Local Elections

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

John Adams

As we continue to see the GOP head for the hills while the left braces for what they believe is going to be a banner year it’s worth noting the significant differences between what is expected to be the great blue wave of 2018 to the big red wave that actually happened in 2010.

#1 Obamacare vs the Tax Bill

The Big red wave of 2010 took place after the passage of Obamacare, one of the most unpopular laws in the history of lawmaking by a congress. Democrats were assured by their leadership and the media that one the law was passed it would become more and more popular with the public come election day. That was not the case. Republicans (falsely it turns out) promised to repeal Obama if given the chance and the voters decided to give them that chance.

The most significant law that was passed by this congress was the tax bill of 2017. It was excoriated in the media and we were assured by the Democrats and the left that it’s unpopularity would continue to grow the opposite has been the case. Many Democrats are running on the idea of repealing this bill and raising taxes. I suspect that will not be as popular as repealing Obamacare but in fairness to the Democrats I have no doubt that they will attempt to do so if elected.

#2. The 2002 map vs the 2012 maps

In 2010 the year of the big red wave the Republicans tax ran on the same congressional maps that the Democrats had won big on it 2006 and 2008, however the wave of 2010 extended was not limited to congress but took place over the entire nation giving the GOP an unprecedented number of seats at the state level just before redistricting. This means that the supposed “big blue wave” is going to have to break on a set of maps that specifically favor republicans in the house.

#3 The 2010 Senate Landscape vs 2018 Senate Landscape.

In 2010, the year of the big red wave the split of seats up for election was unremarkable 19 republican seats were up vs 18 democrat seats (counting special elections) but the Democrats had a huge majority (59-41 counting the two “independents” who voted with dems). The end result was the Democrats still held that majority but it shrunk to 52-47. In 2018 the republican majority is only 51-49 an even split in a divided country but only 9 GOP seats are up for re-election this year vs 24 for the Democrats, many of them in states that President Trump won. Democrats to take the majority will have to win 26 races out of 33.

4. 2010 Retirements vs 2018 retirements

In 2010 the retirement ratio of republicans to democrats was 20-17. Once again 17 Democrats are retiring but 38 republicans over 15% of the caucus have decided to give this election a miss. Given that the Democrats only need 24 seats this would seem a great advantage, but given that the GOP base is unhappy with the current congress’ inability to act (in fairness the Senate is mostly to blame here) the removal of incumbents associated with a “do nothing” congress might actually work in the GOP’s favor, or to put it another way, how many seats might the Democrats saved in 2010 if 38 Democrats who voted for Obamacare decided to retire in 2010 rather than run for re-election?

5. The 2010 Economy vs the 2018 Economy

In 2010 the Democrats had overwhelming majorities in both the House and Senate and were presiding over one of the worst economies in living memory and that was before the effects of Obamacare began to take effect. The Democrats had to run blaming said bad economy not on President Obama but on President Bush and the promise of prosperity just around the corner. In 2018 the economy is growing like gangbusters, the strong stock market is way up vs election day 2016 and people surging back into the work. Members of the GOP can run on keeping the good times rolling while Democrats are running on a combination of impeachment and raising taxes, in effect killing the goose that laid the golden eggs. It remains to be seen how popular that message is going to be.

6. The 2010 expectations vs the 2018 expectations.

With a few exceptions like the bloggers on the ground absolutely nobody saw the 2010 red wave coming. The warning shot of the Scott Brown election was considered by many an outlier and the Tea Party movement that drove the 2010 election was discounted by the media which assured us that the passage of Obamacare along with what they claimed was an improving economy would spell good news for Democrats and the party believed it. It wasn’t until the week before the election, sometimes the day before, that the media realized that there was something rotten in Denmark. In 2018 the media, the pundits and even some in the GOP, despite the roaring economy, see trouble ahead. Despite the favorable economy, their money advantage and favorable maps absolutely nobody in the party is taking this election for granted and while you are seeing a few pro-forma statements about retaining the majority you aren’t seeing the overconfidence that the Democrats and media showed in 2010 and 2016 right up to the final week. The GOP sees the rocks ahead with a full six months to do something about it.

7. A Trending down Incumbent in 2010 failing expectations vs an Trending up Incumbent surpassing expectations in 2018

No president was ever elected with Higher expectations than Barack Obama, the expectations for him were so high that he won a Nobel Peace prize simply for existing. 2010, the second year of his presidency was when reality started to creep in.

