Tuesday, November 30, 2010

One-Sentence Comments: Wall Street Journal…Michael Voris…Political Losing as Necessary Enema. More.

            It was no surprise that The New York Times, the Axis Sally of our media was available with its mouth watering for the WikiLeakdump of 230 stolen million documents from federal files that jeopardized U.S. security and endangered American lives while the Wall Street Journal and CNN turned the pro-terrorists down.
            One of the very best things to happen to the Catholic Church has been the courageous commentator-scholar Michael Voris who will appear at the next Catholic Citizens of Illinois luncheon forum Dec. 10 at the Union League Club—where I hope to see you, the meeting’s details on CatholicCitizens.org.
           It doesn’t really matter to Mike Madigan that the Dems control the legislature since his own party is not enough—his craving being that a handful of Republicans support an income tax hike to give him political cover.
           Not surprising that some dumb pundits say the Tea Party’s success is “mixed” because some candidates like Christine O’Donnell didn’t win….when unlike Vince Lombardi’s football comments…politics is a game where winning is not everything.
         Just as  Gene McCarthy’s 1968 losing New Hampshire primary race  to LBJ’s write-ins (which would normally be called  a Johnson triumph) convinced him not to seek another presidential term Christine O’Donnell’s defeat of  namby-pamby pro-abort Mike Castle in the Delaware GOP primary was a well-needed enema and a net-plus for party and country—proving that politics occasionally transcend mere electoral victory.
         Authentiicist Catholics shouldn’t rejoice too much about Archbishop Tim Dolan’s defeat of Bishop Gerald Kicanas judging from the closeness of the vote (17)  and Dolan’s increasingly embracing the least common denominator—“God, He, She, It” rather than Jesus Christ- in describing his theological views on secular TV.
       A high-point of my Sunday radio show was guest Don Rose, an icon of the Left, describing Rahm Emanuel as being “a man without a moral core” and at the same time adjudging that a Mayor Carol Moseley Braun could turn Chicago into another Detroit with surprising ease…hinting (to my mind anyhow) that Emanuel would be a gamble the city might have to take.
       A low point of running a radio program where I am moderator and traffic cop between two well-equipped competitors from Left and Right is that occasionally I hear from irate conservatives “why didn’t you jump in and rip `im [meaning the Left]?” which would be akin to a football ref joining a team and running downfield with that ball—precisely why I begin each show with “…and if you want to know what I really think go to tomroeser.com,” a concept foreign to some who expect me to rant, forgetting that I did this solo for some years, neglecting to understand that my role on the current show is to be a clarifier and questioner—oh well.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sarah Palin’s Response to Critics of Her North Korea Gaffe Brilliant… U. S. Governmental Leakers Should be Tried for Treason

                                   Palin’s Brilliant Response.
          On the heels of a criticism I made of Sarah Palin, I must acknowledge that her response to critics of her North Korea slip-of-the-tongue was brilliant—and done in record time, with annotation, calling attention to Barack Obama’s much worse mistakes.    It almost makes me take back my suggestion she’s not presidential material.   Almost.
         For those who are unaware, she was on Glenn Beck radio the other day and accidentally mixed up North and South Korea, correcting herself, let it be noted, 8-seconds later.  Anticipating the anti-Palin media industry going after her she immediately issued a statement that was both exquisitely ironic and devastating—listing all the times The Dear Leader has goofed the facts in speeches….annotating them with audio-visual links capturing him delivering the errors in his own voice.    Brilliant.   Then she wove a narrative with all of them hooked together: savvy, brilliant again, devastating again plus witty to-boot.
          The list of Obama goofs include his reference as a candidate that he had visited 57 states with one more to go…making 58 states in the Union…his offhand statement that the U. S. was formed 20 centuries ago…the FBI’s  hundred days which he described at a Department of Justice ceremony which baffled everybody…his praise of the great value of ObamaCare which will bring greater inefficiencies  to our health care system…his reference to countries like Europe...his exhortation to fight the rise of privacy…his solemn statement that Israel is a strong friend of Israel’s…and his deep discussion of medical treatment citing that it is important that an asthmatic get quick recourse to a breathalyzer or an inhalator.  I  mean not a breathalyzer ah, I don’t know what the term is in Austrian[sic] for that.
        Now we know why Obama chooses to use the Teleprompter.
                          Treason is the Name for It.
      One of the first items of business in the next Congress should be legislation mandating that those trucking in dissemination of private governmental documents affecting national security be indicted for treason and tried swiftly with the invariable and non-negotiable  punishment  of execution.   The Tea Party movement should adopt this resolution and insist upon it.  
           In prison now is one Pfc. Bradley Manning who dished up an earlier batch of secrets to Wiki-Leak.   Manning, acting out of a muddled misgiving because when he was in school bullies taunted him because he was gay, faces 50  years of confinement.   Since the cables endanger this country and can destroy its effectiveness with its allies,  Manning should be regarded as a war criminal and executed.
            The great mistake happened during the Vietnam War where Daniel Ellsberg, a guilt-ridden RAND employee married to the rich heiress of the Marx toy company fortune, has been allowed to tout his treason under the pretense as a  man of honor for illegally leaking  The Pentagon Papers. 
       Through machinations of jurisprudence Ellsberg is free and is busily receiving academic honors from the Left.   Moreover a film documentary has been produced lauding him as a hero and shown…where else?....on  taxpayer-supported public television.  He should have been given a sentence he richly deserves—guilty of treason followed by prompt execution.   An international court of justice should apply the same indictment on the recklessly morally defective Julian Assange the Australian who merchandises the theft of confidential information for Wiki-Leaks.   If that can’t or won’t happen someone or group will conceive of alternate ways to deal with this international outlaw.                 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Bush Book Interesting but Too Gooey and Wilsonian.

