Tag Archives: Chicago IL

State of Discontent

INFECTED!!! The holier-than-thou Pacific Northwest is battling a measles outbreak that has triggered a state of emergency declaration in Washington (State, not cesspool).

All of the 35 confirmed patients suffering from the rarely fatal virus (which according to the CDC was eradicated from America in 2000) were either unvaccinated or have not had their vaccination status verified. We need to investigate that latter group so Twitter can attack the appropriate side.

NPR reports:
Before the vaccine was introduced in 1963 measles was the single leading killer of children in the world. To this day, it still kills 100,000 children a year worldwide, most under the age of five.

Popular locations to pick up this outbreak: if you picked someone up at
Portland International Airport in neighboring Oregon; attended a pick up NBA game featuring the Portland Trailblazers; picked up groceries at Wal-Mart in Vancouver; patronized the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry; or stumbled upon any of the other “four dozen locations” teased by Associated Press.

*

It’s still a terrible time to live in Chicago. Although thug mayor Rahm Emanuel (below, duck face) mercifully realized last month he would be the city’s first mayor in generations unable to buy his reelection if he didn’t step aside, the “Windy City” will still be frozen in hardship, namely due to dangerous winds this week from the polar vortex.

Specifically, the high temperature Wednesday of -13 degrees F will drop to a “feels like” of -50 when wind is factored in.

ABC7 of Chicago spotlighted our next online outrage mob victim, Jane Bozym, who whined from O’Hare airport:
“I am going to Phoenix [AZ], where I live now, I moved there a year ago. I am a little bit sad that I am actually going to miss the cold, just to say that I lived it.”

The Metra train service has deploy[ed] crews to set fires on switchers to keep the tracks from contracting.

Related: https://www.techspot.com/news/73061-all-20000-boring-company-flamethrowers-have-sold-out.html

Reportedly, “several inches” of snow fell on the city Monday.

But the race to replace burned-out ballerina Rahm won’t be smooth sledding. USA Today noted the four top-funded candidates, including reported frontrunner and current Illinois comptroller Susana Mendoza (above, gesturing), have all been forced to explain away associations with city council member/ “alderman” (since 1969) Edward “Ed” Burke (below, mafia costume).

The wizened former police officer and attorney, accused of extortion (maximum penalty: 20 years of prison or 5 months of forced residence in Chicago) earlier this month, allegedly [tried] to steer business to his private law firm [Klafter & Burke] from a company seeking to renovate a fast food restaurant[Burger King] in his ward. Burke denies trying so brazenly trying to have it his way.

[T]he FBI found 23 guns in raids on Burke’s City Hall and ward offices. As a condition of his bond, [he] was ordered to surrender the firearms and any others he may own within 48 hours of his release.

Mendoza was married by Burke’s wife Anne, a judge on the state Supreme Court (who was quietly sworn in to a second 10-year term on Nov. 29, the same day her husband’s offices were raided), in the Burke house. She is donating to the Montford Point Marines veterans group $141,550 in campaign contributions banked from alderman Danny Solis, and organizations run by him and his family (including, ironically, this being Chicago–see below–a debt collection firm). Why should we take solace in her dissociation from a different career criminal?

The Sun-Times noted Mendoza’s decision came one day after the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Solis, retiring chairman of the City Council’s Zoning Committee, has spent the last two years wired up to help federal investigators build their corruption case against Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th). Normally, elected officials agree to go undercover only after they themselves have been caught in corruption scandals.

The suddenly-virtuous comptroller blasted rival mayoral candidate,
Cook County Board of Commissioners President Toni Preckwinkle, demanding she likewise relinquish $116,000 Preckwinkle bagged from a 2018 fundraiser with Establishment Ed:

“By waiting until the end of March to return this tainted money, [Preckwinkle] is choosing to use dirty money to get her through this mayoral election. That’s shameful.”

Preckwinkle (above) has called on Burke to resign from the City Council [and] proposed prohibiting council members from holding outside employment.

Preckwinkle said later in the month she would return the money, and characterized Burke as “Susana Mendoza’s mentor.” More problematic may be her advocacy for Ed Burke, Jr.’s (below, mugshot) most recent employment.

[D]espite the fact that Burke Jr. was under investigation on allegations he made inappropriate sexual comments to co-workers at his prior job *in* the Cook County sheriff’s office, Preckwinkle forwarded his resume to the Department of Homeland Security for a promotion to their Cook County Emergency Management Department. Sun-Times reported Preckwinkle admits the recommendation came after she personally met with Burke Sr.

[our emphasis]

A Preckwinkle official said her office was not aware of the investigation when Burke was hired for the homeland security job.

Sun-Times notes a $10,000 contribution from Burke Sr. to Preckwinkle is mentioned in the extortion charges. Burke Jr. retired from the $110,000/year gig last year prior to a June domestic battery arrest in which all charges were “swiftly” dropped (sort of like his pants, as the arresting officers found him “extremely intoxicated, naked, acting violently, and destroying furniture inside [his] residence” not three hours after police originally escorted him there earlier in the evening), according to Chicago Tribune.

For his part, Burke Sr. has endorsed former Chicago Board of Education President Gery Chico to succeed Emanuel.

Klafter & Burke reportedly helped Trump do his taxes until last year.

*

Last November, Chicago caught up with Sony to enforce a new 9% cloud tax. PlayStation streaming services just became more costly. The 2015 job-discouraging measure was already kowtowed to by other gaming platform streamers like Xbox. (This is in addition to special Chicago taxes on movies, bottled water and cell phones, according to Fee.) Apparently,

A spokesman for the city’s Law Department, Bill McCaffrey, recently said,”If a business is not collecting the tax where we believe it applies, the city takes the necessary steps and works with the company to ensure compliance with the law.”

[…]

When Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel approved the additional tax on streaming services, it was done so with the explicit purpose of helping to fund the $530 million increase given to Chicago’s police force

[our emphasis]

Homicides? No, we need more resources to harass people binging Storage Wars.

But wait. Illinois Policy reported:

The city’s amusement tax used to mostly apply to purchases of concert and sporting event tickets. However, the Chicago Department of Finance ruled in 2015 that the tax covered streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Spotify. This expansion of the amusement tax is commonly dubbed the “Netflix tax” or the “cloud tax.” In addition to being regressive, it is also likely illegal.

Liberty Justice Center has sued the city, but lost the first round. They are currently appealing to First District Court of Appeals. Labell v. City of Chicago argues the city is violating the Internet Tax Freedom Act, which
prohibits states, counties and municipalities from levying taxes that discriminate against electronic commerce.

LJC notes the mendacious metropolis takes the tax from everyone with a Chicago billing address, not necessarily only from those watching Netflix in Chicago.

Apple (who have reportedly refused to confiscate the tax from users) sued with a similar suit.

*

The best reason to steer clear of the Midway surfaced earlier this month, when the city was (again) exposed for confiscating and selling for scrap the vehicles of unfortunate denizens violating the city parking sticker system.

The eventual sale of scofflaw-related cars — 8,000 cars in 2017 alone — doesn’t wipe out any tickets, towing costs, or storage fees. […]

Here’s what the city’s own website says regarding the seizure of cars for ticket debts: “The signing over or involuntary surrender of your vehicle to the City does not waive or decrease any outstanding debt you owe the City.”

