Monday, April 30, 2007

Rudy won't retreat

In Chicago today, Rudy Giuliani stood firm against Chicago reporters who tried to get him to back off his harsh criticisms last week of the defeatist Democrats, including our own Back-out Obama.
Giuliani dismissed Obama's complaint that the former New York City mayor had stooped to a new low. Rather than apologize, Giuliani reiterated his claim that, if one of the top Democrats is elected president, they "will wave the white flag on Iraq... and we will be back to our pre-September 11 attitude of defense."

"I stand by what I said," Giuliani said. "If we're going to wave the white flag and we're gonna give 'em a schedule of our retreat and we're gonna force the United States into that position, well, then it seems to me that you are going on defense."
Somebody send Barack a text message that much of al Qaeda is in Iraq. If he wants to defeat them, you don't do that by retreating.

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Hillary and a 'gauntlet of abuse'

Response Brief-1
We've reported previously that despite her enthusiastic endorsement from the National Organization for Women (NOW), Hillary Clinton apparently has no problem associating with a company accused of widespread sexual harassment in a federal lawsuit.

We got our hands on a recent filing in that lawsuit and it is apparent this is not your garden variety sexual harassment case. In a September 2006 response brief (click on document above) to a motion for summary judgment, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) outlined its case against International Profit Associates (IPA) of suburban Buffalo Grove, Il., outside Chicago.

IPA's management, led by John Burgess, created a culture at IPA where sexual harassment flourished. IPA's senior managers harassed women with impunity, sending a signal to lower-level managers and employees that they could do the same. Given the tone set by IPA's senior management, it is not surprising that sexual harassment at IPA was rampant in all departments and at all levels of the company. Women at IPA routinely had to endure a gauntlet of abuse, ranging from sexual solicitations and physical harassment, to sexual comments and offensive sexual materials. Based on the extensive record of harassment presented in this case, IPA is not entitled to a finding that as a matter of law, the sexual harassment that occurred at the company was insufficiently severe or pervasive to survive summary judgment.
IPA, in court documents, has denied the allegations.

Clinton took the NOW endorsement while holding some $150,000 in campaign contributions from executives of IPA. The company and its founder, convicted felon John Burgess, have become so radioactive in the political world that politicians across the country have returned tens of thousands of dollars, according to a New York Times story last year. The Times says Clinton took more than $150,000 from IPA and its agents while the online database Open Secrets pegs the amount at about $130,000, making the firm her 12th largest career donor. We've seen no online or published evidence that Clinton has returned the money. In the Times story last year a spokewoman said the matter was under review.

The association between Hillary and IPA was more than casual. Even if she returned the money tomorrow, it doesn't change the fact that Hillary attended a company awards dinner in 2004 while the sexual harassment case was pending, according to a Jan. 10, 2004 article titled "Company's founder has a past of highs and lows" in the Daily Herald (link not available).
The company's annual "Celebration of Success" dinner always draws top politicians. Sen. Hillary Clinton was this year's spotlight attendee. A Clinton spokesman described Burgess as a "family friend" in a recent Associated Press article.
In addition to the sexual harassment complaint, IPA has a long history of complaints from small and medium sized businesses who say they were scammed. The Better Business Bureau has given IPA an "unsatisfactory record" because of reoccurring complaints, 417 in the last three years, and the Illinois Attorney General's office has a pending fraud investigation.

But it's the sexual harassment case that provides the most compelling reason for Hillary to return the money. After all, I thought she was supposed to be a champion for women. Judging from the alleged victims at IPA, they could have used one.
While John Burgess and IPA's upper management, including Director of Sales, Dan Drugan; Director of Business Coordination and Director of Recruiting and collections, Rich Lubicz; Director of Business Coordination and Senior Executive, Scott Kollins; Director of Inside Sales, Tony Jones; and Hybrid Director, Keith Link, were the worst perpetrators of sexual harassment, the harassment at issue in this case was by no means limited to these men. Indeed, women alleged that they were harassed by men within all levels of the company, from the owner and upper management, to business coordinators and the janitor. No department at IPA was free from harassment. Men in the business coordination, inside sales, outside sales, hybrid, recruiting, collections, and the accounting departments harassed women and women in all of these departments were subjected to harassment.
The case is before federal judge Joan Gottschall in Chicago and could go on trial as soon as this year.

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Another tall tale from the MSM

It's both a small mistake and mammoth one—the height of our country's #1 villain, Osama bin Laden.

Bin Laden is believed to be six feet four inches to six feet six inches tall and weigh 160 pounds. He is 50 years old.
That was from the ABC News website this morning, from a story that talks about a bin Laden lookalike who has been arrested a few times in Pakistan.

Yet Lawrence Wright, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his riveting epic, "The Looming Tower," says unequivocally that bin Laden is really about six feet tall, not 6-6. True, our intelligence agency originally believed bin Laden was taller.

Wright conducted 560 interviews across the globe over a five-year period after 9/11 so I'm going with his version over ABC's.

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

"Heart and soul" of al Qaeda in Iraq

To the leftist/defeatists in Congress who give lip service to wanting to defeat al Qaeda, consider what Lawrence Wright, author of the indispensable book "The Looming Tower," said recently in an interview with Hugh Hewitt.

Al Qaeda is more diversified now than it was in the past. It's really four separate organizations. There's al Qaeda in North Africa, which is very much more important an entity now than it had been, an organization called the Salafist group for preaching in combat, which is centered mainly in Algeria, has now switched its allegiance to al Qaeda. And they have a training camp in Mali. And you know, they had this big bomb in Algiers just last week. So they really are making a statement, and they pose a real threat to Europe, because the commerce between Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Spain and France. So that's one group of al Qaeda. Secondly, there is al Qaeda in Iraq, which is really the heart and soul of al Qaeda right now, and that's where the main effort is. It's where the jihadis are going to be trained. And when that conflict is over, they will be returning to their own countries, and into the West to cause additional havoc. And then there is al Qaeda in Europe, which is a very widespread, loosely connected, centered largely in London in England, but also in the outskirts of Paris, and in Italy. It's all over, really, all over Europe. And then finally, there's the mother ship, which is headquartered in Pakistan. So those four entities are loosely connected, but have a common cause, and are still directed overall by bin Laden.
So if the "heart and soul" of al Qaeda is in Iraq right now, why, exactly, should we be leaving?

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Schilling's high hard one

Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling is one of the few sports figures who has a real blog with frank commentary on his performances on the mound and other matters.

He found it came in handy when it was reported this week that Baltimore Orioles announcer Gary Thorne that Schilling's infamous "bloody" ankle in the 2004 AL playoffs was not really blood, but a PR stunt with red paint.

Schilling dared anyone to put up $1 million to prove that it wasn't blood. And on his blog, he let sports writers have it between the eyes in one of the most entertaining postings I've seen all year.

