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Bruce Rauner Wants to Cut the Minimum Wage – Or Does He?

Bruce Rauner Wants to Cut the Minimum Wage – Or Does He?

At a candidates’ forum in the Quad Cities on December 11th, Bruce Rauner said “I will advocate moving the Illinois minimum wage back to the national minimum wage.” You can click on this video and watch the first five minutes. Rauner’s proposal would reduce the minimum wage in Illinois from $8.25 per hour to $7.25. Karen Lewis, President of the Chicago Teachers Union, pointed out that Rauner last year made $7.36 per second. Rauner then flip-flopped, saying that he favors raising the federal minimum wage (which the Governor has nothing to do with). He said he would raise the Illinois minimum wage but only if the General Assembly enacts tort reform, a change in the corpo... »

Not such a bad year

Not such a bad year

Conventional wisdom is that President Obama had a “bad year” in 2013. You hear it on talk shows and read it in newspaper columns. People cite the government shutdown, problems with the Obamacare rollout, and disclosures about the NSA. But was it really a bad year? Consider these facts: 1.  The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) went into effect October 1st, despite the determined efforts of Republicans to repeal or defund it. 2.  Millions of people now have health insurance for the first time. Some got coverage through healthcare.gov, others used the toll-free line or worked with navigators. People under 26 are now covered by their parents’ health insurance. 3.  The expans... »

Good Daily Herald series on FOID cards

Good Daily Herald series on FOID cards

The Daily Herald recently ran an excellent three-part series on Firearms Owners Identification (FOID) Cards. About 10% of people in the suburbs have FOID cards, which means that 90% of us don’t. Even among those who have FOID cards, most are hunters or people who have  a family heirloom or a gun for protection in their home. Most of them support reasonable regulation of privately-owned firearms. These are the three parts of the series: Special report: Gun license numbers don’t tell whole story – DailyHerald.com Do more gun permits mean more guns? – DailyHerald.com Police want more access to gun permit data – DailyHerald.com There were also several sidebar storie... »

Chicago Reader gives Bruce Rauner an “award”

Chicago Reader gives Bruce Rauner an “award”

In the December 23rd issue of the Reader, Ben Joravsky and Mick Dumke give out their third annual awards for “political ‘achievement.'” Here’s a good one: “THE MITT ROMNEY AWARD . . . for pretending to be an average Joe when you’re actually a gazillionaire who has so many homes it’s hard to keep track of them all: Bruce Rauner, Republican candidate for governor, who’s running ads depicting himself as a man of the people even though he brought in $53 million last year from his hedge fund operation and owns at least eight properties, including a waterfront villa in Florida, a condo in an upscale Utah ski resort, a penthouse in New York City, and ... »

Kudos to Congress

Kudos to Congress

Everyone notices when Congress fails to do its job (for example, the government shutdown). It’s important to notice when they do things right. Over the past few weeks, the House passed a bipartisan compromise budget that will avoid going from crisis to crisis for the next two years. The Senate changed its rules to reduce abuse of the filibuster. And despite a lot of counterproductive rhetoric, Congress adjourned without enacting new sanctions that would have torpedoed the temporary agreement with Iran. Each of these accomplishments can be criticized. The budget failed to extend unemployment benefits, and it’s charitable to commend Congress for not undermining President Obama̵... »

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