Tuesday, October 31, 2017

ISIS NYC bike path killer entered USA under Visa program Trump wants to end

President Donald J. Trump has America's best interests in mind.

As for this visa program that the New York City Islamic State killer entered the nation on--yeah, get rid of it.

The alleged killer used a rented truck from Home Depot to run over pedestrians and cyclists on a lower Manhattan asphalt path--killing eight people. He yelled "Allahu Akbar" as he left the vehicle and he also made references to the Islamic State.

From Newsweek:
The suspect for the deadliest terror attack in New York City since 9/11 reportedly entered the United States under a visa program that President Donald Trump has tried to end as part of his crackdown on immigration.

Sayfullo Saipov, a 29-year-old Uzbekistan native, was awarded a permanent resident visa in 2010 under the Diversity Immigrant Program, ABC New York reported. The program is meant to increase the number of immigrants from countries with low rates of U.S. immigration. The program awards 55,000 green cards a year, a majority of which go to people in African and Eastern European nations, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

To qualify, applicants must prove that they have a clean criminal record, have a high school diploma or its equivalent, or have at least two years of work experience within the past five years. It takes two years of vetting to get a visa.

Congress has tried to end the Diversity Visa lottery program five times since 2007.

(PragerU) How the States Can Save America

Former South Carolina senator Jim DeMint, in the latest PragerU video, promotes the idea of a convention of states to amend the Constitution and to take power away from America.

Chicago robbery suspect shoots self in penis while fleeing

Near the site of the alleged robbery
Here's a guy that probably won't be masturbating in front of his public defender.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:
A man shot himself in the penis after robbing two people at a business Tuesday morning in the West Pullman neighborhood on the Far South Side.

Just after 6 a.m., the 19-year-old robbed two people at gunpoint of their cellphones, wallets and cash at a business in the 700 block of West 116th Place, according to Chicago Police.

As the man was running away, he shot himself in the penis, police said. He was taken in serious condition to Christ Medical Center, where he was taken into custody.

Charges are pending Tuesday morning, police said. Area South detectives are investigating.

Trump campaign adviser: Papadopolous "a coffee boy"

Michael Caputo, who a Donald Trump campaign advisor who--wait for it--has extensive ties to Russia--dismissed the guilty plea of George Papadopolous, a nobody from the Chicago area, as "a coffee boy" for the campaign.

NRO: The Manafort indictment: Not much There, and a boon for Trump

Andrew C. McCarthy III is a former assistant US attorney for the Southern District of New York so he knows what he's talking about. Here's his latest National Review Online article: The Manafort indictment: Not much There, and a boon for Trump.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Summer flowers of Detroit

Yes, there are flowers growing in Detroit.

Last week I was reviewing my photographs from my 2015 urban exploration trip to Detroit and I discovered some flower pictures that I overlooked.

The scientific name for this resourceful orange and yellow flower is Linaria vulgaris, but it has several common names, which makes sense since it is native to a wide swath of Eurasia. Those names include butter and eggs and toadflax. I found this specimen growing out of a sidewalk crack on Russell Street next to the abandoned American Blower factory.

My friend Jennifer Nannetti, a former Detroiter, tells me that what you see here is a ghost garden. The old home is either in ruins or has been razed, but the bulbs remain. This Michigan-Martin home is now a burnt-out heap of rubble. Yet the daylilies persevere. As does a milkweed plant.

This daylily, a burgundy variety, was likely planted after the structure at Michigan and Trumbull in Corktown was torn down in 2009. If you are a baseball fan that street corner might sound familiar. That's because Tiger Stadium stood there for nearly 100 years. As I noted in a Marathon Pundit post two years ago, after what was originally Navin Field was demolished, volunteers built and maintained a first-rate ball field. But that's gone too, the new headquarters of the Detroit Police Athletic League is under construction on that hallowed ground.

As I noted in my Northwoods wildflowers post from earlier this month, I saw many wild sweet peas on the Keweenaw Peninsula on Michigan's Upper Peninsula. That trip was made this past July. Another name for this pinkish-purplish flower is the everlasting pea. This flower was found next to the forsaken C.F. Smith warehouse in Mexicantown. C.F. Smith was one of Detroit's largest grocery chains decades ago.

Back to Michigan's Upper Peninsula. I also saw a few bird vetch flowers.Cow vetch is another name for it. It's highly invasive--it even grows in Alaska. I came across this patch in Corktown too, next to the abandoned Michigan Central Station.

Of the flowers so far in this series only the milkweed plant in the second photo isn't native to either Europe, Asia, or both. But near the Packard plant, the largest abandoned factory in the world, I found a couple of American species. Woodland sunflowers have muscled in to this ghost garden. After all, it is a wildflower--acting wild.

