Betrayed by my Republican Congressman

Nancy Thorner
There is much outrage in the 10th District where I live.  

My 10th District congressman, Mark Kirk, has the dubious distinction of being the only Republican member of the Illinois congressional delegation, and one of only eight Republicans nationwide, who voted on Friday, June 26,  for  the Waxman-Markey energy bill (HR 2454), commonly referred to as “Cap and Trade” or “Global Warming” bill.  The bill narrowly passed the House with a vote of 219 to 212. 

I would imagine that the same outrage exists in the congressional districts represented by all eight of the renegade Republicans. It is frowned upon to criticize fellow Republicans, but this defection cannot be brushed aside.  

Radical and unjustified:  Votes of eight renegade Republicans

Forty four wise Democrats crossed party lines to vote against the bill, while Kirk and seven other Republicans chose to ignore the 300-page amendment that was dropped into the  mostly unread 1,000 page bill early in the morning on June 16, leaving no time to read the additional 300 pages and which turned the bill into an even more regulative and economic monstrosity. 

Although Mark Kirk is proud to define himself as a moderate Republican with strong environmental leanings, he has put himself on record as supporting radical legislation that would result in economic pain for his constituents with little or no environmental gain. 

It might be that Kirk has sealed his political future — Kirk has expressed interest in running statewide here in Illinois for U.S. Senate or governor — with his “yes” vote on the Democrat’s Global Warming bill, after voters learn what is in the 1,300 page bill?  Unfortunately Kirk has become more liberal in many ways than many moderate Democrats in Congress.

The Waxman-Markey bill is instead a job killer.  Especially hard hit would be energy-intensive sectors such as manufacturers, farmers, construction, machinery, transportation, and plastics.   

Consumers will also  pay more for all goods and services since just about everything we do and produce uses energy.  Hardest hit by the draconian energy tax would be working families, but the tax would affect everyone whether rich, poor or in between.

What was Congressman Mark Kirk thinking?  Did he make a devilish deal to become one of eight Republican turncoats?  And what about the other seven Republican traitors in the U.S. Congress?  It is unconscionable that they voted for the most massive tax increase and interference with private property ever!   As such they should and are likely to face stiff opposition in 2010. 

Hopefully the U.S. Senate will have more sense and will not ascribe to the ill-advised House version of  the energy bill.  If similar legislation is passed in the senate, it would be a bad deal for America and a devastating man-made disaster.  Every effort must be made to defeat what would amount to a misguided approach to this nation’s energy needs.

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Glenn Beck read my American Thinker letter and invited me as a guest on his national Fox News TV show on  Monday, June 29.   Beck’s show that day was all about the “cap and trade” bill that passed the House on Friday, June 26.  I responded on Beck’s show as an angry citizen in Kirk’s 10th Dstrict who could no longer support or vote for Congressman Kirk.

 

President Obama in a Rose Garden appearance on Thursday, June 25, told the media that whoever leads the world in green technology will lead the world. 

The push to create viable green energy power through wind and solar is but a mirage, coupled with the myth that we are killing ourselves and the world by continuing to depend on oil and coal for our energy needs. 

 There must be a reason why most power plants in this county use coal to produce energy, which is under assault by the Obama administration.  It is because coal is the cheapest, the most dependable, and it works. 

Contrast coal with the fad of building wind turbines which generate power only when the wind blows.  As of yet there is no way to store that power.  Most Importantly, wind power is not cost effective unless government subsidies are provided

The Waxman-Markey global warming bill now in the House pushes green energy.  If passed, it would vastly expand power in Washington, D.C. and would function as a massive energy tax on the American people by raising the cost of energy and the price paid for all goods and services without achieving environmental pay-offs. 

Going  green has failed in Europe.  Are the American people willing to have junk science destroy the economy thereby ending the U.S. as a free and productive country, all because CO2 has been falsely classified as a pollutant?

 
  
The Tribune informed readers on Friday, June 19, that Governor Quinn has called for lawmakers to meet in a special session on Tuesday to deal with a state budget shortfall of $9.2.  Because Democrat legislators failed to resolve the budget shortfall prior to its adjournment on May 31, they will now need Republican votes to get the 3/5 majority required for an income tax hike.  Governor Quinn is insisting that personal and corporate income tax increases of $3.2 billion are needed to balance the fiscal year 2010 budget or major layoffs and drastic cuts to social services wil result.
 
