Monthly Archives: March 2008

>REACT: GOP offers up another "gimme" to the Democrats

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Well, seems like all the Republican crazies are assembling in Illinois’ 11th Congressional District to give the seat to the Democrats. You have to give the GOP in the Land of Lincoln a lot of credit for ingenuity and perseverance. It is not easy to keep handing over election victories to opposition candidates who are way too liberal for the voters and represent arguably the most scandal ridden political machine in America. This is especially true in such “safe” districts as the 11th.

We have seen the GOP’s genius in turning over the 14th congressional seat to the donkey party — the seat once held by former House Speaker Denny Hastert. And we all remember how a virtually unelectable Barak Obama’s Senate career was launched first by the sexless scandal that knocked out candidate Jack Ryan followed by the incomprehensible stupidity of giving the nomination to kooky Alan Keyes.

Now the handlers of the Republican Party have seized the opportunity to surrender the 11th district seat, once held by Congressman Jerry Weller.

First, the powers that be picked another sprinter for the marathon. New Lenox Mayor Tim Balderman, and choice of the boys and girls in the back room, was handed the nomination only to quite the race before the first mile marker. This gave the local county chairmen (especially Will County Chairman Dick Kavanagh, who has 48 percent of the weighted vote) the chance to hand pick the candidate on behalf of the voters.

Apparently they could not risk retaining the seat with any one of half dozen winnable candidates. Rather, they concocted a silly notion that they would auction the seat off to the highest bidder. Okay. They did not call it an auction, but they said they would only pick a “self-funding” candidate – the guy putting up the most money. That sounds like an auction to me.

So, Kavanagh puts his muscle behind a rich road contractor named Martin Ozinga. Money was so important that the boys and girls in the back room did not care that Ozinga does not live in the district. It’s not a legal requirement, you know, but usually a good idea if you want to win.

They knew the Ozinga family has lots of money to throw around because they saw past donations from him, his father and the company they run. Let’s see … there is some $25,000 to Chicago Mayor Daley, $20,000 to Governor Blagojevich and another $25,000 to the Hispanic Democrat organization, the street army and patronage broker for Hizzoner, the Mayor. They are in the epicenter of the corruption investigation by the U.S. Attorney, as is the Governor. There are also contributions to such Dem candidates as Gery Chico, Paul Vallis and Senator Dick Durbin, just about the most liberal and strident partisan guy in the U.S. Senate. In other words, the GOP backroomers are going to hand the nomination to a guy who’s family is funding everything the majority of 11th district voters loath.

Why so much money to “the other side,” you ask? No mystery there. Road building and public works construction are among the seediest enterprises in the state. It is pay-to-play.

So, take your pick. The Ozinga family gives these guys tons of money because he believes in their philosophy and governing style (Ugh!), or he gives it to get to the front of the line for those lucrative, rip-off-the-taxpayers contacts (Arrrrrgh!). Either way, not something the voters can feel good about.

Of course, this kind of skullduggery cannot be performed in public. As soon as the opportunity to blow this election presented itself, a lid of secrecy was clamped down on the process. Potential candidates were sworn to silence, and even they were not provided a lot of information about “the process.” It was sort of a “silent auction,” if you will.

Despite all this, there was a chance, ever so slight, that Ozinga could win. Politics is full of surprises. The GOP could not afford that risk. So … some of the ideologues on the right have a great idea. They want to mount a write in candidacy. Since they would present a much more acceptable candidate to the voters, it is very likely that they can get a bunch of votes away from Ozinga — the coup de gras.

The conservative thinking has three motivators. First, to punish (well deserved) the leaders for picking Ozinga. Second, to actually win the seat with a candidate more like the district voters (hope springs eternal). Third, to assure Ozinga’s lose because they see no difference, and then can come back in two years to reclaim the seat with a true believer. The fact that reclaiming public offices has not been a GOP strong suit appears to be lost on them

So, there it is. The perfect political “storm” to achieve the virtually impossible — losing a safe conservative Republican congressional seat to a tax-and-spend, super liberal candidate who is a leader in the corrupt Illinois Democrat party. The 11th district could soon be represented by the type of politician most of the voters would not want living next door – and one of them doesn’t.

