Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Monday, April 29, 2013
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Those low performing hospitals hit hardest will be those serving the poorest.
The National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems immediately blasted the Medicare DSH proposal. “The DSH methodology has long been criticized for failing to account for the costs of providing care to uninsured individuals,” said Beth Feldpush, senior vice president for policy and advocacy at NAPH, in a prepared statement. “Rather than taking into account the cost of providing care to the uninsured, CMS has instead continued to rely on the same unsound proxy that ignores uninsured individuals and instead focuses on Medicaid and low-income Medicare patients.”
The proposal also slaps new penalties on hospitals that fail to participate in the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) program, which is fewer than 1% of all hospitals. They would receive a 2 percentage point reduction in the proposed increase. The hospital IQR program now evaluates 57 quality measures, including heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia, related to healthcare-associated infections, surgery and patient experience, in assessing hospitals' ability to improve quality.
The changes in the quality incentive programs were mandated by Affordable Care Act. The Hospital-Acquired Condition reduction program that starts in 2015 will penalize hospitals that rank among the lowest-performing quartile of hospitals in curbing hospital-acquired conditions by 1% of their total payments. It also proposed adding the two measures—hip and knee arthroplasty and COPD—to the conditions used in calculating readmission penalties, which can be as high as 2% of Medicare reimbursement.
And those hospitals that can pick their patients; prosper. One of those unintended consequences of ACA… I suppose, who knows with Obama’s Clout habits.
Read BR here: The Beachwood Reporter - The [Thursday] Papers
The tale told here - and it sounds awfully familiar to what we already know - is that clout admissions seem to have been a standard way of doing business under Duncan. How does he square that with his testing and standards rhetoric?
No kidding Steve. Plenty I want to hear Rauner explain, but this story is not one. Chicago’s a scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours sort of town. No one gives a hoot Rauner itched. We all have.
They don't sound like fellows in deep cover.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Urgent Call to Action on Benghazigate: CALL Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam ASAP to Publicly Support Congressman Frank Wolf and H.Res. 36
Center Urges Select Committee to Make Real Progress on Benghazigate Scandal
Republican leaders of five House committees with national security jurisdictions have issued today a "progress report" (PDF) on the fruits of their respective efforts to investigate the murderous jihadist attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012. The most important take-away is that, more than seven months after that outrage, these committees still do not know precisely what happened.
More to the point, the report indicates that the five committees intend to continue their investigations. It seems predictable that months spent on more of the same, business-as-usual inquiries will produce more of the same stonewalling by the executive branch, a host of still-unanswered questions and a continuing lack of accountability for the policies that got us into this fiasco in Libya, for the conduct during the attack and for the cover-up that was perpetrated at the highest levels of the Obama administration.
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., President of the Center for Security Policy, responded to the issuing of this report by renewing the Center's call for the establishment, instead, of a select committee to get to the bottom of the Benghazigate scandal.
The American people are entitled to know the truth about what happened before, during and following the attack last year in Benghazi on 9/11. While the existing, standing committees have shed some light on pieces of this sordid affair, it is now evident that that truth simply is unlikely to be forthcoming in the absence of an aggressive investigative effort with real teeth.
We believe this progress report reinforces the request recently made by 700-plus Special Forces veterans urging Congress to establish a select committee pursuant to House Resolution 36, sponsored by Rep. Frank Wolf and a majority of the House Republican caucus. It is time for real progress and a select committee evidently is necessary to get it.Concerned citizens can help get this select committee established by urging their representatives to endorse H.Res.36 by going to www.EndtheCoverup.com.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Bruce Rauner Email - Simple
For Immediate Release
April 24, 2013
Contact: Mike Schrimpf
Another Governor Comes After Illinois Jobs
Chicago, IL – The Miami Herald reports that Florida Governor Rick Scott sent a letter this week to Illinois’ top 100 companies urging them to book a “one way” ticket to Florida, where taxes are low, the unemployment rate has dropped and the state’s debt is being paid down.
