Dems, GOP Split On Handling Money

Pile Of Money

Written by Michael Medved

A recent report on campaign fundraising reveals an important distinction between the two major parties when it comes to handling money. In the last nineteen months, the Democratic National Committee raised a bit more than the Republican National Committee—$ 61 million, compared to $60 million for the GOP.

At the same time that they raise more money, the Democrats spend a lot more—so they have less cash on hand than the GOP, by a whopping margin of 4 million dollars. Moreover, the Democrats started the year more than $15 million in debt, and still owe another two million dollars, while Republicans are fortunately debt free. Yes, both parties succeed at raising cash, but one of them spends more irresponsibly and only one—the Republicans—manages to stay out of debt.

With elections approaching, voters should understand some profound partisan differences in approaches to spending, borrowing, and balancing books.

Fire Sale in the Chicago!

Great Chicago Fire

Written by Luke Hamilton

Did Mrs. O’Leary’s cow kick over another lantern??

Why are residents and businesses streaming out of Illinois in alarming numbers? Over the past several years, dozens of companies have left Illinois; either shifting corporate HQ to more favorable tax climates or moving the entire company itself. Organizations like Jelly Belly, OfficeMax, Baxter International, Jimmy John’s, FatWallet.com, Hostess Brands, Sony Biotechnology, and State Farm Insurance have moved out of the state or have announced their intention to do so in the near future. These companies are fleeing to places like Wisconsin, Indiana, Tennessee, and Texas; states which are relatively-close with robust fiscal forecasts and much lighter tax burdens. Illinois has lost 640,000 jobs in the past 14 years.

The ripple effect of such drastic downsizing is that between 1995 and 2009, an estimated $26,000,000,000 in taxable revenue left the state. That’s enough to make the most hardened politician shed a tear.

But it’s not just companies who are leaving. A Gallup poll taken in April 2014 showed that Illinois leads the nation in citizens who want to leave their state, with 50 percent of Illinoisans answering in the affirmative. According to the most recent IRS figures, between 1995 and 2010 an estimated 850,000 Illinoisans moved to other states. This number is net of arrival/departures, so that means the actual number of departures is even higher. Of course the relevant question is: Why?

Chicago has quite a lot to offer. World-class restaurants, blues and jazz musicians which are the envy of music fans across the globe, five professional sports teams (actually four, since the Cubs haven’t fielded a professional-grade team yet this season), nationally-recognized theatrical performers and artists, and a continuous mile of stores in the heart of downtown. Chicago is also famous for being the birthplace of the Second City comedy troupe and the creation of long-form improvisational comedy. It sports one of the most picturesque skylines in the world and features dozens of scrupulous politicians who work tirelessly for their constituents. (Erm… that last one didn’t sound quite right…).

Of course the obvious truth is that residents and businesses are fleeing Illinois because the political climate is enervating. The Illinois General Assembly is controlled by an old-school Democratic Machine politician who has set up his own private fiefdom in Springfield over the past 25 years and the state itself is steered by a feckless Governor who’s managed to avoid any memorable accomplishments during his two terms apart from being Not Rod Blagojevich. The entire state is held hostage by Cook County and Chicago, and much like the Arabian strongmen who kept peace in their Middle Eastern countries until recently, “Da Mare” Richard Daley ruled Chicago with an iron fist and kept the City That Works working. Rahm’s reign has been much less effective.

Instead of a smooth transition from the Daley dynasty to the Emmanuel dynasty, there’s now a rumor of a challenger to the throne. Karen Lewis, head of the Chicago Teachers’ Union, is close to announcing her bid for mayor. Given the fact that Rahm enjoys nothing but rancor from Big Labor, Lewis’ candidacy would give union members someone to rally behind.

lewisSo the state will either be run into the ground by a dictatorial ex-ballerina with a Napoleon complex or an amorphous, bellicose Socialist with the money and the muscle of national unions behind her. The clash between Rahm and Lewis is ultimately to determine whether the traditional Chicago Machine model will live to fight another campaign, or if it will be deposed by the bacterial infection which killed Motor City.

