“I saved you,” cried that woman
“And you’ve bit me even, why?
You know your bite is poisonous and now I’m going to die”
“Oh shut up, silly woman,” said the reptile with a grin
“You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in

Al Wilson.  The Snake 1968

In yesterday’s post I talked about the bullet that was dodged by the election of Trump, how if Hillary had been elected the practices of a partisan FBI and a partisan IRS would have become a permanent feature of the American system of government.

There is however one very important truth left out of this piece, something that hasn’t been given a whole lot of press but was alluded to by Matt Margolis at PJ Media

From the earliest days of the Obama administration, the Obama/Holder/Lynch Justice Department protected political allies from justice. A slam-dunk case of voter intimidation by the New Black Panther Party during the 2008 presidential election was inexplicably dropped, resulting in the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights declaring in the summer of 2010 that there was evidence of “possible unequal administration of justice” by the Justice Department. Obama also blocked a corruption probe that implicated former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for bribery. He also illegally fired an inspector general who was investigating a friend and donor of Obama’s. Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder worked in concert to protect each other. Holder would stonewall congressional investigations into Obama administration corruption and Obama would assert executive privilege to keep damaging information away from the eyes of investigators, such as crucial documents in the Fast and Furious investigation.

The Obama Justice Department also targeted Obama’s enemies. When conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza was prosecuted for making $20,000 in straw donations to a friend’s U.S. Senate campaign, many legal experts saw it as partisan selective prosecution, including liberal Harvard Law School professor and Obama supporter Alan Dershowitz. James O’Keefe, the founder of Project Veritas, was placed on a terrorist watch list in order to limit his international travel after posting a viral video showing himself dressed like a terrorist crossing back forth over the U.S. border with Mexico to demonstrate the horrible state of our nation’s border security.

Given that Barack Obama was an inexperienced Chicago Pol who came from a Corrupt Chicago System and sponsored by an actual terrorist (Bill Ayers) the idea that such a person would weaponize government in the Chicago style is not a surprise and govern as such. Unfortunately it was also not a surprise that the media was not going to let facts proclaim the 1st Black President a failure:

he can NOT be allowed to be portrayed as a failure no matter what happens in Iraq, no matter what happens in Syria, no matter what happens in the economy and no matter how many people have given up on finding work.

Most of those things are self-evident and the media can choose to not discuss it or spin it but that can’t really be hidden from the people.

or worse a corrupt failure

But the media understands what the developments in the IRS scandal means, and they can’t investigate, because if they do then the results of their investigations might reveal what many on the right suspect, that Barack Obama & his administration is involved in this up to his ears.

If the media had held Barack Obama to the same standard they had held George W Bush he might not have been emboldened to treat Government against his enemies and those in the FBI might have thought twice before doing what they did.

Of course expecting the media to hold Barack Obama to the standard of a Bush would be like expecting Barack Obama and his Chicago cronies to behave as something other than the corrupt Chicago pols they were.

That is to expect the impossible

Update: Great minds and all that

By John Ruberry

Admiral Theater billboard outside of Chicago

Stormy Daniels was in Chicago last week, taking her clothes off and dancing for 15 minutes. Yep, a quarter of an hour, that was, at least on Thursday, the duration of her show.

Although I was off work on Thursday and the Admiral, an old vaudeville house that has been a strip club for decades, is just 10 miles from my home, I wasn’t there. Tickets to her show were pretty cheap, $30-$50. Compare that to the usual $25 entrance fee to the strip club, plus a one-drink minimum for a non-alcoholic beer which will set you back another eight bucks.

I assume the owners of the Admiral had to pay Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, a hefty fee for her appearances. If so, they had to make back their money elsewhere, so a photo meet-and-greet was organized–$20 bucks a pic–which ignited a spat that led to the Admiral’s owner, Sam Cecola, cancelling her Friday and Saturday night gigs.

Oh, in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last six months, Daniels claims to have had sex with Donald Trump twelve years ago. Trump’s former lawyer, the embattled Michael Cohen, paid $130,000 to Daniels to keep quiet about it.

