Saturday, February 28, 2015

Chicago bond rating just two levels above junk

Chicago's skyline
What do Chicago and the state of Illinois have in common? Besides one being fully situated within the other, both governmental entities are plagued by the greed of public-sector union bosses.

And a bitter harvest is underway.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:
Chicago's plummeting bond rating took center stage in the race for mayor Friday after a Wall Street rating agency dropped it another notch to two levels above junk status citing Chicago's $20 billion pension crisis.

The decision by Moody’s Investors Service to drop Chicago's rating for a fifth time under Mayor Rahm Emanuel from Baa1 to Baa2 may cost the City of Chicago tens of millions of dollars.

As a result of the downgrade, the city is on the hook to pony up $58 million under agreements covering existing debt, according to Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation. While city officials can try to renegotiate those agreements, a City Hall spokeswoman had no immediate comment on the matter Friday night.

In addition, the taxpayers "will pay a significant premium for future debt," including both short-term debt used to fund operations and long-term borrowing used to fix and build city infrastructure.
Even before yesterday's rating plunge Chicago had the lowest credit rating of any big city except for Detroit. And Illinois has the worst credit rating of the 50 states. Illinois' Republican reform governor, Bruce Rauner, is trying to end the rot after 12 years of Democratic governors. Chicago hasn't had a Republican mayor since 1933.

Emanuel faces a runoff election in April--his opponent, Jesus "Chuy" Garcia is a committed leftist and will inflict even more damage to Chicago taxpayers than Rahm has so far.

Global warming news: Chicago ties 1875 record for coldest February

February 1, 2015--Morton Grove, IL
Climate scientists: Take a walk outside--at least if you are in Chicago--and forget about studying tree rings and creating apocalyptic computer models of a drowning Earth. Chicago is concluding a record-tying frigid February. The average temperature this month was 14.6 degrees Fahrenheit (-9.7 Celsius)--the same average temperature Chicagoans endured in 1875.

This month began with a bang of a blizzard on Super Bowl Sunday--with Chicago's fifth-largest snowstorm. And it ended with a record low temperature this morning of -10 F (-23 Celsius)--smashing the 1884 record of a relatively balmy 0 F (-17 Celsius).

Meanwhile Great Lakes ice cover is well over 80 percent and if it exceeds 94.7 percent--a figure almost reached last year--that will set a record.

As with last year--climate scientists were unable to predict this brutally cold winter

But Al Gore says "the planet has a fever." And the Obama administration is using climate change as an excuse to ram expensive energy regulations down our throats.

Related post:

(Photos) Super Bowl Sunday Blizzard of 2015

Touhy Dam on the Des Plaines in winter

This spring the Touhy Dam on the Des Plaines River is scheduled to be removed. It his one of several low-head dams on the river. But they are hazardous to canoeists and kayakers.

But the dam provides a break from the ice, as this picture I took earlier this week shows. 

(Photo) Sun over the frozen North Branch of the Chicago River in Morton Grove

Sure, February is almost over but winter shows no sign of giving way to spring.

There are just a few patches of the North Branch of the Chicago River that aren't frozen solid.

Photograph taken yesterday afternoon at Miami Woods in Morton Grove. Those markings on the far right are deer tracks.

Friday, February 27, 2015

American blogger hacked to death by jihadis in Bangladesh

Oddly enough, the blogger wrote about the violence of radical Islam was murdered by two men who proved his point.

From CNN:
Prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger Avijit Roy began one of his final articles by writing that January's Charlie Hebdo massacre in France was "a tragic atrocity committed by soldiers of the so-called religion of peace."

He recalled the case of another secular blogger, Ahmed Rajib Haider, who was hacked to death outside his home in Bangladesh in February 2013 by assailants with machetes.

"The virus of faith was the weapon that made these atrocities possible," Roy wrote in the article, which is to be published in Free Inquiry magazine in April.

On Thursday night, the engineer and writer known for speaking out for secular freedom died after being attacked by machete-wielding assailants in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, a local police official said.
No one of course was forced to read Roy's blog--as no one is compelled to read mine.

Third World: Putin opponent shot dead at Kremlin

Only cold weather is preventing Russia from being called a banana republic. Russia's former deputy prime minister, Boris Nemtsov, was murdered tonight.

From the BBC:
An unidentified attacker in a car shot Mr. Nemtsov four times in the back as he crossed a bridge in view of the Kremlin, police say.

He died hours after appealing for support for a march on Sunday in Moscow against the war in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned the murder, the Kremlin says.

In a recent interview, Mr Nemtsov had said he feared Mr Putin would have him killed because of his opposition to the war in Ukraine.
His fears were well founded.

Related posts:

Russian military conducts drill on Estonian and Latvian borders

Bumper sticker photo: Putin Huilo (Putin is a dickhead)

"Jihadi John" identified--a middle class man from London

The knife-wielding executioner with the English accent in the Islamic State videos, nicknamed "Jihadi John," has been identified--he's Kuwaiti-born Mohammed Emwazi, who grew up in London. And he's not an impoverished Muslim described as the typical ISIS member described by clueless State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf who only needs a job to be pacified.