So why does this matter after all? It is important to pay attention to the social bellwethers and emerging trends in our culture in order to predict the landscape of the future. As this column has previous mentioned, observe Detroit. Yes, the collapse of a once-great American city is sad, but what it teaches us is the awful price which accompanies parasitic labor unions, working in combination with corrupt politicians. Thus far, Chicago has avoided Detroit’s fate, despite being plagued herself with labor unions and corrupt politicians. But the Windy City operates on a slightly different model of politics from Detroit. The power struggle in Chicago does not hinge on labor contracts, but instead around the Machine’s purchase of political influence, with the juiciest pork pieces going to those closest to the throne.

Chicago was Crony Capitalism before the phrase became popular. It’s a bit different from Crony Socialism in that wealth continues to be created in a capitalist society. In a crony-capitalist society, more of the wealth goes to those who make the rules (and those who fund those who make the rules) than the rest of the population, whereas in a crony-socialist environment there is no wealth creation just redistribution of an ever-decreasing pile of government cheese.

To the degree that other cities and states have adopted the Progressive pairing of Commercial and Governmental bedfellows, they can expect to follow the lead of Chicago and all of its departing citizens. It follows that more crony capitalists will attract more professional politicians who will draft more legislation to increase their political heft which will cripple free-market forces and will lead to decreased prosperity and increased inflation, requiring the elevation of corporate and private tax rates which unfailingly lead to the decimation of the job market in just a few short years.

It’s a good thing that Chicago is the Windy City because it will need something which will serve to clear out the tumbleweeds left behind by an extinct private sector. Sweet Home Chicago is quickly becoming a Money Pit of drastic proportions.

Congress Getting Paid for ‘Not Doing A Lot of Work’

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Written by Chris Woodward

Though Congress is getting back to work this month, one organization says constituents still won’t be getting their money’s worth.

After an August recess, David Williams of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) reports that Congress is going to be in session for two weeks before members head back to their home districts for campaigning purposes.

“So, they’re not doing a lot of work, and it’s really showing,” he contends. “We can see that with the debt, with the deficit and just the amount of work that’s not getting done in Washington.”

According to the TPA, the current salary for members of Congress is more than three times the median family income.

“That’s why I want people, when they go to town hall meetings, is have members of Congress justify the amount of money that they make, considering that really nothing is getting done in Washington,” Williams tells OneNewsNow.

But as OneNewsNow has reported, Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) has stated publicly that members of Congress are underpaid, given their housing needs both at home and in Washington.

“Jim Moran happens to be a retiring member of Congress,” Williams notes in response to that. “So, it’s easy if you’re retiring to say you’re not making enough, because you’re not going to get the political blowback.”


This article was originally posted at the OneNewsNow.com website.

Illinois’ Backlog of Unpaid Bills Total $4.4 Billion

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Written by Benjamin BanMetre

Illinois began August with a $4.4 billion dollar backlog of unpaid bills. If lawmakers would have kept the promises they made in 2011, the backlog would be zero today – or close to it.

In January 2011, Illinois lawmakers pushed through a record tax hike that raised the income tax rate on individuals to 5 percent from 3 percent, and on corporations to 7 percent from 4.8 percent. They called it the Taxpayer Accountability and Budget Stabilization Act and went on record making the following promises:

“We have some temporary tax increases that are designed to pay our bills, get Illinois back on fiscal sound footing and make sure that our state has a strong economy.” – Gov. Pat Quinn

“The purpose of this bill is to raise enough money so that we can continue to pay our pensions without borrowing the money, to pay off our debt, to have enough money to pay the interest on that debt …” – Senate President John Cullerton

“… remember the point of this income tax increase is not to expand programs, not to do brand new things in Illinois state government, it is only intended to pay our old bills and deal with the structural deficit.” – House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie

Between 2011 (when the tax hike was implemented) and 2015 (when the tax hike will partially sunset), the tax hike will have generated $31.6 billion in new, additional revenue for the state of Illinois. That’s more than Illinois spends on all core government services (i.e., education, health care, human services, public safety) in a full fiscal year.

