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It’s all about the global status quo

It’s all about the global status quo

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The Senate on Thursday voted almost unanimously to impose harsh sanctions on Russia and Iran, while making it difficult for the president to engage the countries diplomatically. While the political establishment argues the sanctions are a response to Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election, that’s just a smokescreen. Americans are witnessing the implementation of deep state favored foreign policy initiatives that would have been guaranteed under a Clinton administration.

Prior to the 2016 presidential election, anyone who was paying attention knew that one thing was certain: A win for Hillary Clinton would guarantee a foreign policy pivot designed to worsen relations with Russia.

Clinton’s ties to the deep state run deep and her administration would have served as a puppet to implement its agenda with as little friction as possible.

That’s why there was such an effort to manipulate the mainstream media into declaring that there was absolutely no chance of her loosing the election.

The plan was simple. Keep the military-industrial complex flush with cash via destabilization and heightening tensions with Russia. And it would be a two-for-one deal. By continuing to support “moderate” rebels in the Middle East, and thereby ensuring continued turmoil in Syria, the deep state would protect Saudi Arabian oil interests.

As I wrote just ahead of last year’s election:

It’s tempting to believe Clinton is an idiot for the way she handled U.S. policy in the Middle East—but for her friends, the chaos she created was nothing short of genius.

And she’ll continue to make really smart decisions if elected president… that is, where her decision-making concerns enriching her neocon buddies.

Where a Trump White House might demand that the Pentagon explain and correct its mistakes in the Middle East in the years moving forward, thereby giving Americans reason to again believe in its military’s ability to get things done— a Clinton White House is going to take a very different approach.

She’s going to give us all something to fear more than the ragtag terrorists groups we’ve been arming and fighting, rinse and repeat, for decades.

If you’ve been paying attention to her campaign at all, you know what we’re talking about: A brand new Cold War is on if Clinton is elected, and escalation is the name of her game.

Russia knows this— and its leaders are currently preparing for the worst.

Trump’s election obviously caused some problems for the plan. He’d even discussed finding common ground with Russia in the interest of eradicating ISIS.

So Trump became a Russian operative. And he convinced everyone on his team to look the other way as he “colluded” with Russian operatives to steal the election.

How exactly did they go about stealing the election? Oh, well, according to our top-secret intelligence agencies, Russia messed with electoral integrity in the most powerful nation on earth by hacking emails, voter registration rolls and enlisting online trolls to publish fake news.

Sounds reasonable enough, right?

Not really. But the pitchforks are up, so it must be working.

More importantly for the deep state, all but two senators voted Thursday to impose harsh sanctions on Russia which Trump can’t undo. In floor speeches lauding the sanctions, several senators likened the Russian “meddling” to an act of war.

No kidding.

The two who voted against the legislation were Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah). Imagine that, two guys almost universally hated by the hawkish establishment.

Paul noted that anything the U.S. is currently accusing the Russians of doing, China has already done.

Perhaps more important to note is that the U.S. has done everything that the political establishment in the U.S. is accusing Russia of doing, except often far more intensely.

This isn’t about elections. It isn’t about collusion. It’s about an establishment whose existence relies on a continuation of a global status quo.

Here are the rules: The U.S. is the most powerful nation in the world. Russia wants to take over the world. Terror is everywhere, we can’t kill it. But we have to “lead” in resistance to it. That means bombs, munitions and kickbacks for anyone who doesn’t think their plan is better than ours. And whichever leaders believe they have a better plan to stamp out ragtag terror groups can deal with the “rebels” we’ll arm against them.

Source: Will County News

Amazon hiring in Monee

Source: Will County News

Nobody Expected the Oil Market to Shift This Way

Nobody Expected the Oil Market to Shift This Way
By Keith Kohl
May, 2017
Years ago, I was laughing at the idea that Russia and Saudi Arabia could work together on an oil production cut.

Now, not only has the cut happened, but recent news indicates it will be extended through March 2018.

Even though my prediction that these oil powerhouses wouldn’t be able to get their act together was wrong, I still stand by the main points behind the argument: neither nation can afford to let oil slip again, and there’s only so much each is willing — or able — to give up.

What Has OPEC Done?

Despite how hard I am on OPEC sometimes, the only question we need to ask is whether the group’s plan to bolster crude prices will work.

So, is it working? Well… sort of.

Lately, crude prices have been hovering around $50 a barrel — a point that is certainly profitable for drillers in areas like West Texas.

I’m pretty sure that’s not what OPEC wanted to hear.

Obviously, the group is happy that prices are no longer in the $20/bbl range… but aren’t we all?

Granted, there was never a concrete goal, except to say that every producer would prefer higher, stable prices (the Saudis are hoping crude will be trading around $70 within the next 12 months). But the last thing we want to see is a price surge — something that could jeopardize the entire recovery.

Of course, the Saudis NEED crude to trade over $60 per barrel just to balance their own budget. Personally, I think that is grossly lowballing what they truly need to break even, especially considering that the House of Saud can’t keep up its lavish social programs without much higher crude prices.

Russia’s in the same boat.

And don’t even get me started on Venezuela.

