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Feds Appear to Be Targeting Former Illinois Senator PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 22 July 2012 05:15

Rickey HendonThe federal criminal complaint against the seven people arrested in Chicago last week for federal bribery conspiracy is 42 pages long. Former state Senator Rickey Hendon is mentioned 21 times in those 42 pages, although never by name.

It’s pretty clear from the complaint that the U.S. attorney has been looking at Hendon (D-Chicago) for at least the past four years.

In July 2008, the Chicago Tribune published a major exposé on state grants steered to local groups by Hendon. The Tribune claimed that half of the 48 grant recipients “were running dubious programs, or declined to show how they spent the money.”

Conveniently, that very same month, the feds busted a Chicago police officer during a probe of gun-trafficking and public corruption. The cop quickly offered to cooperate to reduce his sentence. It doesn’t take too much reading between the lines to see that the corrupt cop might have been given the task of helping the feds nab Rickey Hendon.

One of the police officer’s longtime friends was Dean Nichols. Nichols and Hendon are close friends.

 
Get Active or Get Swallowed Whole PDF Print E-mail
Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Thursday, 19 July 2012 05:28

After nearly 20 years of opining in these pages, I am going to try a shock-and-awe approach to informing. Hopefully readers will be either inspired or outraged, or at least curious enough to pursue the topics here, and to not just verify but also to help better connect relevant dots, adding substantially to the scope of knowledge required to effect real change.

For instance, did you know that when you purchase stocks and bonds in today’s market, you don’t actually own them? Instead, you are only purchasing beneficiary rights that come with each unit. The real owner of your stocks and bonds is the little known Cede & Company, a division of the Depository Trust Company (DTC), which handles 99 percent of all securities trades in the United States and the majority of trades abroad. In other words, this privately held corporation (approximately 35 percent of which is owned by the New York Stock Exchange), which is actually a division of the Federal Reserve System, processes all book-entry securities transactions for every bank and brokerage firm in the United States. According to Wikipedia, in 2011, the DTC held approximately $1.7 quadrillion of the world’s wealth, with many of the rights of legal ownership, if not the benefits derived therefrom, accruing to it via modern digital transactions replacing the traditional certificate system.

 
Southern-Illinois District Looks to Be a Challenge for Democrats PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 15 July 2012 09:40

A poll taken last week has Republican congressional candidate Jason Plummer leading his new Democratic challenger by 11 points.

The poll, taken July 9 by We Ask America, found Plummer ahead of Democrat Bill Enyart 45-34. The automated poll of 1,510 likely voters had a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points.

Plummer is significantly below 50 percent, and 23 percent of voters are undecided, so he doesn’t have this one in the bag yet. Enyart was appointed to the ballot late last month, so he has barely had any time at all to make an impression on the voters of the 12th Congressional District.

 
The Corporate Takeover of America: A Government of the Elites, by the Bureaucrats, and for the Corporations PDF Print E-mail
Guest Commentaries
Written by John W. Whitehead   
Wednesday, 11 July 2012 13:05

By definition, these are closed-door meetings that are part of long-term relationships between the state’s highest officials and for-profit corporations. There is exactly nothing like that for citizens. This is entrenched, institutionalized, specialized access to political power in exchange for very modest contributions.” – Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, a citizen lobbying and advocacy group

For four days, from July 12 thourgh 15, America’s governors – hosted by Virginia’s Bob McDonnell – will gather in Williamsburg, Virginia, for the National Governors Association’s (NGA) annual summer meeting. While there, the governors and their staffs will be “treated to amusement parks, historical sites, championship golf courses, five-star dining, an al fresco concert, and a rousing fireworks finale,” much of it paid for by corporations eager to spend time with the nation’s most powerful government chief executives.

Among those footing the bill for the powwow, reports the Associated Press (AP), are “Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, and Northrop Grumman, the ubiquitous government and defense contractor that holds the largest state contract in Virginia history for a partnership to operate the state’s vast centralized information-technology system.” While the annual meeting is not open to the public, it is open to members of the NGA’s Corporate Fellows Program, whose roster is a who’s-who list of corporate America and whose mission is ostensibly to “promote the exchange of information between the private sector and governors and stimulate discussion among the Corporate Fellows on emerging trends and factors affecting both business and government.”

 
Everyday People and the American Revolution PDF Print E-mail
Guest Commentaries
Written by John W. Whitehead   
Tuesday, 03 July 2012 08:50

We elevate the events of the American Revolution to near-mythic status all too often and forget that the real revolutionaries were people just like you and me. Caught up in the drama of Red Coats marching, muskets exploding, and flags waving in the night, we lose sight of the enduring significance of the Revolution and what makes it relevant to our world today. Those revolutionaries, by and large, were neither agitators nor hotheads. They were not looking for trouble or trying to start a fight. Like many today, they were simply trying to make it from one day to another, a task that was increasingly difficult as Britain’s rule became more and more oppressive.

 
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