Electronic monitoring for violent criminals in Chicago and Cook County is a failure

By John Ruberry

The far-left has taken over many elected prosecutor’s offices, including Chesa Boudin in San Francisco, George Gascon in Los Angeles County, Marilyn Mosby in Baltimore, and Kim Foxx in Cook County, where Chicago is the county seat.

As I sadly live in Crook County I’m going focus on Foxx, Cook County’s state’s attorney and Jussie Smollett’s protector, who among other things, refuses to prosecute shoplifters with a felony unless they are accused of stealing merchandise worth more than $1,000.

Foxx is also a huge supporter of electronic monitoring of criminal suspects.

Small-time crooks often move on to bigger crimes. The “broken-windows” practice of policing that Rudy Giuliani put into place during his eight years as mayor of New York–his cops aggressively cracked down on petty criminals–led to a major decrease in violent crime. In the years before Rudy’s election NYC averaged over 2,000 murders annually. His successor, Michael Bloomberg, largely kept Guiliani’s policies in place. When Bloomberg left office in 2013 there were just 333 murders in America’s largest city. The murder rate has gone up with Bill de Blasio as mayor of New York but that’s a post for another time. 

The soft-on-crime approach of Foxx has been a disaster for Cook County residents, particular minorities who Foxx claims to champion. According to Hey Jackass there have been 467 homicides after the first seven months of 2021. Of the victims 83 percent of them were black and 13 percent were Hispanic

Bail is often light under Foxx and her prosecutors. Bad people who yes, have not yet been convicted of the crimes they are accused of, are being released with low bail or under electronic monitoring. 

Even Cook County’s sheriff, Democrat Tom Dart, doesn’t think electronic monitoring should be utilized the way Foxx is using it. “We were handed this thing—we didn’t ask for it,” Dart told NBC Chicago last week. “This is not what it was designed for The program was never designed for violent people.” And yet that is what is being done. 

More from NBC Chicago:

Nevertheless, numbers provided by the sheriff’s office show that on a recent day this month,100 murder suspects were free on electronic monitoring. Another 106 suspects were out in the community charged with criminal sexual assault, 547 charged as felons in possession of a weapon, and 263 as armed habitual criminals.

Let me repeat the first two: There are 100 people accused of murder who are free on electronic surveillance in Cook County. And what happened to the #MeToo movement? There are 106 people charged with criminal sexual assault on home arrest right in the county where I live.

Some of those on electronic monitoring in Cook County have eluded surveillance, including a man who escaped from electronic monitoring a few days after agreeing to it; he has since been charged with shooting a man in the face. Then there is the man accused of attempting to murder a cop who escaped from house arrest who was later found with an auto-fire gun. It gets worse. A man on electronic monitoring for a gun charge was charged with a murder during a home invasion.

Then there is this bizarre twist on electronic monitoring. Last month just a few minutes after being fitted with an electronic surveillance device rapper KTS Dre was shot–Sonny Corleone-style–64 times outside Cook County Jail. Clearly the rapper was better off being locked up. But Dre wasn’t the only person shot, two women were wounded in that attack. 

Can crimes be committed by people who stay home during their electronic home confinement? Of course! A woman selling cars on Facebook was lured to the home of a man on electronic monitoring. “Give me everything. You don’t f*cking move,” the accused allegedly warned. He also told the man who accompanied the salesperson, “Tell your b*tch not to move or I’ll shoot her too.”

As bad as Kim Foxx is–and she is indeed horrible–the ultimate responsibility for this public safety debacle belongs to Cook County voters–not me of course–who blindly voted Democrat party-line and returned Foxx to office last autumn. 

The warning signs on Foxx were there.

Chicago mayor’s Lori Lightfoot weak-on-crime policies deserve condemnation too. The man she chose to run the Chicago Police, David Brown, who for the most part has done a rotten job, did express some wisdom last week when he asked, “How many people think it’s OK to have over 90 people on electronic monitoring that we’ve charged with murder released back into our communities?”

