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Why This Week's Fast Food Protests Are 'History In The Making'

Thu, 2014-09-04 08:43
Fast-food workers are the public face of our part-time, low-wage economy. But when they protest on Thursday for higher wages and better conditions, they'll be joined by another group of workers who toil in obscurity.

Thousands of home-care workers -- people who take care of the elderly or disabled -- will join fast-food workers in nationwide protests on Thursday, according to organizers. These joint protests are "labor history in the making," according to Ileen DeVault, a professor of labor history at Cornell University. They signal that the spread of low-wage work at the expense of middle-class jobs is affecting workers across industries that might otherwise appear to have little in common.

Both fast-food workers and home-care workers tend to be low-paid, have unreliable schedules and lack access to benefits like paid leave and vacation.

These low-wage industries are among the fastest-growing job sectors in our economy. The number of home health aide jobs is expected to grow by 48 percent in the next 10 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fast food is expected to be the fifth-fastest-growing occupation during the same period, according to Demos, a think tank focused on low-wage workers.

"Home health care workers are facing the same kinds of challenges as fast-food workers and as workers at Walmart," said Robert Hiltonsmith, a senior policy analyst at Demos. "Unless we have a radical change in our country's jobs policy, for better or worse, these are the jobs of the near future."

The 2 million home-care workers in the U.S. are "especially challenged" compared to other low-wage workers, Hiltonsmith said. The workforce in that sector is about 90 percent female and consists disproportionately of immigrants, according to a 2013 report from the Economic Policy Institute, a think tank focused on labor issues. Fields that employ mostly women typically pay less. And immigrant workers may be hesitant to push for better wages and conditions, because their immigration status is often tied to employment.

This chart from EPI compares the median wages of home-care workers to workers in other industries.

Home-care workers also typically work alone, making it harder for them to organize. Labor activists have organized some home-care workers who are paid through government agencies like Medicaid. But those efforts recently suffered a setback when the Supreme Court ruled that Illinois home-care workers paid by the state couldn't be forced to pay union dues.

A recent visit from a union representative pushed Liliana Cordero, a home-care aide in Lansing, Illinois, to join fast-food workers in protesting for higher wages this week. Cordero, 37, supports her husband and three kids by working 52 hours a week for just $9.85 an hour, or about $26,600 a year. Even with help from food stamps, Cordero still needs payday loans to help make ends meet.

The fact that home-care workers are often employed by individuals or families, rather than by massive corporations like McDonald's, can make it hard to build sympathy for their plight.

"In many cases, people may be reluctant to have a negative feeling towards someone who is employing someone in their home," said Valerie Wilson, an economist at EPI. "It's more difficult to view those individuals as villains than it is to sort of vilify those large corporations."

Still, with baby boomers getting older, more and more Americans are likely to become sympathetic to people who take care of the elderly.

"As we age, or our parents age, you find yourself all of a sudden really concerned about who these people are and what your interactions are like with them," DeVault said.

Cordero knows this firsthand. She says she tries to push aside any resentment over her pay when working with her clients by thinking about how she would want someone to take care of her parents when they get older.

"I would want someone like me coming into their home," she said. "I don't want someone who is feeling discouraged because of their pay."

Bruce Rauner "Appalled" And "Outraged" But What's He Doing About It?

Thu, 2014-09-04 08:26
Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner's phoniness was never on more display than yesterday. Rauner knows it's easy to harp on corruption, but he clearly has difficulty doing anything about corruption when the corruption is for his benefit.

Natasha Korecki of the Chicago Sun-Times did an excellent job yesterday pressing Rauner about the openly armed men the Libertarian Party had to deal with during their recent successful fight to stay on the November ballot.

You can watch Rauner's response on this video beginning at the 40 second mark here.

Rauner says he's "appalled by the behavior," is "outgraged," and "would never condone it."

Really Mr. Rauner? Well then what are you doing about it?

Have you fired everyone on your campaign staff who worked alongside the openly armed goons but who said and did nothing?

Just last month Mr. Rauner, your own campaign gave $750,000 to the Illinois Republican Party, a record contribution. Yesterday you tried to pin all the blame on the Illinois Republican Party for the conduct you yourself describe as appalling and outrageous. And yet you know darn good and well that it's you who funded armed investigators and intimidation tactics, via your contribution funneling.

If you're truly so "outraged" and "appalled" at the way the State GOP is spending your money, have you called for the resignation of State GOP Chairman Tim Schneider?

Have you called for the resignation of State GOP governing board member Sean Morrison? As you know Mr. Rauner, Morrison is one of only 18 members of the Illinois Republican Party's State Central Committee. Surely you can't be okay with being a record-setting contributor to an organization led by the same person whose security firm employs the openly armed intimidators you claim to be outraged about.

Mr. Rauner, I wasn't around when the private equity firm you chaired did things like abandoning nursing home victims after you and your partners carried off what you could.

But after you helped Democrats in a major way for years, you see an opportunity this year and now want to crash your way into what for many of us has been our life-long Republican Party home. You think you can just bring in the strong-arm tactics that made you a lot of money elsewhere.

But you're wrong. Enough is enough Mr. Rauner. Some of us think the Republican Party should be the leader on reform. If you're going to remain unserious about cleaning up this latest mess which has your fingerprints all over it, then you picked the wrong party to crash.

Doug Ibendahl is a Chicago Attorney and a former General Counsel of the Illinois Republican Party.

6 Old-School Myths About Women And Sex, Busted

Thu, 2014-09-04 08:14
Women are the fairer sex. They love weddings and are just way better at being monogamous. Really good orgasms make them fall in love!

Er. Not quite. What if most of the conventional wisdom you've heard about women's sexuality was patently untrue? Here are 6 of the oldest myths about female sexuality:

Myth 1: Women are best suited to sexual monogamy.

Image: George Marks/Retrofile/Getty

In What Do Women Want? Adventures in the Science of Female Desire Daniel Bergner writes, "One of our most comforting assumptions; that female eros is much better made for monogamy than the male libido, is scarcely more than a fairy tale,'' and that "it's almost comical'' how long this myth has been mistaken for law.

Bergner cites a German study from 2006 that surveyed 2,500 couples and determined that women become sexually bored in monogamous relationships sooner than men do. A Canadian study from 2012 confirmed that female desire nose-dives during long-term relationships, while male desire does not show a similar decrease. Monogamy's no easy feat, even for the ladies.

Myth 2: Women don't crave sex as much as men do.