                                               Bush Book.
      George W. Bush’s book Decision Points is interesting because he lets you share the pros-and-cons of his decision-making but shows the glitch in thinking that ruined the GOP for a time—and may do so again. This is so-called “moderation”  that is supposed to neutralize liberal and media criticism. More of that later.
        The book is two-fold…gooey and Wilsonian… with one major exception.
       The exception is “W’s” laudable support of pro-life his courageous handling of the embryonic stem cell issue—probably the best chapter where he goes into his laudable study to determine what to do.  Not covered in the book which puzzles me is probably his finest hours in support of life—his appointments of  John Roberts as chief justice and Sam Alito as associate justice.  He refers briefly to the bad mistake of appointing Harriet Miers who after hell was raised by social conservatives pulled her back. 
       How he mysteriously didn’t understand that she was a lightweight with no informed views on jurisprudence even though her contributions to political liberals which would have given him a tip-off is never raised.   In all, social conservatives can pinch themselves that through happenstance they got two brilliant conservative justices. Before he thought of Miers, Bush would surely have appointed his favorite, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales but he ran into trouble when he submitted a list of U.S. attorneys who reportedly were not sufficiently political in their prosecutions  and resigned under fire.
        Otherwise, running throughout the book there’s that gawd-awful concept  of “compassionate conservatism.” Three examples.
       One. .  Supporting “No Child Left Behind” the  hideously expensive education excursion designed to woo soccer moms where he was suckered by Ted Kennedy who was willing to give more concessions to Idealist George such as vouchers but wasn’t asked to because “W” was edified that he was working with the blowsy old stentorian phony.  A “compassionate country club express” which got him nothing but criticism from the Left.
        Two. The Ill-conceived multi-billion-dollar prescription drug benefit allowing him to demonstrate “Republicans-are-also-liberal” by which he tried to show media and the voters that the GOP could be just as profligate as the Dems.  He derived no credit from liberals just criticism that he didn’t spend more.
       Three. The nonsensical Immigration bill supported by McCain which charted amnesty for illegals.   It  didn’t make it and alienated millions of conservatives to-boot. 
       The book is not a chronological review of the administration—only certain “decision points.”   This bypasses the need to refer to other mushy-moderate residues of the “compassionate”  country-club…his signing the unconstitutional McCain-Feingold bill…signing the anti-business Sarbanes-Oxley bill that put the financial industry in irons…failing to veto any bills in his first term…adding 100,000 new federal employees…the return of expensive farm subsidies which had been gotten rid of by Reagan…and pork barrel spending in cooperation with the Republican congress which hit a record $29 billion, four times higher than the 1994 level.    Each one could be identified as an attempt to buy favor with special interest groups via taxpayer dollars—probably as result of the importuning of Karl Rove on a willing country-club president.
         In foreign affairs Bush wallowed in Wilsonianism.  There he went all wobbly about the epidemic of AIDS in Africa where he had no business directing taxpayers  largesse to the cause resemblant of High Church Episcopalian philanthropy.   A president has to be guided by his head in fiscal prudence not allowing himself to use government monies whenever he gets weepy.    Fighting AIDS should be the job of the churches, private sector foundations.
         In fact weepy-ness, lumps in the throat, tears run in rivulets all through the soggy book.  When a president commits troops to the battlefield, it should be to protect the peace and liberty of the United States. Period.  That’s got to be the only justification to be used for Iraq and Afghanistan.     Yet we read that getting rid of Saddam Hussein  may have justified the war alone after no WMD were found because he was a tyrant to his people and a mass murderer.   Wrong.
        Saddam was a tyrant all right—but that’s not why you send our youths to war. God knows there are now and always have been in power tyrants abusive to their people.  We have no business charging in  as Sir Galahad…a Dudley Do-Right type of international police force. I once alienated a Jewish woman who was with me on public radio by challenging her statement that the Holocaust enough was justification for us to go to war with Hitler.  “No ma’am,” I said,   “atrocious as it was.   We went to World War II because we were attacked by Japan after which Hitler declared war in solidarity--and it had nothing to do with the Jews.  Nor should we have gone in for the  Jews.”
         How awful, she said.
        “Not awful, ma’am,” I replied.   “A president has no right to send troops to war to rectify  injustice—else we would be engaged in wars perpetually. ” 
       Nor do we have the right to go to war to make other nations convert to “democratic principles.” None at all.   Too much of Bush’s book…far too much….makes him look like a naïve Eagle Scout president.  I hope but am not sure that Eagle Scout-ism didn’t propel us to Afghanistan and Iraq.  If this could be proved I’d be with the paleos.  But I don’t think it was.
         What has convinced me is not Bush or Cheney but middle eastern scholar Bernard Lewis who says that even though WMD weren’t found, Bush saved us further terrorist attacks here at home since it was the first time we shoved back on Islamic terrorism.  Because I believe Lewis is right, I applaud Bush’s decisiveness. 
        But aside from the WMD issue which fooled everybody,  if we went in to dethrone Hussein because he mass murdered Kurds (no matter how repugnant) ….or because Hussein tried to assassinate Bush’s father who is an idol to “W”…it would have been unjustified and immoral for him to commit our troops…and I’d be on the street-corners passing out leaflets.  So…
       …the reason I’ve supported Iraq is that I  agree  with Lewis.  Even so,, there’s so much gooey sentimentality in the book over the senior Bush…although intriguingly the assassination plan doesn’t get mentioned… that I suspect without proof it may have been one cause.  But as I have no proof and do respect the fact that under his tenure the homeland was spared after 9/11 I shall give him a good mark for decisiveness in pushing back.
      In brief, Bush, though gooey and sentimental, is a firm Christian and  patriot.   I have no confidence at all that under the Big Zero (Obama) we are being as adequately protected from our enemies as we were under Bush.  It is clear from O’s many statements that he is neither Christian nor patriot…but a mysterious 3rd world alien and a  cipher endowed with Sidney Poitier drawing room manners.  
       We can easily do better in 2012 but we must not return to “compassionate conservatism” ala country club moderation.  To those who want to see Jeb Bush run saying he’s the best of the Bushes, I say he may be but I for one have had enough of Kennebunkport to last the rest of my  lifetime.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sarah Palin is Over-Exposed—to Her Detriment…Let Warren Buffet Contribute a Billion to the National Debt Fund and Then Shut Up!

Bad News on Sarah Palin: She’s Unserious; Engrossed Only in Family’s Celebrity-Hood…Let Warren Buffett Kick in to the National Debt—Then Shut Up.
                                      Sarah Palin.
     Republicans wondering if Sarah Palin will run for president should relax.  She will but her quest for celebrity-hood for self and family will do her in.  Frivolous stunts such as the hyped “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” may make her big bucks and accelerate her speaking fees but they are not in keeping with a serious search for the presidency.   Her speeches show lack of gravitas although they stir up the grassroots (which is good). 
      Three points.
      First. When she completed her vice presidential run everybody who wished her well advised her to go back home and bone up on the issues.  What she did instead is go home and plunge into a greater search for celebrity-hood. 
      Second.  Bristol is a great liability.   Not so much that she became an unwed mother but that like her own mother she became enthralled with striving to be a media star.  The worst…very worst…is her competing in the Dancing with Stars extravaganza where she is attired seductively in tights and black net stockings,   shoving her hips out suggestively as she dances to the hippie song “My mother wants me to COME!” as the Palins laugh and  applaud from the front row.
          Third, stepping down from the Alaska governorship may  have stepped up her net worth but didn’t help her with people who view governing as serious business.
                          Stop Whining Buffett and Kick In.
      Every month or so we’re treated to a feature story quoting Warren Buffett who says he’s not taxed enough.   It’s part of his p. r. campaign that endeavors to make him a generous, warm-hearted average guy…you know—who lives in his old family house in Omaha, who drinks coffee with his billionaire attorney good old Charlie Munger in a soda shop and who still drives his old 1987 Oldsmobile. 
      He’s supported Barack Obama and a host of liberal causes.  Recently he has spoken out declaring the rich should pay more taxes.  All a tiresome ploy generated by the p.r. industry. 
       When John D. Rockefeller, Sr. was listed as the richest man in the world he was despised by many class-warriors as a tight-fisted old plunderer.   He hired the founder of modern public relations, Edward Bernays to improve his image.   Bernays told him to give dimes to kids in public…dimes then being what an ice cream soda cost.   That didn’t work so Bernays had him launch a broad-based foundation, giving to good causes such as black colleges.  
       His son John D., Jr. rushed into far more giving such as funding the start-up of the University of Chicago.  His children did  all these things and turned to public policy to-boot…David, Nelson (liberal governor of New York), Winthrop (governor of West Virginia).  The next generation gave us Sen. Jay (D-West Va.) than whom there are few more liberal.
        My suggestion…why doesn’t he kick in to ease the national debt…and finance such unnecessary federal programs as the Peace Corps with his own money?  Then….do us all a favor…and shut up.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Benedict’s Condom Quote, Far from Ex Cathedra, Is Falsely Seen by Church’s Enemies as Condoning Homosexual Acts.

