Thursday, September 30, 2010

Personal Asides: Case of Big Head Starts Early for One Potential GOP Winner—the 11th’s Kinzinger…Capitol Fax Draws Portrait of Quinn Administrative Ineptitude. More.

 
                                    GOP Kinzinger Too Big.
      Usually you have to wait for a term or two to pass before a Congressman gets a case of the Big Head.  Not so with Adam Kinzinger the Republican who leads in the 11th over Debbie Halvorson.  Maybe it’s not him but it sure is his staff.  
      Of all the candidates I’ve asked to be on my show (20 years running) only Kinzinger has stonewalled—for three months, yet! Now a stuffy top aide, Brad Hahn. says via remote and detached email that Mr. Kinzinger is too busy to be on the show but he will allow us to interview him on the phone for a cameo.  
      My own guess is that it’s not Kinzinger but his frosty Big Time aide Hahn.     Hahn evidently runs the Kinzinger campaign show—which is not good for people who hope for a philosophical change in that House seat.  I’ll talk more about this on the show. Needless to say it’s not good when an aide’s attitude has that much influence—but Kinzinger’s the boss.  I hope. All incumbent congressmen including Debbie Halvorson know they have an open invitation to come on at any time.  
                                                 Capitol Fax 
        While I’ve criticized Capitol Fax in the past I’ve always qualified it by saying that it’s indispensable…as indeed it is.    It covers state politics like a blanket and is the only publication close enough to the political scene to give oft-times brilliantly accurate pictures of the chaos. Yesterday the newsletter showed the real problem with Pat Quinn.   Sure there’s a Republican tsunami coming but Quinn’s out-of-his-back-pocket way of running his office doesn’t help.  You can catch the blog at thecapitolfaxblog.com but the newsletter often comes out with the scoops first.  Both lean Dem but we’ll grant them that.  
                                   
        Ruling Class Rahm, Warm Dart and Social Conservative Meeks.  
           After sending my large staff to take an informal survey of public opinion from bar habitu├ęs, cab drivers, old men snoozing in the public libraries, fast-walking female shoppers with cell phones glued to their ears, I have discovered that the clear favorite for mayor as of now is the Sheriff, Tom Dart. 
         Which verifies the statement the late Steve Neal made years ago when Dart entered politics: Dart, he said, is the nearest thing the Democrats have found to Bobby Kennedy.  I think he should have said “John Kennedy.”  Bobby was tough and abrasive which Dart is not.  
         Rahm’s ego, reputation for white hot anger and key membership in the Ruling Class, works against him. It looks like my favorite Maria Pappas isn’t going to try.  Best “feel” I have now is that Dart and Rev. James Meeks will make it into the run-off—and Ruling Class Elitist Rahm may well fall by the wayside. 
        Meeks is a courageous supporter of social issues…pro-life…anti-gay marriage…vouchers.  He could well be THE minority candidate.    If this unofficial impression I have  holds up it’ll be interesting. 
                                    Sam Zell on Obama. 
         Sam Zell often appears to be a question-mark politically in Chicago which is amazing since the billionaire is holder-in-bankruptcy ofChicago Tribune (they don’t like the definite grammatical article preceding name of the paper: why I don’t know). 
          In a lecture at the University of Pennsylvania (where years ago I taught politics at The Wharton School), Zell said these highly interesting things: 
         OBAMA. “I’m from Chicago. Barack Obama came to my house for dinner. He’s a brilliant man.  But he’s an ideologue.  When you’re an ideologue you don’t see [business reality].  There’s no question he doesn’t see it.” 
       OBAMA’S AMERICA.  “We have a political situation in the U. S. today that for the first time in my life represents a challenge to the entrepreneur…to the freedom that our society has created. There never has been a society of people who aren’t striving, who aren’t trying to make a difference.  What has mdse America different is our individualism…I’m very concerned that the current political environment and current situation is geared toward making the entrepreneur an endangered species.”  
        WHAT OBAMA SHOULD DO.  “Obama could start by announcing he’s going to do nothing for the next 24 months…If I were President Obama, I would repeal health care. I would repeal the Dodd [banking reform] bill. I would go back to where we were in January `09.”   
         WHAT HE WROTE TO RAHM  WHEN OBAMA TOOK OVER.
“Dear Rahm, I met you in 1992.  At the time you were working for the Clinton campaign.  You sat me down and said `Sam, understand, the theme of the campaign is `It’s the economy, stupid!’  Well guess what? It’s the economy, stupid and you ought to do nothing more than focus on jobs and the economy. He wrote back, `You want to delay health care, you want to delay cap and trade?’  I said, `You bet!’” 
         Full text  to be found on Joseph DeStefano’s PhillyDeals blog at The Philadelphia Inquirer.   
                                    Is It Me?  (Loud Voices: Yes!). 
           Seems to me I’ve been reading about Benedict XVI’s activities in Great Britain for weeks.  Now I read the trip is just starting.  Wha?  Is itme or what?  Don’t all jam the lines saying YES, IT’S YOU!  Seems to me he was there and canonized John Henry Cardinal Newman already.  No?  Tell me I’m not senile.  On second thought: DON’T—let me continue under the illusion I’m not.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Personal Aside: Cupping Their Hands to Keep that JFK Flickering Flame Alive. Shhhhhhh: Don’t Breathe on It!