Image: Bernardino Licinio, "Young Lady and her Suitor"

Typically, men are assumed to have higher libidos than women. But according to Bergner, women are actually just as into sex as men, more "fluid" in their sexual attractions and possibly even more biologically programmed to seek sex with many different partners. Unfortunately, romantic conventions tell women to passively await male sexual advances, while society at large slut-shames women whom are deemed "too sexual." These kinds of pressures inhibit women from pursuing sex as freely as men do.

Myth 3: Women aren't as "visually" stimulated as men.

Image: Jonya via Getty

Women actually might be more turned on by visual stimuli than men, they're just less likely to talk about it. Meredith Chivers, a researcher and professor at Queen's University, researched men and women's responses to erotic material, and found that women respond physically to a wider range of erotic imagery. Though women typically rank their enjoyment of pornography lower than men do in research studies, their brainwave activity is just as responsive.

Myth 4. Women take much longer to become sexually aroused.

Image: Jean-Honore Fragonard, "The Stolen Kiss"

Men require approximately 90 seconds of foreplay, while women need a good, long while to become aroused, right?

Not according to researchers at McGill University, who were surprised to discover that men and women experience sexual arousal at approximately the same rate, with both sexes taking about 10 minutes to become fully aroused while watching pornography. Though physical arousal doesn't always correlate to emotional desire to have sex, these findings do disprove the common myth that women require more time to become aroused. Similarly, it's assumed that women physically require much longer to reach orgasm than men do. Also false: Women, on average, take the same amount of time to orgasm from masturbation as men do. Women do, however, take longer to orgasm during sexual encounters with men. That gap may simply come from our culture's prioritizing of sexual acts that make men orgasm, like vaginal sex.

Myth 5: Women's libidos and sexual enjoyment decrease with age.

Image: Glow Images, Inc via Getty

There's nothing more cliche than the sexually-disinterested 40-something TV wife. Yet, it's mere myth: According to research done by University of Texas psychologist David Buss, women in their 30s and 40s actually have higher sex drives than teenage girls and women in their 20's. What's more, women in their 40s also experience more powerful orgasms and are more likely to be multi-orgasmic, according to a Harvard Health Report. Relationship psychologist Susan Quilliam, co-author of The New Joy of Sex told The Guardian, "There's plenty of research that shows sex gets better for women as they get older. It's one of the best-kept secrets of women's lives."

Myth 6: Orgasms make women fall in love; it's hormonal.

Image: Orlando/Three Lions/Getty

The conventional wisdom holds that men can have orgasm-worthy, yet totally meaningless sex, while women have a hormonal response to orgasms that makes them fall in love and cuddle.

But Barry Komisaruk, professor of psychology at Rutgers University told Salon that, while orgasming does cause both men and women to release the so-called "love hormone" oxytocin, there isn't any evidence that the hormone actually makes anybody fall in love. Komisaruk says that, while more research need to be done, current findings suggest that orgasming has a similar affect on men and women. This calls for some equal opportunity cuddling!

All photographs are attributed to Getty Images; all paintings are in the public domain.

11 of the Princeton Review's Top Colleges Are in Illinois

Thu, 2014-09-04 07:58
11 Illinois colleges were included among the Princeton Review's list of the best 379 colleges in the country for the 2014-2015 school year. The Princeton Review does not rank these nearly 400 schools, only lists them in total.

Since the Princeton Review does not rank the top schools, our list of the 11 Illinois colleges that made the top 379 is in alphabetical order. We also include the top majors at each school, as noted by the Princeton Review, along with acceptance rates and admissions deadlines when applicable. Some schools did not provide information for one or the other. See seven of the best Illinois colleges below, and check out the rest at Reboot Illinois.

Bradley University
Family Practice Nurse/Nursing
Mechanical Engineering
Acceptance Rate: 63 percent

DePaul University
Finance, General
Psychology, General
Admissions Deadline: Feb. 1
Acceptance Rate: 60 percent

Illinois Institute of Technology
Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Admissions Deadline: Aug. 1
Acceptance Rate: 57 percent

Illinois Wesleyan University
Business/Commerce, General
English Language and Literature, General
Psychology, General
Acceptance Rate: 58 percent

Knox College
Creative Writing
Economics, General
Education, General
Admissions Deadline: Feb. 1
Acceptance Rate: 75 percent

Lake Forest College
Biology/Biological Sciences, General
Business/Commerce, General
Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric
Admissions Deadline: Early Decision - Nov. 15; Regular - Feb. 15
Acceptance Rate: 57 percent

Loyola University Chicago
Biology/Biological Sciences, General
Psychology, General
Registered Nursing
Acceptance Rate: 91 percent

See four more of Illinois' top colleges at Reboot Illinois, including their best degree programs:

NEXT ARTICLE: The 15 best Illinois colleges, according to Forbes
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Moms' Group Calls Out Kroger's Gun Policy In Unprecedented New Ad Campaign

Wed, 2014-09-03 23:04
The moms are taking the gun control fight to Kroger's backyard.

On Thursday, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a gun control group backed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's considerable financial resources, will blanket half a dozen newspapers with ads meant to pressure the grocery giant to stop allowing customers to openly carry firearms in its stores. The ads will be displayed on the newspapers' websites as well as on a billboard in Cincinnati, where Kroger's corporate headquarters is based, according to the group.

The ads will contrast images of shoppers doing things that are currently prohibited in Kroger's stores -- such as eating ice cream and shopping while shirtless -- with images of people carrying rifles. "Guess which one" isn't allowed at Kroger, the tag line says. (Scroll down for full images of the group's ads.)

This is the first time Moms Demand Action has bought ads as part of one of its campaigns to convince a company to enact a no-open-carry policy. Erika Soto Lamb, a spokeswoman for Everytown for Gun Safety, the umbrella group that includes Moms Demand Action, declined to say how much the ads cost, saying only that the amount was in the "six figures."

Moms Demand Action first announced its intention to focus on Kroger two weeks ago, citing several shootings that had happened in or near Kroger stores as the impetus. Kroger has about 2,500 locations in the U.S., and is the nation's largest retailer. In response to the announcement, Kroger initially said that it would continue to follow local gun laws, and argued that asking its employees to enforce a no-gun policy would be impractical and dangerous.

Other companies previously targeted by Moms Demand Action initially made similar statements, before reversing course and requesting that gun owners not bring weapons inside their stores or restaurants. Chipotle, Sonic, Target and Starbucks have all changed their policies in response to the group's demands.

While falling short of outright bans -- which business owners generally say would be impossible to enforce -- these new policies suggest that corporate America may fear the economic might of gun control activists more than supporters of permissive open carry laws. (This calculus, so far, does not apply to Congress, where the National Rifle Association and its lobbyists largely hold sway.)

