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[24 May 2016 | No Comment | ]

Let us stipulate that the Democratic nominating process is rigged in favor of the Establishment candidate–whomever he or she might be. The super-delegate system is the main instrument, as I have written before, and the choice of the highly partisan Congresswoman Deborah Wasserman Schultz (D,FL) as chair of the Democratic National Committee locked it tighter for Hillary Clinton this year. (Wasserman Schultz was a co-chair of the Clinton campaign against Obama in 2008.)

Nothing personal against Bernie Sanders–the Establishment would have worked equally hard against any upstart contender, though Sanders and …

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[17 May 2016 | No Comment | ]

Now that the media–very belatedly–smoked Donald Trump out on the lie that he couldn’t release his tax returns while they were under audit, it’s clear he has no intention of ever releasing them.
We can only speculate on what he’s hiding, but there is no speculation on his lousy judgment.
Take a recent action that would be laughable if it weren’t so dangerous: he appointed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as head of his transition team–whose most important function is to find the best people for the top …

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[10 May 2016 | One Comment | ]

Everyone wants to cut to the chase: Can Donald Trump possibly be elected president?
All the current information, from polling, to demographics, to the recent history of  the electoral college map says no. Some–including many Republicans–believe he could lose so badly that he carries down-ballot candidates with him and that Democrats take back the Senate and even the House .

Now that the primaries are nearly over and a general election constituency lies before him, he faces losses among major parts of the GOP base–well educated males and married white women–as well …

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[3 May 2016 | No Comment | ]

The last time I saw Paris was the spring of 2014. I didn’t get there in 2015–the first year I missed in more than two decades. My absence, however, had nothing to do with the Charlie Hebdo and subsequent terrorist attacks. I returned  two weeks ago  mainly because I missed the city’s beauty, its art and food–I’ve been in love with them since 1954–but  also  to see what imprint  the terrorist attacks had left on the city and its people.

Tourism dropped significantly in 2015, but the word is it’s on …

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[26 Apr 2016 | No Comment | ]

PARIS–Enjoying a respite here before the final run of primaries and caucuses confirm Hillary Clinton as most likely Democratic nominee and Donald Trump as the GOP choice–though it is still possible he will not gather enough votes to make it on the first ballot. If he fails, all goes up for grabs and the convention gets chaotic–anything from riots to walkouts.
But no matter which party you favor or which candidate within that party, you have to admit that the process of selecting a nominee for what most of us think …

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[19 Apr 2016 | 2 Comments | ]

As a New York Times editorial put it Friday, “No one even passingly familiar with the history of the Chicago Police Department can claim to be surprised by a new report showing that the department is plagued by systemic racism and operates with utter disregard for the lives of black citizens whom it batters, maims and kills.”

 
Anyone surprised? We’ve been reading about it for decades, long before Laquan McDonald, long before Fred Hampton, long before I even heard the term “police brutality” when I was a kid. But it took …

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[12 Apr 2016 | One Comment | ]

There is no question in my mind that the Democratic Establishment is as afraid of a Bernie Sanders nomination as the GOP establishment fears Donald Trump’s. (Yes, there is a Democratic Establishment–populated with 700 unelected superdelegates plus Washington lawyers, lobbyists and consultants.) Republican establishmentarians rightly think Trump will be slaughtered in November, taking senators and congresspersons with him. Democrats fear Sanders is this century’s George McGovern.

The GOP’s fight against Trump is openly discussed and well financed. The Democratic drive against Sanders is just getting under way, though more subtly at …

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[5 Apr 2016 | One Comment | ]

The rhetoric of the two Republican front-runners, both of whom are either profoundly ignorant of today’s warfare–or profoundly cynical–has reached a dangerous level.
Let’s begin with Donald Trump, who is threatening nuclear war–not just in the fight against the Islamic State (aka ISIS, ISIL) but also in Europe. Even during the hottest days of the Cold War, no American president or Soviet leader threatened such, knowing that each side held weaponry that could spell an end to the world as we know it. We called it MAD–mutually assured destruction–and wisely refrained …

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[28 Mar 2016 | No Comment | ]

Republicans must be cheering while Democratic jaws are dropping.
Before explaining why, let me pose a  question:
Suppose you run a nonpartisan, social-issue organization. Like most such groups you keep score on how senators and congresspeople vote on your bills.
Let’s say in a forthcoming election, Legislator A gets a score of 100 percent in the most recent session. The opponent, Legislator B gets a respectable 78 percent. in a  previous session B scored a miserable 39 percent.
Whom would you endorse?
Most people would answer “Legislator A, of course.”
Most people, that is, except the …

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[14 Mar 2016 | 2 Comments | ]

I have a new personal hero, though he is considered a criminal–arrested on a Chicago elevated train  and must put up $10,000 in bail money pending his trial. But then, John Brown was considered a criminal, too.
Note: I am taking a detour off the political trail today as a breather between the tumultuous canceling of Donald Trump’s Chicago rally and tomorrow’s potentially defining primaries–including important downballot races in Illinois. (I will observe, however, that Trump lied about canceling on advice from “law enforcement.” Chicago police officials told both MSNBC and …