The city tickets aggressively for sticker noncompliance […], and at rates far higher in low-income neighborhoods, a WBEZ/ProPublica Illinois investigation found.

[…]

The city faces a class-action lawsuit over fine increases; plaintiffs accuse the city of exceeding legal caps on parking and compliance tickets.

Interestingly,

After Mendoza’s candidacy became official, [fellow candidate,
former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul] Vallas issued a statement slamming her for presiding over increases in vehicle sticker fees and penalties as clerk during Emanuel’s administration.

*

No word yet if the sinking ship SS Chi-town will try to pull what California did in the news-ignorant haze of the holidays. Their Public Utilities Commission briefly tried to tax text messages after voice call revenue plummeted 33% since 2011. They circulated some sob story that “Public Purpose Programs” now have less confiscated wealth to subsidize low-income residents.

But the Federal Communications Commission forced the state to abandon their latest shakedown, ruling that text messages are an “information service” (like internet and phone) that cannot be discouraged by additional grabbing from a revenue-drunk government. Probably because poor people relying on government subsidies for their phones would be regressively raped by a text tax.

Also (duh):


The wireless phone industry argue[d] added fees would put carriers at a higher disadvantage since messaging services like Apple’s iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger would not be charged under the proposed legislation.



Thanks to our sources:

https://www.npr.org/2019/01/28/689549375/washington-state-officials-declare-state-of-emergency-as-measles-outbreak-contin

https://apnews.com/88fde6e095424d348d1321cf41a6d9b0

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/09/04/chicago-mayor-rahm-emanuel-wont-seek-re-election/1191517002/

https://abc7chicago.com/weather/live-temps-chicago-weather-wind-chill-advisory-in-effect-tuesday/5110996/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2019/01/23/chicago-federal-political-corruption-scandal-mayor-election-alderman-ed-burke/2581411002/

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-alderman-ed-burke-charges-20190103-story.html

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/state-comptrollers-susana-mendozas-announcement-of-chicago-mayoral-run-leads-to-barrage-of-political-attacks/ar-BBPK11A

https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/mendoza-contributions-solis-doyle-burke-investigation-montford-point-marines-preckwinkle-chicago-mayor-election-2019/

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-ed-burke-jr-domestic-battery-charge-20190125-story.html

https://fee.org/articles/chicago-s-new-playstation-tax-shows-how-greedy-politicians-can-be/?fbclid=IwAR0Xed22MouRFRqFqQ6GkalQGh_WBicreIiqqLMkBa_7eGabolCZoT2q7xQ

https://www.illinoispolicy.org/chicago-slaps-playstation-users-with-expansion-of-9-percent-amusement-tax/

https://www.wbez.org/shows/wbez-news/chicago-seized-and-sold-nearly-50000-cars-over-tickets-since-2011-sticking-owners-with-debt/1d73d0c1-0ed2-4939-a5b2-1431c4cbf1dd

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/california-considers-charging-residents-tax-190318852.html

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/16/tech/california-text-tax-vote-canceled/index.html

Soda Tax Update

It’s shaping up to be quite a year for government confiscation. Seattle has joined the rush of ravenous localities dipping further into poor peoples’ pockets under the guise of improving their health.

A $0.0175 per ounce levy on every sugared beverage (including Gatorade) sold in the city kicked in on January 1.

Emerald City denizens may develop some bottled up rage over the endeavor, forecast to [stupid phrase alert] make it rain $15 million for the progressive utopia.

(Presumably before the additional 9.6% sales tax.)

Kshama Sawant (below), a Socialist Alternative member of the Seattle City Council, was absent for the 7-1 vote last June to enact the tax.

Kshama Sawant Portrait (24588157130).jpg

The full use of the new cheddar is unclear. Ricochet reports:

Since this was sold as a health initiative, $2 million of that will expand a city program that gives fruit and vegetable vouchers to low-income families [Fresh Bucks]. Of course, only $400,000 will go to actual vouchers; the other $1.6 million stays with the government for “administrative costs.”

[our emphasis]

This includes job creation for five (5) well-connected Seattle residents to get in good with local government, according to Seattle Times.

As with any government initiative, there are exemptions. Diet soda drinkers (whom Ricochet notes are more likely white, wealthy and/or campaign contributors) will escape the tax. 100% fruit juice (metabolically identical to soda) is exempt.

Distributors are also exempt if they post less than $2 million in annual sales. ($2 to $5 million in sales? You pay just $0.01/ounce.)

Any coffee with sugar that is not milk-based is subject to the tax.

And Forbes reported disgraced ex-Mayor Ed Murray initially wrote in an exemption for sugary coffee prepared onsite, meaning you could choose between paying more at the grocery store for a bottle of Starbucks brand sugar or standing in line with insufferable Starbucks customers. Seattle Times noted this exemption was killed just before the vote.

Washington state-based Costco risked retaliation from lawmakers by encouraging consumers to buy outside the city.

Since distributors are officially paying the tax, public shaming will no doubt follow for any price increase (like Costco’s “recovery fee” intimated above). That’s not fair to the struggling citizens!

*

Death Capital of America, Chicago, similarly tried to Band-aid its remaining residents’ health with a $0.01/ounce confiscation from August 2 through December 1 of 2017. Cook County officials scrapped the blatant budget-shoring measure, backed by big-government billionaire–and failed New York City soda tax perpetrator Michael Bloomberg–after the public noticed the measure penalized consumers of diet soda, but not sugar-laden juice. And that nearly 1 million consumers purchased soda with food stamps, so they were exempt from the tax. And that restaurant soda sales tanked. And that nearly 90% of citizens were opposed to the shakedown, according to anti-soda tax lobby Can the Tax.

Cook County Against Beverage Taxes

How’s Philadelphia‘s trampling of lower-income consumers going?

Proponents of the soda tax shut down Harrisburg-led hearing in City Hall.

Pennsylvania state Representative Mark Mustio and state Senators Mario Scavello and Scott Wagner (all Republicans) introduced memos attempting to remove the sugared beverage distributor measure, which took effect in January 2017, six months after Philly started spending the predicted revenue on “universal pre-kindergarten”.

Wagner is challenging Tom Wolf (below) for the Governor’s mansion this November.

Image result for wolf

Philly Me Up…Philadelphia Beverage Distributors to be Taxed by the Ounce “For the Children”

As we noted above, the skimming started mid-fiscal year 2017 (July 1-June 30). Projected profit for that period was $47 million, but the city realized just $39 million. They are projected to fall short of the FY 2018 “goal” of $93 million as well. City communications lackey Mike Dunn (below) gushed that the $66 million squeezed from Philly residents (as of December) is “a significant sum in a city where more than a quarter of residents live below the poverty line.

Mike Dunn

BillyPenn suggests soda sales are down in Philly and somewhat less outside the city limits. A study concocted by Bloomberg himself found overall revenues at major grocery chains had not dropped in Philadelphia, even though sugary drink sales had declined 57 percent.

[our emphasis]

While Mayor Kenney predicted a maximum 27% decline in consumption (which is, hopefully, the ultimate objective of policing peoples’ diets), Health Department data recorded a 31% decline through November.