Moms Demand Action's most effective technique has been to circulate photos taken by people who support the right to openly carry weapons in public. Some of the photos depict people holding large rifles as they wait in line to buy a burrito or order a hamburger. Tensions over this practice have flared up in several states, especially Texas, where openly carrying a handgun in public is banned, but carrying long rifles is not.

The earlier campaigns by Moms Demand Action have largely been waged on Twitter and Facebook, though the group has also staged protests at several stores. The Kroger ad buy represents a significant escalation in terms of both financial commitment and visibility. The ads will run as "homepage takeovers" in the online editions of USA Today, The Cincinnati Enquirer, The Columbus Dispatch, the Houston Chronicle, The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press, according to the group. The ads will also appear in the print editions of several of these papers, as well as The Tennessean.

"These images bring into stark contrast Kroger policies that prohibit skateboards, food and a lack of appropriate attire in stores, but allow the open carry of loaded guns," said Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action, in a statement. "Businesses have an obligation to protect their employees and patrons."

Kroger, so far, has rebuffed the group's calls to take its side in the national gun debate.

"We know that our customers are passionate on both sides of this issue and we trust them to be responsible in our stores," spokesman Keith Daily previously told The Huffington Post.

Why This Chicago High School Has Only 12 Students Left

Wed, 2014-09-03 17:07
Classes began districtwide at Chicago's public schools on Tuesday, and the scene at most of the city's hundreds of schools was one of excitement as groups of students crowded into the campus doors.

This was not the case, however, at Dyett High School in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side. There, only 12 students -- all seniors -- showed up for classes at the school, which is slated to complete its four-year "phaseout" process and close by the end of the 2014-2015 academic year.

Chicago Public Schools voted in 2012 to eventually close Dyett due to low academic performance. The school stopped accepting freshman students but allowed current students to continue there if they wished to do so. At the end of the 2014 term, 25 Dyett juniors transferred to other schools, leaving behind only the dozen who will graduate in 2015, according to NBC Chicago. Others may still transfer before the year's end.

In the meantime, Dyett's staff of three teachers and one principal continue to offer classes to the remaining students. Certain courses -- such as art, gym and music -- are taught online.

CBS Chicago reports the school's budget for the year is $1.085 million.

Critics of the Board of Education's decision to phase out Dyett accused the district of pressuring the school's remaining students to abandon the school, DNAinfo Chicago previously reported.

Community members have fought to keep the school open, arguing that their proposal to turn Dyett into a "school of green technology and leadership" was not given a fair shot.

"The students of Dyett deserve better than this," Dyett student Parrish Brown told The Huffington Post earlier this year. "We're fighting to keep the school open."

On Tuesday, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, who may mount a challenge against the city's incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel, was on hand outside Dyett to greet the remaining students. Lewis told ABC Chicago the school "has been, unfortunately, sabotaged."

Marijuana Legalization Supported By A Growing Majority Of Americans, Survey Shows

Wed, 2014-09-03 15:17
A broad new survey shows that a majority of American adults continue to support marijuana legalization in the United States, and that support appears to be growing.

The survey, released last week from online polling data company CivicScience, asked more than 450,000 U.S. adults over the last two years this question: "Would you support or oppose a law in your state that would legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana like alcohol?"

Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they support marijuana legalization -- with 39 percent saying they "strongly support" and 19 percent saying they "somewhat support" reformed marijuana laws in their states. Thirty-five percent oppose legalization of marijuana -- with 29 percent "strongly" opposing and 6 percent "somewhat" opposing laws that would regulate marijuana like alcohol. Seven percent of respondents had no opinion on the issue.

CivicScience then broke out the data from just the last three months of responses -- from May to August -- and saw an increase in support and decrease in opposition to the regulation of marijuana like alcohol. Of those who responded most recently, 61 percent said they strongly or somewhat support marijuana legalization, while only 30 percent were opposed.

Men were found to be slightly more in favor of legalization than women were, by 60 to 55 percent, according to CivicScience's survey data. Support for legalization was strongest among people ages 25-34; the only age group in which the majority of people opposed legalization was those over 65.

The question, asked between November 2012 and August 2014, was hosted on as many as 400 different websites across the U.S. Each respondent was anonymous and answered the question "just for fun," according to CivicScience.

Jennifer Sikora, a spokesperson for CivicScience, explained to The Huffington Post that although the survey was online, the company uses browser cookies to keep respondents from answering the question more than once. In order to further hedge against a person answering the same question multiple times, the question is part of a pool of more than 1,000 rotating questions on multiple websites to further decrease the possibility that a respondent might happen upon the same question again. Still, Sikora says, there is a very small percentage of respondents who do repeat the answer (after all, cookies can be deleted), but the 453,653 U.S. adults in this survey are unique.

"This huge poll is yet another indication that marijuana legalization is officially a mainstream issue," Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, told HuffPost. "With ending prohibition polling better with voters than most elected officials do these days, it'll be really interesting to see which 2016 contenders realize that supporting marijuana reform is good politics and which still don't get it."

This isn't the first recent poll to show a majority of Americans supporting marijuana legalization. In April, a survey from Pew found that 54 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana use, and about three-quarters of Americans told Pew that if marijuana use isn't legalized, those found in possession of small amounts of the substance should not go to jail. Just last year, Gallup found for the first time that a clear majority of Americans -- 58 percent -- say marijuana should be legalized.

To date, 23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical purposes and two states -- Colorado and Washington -- have legalized marijuana for adult, recreational use. Voters in three states and our nation's capital will also decide on new marijuana laws in November. Oregon and Alaska voters will decide on the legalization of recreational marijuana, while voters in Florida will decide on a medical marijuana ballot measure. D.C. voters will decide on a measure that would legalize the adult possession of small amounts of marijuana as well as limited home cultivation; however, the sale of marijuana would still be prohibited under the measure.

Pilots, Flight Crews May Face Higher Melanoma Risk

Wed, 2014-09-03 15:07
Airplane crew members like pilots and flight attendants face more than twice the risk of developing melanoma compared to the general population, and they also have a 42 percent higher melanoma death rate, according to a new review of available research.

While the higher rates of melanoma among pilots and flight crew have been studied before, UV exposure is still not an acknowledged occupational risk factor for flight crews. Study researcher Susana Ortiz-Urda, M.D., Ph.D., co-director of the Melanoma Program at UC San Francisco, hopes that her new study will prompt the airline industry to recognize UV radiation as a work hazard for flight crews.

