The Trump cadaver synod

By John Ruberry

Okay, I admit, the headline is provocative, and absolutely click-baity. But stay with me here. In two weeks the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump will begin. Presidents of course can be impeached by the House and removed from office for committing “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

There’s just one obvious problem here. On Wednesday Joe Biden was sworn in as Trump’s successor.

Last year on his Cabinet of Curiousities podcast Aaron Mahnke spoke of a “particularly dark and corrupt moment in the church’s past,” the Catholic church that is. That moment was the trial of Pope Formosus in 897.

The Holy Father was accused of a grab bag of crimes, including perjury, seeking to be the bishop of more than one jurisdiction, and coveting the papacy. Because he was unable to speak in his defense, a deacon was appointed for that task. Formosus was found guilty, he had three middle fingers cut off–the fingers used for blessings–and buried in an obscure cemetery not befitting the Bishop of Rome. His body was quickly exhumed and then dumped in the Tiber River.

If the prior paragraph doesn’t make complete sense it’s because Formosus, after a five-year papacy, died in 896. His successor was pope for just two weeks, the next pope was Stephen VI, an enemy of Formosus. He called for what historians label the cadaver synod. Stephen ordered the first exhumation of Formosus. His corpse was then dressed in papal robes, propped on a chair, and the conviction process began as there was certainly no doubt of the verdict, despite an earthquake during the trial that might have elicited a few doubts among Vatican officials.

Just as the guilty verdict of Formosus was set twelve centuries ago, so was the House of Representatives’ vote to impeach Trump a second time, just one week before the end of his term. Trump’s chances for an acquittal in the Senate are much better. In essence, the second impeachment process against Trump is his cadaver synod. It’s about making a political statement and playing to the base.

The justifications for the second impeachment from Democrats vary, but the primary goal seems to be preventing the former president from seeking another term in 2024. Another reason for impeaching and removing Trump from office, now moot, was that he possessed the nuclear strike codes. After the first Trump impeachment, House speaker Nancy Pelosi, knowing that the odds of the Senate voting to convict Trump were remote, called the lower chamber’s vote “an impeachment that will last forever.” Presumably this will be a second impeachment that will last forever. Oh, and it’s a splendid way for Pelosi and the Democrats to tar the Republican brand.

A third run for the White House, in my opinion, is unlikely for Trump. The former president will be 78 in 2024; yes, that is the same age as Biden, who is clearly an old 78. Three years is a long time for people in their 70s. And in the last 100 years no president who was defeated in a reelection attempt has tried to regain the White House. Only one, Gerald Ford, has seriously considered it. And Trump, again in my opinion, damaged his brand in the last weeks of his presidency by his slowness to condede defeat, his hostile phone call to the Georgia secretary of state asking him to change the election results there, and the riot at the Capitol–which by the way the president did not incite. And the riot, the destructive work of about 1,000 conspirary theorists and other screwballs, was not an insurrection. While Trump is a clearly a unique politician, political moods change. In 1980 Americans weren’t clamoring for Gerald Ford–they wanted Ronald Reagan.

The Trump cadaver synod is a two-minute hate for Democrat politicians and a way, perhaps for the final time, to fill their campaign funds in the name of Trump, and a hate that is being cheered on by the anti-Trump media, who will soon see a drop in readers and viewers now that their enemy is out of office.

In other words Impeachment Part Two is a waste of time.

As for Formosus, his body was recovered by a monk and buried–for the last time–in St Peter’s Basilica. His accuser, Stephen VI, was pope for little more than a year. After the cadaver synod Stephen was imprisoned and then strangled to death.

As for voters, a much more civil revenge will be to return the GOP to majorities in both houses of Congress.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Stop Defending Donald Trump

Wait, what??

I’m not a fan of killing babies. There is just something so inherently wrong with taking a small, innocent child and murdering them in cold blood. Maybe its my Catholic upbringing. Maybe its my experience fighting so hard to keep a kid, only to lose them after heart surgery. Maybe its because I actually enjoy (most) of the time with my kids. Or maybe its a combination of all these things and more. I don’t really know. But murdering young babies, including unborn ones, is pretty awful.

Murdering babies is so awful that its pretty high on my list of “things I care about when I vote for someone.” Other things high up on the list include not infringing on gun ownership, insisting on following the rule of law, and avoiding dumb overseas conflicts while stepping in when needed to maintain good international order when needed. There is a lot in the middle. For example, I can be persuaded on different economic models, so if one is a bit more “left leaning,” but it has some data behind it, I can be talked into setting down my Ayn Rand novel and trying something new.

