Friday, February 20, 2009

Personal Asides...

Truth comes hard in Democrat-controlled Chicago. Last week it came dribbling out under extreme pressure when U. S. Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.) admitted—despite the version from his earlier sworn testimony—that he tried to raise money for Gov. Blagojevich who named him to his post. Blago’s brother hit him up for $10,000 but he couldn’t raise a nickel, Burris said, but he was appointed to the job anyhow. He’s the subject of a criminal investigation and also a U. S. Senate ethics committee probe.

Struggling with denial for weeks, Burris’ acknowledgment may get him indicted for perjury, censure by the Senate ethics committee, pressured for resignation or face the onus of being kicked out of the Senate by vote of his peers. Latest example: When asked by ace interrogator Jeff Berkowitz host of “Public Affairs” on cable, whether he considered it wrong to try to raise money for a governor who in return had the power to name him to the Senate, Burris replied: “I was never considered for the Senate.”

Everybody sitting near me drew a sharp intake of breath. Never considered for the Senate? Had Burris just suffered a stroke?

“I was never considered BY the Senate,” Burris corrected.

No meaning. Of course he wasn’t—at that time.

Burke, Burris and Bernardin.

He was introduced at the City Club by Alderman Edward Burke, the most powerful alderman who has spent a bloviating lifetime surveying his own greatness. Burke compared Burris to Joseph Cardinal Bernardin who noted that the cardinal (like Burris he hinted) was accused unfairly.

Unfairly? Here’s the story before it was converted into myth. A former seminarian from the Cincinnati archdiocese, Steven E. Cook, filed a $10 million lawsuit against Bernardin and a Cincinnati priest. The suit accused the priest of numerous coercive sexual acts against him in the mid-1970s and then delivering him to Bernardin, then archbishop of Cincinnati, for the same purposes. The suit was settled out of court with Cook declaring finally that he could not trust his memory. Contrary to liberal myth which Burke continued to perpetuate at the City Club yesterday, Cook never retracted his charges and never declared they were inaccurate. Four months after the suit was introduced, it was settled out of court and the terms are sealed.

According to the book “Amchurch Comes Out,” by Paul Likoudis, now news editor of “The Wanderer,” the nation’s oldest national Catholic weekly, Bernardin’s lawyers were involved in settling another case in which seminarians in Winona, Minn. accused him and three other bishops of sex abuse at which reportedly Cook was in attendance. Settlement stemming from the lawsuit has also been sealed. What is known is that his closest friend was Msgr. Frederick Hopwood, accused of abusing hundreds of boys dating back to the early `50s. And here from Likoudis’ book is an eye-opener: coming to the legal defense of Hopwood was the Chicago archdiocese’s powerhouse law firm, Mayer, Brown which negotiated cash settlements to Hopwood’s alleged victims.

Let us say it was fitting as the introducer of an unregenerate liar that Burke recycled the old Bernardin myth for hype.

Truth the Scarcest Commodity in Chicago.

Truth is the scarcest of all commodities in one party Chicago where Democratic control has exceeded by five years the life span of the old Soviet Union which it closely resembles in style. You look at the over-coated slab-faced men standing on the parapet reviewing the marchers at the St. Patrick’s Day parade and you say, “where’s so-and-so?” Not there. Demoted: reason not given. And like the commissars, Dem pols here rely on falsehoods and denial. Sort of like the erring husband who, confronted by his wife in flagrante delicto, pleaded with her: “Are you going to believe me or your own eyes?”

Denial a Chicago Dem Art Form.

Political lying and denial of the truth here began as an art form by Czech immigrant Dem Anton Cermak in 1931 who said he would bring reform to the city; instead he built lockstep obedience and struck a businesslike agreement with the Outfit which passed on appointment of police captains… past 1955 when county clerk Richard J. Daley ushered in mammoth vote fraud while shouting “there is no dishonest vote counting in Chicaga” [sic]…and continues to this day with his son, Richard M. masquerading as a dutiful Catholic and parishioner of Old St. Patrick’s (the mother church of the Irish Democratic party) while he supports pro-aborts, gay marriage and a taxpayer-paid museum celebrating sexual perversion techniques…also cutting deals with all variants of the left including Billy Ayres the terrorist for whom Daley got a job as “Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior Scholar” at the University of Illinois-Chicago in return for Ayres’ lefty friends support of the machine.

