December 18 Morning Edition

— Mendoza says Rauner can’t take criticism ‘from a 5-foot-3 woman from Chicago’ – Rick Pearson)
— Lake Forest city manager: Nearly $200K spent lobbying without council OK – Daniel I. Dorfman
— The balance challenge Diversity helps the workplace, but many companies still aren’t making it happen – Rhett Power (DIERSEN: Rhett Power should write a book about the success that Democrats had during the 1980s and 1990s in promoting diversity at GAO, that is, the success that they had in wasting the careers of and getting rid of GAO’s employees who were Republican, White, male, and/or non-veteran who they had not promoted to GS-13 (currently $94,610) by age 25, GS-14 (currently $111,801) by age 30, GS-15 (currently $131,508) by age 35, and Senior Executive Service (currently $161,900) by age 40.)


— Doug Jones: Trump shouldn’t resign over misconduct allegations – AP


— Don’t move backward on marijuana policy – Dr. Aaron Weiner, clinical psychologist and director of addiction services at Linden Oaks Behavioral Health in Naperville.
(FROM THE ARTICLE: Recently, two of our state legislators announced they would push for marijuana legalization as a solution to the state’s fiscal crisis when they return to Springfield in January. While quick to tout the potential for increased tax revenue, these politicians are ignoring the long-term, well-documented costs increased marijuana use would bring to our communities. As the director of an addiction service line and clinical psychologist with firsthand experience treating addiction, I know the public health consequences of promoting the sale of another addictive drug in Illinois will far outweigh any temporary benefit. Marijuana policies deserve a robust and informed debate, but that discussion should be driven by science and facts, not the motives of for-profit special interest groups (read: addiction profiteers) lobbying our elected officials. And when it comes to the negative health implications of marijuana use, the science is crystal clear. According to the CDC, one in 10 adults will develop an addiction when using marijuana regularly, and new research has even indicated that one in every three current marijuana users has a diagnosable marijuana use disorder. This is something I see in my clinics often. I treat patients suffering from marijuana addiction — a problem that, according to both my own experiences and published research, undermines my patients’ ability to complete school, achieve their maximum earning potential, hold their jobs, function in a healthy marriage, and find overall life satisfaction. Perhaps most concerning is the disproportionate impact legalizing marijuana would have on our young people. We now know Colorado leads the country in past-month marijuana use by youth. And the Centennial State isn’t an outlier in this trend: Oregon and Washington State, which have also legalized the drug, each rank in the top six states nationwide for past-month marijuana use by adolescents. Making matters worse, marijuana-related emergency room visits by young people in Colorado more than quadrupled since the state legalized marijuana. In fact, more Coloradans in drug treatment are self-reporting heavy use of marijuana than ever before. Moreover, states with legal marijuana are proving the impact of legalization stretches far beyond harms to the individual. A study conducted by the AAA in Washington State showed a doubling in the number of fatal drug-impaired car crashes after legalization. Adding insult to injury, Colorado still faces a $700 million state budget shortfall that it must compensate for through increased taxes or budget cuts elsewhere. Years ago, we realized that exposure to lead created significant adverse public health consequences. In response, we removed lead from nearly everything we could: paint, pencils, window blinds, glass, and so on. Like lead, the greater marijuana’s exposure to the public, the greater the negative health impact. Why move backward? There are far better ways for our state to make money than selling a new intoxicating, addictive substance to our residents. Marijuana commercialization will drive more kids to smoke pot, increase treatment admissions for addiction, and become a significant setback for public health and safety. The answer to criminal justice reform and our state’s financial crisis does not require creating a new industry that preys on our youngest and most vulnerable by marketing pot gummy bears, pot lollipops, and 93 percent THC concentrates. It’s time for politicians in Springfield to stand up to special interest groups campaigning for laws that would create a new for-profit addiction industry — the next Big Tobacco — and choose to promote healthy lifestyles instead. The residents of Illinois are depending on you.)
— FRONT PAGE TOP OF FOLD: How limit on property, state tax deduction could hurt suburbs – AP (DIERSEN: Do you pay high real estate taxes? Under this “tax overhaul,” the more real estate tax that you pay, the more federal income tax that you will pay.)
(FROM THE ARTICLE: The sweeping tax overhaul embraced by President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers would impose a $10,000 limit on the combined sum of property and state and local income taxes that a household could deduct. And that’s even if taxpayers would have an incentive to itemize anymore. The $10,000 cap will help pay for corporate and personal tax cuts totaling $1.5 trillion over the next decade. Conservatives have argued that unlimited state and local deductions amount to a federal subsidy for the wealthy in high-tax states like New York, New Jersey, California and Illinois with their prosperous suburbs. But many middle-class families in those states face disproportionately high housing costs and depend on deducting their state and local taxes. These households could soon pressure states and localities to ease their burden by cutting taxes — which would likely force cuts to social programs and public services.)