I’ve had this world view for quite some time, and then Donald Trump became President. Increasingly, when asked how I could ever vote for such a vile human being, I would find myself saying “I know he’s not a nice guy, but…” Recently, my wife almost had the same argument with a friend, who challenged her on her views on abortion. My wife had written a long response, including the obligatory “I don’t like Donald Trump either, but I agree with his views on abortion.”

When I read that, something clicked in my brain, and I asked out loud “Why do we feel we have to defend Donald Trump’s personal life?”

I’m not related to Donald Trump, nor do I have any control or influence over his decisions. As a politician, I voted for him ONLY based on his positions aligning with my own on a variety of matters. That’s it. His personal life doesn’t mean anything to me. Neither did any previous President’s life.

Almost every politician engages in some ugly behavior, and the ones that don’t seem to simply don’t get caught or highlighted by the media. John McCain dumped his wife for a younger, prettier gal. Joe Biden swam nude around female Secret Service agents and can’t seem to keep his hands to himself. Plenty of elected officials engage in insider trading and abuse their elected position for money. I’m opposed to all this behavior, and it disgusts me when I see it. I’m also not voting for these people to spend time around my kids. I’m voting for them to advocate and legislate for the policies that I agree with, which will cause me to vote for people I don’t like personally.

That vote doesn’t mean I have to defend their personal decisions. After reading my wife’s response, I recommended she take out all the defense of Donald Trump and simply ask “Why are you claiming to be a Christian and yet think its OK to kill unborn children?” Because, really, that’s what it is about.

The next time you hear yourself saying “I don’t like Donald Trump’s tweets/behavior/rhetoric/bombastic nature/etc.” stop yourself. Stop defending Donald Trump’s behavior. It’s not your job to do so. Stay focused on why him, or any other elected official, earned your vote in the first place.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

The end of Boss Madigan, the man who destroyed Illinois

Madigan graphic courtesy of the Illinois Policy Institute

By John Ruberry

Had this event not occurred on the same day President Donald J. Trump was impeached a second time, the failure of Michael Madigan to win a 19th term as speaker of the Illinois House would have made national news. The luck of the Irish was somehow with him on his worst day in his 52 years in politics.

There is much to criticize with Madigan. While the one sentence summary of the Chicago Democrat’s career might be “Longest statehouse speaker tenure in American history,” it instead needs to be, “The man who destroyed Illinois.”

Here’s a graph created by the Illinois Policy Institute–which has been on the forefront of exposing Madigan to the masses for a decade–that shows the decline of Illinois’ credit rating. And the rating began its descent early in Madigan’s tenure as speaker. To be fair, it was Gov. Jim Thompson, a Republican, who in 1989 signed into law the annual compounded three-percent cost-of-living public pension raise for retired state employees, but that bill emerged from Madigan’s House. Nearly all state workers are members of public-sector unions, those unions have been an important cog for the Madigan Machine. Other GOP governors share some of the blame for the Illinois pension bomb. But for all but two years since 1983, Madigan was speaker and he had his hands on every budget since then. 

Illlinois’ credit rating now hovers slightly over junk status.

The Prairie State has lost population for seven straight years. People have wised up. After the 2020 reapportionment Illinois will once again lose a congressional district. Perhaps two.

Madigan’s political mentor was the first Mayor Daley, Richard J, the legendary boss of Chicago. Madigan was America’s last machine boss. As mayor Daley was also chairman of Cook County Democratic Party, since 1998 Madigan has been chairman of state party, a post that he, at least for now, retains. Like Daley, Madigan would reward his political supporters and their relatives with jobs, usually public-sector jobs. But recent scandals involving private-sector entities, including the Chicago area’s electrical utility, Commonwealth Edison, betrayed the burden of the pension bomb that is eating away at Illinois government. Allegedly ComEd was handing out jobs, as lowly as meter readers, to Madigan loyalists. The ComEd scandal has produced several indictments, including the company’s former CEO and some Madigan loyalists. A separate scandal centered around red-light cameras has bagged other Madigan cronies. These political brushfires, on top of allegations of sexual harrassment against a member of Madigan’s inner circle, finally made the Madigan name toxic. 

The result in 2020 was better-than expected results for the anemic Illinois Republican Party. Best of all, the so-called Fair Tax Amendment, would have replaced Illinois’ flat income tax with a graduated one, was resoundingly defeated. A majority of Illinoisans finally ascertained, as I quipped at the time, that if Illinois was given an unlimited budget, politicians here would still exceed it. 

