Wednesday, December 31, 2008

OP ED: Blago trumps critics with Burris appointment

I am no fan of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (left in target). In making the appointment for the Obama senate seat, however, Blago has proven that his adversaries have a tiger by the tail.

In a demonstration of testicular virility, the Guv has shown his unabated authority to appoint a new senator. In doing so, he selected an African-American with a distinguished public service record unsullied by scandal -- a person of impeccable credentials -- Roland Burris (right)

(You may recall that in my December 15th blog, I suggested that Blago go ahead and appoint a senator -- a person of impeccable reputation --as he is legally authorized to do. I proposed former school board honcho, George Munoz, but Blago was in the same spirit with the Burris appointment.)

Given the failure of the Illinois legislature to pass a special election bill, Blago had every right – maybe duty -- to exercise his authority. Like it or not, he IS the governor. More importantly, he made a good choice.

Allowing the Governor to make the selection means we play by the rules. Though I am sure I would like a more conservative senator, I do not believe in gerry-rigging the rules for contemporary political convenience or advantage. The appointment of Burris is no effrontery to the electorate since they already rejected my opinion and gave the Senate seat to a black liberal Democrat.

In making his move, the Governor has befuddled his critics, however.

He gave the Republicans yet another opportunity to continue there largely irrelevant role as the “nattering nabobs of negativism” as they attempt to smear the reputations of Lt. Governor Patrick Quinn and now Roland Burris. The GOP wants to change the rules in favor of an expensive election only for the slim opportunity that they could somehow overcome their institutional ineptitude and actually win a statewide contest.

The appointment appears to have put Governor-in-Waiting Quinn over the edge. His near hysterical press conference made him look more like a deranged political assassin than the calm and responsible heir apparent. His constant reference to “what the people want” was both gratuitous and unsubstantiated. We govern by rules, not personal opinion.

Furthermore, Quinn’s unqualified assertion that the Governor will be impeached and convicted by mid-February smacks of arrogance and does further disservice to the legislature’s impeachment hearings by undermining any impression of fairness.

So crazed is the Democrat leadership that the otherwise level-headed Secretary of State Jesse White is opting to violate his oath of office, requiring that he uphold the law, by politically refusing to advance the necessary paperwork for the appointment.

The Illinois legislature, having botched a timely bill for a special election and now making the impeachment process look like a kangaroo court, is looking impotent in the face of the Governor’s persistence in acting like he IS the Governor.

Then there is U.S. Senate President Harry Reid, refusing to seat any person appointed by Blago. How dare he! Who is he to say that the people of Illinois are not entitled to representation? Burris should be judged on HIS character and qualifications, not on the ethical lapses of the Governor.

And is Reid prepared to give away the only African-American seat in the entire United States Senate? Where does Obama come down on that one?

All of the aforementioned characters are being stampeded by a major media that is encourage this lynch mob mentality. The once condemned "guilt by association" is now the centerpiece of their campaign against Burris.

Collectively, Blagojevich’s critics have done something virtually impossible. They have set off a wave of public sympathy for the Governor. The Governor has exercised his legal right. Roland Burris is an exemplary choice. We claim that the “rule of law” is pre-eminent. Let’s prove it and send Burris to Washington.

Monday, December 15, 2008

SUGGESTION: Appoint the senator aleady.

For the most part, I tend to support Republican positions on most issues – but by far not all the time. The selection of Senator Replacement to fill the seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama is one of those exceptions.

Oh! I know why the GOP wants a costly election. They have a good chance of winning the seat. That is exactly why the Dems are now against an election. They could lose it. The cost of the election has nothing … nada … to do with the Democrat’s desire to keep it as an appointment.

Now … as a taxpayer, I DO care about the cost of an election. All things being equal, I suppose I would be happy to cough up my money to give the people a choice. However, there are two other things that put me on the side of an appointment.

First, it is the long standing rule that the governor appoints. As much as I personally would like to see a more conservative senator take the seat, I hate when the politicians change the rules to game the system. If it were not for Governor Rod Blagojevich being escorted from his home in handcuffs, there would be no question as to the proper procedure – a gubernatorial appointment.

Now, I know my stand on principle will not get me that conservative senator I desire, but there is another consideration. The voters of Illinois – contrary to my advice – did elect a Democrat, and a liberal one at that. It is not a disservice to the electorate to have the Democrat governor name Democrat colleague – and one who might even do him so political good. (This does not mean I endorse auctioning off the seat for hard cold cash. No. No. No.)

I really do not care if the appointment is made by Governor Slammerbound or Governor-In-Waiting Patrick Quinn, if he should step into Blago’s teeny shoes. In either case, let the merits of the person appointed stand on their own.

And that brings me to one of the Democrats leading loose cannons, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He has announced that no senator appointed by Blago will be seated. To underscore his determination, Reid had 49 of his Democrat colleagues repeat this in an open letter.

How dare Reid! Who in the hell does he think he is to say that the people of Illinois are not entitled to representation unless he personally approves. Anyone appointed to that seat should be judged on HIS or HER character and qualifications, not on the ethical lapses of the Governor.

Frankly, if I were Blagojevich, I would forget about all those conniving to get the appointment and appoint an outstanding individual. Just as an example, what if he appointed former School Board President George Munoz (left) or a person of that caliber?** Would any one dare to say it is a bad appointment? I think not. Would Reid & Co. dare to reject such a distinguished and qualified candidate? On what basis?

Hmmmm. Now that I said it out loud, the Munoz appointment would be outstanding -- and may serve the Governor well in the long run. Naming a Hispanic has not only political pluses, but if he wants to get some friends on an eventual jury, this could do the trick. There will undoubtedly be some Hispanics on the jury. Of course, Governor/jail bird George Ryan tried to influence the jury pool by emptying death row of the mostly black inmates – but it didn’t work. Sure the connection between appointing a Hispanic senator and locking in an acquittal vote in some eventual jury is a very long shot, but given Blago’s situation, long shots are all he has.

At any rate … I think the Governor should shove it down that arrogant Reid’s throat and make the senate appointment ASAP. And if he gets tossed out before he can, then Governor Quinn should make the appointment as his first official act. I am sure both Blago and Quinn have a pretty good idea who they will name by now.

** For those who do not know him … not only was Munoz an outstanding school board president, but he went on to be Assistant Secretary and Chief Financial Officer of the Department of the Treasury and then President and Chief Executive Officer of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. He holds advance degrees in law, public policy and economics.

REACT: Obama's seat up for grabs.

There is no doubt that the stunning arrest and indictment of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has the Democrats reeling. For a moment, they almost forget who they are.

You will recall that in the moments following U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s press conference, donkey party leaders from Chicago, Springfield and the nation’s capital starting calling for a special election to avoid having the ethically compromised governor appoint the successor to the now sacrosanct Barack Obama seat in the U.S. Senate.

Weeeell … it was not long before they recovered enough to realize the shock of their own action. The leaders of the power-at-all-cost party actually proposed that the citizens of the Land of Lincoln be given a choice. This led them to further realize that the power players would lose the chance to hand pick the next senator. No guarantee the people would pick a black person. No guarantee it would be a political insider. No political benefits (and certianly no cash) for the person or persons making the appointment. Oh my God! No guarantee that the next senator would even be … A DEMOCRAT!

Well, as the aftershocks of “stupid governor-gate” diminished, and more traditional thinking was restored, the same Democrat leaders did a quick one-eighty and decided that the new senator should be appointed by the Blagojevich successor – Lt. Governor Patrick Quinn.

Since Quinn’s rise to the governorship is in the hands of the Madigan family – Michael the Impeacher (right, hugging Blago) or Lisa the Litigator (left) – it is reasonable to guess that the price of promotion may be letting the Madigans pick the senator. Maybe cash is no long the quid for the political pro quo in Illinois, but that does not mean that old fashion horse trading is dead.

The Dem new spin is that an election will be costly. True enough, but democracy in Illinois does not come cheap -- whether above board or under the table. And since when has the expense of ANYTHING bothered this tax-and-steal crowd? After all, they are the biggest OPM** abusers of all time – funding their habit out of the public treasury.

