Big Media and Big Tech, the left-wing parents who adopted us, believe they know what is best for you

Bea Arthur as “Maude.”

By John Ruberry

I was raised by parents who kept a close eye on what my brothers and sisters and I watched on television. As we only had two TV sets, that was a very easy task for them as my folks didn’t socialize outside our home much. Until the early 1970s it was especially easy for them as television fare for the medium’s first 25 years was mostly G-rated fare. Otis Campbell’s drunkeness on the Andy Griffith Show was as bad as it got in the 1960s, although interestingly, the character was rarely shown consuming alcohol. 

So in 1972 when Bea Arthur’s eponymous character in Maude, in a two-episode storyline became pregnant–she pondered an abortion and then went through with it–my parents made sure that our televisions were tuned to a different station those nights.

Abortion was not only very controversial in 1972, it was illegal in most states, although Arthur’s character lived in New York, where it was not. At that time I didn’t even know what abortion was.

Nearly five decades later, Big Tech and Big Media are trying to control what I see on my computer and portable devices. And because broadcast and cable news often takes its lead from what they view as “elite” media, their decisions effect what I see on my TV.

Our “betters” in the media, working for CNN, MSNBC, as well as onetime somewhat fair but left-leaning print outlets such as the New York Times, the Atlantic, the New Yorker, and Vanity Fair, are attempting to limit what information we consume. And in control of the metaphoric off switch is Big Tech, led by Twitter and Facebook. 

Stories that are harmful to the reputation to President Donald Trump blare across the media, such as reports on Trump’s tax returns. The New York Times did not publish those returns, but it reported on them. The Old Gray Lady won’t say how it got them, but assuming reports on the returns are accurate, who ever gained access to them and gave them to the Times broke the law. The stories on Trump’s tax returns, where it was reported that he paid as little as $750 in federal taxes, were reported pretty much everywhere by the media, and posted, reposted, Tweeted, and re-Tweeted on Facebook and Twitter.

“Kids, kids, come to the living room! You need to see this news story on TV!” 

Contrast Trump’s taxes to reports from the New York Post about the emails it accessed from a laptop that once belonged to Joe Biden’s troublesome son, Hunter. Because Hunter dropped of the computer at a repair shop and never bothered to pick it up, that computer became property of the shop’s owner. Emails found on that computer confirm accusations that Hunter used that Biden name to for influence peddling. Illegal? Maybe not. Sleazy? For sure. And the shop owner did not break the law.

And the media, with the exception of Fox News and other conservative news sources such as Breitbart, ignored or minimized coverage of Hunter Biden’s emails. Last week a Democratic Party shill masquerading as an ABC journalist, former Bill Clinton staffer George Stephanopoulos, didn’t ask Biden about the New York Post revelations. Yeah, I get it, the format was a town hall, but ABC chose the participants and it knew what questions they would ask. Contrast Biden’s friendly treatment to the grilling Trump received from Savannah Guthrie at the NBC town hall the same night. Guthrie is married to Michael Feldman, the traveling chief of staff for Al Gore in the 2000 election. Guthrie brought up Trump’s tax returns, among other things. 

That’s bad but what is worse is that Twitter and Facebook for a while blocked the posting and sharing of the New York Post’s Hunter Biden email revelations. And it wasn’t yokels like me who suffered the indignity. Trump’s press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, saw her Twitter account briefly suspended for Tweeting the Post’s Hunter story. The twisted explanation from Big Tech is that the Hunter Biden’s emails were hacked–they weren’t–and that the story was unverified. Remember, the NY Times never actually published Trump’s federal tax returns, which may have been hacked. But the Post did show images of some of Hunter’s emails. Even the New York Post’s Twitter account was suspended for a short time on the day it published the Hunter story.

“Kids…turn off that TV and go to your room!” 

Of course these media and tech big shots are our “betters.” Jeffrey Toobin, a CNN analyst and New Yorker writer, a product of Harvard University, is one of them. But yesterday Toobin was suspended by CNN and the New Yorker after exposing himself and more–click here for the X-rated details–during a Zoom call simulating election night scenarios. Toobin is a scumbag. He had an extramarital affair with Casey Greenfield, the daughter of journalist Jeff Greenfield. Okay, I know, Trump has been unfaithful while married too. But Greenfield bore his child, which Toobin only acknowledged after a DNA test, and only then began paying child support. And while pregnant Toobin offered to pay for her abortion.

