|Morning Spin: Illinois legislative leaders meet on state school funding Tuesday - Chicago TribuneGoogle News / 1 h. 10 min. ago more|
Chicago TribuneMorning Spin: Illinois legislative leaders meet on state school funding TuesdayChicago TribuneIllinois' legislative leaders are set to meet again Tuesday about the state's continuing inability to send money to schools. The last meeting on Friday didn't create a lot of public information about any progress or lack thereof, besides descriptions ...
|1 teen killed, 3 others wounded in Chicago shootingsChicago Tribune / 1 h. 11 min. ago more|
A teenager was killed and two other teens were among three people wounded in city shootings on Monday, police said. A 17-year-old boy accused of trying to steal a car in the North Austin neighborhood about 10 a.m. Monday was killed by the owner -- an off-duty Chicago Fire Department lieutenant...
|Bullet hits police squad car on South SideChicago Tribune / 4 h. 35 min. ago more|
A gunman fired at a Chicago police squad car as officers were conducting a traffic stop, hitting the vehicle's rear bumper in the Park Manor neighborhood on the South Side Monday night, authorities said. The incident happened in the 6900 block of South Rhodes Avenue about 8:30 p.m., said Anthony...
|Heads up in Illinois as state witnesses total solar eclipse - Northwest HeraldGoogle News / 5 h. 32 min. ago more|
Northwest HeraldHeads up in Illinois as state witnesses total solar eclipseNorthwest HeraldCARBONDALE – Crowds looked to the heavens throughout Illinois on Monday for a glimpse of the first full-blown solar eclipse to traverse the U.S. in nearly a century, packing sites in prime viewing locations in the south of the state and ducking out of ...In Illinois, This College Town Won't Be Eclipsed By August's ... - NPRNPRIllinois scientists hope eclipse sheds light on weatherKWQC-TV6In Carbondale, 15000-seat stadium sold out for eclipse viewingSTLtoday.comThe State Journal-Registerall 213 news articles »
|Researchers study weather and climate conditions during solar eclipse in IllinoisIllinois News / 6 h. 39 min. ago more|
Watching the sun disappear at midday during a solar eclipse is not only fascinating for viewers across the U.S., but the rare event also presents a unique opportunity for scientists to investigate weather-related changes in Illinois.
|Totality: The Solar Eclipse From Waterloo, Illinois - CIproud.comGoogle News / 6 h. 51 min. ago more|
CIproud.comTotality: The Solar Eclipse From Waterloo, IllinoisCIproud.comFrom Oregon to South Carolina millions of Americans made the trip to the path of totality, with hundreds of thousands of the spectators coming to southern Illinois." We made the trip to Waterloo, IL for the “Eclipse Solar-bration”, there we caught up ...Carbondale, Illinois Solar Eclipse 2017 Time, Weather, Map & EventsHeavy.comSolar Eclipse Map: Here's the Path to Watch in Wyoming, Illinois, Tennessee, Oregon and Across the United StatesNewsweekWhen to Watch the Solar Eclipse in Chicago on August 21, 2017TIMEall 4,758 news articles »
|$1.6M VFW raffle drawing hits legal snag, halted amid 'ordinance issue'Chicago Tribune / 9 h. 8 min. ago more|
A drawing for a VFW raffle with a prize topping $1 million was called off hours before a winner was due to be picked Monday, with organizers citing a legal snag.Organizers at the VFW hall in little Morris, Ill., said they "did not get shut down" and will resume ticket sales and the drawing "as...
|Illinois campus headcount more than a week away - Illinois News NetworkGoogle News / 9 h. 8 min. ago more|
Illinois News NetworkIllinois campus headcount more than a week awayIllinois News NetworkStudents at many of Illinois' public universities are in class today. But schools across the state say they won't know how many students they have for at least two weeks. It's important for Illinois' public universities to know how many students they ...and more »
|Illinois sailor among those missing from collision near Singapore - WLS-TVGoogle News / 9 h. 11 min. ago more|
WLS-TVIllinois sailor among those missing from collision near SingaporeWLS-TVIn this photo released by the Royal Malaysian Navy, the U.S guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain is seen after a collision, off Johor, Malaysia, Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. (Royal Malaysian Navy via AP). AP. Monday, August 21, 2017 08:58PM.and more »
|Despite clouds, eclipse still inspires awe from Chicago to CarbondaleChicago Tribune / 9 h. 57 min. ago more|
The first total solar eclipse streaming across the continental U.S. since 1918 — the one that was supposed to put on a breathtaking celestial display here — was less than totally fulfilling for Dave Ellis."You have to say it was disappointing just to get that glimpse of it," said Ellis, a 1980...
|Michael Anderson, head of Chicago's FBI office, retiringChicago Tribune / 10 h. 14 min. ago more|
The head of the FBI in Chicago is retiring after more than 20 years with the agency. Michael J. Anderson has led the Chicago office since October 2015. A Monday FBI statement says his retirement takes effect Sept. 30. It didn't name a replacement. Anderson will take a corporate security job in...
|Violent weekend worst since July Fourth: 'It's so bad out here'Chicago Tribune / 10 h. 19 min. ago more|
Rose Alexander just couldn't get away from the shooting over the weekend. Friday night, her adult son was shot in the leg near his home in West Garfield Park. She didn't venture out of her house until Sunday night, and then only to escort her brother home. But the two of them soon ran into a crime...
|Haupt: Why traditional media segued to the leftWatchdog.org / 10 h. 35 min. ago more|
“Edmund Burk designated the Fourth Estate as watchdogs of government; the press.” – Albert Clogen The media has long been regarded as the most important force in government. It is considered the heart and soul of democratic egalitarianism. Thomas Carlyle is a legendary writer and considered the most conspicuous social commentator of his time. He saw the press as instrumental to the birth of democracy, spreading facts and opinions and sparking revolution against tyranny. Carlyle was the first luminary who recognized the importance of the press during the French Revolution. He said, “A Fourth Estate, of able editors, springs up, increases and multiplies; irrepressible, incalculable.” It is a simple fact that a functioning democracy requires informed citizens. Since our coordination of jurisprudence is a government of “we the people,” rule by the people entails that the people should be informed. And no governing body can operate without knowledge of the issues on which it is to rule. In a representative democracy, the role of the media is a key ingredient to the success of this ability to rule. It not only has an obligation to inform the citizens, it is responsible for bridging the communications gap between the government and voters. It is their duty to indubitably elucidate complex national policy, and … “Write to be understood, and speak to be heard.” – Lawrence Powell Singer Jim Morrison told us, “Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.” It is the media’s responsibility to make the actions of the government known to the public. They have a duty to give equal representation to all opinions as a source of public information. Without media, the loop between the government and the public welfare no longer exists. This makes media indispensable in a functional representative democracy. Without an unbiased media, a utilitarian democracy has little chance of surviving. Regardless of public opinion, the media’s obligation is to report and inform not to trade appeasement for approval. “Ratings don’t last. Good journalism does.” – Dan Rather Today the Fourth Estate has taken a back seat from professionalism. The evolution of the liberal media since the 1950s clearly validates how they have dishonored their once-esteemed vocation. The great “sell out” started after WWII. Media was used to promote the war effort and the networks took notice. And now with national TV in every home, our media outlets realized they had a captive audience. For most all national networks, this was a financial blessing, but for the public it was a curse as they traded ethics for dollars. “Money often costs too much.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson But why did they choose the Left and not the Right? After WWII, there was a tremendous focus on higher education. And since many of our universities converged on teaching liberal ideology, they received grant money to promote the liberal model of the economy and its benefits to our society. As a result, new journalists, reporters and news anchors were indoctrinated by liberal professors about the evils of capitalism and the damage done by the free market. This played right into the hand of the left as these reporters became liberal robots. “When yellow journalism replaced real reporting, it forever displaced the Fourth Estate in Parliament’s reporter’s galley.” – Sir Walter Ebson By the late 1950s, far left politics dominated most major national newspaper media organizations. And once television became popular, liberals saw how Americans could be influenced by it. This is when they made their move to gain control of the networks. With predominance over them, they controlled all prime time TV and used this valuable air time to sway a gullible public into believing the liberal ideologues would save them. And since news media and political parties share crucial geographic boundaries, this was an obviously beneficial marriage of influential entities. And because all “media markets” and “voting districts” share the same characteristics, they were collectively able to buy predominant market shares. It is with these combined resources they have been manipulating elections for decades: “The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.” – Edmund Burke The media also realized since the larger U.S. cities are controlled by the far left, the vast majority of newspaper readers and TV news-watchers in these cities must be Democrats. Since the media did not want to alienate their markets’ voters, they bought into the leftist agenda. Yet this is actually a bit of an oxymoron. What came first, the chicken or the egg? While both the media and Democrats are ultimately dependent on their demographics for survival, the Democratic Party is the one that controls the populations of the major cities; not the media. The media simply nurses from its udder, which keeps it nourished. The left must remain diehard bedfellows with the media to maintain their politically-social dominance. “Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.” – Rob Heinlein Plutarch stated, “In words are seen the state of mind and character and disposition of the speaker.” Instead of liberating voters from perjury-emanating spin-hacks, the right of center depends on new age media to defy them. But this only reaches their base while the left sustains inclusive exposure. Traditional media is firmly entrenched in progressive ideology and willingly espouses this while the right-of-centers call talk radio hosts and vent about this bias. When the right has had occasions to retort, they failed to sway public opinion with mundane repartee. Liberal media continues to control markets by demagoguing half-truth opinionated news, claiming this aggrandizement is reporting. “Truth does not sell nearly as well as a cleverly contrived disingenuous fairy tail.” – Chadwick Black The left keeps the wheels of deception running with well-oiled spin. They feed the media unlimited agitprop to enhance their rhetoric of helping the poor, punishing the rich, and chastening those who contribute most to our nation. The media in turn pontificates this re-branded federalism with gallant enthusiasm that helps them expand federal programs and bring federal dollars into urban markets that support their patronage. Now, reporters espouse more hyperbole than a science fiction writer. They’ve been trained liberalism is synonymous with journalism by federalist professors. CNN’s Jeff Zucker’s nose grew greater than Pinocchio’s when he said, “If it’s of real news value, we’ll cover it”. In establishing our independence, the pen and the press had a merit equal to that of the sharpest sword. Newspapers were pivotal in the making of America. As the only mass media of the time, they fanned the flames of rebellion, which sustained loyalty and ultimately brought independence. Without the contributions of Ben Franklin, Tommy Paine and some of our lesser known writers, we would still be begging Parliament for tax relief so we could buy tea and crumpets! “What motivated the British to colonize much of the world was they were looking for a decent meal.” – Max Harrison The progressive media has catechized our nation into divide. The last eight years of reporting was abhorrent. We had an administration that ruined free markets, the job market, ravaged national and international security, and was praised for it. Americans have been dumbed down by spoiled brats with typewriters. Anyone who has not discovered the many new sources for altruistic journalism is an obvious candidate to buy a 1985 Yugoslavian Yugo. Dr. King told us “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” Republicanism can’t survive without a candidly ingenuous Fourth Estate. “The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses.” – Vladimir Lenin
|Legendary Illinois QB: Program in good hands - Quad-Cities OnlineGoogle News / 10 h. 42 min. ago more|
Legendary Illinois QB: Program in good handsQuad-Cities OnlineIllinois football has not been what it should be, but unlike years past, there is a different feeling there now. Fair observation: in two years Illinois football will be seen in a different light. George, who knows the game, said the lights are ...
