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Could this be why Tea Partiers are “liking” Rick Santorum’s comments on American colleges?

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Brigitte Gabriel, founder of ACT (Anti-Shariah for America), speaking in Nashville.

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Congresswoman (NY-26) says Catholic Churches exempt from HHS Mandate

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Is she telling a lie, or just dumb?

Lest We Forget: New Trier Honors Alumni Rahm Emanuel, Ann-Margret, et al

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New Trier High School has announced its 2012 list of alumni honorees – that would be “leaders” in many fields of endeavor who will attract guests to a fund-raising event for the Alumni Association (and yes, New Trier is still a public high school.) The awards ceremony will be held on March 15th at the Hilton Orrington Hotel in Evanston. Learn all about it here.

This year’s honorees are:

  1. Michael Alter (1979)
  2. Ann-Margret (1959)
  3. Rahm Emanuel (1977)
  4. Alan Krensky (1969)
  5. Thomas Miller (1966)
  6. Martha Minow (1972)
  7. Michael S. Rogers (1977)
  8. James Sprayregen (1978)
  9. James Collins Warren (1942)
  10. Edward Zwick (1970)

New Cardinal, Catholic Bishops Take Stand against HHS Mandate for Violating Religious Freedom

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Cardinal Timothy Dolan issued a statement recently in vehement opposition to the HHS mandate that all private health care plans must cover procedures and medications that violate the teachings of the Catholic Church. Other Christian leaders, as well as Jewish Rabbis, should show similar leadership in fighting this affront to religious freedom. If President Obama is reelected, he will no longer have any incentive to compromise on his agenda which seeks to undermine any civic organization that comes between the individual and the government.

[Dolan’s] statement warns of the severe danger posed to religious liberty by  “an all-encompassing, extreme form of secularism” and notes that the  narrow “exemption” in the mandate was “instituted only by executive  whim” and so “can be taken away easily.” Cardinal Dolan and Archbishop  Lori present the mandate as an assault on foundational principles and  ask, “If the  government can, for example, tell Catholics that they  cannot be  in the  insurance business today without violating their  religious  convictions,  where does it end? Read the rest of his statement here.

Here is the text of the letter disseminated last week by the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops to their parishoners:

Sweeping HHS Mandate Stands, Violating Conscience Rights and Religious Liberty

Congress Must Act to Fix the Problem

On January 20, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reaffirmed a rule that virtually all private health care plans must cover sterilization, abortifacients, and contraception. The exemption provided for “religious employers” was so narrow that it failed to cover the vast majority of faith-based organizations—including Catholic hospitals, universities, and charities—that help millions every year. Ironically, not even Jesus and his disciples would have qualified for the exemption, because it excludes those who mainly serve people of another faith. More

Gunfight at the OK Corral – or Is It Dan Patlak Taking on the Illinois Combine?

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There is one candidate in the primary this March 20th, Dan Patlak, who demonstrates the conservative qualities the Republican Party should always embody; as the sole GOP commissioner on the Cook County Board of Review, he’s conscientious, articulate and experienced.  But unfortunately, he’s being challenged in an expensive, viciously personal, and divisive primary. And in addition, the campaign has become tangled in the weeds of the good old Illinois Republican/Combine swampland, a.k.a. North Cook Co. vs. South Cook Co. Never heard of that particular battleground? Well, it’s the Land of the Chicago Way – so plan on getting to know the Saul Alinsky model for political campaigning before you come to the end of this story, a few paragraphs down.

Patlak (R-Wheeling) was elected to the Cook County Board of Review in 2010, and now his two-year term is up. Before becoming a commissioner, Patlak put in a couple of decades supporting local GOP causes. He worked for Maureen Murphy when she was on the Cook Co. Board of Review, and later he became the Wheeling Twp. assessor. Since his 2010 election to the Board of Review, Dan has been a hard-working representative of his constituency; most property taxpayers around here (northern Cook Co.) are proud to endorse his reelection campaign.

But hold on, there is that one other factor: Dan Patlak is a conservative, and worse than that he comes out of a faction of the Illinois GOP that has a stubborn streak. Read that to mean they don’t make deals; they don’t pay-to-play; they aren’t ones to “take one for the team.” Maybe it won’t be surprising to hear that his opponent, Sean Morrison (Orland Park), comes from the team on the other side of the swamp – that would be, for example, the territory where some folks countenance bribes for phony drivers licenses, or replace conservative candidates for the U.S. Senate with sure losers from out of state, or maybe sell their votes on the Cook County Board for . . . whatever.

Dan Patlak is friends with Wheeling Twp. Committeeman Ruth O’Connell, another hard-working local conservative who labored behind the scenes for decades, not cooperating with the “team,” and finally got elected to a position where she is making a difference. Her nemesis is Cook County Board member and Orland Park Committeeman Elizabeth Doody Gorman. Now there’s an example of a Chicago Way wheeler-dealer who would do ACORN et al proud. (Just ask the mavericky former Cook Co. Board member Tony Peraica how it felt to get undercut by his GOP compatriot, Liz Gorman.)

So, let’s say an Illinois GOP “team” player wants to make sure the team on the Board of Tax Review is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Illinois Combine; what would Saul Alinsky do? How about this plan: the challenger invents a bogus personal attack theme, uses the press and social media to demagogue the opponent about it, and confuses voters into believing it matters. Case in point: Sean Morrison has focused his entire campaign on one issue: attacking Dan Patlak for accepting (100% legal) campaign contributions from attorneys who may or may not try real estate reassessment cases. Never mind that there is a First Amendment that allows campaign contributions; never mind that there is no real likelihood of corrupt practices in the Board of Review job description. Morrison’s team created the issue out of thin air, publicized it to death, and hopes to win the primary with just that one argument.

Welcome to business as usual in Illinois. Take a clear look at Dan Patlak and choose your side.

Listen to the Illinois Review interview with Sean Morrison here.

As Blago heads west to his prison home, a new study finds IL most corrupt state.

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Illinois’ reality governor is finally heading to Colorado next week to begin serving his time in prison. Meanwhile, a team of academics has just now discovered that Illinois (but they really mean northern Illinois) is the most corrupt state in the union. They are finding some hope and change when they listen to our new beloved pols, Gov. Marshmallow and Mayor PricklyPear. Hmmm. Raise your hand if you think their rhetoric might be all talk (or not.) Read more at The Economist.

Addendum to earlier posts on closing of five Chicago public schools:

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Dan Henninger, assistant editorial page editor of the Wall Street Journal, praised Mayor Rahm Emanuel today for closing five failing Chicago Public Schools, firing some teachers, and asking a not-for-profit to help with the new management.

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