Why Jim Ryan can’t win a General Election

I hope Republicans understand that nominating someone from the existing political class in Illinois means that they lose another General Election, probably badly. Legal or illegal, the stink of “business-as-usual” isn’t going get a Republican across the finish line in November.

[point of disclosure - I am a consultant on Adam Andrzejewski's campaign]

Jim Ryan backers got rich pension deals

But there’s more that could prove to be troubling for Ryan’s bid for governor. Two investment firms whose managers collectively gave more than $70,000 to Ryan’s failed 2002 gubernatorial campaign subsequently got multimillion-dollar government pension deals, state records and transcripts of Levine’s testimony at Rezko’s trial show. Levine testified he helped the firms win those deals, which were approved by a state board on which Levine sat within 30 days of the contributions to Ryan’s campaign fund.

Levine never testified there was any “pay-to-play” quid pro quo involved here. Nor did prosecutors question him on the witness stand about whether he was trading state business for contributions to Ryan. Their questions focused instead on how Levine influenced investment decisions as a board member of the Teachers’ Retirement System of Illinois, which court testimony showed was at the heart of Rezko’s and Levine’s scheme to try to line their pockets through government deals.

Vote for Adam Andrzejewski. Everyone else in the race is a political insider, and all of them have baggage in one form or another. You can all argue about ‘experience’ til you’re blue in the face. In this election cycle, you need to realize the meaning of “longshot.”

The Dems have a 22 point edge in Party Affiliation (Thank you Tom Cross and Andy McKenna). Yes, the Dems have driven the state into a ditch, but every Republican on the ballot helped (except for Adam).

Hence, long shot or not, Adam has the shortest shot of all the Republican candidates, particularly in this election cycle.

Start telling these 7 stories to your friends

Make all of these stories part of your narrative when you talk politics to your friends. Follow the link, read the “story lines,” tell your friends, rinse and repeat.

7 stories Obama doesn’t want told

  • He thinks he’s playing with Monopoly money
  • That’s the Chicago Way
  • Too much Leonard Nimoy
  • He’s a pushover
  • He sees America as another pleasant country on the U.N. roll call, somewhere between Albania and Zimbabwe
  • President Pelosi
  • He’s in love with the man in the mirror
  • If health care is a right, then your Doctor is a slave

    Jacoby nails this one.

    What ‘right’ to health care?

    My right to free speech or to own property does not give me a claim on anyone else’s time or labor or resources. But if I have a “right’’ to health care, someone else must be compelled to provide or pay for that care. Compulsion comes in different forms – higher taxes, insurance mandates, health-care rationing, intrusive regulations – but the bottom line is the same: a right to health care would leave society less free.

    You have a right to stop shooting each other, to shooting up, to eating less crap, and to eating less. You do not have a right to make everyone in America pay for your foibles, nor to make some doctor fix what you could have avoided.


    Bush supported Democrats, Obama likes Dictators

    It doesn’t take much to follow international and economic affairs between the two emerging nations of China and India. Bush reached out to India in his first days in office while challenging China to be less despotic. Obama, OTOH, can’t seem to treat India with much respect, preferring to focus on kowtowing to China.

    Such are the differences between idealists (no matter how flawed) and so-called ‘realists.’

    Unlike China, India has growth with values: PM Manmohan (Chidanand Rajghatta, 11/25/09, TNN)

    Bull in a China shop is not an expression one would normally use to describe India’s mild-mannered Prime Minister, but at a Washington think-tank on Monday evening Manmohan Singh was anything but delicate on India’s newly nettlesome neighbor before an audience that is largely in thrall of the Middle Kingdom’s meteoric rise on the global stage. [...]

    Singh was also unexpectedly tetchy about comparisons between Indian and Chinese economic growth, saying while there is no doubt that Chinese performance is superior to India’s, ”there are other values which are important than the growth of Gross Domestic Product.”

    “I think the respect for fundamental human rights, the respect for the rule of law, respect for multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious rights, I think those have values. So, even the Indian perforce with regard to the GDP might not be as good as the Chinese, certainly I would not like to choose the Chinese path,” he said in unusually blunt remarks that constituted a criticism of the Chinese model.

    Just make EVERYTHING 100% Transparent

    When you take all the corruption in Illinois government, all the unknown procedures at the US Federal Reserve, and the recent hacking of e-mails of the so-called “climate experts,” you come away with the obvious solution that virtually everything that impacts the public should be made public.

    We’ve spent decades hearing that we leave things to the experts. Experts have destroyed our schools, our economy, our social discourse (see “political correctness”) and they are working on destroying the health care system. They certainly can’t be trusted with science. Make it all public, and make it all open source. We can figure it out. We are smarter than the “experts.”

