Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

By John Ruberry

On Friday night Substack journalist Matt Taibbi released the first installment of the Twitter Files, which outlined the efforts by Twitter, with assists from the Democratic National Committee, to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story in 2020. It’s a dynamite story–a political party worked behind the scenes with a Big Tech company to suppress a damaging news story about a presidential candidate, in this case Joe Biden, so he could defeat the incumbent, Donald J. Trump.

That tale of intrigue is something that you would think that you would find only in political thrillers. You know, the stuff of books, movies, or TV series. Except the Twitter scandal really happened. In response, the elitist mainstream media chose one of three tactics, or a combination of them, to confront this scandal: ignore, bury, or insult. In this post I’m going to discuss the first one in depth, and I’ll get to that in a moment.

But first a look back at an incident from 2005, the year I started my own blog, Marathon Pundit. What was then called the blogosphere was a relatively happy place. In comment threads and in behind-the-scenes emails, there was regular communication between conservative and liberal bloggers and journalists, even some camaraderie, at least here in Illinois. Politically our two camps didn’t agree on much–but there was one subject where we were in unison. All of the Illinois bloggers and mainstream media reporters hated the Reverend Fred Phelps and his twisted house of worship, the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas. 

Some background: Phelps, who died in 2014, would bus in the few dozen members of his church, which then, as it does now, consisted only of the extended Phelps family, and protest at the funerals of soldiers and sailors killed in action in Iraq or Afghanistan. They held signs that read, among other things, “God Loves Dead Soldiers.” Phelps, who probably was in need of intensive psychiatric care, based his opinion on God and US military deaths on America’s acceptance of the gay lifestyle. 

Back to Illinois: There was a Phelps protest in East Peoria, Illinois in 2005 at the funeral of a US Marine gunnery sergeant, who was killed in Iraq, which the local paper, the Peoria Journal Star reported on, but it left out the Westboro Church protest. And that infuriated Bill Dennis, who wrote the now-inactive Peoria Pundit blog. 

Dennis had this say 17 years ago:

More than once, I’ve read the opinion that the media shouldn’t give Phelps and his people any “publicity.” Whether or not any particular groups gets publicity from news covering isn’t important. The news media needs to cover the news, whether or not it’s news we want to hear. It’s not the media’s job to keep us from having to hear ugly messages. The people who work in the information business need to reject the notion that the public is better off when it is kept in the dark. We wouldn’t tolerate the government doing that to us. Why does the media think it has the right to keep unpleasant news away from us?

It’s the news media’s job to answer questions, not to turn their head and pretend they didn’t hear the question.

The media’s opinion of what information should be provided to its consumers has now become dangerous. Big Tech, meaning of course Twitter, and as well as Google and Facebook, as well as traditional sources such as the legacy newspapers and broadcast networks, actively worked to suppress or ignore the Hunter Biden laptop story, which was revealed in October 2020 by the New York Post, as the presidential election season was underway. Yes, season–voting was already underway just about everywhere. Those media villains–I believe it’s fair to include those three Big Tech behemoths are part of the media–committed election interference. Think of a football game where the beat reporter for an NFL team is standing on the sidelines when the opposing team is about to score a touchdown–who then runs on to the field and tackles the player carrying the ball. Let’s call that wronged player “Trump.”

That’s what happened in 2020. 

What is the slogan of the Washington Post, which has so far has written just one story about the Twitter Files? Oh yeah, “Democracy dies in darkness.” At least the most recent time Clay Travis checked, which was this morning, the New York Times hasn’t reported on Taibbe’s Twitter revelations. Travis Tweeted a few hours ago, “It has now been two days since @twitter & @elonmusk posted actual emails & correspondence of internal documents relating to the Hunter Biden laptop censorship in 2020. The @nytimes has still not covered the story at all.”

In a story published today CBS news barely mentions Taibbi’s scoop–but it attacked Twitter owner Elon Musk. Oh yeah, attacking. A whole bunch of leftist journalists, propagandists really, went into that attack mode I discussed earlier, vilifying Taibbi for performing superb journalism.

And in regard to that Phelps story from ’05, it wasn’t just the Peoria Journal Star committing the sin of omission. You remember I said that back in the day conservative and liberal bloggers and journalists used to interact regularly about stories. I can’t find the email I sent so long ago, but I reached out to a big shot left-wing Chicago newspaper columnist about what the Peoria Pundit and I saw as media malpractice. His polite reply to me was something like this, “But if we report on Phelps and his hateful protests, then we are only doing what he wants–giving him publicity.” 

No, Mr. Newspaper Columnist, it is your job is to report the news. Not hide it, shape it, or twist it.

Democracy dies in darkness. So does the truth.

John Ruberry regularly blogs from the Chicago area at Marathon Pundit.

By John Ruberry

On the evening of November 8, a woman from Skokie, Illinois, which is the town just east of where I live, was tragically killed in an automobile accident on Interstate 55 just south of Springfield, Illinois. 

The victim, Lauren Wegner, 35, by all accounts a wonderful woman, was fatally injured when a GMC Sierra, according to police officials driven by Shane Woods, 44 of Auburn, Illinois, drove the wrong way on the interstate.

The Chicago media and other sources in the Prairie State have been repeatedly reporting on this story. And a primary reason for its deep interest in it appears to be because Woods, also known as Shane Castleman, pleaded guilty in September to assaulting a Capitol Police officer and a media photographer during the January 6 riot at the US Capitol. He is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court in January. Woods faces up to eight years in prison for those crimes. Woods of course faces much more serious prison time if he is found guilty of killing Wegner–from 20 to 60 years. He has been charged with first degree murder, eluding a police officer, aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, and aggravated fleeing. Woods is being held in the Sangamon County Jail, bail has been denied.

