By John Ruberry

As this post goes live, the 48th Chicago Pride Parade is taking place on the city’s North Side. The event is still commonly called the Gay Parade, “Pride” is of course a much more generic term. On the Yahoo home page today, next to the rainbow colors, is this message, “Be proud of who you are.”

In Chicago there are many people who should be ashamed of who they are and what they’ve done. Which got me thinking. America’s third largest city–for now–really needs a Shame Parade, something along the lines what Queen Cersei suffered, in the buff, in Game of Thrones two years ago at the hands of the Sparrows sect.

But please, shameful ones, keep your clothes on.

Participation is limited only to brigands who live in Chicago.

Attendees are encouraged to chant “Shame…shame….shame.”

Chicagoans, now let me present to you the 2017 Shame Parade participants!

Former Mayor Richard M. Daley: The son of Mayor Richard J. Daley, the younger Daley inherited his father’s talent in creating a powerful political organization. But while the first “Hizzoner” was a whiz at public finance, Number 2 was clueless about about it–clearly Richie is bad at math. Chicago has the worst-funded municipal worker pension plans in the nation. The city prospered in the 1990s, it’s easy to see why. The pension obligations were shorted to create an illusion of prosperity, a Potemkin Chicago.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel: The Tiny Dancer inherited a mess from Daley, and he’s responding as any liberal Democrat would to any problem–raise taxes. But Chicagoans are responding with their feet–Chicago is the only major city losing population. Most of the West Side and much of the South Side is a killing zone. More people are murdered in Chicago than New York City and Los Angeles–combined.

The leaders of every street gang: “Chicago is the gang capital of the United States,” CBS News reported a few years ago. There are roughly 600 gangs in Chicago and about 70,000 members in these criminal enterprises.

Shame…shame…shame.

Cook County Assessor and Cook County Democratic Party Boss Joseph Berrios: The assessor’s office has long been a campaign fund cash cow for the Chicago Machine. But in a fantastic series from the Chicago Tribune, Berrios’ reign has been shown to favor the wealthy residents of Cook County while cheating poor ones. Boss Berrios has also been accused of rampant nepotism. Do you mean the Democrats aren’t for “the little guy?”

Edward Vrdolyak: A onetime boss of the Cook County Democratic Party, “Fast Eddie” is one of the many former members of the Chicago City Council who is a convicted felon. Roughly once every 18 months a member or former member of that shameful legislative body takes up residence in a federal prison. Vrdolyak became a Republican in the late 1980s. Seven years ago he served a ten-month prison sentence for participating in a kickback scheme with cronies of disgraced governor Rod Blagojevich. Last fall Vrdolyak was indicted again on tax evasion charges.

Karen Lewis: The longtime president of the Chicago Teachers Union, a hardened leftist, was a pretty good high school chemistry teacher, a former co-worker who was one of her pupils told me once. But she’s not that good at math. Or perhaps she is? For years members of her union have had taxpayers, in the name of Chicago Public Schools, pay what is supposed to be the teachers’ contribution into their still woefully undercapitalized pension funds.

Barbara Byrd-Bennett: While the aforementioned Chicago Public Schools was headed into the financial sewer, its CEO, “BBB,” participated in a kickback scam. Byrd-Bennett will report to prison later this year.

Ayers and Dohrn’s Chicago home

Shame…shame…shame.

Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn: Barack Obama began his political career in the living room of these unrepentant Weather Underground terrorists. After their terror career ended they moved on to academia, where they learned that it’s easier to destroy America by indoctrinating youngsters with leftism than by bombing buildings.

Rod Blagojevich: Can President Donald Trump arrange a furlough for the onetime “Celebrity Apprentice” contestant? While Colorado is the jailbird’s home for now, the rest of his family still lives in Chicago. The hair-brained former governor inherited a fiscal mess, as did Rahm Emanuel, but he made it worse, particularly with his 2005 pension payment “holiday.”

Former Gov. Jim Thompson: Look! Another Republican! In 1989 Thompson signed into law the compounded interest pension raises which of course were never properly funded. An astute pol, yes, but like the younger Mayor Daley and perhaps Karen Lewis, math is not the strong suit of “Big Jim.”

