Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ronald Reagan Trail: Chillicothe

You know the story: a small town boy playing high school football in northwestern Illinois dreams of becoming an actor. He succeeds. His name is Josh Taylor, who grew up in Chillicothe, our next stop on the Ronald Reagan Trail.

Wait...did you think I was talking about Ronald Reagan? No, Josh Taylor, a longtime staple--playing two roles--on the soap opera Days of Our Lives. He also played the patriarch on the 1980s TV sitcom The Hogan Family. This actor is the son of George Taylor, a fraternity brother and Eureka College football teammate of Dutch who was a longtime baseball, track, and football coach at Chillicothe High School. Taylor is a member of the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame and the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Downtown Chillicothe,
Town Theatre, center

Reagan, his brother Neil, and Taylor played football under Mac McKinzie at Eureka--the football field is named for him. After his retirement from coaching, Chillicothe High School, now called Illinois Valley, honored Taylor in the same manner.

Chillicothe's downtown is blessed with an old style movie theatre, The Town, which--get this--still shows movies. A couple of blocks from main street is the Illinois River.

Illinois River
Although my car's air conditioning failed early in this trip, luck was with me in Chillicothe that day, automotively speaking. I stopped to take a picture of the "Welcome to" sign pictured above. Had I not, I very well could have been the fourth car in a multiple vehicle accident that occurred while I was snapping away. No one seemed hurt--but one of the cars clearly wasn't drivable.

My good fortune allowed me to motor on to Henry, another Reagan Trail town on Illinois Route 29 and the subject of my next post.

And of course I will end with the Reagan Trail YouTube video for Chillicothe.

Earlier posts:

Wichita mayor, union leader, slam Obama's anti-corporate jet comments

Western Holiday Motel, Wichita
It's not commonly known, but Wichita is a small-jet manufacturing hub. So it's not surprising that the mood its mayor, Carl Brwewer, has been grounded by President Obama's class warfare denigration of corporate jets.

From the Wichita Business Journal:

During a press conference earlier in the day, Obama called for an end to tax breaks that incentivize corporate jet purchases and usage as part of an overall strategy to cut into the national deficit.

In the press conference, which you can watch here, Obama also said he was in favor of repealing tax breaks to oil companies and hedge fund companies.

"I am deeply concerned about the president's comments about general aviation today," Brewer said in a statement. "Particularly during a time when many Americans are struggling to make ends meet, we cannot afford additional tax burdens and unnecessary mischaracterizations about the general aviation industry, which drives thousands of jobs, over $7 billion in economic impact here in Kansas alone, and over $1.2 billion in job payroll nationally. General aviation is a crucially important part of our national economy and an economic engine for thousands of communities across the nation, many of which would lose local manufacturing jobs or local business growth if faced with additional tax burdens."

Pete Bunce, president of the General Aviation Manufacturer's Association, and Tom Buffenbarger, president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, said in a joint statement that Obama's words and his plan put the entire industry at risk.
Related post:

Happy 150th, Kansas! With over 40 Sunflower State posts!

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McConnell calls balanced-budget amendment to Senate floor

Some unfinished business from yesterday: Using an obscure rule, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called down a joint resolution onto the floor of the upper chamber for a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution. Passing an amendment to the supreme law of the land is difficult--it needs to pass the House and the Senate by a two-thirds majority--and then three quarters of the states need to ratify it.

A balanced-budget amendment has been the dream of conservatives for decades. I learned last night on Andrea Shea King's BlogTalkRadio show, through Elizabeth Letchworth, that back in 1995 Mark Hatfield of Oregon was the only Republican in the Senate to vote against it. His vote was the deciding one and the amendment has remained ethereal since then.

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Obama does not know best about cars, health care....

Somehow the automotive industry and the field of medicine managed to stumble along before the federal government got involved in them.

But as the Washington Examiner tells us, whether it's health care or cars, Obama knows best. After all, he's done such a "bang-up" job fixing the economy...

Having already passed a law telling Americans what kind of health insurance they must buy, President Obama is preparing to dictate what type of cars everybody must drive.

In September, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are expected to release new Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards. As currently conceived, the regulations would effectively be a regulatory mandate for Americans to drive electric cars.

Obama already raised CAFE standards two years ago, but the new rules would go much further, bringing the average required mpg standard to as high as 62 mpg by 2025. Though over the weekend, word leaked that 56 mpg would be more likely. By comparison, Toyota's hybrid, the Prius, gets just 50 mpg.

