Karen Lewis and Chicago’s Illiteracy Problem

-By Larry Sand

After years as a teacher union boss, Karen Lewis is making plans to spread her venom to the rest of the city.

Courtesy of Daniel Greenfield, we are reminded of the ugly fact that almost half of Chicago is illiterate. According to the White House website, 47 percent of Windy City residents cannot read. Additionally, 79 percent of its 8th graders are not proficient in reading and 80 percent are not proficient in math.

There are many reasons for these pathetic numbers. Yes, broken families and the ensuing gang proliferation are factors. But since teachers are the most important factor in student learning and because school is compulsory in Chicago (and everywhere else in the U.S.), one really must look there for the problem. (Just as a side note – before parents were forced to send their kids to public schools, the U.S. had a literacy rate of about 90 percent.)

Because many Chicago public schools (CPS) are so bad, they are being abandoned. Due to declining enrollment, 50 schools closed in 2013 and probably a lot more should have been shuttered.

Enter Karen Lewis. The president of the powerful Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) decided to get busy. Bombastic as always, she came out swinging. Never once does she mention that the unionized schools themselves – with all the attendant anti-child work rules – could be at fault. Nowhere does she acknowledge that her union’s virulent anti-choice position, which forces kids to stay in lousy schools, could be part of the problem. Instead she uses diversionary tactics.

Rich white people are to blame. At the City Club of Chicago in 2013, she blamed the city’s education woes on rich white people. “When will we address the fact that rich, white people think they know what’s in the best interest of children of African Americans and Latinos—no matter what the parent’s income or education level.”….

Read the rest HERE.

Posted in Budget, Chicago, Chicago City Council, Chicago Teachers Union, Children, Cook County, Corruption, Democrats, Education, Karen Lewis, Public Employees, Public Schools, Taxes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Food Stamp Sign-ups in Obama’s Illinois Larger Than State’s Job Growth

-By Warner Todd Huston

Obama’s home state of Illinois is struggling to break the Great Recession. A perfect example of this is seen in a recent report that shows that applications for food stamps in the Land of Lincoln is greater than its creation of jobs.

Illinois has had the worst recovery from the recession of any state in the country, the Illinois Policy Institute reported this month. “There are nearly 300,000 fewer Illinoisans working today than in January 2008, and 170,000 fewer payroll jobs. ”

“For every post-recession job created in Illinois, nearly two people have enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps,” the Institute wrote. “In the recession era, the number of Illinoisans dependent on food stamps has risen by 745,000.”

While Illinois sits about in the middle of the pack for a percent of the population on SNAP assistance program, this new report is consistent with reports last year that found that Illinois was the only state to see a double-digit increase in SNAP enrollments.

Illinois consistently falls in the lowest ranks of nearly every metric that denotes a successful state. Only last week a new report showed that Illinois had more home foreclosures than any other state. In July it was reported that Illinois had the worst private sector job creation of every state in the great Midwest.

Incumbent Democrat Governor Pat Quinn was undaunted by the news saying, “Illinois’ comeback is going strong and we’ve got more work to do.” Quinn is up for re-election this year.

Here are some more of Illinois worst hits:

Posted in Barack Obama, Budget, Business, Capitalism, Chicago, Corruption, Democrats, Economy, General Assembly, Jobs, Liberals, Michael Madigan, Pat Quinn, Taxes | 2 Comments

Chicago’s Emanuel May Find His Millions Won’t Save His Re-Election

-By Warner Todd Huston

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has over $8 million in his campaign fund and usually that sort of cash is quite a harbinger of election success but maybe not this time as the mayor’s approval ratings crater and at least two powerful opponents warm to a run against him, one of whom might be backed by the deep pockets of the national teachers union.

Emanuel has amassed over $8 million for his re-election thanks to his close association with a network of big dollar donors. He also has a secondary fund that many consider a slush fund.

Thus far Mayor Emanuel does not have any official opponents for next year and the one candidate that everyone assumed may have given him a real run, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, already officially announced that she would not run.

On the heels of Preckwinkle’s announcement came the President of the Chicago Teachers Union to toy with running. But now union chief Karen Lewis has loaned herself $40,000 of her own money to explore a run for Mayor, so it appears she is now more serious than ever about opposing Emanuel.

