Recently when speaking to a celebrity studded fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee in Beverly Hills, President Obama proclaimed he “would put these first four months up against any prior administration since FDR.”  Obama has also been heard yucking it up that the economy is turning around.

  Let examine Obama’s record:

  • Home foreclosures have reached an historic high.
  • Employment stands at 8.9 percent and is headed for 10%
  • Businesses are shuttering all over the country
  • The government is borrowing half the money it’s spending.
  • Our currency is being destroyed.
  • Hyper inflation looms on the horizon.
  • There is a $1.76 billion deficit for this year alone.
  • Stimulus funds to jump start the economy have bypassed hard-hit states. 

Despite all this bad news, Obama is still insisting that it’s now or never to reach a health-care deal in what promises to be a stealth nationalization of the health care industry estimated to cost $1.5 trillion over ten years.   Also on Obama’s agenda are economy killing energy policies which would amount to a trillion dollar energy tax on the American people. 

This nation is on a downward trajectory.  It is out of money.  Unless we reign in federal spending trillions of dollars of new debt will be dumped into the laps of our children and grandchildren.

All Americans should fear this remark made by Obama near the end of his May 27th DNC fundraiser in Beverly Hills:  “You ain’t seen nothing yet.” 

  

 

 

 

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History tells us that Memorial Day, which I remember from my youth as Decoration Day, was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868, by Gen. John Logan, national commander of the Great Army of the Republic.   It was first observed a few week later when on May 30, 1868, flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate Civil War era soldiers. 

As this nation celebrates Memorial Day 2009 as a day to remember all who have died in our nation’s service, Americans in towns and cities across this land will be gathering to honor their war dead.  My own community of Lake Bluff, IL, located a few miles south of Great Lakes Naval Station, will hold one of many scheduled Memorial Day celebrations in my county of Lake.     

But what about the public interest in observing the traditions that are in keeping with and which capture the spirit embodied in the celebration of Memorial Day?  Is it waining?  Graves of veterans have fallen into disrepair or are ignored.  Little notice is given to proper flag etiquette.  Many Americans falsely believe that Memorial Day is for honoring any and all who have died, not  just those who have died in service to their country.   Many more view Memorial Day as the official start of the summer season, as the time to picnic and to fire up the grill. 

Could it be that the American people are growing indifferent to their history and the role men and women have played in defending this nation from aggressors who have threatened our liberty, security, and way of life?

While there exists in America a segment of society whose views are decidedly anti-war and anti-military, might some of the current lackadaisical response to the celebration of Memorial Day date back to 1971 when Congress passed the National Holiday Act?  This act established Memorial Day as part of a three-day weekend (last Monday in May), changing what had been its traditional May 30th stand alone observance date. 

Ten years ago there was an attempt in both houses of Congress to restore Memorial Day to its traditional May 30th date, but so far there has been no action on the bills.  Might the time be right to call for positive action from our legislators in Congress? 

Congress did take a step in the right direction when it passed the National Moment of Remembrance resolution in December of 2000.  This resolution asks all Americans at 3:00 p.m. (local time): “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to “Taps.”   http://www.usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.html 

As good as the National Moment of Remembrance resolution may sound, I have little confidence in its ability to re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, as few Americans seem cognizant of the resolution’s existence with its good intentions.   

When gathering with other Lake Bluffers on its New England-style Village Green this Memorial Day morning, I undoubtedly will be stirred by the patriotic music and spoken words of tribute to fallen heroes in a ceremony arranged by Rudy Iberle, Commander,  Lake Bluff American Legion Post 510. 

Because of Lake Bluff’s close proximity to Great Lakes Naval Station, I will be privileged to hear as guest speaker Colonel Mariano Campos, Jr., USAF MEPCOM and witness the dramatic “Salute to Fallen Comrades” performed with precision by the Marine Air Control Group 48 Firing Detail.  Both are stationed at Great Lakes.

Although it might be tempting to leave behind on Lake Bluff’s Village Green my felt feelings of pride and love of country, doing so would signify a betrayal of my core values and would not serve me or my country well.  

