NEW YORK, NY - Illinois Policy Institute CEO John Tillman spoke with the Wall Street Journal about how Governor Bruce Rauner might tackle the state’s $111 billion unfunded pension liability.
NEW YORK, NY - Illinois Policy Institute CEO John Tillman spoke with the Wall Street Journal about how Governor Bruce Rauner might tackle the state’s $111 billion unfunded pension liability.
LEMONT, IL - The Libertarian Party of Illinois has announced its officially endorsed eight candidates for the 2015 Illinois Spring elections. Party chairman Lex Green noted: “These eight recognize that, to protect and restore freedom and integrity in the world, the best place to start is often your own backyard.”
The candidates include:
RIVERSIDE, IL – One Illinois state representative wants the state's judges to be allowed more sentencing discretion, such as stronger penalties for illegal gun possession and lesser for illegal pot possession.
State Rep. Mike Zalewski (D-Riverside) says he is "taking a new approach to the previous debate over gun penalties based on sentencing modifications that would increase penalties for illegal gun possession while introducing groundbreaking factors for judicial discretion and appropriate case-by-case review."
In Zalewski's proposed legislation, judges would be able to alter the length of the person’s sentence based on an individualized assessment of the offender, with possible options such as corrections programming and counseling while the person serves his or her sentence.
DOWNERS GROVE, IL - Former U.S. Senate candidate Doug Truax is re-entering politics with the formation of a 501(c)4 issue advocacy organization and a super PAC called Restoration Action and Restoration PAC (filing here) respectively.
“As a candidate, my objective was to help change the direction of the country,” Truax said. “By forming Restoration Action and Restoration PAC, I have the same objective. Our country has steered off course and we need to right the ship.”
Truax said he has gained funding from several major donors to start the two entities. He said the political arm will concentrate on high-level federal races and will issue candidate ratings.
A political newcomer, Truax lost to Jim Oberweis in the 2014 U.S. Senate primary, but garnered an impressive 44% of the statewide vote. He's now regularly mentioned as a possible primary challenger to U.S. Senator Mark Kirk, who is considered weak and a prime target for the Democrats in 2016.
A businessman, health care expert and West Point graduate, 44-year-old Traux has been characterized as one of Illinois' rising political stars. In 2014 he outpolled Oberweis in the Chicago metropolitan area, but was unable to overcome his primary opponent's downstate name recognition, despite the endorsements of Newt Gingrich and the Chicago Tribune.
Truax also released a video entitled "A Blueprint For The Restoration of America" - below:
By Nancy Mathieson and Mark Glennon / WirePoints Illinois News -
Country Club Hills, a suburb of Chicago, seems intent on making itself the poster child for poor financial reporting. A reader recently alerted us to its plight, which indeed looks bad, but just how bad is hidden by the shoddiest municipal financial reporting we have seen.
The city appears to be living day-to-day, short of cash, because its City Council minutes from last month say it’s issuing payment vouchers, just as it did last year at this time. That sets off an alarm, but if you look for data similar to what other towns and cities report, in hopes of getting an explanation and clearer picture, you won’t find it.
CRYSTAL LAKE, IL – School funding was a loudly-discussed and bitterly fought issue in the last legislative session, but no agreement on major reform was reached. This week, State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) filed a resolution calling for a committee to be created that would thoroughly examine how education funding is distributed through the state.
“Providing for our children’s future is the most important thing to every parent,” said Wheeler. “When the Senate tried to force through Senate Bill 16 last year they spent a great deal of time studying our current distribution formula. Unfortunately, the House was not given the same opportunity to examine the equity in our school funding."
SPRINGFIELD, IL - Not only does State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) want to ban conversion therapy for those wanting to leave the homosexual lifestyle, she wants to effectively legalize marijuana possession in Illinois.
The war on drugs has been a failure, Cassidy says, so pot possession up to 30 grams should be a petty offense with a $100 fine, making pot possession punishable similar to a traffic or parking violation.
