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WASHINGTON DC - Just hours before a crucial vote on the Keystone XL Pipeline failed in the U.S. Senate, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka urged the new Republican-controlled Congress and the White House to get together and approve the long-delayed project.
"There are a number of economic issues and job issues that we want them to get done. That happens to be one of them. So the answer is 'yes.' We want to get every jobs issue that we can out and as many jobs created as we can to get the economy going," Trumka told reporters after the election.
Earlier in the year, the AFL-CIO issued a statement saying the Keystone XL project was more than a pipeline. "It's a lifeline," they said.
Despite the AFL-CIO and other unions urging to move forward, Illinois' U.S. Senator Dick Durbin voted to stop the program's progress. Durbin's vote irked Decatur union member Michael McBride, who wrote to the Herald-Review that Durbin's vote was a "slap in the face."
WASHINGTON DC - Illinois U.S. Senator Mark Kirk, who has been an ardent supporter of immigration reform, criticized both the President and his own Republican party following Obama's executive amnesty last night.
Kirk told The Hill that he thought Obama's move was mistaken in that it “hook[ed] all the rights and privileges of millions of would-be Americans to an executive order which could be changed at any time by any president.” However, he excused the President's action; blaming Republicans for stalling immigration reform in the U.S. House of Representatives.
WASHINGTON DC – U.S. Reps. Peter Roskam (R-IL-6), Rodney Davis (R-IL-13), Randy Hultgren (R-IL-14), John Shimkus (R-IL-15), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL-16), and Aaron Schock (R-IL-18) today released the following statement reacting to President Obama’s announcement that he will be using an executive order to bypass Congress and grant amnesty to millions of undocumented immigrants.
“President Obama’s plan to ignore the Constitution and circumvent Congress is a lawless move that will ultimately do much more harm than good. We believe Congress should take the lead on immigration reform, securing our borders, improving the visa system and addressing the many layers of our broken system. This temporary measure will only spark chaos and create major problems both now and in the future. In fact, President Obama himself has said many times that an executive action of this magnitude would be unlawful. By blatantly bypassing Congress to execute this illegal executive order, the president is neglecting the interest of the American people, diminishing our national security, undermining the rule of law, and setting back efforts to permanently and meaningfully fix what's broken in the immigration system."
By Teri O'Brien -
As Barack Hussein Obama prepares to deliver the coups de grace to racist Amerika, his lawless unilateral amnesty for at least 5 million illegal aliens, realizing the payback dream that he has been nurturing since he was knee-high to his communist mentor Frank Marshall Davis, it's interesting to reflect on the brilliance of the Founders. Barack and his Marxist friends despise these DWEM's (Dead White European Men), and the Constitution that they bestowed on our wonderful country.
I wonder if Michelle will host a special viewing party, featuring the yummy, high calorie treats that she would scold you for eating. Will Presidential confidant and adviser, tax cheat Al Sharpton be just off camera with his legendary grin? Will Frances Piven be there to watch her protege make her proud?
Technorati Tags: Affordable Care Act, Al Sharpton, amnesty, Article II, Barack Hussein Obama, Communism, Frank Marshall Davis, gangsta government, illegal alien invasion, Illegal aliens, lawlessness, Marxism, natural born citizen, Obamacare, rule of law, separation of powers, the Founders, The Teri O'Brien Show, U.S. Constitution, white privilege
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By Pat Hughes -
In 2010, Illinois legislators had a chance to be heroes, had they taken it. The Illinois General Assembly almost passed a school choice program for Chicago Public Schools. Almost.
Although Rev. James Meeks’ school choice bill passed the Senate, it was defeated in the House, a chamber heavily influenced by powerful teacher unions. The program would have given thousands of children in chronically underperforming and overcrowded CPS schools a chance to choose a better education, and the better future that almost invariably follows.
The legislation would have restructured education funding by tying it to performance through a voucher system. Under this plan, students would be given a voucher that they could use to pay for the school they wanted to attend – whether public or private. It is an elegant solution in a bureaucracy that is complex and corrupt: the better the school, the more families that would choose the school. Consequently, the school would receive more funding.
Other states provide ample evidence that, properly implemented, school choice reforms like those contemplated by Rev. Meeks’ bill, improve student achievement and reduce the average cost of education per child.
The John Buck Co., a real-estate investment firm whose executives contributed substantially to the campaign of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, has earned more than $1 million in fees for managing city pension money. The details of the company’s fees emerged amid scrutiny over the propriety of the campaign contributions from company executives.