Chicago’s Power Corruption Couple, former Chicago alderman Sandi Jackson and former US Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr: They’re undergoing a nasty divorce right now, but in happier times they looted Junior’s campaign fund. Both are ex-cons. The couple that steals together doesn’t necessarily stay together.

Lifetime Lack-of-Achievement Award, Jesse Jackson Sr: Decades of race-based shakedowns enriched himself and his family. Jackson’s Rainbow/PUSH organization placed his son and daughter-in-law into positions of power. But what tangible achievements can he show other Chicagoans?

Who will the grand marshal of Chicago’s Shame Parade?

State House Speaker and Illinois Democratic Party Boss: Michael Madigan: Since becoming speaker in 1983, Madigan has nominally served with–or over?–six governors. But you can find the 13th Ward Democratic committeeman’s fingerprints on every piece of pension and fiscal legislation enacted into law since then. Illinois’ public pension plans are among the worst-funded among the 50 states. Illinois’ bond ratings are just one step above junk–the lowest ever for a state. And if a budget isn’t passed by the end of this week S&P and Moody’s warns that junk status will be declared.

Blogger in downtown Chicago

Shame.

Oh, why isn’t Barack Obama in the Shame Parade? Chicago is so bad even Obama has bailed on it. The former president lives in Washington now. Obama served in the Illinois Senate, from 1997-2004, while the state’s pension disaster festered. Obama is so smart, right? But why were there no warnings from him about Illinois pensions?

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

One final thought about #ga06 a lot of you who are proclaiming this a defeat for democrats for silly reasons like this

are missing the point.

I mean sure if your actual goal was to win the election and send a Democrat to be a minority member of congress and create a false “Trump is losing” meme then yes GA06 is an unmitigated disaster.

But if you are a member of the professional Democrat political/media class this was a huge success.

If you are a professional Democrat fundraiser you were able to bring in tens of millions of dollars and you got your percentage of the funds to allow you to live in the manner that you have become accustomed to and more importantly you are able to tell the next sacrificial lamb: “Hey If I was able to raise $23 mil for a loser so pathetic that he proposed to his girl of 12 years to try to get elected think of what I can do for a bright (insert SJW approved pronoun here) like you!”

If you are an employee of said fundraiser you not only got a paycheck (likely nothing better than minimum wage certainly not the 15 an hour living wage) but you have “fundraiser for Ossoff” on your resume and the next pol looking to hire is not going to see the “L” he’s going to see the “$23 mil” in his head.

If you are a consultant hired by the Ossoff campaign you not only got a big share of that $23 million to continue to live in the lifestyle that you’ve become accustomed to but you made the hiring decision on who to spend a good chunk of that $23 mil on meaning that hundreds, perhaps thousands of people are dependent on you for patronage and a paycheck and thus loyal. Furthermore you got to decide what companies made signs and what properties were rented by the campaign and thus you are a source of patronage to them (presuming you actually pay those bill rather than leave them as bad debts)

Meanwhile if you are media, you didn’t, particularly if you are a guest commentator you did OK yourself.

Your network and newspaper got weeks of content out of this election with most of the information provided to you by said consultant or employees of said consultant who were happy to provide you the exact pro-democrat spin you were looking to hear before the election was won, and then are willing to provide the so-called “inside dirt” as to who to blame for its loss (you will note that the person blamed will never be said consultants).

And even if you are one of those hollywood or Cape Cod Millionaires whose money was wasted, you’re disappointed but not unhappy for three reasons.

While $23 million sounds like a lot, the reality is for most of you the money you gave is like a regular person putting 50 cents in a pinball machine to play a game, it doesn’t make a dent of a dent on your finances.

You have made said consultants and fundraisers defer to you as a person to be solicited, meaning said people will grovel toward you feeding your ego

At the same time your ego is being fed, you are also virtue signaling, for what counts as pocket change to you, you are able to claim the mantle of liberal morality so no matter how little actual virtue you have, if you cheat on your wife, ignore the actual poor in your neighborhood et/al you can point to this and to the liberal left all your sins are washed away.