    [with perhaps small exceptions that relate to national security]

    Hacked E-Mail Data Prompts Calls for Changes in Climate Research

    Some prominent climate scientists are calling for changes in the way research on global warming is conducted after a British university said thousands of private e-mail messages and documents had been stolen from its climate center.

    The scientists say that the e-mail messages, which have circulated on the Internet and which disclose the inner workings of a small network of climatologists who chart the planet’s temperature, have damaged the public’s trust in the evidence that humans are dangerously warming the planet, just as many countries are poised to start reining in greenhouse gas emissions.

    “This whole concept of, ‘We’re the experts, trust us,’ has clearly gone by the wayside with these e-mails,” said Judith Curry, a climate scientist at Georgia Institute of Technology.

    She and other scientists are seeking more transparency in the way climate data is handled and in the methods used to analyze it. And they argue that scientists should re-evaluate the selection procedures used by some scientific journals and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the panel that in 2007 concluded that humans were the dominant force driving warming and whose findings underpin international discussions over a new climate treaty.

    As an unapologetic skeptic of the notion that man is impacting the climate, I applaud the fact that Ms. Curry (a warmist) is one of the people calling for more transparency. She thinks it’s the best way to persuade skeptics like me. Good for her. If the REAL science proves man-made global warming (AGW), all the better to set me straight. So far, however, I’ve been proven 100% correct in my skepticism of not only AGW, but of the motives and morals of those promoting it. Contrast her attitude with the poltroon below.

    Gavin A. Schmidt, a NASA climatologist involved in many of the e-mail exchanges, said that voluntarily disclosing more data would never satisfy the “very hard-bitten, distraught core” of climate skeptics. “The number of attacks on our integrity will actually increase since there will be more ways to twist what it is we do to support some conspiracy theory or other,” he said.

    I’m sorry, but Mr. Schmidt doesn’t deserve much credence for having “integrity.” Nor do the governments and bureaucracies of the world, which are about to create a permanent, opaque, and almost certainly corrupt, climate scheme which will tax every person in the world and enrich every bureaucracy and corporation that participates in the scheme. Are we supposed to sit back and care about the false feelings of “integrity” of some a—ole at NASA who doesn’t want to bother with the world citizenry fact-checking his cooked numbers. I say, “to hell with him.”

    I lack the time to list every example of talented amateurs outperforming “experts.” The Wright Brothers kicking the crap out of a “government funded” bureaucracy “studying flight” is only one of 1000s.

    It is time to shed your respect for “experts.” Get it through your heads that with the Internet, and the technological tools available today, we each have it with in our means to live in an “open-source” society that is capable of discerning facts and figures as well as anyone.

    Incompetent Children in Charge of America

    Who are these clowns (the occupants, not the guests)?

    Obamas’ Uninvited Guests Prompt an Inquiry

    WASHINGTON — The Secret Service is investigating how a couple aspiring to be reality-show celebrities managed to appear at President Obama’s first state dinner without being on the guest list, provoking questions about security at the White House.

    The inquiry was begun after a Virginia couple, Michaele and Tareq Salahi, slipped past multiple layers of high-level White House security Tuesday night and managed to rub shoulders, literally, with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and the White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, among others, at Washington’s most exclusive social event this year.

    Edwin M. Donovan, a spokesman for the Secret Service who spent his Thanksgiving Day dealing with phone calls from reporters, would not discuss the investigation in detail but said the initial focus was on “a Secret Service checkpoint which did not follow proper procedure to ensure these two individuals were on the invited guest list.”

    May as well say it’s “Indiana v. Illinois”

    For what it’s worth, the “Texas v. California” meme is a good one for America to be talking about right now. One model is failing while the other is succeeding, at least from an economic standpoint.

    America as Texas v. California

    Texas, on the other hand, is growing, creating wealth, and attracting the entrepreneurial and creative classes that too many people think only go to places like New York and California. This interesting post by Tory Gattis at New Geography explains why. He shares a four-point analysis from Trends magazine:

    First, Texans on average believe in laissez-faire markets with an emphasis on individual responsibility. Since the ’80s, California’s policy-makers have favored central planning solutions and a reliance on a government social safety net. This unrelenting commitment to big government has led to a huge tax burden and triggered a mass exodus of jobs. The Trends Editors examined the resulting migration in “Voting with Our Feet,” in the April 2008 issue of Trends.

    Second, Californians have largely treated environmentalism as a “religious sacrament” rather than as one component among many in maximizing people’s quality of life. As we explained in “The Road Ahead for Housing,” in the June 2009 issue of Trends, environmentally-based land-use restriction centered in California played a huge role in inflating the recent housing bubble. Similarly, an unwillingness to manage ecology proactively for man’s benefit has been behind the recent epidemic of wildfires.