Thanks to our sources:

http://www.king5.com/article/money/consumer/dont-like-seattles-sugary-drink-tax-costco-invites-you-to-shop-outside-the-city/281-505360199

http://www.king5.com/article/news/local/seattle/seattles-new-tax-on-sugary-drinks-kicks-in-jan-1/281-501869514

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/promoting-health-at-a-hefty-price-seattles-soda-tax-starts-jan-1/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ronaldholden/2017/02/22/starbucks-wont-face-a-sugary-drink-tax-inside-its-seattle-stores/#4f67e7ff3c42

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/is-seattles-proposed-soda-tax-also-a-latte-tax/

https://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2017/10/fizzled-0

http://www.stopthecookcountytax.com

Philly soda tax year one: The finances, fights and its future

Summer Part 2: August Agony!!! Looking Back: July 13: Rahm Jahm and Tax Turmoil

Sam Fullwood III over at ThinkProgress condemned Chicago thug mayor Rahm Emanuel‘s ill-advised withholding of public high school graduates’ diplomas.

Related:

Summer Part 1: Stories We Shelved!!! March 28, 31 and April 5–“Higher Education”

Mr. Fullwood’s article can be read here.

Additionally, back on July 7, the Illinois House and Senate voted to override a Governor Bruce Rauner (R) (below) veto of the financially-strapped state’s first budget in just over two years.

Bruce Rauner 2016 cropped.jpg

[According to Chicago Tribune, Rauner had planned to milk the financial crisis from the moment in early 2015 the nation’s least-solvent state descended into “budget impasse”:

“Crisis creates opportunity,” Rauner told the Chicago Tribune editorial board. “Crisis creates leverage to change … and we’ve got to use that leverage of the crisis to force structural change.”]

House Speaker Michael Madigan

House Speaker Michael Madigan, Democrat of Chicago, rammed through the income tax hike to dent the massive financial hole that is Springfield’s future.

A “bare minimum” 71 state House members voted to override Rauner, including just 10 of the governor’s party. Four Democrats opposed to the budget fix had to change their minds and vote with Madigan.

Similar to the 2016 plan of the state’s preeminent failure, Chicago, the band-aid on Illinois’ busted budget will involve some tax increases.

Taxing Times in Chicago

Some details:

[T]he plan includes $2.5 billion in spending cuts, including 5 percent across-the-board reductions to most state agencies and a 10 percent cut to higher education.

The personal income tax rate goes from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent, which is expected to generate roughly $4.3 billion. A rise in the corporate income tax rate from 5.25 percent to 7 percent would bring in another $460 million. 

State priorities resumed:

[T]he Illinois Department of Transportation announced that road contractors can resume working on projects that were suspended days earlier. And the Illinois Lottery announced Mega Millions ticket sales had resumed and the agency has requested that it be allowed to resume sales of Powerball tickets.

[our emphasis]

And,

Also buried in the budget plan is a measure pushed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to shore up two [Chicago] worker pension funds, which the governor had vetoed when lawmakers passed it as a stand alone bill earlier this year.

Interestingly, Illinois will spend $36,100,000,000 in the upcoming year, down from $39,000,000,000 currently.

*

Of note, Rauner quietly vetoed some bills on August 18 that would reportedly “provide transparency” of state-run agencies, as well as let Lake County voters decide if the county board chairman should be elected at-large, establish a state-run workers’ compensation insurance company, and allow those who care for the disabled to work overtime. 

Disallowing the final point, Rauner, whose health care experience includes funding the Chicago Red Cross headquarters, noted, safeguards individual providers from being unnecessarily overworked and ensures that residents requiring long hours of care will have more than one person who understands their needs and who is capable of caring for them.”

[our emphasis]

Comptroller Susana Mendoza (D), who passed the bill, was allegedly attempting to “micromanage executive agencies,” per Rauner.

Mendoza assumed office in December following a special election victory.

The micromanaging would have required agencies to report monthly on their non-submitted bills and estimate the resulting interest payments with which they would drag down the state.

Rauner approved a bill that reportedly requires free feminine hygiene products in public school bathrooms.

*

Chicago Tribune reports the city has a net loss of residents in both 2015 and 2016–nearly 20,000 last year alone–the only top-ten U.S. metropolitan statistical area to actually decline in population over that period.

The murder rate probably isn’t helping. Chicago registered the year’s 400th homicide on July 31, for a rate of about two murders per day.

For example, during 12 hours over August 19 and 20, thirty-three Chicago residents were shot, according to Chicago Tribune. Six died.

Over the Independence Day weekend, over 100 were shot, and 15 died.

Thanks to our sources:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-madigan-rauner-illinois-house-tax-increase-override-met-0707-20170706-story.html

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-bruce-rauner-vetoes-met-0819-20170818-story.html

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-census-population-loss-met-20170322-story.html

http://www.newsweek.com/chicago-homicide-shooting-crime-rate-644460

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-shootings-violence-20170819-story.html

http://abc7chicago.com/news/102-shot-15-fatally-in-chicago-over-july-4-holiday-weekend/2184156/

Summer Part 1: Stories We Shelved!!! April 9–United We Drag

The Dark Past Of Dr David Dao, Man Abused On United Airlines Flight flight 3

If anyone was living under a rock the week before Easter (like Jesus in the tomb?), United Airlines partnered with the Chicago Police Department to demonstrate the worst possible time slot to physically assault someone on camera with literally close to a hundred witnesses: Sunday night.

For the next week, the national news extensively covered the ensuing public relations crisis that would cast half-assed competitor Delta Airlines as nearly competent by comparison when United instructed Chicago Police Department officers to remove Dr. David Dao from his plane home to Kentucky. They did so, quite forcefully.

Yahoo!:

[Two passengers who reportedly filmed the now-viral footage] gave similar accounts of the incident to the Louisville Courier-Journal and on Twitter: United had overbooked the flight and was looking for four volunteers to leave the plane in order to send four United crew members to Louisville. Passengers were allowed to board and United offered $800 to anyone who gave up their seat, but when there were no volunteers, United said a computer would randomly select four passengers. The man in the video claimed to be a doctor who had patients to see in the morning and refused to leave, at which point airport security dragged him off the plane.

The United Contract of Carriage lays out specific policies for passengers who are not allowed to board overbooked flights but doesn’t cite policy for removing passengers who are already seated on such flights.

United told Yahoo!:

Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked. After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate.”

*

“This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United. I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers. Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened. We are also reaching out to this passenger to talk directly with him to address and resolve this situation.” –United CEO Oscar Munoz

Munoz continued to withhold an actual apology to Dao (which presumably surfaced amidst Dao’s vast monetary settlement).

ABC was all over Munoz’ response within the company:

CEO Oscar Munoz shared information about the incident, captured on video by other passengers, in an internal memo to employees that was obtained by ABC News:

“…When we approached one of these passengers to explain apologetically that he was being denied boarding, he raised his voice and refused to comply with crew member instructions,” Munoz wrote.

“He was approached a few more times after that in order to gain his compliance to come off the aircraft, and each time he refused and became more and more disruptive and belligerent,” the memo continued. “Our agents were left with no choice but to call Chicago Aviation Security Officers to assist in removing the customer from the flight.