                            “Hey Boss! Ze Flame!  Ze Eternal Flame!”
          I’ve seen the Kennedy-Nixon debate five times including live when it was telecast from CBS Chicago and my wife and I (then an aide to two Minnesota congressmen) were in Minneapolis  handing a squealing baby…our first born, then two months old…from one to the other. Five times I’ve seen it and let me tell you each time Richard Nixon loses. So we didn’t go to see it for a sixth on its 50th anniversary last Sunday at the Chicago Prudential Plaza Branch to see him lose yet again (besides, I had a radio show).  
          By missing the show I didn’t get to re-meet  some contemporaries: 84-year-old Newt Minow who had been Kennedy’s FCC chairman and 82-year-old Sander Vanocur, who was a panelist. Minow endorsed my becoming a Kennedy Fellow and Vanocur and I spent a long flight to California as seat-mates 32 years ago where I heard a lot of tales from him about his experiences as NBC’s White House correspondent).  The next day The New York Times carried a memoir of the debate by…who else?...Ted Sorensen, 82 who was a guest lecturer at my Kellogg School class in 1975 “Influencing the System.” . All of them agree resoundingly: Kennedy won.
I do, too.  The only one missing…and sorely missed…was Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. who would be 93 and who did his level damndest to canonize the Kennedys.  
         As expected, these octogenarian survivors agree Kennedy was a great president. That’s where I fall off the boat. I’ve always asked them: why? Their answer has always revolved around style.  You see he was…charismatic…witty…urbane…eloquent…and the famous one coined by Sorensen: “an idealist without illusions.” It’s important to those old codgers before they all drop off one-by-one to cup their hands over the flickering “eternal flame” in Arlington.  
        They want…oh God do they want…Jack to continue to be regarded as a great president.  Their hidden panic comes from the fact that history is relentless about him.  Especially anent character.  Particularly his lifestyle pocked with numerous careless sexual dalliances of the nature that has marked Tiger Woods’ character as such a disappointment) —his indecisiveness and policy failings.  Nor were they “personal failings.”  When a president allows himself to commit such indiscretions he endangers not just his presidency to blackmail but the entire country.   
           Idealist without illusions?  In the cruel sweep of history he’s seen increasingly as  the exact opposite: An illusionist without ideals.    
         Yep, it’s a good thing I wasn’t there. I’d have to tell all of them on the stage that they all contributed to the unjustified  illusion…Minow, Vanocur, especially the absent Sorensen and the dead (since 2007) Schlesinger.  They all belong in a latter day version of the film The Sting and should all brush their noses with their forefingers: the symbol telling colleagues they are in on the ongoing fraud. This Sting began with the so-called PT Boat 109 episode.  Years ago Douglas MacArthur in retirement expressed wonderment that somebody who so recklessly piloted a PT that it was struck by a Japanese destroyer could parlay this into a national episode of heroism.  The answer was Old Man Kennedy who paid the bills.   
           Later the idea that an all-but ghost-written (by Ted Sorensen)  hand-me-down series of biographies should get the Pulitzer was accomplished by the same source: Old Joe.  A largely undistinguished Senate career was publicized to a screaming pitch, financed by Old Joe. The presidential campaign, particularly the West Virginia primary, again: financed by Old Joe.   Now we get to the Debate and the Greek Chorus that prattles Kennedy “greatness.”  In fact that whole Kennedy presidential career versus the Nixon one cries out for justice.   And there is the Great Debate. Oh yes, dear God will we never hear the end of it?  But the times they are a changin’.   
           The blue-jowled, grey-suit-wearing (against a grey backdrop) Uriah Heap-like Nixon is growing to be regarded as he really was—a remarkable foreign policy sage who was hustled off the public stage as president not because of a crime he didbut because of what,  in an unguarded moment on a spool of  recording tape, he SAID.  It was the first such media conspiracy in modern times to blacken a man who incurred their animosity by unveiling with the testimony of Alger Hiss the conspiracy without check could have very nearly undermined this country in the Cold War: Nixon paid for that with his presidency. 
          It was a media conspiracy topped in 2008 by the one of overt media coordination and obfuscation in which participants engaged to sell a man of very little substance and highly questionable credentials as president—for the sole reason that he was a liberal Sidney Poitier-like affirmative action individual whose background the media assiduously blocked from disclosure, ignoring the job they so sanctimoniously promote as theirs via the 1st amendment…an “all hands” conspiracy to elect  Barack Obama—which Newsweek’s Howard Fineman for one pleaded nolo contendre.  
            Who was more effective, Kennedy or Nixon?   Understand neither was great. I’m going to list the so-called accomplishments and  failures of John Kennedy and then Richard Nixon and you decide. 
         Kennedy:  BAD, in fact, disastrous: the Bay of Pigs…disastrous: support of a Vietnamese coup producing Diem’s murder… disastrous: the Cuban Missile Crisis where we surreptitiously agreed to pull missiles out of Turkey to acquiesce to the USSR (keeping this news quiet) in return for the USSR pulling out missiles from Cuba which was billed erroneously as a U. S. triumph …disastrous: JFK-Khrushchev Summit following Bay of Pigs where Soviet leader decides Kennedy and the U. S. are weak…disastrous: Berlin Wall built sealing off East Berlin from the free city of West Berlin erected through U. S. timidity…disastrous: pressure exerted from government on the steel industry forcing it to forego a price increase…  
       GOOD: formation of the Peace Corps…Alliance for Progress building on the Good Neighbor Policy…Space Program launched…Kennedy tax cuts passed revivifying the economy…black student James Meredith enrolls at all-white University of Mississippi with federal protection after Gov. Ross Barnett attempts to block his admission. 
          Nixon: GOOD, in fact, brilliant: Inducement to China including a presidential trip there which splits the Sino-Soviet bloc and immeasurably strengthens U. S. in the Cold War changing the balance of power between Communist nations and the U. S. … law and order—Organized Crime Act which bars use of mob money in legitimate business affairs…Drug Abuse Control Act including “No Knock” provision enabling officers to break in and seize evidence before it is destroyed…the cooling down of racial passions because of a refusal to pitch the inflaming rhetoric that characterized the JFK and RFK years.  
        BAD, in fact disastrous: Wage and Price Controls designed to curb inflation but which had the opposite effect…Watergate: needless skullduggery that divided the country because of a paranoid presidential mind-set…creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, a bad means with which to protect the environment through hiked regulation when other free market means, such as the program that cut pollution in the Ruhr, were  ignored. .

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

More One-Sentence Commentaries.

   
                                  One Sentence Findings.
           1.  This octogenarian’s heart could hardly stand the denouement: How about those Bears? 
    1. The best news yesterday, Ann Coulter’s address to a gay
Republican parley (GOProud) where she told `em “same-sex marriage is not a civil right”: we’re not losing her to the crazies. 
         3.      With Delaware voters running 49% for Dem Chris Coons and a startling 41% for Republican Christine O’Donnell (Rasmussen) a threatened write-in for liberal Republican Mike Castle could elect O’Donnell: what d’ye think of that? 
         4.   With Rahm supposed to announce for mayor this week, more and more it looks like Squid whites may plump for Emanuel no matter how obnoxious he is because there is no coalescence behind a minority candidate and the black/Hispanic ones who are vying are either incompetent (Hendon, Moseley Braun, Gutierrez) or otherwise unacceptable to white liberals…as for example the Rev.-Sen. James Meeks, pro-life, pro-voucher and  a foe of homosexuality (we wouldn’t want a traditionalist like him who subscribes to traditional marriage to ever be mayor, for God’s sake!).  
    5.   Big rap against Sheriff Tom Dart for mayor is that the
Speaker…co-head of The Squid…fears that if elected, Dart may bail out of the mayoralty in 2014 to run for governor (that’s when Lisa is expected to run against the almost sure to be elected Bill Brady)—but has no such fears about Rahm. .  
  1. All the while, Daley-ites fear Lisa may jump in the mayoralty
herself which, if she did, would see her get elected meaning that with a Madigan as mayor and a Madigan as Speaker would give Daley zilch influence in the future. 
  1. An article in The New Yorker profiling Axelrod sounds like
it was dictated by the Great Spin Meister himself showing his Far Left idealism that has been shattered somewhat in the real world of Washington, D. C.     
        8.    The profile of GOP gubernatorial nominee Carl Paladino in The New York Times is meant to diss him but does exactly the opposite portraying a flesh and blood activist who made mistakes (sired an illegitimate child after which he confessed, weeping, on his knees to his wife and is raising her as his own with his other kids: talk about the Catholic virtue Firm Purpose of Amendment!).

Monday, September 27, 2010

Personal Asides: One-Liner Musings as I Shave…Finally Somebody Has Obama Figured Out—D’Souza.


                                    One-Liner Thoughts. 
            I. That slashing  satirist of conservatism beloved to the elites (he plays a dumb right wing commentator on Comedy Central), Steven Colbert has made a roaring horse’s arse of himself before House Judiciary, was asked to leave by  Chairman John Conyers, panned by Majority Leader Steny Hoyer…but praised by Speaker Nancy Pelosi —even though the arch-liberal media won’t acknowledge it was a humiliation. 
           2. Jesse, Jr.’s bringing his white female “social acquaintance” to Chicago for a romp while a friend paid the airline fares illustrates that Alderman Sandi isn’t around and  all but officially lives in D. C.—but her courageous yet heart-rending story to Sneed signifies pompous JJ is toast (maybe ultimately even in his own district: GOP’s Rev. Isaac Hayes gains attention), something even Daddy JJ can’t change.  
       3.  As the list of scarily inept black candidates for mayor grows i.e. Danny Davis, Ricky Hendon, Carol Mosley Braun whites in  The Squid fearing Chicago’s future is Detroit privately vow to ensure that Rahm wins what will in effect be Daley’s 7th term no matter the cursing and lousy personality.  
      4. Underscoring how the smoke of Satan continues to swirl over  the Church,  as soon as Benedict XVI left England, the unofficial primate of England and Wales Archbishop Vincent Nichols says that the Church in  Britain is “nuanced” and won’t oppose legislation for civil unions, tantamount to One Big Catholic Shrug. 
      5   In sharp contrast, Mexico City Cardinal Iniguez Juan Sandoval is in danger of going to jail for condemning homosexuality which is banned by city’s and Mexico’s federal “human rights” law—a premonition of what could come here via Political Correctness (attn. Ms. Marin).  
      6. The New York Times prepares a sex hit on Mad Men Don Draper look-alike John Boehner who’s supposedly sleeping with female printing industry lobbyist, a story identical to one they “uncovered” but failed to prove on McCain two years ago with a woman lobbyist (upcoming elections being purely coincidental, of course). 
      7. The red hot Chicago story with great human interest involving Chris Kennedy, son of the murdered Robert, denying Billy Ayres emeritus status because Ayres dedicated a book to Sirhan Sirhan was featured the other day-- and properly so—on the front page by  the Sun-Times…in contrast to the single column on page 11 in the sleepy Tribune showing why one paper is doing relatively well and the other is in bankruptcy: awful story placement. 