“It’s obvious that the failed Quinn-Madigan record of higher taxes and deeper debt has unfortunately made Illinois’ businesses top targets for other states. Illinois simply cannot afford to lose any more jobs – our state now has the second highest unemployment rate in the entire nation,” said Bruce Rauner. “The fact is we have tremendous resources ready to be tapped and incredibly talented and diverse people ready to work, but our economy is losing ground because of the problems caused by the Quinn-Madigan agenda in Springfield. It’s time to turn our economy around so an Illinois company would never want to leave.”
Last week, Bruce launched www.MakeIllinoisWideOpenforBusiness.com with a simple message: help is on the way.
Bruce is currently on a Listening Tour and has made more than 40 stops across Illinois, including visits with voters in Champaign, Clark, Crawford, Cumberland, Coles, DuPage, Edgar, Effingham, Grundy, Kane, Mason, McDonough, McLean, Monroe, Moultrie, Richland, Sangamon, Shelby, Tazewell, Washington and Winnebago counties.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
From Rauner's interview with SaukValley.Com. I doubt Rauner's past donations comport with his current views, but the guy's certainly saying all the right stuff.
Rauner, 56, stopped in Dixon for a lunch reception as part of his statewide "listening tour." He later met with Sauk Valley Media's editorial board.
He said his top priority would be to improve the state's climate for businesses.
"If we don't have a better business climate in Illinois, nothing else matters," he told the editorial board. "Taxpayers are not getting the best value for their tax dollars, not even remotely close."
Rauner said he could bring about change even though Democrats have long dominated the General Assembly. The Illinois governor, he said, is among the most powerful in the country. He said he would have a "steel backbone" in negotiations with unions.
Rauner said former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who left office earlier this year after two terms, was the best governor in the United States. Rauner, as do other Republicans, credits Daniels for making Indiana government more efficient, cutting spending and balancing the budget.
Daniels, a Republican, declined to run for president in 2012.
"I begged him to run," Rauner said.
Beware the nothing else matters though. The matter to Democrats and they will hammer Rauner on them to drive a wedge between him and the GOP base. Rauner better have some thoughtful comments 'cause giving it all to the voters only goes so far.
North Korea’s growing missile threat | Shadow Government
Enhancing U.S. missile defenses in response to North Korea's nuclear missile program would appear to be warranted, but it alone is likely to prove insufficient. The United States should consider enhancing its ability to strike North Korea, including its leadership and its ballistic missile launch infrastructure. As former Secretary of Defense William Perry and current Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter wroteon June 22, 2006:
"Should the United States allow a country openly hostile to it and armed with nuclear weapons to perfect an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of delivering nuclear weapons to U.S. soil? We believe not."Perry and Carter went on to argue in favor of a pre-emptive strike on a North Korean test missile on the launch pad. It would be worth asking Carter whether he continues to hold this view.
Monday, April 22, 2013
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Update: Marathon Pundit reminds us:
PSR’s reporting… (link at bottom)
The rumor mill has been kicked into high gear this weekend over the tale that Republican Senator Mark Kirk, Illinois’ junior Senator, might be about to announce that he is retiring effective almost immediately… or at least for the 2014 election cycle
If true, hope Gov Quinn remembers what happened to the last Gov when something Golden fell into his lap.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
If you don’t think Same Sex Marriage has a slippery slope, here’s IR (link at bottom) on HB 1243….
While more attention has been focused this session on defining marriage, another bill is working its way through the legislature that would redefine parenting in Illinois. A revision to the Illinois Parentage Act, sponsored by State Rep Kelly Burke (D-Chicago), will change legal parental rights of adults who have children while they are not married. A section of HB 1243 reads:"A woman is presumed to be the parent of a child if: (1) she and the birth mother of the child have entered into a marriage, civil union, or substantially similar legal relationship, and the child is born to the birth mother during the marriage, civil union, or substantially similar relationship."
"Bear in mind that we are not talking about children conceived through sperm or egg donation," said Family PAC/Eagle Forum lobbyist Sharee Langenstein, "It completely codifies the negative effects of same sex marriage with regard to parenting. Parenting is assigned according to policy, not recognized according to biology."