From CNN:
Emwazi was born in Kuwait in 1988 and moved to the United Kingdom when he was 6 years old, CAGE said on its website.

He studied at the University of Westminster in London and graduated in 2009 with a degree in computer programming, the group said.

Emwazi, according to CAGE, "hoped that with this degree, he could build a successful career in Arab countries, as he was fluent in Arabic, English and had a British accent."

Treasury official on IRS targeting scandal: "There is potential criminal activity"

Earlier this month President Obama's Svengali, David Axelrod, made the amazing claim that there have been no major scandals during the Obama presidency.

He is wrong. Way wrong.

From Katie Pavlich of Townhall:
Last night Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration Russell George and Deputy Inspector General for Investigations Timothy Camus updated the House Oversight Committee on the status of Lois Lerner's "missing" emails surrounding the IRS targeting of conservatives.

In an exchange with Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH), Camus revealed there is "potential criminal activity" involved in the disappearance and hiding of emails belonging to IRS officials involved in the targeting of conservatives between 2010 and 2012.

"There is potential criminal activity," Camus said.

Last year Obama told Fox News' Bill O'Reilly that there was "not even a smidgen of corruption" in regards of the IRS scandal. The IRS targeting of conservative groups hampered their effectiveness during the 2012 presidential election--arguably tilting the race to the Obama-Biden ticket.

Islamic State beasts holding over 200 Syrian Christians hostage

The barbarity continues.

From Fox News:
Activists monitoring the conflict in Syria said Thursday that the number of Christians kidnapped by ISIS terrorists in their most recent offensive has risen to at least 220.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the militant group has captured Assyrian Christians from 11 villages near the town of Tal Tamr in Hassakeh province.

The province, which borders Turkey and Iraq, has become the latest battleground in the fight against the ISIS in Syria. It is predominantly Kurdish but also has populations of Arabs and predominantly Christian Assyrians and Armenians.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Climate expert Prince Charles calls Earth "sick patient," warns of "death certificate"

Chicago's Burnham Harbor in 2014
Prince Charles--note climate change expert and a genius in everything else--warned in 2009 that humans had "less than 100 months" to save Earth from global warming. That means the sun would set--metaphorically at least--on the planet in 2017.

HRH didn't set a date in his latest planetary forecast--but he's still a global warming believer.

From the Guardian:
Speaking to health experts at the Royal Society in London on Wednesday, Charles said: "We can only pray that our sick planetary patient might be placed on a road to recovery, in the process bringing gains for human well-being.

"Failure to write the prescription, however, might leave us contemplating the death certificate instead.

"So, my fervent hope is that you can find the means to make the difference that our world so desperately needs."
Meanwhile, for the second year in a row, the Great Lakes are almost completely frozen over, despite human-caused global warming. A record for most Great Lakes ice could be set this weekend.

Related post:

Prince Charles: "Less than 100 months" to save planet

Leftist takeover of the internet

The internet since its invention by Al Gore has worked wonderfully. But today Barack Obama's left-wing FCC voted to regulate it like a utility--putting into force the Orwellian-named concept called net neutrality.

Now the federal government will pick winners and losers for the internet. This is another Obama failure.

The net neutrality regulations comprise 332 pages--it's what they call in Washington a good start.

Deer bones

Late last year I found these deer bones in the woods.

Chicago aldermanic campaign accused of buying votes for $10

Chicago's West Side
Another Chicago corruption allegation comes our way from Fox 32 Chicago:
The Cook County State's Attorney is looking into allegations that an aldermanic campaign spread money around on the streets.

"I was coming down the street, going to the house. And there was a gentleman who approached me," said Willie Allen.

Allen said he was on the 1500 block of South Homan last week when he got the offer from a man he knew from the neighborhood.

"He asked me do you want to vote for this certain person? I said what you talking about? He said you could make ten dollars. Just vote for this here person," Allen said.
That particular person was Vetress Boyce, who received the second-most votes in Tuesday's election for alderman in the West Side 24th Ward.--she will face the top-vote getter in a runoff race in April. Boyce of course denies the allegations. Allen received the $10 for his vote for Boyce.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Russian military conducts drill on Estonian and Latvian borders

Saulkrasti, Latvia
Certainly President Obama and his inept Secretary of State, John Kerry, will say, "Nothing to see here, move along."

From Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty:
Up to 2,000 Russian soldiers took part in drills in the country's western Pskov region which borders EU members Estonia and Latvia on February 25 as Moscow conducted an inspection of its paratrooper units.

The drills, which will see some 1,500 paratroopers parachute en masse, were to continue until February 28, and will include soldiers capturing and destroying a fictional enemy's airfield.
Does anyone expect Latvia (population 2.1 million) or Estonia (population 1.2 million) to attack Russia (population 142 million)?