As grateful Americans we owe all men and women who have served, and those presently serving throughout the world, our expressions of gratitude and praise.  They are America’s heroes and national treasures.

These poignant words by Brigitte Gabriel — author, U.S.-based journalist, terrorism expert, and founder of the nonprofit organization ACT! for America — written on behalf of the ACT! for America staff, truly reflect and are worth remembering as we celebrate those who have kept this country safe and who must continue to do so into the future if this nation is to survive.  From Brigitte Gabriel’s, A note of thanks to our military, published May 21 on the ACT! for America website (www.actforamrica.org):    

“And for those who returned in eternal sleep, may your legacy be honored for generations to come, may the tears shed over your coffins fertilize the field of patriotism in our nation to raise a new generation built on strength and honor, able and willing to follow in your footsteps when duty calls to defend America.  May your blood not have been shed in vain.  May we prove worthy of your sacrifice.  May we aways honor your parents so they will always know that they are the parents of an American hero.

You are our brave ones, our heroes, and our national treasures.  You are the pride of our nation, our strength and our foundation.  Thanks to you, millions have been freed around the world.  Thanks to you, those who criticize our country, burn our precious flag, and speak ill of you, are able to do so because their freedom is built upon your blood and your sacrifice.”               

The Chicago Tribune deserves praise for its reform-minded editorials and its urging of citizens to contact their legislators in Springfield to demand reform.   The Tribune outlined its own six step agenda to clean up state government in a May 7th editorial:  Every D and R, a vote.

Kudos also to the Chicago Sun-Times and the Daily Herald for their editorials urging citizens to call and e-mail their legislators in Springfield to demand reform.

But why only now the interest in reform?   Economic reform has been urgently needed for years.  Under Democrat Speaker Mike Madigan’sleadership the House has passed six unbalanced budgets.  As a result Illinois has a $12 billion budget hole with $82 billion in unfunded pension liabilities.  Each man, woman, and child in Illinois is indebeted to the tune of $17,000!

Speaker Madigan has yet to address the budget problem.   Madigan’s stab at reform is his push for legislation that would oust as many as 3,000 state workers appointed by scandal tarnished ex-Governors Ryan and Blagoevich. 

The Illinois Policy Institute (illinoispolicyinstitute.org) has an Economic Reform Agenda that would bring prosperity back to our state.  Franco Coladipietro(R-Bloomingdale), along with his House Republican colleagues, are urging Speaker Madigan to schedule votes on the Institute’s four proposals, which are:

 

  • 3/5 Supermajority For Tax/Fee Increases.
  • Sunshine Act as a tool to remove wasteful, fradulent spending.
  • PAYGO.
  • Stimuus Watch Act to prevent misuse of stimulus money.

Surely Speaker Madigan is interested in injecting transparency and accountability into the state budget before the General Assembly heads for the door on May 31st.

It is even possible to change the mentality of sleaze and corruption in Springfield in a state where one party rules, although the Republican Party has had its share of scandal and sleaze?   

Although threats made to vote legislators out of office could prove effective, might Chicagoland newspapers go a step further by advocating reform of House and Senate rules that give the Speaker and President ultimate power to decide whether a bill gets to be heard on the floor? 

 

 

 

On Saturday, May 16, a Tribune’s editorial, Closer to broke, addressed the fiscal health of Social Security and Medicare.  Spending for both already total more than $1 trillion annually and account for more than one-third of the federal budget.  Reported was how both Social Security and Medicare will reach insolvency sooner than was projected in 2008.  

The Tribune attributed the entitlement crisis to the current economic depression.  The entitlement crises, however, existed long before the current recession.  Consider Social Security:  In 1950 there were 16 workers for every person receiving Social Security benefits, in 2015 there will be only three workers for each beneficiary, by 2030 the ratio will be down to 2.2 to 1. 

Perhaps the greatest misconception regarding Social Security is that a trust fund exists.  There is no locked box!  Since 1939 a federal law has required Social Security to “invest” its extra money in Treasury bonds.  In other words, the government lends the money to itself.  The extra money then becomes part of other tax revenues and is spent on programs such as education, foreign and defense. 

