Friday, October 30, 2009

Thoughts While Shaving: Jim Tyree’s Disappointing Vow…Comparing Both Newspapers—and the Recycled Old Guys New Venture, “The Chicago News Cooperative”: Just What We Need.


Say It’s Not So, Jim.

Jim Tyree who heads the group that just bought the Sun-Times says he won’t change anything in its editorial content. God, what a shame. Sure, many owners say this but I have a hunch Tyree is telling the truth. The problem is that the Sun-Times has a lot of great assets as a newspaper—and lamentably some huge defects. The assets are a great news-staff with a number of super-stars including Fran Spielman and Abdon Pallasch. The paper really and truly does cover Chicago news better than the Tribune…more scoops certainly. It has toned down its more flamboyant coverage. The front-page design has improved and is slightly more demure: i.e. the flaming era where a 4-column photo showed two huge black lesbians swabbing spit has passed. Jack Higgins, its Pulitzer prize-winner still continues to be great.

The things wrong with the paper are almost all of its rabidly left-wing columnists starting with Steinberg and moving through the aging bachelor boy who is getting up there but is supposed to appeal to kids: Roeper. Mercifully Falsani has moved to California but I give her credit for adopting a very ill child and I could read her if she didn’t comment on religion. Huntley, a vestige of the past, is a much better national-international issues columnist than I had supposed when he took over that beat.

But I must say again: I’m smart enough to know there should be at least two liberal columnists but there is no conservative columnist that covers Chicago with astute reasoning to match Dennis Byrne. There appears to be a definite bias at the Sun-Times against anyone who has what is now the majority opinion on abortion (check the latest Rasmussen: a majority is seriously questioning the old liberal nostrums: abortion, same-sex marriage). Stella is all right and Sneed, while cotton candy, for some reason always catches my eye with something I didn’t know.

Now if Tyree wants to truly save the paper why has he taken this stupid vow not to tinker with the editorial content? The tone of the paper should move to the Right simply because its present stance—knee-jerk and roughly equivalent to being the uptown edition of the old Daily Worker—doesn’t make it. It’s a lefty publication in an attempt to appeal to blacks but frankly the unpalatable but undeniable truth is this: not that many blacks read newspapers. Their own historic newspaper The Defender which flourished in the less-modern past has gone kaput.

But the fact is that Lefties publish a good number of newspapers not because they’re too dumb to recognize that leftism doesn’t pay—but for personal reasons: to appeal to their friends. Just like Hollywood. They make leftwing films to appeal to their port-side soul-mates. Tyree will be just another milestone on the path to permanent insolvency if he doesn’t influence the editorial-commentary content right-ward. That means ousting Marin and the rest, kicking out the editorial page editor and moving the thing not SO far right but definitely TO THE RIGHT.

The Tribune.

The Tribune’s superstar is John Kass. Do I like him because he’s a Republican? No—because he’s not a Republican: he has heaped scorn on the Republican half of the Combine. He’s conservative. I ask you: where is it written in the stars or elsewhere that a newspaper can’t have a conservative as a columnist? Kass is everlasting proof that someone with a moderately conservative view can be successful. Why is he the only one in the whole damned paper full-time who is?

The news staff over there, though, is distinctly second rate compared to the Sun-Times. Their best Chicago writer who covered City Hall has departed. David Greising who wrote business…albeit a Lefty…was excellent on his beat. Well he’s gone. The new cartoonist is acceptable: not Higgins’ quality but is getting better.

But the important thing is this: the paper has moved perceptibly away from looking like USA TODAY—but has become more of a magazine rather than a newspaper. Why is that? Who’s great idea was this? In the old days…and remember I am old enough to be approaching the Prophet Abraham in years…in the old days when there were four papers—The Tribune, The Daily News, The Chicago American, the old tabloid Times—it was the Tribune that covered Chicago news including politics like a blanket. The Daily News had the outstanding foreign staff and some very good columnists: Howard Vincent O’Brien incomparable. The American was the flashy sensationalist. Nowadays the Trib has Kass, Denny Byrne As an Op Ed and pfffffft that’s it.

The Chicago News Cooperative.

Last week it was announced that a creature called The Chicago News Cooperative was formed. It’s funded by the MacArthur Foundation and looks to me like an out-of-retirement project for old liberal journalists who’ve been bounced…to take them off the street. There’s irony in the fact that the head man will be Jim O’Shea, former managing editor of The Tribune who was eased out of there and made editor of its Los Angeles Times where he either was canned or walked out. In any case, looking at the roster, it seems very like Resurrection Day for old liberal journalists—which God knows we don’t need any more of. It looked for awhile like Jim Warren would go over there…probably the most liberal of the bunch…who was the Washington editor of the Tribune, known for his crusade against journalists who speak at special functions for big honoraria.

Warren kept writing about them for a purpose that seemed obvious to me: nobody asked him to speak for fancy prices. And why would they? Have you ever read anything by him or heard him say on WGN anything remotely fresh and apart from conventional wisdom? But no, he thought about it but has become a Top Dog at that sprightly journal of superior culture and taste, The Reader…which features a truly colorful column by a homosexual who advises on both straight and gay relationships…also a column labeled “Free S—t.” Isn’t that lovely?

Speaking of which, none other than our Big Jimbo…you know who I mean…the ex-Republican governor Jim Thompson who breathes in unison with Daley…is going to have his law firm Winston & Strawn do pro-bono legal for them. Just as he did for bulbous-nosed old George Ryan.

And huzza! CNC has just signed a contract with the premier leftist newspaper in the nation—The New York Times—to produce two pages of “exclusive editorial content” twice a week—Friday and Sunday. Gawd a production featuring old-timers who were justifiably let go, now recycled for our reading pleasure. Can hardly wait.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Personal Aside: Obamacare and Dem Politics Stumps at Oak Park’s Ascension Catholic Parish Hall as Chancery Shrugs: “Who—Us?”


The Chicago (Catholic) Way.

Ah, yes. Children, the lastest is that Chicago’s archdiocesan leadership sanctions and shuts its eyes to the conversion of Oak Park’s Ascension parish to a pro-Obama forum on health care…this news from the Blythe Spirit blog written by Jim Bowman who took it from a report by Susan Jordan on, the website of Catholic Citizens of Illinois. Jordan is a resident of Oak Park.

Ascension is a good word for this flaccid, evasive, continuingly parsing archdiocesan leadership notably soft on local, state and national Democrats. It will shortly ascend to the presidency of the USCCB, the bishops’ forum that meets in its contributor-paid-for marble temple in Washington, D. C. similar to the UN General Assembly, each bishop with a microphone of his own.

We’re All Good Fellows When We Democrats Get Together.

Here’s the story of the pro-Obama Democratic follies at Ascension as told by Jordan—follies that come close to the theatrics performed by Pfleger who turns Saint Sabina’s into a raucous lefty rally every Sunday:

Late last summer Ascension parish advertised a forum on health care to be held at the parish Sept. 20 called “Under the Doctors’ Microscope.” The meeting was scheduled to take place at Ascension’s parish hall. The initial flyer put out by the parish was blatantly partisan…listing on the flier the following sponsors: the Democratic Party of Oak Park.. and the group “Organizing for America” (Obama’s grassroots advocacy group that’s working feverishly to get his socialist program passed).

Jordan couldn’t believe her eyes. She initiated contact with the archdiocesan “Respect Life” office and then via an intermediary to Ascension’s pastor who goes by Fr. Larry McNally—not Lawrence-- (like most liberals he probably wants to be known as “Good Old Larry the regular guy”). Every time you hear priests going by nicknames, watch out: most times you’ve got a genuine vestigial throwback to the good old `60s of “hiya, fellas, I’m Father Chuck…but just call me Chuck!”

Jordan said Father Larry McNally (an Irishman, natch…a real fit for the pro-abort Daleys, Madigans, Quinns and Cullertons)… said it was a mistake and “we want the event to be nonpartisan.” Sure-sure, Larry—a procedure in line with the fundraiser last year for Mercy Home for Girls and Boys that featured pro-abort Sen. Hillary Clinton, then a presidential candidate sent out by Fr. Scott Donohue. Gee whiz, everybody formed a circle and pointed at everybody else like in the Thomas Nast cartoon from the 19th century that showed accused pols playing ring-around-the-rosie about responsibility for Boss Tweed. First Donohue said the speaker pick was done by a lay committee with which he wasn’t involved. But he must have known the pick, right? Well, yes, but he checked it with the archdiocese. Up and up in the hierarchal pyramid at the Chancery office it went, everybody pointing to everybody else until the buck stopped with the one who parses-parses-parses—and, of course, he parsed again…so tediously that responsibility was blurred, the blame shuttling back downstairs.

Well, let’s see if Fr. Larry was as good as his word.

Dems Paid for the Fliers.

Surprise: he wasn’t. The next issue of the flier came out a week before the event and guess what? The same list of sponsors—the Democratic Party of Oak Park and Obama’s lobbying group, “Organizing for America,” were still listed. But no surprise there: almost 1,000 of the Dem fliers were paid for by the Oak Park Democratic party. What’s fair is fair.

With the heat on, another flier appeared a bare two days before the Forum omitting the sponsors names.

Then Good old Fr. Larry promised he would straighten everything out at the outset by telling the archdiocese’s Respect Life that he would “clearly address the pro-life issues” in his opening remarks at the blatant political-lobbying fest. But of course, strategically he wimped out, saying that on a table in the back of the hall was a stack of USCCB (U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’) statement on health care. Period. End of equal time.

Oh, yes, Good Old Fr. Larry wasn’t as inactive as it seems. Earlier he had contacted the chancery and warned that one Susan Jordan was planning to disrupt the meeting. And the usual strategy straight out of Saul Alinsky’s handbook (which he had dedicated, charmingly, to the devil-in-chief Lucifer) that good old Fr, Larry had received “hate mail.” That’s what old Alinsky himself once told me was his approved tactic. I interviewed him at the Industrial Areas foundation (I got there through his assistant Ed Chambers who because we were classmates Saint John’s believed I was in the Trotsky mould and Msgr. Jack Egan who tried to convert me to believe, as did he, that the old atheist-Commie was the reincarnation of Tom Paine.)

