Thursday, March 17, 2016

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By Nancy Thorner – 

Heritage’s 11th stop in its nationwide tour to “Reclaim America” took place in Chicago on Tuesday, March 8, at the Inter-Continental Chicago, 505 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, and attracted Heritage supporters and friends. Featured was a 4:30 p.m. panel discussion, followed by the 6:00 p.m. main event after a short break. These four strategies were cited as the way to “Reclaim America through restoring America’s Timeless Foundation.”  

The Heritage Foundation and its sister organization, Heritage Action for America, are leading a six year, $750 million campaign to Reclaim America from the destructive dominance of the Left. Located in Washington, D.C., The Heritage Foundation and Heritage Action for America are “in” Washington, but not “of” Washington. Whereas, the Heritage Foundation does the policy work, Heritage Action goes to Congress and further, keeps a scorecard on how each legislator votes on every bill. 

Part 1: Panel Discussion

Participating in the panel discussion were Andrew McIndoe and Paul Winfree of The Heritage Foundation and Jason Yaworske from Heritage Action. As moderator, Andrew McIndoe set the stage for the panel discussion in describing the tax code as an out-of-control 70,000 page monster, this in contrast to Heritage’s pro-growth tax policies. 

Paul Winfree was introduced by McIndoe as an economist and leading voice in Washington for free markets and fiscal responsibility.  Paul is also director of the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation, as well as the think tank’s inaugural Richard F. Aster fellow. 

Winfree noted how tax reform is shaping up to be a big issue this fall.  Every Republican presidential candidate is talking about tax reform proposals in one form or another, unlike Democrats who are  recycling policies that received top priority in President Obama’s budgets during the past eight years. In that a page of new regulations is added every day to the tax code, there is an urgency for Republican candidates to be updated with their message presentations.

Two major tax code problems were highlighted by Mr. Winfree:   1)  Fairness, relating to the horizontal inequity issue, so what one invests in and how an individual spends his own money is not the same across  board, and 2) Complexity, which gives rise to $5 – $6 billion in lost investments every year.   Americans spend 6 billion hours complying with the tax code. This leads to tax enforcement, of which tax avoidance is paramount.

Mr. Winfree further suggested that tax reform will have to wait until another administration, hopefully a Republican one.  Furthermore, spending must be taken into consideration when talking about tax reform, as the power to tax is linked to the power to spend.  Spending, as mandated by our Constitution, is threefold:  paying our debt, funding the military, and providing for the general welfare. 

Following Paul Winfree’s comments, moderator Andrew McIndoe introduced Jason Yaworske, a legislative strategist and a registered lobbying for Heritage Action. 

Mr. Yaworske’s initial comments outlined last year’s tax reform measures on the Hill.  A Task Force for Tax Reform was set up by Paul Ryan’s Ways and Means Committee.  In the Senate, the Senate Finance Committee looked into International Tax Reform.   While some progress was made, tax proposals are too often put on hold when both sides conclude that the tax reform favored would better serve as a campaign issue.  Jason predicted that tax reform during this election year would not happen.  Although legislators do recognize a need for tax reform, especially corporate, reducing corporate tax rates hit a brick wall when opposed by Democrats.

Thinking outside of the box, Mr. Yaworske suggested that Congress must be encouraged to make changes in Congressional Budget Action personnel. Presently the Congressional Budget Office hires friends who see eye-to-eye.  New blood is needed in the agency. 

A sobering thought:  $230 billion is spent on annual interest payments. This amount will balloon to $830 billion in the next 10 years if the nation’s debt is not reduced.  Because of the way Washington operates, it means nothing to speak of the debt as half as much as it was a year ago.  Why?  Because things need not be given up.  The attitude is:  If you want something, then I want this in return.  There is only one solution:  Congress must cut spending!

Check Heritage Foundation’s “Blueprint for Balance:  A federal budget for 2017”, published March 6, 2016.  It is the latest from The Heritage Foundation in its effort to present budget-cutting ideas.

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Part 2:  Main Event – 6:00 p.m:  Jim DeMInt, CEO, The Heritage Foundation, and Michael Needham, CEO, Heritage Action

With confidence, vigor, and enthusiasm Jim DeMint mounted the stage to the podium.  The crowd of well-wishers at the InterContinuental Chicago greeted DeMint with a round of applause that reflected their affirmation, admiration, and support of Jim DeMint as CEO of The Heritage Foundation. 

DeMint recounted his own remarkable entry into politics at age 47. Prior to his plunge into politics, DeMint had led a busy life.  A father of four, DeMint was involved in his community and with his business of 15 years. Having never thought about party labels, DeMint was a member of neither party.  At some point DeMint began reading policy papers published by The Heritage Foundation. Noting how many of the policies being put into practice were encouraging the wrong behavior, and in agreeing with Heritage on issues such as welfare and the tax code, DeMint came to the conclusion (a Don Quixote moment) that he too must be a Republican in keeping with those defined in Heritage’s policy positions.  

As a marketing guy, DeMint knew he had to run on an issue people cared about. Determining that Republicans wanted change, DeMint’s slogan became: “Bring Freedom Home.” Jim DeMint went to Washington, D.C. in 1999 to save the country, elected by South Carolina’s 4th Congressional district.   

