With the release of this video, we suggest anyone living in and around Chicago ‘brace’ for potential social unrest. The Chicago Police Department has released video footage of the officer-involved shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was struck 16 times during a confrontation with officers.
The dashcam video, described by Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez says that this video is “graphic, violent, and chilling,” is expected to provoke a very strong emotional reaction from Chicago’s very large African-American community.
With as much as 17 inches of snow across Chicago’s northern suburbs and 11.2 inches at O’Hare International Airport, this became the largest November snowfall in 120 years.
This also makes it Chicago’s fourth snowiest November (the entire month) on record … with more than a week remaining in the month. The three snowiest Novembers were 1940 (14.8 inches), 1895 (14.5 inches) and 1951 (14.3 inches). Continue reading »
Last month, we noted with some incredulity that Illinois is now paying lottery winners in IOUs. Long story short, the state’s inability to pass a budget means big winners will have to wait on their prize money, a ridiculous situation which prompted one Illinoisan to remind state officials that “if we owed the state money, they’d come take it and they don’t care whether we have a roof over our head; our budget wouldn’t be a factor.” State Rep. Jack Franks agreed, noting that the “government is committing fraud on the taxpayers.”
The lottery debacle is just the latest example of Illinois’ deepening fiscal crisis which was catapulted into the national spotlight in May when a state Supreme Court decision that struck down a pension reform bid prompted Moody’s to cut the city of Chicago into junk territory. Since then, the media has been awash with tales of the labyrinthine, incestuous character of the state’s various state and local governments and the deplorable condition of the state’s pension system.
The fallout from the budget crisis is far-reaching in the state with the latest example being Chicago’s public school system (the third-largest in the country), which opened this week with a budget shortfall of nearly a half billion dollars.
The city of Sao Paulo is home to 20 million Brazilians, making it the 12th largest mega-city on a planet dominated by shortsighted humans. Shockingly, it has only 60 days of water supply remaining. The city “has about two months of guaranteed water supply remaining as it taps into the second of three emergency reserves,” reports Reuters. 
Technical reserves have already been released, and as the city enters the heavy water use holiday season, its 20 million residents are riding on a fast-track collision course with severe water rationing and devastating disruptions.
CNN, Dec 3, 2014: URGENT – Ukraine Nuclear Plant Repairs — Emergency repairs began earlier this week… Details about what caused the problem, which the ministry first reported Tuesday, weren’t immediately available.
UPDATE: Charlie Rangel opines “This is not a black problem, this is a problem we have in our great country.”
Protests planned: 430, Grand Central; 7:00 Rockefeller Christmas Tree
A Staten Island grand jury has decided not to indict white NYPD officer Daniel Panateleo, according to NY1, who allegedly used a banned chokehold and killed Eric Garner, a 400lb black man, who was stopped on suspicion of selling loose cigarettes. Police in New York are preparing for potential protests, There are at least two different demonstrations planned in lower Manhattan Wednesday.
Iran has launched airstrikes against Islamic State militants in eastern Iraq in recent days, the Pentagon confirms. According to spokesperson Rear Adm. John Kirby, the strikes were not co-ordinated with the US military and may be the first of their kind.
“We have indications that they did indeed fly airstrikes with F-4 Phantoms in the past several days,” Kirby told AFP.
It may be the first time Tehran has launched manned aircraft from inside Iran to strike Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) targets in Iraq, Kirby told AP.
The ink on Barack Obama’s Chuck Hagel termination letter hasn’t dried yet but already the US president’s new, and seemingly far more hawkish advisors, are having their warmongering presence felt. Case in point: the Eastern European theater of (Cold) war, where Military.com reports that the new Army commander in Europe plans to bolster the U.S. armored presence in Poland and the Baltic states and keep rotations of U.S. troops there through next year and possibly beyond to counter Russia. Lt. Gen. Frederick “Ben” Hodges, who replaced Lt. Gen. Donald M. Campbell earlier this month as commander of U.S. Army Europe, said the Army was looking to add about 100 Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles to the forces in Eastern Europe.
An unprecedented ban on fracking went into effect Tuesday in Denton, Texas, a town of 123,000 located on top of the natural-gas goldmine that is the Barnett shale formation, the birthplace of the much-maligned oil and gas extraction method.
Denton voters approved the ban last month, making it the first city or county to do so in the energy-rich, fracking-heavy state of Texas.
Shortly after the Nov. 4 vote, the Texas Oil & Gas Association, an energy industry group, and the Texas General Land Office filed a lawsuit seeking to reverse the ban.