The more than $31 billion in extra money that Illinois families and businesses will have turned over to government by the end of 2015 has done little to stabilize Illinois’ finances. The state’s $4.4 billion backlog of unpaid bills is far from paid off.

More of the same isn’t going to fix persistent, structural overspending issues.

That’s why Illinois politicians need to keep their promise and let the temporary income tax hike sunset in January 2015. Thankfully, Illinois Policy Action has launched an initiative to make sure that happens.

Illinois Policy Action is asking all General Assembly and Senate members to sign our “Keep Your Promise” pledge, which will affirm politicians’ stated opposition to keeping permanent the temporary 5 percent income tax rate. Signing this pledge doesn’t just assure constituents that Illinois politicians still deserve some sliver of trust, it is an affirmation of a pro-growth tax policy that Illinois’ businesses and families desperately need.


This article was originally posted at the Illinois Policy Institute website.

Planned Parenthood Raising Money for Big Push in Fall Elections

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Written by Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., NRL Director of Education & Research

Faced with clinic closings and legislative defeats, Planned Parenthood’s political arm (Planned Parenthood Action Fund) is in the process of spending $16 million in this fall’s races. To gin up contributions, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards has sent out a fiery but fact-challenged appeal fundraising letter to would-be supporters.

This massive political involvement may come as somewhat of a surprise to those who imagine Planned Parenthood to be just a  “women’s health care provider,”  the image PPFA so carefully cultivates. But, in fact, the nation’s largest abortion performer and promoter has also long been one of the biggest players on the political scene, spending millions to put politicians in office who will defend the killing of unborn babies and keep the taxpayer dollars flowing their way.

Ironically, while Richards opens with the statement:

“This has got to stop.  Politics has no place in women’s health care[,]” Planned Parenthood then spends the rest of the letter detailing why folks need to send “a generous contribution of $50, $75, $100, $500 or more” to aid in “changing the political landscape,” to “protect the pro-women’s health majority in the U.S. Senate” (“because the Senate approves Supreme Court nominees, we can prevent the Court from tilting further away from women’s rights”), to “show the power of women’s votes by electing candidates who support women’s health care and Planned Parenthood and defeating those who don’t.”

While there are the usual “sky is falling” pleas about access to birth control and threats to “women’s health care,” it is significant to note that in the four page letter, “abortion” appears no less than 16 times.  Several of these are in complaints about “anti-abortion groups,” “protesters,” or “extremists,” and their actions thwarting Planned Parenthood’s agenda. But others make Planned Parenthood’s profound abortion commitment more explicit.

One of their biggest complaints is about “irrational and often dangerous laws” such as “abortion restrictions” in North Carolina, “so-called patient safety laws” in Virginia, required “counseling” and waiting periods in South Dakota, limits imposed by a state medical board on “telemedicine” (web-cam) abortions in Iowa,  and a new Ohio law requiring abortionists to have “special agreements with local hospitals” (e.g., transfer agreements, admitting privileges which is an increasingly common and necessary requirement ).

Absent from the letter, of course, is anything about the filthy and dangerous conditions discovered at clinics like Planned Parenthood’s Wilmington, Delaware facility, women who’ve died after taking abortion drug RU-486 at Planned Parenthood clinics, or videos showing how some Planned Parenthood counselors ignore or evade informed consent, parental involvement, or statutory rape reporting laws.

Under the circumstances, it seems like it would be “rational” to assume that the more “dangerous” course for women would be to let Planned Parenthood continue to operate its abortion mills unregulated.

In the letter, Richards holds up two states as examples of what Planned Parenthood has done and will do.

Planned Parenthood offers Virginia as proof that “We know how to win for women.”  Without directly mentioning the cool million that Planned Parenthood put into ads in the closing days of last year’s very close gubernatorial campaign, Richards says that “we reached out all across the political spectrum, explaining the stakes to women and making it clear which candidate would protect their health and rights – and which would not.”

Unsaid is how Planned Parenthood manipulated and distorted perceptions of women in the Commonwealth, making it sound like the pro-life Republican candidate wanted to take away women’s birth control and cancer screenings, neither of which were remotely true.

