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Personal Aside: How The Chicago Way Moved to Washington.

“The Chicago Way”-a method of bamboozling and backstabbing-is leading to disillusionment by significant portions of the Left with Barack Obama, the man it hailed as supposedly the most inspiring Democrat since Bobby Kennedy. Here how The Chicago Way works.

Hiding the Truth.

Hiding true facts from voters is a hallmark of how Mayor Richard M. Daley runs this city supposedly “The City that Works” and which has been adapted by the Rahm Emanuel-David Axelrod-Valerie Jarrett team for Obama.

This from an outstanding reporter who has done great work uncovering the story of TIFs, Ben Joravsky…aided by his colleague Mike Dumke…of The Chicago Reader:

Last Oct. 15, Daley held a news conference to give the city what he said was bad news. He said he would have to erase a $500 million deficit for 2010 by cutting jobs, services and tapping the reserve funds generated by leasing the Chicago Skyway to a private company, the 8.7 mile toll road connecting the south-side Dan Ryan Expressway to the Indiana toll-way. But privately he and his aides were involved in sneak-thief politics: keeping from the public the fact that they were hatching a plot to spend millions of taxpayer dollars on a rehab of Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) and subsidies for privately-run hospitals and Fortune 500 companies, not included in the city budget.

These special projects would be funded by the mayor’s private piggy bank, funded by property taxes diverted into the city’s tax increment financing program (TIF). It involves property tax dollars in designated areas squirreled away in special accounts which are supposed to eradicate blight and promote development but which are often used instead to reward big shots for investing in Chicago. A portion of Willis Tower, the tallest building in North America on South Wacker Drive, has been leased by Willis Group Holdings, a London-based insurance broker when Sears moved its HQ to the suburbs.

Part of the dough will be used to paint the gloomy, 108-story (1,460-feet) tower silver. Already some of the money has gone into building a futuristic all-glass box on the 99th floor which enables visitors feel they’re standing on air while gawking at one of the most magnificent skylines in the world. Daley opened the glass box last July 2. I haven’t been up there (stratospheric heights make me queasy) but as a lifelong Chicagoan, I’m told it’s really something: a tremendous tourist attraction.

All that may be well and good. It can even be argued (though not by me) that while the money is used to reward the rich it could eventually trickle down to assist the poor. Could be argued but a tough sell. Still, that’s immaterial: what is material is that for years details like this have been kept off-budget in a second budget: a shadow budget. Daley and his allies in the Squid-controlled city council have fought like tigers to keep the shadow budget secret.

Squid bureaucrats offer selected aldermen peeks at city-wide TIF projects which are marked “for internal use only.” Of the 11 aldermen who sat in on the sessions, none have seen the whole TIF plan. And the public is largely in the dark on the entire TIF concept.

The two newsmen from The Reader filed a Freedom of Information request for the info. The city has been fighting it steadily. It has somewhat relented and posted everything on the Internet but the maze of numbers and terminology is so complicated, you have to be a CPA and Ph.D in math to understand it. The major news media shake their heads and go to sexier issues. But the best guess is this: of the total $6 billion city budget, Daley’s TIF kitty contained $1 billion at the start of 2009.

The Same Number-Fudging in D. C.

Now take a look at how Obama’s biggest project, ObamaCare is being worked through the Congress. It bears all the earmarks of the Chicago Way’s hiding the truth from folks who are expert at doing it: Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett, graduates of The Chicago Way.

Consider the outlandish claim that 640,000 jobs were either produced or “saved” through the $787 billion stimulus. When Republicans asked for a breakdown, the administration produced one by congressional districts. There were several districts invented out of whole cloth that don’t exist-and in one town that does exist, 64 jobs “saved” were credited to a power lawnmower that was provided by the stimulus.

The next example is far more important for the country.

Almost everyone knows that for a country in recession, with 10.2% unemployment, piling another huge entitlement on top of a huge debt is folly: except that the Chicagoans want to nationalize health care. Almost everyone knows that doing so would be a huge mistake for the country and health care: 8 out of the 10 latest medical innovations ranging from MRIs to hip replacements have come from the U.S…. that Americans have access on a per-capita basis to 3 times as many CT scans as Canadians, 4 times as many as Brits…that in Canada the average wait for a treatment by a specialist is 18 weeks…that British women face an 88% greater risk of death from breast cancer than U.S. women…that British men face a 604% greater risk of death from prostate cancer than U.S. men.

All of these things mean nothing to Obama and his Squid-trained Chicago operatives (51 of whom work in the White House alone). because Obama must have something to point to in the off-year congressional races of 2010 and his reelection contest in 2012. So enter the Squid way of hiding the truth.

Just as Daley hides TIF and rewards for big corporations in a shadow budget, Emanuel and Axelrod juggled the Harry Reid bill to look like it will actually reduce the deficit-by $127 billion over 10 years. To accomplish this rabbit-out-a-hat trick, they took out the money for the “doctor fix” and moved it to another bill. The “doctor fix” requires $215 billion to be borrowed to keep doctors who treat Medicare patients from experiencing severe cuts on their patients’ reimbursements. Their “doctor fix” landed an endorsement from the AMA for ObamaCare.

But not told to the public is this: Over the long haul it will add nearly $2 trillion to Medicare’s long-term liabilities, now estimated at almost $40 trillion. So thanks to Axelrod’s influence with the mainstream media, all we hear is that the bill will save $127 billion-not the $215 billion it will cost that’s in a separate bill.

Next they jiggled the numbers so they’re back-loaded. The tax meter starts ticking with passage but the benefits don’t kick in until 2015-so in the early years there won’t be deficit increase but after 2015, every succeeding 10 years will see $1.5 trillion added to the deficit. They figure the Congress will cut $400 billion in Medicare cuts (which if politics continue as they have since FDR, the Congress won’t).

Destroying Reputations.

Call it the delicate art of personnel removal by destroying the employee’s reputation.

The Democratic Squid here gets rid of embarrassingly honest public officials in a slightly more decorous way than dumping them in the river. Take the case of Paul Vallas. An outstanding Democratic public official he served as chief budget adviser to the president of the state Senate, chief budgeter for the city of Chicago under Mayor Daley. Daley took over the job of running the city’s public schools by legislative fiat to replace a system where the schools were run loosely by a board of education not directly under the mayor’s control.

The Chicago public schools had been called the worst in the country by William Bennett, Ronald Reagan’s secretary of education. This led Daley to name Vallas, a no-nonsense administrator, as superintendent of schools. Vallas decided to let nothing stand in his way to improve the condition of the schools. During his tenure from 1995 to 2001 he led the way to reform the school system, his work being cited by President Bill Clinton for hiking test scores, balancing the out-of-kilter schools budget, developing new programs including mandatory summer school, after-school programs and expanding charter, alternative and magnet schools. Devoutly Greek Orthodox Vallas favored vouchers but was powerless to implement them. Nevertheless he achieved a national reputation for his reforms.

He was particularly welcomed by African Americans who were enthusiastic that their kids were showing all kinds of improvement. He was a veritable pop idol in the eyes of many blacks.

But in trying to improve teaching standards, he trod on the toes of the powerful teachers’ union, a key source of voter nutrients for The Squid. The union commanded that Vallas had to go. It passed the word to Daley and The Squid. Daley was mum-and stayed mum.

But the next thing Vallas knew, he was being nibbled to death by ducks-wounded by unfavorable anonymous leaks to the compliant media which seemed to be coming from various directions including City Hall. But all the while, Daley was mum. Sly leaks that said that Vallas was hard to get along with, then that he was “insensitive.” The leaks turned into a gusher. They insisted Vallas was on the verge of resigning. All through this, Daley stayed mum. Then Daley allowed himself to murmur publicly that while Vallas was outstanding, he might need to improve his disposition. Vallas called Daley; Daley laughed it off. But the leaks continued. Vallas couldn’t fight the leaks that seemingly came from nowhere nor now could he get in to see the mayor.

When the election of the teachers’ union came up a candidate ran on an anti-Vallas platform. No defense of Vallas came from the mayor or his office. Unable to see the mayor, unable to respond to the leaks authoritatively, Vallas passed the word to City Hall’s 5th floor that he would resign. Daley was mum. Vallas resigned. Then suddenly the mayor’s office door swung open and he was taken by the arm by Daley, showering praise. He had invited the press to hear him extol Vallas as a great superintendent and administrator. Then Vallas was out on the street with Daley’s praise ringing in his ears.