The meta-analysis of 19 past studies, published in JAMA Dermatology, analyzed data from more than 266,000 participants and broke down melanoma diagnosis rates and melanoma mortality rates by pilot and cabin crew. Ortiz-Urda found that pilots, who spend most of their time in the cockpit, had a higher risk of developing melanoma and dying from it than members of the cabin crew, who spend most of their time in other parts of the plane.

Ortiz-Urda hypothesized that perhaps the expansive windows of the cockpit, which vary when it comes to blocking ultraviolet A and B rays, may be to blame. In her research, she cited a 2007 Federal Aviation Administration study that surveyed a variety of aircraft and found that, on average, the windshields blocked more than 99 percent of UVB rays.

But the windshields were only able to block 46 percent of UVA radiation, according to the FAA study. UVA radiation penetrates skin more deeply than UVB and is known to cause DNA and skin cell damage, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. And the higher you go, the more intense UV radiation becomes.

“At 9,000 [meters], where most commercial aircraft fly, the UV level is approximately twice that of the ground,” Ortiz-Urda wrote in the study. “Moreover, these levels are even higher when flying over thick cloud layers and snow fields, which could reflect up to 85 percent of UV radiation.”

Ortiz-Urda recommended that pilots and cabin crew become more proactive about the health of their skin by protecting it from the sun and making annual appointments to get their skin checked by a dermatologist. But she also called upon the FAA to make permanent changes for the health and safety of all airline workers in the U.S.

A spokesman for the FAA told HuffPost that the administration hasn’t seen the study and won’t be able to comment until they had a chance to review it.

David Fisher, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Melanoma Program at Massachusetts General Hospital and the chief of the Department of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School, finds the data “intriguing" but questions the lack of information about study participants’ skin color. Because it’s well known that lighter skin types are more susceptible to cancers like melanoma, Fisher argues that the focus on studies conducted primarily on Northern Europeans could mean the findings don’t apply to all flight crews worldwide.

“I find the data intriguing, but I have concerns about the lack of information on skin phototype (i.e. the pigmentation status of skin) in the pilots and crew relative to the comparison population,” Fisher wrote in an email to HuffPost. “While the authors point out that the comparison population was primarily northern Europeans who are predicted to be generally fair skinned, the possibility of variation in this important risk factor remains unknown and therefore does introduce a limitation on confidence of the conclusion that pilots or crew members are truly at elevated melanoma risk.”

Ortiz-Urda acknowledged this limitation in the meta-analysis, noting that she was not able to control for skin type. However, she argued that because the studies compared Northern European flight crews to general populations in Northern Europe, there shouldn’t be a study bias — unless, of course, “fair skinned individuals were more likely to be hired in flight occupations compared with control occupations."

Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer and kills about 9,710 people in the U.S. annually, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 120,000 new cases of the disease will be diagnosed every year, but the disease can be prevented by avoiding sunburns, tanning beds and sunbathing. People should also use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 or higher every day, wear UV-blocking sunglasses and see a doctor for an annual skin exam.

Colleges Profit By Getting Students Drunk Off Jell-O Shots

Wed, 2014-09-03 15:00
By licensing their logos to Jell-O for shot molds—and to Franklin for beer pong balls—American universities are actively endorsing binge drinking to make a buck, in violation of their own strict alcohol policies.

The 20 Types of Yelp Reviewers

Wed, 2014-09-03 14:48
Yelp is a useful resource for anyone who wants to read a review of a bar or restaurant. More specifically, a 500-word polemic on the horrible service at that Arby's that shut down three years ago.

Whether they are an Elite Yelper or someone who prefaces their reviews with "I usually never write reviews but...", these 20 types of reviewers are ones you'll definitely recognize. And please review this story in the comments to let us know what we missed:

The dude who can't find anything he wants to eat or drink
It's like negatively reviewing McDonald's because they don't serve Frosties. Maybe he should just go to Wendy's.

The anti-gentrification warrior
Somehow they've made an entire restaurant's review about how hipsters are invading "their" neighborhood, despite having only moved there after college, which was about three years ago. Their neighbors, who have been living in the neighborhood for 30 years, hate them.

The happy hour reviewer who shockingly only wrote about the half-priced tacos
She went with a group of co-workers from her start-up. She doesn't make much money because it's a free app and there's no revenue stream, so she's basically working on the hope that Google will buy them eventually. But hey, at least on Fridays she gets to leave work early and go drinking. SPOILER ALERT: the tacos were fine.

The first week hardass
Restaurants are like people, they don't come into the world fully formed. It takes at least a month or two for the food and service to click. But whatever, give that restaurant one star because the food took longer than you expected! They deserve it!

The New Yorkers who wrote these horrible reviews of amazing bars and restaurants
New Yorkers know everything, and they'll be the first to tell you that over and over and over and over again.

More: 6 Ridiculously Petty Yelp Reviews of Applebee's

The hired gun
She replied to a Craigslist ad to write positive reviews of real restaurants she's never been to. It's better than the other time she found a job on Craigslist, where some creepy dude paid her $50 to watch her eat a bowl of soup.

The last person on Earth who does not have spell-check or auto-correct
Thee food waz thet horible, huh?

The asshole who received bad service
They don't realize that when you treat the waitstaff like sh*t, they might treat you like garbage in return. Next time, their review should include the part where they snapped to get a server's attention.

The person who starts every review with "I really want to like this place but..."
He was 10 and got Hot Wheels for his birthday, but he really wanted Nickelodeon GAK. Still, his parents were nice enough to buy him something, and he didn't want to hurt their feelings, so he fitfully played with the Hot Wheels for a second until it sunk in that he was never going to get what he wanted. He was a dick to his parents for weeks after that.

The person who prefaces every review with "I usually never write reviews but..."
Yes they f**king do.

There's still plenty of other Yelp types, including The Woman Who Overuses the Word "Hubby", The Yelp Elite, The no-show, and a ton of others -- only on!

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Bruce Rauner Admits Spending More On Wine Club Than Most Families Make In A Year

Wed, 2014-09-03 14:33
An Illinois GOP gubernatorial hopeful trying to downplay attacks related to his personal wealth has admitted he belongs to an elite California wine club where the initiation fee reportedly costs around $140,000 -- nearly three times the median household income for Illinois families.

Venture capitalist Bruce Rauner once made a point to describe himself as 1 percent of the 1 percent. His efforts at everyman relatability -- including donning a Carhartt work jacket in ads and waxing rhapsodic about his $18 watch -- haven't slowed Democratic comparisons to Mitt Romney.

Tuesday, he initially batted away a question about his membership to the Napa Valley Reserve wine club.