8.  Congratulations to Rev.-Sen. James Meeks for paying the cost of getting congregants to marry, who had been fornicating together a long time—showing  other churches (including my own Catholic one) an example of what a truly Christian inner-city pastor can do if he has the guts (attn. Fr. Pfleger and the Chancery)







  • 9.  After giving lip-service honor to Arizona Cardinals’  safety Pat




  • Tillman  who died a hero’s death in Iraq for  turning down a $3.6 million contract to become an Army Ranger, The Sun-Times’ Rick Telander honed his Lefty axe Sunday arguing  that Tillman has been used as p. r. fodder by the military and the  hateful George W. Bush “regime” for a “dubious war”--echoing John Jota Leanos, assistant professor of “Chicana and Chicano  Studies” at Arizona State…Telander’s column rehashing his favorite Democratic party themes under the guise of “sports” commentary--prompting this question: Why doesn’t the paper either transfer Telander as an “opinion columnist” to join Neil Steinberg or give him leave to join The Nation magazine where he belongs?  
             D’Souza’s Analysis: Obama’s “Anti-Colonial” Rap on the U.S.  
               A cover article in Forbes seems to finally have pulled the psychological mask from the hidden face of the most mysterious president we have ever elected—Barack Obama. 
           A number of people, me included, tried earlier. As one who met and interviewed him several times when he was a state senator, I think I came fairly close by calling him an emotional 3rd World Alien: far removed from the American people.   I said it is clear that of all our presidents, this one is not a patriot.  
             I reasoned his seeming apartness may have resulted from his being abandoned by two fathers. Others have speculated widely about his Marxist-leaning economics as well as spending much of his youth in Indonesia. Close but no cigar.  
         A good many believe the alienation is because he’s a closet Muslim and 22% of Americans think that to be the case.  Again: almost there but not quite.  Last week he finally went to the historic church that George Washington faithfully attended in an effort, I’m sure, to shake the Muslim connection.   But he later un-did the good effect by quoting from the Declaration of Independence to the Hispanic Caucus and leaving out the words “their Creator” as the author of “certain inalienable rights including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”  Dropping “the Creator”: Accidental or purposeful?  
             Finally, Dinesh D’Souza, to my mind at least, hits it on the nose.   
               D’Souza, 49, is a native of India who has been writing books for dozens of years.  He has a distinguished academic pedigree, was a scholar at the Hoover Institution.  I met him when he was editor of the Catholic magazine Crisis.   Then he was a Catholic but left to become an evangelical Protestant to share that religion with his evangelical wife and seems to shrug off the difference (which disappoints me but which for the purpose of this column we’ll ignore). 
              He is president of The King’s College of New York, a liberal arts college serving evangelical Christians.  He’s written a  number of best-sellers including The End of Racism, Illiberal Education, What’s So Great About Christianity? Life After Death: The Evidence and is an excellent debater having crossed swords with atheist cum liberal icon Chris Hitchens on the existence of God and with the liberal TV satirist Stephen Colbert on “The Colbert Report” (Comedy Central).   Anyone who can trade barbs and witticisms with Colbert and walk away with his head still on his shoulders has my undying admiration.  
             The article, entitled “How Obama Thinks,” is a kind of introduction  to D’Souza’s forthcoming book The Roots of Obama’s Rage.  The interesting thing is that D’Souza has deduced his reason for alienation by just carefully re-reading Obama’s book Dreams From My Father. I read it a long time ago and didn’t finish it—but clearly I should have. 
               The Forbes article touched a nerve with the White House like a dentist’s drill which sent it reeling.  Of all the thousands of articles written  about Obama pro-and-con, this was the one that pushed beyond the soft pulp and struck a main nerve with so much effect that Press Secretary Robert Gibbs reacted with excruciating pain and anger. It was, Gibbs said, “a shameful and disgusting attack.” He met with Forbes’  Washington editor to express his outrage.  Gibbs citedThe Columbia Journalism Review, a liberal review published by Columbia University in declaring D’Souza’s article out-of-bounds.   One wouldn’t expect a publication from Columbia, one of Obama’s alma maters, to do anything different.   
                Now, after all this, what does D’Souza say?  
                                       Obama’s Non-American Mindset.  
                Meticulously he lays out Obama’s mind-set. Obama has set himself  up at least in his mind as a major U. S. critic of the world in favor of the have-nots.   Items:  
                 1. While our own industry cried out for more oil drilling rights in 2009, initially Obama cavalierly supported offshore drilling all right—but off the shores of Brazil, supporting a U. S. Export-Import bank’s proposal to fund oil exploration there with the proviso that the oil stays in Brazil.  What kind of weird nonsense is that coming from a U. S. president?   Then when our own Gulf of Mexico oil spill happened, his first words were not about cleaning up the mess but lambasting “America’s centuries-long addiction to fossil fuels” adding caustically that we “consume more than 20% of the world’s oil but have less than 2% of the world’s resources.”  He still hasn’t relented on off-shore drilling on “safety” grounds neglecting the economy of the country and its gulf states. What did  that guilt-ridden pro-3rd World obsession have to do with the Gulf oil spill?     
      1. He seems congenitally unable to understand that our society has
    already penalized the wealthy but demands it shell out more.   He rushed the $800 billion stimulus bill through immediately after his inauguration when joblessness stood at 7.7% saying that only by doing so would we be able to hold unemployment under 8% and the rich should be able to pay for it.   It is now 9.5%.  But his response is to soak the rich even more, charging that Americans earning more than $250,000 aren’t paying “their fair share.”  But the top 10% shells out 70% and the bottom 40% contribute minimally to the tax proceeds.  
      1. Here’s a strange one. Obama’s appointment to head NASA, the
    space agency, African American Charles Bolden has said that Obama told him at the time of Bolden’s appointment that Bolden’s major goal should be to improve our relations with the Muslim world so that the Muslims can feel good about themselves.  The story was quickly denied by the White House but Bolden maintains he was not lying. What does this mean?
            
