I speak to author Erin McCole Cupp at the Catholic Marketing Network

Her author page is here

Her latest book is here

The Rest of my Catholic Marketing Network posts are here.

By John Ruberry

Occupy Chicago activists with Palestinian flag in 2012

Even in Illinois this story was barely noticed, but the dropping of a socialist running mate by an Illinois gubernatorial candidate betrays a deep rift within the Democratic Party that deserves a close look.

Late last month State Sen. Daniel Biss, a candidate for governor, announced Chicago alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa as his running mate. Just as on the presidential stage, ticket balancing is a goal for Illinois gubernatorial hopefuls and lately white candidates have been picking minorities as their running mates. Incumbent governor Bruce Rauner’s lieutenant governor is an Hispanic. Biss of course chose that strategy too.

But his ticket was perhaps too balanced. Or was it too unbalanced? Six days later Biss dropped his running mate.

Not only is Ramirez-Rosa an Hispanic but he’s also openly gay. So he’s a two-fer, which covers a pair core Democratic constituencies. That is almost certainly why this 28-year-old with scant experience was selected, not because he’s qualified to serve as governor. C’mon now, 28 years old? Illinois is burdened with declining population, $14 billion in unpaid bills, and one of the worst-funded public pension systems among the 50 states. And at one time Biss thought Ramirez-Rosa was good enough to be a heartbeat away from being in charge of fixing this debacle?

But Biss clearly didn’t dig very deep into the background of Ramirez-Rosa. Biss is Jewish but his running mate for that brief time is a supporter of BDS, that is, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. Biss’ mother grew up in the Jewish state. When a Jewish Illinois Democratic congressman retracted his endorsement of Biss over the BDS controversy, the chain reaction began.

Ramirez-Rosa was elected to Chicago’s City Council–that inept legislative body that sees a member graduate to a federal penitentiary every 18 months or so–two years ago. Earlier this year he joined the Democratic Socialists of America. It’s more socialist than Democrat.

Just as in 2004, when since-disgraced John Edwards claimed there were “two Americas,” there are two Democratic parties, the old guard, which is still trying to recreate the Franklin D. Roosevelt coalition, and the new wing, which is channeling the spirit of five-time Socialist Party candidate for president, Eugene V. Debs. Or to put a contemporary label on these factions, it’s Hillary Clinton versus Bernie Sanders.

Last month the DSA, which is not formally a political party, held its biennial convention in Chicago. Two things of note occurred. The Democratic Socialists voted nearly unanimously to support the BDS movement. Yes, Sanders is Jewish, but like most leftist Jews he’s secular. Secondly, as Salon noted, an online kerfuffle broke out during the DSA shindig when old guard Democrats complained that the socialists were “hijacking the party.” Perhaps they are. And even though the champion of the hijackers is a septuagenarian, energy and youth is with the socialists’ side, not the stalwarts.

Young against old. Gee, I wonder who is going to win?

Blogger at the border

By 2020, the Democratic Party, which was founded by Andrew Jackson, may be America’s socialist party. With it will come the anti-Israeli and yes, anti-Semitic baggage of the far-left. Except the far-left could be the center-left by then.

As for Jewish Democrats, especially those who support Israel, they will wonder what the heck happened to their party. Actually, it’s occurring now. Early this year in a poll Pew discovered Democrats’ loyalties are almost evenly split in regards to the Israeli-Palestinian struggle.

Perhaps Biss was too hasty in dumping Ramirez-Rosa.  A pro-Israel Democrat paired with a BDS Democrat? Now that’s a balanced ticket!

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

When I purchased my first home, I intended to use a VA loan. I thought that the VA loan was one of those awesome military benefits, but my realtor talked me out of it, saying it would take too long. I thought it was odd at the time, but I went ahead and pursued a conventional loan.

Years later, I’m finally getting ready to close on a new construction house, and I chose to use my VA loan. Unfortunately, everything that realtor said about VA loans came true.

Continue reading “All those VA “Benefits””

Once we confirmed that Stacy’s scheduled TV appearance in Leominster was kaput he informed me that the college republicans that he had been in contact with wanted to have him visit the college for 5:30 or so.Stacy and I headed toward cambridge.

