Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I spoke the other day with a longtime Illinois GOP strategist the most perceptive man I know who didnt want to be quoted. Now that I review his remarks I can see why. When I asked him how he thought the partys strength and quality of leadership are to win in 2010, he said dreadful. He said take a look at Andy McKenna, Jr. a rich mans son who isnt even trusted to run his familys company but whose father an old line Democrat and contributor to the Daleys and every other Democrat he can find is pleased that the kid has at least found something to do by spending his time in the Republican party so he wont bother the Old Man at the company.
His kid is as magnetic as a lead nail, is so dull you would rather watch the paint on your window shutters dry rather than listen to him. He hasnt had an idea in years, was a totally lousy GOP state chairman and indeed got his start by being importuned by Ray LaHood, now Obamas transportation secretary, to run against Sen. Peter Fitzgerald in a primary to oppose Fitzgeralds reelection because Fitz wouldnt vote for goodies for Illinois, was a critic of old Give`em everything they want Hastert and named an incorruptible U S. District Attorney.
Here you guys have the most honest, incorruptible senator in decades and Andy decided to run against him because the GOP Washington establishment wanted him to. As it happened, Fitzgerald decided not to run for reelection (a tragedy).
You ask me about the quality of party leadership with a guy like McKenna having run things and who is running for governor with help from the country club? You have a gummy old warhorse like Topinka who has become encrusted with barnacles for lengthy service in House, Senate and State Treasurer and when she finally got a chance to run for governor shes supposedly a fiscal manager, if you please, she cant come up with a counter-budget to Blago.
In fact when she was asked this in a debate the only thing she could suggest is that Blago had commissioned installation of heating rods under the concrete leading to the governors mansiona house he wouldnt live in. That was her counter-budget. Can you imagine? She got the Republican nomination thanks to a supposed `conservative downstate state senator who was also running who attacked another conservative in the race, splitting the vote: for which he got a kiss on the cheek, a Judas Kiss, in return.
And what a rotten candidate Topinka was! A woman who when President Bush came to the state to raise money for her, quipped to the press to the press, mind you that hed better hold the fund-raiser for her in a `secure, undisclosed location. And you wonder why she lost. Now at age 65, she wants to run for Comptroller. She goes around calling columnists with cute little phrases about her bow-wow puppy who crapped in 10 countries. Thats what you got with her. One gossiper always writes shes irrepressible. Right: irrepressibly awful.
You have people running for governor, some of whom are qualified. Kirk Dillard is. You have Schillerstrom who is. Theres the same guy who split the conservative vote to give the nod to Topinka last time: Brady. Lighter than a panama hat he has served in the Senate for quite a while and still hasnt been graduated to the leadership because his colleagues know that down deep hes shallow.
In addition, you have a guy who is proud of the fact that he has had not a smidgeon of experience in government, testifying that this ignorance of events qualifies him for a run for governor. But watch him! Hes going to surprise you with the strength he has! And you have a guy who was a campaign consultant for Alan Keyes, the most conservative candidate in 150 years who wanted to repeal the Constitutional provision on election of Senators and give it back to the state legislatures as it was in the era of Henry Clay while at the same time advising Beth Coulson of Glenview who is the equivalent of Olympia Snowe: pro-abort, pro-gay rights a guy who later served as public relations adviser to the village of Cicero: a guy who pledges transparency and shining reformism as governor. You have Andy McKenna whose old man whos up in years wont hand over the CEO job.
You know what I thinkll happen? With a host of governor candidates from DuPage dividing the vote, the guy who might likely win at this stage anyhow looks like the downstater, Brady. The guy whos least qualified of all of them from the standpoint of brains. Every time I look at him I think of the 1972 film, The Candidate played by Robert Redford as Bill McKay. Too handsome, too dumb, no student of government, lazy: Hes perfect!
Running for the Senate you have Mark Kirk whos the living alternative to Edmund Burke. Burke wrote history when in a memorable letter to the Bristol electorate said and I paraphrase: `I will vote my conscience in the House of Commons and if you dont agree you can defeat me. That took courage to say. Youll never catch Kirk being courageous. Look at his record.
In contrast this guy Kirk voted straight down the line liberal when he was representing the liberal North Shore but now says if we send him to the Senate you can trust him not to do so including voting against Cap and Trade which he supported in the Housenot because its right or wrong but because when he was in the House he cravenly gave what he deduced was a majority what he thought it wanted. A guy who said publicly that he may be liberal on social values but you can trust him as a reserve military officer to vote for what is right on defense policy only to see him vote against the Surge because he figured the majority of his district expected him to.
Thats what you have in this guy Kirk. Voted against the Surge at a time when only very fewincluding the presidentsaw that it was the right thing to do. And the Surge turned things around. No thanks to Mark Kirk. But now he tells you that if you send him to the Senate you can count on him to vote as he thinks. Hah! What a laugh! You think somebody who was a wind-sock as congressman is just going to go intellectually straight as a Senator? Naw. Hes right in step with Dick Durbin. But hes got such a cute button-nose. Oh, hes a sweetie, he is. Another Bill McKay.
The guy who opposes him, Pat Hughes, is at least honest enough to say that hell vote his conscience and all the smart money says he cant win.
When I looked glum, he said: Arent you going to ask me wholl win in 2010?
I said: Wholl win? With so many dumb candidates?
He said, I didnt answer your question. Then he said: The Illinois Republican party is a stupid party the stupidest a party that ever was but circumstances are such and the electorate is such that it cant stomach the Democrats. So Republicans will win. Theyll elect a governor. If youre lucky itll be Dillard, Schillerstrom, Adam whazzhisname. Proft? Not a chance. A phrasemaker but thats all. If youre unlucky, itll be Brady. For Senate, the Dems may well nominate Hoffman who Daley wants to get out of town so he doesnt run for mayor. But it wont work. Votersll elect a Republican senator but it wont be Kirk despite his cute little button nose. Even they know a phony when they see one. Itll be Hughes.
I gasped: Hughes is fine. But Brady? Bill McKay who after he won turned to his driver and asked: `Golly, what do we do now?
Well, try to do something about it! he said.
So I just did.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
A bit of a replay from what I wrote earlier but with significant additions.
Q. Im intrigued by the way President Obama performs on television. He may lie but he does it so convincingly he could pass a lie detector test. Is this style something new in politics or what? Take for instance his recent appearance on ABCs This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
A. Understand, all politicians shade the truth. The greatest advocate for one side of an equation I ever knew was Hubert Humphrey. Reporting for the Associated Press for his first reelection in 1954, I rode (in the back seat of his campaign car) for three weeks, recording fastidiously everything he said on an average of 13 stump speeches a day. But Hubert (of whom I became exceedingly fondapart from his politics) was confident that he could make his case faulty as it may be with unassailable statistics that could not be challenged (his conclusions could be, but not his encyclopedic command of statistics).
The case of Obama, a graduate of the Chicago School of Lying and Deception is far different. The Chicago School borrows from the old Marxist view of truth as refined by two Leftist philosophers, Noam Chomsky-Herbert Marcuse who argued this: truth is not absolute; it can be twisted conveniently to serve the interest of the arguer for great good i.e. political victory. In other words the statement 1 plus 1 equals 2 and snow is white can be denied if not in the political interest of a progressive political advocate. No one employs the Chomsky-Marcuse strategy more than Mayor Richard M. Daley who has picked it up from his more sophisticated Lefty advisers although if he were asked who Chomsky and Marcuse are, hed guess theyre precinct captains in the 50th ward.
Example: Daley insists repeatedly there is no machine in Chicago. Even the supine media attending his news conference roll their eyes at that one. His father, Richard J. would take a more honorable tack. Hed not deny the machine exists and would point out how it served the interest of good, fine family men and women. See what I mean? Old man Daley would never use the Chomsky-Marcuse tactic even if he knew about it because, well, it struck his basically conservative soul as barefaced lies and besides, he figured he could make the case for his machine: which in fact he did. He was brilliant: really was.
Once in the summer of 1966 when Martin Luther King walked in on a Daley news conference and announced to everyone and on TV: I am Martin Luther King and I come from the west side of Chicago where hundreds go to bed hungry every night! Daley responded as a precinct captain would: Give me their names! King couldnt. Daley said: See? He doesnt know the first thing about Chicaga! He cant give any names! That proves he dont know what hes talkin about! King left that confrontation a beaten man. Ergo: Daley didnt deny there was poverty here nor that some people went to bed hungry. He just said: Give me their names and King couldnt.
Now consider how Barack Obama, the smoothest article to become involved in politics in two generations, employs the Marxist-flavored Chomsky-Marcuse dialectic.
Last week in a day-long Sunday television blitz he appeared on ABCs This Week. His interrogator was George Stephanopoulos, the networks Washington bureau chief who, as everybody knows, was Bill Clintons de facto press secretary until he got bounced upstairs in favor of Dee Dee Myers because he made too many gaffes. Stephanopoulos was so candid as press guy he got into trouble with his boss because at bottom he is controlled by a rough intellectual honesty: he is the son of a Greek Orthodox priest who himself thought seriously for a long time about going to the seminary himself. His innate honesty got him into a rough colloquy with Obama which Obama seemed to innocent TV viewers to winbut which he won by totally dishonest means, using the Chomsky-Marcuse strategy that bends truth for its immediate end.
Midway in the interview the subject turned to the Sen. Max Baucus (D-Montana) version of the universal health bill a version that Obama has endorsed. Stephanopoulos pointed to a provision of the bill which states that everyone would be forced to buy health insurance or pay a penalty as high as $3,800 a year for a family of four. Stephanopoulos said correctly that the mandate constitutes a tax which is certainly what it is. But Obama has said that he would not favor a tax that would hit the poorest of Americans. So what did Obama do? Hubert Humphrey, take my word for it, would have used 1,000 words to justify inclusion of the provision, saying that while it departed from what he wished, the tax would achieve a maximum of benefit for the commonweal. Not Obama.
Obama reached for the Chomsky-Marcuse tactic which says the truth must be turned on its head to be serviceable to the cause of progressivism. Obama said the mandate is not a tax! Let us go now to the transcript for this colloquy is vitally interesting: it shows how the New Left has departed from the Old Liberal Democratic playbook. As I just said: Obama denied it is a tax.
Here hes using Stephanopoulos figuratively as one who doesnt have health insurance.
OBAMA: [Suppose] you get hit by a bus and you and I have to pay for the emergency room care, thats--.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That may be, but its still a tax increase.
OBAMA: No. Thats not true, George. Thefor us to say that youve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase. What its saying is, is that were not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you, anymore than the fact that right now everybody in America, just about, has to get insurance. Nobody considers that a tax increase.
STEPHANOPOULOS: II dont think Im making it up. Merriam-Websters Dictionary: Taxa charge, usually of money, imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes . But it may be fair. It may be good public policy-.
