CPAC Chicago, Part 4: Joe Walsh, Randy Hultgren, Straw Poll Results

-By Warner Todd Huston

Finally, in part four we’ll hear from two solid Illinois Congressmen, the 8th District’s Joe Walsh and Randy Hultgren of the 14th. We’ll also hear the, perhaps not startling results of the straw poll, the most important question from which was who Romney should pick for his vice presidential candidate (hint, the top picks weren’t any of his one-time rivals for the nomination).

Congressman Joe Walsh

Rep. Joe Walsh gins up the crowd

Joe Walsh of the Illinois 8th District is the one Congressman that the left wants to eliminate more than any other Republican Congressman. This is because Joe has carved out from among his fellows an outsized voice for conservatism. He appears regularly on TV and radio to tout the conservative message. But he’s become a major target of Democrat redistricting and now faces a tough challenge to be reelected in his newly reconfigured 8th District. Me, I think he can easily beat the know-nothing candidate the Democrats have put up against him, but Joe is taking nothing for granted.

One thing is sure, though, Joe Walsh knows how to get a conservative audience in motion.
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CPAC Chicago, Part 4: Joe Walsh, Randy Hultgren, Straw Poll Results”

CPAC Chicago, Part 3: Bobby Jindal, Peter Roskam, Michele Bachman

-By Warner Todd Huston

In part three of our series we’ll take a look at the speeches of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Illinois Congressman Peter Roskam, and Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. Bachmann’s speech was quite interesting for its singular focus on a particular jihad-supporting Muslim group that is operating in America today. Bachmann was vehement that Obama ban this group.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

Gov. Bobby Jindal on the main stage

Jindal is another favorite of the greater conservative movement. He has a very compelling story of immigrant parents that came to America to become part of this great nation to finally see their little son become the most powerful man in their adopted state. It’s the perfect American story, for sure.

Speaking of stories, Jindal has a lot of them especially where it concerns his involvement in the BP Oil spill from 2010. I’ve seen Jindal relate this tale several times and it is always a good one. His description of how the federal government was more interested in observing its silly OSHA than deal quickly with the emergency before them was telling and hilarious — though ultimately sad and infuriating. Since this is standard stump speech stuff of Jindal’s, though, I did not Tweet that segment.

Like the others Jindal started praising the Walker win in Wisconsin. One of his funniest lines was that all the news people were proclaiming that the vote would be so close that it would be a long night for Wisconsin as they tallied the votes. But reality proved that the whole thing was over in a matter of hours with Walker’s landslide. Instead of it being a long night for Wisconsin, Jindal joked that it was instead a “long night at Obama headquarters in Chicago!”
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CPAC Chicago, Part 3: Bobby Jindal, Peter Roskam, Michele Bachman”

CPAC Chicago, Part 2: Richard Mourdock, Chris Christie, Herman Cain

-By Warner Todd Huston

In part two of my coverage of CPACs first Midwestern conference event, we will see some of the high spots of the floor speeches of Indiana Senate Candidate Richard Mourdock, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie – always a crowd favorite – and the redoubtable Herman Cain. Cain also visited the media room and I have video of that below the fold.

Indiana Senate Candidate Richard Mourdock

Richard Mourdock is the current Indiana State treasurer but he also just defeated long-time incumbent Senator Richard Lugar for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate from Indiana. He’ll face the Democrat come November. Mourdock has been widely touted as the insurgent Tea Party candidate that beat Lugar, the old line, establishment man.

“No one expected a lowly state treasurer could take out a 36-year Senator! But we DID,” Mourdock said triumphantly.

Mourdock also noted that Senator Chuck Schumer of New York has called him the “Hoosier headache.” Mourdock was rather proud of that appellation.
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CPAC Chicago, Part 2: Richard Mourdock, Chris Christie, Herman Cain”

Illinois Values Voters Forum: Rep. Joe Walsh, State Rep. Morrison, More

-By Warner Todd Huston

On Saturday morning, Dec. 3, I attended an event put on in Carpentersville, Illinois by Allen Skillcorn. The Illinois Value Voters Forum was billed as a forum on social issues, but it was also a great opportunity to have a nice friendly chat with several Illinois politicians on a variety of issues, not just those “values” issues we generally associate with social conservatism.

Results of Straw Poll Below the Fold

The Panel

Panelists included 8th District Congressman Joe Walsh, 54th District State Representative Tom Morrison, former State Rep Penny Pullen (currently of the Life Advocacy Research Project), and Bruno Behrend who was on hand to represent Adam Andrzejewski’s Open The Books Portal Project, a website where you can learn how much your public officials are making off the taxpayers. Along with the panel above, quite a few local officials and candidates in the hunt for the GOP nomination in their district also came out to meet and greet attendees.

