Anan at library, Kanye West at the tower, Trump and the Russians

Gentle reminder on top of his emails, Mayor Anan meets the people again at the library tonight 7-8:30, in the company of veteran public office-holder, once of the Taylor Avenue Newberrys, Carolyn Newberry Schwartz, Director of the Oak Park Collaboration for Early Childhood. 

Won’t be there myself, having gone North Side Chicago some 18 months ago (where the perfect children are) and finding the ride south and west something of a burden even in pleasant weather. But am happy to see Mr. Mayor still bringing the mountain to Mohammed, to use a very old reference, and not waiting for people to show up at village board meetings. 


Now, another thing. Did you know Kanye West had a sitdown with The trump-kanye-ivankaDonald? Came to The Tower. They are friends. Talked about “multicultural issues,” including violence in Chicago. Remember in the campaign, Trump giving several save-black-neighborhoods speeches. His opponent, on the other hand, could only twist the message, making it an attack on the law-abiding. 

Had to be a picture to go with this story. I love it. Counter-cultural, T. always one step ahead of the hounds of hell who pursue him by fair means or foul, I mean the Dem Party-WaPo-NYT axis and its useful idiots in newspapers, etc. throughout the land.

For instance, the spurious Putin-tilting-election-Trump-ward business, hopped on with glee by the axis in blithe disregard of Obama’s “flexibility” in real time, for instance in this:

 FLASHBACK–Obama Whispers Message for Putin in 2012: ‘After My Election, I’ll Have More Flexibility’


The president with his friend Medvedev. Planning an end-around the electorate. What a rat.

President Obama was running for re-election in March 2012, when a live microphone picked up his whispered conversation with then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev.

 He assured the Russian, once he’s elected, no problem. Said tell Putin. Fine, said the Russian. Four-plus years later, supporting Hillary, he criticized Trump for sounding friendly to Putin and yet later ordered investigation of Putin helping Trump, for God’s sake.

Source: FLASHBACK–Obama Whispers Message for Putin in 2012: ‘After My Election, I’ll Have More Flexibility’

Oh boy, then (now) came the fake story to beat all, an “inside-the-Beltway soap opera written by the Drive-By Media,” with outlets jumping all over it. Dying to knock this guy down. He’s unpredictable, not one of us. Knock him down.

 A site called Politifact, which for what it’s worth owns a Pulitzer prize. analyzed it:

We wanted to know the current evidence both for and against Russian involvement. While investigations may reveal more later, we found that there isn’t conclusive proof of Russian involvement for some of these claims, and whether Putin truly prefers President Trump remains an open question.

 “There is likely some truth to some of these allegations, but there has also been a bit of Russia hysteria recently on the part of some pundits, politicians and media,” said Scott Radnitz, a professor at the University of Washington currently researching conspiracy theories in post-Soviet states. [Italics added]

 The later investigations are described in an editor’s note:

Since we published this story, the question of Russia’s role has come under additional questioning. The Washington Post reported Dec. 9 that the CIA concluded Russia meddled in the election with the intent to help Trump, rather than to disrupt the election generally. The New York Times produced a similar report. However, the Washington Post also reported that the FBI isn’t as confident in this conclusion. These stories are all based on anonymous sources and cannot be independently verified.

Additionally, today, in fact, 2:03 pm Eastern time, we have this from Reuters:

 The overseers of the U.S. intelligence community have not embraced a CIA assessment that Russian cyber attacks were aimed at helping Republican President-elect Donald Trump win the 2016 election, three American officials said on Monday.

 While the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) does not dispute the CIA’s analysis of Russian hacking operations, it has not endorsed their assessment because of a lack of conclusive evidence that Moscow intended to boost Trump over Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, said the officials, who declined to be named.

 The position of the ODNI, which oversees the 17 agency-strong U.S. intelligence community, could give Trump fresh ammunition to dispute the CIA assessment, which he rejected as “ridiculous” in weekend remarks, and press his assertion that no evidence implicates Russia in the cyber attacks.