Denial has marked the Catholic pro-abort machine stalwarts who have risen above principle, including the second ranking machine leader with Daley, the Speaker, Michael Madigan (who technically votes pro-life in conformity with his southwest side constituency but who as legislative presider flagrantly aids the left), his daughter the outspoken pro-abort and pro-gay rights state attorney general, Lisa; the state comptroller, Dan Hynes (scion of his pro-abort father, former state senate president Tom), current state senate president Catholic pro-abort John Cullerton, the pro-abort African American president of the Cook county board Todd Stroger and their chunky, always perspiring little gopher-hustler, Catholic Dickie Durbin, the once pro-life downstate congressman, who after capitulating to the machine became the pro-abort second-ranking U.S. senator.

But every decade or so despite denial, truth escapes from the most disciplined political lips, squeezing through tightly clenched Dem machine teeth. Not long ago supine liberal reporters at a Daley news conference gasped on hearing him say city workers are lazy clock-watchers. He had just announced that he had unloaded four of the city’s most valuable assets for a $6 billion mountain of cash called “privatizing” where the unspoken credo is that the favored companies kick in lavishly to Daley campaign coffers.

But the media was stunned…stunned…at his words in defense of turning over key city services to private companies…figuring he was turning senile or having a stroke…when they heard him say this about city workers:

“They’re not customer-related. They’re gonna leave at 5 o’clock! They’re gonna leave at 4:30 or 4:00! I’m sorry: we’re on a time clock! The walk out! But in the private sector when you have a customer, you’re gonna stay there making sure they’re happy and satisfied. We can’t compete with the private sector. The private sector has a complete idea of who your customers are. Government doesn’t have any customers. They only have citizens!”

His truthful explosive spillover was caught on imperishable TV tape.

The knee-jerk liberal news cadre were shocked that Daley would speak so about the legions of patronage workers who, in addition to their municipal duties, work the precincts for the Dems in order to keep their city jobs, ensuring liberal victories. And so was the influential Chicago Federation of Labor president, Catholic Dem pro-abort Dennis Gannon who blasted the mayor. “Firemen were out at Holy Name at 3 a.m.” [which suffered a disastrous fire last week when de-icers on the roof burst into flame, resulting in an estimated $30 million repair bill]…When you had that huge water main break on the North Side, they didn’t care about the clock. They were there to do a job for the taxpayers.”

Then just like as in the old USSR when a commissar made a verbal boo-boo, Daley convened the media and in machine mumbo jumbo denied he said what the TV tape says he said. His blurting out the truth proves the theological dictum that there is a redemptive quality to all men—even Chicago Democratic politicians—who on rare occasions allow veracity to escape their lips through some conscience glitch in the brain.

Daley cleared it up by reverting to denial. He said:

“My words were taken out of context. I never said city employees were clock watchers. The media made it all up to manufacture a confrontation! I said that some people just watch the clock—government workers or anybody else—and leave. But here in Chicago, we’re fortunate that people just don’t watch the clock. I never said city workers of…Chicago are not good workers. Would you correct that for me?”

Then he reverted to self-pity as did his father 50 years ago when he exclaimed “My enemies are crucifying me! They’re even criticizing me!”

“I know it’s hard because I’m a ping-pong ball for the media. If you don’t have the Daley name, I guess they don’t read the newspapers. But just correct that…Don’t misinterpret what I say to bring confrontation against city workers. That’s really unfair! City workers work hard! I talked about the city in a positive way. But you’re [the media] trying to follow me in a negative way so you have people yelling at me! I know that’s your gig but be responsible!”

But the biggest example of Chicago Dem lying, evasion and denial was uncovered last week.

Burris Withholds Truth Under Oath.