Another sin against democracy committed by Madigan is gerrymandered legislative districts, unintended artwork that would make Jackson Pollock or Pablo Picasso proud. “The state’s legislative map looks like a Rorschach test on steroids,” Robert Reed wrote in 2019 for Chicago Magazine, “with districts of all squiggly sizes and shapes.” With a few exceptions, such as university towns, Republicans dominate downstate Illinois in gubernatorial and presidential races, but there are still plenty of central and Illinois Democratic members of the General Assembly. That is the power of Madigan’s gerrymandering. It also discourages challengers to the status quo; according to the Center Square, last year 44 percent of Illinois legislative races were uncontested. Why run? Because in most districts in Illinois the politicians choose their voters, not the other way around.

Illinoisans would have been better served if there was not a Madigan monoculture in power for years in Springfield.

Groups such as the Better Government Association of Illinois and the League of Women Voters have long called for a Fair Map Amendement, taking away the power of decennial legislative remapping away from the General Assembly and putting a non-partisan panel in charge of the task instead. Twice in the prior decade hundreds of thousands of signatures were collected to put such an amendment on the ballot for voters to decide the issue, twice a lawyer with ties to Madigan successfully sued to keep it off. Last year, for the first time ever, a state Supreme Court justice, Democrat Thomas Kilbride, who represented a downstate district, failed to win retention. His vote against the Fair Map Amendment was one of the issues that galvanized opposition from voters.

Illinois’ Democratic governor, J.B. Pritzker, finally the state’s most powerful politician now that Madigan is no longer speaker, has vowed only to sign only a fair map into law. 

Don’t hold your breath on that one.

Madigan’s successor is Chris Welch, a suburban Chicagoan who was once a member of the Madigan Machine. He’ll be the Land of Lincoln’s first black speaker. But there is already a cloud over him. In 2002 he allegedly slammed the head of his girfriend repeatedly on to a kitchen countertop. Eight years later another woman claimed that she lost her job at a high school because Welch, then a school board president, broke up with her. 

Still there is reason to have at least a glimmer for hope in Illinois. But barring a change in federal law that would allow states to declare bankruptcy, Illinois will remain in its financial sewer for many years. A different amendment to the Illinois constitution, one that will allow pension reform and remove the pension guarantee clause, is desperetely needed. 

John Ruberry regularly blogs in Illinois at Marathon Pundit.

Where did the Capitol protest anger come from? What to do about it?

Kenosha, Wisconsin, after what CNN deemed “a fiery but mostly peaceful protests.”

By John Ruberry

Wednesday was a dark day in American history. Most of the blame for the riot at the US Capitol deservedly goes to the hooligans, about 1,500 of them, who broke through blockades and defied law enforcement and entered the Capitol building–the first such mass hostile group to do so since British forces marched in during the War of 1812 before setting it ablaze.

Many of the thugs who illegally entered the Capitol have been arrested and they deserve, if found guilty, to face the full brunt of the law.

This was not, as the media deemed last year’s many instances of “unrest” in American cities, “a mostly peaceful protest.”

President Donald J. Trump is by no means blameless. He should have conceded his loss to Joe Biden weeks ago. I support Trump’s fight for free and fair elections. But even in states where the vote count was the most questionable, Pennsylvania and Georgia, had their electoral votes magically gone to the president, Trump still would have lost. And while I disagree with the mainstream media blowhards and Democratic politicians who said Trump incited the crowd to riot, he gave some of the protesters hope. Normally hope is a good thing to spread but he gave some people the belief that their protest might have compelled Congress to ignore the Electoral College and keep Trump in the White House. That was never going to happen.

On Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show Thursday night he asked that we look at why the protesters–not just the rioters–attended the rally. They were angry.

Why?

In November a Rasmussen poll found that 75 percent of Republican voters believed the presidential election was stolen. Even many Democrats agreed. As for myself I don’t believe the election was stolen. My view is that the weak standards with mail-in voting, put in place on a widespread basis for the first time in many states because of the COVID-19 epidemic, has something to do with that. Mail-in voting, without safeguards, makes such crimes as voting twice or more, dead people voting, and voting in a jurisdiction when you live someplace else more likely. 

While elections need to continue to be run at the state level Congress should, if such a thing is possible, have an open mind in regards to exploring new nationwide election standards, such as what was done after the Florida recount debacle of 2000. Banning ballot harvesting is a good place to start, as well as replacing early voting, that is “election season,” with–and this is an idea that comes from the liberals–making the day of a general election a work holiday. And photo ID should be required for voting too.