I was impressed with the Tribune’s editorial of May 29, published two days before the end of the General Assembly’s spring session. The title of the editorial:  “No tax hike before reform.”  Hopefully its concluding paragraph is still the policy of the Tribune’s editorial board:  “Springfield, you’re asking for trouble with voters if you raise the income tax before you pass thorough and meaningful ethics and spending reforms.  The results so far have been half-hearted.  Put honest government first.”
 
As one of 500 Illinois Policy Institute Liberty leaders, I was pleased to see a reference to the nonpartisan Illinois Policy Institute in your May 29th editorial, which you indicted looked “like a smart new smorgasbord of spending reductions.”  The IPI report can be read at http://illinoispolicyinstitute.org under “Budget Solutions 2010:  Balancing the Budget Without Tax Hikes.”  The report should be read and taken seriously by legislators in Springfield and Tribune readers. The savings outlined in the report would likely exceed $3.2 billion and would put funding on pace with 2006 when the population of Illinois was nearly the same. 
 
It is unconscionable that the young, elderly and disabled are being used as pawns in the budget battle.  The Child Care Association of Illinois used such a tactic in a news conference on June 16th when it was reported that Quinn was slashing 9,000 Foster Parent Subsidies by 50%.  Advocates warned how foster parents must return kids within 90 days and that cots might be needed in state buildings.  It appears that tax-hikers are treating foster kids as if they were products bought by foster parents at Wal-Mart (return kids). 
Pat Quinn, Mike Madigan and John Cullerton were not crying wolf, nor were Republicans, back in 2006 when our population was almost identical.  Since then the state’s spending has skyrocketed.
 
Tax increases proposed during the spring session failed because legislators were fearful of raising taxes on struggling taxpayers in their districts without first passing meaningful ethics and spending reforms.  Republicans legislators, as they did during the spring session, continue to insist that they won’t consider raising taxes in the special June legislation session unless the majority Democrats change business as usual in Springfield. 
 
Evidently president of the Senate, Sen. John Cullerton (D-Chicago), believes Illinoisans won big with ethics reform this year.  So he wrote in a Tribune commentary published on Friday, June 19th: “Lawmakers did their job on reform.”
 
The Chicago Tribune is to be applauded for its May 29th editorial which insisted that no tax hikes take place before meaningful reform.   May the Tribune continue to hold the feet of legislators to the fire.  The Illinois Policy Institute’s 2010 report paves the way toward responsible government.   Spending is the problem.  Without meaningful reform spending will continue to skyrocket year after year.   Illinoisans deserve an honest government with sound fiscal policies that do not result in waste and fraud. 

 

 
 
State legislators have been asked to return to the Capitol in Springfield on Tuesday of this week (June 23) to deal with the state budget $9.2 billion shortfall.  Because Democrat legislators failed to resolve the budget shortfall prior to its adjournment on May 31, they will now need Republican votes to get the 3/5 majority required for an income tax hike.  Governor Quinn is insisting that personal and corporate income tax increases of $3.2 billion are needed to balance the fiscal year 2010 budget or major layoffs and drastic cuts to social services will be necessary.
 
As a designated Illinois Policy Institute Liberty Leader, I pleased to see a reference to the IPI under DARTS AND LAURELS on Friday, June 19.  Besides telling the public to stop “frothing” over planned state cuts in social services, the public was encouraged to tell lawmakers and the governor to reign in spending by adopting meaningful reforms before asking taxpayers to ante up more.  The IPI was cited as having come up with $641 million in state spending. 
 
The IPI believes the savings could be much higher, at least $3.2 billion.   By reducing spending by $3.2 billion, a 50% increase in income tax rates would be unnecessary and the state could continue to maintain the same level of services it had in 2006 when the population was nearly the same.  The Institute’s solution to balancing the budget without tax hikes can be viewed at http://illinoispolicyinstitute.org under “Budget Solutions 2010:  Balancing the Budget Without Tax Hikes.”  The report should be read and taken seriously by legislators in Springfield and the general public.  The savings outlined would likely exceed $3.2 billion and still fully fund vital services.
 
It is unconscionable that the young, elderly and disabled are being used as pawns in the budget battle.  In keeping with the pawn scare tactic, this past weekend edition of the News-Sun published an article that told how the Busy Bee Day Care Center in Waukegan could face a reduction of services and even shut down without government funding.  Pat Quinn, Mike Madigan and John Cullerton were not crying wolf back in 2006 when our population was almost identical.  Since then the state’s spending has skyrocketed. 
  
