TAX DAY RALLY

An Easter Message from President Reagan

As we head into a sacred weekend for many Americans, The Foundry would like to share these inspiring words with you. Have a wonderful celebration. (This was taken from the Heritage page)

Excerpts from President Ronald Reagan’s Radio Address to the Nation on the Observance of Easter and Passover, April 2, 1983

My fellow Americans:

This week as American families draw together in worship, we join with millions upon millions of others around the world also celebrating the traditions of their faiths. During these days, at least, regardless of nationality, religion, or race, we are united by faith in God, and the barriers between us seem less significant.

Observing the rites of Passover and Easter, we’re linked in time to the ancient origins of our values and to the unborn generations who will still celebrate them long after we’re gone. As Paul explained in his Epistle to the Ephesians, “He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. So then you were no longer strangers and aliens, but you were fellow citizens of God’s household.”

This is a time of hope and peace, when our spirits are filled and lifted. It’s a time when we give thanks for our blessings—chief among them, freedom, peace, and the promise of eternal life.

This week Jewish families and friends have been celebrating Passover, a tradition rich in symbolism and meaning. Its observance reminds all of us that the struggle for freedom and the battle against oppression waged by Jews since ancient times is one shared by people everywhere. And Christians have been commemorating the last momentous days leading to the crucifixion of Jesus 1,950 years ago. Tomorrow, as morning spreads around the planet, we’ll celebrate the triumph of life over death, the Resurrection of Jesus. Both observances tell of sacrifice and pain but also of hope and triumph.

As we look around us today, we still find human pain and suffering, but we also see it answered with individual courage and spirit, strengthened by faith.

***

Recently, an East German professor, his wife, and two daughters climbed into a 7-foot rowboat and crossed the freezing, wind-whipped Baltic to escape from tyranny. Arriving in West Germany after a harrowing 7-hour, 31-mile journey past East German border patrols, the man said he and his family had risked everything so that the children would have the chance to grow up in freedom.

***

In this Easter season when so many of our young men and women in the Armed Forces are stationed so very far from their homes, I can’t resist recounting at least one example of their sacrifice and heroism. Every day I receive reports that would make you very proud, and today I’d like to share just one with you.

While the San Diego-based U.S.S. Hoel was steaming toward Melbourne, Australia, on Ash Wednesday, its crew heard of terrible brush fires sweeping two Australian States. More than 70 people were killed and the destruction was great. Well, the crew of this American ship raised $4,000 from their pockets to help, but they felt that it wasn’t enough. So, leaving only a skeleton crew aboard, the 100 American sailors gave up a day’s shore leave, rolled up their sleeves, and set to work rebuilding a ruined community on the opposite end of the Earth. Just Americans being Americans, but something for all of us to be proud of.

Stories like these—of men and women around the world who love God and freedom-bear a message of world hope and brotherhood like the rites of Passover and Easter that we celebrate this weekend.

A grade school class in Somerville, Massachusetts, recently wrote me to say, “We studied about countries and found out that each country in our world is beautiful and that we need each other. People may look a little different, but we’re still people who need the same things.” They said, “We want peace. We want to take care of one another. We want to be able to get along with one another. We want to be able to share. We want freedom and justice. We want to be friends. We want no wars. We want to be able to talk to one another. We want to be able to travel around the world without fear.”

And then they asked, “Do you think that we can have these things one day?” Well, I do. I really do. Nearly 2,000 years after the coming of the Prince of Peace, such simple wishes may still seem far from fulfillment. But we can achieve them. We must never stop trying.

The generation of Americans now growing up in schools across our country can make sure the United States will remain a force for good, the champion of peace and freedom, as their parents and grandparents before them have done. And if we live our lives and dedicate our country to truth, to love, and to God, we will be a part of something much stronger and much more enduring than any negative power here on Earth. That’s why this weekend is a celebration and why there is hope for us all.

Thanks for listening, and God bless you.

