January 3 Evening Edition

— Trump unloads on ex-strategist Steve Bannon: ‘He lost his mind’ – CNN


— Hastert Accuser Seeks to Reinstate Case – Phil Rogers
— Doug Jones Becomes Only Democratic Senator With a Black Chief of Staff Dana Gresham served for eight years as assistant secretary for governmental affairs at the Department of Transportation during the Obama administration – Liz Lane


— Chris Kennedy accuses Emanuel of plan to force out black Chicagoans – TAHMAN BRADLEY


— Kennedy accuses Emanuel of ‘strategic gentrification plan’ to force blacks out of Chicago – Rick Pearson (DIERSEN: One could argue that Emanuel wants to force more than just Blacks out of Chicago. Emanuel talks and acts like he wants to force out of Chicago individuals, organizations, and companies that are 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.)
— Trump slams Bannon: ‘When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind’ – Alex Wayne, Jennifer Jacobs
— Bonus or no, don’t get your hopes up for a raise – Rebecca Greenfield (DIERSEN: What raises have you gotten? My salary increased every year that I worked for the federal government 1966-1969 and 1971-1997 because of COLAs, step increases, and/or promotions except 1980 when I took a $19,203 (26%) pay cut in today’s dollars to transfer from IRS to GAO. In my defense, 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.)
— Will County plans to demolish old courthouse – Susan DeMar Lafferty
— DIERSEN HEADLINE: Pot promoters promote pot. If you promote pot, you promote destruction.
— 2017 was bad, but 2018 could be much worse – Steve Chapman
— DIERSEN HEADLINE: An anti-Trump says “Trump doesn’t have some master plan. He’s just angry and impulsive.”


— Kennedy contends Rahm behind plan to push blacks out of city – Mark Brown
— Army vet’s fight to avoid deportation lands in federal appeals court – Ashlee Rezin
(FROM THE ARTICLE: Her son served two tours in Afghanistan, but now faces deportation for a drug conviction. . .He had spent seven years behind bars for delivering cocaine. His family and supporters blame the error in judgement on head injuries and PTSD resulting from his time in the military that went untreated until Perez Jr. finally received medical attention behind bars.)
— Trump sinks to a new low in 2018, and the world shudders – Editorial
— Garry McCarthy inches closer to challenging Rahm Emanuel – Fran Spielman
— Sessions sends Illinois four more federal prosecutors to focus on violent crime – Matthew Hendrickson


— Trump: Bannon ‘lost his mind’ after leaving White House – Bloombrerg
— College of DuPage helps students navigate toward success – Ann Rondeau


— Taxpayers give $36M to scholarships on 1st day of new credit – AP (DIERSEN: My outstanding parents saved Crete-Monee School District 201-U (http://www.cm201u.org/) lots of money during the 1950s and 1960s by sending my brother and me to Trinity Lutheran Grade School in Crete and then to Hope Lutheran Grade School in Park Forest to stay with the Missouri Synod.)


— Right wing targets Medicare, Social Security – Bill Knight (DIERSEN: Of course, my critics/opponents, their operatives, and their dupes are furious that I have gotten Medicare since 2013 and Social Security since 2010. Medicare costs me $1,308 a year. My $2,064/year Social Security is dramatically reduced because I get a Civil Service Retirement System pension.)


— Police seek suspects in string of gambling machine burglaries; company offers reward – DANA RIECK


— Davis Defends Trump’s ‘Strong Stance’ in North Korea Nuclear Button Tweet – RYAN DENHAM


— Rauner Vows to Roll Back “Madigan Tax Hike”


— Ives Responds To California Becoming A Sanctuary State


— Balich sees high taxes as fueling exodus from ‘broke state’ – Angela Underwood


— Ives pledges to repeal “extreme and dangerous” Trust Act
— Mayor Emanuel, CPD Supt. Johnson respond *** Kennedy claims a “strategic gentrification plan” is deliberately forcing people of color to leave Chicago
— Rauner makes some budget promises
— Rauner foundation donates $100K to Cairo Port project, but lots more needed
— Pressed on anti-violence specifics, Kennedy says banning legislators from property tax appeals work is his top issue


— Pennsylvania State Police urge gun owners to give up firearms to get medical marijuana – Sarah Taylor (DIERSEN: Further, to buy pot, you should be required to give up your driver’s license.)