So far, the need for higher prices is certainly the reason OPEC and Russia are finally working together and extending production cuts for another nine months.

Will that get oil to $70?

Not by itself it won’t…

Drawing Down the Glut

There are a number of factors to take into account when considering oil’s current predicament.

The first of these may sound a little obvious, but bear with me: how much oil do we have?

More specifically, what’s being stored in tankers and containment facilities right now?

Fortunately, we’re updated on these levels every week by both the American Petroleum Institute and the Energy Information Administration.

Those weekly reports show major storage facilities across the country.

But here’s the thing: much like watching a pot boil or a stock move, gauging the oil industry by weekly stockpile reports will drive some individual investors crazy and could very well cause knee-jerk reactions in the market.

For one, we’re still working our way through the huge amount of excess oil that built up before the production cut went into effect. Saudi Arabia was pumping at record levels at the end of 2016, and we’ve still not used all of that supply up.

It’s barely been five months — not nearly long enough to get rid of millions of barrels of excess oil!

We’ll get there, don’t worry.

And just because U.S. production is increasing — as is production in a select few OPEC countries — that doesn’t mean we’re in trouble. Remember, we’re right at the start of the summer driving season, and the U.S. hasn’t lost its thirst for gasoline.

In a recent interview with Platts, the International Energy Agency’s Head of Oil Industry and Markets Division Neil Atkinson noted that the world could in fact be facing a tightening of supply as soon as 2020 if oil demand continues rising as the Agency expects it to.

This estimate does assume that OPEC and Co. continue the cut, and that no other major events shift the weight of the oil industry one way or the other.

But that’s not as unlikely a scenario as it once seemed.

We can’t predict every change in the markets, but I can say with some certainty that Saudi Arabia and Russia do not want to see oil in the $20s again… or $50 per barrel, for that matter!

A Whole New Game

Keep in mind that the oil industry balance has already shifted, and I don’t just mean in price.

Even if Saudi Arabia and the rest of OPEC get back into the green, the oil cartel has undoubtedly lost some of the power and influence it once wielded in global oil markets.

U.S. tight oil production has taken its piece of that cake, and you can bet those drillers will keep pushing their product onto the global stage.

But it goes even deeper than that.

Another fun fact Mr. Atkinson pointed out in his interview is that few OPEC members have the same spare production capacity that they did in the ’80s when another glut put global markets in a similar situation.

Saudi Arabia may claim to have plenty of spare capacity, but it’s still not enough to keep the country’s hold over the oil market intact. Of course, that’s not to mention the fact that Saudi spare capacity is of a much poorer quality — we learned that much after the Saudis tried to make up for the shortfall of Libyan supply.

Ever wonder why the Saudis were suddenly interested in buying oil refineries in the Gulf of Mexico?

It’s not a coincidence.

Welcome to the new oil game.

Good investing,

Keith Kohl sig

Keith Kohl

Source: Will County News

Trump News June 22, 2017

Obamacare is failing the American people. Without action to repeal and replace Obamacare, Americans are stuck with higher costs, more taxes, and fewer choices. The trend of bad news for Obamacare is continuing – Americans need relief now.

TODAY’S EVENTS

9:30 AM: Vice President Pence delivers the keynote address at the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Legislative Day

11:00 AM: President Trump participates in the American Leadership in Emerging Technology Event

1:00 PM: Vice President Pence delivers remarks at the Wilson Center

3:00 PM: President Trump meets with the International Olympic Committee

7:15 PM: President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump host the Congressional Picnic

PHOTO OF THE DAY

President Donald J. Trump | June 21, 2017 (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

OBAMACARE FACT OF THE DAY

FACT: The American people know a bad deal when they see one. The most recent data shows that around 6.5 million Americans paid $3 billion in penalties to the IRS rather than buy unaffordable Obamacare plans.

WHITE HOUSE UPDATES

Yesterday, President Trump visited Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he gave remarks about empowering America’s farmers and protecting our Nation’s proud farming legacy.

Yesterday, Vice President Pence delivered remarks at the National Summit on Crime Reduction and Public Safety.

Yesterday, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, M.D., met with individuals who are facing lack of choice because of Obamacare.

Yesterday, President Trump held a meeting with cybersecurity and energy sector representatives.

The application period for the Fall 2017 White House Internship Program closes this Friday, June 23. Interested applicants can apply here.

WHAT WE ARE READING

“In order for us to expand prosperity and extend economic opportunity to more Americans, we must remain on the cutting edge. This means that government at all levels must focus on removing barriers to innovation and ensuring that technological advances aren’t strangled by bureaucratic red tape.”FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in New Hampshire Union Leader

“The White House is gathering technology leaders on Thursday to discuss how the industry aims to drive economic growth in emerging technology areas like wireless broadband and drones.” The Hill

..the nation’s second-largest health insurer announced Wednesday it plans to pull out of ObamaCare exchanges in Indiana and Wisconsin next year — a move that fueled GOP calls on Capitol Hill to upend the law.” Fox News

Source: Will County News

Summary of the Homer School District 33C Special Board of Education Meeting June 21, 2017

