Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lawyers Showed Photos of Covert CIA Officers to Guantanamo Bay Detainees -


Rather than investigate the CIA officials who undertook the torture, they are now investigating the military lawyers who have courageously stepped up to defend these clients in these sham proceedings."

At the courthouse at the prison, a court security officer, who is thought be in contact with CIA officials, can cut off the audio feed to the public gallery if there is any possibility of lawyers or defendants discussing CIA detention.

Lawyers Showed Photos of Covert CIA Officers to Guantanamo Bay Detainees -

Op-Ed Contributor - The Greenback Effect -


The United States economy is now out of the emergency room and appears to be on a slow path to recovery. But enormous dosages of monetary medicine continue to be administered and, before long, we will need to deal with their side effects.

[eventually] truly major changes in both taxes and outlays will be required

get our country back on its feet and flourishing — “whatever it takes” still makes sense. Once recovery is gained, however, Congress must end the rise in the debt-to-G.D.P. ratio and keep our growth in obligations in line with our growth in resources.

Read the entire editorial by clicking on the following:  Op-Ed Contributor - The Greenback Effect -

Half Of US Homeowners Will Be Underwater By 2011


Last week, Deutsche Bank analyst Karen Weaver published a report that shook up the "housing is recovering" crowd.  She predicted that, by next year, nearly half of American homeowners with mortgages will be underwater

Before we go into the details, here's a basic refresher on the US housing market:

  • There are approximately 110 million households in the U.S.
  • About 75.5 million of these are homeowners.
  • Approximately 68% of the 76 million, or 51.6 million, have mortgages.
  • 14 million U.S. homeowners, 27% of those with mortgages, were underwater at the end of Q1 (DB estimates)
  • DB estimates that nearly half of the 52 million mortgagors will be underwater by the end of next year
Click on the following for the link to Ms. Weaver’s web cast and slide presentation:

Half Of US Homeowners Will Be Underwater By 2011

The following is the link Ms. Weaver’s original Reuters article:

Citizen panel could guide Kane budget :: Beacon News :: Local News

A different way to do business—can a county board really listen to citizens? 

Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay proposed the idea just about two weeks ago, but has provided few details. McConnaughay said this week that she has asked all County Board members to submit names for consideration, but some board members said not only were they not asked to submit names,

Kane County Finance Director Cheryl Pattelli said late last month that the county could be facing a deficit of $1.6 million if the cuts are made. The deficit could reach $2.68 million by the end of the current fiscal year if those cuts aren't made.

Click on the following for more of the storyCitizen panel could guide Kane budget :: Beacon News :: Local News

Distressed Kane County fits 'recovery zone' tag :: The Courier News :: Local News

How late will Boone County be. in obtaining this bonding power authority?

Doing so would allow [Kane] county to issue slightly more than $25 million in private-activity, or "Build America," bonds for new development.

Declaring Kane a recovery zone would make it easier for developers to secure financing for new projects through private-activity bonds, Economic Development Director Chris Aiston said. Private-activity revenue bonds are a means of financial assistance for economic development.

The whole point is to make more money more readily available, or at least cheaper to borrow," he said.

These bonds are unlike other kinds of bonds. They do not count against a county's debt limit or credit rating. Furthermore, should a developer or investor on whose behalf the bonds are issued default, the county would not be held liable for repaying the debt.

developers would receive a 45 percent refund on the federal taxes payable on the bond proceeds. The bonds would carry a lower interest rate as well.


Read the rest of the story:  Distressed Kane fits 'recovery zone' tag :: The Courier News :: Local News

At Illinois State Fair, Gov. Pat Quinn and Comptroller Dan Hynes trade jabs

Chicago Tribune talks about two primary candidates and does not even mention Jack Franks from Crystal Lake.

Gov. Pat Quinn, elevated to the state's top job when Blagojevich was removed in January, individually thanked statewide Democrats who "believe in cooperation and collaboration," but snubbed his election rival, Comptroller Dan Hynes. Later, Quinn called Hynes a "shrinking violet" who avoids making tough decisions, such as Quinn's call for an income-tax hike.
Hynes said the governor's nomination "must be earned -- not bequeathed or assigned or transferred." He told reporters that voters "need a clean break from the past" and questioned why Quinn -- Blagojevich's former lieutenant governor -- had not reviewed 1,600 state Blagojevich hires making more than $70,000 a year.

To read the whole Tribune article click on the following:,0,3109282.story

Over 30% of Chicago homes have upside down mortgages :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Business


More than 30 percent of single-family homes in the Chicago metropolitan area had mortgages that were greater than the value of the home at the end of June, according to a report from First American CoreLogic.

Click on the following:                                                                                                                            Over 30% of Chicago homes have upside down mortgages :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Business

McD's target of Hardee's smackdown | Crain's Chicago Business

There are no Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr in our area—but if you have almost anywhere else in country these names should be very familiar.

