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Archive → December 20th, 2017

GOP Gubernatorial Primary 2018: Competent Uniter v. Incompetent Divider

GOP Gubernatorial Primary 2018: Competent Uniter v. Incompetent Divider

Here is the WBEZ headline and lede for an article about one of the big news stories this week in Illinois:

Surviving War, But Not The Veterans’ Home
Since July 2015, 13 residents of a veterans’ home in west central Illinois have died
from Legionnaires’ disease. Eleven families are suing the state for negligence.

Typically this kind of governmental failure cannot be blamed on a guy who just took office less than three years ago. However, among the most publicized accomplishments of the Bruce Rauner administration is that fact that state-funded social services got short shrift during the two-year state budget impasse.

If that headline causes you a bit of deja vu, it might be due to Rauner’s documented track record in the private sector concerning nursing home facilities. You can read about that horrendous bit of history at Republican News Watch. The fact that lawsuits were settled with families of nursing home victims was the most ignored news story of 2014.

State Rep. Jeanne Ives demonstrates the level of competence Illinois needs in the governor’s chair. She has been outspoken — using the bully pulpit of her office to inform her constituents about important matters facing the state.

Bruce Rauner has failed to increase awareness in Illinois about the severity of our state’s fiscal problems. Illinois is not better off than it was three years ago by any measurement.

On the topic of which of the two candidates does more to unite Republicans, a quick scan of the state party’s 2016 platform can help. Rauner takes issue with a several key planks.

The GOP platform calls for low taxes, and takes a stand against raising taxes. Illinois is one of the highest taxed states in the nation. Despite that, Rauner was in favor of a tax increase. He only vetoed it after not getting what he wanted passed from his “turn around agenda.”

Here is another plank: “Caring for the dignity and value of every individual.” On that topic, see the news article above.

Another plank: “We call on the General Assembly to satisfy its constitutional obligation and pass a true, balanced budget every fiscal year.” The state constitution also requires the governor to introduce a balanced budget. Rauner has proposed three terribly imbalanced budgets.

Yet another plank: “We therefore urge reversal of “sanctuary city” policies, which bar our law enforcement officers from aiding Immigration & Customs Enforcement agents.” Rauner has done the opposite, making Illinois a sanctuary state.

Also in the platform is this easy to understand sentence:

We further call on the federal and Illinois government to abandon all incentives that encourage illegal immigrants to settle in Illinois, as these incentives put a strain on our already struggling economy and are insulting to those who immigrated here legally.

The platform’s pro-life language is also easy to understand:

We believe that our natural rights, as enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, begin at conception and continue until natural death. We believe that these rights include the fundamental right to life of unborn children…

“We oppose the use of taxpayer funds to pay for abortions,” it goes onto say, “or to support organizations that perform abortions…”

There is more – see section VI here.

On education, the platform is explicit in its support of parental rights and school choice. Rauner’s approach has been to increase funding for the very public (government-run) school system that works against parental rights and school choice.

The 2016 Illinois GOP Platform includes this language in its closing section:

This Platform represents the majority opinion of the members of the Illinois Republican Party’s 2016 Platform Committee. The Committee acknowledges and respects reasonable differences in opinion among Illinois Republicans on the issues contained herein. . .

Therefore, we accept that good Republicans do not have to agree on all the issues contained in this Platform and that this Platform shall not be used as an instrument of division or attack on others within the party who hold opposing views. We must unite as a party behind those items on which we agree.

Highlighting policy differences is hardly “an instrument of division or attack.” Primary elections exist so Republican voters can make a change if necessary. Next March, Illinois Republic voters will decide whether Bruce Rauner should still carry the banner for their party despite his embracing of what are actually key goals of the Illinois Democratic Party.

Jeanne Ives’ policy positions have been inline with the Illinois GOP Platform. Since the platform represents the views of a majority of Republicans, more of them — fiscal, social and national security conservatives especially — should be able to come together to support her candidacy.

