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[10 Oct 2018 | 2 Comments | ]

“What goes around comes around!”
So goes the commonplace unveiled threat of reprisal from an uncommonplace individual in a very uncommonplace situation.
I speak, of course, of Brett Kavanaugh’s tirade against Democrats and assorted other evil-doers who had the temerity to pose hard questions and actually (gasp) oppose his nomination to the highest court in the land. Even cynical old me was somewhat shocked to find a federal judge making threats against opponents. I haven’t yet found an example of any other high-court nominee …

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[26 Sep 2018 | No Comment | ]

Apart from nail-biting over whether the damaged Cubs can maintain their slim lead in National League Central, Chicagoans seem to be getting more excited about the  Feb. 26 mayoral than the national midterms. Since Rahm Emanuel’s decision not to run, some big names have been added to the dozen originals who thought they would be challenging the incumbent.

The most consequential to join the fray is Toni Preckwinkle, president of the Cook County Board and chair of the county Democratic party, who, as I suggested a couple weeks ago, becomes the de facto …

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[20 Sep 2018 | One Comment | ]

They’re flipping faster than lightning.  One friend suggests that if Robert Mueller lands one more flipper the Republicans should change their symbol from an elephant to a dolphin.
Indeed, the latest flipper, Paul Manafort, onetime chair of Donald Trump’s campaign, is likely to be the most devastating in what Trump still calls a “witch hunt.” If in fact there was a conspiracy or collusion with Russia, as much current evidence suggests, Manafort was almost certainly a part of it–or witness to it.  That’ why Mueller gave the man quite deal to rat out …

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[14 Sep 2018 | One Comment | ]

To the surprise of most and the delight of many, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel–alias Mayor 1 Percent, aka Mayor Coverup–announced he would not seek a third term.
   Reasons genuinely unknown–maybe he thought he couldn’t win, maybe he was just too beat up to take on the fight, maybe he realized he would have a miserable time trying to cure Chicago’s deep-set ills in another term and maybe he learned the city would not land Amazon’s new HQ, which would have been his saving grace.  I don’t care why but I applaud his …

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[6 Sep 2018 | One Comment | ]

Labor Day message:
    Poll after poll shows us that “socialism” is no longer a wipeout political scare-word, especially among younger generations (I hate the term “millennials” and other catchwords for different age-groupings). The word “capitalism” doesn’t make them want to jump up and salute either.
    Clearly the widespread appeal of Bernie Sanders a professed “democratic socialist,” is a major contributing factor.

    Another indicator is the huge jump in membership of the Democratic Socialists of America, several of whose members or endorsees won upset victories in recent primary elections– notably  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who swamped a …

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[30 Aug 2018 | No Comment | ]

You must know by now that this week marks the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Democratic Convention in my beloved Chicago–an event notable for the well-known battle of Michigan Avenue in which police beat bloody the heads and bodies of hundreds of antiwar demonstrators in what was later described a “police riot” while onlookers chanted “the whole world is watching.”

I was deeply involved, serving as an organizer and media liaison for the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam (the “Mobe”) which initially called …

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[22 Aug 2018 | One Comment | ]

While you were busy smacking your lips over Omarosa’s secret tapes or had your eyes peeled on the Manafort trial, you might have missed the report that the Orange Menace is again considering privatizing the 17-year war in Afghanistan.
Yes, people, Erik Prince, founder of the murderous mercenary organization once known as Blackwater, is again pitching his scheme to save money and end the shame of this unwinnable war by hiring a private army to take over the nasty task of making Afghanistan great again.

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[7 Aug 2018 | No Comment | ]

The odds are strong you can get away with murder in Chicago because barely one homicide in five is ever solved here in the murder capital of the nation (based on the raw numbers). There are many reasons why, with the police code of silence and miserable relations with the black and Latino communities prominent among them.
   For the first time in ages, however, there is a glimmer of reform on the horizon–but only a glimmer. Here’s a brief background:

The city of Chicago, personified by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, is struggling to …

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[24 Jul 2018 | No Comment | ]

In the course of his presidency Barack Obama either bowed or made partial bowing motions when meeting the Japanese emperor, the king of Saudi Arabia and several other heads of state including China–catching accusations of “treason” and similar compliments from Fox News and other far-right commentators for selling out our nation’s sovereignty with this simple gesture, customary in the lands he visited .
   Last week Donald Trump, with no overt physical gestures, virtually knelt before Vladimir Putin by saying he believed the Russian dictator’s “strong and powerful” denial of tampering with …

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[18 Jul 2018 | No Comment | ]

ook my nose out of the political news to find an interesting clash of principles  dividing the film, theater and music worlds. To wit: what is more important, the issue of artistic freedom or socio-political fairness? Does one over-ride the other, or is it situational?
    In one of two current cases, the actor Scarlett Johansson decided, under heavy pressure, not to play the role of a transgender man is a forthcoming film called “Rub & Tug,” about a transgender crook who ran a string of massage parlors that fronted brothels. The transgender …