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Archive → January 19th, 2017

Email privacy reform is needed

Tell your lawmakers to pass email privacy reform

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Legislation reintroduced in the House this week would protect American privacy by eliminating a loophole that allows law enforcement agencies to rifle through your old emails without obtaining a warrant.

The Email Privacy Act introduced by Kansas Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder and Colorado Democratic Rep. Jared Polis would provide much needed updates to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986.

Currently, law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S. are able to search through emails without a warrant as long as they are more than 180 days old by requesting the contents of the emails from third-party providers like Google, Apple and Yahoo.

“This session, Congress needs to close this loophole and extend fundamental privacy protections to electronic communications,” said the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Kate Tummarello.

The bill passed handily in the House when it was introduced last year, but a Senate version became stalled because of the introduction of amendments that gutted its effectiveness.

One of the main opponents of the original bill was the Securities and Exchange Commission, which argued that the legislation would hamper financial regulators ability to gather information for investigations because it’s harder for them to obtain warrants.

Source: Will County News

Deep State puppet John McCain and the plan to undermine Trump

Deep State puppet John McCain and the plan to undermine Trump

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Sen. John McCain speaks at the "Invest in America!" summit at the Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, April 12 2016, in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

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Sen. John McCain said he “did what any citizen should” by providing the FBI with a sketchy dossier containing information alleging that Russia has dirt on President-elect Donald Trump.  But there’s far more to the story.

BuzzFeed and CNN published reports taking seriously the unverified intelligence reports months after serious journalists from a number of other news outlets declined to touch the story.

Soon after national uproar over the outrageous and unverified reports that the Russians are blackmailing Trump over information about perverse sexual encounters, McCain appeared before the press taking credit for putting the information into the FBI’s hands.

“Late last year, I received sensitive information that has since been made public. Upon examination of the contents, and unable to make a judgment about their accuracy, I delivered the information to the Director of the FBI. That has been the extent of my contact with the FBI or any other government agency regarding this issue.”

McCain told reporters that he didn’t know whether he was concerned about the information he allegedly received because he doesn’t know if it’s true. He added that he simply did what any American citizen should do if they find themselves in position of information that could compromise national security.

What McCain didn’t say— and what CNN and BuzzFeed conveniently forgot to mention— is, however, more important.

McCain, a never Trump Republican from the get-go, received the sensitive information in question from a former British intelligence officer who also happened to be a current political dirt digger paid by never Trump factions within the GOP and later the DNC to dig up dirt on Trump.

That’s why, as WikiLeaks noted, the file that everyone is talking about bears no resemblance to an actual intelligence document. In fact, if you’ve ever seen such material, you can’t help but notice that the document in question actually looks a lot more like political opposition research in its rawest form.

And that’s pretty important to this story. The creator and funders of the document currently making headlines tried like hell to get it published, even mentioned by legitimate media, while the 2016 election was still underway.

Of course, journalists with even a modicum of care for their reputations wouldn’t touch it. Why? It stunk of opposition research…. You know, the crap that PACS use to make YouTube videos during elections.

The document being peddled lacked any credible sources and wasn’t worth anyone’s time. But then something changed.

As The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald reported:

In December, John McCain provided a copy of this report to the FBI and demanded they take it seriously.

At some point last week, the chiefs of the intelligence agencies decided to declare that this ex-British intelligence operative was “credible” enough that his allegations warranted briefing both Trump and Obama about them, thus stamping some sort of vague, indirect, and deniable official approval on these accusations. Someone — by all appearances, numerous officials — then went to CNN to tell the network they had done this, causing CNN to go on air and, in the gravest of tones, announce the “Breaking News” that “the nation’s top intelligence officials” briefed Obama and Trump that Russia had compiled information that “compromised President-elect Trump.”

In other words, McCain demanded that somebody get the document in front of the American public during a visit to the FBI. Of course, the FBI knew that a legitimate investigation into any of the outrageous claims listed in the document would turn up nothing newsworthy.

So someone leaked it with a wink and a nod. This time, the documents are coming from an unnamed official within the U.S. intelligence community.

Now, to their credit, many of the journalists who originally turned up their noses at the document called BuzzFeed and CNN out for publishing the material. But the damage was already done.