Take Gary Thorne, John, Jack Joe or whatever his first name is, Heyman, Karen Vescey, Woody Paige, CHB, Jay Mariotti, Bill Plaschke, and a host of other people that litter the media landscape, and put them all on an island somewhere.

Does anyone stop reading their newspapers? Watching the shows they appear on? The answer to that is no. Instead of using the forums they participate in to do something truly different, change lives, inspire people, you have an entire subset of media whose sole purpose in life is to actually be the news, instead of report it. They have little to no talent at what they do and other than a mastery of the English language their skill sets are non-existent.

Watching Woody Paige or the plastered made up face of Jay Marriotti spew absolutely nothing of merit on sports, day after day, makes it easy to understand how Gary Thorne could say something as stupid, ignorant, and uninformed as he did the other night.
He wasn't through. (Jay Mariotti, where are you?)

If you haven't figured it out by now, working in the media is a pretty nice gig. Barring outright plagiarism or committing a crime, you don't have to be accountable if you don't want to. You can say what you want when you want and you don't really have to answer to anyone. You can always tell the bigger culprits by the fact you never see their faces in the clubhouse. Most of them are afraid to show themselves to the subjects they rail on everyday.
He gets to the point here, in graphic detail.

Remember this, the surgery was voluntary. If you have the nuts, or the guts, grab an orthopedic surgeon, have them suture your ankle skin down to the tissue covering the bone in your ankle joint, then walk around for 4 hours. After that go find a mound, throw a hundred or so pitches, run over, cover first a few times. When you're done check that ankle and see if it bleeds. It will. There was less visible blood in game two because we recognized the amount of bleeding from the first game and Doctor Morgan put extra covering to stop the blood from running to the bottom of my shoe as it did the first game.
And, his realization that his blog is worth the effort.

So for one of the first times this blog serves one of the purposes I'd hoped it would if the need arose. The media hacked and spewed their way to a day or two of stories that had zero basis in truth. A story fabricated by the media, for the media. The best part was that instead of having to sit through a litany of interviews to ‘defend' myself, or my teammates, I got to do that here. As I said earlier, believe what you need to, whatever makes you sleep better at night is probably your best bet.
Long live blogs. Long live Curt Schilling.

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Barack's big blunder

By far the best question asked last night at the MSNBC Democratic presidential debate was one where candidates were confronted with a 9/11 scenario and asked to respond. As Byron York pointed out, the answers largely proved that Rudy Giuliani was right the other day when he said Democrats are passive in the war on terror.

Barack Obama's answer was jaw-dropping bad on several levels. The substance was weak and vague. Even more offensive was his automatic move to his pre-ordained talking points, which was off-key in response to a question of this immediacy and import. Here's the question from Brian Williams and the response:

Question: If, God forbid, a thousand times, while we were gathered here tonight, we learned that two American cities had been hit simultaneously by terrorists, and we further learned beyond the shadow of a doubt it had been the work of al Qaeda, how would you change the U.S. military stance overseas as a result?

Obama: Well, first thing we'd have to do is make sure that we've got an effective emergency response, something that this administration failed to do when we had a hurricane in New Orleans. And I think that we have to review how we operate in the event of not only a natural disaster, but also a terrorist attack.

The second thing is to make sure that we've got good intelligence, A, to find out that we don't have other threats and attacks potentially out there; and B, to find out do we have any intelligence on who might have carried it out so that we can take potentially some action to dismantle that network.

But what we can't do is then alienate the world community based on faulty intelligence, based on bluster and bombast. Instead, the next thing we would have to do, in addition to talking to the American people, is making sure that we are talking to the international community. Because as has already been stated, we're not going to defeat terrorists on our own. We've got to strengthen our intelligence relationships with them, and they've got to feel a stake in our security by recognizing that we have mutual security interests at stake.
Obama's answer here shows he's not ready to be Commander-in-Chief. Bringing Katrina into the mix when asked to respond to an attack bigger than 9/11 is not smart, not presidential and certainly not reassuring. It demonstrates that Obama just hasn't thought much about what to do about Islamic radicalism and, despite his pledge to "lift the debate," will resort to cheap shot Democratic talking points no matter what the situation.

Hillary Clinton handled the question much more forcefully. The partisan Democrats might not agree, but Obama was the big loser last night. If he somehow emerges as the nominee, his stunningly bad answer to that question last night will undoubtedly show up in a Republican attack ad.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

The way they were


U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman took a trip down memory lane today in the Washington Post, showing people the way many Democrats used to think.
Al-Qaeda, after all, isn't carrying out mass murder against civilians in the streets of Baghdad because it wants a more equitable distribution of oil revenue. Its aim in Iraq isn't to get a seat at the political table; it wants to blow up the table -- along with everyone seated at it.

Certainly al-Qaeda can be weakened by isolating it politically. But even after the overwhelming majority of Iraqis agree on a shared political vision, there will remain a hardened core of extremists who are dedicated to destroying that vision through horrific violence. These forces cannot be negotiated or reasoned out of existence. They must be defeated.

The challenge before us, then, is whether we respond to al-Qaeda's barbarism by running away, as it hopes we do -- abandoning the future of Iraq, the Middle East and ultimately our own security to the very people responsible for last week's atrocities -- or whether we stand and fight.

To me, there is only one choice that protects America's security -- and that is to stand, and fight, and win.
Sadly, today in Washington, he's all alone among Democrats.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Rahm's double pirouette

Left-wing bloggers were all excited about an extraordinary speech today by Rahm Emanuel, the second ranking Democrat in the House. I was excited too. It was a treasure trove of hypocrisy, even by Democratic standards.

It's difficult to even write this without laughing, but the pirouetting prince of dirty politics conjured up enough gall to deliver a 3,780-word lecture to President Bush on running an administration infused with too much politics.

We'll skip all the obvious Bill Clinton references because they are just too easy. Suffice it to say that Rahm served loyally in an administration with absolutely no core purpose but politics. Say what you will about George W. Bush's presidency but it is not a presidency about nothing.

Please read the whole speech and think deeply about the special constitution Emanuel must possess to be able to stand before an audience and say these words with his past. Even Dick Durbin must marvel at Rahm's ability to make Eddie Haskel look like a sincere man.

When savoring this speech, I found that rare passage that had double the hypocrisy packed in one delightful sentence.

The Bush Administration has redefined the famous challenge of President Kennedy's inaugural address. Instead of "Ask not what your country can do for you," it has become "Ask what your government can do for our party."
What the national audience may not know is that Rahm might very well have lost his first bid for Congress had it not been for an army of city of Chicago workers helping pound the street for his campaign with promises of government overtime. This was revealed in federal court when a former city supervisor named Don Tomczak plead guilty in a corruption case a few years ago. When Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass mentions Rahm, he gives the following label: Rahm Emanuel, D-Tomczak.

Emanuel is the political operative being credited these days with the Democratic takeover of Congress. He's ruthless and hardworking and, in victory, deserving of post-election applause.

