Cognitive decline: the mainstream media is still protecting Biden

By John Ruberry

After the collapse of the government of Afghanistan last month mainstream media reporters remembered for a little while that they were supposed to be journalists instead of propagandists and protectors of the Democratic Party.

They criticized President Joe Biden for the Afghan debacle, which was easily the worst foreign policy disaster since the fall of Saigon in 1975. It may have been the worse than that, as no one expected the Viet Cong to attack America. 

But those catcalls from the media only went so far. No one, outside of conservatives, has addressed the metaphorical crazy grandpa in the basement–Joe Biden’s clear cognitive decline. 

Okay, let’s get something out of the way. I am not a doctor and I have never met Joe Biden. But even two years ago, as he announced his run for the presidency, it was clear, to phrase it as Mark Levin did, that “the spin was off of his fastball.” Of course Biden, always a mediocrity, never had much of a fastball. 

And of course to prevent a Bernie Sanders Democratic nomination and a likely Donald Trump victory, US Rep. James Clyburn led the rush to annoint Biden as their only hope to defeat Trump. And Biden campaigned, sort of, for the presidency from what Sean Hannity called “his basement bunker.” 

Greg Ganske, an MD and former Republican member of Congress, knows Biden, In an op-ed for the Des Moines Register, he decried Biden’s mental decline.

It’s gotten worse since the election. In a CNN interview, he opined, “Um, you know there’s a, uh, during World War II, uh you know, where Roosevelt came up with a thing, that uh, you know, was totally different, than a, than the, he called it, you know, the WWII, he had the War Production Board.” In March he forgot the name of his Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin, at a White House event, calling the Pentagon chief “the guy who runs that outfit over there.”

I am not alone in seeing a difference in President Biden. Mike McCormick, who worked 15 years as a White House stenographer and with Biden from 2011 to 2017, has said, “He’s lost a step and he doesn’t seem to have the mental acuity he had four years ago. He doesn’t have the energy, he doesn’t have the pace of his speaking. He’s a different guy. He read that Democratic National Committee speech verbatim — it’s not Joe Biden anymore.”

John Kass, the former Chicago Tribune lead columnist, calls Biden “President Meat Puppet.” 

During the 2020 presidential campaign while watching Biden, well, sort of campaign on television, I was reminded of a Star Trek episode centered on the doomed and flawed John Gill, Captain Kirk’s former history professor, who creates a Nazi government because that fascist nation was, in Gill’s opinion, “the most effecient state Earth ever knew.” Not true, I need to add, although oddly enough Spock agreed. 

The Enterprise’s power trio watch in horror and pity as Gill, a puppet of the evil Melakon, addresses his planet in a televised address by announcing an attack on the scapegoat planet Zeon. “Captain, the speech follows no logical pattern,” says Spock. “Random sentences strung together,” Kirk adds. “He looks drugged, Jim,” observes Dr. McCoy, “Almost in a cataleptic state.”

“They’ve kept what’s left of him as a figurehead,” Kirk says. 

Last year Lou Aguilar of the American Spectator noticed the similarities between Biden and Gill in 2020. So did Victor Davis Hanson for American Greatness last month. But these men are conservatives.

Now I am not claiming Biden is a fascist. Calm down, leftists. He is not. Biden is a confused and tired old man–but only conservative pundits are noticing that. Are we smarter than liberals? Well yes, of course we are, but it seems at the very list our “betters,” the liberal elite that is, are looking the other way in regards to the president’s mental status. Or perhaps the liberal media is purposely hiding Biden’s cognitive decline, as seems to be the case with George Stephanopoulos, who allowed a portion of his most recent interview with the president to end up on the cutting room floor as he confused key details of his late son Beau’s military service. I suspect the latter scenario is the case.

Dr. Ronny Jackson is now a Republican congressman. He was the White House physician during the Trump presidency. Two months ago he called on Biden to take a cognitive test and for the results of it to be made public. Three years ago Jackson said he administered one to Trump and he reported that “45” answered every question correctly.