 Carelessly Structured Remark, Inept Vatican Press Office, Duplicitously   Rebellious  L’Osservatore Romano Join to Encourage Liberals That He Contradicts an Article of Faith—Which He Doesn’t. 
      Joy among militant secularists and enemies of authentic Catholicism knows no bounds today as a loosely structured remark by Benedict XVI…brimming with particularized theological meaning was released by a rebellious, out-of-controlL’Osservatore Romano and then bobbled by the laughingly inept Vatican press office…starting an heretical conflagration that rages worldwide—with liberals seeing it as evolving into a repudiation of Church opposition to artificial contraception that stems from the 1st century A.D.   More radical hostile observers pretend to see a slight “understanding” of homosexual relations if prophylactic means are used to avoid the spread of sexually transmitted disease.
        All “interpretations” of the remark as leading toward relaxation of Church teaching are false—sometimes willfully so.
                                    Not “From the Chair.”  
       Nor should Benedict’s offhanded remark in an interview with a journalist be seen as an expression of ex-cathedra (“from the chair”) or infallibility.
        An infallible pronouncement pertains to faith and  morals under which there are two conditions: (1) That he has the intention of declaring something unchangeably true and (2) that he speaks as shepherd and teacher of all the faithful with the full weight  of his apostolic authority and not merely as a private theologian, with the doctrinal definition coming from the supernatural assistance of the Holy Spirit.
        Example: The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, the promulgation that the Blessed Virgin was sinless from her first moment of existence made in formal pronouncement by Pius IX in 1854.
       A distinction must be made between infallibility and impeccability. Infallibility involves immunity from error when delivered ex cathedra. Impeccability which means perfection.   Peter, the first Pope, was infallible in exercise of his office but not impeccable as we saw with this three denials of Christ.  Aside from Jesus Christ, only His mother was impeccable.  
                                         What Benedict Said.
         The statement appears within a wide ranging interview with German journalist Peter Seewald to be published in a book entitled Light of the World: The Pope, the World and Signs of the Times whose English edition will be released shortly by Ignatius Press.  Seewald’s earlier book-length interview with the pontiff resulted in the transformation of the journalist from agnostic to Catholic—so Seewald’s purpose in the interview was not hostile but salutary.
        Seewald asked this question: Does the Church oppose the use of condoms?
      Theologian Benedict’s answer while not impeccable in phrasing considering  today’s cesspool moral climate, is nevertheless in line with the traditions of the Church:
     “The Church, of course, does not regard them as a real or moral solution, but in individual cases, the intention to reduce the risk of infection may represent the first step to leading a more human and authentic sexuality.”
       Granted that could be considered as quite a stretch.
       He added: [Using a condom] is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection.  That can really lie only in a humanization of sexuality.”
      No problem there.
       Finally here is the sentence that has produced the controversy:
      “There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom where this can be the first step in the direction of moralization, a first assumption of responsibility…”
        He never says use of condoms is good.  He regards use of them to avoid aggravation of a intrinsically disordered act by imparting infectious disease could be the beginning of responsibility. Think of an alcoholic who while he’s slugging down a tumbler of whiskey says to himself:  “That’s it.   I’m off this stuff forever.”
        Okay for a theological conversation but for general popular reading as Seewald was preparing, incompetent when the ways of this secular, hedonistic world is concerned.
              Once Again, L’Osservatore Romano’s No Friend.
        I guess you have to take into account the thousand-plus custom of Roman nonchalance but L’Osservatore Romano is not ipso-facto the official Vatican newspaper but then again it  is.   It usually gets first dibs on important releases of information but it free-lances scandalously for which it should be severed from the appearance and actual circumstance of being the Church’s Rome house-organ.  It’s a scandal the way it’s run.   It lists the top ten best rock-and-roll albums including some with scandalous double entendre song titles but the hopelessly muscle-bound Vatican bureaucracy never thinks to censure it. 
           Just last month it issued a startling pronouncement not checked or verified with anybody in the Church. It said that The Simpsons often vulgar TV cartoon shows are…get this…”are among the few TV programs for children in which Christian faith, religion and questions about God are recurrent themes”!   That started a bandwagon effect of  jokes.   Is the Pope Catholic? was the story line on Fox News.   Homer Simpson a Catholic?  Must be following Stephen Colbert’s lead! was the headline in theWashington Post.  But the London Daily Telegraph got it best:
        “He is an idle pea-brained glutton with a permanent craving for doughnuts and Duff beef but Homer Simpson has been declared a true Catholic by the Vatican’s official  newspaper.”   Technically there’s a question whether it’s the official newspaper but Vatican ineptitude has caused the confusion.
         Why doesn’t somebody do something about it?   Probably some monsignori’s brother-in-law runs it is the probable explanation.   That’s Ital-ian you know!
         What L’Osservatore did in this case should get its editor sacked.   Along with a few other papers it got the Benedict book under embargo, meaning that it was to be held until concurrent release.  It turned rogue and published the Benedict statement.  Not by mistake.  There’s little doubt that L’Osservatore is hostile to many theological concepts in the Church.   Some years ago it flatly contradicted the popes on the issue of physicians doing all they can to keep ill patients alive!
        Do you wonder how long the Church will take to reform…improving the quality of newly-appointed bishops…cracking down on  some seminaries which are veritable hot-houses for growing lavender priests…when the Vatican can’t even get around to canning the editor of L’Osservatore for disloyalty and/or ineptitude who works right down the street? 
       Then there’s the sleepwalking Vatican press office.  The blaze about Benedict started over the weekend but it didn’t get around to returning press calls for many hours. Who’s in charge? Probably some archbishop’s nephew. 
        No wonder the Church is divine.   It has to be since it survived dunderheads like L’Osservatore, the Vatican press office and legions of do-nothing cardinals and archbishops here and abroad for untold generations. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Obama Seemingly Can’t Learn: Once Again Hands Negotiating in Lame Duck to the Dem Congress Instead of Getting Involved Himself.