Illinois passed a law legalizing medical marijuana last year, but it has yet to be fully implemented.
ROME - Congressman Aaron Schock (IL-18) was granted audience with Pope Francis in Vatican City Monday afternoon during a 2-day whirlwind visit to Rome. While in Rome, Schock also attended a concert to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
The two events together spelled “an amazing opportunity,” Schock told Gatehouse Media, and an opportunity that came to him because of a central Illinois link.
The mother of Peoria businessman Alexis Khazzam, Viviana Goren Khazzam, who heads the Cukier, Goldstein-Goren Foundation that supports educational and cultural events, coordinated the world premiere concert featuring music that survived the Holocaust; the pontiff was a supporter of the effort and extended an invitation to Schock for an audience at the Vatican during the visit.
By Chris Robling -
Last week, Governor Rauner said his team had closely examined budgets and contracts and concluded that “government is being run more for the benefit of the people in the government rather than the benefit of the service recipients and the taxpayers.”
Welcome to the descent into scandal and money-grubbing taxpayer betrayal at College of DuPage.
Illinois has been controlled by Democrats for twelve years. COD is a GOP preserve. While the Governor sets out on the biggest state turnaround in history, suburban Republicans must ask, “What went wrong at COD?” and “How do we go from here?”
SPRINGFIELD, IL - State Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) will again serve as the Republican leader for the Senate Judiciary Committee and Legislative Audit Commission.
“I’m excited to continue tackling the very important legislation that comes before the Judiciary Committee,” said Barickman. “At the same time, I look forward to continuing the task of serving as a watchdog for the citizens of this great state on the Legislative Audit Commission.”
During the 98th General Assembly, Barickman helped lead audits on state agencies and programs including the controversial Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. He was first named to the top GOP spot on Judiciary after Senator Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) retired to become chair of the Regional Transportation Authority.
By Ulysses Arn -
LaSALLE - At Tuesday night's meeting of the LaSalle Tea Party, coordinator Art Havenhill, who also serves as co-state coordinator for the Illinois Tea Party, announced that during a recent trip to Washington DC, the national Tea Party Patriots organization presented an award to the Tea Parties of Illinois.
The "Hell Freezes Over Award" was given to Illinois Tea Partiers for their work in getting a fiscal conservative Republican Bruce Rauner elected Governor of President Obama's home state.
*Update: based upon commentary to this story I guess I need to emphasize that the award was done in a "tongue-in-cheek" fashion.
DECATUR, IL - While talking to college students at Decatur's Richland Community College Tuesday, Governor Bruce Rauner stirred controversy when he said he supports creating "employee empowerment zones" throughout Illinois.
Rauner, a Republican, hinted at "right to work zones" as one of the ideas he plans to share during his State of the State speech next Wednesday at the State Capitol. Illinois is a traditionally union-friendly state, and his comments are expected to stir resistance from unions and Democrats.
Rauner said the zones he was proposing would allow local communities to decide whether union membership should be a condition of employment in their area. He said the zones would help improve both competition and job growth.
He also emphasized that he was not advocating statewide "right to work" measures as passed in Indiana and other surrounding states.
SPRINGFIELD, IL - The state Treasurer’s office is calling in some free help to increase efficiency and transparency in the office. A statement Monday from the Treasurer Mike Frerichs indicates the governmental assurance and consulting firm Plante Moran will conduct a performance review to include accounting, budgeting, and cash management to identify how to reduce costs. Frerichs says they’ll also review the Treasurer’s marketing operations.
“The outside auditor is going to be looking at how we run our programs. What we want to do is to bring in a set of outside eyes, some experts, who’ll come in and tell us how we can reach more people and to do it in a more efficient manner.”
The work will be done for free, something Frerichs says will be invaluable for taxpayers.
After the review, expected within 100 days, Plante Moran will then determine possible improvements to internal controls and evaluate how investments can be enhanced. The treasurer’s office handles the state’s various investments.