This isn’t an election, it’s a Ponzi scheme, and you dear regular liberal who isn’t rich or connected who sent $20 you couldn’t afford and got your hopes up, are the mark. and these are the folks who played you as RedState notes

This flush campaign chest meant that his campaign resembled a military operation, and with it he enjoyed a wildly imbalanced advantage over Handel in many crucial categories:

 

ADVERTISING

Ossoff: $11.2 million

Handel: $1.3 million

 

CAMPAIGN STAFF

Ossoff: 170 members

Handel: 14 members

 

POLLING/FOCUS GROUPS

Ossoff: 1.7 million

Handel: $374K

And all those folks played you perfectly, in other words, Georgia 6 was a perfect success!


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Olimometer 2.52

If you are not in the position to kick in we are happy to get your prayers.

The CNN crew was morose last night when they realized that the Dem lost the most expensive House campaign ever:

Some of their talking heads claim “moral victories,” but the LA Times notices that “moral victories” mean losing:

Democrats are claiming “moral victories” after losing two special congressional elections in heavily Republican districts. Those results from votes in Georgia and South Carolina on Tuesday follow two other moral victories — also known as losses — in battles for House seats in Montana in May and Kansas in April. Many more results like these and the Democratic Party will be out of business.

The debate is on as to what this means for either party in next year’s congressional elections, since Georgia’s Karen Handel won by “only” 5 points over Jon Ossoff (even when she got a clear majority).

Paul Kane at the WaPo claims that Ossoff lost because he chose civility. I say that Ossoff lost because he did not care to be in his district and the voters noticed.

Charles Glasser points out that

Ossoff raised $23.6 million to make a symbolic run against President Trump, most of it from Marin County, California and Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.

Georgia voters were bombarded with Ossoff media ads and junk mail.

The Democrats ran a pajama boy-looking candidate who apparently could not decide whether he was liberal or conservative, and who does not live in that district.

That is, Ossoff could not even vote for himself.

Adding to the ridiculousness, when asked, Ossoff replied that he lives just “down the street” from the district. Brent Scherr braved the Georgia heat and found that “down the street” meant 3.2 miles on foot.

Republicans can not afford to be complacent. The Democrats are hell-bent on winning.

But Andrew Klavan summarizes in one tweet what the Dems don’t get from yesterday’s Georgia vote:

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

I’m in Kansas City this week on a vacation that’s a side effect of my wife’s serious operation back in Feb. As she couldn’t go on the trip with her sister as planned and had to use up our voucher miles before Sept or lose them she suggested finding somewhere that the RedSox were playing and go see them there. This is the first time since I started writing that I’ve been somewhere without the express purpose to cover some political event or conference. The only work I’ll be doing are this week’s posts and perhaps the odd interview if one drops into my lap. It is so weird to wake up somewhere else without having to be somewhere or to have 30 or 50 interviews to upload. Of course given that the Room AC is not working properly and I spent two hours on twitter and on the phone between priceline and the sheraton four points people and their parent company trying to resolve it due to my wife’s breathing issues it’s even weirder. It seems the final plan was to keep her awake all night trying to get things fixed till she was too tired to not fall asleep even with no AC in the summer heat and the noise of the rather loud fan they provided. I presume that plan worked because while I stopped tweeting on it at 1:30 AM and fell asleep soon after, as of this writing (9:30 am central) she and my son are still out like lights so I don’t know when they finally gave up and crashed. Even odder the room isn’t oppressively hot as it was when I dropped off so I guess at least for a brief time during the night the AC kicked in and combined with the rather loud fan managed to drop the temp to an OK level, but then again I grew up without AC and never had breathing issues and can sleep on a wooden pallet with a piece of cardboard on it so the real test will be how DaWife feels when she wakes up. The last gave of the series is a 1:05 start so I’d like to get her up early so we can get a spot of breakfast but as I don’t know when she got to sleep I think I’ll let her sleep as late as we safely can.