            For GOP It’ll Be Win-Win.  For Dems Lose-Lose.
        Students of the presidency knew from the start that by turning negotiations on the stimulus in the last session, the Obama administration made a grievous mistake.  Nancy Pelosi and friends loaded the bill up with enough goodies to make it a Christmas tree.   Result:  a great waste of money and when the stimulus didn’t work, it engendered bitterness about  overspending that led to the electoral revolt in the midterms.
        Now it’s clear the Obama administration hasn’t learned a thing from the mistakes that torpedoed its popularity in the past session….and is determined to repeat the same strategy with the Lame Duck.  The game plan once again: Give the ball to the Dems in Congress to run for the goalposts.  And  Harry Reid has this idea:
       We’ll use the Bush tax cut renewal issue as a plum for the session’s end.     We’ll take everything else up first…repeal of don’t-ask-don’t-tell…food safety…nuclear arms treaty (applies only to the Senate for ratification)…the “Dream Act” to allow children of illegals to earn citizenship…consider the Renewable Energy bill…mine safety…child nutrition…extension of the Elementary and SecondaryEducation Act…extension of unemployment benefits.  Time for tax cut extension will be running out Dec. 3—so Reid and Pelosi will play the game of “chicken” with the Republcans.   Meaning this:
          Okay, Republicans: You say you want to extend the entire package of  Bush tax cuts and you understand we want to extend only the middle class ones.   How bad do you want the whole extension?   Real bad?    Very-very bad?    Well why don’t you play ball with us on food safety, repeal of don’t-ask-don’t-tell and if you are good little boys and girls maybe we’ll give you a bite of the apple—or the whole tax cut extension apple!   How’s that?
        Not smart.  First, just as he did earlier, Obama is sitting back and delegating the dealing to the Congressional Dem which is a show of  weakness.    Second, the Republicans have no incentive to play that game because they’ll have control of the House in January and more troops in the Senate.   If the taxes aren’t extended totally in the  Lame Duck who will take the blame if the economy continues to be flat as economists forecast?    The Democrats, that’s who!  Odds are the Dems will pass the middle class extension and the Republicans will have an issue for 2012  because the whole extension package wasn’t passed.
          Then in  the next session, Republicans will be able to pass another tax cut bill with the help of some panicky Dems and Obama will likely veto it.   Superb issue for 2012 for the Republicans.   So for the GOP it’s win-win; for the Dems it’s lose-lose. 
     What Obama should do is take over the negotiations himself…then in the spirit of cooperation pass extension of the entire Bush tax cuts saying he doesn’t want to continue the bickering.  He’s bound to be a hero if he does that.
     That might very well stimulate business to hire, unemployment will go down and voila!  Obama’s popularity will rise just as Bill Clinton’s did by allowing Republican measures such as welfare reform to pass….for which Clinton got the credit and went on to get reelected in 1996.  
        But that’s not likely to happen. Obama is inflexible and in-educable.  Nancy Pelosi’s face will be the face of the Democratic party,  she being the most unpopular congressional politician in the nation, inveighing against the extension of all the tax cuts…and Harry Reidwho had a tough time getting reelected in Nevada will be the other face—with Obama out of the loop.
           It all comes down to Obama’s and the Dems’ inflexibility and their inability to learn from the disaster of the last Congress. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Partisanship Triumphant, Dems Don’t Move to Seat Kirk Right Away, Although Illinois Would Benefit…Needed: A Public Drive to Remove Eric Holder. More.

     Time Wends On While We’re Stuck With Incompetent Egoist Burris.
        It’d be different if we had a duly elected U. S. senator filling the seat for Illinois.  Then he could continue to serve until Mark Kirk is sworn in.   But we don’t.   We have an appointed hack by a governor soon to go to jail—the appointment made under clandestine appearances.
         And we don’t hear any protest at all despite (a) it’s a given that Mark Kirk has been elected; (b ) no one believes the outcome will be changed; (3) Illinois loses senate seniority with the delay and (4) in the meantime our state’s vote is being cast by Tombstone Roland.    If the governor and senior senator would push Burris to relent in favor of restoring legitimate representation, it’d be salutary and gracious.  If they urged Judge O’Grady to act it would be classy.   But no—Dems say if Republicans want Kirk to take over to gain seniority, let them ask O’Grady.  For Republicans to push O’Grady would be ridiculous and self-serving.  Too bad we don’t have a Dem governor and Dem senator who could rise to a degree of  magnanimity—but we don’t. 
          So we continue with an unelected Squid hack Dem senator whose words on tape smack of his eagerness to buy Obama’s seat…a guy who misled the state legislature when he testified, declaring that he had discussed quid pro quo with a Blago emissary before being appointed when demonstrable facts prove otherwise…a guy who tainted that he had to knock on the door to gain admittance to the Dem-controlled Senate and for a time was denied by majority leader Harry Reid…a guy whose ego is so out of kilter he has to order that his resume be carved on his tombstone in pathetic hope he’ll be remembered…moreover--
       …a guy so treated at pariah’s arm’s length by his own party’s majority that they put him in the presiding officer’s chair within earshot of the parliamentarian in order to stash him somewhere, he interpreting this as a boost in stature—this guy who’s a laughing-stock  but whom the Dem state leadership will not importune to step down early so as to give the duly elected senator an ease-up in seniority which means so much in the Senate…all these things and the press doesn’t fathom importance to Illinois and why Kirk is kicking…some suggesting Kirk  ask Judge O’Grady himself to be seated!
     Sure there are still votes to be counted but Kirk cannot be counted out. Of course there is no vacancy since Burris hasn’t volunteered to step down.     But if the Democratic leadership of this state had any class, it would ask Burris to step down for the good of Illinois so its newest senator could gain needed senioriy.   What do they want—Kirk and the Republicans to demand of the judge that Kirk be appointed?
       Gee, wouldn’t it appear gracious  if the governor and Sen. Durbin made the case given that all agree Kirk has been elected?
       Of  course Burris won’t leave until they drag him out of the chamber.  There could be a modicum of pro-Illinois sentiment existent in the governor, Sen. Durbin and the president to do what’s right for Illinois and ensure the elected senator gets some seniority!  Their ploy is  to hunker down and hold on to the Illinois seat  being occupied by a appointed unelected nonentity in hopes that their party can squeeze the last drop of partisan advantage from it with votes on the floor….heedless of the fact that Illinois will be deprived of seniority by keeping Kirk out of the Senate.
        Where’s the fine sensibility that the governor—for one—keeps touting about “the land of Lincoln” where “everyday ordinary, regular working families composed  of hard-working everyday working men and women”et al?  These hard-working everyday regular men and women deserve an elected senator to cast votes for Illinois.
        Ah well, the governor campaign’s over so he’ll stash those gooey words until they can be recycled for the next campaign.      
             Major Repudiation of Holder Warrants Push for Removal.
        The egregious repudiation of Attorney General Mark Holder yesterday has made the nation a laughingstock—and should trigger a public move to pressure the president to remove him.  Former Guantanamo detainee Ahmed Ghaliani yesterday was found not guilty on all but one charge by an anonymous civilian jury in New York.  It should prompt the entire world  and especially America’s critics to howl with laughter at the benign, naïve incompetence shown by the Justice Department.
       Get this: Ghaliani was convicted of the charge of conspiracy to destroy a federal building which carries with it a 20-year sentence (and maybe life.   Given that he beat the rap on 231 other counts, it’s unlikely. But the very legal definition of “conspiracy” presages collaboration which is contradicted by his beating the rap on the 231 other charges. 
         Ghaliani should have been tried as a war combatant in a military court but ultra-liberal Holder insisted on a civilian jury to provide all the trappings of our constitutional rights on a terrorist sworn to destroy us.   It has been seen as a test case for the Obama administration to put the self-admitted 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other terrorism suspects on trial on U.S. soil, the brain-child of Holder with the support of that eminent “constitutional law lecturer” Obama. 
           One juror sent a note to the judge saying she was threatened by other jurors.  Terrific;  now we know what quality of peers were selected in one of the most liberal cities in the nation…all due to the leftwing intransigence of Eric Holder.   And the judge.   He was god-awful, excluding the testimony of a star witness because he was water-boarded by the CIA. 
         But judges are judges.  The culprit is Holder…not a legal scholar by any means but an ideologue.   Imagine a man testifying against the Arizona immigration law before the House Judiciary committee and not reading the 16-page law!  In this matter of trying terrorists in a civilian court, he  was regarding this whole procedure as a kind of game,  where he would be portrayed as standing tall with The New York Times and the Left as protagonist in a  Broadway drama where the safety of the people of the United States comes in second. 
      A military court was the only rightful place where vermin of this kind could be tried—one accused of assisting Al Qaeda buy a truck, filled it with explosives used as a rolling bomb in his native Tanzania and carrying out a simultaneous bombing in Nairobi that killed 224, including 12 Americans.  The day before the bombings he boarded a flight to Pakistan, then moved to Afghanistan where he forged documents for Al Qaeda and worked as a cook and bodyguard for bin Laden.  Witnesses testified that Ghailani used cash to buy gas tanks used in bombings and that the FBI found a blasting cap in his room at a hideout.  The defense used the usual arguments—the FBI had trampled over evidence found in his room et al.
        The man federal prosecutors called a “cold blooded terrorist” was allowed to make use of constitutional law to evade payment for his crimes.    It’s time….in fact well beyond time…when a public drive is launched to get rid of Holder who has been a menace to the internal security of the people of the United States.
                           Kicanas Defeated for USCCB President.
         Wow—211 Catholic bishops actually voted for Tucson Bishop Gerald Kicanas (aptly pronounced kick-anus) for president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops!    Due to the providence of God this Bernardin protégé, skewed to the Left, praised by a leading homosexual activist group as possibly being amenable to softening church condemnation of abortion and homosexuality, spared the Church another spate of investigations.  
        He’s a walking embodiment of toleration for the lavender priesthood.  Imagine:  he ordained pedophile Dan McCormack after learning of his involvement in gay sex with his peers!   The mystery has never been solved as to how the files on McCormack “disappeared”  from Mundelein seminary.  Paradoxically militant gays themselves detonated his candidacy…not particularly anything the bishops did themselves.  Still the Church itself and the secular media cannot bring themselves to state candidly and upfront that Catholicism’s great ecclesial challenge in the U.S. is the lavender priesthood, lavender seminaries and the indisputably incompetent admissions policies that open the floodgates.  