This is not good news for Emanuel because already National Teachers Union President Randi Weingarten hinted that if she ran Lewis would find the support of the NEA.

In mid August, Weingarten noted that if Lewis ran for mayor, support of the national union cold come in the form of a million bucks in campaign support. “In a race like this, spending $1 million would not be unprecedented for the AFT,” she said.

A July poll also revealed bad news for Mayor Emanuel. In a head-to-head matchup between the mayor and Lewis, the union chief came ahead with a nine-point lead.

This was back when Lewis was just toying with the idea of running. Now that she is seeking funds for the idea, it is clear she is more serious than ever about her prospects.

But Emanuel may not be facing only one opponent. Alderman Bob Fioretti is also considering a run against Emanuel and the Alderman is also a serious candidate.

Fioretti has pledged to make a decision by Saturday, September 14.

The Alderman has made several serious moves toward declaring with a poll of constituents and the launch of a website seeking encouragement not to mention that he has hired a staff already for a possible run.

Posted in Budget, Chicago, Chicago City Council, Cook County, Corruption, Democrats, Education, Elections, Jobs, Liberals, Rahm Emanuel, Taxes | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Illinois Worst Again With Highest Home Foreclosure Rate in Nation

-By Warner Todd Huston

A website that tracks bank foreclosures on homes across the nation finds that Barack Obama’s Illinois has once again become the worst state in the country for people losing their homes.

Bankrate.com reports that one in ever 747 homes have received a foreclosure notice in the Land of Lincoln. By comparison, the national average in one in every 1,203 homes.

This is a worse standing than just a few months ago when Illinois ranked third worst in the nation in July.

The worst foreclosure rates are occurring in the northeastern corner of the state ranging from the metropolitan Chicago area westward to Rockford. upwards to 70 percent of the state’s population lives in this area.

Illinois is the fifth most populous state in the nation.

It’s just one more mark of how bad Illinois is thanks to the corrupt Democrat Party led by the feckless Pat Quinn and the corrupt Mike Madigan and the useless Illinois GOP that can’t find any candidates to challenge them.

Here are some more of Illinois worst hits:

Posted in Banks, Budget, Corruption, Democrats, Economy, General Assembly, Jobs, Liberals, Property Taxes, Taxes | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Illinois Website Beats Attempt to Silence its News Coverage

-By Warner Todd Huston

In 2011 a political operative attempted to sue the Illinois news website Illinois Review for “defamation” over one of its stories. This week a federal appeals court issued its final ruling dismissing the lawsuit handing the website a long hoped for victory for free speech.

The Thomas Moore Society was pleased to report that IR emerged the victor in this illicit attempt to silence them saying that Satkar Hospitality Inc. lost its appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. (See decision here)

“We’re very pleased that this blatant attempt to silence aggressive political reporting has been finally rejected by the courts,” Peter Breen, Thomas More Society vice president and senior counsel said in a statement. “Illinois Review has a First Amendment right to speak out on controversial issues, and frivolous lawsuits should not be permitted to shut down their free speech.”

As the statement explained, in April, 2009, Illinois Review published documents of public record showing that former Illinois State Rep. Paul Froehlich sought campaign contributions from individuals who won property tax relief with his assistance. After the story ran, the Cook County Board of Review reversed the tax breaks. Satkar Hospitality, Inc., was one of the companies that Illinois Review reported as having donated to Froehlich’s campaign and later winning a property-tax appeal.

Satkar went on to sue the website for linking them to Froehlich for defamation.

The case was an obvious breach of the Illinois Review’s First Amendment rights and at last the courts have agreed.

“We have laws in this country that protect journalists and affirm the public’s ‘right to know’,” Breen said. “Our courts don’t want to waste time or taxpayer money on whiplash action that is thrown as a cover-up for practices of questionable legality.”

The editors of the Illinois Review, Dennis LaComb and Fran Eaton, thanked Thomas Moore for their help in their defense.