So. Got properly riled up, I did. Fuggeddaboudit if it bothers you. (Some few will not be bothered.)

 All that said, it’s still a good idea to drop by the library tonight to hear the latest from Oak Park’s mayor.


Before running, or driving, amok on the OSU campus, this reportedly pious Muslim, worried about being unable to pray on campus . . .

Blithe Spirit

” . . . relied on God. I went over to the corner and just prayed.”

And then drove amok.

Tell me, please, if that’s good Muslim theology. Where did he get that idea?

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A lest-we-forget project for Cubans

Blithe Spirit

And what the hell, for the rest of the world too, especially those tempted to leftist fascism.

As for leftist fascism, consider this fascinating dissecting of the Fidelista mindset and program.

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Challenging climate-change enthusiasm

Give climate change a chance. A closer look, that is.

Blithe Spirit

Chicago-based Heartland Institute has a position on the issue.

The Heartland Institute has participated in the global debate over climate policy since 1993, when it published an influential book titled Eco-Sanity: A Common-Sense Guide to Environmentalism.

Our position has always been that if human emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases pose a threat to the natural world and human health, then actions to avoid the threat would be necessary.

But if the best-available research shows there is little danger or that there is nothing we can do to prevent climate change, then we should oppose legislation adopted in the name of “stopping” global warming.

So, the eminent Christian leader, Pope Francis, among other opinion-makers and -leaders, certainly has a challenge. Or one would think.

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Tale of two headlines: Trump nominees via Wall St. Journal, Chi Trib

Blithe Spirit

For this story in WSJ,: “Trump Starts Filling out Senior Team”

And digital: “Donald Trump Begins Filling Cabinet With Offers to Jeff Sessions, Mike Pompeo: Donald Trump taps Sessions as attorney general, Pompeo as CIA director”

President-elect Donald Trump began filling his Cabinet, announcing Friday that he would appoint Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) as Attorney General and Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.) as director of the Central Intelligence Agency.


For Chi Trib story, same news, hard copy: “For 1st picks, Trump stays far right,” with subhead “Nominees’ words, policies worry civil-rights activists.

And digital: “Donald Trump’s first picks for top jobs show how he plans to govern from the hard right”

President-elect Donald Trump began filling his Cabinet on Friday with stalwarts of the right, signaling with a trio of top national security and law enforcement selections that he will aggressively pursue promises he made during the campaign…

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At CLAIM meeting, Oct. 9, 2013, Julian School: college costs, student lunch, pensions

How high the cost of college:

A panel of student-questioners were given the floor. First, the high cost of college.

Sen. Harmon said legislators are aware of the problem and are working on it.

Sen. Lightford referred to MAP (Monetary Award Program) grants, the state’s financial aid program for “neediest” students attending Illinois colleges.

Rep. Lilly offered a remarkable claim: “I passed legislation for grants for junior college,” adding an equally remarkable suggestion, “I’d like to put on the table, [we should] get parents involved. We need to bring them to this room and ask them how to do it.”

Say what?

But parents were in this room, so were their children, asking four legislators, one of them Lilly, how to solve the problem. No one asked her what she had in mind, who apparently knew her well enough to just let it go.

The oddity of “passing legislation” remains unexplained. Her only involvement with college-related legislation had been co-sponsorship of a bill in the previous February to prohibit smoking on state-funded campuses.

Lunch time:

The next question, about how to improve school lunches, got the students some teacherly advice from Rep. Ford, a former teacher — “Form a student lunch committee. It will change things” — and from Sen. Lightford — “Draft legislation, if you will, changing the menu. Open dialog with the school administration.” All things considered, it was good advice from both.

Pension funds:

A student asked about pension funds. They had been underfunded “the day [he] was born,” Harmon told the questioner. It was “the most complicated problem” the state faced. Once again he noted “the crucial reform of 2010,” which at the library three months earlier he had said “kind of solved” the problem but had been “grossly underreported.” Again he made special mention of the Tribune as chief offender.

Ford called the problem “difficult to a degree,” but ruled out benefits reduction as unconstitutional “because it reduces [legislated] benefits” — which was the reasoning that prevailed within the Illinois Supreme Court some months later.