WASHINGTON DC - Congressman Randy Hultgren (IL-14) spoke on the House floor Monday evening on the topic of human trafficking.
This week, the U.S. House will hear introductions of bills focusing on stopping the abuse of 25,000 women and children in Illinois every year. Chicago is a major trafficking hub, Congressman Hultgren said, and he's sponsoring legislation to punish perpetrators of human trafficking.
"Human trafficking targets the youngest and most vulnerable," Hultgren said.
CHICAGO - City and village managers out-earning every governor in the United States. School district treasurers hauling in up to $485,000. Rank-and-file county employees racking up $260,000 with massive lifetime pension spikes.
And is if that's not stunning enough, the top three municipal employees -- each making over $300,000 -- don't work for the taxpayers that pay their salaries, a new "Open the Books" report shows:
1. Fifty-two Village and City Managers Out-earn Every Governor of the 50 States. The Top Five:
2. Top Three Illinois Municipal Employees Don't Work for Government:
WASHINGTON DC - Illinois Congressman Peter Roskam excoriated an obfuscating State Department liaison to Congress during a recent hearing on Benghazi.
By Laurie Higgins -
Doggedly committed to pro-homoeroticism, lesbian activist State Representative Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) has resurrected the dangerous “Conversion Therapy Prohibition Act,” which seeks to prohibit minors from receiving any counseling that involves efforts to change homoerotic desire, homoerotic activity, gender-confused feelings, and behaviors impelled by gender confusion.
This doozy of a bill states that “‘Sexual orientation change efforts’ or ‘conversion therapy’” means any practices or treatments that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation, as defined by (o-1) of Section 1-103 of the Illinois Human Rights Act, including efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions.” Unlike the more common definition of “sexual orientation,” the Illinois Human Rights Act defines “sexual orientation” as “actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, or gender-related identity, whether or not traditionally associated with the person’s designated sex at birth.”
If passed this bill would prohibit parents of a child or teenager who experiences homoerotic desire, gender dysphoria, or Gender Identity Disorder from having access to counseling that may include facilitating change in feelings or volitional activity—even if such change is desired by both parents and their children.
By Judith O'Connell -
Running for reelection to the D303 (St. Charles IL) School Board I am taken aback, okay, actually appalled at the receipt of a letter from the president of the Teachers Union requesting that I fill in a two page questionnaire to be returned so that I may be provided “an opportunity to meet with” and be further questioned by the SCEA, SCESP and SCT&M representatives resulting in the possibility of an endorsement.
Education-related unions, and School Boards are, or at least ought to be, entirely separate entities. It is the responsibility of Board members to direct the academic education of district students and to take great care with taxpayer money in doing so.
By Joe Kaiser -
President Barack Obama mentioned healthcare nearly 10 times in his State of the Union address Jan. 20. And, not surprisingly, in doing so he touted his reforms and tried to hold Republicans feet to the fire on their impending challenges to his agenda.
“We can't put the security of families at risk by taking away their health insurance, or unraveling the new rules on Wall Street, or refighting past battles on immigration when we've got a system to fix,” Obama said before threatening veto of any bill that does “any of these things.”
But nearly one-year prior, a breast cancer survivor attending Obama’s 2014 address saw things much differently. She already felt the security of her health insurance slipping away, thanks to the very law the president is swearing to protect with his veto pen.
Diane Iser, a breast cancer survivor from Hoffman Estates, attended the 2014 State of the Union as a guest of Republican Rep. Peter Roskam (IL-06). Iser told Illinois Review at the time that she was unsure if she would be able to keep her plan because of the rising costs caused by the new law. After the State of the Union, she also told Illinois Review she was “outraged and insulted” by what the President had to say about the law in his address, though motivated to continue to keep speaking up.
Now, a year later, she is still feeling the effects of the law and is still motivated to keep speaking about it.
By Harvey Bluedorn -
The Republican sweep of all five contested Mercer County Board races did not just happen. A number of factors came together in God’s Providence, and it is proper to attribute the victory ultimately to Him. Looking back on how things came together, here are a few observations we can make.