      1. The London Times has reported that the Obama administration
    endorsed the conditional release of the Lockerbie bomber responsible for the murder of 270 people mostly Americans—on “compassionate grounds.” Meaning that it was adduced by Scottish doctors that the bomber was dying of prostate cancer..  When the bomber was released, the administration complained publicly but the letter the Scots received from the State Department said it was okay so long as he stay in Scotland and not be returned to Libya.   The Scots went the whole way, handed him off to Libya and too late it was discovered he did not have terminal prostate cancer at all—that it was mostly a dodge and that he has many years more to live as a citizen of terrorist-supporting Libya.  But why the ultra-soft attitude toward a terrorist bomber?  
      1. Then there’s the Ground Zero Mosque incident where a mosque
    has been proclaimed by Muslims to be built two blocks away from the carnage site where 3,000 Americans died as result of Muslim terrorist fury. We all know of that strange rationalization.  The 1st amendment protects, of course, the “right” to build the mosque: the question is this—isn’t it sacrilegious for that kind of edifice to be built there, to stand as an everlasting rebuke to the memory and relatives of  the innocents who were killed by those regarding them as infidels? A president of the United States should be the last person to disagree.  Yet, improbably, Obama cites “freedom of worship” as an excuse--which sticks an insolent and dirty finger in the eye of America—purposefully seeming inclined to “stick it to” this country. 
                                       His Anti-Colonialist Father. 
           D’Souza does what none of us bothered to do very well, pore over his so-called autobiography Dreams From My Father. I read it cursorily and dropped it after terrorist Billy Ayres told a Chicago Daily Observer columnist, Anne Leary,  that he—Ayres—actually wrote it when Obama got bogged down in writer’s block.  Yes, but the book is still highly revelatory since it was published to reflect Obama’s ideology.   Notice that the title is Dreams FROM My Father—notDreams Of My Father.  
             D’Souza tells us about Barack Obama, Sr.: He was a Luo tribesman who grew up in Kenya, married a white girl from Kansas with the improbable first name of Stanley (because her father had wanted a son; if that isn’t weird enough for you) and won a scholarship to Harvard. Later the wife, the former Stanley Dunham discovered that her husband had been married before; indeed had been married several times and had a flock of children.  This never seemed to diminish her love for him.  He was a revolutionary and romantic character. 
              Obama, Sr. became a senior economist with the government of Kenya but his lifestyle was unsavory: a bigamist (even a polygamist who had four wives and eight children; a frequent drunk driver who, Obama’s brother Mark said, inflicted abuse on his wives and children.  Excessive drinking and driving involved him a many car accidents.  One such accident killed a man; another so seriously injured Barack, Sr. that caused a leg to be amputated.  Finally in 1982, Obama, Sr. got drunk in a bar in Nairobi, drove his car into a tree and was killed.  Obama, Sr. abandoned the Kansan-born wife and son, leaving them when Barack, Jr. was 2 and thereafter only saw his son once, at the age of 10 in Hawaii.  
             Obama, Sr., the revolutionary anti-colonialist, a radical visionary and his anger was romanticized often to young Obama by his white mother.  She remarried to a man who in turn abandoned them both but her first and apparently true love was with Barack Hussein Obama, Sr.     
           And Obama’s own words in his 1995 book clearly tells the fervor he ingested early at her knee about his father: “It was into my father’s image, the black man, son of Africa that I packed all the attributes of Martin [Luther King] and Malcolm [X], DuBois [a co-founder of the NAACP who fled the U.S. to become a Communist revolutionary and died in Ghana at 95] and Mandela [Nelson Mandela]…My father’s voice had nevertheless remained untainted, inspiring, rebuking, granting or withholding approval.  `You do not work hard enough, Barry. You must help in your people’s struggle. Wake up, black man!’”

           Whether Obama or his one-time mentor Billy Ayres composed it, the historical facts are undeniable that Barack’s mother inculcated in her son a worshipful attitude toward her ex-husband.   In the book Obama says, “All of my life, I carried a single image of my father, one that I…tried to take as my own.”  D’Souza correctly cites that “anti-colonialism was the rallying cry of 3rd World politics for much of the second half of the 20th century…” 
            “It is the doctrine that rich countries of the West got rich by invading, occupying and looting poor countries of Asia, Africa and South America. As one of Obama’s acknowledged intellectual influences, Frantz Fanon, wrote in The Wretched of the Earth `The well-being and progress of Europe have been built up with the sweat and the dead bodies of Negroes, Arabs, Indians and the yellow races.’” 
              Those who follow this dictum believe strongly that U. S. imperialism has been on a rampage.  For years U. S. power was checked by the USSR but with the fall of that country, we became the only superpower.  Moreover, 9/11 gave America the impetus to invade and occupy two countries, Iraq and Afghanistan.  
            Back to his strange support of supporting offshore drilling for Brazil but not for us.  
             “Obama believes the West uses a disproportionate share of the world’s energy resources—so he wants neo-colonial America to have less and the former colonized countries to have more. More broadly, his proposal for carbon taxes has little to do with whether the planet is getting warmer or colder.  It is simply a way to penalize it and therefore reduce, America’s carbon consumption.  Both as a U. S. Senator and in his speech as president to the United Nations, Obama has proposed that the West massively subsidize energy  production in the developing world.”  [Italics mine].    
             How did we get a president who seemingly hates our guts?  Because the media—and the Republicans—didn’t do enough to ferret out the real Obama.    The media ached so see the first black president and ran interference for him all the way.  McCain refused to use Jeremiah Wright stuff.  But the anti-Americanism’s all in the book, stupid!…in his (or more likely) Billy Ayres’ words.
          

    Friday, September 24, 2010

    Personal Aside: His Inner-Inner-Inner Thoughts…Steinem: More Women Candidates and No Rahm.

       
                                           Inner-Inner-Inner.  
             “People ask me who I back.  Hah!  Lettem guess.  I’m sayin’ nuthin’ and will keep on sayin’ nuthin.  Dumb to do anything else.  But look at that field, will’ya? Well, Jesse’s out.  Hah! Little Looie?  Hah!  Ricky Hendon?  Hah! Mosley Braun. Hah!   Wanna relive that stuff about her old boyfriend- campaign manager Kgosie Matthews harassin’ women and her ma in the nursin’ home on Medicaid who had an inheritance the law bein’ clear about that the state should get it and  instead Carol handlin’ it getting’ the old lady to sign it  and cuttin’ the pie with her brother and sister and when the press found out she blamed the old lady, havin’ to pay back what they received from the state…the only reason she wasn’t prosecuted bein’ that Burris was the AG.   Hah! Will that be repaid?  Will it!  Hah! Ferget it.   
          “Meeks?   Lissen when the auditors get down to determining what money goes where—some to the collection plate, some to his senate campaign, and some to the mayor campaign that’ll be all over.  Ya know how they roll in the money in the baskets?  Then at his rallies. You don’t think that stuff doesn’t go get commingled?  Hah!   He’s been a high flier too long anyway. Besides the gays’ll be in revolt.  The school people.  The fems. Y’see, ya can’t have that. Ya can’t have all those groups with that much access to the media on the outs.  Gotta keep `em under the tent. 
            “So, lettem wonder. Me, I got only one real concern.  Lisa. Not that there’s much uva chance she’ll try but to see the thing go to the Madigans is about the worst than can happen to me and my legacy—worse’r than even Looie getting’ it. Hah!   But it won’t happen. Why would she do it?  Hah!  She’s closer to bein’ governor right now with no lieutenant around. That’ll change in a few weeks but run for mayor?  Naw. Hah!  Why would she?  
              “Well goddammit she’d do it because of her old man. Hah! Talk about Carol’s mother not getting her call answered. I’d really be Nobody if the job got tossed to the Madigans!    Hafta talk to Mike not her. Not even him. A Madigan whatchacall`em?  Minions. Hah! And don’t think she’ll ask me fer advice with her old man around. 
               “Naw. Won’t happen. She oughta let Brady get unpopular fer the tax hike and run in four years. If she did it now the old man’d have to step down.  
               “But goddamit he wouldn’t.  So I think behind the scenes I go with the Pushy Jew. He’ll checkmate…is that the word?…her and a lotta the weirdos. When I first hired him he was good at the money: he’ll be better now.  Besides when you get down to it he’s tough enough to knock heads together.  Dart?  He’s a media guy.  Not even a little bit tough.  Reminds me of that guy who was awful as mayor of New York. Lindy.  No. Lindley.  No. I’ll get it right but I know who I mean.  
              “No. I keep on shuttin’ up but I’m with the pushy Jew. With him in it’d be best fer me.” 
                                              Gloria in Excelsis Steinem.  
               Of course. It’s a logical journalistic question!  What does Gloria Steinem think of the Chicago mayoralty!  And who brings her into `TTW to answer that question? Who do you think?  Carol Marin, obviously. Who else? And Steinem right on cue says she’s dismayed there aren’t more women running for mayor.Now that’s the biggest question, isn’t it?  Why didn’t somebody else think of that?  The city in debt, 2000 fewer cops on the street, city pensions running away with costs, we having privatized everything, uniformed cops being shot to death in broad daylight.  The station ignored Lech Walesa when he was in town earlier this year.  Well who the hell is he?  You say along with Reagan, Thatcher and the Pope he helped bring down the Soviet Union?  Well big deal.  Who’s bigger than that?   Well, just guess. Gloria Steinem obviously. And that’s why she was on WTTW Wednesday.  
                And Carol asked her the Big Question obviously. The question that has been on the lips of all Chicagoans…but sadly, not asked until now. 
               And the real question is—why aren’t there more women running? You really gotta give that Marin girl credit.  
                  Now, I have a valid suggestion. I don’t know where Carol Marin lives but I bet it’s in the city.  What about HER running?  She’s got plenty of dough from decades of anchoring at high prices. She’s known—very well known.  She’s so liberal she squeaks.  She’s pushing 60 but she has that breathless little Girl Scout idealistic visionary quality like she just left boarding school.  She’s a celebrity so she’d be a real draw for fund-raisers for herself.  Name ID: almost 100%.   Her friends in the media will push her insanely. Can’t you imagine Mike Flannery now?   
                 How fortuitous at this time that Steinem pops up with the women question. Steinem even said she hates Rahm Emanuel so…having campaigned against him when he first ran for Congress…that she’d love to campaign against him again!  And who would be the most logical candidate for Steinem to support?  Carol Apassionata Leftward Marin!  Pro-abort, pro-gay marriage, female  leader against hateful male domination.  The minorities would just shrink away and the big battle would be between Rahm the male dirty-mouth and Little Demure Carol.   
               I’m for it. Of course she’d have to give up her media oligopoly: `TTW, Sun-Times, Channel 5.   We’ll miss her but if she loses she’ll be back. That’s how Chicago media are.