In 2010 Barack Obama started with an approval rating of 51-43 (Gallup weekly). This was pretty low point for him at the time as he had held a positive approval rating for all of 2009 spending the first half of the year in the 60’s and all but two weeks in the fifties to end it. He held a positive approval rating until the week of June 21st where his rating dropped to 45-46 July. While he would have one “even” week (Sept 6th) he would keep an approval rating he averaged an approval rating was -2.2 (45-47) from that point to election day which was a stark contrast to where he started on election day 2009 (67-13). During this entire time President Obama was constantly lionized by the press.

By contrast no president came to office with lower expectations that Donald Trump. The predictions were dire for the economy and the world with people literally expecting to be put into camps and the media and the world stoking such fears. In 2018 once again reality started to creep into this narrative.

Gallup ended its presidential approval polling in Jan of 2018 however Rasmussen continued daily tracking polls (no option for undecideds like gallup) and also runs an “approval index” based on those who “strongly approve” vs “strongly disapprove”

That “approval index” has not been a positive number since March 3rd 2017 and spent most of 2017 in the high teens to low 20’s. 2018 has seen a different trend President Trump reached single negative digits in feb and has remained in the low teens to high single digits chiefly from the “Strongly approve” number now being consistently in the 30’s rather than the 20’s

In terms of raw approval on election day Donald Trump had 56-44 approval rating. By March 17th he had dropped to 49-51 and with the exception of a single day (April 21st 2017) did not have a disapproval number below 50% and managed to reach as high as 62% disapproval.
In 2018 things have leveled off he has had several days where he has hit 50% approval and this month has averaged a 49-51 split.

And all of this is in the face of a press that has been pounding him from day one.

A closing thought, every point here, from the state of the economy to the maps to the polling numbers are based on either verifiable historical and/or the current numbers, or put simply the facts.

The GOP has reality on its side, can they leave their bubble long enough to see it?

Next:  The MSM’s 2018 Tet Offensive on the GOP


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Illinois flag with its bicentennial counterpart

By John Ruberry

In honor of Illinois’ bicentennial, Kerry Lester of the Daily Herald compiled a list of Illinois’ best-known leaders. There is some good in it–Ronald Reagan and Abraham Lincoln, and some bad. Ethel Kennedy? Robert F. Kennedy’s widow was born in Chicago but grew up in Connecticut. And besides, her contributions don’t amount to very much.

Illinois has a well-deserved reputation for corruption. So I have put together my own list, the 14 Worst Leaders from Illinois.

My “hall of shame” by no means exonerates anyone not named.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

She is one of two people on both lists. Clinton is a former first lady, US senator, US secretary of state, and of course, the first major party presidential nominee. She was born in Chicago and grew up in suburban Park Ridge. Smoke, but as of yet, no fire has engulfed HRC’s public career. Clinton was implicated, but never charged in the Whitewater Scandal. Two years after her Whitewater billing records from the Rose Law Firm were subpoenaed, they mysteriously appeared in the White House living quarters. While secretary of state under Barack Obama, she used a home-brewed private email server. Her handling of those emails was deemed “extremely careless” two years ago by FBI director James Comey. After our consulate in Benghazi was overrun by terrorists in 2012, leading to the death of our ambassador to Libya as well as three other Americans, Clinton spread the lie that a YouTube video inspired the barbarians

I could go on and on about Clinton, but I have other names on my naughty list.

Richard M. Daley

Chicago’s mayor from 1989-2011, Daley’s father, Richard J who was mayor for nearly as long., had a strong background in public finance which allowed Chicago to escape the fiscal problems cities such as those New York and Cleveland suffered in the 1970s. Richie Daley inherited his dad’s name but not his financial acumen. Chicago’s public pensions are the worst-funded of any major city in the country. Property tax increases signed into law to right the ship by his successor, Rahm Emanuel, are probably just buying time; besides, the tax hikes are likely a key reason why Chicago is the only major city with a declining population.

Len Small

After two Democrats it’s time for our first Republican. Lennington “Len” Small of Kankakee was governor of Illinois from 1921-1929. While governor he was indicted for embezzling money during his time as state treasurer. He was found not guilty, but eight of the jurors on his trial later received state jobs. Just a coincidence, I’m sure.

George Ryan

Another Kankakee GOPer, Ryan got in trouble for his scandalous eight years as Illinois secretary of state. Under Ryan, who once was speaker of the state House, the SoS office was enmeshed in a driver’s licenses for bribes scandal. Elected governor in 1998, after his one-term in that post Ryan was convicted of corruption involving perjury and bribery. His scandal was one of the few political ones that involved fatalities. On Election Day in 1994–Ryan was re-elected secretary of state that day–a truck driver who obtained his license by bribery caused an accident where six children from Chicago were killed.