|Aldermen consider tough regulations for self-driving carsChicago Tribune / 12 h. 1 min. ago more|
Chicago aldermen went "into the future" Monday, calling for tight regulations on driverless cars and envisioning a time when the automated vehicles could be hacked and used as weapons or cost thousands of residents their jobs.Southwest Side Ald. Edward Burke, 14th, played a clip in City Council...
|False arrest lawsuit filed in Fox Lake staged suicide of Lt. GliniewiczChicago Tribune / 12 h. 36 min. ago more|
The village of Fox Lake and police investigators from several agencies are named in a federal lawsuit filed by two men who claim they were falsely arrested and their constitutional rights were violated during the 2015 investigation into the suicide of Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz....
|Block 37 developer sentenced to 3 years in federal prison for fraudChicago Tribune / 12 h. 44 min. ago more|
A prominent Chicago real estate developer whose projects included Block 37 and the Streets of Woodfield was sentenced Monday to three years in federal prison and ordered to pay a $250,000 fine for bank fraud. Larry Freed, 54, president of Joseph Freed and Associates, was convicted last year on...
|Dental records may help identify body found in Aurora garageChicago Tribune / 12 h. 49 min. ago more|
Dental records may help identify a body found in an Aurora garage Friday as cleaners were preparing the property for new ownership. Without releasing further information, Kane County Coroner Rob Russell said his office completed the autopsy on the body Monday afternoon. A forensic odontologist...
|Watch time-lapse video: Eclipse brings darkness over southern Illinois - Chicago Daily HeraldGoogle News / 12 h. 57 min. ago more|
Chicago Daily HeraldWatch time-lapse video: Eclipse brings darkness over southern IllinoisChicago Daily HeraldWatch day turn to night and back again in this time-lapse video as the total solar eclipse darkens downstate Chester on the Mississippi River. related. advertisement. Tweet. This article filed under: News · Members Get More · Illinois · Featured Video.
|Timelapse Across Illinois: Replay the Solar Eclipse From Carbondale to Adler to Navy Pier - NBC ChicagoGoogle News / 13 h. 24 min. ago more|
NBC ChicagoTimelapse Across Illinois: Replay the Solar Eclipse From Carbondale to Adler to Navy PierNBC ChicagoMonday's historic solar eclipse truly was a sight to behold, from Carbondale to the Adler Planetarium to downtown Chicago. If you wished you could have seen the eclipse from across the area, we have you covered, with cameras monitoring the celestial ...and more »
|Woman sentenced for DUI crash in Stockton, Illinois - KWQC-TV6Google News / 14 h. 13 min. ago more|
KWQC-TV6Woman sentenced for DUI crash in Stockton, IllinoisKWQC-TV6It was part of a negotiated plea agreement. Holmes was charged in connection with a crash in rural Stockton, Illinois that injured a woman from Wisconsin in December of 2015. Holmes is required to serve 85 percent of her sentence plus a year of ...
|China, North Korea fume at U.S.-South Korea military drill Big News Network.com / 14 h. 37 min. ago more|
BEIJING, China - As the U.S. and South Korea began their joint military drills on the Korean peninsula, China renewed calls for the two nations to suspend the drills. The war games that
|Man killed early Saturday in Waukegan motorcycle crashChicago Tribune / 15 h. 1 min. ago more|
A 28-year-old Round Lake Heights man was killed in a motorcycle crash in Waukegan Saturday, according to Waukegan police. Police responded to reports of an accident at 1:30 a.m. Saturday in the area of Berwick and Grand avenues, and officers came upon the scene of a severe motorcycle crash, according...
|Ex-Northwestern professor 'trying to remain hopeful' in jail, his lawyer saysChicago Tribune / 15 h. 1 min. ago more|
A former Northwestern professor accused of fatally stabbing his boyfriend to fulfill a violent sexual fantasy is "trying to remain hopeful" in Cook County Jail after being ordered held without bond this week, his attorney said Monday."He's a brilliant person," attorney Adam Sheppard said of Wyndham...
|The Latest: 14,000 gather at Illinois stadium for eclipseIllinois News / 15 h. 11 min. ago more|
Ashley Ann Sander hawks solar eclipse glasses on the side of the road to tourists approaching town for $10 a pair Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017, near Clayton, Ga., a city in the path of totality in North Georgia. This Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017 photo provided by the Oregon State Police shows the crowd at the Big Summit Eclipse 2017 event near Prineville, Ore.
|Russia mocks America’s non-immigrant visa freeze Big News Network.com / 15 h. 22 min. ago more|
MOSCOW, Russia - After the U.S. Embassy in Russia announced on Monday that it would implement a visa freeze for Russian citizens - Russian officials have said that it wouldn’t respond to the
|North Chicago shooting victim identifiedChicago Tribune / 16 h. 17 min. ago more|
The identity of a man shot to death in North Chicago Thursday night was identified Monday by Lake County's coroner. Coroner Dr. Howard Cooper said the victim has been identified as 38-year-old Jeffrey Wilson of North Chicago. After an autopsy Friday morning, Cooper said that the cause of Wilson's...
|Secret Service out of funds: Trump’s frequent travel blamed Big News Network.com / 16 h. 38 min. ago more|
WASHINGTON, U.S. - In a shocking expose, the Secret Service is believed to no longer be able to pay its agents to carry out its protective mission. The expose, by USA Today revealed tha
|U.S. Navy probes destroyer collision, operations paused Big News Network.com / 17 h. 46 min. ago more|
WASHINGTON, U.S. - In what became the second time in two months that a Navy destroyer based at the 7th Fleet’s home port of Yokosuka, Japan, has been involved in a collision at sea - the USS
|View PostIllinois News / 19 h. 42 min. ago more|
On August 21, 1858, the first of seven debates between Illinois senatorial contenders Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas took place. In 1831, Nat Turner launched a violent slave rebellion in Virginia resulting in the deaths of at least 55 whites.
|Your last-minute Eclipse of Century cheat sheetIllinois News / 19 h. 42 min. ago more|
In case you haven't been paying attention , there is a teensy weensy little astronomical event happening on Monday known as the Eclipse of the CENTURY! It's called such because it's the first total solar eclipse to be visible to the U.S. mainland since 1979 and, well, in general, eclipses are pretty great. Here's everything -- and we mean everything -- you need to know about this event.