OBAMA: No, but-but, George, youyou cant just make up that language and decide that thats called a tax increase.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I dont think Im making it up
OBAMA: George, the fact that you looked up Merriam-Websters Dictionary the definition of tax increase, indicates to me that youre stretching a little bit right now
Play that back to me again? Because one looks up a definition that verifies his first impressionthat its a tax increasehes stretching?
Was the dictionary stretching? Thats pure Marx filtered through Chomsky and Marcuses Far-Far Left philosophic rationalization that says this: Everything is serviceable including lies converted to truth to achieve ones forensic ends.
The dialogue continued:
STEPHANOPOULOS: I wanted to check for myself. But your critics say its a tax increase.
OBAMA: My critics say everything is a tax increase. My critics say Im taking over every sector of the economy. You know that. Look, we can have a legitimate debate about whether or not were going to have an individual mandate or not, but
STEPHANOPOULOS: But you reject that its a tax increase?
OBAMA: I absolutely reject that notion.
Now lets look up the actual relevant language of the bill on page 29.
As researched by Philip Klein of The American Spectator, it says:
The consequence for not maintaining insurance would be an excise tax. The excise tax would be assessed through the tax code and applied as an additional amount of Federal tax owed [emphasis added].
So, the bill says clearly the mandate is a tax. Obama got away with denying it and was on his way to the next telecast without any correction being made. Again: according to the Marxist dialectic that truth is what you say it is at a precise moment and nothing more, not only was Obama straight-facedly declaring a dictionary definition of a word a falsehood he was ignoring his own past opposition of the mandate-tax idea when he was debating Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primaries. This is what he said then (he wasnt calling the mandate a tax but was terribly, terribly concerned over its affect on you guessed it the poor):
If, in fact, you are going to mandate the purchase of insurance and its not affordable, then theres going to have to have to be an enforcement mechanism that the government uses. And they may charge people, who already dont have health care, fines or have to take it out of their paychecks. And that, I dont think, is helping those without health insurance I think we can anticipate that there would also be people potentially who are not covered and are actually hurt if they have a mandate imposed on them.
See what I mean about the two styles the old fashioned Hubert Humphrey style of arguing from the unassailable point of fact and the Obama style? Obama-style is pure Chomsky-Marcuse which is also pursued by the mayor of Chicago in denying snow is white and 2 plus 2 equals four. The only other time it was used by a president before was by Bill Clinton when he was testifying before the grand jury and the questioning turned to Monica Lewinsky. He said well, that depends on what the meaning of the word `is is. He was in a tough spot, trying to avoid being found guilty of perjury for which he could be impeached (as he ultimately was) while at the same time denying that an affair existed.
Q. This isnt about lying but changing policy direction depending on who ones working for. How do you categorize the decision Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has made by changing direction on the missile shield in Europe? Three years ago under President Bush he signed off on an ambitious program to build a new missile shield in Europe. Two weeks later he supported the Surge in Iraq and sent additional troops over there. Now working for President Obama he recommended jettisoning his own missile shield and is reportedly siding with the president not to send more troops to Afghanistan. Did the situation change?
A. Naw, its just the case of an utterly weak defense secretary who will do anything to agree with his boss. Essentially, Gates opposed the Iraq Surge until he lifted his forefinger in the wind and got the drift that his boss wanted it so Gates changed. The decision panned out well and the Iraq War was stabilized. Now Obama doesnt want to be tagged with owning the Afghanistan war the way LBJ owned Vietnam. So swivel-conscience Gates goes along with his boss. Notice how the administrations Iago, Rahm Emanuel, praises the ultra-flexible Gates: The president values what secretary Gates saysand not just values, he knows what he brings to the table is 30 years of experience in Democratic and Republican administrations. Which is a lot of bosh.
Gates just wants to stay employed as secretary of defense and has mastered the technique of agreeing with his boss. Nothing Chomsky-Marcuse there: just gutless expediency, a common commodity in both Republican and Democratic administrations in Washington. At least you have to compare Gates unfavorably to Don Rumsfeld an Illinois friend of mine for many years who so disagreed with the Surge that he resignedalthough practically he wouldnt budge so he was fired. Rummy turned out to be wrong strategically but at least he followed his conscience.
One great defense secretary was Cap Weinberger whom I knew slightly (he had been on the Quaker Oats board). He and George Shultz came from the same company, Bechtel, but once in the Reagan administration they fought like animals, Shultz, the secretary of state and ex-Marine wanted a more bellicose defense department and Weinberger resisted Shultzs pleadings for military incursions, saying the only time you send troops anywhere is when you feel strongly you can win. Shultz grumbled to Reagan that Weinberger was like General McClellan in the Civil War, always building up reserves but loathe to fight. Reagan kept his cool and stuck with Weinberger.
Q. You think the Obama-Gates decision to scrap the ground-based missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic was a sign of weakness or a move to smart policy of more flexibility that your Illinois friend Don Rumsfeld would have approved of?
A. I dont know if Don would approve of it or not until he writes his memoirs but I think its a terrible decision. Poland and the Czechs have thought so much of us that they have troops in Iraq and Afghanistan helping us! I say this cynically: thatll teach them to like us! They help us and we pull out our missiles! And we announce this on get this the 70th anniversary of the Russian invasion of Poland: hows that for irony? If behind the scenes we had an agreement with the Russians to join us on strong sanctions on Iran and to stop sending anti-aircraft missiles to Iran, perhaps with a stretch it could be justified. But theres no likelihood of such a deal.
Q. Then were weaker in our defenses in comparison to what we were when Bush was in?
A. Dont get me started. We would be much safer here with a defensive shield system in Poland and the Czech Republic than with the missile system in California and Alaska which, by the way, the penurious Obama administration has already cut back on in an effort to save money. With Secretary Gates concurrence, of course.
Q. Youve depressed me to much, lets end this colloquy right now.
A. As you wish. Sleep well tonight.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Thoughts While Shaving: Merkel Wins Big On Tax Cuts Tribune Markedly Improved but-- What Did Beck Mean on McCain-Obama?
Merkel Wins Big.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel won reelection big yesterday on her pledge to implement $22 billion in tax cuts, business deregulation and expansion of licenses for nuclear power plants. Her opposing SPD party which promised penalizing the rich with higher taxes suffered the worst loss in postwar history. Voter turnout was 72%. So much for a supposedly authoritative Sun-Times Op Ed commentary quoting obviously left-wing Germans who said that Merkel could suffer electoral reverses because she denied Barack Obama access to the Brandenburg Gate for his campaign speech in 2008, relegating him to the Victory Column.
Tribune Markedly Improvedbut
In the last few weeks, the Tribune has improved in news content markedly especially in the number of in-depth analyses it has run on local, state and national issues. Its publisher has reportedly issued a mandate that the editorials should be of the crusading type. Okaybut the crusade the paper settled on is so minor-league when compared to the Sun-Times disclosures that it hardly gets anyones blood running hot. That is the scandal dealing with favoritism shown to politicians in opening up slots at the University of Illinois for some constituents. The fact that the paper has railroaded a very good university president out of his job because of that tempest-in-a-teapot is outrageous. It shows a sophomoric naivete in choice of a crusading issue when there are so many other legitimate scandals to dwell on.
Placing kids of constituents in university slots must rank 1,230th in a list of problems in the state of Illinoiseven problems in education. The disclosure should have warranted a few lines back of the corset ads on page 18 and the remedy is to spotlight the political favor-seekers rather than the hapless university staff that, depending on the support of guys like Madigan and Cullerton, are condemned for bowing to political realities rather than turning them down summarily and causing the university to be penalized. Comon guys. You bear great responsibility for hounding an excellent university president out of his job all for a 10th rate circulation-builder that isnt even a scandal.
Glenn Beck on Obama v. McCain.
I like Glenn Beck very muchespecially since he stopped mugging the camera and started hitting on ACORN and other liberal excesses but Ive been trying to figure out his exact point in his interview with CBSs Katie Couric wherein he said that Barack Obama is to be preferred for the presidency over John McCain. Was that utterance the result of a temporary blood clot on the brain which interfered with rational thought processes before it coursed back through the arteries or what? Your views please. Send your best guess and rationale to firstname.lastname@example.org
If Chicago Doesnt Get the Olympics
one factor that could be blamed is the lamentable ad graphics the city bought into to advertise it. It started out with bad drawings of runners streaking ahead with blurry orange shadows behind them. These boards dominated the scene for months such as the gigantic one painted laboriously on the back of the building right off the Kennedy Expressway at about North avenue that everyone stalled in traffic had to shield their eyes to avoid.
Then comes the denouement which is everywhere in the city today including the same graphic on the same building off the Kennedy at North. Believe it or not it shows badly drawn cartoons of athletes drawn I cant imagine why with tread-marks from gym shoes and athletic sneakers. God almighty, its awful. Now if the Tribune wants to zero in on a scandal, it should probe what agency got the contract for it, who was the artist for this atrocity, who approved it, why did they approve it and how much the Olympic committee is paying for this surrealistic crap.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Barack Obamas UN speech largely puffed up as an isolationist address by the compliant mainstream media (dont count on the U.S. to interfere unduly to solve all your disputes, he said) points the way to a dangerous road by America which can lead only to disaster and capitulation to the forces of terrorism.
While as with all Obamas speeches, the basic sentiment is unassailable, the implications are far different: he has served notice through stealthy but soft implication which pleased our enemies greatly of two unrealistic things that we have abdicated our role as a world leader determined to oppose gangster nations like Iran and that we will rely on the United Nations which is nothing more than a debating society and utterly impotent to enforce its will on anyone.
Is it powerful? Powerless, you mean. Hell, it couldnt even control Muammar al-Gaddafis speaking time. He ran an hour and a half and when handed a paper instructing him his time was up, crumbled it into a ball and tossed it away. This phony parliament of nations a forum for tin-pot dictators like Gaddafi to swell their chests and feel important was forced to listen to his raving: thats how meaningless it is.
Hugo Chavez insulted George W. Bush and flattered Obama, saying that Bush had given the rostrum the odor of sulfur and Obama the fragrance of hope. Any self-respecting chamber of commerce would have gaveled a speaker down who insulted a duly elected former head of statebut not the United Nations.
Reason: its more than institutional timidity. Basically the United Nations is a concoction consisting largely of U. S. enemies and anti-Semites who rejoice in lording themselves in New York courtesy of our money, propagandizing their evil to the generally sympathetic U.S. mainstream media rooting for their country to be humiliated. They are the best reason to resurrect the age-old trumpeting of the Old Right: The U.S. out of the United Nations and the United Nations out of the U. S.
Be that as it may, it was the shocking performance of Obama that frightens me. For the first time since the UN was formed in 1945, a U. S. president has covertly joined the collection of Third World brigands. Eight points.
