January 1 Evening Edition

— DISGUSTING, TRAGIC: California pot shops ring in 2018, ring up first legal sales – AP


— Hastert Case Returns to Court Tuesday – Phil Rogers (DIERSEN: Needless-to-say, if you have ever done anything that subjects you to blackmail, you should not seek or hold any kind of government or political office.)
— 2018 Brings Governor’s Race, Other Big Contests in Illinois – Sara Burnett


— Trump Rings In New Year At Mar A Lago Before the clock struck midnight, the President spoke with the press about his expectations for 2018. CBS 2’s Diane King Hall reports.


— DISGUSTING, TRAGIC: A ‘monumental moment’ for fully legal marijuana in California – Patrick McGreevy
— Keeping stoners from driving cars – John O’Halloran, DeKalb
(FROM THE LETTER: As a commercial driver, I don’t want to share the road with pot heads. But I do support legalization of marijuana in Illinois. The state legislature should pass a law that says a citizen who chooses to purchase marijuana may be issued a special drug-use license, but will first have to surrender their driver’s license. You can use drugs. Or you can drive. But you can’t do both safely.)


— How to make regular folks’ $50 donations count in elections – Editorial (DIERSEN: Should I write a book about “Republican” candidates who hint/imply/argue/shout that unless I give them lots of money, a) they do not want me to know about their fundraisers, b) they do not want me to promote their fundraisers, c) they do not want me to attend their fundraisers, and d) they do not want me to report on their fundraisers? They hint/imply/argue/shout that I fraudulently claim to be a member of the news media to get information to intentionally/unintentionally use to harm them. They blame me for their problems. They blame me for your problems. They blame me for my problems. They blame me for everyone’s problems. They blame me for all the losses that Republicans have suffered in Illinois since 2000.)
— Remember, rekindle the spirit of Emancipation Proclamation – Jesse Jackson (DIERSEN: When did your ancestors immigrate to America? What do you say to those who hint/imply/argue/shout that if you are an old White male Republican, the longer that your ancestors have been in America, a) the more that you have benefited from their discrimination against minorities and against women and b) the more that you should pay the price of Affirmative Action, Diversity, and Inclusion?)


— Armed with new data, officials target ‘drug-dealing’ doctors – AP


— 2018 Brings Governor’s Race, Other Big Contests in Illinois The new year will be one of big decisions in Illinois. – SARA BURNETT
(FROM THE ARTICLE: All statewide offices will be on the ballot on Nov. 8, but no contest will be as fevered — or costly — as the governor’s race. Democratic candidates including billionaire J.B. Pritzker, wealthy businessman Chris Kennedy and state Sen. Daniel Biss are seeking their party’s nomination in the March 20 primary, when Rauner also faces a GOP primary challenge from conservative state Rep. Jeanne Ives. Already, the candidates are raising and spending money at a pace that could make this the most expensive governor’s race in U.S. history. Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s unexpected announcement that she won’t seek a fifth term created a crowded Democratic primary for that office. Some congressional races also will be closely watched. Several Democrats are vying for the seat held by U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Chicago, who’s retiring. And Republican Congressman Peter Roskam will try to hold his seat representing suburban Chicago, a district Democrats are eyeing as one of the party’s best chances to gain a seat in the U.S. House after voters there supported Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in 2016.)
— Police seize $5 million in pot at Morgan Co. truck stop (DIERSEN: If the Democrats legalize pot for recreational use in Illinois, what percent of those in your precinct, in your municipality, in your township/ward, in your county, and in Illinois will become stoners, that is, what percent will become wards of the state?)


— DISGUSTING, TRAGIC: Legal Recreational Marijuana Sales Begin In California


— DISGUSTING, TRAGIC: Californians line up to legally buy recreational pot Seen as another milestone of mainstreaming weed – THERESA WALDROP


— Help make your Government accountable in 2018! – KIRK ALLEN


— DEMOCRAT-CONTROLLED LEGISLATURE MAKES ILLINOIS FIRST IN BANNING LIVE ELEPHANT SHOWS (DIERSEN: The elephant is the symbol of the Republican Party. In 2007, I had the honor of raising $2,000 from DuPage Republicans on short notice to sponsor an elephant that walked behind Congressman Peter Roskam in Wheaton’s Independence Day parade. Outstandingly, Roger Claar contributed $500 of that $2,000. SEE: http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2007/07/photos-from-the.html)


— Blue States Look to Blunt Tax Law by Legal Challenges – Jeff Rodack (DIERSEN: Did you prepay your real estate taxes? Will the Democrats try to get all those who prepaid their real estate taxes to join in a class action lawsuit against the Republicans? What percent of those who prepaid their real estate taxes are Democrats and what percent are Republicans?)


— Obama worried about rollback of his so-called ‘legacy’ (DIERSEN: Obama condemned my 1996 Ford Thunderbird LX V-8 as being a clunker. SEE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car_Allowance_Rebate_System Will Trump pardon my 1996 Ford Thunderbird LX V-8? It gets 24 MPG on the highway.)
— Bloody Chicago: It took 2 hours to record city’s first homicide of 2018
— Chain migration concerns grow as millions enter US with legal status
— Fighting for religious liberty proving costly for average Americans (DIERSEN: Ever-increasingly, individuals, organizations, companies, governments, and countries that are members of the following groups force individuals, organizations, companies, governments, and countries to promote LGBTQ activity: 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.)


