April 13 Morning Edition

— RAUNER AND DEMOCRATS’ CAMPAIGNS TRICKED CENTRAL ILLINOIS GOPERS IN FINAL DAYS OF PRIMARY (DIERSEN: Ever-increasingly it seems, candidates who spend the most money on false and/or negative ads win.)


— Rauner spent $1.7 million to air “Conservative Voter Alert” ad over just four days (DIERSEN: Ever-increasingly it seems, candidates who spend the most money on false and/or negative ads win.)
— Madigan sets state party chairman vote
— GOP unity watch
— Pritzker campaign has some fun with “National Blame Someone Else Day” (DIERSEN: I should write a book about those who blame me and my GOPUSA ILLINOIS emails the most for their problems, for your problems, for my problems, and for everyone’s problems.)

— Ives denies any promise to meet again (DIERSEN: During 2002, I included links in GOPUSA ILLINOIS emails to articles about this kind of thing between Pat O’Malley and Jim Ryan. Of course, since 2002, my critics/opponents, their operatives, and their dupes have hinted/implied/argued/shouted that caused Ryan to lose in the general election.)


— TREASONOUS: Illinois bill could provide safe zones for immigrants – Cymphanie Sherman (DIERSEN: Such safe zones encourage people to come to America illegally, to stay in America illegally, and to bring others to America illegally. If anything, Illinois should provide safe zones for members of the following groups because ever-increasingly, the Democrats who run Illinois promote hatred against them: Trump supporters, Protestant, conservative, patriotic, Republican, American, White, male, older, rich, gun owners, German Americans, draft avoiders, and/or those whose ancestors have been in America for a long time.)
(FROM THE ARTICLE: Others, like Rosanna Pulido, who is against illegal immigration, worry the bill would hurt the state. “What the General Assembly is doing is they are taking discretion away from local police departments, law enforcement, sheriff’s,” said Pulido, with the Illinois Minuteman Project. She is a woman of Mexican descent, who was born and raised in Chicago. She believes everyone should follow the same rules. “It seems to me like the General Assembly is more worried about safe zones for illegal aliens, Rauner, (with) the Trust Act. Then I wish there was a safe zone for Illinois taxpayers,” said Pulido. The bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee 8 to 4. It now moves to the full senate for consideration. If the senate passes it, it moves to the house for debate.)


— Rauner, Ives meet briefly at brewery, share first ‘hello’ since brutal primary race – Bill Lukitsch (DIERSEN: During 2002, I included links in GOPUSA ILLINOIS emails to articles about this kind of thing between Pat O’Malley and Jim Ryan. Of course, since 2002, my critics/opponents, their operatives, and their dupes have hinted/implied/argued/shouted that caused Ryan to lose in the general election.)
— The Democratic State Central Committee will meet April 23 in Springfield to pick party officers. “Voters in the March primary elected new members of the State Central Committee, and now it is our job to choose party officials and begin planning to elect Democrats up and down the ballot in November,” party chairman and House Speaker Michael Madigan said in a statement.
— Behind by six votes, Kane County Board candidate plans to ask for recount – Sarah Freishtat
— FRONT PAGE: Cook County tax officials take excess campaign donations from appeals firms, ethics panel says – Ray Long, Hal Dardick
— DIERSEN HEADLINE: Pot pushers want everyone to be a stoner.
— A lesson from the Holocaust: Never stop telling the terrible stories – Editorial (DIERSEN: My critics/opponents, their operatives, and their dupes have always stressed to Jewish people a) that I am 100% German national origin and that I was baptized, raised, and confirmed as a Missouri Synod Lutheran. In my defense, I stress a) that all my ancestors immigrated to northeast Illinois from what is now Germany a long time ago, during the 1840s and 1850s, b) that my grandfather on my father’s side fought the Germans during WWI, c) that my uncles on my mother’s side fought the Germans during WWII, d) that my father would have fought the Germans during WWII if he had not been 4-F, and e) that according to http://dna.ancestry.com, my ancestry is 33% Europe West, 28% Scandinavia, 24% Great Britain, 11% Ireland, 2% Europe East, 1% Finland/Northwest Russia, and 1% Italy/Greece.)


