JOLIET – Jason Helland wants to make one thing abundantly clear to the jury that will decide whether he will become Secretary of State: He's a local product. Helland, the Grundy County State's Attorney since 2012, who won the Republican nomination this past spring, is a graduate of Seneca High School, Joliet Junior College and University of St. Francis. He conceded he's facing an uphill climb against five-term incumbent Jesse White. On the campaign trail, Helland has said his candidacy is not being taken seriously by media across the state – especially in Chicago. He reiterated those points Monday during a sit-down with the Shaw Media Editorial Board. "Let me tell you about the Chicago media and some of the problems I've had with this media," Helland said. He said because Illinois is a Democratic state and people expect a Democratic wave in November, he should fold in the face of Jesse White, one of the most popular politicians in the state. "The problem is absolute power … [Read more...] about Illinois Secretary of State candidate Jason Helland meets with Shaw Media editorial board
URBANA – Former President Barack Obama said Friday his successor, President Donald Trump, is "the symptom, not the cause" of division and polarization in the U.S. Trump, the former president said, is "just capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years." His comments came during a speech at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he accepted an ethics in government award. The remarks served as Obama's first steps into the political fray ahead of the fall campaign. While he has endorsed candidates and appeared at fundraising events, he has spent much of his post-presidency on the political sidelines. In unusually direct terms, he made clear his concerns about politics in the Trump era and implored voters — especially young people — to show up at the polls in the November midterm elections. "Just a glance at recent headlines should tell you this moment really is different," Obama said. "The stakes really are higher. The … [Read more...] about Obama says Trump is ‘the symptom, not the cause’ of division, at Illinois speech
Susan Page and Merdie Nzanga USA TODAY Published 8:19 p.m. UTC Jun 19, 2018 President Trump has declared that he has the “absolute” right to pardon himself. Americans disagree. By more than 3-1, 64 percent to 18 percent, those surveyed in a USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll say the president doesn’t have the power to pardon himself. Even Republicans are inclined to split with Trump on this. Just 29% say he has the power to pardon himself; 45% say he doesn’t. Trying to do so could spark a constitutional crisis for the White House: 58 percent of Americans, including 31 percent of Republicans, say the House of Representatives should impeach the president if he pardons himself. “If he has to have a presidential pardon for it, then he shouldn’t be president,” says Valeri Crankshaw, 57, of Hayward, California. She voted for Trump in 2016, but her admiration for him has waned since then. On everything from pardons to foreign policy, she … [Read more...] about Poll: Pardon me? Most say Trump should be impeached if he pardons himself
There is a universal language throughout the cosmos that, once cracked, could allow us to speak to aliens. That’s the opinion of linguistics icon Noam Chomsky, who presented his theory at a space science conference. READ MORE: Trump’s America: Weaker, divided & losing international prestige – Chomsky to RT Chomsky, a linguistics professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has long argued the case that the same basic grammar underscores all languages, meaning that alien visitors would find it hard to spot differences between our various tongues. At a workshop entitled ‘Language in the Cosmos’ at the International Space Development Conference in Los Angeles last week, Chomsky argued that if there is a universal grammar on Earth, the same theory can be applied to languages from outer space – maybe one day we could even find ourselves shooting the breeze with an ET-like creature stranded on our pale blue dot. Presenting separately, … [Read more...] about ET phone home? Chomsky’s Universal language theory could help us chat with aliens (POLL)
President Donald Trump’s turbulent first year in office begs an important question for Republican congressmen defending their seats in November: Is anyone safe? In the swath of rural northern Illinois between DeKalb, Kane and McHenry counties, there is a trio of incumbent U.S. representatives – Adam Kinzinger, D-16, Peter Roskam, D-6, and Randy Hultgren, D-14 – who vote with Trump more than 90 percent of the time. They now face three Democratic opponents posing threats to their seats in an election that may be primed for a "blue wave." It's typical for the sitting president's party to lose seats in Congress during midterms, but talks of the wave also stem from Democrat Conor Lamb’s victory last month in a Pennsylvania House district that President Donald Trump won by almost 20 points in 2016. Democrats are now eyeing their chance to retake Congress. "We’re seeing enthusiasm for change and having a voice in congress that reflects our values," said Lauren … [Read more...] about Are Illinois Congressmen safe in wake of Donald Trump?