ROCHESTER - Republican 13th CD Congressional candidate Rodney Davis had a good turn out to walk in the Rochester, IL 4th of July parade Saturday afternoon.
Send us YOUR parade photos at firstname.lastname@example.org ...
ROCHESTER - Republican 13th CD Congressional candidate Rodney Davis had a good turn out to walk in the Rochester, IL 4th of July parade Saturday afternoon.
Send us YOUR parade photos at email@example.com ...
WASHINGTON DC - Pro-life and faith organizations to hold prayer vigil and news conference in front of the White House on Sunday, July 1, at 3:00 P.M. to announce the event called Actsfive29. The news conference will be on the Pennsylvania Ave. NW side of the White House in front of Lafayette Park.
Actsfive29 is taken from the Book of Acts 5:29, in which the apostles refused to comply with unjust government mandates and laws as they were told they could not publicly share their faith.
They told their political leaders, "We must obey God rather than man," and they went to jail rather than violate their conscience and deeply held faith and religious beliefs and values.
As friends keeping in touch daily about important political events and their implications, Jane and I decided to wait for a day or so before commenting on what has become a remarkable and bewildering Thursday, June 28, 2012, Supreme Court Obamacare decision. We were not only interested in hearing more analysis from both sides; we also wanted to cool down as we were in a state of fury.
Screening though our emails the day of the decision, we kept getting messages forwarding commentaries from various conservatives around the country saying.....Maybe this wasn't such a bad thing. Maybe there's some good in it. Maybe we can work it to our advantage.
Such was expressed in a Weekly Standard article published on Thursday, June 28, which indicated that 1) the Roberts Court restricted the limits of the Commerce Clause and 2) the Roberts Court also threw out a portion of the Medicaid expansion.
On July 1st, there will not be a clearer contrast of the two candidates seeking the 8th Congressional seat. Days after the most important Supreme Court decision of the last decade, Tammy Duckworth will be charging people $2500 to party with a 70's rock star, while [Congressman] Joe Walsh will be hearing voter's concerns for free at a forum to discuss the impact this ruling will have on people's lives.
The details are HERE.
CHICAGO - How merciful is the Left to disabled children? Well, it depends on who your parents are.
A shocking display of political animosity crossing the lines of decency was displayed Thursday and Friday after the U.S. Supreme Court's decision was made public. The Left used the opportunity to hoist Obama's chief campaign strategist David Axelrod's adult daughter and to insult conservative activist former Governor Sarah Palin's toddler son.
Axelrod pulled his disabled daughter into the political fray by reliving the difficult time their family endured during his daughter's battle with epilepsy. At the same time, his Leftist devotees took to Twitter to degrade and insult Governor Sarah Palin's young toddler son, challenged with Down Syndrome maladies. In an plea for Obama support, Axelrod wrote Friday afternoon:
On June 28, 2012, Americans learned many things. We learned that the same thing can be a tax, not a penalty, in one part of a law, but is a penalty, not a tax, elsewhere in the same law. We learned that a Yes vote is not political but a No vote is, on this case, but a No vote is not political, and a Yes vote is, on another case. And we learned that a constitutionally limited government is a dusty old historic artifact, not just in the minds of socialists, but even in the minds of justices whom we had mistakenly believed, when they told the Senate that they would always respect and obey their oaths of office.
Politicians have been claiming that education is a just function of government ever since the Founding era, when Thomas Jefferson called for universal taxpayer-funded schools (even though his genius, and that of his fellow Virginians, was usually successfully developed through homeschooling and private tutoring). But if government feels obligated to teach lessons like these, we would all much rather they didn’t bother.
A Constitutional Lesson
The Constitution, negotiated 225 years ago this summer in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, provided for a limited government. The Framers’ great pride was that they had produced a strictly limited government, small enough to avoid undue intrusion into the private sector, while just strong enough (unlike the Articles of Confederation that it would replace) to ensure a stable currency, the rule of law, and the ability to pay their soldiers so the country would be safe from invasion.
