Friday, June 30, 2017

Coup d'Dems: Leftists in Congress propose ousting Trump

The sore losers among the Democrats are plotting.

From Yahoo! News:
Democratic leaders have privately counseled their more militant members to forswear talk of impeaching President Trump, telling them the political support for such a step simply doesn’t exist in the GOP-controlled Congress.

But 25 House Democrats, including the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, are now pushing an equally radical alternative: They are backing a bill that would create a congressional "oversight" commission that could declare the president incapacitated, leading to his removal from office under the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

At 12:56 p.m. Thursday, barely four hours after Trump tweeted attacks against MSNBC cable host Mika Brzezinski in crude, personal terms, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., the chief sponsor of the bill, sent out an email to his colleagues, urging them to get behind the measure, writing it was of "enduring importance to the security of our nation."

"In case of emergency, break glass," Raskin told Yahoo News in an interview. "If you look at the record of things that have happened since January, it is truly a bizarre litany of events and outbursts." Asked if Trump's latest tweets attacking Brzezinski and her co-host Joe Scarborough — which were roundly condemned by members of both parties as beneath the dignity of his office — strengthened the grounds for invoking the 25th Amendment, Raskin replied: “I assume every human being is allowed one or two errant and seemingly deranged tweets. The question is whether you have a sustained pattern of behavior that indicates something is seriously wrong.” After Trump’s Thursday morning tweets, four more Democrats signed on to Raskin's bill, his office said Friday. (Brzezinski and Scarborough's response to Trump's tweets ran in today's Washington Post under the headline, "The President is not well." White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Trump's tweets Thursday, saying he "fights fire with fire.")
Man, oh man, does the swamp need to be drained.

(PragerU Video) What Is Fake News?

Author and commentator Andrew Klavan discusses fake news in the latest PragerU video.

What is fake news?

"Mainstream American news is all fake," Klavan reveals."Because the major news outlets are so consistently biased toward the left that whether any given story they report is factual or not, their overall reportage is essentially leftist propaganda."

Trump's feds arrive in Chicago to fight violence

Trump, unlike Barack Obama, is doing something to combat violence in Chicago.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:
In January, President Donald Trump tweeted that he'd "send in the Feds!" to Chicago, citing the city’s miserable statistics on shootings.

Well, his administration did just that.

On Thursday, authorities confirmed that about 20 additional agents with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have been sent to Chicago to combat gun violence here.

And on Friday morning, Trump tweeted about the whole thing, saying "Crime and killings in Chicago have reached such epidemic proportions that I am sending in Federal help. 1714 shootings in Chicago this year!"

Thursday, June 29, 2017

#CNNisFakeNews no mention of Madigan in Illinois budget debacle piece

Yes, CNN is fake news. For the latest evidence, read the article from CNN Money by Matt Megan, "How Illinois became America's most messed-up state." Only one Illinois politician is mentioned by name, Republican governor Bruce Rauner, his campaign slogans, by the way, were "Bring Back Illinois and "Shake Up Springfield." No mention from Megan of the undertaker of ILL-inois, House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago).

I hate to keep repeating myself, but some people are either rock dumb or hopelessly biased. Rauner has been governor for 30 months. Madigan, who devilishly draws Illinois' legislative districts, has been state House speaker for 32 of the last 34 years. Nothing gets voted on in the House unless he approves it. The Democratic Despot is also chairman of the state Democratic Party.

Until six months ago Madigan's Democrats had a supermajority in both chambers of the General Assembly. Madigan could have got any budget that he wanted passed even if Rauner vetoed it. The Dems still have a supermajority in the state Senate.

CNN is fake news.

Wrong leader quits: Illinois Senate minority leader resigns

Perhaps she turning away in shame, or perhaps she's an honorable person--yes, there are some politicians who are decent--after she failed, but no matter the reason, she's gone. Illinois Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) announced her resignation from that body today, effective Saturday, the day Prairie State bonds will likely be downgraded to junk.

Illinois has gone over two years without a budget--the longest span of any US state. Even though they are not junk yet, Illinois bonds have the lowest rating of any state ever. Illinois has over $100 billion in unfunded public worker pension obligations and has over $15 billion in unpaid bills.

Of course the governor and the three other party leaders in the General Assembly are still in power, including the undertaker of Illinois, House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), who has held his job for 32 of the last 34 years. If the Democratic Despot, who is also chairman of the state party, had any scrap of decency he would have left public life years ago.

I'm ashamed of my state.

(Video) Dobbs: Trump shouldn’t bailout Illinois

Yesterday afternoon on his Fox Business show, Lou Dobbs said that President Donald Trump, meaning of course the federal government, shouldn't bail out financial basket case Illinois.