As I've noted many times, the smooth sumac, although far more common east of the Continental Divide, is the only tree native to each of the 48 contiguous United States. That's a sumac drupe--I discovered this tree adjacent to railroad tracks behind the Packard factory.

These apples used to be blossoms. This apple tree grows across the street from the Motown Museum. The sign on the fence of this vacant home reads "attack dogs."

Trump's campaign manager for two months to surrender as part of Russia probe

Paul Manafort, the longtime Republican operative who worked for the Donald J. Trump campaign for four months--and served until he was fired as campaign chairman for two months--will turn himself into authorities this morning, along with one of his aides.

Mark my words--whatever they got the longtime lobbyist on--it won't be about so-called collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

From Da Tech Guy: Illinois businesses and jobs escape to Wisconsin

Last week for work I had to drive to suburban Milwaukee. I saw a lot up there--which got me thinking.

From my weekly post at Da Tech Guy: Illinois businesses and jobs escape to Wisconsin.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Public defenders at Chicago's Cook County Jail pushed to breaking point over inmates masturbating in front of them

It's League of Shadows time for Chicago yet again at Marathon Pundit.

"The League of Shadows has been a check against human corruption for thousands of years. We sacked Rome, loaded trade ships with plague rats, burned London to the ground. Every time a civilization reaches the pinnacle of its decadence, we return to restore the balance." Ra's al Ghul in Batman Begins.

Keep in mind that these public defenders are there to help these scumbags.

From the Chicago-Sun-Times:
Staffers in the Cook County Public Defender's Office are used to clients who may have done horrible things, but over the last two years, female employees say their clients have become more brazen in doing horrible things right in front of them.

Masturbating inmates have become a common sight on the walk to and from holding cells where defense attorneys meet clients, and at the jail and in courthouse lockups. Last week, in a letter to Chief Judge Timothy Evans, Public Defender Amy Campanelli said her staff has reached a breaking point.

Campanelli declined to share a copy of the letter, but confirmed that she warned the judge that her staff won't visit the jail starting Nov. 6 unless he or Sheriff Tom Dart can offer up a solution.
Pretty horrible stuff to be sure. But the public defenders have a way to fight back against the vermin--if they choose.

But they don't.

Campanelli said that, on principle, public defenders couldn't support legislation that upgraded a misdemeanor to a felony. Female staffers say they face a similar dilemma when deciding whether to press charges after one of their clients pulls out his penis. The additional charges add potential jail time for their clients, and forces defenders to hand off the case to another attorney.
The state Public Defenders Association and the Illinois Sheriffs Association say that no other jails have the problem on the scale of what is happening at Cook County Jail. That doesn't shock me.

Chicago is the seat of Cook County and the jail is on the city's Southwest Side.

And your humble blogger, a lifelong resident of Cook County, pays taxes to support that jail and the public defender's office.

Should I stay or should I go?

Fats Domino: Ain't That A Shame

By all accounts Fats Domino, who passed away this week, was a humble and friendly guy. And that came across in his music.

Watch the Fat Man sing one of his biggest hits, "Ain't That A Shame."

It's believed to be the first song that John Lennon learned to play. And Cheap Trick scored a hit with it in 1979.

hit with it in 1979.

Tucker Carlson: More Russia bombshell revelations to come?

Tucker Carlson wants to know: Are there more Hillary-Russia collusion revelations to come?

Also, Carlson notes, a month ago the Democrats were calling for impeachment in regards to so-called Donald Trump-Russia collusion.

Now that Clinton-Russia collusion is becoming a likely happening, the Dems are dismissing it as "opposition research.

Friday, October 27, 2017

White wild indigo

Sometimes when I photograph a wildflower I'm not able to identify it at first. Such was the case in June when I discovered this cream-colored cluster at Miami Woods in Morton Grove.

But in a serendipitous adventure on the internet I learned that it is a white wild indigo, a rare flower in Illinois.

Hannity rips MSNBC's Maddow for not asking Holder about Hillary-Russia collusion

Eric Holder, I'd like to remind you, is the only US attorney general to be held in contempt by Congress.

On his show last night, Sean Hannity excoriated so-called journalist Rachel Maddow of MSLSD.

From the Washington Free Beacon:
"The media is just barely, and clearly reluctantly, only now starting to cover this story, " Hannity said on Wednesday night in a clip flagged by Mediaite. "Here's a perfect example, Rachel Maddow and her cult of viewers over at ‘MSNBC conspiracy TV,' they had former attorney general Eric Holder on the show on Monday. She didn't ask him a single question about Uranium One and Maddow has probably been one of the biggest proponents of pushing the false narrative lies about Trump-Russia collusion."

