Illinois bicentennial flag on the bottom

By John Ruberry

Illinois will have one of the most-closely watched gubernatorial contests this year. Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner has been a tremendous disappointment to me and just about every conservative voter I know. I enthusiastically backed the then-political newcomer in 2014, but this time around, as I explained here at Da Tech Guy, I’m supporting Rauner’s Republican challenger, state representative Jeanne Ives in the March primary election.

Ives is attacking Rauner, and to be fair, the Dems are too. Rauner has much to answer for. Actually he has little to answer for–as Rauner has not accomplished much of anything. For her part Ives is promoting common sense reforms that only public-sector union bosses and their enablers oppose, such as amending the state constitution so pension benefits can be changed, that is, so payment increases can be lowered, and having new state employees enroll in 401(k) plans.

Meanwhile Democrats are battling scapegoats, used here in the classical sense, that is, using something else to accept the sins of a people.

Deals with the Democrats’ state worker wing, the public-sector unions, that some Republican governors signed off on–but not Rauner–have burdened the Prairie State with $250 billion in pension debt. Retiring at 50 with full benefits is nice–except for chumps like me who have to pay for it. Illinois’ current budget is $36 billion and a whopping one-quarter of it goes to government worker pension payments. Illinois has suffered from the worst credit rating among the states for years, currently that rating is just one level above junk.

Illinoisans are responding sensibly and predictably–for four straight years Illinois has had negative population growth.

There is little to celebrate during Illinois’ bicentennial year.

Two candidates on the Democratic side are getting most of the attention from the media and presumably it’s a race between them, as there is currently no polling data on gubernatorial race. Billionaire investor JB Pritzker, a scion of the family that own the Hyatt Hotel chain, has collected the lion’s share of endorsements from prominent Democrats and the party’s union allies. He the only Democratic candidate regularly running ads on radio, television, and on the internet. The other prominent contender is Chris Kennedy, the son of Robert F. Kennedy who used to run Chicago’s Merchandise Mart.

Neither have much to say about Illinois’ long-running fiscal crisis and solutions for it, other than “taxing the rich.” But they don’t even talk much about that.

Pritzker on the left protesting Trump

Pritzker’s web advertisements are a daily presence on my Facebook and Pandora pages–in these Pritzker almost always attacks Donald Trump, as he does for instance in this YouTube ad. Trump has not visited Illinois since he was elected president.  Last year, in front of Chicago’s Trump Tower, Pritzker released his five-point plant to resist the president. And when the inevitable spring tornado tears through Illinois bringing death and destruction, who will Governor Pritzker call for help?

Since Trump has been monopolized as a scapegoat by Pritzker, Kennedy is left with smaller prey. One of his targets is a worthy one, at least for scorn. That one is Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios, who is also the chairman of the Cook County Regular Democratic Organization, better known as the Chicago Machine.  Pritzker owns a mansion on Chicago’s Gold Coast. He purchased a smaller mansion that sits next to his. The billionaire didn’t maintain it–and then he successfully appealed his property tax assessment with Berrios’ office because the other mansion was “vacant and uninhabitable,” saving Pritzker a bundle of cash. Berrios has been under attack by the Chicago Tribune for his assessing practices, which the Chicago Tribune says favors the rich over the poor. Kennedy is calling for Berrios to resign as assessor, but the tiny yet powerful law firm where the longtime state House Speaker and state Democratic Party chairman, Michael Madigan, is a partner was hired to lower the property taxes of a company owned by Kennedy’s Merchandise Mart.

Oops.

Last week Kennedy moved  on to another unpopular target, Chicago’s embattled mayor, Rahm Emanuel.

“I believe that black people are being pushed out of Chicago intentionally by a strategy that involves disinvestment in communities being implemented by the city administration,” Kennedy said at a press conference held in a predominately African-American neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side. “I believe Rahm Emanuel is the head of the city administration and therefore needs to be held responsible for those outcomes,” he added.

