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Archive → May 16th, 2017

letter to the editor regarding Clinton emails and Comey

Kathleen Konicki Response to Article by Mark Moore

In an article published May 14th, Mark Moore reported on former FBI Asst. Dir. John Kallstrom’s criticism of Comey’s conclusion that, while Clinton had been “extremely careless”, she had not violated the law.  Kallstrom decried the conclusion that Clinton, with her background, did not know she had to protect highly classified information.  He’s right, of course, but that’s old territory and misses other material.

Clinton was using private email to skirt the Freedom of Information Act and laws pertaining to the preservation of federal records  She deleted emails by the hundreds of thousands.  Her subversive use of private email was unlawful in intent and purpose, whether or not information was classified.
Further, her emails were subpoenaed.  She would have had to sign an affidavit that her production was complete with the request, and she had to turn over not only emails in her actual possession but also those in her constructive possession, that is, those in her possession or control.   Please don’t tell me you believe that Clinton didn’t know about Abedin’s back-up system.  Prove it?  Clinton had a duty to inquire about such things before telling the FBI that the emails had been deleted and no longer existed anywhere.  The duty to inquire is standard law.  The law is not an ass, ladies and gentlemen.  It imposes a duty to conduct reasonable inquiry.
Hiding emails is obstruction of justice and lying on an affidavit is perjury.  We were never supposed to find out about the emails on Abedin’s back-up system, and we never would have found out about them, if Abedin hadn’t been stupid enough to marry the likes of Weiner.  Clinton was given a “pass”  by the FBI on the classified issue, with Comey publicly defending her by saying that only a relatively small number of emails contained classified material.
How nice of you, Mr.  Comey.  And good riddance to you.  Maybe now, with Comey gone, Clinton will face charges of obstruction of justice and perjury.

Former FBI official says promotion of interim director is ‘disgraceful’

May 14, 2017 | 4:22pm | Updated
Former top FBI official James Kallstrom said on Sunday that it’s “disgraceful” that Andrew McCabe is the acting director of the agency despite his wife’s cozy relationship to Hillary Clinton operatives.
“It’s actually disgraceful,” Kallstrom, the former assistant director of the FBI, told John Catsimatidis on his “Cats Roundtable” radio program. “Here’s a guy who’s still in the chain of command.”
McCabe, who took over as acting FBI director when President Trump fired James Comey last week, is married to Jill McCabe who took $467,500 from Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s political action committee during her run for state senate.
She also received $207,788 from the Virginia Democratic Party, which is heavily influenced by Clinton loyalist McAuliffe.
The funds began flowing to Jill McCabe two months after the FBI launched its investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server in July 2015.
At that time, Andrew McCabe was promoted from running the bureau’s Washington field office to the No. 3 position at the FBI. She eventually lost to her GOP opponent.
“And Comey lets all this pass. He doesn’t do a thing about it. It’s an outrage,” Kallstrom said. “Today’s he’s the acting director and I hope in two or three days he’s no longer the acting director because he has no judgment. And it just shows that Comey has no common sense.”
Kallstrom also said Trump was right in dumping the former director.
“He had to go. And I am glad he went. And I think the president did exactly what he should do,” Kallstrom said.
He said Comey did a number of “foolish things,” but the worst was announcing last July that while Hillary Clinton was “extremely careless” in her handling of classified information, she did not intend to violate the law and shouldn’t be charged criminally.
” T hat’s just preposterous that this woman who spent eight years in the White House … was a senator, was secretary of state did not know you had to protect highly classified information. It’s just a farce,” said Kallstrom, who also headed up the FBI New York City office in the mid-1990s.
He said the “vast, vast majority” of FBI employees were offended by Comey’s handling of the investigation and the only way to restore the agency is to find a talented, skillful director.
“I think we just have to have a strong leader, he said. “Somebody with integrity, somebody that has an investigative background, somebody who has proven leadership that can inspire people to do the work.”