The dispute, according to the Chicago Reader, was not limited to Daniels’ objection to the photo ops. Keep in mind, this is a person who has sex, often unprotected, with men and women, and sometimes both at the same time, on camera. The Admiral also wanted Daniels to mimic Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday Mr. President” routine she offered to John F. Kennedy in 1962. Thursday was Trump’s 72nd birthday. She declined, another woman lip-synched Marilyn. Cecola says Daniels was an hour late for Thursday’s show, she demanded a bigger cut from that photo receiving line, and she didn’t rehearse her act. The porn actress also was perturbed by the presence of a Trump impersonator hired by the Admiral.

Sheesh, it’s only because of her claims about the real Trump that so many people, including myself of course, are paying attention to her.

By Friday afternoon Cecola and Daniels–metaphorically speaking, of course–kissed and made up. The shows were back on.

As you know, I didn’t attend any of the Daniels performances, but I’ve been to the Admiral a few times. (A blogger’s life brings me to many surprising places.). What kind of place is it? Muscular bouncers are everywhere and there is a no-touch policy in regards to the strippers–they prefer to be called dancers of course–although the last time I was there a friend of mine paid $100 for a booth dance. VIP rooms are even more. But table dances are just $10.

Blogger at Chicago’s Trump Tower

The seedy side of the Admiral, in what the Chicago Tribune Morgan Greene called “a wide ranging interview” with Daniels about the Chicago dust up and her life as a mainstream celebrity, was not covered, nor was the content of her porn movies. Anyone who makes the president look bad must be taken seriously by the Trump-hating media. Greene says that Stormy isn’t interested in politics but a quick Google search uncovers that in 2010 she was briefly a Republican candidate for the US Senate seat then held by incumbent David Vitter of Louisiana, who once was a client of an escort service. Hey Greene, it’s called research.

At 39, Daniels doesn’t have much time left to cash in on her notoriety. If she doesn’t squirrel away her money, she might be on the washed-up celebrity bartender circuit in a few years and collecting money from photo meet-and-greets. Men wearing Trump wigs will be welcome, I am sure.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

There are a lot of people who still misjudge and underestimate Donald Trump and it started this day three years ago.  It worth revisiting that original speech that got it all started

and the media reaction to it;

To make a long story short the entire MSM’s take on Donald Trump’s speech sounded like the Movie Blazing Saddles when Bart starts singing his version of: “I get a kick out of you.” with the MSM playing Lyle the overseer shouting:

“Hold it What the hell is that shit?”

I remember listening to the speech and thinking it was first rate while everyone I spoke to and know, particularly in media heard something completely different.  I’d like to quote myself in full from my post I put up just as the speech finished

…the MSM didn’t get understand what Trump was doing.

1. They were looking for a standard announcement speech.  Trump didn’t want to give one.  Trump’s base, if he has one, consists of people who normally don’t give a damn about an election.

2. They were looking for wonk stuff that they could take apart.  Trump didn’t do wonk stuff. People don’t understand wonk stuff, don’t want to hear wonk stuff and change the channel when wonk stuff is on TV.

3.  They expected Trump to try to impress them.  Trump didn’t even try.  He knows what the media think of him.  He wanted to impress the people who are impressed by a person who has made it and made it big.

4. They expected a stage managed event.  Trump wasn’t looking to do that.  He wanted to give a speech that didn’t appear stage managed or written by a speech writer.  He wanted a speech that sounded like the guy having a beer at a barbecue with you was talking .

5.  Finally they were expecting a tight event.  Trump didn’t give one.  He understands how television works, he gave a speech specifically designed to force the networks covering him to stick with him much longer than they would have planned to do so.

Bottom line Trump speech had specific goals in mind:

1.  Reach the people who generally don’t watch this kind of speech.

2.  Hit on the themes in the language a low information voter can understand.

3.  Make a speech that the networks covering it didn’t dare leave

4.  Go long enough so people seeing it would tweet out to their friends who aren’t watching Cable News: “You’ve got to turn this on and see this” so folks would switch over from the Price is Right or the View,

5.  Make a speech that would build audience would build and hit the top of the hour so that all the news shows AND Rush Limbaugh would be talking about it at once generating buzz by the buckets.

His goal had nothing to do the reporters or networks covering him.  He wasn’t playing the game by the rules they expected, he made his own rules and made them play along. He accomplished exactly what he wanted to do in the way he wanted to do it.

In other words he punked the MSM and punked them good and just like Bart in Mel Brooks Blazing Saddles, he’s laughing at them.

In fairness to the MSM et/all they had no experience of a candidate like Trump and even the Twitter numbers which caught my eye from day one didn’t phase them.