— Harassment handling no big hitch to Madigan holding reins of Democratic Party – Mitchell Armentrout (DIERSEN: Have you ever been the chairman of a political organization? I was the chairman of TAPROOT Republicans of Illinois 2005-2012. My critics/opponents, their operatives, and their dupes demonized, denigrated, and condemned those who I recruited to speak at TAPROOT events.)
(FROM THE ARTICLE: Despite months of criticism over his handling of sexual harassment allegations in his political organization, powerful Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan appears poised to hold onto his seat as chairman of the state Democratic Party. Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said he “doesn’t do predictions,” but noted he wasn’t aware of any opponents throwing their names in the ring as the 36 state central committeemen and committeewomen prepare to vote for the party chair on April 23. “Voters in the March primary elected new members of the State Central Committee, and now it is our job to choose party officials and begin planning to elect Democrats up and down the ballot in November,” Madigan said in a statement. The only one breaking ranks with Madigan is newly elected progressive committeeman Peter Janko, who said Democrats in his McHenry-area district were “almost universal” in their desire to oust Madigan. Before the primary, numerous Democrats called for an independent investigation of the speaker over revelations of allegedly ignored harassment complaints, with some calling for Madigan to step down from his post as party chair. Madigan’s organization is facing a federal lawsuit from a former strategist who claims he stonewalled her complaints about barrages of text messages from a top Madigan aide. Madigan also forced out a top lobbyist accused of “inappropriate behavior.” Under that pressure, Madigan enlisted the Democratic big guns ahead of the primary with robocalls by U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, urging voters in his Southwest Side stronghold to support him as committeeman — a strong precaution for the obscure party post that has held on lock for two decades. Madigan has led the party since 1998, and if elected to a sixth term on April 23, he would become the longest-tenured Democratic party chairman in state history.)
— After criticizing Amazon, Trump orders postal review – AP


— FRONT PAGE: Legislation would let police withhold arrest details for weeks – Charles Keeshan and Susan Sarkauskas
— Why Fair Maps Amendment needs to be the next big thing – Editorial
— DIERSEN HEADLINE: Democrats crow over their success in using students as their operatives and as their dupes.
— DIERSEN HEADLINE: Democrats crow over their success in using faith leaders as their operatives and as their dupes.


— The $130 billion question Rauner and Pritzker won’t answer – BGA
— Best Places to Work (DIERSEN: For Democrats, and especially for Democrats who are minority, female, younger, and/or veteran, the federal government is the best place to work because the federal government gives preference big time to the aforesaid. To make way for the aforesaid, the federal government wastes the careers of and gets rid of its employees who are Republican, White, male, and/or non-veteran who do not make GS-13 (currently $96,403) by age 25, GS-14 (currently $113,920) by age 30, GS-15 (currently $134,000) by age 35, and Senior Executive Service (currently $164,200) by age 40.)
— What’s Rauner up to in Germany and Poland? – GREG HINZ

— Will Illinois Face Another Budget Impasse? – BRIAN MACKEY
— After Last Year’s Defeat, Rauner Trying To Reassert Role In Budget Process – BRIAN MACKEY
— In ‘A Higher Loyalty,’ James Comey Describes An ‘Unethical, Untethered’ President – RON ELVING (DIERSEN: Who/what are you loyal to? I am loyal to the Republican Party platform, the Illinois Republican Party platform, the Milton Township Republican Central Committee resolution against video gambling, religious principles, conservative principles, and Republican principles. My critics/opponents, their operatives, and their dupes reject some or all of the aforesaid.)


— Progressive candidates flood Washington for targeted training (DIERSEN: Of course, the training focuses on demonizing, denigrating, and condemning individuals, organizations, companies, governments, and countries that are Trump supporters, Protestant, conservative, patriotic, Republican, American, White, male, older, rich, gun owners, German American, draft avoiders, and those whose ancestors have been in America for a long time.)


— Skillicorn wants Rauner to get on board with reforms now – Karen Kidd


— Illinois lawmakers move on effort to expand voting from jail – Cole Lauterbach (DIERSEN: What percent of criminals do not vote for Republicans – 98%, 99%, 100%?)