Immediately, the mayor chose as his next superintendent Arne Duncan, Vallas’ assistant, who made a point of getting along with the teachers’ union. The reading scores went down, of course-but the teachers unions were happy. (For his fidelity to The Squid, Duncan is Obama’s secretary of education and plays bucket-ball with the president every week). Now as legacy from Duncan…and not improved by his successor…the graduation rate at Chicago public high schools is 54%. But the teachers’ union has been politically mollified.

With time to reflect, Vallas decided it couldn’t be true that Daley pushed him off a cliff. So as a private citizen, he went to see the mayor. Again, the mayor greeted him with open arms. Vallas said he was thinking of running for the Democratic nomination for governor of Illinois in 2002 and hoped Daley would support him. Daley said: That’s terrific: what a terrific candidate he would make! But no endorsement.

Vallas left Daley thinking that while there was no endorsement, things still looked good. The incumbent, George Ryan, was a Republican crook who was awaiting indictment for malfeasance as secretary of state and decided not to run. Vallas thought everything was okay with Daley in the weeks leading up to the Democratic primary-until a goofy congressman with a mop of black hair and the unpronounceable name of Rod Blagojevich entered the Democratic fray. Leaks sprung up from all over that Blagojevich, the son-in-law of a powerful Squid ward boss, Dick Mell, was the favored one.

Not a peep from Daley but the leaks resumed: Blago, not Vallas, is the one. Vallas was mad with Daley but not too concerned because he knew he could beat Blago who was an Elvis Presley-loving kid with no resume or beliefs at all. After all, Vallas had won immense good will from Chicago’s black community.

Then a well-known African American entered the race to suck up votes from the mammoth Democratic black voter pool. He was Roland Burris, a definite hack but still the first black to be elected statewide first as comptroller, then as attorney general. Burris was a buffoon who had ordered a tombstone for his cemetery plot with his resume on it. The state laughed at him not just for his egomania but his hyperbolic tendencies. Vallas still wasn’t all that concerned: Earlier Burris had even run against Daley for mayor but got zilch.

But then all of a sudden, the highly charismatic State Sen. Barack Obama endorsed Burris. Here was a formidable endorsement. The media had extolled Obama as a model “independent,” a man of the future-maybe even a future black president– a Harvard intellectual with a “mind of his own.” And Obama was thumping for Burris! Now Vallas knew the fix was in. It meant the Chicago Squid was deeply involved on the side of Rod Blagojevich and Burris was the pigeon to siphon off enough black votes to nominate Blago and Obama was running the siphon for The Squid. Still, Daley said not a word.

Even with The Squid on Blago’s side, in the March, 2002 primary Blagojevich eaked out a bare 37% of the vote against Vallas’ 34%. If Burris hadn’t been in the race, Vallas would have won easily. Daley turned surprisingly enthusiastic about Blago, said Blago was a very fine young man and he’d back him in November.

That was all she wrote. Vallas packed up and moved to Philadelphia to become its school chief. He scored a national reputation there. Then after Katrina, he moved to New Orleans, first as city schools superintendent, then becoming Louisiana state schools chief reporting to Gov. Bobby Jindal. Vallas is now a Republican.

Thus thanks to The Squid, Illinois…

1. Lost a chance to elect a Democrat who would probably have been the greatest governor in the past 100 years…

2. Got the second worst governor in its history (Republican Len Small of Kankaee was the worst, having taken bribes from Capone to pardon his buddies and bribed the jury that acquitted him)…

3. Suffered the humiliation of seeing its governor impeached and

removed from office for the first time in its history, a governor who may well go to jail: becoming the fourth Illinois governor be convicted.

4. Was handed, along with the nation courtesy of Blago’s appointment, U. S. Senator Roland Burris who lied to the legislature to get where he is now recognized as one of the most devious liar- senators in modern times who only due to the compliant Ethics Committee was spared from being ousted (as he should have been) in the same way Republican Billy Lorimer was in 1909.

All of which demonstrates that The Squid cares not a fig about government: it cares about The Squid. That’s all.

Now Emanuel and Axelrod have taken The Squid’s Chicago Way to Washington.

Greg Craig is a non-Chicagoan…and because he didn’t fit in with The Chicago Way got skewed with the Chicago Squid: Emanuel, Axelrod and Jarrett. Obama made Craig White House counsel and gave him the tough job of closing down Gitmo to square with the pledge Obama made during the campaign. When the unpopularity of that move caught on, it was decided that somebody had to pay– and the Chicago trio decided it wouldn’t be them. Craig was picked as the tar baby…the guy who was all thumbs on Gitmo’s handling. Immediately a torrent of leaks sprung up in the media that the transfer from Gitmo was being bollixed up by Craig.

In true Chicago Daley style, Obama turned mum and took on a thoughtful air, his forefinger stuck in his cheek to look deep, Greg Craig found he was the heavy. After a fountain of leaks maintained that Craig was inept, incompetent and “insensitive,” which doesn’t help his future legal career, Craig decided he had to resign.

Last week, upset with the shabby way Craig has been treated by the Chicago Squid in the White House, iberal journalist Elizabeth Drew, wrote that she herself is finally getting wise to The Chicago Way. And she didn’t level her criticism on Emanuel, Axelrod or Jarrett: but on the Dear Leader Messiah himself.

“A critical mass of influential people who once held big hopes for [Obama’s] presidency [have begun] to wonder whether they had misjudged the man,” she wrote. She added this:

“The Craig embarrassment gives these people a new reason…to conclude that he wasn’t the person of integrity or even classiness they had thought, and, more fundamentally, that his ability to move people and actually lead…is not what had been promised in the campaign.”

Elizabeth Drew has figured it out. Also last week, Chris Matthews of MSNBC discovered that he no more feels the same tingle up his leg anent Obama.

Stay tuned. More liberal dissatisfaction is coming.

Thoughts While Shaving: Recycling Old Journalistic Liberals Nicholas Lund-Molfese Explains It All for You Liddy the Gold Spokesman.

The Recycling Job.

Now that Save the Whales has achieved its goal, we embark on another crusade that touches liberal hearts: Save old liberal journalists who have been either fired or let-go-without-tears by their former newspaper haven. That’s the spirit behind The Chicago News Cooperative which was created last month with old-Lefty foundation money. Ask what happened to Jim Warren, the Trib’s ex-Washingon bureau chief and ex-managing editor and you’ll find him on the advisory committee of the CNC. He’s also editor of The Chicago Reader which co-mingles obscenity (a scatological column that advises readers on the latest kinks in sexual perversity) with really innovative reporting (Ben Joravsky’s brilliant ongoing probe into TIFs which recently he has shared with Mike Dumke).

Remember Ann Marie Lipinski, the status quo Trib editor who sees the news is a conventionally fashionable left focus? She’s been reclaimed and is at CNC. Ever wonder what happened to James O’Shea, the former managing editor of the Trib and later editor of its auxiliary The LA Times…and who was canned there? He’s with CNC. Laura Washington in the Sun-Times called it an all-white venture-as indeed it is thus far. But assuredly they’re holding a place for Marcia Lythcott the ex-Trib cookbook editor.

The CNC recently started a venture with The New York Times. Now that’s a match for you. The venture started last week with the CNC churning out so-called Chicago news for the NYT. You know what crisp, fresh stuff Warren turned out on his first venture for the NYT? Get this!

A really zingy interview with David Axelrod while the two were huddling at Manny’s deli. What’s in store for next week at the NYT-CNC? O’Shea doing a real insider job on Valerie Jarrett, writing that she is indeed as powerful as the liberal dailies say she is? Lipinski ought to be good for really probing Michelle Obama. Can’t they think up a new angle on the late Studs Turkel? How about rolling the stone away from the crypt at Mount Carmel to see if Joe Bernardin…the idol of the Catholic Left…has risen? Leaving behind his seamless garment that links nuclear freeze, anti-death penalty and, oh yes, abortion which helped justify numberless Democratic candidacies.

Just the kind of fresh, inventive and innovative stuff the New York Times needs.

