SPRINGFIELD - President Barack Obama revisited the Illinois State Capitol Wednesday, to share with his former colleagues his desire to "build a better politics" and reduce polarization in politics. The White House has provided this YouTube:
SPRINGFIELD - President Barack Obama revisited the Illinois State Capitol Wednesday, to share with his former colleagues his desire to "build a better politics" and reduce polarization in politics. The White House has provided this YouTube:
WASHINGTON - President and former state Senator Barack Obama returned to Illinois' State Capitol in Springfield to address the Illinois legislature. U.S. Representative Peter J. Roskam served alongside Obama in the state senate from 2000 to 2004.
Roskam didn't hold back his criticism of the president, who preached compromise and bi-partisan unity to the state lawmakers in his 60 minute address:
WASHINGTON - Republican candidate Carly Fiorina was the second to suspend her 2016 presidential bid Wednesday, following New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Fiorina shared the following:
This campaign was always about citizenship—taking back our country from a political class that only serves the big, the powerful, the wealthy, and the well connected. Election after election, the same empty promises are made and the same poll-tested stump speeches are given, but nothing changes. I've said throughout this campaign that I will not sit down and be quiet. I'm not going to start now. While I suspend my candidacy today, I will continue to travel this country and fight for those Americans who refuse to settle for the way things are and a status quo that no longer works for them.
Our Republican Party must fight alongside these Americans as well. We must end crony capitalism by fighting the policies that allow it to flourish. We must fix our festering problems by holding our bloated, inept government bureaucracy accountable. Republicans must stand for conservative principles that lift people up and recognize all Americans have the right to fulfill their God-given potential.
By John Aguilar -
Long before Illinois was known as the” Land of Lincoln,” our great state was known as the “Land of Suckers." Well, we have reclaimed our old nickname.
The State of Illinois has over 290 accounting systems. No economic system can function effectively with so many accounting systems. Also, Illinois has the second highest property tax in the country. With so many accounting systems, how could the state’s revenue be allocated correctly? And how can any accountability occur?
By Valerie Jarrett, Senior advisor to the President -
When I woke up on February 10, 2007 in Springfield, Illinois, my heart was full of hope about the infinite possibilities that lay ahead. We knew there would be challenges but we also knew that our country is strong, resilient and exceptional because of the spirit, grit and determination of the American people to constantly work hard to perfect our union.
It's hard to believe that nine years have gone by since that freezing but bright and sunny day on the steps of the Old State Capitol Building. For many of us, here at the White House and across the country, the President's return to Springfield today is a walk down memory lane - a moment to think about where we came from and what has happened since. For me, it was also a moment to revisit the vision he laid out for this country when he announced his candidacy for President.
NEW JERSEY - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie plans to issue a statement this afternoon that he is suspending his presidential campaign, several media sources are reporting.
The Christie camp made a decision early on in the campaign to hinge its bets on a strong showing in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary, hoping that his “tell it like it is” style and record as governor of a blue state would resonate with voters.
But Christie came in behind Donald Trump, John Kasich, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush in Tuesday's primary. After the polls closed, he went home to New Jersey to re-evaluate the race, and appears to have decided to drop out.
PALOS PARK - Southwest suburban Republicans are overwhelmingly planning to vote for Donald Trump in the upcoming March 15th GOP primary, Palos and Orland Township GOP organizations said Tuesday night.
And not only are the Orland and Palos Township rank-and-file Republicans, like growing numbers nationwide, unhappy about the presidential candidates the Republican Party establishment have pushed on them over the years, they rejected IL GOP favorite U.S. Senator Mark Kirk and favored Oswego businessman James Marter.
Palos Township GOP Committeeman Sean Morrison reported how Palos Township GOP's commiteemen are leaning in the presidential primary:
CONCORD NH - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is the winner of the New Hampshire GOP primary Tuesday, with Ohio Governor John Kasich showing well in 2nd place, Fox News called just minutes after the polls closed.
Democrat Bernie Sanders is at 56% with Hillary Clinton at 42, with 10 percent of the precincts reporting.