|Jerseyville teacher among 2018 Illinois Teacher of the Year finalists - Alton TelegraphGoogle News / 20 h. 6 min. ago more|
WPSD Local 6Jerseyville teacher among 2018 Illinois Teacher of the Year finalistsAlton TelegraphThe Illinois State Board of Education will name one person from the finalists as teacher of the year during the “Those Who Excel” banquet in October. The state's annual educator recognition banquet and program will acknowledge the contributions and ...State board names 10 Illinois Teacher of the Year finalistsWPSD Local 6all 7 news articles »
|Total Solar Eclipse Transforms Illinois Town Into a Celestial Super BowlIllinois News / 1 d. 0 h. 10 min. ago more|
Spectators look at the sun through a telescope on the Southern Illinois University campus on Aug. 20, 2017, one day before the total solar eclipse. CARBONDALE, Ill.
|UPDATE 1-Illinois town gears up to become heart of U.S. eclipseIllinois News / 1 d. 2 h. 15 min. ago more|
The small southern Illinois town of Carbondale was revving up on Sunday to become eclipse central on the eve of a total solar eclipse that will traverse the continental United States for the first time in 99 years. Carbondale is a few miles north of the point of greatest duration of the celestial event and will have a total eclipse for two minutes and 38 seconds on Monday.
|Spanish Town Struggles to Reconcile Locals as Extremist Cell Big News Network.com / 1 d. 4 h. 5 min. ago more|
They were brothers and boyhood friends from a town with no unfamiliar faces. They were linked by Moroccan roots and equally tied by their upbringings in Ripoll, an ancient hub in the Catalan foothills
|Illinois farms welcome foreign workers amid a tight labor marketIllinois News / 1 d. 4 h. 18 min. ago more|
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, Daily including the e-Edition or e-Edition only. Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, prep sports scores, school closings, weather, and more.
|Fatal crashes down in Illinois 20 years after .08 lawIllinois News / 1 d. 4 h. 18 min. ago more|
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, Daily including the e-Edition or e-Edition only. Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, prep sports scores, school closings, weather, and more.
|Eclipse blog: Live coverage from Chicago, CarbondaleChicago Tribune / 1 d. 6 h. 11 min. ago more|
Continual updates of the first total solar eclipse to cross mainland United States in nearly 40 years.
|US warship collides with tanker near Singapore; 10 missing Big News Network.com / 1 d. 6 h. 34 min. ago more|
Singapore - A US Navy guided-missile destroyer collided with a tanker early on Monday in waters east of Singapore and the Strait of Malacca. At least 10 sailors are missing. The Navy said five others
|Oxford University employee and US professor 'killed man as part of sex fantasy'Illinois News / 1 d. 8 h. 39 min. ago more|
Booking photos provided by the Chicago Police Department showing Wyndham Lathem, left, and Andrew Warren who have been charged with murder The fatal stabbing of a hairstylist in Chicago was part of a sexual fantasy hatched in an online chatroom between a US professor and an Oxford University employee, a court has heard. http://www.independent.ie/world-news/oxford-university-employee-and-us-professor-killed-man-as-part-of-sex-fantasy-36051977.html The fatal stabbing of a hairstylist in Chicago was part of a sexual fantasy hatched in an online chatroom between a US professor and an Oxford University employee, a court has heard.
|on Target: Attacks have Trump waffling all over the mapIllinois News / 1 d. 10 h. 57 min. ago more|
People fly into the air as a vehicle drives into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday. There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them.
|Grim week at the White House concludes, but problems remain Big News Network.com / 1 d. 13 h. 37 min. ago more|
WASHINGTON, U.S. - The week that ends today, is set to feature as one of the most controversial ones in the new president’s tenure, and there have been many such weeks when the West Wing has
|North Korea returns to making startling nuclear war threats Big News Network.com / 1 d. 14 h. 43 min. ago more|
PYONGYANG, North Korea - Responding to the joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises set to start on the Korean peninsula on Monday - North Korea has fired another warning at America.In an
|City officials, business owners, locals brace for eclipse impactIllinois News / 1 d. 15 h. 23 min. ago more|
With 50,000 to 100,000 eclipse tourists expected to flock to the Carbondale area in the coming days, there are increased risks for shortages of food and and medicine, as well as potential public safety complications. Southern Illinois Healthcare officials are ready for what they're calling "the long eclipse weekend," said Rosslind Rice, the health care system's communications director.
|Embarrassed by Trump? Three key states say YES! Big News Network.com / 1 d. 15 h. 42 min. ago more|
WASHINGTON, U.S. - Approval ratings aside… a new poll set out to measure whether Americans are embarrassed by their leader and discovered some stark findings. According to the ne
|Ousted Bannon warns the GOP to get in line with Trump’s plan Big News Network.com / 1 d. 16 h. 18 min. ago more|
WASHINGTON, U.S. - Following his high-profile departure from the White House, Chief Strategist Steve Bannon has issued a warning to GOP leadership, asking the party to unite behind President Donald
|Eclipse 34 mins ago 9:46 a.m.The procrastinator's guide to viewing the solar eclipseIllinois News / 1 d. 19 h. 50 min. ago more|
Yes, the celestial event of the year/decade/century, depending who you ask, is finally here. Many people planned their eclipse day a year ago, or longer.
|Healthcare bills aim to remedy racial disparities in the shadow of CharlottesvilleIllinois News / 2 d. 0 h. 8 min. ago more|
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have for years sought to add to Obamacare through healthcare provisions targeting racial disparities, but they are now focused on more narrow efforts for passage, even as lawmakers are seeking solutions for addressing racial tensions. The group that studies and advances legislation on health disparities in the House, known as the Health Braintrust, was focused early in the year on staving off Republican efforts to repeal and replace portions of Obamacare, formally known as the Affordable Care Act.
|Countdown to the Great American Eclipse is on across IllinoisChronicle Media / 4 d. 23 h. 5 min. ago more|
The Great American Eclipse will soon be creating awe and wonder in Illinois skies. At first a solar eclipse appears slow, as just a small part of the Sun is blocked by the Moon. You... The post Countdown to the Great American Eclipse is on across Illinois appeared first on Chronicle Media.
|Congressman: Repealing death tax would be ‘nirvana’Watchdog.org / 6 d. 15 h. 18 min. ago more|
It was Founding Father Benjamin Franklin who said, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” One Illinois congressman wants to disconnect the two by eliminating the so-called death tax. Tax reform is one of the major issues being pushed by the administration of President Donald Trump. U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Illinois, recently shared what’s been concerning his constituents the most. “Less government,” Shimkus said. “Individual responsibility, lower taxes, more personal freedoms and liberties.” While tax reform has been elusive so far in Washington, Shimkus said one issue he hopes to get right is eliminating the federal estate tax, also known as the death tax. “We don’t want triple taxation,” Shimkus said. “We want a simple code that says, ‘You’ve got income, you’re gonna be taxed on income. You’re not going to be taxed on assets evaluations over families, over generations and force people to sell farms.’” Tax reform is going to happen, Shimkus said, it’s just a matter of what reforms and when. “So now it’s a matter of how you get lower rates,” Shimkus said. “To get lower rates you have to reduce what we call the loopholes, or the exemptions and all that stuff, and that’s what the fight is going to be.” As for the estate tax, Shimkus said it doesn’t just hit family farms with triple taxation. “It could be the automobile repair shop down the street now,” Shimkus said, “with that much assets and just a building and equipment.” Shimkus said repealing the estate tax would “be nirvana.” Even if Congress abolishes the federal estate tax, Illinois still levies levels the tax at the state level.
|Illinois kicks off bicentennial events this monthChronicle Media / 6 d. 22 h. 10 min. ago more|
A 100 Day Countdown to the 2017-18 Illinois Bicentennial Celebration will kick off Aug. 26 ‒ Illinois Constitution Day — at the site of the state’s first capital: Kaskaskia Island... The post Illinois kicks off bicentennial events this month appeared first on Chronicle Media.
|Illinois 4-H teams with Google to bring computer science to kidsChronicle Media / 6 d. 23 h. 5 min. ago more|
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that in just three years there will be 1.4 million computer science-related jobs, and only 400,000 qualified job candidates. In response,... The post Illinois 4-H teams with Google to bring computer science to kids appeared first on Chronicle Media.