The local mainstream media, NBC Chicago being an exception, is either ignoring or minimizing the crimes in Cook County being committed by accused criminals under house arrest. Many thanks to CWB Chicago for regularly reporting on this issue. After all, “Democracy dies in darkness.”

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.

The Democrat Slavery/Jim Crow Not Our Business Argument is Back For Portland

Before my wife finally got her negative COVID test back allowing me to return to work (for some reason they didn’t record she was a healthcare worker and her case wasn’t expedited so poof went days of pay for us both) I had an interesting exchange with a fellow concerning what’s going on in Portland Ore where the family of DaWife’s father is from and where I almost moved after honeymooning there (Apparently the best non-move I ever made in my life).

Along with the standard mostly un-poisoned soup arguments about how peaceful most of the protesters who have been rioting for two months are I heard one argument against the Department of Homeland Security Troops being there that did have some resonance (no it wasn’t the “secret police” nonsense that my sons friends are falling for and some democrats are pushing).

This argument is that this is a local matter and in one sense he had a point. The citizens of Portland districts elected their Democrat city counsel that has supported this nonsense, the citizens of Portland as a whole elected their Democrat Mayor who has allowed these riots to take place and handcuffed their Police, the citizens of the Oregon district that includes Portland elected the Democrat congressmen defending this stuff and opposing the feds protecting federal property and the citizens of Oregon as a whole elected the Democrat governor and Democrat senators who have turned a blind eye to the violence, except to attack Federal Agents in general and President Donald Trump in particular for trying to stop it, at least when they go after Federal locations. So they’re getting what they voted for.

In fact Erick Erickson argues Let Portland Burn:

Let the market decision by letting the actions of a free people control their fate.

The President should withdraw from Portland immediately and let the city burn, if it will, or thrive if it will, but it is the choice of the people there.

A President sending in a police force to a city is a dangerous precedent that will be expanded upon even though the United States Constitution lacks a general police power. A city allowed to chose its own fate is a positive precedent from which we can all draw lessons.

Let Portland burn or not, but let it decide without intervention from Washington.

And Jazz Shaw notes:

the people of these cities continue to elect the same group of Democratic hand-wringers year after year no matter how badly conditions on the ground deteriorate. So does this mean that the rest of the nation and the federal government are out of options besides just waiting for the cities to implode?

There’s clearly an argument to be made in favor of such a conclusion, though it’s an ugly thought to contemplate. As Erickson suggests, there must surely come a point where the remaining sane people in Portland and these other cities will look around at the shootings, the rapes, the arson and the looting and come to the conclusion that something isn’t working. This relies on the old adage which holds that a liberal is just a conservative who hasn’t been mugged yet.

Now I must confess that there is some appeal in this. Why waste federal resources to protect people from their own bad decisions? I’ve heard variants of this concerning folks who build in areas that are regularly threatened by Hurricanes or Wildfires. Why should my federal tax dollars be spent to protect these fools from themselves?

But what really funny about this argument I’ve been reading these exact same points, argued by southern supporters of slavery during the 1850 up to the start of the civil war.

As I’ve mentioned before I’ve been reading Hart’s brilliant American History told by Contemporaries during my lunch break, I’m on volume four and have for the last month (not including during quarantine) been reading argument after argument by congressmen, senators, governors writers newspaper and thinkers and ordinary people both defending and opposing slavery and one of the arguments that is constantly being made by the Democrats concerning slavery is that it’s none of the North’s damn business what the south chooses to do about slavery. It’s not a federal issue but an issue for the individual states whose citizens support the institution. Here is one example:

Never, in a single instance, has the South, in any shape or form, interfered with the North in her municipal regulations ; but, on the contrary, has tamely submitted to paying tribute to the support of her manufactures, and the establishment of her commercial greatness; yet, lie the “serpent warmed in the husbandman’s bosom,” she turns upon us and stings us to the heart. If Great Briton or any foreign power, had heaped upon us the long catalog of insult and abuses that the North has, there is not a man in the whole South who would not have long since shouldered his musket, and, if necessary split his heart’s blood to have avenged them. But because we are members of the same political family it is contended we must not quarrel, but suffer all the impositions at their hands that in their fanatical spleen they may choose to heap on us.