1. The highly publicized via our willfully liberally malevolent mainline media that endorses what the Associated Press calls a sweeping strategy aimed at halting the spread of nuclear weapons and ultimately, eliminating them to usher in a world with `undiminished security for all. Not stated in any of the effusive stories was that the resolution was a toothless aspiration with no enforcement. The fact that the media touts this as an Obama victory is sickening. And even more sickening was the sight of 89-year-old George Shultz, Reagans secretary of state trilling that Ronald Reagan looking down at us is smiling today! Reagan would be first to note that the resolution means nothing and is as valueless as the note rushed up to the rostrum to tell Gaddafi to stop talking. But the effect is not just wasted motion: it emboldens our enemies to believe rightly it seems that the United States is a sophomoric, peace-at-any-price concessionary, decadent, luxury-loving power with no guts to resist.
2. Match that with Obamas statement in his speech that no [one] nation can dominate another. Pardon me? What does he think Russia is doing to Georgia? What utter nonsense and weak drivel.
3. Later in the speech this Third World-sympathizing president blistered the concept of alignments of nations that are rooted cleavages of the Cold War. Pardon me? What does that make NATO a useless relic? Its a cleavage of the Cold War. What does that make the European Union which is a cleavage of the Cold War? What does it make our alliances to Eastern Europe, with Taiwan, with Korea and the Philippines?
4. Not only is the speech filled with Wilsonian dream-stuff, it is far more serious that just a lofty statement. This Third World creature is out to unravel our alliances which will hand victory over to the forces of radical Islam. And dont think thats happenstance. Thats what Ive meant when from the outset I said this is the first president who is not a patriot, this is the first president who by his actions is unconcerned with the threat of Third World revolutionaries consisting of radicals in the United States and fascists throughout the world.
5. Which means that while theres an alignment between Iran, Russia and Cuba as well as an alignment of Venezuelas Chavez with Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua, we thanks to Obama are signaling to them that we regard our alliances as part of the cleavage of the Cold War and hence redundant. If he were a professed enemy, he could not be more effective than he has been with the UN speech.
6. Then we turn to Afghanistan and hear our president say that he is reexamining our commitment there because he has discovered corruption in that country. Pardon me? Corruption in Afghanistan has always been endemic: wheres he been? The question is whether hes going to follow the wise recommendation of the very general he put in charge of Afghanistan the question is whether hes going to follow through with his campaign statement that Afghanistan was the right war. The answer is this: if he can get away with it, hell listen to that peerless pundit Joe Biden who wanted originally to divide Iraq into three until he was almost laughed out of the Senate.
7. By his counsel of weakness, Obama is telling our allies like India, Columbia, the government of Iraq, eastern Europe, France, Germany and others that they have been fools to have sided with us thus far.
8. Finally, do you think this one-man wrecking crew that is our president is doing this just out of incompetence? How simplistic can you be? I said originally hes not a patriot, didnt I? Hes declared this country is not exceptional, didnt he? Hes declared this country is no longer Christian, didnt he? Now the speech at the UN where he has broken faith with all past presidents who have been involved in the world struggle. Snap, poof: over. Just like that. What more evidence do you need? He regards the truth as serviceable only as a temporary expedient. Conclusion: Hes not a friend.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Personal Aside: Michael Steele Withdraws Kirk-Only Support in a Victory for Patrick Hughes Obama-Speak Romancing the UN.
Steele Withdraws Sole Support for Kirk.
Republican National Chairman Michael Steele has withdrawn his sole endorsement for Mark Kirk for the U. S. Senate, recognizing that the candidacy of Patrick Hughes has drawn major support from Illinois Republicans: thus Steeles RNC is neutral a distinct victory for Hughes.
Obama-Speak Indebtedness to Chomsky-Marcuse.
A study in presidential arrogance (its all about me) Barack Obama made a historic speech to the United Nations yesterday, showing that body that America has installed a 3rd World approach to international affairs a prelude for weakness where this country renounces further leadership in supporting its interests in international polity. Obamas Harvard faculty lounge thinking flavored with his earlier disavowal of American exceptionalism and, indeed, its historic adherence to Christianity gives rising hope to anti-Americanism throughout the world.
As Obama speaks not in tones of regular oratory but with the subjective linguistics of Noam Chomsky and Herbert Marcuse where truth becomes what the speaker wants it to be in order to achieve short-range goals his talk has to be deciphered. Obama-speak is far different from usual political-speak. Political-speak in this country has heretofore seen political leaders speak in behalf of one part of the equation: liberal or conservative. Obama-speak throws out this rule and uses axioms of purported truth to serve very temporary ends as Chomsky and Marcuse have long urged the Left to do.
Example: In last Sundays marathon of TV appearances, Obama-speak crested with his appearance on ABCs This Week with George Stephanopoulos. The question arose as to whether the mandate in the Baucus health bill stating that everyone would be forced to buy health insurance or pay a penalty as high as $3,800 a year for a family of four constitutes a tax. Regular political speak ala the late Hubert Humphrey (whom I covered for many years) would have Humphrey vociferously defending the tax, saying that it is needed to ensure everyone carries a fair load. Not Obama-speak which has roots in Chomsky and Marcuse. Obama denied the provision amounts to a tax. It is not a tax, he said.
Illustrating the non-tax would work, he assumed Stephanopoulos would have no health insurance and he gets hit by a bus.
OBAMA: [Suppose] you get hit by a bus and you and I have for pay for the emergency room care; thats--.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That may be it its still a tax increase.
OBAMA: No. Thats not true, George. Thefor us to say that youve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase. What its saying is, is that were not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you, anymore than the fact that right now everybody in America, just about, has to gert insurance. Nobody considers that a tax increase.
STEPHANOPOULOS: II dont think Im making it up. Merriam-Websters DictionaryTaxa charge, usually of money, imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes. It may be fair. It may be good policy--.
OBAMA: George, the fact that you looked up Merriam-Websters Dictionary for the definition of tax increase, indicates to me that youre stretching a bit right now.
See that? Thats Chomsky-Marcuse, refined from Far Left dialectic. Re-defining what is truth for short-range objectives. If you go to a Dictionary it means youre stretching. The Dictionary itself is not verifiable. No absolute truth. Now consider that the very language of the bill defines that this portion is indeed a tax increase.
On page 29 it reads: The consequence for not maintaining insurance would be an excise tax. The excise tax would be assessed through the tax code and applied as an additional amount of Federal tax owed. Thats how Obama operates. 2 plus 2 equals 4 unless the immediate goal dictates that it does NOT. Snow is white unless the immediate goal dictates it is NOT. Thats Obama-speak. Essentially it repeals absolute truth. So in absolute terms, the truth isnt in him.
Now to the UN speech. It needs to be translated from the Chomsky-Marcuse dialectic.
I have been in office for just nine months I am well aware of the expectations that accompany my presidency around the world. I AM DIFFERENT THAN ANY OF MY PREDECESSORS, ESPECIALLY THE MOST RECENT ONE.
I took office at a time when many around the world had come to view America with skepticism and distrust. NOTHING AMERICA HAS DONE HERETOFORE WIN WORLD WAR II THE MARSHALL PLAN WIN THE COLD WAR NOTHING CAN BE COMPARED TO MY ASCENSION WHICH BRINGS HOPE TO THE THIRD WORLD.
I will never apologize for defending those (Americas) interests. HE JUST APOLOGIZED FOR HIS PREDECESSORS. PURE CHOMSKY-MARCUSE.
On my first day in office, I prohibitedwithout exception or equivocationthe use of torture in the United States of America. ENDING MY PREDECESSORS USE OF TERROR.
I ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed BUT HE CANT FIND A PLACE TO SEND THE INMATES AND THE EFFORT HAS BEEN CONTINUALLY POSTPONED.
and we are doing the hard work of forging a framework to combat extremism within the rule of law. CHANGING THE TACTICS MY PREDECESSORS USED INVOLVING EXTREMISM AND TORTURE.
Weve also re-engaged the United Nations EVIL GEORGE BUSH DIDNT ENGAGE THE UN EVEN THOUGH HE WENT BEFORE THE BODY AND URGED IT TO ENFORCE ITS OWN RESOLUTIONS CONCERNING IRAQ SAYING IRAQ HAS ANSWERED A DECADE OF UN DEMANDS WITH A DECADE OF DEFIANCE. ARE SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS TO BE HONORED AND ENFORCED OR CAST ASIDE WITHOUT CONSQUENCE? WILL THE UNITED NATIONS SERVE THE PURPOSE OF ITS FOUNDING OR WILL IT BE IRRELEVANT?
We have paid our bills. IMPLYING NO ONE ELSE BEFORE ME HAS.
We have joined the Human Rights Council (Applause). THE COUNCIL THAT HAS REPEATEDLY ATTACKED ISRAEL AS AN ARCH-ENEMY OF HUMAN RIGHTS LEADING THE U. S. SENATE TO CUT OFF FUNDING FOR IT WHILE STUDIOUSLY IGNORING CASES OF GENOCIDE IN AFRICA.
Youve just inhaled a strong whiff of Chomsky-Marcuse employed by our Palestinian-loving, Third World-enamored president. Remember: truth exists to be convoluted to serve the political moment.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Who Lost Afghanistan?
The year 2010 may be a replay of 1950. Heres how.
While current myth-makers about the greatness of Harry Truman ignore it now, let someone who lived through his era tell you: The disastrous foreign policy mistakes that were made in the Far East during his time live with us yet. The fact that he has become an unjustified myth does not obscure the truth. The Marshall Plan was brilliant but it is more than overbalanced by the fall of China which was largely our doing, our miscalculation.
Under Dean Acheson and George Marshall, the forces of Chiang kai Shek were deprived of massive U. S. aid to force a coalition government between the Red Chinese and the Chinese nationalists. The coalition never materialized because there is no such thing as a coalition between democratic forces and the Communists, and the government of China fell in 1949affecting the balance of power to the Communist side that affects us yet.
The liberals said Chiangs government was corrupt the same thing they said about South Vietnams Diem: notice the similarity? Not a word about the corruption of Peking. But the Communist victory over China precipitated a gigantic political convulsion in this country worsened when Truman began the Korean War on Sunday, June 15th 1950 caused largely by Achesons failure to distinguish in a national speech at the Washington Press Club that Korea was vital to our defense. His failure to include it as he sketched our line of defenses on a map was attributed as a signal to the Communist North Korea that they could move to conquer the South.
Rapidly the dissatisfaction with our foreign and defense posture robbed Truman of the high stature he had by winning against almost insuperable odds his election over Dewey in 1948. Successive scandals led to the slogan mouthed everywhere To err is Truman. In New York city a bartender heard a patron mutter to another that he was going to buy a gun and kill that little sonuvabitch in Washington. The FBI raced to the bar and collared the guy, saying that he had threatened the life of the president of the United States.
The guy said I did not! All I said was `Im going to kill that little sonuvabitch in Washington! I never referred to Truman at all! An FBI agent responded: Oh no, what other little sonuvabitch is there in Washington? The story broke in Walter Winchells column and raced across the nation especially when radio commentator Gabriel Heatter used it (cleaning up the language) as the elections of 1950 dawned.
