Midterm elections in the United States and Taiwan changed the political and legislative configuration in both countries. What impact will these have on U.S.-Taiwan relations as both countries head into Presidential elections in 2016.
Midterm elections in the United States and Taiwan changed the political and legislative configuration in both countries. What impact will these have on U.S.-Taiwan relations as both countries head into Presidential elections in 2016.
A hit-and-run accident escalated into a road rage incident between two drivers in Chicago earlier this month. After one driver kicked the second driver's car several times, the second driver began ramming his vehicle into the first car.
CHICAGO - The Chicago Teacher's Union supports Chuy Garcia over Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Saturday, teachers were out early voting for the challenger.
By Jill Stanek -
When word came down the night of January 21 that House GOP leaders were reneging on their promise to hold a vote on the 20-week abortion ban the next day – the haunting 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v Wade decision – [WARNING: vulgarity alert], I was pissed off to the height of pisstivity. Sorry, that’s the most accurate way I can describe it.
How could GOP leaders have been so careless, cavalier, and apathetic as to let this lowest hanging fruit of a pro-life bill get away from them? How could they have been so cajoneless as to abandon the 20-week ban at the first sign of trouble? And just how low was their respect for the pro-life movement that they would dare to insult us on such a colossal scale?
And then to go silent about the ban for two full months following that debacle?
I’m boiling over again even as I type.
UPDATE: Schilling threw his support behind State Senator Darin LaHood at a Peoria press conference Saturday morning.
"Darin LaHood is a principled conservative, a man of great character, and a true statesman. There is no doubt in my mind he will be an excellent representative in Congress for central Illinois," Schilling said. "Darin understands the challenges we face as a nation. As a State Senator, Darin worked to rebuild the middle class and promote policies to strengthen our economy and improve the lives of all Illinoisans.
"Darin will put the dignity of the human person at the center of his agenda in Washington. From protecting the innocent unborn to promoting working families, Darin will always do the right thing.
PEORIA - Saturday, former Congressman Bobby Schilling will answer questions as to whether he'll throw his hat in the special election bid to succeed the 18th CD's resigning Congressman Aaron Schock.
CHICAGO - "Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras" will walk with Rahm Emanuel challenger Chuy Garcia Saturday to promote Garcia in South Shore Neighborhood. Garcia pledged to end Chicago's Red Light Camera program if he is elected mayor April 7th.
The meetup time for the demonstration is 11:00am at the Jeffrey Plaza parking lot, 71st and Jeffrey in Chicago's South shore Neighborhood.
Polling shows Garcia running 10 to 15 points behind incumbent Mayor Emanuel.
WASHINGTON - Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid announced via video Friday morning that he will not seek re-election in 2016, and stamped approval for Senator Charles Schumer to succeed him rather than Minority Leader Dick Durbin.
"I think Schumer should be able to succeed me," Reid said in an interview with the Washington Post.
Reid predicted that Schumer, the No. 3 Senate Democrat in leadership and a close friend, would win the Democratic leader post without opposition. He said that the other likely contender, Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), would stand down for Schumer, WaPo says.
"We have to make sure Democrats take over the Senate again," Reid said in the video.
By Jasmine Hauser and Mark Weyermuller -
The Ricketts Family bought the Chicago Cubs October 27, 2009 from the Chicago Tribune. As board chairman of the Chicago Cubs, Tom Ricketts keeps his politics close to the vest. The rest of the family is quite different.
His father, Joe Ricketts, is the founder and former CEO of TD Ameritrade, but often is known for his Super Pac called Ending Spending, Inc., a 501(c)4 organization which supports Republican candidates. The group's director is Tom's brother Todd Ricketts.
Not to be outdone in conservative politics, brother Pete Ricketts was just elected Governor of Nebraska as a Republican. Their sister, Laura Ricketts, is on the other end of the spectrum as a large Barack Obama supporter and fundraiser.