But if City Hall had not sent Don Tomczak, the corrupt city water department boss, to Emanuel's congressional campaign in 2002--and Tomczak's political army of hundreds of city workers who stumped the precincts with the promise of overtime--then Emanuel wouldn't have narrowly defeated a local grass-roots Democrat.

And Emanuel wouldn't have been in a position to bask in all the national media love.
And evoking President John F. Kennedy is equally funny. Especially in a week when the top Democrat in the Senate said the war is lost and the top Democrat in the House refused to attend a briefing by our General in Iraq. JFK would have had nothing to do with this crew of Democrats. Here is how he felt about protecting our country.

"The path we have chosen for the present is full of hazards, as all paths are. … The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission."
It is amazing that any Democrat outside of Joe Lieberman would dare bring up JFK while the current Democrat party is doing exactly what he said America should never do.

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Whose side is PBS on?

When uber-liberals like Dick Durbin, Barbara Boxer and Chuck Schumer steer clear of a Muslim-American group because of questionable ties, you'd think the news media would be wary as well. Not PBS.

I was stunned when I watched "The Muslim Americans," part of PBS' America at a Crossroads series of documentaries. The show was a puff piece for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR. There's little doubt that CAIR has terrorist links. Here's what Durbin and Schumer had to say:

Durbin: "[CAIR is] unusual in its extreme rhetoric and its associations with groups that are suspect."

Schumer: "we know [CAIR] has ties to terrorism"…"intimate links with Hamas"
Yet PBS' documentary merrily quoted top CAIR officials as completely legitimate. There was a brief disclaimer that labeled critics as "pro-Israel" and "right-wing bloggers." Lots of attention was given to a Wheaton man, a Muslim-American, who has been stopped a few times at airports because his name is spelled nearly identically to a terrorist suspect. That man, with the help of the ACLU, has filed suit in federal court. Sorry, but I wasn't moved by his hardship.
From some of the trailers I had seen, I was prepared for the show to be a puff piece for Islam. It was that and a lot worse. It was, in fact, a propaganda film for Islamism. For example, "The Muslim Americans" refused to acknowledge even the potential for home-grown Islamic extremism in the US. Nor did the documentary exhibit any interest in finding out about Islamic radicalism and its implications for America and its Muslim community.

The overall impression the viewer was left with was that life for American Muslims after 9/11 had taken a dramatic turn for the worse. Hate crimes, discrimination, racial profiling and airport hassles, Muslim mosques firmly "in the crosshairs of law enforcement" -- this, apparently, was now typical of Muslim life in America. One of the interviewees even claims that she stopped attending mosque out of fear that doing so would get her labeled as a "terrorist." Interestingly, this message seems to have escaped many of her co-religionists, since the mosques shown in the documentary were invariably full.
We've been warned by Walid Pharis, Steve Emerson and many others that radical Islamists are trying to influence American public opinion through a variety of front groups, foundations and academics. CAIR is at the forefront of the disinformation campaign. That means PBS is an agent of disinformation. It proved that even more starkly when it refused to run another documentary that took a more critical look at Islamic groups in America.

Democrats like to whine about Fox News. But when it comes to propaganda, Fox is not even in the same league as PBS.

The skewed message the film conveys is likely to be persuasive only to those who have remained blissfully unaware of the complex reality of Islam in America -- perhaps because they get most of their news from PBS and NPR. That reality includes the fact that while most Muslims are indeed decent, law-abiding citizens, much of what passes as the Muslim establishment in America is in the hands of zealous Islamists. More than a few of its leaders are extremists that not only preach radical Islamist ideologies and hatred, but aid and abet terrorism.
And, all funded by your tax dollars.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Rudy clears air of defeatism

After hearing Harry Reid say the war is lost and he'll cover his ears when General Petraeus briefs him, and Nancy Pelosi say she's too busy to attend a briefing from the same General, it is refreshing to hear this from Rudy Giuliani:

"I listen a little to the Democrats and if one of them gets elected, we are going on defense," Giuliani continued. "We will wave the white flag on Iraq. We will cut back on the Patriot Act, electronic surveillance, interrogation and we will be back to our pre-Sept. 11 attitude of defense."

He added: "The Democrats do not understand the full nature and scope of the terrorist war against us."
He then didn't back down when a reporter challenged him.

"America will safer with a Republican president."
He wasn't through yet.

"This war ends when they stop coming here to kill us!" Giuliani said. "Never ever again will this country ever be on defense waiting for (terrorists) to attack us if I have anything to say about it. And make no mistake, the Democrats want to put us back on defense!"

Giuliani said terrorists "hate us and not because of anything bad we have done; it has nothing to do with Israel and Palestine. They hate us for the freedoms we have and the freedoms we want to share with the world."

Giuliani continued: "The freedoms we have are in conflict with the perverted, maniacal interpretation of their religion." He said Americans would fight for "freedom for women, the freedom of elections, freedom of religion, and the freedom of our economy."

Addressing the terrorists directly, Giuliani said: "We are not giving that up and you are not going to take it from us!"
Before the Democrats turned into the party of appeasers, JFK used to stand up to the threats facing the country. Today, sadly, only Joe Lieberman does.

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Big questions for city hall

Missed this earlier. It's the NBC 5 story last evening on the Sun-Times series on Tony Rezko. Lots of agencies gave Rezko a pass while he ripped off taxpayers. Most prominent on the list is Chicago City Hall. Not that anybody ever is held accountable there, but this is one instance where heads should roll. Barack Obama defines the question that is fair to ask him, then ducks it.

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Dems sink even lower


The Senate Majority Leader of our country just said that he won't believe General David Petraeus if he says there's been progress in Iraq. In other words, a man who has been on the ground in Iraq, leading our brave soldiers in battle, is a liar, according to Harry Reid. The Democratic Party has sunk to its lowest level yet.

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Democratic eyes wide shut

Don't think there will be any immediate mortal wounds to Barack Obama from the Sun-Times two-part series on his longtime booster, Tony Rezko. But it should open some eyes among those who still believe that he is operating differently than other politicians.

Obama clearly wasn't looking too closely at Rezko while he was plundering poor people and taxpayers at large. He opened his eyes wide for Rezko's contributions and other gifts and sealed them shut when it came to how Rezko had the money to give in the first place.

In the MSM news blender, a conservative with such a defective antenna would be cast as insensitive and not interested in the plight of the downtrodden. Obama, however, will be cast as the innocent doe who, while trying to make the world a better place, bumped into some bad characters.

The most powerful part of the Sun-Times series was today's installment, which richly detailed how Rezko continued to get city, state and private financing for low-income housing projects even as they failed miserably. Rezko simply would skim off some up-front proceeds on each of the projects and walk away, leaving investors and taxpayers to eat the debt.