Now I know why my parents never went on vacations.

Kaufman Stadium is a lovely place to watch a baseball game but as in Denver it’s still very odd to go to a ball park and: Not see it full, See promotion after promotion during the game, see the necessity for the scoreboard to be used to get the crowd to make noise. But that’s the difference between practically selling out an entire season and having to draw people. Our three tickets for the first game at Kaufman stadium in the upper deck of left field cost what it would have set us back for Standing room in Fenway park…for one of us.

This is my first trip to the midwest and there is a real sense of Deja vu in coming to a place like this. I’m reminded of the days of my youth when Massachusetts was populated by normal people with normal values and not run by frenzied leftists. If I was younger I’d leave for a place like this in a second as the liberal New England in general and Massachusetts in particular is no place to raise a family if you don’t want to have to fight every day to raise your children as Faithful Catholics or Christians of any stripe. You can’t imagine how much I miss those days, it’s also the reason why there are so many Red Sox Fans everywhere else. People might leave the craziness of New England but one’s love of the Red Sox comes with you.

The Death of Otto Warmbier is to some degree a surprise. One might think that to North Korea an American foolish enough to put themselves willingly in their hands is an asset to exploit so normally one might think that any torture would be designed to be painful but not fatal however it’s a vivid reminder that with the Norks you are dealing with one of the worst regimes in the history of history and unless your a Christian Missionary ready to become a Christian Martyr giving your life in the hopes of saving souls, it’s not a place to willingly put yourself.

The left’s pious insults concerning Mr. Warmbier’s death and their previous statements concerning “white privilege” come as no surprise as sadly I’ve come to expect no better from them, the real question is what kind of retaliation will we see from this president. What price will the Norks be made to pay and how will he pull it off without setting and can he afford to be patient in making them pay that price.

Yet another special election (actually two as there was one in SC as well that the Democrats decided to concede rather than sink a fortune in) is now over and Karen Handel despite being an unexciting candidate managed a five point win despite millions of dollars from the bluest states there pouring into the state to defeat her. I think this from Hotair is telling:

 

11:10 pm: Finally, here is Karen Handel’s victory speech. At 2:30 Handel thanks President Trump and the crowd responds “Trump! Trump! Trump!” At 3:15 she thanks Steve Scalise and spends a moment talking about the need to find “a more civil way” to disagree. “In these United States of America, no one should ever feel their life threatened over political beliefs and positions,”

 

I think that while the DC shooter managed to only wound Steve scalise, he managed to kill Democrat chances to win in GA06 as voters in that district who might have stayed home decided they didn’t want to reward attempted murder. Of course this doesn’t change the fact that the GOP needs to get moving on their agenda as Chris Muir seems to have pegged.

The attack by Mr. Osborne in London was, in my opinion one of the most predictable crimes in the history of history in terms of simple mathematical statistics. Given that we’ve had over 31,000 Islamic Terror attacks worldwide since 9/11 (40 attacks in 15 countries from June 10th though the 16th alone) sooner or later probability stated that you would actually get a westiner targeting Muslims. I have no problem calling what he did terror, but I insist that leftists who do so do the same concerning every other attack done by Muslims in the name of Islam. The real question is will the same people willing to throw collective guilt on Englishmen over this attack respond in a similar way to what happened in Brussels yesterday?

It also plays into one of the things I’ve predicted, the longer both the authorities in power and moderate muslims decide to deny and ignore the danger of radical islam, the more likely you’ll see people like Osborne decide to, in his mind, strike back. I expect to see many more like him if the state of denial continues. This of course does not justify his acts of murder which not only need to be vigorously prosecuted but punished to the fullest extent of the law.

A little Doctor Who, I see that Big Finish has decided to give a series to Derick Jacobi playing the “War Master”. Jacobi’s time as the Master on screen lasted less that 15 minutes before he regenerated into John Simm but during that time he ruled the screen. I’ve often wondered what he would have done with the role if he had been given more time. Now we’ll find out.