Rather than take the long drive into Harvard Square as my dad used did to take me Million Year Picnic back when I was thirteen in the days when Harvard Square was the western most stop on the Boston Subway  We headed to Alewife station parked on the the 4th floor grabbed our red line tickets and grabbed a seat on the subway heading to Harvard Station and the square and college that it led to.

When we emerged into the daylight and crossed over to the gate, we found ourselves smack in the middle of a protest

There was a circle of several hundred people who surrounded a few folks taking turns with a bullhorn denouncing dropping DACA. We had gotten there early for our meeting but late for the start of the protest so we checked out the signs and the crowd and campus police that looked on with the same half amused resignation as people at the most exclusive school in the world talked about oppression.

We watched for a while, saw the various signs (invariably anti trump) then left for our meeting location (missing the human chain and subsequent arrests).

We found the hall where we were supposed to meet and happily stumbled on a presentation by professor Robert George. of Princeton.

As Stacy went out to find the fellow we were looking for I sat in on his presentation. His talk concerning culture and the humanities was a great pleasure and his observation that in the end those Harvard Students in the room were not just the top 1% but the top .0001% of all time in human history was a fact that seems to be lost when students in higher education find themselves triggered.

At this point Stacy had met our guide President of the Harvard College Republicans Kent Haeffner

As one might guess Kent was an impressive young fellow and while he spoke of some of the oddities of the liberal atmosphere as illustrated by this Woman Studies syllabus as read by Stacy McCain

He vigorously defended Harvard as an institution both in terms of the educational environment but for it’s ability to inspire symbolized by one particular gate with the inscription as you come in “Enter to grow in wisdom” and as you pass out “Depart to serve better your country and your kind.”

after a rather pleasant lunch (mentioned by Stacy here) we returned to the quad for a long interview

The camera failed during the last question so Stacy repeated it

It turned out he had been on campus during the Black Mass business so I also interviewed him on the subject

He was also kind enough to show me the Chinese restaurant where in the end the black mass was held (I was liberal with the Holy water on the building area) and then showed me to St. Paul’s the catholic chapel where the Eucharist Procession and adoration had taken place.

By now his time was getting short so we escorted us back to the Mexican Restaurant where we had lunched so we could wait for the young lady who we would speak to next, a passer by was kind enough to take a shot for us.

A few minutes later we were joined by Emily Hall who was both an officer of the college republicans but a member of the Network of Enlightened Women. Kent left us in her capable hands.

Capable frankly is too weak an adjective for this young lady. She spoke of being a pro-life Catholic woman on campus and how, like Kent she had grown stronger in the crucible of education and pushback while demonstrating very publicly that the woman of Harvard University were not monolithic in their beliefs. She also sat for and interview with Stacy

And myself.

at this point is was getting pretty late so Stacy and I escorted her back toward her dorm talking more about the environment and her plans for the future on the way.

As we headed back to the car and drove home Stacy spoke to his wife concerning his impressions of Harvard and the fine young people we had met it was evident that whatever idiocy might take place on campus either via protest or within the Woman’s Studies department it was clear that he had been provided with ample proof that Harvard was more than capable of allowing a well grounded conservative with the courage of their convictions and a good work ethic to grow into an even stronger conservative ready to in the words of the gate serve better their country and their kind. and by the end of the day it was evident that the Kansas City Chiefs had not been the only folks to change a narrative in Massachusetts that day. These two tweets said it all.

If you told me that it was even slightly possible for Robert Stacy McCain to make that statement aloud one week ago I, like Wombat would not have believed it.

A gallery of photos follows my tip jar pitch:

Update:  Somehow 1st paragraph words were corrupted at posting fixed


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I speak to Alyssa Watson of Catholic Reads at the 2017 Catholic Marketing Network

Their site is here.

The Rest of my Catholic Marketing Network posts are here.

We live lives of privilege.

We can spend hours debating politics, deciding what to wear to work, which running shoes to buy, which cut of beef to grill with shrimp and veggies for dinner, and where to spend our vacations.