“We always spread the word that is hatred, hatred. And there may be violence at rallies,” said Alinsky. “That way a cop shows up and the media too which strengthens our hand substantially.” Sure enough, a cop showed up at Fr. Larry’s pro-Obama rally. (This is written just to tell Saul as he revolves on the eternal spit that his strategy was followed meticulously at Ascension parish in Oak Park which stifled all talk about abortion…and pass that to Lucifer when you see him next: maybe he’ll turn down the heat.)

Two hundred fifty attended the Obamacare pep rally conducted on church property, its tax status protected by exemption because it is purportedly nonpartisan. The panel consisted of physicians, topped off by Dr. David Scheiner, touted as “President Obama’s personal physician for 21 years!” Audience: Yayyyyy!

Maybe the other doctors on the panel had divergent views but Jordan reports one couldn’t tell as the only remedy for the nation’s health care “crisis” was single-payer universal health care. Good old Fr. Larry was there, of course and so was Fr. Richard Hynes from the archdiocese’s Office of Evangelization—both mum.

The rules: nobody could ask a question verbally from the floor—but had to write them on white cards. A key question went to Dr. Scheiner, Obama’s personal doc. And it was fitting for a Catholic to ask. It was a question that asked about taxpayer funding of abortion that was contained in the bill. You wanna know Scheiner’s answer?

“Abortion is an issue that has been debated for decades. It really should not be part of the conversation on healthcare reform.” That was that. And the audience, responding loyally on cue yelled Yayyyyyyyyyy! All the while good old Fr. Larry and good old Fr. Hynes representing the Church that has crusaded against abortion for almost 2,000 years, superbly non-judgmental, sat on their hands, saying nothing.

But that’s not all. Believe it or not, after their rally the Obamacare loyalists protested that they couldn’t pass out literature. And pro-abort Democratic Congressman Danny Davis—he of the foghorn basso profundo voice who will be running for president of the Cook county board at the primary next February—told the very compliant left of center blog Chicago Catholic News he was told at the last minute he couldn’t speak because he is a politician. I don’t blame him for being shocked because he had spoken at Ascension earlier…and damnit he’s used to Catholics bouncing off the walls as he intones ala Paul Robson. That’s what happens at Sabina’s! But he’s assuage because Good old Fr. Larry said he’d write Davis a letter of apology in behalf of the parish.

Chicago “Catholic” News religiously (pun intended) reported that the Democratic Party of Oak Park and Organizing for America that they were offended that they couldn’t distribute their literature. Dear-dear. The things you have to put up with after you plunk down the dough to hype a Democratic rally at a Catholic parish hall!

Now let me predict: When this story gains even more currency, the answer from the archdiocese will be superbly parsed. Who’s responsible? Not you, not me but that guy there behind the tree! On one hand…then the other hand…back to the one hand…then to the other. And the supine mainstream print media will agonize that free speech was partially throttled when the Dems couldn’t pass out their literature telling folk who to call in the Congress to lobby Obama’s program through. But Good Old Fr. Larry will apologize and say these evil conservatives like me have changed their meeting into a caricature.

That’s the Catholic Church Militant: Chicago style. Or rather from the people to whom principles and IRS rules are discarded, it’s another variant of The Squid: Its Chicago (Catholic) Way.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

4 Thoughts While Shaving—4.


1. The Heartland Institute.

One of the nation’s finest think tanks is located right here in Chicago—but has exerted national influence. It is The Heartland Institute which has helped me in multifarious ways with innovative research and excellent speakers on current topics ranging from the economy through its superb discounting of the global warming baloney (now called by liberals “climate change” since lack of warming is so obvious). Heartland is celebrating its 25th anniversary tomorrow (Thursday) with its annual dinner at the Hilton downtown.

Here are just a few of the many-many accomplishments it’s chalked up in the last quarter century: helped defeat tax subsidies for sports stadiums, convention centers and municipal broadband ventures…all of which should be paid by private funds…thus saving taxpayers billions…helped defeat hundreds of proposals to hike income, sales, excise and property taxes at federal, state and local levels…has become the country’s finest advocates of school choice, helping write legislation creating vouchers, tax credits and charter school programs that enroll 2 million students every year…

…helped defeat ClintonCare and is doing a great job educating the unwary on ObamaCare now…has led the way on the follies of global warming: the principal reason only 36% support it now. I remember when, before Heartland started on the issue, a heavy majority of Americans supported it, misled by faulty liberal reasoning…distributed more than a million books and a million videos on multitudinous topics but primarily debunking the propaganda on climate change—running nearly $2 million in advertisements, including one that challenged Algore to debate (he finked out)…hosted three international conferences on the issue featuring scientists from 26 countries.

To accomplish these thing it has benefited from a tremendous leader all those years in Joe Bast, its first employee. At his side is a brilliant guy who possesses great resources as one of the best communicators I have ever met: Dan Miller, the former editor of Crain’s who was business editor of the Sun-Times who was a regular for many years on Chicago Week in Review.

There’s still time to attend its birthday banquet. Call them NOW at

(312) 377-4000 and tell them you want to support them for the fine work they are doing to save this country.

2. Reward the Experiment by Tuning in CBS-2 Chicago.

While I’m in such a good mood about Heartland, I want to commend a great experiment in sold news content—the CBS-2 news show at 10 p.m. It’s no secret that they have had a rocky couple of years with their ratings…but lo and behold…they have totally revised their news presentation by stressing solid Chicago content at 10 p.m. (I haven’t caught the other hours). What I like about them is that it has no glitz, no endless happy talk, no joshing and giggling…but also they have dropped stories that fill their competitive stations with brain-dead and inane cotton candy-type fare such as…happy puppies with ribbons at a doggy fair…a 5-year-old weight lifter ad vomit which passes for “news.”

The news staff is one of the finest I’ve seen covering the news and I first started watching…gosh…when Fahey Flynn was on with his jowls and bowtie. The best anchor I’ve seen here in years is Rob Johnson…supported by Jay Levine…superb investigations by Pam Zekman who I’ve known since she was a faux bar owner of The Mirage which we at the Better Government Association set up to catch Old Man Daley’s crooked plumbing inspectors.

Do turn to it at 10 because I for one want to see a first-class content-wise news operation succeed…which may spur competitors to imitate them with content not fluff.

3. Why Won’t The Economist Subscription Run Out?

The biggest disappointment in many years has been the gradual turning from a brilliant news/commentary publication…The Economist…to another liberal, pro-gay, pro-death-with-dignity publication that has lost its soul. It is tedious to keep on receiving it…waiting for my subscription to run out. I have studiously ignored it ever since it greeted Obama with wild huzzas, pointing out that with luck he can duplicate Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal which “conquered the Depression.” As if a succession of good economic historians like Amy Shlaes haven’t pointed out how the Depression was never conquered until World War II set the economy to churning.

Well I reserve vapid reading for the bathroom and yesterday, ensconced on my throne, I reluctantly turned to the magazine (which calls itself a newspaper)…hoping that for these few moments of solitary self-communion I could find something not banal. But—sure thing—there is a review of two books about Ayn Rand. Now I am not critical of Ayn Rand, enjoyed while young “Atlas Shrugged,” loved “The Fountainhead” film…regarding Ayn’s studiously embraced atheism as erratic but redeemed somewhat…somewhat…by her steady drumbeat that said this country’s innovative freedoms are being ground to bits by liberal statism..

But get the headline extolling her in The Economist: “Capitalism’s Martyred Hero.” How’s that again—martyred hero? The loose appellation “martyred” has been applied to almost everyone who has been killed. Our sloppy media call JFK “the martyred president.” Lincoln was “a martyred president.” Both assassinations were tragic—but were they “martyred”? The definition of martyr is this: One who accepts death rather than yield his religious convictions.

That doesn’t fit many people. Lincoln was laughing his guts out at a vulgar show “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s on Good Friday when a nutty actor blew his brains out. Kennedy was riding in a motorcade in Dallas, he being in that town to stabilize the Democratic party which was warring between factions, one headed by John Connally and the other by Ralph Yarborough. Ayn Rand martyred? The Economist cites favorably two biographies that claim she had her critics—evidently the pretext for the claim she was martyred. She died in her bed a multi-millionaire from her books with millions of adulatory followers. She was a carnal pig—desirous of an expanded sex life, she told Nathaniel Brandon her acolyte that she had arranged it with his wife that they could share him. She insisted that her husband wear a bell on one shoe so that when she approached her while she was reading she could hear him coming. When Brandon tired of her and left, she was disconsolate.

But Ayn Rand a martyr? Then just before tossing this dreadful pagan publication to the other side of the room from my seated position, I glanced at the obligatory simpering obituary which appears every week. This was a lachrymose piece detailing a great loss…as usual about someone no one ever heard of except some fruit loops in England—this about one Sir Ludovic Kennedy who crusaded for “the right to a good death”—voluntary euthanasia.

Martyr and advocate of “the right to a good death.” My God how soon will it take for that subscription to run out?

4. A Conservative Genius in Herscher, Illinois.

I’ve praised Jim Ridings before. He’s the gifted author of the only book written about the most crooked, most venal Illinois governor…and no I don’t mean Blago. Blago was an amateur. I mean Kankakee’s Len Small. Jim is a retired, aged 59, former investigative reporter for some southern Illinois newspapers. Now it turns out he varied his great writing with a cartooning skill that easily…very easily…surpasses anything Doonsbury has done, or Charles Schulz with “Peanuts”—or anyone else. So excited was I when I received his book of cartoons that I phoned him and asked if he would please draw and write for The Chicago Daily Observer.

Jim said he’d consider writing for it but he’s abandoned cartooning. I want to tell you that’s a great shame because his book of cartoons easily rivals in its way anything I’ve read that skewers liberalism. His cartoon book, written some years ago, is entitled “The Politically Incorrect Cheese Weasel.” I don’t know but it’s probably still available along with his Len Small bio which I definitely know is available. You can inquire by writing Jim Ridings at “Side Show Books, P. O. Box 464. Herscher, Illinois 6094.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Thoughts While Shaving: The Curious Case of John Kerry Seemingly Calling the Afghanistan Shots…and What of Hillary Now?


Where’s Hillary?