“We are taking a close look at the circumstances surrounding this incident. Treating our customers and each other with respect and dignity is at the core of who we are.”

Interestingly, we may have to acknowledge Delta’s rare superiority to a competitor:

In 2016, United denied boarding at a rate of 0.43 per 10,000 passengers, according to the Department of Transportation’s “Air Travel Consumer Report.” American Airlines’ rate was 0.64, and Delta Air Lines’ was 0.10. These numbers include passengers who have confirmed reservations and are involuntarily denied boarding on a flight that is oversold.

*

New York Post reported some unsavory details about the Elizabethtown, KY-based pulmonologist.

 

Specifically, Dao, 69, had his medical license suspended in 2003 following his arrest on charges including unlawful prescribing and trafficking in a controlled substance.

He was accused of providing prescriptions for Vicodin and other narcotics to a former patient he later hired as his office manager, who was identified in news reports at the time as Brian Case.

The men repeatedly hooked up in motels, with Dao paying Case around $200 each time and also sharing in the drugs, according to a 130-page file compiled by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure.

On the day he was busted, Dao was secretly videotaped with Case in a Red Carpet Inn in Jefferson County, Ky., “with his shirt off and his pants undone,” the records say.

Dao was convicted after a trial and sentenced to five years’ probation after the judge agreed to suspend a prison term of two-plus years recommended by the jury.

The licensing records also reveal how Dao was “the subject of many complaints” while working at Hardin Memorial Hospital.

The Medical Executive Committee there “took a strong stance in 2002, and put [Dao] on a corrective action plan due to his disruptive behavior” and referred him “for evaluation and anger management,” the papers say.

Since 2006, he’s won nearly $235,000 playing tournament poker, taking home $1,191 in one January contest, according to the World Series of Poker website.

Dao was reportedly working on a provisional reinstatement of his medical license, under supervision of another doctor.

Unilad.co.uk seemed to corroborate Dao’s perhaps sordid past.

*

According to CNBC, thousands of American travelers are involuntarily removed from flights annually. And the numbers are reportedly much lower in recent years. Over 40,000 passengers got pulled last year. Apparently not literally pulled, as Dr. Dao was.

http://sc.cnbcfm.com/applications/cnbc.com/resources/files/2017/04/11/unitedChart1-01.png

Fortunately (?), [b]y law, bumped passengers can receive up to $1,350 in compensation. The average amount received was around $800, according to Airhelp.com.

Yahoo!:

Two more officers involved in dragging a United Airlines passenger off a plane have been placed on administrative leave, according to a statement provided to Yahoo News.

“The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) continues reviewing the details surrounding the incident,” the CDA said in a statement released late Wednesday afternoon. “As part of our review, two additional officers have been placed on administrative leave until further notice. The employees’ collective bargaining agreement prohibits the CDA from releasing their names at this time.”

Initially, one officer was placed on leave Monday following the removal of 69-year-old Dr. David Dao from United Airlines Flight 3411[.]

Dao was selected by the airline to give up his seat but refused, leading to the actions by the three officers.

CDA continued:

“Aviation Security Officers (ASOs) are part of the public safety teams at both O’Hare and Midway, and complement and assist the Chicago Police Department (CPD), Chicago Fire Department (CFD) and federal law enforcement. While they do have limited authority to make an arrest, Sunday’s incident was not within standard operating procedures nor will we tolerate that kind of action. That is why we quickly placed the aviation security officer on leave pending a thorough review of the situation.”

By Friday, United stock had dropped by over 4%, reducing their “market cap” by $770 million.

But wait. Was Dao bumped within United’s legal constraints? According to Forbes:

[Dao’s] flight from Chicago to Louisville was not overbooked and no passengers were denied boarding. The latter part of that sentence should be abundantly clear by seeing the videos of David Dao being hauled from his seat.

On Tuesday, United appeared to acknowledge that this was not technically an overbooked flight. And the reason for that equivocation is also clear. The four airline employees who needed the seats, presented themselves to the gate agent after the flight was boarded. Further, they were not fare-paying passengers, therefore not “booked.

On April 27, CNN Money reported Dao had been compensated for his international humiliation and physical trauma. Terms were not disclosed. He did, however, sustain a concussion and broken nose in the removal, as well as the forceful “removal” of his two front teeth.

The “disruptive and belligerent” line from Munoz should be considered. According to officers Mauricio Rodriguez and James Long, Dao was “swinging closed fists” when they tried to escort him off with less hubbub.

Rodriguez, Long and two other officers, Steve Smith and John T. Moore, were all eventually placed on leave by Chicago PD.

Perhaps the most intriguing parts of the story were buried in the April 25 CNN article detailing the officers’ report:

Long, who finally removed Dao from the plane, also recounted that Dao was then placed on the floor of the jetway and was offered water after saying that he was a diabetic. Then, Long’s report says, Dao pushed past Rodriguez and another officer and ran back into the plane.

 

“I’m not getting off the plane, just kill me. I want to go home,” Dao said, holding onto a pole in the galley area of the aircraft, according to Rodriguez’s report.

A crew member, whose name is redacted from the documents, confirms the reports, writing that Dao “was spitting blood saying, ‘I’m going home. Just kill me.'”

Rodriguez’s statement to his watch commander, along with another officer’s statement which CNN has seen, was submitted “under duress,” according to the report. “I am only giving this statement at this time because I know that I could lose my job if I refuse the direct order given to me,” the statement reads.

Fly safe, everyone!

All emphasis is ours.

Thanks to our sources:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/united-passenger-forcibly-removed-flight-refusing-give-seat-134930951.html

https://gma.yahoo.com/united-ceo-tells-employees-lessons-learn-man-dragged-082800197–abc-news-topstories.html#

http://nypost.com/2017/04/11/doctor-dragged-off-flight-convicted-of-trading-drugs-for-sex/

The Dark Past Of Dr David Dao, Man Abused On United Airlines Flight

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/11/involuntary-airline-re-accomodations-happen-all-the-time.html

https://www.yahoo.com/news/additional-officers-placed-leave-united-passenger-removal-222312365.html

http://time.com/money/4739880/united-airlines-fiasco-overbooked-passenger-dragged-stock-price-value/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/christinenegroni/2017/04/12/united-flight-not-overbooked-airline-admits/#1075b8c32f18

http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/27/news/companies/united-airlines-dao-settlement/

http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/25/us/united-airlines-incident-officers-report/

Summer Part 1: Stories We Shelved!!! March 28, 31 and April 5–“Higher Education”

March 31:  Washington D.C. continued to pound lower-socioeconomic Americans by adding an additional employment barrier. Specifically, childcare workers are required to have a college associate degree by 2020 according to new regulations levied last December. Childcare center directors reportedly must earn a four-year bachelor degree by December 2017.

Washington Post had more on the ill-advised program:

More than a decade after Washington, D.C., set out to create the most comprehensive public preschool system in the country, the city is directing its attention to overhauling the patchwork of programs that serve infants and toddlers. 

The new regulations put the District at the forefront of a national effort to improve the quality of care and education for the youngest learners. City officials want to address an academic achievement gap between children from poor and middle-class families that research shows is already evident by the age of 18 months.

