Monday, February 28, 2011


      NOTE: This article ran across the front page of last week’s The Wanderer, the oldest national Catholic weekly newspaper in America.                    
    To the Most Rev. Jerome Listecki, Archbishop of Milwaukee: 
     What in the world possessed you to turn out a statement conveying the view of all the state’s bishops that comes down on the side of the amply well-paid union strikers in Wisconsin?
    I write as a labor union member in good standing (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists AFL-CIO). Your statement was maintains it is a plea for “the legitimate rights” of public employees.  Thus it was immediately snapped up by the liberal media as endorsement of the well-paid public employees under misleading rubric of “social justice.”
                Dem Lawmakers Flee the State Rather than Vote.
      Archbishop, where is the “social justice” where taxpayer-paid lawmakers flee the state to avoid a democratic vote in an era when citizens are rebelling against a looming public-pension crisis that threatens bankruptcy in cities, counties and states—a crisis  made possible by public employees, already protected by civil service and who cannot be terminated, who hold politicians hostage in their collective bargaining?  
    The crowd demonstrating in Madison claims to support democracy like the crowds urging democracy in Tunisia. In reality they are antithetical to democracy, cheering dereliction of legislative duty, supporting the thwarting of the will of the majority by supporting the Democratic minority that has fled to Illinois.
        Regrettably they are using your statement among others as pretext—and tying Catholic theology to it.
       The issue between Wisconsin’s public employee unions and Gov. Scott Walker was a natural for you, Archbishop, to pass up.    These are not the 1890s when fat cat profit-squeezing robber barons exploited workers, nor the 1920s when fat-cat owners hired strikebreakers to beat up on the dissidents.   There are no moral questions remotely resembling the “worker is worthy of his hire” pronouncements of Leo XIII in Rerum Novarum in 1891 or Pius XI in 1931’s Quadragesimo Anno.  Or Benedict XVI inCaritas in Veritate. 
         Instead you issued a statement that was used as demonstration fodder by the unions storming the Capitol and citing this statement that pretends nothing has changed since the days of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. and the original J. P.  Morgan. 
      Milwaukee Archbishop Backs Union was the headline of the militantly liberal Madison Capitol Times
     In reality you should have known that wordage imploring legislators to abide by a “moral obligation” to consider what you called “the legitimate rights” of public employees was na├»ve…pitting the Church on the side of so-called “exploited workers” such as Milwaukee teachers, the average of whom will be receiving in compensation $100,005 this  year, $56,500 of which is in salary and a huge $43,305 in benefits.
                            Teachers Living High on the Hog.
      Tell me, Archbishop Listecki, where is the social justice when public school teachers phone in lying that they are “sick” and thereupon having  closed school districts down in Milwaukee, Madison and Janesville…and on the demonstration site a cadre of physicians issuing willy-nilly bogus “ill health notes”to justify the demonstrators absence from work?
     Considering teachers’ salaries alone, they are well ahead of many ordinary working stiffs who are in private employment.   An analysis of current Census data shows that Wisconsin’s public workers are not underpaid.   In fact the contrary is true.
        Regarding the teachers:   Once the time-worked adjustment is made, it can be seen that public teachers’ salaries are significantly higher than those of other public employees and even private sector employees.  Morever since unionized teachers’ salaries are allocated without regard to  merit, unionism has ensured that the best teachers are not rewarded for competence.
      Again: where is the maxim “the laborer is worthy of his hire” when Wisconsin’s teachers unions have recruited out-of-state demonstrators from Illinois—which means bus-loads are passing each other on the highways to and from Illinois.  To Illinois come buses containing  fleeing Wisconsin lawmakers and from Illinois roll buses with cadres of out-of-state union demonstrators.            
      In your press release, you instruct us on “the legitimate rights” of union members.  What about “the legitimate rights” of taxpayers?   Isn’t this implicit if not explicit in Catholic tracts of social justice?     Granted you’re aware of the heavy debt Wisconsin is carrying.  Do you understand that Catholic social justice does not belong to employers alone but to organized labor depriving the public of legitimate services to which they are entitled?  If so why did you make no mention of this?
        It’s a two-pronged issue—right to ownership of property and the right to a decent wage.   Modern Catholic social teaching proclaims the duty of citizens to vote and the obligation of citizens to accept public decisions made at the ballot box. But the workers’ protesting in Madison, Wisconsin cheer no vote by the legislature and further emphasize that the electoral decision made by the people of Wisconsin last November  should be ignored.   Elected lawmakers taking the public’s dime fleeing their responsibility while still collecting their salaries for doing nothing—is this emblematic of Catholic social justice, Archbishop Listecki?  
                                  Wisconsin’s Heavy Deficit.
        Gov. Scott Walker’s stand—which he promulgated in the 2010 campaign--is hardly anti-labor.  He faces a $137 million budget deficit—so he wants to avoid laying off 5,500 state workers (there’s your social justice, Archbishop!) by suggesting they contribute 5.8% of their income toward their pensions and 12.6% towards their medical insurance—which is the national average that privately employed people pay (those who unlike public employees  can get fired at the whim of their bosses) and less than half the national average of what other government workers contribute to their health care.
       He’s not interfering with their rights to bargain for wages but for benefits--outlandish state pensions being a central cause of huge deficits in Wisconsin and elsewhere. Unions can still represent workers but can’t seek pay increases above those pegged to the Consumer Price Index unless approved  by public referendum.
      These are not sweat-shop tactics, is it, Archbishop?  What about the “social justice” practiced by the 14 Democratic state senators who vamoosed to Rockford, Illinois, vacating their responsibilities, accepting their pay and per diem without voting? 
     Limiting the public employee unions power to negotiate contracts and work rules would put Wisconsin in line with 24 other states who follow the practice.  The governor wants public employee unions recertified annually by a majority vote of all their members not just by a majority of those who deign to cast ballots—and he supports allowing workers to opt out of paying mandatory dues.  He would end the practice of the state government doing the unions’ bookkeeping by automatically deducting union dues from civil service employees’ paychecks—dues totaling between $700 and $1,000 a year.
           With their mandatorily collected dues, the teachers’ unions in Oregon funded a massive campaign that collectively raised business and personal income taxes by $727 million; in Arizona the teachers’ unions caused state sales taxes to rise to 6.6% from 5.6% to raise an additional $1 billion.   Mandated dues exacted by a union else you can’t work.   Where’s the social justice there?              
                                How Public Unionism Began.
        Ironically in the early days of the union movement,  liberals like FDR and New  York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia were adamantly against the organizing of public employees because government is a monopoly and would have its thumb on the scale in any bargaining dispute.
       Wrote Roosevelt to the head of a federal association of government workers in 1937: “A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of government until their demands are satisfied.  Such action, looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it is unthinkable and intolerable.”
       What was still resonating with liberal Democrats in 1937 was the melee occurring less than 20 years earlier which propelled a largely unknown, colorless Republican governor, to national popularity—Gov. Calvin Coolidge of Massachusetts.   In the summer of 1919 the Boston police announced they would organize a union.   They were forbidden to do so by the mayor.  Things drifted for a time; then on Sept. 9 the cops went out on an illegal strike.  
      Boston was lawless for days until Coolidge called out the Guard and issued his famous statement that caught the imagination of the country: “There is no right to strike against the public safety by anyone, anywhere, anytime.”  Memory of this…and societal chaos which could engender anti-union and anti-liberal hostility… led Roosevelt and LaGuardia to clamp down on public unions.
        Then in 1958 New York Mayor Robert Wagner okayed AFSCME’s right to bargain and to strike. Running for reelection in 1961, Wagner was opposed by the presidents of all New York boroughs but he circumvented them and won reelection by unleashing a new force—the public unions.  
        This intrigued Bobby Kennedy who was planning his brother’s reelection.  Two weeks after Wagner’s reelection, JFK issued an executive order giving federal workers the right to join unions.   The old  leaders of public unions were phased out and two militants assumed power—Albert Shanker of the American Federation of Teachers who shifted the focus from principals to teachers, and Jerry Wurf of the ASCME.   Whereas in 1958 there had been only 15 public employee strikes which had been settled without fanfare, Wurf boasting an influx of 200,000 members led 254.
      A crisis point came in 1968 when Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis while supporting an AFSCME garbage collectors’ strike.   From that time on, a decided turn to the left was charted by  the public unions.    Whereas the old industrial unions seemed to be dying on the vine, the new public employees’ ones were gaining and were showing far more activism and leftist ideology.
     By 1975 ASCME was gaining a thousand (mostly female) workers a week but then its hubris frightened many.  That year New York city sanitation workers struck; garbage collected in the streets and after Mayor Abraham Beam closed the Manhattan gate of the Brooklyn Bridge, striking public employees marched under signs “Cops Out, Crime In!” and “Burn, City, Burn!”
       Not long later, 76,000 Pennsylvania state workers struck as AFSCME’s boss Gerald McIntee told the union “let’s shut the state down!”
             Read the Teachings on Social Justice, Archbishop.
        That’s why I say to you that the time has come, Archbishop, for church leaders like you to stop relying on 1930s cliches about the social teachings as filtered through Saul Alinsky and recast social justice in today’s terms.   From the apostles’ times to today, the Church has defended the right to ownership, obligating all to respect the property of an individual (read: the right of citizenry to receive services they pay taxes for) —condemning the taking of what does not belong to him as stealing (read: the deprivation of monopolistic government services by unconscionable public union demagogues).
       The right of capital to provide a living wage is endemic. But so is the mandate of the unions not to misuse their franchise and wreak hardship on people by depriving them from educating their children.
       Think beyond the liberal texts you had in seminary and judge if the wheel hasn’t turned 90 degrees to the point where public unionism’s grip is tightening on the national polity.
      I urge you and your colleagues in the Catholic hierarchy…often hobbled by teaching that is outdated, pegged to an era when unions were weak and involved only private sector negotiations, to understand that  the world has entered upon a new phase where the old monopolistic robber barons are gone and new monopolists exert unimaginable power over a people who pay their taxes in good faith and who are deprived of vital services such as education of their children.
      Once you reflect on this, you might want to rewrite your pietistic hoary out-of-date statement, attuning it to the problems of today not the 1930s.  

