By John F. Di Leo -
Time once again for a list of New Year’s Resolutions for the Republican Party. The party leaders haven’t taken my advice these past few years, so there’s no reason to believe they shall this year, but who knows? Perhaps if things get too dire, they’ll start looking to bloggers for solutions to the problems that their top consultants haven’t been able to solve. One can but hope.
1. Learn the Meaning of Compromise
This isn’t entirely fair, but it’s still a good place to begin. Republicans are notorious for conceding defeat before negotiations begin.
Let’s say for example that the Republicans know that a 30% tax rate cut would be the best thing to spur the economy, create jobs, and restore upward mobility to all demographics. But the Democrats are still clamoring for a 30% tax increase because they’ve drunk so much Keynesian kool-aid that their veins run purple with the stuff.
They don't call US Senate Republicans the stupid party for nothing. If they take the latest deal from Harry Reid, not a single dime of spending will be cut now or ever in the future. If Tea Party Republicans in the House go for this horrible deal, even with a modest compromise from Democrats on tax rates, John Boehner has failed as a GOP leader if the House approves. Never in the future will any Congress or any president of either existing party cut any spending at all until the government is forced into bankruptcy. It CAN happen.
At the end of the year, many people take time to make charitable donations. But caring for those in need is a year-round responsibility—and when it comes to public policy, conservatives have an important opportunity to articulate an effective response to poverty and social breakdown in America.
A half-century into the War on Poverty, liberals can hardly declare victory. But they can claim the dominant anti-poverty narrative: Fight poverty by spending more, by starting another federal program.
Americans seldom look to conservatives for policy answers to the problems of poverty.
That’s not to say we don’t have answers. To the contrary, we’ve had important policy successes. The 1996 welfare reform rises to the top. School choice, which allows low-income parents to get their children out of failing and often violent public schools, is another a vital example of a policy that can help lift those in poverty and give them a chance at a different future. ...More HERE
I have never owned any firearm and I am not a member of the NRA. However, I do think the Supreme Court made the right decision (District of Columbia v. Heller, 54 U.S. 570 (2008),when it said that the Second Amendment right to own a firearm is a personal right. But like anyone who cares about the safety of children, I was sick about the senseless killings at Sandy Hook school and other public spaces.
We have seen the Hollywood celebrities mindlessly babbling about the need for some non-specific "plan" and we have seen the video responses showing some of the same celebrities mowing down their enemies with automatic weapons in movies. I merely want to make this simple point. For Hollywood, of all American institutions, to demand an end to the culture of gun violence is like Typhoid Mary demanding an end to contagious disease.
According to CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan a spokesperson for Secretary Clinton confirmed that the former First Lady and 2008 presidential candidate has been taken to New York Presbyterian hospital where she will be under observation for the next 48 hours.
Well, Kids, we made it through another year, one that started with so much promise, and that is ending with the country, having failed to heed our urgent warnings, doing a Thelma-and-Louise dive over the “fiscal cliff” with our gangsta Dear Reader in the driver’s seat . We’ve known for months that the consequences of this plunge are the stuff of liberals’ wet dreams; specifically, increasing taxes on productive citizens and slashing military spending while leaving the billions thrown down their precious social welfare ratholes untouched. We’ll be on top of the latest, as the Senate meets today to try to avoid what is described as a potential disaster. Is it my imagination, or didn’t these weasels see this coming for the last two years? Who are these guys who want even more of our hard-earned money? They make high school students who wait until the night before term papers are due appear to have it together.
The same folks that picketed the State Capitol, demanding 2011's 67% state income tax hike, are now attempting to stir public sympathy by telling taxpayers in a "We are One" video how they've made sacrifices for their pensions. Now they want those generous pensions to be "guaranteed."
Perhaps AFSCME, SEIU and teachers' union employees should be reminded that 100 percent of their paychecks come from taxpayers, who've also been forced to make financial sacrifices to pay the portion of their pensions they've not paid in.