Statement from Kasich campaign:
CHICAGO - Tuesday afternoon, an ideological tug of war broke out in the 50th State Senate district, where three groups of social conservatives joined together behind incumbent State Senator Sam McCann and oppose GOP primary challenger Bryce Benton.
While the three groups voiced approval for McCann's dependable stance on pro-life, pro-family issues, Family PAC, which normally agrees with the other groups' endorsements, sided this time with Governor Rauner and fiscal conservative Liberty Principles PAC in the 50th District's tightening race.
WASHINGTON - Eagle Forum's Phyllis Schlafly is fed up with 20 year incumbent Congressman John Shimkus, and accuses him of "surrendering" to liberals in Congress and President Obama.
“Now that John Shimkus has spent nearly twenty years in Washington, it’s clear that he is part of the problem. He repeatedly supports irresponsible spending bills that add to our enormous debt. Just this Congress, he’s voted to keep money flowing to President Obama’s priorities, such as executive amnesty and Planned Parenthood. We can’t change our direction as long as Republicans like John Shimkus continue to surrender to liberals in Congress and the executive branch," she said in a statement.
Tuesday, Schlafly endorsed 15th CD GOP challenger Kyle McCarter as a "champion for conservative principles" while serving in the Illinois Senate.
MOKENA - Social issues such as abortion, marriage, religious freedoms, gambling and medical marijuana are most important to Illinois Family Action's board of directors, and candidates' positions on those issues are reflected in IFA's picks for the March 15th primary.
IFA's recommendations line up with Paul Caprio's Family PAC favorites on a majority of candidates - specifically backing Sharee Langenstein in the 58th Senate race over Paul Schimpf.
But Family PAC joined with Dan Proft's Illinois Opportunity Project over Illinois Family Action in the State Senate District 50, House District 66th and 72nd races.
Illinois Family Action prefers incumbent State Senator Sam McCann over challenger Bryce Benton in the 50th Senate race.
CHICAGO - Illinois-based Family PAC announced their state legislative endorsements for the March 15 Primary Election today. In an email to supporters, Paul Caprio, the head of the organization, noted that they "only endorsed candidates who have completed and IFI (Illinois Family Institute) candidate questionnaire," and candidates who "have an excellent record" on issues important to Family PAC.
According to Caprio, where there were two competing candidates who were both "good on social issues," they chose the candidate who had a "superior record on fiscal and reform Illinois issues including taxes."
Additional endorsements below:
By Warner Todd Huston in Brietbart.com -
Just as President Barack Obama’s deputy signed the unpopular Trans Pacific Partnership free-trade deal during an election year, Ford Motor Company has announced it will doubling production capacity at a Mexico factory, instead of enlarging U.S. factories.
The new factory will manufacture hybrid autos with gasoline and electric engines, whose development has been partly funded by U.S. taxpayers via federal research programs.
Dr. Ben Carson is Sheila Mullennix-Devall's pick among the 2016 GOP presidential candidates and her support for the good doctor is based on what he is not, she says in a post on her blog Diary of a Mad Conservative.
Ben Carson’s appeal lies in everything that he is NOT. He is not a politician. He is not a reality television star. He is not flashy, smooth, dramatic, charismatic, or shrewd. He is humble. He is strong. He is quiet. He is wise. He is a Man of God who cares little for the opinions of Men. He is the sort of President that was elected before the invention of the television.
Sheila defends Carson to his critics, who say things like ...
By Nancy Mathieson -
While the McHenry County Board had been arguing all fall about possible township consolidation, another local controversy was quietly settled. Valley Hi, a County-run nursing home had accumulated an astonishing $43 million cash balance, and the Board in November finally voted to cut the annual tax levy down to zero.
How did Valley Hi Nursing Home in only nine years accumulate $43 million, or over half the size of the County’s entire annual property tax revenues?
The original Valley Hi was built in the 1800’s at the site of a farm owned by McHenry County. According to Board member Mike Walkup, by the late 1990’s it had become decrepit and “looked like something out of a Steven King movie.” In 2002 voters were asked if they wanted to approve a special tax levy to “build and staff a County nursing home.” The vote passed by about 5,000 votes out of 75,000 votes cast.