— New plan would guarantee Illinois teacher pay starts at $40,000 a year – Benjamin Yount (DIERSEN: In June of 1971, when I was 22 years old, my starting GS-7 pay as an IRS Revenue Officer was $45,703 in today’s dollars. I had earned a bachelor’s degree in management from NIU in August of 1970, I had worked for Firestone Stores since August of 1970, I was taking graduate business courses at UIC, I was living with my mother and brother in Crete, and I owned a 1969 Dodge Charger SE.)


— DIERSEN HEADLINE: Ever-increasingly, the candidate who spends the most money on negative ads wins.
(FROM THE ARTICLE: The other top-dollar spot from Rauner may surprise you. Data kept by Advertising Analytics show the single ad that Team Rauner put the most money behind aired just four days before the March 20 primary. It was a response to an ad the Democratic Governors Association released that called Rauner challenger, state Rep. Jeanne Ives, too conservative for Illinois, a spot aimed to strategically push Republican primary voters toward Ives. In a sign of the potential impact of the DGA ad, Rauner’s campaign spent more than $1.7 million to air this response 1,162 times over four days. It’s the highest dollar amount the governor’s reelection campaign spent on any single ad throughout the campaign. Of that, more than $1.2 million was dedicated to a single market: Champaign-Springfield-Decatur, that central Illinois swath Rauner desperately needed to keep from defecting to Ives. “Conservative voter alert,” the ad begins in all red. “The same Washington liberals that support J.B. Pritzker are now helping Jeanne Ives with last-second ads. Why? Because Jeanne Ives has already surrendered to Mike Madigan. Liberals are highjacking the Republican primary in Illinois.” In the end, Ives lost to Rauner by fewer than 3 percentage points.)


— Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards – 2018 (DIERSEN: What service do you volunteer? I spend my own money and 10+ hours each and every day of what is left of my life putting GOPUSA ILLINOIS emails together and sending them out. I continue to do that notwithstanding my critics/opponents, their operatives, and their dupes constantly demonizing, denigrating, and condemning the many thousands of decisions that I make each and every day a) to include or to not include links to articles in the emails, b) what if any comments I should make on those articles, c) what if any text from the articles to include in the emails, d) etc. The more important that I think articles are, the more that I agree with articles, and/or that I disagree with articles, the more text from those articles that I want to include in the emails. Religious, conservative, and/or Republican GOPUSA ILLINOIS readers know that and are more likely to click on an article’s link and read that article at the source because I do not include paragraph breaks or pictures in the emails. Since 2004, the emails have included links to more than 299,000 articles.)


— Comey attacks Trump’s integrity, questions his marriage in new book – Samuel Chamberlain (DIERSEN: Should I write a book about my critics/opponents who have done the most to harm me?)


— Hello Amazon! Donald Trump Orders Task Force to Investigate Post Office Finances – CHARLIE SPIERING


— Liberals grasp at ‘news deserts’ to explain Donald Trump’s win
— Bank of America to stop lending to ‘military-style’ weapons makers (DIERSEN: How soon will Bank of America stop lending to individuals, organizations, companies, governments, countries, etc., that are Trump supporters, Protestant, conservative, patriotic, Republican, American, White, male, older, rich, gun owners, German American, draft avoiders, and/or those whose ancestors have been in America for a long time?)
— Another conservative censored by Facebook? (DIERSEN: I never stop sending GOPUSA ILLINOIS emails to my subscribers’ email addresses unless the subscriber asks me to stop or they unsubscribe on their own. It seems like many hundreds of GOPUSA ILLINOIS emails that Constant Contact sends out for me every day DO NOT SHOW IN MY SUBSCRIBERS’ INBOXES. It seems like I am a victim of “shadow banning” or “stealth banning.”)
(FROM THE ARTICLE: Imagine the horror if the post office took letters you sent and instead of delivering them, secretly threw them in the trash. That’s what I strongly suspect is happening on social media networks like Twitter, Facebook and others — run by activist liberals — who appear to be discriminating against conservatives. It’s called “shadow banning” or “stealth banning” where users’ posts are blocked from appearing in followers’ news feeds. I fear this type of deceptive censorship is happening to me, as well as scores of other conservatives throughout the country — including Prager University, an educational company whose ads promoting right-leaning videos were blocked by Twitter in February.)
— Boehner’s new, hypocritical marijuana money-making gig