Paul Powell

Like Ryan, Powell served as speaker of the state House before his election as secretary of state. His personal motto was “There’s only one thing worse than a defeated politician, and that’s a broke one.” Illinoisans who needed their license plates renewed were instructed to make their checks out to “Paul Powell.” What could go wrong? Powell died in office in 1970. The executor of his estate discovered over $800,000 in cash in the Springfield hotel suite where the southern Illinois self-servant lived, including some stuffed in a shoebox. His tombstone reads “Here lies a lifelong Democrat.”

Official House portrait of Hastert

Dennis Hastert

Before his election to Congress in 1986, Hastert, a Republican, was a teacher and a wrestling coach at Yorkville High School. He later became speaker of that House. But at Yorkville he was a serial child molester. He was sent to prison not over those assaults, but for lying to federal officials about banking activity involving payments to one of his victims.

Jesse Jackson

He’s on that other list too. Jesse Jackson, the “poverty pimp” civil rights leader, has done little if anything to alleviate the problems of the people he claims to represent, Chicago’s minority poor. His half-brother, Noah Robinson, is serving a life sentence for racketeering and murder-for-hire. Jackson utilized his then-powerful Rainbow/PUSH organization to elect his son, Jesse Jr, to Congress and his daughter-in-law, Junior’s wife, as a Chicago alderman. Both went to prison over misuse of campaign funds.

Illinois & Michigan Canal at LaSalle, IL

Joel Matteson

We have to go to the pre-Civil War era for Matteson. The Illinois & Michigan Canal is the reason Chicago is the Midwest’s great city, not Milwaukee or St. Louis. But the canal faced enormous financial difficulties before its completion in 1848. Scrip was utilized by Illinois to fund the canal but in 1859 it was discovered that Matteson, a Democrat who was governor from 1853-1857, converted some of that scrip for personal use. Matteson was investigated but never charged in the case.

Antoin “Tony” Rezko

An immigrant from Syria, Rezko essentially was a collector of Democratic politicians, including Barack Obama and Governor Rod Blagojevich. Rezko engineered the mysterious land deal that made Obama’s purchase of his South Side Chicago mansion affordable. But his role as a fixer for Governor Rod Blagojevich earned him a trip to prison.

Rod Blagojevich

The most recent Illinois governor to be sentenced to prison, the Chicago Democrat attempted to sell the Senate seat of Barack Obama to the highest bidder. He essentially transformed the governor’s office into a vast pay-to-play operation. He’s still a federal inmate. Outside of the corruption, Blago was a still terrible governor. Illinois’ precarious financial situation grew much worse during his six years in Springfield, lowlighted by a two-year long pension payment holiday. State House Speaker Michael Madigan–another speaker!–played a large role in that debacle. We’ll be learning more about Madigan a little later. As for Blagojevich, amazingly he is the only Illinois governor to be impeached and removed from office.

William Hale Thompson

Blogger where the 1967 Detroit riot began

Chicago’s last Republican mayor, Thompson served two stints in office–from 1915-1923 and from 1927-1931. Thompson let Al Capone and other gangsters run wild during Prohibition. After the death of “Big Bill” in 1944, nearly $2 million in cash was found not in a shoebox, nor in Al Capone’s vault,  but in a safe deposit box.

Otto Kerner

You might have heard his name in the news lately as Kerner, a Democratic governor from 1961-1968, served as the chairman of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, better known as the Kerner Commission, which explored the causes of the 1967 urban riots. It was released 50 years ago last month. But in 1961 Kerner received a bribe of race track stock, which only came to light after the woman who paid him off him listed that expenditure on her federal income tax return because she viewed it as a legitimate business expense. Who can blame her for that opinion of Illinois? By the time the bribe was revealed Kerner was serving as a federal appeals judge. Facing certain impeachment, he resigned. Kerner was released from prison early for health reasons and died in disgrace shortly afterwards.

Carol Moseley Braun

Capitalizing on anger over the testimony of Anita Hill against Judge Clarence Thomas over reputed sexual harassment during his US Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Braun went from being Cook County Recorder of Deeds to the US Senate in 1992, becoming the first African-American woman to serve in the upper chamber. Even before her election, scandal percolated for Braun over allegations that she and her campaign manager, Kgosie Matthews, who was also her fiancée, diverted campaign funds for personal use. The Chicago Democrat blew off her Senate orientation meetings and instead took a nearly month-long vacation in South Africa with Matthews. What followed was a mind-bogging and ethically challenged six years in the Senate. Matthews was a citizen of South Africa–foreign meddling anyone?–and he was also at one time a paid lobbyist for Nigeria, which was then run by a murderous dictator, Sani Abacha. Over the objections of the Congressional Black Caucus, Braun visited Abacha while she was a senator.

