Monday, April 26, 2010

Personal Aside: Bill Brady’s Economic Troubles Make Him Typical Joe Citizen…Mark Brown: Stuck on Stupid. More.

     Feast of Saints Cletus and Marcellinus*   
                     Economic Bath Makes Brady Joe Citizen.
           Republican gubernatorial nominee Bill Brady’s financial losses meant that he has been spared from paying federal or state income taxes as was legally justified for a realtor who suffered huge losses during the recession should be a plus for him.  In other words you only pay taxes on profits…not losses. 
      To put it baldly…in an ugly-stated truism from the 1930s: You can’t take pants off a bare ass.  Thus he is the perfect embodiment of Illinois citizen who has been demanding curtailment of state spending.   His 2008 income was negative…as in loss…$116,679.  
       And if Old Watery Eyes Quinn condemns Quinn using his favorite cliché  talk of not helping everyday working ordinary citizens in the Land of Lincoln carry the load that the people’s government needs to expect to hear from Brady was eaking out his work in the private sector, not principally in the public which Quinn, festooned with a mansion, limo, driver and countless aides does.  
       Simply put so that Simple Quinn can understand it: The average everyday member of working, ordinary and regular families don’t have those luxuries in this Land of Lincoln either, Pat so dry your eyes, lower them from their upraised  hypocritical pleading to the heavens and remember that you got where you are as the consort of a crook who got you into power…and about whom you had little bad to say until the heat got on… and who on leaving legateed you with these comforts.
                               Mark Brown: Stuck on Stupid. 
           Mark Brown is known as Big Stoop because of his huge height. But time after time in his Sun-Times column he comes out as Big Stoop-id. To find a cogent answer to one of the dumbest…and most incorrigibly liberal…columnists go to The Chicago Daily Observer at and read John Powers’ Econ. 101 lesson he gives to The Sun-Times’ Brown who asks the vacuous question…pursued by most of his ilk who can’t read without moving their lips: 
                    “Why gripe about taxes when you don’t pay any?” 
         Brown gets a true answer from Powers, a co-inventor of PayPal who at last count has had 16 profitable businesses operating in the last 15 years. And Powers writes so simply than even Brown should understand it. Well should.  
          Or—all he would have to do is to dial up his colleague Terry Savage and listen.  
       Brown adds this comment: “I don’t think I’ll be alone in believing there’s something unfair about a rich guy who also draws a nice government salary but doesn’t pay any income taxes.”  
           With that kind of obtuseness he ought to be writing Pat Quinn’s stuff.  Then again, he probably is. Quinn doesn’t have to pay him, just read his columns…add a few things about regular honest hard working families in this Land of Lincoln and he’s there.  
                    Rahm Emanuel: Not Stuck on Stupid. 
           Rahm Emanuel’s continual suggesting that he is interested in running for mayor of Chicago has been analyzed to death…but it strikes me, people are looking for subtle reasons where the actual is staring us in the face. 
            Some say that Emanuel is serving as a stalking horse…suggesting he is interested in order to make those tepid on Daley say oh God, not that! We prefer Daley over that alternative. Maybe so but I don’t think so. 
             I think that the polls showing Daley’s precipitous popularity decline over issues such as the highly unpopular parking meter deal have been giving evidence to what all-too-many legend curators of the Dem organization refuse to believe: that Daley might and can lose to the right kind of challenger.    Hence Rahm is putting himself up…not as a challenger to Daley…but as an alternative in case a great consortium forms of people who regard Daley as an albatross: as many years ago a consortium regarded Ed Kelly as one.   
              You can count certain people who are interested in Jim Houlihan as a leader as belonging.  I think I know a few of them and they aren’t insubstantial visionary people. Perhaps the media are once again making the mistake they make every mayoral lifetime. 
         They felt Kelly…boss, close to national Democratic power…were insuperable—as they do about every boss including Daley.  But preparing for the Kelly reelection in 1947, Jack Arvey knew better.  Corruption was only one thing: a worse one from the Dems’ standpoint was Kelly’s then very liberal stance in favor of what was known as “open occupancy.”   A poll taken by Arvey showed alarming things.  Corruption was an issue, yes…but heated opposition to neighborhood integration was bubbling up so strongly that Kelly was unpopular even in Irish neighborhoods. Arvey felt Kelly had to go.   