A central part of that mission is educating a workforce that historically has been paid and treated like babysitters. What the job demands is closer to the work of elementary school teachers, scientists say. “This is a real opportunity to build the profession and set our young children on a positive trajectory for learning and development,” said Elizabeth Groginsky, assistant superintendent of early learning in the District. 

[…]

[U]nlike in most professional fields, prospects are slim that a degree will bring a significantly higher income — a bachelor’s degree in early-childhood education yields the lowest lifetime earnings of any major.

[…]

Valora Washington, chief executive at the Council for Professional Recognition, which oversees the Child Development Associate (CDA) program, an entry-level credential for child-care providers, said a similar education requirement would “shut down” the child-care system in many states.

D.C. is different. D.C. is ahead of the curve,” she said. “It’s more possible here than it would be anywhere else.”

The new credential requirements in the District follow a 2015 report by the National Academies that says the child-care workforce has not kept pace with the science of child development and early learning.

[…]

[T]he report says […] teachers of infants and toddlers require the same level of sophisticated knowledge and skills expected of elementary educators and they should likewise be expected to have bachelor’s degrees.

[our emphasis]

Currently, the Dirty District is demanding just a two-year associate degree for the toddler teachers. The Post notes the above report at least recognizes stringent worker requirements may “reduce diversity in the profession” and increase financial pressure on families straining to carve out a career in the financial candy land of Federal Government bullies.

If the taxable income is: The tax is:
Not over $10,000 4% of the taxable income
Over $10,000 but not over $40,000 $400, plus 6% of the excess over $10,000.
Over $40,000 but not over $60,000 $2,200, plus 6.5% of the excess over $40,000.
Over $60,000 but not over $350,000 $3,500, plus 8.5% of the excess over $60,000.
Over $350,000 but not over $1,000,000 $28,150, plus 8.75% of the excess above $350,000.
Over $1,000,000 $82,025, plus 8.95% of the excess above $1,000,000.

 

Above: the individual government confiscation income tax rates on D.C. workers, which appear to kick in with the first dollar of income earned. Source: https://cfo.dc.gov/page/district-columbia-tax-rates-individual-income-and-business-franchise-taxes

The ever-balanced Post highlights rosy scholarship options available to assist lower-income preschool teachers with conquering the newest government-implemented impediment to success:

The Teacher Education and Compensation Helps, or T.E.A.C.H., scholarship is funded mainly through local and federal funds but also requires the employee and child-care center to pay a small share.

It was started in North Carolina in 1990 after a workforce survey showed that less than 10 percent of child-care workers had any kind of college degree. Since then, the portion with degrees has increased to nearly 65 percent, thanks to the scholarships, and also because the state instituted a quality rating system that rewards centers based on the education levels of its staff members.

Nationally, the program has expanded to about two dozen states and the District and has awarded scholarships to 136,000 people.

The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood National Center estimates that participants earn on average 8 percent more each year they participate, as they receive bonuses or are promoted at work. And the scholarship reduces turnover, a serious challenge for the field. For every year that an employer supports an employee’s education, the employee must commit to another year of work.

[our emphasis]

 Unfortunately,
 

Most college campuses or classes are across town, and so many have chosen to pursue online programs and pay for them out of pocket […] One employee said she already owes back tuition and could not log on to her courses until she finished paying down her bill.

The “for-profit colleges are evil” social justice warriors should get their pitchforks ready.

*

If childcare is the new “higher education” battlefield, what should we call the struggles of graduate students trying to unionize? “Higher higher education?” (Hopefully if you pay enough dues, you’ll get “hired” at completion of your degree.)

In early April, we learned about the late March movement to unionize some students in another government-afflicted sector of the economy.

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten threw a tantrum when her union failed to lock down representation rights for Cornell University graduate students, according to Washington Free Beacon.

http://s4.freebeacon.com/up/2017/04/weingarten.jpg

Graduate students at Cornell University voted 919-856 against organizing a union with the AFT on March 28. Eighty-one ballots remain uncounted as they are subject to challenge. Those ballots could shift the final tally, leading the union to cry foul.

Free Beacon notes the development is particularly humiliating because Weingarten graduated from Cornell’s  School of Industrial and Labor Relations (yes, this is actually a thing) in 1980 and drummed up dissent for professors opposed to unionizing in the days preceding the election.

Weingarten said the university could reduce admissions and cut health care costs in the event of a union victory.

“The university sent communications on the eve of and during the election with the intention of chilling and intimidating voters,” she said in a release. “Cornell flagrantly violated the spirit of both the code of conduct we negotiated and federal labor law.

[…]

I am really offended that somebody who has a lot of power, and who has tenure and who has voice would actually say in a university that has an ILR school here, that having real labor relations is an existential threat,” Weingarten said at a March 25 rally. “Don’t tell me that they’re an existential threat when we have on this campus, and what makes this campus a great campus, what makes it a land-grant university is having an ILR school.”

[our emphasis]

Some history of which we were ignorant:

In 2000, the National Labor Relations Board—the nation’s top federal labor arbiter—ruled that graduate students’ work as teachers and researchers established them as workers. George W. Bush’s board overturned that decision in 2004. In August 2016, Barack Obama’s NLRB—led by Cornell graduate Mark Gaston Pearce—ruled once again that students had the right to organize.

[…]

The Cornell election was administered privately based upon a 2016 agreement between the school and union, rather than by the NLRB, which oversees union elections.

[The Cornell student] group pointed to the vote as a dramatic swing from a 2002 election in which only 30 percent of voters approved unionization.

Perhaps the NLRB overseeing an election to add more political pawns to its competition-crushing, government-propping ranks would indeed have raised conflicts of interest.

Scouring the “union representation” page of Cornell University Grad School did not illuminate the final election results.

Related:

Charter Schools

*

And what formative years between pre-school and graduate school can the government systematically undermine to better control their subjects? How about high school?

Crown prince of Chicago Rahm Emanuel proposed additional requirements for his little people to fulfill in order to graduate from high school. Namely, starting with the class of 2020, unfortunate Chi-town residents must pick themselves out of the bodies lining their streets and show proof of acceptance to college, the military, trade school, or a “gap year program” to get their diploma.

Perhaps the ever-ambitious, eventual Harvard University matriculant Malia Obama can advise on the latter option.

Rahm’s rahmbling is not quite as elitist as it sounds: according to Chicago Tribune, [t]he requirement would also be satisfied if the student has a job or a job offer.

Quoth the Mayor:

“Just like you do with your children, college, post-high school, that is what’s expected,” Emanuel said at a Wednesday morning news conference. “If you change expectations, it’s not hard for kids to adapt.”

Emanuel and his office said the “groundbreaking” effort would make CPS the nation’s first large urban school district to require students to develop a plan for their lives after high school. He outlined the plan as CPS continues to struggle with financial problems that has led officials to warn the current school year could end three weeks early.

[our emphasis]

“I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I’ve never heard of anything like [the statist coercion to detail one’s future plans to obtain their high school diploma],” said Maria Ferguson, executive director of the Washington D.C.- based Center on Education Policy. “The question I would have for Mayor Emanuel is: ‘Where did this come from? What informed your thinking to lead you to believe that this was a good plan of action for CPS?‘”

[our emphasis]

CPS Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson fielded some questions at the news conference. It seems she will be Emanuel’s unfortunate point woman on the new requirement, if enacted.

