Thursday, January 31, 2013

Guys, it's pretty simple--if Ronald Reagan touched it, you don't get to

Bill Kelly writes a recurring column in the Washington Times called "Bill Kelly's Truth Squad".  Ostensibly, this column is a forum where "A conservative satirist takes on the worlds of politics and entertainment in humorous pursuit of truth, justice and all things America."  Looking at his recent work, I'm not really seeing the "humorous pursuit" part:

Anyway, his most recent work is titled, "Reagan's home could become a parking lot for Obama's library".  It's a terrifying description of a present-day Cold War where Obama seeks to relentlessly destroy all historical landmarks related to past presidents!  No, really--see for yourself:

CHICAGO, Illinois, January 25, 2013 - A new Cold War is brewing here in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood and it has nothing to do with the frigid temperature.

Just for fun, I'm going to keep track of all the items in this column that could be classified as "jokes"Since I am assuming that Bill Kelly is aware that the Cold War was not started by cold temperatures, I will begrudgingly give him credit for +1 joke there.

The apartment building at 832 E. 57th Street was once the Chicago home of a boy who would become a President.

No, it’s not Barack Obama of Hawaii.

Nice job, reminding us that Obama was born in Hawaii.  This seems like a vague dig at Obama not being American, but I don't really get it.  +0 jokes.

It was at the apartment’s first floor window that a young Ronald Reagan looked out upon the world. 

But some powerful Chicagoans are planning to demolish Reagan’s historic home.

Did you tell them that Reagan looked through the window?  I'm shocked that didn't sway them.  Here's how I assume Bill ranks potential historical sites in order of importance:
  1. Reagan looked at, through, or nearby a part of the building (double if he touched anything)
  2. Biblical figure appears in shower mold and/or toast
  3. Places that have something to do with actual historical events
+0 jokes.

Is it politically motivated? Is Mayor Rahm Emanuel behind the move? 

I gave it some thought, and I decided that I might injure my neck if I shake my head as much as this question deserves.  I will allow this dog to take care of it for me.  Also, +0 jokes.

It was a different world back in 1915. Reagan's family had moved here from Tampico, Illinois. His father had gotten a job at the famed Marshall Field’s – now only a memory. A coin-operated gas lamp was the only home’s only source of heat.  
What is a "coin-operated gas lamp"?  It doesn't appear to be a real thing, at least as far as I can tell.  +0 jokes.

But it didn’t stop a young “Dutch” Reagan from dreaming.

I have no clue what "Dutch" means there.  Is Reagan from a Dutch family?  Did young Reagan insist on splitting the tab equally on dates?  Something about jump-roping?  +0 jokes.

Young Reagan would watch the horse-drawn fire engines galloping wildly down the streets to save the day and he decided that he, too, would become a firefighter. It was here, too, that he survived a bout with pneumonia – he had the fight in him even then. 

You can almost imagine him skipping down these streets, playing with his brother Neil,  whose nickname was “Moon.” 

Great anecdotes, guy.  If you can imagine it so well, why do we need the building?  Just use your imagination-pictures of what Reagan was doing in 1915.  Also, I'm suspicious of anyone being nicknamed "Moon".  How does that even happen? 

Now, the University of Chicago Medical Center has announced plans to turn Reagan’s Chicago home into a parking lot.

In 2012, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks denied Reagan’s home landmark status. The University of Chicago set demolition for January and the bulldozers quickly moved in. The wrecking balls are ready.

A "plaque" could mark the historic spot instead, say university representatives.  

A "plaque"??? Just one?  There should be a plaque for every time he was inspired to fight for America when playing with his brother Moon, and a statue, and a hologram of Reagan playing on the street as a child that other children can interact with and be inspired.  Also, +0 jokes.

While the university is planning to kill Reagan’s home, University of Chicago is also aggressively lobbying to be the site of President Barack Obama’s presidential library. 

The presidential library won't be built for another <checks watch> four years, buddy.  Also, the word for what we do do demolish buildings isn't "kill".  That just sounds over-dramatic and like you want the situation to sound worse than it actually is.

Could the Reagan site become a parking lot for Obama’s library? Opponents of the demolition say yes.

There is good reason for them to be suspicious. 

First Lady Michelle Obama and the president’s close advisor Valerie Jarrett are former top executives of the University of Chicago Medical Center. President Obama was a lecturer at the law school for twelve years. And let’s not forget, Obama’s Hyde Park home is here too. 

Some people connected to Obama used to work at the university and he used to live nearby!  He probably has ultimate control over the local historical society and how they determine what is and is not a landmark.  +0 jokes.
This is still Chicago. Barack Obama’s Chicago. Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago.

It is safe to say that Democrats don’t want any reminders of a Republican president named Reagan and his glory days a stone’s throw from a future Obama Presidential Library.

It is safe to say that you have given this more thought than anyone involved with planning the library four years from now.  You are aware Democrats aren't mindlessly enraged to the point of destruction by seeing things that remind them of Reagan, yes?  You seem to be equating it to how bulls see red capes.

Better to raze the building now, than later. But do they have the right to erase Ronald Reagan from Chicago history? 

Erase him from Chicago history?  They are tearing down a house he one time briefly lived in.  They aren't trying to scrub him from textbooks or anything.  As it happens, Reagan is better known in Chicago for the time he was calling a Cubs game when the wire that was providing the play-by-play to him went dead, so he fabricated an at-bat involving a record number of foul balls to delay the broadcast until the wire was back up.  Is Obama behind the efforts to renovate Wrigley Field, too?  It certainly seems suspicious, right? 

Only time – and that wrecking ball - will tell. 

For what it's worth, time has kind of already told, in that the historical society decided the house won't be a landmark.  Grand total of jokes in the column: one, and even that was pretty borderline. 

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