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Showing posts from November, 2016

Scenes from a Trump protest

I took my camera downtown on Saturday afternoon and joined up with the ANSWER Coalition mass march against the President-elect.

I thought the Tribune's coverage was adequate.  Sort of surface level and not wanting to get into the details.

The Daily Caller was much more obsessed with the socialist groups who were involved. 

And then there was the alt-right Breitbart: Protesters Harass Chicago's Trump Tower For Second Week

The lesson here is that in 2016 we've learned that objectivity is dead and everybody gets to put their own spin on the truth. There certainly were a lot of leftist groups who joined in the fun. Passing out brochures for their meetings and marches. A few speakers were invited on stage to talk about various progressive topics...police violence, minimum wage, women's rights. It's hard to say what it was really about. I don't think it was entirely unexpected that these groups were taking the lead in organizing. Chicago, especially, has a long history…

How we fight Trumpism (and win!)

Mentally, I've been spending most of my week since the election trying to figure out what went wrong. Not as in "point fingers." That's not helpful. More like trying to figure out how the combination of system flaws, apathy, fear and anger gave us President Trump. Though, if you dig a little deeper, the problem turns out to be less "Trump" himself and has everything to do with the fact that a couple of states with extra-motivated whites (and less motivated Democrats) could tip the balance away from the popular winner. And, even more, that unfair and undemocratic system also gives us a Congress that doesn't reflect the majority either. (In the case of the House, Republicans won 50.25% of the raw vote which is a very slim majority indeed.) This is a day when the Founding Fathers aren't looking so brilliant and a parliament with seats in proportion to the raw vote totals looks much better. Being a Democrat in deep red Texas or a Republican in very blue…

The United States of Malfunction

Most of the parenting topics being explored on President-elect Trump have been about how we explain his poor character and the horrible things our kids are asking us about racism and worry. Are my Mexican and Muslim friends safe? Are my LGBT friends safe? Why do people say and do bad things to women and African-Americans? It's a laundry list of, essentially, all the xenophobic things wrong with America from a social standpoint. And my kids don't even know about the KKK and Nazis and the other dark forces who feel emboldened by all this. The authoritarians and fascists who want America to be more powerful. The ugly list of personalities Trump is floating for high office who have ideas like wanting to get rid of the United Nations. If your kid is worried on that level, parents, I feel you. Plenty of other writers out there have you covered, however, about what to say to children there. Reassure them. Hug them. Tell them we still have neighbors who are good people who still affir…

The bathwater or the baby?

Shock. Fear. Anger. Betrayal. Now that we've had some time to sleep on the news that Donald Trump has near-miraculously been elected to the White House, we've all begun to digest the meaning. And I think I speak for most Americans (Hillary is winning the popular vote, cold comfort) that we're less sad about losing the election, per se. We're not claiming an unfair fight though we certainly could with Russian interference and the lot. The overwhelming emotions you're seeing from Americans right now are grief that the America we loved, believed in...in some cases our ancestors fought and died for...is no longer. Perhaps a better characterization would be "life support." The world changed with the election of Donald Trump. Rather than the hand of steady leadership and history we thought we were making, we're entering a period of uncertainty and doubt about whether our institutions are up to the task of handling all this. Trump is Trump. Our sadness is th…

November 5, 2008--Election Night

The following is a copy of my previously published report from President Obama's 2008 victory celebration.
It’s weird. Not only to be consciously aware of history, but to be present when your location—Chicago—is the literal center of the world right now. All eyes, from Japan and Kenya to Berlin and Syria, were watching us last night. (Apparently I was on TV, too.) And by “us” I mean 240,000 people who packed into Grant Park. Black, white, asian, latino, people old enough to have actually walked with Dr. King and toddlers barely old enough to speak or walk. I would say a majority of the crowd was young—my age or younger. The mood was happy, for sure. But also very somber and emotional as if we’d just been asked to carry an enormous burden or begin extraordinarily difficult work. A reflection, for sure, of the man we were there to see. There were high fives and hugs, but an awful lot of tears and disbelief. And then even the President-elect himself did not seem to be proud in a selfi…

One week from Election Night

We're officially one week from this all being over! Hopefully? 
Anyway, I wanted to do a "state of the race" with my preliminary final prediction and what I expect to see next Tuesday. 
The first map is a basic layout of the states that are "swingy." This is a polling map so it represents states that are within a few percentage points...though as we'll see in a minute some are not really "in play." But notice that the map already contains a Hillary Clinton victory baked into it. She's just 2 Electoral Votes over 270 and all the closest states are unnecessary for her to win. Of course, that means she has no room for error especially in Wisconsin and Michigan where things have at least a theoretical chance of going Trump's way. The inverse means that Trump needs to cut into these states somehow to have any chance. He could pick up ALL of the gray states and still lose. And there's speculation Utah may go to a third party. If Trump were …