By Teri O'Brien -
No doubt when he got on Germanwings Flight 9295 on Monday, March 22, 2015, soon-to-be mass murderer, co-pilot and former flight attendant Andreas Lubitz appeared perfectly normal. He was probably friendly and polite, greeting his co-workers and passengers, never letting on that within an hour of takeoff, everyone on that flight would be dead, after the plane slammed into the side of a mountain.
Mr. Lubitz boarded that flight with what prosecutors say with an "intent to destroy," something that he concealed from his victims until it was too late. In a similar fashion, Barack Obama deceived an unsuspecting public about his long-held plans for payback for the country that he had learned from childhood was irredeemably racist, imperialistic and fatally flawed since its founding, the United States of America.
Founder of OpenTheBooks.com Adam Andrzejewski describes The Chicago Way - a city that pioneered corrupt practices. In 2010, Rahm Emanuel pledged to clean up city hall and end pay-to-play culture. How did he do? Not too well. Greed is still compromising ethics. Pay-to-play is still legal in the city. Chicago is like an old fisherman, it continues to stink.
BENTON, IL - Questions are being raised about whether a retired federal judge can serve as a member of the Southern Illinois University's (SIU) board of trustees.
Judge Phil Gilberts, 66, who retired from his federal judgeship in March 2014 and was nominated by Gov. Rauner to serve as a trustee of SIU, says there's no problem serving on the board while continuing to hear federal cases and receiving an annuity equal to an active federal judge's salary.
"I continue to work here in this district to help with the case load, but I'm not sure people understand that I'm working for free," the judge said Thursday.
However, while hearing cases, the judge receives an annuity that is equal to full pay.
Therein lies the rub. The Southern Illinois University Board of Trustee's charter says in Section 4 that anyone employed by the state or federal government is banned from serving on the board.
"I expected some questions on this," Gilbert told Illinois Review.
AURORA - An Illinois National Guardsman was arrested Wednesday at Midway Airport by members of the Chicago FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force while attempting to fly to Cairo, Egypt, the U.S. Attorney’s office said Thursday.
The Guardsman's cousin, who was planning an attack on an Illinois military base, was also arrested in Aurora.
Army National Guard Specialist Hasan Edmonds, 22, planned to fight with ISIL in Syria or Iraq, while his cousin Jonas Edmonds, 29, “planned to carry out an act of terrorism in the United States after Hasan Edmonds departed."
“I am already in the american kafir army (back when I was still in this dunyah13 and not muslim) and now I wish only to serve in the army of Allah alongside my true brothers,” Hasan Edmonds wrote, according to a criminal complaint. “I joined the united states army national guard about 3 years ago. I still currently have 3 years left that I have no intention what so ever of fulfilling."
SPRINGFIELD - State Rep John Cavaletto (R- Salem) and several Downstate House members showed their support for Weston McGhee of Salem, an area athlete that is fighting for his life after a tragic automobile accident in a dense fog.
"Weston is known for wearing his ‘Superman’ t-shirt under his athletic gear for good luck," Cavaletto said on his Facebook page. #WestonStrong prayers for Weston and his family, from State Rep CD Davidsmeyer, Adam Brown, Avery Bourne, Terri Courtney Bryant, Charlie Meier State Representative 108th District, Brandon W. Phelps and State Rep. David Reis.
WASHINGTON DC - Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) made his last floor speech Thursday afternoon. He resigned last week effective March 31, 2015, after questions were raised by the media about his spending of taxpayer dollars and campaign donations.
"I leave here with sadness and humility," Schock said. "For those whom I've let down, I will work tirelessly to make it up to you. I know that God has a plan for my life. The good book says tells us that 'before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.''"
Schock faces Department of Justice and FBI investigations.