Speaking from his knowledge and own experience, Jim DeMint revealed what happens when elected officials go to Washington. Seated in a room with other elected Congressional representatives, DeMint was asked to vote in favor of a bill because it would get worse when sent over to the Senate.  DeMint stood up and expressed displeasure, only to be told, “Don’t worry you’ll get used to it.”  The process as explained by DeMint: “You go to Washington to drain the swamp, but like a hot tub, it feels so good to join in.

Cited by DeMint was the twin threat of Progressiveness and the Establishment. Elaborating further, progressiveness involves centralized power where experts make decisions for folk who aren’t qualified to make decisions for themselves. Detroit, Baltimore and possibly Chicago were given as examples where governments under central management and control have failed. The Establishment includes those in our won party, who vilify others if they don’t fall in step with the establishment movers and shakers.

As DeMint cautioned, this nation has a $19 trillion debt.  She didn’t accumulate so much debt without partisanship to arrive at such an astronomical figure.  Government must be created with opportunities for all, but with favoritism toward none, to create a level playing field.  As to the job of The Heritage Foundation, it is not a political organization.  Rather, its responsibility is to be a light — such as the North Star — to guide the thinking of the public through research presented through written and on-line publications.  As DeMint stated, “We can’t win the battle from the inside.  The battle must be won by winning the hearts and minds of the people.

Following DeMint comments, Mark Needham, CEO of Heritage Action, addressed the Heritage assemblage. Needham’s Heritage Action organization involves citizens at the grassroots level interacting with members of Congress.  A telephone call takes place every Monday night to alert those in Heritage Action’s Sentinel Program to what will be happening in the Congress and the Senate during the week to follow. Sentinels then follow up accordingly by contacting their elected legislators. Needham believes that money must be taken away from the government and given back to individuals, and that Washington must be changed from the inside out.

Needham presented this brief history of Heritage Action:  From 1980 – 1990 Heritage made a big difference with its ideas and research papers.  But that was not enough.  As a 501(c)3 organization, The Heritage Foundation could not engage in direct lobbying, so it created Heritage Action to serve as its lobbying and advocacy arm in 2010. 

Heritage Action first went to battle with Mark Needham as CEO, over what became Obamacare, following the March, 2010, passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Republicans were warned not to campaign on healthcare.  However, In July, 2010, Heritage Action launched its first advocacy campaign  targeting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  By August 2010 the organization had helped to secure 170 Republican co-sponsors for a petition by Rep. Steve King to force a vote on repealing the healthcare reform.

In August of 2013, Heritage Action went into action again with its campaign to link the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as the ACA or “Obamacare,” with laws to keep the federal government open or to increase the federal debt limit.  Despite the shut-down which resulted, contradicting Republican fears, the Party gained seat in 2014.

Needham reflected whether Republicans were really serious about repealing Obamacare in 2013 when they offered up for negotiation, as a requisite for consideration, Obamacare’s Medical-Device Tax which had bi-partisan support. Weren’t there far more important Obamacare issues that needed to be entertained?

There was a invitation made for those in attendance to join the Heritage Action Sentinel Program.  Noted was that citizens who are engaged and informed frighten politicians, when elected officials become aware their votes are being scrutinized by those who elect them.

A reception followed a Question and Answer session.

http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2014/11/thorner-steve-moore-informs-how-illinois-can-realize-a-comeback-.html#more

Friday, November 21, 2014

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By Nancy Thorner – 

Heritage Foundation’s chief economist Steven Moore was in Chicago recently, a guest of Illinois Policy Institute. During his presentation, Moore spoke very highly of Bruce Rauner, having met with him to give advice before the election.

Of importance to Moore is that people are not paying enough attention to how red states are getting redder (run by Republicans with pro-growth and pro-market oriented policies), while blue states are getting bluer. Arkansas was cited as one of the last states to turn red. North Carolina is now a thoroughly red state. In blue states — Illinois, Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York — Democrats have become even more powerful and the states bluer. The difference being:  Red states practice Reaganomics; blue states have high tax rates which force wealthier people to move.

High tax rates do matter, Moore says. This accounts, in part, for the slow bleed of people and businesses exiting blue states and migrating into red states. We are in an economic war, as states do compete with each other. Voters vote with their feet for policies they think are important to them and their livelihood. Moore listed CA, NY, NJ, and CO as states that must change or else die.

Moore zeroed in on the four largest states, two red (Texas and Florida) and two blue (New York and California).  The difference couldn’t be any starker. There is zero state income tax in the states of TX and FL.  In NY and CA a top income tax rate exists of 13.5%. Nine states have no income tax.

Texas and Florida benefit from being “Right to Work” states.  This doesn’t mean that TX and FL can’t have unions, just that workers can’t be compelled to join a union if they decide not to. Businesses have been heard to say that they prefer locating in Right to Work states. Moore related his experience in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and how unions wanted to come in and unionize.  The point was made that unions would be harmful.  But what really resonated with workers was this cautionary statement, “Don’t turn Chattanooga into Detroit!”  The effort to unionize in Chattanooga was defeated by a vote of 57 – 47.