Once upon a time it was the Sicilian, or Russian, or Japanese, or Chinese mob that were some of the biggest sources of funding for corrupt government officials (incidentally, most of them). After all, the government is smart enough to realize that it is more lucrative to “cooperate” with the world’s biggest criminal syndicates than to wipe them out and cut off a major source of funding (of course, when it comes to populist optics and reelection, there is always an easy low-level perp walk every week or so to keep the peasants in place… and Diebold).
Many people have noted that the more insidious or corrupt a law or agency, the more positive sounding its name. The most egregious example during my lifetime, was naming legislation that stripped Americans of most of their civil liberties the “Patriot” Act.
In a similar vein, which red-blooded American could ever be opposed to something called the Small Business Administration (SBA). We all love small businesses and the entrepreneurial spirit, and even those who abhor big government have a hard time siding against an agency that supports the little guy. As such, the SBA is the perfect vehicle for cronyism, corruption and corporate welfare, which indeed appears to be its primary reason for existence.
The Palestinian Authority lost at least $310 million in customs and sales tax in 2011 as a result of importing from or through Israeli-occupied territories, the UN said Wednesday, urging a radical change to the system.
The lost revenue, worth 250 million euros, was equivalent to 3.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and 18 percent of the tax revenue of the authority, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said.
Claims that the new government in Ukraine is nothing more than a Western puppet Parliament have been swirling around consistently since February. Nevertheless, I think it’s very significant that the takeover is now overt, undeniable and completely out in the open. Nothing proves this fact more clearly than the recent and sudden granting of citizenship to three foreigners so that they can take top posts in the government.
Many investors think that we could never have a crash again. The 2008 melt-down was a one in 100 years episode, they think.
They are wrong.
The 2008 Crisis was a stock and investment bank crisis. But it was not THE Crisis.
THE Crisis concerns the biggest bubble in financial history: the epic Bond bubble… which as it stands is north of $100 trillion… although if you include the derivatives that trade based on bonds it’s more like $500 TRILLION.
The Fed likes to act as though it’s concerned about stocks… but the real story is in bonds. Indeed, when you look at the Fed’s actions from the perspective of the bond market, everything suddenly becomes clear.
We have some bad news. According to a modification of the Central Bank Incentive Program, central bank rigging of, well, everything and certainly the E-mini S&P future, will go on for a much longer time, with the revised deadline now going through December 31, 2015.
Could rapidly falling oil prices trigger a nightmare scenario for the commodity derivatives market? The big Wall Street banks did not expect plunging home prices to cause a mortgage-backed securities implosion back in 2008, and their models did not anticipate a decline in the price of oil by more than 40 dollars in less than six months this time either. If the price of oil stays at this level or goes down even more, someone out there is going to have to absorb some absolutely massive losses. In some cases, the losses will be absorbed by oil producers, but many of the big players in the industry have already locked in high prices for their oil next year through derivatives contracts. The companies enter into these derivatives contracts for a couple of reasons. Number one, many lenders do not want to give them any money unless they can show that they have locked in a price for their oil that is higher than the cost of production. Secondly, derivatives contracts protect the profits of oil producers from dramatic swings in the marketplace. These dramatic swings rarely happen, but when they do they can be absolutely crippling. So the oil companies that have locked in high prices for their oil in 2015 and 2016 are feeling pretty good right about now. But who is on the other end of those contracts? In many cases, it is the big Wall Street banks, and if the price of oil does not rebound substantially they could be facing absolutely colossal losses.
It has been estimated that the six largest “too big to fail” banks control $3.9 trillion in commodity derivatives contracts. And a very large chunk of that amount is made up of oil derivatives.
The Cold War 2.0 is going hot, and while it may someday be fought with planes, tanks, guns and bombs, the first front is being fought with oil and shale gas.
The U.S. and European sanctions against Russia will become more severe and crippling in the face of drastically falling oil prices – prices which are falling drastically because of the unprecedented boom of shale gas fracking both domestically in the U.S. and abroad in Ukraine and other locales. The oil & gas giants like Chevron and Exxon Mobil have created revolutionary conditions with now direct consequences on U.S. foreign policy and global war for dominance. Via Bloomberg:
Houston, we have a problem-er. With a third of S&P 500 capital expenditure due from the imploding energy sector (and with over 20% of the high-yield market dominated by these names), paying attention to any inflection point in the US oil-producers is critical as they have been gung-ho “unequivocally good” expanders even as oil prices began to fall. So, when Reuters reports a drop of almost 40 percent in new well permits issued across the United States in November, even The Fed’s Stan Fischer might start to question his lower oil prices are “a phenomenon that’s making everybody better off,” may warrant a rethink. New permits, which indicate what drilling rigs will be doing 60-90 days in the future, showed steep declines for the first time this year across the top three U.S. onshore fields: the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford in Texas and North Dakota’s Bakken shale.
