Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Why Does This City Councilman Have $8 Million Campaign Fund With No Opponent? The Man Running Things in Chicago, Mafia Linked Alderman Ed Burke


Chicago Aldermen: Top Campaign War Chests

By John Dodge
CHICAGO (CBS) — To get into this exclusive club, a worthy candidate needs about $300,000 in seed money.
Welcome to the Chicago Alderman Campaign Contribution Society, led by the unquestioned power broker on the council, Ed. Burke of the 14th Ward.
Burke, who is running unopposed in Tuesday’s election, has $8,038,953 in campaign cash on hand, according to an analysis by Aldertrak.
One of the reasons Burke is so well-heeled is that he rarely has to spend any of it.
In the four elections since 2003, Burke has only had token opposition once. That was in 2007, when he still won with 90 percent of the vote. He was first elected to City Council in 1969.
Alderman Brendan Reilly of the 42nd Ward is a distant second, but still cracks seven figures, with an impressive $1,178,045.
Reilly is also running unopposed on Tuesday, but still raised $141,550 in the latest reporting cycle.
Only four other alderman raised more in the latest quarter than Reilly–Walter Burnett, Danny Solis, John Arena and John Pope. All four are in contested elections.
Rounding out the Top 10:
Walter Burnett, 27nd Ward, $518,045
Ray Suarez, 31st Ward, $470,751
Michelle Smith, 43rd Ward, $439,588
Tom Tunney, 44nd Ward, $423,809
Danny Solis, 25th Ward, $349,645
John Pope, 10th Ward, $344,929
Michelle Harris, 8th Ward, $327,325
Patrick O’Connor, 40th Ward, $296,209
The “poorest” incumbent alderman is Natashia Holmes, of the 7th Ward, with $12,609 cash on hand. At least two other opponents have raised more, but Holmes enjoys the endorsement of Rahm Emanuel.
Last week, Holmes received support in the form of $9,595 for “political communications,” from Emanuel’s political action committee, Chicago Forward.
That is in addition to the $27,000 Chicago Forward sent in early February and late January for similar services, provided by AMS Communications, Ind. Donations from political action committees cannot be sent directly to a candidate.
The nature of the “communication” is not clear in the reports, but AMS Communications, is a small San Francisco-based publishing company.
Aldertrak started as a side project in 2007 by Jimm Dispensa. The site aggregates political data from a variety of sources. Deeper analysis and data are available for a $10 subscription.