But it’s been THREE YEARS NOW, Trump hasn’t changed his tactics or his style and while some people like Senator Ted Cruz have changed their minds, their perception of President Trump evolving based on the facts on the ground and the record of accomplishment per this CPAC interview:

The media/left and the never Trump still doesn’t get it. They remain in the bubble where they think every time Trump speaks it’s going to doom him.

The left has 4 months to figure this out before the midterms and two years to do so before the election of 2020. Based on what I’ve seen these last three years I don’t think they’ll manage it.


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Update:  Fixed an error in tense

The work of the Worcester Tea Party is being the sensible alternative to the scroungy schemes put forth by the Loony Leftists.  We do this through education and by drawing attention to the issues and challenges facing our Commonwealth (Massachusetts).  This may seem parochial, but if you remember it was the alleged success of Romney Care, that got us the Odious Obama Care that continues to afflict our Republic as a whole.  If we don’t fight them here, you most assuredly will fight them where you are.

Therefore Worcester Tea Party continues our opposition to the cynically named “Fair Share Amendment” which seeks to change our state’s Constitution to allow a surtax of 80% on incomes of one million or more. This ludicrous tax scheme that has been tried and failed in Maryland, New Jersey, and Connecticut. If enacted here it will cause businesses and jobs to flee our Commonwealth. It should be called the Mass Exodus Tax!

To bring our message to the patriots of western MA we are proudly partnering with Steve Tougas in sponsoring the fantastic Jordan Page in Concert.  Jordan will be rocking the house with his own hit songs, and brilliant cover remixes. Don’t miss this chance to see liberty rocker, Jordan Page, LIVE IN CONCERT, right here in Massachusetts! This special benefit event will kick off this year’s big 5th Annual Flag Day Second Amendment Rally.  Admittance to the concert is ONLY $20 at the door!  So its worth the drive from anywhere.  At this concert we will be distributing our new MA Exodus Tax Bumpah Stickah’s. Get them while they last and spread the truth to our truth starved neighbors.

Respectfully,
Matt O’Brien
President Worcester Tea Party

P.S.
The WTP is enjoying the privilege of posting here weekly because Pete is a patriot and a Hero of our Republic.
Please Support the work of the Worcester Tea Party.

By John Ruberry

A major story broke last week, and while the mainstream media dutifully reported on it, there was no blanket coverage, unlike in the case of the guilty plea of Trump campaign hanger-on, George Papadopolous, one of the big catches of Robert Mueller’s Russian collusion probe.

What was that big breaking news? Recently-retired Senate Intelligence Committee staffer James Wolfe, who National Review’s Andrew McCarthy calls “a textbook swamp creature,” was arrested for allegedly lying to the FBI. Wolfe worked for the Senate Intelligence Committee for 29 years and he’s suspected of being a longtime leaker of classified information to reporters.

One of those journalists may have been Ali Watkins, 26, a Washington-based New York Times writer. As part of the Wolfe investigation, several years of telephone and email records belonging to Watkins were seized by federal investigators. The Committee to Protect Journalists says it fears the move “could be an opening salvo in an ongoing battle over reporters’ ability to protect their sources.”

Ah, about that source: In an article about the mainstream media uproar about the seizure, The Times, in the seventh paragraph of that piece, admitted about Watkins, “She and Mr. Wolfe had been in a three-year relationship, which drew the attention of prosecutors who were investigating unauthorized leaks from the Senate Intelligence Committee, including articles that Ms. Watkins had written for two previous employers, Politico and BuzzFeed News.” Yes, Little Red Watkins was inappropriately involved with the Big Bad Wolfe.

Oh, Wolfe is 57.

The Old Gray Lady also disclosed in that article that Watkins was informed in February that those electronic records of hers had been seized. After speaking to her attorney, Watkins decided not to tell the Times. Left undiscussed is whether she told anyone at the Times that she was involved in a relationship with Wolfe. Buzzfeed and Politico knew.

The mainstream media is comprised of phonies and frauds. Had Watkins been an FBI agent investigating Wolfe, they’d be calling for her dismissal. But Watkins is still on the job–on the same beat–which is federal law enforcement. No suspension, no transfer to the sports department or local school coverage for the Times for her.