“I have many investments, and I am a member of many clubs,” Rauner said at a press conference, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. He responded “Yes” when pressed to confirm his membership.

Rauner's lavish wine spending first came under scrutiny when the Chicago Tribune published a photo of the Republican candidate and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) palling around in one of Rauner's nine homes, a Napa Valley Reserve bottle in hand.

The image of two wealthy politicians enjoying pricey wine has been a favorite attacking point of Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D), whom Rauner hopes to unseat in the ever-tightening gubernatorial race.

On Tuesday, Quinn, a former tax attorney, told HuffPost Live he'd been eating meals of bananas and graham crackers for a week-long minimum wage challenge. His campaign, meanwhile, has continued to push a narrative of Rauner as an out-of-touch "billionaire." (Rauner, who made his fortune at a private equity firm, earned some $50 million in 2013.)

As Chicago Magazine notes, Napa Reserve isn't the typical bottle-by-mail "wine club" affair. Rather, "it’s somewhere between a dude ranch, a time-share for hobbyist winemakers, and Costco for wine collectors."

The invitation-only club has a one-time membership fee roughly equivalent to the cost of a new home, and annual membership costs were previously reported to be around $7,000. Once part of the club, Napa Valley Reserve members can fork over as much as $175,000 to own two rows in the vineyard, or pay as little as $72 a bottle.

The Daily Show's Jessica Williams Shuts Down News Commentator Who Thinks Catcalling Is Great

Wed, 2014-09-03 13:37
Even after a plethora of blogs, studies that show women do not actually enjoy being catcalled and general Internet outrage, some people are still confused about whether catcalling is a compliment. Jessica Williams cleared all that confusion up on the Sept. 2 episode of "The Daily Show."

On Tuesday night, "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart and correspondent Jessica Williams hilariously shut down a Fox News commentator who said he liked to catcall women on the street by applauding them as they walk by.

Williams brilliantly reminds the dude that a woman smiling at a man who applauds her on the street does not mean she is happy with him. As she says, it means, "the woman is trying her best to end this interaction because if she doesn't smile, he might tell her to smile. If she tells you to leave her alone, you'll probably call her a b*tch."

Almost 99 percent of women report experiencing some form of street harassment in their lifetime -- and that includes creepy applauds during your walk to work. Clapping, whistling, groping, telling a woman to "smile" all fall under the category of harassment not compliment. Big difference.

Williams ended the segment perfectly when she said, "[A woman's] walk to work is not there for him to comment on. It's not a red carpet, it's not a fashion week runway -- it's a sidewalk."

Where Bartenders Like to Drink (PHOTOS)

Wed, 2014-09-03 13:19
After a long evening of shaking and stirring cocktails, even bartenders need a drink. But as many of the nation's best will tell you, this sacred moment typically isn't the occasion for trying something new. Instead, cravings tend toward the familiar, the reliable.

From Austin to Brooklyn, Chicago to Los Angeles, 10 of the country's best bartenders share where they go to savor the best of their craft. —Jessica Colley

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Luis Gutierrez: Democrats 'Can't Pick And Choose' When They're For Immigrants

Wed, 2014-09-03 12:35
WASHINGTON -- Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) said Wednesday that Democrats urging President Barack Obama to delay changes to deportation policy are making a mistake by turning their backs on immigrants.

"Democrats have to come to understand that you can't pick and choose what year you're for immigrants," he said on a call with reporters hosted by the pro-immigration-reform group America's Voice. "You can't pick and choose when they're good for you."

The congressman has been one of the most outspoken supporters of immigration reform and efforts to slow deportations, and a critic of Democrats who oppose them. Some Democrats have urged the White House to push back changes to deportation policies until after the midterm elections -- a move that some think could be helpful in keeping the Senate, but at the expense of thousands of deportations of people who might be allowed to stay under a new policy.

Gutierrez and other advocates said it's not clear that delaying a deportation review would mean vulnerable Democrats would be safer. America's Voice Executive Director Frank Sharry said President Barack Obama making changes to immigration policy could even be beneficial in turning out Democratic voters. That proved true in 2012 with Latino voters, but they hold less influence in key races this year than in presidential elections.

Beyond whether it could be positive politically, Gutierrez said it is wrong for Democrats to have won Latino votes in 2012 by promising immigration reform and then shut down a process meant to protect immigrants from being separated from their families.

"We should stand up for them," he said, referring to immigrants. "Let's not use them politically and exploit them one day politically and another day shun them. Let's not turn our backs."

The congressman has acknowledged that his own party is to blame for the fact that immigration reform didn't happen when Democrats controlled the White House, Senate and House of Representatives.

"We should’ve done it when we were in the majority," he said on Fox News last week. "Democrats were too afraid that we were going to lose too many seats in 2006, and in 2008 we’d lose too many seats if we did immigration reform. So we didn’t fulfill our commitment. We weren’t true to who we were in our values."

Republicans lead in Illinois governor and comptroller races, say polls

Wed, 2014-09-03 12:00
A new Reboot Illinois/We Ask America taken just one day after the Labor Day (unofficial) start of the campaign season finds Republican candidate for Illinois governor Bruce Rauner with an 8-point lead over Gov. Pat Quinn, down from double-digit leads he had in Reboot Illinois polls in June and July.

Despite his overall lead among all respondents, Rauner was the choice for only 17.7 percent of Chicago voters -- short of the 20 percent that is considered the benchmark for any Republican to win statewide office in Illinois. Quinn had a stronger showing among Chicago voters in the poll -- 62.5 percent compared to 59.4 percent in late July.

Perhaps the most remarkable result of the new poll was Quinn's strong showing in suburban Cook County, where he finished half a point ahead of Rauner. In the previous two Reboot Illinois polls, Rauner had led Quinn -- by 8 points in June and 2 in July.

This time, there was a Libertarian candidate, Chad Grimm, included in the polling, which may have influenced Rauner's shrinking lead. Respondents who wanted a third-party choice could have split opinions among previous Rauner supporters. Why did Grimm's addition to the ballot affect Rauner more?

Reboot Illinois/We Ask America also polled likely Illinois voters about their plans in voting for Illinois comptroller. The poll was also conducted Sept. 2, just as the statewide campaign season begins in earnest. Republican incumbent Judy Baar Topinka leads Democratic challenger Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon by almost 20 points, a steady hold on her 19-point lead in July and a continued improvement from her 11-point June lead. A Libertarian candidate, Julie Fox, also has been added to the ballot for that race. How did her inclusion affect this poll?

25 of Illinois' Top School Districts

Wed, 2014-09-03 10:12
Kids all across Illinois are headed back to school, but some students will be enrolled in schools that are in school districts that are considered better than others.