Once again, and probably not for the last time, I feel it is important that I unequivocally denounce the January 6 riot at the Capitol. Those people who stormed the Capitol on that sad day, including Woods, who destroyed property and attacked people deserve to be punished.

But just like MSNBC, the Illinois media can’t let go of obsessing over January 6. In regard to the Wegner death, the worst example of that obsession in regard to the Woods story is a State Journal-Register article from November 16 that was as much about the Capitol riot and Donald Trump as it was about the victim. The piece even mentions two men from Springfield who also allegedly participated in the riot–both of whom have no connection to the accident that killed Wegner. Was that necessary?

Absolutely, the January 6 angle is a valid part of the story of the fatal accident, as it appears Woods may have been trying to commit suicide when he started his SUV on the evening of November 8.

Here are some of the Illinois media headlines of stories that I found about the deadly car accident after a Google News search. Yes, some national outlets picked up the story too.

Also, Shia Kapos’ Politico Illinois Playbook newsletter linked to January 6/Woods stories on November 14, 16, 17, and 23.

Media obsession over January 6? I believe so. But I expect the drumbeat to continue. As for Woods, he is a despicable person.

Memorial contributions in the name of Lauren Wegner can be made to Community Animal Rescue Effort of Skokie (carenorthshore.org).

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

GOP: A Pennsylvania problem

Posted: November 22, 2022 by chrisharper in politics
Tags: ,

By Christopher Harper

Winning Pennsylvania in the 2024 election may be extremely difficult for any Republican candidate.

The headlines of this November election focused on the losses by two Trump-backed candidates in the gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races.

But the Republican losses go much deeper than that.

In the useless arena of conventional wisdom and polls, the so-called experts predicted that the GOP would win 10 of 16 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, with one seat a tossup. The actual outcome pushed the House delegation to the Democrats, with a 9-8 margin.

But the big story buried in the mass of election analytical outkill was the potential loss of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to the Democrats, who picked up 12 seats from the last election and haven’t held control of the legislative body since 2010.

Because of a death and a few governmental changes, the House hasn’t officially changed hands, although it’s likely to do so when the dust settles.

There’s mostly bad news when you dig into the voters themselves. The Black and Latino communities weren’t particularly interested in the nonpresidential election, with Philadelphia voters staying away from the polls in hordes.

A Philadelphia Inquirer analysis found the following:

–Philly’s vote count dropped 33% from 2020, more than any other county and the statewide average of 22%.

–It’s not just a 2020 comparison: This year saw a stark divergence between Philly turnout and the rest of the state compared to every federal election since at least 2000.

–Allegheny County, home to Pittsburgh, has about 133,000 fewer voters than Philly — but cast about 67,000 more ballots this election.

–Philadelphia’s share of the state’s total Democratic vote has dropped from 20% in 2016 to 15% this year.

These results demonstrate that Philadelphia may have less clout than Pittsburgh in the foreseeable future.

More important for Republicans, however, is that many traditional Democrats didn’t participate in the 2022 election, and the Dems still won big.

Moreover, the expected Latino surge for the GOP didn’t happen in Pennsylvania, as traditional Hispanic locales saw a drop in voting turnout. The steepest dives were in heavily Latino cities such as Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton, Reading, and Allentown, which all saw turnout drop even more than Philadelphia.

Some community leaders said the turnout in Latino communities shows a failure of candidates and both parties to connect with long-neglected voters.

“There’s lots of things to say about how ignored Latinos feel by the electoral system,” said Erika Almirón, a senior organizer with Mijente, a national Latino social justice group that works in Philadelphia. “And it manifests by not wanting to participate, and so if we want those numbers to improve, candidates have to knock on doors, we need resources.”

Simply put, the GOP has two years to turn it around in Pennsylvania.

One factor in the use of the government as a weapon against the Political foes of the left that isn’t discussed is that this is the fruit of the Obama years.

Obama was always a cheap Chicago pol and he used his high position to transform the federal government and the system into the Chicago way where government is used to enrich friends and punish enemies.

Till those Obama types are purged we’re not going to see things change.


In his famous appearance on Phil Donahue’s show Milton Freeman when questioned by Donahue on the excesses of capitalism replied: “just tell me where in the world you find these angels who are going to organize society for us?” This is a basic principle of life that people tend of act in their own self interest. And since most people aren’t angels particularly in government the best way to create ethical behavior is to make such behavior profitable.

That’s really the secret, if you make the rewards of honorable behavior strong enough then the risks of unethical behavior are not worthwhile.


CBS has suddenly decided that the Hunter Biden laptop stuff is real.

This in my opinion is a definite signal that they have decided than in a possible match with Trump in 2024 Joe Biden in expendable.

The real question is will Biden fight (Jill that is) I don’t think Joe has much fight in him, but he does know where the bodies are.


The moment I heard that Nancy Pelosi was dropping herself from the leadership but staying in congress all I could think of was the movie Casino with Hakeem Jeffries playing the role of Phillip Green. I suspect that the new leadership will not make any move that is not approved by Nancy as she, like Biden knows where the bodies are buried.

Personally I think the only reason for this is to remove Pelosi and a fundraising meme for the GOP.


Finally it’s starting to get cold and the heat has been on in the house. That means that the first oil delivery of the new Biden season is coming for me and a lot of other folks.

I get about 200 gallons per delivery which is going to likely run over $1000 as opposed to the $500-$600 that it would have in the Trump years.

If this doesn’t change the voting patterns of folks in New England nothing will.