Discover more from Eric Zorn: The Picayune Sentinel
Boycott Walgreens ... for now
& nine thoughts from Mary Schmich on the race for mayor
3-9-2023 (issue No. 78)
Eric Zorn is a former opinion columnist for the Chicago Tribune. Find a longer bio and contact information here. This issue exceeds in size the maximum length for a standard email. To read the entire issue in your browser, click on the headline link above.
Land of Linkin’ — Where I tell readers where to go
Mary Schmich — Nine thoughts on the race for mayor
Re:Tweets — Featuring the winner of the visual tweets poll and this week’s finalists
Tune of the Week — as nominated by Laura Washington
Time for a new drugstore?
We’ve been a Walgreens family ever since an outlet opened about four blocks from us on the Northwest Side more than a dozen years ago. It’s a very handy retail establishment for incidentals, nostrums, palliatives, prescriptions and even minor hardware and greeting card emergencies.
But for the time being, we’re a CVS/Osco family. This story from Politico provides the background:
The nation’s second-largest pharmacy chain confirmed (March 2) that it will not dispense abortion pills in several states where they remain legal — acting out of an abundance of caution amid a shifting policy landscape, threats from state officials and pressure from anti-abortion activists.
Nearly two dozen Republican state attorneys general wrote to Walgreens in February, threatening legal action if the company began distributing the drugs, which have become the nation’s most popular method for ending a pregnancy. …
The list includes several states where abortion in general, and the medications specifically, remain legal — including Alaska, Iowa, Kansas and Montana.
The decision won’t affect Illinois, but Gov. JB Pritzker quickly lashed out on Twitter:
Women across the nation will be denied their right to access healthcare they are legally entitled to because of this awful corporate decision. @Walgreens must rethink this policy.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom was even more forceful in his tweet:
California won’t be doing business with @walgreens — or any company that cowers to the extremists and puts women’s lives at risk. We’re done.
A Newsom spokesperson followed up with a statement from the governor:
We will not pursue business with companies that cave to right wing bullies pushing their extremist agenda or companies that put politics above the health of women and girls.
And on Wednesday, California suspended a $54 million contract with Walgreens.
In Popular Information, Judd Legum goes into detail about why abortion-rights supporters such as myself are wroth:
Walgreens told Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach that it "does not intend to dispense Mifepristone within your state." In a letter last month, Kobach claimed that it was illegal for Walgreens to distribute Mifepristone anywhere based on an 1873 law that prohibits sending "indecent" materials through the mail. The Department of Justice disagrees. Further, companies like Walgreens have their own distribution channels and do not rely on the Postal Service to stock their pharmacies. Kobach also cites a Kansas law that says abortion pills must be given to patients "in the same room and in the physical presence of a physician." Kobach does not mention that the law was blocked in November by a Kansas judge.
The basis of the injunction is a ruling by the Kansas Supreme Court that the state constitution protects the right to an abortion. Anti-abortion activists in Kansas attempted to amend the state constitution to pave the way for an abortion ban. That constitutional amendment was overwhelmingly rejected by Kansas voters.
Nevertheless, Walgreens appears to be accepting the deeply flawed legal analysis of Kobach — who unsuccessfully ran for governor on a pledge to make Kansas "the most pro-life state in the country." Walgreens is apparently playing a similar game in Montana and other states.
The Washington Post reports that Walgreens appears caught in the middle:
On the other side, antiabortion demonstrators disrupted the chain’s annual shareholder meeting and plan to continue protesting Walgreens for dispensing the drugs, Mifepristone and misoprostol, anywhere. They are attempting to portray retail drugstores as a new version of abortion providers.
And in a follow-up article, Politico reported:
Former Vice President Mike Pence lavished praise on the company at Students for Life’s annual gala in Naples, Fla., telling guests that their pressure campaign against “pill mills and mail-order abortions” is working and urging them to “stay in the fight.”
“I commend Walgreens for yielding to the rule of law,” he said. “Americans don’t want their pharmacies to become abortion facilities.”
The pharmacy chain finds itself alone in the spotlight, bearing the brunt of criticism from both sides of the abortion fight as its peers — Albertsons, Costco, CVS, Kroger, Rite Aid and Walmart — have gone radio silent on whether and where they will dispense abortion pills.