"We are One" is a coalition of state employee union members who are demanding their pensions payments be made by the state - and want those payments to be guaranteed. They say they are willing to pay more into the pension kitty, but are unwilling to limit COLA benefit raises or wage hikes.
At the same time, they want to repeal the corporate tax deals that kept major financial entities in Illinois, threatening thousands of jobs and job creators.
PARIS FRANCE - United States' Democrats might take into consideration what France's top court ruled on millionaire taxes, as Bloomberg reports -
President Francois Hollande’s 75 percent millionaire-tax is unconstitutional because it fails to guarantee taxpayer equality, France’s top court ruled today.
The tax, one of Hollande’s campaign promises, had become a focal point of discontent among entrepreneurs and other wealth creators, some of whom have quit French shores as a result. The ruling comes as the president seeks to cut France’s public deficit to 3 percent of gross domestic product next year from a projected 4.5 percent this year.
Bloomberg writes that France's millionaire tax isn't the only tax the court ruled to be excessive -
It looks like Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) has been taking lessons from Vice President Joe Biden. Either that or she has become extraordinarily comfortable with hyperbole.
“The Republicans, the disdain that I have seen for poor people, for people who are struggling, like senior citizens on Medicare and Social Security, for low income people and the Women Infant Children (WIC) program,” Rep. Schakowsky said during a Friday broadcast of MSNBC’s “The Ed Show.”
“We saw the Republicans, last week, vote [for] spending cuts that would literally take food out of the mouths of hungry babies,” she added, signaling that she has either a remarkably poor understanding of the word “literally” or that she’s interested in a permanent spot on MSNBC. ...More HERE
A spokesman for President Obama says he is encouraging the Ilinois General Assembly to approve gay-marriage legislation.
Illinois already has a civil-union law on the books, but a bill to legalize same-sex marriages could come up as soon as this week.
The president, a former Illinois state senator from Chicago, previously did not support same-sex marriage until this year as he ran for re-election. ...More HERE
It's just that, what difference does it make? Nothing ever changes anyway.
That one little statement is a major triumph of the Left's stubbornly unending fiscal melt downs, you know. Play it again, Uncle Sam. We're down to the wire. The Republicans are proving to be diplomatically inept against…the superior political intellect?...really?...of the Democrats once again. And all you can manage to think is, "Is it too much to ask that these Bozos just get it done without the drama so that I can enjoy my holidays? I mean, how much are we paying these guys anyway?"
Truth is, this little donkey and elephant show has been on permanent rerun since the Clinton Administration perfected it's War on Republicans during their own little fiscal cliff fiasco – you know, I've always thought that if the Democrats would work half as hard at actually solving the world's problems as they work to annihilate their political enemies and grab power, the country would be strong, well-educated and hunger-free in half a decade. But I supposed their wasted potential is quite beside the point.
The current economic bile that passes for political discourse would be a tragically tedious rehash under the best of circumstances, but how many times have we repeated this fiscal melodrama just this year? And it's almost New Year's Eve. How on earth are we supposed to keep caring about a crisis that's already been scripted to yield maximum economic pain for the producers of this nation and only waits for the clock to run out before that truth is revealed to an audience so overwrought by the absolute angst of it all?
Numerous Hollywood stars are calling for a plan to end gun violence following the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. No mention in the video of Hollywood being a part of the plan by self-moderation of cinematic violence.
By Mark Rhoads -
I was very glad I took three hours and thirty minutes to see Daniel Day Lewis perform as Abraham Lincoln. In spite of a left of center screen writer and one or two needless vulgar words, the central plot device of a vote in the US House for the 13th Amendment gave a good structure to the story even if the film had too many final scenes. I was also glad that Bill Murray finally had a chance to perform in a serious role as FDR in "Hyde Park on the Hudson." But Murray's very good job was just not enough to save this movie from the same tedious ground about FDR affairs that has been tread too many times before. So save your time and money for "Lincoln" but give "Hyde Park on Hudson" a pass.