Dobbs suggests that at least for a while, Illinois should be stripped of its name. "Enough of Democratic destruction,' Dobbs says here, "just leave a blank stop on the map for a while."

George Ryan calls for Illinois Constitutional Convention

Tattered Illinois flag
Sure he's an ex-con. But former Illinois governor George Ryan, who also served a term as speaker of the Illinois House, is not bereft of great ideas.

Ryan is calling for a state Constitutional Convention as a way to get Illinois out of the fiscal ditch.

"A Constitutional Convention can deal with how to pay off the debt and get the state straightened around. Once convened, it can amend or completely rewrite the state's constitution; deal with finances and taxes; give the Legislature power to change the pension laws; and give the state an opportunity to work on the financial changes they need to pay off the debt," the Republican told the Chicago Sun-Times' Michael Sneed.

"We're heading for our bonds to go into a junk rating! It’s costing the state billions," Ryan added.

UPDATE 11:15am CDT: I'm already getting pushback on Facebook over this post. As I commented there, "We can't be too choosy in this time of crisis. As Winston Churchill said of his alliance with Joseph Stalin, 'If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.'"

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

(Video) Bernie refuses to answer if his wife is under FBI investigation

When socialist Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was on CNN yesterday--in a brief respite from its Trump-Russia coverage, he was asked if his wife is under FBI investigation in regards to an attempted land deal she orchestrated while president of since-closed Burlington College.

Not mentioned in this video clip is the alleged role Sanders' Senate office may have played in seeking loans for the college.

Hannity: CNN is unraveling

Fox News' Sean Hannity discusses the multiple Fake News stories peddled by the Clinton News Network, also known as CNN. It's also part of the Destroy-Trump-Media.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Decline and fall: ILL-inois state colleges may face accreditation issues

University of Illinois-Chicago
street banner
More decline and fall.

Perhaps the University of Wisconsin system can better manage Illinois' state colleges.

From the Southern Illinoisan:
The regional accrediting agency responsible for assuring the quality of colleges and universities, including Southern Illinois University, sent a letter this past week to the governor and legislative leaders warning them that there could be "accreditation consequences" if a budget deal is not reached in short order that provides adequate financial support for Illinois institutions.

The Higher Learning Commission is the regional accrediting agency responsible for ensuring universities and colleges are making the grade, so to speak, in 19 states, including Illinois.

Barbara Gellman-Danley, president of the Higher Learning Commission, noted in her most recent letter, dated June 22, that she had previously written to the governor and legislative leaders, in February of 2016, with many of the same concerns about how the budget impasse could affect the quality of state's higher education institutions. "…however, these concerns have grown exponentially since that time," she wrote.

"Sixteen months after my initial memo there remains no sustainable funding for higher education in Illinois. The continued lack of such funding places the higher education system of Illinois at considerable risk and is injurious to the very students the system purports to serve," the letter reads. "As the accrediting agency tasked with assuring quality, I must warn you about the accreditation consequences of the failure to provide sustainable funding for Illinois higher education."

Decline and fall: ILL-inois may delay big-money lottery payouts again

The rot is settling in.

From CNN Money:
State lottery officials announced Tuesday that if Illinois doesn't reach a deal to fund the government by the start of the fiscal year on July 1, it won't be able to make payments on time to those who win more than $25,000.

The delay in payouts would take effect on Saturday.

"The General Assembly needs to approve a truly balanced budget that includes Lottery funding in order to ensure all prize payments will occur," said Greg Smith, the acting director of the Illinois Lottery, in a statement.

It's happened before. In 2015, the Illinois Lottery didn't get the funding it needed until December -- meaning the holders of 3,900 winning tickets had to postpone collecting more than $112 million in spoils.
Then why buy lottery tickets?

Related post:

ILL-inois: Powerball pulls out of state, roadwork may end in two weeks

(PragerU Video) JFK: Democrat or Republican?

Who is this popular president? He was a lifetime NRA member who supported a strong defense policy. This president favored tax cuts too and was against racial quotas.

That president was Democrat John F. Kennedy.

Larry Elder explains.

As Ronald Reagan would love to say, "I didn't leave the Democratic Party, the party left me."

Junk City: Short-term loans costing Chicago Public Schools $70K a day in interest

Penn School, West Side
The bonds of Chicago Public Schools have been rated as junk for a couple of years now.

How much does junk status cost?

A lot.

The Chicago Tribune explains:
Two expensive loans that Chicago Public Schools secured over the last week will cost roughly $70,000 a day in interest for the cash-strapped district under the terms of the deals.

The district's borrowing agreements with JPMorgan require CPS to hold $387 million in loans until at least Sept. 29. That means CPS will likely pay a minimum of roughly $7 million in interest, according to a Tribune analysis based on current interest rate forecasts and the terms of both deals.