Recycling old lefty journalists via 501c 3 to shore up The New York Times’ already ample liberal coverage. Just what the world needs now.

Nicholas Lund-Molfese Explains it All For You.

Archdiocesan executive Nicholas Lund-Molfese has this to say about people who have criticized the left-wing Catholic Campaign for Human Development which in the past has funded ACORN (indeed at one time young Barack Obama was paid as a community organizer partially by funds collected from the CCHD–under the pretext that the money was going to the equivalent of soup kitchens).

Writes Lund-Molfese, who heads the Peace and Justice department of the archdiocese: “Those who are trying to destroy the Catholic Campaign for Human Development deny the legitimate and pressing need for a faithful response to poverty in our communities. We must not allow the deceitful cries of these detractors whose partisan agendas supersede their faith to weaken our commitment to living out the message of Christ and the ideals of Catholic social teaching.”

In other words: Our way or the highway.

G. Gordon Liddy Here-for Gold!

Can anyone enlighten me on why the scowling, angry, frenetic G. Gordon Liddy is seen as a credible spokesman for anything on TV? Especially for investing in gold? Write me at thomasfroeser@sbcglobal.net.

Personal Aside: This Mornings Remarks at the Haymarket Breakfast Benefit.

This morning, at 8 a.m. 150 or so gathered at Maggiano’s to launch the first annual “Father Mac” breakfast, honoring the co-founder of Haymarket Center, one of the nation’s finest refuges for those afflicted with addiction…of drugs, alcohol, gambling and other vices that wound and petrify the human spirit. He was, as many Chicagoans know, Msgr. Ignatius D. McDermott who died on New Year’s Eve, the date of so much alcoholic revelry, 2004. This year is his centennial (1909-2009) and the organization he founded gives the poor the highest level of treatment, equivalent to what multi-millionaires pay at the Bette Ford Center in California. Although, thank God, not afflicted with the disease of alcoholism, I’m proud to be vice chairman of Haymarket Center.

Here are my remarks:

There’s only one reason I’m here today…and that’s because when I retired from Quaker Oats, my wife sat me down and said this:

“You’ve had a grand and glorious time lobbying for Quaker Oats…and it was fun. But you’re retired now and it’s time you thought of doing something for others…and I mean others who can’t do things for themselves. You know what I mean? You’re in the last chapter of life now and when you show up to stand before the Just Judge, you better have something more in your repertoire than having lobbied for Oatmeal, Cap’n Crunch, Puffed Wheat and Puffed Rice.”

Well, I said to myself, she’s right as usual. But what shall I do? Though in retirement, I was doing a regular radio talk show on WLS between 10 pm and 2 a.m. Before I went to the studio one night, I grabbed dinner at the Chicago Athletic Club. And afterwards…after visiting the Men’s Room and washing my hands…a guy came up to me and said:

“Pardon me, but Father Mac and I were having dinner upstairs where you were and Father said `That’s Roeser, isn’t it?’ I said yes. `Well,’ said Father Mac, `he looks like he doesn’t have much to do. I hear he’s retired. Why don’t we ask him if he’d like top help us out at Haymarket?’ Father Mac is outside now. Would you want to meet him?”

That man was Jack Whalen. And that’s the way it worked out. From that day on and for some years after I worked with one of the most fascinating men I ever met. Hobbled by age, well in his `80s, walking with difficulty, with wisps of hair that stood carelessly on his bald pate…long overdue for retirement himself…with a voice that came out as a rasp…he was a stirring anomaly of virtue and human frailties…with a South Side Irishman’s grit…a passion for sports…a lineage that went back generations in the Democratic party…he had all these things rolled up into one: a blowtorch temper which he would assuage by immediately running out and bringing chocolate candy for those whom he had earlier berated…and at the same time a magnificent toleration for humans with faults-all this wrapped up with a gift of excellent humor and storytelling.

I signed up as a volunteer, joined the board and agreed to do a book of his life…a book that took years-because whenever I was ready to send it to the printer’s …he told me more stories-including the story of an Irish priest named Malloy whose Bingo games were the most successful in the archdiocese because they were heavily patronized by the Outfit. One day Malloy was having breakfast with the Cardinal when the Vicar General rushed in and said, “You know what? Our new car has been stolen! The one we just bought! Right out here in front of this building1! Vanished in thin air! I think we’ve got to report it to the police right away!”

Malloy said; “Not so hasty now. What kind of car was it?”

A brand new Packard.

“What color was it?”

Gray but it needed a washing so it looked black.

“What year was it?”

This year!

“A four door?”

Four door, yes.

Father Malloy went to the phone in another room and the Vicar General said to the Cardinal:

“Well, at least I can pray to Saint Anthony, the patron of lost articles.”

The Cardinal said that would be a good idea.

That afternoon, the Vicar General looked out the window and there it was…his gray Packard…freshly washed…full of gas. He burst in on the Cardinal in his office and said “A miracle! My prayer to Saint Anthony has been answered! The Packard has been returned! Don’t you think it’s a miracle?”

The Cardinal said: Yes, indeed. And now if you’d do me a favor and see if you can get Father Malloy to stop in here, will you?”

This story and many more are contained in the book I wrote as told me by Father Mac. And to paraphrase a more distinguished author named John “There are many other things he did which if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain them.”

Did I do right in deciding to spend much of my retirement in service to Father Mac and Haymarket? I found the answer some years ago at a City Club of Chicago Christmas party hosted by Jay Doherty in his office. I came to it with Father Mac. He was then ninety. A piano was there and a guy was fooling around on it, playing chords…and suddenly he swung softly into a rendition of a song which was originally known as Londonderry Air…but which since 1913 has been considered by all the Irish-including my own mother-as their unofficial signature song…Danny Boy-the song of a young woman to her love.

As Father Mac and I sat there enjoying the music, he began to recite it…not sing it…from memory:

Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling/

From glen to glen and down the mountain side/

The summer’s gone and all the roses falling/

`Tis you, `tis you must go and I must bide/

But come ye back when summer’s in the meadow/

Or when the valley’s hushed and white with snow/

`Tis I’ll be here in sunshine or in shadow/

Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so.

Days later when he was at his desk, I asked him if he could recite the last verse that caused my mother often to weep. He put his head in his hands to think…a common gesture…and then raised his head and said:

But when ye come and all the flowers are dying/

If I am dead as dead I well may be/

You’ll come and find the place where I am lying/

And kneel and say an `Ave’ there for me/

And all my grave will warmer, sweeter be/

For ye shall bend and tell me that you love me/

And I shall sleep in peace until you come to me.

It was then I knew I had made the right decision to spend the last chapter of my life following him and serving Haymarket as he would wish me to. Now…as I am myself in my `80s…I am sure of it.

Well, here this morning we have celebrated his near-100 years of life…a life that resembles the one described by Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet:

“When he shall die, take him and cut him out into the stars…and he shall make the face of heaven so fine…that all the world will be in love with night…and pay no worship to the garish sun.”

Thoughts While Shaving: The Trouble with Harry Helluva Note When Commies Are More Conservative Than Obama…Catholic Bishops a Political Clubhouse for the Dems?

The Trouble is He Lies.

In the classic 1955 Alfred Hitchcock black comedy “The Trouble with Harry” the trouble with Harry is that he’s dead. This year, the trouble with Harry-Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.)-is that he is a chronic, indefatigable liar. He has announced great things in his Senate version of ObamaCare which has received a CBO good housekeeping stamp of approval as being “reducing the deficit.” The mystery is where he got the three-quarters-of-a-trillion dollars that he claims will be saved as result of this.

The trouble is it doesn’t include the famed “doctor fix”-a separate bill that calls for $215 billion to be borrowed to keep doctors who treat Medicare patients from experiencing severe cuts on their patients’ reimbursements. Which over the long haul will add nearly $2 trillion to Medicare’s long-term liabilities, now estimated at almost $40 trillion. So it totals savings of $127 billion over ten years which is more than counterbalanced by expenditures for the doctor fix.

At least the original Harry in the film was dead: the current Harry is alive and lying, not willing to admit that with the doctor fix everybody is going to have to pay higher premiums.

Helluva Note.