For the first time in my memory…and my memory goes back a long-long way…a non-administration lawmaker appears to be calling the foreign policy shots of the United States rather than the administration elected to do so. Yesterday Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), chairman of the Foreign Relations committee, took center stage to declare that 4-star general Stanley McChrystal’s plan for adding 40,000 troops in Afghanistan “goes too far, too fast.”

Furthermore, last week, Kerry, the defeated 2004 presidential candidate was the White House’s point man during climactic talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Kerry’s stunning emergence leads to the question “where’s Hillary,” the woman who was made secretary of state? Indeed, where has she been on Middle East questions? The White House is being represented there by former senator George Mitchell. All the while, the ostensible Prince Hamlet in these matters…the one voters elected as commander-in-chief…is largely silent, promising not to hurry with his assessment of reinforcements which has already taken him many weeks to ponder… even though Gen. McChrystal termed it necessary to have an immediate decision. Her non-involvement makes the nation’s leading Hilary will be the 22-year-old actress, model and song-writer, the woman whose first name has one “l” and is surnamed Duff.

Several conclusions that can be drawn by Kerry’s precipitate move to center spotlight:

1. As usual, Obama is more worried about the political temperature of the Left in this country than the nation’s possibly losing a war. Kerry is a favored spokesman for the Left, centerpiece of Obama’s base and his media appeal. Kerry’s role is obviously to soothe the rabble.

2. Hillary Clinton made the most devastatingly wrong decision of her life to abandon the Senate where she had independence and a tremendous forum. Now she’s being treated like another foreign service official instead of a policy-maker. She’s not even in control of her own future and can be relieved at any time at Obama’s pleasure.

3. It’s clear that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod) are influencing crucial decisions on foreign-military policy, decisions neither one of them have the background to make. Rosencrantz told Prince Hamlet (Obama) that if he approves major reinforcements to Afghanistan, he will “own” the war in the same way LBJ came to “own” the war in Vietnam after Kennedy’s death. And Prince Hamlet is loathe to decide. He wants to test the waters with the all-important Left by using Kerry to send signals…the self-same Kerry whose Vietnam record he had soiled by testifying against his fellow U. S. soldiers, accusing them of committing atrocities…and whom was later found to be lying when he had written that he ventured to Cambodia as a soldier.

4. And the distinct disapproval of the electorate as seen by the polls has likely caused Hamlet to disapprove of his advisers—particularly Guildenstern (Axelrod). The scenario last night on “60 Minutes” which had Axelrod full of misgiving by not being home in Chicago to tend his epileptic daughter gives a subliminal message. While no one doubts the daughter is ill—and sympathy should be extended to the Axelrods—the fact remains that he knew from the outset when he took the White House job that he couldn’t spend the time he wished with her.

Ergo: it would be best all around—for the ill daughter, the Axelrods and the country—if he left the White House. You can judge that the hint given on the compliant CBS was made to pave the way for his departure—before next year’s elections which may well serve as a repudiation of an administration whose highlight concluded on Inauguration Day…everything else having turned to ashes. That would leave Rosencrantz (Emanuel) who does not have to make an excuse for leaving because his departure would be seen as an epiphany for whatever resurgence the administration might find within itself to propel.

5. Of all of them, Hillary Clinton is distinctive because it’s clear

that in contradistinction to the president, Emanuel and Axelrod, she is an American patriot. (I would include Vice President Biden in that category but his erraticism is so pronounced…proposing to divide Iraq into thirds for example…that his instability and inability to distinguish between roundhouse bar bravado and the truth makes his patriotism useless). It would be wise of her to resign her post and return to New York and prepare to run for the governorship.

The salivating heir apparent-wannabe to the highly incompetent David Paterson who said originally that he had never wished to be governor is Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the lean and hungry Cassius. Hillary Clinton could likely take the nomination from Cuomo. If elected governor, she would be in a much better situation from which to be a valuable independent critic of the hugely incompetent Obama. Age 62 now, she could make a run for the presidential nomination in 2012 against Obama when she would be 65. Or if she chose to be decorously loyal, she could run against a likely Republican president in 2016 when she would be 69—just under the age Ronald Reagan was when he took the oath the first time: 70.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thoughts While Shaving: Changing Temper of the Times Could Favor GOP Takeover in Two Districts… Gingrich Once Again Proves Hyde’s Point.


Changing Temper of the Times in 8th and 11th .

The changing temper of the times…rocketing away from a placid liberal electoral mindset (pro-Obama, tolerance with government growth with acceptance of tax hikes)…may well reflect itself in some Illinois congressional races which otherwise would have been chalked up as “safe” for Democratic reelection.

8th District.

I’m very impressed with Republican prospects in the 8th district. That’s the district held by Democrat Melissa Bean—consisting of north and northwest suburban areas…Schaumburg and dozens of other suburbs beyond Chicago which was originally represented for 33 years by Phil Crane and before that by Don Rumsfeld. Bean started out being very cautious that she appears to be a moderate Democrat—but in the last year she has let her enthusiasm for her old campaign mate Barack Obama get the better of her. She voted for Cap and Trade which is decidedly unpopular. She voted for the $787 billion stimulus package which has not remotely helped reduce unemployment at this stage. Her voting record when compared to Speaker Pelosi’s wish list is chalked up in the middle 90’s.

The Republican I think can beat her is 47-year-old Joe Walsh, an Irish Catholic, pro-lifer, free-marketer, one of nine children who is father of five. He was born in Barrington. He has a degree in English from the University of Iowa and a master’s in public policy from the University of Chicago. He ran a Jobs for Youth program in the inner-city here; he has taught remedial courses for high school dropouts. He was a key executive at the Heartland Institute, a free market think-tank. He ran against Sidney Yates in possibly the most Democratic district of the state, which is now represented by Jan Schakowsky, losing to Yates (naturally). He was my guest last night on WLS and has the kind of approach to representation that with luck and some breaks can make it.

11th District.

I’m also greatly interested in the 11th district where I believe the Republican future lies with 31-year-old Adam Kinzinger, born outside of Kankakee but who lives in Bloomington.

Kinzinger won an impressive berth on the McLean county board, was reelected impressively but when the Iraq War began in 2003, joined the Air Force. He got his jet pilot’s wings in 2005. He became a captain and in 2007 won a medal for valor outside his area of command by saving the life of a young woman. He saw she was gushing blood after having been stabbed by a jilted lover who was waving a sharp knife and vowing to finish her off.

Though unarmed, Kinzinger wrestled the guy…who was much bigger and heftier than Kinzinger… to the ground while the assailant was wildly flailing the knife with which he nearly killed the woman. He was not only awarded the Air Force medal for heroism but the National Guard’s Valley Forge cross for heroism as well as the Red Cross’ citation for heroism.

He’s now in the Air Force reserve. He strongly reminds me of a young man just his age in 1958…four years younger than I…who had been a Navy jet pilot and who served as legislative assistant to Rep. Robert Griffin (R-Mich) just down the hall from where I served as press secretary to Rep. Walter H. Judd (R-Minn.), ranking minority member of House Foreign Affairs. He bought me a cup of coffee one afternoon in the House of Representatives cafeteria.

We were both House staffers in 1958. Don Rumsfeld said he was quitting and going back home to Illinois to take a job at a stock brokerage firm—but it was clear that post would be temporary. He was preparing to seek the Republican nomination to succeed Marguerite Stitt Church in the then 10th district whenever she decided to retire. He was totally unknown. The rest is history: He was elected in 1962, becoming a young and highly influential Republican member, leading a putsch to topple bulbous-nosed old Charlie Halleck (R-Ind.) who was known to imbibe a good deal every afternoon…and who helped install Jerry Ford as Republican leader.

Participating in the unseating of Halleck lost Rumsfeld support among the Old Bulls of the GOP in the House like Les Arends (Illinois), the party whip so he knew he had to get out of there or he’d never move up in the hierarchy. Then Rumsfeld became a top aide to Richard Nixon, head of the Office of Economic Opportunity, director of the Office of Price Stabilization. Then chief of staff to President Gerald Ford, ambassador to NATO, the youngest secretary of defense in the department’s history. When Ford lost election, Rumsfeld became a highly successful CEO of G. D. Searle, He toyed with running for president and even had an exploratory committee in the field but decided to abandon it because he, frankly, wasn’t the type to munch thousands of corn-dogs at state fairs.

He stayed at Searle but varied that job by serving in specialized short-range foreign policy assignments to President Reagan. Then once more secretary of defense for George W. Bush (this time the oldest secretary of defense in the department’s history). Hugely controversial with Bush, we are awaiting the telling of his side of the story anent Iraq in his memoirs.

I have been a friend of Rumsfeld for more than 40 years and am withholding my judgment about his second defense tenure until he writes it. But this is supposed to be about Adam Kinzinger not Rumsfeld. To put it bluntly, Kinzinger (his name is German; he’s an evangelical Protestant but is not at all reminiscent of Henry Kissinger!) reminds me strongly of the charming policy wonk that Don Rumsfeld was and is.

Kinzinger, a solid pro-lifer, has a few competitors for the nomination against incumbent Debbie Halvorson in the 11th Illinois but he is clearly the most electable in my view. Halvorson has made a series of mistakes—principally by being far too liberal for the Illinois borderland which covers most of Will county including Joliet with a huge stretch of normally Republican territory.

Republicans Walsh and Kinzinger are real winners of the future, in my estimation.


Henry Hyde once told me that Newt Gingrich, then Speaker of the House, is 50% genius and 50% nuts. On a given day, he can bolt either way. The genius part is self-revelatory. Starting as a backbencher in the House, he mobilized fellow backbenchers who had been placidly following Minority Leader Bob Michel to think about discarding him and rev up their latent conservative engines. As an insurrectionist, Newt did the groundwork that caused one Speaker, Tip O’Neill to hand his gavel over to a surrogate, walk to the floor and bellow personal insults. That caused his words to be “taken down” which in House parlance means rebuked—the first case in modern times where a Speaker was chastised by the body he led.

The rebuke caused the tempestuous O’Neill to fade back in a sulk which validated Gingrich’s view that with a lot of guts and courage the demoralized Republican minority could win control of that body. The next Speaker was Texas’ Jim Wright. Gingrich researched the facts behind a book that Wright had purportedly written and which with the Speaker’s knowledge was bought in bulk across the country by special interest groups which may well have been legal technically but which nevertheless enabled Wright to exceed the limitation on his honoraria. Another Gingrich charge alleged that Wright’s wife, Betty, was given a job by a group to which Wright could technically be said to have been beholden…allowing him surreptitiously to exceed the limit on gifts that applied to members of Congress.

