Challenging the Tribune’s Editorial Staff  (In response to your “More isn’t always better” editorial of Tuesday, July 28  and a request to expound on Medicare in a future editorial.)

I would like to comment first on the Tribune’s editorial of Tuesday, July 28:  More isn’t always better

In your commentary, the responsibility for curbing the cost of health care was leveled against doctors, patients and insurance companies.

Why was there no mention of tort reform?  The insane cost and arbitrary rewards of our malpractice system if forcing doctors to practice defensive medicine — what the Tribune commentary calls unnecessary medical treatment — for fear of getting sued.  Tort reform would yield tens of billions in saving, yet their if no mention of tort reform in any of the proposed health care reform bills.  Why?  Because Democrats are parasitically dependent on huge donations from trial lawyers.

Secondly, might the Tribune’s  Editorial Staff expound upon Medicare in a future editorial?   Medicare is already on the brink of collapse — Medicare Part A has $38 trillion in unfunded liabilities — yet the health care reform system being proposed is based on Medicare.

Obama talks health care with  AARP was the subtitle of a Tribune article by Robert Schroeder of McClatchy/Tribune News on Wednesday, July 29.  In the article Obama assured members of the AARP  that Medicare benefits would not be cut under his plan. 

How can this be so when Obama plans to pay for up to a third of his $1 trillion plus health care reform by cutting $313 in Medicare reimbursements to health care providers over the next 10 years.  It stands to reason that for seniors health reform will act as an assault on their liberty and their well being, reduce their access to care and doom baby boomers to painful later years. 

Obama is telling Americans we can’t afford health care reform and by passing reform we can get our economy back on track.  With a budget deficit of $1.845 trillion for 2009, how can this nation afford to take on a program which will only add to our already burgeoning debt?

This is no time to throw the baby out with the bath water!  With an estimated 8 – 12  million individuals who have fallen through the cracks — not the 45 millions figure being bandied around — why destroy the best health care system in the world when those needing help can be taken care of at a fraction of the cost?

Heath care is not a right.  I challenge Tribune readers to find that right defined in our Constitution.  In Great Britain the recognition as such has led to substandard care.

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I read with interest an article in the Lake Forester by Linda Blazer on Thursday, July 23:  Lake Bluff woman becomes a partner in wind turbines venture 

Carol Dorge, an environmental attorney who has “long worked for concerns that look to protect the earth”, hopes to bring wind turbine energy to industry, local government and to ordinary citizens as a means to supplement or substitute what is bought from utility companies.  As such Ms. Dorge has teamed up with North Wind Development Group LLC – Renewable Division in Grayslake. 

Although I do not wish to undermine the noble effort of Carol Dorge, one must be realistic about the use of wind power on a grand scale in meeting future energy needs.

Wind has limited possibilities as a green source of energy, but it fails as a reliable source of energy.  It is naive to believe that wind farms could ever provide more than a small percentage of our nation’s energy needs. To generate the same amount of energy with wind as an average-sized nuclear plant — 1,000 megawatts — you would  need 270 square miles filled with wind turbines.  By contrast a nuclear facility fits on far less than even one square mile.

There is also money to be made by investing in wind turbines.  Because the construction of wind turbines is not cost effective, generous government subsidies provide incentives for individual and companies to invest in the wind business..

Then there is the  problem of connecting wind power to current electrical grids, as oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens found out when he had to scrap plans for the world’s largest wind farm in the Texas Panhandle. Pickens had already ordered 687 turbines 400 feet tall at a cost of $2 billion dollars.  Now Pickens is looking for a home for his 687 giant wind turbines after finding that it was impossible to get the power generated from the proposed Texas Panhandle.site to a distribution center. 

Even with an existing electrical grid, wind turbines have not fared all that well in CA.  There are hundreds of abandoned wind turbines that have been built since the 1970’s thanks to various tax-incentive subsidies given to promote the wind turbine industry.

One must also consider the safety of wind turbines.  According to a report from the Caithnes Windfarm Information Forum: (1) 39 incidents of blade failures have been know to travel over a quarter mile. (2) 110 incidents of fire that require 30–foot story ladder trucks. (3) 60 incidents of turbine failure and tower collapse. (4) 13 incidents of “ice throw” with human injury.

President Obama held up Denmark as an example when he lamented that only 3% of America’s electricity comes from renewable sources such as wind and solar when Denmark produces almost 20% of its electricity from wind. Evidently unknown to Obama is that  Denmark has the highest rate of electricity generation in Europe at 15 cents kwh.  Niels Gram of the Danish Federation of Industries said that “windmills are a mistake and economically make no sense.” 