We are deeply grateful to the Thomas More Society, and sincerely thankful for the expertise, assistance, and support that Tom Brejcha, Peter Breen, Tom Olp, and the many attorneys at the Thomas More Society provided us over this long battle to preserve free speech in Illinois. We want our readers to know that Illinois Review will continue to report thanks in no small part to the Thomas More Society and their generous benefactors.

About the Thomas More Society
The Thomas More Society is a not-for-profit, national public interest law firm dedicated to restoring respect in law for life, family, and religious liberty. Based in Chicago, the Thomas More Society defends and fosters support for these causes by providing high quality pro bono legal services from local trial courts all the way to the United States Supreme Court. thomasmoresociety.org

Posted in Constitution, First Amendment, Illinois Review | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Illinois a ‘Sinkhole State': Rates Second Worst for Liability Per Taxpayer

-By Warner Todd Huston

Obama’s Illinois perennially ranks at the very bottom of every statistic that marks a successful state and a new report on America’s “sinkhole states” finds that Illinois again ranks at the very bottom this time for how much state debt each citizen is saddled with.

The statistics gathered by the excellent Chicago-based budget watchdog group Truth In Accounting calculated how much state debt–obligations like pensions, healthcare plans for retirees, etc–each citizen would have to pay to retire the debt in a lump sum.

The group has dubbed the worst states as “America’s Sinkhole States.”

Truth In Accounting found that Connecticut is the worst state in the union with each citizens owing 48 thousand dollars per citizen to retire the debt. But coming in a close second is the state of Illinois with a whopping 43 thousand dollars per citizen in debt.

Rounding out the bottom five were New Jersey at $36K, Massachusetts with $28K, and Hawaii with $27K of debt per citizen.

Each of these states have been controlled by Democrats for decades.

By comparison, the best states all had a budget surplus with Alaska topping the list with a surplus of 446K per citizen. Next came North Dakota with a $22K surplus, Wyoming with $20K, Utah with $2,700, and South Dakota also with a surplus of $2,700 per citizen. In each case but Hawaii these totals are an increase in debt over last year.

“Taxpayer Burden,” the group says, “is each taxpayer’s share of their state’s debt after setting aside capital-related debt and assets. Remaining debt is primarily unpaid pension and retirement health promises.”

See the Truth In Accounting report titled, “The 2013 Financial State of the States.”

Here is the latest list of stories showing that Illinois is the worst of the worst in the country, all thanks to the Democrats, House Speaker Michael Madigan, and Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn:

Posted in Budget, Business, Capitalism, Chicago, Corruption, Democrats, Economy, General Assembly, Jobs, Liberals, Pat Quinn, President, Regulations, Taxes | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Illinois Celebrates Loser Adlai Stevenson, Ignores Ronald Reagan

-By Warner Todd Huston

Leave it to leftist Illinois to use a museum dedicated to celebrating Abraham Lincoln, one of the greatest presidents in history, as a platform to celebrate a loser like Adlai Stevenson while at the same time ignoring Ronald Reagan, a native son, big winner, and another greatest president.

If you think this isn’t just another example of why Illinois is the single worst state in the union in nearly every metric that makes up a successful state, then you are immune to logic.

Illinois spent billions building the Lincoln Library near the state capital in Springfield. The place opened to mixed reviews, but in the modern age, at least Illinois finally recognized one of its greatest Republican Presidents.

That’s all well and good, but now the Lincoln Library is proposing that it dedicate some of its space to a display to celebrate the great Adlai Stevenson, II…. I know what you’re thinking: “Who?”

Well, Adlai was a one-time governor of Illinois, an extreme leftist–nearly a socialist in his day–and a two-time loser as a Democrat Party candidate for President of the United States. He tried to beat General Dwight D. Eisenhower twice but Ike beat him both times faster than running through Germany to Berlin.

The symbol of his great run for president was a shoe with a hole in it. It was supposed to denote that he was a common man of the people walking the country to drum up support, but in reality it just made people want to throw him away like, well, an old shoe.

One of his slogans was “All The Way With Adlai,” but voters yelled, “Go Away, Adlai!” And they yelled it twice!

Still Illinois wants to celebrate this milquetoast, loser leftist anyway. Great.

