Federal securities regulators implicitly blamed former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his budget office for the fraudulent manner in which state bond investors were misled about Illinois’ sickly pension ledgers. But in making a nearly unprecedented case of securities fraud against the state, the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday laid bare a trail of responsibility for Illinois’ nearly $100 billion pension crisis that extends far beyond the impeached ex-governor’s scandalous time in office.
Former Mayor Richard M. Daley says he doesn’t remember much about the planning of Millennium Park, his wildly over-budget project that has become one of Chicago’s civic treasures. The sprawling downtown park, with its gleaming stainless-steel sculpture known as “The Bean,” is seen as one of his crowning achievements. Daley, though, shrugs it off. N
With New York City mayoral hopeful Bill de Blasio waiting to speak and an audience of a few thousand in Brooklyn´s Cadman plaza waving signs and flags, dancing, and chanting "Si se puede," 23-year-old Pakistani immigrant Hina Naveed, a student from Staten Island, didn´t miss her moment. She captured the identity and energy of the crowd in one quick phrase: "Being undocumented sucks!" The nationwide March for Immigrant Dignity and Respect was the latest mobilization for comprehensive immigration reform.
Battling gang violence has been one of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s top priorities. But one of Emanuel’s top appointees, CTA Chairman Terry Peterson, appears to have taken a different tack in the mid-1990s: Lobbying for the early release of the imprisoned leader of the Gangster Disciples — one of the largest and deadliest street gangs in Chicago, the Better Government Association has learned.
As if the city doesn´t have enough problems with crime, budget deficits, and school cuts and closings, Mayor Emanuel has decided to barrel headfirst into the South Loop real estate market—with at least $55 million of your property tax funds. The key moment came at the July 24 City Council meeting, when he hammered through an ordinance giving the city eminent domain authority to buy property at Indiana and Cermak. He plans to have a hotel built there. A couple days later, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority—the city-state agency that oversees Navy Pier and McCormick Place
Amid a spate of incursions by China in Ladakh, its troops are also resorting to tactics like preventing Indian Army from patrolling posts in this sector along the border which was well within India´s territory. In what is being described as an aggressive approach by China, the tactics have come to the fore in the wake of yet another incident last week when Indian troops launched its patrol "Tiranga" from Trade Junction area in north of Ladakh for two posts located 14 km up in the higher reaches along the line of actual control (LAC).
Using anti-science exuberance, for the last few days, the media have pom-pommed someone´s ethereal projection that the economy had created 200,000 or so jobs in July. The fact that our media would consider 200,000 jobs (which hardly keeps up with population growth) worthy of pom-poms is grotesque enough. Even more appalling is spinning manufactured positive news-cycles for President Obama based on proven nonsense like the ADP´s jobs projections.
A 6-year-old boy riding in a car with his mom was shot in the West Garfield Park neighborhood on the West Side overnight, according to police, the boy among at least 13 people shot since Friday afternoon across the city. Police aren’t certain of the boy’s condition but said he was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital. He was in a car in the 4200 block of West Wilcox Street about 11:30 p.m. when someone started shooting.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel will not raise sales or property taxes to close a $338.7 million gap in next year’s budget but all bets are off in 2015, when the shortfall balloons to $1 billion without pension reform, a top mayoral aide said Wednesday. In 2015, the city is required by state law to make a $600 million contribution to stabilize police and fire pension funds that now have assets to cover just 30.5 and 25 percent of their respective liabilities.
Hundreds of gang members will be invited to a summit in Chicago in an attempt to broker peace in the bloodiest neighborhoods — 20 years after “gang summits” here and in other states drew national attention, organizers said Wednesday. The Rev. Gregory Tatum, a California pastor with Chicago roots, said he hopes the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton will attend the Sept. 27-28 summit. Jackson spoke at a gang summit two decades ago in Chicago, delivering a message to gang members that they were the “new frontier of the civil rights struggle.”
Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream. Survey data exclusive to The Associated Press points to an increasingly globalized U.S. economy, the widening gap between rich and poor and loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend. The findings come as President Barack Obama tries to renew his administration´s emphasis on the economy,
Mayor Rahm Emanuel closed the books on 2012 with $33.4 million in unallocated cash on hand — down from $167 million the year before — while adding to the mountain of debt piled on Chicago taxpayers, year-end audits show. Last week, Moody’s Investors ordered an unprecedented triple-drop in the city’s bond rating, citing Chicago’s “very large and growing” pension liabilities, “significant” debt service payments, “unrelenting public safety demands” and historic reluctance to raise local taxes that has continued under Emanuel.
State Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago) is defending comments she made about her constituents mistrusting Chicago Police. Davis, who represents a part of the city’s South Side, told a Detroit radio station some people in her district believe police are committing some of the murders in Chicago and that’s why they go unsolved. "We were talking about the deaths in the community,” Davis told the Sun-Times Saturday, adding she told the radio station that “some of my community people say they think the police are doing it.”