We begin by looking at the 2012 General Election, which broke down what had been a crushing majority of Democrats on the Mercer County Board. After that election, the Republicans held four of the ten seats, and though they were still a minority, they were an effective minority. Nevertheless, it became quite apparent that, with anything short of a real majority of Republicans on the county board, we were not going to turn around the county’s deteriorating condition. Thus was born the motivation to work hard for a Republican majority in the next election.
By Nancy Thorner & Edward Ingold -
The Obama administration has a new partner in crime, and it is the American Psychiatric Association (APA). This is consistent with Obama’s perversion of science to promote his social goals. The most notable example is Climate Change. It would seem that men in white coats are more threatening to our liberty than black helicopters (or drones).
The APA created a new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (5th Edition) -- published in 2013 -- which was recently adopted. DSM-5 is highly controversial and has sparked outrage from the mental health practitioners. Many practitioners point out that the new DSM-5 also makes a pathology out of simple and normal behaviors such as grieving for the loss of a loved one, as the bereavement exclusion was removed in this new version of the manual.
CHICAGO - Kink University set out to determine the kinkiest cities in America based on "the total size of the kink-identified population, the size of the population relative to the city's size, the number of resources available for kink-identified people, and the adult entertainment purchases in each city."
The results: Portland, Oregon came in as the number one kinkiest city in the nation, followed by New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
CHICAGO - Candidates challenging Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in next month's election say they want to take down the city's controversial red-light cameras.
Emanuel said Tuesday during a live-streamed debate hosted by the Chicago Tribune's editorial board that the program needs reforms, not removal.
But the other four candidates challenging him say they should come down. They are Cook County Commissioner Jesus Garcia, Alderman Bob Fioretti, businessman Willie Wilson and activist William Walls.
The scrutiny comes after a legal challenge of the cameras and Chicago Tribune stories questioning their impact on safety.
SPRINGFIELD, IL - ArcView Market Research released the executive summary to the 3rd edition of the State of Legal Marijuana Markets. The report finds that the U.S. market for legal cannabis grew 74% in 2014 to $2.7 billion, up from $1.5 billion in 2013 making it the fastest growing industry in the U.S.
The report also shows that if trends continues and all states legalized marijuana the total market size would top $36.8 billion, making it larger than the organic food industry which is $33.1 billion according to Nutrition Business Journal.
It also concludes that pot businesses in states with restrictive patient access and regulatory systems like Illinois, New Jersey, and Delaware are not likely to be particularly profitable as long as the market constraints remain.
SPRINGFIELD, IL - Illinois is the nation’s fifth most populated state, but the American Legislative Exchange Council ranks it 28th in overall education performance. While it’s first in the percentage of three year olds that attend preschool, it ranks 14th nationwide in the percent of high schoolers that graduate.
The state has not embraced school choice, except for magnet and charter schools, which are heavily regulated and overseen by state councils. The influential Illinois Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers have successfully held at bay efforts to allow the state’s average $13,852 per-pupil spending to follow students to schools of their choice.
Illinois does, however, allow a tax credit for non-public or home school tuition, book purchase or rental fees as well as curriculum and lab fees. Those families are credited 25 percent of the amount they spend over $250, and not more than a total of $500.
CHICAGO - On January 22, the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, every abortion clinic in the country (see list below) received a package from the Pro-Life Action League that included a note about the recent arrest of Oklahoma abortionist Nareshkumar Patel along with a pair of plastic handcuffs and a handwritten note from the League’s executive director, Eric Scheidler, reading, “Could you be next?”
Scheidler explained, “This is intended to be a wakeup call for America’s abortionists. I want to get them thinking about the moral decay they’ve been drawn into by profiting from taking the lives of unborn human beings.”
According to Pro-Life Action League, the “handcuffs” mailing is the Pro-Life Action League’s latest appeal in an effort to "connect abortionists with their own consciences." Promoting the sanctity of human life and exposing the truth about abortion—and those who sell it and profit by it—is part of the peaceful grass roots activism that the League has fostered during its 35 years on the front lines.