FOOTNOTE: The nomination will be made official on April 30. So there is a chance — ever so slight — that the GOP will come to its senses and nominate a more likely winner. Ozinga accepted the recommendation of the bosses with this statement: “After much prayer and careful consideration – and at the urging of Republican leaders, 11th District voters and my family – I have decided to run for Congress to be a positive part of the process of returning to the foundational truths established by our forefathers.” Where was the “fundamental truths” of our forefathers in those donations?
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>REACT: Obama and the religious Wright

>The sound you hear is the hot air escaping from the Barack Obama’s presidential balloon as it descends to earth.

I hate to be an I-told-you-so, but … Why do we always say that? Actually, I’m grinning from ear to ear. I love being I-told-you-so. Who doesn’t?

So, here it is.

Long before the Obama’s religious mentor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, ignited the ammo dump of racial politics, I predicted that the “racial thing” would sink Obama – if not for the nomination, certainly for the general election. (Check out my blog items on South Carolina Mississippi … and the campaign in general.)

Keep in mind that it was Obama who first pulled the switch that sent his campaign train, the Unifer Express, off the main line and onto the African American Limited sidetrack. The beginning of the end for Obama came when he decided to run as the candidate of black aspirations in South Carolina, were the African American bloc represented about half of the primary voters. Prior to that, Obama was pulling 50 to 70 percent of black voters — not enough to win in future primaries.

To get the needed 80 to 90 percent majorities to carry him over the top in places like South Carolina and Mississippi, and give him a greater share of distributed delegates in places like Texas, he had to offer himself as the black political messiah. It worked. His subsequent victories resulted from overwhelming black turnout and vote.

Bill Clinton was not wrong in comparing Obama’s South Carolina victory to those of Jesse Jackson in 1984 and 1988. It was a demographic inevitability based on racial politics. So long as Obama made it a black crusade, he could command the lead in the Democrat primaries, where black votes enjoy a disproportionate advantage.

In high school science, we learned that “for every action there is an opposite but equal reaction.” This applies to politics, too. As Obama solidified black support for his candidacy, he created a countervailing coalition of wary whites. In invoking ethnic solidarity among his adopted people, he naturally provoked solidarity among his other people. Though half white and half black, Obama chose to be a black candidate for all the obvious reasons. Geraldine Ferrarro was not wrong either.

Obama’s introduction of racial politics showed in the numbers. For the big gain in the black vote, he was suddenly losing 75-plus of the white vote in many key states. His hope of increasing his percentage with the Hispanics also was dashed by his Afrocentric campaign. That may have cost him a clear win in Texas. As time went by, racial polarization became more of a factor. That trend continues.

Though Obama first played the racial card, the Clinton campaign saw their opportunity on the white side of the racial divide. Clinton matched the racial card with the surrogate comments of Bill Clinton, Geraldine Ferrarro and others, but they did not trump it. The advantage was still Obama’s. He was taking a calculated risk, and so far the calculus looked good. His zigzag racial strategy was working, with gains outpacing loses. But then, the joker turned up in the person of Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s long-time pastor, close friend and self-proclaimed religions mentor.

At a time when Obama was trying to deflect suspicions of radical Muslimism lurking behind his Harvard-bred image, he was more than eager to brag of his strong ties to the Christian United Trinity Church of Christ and his close relationship with Pastor Wright. For more than 20 years, the Obama family had been among the congregants. Barak and Michelle were married at Trinity by Pastor Wright. The Obama children were baptized there. He attended regularly, and supported the church with is donations. In more recent years, Obama was among the church’s most prominent attendees. Obama titled his book, The Audacity of Hope, after the sermonic themes of Pastor Wright. Though perhaps less appropriate, it was a better title for a presidential campaign than “God Damn America.” He offered up Pastor Wright to the public as part of his campaign network of informal advisors. Obama was the first Democrat presidential candidate to wear his religion on his sleeve, refusing to let the right-wing lay exclusive claim to God.

Now however, Pastor Wright’s well-publicized racist, anti-Semitic and anti-American rantings — and his endorsement and honoring of Nation of Islam black supremis Louis Farrakhan — have inflicted a body blow to the Obama campaign. In a matter of days, Obama shifted from a tacit defense of Wright to outright repudiation. This has put Obama at odds with his church members, who accuse the press of character assassination. Apparently, Obama has joined the assassins out of necessity.