The charges which went to the House Ethics committee ruined Wright’s effectiveness and he was forced to resign. Gingrich was the brilliant provocateur who caused one powerful Speaker to be rebuked by his House and his successor to quit. Thereupon Gingrich bluffed Michel out of the minority leadership, became Number Two in the Republican caucus and almost single-handed conceived of a brilliant stratagem to wrest the House from decades of Democratic control to Republican hands. His idea to fashion a “Contract with America” captured much public attention and turned the Republican campaign for the House from fractionalized individual races to one which thundered a national message. Due almost entirely to Gingrich, Republicans won control of the House in 1994 for the first time since 1953. That is the genius side of Gingrich.

Now Newt’s nutty side. Remember Hyde having said he’s 50% genius and 50% nuts?

You’d imagine that having installed himself as Speaker, number two in line for the presidency, that Gingrich would have enough to do, wouldn’t you? Well, you’d be wrong. No sooner did he take the Speaker’s chair than his cocksureness overcame his better judgment. He initiated a tax-exempt course for politics that could be sold to people who want to take it instead of the regular courses in colleges and universities. He ran into the same general trouble as Jim Wright did whom he drove out of Congress. The deal was investigated by the House Ethics committee (as was Wright’s at Gingrich’s urging). He was charged with 84 violations of House ethics rules—which were finally dropped to one…but this was bad enough. He was fined heavily for violating the ethics requirement and for the first time in U. S. House history, he was censured.

Not content with that, he lambasted President Clinton for his sexual peccadilloes while at the same time he was conducting a tempestuous affair with a married woman. Gingrich was at that time married to Wife No. 2. His chaotic life seriously interfered with his management of the House. Republicans lost a great number of seats but kept slender control of the House—for which they blamed Gingrich. There was an abortive attempt by some Republicans to dump him which was uncovered and which led to the decision of House Majority Leader Dick Armey to leave the Congress. Gingrich then left the House which then exploded up-for-grabs.

After the left the House, Gingrich got married to his mistress and believe it or not he became a Catholic (she was already Catholic). He made a fortune writing very well conceived books, serving as a Fellow of the American Enterprise Institute and other think tanks. He became a contributor to Fox News. Once again he has spewed forth a flurry of projects, brilliantly conceived expositions of the issues. As memory of his transgressions receded there have been many who believe he would be the best qualified candidate for president in 2012. He has said he will consider running for the presidency.

But then re-arose the nut factor The 23rd district of New York, a fairly liberal area covering most of the state’s North Country, starting at Lake Champlain and including the St. Lawrence Seaway and over the Adirondacks to Madison county in the south with such centers as Watertown and Oswego on Lake Ontario—the largest district in New York state—a district that despite having a Republican congressman, John McHugh, carried for Obama 52% to 47%...has seen McHugh, a liberal, leave for the job of secretary of the army under Obama. Reason: he has to get out while the getting is good because New York will be redistricted soon and his district is exceedingly likely to be eliminated forcing him to run in a district which a Republican cannot possibly win. So soon there will be a special election.

Failing to take note of the radically changing temper of the times, the House Republican Campaign committee determined to fight yesterday’s war. It picked to succeed McHugh quite possibly the most liberal Republican it could find—someone who makes Olympia Snowe look like a standpatter. The committee endorsed Assemblywoman Dierdere Scozzfaua, who’s a pro-abort, pro-gay, pro-same-sex marriage who in her state elections became indebted to ACORN to which her ties go back for many years. She’s a teachers’ union favorite and has also been endorsed by the proprietor of the most leftwing blog in the country, Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos. And good old Newt Gingrich endorsed her as well.

The normal rationale would argue that it’s better to have a very liberal Republican congresswoman rather than a Democrat: at least she will cast the vital first vote, to organize the House for a Republican Speaker. But that’s the normal rationale. The swiftly changing temper of the times shows that there is a drastic upsurge of conservatism in the 23rd district Republican district. There is a loud revolution being waged against Scozzfaua with the candidacy of Doug Hoffman by the New York Conservative Party.

The upshot: Newt Gingrich has wounded himself seriously by dabbling in the primary. Once again the old view of Hyde’s…50% genius, 50% nuts…is being recalibrated. Thus once again, Newt Gingrich has maimed himself with his conservative base just as his prospects were brightening.

Not that the Republicans should ever…ever…ever consider him for the presidency. So this goof-up by Newt may just be the break the GOP needs to rid itself permanently of this brilliant but highly erratic presidential wannabe.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Personal Aside: Decadent “Old Europe” Turned Around and So Can We if We Try.

In January, 2003 Donald Rumsfeld used the phrase “Old Europe” to describe not just Europeans nations which failed to support the 2003 invasion of Iraq (specifically France and Germany), but to describe a “peace-at-any-price” decadence he feared might spread across the continent. But since then two central nations of “Old Europe” have veered right—France under the leadership of a center-right president, Niolac Sarkozy and Germany whose Chancellor is Angela Merkel who was just reelected and strengthened with a vital new conservative coalition.

So two nations of former “Old Europe” are back, with Sarkozy correcting our President Obama who gave an airy vision of perfect vapidity a few weeks ago by saying that reality is not nearly as vaporous as the illusions Obama is casting. But there is still a lot of decadence in what remains of “Old Europe”—unredeemable public pension debt, high taxes which snuff out job creation, low birthrates, unrealistic agricultural subsidies that have ended many family farms in favor of huge corporate ones which suck up the public monies and the disinclination to finance their defenses preferring that the unconscionable spiraling taxes pay for ever-growing entitlements that make the populace fat, lazy and unlikely to pay to maintain its freedoms.

And if vestiges of “Old Europe” are showing signs of turnaround, the U. S., thanks to its decadent Democratic government—a president with no discernible philosophy, no real religious affiliation who denies we’re a Christian nation at all but one who holds amorphous “values,” a Congress that sees ever-more spending frivolity and which lies copiously about how it will pay for its bills (using accounting tricks and conceptual language on health care to make voters believe it will not add to our deficit).

But there is hope after all. The U. S. under Obama is shaking off its liberalism…starting with Obama. Gallup yesterday recorded an average daily approval rating of 53% for the third quarter of this year, reflecting a propitious drop from 62% he chalked up last April and the 78% approval he basked in when he entered the White House. It’s the fastest drop in recent U. S. history in a president’s first term. Despite heavy majorities in Congress, Obama has terrified Democratic members who have to run for reelection next year. Unless it changes the name Obama is going to be anathema for Democrats who otherwise would have been happy to snuggle up to him. Part of the reason is that he followed the advice of his twin advisers who simulate the duplicitous clowns in the play “Hamlet”—Rosencrantz (Rahm Emanuel) and Guildenstern (David Axelrod).

They advised him to pile his plate to heaping with unconscionably expensive liberal goodies—universal health care, cap and trade, education “reform” meaning stratosphere spending from K1 to senior college-- instead of concentrating just on fighting unemployment. When the Congress balked, the twins suggested he demonize the portion of the media that doesn’t follow him lockstep: talk radio (blistering Rush Limbaugh with made-up quotes Limbaugh never said)…Fox News (insisting incredibly it’s not a news network at all despite its popularity with the highest ratings in cable news)…Glenn Beck of Fox who single-handedly brought down Acorn while mainline broadcasters ignored the scandal…and the U. S. Chamber of Commerce which supported Obama on the stimulus package and a variant of cap and trade but has the temerity not to salute and say “yes sir” for the entire Obama package.

So maybe there’s hope for the U. S. taking a detour from cruising to become “Old USA” to rejecting his ideas and blocking liberal proposals in a Congress that is heavily Democratic but which still can’t bare to hold its nose to vote for his ideas.

Let’s hope so. The only holdbacks are the misnamed “mainstream media” ala Katie Couric, much of the “mainstream” print press—the New York Times and the slenderized…with fast fading advertising support… newsmagazines “Time,” “Newsweek” and “U. S. News.” Then there’s pro-Obama public TV and public radio subsidized heavily with taxpayers’ dollars. The heavy residue of decadence is harbored still in ivy league universities where patriotism is dissed and of course Hollyweird. 2009 could be the start of the mammoth turnaround with Democratic loss of two governorships, Virginia and New Jersey.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thoughts While Shaving: Rosencrantz’s Avowed Destruction of the Health Insurance Industry Reflects the “Chicago Way”…Once More Time—Reform that Means Something.


The Comedic R & G War Against Dissent.

The twins Rosencrantz (Rahm Emanuel) and Guildenstern (David Axelrod)…literally two halves of a single character… continued yesterday converting traditional Madisonian political debate into a Chicago-style gangland brawl. Their goal is to root out and destroy. They think they’re winning but in reality…like the simulated characters in Tom Stoppard’s 1966 play “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead”…they haven’t a clue about the real scenario. Re-read the play and you’ll find that these comedians are pathetic in that they are so involved in themselves that they fail to understand what was happening around them. That’s the way it is with the contemporary R & G: engrossed in their own careers and how they can puff themselves up after Obama, they are totally out-of-touch with the great issues that have surrounded them. Result: they’re comedians without conscious that they are such.

They started by demonizing Rush Limbaugh…a radio talk show host whom they misidentified as a faux racist and Hitler. Then they collaborate by launching a sponsors’ boycott of Glenn Beck. They’re following up with refusal by administration officials to appear on Fox News, declaring that it is not a news network. That’s the strategy pursued by the Dynamic Duo of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Yesterday they opened up another front in the war against dissent.

With the strategy set by R & G, congressional Democrats launched at drive in both houses of the Capitol yesterday to strip the insurance industry of its longstanding (since 1945) exemption from federal antitrust laws. The move is seen as retaliation to the defeat the Obama White House received in the Senate to sidetrack legislation averting a 21% cut in Medicare payments for doctors by raising their fees by $247 billion. They carried the bill 53 to 47 but fell 13 votes short of the 60 needed to advance the bill (because of widespread concern that it would hike deficits). The technical “defeat” was suffered by Democrats but also by the accommodationist AMA (the American Medical Association) which had spent in the mid-seven figures on TV advertising for one of its major priorities. But it was a victory for the insurance industry’s trade association when it declared the Senate Finance committee’s conceptual language would result in sharply higher premiums in health insurance for many millions.