School Digger provided rankings for 774 of the state's school districts, which were determined by averaging the rank percentile of the schools within each district.

While there are 886 public school districts in Illinois, you'll only find 25 of the top below, plus the top 25 at Reboot Illinois. Look to see if yours made the cut!

50. Libertyville SD 70 (Libertville, Ill.)
Number of ranked schools: 5
Elementary: 4
Middle: 1
High school: 0
Total enrollment: 2,486
Teachers: 158
Low-income students: 6 percent
Instructional spending: $5,934
Operational spending: $10,777
ISAT scores: 84 percent

49. O Fallon Township Hsd 203 (O Fallon, Ill.)
Number of ranked schools: 1
Elementary: 0
Middle: 0
High school: 1
Total enrollment: 2,535
Teachers: 134
Low-income students: 20 percent
Instructional spending: $5,266
Operational spending: $10,868
PSAE scores: 72 percent
Graduation percentage within four years: 92 percent
Percent ready for college: 70 percent

48. Golf Education Service District 67 (Morton Grove, Ill.)
Number of ranked schools: 2
Elementary: 1
Middle: 1
High school: 0
Total enrollment: 575
Teachers: 40
Low-income students: 25 percent
Instructional spending: $7,872
Operational spending: $14,095
ISAT scores: 80 percent

47. Lemont Township Hsd 210 (Lemont, Ill.)
Number of ranked schools: 1
Elementary: 0
Middle: 0
High school: 1
Total enrollment: 1,473
Teachers: 91
Low-income students: 9 percent
Instructional spending: $8,959
Operational spending: $15,494
PSAE scores: 73 percent
Graduation percentage within four years: 96 percent
Percent ready for college: 63 percent

46. Tremont CUSD 702 (Tremont, Ill.)
Number of ranked schools: 3
Elementary: 1
Middle: 1
High school: 1
Total enrollment: 965
Teachers: 67
Low-income students: N/A
Instructional spending: $6,184
Operational spending: $9,608
ISAT scores: 81 percent
PSAE scores: 74 percent
Graduation percentage within four years: 85 percent
Percent ready for college: 56 percent

45. Germantown Hills SD 69 (Germantown Hills, Ill.)
Number of ranked schools: 2
Elementary: 1
Middle: 0
High school: 0
Total enrollment: 868
Teachers: 61
Low-income students: 10 percent
Instructional spending: $4,784
Operational spending: $7,418
ISAT scores: 82 percent

44. Cass School District 63 (Darien, Ill.)
Number of ranked schools: 2
Elementary: 1
Middle: 1
High school: 0
Total enrollment: 768
Teachers: 58
Low-income students: 12 percent
Instructional spending: $7,335
Operational spending: $11,999
ISAT scores: 79 percent

43. Lincoln Way Chsd 210 (New Lenox, Ill.)
Number of ranked schools: 4
Elementary: 0
Middle: 0
High school: 4
Total enrollment: 7,346
Teachers: 416
Low-income students: 12 percent
Instructional spending: $6,467
Operational spending: $11,231
PSAE scores: 74 percent
Graduation percentage within four years: 96 percent
Percent ready for college: 65 percent

42. Aptakisic-Tripp Ccsd 102 (Buffalo Grove, Ill.)
Number of ranked schools: 4
Elementary: 2
Middle: 1
High school: 0
Total enrollment: 2,044
Teachers: 152
Low-income students: 10 percent
Instructional spending: $8,966
Operational spending: $15,201
ISAT scores: 83 percent

41. Dunlap CUSD 323 (Peoria, Ill.)
Number of ranked schools: 8
Elementary: 4
Middle: 2
High school: 1
Total enrollment: 4,109
Teachers: 192
Low-income students: N/A
Instructional spending: $4,799
Operational spending: $8,947
ISAT scores: 83 percent
PSAE scores: 80 percent
Graduation percentage within four years: 90 percent
Percent ready for college: 71 percent

40. Northbrook Education Service District 27 (Northbrook, Ill.)
Number of ranked schools: 3
Elementary: 1
Middle: 1
High school: 0
Total enrollment: 1,227
Teachers: 92
Low-income students: 3 percent
Instructional spending: $11,723
Operational spending: $19,113
ISAT scores: 84 percent

39. Park Ridge Ccsd 64 (Park Ridge, Ill.)
Number of ranked schools: 7
Elementary: 5
Middle: 2
High school: 0
Total enrollment: 4,300
Teachers: 330
Low-income students: 4 percent
Instructional spending: $9,495
Operational spending: $14,745
ISAT scores: 82 percent

38. Newark Chsd 18 (Newark, Ill.)
Number of ranked schools: 1
Elementary: 0
Middle: 0
High school: 1
Total enrollment: 182
Teachers: 16
Low-income students: 14 percent
Instructional spending: $7,037
Operational spending: $13,174
PSAE scores: 73 percent
Graduation percentage within four years: 95 percent
Percent ready for college: 50 percent

37. Hononegah Chd 207 (Rockton, Ill.)
Number of ranked schools: 1
Elementary: 0
Middle: 0
High school: 1
Total enrollment: 2,142
Teachers: 120
Low-income students: 21 percent
Instructional spending: $6,401
Operational spending: $10,514
PSAE scores: 73 percent
Graduation percentage within four years: 90 percent
Percent ready for college: 66 percent

36. Arlington Heights SD 25 (Arlington Heights, Ill.)
Number of ranked schools: 9
Elementary: 7
Middle: 2
High school: 0
Total enrollment: 5,252
Teachers: 343
Low-income students: 6 percent
Instructional spending: $7,061
Operational spending: $11,999
ISAT scores: 84 percent

35. Kildeer Countryside Ccsd 96 (Buffalo Grove, Ill.)
Number of ranked schools: 7
Elementary: 4
Middle: 2
High school: 0
Total enrollment: 3,054
Teachers: 227
Low-income students: 11 percent
Instructional spending: $7,901
Operational spending: $13,173
ISAT scores: 87 percent

34. Lyons Township Hsd 204 (La Grange, Ill.)
Number of ranked schools: 1
Elementary: 0
Middle: 0
High school: 1
Total enrollment: 4,039
Teachers: 241
Low-income students: 14 percent
Instructional spending: $9,978
Operational spending: $15,881
PSAE scores: 75 percent
Graduation percentage within four years: 93 percent
Percent ready for college: 71 percent