The two loans are to be repaid with pending Illinois education grants that are delayed as state government appears to be on the brink of entering its third consecutive fiscal year without a budget while accumulating billions of dollars' worth of past-due bills.

As of June 19, when the district completed the initial loan of $275 million, the state owed the district about $467 million in grants that weren't paid during the just-completed school year. On Monday, the district borrowed an additional $112 million through JPMorgan, also backed with education grants.
If Illinois doesn't approve a budget by the end of this week it will likely have its bond ratings downgraded to junk too.

Decline and fall.

The Five: Trump’s travel ban vindicated

President Trump's travel ban from six-failed states in Africa and the Middle East was partially upheld by the US Supreme Court yesterday. The court will decide the entire case in the fall.

It's a big victory for Trump. Fox News' The Five discusses.

CNN exposed again as fake news on Russia story

Project Veritas' James O'Keefe strikes again!

From Veritas' web site:
Project Veritas has released a video of CNN Producer John Bonifield who was caught on hidden-camera admitting that there is no proof to CNN's Russia narrative.

"I mean, it's mostly bullshit right now," Bonifield says. "Like, we don't have any giant proof."

He confirms that the driving factor at CNN is ratings:
"It's a business, people are like the media has an ethical phssssss... All the nice cutesy little ethics that used to get talked about in journalism school you're just like, that's adorable. That's adorable. This is a business."
According to the CNN Producer, business is booming. "Trump is good for business right now," he concluded.
Repeat after me: Russia didn't alter the 2016 election returns. President Trump didn't collude with Russia.

Over the weekend the First Name in Fake News was retracted a phony story on that so-called Trump-Russia collusion.

Tucker Carlson has more.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Chiraq: 4 dead and at least 42 wounded over weekend

McKinley Park
Pride Week ended in Chicago yesterday and as I wrote that same day at Da Tech Guy, because of its corruption and crime problems, the city really needs a Shame Parade.

Perhaps next year.

Pride or no pride, shame or no shame, the bloodshed in Chiraq continued. Four people were killed over the past weekend. Two on the South Side--in McKinley Park and South Shore. And two on the West Side--in Austin and West Garfield Park.

At least 42 others were wounded.

3 people ejected from Dyke March Chicago for holding Star of David pride flags

Sunday the 48th Pride Parade was held on Chicago's North Side. But for people looking for something more political, meaning more leftist, the action was in the Little Village Neighborhood on the Southwest Side, where Dyke March Chicago was held.

Three people were ejected from the parade by organizers because they were carrying a Jewish pride flag--which has the rainbow colors with a Star of David in the center.

From the Windy City Times:
According to one of those individuals—A Wider Bridge Midwest Manager Laurel Grauer—she and her friends were approached a number of times in the park because they were holding the flag.

"It was a flag from my congregation which celebrates my queer, Jewish identity which I have done for over a decade marching in the Dyke March with the same flag," she told Windy City Times.

She added that she lost count of the number of people who harassed her.

One Dyke March collective member, asked by Windy City Times for a response, said the women were told to leave because the flags "made people feel unsafe," that the march was "anti-Zionist" and "pro-Palestinian."
Does anyone seriously believe that a Dyke March is held in Gaza or the West Bank?

Sunday, June 25, 2017

From DaTechGuy: Pride Parade? Chicago needs a Shame Parade

Yes, Chicago, the murder and corruption parade needs something else, as I write today at Da Tech Guy: Pride Parade? Chicago needs a Shame Parade.

Schiff criticizes Obama admin lack of response to Russia actions during 2016

Adam Schiff (D-CA), the hardened leftist who is the ranking Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, criticized the Obama administration's silence last year on instance of Russian hacking attempts during the 2016 election season.

We only heard about "hacking" until after Donald J. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Elvis Costello: I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down

Elvis Costello and the Imposters are touring the United States this summer. Here is The King with the Attractions performing an old Sam and Dave B-side, "I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down."

Trump Weekly Address 6/23/17

In his weekly address to Americans, Donald J. Trump again turns to ObamaCare.

"It really is a disaster," the president says. "The American people are calling out for relief, and my administration is determined to provide it. And we are working with Congress to get a bill on my desk so we can rescue Americans from this catastrophe."

Friday, June 23, 2017

Coal giant sues HBO's John Oliver over "Last Week Tonight" segment

Smug liberal John Oliver, the host of HBO's Last Week Tonight, is being sued for libel by the CEO of America's largest privately-owned coal company, Robert E. Murray.

From Time:
Part of the case focused on Oliver's discussion of a Murray-owned mine's collapse in Utah that killed nine people. Oliver said during the segment that Murray publicly claims an earthquake was to blame, though a government investigation concluded that the collapse was caused by unauthorized mining practices and there was no evidence of a natural seismic event.