Hannity went on to say Holder at the time was overseeing the FBI as the head of the Department of Justice and was one of the nine voting members, along with Hillary Clinton, on the committee that approved Uranium One. Hannity reiterated his criticism of Maddow, calling the interview "media malpractice," and asked her MSNBC colleagues if they were "proud" of the interview.

"This is beyond media malpractice," Hannity said. "By the way, are all of you people at NBC News proud? Lester Holt? Matt Lauer? Are you guys proud of this? Megyn Kelly, are you proud of that reporting?"

"Maddow has done a tremendous disservice to you, the American people, who deserve to know the truth in all of this," Hannity added.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Budget passes House--tax cuts more likely

There is some rare good news out of Washington today.

From Reuters:
The U.S. House of Representatives took a step on Thursday to pave the way for deep tax cuts sought by President Donald Trump and Republican leaders, barely overcoming a revolt within party ranks that could foreshadow trouble ahead for the tax overhaul.

The Republican-controlled House voted 216-212 to pass a budget blueprint for the 2018 fiscal year. The measure will enable the tax legislation, expected to be made public next week, to win congressional approval without any Democratic votes.

But House Republican leaders came within two votes of failure. Democrats were unified in their opposition, and 20 Republicans also voted against the bill, many to express disapproval of a provision in Trump’s tax plan outline that would repeal an income tax deduction for state and local taxes.
That last one needs to go--even though in the short term it will hurt me personally. When Blue State leftists raise local taxes their refrain always includes "But you can deduct these taxes on your federal returns."

Coleman Young II in Detroit mayoral debate: "It's time to take back the motherland"

Blogger at the abandoned
Packard plant in 2015
Mike Duggan, a Democrat, has done a fantastic job as Detroit's mayor and he deserves a second term. Four years is not a enough time to undo the damage wrought by now-imprisoned Kwame Kilpatrick, onetime communist Coleman Young, and Jerome Cavanaugh. That last one is best known as the mayor of the Motor City during the 1967 riots, but he doesn't get enough blame for the decline and fall of what was once a great city for signing into law the Detroit's destructive commuter and municipal income taxes.

Last night there was a debate between Duggan and his challenger, Coleman Young II, Democratic state senator. In his opening statement, he took a page out of the race-baiting playbook of his father. Duggan is white, Young is black, and Detroit remains an overwhelmingly African-American city.

"It's time to take back the motherland," Young said.

Imagine if a white person had said that in a candidate's debate--particularly a Republican. It would be the lead story for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and MSNBC for days. That candidate would be condemned as a white supremacist.

Young is continuing a sad family tradition. And it's not the first time that he has reached into the toxic race-baiting bucket.

Duggan remains the favorite in this contest.


Union organizer in charge of Chicago's "Fight for 15" campaign fired amid sexual harassment probe

Regardless, he's gone all the same.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:
The head union organizer for Chicago’s "Fight for 15" chapter was fired earlier this week amid harassment allegations that he denies, a source told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Caleb Jennings was let go Monday, as part of the Service Employees International Union's ongoing investigation into complaints from staff alleging sexual misconduct and abusive behavior, the source said.

Jennings was president of the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago, which leads the "Fight for 15" effort advocating for a $15 minimum wage. He told the Chicago Sun-Times he wasn't given a reason for his termination and was never contacted regarding an internal investigation.

On this day in 1917: Battle of Caporetto begins

Italy suffered a devastating defeat in a battle that began 100 years ago today in the Alps at Caporetto at the hands of Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire in what is now Slovenia. Over one-quarter of a million Italians were captured. Lt. Erwin Rommel.with just 100 soldiers captured 100 Italians.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

How PragerU Is Changing the Conversation

PragerU, which has long been under attack from leftists, is fighting back in a lawsuit against Google and YouTube. The conservative message is winning, despite these assaults on free expression.

PragerU takes legal action against Google and YouTube

PragerU, a stupendously valuable source of educational information, is a project of conservative--maybe traditionalist is a better term--radio host Dennis Prager. I regularly post PragerU videos on Marathon Pundit.

But leftists don't like PragerU--probably because they can't debunk the messages in its videos.

So they are using their "heckler's video" against PragerU. Anything that left-wing extremists disagree with they label as "hate speech."

But Prager U is fighting back.

From a PragerU press release:
PragerU Takes Legal Action Against Google and YouTube

"This is speech discrimination plain and simple, censorship based entirely on unspecified ideological objection to the message or on the perceived identity and political viewpoint of the speaker"
- 36th Governor of California Pete Wilson
Browne, George, Ross LLP

LOS ANGELES — Prager University (PragerU) has filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California to stop Google and YouTube from unlawfully censoring its educational videos and discriminating against its right to freedom of speech.