“...for those I let down, I will work tirelessly to make it up to you.” Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) farewell address.Posted by C-SPAN on Thursday, March 26, 2015
SPRINGFIELD - With the help of more Republicans than Democrats, the Illinois General Assembly passed legislation Thursday to fulfill the $1.5 billion shortfall from last year's budget. All Republicans voted "YES" and the rest of the needed votes were obtained from Democrats. Governor Rauner said in a statement he plans to sign the budget solution he proposed.
$1.3 billion would be swept from special funds designated for road construction and fire prevention. An additional $300 million would come cutting spending by 2.25 percent in most other areas of state government. Schools will lose an estimated $150 million over the next three months.
I try my best to avoid stupid food fights among fellow conservatives. But when someone slanders a good friend of 30 years I have to offer some personal testimony in his defense. I am referring to the smear campaign by Glenn Beck against conservative leader Grover Norquist.
I have been active in conservative organizations for 50 years and I never heard of radio talk-show host Glenn Beck before he started to speak to Tea Party events in 2009, when one of his advance people asked me for my help to invite some Medal of Honor winners to a rally in Seattle and I helped. If Mr. Beck had been active in conservative circles before 2009, I would have heard of him or even met him.
WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-NY), two co-chairs of the House Republican Israel Caucus, joined with other House colleagues in sending a letter to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs urging the panel to cut funding for further U.S. involvement in P5+1 negotiations with Iran in its Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 appropriations bill.
In their letter, the lawmakers wrote:
Over the past year, these negotiations have failed to bring us closer to a final agreement that would ensure Iran never acquires a nuclear weapons capability. The Administration has already conceded—in contradiction of six United Nations Security Council resolutions—that Iran can maintain a “peaceful” nuclear enrichment program. There is no such thing as a “peaceful” Iranian nuclear program. Meanwhile, Iran’s economy is already rebounding from billions of dollars in desperately-needed sanctions relief provided by the U.S. under the interim agreement.
The letter goes on to say:
MONTGOMERY AL - Former Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr was released Thursday, after 17 months in Montgomery Alabama's federal minimum security prison, to serve the rest of his 30-month sentence in a Washington DC halfway house.
The 50-year-old Democrat pleaded guilty in Nov. 2013 to using some $750,000 from his campaign on luxury items for personal use.
WASHINGTON DC - Republicans in the U.S. House passed a budget bill Wednesday that would set into motion a repeal of the controversial Affordable Health Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
While 17 Republicans opposed the measure, all Illinois' Republican caucus voted for it, while the state's Democrat bloc against it. The bill will now progress to the U.S. Senate, where Republicans have a slight majority.
“One of Congress’ basic duties is to put forth and pass a framework for allocating taxpayer dollars. Today’s budget proposals that focus on American prosperity and building opportunity for everyone provide a stark contrast to President Obama’s plan that never balances and perpetuates Washington’s overzealous spending culture," Congressman Randy Hultgren said Wednesday night.
s"H. Con Res. 27 provides the starting point to what I hope will be serious negotiations between Congress and the Administration to get our spending under control, start to pay down our growing national debt, provide for our national defense, and make good on our commitments. Congress has been clear that a serious budget proposal would respect the simple idea all family budgets adhere to: you can't spend more than you take in. Our prosperity and that of the next generation relies on that principle. These proposals are the first step toward that goal.”
The 228-119 vote included supporters Mike Bost, Rodney Davis, Bob Dold, Randy Hultgren, Adam Kinzinger, Peter Roskam, Aaron Schock and John Shimkus. Opponents from Illinois included Cheri Bustos, Danny Davis, Tammy Duckworth, Bill Foster, Luis Gutierrez, Robin Kelly, Bill Lipinski, Mike Quigley, Bobby Rush and Jan Schakowsky.
WASHINGTON DC - Wednesday, U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) called for his colleagues to support his amendment holding the Iranian government responsible if it doesn't abide by the stipulations on nuclear agreements with the United States.