We also spend substantial amounts of money, time and effort on our homes. In addition to my blog and reading addictions, my greatest and probably most expensive addiction is my house, HGTV included. I have purchased, improved, lived in, and sold three houses.

I bought my fourth house, moved in last month, and have spent a great deal of time unpacking and deciding what to keep and what to toss. Yes, I should have done that when I first left NJ for FL, but was renting an old townhouse with a popcorn ceilings and knew I was going to buy a different house later on, so here I am, sorting and unpacking. I’ve even been trying to decide whether or not to add curtains (I’m not a curtains person).

These past days my obsession has been Hurricane Irma, as you already know. From the looks of the latest forecast models, my area of central Florida will get hit with 100 mph winds (category 2) at 2am Monday, which I’m dreading. My rational brain knows I live in a well-constructed concrete house with underground utilities away from the waters in an area where people from Miami have come for shelter. My irrational brain worries.

I spent a scary Hurricane Sandy in my house in NJ reading the Psalms out loud so I wouldn’t have to listen to the wind. My house was untouched by the storm. All I needed to do was to schedule having a few tree limbs removed from the yard and stay in a hotel until the electricity was back. Sandy’s eye was almost eighty miles away; Irma apparently will be ripping right through Florida.

I am, of course, worried about possible damage to my new house, but I’m also worried about relatives who decided to stay in Miami. They are hardy folk who have lived in Miami for decades and are definitely less worried than I, a newcomer. In contrast, a friend who also has lived in Miami for decades is not taking any chances, shuttering down her house and sheltering at the hospital where her husband works.

Having Jim Cantore in Miami does not ease my worries at all.

I’ve been reading hundreds of Facebook posts on Irma. The more annoying are those urging all people in Florida (population 20 million) to “get the [insert expletive] out.” The more encouraging are photo journals of friends living in Puerto Rico who now have no electricity and water but whose homes and cars are intact and were not flooded.

Yes, life is tough. Yes, there are bigger things and existential questions we should be concerned about. Yes, we are blessed every day, for which I am abundantly grateful.

But yes, I’m superficial enough I’d rather be thinking about curtains instead.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog

I speak to Robert Singerline of Scepter Publishers at 2017 Catholic Marketing Network

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K’Mtar: Freeze programme. You should have killed him when you had the chance.
Lt Worf: Why did you not?
Alexander: I don’t know.
K’Mtar: Look at him! He did not care that you showed him mercy. He was going to kill you.
Worf: K’mtar, that is enough.
K’Mtar: If this was real, he’d be dead by now.

Star Trek The Next Generation Firstborn 1994

As reports that President Trump is prepared to end or at least not renew Barack Obama’s dispensation for the children of illegal aliens who, through no fault of their own, were brought here by their parents illegally allowing then to continue to stay without fear of deportation debate on the subject has been renewed.

Unlike most of the debate concerning illegal immigration this is one of the few point where there is some merit to both sides of this argument but that’s fodder for a follow up post for now I’d like to state a political reality that many moderate members of the GOP caucus from Paul Ryan on down seem to have either forgotten or decided to deliberately ignore.

For a very long time the MSM has spun the narrative that thanks to demographics the GOP is doomed politically unless they adopt the open borders narrative and support legislation that provides amnesty for illegal immigrants and their children and that if they fail to do so they will suffer electoral disaster.

Furthermore Activist groups have insisted that the opposition to open borders is a matter of race hatred toward “hispanics” (from the mythical land of Hispanica no doubt) the MSM has suggested that the only way to prove that GOP voters and pols were not a bunch of race haters was to support programs like DACA.

And sure enough there have been GOP member who have rushed to do just that to prove to the MSM and activists that they are different from that nasty Donald Trump and those deplorable Tea party people who voted for him.  Folks like Paul Ryan:

House Speaker Paul Ryan says the president should preserve former President Barack Obama’s DACA amnesty even though “Obama did not have the legislative authority to do what he did.”
President Donald Trump should also let Congress decide how to deal with the DACA, Ryan told a Wisconsin radio show on Friday morning.

and Thom Tillis:

Conservative lawmakers led by Thom Tillis are crafting a bill they call the conservative Dream Act that would provide a path to permanent residency to people brought here illegally as children, offering President Donald Trump an escape hatch on one of his most vexing immigration challenges.

might expect to be well rewarded by said MSM and activist for their efforts on their behalf, that is they would be if the narrative being offered wasn’t based no two huge lies.