During the ’92 campaign, it came to light three years earlier that inheritance money belonging to her mother, a nursing home patient, was split between Braun and two siblings, instead of being used to reimburse Medicaid. Once the scam became public Braun promptly paid Medicaid $15,000.

Matthews was later accused of sexual harassment of female campaign workers. Braun was elected during what was then called “the Year of the Woman.”

Braun and Matthews–he later left the country–were never charged with crimes.

Michael Madigan

Like Richard M. Daley, Madigan has modeled his public life on that of Richie’s dad, the first Mayor Daley. But like the son, Madigan, who has been speaker of the state House for 33 of the last 35 years, the Boss of Illinois is inept in regards to government finance, which is why last year Reuters declared him “the man behind the fiscal fiasco in Illinois.”  Madigan, yet another Chicagoan, is also the chairman of the state Democratic Party. The “speaker for life” runs the House with an iron fist and his gerrymandering abuse is an insult to democracy. He’s the poster child for the admonition, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

John Ruberry regularly blogs from Illinois at Marathon Pundit.

By John Ruberry

Unless you live in Illinois’ 22nd state House district, Michael Madigan’s name will not be on your ballot when you vote in the March 20 primary in the Land of Lincoln.

Not directly, that is.

But his foul spirit will be there.

Even when there is a Democratic governor in Illinois, the most powerful Democrat in the state is Madigan, the state House speaker for 33 of the last 35 years. Since 1998 Madigan has been chairman of the state Democratic Party. He’s the committeeman of Chicago’s 13th Ward–that post allowed him to nominate Joseph Berrios as chairman of the Cook Party Democratic Party, better known as the Chicago Machine eleven years ago. The message was clear–the boss had spoken. Two other candidates withdrew and Berrios was unanimously elected. Berrios is also the Cook County assessor, it’s his office that determines what the county residents such as myself, as well as businesses, pay in property taxes. The assessor’s office has long been a cash cow for the Democrats.

Illinois Policy Institute caricature of Madigan

Berrios faces a tough primary challenge because of charges that his office favors the wealthy, those fortunate rich folks often include clients of the Madigan & Getzendanner law firm. Hmm…Madigan, where have I heard that name before?

The major Democratic candidates for governor, with the exception apparent frontrunner, JB Pritzker, accuse each other of not being independent of Madigan. Pritzker’s main challengers, Chris Kennedy and Daniel Biss, have called for Madigan to resign his state party post over sexual harassment scandals involving staff members (but not Madigan himself).

Why aren’t they calling for Madigan to quit the speakership? Fear is my guess.

On the Republican side, the incumbent governor, Bruce Rauner, with “amusing and unconvincing effect,” Crain’s Chicago Business says, accuses his conservative challenger, Jeanne Ives, of being a Madigan ally.

Ah, but where are the Madigan allies? Sure, when it was time, again, to reelect the speaker-for-life last year, he prevailed. There was only one “nay” vote from Democrats. And that dissident was punished.

Madigan controls not only the remap of state legistlative districts but also those of Illinois’ congressional districts. He’s the Pablo Picasso of gerrymandering.

What about state legislators?

Whenever David Giuliani of The Times of Ottawa, Illinois asks Democratic legislative candidates about their opinion of Madigan, he never receives a straight answer.

That’s because they know the truth. Boss Madigan is what ails the Prairie State. Last year Reuters declared Madigan “the man behind the fiscal fiasco in Illinois.”

I have many friends who live in this blue state who tell me that they detest Madigan–yet they vote for every Democrat on the ballot.

Is the state attorney general able to fight Madigan? Maybe in year. Lisa Madigan, daughter of, well, you know, has been holding that job since 2003. But she’s not running for reelection. Her dad holds considerable sway over Illinois judges too.

Even Barack Obama does Madigan’s bidding. After a Chicago Democrat missed a key House override vote of a Rauner veto, a hand-picked Madigan ally, Juliana Stratton, was endorsed by the then-president and Obama even appeared in a TV ad for the challenger in the next primary election. Madigan and Obama’s candidate won. Stratton is now Pritzker’s running mate.

The Democratic Party of Illinois is Michael Madigan and Michael Madigan is the Democratic Party of Illinois.

Cognitive dissonance is widespread in this state.

While the official state animal of Illinois is the white-tailed deer, in reality it’s an octopus named Mike Madigan. His tentacles are everywhere.

John Ruberry regularly blogs from Illinois at Marathon Pundit.


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by baldilocks

When Barack Obama was president of the United States of America, I was afraid, but not of Obama the individual. Neither his party, nor his ideology – mundane Leftism – nor even his spiritual beliefs whether it was Black Liberation Theology or crypto-Islam or covert atheism – were fear-inducing to me.