    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    Personal Aside: Who Is It Glenn Beck Reminds Me Of? Oh Yeah—Jack Kemp!

                                        Both Came Late to Ideas.
             The other night when I was watching Glenn Beck hopping with excitement about something a Founder wrote in 1772 I thought: Who does this guy remind me of?  And it instantly came to me: Jack Kemp!  Both Kemp and Beck came late to ideas.  Kemp whom I knew very well and campaigned for…first for president against George H. W. Bush…and next for vice president when he was yoked with Bob Dole…had firecracker enthusiasm about the nature of capitalism.  Dole who seemingly was born bored picked Kemp for his veep because he added enthusiasm and fervor for the free market system (which Dole assuredly needed).  
            When I met Kemp after he came to the House having defeated Max McCarthy and told him my company had a major plant in his upstate New York district, he literally grabbed me by the coat lapels and touted Adam Smith’s analogy of  pin production, I thought:  We heard all this before in Econ 101…but you know what?  This guy was playing football when they were teaching it and missed out!  And coming late to ideas…good ideas…he’s imbued with the enthusiasm we had as freshmen---only he’s in his `40s!

            That beguiling enthusiasm for the free market never left Jack.  In some ways I marveled at it—even old conservative me.  In those days I’d travel to Washington from Chicago once a week as a Quaker Oats lobbyist and made it a point to keep in touch with him.  And every day I’d see him for years it was exactly the same.  His enthusiasm for Adam Smith…David Ricardo…the dead white males was co-mingled with his latest bulletins about the latest theories of Ludwig von Mises.  Believe me, at first I thought he was putting me on but in short order I realized he wasn’t.  Here was a freshman Congressman, a former pro-football quarterback pontificating about how brilliant Ludwig Erhard (the then finance minister of West Germany) was…how important it was for us to return to the gold standard.   The erudition was impressive but my God the enthusiasm and energy could bring emotion out of a stone!  Why? I asked. Why?  
            It’s like if I would wake up every morning, hop out of bed and roar with enthusiasm for the multiplication table.   Okay, the multiplication table is there; it’s ingenious; archives scholars say it was compiled in the East Han Dynasty of China—but what’s the big deal? But coming late to free market economics and reading economic theory voraciously as the Buffalo Bills were traveling to their next game, Jack soon imbued everybody that he was indeed a rara avis, a rare bird. But he was never, ever, a cut-the-budget to the bone guy. 
           The guy who influenced him enormously was a fellow he introduced me to in the early `70s—Jude Wanniski, an associate editor of The Wall Street Journalwho coined “Supply Side” as a theory. (He later introduced me to the guy who actually made it an actual cult—Arthur Laffer…who drew the famous Laffer Curve on a piece of paper for Dick Cheney.  But I digress. 
              Wanniski had Kemp as a disciple and one more: Bob Novak who said that the two greatest books he ever read…the books that shaped his philosophy forever…were Witness by Whittaker Chambers and The Way the World Works by Wanniski.   Not being as smart in econ as either my two friends, Novak and Kemp, I took their word for Wanniski although I privately thought of him as Jude the Odd.  Why? Because I heard Wanniski explain his Two Santa Claus Theory and thought it was designed more for political consumption than for economics. I still feel that way. 
           Wanniski, Novak and Kemp had no use for Milton Friedman because they felt Friedman was an old-fashioned, slash-the-budgets-to-the-bone economist rather than as they were, a powerful advocate for tax cuts.  The Two Santa Claus theory was this: Guys, the Dems have been winning elections since the 1930s as Santa Claus, the party that will bring federal goodies for your stockings. What’s needed is a second Santa Claus: and that’s us, the Supply Siders. We’re going to get elected on promises of bringing tax cuts for your stockings.  
           I agreed that espousing tax cuts was in the party’s best interest. Up to then the only conservative theorem was to cut spending…which sounded like root-canal procedure. In fact that was all that Ronald Reagan had been promising as a candidate for governor of California. It’s to their credit that Kemp, Jude, Laffer and Novak collectively got Reagan to listen to the dynamic story of tax cuts rather than the slashing of spending.  Later, a young House aide Dave Stockman became interested.  He became a big supporter of Supply Side and Reagan hired him as OMB director. 
             I was in touch with Kemp closely during the Reagan campaign and knew that Kemp was lobbying like everything for Stockman to be named OMB director. But no sooner was he put in charge than Stockman showed he wasn’t a Supply Sider at all but wanted to balance the tax cuts with budget cuts.  And failing to do that, he leaked to the enemy…one liberal reporter, William Greider—an enemy of Reagan and all conservatives—a startling “for publication”…not off the record…assertion that he, Stockman, regarded Supply Side as a Trojan Horse. It should have gotten Stockman canned but wasn’t…but it diminished his influence to near zero by the time he quit of his own volition. 
              During this time I noticed one thing about my friend Kemp. He was definitely not interested in supporting reduction of government.  Just tax cuts.  When he became secretary of HUD he was a big government guy. Why, I wondered, could he ever imagine that the books could be balanced just with the revenue growth caused by tax cuts as per the Laffer Curve and not have the slightest interest in cutting spending?  He wasn’t all that interested in using leverage to defeat the USSR as Reagan was. He was more the gentle, persuasive guy. I have no doubt that if he were president he’d be suckered by Gorbachev and his like.  
           What it came down to…as least to me… was this: Jack really was a super-compassionate…extraordinarily compassionate…government bureaucrat. It disappointed me.  Didn’t he perceive the need to cut government even from the standpoint of our reclaiming our liberties?   
             I noticed something else about Jack when he ran for president.  He was compared to Ronald Reagan.  But that’s not exactly true.  We had a terrible time getting Jack to make a pro-life speech whereas Reagan could do it flawslessly. As far as the other ingredient of social conservatism, support for traditional families Kemp would dust that off with a few bromides but that was it.  
             Unlike Reagan who had about four things he believed in passionately, Kemp was specifically a one-trick pony.  The one-trick was free market, particularly returning to the gold standard and a eulogistic almost Baptist preacher kind of oracular bombast on why blacks must identify with the Republican party. Reagan was inestimably smarter than that: he knew better. So did Novak. And Wanniski.  And I suspect Laffer but I don’t know for sure.  
           Everybody but Jack realized that blacks for the most part have forsaken the plantation where as commodities,  they worked as slaves for the Democratic party to today where they are willing to continue as indentured and exploited by the Democrats.  That’s the way it is and whenever somebody introduces me to a bright, affable stunningly eloquent black candidate and says “will you help him get elected?” I say—can’t spare the time.  
           Reason, advocacy and issues don’t enter into it.  They make no dent at all. Blacks made two political moves in the country’s life…after slavery as Republicans…and after the Depression as Democrats.  And that’s where they’ll be to the end of time.    
            So Jack Kemp, who came late to ideas, was a one-trick pony and while he was touted as possibly the Next Reagan, even when both were alive and vital, I knew Jack was not in Reagan’s league. But he was nevertheless a very great man and received deserved accolades when he died at too young an age.  He more than Reagan at the time led the GOP to Supply Side.  But he couldn’t do more than that.  Even as blacks cannot bring themselves to vote Republican, Kemp would not have been able as president to be tough—on spending, on measuring up to the Kremlin or any of our adversaries. He’d be for holding just one more conference…just one more Summit.  And as for social issues, forget it.  Today he’d be one of those addressing the Log Cabins.  
             That’s ironic because at the outset of the Reagan governorship days when Jack was an intern, Reagan would go out riding his white Palomino and leave hiring to a top aide. The top aide was a very masculine looking guy  with chest hair puffing out of the top of his collar but he was a deeply closeted gay. So he hired a lot of gays.  By the time Reagan got wind  of it they were all over the place, working out together, applying oil on their bodies at gyms. Reagan fired the whole caboodle.  Somehow and very unjustly the rumor got started that Jack was in that cabal. He was most decidedly not. He was probably so busily trying to convert them to read Adam Smith he didn’t consider why there were no women around. 
              That brand of Cain, an unjust one, wounded Jack—a married man to a gorgeous blonde and father of four including a professional running back. But knowing the kind of guy Jack was…a “can’t-we-all-get-along?” type he’d be addressing the Log Cabin Republicans next weekend.  
                Now to Glenn Beck.  
                   Restoring Patriotism By Understanding Our History. 