— “Morale Has Never Been Lower”: Federal Gov’t Employment Declines In First Trump Year – ED MORRISSEY (DIERSEN: While I worked for the federal government for almost 30 years, a) virtually all my superiors, supervisors, coworkers, and subordinates were Democrats and b) whenever Republican politicians did something harmful to federal employees, they took their anger out on me.)


— ‘Essentially Un-American’: Varney Calls Out Bloated Salaries of Federal Gov’t Employees – Stuart Varney (DIERSEN: Varney should acknowledge that many millions have not and will not seek a job with the federal government a) because the pay and benefits are terrible, b) because the advancement opportunities are terrible, c) because they lack required education, work experience, professional certifications, and/or professional licenses, d) because they cannot pass an employment examination, e) because they cannot pass a background investigation, f) because they cannot pass a physical examination, g) because they cannot take the demonization, denigration, and condemnation that comes with being a federal employee or federal retiree, and/or h) because they are Republican, White, male, older, and/or non-veteran and they know that the federal government discriminates against the aforesaid. I doubt that Varney or anyone who agrees with him would ever stoop to take a job with the federal government.)


— Felons welcome! Fake road signs mock California’s new status as ‘sanctuary state’
— Hillary donors paid $700K in hunt for Trump accusers
— Trump to announce awards for worst ‘fake news’ journalism (DIERSEN: It would be great if my critics/opponents would a) get together, b) review each of the almost 290,400 articles that I have included links to in GOPUSA ILLINOIS emails since 2004, c) identify all those articles that they disapprove of and explain in detail why they disapprove of each of them, d) identify all my comments in those emails that they disapprove of and explain in detail why they disapprove of each of them, and e) provide me with the aforesaid information in writing so that I could respond to it. In addition, it would be great if my critics/opponents would provide me with a written list of all those who are on their blacklists so that I could respond to that.)
— Renters Win in Tax Law; Dems Lie About It (DIERSEN: Government should encourage homeownership.)
(FROM THE ARTICLE: Renters came out winners under the new tax law. For over a century, the federal tax code catered to homeowners and treated renters like second-class citizens. Homeowners have been able to deduct interest on their mortgages and home equity loans, as well as property taxes. Meanwhile, everyone, including renters, footed the bill for these deductions by paying higher rates. The new tax law at last begins leveling the playing field between renters and homeowners. Millions of New Yorkers and Californians reap the benefits, because these states have among the lowest rates of homeownership in the nation, and renting is common. So ignore the hyperventilating from Democratic politicians that tax reform is a gift to the rich. New York Senator Chuck Schumer condemns the new tax law as “a gut shot to the middle class” while “rewarding the wealthiest among us.” Just the opposite is true. Tax reform benefits renters living in urban areas — a key Democratic constituency. Democrats are usually eager to slap taxes on millionaires. But today, they’re defending deductions that benefit only the wealthiest homeowners in the country’s most expensive East and West Coast enclaves. Places like Westchester County, New York, and Marin County, California. Under the new tax law, everyone — renters and homeowners alike — will have their tax rates cut and their standard deduction almost doubled. Most will end up paying less tax. To cover the cost of these cuts, the law caps the mortgage deduction for buyers of the priciest real estate. Few homebuyers will even notice it, because they’re not borrowing $750,000 or more. Last year, only 4 percent of homebuyers borrowed that much, and only about 100,000 buyers will take out such huge mortgages in 2018. It’s true that the cap will likely hit the wallets of the bicoastal elite. Some 64 percent of buyers in Manhattan’s rarefied real estate market took out a mortgage that big, and 58 percent of San Francisco buyers did. But the tax change certainly won’t hurt middle class first-time homebuyers. On average, they buy homes with a median price of $182,500. In the past, the tax code encouraged wealthy homeowners to buy even bigger homes and borrow more. Great for the wealthy and the banks. No much help for the average Joe. Homeownership isn’t any higher than in the late 1960s — with only 64 percent of households owning their own home. For minorities, the goal is even farther out of reach, with only 46 percent of black families and Hispanic families owning their home. So disregard the partisan claim that lowering the cap on the mortgage interest deduction is going to hurt the middle class. The other major deduction for homeowners has been property taxes. The new law puts a $10,000 lid on deducting all state and local taxes combined, whether income, sales, or property taxes. Homeowners in most of the nation don’t have much to worry about. Hardest hit are a few tony counties with multimillion dollar homes like Westchester County, New York, where the average property tax tab is a whopping $15,000. For that, the streets should be paved with gold. But only one-fifth of New York property owners pay over $10,000 and about 30 percent of New Jersey homeowners do. Schumer rants against the new tax law, claiming it hurts “middle-class and working families.” Baloney. Tax reform makes the tax code more progressive, not less. It imposes added costs on the wealthiest homeowners to fund across-the-board tax breaks for all filers. Including renters. Homeowners still have the option of taking deductions for most mortgage interest and property taxes, but almost all will crunch the numbers and find it pays to take the nearly doubled standard deduction instead. Only 5 percent of filers are expected to itemize. California’s Jerry Brown calls the tax law “evil in the extreme.” That’s demagoguery. Most taxpayers will end up with more money in their wallets. Betsy McCaughey is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and a former lieutenant governor of New York State.)