Friday, February 25, 2011

ONE WORD LEADS TO ANOTHER: Good Riddance as Hendon Quits…The High and Mighty Babs Walters Falters…and Our Pathetic Fascination with the Royals Flops.

                                           Good Riddance.
      Gee whiz, moans Capital Fax, which has an abiding tolerance for  Leftist demagogues…in contradistinction to the Right which it despises…the Illinois Senate “won’t be the same without Rickey Hendon.”  No-no, the publication sees no connection between the West Side flash-in-the-pan’s instant resignation and the federal probe underway for state grants he authorized—of course not; it would be mean-spirited and racist, that’s what.  Also that’s the courtesy the publication gives to all its liberal friends (no connection, see, because he seems so calm—just suffering from hypertension). 
        The same salute “won’t be the same without Rickey Hendon” could have been said years earlier by some indiscriminate drinking buddies about the departure of Mississippi’s Theodore Bilbo.  Like Bilbo Hendon had an acid tongue which he used unsparingly after which he would slink over to his victim and apologize.  For no particular purpose other than Bill Brady is a conservative did Hendon assault him before the cameras as “the most racist, idiotic, sexist, homophobic” person he ever knew.  Then he tried to apologize to Brady who deserved none of those epithets….tried to apologize as he featured himself as a character who could say whatever he wanted and be forgiven later.
         It may be good old Hollywood Rickey to Capital Fax because he practiced the bigotry and character assassination lefty hypocrites secretly enjoy as they snuffle their laughter behind cupped hands—language they would faint over near-dead about if it were conveyed to any of their friends who, like Hendon, practiced the art of racial racketeering and slander.  We’ll see how much of that hypertension is caused by hidden concern that the Feds may be on to something.  No-no-no, not our Rickey.
                                One Old Broad to a Neophyte.
          Barbara Walters who is a year younger than this octogenarian has made a very good living screwing up her many-times plasticized face in mock sadness as she conducts her interviews with poor wretches who learn far too late that being interviewed by her is like fondling a venomous cobra: soon the reptile rears up, opens its fangs, emits its slithering tongue and…zap.   She is saccharine-mannered and  seductive in approach having learned all these falsities by blowing air-kisses at celebrities at her old man’s New York saloon, “The Latin Quarter.”   She does this just before she goes into her adder pose.    
        The other day Baba did her act, rearing up, gesticulated her bottom with mock sympathy, opened her thin-lipped uncompromising mouth and prepared to gobble Jessica Hahn alive when…zap!...Hahn did her first.   Jessica was the 21-year-old church secretary who tumbled into bed with the televangelist Jim Bakker one look at whose face would tell  you he’s a religious racketeering phony.  But first things first.  Baba had already made big bucks on her salacious life in a best-seller autobiography and was not in the mood to re-do something she had already been paid for.  Many  years as a professional teaches you that.  Professional what?   
        You fill in the appropriate word after “professional.”  Anyhow, Baba was not so professional that she could force herself to marry that gargoyle Alan Greenspan—which says sufficient for her.  
        Back to our story.
      So just as  Baba was poised for the kill, beseeching Jessica to open up about her adulterous experience when Jessica got her first….interrupting the heavily rouged, pancake smothered aged sob-sister by inviting Baba to talk about her many adulteries with Massachusetts senator Ed Brooke first.
        Naughty-naughty: mustn’t do.   Big media exulted on how quick Baba was in reposte—saying “no, dear, this is about you, not me!”  Gawd that was a clever line wasn’t it?   Forty years of television will lead you to think of that answer on the spot.  But nevertheless I cheered for Jessica.  They’re the same both of them—chippies. 
                            The Royal Pain (You Identify the Location).
      For one half of a shack-up His Royal Highness Prince William Arthur Philip, Louis of Wales, Royal Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter is well on the way to achieving consequential boredom, a fop who has been created out of whole cloth by pathetic U.S. fascination with royal blood—not withstanding that they are so overbred with each other they have produced generations of dunces.  Kate Middleton will of course wear white in memory of the virginity she gave this lout a decade earlier.
       Indeed, there will come a time…and for me it has already arrived…  when none of us will be able to tell who from whom.   Now who’s Prince Philip again?  Oh yes he’s the guy who’s married to Queen Elizabeth and who walks beside her with his arms folded neatly behind him, his hands clasping his behind.
      Refresh me, who’s Prince Charles again?  He’s William’s father, the Prince of Wales, who married that nice girl Diana and made life a living hell for her because he was in love with that ugly old trollop Camilla Parker Bowles whose face  looks like a horse stepped on it, she then married to someone else,  whom he wrote affectionate little notes to all during his marriage saying he would like to be embedded in her womb…leading Diana to distraction and numerous social liaisons  where with one she died in a car crash precipitated by a drunken chauffeur,  having been pursued by the paparazzi.   In short the one reason his 84-year-old mother keeps breathing so as to prevent this moral leper from becoming king.   It is my fervent hope this retard…as Rahm would say…goes swiftly into the night before the old girl.  God grant me this wish.
        Okay, I got that straight.  Now who’s Andrew?  He’s the second son of Elizabeth—the Duke of York who married and divorced…you know…Fergie who split understandably after she was caught having her toes nuzzled by a lover, the russet-haired bohemian who as an insatiable consumer of ice cream and cake was hired by Weight Watchers to hustle its course…and who was caught getting paid by a lobbyist to get him in touch with Andrew—after which her name has been justifiably stricken by the masters of court protocol.
       One thing you’ve got to know is that if Andrew dies without marrying again, the title Duke of York will vanish for a time.  Lord, if all of them would only vanish!   What is there about Americans who feel their lives are incomplete unless they learn about these rascal liberal maleducated wastrels?  The only good thing they did….and I imagine it was done collectively…was to nix our own royal, mysterious Half Breed African Prince to William and Kate’s wedding—suffice it for returning the bronze bust of Winston Churchill and his illiterate veto of the invitation to Queen Elizabeth to the ceremony for D-Day failing to appreciate that of all world leaders in power on June 6, 1944 she alone survives.
          This ignoble breach shows that this fraud we have in the White House is really the ignoramus we thought he was  all along…until we were shushed by that namby pamby Michael Medved who says we ought not to describe Obama in terms of what we know he is. In summary, you see that by writing this I have come to the conclusion that the English nobility have retained some class after all for recognizing as does Dinesh D’Souza that the secret of Obama’s radicalism is that he is an anti-colonial throwback to his father Barack, Sr.   
        We really ought to get rid of Medved too you know—but that’s a subject for another time.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


      Q.  The big issue yesterday was Gov. Mitch Daniels’ decision not to take up full support of a bill in the Indiana House that would make Indiana a “right-to-work” state.  And as to whether this should remove him from consideration for the presidency.
      A.  I’ve criticized Daniels for suggesting social issues be “off the table” for the 2012 presidential campaign and subsequent next term—which I still believe.   But here Daniels is right. First, there is no doubt where Daniels stands on public sector unionism since on his first day in office with a stroke of a pen he decertified public sector unions—for which he has gained very little recognition, by the way which I find is strange. 
        Second, the issue of abuse by public sector unionism is far too important an issue for 2012 to have it gummed up by amateurish efforts like “right to work” which would disembowel legitimate union rights and would prove the Wisconsin demonstrators indisputably right—that the entire effort is a conspiracy by Republicans to delegitimize collective bargaining.  So Daniels is not just right but brilliant in refusing to go along with this dodge.
        There is a very good reason why the prospect of government shutdown is a very useful armament for Republican campaigns which is why in 1937 both Franklin Roosevelt and New York Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia inveighed against it.   FDR said in a letter to a voluntary association of federal workers: “A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations  of government until their demands are satisfied.  Such action looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it is unthinkable and intolerable.”
      He added that the idea both of collective bargaining and striking which would deprive the public of services obtained only through a governmental monopoly—police and fire protection, etc.—was unconscionable. LaGuardia followed suit.  And do you know why both were so concerned in that year of 1937?
       Q.  No but I have a sneaking hunch you’ll tell me.
       A.  Nineteen thirty-seven was only 19 years removed from 1919 when Calvin Coolidge, the Republican governor of Massachusetts scored big-time by sending in the National Guard to break up the Boston police strike which made him a national hero.  Samuel Gompers, the then head of the AFL said that the whole thing was the Boston mayor’s fault, that the mayor refused to let the cops organize.
       Coolidge said this was irrelevant.  The cops had no right to organize and so far as strikes were concerned, “there is no right to strike against the public safety by anyone, anywhere, anytime.” You think Scott Walker’s in the news now?    Boston had been turned into a temporary ghost town as the cops vacated their duties.  Coolidge became a public hero.  FDR and LaGuardia were keenly aware of this.  They both saw public unionism and strikes were a tightly-wrapped package inset with a fuse that could blow at any time.
       In essence  every reasonable person sees this today—and recognizes politically that this is an unmatched weapon in the Republican arsenal for 2012.  But to add “right-to-work” to it would be to validate what the Wisconsin demonstrators are saying—that the public unionizing question is an artifice by Republicans to de-legitimatize the organized labor movement.  The memory of Boston being lawless for days stayed with Roosevelt and LaGuardia.
     Q.   How did the subject return to the table?
      A.  Not until 1958 when New York Mayor Robert Wagner was running for reelection.  His campaign was opposed by the presidents of all the New York boroughs.  He brilliantly circumvented them by supporting public unionism which triggered a new force and despite the opposition of the borough presidents he won reelection in 1961.   This so intrigued Bobby Kennedy who then was planning his brother’s reelection that he got JFK to issue an executive order approving federal workers’ rights to join unions.
       JFK won the support of two militant public unionists then in their salad days—Jerry Wurf of ASCME and Albert Shanker of the American Federation of Teachers.   Wurf and Shanker were exhilarated by the deal.   Whereas in 1958 Wurf had led only 15 strikes which had been settled without fanfare, he was signing up 200,000 members a month and leading 254.  By 1975 ASCME was gaining a thousand (mostly female workers a week). 
         But then public unionization’s hubris frightened many.  In 1975 Wurf led a garbage collectors strike in New York and Mayor Abraham Beam closed the Manhattan gate of the Brooklyn bridge while striking public employees marched carrying signs “Cops Out!  Crime In!” and “Burn, city, burn!”  Not long later 76,000  Pennsylvania state workers struck as AFSCME’s boss Gerald Mcintee told the union, “let’s shut the state down!”
         Q.  So to summarize, you think renewal of the “right to work” issue could threaten to destroy the public unionism issue.
         A.  I do.   But there is also something within me…a residue of   Catholic social teachings, Leo XIII’s Rerum  Novarum in 1891, Pius XI’s Quadragesimo Anno in 1931 and Benedict XVI’s Caritas in Veritate…that argues the worker is worthy of his hire.   The economy works best when two sides…capital and labor…have somewhat viable resources.    Remember I am a unionist myself, a member in good standing of AFRA [the American Federation of Radio and Television Artists AFL-CIO].   Also I remember the halcyon Goldwater-inspired days when Republicans tried to storm the country state-by-state with “right to work” and lost their shirts in state contests in the early `60s.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


