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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By John Ruberry

Early in Episode One of Flint Town, an eight-entry Netflix series that debuted this month, we discover a murder victim lying in the snow. And we see snowflakes resting unmelted on his hand–the only warmth he will offer can only come from memories from his loved ones.

Such is life and death in Flint.

Few cities of its size in the United State–probably none–have endured as much devastation as Flint has in the last thirty years. The population of  Flint, which was once Michigan’s second largest city, peaked in 1960 at just under 200,000. But the wide scale exodus began in the 1980s when General Motors–it was founded in Flint–began its rapid downsizing of operations in what is still called “the Vehicle City.”

Now fewer than 100,000 reside in Flint–with 40 percent of them living below the poverty line.

Flint is Detroit’s smaller cousin–sharing most of the same problems. But Flint’s water crisis–lead poisoning spawned by switching the city’s water supply from Detroit’s Lake Huron facilities to that of the Flint River–added a tragic dimension to its suffering.

“It used to be cars were made in Flint, and you couldn’t drink the water in Mexico,” Donald Trump remarks at a campaign appearance shown here. “Now the cars are made in Mexico and you can’t drink the water in Flint.”

Flint Town is a project of directors Zackary Canepari, Drea Cooper, and Jessica Dimmock. It takes a surprising choice of its focus, the under-resourced Flint Police.

“The police officers on the Flint Police Department and underpaid and understaffed, wearing five or six hats, [and] using primitive equipment,” Police Chief Timothy Johnson tells the city council in the final episode. Earlier in the series the dashboard on a Flint police car shows the odometer at 105,000 miles. The man who sits in the cubicle next to mine in my real job, a retired cop from a Chicago suburb about the same size as Flint, says that the cruisers on his force were surplussed at about 50,000 miles.

We see Devon Bernritter, a captain, lament that he was compelled to send three officers on foot patrols because no police cars were available for them. Cops are sent on calls by themselves in Flint in many situations that in other jurisdictions, because of perceived danger, two officers are sent.

Johnson utilizes the same type of resourcefulness that Soviet citizens used when facing problems with inadequate or missing equipment. Volunteers are hired to assist his officers, although unlike everywhere else these aides are armed, including a warm-hearted 65-year-old retiree whose trainer bends over backwards so he pass his marksmanship test. Guns seized in crimes are typically destroyed by most police departments. In Flint they are auctioned off.

Election Day comes to Flint Town. While not ignored, the presidential race–where the white cops favor Trump and the African American ones back Hillary Clinton–takes a back seat to a vote to extend a millage, a property tax, to provide what is of course badly needed funding for law enforcement. In the past those monies were spent, despite promises to voters, elsewhere.

Flint has a well-deserved reputation for corruption and incompetence. The latter point was something not even Michael Moore in his Roger and Me documentary could ignore. While its elections are non-partisan, Democrats dominate Flint politics.

“I always wondered why this city was in the position it was and now I see why, it’s at the top,” Chief Johnson boldly tells the city council in a budget hearing.

Blogger last autumn in Michigan

Yet the rank-and-file Flint cops deeply care about the citizens they are sworn to serve and protect, despite toiling in the atmosphere of the cold-blooding killings in 2016, assassinations really, of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Is the love returned? For the most part, no.

Flint Town is rated TV-MA for graphic violence and foul language. While Netflix is promoting this batch of shows as Season One, there has been no announcement that a second season is coming. I’d like to see another helping.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Jobs are coming back. Wages are going up. Taxes are going down. Consumer spending is at a pre-2007 level. The economy is looking poised to have a strong continuation in 2018 from the progress made in 2017. There are still many things that can derail it quickly, but the biggest risk is born from a hatred of Donald Trump and the Republican Party.

Mainstream media knows a very important reality, as I detailed in my 2018 predictions. Perceptions play an important role in the strength or weakness of the economy. When the general sentiment among Americans is strong, the economy is strong as a result. When people are fearful, certain economic indicators stumble from the concern. That has been the nature of the economy for a few decades since mass media made news travel quickly and broadly. It’s a nature that works through or against self-fulfilling prophecies.