— Hillary Clinton backer paid $500G to fund women accusing Trump of sexual misconduct before Election Day, report says – Robert Gearty


— California Ushers in 2018 with Ammunition Control – AWR HAWKINS
— Weak 17: A Frozen Wasteland of Empty Seats on the Final Week of the NFL Year – WARNER TODD HUSTON


— Republicans and Democrats open 2018 by arguing over how much to grow the size of government – Leon Wolf


— Trump Really Is Draining The Swamp – ROBERT DONACHIE (DIERSEN: One could say that Trump supporters promote hatred of past, present, and future federal employees. How should past, present, and future federal employees react to that?)
(FROM THE ARTICLE: The federal workforce grew sizably under both former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, ballooning from roughly 1.8 million employees in 2000 to 2.14 million at the height of Obama’s presidency. Trump’s administration is moving at a historically slow pace in filling political positions at federal agencies, whether it be part of his “draining the swamp” promise or a slow movement on the part of the Senate is unclear. The Senate has only confirmed 240 of the over 600 political appointments that are supposed to help carry out the administration’s agenda.)


— Most key federal agencies have cut staff under Trump: report – JULIA MANCHESTER (DIERSEN: Democrats run the federal government. They use budget cuts to get rid of their employees who are Republican, White, male, and/or non-veteran who did 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.)


— Winners and losers from 2017, the year in politics – Aaron Blake (DIERSEN: One could argue that those who have itemized their deductions are losers, and especially those who pay lots of mortgage interest, real estate taxes, state income taxes, medical and dental expenses, 501(c)(3) contributions, and/or job-related education.)


— Congress’s Gift to Blue-State Taxpayers Limiting the SALT deduction will enforce fiscal discipline. – Alfredo Ortiz (DIERSEN: Those who dominate Illinois talk and/or act like they want to drive out of Illinois those who itemize their deductions. Most commonly, those who itemize their deductions spend lots of money on mortgage interest, real estate tax, state income tax, medical and dental expenses, contributions to 501(c)(3) organizations, and/or job-related education.)
(FROM THE ARTICLE: The great American migration out of high-tax states like New York and Illinois may be about to accelerate. The tax reform enacted last month caps the deduction for state and local taxes, known as SALT, at $10,000. This means millions of people will finally feel the full tax burden imposed by state and local politicians. When the SALT shield shrinks, so may people’s willingness to put up with these high taxes. Such states already are losing population, and new Census Bureau data—released the same day tax reform passed the House and Senate—shows the continued migration. Of the seven states that grew the fastest between July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017, four (Nevada, Washington, Florida and Texas) have no income tax, and the other three (Idaho, Utah and Arizona) have low taxes. On the flip side, high-tax states like New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois and Rhode Island either lost residents or stagnated. Pennsylvania quietly became the fifth-most-populous state in the nation, displacing Illinois. When people move, they take their money with them. The five high-tax states listed above have lost more than $200 billion of combined adjusted gross income since 1992, according to the website HowMoneyWalks.com, which aggregates IRS data. In contrast, Nevada, Washington, Florida and Texas gained roughly the same amount. If politicians in high-tax states want to prevent this migration from becoming a stampede, they will have to deliver fiscal discipline.)
— What New Tax Law? Caterpillar Fights to Protect Its Swiss-Made Profits American manufacturing icon pays little on parts sales outside U.S., so the IRS wants $2 billion – Andrew Tangel and Michael Rapoport
— California Poses Problem for GOP as 2018 Dawns Party policies ranging from taxes to immigration cast a shadow over midterm prospects – Gerald F. Seib
— In Cities With Low Unemployment, Wages Finally Start to Get Bigger Ending an economic riddle, pay is moving higher and could point to improved incomes nationally in 2018 – Shayndi Raice and Eric Morath (DIERSEN: Overwhelmingly, my critics/opponents want cheap labor.)


— Trump rings in new year at glitzy Mar-a-Lago party, predicts ‘fantastic 2018’ – AP
— Retirement planning: Here’s how much money you should have saved at every age – Kathleen Elkins (DIERSEN: How much had you saved for your retirement when you were 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, and 65. I was 65 in 2013. In today’s dollars, my salary in 1997 when I was 49 years old was $122,991. Eight times $122,991 is $983,928.)
(FROM THE ARTICLE: In your 20s: Aim to save 25% of your overall gross pay, Greene tells CNBC. “That 25% is the combination of 401(k) withholdings, matching funds from your employer and any cash savings that you have,” she notes. “It can also include debt repayment. “Just make sure your lifestyle expenses don’t exceed 75% of your gross income.” By age 30: Have the equivalent of your annual salary saved, Greene says. If you earn $50,000 a year, aim to have $50,000 in savings when you hit 30. Again, this includes any retirement account contributions, matching funds from your company, cash savings, or money you have invested elsewhere, in index funds or robo-advisers. By age 35: Have twice your annual salary saved. By age 40: Have three times your annual salary saved. By age 45: Have four times your annual salary saved. By age 50: Have five times your annual salary saved. By age 55: Have six times your annual salary saved. By age 60: Have seven times your annual salary saved. By age 65: Have eight times your annual salary saved.)


— Financial advisor suggests couples try to live like a retired person before retiring – Debra Kaszubski (DIERSEN: My Civil Service Retirement System pension is only 41% of my ending salary in today’s dollars.)

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.