       The smashing 55 percent victory scored by Rahm Emanuel for mayor of Chicago means that he will attune a latch-key slimmed down governance plus old-fashioned entrepreneurialism to become the best mayor in the country…confident that by solving the city’s woes which are the country’s own—overspending, public union autocracy—he will become “America’s Mayor” and grease the skids for a future run toward higher office….which does not exclude the presidency.
      If Rudy Giuliani who led the Republican presidential polls most of the time in 2008 had not been weighed down with personal baggage…such as having  met his third wife while cheating on his second…he would have been a natural for the nomination that year.   Because aside from foreign policy much of city management is national in miniature, Emanuel—if he is successful—would normally be in the front row of future claimants to the presidency….with a repertoire including service in Congress and as White House chief-of-staff.
       I would imagine the first and most prudent thing for him to do is to end the police detail assigned to Eddie Burke while not…definitely not…removing Burke from Finance.  Emanuel can accomplish this by swiftly taking command of the small army of fledgling aldermen who may not be indentured to Burke.   Second I could contemplate Emanuel adding to his team the person of Gery Chico who far exceeded Emanuel in vision and presentation by promoting Chico to a post with great visibility. 
       A longer-range goal would be to move away from the all-but-announced two-man leadership of state Democratic affairs shared by Richard M. Daley and House Speaker Mike Madigan.   Madigan is an Old Bull and must be treated gingerly but Emanuel, young enough to be his son, is bubbling with ideas for the future—and from the start should not in any sense deferential to the laconic House boss who concentrates on political logistics when our times have begged for vision and strategy.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


         Q.  I didn’t get your reference yesterday about Romney.  When some say his Massachusetts care will torpedo him you answered “I don’t guy that.”
        A. Ah that comes from an octogenarian writing quickly without a copy-editor.   I meant  “I don’t buy that.” Romney is one of the most accomplished men of his time—in private as public sectors—and I’m not willing to spit him away because of a mistake in healthcare or because evangelicals don’t cotton to Mormonism.  The point is conservatives shouldn’t be so picky that they eliminate a guy with freckles or because he believes in a religion that has little touch with Christianity. What does this mean—they can’t vote for a Jew either?  Nonsense. 
       To them I say Reagan signed the most liberal abortion law in the United States.  Nixon overcame the most obnoxious, unlovable personality imaginable becoming a politician who really didn’t like people very much.  He smote the two-headed Communist Sino-Soviet dragon and divided their empire—a notable achievement.  Watergate was a liberal confection where he was forced to resign not because of  what he did but because of what in a moment of outrage on tape…probably fortified with bourbon…he said!  What I have said is that these times deserve an accomplished governor not senator.   Romney should continue to be considered.  Period.
       Q.   Some have said to disqualify Mitch Daniels the way  you did is short-sighted because social issues will get in the way of saving the economy.
      A.  Those who  say it don’t understand that in a national sense, believing Christians are the Republicans’ equivalent of African Americans to the Democrats.  You alienate blacks in the Democratic party and on a national basis you might as well forget it. You turn off people who concentrate on social issues and you have a loser—plain and simple.   Mitch Daniels should have known this.  You must remember that Illinois is at great variance Republican-wise with other states.  We can elect a Mark Kirk here.   And even so things are changing.  Take my old state of Minnesota—its governor Tim Pawlenty did most of what Mitch Daniels did and did it in what was a far more hostile environment than Indiana.   Speaking of whom--.
       Q.   Tim Pawlenty?  
       A.   Yes.  Pardon me but this computer has a mind of its own and has decided to swing into all caps without my having any say in the matter.  Pawlenty has the three-legged stool qualities that give him a little time he can utilize into a first-rate cAndidacy.   now i’ll give this up because for the life of me I can’t dislodge the capital key.   Anybody know how to change a computer which determines to print all caps?