I guess there is some perverse comfort in knowing that our elected leaders have returned to some semblance of normalcy. You know … if it walks like a donkey and brays like a donkey, it is still a Democrat.

** Other People’s Money

Thursday, December 11, 2008

OBSERVATION: Global warming cooling off??

Amid all the election news coverage and the unending sagas of political scandals, there has been an unreported story. Seems like the theory of man-made, carbon-caused global warming has been put on the terminally ill list. That’s right. Even as activists and politicians posing as scientists (did the name Al Gore come to mind?) are continuing their increasingly incredible scare tactics, it appears Mother Nature is not being very cooperative. Global thermometers have not risen since 1998. In fact, they have taken a dive in recent years. The earth seems to be cooling down. All over the world cold records are being broken.

Ignoring fact and science, global warming has continued to be a politically popular issue with know-it-all environmentalists and pandering politicians. But now with the worldwide economies cooling down, there is some rethinking goinh on about the climate issue. Most of the nations suffering from the pandemic recession are suddenly of the opinion that reducing man-made carbon emissions will exacerbate the economic crisis. Soooo … for the world leaders, money is now the number one green issue.

The problem is that the scary theories of contemporary scientists sound really well-informed and well-grounded – that is, until they go flatter than the pre-Eratosthenes earth.**

The developing nations, especially China, want the developed nations to fork over hundreds of billions of dollars annually to underwrite their carbon cutting programs. Fat chance of that happening. The industrial nations are back to burning coal and investing in traditional power generation.

To justify all this change of heart, there is now a growing chorus of scientists warning of global cooling – a mini ice age. The are getting the politicians ears these days. We had a similar cooling earth panic in the 1970s. This means that I already have lived through one mini-ice age, global warming and maybe soon another mini ice age. And you wonder why I am cynical when the Chicken Little’s in white lab coats start publishing papers promoting their pet apocalyptic prophesies.

What can you do as an individual to address climate change? Buy a parka.

** I thought you might be wondering. Eratosthenes was a Greek mathematician who proved that the earth was round a couple hundred years before the birth of Christ. For the next two millennia – give or take a couple hundred years -- this fact was kept secret from the peasants of Europe by a powerful cabal of politicians, scientists and church leaders. Sound familiar?

OBSERVATION: Finally an issue worthy of getting behind

When you mix voodoo science with political correctness, you get some really funny stuff. Well … it would be really funny if it did not cost us taxpayer so much money to underwrite the foolishness. I often refer to the extreme environmentalists as being a bit … you know … anal. Little did I know how apt a description that might be.

Case in point.

Seems like our bureaucrats over at the Environmental Protection Agency are prepared to protect us from yet another imagined assault on our air quality. They are attempting to declare the farting of farm animals to be air pollution. (<-- If you want to read that again to see if it said what you think it said, be my guest).

To control the problem, they propose that farmers pay a fee for each cow, for example. (There is always money behind these crazy ideas, isn’t there?) The average dairy farmer could get hit with a $30,000 to $40,000 annual cost – which you would pay as an increase to the price of milk and cheese.

Can you believe that our bureaucrats have actually devised a scheme to tax farts? Can a levee on poop be far behind (no pun intended)?

One wonders where this slippery slope will find its nadir. Sure … the government can impose a “passing gas tax” on farm animals, but what about pets and free-range animals. Will they be allowed to indiscriminately foul our air? Maybe a ten buck tax on every four-legged pet. Five bucks on parakeets if we can prove they fart. As far as free-range animals, I am not sure what can be done. They pay no taxes and have no owners to foot the bill for them. Planned extinction seems to be the only remedy. After all, if they can't be taxed, what good are they?

Then there is the whole human issue. Because of certain legumes and the unique consumption of beer, man is among the more prodigious of the earth’s farters. I suppose we can’t make it outright illegal to fart, but maybe we can allow farting only in designated areas where the noxious expellant can be captured and properly disposed of. In other words, no farting out of doors or in the public commons.

If this seems a bit extreme, keep in mind that we currently do not allow people to go pooping anywhere they please like a bunch of Neanderthals. We have a designated area where "the noxious expellant can be captured and properly disposed of" -- the euphamistically designated "bathroom."

If you are a smoker/farter in this brave new world, I am not sure where you can go. Since farts are technically flammable, one should not fart in the presence of people with lighted matches anyway. I am sure the good people at the EPA will promulgate some regulations on that danger.

To pay for all this, we will need to have a head – or, better said -- a butt tax on every person. Individual public farting could be addressed with civil citations like traffic tickets. Police would be equipped with sniffing machines to nab the sneaky silent farters.

Thinking of the laws that require dog owners to clean up after their pets, can the civic-minded folks take individual responsibility by inhaling their own farts? Hmmm. Bad idea. But … maybe some genius will come up with a personal collection devise – on the principle of the pet poop pick-up products.

There is always the opportunity to reduce the consumption of fart producing foods by aggressive taxation. This would put the price of pinto beans beyond Rusian caviar.

In all likelihood, some of our left-wing city councils will follow the tradition they established for cigarettes and atomic bombs by declaring their communities to be fart-free zones without the foggiest idea of how to implement such a restriction.

On the global level, we might see the creation of fart credits. Nations with high fart producing diets would have to purchase fart credits from starving nations. While this might be a hardship on the Hispanic world and parts of Asia – not to mention the American fast-food industry -- it would help the undeveloped and under nourished nations of central Africa get more money for their leaders to embezzle.

This could be the next major scientific panic-the-public project – “global browning,” if you will.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I am sure resting easier knowing there are people in Washington protecting my a__ … uh ... protecting me FROM my ass. And, I applaud these dedicated environmentalists who have made their personal contribution to finding a solution to the threat of anal asphyxiation by inserting their heads up theirs.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

OBSERVATION: Smiling all the way to the White House

As a long time political consultant and advisor (no, I was not the guy how suggested that Lincoln take an evening off and go to the theater), I have come to the conclusion that one of the most important factors in a successful candidacy is rarely analyzed in the post-election punditry. Sure, we get all kinds of thoughtful opinions on issues and strategies, but not much on one of the biggest factors -- likeability. Yeah. Likeability. Frankly, I think it is more important than issues and strategies -- although they play a role.

We often use the word "like" when we mean prefer. I preferred John McCain, but Icannot say I liked him. In fact, I did not like him very much at all from the first time I met him privately in person.

Does anyone doubt that Barack Obama was more likeable than the strident and intense Hillary Clinton or the grumpy and testy McCain. You can disagree with Obama on issues, and even wonder about his dubious past associations, but it is damn near impossible not to like him. It also extends to his family. They look like a magazine advertisement for Better Homes and Gardens.

One of the reasons Obama could score high on the likeability scale is that he is a non-scary black guy. This is the reason those other black presidential candidates -- Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Shirley Chisholm -- did not fare so well. Can you imagine ... President Jesse Jackson? It would be a cross between Halloween and April Fool's Day.

Then there is that smile. Obama has the best presidential smile since Dwight Eisenhower – who was so likeable that his campaign slogan was simply "I like Ike." Ike was the first president to make the smile a political asset. Most of his predecessors posed for portraits or photographs with haughty seriousness. I mean ... have you ever seen a smile on Thomas Jefferson or a clear look at George Washington's fabled wooden teeth? I recall a photo of Abraham Lincoln with a slight grin, and Franklin Roosevelt sometimes held his fancy cigarette holder clenched between his upturned lips, but grins don't count. You have to show teeth.

If you project the likeability factor across the political spectrum, you can see why the GOP took a drubbing. Can you name the Republicans who are just plain likeable? Oh sure, Ronald Reagan, but he's dead. (But can you ever forget that smile?) Issues/shmissues. If the GOP hopes to do better next time, they need to find likeable candidates with big ear-to-ear smiles.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

OPINION: Conservatism never made it past the primaries.

In the musical 1776, there is a scene in which John Adams, frustrated by seeming lack of support for his independence proposals, enters the empty assembly chamber and sings his lament with these opening lines.

Is anybody there?
Does anybody care?
Does anybody see what I see?

He then continues to sing of his vision of a free America.

Those of you who believe in the basic conservative values, and who have looked to the Republican Party to represent your cause, must share the feelings of John Adams at this moment. I sure do.