It’s the silence of the other chains and the fluidity of the situation that make my determination to boycott Walgreens somewhat tentative. I’ll shop at CVS and the Osco corner of my Jewel supermarket for now, but before I renounce the chain for good I want to see if their competitors ultimately handle the situation any better.
Last week’s winning tweet
Cable/satellite providers, for the love of God, don’t make us support Fox News anymore!
We haven’t yet “cut the cord” and unsubscribed from Dish Network, in part because a subscription does not require us to put money into the pocket of the Trump-supporting Ricketts family by helping to pay for the Marquee sports network.
But Dish, like most other mainstream providers, still bundles its offerings in a way that all but requires us to contribute somewhere close to a reported $2 a month to support what I believe is a seditious, malignant, cynical propaganda enterprise that deliberately undermines democracy and provides comfort and support to would-be autocrats.
My contempt for Fox has grown recently due to several recent developments:
Fox has been showing highly edited video from the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol in an effort to portray the event as a mere incursion of mostly peaceful sightseers calmly expressing their concerns over possible election fraud.
Text messages unearthed in the discovery process as part of Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion defamation suit against Fox have revealed that the network’s hosts were promoting election-denial claims that they knew were total bullshit.
Tucker Carlson repeatedly championed Donald Trump on the air but privately wrote that he considered Trump “a demonic force, a destroyer,” and wrote, “I hate him passionately.”
UnFoxMyCableBox.com argues that 90 million cable/satellite subscribers subsidize fewer than 4 million regular viewers of Fox.
Perhaps you’re of a different political persuasion and resent having to subsidize MSNBC or CNN in order to get a package of subscription channels that includes Fox.
Fair enough (though I disagree that either network is the political inverse of Fox). You shouldn’t have to, either. Providers should offer red bundles and blue bundles along with the bundles they now offer so you don’t have to experience that sick feeling of contributing to the bottom line of a news organization you despise.
Press Watch reports:
There are ways the cable companies and other distributors could make paying for Fox News optional without losing its viewers: They could offer alternate bundles, some with Fox and some without; or they could switch to an a la carte system, in which subscribers choose which stations they want and only pay for them.
But the current system has made them an awful lot of money, and still does. So they’re loath to give it up. It also serves the media conglomerates who make all-or-nothing deals with distributors, forcing them to carry less-popular channels in order to get the stronger ones.
The article includes a quote from Christopher Terry, assistant professor of media law at the University of Minnesota.
You’d kill those stations in a heartbeat if they didn’t get bundled in every cable package. All of those outlets thrive in the delivery to the audience they get by being included in every package, but in an a la carte cable package, only a handful of the true believer crowd would be willing to pay extra for them.
Imagine if they had to survive in an actual market-based scenario where the number of viewers they could have was limited by the people who would pay to have access to that specific content. You’d cut them off at the knees and use their own rhetoric to do so while making cable companies more accountable to the local customer base.
Vallas needs a better answer for his remarks about ‘critical race theory … woke-ism, anti-racism.’
The host, Mark Glennon, (asked) Vallas to talk about “critical race theory — or call it whatever you want, woke-ism, anti-racism.” …
Vallas decried unspecified curricula that are “divisive” and that “further undermines the relationship of children with their parents.”
“For white parents, I mean, how are you going to discipline your child when your child comes home and your child has basically been told that their generation — their race, their parents, their grandparents — they have discriminated against others, and they have somehow victimized another person’s race?” Vallas said.
Glennon then muses, “I often wonder, if you’re a Black kid, why wouldn’t you become a criminal if you’re hearing this stuff in school? … That makes it pretty easy to justify pretty bad conduct, in my opinion.”
“You’re absolutely right,” Vallas responded. “But what you’re also doing, you’re giving people an excuse for bad behavior. … So you’re right, you’re absolutely right. I mean, why, I mean, where’s the accountability? You know, you’re a victim. What’s happening is it becomes a justification for everything. And I think that’s a very dangerous thing.”
This is absurd, paranoid right-wing claptrap. How are white parents going to discipline their children once these children learn the ugly history of slavery, Jim Crow, segregation and racial discrimination? The same way good parents of all ethnicities have always disciplined their children — by rewarding right behavior and punishing wrong behavior; by impressing upon them the importance of learning from and when possible correcting the mistakes of others; by reminding them that the ugly legacy of white supremacy is rooted in unfair assumptions made about individuals based on their racial identities.
And the idea that learning history will give Black children “an excuse for bad behavior” and create a “justification for everything” is ludicrous and argues for the teaching of a sanitized version of history indistinguishable from propaganda.
At an unrelated news conference, Vallas declined to address his 2021 comments on the podcast and insisted that “the bottom line is, I think my record of serving minority communities in four different cities is clear.”
“I have no response to Brandon Johnson, and he’s going to have his own record to explain or lack of record to explain,” Vallas said. “Brandon is going to attack because, you know, he can’t offer anything of substance so I’m going to continue to run an issue-oriented campaign.”
Vallas went on to say he has built schools that taught African American history year-round and allowed CPS local school councils to have their campuses “develop even more Afrocentric curriculums.”
“I mean, at the end of the day, my record speaks for itself,” Vallas said.
Yet those words in that podcast also continue to speak for themselves unless and until Vallas retracts or clarifies them.
Meanwhile, though …
Brandon Johnson’s evasions and distortions during Wednesday evening’s forum with Vallas on NBC5/Telemundo were disheartening. His efforts to pin 2023 budget woes in Chicago on decisions Vallas made as city budget director from 1990 until 1993 and CEO of the Chicago Public Schools from 1995 to 2001 are so farfetched* as to sound desperate, and his assertion that Vallas has declared a fundamental opposition to reproductive rights was simply false (Vallas has noted his objection to abortion on religious grounds, but has repeatedly expressed support for abortion rights in the law).
And in this exchange, starting at 25:13 in the video below, Johnson was dismayingly slippery:
Mary Ann Ahern (moderator): Mr. Johnson, You have said that you want to tax businesses per employee — it’s also known as a head tax. The city got rid of that, though, a few years ago. How much, actually, will that head tax be? And how do you expect to attract businesses to Chicago if you implement this?
Brandon Johnson: Look we have to eliminate the structural deficit that Paul Vallas caused. Let’s just start there. He worked with the Republican Party, which makes sense because he has declared himself a Republican. He stopped contributing to the pension fund—
Ahern: Let’s talk about your head tax idea.
Johnson: I gotcha. I’m going to get to that. But here’s why we have to generate revenue. Because Paul Vallas’ terrible budget schemes put the taxpayers on the hook, $2.5 billion in property taxes. So here’s why —
Ahern: The question is, how big is the head tax?
Johnson: We’re going to generate revenue and we’re going to do what works. Right? It’s a living document. Here’s what I’m always going to do as the mayor of the city of Chicago. Tell people the truth. We need to raise revenue to deal with the structural deficit that exists, and so that’s one idea.
Ahern: I’ve seen $1 to $4 a head. That’s a big variance. How much do you think you will be charging these businesses per employee?
Johnson: It’s a living document. We can raise up to $20 million with that particular tax. If people do not like that particular tax, then help me find $20 million. Right? We can’t just simply say “no.” I come from a large family. We were told “no” all the time. That’s just word we heard before we asked again. If we’re going to get a better stronger safer Chicago, we have to do what safe American cities do, and they invest in people.
*Here’s the passage in the Tribune coverage of the forum that deals with Vallas’ “terrible budget schemes.”
Though Vallas touts that he left a surplus on CPS’ books during his time as CEO, he also oversaw changes to shift away annual payments to the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund in what critics say hurt the system’s long-term solvency.
That decision entailed diverting some property tax revenue from going directly into teacher pension funds and instead toward other school expenses. It came after the Republican-led Legislature and GOP Gov. Jim Edgar in 1995 overhauled how CPS was organized and gave Daley more control.
Now the teacher pension fund is estimated to hover at under 50%, though Vallas has defended himself by pointing out the system carried a 104% funding level during his time as CEO.
A succession of mayors, budget directors and school leaders have had 22 years to correct for any errors in judgment Vallas might have made. If Johnson wants to “tell people the truth” he might want to start there.
News & Views
News: “Florida bill would require bloggers who write about governor to register with the state, face fines,” “Oklahoma House approves bill to ban insurance coverage for transgender care” and red-state “Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly rejected recreational marijuana legalization at the ballot on Tuesday.”
View: Good Lord, what has become of your ostensibly freedom-loving party of small government, Republicans? Here is a state-by-state list of pot laws.
Of the 21 “fully legal” states (including the District of Columbia) — Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington — only three went for Donald Trump in the 2020 election (Alaska, Missouri and Montana).
Here is an interview with Politico’s cannabis editor, Paul Demko on what happened in Oklahoma and how legalization is going.
And here is an ironic tweet:
View: Football games need to be shortened in the middle and lengthened at the end.
The NCAA Football Rules Committee ... approved a proposal to keep the clock running when a team makes a first down except in the last two minutes of a half. … (Another proposal) would take away the option for a coach to call back-to-back timeouts during the same dead ball period.
But “the committee gave no serious consideration to a proposal to keep the clock running after an incomplete pass,” which not only makes sense but would dramatically move the game along.
If they kept the clock running after incompleted passes, they could then institute a new rule for the last two minutes of every game that would stop the clock after every play, run or pass and not lengthen the overall time of the game.
No more “victory formation” nonsense. Play football. Get first downs or give the ball back.
Land of Linkin’
“How Johnson, Vallas answered 10 important education questions,” from Chalkbeat Chicago.
“How the CTU marched from picket lines to political powerhouse” by Nader Issa and Lauren FitzPatrick of the Sun-Times.
In “The Democrats’ SOS Candidate Keeps His Options Open,” Jonathan Weisman of The New York Times writes that Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker “may be seen by some Democrats as the ‘in case of emergency break glass’ candidate, one of the few prominent politicians who could stand up a White House run at a moment’s notice. … The Democratic Party would have 3.6 billion reasons — Forbes’s most recent estimate of Mr. Pritzker’s net worth — to turn to the Illinois governor. … Under his leadership, the legislature has approved a $15 minimum wage, legalized recreational cannabis, ended cash bail, guaranteed access to abortions and gender-affirming care and banned assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.”
Pritzker was listed behind Biden and 9 other potential candidates in The Washington Post’s recent list “The top 10 Democratic presidential candidates for 2024, ranked.” Biden was No. 1 followed, in order, by Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Jared Polis, Gavin Newsom, Gretchen Whitmer, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sander, Josh Shapiro and finally Pritzker.
Charlie Meyerson has gone public with our dispute over which one of us gets to lay claim to the title of Chicago Tribune’s first blogger. I believe it depends on whether the word “blog” can be used to describe a daily, stand-alone feature that updated throughout the day but then reset for the next day. We can both agree, however, that we were digital pioneers.
Politico on the Chicago mayor’s race: “White voters determined who made the runoff. How Black and Latino voters shift in the next four weeks will decide the winner.” “Vallas, who is white, may have tapped most of his potential in the many white majority wards he won and will have to lean heavily on getting Black voters who align with his push for more police presence and voters of color turned off by a progressive message. … Johnson faces challenges in keeping up appeal with the progressives he won over while not turning off Latinos by going too far to the left.” The story notes that 46% of voters in last week’s election voted for other candidates and so are up for grabs.
In “The Washington Post opinion section is a sad, toxic wasteland,” Dan Froomkin of Press Watch decries the paper’s “retrograde ninnies,” a “bevy of unoriginal right-wingers who make stuff up, defend the indefensible, and bore the tears out of you, all at the same time.”( I happen to think Greg Sargent, Jennifer Rubin and Alexandra Petri are nearly always great reads.).Froomkin opines that “The New York Times opinion section regularly publishes absolute tripe … but there’s no denying that overall, it remains intellectually stimulating, ground-breaking, and consequential.”
The Picayune Sentinel preview: Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. I talk with WGN-AM 720 host John Williams about what’s making news and likely to be grist for the PS mill. The WGN listen-live link is here.
Something to keep in mind when you are tempted to accuse others of racism
Right-leaning syndicated columnist Scott Reeder offered this crisp summary of “racism” in a 2021 column that recently came to my attention:
Racism is discrimination on steroids, powered by privileges given to those in the culturally dominant race. In the United States, it’s a bias with a pickax. It’s a prejudice with the weight of 400 years of slavery, Jim Crow laws and history behind it. That’s a distinction that has sometimes been hard for white people, myself included, to discern.
I agree with Reeder. Discrimination, bigotry, bias and prejudice are unfair and often wrong. But they are not necessarily “racist” under Reeder’s apt definition. Choose your accusatory terms carefully, in other words.
Steinberg stakes a claim to Sun-Times’ superiority. Is he right?
“With Alden Capital gutting the Tribune, the Sun-Times is now the preeminent newspaper in Chicago,” wrote Neil Steinberg on his blog Sunday.