The other reality that mainstream media understands is most Americans make voting decision based upon personal prosperity. In the voting booth, they aren’t as concerned about Israel’s embassy, net neutrality, or obnoxious Tweets as they are the rest of the year. Their biggest concern is which candidate or party is going to make things better, easier, or both for the voter and their family.

Jimmy Carter didn’t just lose to Ronald Reagan. He lost to the poor economic conditions that ravaged the nation through his term. Bill Clinton didn’t beat Bob Dole just because the Republican was boring while the Democrat played the saxophone. He beat Dole because the economy was doing very well at the time.

It’s easier to see during presidential election years, but it’s still prevalent in midterm elections. We vote based upon how much is in our wallets.

Some may be balking right about now. If you’re reading this, you’re probably the exception. In fact, you’ve probably rarely if ever voted for a Democrat since this is a conservative blog with a generally conservative audience. Those on the ideological left and right don’t look at fiscal indicators. Then again, many of us don’t look at anything other than the letter next to the name of the candidate. We’re not the people who decide elections. The swing voters are, and they’re the ones who vote with their wallets. They’re also the target audience for mainstream media when it comes to swaying elections.

We can expect the media to continue their attacks on President Trump. It’s almost as natural for them as covering up for President Obama. The difference is in how they spin everything that happens with the economy. We’re already seeing this in the way they’re spinning reactions from corporate America to the tax cuts. As dozens of major companies started instantly giving extra money to their employees following passage of the tax cuts, mainstream media tried desperately to under-report the moves, or worse, to call them tricks by Trump-loving corporate America.

It’s only going to get more aggressive from here. In 2018, you will be hard-pressed to find any major and positive economic news on mainstream media outside of Fox News and WSJ that isn’t spun to somehow be a negative. When bad economic news comes along, the problem will be magnified and the message will be amplified.

This midterm election is vindication for the media… at least that’s what they hope. They can either prove they still have sway over elections or they will be proven powerless. The easiest way they can cheat their way into power is with Democratic victories. The easiest way for Democrats to win is for the media to declare doom and gloom over the economy. How the economy responds will be based upon whether or not people believe what they hear from the media or what they see in their bank accounts. Unfortunately, many will ignore the obvious for the sake of the left’s incessant narrative.

Al Franken’s resignation is one thing for the Democrats: part of a strategy. They will pretend to lament, but they realize they’re not really losing anything they hadn’t already lost when the allegations were first made. He will be replaced by another liberal Democrat, one who doesn’t have the baggage Franken has accumulated.

Behind closed doors, they’re celebrating. This is a great PR move for them because it allows them to hold the moral high ground. Now they can go after President Trump, Roy Moore if he wins, and all the Republicans who supported either or both of them. They’ll point to Franken and John Conyers and say, “we police our own, but the Republicans do not.”

In other words, they’ll try to ride the wave of sexual misconduct all the way to majorities in the House and Senate in 2018.

Republicans will be cheering today now that Franken has resigned. They shouldn’t. This is bad news for them. As Franken noted in his resignation speech, the Republicans have a guy in the Oval Office who has been caught on tape saying things very crudely against women. It wasn’t enough to keep him out of office, but with the current environment of sexual misconduct accusations taking down powerful men, Democrats are now positioned to build a strong midterm election narrative.

If Moore wins, they’ll attach him to Trump. Whether Moore wins or loses, the Democrats will attach Trump to every Republican running for office in 2018. They won’t focus on policy or political maneuvers. The new agenda is to make this emotional. As many political strategists know all too well, emotion trumps policy when it comes to votes.

As Trump’s popularity rises, it will be difficult for Republicans running for office to abandon him. They can’t afford to lose his base, but they may not be able to afford the damage Democrats can do by invoking him with Independents. It’s a catch-22 for the Republican Party and Al Franken’s resignation made midterm elections seem even more bleak for them.

