By Nancy Thorner – 

Just two days after Donald Trump won his bid for the presidency, representatives from the conservative Heritage Foundation debriefed Chicago area supporters about their organization’s optimism and their opportunity to play a key role in transitioning from the Obama Administration to Trump’s.

Heritage reports that they are able to have a major input in the Trump presidency, the most input since the election of Ronald Reagan. Members of the group have been in contact with Trump’s transition since he won the Republican nomination at this summer’s convention in Cleveland, Ohio.  Nevertheless, Heritage says it will hold Trump accountable, desiring that Trump will implement Heritage ideas and polices to “Make America Great Again.”


The afternoon’s panel participants were Tim Chapman, Chief Operating Officer, Heritage Action for America, and Genevieve Wood, Senior Fellow in Communications, The Heritage Foundation and Senior Contributor to the Daily Signal. 

Genevieve Wood, Senior Fellow in Communications

Genevieve Wood expressed what so many of us now believe, that Republicans no longer have any excuse for saying that things can’t be done, for Republicans now own all three, the House, the Senate, and the White House.  Republicans also won 34 governorships across the country, the highest since 1922.  

A different landscape now exists than present before the November 8th election.  Although Democrats had a huge ground game in each state to win the election for Hillary, those voting for Trump didn’t need anyone to tell them it was Election Day and that they should vote.   Republicans came out in mass because they were fed up with the direction of their country and wanted to take it back.  With a $20 trillion debt; health care premiums going up; the borders wide open, and the threat of an appointment to the Supreme Court giving progressive judges a 5 – 4 advantage, Republicans were eager to get out and vote for Trump, most recognizing what faced them if the election went the other way. 

Ms. Wood asked these questions: Why did we vote for Trump?  Was it to repeal Obamacare?  Was it to stem the flow of illegal aliens across out southern border?   Was it to stimulate the economy and business through decreasing regulations? 

The number one reason voters chose Trump on November 8th was because of his ability to appoint Supreme Court justices, she said. For 17% of Trump voters it was their first reason.  For 48% of Trump voters it was a very important reason.

If Obama in many situations is not governing according to the Constitution, why should he be permitted to appoint more justices? 

This same reasoning was used by The Heritage Foundation in its early fight against the Obama administration filling the vacancy left by Justice Scalia’s death.  There was concern that some Republicans senators might cave in to give Obama a gift even before knowing how the presidential election would turn out.  Had Republicans in the Senate permitted nominee Garland to be confirmed, the election issue of Supreme Court appointments would have been lost.

Mrs. Wood expressed her hope that Trump would repeal Obamacare first.  Voters needs to see that Trump is serious in his campaign pledge to repeal Obamacare. Congress would be with Trump, as Congress has already passed a bill to repeal Obamacare, only to have had it vetoed by Obama.  

Tim Chapman, Chief Operating Officer, Heritage Action for America

Panel member Tim Chapman said Heritage Action draws the line in the sand to the Washington establishment.  Chapman likewise discussed the issue of Obamacare. 

It was in 2013 that Heritage Action first started engaging Obamacare.  The 2014 election wasn’t influenced by the issue, but it did lay the groundwork to eventually getting rid of Obamacare.  Last year the GOP-led House and Senate passed a budget resolution, as a dry run.  Instructions were included to use reconciliation to repeal Obamacare.  The House and Senate were ultimately successful in getting it to Obama’s desk, where it was vetoed. 

Republicans now have a good chance to advance their own agenda, six years after President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, and after more than 60 attempts to repeal it.  Repealing Obamacare did became closer to reality early Wednesday morning when Donald Trump was elected president.  A Reconciliation Bill can again be employed in January, 2017 —  a procedure used in the Senate that allows a bill to pass with 51 votes — to roll back Obamacare and avoid a Democratic filibuster. Unlike last year, Trump will not veto the measure.

