Fred Weinberg: Lori Lightfoot Has Done the Impossible & Made Me Miss Mayor Daley


I have a question for the so-called “progressives.”

Is gang violence in Chicago progressive? Are record murder and shooting rates progressive? Is telling the president of the United States not to send in federal law enforcement to help the Chicago police progressive?

Exactly how stupid do you think we are?

I grew up about 140 miles south of that toddling town and when I was growing up, the mayor of Chicago was a man named Richard J. Daley. He was widely regarded as a machine politician who made the trains run on time. His tenure in office was 1955 to his death in 1976.

That sound you hear today is the mayor turning over in his grave. His vices were mostly financial.

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Today, not so much.

The current mayor is an openly gay black woman who thinks that being openly gay and black are the credentials needed to govern the city.

How’s all that “progressivism” working out?

Well, watch several episodes of Chicago PD and you’ll get some idea because art has come frighteningly close to imitating life these days.

Do you think Democratic leadership is to blame for Chicago's high murder rate?

The actual facts are:

As this is written, in the last seven days murder is up 73 percent over the same period last year. There were 26 murders as opposed to 15 in the same period last year. The year to date is an even more impressive indictment of all that progressivism. There have been 414 murders this year as opposed to 275 for the same period last year.

We didn’t make those stats up. They are publicly available on the Chicago Police Department website.

Have I mentioned that the mayor is a Democrat who has blamed the president?

Like he went to Chicago, put the guns in the gangbangers’ hands and said, “start shooting.”

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How stupid does Lori Lightfoot think we are? A better question is how stupid does the mayor think the black residents of Chicago are?

Talk to the mothers in Pilsen or Canaryville. Ask them what they think of their mayor’s anti-crime outreach.

I never in a million years thought I would have good memories of Mayor Daley, but this woman makes just about everything possible, including that.

On a different subject…

I was watching the services in the Capitol as we paid tribute to the late John Lewis and a thought occurred to me.

The TV talking heads made a great issue that Lewis was the first black person to lie in state in the rotunda. I agree, but not for the same reasons. Where is it written that you have to be a long-term member of the congressional swamp in order to be honored that way? (Although I would observe that Lewis certainly deserved the honor.)

Why shouldn’t, every so often, a member of Congress who has lost a hard-working constituent be able to arrange for an average American that honor?

The president has the Medal of Freedom.

Why shouldn’t Congress — which is supposed to represent the average American — actually call attention to the loss of an average American?

When I asked that of a close friend, he chuckled and said, “That’s not the way it works.”

To which I replied, “Why not?”


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Fred Weinberg is the publisher of the Penny Press, an online publication based in Reno, Nevada ( He also is the CEO of the USA Radio Networks and several companies which own or operate radio stations throughout the United States. He has spent 53 years in journalism at every level from small town weekly newspapers to television networks. He can be reached at You can subscribe, free, to the Penny Press weekly email on the website.