Result: R & G were angered and they’re working assiduously with congressional Democrats to punish the insurers. So Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of Judiciary, R & G’s little lap dog, announced he wold seek a vote on stripping anti-trust protection when the Senate debates health care in the next several weeks. Concurrently, House Judiciary voted 20 to 9 to end the industry exemption with three Republicans supporting the move.

Historians recall that this is the worst anti-business fracas since 1962 when John F. Kennedy pressured U. S. Steel to roll back price increases because of fear of inflation. But pressuring Roger Blough of U. S. Steel to ditch a cost hike was one thing. Kennedy never said he was out to ruin U. S. Steel or the industry because he knew how unpopular that would be. He only said, “my father always told me businessmen were sons-of-bitches but I never believed him until now.”

In contrast, the R & G battle against the insurance industry vows to proceed to its ultimate destruction…just as with Fox’s anticipated destruction and sponsors pressured to vacate Glenn Beck. Now the target is the ruination of the insurance industry.

Just as the original Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were comedic in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” and Stoppard’s play, the cast of Emanuel and Axelrod is ridiculous in real life. Vendettas by the White House can never work. They just demean the perpetrators. Let’s face it, Obama’s time has come and passed. By 2012 he’ll be returning to his Hyde Park mansion he bought with the help of Tony Rezko…and R & G will be sprung lose to rebuild their incomes and nurture another huckster—maybe this time a physically disabled self-professed gay Hispanic nun from Alabama who will be ripe for their collaborative promotion. I can just hear Katie Couric exclaim when she meets their new client: Wheeeeee!

Reform that Means Something.

A debate among Republican contenders for governor yesterday at the Union League Club elicited a number of so-called ethical reforms. Sorry to say it but most are pallid. The only measures to tame an outlandishly corrupt Illinois political system involves cutting legislative pay, sending them home and scrubbing the nonsensical stuff on campaign caps in favor of complete, instantaneous disclosure on the Internet. Now as I’ve said, I am for Kirk Dillard and I certainly wouldn’t saddle him with my ideas here…but mark my words, some day they will be heeded.

As previously stated here, Illinois should return to biennial sessions which return the lawmakers’ status to part-time. Their salaries should be cut to a $1,000 stipend per session plus per diem (a 50% jump from New Hampshire’s). This will ensure that those who seek the office will not be doing so to provide cushy salaries for themselves, many of whom don’t have the ability to earn such money from private employment. It also means, frankly, that candidates who seek election will have the benefit of private means. This does not have to be a verdict for the well-heeled but for people who have been sufficiently successful so as to avoid the lowest common denominator of comedic actors who run because they can’t make a living elsewhere. The low quality of many legislators is testimony to the vapid populism that has degraded the legislative process.

It takes guts to advocate this and the betting is that the Illinois constituency is so inured to populist rot-gut that it cannot distinguish what high salaries have done to debase the system. But the sooner the debate starts on these reforms, the better. No, you can’t count on editorial boards to support these ideas but then who does pay attention to what they think anyhow except those who are employed to write and edit their usual piffle?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Personal Aside: While His Team Wars with Itself, Obama Dithers.


The Rosencrantz half of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Rahm Emanuel, is the one I know best. He is so slippery that if he were to lose his balance while walking down a White House corridor he would literally slide in self-generated grease and oleaginous offal to skid past his office door. There is nothing sincere about him: not even his supposed loyalty to Barack Obama. Emanuel can only be loyal to himself and he sees Obama as a temporary expedient.

He means to have it all—beginning with future acquisition of multi-millions (at which he made a fair start due to his utilization of old Clinton contacts)…parlaying more political power (again which he capitalized on his closeness to Mayor Daley enabling the city’s Water Department to free hundreds of its taxpayer-paid minions to campaign for his first run for Congress in 2002)…opportunistic feigning where he shouted he was a victim of anti-Semitism when an old man in Kazak’s campaign alleged falsely he was a dual citizen which Rosencrantz shrewdly used to paint a portrait of himself as victim with the supine media.

Now, if I know Rosencrantz correctly, he is already looking ahead to acquiring more power and money—spending a few years getting returns from earlier political favors dispensed, to sucking up multi-millions from contacts in investment banking to reward himself…and going back to the House where he will be in good position to become Speaker.

To do these things, Rosencrantz has to remain in good paper with the political Left which he has heretofore exploited shrewdly. And as the Left eschews U. S. patriotism, Rosencrantz has to be seen as tilting to them in the White House…which means fighting against the advice of two top generals in sending reinforcements to Afghanistan who say if the men don’t come soon, the U. S. will lose the war.

Losing a war versus ingratiating himself with his Lefty backers is an easy choice for Rosencrantz: the choice is self-ingratiation, of course. That’s why this lean and hungry Cassius did what no other White House chief of staff has done heretofore: invaded the precincts of national security policy—a subject of which he knows nothing—to block reinforcements. In doing this last Sunday, he shook up the entire military and caused our enemies to take heart that the purposefulness of the United States is in serious doubt. So what we have here, friends, is a political power play by a non-military strategic ignoramus for his own self-aggrandizement. The overwhelmed Hamlet who is supposedly in charge of policy is relegated to the back row while Rosencrantz wars with two 4-star generals, brilliant at their craft and the secretary of defense…the secretary saying that until action comes quickly the war will be lost. Rosencrantz gives not a rat’s ass: he is playing the game he knows best—described by that sage scholar of city politics John Kass as the Chicago Way.

The other half, Guildenstern—David Axelrod—is a far lesser man from the standpoint of skullduggery and intellectual amorality than is Rosencrantz. Guildenstern is behind the Obama effort to destroy…physically destroy…his enemies of the media which is also reflective of the Chicago Way. The Madisonian view of government set forth in Federalist 10 celebrated factionalism as contributing powerfully to the republic through the robust exchange of views. This is anathema to the Chicago Way which cannot tolerate dissemination of any views beyond that of the central political leader of the Squid. The Chicago Way to Guildenstern is to destroy…utterly destroy…proponents of opinion who differ from the Squid. So we find Guildenstern saying that the Fox News network is not a news organization…and actively urging advertisers to drop their spending on the network so that it will revert into insolvency. That is truly the Chicago Way: based on rooting out and destroying dissent.

Guildenstern has taken it a step further. In addition to trying to drive a legitimate news operation out of business, Guildenstern is behind the campaign to vilify the U. S. Chamber of Commerce. Why? The U. S. Chamber is nothing more than a group of accommodationists who are largely devoid of principle. They supported the bank bailouts because they like public money as well as private. They supported the $787 billion TARP Obama launched because they like businesses being subsidized. They even supported a variant of Cap `n Trade. They have endorsed such Democrats in the House who curry big business favor like Melissa Bean of the Illinois 8th whose votes against national security matter not to it.

Bean voted to bail out financial markets, to expand SCHIP (Children’s health program) though it’s a flagrantly expensive backdoor to expanding Medicaid and to oppose a ban on operations in Iran which is against our national interest. But because the U.S. Chamber opposes the excesses of Obamacare, Guildenstern has ordered that it be destroyed by encouraging businesses to drop its membership. Obediently Exelon here in Chicago for whom Guildenstern worked as consultant has done just that, courtesy of the obediently loyal John Rowe.

Understand, I care not a whit about the U. S. Chamber long having disdained it as a lobbyist myself because of its footsie playing with the liberals. It has enough money to fend for itself. But I do resent the Chicago Way being transplanted to Washington through Rosencrantz and Guildenstern designed to destroy institutions. And now their Hamlet-esque puppet Obama has touted the fact that the Chamber has spent multi-millions on lobbying activities…as if redress of grievance covered in the Constitution is un-American. This I can stress has not been done in my experience by any Democratic president—not FDR nor HST nor JFK, nor LBJ, Carter or Clinton: the concept of flat-out destroying the Madisonian concept of federalism out of self interest.

As bad as Guildenstern is, he would probably give pause to the step taken by Rosencrantz, who gives not a rap about national security as he polishes his apples with the non-patriotic and utterly disloyal political Left.

The real surprise is how both Rosencrantz and Guildenstern have allowed their Hamlet to continue dithering—which puts Hamlet in an almost untenable position. The logical thing would be to have Hamlet either refortify Afghanistan or not. But the interesting thing is that Afghanistan as of now is in the hands of Rosencrantz who is pursuing Rosencrantz’s chief interest, himself…not worrying about how Hamlet looks at all. I am told Guildenstern does care but of the two Rosencrantz is uppermost…being far more duplicitous, venal, perversely brilliant and harder working.

Thus are we largely governed by two unelected adders—both with fangs and less interested in their pathetic client than how they make out.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Personal Aside: Pathetic—Obama Dithers Using Afghan Election as an Excuse While No Matter Who Wins, the Taliban Grows Stronger.


Obama Dithers.

The two unsavory toadies in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” came back to life on network television Sunday—Rosenkrantz (Rahm Emanuel) and Guildenstern (David Axelrod) as supporting characters for Hamlet (Barack Obama).

Sunday Rosenkrantz sought to shore up Hamlet’s standing with the Left and spare Hamlet from criticism for dithering over sending reinforcements to Afghanistan, the conflict Hamlet called during the campaign “the war we have to win.” Hamlet used that strategy to soften charges that he is a softie in defending our interests in the Middle East. So Hamlet said Afghanistan, in obedience to Guildenstern, not Iraq, was the big war, the real one, the battle in Iraq being lost beyond redemption. And along with Rosenkrantz, Guildenstern defended Hamlet from cooperating with Fox news network. In fact both used nearly the same identical language: Fox is not a news network.

Rosenkrantz struggled mightily to justify the delay. He asked: How can we act immediately when we do not have a credible Afghan partner “that can provide the security and the type of services that the Afghan people need”? Meaning that since the Afghan election bore instances of election fraud with a third of the votes received by President Hamid Karzai disqualified? Mercy! We will just have to wait until there is a runoff for president or a coalition government is formed. Voter fraud is awful to consider. Never mind that Rosenkrantz was nominated through wholesale voter fraud by the Chicago Water Department patronage to win the Democratic nomination over Nancy Kaczak in 2002. So he asks compellingly: how can we move quickly to save Afghanistan while the election of the president is in doubt? How could he have gone to Congress with wholesale voter fraud perpetrated?

