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[19 Jul 2016 | No Comment | ]

The only words you are likely to hear more often than “Hillary’s e-mails” during this week’s Republican Convention are “Islamic extremism“ and “Islamic terrorism.” Undoubtedly they will be linked causally to Barack Obama and many remedies will be offered, all applause-getting but none useful.
The tragedy in Nice has accelerated all the fears and frustrations of Americans as well as the French because there has been no clear, workable strategy to deal either with planned attacks by cells loyal to the Islamic State or Al Qaeda–bitter enemies of each …

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[12 Jul 2016 | No Comment | ]

It began last Monday when we mourned the death at 90 of a giant of political and public service, Abner Mikva, appropriately on July 4th, the same day Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died. We could easily devote this column or more to his remarkable career as an independent, progressive state legislator and congressman, highly respected jurist who became chief justice of the Washington, DC appellate court, then adviser to President Bill Clinton. Mikva could have rested on his laurels at the end of any recent decade, but went on …

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[6 Jul 2016 | No Comment | ]

Chicago just missed taking a major step toward reforming the police culture–which in turn could restore some trust in the police and help stem our horrendous murder epidemic.
The single most pernicious aspect of the police culture is its code of silence.  It  protects the small minority of  criminal and brutal police officers, giving them license to repeat their offenses. Worst of all, it turns most of  the 95 percent majority of otherwise honest and honorable cops into silent collaborators–sometimes liars and perjurers.

At the same time, police complain that lack of …

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[28 Jun 2016 | No Comment | ]

Taking a breather from Brexit’s horrors, Trump’s atrocities and Rahm Emanuel’s inability to remember why four cops who worked in his campaign were given plum assignments on his security detail, let me introduce you to two brief, locally published books–one on the macro issue of income inequality, the other on Chicago’s economic travesties.
From the Occupy Wall Street movement to Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign–with Frenchman Thomas Piketty’ surprise best-seller “Capital in the 21st Century” and Joseph Stiglitz’s “The Price of Inequality” between–it’s clear income inequality is not only America’s central problem, …

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[22 Jun 2016 | One Comment | ]

You may recall that in my last column I expected the forthcoming week’s polling to show Hillary Clinton beating Donald Trump by 5-8 points, outside the margins of error. As it developed, even the Republican-leaning Rasmussen poll, which until recently showed Trump leading by 3 points, put Clinton up by 5. Better yet, CBS put her up by 6, NBC by 7, Reuters-Ipsos by 9 and Bloomberg  Politics by a remarkable 12.
Add to this a Washington Post poll showing Trump now has a 70 percent disapproval rating–though Clinton’s 55 percent …

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[14 Jun 2016 | No Comment | ]

Despite the fact that there are a lot of sad and angry supporters of Bernie Sanders, whose ultimate intentions are not yet predicable, last week may have been the inflection point in the presidential race, tilting it more Democratic:
–Hillary Clinton, to no one’s real surprise, became the presumptive nominee and got an immediate boost in the polls. I expect this trend to continue as this week’s polls come in, which I expect will show 5-8 point leads for Clinton, outside the margin of error.
–Donald Trump, despite a …

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[8 Jun 2016 | No Comment | ]

Let ‘s momentarily leave the dreary world of Donald Trump, Rahm Emanuel, Bruce Rauner et al  to recall the day early in 1980 when I was in a studio to make a radio spot featuring Muhammad Ali endorsing our mutual friend Bob Wallace, who entered an uphill Democratic primary  for the U.S. Senate against Illinois Secretary of State Alan Dixon.

I put a large-type, 60-second script on a stand in the glass-walled recording booth. I am hunched over the control panel with the engineer when I get this weird, chirping, cricket-like …

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[1 Jun 2016 | 3 Comments | ]

There is much concern among Democrats that when Bernie Sanders is defeated for the nomination  his vast cohort of young supporters will switch to Donald Trump because up to 40percent of them say they won’t support Hillary Clinton.
I think the concern is misplaced. Yes, the under-35ers will be hurt and angry, and, yes, some will not vote, but eventually, with Sanders’s urging and a strong push from Elizabeth Warren, most will hold their noses and vote for Clinton–with the Supreme Court as a powerful inducement.

Clinton’s real  problem lies with lesser …

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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 …