Given that turbine blades don’t turn when the wind dies, wind power is unreliable.  Furthermore, there is no way to store generated wind energy when the wind does blow.  No place exists in this country, that I am aware of, where the wind blows more than 40 percent of the time – except on the tops of some mountains. 

Wouldn’t it make more sense to invest in nuclear power?  It is the one clean, abundant, and affordable energy source known on this planet. 

Presently there is a dual nuclear reactor plant built by ComEd in 1973 standing idle up in Zion.  David Hollein, a resident of Barrington Hills, formerly the Westinghouse Project Engineer for all the Commonwealth Nuclear Plants built by Westinghouse and General Electric, and who was intimately involved with the design of the Zion dual nuclear plant, has for years (like a voice in the wilderness) been trying to alert legislators and citizens to the vast treasure of energy that remains shuttered and has been demanding a second look.

Why have citizens here in Lake County never questioned why two 1,000 megawatt nuclear reactors in Zion were closed in the first place and then never restarted?  Readers of the Lake Forester need to take umbrage and contact their legislators about reopening Zion’s dual nuclear plant. 

Unfortunately Congressman Mark Kirk remains adamantly committed against its reopening.  It makes sense why Mark Kirk voted with 8 other Republican congressmen for the Waxman-Markey bill given that the largest donors ($94,873 dollars worth) over Kirk’s entire career, Chicago-based energy giant Exelon Corporation, would benefit by reaping huge windfall profits of $1 billion a year should climate change legislation be enacted.

Europe is way ahead of America in using nuclear energy.  Recently it has been reported that China intends to build 100 nuclear reactors. 

Only by increasing its nuclear energy capacity will Illinois and the rest of this nation be able to keep pace with future energy demands.  Not to do so would result in an escalation of the price we pay for energy and black outs.  It would also result in a substantial loss of our standard of living, while keeping us overly dependent on foreign countries for oil, which is the exact opposite from what the Waxman-Markey bill promises

Widely reported was how the unemployment rate for June in the Chicago metropolitan area reached 11.3%, the highest since 1983. 

Little noted is that on the same day the Obama administration allowed an increase in the federally mandated hourly wage to $7.25, which would create about $120 a month in extra disposable income. 

Why are the two events in conflict with each other?  When the government forces firms to pay workers more money, it has to come from somewhere.  And that somewhere is usually lost jobs and lost opportunity for low-skilled workers.

The unemployment rate for adults without a high school diplomas has risen to 15.3%.  Very often low paying jobs provide unskilled workers with the work experience needed to move up the career ladder.  This increase in the minimum wage hike will undoubtedly hit the most vulnerable the hardest.

As such the wage hike can be likened to killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

I read with interest several newspaper accounts the day after Congressman Mark Kirk announced his bid for the senate on Monday, July 21, at his boyhood home in Kenilworth.  I was present for the occasion with my sign of protest along with my friend Margaret McCarthy of Libertyville.  We were the only conservative Republicans who showed up protest Kirk’s candidacy, a great disappointment to the both of us.

Congressman Kirk prides himself on being an independent Republican who votes with Democrats on environmental issues and social issues and with Republican on fiscal matters and the military.   For this reason Kirk is being promoted by national and state GOP leaders, who like Kirk are often called country club of limousine liberals, as the best shot to take Burris’ senate seat from the Democrats.  

It was possible for Congressman Kirk to win five terms in his liberal north shore 10th District in which I reside, but will Kirk be able to convince enough independent and moderate Democrat voters to cross over and vote for him running statewide?   

By focusing on the alleged corruption of the Democrat Party Kirk might be able to bring voters over to his side.   But what about conservative Republican voters who are still angry over Congressman Kirk’s shameful “yes” vote on the Waxman-Markey bill, where he was one of only eight House Republicans to defect from his party?  Since the Waxman-Marky bill would result in the highest tax burden ever in American history, how can Kirk begin to call himself a fiscal conservative?   

Unknown by most Illinoisans is that Kirk is a gun grabber, having received an F- rating from the NRA.   Of grave concern to many conservatives is Kirk’s abortion stance.  He received a 100% rating by Planned Parenthood. 