In the words of the Heritage Foundation:  “It’s like a family that borrows money from its retirement fund each year to pay for everyday expenses.  When they finally retire, their retirement fund consists of nothing more than paper IOUs.” 

The Tribune must continue to put pressure on the Obama Administration to tackle Social Security and Medicare. This will not be an easy task, as likely solutions would be to raise taxes, cut benefits, establish private accounts or a combination of all three.  Also to be reckoned with is the AARP, a powerful lobbying group for those receiving benefits. 

Recession or no recession, entitlement spending is on track to double by 2050.   Unless both programs are fundamentally reformed, the tax rates for all Americans would have to double.    It is our children and grandchildren who will have to bear the burden of today’s derelict inaction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why the urgent need for economic reform here in Illinois?  Under Democrat Speaker Madigan the House passed six unbalanced budgets with the result that Illinois has a $11.5 billion budget hole and $81 billion in unfunded pension liabilities.  
 
With the May 31st deadline for adjournment in Springfield close at hand, Speaker Madigan has yet to address the budget problem. 
 
Here are the realities of living in a high-tax, high-regulation, high-spending state as outlined on April 7, 2009 by the Illinois Policy Institute (illinoispolicyinstitute.org):

 

  • 46th in debt burden
  • 44th in economic outlook.
  • 44th in GDP growth.
  • 44th in personal income growth
  • 44th in employment growth from 1997 till 2009
  • 1st in sales tax burden (Chicago and Cook County)
  • 4th highest gas tax burden
  • 7th highest in median property taxes paid
  • 11th highest in property tax burdens
  • 14th highest overall tax burden in the nation.
The Illinois Policy Institute has formulated a four point Economic Reform Agenda which Speaker Madigan is being urged to pass by House Republicans.  It would bring prosperity back to Illinois.
 
Why is Speaker Madigan resisting attempts to bring transparency and accountability into the state budget?
 
One party rule, which spurns corrpution and sleeze, has existed for too long in Springfield, although the Republican Party has had its own share of scandal and sleeze.  
 
It is up to citizens who care about the deplorable condition of their state to call and e-mail legislators in Springfield, letting them know there will be a price to pay at the polls if reform fails to happen by May 31. 

 

If ever there was a case for the pot calling the kettle black, it was back in February when the Obama Administration ordered “stress tests” to determine the financial condition of this nation’s 19 biggest banks to ascertain their financial health should the economic downturn worsen. 
 
Stress tests results reported by the Los AngelesTimes on May 7th indicated that 10 major banks are in need of more capital ($74.6 billion) to withstand a worse-than-expected economic downturn.
 
A May 9th commentary in The Wall Street Journal, Banks Won Concessions on Tests, detailed a test results scenario which told how all 19 banks face a total of $599 billion in losses over the next two year should future depression-like conditions occur, despite the concessions granted by the federal government.
 
The 10 major banks failing the stress test are being forced to raise equity.  The government might even force them to take federal money if they cannot find private institutions to fund them. 
 
Shouldn’t the federal government also be subjected to a stress test?   Our government is not only insolvent, but it is making decision daily to worsen our economic well being.
 
With this in mind, I would like to share the results of an Illinois Policy Institute of Chicago stress test given to the state of Illinois and the federal government (www.illinoispolicyinsititute.org).  A look at the Treasury’s upcoming stress activity includes:

 

  • Borrowing a record-setting $36l billion in the current April-June quarter.
  • Borrowing $515 billion in the July-September quarter.
  • Estimating the federal deficit for the entire budget year (ending Sept. 30) will total a record $1.75 trillion, quadrupling the previous record of $454.8 billion set last year.
  • Increasing the national debt cap to $12.1 trillion to allow enormous borrowing.  Currently the national debt equals $11.1 trillion.
  • Illinois isn’t doing much better.  It has approximtely $82 billion in unfunded pension liabilities.
Then there are Illinois Policy Institute figures that set the FY2009 federal deficit at  -$1,750,000,000,000 (That’s in trillions, by the way), while the Illinois FY2009 deficit comes in at -$11,500,000,000 (Billions!  That’s chump change.) 
 
