February 9 Morning Edition

— Rauner ‘Very Troubled’ With Llinois Policy Institute’s Reported Questionable Dealings – Craig Dellimore


— President Trump signs sweeping $400 billion budget deal, government to reopen – AP
— Civic Federation calls for taxing retirement income, maybe closing universities to balance state budget – Monique Garcia (DIERSEN: The more that retirement income would be taxed, the more retired people would leave Illinois. All retired people in Illinois are members of one or more of the following groups: Trump supporters, Protestant, conservative, patriotic, Republican, American, White, male, older, rich, gun owners, German Americans, and/or those whose ancestors have been in America for a long time.)
— Top Trump aides knew of abuse allegations against Rob Porter for months – Josh Dawsey and Beth Reinhard
— DIERSEN HEADLINE: Illinois GOP Congressmen note the lack of “civic-minded citizens” coming forward to run for the 3rd Congressional District office. Running for a congressional seat is a tremendously difficult undertaking, far more difficult than running for an Illinois Senate seat, an Illinois House seat, a county seat, etc. Rauner owns the Illinois Republican Party lock, stock, and barrel. Because of that, few run for seats as Republicans in Illinois unless Rauner asks them to run and he gives them lots of money.)
— DIERSEN HEADLINE: Duckworth and Schneider blast Trump’s military parade. I should write a book about those who since 1978 have worked the hardest a) to discourage Republican participation in Wheaton Independence Day parades, b) to discourage Republican sponsorship of the parades, and c) to discourage people from watching the parades.
— With U.S. competition hurting its marijuana business, Mexico warms a little to legalization – Kate Linthicum (DIERSEN: Mexico’s sending many mountains of illegal drugs into America illegally is an act of war as well as its sending many millions of its citizens into America illegally and its keeping many millions of its citizens in America illegally.)
(FROM THE ARTICLE: For decades, marijuana flowed in one direction across the U.S.-Mexico border: north. These days, drug enforcement agents regularly seize specialty strains of retail-quality cannabis grown in the United States being smuggled south. Widespread legalization in the U.S. is killing Mexico’s marijuana business, and cartel leaders know it. They are increasingly abandoning the crop that was once was their bread and butter and looking elsewhere for profits, producing and exporting drugs including heroin and fentanyl and banking on extortion schemes and fuel theft. So when Mexico’s tourism secretary boldly declared his hopes that Mexico will legalize marijuana for recreational use in an effort to reduce growing violence across the nation, some balked at the notion that marijuana was driving the bloodshed.)


— Sun-Times wins Report for America grant to hire neighborhood reporter (DIERSEN: When will the mainstream media hire a reporter to cover Wheaton?)


— Kennedy tries to walk moderate line in Illinois Democratic governor fight – GREG HINZ


— 10th District rivals exchange barbs over political pasts – Russell Lissau (DIERSEN: If you ran for an office, what would your critics/opponents, their operatives, and their dupes blame you for? They would blame me and my GOPUSA ILLINOIS emails for all the defeats that Republicans have suffered in Illinois since 2000, and especially the defeats that Jim Ryan sufffered in 2002, Judy Baar Topinka in 2006, and Bill Brady suffered in 2010.)