As evangelical Christians, the Green Family which owns national Hobby Lobby stores is choosing to obey their God rather than man and defy the Obamacare HHS mandate. On January 1, they will begin racking up federal fines of $1.3 million per day. Liberty University legal professor Ken Kuklowski explains in Breitbart.com -
... Today Hobby Lobby announced that they will not comply with [the HHS] mandate to become complicit in abortion, which the Greens believe ends an innocent human life. Given Hobby Lobby’s size (it has 572 stores employing more than 13,000 people), by violating the HHS Mandate, it will be subject to over $1.3 million in fines per day. That means over $40 million in fines in January alone. If their case takes another ten months to get before the Supreme Court—which would be the earliest it could get there under the normal order of business—the company would incur almost a half-billion dollars in fines. And then of course the Supreme Court would have to write an opinion in what would likely be a split decision with dissenters, which could easily take four or six months and include hundreds of millions of dollars in additional penalties.
This is civil disobedience, consistent with America’s highest traditions when moral issues are at stake.
BARRINGTON - Representative elect David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) was appointed to the Illinois House of Representatives today to serve the remainder of the term of retiring State Rep. Kent Gaffney (R-Wauconda). McSweeney is set to be officially sworn in on January 6th and will represent the current 52nd district during the 97th General Assembly lame-duck session scheduled from January 6th – 8th.
“I am honored to receive this appointment and now it’s time to get to work and tackle the state’s major fiscal challenges,” said McSweeney. “The 52nd district has a tradition of honest and responsive leadership in government. I will continue that strong tradition and I thank and commend Rep. Gaffney for his service and commitment. Kent has served our state well and I'm confident that he will continue to be a leading voice in helping to solve the major issues that we face. I also want to acknowledge the longtime service of Mark Beaubien to our community.”
The minor mob boss from the south of Europe learns about double-entry bookkeeping… coming soon to a western nation near you?
It was a good day for a walk. The sun was shining, the air was clear… the view from Athens, out across the lovely Aegian Sea, had never been so sparkling. So Greco put on his pea coat and fisherman’s cap, clipped his blackjack on his belt and checked his pocket for his switchblade, pulled on his driving gloves and walked outside.
In the old days, Greco had more employees to help with the collection task; he just got the business himself, then sent out his bagmen for the monthly protection money (weekly for some… you might say Greco’s business required certain flexibility in payment plans).
ST LOUIS - Friday, World Net Daily announced its pick of "The Most Important Woman in the Last 100 Years." The pick was not Hillary Clinton, US Senator Diane Feinstein, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Margaret Sanger or Betty Friedan. It wasn't even Sarah Palin, Margaret Thatcher or Ayn Rand. WND's choice was none other than 88 year old Eagle Forum founder, attorney, author and conservative movement leader Phyllis Schlafly.
Mrs. Schlafly launched into her political activism from downstate Illinois, the same state identified with US presidents Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. In its analysis of her impact on American politics,WND reviews Mrs. Schlafly's historical congressional bid from the Alton Illinois area, when her husband Fred was asked to consider running and the spotlight turned to his wife.
The National Rifle Association has analyzed US Senator Diane Feinstein's (D-CA) federal legislation which she plans to introduce January 3rd, 2013, the first day of the next Congressional session. Here's their brief synopsis of how her proposal would affect gun owners and Second Amendment rights:
- Reduces, from two to one, the number of permitted external features on various firearms. The 1994 ban permitted various firearms to be manufactured only if they were assembled with no more than one feature listed in the law. Feinstein’s new bill would prohibit the manufacture of the same firearms with even one of the features.