We all need to change how we think about what it means to be a high school graduate — a diploma alone isn’t enough anymore,” Jackson said in a statement.

[…]

Emanuel’s initiative would allow the mayor to continue promoting the City Colleges of Chicago and push a potential flood of new applicants to schools that must already accept most students. Emanuel recently installed a longtime ally, Latino activist Juan Salgado, as chancellor of the system.State law already requires Illinois community college districts to admit students qualified to complete any of the schools’ programs, as long as space is available. That could provide an out for a student who isn’t quite sure what to do after high school, officials said.

[our emphasis]

Unaware of your options after twelve years of government-mandated education? How about more government-run education that you will now pay for directly via predatory loans instead of the horribly regressive local taxes confiscated from your parents? It’s an “out!” You’re welcome.

Asked whether a student who doesn’t get one of these letters of acceptance would be prohibited from graduating from high school Jackson said in part:

“If a student graduates from a Chicago public school, they are automatically accepted into one of our City Colleges. And if a student is at a point where they’re undecided … we do have that option there for them.”

As long as you “work” for CPS, a gravy-train union racket that largely exists to disperse cushy benefits to administrators and hold children as political pawns to bully the Illinois state governor for a bailout of their chronically-unfunded pension system every few years, you

[P]rocessing a possible surge of college applicants would likely require CPS to hire more counselors and could also have implications for the city’s community colleges[.]

Job creation!!!

The City Colleges system has continued to struggle with “softened” enrollment numbers, as the system also looks at burning cash reserves and making cuts because of the state’s protracted budget impasse.

At the same time, the system has said it has seen larger numbers of incoming students “without the required academic preparation,” which has led to higher demand for remedial courses and support services.

One thing the mayor definitely does not want to do is push down CPS’ high school graduation rate. The district’s five-year high school graduation rate last year hovered at around 73 percent[.]

[…]

[To achieve] former CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett[‘s] goal of increasing the college graduation rate of CPS students to 60 percent by 2025[,] […] CPS embarked on what it described as a comprehensive, eight-day training program for school advisers. The district said it understood that the quality of college counseling that students received marked “one of the greatest drivers of whether a student enrolls and persists in college.”

But by Wednesday, the district said, only about 40 percent of CPS school counselors had completed the training.

The district said it would ensure all counselors obtained the training as part of Emanuel’s latest initiative, noting that CPS and the mayor’s office were working to raise roughly $1 million from donors to accelerate the process.

UPDATE: On April 28, Byrd-Bennett was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for pocketing $2.3 million in kickbacks in exchange for dealing $23 million in no-bid contracts to “Chicago education firms,” according to Detroit Free Press. Prior to profiting handsomely from CPS, the 66-year-old “educator”‘s self-enrichment train made stops in Cleveland and Detroit. The latter position–IRONY ALERTchief academic and accountability officer–reportedly involved a shady $40 million book deal with publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, who for some reason dropped $25,000 into Byrd-Bennett’s bank account. As that federal investigation heated up, she moved on to Chicago in 2012.

Photo from CPS website.

DFP:

A tearful Byrd-Bennett apologized in court before learning her punishment, saying: “What I did was terribly wrong. … I’m ashamed and I’m sorry.”

Related:

Minimal Malice in Chicago Re: Teacher Layoffs

Thanks to our sources:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/district-among-the-first-in-nation-to-require-child-care-workers-to-get-college-degrees/2017/03/30/d7d59e18-0fe9-11e7-9d5a-a83e627dc120_story.html?hpid=hp_local-news_daycare-730am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.ebc74b57972e

http://freebeacon.com/politics/aft-leader-unable-win-outright-turf/

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-rahm-emanuel-high-school-requirement-met-20170405-story.html

http://www.freep.com/story/news/education/2017/04/30/ex-dps-school-official-barbara-byrd-bennett-gets-prison-chicago/101138184/

Spring Break Blitz: Stories We Sat On!!! February 23–Court-Mandated Feeding Falls; Chicago Strikes; Podesta Peddles Influence and TSA Chokes

A woman who successfully kept state courts from force-feeding her succumbed to her anorexia-bulimia three months after establishing her right to enter palliative care.

Ashley G., 30, was a three-year inpatient at Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in Parsippany, NJ according to Associated Press. She died at Morristown Medical Center.

New Jersey State Attorney General reportedly supported the NJ Department of Human Services request to have Ashley force-fed, arguing her anorexia was “not a terminal condition” and that her chronic depression precluded any mentally competent decision regarding her welfare.

Interestingly, Parsippany’s population is about 30% Asian, including 17% Indian American.

Ashley’s court-appointed lawyer was Edward D’Alessandro Jr.

Of note, Judge Paul Armstrong, who ruled for Ashley last November against the state attorney general, represented the parents of Karen Ann Quinlan as they fought successfully to have their 21-year-old daughter — who was in a persistent vegetative state after mixing alcohol with Valium at a party — removed from a ventilator so she could die with dignity. She lived nine more years but never came out of her coma.

Quinlan’s “right to die” case went to the New Jersey Supreme Court, who ruled her parents could remove the feeding tube. She also died in New Jersey, according to Wikipedia.

*

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (Council 31), which represents 38,000 Illinois state employees, voted to strike.

“Instead of working toward compromise, Governor [Bruce] Rauner has been seeking the power to unilaterally impose his own extreme demands, including a 100 percent hike in employee costs for health care that would take $10,000 out of the pocket of the average state worker, a four-year wage freeze and an end to safeguards against irresponsible privatization.”

–Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch

Rauner responded to the results of the union’s strike vote, which they broadcast on “Twitter.”

The Republican governor, elected in 2014, characterized the vote as “an attack on our state’s hardworking taxpayers and all those who rely on critical services provided everyday.

[…]

“[STUPID PHRASE ALERT] Put simply, AFSCME leaders will do or say anything to avoid implementing a contract that is fair to both taxpayers and state employees alike.

“If AFSCME chooses to strike, we will use every resource to ensure services continue to be available to the people of Illinois. We continue to encourage AFSCME to work with us in implementing a contract that is similar to those ratified by 20 other unions.”

Rauner was reportedly opposed to the union’s demands for overtime pay after working 37.5 hours in one week and favoring employee pay increases tied to seniority instead of performance.

*

Career criminal and ex-Hillary campaign chair John Podesta was hired to write for Washington Post. Presumably this means he will not resume his unregistered lobbying for Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin.

Panama Papers

*

And the New York Post editorial board brought us new details on the 11 air travelers who were allowed to board planes at JFK Monday morning without going through the exhaustive security measures innocent Americans endure daily:

TSA staffers left a security lane open but unmanned. Three set off a metal-detector alarm and still walked on. And TSA didn’t tell Port Authority cops for two hours. 

Related:

 

TSA Protects

Judicial Watch on Somali Immigrants

Swipe Left for Overfunded Incompetence–UPDATED

New York Daily News had more damning details:

At least three of the passengers set off metal detectors, meaning that they could have been armed.

“They have clearly taken their eye off the ball. TSA management must refocus their people on screening passengers and cargo,” Marshall McClain of the American Alliance of Airport Police Officers observed.

What have they been focusing on??