Phrased succinctly, Rahm, according to Kennedy, is driving blacks out of Chicago.

Oops again.

For a variety of reasons, including most notably high crime and execrable unionized schools, in sheer numbers and by percentage, the black population of many large cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and even Detroit has been falling, as I stated in my own blog when I reported on this story. Kennedy’s claim is tin-foil hat stuff.

Blogger at Chicago’s Trump Tower

And what does Trump and Emanuel have to do with Illinois’ pension debacle? Nothing with the former and a just a little bit in regards to the latter, since Rahm, a longtime prominent Illinois Democrat, was silent about the festering fiscal disease that is devouring ILL-inois. As for Berrios, I’ll place the party boss somewhere in the middle.

But the role of scapegoats, using the term in the modern sense, is to defer attention away from larger problems. And Kennedy and Pritzker don’t have solutions–or if they do they don’t care to share them with voters.

Boss Michael Madigan’s use of “Illinois math” to kick the pension problem down the road isn’t an option anymore. Illinois has reached the cliff.

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

Some thoughts running through my head.

The weakness of the Democrat party doesn’t surprise me but their willingness to advertise their weakness does by things like this 

Democrats are warning Republicans not to repeal Obamacare. ”They will rue the day” they move in that direction,Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) has stated ominously

Nothing says: I have no power and can’t stop you. Like ominous warnings, but what can we expect from a party with visuals like this?

In fairness to Democrats they don’t have Kelly Anne Conway who continues to prove her exceptional value shooting down leftist memes every single day:

Of course a woman who has fought the left and media for pro-life causes is going to know how to handle falsehoods thrown around like a baseball

Of course it’s not only going against Kelly Anne Conway that doesn’t end well:

Retailers enjoyed their best Christmas in more than a decade following the election of President Trump, and the return of enthusiasm and hope. Sales were up 4.1% to 4.9% over last year, CNBC reported.

Except at Macy’s, where sales were down 2.1% It will close 100 stores, and dump 10,000 workers.

If you really want to understand what went wrong, Macy’s stock peaked at $72.31 two weeks after dropping Donald Trump.

Today in the middle of a stock market boom their stock and a Christmas Season that went so well for others:

Macy’s shares recently changed hands at $32.60, down $3.24, or 9 percent.

If Macy’s wants to be a niche market than Trump voters will be happy to let them become one.

Speaking of Niche markets this one via GOP USA caught my eye.

 

Chicago’s Honey Butter Fried Chicken is among a couple of dozen restaurants across the country to sign onto a new “sanctuary restaurant” movement meant to offer safe workplaces for immigrants, Muslims and other communities they feel are under threat in the current political climate.

The movement is a joint project of ROC United, a national group that advocates for higher wages for restaurant workers, and Presente.org, whose mission is to “advance Latinx power” (Latinx is a gender-neutral alternative to Latino and Latina).

According to a news release Wednesday, sanctuary restaurants do not allow harassment of individuals based on immigrant or refugee status or race, religion, gender or sexual orientation; participate in peer networks to exchange ideas for protecting targeted workers; and agree to place prominent signs that state “SANCTUARY RESTAURANTS: A Place At the Table for Everyone” at their establishments.

 

Two things hit me, the idea that all a group has to do is feel threatened to make their list but if I was in charge of the IRS this would be an open invitation to investigate an employer and levy a large fine for disobeying federal law.

Of course given the left’s decision to use law and regulations as a club against their enemies I’ve never understood their willingness to set the precedent concerning openly ignoring them.

In a recent post I argued that the whole Hillary for Mayor business is all about the Clinton foundation lack of dollars but there is one other thing in play that I didn’t mention.

There are plenty of FOB who were expecting to cash in on a Hillary Clinton presidency, while smaller in scale at least some of those folks can still cash in if Clinton ends up Mayor of NY.

And of course if Hillary becomes Mayor of NYC there is no reason why Chelsea can’t follow her, sure she has no skills or talent but she also has none of the baggage of her mother and father so if you are a person who makes a living off of Clinton Inc, that’s a viable long term plan.