— Rauner keeping public in the dark about rates in Medicaid reboot – KRISTEN SCHORSCH


— Some Illinois Lawmakers Think It’s Too Soon To Pass Sexual Harassment Policies – DAISY CONTRERAS


— Kasich: GOP is ‘losing future’ by ‘turning off millennials’ Gov. says he can’t support party if it isn’t fixed – MAEGAN VAZQUEZ (DIERSEN: Obviously, Kasich and his supporters want the Republican Party to pander to members of Group A and to dump members of Group B. Members of Group A are anti-Trump, anti-Protestant, anti-conservative, anti-patriotic, anti-Republican, anti-American, anti-White, anti-male, anti-older people, anti-rich people, anti-gun owners, anti-German Americans, and/or anti-those whose ancestors have been in America longer than their ancestors and members of Group B are Trump supporters, Protestant, conservative, patriotic, Republican, American, White, male, older, rich, gun owners, German American, and those whose ancestors have been in America for a long time.)


— Hey, Rahm — Lay Off Trump and Start Fixing Chicago – Steve Cortes–_lay_off_trump_and_start_fixing_chicago_135807.html


— The effect that California’s $15 minimum wage will have was just revealed — and it’s devastating – Chris Enloe


— Congress: Illegals-Only Households Will Birth at Least 600,000 Children in Next Decade – NEIL MUNRO (DIERSEN: QUESTION: Which employers prefer hiring illegals instead of citizens of America? ANSWER: Employers that are anti-Trump, anti-Protestant, anti-conservative, anti-patriotic, anti-Republican, anti-American, anti-White, anti-male, anti-older people, anti-rich people, anti-gun owners, anti-German Americans, and/or anti-those whose ancestors have been in America longer than their ancestors.)
— GAO Audit: TSA Inspectors Only Spend ‘Half Their Working Hours’ on Work amid ‘Increased’ Terror Threat – EDWIN MORA


— Republicans fear Trump’s ‘nonexistent’ political team will flop in 2020 – David M. Drucker