The toppling of Trumans reputation from a plain-spoken little man representing Everyman to a symbol of incompetence and corruption was the most complete turnaround I ever saw. I was going to grad school and working during the day as a blueprint machine operator at Sun Electric and the dissatisfaction both in the white collar business office and with blue-collars on the line where I worked was enormous. Still and all, the congressional elections didnt see Republicans capture control of either house but the number of Democratic falloff was terrific. The Democrats lost 27 seats in the House and five in the Senate, barely managing to hang on by two seats. Here in Illinois, a senator viewed as impregnable much as Dick Durbin is now the Democratic majority leader of the Senate, Scott Lucas was defeated in a near landslide by Everett Dirksen (the Democrats elected Arizona Senator Ernest McFarland as majority leader and he lost reelection two years later).
The issues were Democratic mismanagement of foreign and defense policy and corruption in the Truman administration.
What seems uncannily like a repeat of history is the likelihood that the very war Barack Obama called the Good war and the Real war in Afghanistan may well decide 2010. The very general Obama named to pilot the Iraq and Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, is calling for an increase of 40,000 troops in Afghanistan and the rumor is that if he doesnt get it, hell resign. Rahm Emanuel the eternal reincarnation of Iago in MacBeth is seen as huddling close to Obamas ear and telling him that he must be no means increase the troops or he will gain the onus of owning the Afghanistan war as LBJ did when he increased the troops in Vietnam. Condi Rice has broken her silence for the first time, saying the fall of Afghanistan is near if reinforcements are not sent speedily. If Afghanistan falls in this way, terrorism will be vastly increased here at home and across the world.
The parallels are closing in. The year 2010 will see a huge Republican resurgence, preparatory to election of a Republican president in 2012. If Obama shoves Emanuel aside and reinforces the troops in Afghanistan risking his Far Left base he might re-set his faltering presidency and truly become a president of the Center. I pray hell do it but to do it he has to break with a lifetime of subservience and affiliation with the Third World nihilistic Left. Obama will be seen as the goatjust as Truman was the goat before David McCullough decades later started his massive reconstruction mentioning the fall of China only as an inevitability: wrong; very wrong.
I doubt he will do it. Were he to do it he would lose the favor of the Leftwing media but he would re-direct his presidency and stand a good chance of winning in 2012. Make no mistake: he is intoxicatedas many pols areby favorable press. If Obama goes in 2012, much of the supine media which sold him unconscionably as a great man when he never so much as managed a candy store, will go with him the perky Katie Courics, the incompetent Bob Schieffer who should have been fired for journalistic malpractice a year by shielding John Edwards Pretty Boy Brian Williams. The big networks will revamp their news operations rather than see their news divisions hemorrhaging profits.
The big urban papers are changing already. The Washington Post is becoming more conservative, weighing in on the side of the CIA in its terrorist interrogations. Here at home, it is finally a pleasure to see that the Chicago Tribune is starting to become less of a mushy know-nothing concoction of liberals than a paper that is taking on crusades against government excess. They are changing overnight from being an Obama-acolyte to a critical organ. But as for Obama, will he change from the Lefty he is to one determined to save his presidency by becoming a tougher critic of the Palestinians and more assertively pro-defense? Will he?
No such luck. He is a media creation; he is a Leftwing creation. And it is as a Leftwing creation he will be defeated.
Until then, we will just have to grit our teeth and hold on hoping that the fall of Afghanistan will not endanger too many cities. But if it falls and if the cities burn as is likely if this Hamlet cannot get his act together he will be toast in 2012. And there will be no David McCullough interested enough to spin cotton candy fiction out of a debacle as happened with Truman.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Personal Aside: Notre Dame President to Speak Here but No Interest in Protesting Obamas Foreign-Defense Policies Shifting Left.
Notre Dame President.
Notre Dame President Fr. John I, Jenkins, CSC, who warmly greeted the abortion president of the U. S. as commencement speaker and recipient of an honorary doctorate, will speak at the City Club this Thursday (Sept. 24) at Maggianos Banquets, 111 West Grand (11:30 a.m. reception, 12:00 lunch) but not a peep is heard from authenticist Catholics about protesting his appearance. Thus doth the fires of passion burn low.
As City Club Chairman, I didnt invite him but I welcomed his appearance because I thought it would be healthy for him to experience some old-fashioned robust dissent with placards and civil protests out on the streetwhere I had planned to be.
But all I got when I approached one pro-life leader was a yawn (We did that before at Notre Dame). Oh, all right. The media will say, see? Just a tempest in a teapot! But if thats the way you want it, Catholics, okay. Ill fold up my placard and stay home. If you want to protest, get organizing. Not long until this Thursday. And if any of you want to make a showing, Id like to know so I can join in to make a ruckus in the good old American spirit of dissent. Write me at email@example.com.
Sheesh! So much for the hotly burning defense of unborn life. With no protesters, President Jenkins will be thrilled.
Obamas Defense Policies Shifting Left.
Last week I wrote a question-and-answer piece, judging Barack Obamas domestic policies after 250 days of his presidency. Here follows a similar catechism on his foreign and defense policies designed largely to placate his allies on the Left. It means well be lucky to survive by the time his term ends at noon on Jan. 20, 2012.
What are the crucial areas facing this country that Obama has to deal with?
No controversy about this: there are four major ones. First and most dangerous is Iran which is clearly defying the U. S. and is playing kissy face with Venezuelas Hugo Chavez who is a bitter enemy. We now hear that Russia may sell some S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Iran, a dangerous development. Second, the situation in Afghanistan which during the campaign Obama called the good war is deteriorating and he faces a decision as to whether or not to send in more U. S. forces. On this point, Gen. Stanley McChrystal is calling for at least 40,000 more U. S. troops, warning that if they arent forthcoming we could well lose the war in Afghanistan. Obamas key adviser Rahm Emanuel is telling him dont do it! If you do, youll end up like LBJ who got bogged down in Vietnam and retired from the presidency as one who was engulfed in an un-winnable war. Meaning that domestic politics may well override national security.
Third is missile defense and the worry that Obama is thinking of abandoning plans for third-site missile defense installations in Poland and the Czech Republic. Fourth is the decision by Attorney General Eric Holder to probe the CIA to possibly convict those who used tough tactics to get terrorists like Khalid Sheik Mohammed who planned 9/11 to spit out the truth about future bombings. Holders action is likely to severely chill any future attempt to grill terrorists energetically which means that our first line of defense against attacks on our shores will likely be severely undermined.
On Iran, Obama said that if were nice to our adversaries and we extend a hand well see good results. Is it working?
Well, he said he wants to meet unilaterally with the Iranians which he calls smart diplomacy. Then he kept still when post-election demonstrators were being shot in the streets because he wanted to keep open channels with the Ahmadinejad regime. He apologized in his Cairo speech for what President Eisenhower did fifty years agoan apology which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad himself said would have to happen before the Iranians would resume negotiations with us. Obama meekly complied.
After his craven apology for a 5-star general-presidents who, in retrospect, was one of our most effective, what happened? In July at the G-8 summit in Italy, Iran was given a September deadline to begin negotiations on its nuclear buildup. Last week it bluntly said no. On Obamas plea for a face-to-face meeting with the dictator, Ahmadinejad said I will meet with Obama but it has to be in the full glare of the media and it will be a debate. Incidentally, he adds, the nuclear issue is off the tableand will not be discussed. But global warming will be. To which Obama has said meekly okay.
Its clear that Obamas weakness here means that the task of dealing with Iran will be outsourced to Israel which led an air strike destroying Iraqs reactor in 1981 and Syrias in 1987. If the strike failsor even if it succeedsit could well mean a full-scale Middle East war and oil at $200 a barrel. This is what Obamas fine touch in world affairs has given us.
Also, remember Obamas warm greeting to Hugo Chavez of Venezuela at the London economic summit and the exchange of books including Chavezs which bitterly attacks the United States? What did that do for us? Chavez flew to Iran and concluded an alliance that results in Venezuela supplying Iran with gasoline it sorely needs (Iran has plenty of crude oil but is weak in refined petroleum). The problem here is that Obama has abandoned the policy of the firm hand in diplomacy in return for a limp-wristed gesture that apologizes for our past and shows the world that we are weak for which we not only get nothing but worsens the situation because we look frightened and impotent.
Every day that passes, Iran is getting closer to acquiring nuclear capability. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs says it has already got sufficient uranium to build an atomic bomb. Its also making fast headway on its ballistic missile program. Last May 30 it fired a missile with a 1,200 to 1,500-mile range and the National Air and Space Intelligence Center states that Iran could develop a missile capable of reaching the U. S. by 2015.
Well, what is Obama doing about that?
He seems to be spending all his time making speeches and doing TV interviews to sell his health care program at the rate of one speech a day a program not even a clear-cut majority of congressional Democrats want. These things keep him pretty busy.
What about Afghanistan?
As previously stated, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal is calling for 40,000 more troops, saying that if theyre not forthcoming the war may well be lost. It is important to recall that McChrystal is Obamas man, the one the president named to run the war there. Remember that in the presidential campaign, Obama opposed the Iraq War and said that the war in Afghanistan was the more important onethat we have to win this one. Well now that the surge has worked in Iraq, the question is whether a similar one can work in Afghanistan. But the Left of the Democratic party is pressing for either withdrawal or the setting of a limit on a date-certain when we will withdraw, urging that the Afghanistan military force should be able to handle the Taliban.
One thing wrong with that. There is a total of only 173,000 in the Afghan army which is undermanned and poorly equippedin contrast to 600,000 in the Iraq army (Iraq is a smaller, less populated country). Obama is hugely indebted to the Left for its support politically. If he adopts what the Left wantsa small footprint strategyby reducing U. S. troops and scaling back the goals of the war to focus just on al-Qaeda rather than the Taliban-led insurgents he will alienate the Left. A new strategy urged by Generals McChrystal and Petraeus stresses expanding the number of our troops, improving the Afghan forces and the partnering of Afghan units with American units leading to the strengthening of the Afghan army and police and reducing the need for U. S. troops.
Why doesnt Obama do that? Follow the advice of McChrystal and Petraeus?
Because he fears the Democratic Left will revolt and severely wound him in the congressional elections of 2010 and the all-important presidential in 2012. Believe me, the Left isnt kidding. Just last week the chairman of the Senate Armed Services committee, Carl Levin (D-Mich.) publicly opposed increasing our forces over there. Then an all-important New York Times columnista journalistic mainstay of Obamas support, Frank Rich-- wrote how dissatisfied he is with the president. For Obama the likely loss of Frank Rich and others who may follow him presages a possible revolt from his Left flank which is scary for him. And very scary for this country which has to depend on Obama for its defenses.
What could happen if Obama listens to Emanuel and the Democratic Left?