Roughly one-quarter of the people living in the two Baltic States are ethnic Russians.

(Photo) 1930 Model A Ford driving in winter

Classic car photos usually show vintage vehicles on sunny summer. days As for winter pics--they are rare, which is understandable. After all, would you want your antique roadster to come into contact with road salt? I wouldn't.

But the owner of this 1930 Model A Ford wasn't afraid to take his car out on a chilly day this week--he drove his coupe through Morton Grove, Illinois' St. Paul Woods.

Islamic State capital "like a big prison"

Yes, the Islamic State has a capital city. But it won't be a tourist site any time soon. Then again, Alcatraz is one of San Francisco's biggest attractions.

From CNN:
It's not hard to get into Raqqa. The problem, one prominent activist tells CNN, is getting out.

Abu Ibrahim al-Raqqawi's voice is calm and measured as he describes life inside the city ISIS claims as the capital of its so-called caliphate. But the horrors he details are harrowing.

Airstrikes. Executions. Forced blood donations and marriages to ISIS fighters.

Al-Raqqawi isn't his real name. It's the identity the former medical student who helped found an activist group called "Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently" uses to speak out. ISIS fighters have already tortured and executed one member of the group, he says, and they've made it clear they want the others involved dead.

(Video) Krauthammer: Iranian negotiations are "simply catastrophic"

Last night on Fox News Charles Krauthammer commented on the ongoing negotiations by the appeasement-driven Obama White House with Iran--calling them "simply catastrophic."

When there is a mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv--we'll know who to blame.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Global warming news: Coldest Chicago February ever?

Chicago's Douglas Park
For the second straight year much of America is enduring record-breaking cold--despite so-called global warming. February has been brutal in Chicago--the month started with the fifth-biggest snowstorm in history. Bitter cold is headed to the city and the frosty end to the shortest month could break the 1875 record for the coldest February ever.

But Al Gore says our planet has a fever.

Anti-jobs president: Obama vetoes Keystone XL pipeline bill

A week after a State Department spokeswoman made the ridiculous claim that giving Islamic State killers jobs will curb their psychotic impulses, President Obama vetoed legislation that will authorize the building of the Keystone XL pipeline--which will create 20,000 good paying jobs. Keystone will also lessen our dependence on oil from nations like Saudi Arabia--which almost certainly indirectly funds ISIS.

Rudy Giuliani is right: Obama doesn't love America.

Rahm faces April runoff against Bill Ayers-back leftist

Chicago's Grant Park
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel didn't break the 50 percent threshold in today's first-round election--so he faces an April runoff against Jesus "Chuy" Garcia--a committed leftist who has been endorsed by Barack Obama's terrorist pal Bill Ayers.

Level-headed Chicagoans, yes, I know that you are out there: Hold your nose in April and vote for Rahm Emanuel. You and your wallet will thank me.

Blue and white frozen Des Plaines River

I had to walk on ice and climb a fallen tree to grab this shot of the frozen Des Plaines River at Dan Number 4 Woods.

Was my effort worth it?

Islamic State savages abduct 70 Syrian Christians

Radical Islam, the evil that President Obama will not name, has committed another atrocity.

From AP:
Islamic State militants have abducted at least 70 Assyrian Christians, including women and children, after overrunning a string of villages in northeastern Syria, two activist groups said Tuesday.

The extremist fighters swept through the villages nestled along the banks of the Khabur River near the town of Tal Tamr in Hassakeh province around dawn on Monday. The area is predominantly inhabited by Assyrians, an indigenous Christian people who trace their roots back to the ancient Mesopotamians.

In the assault, the militants took between 70 and 100 Assyrians captive, said Nuri Kino, the head of the activist group A Demand For Action, which focuses on religious minorities in the Middle East. He said some 3,000 people managed to flee the onslaught and have sought refuge in the cities of Hassakeh and Qamishli.
Christianity has existed in Syria since Paul the Apostle's revelation on the road to Damascus--hundreds of years before the birth of Muhammad.

(MSNBC video) Family of slain ISIS hostage: Bergdahl trade 'emboldened' terrorists, 'made everything worse'

While on--gasp!--MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports, the family of slain Kaylee Mueller, a murdered ISIS hostage, says that the one-sided swap of Bowe Bergdahl, a suspected Army deserter, "emboldened" the Islamic State and "made everything worse."

Monday, February 23, 2015

God damn! Rev. Wright's daughter headed to jail for bail violation

Trinity United Church of
Christ in 2008
Trash always seeks its own level as your mother probably did not tell you. But I'm not your mother.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:
Jeri L. Wright, the daughter of President Barack Obama's controversial former pastor, was headed to jail Monday after a judge revoked a deal that allowed her to remain free as she awaits sentencing on a money-laundering conviction.

U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough ruled there was probable cause to believe Wright committed a separate theft while on bail, thereby violating terms of her supervised release, according to Sharon Paul, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office in the Central District of Illinois.