Summary of the Homer School District 33C
Special Board of Education Meeting
June 21, 2017
___________________________________________________________________________
Deb Martin, President Elizabeth Hitzeman, Vice President Karen DeFilippis, Secretary
Adam Briner, Member Kevin DeSchaaf, Member Christine Marcinkewicz, Member
Russ
Petrizzo, Member
At the June 21
st
Special Board of Education meeting:
The Board approved the following personnel recommendations:
Resignations
1.
Denise Schroeder – school psychologist, Schilling School, effective for the 2017-2018
school year
2.
Meghan Van Alst – 8
th
grade sponsor, effective for the 2017-2018 school year
Leaves of Absence
(Beginning and end dates open to modification)
1.
Jamie Cabral – special education teacher, Hadley Middle School, effective December 6,
2017 through March 2, 2018
2.
Jennifer Theissing – 3
rd
grade teacher, Goodings Grove School, effective August 30,
2017 through November 26, 2017
3.
Jessica Passarelli – 4
th
grade teacher, Goodings Grove School, effective October 25,
2017 through January 30, 2018 and a Child Care leave of absence effective from
January 31, 2018 through February 23, 2018
4.
Judith Stewart Shervino – custodian, Hadley Middle School, effective July 12, 2017 for
approximately six weeks
Position Recommendations
1.
1.0 FTE Early Childhood teacher position for the 2017 Extended School Year (ESY)
Program
Employment Recommendations
1.
Cynthia Mrotek – AT/PI teacher for the District, effective August 21, 2017
2.
Christopher Lockwood – summer custodian, Hadley Middle School, effective June 22,
2017
3.
Salvador Hernandez – summer custodian, Hadley Middle School, effective June 22,
2017
4.
Jennifer Rose – summer custodian, Young School, effective June 22, 2017
5.
Alexander Garcia – summer custodian, Schilling School, effective June 22, 2017
6.
James Carpenter – technology trainer for the after-hours community training for the
2017-2018 school year
Employee Recall
1.
Mary Kay Oldendorf – nurse aide, effective beginning of the 2017-2018 school year
The Board accepted a revised Memorandum of Understanding between Homer CCSD 33C
and Homer District 33C Support Staff Council regarding a one-time retirement incentive for
eligible employees and to extend the incentive to all eligible IMRF employees
The Board accepted the retirement of the following individuals subject to compliance with the
terms and conditions of the retirement incentive program
Bianet Gazambide – paraprofessional, effective June 30, 2017
Marytherese Sajdak – nurse, effective June 30, 2017
Carol Capadona – administrative assistant, effective August 1, 2017
Timothy Smith – custodian, effective August 15, 2017
Eileen Roe – media center professional, effective August 31, 2017
Karen Schwab – secretary, effective November 30, 2017
Maria Kagianas – paraprofessional, effective February 1, 2018
Anne Antanaitis – bus driver, effective June 30, 2018
Carol Bialon – nurse, effective June 30, 2018
Carole Costa – paraprofessional, effective June 30, 2018
JoAnne Decaire – paraprofessional, effective June 30, 2018
Cynthia Patrick – administrative assistant, effective June 30, 2018
Judith Stewart Shervino – custodian, effective June 30, 2018
Patricia Weber – bus driver, effective June 30, 2018
Diane Wojowski – media center professional, effective June 30, 2018
Eva Hull – secretary, effective August 1, 2018
Donald Fudala – bus driver, effective September 1, 2018
Teresa Kocanda – administrative assistant, effective January 31, 2019
Debra Mason – bus driver, effective June 30, 2019
Glenna Nicosia – bus driver, effective June 20, 2020
Doris Daggett – bus driver, effective June 30, 2020
The Board approved the following employees for participation in the District’s one-time IMRF
retirement incentive and to approve separation agreements:
Carol Capadona
Donald Fudala
Teresa Kocanda
Glenna Nicosia
Cynthia Patrick
Timothy Smith
Judith Stewart Shervino
The Board approved an increase in the District’s substitute wage, making it more competitive
with surrounding school districts. Substitute teachers will now receive $110 a day (up from $95
a day) while substitute paraprofessionals will receive $80 a day (up from $65 a day)
The Board discussed the roof at Butler School. The District will work with TRIA Architects and
Tremco Incorporated to locate and repair a leak at the school. They will begin by performing a
controlled water test at the school. The goal is to find and fix the leak before students return in
August
The Board approved a revised District Title I Plan
The Board reviewed and approved the tabulation of bids for the Multipurpose Xerographic
Paper Bid. Awarded contract to Veritive Operating Co. for the period of July 2017 through June
30, 2020 with an option to extend for two one-year periods
The Next Regular School Board Meeting is June 27, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.

Source: Will County News

Launch of the Conservative Candidate Network

 

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A Conservative believes in personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, individual liberty, traditional American values and a strong national defense. The role of government should be to provide people the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals. Conservative policies generally emphasize empowerment of the individual to solve problems.
We believe our Declaration of Independence and Constitution are the framework for our Republic.
 