What is illustrates clearly is the corruption of the Democratic establishment of Illinois, that, in the pursuit of campaign donations, allows characters like Rezko, Tom Lakin and Myron Cherry to operate under different rules than the rest of us because they are big donors.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Obama in alternate universe


In generic party affiliation polls, Democrats hold a double-digit lead over Republicans across the country. Despite that, the top Republican candidates for president are leading or roughly tied with the Democratic field. Why? My theory is the country is not buying buying Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama or John Edwards as Commander in Chief.

Obama's "major" foreign policy speech today in Chicago is a good example. It comes across as a sing-song high school recitation of issues without any deep appreciation or sense of urgency about Islamic jihadism.

Whether it's global terrorism or pandemic disease, dramatic climate change or the proliferation of weapons of mass annihilation, the threats we face at the dawn of the 21st century can no longer be contained by borders and boundaries.
For the sake of organization alone, somebody ought to inform Obama that global terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass annihilation are directly related. Terrorists are trying to get their hands on nuclear weapons to kill us.

I know Obama is busy fundraising and pontificating about the wider ramifications of school shootings but perhaps he ought to take a break and read the stunningly well-written and argued "Future Jihad" by Walid Phares. It would inform him that Islamic jihadists plan to take over the world and have a multi-tiered, sophisticated strategy to carry out their aims, including deep infiltration of our core institutions. So, maybe we can put that problem at the top of the list, Barack.

But Democrats don't want to hear such black-and-white talk. They want a patchwork quilt of problems that we can solve by talking to our neighbors and exchanging carbon credits.

Obama has inserted the obligatory language that we need a strong military and might even need to act unilaterally to protect this country. The words are borrowed from the playbooks of liberal Democrats past, who need to convince us all they are not as weak on national security as our eyes tell us.

The enemy of our time is not carbon emissions. It is that group of fanatics out there who are chopping off heads and plotting every day to bring an end to Western Civilization. If the public doesn't sense the Democratic candidates understand this, we might have another four or eight years of Republican residency in the White House.

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Tribune reporter whitewashes report

Today, a group of left-wing groups and lawyers will be releasing a report saying a special investigation into alleged torture by former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge was a whitewash.

But if you read the Tribune's story by virulently anti-prosecutor reporter Maurice Possley you were denied any information about the groups preparing the report. Here's how Possley characterized the parties behind the report.

More than 200 prominent lawyers, politicians, clergy and academics are preparing to call upon the Cook County Board, the United Nations and the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as Congress, to open new investigations of allegations that scores of suspects were tortured by Chicago police officers under former Lt. Jon Burge.

A petition, to be announced at a news conference Tuesday, will be accompanied by a report prepared by a team of lawyers, researchers and community activists that is critical of a report issued last year by a special prosecutor after a lengthy grand jury investigation into the torture allegations.
Possley is trying to make sure it looks like the new report was prepared by a generic group of folks interested only in justice.

Here's how Abdon Pallasch of the Sun-Times describes the people behind the report.

The report -- by a coalition that includes Northwestern University's Center On Wrongful Convictions, Amnesty International and lawyers representing the alleged torture victims in civil suits against the city -- recommends the Cook County Board hold a hearing into "questions concerning the special prosecutors."
Possley was doing what has been done for years by many in the MSM—playing games with labeling. If a coalition of conservative groups was issuing a report critical of defense lawyers, do you believe that Possley would have avoided plastering the conservative label all over the story. That is, of course, if the story was published.

As we noted here, the Tribune, in breathless anticipation of a blistering report on the Burge torture, profiled the two special prosecutors, calling them "legal giants." When the report turned out to be insufficiently critical, the Tribune allowed defense lawyer/gadfly Flint Taylor prominent play on its pages to hurl wild charges against the special prosecutors.

Look for a continuation of that trend.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Two more questions

NBC' release of "news porn" on its airwaves last evening was deeply irresponsible. Even its in-house retired FBI profiler said he wouldn't release it if it were up to him.

I refer to as news porn because it had little or no news value. It was propaganda from a pyschopath and NBC gave the killer the last nearly unedited word. The Virginia Tech killer was crazy, but rational enough to know that NBC was also crazy enough to air his sicko variety show.

I don't believe NBC when it says it thought long and hard about airing the material. I also was disappointed that other stations followed NBC down that path. They could have isolated NBC by refusing to run the footage. That just tells you the other networks don't want to preclude the possibility of running a similar freak show if the next killer drops a package at their door.

Other debates on this subject are raging on the internet, including at Tribune blogs belonging to Eric Zorn and Maureen Ryan.

I do have two questions that puzzle me in the wake of the NBC fiasco:

1. When NBC called the FBI, what did the feds say about releasing the material? And why did the feds let NBC copy it all. Or did NBC copy it before the feds arrived?

2. If Cho had this grand plan to commit mass murder, why did he shoot two people and then wait two hours before killing again? If that was his plan, it seems illogical because the university very well could have shut down the campus or reacted in a way that would have prevented his free travel to his second shooting location. I know we are not dealing with a rational person, but other parts of his "plan" seem to have thought out. Had he wanted to mail all that material to NBC, he could have done it before he started killing.


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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Hinderaker undresses Boehlert

When it comes to logical argumentation, John Hinderaker of Power Line blog is without peer. This evening, he took apart Eric Boehlert from the liberal disinformation website Media Matters.

Boehlert knows no shame. He wrote a book that honestly posits that the MSM is easy on Bush. He picks out a few examples of thousands of news events and makes that into a storyline. Anyone with a functioning brain can deduce that most reporters are not favorable to Bush.

Hinderaker defended himself against an attack Boehlert made on a post that argued that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ad campaign in 2004 had not been "discredited," as liberals and members of the MSM are arguing. I've written about this several times, including here. Hinderaker notes that Boehlert dishonestly tries to criticize him for a precise argument he did not make.

To sear in his point, Hinderaker posts many of the Swift Boat ads. I've posted a few myself over the last several months and I propose that all conservative bloggers continue the practice of posting the Swift Boat ads every time Boehlert, liberals and reporters repeat the same, er, discredited canard that the ads were discredited.

Here's my favorite.


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A slice of Americana

Just a few minutes ago, I railed on John Kerry and Michael Dukakis. Not all is lost in Massachusetts, however. They love baseball there. And pizza. And sometimes the two come together in an unforgettable way. This is why baseball is our national pasttime.


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More to this story

He doesn't seem like a private sector kind of guy. There's more to this story, I suspect.

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Republican ad giant dies


Republicans in Illinois and across the country should note the passing of Greg Stevens, founder of the one of the most important political advertising firms in the country.

Stevens founded what is now known as Stevens Reed Curcio & Potholm, a firm with the rare distinction of producing ads that were pivotal in two presidential elections.

Stevens is best known for the 1988 Michael Dukakis tank ad, which can be found here. Using footage of Dukakis, Stevens capsulized the country's unease with the liberal northeastern governor's weak record on national defense.