The judge ordered Wright, who appeared in court in Springfield, to be taken into custody by U.S. marshals.

Wright, 49, of Hazel Crest, is the daughter of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the Chicago minister known nationwide for the controversy his sermons created for Obama in the 2008 presidential election. Last March, Jeri Wright was found guilty of money-laundering, lying to federal investigators and lying to a grand jury over her role in a state grant-fraud scheme orchestrated by one of her childhood friends, former Country Club Hills Police Chief Regina Evans.
While on trial, the Sun-Times reports, Wright also participated in a ghost payrolling scheme.

Her vile father regularly spewed anti-American sermons during his days at Trinity United Church of Christ on Chicago's South Side, including one a few days after the 9/11 attacks when the Rev. Wrong shouted "God damn America!"

(Video) Louisiana governor says Obama has "disqualified himself to be our commander-in-chief"

President Obama refuses to name our enemy in the War onTerror--which is of course radical Islam.

Which is why Governor Bobby Jindal--who was at the White House today for a meeting with America's governor--says Obama has "disqualified himself to be our commander-in-chief."

Tall trees, blue sky, white snow

Even without leaves trees are beautiful. As is blue sky and white snow.

Photographed yesterday at Morton Grove's St. Paul Woods.

Chiraq: 3 dead and 8 wounded over weekend

Election Day is tomorrow in Chicago--and sadly, Chicago's violent crime rate isn't the top issue being debated by candidates. So I will bring it up this morning. Over the weekend three Chicagoans were murdered--and another eight were wounded.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sun over a frozen North Branch of the Chicago River

On days such as the ones we've been having lately it's sometimes difficult to remember that the sun is still heating the planet.

But it is. And there is our nearest star shining over the frozen North Branch of the Chicago River at St. Paul Woods.

Jihad group threaten malls

A Somalia-based Al Qaeda affiliate, Al-Shabab, released a video threatening violence at Western shopping areas--including the Mall of America in Minnesota. Our Homeland Security secretary, Jeh Johnson, who by the way refuses to name such Islamo-supremacists as radical Muslims, warned shoppers to "be particularly careful today."

The Twin Cities area has a large Somali population.

On this day in 1980: Miracle on Ice for Team USA

The word "miracle" is used a lot in covering sports, but truly it was a Miracle on Ice on this day in 1980--George Washington's Birthday--when a group of college kids defeated a professional team in all but name in Lake Placid, New York. Yes, the USA Olympic hockey team beat the Soviet Olympicans 4-3.

The Americans later went on to win the gold medal. I remember these games as if it was last week.

Pictured below is a bronze statue of Herb Brooks, Team USA's coach, which is at the entrance of the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Brooks was born in St. Paul.

From Da Tech Guy: Ronald Reagan clearly loved America

Unlike in the case of the current occupant of the White House--there was never any doubt in how the only president born in Illinois felt about the United States. From my weekly post at Da Tech Guy blog: Ronald Reagan clearly loved America.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Illinois Amtrak subsidy shows there is room to cut budget

Morton Grove, Illinois
Liberal apologists for failed Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, would tell me "There is nothing else left to cut!" when I'd bring up my state's sorry fiscal situation. But his successor, Republican reformer Bruce Rauner, is finding plenty of Illinois waste to cut. For instance, there is a $42 million state subsidy for Amtrak service--which of course is already heavily subsidized by the feds. Rauner is proposing slashing $16 million from the service few Illinoisans use--a good start by way way--I suggest eliminating the entire $42 million.

So yes libs, there is plenty of fat in Illinois spending.

Other ways to follow Marathon Pundit

For those of you seeking a greater Marathon Pundit fix, you can follow me other places--such as Instagram, Tumb1r, Google+, and Twitter.

Drop in and don't be shy!

(Photo) Please Be Safe on PCH

I've been holding off blogging about Bruce Jenner--mainly because I just want him to fade away. But two Saturdays ago he was in the news--and not in the way anyone wants to be. The Olympic gold medalist and Keeping Up With the Kardashians star was involved in a fatal automobile accident on the Pacific Coast Highway--California Route 1--in Malibu.

Last month Mrs. and Little Marathon Pundit were in Los Angeles and traveled on that very same road. Here's a picture my wife took--with a sign that Jenner should have heeded: Please Be Safe on PCH.

Related posts:

Friday, February 20, 2015

Sunset at Independence Grove

Below is a sharp-looking cell phone camera shot of tonight's sunset at the Independence Grove Forest Preserve in Libetyville, Illinois.

I love the look of the post and rail fence with the snow. In the background is a frozen lake covered in snow.

Related post:

(Photos) Independence Grove in October

(Video) Inside the Reagan Library: Remembering our Fallen

Last month The Ronald W. Reagan Presidential Library & Museum last month hosted the California exhibit of Remember our Fallen.

Here's a video report.

