US: Illinois (News/Activism)

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  • What to do with a broken Illinois: Dissolve the Land of Lincoln

    06/22/2017 7:40:38 AM PDT · by DCBryan1 · 63 replies
    Chicago Tribune ^ | 20 JUN 17 | By John Kass•Contact Reporter
    llinois is like Venezuela now, a fiscally broken state that has lost its will to live, although for the moment, we still have enough toilet paper. But before we run out of the essentials, let's finally admit that after decade upon decade of taxing and spending and borrowing, Illinois has finally run out of other people's money. Those "other people" include taxpayers who've abandoned the state. And now Illinois faces doomsday. So as the politicians meet in Springfield this week for another round of posturing and gesturing and blaming, we need a plan. And here it is:
  • [Illinois State] Comptroller Mendoza Reaches Out to State Leadership (We're broke and going down!)

    06/21/2017 3:42:57 PM PDT · by Zakeet · 53 replies
    Illinois State Comptroller ^ | June 20, 2017 | Susana A. Mendoza
    OFFICE OF THE COMPTROLLER FORECASTS SEVERE FINANCIAL STRAIN BEGINNING IN JULY As Illinois' Chief Fiscal and Accountability Officer, my Office is responsible for managing the state's financial accounts as well as providing the public and the state's elected leadership with objective and timely data concerning the state’s difficult fiscal condition. As you are quite aware, I have been very vocal regarding these issues and the budgetary impasse since assuming office six months ago; however we are now reaching a new phase of crisis. Accordingly, I must communicate to you at this time the full extent of our dire fiscal straits...
  • Durbin, top Dem, says sanctuary cities too poor to help feds on immigration

    06/21/2017 12:57:32 PM PDT · by detective · 33 replies
    The Washington Times ^ | June 21, 2017 | Stephen Dinan
    Sen. Richard J. Durbin said Wednesday Chicago’s sanctuary city policy isn’t about protecting illegal immigrants, but rather is a matter of poverty — the city doesn’t have enough money to turn illegal immigrants over to federal authorities. “Come on Uncle Sam, where’s the money?” Mr. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, said in a hearing called to look at gangs’ prevalence among illegal immigrants.
  • Living in Illinois Teaches People to Hate Government

    06/21/2017 11:47:12 AM PDT · by PBRCat · 35 replies
    The Chicago Sun-Times ^ | June 21, 2017 | Phil Kadner
    Illinois is the reason people hate government. The state is in the middle of a terrible financial crisis and two political titans are battling over bragging rights to the political carnage. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, who is likely to spend more than $100 million on his political campaign if he runs for re-election next year, claims to be on the side of reform. Rauner wants to freeze property taxes, cut worker’s compensation and undermine collective bargaining rights. He would also like term limits for state officials and reduce the gerrymandering of legislative districts. On the other side there is Michael...
  • COMPTROLLER MENDOZA REACHES OUT TO STATE LEADERSHIP

    06/21/2017 11:40:04 AM PDT · by detective · 17 replies
    Illinois Comptroller ^ | Sasana Menendez
    As Illinois’ Chief Fiscal and Accountability Officer, my Office is responsible for managing the state’s financial accounts as well as providing the public and the state’s elected leadership with objective and timely data concerning the state’s difficult fiscal condition. As you are quite aware, I have been very vocal regarding these issues and the budgetary impasse since assuming office six months ago; however we are now reaching a new phase of crisis.   Accordingly, I must communicate to you at this time the full extent of our dire fiscal straits and the potential disruptions that we face in addressing even...
  • Official warns Illinois finances in ‘massive crisis mode’

    06/20/2017 1:47:02 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 41 replies
    Seattle Time ^ | 17 June 2017 | Sara Burnett
    NComptroller Susana Mendoza is warning that new court orders in lawsuits filed by state suppliers that are owed money mean her office is required to pay out more than Illinois receives in revenue each month. That means there would be no money left for so-called “discretionary” spending — a category that in Illinois includes school buses, domestic violence shelters and some ambulance services. “I don’t know what part of ‘We are in massive crisis mode’ the General Assembly and the governor don’t understand. This is not a false alarm,” said Mendoza, a Chicago Democrat. “The magic tricks run out after...
  • 8 dead, 49 wounded in Chicago weekend shootings