Here’s the problem the mainstream media faces. Biden will continue to have good days and bad days–but as I’ve observed with relatives of mine suffering from cognitive decline, the good days always become fewer. 

Oh, how many more times will Biden be hours late for a press conference? Why always so late?

Eventually Biden’s slipping mental state will be too obvious for even the liberal media to ignore. And when they finally do notice–it’s up to us to remind them that conservatives blew the whistle on Biden first. 

Perhaps at that time, in an act for redemption, the lefty talking heads and writers can reveal who the power is behind the Biden the Figurehead.

Kass has an idea, “Ron Klain, the White House chief of staff, is now openly referred to as President Klain.”

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is another Democrat attempt to steal future elections

Stealing the 2020 Presidential Election was a rousing success for the Democrats.  Because of that they are attempting to ensure that they will have an easy time stealing all future presidential elections.  Their first attempt, the For The People Act, failed a couple months ago.  They are at it again with the Voting Rights Advancement Act, which is a rather repulsive name for this partisan refuse.  The sole purpose of this law is to overturn and outlaw all attempts to secure federal elections through measures such as Voter ID laws and cleaning up voter registration roles.

I first learned about this craven attempt at election theft from this action alert from the Heritage Foundation Stop H.R. 4, a Federal Veto of State Election Laws

H.R. 4 is a Leftist scheme to give President Biden’s bureaucrats in the federal government VETO power over state election integrity laws. Biden’s politicized lawyers in the Justice Department would use this veto power to overturn state voting laws they politically disagree with, such as extremely popular voter ID laws.

H.R. 4 would accomplish this by altering and weaponizing the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965 for the Left’s partisan political gain.

This is a dangerously effective tactic, because the Voting Rights Act is generally a good and popular law. By stealing its good name for their new bill and partisan power grab, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer hope to gain mainstream America’s support by default.

It is exceedingly odious that this partisan nonsense invokes and changes the Voting Rights Act of 1965 because the original law:

Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act made it illegal to deny or abridge the right to vote on account of race or color. Section 2 reinforces and strengthens the protections in the 15th amendment. And importantly, section 2 is still law (as it should be!).

When most people think of the VRA, section 2 is usually what they think of. With H.R. 4, Pelosi seeks to weaponize lesser known provisions of the VRA (sections 3, 4, and 5).

Here are the changes that this new legislation would make to the original Voting Rights Act.

H.R. 4 would change Section 3 to enact a fast and loose definition of discrimination. Under this new “disparate impact” definition, a voting law that applies to all equally, but potentially results in a statistical difference in impact, would now be in violation of the VRA. Under this loose definition, the federal government is given wide latitude to invalide state election laws without showing any actual intent to discriminate.

Furthermore, H.R. 4 would change the coverage formula for “preclearance” found in section 4, which determines which states the federal government essentially has veto power over. The power of preclearance is found in section 5 of the VRA, and it essentially creates a federal veto power over the election laws of certain states.

As you can see the whole notion of preclearence in the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was  exploited by the Obama Administration to a overturn attempts to make elections more secure.  The Obama Administration’s abuse of preclearence was so over the top it was struck down by the Supreme Court.  This new legislation is just an end run around the Supreme Court

Preclearance is the process by which several states with a past history of voting rights violations were required by the VRA in the 1960’s to get pre-approval from the Department of Justice (DOJ) before they changed any state voting law.

Preclearance was originally supposed to expire after five years, but Congress extended it several times.

During the Obama years, Attorney General Eric Holder abused preclearance as a personal veto to stop states from passing common-sense voting reforms and lawsuits were filed challenging preclearance.

In Shelby County v. Holder (2013), the Supreme Court found section 4 of the VRA unconstitutional. Because the formula for selecting states for preclearance had never been updated since the 1970’s, states were being continually punished for 50-year old mistakes that had been long rectified.

After Shelby County, Leftist partisans in the federal government no longer had veto power over state election laws, and states were able to pass many common-sense reforms, like voter ID.