Monday, February 21, 2011


       Q.  One thing you do is constantly change favorites for the presidency.  Where are you now?
        A.  Now’s the time to change your mind and frequently.  Start out with this absolute.  I don’t care how brilliant Mitch Daniels is on the budget or as a governmental manager—the name of the game is still Ronald Reagan’s famed three-legged stool.   The ideal candidate should stand for economic solvency…a strong military-foreign policy…and traditional social issues. Mitch’s suggestion in The Weekly Standard that there should be a moratorium placed on social issues is a definite disqualifier.   It was strange because he has an excellent pro-life record.  If you think the liberals are going to follow this lead and nix their fight for abortion and homosexual rights you have another think coming.   Besides, when you schedule a debate with a charismatic, 6-foot-two black man I would think that while style is far from everything, we ought to be able to do better than a 5-foot-six balding guy who looks like the CPA come to audit the books.
        Q. Who else would you disqualify?
        A. Another guy who did himself irreparable harm to himself in The Weekly Standard was Haley Barbour who said that the Citizens’ Council in his hometown of Yazoo, Mississippi during the `60s didn’t bother him.   I used to visit Pascagoula where we had a Quaker plant in those days—Pascagoula being the hometown of Trent Lott.  The Citizens Councils were an segregationist nice-guy white-collar version of the Establishment which worked overtime against civil rights.  Similarly, when you schedule a debate with a charismatic 6-foot two black man I think we ought to be able to do better than match him up with an overweight replica of Rod Steiger playing the sheriff In the Heat of the Night. I understand Haley is one hell of a governor and having been one hell of a Republican National Chairman as well as one hell of a Washington lobbyist who knows where all the levers of political power come down—but appearances are important.  I always expect him to put his foot on the running board, snap his suspenders and say to the black motorist, “Wal—you-all’s in a heap a trouble, boy!”
     Q.  Another?
     A.  I think more people than ever believe Sarah Palin should continue doing what she’s doing now—stump the grassroots. I understand this belief does not include Sarah who’s getting the itch to run. She has used the time allotted to her since the 2008 campaign to do several things—begin to make a sizable fortune with a brand name factory…improve her delivery on radio and TV…rehabilitate herself by writing two books to get her opinions known. But she has not improved her lack of gravitas.  You can’t take a Calamity Jane figure ala Ethel Merman and attach presidential to it.  Also there’s the recurrent saga of Bristol who might very well interrupt a national campaign by once again finding herself in what we used to call in Minnesota “a family way”
        Q.  You’re shedding candidates right and left. Who next?
        A.   I think in this draconian budgetary situation the idea of a senator running is fatuous which would eliminate John Thune.  Frankly aside from a nice appearing lean Gary Cooper look, I don’t know what he offers.
        Q.  What about John Bolton?
        A.  Ideal as the next president’s secretary of state. I haven’t the faintest idea where he stands on domestic issues.   That’s not his fault because his great expertise is in foreign policy.
       Q.   You’re thinking of the governors?
       A.  I am.  I take Chris Christie at his word—that he’s not ready for the national stage.
       Q.  That leaves Romney, Pawlenty…
       A.   Exactly.   I’m not ready to give up on Romney no matter what although he should really reject Massachusetts’ RomneyCare as a failure. 
       Q.  That’d be suicide!
       A.  I don’t guy that.   Ronald Reagan repudiated signing the nation’s most lenient abortion law.   To confess error if done right is not bad.  I’m not worried about Mormonism.  Nor about his past as a liberal; Reagan co-founded Americans for Democratic Action  with Hubert Humphrey.  In Romney you really have an extraordinary individual.   But he’s not alone.
       Q.   Who pray tell?
      A.   Next time.       