Where are the jobs?

Amazing statistics: In the last 15 years Texas has netted a 74% increase in jobs; Florida, 60%; CA, 35%; and New York, 9%.  For every one job created in CA and NY, three jobs were created in TX and FL.

Steven Moore related a debate with Paul Krugman in which Moore asked Krugman this question:  “States that aren’t doing well did all the things you told them to do to create jobs for working people, but what happened?”  To which Krugman replied:  “People are leaving the North for the South because of the weather.”  Moore’s retort:  “Explain then why the following migration patterns are happening?  CA is a lovely place to live, yet in the last 10 years 1.5 million more people left CA than came to live in CA.  Also, “How do you explain that people are leaving San Diego for Houston?  It’s certainly not for the weather!”  Texas is an amazing place.  Since the recession began in June, 2009, new job growth has been zero in this nation.  Texas has accounted for every new job that has been created in America.

According to Moore, this nation is experiencing an energy revolution.  North Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate in this nation.  People in North Dakota are getting super rich.  Steve Moore remembered paying a nightly rate of $300 a few years ago to stay at a Best Western hotel.   Moore’s upbeat reaction to the economy is based on fracking and its unbelievable technology.  If this nation can get it right, in five to six years she will move from being an oil-gas importer to an oil-gas exporter.

Why isn’t the economy doing better?

People who run Fortune 500 companies look at their financial situations. Companies have been able to retool themselves and become efficient and productive.  This wouldn’t have happened ten or twenty years ago.  Why then isn’t the economy growing at 4%?  Instead, the economy is in a beetle position.  Companies are not reinvesting money into the economy because they are terrified of Washington, D.C. and the next shoe that might drop. A common attitude among Democrats is that business is evil. It might be said that liberals love jobs, but hate employers. When was the last time President Obama ever said anything positive about big business?

Steve Moore believes that if Obamacare is rolled back, this nation will see one of the greatest economic booms it has ever seen.

Question and Answer Session

The question and answer session had much value and expanded upon many of the ideas expressed by Steven Moore in his remarks.

1.  Question:  How will Bruce Rauner be able to govern Illinois with Madigan still in charge and with super majorities in both the House and the Senate?

Response:  Steve Moore had only positive things to say about Rauner, believing Rauner has the fortitude and backbone to do the right thing, admitting, however, that it will be a huge challenge.  One advantage is that Rauner isn’t beholden to anyone.  If Rauner is privy to a stone wall of opposition from Democrats, as was true with President Reagan, like Reagan, who gave speeches on TV, Rauner must likewise take his case to the people.  Rauner must deal with the following three issues in a timely way: 1) Fixing the pension system, 2) Pulling back the tax increase, and 3) Providing the opportunity for school choice.

2.  Question:  How does Jonathan Gruber fit in with the future of Obamacare?

Response:  Jonathan Gruber is important because he demonstrates how the Left will lie, cheat and steal to win, regardless of the issue.  In regard to the issue of Global Warming, which Moore called a hoax, the assumption that science has been settled is not in keeping with the true nature of science, as science is always evolving.  It is so-called elitists, often touting their doctorate degrees, who believe that the populous can’t make decisions for themselves.  They “want to keep the poor people on the reservation.”

3.  Question:  How to deal with the $7 trillion plus increase in the debt since Obama took office

Response:  We must get back to 3% to 4% growth.  The economy needs to grow faster than the debt.  One thing that keeps Steve Moore up at night is the possibility of interest rates spiking. Presently interest rates are low.  On a 10-year Treasury bond the interest rate is 2.3%.  If interest rates do rise, all taxes collected could be used to pay the interest on the debt.  By 2020 the single largest expenditure will not be Medicaid, Medicare, or defense, but interest on the debt.  Bruce Rauner must deal with Illinois’ unfunded pension system.  Moore suggested providing a 401(k) retirement system for workers.

4.  Question: Explain how states change from red to blue states, etc.?

Response:  Colorado was basically a red state until Californians left California and moved to Colorado. Now Colorado is a purple state.  New Hampshire (Live Free or Die state) has gone from a red state to purple as Massachusetts and Connecticut residents moved to New Hampshire.  Democrats tried to turn Texas from a red state to a blue state, but the recent Primary Election exposed their complete failure!  In Texas there are fourteen state-wide races. In all fourteen races, not one of the Democrats running received more than 40% of the vote. Touching on the illegal immigration issue, Moore is in favor of Republicans passing comprehensive immigration reform. Thorner is not with Moore on this issue.  Steve Moore’s explanation:  In Texas 40% to 45% of Hispanics vote Republican; in California they overwhelmingly vote Democrat. Why the difference? According to Moore, in Texas illegal immigrants are put into the work force as soon as they arrive, while in California illegal immigrants are put on welfare which leads to their radicalization.

