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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.

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.

Personal Aside: Why, Oh Why, is the USCCB (Catholic Bishops) Pushing ObamaCare?

This Enquiring Catholic Wants to Know.

There are many reasons to abolish the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) which is the legatee of the man who strove to one day become America’s Pope, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. But news accounts that the organization which represents all the Catholic bishops in the U.S. has been lobbying strenuously for passage of ObamaCare justifies a rephrase of this question.

Understand we all agreed when the USCCB fought the pro-abortion provision in the original bill pushed by Mme. Pelosi. But now news comes out…as if we hadn’t suspected it all along…that the concerted bishops’ push was a carrot not a stick. Pelosi was told that unless the offending provision were to be dropped, the bishops would turn thumbs down on ObamaCare. Inferentially: if the provision were to be dropped…as it was…the bishops would push ObamaCare as part of its “social justice” mission.

Several authentic news sources tell the story: Accuracy in Media…The Christian Science Monitor…The Hill, the newspaper of Capitol Hill…NBC News…and Politico the objective Internet feed that disseminates stories on U. S. politics. Politico writes that last Saturday after Catholic lobbyists had completed a deal with Pelosi…purportedly to kill the pro-abortion provision…the USCCB “delivered a critical endorsement” to Pelosi “by signing off on late-night agreement to grant a vote on an amendment barring insurance companies that participate in the exchange from covering abortions.”

I checked yesterday with a number of lawmakers on the Hill including some Democratic House members close to Pelosi-including some pro-life Democrats-and find a good number who told me there was an agreement…passed to them by Pelosi…that the USCCB would cover them if they voted for ObamaCare by publicizing the fact that they were in synch with Catholic social teaching.

Other clues: The Hill newspaper reports that none other than Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) blurted this out which uncovered the USCCB’s intent: “I would like the [Catholic] bishops who as I understand it WANT A BILL, to help us work out a plan where we don’t have winners and losers. Because the losers will make us lose the bill and the winners won’t have won anything.” [Capitalization supplied].

NBC’s Doug Adams has reported substantially the same thing, adding the Catholic bishops were “lobbying hard.” The lobbying wasn’t just to ditch the abortion provision but was conducted with a wink and a nod that if the abortion provision were to be dumped, the Catholic bishops would give thumbs-up on Obama’s plan to encase 1/6th of the economy in a statist straitjacket…with penalties meted out for those who refuse to obey including possibly…as a last resort…being arrested if they didn’t sign up with the bill and bought private insurance.

Don’t expect the USCCB to come forth and say their staffers cooked up the deal while they cast their eyes heavenward in pseudo prayer. . But that’s the way it was. Candor is not how politics works-and remember, politics as we know it was invented almost 2000 years ago by ecclesiastically garbed wily church operatives including some wheeler-dealers who would make Rahm Emanuel look like Francis of Assisi. In fact a study of unvarnished Catholic church history convinced Bob Novak to convert, saying that he now had proof the Church founded by Jesus Christ is divine since it survived a long line of willful skullduggers down through the centuries…that and at the same time produced magisterial thinkers such as Ambrose, Aquinas and Augustine.

St. Joseph Bernardin: Patron of Liberal Pols, RIP.

Of my time here on earth, I count the most Machievellian political strategist, ace wheeler-dealer, master manipulator of all to be Cardinal Joseph Bernardin…,intellectual legatee of Thomas Cardinal Wolsey… who was gifted with the Italianate skills plus charm and who was not burdened by undue concern with theology or philosophy since he had been relatively free of both, having been educated largely in public schools until he stepped into the seminary. Bernardin as junior auxiliary bishop got himself appointed executive director of what was then the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. The group then was a sleepy, indolent, lethargic repository of wrist-slashingly turgid tracts which the young Bernardin was supposed to preside like a librarian. He took the group and transformed it into a powerhouse, got himself familiarized with various papal nuncios and soon became the clearinghouse for approval of men who would be nominated for ordination as bishops by the Vatican. He became the go-to guy-for Rome which wanted to test the pulse of Catholic U. S. and for the U. S. bishops…too busy to worry about politics… who wanted to test the pulse of Rome. Joe was the guy.