According to a newly released document from the Chicago pension system, the taxpayer fees paid to the John Buck Co. from one Chicago pension fund increased when Emanuel took office. In the year before he took office, the John Buck Co. was paid $161,141 in fees by the Laborers’ & Retirement Board Employees’ Annuity & Benefit Fund of Chicago (LABF). The next year — when Emanuel assumed office — those fees jumped to $262,500. In 2012 and 2013, the fees increased to $300,000 per year. Public documents from LABF say the decisions to move pension money into the system’s current John Buck investments were initiated in 2006 and 2009.
SPRINGFIELD, IL - Governor- Elect Bruce Rauner told reporters at the State Capitol Thursday that he's meeting with office holders and legislative leaders - and asking the Quinn Administration to put a freeze on hiring, appointments and re-classification of state employees.
Rauner said at the end of Governor Quinn's term is not the appropriate time to hire permanent employees when a new administration is about to move in with different goals and policies.
SPRINGFIELD, IL – State Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove) has successfully challenged a gubernatorial veto of legislation he sponsored to raise the speed limit on Illinois toll highways to 70 miles-per-hour.
The Senate voted 44-5-1 on Nov. 20 to override Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto of Senate Bill 2015.
“The Governor is fond of saying ‘Let the will of the people be the law of the land,’ yet he was quick to veto legislation that was sponsored by 36 Senators representing Chicago, suburban and downstate areas of Illinois,” Oberweis said. “And today, a majority of my colleagues in the Senate joined me in overriding the Governor’s veto.”
Senate Bill 2015 now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.
CHICAGO - Governor-elect Bruce Rauner announced the members of ten new transition teams Wednesday. Neli Vazquez-Rowland, President of "A Safe Haven Foundation," was named to Rauner's Health and Human Services Committee. Her husband, Brian Rowland, CEO of "A Safe Haven LLC," was named to the Veterans Committee.
"A Safe Haven" is a social service organization with a $16 million a year budget - much of it coming from state and federal government contracts with the Illinois Department of Human Services and the U.S. Veterans Administration, among others (see extended list below).
The organization also receives money as part of the Obamacare Navigator Program. In an October 8, 2014 press release, "A Safe Haven" announced it had "again been selected as enrollment, conveners and educators" for Get Covered Illinois and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Obamacare Navigator Programs. The taxpayer-funded grant would give A Safe Haven the "ability to enroll thousands more people" into Obamacare said Neli Vazquez-Rowland.
The foundation also received money from Quinn’s anti-violence initiative.
Rauner's relationship with the Rowlands goes back more than twenty years. At "A Safe Haven" 5k run this past summer, Rauner told ABC News that he was “one of the early angel investors in helping get A Safe Haven founded." He even featured the organization in one of his campaign ads.
SPRINGFIELD, IL - A group of Republican House members representing suburban districts that would lose million in school funding with the SB 16 proposal now being discussed in the Illinois General Assembly proposed a resolution this week, calling for a slow and more deliberative process in revamping the funding formula.
State Representatives Sandra Pihos, Robert Pritchard, Barbara Wheeler, Jeanne Ives, Ron Sandack and Mike Tryon was introduced Wednesday in a joint meeting of the House Elementary & Secondary Education and House Appropriations- Elementary & Secondary Education committees toward the end of a five and a half hour subject matter hearing on SB 16.
WASHINGTON DC - Illinois' Democrat congressman Luis Gutierrez told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell today that Republicans should “stop whining” when it comes to President Obama's executive order regarding immigration reform.
“Mitch McConnell — they should stop whining, and they should start legislating, and start saying what they’re going to do,” Gutierrez said. “They have an incredible victory in the Senate, an incredible new majority in the House of Representatives. Use it to do something constructive!”
h/t: National Review
CHICAGO - Illinois' left-wing immigrant rights activists and community organizers are planning a viewing party for President Barack Obama's immigration announcement Thursday night.
Obama is set to announce Thursday that he's sidestepping Congress with his own federal action on immigration.
His measures could grant amnesty to as many as 5 million aliens living illegally in the United States. In addition, he is expected to extend deportation protections to non-citizen parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, as long as those parents have been in the country for five years.
Congressman Adam Kinzinger joined "Riley & Scot" on WROK to discuss the President's promised executive orders on immigration and the push to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the air base near Mascoutah is among four finalists in the competition for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. The move is not expected for another seven or eight years.
The combined defense and intelligence agency is responsible for collecting, classifying and analyzing human activity and showing that activity in the form of maps, charts and imagery intelligence.