The GOP leadership abandoned our values for a cheap imitation of the Democrat big government agenda. Instead if offering an alternative to the historically oppressive and failed policies of statism, the party of Lincoln and Reagan has offered up an inferior brand. Lyndon Johnson's butter and guns policy that ravaged our economy for a score of years was revisited with avengence in the Bush adminsitration -- running the national debt through the stratosphere. The appitite of Republican legislators for earmarked pork was on par with any liberal Democrat. Under the weight of reckless greed, the economy tanked. The conservative standard bearers all fell in the primaries -- essentially removing the conservative agenda from the general election. Yes! McCain was too much like a Bush third term.

In this campaign season, the Democrats offered the people a better life, and the hope of a rescue from the ravages of an economy mismanaged by the Republicans’ abandonment of conservative monetary and fiscal policies. The fact that the Democrats were only offering a stronger dose of the same toxic snake oil did not matter. I looked like change … and gave hope. They offered something. The Republicans offered nothing.

In times of fear, it is not uncommon for people to surrender freedom for a sense of security, false as it maybe. We have seen this in times of war -- Lincoln suspends habeas corpus, Roosevelt inters innocent Japanese-Americans and Bush signs the falsely named Patriot Act. This is equally true in times of economic fear. Against every warning and admonition of the Founding Fathers, we entrust government to take care of us.

With the Democrats in full control of our national government, we can expect to see the creeping plague of socialism spreading further in the body politic. Even before the election, and with the compliance of thoughtless Republican leadership, we have seen the banks partially nationalized. Almost a trillion taxpayer dollars appropriated to take control of the national economic tiller from the steady hand of the free market – ergo the people – in favor of the oppressive hand of a government cabal.

In this election, the Democrats claimed the credit for rescuing the people from a burning house, never to reveal that they were the arsonists who set the blaze originally. The witless Republicans willingly provided some of the fuel in a moment of irrationality.

In listening to the excuses and rationalizations of so many GOP leaders, one has to conclude that nothing has been learned. Some see resurrection through the same failed policies of the past. Many call on the party to be even more like the Democrats, and further abandon the conservative principles. For their own self interest, they arrogantly point the finger of blame at those of us who prefer an alternative to the Democrats’ liberal tax, spend and control policies – not the poor quality imitation.

Conservatism did not fail in this election because it was never on the ballot. What failed was mock liberalism offered up by a second rate party with a philosophically corrupted leadership. The old guard has become the very old guard.

Conservatives lack an effective political vehicle to offer the alternative to liberal Democrat “big brother” government. We must either take over the Republican Party or find a new platform … a new party. One of the other – but not the divisiveness of trying to do both.

I think the party of Lincoln and Reagan is the best means for many reasons, but we cannot allow the America of John Adams to be lost by the additional incompetence of even conservative leaders and believers. If we blame the Republican leaders for discarding our conservative values and policies, and surrending the election to the Democrats, then we must look at the failure of the conservative leaders within the party to keep the GOP agenda on the right rightward course.

Newt Gingrich mobilized a nation behind a positive conservative platform in his "Contract with America." Ronald Reagan was super salesman of conservaitve ideology. Where are those kind of leaders now? Perhaps it is good that the current GOP establishment has been decimated by the Democrat sweep. There now is a vacuum. It will be filled by either the clones of the vanquished Republican establishment, or the political descendents of John Adams and Ronald Reagan. The future of America rests in the balance.

I wonder … does any one see what I see?

Saturday, November 08, 2008

OBSERVATION: Looking forward to the Chicago Olympics

Not considering the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States, I felt pretty safe in predicting early on that Chicago will not get awarded the 2016 Olympics. My! My! How things can change.

If President Obama puts in a major effort, as he said he would and I have no doubt he will, then the odds change dramatically. When this decision is made next year, Obama will be at the peak of popularity as an international leader and personality. Other heads-of-state, who would have no reason to support the American bid under war-monger Bush or his look-alike successor, can be persuaded to gain points with the new leader of the free world by supporting the Olympic bid through their representative on the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

With ties to Africa, Asia and the Middle East, Obama is arguably the most international President we have since our English-bred founders. Most certainly, a number of national representatives on the liberal leaning IOC will find it appealing to indirectly endorse the election of America’s first African-American (with an Arabic name, no less) to hold the Oval Office. The OIC will like the image of President Barack Obama cutting the ribbon at the opening ceremonies.

Obama helps the Chicago bid in other ways. Chicago’s shortcomings in infrastructure will be quickly corrected by an infusion of federal dollars. If Obama removes U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, the rising tide of indictments would likely crest before reaching the fifth floor of City Hall. Political leadership in Chicago will again be “stable.”

While any President may want the Olympics, Obama has the strongest motivation to put this higher up on his priority list. No only will he be lobbying on behalf of his country, but for the benefit of his home town – and the political machine that got him where he is today.

Another Obama advantage is taming the civic wolves. A lot of civic organizations, largely minority groups led by local community organizers, have already fired warnings across the bow of the local Olympic support committee. Civil unrest is never attractive to the IOC. Once their beloved Obama endorses the plan, these voices of opposition will fall silent.

From no chance, Obama, in my view, has transformed Chicago into the city to beat for the Olympics.

OBSERVATION: How to spell Obama? D-A-V-I-D- A-X-E-L-R-O-D

When looking at the making of the president 2008, the most important single factor has been largely overlooked or under appreciated by the press. David Axelrod.

Sure, he has appeared on a few interview programs and taken the podium at some press conferences, but for a guy in his position, he has maintained a surprisingly low profile -- at least before Election Day. That is the Axelrod style.

As political consultants in the same Chicago political arena for many years, but on opposite ends of the political spectrum, I have had modest association with him on various campaign trials. I have known him, and of him, since he was a reporter. We have been counterpoints on any number of talk shows. Can’t say I know him well personally, but I do know him professionally.

David is probably the most determined and aggressive political guru in America, but he has almost no desire to be a celebrity in his own right. He keeps his total focus on his clients, and he has impressive ones – Mayor Daley, Bill Clinton and a number of leading Democrat candidates across the country. He does not confuse celebrity with success, as many political advisors do.

I would argue against anyone who says that Barack Obama could have made it to the White House without David. Frankly, without David, I think Obama would still be a community-based activist. Don’t get me wrong. Obama is brilliant, articulate and ambitious, and he brings a lot of natural candidate talent to the table -- but so do a lot of other people.

Obama is a great raw product, but with many distasteful features. David is the genius who could not only package and sell Obama by highlighting and playing on his strong points, but who to make the other products unpalatable by comparison.

I never thought Obama could make it to the White House without a major crises and an inept opponent (and he got both). He has run for office four times. With more ambition than brains, he took on Chicago Congressman Bobby Rush in a Democrat primary. He didn’t win against this seasoned and savvy opponent, but he did get noticed. Lowering his sights, Obama went for the Illinois State Senate. Rather than risk a competent opponent, Obama, with the help of the fabled Chicago Democrat machine, used aggressive technical challenges -- and the cooperation of machine election officials -- to remove all his opponents form the ballot -- including the incumbent. He ran unopposed.

His jump to the U.S. Senate was a bold endeavor for a neophyte state legislator. Again, it was ambition over brains, but this time he got lucky. He signed up David Axelrod. Then he got even luckier. The hapless Illinois GOP first floundered with millionaire businessman Jack Ryan, a worthy opponent until it was revealed that he and his movie star wife (Jeri Ryan) had visited sex clubs in New York and Paris.

The Republicans, in an effort to advance their reputation as the stupid party, imported conservative gadfly Alan Keyes, a kooky black perennial presidential candidate. After only a couple undistinguished years in the Senate, Obama succumbed to the siren call of the presidency. Again it as a precocious move – challenging the all but certain nomination of Hillary Clinton. This time Obama was facing real competition, but he got lucky again. The Early primaries featured a bunch of moderate white candidates to divide up the vote – leaving Obama with a unified black/progressive core.

Once he secured the nomination, he was just another unelectable Democrat … unless … unless there was some seismic political event or the GOP opponent screwed up. Again, he was lucky. Instead of “or,” Obama got “and.” The economy tanked at just the right time – as the Republicans were experiencing the beginning of a post-election surge. AND … the Republicans offered up maverick John McCain, who proceeded to run one of the worse campaigns in American history.