CKE Restaurants Inc., parent of Hardee's and Carl's Jr., is telling the media and customers that McDonald's new Angus burger, launched in July, is a inferior copy cat to Carl's Jr. Black Angus “Six-Dollar Burgers” and Hardee's Angus Thickburger.

Click on the following for the rest of the story:   McD's target of Hardee's smackdown | Crain's Chicago Business

Illinois warned against funding religious groups

The schools named in the article are in the Pantagraph’s immediate area—Bloomington-Normal.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Anti-Defamation League told state officials that they've identified at least 97 religious organizations that would get the money from the capital construction bill signed into law last month.

75,000 for capital improvements to the library at the Chicago Baptist Institute; $100,000 each for renovations at Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, St. Ann Catholic School and St. Paul Parish; and $50,000 for a housing project by the Lawndale Christian Development Project. | News from Associated Press

Gaming Company Executive’s comments on video poker.

I received this email regarding my posting of the various newspaper articles on video poker in Illinois. I am posting that email in its entirety and hope it may supply more information on this issue.

Under the state’s new capital bill local government can opt out of having video poker gambling in their local communities.  Unincorporated DuPage County has already opted out by a vote of their county board.  The issue can also go to referendum if the local government wishes. 


Hi Bill,

Since you've covered this issue recently for the Boone County Watch Dog, I thought you might be interested in this perspective on the video gaming issue that's currently being discussed within Illinois communities. Please call if you have additional questions.


Chris Scott
Senior Vice President
Hodge Schindler Integrated Communications
900 N. Franklin Street
Chicago, IL 60610
312.666.6662 (voice)
312.666.1670 (fax)

ICMOA Chief Urges Weighing of Facts Before Banning Video Gaming
MORRIS, Ill. (August 19, 2009) – The leader of the Illinois Coin Machine Operators Association (ICMOA) expressed disappointment at the precipitous handful of local bans prohibiting video gaming under the state’s recently approved legislation permitting it in bars and certain other adult-oriented venues.
“DuPage County’s ban in unincorporated areas, and similar actions by communities like Rosemont and Country Club Hills, seem to be based more on myths about gaming than on rational consideration of the facts,” said Tom Fiedler, president of the ICMOA and owner of Melody Music in Champaign.
He congratulated the Will County Board for its more measured response; it delayed until late fall its consideration of the issue while it weighs the facts.
Video gaming was approved by legislators in July as a means of partially funding a $31 billion public works program. It permits up to five video gambling machines offering games like poker or blackjack at bars and certain restaurants, fraternal and veterans groups and truck stops. The maximum bet is $2; the most a gambler could win on any one hand is $500.
Fiedler said video gaming will alleviate some of the financial pressures facing the state and many of its municipalities, and could generate as much as $300 million a year. “That should be weighed into considerations, especially since other sources of revenue – say, an increase in income taxes – are even more controversial than video gaming,” he said.
Video gaming has been successful as a reliable revenue source in the majority of states where it has been legalized, including New York, Montana and Louisiana, Fiedler noted. It has been repealed in Iowa and South Carolina because of failings in their statutes on age controls. The experiences of all were thoroughly researched by policymakers to ensure best practices were applied to Illinois’ legislation, he added.
“The reality is that video gaming will not be coming to a bar near you for probably another year,” said Fiedler. “During that time, the Illinois Gaming Commission will be developing its plans to oversee video gaming operations and the licensees who install the machines. This group has earned high marks for its ability to regulate other legalized gaming industries in Illinois.
“Local officials have nothing to lose by waiting to see how these plans shape up and researching the pros and cons in the interim. Knee-jerk decisions are not in the best interests of all their constituents,” he said.
Headquartered in Morris, the ICMOA is a 120-member, non-profit organization formed by businesses involved in the coin-operated amusement machine industry in Illinois. For more information, visit
Editors: Please visit to view the ICMOA’s “Video Gaming: Myths vs. Realities.”

The Belvidere Daily Republican. - Campaign for regional rail reaches halfway point


Launched on July 7, the campaign is working to gather signatures of support from 10,000 individuals and 500 businesses by Aug. 31.

The rail coalition has collected approximately 4,600 signatures as of Monday, Aug. 17. It is collecting signatures by directing the public to an electronic petition on its Web site,

The Belvidere Daily Republican. - Campaign for regional rail reaches halfway point

Fewer Boone County tax assessments to be mailed - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

We all agree home prices were down in 2008—but wait until you see your assessment.

Supervisor of Assessments Pat Elder said the cost of mailing every property owner an assessment notice was deemed too expensive  “This year we won’t (send a notice) if the change is only because of the multiplier.”

Fewer Boone County tax assessments to be mailed - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star