    Third, California has placed “ethnic diversity” above “assimilation,” while Texas has done the opposite. “Identity politics” has created psychological ghettos that have prevented many of California’s diverse ethnic groups and subcultures from integrating fully into the mainstream. Texas, on the other hand, has proactively encouraged all the state’s residents to join the mainstream.

    Fourth, beyond taxes, diversity, and the environment, Texas has focused on streamlining the regulatory and litigation burden on its residents. Meanwhile, California’s government has attempted to use regulation and litigation to transfer wealth from its creators to various special-interest constituencies.

    This same issue is playing out in Illinois and Indiana. Further, one could argue that the illustration is even more instructive, given their proximity and cultural similarities. Illinois is enslaved to greedy unions and the expensive government that they force on the citizens, and Indiana, is not.

    Look at which one grows and has a budget surplus, and which one is careening toward bankruptcy while bleeding jobs like crazy. If you live in Illinois, this is your solution. (and yes, I’m a paid consultant for the campaign)

    Transparency could have averted the Meltdown

    It isn’t just that there is something wrong with a “shadow” economy. It’s that some entities actively created them for the purposes of creating opacity.

    Shining a Light On Shadow Economies: Hernando de Soto, champion of the poor, applies his insights about asset transparency to bastions of wealth. (Elisabeth Eaves, 11.26.09, Forbes Magazine)

    The Peruvian economist Hernando De Soto is famous for championing property rights as an antipoverty measure. If a poor family living in a São Paulo or Manila slum could only get a deed to their living quarters, he argued, they could borrow against it to buy, say, a sewing machine. De Soto, 68, takes that message to heads of state, and he takes it out into the countryside. In recent months he has spent time in the remote Amazon jungle, talking to indigenous tribes about land ownership.

    He might not, then, seem like the most obvious source of insight for what ails developed countries. But there is a connection, he insists, between the financial crisis of wealthy nations and the crisis of poverty everywhere else. The solution in both cases is transparency. Make the values of assets transparent, he says, and economies get better.

    The idea that propelled De Soto onto the stage of development economics was that capitalism wasn’t working for the poor because, lacking property rights, they couldn’t accumulate capital. A resident of a Lima shantytown, though he might have lived on a plot for decades, had no right to sell it or borrow against it, thanks to a legal system that made it nearly impossible to obtain a clear title. Researchers working with De Soto discovered that it took 728 steps to obtain title to a piece of state-owned land in Peru. The result is that in most of the Third World, people, quite rationally, decide to operate in the shadow economy. [...]

    U.S. banks went beyond simply lending to unworthy creditors. The increase in the number and kind of derivative contracts–including some, like credit default swaps, that were traded over the counter rather than on exchanges–created a new kind of shadow economy, De Soto argues. “It reminds me of the way we used to navigate on the coast of Peru,” he says. He explained that you’d have close-in sailors navigating by keeping an eye on the coast, then farther-out sailors who navigated by watching the boats that were watching the coast, and so on. “Somehow you got very far away from the coast.”

    So much for respecting Science

    Man-made Global Warming is close to being in total free-fall as a theory. Remind your “warmist” friends that they were the same people attacking Bush on the misuse of science.

    The Climate E-mails and the Politics of Science

    There can be little doubt after even a casual perusal that the scientific case for global warming and the policy that springs from it are based upon a volatile combination of political ideology, unapologetic mendacity, and simmering contempt for even the best-intentioned disagreement. Especially in anticipation of the major climate summit taking place in Copenhagen next month, the significance of this explosive disclosure is hard to underestimate. According to climatologist Patrick J. Michaels, “This is not a smoking gun; this is a mushroom cloud.”

    The evidence of scientific dishonesty supplied by these communications is so copious it’s hard to know where to begin an attempt to describe them. Many of the e-mails brazenly discuss the manipulation of scientific data either to provide the appearance of greater support for global warming science or to undermine the claims of skeptics. For example, CRU scholar Timothy J. Osborn explicitly describes how data can be reconfigured so that evidence of an apparent cooling period disappears. His colleague Tom Wigley discusses recasting the data on sea-surface temperatures so that the results seem considerably warmer but also scientifically plausible. The director of CRU, Phil Jones, brags about his use of eminent climatologist Michael Mann’s “Nature trick” which deliberately confuses scientific data to “hide the decline” in current temperatures.

    Every person commenting on this starts with the obligatory sentences that the “hackers, of course, should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.” Nonsense!

    They should be pardoned, and awarded some Nobel Prize for Science as a reward for exposing a massive and intentional scientific fraud.

    Ridicule is the best medicine

    Actually, he does have to do it if it undermines American prestige.