    06/20/2017 11:42:37 AM PDT · by simpson96 · 22 replies
    Chicago Sun-Times ^ | 6/20/2017 | Staff
    Two men shot to death in separate West Side incidents early Monday were part of a deadly weekend in Chicago that saw eight people killed and 49 others wounded in gun violence between Friday evening and Monday morning. More than 240 people have been shot so far this month. And more than 1,600 have been shot this year, according to Chicago Sun-Times data. Of those victims, 279 have died. Last year, more than 700 people were shot to death in the city. With 57 people shot, this weekend’s carnage outpaced the same weekend last year. From June 17, 2016, to...
  • Commentary: How the NRA conquered Washington and abandoned gun owners like me (barf alert)

    06/20/2017 11:20:21 AM PDT · by rellimpank · 24 replies
    Chicago Tribune ^ | 20 june 2-017 | Matt Valentine
    In the winter of 2008, shortly after the election of Barack Obama, my fiancee and I stopped into a local gun shop in Austin to buy ammunition for target practice, a hobby we enjoyed once or twice a month. Though we hadn't asked, the clerk behind the counter told us that all the AR- and AK-style rifles were back-ordered. We could get on the waitlist, he offered, but the delay might be a couple of months — "if it's still even legal to buy one then." Eight years later, gun rights in America appear not only to have survived the...
  • Illinois careens into financial meltdown – and not even the lottery is safe

    06/20/2017 9:34:07 AM PDT · by detective · 21 replies
    Fox News ^ | June 20, 2017 | Brooke Singman
    Illinois is grappling with a full-fledged financial crisis and not even the lottery is safe – with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner warning the state is entering "banana republic" territory.   Facing billions in unpaid bills and pension obligations, the state is hitting a cash crunch that is rare even by Illinois standards. A top financial official just warned 100 percent of the state's monthly revenue will be eaten up by court-ordered payments. Rauner is calling a special session of the Democrat-led General Assembly in a bid to pass what he hopes will be the first full budget package in almost three...
  • Union group led by Edwin Eisendrath submits bid to purchase Sun-Times (former Chicago alderman)

    06/20/2017 9:13:37 AM PDT · by simpson96 · 10 replies
    Chicago Sun-Times ^ | 6/20/2017 | Michell Armentrout
    An investment group led by former Chicago Ald. Edwin Eisendrath has submitted a bid against Chicago Tribune parent company Tronc Inc. to buy the Chicago Sun-Times and weekly Chicago Reader. “We have received a bid from a group led by Edwin Eisendrath and we are currently evaluating the proposal,” Sun-Times Publisher and Editor In Chief Jim Kirk said in an email. (snip) “Only coming out of Chicago could we put together something that’s progressive but not elite,” Eisendrath told Feder. “Great journalism in a great democracy means that the 99 percent should recognize themselves in what gets written.”
  • Chicago Public Schools borrow $275 million at sky-high interest rate

    06/20/2017 7:22:43 AM PDT · by george76 · 62 replies
    Sun-Times ^ | 06/19/2017 | Lauren FitzPatrick and Fran Spielman
    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 ... 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...
  • Man dives into moving car to save epileptic driver

    06/19/2017 1:55:37 PM PDT · by ItsOnlyDaryl · 28 replies
    The Extract ^ | 6.5.17 | Editor
    An Illinois man risked his life to assist a driver suffering from a seizure. Before the motorist could injure himself or others, Randy Tompkins jumped into the man’s vehicle — and it was all caught on a police cruiser’s dash-mounted camera.
  • Man Stabs Customer After Getting Wrong Drink At Starbucks

    06/19/2017 7:57:24 AM PDT · by Lorianne · 31 replies
    Chicago CBS local ^ | 19 June 2017
    A trip to Starbucks ended violently on Sunday, after two customers got into argument over a wrong drink order, and one of them was stabbed. The man who was stabbed was not pursuing criminal charges, but was taken to the hospital after a verbal argument took a sharp turn. “He was sitting on the curb, and his hand was bandaged up. There was blood everywhere in the foyer,” witness Kimberly Anderson said. Bloodied napkins littered the ground outside the Starbucks on Northwest Highway in northwest suburban Park Ridge. Starbucks said there was an altercation between two customers Sunday afternoon. It...
  • ‘No bail! Take him back!’ judge shouts, decrying schoolyard shooting

    06/19/2017 12:27:42 AM PDT · by blueplum · 17 replies
    Chicago Sun-Times ^ | 18 June 2017 10:52pm | Staff writers
    The 19-year-old man charged with attempted murder in the shooting of two young girls attending an end-of-year school picnic had flashed gang signs before gunfire erupted from the Jeep he was riding in, a prosecutor said Sunday. Raekwon Hudson, wearing a torn and tattered green sweatshirt, showed little reaction when Cook County Judge Peggy Chiampas ordered him to remain in jail. “No bail! Take him back!” Chiampas shouted to her courtroom sheriff’s deputies after voicing her disgust. “Young children in this city can’t participate in a picnic without being in fear of their lives because of gangbangers on the street...
  • Stop Blaming Bernie Sanders for the GOP Baseball Shooting