Local Elections

Keep everything hazy in his mind now, and you will have all eternity wherein to amuse yourself by producing in him the peculiar kind of clarity which Hell affords.

The Screwtape Letters II

Despite some very public divisions and gaffe’s over the last week in Virginia Democrats finally got a victory they were looking for and more. It very much looks like they will manage to take back a state legislature.

Some of the races are so close it might take a few days to see if it happens but if it does so be it. Although I suspect the people of Virginia will quickly find out that no amount of running as a moderate will keep a democrat from voting like a socialist.

Additionally Democrats have won races in CT and NJ as well as keeping the Mayor’s seat in New York City, but there seems to be something missing.

No matter how hard you look on the net there doesn’t seem to be any sign of conservatives or even establishment republicans breaking out in tears, making pathetic videos on youtube, rioting and toppling statues, torching limos or running around in hats shaped like genitals loudly proclaiming that (insert candidate name here) is not MY mayor, or representative or governor.

That’s because whatever their faults (and the do-nothing GOP congress is exhibiting plenty of them) the GOP and conservatism remain the venue of civilized adults even when we lose.

I’ll be honest I’m disappointed about the results but at least that means we didn’t have to be treated to the spectacle of Democrats loudly protesting or making a scene of themselves oh wait…

Yes you read that right, the left can’t even win without protesting and heckling people, even their own victorious candidate.

But it’s their victory party and they can cry if they want to. Of course the real crying will be done by the people of Virginia and elsewhere once they rediscover the joys of being governed by Democrats unrestrained by any non rioting GOP checks and balances.

Of course if the people of Virginia and elsewhere have decided they wanted to vote for that uniquely socialistic Democrat combination of tax raising, budget busting, business killing regulations, lax law enforcement and using the courts to force the will of the SJW class on pain of destruction on the people rest assured our friends in the Democrat party will be delighted to give it to them good and hard.

In fact if they didn’t want that it, too bad, in a republic you always get the government you deserve, and boy are these people gonna get it, whether they like it or not.


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In New York’s 19th Congressional District (which I used to be a part of before a recent redrawing put me into the 18th instead), Steven Brisee was running among several other Democrats hoping to oust Republican Congressman John Faso from his seat. But Steven Brisee can’t seem to stop himself from getting arrested!

Steven Brisee was most recently arrested for Grand Larceny, a felony, after he was caught trying to steal $1500 worth of merchandise, some 50 items of clothing and housewares, from a Kohl’s department store in Newburgh, NY. Brisee has decided to drop out of the race after this arrest, but he blames autism and his lack of people skills for fundraising as the reason, not his criminal history. Although he did admit to a local paper that he had been arrested for shoplifting in the past, he claims his latest arrest was for criminal trespass during a pipeline protest. Via Times Herald Union:

Newburgh Town Police said on Wednesday that Brisee is facing a felony grand larceny charge for allegedly trying to steal about $1,500 worth of merchandise from a Kohl’s in Orange County.

Newburgh Police Lt. James Nenni told the Times Union that Brisee was arrested Sept. 11 on charges accusing him of attempting to take about 50 items from the department store. Nenni said a petit larceny charge was bumped up to a felony because of the value of the goods, which included men’s clothing and other household items.

But in an interview Wednesday evening, the candidate disputed the charge.

“Why would I be trying to steal something while running for Congress?” Brisee said.

The charges were reported by the Kingston Daily Freeman on Tuesday. Brisee disputed the charge in that newspaper’s report as well.

Brisee told the Times Union on Wednesday evening that while he had been arrested in 2010 for stealing from the Kohl’s store — Brisee was homeless at the time — he was arrested for criminal trespass on Sept. 11 for protesting construction of the Pilgrim Pipeline.

“Either they’re looking up an old arrest or I don’t know,” he said.