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Now We Know Who Fired Flores. And, Hey, It Depends Who’s Your Auxiliary Bishop.

         In this archdiocese the tiller swings to-and-fro.  Whether it’s by design or not,  we don’t know.   But this  we do.  It’s not Intelligent Design.   For example…
        Take the case of two Larry’s.   When you come across a priest who disdains using his baptismal name and says just call me Chuck, just call me Bob, Bill, Dave or Larry, you can be pretty sure you’ve got a liberal on your hands
         And when he says “just call me Larry” and  wears an open-throated shirt as he wanders around you know for sure you have one. 
       Both wear relaxed sportswear.  Just call me Larry Dowling is the pastor of  St. Agatha’s in West Lawndale, yes, the same church that had as pastor “just call me Dan” as in Dan McCormack. Just call me Dan is away on doing five years hard time in stir for aggravated child pedophilia.
        He’s been succeeded by Just Call Me Larry who has announced he will bring a new era of healing to St. Agatha’s.  Now Just Call Me Larry is head of the deanery as was his predecessor—and in addition  he’s an official consultor to Cardinal George.  Just Call Me Larry is good friends with the equally liberal pastor of St. Nicholas in Evanston, Fr. William (Just Call Me Bill) Tkachuk.    
         Well, as we all know Just Call Me Larry wrote a letter to His Eminence and said a terrible thing is happening: community groups are being asked….downright asked, mind you…whether they support abortion or non-traditional marriage.    Because if they don’t  they won’t get any Catholic money.  Terrible.  Well in this archdiocese where the tiller slips to-and-fro, it turns out that Just Call Me Larry Dowling’s auxiliary bishop is a liberal, Bishop Francis Kane.
        Sometime between October 2 when Rey Flores conducted a meeting at Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica and November 2 when Just Call Me Larry Dowling’s letter was sent to the Cardinal, Flores was fired. He doesn’t know when but Dowling started referring to him as “the former director.”
         Yesterday Bishop Kane told the USCCB in Baltimore that he prefers the Chicago Campaign for Human Development and the national office follow the  same guidelines and Tribune religion editor Manya A. Bracheear…you know her, she bills herself as The Seeker…reported that “to abide by these guidelines the leaders of the campaign in Chicago might have to scale back some of the changes they rolled out in August when they awarded funds to groups providing  pregnancy counseling to divert women from getting abortions.”  
        Aha.  That gives us a pretty good clue as to who fired Rey Flores.
       Now there’s another priest go goes by “Just Call Me Larry.”   He’s the pastor of Oak Park’s Ascension  parish.   He’s Fr. Larry McNally.   The other day he signed a petition urging the Church to support women priests and married clergy.  He delivered it to the Cardinal.  But this Just Call Me Larry McNally has a different boss as auxiliary bishop—John Manz.  Manz went to see this Larry and said that unless he apologize in public he’ll be removed from Ascension.  So this Just Call  Me Larry did.  Apologized all over the place…especially in the bulletin.   “I am sorry that my words and actions may have caused some upset and some inner turmoil among our parish family.”
         So it depends on who’s your immediate boss.  Meanwhile the Big Boss remains quiet.    As I said…the tiller swings to-and-fro.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gay Rights Group Pushes for Kicanas’ Election at USCCB President, Hinting He Will “Evolve” Friendly to Same-Sex Marriage and Abortion.

          Which Means if Kicanas is Elected—Watch Out for Fireworks!
           As Catholic bishops hunker down in Baltimore to elect a successor to Francis Cardinal George as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops [USCCB], a nationally known gay rights group of “Catholics” has endorsed George’s likely successor, Tucson Bishop Gerald Kicanas who ordained serial pedophile Dan McCormack who is serving a five year term in prison for aggravated sexual assault of five boys.   After McCormack was arrested  Kicanas was promoted by George to auxiliary bishop of Chicago. Later he was named bishop of Tucson and after that was elected vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on the same ticket with George as USCCB president.
          Kicanas stands to be elected president possibly today or tomorrow.  The tradition of the vice president succeeding to the top job is regarded as automatic. Whether the flamingly warm endorsement of Kicanas by the organization of practicing “Catholic” homosexuals deters Kicanas’ election is problematic.  
         The homosexual  organization is named Rainbow-Sash.  The appropriation of the name “Catholic” for those who profess that they practice homosexuality is fraudulent.  In Catholic dogma, homosexual tendencies fall within the normal range of a fallen human nature. Active homosexuality—the kind Rainbow-Sash defends and indeed advocates—is morally indefensible under Church theology and has been many times forbidden in revelation and teaching, the most emphatic being promulgated by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith approved by Pope Paul VI on November 3,1975.
           Under normal circumstances the statement of Rainbow-Sash would torpedo the election of Kicanas because it implies that his views may change to coincide with the organization’s on the validity of homosexual practice, same-sex marriage and abortion.   Here are some excerpts which go the distance in presuming to speak for Kicanas.  If the statement does and Kicanas doesn’t repudiate it, it would likely mean his bishopric would necessarily be abrogated by  Rome.
          The press statement issued in the name of somebody named Joe Murray, Rainbow-Sash executive director, says these things in  part:
       “Bishop Kicanas understands that bishops are privately changing their position [on homosexual practice and abortion] because input is bubbling up from the pews of our parishes in support of gay marriage and pro-choice…[While we have difficulties with Bishop Kicanas’ present position on gay marriage, we are hopeful his position will evolve. We believe that Bishop Kicanas follows in the footsteps of the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardine [misspelled: Bernardin] and will lead the USCCB to a position of common ground on issues that are deeply dividing the U.S.  Catholic Church.  The impending election of Bishop Kicanas I believe is an attempt on the part of a majority of bishops to unravel a stranglehold that fundamentalism [sic] has on  the U.S. Conference of  Catholic bishops.”
       Concerning pedophile McCormack records showed that at Mundelein he was engaged in homosexual relationships with consenting peers.   This didn’t disturb Kicanas who was the seminary Rector.
        The Chicago Sun-Times reported on Nov.14, 2007 that Kicanas said if he had to do it over again he would still ordain McCormack. “There was a sense that his activity was part of the developmental process and that he had learned from the experience.  I was more concerned about his drinking.  We sent him to counseling for that.”
       Kicanas has said that his words were misinterpreted by the newspaper reporter.     However it’s been reported that she still has in her possession  the tape cassette  where Kicanas’ words are recorded.
        Stay tuned.  Whether he’s elected president or not, the Kicanas story and his endorsement by homosexual activists should be the religion story of the  year.
       NOTE:  Not that the arch-liberal Sun-Times will pay much attention except to give the story a Leftward spin….probably assigning Carol Marin to equate it with the same religiosity she imparts to all revolutionary Left proposals.   Or that the sleepy Tribune which usually runs a day-and-a-half behind the competition will pay attention zzzzzzzzzz.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Reminder to Catholics: Next Sunday, Just Say NO to the CCHD…The Battling McCain’s: Cindy’s Reproof Serves Him Right!...and Asking a Favor of You.