You might call it the Dark Side of politics, but in Chicago, is there any other side? Windy City preservationists are suing to block the construction of a so-called “Star Wars” museum after Mayor Rahm Emanuel offered to let George Lucas build the $400 million project on publicly owned lakefront land. The mayor has defended the proposal to lease the prime real estate to the billionaire Lucas for just $1 a year, insisting the project is on “solid legal ground.”
What he hasn’t mentioned is the almost $50,000 worth of campaign donations he has received from those with vested interests in the project.
Forty-five years ago, Rasmieh Yousef Odeh participated in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem that killed two men in their early 20s and wounded several more. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine had hidden a bomb in a box of sweets at a grocery store, and when it detonated, it left Eddie Joffe so charred that his brother struggled to identify the corpse.
This month a federal jury convicted Odeh for lying on her U.S. immigration papers in 1995, then again on her citizenship papers in 2004. The 67-year-old, deemed a flight risk by the judge, will remain behind bars until her March 10 sentencing. She faces up to 10 years in prison — which could be a life sentence, given her age — as well as possible deportation and loss of citizenship.
Odeh, who had been a vocal activist in Chicago’s Arab-American community, received certification to work as an Obamacare navigator. Though a simple Google search would have revealed her shady past, the Illinois Department of Insurance quietly revoked Odeh’s certification only after it became aware of the immigration-fraud investigation.
HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL - Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, 46, and her husband Bryan Bowlsbey welcomed their firstborn Tuesday - a baby girl they named Abigail O'kalani Bowlsbey.
Duckworth, a wounded Iraq war vet, who lived in Hawaii said in a statement, "My husband Bryan and I are thrilled to announce that we are the proud parents of a baby girl. Abigail O'kalani Bowlsbey was born on November 18. Bryan and I were deeply honored that Senator Akaka acted as Hawaiian elder and selected her middle name. We are grateful for the love and support of our family and friends. We also appreciate the respect for our privacy during this important moment in our lives."
CHICAGO - U.S. Education Secretary and former head of Chicago Public Schools Arne Duncan is returning to Chicago to attend events highlighting youth empowerment and after-school programs.
Duncan's visit on Thursday afternoon will also include a discussion at about high school and college enrollment at Hales Franciscan High School. He'll also participate in the dedication of the Chicago Wisdom Project Urban Garden on the city's South Side, and will visit Farragut Career Academy to meet with teachers and students in the After School Matters program.
By Nancy Thorner and Ed Ingold -
Despite protests from leading Democrats and the White House, it is increasingly clear that Jonathan Gruber played a key role in determining the cost of Obamacare and how to conceal that from the public. Gruber even wrote a Health Care comic book published in December, 2012 which was available for purchase at Amazon, titled: "Health Care Reform: What is it, Why it’s Necessary, How it Works."
As an economist, Mr. Gruber runs a model that can analyze changes to the health market. He earned nearly $400,000 consulting with the Department of Health and Human Services in the run-up to the law’s passage, and has earned hundreds of thousands of dollars more from states who asked for his help in implementing Obamacare, for a total of over $4 million, according to Fox News.
SPRINGFIELD, IL - Democrat State Sen. Don Harmon is working to make same-day voter registration permanent in Illinois.
On Wednesday, Harmon admitted that he's working with House lawmakers on an election law bill that could advance early next month. Same-day registration was "an extraordinarily successful experiment and one that's worth continuing," said Harmon.
The Democrat-controlled Legislature passed a measure earlier this year to allow same-day registration for the Nov. 4 election only. They also extended early voting and made it easier to vote on college campuses.
SPRINGFIELD, IL - State Representative Jim Durkin (R-Burr Ridge) was unanimously re-elected to the position of House Republican Leader yesterday. The House Republican Caucus for the incoming 99th Illinois General Assembly convened for the first time Wednesday for the vote, including 12 new members and 35 returning members. Inauguration of the 99th General Assembly is scheduled for January 14, 2015 at the University of Illinois at Springfield.
“I am honored my colleagues continue to place their trust in me as their Leader. Having only held the position for one year, I am pleased with the successes of our caucus. Standing together, we were able to stop several tax increases and fought against the abuse of taxpayer dollars. We led the charge for job creation, and worked in bi-partisan manner on issues important to public safety such as a capital program. Mostly, I am proud of the fact that the House Republican caucus is unified and stronger than ever,” said Durkin.
OTTAWA - A close House race was decided Wednesday when Republican Jerry Long conceded to incumbent Democrat State Rep. Frank Mautino (D-Morris). Long waited until all absentee and provisional ballots were counted, leaving him 336 votes behind Mautino.
