Friday, September 29, 2006
Tony Peraica and Russ Stewart on Political Shootout Sunday States Attorney Dick Devine, Federal Judge Bill Bauer, to Speak at Roosevelt Oprah-Daley Promo Leads Sun-Times Front Page As Experts Try to Stop Circulation Hemorrhage Falwell and Robertson: a Heavy Burden for Evangelicals.
Tony Peraica, fresh from an encounter with the energized anti-right wing devil exorcist Todd Stroger, will be on my WLS-AM Political Shootout Sunday along with Nadig newspaper commentator and prescient news analyst Russ Stewart. Peraica will seek to prove that he does not emit sulphur from his nostrils. And that he wont sign legislation to force all women to conceive more and more children if he becomes county board president. Nor will he give a top job to Alan Keyes. Stewart, a noted wizard of electoral statistics will calculate a change from what initially looked like a Peraica defeat to the beginnings of a very slight chance Peraica can win. Question: can a Republican candidate with not-so-great funding capitalize on unparalleled county corruption to win? Stewart is one of the few who can chart the heavy odds.
Cook county states attorney Dick Devine, a popular Democrat, will be guest lecturer on my Roosevelt University political science course on Thursday, November 16th at 6 p.m. Devine was born on the North Side, one of five children of William Devine, a city employee and Helen, a housewife. He attended Loyola Academy, Loyola University where he received a degree in history and Northwestern University law school. He went to work for the city, became an executive assistant to Mayor Richard J. Daley. Three years later he left for private law practice; then in 1980 returned to public life as first assistant states attorney to then States Attorney Richard M. Daley.
After three years in law partnerships, Devine ran for states attorney in 1996 and scored what many saw as a surprise upset of Republican Jack OMalley. He lives in the same north side neighborhood where he grew up with his wife Charlene. They have three sons and a daughterincluding two high school teachers, a law student and a police officer. If you were to drop by Hoops, the gym on Chicagos near West Side at noon any Monday, Wednesday or Friday you would see a group of middle-aged men playing basketball in the Windy City Senior Basketball League, one of which is the 59-year-old Devine. The states attorney will speak on state prosecutors and the Courts at 6 p.m. Thursday, November 16.
Another guest lecturer who will talk about prosecutors and the Courts from a wide perspective will be retired federal Circuit Court of Appeals Judge William Bauer, a candid, witty and no-holds-barred speaker who is famous for his memorable lectures on the circuit. Bill Bauer started off as the elected states attorney of DuPage was named U. S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois where he hired Jim Thompson as his first assistant ran the office that prosecuted Otto Kerner after which Bauer was named a federal judge and then elevated to the Court of Appeals. Were very lucky to have him speak to us on his many roles: elected state prosecutor, appointive federal prosecutor, appointive federal district judge and appointive circuit court of appeals judge. He will speak on Thursday. November 2 at 7 p.m.
In an attempt to stanch its circulation hemorrhage, the Sun-Times under new editor Michael Cooke spun up yesterday as its front page story POWER LUNCH (aping the back sports page) featuring Oprah and Mayor Daley at pro-abort Hedy Ratners Womens Business Development Center lunch. Ratner should pinch herself at her luck. It would have rated placement on page 57 behind the corset ads at any normal newspaper era. But John Barron didnt give the paper enough oomph and now the crass sensationalist Michael Cooke will try.
In the story, Oprah, who earlier endorsed Barack Obama for president (wonder why?), told a pathetically groveling Rod Blagojevich that she is grateful for all he does (huh?). Inside the taste-debased paper, huge railroad gothic headlines proclaim juicy divorce stories and black exploitative sensational stories. The style is based on the New York Daily News format of sticking a little ginger under the editorial horses tail to purportedly promote style. Question: are Chicagoans truly so drugged by entertainment that they will not read newspapersreacting like the people in Aldous Huxleys novel Brave New World who only responded to sensations transmitted from screens known as the feelies? If so, God help us all.
I used to think Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson are getting bad press because they do not share mainstream medias liberal preoccupations but after meeting them both I have to say they are so medieval, laced with mindless staccato biblical quotes, that they richly deserve the opprobrium. When he was running for president, Robertson told me about a terrific storm that was headed for his mammoth television studio in Virginia Beach. He said he knelt down to pray and the storm detoured and took out a third of Front Royal. Anyone who believes God acts that way that he is on such a wave-length with Almighty God and that by force of his prayer can re-direct a storm to hit innocent people (God being convinced Robertson is worth more than they) is a nut-bar which unfortunately threatens to hold all Protestant evangelicalism to be held in disrepute.
Likewise, the clownish Falwell, complete with pinky ring, who could easily be cast as Willy Loman in any second-rate theatrical production, brings cynicism to true evangelism. He recently said Hillary Clinton resembles the devil incarnate. When he spoke at the City Club 29 years ago, picketers showed up with Down with Falwell signs. They stirred up excitement. I thought they were rather illiterate leftists when they talked to me, and sure enough one told me they were hired by Falwells people to gin up media excitement. Suffice it to say he belongs in the same Jesus Jumper cadre as the late Amy Semple McPherson and the fictional Elmer Gantry a disreputable stereotype which blackens all legit evangelical ministers. Robertson and Falwell are seldom mentionedbecause they are an embarrassmentin the most impressive, classic evangelical Protestant publication in the country which I read every week, World magazine.