A perfectly appalling idea IMO. Slaps science in the face, robs a child of a biological parent, not to mention all the complexities of financial support (witness the similarities in the Kansas Sperm doner case) when these SSM’s dissolve.
Enough social engineering please, enough.
Al-Qaeda Strikes Again We Shi'a Muslims, the victims of terrorism for centuries, do hereby unreservedly condemn the dastardly acts of terrorism perpetrated in Boston on April 17. We pray for the speedy recovery of the injured as well as commend the work of law enforcement agencies.
What happened in Boston is no different from what has been happening for years in Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and a few other so called Muslim countries. The perpetrators of these heinous acts are none other than Salafi and Wahabi genocidal gypsies still steeped in jahiliyya values of killing innocent people to satisfy their blood-lust, but masquerading around the globe as the champions of Islam.
We are indeed horrified by the criminal acts of a group, which called itself Muslim. It is now a well know fact that the Wahabi and Salafi cabal has infiltrated in the Balkan states and the rest of Europe. The time has come for the western powers to realize that the hoodwinking done by the governments of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States to export their Al-Qaeda brand of intolerant doctrine will not stop until the west wakes up to this stark reality. The Boston incident was not the first tragedy nor will it be the last, unless endeavors are made across the globe to systematically uproot and eliminate these criminals from our body politic.
Friday, April 19, 2013
LWJ the best for analysis on Radical Islam.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Via Windy City Times (link at bottom). You never hear about Democrats being on the wrong side of History on same-sex-marriage. They just need cover from GOP votes so they don’t get in hot-water from their own constituents. Pat Brady should be at this demo if he wants to make the Illinois GOP more inclusive.
Opponents and supporters of a bill that would legalize equal marriage in Illinois will face off in demonstrations aimed at securing an Aurora representative's vote April 20.
Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia remains undecided on SB10, and with sponsors close to securing the 60 votes needed to pass the bill, the two sides will rally in front of her Aurora office Saturday.
According to an email sent out by the Illinois Unites for Marriage coalition, which is backing the bill, opponents have organized a rally to discourage Chapa LaVia from voting "yes."
Supporters are aiming to counter that demonstration by turning out LGBTs and allies in favor of the bill.
"Our opponents will be in full force on Saturday," said Lambda Legal Midwest Regional Director Jim Bennett, in the email. "They'll be loud, and they'll be spreading hurtful lies about same-sex couples and their families."
Chapa LaVia, who is in Springfield for session, could not be reached for comment.
Supporters of the bill will gather April 20 at 10:30 a.m. outside Chapa LaVia's Aurora office, 8 Galena Blvd. Information about that and other actions is available at http://www.illinoisunites.org/events.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Rauner sure gets the coverage.
Republican Governors Association communications director Mike Schrimpf is leaving Washington to work for a likely candidate for Illinois governor.
The hire is a boost for Chicago private equity executive Bruce Rauner, who created an exploratory committee last month.
Republicans now control 30 governorships and the RGA views Illinois as probably its best pick-up opportunity next year.
Lawmakers in the State House took a meaningful step in the right direction on pension reform on April 12 by passing HB116, sponsored by Rep. Jeanne Ives, which limits pension eligibility for members of various state commissions.
This bill amends the State Employee Article of the Illinois Pension Code and provides that no member of the Civil Service Commission, Board of Review of the Department of Employment Security (other than the Director of Employment Security), Civil Service Commission, Illinois Liquor Control Commission, Secretary of State Merit Commission, Human Rights Commission, State Mining Board, Property Tax Appeal Board, Illinois Racing Board, Department of State Police Merit Board, Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, or Illinois State Board of Elections may establish creditable service in the State Employees' Retirement System of Illinois on or after the effective date of the amendatory Act for service in that capacity.
“I have promised to take any steps, big or small, to reducing the state’s crippling unfunded pension liability. HB 116 is a necessary step in the process,” states Ives. “I thank all those who supported this bill in committee and who voted "Yes" today for standing up for reform and the interests of Illinois tax-payers.”http://www.ilga.gov/
legislation/ billstatus.asp?DocNum=116&GAID= 12&GA=98&DocTypeID=HB&LegID=68 501&SessionID=85
Use Of Pressure Cooker In Boston Bombing, Ricin In Letter To U.S. Senator – Methods Mentioned In Al-Qaeda And Other Jihadi Training And Instruction Magazines
AQ calls it the Afghan Charge...