New York — The anchor who might beat Bill O’Reilly gets her eyelash extensions applied one at a time, with tweezers and dabs of glue, about 90 minutes before showtime, right after a motorized gun sprays foundation over her face, neck, shoulders, collarbone and sternum, wiping out a galaxy of light freckles that spreads across her — Let me stop you right there. Photos of the day Uruguay legalizes marijuana, Kiev police pull back from protesters, aging U.S. prison population and more. Tuesday´s Photos of the day Would you write this way about a man? About O’Reilly himself? At least that’s what Megyn Kelly might ask at
In August 2013 I became very sick with what I thought was a cold. After a few days I lost vision in my left eye and I checked into the hospital. I soon found out that what I thought was a summer cold was actually Strep bacteria poisoning my blood stream. The bacteria blinded my left eye, ate a hole through my heart, caused five strokes on both sides of my brain and forced the removal of my prosthetic left knee. Dr. Lee was the surgeon assigned to perform open heart surgery. What was originally scheduled to last four hours ended
When I was a kid, I knew two different Santa Clauses. The first had a fat belly, rosy cheeks, a long white beard, and skin as pink as bubble gum. He was omnipresent, visiting my pre-school and the local mall, visible in all of my favorite Christmas specials. Then there was the Santa in my family’s household, in the form of ornaments, cards, and holiday figurines. A near-carbon copy of the first one—big belly, rosy cheeks, long white beard: check, check, check. But his skin was as dark as mine. Seeing two different Santas was bewildering. Eventually I asked my father what
The health director who approved the release of President Obama’s birth certificate has died in a plane crash, Hawaiian officials said Thursday. Loretta Fuddy died after the Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft she was travelling on went down shortly after leaving Kalaupapa Airport at around 3:15 p.m. local time (10:15 a.m. ET) on Wednesday. The other eight people on board were rescued, Richard Schuman, president of Makani Kai Air, told NBC News early Thursday, adding that that there was no indication as to why the plane had crashed. Fuddy hit the headlines two years ago when she approved a waiver request allowing Obama to
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) snapped at conservative groups that have come out in opposition to the budget deal reached Wednesday between Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.). "They´re using the American people for their own purposes. This is ridiculous," Boehner said at a press conference with other members of House Republican leadership on Wednesday. Over the past few days, a number of conservative groups have blasted the deal because it sets discretionary spending levels in the budget higher than previous levels under sequestration. In the past three days, the influential Heritage Action, Club for Growth, Americans
Fox News host Megyn Kelly has made herself the center of a racial controversy by declaring that Jesus Christ and Santa Claus are white. On Wednesday night, Kelly was responding to an article by Slate writer Aisha Harris, who wrote an article entitled “ Santa Claus Should Not Be a White Man Anymore .” The popular news host told viewers of “The Kelly File,” her hit FNC program, “When I saw this headline, I kinda laughed and I said, ‘Oh, this is ridiculous. Yet another person claiming it´s racist to have a white Santa.’ And by the way, for all you kids
Views of the tea party are at all-time lows in a new poll, as primary challenges to establishment Republicans continue to heat up Washington. Just 30 percent of Americans view the tea party favorably in a new Gallup poll released Wednesday, the movement’s lowest point since Gallup began polling about it during its rise in 2010. Also in a first, a majority of Americans had an unfavorable view of the tea party, at 51 percent. Similar numbers of respondents described themselves as proponents or opponents of the tea party: Twenty-two percent identified themselves as tea party supporters, while 24 percent said they
Looks like this president can’t get away with flirting in front of his wife… It appears that first lady Michelle Obama was none too pleased with the way that President Barack Obama was acting toward Denmark Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt during a ceremony honoring Nelson Mandela, and before too long, they switched seats. This lmao! Michelle Obama vs Prime Minister of Denmark at Mandela´s ceremony. pic.twitter.com/Rq4uF9fTaZ — Stun (@TheBlogPirate) December 10, 2013
THE Internet has been abuzz over the spectacle of President Obama and the prime ministers of Britain and Denmark snapping a photo of themselves — a “selfie,” to use the mot du jour — with a smartphone at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela in South Africa on Tuesday. Leaving aside whether it was appropriate, the moment captured the democratization of image making that is a hallmark of our gadget-filled, technologically rich era. Manifestly undemocratic, in contrast, is the way Mr. Obama’s administration — in hypocritical defiance of the principles of openness and transparency he campaigned on — has systematically tried
If you go down on the ice today you´re sure of a big surprise - a rare glimpse of 20 polar bears gorging on a bloody midnight feast. These photographs show a rare cluster of males, females and cubs all dining out on the remains of a whale carcass. They spent a night and a day stripping every last morsel from the mammoth sea creature. Usually Polar bears are solitary and would never tolerate being so close to each other. But with food in plentiful supply and bellies dragging on the floor they seem too lethargic to fight.Wildlife photographer Michal
The Sexiest Man Alive is being enlisted to spice up Obamacare. Pop singer Adam Levine, who won the designation from People magazine last month, is among the celebrities who’ll be promoting enrollment in online health insurance exchanges as part of a social media campaign kicking off tomorrow. With enrollment totals behind administration projections after the botched start-up of the federal exchange, 17 state exchanges joined by an advocacy group are drawing on Obama administration allies in entertainment and sports to promote sign-ups, using social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Reprising a tactic President Barack Obama successfully employed in his 2012 re-election, organizers