In agreement with Mrs. Wood, Chapman expressed his disapproval of Republicans who seemed willing to allow Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Garland to be appointed to the Supreme Court.  It would have taken away the incentive to vote for many who considered the make-up of the Supreme Court of utmost importance to the future of this nation. 

Chapman predicted a continuing resolution fight when Trump takes office in January of 2017, that will be used as a fundraiser for Democrats should Republicans dare to shut down the government. 

Recommended by Tim Chapman is that DACA, an Executive Order signed by President Obama on June 15, 2012,  should be the first thing Trump should get rid of.  DACA (acronym for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) states that the government will not deport those who meet certain criteria.  Meeting certain criteria allows undocumented residents to obtain a driver’s license and Social Security number and a two year work authorization which they are permitted to renew after those two years are up.

Questions Addressed

Much time was allotted for Heritage Foundation guests to question Genevieve Wood and Tim Chapman. 

About the media disconnect?  Most of the media was “out to lunch” and remained in the bubble of their own bias.  The

Washington, D.C. media remained insulated from what was happening outside Washington, D.C.

About the disaffected white voter who voted for Trump?  Democrats rely on identity politics in targeting voters, perceiving they own and need the votes of Blacks, women, Latinos, gays, etc., to win elections.  Whites (blue collar workers) who made-up the working class in the rust belt area, were last on the peaking order for Democrats as to how their programs and policies would benefit them, and they lost them.

About the fate of globalism?   Trump’s election conveyed that patriotism is still alive and that it is fine to think of America first, not as a nation within a global world.  We must take our principles to create policies which will advance our principles and beliefs to the rest of the world.

About the first 100 days?  Donald Trump’s plan for his first 100 days was set forth at his campaign rally at Valley Forge, PA. Trump’s immediate action upon taking office in January (strike while the iron is hot) is to appoint a conservative Supreme Court Justice to replace Anthony Scalia; repeal Obamacare; begin education reform; start on tax reform; and deal with crumbling infrastructure to spur the creation of jobs.

About Heritage’s relationship with President-elect Trump?  Heritage briefed all Republican candidates during the primary election season.  Since the Republican Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, when Trump officially became the Republican presidential candidate, Heritage has assembled a transition team.  All presidents have 71,000 political appointments to make.   Heritage Foundation is now busy collecting resumes to fill these slots (2 to 3 people for each position), also vetting each candidate, so the candidates will ascribe to policies that the Heritage Foundation espouses.  This document will then to handed to the Trump Team.    

About how to replace weak leadership in the Senate?  The Senate is such an insulated place, that it would be difficult to send U.S. Senator Mitch O’Connell packing. Noted was how quickly O’Connell was to take credit for those senators who won.  It would take a sustained outside push for O’Connell to leave the Senate.  It would be good for Trump to make deals with both House Speaker Paul Ryan and Mitch O’Connell should they remain in leadership positions, by insisting that both work with him to pass his agenda. In the past, Ryan and O’Connor differed with Trump on immigration and trade.   

About Trump’s Supreme Court Justice pick?  Trump must pick one from his list, and then fight for it.  Trump’s pick for vice president, Mike Pence, must set the criteria for the type of Supreme Court nominee Trump recommends.  Picking someone not on the list would shatter Trump’s coalition.  When Trump receives good advice and follows it, good things happen.

About two competing conservative forces in the Republican Party?  There are the traditional conservatives who want less spending and less government.  Then there are those conservatives who perceive real issues among the working class.  They wish to adhere to the same conservative policy positions by using them in ways to help people get back to work. 

About Education Reform?   A-PLUS Act (S. 827) is the proposed conservative alternative to NCLB (No Child Left Behind) and would allow states to opt out of the problematic NCLB.  A-PLUS, introduced in April 2011 by Senators Jim DeMint (R–SC) and John Cornyn (R–TX), would rein in the Government’s Education Power Grab by increasing state and local control in education while increasing transparency of results to parents and taxpayers. There are plans to push the A-PLUS Act as a bill in 2017.   Should the A-PLUS Act pass, there would be no need for the Department of Education.