Sunday, April 14, 2013
Via Illinois Review (link at bottom),
State Representative John Cabello (photo right) this week advanced legislation in the Illinois House ensuring elected officials are held to the same rules as other citizens regarding the concealed carry of firearms.
Cabello (R-Machesney Park) won House Judiciary Committee approval of HB 1711, which removes special permissions allowing mayors, alderman, presidents, trustees, marshals, and deputy marshals to carry a concealed firearm in communities where other law abiding citizens are denied that right. Currently, the law classifies each of these elected offices as “conservators of the peace” and so affords them special rights to carry a concealed firearm.
Cabello said he introduced this legislation as an attempt to level the playing field between lawmakers and citizens. “In light of the gun control measures that the City of Chicago imposes on its citizens, it’s only fair that elected officials are held to the same standard,” said Cabello. “Elected officials are no better than the people they represent and they should not have rights that are restricted from their constituents.”
You can bet Donnie Trotter was no exception. Many politicians carry and I suspect some of the most outspoken ones on gun control do. Hurrah for Rep Cabello.
A Grundy County teen on Joe Walsh.
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Opponents of Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady were not able to muster the votes to oust him today.
Indeed, no votes were even taken on an ouster, which was a serious defeat to his most outspoken opponents. However, the central committee did set up a process to find a replacement. So, it appears as though the “surrender with honor” idea by top Republicans has worked. Brady can announce a resignation “of his own accord” and without a sword over his head. The opponents “win” because Brady will step down, but there will not be a hardline conservative appointed in his place. Expect either Sen. Matt Murphy or somebody like him.This was no victory for Brady. Madigan's trying to dupe the GOP into giving him the votes to pass SSM without forcing Democrats who would find this vote toxic. Not many GOPers falling for it except Pat Brady. Once duped, it's find the safe way out, and I think that's what were seeing her
Oh please, Fran Eaton is no Bill Kelly. Pat Brady it's time to go. The State CC's saved your face. Now to the honorable thing and go!
Daily Herald with the sad story here.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Bruce Rauner on Teachers Unions: They've got our schoolchildren by the throats and they're squeezing them
Via an interview with Tom Kacich in the News Gazette,
Rauner also said he was prepared to use the power of the governorship to take on "special interests."
"We are a state that has been taken over completely by special-interest groups that make their money from government. Unfortunately for us, they've taken over a big chunk of the Republican Party too," he said. "We don't like to talk about it, but it's true. And they own the Democratic Party. The folks who make their money from the government — AFSCME and SEIU and the teachers' unions and trial lawyers, you look at their financial muscle, who they've given donations to. They've got our taxpayers by the throats and they're squeezing. They've got our schoolchildren by the throats and they're squeezing them."
He declined to say specifically how he would take on interest groups.
"The governorship in Illinois is a very powerful governorship," he said. "You can do things with executive order here that many states can't do. You have an amendatory veto, line-item veto, you've got the ability to appoint to key positions that the Legislature wants to have influence in. If you're a creative negotiator and you've got a steel backbone and are willing to play hardball, you can get a lot of stuff done. We'll be stretching the power of the office. I'll be stretching the envelope aggressively."
Another Broken Promise?
President's Budget Predicts the Unemployment Rate May Never Reach Previously Promised Level5.0 Percent Unemployment at Least 10 Years Away
Yesterday, the Administration released its budget proposal, which predicts what many have long known but that the Administration is only now revealing - that we may never reach their promised 5.0 percent unemployment rate:
Powers's conclusion (she's a liberal too you know) on MSM's avoidance of the Gosnell trial.