Tax increases proposed during the spring session failed because legislators were fearful of raising taxes on struggling taxpayers in their districts without first passing meaningful ethics and spending reforms.  Republicans legislator, as they did during the spring session, continue to insist  that they won’t consider raising taxes in the special June legislation session until the majority Democrats change business as usual in Springfield. 
 
The New-Sun should be applauded for encouraging the public to ask legislators and the governor to pass meaningful reforms before increasing taxes.  The Illinois Policy Institute’s 2010 report paves the way toward responsible government.   Spending is the problem.  Without meaningful reform spending will continue to skyrocket year after year.   Illinoisans deserve an honest government with sound fiscal policies that do not result in waste and fraud.  

President Obama is urging U.S. lawmakers before their month-long summer vacation on Aug. 3rd to come up with bills on health care reform and global warming. 

The 942-page Waxman-Markey energy bill in the House — known as “The American Clean Energy and Security Act” (H.R. 2454) — aims to  create new jobs, save Americans hundreds of billions in energy costs, reduce global warming and pollution, and wean the country off imported oil.   If passed it would fail in every way. 

Already environmental activists and interest groups are involved in propaganda campaigns to scare people into clamoring for climate legislation to avoid “climate catastrophe.”   Not only is my 10th District Congressman Rep. Mark Kirk being pressured through telephone calls to his constituents to support health care reform that includes a government public plan, but Kirk is also the target of TV ads on Fox News urging him to vote for “The American Clean Energy and Security Act.” 

A study at the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis in Washington, D.C. has found that by 2035 the proposed Waxman-Markey global warming legislation would inflict GDP losses of $9.4 trillion, raise an average family’s energy bill by $1,241, and destroy on the average 1,145,000 jobs.  (Morning Bell:  What is the Bigger Threat?  Global Warming or Global Warming Legislation).  Meanwhile China and India will be firing up coal-fired power plants, benefiting economically, while this nation’s regulates itself to death.

Given the possible economic down side of enacting the Waxman-Markey energy bill and how its “cap-and-trade” provision would control and penalize large industrial sources that emit carbon dioxide, it would seem prudent to first examine the urgency for enacting global warming legislation

On Wednesday, June 17,  an interesting graph appeared in the Wall Street Journal.    (Building Up /Total Carbon-Dioxide Emissions).   It indicated that even if the U.S. were to reduce its output of CO2 by 50%,  it would have no perceptible effect on the world environment as enormous amounts of CO2 is produced by nature every year.   Further stated was that such an effort “will probably destroy the economy, reduce the dollar to junk status, and end the U.S. as a free and productive country as we know it.”

Not to be overlooked, especially by Chicagoans, is The Heartland Institute, a 25 year old non-partisan think tank located in Chicago, IL.   On June 2nd  it sponsored the Third International Conference on Climate Change in Washington, D.C.  Released at the conference  was a 880-page reportClimate Change Reconsidered — that challenges point by point the flawed claims of a 2007 U.N document embraced by the Obama administration.   The appendix lists the names of 31,478 American scientists who have signed a petition– including 9,029 with PhD’s, which states in part:   “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of Earth’s climate.”   (The Climate-Change Report the UN Failed to Write). 

There is massive deceit taking place among advocates of global warming through doctored data, misrepresented study findings, and flawed computer simulations that amounts to a government-created Ponzi scam that surpasses the shame of the Madoff scandal.  As such global warming is not and never was the crisis so many politicians and activists claim it is.  Fraud by investment gurus earn them jail and fines; no punishment awaits fraud on the public by government officials.

Efforts made to control emissions of greenhouse gases would not only be ineffective and completely pointless as carbon dioxide is not an atmospheric pollutant, but also extremely expensive.  The net result of the Waxman-Markey energy bill would be to vastly expand power in Washington, D.C., while functioning as a tax on the American people by raising the cost of energy and the price paid for all goods and services.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/06/economic_downside_of_waxmanmar.html at June 24, 2009 – 07:22:25 PM EDT

   

While President Obama and his Administration breathlessly make the rounds in town hall meetings, even at the White House no less, and the halls of Congress, to impose an unpopular, astonishingly expensive, carelessly crafted and incomplete plan to overhaul of the health care industry, everyone is ignoring the energy crisis.