Friday, February 18, 2011


      This is a variation of a column done for The Wanderer the nation’s oldest national Catholic weekly.
     Polls usually don’t mean much in Chicago elections but last week one sponsored by the Chicago Retail Merchants Association caused Squid operatives…including many foot soldiers dependent on it for jobs…to draw a deep breath of relief.
                         Rahm Far Ahead, Moseley Braun Last. 
       In the mayoral election of Feb. 22 which requires the winner to get 50% plus one of all votes or else submit to a runoff of the two top contestants, the poll has Rahm Emanuel at 58.2%.    Carol Moseley Braun, the first black female U. S. Senator, slipped to the bottom with 6.0% Moseley Braun’s life and career has been so chaotic she’s convinced me that were she elected she could do in one term what Detroit’s Mayor Coleman Young took decades to accomplish—turn a vital city into a desolate moonscape.  What she needs is not the mayoralty—but a job. By her checkbook balances, she’s almost destitute, has four different mortgages on her house and is in debt up to her charismatic smile.
       But one aspect of the poll is unbelievable.  It shows Emanuel getting 71% of the black vote and she receiving only 16%. This is highly unlikely to happen as Chicago blacks are almost fanatically loyal to candidates of their race.  Black voters are wary of whitey’s continued dominance.  They frequently lie to pollsters.   If this is true on Feb. 22 as historically it has been up to now, it means that Moseley-Braun will get far more black votes than she’s been credited with.
     In second place with a total of 23.7%: an entirely respectable candidate by Squid standards, , Gery (pronounced “Gary”) Chico, half Hispanic, half Greek multi-millionaire lawyer with a penthouse on Michigan avenue.  He’s backed by powerful city council finance chairman Eddie Burke with service as Mayor Daley’s top staffer, head of the board of education (the public schools now experiencing a 50% dropout rate) and park district.   He’s a far better presenter than Emanuel.  I thought Axelrod’s commercials would show some cinematic art rather than verite. 
       City clerk Miguel del Valle, of Puerto Rican birth, the most idealistically Left candidate, ranked third with 10.4%.  He evidently drank a magic potion and became the invisible man.
                            Black Voters Don’t Poll Easily.   
       Reasonable as the potential Emanuel accession to power seems from the polls, the drama is far from over.  A few days ago a union leader made a strenuous effort to target Emanuel’s Jewishness.   It almost sounded like The Protocols of the Elders of Zionwith the stereotype missing only Shylock of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice and Fagin of Dickens’ Oliver Twist.  In essence he said Emanuel is a Wall Street money-changer who sold out the unions for 30 pieces of silver as Judas sold out Christ.   
       Emanuel is politically lucky to be made a target of bigotry for he comes off as a victim—just as he did in his first congressional primary against Nancy Kaczak when Al Moskol president of the Polish Roman Catholic Union declared that he was a dual citizen, of the U. S. and Israel which was not so.   Kaczak had a tough time disassociating herself from that because, as a Pole herself, she had many allies who were friends of Moskol’s
          Puffed up by the polls showing him well out-front, Emanuel announced that if elected he will reorganize the city council—which could well mean that as there will be an unprecedented number of rookie aldermen he might influence, he could well flip them to strip its most powerful member, Alderman Ed Burke of his finance chairmanship and his police guards: a stinging insult to the luminescent-white-haired veteran who has run events with no interference, even causing Mayor Daley, a longtime rival, to avoid interfering with his power.
                            Voter Revolution’s in the Air.
      Widespread public unrest across the globe might catch on here.  Since nobody can accept the poll’s massive compilation of 70 plus percent of black votes to Emanuel, speculation on how the vote will go has produced weird theories among veteran denizens of the bars. Some predict Moseley Braun’s longshot election based on the recent blizzard and Green Bay Packers victories.
        Understand, one has to have a requisite number of beers to understand—but their rationale goes like this: 
       Deep snow and football upsets combine to precipitate restlessness in all bodies politick.  In 1931 there was 19.2 inches of snow, the Green Bay Packers won the championship of the Professional Football League (predecessor of the NFL) and voters dumped Republican Mayor Big Bill Thompson for Democrat Anton Cermak, founder of The Squid.
     The theory continues: The blizzard of  1967 produced snowfall of 23 inches and initiated widespread cultural and political unrest.  The Beatles came out with “Sergeant Pepper & the Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Green Bay led an upset to win the Super Bowl.  Richard Nixon started to move up in the polls against the Dems, leading to his stunning election against all odds the next year.
     In 1979 16.3 inches fell on Jan. 3 alone, the Sahara Desert got its first snow in history;  two days later another 15.2 inches hit Chicago electing Chicago’s only woman mayor Jane Byrne; while at the same time an unusual snowfall throughout England occurred after which Margaret Thatcher checked in at #10 Downing Street;   voter unrest propelled 69-year-old Ronald Reagan  to catch up to Jimmy Carter whom he eventually beat.
      Now, the reasoning goes, earlier this month the snow  reached 20 plus inches, Green Bay surprised the Bears who had defeated them earlier and went on to tumble the favored Pittsburgh Steelers to win the Super Bowl. Egypt’s strongman Hosni Mubarak tumbled before a crowd of one million in Cairo’s main square; unrest is spreading throughout the Middle East—which inevitably will lead to a Mayor Carol Moseley Braun.       
      However, the rest of us should review their thinking, consider they’ve been drinking--and then forget it.
        But whatever, we will know on Feb. 22, Washington’s birthday. If Emanuel gets elected without a runoff Chicago could well get a tough  mayor determined to balance the budget, greasing the skids for him to become this country’s first Jewish president. 
         But of course Emanuel would not come to the mayoralty and Squid co-leadership as a virtuous gelding.
