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Archive → January 6th, 2017

Setting the political table to win

Originally published at Fox News

Whose Table

In Washington when people say they want to put an idea “on the table” it’s important to ask on whose table will it be.

All too often Republicans win elections only to lose their negotiations in Washington.

When President George W. Bush came to town he had a history of working with conservative Democrats in Austin as governor. He thought he could do the same in Washington. What he didn’t realize was that there weren’t any conservative Democrats with real power in Washington.

When I was Speaker we made sure that we set the table and defined the agenda. This is how we reformed welfare, achieved the largest capital gains tax cut in history, and balanced four budgets.

After we were elected the first Republican House majority in 40 years, I announced just three days later that as Speaker I would be “very prepared to cooperate with the Clinton Administration,” but that I was “not prepared to compromise.” Referring to the Contract with America, I said “We’re going to try and pass all 10 items, period…and we’re not going to compromise on that”.

A year later, during the budget negotiations, I said again, “We will cooperate with the president to reach an agreement but we will not compromise.”

Standing firm by inviting your opponents to negotiate at your table within your parameters while refusing to be lured into allowing them to set the terms of the negotiation is vital if you want real change.

I was reminded of this on Sunday. I was on ABC’s “This Week” with Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile as she suggested “there are also other Democrats who are saying, look, put something on the table. Let us work together.”

Democrats understand that their values, their interest groups and their power structure are all under siege.

Now that they can no longer hide behind President Obama’s personal popularity they have begun to realize how badly the Democratic Party has decayed during his Presidency.

Today there are over 4100 Republican State legislators (the most in history), 34 Republican Governors, 52 Republican Senators and 239 Republican House members.

Faced with the fact that the Democratic Party is weaker today than at any time since President Franklin Delano Roosevelt created the New Deal majority in the 1930s, Democrats are scrambling and finding themselves in three camps.

The ‘Hard Left’ camp is headed by Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders. This is the true faith, socialist, and big bureaucracy is good for America camp. Congressman Keith Ellison is a good example of this anti-Israel, pro government wing. This wing will offer bold, radical government solutions and hope to build an ideological majority.

The ‘Hard Partisan’ camp is led by Minority Leader (former Speaker) Nancy Pelosi who seems to have learned nothing from her party’s collapse under her leadership (from 257 the year President Obama was elected to 196 this year). Pelosi’s model will be to fight virtually every day on every issue and try to rebuild the partisan base.

Third, there is a scattering of Democrats who are interested in working with the incoming President. This is a small group so far but as the Trump program develops there might be a real opportunity to grow a Trump wing of the Democratic Party.

The challenge to President-elect Trump and to the congressional Republicans is to insist that the negotiations be defined and built upon the values they have collectively created.

School choice, for example, is central to the Trump vision of hope for poor children. Any Democrat who wants to help think through and improve a school choice initiative should be invited to the table. Those Democrats who insist on trapping poor children in bad schools should not be part of the discussion.

President Reagan attracted Democrats to his positions while convincing the American people that he was right. When we passed his three-year tax cut proposal, the heart of his economic recovery program, one out of every three House Democrats voted with us. We didn’t go to them. They came to us because of public pressure and because they thought we were doing the right thing to get the economy growing.

As you watch the next few months, check to see who is setting the table: the new administration or the Democrats. Then you will know if we are making progress or being sweet talked into bad ideas.

Your Friend,

Source: Will County News

Audit the Fed

Federal Reserve cartoon

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) have just reintroduced legislation for an audit of the Federal Reserve. And the lawmakers contend that President-elect Donald Trump’s signaled support for the bill means it’s more likely than ever before that an audit is on the horizon.

“No institution holds more power over the future of the American economy and the value of our savings than the Federal Reserve, yet Fed Chair Yellen refuses to be fully accountable to the people’s representatives,” Paul said in a statement.

The lawmaker added: “The U.S. House has responded to the American people by passing Audit the Fed multiple times, and President-elect Trump has stated his support for an audit. Let’s send him the bill this Congress.”

Despite House approval, previous Fed audit initiatives have been stalled by bureaucratic scaremongering that an audit would cause economic collapse and White House veto threats.

Former Fed chairman Ben Bernanke frequently warned that an audit of the central bank would give Congress too much power to stymie economic efforts via political squabbling.

“A repudiation of the independence of the Federal Reserve would be highly destructive to the stability of the financial system, the Dollar and our national economic situation,” Bernanke has said.

Current Fed chair Janet Yellen is known to parrot similar lines about the importance of Fed autonomy in making economic decisions.

She recently said: “For 50 years congress has recognized that there should be an exception to GAO ability to audit the fed to avoid any political inference in monetary policy I believe it’s critically important for the economic performance of this country and we’ve seen this around the world that allowing a central bank to be independent in forming monetary policy is critical to assuring markets and the public that we will achieve price stability and I would be very concerned about legislation that would subject the Federal Reserve that could interfere with that independence.”

But others suggest that the shocking revelations Americans would garner via a Fed audit have more to do with officials’ reluctance to let it happen than the need for behind the scenes financial meddling to keep the economy afloat.

Andrew Levin, special adviser to then Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke between 2010 to 2012 who is now an advocate for restructuring the Fed, contends that most Americans would be shocked and appalled to learn the extent to which private interests control the Federal Reserve.  He argues that the Fed “should be a fully public institution just like every other central bank.” Of course, many Americans are already duped into believing it is.