OK, there doesn’t appear to be an energy crisis at the moment with gasoline under $3.00. There is in fact, both a rising energy cost with oil nearly doubling in the past few months,(Largely weak dollar driven thanks to the projected debt) and an energy dependence problem we are overlooking. In these troubled economic times we are distracted and have taken our eye off the energy ball. At issue: not a thingl is being done to seriously address the energy dependence elephant in the room. Don’t be fooled by the rhetoric, watch what is actually occurring in the Obama Administration. What is going on is, As Fred Barnes says, an effective miss-direction play, analogous to football.

President Obama declared in April 2009, “we can and should increase our domestic oil and natural gas production, if we’ve got some here in the US that we can use, we should find it and do so in an environmentally sustainable way”. What has actually occurred since the inauguration? 1. Focus on wind and solar, currently providing <1% of our needs and promising to double or triple in a few years, to 2% or 3%, interesting but hardly a serious solution. 2. Proposed removing tax incentives to produce oil and gas, adding a 13% excise tax on energy sourced from the Gulf of Mexico and adding a 3% tax hike on companies that produce or process oil and gas. 3. Delaying the implementation of the outer continental shelf leasing plan. 4. Interior Secretary Salazar cancelled 77 oil and gas leases in Utah, stopped plans to lease oil shale fields in five states where experts determined there are 1 to 2 trillion barrels of recoverable oil, declared the Yellow Billed loon to be an endangered species, limiting the development of oil reserves in Alaska. Further, due to permitting process glitches, stopped the issuance of oil leases in promising fields in Colorado and Alaska. I would call these the “No New Domestic Energy Czar” initiatives.

As to nuclear power, no support from Obama until the waste matter is settled. Has he forgotten or ignored the Yucca Mountain decision and investment, a site nearly completed and ready for business, to say nothing of the reprocessing option ala France. In effect, Obama is ignoring Nuclear Energy, the one and only energy source today that has the capacity to end energy dependence, and with zero air pollutants or CO² emissions. The likely agenda here: Nuclear Energy does not represent a carbon “Cap & Trade” source of tax revenue. boese4@comcast.net

No matter how the energy debate develops, the policies Obama has implemented, not articulated, will result in continued energy dependence on countries and people with whom we are not friendly, nor are they dependable sources. The likely outcome? Soaring energy costs that will be a burden on the economic health of America, a depressing effect on a financial recovery and a threat to our very way of life

Iran’s sham elections

June 14, 2009

President Obama expressed great hope for Iran as the Iranian people were voting on Friday, June 12, and credited his speech of June 4th in Cairo, Egypt for the rejection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when early on it was reported that challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi held a commanding lead over President Ahmadinejad.   

In a still disputed and bitterly contested election, President Ahmadinejad was declared a landslide winner by Iran’s state news agency IRNA, even though an 85% voter turn out usually indicates a desire for change.

In reality neither candidate was a good choice.  It was a choice between the bad and ugly.  Although Mousavi was seen a a reform-minded candidate, had he been elected, it would not have made a difference either domestically or in  Iran’s image abroad.  Iran’s president is but a puppet of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.  Khamenei holds the ultimate political authority in Iran.

As President Obama envisions an open dialogue and more open mindedness over Iran’s nuclear program, he might well heed what Ayatollah told a huge crowd to mark 20 years since the death of the founder of the Islamic republic just hours before Obama delivered his Cairo speech aimed at establishing a new relationship with the Muslim world:  “In the past few years, American governments have occupied two Islamic countries, Iraq and Afghanistan, under the pretext of the fight against terrorism. . . If the new president of American wants a change of face, America should change this behavior.  Words and talk will not result in change.”  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8082386.stm   

This does not sound like a country who is about to give up its nuclear ambitions, it’s hatred of Israel and calls for annihilation, or its devil-like image of America.   

President Obama is playing with fire if he foolishly believes that his charm, charisma and power of persuasion can open up a productive dialogue with Iran to improve decades of confrontational relations, especially relating to Iran’s nuclear program, when Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has the last word on major Iranian policy decisions. 

The Iranian elections were a sham from the very beginning.  Change is not possible in the current political climate with Khamenei and the mullahs in charge.

 

It was in March of this year when Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security Secretary, told a reporter from the German newspaper DER SPIEGEL that she preferred to refer to Islamic terrorism as “man-caused” disasters. 

Was this a harbinger of things to come in the way this nation treats acts of terrorism?

U.S. Rep. Mike Rodgers (R-Mich), recently back from Afghanistan, blew the whistle when he told of captured foreign fighters getting “Miranda” warnings prior to questioning.  Neither Rep. Rodgers or the U.S. Congress  had been briefed about the Obama administration’s new advisement policy procedures. 

