The Republicans own Donald Trump. He is the child of Ronald Reagan.


There is no doubt that the white supremacists of all stripes feel emboldened by their guy in the White House.

Nor is their doubt that the establishment of the Republican Party is trying to put as much distance as possible between themselves and their leader’s performance yesterday.

Look at the picture of Trump’s latest Chief of Staff while Trump was in the midst of his OMG performance.

Chief of Staff John Kelly during Trump’s OMG performance.

But as much as the Republicans want to run from the guy, he is totally theirs.

You can draw a straight line from Ronald Reagan’s application of Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy to yesterday’s tantrum at Trump Tower.

“The Invisible Empire, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, now regarded as the largest and most militant Klan group in the country,” wrote the New York Times in July of  1980, “has endorsed Ronald Reagan for President and said in its newspaper that the Republican platform “reads as if it were written by a Klansman.”




Our catalog of Hitting Left.

Our conversation with Jay Rehak and John Dillon on the Illinois and Chicago pension battle can be found here.

Our talk with State Senator Daniel Biss is here.

Bridgeport’s John Daley and Niketa Brar and Elisabeth Greer about school closings and New Teachers’ Academy.

Jose “Cha-Cha” Jimenez. (founder and chairman of the Young Lords Organization and Stan McKinney former Black Panther Party member talk with Mike here.

Alderman Ameya Pawar is here.

Clem Balanoff and Ken Franklin of the ATU Local 308. Also, a remembrance of Joan Kramer, who passed away that week.

Talking intersex with Pidgeon Pagonis.

Mike and Jamie were joined by Stacy Davis Gates from the CTU and Chris Baehrend from ChiACTS to discuss charter schools, vouchers, and the pernicious takeover of public space by private entities.

In this episode Ed Marszewski popped in to talk about Bridgeport, social activism and blimp-based gigawatt wifi internet.

On this episode Pastor Tom Gaulke and Rabbi Brant Rosen talked about morality in politics and the efficacy of direct action. Sima Cunningham from OHMME stopped by and played a few tunes.

We talked with 45th Ward Chicago Alderman John Arena who has been waging a good fight to build affordable housing in a neighborhood on Chicago’s north west side.

This episode were are joined by our guest Jerry Harris, national secretary of the Global Studies Association.

We were joined on this episode by Susan Klonsky and co-author Professor Timuel Black’s memoir, Sacred Ground. The Great Migration. Black Chicago.

Alderman Scott Waguespack and political strategist Anne Emerson.

In studio guest, Curtis Black on Chicago police, Ray Guavara, John Burge and police torture.

Dr. Eve Ewing joined us on this episode.

Our old friends Larry Miller and Jose Rico.

All podcast downloads can be found here.

Poll shows huge drop among those supporting charter schools.

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A poll sponsored by the Hoover Institute’s Education Next, which generally supports a corporate and conservative school reform agenda, shows falling support for charter schools.

The poll tries to find a relationship between the election of Donald Trump and support for charters.

But as a story in Education Week points out, Barack Obama and his Department of Education were also big supporters of charter schools.

The poll report suggests other reasons for the collapsing support for charter schools.

President Barack Obama, one of the most high-profile champions of charters, is out of office, and some of the most prominent liberal voices on the national stage—Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Independent, have voiced strong opposition to charters.

National civil rights leaders—including the NAACP and the Movement for Black Lives—also have taken a harsh stance toward charters recently, with the NAACP calling for a ban on any new charters opening.

Finally, expensive and high-profile political battles over charter schools, such as the failed effort last fall to raise the cap on the number of schools allowed to open in Massachusetts, may also contribute to the eroding of support beyond the Democratic party, said West.

On the issue of vouchers, which the Trump adminstration’s Department of Education and it’s Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, strongly endorse, support has remained flat.

Support for the policy—which is most popular among the various types of private-school choice programs according to the poll—remained essentially flat at 54 percent.

The same trend was seen on the question of allowing all families to use vouchers: Opposition fell while support went unchanged.

Note that the Illinois legislature is currently considering a $100 million transfer of public money to school vouchers.

See my brother’s blog post today.

Rauner is Trump’s mini-me when it comes to white supremacist terror.

When you got the news that a fascist member of one of the Nazi groups drove his car into anti-fascist, anti-racist protesters killing Heather Heyer, did it take you a couple of days to gather your thoughts about what had happened?

And what was your response to that robotic statement to the press Donald Trump gave yesterday after getting pounded for his “all sides” statement days before?

Total bullshit, right?

When you heard the news, did you have to consult with law enforcement officials to know whether it was domestic terrorism? Did it take you three hours to calculate the political pluses and minuses?

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner:

CHICAGO (CBS) – Gov. Rauner, after initially refusing to say the violence in Charlottesville, Va., was an act of domestic terrorism, on Monday corrected his position after consulting with law enforcement on the topic.

At an event on Monday morning, Rauner declined to say the death of a woman, killed when a car slammed into a crowd of protesters on Saturday, was terrorism.

About three hours later, speaking with reporters, he said he had since consulted with Illinois law enforcement to get a clear legal definition on the issue.

“Is it an act of terrorism?” an NBC5 reporter asked Rauner on Monday morning.

“It is outrageous and we’ve got to fight it,” he said.

“It is not an act of terrorism?”

“I did not say that.”

“Well, is it an act of terrorism, yes or no?”

“You define terrorism,” the governor replied.

Trump’s “both sides” statement? He got it from the media.

One of the raps on DT is that he is not too bright and he repeats and tweets stuff he hears from TV.

I’m thinking this might be the source of his trouble’s this weekend when he spoke in response to the Nazi rallies in Charlottesville.

He refused to name the Nazis and blamed  all sides.

Even Republicans like Marco Rubio and Orin Hatch pushed back.

First of all, I think the white supremacists made a branding mistake. Rubio and Hatch haven’t said much about all the white supremacist groups that have sprouted since the Trump election.

In fact, Rubio tried to win them over to his side when he was running against Trump for the Republican nomination.

The racists made a marketing mistake when they adopted the name Nazi and started carrying flags with swastikas.

Alt.right was permissible. It has a modern, high-tech ring to it.

Nazi just has bad connotations, all around.

I think that Trump got blind-sided by the outrage from his political cohorts and the media when he made his both sides statements.

I mean, where did that come from? It came from what he heard in the media and from his political colleagues.

For months they have been running this narrative that the political violence is coming from the Left and the Right.

Here is Eric Zorn’s Tribune column headline from back in May, 2016 when protesters chased fascist Milo Yiannopoulos off of the De Paul University campus.

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Zorn wrote, “Take it from me, you don’t have to have Republican leanings to be angered by the enforcement of liberal conformity at our institutions of higher learning.”

Clearly the events this weekend in Charlottesville demonstrate the existence and dangers of liberal conformity.


The media narrative of Left/Right equivalence has been blown out of the water.

But not before Trump got into more hot water.

The irony is that I think he got it from the very fake news media he always complains about.