Source: Will County News

Homer 33C Superintendent trades administrative duties for playground duty

News Release
Homer CCSD 33C
Goodings Grove Luther J. Schilling William E. Young William J. Butler
Hadley Middle Homer Jr. High
Contact:
Charla Brautigam, Communications/Public Relations Manager
cbrautigam@homerschools.org
| 708-226-7628
For Immediate Release:
May 16, 2017
Homer 33C Superintendent trades administrative duties for
playground duty
teacher appreciation raffle 004.JPG
Returns to the classroom to fill in for a teacher who wins
Appreciation Week raffle
It takes a lot of heart, soul and effort to be a teacher.
To show her appreciation, Homer 33C Superintendent Kara Coglianese held
a raffle this month, offering one lucky teacher an opportunity to take the
afternoon off while she filled in for them in the classroom.
teacher appreciation raffle 014.JPG
“This is just a small gesture to let all of you know how much I appreciate
the hard work that you do every day for our students and families,” she told
teachers as she announced the raffle during Teacher Appreciation Week.
More than 60 teachers took her up on the offer and eagerly entered the
raffle.teacher appreciation raffle 058.JPG
On May 5, as Teachers Union Representative Cathy Clayton looked on,
Coglianese drew the winning name using a computerized random number
generator.teacher appreciation raffle 072.JPG
It selected Schilling School kindergarten teacher Megan Ondreja, who
surrendered her class of 24 kindergartners (11 boys and 13 girls) to
Coglianese on May 12.
She made sure the class didn’t miss a beat, reviewing detailed lesson plans
with the “substitute” the day before and inviting her to spend time with the
students so that they could become better acquainted with her.
“I know she was very busy,” said Ondreja, “as I left her full detailed plans
(as I would any other substitute in my classroom).”
Coglianese reported to duty shortly after noon on Friday, May 12.
While Ondreja left to enjoy the free afternoon, Coglianese accompanied
students to the lunchroom and then playground.
I
t took no time for the kindergartners to warm up to the Superintendent,
who once taught first, fourth and fifth grade. One youngster asked her to
help him tie his shoe. Another asked her to intervene when a classmate kept
chasing a group of girls.
“If you don’t run, he won’t chase you,” she advised the three girls.
At 12:55 p.m., the group returned to the classroom to resume their
studies, which included a biology lesson on stems and plant growth and a
geometry lesson on three-dimensional shapes and sequencing.
“Be sure to raise your hand,” she told students as they gathered around
her for their first lesson. “I want to hear what you have to say.”
Each time she asked a question about plant stems, leaves or roots, hands
shot up in the air.
The enthusiasm continued as she asked students to identify various
geometrical shapes, including triangles, squares and circles.
“I’m so impressed with what’s going on at the kindergarten level and how
much the children have learned in one year,” she said.
By the end of the day, Coglianese was ready for a little R&R.
“I’m looking forward to going home and putting my feet up,” she
confessed.
Like us on Facebook at
https://www.facebook.com/homer33c?
fref=ts&ref=br_tf

Source: Will County News

The President Owes the News Media Nothing: Part 1

The President Owes the News Media Nothing: Part 1

Originally published at Fox News.

The President Owes the News Media Nothing: Part 1

Note: I wrote this before the latest despicable, dishonest smearing of the President, but that incident simplify magnifies my case.

Here is what National Security Adviser Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster said Monday in response to the latest Washington press corps hysteria:

“There’s nothing that the president takes more seriously than the security of the American people. The story that came out tonight as reported is false. The president and the foreign minister reviewed a range of common threats to our two countries including threats to civil aviation. At no time, at no time were intelligence sources or methods discussed. And the President did not discuss any military operations that were not already publicly known. Two other senior officials who were present, including the secretary of state, remember the meeting the same way and have said so. Their on-the-record accounts should outweigh anonymous sources. And I was in the room, it didn’t happen.”

This simply reinforces the following, which I wrote earlier this week.

After almost four months of watching the news media’s unending dishonesty, hostility, and contempt toward the Trump administration, it is time to have a blunt conversation.

The President owes Americans the defense of the United States Constitution.

The President owes the American people a sound job as commander in chief, protecting the country.

The President owes the American people a dramatically stronger economy with more jobs, better take home pay, and increased opportunities for investment growth; which will help people prepare for retirement, strengthen pension funds, and guarantee Social Security’s solvency.

The President owes the American people a better health system with greater access, lower costs, and better health outcomes.

Indeed, the President owes the American people many things.

But the President does not owe anything to the Washington press corps and the left-wing hypocrites who dominate today’s news media.