If millions of Americans don’t have faith in the election process then democracy rests on a flimsy leaf.

Now let’s look at the mainstream media and Big Tech. I’ll be brief only for the sake of not overwhelming you. I could bring up dozens of examples of media bias but I won’t for now.

For over four years most of the media flogged a dead horse of a story in Russian collusion. There was no Trump-Russia collusion. Zero. Robert Mueller’s exhaustive investigation found none. That didn’t stop the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, and MSNBC from hawking it, not so subtly, as the way to oust Trump from power for nearly four years nearly every day.

Meanwhile the Hunter Biden laptop story was minimized by that same mainstream media during the 2020 campaign. The younger Biden’s alleged influence peddling activities are not a nothing-burger. And Facebook and Twitter for a while blocked the posting the New York Post story about the deeply troubling news that the former vice president’s son might be compromised by foreign governments, including our greatest rival, China. Twitter, in a preview of 2021’s ongoing purge of conservatives that includes Trump, from the microblogging platform, locked the Post out of its account for nearly two weeks. Free press anyone? The suppression worked. Many people I spoke with, folks who only get their news from Facebook, never heard about the Hunter laptop scandal until I told them about it. 

Mission accomplished. 

After the election Hunter Biden revealed that he has been under federal investigation for two years. He says its for tax reasons but Hunter does not come across to me as a man who can be trusted.

Not a nothing-burger.

Trump’s core base of supporters are voracious consumers of news–and yes, to be fair of course some of their news stories come from Facebook and Twitter, unless of course they’ve been purged from those sites. And the double-standard of most of the media on those two stories seethes the Trump base.

After the riot the media continued its dismissive attitude of Trump supporters. 

Anderson Cooper of CNN, a scion of the Vanderbilt family that got filthy rich during the Gilded Age, said of the protesters after the riot. “And they’re going to go back to the Olive Garden and to the Holiday Inn they’re staying at, or the Garden Marriott, and they’re going to have some drinks and talk about the great day they had in Washington … They stood up for nothing other than mayhem.”

Clearly Cooper dines at what he deems are better restaurants than the Olive Garden. And he can afford to stay at the finest hotels, places that are beyond my financial reach. And yes, I’ve stayed at those hotels Cooper denigrated. I’ve eaten at the Olive Garden a few times.

Another cruel irony of the mainstream media coverage of the Capitol riot is that they deemed it one, while they went to great pains to call the many urban riots of 2020–which occurred almost exclusively in Democrat-run cities–anything but that. While storming the Capitol is clearly a much different dimension than looting and arson, and yes, a very disturbing one, the hypocrisy of the media is apparent to a 10-year-old. 

More than ever we need new media. If you agree with my post, especially if you dine at the Olive Garden, stop seething. Start your own blog. WordPress and Blogger.com are good places to start. Even if you have just ten readers a day–my own blog has many more than that in case you are wondering–you will be making a difference. Besides, much of the mainstream media, particularly daily newspapers, are endangered species. Warren Buffett, no conservative, expects only a few of them to survive and he made that prediction before the COVID-19 outbreak that has devastated their ad revenue. Those papers, for the most part, take their lead in reporting news from the aforementioned Washington Post and the New York Times. It’s where they learn not to use words like “riot” unless it involves conservatives. They invent terms like “mostly peaceful” or sugarcoat the carnage by saying it is “unrest.” Those last two newspapers aren’t going anyhere but we can fight back with reality. An army of mosquitoes can make a difference.

There’s a void coming. Fill it. Bite back.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Update (DTG) I put something like this in as a comment but figured it belonged as a post update as this has gotten instalanched. (Thanks Ed)

John is one one my original magnificent seven bloggers/ He produces quality work and I’m proud to have him here.

I believe he is completely wrong about the election not being stolen, both math, the actions of the left and common sense in my opinion scream it to be the case, but he has the right to his opinion and I respect that he comes by it honestly and have no problem with him expressing it here.

If anyone has problem with him expressing that opinion on my site and want him off for having & expressing it, well that’s too bad.

This isn’t twitter and my name’s not Jack

Conservatives need to defend others in free speech battle

By John Ruberry

Free speech is under harsh attack in America courtesy of wokeism. Such warnings about free speech are nothing new–but in the past much of the danger has been imagined. For instance I was in college when The Clash released Combat Rock. On the opening track, “Know Your Rights,” Joe Strummer sings of those rights, “all three of them.” The third right is “free speech,” with a caveat. That right could be used if “you’re not dumb enough to actually try it.” Assuming that Strummer was addressing his core audience, American and British youths of the early 1980s, what he said was at best a gross exaggeration.

