Thursday, February 26, 2015

Good Bye Derrick Rose

Could have been a great one. 
Derrick Rose is done. Not for six to eight weeks. Not for the regular season. Not for the playoffs. He’s done. Done, done.
As hard as this is to say, it’ll be even harder for the Bulls, the fans, Adidas and Rose to come to terms with it.
The Return 3? Scratch it off your viewing list. The Derrick Rose we once knew is no more.
Rose was already trying to overcome unprecedented odds in returning to MVP form after a second knee surgery. First, there

Graphic, disturbing video surfaces of Eastland Disaster - FOX 32 News Chicago

Graphic, disturbing video surfaces of Eastland Disaster 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Can Chuy pull it off?

The Challenger
The danger for Rahm in a runoff situation is that his vulnerabilities will be closely examined and eventually exploited. Expect a wild, hard hitting campaign, unlike anything we have had in years.  May the best man win. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Rahm fails to get 50 plus 1. Runoff looms!

CHICAGO (AP) -- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel appears headed for an April runoff.
With about a quarter of the city's voting precincts still to be counted, Emanuel had less than 46 percent of the vote. He needs a majority Tuesday to avoid a runoff with Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, who's running a strong second.
A runoff would expose possible vulnerability for an incumbent who has widespread support from business leaders, national name recognition and millions of dollars in his campaign fund. He participated in half a dozen debates and forums and received a last-minute boost from President Barack Obama.
Still, Emanuel faced low popularity ratings, particularly after a 2012 teachers' strike and closing dozens of schools the following years.

O'Shea Wins!

Hitting 72%

Hillary Clinton for President in 2016. Are you excited? Can she win?

The making of Hillary 5.0: Marketing wizards help re-imagine Clinton brand

 February 21   

Is Hillary Rodham Clinton a McDonald’s Big Mac or a Chipotle burrito bowl? A can of Bud or a bottle of Blue Moon? JCPenney or J. Crew?
As she readies her second presidential campaign, Clinton has recruited consumer marketing specialists onto her team of trusted political advisers. Their job is to help imagine Hillary 5.0 — the rebranding of a first lady turned senator turned failed presidential candidate turned secretary of state turned likely 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.
Clinton and her image-makers are sketching ways to refresh the well-established brand for tomorrow’s marketplace. In their mission to present voters with a winning picture of the likely candidate, no detail is too big or too small — from her economic opportunity agenda to the design of the “H” in her future campaign logo.

“It’s exactly the same as selling an iPhone or a soft drink or a cereal,” said Peter Sealey, a longtime corporate marketing strategist. “She needs to use everything a brand has: a dominant color, a logo, a symbol. . . . The symbol of a Mercedes is a three-pointed star. The symbol of Coca-Cola is the contour bottle. The symbol of McDonald’s is the golden arches. What is Clinton’s symbol?”
Clinton’s challenge is unique. Unlike potential Republican challengers of relatively middling fame who are introducing themselves to a national audience for the first time, Clinton is almost universally recognized. Love her or loathe her, potential voters know who she is after more than two decades in public life.
Or they think they know.
As Clinton and her advisers conceptualize her 2016 image, her own history shows the potential for peril.
In politics, authenticity can be a powerful trait, and it is one that sometimes has escaped Clinton. In her 2008 presidential campaign, despite some raw displays of emotion, she often came across as overly programmed.
In 2016, a challenge for Clinton will be adapting to the political moment with a fresh image while remaining true to her settled identity. “Look at Budweiser,” said a former campaign adviser to President Obama, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk candidly. “That’s what Hillary Clinton is. She’s not a microbrew. She’s one of the biggest, most powerful brands ever in the country, and recognizing that is important.”

VA Secretary Robert McDonald caught in another lie.

I think we should expect nothing but the truth from our leaders. 

This occurrence was not a little white lie. It is symptomatic of something else. It was not the first time he lied either. 

If he wants to be a bullshitter, fine with me but don't do it while you have your government hat on. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Whatscha think? Does Obama not love America?