The other day, speaking to us from Asia, President Obama admitted that “people” are warning us about a loss of confidence. What he means is that the Chinese are the people who’re doing the warning and what he didn’t say is that the people who buy our bonds are extremely jittery about the total costs on healthcare and other items of the Obama wish-list. The usual number that is placed on U.S. debt to China is about $1.3 trillion, most in U. S. treasuries. China knows that the U. S. won’t default: it’ll be via inflation. It knows we’ll inflate the currency once again. And as an interesting side-note: the super-ambitious social program Obama wants perhaps $9 trillion will be added to the debt in the next decade. And as they’re holding the notes, they’re worried they could be holding the bag in an inflation that could easily wipe out their holdings.

Bishops’ Dem Clubhouse?

I’ve talked to some Democratic congressmen who tell me that there is no doubt the USCCB will lobby for total ObamaCare if the anti-abortion Stupak amendment is contained. If so, that’s plain and simple wrong. The bishops don’t have any special expertise on health care…or the economy…or trade. They are right to have lobbied for the Stupak amendment banning abortion which is a moral issue– but are wrong to lobby for ObamaCare because health care is not. How do we know whether they will or not? Well, don’t pay attention to what the president of the USCCB says because it will be parsed-parsed-parsed into meaningless ambiguity. The answer will be to see what various congressmen say as they are lobbied by the USCCB.

Personal Aside: U. S. Catholic Bishops Keep on Funding The Left.

Since this is the era of the Catholic laity, let’s show the miter-wearing, crosier-carrying Left…not all bishops but ones influencing the USCCB…that they will continue to be hit where it counts-in the pocketbook-if they continue to fund the Left, which is deleterious to the Church they were ordained to defend…and which they are letting down in an orgy of aberrant liberalism which pays obeisance to civil religion as substitute for Catholicism. In essence they are supporting not just sin but heresy. Let our model be a great bishop who nobly fought heresy: Ireneus, bishop and martyr who lived in the 2nd century.

The latest announcement of grants from the Campaign for Human Development shows three organizations in Chicago receiving Church funds: the Chicago Workers Collaborative, the Southwest Organizing Project and the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization. The Chicago Workers Collaborative which received $30,000 is listed with the Marxist group International Socialist Organization and participated in the Socialism 2009 conference by making a presentation.

The Southwest Organizing Project ($45,000) encourages birth control through what they call “comprehensive” sex education.

The Little Village Environmental Justice Organization ($40,000) promotes birth control and homosexual lifestyles in newsletters to teens.

Sorry, Bishops, since you have ignored that phase of Catholic teaching but contraception has been out-of-bounds morally for Catholics in formal terms ever since Augustine, one of the great Fathers of the Church, wrote extensively about it when it was advocated by Manichaeism, writing memorably:

“The procreation of children is itself the primary, natural, legitimate purpose of marriage”-primary because the Church has taught, early on by Augustine but fully ratified by Humanae Vitae, that married people may not frustrate this purpose for any other reason whatsoever…natural because human nature provides in the institution of marriage the care and nurture children require for their future and legitimate because one of the main supports of the human condition is when men and women undertake the right to procreate offspring in the spiritual image of God.

And the Church teaches and has always taught, my dear Bishops, that homosexual relations lack an essential and indispensable purpose: for married people to cooperate with God in the begetting of children and to both express and cultivate their mutual love for each other. It teaches that homosexuals should be treated with understanding in hopes of their overcoming their personal difficulties. Not with hatred or persecution but under no circumstance should their behavior be justified.

These Chicago recipients are part of a national litany of recipient organizations that include further largesse for the Left and supporters of programs deviant to the Church’s stand on morality. As such these gifts are made with funds given by sincere Catholics to defend actions and programs that are heretical. For that reason, in this fight

Why does this funding go on when the Bishops have been severely embarrassed by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development’s support of groups like ACORN? Are these the end-days when bishops don’t obey their Church. No, don’t lets be as dramatic as that. It’s always been the human condition with some-not all-bishops. It’s been going on since the day Ireneus…a bishop himself… wrote “Against Heresies.” Take a listen.

As Ireneus stated in “Against Heresies” [A.D. 175]: bishops, being human, can engage in subtle ways to refuse to accept the Church’s teaching authority. To paraphrase him: They are weak, shaped with desire to conform to the world. So to get by, they don’t have to be direct in their disobedience: they can be duplicitous, sly, proclaim that they are inattentive and can attempt to parse-parse-parse in their own defense.

As the leader of the USCCB rules this archdiocese, expect there will be a full-throated defense of these behests with Church funds by ignoring the realities and blurring the behests so as to make us believe they are serving finely conceived projects. When challenged, : there will be a shrug or blame put on the staff…and a reconstitution of behests that will likely support similar projects.

The important thing is this: It is immaterial what “defense” is given. It is only material to what is done to end the abuse. Promises are out-of-date.

The main thing is that just as it was in the time of Ireneus there is a case for severe correction…and when that correction is ignored…a blow-back in the pocketbook. And the bishops should be told that this will continue until matters are rectified…and if they are not rectified…the attack from the pews on the pocketbook may well extend to other financial goals-things that are the particular favorite projects or the bishops-until the intent of the laity is realized: that projects antithetical to Church theology not be supported with the Church’s i.e. the laity’s own money.

Tough decisions but there were tough decisions that had to be made in the era of Ireneus as well.

Saint Ireneus pray for us, yes-but more than that: inspire us to be the Church Militant once again so that our bishops may be infused with backbones and courage, sorely lacking in so many of them today.

Thoughts While Shaving: Obamas Low Bow Michael Scott RIP Sarah Palin s Book.

A Low Bow to Racial Royalty.

Barack Obama executed a lower-than-low bow to Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko…a 15 degree bow so it could not be mistaken. Earlier he performed a smaller variation to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. And earlier than that he didn’t bow at all to the Queen of England. What’s the difference?

No one in the media dare suggest that the subliminal difference in Obama’s mind may well be race. Anyone who thinks our first mixed racial president is not consumed by race hasn’t paid sufficient attention to his career-or to the rush-to-judgment he made anent the Cambridge police concerning the Henry Louis Gates, Jr. affair where without any information he declared the Cambridge police “acted stupidly.”

The legacy of the `60s is affirmative action, something unfortunately I know a great deal about-having erred grievously by writing the awful concept into the 8(a) brand of compensatory capitalism (but which I sought to limit after 10 years but which has been extended in-perpetuity ). It has now come to mean exaggerated and unneeded obeisance to minorities in deference to exploitation of darker-skinned races by Caucasians: a stereotype in contemporary drawing-room manners …and has become politically de rigueur ever since-enduring forever with our misnamed “mainstream media.”

Every time I criticize this, some posturing dolt with no sense of history but an uplifted sense of moral superiority will up and say “you’re a racist!”…that kind of nonsense which obliterates discussion. What we want, friends, is to yank the tiller back to the first words of Martin Luther King, Jr. that called for Americans to be considered solely by the content of their character-period. Meaning equality of opportunity, no thumb on the scale for one race or another.

Usually those who object to such conversation are angry minorities, or minorities who want to exploit the stereotype in order to get a leg up… or guilt-ridden whites who, having not lived through the era of virulent anti-black racism want to seem ” cool” and fashionable in pronouncing for the oh-so-trendy. They’re also for the most part consumed with our civil religion-which is disinterested in eternal absolutes but…since religious views are an integral part of human makeup…substitute niceties for it: affirmative action and correctness in race, the addition of feminism and gay-ness as an addition to the social makeover catalog (nowhere better satirized than by “Seinfeld” where someone assumes Jerry is gay and warns him-adding “not that there’s anything wrong with that!”).

My theory is that Obama’s theatrical low bow has racial exaggeration written all over it. But wait–maybe the low bow was to make up for Old Man Bush puking his guts out all over the lap over the Japanese Prime Minister some years ago. If that were the reason, I’d endorse it.

Michael Scott RIP.

I knew and liked Michael Scott intensely…knew him from the City Club and found his gregariousness catching. So, along with everyone else I am disturbed by the strange earmarks of his suicide-if it WAS suicide as my good friend Phil Krone speculated in The Chicago Daily Observer. The only other person I knew reasonably well who committed suicide was Steve Neal of the Sun-Times. But all the while, the symptoms were there: Neal was a very-very heavy drinker, an indication that he turned to it to fight depression. In addition to depression, there were anxiety demons…real and fancied… torturing Neal which the drinking seemed to blot out for a time-until the intoxication failed to work.