Complaints about disabled patients being abused could still be investigated, even if the disabled end up dying, an Illinois Department of Human Services staffer said Friday, the Tribune reports. The agency is re-evaluating its current investigation policy revealed by the Belleville News Democrat.
Earlier this week, the Belleville News Democrat published a report that the DHS' Inspector General didn't follow up on 53 abuse complaints called into the agency's hotline because the alleged victims died and were "ineligible for services."
The Supreme Court’s health care ruling leaves in place 21 tax increases enacted as part of that law. A dozen of these, marked with an asterisk (*) below, target Americans earning less than $200,000 per year for singles and $250,000 per year for married couples. This is a clear violation of the President’s pledge to avoid tax hikes on low- and middle-income taxpayers. According to a new estimate from the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) – which does not include updated scores for the individual mandate, the employer mandate, or certain other revenue effects – the tax increases that remain on the books will cost taxpayers more than $675 billion over the next ten years.
Based on the 2010 estimates for the provisions that have not yet been re-estimated – which likely understate their current scores because of the shift in the budget window since the law’s enactment – it is likely that the total gross tax increase from the Democrats’ health law will actually exceed $800 billion over the next decade.
More at House Ways and Means
In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling that ObamaCare was upheld on the grounds of it being a tax, Congressman Joe Walsh (IL-8) will be hosting a community forum to answer questions and concerns from people in the 8th District. The forum will be held on Sunday, July 1 at the Belvedere Banquet Hall, located at 1170 West Devon Avenue in Elk Grove Village from 3:00PM - 4:30PM.
Congressman Walsh stated, "ObamaCare is a law that asserts government control over 1/6 of our economy and levies 21 new taxes, including 12 that specifically target the Middle Class. I know it's important for me to make myself available, as I have throughout my term, to the people I currently and will possibly represent in the next term. That is why I'm having this forum which will be free and open to the public. I hope to hear people's concerns, and explain what I am working on in Washington to make quality and affordable private health care available to Americans."
ROME, ITALY - The late Bishop Fulton John Sheen was moved by Pope Benedict XVI another step closer towards sainthood Thursday at the Vatican. Bishop Sheen, a popular American religious leader that spoke coast to coast on television and radio in the 50s and 60s, addressing contemporary social issues, was acknowledged for his "heroic virtues."
Bishop Sheen was born in El Paso Illinois in 1895 and lived his childhood years 30 miles east of Peoria, IL before becoming the bishop of Rochester New York, where he died in 1979.
Sheen addressed the perils of Communism in this television segment:
By Mark Rhoads
On Friday, Chief Justice John Roberts spoke at a judicial conference of 300 judges in Pennsylvania and he was asked what he thought the legacy of his court might be 100 years from now in light of a "recent decision." He dodged the obvious reference to yesterday's health care decision but then said this,
"Well, I won't answer anything that has to do with the second part of that," But he said he hopes that the court under him is remembered as one that "did our job according to the Constitution, of protecting equal justice under the law."
Wrong answer? Yes, and here is why.
This week former Playboy CEO Christie Hefner hosted a fundraiser for former congressman and current Democrat candidate Bill Foster. What makes this interesting is the fact that Foster campaigns as an advocate for women’s rights.
“Well, now we know what Bill Foster really means when he says he’s running to, ahem, ‘advocate for women.’ Looks like Bill has watched one too many episodes of ‘The Girls Next Door’ if he thinks the Hefner family is looking out for American women,” said NRCC Spokeswoman Katie Prill.
Wisconsin continues to head in the opposite financial and political direction of its neighbor to the south. Wisconsin GOP Governor Scott Walker is keeping his state away from Obamacare:
“Wisconsin will not take any action to implement ObamaCare,” he said in a statement shortly after the Supreme Court’s ruling. “I am hopeful that political changes in Washington D.C. later this year ultimately end the implementation of this law at the federal level.”
And despite Illinois' economic crisis, Democrat Governor Pat Quinn says he will move boldly and quickly to expand Medicaid after the Supreme Court's decision Thursday:
“The state of Illinois is going forward with the president of our country, President Barack Obama, to expand using Medicaid (to) those that would be covered under the Affordable Care Act,” Quinn said. “That is the law. We’re not backing down.”