|Haupt: Abandoning the gold standard created legalized theftWatchdog.org / 7 d. 10 h. 31 min. ago more|
“The gold standard kept us honest and forced us to control out of control spending.” – Lane Brody Alan Greenspan told us, “Gold is a good place to put money, given its value as a currency outside of the policies conducted by governments.” This basic truism certifies that money has emerged by evolution from the market process. It was not invented by governments. For centuries, economic forces contributed to the evolution of world monetary systems. The security of nations has always been judged by how they manage their money. Those with stable economies have fewer social and political conflicts. Nations that don’t practice credible guardianship of their currency continually fight for survival. There is nothing more destructive to any society than a government that cannot manage their finances competently. Although we’ve been told “Money can’t buy happiness,” that wise comic Groucho Marx reminded us that, “It certainly lets you choose your own form of misery.” Centralized banking systems have been around for centuries. Dutch merchant Johan Palmstruch formed Stockholms Banco in Sweden 1657. But this bank ended in disaster when the value of the paper currency exceeded the amount of dalers backing it. When customers learned this, there was a run on his bank and it collapsed. In France 50 years later, John Law, a Scottish womanizer and gambler once convicted of murder and exiled by England, talked the French into helping him open a central bank, the Banque Générale backed by government IOUs. His inept blundering caused the bank and the economy to collapse. Law was banned from France forever. Palmstruch and Law both forgot: “Rule No.1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Never forget Rule No.1.” – Warren Buffett The first legitimate paper currency issued by European governments was distributed by colonial governments in North America. The shipment of goods between Europe and the colonies took so long, the colonists often ran out of cash. To pay for luxury items, due to a shortage of currency, the colonial governments used IOUs. This practice of “trading paper for goods” started in Canada, a French colony, in 1685. Military personnel were issued denominated playing cards signed by the governor to pay for goods instead of French coinage. Although primitive, this system of bartering worked well for their colonies: As Plato told us in 390 BC: “Necessity is the mother of invention.” By the mid 1800s, most countries adopted the gold standard. This guaranteed paper money could be redeemed for its value in gold. This also facilitated trade since it no longer had to be done with heavy gold bullion. It increased trust in world currencies since paper currency had value tied to a precious commodity, gold. And in 1913, America created the Federal Reserve to stabilize gold and currency values. Since printing money not backed by gold created hyperinflation, their goal was to keep inflation low and guarantee the health of the dollar. But that did not last. We soon would learn that: “Governments lie; bankers lie; even auditors sometimes lie: gold tells the truth.” – Lord Mogg In 1900, The Gold Standard Act officially placed the U.S. on the gold standard. America remained on the gold standard until President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his Congress passed the Gold Reserve Act in 1933. It required all gold and gold certificates held by the Federal Reserve to be surrendered to the U.S. Treasury. All contracts and currency that required redemption in gold were declared null and void. He justified this claiming we wanted to stop the run on banks. But contrary to his populist propaganda, his real motive was simply to gain control of our money supply. He was planning massive, expensive socio-economic programs that required capital. Controlling the gold supply would give him money to do this. He knew: “He who controls the money supply of a nation controls the nation.” – James Garfield Before 1934, the government was allowed to print $20.67 in paper money for each ounce of gold. After FDR did his damage, it increased to $35; a difference of $14.33. By doing this, the value of the gold held by the government increased by over $3 billion! This enabled FDR to create $3 billion in new money out of nothing. He then used it to fund his expansion of government. In doing so, FDR flooded the market with currency, which initially helped the economy. However, this cost us dearly. FDR devalued U.S. paper money by 41 percent to finance his “Bad Deal.” This brought more uncertainty to industry and discouraged investment. Like our former president, he was totally unpredictable? As author Ivan Panin commented, “Of the future, man knows least; yet, about this, he worries most.” Reaction by the rest of the world to FDR’s actions was immediate. When they heard the U.S. pulled off of the gold standard, it stunned world leaders and seriously damaged world monetary markets. It also locked in pestiferous worldwide economic nationalism. Skyrocketing tariffs, trade subsidies, manipulated fiat currencies became universal and global leaders lost faith in the U.S. economy. Sweden, Holland, and France shortly abandoned the gold standard. This fiasco left international financial markets demoralized. FDR’s idea of a one size fits all economy failed the international litmus test. Author Dean Koonts reminded us that, “One man’s idea of perfect order is another man’s chaos.” Removing us from the gold standard caused irrevocable damage. And the passage of FDR’s next Bad Deal made matters worse. He spent like a junkie on a money fix. When the Treasury tightened its grip on currency, this economic uncertainly prolonged the Depression until WWII. FDR went too far. His credibility suffered ineluctable damage and the spell he cast over his Congress vanished quicker than Genie can go back into her bottle. Most of his legislation to expand government was rejected en masses by Congress. They knew we were headed to the “eve of destruction.” As Milton Freeman said, “The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus.” Four decades later, in 1971, the remaining U.S. ties to the gold standard were severed by President Richard Nixon. Desperately in need of money to pay for the Vietnam War he dubiously inherited from former President Lyndon B. Johnson, he unilaterally canceled the direct convertibility of the U.S. dollar to gold. And we have had wafting free floating fiat currencies since. Later, he told critics: “Well, I screwed it up real good, didn’t I?” Since we’ve been divorced from the gold standard, we have suffered three atrocious recessions. Unemployment has been as high as 11 percent. These are horrendous numbers compared to the post WWII era, from 1947 to 1970, when we averaged less than 5 percent. Since government has the power to manipulate the quantity and value of our money, it controls the economy but not our free markets. U.S. Keynesianism has usurped the role of free enterprise and it has created a new era of austerity at the expense of prosperity. “We pay dearly each day for the cost of free money.” – Chadwell Black It’s impossible to return to the gold standard now. But we can resurrect the “classical school” of economics. The health of our economy is dependent upon its valued-real money supply and our free markets must adapt to the changes in equilibrium necessary for “laissez faire” government to work. This is the only responsible way for us to remain independent and maintain individual liberty. Every country that has taken control of their economies also found it necessary to restrain freedom and re-engineer society. “A major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.” – Milton Friedman
|Rauner signs bill to protect Illinois from cyberthreatsChronicle Media / 10 d. 20 h. 21 min. ago more|
Gov. Bruce Rauner on Aug. 7 signed House Bill 2371, requiring all executive branch State of Illinois employees responsible to the governor, not including public university employees,... The post Rauner signs bill to protect Illinois from cyberthreats appeared first on Chronicle Media.
|Illinois State Fair emphasizes new, free and affordableChronicle Media / 12 d. 23 h. 10 min. ago more|
Grow it, raise it, show it, eat it; it’s all about food in Illinois, and the state fair will once again showcase the producers and their products which make Illinois a national... The post Illinois State Fair emphasizes new, free and affordable appeared first on Chronicle Media.
|New health care plan would make smaller, bipartisan reformsWatchdog.org / 12 d. 23 h. 51 min. ago more|
A number of Congressional members have begun working on a new alternative health-care plan after the last effort to replace Obamacare stalled. But a healthcare expert says it’s likely too late. The Problem Solvers’ Caucus, consisting of a bipartisan group of 43 House members, introduced a plan to try and combat the coming spike in health-care costs. Companies have until Aug. 16 to lock in their rates and decide whether they’ll participate in a county’s marketplace. Reps. Dan Lipinski, a Democrat, and Adam Kinzinger, a Republican, both from Illinois, are members of the 43-member Problem Solvers Caucus. The caucus unveiled a health-care plan last week that wouldn’t be as far-reaching as Obamacare or the American Healthcare Act, which stalled last month in the Senate. The new plan would make small reforms that have been largely agreed to by both parties. Republicans persuaded Democrats to go along with raising the small business exemption from 50 employees to 500. Democrats pushed to maintain levels of Medicaid expansion. The centerpiece is funding for the cost-sharing reduction program designed to keep premiums low. Without that, insurance companies have indicated that rates would skyrocket for high-risk or low income patients. President Donald Trump has hinted that he may pull that funding, but the bipartisan plan would appropriate it. The plan also includes coverage for chronic and pre-existing conditions, repealing the medical device tax, and giving states the ability to do business with companies across state lines. Kinzinger said there are still ways to improve health care for people over what’s out there now. “Unless the Senate can somehow pull a rabbit out of a hat this month, there is going to be a failing of the health-care system,” he said. “Let’s explore areas of common ground between Republicans and Democrats to try to help give people a better health-care system.” In a release, Lipinski said their plan will likely see detractors looking to blame the other side of the aisle for a collapse of the health-care industry. “Some partisans in both parties may even believe that if the ACA fails, the other side will get blamed in the next election,” Lipinski said. “Others will oppose it because they want the ACA to collapse.” Naomi Lopez Bauman, director of Healthcare Policy for the Goldwater Institute, thinks the failure to repeal Obamacare has killed momentum on more health-care votes in D.C. She thinks that any more action this year will be to simply subsidize providers to keep them offering plans. “Anything that they’re going to do this late in the game is going to basically involve throwing money at the exchanges,” she said. “After the debacle that was repeal and replace, there’s just not much appetite for the heavy lifting on major health-care reform this year.” She says that Trump could force the issue of reform by making lawmakers subject to the Obamacare exchanges. Insurance companies must submit whether they will participate in a county’s exchange by Aug. 16. ###
|USDA Secretary Perdue talks farm bill and trade at stop in central IllinoisWatchdog.org / 13 d. 17 h. 45 min. ago more|
Stopping at a family farm just outside of Springfield, the Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture said he wants to focus on markets, not programs. USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said Monday that farmers aren’t as productive when they’re planting to conform to a program, rather than consumers, and gave an example from his native state of Georgia, where farmers were given substantial subsidies for growing peanuts. “The peanut guys did very, very well,” Perdue said, ”and you saw a lot of acres go to peanuts that probably shouldn’t have been in peanuts, they were not peanut farmers. Yet, they were farming for the peanut program.” State Sen. Sam McCann, R-Plainview, was in attendance and said that was a great message. “We want to make sure that we are meeting the supply and demand ratio,” McCann said, “and that people are properly rewarded for that so that they can make a living providing that food to the rest of the world.” Farmers told Perdue they don’t want changes to the subsidy program, which they characterized as a safety net. Perdue said some industries might need to be separated in the insurance program, like keeping cattle separate from milk, but “I’m glad you feel like the insurance program has done well on the cash grain guys and I know that Congress will take that into consideration as well.” U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, was also in attendance Monday. He said “Mother Nature, you just can’t control that, so you need a safety net.” “Farmers pay into it,” Shimkus said. “They quibble about how much they pay in, how much is covered … but the agriculture community needs at least a safety net so they can continue to be in the field.” Perdue said the USDA plans to do more with less to help alleviate the nation’s debt. Aside from what would be in the federal farm bill, international trade was one of the chief concerns Perdue heard about. Perdue was praised by the Illinois Farm Bureau for urging the Trump Administration to stay in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). But Perdue said the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) was bad for the U.S. “Honestly, we have more in common in this North American continent than we do within all the TPP nations,” Perdue said. “And it’s worked very well. Agriculture has benefited very well under NAFTA for the most part.” He said some of the fruit producers in southern states might not be happy with the deal, but the grain and livestock industries continue to benefit from the agreement. A cattle farmer in attendance said something has to be done with the recent tariff of 50 percent that Japan imposed on U.S. beef. Purdue said they’ll work to correct that. “I think many agriculturalists were disappointed over the TPP,” Perdue said, “but frankly I do believe that President [Donald] Trump is right. I think that we’re going to be tough negotiators and negotiating bilateral deals and we just have to start very quickly.” Purdue said he believes Japan wants a bilateral agreement, and he’s headed to Asian markets to hash out deals soon.