Kirk Amendment #545 to the Senate budget resolution, S. Con. Res. 11, would affirm re-imposing waived sanctions and imposing new sanctions if Iran cheats on the interim nuclear deal or a final nuclear deal.
GRANITE CITY - U.S. Steel announced Wednesday it plans to temporarily close the Granite City Works plant, laying off 2080 workers. Madison County Chairman Alan Dustan said the company's layoffs would be "devastating" and would affect thousands of workers beyond U.S. Steel.
Dunstan told the St. Louis Business Journal that he and other Madison County officials will do whatever is possible to ensure the plant’s closing "is temporary and not a permanent closure.”
WASHINGTON DC - A Democrat-linked national group is alerting Illinois media that former Congressman Joe Walsh may be interested in challenging U.S. Senator Mark Kirk in 2016.
"Joe Walsh just refuses to fade into obscurity, telling WROK Radio that he is considering a Senate primary against Senator Mark Kirk," American Bridge said in an email to media. "His challenge will likely have Kirk running to the right to shore up his conservative bona fides as Walsh touts his Tea Party platform."
And well, yes, American Bridge is right - Walsh - now a popular talk show host - is seriously thinking about a bid against Kirk.
BLOOMINGTON, IL - While State Senator Bill Brady may have taken a pass on running to replace Congressman Aaron Schock, the Brady clan is not out of the race just yet. Senator Brady's younger brother Ed has announced that he's seriously considering a challenge to Darin LaHood in a special election to succeed Schock.
"Washington needs someone with common-sense business experience, with conservative values and with practical experience working with issues that impact our district," said Brady. "We need pro-business legislation and less government regulation to help create jobs, stabilize employment and improve our economy in Illinois and the 18th District."
Brady said he assessing the race and reaching out "throughout the district." He said he won't make a final decision until Governor Rauner announces the timeline for the special primary and general election. Once that's done, he, along with his wife, family and political allies will decide whether running is the right thing for him to do.
Illinois Review requested a bio on Ed Brady. The budding campaign had none to distribute at this time. IR was able to find the following: HERE
By Jim Sisneski -
There probably aren’t many markets in today’s economy that are as open as the buying and selling of tickets to sporting events, concerts and other major gatherings on the secondary market.
The ticket business is huge, and getting bigger, which is why ticket sellers such as Ticketmaster, and the artists, sports teams and venues they work with, want to control more of the marketplace.
It’s also why the major players in the ticketing industry have managed to introduce legislation in several states that would restrict the free market and limit what you can do with your tickets after you buy them.
To these players, they consider the tickets we buy as their property.
To you, the ticket you bought is yours to do what you want. You might want sell it to a neighbor or give it to a friend as a gift. You might want to donate it for a fundraiser.
But the ticket monopolists don’t want you to have those options, because if you sell a ticket outside of their system, that’s money that doesn’t go in their pockets.
The effort to undermine the free market almost made it to Illinois last year when a bill, introduced by Rep. Stephanie Kifowit (D-Aurora), was proposed that would have introduced price controls under the guise of “protecting consumers.” Fortunately, the bill didn’t get out of committee.
This year, Rep. Kifowit has introduced legislation that doesn’t undermine the free market; instead, HB 3103 seeks to ensure fans buying tickets to concerts, shows and sporting events have the information they need to make informed decisions.
WASHINGTON DC (Politico) - Rep. Aaron Schock’s longtime fundraiser - Lisa Wagner - sent an email to the Illinois Republican’s donors, saying she feels “sad, angry, cheated” and filled with “total disgust, disbelief and disappointment” at the congressman’s alleged misspending of taxpayer and campaign dollars.
“You personally and generously supported Aaron in the past and were very kind to him,” Wagner wrote in an email, obtained by POLITICO. “He deceived us all.”
SPRINGFIELD, IL - Illinois could take steps towards becoming a state where illegal immigrants will find protection from federal immigration detainers, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
SB 22, sponsored by Senate President John Cullerton, as well as Democrat state senators Antonio Munoz, Kwame Raoul and Heather Steans will be heard Wednesday in Executive Committee.