Beyond the bounds of credibility, Obama claims to have never … repeat “never” … heard such rhetoric when he was in attendance. Not once in 20 years. (Why does that sound like, “I never once had sex with that woman?”) Sounding a bit like an old school marm, the senator claims that had he heard such hateful rhetoric from the pulpit, he would have talked to Pastor Wright to express his disapproval. Tsk! Tsk!

Lincoln once said that “widely held beliefs, whether will or ill founded, have the impact of fact.” For Obama, this means his excuses cannot dissuade the public from a now widely held belief that he is … lying. For the first time his denial lacks plausibility.

In attempt to bridge the racial gap, Obama sites the racism of his grandmother – calling it white “inbred” racism. Well, that sure backfired. Now a lot of non-racist white folks are highly insulted. The accusation of pandemic inbred racism among whites sounds like black paranoia and an affirmation of deep seeded racism on the part of Obama. Sounds like something Pastor Wright might have bellowed from the pulpit – but of course, Obama would not have been there to hear it.

One way to execute damage control is to inflict some of the same damage on the opponent. So, the Obama folks dropped a photo of Pastor Wright standing with President Clinton for one of those get-in-line photo ops. How pathetic. Rather than expose the Clintons with this sophomoric stunt, Obama exposed the beads of desperation sweat on his political brow. His handlers are smart enough to know that their candidate could be marching to the convention with an already inflicted mortal wound. This is just the kind of situation that argues for the super delegates to exercise independent judgment at the time of the convention.

None of this will have much impact on the black vote. He is their guy. It does, however, continue affect white voter thinking. Obama is no longer the post-racial unifer. Having dodged the less credible case of being a stealth Manchurian candidate for radical Muslimism, he now appears to be more credibly pegged as a latent adherent of black racist theology. Furthermore, his tenuous hold on the largely liberal Democrat Jewish vote is being undone by Pastor Wright’s anti-Semitic homilies. Suddenly, Michelle Obama’s statement that she was never proud of America in the past takes on a more ominous meaning.

As he did with the Rezko affair, Obama sought to use a public relations platform to purge the demons of negative public opinion with a grand statement of conscience – a speech. This was his latest moment to “come clean.” While his supporters have branded his oration in Philadelphia as seminal, and the liberal press touts his success in rising above the racial muck, polls suggest that most Americans are less awed..

No one would question Obama’s speechifying talent. His racial manifesto was well written and well presented. An A+ in any speech class. The only problem, it did not stem the flow of white voters into the Clinton camp — and to the McCain camp, if Obama should turn out to be the candidate. It seems to me that the amount of exuberant praise the speech is receiving from his supporters reveals the fear more than the joy. I think they doth praise too much.

Whatever assurances are offered up, it is clear that THE speech did not bring the Pastor Wright problem to closure. Clinton will be necessarily restrained in taking advantage of Obama’s religious crisis, and the issue may ebb between now and the convention. But rest assured, the church affiliation brouhaha will have its effect, and you can bet it will be played out again before November. Already, it is on endless loop on the Internet.

And don’t you have the feeling that one of these days there will be yet another nasty revelation involving Pastor Wright?

>OBSERVATION: Illinois GOP about to give away another congressional seat?

>Is it possible? Can it be? Is the almost non-existent, largely irrelevant and obviously dysfunctional Illinois Republican party about to give away one of their few remaining major offices.

I am referring to the buzz in the Land of Lincoln’s 11th Congressional District that the local county chairmen have pretty much decided to give the congressional nomination to public works contractor Martin Ozinga — solely on the basis that he is as rich guy who can finance his own campaign. This obsession with a self-funder is taking on the proportions of political madness.

The appointment of a candidate was necessitated by an earlier fiasco. Seems like the hand pick guy won the nomination, then proceeded to exit rather than face the glare of public scrutiny. This left retiring Congressman Jerry Weller with egg on his face, and the local GOP bosses holding the bag.

In their myopic lust for a candidate with deep pockets, the local leaders decided that issues do not matter. Of course, philosophy has never been much of a consideration in Illinois politics. Now even electability takes a back seat to spreading around money.

After Denny Hastert blew the 14th Congressional District by imposing dairyman Jim Oberweis, a self-funding candidate with less shelf appeal than his ice cream, you would think the party operatives would want to hold on to the 11th. But noooooooo! You would think that they would notice that self-funding doesn’t necessarily lead to victory at the polls. But nooooooooo!