How ironic can life be? Officer Jeremy Henwood survived several tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan as a US Marine only to be killed practically at his doorstep. McDonald’s security cameras caught his final act of kindness on tape, just moments before he was shot. Watch what he did when a small 10 year old boy couldn’t afford his meal.
As trivial as it may seem to some, it’s these little things that make a good man. It’s only appropriate that Officer Henwood’s final moments reflect the life he had, the one of a true American hero.
For most people, Christmas is all about the presents. But how did such a supposedly sacred holiday become a festival of greed? Not many people know the history behind Christmas gift giving, and it will probably shock you. This year, Americans will spend somewhere in the neighborhood of 600 billion dollars on Christmas, but most people have no coherent explanation for why they are buying all of these gifts. Those that are Christian will tell you that they are doing it to celebrate the birth of Christ, but as you will see below, gift giving on this holiday originated long before Christ was born. Others will tell you that they are just following tradition, but most of them have absolutely no idea where the tradition of Christmas gift giving originally came from. And the truth is that most people simply don’t care about the history. They are just excited about all of the stuff that they are going to get on December 25th. But if you are curious to learn how Christmas became a festival of greed, just keep reading…
The ongoing slump in oil prices looks set to take their toll on London’s “super prime” property markets with attendant consequences for the rest of the London property market. Foreign money that had been flooding into the UK from a whole array of international sources and parking in London real estate is drying up.
“Arab Spring” situations have an inexorable tendency to go pear-shaped (Tunisia, the first country to experience one is the lone exception, but even there the “old guard” is reportedly making a comeback, so the whole thing was essentially for nothing in the end). In Egypt, the revolution went from bringing an Islamist to power whose economic policies were either useless or were sabotaged by the organization that actually owns Egypt (the army controls 40% of the economy), back to someone who suspiciously looks like the old boss, with the only difference that he’s even worse. Nothing about the situation even remotely resembles democracy at this juncture. Getting jailed and tortured in Egypt and getting sentenced to death in mass show trials is once again par for the course.
Halloween started with a record snowfall for many Chicago-area residents.
As of 8 a.m. Friday, O’Hare and Chicago Rockford International Airport had one-tenth of an inch of snow, the most on record for Oct. 31 for the city of Chicago, according to the weather service.
The snow and wind caused hundreds of flight cancellations and delays Friday at O’Hare International Airport, officials said.
Just in case you thought for a second that the sorry discipline we call economics couldn’t stoop any further into the gutter of academic idiocy and irrelevance, think again. It’s now being reported that ex-Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice “Fabulous Fab” Tourre (recently convicted on six counts of securities fraud) will be teaching an honors economics class at the “prestigious” University of Chicago.
There’s nothing like an esteemed University setting the already culturally accepted example that ethics are for suckers. Stealing, cheating and corruption are the values most exalted in today’s world. It doesn’t matter how you achieve your wealth, as long as you attain it. After all, it’s not as if you’ll ever get in trouble for it as long as you work for a “Too Big to Jail” bank.
Within days of a federal judge’s ruling in support of the Detroit bankruptcy, the devastating implications for the working class across the US are becoming apparent. States and cities throughout the country are citing the legal precedent of the Detroit ruling to attack public employee pensions, initiating a new stage in the assault on workers’ rights and living standards.
Politicians of both big business parties, media outlets and financial institutions have welcomed the decision by Judge Steven Rhodes, hailing its categorical assertion that federal courts can override state and local guarantees of public workers’ pensions.
The Michigan Constitution declares that accrued pension benefits are “contractual obligations” that “shall not be diminished or impaired.” Many other state constitutions have similar provisions. But Rhodes brushed aside the Michigan Constitution in order to open the door to the gutting of pensions.
On Thursday, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a pension bill that slashes benefits for retired as well as active state employees, in violation of the Illinois Constitution’s prohibition of such pension cuts. Described as a “landmark” law, the Illinois measure will raise the retirement age for younger workers by eight years, slash cost-of-living adjustments for current pensioners, and transfer many workers from state-paid pension plans to employee-paid 401(k) plans.
Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said a mass shooting at a South Side park shows why assault weapons should be banned, saying it was a “miracle” no one was killed when someone opened fire with a high-powered rifle at a pick-up basketball game.
“A military-grade weapon on the streets of Chicago is simply unacceptable,” McCarthy told a news conference this morning, 12 hours after a 3-year-old boy and 12 other people were shot during at Cornell Square Park. All are expected to survive.
“It’s a miracle there has been no fatality,” he said. “Illegal guns, illegal guns, illegal guns drive violence.”