Steinberg is a Sun-Times columnist ,so you might expect him to say that. I’m a former Tribune columnist and so will refrain, for now, from disagreeing with Steinberg’s assessment — still a company guy, sticking up for his former colleagues and the institution that gave him many wonderful opportunities for more than four decades — or agreeing with him — just a disgruntled former employee.
Both papers have their strengths compared to the other, and I hope both will thrive. Both have weaknesses compared to the other as well.
So how do you compare them?
Picayune Plus members can leave a more detailed analysis of this question in comments.
I’m sick of ‘sic’
This appeared in Tuesday’s story in the Sun-Times about the resignation of Ald. Carrie Austin, 34th.
I rise in protest, clearing my throat in the process. “Sic” is Latin for “thus” and shorthand for “sic erat scriptum," meaning “thus was it written." Merriam-Webster explains that “sic” is a bracketed interjection writers and editors “use in the reproduction of someone else's speech or writing to indicate that an unexpected form exactly reproduces the original and is not a copier's mistake.”
Above, it means Austin left the “d” off “served,” not someone at the Sun-Times.
Calling attention to her error with “sic” strikes me as a sneering bit of side-eye at a trivial lapse — a typo, not an “unexpected form” — and “The Associated Press Stylebook” agrees:
Do not use (sic) to show that quoted material or person’s words include a misspelling, incorrect grammar or peculiar usage. … Instead, paraphrase if possible. ... Do not alter the written words.
I would go further. Just fix the damn typo as you would a grammatical lapse in a spoken statement. What possible purpose is there in throwing in the roadblock of parentheses or shifting into paraphrase mode?
But if we’re going to be pedantic sticklers, where’s the “sic” after Austin’s “it’s”? Failing to note that would deserve a boldfaced “sic,” under the circumstances, if one believed in such things.
I write as one who makes typos and commits written brainos all the time, and whose call for merciful treatment of offenders is deeply self-interested.
Mary Schmich: Nine thoughts on the Chicago mayor’s race
My former colleague Mary Schmich posts occasional column-like entries on Facebook. Here, reprinted with permission, is her most recent offering:
1. If you don’t live in Chicago…
A lot of commentators who don’t live in Chicago have been commenting loudly on the recent mayoral primary in Chicago. Too many are about as accurate as ChatGPT. Contrary to those opinions, Lori Lightfoot wasn’t merely a victim of racism, sexism and fear of crime. Sure, racism, sexism and fear of crime are real and potent forces. But Lightfoot was defeated, in significant part, by her temperament and behavior. She was too often belligerent and petty, which made the hard work of governing even harder.
2. Chicagoans didn’t overwhelmingly elect Lightfoot the first time.
Assorted stories and commentaries have referred to Lightfoot’s loss as a “shock,” noting that she “overwhelmingly” won four years ago. But she never had the huge support that “overwhelmingly” suggests: A measly third of the voting population actually voted in that election.
3. Credit where credit is due.
Lightfoot genuinely cares about Chicago. She has had some successes as mayor. The fact that she—a woman, Black, gay—won a term on the fifth floor of City Hall really did open a window to a broader vision of what a Chicago mayor can look like, of who Chicagoans will support. She and we can be glad for that.
4. We need a mayor who’s better at getting people to work together.
Chicago needs a mayor who can create what I think of as a “personnel infrastructure”. Alliances. Collaborations. Friends. Lightfoot wasn’t good at useful alliances. Yes, yes, yes, we’ve had plenty of pugilistic, blustering, tyrannical, egomaniacal male mayors. But they had a stronger personnel infrastructure (helped, of course, by old-style cronyism, which, yes, was thick with racism and sexism). Lightfoot didn’t benefit from old infrastructure, but also didn’t find a new way.
5. The current race is about more than race.
Paul Vallas, who won the most votes in the primary, is white. His rival, Brandon Johnson, is Black. Race will be a factor in the fight. But the difference isn’t as neat as black and white. Vallas has recruited several prominent Black leaders to his side—notably Alderman Walter Burnett, former Secretary of State Jesse White and Alderman Roderick Sawyer. They’ll balance, though not entirely erase, the claims that Vallas is a right-wing racist.
6. The old politicos club lives on.
Along with the men above, Vallas has won an endorsement from Gery Chico, a longtime political player with roots in the Latino community. I look at that roster and see that, regardless of skin color, these men all belong to a club, one that has held Chicago power for a long time. They may have differences but they also have longstanding relationships. Are those the alliances we need in 2023? That’s one of the questions we have to decide.