Regarding our U.S. federal debt, the Institute places the figure at $11,208,076,192,300.55 (In case your eyes are crossing, that’s also in trillions), with U.S. unfunded Social Security and Medicare Liability amounting to $100,000,000,000,000 (Yes…more trillions.). 
 
In the words of the Illinois Policy Institute:  “In short, stressed spender are giving stress tests to our banks.  Perhaps the federal government should start with administrating a stress test on itself, and after determining its own insolvency, put ownership and control back into the hands of families and businesses of this country.”
 
This sounds like sound fiscal advice to me.
 

More often than not post analysis in the drive by media following the first 100 days of the Obama administration on April 30th was wrongly placed.  Accessed was how President Obama did doing his first 100 days, instead of how America and its people fared now that the GDP is down 6.1%, unemployment is heading to 10%, and massive spending took place which will quadruple the budget deficit Obama inherited and burden future generations of Americans with unsustainable debt.  

Through it all the American people were told how bailouts and investments in spending were essential to move this nation in the right direction, which Obama called the remaking of  America.   

The latter should concern all Americans.  Obama seeks to “remake American” into what?  America does not get to be remade by presidents.  The only legal way is by amending the Constitution.  Obama, like all presidents, took an oath of office that promised his loyalty, defense of, and protection of the U.S. Constitution.  

While Obama’s rhetoric is moderate sounding to many Americans, smitten by Obama’s charm and charisma, they remain blinded to Obama’s left-leaning, below-the-radar actions and policies aimed at moving the U.S. Constitution away from limited control over the American people to total control over “We-the-People.”

Already Obama has usurped power over “We-the-People” through a blatant disregard for the Constitution.  1) He has maneuvered a take over of U.S. banks and auto companies to make green cars in partnership with big labor; 2) recently traded US sovereignty for a high seat position on the UN Human Rights Council, which, if successful, will cede control of our children to Obama and other countries; 3) shirked his Constitutional duty to “provide for the common defense” by ending missle defense and cutting and restricting defense programs designed to assure the long-term security of our nation and 4) paralyzed our security agencies by releasing intelligence memos which prompted threats to prosecute Bush administration officials who protected this country from harm. 

This disregard for our Constitution will continue as Obama enacts policy priorities now in the pipeline.   

  • “Cap and trade” will amount to an economy-killing energy tax.
  • Health care reform will morph into nationalized health care with rationing and poor service.
  • Tax payers will end up funding illegal immigrants with the dismantling of our southern border.
  •  Political thought deemed non-supportive of the Left will be assulted and perhaps criminalized
  • Rights for the unborn will be stripped away.
  • Government will continue to take over industry as deemed essential.
  • Redistribution of wealth will end the middle class.
  • An eventual Supreme Court take over will allow 5 lawyers in black robes to advance radical agenda issues.

Will Obama’s plan to recreate America strike so deeply and effectively into the heart of our Constitution that it will be impossible to resurrect this nation as a democratic republic?   

Sher Zieve, author and political commentator, had this to say in a Friday, May 1st commentary published in the Canada Free Press, Obama to Ensure Constitutional USA Does Not Return:

Left unchecked, Obama’s unrelenting frog-march of the USA and its people toward and into oblivion — until all of us have been successfully retrained or exterminated — will be a fait  accompli.  His annihilation of the USA will be complete.  It IS coming.   All one needs to do is read the histories of the rise of other world dictators — before history books have been completely rewritten to reflect only leftist ideologies — to clearly see it.”

The American people would be wise to heed the prophetic statement made by Thomas Jefferson in 1776:  “When the people fear the government, there is tyranny:  when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”  

Sooner or later the American people will have to admit to their blunder in electing Obama and seek redemption by working with other freedom loving people who oppose Obama’s dismantling and destruction of their nation.  The Tax Day Tea Parties were a step in the right direction.  For to do otherwise would spell  the end of the United States as a sovereign nation guided by the wisdom and foresight laid out by our Founding Fathers in our nation’s magnificent Constitution. 