— The ‘Dreamers’ Have No Right to Demand Anything – Peter Parisi


— Not-So-Beautiful Dreamers: The Reality Behind the Media Airbrushing – Hans A. von Spakovsky


— Labor Department eyes drug test rule for unemployment pay – LYDIA WHEELER
— In the long run, low-wage workers lose out in ‘Fight for $15’ – JACK SALMON


— Trump disbands voter fraud commission


— Cuomo says New York will sue over GOP tax law – Jeff Stein (DIERSEN: Will all those across America who prepaid their real estate taxes have the opportunity to be parties in class action lawsuits?)
(FROM THE ARTICLES: Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that New York state will sue the federal government over the new Republican tax law, but legal experts are skeptical the lawsuit will hold up in court. Cuomo said New York will challenge a provision of the law that limits how much Americans can deduct from their federal taxes for payments made to state and local governments. Many of the people most affected by that provision live in states run by Democrats, which tend to have higher state and local tax rates. Cuomo, widely seen as a potential contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, said the provision is “violative of states’ rights and the principle of equal protection.”)
— Trump portrayed as uninformed, unprepared and lacking focus in unflattering new book – John Wagner
— Trump abolishes controversial commission studying voter fraud – John Wagner


— Why Steve Bannon’s revolt may only wind up strengthening establishment Republicans – NOAH ROTHMAN


— Mileage Rates Increase Slightly (DIERSEN: Of course, my critics/opponents, their operatives, and their dupes remain furious that the Post Office paid me millage when I a) used my 1966 Pontiac Tempest Sprint to deliver mail during 1966 and 1967, b) used my 1968 Oldsmobile 442 to deliver mail in 1968, and used my 1969 Dodge Charger SE to deliver mail in 1969. Of course, my critics/opponents, their operatives, and their dupes remain furious that IRS paid me mileage when I used my 1962 Chevy BelAir to collect delinquent taxes 1971-1978.)

(FROM THE ARTICLE: GSA has announced the calendar year 2018 mileage reimbursement rates for federal employees using personal vehicles while on official business and as authorized by the agency. The new rates are: for the use of a privately owned automobile, 54.5 cents per mile if no government-owned vehicle is available and 18 cents per mile if one is available; for a motorcycle, 51.5 cents per mile; for a privately owned airplane, $1.21 per mile. The so-called “POV” rate, the most closely watched, mirrors a recent increase by the IRS in a comparable rate used for certain tax deduction purposes. The GSA typically mirrors the IRS regarding that rate in setting the federal employee rate, although it is not required to.)

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.