State & Local Politics

State & Local Politics

Scandal(s) du jour

I was listening to the radio Tuesday morning, and Don Wade, who co-hosts (with his wife) a popular talk show on WLS-AM Chicago, was reporting the latest weather (snow and more snow) and strenuously hyping a story-to-come about what he promised would be a huge scandal.

Wade, no fan of Barack Obama, was so obviously delighted that I knew the bad guy would be a Democrat, and probably a member of the Obama administration.


Pawnbroker, prostitute, police report

Pat Quinn, the just-elected Democratic nominee for governor, is a seriously overweight man who loves his breakfast bacon. He defeated Dan Hynes, a seriously underweight man whose appearance comes to mind when listening to nutrition zealots preach that those who consume the fewest calories live the longest. (I’d rather eat the risotto and sacrifice a few years.)


The Illinois primaries from afar

I don’t live in Illinois anymore, although all of my extended family does. So I keep an eye on what happens there on a daily basis.

The New York Times had an interesting item in its op-ed pages this morning. It had the credit ratings of the most of the nations in this world, and all of the states. America’s credit rating is still at AAA, the highest you can get. Amazing but true.


Will John Kerry walk on the wild side? America needs a Council of Twelve

Should gay marriage be a states’-rights issue? Abortion?

Should the 10th Amendment be the First Amendment, as Jefferson might have liked?

Should we “End the Fed,” as Ron Paul and his son Rand (running for Senate in Kentucky and endorsed by Sarah Palin) would like?

Should we go back to a gold standard?

Is California really one state, or two states or more?


Scott Brown, Sarah Palin, Jefferson: New age of common folk all started by New Hampshire’s ‘Free Staters’

There has awakened this past year in Massachusetts and across the continent a new vein of conservatism that might be seen as the dawning of a new age of common folk.

Scott Brown in barn coat and pickup truck at the heritage hockey rink, and Sarah Palin, married to a fisherman and from people, as she says, who worked with their hands. While the Democrats have somehow managed to become the party of the rich and superrich, conspicuously being seen and seeing these past weeks at those new courts of Louis XIV and the Dauphine de France, Davos and Copenhagen: Bill Clinton, Haiti’s Lord Jim, with his 50 gold watches; Nancy Pelosi, of untold California millions; friends of Obama and Bill, who bask at Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard with John Forbes Kerry, said to be the richest man ever to run on a national ticket.


The end of liberalism

The country had descended into war, disassociation and debt because the king had fallen into a trance. It is the theme of that great, primitive myth of the English-speaking people, “Lord of the Rings,” which swept the airwaves at the turn of the millennium.

Then the king suddenly woke up. That is the sense of things with the election of Scott Brown. It came to mind again last night listening to an interview with Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay, who is running for governor of California. America is coming out of a trance.


Who wears the cowboy boots in Texas?

First out it was Levi Johnston v. Sarah Palin. Then Letterman vs. Sarah Palin. And Republican PR person Steve Schmidt, way post-seasonal in the marketing curve, coming in just in these last few weeks. But now in Texas it is George H.W. Bush vs. Sarah Palin. The stakes couldn’t be higher. The Republican primary race in Texas is now virtually a referendum on federalism.

George H.W. Bush supports Kay Bailey Hutchison. Sarah Palin supports the current governor, Rick Perry.


What’s worse, a public official who takes two bucks in cash from each of hundreds of employees or a Speaker of the Illinois House who solicits big business for his law firm?

The answer, of course, is they both stink.

The latest corruption news in Chicago features Dorothy Brown, 56, currently the clerk of the Cook County Circuit Court, and a candidate for Cook County board president, who, shall we say, encouraged her employees (she presides over more than 2,100 of them) to give her cash gifts for her birthday and for Christmas. When Chicago Tribune reporters started to ask questions, she stopped.


Understanding Romney: One size does not fit all

As The Wall Street Journal points out in an opinion this morning, this is a good day not only for Scott Brown, the new senator from Massachusetts, but for Mitt Romney as well. Glenn Beck doesn’t trust Brown, he says. But with Brown toting friends like the popular former governor of Massachusetts, William Weld, John McCain and Romney around on his bus, it might not be such a good day for Glenn Beck.


Hunker down, Governor!

This past Saturday, Robert “Bob” McDonnell topped off a crackerjack campaign by becoming the Commonwealth of Virginia’s 71st governor. He is carrying with him the hopes of Virginians ready for pragmatic solutions to their state’s problems, but also the aspirations of his party, which is desperate for a comeback this year. In a statement congratulating McDonnell, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said, “Bob McDonnell’s campaign for governor should serve as a shining example for all Republicans looking for success in 2010.” There has even been talk of the new governor cutting his term short to enter national politics and run for president in 2012.