Here’s the big question: Did the New York Times know that Watkins and Wolfe had that “relationship,” which I assume was of a sexual nature, before she was hired? Did they know before Wolfe’s indictment?

The media plays tough when it discovers blood in the water surrounding political figures, particularly ones it despises, such as President Donald Trump. But when a member their club is caught acting unethically it just circles the wagons and moves into protection mode.

Trump is right. The swamp needs to be drained. The Deep State needs to be dethroned.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

by baldilocks

Last week, at the request of one Kim Kardashian West, President Trump commuted the life sentence of a non-violent drug dealer Alice Marie Johnson. Johnson had served 21 years.

Now the president wants to keep the ball rolling, as it were.

I’ve been LMAO ever since I read about this yesterday.

U.S. President Donald Trump held out an olive branch in his feud with National Football League players on Friday, asking them for recommendations as he considers pardoning several thousand people who may have been unfairly treated by the criminal justice system. (…)

On Friday, speaking to reporters before leaving for a Group of Seven summit in Canada, Trump challenged those players, the majority of whom are African-American, to advise him on employing his pardon power. He said his staff was examining some 3,000 cases of people who might deserve clemency.

“I am going to ask all of those people to recommend to me, because that’s what they’re protesting – people that they think were unfairly treated by the justice system. And I understand that,” Trump said. “They’ve seen a lot of abuse and they’ve seen a lot of unfairness.”

I’m told that this is classic Art of the Deal, which I have downloaded from the LA Public Library. It’s also giving me some Ferengi Rules of Acquisition vibes. (Deep Space Nine fans will understand.)

Whatever way this plays out, this is a win-win situation for the president. And, even if no ballplayers send him a list, other prominent people probably will – a potential win for some deserving prisoners who have behaved well while paying their debt to society or for those who have been unjustly imprisoned.

But some observers are grumbling.

“His suggestion that he might bring NFL players into the pardon process must be viewed as nothing less than a cynical, self-serving ploy to create a photo op with NFL players, many of whom have made it clear that they would not be caught standing downwind from him, much less next to him,” said Harry Edwards, a sociologist and longtime civil rights activist at the University of California at Berkeley. (…)

“This is just another attempt to divert attention and, of course, it places Donald Trump as the master of everything, just appeal to me personally and I’ll let your friends out or maybe I will pardon them,” said Jeffrey Robinson, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

One would think that Longtime Civil Rights Activists and Venerable Civil Liberties Organizations would care more about injustice being rectified more than who gets the credit for the rectification.

Unless it was all about the Look At Me moral narcissism and preening for them – and for the pro ballplayers — in the first place.

Nah, couldn’t be that.

Snark aside, I do hope that some ballplayers have enough integrity and perspective to accept the president’s offer.

We need some healing in this country.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-GoDaddy host!

Or hit Juliette’s!

Everywhere you look in the media the headlines are full of it. Incivility Reigns! Bullying! Cyber bullying! Mean Girls Rule! All there on the front page, all there on the splash, all there waiting for you to click on to see who said what about whom. Never mind if any of its true, never mind for any of it matters to anything more than some imagine scorecard written in some media office pool. But we’re constantly berated, and constantly told that we’ve allowed incivility to overwhelm our Republic. We elected President Trump and created the Republic of Hate, all incivility for everyone all the time.

The only problem is it’s not true.

Every book on etiquette I have ever seen has had some version of the phrase; the social norms today are much looser than they were in our parents’ time. This is way of saying all the social norms are out the window, and the world is going to hell in a hand basket. This is also a common refrain when people talk about civility. I find this kind of incredible, but of course completely credible because so few people understand our history.

We are in a golden age of Civility, even though we are also at an all-time high for the use of  George Carlin’s 7 words you can’t say. It was not that long ago that mob violence common occurrence in our country. Levels of incivility in our nation are on the decline people actually get along a lot better. There is a lot more Harmony than people give credit to because “War Imminent” headlines sell more newspapers than “Peace Breaks Out.”

It is up to all of us to do our little bit to spread Civility and to not make incivility profitable. Don’t get me wrong I’m not thinking being civil is easy, and frankly I’ve had my own lapses. But if we remember our history, we will see what happens when we allow those dogs to get off the leash. Incivility is detrimental to our beliefs about who we are and who we want to be. Practicing Civics with Civility is the main way that each of us can do our share to create that more perfect union.