— GOP pushes bill to STOP Trump from firing Mueller (DIERSEN: Just kidding, but what if those Republican U.S. Senators and those Republican U.S. Representatives who represented me between 1966 and 1997 had gotten bills passed that would have a) stopped my Democrat GAO superiors from forcing me to retire in 1997 when I was 49 years old, giving me unfair performance expectations and appraisals, always ranking me in the bottom half of my coworkers for pay-for-performance purposes, not promoting me beyond GS-13, getting rid of my mentor in 1987, keeping me off audits of IRS for all but 3 of the almost 18 years that I worked for GAO, and forcing me to take an $19,203 pay cut in today’s dollars to transfer from IRS to GAO in 1980; b) stopped my Democrat IRS superiors from not promoting me beyond GS-12, disallowing my education deductions in 1978, getting rid of my mentor in 1975, and disallowing my partial day per diem claims in 1974; and c) stopped my Democrat Post Office superiors from forcing me resign in 1969 and disallowing my sick leave requests in 1969 and 1968?)


— Senators Call for Investigation Into Sinclair for ‘News Distortion’ Following Viral Video – WILLIAM STEAKIN (DIERSEN: According to my critics/opponents, all news is fake except for the news that they put out or bless. Of course, my critics/opponents, their operatives, and their dupes a) focus on demonizing, denigrating, and condemning my intelligence, my judgment, my motives, my etc., b) focus on stopping me from putting GOPUSA ILLINOIS emails together and sending them out, and c) focus on stopping everyone from reading the emails. They want you to know ONLY what they tell you or bless.)


— GOP authors of tax law double down in campaigns – NAOMI JAGODA (DIERSEN: Roskam should immediately raise the $10,000 SALT cap to $20,000 for married filing jointly. Government should encourage marriage and homeownership.)
(FROM THE ARTICLE: “This is something that is right at the heart of what I’m talking about in 2018,” said Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), a senior member of Ways and Means whose race is considered a toss up by the non-partisan Cook Political Report. Roskam’s campaign estimates that his district will get $1 billion in tax relief in 2019 for individual and pass-through businesses, citing data from the IRS and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. While Democrats seeking to unseat the GOP tax-writers say voters have concerns about the new tax law, they expect that other issues are likely to be more important in November. “The bill was not structured to do anything of note for voters who are not extremely wealthy,” said Sean Casten, Roskam’s Democratic challenger. Of the 24 Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee, eight are in races that may be competitive, according to the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, providing a test case of whether the tax law will yield electoral benefits for the GOP. Three House GOP tax-writers — Roskam, Erik Paulsen (Minn.) and Carlos Curbelo (Fla.) — are in races that Cook rates as tossups. The group rates Rep. Mike Bishop’s (Mich.) race as leaning Republican, and rates the races involving Reps. Vern Buchanan (Fla.), Jackie Walorski (Ind.), Mike Kelly (Pa.) and George Holding (N.C.) as likely Republican. . .“The single most important thing Republican members should be doing is educating their constituents on the benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” said Michael Byerly, a spokesperson for the Congressional Leadership Fund, a Super PAC aligned with House GOP leadership. CLF has field offices in the districts held by Roskam, Paulsen, Curbelo and Bishop. . .Democratic criticisms of GOP tax-writers vary by district. In some races, Democrats have noted that the lawmakers may have personally benefited from aspects of the new law. In Roskam and Paulsen’s districts — located in fairly affluent suburbs of Chicago and Minneapolis, respectively — some of the criticisms are focused on the law’s $10,000 cap on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction. “The capping of the SALT deduction had a tremendous impact on a disproportionate amount of people in which I’m running,” said Dean Phillips, another Democrat challenging Paulsen. Roskam and Paulsen said their constituents will benefit from the new law even with the SALT cap, due to other features such as the lower tax rates and the increased exemption amount for the alternative minimum tax.)