Bernardin ran it efficiently much as a Democratic Chicago ward-committeeman does his office. He would politic around clergy who wanted to ascend upward and made sure those who were promoted recognized that they got where they wanted to go due to Bernardin’s imprimatur. Then he would use them as endorsers of his own future ascent to the topmost tower-becoming a Prince of the Church. While he was climbing, to Rome, the sagacious Bernardin maintained eyes-cast-heavenward as an authenticist. To the U. S. Bernardin chafed at Rome and built a coterie of palsy liberals. By the time his tenure was up with the Bishops, Joe Bernardin had ingratiated himself to Rome as a definite comer and had built an organization of those bishops indebted to him. By the time he was named archbishop of Chicago and then festooned with the red hat, he had greased the way for countless surrogates-not all in the sublime state of grace.

Say this about Joe, he could run things. A helluva manager. A helluva politician who could get every secular pol on the phone who mattered. His main goal was to invest liberalism as a handmaiden of the Church. A sample of his brilliant ingenuity: right-to-life. Here Democratic Catholic candidates were running on a pro-abort platform and running into trouble with some authenticist priests and the mewing sheep in the pews. Good ol’ Joe had the answer. He got himself “elected” chair of the outfit he used to serve as a staffer-chair of the USCCB. Then he concocted a phony theology of “life” which linked abortion with nuclear freeze (then it was popular with the Left) and opposition to the death penalty. He called it the “seamless garment.” One of his close assistants had thought of the name since Joe in his youth was not overly-stressed with biblical theology. They said, “You know, Joe: John 19-23, the part where after Christ’s crucifixion the soldiers cast lots for his garment that had no seams. What’s better than this for all the issues the Dems need to show they’re `pro life’?”

The beauty of it is that it can be everlastingly adapted in the future to catch even more liberals. Suppose you want to add…oh let us say…PETA (People Favoring the Ethical Treatment of Animals”…or Vegetarianism. All fit smoothly. Also various legislative enactments-expanded welfare to benefit life, world government to benefit peace which benefits life. Get it? All under the rubric of life. A genius thought. it early in 1984 when Fritz Mondale, the pro-abort, was running against Ronald Reagan and Reagan was clobbering him to death with Catholics for being pro-life when Mondale was not. Along comes Joe and unveils his plan and lo! Mondale tops Reagan 2 to 1 on pro-life issues. Good old Joe. No wonder he got the Presidential Medal of Freedom conferred from the hands of Bill Clinton himself. Enough Catholic votes were corralled with Joe’s device to put Slick Willie in the White House.

You get the idea. By the time he received another call…which he couldn’t defer…Joe had built an impeccable temple for the Bishops as custodians of liberalism who can use the seamless garment as a mantle to embrace the entire library of liberalism.

Not all bishops are liberal-but the good ones are so busy running their dioceses that they’ve delegated their role to the USCCB. Now we have a Chicago successor to Joe Bernardin who runs it…or has been elected to run it and for whom numberless liberals run it for him and who when they’re questioned are quick to parse-parse-parse-parse: huh? What do you mean liberal? What do you mean “Democratic”? The social teachings of the Church necessitate that…

Legendary Fr. Ernie Returns!

Stow it. For a review of the social teachings of the church I turned back to my shorthand notes from 1946 and dear old Fr. Ernie (Fr. Ernest Kilzer, OSB, Ph.D) and his philosophy-theology classes.

MAY 4, 1946 and we go to Ernie:

“Now we come to the matter of social justice. As a human right, property is the moral power that a man has to dispose of a thing and its utility according to that man’s will, independently of others but there is a qualification. And what is it…let me call on one who has a great deal of property, standing in line to receive the ownership someday of the Matthew Hall Lumber Company of St. Cloud, Minnesota-Mr. Bede Hall. Mr. Hall, what moral power constrains you from utilizing your potential ownership of your father’s lumber yard? Huh? You say what sir? You don’t know? Well, sir, that would be bad news indeed for your employees, would it not?

“You will be constrained, Mr. Hall with ownership provided…and take it down sir…provided there is no infringement on the coorrelative rights of others! It is well to understand, gentlemen, that our right to acquire and possess permanent property is DIVINELY APPROVED. Get that? Divinely approved…since the contrary theory is Marxism which denies that people have a right to private ownership of everything.