The lawsuit cites more than 50 PragerU videos which have either been "restricted" or “demonetized” by Google/YouTube. The PragerU videos range on various subjects presenting a conservative point of view, and include a video by noted Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz on the founding of Israel. PragerU previously compiled a complete list of their restricted videos here, which includes: "Why America Must Lead," "The Ten Commandments: Do Not Murder," "Why Did America Fight the Korean War," and "The World’s Most Persecuted Minority: Christians."

In correspondence cited in the filing, Google/YouTube made it clear that the censorship of certain videos was because they were deemed "inappropriate" for younger audiences.

"Watch any one of our videos and you’ll immediately realize that Google/YouTube censorship is entirely ideologically driven. For the record, our videos are presented by some of the finest minds in the Western world, including four Pulitzer Prize winners, former prime ministers, and professors from the most prestigious universities in America," stated PragerU founder Dennis Prager.

Prager added, “They are engaging in an arbitrary and capricious use of their 'restricted mode' and 'demonetization' to restrict non-left political thought. Their censorship is profoundly damaging because Google and YouTube own and control the largest forum for public participation in video-based speech in not only California, but the United States, and the world.”

The total number of people who currently use YouTube exceeds 1.3 billion people. Google and YouTube advertise YouTube to the public as a forum intended to defend and protect free speech where members of the general public may express and exchange their ideas. They have represented that their platforms and services are intended to effectuate the exercise of free speech among the public. According to Google and YouTube: "voices matter." YouTube states that it is "committed to fostering a community where everyone’s voice can be heard."

"However," said Eric George of Browne George Ross, the firm representing PragerU, "Google and YouTube use restricted mode filtering not to protect younger or sensitive viewers from ‘inappropriate’ video content, but as a political gag mechanism to silence PragerU. Google and YouTube do this not because they have identified video content that violates their guidelines or is otherwise inappropriate for younger viewers, but because PragerU is a conservative nonprofit organization that is associated with and espouses the views of leading conservative speakers and scholars."

"This is speech discrimination plain and simple, censorship based entirely on unspecified ideological objection to the message or on the perceived identity and political viewpoint of the speaker," said former California Governor Pete Wilson of Browne George Ross. "Google and YouTube’s use of restricted mode filtering to silence PragerU violates its fundamental First Amendment rights under both the California and United States Constitutions. It constitutes unlawful discrimination under California law, is a misleading and unfair business practice, and breaches the warranty of good faith and fair dealing implied in Google and YouTube's own Terms of Use and 'Community Guidelines.'"

"There is absolutely nothing ‘inappropriate’ about the content of the PragerU videos censored by Google and YouTube; the videos do not contain any profanity, nudity or otherwise inappropriate 'mature' content and they fully comply with the letter of YouTube's Terms of Use and Community Guidelines,' said Marissa Streit, PragerU’s chief executive officer who has engaged in a year-long-effort to try and persuade Google to stop censoring PragerU content. Streit continues, “It's clear that someone doesn’t like what we teach and so they intend on stopping us from teaching it. Can you imagine what the world would look like if Google is allowed to continue to arbitrarily censor ideas they simply don’t agree with?"

"This is not a left/right issue. It is a free speech issue, which is why prominent liberals, such as Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, are supporting our lawsuit," Prager concluded.

The lawsuit filed in the Northern District of California is available here.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Hillary-Russia collusion: Campaign, DNC paid for debunked Trump "golden shower" dossier

Yes, there appears to have been collusion during the 2016 presidential campaign and it was between the Democrats and the Russians.

From the Daily Mail:
Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped bankroll research that led to the 'golden showers' dossier on Donald Trump.

Clinton's campaign lawyer Marc Elias hired research firm Fusion GPS back in April 2016 to look into allegations of Trump's ties to Russia, according to the Washington Post.

Fusion GPS, the Washington-based research firm, then hired former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele to dig up the unconfirmed dirt on Trump.

Clinton's lawyer and his law firm Perkins Coie continued to fund the research until October 2016 - just days before the presidential election.
The "golden shower" allegation--in which Trump allegedly hired prostitutes to urinate on a bed in a St. Petersburg hotel room that was used by Barack and Michelle Obama--has been discredited.

It was fake news.

Leftist plots to overthrow Trump: Hamilton Electors, emoluments, Russia, and now mental health

Why doesn't the left just come out and admit that they want to oust Donald Trump by any means necessary.

I'm sure that I've omitted something, but since Trump's surprise victory nearly a year ago, the Democrats and the left have tried overturning the elections results with the Hamilton Electors plot, and by way of the emoluments clause in the Constitution, by accusing Trump's campaign of colluding with Russia, and now by calling into question his mental health.

What will be next? And yes, there will be something else.

Russian colluders: Clinton and Obama

The accusers are now the accused.

I'm not shocked.

From Fox News:
After months of batting back accusations of collusion with Moscow in last year's presidential campaign, Republicans say Democrats are the ones who now have "some explaining to do" as fresh developments raise questions about their own Russia connections.