- Adopts new lists of prohibited external features. For example, whereas the 1994 ban applied to a rifle or shotgun the “pistol grip” of which “protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon,” the new bill would drastically expand the definition to include any “grip . . . or any other characteristic that can function as a grip.” Also, the new bill adds “forward grip” to the list of prohibiting features for rifles, defining it as “a grip located forward of the trigger that functions as a pistol grip.” Read literally and in conjunction with the reduction from two features to one, the new language would apply to every detachable-magazine semi-automatic rifle. At a minimum, it would, for example, ban all models of the AR-15, even those developed for compliance with California’s highly restrictive ban.
CHICAGO - Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka on Friday warned that the economic impact for the state budget could exceed $1 billion if Congress and the President are unable to reach an agreement to prevent the federal government from going over the "fiscal cliff."
Just more than three days before automatic federal spending cuts and tax increases are triggered, Topinka estimated that the combination of expected Social Security payroll tax and income tax increases is expected to hit Illinois pocketbooks, and ultimately lower the state's tax revenues by up to $500 million.
Even more staggering, the fallout from the fiscal cliff threatens to push the state into recession, Topinka said.
UPDATE December 28, 2:00 PM CST: Hobby Lobby says it will defy the HHS mandate, risking $1.3 million per day fine.
Life News reports: “The company will continue to provide health insurance to all qualified employees,” [Hobby Lobby's attorney Kyle] Duncan said. “To remain true to their faith, it is not their intention, as a company, to pay for abortion-inducing drugs.”
“The Green family is disappointed with this ruling,” said Duncan. “They simply asked for a temporary halt to the mandate while their appeal goes forward, and now they must seek relief from the United States Supreme Court. The Greens will continue to make their case on appeal that this unconstitutional mandate infringes their right to earn a living while remaining true to their faith.”
December 27 - LifeNews reports Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has refused to act favorably on an emergency appeal Hobby Lobby stores filed to stop enforcement of the HHS mandate against it.
After a federal court denied a request to temporarily stop enforcement of the abortion pill mandate against the Christian-operated business Hobby Lobby, it took its HHS mandate lawsuit to the Supreme Court. Late yesterday, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor denied its request to block the mandate and the millions of dollars in fines it will be subjected to starting January 1 for not complying.
Sotomayor said Hobby Lobby did not show it met the legal standard for blocking enforcement on an emergency basis, but said the company can continue with its lawsuit in lower court.
As CBS 7 reports, "Nathaniel Jackson, of the 4700 block of West Armitage Avenue, had the dubious distinction of becoming the city’s 500th homicide victim this year, when he was shot in the head outside a convenience store in the 4900 block of West Augusta Boulevard at about 9 p.m. Thursday. He was taken to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, where he died a few hours later."
Obama's fellow Illinois Democrat, Sen. Dick Durbin, however, told reporters that he did not get the information directly from the president or the White House. But he is regularly apprised of the status of negotiations.
Increasing the eligibility age is a key demand by Republicans seeking cost curbs in popular benefit programs in exchange for higher tax revenues.
JEFFERSON CITY - Legislation to balance collective bargaining for state employees has stirred the right to work discussion in some of the formerly least likely states, such as Michigan and Ohio. But with lawmakers elected that aren't beholding to state employee unions, and concerned about unpaid pension obligations suffocating any other use of the state's tax revenue, more and more are understanding that teacher's unions, SEIU and AFSCME local union reps just aren't as powerful as they once were.
Illinois is just south of Wisconsin, where the fight first broke out in 2011, and west of Indiana, where unions are losing power as well. The next state that's energized to begin chipping away at union bondage is the state to Illinois' west - Missouri. The legislation has already been pre-filed, and the right-to-work movement may be facing its biggest challenge to date.
Imagine an Illinois economy so vibrant that companies felt they had to be in Illinois to reach their fullest potential. Imagine a tax environment so competitive that companies across the country battled to get a piece of Illinois real estate. Keep imagining, because this certainly isn’t a reality.