Illinois should celebrate Adlai’s father instead. At least Adlai Stevenson the First became Vice President during Grover Cleveland’s second term. At least the elder Stevenson has some success to his name!

Now, there is a great man that was actually born in Illinois, though. One the state is always ignoring. This great man actually won his race for president. In fact he won twice. By a landslide, even.

And yet, the Lincoln Library wants to ignore Ronald Reagan the single greatest president of the 20th century.

The extreme leftists that run the state are embarrassed that Reagan is a native son, of course. They’d rather celebrate a loser who no one rightfully remembers.

No wonder Illinois is such a loser state.


Ronald Reagan, now HERE is a man worth celebrating!

(H/T Marathon Pundit)

Posted in Abraham Lincoln, Corruption, Democrats, GOP, Liberals, Republicans, Ronald Reagan, Springfield | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Illinois Democrat Leader Says Republicans Would Hire ISIS Terrorists

-By Warner Todd Huston

Last weekend Illinois GOP candidate for Governor Bruce Rauner took the ALS “ice bucket challenge.” When he did he urged Illinois Democrat leaders to join him in the challenge. In reply, the state’s Democrat House leader outrageously found a way to link the charitable challenge to a claim that Republicans are like the ISIS terrorists in Iraq!

Instead of picking a long-time politician, Republican voters in the Land of Lincoln chose businessman Rauner as their candidate for Governor and he has been quite a different kind of candidate. I suppose he felt that the ALS challenge was a feels good way to lighten politics up a bit in Illinois–a place where calling politics a “blood sport” is an understatement.

Well, to show that even charities aren’t beyond being used for mean spirited political jabs, the office of Democrat House Speaker Michael Madiagn responded to the ALS challenge by claiming that Rauner would like to hire ISIS terrorists for his campaign.

When contacted about the challenge, Madigan’s spokesman said that he is not worried about charities but is “More worried about the challenge of his armed ballot security rentals…what’s next, does he rent ISIL?”

Apparently Madigan’s fatmouth was referencing the fact that the Illinois GOP hired a private security firm to help validate nominating petitions and this dope was alarmed that security firm operatives were armed… you know… because they are SECURITY AGENTS–you frikkin moron!

So, Republicans would like to hire Islamists terrorists who behead their still living enemies? That is Madigan’s reply to a charity challenge? So, what did the GOP’s security agents have to do with a feels good charity? Well, nothing, really. But just the same as a Republican challenges a Democrat to a charitable contribution, the Democrat’s response is to claim that Republicans are just like Islamist terrorists. There’s that Illinois/Obhama new tone we are all so used to, isn’t it?

It was just another head spinning, ignorant, political jab, to be sure, but it is typical of the hate that fills the hearts of Democrats that they can’t even accept a lighthearted challenge in the spirit of charity without turning it into just another opportunity to sling mud.

Now, Rauner looks like he just might win the upcoming general election and become the next Governor of Illinois. I hope he remembers this hate-filled reply when it comes to working with Democrats. I hope he realizes that it just isn’t possible to work with them. They are too filled with hate.

Of course, if Madigan had an ounce of decency in his dark heart he;d fire the idiot in his office that said this. But there isn’t a smidgeon of decency in a Democrat.

Posted in Bruce Rauner, Corruption, Democrats, General Assembly, GOP, House of Representatives, Liberals, Michael Madigan, Republicans | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Despite What Quinn Claims, Illinois Leads In Job Loss

-By Warner Todd Huston

On Monday the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that, contrary to Governor Quinn’s rosy statements, Illinois has lost jobs over the last year. In fact job numbers are worse than they’ve been in 35 years.

Earlier in August, as he stumped for re-election, Gov. Quinn made a big show of the fact that unemployment has fallen in the Land of Lincoln. The federal government reported that the unemployment rate fell to 6.8 percent, the lowest level since August of 2008 when it was 6.7 percent.

Announcing the news, Quinn said, “Putting people back to work is my number one priority. There are more people working now than when I took office and today’s good news shows that we are headed in the right direction.”

Quinn’s Republican opponent, businessman Bruce Rauner, noted that this is not the great news that Quinn is claiming it to be.