Mr. Stevens later said he spent days in an editing room assembling footage showing Dukakis, a former Massachusetts governor, at a tank factory in Michigan. The result was a slow-motion ad depicting Dukakis looking ill-suited for the role of commander in chief -- wearing an ungainly helmet as he drove around in a tank.
Years later, a partner, Rick Reed, produced the Swift Boat ads that are credited by many as pivotal persuasian in the 2004 re-election of George W. Bush. Again, SRCP capsulized a country's unease with a liberal northeastern politician's posture on national defense.

In between, Stevens' firm helped elect the last Republican U.S. Senator from Illinois, Peter Fitzgerald, a man I was proud to work for.

I met Stevens only once, very briefly. He was a former newspaper reporter and we shared a few words about our common background. Here's what his partners say about him in a posting on the company website.

The Bush family certainly owes him a debt of gratitude as do Republicans everywhere. Otherwise, we might have had two Massachusettes liberal Democrats in the White House at important times in our history. John Kerry, Teresa, and George Soros running the war on terror. A sobering thought.

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Anchor pulls the plug on lefty

The left loves to say people are "lying" and are "liars." This cable anchor wasn't pleased by the label.


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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Babbling Barack

Yesterday, I saw a brief video clip of Barack Obama responding to the Virginia Tech shootings. I was struck at how off-tone his remarks were: off-handed, impersonal and small for a man who wants to be president.

Here is a link to that riff, delivered prior to a speech in Milwaukee. He sounds like a dry old man pastor rambling on without saying anything. Despite his lack of smoothness, President George W. Bush speaks in a way that is clear and understandable, one of the necessary components for effective communication.

Obama speaks in circular gobble-speak. I find it particularly empty when he talks about excess violence in our culture after he just scooped up millions of dollars from Hollywood fat-cats.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Quick trigger on criticism

From what we know publicly at this hour about the Virginia Tech school shooting, it looks to me like the already building criticism is misplaced.

We have what appears to be a dorm shooting. A man appears to have been angry at his girlfriend or ex-girlfriend and shot her and another man. Then, the shooter reappears two hours later across campus and begins killing randomly in classrooms.

If the dorm shooting scenario is correct, and police had good information about it, it would not follow logically that the shooter would threaten classrooms across campus. It would be much more likely that the killer would flee. After all, if the dorm killer was intent on mass killing, why didn't he continue shooting there?

Tragically, authorities were wrong. But until we know more, I won't be one of the critics.

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Illinois AG needs to step up

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan started to look into hiring-related corruption in the Rod Blagojevich administration but was waved off last year by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.

There are several other investigations she supposedly launched regarding other corruption in the governor's office, but we haven't heard anything for months.

Today, in the Sun-Times, flight records from the Illinois Department of Transportation indicated that Blagojevich was flying around his top fundraisers and campaign people regularly during an election year. Madigan ought to add this one to her investigation list.

Blagojevich, campaign strategists Doug Scofield and Sheila Nix and other supporters rode aboard state planes for political purposes nine times between April and November of last year, state logs show.
The state allows top government elected officials to take state planes for political purposes as long as the cost is reimbursed. The provision was meant to give the governor and other officials the ability to take the state plane on multi-purposed trips. In other words, if the governor travels to three government events and one political events, it would be cumbersome to change modes of transportation mid-trip.

What really is at issue is allowing political people on those flights. Clearly, it violates the spirit if not the letter of the law to allow the campaign staff on taxpayer-paid flights.

Published IDOT rules limit political flights to "the elected constitutional officers of the executive branch and the leaders of the General Assembly" but make no mention of political supporters being allowed aboard.

It has been a "long-term practice" to let officeholders take whomever they choose so long as the state is paid, IDOT spokesman Mike Claffey said. IDOT doesn't plan to alter the policy, Claffey said.
This is a perfect opportunity for the AG to provide clarity.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Will NY Times apologize?

As is covered thoroughly here, the NY Times, in the Duke rape case, proves once again that anyone who trusts the accuracy of that newspaper is not a smart person.

Last August, two of its reporters examined most or all of the file in that case. Their conclusion, in an exhaustive story that was picked up dutifully across the country by hundreds of other media outlets.

"By disclosing pieces of evidence favorable to the defendants, the defense has created an image of a case heading for the rocks. But an examination of the entire 1,850 pages of evidence gathered by the prosecution in the four months after the accusation yields a more ambiguous picture. It shows that while there are big weaknesses in Mr. Nifong's case, there is also a body of evidence to support his decision to take the matter to a jury."
Here's what the Democratic Attorney General of South Carolina found, reviewing the same evidence:

We believe that these cases were the result of a tragic rush to accuse and a failure to verify serious allegations. Based on the significant inconsistencies between the evidence and the various accounts given by the accusing witness, we believe these three individuals are innocent of these charges.
So, the NY Times was 100 percent wrong. No big deal, just one of the biggest stories the paper covered last year. Consumers, beware.

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MSM spinning a non-scandal

Here's another dead-on, detailed explanation how the L.A. Times is trying to ratchet up the U.S. Attorney story into a scandal. Who needs the DNC when you have reporters doing your spinning for you?

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

A fateful Sharpton turn

From the hindsight department: It looks like radio jerk Don Imus made a big mistake sucking up to race hustler Al Sharpton in trying to extricate himself from his unfortunate comments about the Rutgers girls' basketball team.

We'll never know for sure, but Imus might have survived if instead of pandering to Sharpton, he attacked him. He could have said this once Sharpton started calling for his resignation:

I am apologizing directly to the Rutgers girls for my stupid comment. The last thing I'm going to do is answer to Al Sharpton, one of America's champion race baiters. Before he asks anyone to resign or apologize, he needs to come clean in the Tawana Brawley case. And while he's at it, he ought to apologize to the Duke boys. Then, and only then, might he have sufficient moral authority to be lecturing me.
He would have been criticized for being combative, but he might have neutralized Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and thus stopped the story's momentum against him. (I didn't care one way or another if he got fired because I rarely watched him and when I did, I never found him to be funny or entertaining).

An aside: Certainly, the comment Imus made was inappropriate. But, in reality, isn't the sympathy thermometer overheating a bit when it comes to the Rutgers' girls? These aren't helpless creatures. They are accomplished, tough young ladies who by virtue of their hours of work on a basketball court in the midst of the highest level of competition, almost won a national championship. I don't think a moronic attempt at humor by a wise-cracking ex-crack head is going to cause them to go into depression. They have learned to shrug off much bigger challenges on a daily basis.

Do we really need Oprah to make this all better?

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Cold = global warming

I just found this. CBS 2 in Chicago had a bizarre story last night that tried to suggest that the snow and cold here this month might be caused warming!

So, I guess that just about covers all contingencies. Hot = global warming and so does cold. Maybe that's what Al Gore means when he insists we have "consensus" on this issue.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

WGN-TV smears Joe Birkett

There are few issues the news media worships more than the anti-death penalty movement. Throw together a sign, pick up a candle and show up in front of a courthouse expressing outrage over the death penalty and chances are you'll soon be rivaling Al Sharpton for TV time.

Today, a protest of exactly eight citizens at the DuPage County Courthouse in Wheaton drew TV cameras from at least three Chicago stations. To build up the suspense, CBS 2 Chicago led its report saying a "busload full" of protesters had arrived from DePaul University in Chicago. Later in the report, the reporter conceded that only a handful of students had showed up, despite advance stories in newspapers heralding the protest. He blamed the lack of passion on the devastating 1-inch snowfall that blanketed the region. Another "rally" is planned in May, weather permitting.

The "protest" was against DuPage County State's Attorney Joe Birkett for seeking the death penalty for Brian Dugan for the murder of 10-year-old Jeanine Nicarico in 1983. I have no problem with anyone expressing that viewpoint. If I was a news director, however, I wouldn't give much play to a protest of eight people—unless I had a political agenda. When's the last time you remember a protest of eight pro-lifers getting TV time?

WGN-TV felt differently. Not only did they give the story good play (see video link on right side), they allowed one of the protesters to say this about Joe Birkett:
….This county has got a State's Attorney who likes to kill people. He likes to go after the death penalty for political reasons…
I called WGN-TV and asked a person in the newsroom whether it was fair to air that outrageous statement. She told me Birkett chose not to respond so it was fair. (Birkett's office says it was offered a chance to respond to the generic eight-person protest, not the specific statement that he likes to kill people). I asked her if a drunk person was stumbling around outside the courthouse muttering that Birkett had killed 50 children that morning if it was OK for WGN to air the charge. She said as long as Birkett had a chance to respond it was OK.

In other words, she said, WGN-TV could smear anyone it wanted to. Pretty amazing attitude, if you ask me.

For the record, I've known Birkett for many years. I covered him as a reporter and in more recent years have provided political advice to him. He's a smart, tough, hard-working prosecutor who's spent his life protecting DuPage County residents like me from criminals for a salary many times lower than what he could make in private practice. He's also highly respected among his colleagues in Illinois and across the country. He's a stand-up guy who is one of the few political figures in the state who directly answers reporters' cell phone calls. I find it stunning that a TV station can say it's fair to air a statement saying he likes to kill people.

This report came a few segments after a lengthy piece profiling U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, who had the most liberal voting record of all senators in 2006. Despite Durbin's long history of sharp partisanship, the story had not a single critic, harsh word, or mention of his extreme views or controversial statements. Calling it a puff piece isn't sufficiently descriptive. It was a promotional video.

A few minutes later WGN was allowing a woman to look into the camera and say the conservative Republican prosecutor from DuPage County "likes to kill people."

It was an embarassing evening of journalism by the Tribune-owned WGN-TV. Mr. Zell, were you watching?

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Life goes on for brave Iraqis

Another interesting Iraq communique from Phil O'Connor, former political advisor in Illinois who took a leave from his post at an energy firm to help the U.S. State Department and Army Corps of Engineers as a advisor to the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity.

Among other things, he was struck by the courage of the Iraqis, the enthusiasm of newly baptized Christians from South America, and the efficiency of a much-maligned company.

I have now completed three weeks in Iraq and in any number of ways it is the experience of a lifetime. People who told me that it be both rewarding and frustrating were right. The work and people are fascinating and there is an intensity that does make one feel young again. If there is a theme for this communiqué, however, it is that even in the midst of trouble and suffering, life does go on.

1) Easter and the Baghdad bug season came at the same time (and I heard over WBEZ on the internet that the cicadas have hit Chicago). I reported last time on the centrality of religious faith in the IZ and Easter naturally reinforced that impression. At the Easter vigil Mass on Saturday evening about 30 people were confirmed, with perhaps two dozen of those being Peruvian and Chilean security personnel who protect various key installations in the IZ. The half-dozen baptisms and 30 confirmations were in the middle of Mass between the Gospel and the offertory. When the priest tried to re-commence Mass he could not get things calmed down. I have never seen a happier bunch of people in my life than these South Americans who acted like they had just gotten to Disneyland, taking photos and posing with one another and with the priest. It was priceless. When I was confirmed about 45 years ago I recall the bishop reminding us that we were now "soldiers of Christ." Confirmation in the IZ brings a whole new meaning to that phrase. I think that if the Pope gets wind of how many baptisms and confirmations Padre Lim is doing here, you may see his photo up at the Vatican as "Employee of the Month" with that close-in parking spot near St. Peter's.

2) Bug season did bring my attention to something that is easy to miss with the background noise of helicopters and large vehicles—the IZ is full of song birds. The other day at Mass it was hard to hear the choir over the birds who were, no doubt, getting out the word that bug season had come and it was chow time. At least someone was happy about the bugs.

3) Easter also coincided with the fourth anniversary of what I would call the "liberation of Baghdad" and others might refer to in less affirmative ways. There are quite a few Iraqis working in the IZ and in the Embassy itself. In many ways they are the backbone of this whole thing, of course. The new US ambassador, Ryan Crocker, made the very important gesture last week of being sworn in on a temporary stage set up in the Green Bean coffee room in the Palace that houses the Embassy. He had foregone the usual swearing in with all the trappings in Washington. He made the point that I would underscore here. It is hard to describe the courage of the Iraqis who work in the IZ and run huge risks just getting to work everyday. Many live in neighborhoods that are still wracked by sectarian violence and massive criminal activity which go hand in hand. I met recently with three people who serve in an Iraqi governmental unit. One man had recently come back after several weeks during which he had moved his family to a remote part of Iraq. A woman had a young nephew, just a little boy, who had been kidnapped and successfully ransomed. The other man's brother and nephew had been kidnapped and successfully ransomed. In spite of all this, there is a genuine cheerfulness that comes across, including from the many Iraqi security people in and around the residential area I live in. It is easy to forget from the news reports that the great majority of Iraqis are desperately trying to live normal lives and have a semblance of liberty after so many years of Saddam, who, let there be no mistake, was one of the worst. (He also had terrible taste in architecture and furnishings, but that is for another day.) But life does go on here. The other evening I was listening to an Iraqi FM radio station (there are many call-in and talk shows, news & politics and music stations) and they played the familiar Happy Birthday song for someone. So some thing are the same the world over.

4) I have become a bit of a local "rock star," not because of my efforts to say good morning and so forth in my fractured Arabic, but because of the hundreds of mini-flashlights from Safety National Casualty Company I have been able to give out. Harry Ilg, the president of SNCC, and I serve together on the board of Delphi Financial Group of which SNCC is an operating insurance company. Harry has been a one-man USO sending over boxes of the various promotional trinkets the company uses. Soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, diplomatic people and contractors of various ranks as well as Iraqi, Gurkha and South American security guards are finding their way around the IZ at night with those flashlights.