2018 is the Year!
From Carrie Miller
Once more good Conservative people who are sick and tired of our “ILL fated” state being decimated need to take action. OR……  Will the names U-Haul, Bekins, Allied, United, Mayflower and 2 Men and a Truck be more important to you!
Many of us have spent years working to save our state and country from the ravages of the “Left wing” insanity.  It’s distressing to see so little improvement or change as a result of much of our labor and we are rightfully tired and burned out.  Over time we have found that our worst enemy on the road to getting good Conservatives in office who truly believe in Conservative values is the Republican establishment.
For years WE have worked on their campaigns, acquiring petition signatures, gone door to door and made thousands of phone calls.  In return, they do not support our preferred candidates. Money donated on behalf of our preferred candidates may never reach them. Help from the establishment is mostly nonexistent. They treat Conservatives as their real enemy instead of Democrats!
We have been informed the Illinois Republican “Establishment” is shying away from any association with President Trump and suggesting potential candidates do the same during the 2018 cycle.  Of course, the “establishment Republicans” will deny this when asked…but just look at Governor Rauner who still refuses to work on behalf of our REPUBLICAN President!  TRUMP SUPPORTERS…..your time is here….step up and join us.
Therefore, CCN the Conservative Candidate Network Committee has been created to help recruit and elect legitimate Conservatives to office and ensure the constituents that their money and support will be going directly to the candidate of their choice, not wasted on whomever the Republican Party wants to support by building a “Champion Team” .
The good news is that this plan will not require a huge time commitment. We need to establish ourselves as a force to be reckoned with against both failed Parties in this state for the 2018 election cycle which is gearing up now.
Here’s how it will work:
1.We are establishing a network of county coordinators who will assist in recruiting and  “vet” candidates who wish to run for state, federal, or county offices. These candidates will fill out a Conservative Candidate Survey (template already established), and after meeting with the candidate in person to review his/her views, gives the candidate the “stamp of approval” … or not.
2. Preferred candidates from across the state are then added to the Conservative Candidate Network website with appropriate contact information, donation information (which will go directly to that campaign and not in a general fund)
3. People will then have a much better idea of whom they wish to support financially and physically by working directly with the campaign.
This is what we call “Conservatives finally taking control”
There are no “go between handlers”. The money goes directly to the candidate and the vetting insures we are putting our money, time and effort in the “RIGHT” places
What can you do?  Join the CCN Champion TEAM – (people who are willing to work hard and put “boots on the ground” to “ring them bells”) to get the Conservative Candidate elected.
 
·         Volunteer to become a County Coordinator. There are 102 counties and we already have over half the state covered!!!
·         Encourage good people to run for office as well as precinct committeeman and have them contact us on the Conservative Candidate Network website.
·         We will need volunteers in other capacities.  Every volunteer is a very important part of the TEAM effort.  Don’t hesitate to make contact.
·         For more information or to get involved go to the website or respond to this email by contacting one of the emails below:
Email  –  ccnetwork18@gmail.com,
Facebook  –  htts://www/facebook.com,
This can be a game changer!
Now is the crucial time to take action!
Join us today!
MORE SUGGESTIONS FOR MAKING OUR VOICES HEARD!
Enough is Enough
Tired of all the reported news that has never been substantiated with facts?  Let your voices be heard from the “flyover country”.
                        New York Times                                    Washington Post
                        620 8th Avenue                                      1301 K Street NW
                        New York New York    10018                  Washington, DC  20071
Let’s Get Congress Moving on the Issues  –  contact your Senator/Representative and tell them to act on President Trump’s Agenda……we want to see some action now!
Peter Roskam                           202-225-4561     630-232-0006
Mike Bost                                 202-225-5661     618-457-5787
Rodney Davis                           202-225-2371     217-403-4690
Randy Hultgren                         202-225-2976     630-584-2734
John Shimkus                           202-225-5271     217-347-7947
Adam Kinzinger                         202-225-3635     815-431-9271
Darin LaHood                           202-225-6201     309-671-7027
Call Governor Rauner and suggest he VETO the following bills  –  217-782-0244
                        HB 40               Funded Abortions
                        HB 1785            Change of sex on birth certificates
                        SB0031             Illinois Trust Act seeks to protect and build trust between law enforcement agencies and immigrant communities by limiting local police involvement in federal immigration enforcement.
                        HB 9                 Bargain Budget  –  NO to TAX increases!
                        SB 1381            Eliminating Telephone Landlines
                        HB 2691            Eliminating Telephone Landline
What do you think the Conservative definition of Resist would be?
REASON ENERGIZE STRENGTH INFORM SUPPORT TEAMWORK

Source: Will County News

Trump News June 21, 2017

Obamacare has led to higher costs and fewer health insurance options for millions of Americans. The 2010 healthcare law has brought the American people rising premiums, unaffordable deductibles, fewer insurance choices, and higher taxes. President Donald J. Trump promised to repeal and replace this disaster, and that is exactly what he is working with Congress to achieve.

TODAY’S EVENTS

9:45 AM: Vice President Pence delivers remarks at the U.S. Department of Justice National Summit on Crime Reduction and Public Safety

11:30 AM: Vice President Pence participates in a call with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci

11:30 AM: President Trump receives a cybersecurity briefing

6:10 PM: President Trump tours Kirkwood Community College

6:25 PM: President Trump gives remarks at an event highlighting agricultural innovation

PHOTO OF THE DAY

Vice President Mike Pence and President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine | June 20, 2017 (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

OBAMACARE FACT OF THE DAY

FACT: Next year, 94 out of 99 Iowa counties may only have one insurer selling Obamacare coverage and no choices.

