Monthly Archives: November 2013

The capitalism I wish the pope would inveigh against

The crony kind.

Illinois governor race a toss-up, says “lefty pollster”

Oak Park Republicans

Did we realize?

. . . the goofy lefty pollster that once had Barack Obama leading Rick Perry in Texassays Illinois governors race is winnable for the Republicans.

Illinois. One of the states that Barack Obama calls home.

From the goofy left pollster, PPP (Public Policy Polling):

Only 34% of voters approve of the job Quinn is doing to 60% who disapprove. That ties him for the third most unpopular Governor in the country. Thats actually an improvement for Quinn though- his numbers are up from a 25/64 approval spread a year ago at this time, which had made him the most unpopular Governor anywhere. Hes seen a little bit of improvement with Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike.


In match ups with his potential GOP foes Quinn leads Bruce Rauner 41/38, trails Dan Rutherford 41/39, and ties both Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard at 41% and…

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Illinois pension deal

Crain’s Chi Business’s Greg Hinz has details, ” from multiple sources in both chambers, and from both sides of the aisle”:

The big savings projected to total about $160 billion over 30 years would come from reduced annual cost-of-living adjustments (or COLAs, as they’re generally known). Right now, everyone in the state funds gets a flat 3 percent a year, compounded.

Under the proposed new formula, the COLA only would apply to one’s years on the government job, times $1,000. That means, for instance, that a 25-year government veteran would get a 3 percent annual COLA only on the first $25,000 of their pension, even if the total pension was $50,000. That employee would get no COLA on that second 25-grand.

More on that . . .

Then retirement age:

Another savings would come from raising the retirement age. Those workers who are at least 45 years old would see no change. But younger workers would gradually have to work up to five years longer to start receiving their pension. (In some plans, you can retire as young as 58.)

In exchange, workers would contribute 1 percentage point less of their salary toward their retirement than what they pay now. Rates now range from 6 or 7 percent to 11 or 12 percent, depending on the specific pension fund.

Plus details . . .

With expected results:

If it works as described, taxpayers would save $160 billion or so over the next three decades and the pension systems would become fully funded.

Unions expected to “put up quite a fight next week” in special session Dec. 3. But Mayor Rahm and Gov. P-Quinn like it a lot. Full details to be announced Friday. Rather exemplary hard work by Hinz here.

Is there such a thing as papal demagoguery?

Here’s one of his “five most radical statements about capitalism and poverty”:

Capitalism Is Idolatry

In an open letter to British Prime Minister David Cameron on the eve of the G-8 Summit, Pope Francis called capitalism a new form of idolatry, saying the money should serve humanity, not lead it.

“The goal of economics and politics is to serve humanity, beginning with the poorest and most vulnerable wherever they may be, even in their mothers’ wombs. Every economic and political theory or action must set about providing each inhabitant of the planet with the minimum wherewithal to live in dignity and freedom, with the possibility of supporting a family, educating children, praising God and developing one’s own human potential.”

“We have created new idols. The worship of the golden calf of old has found a new and heartless image in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy which is faceless and lacking any truly humane goal.”

He has a way with words. Pretty rich stuff.

The pope tries his hand at economics

He launches “a salvo against global capitalism,” recommending we Catholics say “‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality.”  

Our current economic system is “unjust at its roots,” in that it “defend(s) the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation.” Such a system, he warned, is creating a “new tyranny,” which “unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules.” 

Hes looking more to market than state as worriesome thing, says a theology teacher:

“Benedict seemed to aim his critique at state and market alike, whereas Francis seems to move the ball considerably in the direction of the idea that the market has far more powerthe power to do good for humanity as well as to dehumanizethan the state,” said Chad Pecknold, assistant professor of theology at the Catholic University of America in Washington.

Nothing he said as quoted in news accounts demonstrates any worry about overreaching government. Dorothy Day, of Catholic Worker fame, a onetime Communist with anarchist leanings, spoke mockingly of “holy mother the state.” Maybe Francis, who has shown an affinity with her, might lean more in that direction.

He has an opinion about market effect which constitutes papal overreach shockingly:

. . . some people continue to defend trickle_down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world.

This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.

Spoken with authority embarrassingly so.

Pope Francis has seen the enemy . . .

. . . and the enemy is us — free-market capitalists with hearts of stone.

In case there was any doubt left, Pope Francis made it clear that he shares little in common with U.S. conservatives.

The pontiff released his Evangelii Gaudium, or Joy of the Gospel, attacking capitalism as a form of tyranny and calling on church and political leaders to address the needs of the poor.

As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the worlds problems or, for that matter, to any problems, the pope said in the 224-page document that essentially serves as his official platform.

The good news is, he did not endorse liberal democrats by name. “Pope endorses Hillary!” What a headline that would make. Or “ObamaCare the cat’s meow, says Pope.” He did have ideas about campaign slogans, however:

Denying this was simple populism, he called for action “beyond a simple welfare mentality” and added: “I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor.”

Hey, for “genuinely disturbed” politicians, consult the campaign platforms the world over, no one more than Marxists’.

But to judge by news accounts, not a word about political corruption, vote-stealing, and state-run economies that favor the connected. Too bad. He can’t hit all the world’s evils in one swoop.

Obama and his care, FOREVAH!

— Must apologize profusely. Discovering the blankness of this post almost immediately, I immediately also had a virtual browser crash and had to attack the slow-down mechanism with a program. Then I went to the Y for a dip. Then I got back here to supply something. Sorry . . . —

What should have been here:

Have they no shame??!!

From my friends Democrats 2014, by e-blast:

We just wanted to take a minute to say thanks, Jim.

Just since last week, when we told you about the Republican playbook brimming with marching orders against the Affordable Care Act, 9,000 of you have stepped up! That’s exactly the type of grassroots boost we needed to fight Republican smears with the facts. As a show of our appreciation, we wanted to make sure you get a free Obamacare bumper sticker!

Click here to get your FREE Obamacare sticker >>


Get one for yourself — or, if you already have one, get one as a stocking stuffer for the holidays.

Thanks again for everything you do!

No problem.

Arresting black people

Drug-law enforcement.

Fighting Irish no more


Their Catholic identity?

Lefties clear deck for crushing the rebels against their big ideas

Paddy bar the door.

For 224 years it protected the rights of the minority party.

But yesterday, Senate Democrats killed it.

They didn’t reform the filibuster. They vaporized it.

The message is clear: Obama and Senate Democrats will soon open the floodgates and jam the federal courts and executive agencies with as many radical anti-life and anti-family [and
freedom-busting, federal bank-breaking] appointments as possible. [added]

Left-wing radicals are growing impatient and many are now worried. With Obama’s approval ratings plummeting to record lows of 40%, their agenda is in jeopardy.

So it is not surprising they pushed for this extraordinary step of changing the Senate rules. And I suspect they aren’t done yet.

On to 2014 and “the battle for the Senate.”

(I love this statement, obviously; but Brian at Catholic Vote, “2014 has all the markings of a title wave“? Please.)

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