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[28 Nov 2018 | One Comment | ]

If there was not a “caravan” of some 5000 asylum-seeking migrants at our southern border,  it would be necessary for Donald Trump to invent one in order to panic the congress into giving him billions of dollars to build that wall Mexico was supposed to pay for.

   So he only has to invent fearsome myths about those caravans  to scare us into believing our very safety and democracy is being threatened. He has inflated a major administrative problem–processing huge numbers of asylum seekers–into an existential crisis requiring the US Army to save us.
    Let’s …

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[13 Nov 2018 | One Comment | ]

The most potent organizing force for Democrats’ success in the midterms was obviously Donald Trump, who inspired hundreds of thousands of previously uninvolved people to organize and vote–against him via his congressional stooges.
    Granted there was much to mourn last Tuesday, but, on balance, the glass is more than half full.  A good deal  of the credit goes to the largely unsung newly organized groups of the Resistance.  Operating under the rubrics of Indivisible, Women’s March, Blue Beginnings and a host of others here in Illinois and across the country, they made the difference …

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[5 Nov 2018 | No Comment | ]

In true Trumpian fashion,  mayoral candidate William “Bill” Daley gave two Chicago newspapers  two opposing opinions of his brother Richard’s most detested deed as mayor: virtually selling the city’s parking meter operations to a private firm for comparative peanuts then quickly blowing all the proceeds. The firm sent parking rates sky-high and now rakes in hundreds of millions.
   In his first version, before entering the race, Bill defended the deal with a  strong rationale, lauding it as “good business.”  Five months later, as a candidate, he declared the deal a “mistake” he would not make.

   In …

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[1 Nov 2018 | No Comment | ]

A couple of weeks ago I was happily surfing on the expected “blue wave” that would deliver the House of Representatives back to the Democrats–and even had muted hopes for the Senate.  Reinforced by Nate Silver’s usually reliable predictions on 538, I foresaw something like 35 seats being flipped with the possibility of another 10 or 20 if the wave became a tsunami.
   Now, a week from the midterms, I see signs on the horizon that could make it a closer race with the possibility–though not the likelihood–of falling a seat or …

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[25 Oct 2018 | No Comment | ]

Shortly after next month’s elections we celebrate the centennial of the signing of the armistice ending World War I.   On November 11, 1918 the “Central Powers”–Germany, Bulgaria, Austro-Hungary and the Turkish-ruled Ottoman Empire–surrendered to the allies led by France, Great Britain, Italy and the US.
   That war and the Paris Peace Conference that followed are the most consequential, defining events of the 20th Century, shaping the geopolitical world we live in today–its triumphs and ongoing problems.

The “Great War” began in 1914 with a minor Balkan power struggle and quickly metastasized to involve …

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[10 Oct 2018 | 3 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 | No 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 …