       This reassures The Squid because it feels comfortable with corruption believing that when you purify the pond, the lilies die.  Edward Gibbon in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire wrote that Emperor Pertinax [AD 126-193] was such a goody-two-shoes that age-old traditions that he repealed longstanding small time graft that  greased the wheels of commerce in the capital city.  Such as  payoffs for good places for farmers to display their produce in market centers.  A few denarius (silver coins) here, a sprinkling of aureus (gold coins) there got an entrepreneur a favorable location.  Not unlike when you tip a cop at O’Hare to ignore your car illegally parked as you go inside the terminal to pick up an aged aunt.
       Pre-Pertinax, vendors tipped Roman soldiers to get prominent a place in line at city markets to display their vegetable wares.  
       Then Pertinax ruined everything by decreeing first come first served…meaning to get a good spot in the square a vendor would have to arrive at 4 a.m.
          Then the pampered Praetorian Guard found their pay cut to save expenses. What to do?  The only sensible thing.  A commercial traditionalist sneaked up behind Pertinax as he was virtuously praying to the gods and strangled him with a gold chain…this in respect for his deity status. 
      Pertinax was buried with full honors and, thankfully, writes Gibbon, business returned to normal.   
                            Emanuel Won’t Purify the Pond.
       Understand it from me: A Mayor Rahm Emanuel won’t be another Emperor Pertinax. 
       In his runs for Congress in crafty old Dan Rostenkowski’s district (covering an oddly-shaped swath across the city’s North Side and running to the suburbs south of O’Hare) he won only with the support of city workers who passed his petitions and ran get-out-the-vote drives in his behalf.  He argues he didn’t know about it—and he has not been charged with doing anything improper so  while the turtle-like U. S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is still checking records, it appears Rahm’s home free.
      Not so several top city administrators who followed Mayor Daley’s spoken, not written, orders to elect Rahm. For doing this Robert Sorich the city hall personnel chief got ten years in jail and Al Sanchez, head of Streets and Sanitation, more than two years in federal prison.  
       When  Sorich went to jail in 2006  Mayor Daley’s regrets were conveyed in a press release lamenting that Sorich was a fine family man.  Nothing was heard from Cong. Emanuel who scored success that year—2006—and I mean big-time by electing a Dem Congress.  He was then chairman of his party’s House campaign committee and was called a political genius by The New York Times. 
        Today Emanuel crusades as a “reform mayor” while Sorich and Sanchez are paying the bill for following orders from On High to elect him.  It bothers their wives and children very much but not Rahm Emanuel. 
        Two weeks ago, a Streets & Sanitation worker, James Sprandel, told the Tribune he was present in the Fall of 2002 when new Cong. Emanuel treated more than three dozen city workers at a beer bust to thank them for their help.
        “He knew we were working for him,” he said. “Daley made him a personal project.  Up until then I never heard of Rahm  Emanuel but the Daleys sat we’re going to support him so we did. That’s just the way it was.  To get overtime or coveted assignments you had to `volunteer’ your time for politics.”
     Another, Jesus Navorro on the Water department payroll, said about Emanuel “wasn’t he running for Senate or something?  I don’t remember.  I just did the politics to protect my job.  See, I don’t know Emanuel but I just wanted to be safe in my job so I joined the 36th ward [Democratic] organization.”
       Emanuel has declined to talk about this to the press saying he is concentrating on the substantive issues-- but his campaign spokesman said “He does not condone what occurred and has laid out a policy that would ensure that workers are hired and promoted solely on their performance working on behalf of the taxpayers.” 
                       The Precocious Neophyte Investment Banker.              
        Earlier came Rahm’s experience as board member of Freddie Mac when its policies triggered the current housing crisis, mortgage crisis and accounting scandal that…after he left… produced huge fines levied on the public-private corporation. As a board member who met with others six times a year Emanuel earned $320,000 for the 14-month stint.
        Then he became an investment banker…with on-the-job training from Clinton’s old treasury secretary Robert Rubin on Wall Street… earning more than $18 million in two-and-a-half years, managing a major acquisition for Exelon the Chicago-based energy company and the merger of  a New York company with a home alarm business from the telecommunications company run by Bill Daley, the former Clinton secretary of commerce and brother of the Chicago mayor.
      And only a year ago when he was Obama’s chief of staff, never to be forgotten was his handling of ObamaCare passage in the U. S. Senate where a reluctant Louisiana senator Mary Landrieu (D) was persuaded to vote for it, by means that became known as the “Louisiana Purchase”—the addition of almost unreadable legal language that pertained only to Louisiana allowing its backlog of Medicaid bills--$100 million—to be covered by the bill since Louisiana was recovering from “a major disaster” i.e. Hurricane Katrina.
        A few days later came the “Cornhusker Purchase” under which Nebraska could expand its Medicaid coverage with 49 states picking up the bill, written to convince conservative Dem Sen. Ben Nelson to jump off the fence.   Nelson found out from Nebraskans how unpopular it was and nixed the largesse to his state.
                      The Mysterious Missing Phone Transcript to Blago.
       The way it looks now, unless the black vote goes south, Emanuel will win Feb. 22.   There’s only one joker in the deck.  Rod Blagojevich who will stand trial June 3 has charged that the transcript of a phone call he had with Emanuel…the day before Blago was arrested…is missing and is being withheld by federal prosecutors—which could show Emanuel bartering for the Senate appointment to go to Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s friend.  
       Is it?  Blago’s veracity isn’t golden.   But if it is leaked before election, it could become the fabled monkey-wrench to stall the machinery in the Elect Rahm works.
      Getting back to the poll, you’ll have to convince me that Emanuel will get 70% of the black vote.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Old Benedictine Western Civ: 101—The God of Abraham, Unlike Greek, Roman gods, Brought Forth the Greatness of the West.

