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Illinois Gov. Rautner sends dead fish to Rahm Emanuel as war of words takes weird turn

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A war of words between Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel over which government is in the worst financial shape took a bizarre turn on Friday with the purchase of fish.

“I bought a gift for a special person,” the Republican governor told reporters at a Chicago market. “I bought some fish…to send some dead fish to the mayor. I think he will deeply appreciate that as only he can.”

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Early in his political career, Emanuel once sent a message to a pollster via a dead fish. In Mafia lore, a sent dead fish signifies someone is sleeping with the fishes and no longer alive.

While Rauner acknowledged his fish plan was all in fun, he continued to criticize the mayor for pushing through a city budget this week with a record property tax hike, calling the move “a massive mistake” because it was not coupled with cost-saving reforms.

Emanuel on Wednesday blasted Rauner for opposing measures he needs from the state for the new budget, including a bill to shield lower-valued residential properties from the tax hike.

“It’s a very strange economic strategy to try to hurt your economic engine to try to grow the economy,” the mayor told reporters. “Name me a governor in the other 49 states that is attacking the economic engine of their state. Is Washington state going after Seattle?”

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Rauner’s pro-business reform agenda for the state has been met with opposition from Democrats who control the legislature and the two sides have yet to agree on a budget nearly five months into fiscal 2016.

Both Illinois and Chicago have severe financial problems stemming largely from unfunded pensions for their workers. Emanuel and Rauner have been close friends and even political allies, with Emanuel appointing Rauner as chairman of the city’s tourism agency soon after he became mayor in 2011.

There was no immediate comment from Emanuel’s office concerning the coming gift of fish.

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(Reporting By Karen Pierog; Editing by Andrew Hay)


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Freedom of thought is under attack — here’s how to save your mind

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Freedom of thought stands at a critical crossroads. Technological and psychological advances could be used to promote free thought. They could shield our inner worlds, reduce our mental biases, and create new spaces for thought. Yet states and corporations are forging these advances into weapons that restrict what we think.

To lose freedom of thought would be to lose something uniquely human. We share our basic emotions with animals. But only we can step back and ask “do I want to be angry?”, “do I want to be that person?”, “couldn’t I be better?”.

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Here’s how Trump could unleash a horrifying ‘era of authoritarianism’ in his second term

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What happens if President Donald Trump not only survives impeachment, but goes on to win a second term? It's a prospect that chills Democrats to the bone — and for good reason.

On Monday, Politico mapped out a detailed, hypothetical scenario in which Trump wins re-election — similar to their 2016 scenario of what would happen if Trump was elected in the first place — and some of the things that people could expect in the coming years. The result would be, as former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean put it, "an era of authoritarianism."

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GOP lawmakers in revolt against Trump and are avoiding using White House ‘toxic talking points’: WSJ

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Adding to Donald Trump's impeachment worries are reports that Republicans are putting distance between themselves and the embattled president.

According to the Wall Street Journal, support for the president among GOP lawmakers is waning in light of his phone call with the president of Ukraine -- which set in motion the House beginning an impeachment inquiry -- and then his decision to hold next year's G7 conference at one of his golf resorts -- a decision he later abandoned.

According to the Journal, "Mr. Trump’s support within his party will face fresh tests this week, as key witnesses from the State Department and Pentagon are expected to testify in closed hearings before a trio of House committees on the president’s dealings with Ukraine."

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