“Celebrating today’s job numbers is like cheering a touchdown when you’re down 35 points with two minutes left,” campaign spokesman Mike Schrimpf said.

“Our state is still down thousands of jobs since the beginning of the year, we still have one of the worst unemployment rates in the entire country and thousands of Illinoisans have given up looking for work. On top of higher taxes, this means too many families continue to suffer under Pat Quinn. Thankfully, Pat Quinn’s time is almost up and his term in office can’t end soon enough for the working people of Illinois.”

Rauner may be closer to the truth than Quinn. BLS numbers show that Illinois leads the Midwest in job loss.

The numbers show that every state around Illinois gained jobs while Illinois lost. Indiana gained 26,000 jobs, Missouri gained 31,000, Wisconsin is up 11,000, and Iowa is up 6,000 jobs. On the other hand, Illinois is down 4,200 jobs.

So, what accounts for the falling unemployment rate?

Two things: people moving out of Illinois and workers simply giving up and leaving the work force are causing those numbers to fall.

Gary Burtless, a senior fellow of economic studies at the Brookings Institute and a former economist with the U.S. Department of Labor, recently told the Illinois Watchdog, that just looking at the unemployment rate alone is misleading

“While a big drop in unemployment may look good on the outside, we know that’s not the whole picture,” Burtless said. “The unemployment statistics can only measure those who are working or actively looking for work. It can’t tell us anything about those who quit trying.”

Burtless said people usually quit trying to find work out of frustration with the job market, that they can’t get something satisfactory in a reasonable period of time.

“Illinois has mirrored the country as a whole in this regard,” he said. “The rate may technically be going down, but that doesn’t mean more people are working.”

Numbers show that there were 17,157 fewer people in the Illinois workforce than just in June. This is due to people moving out of Illinois as well as people giving up looking for work and falling out of the active job seekers numbers.

About the only bright spot in the state is the city of Rockford, situated about 90 miles north west of Chicago. Air travel company AAR Corp., for instance, is opening a new maintenance and repair facility in Rockford creating some 500 new jobs over the next five years. Rockford has also become a nation-wide hub for the aerospace industry bringing jobs to the area.

But this small bright spot does not make up for the loss the rest of the state is experiencing.

Posted in Bruce Rauner, Budget, Business, Capitalism, Corruption, Democrats, Economy, General Assembly, Government, Jobs, Liberals, Pat Quinn, Regulations, Taxes | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Chicago Muslim Calls for Jihad Against Jews in Gaza

-By Warner Todd Huston

It has been revealed that Muslim Imam in a Chicago mosque has been calling for Chicago Muslims to go wage jihad against the Jews by flying to Gaza to join the fighting there.

Video of Sheik Mohamed Elimam of the Chicago Islamic Center has come to light showing this “religious” leader urging his followers to go kill Jews in a series of July sermons.

As Breitbart’s Joel Pollak reports, in one excerpt, Elimam says: “Oh, those of you who want to wage Jihad for the sake of Allah, Palestine is calling you and Gaza is crying out for your help. If you are true believers, real mujahideen, hasten to Palestine.”

In another he says that Israel should be dismantled and the Jews sent “back to their countries.”

“This enemy was planted in the midst of the Arab nation,” this so-called religious man said, “and they chose Jerusalem, Palestine, the most important area–in order to be a thorn in the side of the Arab and Islamic nations. May Allah pull this thorn out, and stick it down their [Western] throats. May they be sent back to their countries in shame and disgrace, Allah willing.”

Of course, there is no such thing as “the Arab nation,” so there’s that. But this is just typical hate speech that we get from these people every single day. So, why isn’t the Chicago police arresting this creep for hate speech? They would if some neo-Nazi said something like this, wouldn’t they?

Naturally when Breitbart reached out to the Mosque for comment, they denied everything. “Maybe they misunderstood,” said Hasan Barut of the Chicago Islamic Center in response to questions from the online news site.

When you see Mr. Barut’s reply just remember the Muslim practice of Taqiyya, or lying to westerners through smiling teeth to misdirect them from the Muslims’ true beliefs.

Posted in Chicago, Corruption, Democrats, Islam, Israel, Jews, Liberals, Muslims, Religion, Terrorism | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments