Thursday, February 18, 2010

Personal Aside: Stockholm Syndrome—Is Illinois Stuck on Stupid?

                           Feast of St. Simeon*

            Not long ago, The New York Times’ editorial page columnist Gail Collins surveyed corruption in all 50 states and finds, unsurprisingly, that Illinois now holds the lead.  And to confirm her estimate that nothing daunts the comatose Illinois pro-Dem, pro-Squid voter, a recent poll shows Illinoisans prefer Pat Quinn to Bill Brady 42 to 31.   Isn’t that remarkable?  Every all that’s happened.   
      It comes from an outfit called Victory Research which nobody ever heard of before—which means that it’s probably a prop for Quinn—but I don’t doubt the finding.  A another poll taken by Greenberg-Quinlan-Rosner for its client Alexi Giannoulias has the Golden Greek leading Mark Kirk 49-45.  I imagine it’s right, too.   
       But if there’s hope for Kirk, what about the heavy preponderance for Quinn?  How can that be? 
                      Illinois’ Acceptance of Corruption.  
      If Quinn wins, it proves that The Squid…the name I have selected because it is more appropriate than the old “machine”… is truly unbeatable—more  than Boston, more than Trenton, N. J.  more than New York city--unbeatable because of Stockholm Syndrome (of which more later)despite the botch-up the Dems have made of Illinois while controlling all facets of government.  Normally, defeat should be so deserved and expected those  in all Dem controlled branches ought to flee in terror, allowing the bureaucratic custodians to reason that since their repudiation is so clear, Illinois could save millions by not even holding an election.   
           Surely much blame goes…as it should… to the monolithic black vote, embracing its One Party as Savior. You know, it’s mind-boggling when you look around this town (Chicago) and see conditions in neighborhoods where blacks live and calculate that Democrats have governed this town since 1931. They are victimized by family breakup largely due to the Great Society which drove males out of the homes before females could receive child support. They are victimized by joblessness because Democrats…as in Chicago…fight stores like WalMart coming here because they don’t pay obeisance to white liberals’ demands they pay more. Result: blacks go jobless because white liberals won’t accept them working at a lower wage.  Figure that one out. 
            Blacks are threatened by murder, mayhem, rampant crime because somehow white liberals…like the guilt-ridden white stentorian, media-focused padre from Saint Sabina’s…opposes conceal carry, making it impossible to defend themselves.  Blacks are threatened by all these things because the white liberal media which send their kids to private schools (largely) thrills to the hoary old baloney purveyed by Operation PUSH’s machine-gun purveyor of catchy couplets, Jesse Jackson, Sr. who can’t.. and indeed doesn’t… crusade against illegitimacy because it would be too embarrassing since as the media know, he sired one himself.    
            Black indentured-ness is one thing.  White, Big Business, Big Labor and Big Media…and let’s face it Catholic hierarchal… supine lay-down is quite another.  All Illinoisans who say “nothing’s going to change” are on the way to a malady that has gripped this city.  I call itStockholm Syndrome—the disease where prisoners and the exploited of a system end up loving their abusers. Stockholm Syndrome has afflicted blacks, many liberal whites, big business leadership, gutless clergy, the TV stations and the editorial boards. 
                     Illinois Dem Record Begets Stockholm Syndrome.  
         For readers of this blog outside Illinois…of which there are many…here’s The Squid record in this state—which makes the seeming popularity of its candidates utterly fascinating as a case-study of Stockholm Syndrome.       
           By any normal tally, Democrats in this state should resemble the composite central character played by Sean Penn in the 1995  movie “Dead Man Walking.”  
          The compliant mainstream media here and across the country don’t play it as a disaster but it is.  There was precious little voter turnout on Feb. 2, the earliest election of the year in the nation, because the ungodly early date, involving a blanket of snowstorms, is a throwback to 2008 when The Squid under autocratic co-leader Mike Madigan decided to move up the date to give Barack Obama a head-start in collecting delegates.  Thus everyone must vote early.   