About Term Limits?   The Heritage Foundation believes that the American people should provide term limits through elections, rather than limit times a lawmaker can seek re-election. 

About Trump Pursuing Investigation of Hillary?  There are on-going Congressional investigations, as well as separate FBI investigations on The Clinton Foundation.  The question at hand is whether President Obama will pardon Hillary.  Heritage believes it would be best for this nation if we were done with Hillary and her wrongdoings and corrupt practices. 


The centerpiece of President Obama’s climate change plan — a timeline for setting new environmental regulation limiting how much carbon pollution can be emitted from both new and existent power plants — is causing great angst in coal producing states where the regulations would kills jobs at a time when the coal industry is working to improve it own clean-coal technology.

A recent report in the Lake County New-Sun cites reactions to Obama’s call for the EPA to regulate coal plant emissions of a Midwest Generation coal-fired plant located in Waukegan, Illinois. This spring the Waukegan plant was the subject of of a heated emissions debate. According to Midwest Generation officials, since taking over the lakefront plant in 1999, the Waukegan plant has been a model of transitioning its energy supply to cleaner sources in a balanced manner, without federal mandates.  Predictably the Sierra Club with its “Beyond Coal” campaign has claimed otherwise.

According to a report issued on May 6th, 2013, by the Illinois Office of Coal Development, Illinois has risen four spots in two years to become the nation’s fifth largest coal-producing state, producing 47.2 million tons of coal last year and exporting 13 million tons. http://www.dailyegyptian.com/illinois-coal-exports-increase/

As a coal producing and exporting state, do Senators Durbin and Kirk agree with the following comment made to the New York Times by Daniel P. Schrag, a geochemist and member of the President Obama’s presidential science who has counseled the White House on climate issues?  http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/307571-white-house-adviser-war-on-coal-is-exactly-whats-needed


Politically, the White House is hesitant to say they’re having a war on coal.  On the other hand, a war on coal is exactly what is needed.

Certainly jobs would be lost and energy prices would increase here in Illinois and across the nation if the Obama administration’s war on coal should succeed.  The Heritage Foundation “Morning Bell” blog of June 16 cites a hike of natural gas prices by 42%.  Obama’s anti-coal policies would also cause a family of four to lose more than $1,000 in annual income. http://blog.heritage.org/2013/06/26/morning-bell-things-that-will-cost-more-under-obamas-climate-change-plan/

What’s more, just about everything we buy, eat, and wear — as all is produced by energy — would be more expensive under Obama’s climate change plan.  That also includes heating and cooling your home; buying a car and driving — from your work commute to soccer practice and everywhere in between; turning on the lights, and washing and drying clothes.  Irregardless, President Obama is telling the  American people that fixing global warming will fix the economy.

But didn’t President Obama likewise tell the American people that under Obamacare the American people, while paying less for insurance, would receive better healthcare?

The same spiel is issuing forth in Obama’s push for immigration reform, how the illegal immigrants when added to this nation’s work force would contribute billions to this nation’s economy, when in truth many of them wouldn’t earn enough money to pay income taxes in the first place and would even qualify for a tax credit refund.  Rubio, in defending amnesty before security, greatly damaged himself when suggesting that the income taxes paid by illegal aliens were needed to fund building the wall!

Will enough Americans be duped the third time around with the Obama-created crisis of  global warming to allow Obama to go forward through Executive Orders and the EPA’s unchecked regulatory power to fulfill his politically motivated climate plan?

Read what the Heritage Foundation “Foundry” blog of June 26 has to say about President Obama’s plan and its chilling effect on this nation’s economy.  Noted are eleven problems with the climate plan Obama outlined on June 25.  All are worth reading, but  problems nine and ten seemed worthwhile to bring to your immediate attention:  #9.  Pretending China and the developing world will cut emissions.   #10.  Hides Obama’s anti-nuclear policy behind pro-nuclear rhetoric.