"Because Defendant Oliver omitted any mention of the other reports he was aware of that evidenced that an earthquake caused the collapse, as Mr. Murray correctly stated following the collapse, Defendant Oliver's presentation intentionally and falsely implied that there is no such evidence," the lawsuit says.
CBS News has more:

PragerU Video: Why Is Healthcare So Expensive?

Why is health so expensive? Part of the problem of course is ObamaCare, the so-called Affordable Care Act.

Prager University explains.

Suburban Chicago alderman questions effectiveness of local convention bureau

The level of financial mismanagement in Illinois is staggering. Take for instance small town suburban convention and visitor bureaus. These sinecures are fed by collecting taxes from hotel room bookings. But do these bureaus fulfill their mission? Which is supposed to be attracting new business.

An alderman in St. Charles, a far-west suburb of Chicago, wants to know.

Here are two questions from me: If the convention bureau tax was less or completely eliminated, would that mean more people would come to St. Charles or any of these other places with convention and visitor bureaus? Hotel rooms would be cheaper.When are the efforts of these agencies, if ever, deciding factors for groups or travelers to make a booking decision?

As Illinois teeters towards bankruptcy-in-all but name, now is the time to start weeding. Convention and visitor bureaus are a good place to start. And besides, why can't hotels and restaurants create their own advertising and marketing? Why does government have to get involved?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Black exodus from Crook County, Illinois accelerating

Abandoned factory in Dixmoor
African-Americans have been voting nearly exclusively Democratic since the 1930s. So you think blacks would be flocking to that deep-blue Valhalla of Cook County--Chicago is its county seat--in droves.

But the opposite is happening.

From the Chicago Tribune:
Cook County in 2016 again recorded the largest black population of any county in the U.S., but it carries that title with less conviction than previous years as more African-Americans move to outlying suburbs or warmer states in the South and West, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

Between 2015 and 2016, more than 12,000 black residents left Cook County, an increase from the previous year when about 9,000 residents left. The greater Chicago area, which for the census includes parts of Indiana and Wisconsin, has lost nearly 46,000 black residents since 2010. That exodus is larger than in any other metropolitan area in the country.

"I've noticed people have been leaving the city of Chicago, absolutely," said Corey Brooks, pastor of New Beginnings Church in Chicago's predominantly black Woodlawn neighborhood. "Families, especially, and some single-parent households with young males. I think those two factors are contributing to the numbers you're seeing."

Some of those who left Chicago and Cook County relocated to other parts of the state, but Illinois still recorded a population drop of about 10,000 black residents between 2015 and 2016, more than any other state. Experts say it is an indication that the majority of the state's black flight is occurring in Chicago.
Rather than pointing out the differences between blacks and whites, I prefer to dwell on our similarities. Namely, blacks, like whites, Hispanics, and Asians, abhor crime, failing schools, and inept government.

Decline and fall.

Newt: "Maybe Trump's doing a lot better in America than he is in the news media"

Of our president, two days after the Republicans won in another congressional election, Newt Gingrich says, "Maybe Trump's doing a lot better in America than he is in the news media."

Projection: Chicago Police pensions to be broke by 2021 without bailout

I wonder how poorly Chicago's other pension funds are doing?

From Chicago City Wire:
Without a taxpayer bailout, Chicago's police pension fund won't have enough money to pay benefits to retirees in 2021, according to a projection by Local Government Information Services (LGIS), which publishes Chicago City Wire.

At the end of 2020, LGIS estimates that the Policemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago will have less than $150 million in assets to pay $928 million promised to 14,133 retirees the following year.

Fund assets will fall from $3.2 billion at the end of 2015 to $1.4 billion at the end of 2018, $751 million at the end of 2019, and $143 million at the end of 2020, according to LGIS.

LGIS analyzed 12 years of the fund’s mandated financial filings with the Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI), which regulates public pension funds. It found that-- without taxpayer subsidies and the ability to use active employee contributions to pay current retirees, a practice that is illegal in the private sector--the fund would have already run completely dry, in 2015.
Oh, those other funds are doing very poorly, as US News and World Report told us recently: Chicago gets worst pension rating among 15 largest cities.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Bruce Rauner ad on a property tax freeze: The Number 1 Change

Illinois--and I know this seems like hyperbole, but it's not--just entered its most pivotal two weeks in its nearly 200 years as a state. The Land of Lincoln is broke--residents are overtaxed and politicians still manage to overspend.

The last best hope for Illinois is reform governor Bruce Rauner. The political newcomer demands a property tax freeze.

Phony ride share drivers robbing passengers in Chicago

Such behavior will hurt their review score.

From Fox Chicago:
Fake Uber drivers are the cause of a community alert on the Near North Side. Chicago police say they’ve struck at least four times in the last month, robbing unsuspecting passengers who’ve entered their vehicle.