Also of concern to Kirk’s conservative Republican base is his lead sponsorship in the House of Hate Crimes legislation which creates federal protections and privileges to homosexuals and others who have chosen alternative sexual lifestyles.  Mark Kirk will also have to answer to being the only Republican added on as a co-sponsor of HR 1966 which calls for the monitoring of cyberbullying.  Both children and adults could be prosecuted under this bill.

Although Mark Kirk has been anointed by top Republican brass and certainly has the means to raise the projected 25 million dollar to run statewide, at least five other Republican candidates will be challenging Kirk for a chance at Burris’ senate seat in the 2010 Primary Election:  Dr. Eric Wallace, Robert Zadek, Andy Martin, John Arrington, and Don Lowery.  It would be wise to check them out on the internet.

It will be difficult and even impossible for conservative Republican faithful like me to work for the candidacy of someone who votes against the party platform more than he supports it.   We want and deserve a candidate who offers a contrast to the Democrats, not a weak echo. 

May the race begin.   It won’t be pretty and promises to be a nasty one once the Chicago Democrat Political Machine kicks in.

President Obama put much of his political capital on the line on Wednesday, July 22, with his 10th news conference in six months in front of a national audience, but was he successful in reclaiming  momentum in his push for health care reform?  A recent Gallop poll showed that 50 percent of the American people disapprove of the health reform plans, while only 44% approve. 

 From the tone of President Obama’s July 22 news conference, it is evident that Obama is gravely concerned — and possibly slightly unhinged —  upon the realization that health care reform cannot be rammed through the House and the Senate before the August recess.

 In his preliminary remarks, Obama insisted that passing health reform was not all about him and then went on to inform his national audience of letters he had received from Americans asking for his help.  Obama even had the audacity to point fingers at Republicans for wanting to destroy his presidency by rejecting Obamacare, when it is rank-and-file Democrats in the House and Senate who are some of the most vocal opponents, especially so-called Blue Dog House Democrats.

Much of the media remains bedazzled and bamboozled over Obama’s fluency in speaking.  Very few news publications have the courage or even wish to dispute the facts that were presented by President Obama at his town meeting.  It’s not polite or politically correct to say that President Obama lied, but there is no other way to explain the words which were spoken by Obama in an attempt to mislead the American people. 

What about Obama’s promise to the American people that if they are happy with their current health insurance they can keep it?  The assertion is only true if the story were fiction.  According to an analysis from the Heritage Foundation conducted by the Lewin Group, approximately 103 million people would be covered under the new public plan.  As a consequence about 83.1 million workers would see their current private employer-sponsored health plan go away and would be shifted to the public plan.   

Another news conference claim made by Obama is that his health care reform will be “deficit neutral.”   The CBO Congress-nonpartisan director, Douglas Elmendorf, indicated that the bills taking shape on Capitol Hill would not lower costs and would drive up government spending at an unsustainable pace.  

And what about Obama’s claims that nearly 46 million people in the U.S. are uninsured.  Thomas Sowell in his commentary of Tuesday, July 21, Medical Care confusion, questioned the number of Americans really without health care given that many of the poor are automatically covered by Medicaid and the old by Medicare and how many young people with substantial incomes choose to spend their incomes on other things.   

It is estimated that a third of the 46 million uninsured people lacking health insurance are in fact illegal immigrants. Why should people work to give free health care to people who shouldn’t be here?

For seniors, health reform will act as to assault on their liberty and their well being, as legislation in both the House and the Senate “will reduce their access to care, pressure the the elderly to end their lives prematurely, and doom baby boomers to painful later years.”   

Obama wants Americans to believe that his health plan covers the uninsured, improves patient care, and puts more money in people’s pockets while adding nothing to the deficit.  Tort reform and reform  to rid Medicare and Medicaid of fraud and waste (Medicaid payments are already breaking state governments and Medicare the federal government.) would help to reduce considerably the cost of health care.  Doctors must practice defensive medicine for fear of getting sued.  Since trial lawyers are among the biggest donors to the Democrat Party, they will not be reigned in. 

It should scare the American people that Obama wants to take over 1/5 of our economy with health care reform that builds on two failed program, Medicaid and Medicare.  Rush Limbaugh made an astute statement on his July 24th syndicated radio show.  Using the figure of 12 million uninsured people who really need help, Rush suggested that they could have been provided for in the stimulus bill at a cost of $29 billion, which would have been chump change.

We do not need to tear apart and rebuild the best health care in the world when all that is needed is some tweaking around the edges.  Published in Lancet Oncology:  According to the largest-ever international study of cancer survival rates cancer patients live longer in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world.  Also reported was that no country on the globe does as good a job overall in medicine as the U.S. 