       Q.  Wait-wait.  Before we get to the Jews, you promised to tell us what Harvard’s seculars had to say about the Greeks and Romans!
This was in 1977 remember when I taught politics as a Fellow of the Kennedy School…but I doubt that their interpretation has changed. They view civilizations as having inevitably undergone cyclical changes…so it was with the Greeks and Romans.   Some of Harvard’s lecturers felt Plato and Aristotle were, paradoxically, the cause of that civilization’s decay because “they were at root theological thinkers” and Athens became composed of naval-gazers.

        You see, they identify the good that Plato and Aristotle stood for as the civilization’s weakness—just the opposite from the old Benedictines!   In reality these two teachers and their disciples reasoned beautifully—a civilization cannot readily become an empire because of the danger that empires can become tyrannies….nor anarchic because lawlessness leads to dissolution.  In the end ancient Greece forgot the search for wisdom.    Harvard’s historians saw far too much contemplation which prevented Athens from going forth like Alexander and conquering all to build an empire. The old Benedictines saw wisely that Aristotle particularly was devolving the idea of a fair and beneficent governance.    Harvard’s relativism blinded true appreciation of the Greeks.  
       In the case of Rome, some Harvard types saw as did Gibbon a saccharine acid from Christianity that eroded the conquering heroes.  Not so.   Rome’s aristocracy fell through decadence, nothing less.   The Visigoths…those fleeing the Hun…supplied the masculine vigor the old Romans had lost and by AD 410 Alaric swept over the city’s walls and put it to the torch. While Rome fell, the empire of the east, Constantinople, built by Constantine, lasted until 1453.  As the old Benedictines taught, Rome gave to the West a middle ground between aristocracy and democracy, the ideal of patriarchal order which was in itself an absolute, and  the idea of peace through military strength—but most important the God of Christianity…the sacrificial nature of Christ… without which order is impossible.  None of this came through at Harvard—only the material advances, the conquests, the failures. To Harvard everything was explained in terms of accidents…who had  the richest lands…who had the greatest armies…who had the rich sustenance?   Not the concept of the slow and steady march of progress from Greeks who worshiped intellectual contemplation…to the Romans who understood societal order and who played host to Christianity.     
       Q.  So now we go to Israel and the God of the Jews.
       A.  Yes.  The Old Benedictines made no bones about the fact that the Jews were a rich or powerful people—at least not for long.   They stressed…from their philosophy classes to their historical indoctrination…that the God of Abraham appearing to a poor herdsman four thousand years ago—telling him to leave his land and all that he knew, to leave and strike out “into a land I will show you,” promising that this old duffer will become the father of a great nation…was one of the climactic experiences of world history.  It’s of enormous significance because there, in the Chaldean city of Ur, 4,000 years ago, Abraham found a not like at all like the pagan ones but God with a capital “G” Who in the development of the West made scientific progress a reality and led to Jesus the Christ and a theological belief system invading science, philosophy and the arts…the One who made our civilization possible. 
        At this point, I’ll quit for now for both of us to contemplate.  One thing the Old Benedictines did was not pour it on for hours.  Fifty minutes a class session exploring stunning truths and you went back to your rooms to contemplate…so I conclude this now.
       Q.  Promise you won’t let this story idle as long as you had heretofore.
      A.  Did I let too much time pass?  What is time to an octogenarian?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


        Rush Limbaugh said yesterday that the social conservatives’ hub-bub over C-PAC’s invitation of GOProud to participate in its big parley is foolish.  Why?  Because, he asked do the Democrats try to exclude liberals who aren’t in line 100% with ideology?  
        No, he thundered.  But of course the answer is yes. They don’t demand line-by-line comformity but down-the-line comformity on ideology.   You can support modest changes in Obama spending but by no means can you support pro-life or anti-gay “rights.”
       The difference is this. Conservatism is indeed the three-legged stool that Ronald Reagan famously described. One leg is free market economics.  One leg is a patriotic foreign-defense policy geared to enlightened self-interest.  And the third leg is social policy—support of Judeo-Christian traditional morality.
        If Limbaugh thinks Democrats support those party liberals who are pro-life, who oppose same-sex marriage and civil unions, he should check his ideology meter.  A key case happened in Illinois in 1998 and has happened repeatedly in the nation ever since.
        That year Illinois Secretary of State was running for governor and was opposed by a Democratic downstate legislator Glenn Poshard.  Poshard was an economic liberal; a pro-unionist; a campaign fund reformer as was popular in those days.  But he was pro-iife and anti-special rights for gays.  He was nominated in a fluke but the party here betrayed him.  A leading pro-abort strategist told me confidentially the fix was in with Ryan privately agreeing to switch to pro-abort and pro-gay rights after election.    Ryan was elected and indeed switched.
         Since then it is not by coincidence that the state and national Democratic party will not budge on the indelible issues of abortion and gay rights.  The Republican party makes exceptions in certain state races i.e. Mark Kirk who became a revolving turret on gay rights…voting one way in the House on DADT and the opposite when he got to the Senate.   That should not be a surprise.  One look at the little guy’s eyes tells you they’re computing vote totals to his advantage.    
        But CPAC has always been …until now…a litmus test on conservative ideology.  Now on gay rights there has been a fatal defect.  GO-Proud has shown its loyalty by assailing traditionalists once it go in.
        That’s understandable since Judeo Christian traditionalism cannot mesh with secular humanism.  There are a great many who wish this not to be the case:  Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh.  Glenn Beck is a kind of self-educated species who admittedly has come late…very late…to ideas.   This late arrival by the way has paid dividends to conservatism. So enraptured is he as a new learner to the stuff I and others learned in traditional schools years ago that he presents old ideas infectiously because they are new to him.   And new to 90% of his audience, obviously.
       But coming late to ideas betrays an occasional gap.
      I fully expect to see him run to his blackboard and announce he has just discovered Plato’s analogy of the cave. The multi-married Limbaugh is secularly infected…abortion being  one exception… witness the $1 million he paid for the militantly homosexual entertainer at his most recent wedding.     Coulter with her waspish tongue has gone both ways on gays.  Breitbart is on the board of GoProud.
         The danger for a party that depends on conservative ballast is the too-wide-open tent.  The spectacle of libertarianism  gone amok to libertine-ism is a great threat to the ballast of conservative ideology.  You saw the spectacle of the Ron Paul kids booing Cheney and Rumsfeld for the Iraq War.  They’re allies of the Left on many things
       Libertine-ism and the Left agree on many things.  That’s because largely the Paulites are free spirits on drugs—no other reason.  They also propagate unrealism in defense…let’s close down our intelligence units…let’s unilaterally disarm…let’s pop pills…let’s puff weeds…let’s go off on sexcapades with abortion as birth control (oh I know Dr. Paul is personally pro-life—yeah, sure; his kid followers aren’t I can tell you that).
       The trouble with Limbaugh is that while he’s good as a conservative spokesman he is a gelding on politics since all he’s done is bloviate.  As I do some radio I can tell you it’s the easiest thing in the world to do.
     Believe me.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


