Whenever the fight for democracy reaches a crossroads, look south.

Marching to Montgomery, Alabama. 1965.

After a lot of smiles and a few tears I stayed up a little longer to hear Roy Moore’s concession speech last night.

He wouldn’t concede and said he was waiting for God to give him a win.

I tweeted.

There have always been two Alabamas.

Last night the Alabama of the Black sons of Birmingham steelworkers, Black women school teachers in Selma and Black students from Alabama A&M organized as they have done so many times before.

And combined with a third of the Alabama white vote, they handed the candidate of the Republicans – the coalition of pedophiles, racists and misogynists – the political defeat they had earned.

Whenever the fight for democracy in the United States reaches a crossroads, look south.

This is not the first time the forces of evil have been brought down in battles fought in Selma, Montgomery and Birmingham.

From a post I wrote last September.

It wasn’t a great day for Donald Trump or the Republican establishment in Alabama’s primary election to replace Jeff Sessions.

Trump’s pick lost badly to the crazy racist reactionary Roy Moore.

There are two Alabama’s, of course.

When Trump spoke at the now-infamous rally he held for his and the Republican establishment’s losing choice of Luther Strange he yelled, “I love Alabama!”

That was just before or just after calling Black football players sons-of-bitches.

Trump so loves one Alabama. The white and racist Alabama.

Birmingham? Which is 73% African American. That Alabama? Not so much love there.

One Alabama wins most state-wide elections. It hasn’t voted Democratic in a presidential election since Jimmy Carter.

Part of the problem is that one Alabama works pretty hard at suppressing the vote off the other Alabama.

The current Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, played a major role in suppressing the African American vote in the state.

The New York Times:

Federal prosecutors have enormous discretion over which cases to bring. It’s not clear why a fight among county politicians would have interested them, absent the larger shift in the Black Belt’s racial dynamics. The night before the primary, Sessions stationed an F.B.I. agent outside the Perry County post office. The agent saw Albert and Evelyn Turner and a third activist, Spencer Hogue, mailing hundreds of absentee ballots. The F.B.I. opened the ballots and found 75 with candidate votes they suspected had been erased or re-marked.

The government later lowered the number of disputed ballots to 27, but they still sparked a giant investigation. Ten F.B.I. agents fanned out, interviewing more than 1,000 residents about whether they could read or write, whether anyone helped them vote and whether they had altered their own ballots. The Black Belt includes 10 or so counties; the F.B.I. concentrated on the five in which black voters were making strides toward political ascendance. And in each of the five counties, the government targeted longtime black activists and political leaders — figures like Turner.

Roy Moore is a racist extremist. Even by white Alabama standards.

The last time Moore was in a partisan statewide contest, in a 2012 Supreme Court race, he took only 51.8 percent of the vote. Mitt Romney took 61 percent in the same election.

If the national Democrats fight for African American votes, be real in the fight against voter suppression and go after Roy Moore instead of trying to compete with him for racist Alabama voters, there is a chance the race can be won.

And Trump will lose the Alabama he loves.


Learn the lesson.

Sun-Times calls for democracy in Chicago. Don’t tell us. Tell Cullerton.


The Chicago Sun-Times published their editorial on the Cesspool resignation with a renewed call for their vision of an elected school board in Chicago.

Good for the Sun-Times editorial board which tends to be slightly more progressive than the group that sits in the board room of the Tribune Tower.

As you recall, the Trib group published an editorial last week comparing Gay rights to Nazis in an opinion on the cake case that was being argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.

We have long argued that a school board entirely appointed by the mayor — this mayor or any mayor — looks a lot like a rubber stamp. After the Claypool fiasco, we’re more sure than ever. The only way the public can feel confident that the board will follow its own best judgment at such politically explosive times, rather than do the bidding of the mayor, is to include elected members.

Somebody on the board should owe the mayor nothing.

I guess the Sun-Times isn’t exactly ready for full-blown democracy in Chicago.