Although carried along by a compliant media and buoyed by a  vast superiority in campaign funds, Terry McAuliffe, the PPFA-backed pro-abortion Democrat , won by just 2.5%.  Planned Parenthood says that “women’s votes made all the difference,” and though there were obviously other factors in play, exit polls did show that young single women – the target constituency for Planned Parenthood’s misleading ads – did go heavily for the Democrat.

While the previous pro-life Republican administration in Virginia had been able to put in place some of the badly needed clinic regulations Planned Parenthood complained about, Richards noted that “the new governor we helped elect has beat back attacks on women’s health care and is working to expand access to affordable birth control, cancer screenings, and safe, legal abortion.”  (No mention of making abortion “rare.”)

There hasn’t been much in the press about the McAuliffe’s efforts to expand “cancer screenings” at Planned Parenthood, but Townhall.com did feature the following headline on its May 14, 2014 website: “‘Bankrolled’ by Planned Parenthood, McAuliffe pushes looser abortion rules clinic rules.”

The other state featured in Planned Parenthood’s fundraising letter is Texas.  Richards declares “In my home state of Texas, for example, the governor and the legislature pulled every trick in the book to push through a wildly unpopular law that fully implemented could close all but a handful of women’s health facilities, leaving hundreds of thousands of women with nowhere to turn for care.”

(For all the handwringing about closing clinics, it should be noted that two Texas Planned Parenthood affiliates have already announced plans to open giant new abortion mega-clinics in Dallas and San Antonio intended to be fully compliant with the new law. They, too, are using the passage of the new laws as part of their pitch for new funds.)

In that one sentence from Richards there are numerous errors and misstatements that need deconstructing. Here are just a few.

The law may have been “wildly unpopular” in Planned Parenthood’s circles and among the throngs they bused in from all over the country, but it passed handily among Texas’ elected representatives (male and female) and was signed by a governor Texans returned to office three times.

The law’s focus was not on closing “women’s health facilities” but on halting abortions on pain-capable unborn children; requiring abortionists to follow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s prescribing protocol for RU-486; ensuring that abortionists would have hospital admitting privileges so they could accompany women who had suffered complications; and placing safeguards on previously poorly regulated abortion clinics.

As long as they did not perform abortions or met the commonsense requirements, the centers  were unaffected.  If clinics closed, it was due to their insistence on offering abortions without needed safeguards for women, not due to any effort by legislators to conspire against women needing health care.

Richards does take the opportunity to promote Planned Parenthood’s  latest “feminist icon,”  gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, the state Senator who led a “heroic 11-hour filibuster” of a pro-life law that eventually passed anyway. The letter manages not to mention that in opposing HB 2, Davis was, among other things, defending late abortions. Richards described the pro-abortion mob that descended on Austin during the filibuster as part of a “grassroots uproar against the reckless new law” that Planned Parenthood called “the most inspiring fight for women’s health we’ve seen in years.”

Put that in context of plans already announced by Planned Parenthood to spend $3 million in Texas elections in 2014 to elect Davis and other key pro-abortion candidates.

Planned Parenthood says that:

 “Now in 2014, we need more boots on the ground.  We need more trained activists engaging in direct voter contact, face-to-face, aboutwhat these elections mean in terms of safe, legal abortion… We need women to understand how much their vote matters – to themselves, their daughters, and to women all across the country who are having a hard time getting the care they need.”

The message of the letter is clear.  Planned Parenthood is going to be raising and spending lots of money in this fall’s election, peddling myths about threats to women’s health to get voters to the polls and to defend, fund, and expand their abortion empire.


This article was originally posted at the National Right to Life News website.

JV Team Interrupts Prez Golf Game

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Written by John Kirkwood

“The analogy we use around here sometimes and is accurate is if a JV team puts on Laker uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.” – President Barack Obama to David Remnick on the threat posed by ISIS

Don’t look now Mr. President but the J.V. team just truncated one of our own.

Is the decapitated head of an American journalist somehow less revolting when viewed from the presidential seat in Golf Cart One?