While everyone’s attention is focused on the Detroit bankruptcy, and just what assets the city will sell in lieu of raising a DIP loan, perhaps it is time to refocus attention to the city 300 miles west: Chicago. According to the Chicago Sun Times citing year-end audits, Obama’s former right hand man, 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. In addition to a liquidity problem, Chicago may also be quite insolvent as the city’s total long-term debt soared to nearly $29 billion. That’s $10,780 for every one of the city’s nearly 2.69 million residents. More than a decade ago, the debt load was $9.6 billion or $3,338 per resident. Of course, in a world in which debt is “wealth”, this is great news… at least until debt becomes “bankruptcy.”
Ironically last year, now-retiring City Comptroller Amer Ahmad argued that the city’s debt load was not “troubling” because, “We still have a very strong bond rating. Our fiscal position is getting better every year and we are aggressively managing our liabilities and obligations” (very much awhat the ECB’s Mario Draghi tells the world when he gives the periodic monthly update of European capital markets during the central bank’s press conference). It is ironic because last week, Moody’s downgraded Chicago from Aa3 to A3 in an unprecedented three notch cut 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.
CHICAGO, Ill. (IRN) – Gun violence in Chicago is so severe that a state lawmaker wants state police and the National Guard to assist the local cops.
State Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago) is making the request.
“I am requesting with this press conference that Gov. Patrick Quinn order the Illinois National Guard (and) the Illinois State Police (to) come to Chicago and work with our mayor Ron (sic) Emanuel to provide safety for the children, especially,” she said at a news conference in Springfield.
Other state lawmakers accompanied Davis to recognize the severity of the problem, and the extent to which it carries beyond Chicago’s troubled neighborhoods to the entire city and other parts of the state, but not necessarily to concur with her solution.
Across the globe, predatory capitalism spreads its gospel of power, greed, commodification, gentrification, and inequality. Through the combined forces of a market driven ideology, policy, and mode of governance, the apostles of free-market capitalism are doing their best to dismantle historically guaranteed social provisions provided by the welfare state, define the accumulation of capital as the only obligation of democracy, increase the role of corporate money in politics, wage an assault on unions, expand the military-security state, increase inequalities in wealth and income, foster the erosion of civil liberties, and undercut public faith in the defining institutions of democracy. As market mentalities and moralities tighten their grip on all aspects of society, democratic institutions and public spheres are being downsized, if not altogether disappearing. As these institutions vanish—from public schools to health care centers—there is also a serious erosion of the discourses of community, justice, equality, public values, and the common good. One does not have to look too far to see what happens in America’s neoliberal educational culture to see how ruthlessly the inequality of wealth, income, and power bears down on those young people and brave teachers who are struggling every day to save the schools, unions, and modes of pedagogy that offer hope at a time when schools have become just another commodity, students are reduced to clients or disposable populations, and teachers and their unions are demonized.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s current attempt to close down 54 public schools largely inhabited by poor minorities is one more example of a savage, racist neoliberal system at work that uses the politics of austerity and consolidation to further disenfranchise the unskilled young of the inner city. The hidden curriculum in this instance is not so invisible. Closing schools will result in massive layoffs, weakening the teachers unions. It will free up land that can be gentrified to attract middle class voters, and it will once again prove that poor minority students regardless of the hardships, if not danger, they will face as a result of such closings are viewed as disposable—human waste to be relegated to the zones of terminal exclusion. Not only are many teachers and parents concerned about displacing thousands of students to schools that do not offer any hope of educational improvement, but they are also concerned about the safety of the displaced children, many of whom “will have to walk through violent neighborhoods, and go to school with other students who are considered enemies.” Brian Sturgis, a Chicago high school senior and organizer with the group Chicago Students Organizing to Save our Schools declared in an op-ed that Chicago students are prepared to fight for their schools. He writes: Continue reading »
Chicago almost became a glowing radioactive sister city to Fukushima.
Yesterday we broke the story of the La Salle Nuclear plant having to perform a Fukushima style direct-to-atmosphere venting of the primary nuclear containment due to a lightening strike. As we indicated at the time, the amount of radioactivity released is unknown because the radiation monitors were not on a backup power supply.
Today in a follow on NRC event report, we find out that failures in the emergency cooling system resulted in the last ditch cooling attempt of directly venting the radioactive drywell to the atmosphere. The severity of those failures are underreported in the NRC event report, because it reads no different than if it the failures had been discovered during testing instead of being found out in the midst of a real life emergency resulting in the last ditch cooling effort of venting.