Dubbed as the “high priest of climate skepticism,” former Margaret Thatcher adviser Christopher Monckton could keep quite no longer.  Obama’s rhetoric became too much for Lord Monckton.  With Obama’s plan to bypass Congress using his executive power to fight climate change, Monckton launched into a point-by-point demolition of Obama’s claims.  It’s great reading of how President Obama cherry-picked his facts with the same relentless care as Al Gore!  http://www.wnd.com/2013/06/obamas-global-warming-claims-demolished/

Bonner Cohen, Ph.D, in his article, Obama’s Climate Initiative:  A  Green Elitist Assault on Ordinary Citizens, has these choice words to say about Obama’s climate change plan: http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2013/06/obamas-climate-initiative-green-elitist.html


By circumventing Congress and unleashing the vast powers of the administrative regulatory state in the name of combating “climate change,” President Obama has– yet again — revealed his determination to subject the American people to the unchecked whims of the federal bureaucracy.


Obama’s “Climate Action Plan” has nothing to do with the climate.  Instead, the climate, in all of its complexity, serves as a convenient pretext for the administration — working hand in glove with environmental groups and non-competitive, rent-seeking industries — to seize regulatory control of the  production and use of energy so as to further concentrate power in Washington.  His weapons are executive orders and the regulatory power of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), both of which do not require the approval of elected officials in congress nor those at the state and local level.

We are told that the only solution is for us to take Obama’s hand and allow him to lead us through socialist programs, taxes and crushing regulations  But Obama is right about one thing, America really is in a crisis mode on a daily basis because of his agenda.

Related articles

Tuesday, July 02, 2013 at 10:30 AM | Permalink

Polls_global_warming_panic_0821_267046_poll_xlargeBy Nancy Thorner – 

Ever since President Obama took office the American people have been told they have reason to worry. Repeated claims by Obama have given the impression that a constant state of emergency exists. Obamacare was considered a crisis of major importance, and was hurriedly past into law before legislators or the public had a chance to read the massive bill which now prints out to 20,000 pages of Obamacare regulations, with more to come.


Similarly, immigration reform (1,200 pages) is following the same pattern toward adoption as Obamacare. Hurry up and get it done before legislators and the public learn what misleading statements and weak promises make up the Senate’s proposed bill.


Enter crisis #3: President Obama in his weekly address on Saturday, June 29, urged voters to commit to action on climate change through their legislators to reduce carbon pollution and protect our country from the effects of climate change, even though the series of actions planned by Obama’s don’t require congressional approval:

Remind everyone who represents you, at every level of government, that there is no contradiction between a sound environment and a strong economy — and that sheltering future generations against the ravages of climate change is a prerequisite for your vote.    http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/308561-obama-urges-voters-to-demand-climate-action-at-the-ballot-box

Those who disagree for good reason with Obama’s crushing regulatory approach as outlined in his ‘Climate Action Plan’ address at Georgetown University on Tuesday, June 25 (including carbon emissions rules for power plants that are a top priority for environmental advocates), were brushed aside by Obama as individuals who stubbornly cling to the “flat-Earth-society.”      http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-brieing-room/news/307655-obama-we-dont-have-time-for-a-meeting-of-the-flat-earth-society


According to Heritage’s Herbert and Joyce Morgan Fellow and Nicolas Loris, the President has a dilemma:


But let’s pretend we were able to stop emitting all carbon immediately.  Forget the electricity to cool our homes in the summer months.  Shut down the power plants.  Stop driving our cars.  No talking.  The Science and Public Policy Institute found that the global temperature would decrease by 0.17 degrees Celsius — by 2100.  These regulations are all pain no gain.   http://blog.heritage.org/2013/06/24/previewing-president-obamas-climate-change-speech/


Energy and environment policy experts at The Heartland Institute  (http//heartland.org) wasted no time in giving their same day opinions on June 25 of Obama’s energy and environmental agenda address. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMT870P21mo


Alan Caruba, Founder, The National Anxiety Center, and Policy Advisor at The Heartland Institute, wrote:   http://heartland.org/press-releases/2013/06/25/heartland-institute-experts-react-obamas-climate-change-speech


President Obama’s climate policy speech is best understood as the audacity of deceit.  It has no basis in climate science and asserts that the Earth is subject to ‘carbon pollution.’


