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Articles Archive for November 2007

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[30 Nov 2007 | 6 Comments | ]

The man I knew for forty years as “Uncle Henry” is gone. There will not be his like in the Congress again soon. Perhaps never. Some thoughts:
I hope that Congressman Rahm Emanuel has retained some portion of the innate grace from his ballet dancing past not to attend Henry’s wake or funeral. But if he goes it will be typical.
Typical because as everyone in Washington knows including the media that will not publish it, Emanuel, once President Bill Clinton’s assassin (felicitously called his political director) …

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[30 Nov 2007 | One Comment | ]

I would like to express my deepest sympathies to the family of Representative Henry J. Hyde on his passing to eternal life today.
The death of Representative Hyde is a significant loss for our country. As a member of the House of Representatives for more than three decades, Henry Hyde contributed a great deal to the good of our nation and was a powerful champion for those who had no voice in the public square.

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[29 Nov 2007 | 2 Comments | ]

Filing as a candidate is just the beginning, staying on the ballot is the real test
The silly season is upon us.
No, I am not referring to the Christmas shopping rush as the holidays approach. The primary election, on February 5, 2008. As I write this, candidates for delegates and alternates are hurrying to gather voter signatures on their nominating petitions before the filing deadline. Republican delegates and alternates will be the last candidates to file under the new election laws. The winning candidates will attend the national nominating …

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[29 Nov 2007 | No Comment | ]

The classic definition of the Yiddish word chutzpah is: the boy who murders his father and mother, then pleads for the mercy of the court because he is an orphan.
Today we must update that definition.
Willard (call him by his middle name, “Mitt”) Romney, a vigorous advocate of George Bush’s war in Iraq, was asked why none of his five grown sons were in the armed services or otherwise supporting our noble adventure over there.
His response: “One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me …

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[29 Nov 2007 | 2 Comments | ]

Many gentile Americans under 50 don’t know what Yiddish is. More’s the pity. Yiddish is an anglicization of a Germanic word for “Jewish.” The Yiddish language was the dialect spoken by the Jews of central and eastern Europe, and was a unique combination of German and Hebrew, written with Hebrew letters. Before the restoration of Hebrew as a spoken language, it was the household language of Jews in western, central and eastern Europe.
Beginning with the pogroms of the late 19th and early 20th century, tens of thousands of European Jews …

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[28 Nov 2007 | No Comment | ]

A suburban man filed the first lawsuit against Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s unilateral expansion of state-subsidized health care.
Richard Caro of Riverside charged in his complaint, which was Monday filed in Cook County, that Blagojevich’s expansion of the state’s FamilyCare program is unconstitutional because lawmakers never agreed to appropriate that spending.

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[28 Nov 2007 | No Comment | ]

That question is asked and answered in the affirmative by the Illinois Policy Institute, a free-market think tank, in its thought-provoking new analysis: “CTA looking in all the wrong places: Sustainable solution requires new thinking and real reforms.”
I can’t remember anyone seriously and convincingly making such a claim since the early 1970s when, as the Chicago Daily News urban affairs reporter, I started covering the CTA. That’s when it became conventional political wisdom that mass transit should be considered to be a public utility requiring a public subsidy. Hell, I …

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[27 Nov 2007 | 3 Comments | ]

The term “ecumenical,” defined as “tending to support and encourage unity between the various types of the Christian religion,” has often been applied to governance. After all, government tends to work best when ecumenical principles at least season its processes.
Cook County Republican Party Chairman Elizabeth “Liz” Gorman appears more than willing to routinely accommodate Democrats. If only she would spare some of that ecumenical fervor for her own political party. It certainly could use more unity.
With the debacle in the Democratic controlled state house and Governor’s mansion, the exposure of …

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[27 Nov 2007 | No Comment | ]

The Chicago Tribune didn’t stretch itself unduly to mention a lawsuit brought as a public interest by my friend Richard Caro. But what the legislature won’t do…and what all the combined weight of the editorialists’ cannot evidently accomplish…Richard—who passes the plate every Sunday at 11 a.m. Mass at St. John Cantius (the mother church of authentic Catholicism) is accomplishing. He is like Roland at the pass, the heroic medieval soldier who held the pass in Spain enabling his comrades to pass through unharmed by the Saracens and who with …

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[26 Nov 2007 | One Comment | ]

St. Odilo in Berwyn wound up its triduum of old-style Latin masses Tuesday night, Nov. 20, with not quite the 400 people of the first one, two weeks and one week earlier. Maybe 300 this time, parishioners and others who came out on a dark and stormy night to celebrate a divine mystery.
This was the holy sacrifice, commemorated and re-enacted in pre-Vatican IIfashion. Fr. Anthony Brankin, the pastor, had a few words beforehand from the pulpit, as he did for the first two. Follow what we are doing up here …