The places those robbers targeted are busy areas like at Dearborn and Illinois, with hotels, restaurants and bars where people can easily get distracted. Police advise you if you're going to take a ride share, always be alert.

Fake Uber drivers are the cause of a community alert on the Near North Side. Chicago police say they’ve struck at least four times in the last month, robbing unsuspecting passengers who’ve entered their vehicle.

The places those robbers targeted are busy areas like at Dearborn and Illinois, with hotels, restaurants and bars where people can easily get distracted. Police advise you if you're going to take a ride share, always be alert.

Sun-Times columnist rips Boss Madigan

Blogger Laureate of Illinois
guarding his realm
Sure Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, a Republican, takes a few knock in this Chicago Sun-Times column, "Living in Illinois teaches people to hate government," by Phil Kadner, but he really unloads on Democratic boss Michael Madigan.
Madigan has been a legislative leader for more than 30 years, the longest serving legislative leader in the history of the United States, and therefore has had a hand in everything that is wrong with this state.

A brief list would include a pension debt of more than $114 billion, a public school funding system that is one of the most discriminatory in the nation, a budget that is chronically out of balance, one of the most underfunded mental health care systems in the country and one of the worst states to raise developmentally disabled children.

Property taxes in this state are highest in the nation because of the state’s failure to adequately fund schools as required by the state Constitution.

Despite all this bad stuff, which has disproportionately hurt minority communities (the voting base of the Democratic Party), members of the House keep electing Madigan their speaker.

GMA: After Dems invested millions & their hope In Ossoff, Handel’s victory has made Trump stronger

Once again liberals invested millions into a congressional race as part of their "resist" strategy against President Donald Trump.

And the Democrat, in this case a pajama boy named Joe Ossoff, lost in a runoff election against Karen Handel in Georgia's 6th District. The Dems are 0-4 in these "resist" races.

Ossoff outspent Handel by a 2-to-1 margin and nearly all of the money he raised came from outside Georgia.

It's so bad for the Democrats that even a mainstream media program, ABC's Good Morning America, says "the president is a little stronger this morning."

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

(PragerU video) The Least Diverse Place in America

What is the least diverse place in America? It's an expensive place that leaves millions of Americans in crippling debt.

PragerU has more.

Laughable: Madigan's spokesman says bankruptcy "would damage the reputation of the state"

Blogger at the border
"Oh, you guys are nothing if not entertaining over there," then-Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said in a 2011 interview about Illinois with a Chicago radio station. "It's like living next door to The Simpsons, you know, the dysfunctional family down the block?"

This week Steve Brown, the mouthpiece for media-shy Michael Madigan, had this to say to Fox News:
Nobody here in Illinois is considering bankruptcy--first of all, it's not allowed. Second of all, it would damage the reputation of the state and it's just not necessary.
Damage the reputation? Illinois' reputation is already an abysmal one. As for The Simpsons, hey at least Homer is entertaining.

Madigan, a Chicago Democrat who has been House speaker for 32 of the last 34 years, is the midwife of Illinois' financial debacle. The disaster has been decades in the making and Madigan of course has been in power for decades.

While Brown is right on one thing, states cannot declare bankruptcy, Illinois has been functionally bankrupt for years. And the Puerto Rico experience teaches us that bankruptcy is possible if Congress gets involved and you call it something else.

Chicago Public Schools borrow at sky-high rate to pay for pensions

Even though Illinois law currently doesn't allow municipalities or government agencies to declare bankruptcy--that law needs to change--it's hard to see how some sort of bankruptcy isn't coming to CPS.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:
The Chicago Public Schools will pay 6.39 percent — an extraordinary interest rate by short-term lending standards — to borrow $275 million it needs to make a mandatory payment for retiree pensions before a June 30 deadline.

That's more than four times the interest rate a typical government would pay on the same borrowing deal, financial experts say.

It’s yet another sign of the dire financial condition of the nation’s third-largest public school system, which for months has had a "junk" credit rating from Wall Street financial institutions.

CPS officials secured the $275 million on Monday from J.P. Morgan. It's the final chunk of cash needed to make the $721 million payment for teacher pensions that's due at the end of the month, senior vice president of finance Ron DeNard said in a statement.
Cronyism, overly generous salaries, pension holidays, and utter incompetence have created this mess. For years CPS--and of course that means taxpayers--have been paying for the teachers' portion of the pension contributions.

Monday, June 19, 2017

(Video) Trump-Russia probe getting too political: Alan Dershowitz

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz is a liberal--not a leftist. Which is why it's not surprising that he views the investigation into so-called ties between President Donald J. Trump and Russia as being too political.