5.  Question:  What must Republicans do to win more of the minority vote?

Response:  As Woody Allen once said, “90% of life is just showing up”   The 2012 election presented a clear choice of candidates between Mitt Romney and President Obama.  Moore found it disappointing in watching Spanish-orientated TV programs such as Univision before the 2012 election, that the ads run were all sponsored by Democrats which informed Hispanics that Republicans hated them. Where were the Republican ads to counter this assertion. Moore believes that in the presidential elections of 2016, 2020, and 2024, the Republican presidential nominee must speak Spanish.  It was then that Moore expressed his liking for Jeb Bush (Throner cringed in her seat upon hearing Moore’s pronouncement!).  Bruce Rauner did quite well with blacks in Illinois, campaigning as he did in black churches and neighborhoods with this question: “What have they [Democrats] really done for you?”

6.  Question:  What about the city of Chicago?

Response:  Chicago is a world-class city.  It should be “the Hong Kong of the Midwest” if not for its bad leadership.  Moore advised that the first vote in the GOP Senate and House should be for the full repeal of Obamacare.  Lots of Democrats weren’t in office when Obamacare passed without a single vote from Republicans.  Let’s put the Democratic legislators on record.

7.  Question:  What about the surge in the stock market?  People should be feeling better about the economy. 

Response:  Even though Obama remarked before the election that the economy was improving, felt pain of the people doesn’t make it into media reports or via the performance of the stock market. What matters most is real take home pay. This has shrunk under Obama, leading people to believe otherwise about the economy. 52% of the American people still believe this nation is still in recession.  Because of Obamacare, people are dealing with its “49” mandate (businesses with more than 50 workers must provide insurance) and it “29” mandate (people working more than 30 hours a week are entitled to insurance by employer).

8.  Question:  Why are Democrats opposed to fracking?

 Response:  Steve Moore called Tom Steyer a “wacko and a global warming fanatic.  It is insane to believe that we can energize this economy with windmills!”  In so far as the Keystone XL pipeline bill failed to garner the 60 votes needed to pass in the Senate, Democrats can rightly be painted as radical environmentalists.  In their fixation with the environment, which stems from their acceptance of Global Warming as settled science, they are destroying blue collar jobs. Republicans must send this message:  “We are the party who is trying to protect your jobs.  We are on your side.”

Instead of the Heartland pen usually given to guest speakers, Johnathan Greenberg, Vice President of External Relations, presented Steven Moore with one of two attractive ties now available for purchase sporting the Illinois Policy Institute logo.

In closing, Greenberg warned how the media and union bosses are already rallying to make the 5% tax hike permanent.  Their goal is to move Bruce Rauner to where they want him to be.  Greenberg assured attendees that the Illinois Policy Institute would be their voice in pushing against the unions and the media.

As Executive Vice President of the Illinois Policy Institute responsible for executing the Institute’s strategic plan which center on turning liberty principles into marketable policies that become law, Kristina Rasmussen was on hand in Chicago from her headquarters in Springfield, IL, to welcome chief economist at the Heritage Foundation, Steve Moore, to discuss his book “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of States.  The event was held in the Library at the Chicago headquarters of the Illinois Policy Institute, 190 S. LaSalle St.

Technorati Tags: Heritage Foundation, Illinois Review, Nancy Thorner, Steven Moore

Wednesday, November 27, 201

By Nancy Thorner – 

Having already examined the farm subsidy measure of the farm bill in an Illinois Review article published Tuesday, November 26 , it is necessary to bring understanding to the other part of the farm bill, the food stamp measure, which amount to a whopping $750 billion of the trillion dollar farm bill and where waste and fraud are rampant.

Research quickly uncovered six fairly recent noteworthy and eye-opening accounts that tell of a SNAP program (food stamps) badly out-of-control and in desperate need of reform.

  • August 13:  Ted Dabrowski, Vice President of Policy at the Illinois Policy Institute:  Reported how more than 2 million Illinoisans — 16.7% of the state’s population — are on food stamps.  These figures represent data taken from the May, 2013, U.S. Department of Agriculture information.  Illinois is better at putting residents on food stamps than it is at creating jobs!   
  • August 15:  The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) is soliciting people to receive food stamps in the manner of a drug dealer on a grade school playground, such as:  “Psst – hey you!  I’ve got something for you… it’s free…come on, try it. You’ll like it!”  In many locations outreach programs are taking place.  The USDA are effectively hunting people down and talking them into accepting benefits that folks never realized they needed or were qualified to receive.
  • Sept. 10:   “Almost one in six, or 47.5 million, Americans now receive food stamps.  Over 13 million more people receive the food subsidies today than when Obama took office. .  . Despite spending a whopping $80 billion on food stamps last year, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) argues the program needs more funding. . . Documents obtained by Judicial Watch revealed that the USDA works with the Mexican government to promote participation by illegal immigrants.”
  • Sept. 17:  Households on Food Stamps (SNAP) during the month of June outnumbered all households in the Northeast U.S.– a record 23,116,928 American households.  This June figure represented 52% more households on Food Stamps than there were in the average month of the first year President Obama took office.
  • Sept. 26:  Even as the economy improves, food stamp enrollment continues to hit record highs.  In the second-quarter of this year, despite household wealth increasing $1.3 trillion within the same time period, enrollment in the program jumped up by 211,708 people.
Many officials in government, and those who manage feeding program, are paying close attention to the final out come of the farm bill, which could see cuts in the program in addition to the cuts that have already occurred naturally on Nov. 1, when benefits, increased under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (commonly known as the “stimulus package”), and originally meant as a temporary boost, were reduced with the expiration of the 2009 law.   A massive 47 million people are enrolled in the $80 billion program.