    06/18/2017 9:52:09 PM PDT · by PBRCat · 42 replies
    The Chicago Reader ^ | June 16, 2017 | Ryan Smith
    Bernie Sanders growled while delivering the keynote speech at last weekend's People Summit in Chicago: "Part of the problem is . . . nobody wants to hurt each other anymore." Packed into McCormick Place's Arie Crown Theater, thousands of his followers roared in response, some furiously waving bloody fake heads of Donald Trump borrowed from Kathy Griffin. "Knock the crap out of them!" Sanders screamed, his index finger pointing at some invisible target like a cocked gun while red beret-wearing Bernie bros in the aisles began passing out burning torches and pitchforks.
  • Official warns Illinois finances in 'massive crisis mode'

    06/17/2017 11:05:13 AM PDT · by 2banana · 68 replies
    Associated Press ^ | June 17th, 2017 | SARA BURNETT
    The Illinois official responsible for paying the state's bills is warning that new court orders mean her office must pay out more each month than Illinois receives in revenue. Comptroller Susana Mendoza must prioritize what gets paid as Illinois nears its third year without a state budget. A mix of state law, court orders and pressure from credit rating agencies requires some items be paid first. Those include debt and pension payments, state worker paychecks and some school funding. Mendoza says a recent court order regarding money owed for Medicaid bills means mandated payments will eat up 100 percent of...
  • Unable to Pay Bills, Illinois Sends “Dear Contractor” Letter

    06/16/2017 8:44:14 AM PDT · by Lorianne · 23 replies
    Mish Talk ^ | 14 June 2017 | Mike “Mish” Shedlock
    The state of Illinois has not passed a budget for close to three years. Arguably it’s just as well because Illinois budgets for decades have been nothing but a moth-eaten collection of lies, one time deficits repeated endlessly, and financial wizardry statements designed to disguise Illinois’ real problems: failure to rein in spending coupled with a very business unfriendly environment. As Illinois’ bond rating careens towards junk, Illinois Unpaid Bills Jumped to $14.3 Billion. Today, the state told contractors to halt roadwork other that required for safety. Dear Contractor I do not have a link, but here is the letter...
  • Did the City of Pueblo shorten lights at red light camera intersections to generate revenue?

    06/16/2017 7:15:34 AM PDT · by george76 · 44 replies
    KOAA - News 5 ^ | Jun 15, 2017 | Eric Ross
    New questions are being raised over whether red light cameras in Pueblo are more about revenue and less about safety... the city is giving drivers less time to get through those intersections which potentially increases your chance of getting a ticket. ... Almost from the start, installing red light cameras has been a controversial topic, and now the focus has shifted to how they are timed. ... According to the National Motorists Association Foundation, the yellow light at that intersection should last a minimum of 5.5 seconds. News 5 Investigates discovered the yellow light is set to last a second...
  • Powerball, Mega Millions to leave Illinois if no budget passed: report

    06/15/2017 10:59:18 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 21 replies
    CLTV ^ | 06/15/2017
    CHICAGO — A published report says the multi-state lottery association overseeing Powerball and Mega Millions games will dump Illinois by the end of June if the state doesn’t end its budget impasse. Illinois Lottery spokesman Jason Schaumburg tells The Chicago Sun-Times it’s another example of why Illinois needs a budget. The newspaper also cites internal lottery communications showing concern about Illinois’ finances. The budget stalemate could enter a third year if lawmakers don’t reach agreement by July 1. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats controlling the Legislature have been deadlocked since 2015. The Sun-Times says Illinois reported $99 million in...
  • Hodgkinson letters: ‘I have never said life sucks, only the policies of the Republicans’

    06/14/2017 1:17:30 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 28 replies
    www.bnd.com ^ | 06-14-2017 | Staff
    James Hodgkinson, the Belleville man accused of shooting congressmen and aides during practice for a ...baseball game Wednesday, has written a number of letters to the editor of the Belleville News-Democrat. [snip] Following are the letters: Sept. 12, 2012 The path out of our deficit The best book I’ve read in a while is “Aftershock” by Robert B. Reich. He explains that the lowering of taxes on the richest Americans was a major cause of the Great Depression. He also states that it is a major cause of the Great Recession, which started in 2007. He states that the year...