I really don’t know Ozinga personally. Maybe he is a splendid guy. Can’t say. However, it does not take much of a look to know his appeal to the Republican majority in the 11th will be less than enthusiastic. One might say he is unelectable. So there … I said it.

For many years, there has been a lot of “smoke” surrounding the Ozinga name. And why not? Public works and road building have operated at the underbelly of political life. It is an industry that has been associated with mob influence. Not sure why, but the boys with funny middle names seem to has a fascination with trucks. The entire sleazy public works construction business is personified by Bill “Mr. Roads-to-Riches” Cellini (pictured), the taxpayer-made mega millionaire who keeps coming up as a person of interest in various federal indictments. Ozinga, himself, will have some explaining to do regarding past business practices that have surfaced in the press.

Ozinga is the classic pay-to-play guy. Why else would this “good Republican” and his family give tens of thousands of dollars to Rich Daley. Tens of thousands of dollars to the Hispanic Democrart organization currently under investigation by the feds. Tens of thousands of dollars to the prince of pay-to-play, Governor Blagojevich. Money for Dick Durbin, Gery Chico, Paul Vallis … and on and on. My mother always counseled me that if what a person says is different than what a person does, what they DO is all that matters.

There is no amount of self-funding that will get the rock solid Republicans in the 11th District, especially the conservatives, out of their house to cast a ballot for a guy who talks like a Republican at home and then funds their most loathed political leaders at the office. It appears that Republican stay-at-homes and crossovers were a significant factor in the loss of the 14th District. They were cited as the reason Democrat candidate Debbie Halverson got more votes in the primary than did the 11th District GOP slate — and she was uncontested.

Is there a lesson to be learned here? Can the GOP learn it?

It is said that those who the gods are about to destroy, they first drive mad. If that is the case, don’t stand too close to any Illinois Republican leaders these days.

FOOTNOTE: Did you pay attention to the map of the 11th congressional district? Districts are to be “compact and concise,” according to the law. None of those old time gerrymandered misshapes, sayeth the Supreme Court. So what is that “fishhook” hanging down from the middle of the 11th? In approving a lot of politically drawn congressional maps, the high court makes a mockery of its own ruling. So, what else is new?

>REACT: Spitzer and the (very) happy Hooker

>Sex scandal brings down another public hypocrite. New York Governor Eliot Spitzer is history … toast … soon to be yesterday’s news. I am sure being Governor of New York causes a lot of tension. And what is a guy to do? You have to get away sometime. You have to blow off that tension. We don’t need any scientific reports to know that “doing it” is one great way to do it.

There are four facets of the Spitzer affair that caught my attention – and pay special attention to number 4.

1. It is not about the sex. It is about the cover up and the hypocrisy. Going around in public with a holier than thou attitude while sleazing around in private is a no-no. We do not like people giving us sanctimonious lectures while ignoring their own advice. I think that is why Bill Clinton is still popular with the public. He never went around say thou shalt not do this or that. Yeah, he lied about the sex, but he never said he wasn’t a sex addict or a liar.

2. It is the cover up that does you in. Part and parcel of any hypocrisy is the cover up. It is the use of false identities that could land Spitzer in court with a criminal indictment. The only real legal consequence of the sex is a possible date with his wife in divorce court. As noted before, all the scandal befallen public figures faced justice on the basis of the cover up … not the sex. Way back when British Secretary of State for War John Profumo was booted, it was not because of his dalliance with showgirl Christine Keeler (also the mistriss of a Russion spy) but for lying to Parliament. Richard Nixon was not culpable for the break-in at the Watergate by his over zealous friends, but for the cover up. Even Bill Clinton survived the sex scandal(s), but was rebuked, impeached and had his law license suspended for the attempted cover up – that little matter of perjury.

3. $80,000 DOLLARS!!!! I have never engaged the services of a prostitute. In fact, I have always thought it was more an admission of failure and inferiority, than a demonstration of macho virility. Intellectually, I can understand why some men may engage the services of a sexual gratification professional. What is beyond my comprehension is the price Spitzer paid. His total dollars-for-dolls expenditure exceeds $80,000, according to reports.