I stand with others who respect the presidency, but do not want Obama’s policies to succeed.   Dennis Byrne, a Chicago-area-writer and consultant who blogs at ChicagoNow.com, summed up  the catastrophic economic disaster facing America in his Chicago Tribune commentary of Tuesday, July 21:  Saddling the next generation with massive debt.  He wrote how our national debt is a sliver under $12 trillion, but that our true national debt amounts to nearly $62 trillion because of all the promised entitlements.  Byrne then went on to quote a study by the Illinois Northbrook-based Institute for Truth in Accounting which found that the amount of debt owed by every man, woman and child in America is an astounding $202.000. 

If Obama gets his way in passing health reform, which would add another $1 trillion plus in debt, and on energy legislation, which would amount to the largest tax increase ever for the American people, this generation would have the stigma of being known as the “shameless” generation, in contrast to the “greatest” generation when people fought to protect liberty and prosperity. 

An excellent summary of how government-run health care would harm both patients and doctors can be found in a Heritage Foundation report by Robert A. Book, Ph.D.  http://www.heritage.org/research/healthcare/wm2381.cfm 

This nation cannot afford to enact Obama’s health care reform, yet President Obama is telling the American people that we can’t afford not to do health care reform and that only after passing health care reform can we get the economy back on track.

It is both telling and encouraging that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reed (D – NV) reported on July 23 that he would not bring health care reform up for a vote in the Senate until after the August recess.  Hopefully the American people will give their senators and representatives an earful when they go back home to their home districts.  It makes no sense to destroy what can be fixed when 85% of the American people are satisfied with their present health care.

 Nancy J. Thorner, 331 E. Blodgett Ave., Lake Bluff, IL  60044    (847) 295-1035

Precinct committeeman, Lake County, Shield Township, #240

An announcement on a local ABC radio affiliate station at the conclusion of the Group of Eight economic summit applauded President Obama for his summit accomplishments. Therein lies the problem. The news is being spun so it reflects what the presenter wishes the public to know and believe. This practice is also known in some circles as media bias.
 
How could the summit be called a success when the G-8 nations declined prompt actions to curb greenhouse gas emissions in favor of high-sounding goals to reduce their own emissions.? The G-8 did agree to “prevent” world temperatures from rising by over two degrees centigrade. The irony of this is how could we ever know if they prevented world temperatures from increasing by two degrees?  The G-8 countries could make this claim no matter what climate conditions arise in our lifetimes. To further complicate matters, developing countries such as India, China and Brazil refused to come on board with reducing their own greenhouse gasses.
 
It is evident that President Obama, in his push to have the world accept his proposals for stringent global warming regulations and mandates, fails to grasp the untold pain it would bring to this country and other members of the G-8 with little or no environmental gain to show for such draconian measures. 
 
A little know fact is that the world temperatures rose by only six-tenths of one degree over the entire 20th century when the alarmists say our CO2 emissions drove climate change to some imaginary tipping point. 
 
It is telling that a 98-page report by Dr. Alan Carlin, an Obama administration EPA senior research analyst employee, which warned against making hasty decisions on the issue of global warming was suppressed.  Then there is Lisa Jackson, EPA administrator, who in front of a Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee hearing on June 9 admitted that “U.S. action alone will not impact CO2 levels.” 
 
Chicago’s own Heartland Institute sponsored a global conference in Washington, D.C., a few months ago at which time 31,478 scientists signed a petition which in part states that greenhouse gasses of any kind are not about to cause a disruption of the earth’s climate.
 
Chip Nappenberger, administrator of the “World Climate Report,” noted that even if CO2 emissions were reduced to 83 percent below 2005 levels by 2050, global temperature would be decreased by a mere 0.05 degree Celsius.
 
Presently there is an effort to make Americans feel guilty about being alive.  It is important, however, that the American people are not suckered into believing that man is able to alter the natural and reoccurring fluctuations of the planet’s temperature through any actions of his own.
 
The push by President Obama to have the Senate pass an energy and global warming bill similar to the Waxman-Markey bill that passed the House on June 26 – thanks in part to 10th District Republican Congressman Mark Kirk – if passed, would destroy the economy, reduce the dollar to junk status and end the U.S. as a free and productive country as we know it.
 