Respectfully,
Matt O’Brien
President Worcester Tea Party

P.S.
Pete has chosen to allow me to post here weekly.  I look forward to posting next Wednesday.
Please Support the work of the Worcester Tea Party. 

Abraham Lincoln: One matter further, gentlemen. We fight on their level. With trickery, brutality, finality. We match their evil. I know, James. I was reputed to be a gentle man. But I was commander in chief during the four bloodiest years of my country’s history. I gave orders that sent a hundred thousand men to their death at the hands of their brothers. There is no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war except its ending. And you are fighting for the lives of your crew. 
Captain Kirk: Your campaign, Mister President.

Star Trek:  The Savage Curtain 1969

One of the most amusing things about the Trump years has been the shock of the left at not only the success of the Trump years but of the President’s success in turning their control of the culture, media and press against them.

It was not always so, for a very long time the powers that be in the GOP eschewed the tactics of their enemies on the left, considering such tactics beneath them and coincidentally were regulated to a permanent minority. The left was free to push America in their direction confident that the tools of the press and the culture would always be theirs to control and even when a Rush Limbaugh a Fox News or even social media came up they were secure in their superiority to keep them safe, in effect taking to heart the famous quote by Belloc from his poem the modern traveler concerning 19th century Europeans encountering natives in various parts of the world:

Whatever happens, we have got The Maxim gun, and they have not

Or in short it didn’t matter if the right gained some temporary victory as long as the left controlled the narrative via culture and media they could essentially do what they wanted.

With the advent of Barack Obama, a corrupt Chicago pol, this was extended to government which was weaponized against their opponents from the IRS on down and even when things went wrong such as the running of guns to Mexican drug cartels to enable gun control legislation or the disaster at Benghazi the administration felt secure because to paraphrase Belloc: Whatever happens we have got, Hollywood & Media and they have not.

This is the reason why the FBI felt secure in crossing every line imaginable in going after Trump prior to the election and why Barack Obama had no problem governing by “a pen and a phone” because they were sure that their superiority would be maintained forever and shortly extend to government and the courts. They believed once Hillary was elected government and the legal system would be added to that line right after Hollywood and media.

Alas for them they had not read enough of Belloc because if they had they might have seen this rather prophetic piece concerning the west superiority over Islam from 1936:

There is nothing in the Mohammedan civilization itself which is hostile to the development of scientific knowledge or of mechanical aptitude. I have seen some good artillery work in the hands of Mohammedan students of that arm; I have seen some of the best driving and maintenance of mechanical road transport conducted by Mohammedans. There is nothing inherent to Mohammedanism to make it incapable of modern science and modern war. Indeed the matter is not worth discussing. It should be self-evident to anyone who has seen the Mohammedan culture at work. That culture happens to have fallen back in material applications; there is no reason whatever why it should not learn its new lesson and become our equal in all those temporal things which now give us our superiority
over it_whereas in we have fallen inferior to it.

The point concerning Islam and science and mechanics was just as equally true concerning conservatives and media. There was nothing inherent in conservative philosophy that prevents us from countering the other than our unwillingness to make the fight.

But once Donald Trump surprised everyone with his victory that changed. Trump is a Jacksonian and as a Jacksonian fights by the same rules that his foes do as the late great Steven Den Bestie once put it at the turn of the century:

to Jacksonians, trust is foolhardy. There are a lot of good people out there, but there are also a lot of bastards, and if you turn your back someone will stab you in it. “Trust, but verify” is a purely Jacksonian watchword. Those who act honorably will be treated honorably, but those who cheat will be crushed.

And as Walter Russell Mead put it once a Jacksonian like Trump gets into a fight, even one he doesn’t want he fights to win

During this year’s war in Kosovo, Jacksonian opinion was resolutely against it to begin with. However, once U.S. honor was engaged, Jacksonians began to urge a stronger warfighting strategy including the use of ground troops. It is a bad thing to fight an unnecessary war, but it is inexcusable and dishonorable to lose one once it has begun.

America’s enemies oversees have rediscovered this truth over the last 18 months but it is Trump foes in both media and Hollywood who have been completely shocked by it, but they shouldn’t be.

Donald Trump has been operating in the enclaves of the left all his life, his empire has had to deal with blue state bureaucracy and both liberal media and pols coming to him hat in hand for decades. He’s attended their parties, laughed with them, schmoozed with them and seen and heard all they have said for half a century and most importantly did so while completely sober when they were not.