             You see, people of my age and decrepitude were lucky—because we learned American history from those who admired us. We learned about the patriots from those teachers who were enamored of our country and patriotism itself.  The downgrading of America which is a major thesis at key universities has produced teachers who believe in multi-cultural propaganda and the guilt…that means guilt…that we have for “exploiting” everybody—Indians, Mexicans with the conquest of California and the West, the original Hawaiians, the Filipinos with the cruel war Mr. Hearst supposedly created at the snap of his fingers et al.  That’s why Glenn Beck is such a godsend. He comes to us with the same fervor as Kemp had for free market economics.  
               Civics doesn’t exist in most of our schools; if it does, it’s been merged to something called “contemporary problems.”  But Beck has brought to prime time television the truthful restatement of the American Dream.  On his show he defends the unborn. In fact he’s done something Limbaugh hasn’t been able to do—he’s moved out of the studios and meeting halls to the outdoors, addressing almost a million at a time. He and the Tea Party are responsible for much of the healthy revolution at the grassroots that is going to change Washington.  His Restoring Honor rally in Washington was one of the most impressive ever held…and the controlled way he kept it from being just another bash Obama rally certified that as much as media tried, they could not diminish it or the cause.  
              Like Kemp, Beck has come late to ideas.  The is ample reason for the lateness. He had a terrible home-life: one filled with tragedy. His mother committed suicide; he turned to alcoholism and drugs. He kicked his addiction and to cleave to something substantial found refuge in the Mormon Church.  Unlike Kemp, Glenn Beck may be more than just a great communicator: he may be a genius.  He has found patriotism and a return to God and broadcasts it brilliantly, with an eloquence Kemp found only in extolling the free market.  
            Beck’s power with his audience seems to dwarf Limbaugh’s.  Limbaugh gives his audience classic one-liners, good arguments for the gang down at the Club.  Beck gives his audiences real historical insight. Of the two, Beck is indisputably the more invaluable to the conservative movement.  He is singularly powerful when he radiates belief in God and a First Cause. But because he has come late to ideas…and has had a short time as a student at Yale Divinity (of all places)…he is…unwittingly, I fear…playing into anti-Family hands.  I hope and pray he can re-tune his message. 
            The problem began not long ago when as a guest on O’Reilly he was asked this by the host: “Do you believe gay marriage is a threat to the country in any way?”  His answer: 
              “No I don’t.  Will gays come and get us?” Then he quoted Thomas Jefferson (who wrong-headedly lionized the French Revolution) “If it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket what difference is it to me?” 
             As bright and as dedicated as he is, Beck does not understand that surrender on gay marriage is a surrender on marriage—which is a surrender on the family and which could lead this country into further decadence.  
             Voters of 30 states have amended their constitutions to ban these pseudo-arrangements or couplings by an average vote of 67%.  Even in the liberal state of California, 7 million voters stood firm while a politicized Court overruled them. 
           Beck’s is a classically stupid, ultra-libertarian argument devoid of all trace of  Natural Law which has underpinned Western civilization for 4,000 years.  Ultimately gay marriage will put traditional churches in the cross-hairs including Beck’s Mormon one.  Gay activists will insist all churches perform same-sex marriages and will push for withdrawal of charitable tax-exemptions for  those which don’t.  Given the unutterable weakness of the churches to respond to so-called “populist” crazes, including my own Catholic one, social warfare will be on with passage of that stricture.   
            “Hate crime” laws will be pressed to apply to churches that teach Leviticus or Romans 1:26-27.  In Europe and Canada clerics have been dragged before so-called Human Rights tribunals to account for their actions.  
              Beck is a great one to talk about American Exceptionalism. Let this self-educated populist advocate of patriotism understand something that somehow evaded his education as he moved upward from terrible degradation to prosperity.  It is this: 
               American exceptionalism rests on Three Pillars: Faith, Family and Freedom. Erode and defeat the family and it doesn’t really matter if we defeat socialism or not.  
                Glenn Beck is at a kind of Jack Kemp point.  Kemp never moved from one issue to embracing a philosophy with which, had he lived, he could have become even greater. 
               With Beck and the country the stakes are even greater. If Glenn Beck becomes a defender or apologist for a movement to inflict gay marriage or civil unions on this country, he will not only miss greatness… 
             HE WILL PERFORM TO THIS COUNTRY HE LOVES A GREAT AND PERHAPS IRREMEDIAL DISSERVICE.    

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    Personal Aside: A Little Taste of How the World Works for My Fellow Friends of Israel.

      Feast of Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.*
        
              A Burkean conservative who strongly believes in America as the beacon-light of liberty and defense for the Free World, I have been in the trenches on this matter ever since the early days of the Cold War…as an aide to the ranking Republican on House Foreign Affairs in the `50s…a supporter of Vietnam with the proviso damnit why don’t we forget what Walter Cronkite says  and win it?...a Foreign Service Officer in the late `6os under Nixon…a passionate supporter of the Reagan international policies….and after that a pretty general down-the-line supporter of the Heritage Foundation’s foreign policy…a cheer leader for John Bolton—you get the picture. 
          In doing so I’ve registered pretty nearly 100% with The Weekly Standard and its lustrous essayists—Billy Kristol…Stephen Hayes…Charles Krauthammer… I read and pretty generally agree with the editorial pronouncements of The Wall Street Journal.  In doing so I thought the drill was this: that to get our ideas passed in the Congress, there should be a coalition of forces—people who like me have believed in the aforementioned foreign policy…plus social conservatives like me who passionately share Judeo Christian values. 
              At least I thought so until some time ago when Dr. Krauthammer, in his sepulchral pronouncements ringing like the voice of God from Mount Sinai, announced that the time has come to relax restrictions against homosexuals serving in the military.  To which his younger collaborator Stephen Hayes (a Catholic but who readily supports Krauthammer agreed.  Then yesterday on the eve of the Senate vote that would have included ban of “don’t ask don’t tell” another key member of the Save Israel cabal, Bret Stephens of The Wall Street Journal said the same thing.  The vote went against the Democrats but it will come up again…so before it does, I want to say this to Messrs. Krauthammer, Kristol, Hayes and Stephens: 
                If those of you who are Jewish want to cut loose from what heretofore has been an article of Judeo-Christian values, go ahead. But understand you’re taking my social conservative wing of the coalition we’ve shared, much too cavalierly.   Lose us and you’ll just be another group of excitable, lamenting Jews who can’t even command a majority with your own people.  
             By our creed, support of active homosexuality is morally indefensible. Get that?  Morally indefensible.  It used to be regarded as exactly that in Jewish Law which you guys have abandoned.  Not so with us.  If you start courting the gays in the aura of Torah II which is the evasive adoption of liberal secular tenets, by all means call on them to support Israel when you need an ally. 
           If I know the consciousness of the vocal activist gay community, I think you’ll get turned down. They’re pretty much Left Wing and by their very nature shrink from challenges that you have expected us to muster up for. 
            If Bret Stephens wants to stir all of us up on the necessity of bombing Iran, he should think of what he’s doing to that coalition.  Same with Krauthammer to whom social issues are largely irrelevant.   
              When Moses came down from the Sinai with the tablets in his hand and found the Jews cavorting in licentiousness around the Golden Calf he was dismayed.  And God said: What a stiff-necked people. 
            For most of you guys, the Golden Calf is arrant, secular hedonistic liberalism.  That’s your Torah II.  Get over it, my avowedly socially liberal, secular friends or you’ll be very lonely dancing around the Calf when the enemy comes and you have frittered away your allies. 
            That’s it.    Regards. 
        ________________________________________________________
        *: Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.  We named our second son Michael because I was taken with the gallant commander who led God’s armies to victory in the Book of Revelation.   Gabriel appears first in Daniel’s vision announcing Michael’s role in God’s planthen in an appearance to a young Jewish maiden named Mary who consents to carry the Messiah.  Raphael has been confined to the Book of Tobit where he guides Tobit’s son Tobiah through a series of adventures culminating in Tobiah’s marriage to Sarah, the healing of Tobit’s blindness and the restoration of the family fortune. Each of them have different missions: Michael protects; Gabriel announces; and Raphael guides.