       Q.  Your observations about the Obama budget without making our eyes blur with multi-numbers.   What’s the politics of it?
      A.  It’s a very Obama-esque budget.  The “cuts” the media advertises are cuts from the extraordinarily lavish 2010 one where he pumped up spending to purportedly “get America back to work.” Republicans wisely want to go back to 2008 and cut from there.  Bill Daley’s strategy is to make the Republicans go first.  Fine. They’re willing to.  But just as gutless as the stimulus was…tossing it over to the Dem Congress and allow it to festoon the Christmas Tree with every possible ornament…this so-called “pared down budget” is just as gutless.
      Q.  Any news on the plan to zero out public broadcasting?
      A.  Yes. This will get you laughing…not as loud as you do when you see Dan Schmidt’s appeal on `TTW to save his funding and thereby enable Ms. Marin to propagandize for gay marriage at taxpayers’ expense—but pretty funny.
      The patrician head of NPR who okayed the firing of Juan Williams for expressing concern about Muslims in garb when he gets on a commercial aircraft….the woman who appropriately was a top executive of The New York Times (who under fire threw an underling under the bus for firing Williams over the telephone when in reality she approved it), Vivian Schiller testified before the House Appropriations committee that NPR stations in rural and “underserved areas” will deprive “more than 38 million Americans with free [sic] over the air programming they can’t find anywhere else.” Free to her means the taxpayer pays.
       And get her language:  “The public values and increasingly relies on the trustworthy news and information that public radio provides.”  But the real laugh comes from someone else.
     Q.   What?
      A.   The hilarious group which was formed to save Bill Clinton from impeachment after he lied under oath that he “did not have sex with that woman” Monica Lewinsky.   It has launched a petition drive to continue taxpayer-funded public television, declaring that for every $6 of programming only $1 is paid by the public.” Okay then if its so miniscule why don’t you resolve to raise the $1 from private sources including your good buddy George Soros?   But in the next line it says—“Overall, public broadcasting earns $2.85 billion a year from individual members’ contributions, business, educational and foundation donations” and adds from “governments, including federal, state and local grants.” See?  Can’t kick that taxpayer funding!
       Q.  So they regard the zeroing out as a tragedy.
       A.  Of course.   The continuing resolution for the rest of the fiscal year would zero out the feds’ obligation to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting—a $36 million saving as part of the Republican goal to cut $100 billion this year. And the liberal caterwauling is just terrific. “It would diminish stations’ ability to bring high-quality local, national and international news to their communities, as well as local arts, music and cultural programming that other media don’t present.” Hmmm: “that other media don’t present”—they’ve got that right.  Meaning the russet-haired Catholic-baiter Ms. Marin would have to rely on just two news outlets to peddle her abjectly secular humanist ideological wares—NBC Chicago and the Sun-Times.
        Q.  Oh the Humanity!  What’s your take on Rahm Emanuel declaring that if elected mayor he will reorganize the city council, strip Eddie Burke of his Finance chairmanship and take away his police protection?
       A.    Big talk.  It just may be the best news Carol Moseley Braun ever had—setting her on a long-range path to financial security and mobilizing her followers to elect Chico.  When you set forth to bell the cat you’d better be sure you have the power to do it…which he doesn’t have yet.

Monday, February 14, 2011


                            Dan Schmidt Goes on Camera.
       Dan Schmidt, president of WTTW-TV, your Window to the Left, has done a paid-by-you commercial which runs regularly urging viewers-like-you to write the Congress to protest the demise of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting by GOP appropriators which would dam up the trough of public dollars going to his television station.
       Which would mean his russet-haired aging radical feminist Carol Marin who gets two other paychecks in addition to WTTW’s would be severely limited in using her “special correspondent’s” status to serve as ring-bearer for gay marriage…or for attacking an authenticist  Catholic bishop because he had the temerity to criticize Pat Quinn for misuse of church theology to endorse civil unions.  
       I hugely enjoyed Schmidt trembling in his $2,000 suit as he worried aloud that the taxpayer-paid welcome wagon for Lefty cultural bias which has paid him so well can be ending.
      The idea of this public subsidy for the already over-privileged largely white,  affluent Wilmette-to-Winnetka audience, started with Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty.  It swiftly became a vehicle for liberaldom to propagandize voters. 
      Schmidt’s argument is that private funds can’t adequately raise money for his ideological wares.  He’s right.  The market for the left-wing culture wars is not there in this era of recession and cut-back. What Schmidt should do is to study the case-history the Moody Bible Church which privately funds its radio services here…or better yet that of Mother Angelica…sorry to bring up religious belief to spoil the day for this secular-loving, over-paid executive…but Angelica started a powerfully influential TV network from scratch which her successors keep it going with 100%  private contributions. 
      But Schmidt knows 100% private funding would tend to eliminate the highly topic of homosexual “rights” about which on the public dole he’s been getting away with murder for years with no alternative view expressed.  
       Viewers have beseeched Know Nothing marketer Schmidt for years to end the steady drone of homosexual advocacy on his station…or at least balance it with traditional views—to no effect.  The latest was Chicago Tonight chief host Cardboard Man who interviewed the aptly-named Dan Savage, nationally syndicated gay columnist who instructs his readers what sex toys to buy for their under-age children.
         Earlier Marin who touts her “Catholic” affiliation…heretical as it is… interviewed State Rep. Deb Mell (D-Chicago) the self-outed lesbian lawmaker and her plans to travel to Iowa to marry her female lover—Marin fondling Mell’s “wedding ring” on TV….also in another media venue Marin turned rhetorically weepy over Daley’s public school superintendent who with another guy was planning to adopt a child.
       It’s an outrage to see this station and its cast of liberal propagandists  mock Judeo-Christian values without the slightest  inclination to bring in another side—courtesy senior producer Mary Field….but doing it on public largesse is misuse of federal monies approximating secular sacrilege.      I for one will be terribly disappointed in the Republican House majority if in slashing $100 billion out of the budget it doesn’t eliminate all federal money for public TV and radio which had no place in the budget either in good economic times or bad.
     Finally--don’t think I write this because secretly I yearn to get back on as I had frequently  in the halcyon days of the late great lamented  John Callaway.  This octogenarian  enjoys the venues he has, having already turned down one invitation  as token, telling `em to forget it for the future.   Besides when you get on under the aegis of Schmidt, Field, Cardboard Man and Nurse Ratched you end up on a panel weighted 4-to-1 against you with “moderator” Ratched saying “hold that thought”…after which when she returns with 16 seconds left she asks you sweetly  “—apart from that, what do you think?”