That’s the Charleston Mercury circa 1860 which sounds an awful like the Democrats today. But you know who sounds more like them. Democrat President James Buchanan who sat back while the slave states seceded and seized federal property and arsenals:

How easy would it be for the American people to settle the slavery question forever, and to restore peace and harmony to this distracted country! They, and they alone, can do it. All that is necessary to accomplish the object, and all for which the slave States have ever contended, is to be let alone and permitted to manage their domestic institutions in their own way.

Doesn’t that sound like the whole Pelosi/Media meme of the violence will all go away and the people of Portland will be fine if Trump just ignores what’s going on.

But we don’t have to go back to the 1800’s for these words. We can go back to living memory, 1957, to the floor of the US Senate to hear the arguments of Senator Richard Russell (D-GA) made against the 1957 Civil rights act on the floor of the Senate during the Debates chronicled in Robert Caro’s extraordinary biography of Lyndon Johnson The Years of Lyndon Johnson specifically in volume three Master of the Senate (another set of books I highly recommend four volumes are out vol 5 is yet to come) this exchange from page 965 come immediately to mind:

McNamara said Michigan needed no defense, that his state could handle its affairs without outside interference. “Then why does not the Senator let us do the same?” Russell asked. There was applause from the southern senators seated around him, but he had asked a question, and he was to receive an answer to it. “McNamara,” Doris Fleeson wrote, “roared in the bull voice trained in a thousand union meeting halls: ‘Because you’ve had ninety years and haven’t done it’ “

Now I’ll readily concede that given our current education system and the lack of interest in reading anything but Howard Zinn communist approved history some of these debates and arguments might not be familiar to the current Democrat Leadership like Nancy Pelosi or Democrat Mayors like Ted Wheeler or “Journalists” like Brian Stelter let alone the rank and file leftists/ Democrats posting on facebook or twitter.

But as someone who HAS read this stuff I find it incredibility interesting that the arguments of today’s Democrat left/media are the arguments of the slaveholder and the defenders of Jim Crow and are being made under the banner of Black Lives Matter.

But it makes sense after all the slaveholder and the proponents of Jim Crow also insisted that the way of life they defended was for Black American’s own good. And just as in those days, we see blacks trapped in cities controlled by democrats, beset by crime and drugs with Democrat leaders keeping those who would free them from these plagues out supposedly for their own good.

Ah the Democrats back to their segregationist roots in public once again.

Quaint Mount Rushmore Reactions

Last night after a trip to the reopened Funspot in NH (more on that later this week) got home and finally checked the net after a day of ignoring it (highly recommended) when the story broke of the democrats tweeting and then deleting this about a Donald Trump event scheduled for Mount Rushmore:

As you might expect they deleted it right away but not before it was screen grabbed and displayed for all too see.

I found both things rather quaint.

I particularly found it quaint that anyone would be surprised at this point by this opinion but beyond that…

I found it quaint that the democrats would delete the tweet as if they would actually pretend that this is not the opinion of their base

I found it quaint that the Democrats thought such a tweet could be deleted without notice.

I found it quaint that supporters of the President might thing, at a time when democrats are defending riots and arson nationwide might be embarrassed over hitting Mount Rushmore in a tweet.

But what I really find quaint is that at this point, with Democrat cities burning and preparing to jettison the police and promising more of the same that there are people actually undecided on how they will vote to the point where both sides might think this tweet will make any difference?

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.

Something to Look Forward To

by baldilocks

Why is this woman smiling?

No, Minnesota! You can’t get away!

