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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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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump’s tumbling support among ‘the poorly educated’ may crush his 2020 prospects: report

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When Donald Trump famously declared, “I love the poorly educated” during his 2016 campaign, it was obvious that he was taking a much more populist (or rather, pseudo-populist) approach than Republican presidential candidates were typically known for. And white males without college degrees continue to be a key part of the president’s base. But Washington Post columnist Aaron Blake, analyzing an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Monday, stresses that when Trump is up against a “generic 2020 Democrat,” he finds himself struggling with non-college educated white women.

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Trump chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told Republican donors any recession will be ‘moderate and short’

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President Donald Trump has spent the last week claiming that any talk of a recession is a conspiracy theory by the media and part of a leftist coup against him.

The message didn't seem to get to his chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who told Republican donors this week that the recession will be a quick one.

Politico reported the comments Tuesday, saying that it was part of a Jackson, Wyoming fundraiser with White House aides Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, who are supposed to be "camping" with their family, according to her Instagram channel.

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Former Defense Secretary warns: ISIS is back, and Trump can’t ‘pretend it’s not there’

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On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," former Defense Secretary and CIA head Leon Panetta warned that ISIS is gaining strength in the Middle East again — and that after all of President Donald Trump's boasts that he had utterly defeated the terrorist organization, now it is time for him to get serious.

"Roughly estimated 15,000 ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria now," said host Kate Bolduan. "Secretary Pompeo saying the terror group is, in some ways, stronger than it was three or four years ago. How big of a concern should the news be for Americans?"

"It should be a very serious concern for the president of the United States and for our country," said Panetta. "Because his first responsibility is to protect our country. And we learned from 9/11, the fact that these terrorists have one fundamental aim, which is to attack the United States and attack countries in the West. And now what we're hearing is that ISIS is clearly re-mobilizing to the tune of almost is 15,000-18,000, that are mobilizing into secret cells, mobilizing into attack teams, conducting not only attacks but kidnappings and assassinations and bombings, as we saw in Afghanistan. So this is, in the end, a national security threat that the United States cannot simply stand back and pretend it's not there."

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