Of course the Democrats' witch hunt is only about politics and not the law.

PragerU Video: When Transparency Really Means Tyranny

Is transparency a good thing? Within government, yes. But people who contribute to organizations who fight for causes and to not-for-profits are facing reprisals from progressives, such as the theater director who lost his job after the Los Angeles Times released a list of donors to a group who favored traditional marriage.

The National Review's David French discusses the left's latest tyranny in this just-released PragerU video.

Chiraq: 9 dead and at least 50 wounded over Fathers Day weekend

Chicago's Gold Coast
Father's Day weekend saw much bloodshed in Chicago. Nine people were murdered and at least 50 others were wounded, which is worse than the same weekend last year.

In Austin on the West Side a son discovered his parents stabbed to death. Also on the West Side, in North Lawndale a 16-year-old and a 25-year-old man were fatally shot in separate incidents. On the Northwest Side, a 33-year-old was shot to death in Humboldt Park. On the Near North Side, which is usually quiet, a 25-year-old was fatally gunned down in the Gold Coast neighborhood.

On the South Side, there was a murder each in Englewood, Chatham, and Back of the Yards.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Dire Straits with Eric Clapton: Romeo and Juliet

One of the most timeless of all tales is Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Yet Dire Straits made it sound fresh in the 1980s. Watch as they perform their "Romeo And Juliet" with special guest Eric Clapton.

This rendition comes from 1988 at the 70th birthday celebration for then-imprisoned Nelson Mandela.

Trump Weekly Address 6/16/17

In his Weekly Address, a somber but confident President Donald J. Trump spoke of the assassination attempt of US Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) on Wednesday.

"Though we have our differences, what unites us is so much stronger: our love of country, our devotion to its people," Trump says here. "Now more than ever, these values must guide us – and bring us closer together. Let us always remember that our job is to serve and represent the whole American People – and that we are all children of the same God."

The president also spoke of his apprenticeship initiative.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Bruce Rauner ad: The Choice

This is the best ad from an Illinois Republican in years. Well, the competition is weak, true.

On the other hand, unlike the Democrats, the GOP has a clear message. Save the Land of Lincoln.

The copy:
Mike Madigan will do anything to keep power, even take down Illinois.

Madigan's puppets blocked the budget, stopped property tax relief and now want to raise taxes by billions.

Madigan and his cronies reject reform, and let Illinois crumble.

We elected Bruce Rauner to reform Springfield. That's why Rauner's pushing a balanced budget and long-term property tax freeze to grow jobs. It's a new path to save Illinois, because Rauner means reform.

It's time we rebuild Illinois.

Boss Madigan, the Democratic Despot has destroyed this state.

As I wrote two weeks ago at Da Tech Guy, "Madigan would rather rule a collapsing Illinois than share power in a prosperous one, which is the same governing philosophy Russia’s last Czar used."

CBS News: Could Illinois be the first state to file for bankruptcy?

Not too bad of an article about Illinois and the "B" word, although the one man who is responsible more than any other person, state House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) isn't mentioned.

Madigan of course as you know--unless you are a CBS reporter--has held that job for 32 of the last 34 years. He's also the chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party. His chamber didn't even bother to vote on a budget this spring.

From CBS News:
Illinois residents may feel some solidarity with the likes of Puerto Rico and Detroit.

A financial crunch is spiraling into a serious problem for Illinois lawmakers, prompting some observers to wonder if the state might make history by becoming the first to go bankrupt. At the moment, it's impossible for a state to file for bankruptcy protection, which is only afforded to counties and municipalities like Detroit.

Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection could be extended to states if Congress took up the issue, although Stanford Law School professor Michael McConnell noted in an article last year that he believed the precedents are iffy for extending the option to states. Nevertheless, Illinois is in a serious financial pickle, which is why radical options such as bankruptcy are being floated as potential solutions.

Ratings agency Moody's Investor Service earlier this month downgraded Illinois' general obligation bonds to its lowest investment grade rating, citing the state's growing pile of unpaid bills and its mounting pension deficit. Illinois, by the way, has the lowest credit rating of any state. Lower ratings mean higher borrowing costs, since lenders view such borrowers as riskier bets.

Exclusive: Ron Paul's letter to Trump and Sessions on online gaming

Here's a Marathon Pundit exclusive, a letter from former US Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) to President Trump and Attorney General Sessions over online gaming.
June 15, 2017

The Honorable Donald J. Trump
President of the United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

The Honorable Jefferson Sessions
Attorney General
United States Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530

Dear President Trump and Attorney General Sessions,

On behalf of Campaign for Liberty's almost half-a-million members, I am writing to urge the administration to uphold the 2011 Justice Department Memo rejecting claims that the 1961 Wire Act authorizes a federal ban on online gaming.

