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[14 Feb 2017 | One Comment | ]

Franklin Roosevelt reassured a nation facing economic chaos and a war brewing across the ocean that “we have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Trump, on the other hand, using the authoritarian’s tools of fear and lies, is doing all he can to instill fear from within and from abroad. Only he can save us from crime in the cities and staunch the inflow of Islamic terrorist immigrants and refugees.

Not to say there is no domestic problem–we in Chicagoans and others cities face it  daily. We have also suffered terrorist …

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[7 Feb 2017 | No Comment | ]

Almost lost in the brouhaha over Trump’s ban on travel from 7 predominantly Muslim countries–essentially the ban he promised in his campaign–is his pledge made largely to Evangelicals to “totally destroy” the Johnson Amendment in order to allow the clergy to “speak freely and without fear of retribution.”
Evangelicals–and other religious groups–have long fought the law in the name of “free speech” and denounce it as a breach of religious freedom. They claim it censors the content of a pastor’s sermon.

Civil libertarians support the legislation while cynics like me think opposition …

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[31 Jan 2017 | 3 Comments | ]

As we entered the era of “alternative facts,” “extreme vetting,” “taking names,” incipient trade wars and trying to shut up the press, The Resistance got off to a flying start. First off, 3.5 million or more Americans in Washington DC , around the country and around the world put their bodies on the line in women-led protest marches. The largest such mobilization in American history.

Demonstrations continued against Trump’s cabinet choices and executive orders on abortion, immigration, the environment and others–many of which are flawed, possibly unconstitutional or require congressional action. …

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[17 Jan 2017 | No Comment | ]

While we’re waiting to learn what part(s) of Donald Trump’s Russian “dossier” scandal–if any–turns out to be true, I’ve reached the conclusion that his raucously cheered attacks on “political correctness” is fundamentally an assault on liberalism.
Time was, calling someone “liberal” in certain circles could kill off a candidacy or demean a speaker’s ideas. But over time, just as calling someone a “commie” is outdated,  so “liberal” lost its power to damage.

“Politically correct,” however, a term that originated in the ’30s when it defined the Moscow party line, is still able …

Chicago, Featured, Headline »

[10 Jan 2017 | No Comment | ]

Still trying to figure out why the president-elect is so allergic to the idea that Russia hacked aspects of our recent election–especially the idea that it was done to help him or hurt Hillary Clinton? A bizarre allergy that puts him at odds with every US intelligence agency?

    There are two possible answers and both may apply.
     The obvious one is that any suggestion he did not win his electoral-college victory all by himself–let alone with help from a foreign power–is a huge blow to his gargantuan self-esteem. As we …

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[4 Jan 2017 | No Comment | ]

Trying to make political (i.e.,Trumpian) predictions at this point is a fool’s errand. But, fool that I am, I succumb to (a) the tradition of would-be pundits doing so for the New Year and (b) the blandishments of those who bait me for not coming up with answers to the unanswerable.
Among the numerous problems lie the internal contradictions of Trump’s own campaign promises, the conflict between many of those promises and the avowed policies of the Republican Congress and, finally, conflicts among factions of both the GOP House and Senate …

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[27 Dec 2016 | One Comment | ]

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel did not have his own private email server for city business the way a certain secretary of state did. Nevertheless he conducted quite a bit of city business from his own personal email address, evading laws requiring all city business to be conducted on the city’s system. Emanuel presumed those messages were protected from public scrutiny under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). (This from a mayor who boasts of his administration’s “transparency.”)

Both the Better Government Association–a private watchdog group–and earlier the Chicago Tribune disagreed and …

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[20 Dec 2016 | One Comment | ]

Progressives can’t be happy about any of President Elect Donald trump’s cabinet picks who could eventually undo public education, environmental protections, civil and voting rights down the line. But two of them potentially pose existential threats to what remains of world peace. They are Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson and the proposed ambassador to Israel, David Friedman.
Tillerson, the head of ExxonMobil, has done business all over with world with heads of friendly countries and brutal dictators alike. That’s what heads of ExxonMobil do. The most dangerous person he has …

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[15 Dec 2016 | 3 Comments | ]

Let us briefly leave the deepening swamp of the transition to government by Exxon Mobil, Goldman Sachs and an army of generals, all overseen by the maestro of a continuing unreality show. It has the making of a bad satirical novel, but, sadly, we will return soon to keep tabs on how that gang will make America grate. (That was not a mis-spelling.)
BTW–Back in the Eisenhower days we used to say the country was run by three generals: Ike, General Motors and General Electric.
It’s been weeks since this …

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[6 Dec 2016 | One Comment | ]

                 April is the cruellest month, breeding
 lilacs out of the dead land…
               T.S. Eliot–“The Waste Land”
For most Americans April is the cruelest month not because of those sprouting lilacs, but  that’s  when we file our income tax returns–usually by the 15th, but next year the 17th.

One American required to file is the President of the United States, who next year will be one Donald J. Trump. For decades American presidents have released their tax returns to the public within days, if not hours, of filing–even though presidents are subject to …