Rudy Giuliani visits "Cavuto" On FOX Business Network at FOX Studios on Sep. 23, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty)
Rudy Giuliani visits "Cavuto" On FOX Business Network at FOX Studios on Sep. 23, 2014 in New York City. 
Photo by Rob Kim/Getty
Former New York City mayor Rudy GIuliani penned an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal  on Sunday in which he conceded that the “bluntness” of his recent statements about President Barack Obama’s upbringing and patriotism may have been problematic.
The 70-year-old former presidential candidate has been under fire all week for saying he doesn’t believe Obama “loves America” during a private dinner for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker last week. Later, in an interview with the New York Post, he suggested the president had been influenced by communists since he was 9 years old.
“I didn’t intend to question President Obama’s motives or the content of his heart,” Giuliani wrote. “My intended focus really was the effect his words and his actions have on the morale of the country, and how that effect may damage his performance.”
Giuliani goes on to say the president needs to start “acting and speaking in a way that draws sharp, clear distinctions between us and those who threaten our way of life,” while comparing him unfavorably to former presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.
Despite his attempts to clarify his remarks, the firestorm they created shows no signs of dying down. Giuliani’s remarks resurrected old charges that the president doesn’t sufficiently support American exceptionalism, and even questions about his religious affiliation.
Walker, who has refused to condemn or distance himself from Giuliani’s comments, told theWashington Post on Saturday that he “didn’t know” if the president was Christian. A staffer for the governor later said Walker does indeed know what Obama’s faith is and called the raising of the issue by the Post a “gotcha question.” 
For his part, Giuliani had previously steadfastly refused to apologize for his remarks and when the New York Times suggested they could be perceived as racist the former mayor scoffed at the notion, pointing out that Obama “has a white mother.”
Still, it appears that the negative reaction took its toll. On Sunday, Giuliani told CNN’s Jim Acosta his office was receiving threatening calls in the wake of his criticisms of the president.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

I think maybe they have lost their way.

Your name must match your photo ID under campus rules
Loyola University-Chicago is making a play as the most LGBT-friendly Jesuit school in the country.
Months after the student government considered the gender-neutral conversion of campus restrooms and elimination of gender pronouns in official documents, campus LGBT group Advocate is hosting a “Queer Prom” Friday at the Water Tower campus located downtown.
It’s not the first such gathering for Ramblers: Loyola hosted a citywide “Coming Out Ball” in 2010 that was described as “a big, queer prom.”
“Queer Prom is an opportunity for our respective LGBTQIA collegiate communities to come together and celebrate our identities,” reads the group’s Facebook page for the evening of “music and dancing.”
Advocate wants Queer Prom to “revitalize that past tradition of the annual Coming Out Ball,” the invitation reads.
But even a gay prom in Chicago hosted by a Jesuit school can have exclusive policies, according to some transgender

Saturday, February 21, 2015

And not a mention of this by any mayoral candidate, on the weekend before the election


Ted Ballantine at Pension360 reports that Mike Corones at Reuters has produced a graphic (above) showing Chicago’s pension payments until 2020 – and the big spike the city will begin seeing in its contributions in this year.
The city paid $476 million into its pension systems in 2014, but that total will more than double in 2015. But 2020, $476 million will seem like pocket change as Chicago will be on the hook for $1.6 billion.
Chart credit: Reuters

Just wondering where Rahm is at on this, the weekend before the election.


Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Warns of Doubled Property Taxes to Fund Spiraling Pension Costs

Illinois has one of the worst pension messes in the nation as the cost of government employee benefits is sending state, county, and local governments into bankruptcy crises all across the state. No place has more trouble than Chicago, prompting Mayor Rahm Emanuel to warn that property taxes will have to double to serve that spiraling debt.

In 2015 Chicago faces a looming financial disaster with a municipal pension system that is in worse shape than that of any other major U.S. city. Chicago is under the gun for a whopping $1.07 billion balloon payment on its $19.4 billion pension debt for city employees. Chicago’s mayor is struggling to figure out how to pay the balloon payment, which is equal to one third of the city’s entire budget. According to The Wall Street Journal, the balloon payment alone could pay for the salaries of the Chicago Police Department’s entire 4,300 officer force or for the re-paving of all 16,000 blocks of roads in the city.
The city fathers have made some furtive attempts to address the crisis.
“Last month, Chicago’s city council approved the issuance of $500 million in commercial paper and $900 million in general-obligation bonds purportedly to refinance existing debt and improve public works,” the Journal reported early in March. “There’s little to stop politicians from pouring the proceeds into pensions – or later reneging on this unsecured debt if it were to file for bankruptcy.”
The shortfall to the pensions amounts to $7,100 per Chicago resident.
In any case, if something else isn’t done, Mayor Emanuel is warning that he’ll have to double property taxes to fund the