Cullerton legislation creates the Illinois TRUST Act, which provides there being no legal authority under which the federal government may compel an expenditure of State or local law enforcement agency resources to comply with an immigration detainer or administrative warrant, no law enforcement agency may detain or continue to detain any individual on the basis of any immigration detainer or administrative warrant, or otherwise comply with an immigration detainer or administrative warrant.
It provides that no law enforcement official shall stop, arrest, search, detain, or continue to detain a person based solely on that person's citizenship or immigration status or an administrative warrant entered into the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Crime Information Center database, or any successor or similar database maintained by the United States.
"No law enforcement agency shall enter into an agreement under federal law that permits State or local governmental entities to enforce federal civil immigration laws," the legislation synopsis says.
The Illinois Chiefs of Police, Illinois State Police and Sheriff's Association are opposed to the bill.
Citizen Action Illinois, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Chicago, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, National Immigrant Justice Center, Majors Latina en Acclon and Heartland Alliance have signed in as SB 22 proponents for Wednesday's committee hearing.
By Ulysses Arn -
Tuesday night following the monthly LaSalle county Tea Party meeting I asked former congressman and AM 560 The Answer host Joe Walsh about the prospect of former congressman Bobby Schilling challenging Sen. Darin LaHood for the House seat being vacated by the resignation of Aaron Schock.
Walsh said Schilling should run.
By Nancy Thorner & Bonnie O'Neil -
David L. Goetsch in his book, "Liberal Tyranny in Higher Education", sees multiculturalism as the leftist code for a worldview that seeks the destruction of Christianity and traditional American values. Although everyone and everything is supposed to be equal, universal equality is preached but not actually believed. Multicultural elitists not only reject the values of those who pay their salaries, they do everything in their power to subvert their values. Elitists in academia go beyond just advocating multiculturalism, they worship at the altar of this misguided, socially cancerous worldview.
Professor Williams explained this multicultural hypocrisy in a recent column entitled "Multiculturalism, a cancer on Western society”:
WASHINGTON, DC—Wednesday, Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) announced a broad coalition of support from key advocacy organizations for his Fair Treatment for All Gifts Act (H.R. 1104), which would permanently ensure that donations to 501(c)4, (c)5, and (c)6 organizations are not subject to the gift tax.
Federal law mandates that gifts in excess of $14,000 are subject to the gift tax, but donations to nonprofit organizations have always been considered tax-free. However, in recent years the IRS has threatened to apply the gift tax to these contributions as part of its broader effort to target conservative organizations for enhanced scrutiny and unfair treatment. Chairman Roskam’s legislation will prevent the IRS from exploiting the gift tax as yet another tool to target and silence those whose political beliefs do not align with its own.
“Americans who donate to tax-exempt organizations should always be treated fairly and equally by the IRS—an agency with an infamous track record of targeting individuals for their religious and political beliefs," Roskam said in a statement.
Five years following enactment of the Affordable Care Act, the Congressional Budget Office now states that the total fiscal effects of the legislation can no longer be determined. Nonetheless, its major provisions are still in the early stages of being enforced, while millions of Americans face higher premiums, deductibles, and increased tax burdens. Moreover, millions of Americans have already had their health insurance cancelled, and employer-based coverage is declining. Congress’s “deficit fixation” drove the law’s development and distracted Members from the right budgetary concern: how much the law would spend.
The certainty of the Affordable Care Act’s massive spending combined with the uncertainty of revenues from politically unpopular taxes and unlikely Medicare cost savings is a virtual guarantee of future deficits. In short, the law’s reckless overreach threatens to hasten the deterioration of Washington’s fiscal condition.
LOS ANGELES, CA - At a Spanish-only event at the University of Southern California, Congressman Luis Gutiérrez was shouted and booed off the stage.