American media can do much better than Toobin and his fellow “betters.” I will write another entry on the sad state of the media after the election.  

But right now we’re headed to Chinese government-style control of the media by the left.

A free press and free association are two things that French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville saw as two key safeguards in his landmark 19th-century work, Democracy in America

But Big Tech and Big Media, as well as the increasingly far-left Democratic Party, are trying to minimize both. 

We live in a perilous time.

UPDATE 7:30pm EDT: Correction, the New York Post Twitter account was “not suspended for a short time” as I wrote earlier. There are no new Twitter entries from @nypost since October 14. If the account has been suspended it clearly has been locked out. This is censorship.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Jussie Smollett’s protector Kim Foxx, citing “Trump-like name calling and fear mongering,” backs out of debate with GOP opponent

By John Ruberry

The Jussie Smollett outrage has not gone away. But the dropping of charges by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx for the alleged hate-crime hoaxter, since reinstated after the appointment of a special prosecutor, are not the biggest campaign issue facing the suburban Chicago Democrat as she faces Republican and retired judge Pat O’Brien in the general election in November. 

Rather it is the revolving door, or if you prefer, catch-and-release philosophy in regards to criminals used by Foxx, who was elected in 2016. 

Disclosure: In the ’16 Democratic primary Foxx defeated incumbent Anita Alvarez. Her husband is a friend of mine.

Last month in a debate at the Daily Herald offices called Foxx a “cheerleader of criminals” and a “social worker.” And Foxx, who has accepted campaign contributions from a PAC supported by left-wing billionaire George Soros, certainly seems to side with criminals in Cook County, which is dominated by Chicago.

Earlier this month Foxx backed out of a televised debate scheduled for later this month, bemoaning “Trump-like name calling and fear mongering” by O’Brien. Such behavior by the GOPer lives only in her head. It’s unclear if Fox will participate in a second debate scheduled in October. 

The state guideline for charging shoplifters in Illinois is $300. In one of her first actions, Foxx raised that to $1,000. Shortly afterwards–and most notably well before the two rounds of looting that struck Chicago this summer–shoplifting flash mobs began popping up in the city. Other criminals are receiving light bonds and overly generous plea deals. Crime, not surprisingly, is skyrocketing in Chicago and the Cook County suburbs. 

You see bits and pieces of the prosecutorial malfeasance by Foxx in the local media but to really get to the truth about her you need to read these two blogs, CWB Chicago and Second City Cop

Here are a few examples of Foxx-trocities from the former.

“They robbed a man together in 2018 — now, they’re accused of pulling off a carjacking together too.” CWB Chicago said last month. The duo “received luxurious plea deals after they robbed a man on the Far North Side in 2018.”

Another criminal got a second chance from the office of Kim Foxx. He was among three men charged with “robbing and battering a pregnant woman and her friend” at an el train station earlier this year that blog tells us. But a month after receiving that second chance prosecutors allege that he robbed a convenience store.

CWB Chicago reported this news last month. “Tobacco and booze targeted as convenience store robberies soar to record high.”

And finally, CWB Chicago tells us that September’s murder total, when finally tabulated, will be the highest for that month in a generation.

After the August outbreak of widespread looting in Chicago even Mayor Lori Lightfoot, a fellow leftist, and her police chief, David Brown, questioned Foxx’s prosecutorial philosophy.

Pat O’Brien is telling the truth.

Republicans face daunting odds in heavily-Democratic Cook County. In 2016 Hillary Clinton captured nearly 75 percent of the vote. But the Daily Herald–man, that must have been a horrible debate for Foxx–has endorsed O’Brien, as has the Chicago area’s most-read newspaper, the Chicago Tribune. The Chicago Sun-Times, which is partially owned by the Chicago Federation of Labor, backs Foxx. I feel compelled to mention that the group that owns the Sun-Times purchased the paper three years ago for $1

Not only has the Chicago Federation of Police thrown its support behind O’Brien but it has contributed $58,000 to his campaign.