Food for thought by Dawen Bakst and Rachel Shefield of The Heritage Foundation, which merits serious consideration by House and Senate legislation:

Congress continues to treat agriculture as if it were 1933 instead of 2013. . . Yet every five years when the farm bill is up for renewal, many legislators, including those who claim to be pro-free market and limited government, push a farm bill that is a model of central planning.  Agriculture policy continues to emphasize price supports, supply restrictions, import quotas government-subsidized international marketing programs for major corporation, and much more.  Quite simply, almost any subsidy that can be dreamed of exists in one form or another in the current farm bill.

Further, food stamps should be reformed to promote self-sufficiency among able-bodied adults.  Adults who are able should be required to work, prepare for work, or at least look for work in exchange for receiving food stamp assistance.  This principle of reciprocal obligation does not currently exist in the program.  Additionally, loopholes that have led to an increase in the food stamp rolls should be closed. 

The administration of Indiana’s Gov. John Kasich rightly believes that able-bodied adults should work for food stamps.  Starting on January 1st, food stamps will be limited for more than 130,000 adults in all but a few economically depressed area.  To qualify for benefits all able-bodied adults without children will be required to spend a least 20 hours a week working, training for a job, etc., unless they live in one of 16 counties exempt because of high unemployment.

With Pat Quinn as governor, there isn’t a ghost of a chance that Illinois would ever echo the reform restrictions imposed by Kasich in Indians on food stamp recipients, of which there are 2 million here in Illinois!

Politically speaking, the political ruse of combining food stamps and agriculture policy into one bill has been successful in passing prior farm bills.  Combining the two unrelated entities allowed urban legislators (supporter of food stamps) and rural legislators (supporters of farm programs) to form coalitions to pass farm bills lacking proper scrutiny of their merits.

According to The Heritage Foundation, substantive reform will only occur if the agriculture policy and food stamps are separated into different bills now and in the future, so each bill can be addressed independently.  It is not acceptable to raise another bumper crop of agriculture subsidies and to offer food stamps recklessly and often without means testing.

After all, have legislators forgotten that it is taxpayer’s money that is being wasted and spent like there is no tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 07:05 AM | Permalink

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Thorner: When Purposeful Misstatements Becomes Lies

ThornerBy Nancy Thorner –

Posted on February 12 by Amy Payne at the “Morning Bell” News Blog of “The Heritage Foundation” was a reference to that night’s 5th State of the Union address by President Obama. It referred to Obama’s “Bogus State of the Union Promises” over the past four years and how they panned out. It was not a positive, uplifting, or forward-looking report.

The following morning Heritage released a comprehensive “State of the Union 2013: Heritage Experts’ Analysis” which took apart Obama’s address bit by bit, examining the statements made as to their validity and credibility. As was the norm in past State of the Union addresses, Obama glibly promised the store but delivered little. The full text of Obama’s address with video can be found HERE

Two paragraphs into Obama’s address disbelief engulfed me, having heard earlier in the night that Obama would introduce new programs (investments) to stimulate the economy and create jobs (A fallacy in itself because government is unable to do either. It can only provide the conditions under which the Free Market System can flourish to grow and establish business ventures with resulting job creation.).

To top it off Obama said, “Nothing I’m proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime.”

When does a misstatement knowingly pronounced become a lie?  Might it be true that the culture of lying has become so entrenched in American political culture that any deviation is swiftly punished?  For example, people who question any part of the theory of man-caused global warming are branded “deniers.”  End of discussion!

Robert Knight, a senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a columnist for the Washington Times, sets forth this premise in this article, “The Allure of the lie.”  As explained by Knight, “Lying often is accomplished with euphemisms.  Government spending is ‘investment.’ Raising taxes is ‘revenue reform.’ Torture is sanitized as ‘enhanced interrogation techniques.’ Global warming has morphed into ‘climate change.’ Gambling is ‘gaming.’ Defense of religious freedom is a ‘war on women’. . .”

According to Knight, “The culture of lies depends heavily on cooked studies, weasel words and a compliant media that parrot them without examination.”  http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jan/29/the-allure-of-the-lie/

Robert Knight, without question, has captured the present atmosphere in this nation that is rife with lies masquerading as truth.  Knight’s criteria for lies was more than met in Obama’s 5th State of the Union address.  Accordingly, it is not out-of-line to refer to Obama misstatements as outright lies, knowing that political correctness has been abandoned so truth can be spoken.

Obama’s address covered many topics, but let’s consider Obama’s take on Global Warming.  According to Marc Morano of “Climate Depot” in his February 13 post, “Obama fails climate science in his State of the Union address,” the President offered up nothing more than the usual incorrect global warming platitudes.  Related was how the president could not have been more wrong in claiming that “extreme weather” was “now more frequent and intense.”  Obama likewise failed to note that global temperatures have not increased in 16 years.