5) You know you are getting old when you see someone and the word "kid" sticks in your head and then you see that he is a Lt. Colonel. I had that epiphany on Holy Thursday at Mass under very sad circumstances that further illustrate the sacrifice being made by the Iraqis. When it came time for anyone in the congregation to offer an intention, this young Army officer, his voice breaking, asked that we remember his unit's translator, "Michael," who had been murdered the prior week, and for Michael's family. I could see him wiping away the tears and the other officer next to him doing his bets to comfort him. At the end of Mass, people spontaneously went up to him and pressed money into his hands to help out Michael's wife and two young children.

6) I will end with two of those important little elements of normal life: food and laundry. I know that if one goes by the news stories it would be easy to conclude that KBR, the Halliburton subsidiary soon to be spun off, is some sort of dreadful, money grubbing bunch of no-goodniks. I think most anyone who has been here for any length of time comes to think of KBR as "mom." Indeed, just about 10 days ago a woman working for KBR who handled billeting in the Embassy area was killed along with a young Pennsylvania National Guard sergeant in the same hostile incident. She had become a mom of sorts to many people. KBR does a magnificent job on the whole range of things called (rather uncomfortably in my estimation) "life support." The DFACs (dining facilities) are clean, well run and the food is terrific and on Easter the Easter Bunny made a personal appearance in the DFAC. The food is almost too good and too much. In some ways (and only some ways) the IZ is a nine-year old boy's dream come true—armored vehicles, helicopters, guns, unlimited burgers, hotdogs, cookies, ice cream and soda pop, and people who will clean your room and do your laundry without yelling at you. As for laundry, which is easy and good, I did get a great question from my five-year old pal, Jack, of Lake Forest, Illinois. Not only did he want to know why I wore bullet proof jacket sometimes—he wanted to know how I cleaned it. I told him that as best as I could tell my flak jacket had not been cleaned since Guadalcanal.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Barack the sniper

Instead of elevating our debate as he promised, Barack Obama is resorting to cheap, inaccurate shots unbecoming a constitutional law professor, er, senior lecturer.

I'm referring to Barack's taped statement that is airing as part of today's left-wing Democratic presidential forum. Obama was taking a poke at John McCain, who visited Baghdad and reported progress in the war.
"The idea that the situation in Iraq is improving because it takes a security detail of 100 soldiers, three Black Hawk helicopters and a couple of Apache gunships to walk through a market in the middle of Baghdad is simply not credible and not reflective of the facts on the ground," Obama said in a taped interview that will air as part of a Democratic presidential forum sponsored by
First, Barack, instead of firing off rhetorical volleys meant to please the MoveOn crowd, ought to reference a source, instead of a hope. He obviously can't quote from this recently released report from retired General Barry McCaffrey, who said this:

Since the arrival of General Petraeus in command of Multi-National Force Iraq—the situation on the ground has clearly and measurably improved.
The Iraqi people are encouraged as life is almost immediately springing back in many parts of the city.
Barack's hope, of course, like all Democrats, is that the surge fails. Because if it succeeds, their careers will have as much credibility as a Don Imus rap song.

Second, Barack and the anti-war news media has completely overstated the McCain security sweep. Every day in the United States, dozens of Secret Service agents are sweeping locations in advance of a presidential visit. At large, open events, security exceeds 100 officers to protect the president. That doesn't mean the region is unsafe. It means to protect a public official from a sniper, extraordinary measures must be taken.

Nobody's comparing Springfield, IL., to Baghdad, but did Barack forget about the men on roofs with rifles who protected him when he announced his candidacy on that cold February morning?

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Sun-Times critic takes Rosie view

To some liberals in the news media, Fox News is an evil to be feared far more than those who believe their own government faked the worst attack on this country in history.

Put Chicago Sun-Times TV critic Doug Elfman in that category. His column this morning was an attack on Fox News for overreaching in attacking lunatic lefty Rosie O'Donnell, who is featured prominently on the MSM's weekday morning show called "The View."

His defense of O'Donnell was almost as lacking in logic as some of O'Donnell's pronouncements. What really was galling was Elfman's attempt to suggest that O'Donnell doesn't blame our government for the 9/11 attacks.

O'Donnell went on a tirade recently that World Trade Center Tower 7—a building near the Twin Towers—couldn't have collapsed because steel doesn't melt at the temperature of the fire that engulfed it. She concludes it was blown up deliberately.

As "proof" that O'Donnell doesn't believe the government engineered this detonation, O'Donnell said this, according to Elfman:

"No, I have no idea" who blew up Tower 7, O'Donnell said, and later added earnestly, "We're gonna take a break. We'll be right back in America, land of the free, home of the brave."
Maybe Elfman ought to do a little research before he launches his tirades against Fox News commentators who have criticized O'Donnell by characterizing her view on Tower 7 as America attacking itself.

Elfman benignly says Rosie shares her views with some conspiracy theorists around the country. Well, those conspiracy theorists all believe our government either knew in advance the 9/11 attacks were coming and purposely did nothing to stop them or engineered the attacks directly. The theory is that our government wanted to incite a global war on terror.

Rosie, who exhorted others to "google it" when comparing the Vietnam era Gulf of Tonkin incident to the Iran hostage seizure recently, apparently didn't follow her own advice. Popular Mechanics, hardly a right-wing bastion, thoroughly debunked the 9/11 conspiracy theories, one-by-one, in an exhaustive article that later was turned into a book.

If Rosie believes Tower 7 was purposely detonated, she is by definition a person who believes the government did it. It's too bad Elfman's dislike of Fox News causes his brain to short-circuit this simple logic path.

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Monday, April 9, 2007

The Patti pipeline

Reporters and federal prosecutors are looking closely at the personal finances of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and one category they are keenly interested in is the real estate commissions of his wife Patti.

This weekend, reporters from the Zell Tribune and Crain's found two more examples of Patti making money or about to make money from campaign contributors of her husband.

Notwithstanding the Governor's infantile attempt last year to diminish this line of inquiry by calling reporters "Neanderthal" and "sexist," the key questions are these:

1. How are these insiders finding Patti, a licensed real estate broker, for this work? Is there someone in the Blagojevich circle who is steering work her way? It appeared obvious from previous reports that Tony Rezko was that conduit a few years ago, but now that he's been indicted, who has taken his place? Or, more ominously, is the Governor doing it?

2. Is Patti doing any work for these commissions? Phantom commissions are one of the most common forms of corruption in Illinois and have resulted in previous indictments.