“Let me ask Mr. Roeser: How does the Decalogue defend the holding of private property? Think, Mr. Roeser, THINK! I know it’s early in the morning but THINK! You say you cannot think or that you cannot deduce the answer? I repeat the question to this class-the question: How does the Decalogue written by God Himself sanction the holding of private property? Anyone? Well here is the answer.

” The Decalogue FORBIDS THEFT! Without private property theft is meaningless, is it not? Let me say that down through the ages, our Church has defended the right to property and ownership as a kind of two-edged sword. It obligates others to respect the property of an individual. And it condemns anyone who does what does not belong to him. Pushed on both sides…between those who say that private property ownership can lead to abuses…and those who say that to counter this ownership is sinful…the Church steers between those two extremes. Remember this, Mr. Hall when you run your family’s lumber mill and I come to you as a customer.”

How would Ernie, in his grave for two decades, feel that the Conference of bishops of his Church are lobbying for ObamaCare?

Better still, YOU TELL ME at thomasfroeser@sbcblogal.net

And say a Pater and Ave to Fr, Ernie to safeguard us from the USCCB. Better still-when the basket comes `round to support this liberal claptrap masquerading as social justice, clasp your hands together in prayer and look up at a distance. Some day…some day…we will muster the guts to demand the cynical manipulation known as USCCB be disbanded along with the misnamed Catholic Campaign for “Human Development.”

Personal Asides: Heads Should Roll on the Islamic Major Fact-Free News Labeling.

Heads Should Roll at Army and FBI.

News that communications from our Islamic-loving Major Nidal Malik Hasan and a radical cleric in Yemen known for his fiery anti-American teachings were intercepted by federal agencies-and a decision was made to do nothing about them…inaction which caused the death of 13 military personnel at Fort Hood–should warrant (a) a top-level congressional hearing and (b) that without much delay, heads should roll: specifically at the Army and FBI.

And the heads that roll should not be those of underlings…usually singled out as scapegoats-but if facts warrant, those belonging to Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey and FBI Director Robert Mueller. The signs are ever-present that political correctness by the feds led to the disaster, marked by a comment the FBI made to the news media immediately following the blood-bath…that “the possibility of terrorism is being dismissed.”

It’s one thing when you have media liberals (locally the Sun-Times’ Neil Steinberg) fearing opprobrium on Islamic terrorists. That’s the way anti-Catholic Steinberg is constituted. He’s famed as a congenital relativist, no absolutes liberal with a sick comedic sense. He joked the other day that if a woman kills her kids and tells people Jesus ordered her to do it, condemnation of Christianity is equivalent to worry about Islamic terrorists anent the Hasan matter. How the hell the Sun-Times can continue printing what this twit serves up as “commentary”…and give him an entire page to regurgitate his twaddle…is astounding-but that’s another issue. The liberal media are one thing but when two major agencies twiddle their thumbs on political correctness it’s conducting a probe and if found guilty toppling their heads.

Fact-Free News Labeling.

This is the era of fact-free political labeling. People grow up indoctrinated with false ideological and flamboyant labels that liberal media affix. And the labels stick like glue even though most are inaccurate. Therefore, here’s some initial debunking …of presidents and legislative acts…intended for those interested in shaking off false media-fixated history.

#1: “Insider Trading’s “Morally Wrong.”

So-called “insider trading” has been ruled illegal and condemned as “immoral.” Illegal, yes-but morally wrong? Milton Friedman’s view on this as on most things is exceedingly sensible. This Nobel prize winner in economics said, “You want more insider trading, not less. You want to give the people most likely to have knowledge about deficiencies of a company the incentive to make the public aware of that.” He didn’t believe a trader should have to make his trade public because the act of buying and selling is itself information for the market. Friedman’s original proposition has been joined by legal scholars Henry Manne, Daniel Fischel and Frank Esterbook as well as conservative economic philosopher Thomas Sowell.