|Haupt: America and the Roman Empire’s political downfallWatchdog.org / 14 d. 11 h. 56 min. ago more|
“At the height of its mastery, Rome was the pulsing heart of the earth. The day the empire fell the world learned even the most stalwart empires can fail if avarice replaces prudence.” – Solon Greco There is not a continent on this planet where one cannot unearth the fallen ruins and silent stories of forgotten great civilizations. Tales of their broken past lay buried deep within the earth under the canopy of the bustling industry, imposing skyscrapers and apartment duplexes of a modern world. These fallen empires that once stood mighty among the most prodigious and influential societies of their respective era, all met their eventual demise for various reasons. There is a salient consensus on one collective attribution for failure; delusive management of finances and excessive taxation. “The heaviest penalty for declining to rule is to be ruled by someone inferior to yourself.” – Plato The overarching criterion for determining the collapse of these governments lays in their inability to deliver political goods and services coerced by their citizens. When supply doesn’t meet demand, it is impossible to sustain security and preserve law to regulate and supply blood to the arteries of its legislative body. This strangles their ability to officiate, and severely limits their functional capacity. It eventually cuts off their oxygen and they self-suffocate. There’s no timeline for failure. Some self-implode, with a total collapse of all institutions. Others fall without a whimper. There are no violent revolutions, or catastrophic natural disasters. Instead, they quietly fall victim to collapse unable to manage the central population. This is a consequence of man. “In a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed defeats disorganized democracy.” – Matt Taibbi The Roman Empire reached its zenith in the 2nd century. At that time, there was unprecedented stability and prosperity. This powerful kingdom was an example of good stewardship. The Empire was ruled with authority and obedient restraint. Rome was a pillar of strength no man challenged. As their economy blossomed they became the world leader in the arts, education, and commerce. Their institutions and culture had a lasting influence on language, religion, architecture, and law. The value this brought to expansionism throughout the modern world was more significant than anyone will ever fathom. “Rome was great in arms, in government, and in law.” – Goldwin Smith But the decline of Rome became inevitable due to its immoderate and unmanageable greatness. Once all foe had been conquered, prosperity ended. Its aftermath was moral decay. Rudimentary principles of governing the lives of citizens became irrelevant. Incompetent leaders led to political necrosis, corruption and instability. The Senate and the Emperors were sullied with power, and thought themselves as cardinal gods. Inordinate spending led to economic decline, skyrocketing debt, oppressive taxation, inflation, and a devalued currency. Class warfare and cuts in the military further burdened the republic. Increasing dependence on municipal gratuities stifled incentive in favor of support from the treasury. “Rome was great as long as she had enemies who forced her to a vision of unity and heroism. When she had overcome them, she then began to die.” – Webb Dante Rome’s fall from grace as the epitome of world powers was less unpredictable than the weather in Tennessee. Who would ever think the mightiest of all mighty empires in the history of man would stumble into oblivious demise, without taking up arms to maintain its dignity? Although their future was clearly written on the Coliseum walls, they refused to remove the blinders that sheltered them from indulgent sins of omission. The magistrates frolicked in fruition, while intellectual mediocrity, over-population of the urban areas, disease ridden streets, prostitution, homosexuality, alcohol and drug abuse all led to social and legal putrefaction. This ultimately caused Rome’s collapse. This is what ended Classical Antiquity along with the fall of the great Roman Empire. “Today, Rome has not seen a modern building in more than half a century. It is a city frozen in time.” – Richard Meier The history of this once great republic was omnipresent in the minds of America’s founders as they created our republic centuries later. As a consequence of their deliberations and obvious reliance on divine providence, our founders shaped the United States, fashioned as the modern equivalent of the Roman Republic. And the similarities are illusory and uncanny. The Roman Republic was established in 509 BC by the overthrow of Roman King Lucius Tarquinius Superbus and expulsion of the Etruscan theocrats by the Latin Italic tribes from the south. And America is a prime example that history repeats itself. The Republic of the United States was birthed in a bloody revolution against the British King George over 2,000 years later. “If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience?” – George Bernard Shaw Despite the efforts of our founders to set a different course than that experienced by our Roman predecessors, an analysis of these two great republics is inevitable. There are stark congruencies between them. Both societies were the pre-eminent entities in military might and economic power. They were leaders in culture, commerce, technology and ideas. Today, the world turns to America for guidance and leadership. In the heyday of the empire, Publius Cornelius Tacitus claimed even “things atrocious and shameless flock from all parts to Rome.” Thus today, as Romans claimed “all roads lead to Rome,” America projects the same image: All roads lead to the U.S. “America, just as Rome envisioned, considers the U.S. unequaled in national character and strength.” – Tibius Culens Roman politicians had difficulty disjoining public and private liabilities. As a consequence, public services declined while pet projects of the public officials and their patrician sponsors grew at the expense of their citizens. Multitudinous failed reforms were resisted by the patricians that parrot the partisan battles in America today. Middle class Romans were cowed by slave labor much as rising technological change and the transfer of entry level jobs overseas threaten our middle class. The inability of the opposing political parties of the Republic, the Optimates and Populares focused on political gain rather than tasking the people’s work. America too faces a political system transfixed in political party idealism; too shamelessly egomaniacal to govern. “To run an effective political party you need a degree of tribalism, it’s the glue that holds everyone together.” – Charles Kennedy Roman Senator Tacitus said, “Great empires are not maintained by timidity.” The Roman Republic survived 500 years and the American Republic has weathered around 250 years. America lingers on facing major challenges that could negatively affect its future. We lack the ability to satisfy the economic demands of too many at the expense of a few. Our social divisions over priorities and growing unrest caused by a negative political environment heighten the likelihood we could parallel the final stages of Rome. Let’s hope we heed this atrophy before we garner the fate of Rome. The power to do this lies in our hands, not in the politicians. A republican government belongs to we the people, not politicians. We can only hope we have the courage to stop history from repeating itself. Thomas Sowell said, “Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.” If we lose sight of culpable governing, future civilizations will be walking on our memories. “Our Republic has chartered a path similar to Rome. If we don’t change course, America will end, as a replay of Rome.” – Tiberius King
|Wisconsin in focus: The next Foxconn and Illinois: Here’s why Wisconsin will be the state growing more taxpayersWatchdog.org / 14 d. 23 h. 32 min. ago more|
Chicago Tribune opinion: The next Foxconn and Illinois: Here’s why Wisconsin will be the state growing more taxpayers Illinois recently got a humiliating rejection notice from Foxconn, the Taiwanese tech giant. Foxconn picked Wisconsin over struggling Illinois and other states for the proposed site of a $10 billion LCD panel factory that will employ up to 13,000 people. These mega-projects don’t happen every day, so Foxconn’s decision hurts because job growth is the only way to solve Illinois’ fiscal crisis: More jobs means more tax revenue. What really stings, though, is how the winning site is just across the state line in southeast Wisconsin. It’s as if Foxconn settled on the Midwest as a location and then decided: We want to be as near as possible to Illinois without actually being there. Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou gave an interview to Steve Jagler, the business editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Gou gave Jagler eight reasons why Foxconn chose Wisconsin. Two of them were – literally – proximity to Illinois: First, Wisconsin is conveniently located in the central U.S., “close to Chicago, a global hub,” the Journal Sentinel reported. Second, Wisconsin has the transportation and logistics to accommodate Foxconn’s growth, and is … near O’Hare International Airport. Feel free to smack your forehead. CNBC: In Weary Wisconsin Town, a Billionaire-Fueled Revival When Diane Hendricks sees something she doesn’t like here, she buys it. A bankrupt country club. A half-empty mall. Abandoned buildings. The rusting foundry down by the river. Beloit used to be a town that made papermaking machines and diesel engines. Ms. Hendricks thinks it can be a place where start-ups create the next billion-dollar idea, and she is remaking the town to fit her vision. She can do so because she is the second-richest woman in the United States, behind only Marian Ilitch of Little Caesars Pizza. “I see old buildings, and I see an opportunity for putting things in them,” says Ms. Hendricks, 70, who got her start fixing up houses here as a single mother and made her billions selling roofing felt, copper gutters and cement with her late husband, Ken. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: UW System office seeks charter school proposals; Milwaukee market may be tapped out More than two years after it was created as part of the state’s 2015-’17 budget, the University of Wisconsin System’s Office of Educational Opportunity is taking steps to authorize its first charter schools. The office issued two requests for proposals this week, one for a pilot for an addiction recovery school, which could be located anywhere in the state; and another for potential charter schools in Madison and Milwaukee. Gary Bennett, the former chief of staff for Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) who was tapped last year to lead the office, said some municipalities and Cooperative Educational Service Agency, or CESA, networks have voiced interest in the recovery school. As for the traditional charters, if there is interest at all, he said, it’s more likely to be in Madison than Milwaukee.