Rosenkrantz betrayed nervousness in his CNN interview despite the softballs lobbed up by the compliant in-the-tank network. More than nervousness, desperation. This is the first time where Obama’s favorability is under 50%--with support for his handling of Afghanistan 41% (Iran 41%, healthcare 42%, the economy 48%. And of course the culprit is George W. Bush. The reason Hamlet is dithering over a decision to save Afghanistan whether Karzai gets in or his opponent, Abdullah Abdullah wins is that he hopes for permanent delay so as not to antagonize the Left

And so the Taliban inches closer to victory as Hamlet dithers and his Rosenkrantz attempted to explain it away. But Afghanistan isn’t the only thing that’s on Hamlet’s plate. After all, there’s a lot of things to cause him to dither and Rosenkrantz to apologize for: Hamlet’s caving in to the Russians by pulling out missiles that protected Poland and the Czech Republic as a way to get Russian support on imposing sanctions on Iran which hasn’t worked and which served up a stinging rebuke to him last week. Scrubbing the missiles and abandoning Afghanistan are high on the choices for the Left—and Hamlet doesn’t want to alienate that segment. Rosenkrantz of course told the obediently nodding CNN that it’s all George W. Bush’s fault because he didn’t ask “tough questions” about Afghanistan in the first place.

Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern protested that it is right that the administration punishes Fox News because it is not a news network…disregarding the fact that alone of the networks Fox unveiled the ACORN scandal which led the Democratic Congress to publicly rebuke the agency that Obama used to work for. Guildenstern knows whereof he speaks. As orchestrator of a Chicago media factory who still shares in profits it garners from Hamlet’s connections, Guildenstern’s been pushing propaganda for Prince Hamlet for years which has scored heavily thanks to a largely deferential Chicago media and is unused to being questioned. The other news networks, say Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern, are fairer: yeah right. Ignoring Acorn, ignoring the czars, ignoring the director of White House communications who lists Mao as one of her favorite “philosophers”—a story that has yet to be shown on the so-called “fair” broadcast networks: CBS, ABC, NBC.

In “Hamlet,” Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern are secret agents for King Claudius, trying to ingratiate themselves with Hamlet—just as the modern variants are not total surrogates for Obama but heavily invested in a Left that transcends Obama and is now showing signs of disloyalty to him—ready to bail out the moment his numbers hit rock bottom and defect to any Left spokesman who can pay them more.

Indeed, as he surveys the apologies they are proffering and the mess they are making of Obama’s image, it would be wise for Hamet to echo what Shakespeare’s Prince said to his mother about Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern:

“I will trust [them] as I will adders fang’d.”

Monday, October 19, 2009

Personal Asides: Soon Todd Stroger Will Become an “Independent Democrat” and Go After the Daleys, Madigan and Quinn… Ronald Reagan Should Have Gotten the Nobel Peace Prize: Yes, Really!

Personal Asides: Soon Todd Stroger Will Become an “Independent Democrat” and Go After the Daleys, Madigan and Quinn… Ronald Reagan Should Have Gotten the Nobel Peace Prize: Yes, Really!

Todd Stroger.

The word in Democratic circles is that Todd Stroger will shortly certify himself as an “independent Democrat” and level criticism at the Daleys, Mike Madigan and Quinn. And why not? They’re arrayed against him and support the apple-cheeked Irishman Terry O’Brien for president of the Cook county board…counting on the fractionalized vote divided among the blacks they’ve recruited to grease the way for O’Brien to win. Racial politics? What is it when a multiplicity of African Americans are put up by the white power bosses—Madigan and the Daleys—to divide the black vote so that one of their own gets in? The liberal media only see race politics when Stroger gets 500 black ministers on his side—not racial politics at all when the Power Group recruits O’Brien to stand alone.

And what was it when lo and behold with Paul Vallas running heavily against Blagojevich with Vallas commanding a large chunk of African-Americans in the 2002 gubernatorial primary, suddenly Roland Burris entered the field and…whoopee!...received hefty bundles of dough to shatter Vallas’ black support? Therefore, Dem regulars, ask not where it started: it started with thee.

Ronald Reagan.

One more time: if the Nobel Prize were handed out objectively, who would get the nod? A recap in catechism form.

Q. Your views on whether Obama’s receiving the Nobel Peace Prize was or was not political.

A. Are you kidding me? Of course it was. It was an anti-American salute made in expectation of favors to come from Obama—to continue his drive to put an end to American exceptionalism, apologizing for America and his presidential predecessors and weakening our stand in Afghanistan. It was also meant as another rebuke to George W. Bush. Thus far, Nobel prizes were awarded to his critics: Jimmy Carter and Al Gore and Mohamed ElBarsei, the director of IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] who believes that since Israel has the atom bomb, all Muslim nations should as well. The decisions reflect the preponderance of what I call Euro-trash: people from Western Europe who despise the U. S. The Prize hasn’t been relevant to peace since Mother Teresa won in 1979. So, now the Prize is equal to being the winner of the Pillsbury Bake-Off.

Q. But isn’t it true that it will enhance Obama’s prestige throughout the world, enabling him to accomplish something?

A. I’ll tell you what it will enhance: his already robust narcissism. He is likely to trot up the steps to the stage in Oslo and engage in a solo rendition of “Dancing with the Stars.” And that’s the danger, really: spurring him to continue to please the Euro-trash by selling out American interests at every opportunity. In a very real sense, awarding it to Obama marks the formal end of comedic satire—since nothing more ludicrous can be stated.

Q. How long has the Prize been identified with the Left?

A. With some exceptions since 1906 when it was awarded to one of our most bellicose presidential adventurers, Theodore Roosevelt, who launched Big Stick diplomacy, defending his right to preemptively intervene in Latin America whenever we see something not to our interest (a radical extension of the sound Monroe Doctrine).

He got it for mediating the Russo-Japanese war—but really because Norway wanted to curry some brownie points with the U. S. Low-points: Al Gore for his global warming move, Yassir Arafat who rejected unprecedented Western overtures (98% of the land the Palestinians wanted, control over most areas of eastern Jerusalem and sole authority over the Temple Mount) because he wanted to continue warring. Another low-point came in 1973 when it went to the duo of Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho of North Vietnam.

Q. Why?

A. After receiving his half of the Prize, Kissinger directed a new series of air-raids on Hanoi and Haiphong, the most intense bombing in world history: in 11 days 100,000 bombs were dropped on the two cities with destructive power equal to five times the power of the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima…and Le Duc Tho along with National Liberation Front Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap continued to kill many thousands in conquering all of Vietnam. Le Duc Tho however declined his half of the Prize because he said he was going to continue to wage war. Kissinger took his half of the booty to the bank. Then, of course, you have the Prize awarded to Kofi Annan, the UN secretary-general, in 2001, who spent the last years of his term warding off responsibility for his son’s alleged benefiting from the Oil for Food program.

Q. You’re saying the Nobel Prize is given to those who diss America rather than promote peace?

A. Believe it. Let me give you an example. If they were fair, do you know whom they should have picked for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987?

Q. Who?

A. Ronald Reagan.

Q. That old hard-liner whom the media said wanted to blow

everybody up?

A. Listen to me. In the middle of the Summit at Reykjavik, Iceland on October 12, 1986, Reagan…against all the advice of his staff, State Department and Defense Department, faced Mikhail Gorbachev and made this proposal “…that by the end of two five-year periods, all nuclear devices would be eliminated, including bombs, battlefield systems, cruise missiles, submarine weapons, intermediate-range systems and so on.” It stunned his staff, Gorbachev and his staff. Essentially it was an offer to rid the world of nuclear weapons—something no other world leader had proposed.

Q. Fascinating. What did Gorbachev say?

A. Gorbachev was excited. He said, “We could say that—list all those weapons.” Reagan then restated it clearly: “If we agree that by the end of the 10-year period, all nuclear weapons are to be eliminated, we can turn this agreement over to our delegations in Geneva so that they can prepare a treaty which you can sign during your visit to the U. S.” To which Gorbachev responded with a smile, “Well, all right. Here we have a chance for an agreement.” Reagan had long spoken publicly of abolishing all nuclear weapons. Earlier, he had even volunteered to share with the USSR our SDI i.e. the Strategic Defense Initiative which would use ground and space-systems to protect us from missile attack. That over-generous offer gave his State and Defense people, leading conservatives in the U. S. and—for one insignificant minor league example, me, a bad case of heartburn.

But back to the meeting.

They broke for lunch but when they came back, Gorbachev, who had consulted with his staff, had qualms. He asked: “What about your SDI? Is this included?” Meaning: would we dismantle ours? Reagan said no, stated again that we would share our knowledge with them but for future development we would continue to experiment on it in our laboratories and conduct tests. Then Gorbachev waved his arms and thundered “nyet!” He said bluntly, “Let’s end it here. What you propose is something we cannot go along with. I’ve said all I can.”

Reagan was incredulous. He said, “Are you really going to turn down a historic opportunity for agreement for the sake of one word [laboratory] in the text?”

Gorbachev adamantly repeated: no deal. Reagan angrily arose from the table, jerked a thumb to Secretary of State George Shultz and said, “let’s go, George.” Gorbachev’s foolish intransigence ended the conference. The full story is told with the quotes I have used in the brilliant new book, The Age of Reagan: The Conservative Counter-Revolution by Steven F. Hayward [Crown Forum: 2009].

Nevertheless, the Soviets were divided and, in fact, demoralized by the offer. While Reagan felt the Summit was a failure, it was Mikhail Gorbachev, strangely enough, who felt otherwise, saying “…Reykjavik is not a failure. It is a breakthrough which allowed us for the first time to look over the horizon.”

In fact Reagan’s offer of total nuclear disarmament got him into trouble not just with the conservatives of this country—Human Events and all the rest of the Cold Warriors but also with Margaret Thatcher who was bitterly angry at not being consulted. Richard Viguerie said what he always does when a Republican president is in: “We’ve been wrong about this guy [Reagan] all along!”