Lie like a trooper if you wish, but when you prevaricate or withhold the truth under oath, that’s a horse of a different color as Bill Clinton will tell you. Withholding and fudging the truth is what Dem Roland Burris did last Jan. 8 when he appeared before the state legislature’s impeachment panel to testify as to his cleanliness, his fitness to be accepted as a U.S. Senator under appointment by the nation’s most corrupt governor, Dem Rod Blagojevich. Burris, a fidgety little man with elevator shoes bringing him up to 5 foot six, is an entirely forgettable bit player: but he has a uncontrollable ambition for high office.

Blago named Burris to the Senate for one reason only: to influence the federal jury pool later on in the year which is expected to be heavily black. A dissenting juror can save Blagojevich from jail—only one is required—and if the juror is black and is grateful to Blago for naming a black Senator, so be it.

Burris accepted the job and faced a skeptical legislative committee which figured the fix was in. No, said Burris squinting into the TV lenses. After all he was the first black Illinois state comptroller and attorney general. Everybody on the committee knew he has always been regarded as a hack despite his historical significance…that he lusts after honorifics and political jobs with such intensity that he makes everyone else look under-motivated…that he believes God has ordained him for greatness…that although in good health at age 71, he has built a huge tombstone in his family cemetery that calls himself “trail-blazer” and lists all his political posts.

The tombstone has enough space left for the engraver to chisel U. S. Senator from Illinois but it hasn’t happened yet. And may never be added. .

The Mess Burris is In.

This is the fix Burris is in. U. S. Senate Democrats required that Burris testify “fully and truthfully” to the House impeachment committee in Springfield before agreeing to seat him. But when he appeared before the committee, Burris withheld some key facts. On Jan. 8 State Rep. Jim Durkin, a pro-life Republican and co-chairman, asked Blagojevich’s appointment this question:

“At any time were you directly or indirectly aware of a quid pro quo with the Governor for the appointment of the vacant Senate seat?”

To which Burris answered: “No sir.”

Durkin followed up by asking if Burris talked to any members of the governor’s staff—and listed their names including Rob Blagojevich, the governor’s brother. Burris picked out one name Durkin listed and said he had talked to an ex-staffer about business Burris could pick up as a lobbyist during which time he told the ex-staffer “you’re close to the governor; let him know that I am certainly interested in the seat.” That was it.

Durkin then changed the subject. No follow-up questions were asked about other contacts. This would have been the time for Burris to mention he had had further contacts—but he stayed mum. He says now that because Durkin switched subjects, he—Burris—didn’t have time to mention other contacts. Hmmm. Sounds fishy to many. Later…after being sworn in as senator…Burris filed two affidavits with the committee correcting the record--one admitting he was called three times by the governor’s brother who each time asked for his fund-raising assistance (which Burris says he turned down) and had talks with three additional close associates of the governor and a labor leader with ties to Blagojevich about being appointed to the seat. Some suspect he filed the affidavits to square himself with the U. S, attorney who may have phone tape recordings of his discussions. “No-no-no!” Burris says.

Now Burris has changed his story a third time. To no one’s surprise for those who know him well, Burris admitted to the Tribune he lobbied intensively for the job.,,and when Blagojevich’s brother asked him to raise money for Blago, Burris tried… really tried… but because the governor was so unattractive he couldn’t raise a nickel. Now records show Burris strove repeatedly to get his name considered by Blagojevich.

Thus the fact that Burris didn’t pay to get his Senate job is not his fault. He couldn’t get anybody to pony up but he tried and Blago named him anyhow. But in essence, Blago had said the job was up for bid and Burris was eager to bid for it and to pay for it, cash on the barrelhead but couldn’t convince anybody to come to his fundraiser for the governor: a big difference from his original testimony. If he had told the committee this in January, he wouldn’t have passed muster.

The Mystery of the Hidden Affidavit.

Here’s another intriguing glitch. Burris’ clarifying affidavit was sent to the House majority leader, pro-abort Catholic Dem Barbara Flynn Currie. She is exceedingly close to Speaker Madigan and is known as a tireless administrator who sees her work through one prism: will it benefit the Democratic party? Yet, in this case (her story goes) she glanced at the front page of the affidavit and dropped it absently in a file as the legislature adjourned following Blago’s impeachment. And she didn’t tell her boss Madigan about it? Incredible to anyone knowing Currie and Madigan.