Superintendent Trisha Kocanda of Winnetka Public Schools in Illinois has written what could be called a “warning” letter to parents, community members and district staff about the PARCC Common Core exam that students in the state will be taking in March and May. She writes in part:
As we learn more about the assessment, we grow wary. We are concerned about the amount of instructional time it will displace, the impact this will have on students, and the usefulness of the results.
The PARCC test was created by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, one of two federally funded multistate consortia tasked with creating new Common Core tests with some $360 million in federal funds. (The other is the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.) In 2010, PARCC had 26 member states, but it has suffered major defections since then, with fewer than a dozen states now committed to using the PARCC exam this year. Mississippi pulled out this month, and Chicago Public Schools, the third-largest system in the country, recently decided to buck a state mandate to give the PARCC to all of its students this school year.
WHEATON, IL - Kids and parents - even a Tea Party leader and a state legislator - strutted the 2015 official School Choice Week dance at Wheaton Bowl Sunday afternoon before hitting the bowling lanes.
This year, National School Choice Week's official dance is “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit. Donning their yellow "School Choice Week" scarves, students were joined by State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) and DuPage County Tea Party leader Jan Shaw. Here's the dance:
Were the Middle Ages, also known as the Dark Ages, characterized by oppression, ignorance, and backwardness in areas like human rights, science, health, and the arts? Or were they marked by progress and tolerance? Anthony Esolen, an English Literature professor at Providence College, explains.
GLEN ELLYN, IL - A lawsuit will be filed in DuPage Circuit Court Tuesday morning against the College of DuPage Board of Trustees, saying they violated the Open Meetings Act, says a press release from For The Good of Illinois transparency group.
“Tomorrow morning, For The Good of Illinois, Adam Andrzejewski, and Edgar County Watchdogs will file lawsuit in DuPage County Circuit Court alleging that an Open Meetings Act (OMA) violation occurred last Thursday while the board conferred the severance package for Dr. Breuder," the release says.
In anticipation of the lawsuit, the group says, the college has called for a special meeting on Wednesday at 7 PM for a revote.
The College of DuPage's website says the board has scheduled a "Special Board Meeting" to discuss a fourth addendum to the retirement compensation agreement voted on last Thursday. That addendum, the website says, would move President Robert Breuder's retirement date up to the end of March 2016, instead of June 30, 2019.
Scheduling another vote this week will not be enough to correct the Open Meetings' violations the Board may have encountered thus far, For the Good of Illinois says.
CARY, IL – After cutting his legislative salary by ten percent, Illinois State Representative David McSweeney (R- Barrington Hills) has now refused to participate in the legislative pension system, and has . He has filed legislation to eliminate pensions for other legislators.
House Bill 179 would eliminate legislative pensions for all new members elected in the 2016 election and beyond. A bill introduced by McSweeney last legislative session that would have also halted legislative pensions for existing members failed to receive adequate support. "We are in a financial crisis and we must cut unnecessary spending, not raise taxes," McSweeney said.
McSweeney also praised the growing number of members who have also chosen not to accept pensions. "Legislators must lead by example during this financial crisis." McSweeney said.
WHEATON, IL - School choice will be a hot topic in the Illinois legislature this session, State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) told parents and students Sunday afternoon at the Wheaton Bowl (see photos here).
"Last year there was an assault on charter schools and all other public school options," Ives said. "This year, we're going on the offense. We're taking on school choice."
Ives said that a national publication had stirred discussion when a writer suggested Illinois could be the next state to embrace school choice. The reason for the possibility, the author said, was African-Americans among the state's Senate Democrats that were ready to lead the charge.
"I talked to some of those Senate Democrats and said, 'I'm so excited to hear about this,'" Ives said. "But they're still hesitant. They know where the power structure is and where the campaign cash is, and that's with the unions."
So, the school choice effort is going to be a fight, she said.