Brisee said his previous grand larceny arrest was dropped to a violation.

What isn’t in dispute is that Brisee was sent to the Orange County Jail following the Sept. 11 arrest.

Brisee said he was in custody until his bail was posted Saturday night by his step father. He initially was sent to Orange County Jail but transferred to Ulster County Jail to be held on a separate trespass charge stemming from an incident in Ulster County.

Brisee said he was staying at a friend’s house, but the friend had not told his father Brisee was given permission to stay. Two days before his protest arrest, the father had called the police.

With Brisee in Orange County Jail and police in Ulster County unable to contact him, a warrant was issued for his arrest in that county. He was then transferred to Ulster County Jail on Sept. 15.

Wait, what? Didn’t he say the trespass arrest was for a pipeline protest? Now we see a trespass arrest for illegally occupying somebody else’s home. But wait, there’s more! Via Daily Freeman News:

Brisee said he and some friends were in Newburgh protesting a pipeline, but he could not recall the name of the road he was on or what company was constructing the pipeline. He said he believes people waiting to work at the construction site called police, leading to his arrest.

“I was protesting a pipeline,” Brisee said.

A clerk at the Newburgh Justice Court confirmed the felony grand larceny charge against Brisee. The matter is before Judge Jude Martini and Brisee is scheduled to return to court on Nov. 6.

Brisee is being represented by attorney Brad White of the Legal Aid Society of Orange County who could not be reached for comment.

In regards to the criminal trespass charge in Ulster County, Brisee said that matter is in Rochester Town Court and was a misunderstanding. He said he had permission to be at a friend’s house, but the friend did not tell their father. The father called police, Brisee said.

Details about that charge were not immediately available from the court. The criminal trespass matter is scheduled to return to the court on Oct. 4, according to a clerk.

Brisee also said a 2015 misdemeanor drunken driving charge against him had been reduced to a violation driving while ability impaired charge.

So Steven Brisee already had an arrest history, but he thought running for public office was a good idea to do while he continued with his lawbreaking ways, and when it finally catches up to him to the point that he feels compelled to drop out of the congressional race, he blames an autistic lack of social skills, not his own criminality and an inability to keep his stories straight, as the reason why he could not garner voter support and fundraise effectively. Criminal behavior, lying, and blame gaming – kind of reminds me of another democrat (who even once held a political office here in New York).

*******

MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals. 

By John Ruberry

“And it was inevitable that some of these people pushed back…”
Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles.

Overtaxed residents of Cook County, where Chicago is, are finally waking up. After decades of being slapped by tax after tax–folks are fighting back.

Last week the Cook County Board of Commissioners voted to repeal a hated penny-per-ounce sweetened beverage tax, one that until the repeal takes effect on December 1, places a 39 percent tax on a $4.88 12-pack of soda pop.

“The pop tax is dead, but the issue is bigger than the pop tax,” Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey (D-Chicago) told the Chicago Tribune’s John Kass last week. “The issue here is that the people of Chicago and Cook County are not used to having their voices heard and making a difference, with public outrage forcing an elected body to reverse course. This is something.”

Cook County Board President Toni “Taxwinkle” Preckwinkle (D-Chicago) last year had to issue a rare tie-breaking vote last year to enact the soda tax, which took effect two months ago. Last week commissioners voted 15-2 to kill it.

Over the years Cook County imposed with little pushback a 0.75 percent sales tax, along with tobacco, gasoline, and liquor taxes, as well as an additional one-percent sales tax. Okay, there was a rebellion with that last one. Taxwinkle defeated her unpopular predecessor in a Democratic primary on the promise to repeal it–and she followed through. Then five years later she led the effort to successfully bring it back.

Chicagoans pay the nation’s highest sales tax rate.

Meanwhile Chicago residents have been pulverized by repeated property tax hikes to mainly pay for underfunded municipal worker pensions. Illinoisans just got socked with a 32 percent income tax increase, much of that money will go to pension obligations. And Taxwinkle has said that some of that soda tax money is needed for county worker pensions.