Carbon dioxide (CO2) is not a pollutant.  It is essential to all life on Earth insofar as it is vital for all plant life, from a blade of grass to a giant redwood, but most essential to the growth of the crops that are the basis of feeding humanity and the livestock it depends upon as a food source.


The Earth and of living things on it would benefit from more carbon dioxide, but the president is asserting the very opposite of this while vilifying CO2 and the business and industrial sectors that produce it in the process of manufacturing everything a society requires.  It is also produced by seven billion humans who exhale CO2 with every breath.


Still not convinced that global warming is a fraud?  Read this article by Robert Moon which lists the top 10 signs that point to the fraud of global warming. http://www.examiner.com/article/update-top-ten-signs-global-warming-is-a-fraud


We continue to receive hysterical warnings about record CO2 levels, even as it becomes clear that there has been no statistically-significant warming in nearly two decades.  How many times have you heard that the ice sheets are shrinking when they are actually growing?


A NASA report in May of this year debunked global warming.  Hasn’t any one informed President Obama of this NASA report verifying that carbon dioxide actually cools the atmosphere?  The NSSA finding was revealed by Ethan A. Huff of Natural News, in an article dated Wednesday, May 22, 2013:


Practically everything you have been told by the mainstream scientific community and the media about the alleged detriments of greenhouse gases, appears to be false, according to new data compiled by NASA’s Langley Research Center.  As it turns out, all those atmospheric greenhouse gases that Al Gore and all the other global warming hoaxers have long claimed are overheating and destroying our planet are actually cooling, based on the latest evidence.


German climate scientist Hans von Storch in a June 20 interview withSpiegel Online remarked that despite predictions of a warming planet the temperature data for the past 15 years shows an increase of 0.06 Celsius (0.11 degrees Fahrenheit) or “very close to zero.” http://cnsnews.com/news/article/global-warming-temperature-very-clos...


Part 2 will explore Obama’s “war on coal” and the chilling effects of Obama’s climate change plan on this nation’s economy.


Monday, July 01, 2013 at 03:52 PM | Permalink


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More on the Weak Underbelly of Obama’s gun policies

Obama-romneyBy Nancy Thorner and Ed Ingold –

Registration in any degree is particularly offensive to those who value their 2nd amendment rights. It is the basis for abuse and harassment of law abiding gun owners by those who would deny those rights, both official and unofficial. We have seen the damage caused when the Journal News in New York published the names and addresses of thousands of citizens with a license to own handguns. At least one Connecticut legislator wants the state to publish the names of gun owners. A similar attempt was made in Illinois in the Spring of 2011, abetted by Illinois AG Lisa Madigan but stopped short by a court order, then both houses of the Assembly. Historically, firearm registration was used in Australia to confiscate a broad range of weapons, after only 20% of their citizens complied voluntarily. It was used in 2008 by Great Britain, and by the Nazis in 1935.  Notably, none of these nations had a constitution which limits the actions of government, as in the United States.