Let me state the obvious. This should be front page news. When Rush Limbaugh attacked Sandra Fluke, there was non-stop media hysteria. The venerable NBC Nightly News' Brian Williams intoned, "A firestorm of outrage from women after a crude tirade from Rush Limbaugh," as he teased a segment on the brouhaha. Yet, accusations of babies having their heads severed — a major human rights story if there ever was one — doesn't make the cut.
You don't have to oppose abortion rights to find late-term abortion abhorrent or to find the Gosnell trial eminently newsworthy. This is not about being "pro-choice" or "pro-life." It's about basic human rights.
The deafening silence of too much of the media, once a force for justice in America, is a disgrace.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
RNC: Obama’s Budget Has More Spending, More Taxes, And Accounting Gimmicks Instead Of Fundamental Tax And Entitlement Reform
OBAMA'S BUDGET LANDS WITH A DUD
CLAIM: Obama Said That "There's Not A Lot Of Smoke And Mirrors" In His FY 2014 Budget. OBAMA: "That's what my budget does, that's why I'm so grateful for the great work that this team has done in shaping the budget. The numbers work, there's not a lot of smoke and mirrors in here." (President Barack Obama, Remarks On The FY 2014 Budget, Washington, D.C., 4/10/13)
REALITY: Given That The Sequester Is Included In The Obama Budget Baseline, His Budget "Would Only Reduce The Deficit By About $600 Billion Over 10 Years." "However, the baseline the administration uses to calculate that figure assumes the sequester was never started. If the sequester is included in the baseline, the Obama budget would only reduce the deficit by about $600 billion over 10 years." (Erik Wasson, "Obama To Unveil $1.058T Budget," The Hill's On The Money, 4/10/13)
CNN's John Berman Said Obama's Budget Has "Minus Infinity" Chances Of Passing. CNN's Christine Romans: "What are the chances of the budget being passed as it is written in those boxes?" CNN's John Berman: "Minus infinity." (CNN's "Newsroom," 4/10/13)
"The President's Previous Budgets Have Fallen Flat In Congress. Given The Initial Reaction, This Version Is Likely To Suffer A Quick Death, As Well, If It Is Ever Brought To The Floor For A Vote." (John Parkinson, "Obama's Catch 22: Budget Blueprint Won't Please Many, If Any," ABC News' The Note, 4/6/13)
BY THE NUMBERS
|Total Federal Spending Proposed By Obama's FY 2014 Budget Through 2023. (OMB, 4/10/13)|
|Projected Federal Debt In 2023 Due To Obama's Binge Spending. (OMB, 4/10/13)|
|Amount Obama's FY 2014 Budget Would Add To The Debt Through FY2023. (OMB, 4/10/13)|
|Cumulative Deficits Over FY 2014-2023. (OMB, 4/10/13)|
|Total Interest Payments On The National Debt Due To Obama's Proposed Budget, FY 2014-2023. (OMB, 4/10/13)|
|Federal Budget Deficit For FY 2009 – Highest In U.S. History. (CBO, 2/5/13)|
|Federal Budget Deficit For FY 2011 – Second Highest In U.S. History. (CBO, 2/5/13)|
|Federal Budget Deficit For FY 2010 – Third Highest In U.S. History. (CBO, 2/5/13)|
|Total New Taxes On American Families And Businesses In Obama's Budget. (OMB, 4/10/13)|
|Federal Budget Deficit For FY 2012 – Fourth Highest In U.S. History. (CBO, 2/5/13)|
|Projected Federal Budget Deficit For FY 2013, Which Would Make It The Fifth Highest In U.S. History. (OMB, 4/10/13)|
|Actual Deficit Reduction Over Ten Years In Obama's Budget Once Baseline Gimmicks Have Been Eliminated. (OMB, 4/10/13)|
|Tax Increases That Obama Already Got In The Fiscal Cliff Deal. (The White House, 1/1/13)|
|Year By Which Obama Thinks The Unemployment Rate Will Finally Dip Below 6 Percent. (OMB, 4/10/13)|
|Year By Which The Debt Will Exceed $20 Trillion Due To Obama's Proposed Spending. (OMB, 4/10/13)|
|Public Debt As A Percentage Of GDP In 2023 Due To Obama's Proposed Spending. (OMB, 4/10/13)|
|Days Past The Legal Deadline Obama Submitted His Budget. (31 U.S.C. § 1105, (a), p. 105)|
|Amount That Obama's Proposed Buffett Rule In The FY 2014 Budget Would Raise In Comparison To His Overall Spending. (OMB, 4/10/13)|
|Mentions Of The Keystone Pipeline In Obama's Budget. (OMB, 4/10/13)|
Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Neil Steinberg had asked Ebert about those good old days, which he'd come along too late to experience but understood to be a time when the flame from Chicago's Front Page era again burned brightly. "Steinberg said he'd heard that on a good night you might see Mike Royko, Studs Terkel and Nelson Algren there all at the same time. Yes, you might," Ebert writes, "but it was not always a good night." He writes nonjudgmentally, but we know that he knows that barflies mortgage years to buy hours. "Royko appeared one night after midnight, being supported by two volunteers, his trench coat a shambles," Ebert remembers. "He was scheduled to appear the following morning on the Phil Donahue Show. I made it a point to watch. To my amazement, he was lucid and didn't seem hung over."