Related posts:

Victory for post-Quinn Illinois: Caterpillar to remain in Peoria

Caterpillar plant, Peoria Heights, Illinois
Bruce Rauner's victory over hapless Chicago Democrat Pat Quinn in last year's gubernatorial race is already paying benefits to hardworking Illinoisans.

From Jake Novak of CNBC:
I guess there really is a difference in political parties after all!

Caterpillar announced today that it's staying in Peoria, Illinois and even expanding its corporate headquarters in the city.

CEO Doug Oberhelman made the statement with Illinois' new Republican Governor Bruce Rauner beaming by his side. Remember it was Oberhelman who openly speculated about moving CAT out of Illinois under the previous Governor, Democrat Pat Quinn. Had Quinn, famous for jacking up state taxes in the middle of the slow recovery, been re-elected over Rauner, I doubt we would seen an event today like we did in Peoria.
I doubt it too.

(Video) Krauthammer: WH focuses on Muslim anxieties while Christians being wiped out abroad

While on Fox News last night, Charles Krauthammer commented on "the biggest ethnic cleansing since at least the Balkan Wars." He is referring to the slaughter of Christians in the Middle East. Meanwhile the White House cares much more about Muslim anxieties than the atrocities against Christians.

ObamaCare: Feds sent wrong tax info to 800,000 people

The failures keep coming with ObamaCare.

From AP:
About 800,000 customers got the wrong tax information from the government, the Obama administration said Friday, and officials are asking those affected to delay filing their 2014 returns.

The tax mistake is a self-inflicted injury that comes on the heels of what President Barack Obama had touted as a successful enrollment season, with about 11.4 million people signed up.

California, which is running its own insurance market, on Thursday announced a similar problem affecting about 100,000 people in that state.

The errors mean that nearly 1 million people may have to wait longer to get their income tax refunds this year. And they could also affect the size of those refunds.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Giuliani: Obama does not love America

Ayers and Dohrn home
It's about time that a mainstream politician uttered the truth about our president.

From Yahoo! News:
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani says he believes President Barack Obama does not love the United States — or the people in it.

"I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America," Giuliani said Wednesday during a private group dinner in Manhattan, Politico reports. "He doesn"t love you. And he doesn"t love me. He wasn"t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country."

The event was attended by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, and "60 right-leaning business executives and conservative media types," according to Politico.
Surprised? You shouldn't be. Remember--Obama, in Sarah Palin's words, "pals around with terrorists" such as Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. It was in their living room where he began his political career. For twenty years Obama listened to the rancid anti-American sermons from the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

Global warming news: Great Lakes ice cover nearly as large as in 2014

Lake Michigan in 2014
Despite hysterical claims about global warming, such as "the Earth has a fever" by Al Gore, ice is covering most of the Great Lakes--as it did in 2014.

From the Chicago Tribune:
The Siberian Express that's imported northern Russia's weather into North America is leading to a second year of fast-growing ice cover on the Great Lakes, setting up the Chicago area for the possibility of another cool spring.

By Wednesday, the Great Lakes were 85.4 percent ice-covered, just above the 85.2 percent on Feb. 18 last year, according to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. With below-average temperatures predicted for at least the next week, the lakes could approach last year’s levels of 92.5 percent ice cover, the second-highest level since records began in the early 1970s.

It's far from the only factor in spring weather, but a heavy and late ice season can lead to a cooler spring—and even a cooler summer, forecasters say.

Classic car: 1996 Saturn SC2 Coupe

Saturn, the defunct General Motors brand, produced better cars than it is given credit for--but the semi-independent division was ruined when it because fully integrated within GM after the turn of the century,

Pictured here is an 1996 SC2 Coupe from Saturn's golden era--which was parked on Lincoln Avenue in Morton Grove on Tuesday.

Democratic state senator compares Illinois governor to "ISIS warrior fighting a battle"

As I wrote in a post last night, in reform governor Bruce Rauner, Illinois for the first time in sixteen years has a governor who vows to fight runaway spending. But some politicians, mostly Democrats, feel that the state should continue to spend money that it does not have. That led state Sen. Donne Trotter (D-Chicago) to say that the Land of Lincoln's new Republican is running the state "as if he was an ISIS warrior fighting a battle, not against the state of Illinois but against the people of Illinois."

Related post:

Rauner on his IL budget: An end to "the irresponsible and reckless practices of the past"

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

UK defense minister: "Real and present danger" from Russia for Baltic States

House of Blackheads, Latvia
Vladimir Putin's greedy eyes could be wandering north of Ukraine.

From the BBC:
There is a "real and present danger" of Russia trying to destabilise the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, the UK defence secretary says.

Michael Fallon said he was worried about "pressure" from Russian President Vladimir Putin on the ex-Soviet states, which are Nato members.

Russia might use tactics there similar to those it used in Ukraine, he said.

Mr Fallon said Nato must be ready for aggression from Russia "in whatever form it takes".
Does anyone seriously believe that President Obama cares about the Baltic States?