I was afraid of what his candidacy and, subsequently, his presidency represented.

There are lists and lists of the former president’s violations of the US Constitution, but those are mostly gratuitous to my point. There was, however, one specific indicator of the underworld — the underlying representation — showing itself very early on. Remember this?

After writing twice about the deliberate decision by the Barack Obama campaign to avoid validation checks on credit-card contributions [via the campaign website], I’ve heard from a number of people in the credit-card industry on how this works. Two explanations in particular explain the depth of deliberation and deception involved in disregarding address and security-code verification. The first explains that Team Obama probably didn’t just opt out of using these verification processes, but more likely rewrote the code on their site to bypass them.

That was during the 2008 campaign. It worked so well that the reelection campaign did it again in 2012. Of course, the most of the mainstream media entities yawned about it. But that’s still not the point.

The point is that VISA, Mastercard, etc. ignored it.

These conglomerates were willing to do anything, including allowing their own safeguards to be bypassed, to get Barack Obama into the Oval Office. Because they could. Because what are you going to do about it?

So, when that level of political and financial fraud gets ignored, is it really a surprise that the same partisans got cocky with this Steele dossier?

This kind of thing will happen again, you know, regardless of party label. Because they can. Because what are you going to do about it? That last part is especially relevant. Such fraudsters know that there will be no real legal ramifications for this, though there may be some scapegoats. I predict that, for this episode of Who Runs The World, the scapegoat will be Peter Strzok. And like a good spear-carrier, Strzok will let it happen.

I feel as though we have been living in a house infested with termites for decades. Centuries? It has to be God’s grace that keeps it standing.

The good news? I’m not afraid anymore because I know who really runs things.

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.

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by baldilocks

My old boss, Roger L. Simon, delves into the first issue that came to my mind when I read that the Iranian people were protesting against the mullahs: the last time it happened. That was in 2009.

Back in those pre-9/11 days when I identified as a liberal, the one thing I was sure drew all my then cohort together was opposition to fascism, whether secular or religious.

Boy, was I wrong and never was that more clear than in 2009 when the Green Movement demonstrators were marching through the streets of Tehran and other Iranian cities, demanding freedom from the mullahs. The whole world was watching, as we used to say in the sixties, only their cause was purer than ours was then. The horrifying theocrats who ran the “Islamic Republic” regularly raped women in prison before they killed them, hanged homosexuals in the streets and tortured just about everyone else who didn’t comply with the edicts of their Islamo-fascist regime.

The students and others marching in the streets to overthrow these tyrants desperately wanted America’s help, specifically the support of our “oh-so-liberal-progressive” president. they shouted, “Obama, Obama, are you with us or are you with them?”

Obama was silent.

I can’t think of a moment I was more disgusted by the acts (inaction actually) of an American president. What did he stand for? What did we stand for?

Well, who knows? What we do know is he wanted to deal with Iran his way — whether to get the glory for himself or for other even less attractive reasons we will never know. He was secretly communicating with Ahmadinejad and Khamenei even before he took office, hinting at accommodation.

“Without preconditions,” as I recall from Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign website. His way, indeed.

Well, we all know about the former president’s Iran Deal. But what of the latest revelation of the previous administration allowing Hezbollah drug cartels free rein to move snowy mountains into the United States?

Iran, Iran, Iran. Senator Obama, then afterward, President Obama, seem intent on pleasing and appeasing the mullahcracy of that nation at any costs — like a courtship.

It’s almost as if they have some hidden hold over him. Or maybe I’m just a racist.

UPDATE: More evidence of … something … from the Times of Israel. Wow.

US intelligence agencies have given Israel the green light to assassinate the senior Iranian responsible for coordinating military activity on behalf of the Islamic Republic in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, according to the Kuwaiti newspaper al-Jarida.

For the past 20 years or so, Qassem Soleimani has commanded the Quds Force — the branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards responsible for military and clandestine operations outside of the Islamic Republic.  (…)

Three years ago, Israel came close to assassinating Soleimani near Damascus, al-Jarida quoted unnamed source as saying, but the Americans [meaning President Obama] tipped off the Iranians against the background of intense disagreement between Washington and Jerusalem.

(Thanks to Instapundit)

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!

This week that well-known right wing outfit Politico told us the tale of Project Cassandra an operation concerning Hezbollah drug running

Over the next eight years, agents working out of a top-secret DEA facility in Chantilly, Virginia, used wiretaps, undercover operations and informants to map Hezbollah’s illicit networks, with the help of 30 U.S. and foreign security agencies.