Even then, Neal took the exit route in a rather commodious way…getting middling drunk, then going to the garage, starting the car and sitting there until he drifted away. The thing that bothers me about Michael is…as John Kass discusses in a brilliant column… that he chose the world’s most disadvantageous route for one determined to do himself in: going at midnight to a spot behind the Merchandise Mart to the place where the ancient railroad bridge stands erect (rusting to pieces in an upright attitude it has held since I was a kid)…skittering between the empty whiskey bottles and syringes to the water’s edge…running the risk of being mugged by any derelict who happened to stumble along (and no, I don’t care what anyone says, a potential suicide usually wouldn’t venture to a spot where bums might botch the job he wanted to reserve for himself), then firing one shot into his brain and falling into the shallow water. Given that suicide is an attitude of despondency, going to that amount of discomfort and physical endangerment before you get to the exact spot where you want to end it all is difficult to understand.

Along with others, I’ve considered the possibility that the Feds came to Scott and told him one of his aldermanic contacts carried a wire for a long time and have him on tape-something that is reasonable given the nature of realty development in this town…and Scott was involved (so far as we know blemish-free)…in development in the 29th ward and dealt extensively with its alderman Ike Carothers, a federal indictee who wore a wire and recorded everyone of importance he visited with or talked to on the phone. No prejudgment here and everything I know about Michael Scott is that he is a fighter and would be dedicated to angrily prove his innocence.

Frankly, as I see Mayor Daley try to shunt aside any suggestion of foul play, I hope the cops maintain independence and not exclude the possibility.

Where murder is a possibility, I don’t like to see political powerbrokers try to brush aside the need for thorough investigation.

Going Rogue.

Like all supporters of Sarah Palin, I want desperately for her to succeed to prove right my original joy at her nomination. And I want her critics to be confounded. They are truly a despicable lot, the same ones who borked a brilliant Supreme Court nominee who by his intellectual prowess could have reversed the temper of the Court, who earlier destroyed Joe McCarthy to the point where in the public mind it’s incidental whether he was overwhelmingly right or wrong (he was largely right)…people like the snide David Letterman who are disinterested in whether someone is correct or not, just inferring a measure of stupidity if the target challenges the liberal correctness of the time…an attitude that encourages one to say “hooray!” now that Mrs. Letterman has kicked him out of their house for disloyalty to her and making his office a smarmy place of sexual assignation.

And so I read Palin’s book “Going Rogue” with interest.

It’s been professionally co-written for style by Lynn Vincent who is a very fine correspondent with “World” magazine but the words and flavor are definitely Palin. It covers Palin’s background very well, capturing her feelings as thoroughly as a biography can. I was especially moved about her inner thoughts as she discovered she was carrying a Down Syndrome baby and her decision to avoid abortion and go ahead with it. It was this decision that earned her the undying enmity of the feminist Left…an enmity as Charles Krauthammer points out is born of scarcely hidden jealousy since they would not have had the courage to go along with the birth and consequently berate themselves-and end up hating Palin for it.

I think the book accomplished its purpose and was astutely put together. I cheer the fact it has no index because political phonies who pick it up and riffle through to the back so see if they are mentioned will have to buy it: a wise decision.

Now I would urge Mme. Palin to do one thing that will advance her career. She should not be in the everyday business of blasting this or that media individual-be it Couric, Olbermann, Letterman-or any publication that criticizes her. She should have either one spokesman or a vehicle to do that. She trivializes herself as she did yesterday by condemning Newsweek as “sexist” for running a certain unflattering photo of her on its cover. Newsweek is a very left-of-center organ, is gradually being seen for what it is and ignored-either that or slammed by someone else.

Beyond that, I am assuredly a Palin fan and wish her well. I would wholeheartedly love to see this country governed by her and let the “mainstream” media go to hell where it belongs.

Personal Aside: Nothing Like it in The World: Obama Holds the World Cup for Wrong-Headed Decisions.

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 18: U.S. President Barack Obama holds a Blackhawk parking pass just given to him while honoring the 2015 NHL World Champion Chicago Blackhawks, at the White House, February 18, 2016 in Washington, DC. The Blackhawks defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning four games to two to win their sixth championship in franchise history. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 605440591 ORIG FILE ID: 511144144

The last two weeks were the deciding ones for Barack Obama.

He seemed irrevocably to be a close shot to clinching the World Cup for wrongheaded decisions, and a frontrunner to being known as the worst president in U. S. history. It started with the malfeasance connected with the Fort Hood terrorist outbreak and continuing with the plan to try Ground Zero Terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and the four other planners of 9/11 in a federal civilian court in New York.

In Manhattan, their pro-bono liberal lawyers can use the trial as a bullhorn to cause us to disperse our military secrets and propagandize for Islam to the applause of The New York Times and Katie Couric who will celebrate it as ratification of our system “under law.” In reality, Attorney General Eric Holder and Barack Obama have given the terrorists a show trial to dramatize their case and demonize George W. Bush-which is a major reason it was rigged this way.

There have been a small number of incompetents and paranoids in the White House, especially in the last few decades: JFK bamboozled by Khrushchev, the megalomaniac LBJ seeking to buy off the poor and ingratiate himself in the process, then wimping out on Vietnam. And Richard Nixon, who after a brilliant overture to China which split the Sino-Soviet bloc, becoming a hapless Captain Queeg-like wretch who got entangled in a 3rd rate burglary and who spent his last presidential hours tearfully saying goodbye to the portraits on the White House wall.

But how has Obama thus far exceeded all the others to take the lead for possession of the World Cup?

Let’s look at what he’s done thus far. Start out with the fact that the first requirement is patriotism or love of country.

We have good reason to suspect that for him patriotism to America is non-existent. He has said publicly…in defiance to all other presidents… that America is no longer exceptional. Beyond that it was reasonable to hope that the one quality that we would hope were in this Mystery Man who is our president is wise counsel: the gift that assists the mind and perfects the virtue of prudence by enlightening its possessor to make reasonable decisions i.e. concern for the safety of the people of the United States. The spiritual under-girding of his predecessors has always been Judeo-Christianity: but the Mystery Man has declared that in his estimation we are no longer a Christian nation-and his implacable hostility to Israel certain excludes the Judeo part. What happens to his supposed-and expected-wise counsel to make reasonable decisions guided by prudence? It’s not visible. If it exists, it’s likely of a Third Indonesian species.

In summary: He is totally unconcerned with the well-being and safety of this country. If the Fort Hood story isn’t all that’s needed to entitle him to be condemned for misfeasance of duty, his decision to bring the terrorists right in our backyard in Manhattan for trial is malfeasance.

The Fort Hood Massacre.

The second is determination to protect the safety of the United States.

Which brings us to Fort Hood.

At roughly 1:30 p.m. on November 5 Army Major, physician and psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan, 39, exploded in a rampage at Fort Hood and shot his military colleagues indiscriminately, murdering 14, counting an unborn baby and wounding more than 40. Since then we have learned some significant things. We know that as he murdered, he shouted the Islamic phrase “Allahu Akbar!” [God is Great]. We know he justified suicide bombings, writing favorably about them on the Internet-equating those who strap themselves with bombs and enter a crowded supermarket to self-detonate to those soldiers who have thrown themselves on live grenades to save their buddies. We know he defended the rhetoric of jihad to his colleagues. We know he warned direly of bad things to happen to the U. S. if Muslims were not permitted to leave the military. We know he tried to convert some of his psychiatric patients to Islam (capitalizing on the emotional weaknesses of his patients, converting them to his prey). He distributed business cards that failed to mention his military connection but identified himself as “SOA,” soldier of Allah.

We know that in a lecture at Walter Reed in June, 2007 he declared the Koran is filled with peaceful verses by saying “It’s getting harder and harder for Muslims in the service to morally justify being in a military that seems constantly engaged against fellow Muslims.” We know that Hasan described the gradual evolution in the Koran and Islamic thinking-ranging from at first sanctioning total pacificism, then following Muhammad’s emigration to Medina “self defense was allowed” and finally “offensive fighting was allowed” and the earlier peaceful verses no longer apply. We know that in his lecture Hasan cited this from the Koran “Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His messenger have prohibited nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.” [Italics mine].