The claim that the Wire Act authorizes a federal ban on online gaming does not survive serious scrutiny for a number of reasons. First, the law was passed more than three decades before the Internet was widely used. In fact, when the Wire Act was debated, the idea that average Americans would someday carry devices more powerful than the era's super computers was too fanciful even for science fiction.

Furthermore, numerous statements show that Congress' sole intention in passing the Wire Act was "to assist the various States in enforcement of their laws pertaining to gambling and bookmaking." In other words, this law does not create any new federal crimes; instead, it authorizes the federal government to assist states in enforcing state laws. The use of the Wire Act to create new federal crimes is the type of "creative" interpretation of the law that you, I, and others have properly criticized when done by other federal agencies and federal courts.

Restoring the flawed pre-2011 interpretation of the Wire Act will overturn laws in the three states -- New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware -- that have chosen to legalize online gaming, as well as the many states that allow their citizens to purchase lottery tickets online. Some argue the federal government has a duty to criminalize online gaming to ensure state laws outlawing online gaming are not undermined by laws in other states legalizing online gaming. But that does not justify nationalizing the issue. The United States Constitution does not give the federal government any authority to ban Internet (or any other form of) gaming.

Furthermore, using federalism to justify new federal power turns the Tenth Amendment on its head. The argument also sets a precedent that could be used to undermine other state laws, such as those protecting the right to keep and bear arms or the right to work without paying union dues.

A federal ban on online gaming will not stop people from gambling online. Instead, it will ensure that the online gaming marketplace will be dominated by criminals and even terrorists. In contrast, allowing the states to decide for themselves makes it more likely that individuals wishing to gamble online will patronize legal casinos that comply with all relevant state laws and regulations.

Outlawing Internet gaming not only usurps states’ rights, it also usurps the role of churches, families, and other voluntary institutions in promoting moral values. Trusting any part of government -- especially the federal government -- instead of voluntary community-based institutions to provide moral guidance and help people avoid the harms associated with excessive gambling is a strange position for a conservative administration, especially one elected on a promise to drain the swamp and not to give D.C. more power over our lives.

In conclusion, I urge the Department of Justice to continue adherence to the 2011 memorandum that the Wire Act does not authorize federal criminalization of online gaming. Overturning this memo would put the Justice Department in the position of ignoring clear Congressional intent and would authorize the federal government to usurp state authority and violate individual rights in a futile attempt to outlaw online gaming.

In Liberty,

Ron Paul

cc: The Honorable Robert Goodlatte, Chairman, House Committee on the Judiciary
The Honorable John Conyers, Ranking Member, House Committee on the Judiciary
The Honorable Charles Grassley, Chairman, Senate Committee on the Judiciary
The Honorable Dianne Feinstein, Ranking Member, Senate Committee on the Judiciary

Thursday, June 15, 2017

I'm still wondering: Will there be a Father's Day lockdown at Chicago's Cook County jail?

Last year on Mother's Day there was a lockdown at Chicago's massive Cook County jail--where 9,000 inmates are incarcerated--because too many of the Teamster guards called in sick.

As there was this year.

Mom didn't do a good job raising these guards.

Sunday is Father's Day. Last year there was a lockdown at the jail because 317 staff members, mostly guards, played hookie. That night Game 7 of the NBA Finals was played, which won't be the case this time because the Golden State Warriors finished off the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games.

What steps, other than fixing this year's NBA Finals--okay, that's a joke--has Tom Dart, the Chicago Democrat who is Cook County's sheriff, taken to prevent another lockdown?

Last month I asked the same question.

And if there isn't a lockdown but there are barely enough guards to keep an eye on the inmates, will the prisoners try something malicious? One commodity that is never in short supply for inmates is time Which means of course they have plenty of time to scheme.

Why is it just me asking these questions?

Anyway, I'm predicting another Father's Day lockdown at Cook County Jail. You heard it here first.

GOP shootings: Ted Nugent vows to tone down his political attacks

Ted Nugent, the Motor City Madman and a great patriot, is turning over a new leaf.

From The Wrap:
Rockstar and conservative activist Ted Nugent has promised to tone down his hateful political rhetoric on the heels of accused gunman James T. Hodgkinson opening fire on the GOP congressional baseball team in Alexandria, Virginia on Wednesday. Some lawmakers and media members have blamed hateful political rhetoric for the incident.

"I'm not going to engage in that kind of hateful rhetoric anymore," Nugent said Thursday on "Curtis & Eboni," a political talk show on WABC Radio in New York.

Curtis Silwa and Fox News host Eboni K. Williams grilled Nugent on "hateful" rhetoric, which the rock star is no stranger to. Nugent has made threats against former President Obama several times in the past, including telling Obama to “suck on my machine gun.” He also made inflammatory remarks about Hillary Clinton, calling her a "devilbitch" who "hates everything good about America."