President Barack Obama's speech in the Illinois House chamber at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday will not be open to the public, officials confirmed on Monday.
The only people allowed inside the chamber will be elected officials, people with credentials and invited guests, said Steve Brown, a spokesman for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.
Beginning at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday the Capitol building will be cleared of all personnel. The closure will last until about 10:15 a.m. Anyone entering the Capitol on Wednesday after the building reopens must be on a list that was previously submitted to the U.S. Secret Service.
NEW HAMPSHIRE - Saturday night during a three-hour discussion in New Hampshire, seven GOP presidential candidates compared ideas on numerous topics, including health care.
Three of the candidates answered a question posed by political pundit Mary Katherine Ham, who asked them how they would handle the nation's health care system.
Real estate billionaire Donald Trump said he was going to "repeal Obamacare," but didn't say what he would propose in its place. He blasted insurance companies and health care companies as "getting rich" off Obamacare. Senator Ted Cruz said he would repeal Obamacare and offered four ideas to begin dismantling the current system. Dr. Ben Carson proposed a health empowerment plan that would be assigned to each citizen at birth, and continue with them throughout their lives.
The discussion proceeded in this way (Full debate transcript available at The Washington Post):
By Mark Weyermuller -
Last Thursday night during the evening rush hour, several thousand members of the Chicago Teachers Union shut down multiple city streets with a huge march and rally. The teachers have rejected a contract proposal resulting in this show of union solidarity.
The Chicago Police reported 16 arrests, primarily at a Bank of America downtown branch. The people arrested had participated in a "sit in," refusing to leave, resulting in trespassing charges. The union is accusing the bank of overcharging and profiting from business with the school district.
SAN FRANCISCO - The National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL) commented on Twitter about several Super Bowl ads Sunday evening, but they found one especially offensive: the Doritos ad that NARAL said used an "antichoice tactic" of "humanizing fetuses." The Super Bowl 50 ad:
And NARAL's response:
An array of Tweets pushed back, reminding NARAL that fetuses in human moms are human.
SAN FRANCISCO - Neither Chicago Bears nor Green Bay Packers or even Minnesota Vikings played in Super Bowl 50, so Midwesterners picked their favorite team to win between the Denver Broncos to the west of us and the Carolina Panthers to the east. It was a classic matchup between the Broncos' veteran quarterback Peyton Manning and the new kid, Panthers' quarterback Cam Newton.
Experience and a powerful Bronco defense won the coveted ring in 2016, 24 to 10.
To start off the 50th Super Bowl, Lady Gaga - who lives some of the time in downtown Chicago - scored with a memorable and respectful rendition of the national anthem:
The governors in the Saturday night New Hampshire debate challenged the senators to point to their "accomplishments" in the Senate, whereas the governors touted their experience to "get things done." This is typical of big-government Republicans who look on Congress as a factory that produces laws and that in their view is the only thing that counts as an accomplishment. But often in Congress, your freedom is more often best protected by lawmakers who stop bad bills rather than pass them.
From Salvo -
According to a new survey from the Pew Research Center, parents aren't paying attention when it comes to their teens' social media activities.
Only 61% of the parents surveyed say they check the websites their teens visit, or look at their social media profiles. Only a little more than half of parents have "friended" their teens on Facebook, Twitter or other social media. Less than half look at their teens' text messages or know the password to their email accounts or cell phones.
Naomi Schaefer Riley, a senior fellow at the Independent Women's Forum, writes about this in an article for The New York Post.
Can you imagine parents 50 years ago saying that they never visit the places their kids go? Or that they've never met their friends' parents? Would any self-respecting mom have admitted to never going into her 13-year-old's room, or not knowing whether her kids had put up nude pictures of themselves in a public place, or letting strange adults send secret letters to her children? Of course not.
Keeping track of what teenagers are doing and viewing online is part of being a responsible modern parent, especially given the dangers of "sexting" and the harms of pornography.*
“The biggest challenge to fixing our broken tax code isn’t the policy. It isn’t the politics,” says House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas. “Our biggest challenge is that Americans have given up hope that we’ll ever do it. And that changes today.”