— Rebelling Republican Suburbs Offer Democrats Path to House Control – Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns
(FROM THE ARTICLE: The new president, Mr. Russell said, has accelerated things: “They were Republicans for fiscal reasons, and Trump has alienated them from the party they used to belong to.” It is not hard to find such voters in the Illinois district of Representative Peter Roskam, which favored Mrs. Clinton by seven points and has a median income over $90,000. Mr. Roskam is bracing for perhaps his most difficult race since his first election to the House in 2006. Seven Democrats are jockeying to challenge Mr. Roskam in the western suburbs of Chicago, and they have largely gravitated toward a single message. Kelly Mazeski, a planning commissioner in Barrington Hills and a leading Democratic contender, rebuked Mr. Roskam for his positions on health care and taxes, but for one transgression most of all. “Most of the time, I talk about Peter Roskam — that’s who my opponent is,” Ms. Mazeski said. “But to be clear, his voting record is 97 percent of the Trump agenda.” That rebuke resonates with voters like Pat Robinson, a retired teacher inclined to vote for a Democrat in 2018 but waiting to see who will emerge as the nominee. Ms. Robinson, who said she voted for Mrs. Clinton last year as the “lesser of two evils,” said she would not reward a lawmaker allied with the White House. “He’s certainly following Trump’s platform, and I can’t go along with that at all,” Ms. Robinson said of Mr. Roskam.)
— A Tax Plan to Turbocharge Inequality, in 3 Charts – David Leonhardt
— FRONT PAGE: In One New Jersey Town, Pending Tax Changes Create Anxiety – Patrick McGeehan (DIERSEN: How similar is your municipality to Livingston? How similar is your county to Essex County?)
(FROM THE ARTICLE: Politically speaking, Livingston is not the bluest of the suburbs surrounding New York City. But there are few places where people are feeling any more anxious about the potential impact of the federal tax bill proposed by Republican leaders in Washington. “They’re crippling us,” said Walter Levine, who has lived in this New Jersey community since 1976. As Mr. Levine sees it, Livingston, a fairly affluent town with a population of about 30,000, could become even less affordable as residents face rising tax bills and falling home values. They could be left with less disposable income to spend in the local stores, setting off a “domino effect” that could derail the town’s economy. It is a dire forecast, but not a radical one. Livingston sits on the western edge of Essex County, which Moody’s Analytics, a company that provides economic research, placed at the top of its list of places whose housing markets would suffer the most under the Republicans’ plan. According to Moody’s, the tax proposal could carve as much as 10.5 percent off the projected value of homes in Essex County in two years. Six other New Jersey counties made the top 10 on Moody’s list. Livingston’s Republican representative in Congress, Rodney Frelinghuysen, voted against the House version of the tax bill because, he said, of the “very negative impacts it would have on so many of my fellow New Jerseyans.”)
— FRONT PAGE: Champion of the ‘Little Guy’? Trump’s Actions Tell Another Story – Michael Tackett and Jim Tankersley


— Deduction Rollback Hurts High-Tax States, But Exodus Isn’t Assured Taxes look to be just one of many factors in Americans’ decisions about where to live – Ben Leubsdorf
— Democrats Against Tax Reform Unlike the past, the GOP has had no help passing these tax cuts. – Editorial
— How to Get American Men Back Into the Workforce Rethink unemployment insurance and increase public investment in improving skills. – Jason Furman (DIERSEN: What did you do to qualify yourself for better paying jobs? I 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, 32, 41, 45, 47, and 48, and c) a job-related professional license when I was 32.)


— HARDCOPY ARTICLE TITLE: Ways to save (or splurge!) on vacations – Larry Bleiberg (DIERSEN: Vacations are expensive. Your GOPUSA Illinois Editor and his wife are not planning any kind of vacation. My $50,856/year pension is only 41% of the $122,991/year salary that I earned in 1997 in today’s dollars. Because my Democrat GAO superiors succeeded in forcing me to take their early retirement “offer” in 1997 when I was 49 years old, we have at least $72,135 less each year or $6,011 less each month or $1,387 less each week or $198 less each day to spend on vacations. I went on vacations in 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, and 1977. My wife and I went on many vacations, typically four each year, 1978-1992 in connection with her business trips to luxury resorts all across America. Of course, my Democrat IRS and GAO superiors, supervisors, coworkers, and subordinates were beyond furious about that.)
— Retirement tips: 4 steps to a happier retirement – Ken Fisher (DIERSEN: Are you retired? What do you do with your time? Needless-to-say, spending 10+ hours each and every day putting GOPUSA ILLINOIS emails together and sending them out is NOT fun, but it does give my life purpose.)

(FROM THE ARTICLE: 4. Fill your time with fun. Did you know retirement can cause depression? Even if your job was a drag, it gave you purpose. Beat back the boredom blues with hobbies, volunteering or even a part-time job. Check out community college course catalogues for art classes or anything striking your fancy. Offer to teach classes in your specialty. Think about part-timing at some retail boutique you like. To keep fit, find groups for biking, hiking, jogging, tennis or dancing. If volunteering, ponder the most fun way to spend that time — with children, in nature, with animals, at museums, the library — abundant choices. You’ll make friends, too, which reduces depression. Fun is the most important of these four. It affects your attitude, which drives your body. Start now. Have the Merriest Christmas possible by offering extra-fun kindness to those around you. It will pay you back immediately, boosting your psyche heading into 2018. And I’ll see you Jan. 2, when my next column appears.)

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.