First came reports that the FBI knew about a Russian bribery plot tied to nuclear energy interests in the U.S. well before the Obama administration OK’d a mining company sale to a Russian firm, giving it partial control over American uranium reserves.

Then came a report that Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is looking at the dealings of Tony Podesta, a powerful Democratic lobbyist and the brother of former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

Meanwhile, Fusion GPS, the firm behind the controversial anti-Trump dossier, has gone to court to block Congress from getting its bank records after its representatives pleaded the Fifth in a Capitol Hill appearance last week.

Year after next election year: Chicagoans face another property tax hike to pay for pensions

In 2019 there will be another citywide election for Chicago's City Council. And of course for mayor. What awaits the following year? Why another huge tax increase to pay for municipal worker pensions.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:
Chicago taxpayers face yet another property tax increase for police and fire pensions in 2020 — and another hike the following year in the tax tacked onto water and sewer bills to save the Municipal Employees pension fund, aldermen learned on the first day of City Council budget hearings.

Following five-year "ramp-up" periods, the additional increases will be needed to honor the city's statutory promise to keep all four city government pension funds on the road to 90 percent funding by 2048.

By the city’s own estimate, police and fire pension costs will rise by $297.3 million, or 36 percent, in 2020. The Municipal and Laborers plan costs will grow by $330.4 million, or 50 percent, in 2022.

“We’ve done the biggest [property tax] increases,” Chicago Chief Financial Officer Carole Brown said Monday. “But there will be an increase in 2020 for police and fire. The increase for Muni and Laborers will happen a couple years later. . . .
The situation in Chicago must be worse than I thought. After all, in all Democratic-run jurisdictions, financial stability is alway--always--just one more tax hike away. But here two are named.

After Mayor Rahm Emanuel was re-elected in 2015, Chicagoans were clobbered with they city's largest property tax hike in history to pay for, you guessed right, pensions!

The Chicago Police Annuity and Benefit Fund is funded at the paltry rate of just 25 percent.

Some sort of bankruptcy or default is coming to Chicago. "Illinois math" only works for a while.

Monday, October 23, 2017

(PragerU) How to Raise Kids Who Are Smart About Money

Financial literacy expert Rachel Cruze discusses ways to raise your children so they don't make major financial mistakes when they are older.

The first one? Have them work around the house--and pay them--so they learn that work equals money.

#Chiraq: 2 dead and at least 26 wounded over weekend

It was a fairly calm weekend in Chicago as just two people were shot to death over the weekend. One in Austin on the West Side, which is the murder capital of America's murder capital, and one on the South Side in the South Chicago neighborhood. Elsewhere at least 26 others were wounded.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

From Da Tech Guy: Illinois Math, Chicago Public Schools has fewer students but taxes go up

There is math, new math, common core math, and Illinois Math.

When you use that last one, the answer is always wrong, as I explain in my Sunday post at Da Tech Guy.

Illinois Math: Chicago Public Schools has fewer students but taxes go up.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Roger McGuinn: I Wanna Grow Up To Be A Politician

Perhaps because he was born in raised in Chicago, Byrds' leader Roger McGuinn was born to write--co-write, actually--and sing "I Wanna Grow Up To Be A Politician."

Listen and watch McGuinn perform an acoustic version in a video from 1986.

On a personal note, one of my former clients is a cousin of McGuinn.

FBI takes its time with Clinton-Russia scandal?

You've heard all about Russian collusion with the Donald J. Trump campaign, right?

Oddly enough, even though a special prosecutor, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, is looking into these alleged crimes, Mueller's work, in the words of Charles Krauthammer, "is an investigation in search of a crime."

Meanwhile possible crimes involving Russia surrounding the sale of 20 percent of our uranium supply to firm controlled by Vladimir Putin's regime are getting renewed attention. The sale was approved by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Peter Schweizer, the author of Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, explains what happened with the uranium deal to Fox Business Channel's Lou Dobbs.

Why is the FBI moving so slow in investigating this scandal?

Friday, October 20, 2017

(PragerU Video): The "Anti-Hate" Group That Is a Hate Group

Yes, there is an "anti-hate" group that is a vile hate group.

It's called the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Leftist eavesdropper Wilson calls Kelly a racist

When a leftist has lost an argument there is one retort left--calling an opponent a racist.

From the Daily Mail:
Congresswoman Frederica Wilson says John Kelly lied about her behavior at the dedication of an FBI building in her state and made a 'racist' charge against her in the process.

Wilson says she wasn't a Member of Congress when the money for the building was secured, so she couldn't have 'bragged' about bringing home the bacon like Kelly said she did.

'You know, I feel sorry for Gen. Kelly. He has the sympathy for the loss of his son. But he can't just go on TV and lie on me,' Wilson said Friday on CNN.