Given a “Miranda” warning, a terrorist has the right to remain silent, the right to speak to an attorney and to have an attorney present during questioning and the right to have a lawyer provided and paid for at government expense.  Who could think it wise to silence enemy combatants trained to kill U.S. soldiers who might have intelligence information when snatching them off the battlefield?  

Such a change in advisement policy would represent a policy shift.  It would elevate the role of the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, replacing the CIA-dominated system of clandestine detentions and interrogations, as acts of terrorism are moved from the battlefield to the courtroom, thus turning the battlefield into a crime field. 

Dealing with terrorists as a legal matter on the battlefield would handicap the effectiveness of American armed forces.  Will every soldier have to have a translator?  Will they have to collect evidence to testify years later in civilian courts.  If so, chaos and confusion will result for our soldiers and interrogators. 

The lessons learned from 9/11 seem to have been forgotten.  Prior to  9/11 terrorism was treated as a criminal act, but did this prevent us from losing 3,000 on 9/11?   Al-Qaeda was at war with us, but we weren’t with them.  Also likely to occur is another turf war spawning distrust and a wall of separation between the CIA and the FBI.

It is unconscionable that terrorists are receiving rights that they never had before, hereby extending Constitutional protection to the worst scum of the earth even when they are being held overseas.  It is likewise foolish and dangerous to grant rights that are destructive of American society to those who wish to destroy us.  

Constitutional protection for terrorists is not in keeping with American values.   It is apparent that victory in the Obama administration does not head their policy list.  There is a time for law enforcement and a time for troops to do what they must do to win.  Islamist terrorist are still at war with us.  Not to be at war with them is a recipe for disaster and humiliation for a once strong and proud nation.    

Every day there seems to be an announcement of a new czar.  Captivated by the un-American notion of running the county through Russian-style czars that are empowered to issue czarist-style proclamations (The Romanov Dynasty produced 18 czars from 1612 to 1917), the Obama administration is up to 23 czars in only 5 months.

The most recent czar appointment was a “Pay Czar” to regulate executive pay at firms receiving TARP funds.  It is fair to assume that compensation regulations will reach far beyond receivers of TARP funds.

Another czar appointment will take place later on in June with the naming of a “Special Master of Hallway Traffic” to ensure that employees of bailed-out firms remain at their desks during work hours and are not out wandering the halls and getting into mischief.  This czar, when named, could rightly be placed in a “believe it or not” category far out in the Twilight Zone.

In no way am I equating the Obama administration with the era of the Russian Romanov Dynasty; nevertheless, in naming czars Obama is creating fiefdoms within his White House which bypass the oversight of Congress.  In so doing President Obama is amassing executive power that is not answerable to any one.

The Constitution sets forth three separate but equal branches of government.  Obama was not elected to rule, yet Obama is seeking to rule rather than to govern by usurping power that doesn’t belong to him through fiat.

Congress should care as should the American people.

 

The general consensus following Obama’s 6,000 word speech at Cairo University in Egypt on Thursday, June 4 was one of brilliance.

To the contrary, Obama’s address was vapid and more about impressing foreigners with himself at the expense of his own country.  All but ignored by the cheer leading press is how Obama’s words gave hope to tyrannical regimes and brought darkness to forces of liberty. 

  • Obama ignored the History of violence and bloodshed in the Middle East.
  • Obama pressured Israel and the Palestinains to live up to their peace obligations, as if both desire peace.
  • In so doing Obama was dismissive of Israel.
  • Obama pandered to the most oppressive regimes upon the fact of this earth.
  • Obama called Iraq a “war of choice.”
  • Obama told the world we are not going to torture any more (we never did).
  • Obama called 9/11 a torture upon our county, rather than a terrorist attack.
  • Obama erased the moral distinction between the Islamic world and the West.
  • Obama seemed comfortable with Iran becoming a nuclear power.
  • Obama wrongly called the U.S. “one of the largest Muslim countries in the world.” 

For one who says he loves his country, Obama exhibits little of it when he goes abroad.  Although President Obama represents the greatest country on the face of the earth, American exceptionism fails to register in Obama’s mind. 

JFKennedy would never have gone overseas and dumped on his own country.  Neither would have Reagan, FDR, or Lincoln and any U.S. president. 

It is way past time for Middle East leaders to come over here and apologize to this nation for the long list of horrors committed across the globe by radical Muslims and to thank the U.S. for what this nation has done to help Muslims nations fight their oppressors.