SPRINGFIELD, IL - The Illinois Jaycees will be honoring eight Illinoisans under 40 in May, and a name familiar to Republicans in the northwest suburbs - Collin Corbett of Palatine - is among the group's 2015 Outstanding Young Persons being recognized at the Jaycee's 50th Anniversary awards dinner.
"Collin started Cor Strategies, a political solutions and advisory firm which has consulted on over 250 campaigns and assists private sector and civic organizations with a variety of government affair issues," the Jaycees' event program says. "Collin also formed a non-profit organization, NxtGen Illinois which helps find and train young and inexperienced potential candidates to run for political office so more young people would become engaged in government service."
Corbett, whose consulting business has won numerous political campaigns in Chicago's northwest suburbs over the past few years, responded to the news of his award.
“When one sets out to make the world a better place, he doesn't do it for recognition,” said Corbett. “I'm so thankful to the Jaycees for this award, but even more so for providing young people an opportunity to be part of something bigger than themselves and realize that ’service to humanity is the best work of life.’"
DAVENPORT - Former Congressman Bobby Schilling hasn't closed the door on a bid to succeed resigning Congressman Aaron Schock, Roll Call is reporting.
The speculation may not be so far fetched, as Schilling's 2014 campaign manager Steven Shearer formerly served as Schock's chief of staff and is familiar with the kingmakers in both the 17th and 18th CDs. However, reports are that two GOP powerhouses - 18th CD's former Congressman Ray LaHood and Illinois Governor Rauner - are pushing for State Senator Darin LaHood to fill Schock's seat.
A candidate should be 35 and a natural born resident of the U.S. But before Sen. Barack Obama in 2008, freshmen members of the U.S. Senate with less than one full term of service were usually not considered to have sufficient experience needed to be the Chief Executive. Before Jimmy Carter, a governor with only one term in office in a small state was not normally in the front rank of presidential candidates for the same reason. When Sen. Harry Truman (D-Mo.) was nominated for Vice President with FDR in 1944, Truman already had ten years in the Senate. When John F. Kennedy won his party nomination in 1960, he had already served 13 years in both the House and Senate. Ronald Reagan had served 8 years as governor of one of the largest states. George W. Bush had more than one full term as governor of a large state.
WASHINGTON - Illinois ranks as the 12th weakest state among the nation's 43 with charter school regulations, the Center for Education Reform in a new "Charter School Laws Across the States" report released Monday.
The group gave Illinois a "C" on their 16th annual report card.
"Illinois’ charter school law is weak because only local boards can authorize charter schools, with now a binding appeal to a semi- independent Charter Commission," report authors Alison Consoletti Zgainer and Kara Kerwin wrote.
"Very few charters operate outside of Chicago, and the teachers unions are very strong, making charter law improvements difficult. Students at charter schools receive about 75 percent of their per-pupil public funding, and there is also a cap on the number of schools that can be approved throughout the state," they stated.
CHICAGO - Three Illinois state workers filed suit Monday in federal court objecting to being forced to pay "fair share" dues to a union against their will in order to keep their jobs.
“The First Amendment guarantees everyone the right to choose whose speech they support and what groups they associate with. State workers shouldn’t have to sacrifice that right just to keep their jobs,” said Jacob Huebert, senior attorney at the Liberty Justice Center, who is representing the state employees.
“No one should be forced to pay money to a government union to keep his or her job. In filing this motion, these state workers are asking the court to protect their fundamental First Amendment rights and the rights of all state workers,” Huebert said in a statement released Monday.
CARY, IL - Within days of former Governor Pat Quinn's 2014 loss to Republican Bruce Rauner, Quinn authorized a $10 million check to Linespace Chicago Film Studios fir a state grant to buy industrial land around its West Side campus, where “Chicago Fire” and other TV shows and movies are produced.