It's possible, of course, that Patti's real estate deals are lawful. Even if they are, it sends a stunning message that insiders who are subject to state regulation or who are seeking state contracts can in effect deposit money in the Governor's family checkbook by giving Patti real estate work. Sounds positively George Ryan-esque to me. A reform group spokeswoman was polite about it:

"The Blagojevich campaign fund and the clients of River Realty often seem to be intertwined, and that raises questions that should be scrutinized," says Cynthia Canary, executive director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, a public interest group. "Whether people turn to that firm because they think it may be to their advantage in other matters, we don't know."
One puzzling aspect of the Crain's story was the timing—Patti currently is listing a property for the family member of a campaign contributor. The other examples were prior to last summer's bombshell story by the Tribune that a $1,500 check was given to one of the Blagojevich's daughter a few days after the check writer's wife obtained a state job by bypassing certain hiring rules. At that time, the Tribune made it clear in several stories that the feds were looking into the family's finances.

So you'd think that Patti would try to stick to real estate work not tied to her husband's job, now that the feds' interest is known. The only logical explanation is that the Blagojevichs are grabbing what they can as insurance against the possibility the feds will freeze the campaign fund. At that point, Rod and Patti might have to dig into their pockets for legal representation.

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Sunday, April 8, 2007

Major League mediocrity

I can't remember heading into a baseball season without being able to name a single team that will threaten 100 wins. The way it looks to me, all the divisions are up for grabs.

Below are my 2007 picks in Baseball Prospectus' Predictatron contest. Last year, I came in the top dozen or so out of 900 entries. This year, I feel less confident because so many teams are mediocre.

American League East
Boston Red Sox 89 - 73
New York Yankees 88 - 74
Toronto Blue Jays 78 - 84
Tampa Bay Devil Rays 75 - 87
Baltimore Orioles 72 - 90

American League Central
Cleveland Indians 88 - 74
Detroit Tigers 85 - 77
Minnesota Twins 84 - 78
Chicago White Sox 76 - 86
Kansas City Royals 72 - 90

American League West
Anaheim Angels 86 - 76
Texas Rangers 85 - 77
Oakland Athletics 84 - 78
Seattle Mariners 76 - 86

National League East
New York Mets 88 - 74
Philadelphia Phillies 87 - 75
Atlanta Braves 85 - 77
Florida Marlins 74 - 88
Washington Nationals 58 - 104

National League Central
St. Louis Cardinals 87 - 75
Milwaukee Brewers 85 - 77
Chicago Cubs 85 - 77
Cincinnati Reds 76 - 86
Houston Astros 75 - 87
Pittsburgh Pirates 75 - 87

National League West
San Diego Padres 89 - 73
Arizona Diamondbacks 85 - 77
Colorado Rockies 84 - 78
Los Angeles Dodgers 83 - 79
San Francisco Giants 76 - 86


American League Division Series:
New York Yankees over Cleveland Indians in 5 games
Boston Red Sox over Anaheim Angels in 4 games

National League Division Series:
St. Louis Cardinals over New York Mets in 5 games
San Diego Padres over Philadelphia Phillies in 4 games

American League Championship Series:
Boston Red Sox over New York Yankees in 6 games

National League Championship Series:
San Diego Padres over St. Louis Cardinals in 6 games

World Series:
San Diego Padres over Boston Red Sox in 6 games

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Friday, April 6, 2007

NOW, Hillary and IPA money

The National Organization for Women proudly endorsed Hillary Clinton for president recently despite her reluctance for nearly a year to return money from a company accused of sexually harassing more than 100 women employees.

According to a Judicial Watch blog posting last month, Clinton is still deciding whether to return more than $150,000 from executives at International Profit Associates based in Buffalo Grove, Il., a Chicago suburb.

Hillary said the same thing last year when the New York Times profiled IPA's founder John Burgess, a man with a long checkered past, including a disbarment, an attempted grand larceny conviction, a guilty plea for patronizing a 16-year-old prostitute and a continuing trail of fraud allegations by clients of his business.

Also pending against IPA is the largest sexual harassment action ever by the Chicago office of the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. According to the Chicago Tribune, the complaint alleges that 50 male employees including Burgess harassed 101 female employees. Oprah Winfrey had some of those women on her show last year to talk about the allegations.

Since about 2002, politicians have returned tens of thousands of dollars in political contributions to IPA and Burgess. Ethically challenged Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich has returned more than $100,000 from IPA. Andrew M. Cuomo, who ran for Attorney General in New York and Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle are among the others who have also purged their IPA money.

Hillary, meanwhile, continues to ponder what to do.

If you read this 2000 Inc. magazine profile of Burgess and IPA, and several websites that have sprung to monitor complaints against the firm, it is clear that this firm is questionable at the very least. Using high-pressure sales techniques, it visits small and medium sized businesses promising management consulting advice. Those who fall for the pitch are left with $20,000 in bills and little to show for it, according to business owners such as these plaintiffs in a recently filed class action lawsuit.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, another liberal feminist Democrat, is among those investigating IPA.

Meanwhile, back at the Clinton compound where they proudly display the NOW endorsement, a review continues on whether to keep money from a firm that is accused of exploiting women and small business owners.

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Thursday, April 5, 2007

Dennis Miller on Pelosi

This is a must see video of Dennis Miller taking on Nancy Pelosi and other liberals.


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Speaker Buffoon


The Washington Post this morning gave us all a chilling preview of the Democratic Party's stewardship of foreign policy if we are foolish enough to elect a Democrat president.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi tried to play president twice recently—engineering a cut-and-run vote in Congress in Iraq and shuttling to Syria for some unauthorized "diplomacy."

Because she is either a buffoon or so consumed with Bush Derangement Syndrome that she was trying to stretch the truth and show up the president, Pelosi came back with some cheery—and dead wrong—statements about the state of affairs between Syria and Israel. She actually believed she had brokered peace instead of being snookered by Syria. A Post editorial this morning set her straight.

Only one problem: The Israeli prime minister entrusted Ms. Pelosi with no such message. "What was communicated to the U.S. House Speaker does not contain any change in the policies of Israel," said a statement quickly issued by the prime minister's office. In fact, Mr. Olmert told Ms. Pelosi that "a number of Senate and House members who recently visited Damascus received the impression that despite the declarations of Bashar Assad, there is no change in the position of his country regarding a possible peace process with Israel." In other words, Ms. Pelosi not only misrepresented Israel's position but was virtually alone in failing to discern that Mr. Assad's words were mere propaganda.
The Post described the trip as a disaster.

The really striking development here is the attempt by a Democratic congressional leader to substitute her own foreign policy for that of a sitting Republican president. Two weeks ago Ms. Pelosi rammed legislation through the House of Representatives that would strip Mr. Bush of his authority as commander in chief to manage troop movements in Iraq. Now she is attempting to introduce a new Middle East policy that directly conflicts with that of the president. We have found much to criticize in Mr. Bush's military strategy and regional diplomacy. But Ms. Pelosi's attempt to establish a shadow presidency is not only counterproductive, it is foolish.
This is the woman who is lecturing President Bush on foreign policy.

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