We know he sided continually in arguments with jihadists over the United States. We know that he sent emails to Anwar al Awiiaki, an al Qaeda enthusiast who had strong ties to three 9/11 hijackers. We know about the emails because the FBI intercepted them. We know that members of the FBI-led Joint Terrorism task force only dabbled with Hasan’s case sketchily and dismissed it, saying it didn’t warrant an investigation. We know that in his own psychiatric exam at Walter Reed, his comments led officials to worry that “if Hasan deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, he might leak secret military information to Islamic extremists.” Finally we know that some of his Walter Reed colleagues wondered whether Hasan “might be capable of committing fratricide, like the Muslim U.S. Army sergeant who in 2003 killed two fellow soldiers and injured 14 others by setting off grenades at a base in Kabul.”

What was Obama’s reaction to the terrorist attack on Fort Hood? On November 10-five days after the attack-he told the media that the cause of the terrorism outbreak is, and may continue to be, a “mystery.” “It may be hard to comprehend the twisted logic that led to this tragedy.” Twisted logic? But the FBI hastened to agree, saying “The investigation to date has not identified a motive [sic] and a number of possibilities remain under consideration” including-get this-“anti-Muslim bias.” The anti-Muslim bias came to him from us, or any non-Muslims-therefore we may well all be guilty-the typical liberal mantra. But then Obama said he would direct a bureaucrat named John Brennan to re-study the original information on Hasan. How comforting.

Then came the FBI’s statement that it would “continue” the probe of Maj. Hassan. Too late, boys, you muffed it. Followed by the appearance of the Army’s chief of staff, Gen. George Casey, Jr. on CNN’s “State of the Union.” If you can imagine a chief of staff saying a dumber thing, please let me know. This is what he said: “The army hasn’t missed anything” in its follow-through on the matriculation of Major Hasan: nothing. Then: “As horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.”

This shows that the man who learned nothing as commander in Iraq and who opposed the Surge that won the war because “it will suck out all the army’s flexibility” for which he was replaced and mistakenly kicked upstairs by Bush be chief of staff, still is obtuse and a prisoner of political correctness. First: his definition of the event as “a tragedy.” A “tragedy” when Casey’s army ignored the evidence that Hasan is a terrorist and leveled gunfire on Casey’s troops yelling “Allahu Akbar”? And weeding out potential Islamic terrorists would possibly threaten military “diversity”-a 1960’s concept-which would be worse than the lives it would have saved at Fort Hood?

The answer should be…from any president other than Barack Obama…from the worst ones you can imagine: all the way back to and including Franklin Pierce (who drank himself into insensibility every night), Millard Fillmore and James Buchanan (who refused to see slavery as a moral and political question)…to instantly fire both Casey and the director of the FBI, Robert Mueller. You’ll get only vague meandering statements from Obama. Vague statements are his trademark: he who earlier said victory in Afghanistan is not an option. Reason: As a man of no absolutes beyond saving his own political neck, he mysteriously glides along dropping an occasional nihilistic Muslim sentiment. This waffling is not just here but on all other things involving U. S. security. He’s been dithering for three months and through eight meetings with the Joint Chiefs over whether to follow Gen. David Petraeus’ recommendation for reinforcements in Afghanistan and now has called for “different options.” Dithering while American troops are dying.

But his irresolution on Fort Hood is not alone. A week later his attorney general announced a decision that has ramifications for wholesale endangerment of America-and which can once more send jihadists back to New York to add a bloody Round Two which could endanger all our lives.

Trying Terrorists in the U. S. in Federal Court.

Waiting until Obama was conveniently out of the country in Japan (where he bowed so low in deference to the Japanese Emperor and his wife that he almost fell on his head), Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. announced that the government will prosecute Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-described mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and four other terrorists for “murder” for which the government will demand the death penalty – again “for murder,” no different than ordinary law-breakers –in a Manhattan federal courtroom, a locale historically reserved for common murderers, rather than trying them as they truly are: combatants who waged war on this country and killed more than 3,000 in the first phase of that war. Thus Holder…as slippery a weasel as has held the job… has ordered them to stand before the bar of justice embodied by this nation’s values they so thoroughly detest-rather than in a court of military justice, tried as the war criminals they are.

The decision is, from the standpoint of public safety, the worst one ever made by a sitting president.

It has serious ramifications for the safety of this country which both men have sworn to uphold. Obama and Holder prattle about “the rule of law.” It doesn’t hold water. These terrorists are not simple murderers or burglars: they’re mass-murderers enlisted in a war to defeat this country. We are in effect giving them exactly what they want: give them the same constitutional rights as American citizens, allow them to put on a show-trial, giving them a forum to talk about how they wage jihad, encouraging others to wage jihad. Moreover as they will be tried in a civilian court with rights conferred on all Americans, the terrorists have the right to present their evidence of being water-boarded so as to advocate the means of another attack-and they can make New York city the object of another attack.

George Washington put the first military court in place. In our time, special military tribunals were created by the Military Commissions Act of 2006, passed with bipartisan congressional approval after the Supreme Court under the Hamdan decision required the president and congress to approve a detailed plan to prosecute the illegal “enemy combatants” captured since 9/11. Nor are military tribunals something strange to U. S. legal procedure. The eight Nazis who stealthily entered the U. S. in June, 1942 (including, ironically, a Chicagoan, graduate of Schurz high school) were tried by a military court since they were combatants and hanged within two months. That’s when we had a decisive, patriotic president in charge-albeit a liberal one whom I’ve criticized severely in the past: Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The risks for this country: (1). A grave threat of another jihad for Manhattan and this country as the court hosts a show trial…a priceless opportunity for jihadists to skulk into this country and bomb again as a bloody Phase 2 of 9/11. Another terrorist outbreak will be on Obama’s head but for him it is inconsequential: His leftist ideology must be served. (2). A threat of wholesale disclosure of military secrets as lefty lawyers aided by the ACLU and a battalion of liberal lawyers from the wackadoodle blue chip firm Sherman & Sterling seek to make their names and fortunes with the Left by tangling with the government-opening the door to challenging all evidence obtained “by torture” which is in synch with what Obama believes anyhow. If you think these dangers are only theoretical, consider the other endangerments this president has opened the door for our populace to sweat out. On his first day in office without the slightest bit of preparation he called for the dismantling of the prison at Guantanamo.

(3). The laughable statement made of certainty by Holder that the terrorists will be convicted. Oh? How does he know? Has he fixed the jury? And what happens if they are not-and freed to walk the streets and to plot again with America becoming the laughing stock of the entire world?

Guantanamo Out: Illinois In?

Two days after he was inaugurated, Obama announced that he would keep a campaign promise by closing Guantanamo Bay prison as a holding place for suspected terrorists. No matter that the feds had spent $100 million to update the place and equip it with a modern courtroom. Politics came first. All during the campaign he had been running up and down the country inveighing against the “injustice” of the camp, decrying that those held there were being deprived of their liberties under the 3rd Geneva Convention. No recognition of the fact that the Geneva Convention pertains to uniformed combatants, not terrorists who skulk into nations without uniforms.

Last week news erupted here that Illinois may become the next Gitmo. A huge, near-empty prison in rural Illinois 150 miles west of Chicago near the small Mississippi river town of Thomson is slated at this point to become The Place. Gov. Pat Quinn, a loyal member of the Democratic Squid who is up for election is ecstatic because the Washington, D. C. Squid has bought him off. In 2001 the state completed construction of the $145 million maximum-security prison designed to house the most dangerous inmates-but a state budget crisis due to overspending has left the place practically unused for the past eight years. It holds 1,600 cells yet is housing only 144 prisoners. What’s good for Quinn and the tiny town of Thomson is that the federal bureau of prisons will buy the place and run it as a federal institution-which means boom times for the town’s businesses.

So everybody in Thomson, Illinois (population: 559) is happy, expecting with the expansion of the prison they will get jobs. There are already 335 terrorists incarcerated at the Marion, Ill. federal prison-but those who would be imprisoned at Thomson are likely to be tried in Chicago: which opens Chicago…as well as New York… to prospects of jihad and terrorist attack.