Senators Durbin and Burris must be made to see the folly of attempting to control the climate through calls to their Chicago offices.  In truth, the Waxman-Markey bill represents one leg of an extreme radical Democrat agenda which seeks to interfere with private property through vastly expanding power in Washington, D. C.   It would impose the biggest tax increase ever on the American people and act as a job killer. 
 
It is well to remember that plants love the CO2 humans exhale in the process of living!

My turncoat GOP congressman announces for Senate

By Nancy J. Thorner

Given that my American Thinker  blog of June 28 — Betrayed by my Republican Congressman — took to task my renegade 10th District congressman, Mark Steven Kirk, for his “yes” vote on the Waxman-Markey bill, I was somewhat amused when I received late in the afternoon of Thursday, July 16, an e-mail invitation to join Mark Kirk this morning at 10:30 A.M. in Kenilworth, IL, to help him launch his candidacy for statewide office.  As Mark Kirk noted on my invitation:  “I want you to be there as we begin a campaign to restore pride to Illinois and put our country back on track.” 

Kirk’s decision to seek an upgrade to his title did not come as a surprise.   For months Kirk had expressed interest in running either for the U.S. Senate or the governorship of Illinois.  Senator Burris’ announcement that he would not seek reelection to a full term in 2010 — Burris was appointed to the U.S. Senate by the then and now impeached Gov. Rod Blagojevich to replace Senator Obama — apparently gave Mark Kirk the impetus he needed to think that he could be successful in his senate bid.
One must understand the nature of politics in Illinois to comprehend what prompted Mark Kirk to believe he could be successful in a statewide run for office.  Mark Kirk represents the moderate/liberal wing of the Republican Party.  Kirk even prides himself on being an independent, maverick Republican, as was evident when he decided to vote with 211 congressional Democrats and against 168 of his fellow Republican congressmen on the Waxman-Markey bill.  Kirk does have the reputation in his 10th Congressional District of deciding how to vote by sticking his finger in the air to determine which way the wind is blowing. 

Although a rather good Republican Platform exists in Illinois, it is given short shrift by Republican party leaders, state legislators and many Illinois Republicans.   Andy McKenna, Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, who was persuaded to drop his bid for the senate so Mark Kirk would not have to face meaningful opposition in the February 2010 Republican primary, represents, not unlike Mark Kirk, the moderate/left wing of the Republican Party.   

It is Republican elites like Andy McKenna — often called country club or limousine liberals — who control the Illinois Republican Party.  Republican elites, nationwide, mistakenly believe that the key to winning back the presidency, a majority in Congress, and achieving success in state and local election demands the endorsement and the promotion of moderate Republican candidates.  National GOP strategists and state party leaders have decided that Mark Kirk has the best shot to take the Senate seat from Democrats.  Presently Illinois is an economic disaster with Democrats in control of the governorship, state offices, and the General Assembly in Springfield.  Unemployment now stands at 10.1%. 

But shouldn’t Mark Kirk follow the party platform if he wishes to represent all Illinois Republicans as their senator?

Other Illinois Republicans who are seeking Burris’ senate seat are Dr. Eric Wallace, founder of the Freedom’s Journal Magazine and co-chairman of the Cook County Republican Party;  Robert Zadek, a Rockford businessman; Andy Martin, a public interest lawyer; Don Lowery, a retired southern Illinois judge; and John Arrington, a two-term alderman from the all-black Chicago suburb of Harvey.  Arrington is endorsed by the Illinois Republican Assembly.  All are more “Republican” than Mark Kirk, but only Kirk has the backing of the Illinois Republican political establishment and the means to raise the money needed to mount a statewide campaign.  

Because of Kirk’s strong allegiances and ties to environmental causes and groups, it is not unreasonable to suspect that the flawed statistics used by Kirk to justify his “yes” vote came from donors who would benefit from the Cap and Trade bill.  Champion News reported on July 15 that one of the largest contributors to U.S. Congressman Mark Kirk since he won his first race for Congress in 2000 was Chicago-based energy giant Exelon Corporation — a total of  $94,873.  Exelon ranks as Kirk’s second largest contributor over his entire career. Exelon is the largest producer of electricity in the U.S. and would reap huge windfall financial benefits, estimated at a billion dollars a year, should climate control legislation pass both the House and the Senate.    

Kirk wasted no time in defending his “yes” “Cap and Trade” vote.  Shortly after his unfortunate vote was cast in the House on Friday, June 16, Kirk sent out a letter to his 10th District constituents, including me, attempting to justify his support for the Waxman-Markey bill.  The president of Chicago’s prestigious Heartland Institute, Joseph Blast, author or editor of several publications on climate change, most recently the 880-page Climate Change Reconsidered by S. Fred Singer and Craig Idso, blasted Kirk’s constituent letter and pointed out all of its fallacies. 