Quinn said that the federal assistance provided for the expansion would prevent the state’s Medicaid system from becoming too costly.
Illinois' Republican Treasurer Judy Baar-Topinka cautioned the gleeful governor:
“Illinois is a textbook example of what can happen if financial challenges are not proactively addressed,” Topinka said. “The state needs to learn from experience, and take steps today to address the increased Medicaid costs that will occur in coming months and years.”
For families all across the country with students in college or preparing to go to college, rising tuition costs and debt is a major factor in their choice of school and budgeting, among other crucial decisions. This was no exception when I enrolled at Marquette University over a year ago and it is no surprise that it is becoming a point of contention in Washington D.C. and a trend over the social media waves.
The latter facet has recently been summed up by #DontDoubleMyRate, the hashtag made popular by the president’s twitter page to pressure Congress into keeping rates on Stafford student loans at 3.4 percent for one more year. On Tuesday, the Senate reached a compromise on this issue, adding even more pressure on the House to do what the hashtag insists. However, the entire campaign is not nearly as just as conventional wisdom would suggest and is instead a fairly obvious ploy to capture young voters.
While Keynesian economists continue to not have any reservations about the access to easy money or the possibility of a ‘higher education bubble’ bursting similar to the housing bubble, the Obama campaign and the left are using the issue to try to keep young voters in their grasp.
Illinois Statehouse News followed up this week on the costs Chicago incurred with last month's NATO Summit:
Chicago officials estimate the cost of hosting the event at $55 million, although they say that will be covered by a combination of federal money and private donations. A nonprofit “host committee” — the Chicago NATO Host Committee — was established to handle much of the planning and organization. A report last week in the Chicago Tribune indicated the host committee raised about $33 million from corporate donors for the event.
Among the costs that have been reported in various media accounts: an as-yet unreleased figure for pay and overtime for 3,100 city of Chicago police officers assigned to NATO duty; about $13,600 for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency to have representatives in the area to assist with possible emergencies; $5.8 million for insurance coverage for 46 days leading up to and after the summit; $117,000 in overtime and expenses for the Evanston Police Department; $800,000 for Metra, the city’s commuter rail system, for added security and lost revenue; and $65,000 in lost parking meter revenue.
The rest is HERE.
IR contributor Chris Robling said Friday on WGN TV Morning News that the Supreme Court's decision on Obamacare will lead to a Mitt Romney victory in November. The video is HERE on WGN TV's website.
Agree or disagree?
Prosecutors say Moreno took a $5,000 bribe to insure development of a waste transfer station in Cicero while he sat on the town’s economic development panel. They say he also used his position as a Cook County commissioner to get kickbacks for pushing Stroger Hospital to buy bandages from a particular company.
Ambrosio Medrano worked for Commissioner Moreno. He’s also charged, but he was also a Chicago alderman who pleaded guilty in 1996 in another bribery scheme. Medrano is being held in jail because prosecutors say he’s a flight risk. Judge Young Kim will hear more on that at a hearing on Tuesday.
CHICAGO - The Supreme Court's 5 to 4 decision that affirmed the progression of the Obama Administration's Affordable Care Act also allowed for states to opt out of the ACA's health care exchanges. These exchanges, explained as Travelocity's of health insurance plans, can be run by states, by the federal government or now, by a state-federal government partnership. Illinois, as most other states, is running behind money- and time-wise in setting up an exchange. Now that Obamacare has been given the green light to progress, lawmakers are deciding whether and how they should proceed.
With health care exchanges at the forefront, Illinois Policy Institute's February 2012 "Four Myths about Obamacare Health Care Exchanges" provides some answers worth reviewing:
While the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), the Court also ruled that Congress cannot penalize states that choose not to participate in the new Medicaid expansion by taking away their existing Medicaid funding.
House Candidate Neil Anderson believes the Illinois General Assembly should pass legislation to opt out of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, which would add an estimated 700,000 individuals to the state’s Medicaid load.