Allen Skillcorn introducing Rep. Joe Walsh

Rep. Joe Walsh and Bruno Behrend

The first question posed by moderator Skillcorn was “when does life begin,” a common enough question for the values crowd. Ever the rebel, Congressman Walsh went on a ten-minute discussion on why we need to change Congress to GOP control and why we need to send “the right kind of Republicans” to Washington. But, after the stump speech, he did answer the question: “at conception,” of course.

The rest of the panel generally agreed with that, but I’d like to dwell a bit on Walsh’s stump speech. He reminded us of the fiscal disaster that this nation faces and he said that we should not forget that “the Republican Party helped us get here and we have to say that forcefully and respectfully.”

But Walsh saw a “revolution” stirring with the Tea Party and the 2010 midterm vote, one that has “only just started.”
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Illinois Values Voters Forum: Rep. Joe Walsh, State Rep. Morrison, More”

At Heartland’s Celebration of Milton Friedman’s 99th Birthday

-By Warner Todd Huston

Last week I attended a great talk given by University of Chicago economics professor Allen Sanderson in celebration of economics giant Milton Friedman’s 99th birthday. The talk was sponsored by the Chicago-based Heartland Institute.

We are humbled by the fact that in his life and long career at the University of Chicago, Friedman declared himself a friend and fan of our organization, calling us “a highly effective libertarian institute.” Today’s luncheon address was delivered by University of Chicago economics professor Allen Sanderson, who was a colleague of one of the brightest minds of the 20th century. We’ll have video of Sanderson’s entertaining and enlightening presentation up on our website next week.

Professor Sanderson was a colleague and friend of the great economist and related several funny and interesting stories about his days with the Friedman’s.

The Free Lunch Myth

Reason Magazine Celebrates Friedman

Ronald Reagan on Milton Friedman

Visit The Heartland Institute for more interesting and edifying videos and information.
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At Heartland’s Celebration of Milton Friedman’s 99th Birthday”

Clandestine Cause of Global Warming

-By Kevin Roeten

Natural cycles ALWAYS change climate. One of the biggest cycles is the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). It shifts from warm to cold every 20-30 years, or on an inter-decadal time scale. This is directly related to sea surface temperature. The PDO’s temperature variance over more than 100 years can be viewed in the graph below. A common thread to PDO and climate is unmistakable. Both graphs below are from Wikipedia.

Observed monthly values for the PDO (1900–2010).

Both graphs below are from Wikipedia.


Even though the Atlantic is a significantly smaller body of water than the Pacific, it has similar effects on climate. It has what is typically known as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). It has a quasi-cycle of warm to cold every ~70 years. Both the PDO and AMO are directly affected by other natural cycles.
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Clandestine Cause of Global Warming”

My Latest for School Reform News: 2011 Looks Good for Reformers

-By Dan Proft

In political terms 2010 may have been the year of the Tea Party movement, but in policy terms it was the year of school choice. And with courageous reformers at the helm of several states, 2011 could be even better.

Last year, school choice moved beyond the think tanks and policy journals and squarely into popular culture.

The first annual National School Choice Week in late January was a fitting recognition that the issue has been successfully entered the zeitgeist even as education remains mainly (and appropriately) a state and local issue.
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My Latest for School Reform News: 2011 Looks Good for Reformers”

Teachers Union Prez Lewis With Heartland Institute’s Behrend on Chicago’s Fox

-By Warner Todd Huston

Illinois state government is discussing ideas of education reform and it is assumed that a vote on a plan of one kind or another might occur in the state capitol in Springfield as early as January. Fox Chicago had Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis and the Heartland Institute’s Bruno Behrend on the show to discuss the issue. (Dec. 17, 2010)

FOX Chicago Sunday: Karen Lewis & Bruno Behrend:

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Teachers Union Prez Lewis With Heartland Institute’s Behrend on Chicago’s Fox”

My Nominee for Pay Czar: David Stern

-By Dan Proft, for the Illinois Policy Institute

I do not think government functionaries should set private sector salaries or that U.S. policymakers should be adorned with the appellation properly reserved for Russian autocrats.

But, if I did not believe in free markets and free minds, NBA Commissioner David Stern would be my choice for “Pay Czar.”

Stern is in the midst of a negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for the four hundred some odd millionaires in the NBA. Stern’s position is that the league needs to reduce player salaries by one third (some $750 million) and consider contraction, which would close down a franchise or two in order for the NBA to be a self-sustaining business model.
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My Nominee for Pay Czar: David Stern”

Heartland Institute: A Night With P.J. O’Rourke

-By Warner Todd Huston

On Oct. 20 I had the please of sitting in an intimate audience in downtown Chicago, Illinois invited to listen to one of America’s great wits, P.J. O’Rourke and what a fun night it was. The evening was sponsored by Chicago’s Heartland Institute, a free market policy group.