Friday, February 20, 2015

More Climate Change


By Nancy Thorner and Bonnie O'Neil - 
Man-made climate change alarmists continue to be caught revising history. There is a simple concept that continues to be on display here:   If present reality, facts and figures aren't cooperating with your desired goal, just change them to fit your desired outcome. "Fiddling" with temperature data is the biggest science scandal to date, and one of the least reported by the main stream media.
A report published in 2012 by Charlotte Meredith notes 100 reasons why climate change is natural and not man-made. Meredith's list of 100 is excellent and should convince any climate alarmist to have second thoughts about man-made global warming.  Consider the following: 

  • Data indicates there were warmer periods in our Earth's history, at least 800 years before the more recent increases in CO2 levels.
  • After World War II, there was a huge surge in recorded CO2 emissions but global temperatures fell for four decades after 1940.
James Taylor, senior fellow for environment policy at the Heartland Institute and managing editor of Environment & Climate News, disputes the 10 assertions assembled by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) which are considered by EDF to be the most powerful global warming assertions in the alarmists’ playbook.
Obama's budget calls for billions in Climate Funding for renewable energy and emissions reductions.  This revelation should make sensible people wonder how the world survived for billions of years without funding?  Interesting reading

Thursday, February 19, 2015

More about "Climate Change"


A new study predicts that more than a half million manufacturing jobs will be eliminated from the U.S. economy as a result of the Obama administration’s proposed regulations to curb carbon dioxide emissions.
“Every state would experience overwhelming negative impacts as a result of these regulations, but especially those with higher-than-average employment in manufacturing and mining,” said Nick Loris, a co-author of the study, which was completed by energy experts at The Heritage Foundation.
The researchers projected how many manufacturing jobs would be eliminated in each state as a consequence of the carbon plan, which is the centerpiece of President Obama’s effort to combat climate change.
The results show that 34 states would lose three to four percent of manufacturing jobs by 2023, and nine other states would lose more.
The study predicts that the Midwest would be hit the hardest, with Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin losing more than 20,000 jobs each.

More by Kelsey Harkness  at The Daily Signal HERE

State Cuts


SPRINGFIELD - After making note of state officials at the State Capitol, Governor Rauner proceeded Wednesday at noon to outline his budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2016, beginning in June, 2015:
Thank you for attending today. Thank you for your service to the people of [Illinois.]
Over the past week, we’ve commemorated the life of Illinois’ greatest leader, Abraham Lincoln.
In the lead up to his signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, President Lincoln delivered a letter to Congress, writing in part:
“The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion… We must think anew and act anew.”
While the challenges before us are very different than those that faced our 16thPresident, here, in the Land of Lincoln, we recognize that the road ahead – our road to a more prosperous future – is a difficult one.
And like President Lincoln’s call to Congress, we too must “think anew and act anew.”

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Some truth about "Climate Change" fka "Global Warming"


By Nancy Thorner & Bonnie O'Neil -  
Will man's folly over CO2 end up banning cars, limiting living space, and stripping citizens of personal freedoms, all for the purpose of creating a world some politicians envision as necessary to control the population? Or will facts that dispute the global warming alarmists be given equal publicity and consideration by the media and responsible officials?  
As a starting point to better understand the man-made global warming frenzy, it is important to define CO2, when it was classified as a pollutant, and why it was classified as such.
CO2 is the chemical formula for carbon dioxide, which contains one atom of carbon and two atoms of oxygen. It is a heavy, odorless gas formed during respiration and by the decomposition of organic substances. Plants absorb carbon dioxide from the air during the process known as
photosynthesis. Carbon dioxide is produced by the decay of organic materials and the combustion of wood and fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum and natural gas as well as natural sources like water, volcanoes, hot springs and geysers. Many environmentalists have focused more on the harmful effects of carbon dioxide on the Earth's atmosphere. 