The first being that said opposition to DACA and/or illegal immigration is a losing issue.  While it is true that Donald Trump’s very public declarations concerning a wall might have run up vote totals for Hillary Clinton in Blue States like New York, Illinois and California where Republicans have little power but rather than cost him electoral votes won him states like Iowa,  Ohio and Florida (last won by GOP in 2004)  Pennsylvania , Michigan and an electoral vote in Maine (last won by GOP in 1998) and even Wisconsin (last won by the GOP in 1984 during the Reagan 49 state landslide).  Furthermore the rise in the Tea Party directly corresponds with GOP victories on the congressional and state level that have given the GOP the house since 2010 but has given them clear control of both houses of congress and the presidency.

The second lie is even bigger, and that’s the idea that either the MSM or activists will stop considering republicans who support DACA or illegal immigration racists.  While the MSM and activists will give these folks lip service as long as they are seen as useful in their clash with conservatives in general and Donald Trump in particular but the moment that DACA is enshrined into law Representative Ryan and Senator Tillis will suddenly discover that the activist community will find a new reason to call them racist haters and offer a new demand for them to fulfill and the MSM will again insist that without their support for this new demand they will never get “Hispanic” support.

It’s extremely ironic that experienced pols can so easily fall for lies so obvious but it’s always possible that they are not the ones that are being played for suckers by the MSM and activists on the left, but that they are playing the voters who elected them promising to  support border security and then hedging when the time comes just as they did on Obamacare.

The question is, are they fools, liars or both?


I consider Stacy McCain an American Success Story. My own American success story depends on the willingness of you dear reader to like what you see here and support it, so if you like what you’ve seen here and want to support independent journalism please consider hitting DaTipJar to help me secure a weekly paycheck.




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RH (NG36B) (Saturday Afternoons):
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I speak to Singer Anna Nuzzo at the 2017 Catholic Marketing Network

You can get her music here

The Rest of my Catholic Marketing Network posts are here.

Y’know what’s worse than being in the path of a hurricane? Having loved ones in the path, when you’re far away and can’t do a whole lot to help. I’m with Fausta, in that my mind is elsewhere right now.

Of course, it’s altogether possible that Irma will come up the coast and visit my neighborhood after she’s done with Florida. It’s a sign of the times that the thought of being assailed by Irma is easier to grasp than the thought of an ineffectual GOP majority in Washington.

So, hurricane thoughts:

Be prepared, just like they taught us in Scouts. If it’s not a hurricane now, it’ll be an ice storm in December or a blizzard next March. Don’t be That Person going after the last water, bread and milk at the grocery store. (Because I am likely to be That Person, and I hate competition.)

Storm-chasers are a special breed, and I’m still trying to figure out if that’s a good thing. Neighbors of mine are indulging themselves by heading south to observe Irma, up close and personal. Part of me is looking forward to their reports, which are sure to be fascinating – and part of me is thinking “y’all are plumb crazy.”

If you haven’t seen this one, join me in a toast to the Delta crew that flew a 737 to San Juan as Irma bore down – and then out, the last plane to leave before air traffic control closed up shop for the duration.

Finally, let’s spare a thought for everyone caught up in the western fires. That part of the USA could use the rain that those of us to the east and south are enduring. I’m off to Washington state shortly, and I’ve been warned to expect ash on everything the way we New Englanders get springtime pollen.

May you and yours be safe in the face of storms of all kinds.

Ellen Kolb is a writer and pro-life activist living in New Hampshire. Read more of her work at EllenKolb.com/blog.

Don’t forget that Da Tech Guy is hosting Robert Stacy McCain for “Buffet, Books, & Blather” in Leominster on September 9.

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