And sure it’s just one home, but I feel the need to mention that on my way to work I drive past a home in Niles that is dominated by yard signs for Democratic candidates and liberal causes. All but one of them. There’s a Pat O’Brien placard on that lawn.

O’Brien has a chance.

John Ruberry regularly blogs from Cook County at Marathon Pundit.

The Biden money tree

By Christopher Harper

As DaTimes delves into the illicitly obtained tax returns of Donald Trump, the news organization has failed to analyze the finances of Joe Biden, who heralds himself as the “common man.”

That common man and his wife made more than $30 million over the past two years through book deals and speeches, costing about $100,000 a pop.

What is appalling is all the information about the Biden family and its shenanigans that DaTimes fails to follow up on, preferring instead to continue its partisan attacks on Trump.

As I delved into the Biden family finances, I was surprised to find the most detailed account in POLITICO before it jumped on the Biden bandwagon. See https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/08/02/joe-biden-investigation-hunter-brother-hedge-fund-money-2020-campaign-227407

As the former vice president rolled out his tired speeches for another run, POLITICO analyzed the sleazy back story of how Biden’s family took advantage of his government positions.

That story is far more than Hunter’s recent antics in China and Ukraine. The story goes back to Biden’s first days in the Senate.

As POLITICO puts it in the 2019 investigation, “[V]entures, over nearly half a century, have regularly raised conflict-of-interest questions and brought the Biden family into potentially compromising associations. This investigation offers the most comprehensive account to date of the politically tinged business activities of Biden’s brother and son, and is the first time former associates of James and Hunter have alleged that the pair explicitly sought to make money off of Joe’s political connections.”

As Joe was entering the Senate in 1973, including a seat on the Banking Committee, his younger brother James operated Seasons Change night club with help from unusually generous bank loans.

From 2001 to 2008, Hunter worked as a Washington lobbyist for the banking industry—a period when Joe pushed a sweetheart deal on bankruptcies that benefited his son’s employer, MBNA.

James and Hunter take over Paradigm Global Advisors as Joe sat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Paradigm was the first of several such companies that James and Hunter used to expand into China, Ukraine, and elsewhere, riding on the coattails of Joe’s government position.

With his brother as vice president, James joined HillStone International, which in 2011, obtained a $1.5 billion deal to build houses in Iraq.

In 2013, Hunter traveled to Beijing with his father on official business. While there, he introduced his father to his Chinese business partner, Jonathan Li of Bohai Capital, with whom he had concluded a lucrative real estate deal.

In March 2014, Russia invaded Crimea’s Ukrainian peninsula, and Joe led the Obama Administration response. A month later, Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings gave Hunter Biden a lucrative board position worth $600,000 a year.

Perhaps DaTimes should expend the same amount of effort in unraveling the Biden family’s fortune as it did on Donald Trump.

Illinoisans: Vote “No” on the Unfair Tax Amendment

By John Ruberry

I’ve mentioned this profound sentenced from a 2016 Chicago Tribune editorial several times here before at Da Tech Guy. “As a result, Illinois government,” the newspaper’s editorial board wrote, “is a massive retirement system that, during work hours, also offers some services.”

It’s actually worse than than that. Illinois is a racket where elected politicians, many of them legislators in gerrymandered districts created by longtime party boss Michael Madigan, rewards pals with unionized jobs. Those unions are public-sector unions such as AFSCME and SEIU, which plow campaign contributions from dues money into the coffers of Democratic politicians who protect unaffordable pension plans from any cuts. Okay, I know, in accordance with the state constitution pension benefits cannot be lowered. An amendment to that document to allow pension reform is vehemently opposed by Illinois Democrats. 

Instead the Dems are pushing what they call the Fair Tax Amendment which will allow for a state income tax with graduated rates, currently only a flat rate is prohibited. Eight states, including Florida, Nevada, Texas, and Tennessee, which coincidentally are popular destinations for escapees for Illinoisans, have no state income tax. Most Illinoisans, we are promised by the pols hawking the Fair Tax Amendment, will see a tax cut, albeit one that is a pittance. If what I call the Unfair Tax Amendment passes, the “rich” will pay more but mark my words. Springfield politicians are liars and the tax rates will reach down in a few years to the middle class and the working poor. That’s because the rich will leave and those left behind will get stuck with the bill. Oh, the others will leave too. Don’t forget, Illinois has lost population every year since 2014.