Put simply there has never been a President better equipped to turn the Maxim gun of the media back on them and having never had to defend against said gun they are indignant that their tactics are being used against them:

“We spent the day wrestling with the repercussions of one bad word, when we all should have spent the day incensed that as a nation we are wrenching children from their parents and treating people legally seeking asylum as criminals,” she added. “If we are OK with that then really, who are we?”

Bee continued by standing by the mission of her show: “I can tell you, as long as we have breath in our bodies and 21 minutes of airtime once a week, repeats on Saturdays, that we as a show will never stop shouting [about] the inhumanities of this world from the rooftops and striving to make it a better place. But in a comedy way.”

This is Samantha Bee a card carrying member of the Harvey Weinstein left while being honored for it’s coverage of the #metoo movement.

“Our staff poured everything we have into these #MeToo pieces,” Bee said while accepting the award. “They wrote jokes through tears and panic attacks, they pushed each other to be honest and more fearless. I can only imagine what it takes to say these powerful famous, admired men abused me and I won’t be silent. No matter the consequences, Me Too. Leaders of the #MeToo movement are changing the world. And we are honored to stand with you and support you as best we can. There is power in saying what you feel without apology… OK, and sometimes you also have to apologize.”

Bee got plenty of laughter and applause for that line, as well as when she opened by declaring, “it actually means so much to accept this with everyone here behind me, these incredible writers and producers.”

Of course the irony that none of these #metoo pieces were written or broadcast while the knowledge of what Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Matt Lauer et/all had done was still confined to the Hollywood/Media left because they were still of use to the said Hollywood/Media.

The Samantha Bee’s, Joy Reid’s et/all of the world are meeting a brave new world when their media monopoly is threatened by a President and new media willing and able to challenge it and a population willing to use that Maxim guy that their betters had held back from them.

No wonder they are so upset.  As Curt Schlichter has said:  The won’t like the new rules, but the reality is these aren’t really new rules it’s the left’s own rules applying to them for the very first time.

By John Ruberry

Theodore Herzl School of Excellence, Chicago’s West Side

Is a new beginning the only way out for Chicago Public Schools?

That’s what crossed my mind this morning while I was watching Mike Flannery on Fox Chicago’s Flannery Fired Up.

The show opened. with an interview of David Jackson, one of the investigative reporters who penned a disturbing yet indispensable series of articles about sexual attacks at Chicago Public Schools.

“I was flabbergasted to learn the frequency of sexual assaults against students in Chicago’s schools,” Jackson told the host. “I expected dozens of cases. There were hundreds.”

What did Chicago Public Schools do about it, Flannery asked?

“Very little,” Jackson replied.

During the ten-year period the Tribune investigated those attacks, which include rape, there were 523 reports of sexual assaults inside city schools. That’s about one a week. Not included in that total are sexual attacks off property.

CPS protected its employees, to the detriment of students, as did the Chicago Teachers Union. The accusers–victims, I should say–were aggressively assailed by CPS lawyers who were more interested in protecting the teachers, coaches, custodians, and security guards than serving justice and safeguarding its students.

Over at the Chicago Sun-Times, readers leaned that a “blitz” health inspection of 125 schools found that only 34 passed. Rat droppings, filthy bathrooms, and unsanitary food preparation equipment were discovered. The most egregious violations were centered on facilities Aramark was hired to keep clean. Who was in charge of CPS facilities? A former Aramark employee, Leslie Fowler, who resigned her high-paying post last week. While the bidding process was open for a food contract, an inspector general’s report cited “questionable conduct” when Fowler twice dined with the president of Aramark

Her ex-employer won the bid.

Prior to her hiring as CEO of Chicago Public Schools, Barbara Byrd-Bennett was a consultant for SUPES Academy, which produced training programs for school administrators. Once in charge of CPS, the woman known as BBB steered a $23 million training contract to her old employer. She was to receive a ten-percent kickback from that contract as well as a promise of a job whenever she left CPS.

In an email to a couple of SUPES bosses, Byrd-Bennet added to the already voluminous lore of Chicago corruption by boasting, “I have tuition to pay and casinos to visit.”

It’s suspected that such crony-capitalism between CPS brass and their former private-sector employers is widespread. If true, then such private-public cross-pollination is simply a revolving door of corruption.