Long's campaign issued a statement following the concession, saying the Republican ran in the 76th House District race "knowing the people of Illinois were starved for quality leadership and change in Springfield."
"Running as the underdog against a 23-year incumbent, many people believed that Jerry Long did not stand a chance. Yet, he won by 780 votes in the largest county of the district, LaSalle County," the campaign said. "Despite minimal campaign contributions, he nearly unseated the incumbent. His supporters stand firmly behind him."
Long left the door open for another challenge in the future.
“I appreciate all the help and support I received during this campaign,” stated Long. “We are going to assess the type of support going forward before making that commitment.”
By Irene F. Starkehaus -
Bill Cosby, perhaps the most iconic TV dad of the 1980s and outspoken critic of the deteriorating condition of the African American family, stands accused by multiple women of being a serial rapist. Prior to these accusations, Cosby was positioning an evolving political perspective that tended toward social conservatism. Although it is unlikely that he considers himself a Republican, he espouses an almost Tea Party-like affinity for moral clarity in our culture, and preaches steadfastly for economic self-sufficiency within the African American community.
At the time of this writing, the scandal is rolling along with the accusation and information gathering phase, and it still remains to be seen whether Cosby is guilty of rape. There's nothing to be gained in belaboring that point of innocence or guilt with gossip and conjecture. Within this space and time, Bill Cosby is a little like Schrödinger's cat. He's both guilty and innocent until the public's final judgment.
So instead of reveling in the innuendo that will likely undo Cosby's well-crafted public persona and leave him ruined – because guilty or no, he will forever be a punch line to the Left's tale of hypocrisy about social conservatism – let us consider the question, "Why now?"
CHICAGO - Matt Custardo, Governor-elect Bruce Rauner's North Shore Field Manager wrote in an email to supporters that the Rauner campaign was "unprecedented for Republicans, not only in Illinois, but nationally," and claimed that "the Republican victory in the Illinois Governor's race was the biggest in America."
How so? According to Custardo:
How did Rauner do it? According to Custardo:
CHICAGO - Bruce Rauner won the Illinois governorship by campaigning as a reformer and a political outsider who would “shake up Springfield.” After the election, however, governor-elect Rauner appointed "triple dipping" government careerist Glenn Poshard to his transition team, which spurred an investigation by the Better Government Association (BGA) and CBS 2 News.
The investigation found that Poshard - a Democrat - pulls in pensions from three separate retirement systems, netting him nearly $200,000 annually in pension benefits. From the Better Government Association:
"The customer is always right" is a motto we hear often and it suggests that consumers only have rights and businesses only have obligations. That is wrong. Dennis Prager explains that customers, too, have obligations, and should never take up a salesperson's time to inquire about an item they know they'll purchase elsewhere. In 5 minutes, learn how to shop ethically.
For decades, environmentalists have told us that using traditional fuels is a self-destructive addiction that will destroy our planet. Yet at the same time, by every measure of human well-being, from life expectancy to clean water to climate safety, life has been getting better and better. How can this be?
WASHINGTON DC - U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) supports passage of H.R. 4012, the Secret Science Reform Act of 2014, a bill prohibiting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator from creating new regulations unless all scientific and technical information relied upon is made publicly available for analysis. EPA has failed to release the science behind numerous EPA regulations to both outside researches and Congress. Rep. Hultgren took to the House floor in support of H.R. 4012 which brings openness and transparency to EPA.
Fifty years ago as the Republican Party’s Presidential nominee, Senator Barry Goldwater lost the 1964 election in a landslide. In defeat, however, he proved to be the most consequential loser in American politics. By mobilizing a large conservative grassroots coalition – the first of its kind to win the Republican nomination – his conservative ideas and straight talk galvanized the modern conservative movement and sowed the seeds of a national political revolution. Join us as participants in the 1964 Goldwater for President campaign reminisce about the battle and reflect on the profound impact the candidate and campaign had – and continue to have – on American politics.
The FairTax would replace the income tax and payroll taxes with a national sales tax and provide a rebate ensuring that no American pays tax on spending up to the poverty level. It would simplify the tax code, promote economic growth and improve the international competitiveness of U.S. businesses. The FairTax currently has 75 cosponsors in the House. The FairTax has been criticized for being insufficiently progressive. Others are concerned that a sales tax and an income tax could coexist, allowing politicians to grow government. Still others believe it is too dramatic a change to be politically feasible. Join us as Representative Woodall makes the case for the FairTax and a panel of experts provides their view.