INFORMATION CENTRAL: Washington Power Sceme

“I see lobbying,” Tony Podesta has said, “as getting information in the hands of people who are making decisions so they can make more informed decisions.” We see it as how obscene wealth can be amassed through rent-seeking and influence-peddling in Washington D.C., and of the hoary means by which the princelings of the capital and their consorts maintain and grow that wealth. This is the story of the power of lobbying, of how one family maneuvered to the center of the nation’s dominant political party, of the transactional relationships, gargantuan self-regard, and empty posturing that insulates, asbestos-like, the D.C. bubble.

Tony Podesta is no ordinary man. A longtime Democratic aide, a counselor to Teddy Kennedy, Tony has been one of the capital’s most powerful lobbyists for some time. The lobbying firm he had established in 1987 was powerfully connected. His younger brother, John, was President Clinton’s chief of staff. Tony Podesta owned art and wine and real estate in Italy, in Australia, in northern Virginia, and in D.C. He was a major Democratic donor, a force to be reckoned with, and a cut-up, a character who wore loud neckties and red Prada shoes. “The Pope wears Prada,” he is known to say, “and so do I”; married to Heather Miller Podesta. She emulated her spouse, developing, in the words of the Washington Post, “a penchant for flamboyantly patterned dresses.”

She joined the company, began lobbying. She picked up Tony’s art habit, and together they amassed a collection of more than 1,300 pieces. She set to work, renovating their six bedrooms, six-and-a-half bathroom home in Northwest D.C. off of Massachusetts Avenue, overlooking the Rock Creek Parkway. She wanted, “to create a uniquely beautiful architectural space for the dual purposes of having a wonderful home in which to live and promote their shared interests, both professional and personal.” The renovation took three years and cost millions of dollars. The “marital residence,” where they promoted their shared interests in holding parties and fundraisers for Democratic politicians, and housed immense wine and art collections, is estimated to be worth some $5.6 million. Concerned about income inequality? The Podestas are the One Percent.

They would visit their apartment in Venice, Italy, up to a dozen times a year, hosting Janet Napolitano, entertaining passersby such as Reps. Shelley Berkley and Eliot Engel, “even,” the Post once breathlessly intoned, “Teddy Kennedy.” They’d open their homes to tours, so people could enjoy the art, could witness the spectacle of their wealth.

In 2007 Podesta Matoon became the Podesta Group. Heather formed Heather Podesta + Partners, establishing two prongs of the Podesta family empire. The third prong was the Center for American Progress, founded in 2003 by John Podesta, who would oversee President Obama’s transition team in 2009, and join the Obama administration as a senior adviser in 2014. The Podestas had become the most important non-elected family in the Democratic Party.

In 2009, with the inauguration of Obama and the dawn of unified and unfettered Democratic control of Washington, business boomed. Revenues at Tony’s firm close to doubled, and revenues at Heather’s firm increased by 50 percent. The money has continued to roll in. The Podesta Group had some $13 million in lobbying income in 2013, sporting clients such as Lockheed Martin, Wells Fargo, U.S. Airways, Walmart, and the National Biodiesel Board. Heather Podesta + Partners made some $4 million, lobbying on behalf of health companies, the American Beverage Association, Brookfield Power, DeVry University, and others. A portion of that money was recycled, contributing to Democratic campaigns, opening up avenues of influence: Tony gave some $45,500 in 2013, all to Democrats; Heather some $95,798 to Democrats, Democratic committees, and liber....

As government expands, extending its reach to every aspect of business, every sector of the economy, private citizens and corporations require Sherpa’s to lead them through the mountains of regulations and tax provisions, to discover exemptions and special favors and other forms of relief or favoritism to improve the bottom line. And who better to act as Sherpa’s than the relatives of the Democrats who impose the regulations and tax provisions in the first place, who better than the lively proprietors of a family business operating in the luxurious and morally uncomplicated world of limousine liberals who dominate politics, culture, news, and finance.