But, what about David Axelrod?

NONE of this would have gotten Obama elected had it not been for the genius of Axelrod. Conversely, I am convinced David would have guided Clinton to the Oval Office had he accepted her invitation to be part of the Clinton team, as he was in the past.

No defection cost Clinton more than David Axelrod. David IS strategy. You hire him, you get the Axelrod method -- and a winning one it is. The Clinton campaign should have made him an offer he could not refuse. The decision to let him go doomed her candidacy, as it turned out.

David never believed in the conventional political wisdom that you do not respond to negative attacks. In fact, David takes the position that no attack, no matter how seemingly insignificant, should go unchallenged. Without this aggressive and effective strategy of refutation, Obama’s candidacy would have sunk early on under the weight of mini-scandals, questionable associations, a cloudy, if not shady, past and a political philosophy far too liberal for mainstream America.

Rather than allow his past to be discovered by others, like his one time opponent, Jack Ryan, Obama laid out most of it in his books. As the political jargon goes, he “inoculated” against criticism. This is classic Axelrod.

David knew that to become the President, Obama had to look and sound presidential. Orating like Jesse Jackson was a kiss of death. Obama's Harvard education and artidulation were natural tools. David created and controlled the visual and verbal imagery. He treated Obama like an actor, and he, David, would show him how to play the part of President of the United States. The clothes, the staging, the photos, the gestures, the oratory. All very carefully crafted and scripted.
Just as important as David’s craftsmanship was Obama’s willingness to stick to the script. He played the part to perfection. In an amazing turn-about, the first black candidate for the presidency actually looked, acted and sounded more presidential than the classic gray-haired white guy.

More than any consultant I know, David understands the issue of credibility. Having taught college-level course in credibility, and having invented a credibility management concept, I have always been in awe of David. He never took one of my courses, but he is a natural. He knows, that if you destroy an opponents credibility, there is nothing they can say or do to convince the public of anything.

If you look at the Obama campaign through the credibility lens, you can see how the campaign used every possible technique to strip first Hillary Clinton, then McCain, and finally the whole Republican Party, or their credibility. Every time McCain changed his mind, or said something that seemed at odds with an earlier statement, the Obama campaign trumpeted it. These “inconsistencies” were then elevated to lies. McCain lies. Palin lies. Bush lies. Lies. Lies. Lies. Republican = lies.

The success of this strategy was even more impressive since McCain came into this campaign aboard the “straight talk express.” HE was the straight talker. HE was the man good as his word. HE was the tell-it-like-it-is guy. Thanks to Axelrod, the straight talk express got derailed, and McCain limped into town with the reputation of a snake oil salesman -- or more specifically, the third term of the unpopular George Bush. With the very credibility of the Repbulican brand damaged, Obama's every word became gospel and McCain could say nothing believeable to the electorate.

David also has a great talent for generating discipline. Rarely will one see a campaign were the entire team worked so well together. Through his own example, David was able to get the team to set aside the usual political differences and prima donna attitudes and focus on two things -- candidate and message.

Wherever Axelrod lands in the coming months – White House aide, outside consultant – he will play a major role in guiding the entire Democrat ship as its guru-in-chief. He will be the strategy connection between his President, the Democrat National Committee, and the Senate and house campaign committees. He will be issuing the guidelines to the state parties and candidates. David could well be the most powerful political figure in America next to President Obama. He is the personification of the Chicago machine coming to Washington. He is Karl Rove on steroids.

Just you watch.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

REACT: Rahm Emanuel -- Beware of dog.

Like all presidential candidates, President-elect Barack Obama promised to reach out to the opposition as a bipartisan leader. Well ... his first appointment undermines any hope of that being the case. In picking Rahm Emanuel as his chief-of-staff, Obama has given the second most powerful post in Washington to a strident, brittle take-no-prisoners partisan Democrat. In canine terms, Emanuel has been described as a junk yard dog and a pit bull on steroids. The "yellow dog" Republicans and the "blue dog" Democrats will find themselves facing a fang-bearing "mad dog." With David Axelrod already in the inner inner circle, the appointment of Emanuel will assure America an adminsitration run right out of the hard line Chicago machine play book. (See blog: The Chicago-izing of America).

Some good news ... maybe? The same dogged deterimnation that will give the GOP fits in Washington, will also be felt by world leaders -- which could benefit the United States on the international stage.

More good news? For those who feared (me included) that an Obama administration would tilt more toward the Arab positions in the Middle East, take heart. With a Jewish chief-of-staff (especially this one), and possibly Penny Pritzker in the Cabinet, Obama will have the interests of Israel well represented.

AFTERMATH: Please pass the crow.

I spent the better part of a year explaining why Barack Obama was unelectable. I made my prediction despite my longstanding belief that John McCain was the least electable Republican candidate (see blog: Is McCain able?). In terms of Obama, boy, was I wrong. Well ... only partially. I quote from my blog of February 20, 2008:

Okay, I will risk being made the fool. I don’t think Barack Obama can win a general election, short of some catastrophic political event or campaign stupidity that would wipe out McCain. (Hmmm! Perhaps I should not be so bold in my prediction)

Well, Obama was the benefactor of BOTH a "catastrophic political event" and "campaign stupidity" by McCain.

As soon as the economic meltdown reached atomic levels, I surrendered to the notion that Obama was electable (see blog: President Obama? Arrrrrrgh!). In terms of "campaign stupidity," the list of examples is far too long to delineate here -- but you do not have to go much past Sarah Palin to identify self-inflicted mortal political wounds. Yes, Sarah got roughed up by a very biased press, but that still leaves a lot of room for justifiable criticism.

Given the closeness of the popular vote, I stand by my original analysis that Obama could not have been elected without both of the aforementioned conditions. Even the pollsters say the rush to Obama came at the time of the bailout. Oh yeah! The bailout. Major stupidity number two for McCain.

Having made my excuses, I will now admit that the scope of Obama’s victory was impressive. Even before the polls closed on the west coast, he was already the winner. Since I preferred his opponent without much enthusiasm, I am not overly chagrined by Obama's victory.

Outside of the black vote, it was pleasant to see that America is not nearly as racially prejudiced as those politically correct liberals like to contend.

Bottom line ... Obama won ... and I get a serving of humble pie a la crow.

OBSERVATION: Lucky Joe Lieberman.

Seems like most pundits and politicos have placed Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman in the loser column after he jumped party to support his Republican friend and colleague John McCain for President. Not so fast. Methinks we might want to nickname him "Lucky Lieberman."

Though he is officially an Independent, he was part of the Democrat caucus, from whence he derives his seniority and committee assignments. There were a lot of Capitol Hill donkeys braying for his ouster. However, the Dems only had a one vote majority in the Senate, so they tolerated old Joe, and let him have his chairmanships according to his seniority.

You recall ... the reason Joe is an Independent is that the Dems dumped him in their 2006 primary election, only to have him return to the ballot on his own and trounce the anointed candidate.
With the coming of the new and bigger Dem majority, the knives were out again. This was to be their one chance to punish and ostracize the renegade.

Well ... not so fast, again. With the Dems approaching a veto-proof Senate, old Joe's vote could be critical. So, do the Senate jackasses throw him overboard and give more power to the Republicans to stop legislation by filibuster? Or, do they hold their noses, swallow their pride, bite the bullet -- and whatever else they need do -- and let the errant senator keep his seniority and chairmanships?

What to do? What go do?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

MORE TIDBITS: A surprisingly tranquil election night.

1. Barack Obama ran one of best presidential campaigns in American History. The strategy was brilliant, the tactics uniformly effective, and the implementation flawless. Conversely, John McCain ran one of the worst campaigns in modern times.

2. The late New York Senator Patrick Moynihan once advised President Richard Nixon: “If you are going to act like a Tory, speak like a Whig, and if you are going to act like a Whig, speak like a Tory.” Obama understands this concept. The Dems stole the rhetoric of the right. Middle class values. Tax cuts for most Americans. A call for individual contribution. Coming to the campaign as the most liberal senator in Washington, Obama gave speeches that could have comfortably flowed from the lips of Ronald Reagan.

