Thursday, August 03, 2017

Roskam is wild card in IL Sixth District

The most outrageous endorsement of a presidential candidate by a congressman in the 17 elections I've followed was Peter J. Roskam's astonishing rationale for endorsing Donald J. Trump.

"I do think time is Donald Trump's friend. I think people are saying... alright, I'm ready to hear this guy out, see what he has got to say with the flash and dash aside. Trump's comments (on grabbing women's genitals) are disgusting and corrosive....they fly in the face of every lesson wife Elizabeth and I taught our daughters and sons about how men and women interact. However, this election is a binary choice in which I am choosing to vote for a wild card over an unworthy candidate."

Once in office, Trump fulfilled Roskam's 'wide card' moniker in spades, degrading the office of president with virtually every statement and action. Talking peace in the Middle East one day; then ratcheting up the bombing in seven Muslim countries the next, we haven't a clue of a coherent Trump foreign policy. Using every public speech before non-political groups to reveal his gargantuan insecurities and petty grievances is unprecedented in American politics. Never has a president lied so effortlessly and transparently. Never has a president made his signature domestic issue to take heath care from 22 million, resulting in over 200,000 unnecessary deaths over a decade to lavish tax cuts on the already wealthy. Trump campaigned as best buddy of the LGBT community; then pivoted to placate the homophobe wing of his base with his disparagement of courageous, patriotic transgender soldiers. Does 'wild card' include colluding with Russia to win the election?

Roskam's wild card endorsement was pure politics designed to retain his ultraconservative base. Roskam knew, like every other informed American, of Trump's moral and intellectual unfitness for office. Roskam was not alone in endorsing the most unfit presidential candidate in history. Not a single Republican congressman disowned him. But no one offered the insulting sophistry that posited, 'genital grabbing and flash and dash aside....he still represents mainstream Republican values.'

Trump may be our wild card president for the next 3 years, but for the past ten in the Illinois Sixth, the real wild card has been Peter J. Roskam.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

When McCarthy coerced a baseball name change

An avid baseball fan since 1951, my eight year old brain was puzzled when the '53 Cincinnati Reds changed their team name to the Redlegs. The Reds had been the Reds since their return to the National League in 1890, after having been kicked out in 1880 by NL owners furious at their selling beer on Sundays running them afoul of the blue noses who ruled the NL roost. During their subsequent ten years in the American Association they were known as the Red Stockings, akin to my beloved White Sox. To celebrate their return they shortened their name to Reds which adorned their glory years of several pennants and world series championships over the next 62 years. Enter the Death Vader of US politics Joe McCarthy, who spent his Senator's perch ferreting out communists under every bed using the shorthand 'Reds' to capture headlines. In '53 Reds owners pondered their own ominous headlines such as 


and decided to add some legs to run away from McCarthyism.  Introducing the Cincinnati Redlegs.

The sad cave in to McCarthyism lasted thru the '58 season. Next spring, with McCarthy dead for a couple of years and sanity returning to the Homeland, Redlegs owners chopped the legs off the Reds sayiing: "Let the Commies change their name...we were the Reds long before they were." 

Maybe the football Redskins can steal a page from their Cincinnati baseball brethren and peel the 'skins' off their name. Hey, there's no law against teams in different sports with the same name. And, what would be cooler than to poke ol' Tail Gunner Joe up in Xenophobia Heaven, forcing him to root for the Washington Reds?  

Monday, July 31, 2017

Yemen in the time of cholera

Yemen in the time of cholera