“Obamacare is a tax on the middle class to pay for more welfare,” Anderson said. “It will inflate our welfare and add billions of dollars in costs to Illinois taxpayers. Obamacare expansion is estimated to cost the state up to $2.4 billion over the next six years.”
Associated Press had a story Thursday in the Atlanta Journal Constitution about Illinois prosecutors Attorney General Lisa Madigan's and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez' joint refusal to defend the state's same sex marriage ban.
Thomas More Society's Peter Breen started a back-and-forth between legal experts as to whether it is appropriate for the state's law enforcement officers to determine themselves whether they will or will not defend a law put into place by the legislative and executive branches as was the state's marriage law in 1996:
"You can't just say you feel it's unconstitutional," said Breen. "This ... puts people of the state of Illinois in a difficult place because their elected representatives are not defending their interests. If there is no argument or disagreement, then you'd really have a hollow judgment."
PLAINFIELD - House MInority Leader Tom Cross (R-Plainfield) made a strong statement against Obamacare Thursday afternoon, despite a recent radio interview in which he defended Republican House members that voted to move Cook County ahead two years into Obamacare for 250,000 childless adults:
Where was Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan on this?
"With U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald stepping down, the Illinois Attorney General is going to need to step up to the plate and investigate corruption within the state, like she promised to the people of Illinois when she was a candidate," said Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady. "We'll certainly miss U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald, since Lisa Madigan has no inclination to do the job she's elected to do," added Brady.
“ObamaCare will lead to the implosion of our health care system, an explosion of our national debt and economic uncertainty for millions of job creators. This comes as no surprise since Barack Obama spent his formative political years in Springfield being trained by Illinois Democrats like Michael Madigan, who through years of mismanagement, have led Illinois to having the worst budget deficit, credit rating, pension debt and business climate in the nation.”
WASHINGTON – Today Congressman Joe Walsh (IL-8) voted in a bipartisan manner to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for not cooperating with an October 12, 2011 subpoena. After more than a year of investigating Operation Fast and Furious, the Department of Justice has failed to produce numerous subpoenaed documents to the committee.
“I do not take this action lightly, and I think it is regretful that it has reached this point,” said Walsh. “Questions have been dodged and left unanswered for way too long. Attorney General Holder’s lack of cooperation, accountability, and concern in this investigation is unacceptable. The bottom line is that many lives were lost – on both sides of the border. Today’s vote brings us one step closer to providing answers to Brian Terry’s family and the American people.”
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) commented on the Supreme Court decision to uphold the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA). Said Schock: “Today the Supreme Court has spoken, but so too have the American people who have made it clear they oppose ObamaCare by increasing numbers since the day it was signed into law.
“During consideration of ObamaCare, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said ‘we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it’. That shocked the American people, but it was true. Now, the more we learn about ObamaCare, the clearer it becomes that it is unable to live up to its billing. The inherent severe problems with ObamaCare include:
Frank Watkins, Jackson's Washington spokesman, said the news about his leave was released just before 5 p.m. CST on Monday. Rupert Borgsmiller, the State Board of Elections' executive director, said 5 p.m. Monday was the deadline for independent candidates to file nomination papers to run for Jackson's seat in the November election.
Watkins, in an interview, insisted there was no link between the delay in making the news public and the filing deadline. "That was not a factor at all," he said. But Wayne Steger, chairman of the political science department at DePaul University, said in an interview with the Tribune that the first thing that occurred to him when he read about Jackson's leave was that the filing deadline must have passed for additional candidates to enter the race.
"Obviously, they timed the announcement so that he can't have any new opponent who would use this (medical leave) against him in the general election," Steger said. "The timing is designed to make sure he wins re-election, despite having to take a leave of absence during the summer." ...More HERE
Quinn said Thursday that it's a "great, great day" for health care in Illinois and in the country. He spoke at a news conference after signing three health care-related laws at the new Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago.
Quinn says the ruling gives the state Legislature the opportunity to go forward with a health care exchange in Illinois. Quinn didn't rule out creating the exchange by executive order.