The Fair Tax Amendment is on the ballot for Illinois voters to decide in November.

As I’ve also mentioned here before, Michael Madigan, the state House speaker for 35 of the last 37 years, has had his fingers on every state budget, and every failed pension fix, for decades. Those “fixes” for the most part kinda-sorta solved the pension crisis for five years or so. Which means they solved nothing.

If you trust Madigan to fix Illinois’ pensions and finances then you are a fool. The Prairie State’s second-most powerful politician, another Chicago Democrat, Governor J.B. Pritzker, was arguably put into office by the Madigan machine. Illinois’ lieutenant governor, Juliana Stratton, first run for public office, a state House seat, was a victorious one. In a very expensive race Stratton defeated another Democrat who dared to cross Boss Madigan. The Boss of Illinois even convinced Barack Obama to go after Stratton’s opponent.

In a conference call on Thursday Stratton threatened Illinois residents with a twenty-percent across the board income tax hike if the Unfair Tax Amendment fails. In 2017 the General Assembly overrode Republican governor Bruce Rauner’s veto to raise income taxes by 32 percent. Still at the end of 2019, Illinois’ unfunded pension liability went up by $3.8 billion to nearly $140 billion. Well, that tax hike didn’t work. Keep in mind Pritzker’s heavy-handed COVID-19 lockdown, which has severely impaired state revenues, promises to provide more financial shocks. 

And I want to be clear, some Republicans, namely governors James Thompson, Jim Edgar, and George Ryan, deserve some of the blame for Illinois’ predicament. Democrat Rod Blagojevich, the recently freed convict who supports Donald Trump for president, was equally irresponsible in fiscal matters during his time as governor. Edgar supports Joe Biden over Trump. Man, oh man, is Illinois a crazy place.

Illinois cannot tax itself out of this human-made disaster. A Fair Pension Amendment, one that protects modest pensioners and Illinois taxpayers, is the best way out. Followed by a Fair Map Amendment. Madigan’s Picasso-like gerrymandering skills in drawing maps puts his lackeys in office in the General Assembly. For the most part the Illinois legislature functions like a private country club, one that allows a few Republican members inside to make it look genuine. Twice in the 2010s hundreds of thousands of Illinois voters signed petitions to put a Fair Map Amendment on the ballot. Twice an attorney with ties to Madigan successfully sued to block it

How adept at gerrymandering is Madigan? In 2014, GOPer Rauner won 101 of Illinois 102 counties and defeated the incumbent Democratic governor. But Madigan didn’t lose a single seat in the state House that year and he kept his supermajority in the lower chamber. Yes, I’m aware that the GOP gerrymandered districts in 1991. That’s wrong too.

Illinois government is a failure.

And one party does not have all the right answers. Yes, that includes Republicans. Which is why we need two parties.

The Fair Tax Amendment is really a public-sector worker pension plan bailout where millions of Illinoisans, who don’t have a fixed-benefit pension plan, will pay for ones who do.

As I wrote in my own blog last week, “If Illinois politicians are ever given an unlimited budget–they will exceed it.”

The cure for a heroin addict isn’t a larger dose of heroin.

Illinoisans: Vote “No” on the so-called Fair Tax Amendment. 

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Questions the mainstream media needs to be asking Biden

By John Ruberry

Last week CNN hosted a town hall for Joe Biden where he was given softball questions. No, on second thought they were T-ball questions. 

The demands on whoever is president are brutal. If CNN believes that Biden can’t handle challenging queries then that in my opinion disqualifies him to be leader of the most powerful nation on the planet. And if CNN is just shilling for the Democrats, then no one should take them seriously as a news outlet. Based on their poor ratings, most people already do not. 

Here are some questions that responsible reporters should be asking Biden. The wonderful thing about the questions I’ve devised is that most of them can be posed to President Trump. Yes, a few of these queries have been given to Biden, but generally only once and with dismissive answers from the Democratic nominee.

