Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

The New Yorker

Trump is 77, McConnell is 81, Pelosi is 83 and Biden is 80 years old. No comment except that the latest issue of The New Yorker is out, and it seemed (somewhat) timely given the topic.

Some senior citizens in Illinois may be able to wait a little longer before taking the mandatory driving test.

Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias is pushing to keep the age requirement at 79 on a permanent basis.

A temporary law that boosted the age from 75 is set to expire on Sunday, September 30. The modification was approved in Springfield during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Statistics show that seniors are among the safest drivers of any age category,” Giannoulias said in a statement Wednesday.  “This change would make Illinois driving standards for senior drivers more consistent compared to other states while keeping Illinois as one of the strictest states for license renewals.”

The statement from Secretary of State’s office stated there are more than 9.1 million licensed drivers in Illinois. Of those, approximately 280,000 individuals are between the ages of 75 and 78, or 3% of the driving population – who would be impacted by the permanent implementation of this legislation.

Current Illinois law would remain unchanged when it comes to renewing drivers for other age groups. Those details include:

  • All drivers below the age of 81 must renew their licenses every four years.
  • Drivers aged 79 and 80 must take a vision and driving test (if their four-year renewal is up during this time period).
  • Drivers aged 81 to 86 must take a vision and driving test every two years.
  • Drivers aged 87 and older must take a vision and driving test every year.

Read more here.

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A horse on Lori Brock’s farm jumps in the air while wearing a shirt that says ‘I say neigh to Gotion.’ Photo: Lori Brock | Contributed photo

A Michigan nonprofit organization intends to sue a Chinese company that is planning to build a battery plant in Illinois.

The Mecosta Environmental and Security Alliance is hoping to stop the construction of a proposed electric vehicle battery plant by Gotion, Incorporated near Big Rapids, Michigan. With the help of millions of dollars in state and federal tax credits, Gotion plans to build a similar plant in Manteno, Illinois.

Related:Emerging scandal: Why are we giving $8 billion to Chinese company with CCP ties to build a $2 billion IL battery factory?,” Federal taxpayers will fund billions more than actual cost of Illinois battery plant to be owned by Chinese company with alleged CCP ties,” “Hefty Illinois tax incentive package helps lure Chinese EV battery plant

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Illinois state Rep. Martin McLaughlin, R-Barrington Hills |BlueRoomStream

Illinois has seen an exodus of residents over the past several years. Some say the outmigration is contributing to the state’s growing pension problems.

Illinois currently spends about $10 billion a year on public pensions, and the state’s five systems have an unfunded liability of at least $140 billion. Some Illinois legislators are pushing for more funding for pensions while others have raised concerns of having Tier 2 employees hired after 2011 with fewer promised benefits paying more to support those employees in Tier 1 with more generous benefits.

A recent report from the American Legislative Exchange Council found each man, woman and child in Illinois is on the hook for about $37,000 to pay off public employee pensions, the second highest amount of all states after Alaska.

U.S. Census data shows nationwide, the median household income was $74,755 in 2022, down around 1% from the year before when adjusting for inflation. Illinois is one of 17 states to see its average inflation-adjusted household income decrease in 2022.

Other data from the U.S. Census on state-to-state migration released earlier this year shows that Illinois gained 4,000 residents from nine other states. But about 150,000 left for other states. That means 146,000 Illinoisans on net left in 2021.

Illinois state Rep. Martin McLaughlin, R-Barrington Hills, said the state pension systems suffer when people leave the state.

“We are having a smaller and smaller number of employees supporting the top, and that demographic structure itself is a big problem,” McLaughlin told The Center Square. “That’s not changing because the only way to change that is to grow Illinois’ population, grow Illinois businesses, grow Illinois employees, so they can support those at the top.”

Read more here.

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Amazon Jeff

The Federal Trade Commission and 17 states on Tuesday sued Amazon, alleging the online retailer illegally wields monopoly power that keeps prices artificially high, locks sellers into its platform and harms its rivals.