3. Despite the historic breakthrough, the heated rhetoric of the campaign, and the paranoia about vote fraud, election night was remarkably devoid of controversies. It was a BIG election, with highly volatile issues, but even the television talking heads noted the absence of any vote stealing or major “machine malfunction” stories to report. By 9:00 p.m. eastern time, the nation had a President-elect. There was a gracious concession speech and an inspirational acceptance speech.

4. In a previous blog is predicted that the pollsters would be wrong as usual. Gallup gave Obama a ten point lead. The results were way outside their margin of error. And those who now claim to be correct chose a more conservative spread with Obama on top. Of course, given the margins of error, their accuracy was no better than an educated guess.

5. It is amazing how quickly the Republican Party of Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich – the party of values, ideas and issues – has descended into a party of greed, incompetency and divisiveness.

6. In his concession speech, McCain said the GOP's poor showing was his fault. His hometown crowd considerately shouted their disagreement with that assessment. However ... he was right. It was his to lose, and he did. His sinking coatails dragged down the Repbublican brand all over America.

7. For a lot of reasons, right and wrong, Sarah Palin did not sell well to the voting public -- including a lot of conservative Republicans. The wise guys in the GOP as saying she is the future of the party, and the heir to the presidential nomination in 2012. Apparently the Repbulican wise guys have learned nothing. Why not Dick Cheney, while they're at it?

TIDBIT: Separation of church and state?

I couldn't help but notice that a lot of polling places are in churches. How does this square with the separation of chruch and state?

Now, don't get me wrong. Personally, I have no problem with voting in a church. I think a lot of the church/state separation stuff is nothing more than political correctness garbage.

The founders never intended religion to be banished from the public commons. They were only concerned that no one religion should become official or sanctioned.

It is just that I got a kick out of the attached photo. With the new touch-screen voting machines, the message is ironcally apt. Gads! I hope this was not a special message to pedophile priests. (Shame on me for even joking about that. Tee hee!)

REACT: Only in America ...

There are a number of interesting things to analyze in the amazing path of Barack Obama from community organizer in Chicago to President of the United States. In the days to come, I will reflect on some of these. For the moment, however, the bell has rung on the final round of the 2008 presidential bout -- and we the people have scored the victory for Obama. Maybe a split decision, but no lingering doubts. Like it or not, he is our president.

On election night, the candidates respectively gave the best concession speech and acceptance speech in my memory. Had John McCain been able to articulate himself so eloquently during the campaign, he might have been more successful. If Obama lives up to the spirit of his speech, his place in history could be more than breaking the color barrier. He has the potential for true greatness.

In the months to come, the world will witness the high point of democracy as political adversaries undertake a peaceful and cordial transition of power from one party to another. More than just a change of political party, Obama led a peaceful revolution in the tradition of Reagan, Roosevelt and Lincoln.

At the core of our continuing experiment in democracy is our bipartisan efforts to make the Obama administration a success -- both by supporting its good works and opposing its mistakes. We will not all see those from the same perspective, but in a democracy, the majority is usually right.

If we cannot celebrate the victory of our candidate, we can still celebrate our system of government. So, before I go to bed on this election night, I say congratulations to President-elect Barack Obama ... and may God bless him ... and this great country.

Monday, November 03, 2008

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY!

On the eve of every election, I remind myself of one of my adages ... you know ... the things you learn on the road of life. So ... allow me to pass this thought along to you.

If my side wins, it will not be as good as I hope, and if the other side wins, it will not be as bad as I fear.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

TIDBITS: What do the polls really show?

1. If you believe in polls, the latest news from Michigan is that Barack Obama is ahead of John McCain by 53 to 37. So sayeth the Detroit Free Press/WDIV-TV poll. The so-called "margin of error" is plus or minus 4 percent. The poll shows non-blacks dividing evenly and all blacks voting for Obama (except a few undecideds). Yep! According to the poll, no black voter is casting a ballot for John McCain ... not one in the whole state of Michigan. If there is any validity to this poll ... and I would give it precious little ... you can draw one conclusion. Blacks are a lot more racist than non-blacks.

2. This bring up another point. Almost all national discussion on the Bradley Effect centers on non-blacks lying to pollsters because they don't want to sound like racists if they vote for McCain. Up until now, it has been a black and white issue. However, this year we have a new wrinkle. Little has been said about the awesome intimidation of black voters who prefer McCain. The Michigan polling shows the black side of the Bradley Effect very clearly. McCain will get black votes from those who are pro-life, pro-gun ownership. Affluent blacks have the same concerns as affluent non-blacks over taxation. If the poll shows McCain at zero, some people are lying -- and you will see it on Election Day.

3. Gallup just released a poll (Sunday evening) that gives Obama a ten point lead, 52 t0 42. Just four days earlier, Gallup called the race for Obama 49 to 47. This latest would mean that at least 5 percent of those who were voting for McCain a couple days ago changed their minds. I say "at least 5 percent" since it is likely higher to offset some undecideds who have decided for McCain in the meantime. Gallup can call it a shift, but basically, one of these polls is just ... wrong. Maybe both. We'll find out in a couple days.

4. About the same time Gallup was showing Obama breaking away in a romp, the poll that claims to have been the most accurate in 2004, the IBD/TIPP poll, claims the race is closing in with Obama's lead shrinking to 46.7 to 44.6. While Gallup has the undecideds stampeding to Obama, IBD/TIPP has them flowing to McCain. If they are right, the 8.7 percent undecides will put McCain over the top. Stay tuned.

5. They say that there maybe be around 130 million voters this election. The typlical poll registers the opinion of between 600 and 1000 of them. Using the higher figure, this means that each person being polled stands for 130,000 voters. So, when I fib and say I am voting for Obama, but I actually go in and vote for McCain, my impact on the election is a 260,000 vote difference --- the 130,000 I take away from Obama and the 130,000 I add to McCain. (If I use the 600 sampling, the impact is more than 430,0000 vote difference.) If you have a 5 percent error in the sample population (including fibbers, like me), the projected error is between 13 and 22.5 million votes.

6. Wonder why pollsters usually say an election is closing in at the end? Because you can't be wrong in predicting a close election. If you give both Obama and McCain 50 percent, with a margin of error of 4 percent, the election can go to 54 percent to 46 percent either way and the pollster will pat himself on the back for an accurate prediction. And how many presidential elections are outside the 54 to 46 range? Damn few.

So ... you can see why I think polls are a bunch of hogwash.

REACT: Jesus Chirst! It's Halloween.

Halloween has brought out another example of officials of the education industry out of control. Seems like 13-year-old Alex Woinski, of Paramus, New Jersey, attended his school’s Halloween dress-up day as the original Barack Obama -- otherwise known as Jesus. Alex, whose mother is Catholic and father is Jewish, took advantage of his naturally long hair to work up a pretty credible Christ (right).

The principal of his West Brook Middle School, Joan Broe, ignored the usual collections of witches, Draculas, Batmans, and Jokers to persecute little Jesus by sending the lad home. She said the costume offended some of the other students – the number one bogus excuse for the political correctness Gestapo. You can see from the costume, young Alex was not mocking Christ or portraying him in any way that could be construed as offensive.

I once held a Halloween party where I dressed like the Pope. No one got offended except by my lame jokes … “What you like to drink? Popes Blue Ribbon.” Or “Excuse me … need to go to the bathroom and turn some wine into water.”

But I digress …

I hope Alex will bring down a plague of locusts on Ms. Broe’s organic garden. I bet she has one. To Principal Broe, I say “pox (not pax) on you.”

OBSERVATION: The polls are wrong ... as usual.

We soon will have completed voting for the 2008 Presidential Election. There is a reasonable chance that we will know who the next President of the United States will be sometime on Wednesday. There is also a chance we may be in a prolonged 2000-like ballot counting tug-o-war right up to the time the Electoral College convenes to settle the matter to the satisfaction of the law, if not the satisfaction of the voters – at least half of them. We are, after all, a “house divided.”

As I write this, a flurry of pollsters are attempting to justify their existence by predicting the outcome.