We explain the situation in more detail in the video, but gist of the analysis is as follows: Continue reading »
“I’m not going to let you do to me what you did to Stanley McChrystal,” Emanuel said in an allusion to the Rolling Stones profile of McChrystal that Hastings wrote which led to the general’s resignation over disparaging comments made about President Obama.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel allegedly grabbed a reporter by the arm in order to communicate “a threat of physical violence” in the course of an interview that went south during the presidential campaign.
“I’ve never experienced anything like this in my career from an American public official,” Buzzfeed’s Michael Hastings, author of Panic 2012: The Sublime and Terrifying Inside Story of Barack Obama’s Final Campaign, said on Current TV.
Guns: The mayor of what is at once America’s most gun-controlled city and its murder capital wants an assault weapons ban like the one he pushed in 1994. Except it didn’t work then, and it won’t work now.
Nathaniel T. Jackson, 40, an alleged gang member with a long arrest record, was gunned down last week outside a store in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood, becoming the Windy City’s 500th murder victim in 2012.
Up to 80% of Chicago’s murders and shootings are gang-related, according to police. By one estimate, the city has almost 70,000 gang members. A police audit last spring identified 59 gangs and 625 factions; most were on the South and West sides.
Yet, in the view of Chicago’s mayor and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, the answer to violence by crazies and criminals in his city and nationally is more gun control, not more gang and goon control.
Do you want to see where this country is headed? If so, don’t focus on the few areas that are still very prosperous. New York City has Wall Street, Washington D.C. has the federal government and Silicon Valley has Google and Facebook. Those are the exceptions. The reality is that most of the country has been experiencing a slow decline for a very long time and once thriving cities such as Gary, Indiana and Flint, Michigan have become absolute hellholes. They are examples of what the rest of America will look like soon. 60 years ago, most Americans were decent, hard working people and there were always good jobs available for anyone that was willing to roll up his or her sleeves and put in an honest day of work. But now all of that has changed. Over the past decade, tens of thousands of manufacturing facilities have shut down and millions of jobs have left the country. Cities such as Cleveland, Baltimore and Detroit were once shining examples of everything that was right about America, but now they stand out like festering sores. The “blue collar cities” have been hit the hardest by the gutting of our economic infrastructure. There are many communities in America today where it seems like all of the hope and all of the life have been sucked right out of them. You can see it in the eyes of the people. The good times are gone permanently and they know it. Unfortunately, the remainder of the country will soon be experiencing the despair that those communities are feeling.
The following are 12 hellholes that are examples of what the rest of America will look like soon…. Continue reading »
The union that represents public school teachers in Chicago, Illinois says that the city lied about around $70 million in finances to fund the police department with money already put aside for educators.
The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) has uncovered an agreement signed by city officials through a Freedom of Information Act request that they say shows that millions of dollars meant to go towards contractually obligated raises for public school workers were instead funneled to the Chicago Police Department (CPD) to compensate law enforcement for patrolling the halls of those very schools.
According to a post published on the website for the CTU, the documents obtained in the recent FOIA request reveal that the city took $70 million set aside for teacher salaries and unemployment benefits and sent it to the Police Department to use for paying the cops that were dispatched across Chicago’s school system last year.
Thirty to 50 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars may have fought hard for or suffered for their medals, but this weekend, they plan to hand those medals back during the NATO summit in Chicago, MSNBC reports.
The group will stage the demonstration in protest of the war on terror, according to the itinerary for Sunday published on the blog Iraq Veterans Against the War.
The group will convene at 10 a.m. for music and speeches and at 3 p.m. march to the convention center where the NATO meeting will take place to return the medals, according to the intinerary.
If they are unable to hand their medals to NATO officials, they will toss them toward the convention center, MSNBC reports.
“We, Afghanistan and Iraq veterans from around the country will converge in Chicago on May 20 to ceremoniously return our medals to NATO generals,” according to the blog. “We were awarded these medals for serving in the Global War on Terror, a war based on lies and failed policies. This endless war has killed hundreds of thousands, stripped the humanity of all involved, and drained our communities of trillions of dollars, diverting funds from schools, clinics, libraries, and other public goods.”Continue reading »
CHICAGO – Some stations on the Metra Electric Line and South Shore Line could be shut down during the upcoming NATO summit, and passengers at other stations could face airport-style security screenings, due to the Secret Service security plan that could be released as soon as Friday afternoon.
CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine has exclusive details on those security measures, which the Secret Service is expected to officially unveil on Friday, or at the very latest, on Monday. Federal officials have promised the announcement will include a “comprehensive list of street closures and parking restrictions surrounding the NATO summit.”
The Secret Service has been battling with Metra and the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District over the security measures that will be needed on the Electric and South Shore lines, which both run directly under McCormick Place.