The reason she kept mum, some unkind Republicans reason, is that the stimulus package was up for a vote in the U.S. Senate where every pro-Obama vote was essential—and she didn’t want Burris shamed or disqualified before the vote.

Following the stimulus vote, the Sun-Times last week scooped everyone else by unearthing the affidavit.

GOP Demands Criminal Probe.

Immediately, Republicans demanded that the Sangamon county (Springfield, Ill.) states attorney study the possibility of a criminal indictment for perjury against Burris: he has agreed to do so. With outrageous chutzpa, the hatchet-faced Ms. Currie expressed pleasure that Burris was eventually “forthcoming.” True if by forthcoming you mean crossing one’s fingers and hoping an interrogator will skip detailed questioning.

Then when the news came out, In a series of emotional news conferences, Burris blustered and said criticism of him is all a Republican plot and all Durkin’s fault because he didn’t follow up with detailed questions that would have elicited the correct answer from Burris.

Now, state lawmakers will have to ponder what to do with him. They may reconvene the impeachment panel and grill him once again. Initially, cynical Chicagoans believed Burris’ salvation may hang on the fact that he is black—but toward the end of last week it became evident that he is losing even in that constituency. The city’s leading black columnist, Mary Mitchell of the Sun-Times,, who is forever zinging whitey, has great doubts about him. The city’s most notable guilt-ridden white liberal writer who wishes he were black so he could share the suffering,, Mark Brown, called Burris “a lying little sneak.” And the Tribune which although gutless and country club liberal even mustered up the editorial courage to demand: “Quit, Mr.Burris!”

With the exception of black talk radio, a radically chauvinist outlet, the expected avalanche of African American support for Burris has been lagging. The Dem party may well support a Burris primary challenger in 2010—State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, a so-called “wonder boy”—who quite coincidentally was traveling to Greece with Sen. Durbin. That in itself is strange since youthful and energetic as he is, as a vice president of his family’s Chicago bank, several years ago Giannoulis approved a loan to Michael (Jaws) Giorango, who was twice convicted of bookmaking and promoting prostitution. Despite this Barack Obama endorsed him in 2006 (Giannoulis and his family raised gobs of money for Obama’s Senate run). But House Speaker Madigan, chairman of the state Democratic party and part of the ruling duo of the party with Daley, pointedly refused.

All Because Dems Didn’t Want an Election.

The Burris scandal was caused because Illinois Democrats feared a special election for senator would possibly go to a Republican so Blagojevich took advantage of the delay by making the appointment. By week’s end, leading Democrats here seemed agreed on pushing Burris off a cliff. How that would happen…by local indictment, release by the FBI of incriminating tapes, a statewide campaign of regurgitation against Burris or a rebuke by the Senate ethics committee leading to a vote of ejection…is anyone’s guess.

However, even if he were to be kicked out of the Senate, Burris couldn’t even cite this as an historic first for his tombstone. In 1909, a century ago, Republican William H. Lorimer, then the unsavory political boss of Chicago was elected to the Senate by the Illinois legislature as the constitution provided then. Two years later, a Democratic state legislator announced he had been paid a $1000 bribe to vote for Lorimore. Result: Lorimore’s election was ruled invalid by vote of 55 to 28 and he was ejected.

Odds are Burris will have his Senate service etched on his stone with no mention of the scandal…a fitting finis for a political career based on evasion and denial.


  1. Why did Bernardin decline chemotherapy? Some in the media said it was because he was a heroic man, who wished to offer up his suffering. I believe he refused because he knew chemotherapy won't cure AIDS, the same decease that took the life of his 'absentminded' accuser.

  2. Speaking about the Tribune, when do you think that its editorial board is going to call upon Zell to resign in light of the deals made with Blagojevich?

  3. You better have some proof regarding Bernardin and AIDS. Otherwise, this comment was in incredibly bad taste.