The FTC’s lawsuit, filed in Seattle federal court, marks a milestone in the Biden administration’s aggressive approach to enforcing antitrust laws and has been anticipated for months. The agency’s chair, Lina Khan, is a longtime critic of Amazon who wrote in the Yale Law Journal in 2017 that earlier generations of competition cops and courts abandoned the law’s concerns over conglomerates such as Amazon.

The FTC and states alleged that Amazon violated antitrust laws by using anti-discounting measures that punished merchants for offering lower prices elsewhere. The government also said sellers on Amazon were compelled to use its logistics service if they want their goods to appear in Amazon Prime, the subscription program whose perks include faster shipping times, the FTC said.

The FTC said sellers feel they must use Amazon’s services such as advertising to be successful on the platform. Between being paid for its logistics program, advertising and other services, “Amazon now takes one of every $2 that a seller makes,” Khan said at a briefing with the media Tuesday.

“The lawsuit filed by the FTC today is wrong on the facts and the law, and we look forward to making that case in court,” said David Zapolsky, Amazon’s general counsel and head of public policy. “The practices the FTC is challenging have helped to spur competition and innovation across the retail industry, and have produced greater selection, lower prices, and faster delivery speeds for Amazon customers and greater opportunity for the many businesses that sell in Amazon’s store.”

More here.

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As the new school year is well underway, a parent’s rights advocacy group is urging Illinois families to know what their options are concerning sex education being taught in some schools.

The vast majority of Illinois school districts are not opting into controversial sexual education curricula, according to Awake Illinois. But the districts with the largest student populations are.

In 2021, Gov. J.B. Pritzker enacted a law aligning the state’s public schools with the National Sex Education Standards, saying the measure will modernize the subject with age-appropriate content for grades K-12.

Among the standards for grades K-2 are defining gender expression, different kinds of families and types of sexual abuse. Grade 3-5 goes into anatomy, gender identity and sexual orientation. Grades 6-8 will learn about different types of sex, different types of sexual exploitation and trafficking. Grade 9-10 will learn about the history of “reproductive justice.” Grades 11-12 will learn about power and privilege within sexual relationships.

“Modernizing our sex education standards will help keep our children safe and ensure important lessons like consent and internet safety are taught in classrooms,” Pritzker said in a statement announcing his signature.

The law was praised by sex education advocates.

“As a sex educator who has personally been targeted by misinformed critics for providing those necessary tools, I understand the urgent need to expand access to sex education that is medically accurate, LGBTQ+ affirming, culturally inclusive, and age-appropriate,” Justine Ang Fonte, an intersectional sex educator, said in 2021.

Opponents said the law goes too far.

Awake Illinois found through the Freedom of Information Act that of 758 school districts surveyed by the Illinois State Board of Education, 206 have opted in during the last school year. Awake Illinois founder Shannon Adcock said parent advocacy is working.

Read more here.

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VBH Entrance

Our Village Board of Trustees will be conducting their regular monthly meeting beginning at 6:30 PM. Topics on their agenda include:

  • [Vote] A Resolution Authorizing the Execution of a Contract With Corrective Asphalt Materials LLC (CAM) For Pavement Rejuvenation and CRF Application on Select Village Maintained Roads Resolution 23 –
  • [Vote] Ordinance Amending the Village Code to Provide for Regulations Related to the Village’s System of Administrative Adjudication Ordinance 23 –
  • [Vote] An Ordinance Adopting by Reference of the Lake County Watershed Development Ordinance 23 –
  • [Vote] Resolution Honoring Barbara P. Hansen for her Contribution to the Village of Barrington Hills Resolution 23 –

A copy of their agenda can be viewed and downloaded here.

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Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., walks on Capitol Hill in Washington on Sept. 21, 2023. (Mark Schiefelbein/AP)

Stop the presses!

Or whatever other device to which you turn for news.

Georgia U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, hard-line Republican loudmouth from the South, finally has said something with which — gasp! — I agree.

This unusual moment of comity came on the heels of a directive from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. The New York Democrat directed the chamber’s sergeant-at-arms to stop enforcing the body’s unwritten yet faithfully followed dress code, which is coats and ties for men and business attire for women.