           And so they pressured Kelly out not just with the polls but with the threat that more would come out on corruption that just might send Kelly to jail…even with a Democrat (Harry Truman) in the White House—the alleged offenses being so great as unable to be ignored by any prosecutor.  Kelly acquiesced to being pushed out of the Democratic party slating in favor of Martin Kennelly, a former head of Allied Van Lines who after his retirement was signaled out as leader of dozens of civic drives including the Red Cross.  A bachelor, his personal life was so beatific that every morning after daily Mass he would sit in a convent kitchen and have coffee and rolls with the nuns.  
           Kennelly was elected in 1947 and served two terms. There’s a view among Democrats that he was a very inept mayor. Not so. He was not a machine politician: he allowed Arvey and others to do that. But Kennelly started the Chicago expressways, the Chicago Skyway and launched plans for the building of O’Hare.   But when Kennelly interfered with politics it was so emblazoned with reform as to undermine him.  Especially with the blacks. The blacks under William Dawson had been gnawing at their scabs since Kelly left because a good deal of Kelly’s trouble was that he was an integrationist.   
            When Kennelly passed the order to the cops that they should crack down on the numbers game or policy racket, his name exploded with disfavor in the black community and particularly with the black Congressman who occupied a kind of kingmaker role in the Democratic party: one-legged Rep. William Dawson.  Numbers or policy was an illegal lottery that was diversionary fun in poor neighborhoods involving a complicated scheme to match three or four digits to those randomly drawn the following day. The numbers player would place his bet with a bookie at a tavern, sometimes even a church basement, that would act as a betting parlor. 
           A runner would carry the money and betting slips between the betting parlors and headquarters called a policy bank.  It was a game that excited the poor—and Kennelly showed his elitism and confounding naivete by striking out against it. 
           Dawson vowed as result that he would see to it that Kennelly was denied slating in 1955 —and he was. He ran a three-cornered race between the tough Cook county Democratic chairman and county clerk, Richard J. Daley and Ben Adamowski.  Daley won promising to relinquish his party chairmanship once elected…which promise he ignored after election. 
            In the two tumultuous elections that changed party leadership, the main brunt of the media was always on the inastute side.  The media bet on Kelly overcoming his enemies in 1947  because he had always done so.  The media bet on Kennelly doing the same because he was a reformer—and the media did not have a handle on the importance of policy and numbers to the black community.  The media missed almost completely the defeat of Mike Bilandic to Jane Byrne because in covering the Bilandic reelection it saw only mile-long banquet tables filled with hefty donors and the endorsements of the major newspapers.  The snowfall to the media was little more than a weather story. 
             Likewise the media are in danger of misinterpreting the super-heavy unpopularity of Richard M. Daley’s administration…sticking with the same bromides that it used to nurture themselves that once elected, mayors must always be undefeatable. 
            Note: this is not to say that Daley will be defeated but that the Emanuel “gaffe” of suggesting himself is not a gaffe and is a suggestion that the crown may be insecure on the head of Richard II. 
           *:  Saints Cletus and Marcellinus, Popes and Martyrs [AD 91; AD 304]. Cletus was the 4th successor to Peter who was martyred during the reign of Domitian.  Frankly of him, history knows no more: but a pope who is martyred for the Faith is always canonized—as well he should be.   He was followed by Marcellinus who reigned eight years. 
           Of Marcellinus more is known and a lesson in tolerance and charity must be drawn. The Donatists…those more Catholic than the Church…who insisted that sacraments are only validly dispensed when by those who have never weakened in their sanctity or denied the Church…these people have said that to save his neck during his trial, Pope Marcellinus offered incense to the gods and surrendered certain holy books to his inquisitors—they maintaining that he confessed as much later at the Council of Sinuessa.  Slight technicality: there was never a Council of Sinuessa.  But there still continues the belief in some historian quarters that he yielded a bit under pressure. 
           But if he did…and there’s no actual proof of it (and Augustine vigorously denies it)…his life was crowned by martyrdom which he certainly could have avoided if he had turned traitor.  It seems more than probable that he yielded to a temporary lapse although he expiated it with a holy and courageous death. He is buried in the cemetery of St. Priscilla on the Via Salaria. .

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