But the issue hasn’t been debated fairly since showboat liberal Republican “reformer” Teddy Roosevelt…multi-millionaire scion of a family that owned 24 acres of land now called downtown Manhattan… made hay by crusading against people who simulated his own family– “the malefactors of great wealth.” His rich country squire cousin FDR blamed much of the Depression on Wall Street insider speculating which was nonsense. The Depression was worsened because original restrictions on Wall Street trading deprived the general public of knowing what was happening to the market-which they assuredly would have without the information blockade.

In 1933 the heavily Democratic congress passed what FDR demanded: even further restrictions on information with creation of the Securities and Exchange Commission. In `34 the president named as its first head Joseph P. Kennedy, the most spectacular insider-trader of his time–who raised a lot of money for activities which he would later pontificate were unethical. Indeed, he had made his fortune as an insider in unregulated markets-that and a financier of illegal bootlegging. Roosevelt laughed off this complaint saying “it takes a crook to catch one.”

That was then. But the real popular demonization of so-called insider trading crested with the 1987 film “Wall Street,” which ultra-lefty producer Oliver Stone utilized as a cudgel to attack the boom times that came in the late `80s under the hated Ronald Reagan. “Wall Street” told the story of a young broker (Charlie Sheen) who wanted to rise on the Street quickly and so became a toady for one Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) who proclaimed “greed is good.” Stone banked that overwhelmingly economics illiterate movie goers (gobbling popcorn and slurping cola) would be convinced all stock trading is crooked-and many of them did…and with the help of today’s media still do.

Snarling, soulless Douglas introduces Sheen to “insider trading” and also to a gorgeous interior designer, Darien (Daryl Hannah). Darien is a money-hungry creature who gets angry with Sheen when he decides to go “straight.” It’s too late, though and the SEC arrest Sheen in his office, leading him away in handcuffs. They agree to fit him with a wire and he entraps Douglas. Darien has learned nothing from this and looks for another sugar daddy. (Incidentally, Daryl Hannah was born in Chicago, the stepdaughter of prominent city investor the late Jared Wexler. Hannah hated the role and was the only player in it who wasn’t nominated for an Academy Award because her heart wasn’t in defiling capitalism, her stepfather’s trade. Ironically, she became the girlfriend of none other than the late John F. Kennedy, Jr., grandson of Old Joe).

Thanks to radical Oliver Stone and liberal Hollywood hustlers, it’s not surprising that so-called “insider trading” has been pictured as gangsters no matter what Milton Friedman and other free-market economists have said. But the point remains that prohibitions on insider trading prevent the market from adjusting as quickly as it otherwise would to the demand for corporate assets…resulting n prices that lie. Example: the 1970s price ceiling on gasoline. The ceiling caused prices at the pump to almost criminally mislead about the scarcity of oil which prompted us to waste countless hours waiting in line to fuel our cars. Friedman used that as an example to prove that similar waste occurs when corporate assets are mis-priced-the correction of which would occur when the truth quickly hits the street.

Economist Donald Boudreaux uses this example: Jones & Jones Widget company is on the verge of bankruptcy due to mismanagement. So Jones & Jones can legally hide their financial condition for a time. During that time Jones & Jones’ price will be too high for its worth. Investors buy Jones & Jones at prices that deliberately hide its near-insolvency…creditors extend financing at prices that don’t compensate creditors for the risks they are unknowingly taking.

Some Jones & Jones employees decline job offers at other companies believing all is okay at Jones & Jones. Eventually, of course, the true condition of Jones & Jones comes out and investors, creditors and employees all pay the price. And don’t forget the economy pays a price as well. Misled by Jones & Jones’ stalling on the true condition until required to do so, capital that otherwise would have been directed to other more qualified sources don’t get to those firms. Other firms don’t expand their operations, can’t expand into new job hiring.

See what I mean? With legalized insider traders, the truth would get out quick, prices would adjust to match and market participants would be protected quicker. For further information, read “Insider Trading and the Stock Market” by economist Manne, dean emeritus at George Mason University. Manne says truthfully that Enron and Global Crossing scandals would have been divulged more quickly, would occur less frequently. Legalizing insider trading would add three percentage points to U. S. economic growth.

But don’t expect Hollywood will make movies debunking liberal labels. It’s too interested in assailing free market capitalism and portraying it as evil-even though he has benefited from the system. That’s what Barack Obama-style neo-Marxism is all about.