7. If only Arne Duncan had run, the choice would be easy.
I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard that, from friends Black and white. But, sigh, he didn’t run. So here we are.
8. Being mayor of Chicago is a hellish job.
And it was particularly hellish for Lightfoot, who had to govern during the unique awfulness of a pandemic. But it’s also a thrilling privilege of a job, and the people who seek it need to be equipped to withstand the fire.
9. Get some rest, Mayor Lightfoot.
I hope Lightfoot gets some deserved rest. She worked hard. Many of us who didn’t vote for her wish her well and are grateful for her service.
This week’s episode of “The Mincing Rascals” podcast begins with sports talk and ends with a discussion of streaming TV shows, and, in the middle, illustrates how host John Williams doesn’t think like a billionaire, perhaps explaining why he isn’t one. Jon Hansen, Brandon Pope and I round out the panel. Subscribe to us wherever you get your podcasts. Or bookmark this page. If you’re not a podcast listener, you can now hear an edited version of the show at 8 p.m. most Saturday evenings on WGN-AM 720.
Regrettably, Pope did not win the (clearly rigged) election for best beard in the annual Chicago Reader poll . Neither did the Rascals or the Sentinel win in their categories, though I am giving the award for Best Clickbait to the Reader.
Correction: I mistakenly referenced last year‘s poll results. I will make a further correction in next weeks issues.
I thought about including this tweet in the contest this week:
But after doing some background reading — including “Curious George Turns 75, But Is He A Monkey Or An Ape?” a 2016 article in Forbes — I concluded that the impish mammal in the famous set of children’s books is likely a chimpanzee.
In Tuesday’s paid-subscriber editions, I present my favorite tweets that rely on visual humor and so can’t be included in the classic Tweet of the Week contest in which the template for the poll does not allow the use of images. Subscribers vote for their favorite, and I post the winner here every Thursday:
The new nominees for Tweet of the Week:
Dragons don't breathe fire, they breathe air like us, they just produce fire which isn't the same as breathing fire, no, stop, I'm not done, stop taking the microphone, I'm the best man, you have to let me finish my — @OmarNajam
What I thought I’d want my kids to learn: Kindness, compassion and empathy. What I actually want them to learn: To flush the toilet and turn off a goddamn light. — @mom_needsalife
Me, listening to every investigative podcast: Huh, I hope this one's about the nature of truth. — @ChrisBerube
Social media has shown us why there are directions on shampoo. — @Social_Mime
I want to work with a diverse group of people who think exactly like I do. — @Wildethingy
Me: I can't tell you how long I've been waiting. Clock Repairman: I know, please stop saying that. — @Browtweaten
If you hold stuffed shells up to your ear, you can hear a cardiac surgeon ordering tropical hardwood trim for his yacht. — @GianDoh
“I may not be a “pilot” or know anything about “flying”, but here’s how I’d land this baby…” (what teachers hear when parents tell them how to run their classrooms) — @neenertothe3
I'm drawn toward women who are beautiful when they are angry because once we start dating that's how they'll look 90% of the time. — @MelvinofYork
Celebrate International Women's Day by asking men how they plan on balancing fatherhood and a career. — @OhNoSheTwitnt
Don’t miss next Tuesday’s mayoral forum
Thanks to everyone who has offered suggestions for questions. They have been excellent.
Tune of the Week
This week’s tune is nominated by my co-moderator for next Tuesday’s mayoral forum, ABC-7 political analyst and Chicago Tribune contributing columnist Laura Washington.
The choice might seem strange for a Black woman who came of age in the late 1970s, but I grew up with Sinatra’s music. This ballad is one of my favorites to this day. My mother loved Sinatra, and late into the night, she played that on the old record player. I went to sleep with it many nights, to the melancholy theme of loving, living life and leaving youth behind.
Later, as a reporter who covered racial issues, I came to know Sinatra as a white megastar who promoted civil rights for African-Americans at a time when few of his peers would.
“It Was a Very Good Year” is a song composed by Ervin Drake in 1961 and originally recorded by Bob Shane with the Kingston Trio. It was made famous by Frank Sinatra's version in D minor, which won the Grammy Award for Best Male Vocal Performance in 1966 and became Sinatra's first number one Adult Contemporary single, also peaking at No. 28 on the Hot 100.
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