The Florida Democrat also accused Kelly of using a 'racist' epithet against her during a White House news conference on Thursday afternoon, where he compared her to an 'empty barrel.'
Uh, Wilson, it's not a racist term. It's a fancy way of saying "empty-headed."

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Gold star father Kelly rips congresswoman who eavesdropped on Trump's call to soldier's widow

US. Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) is a sneaky leftist who eavesdropped on a private conversation between President Donald J. Trump and the widow of a soldier who was recently killed in action in Niger and then took one of the commander-in-chief's comments way of out context. Assuming, of course Trump said what the Trump Derangement Syndrome sufferer said what she claims he did.

"He knew what he signed up for" is what Wilson is telling the media Trump told the widow, which the president denies.

Trump's chief-of-staff is Marine General John Kelly (Retired). He's a gold star father who eviscerated Wilson in an emotional press briefing this afternoon.

From The Hill:
Kelly said he was "stunned" by Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson's (Fla.) negative description of Trump's call to the widow of Army Sgt. La David Johnson, who was killed during an ambush in Niger.

"It stuns me that a member of Congress would have listened in on that conversation. Absolutely stuns me. I would have thought that was sacred," Kelly said during a surprise appearance in the White House press briefing room.

After learning of what he called Wilson's "selfish behavior," Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general whose son was killed in battle in Afghanistan, said he was so taken aback that he walked for an hour and a half in Arlington National Cemetery to compose himself.

"He was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed," Kelly remembered being told by his casualty officer, Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, who is now chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “He knew what he was getting into by joining that one percent," he added. "He knew what the possibilities were because we're at war."
The left-wing media earlier this week pounced on the president's comment that Barack Obama didn't call the families of every soldier killed in action. Trump is right--as Kelly's family didn't get a call when the general's son was killed on the battlefield. And in the last few days media members have been contacting the families of soldiers slain in battle since Inauguration Day to find out if Trump called them.

Much of the media is total scum. Have they no sense of decency?

Below is the complete clip of what Kelly said today.

Trump's Great Wall prototypes on display in California

President Donald J. Trump did promise that his wall will by "yuge" and "beautiful."

Quid pro quo? IL congressman's son and brother on Kennedy payroll after endorsement

What we seem to have here is another Illinois coincidence, this one involves the family of a former Black Panther who now represents Illinois' 1st congressional district.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:
Congressman Bobby Rush's son and brother are working for Chris Kennedy’s gubernatorial campaign — their paydays coming just weeks after Rush endorsed the Democrat for governor.

Kennedy’s third quarter contribution report, filed on Monday, shows Jeffrey Rush — one of the congressman’s sons — has been paid $11,120.19 from the campaign with his first paycheck dated Aug. 16.

His brother Marlon Rush's first paycheck was on Aug. 4 for $3,000, with his pay now adding up to $11,354.31.

Kennedy announced Congressman Rush's endorsement on June 19 in a Chatham neighborhood restaurant — and it was seen as a substantial endorsement that could help bring in the African-American vote. Rush served with Kennedy's uncle Sen. Ted Kennedy, cousin Rep. Patrick Kennedy, nephew Rep. Joe Kennedy III and his brother Rep. Joe Kennedy.
Kennedy of course dismisses any connection with the Rush endorsement and the hiring his brother and his son. Rush could not be reached for comment, the Sun-Times says.

Illinois not being a right-to-work state killed Toyota-Mazda factory here

The trend for many years--and it's accelerating--is against forced-unionization. There are now 28 right-to-work states. Even Michigan, the headquarters of the domestic automobile industry, has seen the light.

Leave it to Illinois do cling to the failed policies of the past. And organized labor is a key fundraising cog for House speaker and Illinois Democratic Party chairman Michael Madigan.

Toyota and Mazda will be building a huge joint-plant in the United States. Illinois has not made the cut.

From the Rockford Register-Star:
Although the companies have not issued a statement, Crain's Chicago Business is reporting that Illinois has been deleted from the list of states under consideration for the $1.3 billion factory that will build both Toyota and Mazda models that use interchangeable parts. The new plant, wherever it is built, is expected to employ 4,000 people.

Illinois wasn't picked because of "a lack of shovel-ready sites and the state’s failure to adopt a right-to-work law," Crain's columnist Greg Hinz said.

The three states said to be in the running for the plant are believed to be in the South, and "all are right-to-work states," he said.
Driving the point home is this clip from SaukValley.com:
Illinois is surrounded by right-to-work states – Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Indiana and Kentucky have enacted legislation that gives workers the right to opt out of union membership. There are 28 right-to-work states, and many Illinois business organizations, including its Chamber of Commerce, have called for the General Assembly to get something on the books.