And for those who aren’t, the point of auditing the Fed is blowing the current secretive institution apart in favor of an option better for the public.

Paul’s father, retired Congressman Ron Paul, has been saying this since he began the push to expose corruption in the Fed decades ago. The elder Paul’s hope has been that revealing the central bank’s true actions to Americans would enliven calls for the nation to return to a sound money standard.

In a lengthy statement, Paul expressed optimism for the current audit legislation, saying:

I applaud my son Senator Rand Paul and my friend Representative Thomas Massie for their leadership on the important issue of auditing the Federal Reserve. Audit the Fed is the type of change the American people demanded when they went to the polls last November.

For 105 years, the Federal Reserve has exercised almost absolute and unquestioned authority over America’s monetary policy. The result has been a boom-and-bust business cycle, growth in government, increasing income inequality, and a loss of over 90% of the dollar’s purchasing power. No wonder almost 80% of Americans support Audit the Fed!

While campaigning for President, Donald Trump not only criticized the Fed’s easy money policies, he also endorsed Audit the Fed. With a President who supports Audit the Fed finally sitting in the White House, Congress has no excuse to not quickly pass this bill and finally let the American people know the truth about the Fed’s conduct on monetary policy, including its dealings with foreign governments and central banks.

If Trump supporters were serious about voting for the president-elect because of his promises to revive the economy for middle class Americans and eliminate that DC corruption that’s held them back for decades, this is one area on which they must pressure the administration to follow through.

Source: Will County News

Tucker Carlson Replaces Megan Kelly


Fox News Names Megyn Kelly’s Replacement: Tucker Carlson

“According to the Drudge Report, Fox News executives have decided on a replacement for superstar host Megyn Kelly…”


cording to the Drudge Report, Fox News executives have decided on a replacement for superstar host Megyn Kelly: Tucker Carlson.

Carlson has rapidly risen in the ratings in his 7 p.m. nightly slot, performing strongly enough to convince Fox execs that he is the right man to fill the big shoes of the seat being vacating by Kelly, who is moving to NBC News after a 12-year run with Fox that ended rather tumultuously.

“Tucker has already proven to be an audience powerhouse at 7 PM, now sky is the limit!” an insider told Drudge, adding, “FOX NEWS will not be tamed.”

Carlson has made a name for himself with his edgy, in-your-face interview style and his disarming wit. Though he’s new as a full-time Fox anchor, he is not new to the industry, having anchored various shows in the past for some of the other major networks, including MSNBC and CNN, and appeared as a panelist just about everywhere. He also helped found conservative news site The Daily Caller.

UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal has confirmed Drudge’s report, specifying that  Carlson will begin on Monday and that “Fox News personality Martha MacCallum will take over at 7 p.m. at least initially for the first three months of Donald Trump’s presidency with a show called ‘The First 100 Days.’”

Below are a few highlights from Fox’s Tucker Carlson Tonight that show his equally witty, charming, and combative style:

Carlson vs. Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald on his unsubstantiated accusations about Trump:

Carlson vs. Muslim professor on “Islamophobia”:

Carlson vs. Teen Vogue’s Lauren Duca on the harassment of Ivanka Trump:

Carlson vs. Russian political figure Garry Kasparov on the Russian threat:

Source: Will County News

ISRA Thursday Bulletin – January 5, 2017

ISRA Thursday Bulletin – January 5, 2017


On January 9, 2017, the Illinois Legislature will go into session.  On Monday, the 99th General Assembly will finish unfinished business from the last two years.  While all of the gun bills, both good and bad, are still under consideration, the only one that might be called will be SB433, the suppressor bill.  Then, at noon on Wednesday, January 11, the 100th General Assembly will be seated.  There are a lot of changes among the representatives and senators.  It will take a while to figure it all out.  The real action will start in February.
It is going to be interesting to see what it’s going to be like nationally, under President-Elect Donald Trump.  In Illinois, we are not going to see any improvement unless it comes from Washington D.C.  For us, it will be the battle, as usual.  Many predicted that firearm sales would fall if Donald Trump was elected.  I have checked with a couple of firearm dealers and firearm sales have not slowed down.  I admit this is not a very good sample.
Of course, part of this continuation of sales comes from reduced prices for firearms and ammunition.  The optimistic future, increased availability of products and lower costs may increase the number of visits to the ranges, and more participation in shooting leagues and competitions.
The stock markets are looking at certain gun companies as being very good investments.  The top three of these include Smith & Wesson, Sturm Ruger and the Vista Outdoor Group (Savage Arms, Blackhawk and Bushnell).  Notably, Savage Arms is introducing a new Modern Sporting Rifle (MSR).  The competition among the firearm companies keeps improving every product, I have to say.  Colt is coming out with a new updated 1911, with a new double spring recoil system that looks interesting.
All gun owners need to be aware that Michael Bloomberg is pushing ahead full tilt with his anti-gun campaign.  It is my understanding that in some states he had established offices before the General Election, and he never closed them.  Those offices are still open, and undoubtedly, they are moving their anti-gun attacks to the state and local levels.  Please understand that Michael Bloomberg has billions of discretionary income to put into the campaign against law abiding gun owners.  This fight is not over; it is just beginning.
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Source: Will County News