Read more:

Documents reveal allegations in Legionnaires’ lawsuits


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Source: Will County News

Rod Rosenstein and the Mueller hit squad

Rod Rosenstein and the Mueller hit squad

Rosenstein’s performance in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, then you missed — well — not much. Rosenstein’s testimony, in and of itself, was fairly unremarkable. Confronted with withering cross-examinations by Representatives Trey Gowdy and Jim Jordan, Rosenstein mouthed platitudes about his dedication to his job, his belief that the people who work at the FBI and Department of Justice are “honorable, principled, and trustworthy;” and his belief that Robert Mueller is above reproach.

It was what Rosenstein didn’t say that was worth examination. He didn’t say whether the FBI had forked over taxpayer money for the infamous “dossier” on President Donald Trump which turned out to be as credible as CNN’s “reporting.” He didn’t say whether anything other than the Christopher Steele-concocted fable, created with financial backing from shady firm Fusion GPS and — by extension — Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign, had spurred the creation of the Special Counsel. He didn’t say whether the Department of Justice under former President Barack Obama had essentially begun to function as an anti-Trump hit squad. He didn’t even say what Robert Mueller is actually investigating, other than bogus rumors about tangential Trump-Russia connections which are inevitably debunked as Democrat talking points as fast as CNN can retract their reporting on them.

I think it’s just terrific that Rosenstein holds his fellow DoJ employees in such high regard; especially after revelations that FBI counterintelligence officer Peter Strzok and his mistress, FBI attorney Lisa Page, were so rabidly partisan that they’ve pretty much tainted the entirety of the Mueller team’s work before now.

He’s a real sport for continuing to stand up for them, even though we now know that Strzok and Page exchanged over 10,000 text messages on topic ranging from their illicit sexy times to an “insurance policy” in case Trump defeated their beloved Hillary.

Rosenstein is a stand-up cat for sticking with his people in light of the fact that Strzok appears to have let Hillary aides Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills skate after lying about their knowledge of the illegal private server the old girl used.

Kudos to Mr. Rosenstein for vouching for the bona fides of Mueller, who canned Strzok over his misdeeds in July, but tried to cover up his whole sorry involvement in the Special Counsel’s office since.

And a tip’o’the cap in Rosenstein’s direction for holding the line, despite working four doors down from Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr. At least, Rosenstein used to work just a few doors down from Ohr, until Ohr was demoted for lying about his meetings with the Clinton-linked Fusion group; the same group for whom Ohr’s own wife was working.

Rosenstein had loads to say about the honor, principles and trustworthiness of his colleagues. But he seemed a little cloudy about some of them being dishonest, partisan, Hillary Clinton-superfans who have more interest in damaging the Trump presidency than they do in pursuing the cause of justice. And he had even less to say about former FBI Director James Comey, who turned his tenure into some kind of weird reality show, rather than focus on the particulars of his job.

Mueller’s operation is so infested with political skullduggery, it not only hasn’t functioned as a fact-finder, it can’t. Rod Rosenstein either wouldn’t or couldn’t say that. But I can. Pull the plug on this multi-million dollar sideshow and the rogue actors who have turned it — and a goodly portion of the Department of Justice — into a joke.

— Ben Crystal

Source: Will County News

How America armed ISIS

How America armed ISIS

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The Obama administration and Hillary Clinton’s Department of State undoubtedly helped ISIS obtain many of the weapons it has used to stir chaos throughout the Middle East.

That’s according to a new study from by Conflict Armament Research detailing how weapons the U.S. handed to “moderate” rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad ended up in the hands of radical Islamists.

“Evidence collected by [Conflict Armament Research] indicates that the United States has repeatedly diverted EU-manufactured weapons and ammunition to opposition forces in the Syrian conflict,” the report says. “[ISIS] forces rapidly gained custody of significant quantities
 of this materiel.”

The organization drew its conclusion about the U.S.’s arming of extremists throughout the Middle East after analyzing more than 40,000 taken from ISIS over the past three years.