Lawmakers try to make up for Illinois’ shortfalls by steering resources to businesses they think will provide the greatest benefit to the state. State and local government in Illinois pretend they can create a vibrant private sector in the state. They do so by taking money from thousands of entrepreneurs and businesses, cooking up generous tax incentive packages and grants and then giving these handouts to businesses of their choosing.
By Jonathan Ingram -
Wouldn't it be nice to earn 7 to 8 percent interest on money you don't have in the bank?
That's exactly what caretakers of the state's public pension systems assume.
Illinois' five pension systems are expected to pay out more than $600 billion between now and 2045. In order to pay for these benefits, the pension systems would need $159 billion on hand. Not only that – this $159 billion would also need to earn nearly 8 percent investment returns every single year for the next three decades.
But here's the catch: the pension systems have just $62 billion on hand. So even if the pension systems are able to achieve their promised returns, they are missing out on billions of dollars every year in lost investment income.
WASHINGTON - Warning to Illinois and its state employee pension system, as well as America's Social Security retirement system: You're headed for the same situation as France's:
According to an official report cited in the Financial Times, France's national pension system is going broke, with its deficit expected to grow from 14 billion euros last year to 19 billion in 2017 — a 30% surge. To pay for this, France's COR pension council says unemployment will have to be cut from above 9% to 4.5% and productivity growth raised to 1.8% from about 1%.
It can't happen as long as mega-taxes and vast waves of tax exiles — from France's richest billionaire to actor Gerard Depardieu — continue to flee the country. Sadly, the U.S. is on precisely the same path — with a president hellbent on taxing the rich and, like Hollande, refusing to address runaway entitlements.
France's public debt is near 90% of GDP and its unfunded pension liabilities amount to at least 200% of GDP. But neither tax hikes nor demonizing the rich has done a thing to defuse the entitlement bomb.
More at Investors Business Daily
Richard K. Armey, the group’s chairman and a former House majority leader, walked into the group’s Capitol Hill offices with his wife, Susan, and an aide holstering a handgun at his waist. The aim was to seize control of the group and expel Armey’s enemies: The gun-wielding assistant escorted FreedomWorks’ top two employees off the premises, while Armey suspended several others who broke down in sobs at the news.
The coup lasted all of six days. By Sept. 10, Armey was gone — with a promise of $8 million — and the five ousted employees were back. The force behind their return was Richard J. Stephenson, a reclusive Illinois millionaire who has exerted increasing control over one of Washington’s most influential conservative grass-roots organizations.
Stephenson, the founder of the for-profit Cancer Treatment Centers of America and a director on the FreedomWorks board, agreed to commit $400,000 per year over 20 years in exchange for Armey’s agreement to leave the group. ...More HERE
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A lawsuit by a driver who pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs and then sued a victim that he killed tops the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform's (ILR) survey of the Top Ten Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of 2012, released today.
"Abuse of our legal system is no joke, and these examples range from the outrageous to the absurd," said ILR President Lisa A. Rickard. "This poll reminds us that as a society, we sue too much. In turn, these abusive lawsuits inflict harm on lives, jobs, and our economic growth."
ILR announced the Top Ten Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of 2012 from votes cast throughout the year by visitors to FacesOfLawsuitAbuse.org. The lawsuits were selected from those featured in the website's monthly polls for 2012. The Faces of Lawsuit Abuse campaign is ILR's public awareness effort created to highlight the impact of abusive lawsuits on small businesses, communities, and individuals.
The Top Ten Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of 2012 are:
Illinois Review's Facebook page is active Thursday, with readers telling us how they're preparing for Congress' expected fiscal cliff, now that negotiations are at a stalemate. Join the conversation here on IR and there on our Facebook page, "like" us and then tell us - "How do you expect Congress' fiscal cliff to affect your finances?"
The staff members in this part of Rutherford’s operation combine to have more than $470,000 in salary. They include CURT CONRAD, a former executive director of the Illinois Republican Party, as director, making $99,000. Carlson, officially the manager of logistics, is also paid $99,000.