            The Squid’s gubernatorial nominee is heavily unpopular Patrick Quinn, who moved from Lt. Governor after Rod Blagojevich was arrested, impeached and removed by the legislature after being charged with spectacular corruption including, among other things, trying to auction off Barack Obama’s Senate seat for his own political and pecuniary gain.   (By the way, Blago was just re-indicted by the Feds for racketeering, wire fraud, 14 counts of extortion, 16 counts of bribery, 1 count of attempted extortion and 2 of false statements which carry with them 30 years imprisonment and $500,000 fine—the trial to begin this summer while the Illinois governorship campaign is full throttle). 
          Here are some figures which probably influenced Gail Collins to make her judgment:  
           Quinn’s Illinois state government, controlled by Dems from top to bottom has unpaid obligations totaling $12 billion including a $5 billion backlog in delayed bill-paying because the state doesn’t have the money for schools, mass transit agencies, health care providers and vendors who were told they would have to wait, on average, 4 months for reimbursement.    
            Quinn has called for a 50% hike in personal income taxes for individuals which was deferred by the legislature controlled by his own party.  Not a hands-on governor but a hands-off writer of  populist press statements for himself, he tried to save money by ordering his Corrections department to release some prisoners early from penal confinement… except that somehow his instructions got misconstrued and a total of 1,718 inmates—including violent prisoners and repeat DUI offenders--were turned out on the street, who on an average served only 37-days in prison, some as little as 11days. Some robbed and pillaged before they were recaptured and sent back to stir.   The supine media here did not scream bloody murder but merely reported it as a happening. 
             The only chance The Squid get a more popular governor candidate would have been to dump Quinn and nominate the Comptroller, Dan Hynes but it failed. Hynes is a colorless, faceless nebbish scion of a longtime Squid family but not as unctuously self-serving as Quinn. Yet he not only wanted a tax hike but to install a  “progressive” [sic] income tax to soak the “rich.” After a vicious campaign between the two, Quinn edged out Hynes by 5,000 votes.  
                         The Squid’s Squalid U. S. Senate Nominee.
           Now we go to the greatly ethically challenged Dem U. S. Senate nominee who unaccountably won over a clean candidate.  
         He is the scion of a prominent Greek banking family in Chicago who glommed onto Barack Obama early and raised big bucks for his U. S. Senate run.  The Greek kid is  Alexi Giannoulias whose family owned an institution known as Broadway Bank. Lean, spare, single, easily mistaken for Fredo in “Godfather II,” Alexi, now 34, started playing basketball with Obama at the posh East Bank Club, then got his Pop to raise money for Obama via the prosperous Greek community.  Before long the Giannoulias family had bundled a great stash of cash for The Messiah. Sure enough it turned out Alexi wanted something. He wanted to run for state treasurer in 2006, two years after Obama won his U.S. Senate seat. 
              But a problem: As veep of his family’s bank, Giannoulias approved a huge loan ($15 million) for Michael (Jaws) Gioraigo a twice convicted bookmaker and proprietor of buildings housing luxurious prostitution nests. The Squid’s co-head, House Speaker Mike Madigan, demurred on supporting Alexi but Daley didn’t—nor did Obama. The  liberal media hee didn’t push the Gioraigo story. In another town, such as New York which has The New York Post there would be justifiable journalistic hell to pay. Not here.   Result: to the accompaniment of fist-bumps and sly winks from Obama and Daley, Giannoulias was elected state treasurer, the state’s youngest at age 30.   
                            Alexi Goofs Up State Treasurer.
         It’s very hard to goof up being state treasurer which is a custodial not a policy job.  All you do is sit down at a big desk and sign some documents while the staff does the work.  Alexi continued a plan from the Feds that induced Illinoisans to contribute dough through a federally mandated savings plan available to all states  (known as a “529”) which permits a kid’s family to put dough into a special investment program where profits grow tax-free.   The program is known as “Bright Start” and investments can be made via any of 21 funds run by Oppenheimer. Almost all states do it.   
         But even in a no-brainer job, some choices have to be made.  And , Alexi Giannoulias and his staff happened to pick the worst fund of the 21 known as the “Core Plus Fixed Income Strategy.” Then as Don Rose writes in The Chicago Daily Observer, a rogue fund manager at Oppenheimer got cute and in the meltdown plunged the Illinois dough into some very chancy derivatives.  Result: Illinois’ funds contributed by 65,000 Illinois families lost 38% of its value in 2008 while some other bond funds grew by 5%.  
