I tried, but failed, to find a sucker who would bet me that the Illinois Supreme Court would keep Rahm Emanuel off the ballot. Even people who would bet that the sun would rise in the west tomorrow, if the odds were enticing enough, knew better than to wager that a court run by and for Democrats would allow the law to get in the way of corrupt politics.

Perhaps my failure to line up a bet is because 2002 is still too recent. That was the year the New Jersey Supreme Court allowed the Democrats to flout the state constitution and replace nominee Bob Torricelli, who was facing federal corruption charges, with old party hack Frank Lautenberg, just a few weeks before the general election. The Court ruled that leaving the duly elected nominee, Torricelli, on the ballot would provide an unfair advantage for the Republican candidate, Doug Forrester.

Is it any wonder that most people trust the Mafia more than they do our court system?

Whenever I see an economist, armed with pie charts and jargon, blathering away on TV, I recall that Ronald Reagan once defined an economist as somebody who sees something working in real life and wonders if it will work in theory.

Speaking of the economy, Andrea McCarren, a reporter for WUSA-TV, spent months tracking electric bills after noticing all the lights left on after 10 p.m., in federal buildings, in Washington, D.C. She discovered that the monthly bill ran between $700,000 and a million bucks at the Department of Labor. They averaged $794,000 at the Department of Commerce and $799,000 at Health and Human Services. Even the Department of Energy runs up a monthly tab of $250,000, and they’re the squirts who insist that we use those lousy CFL bulbs that are not only filled with mercury, but give off less illumination than candles or a speech by Barbara Boxer.

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It has led to a new joke on an old theme: Q: How many bureaucrats does it take to turn off a light? A: Nobody knows. Bureaucrats don’t turn off the lights.

But, who can blame them? Mercury encased in fragile glass containers? You’d have to be crazy to handle one unless you were wearing one of those space suits worn by guys who have to deal with hazardous material like nuclear waste or tapes of MTV’s “Skins.”

I suppose Obama would consider it a feather in his cap if a new green industry sprang up devoted entirely to changing and carting away these lethal menaces. Then, in 2012, maybe the same folks could handle the arrangements for moving the Obamas back to Chicago.

In his new book, Ron Reagan claims his father was already suffering from Alzheimer’s while he was still in the White House. Personally, I suspect he’s confusing the dazed look of a poor senile soul with the struck-dumb look of a typical American dad who’s just been told that his son is planning to be a ballet dancer.

While we’re on the subject of Alzheimer’s, I’m wondering if the fact that every time John McCain sees Barack Obama he starts crooning “This Guy’s in Love With You” is cause for concern.

The new PC lexicon, which means to do away with such violent words and terms as “targeting,” “taking dead aim at,” “battling,” “stomping” and “demolishing,” will not only neuter political discussion, but put an end to sports reporting. I’ve even heard it rumored that work stoppages will no longer be called strikes, but, rather, caresses. The teachers, nurses and social-workers unions are all in favor of the change, but the Teamsters and Longshoremen, quite understandably, are balking at the notion.

As we all know, John Boehner has come in for a great deal of teasing because he seems to have tear ducts badly in need of shoring up. Perhaps surgically installed little tiny sand bags would do the trick. But, as House speakers go, I know I personally prefer one who cries to one like Nancy Pelosi, who spent four years making the rest of us blubber like colicky babies.

Finally, I wonder how often, thanks to Barack Obama, the following scenario is being played out in homes all over America: The wife returns from shopping, laden with boxes and bags. When confronted by her husband, wondering why she’s gone out and blown their limited funds at every boutique in town, she draws herself up and self-righteously announces, “Unlike you, I’m not just sitting around and complaining about the sorry state of the economy. I’m doing my part to turn it around by investing in new dresses, shoes and jewelry.”

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