The First “President of the Pacific”?

Devoid of any interest or knowledge in the 233 previous years of U. S. history, Obama the Great Narcissist promulgated the statement while in the Far East that he is the “first president of the Pacific,” relating that as a child his mother took his to Japan (although all he can remember was its ice cream.” Interesting, isn’t it? William McKinley’s venture through Secretary of State John Hay to initiate the “Open Door” policy which started nations trading with China meant nothing. Theodore Roosevelt’s negotiated peace peace treaty between Russia and Japan meant nothing. Richard Nixon’s disruption of the Sino-Soviet axis of Communism which developed a split in their otherwise solid relationship in the Cold War means nothing.

In summary: this was one helluva week: helping terrorists assume all the rights of U. S. citizens, enabling them to make their cases in U. S. civilian courts and jeopardizing public safety in two major U.S. cities in the process.

Thoughts While Shaving: Remember, Keep Your Hands in Prayerful Fold While the Basket is Passed for CCHD Bowing and Scraping to Royalty Hynes vs. McKenna a Dead Heat in Boring.

Hands Folded-And Away from Your Checkbook.

Shortly a plea will be made from all Catholic altars in the archdiocese in behalf of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development…together with the attest that the CCHD has repented its Alinsky-supporting ways. Don’t believe it. The attitude to take when the basket is passed is prayerful with your hands clasped together and eyes uplifted in prayer that someday our hierarchy may come to understand what true social justice is: that it is not supporting malcontents striving to upend the system but the truly helpless: like the unborn who should be first and foremost in any crusade to remedy inequity.

There are two charities that I have been involved with. Both help the poor and dispossessed to help themselves. One is Catholic-sponsored. It is called The Port and I taught English as a second language there. It serves for the most part Hispanic families-not only providing the sustenance for living but also training the poor on computers so they may be able to get jobs. Not a hotbed of revolutionary thought-just imparting self-service to the poor. The second is not a Catholic charity although it was founded by a Catholic priest-Haymarket Center which equips people to fight insidious addiction to drink and drugs and which serves as a haven for pregnant women and their toddlers…giving them shelter…seeing that the pregnant women deliver drug-free babies.

There are many outlets for the CCHD if it wishes to find them.

Obama’s Deferential Bow to Royalty No Mistake.

Once not long ago Barack Obama was caught by the photographer doing a slight bow to Middle Eastern royalty which was excused by his press staff. This time…in Japan…there was no mistake-almost as if Obama decided to stick it to the American people: “Catch this! I’m going to bow from the waist in as exaggerated a deferential motion as I can without falling on my head.” It is the equivalent of giving an uplifted finger to our traditions of republican (small “r”) virtues.

Hynes vs, McKenna Would Lull the Fireside to Sleep.

There is very little chance of this happening, I suppose, but if the primaries produced the twin candidacies for governor of Dan Hynes and Andy McKenna, the electorate would have to be served with heavy fortifications of no-doze. Both are roughly the same age-bland, unexciting. Both are the sons of powerful men: Hynes is the scion of Tom Hynes, longtime Cook county assessor and former president of the State Senate and McKenna is the son of Andrew McKenna who has been at one time or other chairman of everything-Schwartz Paper, McDonald’s Global, the Tribune, Notre Dame. Andrew McKenna, Sr. is loathe to give his kid reign over his empire so he has set aside a pot of money to allow young Andy to have some playthings. Old Man Hynes has nurtured his kid…from seeing that he was campaign manager for Bill Clinton here to state comptroller.

If a race between the two eventuated, I would, of course, vote for McKenna since he has not done what Hynes has done and stiffed his Church’s theology on abortion while maintaining his affiliation. Old Man Hynes was a pro-lifer. The kid is not only a pro-abort but has come out for gay marriage.

All the same, God grant we won’t have to make that choice.

Thoughts While Shaving: Dobbs Has Fire in the Belly to Run for President Unparalleled Deficit May Doom ObamaCare.

Dobbs Has Fire.

There is a very good chance that resigned CNN anchor Lou Dobbs may run for president in 2012, says at least one major source I have talked to at CNN. Anyone who has read Dobbs’ book “Independents Day” has had vague forewarning that what is in the back of the mind of this 64-year-old is a race that doesn’t fit either party…and would resemble that of Pat Buchanan’s with some twinges of Ross Perot’s. In issues it would come very closely to Buchanan’s pitchfork crusades with some adaptations. While Buchanan has become a wistful neo-isolationist, Dobbs is more fiercely aggressive on the Manifest Destiny aspect of America’s international reach. Both are together on protectionism and immigration. Both Dobbs and Buchanan are in synch on social issues-unlike Perot who stood for abortion rights.

There’s no doubt that Dobbs is far and away a better communicator with vastly more charisma than either Buchanan or Perot. But it’s hard to believe that he could get elected as a 3rd party candidate-but could wreak great damage to the Republican party’s chances of unseating Obama…in the same way Perot did to the GHW Bush chances in 1992. My own guess is that the Dobbs “boom” will have fizzled out long before 2012.

The bigger mystery than what Dobbs is going to do is what CNN is going to do in the long-range. This nonsense that its president says…that CNN and Fox are pursuing different goals…is strictly for the muddle-minded. CNN is at the bottom of all the ratings for one reason alone: it is a pale facsimile of left-of-center network news. Klein, CNN president, is startlingly singular in his wish to continue to plow unfertile ground. Not unlike some Hollywood executives, he would rather please his liberal buddies than take after Fox’s ratings with aggressive adversarial thrust. CNN’s mantra: we’d rather be dead in the water than embrace conservatism. All of which proves that Lou Dobbs is smart to get out of there no matter what he does. Sticking with CNN is akin to clinging to a corpse.

ObamaCare May be Doomed.

Rising deficit figures and fearful timidity of Democrats over the party’s fortunes in 2010 could well doom ObamaCare. That means that the drive for revolutionary health care “reform” will symbolize: a mountain groaned and a mouse ran forth. Obama has to have something that is called a health care bill but as of now under no circumstances will Democrats agree to walk the plank for him with the economy in dire shape.

In a very real sense…with some alterations since no analogy is perfect…2010 may resemble the 1930 congressional. The Depression hit in 1929 and continued for several years. Hoover tried to put on a brave face and use federal government leverage to rescue the situation with creation of the RFC and other U. S. helps. Nothing worked.

In a desperate move to win his popularity back, he backed the Smoot-Hawley tariff and signed it into law in June, 1930-the act raising tariffs on more than 22,000 imported items. Smoot-Hawley was seen as his chance to save the Republicans in 1930 and win reelection in 1932. As we know now it did not: it worsened the Depression.

It’s clear now that Obama’s Smoot-Hawley is his health care bill. He argues falsely that it will not increase the deficit and will be a salvation for the poor…creating a wave of popularity for him to keep or marginally add to the Democratic majorities in House and Senate…and ride that popularity to reelection in 2012.

Frankly no realist believes this can happen. Commonsense tells Americans that with huge deficits in the trillions, adding a middle-class entitlement will be disastrous. In fact the view here is far clearer than it was with Smoot-Hawley for Americans of 1930 were willing-even eager—to use their “patriotism” to back a falsely-drawn bill.

Obama, Emanuel and Axelrod had no use for history and they see health care as rallying Democratic fortunes. What’s likely to happen is that health care will not pass in any way, shape or form which vaguely resembles ObamaCare. They will likely pass a charade bill without teeth, call it health care and run for the hills.

In fact, history may almost duplicate itself in 2010 as resembling 1930. In the 1930 off-year runs, Republicans lost 52 House seats (while retaining control of the House by a sliver). They held on by their fingertips-218 to 216 with the Minnesota Farmer-Labor party winning one seat which helped the Democrats. So on voting, the division was really 217 Democrats and 218 Republicans. Subsequent special elections during the next year saw Democrats trounce Republicans and the House swiftly passed to Democratic control. In the Senate a once heavy Republican majority plummeted in 1930 to a majority vote of one. Soon thereafter another series of special elections for vacancies gave the Senate to the Democrats.