Not so in 2021.

I received the inspiration for this post by listenening to Ben Shapiro’s December 24 podcast, Goodbye, 2020.

Shapiro is among the many commentators who predict a purge–my word, not his–of dissident voices, meaning conservative ones, on social media such as Twitter, beginning with Donald Trump as soon as he’s not president.

Absurdly, people like Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, still claim that social media is a neutral conduit of information. Twitter for a while prevented the posting and distribution of the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story on the microblogging platform claiming that the laptop details were hacked and illegally obtained. Wrong on both counts. Twitter had no problem with Tweets linking to the New York Times story about Trump’s income tax returns–those returns may have been obtained by hacking. Regardless how those returns were accessed the person who did so broke the law.

What to do?

Forge alliances.

“Well first of all we’re going to have to rely on people, believe or not, who are moderate liberals,” Shapiro said in that podcast, “who are sick of watching the Overton window shut.”

And that means conservative have to defend those liberals who cross the cancel culture.

An incident on Twitter comes to mind. Three years ago in this space I reviewed the documentary XTC-This Is Pop, which was about the spectacular rock back that emerged in England in the late 1970s. That post got a lot of retweets, including one from the XTC Fans Twitter page, run by the now-dissolved group’s former leader, Andy Partridge. A committed liberal, Partridge’s Tweets, although often sarcastic, were entertaining and usually well-thought out, whether it was about music, religion, or politics.

In 2019 some people with too much time on their hands accused Partridge of anti-Semitism after a series of Tweets–not well-thought out this time–about American Middle East policy that devolved into an online shouting match about Israel and religion. Partridge, a strident atheist, went a little too far, I admit, but taken into context with his overall sardonic attitude, those Tweets weren’t a big deal to me. I planned to write a blog post on Marathon Pundit defending him, but then Partridge cancelled himself on Twitter by deleting the XTC Fans account and I moved on to other things.

One of those Twitter accounts Partridge engaged with was “Jon Devin Nunes’ Prostate.”

You know, some people take Twitter too seriously.

Back to Partridge. No one knows why he deleted his account–perhaps he decided that he was spending too much time on social media. He certainly broke a Twitter rule of mine: Never feed online trolls.

I believe if Partridge wasn’t an older white male a Twitter mob would not have bothered to object to those controversial Tweets. For instance the media, with a few exceptions, have not called to task Georgia US Senate candidate Raphael Warnock for his anti-Israel comments.

There will be other efforts to silence dissidents on social media. Mostly against conservatives. But against liberals too.

Conservatism must embrace free speech. And that means relying on for allies, not just the moderate liberals that Shapiro spoke of, but also center-line liberals too in order to fight this crucial battle. And keep in mind no political ideology is always correct.

As for the fundamentalist far-left, the tiny tail wagging the cultural dog these days, I believe they’ve already isolated themselves, as Isaac Asimov said of the 1960s radicals, into a “no-man’s land of the spirit.” Think of the bleating sheep in George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

But right now in the culture wars the far-left is winning.

Fight back.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

When a bomb is about to explode in your neighborhood do you call the ACLU, Antifa, or Black Lives Matter?

Broadway in Nashville in 2018. AT&T Building in background.

By John Ruberry

The defund the police looks pretty irrelevant now. As you know on Christmas morning an explosives-laded recreational vehicle devestated a business district in downtown Nashville.

“This vehicle has a bomb, if you can hear this message, you need to evacuate” was the loop recording that played before the bomb detonated at sunrise in Music City.

Someone, or more likely more than one person, called not Black Lives Matter, Antifa (true, I don’t believe they have a listed phone number), or the ACLU–all of them who are proponents of the defund the police movement–about the warning. Instead the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department was called.

And six MNPD police officers cleared the area, most likely minimizing injuries and possibly fatalities. These hero cops appear to be pretty young, they may have had children at home. They were on the streets on the one day when most people don’t want to work.

There are a couple of theories on what motivated the bomber–or bombers. I’ve been to Nashville and 2nd Avenue, where the explosion happened, is just a block from the popular and generally crowded entertainment and bar district on Broadway. If human carnage was the goal then Christmas Eve around sunset would have been a much better time for that. Or last night, the day after Christmas. One theory is that the recording was meant to frighten away pedestrians and residents so there would only be cops on 2nd Avenue when the bomb went off. Another hypothesis is that because the rigged RV was parked adjacent to the AT&T Building, the explosion was the work of anti-5G paranoids. AT&T mobile and internet service in Nasvhille has been severely disrupted by the bombing, as has 911 service as far away as Kentucky.