The Federalist has come out swinging against this latest attempt by Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Democrats to steal elections How H.R. 4 Would Let Leftist Extremists At The DOJ Control The Entire Nation’s Elections

Why are Democrats in Congress staging a series of show hearings to generate support for H.R. 4, “The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act”? Because, they claim, there is a wave of “voter suppression” going on across the country.

That is nothing more than a political fabrication. Requiring voters to show ID to authenticate their identity, or trying to ensure voter registration rolls are accurate and up-to-date, are not “voter suppression” and don’t prevent any eligible individual from registering and voting.

H.R. 4 isn’t just unnecessary and unjustified. It’s a dangerous bill that would give the partisan bureaucrats of the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department administrative veto powers over states’ changes to election procedures.

As Cleta Mitchell noted in The Federalist earlier this month, H.R. 4 is “even more insidious” than its cousin, H.R. 1, precisely because “it would enable the vastly well-funded Democrat ‘voting rights’ apparatus to control American elections.” This control would extend over states’ election integrity measures like voter ID (even if passed by ballot referenda approved by all of the voters of a state).

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.

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.

California Assembly Set to Outlaw Choice

No, not that one

by baldilocks

Assembly Bill 5 (CA AB5) wasn’t the California Political Left’s first tactic in tightening the noose on the state’s citizens and it isn’t the last one.

This tactic won’t be the last one either: meet Assembly Bill 2070.

Assemblyman Marc Levine has introduced a bill that would require every registered voter in California to cast a ballot in elections beginning in 2022.

“We’re not compelling anyone to vote,” Levine, a Democrat who lives in Marin, said Thursday. “We’re asking them to return the ballots that have been sent to them or come in and cast a ballot. If they don’t want to mark a vote on that ballot, if they’re not informed about a particular issue or campaign, then that’s fine. This only applies to registered voters, people who have expressed an interest in voting. (…)

As drafted in its preliminary form, AB 2070 leaves it up to the California Secretary of State how to enforce the proposed mandate. Levine said he has been contemplating ways to address low voter turnout for five years.

“In 2014, we had ridiculously low voter turnout across the state, including the North Bay, which usually votes in very high levels,” he said. “I’ve been working on this issue since then.” (…)

I’m sure that all Californians are so looking forward to finding out what the enforcement methods are. It is for certain that money will be involved. Those public troughs aren’t going to fill themselves.

“This is extreme government overreach,” [Vice chairman of the Marin Republican Party Tom] Montgomery said. “I’m not worried about more people voting. I’m worried about the government taking our choices away from us. The Democrats place such an emphasis on a woman’s right to kill her unborn child, but they want to take away my choice of whether or not I cast a ballot.”

A few months back, I pointed out that Jungle Primaries have been the law of the land in California since 2010, which has given us all Democrats, all the time. But, considering the voter turnout, few are willing to bother showing up at the polls. In 2022, that will change because …

You, my fellow Californians, will be made to vote for the leftist of your “choice.” In this manner, the California Political Left will be able to claim a mandate for anything it does. Anything.

Here is AB 2070.

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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Hunter Biden May Hold the Fate of the Democratic Party in His Hands

My boss would frown upon publishing any puns I have in mind about the title

by baldilocks

This about more than just a mere deadbeat sperm donor.

The Arkansas woman suing former vice president Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden for child support on Monday accused him of needlessly delaying the trial, according to a new court filing.

Lawyers for Lunden Alexis Roberts are crying foul after Biden declared himself “unable to appear” for a scheduled Tuesday hearing that Biden himself set the date for. The filing asks the court to deny Biden’s motion to reschedule the hearing. (…)

Lawyers for Roberts allege that Biden is avoiding the hearing because he is unwilling to provide financial information for fear it will be made available to the public.

“[Biden] has used his carte blanche need for a protective order as a basis for refusing to disclose basic information about his income or assets,” the filing states. “The defendant has been clear that he will not provide his financial information or basic information about his income until his motion for a protective order is heard by the Court.”

Biden, a former government lobbyist, earned more than $50,000 a month to sit on the board of Ukrainian energy giant Burisma from April 2014 to April 2019. He was also recently revealed to have purchased a home worth $2.5 million in Hollywood Hills, Calif. The Monday filing contends that Biden may have assets in excess of $156 million.