Is there a middle ground between the aggressive foreign policy of the Bush Administration and the passive and hesitant foreign policy of the Obama Administration? Yes, and New York City is a model. How so? Bret Stephens, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Wall Street Journal, explains how the NYPD's "broken windows" policy--swiftly and forcefully punishing even petty crimes--can be applied by the United States on a global scale.
The 2016 Index of Economic Freedom analyzes economic policy developments related to economic freedom in 186 economies. Economies rated “free” or “mostly free” enjoy incomes that are over twice the average levels in all other countries and more than four times higher than the incomes of “repressed” economies.
Nations with higher degrees of economic freedom prosper because they capitalize more fully on the ability of the free-market system to generate and reinforce dynamic growth through efficient resource allocation, value creation, and innovation.
By John F. Di Leo -
How would you react to the following news stories?
“Former Shoppers Fined $5,000 for No Longer Frequenting Nearby Mall”
Residents of Anytown, USA were surprised to receive invoices in the mail from their local county government Friday. The county identified people who used to shop in the local mall but, due to reports of muggings, rapes, and vehicle theft at the mall, switched to shopping at other, safer malls, or just doing it online. The thousand dollar a year fine was based on the estimated amount of revenue the mall says it lost due to their departure. Professional economists, when asked about the new approach, called it “creative” and “visionary.”
“Former Theatergoers Arrested for Switching from Cinema Attendance to DVD Purchases and Cable Watching”
The local movieplex, having raised its price by fifty cents a year for the past four years, persuaded the city council of Anytown, USA to punish the residents who used to attend the cinema but no longer do. The new $500/year “Economic Avoidance Penalty” is designed to dissuade people from the unhealthy choice to stay home. This new trend, usually blamed on the steep prices of tickets and drinks, costs the community important resources, by depressing the employment of ushers and cashiers, and by reducing critical sales tax revenue. Economists, when notified of this new charge for non-attendance at the cinema, laughing hysterically, unanimously said “Ha ha, that’s a good one,” before being notified that it was for real, and then correcting their comments to call it “creative” and “visionary.”
By Sean Morrison -
The Cook County Board of Commissioners has a proposed ordinance before it for consideration that will attempt to restrict the 2nd Amendment rights of all law-abiding citizens in Cook County. Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin of Chicago proposed an ordinance which calls for the “prohibitions on the sale of firearm to, and purchase of firearm by, a person not covered by appropriate liability insurance.”
What this means is that Cook County residents would not be able to purchase and own a firearm without first acquiring firearm liability insurance.
SPRINGFIELD - Illinois parents may not be aware, but since 2013, Illinois Department of Public Health rules have allowed school nurses and clinicians to give their 12 year old daughters the HPV vaccine without parental knowledge or consent.
All it takes for the child to be shot with Gardasil is for her to say she has been exposed to a sexually-transmitted infection - which, according to common criminal law, should immediately initiate a statutory rape investigation. In Illinois, such a concern simply grants permission for her to get the Gardasil vaccine.
Now the American College of Pediatricians (ACP) says that Merck and Co's human papillomavirus vaccine Gardasil may be showing a correlation to premature ovarian failure.
DIXON - Illinois' "Reagan Way" connects the 40th president's childhood stomping grounds, especially his birthplace in Tampico, one of his childhood towns of Dixon and his alma mater, Eureka College.
February 6th, 2016 marks 105 years since his birth.
ROLLING MEADOWS - Winner of the Iowa GOP Caucuses presidential candidate Ted Cruz will be keynoting the North Suburban GOP Lincoln Day Dinner Friday March 11th, four days before Illinois' March 15th primary.
Schaumburg Township Republican Committeeman Ryan Higgins confirmed to Illinois Review that the dinner will be in Rolling Meadows, and the details are being confirmed.
Last year, the dinner keynote was New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. The planners are expecting 1000 to attend. For more information, go to www.stgop.org.