Here we go:

  • Will you be releasing the names of your potential Supreme Court nominees, as President Trump did as a candidate in 2016 and did earlier this month?
  • Do you support “packing the Supreme Court,” that is, nominating additional justices to the court to go beyond nine members?
  • Where’s Hunter?
  • Do you unconditionally oppose Antifa?
  • Will a Biden administration investigate plots by Antifa and other groups to incite riots in cities such as Portland?
  • You favor a nationwide mask mandate to fight COVID-19. What is your legal basis for instituting one?
  • Do you support statehood for the District of Columbia? And for Puerto Rico?
  • Many states, such as Illinois, Kentucky, and New Jersey, have public-sector worker pension plans that are essentially bankrupt. Do you support a federal bailout of these and other state worker pension plans?
  • Numerous cities also have similarly under-funded pension plans. Will you back a bailout of those plans?
  • What is your position on bailing out states whose tax revenues have plummeted because of COVID-19 lockdowns?
  • Do you favor allowing states to declare bankruptcy?
  • Speaking of Illinois, in 2008 the US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Patrick Fitzgerald, was in the midst of a corruption investigation of Rod Blagojevich, the governor of the state, and Tony Rezko, a member of Blago’s inner circle who donated large sums to the campaigns of Barack Obama. Your ticket mate kept Fitzgerald in his post after becoming president. This year John Lausch, the current US Attorney in Chicago, is in the thick of investigating more public corruption. The center of this scandal appears to be longtime Illinois state House speaker Michael Madigan who is also the chairman of the state Democratic Party. If elected will you keep Lausch in his post?
  • Where’s Hunter?
  • If elected you will be older than Ronald Reagan, the oldest person to serve as president, was when he left office after two terms. Are you physically and mentally up to the office? If you are now what will happen if you one day are not?
  • Do you support the Green New Deal?
  • Do you support fracking?
  • Do you support nuclear power?
  • Do you support coal power?
  • Do you back amnesty for illegal immigrants?
  • Do you utilize teleprompters during interviews and question-and-answer sessions?
  • Where’s Hunter?

I’m sure there are many more questions readers can come up with.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Last week’s riot toll is three dead

By John Ruberry

The mainstream media has been downplaying the rioting and looting that has been occurring this summer across many large American cities–all run by Democrats.

Three people were shot last week in what the mainstream media often calls “unrest,” but are in fact riots.

Powerline has rightly called the downplaying by the media of last week’s looting in Minneapolis “journalistic malpractice.” 

One state over in Wisconsin, during the rioting and looting in Kenosha last week, a 17-year-old from nearby Antioch, Illinois, Kyle Rittenhouse, was charged with murdering three people. The media is focusing on how the riots started–anger over police shooting Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old with a criminal record, seven times. Fair enough.

The media is also exploring Rittenshouse’s possible connection with a local militia

Wisconsin’s Democratic governor, Tony Evers, responded to the mayhem by sending a small force of National Guard trips, 125 of them, on Monday, which was doubled the next day. After Tuesday’s shootings Evers doubled the deployment again and he’s since accepted Guard assistance from other states and from the federal government. 

But what if Evers dispatched 500 National Guard troops to Kenosha as soon as the rioting started Sunday night? Perhaps that militia would have stayed home and Rittenhouse, who appears to be a troubled cop-wannabe that got his hands on an AR-15 rifle despite being a minor, would have remained home in Illinois. 

Details are still coming in on the shooting death of a man during Saturday’s round of rioting in Portland, Oregon. Last night a pro-Trump group confronted Black Lives Matter in downtown Portland. In what the local police are calling a homicide–a man wearing clothing with a Patriot Prayer logo was shot to death in the middle of a street. The Oregonian is calling Patriot Prayer a far-right group. Of course the mainstream media never calls Antifa far-left, but that’s a subject for another post, of course. 

The rioting, mercifully no longer called “mostly peaceful” by the media, has been a nightly event for three months in Oregon’s largest city. Portland’s ineffective mayor, Ted Wheeler, is deaf to the concern of law-abiding citizens of the Rose City. 

It’s a new week. Hopefully last week’s riot deaths will be the last ones. And perhaps these homicides will finally compel mayors like Wheeler to take back their cities in the names of the rank-and-file citizens they claim to represent. 

Never forget: The most important responsibility of any government is to protect its citizens. 

As for the mainstream media, I believe they are too far gone to save themselves. 

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Covid, the campaign, and a conspiracy

By Christopher Harper

Philadelphia is a tough, in-your-face city that doesn’t have much time for nannies.