As for the first theory, when that RV exploded that would mean only cops would be killed. Back to the Nashville hero police officers: These six appear to be ordinary beat cops, not specialists that you’ll find on the bomb squad. All but one, the sergeant, have been on the job for less than five years. It’s beat cops that the defund the police activists have their eyes on; “moderates” within that movement admit cops with advanced skills, such as bomb experts, are still needed. But you’re not going to find the specialists, with all due respect to them, patrolling the streets at dawn on Christmas morning.

“Call a friend, call a cop,” was the slogan of PSAs back in the 1970s. Alright, perhaps you don’t need to have cops as your pals. But police officers sure come in handy when all hell is about to break loose.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Don’t hate on 2020

In about two days, its going to be “remember the past year” week. We’ll hear stories about the good and the bad of the past and predictions for 2021. I’m betting that most of the news will be about how much 2020 sucked. It’ll cue lots of 2020 memes. And while its funny to read, honestly, you should just turn it off.

Because in reality, if you’re going to let the media tell you how to view every year, you’re a fool.

In 2020, I had planned on going to Disney World with my family. Our plans were shattered by COVID-19. Instead, I built alternate plans and found ways to extend our tickets and reservations until we could find a better date.

In 2020, I had hoped to transfer to a new job. COVID-19 shattered that, and at one point I was working in “partial isolation,” which meant I could only go to work, and then I had to stay isolated at my house under Navy orders. I could have fretted, but instead I focused on improving my property with a better playground set and making the most of my time with my kids.

In 2020, school was supposed to be awesome, but COVID-19 wrecked it all. Instead of panic, we worked through online school, and even found ways to enhance our schooling. It’s not the best, but its certainly better than many places.

2020 is going to become a punchline for many people about how terrible life can be. I won’t deny that circumstances in 2020 put many people in a bad place. But I argue that too much of that is our own thinking. I can’t control my state and local government response, but I can control my response. When toilet paper became scarce, a fellow church member bailed my family out, and I realized we had a stronger church community in trying times. When one of my coworkers needed sweet potatoes because that’s all her autistic kid will eat, I happened to find some at Aldi, bought 5 pounds worth and gave them to her. When our neighbors were feeling stressed, I told them to send their kids to my house so they could play on our playplace and give them some much needed space. Every time I chose to take action to improve my situation or one of my neighbors/friends/coworkers, I found that I had far more freedom than the media would give me credit.

There will be a temptation to blame everything bad on 2020. Don’t do it. It’s OK to admit it was challenging, but you must OWN your response to events. When bad things happen, you choose how to respond to those events. When you refuse to be passive, it gives you strength, and it puts you in the right mindset to take advantage of opportunities. I refused to sit in the backseat for 2020, and you should too.

I wish you a happy, if somewhat belated, Christmas, a great New Year, and a future of continuing to make your own choices on how to react to the things around you!

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Chicago mayor Lightfoot’s status as a fraud solidified in her response to police raid on wrong home

By John Ruberry

The competition for worst big city mayor is fierce, New York’s Bill de Blasio and Eric Garcetti typically lead the pack but don’t overlook Lori Lightfoot of Chicago.

How did America’s third-largest city get there?

Lightfoot’s victory in last year’s election was a fluke. She and Toni “Taxwinkle” Preckwinkle, the president of the Cook County Board emerged as the top two candidates after a 14-candidate first round of balloting–she collected only 17-percent of the vote. Lightfoot, used her endorsement by the Chicago Sun-Times and her time as chair of the Chicago Police Department Office of Professional Standards to fashion herself as the reform candidate. Her predecessor, Rahm Emanuel, decided not to run for a third term; it’s widely believed his blocking the release of a video until after his 2015 reelection of the shameful deadly police shooting of Laquan McDonald led to his bowing out.

Now there is a another video. Late in Emanuel’s second term Chicago police officers raided the apartment of social worker Anjanette Young. But they busted into the wrong home. Guns were drawn and Young was handuffed naked while she screamed. “You’ve got the wrong place.”  She said that 43 times. Lightfoot’s campaign slogan was “Let There Be Light” and this was her opportunity to be transparent in a time of crisis. 

She wasn’t.

City lawyers sued to block CBS Chicago from airing the video of the botched raid. Lightfoot later called that a mistake. 

