Independence Day? Firework Laws Limit Liberty in Some States

Today, Americans across the nation will continue a tradition that was first sparked in 1777: lighting fireworks. In the earliest days of aerial explosions memorializing our nation’s birth, firework explosions were short, and lacked the variety of colors found at modern day shows. As European courts competed with each other for the best pyrotechnic displays, fireworks made their way to the thirteen colonies, and by 1776, some founding fathers considered them a necessary element of celebratory fanfare for America’s birthday. “I am apt to believe that [Independence Day] will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival,” John

Pro-Life Democrat Survives Leftist Challenge in Illinois

Chicago-area Congressman Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), one of the last pro-life Democrats in Congress, staved off a fierce primary challenge from a ferociously pro-abortion candidate last night. Rep. Lipinski defeated Marie Newman — an ultra-leftist who had the backing of Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Human Rights Campaign, and Bernie Sanders — by a margin of 51 percent to 49 percent, or just under 2,000 votes. The vote count was close all night. Lipinski was strong in the working-class Catholic neighborhoods near Midway Airport, while Newman’s support came largely from wealthier suburbs. At around 11 p.m., just before the Associated Press called

Progressives Take Aim at One of Last Pro-Life Democrats in Congress

Pro-life Democrats? They still exist? The answer is just barely, and if far-leftists have their way, they will be almost completely gone from the national party. Up until the Obama years, there was a fairly sizable contingent of pro-life Democrats in Congress. This bloc of a dozen or so lawmakers were the last major holdouts preventing the passage of Obamacare in 2010 because it allowed for taxpayer funding of abortion. Led by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), they pushed for the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, which would have ensured that no federal money would go towards abortions. The amendment was supported by Republicans, who

March for Life Chicago Draws Thousands of Pro-Lifers to Protest Abortion

Thousands gathered in Chicago this past Sunday for the city’s ‘March for Life.’ The March for Life Chicago wasn’t simply a rally or a march but a series of events broken up over the weekend. Rose Dinner Chicago was hosted by the group SpeakOut Illinois, and took place on Saturday night at Petterino’s Restaurant. Sunday morning brought a Youth Rally and Mass at the Frances Xavier Warde Catholic School and the Aid for Women Mass and Brunch at the Union League Club of Chicago. However, the march was certainly the main event. Thousands met at the Federal Plaza Sunday afternoon

Furious Conservatives Threaten to Challenge Gov. Rauner over Abortion Bill

Illinois’ GOP Governor Bruce Rauner is up for reelection in 2018, but he is facing a potential primary challenge by conservatives furious at his expansion of taxpayer funded abortion. On Thursday, Rauner announced that he had signed into law a measure that would enable the expansion of abortions paid for by taxpayers. This new law would allow state health insurance and Medicaid to cover the cost of an abortion. A long time supporter of abortion, Rauner commented that he has “to be consistent with my values.” He stated: I also believe that no woman should be forced to make a

Does Your Car Have Fuzzy Dice? You Could Face a Hefty Fine in Illinois.

This article is part of a series focusing on Lens of Liberty, a project of the Vernon K. Krieble Foundation. It breaks my heart, being that it’s my home state, but it seems like everyday there’s another problem brewing in Illinois. If it’s not sky-high murder rates in Chicago, it’s the unfunded pension liability. Gov. Bruce Rauner has no easy task either — state House Speaker Mike Madigan and his Democrat cronies have been wreaking havoc on the Land of Lincoln for decades. The taxes are sky high, debt is growing everyday, and it seems that help is nowhere in

“Connecticut Avenue” Is Back: Second Episode of The Pulse’s New Podcast

Last week we launched Connecticut Avenue, the official podcast of The Pulse 2016. Today’s episode, our second, is hosted by Jon Schweppe, contributing editor to The Pulse 2016, and Kevin Dawson, a frequent contributor to The Pulse 2016. Schweppe and Dawson touched on a number of topics today, including last week’s debate between Trump and Clinton (0:00), tonight’s VP debate between Pence and Kaine (6:00), Planned Parenthood’s 100th anniversary (7:30), the Hyde Amendment (12:00), Illinois’s anti-life, anti-religious freedom law (16:15), and Trump’s proposal to repeal the Johnson Amendment (23:30). Check it out, and let us know what you think in the comments!

Illinois Governor Sued by Pro-Lifers over Controversial Abortion Bill

Back in August, Jon Schweppe reported on a bill being signed by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner which would force pro-life medical professionals to provide information about and referrals for abortion services, even if doing so would violate their consciences. Although Rauner, a Republican, had campaigned on having “no social issues agenda” two years ago, he willingly surrendered to the left’s anti-religious freedom agenda, betraying conservatives who had worked hard to get him elected. It should come as no surprise then that Rauner is now facing a lawsuit from a number of crisis pregnancy centers taking issue with the fact that