And the weapons obtained by ISIS are making them a major threat to military personnel working to

“Supplies of materiel into the Syrian conflict 
from foreign parties — notably the United States and Saudi Arabia — have indirectly allowed [ISIS] 
to obtain substantial quantities of anti-armour ammunition,” the report says.

“In particular, the impact of the group’s acquisition of anti-armour weapons on 
its operational capacity is difficult to quantify, 
but these weapons continue to pose a significant threat to coalition armoured forces,” the group continues.

Of course, if you’ve been paying attention you already knew Obama and Clinton armed ISIS.

RELATED:

ISIS is being aimed at the West by globalists; here’s what we can do about it

ISIS not contained, gaining influence in U.S.

The Clinton Doctrine: See no ISIS, hear no ISIS, speak no ISIS

Obama, ISIS and you

We’re killing the Syrians who are fighting ISIS

Source: Will County News

States, not the feds, should regulate gaming

States, not the feds, should regulate gaming

The 10th Amendment to the Constitution is perhaps the most important of James Madison’s many contributions to the nation’s founding documents. Unfortunately for advocates of limited, enumerated government, its power has been eclipsed by the continuing growth of government in Washington.

The amendment’s purpose, to “present obstructions which the federal government would hardly be willing to encounter,” as Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist 28, was to safeguard state power and the power of the people from being intruded upon by the federal government. Former U.S. Senator Bob Dole used to carry a copy of it around with him as a reminder his power as a legislator and the power of Congress were, by design, limited.

It has not worked out that way. Government has grown in size and influence to a point beyond what many scholars believer was the founders’ intention. That may soon change as the United States Supreme Court is considering a case that may begin the process of putting the genie at least partways back in the bottle. On December 4 the justices heard oral arguments in Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association which, depending on how it is decided, may rekindle the spirit of Madison’s original intent.

The case is about the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, a piece of restrictive legislation that prevented states from legalizing sports-related gaming unless a state had previously authorized commercial gaming at least 10 years before the act was passed. States wanting to have legal sports gambling were given an unrealistic window of time to change their laws in line with the exemption.

Despite Congress’ efforts to enact bans of various types Americans spend billions on gaming, both legal and illegal, every year. It’s a major industry experiencing considerable growth as state leaders look for creative ways to increase revenues. New Jersey legalized table games and casinos decades ago and, 20 years after PASPA went into effect, got around to making betting on sports legal as well.

After it did it was dragged into court by the NCAA and found, eventually, to be in violation of federal law, though the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals was not unanimous. Three judges dissented and New Jersey decided to appeal the case to the next level.

The high court will soon rule on whether New Jersey is correct in its argument that Congress did not outlaw sports gambling, but merely froze it in place to prevent its expansion beyond where it was in 1992. The state’s belief it is being conscripted into enforcing a law they want to repeal is persuasive and, should, under the plain reading of the 10th Amendment, be enough to carry the day.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, likely the swing vote in the case, seemed to agree as the case was presented. “The citizens of the State of New Jersey are bound to obey a law that the state doesn’t want but that the federal government compels the state to have,” he said, adding “That’s precisely what federalism is designed to prevent.”

Since gaming regulation is omitted from the list of enumerated powers granted to the federal government by the Constitution, it is a seemingly sensible conclusion to say neither New Jersey nor any other state can be compelled by the federal government to ban legal betting sports, or for that matter compel it.

Justice Kennedy may have tipped his hand. It’s difficult to know but the implications of the case go beyond just sports betting. New Jersey and nearly half a dozen other states are being pushed to rescind their decisions to sell lottery tickets online. If successful, this new restriction would cost New Jersey alone hundreds of millions annually in revenue

Many constitutional questions are difficult, but when it comes to gambling, it’s simple: the Founding Fathers gave states the right to decide their own gambling policies. There is no argument to be made successfully that Utah, which bans all forms of gambling, should be required to legalize it. It must therefore be true conversely that federal prohibition is equally out of order.

The high court could do much to restore the balance of power between Washington, D.C., and the states by finding in New Jersey’s favor.

— Peter Roff

Source: Will County News