— Pritzker regrets; Ives doesn’t – Editorial


— DIERSEN HEADLINE: SJ-R maligns Ives for political gain
— Thumbs Down: To candidates who malign others for political gain – Editorial (DIERSEN: In your precinct, in your municipality, in your township/ward, in your county, and in Illinois, who maligns others? I should write a book about those in my precinct, in Wheaton, in Glen Ellyn, in Milton Township, in DuPage County. and in Illinois who malign those 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.)
— Civic Federation recommends taxing services, retirement to stabilize state – Doug Finke (DIERSEN: If this is done, how many millions will leave Illinois? Those who will leave will be those who are retired, Trump supporters, Protestant, conservative, patriotic, Republican, American, White, male, older, rich, gun owners, German American, and/or those whose ancestors have been in America for a long time.)
(FROM THE ARTICLE: Ahead of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget address next week, the Civic Federation is again calling for taxing some retirement income and extending the state sales tax to some services as part of its proposal to stabilize state finances. The Civic Federation, which is a watchdog over state finances, said the budget passed last summer to end the two-year budget impasse meant the state “was no longer careening toward unprecedented financial disaster.” “However, our elected officials again relied on shaky financial practices for short-term relief, such as counting on dubious one-time revenues and repeatedly kicking the pension can down the road,” said Federation president Laurence Msall in a statement. “Such actions only make achieving sound financial footing more difficult.” The Civic Federation compiled a list of 11 steps it believes the state should follow to reestablish the state’s financial health. Number one on the list is limiting annual spending growth to 2.1 percent for the next five years at a minimum. The group recommended other cost control measures like cutting the interest rate the state pays on overdue bills, consolidating government units and creating a commission to explore consolidating governance of state universities. Other recommendations will be more difficult, Msall acknowledged. The organization said the state should impose the income tax on the same retirement income that is taxed at the federal level. For example, there is a federal income tax on 401(k) distributions, but Illinois does not tax them. Imposing that tax has been a third rail in Illinois politics. Also, the report calls for a constitutional amendment to be placed on the ballot “to clarify the pension protection clause.” That clause prevents lawmakers from enacting cuts to pensions of current public employees. The report recommends extending the sales tax to 14 services that are also taxed in Wisconsin, such as landscaping and internet services. The federation also is calling for a new capital construction bill that would be financed by an increase in the gasoline tax. Rauner will deliver his budget speech on Wednesday.)
— Fox News’ Pirro, Rauner fire up Republicans at annual dinner – Maximilian Kwiatkowski (DIERSEN: How successful have the chairmen of the Illinois Republican Party, your Republican county party organization, and your Republican township/ward party organization been in recruiting speakers that draw draw large crowds and fire them up? While I served as the TAPROOT Republicans of Illinois chairman 2005-2012, my critics/opponents, their operatives, and their dupes a) demonized, denigrated, and condemned the speakers that I recruited, b) hinted/implied/argued/shouted that if I had recruited better speakers, far more would have attended TAPROOT monthly meetings, picnics, and Christmas parties, and c) hinted/implied/argured/shouted that my failure to recruit better speakers was enough to viciously dump me as the TAPROOT chairman. After my critics/opponents, their operatives, and their dupes succeeded in viciously dumping me, they recruited Dan Proft to speak at a TAPROOT meeting.)
(FROM THE ARTICLE: Leading Republican figures doubled down on their attacks on Democrats Thursday as they rallied the Sangamon County branch of the party during its 114th Lincoln Day Dinner in Springfield. More than 900 party members, leaders and politicians showed up for the event at the Bank of Springfield Center to hear special guest Jeanine Pirro, host of Fox News’ “Justice with Judge Jeanine” program, and Gov. Bruce Rauner. Rauner said the main goal for Republicans this year is to defeat longtime Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan, calling him a machine politician who was destroying the state. “It is a cancer that is eating us from the inside, sucking our vitality, sucking our quality of life to enrich himself and his friends inside government,” Rauner said. The governor focused on themes he has mentioned throughout his campaign: restoring economic success in Illinois and lowering taxation. He made a specific promise to fight a Democratic proposal for a progressive income tax, which would tax residents based upon their income level. “It ain’t progressive. It’s a destructive income tax hike that they want to put on the people of Illinois,” he said. “I will block that and make sure that our income taxes stay flat and low and actually down lower from where they are today and bring ’em back down to 3 percent over the next two years.” Pirro, meanwhile, focused on national issues. She praised the first year of President Donald Trump as a major improvement over Barack Obama and the rule of the Democratic Party, which she said was corrupt. She compared Trump to a maverick politician for doing things outside of norm for politicians. “He said things that weren’t politically correct, and he said things that weren’t considered acceptable,” she said. “But the forgotten men and women of this country heard him. And here we are one year later, with a resounding economy, with ISIS crushed in the Middle East, with unemployment at a 40-year low.” While acknowledging the stock market had taken downturn recently, she said Trump’s presidency has been a success thus far. Pirro said, however, there were still issues for the country to confront, specifically the FBI. She claimed the nation’s top law enforcement agency may have been politically biased and tried to ensure Trump’s 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, became president. She said the situation “absolutely scares the hell out me.” She said the picture started to become clear with former FBI director James Comey not indicting Clinton over managing classified documents on a private email server. She said she believes Comey wanted Clinton to become president and was hiding information from her and may also have been covering for Obama. “It’s time for James Comey to be the target of an active criminal investigation,” she said. She then cited the Russian uranium deal, made under Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, as another case that should be investigated, claiming a number of Washington politicians were working together to defend each other. According to Pirro, Robert Mueller, who is investigating allegations of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election, is among them. She claimed Mueller was out for revenge over not becoming FBI director when Comey was removed last year and instead collaborated with Republican Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to investigate Trump. “Rosenstein needed Mueller to be there. Comey needed Mueller to be there, because they were all involved in a case that involves the sale of the uranium,” she said. She likened the whole investigation to an attempt to overthrow the government and highlighted it as a reason for Republicans to make sure they vote in 2018. “The 2018s are gonna be tough. They’re gonna be real tough,” she said. “You better get ready for this. I don’t care if you walk house to house, use social media, tweet, text, email, get the millennials involved, go to the old age homes. Whatever you gotta do you gotta get out there.” Rauner said he was confident that 2018 would be successful. “All of us worked hard last year. 2016 — even though President Trump, unfortunately, lost Illinois by over 16 points — we in Illinois picked up six seats in the General Assembly for the Republicans in 2016,” he said. “And you watch, this year, this is our year. We are going to take it to the Madigan machine of corruption and cronyism. We are going to run a great slate of candidates this November, and we are going to win nine (House) seats and knock Mike Madigan out as speaker of the House.”)


