Is Pay-to-Play Still Legal in Chicago?
Adam Andrzejewski, Founder OpenTheBooks.com
Last night on FOX News, Founder of OpenTheBooks.com Adam Andrzejewski describes The Chicago Way – a city that pioneered corrupt practices. In 2010, Rahm Emanuel pledged to clean up city hall and end pay-to-play culture.
How did Rahm do? Not too well. Greed is still compromising ethics. Emanuel’s 2011 executive order to stop pay-to-play was a sound bite. Chicago is like an old fisherman, it continues to stink.
At the request of Stossel producers, our teams worked hard to mash up Emanuel’s campaign cash since 2010 with the city checkbook since 2002. Our results are stunning…
HERE’S WHAT WE FOUND:
600 city vendors gave Emanuel $7 million in campaign cash during the past four years, but received $2 billion in city payments since 2002. From a universe of 1,500 companies or their affiliated employees funding Rahm Emmanuel’s campaign since 2010, we matched those company names with payments from the City of Chicago vendor checkbook.
It shows two things: 1. Emanuel is firmly in control of the corrupt Daley political machine; 2. and pay-to-play is still legal in the city.
AMONGST OUR FINDINGS:
United and American airline executives bundled large amounts of campaign donations – even though both companies have current city contracts. Ten American execs gave the same amount ($5,300) on the same day (March 28, 2014) from Texas, Arizona, and Washington DC. 42 United execs gave $73,000 on the same day (September 30, 2014).
Law firms ‘gaming the system.’ Without a “city contract” the law firms and employees are donating tens of thousands of dollars to Rahm’s campaign fund. How? Learn about the voucher- direct payment scheme in city hall.
Investment firms ‘gaming the system.’ Using a middle man to contract with the city pension plans, some of the mayor’s largest donors then manage city pension money by contracting with the middle man. It’s called “fund-of-funds” to skirt the rules.
How much does the Illinois culture of corruption cost taxpayers?
We name names.
How does the legalized money laundering system in Chicago work? Andrzejewski cites specific examples.
Watch John Stossel’s Special Chicago Corruption click here.
Mr. Henderson is the director of the Gulf and Energy Policy program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
The U.S. suffers a major setback in the war on terror as a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia looms.
The evacuation of U.S. Special Forces from their base in southern Yemen on Friday because al Qaeda had taken over the nearby city of al-Houta is hard to spin as anything but a major setback for the war on terror. All the more so since last month the few remaining U.S. diplomats in Yemen had flown out of San’a, the capital, because of the threat from Houthi rebels. The American ambassador to Yemen now operates from the Saudi port city of Jeddah.
The fact that (Sunni) al Qaeda and (quasi-Shiite) Houthis hate each other is little consolation to Western observers of Yemen’s meltdown. Al Qaeda’s antipathy toward the U.S. is well-established. No one would treat lightly the Houthi slogan of “God is Great, Death to America, Death to Israel, Damn the Jews, Power to Islam.”
Previously lawless at night, especially outside the main cities, the most populous country in Arabia, as well as the poorest, is now increasingly anarchic around the clock. The violent chaos in Yemen isn’t orderly enough to merit being called a civil war.
Instead of congratulating the Israeli people for being one of the few countries in the Middle East to hold real free and democratic elections, Obama has decided to inflict collective punishment not on Netanyahu, but on all Israelis, even its Muslim and Christian citizens, for having an election that came out not the way he wanted it to.
The terrorists have also been following with great enthusiasm reports that the Obama Administration is considering reassessing its policy — that the U.S. no longer considers Israel a strategic ally in the Middle East.
In short, Obama’s anti-Israel stance is the best gift the Americans could have given to Muslim terrorists and radical Arabs.
Obama also seems not to want to face the fact that because of his withdrawals and neglect, the situation in the Middle East today, with the rise of Islamic State and other terror groups, is not the same as it was even five years ago.
European countries, such as Germany, expect huge economic benefits if Western sanctions on Iran are lifted.
Those economic benefits to Iran will pay for its nuclear weapons to attack the West – an updated version of Lenin’s, “The capitalists will sell us the rope with which to hang them.”
The European Union says it is “not helpful” to “spread fears” about the impending nuclear deal with Iran. The so-called P5+1, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, hope to clinch a framework agreement with Iran by the end of this month and a final agreement by June 30. Three of the six P5+1 members — Britain, France and Germany — are EU member states.
Last week, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and others who warn that supplying Iran with the means to make nuclear weapons is dangerous. Mogherini, successor to the infamous Catherine Ashton, said that the Iranian nuclear deal is “a good deal” and that she is committed to bringing the talks with Iran to a positive end.
In the proposed agreement, the international economic sanctions against Iran will be lifted in exchange for Tehran allowing international inspectors into the country to control whether Iran is enriching uranium exclusively for peaceful purposes. The deal is a major concession to Iran, since a 2010 UN resolution prohibited Iran from enriching uranium. Furthermore, the deal stipulates that all restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program will be completely eliminated after ten years.
The case for her in 2016 boils down to demographic symbolism.
It is amazing how a simple question can cause a complex lie to collapse like a house of cards. The simple question was asked by Bill O’Reilly of the Fox News Channel, and it was addressed to two Democrats. He asked what has Hillary Clinton ever accomplished. The two Democrats immediately sidestepped the question and started reciting their talking points in favor of Hillary. But O’Reilly kept coming back to the fact that nothing they were talking about was an accomplishment. For someone who has spent her entire adult life in politics, including being a senator and then a secretary of state, Hillary Clinton has nothing to show for all those years — no significant legislation of hers that she got passed in the Senate, and only an unbroken series of international setbacks for the United States during her time as secretary of state.