33. Lagrange Highlands SD 106 (La Grange Highland, Ill.)
Number of ranked schools: 2
Elementary: 1
Middle: 1
High school: 0
Total enrollment: 870
Teachers: 71
Low-income students: 4 percent
Instructional spending: $9,685
Operational spending: $13,848
ISAT scores: 83 percent

32. Albers SD 63 (Albers, Ill.)
Number of ranked schools: 1
Elementary: 1
Middle: 0
High school: 0
Total enrollment: 184
Teachers: 15
Low-income students: 18 percent
Instructional spending: $4,620
Operational spending: $7,265
ISAT scores: 83 percent

31. Cissna Park CUSD 6 (Cissna Park, Ill.)
Number of ranked schools: 3
Elementary: 1
Middle: 1
High school: 1
Total enrollment: 284
Teachers: 23
Low-income students: N/A
Instructional spending: $6,081
Operational spending: $10,397
ISAT scores: 83 percent
PSAE scores: 73 percent
Graduation percentage within four years: 97 percent
Percent ready for college: 57 percent

30. Lisbon Ccsd 90 (Newark, Ill.)
Number of ranked schools: 1
Elementary: 1
Middle: 0
High school: 0
Total enrollment: 119
Teachers: 11
Low-income students: 24 percent
Instructional spending: $4,199
Operational spending: $7,880
ISAT scores: 85 percent

29. Prairie Crossing Charter School (Grayslake, Ill.)
Number of ranked schools: 1
Elementary: 1
Middle: 0
High school: 0
Total enrollment: 390
Teachers: 24
Low-income students: 2 percent
Instructional spending: $4,246
Operational spending: $0
ISAT scores: 83 percent

28. Deerfield SD 109 (Deerfield, Ill.)
Number of ranked schools: 6
Elementary: 4
Middle: 2
High school: 0
Total enrollment: 3,085
Teachers: 230
Low-income students: 1 percent
Instructional spending: $9,030
Operational spending: $14,051
ISAT scores: 86 percent

27. Lake Forest SD 67 (Lake Forest, Ill.)
Number of ranked schools: 5
Elementary: 3
Middle: 1
High school: 0
Total enrollment: 1,945
Teachers: 166
Low-income students: 2 percent
Instructional spending: $8,220
Operational spending: $14,516
ISAT scores: 85 percent

26. River Forest SD 90 (River Forest, Ill.)
Number of ranked schools: 3
Elementary: 2
Middle: 1
High school: 0
Total enrollment: 1,342
Teachers: 104
Low-income students: 6 percent
Instructional spending: $8,572
Operational spending: $13,639
ISAT scores: 86 percent

See the top 25 school districts in Illinois at Reboot Illinois, plus information about their spending, enrollment and test scores.

NEXT ARTICLE: Average starting teacher salaries in Illinois' 25 largest school districts
25 highest-salaried school administrators in Illinois
Top 50 school district superintendents with the fattest Illinois pensions
Guest: Low-performing public schools not limited to low-income areas
Is your high school on this list? Top 10 high schools in Illinois, according to U.S. News & World Report

America's Coolest Roller Rinks

Wed, 2014-09-03 07:55

Photo Credit: Oaks Park

Let's face it: Even if rollerblading seems cooler, and ice skating more graceful, nothing beats old-school roller skating. Plus, for kids trying it for the first time, it's much easier to pick up roller skating in an afternoon. And while the number of rinks around the U.S. has dropped by the hundreds since the days of Xanadu, roller skating looks to be on an upswing again, with old rinks getting makeovers and new rinks popping up, in such hipster havens as Brooklyn. Here are eight rinks worth a spin:

(MORE: Find other cool and unusual kid-friendly things to do.)

Pier 2 Roller Rink (New York City, New York)
This new open-air rink at Brooklyn Bridge Park just opened in May, and has sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty. And unlike a lot of activities in NYC, it's a serious deal: admission is just $5 per person for the 3-5-hour public skate sessions, and another $6 to rent skates.

Lakeside Rink (New York City, New York)

Photo Credit: Lakeside Brooklyn

There are actually two new rinks in NYC. The outdoor rink in leafy Prospect Park used to get just one season's worth of play -- with winter ice skating -- but now for the other three seasons the 16,000 square foot rink has gone roller-style. Admission is $6, skate rentals are $6 and a gear combo of helmet and pads can be rented for $7.

Oaks Park Amusement Park and Skating Rink (Portland, Oregon)
The disco era skating rink is a relatively recent memory at this Portland amusement complex that opened in 1905, and still offers skating sessions with its live Wurlitzer pipe organ. (Other sessions have a live DJ.) On weekends, there is roller-derby and freestyle slalom classes. Admission starts at $6, and skate rentals start at just $1.50.

Skate Daze (Omaha, Nebraska)

Photo Credit: Skate Daze

This family-owned rink opened its first location in 1947 and today its empire has been centralized in a 45,000 square-foot site, which also has laser tag, bumper cars and a rock-climbing wall. Skating admission is $6 per person, $3.50 for skate rentals.

Fun Plex Entertainment Center (Houston, Texas)
The rink at this oil town amusement park center is surrounded by murals of iconic city skylines, and accented with fog machines and strobe lights. For grown-ups, the adults-only skate on Friday nights runs until 1 am. Admission is $5, with skate rentals for $2.50.

(MORE: Vacationing in Texas? Find great kid-friendly hotels to stay in Houston.)

The Rink (Chicago, Illinois)
Chicago is famous for its own style of pizza, but it also has its own style of roller skating: "JB," named after James Brown and featuring lots of fancy footwork. You can watch the local experts do it at The Rink on Sunday's JB nights, but you might also pick up a few pointers from locals on the Saturday all-ages skate. Admission starts at $6, and skate rentals are $1.

Northridge Skateland (Northridge, California)

Photo Credit: Northridge Skateland

Open since the late 1950s, this LA area rink has been used as a backdrop for several TV shows, films and music videos (like one by Jay-Z), and features seven huge movie screens that show video clips and cool atmospherics. Family Fun and Food Skate night includes an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet. Regular admission starts at $7 person, with $5 rentals, while the Family Fun and Food Skate is $12 per person.

Brentwood Skate Center (Brentwood, Tennessee)
This suburban Nashville rink has serious Music City street cred: Miley Cyrus and Allison Krauss have been reported to skate here, and American Idol's Kellie Pickler shot a video here. To give even the non-pros the star treatment, the rink uses rainbow LED lights and spotlights during songs. Admission is $6 per person, $3 for rentals.

Katrina Brown Hunt contributed this to MiniTime.