Kirk is presently on a marathon town meeting cycle trying to justify his radical and unjustified “yes” vote after being brutally raked over the coal for his vote and even booed while participating in 4th of July parades. Kirk is trying to appease his constituents by telling them that “cap and trade” would only cost 10th District voters $117 or so per month, and because he knew the bill would die in the Senate, it did no harm for him to vote for it.  Recently Kirk has made attempts to weasel out of his vote by informing some constituents that his “yes” vote on Waxman-Markey was the “worst” vote he had ever made. 

But will Illinois Republicans rally around and work to elect Kirk as senator because it is the pragmatic thing to do?  Will voters decide that any Republican would be better thana Democrat?  The Republican Party elite think so.The U.S. Senate already has a number of maverick Republicans who weave from one side of the aisle to another.  Among them are Collins (ME); Lugar (IN); Martinez (FL); Snowe (ME) and Voinovich (OH).  Given that the Democrats already have a filibuster-proof majority of 60 members, do we need another maverick Republican who is not loyal to his party?

Illinois Republicans might find undesirable Kirk’s role in his sponsorship of Hate Crimes legislation.  Kirk was the lead House sponsor of H.R. 1319 that passed the House 249 – 175 several weeks ago.   Several days ago the Senate passed its version of a federal “hate crimes” law (S. 909), “which creates federal protections and privileges to homosexuals and others who have chose alternative sexual lifestyles.”  It was shamefully added as an attachment to the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2010.  

Mark Kirk will also have to answer to being the only Republican added on as a co-sponsor of HR 1966 which calls for monitoring and punishing cyberbulling.  Both children and adults could be prosecuted under this bill.  Since many cyberbullying incidents involving children in school settings are initiated or escalated away from schools, what happens when kids go home and use their laptops or cell phones?  Would the threat of being sent to jail deter kids from harassing each other? 

In a state where the number of registered Democrats far exceeds Republicans, can Mark Kirk convince enough independent and moderate Democrat Illinois voters to cross over and vote for him?   Kirk was able to do so in his North Shore Congressional District —  winning five terms running as a moderate to liberal Republican —  because many of his north shore Republican voters are liberals. 

The loss of angry conservative Republican voters may not be offset by Kirk’s hope for crossover votes.  Why would Democrats want to reduce their majority by voting for a Democrat-Lite Republican when they can have the real thing? 

The path ahead for Congressman Kirk to achieve his senatorial dream will be a difficult and an expensive one.  Kirk hopes to raise 25 million.  It will involve coming face to face with a Democrat challenger in the 2010 November elections. Two Democrats have already declared their intent to run:  Chris Kennedy, president of the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, and Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias. 

Whether or not Mark Kirk has destroyed his political aspiration due to his “yes” vote on the Democrat’s Global Warming bill, along with his past far-left positions in support of abortion (100% rating from Planned Parenthood), taxes and spending; the homosexual agenda, and his reputation as a gun grabber (F- rating by the NRA), will depend on Republican turnout.  Mark Kirk has also angered many Republicans by being against the surge in Iraq.   Kirk has only one leg to stand on.  He possibly will be portrayed as a fiscal conservative, but in reality he’s a very weak one. 

Kirk will need Republican base voters to win statewide.  Legislation championed by Mark Kirk as a congressman certainly stands in opposition to views held by many Illinois Republicans:  individual rights, limited government, free markets and traditional values. 

As an omen to those backing Kirk’s Senate bid, and even Kirk himself, may they consider what happened to Judy Barr Topinka, former Illinois State Treasurer who rather than seek re-election as state treasurer in 2006, became the Republican challenger to unseat the now impeached Democrat Governor Rod Blagojevich.  Ms. Topinka received 37% of the vote to Rod Blagojevich’s 49%, with a green candidate winning 10%.

In 2008 Dr. Steve Sauerberg attempted to unseat U.S. senior senator and Democrat Dick Durbin.  Durbin was declared the winner early based on exit polls, piling up nearly 70% of the vote

Running as moderate to liberal Republicans didn’t bring victory to either Topinka or Sauerberg. 

