Chicago Saturday night and Sunday morning.


This week’s art.

trumpEMMETT TILLpussy grabber


Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers podcast with Nate Marshall, Jennifer Klonsky and Ric Muñoz.





Blog posts.

Amazon paid no federal taxes. So lets tax retirement income.

I never called any teacher in my district a freeloader because we never had any.

No freeloaders.

Christian Mitchell chosen to lead Illinois Democratic Party in “stepping away from the #MeToo scandal.”

Rauner’s I.C.E. investments and Rahm’s polling numbers. Lightfoot positioned to force a run-off.

Keeping retirement real. For god-sakes, the Queen?


Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers. Episode #74. Nate Marshall. Jennifer Klonsky. Alderman Ricardo Muñoz.


From Episode #74 of Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers podcast.

When I Say Chicago

– Nate Marshall

capital city of the flyover.
crown jewel of the jailhouse.
a town in love with its own blood,
a blood browned on its own history & funk.
this hometown of the riot & the riot gear,
the gang & the loitering law.
misfit blocks of dark skinned cousins &
thick knuckled Slavic uncles
who call each other their worst names.

what this country know about a rustbelt
dipped in salt & vinegar & sold as
marked up & rustic?

my city is the city.
not your close enough suburbs not
subject to the suppression of tape
& the tapping of phones.
how can you say anything about our blocks
& schools & children that you refuse to see.
you do not govern what you do not love.

when i say Chicago
i mean that first Haitian cat who could pronounce it right.
i don’t mean the fresh out of undergrad looking for adventure
& a consulting job.

when i say Chicago
i mean the stopped & frisked.
i mean the euphemism of frisk.
i mean the beat down & tight cuff.
i mean the drop off in Bridgeport
or Mount Greenwood.
i mean the lessons
taught to an uppity one.

when i say Chicago
i mean the lake
(& i mean all of it).
i mean the candy lady at Rainbow
& the paleta man at Calumet
& the kids careening across the green at Montrose
& the jogger in midwinter daring a death for fitness.

when i say Chicago
i mean Cabrini & Stateway & Ickes & Ida.
i mean the city i’ll tell my kids in the past tense.
i mean the rents that sometimes
make me mean Georgia or Indiana or Dolton.

when i say Chicago
I mean the restaurants with no chairs,
just a window & a bulletproof sneeze guard.
i mean a Michelin star for all the ethnics slanging
their seasoned meats & language.

when i say Chicago
i mean my mama’s house
that was my grandma’s house.
i mean the neighborhood
that was our neighborhood
because fear left
& we said:
we’ll make a home here
& we’ll stay.


The Mouth of the Snake
Song lyrics, Jennifer Klonsky
when i swam
from the mouth of the shark
i did not know 
of the monsters at the border
well the river was deep
and the desert was dark
they put me in a cage
and they stole my daughter
i had no choice
to leave my home
i could no longer stay
there was no shelter anywhere
death closing in each day
in the middle of the night 
a knocking at the door
the voice came from the ashes
no home for you, no more
for six long weeks i traveled north
my daughter in my arms
i promised her we’d soon be safe
protect her from any harm
not proud of everything i did
some things I’ll never tell
but for my precious daughter
i would gladly walk through hell
so i ran
across the burning sand
along the mountain’s edge
across the boiling water
well the river was deep
and the desert was dark
they put me in a cage
and they stole my daughter
I sit here on a concrete floor 
I’m broken and alone
my family’s gone, my baby girl
and i have got no home
she knows i can’t protect her
no idea where she could be
they say they’re going to send me back
no shelter here for me
when i swam
from the mouth of the shark
i did not know 
of the monsters at the border
well the river was deep
and the desert was dark
they put me in a cage
and they stole my daughter

Keeping retirement real. For god-sakes, the Queen?


It seems that DT has created controversy by walking in front of the English queen while on his visit to the UK, where that is considered a breach of protocol.

It I were the queen (I know), I’d want that ass grabber as far ahead of me as possible.

Besides, kids are still in cages.

There seems to have been a lot of discussion about what constitutes a diversion since DT became president.

This definitely qualifies.

Kids are still in cages.

I also kind of think the argument about who pays enough to NATO is a bullshit discussion.

It was only a few years ago that Rahm brought the NATO meeting to Chicago and I was joining thousands of others protesting the whole bunch of them.

I still believe that too much of our treasury goes to defense and not enough goes to schools and the welfare of our people.

Do I think we need a military alliance to defend western Europe from a Russian invasion?

I think Putin is a danger because he is part of a fascist global alliance that includes Alexander Gauland in Germany, France’s Marine Le Pen, Hungary’s Viktor Orban, Poland’s Jaroslaw Kaczynski, and Italy’s Matteo Salvini.

And DT.

Note: All are members of NATO.

Well. Not Putin, of course. But these days that’s a difference without a distinction.

And at our southern border families are still separated.

And kids are still in cages.


Rauner’s I.C.E. investments and Rahm’s polling numbers. Lightfoot positioned to force a run-off.

Lori Lightfoot on Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers.

Two stories this morning.

POLITICO reports that Bruce Rauner profits from a company that is working with I.C.E. detention centers, facilities that hold immigrant families with children.

His investments started in 2011 at GTCR, the private-equity company where Rauner was a partner

The “R” is the Governor.