If the White House Press Corps had one shred of integrity left, they would no longer entertain the farce that is the White House Press Briefing and only ask questions about the president’s golf game:

“Jake Tapper — CNN — Does the President think it was wise to lead with the 5 iron from the 4th tee into that strong of a crosswind?”

“Jonathan Karl — ABC — Was Alonzo Mourning able to keep up with the president’s short game or was he the reason that President Obama was nearly 45 minutes late to his Shiatsu appointment?”

“John Kirkwood – Clash Daily – What is more distracting to the President’s game –plotting racial division in Ferguson from the back nine or a decapitated American journalist?”

They say that President Obama’s first term was an “apology tour” but who would have predicted that his second term would be such a buzz-kill to his golf tour?

Following the news about the decapitation of James Foley, the President did voice a few prosaicisms from podium and teleprompter – words that were harshly criticized by even friendly observers. But who can fault him for rushing off stage and heading right to the War Room, better known as the Farm Neck Golf Club, to be briefed by world renowned terror expert, Alonzo Mourning?

We have a President that has said that America is no more exceptional than any other nation and he’s out to prove it from the 18th hole.  If you wondered what the world would look like if “America” took a sabbatical, just look at Gaza, Mosul, and Ferguson, but be careful not to trip over the bodies and the carnage.

Let’s leave the politics aside for the moment and just address grave-side manner: Whom would you rather have console you at the casket of your dead hero son – Hillary Clinton who tells you that she’ll go after the guy who made the YouTube video even though she knows the video is just a cover story, Joe Biden who asks you, “Did your son always have balls the size of cue balls?,” or our Commander in Chief, Eddie Haskell, still in his cleats and golf glove with Golf Cart One following the hearse?

Unfortunately Mr. President, it’s hard to call a Mulligan when a man’s head has been cut off.

As for me, I’d take any of the previous presidents, Republican or Democrat, even President Clinton. Although I’m pretty sure that Bill would be looking to hit on the widow. “Mom, the meatloaf!”

I’m not sure what’s worse, the president showing up at your funeral or just pretending that you didn’t exist. A special delegation for Hugo Chavez but Margaret Thatcher, Chris Kyle, and Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene, not so much.

Oh, he did send a delegation to the Thatcher funeral – one that didn’t include even one senior member of his cabinet or for that matter any high ranking elected Democrat, though, he couldn’t miss a round of golf to honor the highest ranking officer killed in conflict since the Viet Nam War. As for the American sniper — why would President Obama honor some cowboy from Texas that killed so many of the Muslim Brotherhood?

From his first moment in office, the man who was to absolve America of the stain of racism and usher in a new era of racial harmony has stoked the flames of conflict like Don King promoting a Tyson fight.

Barack Obama never misses an opportunity to foment division, and race baiting is one of his old standards. As his Capo, Rahm Emanuel, once said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” And if you don’t have a good crisis, manufacture one. He tried with Henry Louis Gates and it backfired, then again with Trayvon Martin and it fizzled, but Ferguson, Missouri has been a fine show so far.

Will his blatant disdain for this country, his countrymen, and American foreign policy rise up to bite him in his Galvin Greens? I don’t think so. Americans can’t discern between nefarious Manchurian candidate and imbecile doofus. And golfing at inappropriate times leans toward the inept narrative, not the Homeland one.

I can’t say that any of this surprises me about Obama and his fellow Alinskyites, but what does shock me is that generals, statesmen, and the American people haven’t risen up and dragged him and the whole cabal to a Nuremberg hearing to be tried for treason.

Until more Americans wake up to who this president really is, we’ll be treated to even more defiant gestures that resemble a giant flip of the bird to Duty, Honor, and Country. And our Gomer-in-Chief will glean enough cover from the lap-dog press to get away with the “disengaged, trust-fund brat” alibi.

What else would you expect from an O.J. Simpson posing as a Kardashian?

For those of you who expected a lame-duck president to do less and less damage in his last few years, I have one word for you:

“FORE!”


This article was originally posted at the ClashDaily.com website.

Modified by Matthew Medlen.com