Matt Vespa:

For Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), she’s embroiled her whole party with an anti-Semitism fiasco that isn’t going away. It’s not her first time either. It’s pervasive. It’s repetitive. It brings forward legitimate allegations that she’s an anti-Semite. She said in 2012, that Israel is hypnotizing the world, then came the “all about the Benjamins” tweet concerning contributions and AIPAC, and now the gross accusation of dual loyalty concerning those who support Israel. The latter public relations flap is what forced the House to vote on a resolution that was initially one against anti-Semitism, but some Democrats found that problematic. Why should Omar be singled out? Oh, also Trump is…bad. Yeah, he was brought up. It showed that Nancy Pelosi is a weak speaker, who caved to this radical element within her party. What we got was a watered down resolution against…bad things.

As I said, this isn’t Omar’s first time. Back in Minnesota, she met with Jewish leaders who were concerned about her past remarks, especially the ‘Israel hypnotizing the world’ tweet. She hasn’t learned. And these folks are reportedly no longer treating her with kid gloves anymore. Minnesota State Sen. Ron Latz was the one who hosted the meeting prior to her election to the House last year. Now, he’s hearing chatter about local Democrats searching for people who can challenge Omar. The position is quite clear though; the local Jewish community has had it with Omar who refuses to listen[.]

And why should she listen? With her triple-threat diversity — black, female, Muslim — the Somalia-born Omar has the Democrat Party by its tender area. They won’t even address the probability that Omar violated immigration laws.

Thomas Wictor calls her the Smiling Somali. I doubt that there will be anything that happens in the 2020 House elections that will wipe the smile from her face. The battle and the shouts of racism! sexism! and Islamophobia! will be glorious, though.

For the record, I’m smiling also at the Democrat Party’s self-damage. It’s as if its leadership has a death wish — or that the leadership is getting really bad advice and is stupid enough to take it.

Neither, of course, is mutually exclusive.

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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Why Stacey Abrams Will Give the Democrats’ Response to the SOTU

In which I solve yet another mystery

by baldilocks

The latest in the Democrat Party’s lowered expectations for People of Color™: now, they don’t even have to win an election for the party to choose him/her as its representative.

Stacey Abrams will deliver the response to President Donald Trump’s

Stacey Abrams

State of the Union address next week, giving the state’s top Democrat one of the nation’s most prominent pulpits as she considers whether to run for U.S. Senate in 2020.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday he asked Abrams to deliver the address, which will air shortly after Trump finishes his address to a joint session of Congress next week, because “she has led the charge for voting rights, which is at the root of just about everything else.”

The speech will be a pivotal moment for Abrams, who narrowly lost last year’s gubernatorial race to Republican Brian Kemp and refused to formally concede the race, citing what she said was a vote marred by irregularities and his refusal to step down as the state’s top elections official.

Why Abrams? Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) and Ilhan Omar (MN-5) seem like better choices on the surface – they’ve actually won elections and all three allow the party to check the same two boxes that Abrams does: not-white women. Tlaib and Omar, of course, give the added benefit of being Muslims. (In fairness, Tlaib is only kinda Muslim.)

All that precious diversity at their fingertips but they forgo it?

It’s easy to see why none of them were chosen, though: no one will be able to control what they say in front of a national audience, especially not Nancy Pelosi. It’s entertaining to imagine Tlaib or Omar sign off with “Death to that Motherf****r Trump and to America” or Ocasio-Cortez with “God bless Socialist Utopia America.” Same thing, really.

And, call it a female hunch, but I bet each of them has told the Speaker of the House to her face that she can kiss their backsides or something equivalent.

Not that Abrams wouldn’t do that, too, were she in office. But she’s not and, therefore, she is much more apt to stay on the message outlined for her by the Speaker and by Senator Schumer. They need her, but she needs them much more. So, she gets the spotlight.

I’m sure that, during the response, the strings extending from her back will be well concealed.

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.

Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar or hit Juliette’s!