Morano goes on to present a point-by-point rebuttal of Obama’s statements (with links given for verification) to refute that heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods are more frequent and intense than ever before; that Superstorm Sandy was linked to man-made global warming; and that we must act before it is too late to stop storms.  http://www.climatedepot.com/a/19683/Obama-fails-climate-science

Obama, like many politicians, evokes children in trying to score points with the public. So it was when Obama said, “But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change.”

MIT’s Dr Lindzen has this to say about such a falsehood:

“Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll back of the industrial age.” http://cnsnews.com/blog/alan-caruba/slow-certain-death-global-warming-theory

What should be upsetting to the American people is this threat made by President Obama:  “If Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will.  I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.”  http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/282697-obama-vows-executive-climate-push-but-many-specifics-remain-absent

But will President Obama be blamed when the EPA moves ahead with setting standards for new power plant regulations that would effectively be a nail in the coffin for efforts to build new-coal-fired plants, or if he issues other negative energy mandates to circumvent Congress, all under the guise of Global Warming?

This is doubtful because during Obama’s second term he was able to steer tens of billions of dollars into green energy projects through the 2009 stimulus law which resulted in Solyndra and other green energy boondoggles and taxpayers were the losers, not Obama. http://thebill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/282697-obama-vows-executive-climate-push-but-many-specifics-remain-absent

Here is the quandary that exists.  Like Rush Limbaugh I also watch Frank Luntz’s focus group on Hannity of the Fox News Channel.  Those in the focus disagreed pretty much with everything Obama said but thought he gave a great speech, even those who had voted for Mitt Romney.  They liked how Obama wanted everybody to work together to get along, they liked that he was going to tackle the deficit, they liked how he was going to create jobs, even though they disagreed with how he was going to do it.

The problem Republicans are now facing, if they wish to retain the House in the 2014 elections and some control over Obama’s misguided and destructive policies, has nothing to do with re-branding the Republican Party, as incorrectly put forth by Karl Rove and other Republican establishment leaders, but it is how to handle the dichotomy which now exists between Obama’s politics and Obama’s role in these policies as perceived by the public

As those in Frank Luntz’s focus group pointed out, many Americans don’t associate the decline of this nation to President Obama.  This same absence of blame was not enjoyed by past presidents.  This is because President Obama is seen as a crusader who is even now on the trail promoting his State of the Union proposed policies.  Because Obama is seldom as governing, he presents an aura of being above it all by pretending to run against his own agenda while at the same time telling the American people that he cares about them.

The Republican Party is facing a challenge for its survival.  Is the Republican leadership willing or even astute enough do what is necessary to counter Obama’s deceptive mood of operation?

Published initially at Illinois Review on Thursday, Feb. 14.

 

Heritage Foundation’s ongoing Presidents’ Tour stopped at the Chicago Hilton Tuesday night, when the 40-year old organization’s outgoing president Edwin J. Feulner introduced their President-elect Senator Jim DeMint to over 500 Chicago area supporters.

Founded in 1973, The Heritage Foundation has focused on generating ideas that can advance conservative policies and build national support for those ideas so our leaders will translate them into public policy. Since 1977 The Heritage Foundation has been capably and effectively led by Mr. Feulner, its third president. Three years ago Edwin Feulner told his board that he would be stepping down from his post in April of 2013, whereupon a search for his replacement was conducted. That replacement was conservative Republican Senator Jim DeMInt who resigned his Senate seat in South Carolina to take over the helm of The Heritage Foundation from Feulner. It was under Edwin Feulner’s direction that policy-making was transformed in Washington, D.C., leading the way for The Heritage Foundation to become the most influential conservative think tank in the nation.

Heritage’s Board of Trustees is confident Jim Demint is the right person to succeed Feulner, as Demint has served as the conservative movement’s standard bearer in the Senate. As an experienced lawmakers DeMint fully understands how Washington works while he strongly opposes much of what Washington does. He is also an innovator who has helped elect many of today’s younger conservative lawmakers, as well as gifted communicator and an accomplished business entrepreneur. Most importantly, Jim DeMint is a man of integrity whose commitment to America’s founding principles is unshakable.

Ten Heritage Presidents’ tours are scheduled throughout this nation to ensure that Jim DeMint’s transition to president will be a smooth one when Edwin Feulner officially retires in a few months. At each of the ten tour location — Chicago was number two on the Heritage schedule — conservative attendees will receive the assurance that Jim DeMint will continue the mission of The Heritage Foundation.

Five hundred members and friends of The Heritage Foundation filled the Continental Ballroom at Chicago’s Presidents’ tour event on a bitterly cold night, in spite of the political makeup of those who govern and direct policy in what is a left leaning state. And they weren’t disappointed. There was an element of anticipation as members and friends of The Heritage Foundation checked in and then proceeded to take their seats inside the Continental Ballroom of the Hilton Chicago waiting for the seven o’clock hour.