Taxwinkle dismissed criticism of the pop tax, which she ludicrously claimed was a public health measure, as the message of Big Soda. Yes, the American Beverage Association’s Can the Tax Coalition did pay for television, radio, and internet ads calling for a repeal. But Taxwkinkle enlisted the aid of “Nanny” Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former New York City mayor, to pay for pro-soda tax ads. And after the Illinois Retail Merchants Association delayed imposition of the soda tax, Taxwinkle quickly sued the group for $17 million in lost revenue, exposing her “it’s for our kids’ health” argument as a lie.

Toni “Taxwinkle” Preckwinkle

No figures are available, but anecdotal evidence is abundant that Cook County residents in droves have been driving to collar counties and Indiana to purchase pop since collection of the soda tax began. And does anyone think they were only buying soda on these grocery runs? And gee whiz, do you think they noticed that gasoline, and well, a whole lot of other things are cheaper outside Crook County?

Fill ‘er up. Oh, grab a case of beer too! Oh, and buy that stuff as long as we are here. And this stuff too!

Democratic office holders–and not just county ones–heard the sharp message from ordinary citizens: get rid of this tax!

The repeal of the sugary drink tax repeal is a big victory for long suffering Cook County residents such as myself. Cook is heavily Democratic. Hillary Clinton won nearly three-quarters of the vote in last year’s presidential election. Cook County hasn’t had a Republican president of the Cook County Board in nearly five decades, which is when the county’s population peaked.

Yet people in one of America’s bluest counties screamed “Enough” and they pushed back.

But this victory is only partial. The soon-to-be-canned soda tax is only a symptom. Voters need to understand why Taxwinkle needs to spend so much. Pensions for unionized retirees are only part of it. Taxwinkle has been building a massive “free” public-health care network that caters to the jobless and Cook’s burgeoning illegal immigrant community since taking office seven years ago.

Chicago is a sanctuary city and Cook is a sanctuary county. And last month our state’s Republican governor, Bruce Rauner, signed a bill making Illinois a sanctuary state.

These may be the type of governments that Illinois voters want. If it is, then so be it. But prepare to pay dearly for it too.

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

The left is getting lefter. There’s no doubt the Democratic Party is pushing towards socialism and communism with “independent” Bernie Sanders leading the charge. I hear a lot of conservative commentaries welcoming this lurch. We need to be careful what we wish because, as we all know, voters can be swayed quickly with limited information and a good sales pitch.

They’re talking about Medicare-for-all. We know this is a horrific idea. Even Sanders himself admitted as much 30-years-ago. That hasn’t stopped the push. We need to be cognizant of it and be prepared to counter it with full force. Don’t take for granted that people can be easily shown how it would bankrupt the country. There are plenty of people who hear about $20 trillion debts, debt ceilings, busted budgets, and the federal reserve and think, “If I get free healthcare, who cares what the number crunchers in DC have to do to get me there?”

Remember how many people were shocked that Obamacare wasn’t free? Well, this IS “free” so millions will call for it regardless of the consequences. The Democrats are learning this. Their research is telling them they may have a winner if they nurture it. Many are willing to set aside logic and fiscal responsibility if it means taking back the House and the Senate. Don’t disregard this as impossible.

The hot topic lately has been about guns for obvious reasons. This is an area where there’s a little less complacency from the right, but it’s still almost impossible to imagine an America that completely disregards or repeals the 2nd Amendment. Folks, it really could happen and not as far in the future as most believe. Gun control pushes today are the first domino in a string that leads to full-blown gun-grabbing.

Lastly, there’s socialism itself. We are a capitalist nation. That’s (probably) not going to change any time soon. What we need to worry about is the false notion that they can’t push for socialism without tearing down capitalism first. In an ideal world for socialists, they don’t need to tear down capitalism at all. In fact, they would want capitalism to fund the socialism they desire.