. The number two Republican in the U. S. House, Rep. Dick Cheney (R-Wyoming) called up George Shultz and said, “what the hell happened in Reykjavik, George?” Richard Nixon was aghast and angered at Reagan’s innocent offer and said so in his book 1999: Victory Without War. I must acknowledge as a former press secretary to Rep. Walter H. Judd (R-Minn.) who was ranking Republican on Foreign Affairs, one of the Cold War’s principal and most principled defenders, I was with them.

Most conservatives feared Reagan’s Zero Option, leading to destroying all our missiles and sharing SDI with the USSR would upset the MAD balance and the Russkys would cheat. Most Cold War conservatives, had become at ease with MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction). You remember that funny 1964 movie Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Grew to Love the Bomb? Nevertheless, the offer shook the Russians and gave them the unsettling feeling that they could never, ever, compete with us in the economic sphere or military one. Thus there was a weakening.

A short time later a top Soviet scientist signaled a major remorse about Gorby’s turndown in the Kremlin: The Washington Post headline told it all:


Notwithstanding the Soviet rejection, the Cold War as on the way to winding down—thanks to SDI and the bold offer, not checked earlier with his staff, by Ronald Reagan.

In the sweep of history, Reagan won the Cold War by doing several things: building up our defenses, calling the USSR “an evil empire,” and pushing SDI which the Soviets knew inwardly they couldn’t compete with. Understand, I still think that at Reykjavik he was far more generous than he should have been but his efforts should have mandated the Nobels to give him the Prize because his actions were a forerunner to our victory in the Cold War which ended the two-nation nuclear standoff. But Reagan didn’t get the prize and never was offered it. He didn’t fit the anti-American, non-patriotic image that pleased and still pleases the Euro-trash.

Q. Wow! How did the Nobel people keep a straight face by ignoring him?

A. Easy for them: ideologues all. Gorbachev, who blew the chance to scrub all nuclear weapons between us and the USSR won it in 1990: he met the anti-U.S. style of the Nobel Lefties. Imagine: the guy who rejected Reagan’s offer to scrap all nukes became the winner of the Nobel prize and the guy who made the offer—Reagan—was passed up. That tells you much about the blindness and abject partisanship of a group that awarded the Prize to Obama…whose name was submitted only 10 days after his inauguration…for doing nothing—utterly nothing—except criticizing us to the Euro-trash and 3rd World.

Q. Well, will Obama be able to use the Prize which is revered by liberals and the media to win reelection in 2012? And carry the Democrats he campaigns for to victory in 2010?

A. Take 2010 first. The “prestige” of the Prize is not likely in 2010 because with voters today there’s only one major issue and it’s not foreign policy. As the Quinnipiac poll taken last week shows, people place the economy topmost as 42%, above health care which is at 18%. That’s because last week there were 521,000 new claimants for unemployment insurance and unemployment is near 10%. When you also calculate all the part-time workers who would like to work full-time and can’t get hired and the people who have just plain given up seeking work whose unemployment insurance has run out, economists at the University of Maryland say that real unemployment is nearly 17%. This means that while some analysts insist the recession is bottoming out, it’s a jobless recovery which is bad news for 2010.

Q. Good as that may be for Republicans, Obama doesn’t run until 2012. How does it look for him?

A. Hey, I’m not a genius so I can’t compute what’ll happen so far down the road as 2012. I will say this: he may be lucky to get the recession out of the way by 2010 even if he has to suffer the loss of the Democratic Congress—which may well happen. Presidents who are lucky and face recessions, want to get it over with early in the first term. That happened to Reagan who was hurt in the midterms of 1982 but by 1984 was reelected. Carter and Bush the First were not so lucky and had their recessions later so both were defeated for reelection.

Q. And the falling dollar?

A. Because we increased the deficit with the $787 billion stimulus which so far isn’t working and will continue to do so with spending that involves whatever will be called “Health Care,” the weakening dollar was the biggest story in the world economy last week—and will stay as such for weeks to come. Any currency’s value is calculated by the supply and demand of that currency. The fact is that now there is a greater supply of dollars than there is global demand for them. The dollar supply is the especial preserve of the Federal Reserve. Since last September’s job fall-off was significant, the question arises: will the Fed continue to flood us with more dollars well into 2010. The real problem will come to fruition if the fall of the dollar turns into a panic which will cause a steep hike in commodity prices including oil (traded in dollars) and skyrocketing currency markets would create economic uncertainty leading to widespread currency devaluations by other nations.

Q. I’m looking for good news! Well, what’s happening on ObamaCare? I see the Baucus plan was approved by Senate Finance t after its “conceptual” description was “scored” by the Congressional Budget Office which found it’s within our ability to pay because it would purportedly cut the federal deficit by $81 billion over the next decade. Good news, no?

A. As you know, a bill passed the Senate Finance committee 14 to 9—but it wasn’t a bill but a draft of conceptual language. While it wasn’t covered by the media much, the CBO warned that “conceptual language” can be misleading and actual language can well result in “significant changes” in its scoring. One reason may be taxes. There’s a tax on high-cost insurance plans which totals $210 billion plus the nanny state’s penalty on Americans for not having health insurance ($27 billion). The “conceptual” language sloughs off on the states higher Medicaid spending and the assumption that future Congresses will cut $400 billion off Medicare which, given Congress’ track record, is highly unlikely. Higher costs for the pharmaceutical industry will mean as result of a pass-through, sharply higher costs for the insured, higher costs for drugs, for stents and other medical devices as well as for diagnostics. But the central fact is the faulty assumption that the Congress will cut $400 billion from Medicare.

Q. But the fact remains that conceptual language or not the CBO gave it its blessing.

A. But as the CBO recognized but the media have not played it sufficiently is this: The paying is front-loaded and the benefits back-loaded. Which means that in order to make it come out under $900 billion, the fees and tax hikes are up front but the universal coverage part doesn’t occur until 2013. Thus it pretends that over ten years it will cost, say, a trillion dollars when only five years of it will be implemented.

Q. You’re just determined to be dissatisfied, aren’t you?

A. No, I’m just determined to keep you from fooling yourself when a draft of conceptual language not exact legislative language is submitted to the CBO and that through legislative tricks there is a half decade of benefits and a full decade of expenditures to show it’s budgetarily sound when it will blow a gigantic hole in the budget. But remember that the real Senatorial deal will be worked out later between the Democrats exclusively: Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, the Finance chairman; Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, of the Banking committee, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [Nev.] Remember, too, the American people have decided they don’t want any liberal universal health care.

Q. But-but, overall, you see a chance that there could be a change in the presidency with the elections in 2012?

A. Yes—but.

Q. Yes—but what? Tell me! I’m dying to know!

A. “Dying to know” is the right phrase. Yes—if there’ll still be a United States of America in 2012 …and if we can elect someone to help us save what’s left of it.

Q. What a downer! Is that all the hope you can give me?

A. `Fraid so.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Personal Asides: Thoughts While Shaving…CBS-TV…Yesterday’s Photo…Obama’s Humanist-Atheist Non-Beliefs


Thoughts While Shaving.

1. I don’t care what trouble CBS-TV here has had with news ratings, it has improved strikingly at 10 p.m. Strikingly different from the hi-ya fella happy talk and boring fluff on the other stations, it’s excellently put together with Rob Johnson the anchor with investigative reports from veteran Pam Zekman. The only downer is that the oleaginous Bill Kurtis occasionally makes a cameo appearance at the end. If anyone is a plastic man with accommodationist vibes (not beliefs) it’s him.

2. Occasionally I get insulting comments from a woman named e. a. I know her real name but don’t want to get into that now. She has a thing about calling me a racist. Once she said I should don a white sheet and go out and burn crosses. This because I criticized Obama’s foreign policy. Yesterday she said that because we ran a photo of Obama smoking a cigarette it’s indubitable proof that I really am a racist. Do you get the logic of that? It’s a photo my webmaster Jake picked out and he’s far from a racist. Poor woman.

Obama’s Creed.

When asked why I am outspokenly anti-Obama, here is a main reason. Last April 9 at a news conference in Turkey, he said that while there is a great number of Christians in the United States…

“…we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.”

You can check the quote for accuracy on the Internet. It’s verifiable. Well, as reader Joan Solms (and conservative activist) says: who are “we”? And what “ideals and a set of values”? What are they?

Here is the closest affirmation I can find of what this 3rd World-indoctrinated mystery man of murky genealogical background really “believes” if in fact belief is the right word. He is really not very smart. He poses often with his forefinger dug into his cheek with a faraway look in his eyes from which we are to deduce he’s an intellectual. He’s decidedly not (take it from me who was the first to interview him on radio after he became a state senator).

Some say he’s a Deist like Thomas Jefferson but the above statement contradicts that. Jefferson who first postulated (in a private letter) the concept of “wall of separation” between church and state first suggested that members of Congress go to church in the Capitol itself. That’s not Obama. His statement above is humanist and intrinsically atheist. His 20-year membership in Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ was no test. How can one sit there for 20 years hearing Wright rave against whitey and believe that’s Christianity? Obama did it because he was a young man on the make and he decided the folks there could be put to good use as volunteers for him. Period. If he ever believed anything Wright said he should not have tossed him aside when the heat came on…because Wright was a detriment.

No, essentially Obama is an atheist clothed in humanist philosophy. His declaration above certifies it.

Religious historians commonly trace the origins of modern atheism to the 18th century “Enlightenment” [sic] or humanism, spawned by the fight by materialist philosophers and the encyclopedists (among whom was one Francois-Marie Arouet who signed himself “Voltaire”) who sought to collect the sum-total of human knowledge within two covers. The original motivation was correct—to change the Old Order of ancient states which sanctioned their rule of “Divine Right.” But it soon changed as the masses were told in books and pamphlets that the Christian religion contradicts “the political health and well-being of nations.” Thereupon the encyclopedists invented their own god—the state…to which Obama obviously subscribes as substitute for God. People of Voltaire’s time believed Christianity is “the art of making men drunk with ecstasy in order to divert their attention from the evils heaped upon them by those who govern them.”

It’s notable that since he’s been president, Obama has never found a church or belief to which he is sustained. Jeremiah Wright was a useful tool and nothing else…no church, no minister…can supplant. So Obama lives a life as president identical with his life before being president: rootlessness but at bottom his religion is the state. It translates practically into humanism-atheism…which comes down to a variant of Marxism.