Finally we are going to be seeing the first Multi-master story in Doctor who outside of Big Finish My bet is that Michelle Gomez Master is killed by John Simm’s master with her at the moment of death remembering doing so. Even if I’m wrong the word is she will not be returning to the role. While I wasn’t a fan of the whole gender bender business Gomez made the part her own and has simply owned every scene she has been in in a way we haven’t seen since Alex Kingston. Doctor Who fans will miss her.

Update:  Dropped a “r” from Otto Warmbier’s name, corrected

by baldilocks

Baron Bodissey at Gates of Vienna:

Early Wednesday morning a man with a high-powered rifle attacked Republican members of Congress at a baseball diamond in Alexandria, Virginia. The shooter, a man from Indiana named James T. Hodgkinson, was eventually shot dead by police officers, but not until he had wounded Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and three other people, including two of the officers who took him out.

Prior to his rampage in Alexandria, Mr. Hodgkinson had been a devoted supporter of Senator Bernie Sanders (IN-VT), a self-described democratic socialist who ran in last year’s presidential campaign. Mr. Hodgkinson, like his admired candidate, was a staunch progressive. He was a bitter opponent of Donald Trump, and posted messages on Facebook to the effect that the president needed to be “destroyed”.

At some point James Hodgkinson decided to cross the line between peaceful protest and violent insurrection. By dying in furtherance of his political goals, Mr. Hodgkinson set himself up to be the John Brown of what many people — on both Left and Right — see as the coming civil war in America. (…)

[21st-century Progressives] see their cause, with all its intricate sub-causes, as the equivalent of a mid-19th century movement that strove to abolish slavery. For them, any resistance to open borders and unlimited Third-World immigration is the moral equivalent of slaveholding.

When any cause is that morally righteous, only a tiny step is required for it to move beyond a non-violent stance to an ideology that sanctions violence for the sake of the cause.

As of this writing, only the Antifas and their ilk champion violence in the name of the Progressive cause. Armed insurrection has not gone mainstream — YET.

Were Wednesday’s semi-automatic rounds in Alexandria the first volley of the coming civil war?

Richard Fernandez at The Belmont Club:

A civilization at a decision point is almost by definition walking the razor’s edge between two futures.  One future may lead to a catastrophe whose survivors must begin again from scratch. (…)

The poisonous atmosphere in today’s politics illustrates how bitterly established interests will fight to protect their “gains”.  They will literally kill to preserve an agenda.  For example GOP House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot and seriously wounded by someone “distraught” over the recent Republican electoral victory.  “The man suspected of opening fire on Republican members of the congressional baseball team early Wednesday morning was distraught over the election of President Trump and traveled to Washington in recent weeks to protest, his brother said on Wednesday.”

The shooting comes after months of increasing political hostility which include but is not limited to, pitched battles between activists at universities, the forcible eviction of speakers from campuses in the name of safe spaces, veiled calls by “comedians” for political violence and general name calling and incivility. The Hill reports that lawmakers are now receiving anonymous threats from voices which accuse them of betraying a political ideal. (…)

Expect more, not less of this.

Kathy Griffin emboldened at least one entity: the University of Alaska.

The University of Alaska at Anchorage is displaying a painting of a nude Chris Evans, the actor who stars as Marvel’s Captain America, holding aloft the severed head of President Donald Trump, as a young ’60s-era Hillary Clinton clings to his leg.

Assistant professor Thomas Chung created the painting, KTTU-TV reported, and he says that he “spent days just weeping” after Trump was elected president. The assistant professor describes himself as a social artist who normally doesn’t deal in politics, but Trump’s election “bled into that.”

“Helmet of Salvation”

Pun intended, I’m sure.

Beheadings seem to be all the rage among the Organized Left—another pun intended. To me, this grisly form of protest is a spiritual issue more than anything else. Is it a stretch to say that this is also the reason that the Organized Left is soft on the Jihad? The two entities certainly have a common enemy. And it’s not us, not ultimately. It’s Christ. The Devil wants his servants to take heads before his gets crushed.

Wear your armor at all times.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

Things are nutty in the Nutmeg State.