The Chicago Sun Times reported Monday that the check’s been cashed. "But the studio has yet to buy any land, and the owners of six properties listed in the studio’s grant application say they have no plans to sell to Cinespace or anyone else," the story says.
The grant application came on Nov. 13, 2014, just nine days after Governor Quinn lost his bid for reelection, and was approved on Dec. 1, 2014 despite the fact that the grant application contained no appraisals for the value of the land the film company was hoping to purchase.
State Representative David McSweeney wants an investigation into exactly what happened he said Monday.
CHICAGO, IL - Ogden & Fry conducted two polls for the Chicago Mayoral runoff contest. A 1-question poll with 877 respondents was run on Friday, March 20, 2015 without “undecided” as an option. The usual weekly 1-question poll was conducted on Saturday, March 21, 2015 with 951 respondents.
Respondents were selected by random sampling of likely voters.
Emanuel’s heavily criticized attack ads continue to have an impact on the race. Emanuel has used his financial advantage to define Garcia, using his own words, as someone who would have made the same decisions as Emanuel on budget cuts; especially the school closings. Emanuel’s use of money is a good example of why the politician with the most money frequently wins.
Turnout and the under-polling Hispanic vote are two factors to still consider also.
See the entire poll HERE
Lincoln was a congress member at the time but not the only one charging too much for travel
From Smithsonian.com -
In October 1847, Abraham Lincoln, a new member of the U.S. House of Representatives, left his Illinois house to attend the meeting of the 30th Congress in Washington, D.C. He and his wife traveled by stagecoach and rail and apparently make a stopover in Lexington, Ky., to visit the Todds. It was perhaps that side trip that earned Lincoln a spot on a well-known journalist’s list of Congress members who charged an excessive amount for their travel reimbursement.
For ProPublica, Scott Klein delves into a stellar example of 19th century investigative journalism, where legislators were admonished for charging more than they should have for their travel. Apparently, travel reimbursement was a target for reform at the time. The story ran in 1848 in the New York Tribune and pleads, "Wherefore, we entreat you, men in Congress! to reform the Mileage at this present Session!"
By Jesus Alaniz -
In 1817 President James Madison wrote “The people of the U. S. owe their Independence & their liberty, to the wisdom of descrying in the minute tax of 3 pence on tea, the magnitude of the evil comprised in the precedent. Let them exert the same wisdom, in watching against every evil lurking under plausible disguises, and growing up from small beginnings.” Obsta principiis (Withstand beginnings; resist the first approaches or encroachments).
Illinois State Rep. Mary E. Flowers (D) proposes HB0106, Financial Transaction Tax ($60 Billion Taxes/5 Years), Illinois State Rep. Michael Madigan (D), proposes HJRCA0026 Millionaires Tax ($5 Billion Taxes/5 Years), Illinois State Rep. Representative Robyn Gabel (D) proposes HB2667 Sweet Beverage Tax ($3 Billion Taxes/5 Years), Illinois State Rep. Arthur Turner (D) proposes a $550 Million/5 Years Satellite TV Tax, and Illinois State Sen. Don Harmon (D) has proposed SJRCA 0001 Progressive Income Tax ($34.5 Billion/5 Years).
Republican voters don’t start salivating just yet. Illinois State Sen. Chapin Rose (R) has proposed SB1661 - a Fireworks Tax ($50 Million Taxes/5 Years) for a total $103.1 Billion in new taxes over the next 5 years and on top of the doubled tollway taxes, increased driver’s license and license plate fees.
SPRINGFIELD, IL - After a contentious hearing, Representative Peter Breen advanced his first two bills out of the House Judiciary-Civil Committee this week. Breen will seek to move at least one more bill next week, prior to the committee deadline for the Spring session.
“These bills are part of my overall agenda to empower taxpayers and promote personal freedom, while curbing clearly abusive business practices,” said Breen. “I’m proud to work for bipartisan support to advance that agenda. While it’s not easy to advance bills when you’re in the minority party, working across the aisle is the only way to bring about the reforms that are vitally necessary to turn around Illinois.”