      The first thing Giannoulias did when he found out—probably aside from running to his State Treasurer’s Executive Washroom and throwing up—was to rely on a hoary old Squid stratagem: when you make a gross errorhold back the truth..
                                   When All Fails—Sit on the Facts.  
           First he said everybody should calm down, that he’d get the losses back.  Sure enough, he announced later in a glowing press statement that he recovered an amazing $77 million of a total of $85 million with the remainder on the way (he failed to add “hopefully.”). But then some pesky political enemies fed the press the truth: the total amount Alexi lost was $150 million of which $77 million were salvaged.  Alexi had participated in a cover-up, of course, which produced bad press but the media buried it behind the corset ads. Thus the media…with one notable column-ing exception… is every bit a captive of Stockholm Syndrome as are other major segments of Chicago. 
       Unperturbed, Alexi now determined to run for a higher post— Obama’s old U.S. Senate seat to succeed the retiring Roland Burris.  Burris, renowned for erecting a tombstone on his grave plot with his resume etched on it, was named by Blagojevich to the Senate and lied his way through the Illinois General Assembly confirmation by saying he never, ever promised to raise money to get the job (a lie, held secure while “under study” by the chamber’s so-called “Ethics” committee.
        Again The Squid said “yes”—this time with Autocrat Madigan on board. Giannoulias had two other ideas. He determined to reward his two top Treasurer employees who flubbed up the “Bright Start” deal (possibly to keep their loyalty intact) by running  them to run for statewide financial offices.  They were African American Robin Kelly (treasurer) and his 2nd in command an East Indian with the catchy political name of Raja Krishnamoorthi (comptroller). Through all these deals Daley and The Squid, nodded affirmatively. In the primary, Kelly got nominated.  Comptroller candidate is African American David Lee Miller.  
           Earlier, perceptive people (not Mayor Daley) decided the Democratic party cannot afford to have Alexi Giannoulias the U. S. Senate nominee with his record. So they rushed into the fray a challenger for the Senate—a clean-as-a-whistle guy who was a former assistant U. S. attorney under Patrick Fitzgerald and who served as inspector general—an honest inspector general—in the Daley administration (a signal rarity)…a guy named David Hoffman. But  earlier Hoffman had outraged the mayor by investigating the horrendous mistakes surrounding Daley’s decision to privatize parking meters.   
           And Daley can’t abide seeing anyone who causes him  embarrassment to move up in politics-- so The Squid pushed an 11-alarm alert to all its top precinct captains to stick with Giannoulias…who is striving to fill the seat once held by Everett Dirksen and Peter Fitzgerald.  
           So, to sum up: Now the Democratic ticket has for governor the incumbent, Pat Quinn,  who set hardened criminals out of stir to save the state money and who wants to hike personal income taxes by 50%...and for U.S. Senator Alexi Giannoulias as Treasurer sanctioned an investment  that lost $150 million of hard-earned middle class savings for kids’ college.  
          But the team of Quinn and Giannoulias wasn’t complete. Quinn had to have a lieutenant governor running at his side.  Who was it to be?   
                             The Dem Lt. Governor Winner: Worse.
           With choices of six candidates for this No. 2 office, the veritable heartbeat away from succeeding to the governorship, five were tried and true loyal Squid regulars. But one was a wild card.
           The wild card was one Scott Lee Cohen. He spent $2 million in his own behalf—but few knew his background. At age 44 he is a multi-millionaire pawnbroker from Chicago.  He admitted to have taken injectable steroids, tried to choke his ex-wife, forced himself on her even after she objected, and was forcibly removed from his home by police several times.  
          Moreover, he is being sued by his ex-wife for being a deadbeat in failing to support his children while blowing lots of cash on his run for political office and was sued for $200,000 by his own brother who alleged he was cheat.  Still moreover, in retaliation to his wife, he broke into his house and wrote threatening messages on her bedroom mirror with lipstick. More: He lived for a year with a prostitute who was arrested for the charge twice: but he denied he knew she was a prostitute but thought she was only a masseuse since he met her at a massage parlor.  Later he was charged with trying to stab her on the neck but who, he said, caused her injuries to herself.   