Locally I was very pleased to see this story:

The Planned Parenthood office on Main Street closed last month after operating in the space for six years.

The office, at 208 Main St., opened in 2010, and was routinely the subject of protests held by religious groups outside the office.

Yup praying to stop the murder of children, that’s what we do.

In a press release, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts President and CEO Jennifer Childs-Roshak said the state’s chapter decided to close the Somerville and Milford centers due to a “strategic decision” rather than a budgetary one.

I suspect once the federal dollars are turned off under a Trump administration we’ll see a lot more of this. Yet another bit of proof that the Lord works in mysterious ways.

Every time I see a story like this I wonder why the state of Israel doesn’t just wipe the Palestinians off the map:

It’s not as if they have the Christian command to turn the other cheek.

Incidentally there is an interested pair of stories that have gotten little attention, this:

Arab media is buzzing about a visit to Bahrain by a delegation of 28 religious American Jewish businessmen.

The visit was to explore opportunities from a free trade agreement between the US and Bahrain.

The delegation also is visiting Dubai, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait.

A Bahraini businessman said that the delegation’s visit was an opportunity to introduce them to a tolerant kingdom, adding that “the visit opened the way for economic and trade opportunities.”

Solomon Eisenberg, a member of the Jewish delegation, said that there was a need for direct dialogue, away from governments and media, between people of different faiths and origins

The visit included the Jews and Muslims singing and dancing together (which did not sit well with some Arabs on Twitter.)

followed by this from Bahrain’s house of representatives:

The Council reiterated Bahrain’s position of rejecting all forms of normalization, communications and establishing relationships with the rapist Israeli entity, and that any move and act opposed to Bahraini law, and the principles of the Bahraini people.he Council reiterated Bahrain’s position of rejecting all forms of normalization, communications and establishing relationships with the rapist Israeli entity, and that any move and act opposed to Bahraini law, and the principles of the Bahraini people.

Remind we why we treat these fools like anything other than Barbarians?

Some Sports on the radio this week there was a big fuss about some writer in Philly both calling Curt Schilling a “scumbag” and leaving him off the HOF ballot.  I have three thoughts on this.

First of all part of the discussion was that Wins as a stat was meaningless next to ERA, and others.  I totally disagree, we are long past the time when Connie Mack declared that the best result for him is a team that starts strong but finishes 4th since such a team  will draw enough to make a profit and you don’t have to give a guy a raise for something he didn’t do.  The whole reason why a player is signed by a team is for them to win, both games and championships.  Schilling’s greatness comes from the fact that he delivered and has the three rings to prove it.

Second If Curt Schilling was all in for Hillary vs a GOP stalwart the sports writers of America who these days are a bunch of MSNBC wannabees likely would carry him into the Hall of Fame on their shoulders.

Finally when it comes to the Hall of Fame I think there should be a two tiered system where only the greatest of the great make the highest level, or to put it another way, to my mind if you hear a players name and don’t immediately thing HOF, or have to think even for a moment if a player belongs in the HOF he doesn’t.

In Entertainment Newsbusters is as a rule an invaluable watch on the MSM and culture but I think this story was a bit much.

Christianity is once again the butt of the joke on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory – this time mocking prayer and Noah’s ark.Christianity is once again the butt of the joke on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory – this time mocking prayer and Noah’s ark.

I’m sorry but I’m a very conservative Christians and I didn’t find the jokes offensive in the least nor do I suspect did most Christians who watched it.  I understand the broken windows theory but let’s focus on the real thing rather than this penny ante stuff.

Finally let me sing the praises of the only original episode of Doctor Who not produced by Big Finish this year, the Christmas Special The Return of Doctor Mysterio.  Watching that show brought me back to the old days of Tom Baker when the show was meant for kids.  No big social agenda, no massive angst, just the Doctor foiling the monsters with a bit of laughter and fun on the side.

More please