I worked at the Dr. Scholl's factory shoe store on Wells street the summer of 1974 (if I recall right), and walked over to O'Rouke's on a Saturday afternoon to ask around about Algren who had just moved to New Jersey.
Ebert was sitting alone at the bar. Don't recall much of what he said. The bar tender told me Algren was a miserable guy and a miserable customer always harassing women patrons.
The extent of my Ebert recollections. Too much beer I suppose. O'Rouke's one of the few places then where you could get Guiness on tap. We talked I'm sure, but I haven't a clue about what other than he and the bar tender agreed Algren was a nasty guy.
Here's Ebert from his blog on O'Rourke's.
Monday, April 08, 2013
Their ethics tell them Gay Marriage is wrong, and they'll buck their history of voting Democratic if their reps defy them.
April 8, 2013
Contact: Chip Englander
Bruce Rauner Statement on Caterpillar & Other Manufacturing Job Losses
Chicago, IL – Bruce Rauner issued the following statement in response to the announcement Friday by Caterpillar Inc. that it is laying off more than 460 employees at its plant in Decatur and the news this morning that McLaughlin Body Company, a Caterpillar supplier headquartered in Moline, is opening - for the first time in company history - a manufacturing facility outside of Illinois:
"Unfortunately, this is another exhibit of failed leadership by Pat Quinn and his fellow politicians in Springfield. Too many folks are losing the opportunity to work and raise a family in Illinois. Layoffs are occurring far too often, businesses are looking to expand or move to other states and Illinois' workers are getting left behind.
"While most states saw their unemployment rates decrease over the past 12 months, Illinois' unemployment rate has climbed higher. In fact, our state has seen its unemployment rate increase more than any other state over the last year - that is unacceptable.
"I've heard again and again on my Listening Tour that the political leaders in Springfield have created an economic environment that makes it harder to increase jobs and have companies invest in their employees. An anti-job, anti-business atmosphere has permeated Springfield during Pat Quinn's time as governor and is impacting Illinois' citizens in the worst way. The status quo and career politicians are failing the people of Illinois."
Bruce is on a statewide Listening Tour as he considers a run for governor. The Listening Tour has already included more than 20 stops. Bruce has visited with voters in Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, DuPage, Edgar, Effingham, Mason, McDonough, Richland, Shelby, Tazewell, Washington, and Winnebago counties, and Elmhurst, Rosemont, South Holland, Winnetka, and Wheeling.
No way this goes away... Via Wash Free Beacon,
A group of 700 former special operations troops has called on Congress to create a special committee to investigate the Obama administration's handling of the terrorist attack on diplomatic and intelligence posts in Benghazi.
The commandos specifically want a House Select Committee created to find out why the U.S. military did not come to the rescue of Americans who were attacked. Four Americans were killed and many others wounded in the attack by an al Qaeda-linked group called Ansar al-Sharia.