— Bill proposes $1B to help cover Illinois prison expenses – AP


— Campaign Cash Proxy War Breaks Out In House Race Proft Groups Back Miller; Durkin, House GOP Back Corrigan – Tom Robb


— Rauner Budget Chief: Governor Will Deal With Nine Billion Deficit


— Illinois Republican congressmen distance themselves from GOP Holocaust denier candidate – Howard Packowitz (DIERSEN: Saying that someone is distancing themselves from someone hints/implies/argues/shouts that they initially supported that someone. Republicans never supported Arthur Jones.)


— DIERSEN HEADLINE: Pot promoters promote pot. If you promote pot, you promote destruction.


— Illinois politicians: stop guilting taxpayers – Wirepoints Original – Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner


— Pritzker under fire for new FBI wiretapped Blagojevich talks – Cole Lauterbach (DIERSEN: What are you “under fire” for? I am under fire from Democrats and Democrat plants, from Libertarians and Libertarian plants, from Greens and Green plants, and from RINOs for my supporting the Illinois Republican Party platform, and especially its traditional family, right to life, and immigration planks.)


— Jeanne Ives Is the Real Deal in Illinois – JOEL B. POLLAK


— Effective immediately: House bans sexual relationships between lawmakers and their staffers – Jana J. Pruet


— We All Have a Stake in the Stock Market, Right? Guess Again – Patricia Cohen
(FROM THE ARTICLE: Take a deep breath and relax. The riotous market swings that have whipped up frothy peaks of anxiety over the last week — bringing the major indexes down more than 10 percent from their high — have virtually no impact on the income or wealth of most families. The reason: They own little or no stock. A whopping 84 percent of all stocks owned by Americans belong to the wealthiest 10 percent of households. And that includes everyone’s stakes in pension plans, 401(k)’s and individual retirement accounts, as well as trust funds, mutual funds and college savings programs like 529 plans. “For the vast majority of Americans, fluctuations in the stock market have relatively little effect on their wealth, or well-being, for that matter,” said Edward N. Wolff, an economist at New York University who recently published new research on the topic. Both Republicans and Democrats have promoted the idea that a rising stock market broadly lifts Americans’ fortunes. When there was a parade of market rallies, President Trump asked, “How’s your 401(k) doing?”)