WHITE HOUSE UPDATES

Yesterday, President Trump met with President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine.

Yesterday, Vice President Pence delivered remarks at the National Association of Manufacturers 2017 Manufacturing Summit.

Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta spoke at the SelectUSA Investment Summit where he detailed the Trump Administration’s plans to expand and invest in apprenticeships.

ICYMI: First Lady Melania Trump welcomed students from the U.S. Department of Education Presidential Scholars Program to the White House earlier this week.

Yesterday, Mrs. Karen Pence spoke at the Congressional Award Gold Medal Celebration for Military Youth.

The application period for the Fall 2017 White House Internship Program closes this Friday, June 23. Interested applicants can apply here.

WHAT WE ARE READING

“Regardless, in places and among people who have felt abandoned politically, dismissed culturally, and forgotten economically, hope has been in short supply. And for now at least, as Todd Sias put it, “The hope of [the American dream] is alive again with Donald Trump.”Daniel Allott in the Washington Examiner

President Trump will travel to Iowa on Wednesday to highlight the need for Internet connectivity in rural areas and to promote the administration’s technology agenda…” The Hill

China opened its gates to US beef imports this week, giving American cattle farmers much sought-after access to the country’s massive market following a 14-year ban….Announced last month, the lifting of the beef embargo was one of the first concrete results of trade discussions that began when Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Donald Trump…” Agence France Presse

Source: Will County News

Independent investigators: Seth Rich likely killed by ‘hired killer’ or ‘serial murderer’

Independent investigators: Seth Rich likely killed by ‘hired killer’ or ‘serial murderer’

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Key Findings of the Profiling Project Report:

  • Seth’s death does not appear to be a random homicide.
  • Seth’s death does not appear to be a robbery gone bad.
  • Seth[‘s] death was more likely committed by a hired killer or serial murderer.
  • There may be additional video surveillance of the crime and crime scene.
  • The resolution of prosecuting the individual(s) responsible appears to be hindered both actively and passively.
  • Seth’s killer(s) most likely remains free with the community.

An independent, nonpartisan and all-volunteer group of forensic experts and George Washington University graduate students investigating the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich just punched some major holes in the official story of the young man’s untimely demise.

The group, working under the moniker The Profiling Project, released the results of its investigation of the Rich murder on Tuesday.

In its report, the group outlines how it used standard investigative practices accepted by the nations biggest law enforcement agencies and whatever information it was able to ascertain to produce a thorough profile of the victim and investigate possible motives for his homicide.

From the report: “The goal of PP was to create as strong a profile of Seth Rich as possible. That profile would then be compared to the various profiles of the theories surrounding Seth’s death. PP understood that the bulk of our information would be second and third-hand accounts, reporting’s and statements. To assess validity of such information, PP established a weighted tool to give value to the credibility, reliability and validity of the statements and information reviewed. We conducted statement validity assessments for any statements or information we were presented.”

Based on what the group learned about Rich’s personal history and lifestyle, the group determined that the former DNC staffer had a “low-to-moderate” risk of victimization.

Included under the “Victim Risk Assessment” section of the report, PP includes this statement about Rich’s Facebook profile: “Reportedly, in his last Facebook posting prior being shot, Seth posted ‘I have family and friends on both sides of the law’ which may indicate an understanding of the criminal system.”

The group noted that Rich’s murder is one of the few recent non African-American homicides to occur in the area, raising the possibility that he was the victim of a racially motivated attack. But the care taken to avoid leaving evidence behind at the crime scene, PP contends, doesn’t support the theory.

The investigative team’s analysis of the crime scene, including the location and care taken to leave no evidence behind, provides some of the most intriguing background on the cold case provided to date.

From the report:

With an unknown offender and very limited crime-scene information, a through profile of the offender is not possible. However, based on the following assumptions, we find the following:

If the CCTV cameras PP observed on May 4, 2017 around the crime are consistent with the CCTV cameras on July 10, 2016, the offender could successfully remain unrecorded in approaching, engaging and withdrawing from the crime-scene.

Offender brought a most likely unregistered firearm to the crime-scene, utilized the firearm and most likely carried the firearm away from the crime-scene with them post-commission. This is a bold behavior in D.C., which has some of the strictest gun laws in the country.

The act of killing is one of the most extreme human behaviors. The offender had already accepted that the use of a firearm was an option, indicating that offender had either previously killed, or a significant amount of preparation had gone into planning for this kill. Additionally, offender could elude police from the commission of the crime to present.

That the crime-scene appeared to be almost sanitized (no firearms casings were reported to be found, no physical evidence was reported) and that there does not appear to be excessive use of force (as only two shots were reported), the offender does not appear to be psychotic. Offender did not display excessive emotion at the crime scene, did not appear to act from hate, anger, fear, gain, jealousy or revenge, all motivations for murder.