            With the liberal media snoozing on the issue, and with the help of several key defecting Squid leaders  the pawnbroker won the nomination for lieutenant governor of Illinois.  It turns out certain “pragmatic” elements of The Squid helped in return for his financial “campaign contributions” to their organizations. The defectors hustled 47,000 signatures on Cohen petitions to get him placed on the ballot in the first place and pushed enough votes to get him 212.902 votes  or 25% of the votes in a very light turnout which was enough to nominate him comfortably.  
           One of three top Squid aldermen in return for hefty “campaign” donations was Dick Mell, the father-in-law of Rod Blagojevich, known by the Hispanics who dominate his northwest side ward as “the Old Gringo.”   After Cohen sprinkled even more money around, it developed he got “endorsed” by two dozen elected officials. In all he carried 15 of the city’s 50 wards, 18 of suburban Cook’s 31 townships and four of the five “collar counties” in exurbia as well as winning 52 of the remaining 90 counties in the state.
                               Cohen Embarrasses The Squid.
         When Chicago’s lackadaisical press finally revealed all there is  to know about Cohen, The Squid got panicky and wanted to drop him off the North Avenue pier into Lake Michigan. But Cohen at first refused to resign from the ticket. But after some closed-door meetings in a soundproof room he  wavered and finally chose “of his own free will” to step down.  What the Squid inducements were for him to change his mind is anyone’s guess—very possibly (a) threats of his possible consignment to the tender mercies of  gentlemen with pomade dressing on their hair and wearing  expensive, pointed shoes or (b) perhaps inducements to make him even richer. (B) is more likely which means he may find it easier to pay his back child support bills.  Anyhow he tearfully announced his “resignation” while his kids cried on camera.  
          Incredibly this led the tender-hearted Gov., Quinn to say he was touched by seeing Cohen’s kids crying.  He meant not because Cohen was a deadbeat in supporting them…but because they were crying over their father’s defeat. This tells you something about Governor Old Watery Eyes. 
          In order to make it seem even-up, the compliant media represents that because the Republican lieutenant governor nominee is 27…although he is by no means even partly comparable to Cohen…and who has not held office before, who are the Republicans to talk?   That incredible position has been put forward by a good number of so-called pundits…including one wanna-be Access Cable pundit who invented out of whole cloth a fictitious “application form” purportedly filled out by Jason Plummer—the story running for at least a day or so before the wanna-be pundit owned up to the hoax and admitted he had fabricated it.  And he calls himself “an objective journalist.”   By that yardstick so was Jason Blair. 
                              The Unbalanced Dem Ticket. 
            The Democratic state ticket submitted to the placid voters of Illinois is all Chicago…Giannoulias…Quinn…Lisa Madigan…Robyn Kelly…Jesse White—with a vacant Lt. Governor slot to be filled who could either be a black, State Rep. Art Turner (Chicago) or—and this is a very long shot—Tammy Duckworth, the severely disabled former helicopter pilot  who lost both legs in Iraq (from Hoffman Estates)… who if she takes leave of her mind… will have to  resign as assistant secretary of Veterans’ Affairs in Washington.   Everybody from the Chicago area: everybody like peas in a pod stolidly pro-abort, pro-gay rights.  The supine media don’t comment much about this because they are pro-abort and pro-gay rights.

                                Thanks a Bunch, Jim Ryan.  
             Next to the Dems’ sideshow of burlesque antics, Illinois Republicans haven’t done too badly—but were upset by the  vain folly of one overage loser who wanted to justify himself  no matter what happens. 
            The governor’s race ended very light  and very tight—initially just 420 votes separating State Senator Bill Brady (Bloomington) and Senator Kirk Dillard (Hinsdale)…which has been cut down by about 100 votes in Dillard’s favor. Both are conservatives and by a reckoning in every other states—including Massachusetts--either one should defeat Quinn. Should but then this is Illinois encased in the Stockholm Syndrome. 
           .  Brady has a 100% pro-life and social conservative record…meaning anti-abortion and anti-same-sex-marriage. And the liberal “mainstream” (that’s a laugh: The Trib’s  Rick Pearson’s MAINSTREAM?) media are at the battlements hoisting the flag: Let None but Pro-Aborts Stand Guard Tonight!  Eric Zorn has even appropriated a slogan from the Democrats—easy because he and they think alike—Brady—Too Extreme for Illinois! Meaning to oppose abortion when a majority of the nation now has pivoted on the issue significantly…and to oppose gay rights when it is far a climactic issue in a state beset with economic chaos… is extreme.    