Dunne School on the South Side, where your blogger atteneded kindergarten

Byrd-Bennett, along with those two former big shots at SUPES, are now incarcerated in federal prison.

Despite the reputation of CPS for failure, Barack Obama chose one of BBB’s predecessors, Arne Duncan, as his first education secretary.

Obama’s daughters attended a private school in Chicago.

How is CPS doing in regards to educating children? Not very well. Not even one-in-four students read at grade level. Yes, I am aware that unlike kids in most suburban schools, there are additional challenges in teaching city children, many of whom come from abusive homes. But one-in-four? After years of so-called reform?

And what about the filth and the sexual assaults?

If the goal of Chicago Public Schools is to educate children in a safe environment, then it is failing–and has been for a long time, despite most schools incorporating such words as “Excellence” and “College Preparatory ” into their names. Before their well-needed demolition, public housing high rises, which never should have been built in the first place, were derided by liberals as “warehouses of the poor.”

Most CPS schools are warehouses of the poorly educated.

If the goal of CPS is to provide a generous income for teachers, maintenance workers, and of course administrators, along with bountiful pensions for them, then it is a fabulous success. Oh, let’s not forget the bottom lines of those contractors. They are doing well too.

As for those pensions, they have long been a slush fund. one that is dancing with insolvency. rather than serving as a retirement program.

Fitch rates CPS bonds as junk.

So, by nearly everyone’s standards, CPS is failing.

Does it continue on its same road to defeat?

When do Chicago taxpayers, who are increasingly angry because of repeated property tax hikes to pay for unfunded pensions, scream, “Enough!”

Firing everyone–and starting over again might be the only way out for CPS, which could be possible if state law is changed and public agencies are allowed to file for bankruptcy protection. Rehire the good teachers and the administrators who fight waste and theft.  Charter schools aren’t the answer. UNO, an Hispanic group with close ties with former Mayor Richard M. Daley, utilized charter schools for crony capitalism and graft. More privatization isn’t the answer, as Aramark isn’t able to keep schools clean. School vouchers? Maybe. But some parents, sadly, don’t have the initiative to better the lives of the children.

Floundering schools are already closed and re-opened with new staff here-and-there in Chicago.

Blogger in downtown Chicago

For those of you who cry out “more money” for Chicago’s schools, keep in mind more cash opens the door to more theft, or at the very least, more squandering of taxpayer funds.

Crime, high taxes, and rotten schools are the primary reasons given by people who decide to move away from Chicago. And Chicago is the only major city with a declining population.

Next year there is a mayoral election in Chicago. One of the candidates, Paul Vallas, is a former CEO of CPS.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit. He attended kindergarten at a CPS school, Edward F. Dunne Elementary School. It is now the Dunne Technology Academy Elementary School.

by baldilocks

And how rare is that?

Many people cited a lone reason to vote for the presidential candidate that was Donald Trump: to keep Hillary Clinton out of the Oval Office. As it turned out, that was the sole reason that I voted for him. But there were other very good reasons.

Like this one.

Of course, we remember that the president nominated Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme court early last year to take

It’s fun to imagine Scalia giggling after facing a Higher Court.

the place of Antonin Scalia – who died in 2016. Justice Gorsuch was confirmed by the US Senate and took the oath of office last April. Conservatives seem to be pleased with his decisions so far.

But, according to the piece, the Left is afraid that all of its signature issues will be overruled by the high court – especially if President Trump gets to nominate another potential SCJ.

Republicans are working with Trump to make a record-breaking number of appointments to federal courts. These new, mostly young, white men will be in a position to rule on legislation that could change America for years.

But the most contentious appointment would be a second nomination to the highest court in the land. The supreme court has over decades delivered landmark decisions on issues from abortion to affirmative action and same-sex marriage. The potential for Trump to install another justice on the nine-seat bench, some legal experts argue, could have profound consequences on issues ranging from women’s reproductive health to LGBT rights.

With speculation mounting over the possible retirement of supreme court justice Anthony Kennedy, Trump could have a lasting impact on reshaping America’s most important court.

Honestly, I think that the worst thing that advocates of LGBT rights (translation: same-sex marriage), abortion, etc. would have to worry about is that most such issues would revert to the state legislatures where they belong. That’s why the tenth amendment exists.

But it’s always good to keep the Left afraid. Just keep your eyes open.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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