They followed cocaine shipments, some from Latin America to West Africa and on to Europe and the Middle East, and others through Venezuela and Mexico to the United States. They tracked the river of dirty cash as it was laundered by, among other tactics, buying American used cars and shipping them to Africa. And with the help of some key cooperating witnesses, the agents traced the conspiracy, they believed, to the innermost circle of Hezbollah and its state sponsors in Iran.

This was nipped in the bud by the Obama Administration, no Hezbollah’s cocaine shipments or the money laundering but the DEA’s attempt to stop it

“This was a policy decision, it was a systematic decision,” said David Asher, who helped establish and oversee Project Cassandra as a Defense Department illicit finance analyst. “They serially ripped apart this entire effort that was very well supported and resourced, and it was done from the top down.”

Of course MSM’s disinclination to report on this story despite it coming from one of their normally favorite sources is generating some outrage:

My own outrage is of a different sort.

For years we have been hearing about the plight of Black America in the inner cities (almost exclusively controlled by Democrats for decades). While the left tries to blame the NRA or gun manufacturers the actual problem comes down to the drug trade.

You have dealers targeting youths for addiction, you get crime generated to pay for these drug habits, then gangs recruiting youth for membership in the drug trade as a quick way out, finally you get ongoing wars over the control of that trade costing the lives of not only young black men involved in the trade but innocents who get caught in the crossfire terrorizing entire neighborhoods.

Put simply if you enable the Drug Trade you enable Terrorism against the inner City Black Community.

And this is what outrages me.

The Black Community stood behind Barack Obama and his administration tooth and nail. They ignored the bad economy, the failed policies, the rise of ISIS terror and furthermore in 2012 they turned out and saved him from defeat against a much more competent adversary.

Barack Obama didn’t just betray America by enabling international terrorists in order to allow himself to fund one of the World’s primary backers of said terror, but he did so knowing that the Hezbollah drug trade terrorized black neighborhoods, black families and particularly young black men, betraying those who had been his most loyal supporters.

Those black lives destroyed by the drug trade didn’t matter to Barack Obama or his administration as much as funding Iran did. That’s an uncomfortable truth that many who voted Obama will silently endure rather than admit how badly they have been played.

That’s the real outrage of the Hezbollah Iran Obama Drug story.

Update: Compare and Contrast

The Trump administration is pushing back aggressively against what the intelligence community often refers to as the “Iran Threat Network” or ITN, and as part of that campaign it is especially keen to focus on the activities of Hezbollah, the pro-Iranian Lebanese militia, in Latin America.

To my shock this story is again from Politico.

Update 2: Instalanche, thanks Steven, Hi folks take a peek around.

If you live in the New England Area, are free on January 20th and like good speakers and all you can eat Chinese food then Join me and the Worcester Tea Party us at Tang Dynasty Restaurant Rte 12 Leominster Mass for our event President Trump A Year in Review and Looking Ahead featuring a panel including: Mike LaChance Contributer to Legal Insurrection blog and editor of AmericanLookout.com Chip Faulkner: Of Citizens for Limited Taxation & Host of the Friday Morning Group, Christopher Maider: Longtime Host of the Meat and Potatoes Radio show , Dianna Ploss: President of the Boston Chapter of Act for America

And of course me DaTechGuy as the moderator.

Tickers are $20 and include an all you can eat Chinese buffet. You can get them here.

Hope to see you there.


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Eagle River, Wisconsin

By John Ruberry

“‘Many are the strange chances of the world,’ said Mithrandir, ‘and help oft shall come from the hands of the weak when the Wise falter.'”
Mithrandir (Gandalf), in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Simarillion.

This week greets the first anniversary of Donald J. Trump’s historic election to the presidency.

Historic? Yes. Trump is first first non-politician–or former general–ever elected to the nation’s highest office. The Manhattan billionaire was one of 17 candidates for the Republican nomination and it’s very safe to say that among the GOP establishment, Trump was the least popular member of this group.

But among the unpolished masses–the folks that Hillary Clinton dubbed “Deplorables” a year later–Trump was their champion. House Speaker Paul Ryan said after Trump’s upset win over Clinton, said that the president-elect, “Heard a voice that no one else heard.”

Clinton, on the other hand, was clearly the choice of the Democratic Party insiders, and that point was driven home last week by Donna Brazile, the interim DNC chair when Trump scored his upset win.

Trump was branded a racist when he said that Mexico was sending “rapists” and “criminals” over the border and he vowed to build a wall at the Mexican border. Was he wrong to say that? Yes. But Trump revealed a glaring hypocrisy among the Republican Party. The GOP’s idea of “getting tough” on illegal immigration was to talk tough about illegal immigration. And suddenly, the emerging Trump base learned, here was a candidate who will do something about illegal aliens–who yes, not only take away American jobs, such as in food service, but also drive down wages.