Lightford declared it a moral issue. “I’m challenged,” she said, apparently meaning she couldn’t make up her mind, or so she said, carefully. “If a teacher after 25 to 30 years, retires, it’s totally wrong to [reduce] benefits.”


A woman in the audience spoke out: “Right.”

Totally wrong or not, Lightford was “not for it . . . not against it,” having in mind “all who did their due diligence,” apparently meaning put in their time as employees.

The woman in the audience once more: “That’s right.”

Lightford made further extended comment, then struck a blow for reductions, sounding as if, but not quite, as if she’d made up her mind: “We’re talking about people’s livelihoods.”

The woman in the audience again: “That’s right.”

Lightford continued: “I have time” to plan, for retirement, which she did not expect for many years. But others do not. Finally, settling the matter: “I can’t give a yes or a no” to reducing pensions.

Her friend in the audience once more: “Thank you for that.”

Advice from Lilly:

Lilly offered her dollop of wisdom: “Process is as important as the end itself.” She spoke with hands in air, causing mike-sputter: “So correctively [sic], what can we do? We need to listen to one another.”

The woman in the audience said nothing.

Timely ending:

“We are listening to state employees,” Lilly continued, finally seeming to embrace the unembraceable: “Someone will walk away with less,” adding, “they may have a better feeling toward our state.” When all was said and done, apparently.

Ford noted a possible upside to the pension cut. For someone on a fixed income “and working because they want to work,” he said, the outcome “might be good.” Silk purse, sow’s ear.

In the nick of time. It was 9 p.m. The meeting was over.

From Illinois Blues: How the Ruling Party Talks to Voters —  available in paperbackepub and Amazon Kindle formats.

Guess how legacy media warhorse explains Hillary defeat, tells where to find unbiased coverage. Marist High consigns 5 tweeting seniors to outer darkness

Immediately following his kickoff lecture for Dominican U.’s new foreign-correspondent “initiative” — lecture series plus internships — on 14 Nov, onetime major-TV reporter Marvin Kalb was asked about the election. He put it to the audience of 200 or so, did they want a diplomatic answer or one that showed how he “really felt.”

No one wanted the former, as tempting as the offer was — what’s not to like about diplomatic answers? — so he spoke from the heart, elucidating these points among others:

HRC lost the election because she “carried baggage from the ’80s” in Arkansas that when examined added up to nothing but which “created the narrative” that dogged her to the very end.

Additionally, hers was a “blunder” to use her own email for official purposes. “Trapped, she fumbled around for six months” before admitting it.

Finally, the FBI played a “scandalous” role in all this. In the end of which, “one email” was “all they had.”

In any case, he added, she lost by (only) a few thousand votes in each of several important states.

“We [the people] are trapped,” he concluded, by what it was not clear, except that it left the electorate apparently confused and unable to make good decisions.

Asked about risk-averse behavior by news executives, K. moved from “financial pragmatism” that prevents their taking chances through various ancillary matters, eventually to the bravery of “young women in the field” who have to work twice as hard as men.

He took time also to praise Washington Post reporter David Farenthold as “magnificent,” pursuing stories about Trump such as apparently not donating to a veterans’ organization which he claimed he had done.

He further praised the three legacy networks and PBS for coming “as close to unbiased as we can get,” adding (to applause) that he had quit his four-year gig at Fox News when he’d been told it was “none of [his] business” whether Fox was “in bed with Trump,” as he, K., had decided.

All in all, it was a statement for legacy old-timers sticking to their guns in the dawning of a new era which I am tempted to call a new age of Aquarius — for its rejuvenation qualities, not for any flights of fancy.

Meanwhile, in another major arena of human endeavor, Catholic schools, we may assume that the five Marist High School senior girls who went on Tweeted record with their harsh and unkind thoughts about black people and were apparently expelled for it have learned their lesson in a majorly teachable moment: SHUT UP AND GO AWAY!

