Category Archives: Chicago
In Denver 2008 President Obama entered national life as a messiah. He eschewed the manger for a stage set with faux Greek columns in front of 84,000 believers. Tuesday he ascended into heaven from Chicago with a farewell speech before 25,000 disciples.
Here’s what some of the true believers had to say:
Charles M. Blow of the NYT found respite from “the dark clouds of the incoming administration” in a column titled Ode to Obama :
But there was a calm in the midst of the storm, a rock of familiarity and stability and strength: On Tuesday night, President Obama delivered his farewell address in his adopted hometown, Chicago, as a forlorn crowd looked on, realizing the magnitude of the moment, realizing the profundity of its loss.
As the old saying goes: You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.
The Washington Post’s E. J. Dionne called it “a moving farewell compared to Trumps terrifying hello”:
So although it was not his intention, Trump brought home the importance of the central forward-looking theme of President Obama’s moving farewell address in Chicago on Tuesday night. At heart, Obama’s speech was a warning and a plea: an alert about the dangers our democracy confronts and a call for Americans to be active and vigilant in protecting our liberties.
“Our Constitution is a remarkable, beautiful gift,” Obama declared in what may prove to be its most important passage. “But it’s really just a piece of parchment. It has no power on its own. We, the people, give it power. We, the people, give it meaning — with our participation, and with the choices that we make and the alliances that we forge.
“Whether or not we stand up for our freedoms, whether or not we respect and enforce the rule of law, that’s up to us,” he continued. “America is no fragile thing. But the gains of our long journey to freedom are not assured.”
And now for the apostates:
The whole speech seemed written to be the final chapter of the “Collected Speeches of Barack Obama,” which is why he concluded by referencing his 2008 “Yes We Can” speech.
No wonder the substance of Obama’s farewell was a high-flown rehash of his greatest hits. He spoke again of Congress being “dysfunctional” in the abstract, but what he surely meant is that Congress isn’t working properly when it declines to do what he wants it to do. Hence the insinuation that disagreement with his views on climate change is contrary to the “spirit” of America and the Enlightenment. He called for a “new social compact” that was indistinguishable from his legislative agenda and insisted that the essence of democracy is the commitment “that we rise or fall as one.”
That is not the spirit of democracy at all; it’s the spirit of the “tribalism” and “nationalism” he’s come to disparage. But that has always been the spirit of Obamaism. When people agree with him, that’s democracy working. When democracy rejects his counsel, that’s the bitter Bible-clingers rejecting the better angel of his nature.
And yet it turns out that such auspicious beginnings are not at all predictive. We could see it this same week. On Tuesday night, there stood Obama giving a farewell address that only underscored the failure of a presidency so bathed in optimism at its start. The final speech, amazingly, could have been given, nearly unedited, in 2008. Why it even ended with “yes we can.”
The WSJ just wonders how we can miss a president who won’t go away.
“My fellow Americans,” he said as he finally wrapped up his lengthy self-eulogy, “it has been the honor of my life to serve you. I won’t stop. In fact, I will be right there with you, as a citizen, for all my remaining days.”
Donald Trump reached out to African American voters last week while visiting inner city churches in Detroit and Philadelphia. His message was, “Democrats aren’t helping you, why not give me a try?”
This enraged liberals who called his Philadelphia visit an “offensive gimmick.” The mayor of Detroit asked if Trump was just there “to use Detroiters as props in a re-imagining campaign?”
African American Voters
Jason Riley in the WSJ thinks Trump is finally on to something. He believes Democrat leaders are holding back minorities in the cities they run:
Democrats are calling Trump names because they can’t defend their record. Homicides in Philadelphia rose last year and are up 6% this year. In 2015 Detroit students scored the lowest among big-city school districts on national math and reading tests. Minority children with access to school vouchers and charter schools are narrowing the achievement gap, while Democrats and teachers unions are working hand in glove to limit school choice.
Meanwhile, Chicago logged its 500th murder of the year over Labor Day weekend.
Hillary told ABC News yesterday that she doesn’t think Bill should step down from the Clinton Foundation before the election. She’s proud of the work the foundation has done and doesn’t think there is a conflict of interest:
“I know that that’s what has been alleged and never proven. But nevertheless, I take it seriously.”
Clinton Foundation Smoke
Clinton Foundation executive Doug Band worked with Hillary’s top aid, Huma Abedin, to arrange special access to the Secretary of State for foundation donors. But so far, no smoking gun.
Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass knows something about political corruption. And here’s what he has to say about “smoking guns.”:
The other day at breakfast, I was talking about this stupid, narrow Washington definition of political corruption with a man who has made it his life study.
“Say you’re in a meeting with an elected official, and you say, ‘I’ll give you so much money if you give me this favor and that favor,’ You know what happens next?” asked the man wise in the Chicago Way.
I knew, but I played along: No, what happens?
“The first thing the politician will think to himself, ‘Why is he talking that way? This son of a b—- is wired up,'” he said. “And no one will ever talk to you ever again.”
That’s why it’s depressing to hear meat puppets insist that there is no there, there, with the Clinton Foundation and Hillary, because it’s already been laid out.
The corruption was in the selling of access to the highest reaches of the federal government.
To someone who was then a sitting secretary of state who — as all the foreign tough guys with treasure understood — was already reaching for the White House.
I was wondering how it was possible that I was watching Donald Trump, the Republican “presumptive nominee” for president of the United States, giving a foreign policy speech yesterday afternoon.
Then news broke that former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert had been sentenced to fifteen months in prison and fined $250,000. He was guilty of structuring bank withdrawals to hide the fact that he was taking out millions in cash.
How is it possible that a former politician and high school wrestling coach was able to withdraw $3.5 million in cash? The former Speaker had parlayed his status as an elite Washington insider into a job as a high paid Washington lobbyist.
Hastert Hush Money
The cash was hush money Hastert paid to a former high school wrestler whom he had molested when he was his coach. The judge called him a “serial child molester.”