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More Evidence Happiness Doesn't Come From Buying New Things

Wed, 2014-09-03 07:32
News stories about Black Friday shopping violence are depressingly similar, and would be beyond belief save the fact that most are accompanied by security camera footage of the stampedes, fist fights, property damage and riots that erupt once shoppers rush into a store.

Compelling new research published in the journal Psychological Science suggests that there's actually something intrinsically unpleasant about anticipating the purchase of a material good, which may in fact be putting shoppers on edge and helping to create the conditions for such violence.

The researchers arrived at the finding after analyzing 149 recent news articles about people waiting in long lines to purchase something. The newsworthy event of the articles seemed to fall into two categories: charming, happy stories about queuers breaking into song or playing games, or disturbing reports about violence. The negative stories more highly correlated with shoppers waiting to buy material goods, while the positive ones tended to be about people waiting for an experience, like a concert or a food truck.

"Judging by the newspaper accounts, what we found was that people were in better moods and were better behaved when they were waiting for an experience rather than waiting for a possession,” said lead investigator Tom Gilovich in a phone interview with The Huffington Post, "whereas [waiting for material goods] is tinged with a little bit of impatience and has more of an unpleasant edge to it."

The media analysis was one of four studies that Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University, conducted to explore the different kinds of happiness we get from material goods versus experiences. Because Gilovich's past studies have shown that people enjoy a deeper, longer-lasting satisfaction from experiences than from material goods, he wondered whether the same could be said for the anticipation of a purchase. What feels better: waiting to buy that plane ticket, or waiting to buy a computer?

"It was more pleasant to wait for an experience," Gilovich said, "whereas for material goods, we thought it might be a little bit like a kid waiting for Christmas ... like, 'come on! When's Christmas going to get here? I want my stuff!'"

In another study, Gilovich questioned 97 study participants about a type of purchase (either experiential or material) they anticipated making soon. Even though the costs of both kinds of purchases tended to be roughly the same, participants were more likely to describe their anticipation as "pleasant" and tinged with "excitement" when faced with the purchase of an experience as opposed to the purchase of a material good, which was characterized with less pleasure and more impatience than excitement.

In a third study, Gilovich's team texted 2,266 adults to ask if they were about to make a purchase in the near future (they had previously signed up to be part of the research). Again, those who said they were about to buy an experience were more likely to describe their anticipation as more pleasant and exciting, and they also happened to just be generally happier than those who were about to purchase material goods.

The business implications for corporations are fairly obvious, explained Gilovich -- either widen your offering of experiences, or emphasize experiential angles to the products you're selling. But he said he was more interested in how public policy, especially urban planning, could benefit from his findings.

"We might all be better off if we spent more money on experiential things than material things, and if that's true for individuals, it has to be true for society," Gilovich said. "I'd like to see communities commit themselves more to an experiential infrastructure, and attend to hiking trails and bike paths, just as we attend to roads for automobiles."

"You can't take hikes and go bike riding and go to the beach if there aren't beaches and parks and bike trails," Gilovich continued. "Are we adequately protecting them, funding them and making it easy for people to be there, or, in this world of more and more user fees, are we pricing people out of that market?"

In other words, investing in opportunities for experiences is an investment in a community's happiness. Gilovich praised Vancouver and Copenhagen in particular as two cities that are proactively investing in what he called, "experiential infrastructure" -- higher density living with less commuting, more public space and less suburban sprawl.

"Think of all of this as different strands coming together to increase overall societal well-being," he said.

Pat Quinn: Chris Christie Is 'On The Wrong Track' On Minimum Wage

Tue, 2014-09-02 18:11
Gov. Pat Quinn (D-Ill.) made the case for a minimum wage hike and hit back at Republican governors from whom he's garnered criticism during a Tuesday HuffPost Live appearance.

Quinn is currently taking the "Minimum Wage Challenge" and living on $79 over seven days, a number he arrived at after removing taxes, housing and transportation costs from a week's worth of wages.

"There's something just not right if you work 40 hours a week and you have to live in poverty," he said. "We want to eliminate poverty and one of the best ways to do it is to raise the minimum wage and help thousands of hard working people get a fair shake."

Quinn has faced harsh criticism from Republicans amid his re-election bid. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) traveled to Chicago last week to rally support for Quinn's Republican gubernatorial challenge, Bruce Rauner. Christie called Quinn a "failed" and "miserably unpopular" governor, to which Quinn encouraged HuffPost viewers to "consider the source."

"He turned down raising the minimum wage there I believe in New Jersey. I think he's on the wrong track," Quinn said.

Quinn also quipped that he was "sentenced to the harshest punishment known to man: seven days on their own with Rick Perry" when the two were roommates on a trip to Afghanistan and Iraq. Quinn and Perry have sparred over raising the minimum wage, which Perry warned "would kill jobs."

"These guys call you a lot of names, I don't really pay much attention to it," Quinn said, doubling down on his plans to raise the minimum wage, extend paid leave and diminish pregnancy discrimination in the work place.

"We can do it, we just have to band together in the best traditions of our democracy and we'll show that Chris Christie and Rick Perry where to go," he said.

Rich Miller: Does Bruce Rauner's budget plan check out?

Tue, 2014-09-02 18:03
Several Illinois statewide political candidates spoke to the Illinois Farm Bureau last week about their plans if they were to be elected. Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner outlined his economic goals for the state, including his support for growing Illinois' infrastructure.

But Capital Fax publisher Rich Miller says Rauner's budget plan lies outside the limits of reality. So far outside that, Miller believes, Rauner is dishonest in promoting it.

Rauner has said he wants to spend money on roads and schools. Writes Miller:

Yet, Rauner says he wants to slash the state's income tax rate. Can he really do all that with lower revenues?

There are three ways to pay for these pie in the sky plans: 1) Gin up the state's economy to North Dakota levels; 2) Stop making the full state pension payments; or 3) Increase state total taxation far above current levels.

[T]he new government spending that Bruce Rauner is proposing on the campaign trail transcends the political posturing we've grown accustomed to as Illinoisans.

I don't say this lightly, but it's a boldfaced lie, cheerily spoon-fed to an angry, disgusted populace desperate for even a hint of good news. He needs to be called out for this.

Do Rauner's plans add up?

Government takes money to run, no matter the priorities are. With so much focus on pensions and taxes, it's easy to let other facets of the state budget conversation get buried. But the state spends money on thousands of programs, including the Illinois Department of Corrections, the entity that runs the state's prisons. There are currently 25 state correctional facilities and four federal prisons in Illinois, though the Federal Bureau of Prisons recently bought and has begun to staff a fifth federal correctional facility in the state. What is the current state of prisons in Illinois, and how could an extra federal prison change it all?