Reducing U. S. forces precipitately would result in the Taliban building sanctuaries within Afghanistan imperiling the Afghan government and propelling al-Qaeda in that country. This would significantly strengthen the Islamist threat to Pakistan at a time when its making progress in stymieing the Pakistani Taliban. To be fair, the Bush administrations minimalist approach to Afghanistan in 2001 due largely to Illinois Don Rumsfeld to be bipartisan about it allowed Osama bin Laden to flee his mountain hideaway at Tora Bora. When Washington reduced its force to concentrate solely on counter-terrorism in Afghanistan and abandon counterinsurgency tactics freeing up troops for Iraq the Taliban regrouped. The small footprint strategy failed in Iraq and almost lost the war before Petraeus-designed surge turned the tide.
Okay, what about the missile problem?
This has to do largely with Obamas political vanity. He concluded a deal with Russias Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow last July. The Russians said any steps toward nuclear disarmament would have to involve our abandoning missile defense installations in Central Europe including former USSR satellites that are now in NATO and the European Union. But Russia wants to build missile defense sites in Azerbaijan and in the south of the Russian federation, close to the Iranian border. Although there are sea-based alternatives which may block intercontinental ballistic missiles, they have to be tested. Buttoo badmoney for future testing and development is severely under-funded by the Democratic Congress. What the Democrats, including Obama, are doing is scrimping on money that could defense us and lavishing big bucks on Great Society-style mammoth social projects.
How serious is Holders plan to probe the CIA for being so rude as to deprive accused terrorists of sleep, apply water-board and other tough tactics?
Very serious. Far more than when the Cold War existed, the CIA is the first line of our defense domestically against terrorists. Once again, Obama is striving to please the Left of his party who want to employ the Marquis of Queensbury rules in the interrogations heedless of the damage it will cause the United States. By the way, dont get the idea that the CIA is right-wing. Its been historically liberal Democrat since its founding and bitterly opposed Bushs preemptive war in Iraq, its operatives leaking steadily to favored media against Bush and Cheney.
Where do Obamas allies on the Left come from and how strong are they?
His allies on the Left are nationwide but hes been indebted largely to the left-wing Chicago Democratic machine. The mainstream media dont understand his tie-in with the machine, believing that a former University of Chicago law lecturer with a Harvard law degree is independent of a machine which is run by someone perceived oftenand wrongly-- as a relatively conservative neighborhood Democrat, Mayor Richard M. Daley. They dont understand that the machine which I call less of a mechanical organization than a Squid has changed greatly from the days when Daleys father was mayor. Daley, Sr. was anathema to the political Left. The younger Daley, who is not all that young (67) made a Faustian bargain with the Left to go along with everything they want if in return the Left would support him.
The Left agreed and so Daley has been reelected time and again without any serious challenge from them. Rather than being a stabilizing counter-force to the Left, Richard Daley is an enabler for the Left. It was he who got cushy university jobs for Bill Ayres and his wife Bernardine Dohrn who are unrepentant terrorists. All the people who have matriculated to Washington from the Chicago machine (or Squid) have worked for Daley and have extremist credentials with the Left. They include Valerie Jarrett who is one of the presidents top aides. Jarrett was the first one to sign up Van Jones as White House Green Jobs chief and allowed him to skip the vetting process, knowing full well that he is a Communist and a Trutherone who signed up for the organization that charges that George W. Bush knew about the facilitated the attacks on 9/11.
Why do you call the Daley machine the Squid?
Because a giant Squid is a better description of the liberal Democratic organization here in Chicago. The image of a Squid is far more realistic because it is highly complex as the modern, 21st century organization here is. A Squid has eight arms and two tentacles and has the ability to eject an inky substance that permeates the water and hide itself (read: co-opt the media). Its skin has the ability to change color to suit its surroundings, making it effectively invisible. A Squid maintains the highest intelligence among invertebrates. It has the largest eyes in the animal kingdom, looking everywhere. This variant of the Squid can have its head lopped off and can still survive, quickly generating another head that can grow almost immediately.
This Squid is run by Daley but is not dependent on him for its survival. Indeed, there are signs that Daleys era may be coming to a close (although if that happens the Squid will regenerate another head swiftly).
Whats happening to Daley?
For the first time in his mayoral career, his critics outnumber his fans, a Tribune poll announced to this stunned city last week. His approval is at an all-time low of 35%. Many things contribute to this. There has been a parking meter fiasco outsourcing its operation to a private entity, a subsidiary of Morgan-Stanley with which his brother Bill is affiliated which has alienated most resident-users (the details of which are far too complex to explain here).
Theres his failure to explain that city taxpayers will have to cover potential losses from the Olympics. As the Tribunes Dennis Byrne has reported, not only is there a $500 million guarantee from the city (and $250 million from the state which cant pay its bills) but Daley signed an open-ended agreement committing the city to whatever cost overruns will occur. He blusters the games wont cost the city anything since the sponsors took out an insurance policy that will cover any unexpected cost. Who would sell such a policy? How much is the premium to cover a potential of hundreds of millions of dollars of losses? But there is no pool of insured and the city is the only one coveredso likely it would take the hit. Media generally is too subservient to ask these questions.
Then theres the slumping economy that led him to break his 2007 pledge to give generous wage increases to unionized employees: instead there have been layoffs and furloughs without pay.
Too soon for the bugler to sound Taps for Daley and/or the Squid?
Much too soon. Reason: for years Democrats who die here insist on being buried within the limits of Chicago so they can continue to be politically active and theyll be voting the straight Democratic ticket and for Daley and his successors until Judgment Day.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Personal Aside: Sun-Times Pallasch Scores Big with Story of How Dems Slate Judges Adam, Mullins Do Well in Hot Radio Slugfest.
The Sun-Times high-paid columnists may not be worth their salt but once again Sunday proved its news staff keeps the paper afloat. Political columnist Abdon Pallasch wrote a brilliant inside piece on how Dems slate judges. For decades commentators have referred to the process but Pallasch whom Ive known since he was a tadpole intern for the Better Government Association has done what no reporter has before. He actually got a seat at the table when judges were being slated by Eddie Burke. Pallaschs story could easily be made into a musical not unlike Fiorello with Burke playing himself. After all who could find a better actor with white hair so luminous that if you turned off the lights it would glow?
Then, to make the story even richer, after the slating group went into executive session but Pallasch had an inside operative give him the details.
The story, Inside the Beast: How Cook County Judges are Elected is not melodramatic nor self-righteously judgmental but straight reporting. As such it is not just outstanding: it is the best story of such a process since I have been keeping score of Cook county Democratic politics. Pallasch is a super-star and with Sundays story begins to approach the John Kass class. Just simply marvelous journalism.
Andrzejewski & Mullins.
I call my WLS radio show Political Shootout for a reason. Its not a meandering, everybody-agree-with-everyone-else variant of the WTTWs deadly boring Chicago Week in Review but is immediate and spontaneous with two participants who feel strongly about issues and tactics. Last night they were Adam Andrzejewski, once a long-shot but distinctly fast-rising populist conservative Republican contender for his partys gubernatorial nomination and Eugene Mullins, spokesman for Todd Stroger, brilliant, equipped with street smarts as a former police sergeant and also intellectually with a handful of graduate degrees. I worked up a sweat keeping them apart during the broadcast and the public learned much about state and Cook county politics from them.
My conclusions: Andrzejewski is definitely not a mere flash-in-the-pan. I tossed a few fast balls at him asking how he could justify balancing a state budget that is an estimated $10 billion in the red by merely eliminating the old canards of waste, fraud and abuse. He ticked off a number of heavy programs he would eliminate. If he was limited at all, it was because Republicans in the legislature have been shut out of the process where they can verify the myriad of money stashes that Adam maintains can translate his blueprint into reality. Well see if hes right but hes a major contender: young, exceedingly articulate and endowed with a fighting nature.
Gene Mullins has the tougher job since the media are all over his boss but with 55 years in this business I have not seen his forensic equal since I watched a young, bristling Hubert Humphrey make an electric bid for mayor of Minneapolis which started him down the path to U. S. Senate, vice president and presidential candidate.
It is intriguing to note that the flurry of Democratic challengers to Todd Stroger three of themAlderman Toni Preckwinkle, Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown and Congressman Danny Davismay combine to return the powerful Cook county board presidency to the Irish Daley-ites by splitting the black vote and allowing Terrence OBrien, president of the Water Reclamation Board, to get in. Thats no great concern of mine as a Republican but methinks I see a strategy in the Dem slating committee under the thumb as everything else is of Mayor Daley tossing the prize to the winds whereguess what?another Irishman can triumph. And dont think that isnt the plan. With his ever-higher taxes and the outlook for a sharply higher property tax to pay for the Olympics, blacks and the poor will have to move out to blue-collar suburbs leaving the Daleys and the Irish in control as fifty years ago.
Which means well have a reprise of what? Devil in the White City.
Of course the black challengers to Stroger are far from Class A themselves. Preckwinkle has Rezko ties Brown? When she ran against Daley for mayor she had everythingsuperb credentials: an MBA and law degreebut was unable to master the issues which shed get from merely reading the paper. Result: you figured she was a ringer.
And of course Danny Davis whose specialty is a Hammond organ voice with which he can read the Chicago telephone directory running his tones up and down (me-me-me-me) from whisper to stentorian blast. His basso profundo is so resonant that you forget that no substance comes out. The other day he said we must have universal health insurance regardless of the costno matter if its even double what Obamas people have based their price tag. Damn the Cost Davis is what he goes by. Nothing would so improve Ways and Means as his leaving it but if people are worried about taxes now, with Damn the Cost Davis as board president itd be full steam ahead.
His rich baritone commands attention but when you hear it for a time you understand it is an instrument unconnected to thought Davis occasionally giving the impression that he would like to shut it off but he just cant. It just rolls on and on and on like Old Man River (which he would do a great job on) either that or playing the role of De Lawd in a revival of Mark Connellys 1937 Green Pastures.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Personal Aside: Watch Out--Lefty Marin Strikes Below the Belt Again Flurry of Establishment Guys Puts Dillard in a Tough Position.
Chicago medias most notorious journalistic lefty who, inexplicably has a career arm-lock on key newspaper-TV outlets, Carol Marin (Sun-Times columnist, NBC 5 and WTTW-11 interviewer) has struck again this time in a Sun-Times column linking former GOP vice presidential nominee and ex-Alaska governor Sarah Palin with Rod Blagojevich, impeached former Illinois governor whos indicted and awaiting trial for mail fraud, solicitation of bribery.
Its Marins lowest gutter job since she vindictively and falsely accused the National Rifle Association of conspiring with the Center for Disease Control to obscure and/or hide statistics on children killed with firearms a column she had to retract totally and apologize for, the column being withdrawn from the newspapers website to avoid a lawsuit.