|How They Voted — Illinois Representatives’ Votes in CongressChronicle Media / 17 d. 10 h. 36 min. ago more|
Report for week ending August 4, 2017. UNITED STATES SENATE Christopher Wray, FBI Director: Voting 92 for and five against, the Senate on Aug. 1 confirmed Christopher A. Wray,... The post How They Voted — Illinois Representatives’ Votes in Congress appeared first on Chronicle Media.
|School funding solution stalls as lawmakers, Rauner, bickerChronicle Media / 17 d. 14 h. 11 min. ago more|
As the clock ticked toward opening day for Illinois schools, Gov. Bruce Rauner and Springfield Democrats seemed even more far apart on a compromise that would allow school districts... The post School funding solution stalls as lawmakers, Rauner, bicker appeared first on Chronicle Media.
|State health officials stress need for child immunizationsChronicle Media / 17 d. 14 h. 15 min. ago more|
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month as a reminder that vaccines protect against a number of serious... The post State health officials stress need for child immunizations appeared first on Chronicle Media.
|Congressman pushes for federal tax reform to help offset state income tax hikeWatchdog.org / 18 d. 0 h. 1 min. ago more|
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., is embarking on a tour to talk federal tax reform, and he’s getting an earful from constituents. One of the participants in the roundtable discussion in Springfield Aug. 1, Merrill Lynch financial adviser Gary Seitz, told Davis to be bold, throw out the current tax code, and start from scratch. “I’m a believer that as the government grows, the economy slows,” Seitz said. “Take less money from the individual so they can use it for themselves to buy houses, buy cars, invest, buy a pizza.” Seitz said the economy works best when people spend or save their money as they see fit. Davis, who hails from Taylorville, is pushing for tax reforms that will help middle-income families, who, Davis said, are too often forgotten by Washington. Materials from Davis’ office explain that the plan is to simplify the tax code so that 9 out of 10 Americans will be able to file their taxes on a simple post card. Davis also wants to lower rates for Americans across the board, preserve important middle-income deductions to help Americans buy homes, pay for college, or donate to charity, and allow more savings by cutting in half the tax rates on personal savings and investment. Davis said simplifying the tax code and reducing rates across the board would save taxpayers a lot of money. “The average middle-class family in Illinois,” Davis said, “would get an extra $5,200 dollars in their pocket to be able to pay for a house, to be able to send their kids to college, and to be able to save up for a rainy day.” Davis said getting federal tax relief will help alleviate part of the newfound burden Illinois residents have with an increased state income tax. The state income tax went up 32 percent to 4.95 percent from 3.75 percent after Democrats and some Republicans overrode Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of the tax hike. The state corporate income tax also went up to 7 percent from 5.25 percent. Illinois Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd Maisch said federal tax reform will also help Illinois’ small and midsized businesses. “Illinois definitely needs to get its act together and have its own policy changes,” Maisch said, “but Illinois will definitely benefit if there is federal action.” For businesses, Davis’ office said the tax reforms discussed so far would help create more than 70,000 jobs in Illinois by no longer taxing small-business income at an individual rate, which his office said can be as high as 44.6 percent. The plan would also end the federal estate tax, also known as the “death tax,” which would allow family farms and businesses to pass property down to future generations without a large tax bill. Davis said it’s up to constituents to help cut through the partisan divide in D.C. “It’s going to be their responsibility to talk to all policymakers to find bipartisan solutions.” Davis said it’s unfortunate the Senate didn’t act on health care reform, which he said goes hand-in-hand with tax reform.
|Ohio policy group joins federal legal fight against forced union duesWatchdog.org / 18 d. 22 h. 2 min. ago more|
Illinois workers whose fight against being forced to pay dues to a union they don’t want to join have an ally in an Ohio policy group. The Buckeye Institute last month filed what’s called an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of state of Illinois employee Mark Janus, who filed a federal lawsuit claiming his free speech rights were being violated by being forced to pay dues to a public employee union that he has no interest in being a part of. “Forcing employees to pay for speech with which they disagree is a violation of their First Amendment rights,” Robert Alt, president and CEO of The Buckeye Institute, said in a news release announcing the filing. “Neither Mr. Janus, nor anyone else, should ever be forced to pay fees to a union just to keep their jobs. Such compulsion is fundamentally unjust and unconstitutional.” National Right To Work Foundation represents the plaintiffs. Their case was struck down by the Illinois 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in March. They filed a petition in July asking the Supreme Court to hear the case. Foundation President Mark Mix said this is about compelled speech vs. free speech. Mix said what’s happened is there’s “a private institution in between taxpayers and elected officials and [the union] is able to speak for government employees that, heretofore, never asked for, never wanted, and in fact stand back and say, ‘I don’t want you to speak for me,’ as [plaintiffs] have said in this case,” Mix said. Janus is a child support specialist with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services and, because of Illinois law, is forced to pay fees to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, a government union, to keep his job. “I went into this line of work because I care about kids. But just because I care about kids doesn’t mean I also want to support a government union,” Janus told the Chicago Tribune. “Unfortunately, I have no choice. To keep my job at the state, I have to pay monthly fees to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME, a public employee union that claims to ‘represent’ me… “The union voice is not my voice. The union’s fight is not my fight. But a piece of my paycheck every week still goes to the union. I am not anti-union. Unions have their place. And some people like them. But unions aren’t a fit for everyone. And I shouldn’t be forced to pay money to a union if I don’t think it does a good job representing my interests.”