I first learned this rule after reading the transcript from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s opening press conference with the White House Press Corps on March 8, 1933. During FDR’s inaugural meeting with the press, no one was permitted to directly quote the President except via a prepared quote from his office. The vast majority of the conversation was either without attribution or completely off the record. The purpose of the meeting was for the media to understand what was going on – not for them to play gotcha or win clever attacks disguised as questions. Those were the rules.

Since Watergate, the news media has acquired a steadily more arrogant attitude and has moved further and further to the left. Today, they are adversarial opponents of conservatives– especially the Trump administration.

I learned the hard way as Speaker of the House that I could not regularly meet with reporters on camera. It set up an arena for gotcha questions. Reporters gained imaginary points for finding stupid, narrow, often irrelevant things to argue over. Instead of being an opportunity for a genuine public dialogue, the daily on-camera briefings became a bloody battleground – totally to my disadvantage. Within a few weeks, we were forced to stop.

President Trump’s instinct to radically overhaul his relationship with the media is exactly right.

When reporters behave like picadors in daily briefings, trying desperately to taunt and embarrass Sean Spicer rather than listen to and report on what he’s saying, it undermines our free society’s right to accurate information. The daily briefing may draw big audiences as a reality television spectacle, but it does not serve the country or President Trump well.

While there remain some serious, historically-minded reporters, they are unfortunately becoming more of a rarity. Instead, much of the Washington press corps has become an incestuous collection of voyeurs who watch, judge, and attack without knowledge or responsibility. This creates a hostile, propagandistic, and distorted version of news coverage.

A visit by Egyptian President el-Sisi to the White House last month led to a young American woman being released from an Egyptian jail. Had Obama achieved this, it would have been lauded by the press as a major sign of leadership and compassion. However, because it was President Trump, the media mostly ignored it.

Similarly, when the new relationship between President Trump and the Chinese President Xi Jinping directly resulted in a trade breakthrough for American beef, natural gas, and certain financial services, ending a 13-year period in which the Chinese refused to buy American beef, we heard very little from the media. It should bring billions of dollars into the United States, yet the media felt it wasn’t important enough to cover.

The recent jobs numbers – manufacturing, in particular – have been remarkable. But, of course, most Washington reporters treat the release of these numbers as non-events. After all, this would mean they have to report good news, and in the left-wing newsrooms in which they are all so deeply embedded, positive news related to the President is simply not permissible.

The President’s upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia, Israel, the Vatican, Brussels, and the G-7 in Sicily is a remarkable tour for a new president – especially one who the media insisted knew nothing about international relations. But, of course, the Washington news media wants to trivialize the trip with a discussion of White House gossip and whether the diplomatic journey will have a big domestic effect – as they define it.

If you review the first four months of news coverage – much of which is based on unnamed sources – it becomes obvious how overwhelmingly negative, hostile, gossipy, and focused on undermining and weakening President Trump and his team the press corps truly is.

Given a choice between writing a story about a big historic accomplishment and a petty piece about infighting in the White House, the Washington press corps will go for the dirt every time. If Washington is the swamp, the media is the muck.

I challenge anyone to analyze the last four months of news coverage of President Trump and come to the conclusion that it is unbiased, serious, or focused on important topics.

My guess is, that you will unfortunately come to the same conclusion that I have. In this instance, President Trump should take a note from FDR to remind the Washington press corps that he works for the American people – not the elite media.

My next newsletter will be focused on: What the President Owes the American People in Information.

Your Friend,
Newt

Source: Will County News

Hoist Liftruck Manufacturing LLC moves from Illinois to Indiana with 300 plus jobs

It’s been over a year since Hoist Liftruck cut the ribbon at a brand-new facility in East Chicago, Indiana.

Hoist Liftruck Manufacturing LLC is one of the nation’s largest forklift manufacturers. The company used to make those machines in Illinois, but no longer. Hoist employs about 300 workers at the new Indiana facility and plans to hire 250 more by the end of the year. The average pay for one of those jobs is $55,000.

Bill Roberts is one of many Hoist assembly workers who crossed the state border.

“Would I go back to Illinois? Nope. I like it here, I really do,” Roberts said. “I should have moved here 30 years ago. I probably would be a rich man now.”

Roberts recently bought his first home in Indiana and plans to retire there.