The group determined that the most likely perpetrator profile is that of a serial killer.

But it’s examination of the evidence it gathered also leaves room for some stomach-turning questions. For instance, the group discounted the likelihood of scenarios involving a possible contract killing carried out by a professional assassin only because investigators have not yet released toxicology reports that could indicate whether a poison was released into Rich’s body.

A professional murderer, PP contends, would not have left the scene with Rich still alive and, according to reports, still conscious and able to speak with first responders.

A theory PP describes a potentially valid is that the crime scene was initially ignored by arriving officers because: “The full-scope of Seth’s injuries were not recognized initially as life-threatening.”

“As such, Seth was not urgently transported to a hospital and the crime scene was not given the attention that a murder crime scene would receive,” the group continued.

Barring the release of information pertaining to Rich’s official cause of death and a full toxicology screening– there’s no way to know for sure that the two gun shot wounds to his back were what actually killed the staffer.

Mainstream media and the political establishment has declared that any questions about motives behind the Rich killing that veer from the official botched robbery explanation are wild conspiracy theories. And the denigration continued Tuesday, with MSM focusing less on the details of the PP’s report than on the fact that the group is funded in part by GOP lobbyist Jack Burkman.

Despite his success in D.C., MSM outlets have lampooned Burkman as a wild-eyed conspiracy theorist… part of that vast, right-wing group that’s been hounding the Clintons for years.

But as we endure a national nightmare centered on investigating high ranking politicians for all manner of insane alleged crimes ahead of the 2016 election, what’s one more. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has already suggested that Rich had something to do with the massive leak that harmed Clinton’s campaign. And Assange’s cryptic assertion is no less shaky than the handfuls of leaks and unnamed sources that sparked the Russia/Trump/obstruction circus.

That’s not to say Hillary Clinton is responsible for Rich’s murder, nor that she was involved in any of the other strange deaths over the years some Americans can’t help but wonder about. For more on that, check out “Act Three” of this episode of This American Life from way back in 1997.

But at a time when MSM is content to examine every single possible angle of the Trump ordeal, isn’t it even worth considering the possibility that a powerful person could be capable of terrible things, in addition to connected enough to be assured they’d never be caught?

Here are a few important dates to remember: 

September 2015: The Russia hacked the DNC meme begins after an FBI special agent contacts DNC headquarters to report that its databases had been compromised.

March 17, 2016: Then top Trump endorser Jeff Sessions says: “I think an argument can be made there is no reason for the U.S. and Russia to be at this loggerheads. Somehow, someway we ought to be able to break that logjam. Strategically it’s not justified for either country.”

In the following months, Trump would advocate renewed relations with Russia in the interest of targeting international terror while rebuking the Clinton doctrine that would put the U.S. at odds with the nation by hammering down on Syria (seen the news lately?). He would also praise Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s leadership on more than one occasion.

April 2016: DNC IT officials notice more suspicious activity on computer networks.

May 2016: Clinton-connected IT firm ClowdStrike declares that the DNC intrusions are the work of highly sophisticated Russian hackers.

June 15, 2016:  A mysterious online persona going by the name “Guccifer 2.0” begins releasing  DNC documents online and claiming responsibility for the attack. CrowdStrike repudiates the claims, still blaming Russia. The hacker would subsequently release donor reports (June 18), a damning dossier on Clinton (June 21).

June 22-June 30, 2016– “Guccifer 2.0” begins giving backstory. Says: “I can only tell you that I was born in Eastern Europe. I won’t answer where I am now.”

Also, the hacker mocks the blame Russia story from Clinton and the DNC: “It seems the guys from CrowdStrike and the DNC would say I’m a Russian bear even if I were a catholic nun in fact. At first I was annoyed and disappointed. But now I realize they have nothing else to say. There’s no other way to justify their incompetence and failure. It’s much easier for them to accuse powerful foreign special services.

“They just fucked up! They can prove nothing! All I hear is blah-blah-blah, unfounded theories and somebody’s estimates.”

July 5, 2016: Comey gives press conference on the Clinton email “matter” after being coached by Attorney General Loretta Lynch to minimize it’s importance.

July 6, 2016: More damning DNC documents surface thanks to “Guccifer 2.0.” They include DNC’s plan for a counter convention during the RNC. “Guccifer 2.o” also notes: “This pack was announced two days ago but I had to keep you waiting for some security reasons. I suffered two attacks on my wp account.”

July 10, 2016: Seth Rich is murdered.

July 14, 2016: A new batch of DNC documents is released on the “Guccifer 2.0” website– but this time the information is about donors during way back in 2007 and Democratic opposition research on Sarah Palin.

The Guccifer 2.0 leaks continued to roll out in the months following– but the main trove of documents were released by WikiLeaks, as promised on the Guccifer 2.0 website with the initial round of releases: “The main part of the papers, thousands of files and mails, I gave to Wikileaks. They will publish them soon.”

The point here is that whether Clinton was elected or not, an effort to accuse Russia of attempting to undermine U.S. democracy was in the cards as early as 2015.

There were scattered reports that “Guccifer 2.0” named a person known as “Seth” as the leaker and others that that Rich may have been in the process of making contacts within the FBI to come clean at the time of his murder. The reports are unverified, mere conspiracy theories.