It was Chief of Staff and Senior Legal Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, Charles “Cully” Simson, who welcomed all to the Chicago event, having arrived in Chicago from New York City earlier in the day where a similar morning presentation was conducted (Event #1) at the Grand Hyatt New York at Grand Central Terminal. The on-going series of ten event tours will conclude in Washington, D.C. on Friday, February 15.

Simson had choice words to say about the reelection of President Obama to his 2nd term of office. Predicted was that Obama’s 2nd term will usher in living under a progressive model of government. But alas, according to Simson, panic is already beginning to set in as the realization dawns in the present administration that it isn’t possible for government to tax enough or borrow enough to save the progressive model. In the meantime the American people are being asked to give up the Constitution and its “evil provisions”, as it is the Constitution that remains an obstacle to our government’s progressive agenda.

Expressed by “Cully” Simson, a similar belief was alluded to in later remarks by Edwin Feulner and Jim DeMint: Ideas to change the direction of this nation will not be forthcoming from either the Congress or universities. It is conservative think tanks like The Heritage Foundation that will save America from sinking into the intractable depth of the progressive model.

It was John Von Kannon, a key player in The Heritage Foundation’s phenomenal growth in size, expertise and influence for more than 30 years, who ushered Edwin Feulner onto the stage. Led by Feulner for thirty-six years, Heritage has shaped politics with conservative solutions for such critical issues as entitlements, national security, missile defense, health care, welfare reform, immigration, free trade, energy, and the role of the family and religion in society. Three hundred Congressional briefing were presented by Heritage last year to lead the way to an open society where liberty and freedom can remain paramount.

Edwin Feulner presented a snapshot of the progress and accomplishments made during his tenure at The Heritage Foundation from 1977 up until his pending retirement in April. It was Heritage’s first “Mandate for Leadership” published in 1980, which served as a how-to manual for the Reagan Administration and set the path for the economic growth that has come to define the Reagan years.

In March a book, “Leading The Way,” by Lee Edwards will be available for purchase. Copies can be pre-ordered at LeadingTheWayBook.com. “Leading the Way” tells the story of Ed Feulner’s thirty six years at president of The Heritage Foundation and the role he played in transforming the organization into the most influential conservative think tank in the nation.

It was nineteen years ago when The Heritage Foundation produced its first “Index of Economic Freedom” which was released by the Wall Street Journal a few weeks ago. Distressing to Feulner is that this nation has gone from #4 to #10 in the world over the past five years, as indicated by the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom. Hong Kong and Singapore are numbers 1 and 2, respectively. http://www.heritage.org/index/

More recently in 2010 “Action for America,” a sister organization to The Heritage Foundation, opened its doors in Washington, D.C. Since then Action for America, CEO Mike Needham, has fought tirelessly to retake our county and build an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish. heritageaction.com Information to join the Heritage Action army to effectively pressure Washington’s lawmakers to do the right thing can be found at info@heritageforamerica.org As Edwin Feulner stated: “To make legislators first see the light, they must first feel the heat.”

Ed Feulner also spoke proudly about the Heritage internship program where 200 young people are brought each year to Washington, D.C. to work on real issues.

Much awaited were the remarks which followed from president-elect, the Honorable Jim DeMint. With conviction DeMint dispelled the doom and gloom that has so enveloped many conservatives since the November, 2012, elections. He spook of the elections of Senator Marco Rubio in Florida, Senator Pat Toomey in Pa., Representative Ron Paul in Texas, Senator Ron Johnson in Wisconsin, Representative Jeff Flake of Arizona, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, and Deb Fisher from Nebraska, all conservatives, as being a positive sign. Additionally Republicans are also winning at the state level with governorships

DeMint spoke of the big decision it was for him to leave the Senate to head The Heritage Foundation, but he did so after rationalizing that nothing good was to come out of Washington and that he could better serve the people by heading The Heritage Foundation. Reading information about The Heritage Foundation first prompted DeMint to first run for public office, having served six years in the House before being elected to the Senate. In both his House and Senate races he ran on the same conservative issues as espoused by The Heritage Foundation. It frustrates DeMint that some of his colleagues have dropped the ball on issues that were important to them when initially elected to office.

DeMint believes that conservatives should take their message directly to the American people and that they would do well, because conservative ideas work. States also blossom when they adopt conservative policies.

Continuing, DeMint informed how in the past conservatives trusted the Republican Party to take their ideas and embrace them, but that process has not worked. DeMint recommended that we (conservatives) must stop standing on the outside hoping for good results, but that we must instead take our message directly to the American people. Ideas that work in one states are often transferred to another state. Right to work started in Indiana, spread to Wisconsin, and recently took hold in Michigan. Now there are twenty right to work states.

In going around the country as a senator fielding candidates to run for office, the most common complaint heard by DeMint from those he met along the way was that Republicans weren’t willing to fight.

Emphasized by DeMint was that it is important to work within our own states to effect change at all levels of government and not wait for politicians to come up with ideas and enlightenment, as government seldom comes up with workable or sensible solutions to problems.

A question and answer period followed.