hat tip: steve barton

The Russian Bear Moves In Next Door


Guess who’s meeting with our new BFF, Cuba? Russia. Moscow’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu had an intimate and cozy meeting with defense and military leaders in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua week before last. As they caught up with their fellow comrades on all the latest commie happenings… Russia agreed to provide military training and increase military visits and exercises. The Russians are not just probing next door anymore, they’ve moved in.
They signed several agreements on warship visits and military training during the visit, which ran from Feb. 11 to 14. Gee, that didn’t seem to make the news. You know why? Because our inept leaders say there is nothing to worry about. That all countries have the right to form alliances with whomever they want. Screw the Monroe Doctrine, which Kerry has already pronounced dead. It’s party time in Latin America!
The Russian leader is seeking bases in the region for strategic bomber flights that Shoygu recently promised would include flights over the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. In November, Shoygu announced that Russian strategic nuclear bombers would conduct long-range training flights over the Gulf of Mexico. Please note, these are nuclear capable bombers.
In November, Shoygu announced that Russian strategic nuclear bombers would conduct long-range training flights over the Gulf of Mexico. “In the current situation we have to maintain military presence in the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific, as well as the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.”
Marine Corps. Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, confirmed the likelihood of future Russian bomber flights during testimony earlier this month before the House Armed Services Committee.
“Moscow has made significant progress in modernizing its nuclear and conventional forces, improving its training and joint operational proficiency, modernizing its military doctrine to integrate new methods of warfare and developing long range precision strike capabilities,” Stewart said.
Stewart said Russian military forces, including Tu-95 bombers, conducted “record numbers” of out of area air and naval deployments.
“We expect this to continue this year to include greater activity in the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas,” he said.
Amidst the poo-pooing from Washington and Central Command that there is nothing to worry about, I enjoyed what Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), a member of the House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee, said:
The Russian bear is out of hibernation from Damascus, to Donetsk, and from Pyongyang to Peru.
Putin and his coterie of ‘former’ communists smell weakness. Their window to expand Russian influence is now and they are acting with great vigor and with nearly zero resistance from America and the West. Russian military expansion into Latin America is simply one more manifestation of their resolve and American inaction.
Glad he shares my viewpoint and this is what I have been saying for a long time now. The Russians are doubling and tripling down. Their latest move next door gives them immediate “Red Dawn” capability. Gee, if I were a Marxist President aligned with a country which I pretended was an enemy, but which in reality shared my hidden agenda… I might do something like facilitate across my borders a first wave invading force, just like Islamo-fascists do. I might encourage following that with terrorist groups and then a full blown invasion force, just as you have seen happen in the Middle East. Do you think it is a coincidence they are all taking plays from the same book here?
Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua all belong to the 11-member Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, known as ALBA, a leftist alliance set up by Cuba and Venezuela in 2004 as an anti-US grouping of states. Almost, if not all, countries in Latin America are led by dictators and one flavor of communism or another. Instead of trying to stem the anti-freedom shift of our neighbors as the Monroe Doctrine dictated, we instead, especially recently, have gone the “non-aggression” route which screams of weakness and opens the door to terrorism, communism, violence and severe aggression. Our biggest enemies have now moved into virtually every country to our south… those enemies are Iran, Russia and China – the new axis of evil. It won’t be long before Putin himself visits these countries to solidify his hold and sway over them. It’s a ticking bomb.
Obama keeps ranting on about how the sanctions are really hurting Russia economically. Maybe, maybe not so much. Even if they are, I hardly think Putin cares. He’s throwing every dime they have into their military buildup, while Obama guts ours. Putin doesn’t mind starving his own people if need be. After all, it is for the Motherland. With Russia continuing their out in the open warlike attacks on the Ukraine, NATO and Europe are getting very nervous indeed. In fact, Germany and France are crawling into bed with Russia. With the US no longer a global player, these countries will align themselves with a strong man and that would be Russia. We’re no longer the heavy-hitting force of yore; instead we’re “flexible” about power grabs by Putin and friends.
We have crickets coming from the Obama Administration on Russian military encroachment in the western hemisphere. Russian Tu-95 Bear H bomber flights have increased sharply near US coasts in recent months, with one recent air defense zone incursion simulating a practice nuclear cruise missile strike on the United States from northeastern Canada. Doesn’t that just send a thrill down your spine? British jets on Thursday intercepted Russian bombers flying along the coast near Cornwall, in southwest England. So, Russia is testing the defenses of their biggest enemies and, I’m sad to say, finding them easy to breach.
Shoygu inked an agreement that will simplify procedures for Russian warships to make port calls. A second accord was reached that will increase military training in Russia for Nicaraguan military personnel. Never one to miss a chance at military build up, Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista President Daniel Ortega announced last year that he plans to do just that with his armed forces with Moscow’s assistance. Russia has also promised to supply naval gunboats to Nicaragua beginning in 2016.
Venezuela is a also being gifted with a plethora of Russian weapons, including an estimated $12 billion in arms. Those arms would include Su-30 jets, Mi-17, Mi-26 and Mi-35 helicopters, T-72 tanks, Smerch multiple launch rocket launchers, S-300 anti-aircraft missiles and artillery. In return, they have agreed to increased visits by Russian warships and Caracas will hold joint military exercises with the Russians. Joint Russian-Venezuelan air defense training is also on the menu. Russian air force aircraft may make use of Venezuelan bases in the future.
Cuba’s Dictator, Raul Castro, noted that military relations continued to “develop constructively.” Cuba is hosting port visits by Russian naval vessels, including the intelligence-gathering ship Victor Leonov, which made a port call in Havana in January — which coincided with the Obama’s diplomatic initiative to seek normalized relations with the regime – in Obama’s eyes, we are all communists now. Cuba will also be sending their people to Russia for intense training in military and intelligence. US defense officials said the Leonov was anchored some 25 miles off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, two weeks ago where it is suspected of conducting surveillance on our nuclear missile submarines based at nearby Kings Bay, Georgia.
Once again, John Bolton sees the true threat when so many others don’t:
Former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton said the Russians appear to be filling a power vacuum in the region by the lack of focus from the Obama administration.
“Russia’s perception of American weakness under Obama has fueled their new adventurism in this hemisphere,” Bolton said. “Since I see no chance of Obama waking up to the potential threat, I am very worried about the situation a new president will face in January 2017.”
Which is certainly on purpose by Obama. He’s looking to tie our hands long after he’s gone and sabotage any effort to recover from his destructive moves on the American front.
So, while Russian President Vladimir Putin says other countries should not have the illusion that they can attain military superiority over Russia, they seem to have little to worry about from the US, who is busy becoming obsolete.
Russia is knocking on our door and I doubt that they will take no for an answer. The Russian bear has moved in next door and is setting up military house. Can war be far behind since Obama has laid out the welcome mat to our enemies? And what, pray tell, would that war look like?