STEVE ETTINGER, logistics and services specialist, had also worked for the state GOP and is paid $52,000. SHIRLEY JOHNSON, manager of event planning, makes $52,500. ROB WINCHESTER, a former president of Associated Builders & Contractors of Illinois and son of BOB WINCHESTER, a member of the GOP State Central Committee, is a logistics specialist paid $67,500. GRANT HAMMER, logistics specialist and candidate for the Springfield Park Board, is paid $52,000. And Springfield Ward 4 Ald. FRANK LESKO, another logistics specialist, is paid $50,000 annually.
SPRINGFIELD - The urgency Illinois gay rights community is conveying to the Illinois General Assembly about the need to legalize not only civil unions - for same and/or opposite sex couples - but to also legalize same-sex marriages could be rooted in finances.
In a recent letter to its Illinois clients, the ING USA Annuity and Life Insurance Company defined the financial differences between civil unions and same sex marriages per Illinois law and how the company sees they are to interpret it concerning their products. The letter spells out how Illinois' civil union act - "the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act" - affects their clients' assets and how the federal Defense of Marriage Act ties the company's hands in distribution and tax policy.
When 260 pastors from liberal mainstream denominations throughout Illinois signed onto backing a same sex marriage bill last week, one pastor said,"“A civil union is kind of like a business partnership — which a marriage is in reality — but there are people who consider a marriage to be something divine and holy."
CHICAGO - While there's an outrage over a New York news source making the residences of gun owners public, Illinoisans should recall that their own Attorney General Lisa Madigan directed the State Police to conduct a similar unveiling in March 2011. When the media filed a FOIA on the list of gun owners, the State Police refused to release the names.
The Illinois legislature overwhelmingly agreed with the State Police that the names should not be made public, and passed legislation to protect the names of nearly 1 million Illinois gun owners' and their privacy.
Schools and communities are where radical Leftist Bill Ayers' told a university class that real "movement-making" goes on, not at the levels of the White House, the Capitol or the Pentagon. A student shared Ayers' recent comments with EAGNews in the video below, and below the fold is an important video describing the devastation Ayers' Weather Underground did -
Heritage Foundation's Morning Bell put together a list of 10 stunning facts on the fiscal cliff, debt and spending:
When the new session of the Illinois legislature convenes in January, one of the new House members that will be sworn into office is Wheaton's Jeanne Ives, a Republican that will represent the 41st district.
she has even started her first day in office, Mrs. Ives already set
herself apart from other lawmakers by giving her constituents an inside
look at what is going on in our state capital.
Illinois Review-Orientation in Springfield-Perspective from a new legislator
I was so impressed by what Mrs. Ives had to say in her letter to constituents that I felt compelled to seek an interview with her about some of the important issues facing the state of Illinois.
One of the biggest issues with which the state of Illinois has to deal is taxation. There is a push from certain quarters to not only make the tax hikes of 2011 permanent, but to go further and move Illinois away from its flat income tax and to a graduated income tax.
From the Illinois Opportunity Project -
Illinois lawmakers will be headed back to Springfield shortly after the new year to vote on several key issues facing the state, the largest of which could be a vote to make 2011’s historic tax hike permanent (it’s supposed to begin sunsetting after FY 2014). This is not being openly discussed just yet, but politically, it makes sense to rush this through now, rather than have it be a major issue in the next gubernatorial election. Remember in Jan. 2011, the income tax increase was passed in both chambers less than 24 hours after it was written up.