        The race would have been Dillard’s but for the aforementioned battle-scarred veteran at age 63, Jim Ryan, tottering with wounds and stuck full of arrows  from earlier battles, not in good health and with an old man’s speaking voice evoking decades…too many decades…of  pitched battles long forgotten.  One who seemingly cannot or will not smile. I guess I understand why since he’s had several bouts of  seemingly fatal illness and his family has been touched by tragedy—but he is a grim, humorless type and was before tragedy stuck.  An anomaly: an Irishman with no humor or smile.   
         For all his family tragedies, condolences…but despite his courageously,  successfully battling illness and tragedies, his baggage was almost inexplicable—and would have been had he won the nomination. They involve serious lapses of judgment.  
       Ryan who styles himself  as a superb prosecutor, has to admit he prosecuted the wrong guy in a sensational murder trial: devastating. And his biggest best financial backer is serving a long stretch in prison for corruption.  
          Why with that serious baggage and having lost to Rod Blagojevich, Ryan decided to run as a vestige of the horrid old past, shows only one reason: ego. He had to make a point. Well, he has: and time will only tell whether he succeeded in botching up the chance for a top-flight candidate to oppose Quinn.  The betting here is that he has.  
        Well, he’s had his last hurrah.  He was the spoiler and now he can go back to his board membership with Ralph Martire’s Center for Tax and Budget Accountability which has been advocating tax hikes since Martire started it and who long touted Ryan as an exemplary Republican…although after which having celebrated as such by Martire denied he was for a tax hike at all.  
                     A  Windsock’s Better Than an Immovable Lefty.    
         Even despite the Stockholm Syndrome it ‘s likely that Mark Kirk, the GOP nominee for U. S. Senate will probably win and defeat Giannoulias. Conservatives are mad and some vow recrimination against Kirk by supporting Randy Stufflebeam of the Constitution Party. I know Stufflebeam, like him and even voted for him against Topinka for governor last time.  But, times are different. We conservatives ran a candidate against Kirk: we had our chance.  I gave Pat Hughes $1,000 in that race…more than most of the malcontents who vow to go 3rd party did… and worked my heart out for him. Now it’s time, I think, to count on the possibility—nay a probability-- that winds of conservative change will more often than not billow this windsock to flutter right.  That’s my conclusion anyhow. 
         *: Feast of St. Simeon [circa AD 107]. The Lord’s first cousin (whose father was Cleophas, brother of Joseph the carpenter) and whose mother was purportedly a sister to the Blessed Mother. He was eight years older than Christ and first appears in  Matthew xiii who is described as a kinsman of the Lord.  Simeon was one of the brethren who received the tongues of fire from the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. When the Jews massacred St. James the Lesser, the bishop of Jerusalem, Simeon, James’ brother, upbraided them. Everyone cringed because it was a bluntly courageous thing to do being as Simeon seemed to be signing his own death warrant.  But it didn’t happen then.  The denouement was to come later from the Roman conquerors.   
        When the apostles met to appoint a successor to James, they chose Simeon,  In AD 66 civil war broke out in Palestine triggered by Jewish opposition to the Romans.  Simeon was divinely inspired to take his flock and leave the city on the heels of Emperor Vaspasian entering Jerusalem.  This Simeon did and settled with his early Catholic followers on the other side of the Jordan, occupying the small city of Pella. After the burning of Jerusalem, Simeon led the Catholics back to the city and settled among the ruins—but too early…after a few years Emperor Hadrian returned with an army and utterly destroyed the city—proclaiming that he was there to destroy all who were “of the race of David.” This meant Simeon who was  of the race of David.   
           Simeon escaped Hadrian’s search and continued to preside as bishop of Jerusalem.  But much later came Trajan to Jerusalem who issued an identical order.  This time, Simeon was captured and brought before the Roman governor, Atticus.  Simeon was tortured, condemned to death and crucified, reportedly well over 100 years old. How these people lived to be over 100 in those days is beyond me.        

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