|Krug: President Trump disrupting news consumption, bringing in more womenWatchdog.org / 19 d. 15 h. 15 min. ago more|
This just in: President Donald Trump is polarizing. Some love him. Some hate him. Hate is a strong word, but they hate him. There are probably some who are too busy watching “The Price Is Right” or rainbow-vomiting cat videos to care. But they still might make time to check in on Trump. Regardless of your thoughts on his presidency, Trump’s effect on media has been fascinating to witness. No presidential candidate more masterfully usurped the mainstream media’s system to create his own narrative. Unquestionably, this disruption – primarily through the 140-characters-or-less social feed Twitter – is a byproduct of Trump’s ability to demean the mainstream media and leverage social media to allow for direct communication with the citizenry. The so-called Trump effect has been stunning with regard to a renewed interest in national news. What audience segment is growing the fastest? A recent Pew Research Center study says that American women represent the largest-growing demographic of national news consumers. Trump has stimulated a wave of new interest in media and current events among women, despite his past comments about women that have drawn the ire of the left (and, frankly, some on the right). The study suggests that 58 percent of American women say they are paying more attention to politics since Trump was elected. That same research showed that 63 percent of women who identify as Democrats have increased their interest in U.S. political news. Interest in domestic political news among women who identify themselves as Republicans is up 54 percent. Overall, Trump’s presidency has increased U.S. interest in political news by 52 percent. Former President Barack Obama compares in numbers, but not in impact. Obama has about 93 million Twitter followers – nearly 55 million more than Trump. Together, they are the two most followed politicians in the world, but the winner on impact is decidedly lopsided – and there is nobody in politics who’s even close to Trump. Trump’s Twitter feed is hyperactive, rarely boring and often the root of stories that aren’t reported exactly the same elsewhere. He’s randomly on Twitter, occasionally around the clock. This began well ahead of the past election cycle, and hasn’t slowed down. Trump vowed nobody would take away his phone. Nobody has. In a completely unscientific polling of people I know who are dialed into social media, there seems to be equal measures of left- and right-leaning followers who mind his feed. And people from all walks of life seem to speak of Trump with corresponding degrees of disgust and curiosity. Set aside the messaging for a moment and purely consider the impact to media: He’s demonstrated that news can be a business-to-consumer proposition for politicians, following the path of entertainers Katy Perry and Justin Bieber. Trump is cutting a new path in that regard – utilizing direct-to-market bursts of commentary to prompt behavior and create news narratives that the media is only too willing to follow. At its purest, it’s business-to-business communication. He has, effectively, bypassed the permission of the press. He stays in the news by creating the news and discounts the media’s account of his story. Take a step back, and it’s difficult to argue that he isn’t setting the news agenda masterfully. When you have the same tools as multi-billion-dollar media companies that could cloud your message, why bother offering the stories to them when you could skip the distributor and sell to the customer? Question Trump’s business acumen if you will, but his ability to promote and draw attention are changing the way that we think of presidential communication. Since his election, which seemingly came against every legacy media prediction or poll, Trump has continued to be a boon to coverage of national affairs. If people didn’t care about national news in the smooth-jazz presidency of his predecessor, they care now. And they are following. Amid the otherwise awful news of decline of the mainstream press, New York Times CEO Mark Thompson told MSNBC in May that the company had added 308,000 digital subscribers in the first quarter (the company reports that is most in its history in a given quarter), and another 93,000 net subscribers in the second quarter. That was after the company reported that it increased by 276,000 digital readers in the fourth quarter of 2016. Newsonomics author Ken Doctor reported in a May article for The Street that, “The Washington Post said that January generated more subscription starts than any other month, beating what had been a record-setting November, with the Post overall seeing ‘doubled digital subscription revenue in the past 12 months, with a 75 [percent] increase in new subscribers.’ “ The news will always matter. Where you get it, how you get it, and from whom you get it, though, may matter substantially more. Chris Krug is President of the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity.
|Springfield says there’s more to see than the Land of LincolnChronicle Media / 19 d. 23 h. 5 min. ago more|
In the early days of his law career, Abraham Lincoln would harness his horse, Old Bob, to a carriage packed with clothes and necessities, and travel the 8th Judicial Circuit, often... The post Springfield says there’s more to see than the Land of Lincoln appeared first on Chronicle Media.
|Visitors can learn early history at Cahokia Mounds Archaeology DayChronicle Media / 20 d. 22 h. 11 min. ago more|
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Collinsville, will host its annual Archaeology Day on Saturday, Aug. 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event features ancient craft demonstrations,... The post Visitors can learn early history at Cahokia Mounds Archaeology Day appeared first on Chronicle Media.
|Haupt: No confidence in the political classWatchdog.org / 20 d. 23 h. 36 min. ago more|
“There is no act of treachery, infidelity, or avarice of which a politician is not capable; for in politics it’s every man for himself to remain in the graces of the political party.” – Marty Blunt The Articles of Confederation was a noble attempt at creating a central government in the colonies. But it was both a blessing and a curse. It was a blessing that is established order but it was a curse since it did not provide provisions for the government to govern with authority. It was a determent that crippled governing during the Revolutionary War. Since the Articles were designed to recognize a division of powers similar to the British, it was flawed from the beginning. There was no king in the colonies nor was there a parliament. Although it served as a war-time confederation to help direct the colonies, it lacked central leadership. As the war moved on it was obvious this divisive chaos had to end for our nation to survive. And we needed “change we could believe in” to make it better before it got worse. “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill Once the Convention commenced, it was clear this would not be a walk in the park. The only thing they agreed on was the necessity to create a government that was not subject to the vagaries of regional influence or majority dictatorship. This opened the doors of republicanism. Considering the political mobocracy that took place with each changing of the guard in past republics, they sought to avoid entrapment by creating buffers between the government and the people. With a House elected by the populous, a Senate by state legislatures, and a president by a convocation of elders, they figured they had enough detours to insure no political force or roguish group could usurp the people’s will. “Sometimes, simple things turn out to be the most complex of all.” – Harold Butler The core idea of the Constitution was to restrain ambition and force competing powers to make legitimate attempts at compromise and keep the integrity of the republic in check. The delegates felt the brand of federalism they created was bullet proof during those patriotic times. But they were to find out during the 1st Congress their failure to make constitutional provisions to hold politicians accountable to one another or us was a serious omission. They were forgivingly naive, putting such amatory faith in politics. They never envisioned two antipodal opposing political parties hijacking the people’s government. One that would control it and citizen influence would be subservient to their parties. A lesson learned the hard way. “Hindsight is always 20/20.” – Billy Wilder Our founders set fourth to develop a perfect government. Since most came from across The Pond, they were gun-shy about mimicking the King’s government in our constitution. Therefore, there was no provision made to hold politicians within the legislature accountable if they proved incapable to govern. Unlike England, where all government ministers, and the Prime Minister, are accountable to all branches of the legislature with de facto power vested in the House of Commons. Motions of no confidence are key components in the Westminster government that requires an executive to retain the impudence of the House of Commons. It is a fundamental principle that their government must retain the confidence of the legislature to operate effectively with majority support of the legislature. “Reporters who brandish parliament would have a field day if they covered Congress.” – Litton Sidle Since the 1st Congress when Jefferson and Hamilton reignited the fuse of vexation, politicians have scurried to parties. Unfortunately, our Constitution makes no provisions for a political structure of political accountability. So Congress formed a way to control government with seniority rewarding through the committee system. We continued to develop an awkward self-policing system within the system to make a legitimate effort to legitimize the party system. By 1830, the party system had festered like a bad splinter. Politics was run by well-oiled machines. They seemed harmless since they helped to maintain order between competing factions and greased the wheels to control in-party turmoil. They vetted candidates while picking the pockets of donors to fill their political war chests. They formed voter groups to bring others to the party and forged policy to promote party propaganda. This sustained the illusion that they were doing what was best for the populous. “In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt Hierarchical political bosses like Boss Tweed, Huey Long, Jefferson Randolph, Soapy Smith, E. H. Crump, Richard J. Daley, Frank Hague, Hinky Dink and Bathhouse John around the nation took control of local and national politics. They held the keys to the doors of government. They hand-picked political hacks whose feet they held to the fire through incentives, promotions, financial contributions, pet-project spending and other perks. The “outsiders” were banished into the Land of Oz with the Tin Man. And this became the DNA of American politics. “One of the key problems today is that politics is such a disgrace, good people don’t go into government.” – Donald Trump For decades our branches of government have worked against each other and against us. It is a fundamental principle in parliament that government must retain confidence to function or they can be replaced with a no confidence vote. Unlike Westminster that requires legislative confidence to operate effectively, we’ve mastered the art of ineffectiveness. We have no authority like parliament to cast a no confidence vote. The only confidence we have is tremendous confidence nothing will get done each session in our congressional houses. British politicians are always looking over their shoulder for ways to appease each other to insure public and legislative confidence. On this side of the pond, our politicians are looking over their shoulders to make sure their party bosses are happy. In America: ‘We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.” – Aesop In America, the only way we can rid ourselves from non-achieving politicians is by impeachment. And charges against them must be substantial. It’s a complex and complicated process purposely devised to insure it was not abused. But what happens when a whole Congress is deadlocked in incompetence? By law, the British can put an entire body of government or individual on notice, shaming them from office with a no confidence vote. When Congress continues to demonstrate no power to govern, voters publicly denounce them and the media chastises them, expressing that they have no confidence in them. But this falls on deaf ears except at election time and everyone sings ‘Kumbaya’. Then they have little or no recourse except to vote for another hand-picked party hack. “Politics is the art of choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.” – John Galbraith Thomas Sowel wrote, “There are no solutions. There are only trade-offs” in American politics. Our political system was an afterthought, invented as it went along without planning or conviction. Our founders had great faith in their fellow Americans and the future generations to follow. They were obviously blinded by the greatness of their patriotism and belief. Giving us a government of free men controlled by free men, it would be self-policing with no need to protect us from artless party politics. Although we have no law that grants us or other branches of government to issue “a no confidence vote,” we have that opportunity each Election Day. If we don’t judge a candidate by his character instead of his party, we have not used our “no confidence vote” wisely. Little confidence is as bad as no confidence. “No matter what name we give it or how we judge it, a candidate’s character is central to political reporting because it is central to a citizen’s decision in voting.” – Roger Mudd