The call-girl operation he chose is no doubt exclusive. At prices ranging from $1000 to $4000 an hour, I am amazed they have any customers at all. Even rich people cannot be that desperate and that stupid – and that incapable of seducing the wife of some judge. The sex service rates should be a monthly retainer, not an hourly fee. So, in addition to Spitzer being a philanderer, a money launderer and a patron of illegal prostitutes, he suffers the ultimate humiliation of being one super-sized sucker – or in his case suckee.

4. Tripped up by the IRS. Now comes the real scary part. Allow me to quote from the Associated Press article.

The case involving Spitzer started when banks noticed frequent cash transfers from several accounts and filed suspicious activity reports with the Internal Revenue Service, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press. The accounts were traced back to Spitzer , leading public corruption investigators to open an inquiry.

Go back and read that again. (pause)

Okay, let’s go on now. Spitzer’s bank … the bank holding the PERSONAL accounts of the Governor of New York City … noticed some “cash transfers” and filed a “suspicious activity report” with the Internal Revenue Service.

There are a bunch of murky rules that require banks to inform “Big Brother” about certain types of transactions by depositors. These could include the deposit or withdrawal of cash – and the amounts do not have to be huge. They can tattle on you if you transfer money in and out of the country. You are limited in the amount of cash you can have in your pocket when you go in or out of the country.

According to the government snoops, cash is the currency of crooks. If you deal in a lot of case, you must be a crook. That’s the reasoning. The mere presence of cash in your pocket in an amount greater than some bureaucrats deem necessary is enough to cause government’s evil eye of suspicion to stare down upon you. Actually, you don’t need to have it in your pocket. Just tranfer cash to places, people or in amounts unacceptable to the government and you, too, can be the subject of a “suspicious activity report.”

The problem with much of law enforcement and prosecution is that once they suspect you of something, they are determined to prove it with the full resources at their disposal. I am not saying Sptizer did not do something wrong and did not deserve his comeuppence, but I would rather have had him go undetected than to have the banks and the IRS eroding the cherished freedoms we were all intended to enjoy.

Philandering and hypocritical politicians maybe lead us to worry a bit. It is nothing, however, compared to the horror of the government monitoring how we use our hard-earned money. Of the latter you can be afraid … be very afraid.

Footnote: The above photo was taken as Spitzer was responding to the question, “Did you give the girls anything besides money?”

>REACT: A message for Obama

>Now that all the result are in and certified, the Obamacans are saying their guy won Texas. Here is their reasoning.

In the inexplicably screwy Texas system, Hillary won the popular vote. In accordance with the Democrat rule for the proportionate distribution of delegates, she gets 65 delegates to runner-up Barack Obama’s 61. However, Texas also has a tandem caucus system, which allots another 67 delegates – God knows why. Obama took those by a 38 to 29 margin, giving him the total lead in Texas delegates of 99 to 94.

This election line dance prompts me to send Obama a quickie note.

Dear Barack,

Hope you do not mind me calling your by your first name, but since we both come from Illinois, I feel I know you.

I see where you took the lead in delegates thanks to the strange primary/caucus in the Lone Star state. I know your party worries a lot about making sure every vote counts. You guys sure heaped it on Florida and the Supreme Court when President Bush got a TKO over Al “The Weathman” Gore. And you have your surrogate, Jesse Jackson, running around demanding that the super delegates vote for the person with the most elected delegates or the most popular votes, which he assumes will be you, of course.

Keeping in that tradition, I think you should give your caucus delegates to Hillary. After all, caucuses are totally undemocratic. I am not even sure why we allow such a system in the primary process. We surely would never allow caucuses in a general election – unless you think of the Electoral College as a super caucus. But, I know how you hate the Electoral College.

So, why not be a gentleman, and give the lady your 38 Texas caucus delegates. THAT, would be a real change. You would prove that you are no duplicitous, business-as-usual candidate – bending rules this way and that way to serve your selfish ambition.

And while you are overcome with affection for democracy and the will of the voters, announce your support for the seating of the Michigan and Florida delegations. Surely those voters should not be disenfranchised. Show the world you are a stand-up guy when it comes to true democracy.

I fear if you do not do these things, people will think you are just another crass political animal, shifting from one position to another solely on the basis of your personal desire to be President. Rising from the bowels of the corrupt Chicago Democrat machine is already making people wonder about you. That organization does not produce too many “Mr. Cleans.”

If you don’t do something dramatic, you are going to start to look like more of the same thing. Not a good thing for a candidate who offers change we can believe in.

