Friday, December 2, 2016

If Mitt Romney wants to run the State Department, I'm down with that

Posted By on 12.02.16 at 07:00 AM

  • Drew Angerer/Getty Images
  • "Smile, Mitt."

Donald Trump is humiliating one of his fiercest critics by making Mitt Romney grovel in public in order to be named secretary of state. And he could easily humiliate Romney completely by not naming him.

That's the thesis of John Cassidy's latest New Yorker piece, and I think it's obviously true. But let's do a little unpacking.

When you're Romney's age—69—dignity is precious. Relevance is even more precious. Romney's gambling both to have both. Why not? There is no deep, nourishing satisfaction in not mattering.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What was the white working class thinking by supporting Trump? I asked my white working-class brother.

Posted By on 11.30.16 at 02:06 PM

Keegan Smith - RYAN SMITH
  • Ryan Smith
  • Keegan Smith

My brother Keegan shrugged when I asked if he's a Trump supporter.

"Yeah, I thought about it a little [before the election]. Both Trump and Hillary had their pros and cons," he told me. "One is a liar, the other is a big-mouthed pervert. But Hillary has been in office for a long time, and I didn't see that she did that much for how long she was in government."

Keegan is actually part of the 42 percent of Americans eligible to vote who didn't cast a ballot on November 8. He found neither Clinton nor Trump appealing enough to even bother registering to vote.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

For Thanksgiving, a list of long reads dedicated to Native Americans

Posted By on 11.23.16 at 08:14 PM

Native Americans protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline in September 2016 - ROBYN BECK/AFP
  • Robyn Beck/AFP
  • Native Americans protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline in September 2016

This year, the Reader has curated a list of noteworthy lengthy stories (including some from our own archive) to get you to ruminate on the origins of Thanksgiving: the arrival of European colonizers on the shores of a land already rich with history and culture. If at some point you're sick of talking to your family about the election—or sick of talking, period—follow us on this nonfiction-narrative journey.

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A Chicago designer and LA band Autolux take aim at Trump with a vagina full of rainbows

Posted By on 11.23.16 at 04:13 PM

Designer Tom Feltenberger, aka Creative Space Cadet - CONNIE CHU
  • Connie Chu
  • Designer Tom Feltenberger, aka Creative Space Cadet

At 10 PM Chicago time on October 28, Los Angeles experimental rock trio Autolux closed the anti-Trump design contest they'd launched two days earlier. Late that afternoon, local artist Tom Feltenberger (aka Creative Space Cadet) had started sketching his submission while still at work— he ran home and finished it minutes before the deadline.

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A Thanksgiving conversation that isn’t about Donald Trump

Posted By on 11.23.16 at 01:30 PM

  • ariwasabi/Thinkstock

The Bears really suck this year. Every other team is better than the Bears. What can we do to make the Bears great—sorry, make sure the Bears don't suck anymore? Also, after today's game, whom do we hate more, the Vikings or the Lions? There are some subtle differences between them. Like, the Vikings are from Minnesota and the Lions are from Michigan. Both of which went to Trump. Um, never mind.

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Watch Angela Davis’s entire postelection lecture at the University of Chicago’s Rockefeller Chapel

Posted By on 11.21.16 at 01:31 PM

Maya Dukmasova's report on last week's lecture by activist Angela Davis at Rockefeller Chapel has generated a lot of interest.

We've been asked about where the full address can be read or watched online.

Event sponsor Haymarket Books streamed the lecture and conversation live on Facebook, where it is now archived.

We are embedding it here so you can watch the full program.

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Advice from Angela Davis in the aftermath of the election

Posted By on 11.17.16 at 06:07 PM

Angela Davis at the University of Chicago's Rockefeller Chapel - DANIELLE A. SCRUGGS
  • Danielle A. Scruggs
  • Angela Davis at the University of Chicago's Rockefeller Chapel

Some 1,600 people packed the University of Chicago's Rockefeller Chapel Wednesday evening to hear a lecture by legendary radical feminist and academic Angela Davis. The onetime Black Panther leader urged the rapt audience to move beyond mourning and embrace grassroots political organizing in the face of the impending presidency of Donald Trump.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Looking back on our bummer election

Posted By on 11.15.16 at 06:02 PM

That sinking feeling election night - ASHLEE REZIN/SUN-TIMES
  • Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
  • That sinking feeling election night
Who do we blame? And what do we do now?

Unless you're someone who voted for Donald Trump—in which case you're likely ecstatic (or queasy)—these questions have likely been on your mind, possibly costing you sleep. Let me address them.

We're blaming the media—for not letting Trump voters know the same facts we Clinton voters knew (thanks to the media, of course). We're blaming Hillary Clinton—for not being Barack Obama, and the Democratic Party for nominating such an imperfect candidate—the irrefutable proof of those imperfections being that she lost. And we're blaming those voters who didn't vote for her. They should have known better, we say.

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Reader wants your music stories against Trumpism

Posted By on 11.10.16 at 05:51 PM

Protesters gather across the river from Trump Tower on the night of November 9. - SARAH K. JOYCE
  • Sarah K. Joyce
  • Protesters gather across the river from Trump Tower on the night of November 9.

Now that two mornings have passed, it's safe to say we aren't going to wake up from this nightmare. Among the angry, despairing reactions to Trump's victory, I keep seeing an impulse to blame it on progressives' failure to empathize with his supporters. Because many of us in "blue" enclaves never have to deal with "red" voters, the thinking goes, we're unable to understand the source of their values—and thus we can't do the hard work of directly confronting those values we find toxic.

There's some merit to this—white people especially have largely sorted themselves into red and blue districts. But I reject the notion that blue enclaves—whose populations embody a huge variety of views, backgrounds, classes, and identities—are somehow "bubbles" that progressives need to step outside in order to grasp the "real America." Rather it's the people in red zones—the overwhelmingly white areas that voted overwhelmingly for Trump—who need to leave their bubbles and accept the diversity and complexity of our country.

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Tallying Chicago's Trump votes ward by ward

Posted By on 11.10.16 at 03:20 PM

Protesters in front of Trump Tower Wednesday night - PAUL BEATY/GETTY IMAGES
  • Paul Beaty/Getty Images
  • Protesters in front of Trump Tower Wednesday night

If Donald Trump really intends to punish his enemies and reward his friends now that he, gulp, has all the power in the land, I think we should consider moving to the 54th precinct of the 19th Ward.

That's among the safer precincts in Trump's new America, given that the Donald won almost 70 percent of its vote.

That's the highest Trump margin in any precinct in Chicago.

In contrast, the 430 voters of the 35th precinct in the 24th Ward gave Trump exactly zero votes.

That's the very same number of votes that I got from that west-side precinct.

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