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    Thoughts While Shaving: You Tell Me There’s No Double Standard for Pols’ Dumb Statements?



                                       There He Goes Again.
           You tell me there’s no double standard in the media that protects liberal pols from dumb statements while sneering at conservatives for the same sins?  Get serious.  Conservative Republicans have long been regarded as being dim bulbs.  Liberal Democrats’ gaffes and plain breaches of knowledge of history have for years been ignored as…well…just one of those things. 
            Palin is supposed to be dumb, right? But here again yesterday Joe Biden announced seriously that he is second in line for the presidency.  Com’on Joe, you’re first. Who did you think was first in line, Michelle? What are we going to do with this guy who successfully gets away with these Herculean mistakes? Such as reporting that to steady the country after the 1929 stock market crash, FDR took to the television and calmed America” 
          Send him to Civics 101 to learn that the vice president is first in line for the presidency?  Send him to science class to learn that television was not in effect except as an experiment in 1929 when the stock market crash occurred?   Send him to history class to inform him that Franklin Roosevelt was not president in 1929 but Herbert Hoover was…and that the technology was not perfected to allow a president to address the country and steady its nerves?   
              Christine O’Donnell is supposed to be a wacko, right? She made a  remark  in 1999 that she dabbled in witchcraft as a high school kid. Her opponent Chris Coons described himself as a “bearded Marxist” in a college newspaper column. Oh, says the liberal Democratic apologist Media Matters, Coons was only kidding and when he wrote that  he was just a kid.  What about O’Donnell being a kid when she talked about witches?  Uh-uh. Doesn’t work.  Burn her. 
              But now we get to the interesting person Chris Coons is. Wonderful pedigree.  A member of the professional class. Amhurst undergrad. Yale Law.  Yale divinity. As a young idealist he crossed the ocean to Africa to South Africa and Kenya to do “relief work.”  Relief work. That’s all the contemporary press says. Relief work for whom?   Well, relief work for the South African Council of Churches.  And digging a little farther, we find Politico reporting that his experiences in Kenya and South Africa turned Coons “to the left.”  Oh. The South African Council of Churches was at that time engaged in liberation theology under a guy named Frank Chikane who was interested in the liberating religious goal of state ownership of all businesses but Chikane was close to a guy named James Cone who was involved candidly in pro-Marxist, pro-socialist, anti-capitalist views.   
               This story is not over yet, friends. It has a lot more mileage to go. It turns out that Chris Coons was more than “volunteering”; he was deeply involved in abetting socialist Africans who supported liberation theology through leaders who have had tied with the McCormick Theological Seminary here and Trinity United Church of Christ in Hyde Park.  And it turns out that as a young man this same Chris Coons wrote a lot of stuff about the glories of liberation theology and socialism. 
             All of this means that the battle is far from over…Judith Miller and Charles Krauthammer who so cavalierly consign O’Donnell to the ash heap.  As Captain Tom Parker told the Lexington Minute Men: 
            “Stand you ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon. If they meant to have war, let is begin here.” 
              They…the liberal media…the elitist professional class…mean to have war and the battlefield is Christine O’Donnell. From what I’ve seen of the record, given Coons’ extensive involvement in black liberationist theology and socialist advocacy, the battle for the midterms 2010 may well be decided and won on the Delaware turf.  

    Monday, September 20, 2010

    Personal Aside: Daley Era of Bread and Circuses Ending Soon.

       Feast of St. Vincent de Paul.*
          
                                                  Bread & Circuses.         
                   
              To non-Chicagoans…indeed tourists from throughout the world… Daley’s tenure has seemed exemplary and show-biz-like. During the nation’s boom times, he transformed the city, making it a vibrant center of the Midwest. City streets are festooned with plants and flowers ala Paris. For many Chicagoans, he was the country’s living embodiment that taxpayer-paid “bread and circuses” that made the rulers of ancient Rome popular.   He re-did Chicago’s front yard with Millennium Park albeit with massive public overruns. He demolished the housing projects his father built for the poor, scattering them to the suburbs which made Chicago a whiter city. 
             And he put on a massive public display of entertainment with cheap entrance fees but paid for largely from the public purse—especially when police security is taken into account.  These circuses included lakefront festivals that entertain residents during the summers.  Last month it was “Lollapalooza” a three-day rock festival featuring Lady Gaga.  Earlier there was, “Taste of Chicago,” “Gospel Fest,” “Blues Fest,” the “Air and Water Show,” “Viva Chicago Latin Music Fest,” “Jazz Fest,” “Celtic Fest” and “Country Music Fest”—not to forget 4th of July fireworks extravaganzas.  They’re going to be scrubbed now, likely.   
                Also gone are the cocky days of Emperor Daley.    Earlier in the old glory days, in the middle of the night, he seized control of Meigs field, a lakefront airport popular with business because CEOs parked their private jets there… and had bulldozers “x” out the landing strips, single-handedly turning it into a park—just because he wanted to. How many people recreate in what is now called Northerly Island is a good question. Not many. But the elitist greens love it.  
                                          The Big 5 Reasons.     
             Here are the big five reasons he’s not running with what I think the biggest one at the end—No. 5.  
              1. Maggie Daley’s health. Last week was the first time that the media focused fixedly on her but as she stood by her husband at the rostrum it was clear she has lost weight and while always charming is clearly what she is: a cancer patient whose disease has spread. . Standing there she looked easily 10 years older than her husband…a decided change since the two had been photographed together earlier.  But while Daley tears up when he talks about Maggie, she’s been well cared for and that’s not determinative. He can cry over a can of spoiled tomatoes.     
               2No Olympics. Had Chicago gotten the 2016 Olympic Games…which Daley had counted on like a kid does Christmas…it would have been decided fun and to enjoy it he’d have run again in a New York minute.  Construction contracts would be let immediately and with them jobs, consultancies, huge relocation projects which would boom and continue almost up to the day the Olympics began with resultant big bucks coming to The Squid for reelection of its minions.  
               So confident was Daley Chicago would get the Olympics that he began deconstructing vacant Michael Reese hospital and its 32-acre South Side site to make way for Olympic Village. It’s a symbol of the Olympics’ loss.    
                                                  Chicago’s Budget Woes. 
      1. The city budget of $6 billion is hundreds of millions in the red.
             There is no easy answer on ways to drag it back into the black which is scheduled to be $655 million in the red in 2011.  Earlier as a stopgap he balanced his budgets with monies received from privatization deals like the Chicago Skyway. The trouble is he’s just about sold everything there is to be sold and debt still is rising.  Moody’s cut the city’s credit rating to AA3 from AA2; the city’s debt burden rose to $5,399 per resident topping those from all U.S. states.  
                Closely tied to budget imbalance is under-funding of workers’ pensions.  This intersects with Daley’s patronizing of public employee unions. In 2007 he agreed to contracts guaranteeing wages purportedly equal to private sector jobs but now they have surpassed some.  Personnel costs make up 80% of the city budget and most of the money goes to pay cops and firefighters which nobody can begrudge: average pay range from $65,000 to $80,000 a year.  But garbage truck workers get an average of $32.95 an hour which works out to almost $70,000 a year. Generous outlays like this is one reason why Daley has been able to win elections by 70%.  
              Another headache is education. In a grandiose act, Daley took over management of the city’s public schools in 1988.  The man he put in charge, Paul Vallas, was an outstanding administrator and with his discipline exerted on the teachers, test scores rose. But he ran afoul of the teachers’ unions and Daley not only failed to back him up but eased him out. Test scores have slumped and are lagging way behind state and national averages and students displaced by closing some poorly managed schools are shunted off to other schools that are as bad or worse. 
             The hugely unpopular privatization of parking meters which enraged Chicagoans with ungodly high charges has nevertheless worked to build revenue—and is estimated to top off at #3 billion a year.  Before privatization they earned $24 million. Now they’re at $34 million and next year will hit $47 million. The only problem is, like a giant porcine eating machine, Chicago can’t stop devouring revenue.
            
