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The [Thursday] Papers

"The Trump administration on Tuesday exempted most of southeast Wisconsin from the latest federal limits on lung-damaging smog pollution, delivering a political victory to Gov. Scott Walker as he makes a new Foxconn Technology Group factory the centerpiece of his re-election campaign," the Tribune reports.

"By dramatically reducing the size of the areas required to crack down on smog, Trump EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt overruled the agency's career staff, a move that will save Foxconn from having to make expensive improvements as it builds a sprawling new electronics plant in Racine County, just north of the Illinois border in an area with some of the state's dirtiest air."

Pruitt overruled EPA staff in deciding to allow Foxconn to pollute the lungs of southeast Wisconsin residents. Taxpayer-subsidized flat screens for the rest of us!

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"Pruitt also pared back the list of counties with dirty air in Illinois and Indiana, a decision that could add to Chicago's chronic problems with pollution linked to asthma attacks, heart disease and early deaths.

"Tweaking the list of counties in violation of federal smog standards is the latest attempt by Pruitt to roll back or delay environmental regulations enacted during the Obama administration."

You are no longer in violation of federal smog standards, but you will die at a higher rate!

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"Walker blames Chicago for making the air unhealthy to breathe in parts of Wisconsin."

He's probably not entirely wrong - but making the air even more unhealthy as a response seems, um, counterproductive.

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"[D]ocuments filed with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources show Foxconn would be a major new source of smog-forming pollution."

Smog Wars, Season 1: Chicago vs. Wisconsin.

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See also: Chicago vs. Wisconsin.

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"In addition to completely exempting Racine County from the smog standards, Pruitt scaled back the EPA staff recommendations for other parts of Wisconsin, leaving only strips of land along Lake Michigan in Door, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Sheboygan and Manitowoc counties on the list of areas that need to take more aggressive steps to improve air quality.

"At the urging of two other Republican governors, Bruce Rauner in Illinois and Eric Holcomb in Indiana, Pruitt also removed all of McHenry County, Ill., and Porter County, Ind., and part of Lake County, Ind., from the list of areas that contribute to chronic smog problems in the Chicago area."

Emphasis mine. cc: JB Pritzker.

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The Foxconn Files, from the Beachwood vault:

* February 6, 2011: "Far more disturbing than greed on paper is the nagging feeling that some poor kid in China died so I could enjoy my MacBook."

* September 19, 2017: The Bloody Decade Of The iPhone.

* April 13, 2018: Wisconsin Clears The Way For Foxconn By Bulldozing Working Peoples' Homes And Paying Them Pennies On The Dollar.

* April 29, 2018: Foxconn Will Drain 7 Million Gallons Of Water Per Day From Lake Michigan To Make LCD Screens.

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See also:

* America And The Foxconn Dream.

"Wisconsin is about to shell out as much as $3 billion for the privilege of luring Foxconn Technology Group . . . Politicians, lobbyists and Foxconn can make the figures work by being generous with the facts. For example, if every one of those jobs came to fruition, they can claim 29,000 positions for $3 billion, or $103,000 per job. But that's not going to happen.

"Foxconn has factories in China and another dozen countries globally, yet that stated $10 billion investment is more than the group's publicly traded flagship - Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. - has devoted to capital expenditure over the past five years combined."

* Foxconn Could Get Up To $200 million In Cash A Year From State Residents For Up To 15 Years.

"Speaking about critics of the deal on a radio broadcast, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker said, 'they can can go suck lemons.'"

* This 1 Number Sums Up Why That Foxconn Deal Is Over-The-Top Bad For Wisconsin.

"[T]he numbers on this economic development deal, touted as the largest in state history, don't seem to add up on many counts. In fact, by one measure, the subsidy from Wisconsin taxpayers could more than cover the salaries Foxconn will pay its workers."

* Foxconn Has A Long History Of Lying About Its Plans To Open Plants And Create Jobs.

"Just ask the folks in Pennsylvania who were promised a flat-panel display plant in 2013 and instead got 'an empty office in Harrisburg and nothing further' - and then ask the Indonesians who are waiting on Foxconn to make good on its 2013 written promise to open a factory; the Vietnamese who got their written promise in 2007, and the Brazilians who've been watching the ink dry on their Foxconn letter since 2011, and who've sent $12 billion to the company in the intervening years. Michigan's deep-red red-state governor Rick Snyder also has a great vaporware deal underway with the Foxconn PR machine."

* Illinois Might Get A Lot Of Those Wisconsin Taxpayer-Subsidized Jobs.

"Walker's administration stands by the prediction that 90 percent of Foxconn jobs would go to Wisconsin residents. A consultant hired by Wisconsin's economic development agency initially estimated out-of-state residents would grab 40 to 50 percent of jobs, but recalculated the number after that estimate drew criticism."

* Foxconn Got A Really Good Deal From Wisconsin. And It's Getting Better.

"Associated sweeteners have now grown to more than $4 billion - adding in the cost of local government incentives and various infrastructure projects, like roads and highways, sewer and power lines . . .

"[A]mong the additional costs to the Foxconn project is a $6.8 million advertising campaign to woo workers from out of state to work in Wisconsin, including at the new plant . . .

"The Village of Mount Pleasant and Racine County, where the plant is to be built, have also agreed to provide $764 million in tax incentives to help get the facility constructed, including buying the land and giving it to Foxconn for free.

"The state expects to spend about $400 million on road improvements, including adding two lanes to the nearby Interstate 94. And it's seeking $246 million more in federal money to help pay for the interstate expansion.

"In addition, the local electric utility is upgrading its lines and adding substations to provide the necessary power that will be used by the plant, at a cost of $140 million. The cost of those projects will be paid by 5 million customers in the area."

* In Racine County, Neatly Maintained Homes And Dream Houses Are Being Designated 'Blighted' To Make Way For Foxconn.

"The Village is telling us our land is worthless, while at the same time you're telling Foxconn it's the best property in the world. I don't know how any of you guys can sit here and do this."

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And yet, by the way, in just one in a series of editorials in despair at "losing" Foxconn to Wisconsin . . .

* Fiscally Conservative Tribune Editorial Board Mad We Didn't Get Chance To Spend $3 Billion In Taxpayer Money To Kill Ourselves More Quickly.

"This is a huge win for Scott Walker, the Republican governor of Wisconsin whom Illinois Democrats loathe. Just as this is an embarrassment for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton . . .

"Wisconsin boasts a freshly burnished global image. One of the planet's largest tech firms, with a million workers worldwide, says its search led it to bet a fraction of its future on Wisconsin. Assuming that happens, expect robust economic growth from suppliers, subcontractors, construction companies and other businesses that will serve Foxconn and its workforce."

We're already seeing who should be embarrassed - and ashamed.

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

Scoring Family Guy
With Woody-nominated Walter Murphy.

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Awesome Chicago Wildfire Highlights
Super cool stuff from the local ultimate disc team.

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ChicagoGram

Good Morning #Chicago lovely to see you again..

A post shared by Kayd Currier (@kayd_ic) on

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ChicagoTube

The First Chicago Be-In, 1967.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Tonight.



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Posted on May 3, 2018


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - New Television's New Families.
POLITICS - It's Not Schools That Are Dangerous.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Much Ado About Machado.

BOOKS - Chicago Zine Fest Recap.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Charles White Retrospective.


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