"It is essential that a full accounting of the events of Sept. 11, 2012, be provided and that the American public be fully informed regarding this egregious terrorist attack on U.S. diplomatic personnel and facilities," the commandos said in a letter to Congress organized by retired Army Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, a former Delta Force commander and Pentagon special operations policymaker during the George W. Bush administration.
"We owe that truth to the American people and the families of the fallen."
by Joe Walsh
2. Give every parent in the state a school voucher to send their children to whatever school they want to send them to — public, private, religious, or home.
3. Place every government employee on a defined contribution, 401(k) style retirement plan.
4. Begin immediately tapping into our natural gas and oil reserves.
5. Eliminate township governments.
6. Give every law-abiding adult the right to carry a concealed weapon.
7. Have a federal prosecutor investigate how Michael Madigan and his legal clients have benefited financially at taxpayer expense from his role as Speaker.
8. Tell Judy Barr Topinka to retire.
Saturday, April 06, 2013
Black Watch prepare for Great War Centenary
Via IR…. The GOP Gov primary may turn out to be Politics v Money… My bet (hope) at the moment is on Politics.
Rutherford teaches Retail Politics 101 everyday on the campaign trail, even though he has not yet officially declared his bid for governor in 2014. He takes a photo, grabs name, address, basic info, follows up with the mailed hands on reminder of a pleasant encounter, and moves on to the next potential voter.
Rutherford continues to build his online base with over 5300 Twitter followers and 12,500 Facebook "Likes."
Vis The Southern (link below). File under Madigan’s Baloney…..
A report state Sen. Dave Luechtefeld’s staff recently compiled shows Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan’s claim downstate schools “get a free lunch” on state funding is misleading.
Madigan made the statement several weeks back in defending the idea local school districts would have to start paying into teacher pensions to address the state’s nearly $100 billion backlog. Luechtefeld, R-Okawville, contends it’s unfair to criticize the share of tax revenue Southern Illinois schools get, when Chicago schools get what he says is a disproportionate amount of money, considering the city’s public school system accounts for just 18 percent of the state’s average daily attendance.
“It’s pretty glaring we don’t have a free lunch,” Luechtefeld said in an interview with The Southern Illinoisan Friday.
Thursday, April 04, 2013
Rauner's firm's purchase of SecurityLink from SBC Ameritech was one of the first big deals Rahm Emanuel put together after his sudden conversion to investment banker in the 1990s. The SBC deal would not have happened but for Rahm's insider connections to the Clinton White House.
According to the Chicago Tribune at the time, a Clinton-era regulatory deadline would have forced SBC to divest itself of SecurityLink. Instead, SBC financed all but $100 million of GTCR's $479 million purchase of the firm. Less than six months later, GTCR, under Rauner's leadership, resold the company for $1 billion, earning a quick $500 million on its .
In a two year stint, Rahm picked up $16.2 million in fees and was made managing director of the investment banking firm Wasserstein Perella. No experience required. Emanuel had never had a job outside of politics before.
Rauner has been a close friend, key advisor, and donor to Emanuel ever since.
Read more: http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/bill-kellys-truth-squad/2013/apr/4/republicans-selling-out-rahms-billionaire-rauner/#ixzz2PWjlqcco
|For Immediate Release|
April 4, 2013
Contact: Chip Englander
Wednesday, April 03, 2013
WaPo on Current Top Pentagon Official Urged Bombing North Korea…When He Was on the Sidelines
Read more: http://nation.time.com/2013/04/03/current-top-pentagon-official-urged-bombing-north-koreawhen-he-was-on-the-sidelines/#ixzz2PS1lxoLk
Bill Gertz on on China's Military Buildup near North Korea,
The PLA movements were first reported Monday by the Free Beacon.
The buildup likely serves two goals, the officials said. One is to bolster border security in case a conflict sends large numbers of refugees from the impoverished state into China.
Additionally, the troop buildup is a signal to Pyongyang that China will abide by its defense commitment to North Korea in the event of renewed conflict.
China’s military maintains a mutual defense treaty with North Korea. The last time Chinese troops defended North Korea was during the Korean War.