Rauner on his IL budget: An end to "the irresponsible and reckless practices of the past”

After 16 years of clowns and crooks as governor, Illinois finally has someone in charge who knows that the state can't spend more than it takes in.

From CBS 2 Chicago:
Illinois' new Republican governor called Wednesday for deep spending cuts to Medicaid, pensions and other programs to fix the state’s budget mess without raising taxes — a pitch met with quick opposition from Democrats who control the Legislature.

Delivering his first budget address since winning office last fall, Gov. Bruce Rauner said his plan would end "the irresponsible and reckless practices of the past." He said lawmakers must be willing to make politically unpopular decisions to close a more than $6 billion budget hole next year.

"This is our last, best chance to get our house in order," Rauner said.

According to budget documents released Wednesday afternoon, Rauner is recommending $1.5 billion in cuts.

From Urban Infidel: ISIS cages first seen rolling down Madison Ave at the 2014 Muslim Day Parade in NYC

Manhattan, we have a problem.

From the always observant Urban Infidel: ISIS cages first seen rolling down Madison Avenue at the 2014 Muslim Day Parade in New York City.

Did Brian Williams fabricate his Salahi gatecrashing story?

Of course you remember the Salahis--the poseur Virginia couple, Michaele and Tareq, who gatecrashed President Obama's first White House state dinner in 2009.

Would you believe that there is a Brian Williams angle to that story?

The NBC news anchor, currently under suspension for fabricating stories about being fired upon in 2003 in Iraq, is also being accused of venturing into Neverland with his tales about Hurricane Katrina. He was a guest at that notorious state dinner held in honor of the Indian prime minister. Really, he was.

From Adweek's TVnewser in 2009:
Another of the tvnewsers at the dinner, Brian Williams, always the reporter [emphasis mine], noticed something funny before he even got to the White House. He and his wife Jane were delayed by the Salahis. Williams tells NBC News, "What attracted our attention was, there was at least one camera trailing them, and a make-up woman got out and fixed the woman's hair and started powdering the man's forehead. My wife and I thought that was strange for people who were dressed like state dinner guests."

Williams says he spotted them again, on White House property. "We encountered them during cocktails and I remember saying to my wife 'That's them, that's the couple we saw on the street with the make-up detail and the camera following them.'"
Did Williams and his wife really witness the Sahalis being turned away the first time they tried to crash the party? I wasn't invited--really, I wasn't--but media accounts agree that it was raining on the night of the state dinner. So was Tareq Salahi beneath an umbrella when his forehead was being powdered--or was his make-up artist lucky to catch a break from the precipitation? Or was Mr. Salahi beneath an umbrella when he was getting his faced touched-up? If so, the umbrella could have obscured Williams' view.

Then again, perhaps Williams made up this narrative too.

The Salahis divorced in 2012.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Islamic State monsters burn 45 Iraqis alive

Evil has taken root in the Middle East and North Africa. The latest ISIS atrocity took place today in Iraq--which American troops liberated from tyranny.

From Fox News:
Islamic State militants reportedly have burned to death 45 people in the western Iraqi town of al-Baghdadi on Tuesday, just five miles away from an air base staffed by hundreds of U.S. Marines.

The identities of the victims are not clear, the local police chief told the BBC, but some are believed to be among the security forces that have been clashing with ISIS for control of the town. ISIS fighters reportedly captured most of the town last week.
Obama's fundamentally changed America has allowed wickedness of the type that the world has not seen in centuries.

Snowplow Photo: Got Snow?

There were snow flurries in Morton Grove, Illinois this morning--there was just enough accumulation to bring this snow plow out on the street. Got snow? Yes!

In statement on ISIS beheading of Christians--Obama doesn't mention their faith

In his statement about the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya by the Islamic State, Obama failed to mentioned that they were killed because of the faith.

From the Christian Post:
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins slammed President Obama Monday, saying that it's "troubling" the president refuses to call the Egyptians beheaded by ISIS "Christians."

"ISIS made very clear in this video that this was an execution of 'people of the cross.' ISIS apparently has no difficulty saying 'Christian,' while the White House has a very difficult time," Perkins said during an appearance on Fox News' "The Kelly File" Monday night.

Critics of Obama have also questioned why the administration refuses to call ISIS "radical Islamic terrorists"; unlike his British counterpart, Prime Minister David Cameron, who has, on many occasions, spoken out against the global "Islamist extremist terrorist threat."
Of course Obama's brand of Christianity is the anti-American and racist bile that the Reverend Jeremiah Wright served up each Sunday.

Related post:

Islamic State savages behead 21 Christians

Obama amnesty executive order blocked

Obama's legendary executive order pen has for is out of ink.

From the Austin Statesman:
A federal court late Monday blocked an executive order by President Barack Obama that would have granted relief from deportation to millions of unauthorized immigrants.