There may be — actually there is, Christians believe — more joy somewhere about sinners reforming than about non-sinners, but BEGONE, YE CURSED is for someone and some place else, as I recall. Besides, isn’t it Pope Francis’ YEAR OF MERCY? And isn’t Cardinal-elect Cupich THE POPE’S KIND OF GUY? Questions, questions.

Mum’s the word at Marist, but from an online petition, we learn about the expulsions. Consider same.

Five girl’s [sic] lives have been damaged due to the final decision Marist High school has put forth. The administration at Marist acted on the situation quickly and wrongly not even knowing the poor image it had just created for itself.

These highly intelligent young women made a horrible mistake that they wish they had never made. However, Marist High School is a private, catholic institution whose ongoing slogan is “Brothers and Sisters for life”. Being [connected to] a catholic school, we are often taught to forgive those who sin. ” ‘For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others for their sins, your father will not forgive your sins’ (Matt. 6:14-15).”

As a student body we understand that this was not an easy decision to make, however, we also believe that the actions that were taken were wrong, not only in the eyes of the people, but our Lord as well. Parents throughout the Marist community have spent thousands of dollars because they believe in “The Marist Way” and it’s [sic]reputation. That reputation is now gone in the eyes of many. Please take into account these five girls and their families and sign this petition!

The petition had 5,635 signers as of 16 Nov, 6 p.m.

Onward and upward with the Trump presidency

My Saturday morning jolt was as usual from my front step-delivered Chi Trib, with its page one (LA Times) story about how bad the Trump transition was going. More an op-ed piece or editorial than news story, the piece reflected the mainstream negativity that I don’t find in WSJ, where professionalism reigns pretty much unchallenged. (Some of its usually trustworthy columnists did go somewhat ga-ga in their revulsion to Trump in recent months, but that was then.)

In any case, I can thank the Trib for bringing me up on that mainstream stuff. In its news coverage, it is often a sure-fire register of such. This time is was about the “rocky start” to transition work — “Trump replaces Christie with Pence as head of transition team amid bumpy first steps to the White House” — three days after the election!

“Increasingly,” the Trib said, about the rocky start. What were the earlier signs? Where have I been? I asked myself. Well, T. had got his children and son-in-law on board the transit  team. You mean some of the people who helped him get elected? Gosh.

As for the conflict issue, in that T. is leaving the children in charge of the empire, it’s what you bring up as sand in the face of the upstart, whom almost all (right?) of the mainstreamers opposed and still do so. So they hop to that sort of thing, which will sort itself out in time or be sorted out or forced to a head. But at this point? Gossip.

More, ah, sophisticated matters are afoot. Such as the bruited-about leading supposed candidacy of Texas congressman Jeb Hensarling for Treasurer, who said he’s willing to talk about it if they call, but has heard nothing. It’s not something he’s shown interest in, he said, or that he’s pursuing. On the contrary, he considers himself “in a pretty good position now to advance the cause.”

That would be chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, from which to move to fruition such Republican priorities as dismantling, or at least weakening Dodd-Frank, product of the worst of Obama-Democrat leftistry. His is a “free-market” background, says WSJ,  and he has “deep GOP Ties.” So what’s not to like for Treasury?

Based on his record as a congressman, he would also seek to “phase out” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which have richly deserved it in view of their enabling role in the 2008 housing-market fiasco, and would call a halt to the already severely limited Export-Import Bank.

Meanwhile, a quick glance at Trib’s online page presents a Wash Post story, “Donors and lobbyists already shaping Donald Trump’s ‘drain the swamp’ administration,” again proving Trib’s sure-fire usefulness as window to the mainstream world.

Already, get it. Newsies the country over are not waiting to see holes in the garment of the administration that was never meant to be. He will never be forgiven for winning, especially in light of how bad he made them look in the process.

Consider also, on Chi Trib’s site and probably in Saturday-Sunday hard copy, due on my doorstep in a few hours, yet another LA times piece, “Analysis: Fight to define Trump’s presidency will be waged between two competing factionsLook, Ma, they’re fighting each other already!