— Comey book claims President Trump sought loyalty like mafia boss ‘Sammy the Bull’s’ induction ceremony – RICK KLEIN (DIERSEN: My critics/opponents have lots of religious, government, political, and/or financial clout in Wheaton, in Glen Ellyn, in Milton Township, DuPage County, and/or Illinois. They demand blind loyalty, and if you do not give it to them, they destroy you. I should write a book about them, their operatives, and their dupes.)
— Progressive candidates flood Washington for targeted training – MARYALICE PARKS (DIERSEN: Of course, the training focuses on demonizing, denigrating, and condemning individuals, organizations, companies, governments, and countries that are Trump supporters, Protestant, conservative, patriotic, Republican, American, White, male, older, rich, gun owners, German American, draft avoiders, and those whose ancestors have been in America for a long time.)


— Comey, in new book, paints Trump as a liar divorced from reality – Alex Johnson


— Tom Steyer v. Richard Uihlein: Billionaire vs. Billionaire: A Tug of War Between 2 Rogue Donors – ALEXANDER BURNS, JASMINE C. LEE and RACHEL SHOREY
— Comey’s Memoir Offers Visceral Details on a President ‘Untethered to Truth’ – Michael D. Shear


— ‘Untruthful slime ball’: Trump blasts Comey as details emerge from scathing book – John Wagner


— U.S. should lower its alcohol recommendation because its shortening our lives, study says – Sean Rossman
— Tax cut savings flow to company stockholders, trickle to hourly workers – Adam Shell


— Paul Ryan Rejects Giving Up Speaker Post Before January Some Republican lawmakers suggested donors would be less willing to give to Ryan knowing he won’t be leading GOP in House next year – Kristina Peterson and Siobhan Hughes
— Ex-FBI Director James Comey in Memoir Compares Donald Trump to Mafia Boss Director fired by Trump calls his presidency a ‘forest fire’ and defends his disclosures on Clinton probe; White House plans campaign to counter claims – Erica Orden (DIERSEN: I should write a book about my critics/opponents who paint themselves as be Mafia Bosses.)
— Mike Pompeo Promises Not to Be a ‘Yes Man’ Nominee for secretary of state tells lawmakers he wouldn’t hesitate to disagree with President Trump – Michael R. Gordon and Nancy A. Youssef (DIERSEN: Do you paint yourself as being a yes man? I do not. Are you a yes man? I am not.)
— Top 20% of Americans Will Pay 87% of Income Tax Households with $150,000 or more in income make up 52% of total income nationally but pay large portion of total taxes – Laura Saunders (DIERSEN: Some hint/imply/argue/shout that the more federal income tax that you pay, the more that you are a “contributing member of society.” Should everyone be required to disclose/publish how much federal income tax adjusted for inflation that they have paid during the last year, 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, 25 years, 30 years, 35 years, 40 years, 45 years, and 50+ years?)
— The Women’s March Holds a One-Way ‘Discussion’ When its leaders came to my campus, photos and recording were barred, and questions were screened. – Kassy Dillon


— Taxpayer Costs Soared as Illinois Public College & University Enrollment Dropped – Adam Andrzejewski (DIERSEN: According to my critics/opponents, their operatives, and their dupes, your college degree is worthless unless you earned it at an Ivy League University. My critics/opponents, their operatives, and their dupes demonize, denigrate, and condemn UIC, NIU, Loyola, DePaul, Roosevelt, and IIT.)


— DIERSEN HEADLINE: What do you say to those who encourage pregnant women a) to come to America illegally and b) to stay in America illegally?


— Federal employees face sizable pay gap with private sector – Jessie Bur (DIERSEN: What is the prevailing wage for those who have education, work experience, professional certifications, and professional licenses comparable to what you have? In today’s dollars, in 1997, when I was 49 years old, GAO paid me $125,325/year or $60.25/hour. I had almost 18 years of experience working for GAO and almost 9 years of experience working for IRS. I had earned a) a job-related bachelor’s degree when I was 21 in 1970 and job-related master’s degrees when I was 27, 31, and 48, b) job-related professional certifications when I was 30 (CPA), 32 (Certified Internal Auditor), 41 (Certified Fraud Examiner), 45 (Certified Government Financial Manager), 47 (Certified Financial Services Auditor), and 48 (Forensic Accountant), and c) a job-related professional license (licensed CPA) when I was 32.)