But Mayor Jim Kenney has become the city’s chief nanny who has determined that he’ll lock the place down until the end of February.

No fans at Phillies or Eagles games. No Thanksgiving Day parade. No Mummers’ Parade, a Philadelphia institution, on New Years Day. No conventions. No music concerts.

The edict comes as the number of Covid-19 cases has fallen dramatically.

He’s banned visitors from other states like California, Texas, and even Idaho, resulting in a huge financial blow to bars, hotels, and restaurants. So far, the city is expected to lose more than $700 million in tax dollars.

Of course, political demonstrations for “social justice” are exempt from the ban!

I’m not much for conspiracy theories, but the mayor’s unnecessary clampdown raises the specter that Philadelphia may be a test case to suppress voter turnout for Donald Trump.

If Philly succeeds in its lockdown, other locales may use the edict as a model for the 2020 presidential election.

That would mean no Trump rallies. A push for an expansion of mail-in ballots. A likelihood that Trump, who carried the key electoral votes in Pennsylvania in 2016, will be hard pressed to do it again.

Trump won Pennsylvania by 44,292 votes out of more than 6,000,000 cast, the narrowest margin in a presidential election for the state in 176 years and the first Republican since George H. W. Bush won the state in 1988.

In Philadelphia, Hillary Clinton won more than 80 percent of the heavily Democrat city. But Trump got more than 100,000 votes here.

Just think about how the mayor and the other Democrat nanny, Gov. Tom Wolf, can suppress Trump voters. Wolf has limited outdoor gatherings to less than 250 people, making political rallies almost impossible. 

It’s disgusting how the Democrats are using the pandemic as a means to tip the balance in the 2020 presidential election.

Biden Punches Down — Again

by baldilocks

Just a reminder: I don’t give a bleep about manners.

However, I’m usually cordial because that’s my personality and because cordiality is more effective for communication most of the time.

But when those other times happen, I don’t hesitate to engage — with glee even and almost never with anger. (On my own blog, I’ll use the occasional obscenity, but Peter frowns upon unedited bleepers and this is his living room, not mine.)

So, when 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden told a Michigan autoworker that he was “full of sh*t” or that he was a “horse’s a**,” it didn’t offend my sensibilities in the least; I’m not one of these “thou shalt not be rude” Christians. My Lord and Savior was rude a few times when He was down here and He even hurled a epithet or two …

… but not at those who would presume to follow Him.

While I was pointing and laughing at Biden today, one of my Twitter followers thought I was condemning him for “bad words.” Leaving aside that I don’t have the power or authority to condemn anyone in any manner, if I were the Big Bad, I’d condemn Biden for being aggressive with someone who has much less power and authority that he does; for “punching down” — definition #5. (For the record, Biden was pretending to be a gun-rights champion and got all offended when the autoworker wasn’t buying it.)

There’s a lot of speculation that Biden is showing symptoms of dementia. Maybe, but who could tell? Biden has long had only a nodding acquaintance with the truth and has more than once been aggressive and insulting toward ordinary people among his own constituency who critically question him.

It’s one thing to insult your political opponent — your equal — but it’s a whole other thing to insult those you want to lead.

Will Biden steal the nomination from beat Bernie? That seems to be the direction in which we’re heading. Assuming that happens, we can look forward to some horizontal punching between the former vice president and President Trump. Biden’s cognitive state may be in question, but even if he’s merely the same old Biden who just pulls stuff out of his backside, the president is bound to make him angry — on purpose no doubt.

Lying dog-faced pony soldiers should go long on popcorn, as should everyone else.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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If Biden falters, then what for the Democrats?

By John Ruberry

In their quest to cure themselves of Trump Derangement Syndrome, Democrats have lined up, albeit sometimes briefly, behind several frontrunners for the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, including Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bloomberg, Bernie Sanders, and now, Joe Biden.

Also, for a bit, Beto O’Rourke and Kamala Harris were seen as top tier candidates.

Biden certainly had a fabulous Super Thursdayyes, the gaffe-prone former vice president said that. It really was Super Tuesday, but his rise was largely brought about by the endorsements of Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar, who may have slipped yesterday by saying she’ll be on the ticket with Biden this fall. That of course can only mean Biden has already asked her to be his running mate.

