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.

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

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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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Consider subscribing. While you might have heard I’ve been unexpectedly rehired at my job. how long that will last is anyone’s guess (I have Jan 7th or 8th in the pool) but if we can get 87.5 more subscribers at $20 a month I can do this full time without worry.


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Finally might I suggest my book  Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift for the person of faith on your Christmas list?

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.


The Layoff bleg continues. with 4 days to go we’re $1515 away from the goal to make August dedicated to the blog, the new radio show (shows?) and events.

This blog is a venture in capitalism that depends primarily on readers. You can help finance this by picking up my new book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) prayer is now available at Amazon

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And as I’ve said before if you can’t spare the cash we will be happy to accept your prayers.

Kindling, pretty much.

by baldilocks

Last day filling in for Fausta.

Still waiting for Former President Obama, actors Danny Glover and Sean Penn or director Oliver Stone to comment on the downfall of Venezuela. Breath not being held.

Venezuela’s currency, the bolivar, is disintegrating at an incredible pace under the country’s political and economic crisis that has left citizens broke, desperate and in many cases, homicidal. The depreciation accelerated this week, after a disputed vote electing an all-powerful “Constituent Assembly” filled with allies of President Nicolas Maduro, which the opposition and dozens of countries have called illegitimate.

Just two days ago, on August 2, we reported that one dollar would buy 14,100 bolivars, up from 11,280 the day before.

The next day, the bolivar slumped nearly 15 percent on the black market, to 17,000 to one US dollar. Today, it has crashed again, tumbling 16% to 20,142, and down almost 40% in just the past three days.

(…)

A kilo (two pounds) of rice, for instance, cost 17,000 bolivares. The crisis biting into Venezuela since 2014 came from a slide in the global prices for oil [sic]– exports of which account for 96 percent of its revenues.

The government has sought to monopolize dollars in the country through strict currency controls that have been in place for the past 14 years. Access to them have become restricted for the private sector, with the consequence that food, medicines and basic items — all imported — have become scarce.

According to the International Monetary Fund, inflation in Venezuela is expected to soar above 700 percent this year. In June, Maduro tried to clamp down on the black market trade in dollars through auctions of greenbacks at the weekly fixed rate, known as Dicom. There is also another official rate, of 10 bolivars per dollar, reserved for food and medicine imports.

“Things are going up in price faster than salaries,” noted Zabala, who spends 10 percent of his income on diabetes treatment, when he can.

Meanwhile, Maduro who earlier this week was branded a “dictator” by the US State Department, has vowed that a new constitution the Constituent Assembly is tasked with writing will wean Venezuela off its oil dependency and restart industry, which is operating at only 30 percent of capacity. But Maduro, who links the “black dollar” with an “economic war” allegedly waged by the opposition in collaboration with the US, has not given details on what would be implemented. Instead, on Thursday Maduro promised that “speculators” setting their prices in line with “the terrorist criminal dollar in Miami” would go to jail.

(…)

Venezuela has to make major debt payments, with a $3.4 billion dollar-denominated payment for state oil company PDVSA looming in October. It is increasingly unclear if the company will make the payment.

But, remember folks: this isn’t the result of socialism, because true socialism has never really been tried yet!

(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! —->>>>>

Update DTG: Instalanche Well Done Juliette!


Update DTG: The layoff bleg continues $915 down $1585 to go by Aug 10

The Layoff bleg continues. with  5 days to go we’re $  1635 away from the goal to make August dedicated to the blog, the new radio show (shows?) and events.

This blog is a venture in capitalism that depends primarily on readers. You can help finance this by picking up my new book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) prayer is now available at Amazon

A portion of every sale will go to WQPH 89.3 Catholic Radio) or show your approval by Hitting DaTipJar




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And as I’ve said before if you can’t spare the cash we will be happy to accept your prayers.

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.

by baldilocks

The little guys have to follow the rules; the Big Guys and Girls, not so much.

The Army is booting out a 13-year public affairs sergeant for including in an unclassified government email the same information about a special operations unit and Osama bin Laden found on Army.mil web pages.

The irony in the narrative of Staff Sgt. Ricardo Branch is that his motive was to keep classified material away from public view.

His disclosure in a private Army email is also the same information as told by his commander in chief, Barack Obama, in May 2011 when the president visited Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to personally thank the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), or “Night Stalkers,” for its critical role in killing al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

And, the transgression of Sgt. Branch, 34, is, on its face, far less serious than that of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who faced no punishment for keeping classified data on her personal unsecured server.

(Emphasis mine; commas added.)

Free Beacon:

The sergeant needs a jar of this.

The incident occurred in February 2014, when Branch, then a public affairs officer for the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), reviewed a proposed article by Boeing for the company’s internal news service[.]

The article discussed SOAR personnel visiting a Boeing unit in Mesa, Arizona, and revealed the regiment’s role in transporting Navy SEAL Team 6 to Pakistan for the 2011 raid to kill Osama bin Laden. Branch reportedly recognized that the Pentagon had never officially acknowledged SOAR’s role in the bin Laden operation and emailed his superior saying Boeing should delete the sentence.

Branch also wrote the sentence in an official .mil email.

Because Branch forwarded the sentence, which contained sensitive information, in an unclassified email, an investigation was launched and he was ordered home.

A superior officer had seen the email and notified Army intelligence. About two months later, Branch agreed to a nonjudicial punishment known as an Article 15 hearing, during which he received an oral reprimand and thought the matter was done.

The Army transferred Branch to South Korea. But then the service in 2015, pressured by budget cuts, sought to reduce personnel and identified blemished soldiers through the Quantitative Management Program. Branch was identified as a blemished soldier because his Article 15 resulted in a one-time poor performance evaluation, and the investigation was relaunched.

Branch received high marks on all prior and subsequent performance reviews, according to the [Washington]Times.

This sort of travesty furthers my suspicions that a vast Coconut Treatment—a hollowing out of all seemingly reliable institutions—is nearing its conclusion. By the way, if the Army forces Sgt. Branch out, he will probably receive a discharge that is other than honorable. This will make it very difficult for him to find employment and he won’t be able to receive any VA benefits which would have, otherwise, been his due.

I’m hoping that there’s something more to this story, but I’ll bet that there isn’t. And if I were this guy, I’d do what he’s doing—making it public—and then get out anyway.

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 on April 2017! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

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