Let There Be Light.

Then the woman often derisively called “Mayor Beetlejuice” claimed that she wasn’t aware of the raid on Young’s home. But emails show that Lightfoot learned about the raid in November of 2019, around the time CBS Chicago began reporting on it. She says she “focused on budget issues” at that time and the could explain why she has no recall of the emails.

Lightfoot also admitted that she was wrong when she said that Young hadn’t filed a Freedom of Information Request for the video of the raid. The victim had in fact done so. 

At best, Lightfoot’s Chicago is circling the drain. Yes, she inherited a mess. Even before the COVID-19 epidemic Chicago was losing residents. Chicago’s public-worker pension worker plans are the worst-funded of any big city. But Lightfoot’s lockdown orders are best draconian, she hasn’t been taken to task as much as she deserves for that only because her fellow Democrat, blowhard governor JB Pritzker, has been all over local media almost daily trying to frighten Illinoisans into compliance with his own lockdown orders. 

Shootings, murders, and especially carjackings in Chicago are up dramatically over last year.

What are Lightfoot’s priorities? 

The day before the second round of widespread looting and rioting, deemed “unrest” of course by the mainstream media, Lightfoot followed through on her threat to close the vast Montrose Beach to visitors because she thought too many people gathered there on a gorgeous late summer afternoon. 

In the spring Lighfoot scolded Chicagoan by declaring “getting your roots done is not essential.” During that first lockdown, which closed all hair salons, the mayor got her stylist, maskless, to do her hair. 

When confronted with a predictable uproar for her hypocrisy, Beetlejuice doubled down, “I’m the public face of this city, I’m on national media and I’m out in the public eye.”

Last month a few days before imposing a second COVID-19 lockdown, Lightfoot appeared, maskless, outdoors at a spontaneous rally at an unsafe distance with many others as she celebrated the media calling the presidential election for Joe Biden.

Chicago, a failed city, has the perfect person to represent it in the public eye.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Illinois Democrats may finally eject Boss Madigan

By John Ruberry

I can’t track down the exact quote from Hunter S. Thompson about the end of Richard M. Nixon’s presidency, but the self-described gonzo journalist viewed it something along the lines of a football cheap-shot artist got felled by his own weapon, the dirty hit. Not that Thompson, a huge football fan like Nixon, favored dirty hits, but he delighted in his mental image of Nixon helplessly departing public life, like an NFL goon being wheeled off the playing field in a stretcher, never to return. 

We may be nearing that ignominious point with Boss Michael Madigan of Chicago. 

Good.

A refresher for those of you who are not from Illinois. For all but two years Madigan, 78, has been speaker of the Illinois state house since 1983, a national record for state legislative leadership. He’s been chairman of the state Democratic Party since 1998. Madigan has been a Chicago Democrat ward committeman since 1969. He’s been a member of the Illinois General Assembly since 1971. Hey, Madigan even managed, at great effort, to get his daughter, Lisa, elected Illinois attorney general in 2002. She was reelected three times.

Fox Chicago’s longtime political reporter, Mike Flannery, gained the scorn of other reporters when he half-jokingly asked Madigan, in one of his rare press conferences, if Illinois politicans should be limited to half a century in public office. The Boss abruptly ended the presser.

Madigan is America’s last political machine boss. And Madigan is, as I’ve noted before, the Pablo Picasso of gerrymanderers. Madigan’s maps aren’t pretty, but they achieve his goal, electing as many Democrats to Congress and the General Assembly who are beholden to the Boss as possible. Yep, beholden to Madigan–not the Democrat Party. Unloyal Democrats, in the manner of that classic Twilight Zone episode, find themselves drawn by Madigan into the empty political cornfield if they cross the Boss.

Federal investigators, led by US District Attorney John R. Lausch, have been chipping away at the Madigan machine for the last three years. I wrote about that here, here, and here. Last month the feds indicted lobbyist, former state representative, and close Madigan confidante Michael McClain on bribery and other charges. One of McClain’s biggest clients was Commonwealth Edison, the Exelon-owned electrical utility. It’s alleged that Madigan, who has not been charged and vows he is not involved in any criminal acttivity, used the utility, in exchange for legislation favorable to ComEd, to hand out jobs to members of his political organization. Also indicted for were some former top ComEd officers, including its onetime CEO. 