Just what California needs, another rich liberal.

Prediction: Biden will evade this for as long as he can. He has to in order to keep the rickety House of Biden upright.

Prediction 2: if the location and amount of Biden’s money is exposed to the public, it will result in him ending up in jail – and, possibly, his father will have the same destination. And, most certainly, it will end the presidential campaign of Biden the elder.

Prediction 3: moreover, it will take the teeth out of at least one of the articles of impeachment against President Trump. Not that there is any “there” there anyway; let’s not forget about our Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with Ukraine.

Think of it: the fortunes of the Democrat Party may hinge on one man’s years ago failure to use a condom in an indiscreet moment.

How appropriate.

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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Democrat Women Candidates Think Nagging Will Win Them Votes

Good luck with that

by baldilocks

Weaklings.

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar wants you to think her struggles to gain momentum in her presidential bid are due to her sex — and the bias of the American public.

The Democrat took a swipe at fellow White House contender Pete Buttigieg, who leads her, by saying the South Bend mayor likely wouldn’t have garnered the support he has — given his light resume (in her opinion) — if he were a woman. (…)

California Sen. Kamala Harris raised similar claims to explain her single digit showings in the polls, questioning whether Americans are ready to elect a woman as their commander in chief.

“Essentially, is America ready for a woman and a woman of color to be president of the United States?” Harris posited in an Axios interview in late October. (…)

And let’s not forget that Hillary Clinton has spent the years following her loss to Donald Trump trying to blame sexism and other character flaws among Americans for why she isn’t the first female president. Perhaps she’s forgotten she did get 3 million more votes than Trump. But thanks to the Electoral College, Trump outplayed her.

The writer doesn’t mention any complaints from Elizabeth Warren on the topic, and for a good reason; she’s polling right behind the front-runner — Joe Biden — as the potential Democratic Party nominee.

Okay, let’s pretend that America’s goose isn’t cooked if President Trump is removed from office or if he loses the 2020 election. Could you imagine being hectored and scolded for your “sexism” every time someone opposes a distaff President of the United States? I mean, it was bad enough being called racist for opposing the 44th president or for supporting the 45th.

What these women are doing is as old as the oldest profession: turning their deficiencies as candidates into someone else’s fault.

Some advice from the cheap seats: suck less, ladies. Suck it up, drive on, and quit your complaining. After all, your purses are still being filled and that’s something for which to be grateful.

Wait … gratitude? From leftist women? Never mind.

Now. We return you to your regularly scheduled Impeachment Theater, featuring another Democrat woman whining.

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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Feds setting up a massive corruption net in Chicago area

Blogger post-race in McCook, Illinois in June

By John Ruberry

One thing hasn’t changed since the outage here at Da Tech Guy. Corruption in Illinois is rampant.

As I noted in this space, on the third day of 2019, Chicago’s most powerful alderman, Ed Burke, who has been in office for 50 years, was named in a criminal complaint centered on an extortion complaint from a fast food restaurant in his ward. In May, Burke was indicted on 14 corruption charges. Burke’s wife, Anne, sits on the Illinois Supreme Court. More on that later.

Around the time of the Burke indictment, the FBI raided the homes of Michael Zalewski, a former Chicago alderman, Kevin Quinn, the brother of another Chicago alderman, and Mike McClain, a lobbyist. All of them are close allies of Michael Madigan, Illinois House speaker for 34 of the last 36 years and the chairman of the state Democratic Party. Quinn’s brother represents the 13th Ward in Chicago’s City Council, where Madigan serves as Democratic committeeman.

Last Tuesday federal agents raided the suburban Chicago and Springfield offices of state Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Cicero). Half of his district is covered by Madigan’s House district. But the feds weren’t done last week. On Thursday they raided the village halls of McCook and Lyons, which are in Sandoval’s district. An insurance agency owned by the family of the mayor of Lyons was also raided. The mayor of McCook, a Democrat, is also a Cook County commissioner.