#2: Harry Truman Was a “Great President.”

Harry Truman had some good points but also glaring deficiencies. We should get over the idea of the high school-educated bantam rooster “good old Harry.” He turned out to be better than expected but as an unknown when he succeeded Roosevelt, we expected nothing. We just missed inheriting Henry Wallace the crypto-pro-Left visionary which would have been disastrous. Here are Truman’s good points and bad-and you decide.

Good : horrific as it is to consider, he dropped the atomic bomb and won World War II which saved us at least 5 more years of war and many thousands of young American lives by island-hopping….still a tough decision that would keep you and me awake for the rest of our lives. But it didn’t faze Harry who slept a good 8 hours the night after he gave the order. (Good but that gives you pause, doesn’t it?)

Good: He finally learned he should stop listening to State Department appeasers and reject the Obama-like idea that pleaded with the USSR: “can’t we all get along?” He pushed the Marshall Plan that stabilized western Europe and largely saved it from Communism and proclaimed the Truman Doctrine supporting those who resisted Soviet imperialism, supported the Berlin airlift. Good: He recognized the new nation of Israel.

Bad: He seized the country’s steel mills to head off an impending strike during the Korean war which was found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Bad: He was notoriously soft on corruption which especially hit the IRS: the assistant treasury secretary in charge of tax policy had to resign for doing favors to big-wigs. Bad: After World War II, he became convinced that by possessing the A-Bomb we could cut back on military preparedness so he slashed the Marine Corps to the bone. He fired four defense secretaries between 1947 and 1951. That led to the “Revolt of the Admirals” which spared the armed services so that they would be ready for the Korean War (which was caused by Truman).

Bad: He caused Free China to fall to the Communists by insisting that Chiang kai Shek accept them in a coalition government (which Mao was committed to reject). Chiang refused with the result that the U.S. ended all military support for him against the Reds and Mao took over in 1949. Bad: his secretary of state said publicly that Korea was outside the perimeter of our defense which triggered the North to invade the South on the pretext that we didn’t care. Truman then reversed the policy and ordered us into an extra-constitutional “police action” which never had congressional sanction. Bad: Having done that, Truman gave World War II hero 5-star general Douglas MacArthur too free a rein leading MacArthur to assume he had the sole right to invade China to punish its entry into the war.

Bad: Having foolishly seeming to give MacArthur too much authority, when things got hot, Truman fired him instead of allowing Mac, a true hero, to resign-and bad again-fired him via news reports (MacArthur hearing from a radio broadcast that he was removed). This incompetence led to frenetic division in the United States which tore the country apart and encouraged North Korea and Mao-led China.

Bad: He was notoriously soft on corruption which had permeated the IRS where agents on the take were winking at tax evaders. After a congressional probe he called in a special prosecutor who reported to the Attorney General. But when the special prosecutor got close to corruption by the AG, the AG fired the prosecutor…after which Truman fired the AG. Government became a musical chair comedy.

Bad: He shut his eyes when it was disclosed by Joe McCarthy and others that the government was riddled with Communist sympathizers…and famously charged that McCarthy was dragging a “red herring.” But pressured by congressional hearings, he set up his own probe which resulted in 2,500 employees being dismissed-but he resisted demanding that all federal employees take a loyalty oath. Bad again: He was warned repeatedly that undersecretary of the Treasury Harry Dexter White was pro-communist and should be fired. Truman resisted and instead named White to a high post in the International Monetary Fund. When it got too hot, White skipped out to Moscow as a bonafide Communist, taking with him God knows how many secrets to give to the Kremlin.

While liberal university historians rated him 9th among the presidents and 4th among the six “near great” presidents, he should be near the bottom-probably in the lowest third. But the legend of Harry Truman the Great lives on-thanks to hagiographers as David McCollum. The unjustified glory phase still continues with Republican presidents and candidates who say they will strive to be “another Harry Truman.” They know not what they mean.

#3. Direct Election of Senators “Good Reform.”

This nation’s founders wanted to have the Congress composed of one body elected directly by the people (the House of Representatives) and another to be elected by the state legislatures (the U. S. Senate). Their reason was clear: they wanted state governments to provide a significant check on federal usurpation of the states i.e. the liberal populist sentiment. George Washington himself illustrated the value of the Senate with a cup of very hot tea. He poured some in his saucer for cooling. That is the roll of the Senate, he said, to cool the product of the emotionally-driven more populist House.