Before we address the current numbers, there is something you should know about polls. They are all bullsh*t. Yep! They are about as accurate and scientific as newspaper horoscopes. If you think I am being too harsh, ask your self these questions.

Why do different polls taken at the same time get such widely different results? Where is the “science” in that?
Why are the results of an election often outside the “margin of error.” That should be impossible. Obviously, the margin of error is as bogus as the poll itself.

You also have to keep in mind the tricks pollsters use to allow them to claim legitimacy.
First, there is the margin of error, itself. If you have a poll showing the candidates at 52 and 48 percent respectively, with a margin of error of 4 percent, the pollster can claim accuracy if the race is 56 to 44 – or even 48 to 52 with the “other” candidate winning. Even I can predict elections within that range without getting anyone else’s opinion.

You don’t believe me? Okay. I think John McCain will win 49 to 48 with 3 percent going to other candidates. My margin of error is 4 percent. So, if McCain wins 53 to 44, I’m right. If Obama wins 52 to 45, I’m right. Check back with me on Wednesday.

Also, pollsters often claim to have missed the mark due to a major last minute change of heart by the voters. Now … ask yourself: How many people do you know who change their mind the last weekend before an election? I have been involved in elections for more than 40 years, and I find very few undecideds in the last month. Rather than say their last poll was WRONG, pollsters invent this fake phenomenon of last minute voter switches.

You see, pollsters always claim their polls are right at the time they are taken. They can do this because they are comparing them to an unknown – the REAL sentiment of the electorate.

Another trick is the “undecides.” Now place close attention. After the election, the pollsters will say that most of the “undecideds” broke for McCain. They almost always break for the Republican. You know why? Because the polls are almost always erroneously biased in favor of the Democrats. So to explain the wrong prediction, the pollsters say that the “undecideds” all went to the GOP. Again, based on my experience, there are very few “undecideds” at this stage. Those who say they are, are lying. They may tell the pollster they are undecided, but they know damn well who they are voting for. Hmmm. Maybe more Bradley Effect.

To more fully appreciate the uselessness of voting surveys, take a look at the exit polls. There are no undecideds in exit polls. If there is any validity to the “science” of polling, then these should be spot-on predictors. But noooooo! Based on exit polls, the media gave the 2004 election to Democrat John Kerry in their rush-to-judgment early reports. When the votes were counted, George Bush won by a wide margin. Even in exit polls, the science is flawed and the public fibs. I mean ... if you decided to lie about who you are going to vote for, why would you 'fess up who you did vote for?

(Die hard liberals like to say that the 2004 election was stolen, but there is no evidence that GOP shenanigans tipped the scale – and of course, they overlook the counterbalancing Democrat shenanigans. Yeah folks, the Dems are gold medalists when it comes to stealing votes. I come from Chicago, the Harvard of vote fraud.)

Now that we know opinion polls are nothing more than semi-educated manipulated guesses, let’s take a look at this year’s offerings. Since even a good guess requires reliance on past experience, we can conclude that the polls will be based on more b-s this year than usual.

There is no history to draw upon. We have never had a black candidate, a woman candidate, the oldest candidate. Never before has one candidate had such enormous financial resources. The economy has tanked. Though biased, the media has never been so determined to influence the outcome. Can they? These issues cut in all directions.

At this moment, the pollsters mostly give the election to Barack Obama. This has led liberal Democrat pundits and partisans to express optimism to the point of anticipating a blowout or landslide. Methinks this is not sound thinking.

There are some things that may not have changed in this historic year. Polls are almost always wrong, and the GOP almost always does better with the voters than the pollsters. Since polling bias is driven by media bias (the pollsters’ clients), and since the media bias is particularly acute this year, the polls maybe be much to generous to Obama than even past Democrat candidates.. If this is still the case, then this election is very close indeed. It is also true that black candidates poll better than their final vote totals – that old Bradley Effect. Will this again be the case?

The great assumption in this election is that a huge turn out the voters clamoring for Obama's promise of change. The campaign and its supporters have so idolized the candidate, that they project their rabid enthusiasm on the general public. They also site some early election exit polling as evidence of this trend – not appreciating that those lying to the pollsters last week will lie on their way out of the polling booth.

I expect there to be a Bradley Effect in this election, and it may become quite significant. I say this because the media has so glamorized Obama, and demonized John McCain, that a lot of people don’t want to wear their vote on their sleeve. Right or wrong, people worry about there cars being vandalized or windows broken for supporting such a seemingly unpopular candidate as McCain.

Hey! I’m one of them. I usually put on a bumper sticker and display a window sign for my candidate, but this year I don’t feel comfortable doing that. Keep in mind, I live in Illinois. If a pollster calls me, I will say I am voting for Obama just because I think undermining the pollsters is a patriotic duty. Now I figure, if I am doing that, there are probably a lot more like me out there. Conversely, there is little reason or evidence to suggest that Obama voters are lying to pollsters.

I recently attended a Chicago Democrat fundraiser. Sure … the speakers spoke well of Obama, but the more intimate chat around the room revealed a surprising number of white Democrats – even some office holders – who were not voting for their “favorite son.” You can bet this folks would be lying to pollsters for sure.

So … what does all this mean? For me, it means that the polls are untrustworthy in general, and more so this year. It is impossible to know who is winning this race at this moment … and I would not completely rule out a McCain/Palin victory. The theory right now is that McCain needs to win all the so-called “battleground states.” But, what if one or two of those perceived solid blue states, like Wisconsin, New Jersey, New Mexico, etc., comes in red? Remember, they are only solid blue becasue the pollsters say so.
Always remember what it is called when a pollster is right. Luck.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

OBSERVATION: Obama's Jewish problem

Obama has a Jewish problem. They are not voting for the Democrat candidate in traditional numbers. Some say it is this Muslim myth. Well ... get real. Barack Obama NOT a Muslim. However, that silly debate takes away from a more serious issue. Okay, Obama may not be a face-the-East, pork rejecting, dress like and actor in a biblical movie Muslim but he IS the most pro Arab candidate for President since the creation of Israel.

Though he pays lip service to a strong and secure Jewish state as a political necessity, and has notable Jewish personalities on his team (including key members the powerful Pritzker family), there is not doubt that Obama is more comfortable with and appreciating of the Arab ambitions in the Middle East.

His popularity in the Arab world is not without justification. From his earliest days, he was surrounded by Muslim influences. He was raised in a Muslim environment. He have visited the Arab enclaves, and conferred with its leaders. He has given encouragement to Arab causes. What little record he has created in his remarkably undocumented life shows his sympathy of Arab aspirations.

His maladroit offer to sit down with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (right) was indicative of Obama's own belief that he can be a persuasive "friend" to achieve concessions. Of more concern to Jewish-Americans are the concessions Obama is willing to make for "peace in our time."

Next to African-Americans**, Arab-Americans support Obama in the highest percentages. World Arab leaders have expressed their hope in an Obama victory -- even the Arab terrorist factions. Arab money, both domestic and international, legal and illegal, have flowed into the Obama coffers. In this day of world communication, Middle East phone banks have barraged U.S. Arabs with get-out-the-vote calls.

While Obama says he would defend Israel from an unlikely Arab invasion or all-out attack, it is his view on the source of the problems and the complex negotiations required to bring about evenutal peace in the region that is most relevant. Most alarming to the Jewish community is the almost certainty that Obama will change the long-standing American view that
Arab terrorism is the primary problem, with Israel as the victim. Obama's pre-campaign views are more sympathetic to the hopes and apirations of the

All this has led to an understandable anxiety and concern on the part of American Jews -- especially those with deeper emotional commitments to the preservation and security of Israel.

**Whether it is because they share the African continent or due to historic prejdices against Jewish merchants in the inner cities, or both, African-American leaders have been among the most consistent ethnic groups in supporte of Arab positions. If not anti-Semitism, there is certainly a pro-Arab bias in the black culture. This was reflected in Jesse Jackson's derogatory reference to New York City as "Hymietown."

OBSERVATION: Black churches ... for the love of God.

As a one-time media advisor to the late Mayor Gene Sawyer and as a lover of Gospel music, I volunteered for a duty that others avoided. Sunday after Sunday, I joined the late Mayor in visiting black churches -- hitting at least half dozen churches each Sabbath.