The lack of right-to-work legislation might seem to put the state at a competitive disadvantage with some companies, but Rochelle's recent history tells a different story.

"Since I came here in 2005, Rochelle has brought in 15 industries, and not a single one of them has had a union workforce," Anderson said.
It appears that forced-unionization drives away business.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

(PraegerU Video) Gun Rights Are Women's Rights

What is the great equalizer between the genders?

Well a gun is, of course.

Katie Pavlich explains.

Hillary now blaming UKIP leader Farage for her loss

Add former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage to the list of things and people that Hillary Clinton blames for her defeat last year.

Farage scoffs at Clinton and calls her "the high priestess of the globalist movement."

College tells people what not to wear on Halloween

A college in Connecticut, Wesleyan University, is telling students what not to wear on Halloween. In my youth I chose two easy costumes, an Arab and a bum--oops, make that a homeless person--that are on that list.

Add this list to your jam-packed file of dopey things coming out of so-called higher education.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Attention leftists: Pink Hat Run coming to Chicago

Trump Tower protest early this year
As I love to say, leave it to leftists to ruin and politicize everything. Running is my example today.

Do you have $40 to throw away? Then register for the Pink Hat Run in Chicago next month. That's pink hat as in pink pussy hat, you know, those wool caps that leftist women--and a few men--donned by left-wingers after the election of Donald J. Trump as president.

As I am the best shape I've been in for years, the Marathon Pundit was considering entering this race. I'd love to bag an age group award, preferably while wearing a Make America Great Again hat. But because leftists believe that we are all special and we are all equal--white males being the exception, of course--the Pink Pussy Hat event is a fun run, meaning there are no awards or prizes.

Among the beneficiaries for the Pink Hat Run include the National Organization for Women and Planned Parenthood Illinois Action.

The race--well, as you know it's not a race because just like in kindergarten "everyone wins"--will be held on November 4 near Chicago's Loop. There will be a 5k something and a 1 mile something else. But entrants receive a T-shirt and yes, a pink pussy hat.

Upon further review there will be prizes--for fundraising and "for great costumes or signage."

You know what? Maybe I will show up--with my camera.

Will there any posters decrying the sexual abuse crimes of Harvey Weinstein there?

Islamic State capital liberated

President Trump promised that we would be tired of winning during the campaign.

I'm not at that point.

From Reuters:
U.S.-backed militias said they had defeated Islamic State in its former capital Raqqa on Tuesday, raising their flags over the jihadist group's last footholds in the city after a four-month battle.

The fighting was over but the alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias was clearing the stadium of mines and any remaining militants, said Rojda Felat, commander of the Raqqa campaign for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

A formal declaration of victory in Raqqa will soon be made, once the city has been cleared of mines and any possible Islamic State sleeper cells, said Talal Silo, the SDF spokesman.

The fall of Raqqa, where Islamic State staged euphoric parades after its string of lightning victories in 2014, is a potent symbol of the jihadist movement's collapsing fortunes.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Kurtz: Clinton’s Weinstein strategy backfires

Hillary Clinton, as Howard Kurtz tells us here, tried to deflect justifiable outrage again Harvey Weinstein, a longtime Clintonista and donor not just to her, but also to the Clinton Foundation slush fund, and of course the Democratic Part--onto President Donald J. Trump.

But then there is that unhappy history of Hillary's predator husband.

#Chiraq: 8 dead and at least 11 wounded over weekend

Heavy rains hit Chicago over the weekend but they did little to calm tempers. Eight people were murdered over the weekend, including a 64-year-old teacher struck by a stray bullet in Rogers Park on the Far North Side. At least 11 others were wounded.

Of the fatalities, two happened in South Shore, and one each in Roseland, Auburn Gresham, Belmont Cragin, and one in the Back of the Yards. But none on the West Side. So things may be looking up a bit in Chiraq.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Johnny Cash: Rusty Cage

What happened when Johnny Cash covered a Soundgarten song? You'd think it would be a mess, but The Man In Black hit it out of the park with "Rusty Cage."

Trump Weekly Address 10/13/17

President Donald J. Trump, in his weekly address, spoke of love of country.

"We honor the flag, we pay tribute to the men and women who have given everything for its defense, the leader of the Free World says here. "We renew the bonds of love and loyalty we owe to our fellow citizens—to every American who looks to the Stars and Stripes and sees woven into its fabric their past, their future, and their place in our great American family."

Friday, October 13, 2017

(Photos) Wildflowers of the Northwoods

This summer Mrs. Marathon Pundit and I traveled to the Northwoods region of Wisconsin and Michigan. She'd never been there before--I visited just once prior. And of course we brought our cameras and photographed many wildflowers.