One of the bluest of blue states, Connecticut has more than its share of problems. According to Carol Platt Liebau, president of the Yankee Institute for Public Policy, the state is mired in an economic swamp and has the highest bonded debt per capita in America.

Mark J. Warshawsky of RealClear Policy notes Connecticut owns “one of the worst-funded state employee pension plans in the country,” whose assets cover less than a third of its liability — leaving a shortfall of nearly $22 billion.

And let’s not forget the capital city of Hartford, which could face bankruptcy now that insurance giant Aetna — a corporate denizen for more than 150 years — announced plans last month to move its headquarters out of Connecticut for a more tax-friendly home.

With all these problems on its plate, the state legislature had no choice but to recently approve the nation’s toughest hate crime law. The silly bill, which supersedes an earlier law,  passed the House and Senate unanimously, so Republicans share the blame with their Democrat comrades.

Now the very idea of hate crime laws is stupid. Laws are laws, and people who break them should pay the price. Imposing extra penalties on the perpetrators based on their biases conjures up images of Orwellian thought police. There’s little doubt the rise of hate crime legislation has promoted the fracturing of society, as alienated individuals join together to form “protected groups” so they can claim victim status.

Among the reasons lawmakers gave for beefing up the state hate crime law was the supposed wave of such offenses that washed across the country late last year and in early 2017. Left unsaid was that the increase coincided with the candidacy and subsequent election of President Donald Trump.

If you follow only the mainstream media, you might believe that thuggish bigots emboldened by Trump’s campaign ran amuck and terrorized racial minorities, Muslims and gays for the past year. But folks who pay attention to real news know that almost all of the headline-grabbing hate crimes were hoaxes designed to smear Trump supporters.

So common and widespread are the fake hate crimes that it’s impossible to list them here. (Fortunately, there’s a website, www.hatecrimehoaxes.com, that has a fairly complete rundown of falsely reported incidents.)

What’s especially egregious in Connecticut is that legislators cited threatening phone calls to Jewish community centers as one of the main reasons for stiffening the law. As news accounts revealed nearly three months ago, two men — neither of them conservative — were responsible for the vast bulk of the hate calls.

Juan Thompson, a former reporter and dedicated Trump foe, pleaded guilty June 13 to making more than a dozen phoned bomb threats that he tried to blame on an ex-girlfriend. The other suspect is a 19-year-old Israeli computer whiz accused of making more than 100 calls, whose motives are still unknown.

The new Connecticut law toughens the penalties for hate crimes. Offenses that once were misdemeanors become felonies, and what already were felonies carry enhanced fines and prison terms.

But one key point seems to be left out of the law: There doesn’t appear to be any penalty for miscreants who report fake hate crimes.

Legislators can cling to their fantasies that hate crime laws will bring peace and joy to the populace. But until hoaxers are punished as severely as haters, the laws themselves will be perpetrating injustice.

 

Blogger at the border

By John Ruberry

Illinois isn’t at the crossroads. It’s on a collision course after driving off a cliff. It’s that bad here.

The Land of Lincoln faces what is likely its most pivotal two weeks in its 199-year history.

Last week Governor Bruce Rauner, a Republican who never ran for political office before, called for a special session to pass an annual budget, which is something that the Illinois General Assembly hasn’t done in over two years. And it’ll be tougher to do so now, as a supermajority will be required to pass a budget because the 2017 session of the legislature ended on May 31. Getting a budget on the governor’s desk theoretically should be easy, thanks to the gerrymandering skills of state House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), as there is a supermajority in the state Senate and a near-supermajority in the House. Madigan, who has held his job for 32 of the last 34 years and is also the chairman of the state Democratic Party, enjoyed a supermajority in the lower chamber for the first two years of Rauner’s term.

The Senate passed a budget bill this spring, one that was way out of balance, but Madigan’s House didn’t even consider it. And while Illinois’ constitution has a balanced budget requirement, none of its budgets have met that standard since 2001.

So why no budget?