Marxism which started in the 19th century is essentially humanist, affirming the towering domination of man. Marx like Obama believed in essential economic rationale meaning that the production of goods and services form the real basis of society. Economics is totally under man’s control and he need not look to any god beyond his own collective genius to achieve happiness. Among intellectuals there are two ways of looking at the purpose of human life. One is to begin with the world and allow one’s intellect to soar after that to God. That is what’s called philosophy. The other is to begin with God and allow one’s intellect to explore the world. That’s what’s known as theology. Obama follows neither route. That’s why he has tried to redefine what we believe as “ideals and a set of values.”

It boils down to the state. Obama is a pragmatic materialist, an atheist-humanist who has placed the totality of his belief in man and the state as created by man. That’s what I believe he is. Tell me if you agree or disagree by writing me at

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Personal Aside: Some Liberal Media Oracles “Shocked—Shocked!” that Black Pastors Endorsed Todd Stroger!...Two Extraordinary Books by Illinoisans.


“Shocked, I Tell You, Shocked!”

A group of black pastors endorsed Todd Stroger for reelection the other day which sent some oracles in the highly-selective liberal media to worrying publicly that their churches might lose their tax exemption. That’s because the very partisan largely white media believe that Stroger might be beaten in the general election by a…gasp!...Republican. Well maybe, maybe not. But the concern is enough to cause the oracles to bring up the issue of the IRS’s possibly taking away their churches’ non-profit status. It’s hard to believe that the oracles…most of whom are religiously relativistic at best…are so concerned about the jeopardy to the black churches as they are that the Democrats might lose the presidency of the Cook county board.

After all, the pastors didn’t endorse Stroger from their pulpits but in a public news conference…unlike the drumbeat raving of politics on Sunday mornings from Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright which have been going on for 40 years with no threat from the IRS. However the Stroger candidacy has displeased Mayor Daley and the white plantation custodians of the sizeable black chunk of the Democratic party—headed by Mike Madigan as state chairman whose chosen favorite is one Terry O’Brien, president of the Metropolitan Water Resource District who is an apple-cheeked Irishman. Madigan and Daley fixed the slating session of the Cook county Democratic party so that there would be no endorsement for board president. In addition, Madigan has arranged for the state House to tamper with the home rule provision so as to change the veto override rule to satisfy Stroger’s enemies: a case of Irish bosses…Madigan and Daley…dumping on a guy because they fear a Republican can get in. I’m not sure of that but I recognize strong-arming when I see it.

And also the hypocritical media bleating that the black churchmen may lose their nonprofit status because they endorsed Stroger. Scheesh!

None of the thundering from Fr. Michael Pfleger in behalf of Barack Obama for the past two to three years worried the oracles as possibly violative—only when a group of pastors outside their churches endorsed Todd Stroger. To show Pfleger’s taste in presidential candidates, he has had the Rev. Al Sharpton speak at his church when he was a presidential candidate. No trouble; no hassle, no “worries” from the media. In 2008, Pfleger who regularly employs a variant of black scat talk to relate to his audiences put on a bit of a moon dance and put on a high-pitched female voice imitating Hillary Clinton while she was running against Pfleger’s favorite Barack Obama: media and his audience thought it was hilarious. Of course there was no mention at all by media of possible IRS violations in these cases.

Voter registration drives directed at signing up black voters (average: 97% Democratic) have not bothered the media at all. Strangely every so often some poor white Protestant evangelical minister in the boondocks gets probed by the IRS for even so much as hinting a political preference and media are all over him for usurpation of nonprofit status.

The Chicago media want anyone but Stroger—Toni Preckwinkle, Danny Davis the ostentatious big bass oracular fog-horn with the basso profundo voice, a 1000% liberal who as Ways and Means member wants universal health care no matter what it costs taxpayers… who takes a good 5 minutes to even clear his throat …Dorothy Brown who can’t specify on what she’d do but rest assured she’d do it (like her non-issue campaign against Richard M. Daley)…and O’Brien who is the regular Irish machine choice for president of the county board—the hope of Madigan being that a multiplicity of black candidates will grease it for O’Brien so he can join John Daley & Co. Throughout the history of the machine—whether under the Dems or Big Bill Thompson’s Republicans in the `20s--just enough allowance is made for black officials to enable African Americans in the city and county who vote in a solid bloc to think they are making progress while the main jobs are handled by the Irish.

Ah, selective liberal media worry about churches, religious disenfranchisement and…and…politics.

Jack Higgins’ Great Book.

Those who read this blog know that I rank the Sun-Times’ cartoonist Jack Higgins with the all-time great cartoonists who have ever lived including Thomas Nast, the path-breaker of the fine art who lampooned Boss Tweed and who gave the two parties the symbols of the elephant and the donkey…and in a more recent times Dan Fitzpatrick of the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch…Clifford Berryman of the Washington Star…Herblock (Herbert Block) of the Washington Post…Vaughan Shoemaker (the creator of John Q. Public) in the Chicago Daily News…John T. McCutcheon, Cary Orr, Joseph Parrish of the Tribune…Bill Mauldin of the Sun-Times and so on. But the foregoing are all dead. Of today’s collection of artists, Higgins is clearly the best.

You’ll be interested to learn that some…not all…of Higgins’ greatest works are available at bookstores. Entitled “My Kind of `Toon Chicago Is” it’s published by Northwestern University Press and is just freshly put on the market. It’s a masterpiece. You really ought to buy it for your library on Chicago history. Leafing through it I had forgotten some really great political events…the brilliant characterization of Bernie Epton as a nut (which he truly was)… and my favorite—Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, the partisan liberal Democratic prelate of Washington, D. C. kissing the ring of a Dem pol.

By all means buy it and buy another as a gift for a Chicago political history buff!

Len Small: Governors and Gangsters.

I’ve just now finished “Len Small: Governors and Gangsters” subtitled “Gov. Len Small in the 1920s When Al Capone Owned the Top Officials in Illinois” with the sub-sub title: “And a Look at the Other Crooked Illinois Governor from Kankakee, George H. Ryan.” It is truly a comprehensively great contribution to Illinois historical literature. Until now no one has done a thorough job on Illinois’ most evil governor…and I mean evil in the abject sense. Blago was a combination of self-serving, duplicity and conscience-lessness…but Small took money to spring convicted kills and mob figures so they could go back to the public. Every history of Illinois that I’ve read glosses over Small—but thanks to Jim Ridings, an investigative reporter, Small’s whole career is meticulously documented. Ridings shows no mercy but also is scrupulously fair.

The book is self-published but can be purchased via Amazon—or you can send for it at:

Side Show Books, P. O. Box 464, Herscher, Illinois 60941.

The subject is long-long overdue and from now on every Illinois historian who refers to governors will be indebted to Jim Ridings. He has written a book that covers the subject of Len Small so completely that nothing more needs be said.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Personal Aside: Ask Not if Obama Loves the Poor—Including His Own (Half) Brother…You Mean THAT Jim Ryan?


Begone, Poor!

There’s a reason why the world “liberal” is usually preceded by the descriptive “phony.” Take the King of Compassion, Barack Hussein Obama. Butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth when he turns his soulful eyes upward (to Allah, purportedly) and talks about the need to help one’s fellows. But he’s always talking about what government can do—not what he does as an individual. “Conservapedia” the great antidote to Wikapedia has listed what the Great One has given to charity out of his own pocket during the years he made $250,000 and more. Here’s the list:

2000: 0.9%...2001: 0.5%...2002: 0.4%...2003: 1.4%...2004: 1.2%...2005 (after he became nationally prominent): 4.7%...2006: 6.7%.

Indeed, the last two Democratic presidential nominees have been loathe to dig down deep in their pockets for the poor. Al Gore—Obama’s Nobel Prize-winning cohort—was embarrassed when it turned out that in 1998, two years before he ran for president, he gave just $353 to charity. When Ted Kennedy last ran for president with a net income worth of more than $8 million and an income of $461,444 from a family trust, he gave just 1% to charity as much as he claimed as a write-off for his 50-foot sailing sloop Curragh.

The richest man in the Senate is its top gigolo John Kerry who married not just one very-very rich woman but two…the second one of the richest women in the world…after he divorced Wife No.1 who became ill from depression. Of course Kerry is a philanthropist because his wife is the widow of John Heinz, heir to the Heinz catsup fortune—but of course Kerry uses the Heinz Foundation as his vehicle.

There, There, Little Brother!

No one can fault Obama on not helping his half-siblings because in the chaotic non-nuclear family he sprang from he very possibly doesn’t know who and how many they are. But as media occasionally reports his youngest half-brother George, 29, lives on pennies a month in a hut in Africa (said Vanity Fair in 2008). He lives on the outskirts of Nairobi in a shack 65-square-feet in size. George Obama said he met Barack first as a 5-year-old and after that not until 2006 when Obama toured East Africa and visited Nairobi. “It was very brief. We spoke for just a few minutes,” said George Obama. “I live here on less than a dollar a month…I live like a recluse. If anyone says something about my surname, I say we’re not related. I am ashamed.”

I hope he doesn’t mean he’s ashamed of himself for being poor. However shame isn’t evidently in his big half-brother’s repertoire for allowing one who normally should treated as a close blood relative to live in squalor. But then when you are basking in the glow of an adulatory media, why bother?

Example: When an over-awed Harry Smith of CBS-TV praised Obama for leaving the campaign trail to visit his ailing grandmother, the candidate replied grandiosely: “Yeah, well, the—I think most people understand that if you’re not caring for your family, then you’re probably not the kind of person who’s going to be caring for other people.”

(Of course merely by citing this, I realize I am stained by ghastly racism, Eric and Jeff).

Yes, THAT Jim Ryan.

I mean yes, the former attorney general. The guy who calls himself pro-life but prided himself that as DuPage states attorney he was not deterred in the slightest in hurling the book at pro-life demonstrators in order to show his even-handedness in the law. He’s been a faithful board member of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, the Ralph Martire outfit. The Center has prided itself on never shrinking from tax hike advocacy and Martire has repeatedly cited, on my radio show, the great service Jim Ryan has delivered as a board member.

Just so you know.