The Environmental Protection Agency  made a decision on December 2009 to classify and in so doing added fuel to the debate. In the meantime the EPA has enacted policies that heretofore were a source of intensive debate for decades among politicians, scientists and industry, which have further escalated the controversy over whether a natural component of the earth's atmosphere should be considered a pollutant. 
Most Americans think of Co2 as what comes out of the tail

Monday, February 16, 2015

Format Change

We are soon changing the format of this blog again. Going from daily short story postings to longer stories about issues that do ultimately affect the lives of 19th Ward residents. The frequency is changing too. For now on we will publish a posting weekly, bi-weekly or whenever the mood grabs us. We are also considering the elimination of the comments section because so many of the comments are just mindless attacks on local people and institutions. Time will tell. 

At this time, I also want to acknowledge the constant surveillance and recent efforts of a local police agency that tried to hack into this blog. The geniuses have left a number of digital trails leading right back to them. Such an attack by a government is reminiscent of Nazi or Soviet tactics designed to curb free thought. Everyone should know what this people are doing in the name of public safety. 

Is a war with Iran inevitable?

Iran’s Ayatollah Sends New Letter to Obama Amid Nuclear Talks

Tone Described as ‘Respectful’ but Noncommittal on Cooperation Against Islamic State

A photo made available by the Iranian supreme leader’s official website shows  Ayatollah Ali Khamenei greeting Iranian military officers in Tehran on Feb. 8.ENLARGE
A photo made available by the Iranian supreme leader’s official website shows Ayatollah Ali Khamenei greeting Iranian military officers in Tehran on Feb. 8. PHOTO:EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
WASHINGTON—Iran’s paramount political figure, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has responded to overtures from PresidentBarack Obama seeking better relations by sending secret communications of his own to the White House.
The Iranian cleric wrote to Mr. Obama in recent weeks in response to an October presidential letter that raised the possibility of U.S.-Iranian cooperation in fighting Islamic State if a nuclear deal is secured, according to an Iranian diplomat. The supreme leader’s response was “respectful” but noncommittal, the diplomat said.
A senior White House official declined to confirm the existence of that letter. But it comes as the first details emerge about another letter Mr. Khamenei sent to the president early in his first term.
That letter outlined a string of abuses that in the supreme leader’s view the U.S. had committed against the Iranian people over the past 60 years, according to current and former U.S. officials who viewed the correspondence.
The White House official confirmed that the president received that letter in 2009, but declined to comment on the content of any presidential correspondence.
Neither the White House nor the Iranian government has officially confirmed any correspondence between the two. Iranian officials, in recent months, though, have told Tehran’s state media that some of Mr. Obama’s letters were answered, without specifying by whom.
“The letters of the American president have a history of some years, and in some instances, there have been responses to these letters,” said Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, in November. He added that there were “contradictions” between policies laid out in the letters and U.S. actions, according to a translation of Mr. Shamkhani’s comments by Al Monitor, a Mideast-focused website.
Despite its airing of grievances, the first letter in many ways began in earnest the recent historic thaw after more than 30 years of frozen U.S.-Iranian ties, because Mr. Khamenei also didn’t rule out the possibility of accommodation with the U.S.
That omission—and the sheer fact of the letter itself—fueled initial White House hopes for some sort of breakthrough in relations on Mr. Obama’s watch.
“He left the door open,” said one former Obama administration official who saw the letter, the contents of which have never been reported.
That effort is now at a crossroads, with Mr. Obama saying this month that nuclear negotiations with Iran either yield a comprehensive agreement by March 31 or Washington will take steps, including possibly military action, to deny Tehran the capacity to build a nuclear bomb.
Congressional Republicans have invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress next month on Iran, setting off a political firestorm in Washington.
Iran says its program is purely peaceful.
Mr. Khamenei’s ambiguity about his willingness to strike a landmark deal has left U.S. officials waging little more than a guessing-game. This unsophisticated art mostly involves picking apart the supreme leader’s speeches to try to decipher his state of mind.
Mr. Obama has said that a breakdown in the negotiations could fuel further instability in the Middle East and undercut U.S. efforts to combat Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, whom Tehran is also fighting. He has also said Iran could use the end of diplomacy to “break out” and attempt to rapidly build the capacity to produce a nuclear weapon.
Into this mix, Mr. Khamenei has offered conflicting signals to the West.
