brick.

There aren't that many Queen Anne homes in Chicago. Hopefully this one on Union Street is saved.

Just next door is a dog house. Take a close look at the sign.

It reads, "Never mind the dog. Beware of owner."

There's a lot of work to do in regards to building a new Chicago.

Related posts:

Chiraq: 6 dead and at least 38 wounded over weekend, twenty shot in 13 hours

Abandoned home in
North Lawndale
Last weekend was a rough one on the mean streets of Chicago. Six people were murdered and at least 38 others were wounded. Two of the homicides occurred in West Englewood--three others were wounded in that mass shooting. The other shooting deaths occurred in North Lawndale, Logan Square, and Roseland.

Twenty of these shootings took place in a thirteen hour span.

Rather than uniting to defeat Hillary, Cruz and Kasich coordinate to beat Trump

Of course the enemy should be Hillary Clinton. Who do Cruz and Kasich want as the next president?

From CNN:
ed Cruz and John Kasich are joining forces in a last-ditch effort to deny Donald Trump the Republican presidential nomination.

Within minutes of each other, the pair issued statements late Sunday saying they will divide their efforts in upcoming contests with Cruz focusing on Indiana and Kasich devoting his efforts to Oregon and New Mexico. The strategy -- something the two campaigns have been working on for weeks -- is aimed at blocking Trump from gaining the 1,237 delegates necessary to claim to GOP nomination this summer.

The extraordinary moves reflect the national strength Trump has shown and the inability of Republicans who oppose the New York billionaire to come together to stop him. Dividing up some of the remaining primary states by putting forward one strong alternative to Trump in each could be enough to take away delegates and curb Trump's run to the nomination.

Trump is the only candidate who can realistically get a first-ballot victory -- there's no mathematical path for Cruz or Kasich to clinch the nomination heading into the convention. The billionaire is poised for a strong performance Tuesday, when Republicans in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut and Rhode Island head to the polls.

Fox Detroit catches thieves scrapping abandoned house

Abandoned NW Detroit home
Who says I only post bad news?

From Fox Detroit:
FOX 2 caught at least five people scrapping a vacant house in broad daylight, wearing green vests to look official but only doing more damage to the property.

Reporter Josh Landon and crew were on Murray Hill Street for only a few minutes before the crooks started walking to their cars one by one and speeding off.

"Here go another house," a neighbor said. "It's nothing new around here man. It's nothing new around here. This happen all the time man. It's one thing to another."

Neighbors said the crooks claimed to be part of a demolition crew prepping the house to be fixed up, but it appears they were after the bricks, copper, doors, and whatever else they could get hands on.
But the cameras scared off the thieves, who are probably not sleeping well tonight.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

From Da Tech Guy: Obama the internationalist sticks his nose into UK politics

In this weeks Marathon Pundit entry at Da Tech Guy I look at our post-national president: Obama the internationalist sticks his nose into UK politics.

(Video) New details emerge about Clinton's paid speeches

Did you know that nearly all of the 82 Wall Street firms that paid Hillary Clinton big bucks to speak in front of them have federal government interests?

In Chicago--where Hillary was born--that's called a bribe.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

From the Chicago Sun-Times: Government subsidized slumlords

Chicago's West Side
Moving public housing residents out of high-rises into traditional apartments was supposed to improve their lives. But it seems to only have fattened the wallets of slumlords who depend of federal Section 8 vouchers in Chicago. The Better Government Association and the Chicago Sun-Times has the story: Cashing in on the CHA — a Sun-Times/BGA special Watchdogs report.

Sinead O'Connor: Nothing Compares 2 U

Prince, a monumental musician, passed away Thursday in suburban Minneapolis.

He was also a fantastic songwriter.

Watch Sinead O'Connor prove the latter point in her video "Nothing Compares 2 U," a previously-obscure Prince composition that the Irish singer made into an international smash.

Rest in peace, Prince.

Over 500 lbs of explosives stolen from Detroit-bound train--UPDATED!

CSX train in Harvey, Illinois
When you think about it fireworks are really nothing more than prettier bombs.