It is a given that Democrats will pull out all the stops to defeat Mark Kirk’s senate bid the “Chicago way” in their determination to keep Burris’ senate seat in the Democratic column.   Kirk will have a nasty fight against a Democrat candidate who will have full support of the Chicago Democratic Machine, other party leaders across the state, and the national Democrat Party, with plenty of money pouring in.  

It will be difficult for Republican Party faithful to work for the candidacy of someone who votes against the party platform more than he supports it.  We want and deserve a candidate who offers a contrast to the Democrats, not a weak echo.

My opinion of Mark Kirk has not changed since June 28.  I still feel Betrayed by my Republican Congressman.  I will be there to greet Congressman Kirk with a sign of protest as he announces his senate candidacy.

 

Nancy Kulp Thorner is a precinct committeeman in Lake County, IL

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Congratulations to the members of the 2009 4th of July committee for organizing what was another terrific Lake Bluff 4th parade — its 99th!   Joanna Rolek, Executive Director of the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Chamber of Commerce, likewise did a fine job in introducing the entries as they passed the reviewing stand on Center Avenue.

As in past parades, there were bands and musical groups that had travelled from other states to participate in Lake Bluff’s parade.  Represented were groups from Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana and Wisconsin.  

When the Lake Forester announced on Thursday, July 2nd, that green would be added as a color to the traditional red, white, and blue in keeping with environmental concerns to save Mother Earth, I became curious and questioned how this theme would be represented by entries in the parade, specifically in relation to our carbon foot print which is measured by how many tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gasses we create each year by the choices we make in our lives.  CO2 emissions are blamed by many for causing global warming.

Although some parade entries did follow through with the green theme, most did not.  Two notable Lake Bluff entries which did were Grace United Methodist Church whose slogan “Go green with Grace” featured Santa riding in  a truck with a Christmas tree and the Lake Bluff Garden Club whose slogan “Proudly Green since 1917!” featured members dressed up in green Statue of Liberty outfits carrying torches decked with flower pots. 

Tom Tincher of Lake Bluff, who videotaped the parade for our local Channel 19 TV station, did have green tape affixed to his camera mount in keeping with the spirit of the parade. 

Man’s carbon footprint, however, was very much in evidence given the number of fossil fuel burning cars and trucks that transported the parade participants and parade watchers to and from Lake Bluff’s parade.  Joanne Rolek, in her commentary, noted how the population of Lake Bluff often swells to 30,000 people on the day of the parade

It is telling that the release of a 98-page report issued by Dr. Alan Carlin, an Obama Administration EPA senior research analyst employee, was suppressed.  The report warned against making hasty decisions on the issue of global warming.  Most revealing is that Lisa Jackson, EPA Administrator, in front of a Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee hearing on Tuesday, June 9, admitted that “U.S.action alone will not impact CO2 levels.” 

So what about the participation of developing countries in meeting global warming goals of slashing heat trapping gasses by 2050, which EPA’s Lisa Jackson admitted is necessary to reverse the threat of climate change?  A July 9th report from the “Group of 8 Summit” held in L’Aquila, Italy, and attended by President Obama, noted that “India will not accept any emission-reduction target — period.  This is as non-negotiable stand.”  China has also made it explicitly clear that they view the carbon tariffs in the Waxman-Markey bill as a violation of World Trade Organization rules. 

The well respected Wall Street Journal reported on Wed., June 17, 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.  It would instead destroy the economy, reduce the dollar to junk and end the U.S. as a free productive country as we know it. 

Might the push by President Obama to have the Senate pass an energy and global warming bill similar to the Waxman-Markey bill that passed the House on Friday, June 26 — thanks to the help of eight renegade Republican U.S. congressman who voted “yes” including our own 10th District Mark Kirk — bring untold pain to this nation and to the American people with little or no environmental gain?

In returning to the initial subject of my letter — Lake Bluff’s 4th parade — it was announced that next year’s parade will be even bigger and better in keeping with Lake Bluff’s 100th anniversary.  Even for those who still have concerns over how their carbon footprints are negatively affecting the planet, I doubt if they would propose cancelling next year’s parade.  The earth, including Lake Forest and Lake Bluff, will still be around in 2010. 

There is the feel good aspect connected with efforts to save Mother Earth by going green.  There is nothing wrong with that, for after all it would be foolish not to care about the environment. 

Presently there is an effort to make us feel guilty about being alive.  It is important, however, that we are not suckered into believing that man can save the planet through his actions.  In the meantime it is well to remember that plants love the CO2 that humans exhale in the process of living.   