The cheap shot, in Madigan’s opinion, that leads to criminal charges, may still come, if someone rats the Boss of Illinois out. But Madigan, who reportedly doesn’t use a cell phone or email, will be a tough old tree to fell. Besides, he has a lot of money in his political warchest and his still has many friends, particularly among minority politicians, who of course enjoy being funnels for jobs for their cronies and constituents.

Still, according to multiple media reports there currently are enough votes in the state House to deny Madigan another term as speaker. The Blue Wave predicted by political prognostictors also was non-existant in Illinois, the weak state GOP managed to pick up a seat in the House. Worse for Democrats, the so-called Fair Tax Amendment, that would replace Illinois’ flat-rate income tax with graduated ones, was resoundingly defeated by voters. Corruption reports surrounding Madigan’s inner circle have been seen by political scribes as among the reasons the Fair Tax Amendment failed. Madigan has been a very poor steward of public monies–more on that in a bit. 

If Madigan loses the speakership he won’t be able to hold on to his party chairmanship for long. He needs both offices to remain on the balance bar. Madigan’s political idol, the first Richard Daley, who was mayor of Chicago and chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party. His yin needed the yang. Sadly, Madigan doesn’t have the public-finance chops of Boss Daley.

To use a football analogy again, the score in the game is 7-0 with Madigan trailing, but we’re early in the first quarter. Illinois has never, at least in my opinion, fully recovered from the Great Recession. The lockdowns of the state’s second-most powerful politician, Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, have caused great damage to the Illinois ecomony. So have the two rounds of riots and looting in Chicago this year. Jobs are hard to come by here–and my guess is that Madigan still has some to hand out to the right friends. Don’t count him out.

Oh yeah, what about the money? Madigan has been at the table that drafted every Illinois budget since 1983, and probably earlier. And it was during that time that the fuse of Illinois’ public-pension bomb was lit. The phony Madigan budgets keep kicking the can down the round as Illinois’ severely underfunded public worker public pension plans continue to eat away at state prosperity. Illinois has had a backlog of billions in unpaid bills for more than a decade. The state hasn’t had a balanced budget–despite our constitution requiring one–since 2002. Coincidentally that was the last year there was a Republican majority in the state Senate. 

If only because of his fiscal malfeasance, Madigan needs to go. 

Speaking of going, many Illinoisans are doing just that. The Prairie State, as I’ve noted here at Da Tech Guy many times, has been losing residents since 2014.

Eject Madigan now.

John Ruberry, a Commonwealth Edison customer, reguarly blogs from the Chicago area at Marathon Pundit.

Was Calling Arizona Early the Signal that the Steal was on?

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Oh is that you Norman? ‘Walkies’.

Yes Prime Minister One of Us 1986

As a rule I don’t like posts with question marks in the title as it means people are guessing but something hit me in the middle of work that made a lot of sense.

A lot of people were shocked at the VERY early Fox call in fact I recall reading how at the time of the call the 8-1 betting odds favoring Trump suddenly plunged to 2-1 which got a lot of bookies thinking something was up.

That’s when I remembered the 1919 World Series.

In the first game of the 1919 World Series, Eddie Cicotte of the Chicago White Sox went to the mound and promptly hit the first batter he faced, Cincinnati’s Morrie Rath, square in the back.

Too much adrenaline, most in the crowd thought, or perhaps a case of butterflies.

But for others more decidedly and deviously in the know, the 35-year old’s first delivery was deadly accurate.

It was a signal that the World Series was on its way to being fixed.

Cicotte’s beanball was the public signal that the game was on and when I remembered it it struck me that if you were going to have that meeting I speculated about a while back where everyone agreed to get blood on their hands

No each of them had to have blood on their hands so to speak. Each of them had to be sure that the other bosses necks would be on the line. Each of the had to be sure that they would be all in on the steal (and I suspect each of them had to be sure that the media and the tech giants would back them up, I would not be surprised if there was coordination with those folks during the pause in the count.) and I suspect only when they agreed to hang together rather than risk hanging repeatedly did the counts resume.

…then you need a public signal to get the ball rolling. Something out in the open that everyone could see to be sure nobody backed out and of course something for the foot soldiers who would have to get the ballots ready, fill them out and ferry them to the various places knew things were on.

I submit and suggest that the most logical way to send such a signal would be through the media and the best type of signal would be a move that would be considered inexplicable from a source that would not be expected.

Even better the call of Arizona also fed the narrative that would be necessary to sell the fraud, although to be fair, the media would have been more than happy to buy it for any reason.

Again I am just speculating and have absolutely no proof of this, but if I was the guy in charge of getting the word out on election night that the fix was in, that’s how I’d do it.