Clearly the federal government is on to something in Madigan’s geographic base, the Southwest Side of Chicago and its southwestern suburbs. Of course Madigan’s fierce grip reaches all the way to the Ohio River. However, Phil Turner, a former federal prosecutor, urges caution in jumping to conclusions in linking these raids to Boss Madigan’s activities.

In other Illinois corruption news, in June federal agents raided the ward office of Chicago alderman Carrie Austin. And last month state Sen. Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park), a distant cousin of state Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago), was indicted on embezzlement charges.

Let me get back to Burke, or rather, the alderman’s wife, Anne. Earlier this month Anne was elevated to chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court.

Only in Illinois.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Battles Seen and Unseen

by baldilocks

As has become apparent, the Democratic Party will do anything to keep from losing even after they have already lost.

The latest preventative method: an impeachment probe.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched a formal impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump on Tuesday, acquiescing to mounting pressure from fellow Democrats and plunging a deeply divided nation into an election year clash between Congress and the commander in chief.

The probe centers on whether Trump abused his presidential powers and sought help from a foreign government for his reelection. Pelosi said such actions would mark a “betrayal of his oath of office” and declared: “No one is above the law.”

At issue are Trump’s actions with Ukraine. In a summer phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, he is said to have asked for help investigating Democrat Joe Biden and his son Hunter. In the days before the call, Trump ordered advisers to freeze $400 million in military aid for Ukraine — prompting speculation that he was holding out the money as leverage for information on the Bidens. Trump has denied that charge, but acknowledged he blocked the funds. (…)

Trump advisers say they are confident that an impeachment process led by the opposition party will bolster his political support heading into his reelection campaign.

This morning, before the probe announcement, the president tweeted that he’ll release the transcript of the phone call.

I suspect that this will bite the Democrat Party on the backside. Or probe said backside. The president has a preternatural way of causing his enemies to fall into their own self-dug pits.

Meanwhile, if you want confirmation of the fact that other forces are at work, look no further than President Trump’s words at the UN summit days ago. Look to who he defends.

President Trump told all gathered at this year’s UN Summit:  “Today, with one clear voice, the United States of America calls upon the nations of the world to end religious persecution.”  

“We’re standing up for almost 250 million Christians around the world who are persecuted for their faith.  It is estimated that 11 Christians are killed every day for the following — I mean, just think of this: Eleven Christians a day, for following the teachings of Christ.  Who would even think that’s possible in this day and age?  Who would think it’s possible?”

“The United States is founded on the principle that our rights do not come from government; they come from God, Trump reminded the assembly.   “This immortal truth is proclaimed in our Declaration of Independence and enshrined in the First Amendment to our Constitution’s Bill of Rights.  Our Founders understood that no right is more fundamental to a peaceful, prosperous, and virtuous society than the right to follow one’s religious convictions.

“Regrettably, the religious freedom enjoyed by American citizens is rare in the world.

“Approximately 80 percent of the world’s population live in countries where religious liberty is threatened, restricted, or even banned.  And when I heard that number, I said, ‘Please go back and check it because it can’t possibly be correct.’ And, sadly, it was.  Eighty percent.

“As we speak, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Yazidis, and many other people of faith are being jailed, sanctioned, tortured, and even murdered, often at the hands of their own government, simply for expressing their deeply held religious beliefs.  So hard to believe.”

And there was this on abortion.

The Trump administration Monday declared to U.N member nations that there is no “international right” to abortion, and called on other countries to fight efforts promoting abortions, drawing criticism from reproductive rights groups and other world nations.

President Trump has the unique distinction among pro-life presidents of actually doing something to keep the money of American citizens out of Planned Parenthood’s coffers. So this is more that mere words.

I don’t claim to know anything about the president’s relationship with God. I do know, however, that the president is standing up for most of the things that God cares about and that many of those who seek his removal from office also seek more death. And, just to top things off, they want us to fund the destruction.

So I think that the battle we cannot see is the one that fuels the one we can.

Remember, this isn’t about Donald Trump, it’s about us — the people of the United States.  It’s about what kind of country we want this nation to be.

Next year, we’ll see the results of these battles, both political and spiritual.

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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