          The only way to go in the black is to cut out the circuses, slash social spending to the bone and raise property taxes—a draconian anti-political formula.  

                           Gangs Kill Uniformed Cops in Broad Daylight.

      1. While crime is far lower than when Daley was first elected, it has taken an astonishing and depressing turn. 
             Worse than the statistics is the fact that recently, city gangs have shown they are not intimidated by presence of uniformed cops. In fact this past summer three officers were killed in broad daylight by gangs which made headlines across the country.    
             The police department is short 2,000 officers because the city can’t afford them—but the crime and murder wave isn’t just because too few cops walk the beats.  His way to fight crime is to push “gun control” which pleases minorities and editorial boards-- but it doesn’t work and everybody knows this including Daley. 
                                         
            Moreover, to further appease the political left, angry racial minority spokesmen, liberal editorial boards and oracular showboat churchmen like our own Fr. Michael Pfleger (whom the Chancery allows to run free and unleashed) Daley has invariably taken the side of the ACLU whenever so-called “police brutality” cases are raised—and “brutality” is raised all the time when gang leaders are rounded up.  
               Lefty preachers, media and inflamed minority spokesmen understand  that gang murderers have numerous notches in their belts from rite of initiation murders they perform to “belong” and are trained to scream “brutality!” whenever serious police question so as to protect them from their pals outside the prison walls.    
               A big blow to law enforcement came a few months ago  when U. S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald…the dogged “Inspector Javert” of our time who prosecuted Scooter Libby for obstructing Justice in the Valerie Plame case when all along Fitzgerald knew the identity of the leaker… convicted a retired top police commander of “brutality,” a decorated Army veteran, Jon Burge, who earned a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and two Army commendation medals for pulling wounded men to safety while under fire.   
           As a police officer Burge earned 13 commendations, a letter of praise from the Department of Justice and received a number of promotions for gallantry.  He secured numberless convictions in the toughest areas of the South Side which led Jesse Jackson, Sr. and a host of critics including Fr. Pfleger to single him out as “target for tonight.”  Squid-dominated GOP Gov. George Ryan tried to gain jury favor for his upcoming trial on corruption by commuting 167 criminals on death row (didn’t help: Ryan got sent away for 6 years). 
             In April, 2000 the Illinois Supreme Court reversed two Burge death row cases based on convicts’ allegations of torture by the police. After being pardoned by Ryan, the formerly convicted murderers filed lawsuits. Although Burge had been protected by statute of limitations, Inspector “Javert” Fitzgerald re-tooled the supposed offenses and charged Burge with two counts of obstruction of justice and perjury. Last June, Burge was convicted on all counts.  
           When dramatically sobbing on cue, freed gang members and their relatives appeared on TV, sob-sister liberal media viewed them as innocent on all charges: not so.  Everyone who has ever covered crime here knows that the notches on their belts certify they are as guilty of countless executions. In fact, to gain respect with their seniors, new gang members must prove their adeptness at murder. It’s called rites of initiation.  
           Burge’s conviction and Daley’s knee-jerk adherence to the ACLU have demoralized cops who put their lives on the line every single day. 
           The media, sucker for weeping blacks, covered a story the other day that illustrates.  Channel 2 sent Mai Martinez to interview witnesses to the death of a guy who was killed on an El after pulling a gun on a cop.  While every black within blocks wept, screamed and sobbed on cue, a factual statement showed that the guy had been guilty of seven arrests.  It’s the old con. If blacks tear up, TV news leads.  It’s the closest thing they can get to covering “civil rights.”  
          These headaches contributed to Daley’s decision, but to my mind there’s a much bigger one.   
                                Getting Out While the Getting’s Good. 
               5. Fear of ending one’s days wearing an orange jump suit and making license plates in a federal prison camp is every Illinois politician’s nightmare. For decades winking an improprieties and then ignoring more serious offenses were part of state and city politicians’ romantic rogue aura.  But those days came crashing down in 1976 when a supposedly impeccable public servant, former Gov. Otto Kerner, a member of the U. S. Court of Appeals, was convicted for what to the eyes of everyday politicians here appeared to be a minor-league thing.  
         After all, here was the renowned author of the “Kerner Report,” a Cambridge scholar, Northwestern law grad, a former army reserve brigadier general, from a prominent family, a liberal who postulated the U. S. was composed of two societies, separate and unequal: black and white and who was canonized by liberals for it.  
          A Brahmin, he was supposedly immune from attack. To this day Chicago pols shake their heads and privately believe the sin having an aide accept race-track stock for them both in return for designating favorable racing dates at Arlington and Washington parks…while a governor was frantically busy dealing with the legislature… seemed ridiculous.  But whether he had a temporarily venal moment or just suffered a mental lapse, Kerner was found guilty.  The glory-hound federal prosecutor was Jim Thompson who went on to become governor. (Note: he has “reformed” and is the biggest lobbyist in the state, enmeshed in all kinds of special interest deals).  
            Kerner went to jail but was released early in disgrace because he was dying from terminal cancer. But the “Inspector Javert” tendency for federal prosecutors to win national applause still exists. Everyone acquainted with Fitzgerald knows how easy it would be to indict Daley given that all linkages to patronage abuse.          
               Now we come to what I believe is the deciding reason. The longer he sticks around, the more likely is Daley to fall into Fitz’s trap of becoming the major quarry.  Fitz is getting closer.   A few years ago, the personnel chief of the city Water Department went to jail and an angry crowd gathered declaring—rightly—that he was only following orders and the guy who should be shunted off to jail was Daley himself, the man behind the screen like the Wizard of Oz. 
                Javert came closer in the Hired Trucks scandal, a $40 million a year program and closer still in probing a corrupt city hall hiring scheme which sent a top aide to jail for 46 months and narrowly missed implicating Daley. 
                Fear of wearing an orange jump suit is I believe, is the real reason why Daley’s packing it in.  
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       *: St. Vincent de Paul [1581-1660].  The man after whom the largest Catholic university was named was the founder of the Vincentian Order and the Sisters of Charity both. Born at Dax, France, educated at Toulouse University and spent his entire life serving the poor. He lived to 80 and was canonized by Clement XII in 1737 and was named by Leo XIII as patron of all Catholic charities.