|Wisconsin leaders see $10 billion Foxconn deal as ‘transformational’Watchdog.org / 25 d. 11 h. 37 min. ago more|
Foxconn’s decision to build a $10 billion high-tech manufacturing plant in Wisconsin set off a wave of optimism among business leaders in the state, even with a taxpayer price tag that could reach $3 billion. “We are calling this development ‘Wiscon Valley,’ because we believe this will have a transformational effect on Wisconsin, just as Silicon Valley transformed the San Francisco Bay Area,” Gov. Scott Walker said in a prepared statement. The Taiwan company’s campus, which the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC) says will occupy 1,000 acres on a site in southeast Wisconsin, is projected to create 13,000 new jobs with an average annual salary of nearly $54,000. A total of 22,000 indirect jobs, including positions in supplier networks, will also open up as the factory begins churning out liquid crystal display screens for consumer electronics, according to the WEDC. Kurt Bauer, the president and CEO of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, compared the Foxconn project to the economic riches that resulted from oil shale development in North Dakota’s Bakken formation. “Foxconn is to Wisconsin what the Bakken is to North Dakota,” Bauer told Watchdog.org. In manufacturing, for every factory job that’s created, another 2.5 support jobs will come into existence, he said, and that will bolster the economy throughout the state. “In 10 years, this area is not going to resemble what it looks like today,” Bauer said. And the effects of the project – it will be the only LCD manufacturing facility in North America – go beyond economic growth, he said. “This is not just an economic gain for Wisconsin,” Bauer said, adding that it would help Wisconsin shake its rust belt image. “This is an image and reputation gain.” The tax incentives Foxconn will be eligible for are projected to reach between $200 million and $250 million annually, according to the WEDC. Over the next 15 years, the company could gain a maximum of $1.5 billion in state income tax credits as a result of its employee hiring; $1.35 billion in income tax benefits from land, building and equipment investments; and $150 million in sales tax exemptions. Despite those costs, Bauer described the overall costs as very reasonable, especially since other states were ready to put additional economic incentives on the table to attract Foxconn. “I ultimately think it’s going to be a bargain for the state’s economy,” he said. Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council, agreed that the scale of the likely economic incentives fits the Foxconn package and its long-term impact on the state. “They are in line with other state incentive packages for similar projects, although the Foxconn plant in Wisconsin will eventually be much larger than those projects, which have taken place in states such as South Carolina, Nevada and New York,” Still told Watchdog.org in an email. The incentive package will require the company to make capital investments and create jobs as a condition of receiving the tax credits, according to Still. “It’s a ‘pay-as-you-grow’ approach that should lend accountability to the process,” he said. Asked if Wisconsin would be able to supply the thousands of skilled workers needed to get the factory up and running by 2018, Still replied, “Yes, with help from our friends and neighbors, such as Illinois.” As a result of Foxconn’s investments, more of the 75,000 people who graduate each year from the state’s higher education system will stay in Wisconsin rather than searching for positions elsewhere, he said. In addition, the 300,000 Badger state natives now living elsewhere may look to return if the right opportunities present themselves, according to Still “There is a skilled labor pool close by in northern Illinois, some of whom may welcome an opportunity to work just a few miles over the border,” he said. The Foxconn project will also better allow the state to show off the varied expertise that now exists in Wisconsin, including the ability to produce electrical equipment and medical devices and a workforce skilled in technical areas such as software, virtual reality, robotics and artificial intelligence, Still said. “Wisconsin, like much of the Upper Midwest, has technology sector strengths that are often overlooked by those who believe such expertise and talent is clustered only on the coasts,” he said. How the state legislature will go about putting in place the incentives remains to be seen. Although lawmakers will be in session until the passage of a state budget, a special session might be scheduled to pass the needed legislation, according to Myranda Tanck, spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau. Fitzgerald has not been directly involved in the negotiation process with Foxconn, Tanck said. “Negotiations with the company have largely been with the Governor’s Office,” she said. One of the colleges in southeast Wisconsin that will be involved in responding to workforce needs such as the Foxconn deal is Waukesha County Technical College, where the dean of the School of Applied Technologies, Michael Shiels, looks forward to the challenge of working with Wisconsin’s newest manufacturer. “It’s a great opportunity for the technical college system to work with the new employer and help them with their needs,” Shiels told Watchdog.org. Currently, he said about 3,400 full-time students are enrolled in tech programs at the college. Based on the size of the Foxconn operation, a large variety of skilled workers will be needed in the years ahead, including those trained in information technology, manufacturing, human resources and engineering, he said. And even though the jobless rate is low in the state – about 3.1 percent – the company will draw future employees from a large area, probably within a 60-mile radius of the corporate campus, according to Shiels. The college’s programs in robotics and automation as well as electrical engineering and electronics technology should parallel many of the company’s future needs, he said, adding that the development will provide challenges and opportunities for technical colleges in the region. “I’ve lived in Wisconsin my entire life, and I can’t think of a bigger deal than this announcement,” Shiels said.
|State treasurers demand accountability for opioid crisis from nation’s largest drug distributorWatchdog.org / 25 d. 17 h. 32 min. ago more|
Three state treasurers threatened the nation’s largest drug distributor with divestment of funds if it didn’t become more accountable for its role in the nation’s opioid epidemic. Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs, along with treasurers from West Virginia and Pennsylvania, wrote a letter to McKesson Corporation’s’s board earlier this week, saying that they will divest their assets in the company if McKesson doesn’t begin to do its part in preventing prescription painkiller abuse. “They have been marketing and distributing these painkillers that are leading to the opioid crisis in Illinois and throughout the country,” Frerichs said. “We expect those that we invest in to be responsible partners in helping to end this crisis, not profit from it.” Investors voted for one of the treasurers’ demands Wednesday in their annual meeting, saying they will split the positions of CEO and board chair once their current one leaves. As to the treasurers’ other demands, McKesson said in a news release that “the company is doing everything it can to help address this crisis in close partnership with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and other organizations across the supply chain.” “We take the feedback seriously and will carefully consider the input received – making changes where necessary – so that we can continue to best serve our customers and deliver long-term value for our shareholders,” said John H. Hammergren, McKesson chairman and chief executive officer. The meeting took place near Dallas amid a protest by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. They were demanding the same split in duties but also demanded a clawback of compensation from executives they say profited on the opioid epidemic. “The country’s largest drug distributor cannot get away with ballooning executive pay and failures in oversight as Americans die every day from opioid addiction,” said Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall.
|VP Pence breaks tie to open debate in Senate on Obamacare replacementWatchdog.org / 27 d. 0 h. 9 min. ago more|
Both parties in Washington D.C. know Obamacare is flawed and getting worse, but no Democrats and two Republicans voted Tuesday against opening debate to change things. That meant it took Vice President Mike Pence to break a 50-50 tie just to open up debate on reforming the country’s controversial health care law, the Affordable Care Act. Goldwater Institute Director of Health Policy Naomi Lopez Bauman said there needs to be radical reforms to focus on access and affordability. “Congress, lawmakers, really need to clean up this mess,” a mess Bauman said federal lawmakers created. “It’s the people in the states that are suffering as a result of these very misguided policies.” Opponents of reform, such as U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, said they hope Republican efforts fail. “You cannot take helpless people, some who are working hard in jobs, two and three jobs at a time, that have no health-care benefits and say to them, ‘Sorry, our system won’t take care of you’,” Durbin said. Bauman said people already are losing out because of high prices and lack of insurance and care options. She said two main reforms should be a priority. “Return the regulation of insurance back to the states where it was before the Affordable Care Act and where it rightfully belongs,” Bauman said. “And what that would do is that would make it legal to sell insurance policies that better meets individuals’ needs and preferences.” Bauman also said Medicaid should be a real safety net, not expanded to assist able-bodied people. “What has happened under the Affordable Care Act,” Bauman said, “is that the federal government is basically providing a lot more money to states to provide benefits and coverage under the Medicaid program for able-bodied adults above the poverty level.” That means tax dollars to provide services to the most vulnerable will get squeezed out even more, Bauman said, adding that the promises of many individuals keeping insurance, doctors and lower premiums fell apart, as she’s predicted for several years. Even New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer acknowledged on the Senate floor the current law is flawed and needs to be fixed. Despite revelations he’d been diagnosed with brain cancer, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain appeared on the floor and said ACA needs to be changed. He voted to allow debate but said he’s not promising to vote in favor of what ultimately comes out. He wants there to be bipartisan efforts to change the bill. Durbin and others blasted leading Republicans for allowing for debate on reforms without unveiling what reforms were going to be on the table. “The bottom line is that lawmakers in Washington created this mess,” Bauman said. “They knew from the beginning that the promises from the Affordable Care Act were not going to be delivered. We’ve seen, year after year, more failures.” Any reform measures will now have to go through a process known as conference with the House before advancing to President Donald Trump’s desk.