They think we are ready for a hybrid version of democracy and a school board with elected and appointed. members.

In any case, the person to convince about democracy in Chicago isn’t the reader of the Sun-Times.

Give Democratic Senate President John Cullerton the call.

A bill creating an elected school board has passed the Illinois House. It has the votes in the Illinois Senate.

One man – John Cullerton – decided he is against it and so the bill goes nowhere.

Perhaps the Sun-Times should publish an editorial calling for democracy in Illinois.

Rauner joins Kennedy in calling for Berrios to resign. But isn’t there an election coming up?

Machine Boss Joe Berrios.

I get why the Republican Governor Bruce Rauner is calling for the corrupt Cook County Tax Assessor and Democratic Party Boss Joe Berrios to resign.

It is part of his “I’m not in charge” campaign against state Democratic Party Chairman and Speaker Mike Madigan.

What interests me more is that Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy said the same thing.

Does Kennedy not know there is a primary election coming up and that Berrios is facing a strong challenge from Fritz Kaegi.

I can see that if Berrios cheats his way into an election win then call for him to resign.

But now?

I know that America’s new term limits appears to be resigning in disgrace.

But Joe Berrios resigning allows the Machine to pick a replacement.

I prefer Kaegi beats him fair and square.



David Axelrod plays his role as hatchet man for Cesspool.

I have this story about David Axelrod.

I was a cab driver back when Harold Washington was running for Mayor of Chicago. I had David Axelrod as a fare. This was before he had been hired to work on the historic campaign.

He told me Washington didn’t have a chance.

He changed his tune when the job with Harold was offered to him. And who can blame him for that.

However, has also always has been a hatchet man for hire.

The Chicago Maroon:

“Issues over which you should leave go to corruption or profiteering. What you have here is a guy who wanted to get the best possible representation for the kids of Chicago and was overzealous in making that happen,” Axelrod said. “Rahm, from my conversations with him, appreciates the progress the system has made in terms of dealing with its horrific financial problems and educationally on Forrest’s watch.”

Axelrod continued to show support for Claypool after Friday’s press conference. At the conference, Emanuel announced Claypool’s resignation, while also praising and even hugging him.

In fact, a 1987 Chicago Magazine article by Grant Pick labeled Axelrod exactly that: The Hatchet Man.

Axelrod’s rise has been swift. In 1984, he left a plum job as chief political writer at the Tribune to stage Paul Simon’s successful campaign to unseat Charles Percy from the U.S. Senate. Since then, he has gone on to arrange media strategy for a host of other candidates, among them Adlai Stevenson, George Dunne, Harold Washington, and, lately, a few beyond Illinois. Axelrod and his staff at Axelrod & Associates, including partner Forrest Claypool, a production manager, and a time buyer, operate out of a starkly furnished River North loft.

The ’87 Pick article is worth a read for those who don’t remember Axelrod from the old days and only know him as Obama’s guy.

Yes. Claypool and Axelrod have been in the hatchet business together for a long time.

In this case you can maybe credit Axelrod for acting out of friendship rather than a paycheck. On the other hand it has nothing to do with the facts or with what is best for the students in CPS.

Axelrol has used his professional skills to create the talking points that are being used to defend Claypool.

For example, here is charter advocate Peter Cunningham’s tweet saying almost exactly the same thing:


Sunday week in review.

The Mayor’s picks: eight CPS CEO’s in nine years. Crooks, liars and dopes.


This week’s drawings.



This week’s Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers episode #43.

Guest hosts Joanna Klonsky and Anne Emerson.


This week’s tweets.


This week’s blog posts.

Cesspool’s corruption and lies? It was the teacher union’s fault.

Because to the Chicago Tribune Nazis and lesbians are exactly the same thing.

 CEO Forrest Cesspool must go.

Reporting from the Illinois 4th CD.

The charter school crowd surrenders to segregation.

Go Brandon Johnson!