Gov. Greg Abbott sued the federal government on Dec. 3 while he was the state’s attorney general, leading what would become a 26-state coalition opposed to Obama's order. (Watch that Dec. 3 announcement here: "The president's executive order, and the actions of federal agencies to implement that executive order, directly violate a fundamental promise to the American people.”)

The ruling by Brownsville federal judge Andrew S. Hanen prevents all applicable agencies from implementing any expansions to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Obama's amnesty program is for the time being blocked. The rule of law still means something--at least for now.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Chicago aldermanic candidate accused of vote-buying

Chicago's skyline
John Garrido, a candidate for alderman on Chicago's Northwest Side, is being accused of vote buying.

From Fox 32 Chicago:
45th Ward candidate John Garrido said that he wasn't breaking any laws when he publicized a group of local businesses offering discounts to entice people to vote.

"I absolutely believe it's not illegal," said Garrido.

Garrido said he did nothing wrong when he put a flyer on his campaign's Facebook page last Friday, headlined "Garrido Means Business.” The flyer encourages voters to bring their voting receipt to any of a dozen local businesses, where they would receive a ten percent discount off their purchase.

Problem is, Illinois election law clearly states: "Any person who knowingly gives, lends or promises to give or lend any money or other valuable consideration to any other person to influence such other person to vote...shall be guilty of a class 4 felony."
Garrido says its legal because he's not making the offers--the businesses are. It seems pretty sleazy to me. And it's stories such as this one that are responsible for Chicago being a national laughing stock.

(Video) Krauthammer: ISIS is a "genocidal movement akin to Nazism"

Charles Krauthammer was right-on-the-money again tonight on Fox News. This time he remarked that the Islamic State caliphate is a "genocidal movement akin to Nazism."

From Right Wing News: VIDEO, Man Is shocked by treatment after walking around as a Jew in Paris for 10 Hours

It's the 1930s again in Europe. From Right Wing News: VIDEO, Man is shocked by treatment after walking around as a Jew in Paris for 10 Hours.

(Photo) Snow and wild grass

This wild grass stalk captures snow like a brush. Photographed yesterday at Morton Grove's St. Paul Woods.

Victor Davis Hanson: The roots of Obama's appeasement

America has sadly reached its appeasement era--reluctantly brought here by our most liberal president ever, Barack Obama. American Power has the Victor Davis Hanson piece: The roots of Obama's appeasement.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

New York Times headline: Terrorist attacks by a native son roil Denmark

The assassin, Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, who killed two people in Copenhagen yesterday--including one man who attended a free speech seminar where an artist who drew a Muhammad cartoon--as well as a Jewish man guarding a synagogue, was described tonight in a New York Times headline as "a native son of Denmark."

Yes, he was born in Denmark. But culturally he was an alien. As is usually the case, the Old Gray Lady is wrong.

Islamic State releases video of Kurdish fighters in cages

The ISIS jackals are involved in another atrocity--surely not their last.

Islamic State group militants have released disturbing video of 17 Kurdish fighters being paraded in cages though what is thought to be the north-eastern Iraqi city of Kirkuk.

Jeered by bystanders, who are seen lining the streets shooting video on their phones and raising their fists in support of the jihadists, the Peshmerga fighters will presumably face the same execution by fire the befell Jordanian air force pilot Muath al-Kaseasbeh.

IS released a video in early February showing the hostage al-Kaseasbeh being burnt alive inside a metal cage, following a week-long drama over a possible prisoner exchange.
Peshmerga fighters are exclusively Muslim. They were allies in our fight against the Saddam Hussein regime.

Islamic State savages behead 21 Christians

The beasts are on the loose in Libya now.

From Reuters:
Islamic State released a video on Sunday purporting to show the militant group beheading 21 Egyptian Christians kidnapped in Libya.

In the video, militants in black marched the captives, dressed in orange jump suits, to a beach. They were forced down onto their knees, then beheaded. The video appeared on the Twitter feed of a website that supports Islamic State.
Before the killings, one of the militants stood with a knife in his hand and said: "Safety for you crusaders is something you can only wish for."
Christians lived in Egypt more than one thousand years before the Crusades.

From Da Tech Guy blog: Time for Western civilization to make a stand for itself

Once again I turn to radical Islam for my weekly post on Da Tech Guy blog: Time for Western civilization to make a stand for itself.

(Video) Yemen crisis "very problematic" for Obama

On Fox News Sunday this morning, AP's Julie Pace remarked that the White House uses terms such as "strategic patience" and "long term commitments" in regards to the upheavals in the Middle East.

That's how the Obama administration looked at Yemen. But that nation's government was overthrown last month by Shiite radicals, which Pace says is "very problematic" for Obama.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Cartoon killing in Copenhagen

Some people--particularly Muslims--have a problem with freedom of expression. Some people, make it those same people, want to impose their minority views on everyone else.

And that's a big problem.

From Press TV:
A civilian has been killed and three police officers have been injured after shots were fired at a Copenhagen café where controversial Swedish artist, Lars Vilks, attended a debate.