PLAINFIELD, IL – Freshman State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) announced today his intention to return 11% of his annual district office allotment back to the State of Illinois, saving taxpayers in excess of $7,600 per year. The announcement follows Batinick's refusal to accept a legislative pension.
“With the state facing a multi-billion dollar budget deficit, tough spending decisions will have to be made this spring to make responsible cuts in the state budget. I believe that sacrifice should start with our own budgets as legislators. The way I see it, I can’t vote to make reductions in other areas of state spending if I’m not willing to include my own office in those cuts.”
SPRINGFIELD, IL - A proposed ordinance to the Chicago City Council would allow for land to be used for a possible presidential library, but one state lawmakers says no public money should be used. The ordinance from Mayor Rahm Emanuel would allow President Obama’s library to be built on some land if the Library Foundation chooses the University of Chicago over other rivals in Chicago, New York and Hawaii.
However, State Representative Bill Mitchell says no taxpayer funds should go to the Presidential Library. Mitchell highlights the mounting budget shortfall for Illinois in the billions and says private funds should be used to build the library. Mitchell even went as far to tout the president’s fundraising skills as a need to keep tax dollars away from the project.
WHEATON, IL - It's time for DuPage County voters to step up and reward College of DuPage trustee Kathy Hamilton for her political courage by supporting her slate of three reform candidates on the April 7th ballot, says State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton).
"They could go in and on Day One take control of the situation, add a lot more transparency," Ives said, as well as stop multiple vendor invoices being hidden under COD's minimum amount before seeking board approval. Hamilton, serving as the board's vice-chairman, has been alone in her board votes on several occasions.
"Kathy Hamilton is the only one that stood up and did the right thing by shining the light on what's going on at COD," Ives told Illinois Review Sunday afternoon. "What we need to do is reward the political courage she has taken. She has been under attack by fellow Republicans on that board, as well."
CARLINVILLE, IL – State Rep. Wayne Rosenthal, who up until earlier this month, served Illinois' 95th House district, is Governor Bruce Rauner's pick to head the Department of Natural Resources. Taking that job with the Rauner Administration means he had to resign from his House seat and county chairmen are now set with the job of picking his replacement.
Republican County Leaders representing the four counties within the 95th District met Sunday to legally establish a Selection Committee to fill Rosenthal's vacancy. Macoupin County GOP Chairman Terri Koyne will serve as Chairman and Madison County's Christopher Slusser wll serve as Secretary, with Terry Richmond of Montgomery County Republicans as a nominating member and Brian Hile, Vice Chairman of Christian County Republicans, will also serve as nominating member.
SPRINGFIELD, IL - More households are on food stamps in Illinois than anytime since 2010. The Illinois Department of Human Services say 1,070,000 enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the last month, up 20,000 from the previous month.
The total number of Illinoisans getting food subsidies jumped 37,500 last month to 2,080,000 people. Sixty thousand Illinoisans were added to the rolls last year.
CHICAGO - A new poll released Monday shows Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel with a 21-point lead over the closest contender Jesus "Chuy" Garcia in the February 24th mayoral primary.
Emanuel has the support of 39.5 percent in Chicago polling company's Ogden & Fry poll of 950 conducted on January 24, 2015. Garcia grabbed 18 percent, Willie Wilson, 11 percent. Alderman Bob Fioretti received 7.5 percent and Dock Walls 1.8 percent. A sizable 22 percent are still undecided.
CHICAGO - One Illinois environmentalist group is taking credit for Governor Bruce Rauner executive order putting a hold on the Illiana Highway.
"We're making progress," Illinois Public Interest Research Group boasts. They claim their recent report that traffic is dwindling nationwide has strengthened opposition.
"Illinois PIRG research has helped strengthen opposition to the new highway, highlighting how supporters projected big increases in traffic for the next thirty years despite the data pointing to declines in driving," the group says.
CHICAGO - President Obama has cut a campaign ad endorsing his former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, for a second term as mayor of Chicago.
