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October, 2008:

NEWS FLASH: The Dems are RIGHT!!!

I have seen this ad multiple times the last few days:

OK, so Marty Ozinga’s concrete company apparently donated about $25,000 to Rod Blagojevich’s campaign the last eight years. That’s bad. Of course, we could question whether Ozinga was simply a victim of Blago’s pay-to-play shakedown.

Still, I have to agree that I agree with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. All politicians that had a hand in getting Rod Blagojevich elected should not be in public office.

Rahm Emanuel and Barack Obama, for example. Emanuel, who is one of the DCCC’s leaders and possibly the biggest partisan in Congress, isn’t shy about sharing the credit on Blagojevich’s road to the Governor’s Mansion (well, at least the theoretical trip to the theoretical Governor’s Mansion; Blago lives in Lincoln Square, and flies himself flies on the taxpayer dime back and forth to Springfield.

Rahm Emanuel, a congressman from Chicago and a friend of Obama’s, told me that he, Obama, David Wilhelm, who was Blagojevich’s campaign co-chair, and another Blagojevich aide were the top strategists of Blagojevich’s victory. He and Obama “participated in a small group that met weekly when Rod was running for governor,” Emanuel said. “We basically laid out the general election, Barack and I and these two.” A spokesman for Blagojevich confirmed Emanuel’s account, although David Wilhelm, who now works for Obama, said that Emanuel had overstated Obama’s role. “There was an advisory council that was inclusive of Rahm and Barack but not limited to them,” Wilhelm said, and he disputed the notion that Obama was “an architect or one of the principal strategists.”

So, yes, I implore you to follow the Dems’ advice. If the candidate supported Rod Blagojevich, do not vote for him or her.

Before we walk further down this path…

Barack Obama says the credit market’s collapse is proof that free markets don’t work without the government intervening (pay no attention to government intervention that made credit looser than it should have been).

John McCain doesn’t make a strong case that Obama is wrong. Because of that, every employee on McCain’s staff (and McCain himself) will owe those of us who like the idea of living in a free country an apology.

Put aside the peripheral issues and focus on the big picture.  Come January, we could experience a major shift to the left. Why wouldn’t we?  Sure, we could hope that Obama sees the light, as Christopher Buckley hopes.  I won’t hold my breath.

Watch this famous October 1964 Reagan speech and understand what kind of future we might have to face.


From Newsprint to Film

One of the best.Via Michael Miner’s “News Bites” comes news that a Chicago-area entrepreneur is working on a short film about Mike Royko.

The film is not set in Chicago, but Bohners Lake, Wis., where Royko and his first wife owned a summer home.

It is also the subject of one of Royko’s greatest columns (if not his greatest).  If you haven’t read “A November Farewell,” which Royko wrote in late 1979 upon returning to the Chicago Sun-Times from an extended leave of absence following his wife’s unexpected death, take a moment to read it.

I first read the column in a special section dedicated to Royko that the Chicago Tribune put together after his April 1997 death.  It made me cry.

I read it again when the compilation of Royko columns, One More Time, came out the following year. I cried again.


If only she ran McCain’s campaign

The Wall Street Journal’s Kim Strassel wrote a must-read column today looking into Obama’s campaign claims and how they are incredibly unrealistic.

It would be nice if Obama’s opponent could be a little more aggressive and question how Obama’s vision just does not add up. Strassel says it much better:

 We’d like to thank a few people in the audience. Namely, Republican presidential nominee John McCain, who has so admirably restrained himself from running up on stage to debunk any of these illusions and spoil everyone’s fun.

We know he’s in a bit of a box, having initially blamed today’s financial crisis on corporate “greed,” and thus made it that much harder to call for a corporate tax cut, or warn against excessive regulation. Still, there were some pretty big openings up here this evening, and he let them alone! We’d also like to thank Mr. McCain for keeping all the focus on himself these past weeks. It has helped the Great Obama to just get on with the show.

Instead, we have a Republican candidate who is not overly enamored with the free market system, and a candidate who wants to spend $300 billion on buying “bad” mortgages, and renegotiating with the homeowner to lower their payment (and effectively reward the irresponsible homeowners and banks for their foolish decisions).

Let’s deny Randy Newman 2 royalties!

This upbeat-sounding, although not-entirely-complimentary Randy Newman song blares over the PA system at Dodger Stadium after each home win. Here’s to the real Cubs showing up at Chavez Ravine instead of the pale imitators wearing pinstripes at Wrigley Field the last couple of days.

It’s difficult to stay upbeat when the Cubs haven’t given much cause for hope. Ryan Dempster walked everyone in sight on Wednesday, and the bullpen couldn’t stop the bleeding. Dempster hasn’t had control problems all year. The Cubs bats were invisible for most of the series thus far despite leading the NL in runs.

But most infuriating is the shoddy defense on display last night. How does this happen? Aren’t you supposed to be professionals out there? It’s exacerbated by the fact that Zambrano was dealing out there, keeping his composure despite the task of having to get six outs in the second inning.

Rich Harden is going to have to throw a gem tomorrow night. Just spare the sweep. Sunday, take your chances with Ted Lilly, who has been on fire his last four starts.

Baby steps. Even up the series. Then, come back here with a little more confidence and a lot more competence.