 

Nancy J. Thorner    331 E. Blodgett Ave., Lake Bluff, IL  60044   (847) 295-1035

I would like to compliment Joe Tagliavia of Beach Park for his excellent take on the “Cap and Trade” bill that was rammed through the House on Friday, June 24, with the help of 8 renegade Republicans which included our own 10th District Congressman Mark Kirk. 

I especially liked Tagliavia explanation of how it would take1,000 windmills to replace power generated by the an average coal plant. 

If  legislators like Congressman Kirk are really concerned about reducing our dependence on foreign oil in favor of green technology, why is there so little discussion about nuclear power which is a safe and dependable green source of energy?

To generate the same amount of energy with wind as an average-sized nuclear plant — 1,000 megawatts —  you would need 270 square miles filled with wind turbines.  By contrast, a nuclear facility fits on less than one square mile.

Presently a dual-reactor power plant built by ComEd in 1973 stands idle in Zion. Initially some steam generator tubes were found leaking, but the tubes were closed off and the plants continued to run without jeopardizing the employees, the area citizens or the environment.  The steam generators could have been replaced for 435 million dollar, but instead ComEd decided to prematurely shutter the plants in January, 1998.

David Hollein, a resident of Barrington Hills, formerly the Westinghouse Project Engineer for all the Commonwealth Nuclear Plants built by Westinghouse and General Electric, and who was intimately involved with the nuclear units at the Zion dual reactor site, has for years been trying to alert legislators and interested citizens to the vast treasure of energy that exists in the unused dual reactor site in Zion and has been demanding a second look.  Repeated overature made to local legislators, especially 61st IL State Representative JoAnn Osmond (R) and 31st District State Senator Michael Bond (D), have all been ignored.

Europe is way ahead of America in using nuclear energy.  France gets 77% of its electricity from nuclear reactors.  Recently it has been reported that China intends to build 100 nuclear reactors.

It is folly to believe that wind turbines and solar panels can replace coal and oil.  The Zion units served Chicago and the northern quarter of Illinois.  More not less energy will be needed in the years to come. Nuclear is the only sensible way to go!

Refusing to build or use existing nuclear plants here in Illinois and across this nation could result in a substantial loss of this country’s standard of living, while keeping us overly dependent on foreign countries for oil.

If legislators who like 10th District Congressman Mark Kirk are really concerned about reducing our dependence on foreign oil in favor of green technology, why is there so little discussion about nuclear power.  Nuclear Plants are the lowest cost and safest electricity generator, hands down, in addition to being GREEN.  

To generate the same amount of energy with wind as an average-sized nuclear plant — 1,000 megawatts —  you would need 270 square miles filled with wind turbines.  By contrast, a nuclear facility fits on less than one square mile.

Presently a dual-reactor power plant built by ComEd in 1973 stands idle in Zion. Initially some steam generator tubes were found leaking, but the tubes were closed off and the plants continued to run without jeopardizing the employees, the area citizens or the environment.  The steam generators could have been replaced for 435 million dollar, but instead ComEd decided to prematurely shutter and close both plants in January,1998.

David Hollein, a resident of Barrington Hills, formerly the Westinghouse Project Engineer for all the Commonwealth Nuclear Plants built by Westinghouse and General Electric, and who was intimately involved with the design of the nuclear units at the Zion dual reactor site, has for years (like a voice in the wilderness) been trying to alert legislators and citizens to the vast treasure of energy that remains shuttered at Zion’s dual nuclear reactor site and has been demanding a second look. 

Repeated overtures made to local legislators here in Lake County, especially 61st IL State Representative JoAnn Osmond (R) and 31st District State Senator Michael Bond (D), have all been ignored.

It would be wise to note that the two Zion Nuclear Plants are part of a MIDWEST ELECTRICITY GRID, where electricity is fed by all the operating electrical generating plants.  This grid includes all of Illinois and bordering states, including Michigan.

Europe is way ahead of America in using nuclear energy.  France gets 77% of its electricity from nuclear reactors.  Recently it has been reported that China intends to build 100 nuclear reactors.

It is folly to believe that wind turbines and solar panels can replace coal and oil.  The Zion units served Chicago and the northern quarter of Illinois.  More not less energy will be needed in years to come.   Nuclear is the only sensible way to go!

Refusing to build or use existing nuclear plants here in Illinois and across this nation could result in a substantial loss of this country’s standard of living, while keeping us overly dependent on foreign countries for oil, which is the exact opposite from what the Waxman-Markey bill promises.