It’s no coincidence that the viral list makers at BuzzFeed were chosen as a vehicle for the story. The website doesn’t exactly scream journalistic excellence—but what it lacks in credibility and sound research it makes up for in the ability to reach mass audiences with extreme rapidity.

What Americans are witnessing is a good old fashioned Deep State propaganda play. And McCain is involved simply because he’s the Deep State’s finest Manchurian. The same reason, really, that they sent him to Syria.

This is one of many shadow government attempts to undermine the Trump administration Americans will witness over the next four years.

Source: Will County News

Data resulting from people moving out of Illinois

January 3, 2017

Data from moving companies reflect continued mass exodus from Illinois.

Illinois’ surging debts, rising property taxes, weak job creation and political dysfunction continue to be a boon to large moving companies United Van Lines and Atlas Van Lines. United and Atlas offer large shipment moves across the country for households and businesses. According to 2016 shipment data released by the two moving companies, Illinois has the worst “outbound” rate for total shipments in the entire country.

Using a combination of United and Atlas’ data, 62 percent of all shipments that touched Illinois were outbound, while only 38 percent were inbound. New York was the only other state with more than 60 percent of combined shipments being outbound.

illinois outmigration

One of the staggering facts about the data is not just that Illinois’ outbound rate is the worst in the country, but also that the total shipment count out of Illinois is almost identical to New York, even though New York is a significantly larger state. New York has 7 million more people than Illinois, making the Empire State more than 50 percent larger than the Land of Lincoln.

Nevertheless, total shipments in and out of New York and Illinois were nearly identical. New York had 9,270 outbound shipments and 5,902 inbound shipments, for a deficit of 3,368 shipments. Illinois had 8,818 outbound shipments and 5,477 inbound shipments, for a deficit of 3,341 shipments.

illinois outmigration

Illinois’ outbound rates measured by both companies have been surging over the past decade, and have hit their highest rates ever for the past three years.

illinois outmigration

The moving company data reflects the increasing rate of people leaving Illinois and the changing financial character of people leaving Illinois.

According to Census migration data, from July 2015 – July 2016 Illinois lost a record 114,000 people in net migration to other states, causing the total state population to contract by 37,500 people. The rate of people fleeing Illinois has been at all-time highs for the past three years of data, resulting in a total state population contracting for three consecutive years. The sheer magnitude of outflow should trouble policymakers in Illinois, as Illinois’ loss rate is multiples of surrounding states even after adjusting for population size, and Illinois is the only shrinking state in the Midwest.

Another troubling sign is the increasing flight of wealth and earning power associated with those moving out of Illinois. Migration data from the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, show that as of tax year 2014, the average income of taxpayers leaving Illinois was $77,000 per year compared to an average income of $57,000 per year for those moving into Illinois. This $20,000 differential between the average earnings of those moving out compared to those moving in is the worst in Illinois history and the worst in the country.

illinois outmigration

IRS wealth flight data corroborates the Atlas and United shipment data. The moving companies ship significant property and assets between states for households and businesses. Wealthier Illinoisans and business owners are more likely to use United and Atlas’ services while a smaller alternative such as U-Haul can be used for those with less wealth. As it is, U-Haul rental rates also reflect the movement of U-Haul trucks out of Illinois.

Illinoisans of all income levels are fleeing as Illinois teeters toward becoming a failed state. Those who stay watch their property taxes and public debts skyrocket as job opportunities dwindle, giving more people incentive to leave. The state legislature seems uninterested in addressing any of these problems but is very keen on another income tax hike – the very same “fix” that led to income earning power pouring out of the state after the 2011 income tax hikes.

The only solution to avoid a financial disaster is transformational change in how Illinois taxes, spends and regulates businesses. Spending needs to be slashed to come in line with what taxpayers can afford, which requires changing collective bargaining for government unions and addressing state and local pension debts. Other spending drivers, such as Medicaid spending, should also be reformed. Taxes need to be brought under control, especially skyrocketing property taxes driving people out of their homes. And the growth side of economic policy is critical too. Reforms need to be made so it’s easier for businesses to invest and create jobs in Illinois. Without business investment, job creation and productivity growth will not happen in Illinois.

The new year brings a new opportunity to right the mistakes of the past. The question now lies with the state legislature on whether to fix the state or continue to watch it sink.

Source: Will County News