Nevertheless, the battle to change the system began as early as 1826 with steady drumbeat of the “reformers” and lasted until ratification of the 17th amendment in 1913 which gave direct senatorial election to voters.

The 17th was a giant step to the unraveling of the great balance between state and federal prerogatives. And it is not a coincidence thatmost of the great senators in U. S. history were elected by the legislature only a few of whom were Charles Carroll of Carrolton, [Md.], the only Catholic Declaration signer, Daniel Webster [Mass.], John C. Calhoun [S,C,] John Quincy Adams [Mass.]. Sam Houston [Texas], William Seward [NY], Stephen A. Douglas [Ill.], Leland Stanford [Calif.], Henry Cabot Lodge [Mass.], Robert LaFollette [Wis.], Nelson Aldrich [NY] William E. Borah [Idaho], Elihu Root [N.Y.], all sturdy individualists, many of wealth and success who represented a counterweight to the more populist House.

Also, said the “reformers,” the senate is controlled by big money due to wheeling and dealing electoral process in the state legislatures..

A horrible example they cited came from the journalism of newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst (whose own father was U. S. senator from California, elected by the legislature)-came from Chicago (surprise?)…that of Billy Lorimer [1861-1934] the Republican boss of Chicago (doesn’t that sound quaint-Republican boss of Chicago?) who allegedly bribed first one Democratic state legislator and then others to enable Lorimer to sneak his election by a narrow vote. One Dem charged he was paid $1,000 to go for Lorimer: soon he was joined by others who made the same assertion.

Then came the inflated, pompous pooh-bah of self-righteousness, ex-president Teddy Roosevelt, running in 1912 as Progressive party candidate, who said he would not appear on the same platform with Lorimer. Immediately, Billy Lorimer was expelled from the Senate by that body’s vote. Lorimer was a crook: no doubt about that. But you change the Founders’ concept of the Constitution because of him? Nevertheless, Lorimer was the horrible example of the bad apple. His case foolishly pushed the drive to amend the Constitution to provide for direct election of senators.

Has the 17th amendment given us a better class of senators? Take a look at the partial roster of incumbents as 2009 began: the late Ted Kennedy [Mass.] scion multi-millionaire whose family regularly plumped big dough into his and his brothers’ campaigns, John Kerry [Mass.], the richest U.S. senator who married the Heinz catsup fortune; Chris Dodd [Conn.] under probe for favoritism with Wall Street; Jay Rockefeller [W.Va.] multi-millionaire; 91-year-old Robert Byrd [W. Va.], the longest serving senator in U.S. history, a former Ku Klux Klan member; Harry Reid [Nev.]; Bernie Sanders [Vt.], a socialist and far-leftist since involvement in radical politics at the University of Chicago, who caucuses with the Democrats; Herb Kohn [Wis], multi-millionaire; Diane Feinstein [Calif.], married a multi-millionaire investment banker who has made mega-millions with a construction company doing business in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Also the ex-comedian Al Franken [Minn]; Dick Durbin [Ill.]; Olympia Snowe [R.I.], Barbara Boxer [Calif.]; Chuck Schumer [N.Y.].

Demographics show the 17th amendment has produced members more likely to have an Ivy League education (hence: liberal). States are more likely to have split Senate delegations and the Senate is more likely to resemble the partisan temperament of the House-just the opposite of the lesson Washington demonstrated with the saucer that cooled his tea.

I’ll serve up other subjects for debunking later. In the meantime, if you wish, suggest some subjects by writing to me at thomasfroeser@sbcglobal.net.

Thoughts While Shaving: Napolitano Worries That Muslims Here Will be Alienated Donatellis Foolish Advice to the GOP.

Napolitano’s Worries Typify Obama-ites.

While everyone else is wondering if the attack of Fort Hood was caused by a concerted Muslim terrorist group or represents one single Army major who is a devout Muslim and who went berserk…you’ll be happy to know that the Obama administration’s homeland security secretary is today in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates for meetings with Muslims and worrying that the attack here may start an anti-Muslim backlash in this country.