Image result for tsa worker

Image result for tsa worker

Image result for tsa worker

But not to worry:

The TSA said it found most of the 11 passengers when they landed in California, and deemed them not to be threats.

[our emphasis]

Thanks to our sources:

https://www.yahoo.com/beauty/anorexic-bulimic-woman-fought-force-feeding-dies-30-163035398.html

https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=bkmk

Illinois public-employee union members vote to authorize strike

http://www.politico.com/blogs/on-media/2017/02/john-podesta-joins-washington-post-as-contributing-columnist-235300

http://nypost.com/2017/02/23/if-the-tsa-cant-fire-these-screwups-we-should-fire-the-tsa/

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/workers-failed-screen-jfk-passengers-face-discipline-article-1.2979527?cache=snyfr%2525252525253fq%2525252525253dxs%2F

Spring Break Blitz: Stories We Sat On!!! January 10–Dylan Roof; Naya Rivera; Rahm Emanuel Loses Revenue

Updated! This post has been edited to correct the embarrassing error in which Ms. Rivera was referred to as Mr. Rivera’s brother.

January 10

Mass murderer of nine Emanuel AME Church members Dylan Roof was sentenced to death in Federal court.

In the above image courtesy of Vice News, Roof is arrested and put in a bulletproof vest for transport the day after his June 2015 massacre. The death penalty is much more satisfying for society when the criminal can be killed publicly, expensively and with a long, drawn-out appeals process instead of just popped en route to jail like Lee Harvey Oswald.

*

Naya Rivera (sister of Oakland Raiders tight end Mychal Rivera) wore a dress that showed her underwear in a premier for her movie Mad Families.

naya rivera

Naya Rivera spied at Catch restaurant. (Photo: Splash)

*

Los Angeles was chosen as the site of the George Lucas-helmed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, a billion-dollar project that was almost squandered on Chicago.

Lucas Museum will be situated in Los Angeles' Exposition Park, adjacent to Coliseum and across from Lucas's alma mater, USC (Courtesy of Lucas Museum)

Related:

Chicago Blues

Head Chi-town thug Rahm Emanuel is not having a good year. Murder rates continue to surge.

UPDATE:

February 24–Seven people were fatally shot in Chicago. Three of them were apparently a family: Wilteeah Jones, her unborn baby and her boyfriend, according to CNN.

Malik Bingham and Wilteeah Jones were honored at a baby shower last week. The couple, and the unborn child, died in a shooting Wednesday night in Chatham. | photo provided

Jones and boyfriend Malik Bingham at their baby shower one week before their murders. Courtesy Chicago Sun-Times.

Thanks to our sources:

Dylann Roof sentenced to death

https://www.yahoo.com/style/did-naya-rivera-forget-her-skirt-no-its-just-invisible-170045320.html

https://www.yahoo.com/movies/george-lucas-selects-los-angeles-for-1-billion-museum-234525592.html?soc_src=mail&soc_trk=ma

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/24/us/chicago-shooting-deaths-wednesday/

http://homicides.suntimes.com/2017/02/25/wilteeah-jones-malik-bingham-and-their-unborn-child-shot-to-death-in-parked-car-in-chatham/

Minimal Malice in Chicago Re: Teacher Layoffs

Chicago Sun-Times reports “about a dozen young protesters” (above) were out Monday to publicly shame the CPS school district for “racist and discriminatory” firing of 508 teachers and 521 “support staff” in early August.

It must have been really hot for the one girl in the hijab.

Whether the fact that more “support staff” than real teachers needed to be removed to band-aid Chicago’s budget woes (not to be confused with the police and fire pensions, somewhat mitigated by a multi-million dollar property tax hike detailed in our previous post) at all indicates the exploding national budget for education with lackluster results, of which Chi-town is an excellent microcosm, has crossed the minds of the young innocents (future taxpayers!) taking to the streets remains to be seen.

According to Chicago Business Times, Chicago Public Schools laid down $16,432 per student last year. This increase from $12,000 per student in 2001 means “CPS owes bondholders and the pension fund more than $38,000 for every student, up from less than $10,000 in 2001.”

The dirty near-dozen decry the decrease in staff as  disproportionately affect[ing] low-income schools.

 Sabah Hussain and George Vassilatos of the Chicago Student Union group vocally villainized the “systemic oppression” to which they attribute the recent CPS district cuts.

Hussain, 17, told Sun-Times that CPS “targets marginalized communities” and “justifies perpetuating the cycle of poverty under the guise of lack of resources.” 

[Hussain] urged the district to find alternatives to layoffs for reducing the district’s $1.1 billion deficit, such as re-allocating surplus money in tax increment financing funds; taxing corporations on LaSalle Street; and cooperating with the Chicago Teachers Union.

Vassilatos, 17, had “a list of demands for Chicago and CPS,” per the Sun-Times, including a moratorium on charter expansion, an end to “racist and neighborhood-based budget cuts,” and an elected board of education.

“Education is the strongest tool against systematic oppression and systematic disenfranchisement of our communities, yet Rahm Emanuel and Forrest Claypool continue to close schools, fire teachers and refuse to engage in meaningful dialogue with CTU and the people of Chicago.”

A small group of Chicago Public Schools students gathered in front of the Thompson Center on Monday, Aug. 15, 2016, to protest the firings of several CPS teachers and staff.

Chicago Public Schools students concluded the rally by chanting, “People over profits” and “They say cut back, we say fight back.” | Lou Foglia/ Sun-Times

 

CPS has said the majority of those teachers and staff laid off would be rehired in different positions and can reapply to fill the roughly 1,000 existing teaching vacancies.

“CPS teachers do extraordinary work, and they deserve the most generous contract that we can provide in challenging economic times. To do this, we’ve offered teachers a net raise of more than 6 percent over the life of the contract, along with increasing taxes on Chicago taxpayers by $250 million to fund teachers pensions and cutting hundreds of administrative jobs.” –CPS spokeswoman Emily Bittner

[Sun-Times]

According to Sun-Times, the young demonstrators “expressed support for the teachers union.”

Hussain told Sun-Times:

“Education really is the key to changing and transforming communities. Until we empower and give tools [to] and mobilize the disadvantaged students that are coming from really tough neighbors and we really provide them with an equitable education, we wont [sic] see a … change in Chicago.”

According to National Center for Education Statistics:

Total expenditures for public elementary and secondary schools in the United States amounted to $620 billion in 2012–13, or $12,296 per public school student enrolled in the fall (in constant 2014–15 dollars, based on the Consumer Price Index). These expenditures include $11,011 per student in current expenditures for the operation of schools; $931 for capital outlay (i.e., expenditures for property and for buildings and alterations completed by school district staff or contractors); and $355 for interest on school debt.

How much money your school burns through may vary considerably, however, given that schools get some money from the Federal Government and some from local taxes. Like property taxes. Circle of life.

[All colored emphasis is ours.]

Thanks to our sources:

http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/cps-students-rally-against-racist-and-discriminatory-layoffs/

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20160525/OPINION/160529895/the-real-cost-of-cps-borrowing-district-now-owes-38-000-per-student

https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=66

Taxing Times in Chicago

Chicago Hikes Property Taxes to Pay for Pensions; Chicago Teachers Pension Fund Overpays $2,800,000

Emanuel to CPS teachers: 'Be part of the solution'

Former Sarah Lawrence ballerina Rahm Emanuel hiked property taxes last month to plug a $318,000,000 hole in Chicago finances, including police and fire pensions.

Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios speaks during the Cook County Democratic Party meeting to reconsider making an endorsement in the race at the party's headquarters downtown, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Apparently, Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios (above) raised some property values this year, increasing the amount Windy City residents must pay in tribute to their thug government. For the children.

Of note, the Chicago Sun-Times found via a watchdog on July 30 that several of the city’s “aldermen” (representatives) got property tax discounts, even as 75% of property owners paid more:

Eighteen of the city’s 50 aldermen — including Ald. Patrick O’Connor, the mayor’s City Council floor leader who rounded up the votes to pass the tax increase last fall — staved off the hefty tax hikes, shifting a total of $19,484 in taxes to other property owners. Those aldermen, including several whose wards have seen real estate prices skyrocket, did that by convincing Berrios or the Cook County Board of Review to lower the estimated value of their homes or apartments.

Five of those aldermen — including four who voted against the tax hike — owe less than they did last year, even as most of their constituents pay more, the Sun-Times found in an analysis of the 882,965 tax bills sent to Chicago landowners.

Nicholas Sposato, alderman of 38th ward (here the constituent “wards of the state” pay for their overlord politicians, in a counter-intuitive bit of vernacular) was set to endure a $1,371 tax hike this year. However, he appealed to assessor Berrios, and will pay $377 less than last year instead.

Sun-Times notes: more than 70 percent of taxpayers in [Sposato’s] ward saw [property tax] increases averaging $211.

Sposato is a Chicago firefighter and beneficiary of the very pension the property tax hike is set to replenish. He reportedly told Sun-Times:

“I didn’t vote for [the tax increase] just so my constituents could pay more taxes. We have an obligation to pay these pensions.”

Aldeman Proco Joe Moreno of the 1st ward must have slept with Berrios’ sister or something, because his “booming, hipster neighborhood,” according to the Sun-Times analysis, saw an average hike of $1,233 per property.

The tax on Moreno’s own two-story Wicker Park pad more than doubled to $19,833, an increase of $10,680. Berrios had deemed the property worth $518,980 in 2013, but this year it’s a cool $1.1 million.

“While I was anticipating an increase in my property taxes this year, I was not expecting that the county assessor’s decision would be to more than double the assessed value of my home and, more importantly, the homes of many others in my ward,” Moreno says. “I think it may be time to revisit the fairness of the appraisal system.”

Berrios evaluates Cook County, IL properties once every three years.

Some winners in the whole situation were identified by Sun-Times:

Eighteen other aldermen — including 11 who voted against Emanuel’s tax increase — successfully appealed assessments on their homes or other property, winning reductions that kept their taxes from rising a collective $25,750, the Sun-Times found. The savings ranged from $448 on the Lake View condo owned by Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) to $3,952 on the Kenwood home of Ald. Sophia King (4th). Tunney voted for the mayor’s tax hike. King wasn’t appointed by Emanuel to fill a City Council vacancy until after the tax hike passed.

(We are again assuming deduction or some other Government trickery that moved $19,484 to other, less-connected Chicagoans but ended up saving the opportunistic aldermen and women $25,750. It’s like the Federal Government multiplier in economics over here!)

O’Connor, who rammed through the tax increase last fall, has a story worth examining as well. He challenged the $645,680 assessment Berrios handed down on O’Connor’s home–an increase of 14.3% from 2013. The Board of Review lowered the home value to %596,360, and O’Connor saved $904 in taxes. It’s only money.

Without the assessment cuts, O’Connor’s tax bill would have been $11,356 — about $1,359 more than last year. Instead, it ended up being $10,447 — up about $450 over last year, while 69 percent of the taxpayers in his ward were hit with tax increases averaging $719.

Alderman Brian Hopkins cashed out on a condo in June, selling after saving $475 in a Berrios-authorized reduction.

“Sooner or later, the perception is going to be that the property taxes are too high, and people may leave,” Hopkins says. “But where are you going to go? Taxes are even higher in the suburbs.”

*

Meanwhile Juan Perez, Jr. has a nice little nugget out today at Sun-Times on President Obama’s crooked adopted hometown:

Chicago Teachers Pension Fund overpaid retirees nearly $2.8 million in recent years because of a misinterpretation of state law, fund officials said.

Over 25% of the money has reportedly been returned. Progress!

A “2012 policy change” led the Teachers Pension Fund to pay out to 234 retirees before they actually retired. Sun-Times credits Better Government Association with noticing.

(The “spend what you don’t have and bill the taxpayers” government practice is hardly new. As we have previously reported, head thug in Philadelphia, Mayor Jim Kenney, “garnered criticism from local and national economic commentators when he proposed bonus pension payments, distributing funds when pension plans exceed target returns in any given year even though solvency depends on the excess funds to balance underperforming years,” according to Wikipedia.

Mr. Kenney is currently overseeing six months of spending his new sugared-beverage tax…before the tax begins to be confiscated from beverage distributors January 1.)

Philly Me Up…Philadelphia Beverage Distributors to be Taxed by the Ounce “For the Children”

The Chicago pension fund in question, meanwhile, overpaid around $12,000 per retiree. 20 of the 234 got between $32,000 and $217,000 more than owed. Bill the taxpayers.

Jay Rehak

“As fiduciaries of the Fund, the Board cannot ignore its larger responsibilities and we will work to recover all monies as quickly as possible,” said pension fund board President Jay Rehak (above, left) who was the fund’s interim executive director when the error was discovered.

For more information, contact:

jjperez@tribpub.com

This article was updated 5:30 PM on 8/16 for proofreading and clarification.

[All emphasis is ours.]

Thanks to our sources:

http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/watchdogs-18-aldermen-avoid-hefty-property-tax-hikes-5-pay-less/

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-teacher-pension-payment-error-met-20160815-story.html

Chicago Fire

Fox News:

At least 32 reportedly shot in Chicago so far on Fourth of July weakened [sic]

(that’s all?)

In a 14-hour period from Sunday afternoon to early this morning, 12 people were shot in Chicago, the Chicago Tribune told Fox News.

That’s 32 so far this weekend weakened that includes today’s Independence Day festivities.

Of note, only one man has died from the shootings this weekend: Hector Badillo, Jr. (below).

Saturday - California Avenue

Badillo, Jr. was 32.

Saturday - California Avenue

Chicago saw 16 killed and another 66 injured the same weekend in 2014, with 9 killed over the 2015 July 4 weekend.

Sunday-Trumball

This woman got shot in the chest when a stray bullet went through the wall of her house, according to the Tribune.

One wonders when the calls for “gun control” will resurface from left-wing politicians as they did in the aftermath of the Omar Mateen massacre. Of course, the Federal Government is off today, with the House and Senate in “recess.”

Saturday - Police roll call

Police “roll call” Saturday with the Special Functions Units at Chicago PD headquarters.

Thanks to our sources:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/07/04/at-least-32-reportedly-shot-in-chicago-so-far-on-fourth-july-weakened.html

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-july-4th-shootings-violence-20160703-story.html