Last weekend, he appeared to lend support to his nuclear negotiators, saying in a speech he agreed “with the progress in the work our statesmen have done.”
Many of Iran’s negotiators studied in the U.S., including Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, and are believed to support a rapprochement with Washington.
Still, Iran’s supreme leader also set down terms for an agreement in the speech, particularly concerning the pace at which Western sanctions on Iran would be removed, which would almost certainly be rejected by the White House and Congress, said U.S. officials.
Iranian President Hasan Rouhani speaks to the crowd during a ceremony marking the 36th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution in Tehran on Wednesday.ENLARGE
Iranian President Hasan Rouhani speaks to the crowd during a ceremony marking the 36th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution in Tehran on Wednesday. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
“I will agree with a deal if one is made, but I will not approve a bad deal,” Mr. Khamenei said in the speech. “No deal is better than any deal which contradicts national interests, a deal which humiliates the great Iranian nation.”
Mr. Obama believed previous U.S. overtures to the Islamic Republic failed because they had circumvented the supreme leader’s office, the country’s most powerful. He moved quickly to write Mr. Khamenei just weeks after taking office in 2009, according to U.S. officials.
In his written response, Mr. Khamenei complained of Washington’s long-ago military alliance with the late Persian monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and its support for Saddam Hussein during Iraq’s eight-year war with Iran in the 1980s.
Some administration officials viewed the fact the Iranian cleric responded at all as a signal he might be willing to forge a compromise on the nuclear file. Neither he nor his predecessor, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, had ever directly communicated with the U.S. since the 1979 Islamic revolution, said U.S. and Iranian officials.
Mr. Khamenei’s failure to reject outright the possibility of a compromise on the nuclear file also raised hopes. “You don’t know how important it is for the supreme leader of Iran to actually write a letter to the U.S.,” said a second former U.S. official briefed on the correspondence. “It’s a sign he recognizes the country.”
Other administration officials, including former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, were deeply skeptical.
The two-term defense chief, in his book, “Duty,” released last year, briefly described an “exchange of letters” between Mr. Obama and Mr. Khamenei in the spring of 2009, but without offering any specifics.
He said he supported Mr. Obama’s correspondence “because I thought that when it failed—as I believed it would—we would be in a much stronger position to get approval of significantly stricter economic sanctions.”
Mr. Khamenei never responded to a second letter sent by Mr. Obama that year, according to U.S. and Iranian officials. Obama administration officials had accused Iran’s government of rigging the 2009 re-election of then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad , a hard-liner.
The election of the more moderate Hasan Rouhani in mid-2013, however, breathed new life into the diplomatic process.
Mr. Obama spoke for 15 minutes by phone with Mr. Rouhani that year. And Secretary of State John Kerry and Mr. Zarif now have regular meetings on the nuclear agreement.
Mr. Obama, meanwhile, wrote another letter to Mr. Khamenei in October, raising the possibility of cooperation in fighting Islamic State, according to people briefed on the exchange.
In his latest response, Mr. Khamenei said improved relations could only be based on mutual trust, said the Iranian diplomat.
The 75-year old Iranian leader received treatment for prostate cancer last September and briefly was hospitalized. But he is believed to have recovered and could seek to weaken Mr. Rouhani, and other more moderate Iranian leaders, if the diplomacy collapses.
“You could see a real escalation of tensions between the U.S. and Iran. It’s very dangerous for the Mideast,” said Vali Nasr, a former Obama administration official who now leads the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. “The moderates in Tehran could be effectively purged.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Khamenei has increasingly asserted himself into the nuclear diplomacy.
In July, he appeared to blindside his negotiators in Vienna by publicly stating Iran would need nearly 200,000 centrifuge machines to produce nuclear fuel in the coming years. The Obama administration has been trying to negotiate them below 5,000.
In his Feb. 8 speech, the supreme leader also said any agreement reached next month must include the complete dismantling of Western sanctions on Iran. U.S. negotiators have been discussing a phased repeal that could take years.
“The sanctions must literally be taken away from the hands of the enemy. The sanctions must be lifted,” Mr. Khamenei said.
Iran experts worry Mr. Khamenei is demanding terms so high that they will sink the talks and underpin his narrative that the Americans can’t be trusted.
“Khamenei has had a three-part approach toward the nuclear talks,” said Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington think tank. “Support the negotiations, undermine the negotiations with impossible redlines, and prepare the country for a ‘resistance economy,’ which implies no deal.”