— Dozens at White House lack permanent security clearances – Josh Dawsey, Matt Zapotosky and Devlin Barrett


— Journalists are fleeing for their lives in Mexico. There are few havens – Kate Linthicum


— Forget the 4% Rule: Rethinking Common Retirement Beliefs Three retirement-savings rules come into question as stocks and bonds get more expensive and retirements last longer – Anne Tergesen (DIERSEN: 10 times my 1997 GAO salary in today’s dollars is $1,253,250.)
(FROM THE ARTICLE: The 4% rule Conventional wisdom says you can withdraw 4% from your savings in the first year of retirement and give yourself an annual raise over the next 30 years to keep pace with inflation without a significant risk of going broke. For someone with a $1 million portfolio, the formula produces an initial income of $40,000 and—assuming inflation of 2.5%—an increase to $41,000 in year two. But in recent years, the rule’s safety has been questioned. While 4% would have worked over every 30-year retirement from 1926 on for an investor with 60% in large-company stocks and 40% in intermediate-term U.S. bonds, it failed in almost half of the simulations researchers recently ran using forecasts of future, rather than past, returns. As a result, “3% is the new safe withdrawal rate,” says Wade Pfau, a professor at the American College of Financial Services in Bryn Mawr, Pa., who ran the numbers with Mr. Blanchett and Michael Finke, also of the American College. . .Finding your ‘number’ This rule calls for amassing a specific dollar amount, such as 10 times your current salary, before retiring. But that can be dangerous, Mr. Blanchett says.)
— Brazil’s Largest Newspaper to Cease Posting on Facebook Move follows the social-media company’s decision to overhaul its news feed – Paul Kiernan
— A War on the Rich Won’t Help the Poor – David R. Henderson


— As Paul Ryan turns to Democrats for votes, conservatives fume over budget deal – Eliza Collins
— Drugs, alcohol and suicides contribute to alarming drop in U.S. life expectancy – Doyle Rice
— ‘Hire the best and fire the worst’: Trump proposes biggest civil service change in 40 years – Gregory Korte (DIERSEN: Because I have always been a Republican, were it not for federal civil service protections, a) the Post Office would NOT have hired me in 1966 or let me work there for almost 3 years, b) IRS would NOT have hired me in 1971 or let me work there for almost 9 years, c) IRS would NOT have promoted me in 1972, 1973, or 1974, d) GAO would NOT have hired me in 1980 or let me work there for almost 18 years, and e) GAO would NOT have promoted me in 1986.)
(FROM THE ARTICLE: Trump foreshadowed the proposal in a line in his State of the Union address last week: “Tonight, I call on Congress to empower every Cabinet Secretary with the authority to reward good workers and to remove federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people,” he said. Trump is using the VA Accountability Act, which gave the Secretary of Veterans Affairs greater authority to fire and discipline workers, as a model. The White House says that law has resulted in the dismissal of 1,470 employees, the suspension of 443, demotions for 83 others last year. “While to some people those are code wards, they’re very clear to us,” said American Federation of Government Employees President J. David Cox, who represents about 700,000 workers for the federal government and District of Columbia. “Basically it wipes out due process rights for employees.” Another pillar of the proposal would reduce automatic pay increases and instead use that money for a performance bonus pool. Under the current system, federal employees get a review every one to three years. Employees whose performance is “fully successful” — as 99.7% are — get a within-grade “step” increase in addition to annual cost-of-living increases. Trump’s plan would stretch out the amount of time it takes to go from step 1 to step 10 from 18 years to 27 years, saving $10 billion over the next decade, officials said. That money would then go to high-performing employees either as merit raises or one-time bonuses. Federal employee unions fear the pay-per-performance plan would be used to reward loyalists and discriminate against women and minorities. “He seems to be interested in political revenge by firing people,” Cox said. “The government is not a family business that you get to be in total control of.” Some of Trump’s proposals can be done administratively, and others would take congressional action. Trump’s efforts to wrangle the bureaucracy fulfill a key campaign promise of the businessman president, who pledged a hiring freeze to shrink the cost of government and reduce regulation.)


— CNN let that Nazi GOP candidate spew his hate on live TV Both the state and national Republican Parties have denounced Arthur Jones. Yet CNN gave him a platform – Rachel Leah (DIERSEN: Of course, CNN is using Arthur Jones to harm Trump, to harm the Republican Party, to harm the Illinois Republican Party, and to harm all Republicans. CNN is an arm of the Democrat Party.)

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.