Thus, a possible anti-Muslim backlash: the first concern of Janet Napolitano.

There: isn’t that reassuring to have that the first concern of homeland security…I mean, she is today in Abu Dhabi-worrying about U. S. Muslims– while working for a president of whose background we know very little…whose college grades at Occidental and Harvard Law are shut off from us…whose school writing (distinguished from books purportedly written by him) are withheld…and whose supposed attendance in Columbia University (in 1981 when he supposedly transferred there from Occidental) cannot be verified by Fox News, the only news reporting group interested…and which questioned ex-students from this era, finding no one-absolutely no one-who knew him …and like all other news agencies is unable to transcript and verification papers because they have been ordered withheld at the demand of the Obama administration…

All these things and more-culminating in a president about whom no one really knows…whose religious training is co-mingled Muslim and Christian (about which there is continuous dispute)…who has stated America is not more exceptional than any other country…who has denied we are a Christian nation…and…whose middle name is Hussein? Are we not damned fools for taking this Mystery Man on trust…and his minions who are supposedly sworn to protect our safety but whose central preoccupation is to protect Muslims from our “misunderstanding” after one of their religion slaughtered twelve of our army personnel…or are we not?

Just wondering.

Donatelli’s Reassuring Counsel.

In recent political history, Frank Donatelli has always been known as a second-ranking and third-rated coat handler and relatively minor employee in the Reagan administration who was never anything more than a deputy, assistant or under-deputy special assistant…and who when he finally became assistant to the president was easily topped by a bevy of better qualified advisers.

Now he is chairman of a thing called GO-PAC…a subaltern organization that is well down the shuffle of hierarchy but which was once headed by Newt Gingrich when he began his move upstairs as a junior congressman. The other evening Donatelli addressed the Lake County Republican Federation Dinner which I attended (gratis, thank you, dear benefactor). You’ll be interested to hear what this longtime time-server minion of Gingrich said about New York 23. You remember New York 23 where the reigning eleven Republican county chairmen in the district…all indebted to big labor as a legacy from the Dewey and Rockefeller era…sat down in a pizza parlor (yes that’s right) and endorsed the candidacy of liberal Assemblyman, pro-abort, pro-same-sex marriage, Dede Scozzafava whose husband is a high-ranking union official, working every day closely with state Democrats.

Scozzafava was nominated from the pizza parlor with no input from the grassroots. True there is no such thing as a party primary in New York thanks to generation of liberal Republicans ala Dewey, Rockefeller ad infinitum. Everything is done by convention but in this instance by grubby handshakes of all co-conspirators in a pizza parlor. No ad hoc town hall. Nothing. Talk about old-style boss politics.

Doug Hoffman was named by the Conservative Party who stood for all the things Scozzafava did not. Gingrich endorsed her promptly as a kind of sop pragmatism saying that while he doesn’t agree with her on many things, Republicans should understand the half-a-loaf theory. That’s when the smartest guy in the room proved to be the dumbest-as has happened not infrequently in the past with despite his brilliant coup to capture the House ultimately he was forced to bow out after spectacular mismanagement, ethics charges and fines and a notable extra-curricular dalliance that produced Wife No. 3…after which he became a Catholic.

Scozzafava received $900,000 from the RNC largely due to Gingrich’s influence with Michael Steele the chairman. Despite this, the polls showed Scozzafava running in third place behind Hoffman and the Democrat, Bill Owens. Scozzafava pulled out, declaring she would always stay a Republican. The next day…the next day…she endorsed Owens wholeheartedly for Congress. Now the Republican assembly leader in Albany is talking to her about loyalty.

Long story but you know it, I’m sure. Anyhow this hack Donatelli tells the Lake county Republican Federation that the object lesson in New York 23 is that Republicans should not allow themselves to be divided. Meaning that the grassroots support of Hoffman was wrong since the Big Eleven in the pizza parlor had decided for them. Meaning Republicans should learn never to challenge the system or allow the grassroots a say after the party big-wigs have determined what is good for them.