O’Rourke’s latest book is titled Don’t Vote It Just Encourages the Bastards. I was lucky enough to get my copy signed by the author that evening.

Don’t Vote is a brilliant, disturbing, hilarious, and ultimately sobering look at why politics and politicians are a necessary evil – but only just barely necessary.
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Heartland Institute: A Night With P.J. O’Rourke”

Obama Failed the ‘Education Nation’ Test

-By Dan Proft, for The Heartland Institute

NBC dedicated a week of programming at the end of September to spotlighting the good, the bad, and the ugly of K-12 education in America under the rubric “Education Nation.”

Part of NBC’s “curriculum” included an interview with President Obama by Today Show host Matt Lauer. The president inadvertently offered an insight into why calling America the “education nation” is like calling a diminutive person “stretch.”
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Obama Failed the ‘Education Nation’ Test”

Heartland Institute’s 26th Anniversary Benefit Dinner

-By Warner Todd Huston

Last night I had the pleasure to attend the 26th anniversary dinner for the Chicago-based Heartland Institute held in the resplendent Grand Ball Room of the Hilton Hotel in downtown Chicago.

The Heartland Institute is one of the premiere think tanks in the country and has some great resources on the fallacies of Global Warming, free markets, healthcare, technology, taxes and education among others. If you are a blogger Heartland’s work on all sorts of conservative issues is a gold mine of information that can help you intelligently elucidate your points. If you are just an interested citizen, you should also check out Heartland’s great work. And the legislative work the institute has done these many years has been highly important for the conservative, free market side of the aisle. Please do check out Heartland’s extensive website and do donate if you can to help keep it all going.

In any case, the night started with some socializing, a well stocked open bar, and the opportunity to bid on all sorts of interesting auction items.

During the socializing I had the opportunity to talk to Steve Kim, the Republican candidate for Illinois Attorney General and Ed Rutledge the candidate for Lt. Governor from the Libertarian Party.
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Heartland Institute’s 26th Anniversary Benefit Dinner”

Teacher Quality Focus of ‘Rhee-form’ for DC Schools

From Dan Proft for the Heartland Institute…

Programming Note: Join Bruce Wolf and me every Saturday from 12noon-2pm on WLS-AM 890 ( for our perspicacious perspectives on the pressing issues of the day.

Teacher Quality Focus of ‘Rhee-form’ for DC Schools

Washington, DC public schools have an acute problem with juvenile delinquency.

Trouble is, the problem isn’t with the students but rather the supposed grown-ups in charge of the Washington Teachers Union (WTU).

Once thought to be an unlikely laboratory for school reform, the District’s success with school vouchers, begrudgingly recognized even by the Obama administration, its high incidence of children attending charter schools (35 percent) and its outspoken Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee have made Washington, DC a bellwether for K-12 reform.

But none of these gains have come without incident. And the latest battle between Rhee and the WTU over the firing of bad teachers is no exception.
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Teacher Quality Focus of ‘Rhee-form’ for DC Schools”

Heartland Institute’s Bruno Behrend On WLS Radio Tonight, 6PM Central

Bruno Behrend – Heartland’s Director for the Center for School Reform, liberal Robert Creamer and Tea Party activist Tim Krulidis will be the guests on Bruce DuMont’s Beyond the Beltway. A wide range of issues relating to America’s deficit, taxation, and spending will be discussed.

Sunday, August 1st, 2010 at 6:00 PM CST
WLS Radio – 890 AM in Chicago (see link below for syndicated stations)

If you want to enjoy a great radio show with one of America’s best show hosts, you can’t do better than taking 2 hours to listen to Bruce DuMont’s “Beyond the Beltway.”
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Heartland Institute’s Bruno Behrend On WLS Radio Tonight, 6PM Central”

Heartland Institute Luncheon: This Recession Caused By Over-Regulation Not Market Failure

-By Warner Todd Huston

I just returned from a nice little luncheon given by the Heartland Institute ( in beautiful downtown Chicago, Illinois. The purpose of the gathering of free-market supporters and like-minded individuals was to celebrate the life’s work of famed economist and Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman.

The principal speaker was Richard H. Timberlake*, student and friend of the celebrated economist and an accomplished free-market economist in his own right.

I’ve done several such events for some of the conservative think tanks and state policy groups in the Windy City and I enjoy these events in Chicago because I always get the uneasy feeling that our little conclave of right-thinking fellows well met is the last vestige of civilization and that we are putting on the timbers to secure the gates as the barbarians mount their attack. The barbarians of which I speak are, of course, the city full of Democrats and socialists that looms on all sides surrounding our little events.
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Heartland Institute Luncheon: This Recession Caused By Over-Regulation Not Market Failure”