Before Barack Obama entered the White House and appointed Mrs. Clinton secretary of state, al-Qaeda operatives in Iraq had notified their higher-ups, stationed in Pakistan, that their cause was lost in Iraq and that there was no point sending more men there. Hosni Mubarak was in charge in Egypt. He posed no threat to American or Western interests in the Middle East or to Christians within Egypt or to Israel. But the Obama administration threw its weight behind the Muslim Brotherhood, which took over and began terrorizing Christians in Egypt and promoting hostility to Israel.
There is no good in you if they are secure and happy while you have a pulsing vein. Erupt volcanoes of jihad everywhere. Light the earth with fire upon all the [apostate rulers], their soldiers and supporters. — ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, November 2014 Those words weren’t idle. The Islamic State (ISIS) is still advancing, across continents and cultures. It’s attacking Shia Muslims in Yemen, gunning down Western tourists in Tunisia, beheading Christians in Libya, and murdering or enslaving all who do not yield in Iraq and Syria. Its black banner seen as undaunted by the international coalition against it, new recruits still flock to its service. The Islamic State’s rise is, in other words, not over, and it is likely to end up involving an attack on America. Three reasons why such an attempt is inevitable:
ISIS’s Strategy Practically Demands It
Imbued with existential hatred against the United States, the group doesn’t just oppose American power, it opposes America’s identity. Where the United States is a secular democracy that binds law to individual freedom, the Islamic State is a totalitarian empire determined to sweep freedom from the earth. As an ideological and physical necessity, ISIS must ultimately conquer America. Incidentally, this kind of total-war strategy explains why counterterrorism experts are rightly concerned about nuclear proliferation. The Islamic State’s strategy is also energized by its desire to replace al-Qaeda as Salafi jihadism’s global figurehead. While al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and ISIS had a short flirtation last year, ISIS has now signaled its intent to usurp al-Qaeda’s power in its home territory. Attacks by ISIS last week against Shia mosques in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a were, at least in part, designed to suck recruits, financial donors, and prestige away from AQAP. But to truly displace al-Qaeda, ISIS knows it must furnish a new 9/11.
The Israeli left has, since the re-election of Binyamin Netanyahu showed his anger, and revealed a little more his true face.
And that face is not pretty: it shows a contempt for the people, and a form of hatred countries. The Israelis did not vote as people would have wanted them to vote: so they voted wrong. Haaretz columnist who do not even deserve that I mention his name, wished Israel exchange people. Another columnist, also in the Jerusalem Post, said the country as it became like a far-right dictatorship.
Despite the Israeli left has for the intellectuals of the American Jewish left which Peter Beinart Joe Klein and Thomas Friedman spit more than ever on Netanyahu and Israel, they claim to defend, but really hate, reacting as spoiled child whose toy is recalcitrant, and decide therefore to cast after trampled.
What is disturbing in all this is that both the Israeli left that intellectuals of the American left and gi
Decatur took charge of the schooner Enterprise at the age of 25. He is the youngest man to reach the rank of captain in U.S. Navy history.
Stephen Decatur’s challenge was to prevent pirates from using a captured 36-gun U.S. frigate. America had been battling the city-states along the Barbary Coast of North Africa, which for 300 years had waylaid merchant ships and taken hostages for ransom.
Europeans found it cheaper to pay protection money than fight.
America, with its tiny navy, had gone along — until it launched the First Barbary War in 1801 to try to stop the extortion.
Two years later, that frigate — the Philadelphia — ran aground in Tripoli’s harbor, with its 307 sailors taken prisoner.
Enter Decatur. In February 1804 he captured a pirate ship and hid 80 Marines on it to sail up next to the Philadelphia without suspicion.
Then he led them aboard the frigate and set it ablaze. The American force took heavy fire as it escaped, but Decatur didn’t lose a single man.
It was a turning point in the war, although Tripoli didn’t surrender until the next year.
“It was America’s first war on terrorism, and his innovative approach to dealing with the Philadelphia against overwhelming odds was successful because of careful planning and his ability to communicate his intentions to the crew,” Terry McKnight, a retired rear admiral and the author of “Pirate Alley: Commanding Task Force 151 Off Somalia,” told IBD.
One analyst is now using the language of Captain Ahab and the great white whale, from Herman Melville’s 1851 novel “Moby Dick,” to describe U.S. President Barack Obama’s obsessive pursuit of a nuclear agreement with Iran.
An alternate analysis might be Obama as Captain Queeg from the movie “The Caine Mutiny,” as he is currently displaying the same kind of paranoia seen in that erratic, vengeful captain. In Obama’s case, he appears to be motivated by a need to punish anyone who might interfere with his plans for securing a nuclear deal with Iran, whatever its terms, before he leaves office. Today, the list of enemies interfering with Obama’s plans includes U.S. Republicans, Israel and its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Iran’s Houthis to Control Critical Naval Chokepoint
Houthis are a small step from surging south-ward to the Port of Aden, and controlling the Yemeni side of the critical Mandab Strait.
Following the Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels’ occupation of the mostly Sunni Yemeni city of Ta’izz in south-west Yemen, the Houthis are a small step from surging south-ward to the Yemeni Port of Aden, and effectively controlling the Yemeni side of the critical naval chokepoint of Bab el-Mandeb, or Mandab Strait.