Where will these stories be in a month. Or week. Or by Monday? Where do the thousand cuts go by which the enemy is done in?

It’s like they dealt with their boy Obama, their hope-and-change con man, in his first days, which presaged their adulatory handling of him and his programs and people pretty much throughout his tenure. Not like that at all, by the way. Whatever.

Lay of the post-election land. Republicans are Trumpists now.

Reading Wall St. Journal: Trump’s policies are to become Republican policies. Previous policies are “all on the wane.” To achieve this radical transformation , Trump had to win, and that’s all he had to do.

Outside Washington, Republicans found themselves trying to define the new Republicanism. Post-expected-Dem victory, GOP was to be in disarray. Now GOP is in the catbird seat, prepared to press its advantage. (Let the media rage.)

“We have learned from the lessons of last night,” said a moderate Republican state senator in Ohio. Wow. He will change from a moderate Republican — RINO, in name only, to the right) to Trumpist. A former South Carolina state chairman said he has to learn how to do this.

in her farewell address, Hillary talked about the glass ceiling : it hasn’t been smashed, but “some day someone will . . .” (Is there a Margaret Thatcher in our future?)

Her victory party at the Javits Center would have been held under an actual glass ceiling.

So. There’s an end of fulmination. She retires to Chappaqua. And there’s a start of hardball — smiling at this point but surely in the works — to achieve results to make America great again.

Sun-Times: Mary Mitchell on haters, no thanks. Michael Sneed on being a 72-year-old woman, no thanks. Fran Spielman on Rahm explaining. Yesss.

He’s kicking himself for missing voters’ “deep disenchantment” that propelled Trump to the White House, she writes. He hesitated to analyze it further, but couldn’t resist the smart Ms. S., who got him going after her 2nd or 3rd question. (Good girl, lady.)

He cited the economy, “culture and racial issues,” Lack of “respect for diversity,” meaning for “3rd, 4th, 5th-generation” citizens” who found Trump OK despite his big-mouthism and slapdash characterizations (and I think he knew what he was doing, getting his big ideas across with stunning rhetoric — he wasn’t explaining Aristotle to undergraduates, was he?).

All in all, and the last few lines are mine alone, a rather good analysis. Good for him and good for her.

An AP story about protesters: Trump “a fascist” a protester said. “The idea we can elect a guy who . . .  We can’t let that stand.” And so must protest it, apparently.

An Oak Parker whose father had immigrated from Panama, had an opposite view. His father did it right, he said. Trump was “not racist, but wants things properly done.

Finally in S-T, Lynn Sweet, freed from her unfortunate puff-piece-about-Obama-family mode, cites “middle-class anger” which “the media missed.”

She notes also that Trump commended Bernie Sanders more than once from the stump (as another who knew the anger), and maybe most important of all, turned out to be not a drag on the ticket, but a help.

Indeed, as WSJ explained, now it’s Republicans super omnes, thanks to the very Trump who was supposed to be their ruin.

They didn’t know it, most of them, but they ran on his coattails — which was maybe the biggest surprise of all in an election full of them.

Outwitting Danny Davis in court: How a radiologist from River Forest beat The Man

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 4:21 PM

By Jim Bowman


 The man who outwitted Congressman Danny Davis (with the help of a U.S. judge) is at your service tonight, 7 o’clock, at the Library on Lake Street.
He’s Jeff Leef, on the ballot as a REPUBLICAN opposing the venerable Mr. Davis for U.S. Representative. But it was a close call.You can read about it at Chi Trib’s “The candidate vs. the machine, a Chicago story.”

Leef, a River Forest radiologist, was knocked off the ballot by Chicago Dems magically transformed into Republican committeemen, who themselves were then knocked out by legitimate Republicans, who were then countermanded by the — guess what? — the Dem-dominated Chicago Board of Elections.

Hey, it’s Chicago, it’s Cook County. It’s how it’s done.

Finally, a federal judge said nuts to that and put him back on the ballot.

He will talk tonight about his electoral adventures and why he embarked on them at the Library.

7 to 9 o’clock closing, folks. You’re invited.