Media Accepting Obama’s Spin on the Economy

Roger Aronoff

With as many lies and distortions that proceed from thisscandal-plagued administration, one might think that mainstream reporters would turn a skeptical eye toward another one of President Obama’s carefully crafted narratives. Each narrative is designed to push “progressive” policies or to cover up administration mismanagement. But our corrupt media reflexively cheer whenever the leftist agendas for amnesty, Obamacare, climate change, and economic regulation are mentioned. Add to the list of official narratives the hyped state of the economy, the successes of which cannot fail to be championed because they reflect on the viability of the current President’s policies.

Yet President Obama’s claims about how his administration’s efforts have boosted the economy, or that the economy is actually improving, are based on cherry-picked data.

“At this moment when our economy is growing and creating jobs, we’ve got to work twice as hard, especially in Washington, to build on our momentum,” claimed President Obama in his recent economic report,according to The New York Times. He continued, “And I will not let politics or partisanship roll back the progress we’ve achieved on so many fronts.”

Back in January, the labor force participation rate was the lowest since 1978. It has since increased by a mere 0.2%. And while hiring may be up, wages remain stagnant.

What type of progress, exactly, is the President citing? His entitlement and regulatory policies, such as Obamacare and proposed EPA regulations, shackle American economic ingenuity with an ever-increasing burden.

“Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed,” wrote Gallup President Jim Clifton in, “The Big Lie: 5.6% Unemployment.”  “Trust me, the vast majority of them aren’t throwing parties to toast ‘falling’ unemployment.”

“Our concern with our analysts is that [the unemployment statistic is] very, very misleading because what America really wants are full-time jobs. … The percent of full-time jobs in this country, to the population, is the worst it’s been in thirty years,” Clifton said on CNBC. He connected this to the middle class crisis.

Mortimer Zuckerman, of The Wall Street Journal has argued that the President’s signature health care legislation depresses full-time hiring. “Many employers cut workers’ hours to avoid the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to provide health insurance to anyone working 30 hours a week or more,” wrote Zuckerman last July. “The unintended consequence of President Obama’s ‘signature legislation?’ Fewer full-time workers.”

But President Obama, his administration, and the media are on a full-blown public relations campaign to promote “middle class economics,” with more government as the answer.

“In a letter to Congress with the report, Mr. Obama called on lawmakers to approve his economic agenda of expanded tax breaks for the middle class and increased spending on initiatives such as early childhood education,” reported The Washington Times. “The president also wants to raise several hundred billion dollars through tax increases on mostly wealthier families.”

“The [recent economic] report…also contained a fair dollop of wishful thinking—or what some might call the administration’s own ‘dynamic scoring,’” observed Neil King Jr. for The Wall Street Journal.

President Obama has tied his favorite policies to theoretical economic gains which may, or may not occur. “So various measures to provide free preschool or expand the Earned Income Tax Credit would bring more adults into the workforce, thus expanding the tax base,” writes King. “A revamped immigration system would in turn lure more foreign-born workers to counteract what the president’s report calls ‘the effects of an aging native-born population.’”

“Although annual budget deficits have fallen from the trillion-dollar-plus levels early in Mr. Obama’s presidency, the national debt has continued to soar and topped $18 trillion late last year,” notes The Washington Times.