Moving a massive manufacturing operation is no easy task. So what forced Hoist’s hand? Poor public policy. Without Illinois’ highest-in-the-region workers’ compensation costs and the highest property taxes in the nation, CEO Marty Flaska said he never would have considered moving.

Hoist has already saved over $1 million in workers’ compensation costs since the move, according to Flaska.

Fake reforms

Debate over workers’ compensation has been raging in the Illinois Statehouse for over a year. Illinois is home to the weakest manufacturing recovery in the region.

But political allies of the powerful trial lawyers lobby claim nothing needs changing. After all, Illinois already solved the problem when lawmakers passed workers’ compensation reforms in 2011.

Illinoisans who want good job opportunities in industries such as manufacturing and transportation should not fall for this myth. Two new reports expose the weakness of those 2011 reforms.

The first comes from the Workers Compensation Research Institute. This report shows the 2011 workers’ compensation reforms had a small impact on reducing costs per workers’ compensation claim, but Illinois remains the highest-cost state among the 18 states studied.

Second, data released by the state of Oregon reveal Illinois’ workers’ compensation costs still remain uncompetitive as of 2016. The report shows Illinois businesses are paying the highest workers’ compensation costs in the Midwest and among surrounding states.

This report is especially interesting because it breaks down the costs of workers’ compensation by worker classification. In short, it shows how blue-collar industries in Illinois are being crushed by high costs.

Take steel and iron workers, for example. Illinois employers pay an average of nearly $12 per $100 of payroll in workers’ compensation costs for these employees. That’s 60 percent above the average of Midwestern and surrounding states. It’s an astonishing 176 percent higher than Indiana’s rate.

Workers’ compensation costs are crushing Illinois’ blue-collar economy

Hoist is not alone in its struggle to pay these inflated costs.

Located just outside of Ford Heights, one of the poorest areas in Illinois, Jay Armstrong has been running a small manufacturing business since 2001. TriALco provides nearly 60 jobs for the surrounding community in south Cook County, making alloys for other manufacturers.

But TriALco’s future in Illinois is in jeopardy. Armstrong puts the odds at 50-50 that he moves his manufacturing business to Indiana. And those odds get worse each year.

“We are ready to do an expansion,” Armstrong said. “But our owner is questioning us: How could we expand in the state of Illinois when it would be about $400,000 to $500,000 cheaper per year to move to Indiana?”

And it’s not just manufacturing feeling the pain. It’s transportation too. Curtis Hawkins runs a small trucking business in East Peoria, Illinois. In 2016, he said he was paying $21,000 in workers’ compensation costs on less than $100,000 of payroll.

“It scares you to hire people,” he said. “It makes the day-to-day struggle a lot harder. … Can you imagine someone coming here opening up a business with 15 employees? They’d have to send their workers out of the state. If it wasn’t for my grandkids I’d be getting an office in another state, too.”

Matt Schrimpf is the fourth-generation president of Piasa Motor Fuels, located on the Missouri-Illinois border in Alton, Illinois. His great-grandfather started the company in 1932.

But Schrimpf said his business is losing local work to companies from Missouri and Indiana. And workers’ compensation is playing a major role. In fact, those high costs are putting more than a dozen union jobs in jeopardy.

Schrimpf estimates Piasa’s trucking business would save more than $25,000 a year in workers’ compensation costs alone by moving 17 trucking jobs to Missouri. A move to Indiana would save $66,000 a year.

“You’re in disbelief,” Schrimpf said of seeing the cost comparisons for the first time. “It’s so much better.”

“I don’t have a hurt workforce, we’re just a victim of a high-priced system.”

The Oregon study backs up the struggles Hawkins and Schrimpf are facing firsthand.

The average workers’ compensation insurance premium rate in Illinois for long-distance trucking is more than $14 per $100 of payroll. That’s nearly 50 percent higher than the average rate among Midwestern and surrounding states. And it’s more than double the rate employers pay in Indiana.

There are many commonsense reforms that lawmakers should pursue to fix this overpriced system, giving millions of Illinoisans the benefits of strong blue-collar jobs growth while protecting worker safety.

The 4 main workers’ compensation cost drivers that must be reformed

Workers’ compensation costs are much higher in Illinois than in other states. But why?

Trial lawyers in Illinois say it’s due to profiteering by insurance companies. But that math doesn’t add up. For years, insurers in Illinois have had a lower profit rate than the national average.