By Warner Todd Huston -
There is a new campaign afoot that is tickling the interests of the mainstream media. It is an effort to kick President Andrew Jackson off the $20 bill and replace him with a woman. Sadly at least three of the candidates do not belong on the list. One is a famous hater of men, another can only be termed a mass murderer, and the third was an important supporter of the genocide of African Americans. How is it these three women deserve to be celebrated on the $20 bill is anyone’s guess.
The campaign called Women On The 20, is, the group says on its website, is an effort to “compel historic change by convincing President Obama that NOW is the time to put a woman’s face on our paper currency.”
The group hopes to have the change on the money made by the year 2020, which happens to be the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, the one that gave women the right to vote.
One of the ways that proponents of the new face on the 20 hopes to achieve their goal is to have Americans sign a petition that would “force” Obama to take notice and make a decision on the proposal.
The group has also proffered a list of 15 candidates from which website visitors may chose their top three. The list of candidates, though is in many cases little else but a cavalcade of leftists some of whom celebrated things that should disqualify them as the sort of Americans whom people should respect.
Here is the full list:
On June 1, 2015, Section 215 and two other critical authorities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) expire, unless Congress reauthorizes them.
Section 215 of FISA, the provision under which the bulk telephony metadata program is authorized, first came to national attention after former government contractor Edward Snowden illegally disclosed hundreds of thousands of highly classified documents from the government and gave some to The Washington Post and The Guardian newspapers. Those leaks resulted in a national and international debate about the legality of the telephone metadata program and privacy.
Caught flatfooted by the Snowden leaks, the Obama Administration declassified lots of surveillance information under the FISA, scaled back collection, adopted some interim reforms, and sought the recommendations of two outside groups, the President’s Review Group and the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB). The House and Senate have debated and voted on 215 reform bills, but none became law
America’s Fiscal Constitution tells the remarkable story of fiscal heroes who imposed clear limits on the use of federal debt. Those national leaders relied on well-defined budget practices to balance federal spending and revenues.
That traditional fiscal constitution collapsed in 2001. For the first time in history, federal elected officials cut taxes during war, funded permanent new programs entirely with debt, grew dependent on foreign creditors, and claimed that the economy could not thrive without routine federal borrowing.
By Travis Akin -
Illinois residents are no stranger to the proliferation and exploitation of asbestos litigation. After all, about 25 percent of the nation’s asbestos litigation is filed in one Illinois County – Madison County.
Earlier this month, there were 209 asbestos cases to go to trial in Madison County and yet only four plaintiffs, or 2 percent, of the total number of plaintiffs are from Madison County.
Asbestos litigation continues to be a big reason why Madison County is ranked the fifth-worst “Judicial Hellhole” in the country. According to the 2015 “Judicial Hellholes” report from the American Tort Reform Foundation, “roughly 90 percent of plaintiffs who file in Madison County come from outside Illinois. They drag with them scores of defendants they name in each lawsuit, hoping enough of those defendants will settle out of court and thus help sustain the lawsuit industry’s asbestos business model.”
By State Sen. Jason Barickman -
SPRINGFIELD, IL - Every year, gun owners from around the state come to the Capitol as part of Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day, or IGOLD. Their effort was originally started to help push for the passage of concealed carry in Illinois. Two years ago, we were able to make that goal a reality. These gun owners still have concerns, however, so they have continued their annual rally to make sure their voices are still being heard.
This type of citizen activism can have a major impact at the Capitol, by putting names and faces to a cause. I have spent much of the last few years working toward education reform, in the hopes of improving our state’s dismal record of funding schools. Currently, I am working to help pass legislation from the Vision 20/20 alliance, a group of school officials. This proposal would create real reform through an evidence-based funding model, which ties funding to actual goals and costs.