With the current controversy over comments by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani questioning whether or not President Obama loves this country, we are reminded of President Obama’s commentswhen criticizing then-President George W. Bush for running up $4 trillion of new debt during his eight years in office. Obama said it was “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic.” President Obama has so far added over $8 trillion in new debt, and he still has two more years in office. So how would he rate himself?

Both The Wall Street Journal and New York Times ran articles which summarized the economic report without questioning its assumptions, effectively offering the administration additional platforms from which to spout its economic spin.

I reported last November that President Obama unsuccessfully attempted to sell the “illusion of economic success” to the public in order to “salvage what most polls indicate is about to be a dismal election for Democrats.” This effort continued with the President’s State of the Union, where he argued that “we have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other nation on Earth.”

Obama’s tired rhetoric of hope and change resonated with the media back in January, and it still does. Meanwhile, many in America struggle to put bread on the table.

“Not only have the ‘benefits’ of the Obama recovery not been ‘fully shared,’ but many Americans are still worse off today than when Obama became president,” reports Townhall. The 2013 median family income, “the most recent year available,” is more than $2,000 less than what it was in 2009 when Obama became President, it reports.

The media are doing their part to validate Obama’s claims about the economy. It is all about their political agenda and double standard.

Among Democrats, there are divisions over the degree to which Hillary Rodham Clinton, considered their leading contender, should praise the recovery and run on Mr. Obama’s stewardship of the economy,” wrote Jonathan Martin for The New York Times on February 22. “And Republicans—assessing falling unemployment and soaring job creation under a president with still-mediocre approval ratings—are grasping for the right way to frame their 2016 campaign message.”

Martin, like so many other reporters, operates under the premise that the economy has actually recovered. But to the extent it has, there may be other factors at work besides Obama’s initiatives. How much credit for the nation’s economic growth belongs to the Republican-led states, such as Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida and especially Texas; states which are doing far better at adding jobs and balancing their budgets than the federal government? And how much is attributable to the powerful capitalist economy in this country, which chugs along despite the burdensome taxation, regulatory and bureaucratic demands that have been imposed on it by this administration?


IRONY: Pennsylvania AG says judge should be taken off her leak case


HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Lawyers for Pennsylvania’s attorney general say the judge who supervised a grand jury that’s recommended charges against her should be removed from any future proceedings in the matter.
Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s legal team argued in a filing with the state Supreme Court on Monday that Montgomery County Judge William Carpenter has demonstrated personal animosity toward her.
The latest filing comes about a week after Carpenter defended the legality of his appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate allegations that secret grand jury material was leaked to a Philadelphia newspaper last year.
The grand jury recommended charges against Kane that include perjury.
Kane’s lawyers accuse the special prosecutor of an unlawful assumption of executive power, and say Carpenter didn’t have the power to appoint him. Kane hasn’t been charged.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Mr. Irrelevant: Keith Olbermann, After THON: “PSU Students Are Pitiful”


Except this time, he’ll be more hard-pressed to find support from his blind followers. Apparently lacking the attention he so desperately needs, his latest cry for validation used THON and its $13 million total for the kids as a springboard into calling Penn State students “pitiful.”
Olbermann’s rant began when a user tweeted “We Are!” his way, followed by a link to the Collegian’s coverage of THON 2015’s total. Olbermann’s response:
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Hm. That’s not exactly a good look, especially when his colleague visited THON over the weekend, lavished it with praise, and left so impressed that he deemed Penn State students his stars of the week on Sportscenter. 
Olbermann, apparently realizing that he shouldn’t troll students for helping the countless families affected by pediatric cancer, tried to explain away his low blow in that nonsensical way that he’s mastered when it comes to Penn State.
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Given the link he was tweeted, that’s a little tough to buy. Indeed, this path was too much of a strawman, even for Olbermann. So, he changed course, using some deception and typos tweeted his way to somehow validate that a Penn State degree is worthless.
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This oughta make for some awkward water cooler talk in Bristol.
You can peruse the disgraceful rant on his Twitter page, unless already he’s blocked you for disagreeing with his lunacy. We’re still down for that podcast, Keith!