                   “No, Thank You—Clean Up Your Act First.”
          Next Sunday at all the masses, they’ll be passing the basket for the Chicago Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD)… notwithstanding that the archdiocese has peremptorily fired the courageous executive who changed the direction of grants from support of the Left to bona fide non-political anti-poverty groups.   Moreover a group that acts as a conduit to abortion clinic referrals and contraceptive pills—opposed by the Chicago branch--was given an extension of a $45,000 grant by the  national CCHD, overruling the Chicago office’s objections.
         In addition, a grant approved by the fired Ray Flores and the local office—to the Pro-Life Action League, run by nationally famed Joseph Scheidler—was  overruled by the national office.   Thus reforms charted by Flores, have ended—presumably due to pressure exerted by a cadre of  liberal priests on the archdiocese.
          The firing of Chicagoan Flores, some months old, was unannounced—in keeping with the archdiocese’s tight lid on news flow that may stir controversy. The news seeped out via word of mouth which led to a story in Lifesitenews.com and a number of authenticist Catholic blogs.  Finally in this week’s Catholic New World there’s an ad soliciting applicants for Flores’ job.
       Flores challenged and was successful for a time  in changing the local CCHD’s policy of using contributed dollars given from well-meaning people in the pews to organizations, many of which affiliate with the Left—disseminating funds both directly and indirectly to a number of abortion providers and pro-gay groups.   He made an honest effort to change the giving process. Flores even sanctioned a CCHD grant to the Pro-Life Action League as a starter.   
      But a coterie of liberal priests including Fr.   Lawrence (“just call me Larry”) Dowling, pastor of St. Agatha’s on Chicago’s South Side and Fr. William (“just call me Bill”) Tkachuk pastor of St. Nicholas of Evanston started counter-advocacy from the Left. And you know how this archdiocese is run—with all the constancy and resoluteness of a windsock if the winds of pressure come from the Left.
          The archdiocese is terrified…I mean tremblingly so…of the ire from liberal priests and so at the command of Fr. Dowling….who aspires to the media fame as a junior league Fr. Michael Pfleger (getting arrested last Spring in protest of the Arizona immigration law)…and Fr. Tkachuk…who’s leading a drive for female deacons, unrecognized by the Vatican.
        Thus notwithstanding the good reforms at Chicago CCHD, at the first whiff of leftward breeze,  the archdiocesan  windsock fluttered Left and Reyes was fired.
      The import of Flores’ firing is clear.
      He was canned because he carried out what he was told would be his mandate—nixing for funding by the national CCHD any group that opposes or works against Catholic teaching principally on life and  family issues.   One 3-year recipient of national CCHD funds was something called the Southwest Organizing Project [SWOP], supposedly opposing violence, supporting housing for the poor et al receiving $45,000 a  year for capital needs.
       An invaluable organization formed to watchdog CCHD recipients, “Reform CCHD Now Coalition” and Flores as head of the local CCHD have repeatedly warned against SWOP.   Flores checked it out personally. One program of SWOP is called “Elev8” at Marquette grade school.   “Elev8” looked and acted suspect. So Flores called the school, maintaining his 7th grade daughter, a student, was pregnant.  Referred to the school’s  health clinic supported by “Elev8” he was told soothingly that they could refer his “daughter” to a good abortion provider and after that could put her on “the pill” if necessary. 
       Fr.  Dowling wrote a letter of complaint to Francis Cardinal George that maintained “it has been an insult to many [grantees] to be asked `Does your organization support abortion  or same-sex marriage?’”
      Is he serious?  An insult for an organization to be asked by the Catholic Church before it grants its funds whether  or not the potential recipient supports or opposes two moral doctrines which are central to the Church’s theology? 
      Last week the archdiocese’s official newspaper The Catholic New World carried an ad for Flores’ job saying that applications should be sent to Nicholas Lund-Molfese, the head of the Peace and Justice Office, to which Flores reported.  But how long Lund-Molfese will be around is an open question as the fearsome Fr. Dowling has criticized him as well—and the archdiocesan wind-sock flutters to his every intonation. 
       Predictably a gag has been put on Lund-Molfese by the chancery’s autocratic press office which restricted itself to a terse comment by Susan Burrit, the media relations director who could well be working for said:  “There has been no change in the policy of the Archdiocese of Chicago regarding groups eligible for CCHD funding.  Reports to the contrary are mistaken.”   Uh-huh.  No change: that’s why Flores was fired, huh?    I’m sure you can take that one to the bank. 
       As earlier stated, Chicago’s two major newspapers have no religion reporters worthy of the name. The Tribune employs one Manya Brachear whose column goes by the nihilistic label  “The Seeker”…who seeks but doesn’t ferret out the news except what is given in publicity handouts.   She finally came out with a story yesterday saying what everybody clued in already knows--that Cardinal George’s term is up and that his successor Bishop Gerald  Kicanas is almost a sure bet as successor.  She went into sparse details about Kicanas’ tenure at Mundelein, relating tersely the  Dan McCormack scandal…adding for sweetners that George has been a great leader for pro-life at the USCCB.
        The Sun-Times relies on an out-source agency which 90% of the time uncritically relays the official archdiocesan line peppering its news output with hard-left commentary by Margery Frisbee, who still keeps a candle burning in memory of the late radical Msgr. Jack Egan, the devotee to the late Saul Alinsky.  Therefore, rely on this website and other Catholic ones to ascertain the news, the archdiocesan press office…including Ms. Burrit and her superior having all the reliability of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service formerly known as Tass.
                                   Family Feud.  
          Anybody who read the amusing  book Game Change by John Heilemann and Mark Halprin [HarperCollins: 2009] …probably the best book about modern presidential campaigning ever written…has a pretty good hint on  what’s behind the John McCain vs. his wife and daughter…Cindy and Meghan.. split on the issue of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”   McCain is for keeping it the way it is.  Cindy and Meghan are for repealing it.  Cindy (aka  Mrs. McCain) is particularly tough and their daughter, Meghan, is militant on accepting gays in contradiction to their husband and  father.  
      Why are these two women—wife and daughter—determined to embarrass him so?  Well, if you had to live with him, you’d understand. And while I agree with John, I don’t blame the  two women for a minute.  
          In all likelihood it has very little to do with the issue itself and almost totally with  McCain’s selfish preoccupation with his own destiny,  his raging  temper tantrums  and berating of  his wife in full view and overhearing of the press (whose marriage to whom made him a multi-millionaire which he accepts as if he earned it rather than married it). The book gives chapter and verse about what the authors call “the battling McCains.”
       Thus I’m all for the McCain women getting back at the old tyrant even though I don’t agree with them on the issue they picked.  But no matter.
      If you read the book you’ll find that he was—and probably still is-- an insufferable beast to his wife with a legendary temper that often gets the better of him.  If I had his record I’d be very nicey-nice.   This is a guy who ditched his first wife when, coming home as an ex-POW he noticed the effects on her looks of a terrible automobile accident she suffered which changed her looks and physical stature drastically. 
           After meeting Cindy and hooking up with her out of town off and on for about a year he decided to ditch No. 1 , he up’d and told her…this woman who selflessly waited for him for five years…that he decided he didn’t love her anymore and wanted a divorce.  Just like that. And after marrying into big bucks,  he calculated how he would run for office in the future. 
         Everything fit together perfectly.  He married into one of the richest families in Arizona where a veteran congressman, John Rhoads, was retiring.  Money was no problem so he cruised into office—first the House and then the Senate. And he was no sweetie pie as a husband, making her and his family pay for his consummate ego-trip. 
       Now you may say you forgive all of this because after all he is emotionally wounded and was  turned  into  a self-serving egotist because he had been held  in captivity and squalor in the Hanoi Hilton.
       To which I say baloney.  
       After years of accepting Cindy’s largesse…getting on her company’s board…acting like the spoiled child he is, this ingrate reverted to true coloration… of a totally unlovable, unsympathetic and boorish guy known for uncontrolled explosions including being the first in history to shout the “f” word at a colleague on the Senate floor—Sen. John Cornyn of Texas.
     Except that his opponent was Barack Obama McCain would never get my vote. So I did vote for McCain-- not because he is a hero—but because unlike Obama, he is a patriot: a fervent one.   That means I would vote for him again if there’s no one else…but that  I hold McCain in minimum high regard.
         Yet undeniably he loves this country and it does not take a degree in psychology to see that the detached, cold and elitist Obama does not particularly.   After all, we have Obama’s word for it. When asked if America is exceptional, this throwback to his raging anti-colonialist father said:  er, yeah but then Britain is exceptional to the English and Greece is to the Greeks.
       That’s all I needed.   And everything that transpired with Obama since….his running around the world apologizing for his presidential predecessors…ratified my decision.   So it wasn’t difficult at all to vote for McCain and pray for his victory which I did.
        Nevertheless I accept, understand and even enjoy the woman whose wealth he used to power and riches finally getting fed up and their daughter having spent so many years serving his egotism contradicting him in public.  Next I’d like to see Cindy give him his walking papers.
        `Way to go, ladies!
                              A Favor of You, Please.
     If you like and enjoy this website…as a number of you say you do…I’d appreciate it if you’d help me build up its circulation by serving as a volunteer “salesman” for your friends and people who think like us.  As you know,  they can receive it free on email or just tune in to the website.  I’d really like to build up its circulation  which is a  couple thousand.  Let me  know  if you want to do this…and thanks in advance for anything you can do!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Aldermanic White Wolves Burke and Mell Want Giannoulias to Run for Mayor…Petty Self-Interests Fight Give-and-Take U. S. Deficit Reduction…The CCHD and All That.