From NBC Detroit:
Local and federal law enforcement officers are searching for more than 500 pounds of explosives stolen from a CSX train.

Detroit police said fireworks were stolen from the train which fall under commercial-grade explosives.

The train was traveling from Chicago through Ohio to Detroit. When the crates were to be unloaded, all 32 cases had vanished with the exception of one crate that was found near the railroad tracks at Central Avenue and Logan Street on Detroit’s southwest side.

UPDATE 9:45pm EDT:

Most of the stolen fireworks
have been recovered.

From my post at Da Tech Guy:

I walked its streets--the tragedy of Detroit.

Friday, April 22, 2016

(Video) Prosecutors: Plot exposed to bring ISIS to USA through Mexico

Please tell me what is wrong with Donald Trump's proposal to build a wall along the Mexican border.

While subbing on Hannity tonight, Tucker Carlson reports on an Islamic State plot at that border.

(Video) Hillary to supporter who wants to restrict 2nd Amendment with executive action: “Amen”

Watch as Hillary Clinton tells a supporter "Amen" after he proposes weakening the Second Amendment with an executive order.

Chicago alderman assaulted outside his office

The violence is spreading in Chiraq.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:
Ald. Walter Burnett (27th) was punched Thursday night while walking into his Near West Side ward office by a man who the alderman claims threatened to kill him and the mayor.

"I'm a little disturbed, because, you know, I don't understand what I did to somebody for them to do that to me,” Burnett said. “I’m wondering what motivated him to do something like that."

The 52-year-old alderman, who was first elected in 1995, was battered about 7 p.m. outside the 27th Ward office at 4 N. Western Ave., authorities said.

He suffered non-life-threatening injuries and declined medical treatment, according to Chicago Police. The alleged attacker was arrested, and charges were pending Thursday night.

Related post:

(Photos) Abandoned homes in Chicago's violent East Garfield Park neighborhood

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Illinois crony capitalism failure: Sears to close 78 stores

Five years ago three Chicago Democrats, Governor Pat Quinn, House Speaker Michael Madigan, and Senate President John Cullerton, forced into law a $325 million tax break to keep Sears Holdings to keep the ailing retailer from moving its headquarters from Illinois.

Sears Holdings owns Kmart and Sears.

Since then Sears has laid off thousands of workers and closed dozens of stores.

Illinois rewards failure so it should be no surprise that it is suffering from negative population growth.

Last fall Mitsubishi Motors closed its downstate plant after receiving similar incentives to stay in the Prairie State.

This afternoon news broke that Sears Holding is closing 78 stores.

It's gotten so bad for the onetime retail king that four classic-era Sears stores were named on Preservation Chicago's 2016 list of Most Endangered Buildings last month. Even the architecture nerds can smell the death of Sears. Too bad Illinois politicians didn't notice in 2011. And too bad Sears hasn't focused on making money and offering reasons for consumers to shop with them instead of gaming the system in Illinois.

(Video) Chiraq man beaten unconscious, robbed, run over by cab, no one helps

Chicago violence isn't limited to the north and west sides. Two months ago on the seemingly-safe Near North Side a well-liked bartender, Marques Gaines, an Atlanta native, was beaten by a thug, then robbed while he was unconscious by a couple of creeps, and then run over by a taxi cab.

While a security guard at a 7-11 called 911, no one else helped the 32-year-old victim.

Here's the video. Warning--it's graphic.

Ra's al Ghul: Chicago is ready for you.

(Video) Prince performs “Purple Rain” during downpour Super Bowl XLI halftime show

Prince died earlier today. The Minnesota legend whose music crossed over and smashed boundaries was found dead on his compound in suburban Minneapolis.

Watch this mini-documentary of Prince performing during the 2006 Super Bowl when the Chicago Bears (gasp!) were defeated by the Indianapolis Colts during driving South Florida rain.

I had the honor of seeing Prince in concert during his Purple Rain tour with the Revolution at the Rosemont Horizon near Chicago.

Rest in peace.

Yes, "Purple Rain" was performed, as was Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower," and "Let's Go Crazy,"