Nugent said the subject has reached a critical stage and said he "re-evaluated his approach" to the tough-guy language he learned growing up as a “street fighter” in Detroit.
Related posts:

Crook County: Tax hikes for pensions but some traffic violations won't be prosecuted due to lack of staff

Connecting to pensions for
government workers? 
Last year a one-percent sales tax increase was forced upon Cook County residents such as myself to bail out the county's woefully underfunded public worker pension funds. Next month a huge soda tax goes into effect to pay for, you guessed it, pensions.

Is Cook County a retirement program? Or a government that provides services to citizens? It seems that "Yes" is the answer to my first question.

The Chicago Tribune explains, but let me point out some media bias to you. The article mentions "lack of personnel." That's technically correct, but lack of money is the cause. Remember what those tax increases will be paying for.
Citing a lack of personnel, the Cook County state's attorney's office plans to stop prosecuting certain traffic offenses, a top county official said.

Under a policy expected to take effect later this year, the state's attorney's office will not prosecute people accused of driving on licenses that have been suspended or revoked for financial reasons — such as failure to pay child support, tolls or parking tickets.

Instead, individual cities will have the option to prosecute those violations.

"We are in a triage mode, and we can't continue to do what we were doing 10 years ago with 30 percent less resources," Eric Sussman, the first assistant state's attorney, told the Tribune on Wednesday.
Recipients of SNAP benefits, what used to be called food stamps, who amount to an astounding 873,000 in Cook County, will not have to pay the soda tax.

The "N" in snap stands for nutrition.

There has not been a Republican president of the Cook County board of commissioners for nearly 50 years.

Bankruptcy is Cook County's only hope.

ILL-inois: Powerball pulls out of state, roadwork may end in two weeks

Like a hypothermia victim, Illinois is losing appendages. Because the state hasn't had a budget in two years and one has not been passed for fiscal 2018, Powerball is rolling out of Illinois.

There's more. The Illinois Department of Transportation, which a few years ago had enough money to illegally hire Democratic political cronies, announced today that state road repair work will end if no budget is passed by July 1.

While the super-majority Democratic-controlled state Senate passed a budget bill--with a massive income tax hike, in the House, where state Democratic Party boss Michael Madigan has been speaker for 32 of the last 34 years, no budget was voted on. Madigan, thanks to his nationally-renowned gerrymandering talents, has a near-super majority in that body. But the Chicago Democrat does not want to have his members run for reelection next year with a "Yes" vote on a tax increase that he can't blame on Governor Bruce Rauner, a Republican.

Meanwhile, Republicans in the General Assembly are proposing a budget compromise. Will it matter? Illinois is burdened by $14 billion in unpaid bills and over $100 billion in unfunded pension obligations.

UPDATE 6:15pm Illinois Bankruptcy Time: Mega Millions is cashing out of ILL-inois too.

Geraldo: GOP baseball shooting "attempted partisan mass murder"

Fox News' Geraldo Rivera, who is of course a liberal, laid out the case to his colleague Sean Hannity last night that the mass shooting during a baseball practice when the Republican congressional team was on the field, "This was attempted partisan mass murder."

But before Geraldo's comments, Hannity played a clip of President Trump's call for unity that he gave yesterday afternoon. Of those remarks, Rivera said, "That's the president we need right now to guide this country. That's the tone, that's the message, he's the president for all Americans."

Rivera then went on to condemn the bile. "In terms of the hatred that's out there," the longtime broadcast journalist said, "we have gone from partisan rancor to an unbelievable profound hatred of the other party."

He added, "The miracle is that we don't see more of this."

Geraldo mentioned the Julius Caesar "Trump assassination play" and Kathy Gifford's ISIS pose with the president's severed head.

"They didn't cause this, but they are the symptom of a division where this kind of festering hatred has been allowed to metastasize to a place now here anything is possible, anything goes."

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Washington Post says Mueller is investigating Trump on obstruction of justice

Calm down liberals. Obstruction of justice--if it did occur--is very difficult to prove.

From AP:
The Justice Department’s special counsel investigation Russia’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election is now also reportedly examining whether President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct justice.

Robert Mueller, the former FBI director now leading the DOJ probe, is looking into whether the 45th president is guilty of a federal crime, The Washington Post reported Wednesday evening.

Citing unidentified "officials," the Post reported Mueller's probe has taken a dramatic turn. No longer is he merely focused on Moscow’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election, meaning Mueller appears also to be zeroing in on Trump’s actions since taking office on Jan. 20.

The special counsel, who has moved quickly to take full control of the investigation, is reportedly interviewing what the Post described as "senior intelligence officials" as part of what suddenly also is an obstruction of justice investigation.