In the years since, I have occasionally attended African-American services with friends or been a visiting speaker. More often than not, my wife and young son would join me as the only white church mice to be found among the congregation.

When I traveled with Sawyer, I usually tried to stay inconspicuously in the rear of the church. I say “tried” because many times I was singled out by the preacher and invited to come to the alter to receive a “special” blessing. This usually was about the time for the offertory. I learned to come prepared with a dozen ten dollar bills to drop into the various collection plates.

In one case, my stash proved insufficient. As soon as I dropped a ten dollar donation into the basket, the pastor peered longingly over his glasses into my wallet. With each new Hamilton dropped into the basket I got a hardier “thank you, brother” until he was satisfied that I had tithed appropriately – at about the fifty dollar mark, as I recall.

These experiences in dozens of black churches cause me to now wonder. Were did the Jeremiah Wrights and Michael Pflegers come from? When did the angry racist homilies infect the body of Christ?
Though it was sometimes costly to the pocket book, I cannot recall a time that I did not enjoy and feel uplifted by my attendance. In every black church I attended, I felt the most gracious and loving welcome. My family was made to feel like the most special of guests -- not part of some white oppressors. There was a perceptible outpouring of energetic love throughout the congregation. You could feel it in the music, the sermons and the interaction of the people. I never felt uncomfortable. Of course, I never visited Trinity or St. Sabina.

With all the press attention paid to the divisive screeds of Wright, Pfleger and a few other publicity seeking reverends, I hope the public in general will not assume that they represent all the black pastors.

OP ED: Skinheads and William Ayers

Thanks to good police work, it appears that two racist skinheads were arrested before they would unleash their heinous terrorist attack on the black community and on democracy, itself, by murdering more than 100 African-Americans, including Senator Barack Obama.

One should keep in mind, however, that the only difference between these degenerates and William Ayers and his wife, Bernadine Dohrn, is that the latter actually implemented their deadly plans. Their bombs went off, and people died.

I wonder if these hate monger skinheads will also wind up as “distinguished college professors” at prestigious universities one day.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

OBSERVATION: The Ayers apparent.

Ayers. Ayers. Ayers. Ayers. So much talk about terrorist cum radical school "reformer" Willam Ayers. Is this relevant? I say "yes," but poor old John McCain cannot seem to get to the point. He talks about Barack Obama's friendship with Ayers without pointing to its relevancy. On the other hand, Obama dismisses it as so much old news. So, it appears it is nothning more than the desperate charges about a long ago radical who is now a reformed reformer.

That is NOT the case, at all.

Let's stick with the facts -- first about Ayers. He and his wife, Bernadette Dorhn, certainly were murderious terrorist -- not just outspoken radicals. They made bombs to terrify and kill people, and kill people they did. She went to jail for her crimes, and he was spared due to a legal technicalities that so often benefit the wealthy. (His father was Chairman of Commonwealth Edison). In most other nations, there would have been no compassion or "legal technicalities." They would have been summarily shot for their treasonous crimes.

They are not repentent, rehabilitated or reformed. By their most recent statements, Ayers is a Marxist with an affection of anarchism. He remains hateful of capitalism and the free enterprise system. He belives the United States is a white supremist nation and largely responsible for world violence. He specifically criticizes Christianity and Judism for the problems of the world, without so much a mention of brutal Muslim fundamenalism that is currently terrifying the planet. He believe in unrestricted drug use. His only regret regarding his murderous past is to express sorrow that they did not do more to bring down the U.S. government.

He is not a "school reformer" as the public would think of that appelation. He is not interested in imporving test scores, or assuring quality education to all children. He does not care about a students ability to achieve success in life, or to keep America in the leadership of technological advancement. Ayers' "reform" is to fundamentally change American education from intellectual excellence and vocational ability to an old Soviet Union model of social and political indoctrination. It is his desire to produce a generation of William Ayers and Bernadette Dorhns to further undermine the American culture in favor of a Marxist world order.

These are not the suspicions of critics or the baseless charges of adversaries. These are recent sentiments flowing directly from Ayers' own lips.

Through their work together under the Annenberg Grant, Ayers and Obama both pursued the promotion of educational activism at the primary and secondary levels -- the introduction of propaganda through teacher education and curriculum changes.

The issue is not why Obama might have found commonality in "paling around" with Ayers. The question is, why did Ayers find Obama so attractive a friend, ally and civic partner? What did the strident self-styled anarchist, Marxist communist, violent foe of American capitalism find so appealing in this well-spoken, young and ambitious political activist?

And why did the politicians, such as Mayor Daley, and so many business leaders bestow the mantel of respectibility on a person who hates what they stand for so fervently? And why would the University of Chicago, proud of its devotion to the Milton Friedman school of economics, add Ayers to its powerful professorial line up? And the same question of Northwesten Univeristy for making convicted felon Bernadette Dorhn a professor of law, of all things. These two to not respresent responsible diversity of thought, but unabated radicalism designed to undermine the American culture through subtefuge and violence. Rather than educators, there only role in acedemia should be as bad examples.

Campaign charges and flippant responses aside, there is a legitimate and disturbing unanswered question regarding the importance of the Ayers/Obama link -- more so because it does not appear to be an anomoly. The fact is, Ayers is only one of a series of capitalism hating, America loathing individuals who guided Obama through his formative years. The Obama campaign would have us believe that merely asking these quesitons is racist -- and tantamount to accusing Obama of being unpatriotic. That is not an acceptable answer.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

REACT: McClellan endorses Obama ... figures.

After publishing a shameless back-stabbing book about his patron and employer, former George Bush Press Secretary, Scott McClellan (left ... oh ... that's a weasel. An honest mistake.), has poked both his faces out from under the rock to endorse Barack Obama.

Why is it that Obama seems to attract the support of such low lifes? I mean ... Louis Farrakhan, Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko, et al. What do these people see in him?

If you have already forgotten who McClellan is ... or was ... he is the guy you saw explaining George Bush to the press. He was a shoe-licking lackey. Once his fifteen minutes of fame expired, he published an embellished account of his days in the White House. If his harsh criticism were even half true, you have to wonder why he hung around the place until he was booted. Well ... now he found a way to add a couple more minutes of fame.

Let me make it clear that I do not think every cross-party endorsement is political treason. Joe Lieberman and Colin Powell have both endorsed the candidate of the "other" party. These are part pragmatic and part heartfelt. McClellan is just a sleaze.

Monday, October 20, 2008

OBSERVATION: The Chicago-izing of America

If elected, will Barack Obama save the Chicago Democrat machine? Duh! Of course.

The oldest and arguably most racist and corrupt political machine in American history has been showing signs of a death rattle these days. Thanks to a crusading U.S. Attorney and a growing disenchantment with the point man, Mayor Richard Daley – and the Daley clan, in general – it seems that the political institution launched in the 1930s is tottering.

Most critical has been the loss of patronage leverage. Thanks to the courts and something called the Shakman decree, the Chicago bosses can no longer use government employees as political and personal lackeys. They cannot impose the historic indentured servitude that forced underlings to work precincts and raise political dough. They can no longer safely re-sell government services for campaign contributions.

However, for many years, the law was simply ignored, and monkey business in City Hall continued as usual. That was until a one-term Republican senator, Peter Fitzgerald, refused to play go-along politics in the appointment of a new U.S. Attorney. Over the objections of the good ole boys of both parties, the Senator picked the untouchable Patrick Fitzgerald (no relation).

Now with hundreds of indictments and convictions under his belt, including one governor, a smattering of high profile influence peddlers and Mayor Daley’s closest aides, the machine mischief of the past has come to a screeching halt. In a complete reversal of polarity, the endorsement of an alderman today will most likely kill a job applicant’s potential for a city job.

In addition to the structural problem, Chicago is transforming from a “city that works” to a community beset with critical financial, social and infrastructure problems. What is knows locally as “the corruption tax” has placed Cook County and Chicago in the stratosphere of taxing municipalities. Yet, to the chagrin of the public, children still go uneducated and potholes go unfilled.