Meanwhile the Administration continues to falsely claims that 40% of firearms are purchased without a background check (the true figure is closer to 6%). Where are the statistics about where CRIMINALS get their guns?  One chart based on surveys of convicted criminals, indicates that about 40% are obtained from relatives, about 40% are obtained “on the street”, about 11% by legal purchase from gun stores, and 1.6% from gun shows and flea markets. The balance are obtained from private sales. Note that the President’s proposal on background checks would exempt transactions between relatives.   (Source for truth about 40% background check claims: Illinois Review and Fox News)

The hypocrisy of celebrities and politicians regarding guns is notable. Dianne Feinstein carries a gun, as do most of the Hollywood folks. Others have Secret Service or armed private security agents. Mayor Rahm Emanual of Chicago has a cadre of armed police officers for protection around the clock.

In an affront to those who believe in the 2nd Amendment, a  bill introduced by Diane Feinstein (D-CA) in the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 24 — “assault weapons” banning bill —  has a preamble which describes her proposed law as “[regulating]  assault  weapons, [and ensuring] that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited.”   Approximately 150 weapons are banned, including “semiautomatic rifles” that “accept a detachable magazine and any of the following:  a pistol grip, a forward grip, a folding, telescoping, or detachable stock or a threaded barrel, among other things.

Yet even under Feinstein’s draconian bill, not everyone would have to abide by Senator Dianne Feinstein’s gun control bill should the proposed legislation become law.  Government officials are exempt. It is safe to say than any politician who claims to respect the 2nd amendment, interjecting the word “but” doesn’t respect it at all.

Where was the call by President Obama to demand that Hollywood stop producing violent moves? Movies seem to become more violent by the year as audiences increasingly accept greater and more sensational displays of blood and mayhem.  A 17-year-old boy who shot and killed his mother and sister in their Aledo,Texas home in October, 2012, admitted that watching the horror movie “Halloween” provided him the inspiration for the slayings. The four-page confession released by the teen during the trial reported how at ease the boy was during the murders and how little remorse he had.  The boy said he had watched the Rob Zombie remake of “Halloween,” about a 10-year-old boy who murders several people and kills more 15 years later, three times earlier that week, and believed it would be the same for him when he would kill someone. The confession was introduced as evidence.

In lieu of what is currently being pushed as a long-time “progressive” goal of disarming Americans, what would constitute a sensible approach?

A report issued by The Heritage Foundation on January 18, 2013, “The Newtown Tragedy: Complex Causes Require Thoughtful Analysis and Responses” by John G. Malcolm and Jennifer A. Marshall offers these three key points:

1.  Any federal action should be consistent with our federal system of government and the separation of powers.

2.  The Second Amendment remains an important safeguard of Americans’ security.  Gun control laws do not correlate with decreased violence.

3.  Decisions about school security, and assessing and addressing risks of school violence arising from mental illness, are the responsibility of state and local governments.

A quote from an article by David Harsanyi appeared in Human Events (a powerful conservative voice) in its weekly publication dated January 21, “Harsanyi: On Guns, An Abuse Of Power,” brings to the fore why using fear and a tragedy to further ideological goals is not a logical or constitutional path to embark on.

“Now, when the Supreme Court solidified the right to an abortion via Roe v. Wade (now a constitutional right, unlike owning a gun in Chicago) and solidified the individual mandate found in Obamacare (now a constitutional right, unlike, say, the right of Catholics to be free of economic  coercion), they became immovable legal precedents that may never be toyed with — ever.  Well, even if you believe in banning “assault” weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, doesn’t the Bill of Rights deserve at least that much deference?”

In summary, the real problems are being systematically ignored by politicians and suppressed from public view. Instead, legal gun ownership is under attack because it is politically easier to go after things (firearms) rather than the people who misuse them, particularly when the abusers come largely from your core constituency. It is easier to burden citizens who normally obey laws than those who habitually break them.

There are no easy solutions to the real problems, and politicians always take the easy way out.  When laws don’t work as intended, it is easier to make them stronger and more restrictive than to start afresh. We must always ask if it is ever worth sacrificing freedom for the vain hope of temporary safety (q.v., “stop and frisk”). Our freedoms were won at great price, and once gone, they are difficult to regain.

Part 1 posted at Illinois Review on Monday, January 28