I view Madigan’s strategy as an early manifestation of the national Democratic Party’s “Resist” strategy regarding Donald Trump, even though the political boss is a soulless creature who has no manifesto other than maintaining power for himself. And Madigan doesn’t want, at least yet, to have Democrats in the House vote “Yes” on a big tax hike. Yeah, they did so in a lame-duck session in 2011, but there was a Democratic governor in Springfield then to help shoulder the blame.

Rauner offered an extensive “turnaround agenda” as a candidate and he demanded it be included in any tax hike bill once he took office. He’s scaled back on that agenda since then, but the rump of it is still anathema to Madigan and his campaign contributors. Rauner is asking for pension reform, education funding changes, more business-friendly workers’ compensation laws, and a five-year property tax freeze.

So how bad is it in Illinois?

Here are some headlines from just the past week:

That last one is the most ominous news as Illinois’ comptroller, Democrat Susanna Mendoza, is warning that Illinois, because of court orders, will soon have to pay out more each month than it receives in revenue. “The magic tricks run out after a while,” says Mendoza, “and that’s where we’re at.”

Illinois has $15 billion in unpaid bills, which is over 40 percent what the state collects in revenue annually. It has over $100 billion in unfunded public worker pension obligations. Its bonds have the lowest rating of any state ever. It is one of only a few states, and the only one in the Midwest, that is losing population.

Pretty horrible. So much so that a “grand bargain” between Rauner and Madigan might end up being too little or too late to prevent the Land of Lincoln from collapse.

The end of Illinois as we know it will arrive by the end of this month. If no deal is reached it’s hard to imagine the Prairie State not ending up in a quasi-bankruptcy situation, even though Congress will need to get involved first. An austerity budget will likely hasten the population exodus, as will a massive tax hike without any reforms.

Another Illinois-style temporary fix will only delay judgement day. And that judgement will only be harsher when it comes.

As Ben Affleck’s character in Argo phrased it, “There are only bad options, it’s about finding the best one.”

John Ruberry, a fifth-generation Illinois resident, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Showtime carried Oliver Stone’s interviews of Vladimir Putin this week. I watched parts of the Wednesday and Thursday sections. (I didn’t see the judo or hockey sessions.) Showtime subscribers can watch on line. No, I did not watch the Megyn Kelly interview.

The interviews aired on the same week of anti-corruption protest rallies staged in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other Russian cities and towns.

Stone spoke English, Putin spoke Russian. An interpreter, who at times looked like a younger Costa Ronin of The Americans, translated for Stone, who seems to be fluent in Russian. Putin’s words were subtitled throughout even when he spoke English.

In case you wonder, Stone did not catch Putin breaking a little girl’s bicycle, unlike his friend Hugo Chávez,

On the one hand, Oliver is a big fan of Chávez, the Castros, and, of course, of Putin, and it shows: Rolling Stone reports that the series is set to air on Russia’s state-run Channel One in its entirety later this month,

In an appearance on The Late Show on Monday night, Stone sang the praises of Putin, to the point where a taken-aback Stephen Colbert asked, “Anything negative that you found? Anything? Or does he have your dog in a cage someplace?”

On the other hand, Putin never reveals anything accidentally or under pressure; never has, never will.

It was entirely predictable, so why did I watch?

For starters, I wanted to see what and how much was shown. There were three of Putin’s offices, a staged situation room (as in war command room with live calls from the military – think of it as Skype calls from the jet bombers), a patio with Pottery-Barn-style outdoor furniture, innumerable mile-long hallways, and a very large, traditional ballroom with elaborate carpet.

Through it all, Putin was completely in charge, poised, wearing a business suit and necktie, self-assured, and at-ease-while-fully-alert yet not quite relaxed. As Leonid Bershidsky puts it, in his interviews, “Putin has never once relaxed or relinquished control,” and he’s not about to start. This bears repeating because it is the underlying aspect of the persona I was watching on TV.

Bershidsky explains that Putin has one invariable message (emphasis added):

The message he has for foreign leaders hasn’t changed in 17 years: “Russia is a sovereign power with a set of historic interests that it will pursue no matter what; Western powers can’t tell Russia what to do.”