Where do I start? Well, at the beginning of course. The first flower I noticed was this roadside denizen, orange hawkweed. There are loads of them in northern Wisconsin and on Michigan's Upper Peninsula. This dandelion-like flower--although its blooms are smaller--is also an alien species. Pliny the Elder claims that hawks fed on this wildflower, which is native to alpine parts of southern and central Europe, to improve their eyesight. This flower, as with the next four, was photographed in St. Germain, Wisconsin.

I'd never seen on obedient plant until I snapped this shot. And six weeks later I found another one here in Illinois. As I quipped then, the obedient plant, which gets its name because when twisted its purple blooms return to their prior position, should instead be dubbed the disobedient plant. Note the ferns in the background--they are very common in upper Wisconsin.

The only member of the columbine that is native to the eastern half of the nation is the wild columbine. I found this one alongside a road near Little St. Germain Lake.

Common mullein is a favorite of mine, although it too is another Old World interloper. It's not obnoxiously invasive like teasels or spotted knapweed. We'll get to knapweed in a bit  This plant was photographed along the St. Germain Bike and Hike Trail.

Another shot from the same trail and another Eurasian invader, this time it's the ox-eye daisy.

Just over the border in Watersmeet, Michigan I found a musk mallow, a garden escapee originally from Europe.

Oh dear, it's another alien invader, but another very attractive one, the wild sweet pea, also known as the everlasting pea. A native of southern Europe, this species was probably brought to this spot, what is now the Quincy Mining Company Historic District on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, by immigrants from that part of the world. I've only seen this pink flower in two places--the Keweenaw Peninsula on the U.P. and in Detroit. Interestingly, during the Great Depression many copper miners and their families relocated to the Motor City in search of work. Did they bring wild sweet pea seeds with them? I say, yes, they probably did.

Okay, now it's time to Make Wildflowers American Again. Well, sort of. That's a harebell, known as bluebells in Europe. They are native in both hemispheres. Bluebells in the United States refer to a different flower. This shot, along with the next few, were captured on the shore of Lake Superior at Eagle Harbor. Harebells, make that bluebells, were a plot-driver in the second season of Broadchurch.

Here's a wildflower from both hemispheres, a beach pea. Note the rounded rocks. They are very common along the shore of Lake Superior. Rounded rocks are common on the shore of the largest of the Great Lakes. Basalt and rhyolite are very common there.

It wasn't until this spring that I found lupines in the wild. And just as with the obedient plant, it was in Illinois.

Here's a white variety of the musk mallow.

Thimbleberries are delicious--but they don't travel well so you have to go there they grow to eat them. Here are a couple of thimbleberry blooms taken at the end of the Keweenaw Peninsula in Copper Harbor.

While I saw many more self-heal plants in northern Wisconsin, this Copper Harbor specimen turned out better, photographically speaking. These short purple stalks thrive where humans are--roadsides, trail edges, ends of lawns, and even on shores of lakes were here is a lot of pleasure boating. I guessed when I first saw it that it was a member of the mint family--and I guessed correctly. That's how I got to be Blogger Laureate of Illinois. And as you can assume by its name, self-heal is used in herbal remedies.

It's been a little bit since we've had an invasive species--albeit this is one that may improve your mood. St. John's Wort is a popular herbal treatment for depression. It's a native of Eurasia but its range is worldwide now. In Europe it often blooms around St. John's Day--June 24--hence its name. If the herbs don't perk you up, perhaps its striking flowers will.

This orange and yellow beauty, a northern bush honeysuckle, is worth the 450 mile drive from Morton Grove, Illinois to Copper Harbor.

These downward looking blossoms belong to a pitcher plant, a carnivorous species that hasn't seemed to make a dent into the Upper Peninsula's mosquito population.

Harebells at sunrise on Lake Superior. Do you see the lichens? They are the sunburst variety. Sunburst at sunrise. Perhaps one day we'll move to the Keweenaw Peninsula.

I just love this pink-purple wildflower, the maiden pink. Yes, it's another Euro-invader, but check it out! A five peal blossom with a pentagon design. Wikipedia says that this flower is common near mines and there are plenty of abandoned mines on the Keweenaw. I discovered these in the ghost town of Delaware.

Moving right along...

These are wild blueberries--very tasty ones, I can attest--growing in the Hiawatha National Forest.

Spotted knapweed, another European alien, is an attractive flower, especially when it dominates fields, heather-like. But it hogs water and nutrients, choking out competing plants. This photo, as with the next two, comes from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

From one purple invader to another--purple loosestrife.

And we end with a native flower, the common evening primrose. It's a difficult species to photograph because this yellow wildflower bloom open fully from the evening until the morning.

UPDATE November 2:

I identified one more flower, and like the other species from the Quincy Mine, this Euroasian invader is one that I also spotted in Detroit--bird vetch, also known as cow vetch.