Danish media said shots were fired Saturday at the building of a the café where a meeting was held by the Swedish cartoonist, Lars Vilks.

The meeting, dubbed "Art, blasphemy and the freedom of expression" was apparently held to justify the cartoonist's sacrilegious depiction of the Prophet Muhammad. The cartoonist is known for his provocative images against Islam’s most revered figure in 2007.

A senior French diplomat, who was attending the event, later told the media that Vilks was alive taking refuge inside the café. Vilks is normally under police protection when he is in Denmark.
The shootings occurred--let me repeat this--at a freedom of expression event.

I've been to Denmark--the Danes are fabulous people. Denmark saved most of its Jews from the Holocaust. And the Danes hold the largest 4th of July celebration outside of the United States.

Oh, as for Denmark's Jews--they are under attack too. Shots were fired at a Copenhagen synagogue tonight.

Western civilization is under attack.

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(Classic car) 1970 Pontiac Catalina

Parked earlier this week on Main Street in Skokie was a 1970 Pontiac Catalina Coupe. This one is a two-tone.

Illinois: Rauner creates task force to consolidate local government

Niles Towship Building, Skokie
The Land of Lincoln's reform governor is a real marvel.

From AP:
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed an executive order creating a task force looking at streamlining government functions.

Rauner made the announcement in DuPage County on Friday. County officials in recent years eliminated a fire district and a sanitary district as part of an effort to save more than $100 million over the next 20 years.
The task forec--which will be chaired by Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti, needs to take a hard look at that nest of sinecure--township government.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Global warming news: Coldest Chicago Valentine's Day in decades predicted

Global warming will take a holiday in Chicago for Valentine's Day--V-Day 2015 could be the coldest one in decades.

But don't forget to send Al Gore a valentine.

Not a hate crime: Car bombed in Chicago over "dibs" parking spot

Chicago's North Side
Chicago has a long tradition of residents digging out their own parking spots on sides streets after snowstorms and claiming "dibs" over that cleared-out chunk of asphalt, usually with an otherwise useless chair. The practice is illegal --although I've never heard of anyone getting even a parking ticket for the infraction. Motorists who "steal" a dibs spot face the possibility of having their cars vandalized. Which is exactly what happened this week when a Northwest Side college student whose car was parked in a dibs spot--someone exploded a large firecracker or perhaps even a stick of dynamite inside her vehicle.

What was done was hateful, but it was not a hate crime.

Why do I bring up hate crimes? Because on the campus of the University of North Carolina, three people were murdered over a parking space dispute--and it is being investigated as a hate crime. President Obama even weighed in. Why? The victims were Muslims--and the alleged killer is not. He's white with an Anglo-Saxon sounding name and he's believed to be an atheist. Of course murder is far more serious than car vandalism. The Chicagoan is a white woman and is presumably not a Muslim. But what if she was? Would the bombing of her car then be a hate crime?


Sunset and snow in Morton Grove

Last night's blue-and-white sunset at Morton Grove's St. Paul Woods was a beauty.

From Illinois Review: Free legal assistance for public employees seeking to end fair share dues

Illinois flag on right
Thanks to Illinois' reform governor, Republican Bruce Rauner, state workers who don't want to have so-called "fair share" union dues automatically deducted from their paychecks can now say "No" to the labor bosses. The battle is just starting, but if you work for Illinois and want to take more money home--and give nothing to AFSCME or SEIU, click on this Illinois Review link and get started: Free legal assistance for public employees seeking to end fair share dues.

(Video) Krauthammer: Obama's behavior in video featuring selfies is 'distasteful'

President Obama continues to shrink the dignity of his office. The day after he requested authorization to use force against the Islamic State--and in the same week the death of hostage Kayla Mueller was confirmed--he was appearing in a goofy selfie video hawking his unpopular ObamaCare program.

Charles Krauthammer says calls it "distasteful." Because it is.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Racist priest Pfleger calls stripping Little League title from JRW a "witch hunt"

Pfleger in 2012
Father Michael Pfleger, the race-baiter who is possibly the worst non-pedophile Catholic priest in America, poured gasoline yesterday on the decision by Little League International to revoke the 2014 United States Little League championship from Chicago's Jackie Robinson West--and of course he lit a match.

"I can't help but wonder and question if the same thing would have been done with another team, another place, another race," Pfleger said.

JRW--and all-black team based on Chicago's South Side--was stripped of its title after LLI learned that team official redrew its boundaries and recruited players who lived in other parts of the city and in the suburbs.

Pfleger, who was briefly suspended from his pastoral duties in 2008 after a racially-charged guest sermon at President Obama's onetime church where he insulted Hillary Clinton, also called LLI's investigation a "witch hunt."

Chicago has a new archbishop--and he needs to send this meddlesome priest packing.

JRW officials broke at least one of God's Ten Commandments--Thou shall not steal. Pfleger needs to return to divinity school.

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