Putin makes it clear at every moment that he will do what is necessary to bring about what he sees as being in Russia’s best interest.

That, and that alone, is the most important takeaway from the interviews. Everything else is theater.

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

A week from today I will be boarding a plane in Kansas City getting ready to fly back home and likely not paying much attention to what is going on in DC so let me tell you what is going to be happening:

By Friday of next week the media will be back in all Trump is evil all the time mode.  There will be constant attacks, further leaks from the Independent Counsel’s office and his collection of as Randy Barnett called them “Democrat Attack Lawyers” and the focus of the left will be back on how horrible Trump is and why he must be removed from office.

By Friday of next week the Resistance,  Black Lives Matter, Antifa crowed will be back planning the next one of their marches and will once again correctly anticipate that the local police in a blue city and/or university take will take little or no notice of any violations of law by said marchers nor will the media take note of any signs or chants that are inducive of violence.

By Friday of next week it will be considered fine to try to squelch conservative speech and marches and when violent counterprotestors of the left assault both them and police the media will consider it a local story and not worth mentioning.

By Friday of next week Maxine Waters and company will once again be free to be screaming “impeachment”, Nancy Pelosi will feel free to smile as a Democrat Convention screams in unison “Fuck Trump”, Rep Rosa DeLauro will feel free to claim GOP stands for “get old people” and rep Val Demings will once again consider riots to silence conservatives “A beautiful sight”

By Friday of next week Universities will not only once again feel comfortable when folks like Murry, Coulter, Milo and others are greeted with violence, but they will use the shooting of a GOP leader in Washington as an excuse to bar them completely because they fear for the safety of their student body.

By Friday of  next week the sponsors of the Trump Assassination Chic in the park in NY will once again feel safe to sponsor it without shame, Samantha Bee, Stephen Colbert et/all will once again be happy to joke about how horrible and fascist conservatives are and Hollywood will once again be comfortable calling on people to “resist” rather than oppose, their political opponents by any and all means necessary.

By Friday of next week people who decided to either tone down or stay away from message boards, or twitter will return loudly proclaiming that death is too good for conservatives, christians and republicans and they will actually find themselves being ashamed that they didn’t have the courage of that tiny minority that cheered the shooting publicly.

Or to put it simply, by Friday of next week the left will once again be the left/media of Friday of last week and carry on with their prefered narrative, as they did after the pulse shooting and after Manchester, and after San Bernadino because too many people derive cash, power and prestige from the prefered narrative and or are afraid of those who derive said cash, power or prestige to challenge it.

Two caveats:

  1.  If Congressman Scalise dies, the timeline will be pushed back by a minimum of one additional week to a maximum of one additional month
  2.  If the political right does not allow the media’s false “healing” narrative to be played and makes the media and left pay the full political price for their six month of political incitement then there is a chance that the left will, like a child who touches a hot stove, decide that it’s not a smart thing to continue to do.  Once they pay that price and then ask forgiveness then it should be granted but not one moment before.

It would be very nice to be wrong about this, but I doubt it.

The day was off  to a slow start.

First my laptop was clamoring for updates and would not let me postpone them. After those were done, we had a brief power outage during an even briefer thunderstorm.

I turned on the TV and Drudge Report to find this:

The shooter carried out his attack with a long gun.

Reps. Ron DeSantis and Mo Brooks were there,

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As of the writing of this post, the shooter is reportedly alive and in police custody. [UPDATE: He is  now reported dead.]

All year long the Left has been fostering a climate of hate, from college professors asking that Republicans be “lined up and shot,” antifa rioters, BLM demonstrators chanting “pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon,” to Kathy Griffin jihadist photo-ops, while fake blood pours as Shakespeare in the Park stabs Donald Trump.

[UPDATE: Doug Ross graphically illustrates the mainstreaming of political violence by Democrat extremists]

Predictably, the Democrats will ignore all of this “eliminationist” rhetoric as a possible motive the same way they ignore Islamism as a motive in other terror attacks. They will instead focus on the gun.

Sure enough,

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As Pete says, if you are a conservative, you should arm yourself sooner rather than later.

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