May’s NATO summit in Chicago is still weeks away, but residents of the Windy City can expect to see armed federal agents patrolling the streets in preparation much sooner than that.
Three weeks before international heads of state will converge in Chicago, Illinois for the annual NATO conference, the US Federal Protective Service will send armed officers into the city’s downtown district to prepare for the swarm of protesters expected to arrive in time for the event, slated for May 20 and 21.
CHICAGO (CBS) – Is there a secret plan to evacuate some residents of Chicago in the event of major trouble during the NATO summit next month? CBS 2 has uncovered some evidence that there is. It comes from the Milwaukee area branch of the American Red Cross.
CBS 2 News has obtained a copy of a Red Cross e-mail sent to volunteers in the Milwaukee area.
It said the NATO summit “may create unrest or another national security incident. The American Red Cross in southeastern Wisconsin has been asked to place a number of shelters on standby in the event of evacuation of Chicago.”
According to a chapter spokesperson, the evacuation plan is not theirs alone.
“Our direction has come from the City of Chicago and the Secret Service,” she said.
A lawsuit out of Chicago, Illinois alleges that several 6- and 7-year-old students at a city public school were handcuffed and threatened for hours all for talking during their first grade class.
LaShanda Smith, one of the student’s mothers, is seeking $100,000 from the city for damages both “permanent” and “personal” that she says her son suffered as a result of the incident, which allegedly occurred in 2010 at a school in the south side of the city. Smith’s attorney Michael Carin tells the Chicago Tribune that he has attempted to resolve the issue without bringing the battle into the courtroom, but the school Board officials have ignored his attempts at reaching a settlement.
“Unfortunately, we had to file a lawsuit because the Chicago Board of Education ignored my client on the day of the imprisonment and every day thereafter,” Carin writes in an email to the Tribune. “We hope the Chicago Board of Education acknowledges its responsibility and resolves the matter quickly.”
No seriously, it is all under control. And furthermore, the radiation detectors only go off on less than dangerous doses. And if that fails, GE can simply raise the sensitivity threshold on its scanners so no more vile, malicious false alarms such as this are set off in the future. “Mayor Richard Daley acknowledged today passengers on a flight from Tokyo had set off radiation detectors at O’Hare International Airport, but he offered no details and said federal officials will be handling the situation.”
“Of course the protection of the person coming off the plane is very important in regards to any radiation, especially within their families and anything else,” Daley said at a downtown news conference to discuss his trip to China this week.
City Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino would only say, “We are aware that occurred yesterday. We are working with Customs and Border Protection on this issue.” She referred reporters to the Department of Homeland Security.
Federal officials found traces of radiation on a United Airlines jet that arrived at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport from Tokyo Wednesday but determined that the plane’s cargo and passengers were safe.
Airline and government officials are reluctant to address their efforts to detect radiation contamination on U.S. aircraft at a time when some members of the public are jittery about possible fallout from Japan’s stricken nuclear plants.
It is unclear if those who set off the alarms will be arrested for smuggling illegal radiation from Japan, where gamma waves are being scared into hiding if one is brave enough to believe the domestic government.
Rahm Emanuel has been knocked off the mayoral ballot after an Illinois appellate court panel overturned a ruling in his residency case.
The panel ruled that Emanuel did not meet the residency requirement for eligible candidates.
“We conclude that the candidate neither meets the the municipal code’s requirement that he have ‘resided’ in Chicago for the year preceding the election in which he seeks to participate nor falls within any exception to the requirement,” the court wrote in its decision.
Over drinks at a bar on a dreary, snowy night in Washington this past month, a former Senate investigator laughed as he polished off his beer.
“Everything’s fucked up, and nobody goes to jail,” he said. “That’s your whole story right there. Hell, you don’t even have to write the rest of it. Just write that.”
I put down my notebook. “Just that?”
“That’s right,” he said, signaling to the waitress for the check. “Everything’s fucked up, and nobody goes to jail. You can end the piece right there.”
Total corruption everywhere!
Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel laughs before addressing the crowd Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011 in Chicago. Emanuel was elected mayor of Chicago Tuesday, easily overwhelming five rivals to take the helm of the nation’s third-largest city as it prepares to chart a new course without the retiring Richard M. Daley.
NEW YORK – By crushing the competition, Rahm Emanuel is not just mayor—he may be mayor for life. Jonathan Alter reports from the victory party, from the jokes about Rahm’s residency flap to the challenges he faces. Plus, Howard Kurtz on the rise of anti-politicians.
Batten down the hatches, Chicago. He’s Da Mare. The *!#&! mayor.