One can read Atlas Shrugged and see the systematic deconstruction of capitalism happening with the rise of socialism. It’s fiction. It’s also not entirely impossible to happen even in America. We’re a nation of plenty that is fueled by those who do not have plenty in their opinions. They aren’t comparing their situations to the billions in the world who are starving and/or who do not enjoy basic levels of freedom. They’re comparing themselves to the guy down the block with the Ferrari. Socialists can paint a picture of income equality that is appealing on the surface. They won’t tell the people that income equality means everyone will be equally poor. They’re selling it as pushing things slightly better for the average American by taking from the rich. If you don’t think that can be sold as appealing to people, you’re still stuck in the 80s when such notions were unthinkable.

The Democrats aren’t committing the political suicide many on the right believe they are with their push to the far left. They’ve tested their messages, polled the people, and have come to the conclusion that this is a winning play for them. We cannot assume that common sense and facts will be enough to stop them from succeeding. It’s imperative that we fight the good fight to keep the impossible from becoming our reality.

Sign inside Niles, Illinois supermarket

By John Ruberry

I’ve written a couple of columns at Da Tech Guy, one here and one here, about Cook County’s hated one-cent-per-ounce soda tax championed by County Board President Toni “Taxwinkle” Preckwinkle, a left-wing Democrat. But the question I’ve been only alluding to here and on my own blog is this one: Why is this money needed?

And the soda pop tax is only the latest outrage. Like other counties, Cook levies property taxes, but it also mugs residents and anyone who buys something here with a 1.75 percent sales tax, along with gasoline, liquor and tobacco taxes.

(Those cheers you just heard come from retailers with shops on the other side of the Cook County line.)

Toni “Taxwinkle” Preckwinkle

County government in most places means the operation of a court system and a jail, providing law enforcement, particularly in unincorporated areas (Cook has few of those), and road maintenance. But in Cook County–Chicago is its seat–county government means building a massive health care network, the Cook County Health and Hospitals System, paid for by long-suffering taxpayers such as myself, and one that caters to the estimated 300,000 illegal immigrants living here.

Chicago is a sanctuary city and Cook is a sanctuary county.

A DNA Chicago article about plans for a new county health facility on Chicago’s Northwest Side that will replace a much smaller one, contains a revelation on where all of that tax money is going.

Once it’s running at full capacity, Carey [a county official] expects the site — one of 17 free clinics [emphasis mine] operated around the county — to host about 37,000 doctors’ visits annually, she said.

Keep in mind, this is just one clinic.

More…

The proposal has been brewing since at least 2015, when doctors told newly elected Cook County Commissioner Luis Arroyo Jr. that they had “outgrown” the Logan Square facility, Arroyo said.

Instead of expanding it, county health officials began looking for a new location, where more immediate neighbors could take advantage. They landed in Belmont Cragin, whose estimated 12,000 undocumented residents [emphasis mine again] has one of the largest clusters of uninsured people in the city, Arroyo said.

Leftism is expensive. Sure, some of what is spent on county health care for illegal aliens is reimbursed by another arm of government. Emergency visits at county-run Stroger Hospital come to mind as does the expensive state-funded All Kids program. Hey, they get me coming and going in Illinois, that’s for sure. But who pays for the salaries and generous benefits for the county doctors, nurses, dentists, and administrators? Not Kim Jong Un, that’s for sure.

Princely but underfunded county worker pensions are another reason “Taxwinkle” needs her taxes.

As a political blogger I natural follow current events. But I don’t recall the conversation about the need for Cook County to transform itself into a welfare state, particularly for illegals, as well as a retirement program for not-working-so-hard county employees. But that’s what county government has evolved into here.

And taxes and spending keep soaring, even though the population of Crook County, oops, I mean Cook County, peaked around 50 years ago, when the county last had a Republican running it and when none of these taxes existed.

Yes, leftism is very expensive.

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