The real problem with the system is that the interests of workers and businesses take a back seat to those of trial lawyers and doctors who profit off the system.

Here are four major cost drivers that make workers’ compensation so expensive in Illinois:

No. 1: The system is a cash cow for trial lawyers

Illinois’ wage replacement rates, which govern the size of settlements, are some of the highest in the nation. Lawyers profit both from the size of those settlements and the generous formula that calculates their share of the prize.

No. 2: Medical benefits are way too expensive

Most states tie their medical fees under workers’ compensation to Medicare. But in Illinois, special interests set prices. As a result, major surgery in Illinois is three times more expensive than the same surgeries under Medicare. Pain management injections are twice as expensive. This is way out of line with other states.

No. 3: Doctors have a financial incentive to overprescribe dangerous drugs 

Illinois allows doctors to not only prescribe painkillers out of their offices, but to sell them directly to injured workers at big markups. When doctors are allowed to do this, they prescribe three times as many opioids as they would otherwise. And workers are off the job for 85 percent longer. This drives up the cost of workers’ compensation insurance. It’s also a major worker health issue.

No. 4: Many workers have a financial incentive to stay off work

There are some workers’ compensation cases in which Illinois workers can make more money off the job than on the job. That gives a strong incentive to play up an injury in the first place, and then extend it as long as possible.

Taking action

If Illinois wants more manufacturing jobs, state lawmakers need to address these cost drivers. Tweaks around the edges won’t cut it anymore, much less claiming the 2011 reforms were enough and doing nothing at all.

Illinois’ weak manufacturing recovery means fewer opportunities for Illinoisans to earn a decent wage for hard work, while new and better opportunities are emerging just beyond Illinois’ borders.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Illinoisans deserve a shot at the middle class. They deserve strong blue-collar industries. And they deserve fairness in their workers’ compensation system.


Austin Berg

Senior Writer

Source: Will County News

Trump News May 16, 2017

Last Wednesday, President Donald J. Trump met with the Russian Foreign Minister and discussed counterterrorism and the common civil aviation security threats to the United States and Russia. Senior cabinet and national security advisors were present at the exchange between the President and Foreign Minister and agree that the conversations were appropriate, legitimate, and an important part of America’s efforts to combat the global terrorist threat. At no time during the meeting were any sources, methods, or military operations jeopardized. Civil aviation threats are real and there is nothing more important to President Trump than the safety and security of the American people.

TODAY’S EVENTS

9:30 AM: President Trump has a call with King Abdullah II of Jordan
11:30 AM: Press Briefing with National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster – Watch
12:30 PM: President Trump welcomes President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey
1:00 PM: President Trump and President Erdoğan give joint statements – Watch
1:15 PM: President Trump and Vice President Pence have a working luncheon with President Erdoğan
2:00 PM: Press Gaggle with Press Secretary Sean Spicer
2:30 PM President Trump meets with Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price and Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney
5:00 PM Vice President Pence hosts an Indiana Fraternal Order of Police Reception

WHITE HOUSE UPDATES

President Trump proclaimed May 15, 2017 as Peace Officers’ Memorial Day and May 14 through May 20, 2017, as Police Week.

Vice President Pence also delivered remarks at the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service.

President Trump welcomed Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi to the White House yesterday to discuss steps to deepen our strategic partnership and promote stability and prosperity throughout the Middle East.

President Trump’s Cabinet has finally overcome Democrats’ obstruction and is now complete with the swearing-in of United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

President Trump and Vice President Pence participated in the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service at the U.S. Capitol Building, Monday, May, 15, 2017, in Washington, D.C. (Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen)

Watch yesterday’s press briefing with Sean Spicer:

WHAT WE ARE READING

“Trump visited the U.S. Capitol earlier Monday to pay tribute to all law enforcement officers and gave remarks at an event held on the west lawn of the building.”The Hill

“Congress has taken the first step to keep our promise of repealing and replacing Obamacare. But we can’t stop now. We’re not done working to save our constituents from this disastrous law and give doctors and patients – not government – control over health care decisions.”Real Clear Politics

“A private gauge of U.S. home builder sentiment unexpectedly rose in May to its second strongest level since the housing bust nearly a decade ago, as the existing supply of homes remained tight. “Reuters

Source: Will County News