No one at the apparently rudderless Sun-Times has the taste or power to edit Marins stuff, which reads what it truthfully is: a diatribe written by an embittered portside ideologue in the same category but assuredly not the same league as Maureen Dowd, the New York Times columnist, dotty as she has become, who wrote last week she distinctly feels Congressman Joe Wilson meant You lie, BOY! except that he didnt say boy. Dowd is going over the edge but at least she hasnt rivaled Marin in vitriolyet.
Lets just say it, Marins column yesterday began, Rod Blagojevich is Sarah Palin. Marin thinks the impeached and indicted Blagojevich is the same as Palin because the former Alaska governor is writing a book, as did Blagojevich.
See? Thats all Marin has to show that theyre identical: Blagojevich wrote a book and Palin is working on one.
Everything else, though, between Blagojevich and Palin is dissimilar.
Marin thinks Palin is identical with Norma Desmond, the overage silent film actress in her late `60s played by Gloria Swanson in the 1950 Billy Wilder classic Sunset Boulevard. Swanson was shown as aging and over-the-hill: in fact slightly demented (tell Mr. DeMille Im ready for my closeup!).
Actually, Swanson (born on the North Side and who as a teen-ager took tickets at a movie-house on Lincoln avenue near Saint Alphonsus church and who vaguely knew my father who was exactly her age) was only 51 when the film was madea couple of years younger, I would imagine, than Marin is now (talk about over-the-hill). Ergo: what is comparative is Swansons age then and Marins but I daresay Marin has Swanson topped by at least a decade.
Moreover, Palin is 45, had a baby last year had the moral courage to go ahead with the birth of a Down Syndrome baby when the secular world would want her to abort and as presidential candidates go and she is an incipient one by modern polling measurement is just a kid, a colt, a yearling, with at least 20 more years ahead of her where she could reasonably be a candidate. Which means in her chosen profession, public service, she has a lot more years in her than Marin has in hers unless Marin wants to equal the dean of the White House press corps--Helen Thomas of Hearst who just marked her 89th birthday. But the more I think of it, talk about similarities, I definitely think theres several between Thomas and Marin.
Thomas says that of all the presidents in U. S. history, George W. Bush was the worst because he launched the preemptive strike on Iraq. That seems to square with Marin. Thomas has said that what else should a reporter be but liberal? Thats in synch with Marin. But there similarities end. Thomas used to beand maybe still is--a very good reporter: Marin never was. She was an anchor who read the words of others. When she started writing her own stuff, she got into trouble. Watch and see, as she continues shes bound to get in more-and-more.
Flurry of Establishment Candidates.
As I have said many times previously, I am for State Sen. Kirk Dillard for the Republican nomination for governor because (a) his record on conservative social issues squares with minehis steady support of pro-life and his gutsy introduction of conceal-carry, (b) I believe that theres something to be said despite the mythology that experience in office deserves high consideration and (c) that when you add these things to the need of one to be elected, it is wise when considering one for high office to know how he has worked out in lesser office. I have never supported a candidate for office who has pleased me in all things, including a governor for whom I loyally worked. At any rate, I dont want to encourage a debate about thisthis is simply where I stand.
Having said that, I think there might well be diminished odds against my favorite candidate. His general mien on other issues tends to be moderate (which doesnt disturb me unduly) but he now faces competitors who may lay claim to his constituency. Bob Schillerstrom, the DuPage board chairman is pro-choice but on other things may bite into Dillards following. And now the entry of Andy McKenna, Jr. may also do thisalthough McKenna is by no means a proven commodity and has a track record of failure in the political posts he has held barring money-raising. His race for the Senate nomination was dismal given that he spent a Chinese ransom to get his name across. His state chairmanship was very mediocre in a post that demanded vibrant leadership.
Yet McKenna is obviously prepared to spend another fortune in his own behalf. That leaves the two brilliantly outspoken conservative candidates...Adam Andrzejewski and Dan Proft. Of these two I prefer Andrzejewski for several reasons (not important to enumerate here) but in fact they may well split the conservative vote in the suburbs and collar counties. That would leave it to Bill Brady to scoop up the leavings. And in answer to one who wrote me saying why didnt I comment on Brady, I didnt because I am very opposed to his candidacy. Why when he espouses much of what I believe? Because I remember how he gutted Jim Oberweis far from a gifted candidate but a fine, decent conservative the last time and worked if not concertedly at least wholeheartedly by himself to give us Topinka for whom I could not vote. All the while, Gidwitz was taking on Topinka the front-runner could have been expected by Brady as well.
The Brady attacks on Oberweis instead of Topinka made me suspicious of this fair-haired, utterly handsome candidate that he might be a kind of ringerextolling views favorable to conservatives but following a strangely divergent course, Another thing I learned about Brady is that he is decidedly not in my view on top of the issues. I remember on my radio show when none other than Becky Carroll, an assistant press secretary to Blagojevich, tied him in knots. That almost did it. Then earlier this year, Brady, the self-styled conservative when faced with a choice for Senate GOP leader voted for Christine Radogno, the darling of Personal PAC, as pro-abort as they come. ThereTHAT did it. There are other reservations I have beyond these things that are not for elucidation here but suffice to say Brady would be my very last and I mean very last choice.
But the calculus of the Republican primary as now stands leads me to think that Brady has a distinct chance coming as the only candidate from downstate to grab it all. Not certain, of course. And it depends on the intensity of the campaign which really hasnt gone public sufficiently yet.
These are my thoughts. Your comments? By the way, about Topinka. I once thought Id oppose her for anything she runs for in the future. I have decided that she does bring a certain following to the ticket and that she cant do much harm, at age 65, running for Controller. So let her ride in all the Gay Rights parades she wants to since thats her style. I didnt say Id vote for her, understand Id just be content to let her be.
Now time to go to bed.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Personal Asides: You Mean THAT Jon Stewart?...THAT Jay Leno? ...THAT Jimmy Carter?...THAT Adam Andrzejewski?
Yes THAT Jon Stewart!
Stuffy mainstream media have determined to give Foxs ACORN revelations the cold shoulder. The other day establishmentarian Charlie Gibson of ABC was interviewed on Don Wade & Roma and was actually stumped I mean STUMPED when Wade asked him about ACORN. Imagine: it was five days into the revelations that members of the so-called community action group gave advice to a faux couple on setting up a brothel and getting away with it and this pompous ass anchor had to confess frankly that he never heard of the story.
Talk about insularity. The same aloofness goes for the Sun-Times and Mother Tribune: the story is beneath them and they imply beneath their contempt. In the old days reporters from both papers would be sent out to explore the status of Chicago ACORN to catch up with the national story. Not so with the fusty old Tribune whose fuddy-duddy approach is designed to keep its mushy moderate constituency with upper-plate wobble happy at the Hinsdale Country Club. The Sun-Times, of course, has a more honest albeit crass reason: its a skillfully packaged handout for the Obama administration signed, sealed and delivered for todays au currant liberal fascism which it displays via news blackouts of stories that dont please.
Because ignorant Charlie Gibson showed himself incompetent and likely Exhibit A for journalistic nonfeasance, the news director of ABC has chimed in to help him. God help us, he sounded like the prattling headmaster of Philips Exeter I knew when I guest lectured there one week many years ago: We dont smoke and we dont chew/ And we dont go with girls who do. But amazingly, liberaldoms favorite comic, Jon Stewart of Comedy Central who strikes me as uproariously funny even when he ridicules my plaster saints, has chided the mainstream press by thundering that they were scooped and upstaged by two kids with a video camera who could barely qualify for the cast of a high school revival of Best Foot Forward. He wound up by telling the press get with it, people!
Evidently Yes THAT Jay Leno!
I have always regarded smug late-night TV comics with suspicion since it is clear they are driven to court social upscale wannabes who laugh at conservatives like me but I am being educated to the fact that there is evidently something different about Jay Leno that distinguishes him from David Letterman. Leno came roaring back to TV the other night and knocked all his competitors out of the box on ratings. Yet he was severely panned by TV critics for having a show that was stilted, dull, a faint imitation of his old gig, etc. Very little mention was made of his spectacular ratings. Then a different critic wrote something that told me why.
Leno wore a familiar small American flag in his lapel which set the arch-liberal critics who disdain patriotism because it is so-so-so gauche. Letterman, he said, is the ultimate New York eastern lefty sophisticate. Gee, I didnt know there was that much difference between them, did you? Evidently this octogenarian has been missing something. Leno is a patriot and Letterman is a scoffer with upraised eyebrow with attitudes that are pro-Third World and anti-American? Is this true? I still wont watch either one but if among you there are people who are tuned in to the differences, would you please tell me at firstname.lastname@example.org? And thanks.
Unsurprisingly, THAT Jimmy Carter.
This nation has been phenomenally lucky til now. Its never had an ex-president who was dotty. The record still continues but for the last decade or so its had an ex-president who is malevolent which is far worse. Carter told an agog liberal press the other day that many critics of Barack Obama are such because they dislike the color of his skin. It got him a great deal of attention and as one of the nationally recognized certifiable failures in the office, he needs this to refortify his self-esteem.
Although he brilliantly maneuvered the Camp David Accords in 1978 culminating in a formal peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, ending a 31-year state of war between them and the return of occupied Sinai to Egypt, snags ruined its denouement over the issue of Palestinian autonomy, Carter was deprived of what he thought would be his lasting accomplishment, peace in the Middle East.
It was not to happen and because Israel would not surrender as much land as Carter wished, he changed and now qualifies as a subtle but nonetheless bitter anti-Semite. That came about as other turn-arounds did with him, through keen personal disappointment. He was once a decided pro-Semite and almost tearfully made his case before leaders of the Jewish community when he was being challenged for reelection by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) The Jews decided they liked Kennedy better which enraged the little fellow (5 feet nine inches tall and 155 lbs.). When he asked why after his presidency, none other than Henry Kissinger told him he was indeed memorable, having at one and the same time (a) the worst relations with our allies, (b) the worst relations with our adversaries and (c) the most serious upheavals in the developing world since the end of the 2nd World War.
Kissinger was referring to the loss of Iran. Carter was of two minds on Iran. He didnt want the Shah to leave since he was a friend of ours but Carter was concerned about his reputation as a supporter of human rights. The strange thing which Carter never seemed to understand was that the Shah was in great trouble with Islamic fundamentalists because of his liberalizing policies in Iran, particularly with his wish to empower women. So Carter kept pushing him to do more, do more, do more and the Shah kept responding I am, I am! But understand by doing this I am losing the fundamentalists. The big problem here at home was that Carter was divided between his national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski a hard-liner and his secretary of state, Cyrus Vance a soft-nosed liberal who wanted the U.S. to identify with all so-called revolutions, even the emerging despotic one in Iran.