If Obama opts for the higher goal, it could increase car prices by nearly $10,000, and cost 1.7 million jobs, according to a study by the Center for Automotive Research, as cited by Popular Mechanics.
More "hope and change."

I mean, does Obama expect us to take buses everywhere?

Suddenly, Michele Bachmann's "extreme" position of getting rid of the EPA makes sense.

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AP does a fact-check of Obama news conference

AP, yes, AP, performed a fact-check of yesterday's presidential news conference. Its findings won't be retweeted by the Obama campaign juggernaut.

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Rahm: 625 layoffs unless union accepts $20 milliion in work-rule concessions

Where are the Madision, Wisconsin-style protests? Without giving specifics, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a Democrat, says unless city unions agree to $20 million in work-rule concessions, he will lay off 625 workers.

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End of June NLRB overreach round up

Boeing HQ, Chicago
When I started doing these NLRB-Boeing entries, the chill of April (I'm in Illinois) was still in the air. And now June ends--but the overreach continues.

From The Hill:

President Obama broke his silence Wednesday on the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) controversial complaint against Boeing, implicitly criticizing the decision.

In measured comments, Obama said he didn't know all of the facts behind the action of the independent board and noted that it must work its way through the legal process.

But as a general proposition, Obama said, "Companies need to have the freedom to relocate — they have to follow the law, but that's part of our system.

"What I think defies common sense would be a notion that we would be shutting down a plant or laying off workers because labor and management can't come to a sensible agreement."
Of course the sensible agreement would be to let Boeing build the 787 Dreamliner where it wants to.

The Charleston Post and Courier:

The NLRB case -- which could drag on for years -- has become an unwanted distraction for Obama as he tries to mend relations with the business community and contend with polls that show growing public disapproval over his handling of the economy.

It makes an easy target for Republicans, who call it a case of government overreaching at a time when the private sector is struggling to create new jobs. And it's a major story in South Carolina -- a bellwether early primary state in the GOP presidential race. Candidates are lining up to impress voters and the state's Republican governor, tea party favorite Nikki Haley.

"Obama's NLRB has united the Republican Party and turned this government agency into a political piƱata," GOP consultant Scott Reed said. "Boeing spent a billion dollars building a plant to create thousands of jobs and it looks like the NLRB stuck their nose in and tried to pull the rug out."

Business groups and their GOP allies say the government is interfering with the right of company managers to choose where and how to expand business operations. Boeing claims it opened the plant for a variety of economic reasons, but NLRB officials said Boeing executives made public comments showing the move was meant to punish union workers for costly strikes.
The Washington Examiner:

During his press conference, President Obama just dodged a question about whether the suit filed by the National Labor Relations Board against Boeing was contributing to a bad regulatory environment that was hurting businesses.

The complaint against Boeing for building a nonunion factory in South Carolina was filed by Obama's appointed (but unconfirmed) pick for general counsel, Lafe Solomon, but Obama hasn't directly addressed the suit.

Asked about it today, he declared "It's an independent agency" and said he didn't want to comment because it would ultimately be decided by a judge. Yes, this is the same Obama who scolded the Supreme Court during his State of the Union speech.

Obama then went into a long-winded answer about how businesses should have the right to choose to relocate and that we don't want factories shutting down and putting people out of work.
The Daily Caller:

Last week, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) proposed a new rule that, if implemented, will make hiring workers in America more difficult for businesses. The proposed rule would allow union bosses to hold workplace elections less than two weeks after announcing them.

Unions typically spend 6-8 months campaigning secretly for unionization. Under current law, employees and employers have 38 days to consider and debate whether employees are better off with or without a union. The proposed rule would shorten this to as few as 10 days. This would rush employees into voting and deny employers enough time to make their case that employees are not better off with a union. This is not just an ambush on business, but also on basic electoral principles.

These proposed "quickie elections" are not about helping workers make informed decisions. In fact, these elections would accomplish exactly the opposite.

The impact of this decision in clear: American businesses will have yet another reason to invest elsewhere rather than in creating new jobs here at home.
On right-to-work states, Investor's Business Daily:

It seems to be a good deal for the workers, too. The U.S. unemployment rate is 9.1%. In right-to-work states the average is 7.9% — 8.6% adjusted for population.

Between 1977-08, employment grew 100% in right-to-work states vs. the national average of 71% and 56.5% in non-right-to-work states. That's according to a January study that Ohio University economics professor Richard Vedder did for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

In this period, real per capita income in the right-to-work states grew 62.3% vs. the national average of 54.7% and 52.8% for non-right-to-work states.
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