In summary: ObamaCare will be the Democrats’ version of Smoot-Hawley with this exception: Unlike Smoot-Hawley, ObamaCare will fail because it is so self-evidently wrong for these times…and unlike the Republicans of 1930 who went to the people touting Smoot-Hawley, the Dems will go to the people without meaningful health care to tout. The results of the off-year election of 2010 will be roughly the same as the off-year election of 1930…with Republicans coming very close to capturing the House if not entirely capturing it (my guess is that the GOP will win the House)…setting the stage for the crushing defeat of the 44th president in 2012.

Thoughts While Shaving: See the Same Dead Guy on Fox TV Every Day…Bulletin: Mayor Daley Makes Ass of Himself Sob-Sob! Poor Catholics, Victim of Prejudice!

Dead Guy.

Are there any rules prohibiting a dead guy from urging you to invest in gold? Rather ominous but then maybe good. Who knows more about what’s going to happen than a guy who’s already crossed over and sees the other side? Every day when I turn on Fox, there’s Jay Johnson, former director of the U. S. Mint pitching Goldline International. He looks good, ruddy complexion, a twinkle in his eye and crisp, smoothly waved white hair. But last month he toppled over dead at the age of 66. He was a former northern Wisconsin TV anchor and one-term Wisconsin Democratic congressman who after he was defeated was hired by the Clinton administration. Dead or not, he gives his spiel without an obvious worry in the world. And, hey, he looks a hell of a lot healthier than I do today.

But as I reflected this morning while scraping my chin and eyeing Jay on the tube, it’s good to see Johnson there pumping his spiel for investment in gold. He is a living…er, deadly… reminder of what dear old Ernie used to say on Saturday morning’s class before we freshmen would board our college blue bus that took us to Saint Cloud, Minnesota (then population: 28,000, circa 1946) for our Bacchanalian revelries:

“Gentlemen, as you depart on the Johnnie Bus for your Saturday evening recreation, I leave you and your colleagues with this observation: `Be sober and watch for your adversary the Devil prowls about the world seeking whom he may devour.’-I Peter 5-8.” And one afternoon when I was clambering on, I looked over my shoulder and there was Ernie watching us. I said: “Do you have any benediction for us, Father?” He said, “Yes–`Watch, therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man comes'” It stayed with me that evening as I drank my 3.2 % Coldspring for 15-cents a bottle at Weibel’s…playing Big Man…while cud-chewing farmers in overalls (we didn’t know enough to call them jeans) played Scat (pronounced “scott”)-a German card game that is as mysterious to me now as when I was 18. Incidentally, the drinking age in 1946 as now was 21 but that was the thrill of it. Oh, yes, if you could pony up 25 cents you could order up a bottle of Green Death, known as Glueck Stite beer: 12%.

Ass of Himself.

While conservatives say the Fort Hood killings of 13 (including the unborn child) is domestic terrorism…while liberals are describing it as possibly an unconscionable killing spree by an unbalanced psychiatrist…they’re both wrong. Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley went on another ungrammatical tirade of his own-using every opportunity to shill for “gun control” while the U.S. Supreme Court is considering the Chicago confiscation ordinance….making a roaring ass of himself. You see, Fort Hood was caused by laxity in gun control. In other words, an Army major should have been under severe constraint…possibly massive constraint…in obtaining firearms. So that’s what went wrong at Fort Hood. With Chicago-style gun control, Major Hasan would have been turned down and all 13 dead would be alive. Of course Hasan could have easily got a gun at Fort Hood-but… Hey, there’s an idea! Maybe we ought to install gun control at Fort Hood!

Anti-Catholicism is Everywhere, I Tell You!

Chicagocatholicnews.com is an interesting website…too liberal for me, understand…but you get some interesting stuff from it: and there’s professional writing there too from its editor Rob Herguth, the son of Robert Herguth whom you will remember wrote a fun column for years for the Sun-Times. I’m pretty sure young Herguth went to Loyola University as a classmate of my daughter Jeanne.

Anyhow, in his column “From the Portico,” Herguth reproduces a sentence from a book by the ecclesiastical leader of our archdiocese that is …well, I’m sure unintentionally…startling. It goes: “Priestly abuse of children and young people is a great tragedy of unbounded proportions and bishops must take responsibility for it…” Well, that’s not a generous assumption of responsibility because who else but the bishops SHOULD take responsibility. But get the next portion says:

“…but it is also an occasion to unleash the anti-Catholicism that has never been far beneath the surface in U. S. history.”

Two points-clerical pedophilia first.

As result of the gross mis- and malfeasance of pedophilia in this diocese by its ecclesiastical leaders…including the seminary rector who ordained Dan McCormack and has said he’d ordain him again (before the rector was promoted to auxiliary bishop here)…shutting their eyes, falling down on the job, seeing that those responsible are promoted to higher posts-no one can fault any dispassionate observer from becoming cynical if not anti-Catholic. I’m hardly anti-Catholic but I can sure see why people are if they see children victimized by priests. What about those who are in positions of responsibility who fail to adhere to that responsibility? Especially people who write books assailing authenticist and far-left Catholics, calling them “cult leaders.” Which means that after you cull out the rightists and the leftist Catholics, there’s only one remaining: himself.

Second on anti-Catholicism: Anti-Catholicism “that has never been far beneath the surface in U. S. history”? This strikes me as just so much whining. Sure, Catholics weren’t bowed and scraped to and, for the most part immigrants, had to make their way in U.S. lineage without affirmative action-but they didn’t do too badly, beginning with Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Md. and his brother John, the first bishop in the colonies. Catholic Charles was the richest man in the colonies…the only American to sign both the Articles of Confederation and the Declaration of Independence. When he signed the Declaration, he made a special point of adding after his name “of Carrollton” so the British would know what Charles Carroll they were looking for-and as he sat down, Benjamin Franklin murmured to his seatmate: “There go a few millions!

Expressing grievance about our history of anti-Catholic prejudice is a special hallmark of this diocesan leader. Ah how terrible the anti-Catholicism has been! Starting with Catholic Roger Taney [1777-1864], Andrew Jackson’s AG who went on to become chief justice of the United States succeeding John Marshall. I expect that for historians to note Taney’s authorship of the Dred Scott decision that relegated blacks to inferior status this would be an example of anti-Catholicism.

Ah but how that anti-Catholic bigotry flourishes. A Catholic president elected in 1960; his brother almost sure to be elected in 1968 (I hope you’re not going to tell me Bobby was assassinated because of Catholicism)…the first in line to succeed to the president, the vice president is Catholic…the second in line to become president being the Speaker of the House Catholic…the Republican leader of the House Catholic…of the 435 in the House 134 Catholic…in the 100-member Senate 26 are Catholic…of the 50 governors 23 or 46% are Catholic. On and on.

The interesting thing is that very few of the aforementioned support Catholic precepts on abortion. But that fault can be laid at the doorstep of faulty catechetical training-attributable to the bishops.

To what is our archdiocesan leader referring when he refers to the anti-Catholicism that “has never been far beneath the surface in U. S. history”? It so happens I know what he’s referring to…because he cited this to me before which stuns because it’s so minor. It happened the day he told a civic club that “it can be argued that the Republican party never had a soul”-and when questioned said “aha, you didn’t listen to what I said-I said `it can be argued that the Republican party never had a soul.'” Well it can’t even be argued since the Republican party was founded by those who wished to end slavery. He’s referring to a character named James G. Blaine.

James G. Blaine [1830-1893] was the Republican senator from Maine, a Speaker of the House and secretary of state and a presidential candidate. He came from a Catholic family, incidentally, but was imbued with the desire to keep the feds from supporting Catholic parochial schools. Yes-yes that’s it.

Can you imagine the hurt, the pain, the anguish, the humiliation every Catholic feels every morning when he/she arises and retrospectively knows first-hand that he/she has been degraded, discriminated against and turned into second-class citizens by this insidious James G. Blaine? Take a look at what’s happening today-all these Catholic schools like…ugh…Notre Dame being shorn of federal funding…all their students, dewy-eyed because of James G. Blaine! Think of what DePaul would be like if federal funds were given to it: to get those federal funds it would have to shirk off its Catholicism! And we know Catholic schools who receive federal funding wouldn’t do that would they? DePaul…Loyola…Georgetown…Notre Dame. I tell you the discriminatory ghost of James G. Blaine still stalks the land.