Although Greene is not a senator, she still poked her nose into the social network chatter on X, formerly Twitter. “Disgraceful,” she tweeted. “Dress code is one of society’s standards that set etiquette and respect for our institutions,” she tweeted. “Stop lowering the bar!”

Yeah! Amazingly, I agreed with her. That’s probably because, well, I’m old. I appreciate the enduring niceties from more courteous and respectful times.

I was raised to believe you should show your respect for important institutions, jobs and events by dressing in a way that won’t be mistaken for a visiting high school tour group. With that in mind, I was encouraged to see Greene calling for maintaining the dress code because of “etiquette and respect for our institutions.”

Read more here.

Editorial note: We wholeheartedly agree. Dressing inappropriately shows lack of respect for the office one is elected to and the officials one serves with…


At the June meeting of BACOG (Barrington Area Council of Governments), Barrington Hills Village President Brian Cecola (pictured at right) was named Board Chair of that body for FY2023-24.

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MC Gas

Drivers stopping at McHenry County gas stations in 2024 will feel a little more of a pinch at the pump.

The McHenry County Board voted Tuesday to raise the county’s tax on gasoline next year to 8 cents per gallon from the current 4.7 cents per gallon.

Local drivers were generally displeased with the tax increase Wednesday.

“I just find the gas tax pathetic,” said Matthew Beyer, who works in Crystal Lake. “I spend too much on gas anyway.”

He wasn’t the only one.

“I’m glad I’m moving,” said Dan Seiwerth of Island Lake. “The taxes are a lot cheaper anywhere else.”

Read more here.

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_kindy ._001

“At the Sept. 19 Board meeting, the Board heard a presentation about implementing full-day kindergarten in Barrington 220. Full-day kindergarten would extend core instruction (math, science, literacy, etc.) throughout the school day, and allow teachers time to encompass the whole child in exploration and personalized learning, as well as social-emotional development.

Currently, Barrington 220 offers a half-day option, however, the majority of students are enrolled in a fee-based Kindergarten Enrichment Program that runs a full day. One might assume that since the district currently accommodates the full-day Kindergarten Enrichment Program, it could easily accommodate full-day kindergarten. However, there are many factors to consider prior to implementing full-day kindergarten. For instance, over the past decade, there has been an enrollment increase each year of 40 to 60 students between kindergarten and first grade. Anecdotal evidence is that many of these students are attending private full-day programs, which leads to the assumption that a full-day program in the district will result in an increase in kindergarten enrollment. This would require an increase in staffing, as well as classroom space.

The district is currently reviewing options to renovate two or three classrooms at BHS to house a kindergarten lab program, or build classroom additions at elementary schools.

A final recommendation will be presented to the Board in October. Click here to listen to the Board presentation.”

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Esmeralda Aguilar, 24, is charged with four felony counts of aggravated battery to a peace officer but released thanks to a new state law abolishing cash bail. (Chicago Police Department)

A woman accused of attacking four Chicago police officers has been released from custody after a new state law went into effect abolishing cash bail.

Esmeralda Aguilar, 24, a resident of the Chicago suburb of Cicero, is charged with four counts of aggravated battery to a peace officer over the incident that allegedly occurred over the weekend.

Aguilar was arrested moments after the alleged attack in the downtown area. However, she was released Monday, the same day the Pretrial Fairness Act, which is part of the SAFE-T Act, went into effect.

“Reports that on the very first day of no cash bail, a violent offender arrested for attacking four Chicago Police Officers, sending two of them to the hospital, was immediately released because the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office didn’t even bother to file a motion to seek detaining the accused are problematic,”  Illinois state Sen. John Curran, said in a statement to FOX Chicago.

“This highlights the misplaced priorities of Illinois’ criminal justice system when the prosecutor prioritizes the freedom of a violent offender over the safety of those police officers dedicated to protecting and serving our communities,” Curran added.

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office told Fox News Digital it could not comment on Aguilar’s case. Fox News Digital also reached out to the Chicago Grand Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police.

Read more here.

Related:There is no longer cash bail in Illinois.  What happens now?

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