By Frank J Biga III -
New Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has been quite busy theorizing lately. Viewed as the intellectual type by the Beltway pundits, Ryan gave the world his hypothesis for recent conservative failures when he stated: “My theory of the case is this: We win when we have an ideas contest. We lose when we have a personality contest.”
I don’t know about that, Ronald Reagan had a pretty nice personality. Even so, tell that to the blue collar worker in the Rust Belt who lost his job to the de-industrialization caused by “ideas” that he and his fellow travelers have given us the last 40 years. Paul Ryan, an ideas guy he is. But how conservative is Paul Ryan really? He’s pro-life and pro-gun and I’m sure he’d like lower taxes. But beyond that I sure don’t see it.
WASHINGTON - "If I'm elected president, the war on coal will end," GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz said in a radio interview this week with talk show host Wayne Dupree this week.
Those are words that coal miners in southern Illinois have longed to hear for years - especially with Barack Obama's unceasing, and nearly successful, effort to destroy the area's main good-paying job source.
"When it comes to coal, there is no industry the Obama Administration loathes more than coal. Indeed, President Obama, in a rare moment of candor at the beginning of his administration openly pledged that he intended to bankrupt every coal-fired plant in America, and I will say, he is doing everything he can to carry through on that campaign promise," Cruz told Dupree.
By Teri O'Brien -
Hillary also isn't a fan of separation of powers, apparently.
From The Hill:
NAPERVILLE – Governor Bruce Rauner today joined Lt. Governor Sanguinetti, legislative leaders and local elected officials to announce four bipartisan pieces of legislation to streamline local government delivering more control to local communities.
One Democrat - State Rep. Jack Franks (R-Marengo) - stood among Republican lawmakers, co-sponsoring two bills, indicating yet another issue wedge the Rauner Administration is working into the House Democrat caucus.
SPRINGFIELD - Illinois Democrats Andre Thapedi, Thaddeus Jones, Rita Mayfield and Arthur Turner want to declare August 4th as a state holiday to celebrate President Barack Obama's birthday. Obama, who was born in Hawaii, left his adopted home Chicago for the White House in 2009.
The four House members introduced the legislation this week in anticipation of President Obama's return to Springfield next week, and days before Illinois native Ronald Reagan's 105th birthday.
NEW HAMPSHIRE - In the waning days before the Iowa caucuses, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump was endorsed by former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, and later, Duck Dynasty's Willie Robertson - both celebrities - one from politics, the other from a popular reality show.
Friday, just days before the New Hampshire primary, Ohio Governor John Kasich is rolling out his celebrity supporters - talk show host Montel Williams, and actor and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzeneggar - aka "The Terminator."
HOUSTON - Undercover videographer David Daleiden appeared in a Houston court Thursday and was offered a probation deal, media sources say. Daleiden and a colleague are being charged with tampering with their state IDs as they set up an undercover journalistic effort to interview Planned Parenthood officials about selling baby body parts.
Peter Breen, Daleiden's special counsel from Chicago's Thomas More Society, said in defense that his client used standard journalistic techniques in the Planned Parenthood video investigation.
“The charges against David Daleiden are legally and factually baseless. David used standard undercover journalism techniques to catch Planned Parenthood staff agreeing to alter abortion procedures to get more intact organs and tissue from aborted babies, presumably without telling their patients," Breen told reporters in Houston Thursday.
CHICAGO - (INN) Chicago Public Schools must cut $100 million from next year's budget, says CPS Board President Forrest Claypool. Such a suggestion is an "act of war," Chicago Teacher Union President Karen Lewis said in response.
Another idea would be to return to the state the power to take over CPS, Governor Rauner said this week, and "I guarantee you we can get something done." Chicago Democrats say that won't happen.
Illinois News Network
CHICAGO - Illinois Democrat leaders condemned incumbent State Rep. Ken Dunkin (D-Chicago) Thursday and endorsed instead his challenger Juliana Stratton.
Secretary of State Jesse White said Dunkin - who received a $500,000 donation from Illinois Opportunity Project earlier this week - said Dunkin didn't represent his constituents. Dunkin's absence during a vote last spring successfully blocked House Speaker Mike Madigan's attempt to override Governor Rauner's veto, setting Dunkin up to be alienated by Madigan and his Democratic colleagues.
