Gidney N CloydGidney N Cloyd's Journal
Kind of a fun read. Rauner's ham-fisted quest to union-bust his way to a capitalist paradise in Illinois is itself-- the mere goals-- tearing the state to pieces. Somehow I don't think the Tribune will be picking this up off the wire...
In the interview with the Springfield State Journal-Register, Edgar says state government is in the worst shape he's ever seen it, and he lays a big part of the blame on Rauner.
Among other things, he says, Rauner is wrong to hold the budget "hostage" over non-budgetary policy goals; that his confrontations with Democratic legislative leaders have been counter-productive and unwisely focused on "personalities"; that the impasse is having real human consequence and endangering the state's vaunted higher education tradition; and that even Rauner's stated top goal making Illinois more business-friendly is being thwarted by his administration's actions.
"He does not come from government," Edgar said of Rauner, a venture capitalist before winning his first-ever political campaign in November to become governor. "He doesn't even really come from mainstream business. He comes from (being an) entrepreneur where you buy a business, you tear it apart and you sell it. ... I don't think you're going to tear apart the state and sell it. He might want to, but you can't do that."
In what probably qualifies as the worst thing anyone can say about an Illinois governor these days, Edgar said Rauner's government is, in some ways, worse than the government was under now-imprisoned ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich. While Edgar stressed in the interview than Blagojevich, a Democrat, wasn't "anything close to being a better governor" than Rauner, "at least Blagojevich ... was off doing his crazy things and state government kind of continued to move along. I don't think state government's moving along right now. I mean, I just think too many things are at a standstill."
The Chicago Tribune reported that the campaign says it bought 5,145 Visa prepaid gift cards in denominations of $25, $50 and $75. The gift cards weren't mentioned in campaign finance reports filed with the state until July 13, when the Republican's political committee noted that it received $54,713 in April and May through "liquidation of previously purchased asset redemption of gift cards." The campaign hasn't disclosed who got the cards or whether anyone received cards totaling $150 or more the level at which Illinois campaign finance laws requires that compensation to workers be reported.
Sarah Clamp, spokeswoman for Rauner's campaign, said the campaign reported the gift cards correctly. "The campaign is only responsible for reporting when the campaign makes an expenditure and did this by reporting the purchase of gift cards," she said.
His campaign said it considered the gift cards property and that transferring them to workers didn't need to be reported. Larry Noble, a former general counsel for the Federal Election Commission, said debit cards are "as good as cash," and the campaign should have reported which workers got the cards. While campaigns often reward volunteers with pizza or coffee, Noble said giving gift cards "definitely is odd."
Rauner is like having Scott Walker and the Koch brothers rolled into one person.
I'd really like to get back into biking but since my last knee operation I'm left with a knee flexion of maybe 90 degrees on a real good day. I'd rather retrofit my Trek 7300 if such parts exist but when I asked at my local bike shop a couple years ago they looked at me like I was from Mars (which I ought to be used to by now, wherever I go...).
I've stumbled across a couple of more technical articles on the web about benefits of different lengths, which tell me that such a mod must be possible, but little information along the lines of "I made this change for my bad knee, it helps a lot, and this is where I got the parts."
So if anyone here has any advice I'd love to hear it.
This infighting is stupid. We have two good candidates!!!
I honestly don't get the infighting between LIBERALS here and all over the net. As an Obama supporter, I have said from the beginning that I would be proud to cast my vote in November for EITHER of these candidates, and I know many Clinton supporters who have said the same. Yet we seem to have a large number of Hillary's supporters on this board slamming not the candidate, but me and others like me who happen to have given our support to her opponent. I'm sorry, but I think that is just WRONG.
Look, it is my opinion that Hillary would make an excellent president, probably right along the lines of the type of president her husband was (and I consider that high praise). It just so happens that THIS year, she is running against someone that I think could be a GREAT one. Is that because I've "drank the kool aid?" No, and I'm offended by the implication that I'm incapable of making a rational choice that does not result in voting for Hillary Clinton. The difference seems to be that I can fully admit that someone could make their OWN rational decision and choose Hillary over Barack, even though I disagree.
The attacks on supporters of BOTH sides really need to stop, or we're going to be so divided come November that we're going to hand the country another 4 years of failing policies in the Bush clone the Repugs are running. If you disagree with my candidate, then by all means, point that out, just as I will with yours. But we need to remember that we're all on the same team...we just haven't picked our quarterback yet.
In February, he tried to use an executive order to prevent the states largest employee union from collecting fees from workers who arent members. The money is a critical cog in the corrupt bargain that is crushing taxpayers, Rauner said Feb. 9. A coalition of 26 unions sued in March to block the order.
This month, the governor took a swipe at Illinois Supreme Court justices considering a pension-restructuring bill, saying theyre part of a corrupt judicial system influenced by the same forces that created the financial mess.
The governors approach has drawn criticism from labor leaders. Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis calls Rauner Scott Walker on Steroids. Roberta Lynch, executive director of AFSCME Council 31, which represents about 35,000 state employees, calls it hatred of unions.
Heres a guy who made $61 million last year, Lynch said, referring to Rauners income reported in 2013 tax filings. And he has a deep-seated revulsion that average working people make decent salaries.
Meet the real villain in the public pension crisis
by Jeff Spross
Critics of the defined-benefit plans often assert this is necessary because governments use the more generous packages as cover for fiscally deceptive political games, promising workers future benefits while not properly funding the plans and instead spending the money in the here and now.
This argument is largely bogus. The National Association of State Retirement Administrators (NASRA) recently looked at the management of 112 state-administered pension funds from 2001 to 2013. They found the plans received an average of 89 percent of their required annual contributions, and only six states New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington, North Dakota, Kansas, and Colorado averaged less than 75 percent. Half the plans got 95 percent of the needed amount.
"There is a perception that many plans and states have failed, when in fact it's only a handful of states," Keith Brainard, NASRAs research director, told Business Insurance. With the exception of a handful of outliers, "most states have made a reasonably good effort."
A 2011 study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) came to the same conclusion. What went wrong, in a nutshell, was the 2008 financial crisis. The plans NASRA looked at were just beginning to close a modest gap opened up by the 2001 recession, plus some changes to benefits, when the latest crash expanded the combined shortfall of all the plans from $5.8 billion in 2008 to $17.8 billion in 2013. It hit a nadir at $19 billion in 2012.
Home for a snow day and stumbled across this. I used to watch the series in first run and I taped (yes, taped) the finale, set it aside and never wanted to watch it cuz I knew this would happen.
I just like to see you happy." Ahh, shit.
Now I have to go do something manly...
I just realized I implied I watched this on the tape I recorded years ago. That's no longer around. While I was home on the snow day I was flipping channels and landed on ABCFAM or some such thing. They happened to be running the last episode. It was pretty much the first time in years I'd seen the series and the finale was about the only one I'd missed. Kismet.
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