Today's ObamaCare decision was a severe blow to the constitutional limits on federal power. But there is one bright spot: the Court ruled that the federal government can't force states like Illinois to expand their Medicaid programs.
ObamaCare doubled-down on broken Medicaid programs by requiring states to expand eligibility for Medicaid. Here in Illinois, that meant adding another 1.5 million people to a program that already fails to meet the needs of the poorest among us. If states refused to go along with this, the federal government would cut their Medicaid funding to zero.
But today's ruling holds those provisions unconstitutional. As the opinion noted, Congress may not "penalize States that choose not to participate" in the massive Medicaid expansion by "taking away their existing Medicaid funding."
Democrat candidate in the 17th CD Cheri Bustos had a snippy and rather unsophisticated response to the Supreme Court's decision about Obamacare Thursday. Bustos tweeted that it is time for Congress to move on, indicating a rather oblivious and out of touch with 17th CDers. Most are trying to move on but they can’t because the healthcare overhaul Bustos supports is costing Illinois jobs and hurting our seniors by destroying Medicare.
“Republicans want to ‘repeal and replace’ the Affordable Health Care Act, but ‘I [Bustos] don’t see it the same way. There are many good components of the health care act,” (“House hopeful Bustos weighs in on health, jobs,” - Rockford Register Star, Feb. 20, 2012)
Now that the Supreme Court has ruled, it’s time for Congress to get serious about building a strong economy that will create desperately needed jobs. Southern Illinois families are worried about making ends meet and keeping their Medicare, and we can’t afford for Washington to waste any more time trying to score political points and keeping our middle class waiting.
By Hannah Ihms -
Shortly after the Supreme Court released its decision on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Representative Adam Kinzinger (IL-11) weighed in on the ruling making a formal statement and then answered questions from Washington DC via a phone press conference call. Mr. Kinzinger further explained his thoughts on Obamacare to reporters from various media agencies:
Wanda Rohl this morning said, ‘The government already makes people buy auto insurance. The government already makes people do other things, and we are already paying for the uninsured anyway, so she’d rather have everybody covered. Could you respond to that?’
KInzinger: “I think Wanda’s made it clear that she believes that there’s a huge role for basically a full government takeover of healthcare. It’s an area where we fundamentally disagree. State government—and keep in mind it is state—can make people buy car insurance, but they can’t force people to drive. You don’t have to have a license to simply exist as a person. In this case, it looks like the Supreme Court agreed that the Federal government does not have the power to do that. However, again, [Obamacare proponents] went and said, ‘This is actually a tax increase and the Federal government does have a right to tax.’
“So, from that perspective, this is a tax increase on the American people and it is not saying that the federal government has a right to make people buy something simply for existing.”
“The Supreme Court's decision today does not change the fact that Obamacare is an unworkable and unaffordable piece of legislation that is not right for the American people,” Plummer said. “The Court's ruling that the individual mandate is unconstitutional and a tax goes against everything the President and his allies said as they were trying to pass the law, and puts an increased burden on working families.
"Today, I, along with most Americans, am disappointed with the Supreme Court decision. It is now clear that the only way to repeal this law is legislatively," Walsh said. "Today's decision only affirms what we have known all along - the President's health care plan is a massive tax increase. The President insisted that his health care plan would not cost the American people anything, but that is just untrue. To be clear, this is not a tax on wealthy Americans who already have insurance. This tax hits the 44 million uninsured Americans, who are already struggling and cannot afford to pay more hard-earned income in taxes.
"While I respect the Court’s decision, the health care law threatens our economic recovery by raising taxes, imposing new regulations and creating a drag on the economy," said Senator Kirk. "Congress should repeal the health care law and replace it with common sense, centrist reforms that give Americans the right to buy insurance across state lines and expand coverage without raising taxes, while blocking the government from coming between patients and their doctors."
“The President’s health care law is wreaking havoc on our economy by surging health insurance costs for Americans, hiking taxes, and hurting the efforts of small employers to put Americans back to work. In fact, I have already heard from small business owners in northern Illinois who will either lay off workers or forgo new hires in order to stay below the 50-employee threshold that would require them to purchase costly insurance for their employees.