CRYSTAL LAKE - State Representative Mike Tryon (R-Crystal Lake) was recognized this week by the Illinois Technology & Manufacturing Association (TMA) for pro-manufacturing and pro-business votes he took in the House of Representatives in 2015, and he's proud of it.
“Today Illinois is known as a very business-unfriendly state, and as a result, businesses are leaving Illinois and taking their jobs with them,” said Tryon. “With the loss of almost 20,000 manufacturing jobs over the last 18 months alone, I will continue to vote at every opportunity to strengthen Illinois’ job creation efforts.”
WASHINGTON - A new study put out by Gallup shows that for the first time in their tracking history, red states outnumber blue, with 20 states solidly or leaning Republican and 14 states solidly or leaning Democrat.
Illinois is listed among the 14 "solidly Democrat" blue states - the only one in the Midwest - with a number that has dramatically dropped since 2008, when 35 states were in the Democrat category and five Republican.
But the study also shows political tension in blue Illinois, with more self-identified conservatives than liberals.
By Mark Weyermuller -
The Chicago area participated in the Iowa Caucus last Monday night by having a Ted Cruz Watch Party. It was held at the Diplomat West Banquet Hall in Elmhurst, Illinois.
An enthusiastic crowd watched a big screen television and cheered each time Cruz was shown in the lead, which was most of the evening. The party was attended by Cook County Review Commissioner Dan Patlak, Jill Dolan from the Republican Women of Park Ridge, Blair Garber from the IL GOP State Central Committee, and Bradley Wulfsohn from the North Shore Tea Party. There was also a large contingent from Walsh Freedom, a grass roots group associated with radio host Joe Walsh. Many people stopped in throughout the evening.
By Nancy Thorner -
ComEd is investing $1 billion across its system to replace traditional analog meters with digital meters, which are said to be able to help lower bills and provide other benefits. The change is publicized as part of an ongoing $2.6 billion system upgrade to improve reliability. To date, ComEd has installed nearly 1.9 million Smart Meters and plans to have installed about four million Smart Meters on all homes and business in its territory by the end of 2018.
Although the installation of Smart Meters by ComEd has already been completed in some areas of Illinois - despite protests from concerned citizens - a recent news account alerted Lake County residents that they have been targeted next for Smart Meter installation.
It is a strange perspective for any politician to have. "I retired from office eight years ago, but how come I cannot win the same high office in 2016 that my father won in 1988 and older brother won in 2000?"
Only once before the Bush family did any family have both a father and son serve as President as John Adams and John Quincy Adams did in the early days of the Republic. Benjamin Harrison was the grandson of who became president 50 years after William Henry Harrison and that also was very unusual.
SPRINGFIELD (INN) — Gov. Bruce Rauner on Tuesday urged a streamlining of procurement, or the way the state buys goods and services, saying it could save the state $500 million annually.
Rauner, R-Winnetka, and Republican lawmakers say reforms to the procurement system would speed the process, save money and get the state and its taxpayers better results.
Illinois has four chief procurement officers as well as a Policy Procurement Board, the governor said.
“We’ve got everybody involved,” Rauner said. “it’s a convoluted process where nobody’s in charge.”
SPRINGFIELD - Two objections to U.S. Senator Ted Cruz being on Illinois' March 15th Republican primary ballot were quietly tossed out Monday while the rest of the world was focused on Iowa and their primary caucuses.
Two Illinois citizens argued that because Senator Cruz was born in Canada, he was not a "natural born" citizen, as candidates for the presidency are required to be by the U.S. Constitution.
The State Board of Elections ruled Monday that although Cruz was born in Calgary Canada, his mother was a U.S. citizen living in Canada at the time of his birth. Therefore, Cruz is a "natural born" citizen because being born - even outside the U.S. borders - to a U.S. citizen did not require him having to go through the naturalization process to be considered a legal American citizen.
One objector - Lawrence Joyce of Poplar Grove, IL - represented himself in the hearing, and the Cruz campaign's points were argued by Murphysboro attorney Sharee Langenstein.