                                   This Time White, Not Gray?
          As every Chicago historian knows, the city’s charter was designed to support a strong council weak mayor    In fact a group of corrupt city aldermen, called The Gray Wolves, almost destroyed the city intermittently from the 1890s to the 1930s…and their names are legend: Bath House John Coughlin, Michael “Hinky Dink” Kenna and Johnny Powers better known as “Johnny De Pow.”
        Businesses  bribed alderman to award city contracts to them—called “boodling.”   A central scandal in 1895 involved Ogden Gas.   The first reformer Lincoln Steffens first described the aldermen as
“the gray wolves” due to “the color of their hair and the rapacious cunning and greed of  their natures.”   The Civic Federation estimated that 68 aldermen representing 38 wards (at that time there were two aldermen per ward) were grafters.
           It’s only coincidental that the two powerful aldermen opposing the election of Rahm Emanuel (who has the requisite toughness,  brain-power, dexterity, cunning and volatility  to foil their capitalizing on what they hope will be a vacuum caused  by the retirement of Mayor Daley) are not gray-haired but white thatched…Eddie Burke and Dick Mell.  Turn off the lights in the chamber and the immaculate well-coiffed white hair on Burke would gleam as fluorescent.
       The burden of this piece is not to suggest Burke and Mell are of the same nature as the Gray Wolves—but neither are they altar boys.  And for God’s sake anybody who has read this website for any length of time knows my feelings toward Rahm  Emanuel—that he’s not Queen of the May.
         I’ve nailed him as tough, hyper-aggressive, wily, foul-mouthed, duplicitous, resourceful, brilliant strategist  (proof of which is to be found in his running of the DCCC  which, following his game-plan, captured control of the U.S. House).  Moreover I was told on good authority of  his association attendant to the Gentleman with Bad Breath who warned Henry Hyde that if Hyde continued  on  his mission  to impeach Bill Clinton, there would be a disclosure of personal events 40  years old that would shock Hyde’s children and grandchildren and mark Hyde’s reputation forever.  As the world knows, Hyde continued to pursue his duty to the country.
      Thus no one can possibly imagine I’m soft on Emanuel.   But politics involve imperfect choices.  No one has yet emerged for mayor who is Tennyson’s Sir Galahad “whose strength is as the strength of ten because my heart is pure.” My views are complicated.   I can never be his friend…yet…as one who first met him 30 years ago and with whom we were regulars together on WBEZ  I know he’s not a crook. Moreover while we disagree on principles—mainly social issues—but yet…yet…I know at this critical juncture only he among candidates mentioned has the intellectual hardihood, energy and imagination and civic patriotism to be a great mayor of this city.   I never fully appreciated the courage and vision of Alexander Hamilton’s choice throwing the deciding vote in a tied House to his great rival Thomas Jefferson over fellow Federalist  Aaron Burr—until now. 
             The thought of Burke and Mell circling the wagons against Emanuel is one thing--but importuning Giannoulias to run for mayor  is stunning.   Giannoulias would not have the resolve to keep Chicago from tumbling into a pit where it will be prey to the gray…er, …white wolves—and it must not happen.
                               Same Old, Same Old Left-Right Interests.
          It is unsurprising that the most vigorous opposition to the Debt Reduction blueprint has come from the Left—Nancy Pelosi, Dick Durbin and Jan Schakowsky.  But there are predictable differences from the Right as well—although the business lobby has not been heard from yet.   “Americans for Tax Reform” has but no one expected it would be more amenable to seeing the end-goal of sparing this country from becoming another Greece than the AFL-CIO, both of which follow the same battle-cry:  Where’s Mine?  I can’t see Grover Norquist doing anything other than what he has—being in total opposition  to  any plan that varies from his in the slightest degree.
         There’s a juicy little sweetener in the package I didn’t notice. That’s the exquisite proposal that the country zero out in toto all federal aid to public television and public radio: zilch, nada.  
                                The CCHD and All That Stuff.
       Since the two papers here don’t have competent religion editors, you probably don’t know that the fight to “reform” the left-wing Catholic Campaign for Human Development isn’t going well.  The Campaign which is an armature of the Catholic bishops (the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops) was set up by some who consulted with the late Saul Alinsky, he an atheist, to construct an apparatus that they could infiltrate to give donations to radical leftwing groups flying under the radar,  making it seem that the money was going to the  poor when much  of it was financing revolutionary creations like ACORN.
        The Chicago wing of the CCHD hired a guy to make sure funds went to bona fide anti-poverty groups but evidently something went wrong and critics allege that pro-abort and other organizations were still receiving funds.   In order to make it appear on the level, funds had been earmarked to Joe Scheidler’s group, the Pro-Life Action League…which does a truly noble job rescuing unborn from murder and leading pregnant women to receive counseling.   Well, now it appears the prospective grant to the League has been canceled.
       As the archdiocese here runs a tightly-closed communications shop and the newspapers are interested in everything else but,  I may have some of the details wrong—and it would be worthwhile to get some decent reportatge about the events.   CCHD collections are solicited in baskets carried  by ushers the Sunday before Thanksgiving….so time’s a-wastin’.    In any event, it would be prudent to give the CCHD baskets a  pass since the clerical Left controls the outgo. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Deficit Commission’s Draft Proposal, While I Hate Some of It, Is a Pretty Honest First Cut….An Overdue Salute to Bill Brady for His Courageous Campaign.