Here are some of the most important pieces of legislation and issues that could receive votes within the next week:
A Rasmussen poll shows that 52% of likely US voters favor reducing or eliminating tax deductions for wealthier Americans. Voters tend to think income tax deductions help wealthier Americans more than taxpayers in the middle class, and most favor reducing or eliminating those deductions for those who earn more than $250,000 a year.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 44% of Likely U.S. Voters believe tax deductions help upper-income Americans the most. Thirty-nine percent (39%) think those deductions are more beneficial to middle-class taxpayers. Sixteen percent (16%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
The automobile and aerospace industries use so-called 3-D printers to make prototypes of complex parts. In simple terms, the "printer" is a pot of liquid polymer which uses two converging beams from a laser to harden the plastic where the beams intersect. The polymer is transparent to the laser, but enough heat is generated where the beams cross to trigger the chemical bonding process. The solid part is made from the bottom up, much like an inkjet printer applies dots of ink to make a photograph. The plastic is similar to that used for plexiglas windows.
Some intrepid experimenters used the "printer" to make parts patterned after an the receiver of an AR-15 rifle, which were then assembled and used to fire several rounds before falling apart. The news media picked up on this immediately, and raised an alarm that plastic guns made in this fashion would be undetectable by security magnetometers used in airports and government buildings, without background checks and waiting periods. If that were not scary enough, it was the same type of rifle used by the shooters in Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut.
WASHINGTON - Beside the fiscal cliff warnings if a budget agreement isn't reached between Congress and President Obama, are an array of new Obamacare-related federal taxes. The Daily Caller provides a look at some of the major federal taxes and fees starting January 1, 2013, estimated to total nearly $700 billion over 10 years.
— Upper-income households. Starting Jan. 1, individuals making more than $200,000 per year, and couples making more than $250,000 will face a 0.9 percent Medicare tax increase on wages above those threshold amounts. They’ll also face an additional 3.8 percent tax on investment income. Together these are the biggest tax increase in the health care law.
CHICAGO - While Christians were celebrating the birth of their worldview's Savior Jesus Christ this week, nearby in Chicago's downtown Sheraton Hotel during a four-day conference, Islamists were encouraged to "believe, act and engage" to stir a renaissance of their faith.
The theme of the event is, “Toward a Renaissance: Believe, Act & Engage.” The “Arab Spring associated with the Islamic Awakening in many parts of the Muslim world” is given as an example of this “renaissance.” By “renaissance,” MAS-ICNA means the Islamist ideology. That is the message an expected audience of 9,500 will hear.
CHICAGO - With a new rolled out focus in national media on fatherless homes, the question is raised, how does Illinois stand among other cities facing budget crises, aggravated by government-dependent households?
Illinois is home to four out of the top ten cities home with the highest percentage of households led by single mothers, City Data.com shows. East St. Louis, Centreville and Washington Park are in St. Louis' Metro East area, and Robbins is in Chicago's southern suburbs.
1. East St. Louis, IL (housing, pop. 31,542): 77.6%
8. Robbins, IL (housing, pop. 6,635): 72.0%
9. Centreville, IL (housing, pop. 5,951): 71.3%
10. Washington Park, IL (housing, pop. 5,345): 71.1%
CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) -- A winter storm is hitting southern Illinois, leaving roads covered in snow and ice and prompting officials to urge residents to stay home if they can.
The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for southern Illinois and parts of Indiana and Kentucky.
The forecast calls for 8 to 11 inches of snow. The region is also being buffeted by strong winds with gusts of 35 to 40 mph.
WASHINGTON - The Washington Times focuses Wednesday on an evaluation of recent census figures showing the dramatic spike in America's number of single mom families - and with it, a shocking increase in poverty and government dependency.
In every state, the portion of families where children have two parents, rather than one, has dropped significantly over the past decade. Even as the country added 160,000 families with children, the number of two-parent households decreased by 1.2 million. Fifteen million U.S. children, or 1 in 3, live without a father, and nearly 5 million live without a mother. In 1960, just 11 percent of American children lived in homes without fathers.
Poverty with single moms? The average married couple's joint income is $80,000 while a single mom's is $24,000. Which of the two would make more demands on the government? The answer is obvious.
But the issue is more prominent among blacks, the WT story points out.