“Even though I’m working in Washington right now, Chicago is my home. It’s the place that made me who I am. That’s why I care so deeply about who leads our city,” Obama said in the ad, which begins airing today.
The president goes on to praise Emanuel as a “key part of my team at the White House” — while acknowledging that the notoriously prickly mayor can, at times, “be a little hard headed.”
“He loves our city, and he believes every child in every neighborhood should have a fair shot at success,” Obama says, adding that Emanuel will do “what is right, not just what’s popular.”
According to reports, Emanuel is nearing $30 million in fundraising.
By Warner Todd Huston -
A recent survey of the wealth of members of Congress revealed that, on average, it would take the combined wealth of 18 American households to equal the wealth of a single member of Congress. While this is an averaged statistic and individual cases vary, a review of the wealth of members of the Illinois delegation to Washington proves the rule rather than the exception.
The January report by OpenSecrets.org found that, “The median net worth of a member of Congress was $1,029,505 in 2013… compared with an average American household’s median net worth of $56,355.”
The USA has, by far, the highest per capita gun ownership in the world. Progressives will tell you that this is what makes America the Murder Capitol of Planet Earth. But we're not, and in this devastatingly effective Firewall, Bill Whittle shows why the center of Gun Nut Nation is in fact one of the safest places in the world.
By Judith Miller, Esq. -
Tax season is the time when low-income Americans can claim a variety of tax credits. Among the most important of these credits is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), also known as the Earned Income Credit (EIC). Aimed at helping the working poor, the EITC is one of our nation’s most powerful anti-poverty tools. Together with the Child Tax Credit, the EITC annually lifts about 10 million people out of poverty, including more than five million children. It has proven especially important to single mothers. For example, one single mother with three young children said she was able to use her $4,715 credit as a down payment on a home.
Although huge numbers of low-income workers file for this credit every year, the IRS estimates that many who qualify for the credit do not know about it and do not apply for it. The only way to apply for the EITC is by filing a tax return with the IRS. Those taxpayers who make so little money that the IRS does not even require them to file a tax return often do not file a return. Unfortunately, they lose the chance to receive EITC money they may desperately need.
CHICAGO - The left-wing Sierra Club has endorsed Rahm Emanuel for Chicago mayor. Christine Williamson, Chairman of the Chicago wing of the Club said her organization has one goal: “..to make Chicago the cleanest, most sustainable city in America." It was assumed the "clean" she spoke of was about the environment and not the politics.
WASHINGTON DC - House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) sent a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen asking him to explain why the agency recently hired CGI Federal, the same contractor that bungled the rollout of Healthcare.gov. Upon sending the letter, Chairman Roskam issued the following statement.
“The American people should know why the IRS spent millions of taxpayer dollars to hire the same company responsible for the botched Healthcare.gov rollout. From an agency clamoring for more funding, this isn’t a confidence-inspiring use of resources.”
The full text of the letter follows below and can be viewed here.
From NBC News:
On Nov. 23, 2007, Jessica Uhl, 18, and her sister Kelli Uhl, 13, were in heavy post-Thanksgiving Day traffic on Interstate 64 as they headed home to their mother, Kim Schlau, in Collinsville, Illinois, after a holiday photo session at their father’s home in the Illinois town of Mascoutah.
Matt Mitchell, an Illinois state trooper, was also on Interstate 64, responding to a call while talking on his cellphone and using his police computer. He crossed the median and plowed into the sisters’ car at an estimated speed of 126 mph, killing them both instantly. Mitchell pleaded guilty to reckless homicide and reckless driving, lost his license, and can never be an officer again.
“After we learned all of the facts, we knew that this crash was completely preventable,” Schlau said. “I had no idea that a lot of police officers have more training with their firearms than they do with their driving, yet they drive every part of their job.”
Police officers are often brave and heroic, and their jobs are harder than ever, frequently requiring them to talk on their cellphones and police radios and even type on computers as they drive. The results can be tragic.