Tuesday, April 02, 2013
'The Taliban are worried about the uprising happening here': an interview with the Panjwai district governor - The Long War Journal
LWJ's Bill Roggio's embedded in Afghanistan. Check the above link to read one of his reports.
For Immediate Release
April 2, 2013
Contact: Chip Englander
Rauner Exploratory Committee Raises $1.3 Million
- More Than $1.2 Million Cash on Hand -
Chicago, IL – The Bruce Rauner Exploratory Committee announced today that it raised $1.3 million since its inception on March 5 and carried forward more than $1.2 million into the second quarter. The fundraising figures include a $249,000 contribution from Bruce Rauner.
The fundraising haul comes amidst a statewide Listening Tour that has already included 20 stops. Bruce has visited with voters in Cumberland, Coles, DuPage, Effingham, Mason, McDonough, Richland, Shelby, Tazewell, and Washington counties, and Elmhurst, South Holland and Winnetka.
"The folks I'm meeting as I travel the state understand Illinois needs a political outsider willing to take on the failed status quo in Springfield, and I'm excited by their response to my exploratory committee," said Bruce Rauner. "The amount of support we've received in less than a month exceeds expectations and underscores the fact that Illinoisans are looking for someone to bring a fresh perspective to solving the challenges facing our state."
Bruce's next stops on the Listening Tour this week include Rockford, Rosemont, and Monroe County.
"The more time I spend discussing both the hopes and the concerns of people who want to see a better Illinois, the more convinced I am that our state's future is bright," Rauner said. "The fact is Illinois' greatest resource is her people. Unfortunately, they have been let down time and again by the politicians in Springfield. It's time for an outsider."
Virtually everyone agrees that Illinois needs to do something about its massive unfunded pension liabilities, which total more than $200 billion. For too long, politicians have been all too willing to kick the can down the road and let the problem build and build, rather than confronting it with meaningful reform.
Now, several pension reform plans have emerged, but most of them have included little more than changes to the current system. With enough pressure having finally built up to make changes to the state's pension system, now is the time for lawmakers to stand for comprehensive, lasting reform.
Lawmakers should oppose any pension plan that leaves the outdated defined benefit plan in place and instead support shifting public employees to a defined contribution, 401(k) style retirement plan, like what is seen in the private sector.
Here are the facts:• Illinois needs a defined contribution, not a defined benefit, plan for its retirees. This is the only solution that will ensure that taxpayers are not left on the hook to make up the difference when investment returns (which defined-benefit systems are dependent on) inevitably fall short of projections.
• A defined benefit system (especially one that includes a funding guarantee) will – in the years to come – require annual payments from the state so large that lawmakers will either have to increase taxes or significantly cut funding for core government services, like education and public safety. Neither should be acceptable.
*Using the website will allow us to influence legislation, track results, and quantify the impact we are having. We will be able to demonstrate the influence the grassroots effort is having with individual legislators and make our voice count.
- Using Illinois Opportunity Project website Contact your State Representative*
- Using Illinois Opportunity Project website Contact Governor Quinn*
- Participate in our conference call with co-sponsor Rep. Ives - April 7th at 7:00pm (Call in details to follow)
- Join the Illinois Opportunity Project Facebook Team (friend Danielle Rowe on Facebook and ask to part of the team), and meet with your legislator (training and education will be provide by IOP)
- Illinois Opportunity Project – Pension Reform Brief
- Marc Levine's website – aide to Tom Cross
- Pension Summary is outstanding! It's easy to understand and goes into detail
- Budget Solutions 2014: Pension reform and responsible spending for state and local governments
Prairie State Report: All Other Problems Solved, Chicago Democrats’ New Law Worried About Dogs Behind the Wheel
Having apparently solved all of the other debilitating problems Illinois is facing, Chicago Democrats have now turned their considered attention to making sure dog owners don't let their puppies get behind the wheel of an automobile.This important bill (HB1581) amends the Illinois vehicle code to ban drivers from putting their pooch on their laps as they drive. Presumably the Democrats understand it is the humans that are doing the driving, not the dogs–but we may need to launch a second legislative campaign to clarify that.
The rest here at Prairie State Report.