Enter President Obama. The irony in having an African-American (even half) breath life into the white-controlled political machine of Chicago is not lost on the locals. Obama would not be the first “window dressing” black political figure to provide a measure of politically correct diversity to the racist machine – gaining a personal piece of the political pie while keeping the greater black community in perma-subservient underclass status.

Despite promises to the contrary, you can rest assured that Obama will most certainly dismiss Patrick Fitzgerald and appoint a patsy recommended by Illinois’ strident partisan U.S. Senator Dick Durbin. Daley, who some believe could be indicted, himself, will breath the loudest sigh of relief. Once again, the effect of reform laws and court decisions will be thwarted by lack of investigation, enforcement and prosecution.

The city’s and state’s financial problems will be provided financial opiates from the federal vault which will temporarily mask the surface symptoms of the mismanaged local economy. Obama & Co. will open the federal treasury to whatever his political padrones need. Chicago’s inefficiencies and costs of corruption will be plastered over with cold cash courtesy of the national taxpayers.

Like Lazarus, an Obama presidency could raise Chicago’s 2016 Olympic bid from the dead. While there would be some entertainment value for the people of Chicago – offset by the frustrations attendant to extreme overcrowding – the real winners would be the political insiders who would not only get the best seats at every venue, but would pocket enormous amounts of money from every imaginable skim and scam.

Whatever the Chicago machine has lost in terms of the power over local patronage will be more than made up from the mother lode of jobs available on the federal payrolls. Chicago cronies and family members will be filling moving vans heading east within days of an Obama victory. At least two Cabinet positions will be handed to Chicago Democrats.

With the trifecta of Obama in the White House, Dick Durbin one step away from the top job in the Senate and Rahm Emmanuel as heir-apparent to the speakership of the U.S. House, there is no doubt that the Chicago Democrat machine will be the proverbial kid in grandpa’s candy story.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

CORRECTION: Obama ... a man of letters

My! My! My! It does not pay to be too academic in the middle of a highly charged presidential contest. A friend said he was surprised to see me – a most tolerant fellow -- call Barack Obama a Communist. Well, I didn’t. Okay, I did ... but I didn’t. Let me explain.

In a previous blog, I did imply that Barack Obama had communist instincts. My reference is to the small “c” variety -- a person who believes in a controlled economy and government interventionalism in attempting to guarantee economic and social equity. Mine is the academic reference. It defines a form of socialism.

I am NOT suggesting that Obama is a capital “C” Communist in the traditional of the Cold War definition – a subversive agent of some adversarial Communist nation. Not at all my intent.

While communists and Communists lay claim to the same philosophy, they are not necessarily the same people. In fact, the big “C” Communists have never lived up to the small “c” communist doctrines and philosophies as offered up by Karl Marx and others. Karl was a lower case communist, who got a lot of lip service from the upper case crowd.

One might argue that Obama is more of a little “c” communist than even the old style big “C” Communists. In fact, in Russia and China today, the upper case Communists still rule but lower case communism is as dead as the proverbial door nail. So, while Obama talks the talk – small “c” variety -- I suspect if he becomes President, he will not walk the walk. At least I hope not.

So … I want to make it very clear that I do not think Obama is one of those big “C” commies who were plotting – and probably still are – the downfall of America. He is no more an upper case Communist than he is an upper case Muslim. I know from Pastor Jeremiah Wright that Obama is a capital “C” Christian even if he has been a long standing member of a small “c” church that functions more like a little “c” cult. You know … that racist black liberation theology stuff.

I just think Obama may be too influenced by all three of the little c’s -- communist, church and cult -- to make me feel good about him leading our nation as a capital “C” Commander-in-Chief.

My concern about Obama is heightened as we move down the alphabet. While there is no doubt that he is an elitist upper case “D” Democrat, I fear he is not at all a common lower case “d” democrat. He comes from Chicago and there are no little "d" democrats to be found among the big "D" Democrats who rule of the one party Windy City machine like the big "C" Communists rule over China. Furthermore, most communists – whether little “c” or big “C” are way not small "d" democrats.

So ... these are a few of the reasons why I hope and pray that Obama does not take up residency in … you know … D.C.

I hope this clears things up.

Friday, October 17, 2008

OP ED: It's not racism, stupid

Barack Obama’s standing in the poles is testimony to the fact that non-black America is not nearly as racist as the Jesse Jackson’s of the world would contend to maintain their relevancy. Having now shown the significant racial tolerance of the non-black communities, it is time to focus on Barack Obama, the man. Should HE be the next president? (<-- The "he" is capitalized for emphasis, not for the purpose of deification, as many might assume.) Had it not been for the economy tanking, and panic running amok, that answer would have been a decided “no.” The non-racial reasons for rejecting the Obama candidacy are still valid, however. He possesses five qualities that are totally wrong for America.

1. Despite the sweet talk and pleasant demeanor, Obama is among the most radical left-wingers to be seriously considered for the presidency. His proposals for massive government programs, here and abroad, and redistribution of the wealth from the productive sector to the non-productive community is a socialist agenda by any measure. It sets America on the terminal path most recently traveled and abandoned in failure by the old Soviet Union and cold war China. His redistribution of wealth comments are distrubingly akin to the language of Karl Marx -- and why not? The policies are disturbingly similar pure communist ideology.

2. He is a radical internationalist, who would realign our foreign policy toward greater accommodation with the America-hating Islamic fundamentalist at the expense of Israel, yield elements of our sovereignty to international agencies and withdraw from the Reagan-launched era of dedication to world democratization. There is a reason why those who wish to ring down the curtain on "the American era" have expressed universal hope and encouragement for an Obama presidency.

3. Obama’s personal history of associations with radical anti-American extremists, from childhood to just before his pole numbers started rising, is significant to understanding what drives his thinking. From the early education at the knee of his proclaimed American-loathing Communist family and childhood mentors, to the racist political foundation of liberation/revolution theology preached by his father figure pastor, Jeremiah Wright, and to the propaganda-as-education philosophy of unrepentant terrorist William Ayers, Obama has been consistently cradled and influenced by the haters of the successful American capitalist system – those who would rather wage class warfare on the rich than bring a just war to the doorsteps of murderous tyrants.

4. He brings to office, albeit in a polished form, the lust for raw power exemplified in the Chicago political machine -- the wellspring of his political life. He is a graduate of arguably the most corrupt political environment in America. The support he has received from, and the support he has given to, friends and allies wallowing in local political chicanery strips away the flimsy mask of reform he dons on the national stage and belies the scripted lines in his stage role as a small "d" democrat. The Chicago way of political control is to constantly change the rules to increase partisan power and advantage, and if that is insufficient, to simply break the rules to maintain power. Obama’s arrogant radical liberalism -- characterized by a twisted sense superiority and noblise oblige -- coupled with a Chicago-style contempt for citizen participation, gives him an already discernibly unhealthy lust for personal power -- and the instinct to pursue it.

5. Obama would come to the presidency as the most woefully inexperienced and untested candidate in American history. His simplistic idealism is at once charming and dangerous. In addition to his misguided instincts, Obama brings a naïveté to the presidency that makes America more vulnerable -- politically, diplomatically and physically -- to the advances, actions and assaults of our avowed adversaries. Voting for the recordless Obama is an act of faith. He is the proverbial “pig in a poke” – lipstick notwithstanding.

6. Finally, there is a matter of integrity. With enormous financial advantage, Obama has been able to undermine the credibility of the Republican team. Yet, much of his image is founded in lies. He would have us believe that after 20 years of intimate association with Trinity Church, and the fiery Jeremiah Wright, he had never “heard a disparaging word.” His latter day answers, on such matters of abortion and taxation, stand in stark contrast, yet he is not challenged on these discrepancies. He denies his days as a slum lord in partnership with the now indicted Tony Rezko. Obama is not what he appears.

Hillary Clinton got it right when she said that Obama’s national launch was on the basis of one skillfully crafted and presented speech. He has remained aloft on the same vacuous propellant. He is a spellbinding orator, as any snake oil salesman must be. A President Obama will undoubtedly be a great disappointment – either to those who did not fully appreciate his commitment to a radical world socialist agenda or to those who will watch the malleable Chicago machine President again re-invent himself to accommodate the moderating influence and pragmatism of the American system. Is he a Roosevelt or a Clinton? Stay tuned.