GTCR has invested more than $15 billion through this and other funds in more than 200 companies, according to recent company statements. In this particular case, Rauner disclosed that he earned more than $5,000 from a fund in which Correct Care Solutions is an important part of its portfolio.

Investment funds 101. The fund buys a portion of the company, in this case Correct Care Solutions (CCS), for a certain price. That price today may be above or below the purchase price, but either way, it’s just a paper gain or loss until the fund actually sells.

It’s a lot like taking a check and not cashing it.

This is not the first time Rauner’s connections to GTCR have made this blog.

A blog post from December 2017: Before running for Illinois Governor Rauner ran GTCR, a private equity firm that owned, among other things, a chain of nursing homes.

In November of 2014 In These Times writer David Moberg wrote:

GCTR had also assembled a chain of nursing homes, Trans Healthcare, Inc., for which Rauner had been making decisions four years after it was founded, the Chicago Tribune discovered—not the one year that Rauner claimed he had been involved. During those years, the nursing homes were sued and charged over $1 billion for at least six wrongful deaths. At the same time, investors, including GTCR, created a financial shell for all of the chain liabilities that was turned over to one of the residents of the nursing homes, thus protecting the assets of the investors.

Then there was yet another disquieting twist in the final weeks of the campaign. The Chicago Sun-Times, recently purchased by a group of investors including Rauner and still owned by many of his friends, pulled Dave McKinney, the paper’s long-time statehouse political reporter, off his reporting on the nursing home story and all politics on the grounds of questionable appearances because his wife works as a political consultant.

Six people died as a result of GTCR management.

Meanwhile Rahm’s poll numbers are in the toilet even before Lori Lightfoot entered the race. Lori Lightfooot, who was our guest on Hitting Left two weeks ago, is poised to take a spot in the inevitable run-off.

Chicago Sun-Times: 

This latest poll was conducted roughly two weeks before Lightfoot declared her candidacy by condemning Emanuel’s autocratic, “us-vs.-them” style of government.

At the time, McCarthy’s 70 percent name recognition vaulted him into second-place, with 16 percent of the vote, followed by Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown with 15 percent and former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas with 9 percent.

Lightfoot was in the 2-to-3 percent range, just slightly above County Commissioner Bridget Gainer, who is poised to enter the race in days.

But, when Lightfoot’s background was described, simulating a “modest amount of paid communications,” she moved into second-place.

And when voters were told enough about Lightfoot to simulate a “well-funded campaign” — her status as Emanuel’s preeminent challenger was “solidified” and the former Police Board president managed to consolidate much of the anti-Emanuel sentiment in a head-to-head race, building a 50-to-40 percent lead in a potential run-off.



Christian Mitchell chosen to lead Illinois Democratic Party in “stepping away from the #MeToo scandal.”

Hideout june
That night at the Hide Out. Pic: Michael Klonsky

The announcement that State Representative Christian Mitchell has been chosen as interim head of the Illinois Democrats reminded me of that night four years ago at the Hide Out with Ben Joravsky and Mick Dumke.

Let Ben Joravsky tell what happened.

One of that show’s highlights came when Mitchell went at it with Fred “the Hammer” Klonsky. Not to be confused with Fred “the Hammer” Williamson, star of Adios Amigo and other great action flicks from the ’70s.

Not that anyone would normally confuse one Fred with the other, but just in case.

Klonsky is the retired suburban art teacher, Logan Square political activist, and education blogger who’s particularly outraged by Mitchell’s vote to cut teacher pensions.

Klonsky’s included.

In the questions-from-the-audience segment, Klonsky demanded that Mitchell explain that pension vote.

That debate will be hard to top. 

I bring this up as a brief reminder that while even I am hoping for a Democratic wave in November and the ousting of Bruce Rauner from the governor’s mansion, many of us do not forget that it was the Democrats that led the fight to gut public employee pensions with a bill Christian Mitchell actively endorsed and which was later ruled unconstitutional.

Many of us have not forgotten.

Just ask Elaine Nekritz (gone), Daniel Biss (gone) and Pat Quinn (gone).

According to Illinois Sunshine, the pro-charter Stand for Children still leads in contributions to Mitchell.

Even pro-charter blogger Peter Cunningham (who lives nowhere near Mitchell’s south side district) is a small donor to Mitchell.

Don’t be surprised that the IEA also gives Mitchell some small change. However, the IEA’s PAC donations remain mysterious. The IEA and the NEA continue to refuse to withdraw PAC dollars from politicians like Congressman Rodney Davis backed by the National Rifle Association.

Has Mitchell been appointed as temporary replacement for Tim Mapes – who recently ran the party – in order to clean house of abusers of women or to sweep it all under the rug?

Mapes was ousted after being outed by Sherri Garrett, a longtime speaker’s office employee, because of Mape’s history of harassment and bullying.

Garrett’s exposure of Mapes brought the #MeToo movement right into Democratic Speaker Michael Madigan’s office.

Mitchell’s job?

Make it go away.

Reports the Sun-Times:

A South Side lawmaker will serve as the interim executive director of the Democratic Party of Illinois as the party tries to take back control of the governor’s office — and to step away from a #MeToo scandal that led to the ousting of Tim Mapes last month.

Nope. No stepping away.