— The Fallen Heroes Who Went to Vietnam in John Bolton’s Place They all had the same birthday and same draft number. But while the now-hawkish national security adviser rode out the war in safety, these brave young soldiers never came home. – Michael Daly (DIERSEN: Needless-to-say, if I sought a government office or a political office, my critics/opponents, their operatives, and their dupes would have Duckworth viciously demonize me, viciously denigrate me, and viciously condemn me as being a draft avoider, a draft dodger, a patriotic hypocrite, a coward, and even worse things.)
(FROM THE ARTICLE: They all had the same birthday and same draft number. But while the now-hawkish national security adviser rode out the war in safety, these brave young soldiers never came home. Our new national security adviser, John Bolton, was born on the same day in 1948 as Weyman Cook, Jerry Miller, and Richard Lassiter, whose own chances for future achievements ended when they were killed in Vietnam. Their common birthday was Nov. 20, number 185 in the 1969 draft lottery, which was based on date of birth and ended student deferments—such as the one Bolton had until then enjoyed at Yale. He might well have been called up, as the draft went up to 195, but he managed to get a spot in the Maryland National Guard and then a local Army reserve unit. The Guard and the Reserves had long waiting lists, as they offered a way to avoid being sent to Vietnam. “I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy,” Bolton wrote in his Yale 25th reunion class book. “I considered the war in Vietnam already lost.” Instead, Bolton went to Yale Law School, interning in the summer for the stridently pro-war Vice President Spiro Agnew, who told everybody that the fight in Vietnam was progressing far better than the effete media suggested. Bolton later served at no peril in the Justice Department and the State Department, all the while being quick to recommend the use of military force. He was an ardent supporter of the Iraq War and has gained a reputation for being ever ready, almost eager to send others into combat. We will never know what Cook, Miller, and Lassiter might have accomplished. Cook had seemed like he might be one of the lucky ones after a helicopter he was in went down in Vinh Long on March 6, 1969. The married 20-year-old from Corinth, Mississippi, miraculously survived and stepped away unhurt. He could have just stood there with his whole young life before him. But a number of comrades were trapped in the burning wreckage and in his last minutes he demonstrated that he possessed the stuff of greatness. The citation of the Soldier’s Medal he was subsequently awarded “for exceptionally valorous actions while serving as crew chief of a UH-1D helicopter” reads:)


— DIERSEN HEADLINE: What are your demographics? Who promotes hatred against those who share your demographics? SPLC promotes hatred against individuals, organizations, companies, governments, and countries that are Trump supporters, Protestant, conservative, patriotic, Republican, American, White, male, older, rich, gun owners, German American, draft avoiders, and/or those whose ancestors have been in America for a long time.

Author: David Diersen

The opinions that I express in GOPUSA ILLINOIS emails are based on experience that I have gained doing many things since 1948. I base my opinions on what I learned a) working for the federal government for almost 30 years -- Post Office 1966-1969, IRS 1971-1980, and GAO 1980-1997, serving on the Executive Committee of the Association of Government Accountants Chicago Chapter 1983-1996, and being a union member while I worked for the Post Office and IRS; b) earning an MBA from Loyola in 1976, a masters degree in accounting from DePaul in 1980, and a masters degree in financial markets and trading from IIT in 1997; c) passing the CPA examination on my first attempt in 1979 and passing the Certified Internal Auditor examination on my first attempt in 1981; c) serving as a Republican Precinct Committeeman since 1999, the GOPUSA Illinois Editor since 2000, the TAPROOT Republicans of Illinois Chairman 2005-2012, a member of the 2008 Illinois Republican Party (IRP) Platform and Resolutions Committee, a Wheaton Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee member 2003-2011, the Milton Township Republican Central Committee webmaster 2008-2010 and 2000-2004, an Illinois Center Right Coalition Steering Committee member 2003-2007, and an American Association of Political Consultants Midwest Chapter board member 2001-2004; d) attending the 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 IRP State Conventions as a delegate; e) being the subject of a nasty 4-page article in the February 1978 issue of Money Magazine; f) pursing litigation including Diersen v. GAO and Diersen v. Chicago Car Exchange; g) being married since 1978; h) living in Crete 1948-1972, in University Park 1972-1976, in Chicago 1976-1978, and in DuPage County, Milton Township, and Wheaton since 1978; and i) being baptized, raised, and confirmed as a Missouri Synod Lutheran.