I won’t be surprised if Klobuchar dresses up as Princess Leia and utters, “Help me Jobi-wan Biden, you’re my only hope.”

But what if Biden fails? Oh, sure, he’s the favorite to win the Democratic nomination. But the general election is eight months away. A lot can go wrong, especially when you are Joe Biden.

For years Biden has behaved like a Chicago ward boss engaging in influence peddling, benefitting not only he son, Hunter, but his brother, James. Hunter formerly sitting on the board of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings, despite having no experience in energy and not speaking Ukrainian, is the most egregious instance. And of course Joe bragged that he got a Ukrainian prosecutor fired who was looking into Burisma.

Then there are the Biden gaffes. They are so many of them that they can provide that material for a short book. Or maybe a long one, particularly when we figure in future gaffes.

Because, as Mark Levin phrased it on his show a few days ago–I hope I have the quote right, “Joe Biden’s best days are behind him,” quickly adding. “Then again, I don’t think he had any best days.”

If elected president Biden will be 78 on inauguration day. At age 77 Biden sometimes seems confused in his appearances. In its tepid endorsement of Biden last week, the Chicago Tribune touched on the gaffes and his mental state. “Biden is not the perfect candidate,” later adding, “He has demonstrated a propensity for gaffes and lack of clearheadedness on the campaign trail.”

So far in this campaign Biden has twice forgotten what state he was in. No where in the world, Levin explained in that same broadcast, do people vote on Thursday. Now that Biden is the frontrunner his upcoming gaffes will receive much more attention and yes, scrutiny. What if these upcoming verbal miscues and his, in the Trib’s words, “lack of clearheadedness,” turns Jobi-Wan Biden into Old Man Joe. 

Yesterday in St. Louis a shaky Biden said, “We can only re-elect Donald Trump.”

Yes, Donald Trump is the oldest man to be elected president in his first term. But few people half the president’s age can speak on the fly for over an hour as Trump does in his regular rallies. 

But if Old Man Joe and his twin–Influence Peddler Joe–becomes a liability to the Democrats, as Bernie Sanders’ socialism apparently has, where do the Dems turn for their next only hope? 

Is there anyone left on the Democrats’ bench? 

Maybe Al Gore. Or Hillary Clinton.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Jussie Smollett’s protector Kim Foxx faces Cook County voters in two weeks

By John Ruberry

February was a nasty month in Chicago. Not the weather, as it was pretty good. Just a day or two of sub-zero weather and no major snowstorms.

No, I’m talking about crime. Just as there are contested primaries in Cook County for state’s attorney, which consists of Chicago and its inner suburbs, on both the Democratic and Republican sides. There are three challengers to Kim Foxx in the Democratic side, two GOPers are battling for their party not.

Bill Conway seems to be the leading Dem challenge to the incumbent prosecutor.

Foxx, best known for her still not-fully explained decision to drop charges against alleged hate crime hoax charges against Jussie Smollett. A grand jury empowered by a special prosecutor issued new charges against the former Empire star last month, 

Murders of have been decreasing in Chicago since 2016 when there were 762. But last month there were 34 murders–ten more than in February, 2019, a 41 percent increase.

In 2019 there were 123 shootings in February. This February there were 166.

Carjackings are up too. As with murders in Chicago, the clearance rate is abysmally low, year to year, according to Hey Jackass, hovers around ten percent. But that clearance rate is declining. 

There are no figures on gangs of shoplifters in Chicago, but anecdotal evidence seems to indicate there are more of these roving mobs. Twice last month the ritzy North Michigan Avenue was hit. Both times no one was arrested. 

Foxx, a leftist, refuses to charge shoplifters with a felony who are caught steeling less than $1,000 in merchandise. The Illinois threshold is $300. Crime seems to pay in Chicago and suburban Cook County as long as you don’t get caught and especially if you don’t get too greedy.

Northeastern Illinois seems to be part of the wave that I called here the Age of the Criminal.

Election Day is March 17 here. Of course I’ll be taking a Republican ballot. 

UPDATE March 19: Cook County voters proved to me just how dumb they are. Foxx easily was won renomination two days ago. The Republican nominee is Pat O’Brien, who has my support.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.