Hope this is helpful.

Larry

P.S. Your friend and padrone, Tony Rezko, would like to be more helpful, but he’s a bit tided up at the moment – actually more like handcuffed. I am glad they are allowing him to wear his Armani suits to his trial. Prison orange does nothing for him.

>REACT: Missing the point in Mississippi

>As expected, Barack Obama cruised to an easy victory in the Mississippi Democrat primary, picking up about 20 of the states 33 delegates, with the remainder going to Hillary.

His victory, however, is more evidence that he will be an extreme underdog in the General Election. Mississippi has the highest percentage of African-Americans of any state in the nation. They represented and overwhelming 70 percent of the voters in the Democrat primary. They gave Obama more than 90 percent of their votes as an expression of racial solidarity. (Dare we call it racism?) Conversely, Hillary took the vast majority of white votes. (Dare we call it ethnic pride?)

And yes. There is irony in the fact that the Mississippi flag (pictured) incorproates the old confederate “stars and bars.” Even more so when you consider that a new flag proposal was soundly defeated by two-thrids of the voters in 2001. That referendum could foretell Obama’s future in a general election. His impressive victory in the Democrat primary may be counterintuitive in terms of November.

Whatever you call it, racial voting has floated Obama’s campaign to the top – and it will sink it in a general election if he is the Democrat standard bearer.

As I have previously written, as soon as Obama picked up the racial cudgel in South Carolina, he began to position his campaign on the great American racial fault line. Race — not the audacity of hope or the promise of change in the White House, other than skin color — is the underlying defining issue.

It is not unheard of for a candidate to do what is necessary to win a nomination, only to find the winning formula in the primary is a receipe for defeat in the general. Obama finds himself in that position. After running as the son of his father in the primaries, can he run as the son of his mother in the General Election? That takes a lot of hope — and more change than one can believe in.

Footnote: I have been hearing a lot of my conservative compatriots a’hopin’ and a’prayin’ for a Clinton nomination in the belief that she is the more beatable of the two candidates. I disagree. Without a monumental disaster in the McCain camp – never to be discounted —
I think Obama is predestined to be an also-ran. I think it is dangerous to underestimate the Clintons, just as the Democrats always underestimated Ronald Reagan when they were a’hopin’ and a’prayin’ that he would be the opposing candidate.

>OP ED: The Dems heading to a super converntion

>Oh my! Oh my! Oh my! The Democrats seem to have created quite a problem with their politically correct rules governing the nomination of their candidate for President. It was supposed to all be “super” – Super Tuesday and super delegates.

The powers that be, mostly the Clinton folks, gerryrigged the primaries to create a Super Tuesday. It was supposed to be the day of Hillary’s coronation. In hindsight, the folly of their thinking is obvious.

The leaders of the party also punished Michigan and Florida for having the temerity to move their truly significant primaries ahead of Iowa and New Hampshire – states were being first is their only relevancy. Banning Michigan and Florida was no big deal. By the time the convention rolled around, Hillary would be the pre-determined candidate. The errant states could then be seated as a courtesy, without any impact on the outcome.

This did not work out as planned, either.

Suddenly Michigan and Florida can play an enormously important role. Since Hillary carried both states without a contest, the Clintonites are all for seating the delegations. Having originally agreed to respect the ban, they belatedly discovered the spirit of democracy and think those voters should not be disenfranchised. The Obamacans are in a bit of a quandary. Of course, they are not about to hand over all those delegates to the candidate breathing down their neck. But, they also do not want to seem to be … well … undemocratic. Getting the voters in such key states in a hissy fit may have repercussions in the General Election.

There is lots of talk about a re-do. Neither the candidates, nor the Democrat party is willing to cough up the do-re-mi to pay for another election. The leaders of Michigan and Florida have made it pretty clear that they are not about to stick their constituent taxpayers with a bill for a second election because the Democrat wise guys in Washington screwed up. This could mean a very ugly credentials fight on the eve of the National Convention. With the presidential nomination at stake, this will not be a pretty fight.

But even after they settle that feud, neither Obama or Clinton may have enough elected delegates for a first ballot victory. Now comes the question of the super delegates.