But is it really more believable that a billionaire sold out the American people to Russia as he ran for president than that a woman who’s spent her entire life seeking political power would have one lowly staffer murdered to keep him from becoming a squeaky wheel in the press– or worse, the key to dismantling the entire Russia hacking story before it got teeth.

Trump’s gamble, from cushy life as a billionaire to President Russian Stooge, certainly seems like an exercise in diminishing returns. Killing a staffer to protect a budding meme that would be used to ensure that Clinton’s backers got their foreign policy wishes even if the voting public gave her a cold shoulder really doesn’t.

But, hey, there aren’t any powerful media interests or folks at the FBI, CIA, NSA, and various other alphabet soup bureaucracies that would withhold information from the American public to protect a clandestine agenda. Right?

Source: Will County News

Republican Handel wins Georgia special House election

Republican Handel wins Georgia special House election

Republican Karen Handel on Tuesday night defeated rival Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s record-spending, special-election congressional race, keeping yet another House seat in GOP hands and denying Democrats a chance to deliver a rebuke to President Trump.

With all precincts reporting, Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, led Ossoff 52 percent to 48 percent — a margin of nearly 11,000 votes out of more than 250,000 ballots cast.

The race smashed fundraising records for a House contest — with both campaigns and outside groups combining to spend a record $50 million.

Ossoff’s defeat was another setback for Democrats hoping to capitalize on Trump’s low approval ratings to win a long-standing Republican seat.

It was the party’s fourth straight defeat this year in attempts to win a Republican seat and take the momentum into the 2018 midterms. They now must win 24 GOP House seats to retake control of the chamber next year.

“This race was going to require all hands on deck, and that’s what we had,” Handel said at her victory party. “Tonight’s victory is for you. It’s for every citizen in the 6th (Congressional) District.”

To be sure, the contest was close since Handel and Ossoff were the top finishers in April’s first balloting, which sent them to Tuesday’s runoff.

Ossoff lead by nearly 5 percentage points as recently as June 12, before the race deadlocked in the final days, according to the RealClearPolitics.com polls average.

The 30-year-old Ossoff, whose campaign was hurt by revelations that he didn’t live in the suburban Atlanta district, thanked his campaign team and voters in a short concession speech.

“Thank you for the most extraordinary process that I have ever been a part of,” Ossoff said. “The fight goes on. Hope is still alive.”

The House seat has been occupied by Republicans since 1979. GOP Rep. Tom Price gave up the seat in February to become Health and Human Services secretary.

President Trump didn’t campaign in Georgia for Handel. But he attacked Ossoff on Twitter for living outside the district and warned voters that he would increase taxes and be soft on national security.

Handel supporters chanted “Trump, Trump, Trump” at her victory party. And the president tweeted his own message of congratulations.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., also congratulated Handel, saying, “Karen is all business. I’ve campaigned with her, and I know how eager she is to get to work. I’m excited to have her as a partner in the House.”

Ossoff tried to thread the needle in the conservative-leaning Georgia district by vowing to cut taxes for small businesses, while championing equal rights for women and minorities, which earned him the support of civil rights icon and Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis.

Handel touted her experience as a state and local elected official and argued that outside forces were trying to buy a win.

Voters “are not interested in Hollywood and California coming in and buying this seat,” she said Tuesday morning on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”

In terms of individual donations, Ossoff vastly outpaced Handel, with nearly $24 million to her $4.5 million. An Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis showed just 3.5 percent of Ossoff’s donations between the end of March and May came from Georgia.

Still, Handel also benefited from outside spending, though most didn’t go directly to her campaign.

Groups like the Congressional Leadership Fund, a political action committee backed by Ryan, have spent millions on her behalf.

Also on Tuesday, Republicans held onto the House seat in South Carolina that was vacated in February by Mick Mulvaney so he could become the White House budget director. Millionaire developer Ralph Norman, the Republican, defeated former Goldman Sachs tax adviser Archie Parnell, the Democrat, in a closer-than-expected contest.

The other two special-election races this year in which Democrats failed to win a GOP House seat were in Kansas and Montana.

In Kansas, Republicans held onto the seat of Mike Pompeo, now the CIA director, and they kept the Montana seat of Ryan Zinke, who became Trump’s secretary of Interior.

Democrats have one last outside chance to win a GOP House seat, Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s in a conservative Utah. The special election is on August 15. Democrats won one special House election this year, holding onto the California seat vacated by Xavier Becerra.

While Republicans have held the Georgia seat since former House Speaker Newt Gingrich took it from Democrats nearly four decades ago, the district does not appear as conservative as in years past.

Trump won the district over Democrat Hillary Clinton last year by just 1.5 percent, compared to 2008 when Republican presidential nominee Arizona Sen. John McCain won by 18.9 percent.

The race attracted national attention and record money, but Georgia voters also took a big interest in the outcome.