True to form, Carter was paralyzed with indecision. By following Vances recommendation, he withheld support from the Shah, convincing the Shah that he was secretly pushing for the return of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The Shah was half-right: Vance and the soft-nosed liberals in the State Department bureaucracy were but Brzezinski most decidedly was not. The conclusion came when the revolution started and the Shah became gravely ill with cancer, necessitating the best medical treatment in the world. That was in the United States, the Mayo Clinic. But Carter vacillated between saying okay, the Shah could enter the country and denying him permission because he feared it would anger the Islamic militants. Brzezinski simply couldnt do anything with Carter but finally of all people David Rockefeller did by calling Carter and saying that the Shah should be allowed to come in on humanitarian grounds.
The Shah did; the revolution occurred, Vance quit and the Islamic militants hated Carter anyhow as Brzezinski privately predicted. Carters weaknesses led to the militants invading the U. S. embassy and holding 60 Americans hostage. Carter tried to rescue them by helicopter but all three of them malfunctioned in the desert. By that time, the American people were totally fed up with the little man with the buck-toothed smile. The hostages were released on inauguration day as a gift to the new president, Ronald Reagan.
That experience, his loss of reelection and the heavy disapproval of the American people turned Carter whack-a-doodle: erratic. He turned against the Jews as the cause of all the unrest in the Middle East. By veering left, he ingratiated himself with the Nobel Prize committee which sees the American-hating Palestinians as a deserved retribution for the United States which it hates. So they gave him the Nobel Prize for Peace. Among the books he has written are two that Osama bin Laden has called for Americans to read and believe. Both are hotly anti-Israel, The Blood of Abraham written in 1985 but which Carter revised with anti-Israeli vitriol in 1993 and once again with more vitriol in 2007. And Palestinian Peace, not Apartheid in 2006.
The best advice anyone ever gave about Carter was from Ronald Reagan to Mike Deaver. Deaver told me (when he came to lecture at my DePaul class) he (Deaver) was upset about the criticisms ex-president Carter was making to our enemies including the USSR. Dont worry about it, said Reagan. They [the Russians] know hes as crazy as hell, embittered about his past failures.
Thats the way to look at Carter now.
and maybe THAT Adam Andrzejewski!
Everywhere I go within the conservative movement, fans are telling me about Adam Andrzejewski (an-GEE-EFF-ski) the Wheaton entrepreneur Republican candidate for governor who has made a virtue of being untainted and unblemished by politics vowing to bring non-participation in the process to the statehouse. Now as you know some weeks ago I gave him a few cuffs and have never heard the end of it. But it still remains true that where I hang out principally at the Park Ridge Paneras at 11 a.m or thereabouts most weekday mornings I am slowly being persuaded that this guy has made one great indentation with Republican voters. I also get a lot of fans of Dan Proft but far more devotees of Adam. I once joshed here saying would you want to employ a citizen surgeon to operate on you with no medical degree or fly on a plane flown by a citizen with no pilots license or experience? Well I really heard the other side on that one. Do you agree?
His views are clear and unqualified: pro-life, strictly fiscally conservative which I like. What do you think?
Write me at the above pro-and-con. Because Ive heard so much about him from you, Adams going to be on my WLS show Sunday night.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
McKenna to Join Race, teaming with Murphy and
Dillard Picking Lumber Magnates Son.
If current rumors are right and, remember, sometimes they are the Republican party kaleidoscope in Illinois is being shaken up once again.
It appears that Andy McKenna who has long dreamed of a successful elective political career will shortly announce that he will be a candidate for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. But McKenna has a lot of wood to chop since as state Republican chairman, he didnt win many adherents given the low estate of the state GOP under his tenure.
Be that as it may, the view is current that he has chosen young, vigorous State Sen. Matt Murphy, Palatine, to run for lieutenant governor. Although the primary does not allow linkage there is no problem with the two of them running unofficially as a team. Up to now Murphy has been a declared candidate for governor but will drop that bid. Murphy is a hugely popular candidate with conservatives. True, the two of them are Irish Catholics from the suburbs but geography may not mean much anymore in Illinois. Look at the Democrats: Quinn, Hynes, Lisa Madigan, Alexi Giannoulias, Whiteall from the Chicago area.
Also it appears that State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) will run with the same kind of unofficial linkage with a fresh, young face from downstate Edwardsville: Jason Plummer, 27, former Republican chairman of Madison county, the scion of Robert Plummer, a multi-millionaire CEO of R. P. Lumber, who owns a string of lumber retail stores throughout southern Illinois. Both Plummers are strong conservatives, Robert having been a mainstay financial backer of the Illinois Civil Justice League which has successfully supported tort reform. Jason Plummer will announce his formal campaign for lieutenant governor shortly.
If these rumors come to pass, it seems that the prime winner in this roundelay are Adam Andrzejewski (AnGEE-EF-ski) the new kid on the block, who has not held public office up to now and has with dynamism fired up the grassroots. Dan Proft, the conservative political consultant and pundit who has a gifted way with words is also helped. Andrzejewski will be a guest on my WLS radio program this coming Sunday along with Eugene Mullins, spokesman for Cook county board president Todd Stroger.
The reason I say this is that Andrzejewski and Proft seem to be the only ones who have campaigns that are up and running. Of the two, I would think Andrzejewski would be helped more since as a successful business entrepreneur he has a quality Republican voters seem to pay more attention to. Also he appears to have a definite organization in place while Proft seems to depend more upon media and his hair-trigger, colorful responses. (Having said this, I expect to hear from Proft within minutes of this being posted).
Shameless Durbin is Stand-Up Guy for ACORN.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Il) called The Dick just as Donald Trump is called The Donald the Democratic Senate whip and liberal self-justificatory lawmaker with no shame was one of seven Democrats yesterday who voted against the federal de-funding of ACORN despite explicit video tapes taken of its employees who advised a couple on getting a federal loan for a prostitution ring which purportedly would hire underage girls. For a state that once had as its senators Paul Douglas and Everett Dirksen, having Durbin shamelessly voting nay on legislation to defund a unit that aids and facilities prostitution is the nadir of its senatorial legislative history since 1818 when Illinois joined the Union.
Also voting nay was Roland Burris but it was unsurprising and indeed expected since due to his disreputable history of evading the truth on how he sought to contribute to Rod Blagojevich to get his appointment. Durbin may very well be his partys leader in the Senate after 2010 when, as is expected, Harry Reid goes down to double-digit defeat. That should motivate Illinoisans to make it three-for-three when Durbins time comes round: meaning to follow him with Reid and Tom Daschle (S. D.). The last Illinois senator who was his partys Democratic leader was Scott Lucas of Havana who was defeated in 1950 by Dirksen.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Understand, the first paper I read each morning is The Wall Street Journal because on economic and political matters it says more cogently than can I certain irreversible truths on politics and economics. That is more than sufficient to expect from a newspaper. Unfortunately last weekend when in a supplement it pretended to run a pro-and-con on Darwin vs. Belief in God, I expected more. Much more. What I got was a maze of nihilistic musings by a disgruntled ex-nun.
The proponent of the preposterous contention that Darwin abolished the concept of God forever was written by you guessed it Richard Dawkins, holder of the fatuous title Professor for Public Understanding of Science at Oxford, which Christian scholar Paul Johnson translates as Oxfords first chair of atheism.
Dawkins I met briefly in the early `70s when I was a visiting fellow at Saint Johns College, Oxford (a stint that lasted a week including an appearance at the Oxford Union in a symposium on Richard Nixon). Dawkins was then a lecturer and what they later called a Reader in zoology. Since then he has become quite famous as Darwins Rottweiler as an avowed atheist and secular humanist. He presupposes that to accept Darwin one must endorse the non-existence of God. He struts the stage arrogantly but his balloon was popped brilliantly by none other than Ben Stein, the economist and believer in Intelligent Design not in private discourse but on film where Dawkins was forced to attribute a mathematical proposition that included the theorem that very possibly God DOES exist.
The unfortunate thing about the Wall Street Journal debate is the papers selection of the person to defend God. She is Karen Armstrong, also a Briton, the angry former Roman Catholic nun. And if you need further exposition as to Ms. Armstrongs beliefs, know that she wrote the book Through the Narrow Gate which outlined her convent agonies and that she has been a frequent guest on Bill Moyers public television show Nowwith Bill Moyers (paid for partially by our tax dollars, of course) before he left with the announcement he was going to write a biography of his former boss Lyndon Johnson in whose service as faithful assistant Moyers directed the taping of Martin Luther King, Jr.s extra-marital affairs and on Terry Gross Fresh Air on National Public Radio (also paid for partially by our tax dollars).
Armstrong is a widely published author among whose works is the book Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time which Jihad Watch described as notable for the coherence of its incoherence. A fellow of the Jesus Seminar [sic], she was offended by Benedict XVIs statement Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.
Her response: We cannot afford to maintain these ancient prejudices against Islam. Oh, I see: we are to exchange fact beginning with his document and extending through the centuries, stated definitely in Quan 47:4 Therefore, when ye meet the unbelievers in fight, smite at their necks; therefore is the time for either generosity or ransom, until the war lays down its burdens But those who are slain in the Way of Allah He will never let their deeds be lostexchanging these indissoluble facts for Sister Karens New Age fantasy.
This is the woman whom the WSJ chose to define the case for God.
Obviously Ms. Armstrong agreed with Dawkins on all important grounds but goes on from there to project an airy New Age wish for God. Thus there is no mention in her work which has become a provable fact: that Darwinism is a contrivance which he invented to give his atheism full sway. And of course she does not point out that Darwinism is something far different from evolution. One can believe in evolution as a manifestation of Gods handiwork with the proviso that (a) there is an essential superiority of man in relation to animals by reason of his spiritual soul, (b) the derivation of the first woman from the first man and to which I add (c)-- at a certain stage an immortal soul was infused by God a soul so united with the body it animatesfar different from any animalthat together they become one autonomous, responsible individual. One can believe this and be perfectly consonant with the Divine Story.
To which I then add (d).
And what is (d)? In the beginning narrative of Genesis the sacred author avoids the materialistic side of evolution: Adams soul was infused by God but says nothing directly as to how the body of Adam was formed. That leaves two questions on whether God used extraordinary power, as with angels, to form Adams body and whether the dust from the soil contained in Genesis implies that Adams body was created beforehand, ready for the action where God breathed into his nostrils a breath of life and man became a living being [Gn. 2:7]. True, Catholic theologians agree that what they call transformism the evolution of Adams body from a lower species, where God exerted a special providence to inculcate the soul in such manner as Adam was not literally generated from a brute beast but I am of the simpler school, my friends, because for me the evolutionary story, even when sanctioned by Catholic theologians, gets sticky when there is involved the mystery of Original Sin.
Whatever, as they say and now we proceed to the blunt truth.
It is vital to understand that evolution is far different than Darwinism. Stretching mightily as he did, Darwin failed to prove and his inheritors have failed to find proof that testifies that man evolved (as he wrote) from a hairy, tailed quadruped, probably arborial in its habits. That link is still missing but not missing is Darwins virulent atheism that came before his convoluted theoretical attempt to justify it. Thus his promoters cannot answer the fact that as an atheist, Darwin was and is a failure. And even if the evolutionary story can be proven, there continues unassailable by any reasonable attribution of science the fact that God brought the world into existence, that He sustains it by his almighty power and continues as the First Cause of all created activity.