Jesse Jackson is beating the drum with the idea that the super delegates simply cast their votes for the candidate with the most elected delegates rather than steal (his word) the election for the other candidate. Of course, he is betting that the “other” candidate will be Clinton. Despite that, there is a hint of democracy that wafts through Jackson’s obvious self-serving intent. What his suggestion lacks, however, is practicality.

Keep in mind that the super delegates are all the party bigwigs who did not want to risk being aced out of the convention by the voters. These are wheeler-dealers – and to wheel and deal for a presidential nomination is political nirvana.

It is also true that these leadership types were given these positions to exercise good political judgment, just in case the voters did not. There is always the chance that the votes may wind up giving the lead to the less electable candidate. These pros can easily distinguish the “less electable candidate.” That’s the one who offers the poorest deals.

The Jackson et al plan would basically neuter the super delegates. We would probably have to refer to them as the “meaningless delegates.”

If Clinton snatches the prize from Obama on the basis of seating the Michigan and Florida delegates and taking a majority of the super delegates, there will be a whole lot of healing needed. But such an outcome will at least silence the incessantly gripping echoes of 2000, when Bush won a technical, albeit fair and square, victory according to the rules if not by popular vote.

How sweet it is.

>REACT: Hastert loses his seat.

>Anyone who has every watched classic Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy flicks is familiar with Stan’s oft stated lament, “It’s a find mess you got us into this time, Ollie.”

Well, I say to Denny Hastert, “It’s a fine mess you got us into this time, Denny.”

You will recall from my earlier blog, I am not a great booster of the accomplishments of the former Speaker Hastert. Or shall we say, the lack there of. His allegiance to the corrupt and ineffective Illinois brand of good-ole-boy, backroom politics cost the GOP the Phil Crane seat way back when, and his own speakership along with the whole dang Congress more recently.

As if that was not enough for one career, now cometh the special election in Illinois’ 14th Congressional District –a race to replace himself. In an all too clever ploy, Hastert resigned to force a special election and presumably give a “leg up” to his anointed success. In a much more clever ploy, Governor Blagojevich called for the election to be held on a Saturday when everyone knows Republicans are at the country club playing racquet ball and debating martini mixology.

In promoting … nay … ramrodding Jim “The Milkman” Oberweis as his personal choice, Hastert must have assumed the 14th District was a “Mickey Mouse” seat for the GOP – a reference that suggests any Republican, even Mickey Mouse, would be elected. And why not, the pachyderm party has held that seat since Moses descended from Mount Ararat … uh … Mount Sinai. Ararat is where Noah beached the ark, right?. No matter. You get my point.

Actually, Oberweis is a great guy personally, but an abysmal candidate. For a variety of reasons, he has less personal shelf appeal than his ice cream. Candidates are supposed to be charmers in public and jerks in private. Oberweis has it backwards.

What makes former wrestling coach Hastert’s Olympic arm twisting on behalf of Oberweis so egregious is the fact that everyone else seemed to know that the guy is not candidate material. The previous three successive election day drubbings should have been a clue.

Looking at the numbers, it appears that defections from the GOP were as responsible for the loss as much as the advance of the Dems. He lost in the GOP precincts, including his own. Ouch! (<– I stand corrected. Bill Pascoe, of the Oberwies campaign informed me that his candidate carried his own precinct quite handsomely. My error. Ouch!)

Some say a fair share of blame has to go to the campaign team and the National Republican Congressional Committee for a poorly strategize and executed campaign. Many viewed the last minute desperation television ads as counterproductive. They seemed to seal Oberweis’ public image as a strident and pugnacious bully. There is not much worse in a campaign than spending tons of money to lose votes.

I cannot judge the culpability of the on-the-ground team and professional advisors, but those ads ended with the statement, “I am Bill Oberweis, and I approved this message.” So, I guess that is where the buck … millions of them … stops.

Because of the way this special election was (mis)handled, there is an automatic rematch in the November General Election. You know the old adage, if you do the same thing, you get the same result. There seems to be only two ways not to do the same thing. You either have Oberweiss step aside for a new candidate, or you credibly change the Oberweis persona. Note the word “credibly.” This is no simple task in the short time between now and November.

If there is to be a new candidate, it has to be a N-E-W candidate. It is not out of the realm of possibility that Hastert and Associates will use their influence to put a new brand name on the same can of peas.

When Denny left Congress, he said he would still stay active in Republican causes. I take that more as a threat than a promise. If he really wants to help the GOP, he might consider a more complete retirement.