When a Chicago lawyer named John Levi last fall introduced Rahm Emanuel to the partners at Sidley Austin (the Chicago firm where a young Barack Obama met Michelle Robinson in the late 1980s), Levi reminded his audience that for Chicagoans, there are only two truly important political jobs in the world—president of the United States and mayor of the city of Chicago.
Mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel holds a press conference after an Illinois Appellate Court panel overturned a ruling in his residency case Monday January 24, 2011. Jose More/Chicago News Cooperative
Rahm Emanuel has been knocked off the mayoral ballot after an Illinois appellate court panel overturned a ruling in his residency case.
The panel ruled that Emanuel did not meet the residency requirement for eligible candidates. (Scroll down to read the complete ruling.)
“We conclude that the candidate neither meets the the municipal code’s requirement that he have ‘resided’ in Chicago for the year preceding the election in which he seeks to participate nor falls within any exception to the requirement,” the court wrote in its decision.
Shortly afterward, Emanuel’s attorneys said they will appeal the case to the Illinois Supreme Court.
Ballots for the Feb. 22 election will be printed Monday night and they will not contain Emanuel’s name, said Jim Allen, a spokesman for the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.
“We’re going to print with one less candidate,” Allen said.
Emanuel had been in the top position on the ballot. That spot now goes to City Clerk Miguel del Valle, followed by Carol Moseley Braun, Gery Chico, Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins and William Walls.
The board, Allen said, is not worried about the possibility that the Illinois Supreme Court could pick up the case.
“It’s a hypothetical,” Allen said. “We’ve got an election to run.”
Emanuel struck a confident note when he addressed reporters around 1:30 p.m. at a Loop restaurant.
“I have no doubt that we will, in the end, prevail at this effort,” Emanuel said. “As my father always used to say, ‘Nothing is ever easy in life.’ Nothing is ever easy. This is just one turn in the road.”
In a news conference that lasted barely four minutes, Emanuel said he hoped for a quick ruling on his appeal to the state Supreme Court and added that he felt encouraged by the arguments from the justice who took his side in the 2-1 appellate court ruling.
“The dissent came in pretty strong,” he said.
Emanuel repeated his contention that he should not be disqualified from running because he went to work in Washington. He suggested that he should be exempt from the requirement that he live in the city for a year before the election — a loophole that clearly applies to soldiers on duty.
“When the president asks you to serve the country as his chief of staff, that counts as part of service to your country,” he said.
Emanuel said he hopes that his residency issue will be resolved, arguing that it has distracted from a clear debate on important issues facing the city, including its financial problems, public education and crime.
“I still own a home here – look forward to moving into it one day – vote from here and pay property taxes here,” Emanuel said. “I do believe the people of the city of Chicago deserve the right to make a decision on who they want to be their next mayor.”
Michael Kasper, Emanuel’s lead attorney, told reporters after the decision that he plans on filing paperwork with the Illinois Supreme Court by Wednesday. Kasper said he’s not sure whether the court will even take up the case.
“I’m not going to speculate on what the court may or may not do,” Kasper said. “But we are going to appeal.”
Burton Odelson, an attorney for the objectors, thanked the judges for their decision.
“It was a clear cut case just like we said all along” Odelson told reporters at the courthouse.
In the 2-to-1 court decision, judges Thomas Hoffman and Shelvin Louise Marie Hall agreed that Emanuel does not meet the eligibility requirements to run for mayor. Emanuel’s attorneys had argued that Emanuel’s work as White House chief of staff made him eligible for a special provision in the election code that’s typically applied for U.S. servicemen and women. That provision allows those serving to maintain their residency if they are “on business of the United States.”
“That plan language limits the reach of the ‘business of the United States’ exception to ‘elector[s]’ or their spouses; it makes no mention of ‘candidates,’” wrote Hoffman for the majority.
Judge Bertina Lampkin, the lone dissenter, ripped into the majority’s decision. Calling the decision “contrary,” Lampkin wrote in the dissenting opinion that multiple court precedents show Emanuel can be eligible to run for mayor even though he worked in Washington, D.C. for most of the last year. Lampkin also wrote Emanuel’s decision to vote from his Hermitage Avenue address while in D.C. showed the candidate did not intend to abandon his residency.
Lampkin also casted doubt on whether the Illinois Supreme Court will have time to review the case, should it do so.
“While I strongly believe that the majority’s holding is completely erroneous, if the majority were to apply it only prospectively, rather than retroactively to this candidate, there would be sufficient time for our supreme court to thoughtfully review it,” wrote Lampkin. “The majority’s decision disenfranchises not just this particular candidate, but every voter in Chicago who would consider voting for him. Well-settled law does not countenance such a result.”
Chico would not address Burke’s potential role Monday at a news conference scheduled in response to the ruling.