                  Love Some of It, Hate Some of It: But a Good Start.
         I’m pleasantly surprised at the first draft of the presidential panel to cut the deficit—because it’s not all raising taxes and penalizing business which I would expect from an Obama-named panel—but it slashes liberal goodies as well…enough to draw fire from Speaker Pelosi and Jan Schakowky.  Still, it has enough bad stuff to cause me to hold my nose as if to ingest a tablespoon of castor oil—without sugar to make the medicine go down.  But thank God it’s not pablum or cotton candy and generalities but is a spectacularly honest first cut.
      The plan has real bite. It’s identified nearly $4 trillion in total savings through 2020, bringing down the annual  U. S.  budget deficit to 2.2% of economic output by 2015 compared to 8.9% as of last September 30.
           Because I’m wholeheartedly in favor of some of it which satisfies my conservative heart…and—I wince at others…it shows me the proposal is fair and even-handed.   Basically I think that if it were implemented we would be well on the way to summoning up the courage to handle the deficit for ourselves, kids and grandchildren.
       The stuff I don’t like: placing limits on tax breaks for homeowners through removing deductions on interest for second homes, home equity loans and mortgages higher than $500,000…cutting Pentagon spending by $100 billion by 2015…higher taxes on gasoline beginning with a 15 cent per gallon hike in 2015 and escalating sharply after that…removing a number of corporate tax deductions available today. And on health care, a whole bunch including the much debated idea that didn’t make it into ObamaCare: the public option and a strict cap on employer-provided health care that are tax deductible.
       What I like: $100 billion in non-defense discretionary cuts by 2015…lowering the corporate tax rate…making permanent the research and development tax credit…cuts of $3 billion a year in federal subsidies to agribusiness with the cuts continuing until they are ended…gradually increasing the retirement age  on Social Security to  where beneficiaries begin at age 68 (about 2050) and proceeding to 69 (by the year 2075)…freezing federal employees’ pay for three years…cutting the federal work force by 10%...ending congressional earmarks. 
       On health care, endorsement of tort reform which didn’t make it into ObamaCare….as well as the provision that seniors pay more toward their health care in the form of expanded cost sharing—requiring seniors to fulfill a universal deductible instead for the current system of various co-pays for services…speeding up cuts in Medicare Advantage.  Another cheering aspect is Congressman Paul Ryan’s admiration….not endorsement…of this first cut.  

A Salute to Bill Brady’s Valiant Campaign.
      Ah, I  see Jim Edgar has just criticized Bill Brady for losing the governorship because he is too conservative for Illinois.  I’m sure that the act of standing up for a belief that hasn’t tested as supported 10 to 1 in the polls is unthinkable for Vanilla Jim whose successful public career has been marked with caution, dexterity, flexibility all delivered with a mewing voice bearing clichés that don’t offend anyone.  True, they don’t cause anybody to think, either, but that’s been Vanilla Jim’s trademark.
       In all he’s been a nice appearing, slim chap with a southern accent who never rocked any boat or never failed to get along with any of his superiors—be they the bellowing, cigar-chomping, hard-drinking conservative Lion of the State Senate, mega-millionaire W. Russell Arrington…or the expansive, liberal governor now power lobbyist Jim Thompson whose tastes rivaled Suleiman the Magnificent, who built a psychedelic monstrosity bearing his name…impossible to heat in the winter and cool in the summer, a legendary collector of modern art who never promised tax increases—in fact assured there would be none—but who twice after electoral victories said oh, er, I just decided, guess what? We need a tax hike.
       Vanilla Jim got along with those two and many more besides.  His secret was that he never assented, never dissented, never caused waves….meaning that he sits still while others do the advocacy.   When one opponent Dawn Clark Netsch ran against him she came out with a colorful TV commercial showing her shooting 8-ball pool while Vanilla Jim’s were just blah.
         Emboldened by her success,  she came forth with a tax swap idea.  Vanilla Jim attacked it.   After he beat her,  his administration toyed with her idea and came very near embracing it—and, in fact,  Vanilla Jim’s lieutenant governor came out  for it.      Vanilla Jim stayed mum. In the next election the lieutenant governor got walloped because he was identified with it.  Vanilla Jim stayed mum.   Not that Vanilla Jim should have endorsed it, mind you—but his success has always been that he takes no risks with ideas or stands.  Nosirree.
         The idea that anyone should embrace an idea or proposition that is popular with some but unpopular  with others has always been shunned by Vanilla Jim.    After all, he’s gotten places never taking a stand beyond the latest cliché.  But those of  us who know that politics demands bravery will thank him for courageously standing in defense of unborn life. You’d never catch Vanilla Jim doing that or suggesting any ideas or programs that may be controversial.  
        Which may lead some to suggest a monument be erected to Vanilla Jim.    It should be a bust made of plastic and mounted on a weathervane. That way his image will turn first left and right as he always has in life—reflecting the cross-currents of the slightest breezes.   And the bust should be inscribed with one of his quotes.   You know—quotes that may be mundane, forgettable, clichés—but never offend.
        Like…oh let me think…”When folks are out of work, unemployment results.”
      Those of us who fought to elect Bill Brady are proud of his distinctiveness that has always set him apart from pols like Vanilla Jim….for his valiant campaign and his forthrightness.  Thanks Bill and Nancy from this volunteer in your army.