More than 40,000 people voted early, including 36,000 who didn’t vote in the April contest.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Will County News

Gov. Rauner urges lawmakers to pass GOP ‘compromise’ budget plan; Democrats scoff

Gov. Rauner urges lawmakers to pass GOP ‘compromise’ budget plan; Democrats scoff

  • By Dan McCaleb, Greg Bishop and Cole Lauterbach | Illinois News Network

ILLINOIS NEWS NETWORK

Almost two full years into a budget impasse that has Illinois’ debt soaring and its bond rating plummeting, Gov. Bruce Rauner is calling on state lawmakers to approve his preferred budget plan during a 10-day special session that begins at noon Wednesday.

In a public address less than 24 hours before the extra session opens, Rauner said he would sign into law the plan introduced by House and Senate Republicans just last week that would require more than $5 billion in tax increases to pay for spending capped at $36 billion.

“Last week, we reviewed a compromise budget plan that I can sign – that we can all support,” Rauner said. “It moves us to middle ground on key issues. It is truly balanced. It funds schools, higher education, and human services. It provides a real path to property tax reduction.”

Rauner also said the Republican package contains the kind of spending cuts and reforms he wanted.

“The plan also stands tall for fundamentals. Spending reductions. Limits on expenses. Debt reduction. And term limits on legislative leaders and statewide officeholders, including the governor,” he said. “If we can agree to pass it, this plan will send a message across our state and around the nation that we are serious about making Illinois a more attractive destination for investment, new businesses, and new jobs.”

Getting the Republican measure passed through the Democrat-controlled General Assembly will be near impossible, given Democrats’ response. To pass a measure during the special session, a two-thirds majority is required. Democrats have comfortable majorities in both chambers.

State Rep. Greg Harris, in the officials Democratic response to Rauner’s address, called the impasse “Rauner’s budget crisis.”

“Democrats are returning to Springfield in hopes that the governor is finally ready to compromise on a budget,” Harris said, indicating his party wasn’t going to vote to approve the Republican plan as is. Harris also criticized Rauner for calling for unity on a budget deal at the same time he’s funding campaign ads targeting House Democrats.

Powerful House Speaker Michael Madigan also has moved to block Rauner’s initiatives at most every turn. And Senate President John Cullerton has said his chamber already did its job when it passed spending and tax increase packages last month with no Republican support.

The House adjourned without calling any of the Senate’s budget bills to the floor for a vote. Cullerton said it’s up to the House to take up the Senate’s already-approved legislation.

The Republican package revealed last week includes many elements of the Senate Democrats’ plan but with some changes.

For example, the Senate Democrat plan would permanently raise the state income tax by 32 percent, from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent. Under the new GOP plan, the increase would expire after four years. The four-year expiration date would coincide with a four-year property tax freeze that also is in the GOP plan. The income tax hike also would not be retroactive to Jan. 1, as the Democrat plan is, but would go into effect beginning July 1.

A family with annual income of $60,000 would pay the state an additional $720 a year under the GOP income tax hike proposal, with their tax bills spiking from $2,250 to $2,970.

The property tax freeze includes an exemption on local governments with existing debt service payments as requested by Senate Democrats, but also would allow residents to lower or increase their taxes through voter referendum. Both plans also include an expansion of the state’s sales tax to certain services, and an increase in Illinois’ corporate tax on businesses.

The GOP’s new proposal includes a hard spending cap of $36 billion over the next four years. The spending plan passed by Senate Democrats after bipartisan grand bargain negotiations broke down last month looked to spend $37.3 billion in fiscal year 2018.

State Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, opposes the tax increases contained in both the Senate Democrats and the GOP plans.

“I think Illinoisans are actually ready for an austerity budget or what I would call a budget that spends only what we’re going to to take in,” Ives said. “I want a budget too. I only want to spend what we are projected to take in.”

Ives also said the reforms don’t go near far enough to improve the state’s economy and jobs climate.

“Not only do I not support the tax increase part of the compromise plan, I don’t support some of the reforms in what they call the compromise plan because they’re not significant enough to make the types of transformational changes we need in the state of Illinois,” she said. “We’ve had such little growth and this compromise plan does not bring back the business climate we need to grow the tax pie to be able to afford what people want.”

Illinois’ budget impasse will reach the two-year mark on June 30. Despite that, the state has been spending money at record deficit levels because of court orders and consent decrees. Illinois has a backlog of unpaid bills topping $15 billion and unfunded pension obligations of more than $130 billion. Credit ratings agencies threatened to downgrade Illinois’ bond rating to junk status without a budget deal.

Retired University of Illinois Springfield political professor Kent Redfield said he thinks the special session could go either way.

“This could all blow up, but you’ve got enough change in the dynamic that, at a minimum, the House Democrats are going to have to respond to what the governor has proposed,” Redfield said. “They may run something that is not acceptable to the governor, but we’re more into the dynamic that gets us to the end game.”

Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake, called Rauner’s address absurd.

“Governor Rauner has made it clear that he has no interest in unifying legislators and passing a balanced budget,” Bush said. “If he did, he would be talking to leaders and legislators from both parties instead of giving phony speeches and spending millions of dollars on political ads attacking the very people he claims to want to unify.”

The fiscal year ends June 30. Rauner said lawmakers need to act by then.

“Failure to act is not an option,” he said.

Source: Will County News