December 31 Morning Edition

— 8 New Year’s wishes for Chicago and Illinois – Editorial
— Here’s what we fought for in 2017 – Editorial (DIERSEN: What did you fight for in 2017? With my GOPUSA ILLINOIS emails, I fought for the Republican Party platform, the Illinois Republican Party platform, and the Milton Township resolution against video gambling. I especially fought for the traditional family, right to life, immigration, Second Amendment, equal opportunity (no race or gender based preference giving) planks. I especially fought against the promotion of LGBTQ activity, abortion, mass/illegal immigration, further erosion of the First and Second Amendments, reverse discrimination, age discrimination, political affiliation discrimination, patronage, booze, gambling, pot, and other vices.)


— After dispute over epitaph, tombstone at Catholic cemetery reads: ‘She supported priest sexual abuse victims’ – Angie Leventis Lourgos
— Senators’ Russia trip scuttled because of ‘black list’ – AP (DIERSEN: Who has you on their black list? I should write a book about those who have me on their black lists. They do not want me a) to know about their events or their other activities, b) to promote their events or their other activities, c) attend their events, or d) report on their events or other activities. They blame me for their problems, for your problems, for my problems, and for everyone’s problems. They blame me for all the defeats that Republicans have suffered in Illinois since 2000. They pander to Rich Miller and to the rest of the Democrat news media in Illinois.)–senate-russia-20171230-story.html
— More adults are living together than ever, analysis shows. Here’s why. – Darcel Rockett (DIERSEN: I had saved enough and I was earning enough a) in 1972 when I was 24 years old to buy a new town home in University Park, b) in 1974 to buy a studio condo in the Outer Drive East building in downtown Chicago, and c) in 1976 to buy a one bedroom condo in that building. My father died suddenly in 1969. I lived with my mother and brother in Crete 1970-1972 to help support them.)
— DIERSEN HEADLINE: Ever-increasingly, anti-Republicans promote booze, gambling, pot, and other vices.


— Couple leaves words ‘priest rapist’ off Wheaton cemetery tombstone – Chacour Koop
— Nurture skepticism, not cynicism, to combat ‘fake news’ – Editorial (DIERSEN: Ever-increasingly, virtually everything that the mainstream media puts out is designed to promote the Democrat Party platform, the Libertarian Party platform, and/or the Green Party platform.)
— ‘I hope I can quit working in a few years’: A preview of the US without pensions – Peter Whoriskey (DIERSEN: Ever-increasingly, those who are not getting a pension or are not in line to get a pension promote hatred against those who are getting a pension or are in line to get a pension. Soon, if not already, those who are getting a pension or are in line to get a pension will join/form organizations to protect what they have earned. One such organization is the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association at Those who promote hatred against me should acknowledge that if my Democrat GAO superiors had been stopped from forcing me to take their early retirement “offer in 1997 when I was 49 years old, and if I was still working for GAO, in today’s dollars, I would have paid into the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) $174,340 ($717 X 243 months) instead of CSRS paying me $1,029,834 ($4,238 X 243 months).)


— Trump defends frequent Twitter use as way to ‘fight a very dishonest and unfair press’ – Alex Pappas


— Efforts Grow to Help Students Evaluate What They See Online – Ryan J. Foley (DIERSEN: What helps you evaluate what you see online? I have been putting GOPUSA ILLINOIS emails together and sending them out since 2000. I have served as an arbitrator for the Financial Services Regulatory Authority since 1998. I worked for GAO for almost 18 years 1980-1997, the last 11 years of which at the GS-13 Step 1-10 levels, currently $94,610-$122,991. I worked for IRS 1971-1980, the last 5 1/2 years of which at the GS-12 Step 1-5 levels, currently $79,563-$90,173. I became a Forensic Accountant in 1997, Certified Financial Services Auditor in 1996, Certified Government Financial Manager in 1994, Certified Fraud Examiner in 1990, Licensed CPA in 1981, Certified Internal Auditor in 1981, and CPA in 1979. I earned a master’s degree in financial markets and trading from IIT in 1997, a master’s degree in accounting from DePaul in 1980, an MBA from Loyola in 1976, and a bachelor’s degree in management from NIU in 1970. According to my critics/opponents, a) they and only they determine what is fact or fiction and b) what they put out is fact and everything else is fiction.)