 

                          

 

Congressman Aaron Schock, the youngest member of Congress at age 27, representing the 18th District of Illinois, was featured speaker at the Chicago Chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition, headed by Dr. Michael Menis, on Sunday, May 3rd at the Holiday Inn in Skokie, IL.  Rep. Schock serves on three committees and is the Deputy Republican Whip.  An early success was sponsoring and passing an amendment to H .R. 627, the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act, which strengthened identity theft

Emphasized by Congressman Schock were three areas of concern regarding Obama administration policies.    

  • Fear that health care reform will result in a single payer system through government incentives given people to join a federal catchall system. 
  • That “cap and trade” will curtail economic growth and trade away jobs at a time when China is putting a new coal fired plant in operation every week.  This would result in electricity rates going up 40% nationwide with grave implications for jobs and small busineses.   
  • How dangerous foreign policy moves are coming from a man who has done so little, yet has done so much harm.  Schock considers threats against democracy as threats against all democracies thoughout the world and spoke of Israel as being this nation’s only democratic ally in the Middle East.  Rep. Schock cautioned vigilence, especailly regarding Iran, at a time when Obama remains boastful of sitting down to talk with leaders who are outspoken in what they intend to do once they have the nuclear bomb.  

Discussed also was the lack of transparancy in the Obama administration.  Specific reference was made to the $750 billion Stimulus Bill wherein less than 6% was allocated for works projects.   Five days of promised “sunshine” never happened for reading and understanding the bill before voting took place.   Aaron Schock referenced a quote by Abraham Lincoln —  “What kills a skunk is the publicity it brings itself.”–  to illustrate the fate of the Stimulus Bill had “sunshine” been allowed to happen.  Schock predicted huge increases in inflation because of massive spending when the money hits the streets.

Because Rep. Schock managed to be elected in an Illinois District that never before had elected a Republican congressman, there was great interest in hearing how Schock had managed this feat.  Rep. Schock emphasized the following as ways to make the Repulbican Party and candidates revelent to consistuents.  

  • Emphasize where the Republican Party wishes to take the country in the future.
  • Communicate that messge to all demograpic groups through candidates who are able to articulate the message to all segments of society. 
  • Don’t be bashful in getting messages out that we own, such as:  We believe in income growth vs. income distribution  –  We believe in equal opportunity and not equal distribution of wealth  –  We are a party who believes in a leg up and not a hand out. 
  • College campuses are great places for messages of equal opportunity and income growth, as are constitutents whose votes the Democrat Party have taken for granted election after election

Rep. Schock encouraged RJC attendees not be discouraged, that a huge ground well of opposition at the grassroots level can be effective in applying pressure to slow down and even curtail legislation aimed at altering the direction of our nation.  Schock went on to cite how “card check” and “cap and trade” are in some trouble because of grassroots opposition and how the same haulted immigration reform during the Bush Administration.

 

It was pleased to observe that the Chicago Tribune used the term “swine flu” in a front page flu report on Friday, May 1 — “Did you just cough?  Get away from me” — a day after the U.S.  government and the World Health Organization asked that swine be taken out of  “Swine Flu” and “H1N1 Flu Outbreak” be substituted, out of concern that people will think they get “swine flu” from eating pork. 

No matter what the flu strain is called, the virus scaring the world is pretty much all pig.   Research has concluded that six of the eight genetic segments of the virus strain are purely swine flu.  Dr. Edwin D. Kilbourne, the father of the 1976 swine flu vaccine, called the idea of changing the name an “absurd position.”  Dr. Richard Webby, a top virologist, maintains that “Scientifically this is a swine virus.” 

To the federal government the real danger seems to be what the virus is called and not the possibility of a worldwide pandemic.  

Given the possibility that the media is under reporting Swine Flu facts and that the disease had its origins in Mexico (It takes three days to get confirmation on a given viral culture.  There are also reports coming from doctors of more than 10 cases for each “confirmed” Swine Flu case.), sensible action would be to close the Mexican border to keep more of the sick out.  

Unfortunately Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano equates border closing with shutting the barn door after the horse has been left out.

Whether or not “swine flu” does become a pandemic, isn’t the health of the American people more important than keeping a steady stream of cheap labor and Mexican trucks from entering our country from Mexico.