“I’m a candidate for mayor, I don’t tell the Illinois Supreme Court what to do one way or the another,” Chico said. “That’s not my position.”
The Emanuel campaign encouraged followers on Twitter to meet at the Chicago Board of Elections at 5 p.m. today “to rally for Rahm’s right 2 b on the ballot and let Chicagoans choose.”
If Emanuel ultimately cannot be a candidate for mayor, the development would revolutionize the campaign to replace retiring Mayor Richard M. Daley. Emanuel has been the clear leader in every poll, with many analysts speculating that he could win the majority in the Feb. 22 election and avoid an April run-off.
Emanuel’s fund-raising prowess had allowed him to saturate the airwaves with campaign commercials for more than two months.
Mayoral candidates Braun, Chico and del Valle quickly called news conferences for Monday afternoon to address Emanuel’s removal from the ballot.
Chico said he was “surprised as anyone” with the ruling and called himself “agnostic” about Emanuel’s removal from the ballot.
“We will continue vigorously with our campaign with or without Rahm Emanuel,” Chico said at a River North news conference. “I’ve said from day one in this campaign, I haven’t paid much attention to who’s on, who’s off, who’s in the race. I mean, some of the biggest names in politics have come before this race and I’ve just not paid much attention to it and my philosophy remains the same today: we will work hard to gather every vote that we can and bring our case to the people throughout this city.”
“It looked like money was going to decide this election,” del Valle said. “The voters now have a rare opportunity to shape this city’s future.”
Braun called the appellate court’s decision a “major milestone” in her campaign and said she hoped Emanuel’s supporters would now join her.
“I’m a great believer in the rule of law,” Braun said at a Monday afternoon news conference. “The court has spoken and until they change their mind that’s the law of the land.”
U.S Rep. Danny Davis, who had filed nominating papers to appear on the Feb. 22 ballot and had been declared the consensus black mayoral candidate by a group black politicians and community leaders, said he has no regrets about withdrawing from the race last month and endorsing Braun.
“I don’t worry about spilled milk,” Davis said Monday from Washington, D.C.. He said has been receiving calls from his colleagues in Congress about the ruling. “Everybody’s been talking about it. … I’ve talked to very few people who were not surprised.”
The appellate panel’s ruling was the latest twist in an unusual spectacle that has consumed much of the political limelight since Daley announced that he would not run for a seventh term and Emanuel launched his campaign to succeed Daley.
City elections officials and a Cook County judge had sided with Emanuel, rejecting the notion that he did not meet the residency requirement because he rented out his home in Chicago and moved to Washington to become President Barack Obama‘s chief of staff in 2009.
During the election board hearing on his case last month, Emanuel testified for 12 hours, taking questions not only from Odelson but also from more than two dozen citizens who had filed formal objections to his candidacy without the benefit of a lawyer.
Emanuel’s election lawyers had argued that the former congressman always intended to return to his home on the North Side after serving Obama. To buttress their claims, they had argued that Emanuel left family heirlooms, such as his wife’s wedding dress, in the basement of the house.
Through it all, Emanuel has said he feels that he never abandoned Chicago — an assertion backed up by another of his former bosses, President Bill Clinton, in a visit here last week to campaign for Emanuel. Clinton ridiculed the notion that Emanuel is not a full-fledged Chicagoan, saying everybody who worked with him was aware that he regarded the city as “the capitol of the world.”
With former elite puppet President Bill Clinton promoting and raising for Rahmbo.
Donald Trump, Aaron Sorkin and Steven Spielberg have written checks for Emanuel. | AP Photos
Rahm Emanuel has tapped his super-agent brother Ari’s Hollywood money network big-time in his bid to become Chicago mayor, gobbling up five- and six-figure checks from the likes of Steven Spielberg, “West Wing” creator Aaron Sorkin, Dreamworks mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg, and the Napster founder played by Justin Timberlake in “The Social Network.”
But Emanuel’s stunning multi-million haul wasn’t limited to the bright lights of the sunset strip — it also included huge payouts from CEOs and hedge fund managers across from New York to Silicon Valley, Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Donald Trump and former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin.
Emanuel’s shop announced Thursday afternoon it had collected $11.7 million, including $1.1 million already in the former congressman’s funds, since unofficially launching his campaign in October. That total — almost identical to what Gov. Pat Quinn spent in his statewide gubernatorial race this fall — puts Emanuel in a strong position as he tries to replace long-time mayor Richard M. Daley.
Emanuel already has spent $2.2 million on friend David Axelrod’s Chicago-based communications firm to produce commercials that remind Chicago voters that the man who lived in DC for the past year and a half is still a native son.