Corporations give to Democratic politicians, avoiding the scrutiny of liberal attack dogs in the media and nonprofit sectors, and enjoying the ego boost that comes with being on the “right side of history.” Then those corporations hire the Podestas to get them out traps the Democrats have enacted into law. John’s innovation was to establish a corporate-funded think tank where the burdensome policies would be concocted, and whose staff would go on to man the regulatory agencies that put their wool-headed ideas into practice. And to whom do the corporations turn when they find themselves on the receiving end of all this uplift, all this do-goodery, all this progress, hope, and change? Why, to the man in the red Prada loafers, and to his flamboyantly patterned wife.

It was in 2009 that the Washington Post dubbed Heather Podesta the “It Girl in a new generation of young, highly connected, built-for-t....” The appellation was bestowed in a lengthy and fawning “Style” profile, which acted as a sort of advertisement for her lobbying firm. Heather Podesta lamented in the piece that the onrush of business, the peals from health insurance and green energy companies looking for special treatment under the new Democratic dispensation, had interfered with her and her husband’s international travel. Whereas they used to visit Venice up to a dozen times annually, Podesta said, “Now we only maybe get there six times a year.” The poor dears.

The next year, Tony gave a party to celebrate his wife Heather’s 40th birthday at their new showcase home. Like Elvis, with whom she shares a birthday, Heather Podesta, had “become a rock star in the Washington power scene as a top lobbyist.” There were red-velvet cupcakes. An Elvis impersonator gyrated for guests. Democratic Congressman John Larson and “Terry Lierman, chief of staff to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, took a tour of the provocative and sometimes whimsical artwork with Jane Oates, John O’Leary, Conrad Cafritz, and Hilary Rosen.” Also there was Jonathan Silver, “the Energy Department’s new money man,” who gave the American taxpayer Solyndra, and who coordinated strategy with John Podesta’s Center for American Progress.

If Heather Podesta has a flaw in the eyes of Washington it is that she is entirely too honest about the mechanics of lobbying. When she launched her independent company in 2007 it was with the slogan, “We know people.” Dianne Feinstein once canceled a fundraiser organized by the Podestas, the Post reported years ago, after she got wind that the invitation read as follows: “The prix fixe includes the Select Committee on Intelligence for the first course followed by your choice of Appropriations, Judiciary, or Rules Committees.”

Those winsome days have passed, however. The couple separated a month before Obama’s reelection. This “married couple who both lobbied” is sundered, revealing a political culture of pettiness and greed, and reminding us that there are few things as revolting, intellectually, morally, and ethically, as the “Washington power scene.”

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Tallahassee: Bills being tracked

The following are just some of the bills that I track so that we can stay informed as to what is happening in Tallahassee.  The next few weeks are going to be very busy with many of these bills going for a full vote.

If you are interested just click on the (Senate) bills for details information. It is not possible to put out Action Items on each bill that will be making its way through the process. We can all go to the Florida Legislative website, track/review the status of bills and then take appropriate action.

TRACKED BILLS

 

SM 476 (2014) Amendments to the Constitution of the United States

                http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2014/0476

                HOUSE - Referred to Calendar

                HOUSE - Placed on Special Order Calendar, 04/21/14

 

CS/SB 950 (2014) Education

                http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2014/0950

                SENATE - On Committee agenda-- Appropriations, 04/22/14, 9:00 am, 412 Knott Building

 

CS/SB 1030 (2014) Low-THC Marijuana and Cannabis

                http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2014/1030

                SENATE - On Committee agenda-- Appropriations, 04/22/14, 9:00 am, 412 Knott Building

 

SB 1394 (2014) Education

                http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2014/1394

                SENATE - On Committee agenda-- Appropriations, 04/22/14, 9:00 am, 412 Knott Building

 

CS/CS/SB 1576 (2014) Springs

                http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2014/1576

                SENATE - On Committee agenda-- Appropriations, 04/22/14, 9:00 am, 412 Knott Building

 

SB 1702 (2014) Education

                http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2014/1702

                SENATE - On Committee agenda-- Appropriations, 04/22/14, 9:00 am, 412 Knott Building

 
 
 

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