By Nancy Thorner & Elvira Hastings –

It has already been over a month since the General Election on Tuesday, November 6, yet conservatives still find themselves depressed, sad, frustrated, and yes——leaderless!

This state of mind mostly stems from the absence of leadership displayed by the Republican Party and Republican Congressmen. A question Nancy Thorner and Elvira Hasty have considered many times since the election, “What is wrong with these people?”, has led them to further question, “What in the world are they drinking or inhaling?”

Rep. Boehner and the House leadership are still convinced that serious negotiations are possible from our class warfare-oriented president, even trying to imitate the Democrats’ mantra against the wealthy.

Elvira Hasty, an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Mundelein College who lived in Glenview before moving to Florida, describes her state Republican Party, RPOF, as being no better than Republican leadership at the federal level. Elvira describes her Florida’s Chair as weak and having zero leadership skills. Florida actually had a Red State (Republican Governor, Rep. Executive officers, majority Rep. in both State and Federal legislature), and yet Florida was allowed to become “Blue” at Election time. Didn’t anyone in the Republican Party and/or the Romney campaign worry about election fraud? Instead, care about positions and titles usurped care about our nation.

Concerning Illinois, Nancy Thorner is convinced that there was never any possibility of Illinois going red. Illinois is as predictably blue as when day turns into night, and even more so, following the November election, when both houses of the Illinois General Assembly gained veto-proof Democratic majorities through redistricting which eliminated Republican seats won in 2010. Conservative candidates need not apply in Illinois and receive deplorable treatment when they do attempt to run for office, being denied both party and financial support. Will the Illinois Republican Party ever learn that given two parties where there is often little difference between the candidates slated, why should Illinoisans vote for Republican Democrat-lite candidates known as RINOS.

The Tea Party movement that worked out so well in 2010 went MIA in the 2012 election. It could be that many conservatives lacked the enthusiasm for Mitt Romney?

Conservatives need to regroup and reload in anticipation of 2014. We can only do this if we unite as ONE. There are too many Tea Party groups with their own agendas and big ego leaders, too much infighting and too much whining. Conservatives, Tea Party groups, Libertarians, and even Independents need to come together under the umbrella of our Constitution, the principles of the Founding Fathers, and our Judeo/Christian values. Our country and its principles are most important. If we fail to come together, we will all lose in the end.

A new national leader is needed. Perhaps Senator Jim DeMint can now serve as that leader? As newly appointed President of the prestigious conservative organization, The Heritage Foundation, DeMint can now concentrate on message communication. It is our hope that under Jim DeMint’s leadership The Heritage Foundation can become more of an “on hands organization.” Although The Heritage Foundation has always stood up for conservative principles, it has not been a force in educating the public as a whole, only the enlightened. Hopefully DeMint can help with the conservative message using the new media. Elvira believes Florida Tea Party leaders should approach Col. Allen West for help with unity and communication of message.

A CPAC meeting will be held in Alexandria, Virginia, on March 2013. It would be a good idea to attend if at possible and demand to be heard as conservatives who are fed up with our current administration. Conservations need to become more eloquent, outspoken, and bold in their fight for our country. We need to start telling the truth about Obama and his minions.

Why are Republican politicians and the media, including Fox News, still trying to be politically correct when it comes to Obama? Let us say it loud and clear: OBAMA IS A MARXIST AT HEART AND AN ALINSKY DISCIPLE. He and his Democratic minions are very clear on their intentions: Redistribution of wealth; Government Control of Healthcare; Government Control of Finance/Banking; Annulment of the Second Amendment; Restrictions on freedom of speech and freedom of religion; Weakening of our Defense; Supporting our enemies abroad; and punishing our friends. And it goes on and on———–more regulations and more control of our daily lives in order to enslave us and bring power to themselves. Without question, our current administration is pushing for a Marxist-like tyranny where all freedoms and rights will be crushed.

It must also be mentioned how the current administration uses weak people, minorities, and ignorant citizens to serve their purposes. We now have American women selling out to government control in exchange for the right to abortion and some free contraceptive pills. – African Americans exchanging their human dignity for the “honor” of having a Black man as President. – Homosexuals allowing out of control spending in exchange for the promise of a “fake marriage.”

Democrats have demonstrated that they are the most racist and abusive of Americans. It is way past time that, We, as Conservatives, say loud and clear for once and to all: DEMOCRATS ARE RACIST. Democrats have been running our largest cities, like Detroit and Chicago for many years and yet, those cities have the highest crime rates and the worst Black communities.

What exactly did the “Community Organizer” do for Chicago? We need Black conservatives to speak to those African Americans and give them the facts. Why can’t the GOP talk about our wonderful Republican Governors and their successes? African Americans and Hispanic communities need to know about the differences between Democratic and Republican-governed cities and states.

The truth, the facts, and the principles are on our side. Let us not forget that God is on the side of righteousness, and that our Country was founded on Judeo/Christian values. We need to stop fearing and getting intimidated by thugs and begin to act like Christian soldiers.

God is waiting for us to say YES. Put on “all the armor of God” and take it to the enemy with God’s blessing. We must remain brave, steadfast and without fear against those who wish to rip out the hearts and the soul of this nation and its people.