But why the Wall Street Journal, an organ of great reliability, should turn to Karen Armstrong to defend God when so many exist in science and theology to do a better job, ranks with one of our contemporary journalistic mysteries.
Lesser than God-centered evolution but not inconsiderable nevertheless for a brilliantly-edited paper.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Personal Aside: One Mans Catechism on Obama. NBC 5s Decision to Blot Out the March on Washington a Near-Fascistic Usurpation of the News.
As we approach the 250th day Barack Obama has been in the presidency, how do we summarize? The best way I can do it is via a catechism of questions and answers.
Is Obama (a) a weak president who just cant get his program through and who is putty in the hands of David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel? Or (b) a strong president who will stop at nothing to achieve his left-wing ends?
Decidedly (b). Although as a pretty good amateur basketball player, he has learned to feint right and dash left to the basket. Long before he met Axelrod and Emanuel, Obama a creature of the Third World whether born there or not (and the verdict is not yet in on that front) was decidedly a leftist. His danger to this country is this: With 43 previous presidents weve had some very good ones, some mediocre ones and some knaves and fools but all of them have been patriots, the definition of which is one who loves and zealously supports his own country. My view, as one who was the first to interview him after he was elected state senator, is that he is not a patriot.
Obama has always maintained and is the first president who has said bluntly that America is not exceptional. Tied to love of country is the Christian ethic that love of country closely follows love of God. Part of the Christian obligation is to see that ones country does not fail in its duty to make witness to holiness and charity. But also, Obama has stated publicly that America is no longer a Christian country. Thus whether he gets his program passed or not, he is definitely an historic breakthrough among the presidents and the country is in danger from his leadership whether he is effective as a president or not. But even were he to be successful in his presidency and radically change its traditions as he wishes, it would not be the worst thing that could happen.
What would that be?
If some deranged person decides to bring harm to him or his allies out of hate and the crazed belief that his presidency should be interfered with by violent means. Christs law, as we are taught, is far more stringent than Moses in this regard. The Mosaic code forbade murder; Christs law does even more. Christ stressed that interior feelings of hatred can be murderous and thus convey mortal guilt. The proper role of one who opposes Obama is to strive to clarify the record and to use every legitimate means to bring home to the country the dangers of adopting his program. It requires moral and ethical tightrope walking to be sure but that is our obligation.
What in your estimation has happened to the Obama administration politically?
It has suffered the most rapid decline in approval for any administration since Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon (and the Ford pardon was in my estimation a good thing but a step for which Ford paid the highest price by losing the next election). Obama came in as a virtual Messiah. He relied on Emanuel and Axelrod not for inspiration but to devise the mechanics of implementing his programand thats where he failed greatly. At the urging of Emanuel who is a former congressman, he handed over the crafting of his stimulus package to Nancy Pelosi who turned it into a $787 billion Christmas tree of special goodies with little relevance to solving unemployment. At the urging of Axelrod he piled far too many liberal ideas on his plateuniversal health care, cap and trade, education with a larded helping of federal spending from k-1 to college.
But didnt Franklin Roosevelt do the same thing to fight the Depression when he first got in?
No. FDR came into office in 1933 with a single goal for the immediate timeto fight unemployment. He created a good many federal make-work projects which didnt solve it including the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps: 1933-42) that gave military-style employment to 3 million young men but gave the impression jobs were forthcoming. He didnt take the next stepto drastically change the system, Social Securityuntil 1935 two years after his inauguration. He was lucky that in the early days of his administration many of his radical plans were blocked by the then-conservative U. S. Supreme Court. Roosevelt did not undertake to pack the Supreme Court until 1937. But from the earliest days of his administration, Obama loaded his plate and allowed the lefties of the Congress like Ms. Pelosi far too much leeway. Thats the difference. Also take it from one who was on hand during Roosevelts days FDRs style was far different from Obamas.
Style? What do you mean?
FDRs style was Judeo-Christian (whether you give him credit for deep religious belief or not) and consonant with its religious tradition which conveyed confidence since it dealt with God. He was a patrician, a high church Episcopalian vestryman. When he met with Winston Churchill at sea on the HMS Prince of Wales off the coast of Newfoundland in August, 1941, he later reported on a national radio broadcast to the nation that he and Churchill attended Anglican services on deck, sang Onward Christian Soldiers together and heard a lesson from the Book of Joshua.
Again, it is immaterial as to whether you like FDR or not: the point here is that Roosevelts style was in the Judeo-Christian framework. Obamas is decidedly not. He has severed himself from any Christian traditionunless you believe that his ex-pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright of Trinity United Church of Christ is in the Christian tradition, who heaped lavish praise on Nation of Islam head Minister Louis Farrakhan and who has blamed whites for the sufferings the black community faces.
What will happen to Obamas health care bill?
Dont think he will get nothing but itll be a weak substitute for what he wants. Democrats have to pass a bill and make it sound like a huge reform, heaping praise on Obama and hoping the public will accept it as a victory and go to the 2010 polls happy. What hes likely to get is this: no public option; no end-of-life counseling; the bill pronouncing that health care is a universal civil right, with tough regulations on the insurance industry that bans it from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, forbidding the dropping of coverage if a person gets sick and which caps insurance reimbursement. The mainstream media will toot it as a great accomplishment.
to his energy bill?.
Because it smacks of higher taxes, it will be a dead letter item.
to his education program?
Well, that pretty well certifies hes a failure as a president, doesnt it?
Sure. But dont forget the mainstream media have a major stake in seeing hes viewed as a successbecause they invested so much of their prestige in him.
How can they do that, exactly?
In two ways. The first way is to stifle major gaffes of the Obama administration as per the issue with Van Jones and the second is to put a pretty picture out on Obama and his deeds. Regarding Van Jones: If you dont know who he is, you were not reading the right news nor tuned to the right TV and radio outlets. Heres a guy who was entrusted with federal power as the White Houses Green Jobs czar. His appointment was praised by Valerie Jarrett of the Chicago crowd, who ranks with Emanuel and Axelrod as senior assistant to the president for intergovernmental affairs.
He is a 9/11 truther, having signed a statement attesting that George W. Bush caused the attacks on September 11, 2001, is a self-admitted Communist who after 9/11 stood in the streets with the Maoist organization he founded, Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM) that denounced the U. S. for bringing the terrorist attacks on itself, who wrote last January that white polluters and the white environmentalists are essentially steering poison into the people-of-color communities because they dont have a racial justice flame. Despite these things, he was largely excused from the vetting process in the White House.
Can you imagine the media storm that would have ensued had George W. Bush hired a pro-Nazi skinhead to do these things? The major news outlets never mentioned Jones name during the several weeks following revelation of his background? Yet the story never was raised on NBC-TV, CBS-TV or ABC-TV or in The New York Times or Washington Post until the storm passed and Jones resigned under pressure. Nor in either The Chicago Tribune or The Chicago Sun-Times. The Sun-Times Lynn Sweet, its Washington bureau chief, is very close to all the Obama-ites. Not a peep out of her either. This is not happenstance but a very concerted effort to block the news for Obamas benefittantamount to journalistic malpractice.
Now the Obama administration says Van Jones was a minor player in the White House at the Council for Environmental Quality. True?
Not true. He had great influence and major support from the topmost leaders of the administration. And, as one who knew Obama and his clique from Chicago, I can tell you that Van Jones and Obama share the same Marxist ideology and background, with Obama being far more clever.
But youre talking about the national media, not the local, right?
Decidedly not. Last night you didnt get a glimmer of the Tea Party march on Washington from NBC 5 Chicago. A firm decision that a march of many thousands was made in its Chicago studios. It smacks of Pravda and mind-control fascism. Generally, mainstream media are a strong force but not impregnable. In the old days, before the Internet, cable news and talk radio, old-fashioned major media were impregnable: not now. Take a look at how the Van Jones story got out without major medias cooperationindeed over their objection.
The Van Jones story was uncovered by a single blogger, Trevor Loudon of New Zealand (by the way). He heard about the Van Jones appointment and started investigating. He says I began to investigate after seeing several separate pieces of information. I first came across the name in the mid-1990s in a New Zealand socialist publication which had a small clip about Van Jones, a Yale-educated lawyer involved in STORM. The name stuck. While researching the far-left Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) in 2008, before Obama was elected, which Loudon discovered was the Obama campaigns think bank, he found a piece from a staffer extolling Van Jones for a future top government job.
Then he probed again and found that Jones was a Fellow at the Center for American Progress, a George Soros-funded entity. A few days after Obamas election he found a statement from former Weather Underground terrorist leader Mark Rudd (a friend of Chicagoan Billy Ayres, an Obama neighbor and supporter) that Jones was high on a list drawn up by John Podesta, the last chief-of-staff to Bill Clinton, a leftist ex-Chicagoan Catholic pro-abort (a Jefferson Park native) who heads the CAP and was co-head of the Obama transition team (and is a teaching Fellow at Georgetown law school, incidentally). Rudd extolled: Look to the second level appointments. Theres a whole government in waiting that [John] has Theyre mostly progressives [sic] except in military and foreign policy [italics mine].
Loudon stayed on the story like a bulldog. He tracked Jones appointment as Green Jobs Czar in March, 2009. His first article on his blog about Jones Communist connections appeared April 6. Alerted by the blog article, the organization Accuracy in Media headed by Cliff Kincaid filed a series of Freedom of Information Act requests. The Obama administration tried to stonewall-- which Kincaid reported on his own blog on August 25. Kincaid and Loudon pressed on. They reported that STORM was influential in the San Francisco Bay area, had ties to the Cuban and South African Communist parties, that Jones had ties to two former Weather Underground supporters, that Jones was the keynote speaker at the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism.
Further that he served on the board of Movement for a Democratic Society along with Weather underground leaders the aforementioned Rudd and Bernardine Dohrn, wife of Bill Ayres. Further that Ayres was heavily involved along with Angela Davis (remember her?). The story was passed to Glenn Beck of Fox and to Rush Limbaugh who gave it national attention and did further work on it themselves. They found that in 1999 Obama was called to New York to set up a far-left think tank called Demos. He served for a time on the Demos board. Demos is a partner organization to the Institute for Policy Studies and works closely with ACORN and Project Vote (remember them?). Finally that Jarrett of Chicago, known as Obamas brain, was intimately familiar with Jones and his radical ties. Her words are preserved on tape saying that they (meaning the good guys) were watching Jones for years but the Obama people were happy to recruit him.
Says Loudon who first turned up the story: The spotlight must go on Jarrett but eventually it must come back to the president himself.
Thats how the story got out and how Jones was forced to resign while major media not only slept but was tightly curled up in bed with the Obama administration.
What other scary things are you going to tell me about the Obama administration?
Stay tuned. We havent touched foreign policy yet.