As for Oberweis, he is a good and decent person, a great business man (love the ice cream) and a savvy investor. As far as politics is concerned, he can have a great future and do a lot of good for America… as a funder of good candidates and good causes. He can be the producer, not the leading man.

Footnote: Check out the photo of Oberweis and Hastert again. Don’t ya just love the angelic face and the halo effect? How can a face like that lose an election?

>OBSERVATION: Polling and voting … nothing in common.

>Funny how many pundits were writing Hillary Clinton’s political obituary just a few short weeks ago. It was over, and time for her to throw in the towel.

These are the same pundits who counted McCain out of the running a month or two before he took an all but unstoppable lead.

Well, if you think the pundits are the big losers in all this, just consider the pollsters. After all, they use scientific means to predict outcomes – not just educated guesses. I remember they awarded New Hampshire to Barack Obama on the eve of the election. Clinton pulled off what they called an “upset victory.” I think the pollsters were the only ones upset.

Just before Ohio and Texas, we were told that Clinton’s lead had slipped away. Obama would take Texas for sure, and maybe even Ohio. Of course Clinton won Texas and crushed Obama in Ohio.

After 40 years of watching and running campaigns, I have become a polling skeptic. Skeptic? No! I really think it is all voodoo and bull stuff. They are almost never more correct than an educated guess. I know a lot of political groupies who can predict an election outcome with a 3 to 5 point margin of error every time. (If you cannot read the cartoon, click on it for larger version)

I always wonder how the polls can wind up being wrong beyond the margin of error, as they often are. That makes the “margin of error” nothing more than empty words.

Every time the pollsters are egregiously wrong, they hid behind an unprovable claim. A “last minute shift by the voters,” they say. To which I say, “Bah humbug!” Unless there is some unprecedented occurrence in the last week, voters do not change their minds. Most are decided loooooong before Election Day, and the rest are usually locked in on a candidate at least two weeks ahead of time. The only reason polls are wrong is because they are wrong.

>REACT: Mother Nature has the chills

>Get out your long johns and earmuffs!! It appears that Mother Earth is come down with the chills. According to scientists, record cold is hitting all over the earth and that disappearing polar ice cap that was melting away is re-freezing at a record pace.

You may recall my recent blog item highlighting the work of David Deming, geophysicist, adjunct scholar with the National Center for Policy Analysis, and associate professor of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oklahoma, who said we should be worrying about global cooling as much as global warming. Now, the Al Gore “deniers,” who were given little credibility in the media, are streaming out of the laboratories and think tanks to give the hot house crowd a big “I told you so.”

We now have three groups of scientists. Those who reject the global warming panic based on scientific findings. Those who bought into it and are now very confused. And those who still cling to the theory – much like their ancient predecessors clung to the “flat earth” belief a thousand years after the Egyptians proved old terra firma was a ball, not a pancake.

I had previously predicted that, within twenty years, global warming would be placed on the junk heap of scientific silliness along with the “population explosion” and the eminent depletion of natural gas. However, I did not expect Mother Nature to give the other guys such a swift rebuke.

I have to admit, I am getting quite a kick out of watching the Gore-ites in the scientific community buzzing around like spooked bats in an effort to salvage their reputations. I am sure they will re-calculate their theories to accommodate the sudden shift in the climate, but rest assured, this is the beginning of the end of the global warming panic mongers.

They say we should not look at this year as relevant. It is only an anecdotal anomaly. That was not what they said about Katrina and every other anecdotal anomaly to which they pointed in their campaign to promote public panic – and to secure billions of dollars in grant money for their faux scientific projects.

Is that egg on Al Gore’s face? Nope! Its frozen custard. Well, the crusade did get him a Nobel Prize and an Oscar. We should keep in mind that the former award was NOT in one of the scientific categories, but was their left-wing political award, and the latter is almost always given for good fiction — and “An Inconvenient Truth” was no exception.

While it was not entirely scientific, I thought the AOL poll was interesting. According to the respondents, only about one-third of the public worries about global warming. Two-thirds responded “not at all” or “a little.” This reaffirms my belief that no matter how much you pile propaganda on the public, they have an innate common sense. My uneducated grandfather put it a bit less elegantly when he would say “I know bullshit when I see it.”

Well… time to throw more salt on my frozen sidewalk.