Barack Obama waxed eloquently–he’s good at that–about the plight of the laid-off workers at a Maytag refrigerator plant in Galesburg, Illinois–the manufacturer shifted that work to a factory in Mexico, both in his memorable keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention and in Audacity of Hope. Trump vowed–and vows–to stop the exodus of blue collar jobs to south of the border. After eight years of President Obama in charge, whose response to these job losses was to offer retraining to workers for scarce jobs in “green industries,” Trump’s message resonated. While Clinton doubled-down on green failure.

Last week Rush Limbaugh praised Trump’s making an issue during the campaign of China cheating on trade deals and its currency manipulation “China is ripping us off on trade,” Trump screamed. At the time El Rusho saw it as too esoteric of a topic for presidential campaign. But the “weak” understood while the “wise” faltered.

And the Deplorables of Iowa, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan–many of whom voted twice for Barack Obama–went with Trump last year.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

By John Ruberry

Last night I ended another binge-watching venture, this time it was Ozark, a Netflix original series starring Jason Bateman. Season one, consisting of ten episodes, was released in July and Ozark has already been renewed for a second run.

Marty Byrde (Bateman) is a financial planner who makes a deal with the devil, actually a Mexican drug cartel, to launder its cash. So, Byrde quietly toils away and the cartel graciously thanks him for his efforts and all is well?

Uh, no.

Byrde and his wife Wendy (Laura Linney) are the typical smug Chicago area couple who I interact with regularly. Wendy is proud of her political activism, she even worked on Barack Obama’s state Senate campaigns, although it’s difficult to say why she was needed as Obama ran unopposed in all three of his Democratic primary races and the district he represented was far more Democratic than Wyoming is Republican. Perhaps Wendy was the scoundrel behind knocking all of Obama’s primary opponents off of the ballot. If so, it fits her character. Interestingly, there is an early scene of Marty inspecting office space Chicago’s Trump Tower.

Bryde’s handler, Camino Del Rio (Esai Morales), discovers $8 million in cartel cash is missing. After Byrde’s co-workers are well, liquidated, in an act of desperation Byrde convinces “Del” that Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, which has “more coastline than the state of California,” is a far better place than Chicago to launder his dirty money because it’s not crawling with federal agents.

So seemingly quicker than it takes me to check out of a hotel room the Byrdes and their children, 15-year-old Charlotte (Sofia Hublitz) and Jonah (Skylar Gaertner) do a reverse-Beverly Hillbillies and relocate to the Lake of the Ozarks, one of several places in America known as a Redneck Riviera.

The Byrdes nearly immediately confront a family of small-time criminals, the Langmores, who live in–wait for it–run-down trailers. They are raising two bobcats. Just inside the door of one of the trailers is a a poster of a topless woman.

And like Brewster in the several Brewster’s Millions movies, Marty finds that quickly spending millions, or laundering it, is harder than he thought it would be, particularly in the rural location he chose. An even greater challenge for the Byrdes is a mysterious family of big-time criminals we meet later on. For comic relief, mostly, is the dying old man who lives in their basement–he is convinced Obama is a Muslim.

Even before the move the Byrde’s marriage is on the rocks–and the tension of a disintegrating family operating an illegal enterprise is reminiscent of Breaking Bad. The graphic violence is reminiscent of Sons of Anarchy. And while no genitalia is shown, the sex scenes are also quite graphic. So this family drama is by no means appropriate family viewing. Jason Bateman has come along way since his NBC sitcom Silver Spoons.

Blogger outside Chicago’s Trump Tower

I don’t expect there to be a tourist boom to Lake of the Ozarks because of the show, as the redneck cliches and the rampant lawlessness of Ozark will serve as a definite buzz-kill for travel-minded families. The Northwoods region’s vacation dollars are secure. Although outside of a few scenes in downtown Chicago, most of the show is filmed in a reservoir area in northern Georgia. And some of the Chicago scenes are laughably wrong–where do all of these hills come from? And there are no hills in Morris, Illinois either–a wonderful town I’ve visited many times, by the way. Here’s another inconsistency: The Byrdes’ suburban home was in Naperville. So why does their Honda Odyssey have an expensive Chicago vehicle sticker? An astute financial planner wouldn’t waste $136 on a useless decal.

Yes, I’ll be back for the next season. By then end of that one Ozark may have shed the shadow of Breaking Bad.

John Ruberry regularly blogs in the Chicago area at Marathon Pundit.