The best thing about the event was that it was not boring…not when I was on the edge of my seat witnessing a so-called GOP “leader” instruct the faithful only days after two major victories and one defeat caused by the Grand Old Party going to the tune of almost a million bucks with the decisions made in the pizza parlor. The lesson imparted by Donatelli showed once again that anybody who wants to follow Gingrich’s advice and who doesn’t know about his record of 50% goofyness and 50% genius should remember New York 23-that and go out of their way to counsel with Gingrich’s Peerless Strategist Donatelli.

Personal Aside: Incredible Failure to Understand the Enemy Within and the Koran–Involved in Fort Hood Tragedy.

Imagine, an army major…not a private or new boot but a relatively high-ranking medical doctor with a degree in psychiatry with a Muslim name, Nidal Malik Husan, whose name appears on radical Internet messages that equated suicide bombers to heroic soldiers who throw themselves on a grenade to save others’ lives…who got into verbal fights with others in the military because he opposes U. S. action in Afghanistan and Iraq…who has been a lifelong Muslim…who attended Muslim prayers regularly when he lived outside Washington, frequently in his military uniform…who was fighting orders to be deployed to Iraq at the end of this month…who according to Terry Lee, a retired colonel who worked with Nidal Malik Hasan at Fort Hood quoted others as saying “maybe people should strap bombs on themselves and go to Times Square”-all these things and…

Nobody for a minute suspected this guy as a potential threat? The level of innocence, naivete and gullibility is unbelievable…as is the failure of CBS (the Katie Couric network) and NBC to identify-when other news agencies did-that he is a Muslim (only ABC-TV did at the outset). This innocent belief in the good qualities of people…as with 9/11…is on one hand a fine American trait but on the other a very short-sighted, innocent, credulous view of the world. It’s the same kind of liberal think-well-of-everybody-and-for-gosh-sakes-don’t-make-judgments that left us open on 9/11. But on and before 9/11 we didn’t have the short-hand warning bells that the Army routinely received-and ignored-with Nidal Malik Husan.

For one thing, let’s stow this damnable political correctness which is a trademark of our relativistic society (“there are no absolutes; what is right for you may not be for me; what is right for me may not be for you”). Nor is believing in absolutes aping the religion of Islam. When you find someone pouring into the Koran regularly, remember some of the frightening passages from the Prophet who tells readers he is the Messenger of Allah: Koran 48:29: “Muhammad is Allah’s Apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another.” In Islam law, jihad is an obligatory response when a Muslim territory is attacked. When non-Muslims invade a Muslim country or a country near to one, jihad is personally mandated upon the inhabitants of that country who must repel the non-Muslims wherever and however they can.

Are there moderate Muslims? Yes, to be sure but it is unlikely they are typical. And it is incumbent upon this nation…particularly the U. S. military…to set aside starry-eyed relativism and recognize that all religions are not the same…that the words of Jesus “Love your enemies and do good and lend, expecting nothing in return and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind of the ungrateful and the selfish” [Luke 6:35] ” are vastly different from the words of the Koran “Therefore, when ye meet the unbelievers in fight, smite at their necks; at length when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly on them: thereafter is the time for either generosity or ransom, until the war laws down its burdens…But those who are slain in the Way of Allah, He will never let their deeds by lost” [Qur’an 47:4].

Remember, Islamic law is not definitive in condemning the killing even of women and children “unless they are fighting against the Muslims” This has been interpreted by scholars of Islam as sanctioning the murder of civilians if they are perceived as even indirectly aiding the war effort. (The quote is from “Umdat al-Salik o9.10, cf al-Mawardi, al-Akham as-Sultaniyuyan, 4.2.

It is time for all of us…I thought up to now it is hardly needed to remind the military…to examine our enemy. Any view that Muslims should be accepted as…as…Presbyterians…is tragically na�ve and should be relegated to abject simple-minded liberalism. The fact is that Muslims with clear ties to jihad terrorists have entrenched themselves into our political system and…as we now see-but should not be surprised to see-our military establishment. What we must do is (1) read the Koran: I have. (2) report honestly about jihadist activity in the West. (3) reclassify Muslim organizations. (4) Reexamine those who are in high posts involving the military. The case at Fort Hood wreaks of simple-minded naivete and ignorance. Finally (5) we should do what all too frequently is ignored in our education-take pride in Western culture.