— Rep. Dave Brat: 2018 DACA Amnesty Fight ‘Will Determine the Nature of Our Country’ — ‘If We Fail on This, Just Picture Europe’ – ROBERT KRAYCHIK (DIERSEN: Anti-Trumps want America to look like foreign countries because anti-Trumps are 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.)
(FROM THE ARTICLE: Congress must prioritize four repairs for the immigration system before contemplating any DACA-style amnesty negotiation, said Brat: 1. Ending chain migration and the visa lottery; 2. Mandating employer use of E-Verify; 3. Construction of a southern border wall; and 4. Interior enforcement of immigration law. The four aforementioned “permanent fixes” must precede any DACA negotiation regarding amnesty for illegal immigrants, said Brat: “It shouldn’t be about trusting or hoping, the permanent part has to come first, you see in that place and then you negotiate later.”)


— DIERSEN HEADLINE: Anti-Trumps are furious that candidates who 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 do not get more votes.


— Forget resolutions: 3 more productive ways to look back at 2017 Looking back at the past year with a different lens may set you up for more success in the new year. – Brianna Steinhilber (DIERSEN: Of course, my resolutions for 2018 include sending out GOPUSA ILLINOIS emails each and every morning and each and every evening.)


— The Year the News Accelerated to Trump Speed – Matt Flegenheimer (DIERSEN: We are in a 12-hour news cycle. To deal with that concerning government and political news and commentary of interest to Illinois Republicans, you can rely on GOPUSA ILLINOIS emails. They come out each and every morning and each and every evening.)
— The Patriarchs Are Falling. The Patriarchy Is Stronger Than Ever. – Susan Faludi (DIERSEN: Ever-increasing, anti-Republicans shout at women that Republicans are the cause of all the problems that women have had, are having, and will have, and especially Republicans who are Trump supporters, Protestant, conservative, patriotic, White, male, older, rich, gun owners, German Americans, and/or those whose ancestors have been in America for a long time.)
— Want to Be Happy? Think Like an Old Person – JOHN LELAND (DIERSEN: I do not think like an old person.)


— The GOP tax plan creates one of the largest new loopholes in decades – Editorial (DIERSEN: What deductions do your critics/opponents hint/imply/argue/shout are loopholes? My critics/opponents hint/imply/argue/shout that the following deductions are loopholes: mortgage interest, real estate tax, state income tax, medical and dental expenses, 501(c)(3) contributions, and job-related education. I should write a book about my critics/opponents a) who have never owned real estate, b) who pay little or no state income tax, c) who have had little or no medical or dental expenses, d) who give little or no money to 501(c)(3) organizations, and/or e) who have never spent any money for job-related education.)


— A New Year’s resolution for the media: Do not let Republicans get away with saying ‘reforms’ when they mean ‘cuts’ – Jared Bernstein (DIERSEN: During the 1980s and 1990s, to justify cutting GAO’s budget, Democrats and RINOs shouted that the agency needed “reforms.” “Reforms” is code for getting rid of employees who are Republican, White, male, older, and/or non-veteran.)
— Scandal has overwhelmed the IRS – Editorial (DIERSEN: What do you base your knowledge of IRS on? I worked for IRS for almost 9 years, the last 5 1/2 years of which at the GS-12 Step 1-5 levels, currently $79,563-$90,173. I worked for GAO on audits of IRS for 3 years at the GS-13 Step-1-3 levels, currently, $94,610-$100,917. I have filed federal income tax returns since 1964 and itemized returns since 1972. I took IRS to Tax Court and won a split decision on my education deductions. Nevertheless my critics/opponents, their operatives, and their dupes continue to viciously demonize, viciously denigrate, and viciously condemn my knowledge of IRS.)
— In search of a word that won’t offend ‘old’ people – Laura L. Carstensen (DIERSEN: My critics/opponents, their operatives, and their dupes have always a) promoted age discrimination and b) hinted/implied/argued/shouted that if you are a non-veteran White male federal employee, you are stupid, lazy, and even worse things if you do not make 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.)
— I grow pot in California for a living. I’m worried about legalization. – Chiah Rodriques