Rumors are flying that President Trump could announce the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), allowing one of his predecessor’s most egregious examples of overreach to fade away into oblivion.

This spring, the President indicated that he may keep parts of the executive order because he has a “big heart.” It caused many conservatives and federalists to question his resolve on one of the most important issues constantly highlighted during the presidential campaign. If the rumors are true, it will be the best move he’s made so far.

Many would point to the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, but that wasn’t really much of a decision. Had he nominated a moderate or liberal, it would have been political suicide. Gorsuch (or any other Constitutional conservative judge) was a no-brainer and therefore doesn’t qualify as one of his “best moves.” It was important, but it wasn’t really a tough choice. Letting DACA lapse was a choice and the President is apparently making the right one.

Those who applied for DACA gained two years of deferred action. If President Trump allows it to lapse, it will take effect at the end of each individual’s deferment period.

There will be those who point to this as a heinous move because children or young adults are involved. The leftist mentality is that it’s not their fault their parents brought them here illegally so they shouldn’t be punished. The reality of the situation is this: they aren’t being punished. They’re being put in the same position that others who want to enter the United States are in. They are no longer going to be rewarded for the illegal actions of their parents. There’s nothing unfair about letting DACA lapse.

All too often those with similar opinions to mine are attacked for being heartless. It’s important to note that I have absolutely nothing against legal immigration. In fact, I believe that those who entered the country illegally are getting in the way of those who go through the proper lawful process to immigrate to the United States legally. What’s wrong with expecting people entering our sovereign nation to follow the rule of law? It’s not heartless to demand people not engage in criminal activities as their process to participate in the benefits of being in America.

I’ve been critical of the President, but I’m also fair. If he lets DACA lapse, kudos to him. It’s the right move for America.

Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other

John Adams

Over the last several days we’ve heard about many developments concerning the Clinton Lynch story,  one of the critical moments in last year’s election cycle.

The bit about the media trying to bury the story wasn’t good, hearing about alias’ used by the Attorney General, the top law enforcement officer in the country, to hide her questionable actions and the fact that these meetings were planed and coordinated is pretty bad.

But for my money the most critical part of the story is this bit (via legal insurrection) concerns not the revelations but the FOIA request itself: (all emphasis mine)

On July 1, 2016 – just days before our FOIA request – a DOJ email chain under the subject line, “FBI just called,” indicates that the “FBI . . . is looking for guidance” in responding to media inquiries about news reports that the FBI had prevented the press from taking pictures of the Clinton Lynch meeting. The discussion then went off email to several phone calls (of which we are not able to obtain records). An hour later, Carolyn Pokomy of the Office of the Attorney General stated, “I will let Rybicki know.” Jim Rybicki was the Chief of Staff and Senior Counselor to FBI Director Jim Comey. The information that was to be provided to Rybicki is redacted.

Also of note several of the documents contain redactions that are requested “per FBI.”

It is clear that there were multiple records within the FBI responsive to our request and that discussions regarding the surreptitious meeting between then AG Lynch and the husband of the subject of an ongoing FBI criminal investigation reached the highest levels of the FBI.

However, on October 21, 2016, the Comey FBI replied to our legal demands that “No records responsive to your request were located.”  This is in direct contravention to the law, and we are preparing further legal action to force the FBI to come clean and turn over ALL documents related to this matter to us in a timely manner.

Think about this statement from folks at Powerline again (all emphasis mine)

There are only two possibilities here: either someone at the FBI destroyed documents relating to the Bureau’s communications about the Lynch/Clinton meeting, or someone at the FBI lied in response to ACLJ’s FOIA request. Federal agencies have personnel dedicated to responding to FOIA requests, and presumably the people who carry out this relatively mundane task would not lie or destroy documents without instructions from the top.

There was a time when that presumption was a given, not anymore.  This case clearly demonstrates the only reason why the FOIA, a law specifically designed to promote open government was obeyed was:

  1.  Barack Obama’s Term was over
  2.  Hillary Clinton was not elected
  3.  James Comey was fired

There is no point in having laws like FOIA, or any other unless the people charged with carrying them out are honest and honorable enough to obey them no matter who’s in power unfortunately we now have two cultures in this nation.  One of them believes in the Judeo-christian moral code and the other believes the ends justifies the means.

Once that presumption that the laws will be obeyed by those who are charged with carrying them out is gone, the social contract between the government and those who are governed is gone, and when gone it’s nearly impossible to get it back.

This is the legacy that the Clintons and Barack Obama and their allies in the Democrat Party who have embraced the culture of ends and means have left America and it’s a legacy that our nation will be paying for generations.


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