“I have said from the beginning that Obamacare must be repealed. Nothing has changed. In fact, this issue defines the importance of this election. We must repeal this law to prevent the massive tax increase on the middle class, stop the $2.6 trillion cost, and end cuts to Medicare contained in Obamacare that Nancy Pelosi delivered. The residents of Central and Southwestern Illinois can prevent further harm with a Congressman who will fight to repeal this law and prevent Nancy Pelosi from taking power again.”
“Today, I’m disappointed for America. This entire law goes against American principles.
“Actions have consequences, we all know that. In this case the court has ruled that the government can tax you not only for choosing an action- moving to a certain neighborhood, earning a certain amount, or having a certain number of dependents- but for choosing inaction. This is unprecedented.
U.S. Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, issued the following statement on today’s Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care law:
"Since its passage, the Affordable Care Act has caused deep divisions over its constitutionality. While I respect the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court, I am extremely disappointed that the Court has given unrestricted authority to the federal government to interfere in the personal lives of American families. This ruling upholds an additional 2.5 percent tax on hardworking Americans on top of the tax increases that already exist in this health care law.
The Supreme Court has ruled that Obamacare is constitutional and has upheld the law – a victory for those who want the Federal government to micromanage your life and medical care. This is a tragic defeat, however, for those who support our Founder’s vision of liberty and privacy and the right to control our private property, such as our medical records, and our medical decisions in the privacy of personal consultations without government intrusion.
So what happens now? What does it really mean for patients and their doctors and their privacy and their freedom to choose their medical care?
With Obamacare upheld, dangerous threats lie ahead for patients and their healthcare professionals, both from ObamaCare and from the “stimulus” bill passed in 2009.
Illinois is one of about eight states that gives to the governor the power of an amendatory veto which means that the governor is able to reject a bill of the legislature but return it with conditional approval provided that the legislature accepts new substantive changes written by the governor. The power is mischievious because it can be subject to abuse of course but both houses still have the right to agree or disagree with any new language the governor might propose so neither their language or his will become law.
Washington, D.C. -- Concerned Women for America President and CEO Penny Nance has released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court ruling to uphold President's Obama's health care law:
"We are outraged to see the Supreme Court ignoring the constitutional limits the Founders put in place to constrain the federal government's power over us. Shame on them!
With this decision they have given a blank check to the federal government, forever altering the constitutional concept of checks and balances that has been so crucial throughout our history.
From Pete Speer -
The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the major sections of Obamacare is bad news. The decision does not require that this abomination remain the law of the land. A new President and a Republican Congress can change that.
You are the manager of Mitt Romney's campaign. You posit that you are in addition a good friend of the candidate. To win, Mitt will need the best advice possible. Digest this and send it on.
You were elected Treasurer of the State of Illinois by running a vigorous campaign with a specific platform. Unfortunately, Bill Brady, running for governor lost to a candidate who promised to raise taxes. Bill stepped into a trap of his own making. Senator Brady announced that he had a Plan but would not disclose it until after his election. This was a political felony. The Quinn team made this the winning issue.
Bill Brady snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by not connecting with the voters eager to elect someone with a plan they could understand.
From Rasmussen Reports -
A week after President Obama’s health care law was passed, 54% of voters nationwide wanted to see the law repealed. Now, as the Supreme Court is set to issue a ruling on the law’s constitutionality, the numbers are unchanged: 54% want to see the law repealed.
In polls conducted weekly or biweekly for over two years since the law's passage in March 2010, the numbers have barely moved. In fact, for more than a year before the law was passed, a similar majority opposed its passage.
“The Supreme Court’s ruling examined the Constitutionality of the health care law, but the Justices could not take into account the practicality or effectiveness of a government takeover of our health care system and one-sixth of our economy—on that score, the verdict was in long ago.
“The American people are disappointed in this law and fearful of its full effects because so far, the rhetoric does not match up to the reality. Remember when the president said, ‘If you like what you have, you can keep it?’ Some estimates say up to 30 percent of employers will definitely drop their employee health coverage, forcing many into state exchanges.