— The Divide Between America’s Prosperous Cities and Struggling Small Towns—in 20 Charts – Paul Overberg


— Toying with the idea of trading up? 3 steps homebuyers should take before doing anything else – Ellen James Martin (DIERSEN: What discouraged you from trading up? For my wife and I, it was my Democrat GAO superiors forcing me to retire in 1997 when I was 49 years old, their always ranking me in the bottom half of my coworkers for pay-for-performance purposes, their not promoting me beyond GS-13, their getting rid of my mentor in 1987, and their keeping me off audits of IRS for all but 3 of the almost 18 years that I worked for GAO.)


— CHICAGO TRIBUNE HARDCOPY ARTICLE TITLE: Extra house on your hands? – Ellen James Martin (DIERSEN: Because I could not sell it for a fair price, I rented out 774-5 Sunset Court in University Park 1976-1984.)


— How do my finances compare with my peers’? – Brianna McGurran
(FROM THE ARTICLE: If you’re under 35, here’s how your peers are really doing, according to the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances: The median income for families with a head of household under 35 was $40,500 in 2016. Nearly half of families under 35 had credit card balances, with median debt of $1,400 per family. About 42 percent of families under 35 had retirement accounts, and their median value was $12,300. Lastly, about 45 percent of families with a head of household under 35 had education debt. The median amount was $18,500 per family, but the amount varies widely by income level and highest degree attained. . .Do you have an emergency fund of at least $500? It should eventually include three to six months of basic expenses. Are you paying down high-interest debt, like credit cards and personal loans? That should come before attacking lower-interest debt like student loans. Do you spend less than you earn? A budget based on the 50/30/20 rule can help: You’ll spend no more than 50 percent of after-tax income on necessities, no more than 30 percent on wants and at least 20 percent on savings and debt repayment. Do you follow the 28/36 rule? Lenders use this to qualify you for a mortgage, but Amis suggests it’s also a helpful way to assess cash flow even if you’re years from buying a home. Housing costs should be less than 28 percent of your pretax income. With other debt payments, like credit card, car or student loan bills, the total should come under 36 percent of pretax income. Do you save for retirement? Socking away 10 to 15 percent of your pretax income is the goal. These guidelines are aspirational. But your progress toward them is a better measure of whether your money is working for you than surveys or Instagram. In the end, your financial well-being boils down to whether you can meet your basic needs today, plan for a better tomorrow and enjoy life as you go.)


— 4 Reasons Your Social Security Benefit May Be Worth Less Than You Think – Christy Bieber
(FROM THE ARTICLE: 2. Social Security benefits aren’t keeping pace with rising costs of living Retirees receiving Social Security benefits get periodic cost of living adjustments (COLAs). COLAs are tied to the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). Unfortunately, many believe this is the wrong index to tie benefit increases to because it does not accurately reflect seniors’ spending patterns. Seniors often devote more of their income to medical costs than the general population. Unfortunately, in 33 out of the past 35 years, healthcare costs have risen at faster rates than Social Security COLA increases. Food and housing cost increases are also outpacing COLA for retirees on Social Security. If Social Security benefits don’t rise as much as the costs of products and services used by seniors, the latter have less purchasing power. Even if income appears to go up because you receive a small raise, benefits will actually be worth less in real terms. And, unfortunately, there’s not even a guarantee you’ll get a raise — even on paper. Since 2010, COLAs have averaged just 1.35% per year. In three of the past 10 years, seniors didn’t get a raise at all, and in 2016, the COLA was just 0.3%.)


— 4 lifestyle changes to make you more productive in 2018 – Marguerite Ward


— DIERSEN HEADLINE: Anti-Trumps use Moore to demonize, to denigrate, and to condemn Trump and his supporters.

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.