Clinton’s remarks on the Reagans and Aids demand more than apology

It is hard but important for those who care about Aids to blame the frontrunner of the Democratic party, who takes the support of lesbian voters for granted

Talking about former first lady Nancy Reagan on MSNBC on Friday, current leading Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton credited chairperson and Mrs Reagan in particular, Mrs Reagan, for having started a national conversation about Aids.

Aids historians, LGBT activists and anyone who cares about little things like the truth were subsequently enraged at Clintons false claims. Ronald and Nancy Reagan were no more leaders discussing Aids in the 1980 s than Republicans are at championing abortion access today.

It may be hard for your viewers to recollect, Clinton said, how difficult it was for people to talk about HIV/ Aids back in the 1980 s.

She didnt lie there. Indeed, it was difficult to talk about Aids throughout the 1980 s largely because of the stillnes from the White House. In April 1987, activists unveiled a poster that said Silence= Death a month before Reagan would eventually devote a speech to the years-long epidemic. That slogan would become the motto of the group Aids Coalition To Unleash Power( ACT-UP ), and according to their website, the slogan was asking Why is Reagan silent about Aids? What is really going on at the Center for Disease Control, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Vatican?

Its easy to denounce Reagan out of office for 27 years and dead for more than a decade with the distance of history. Its also easy to blame Republicans continuing love of abstinence-only sex education and opposition to gay rights as a continuing attempt to erase faggot people today.

But for those of us who care about Aids and LGBT people, it is much harder and important to blame the frontrunner of the Democratic party, who takes the support of lesbian voters for awarded. Why, in 2016, did the Democratic frontrunner engage so blithely in the erasure of the people who actually did start the national conversation about Aids? Was it because they were gay humen of the in-your-face variety of activism many of whom succumbed of the virus?

When Clinton said the Reagans led the way on Assistances when nobody wanted to do anything about it, she is erasing these people from history in an ugly and dismissive manner. People initially get HIV in this country through IV drug use, blood transfusions and sexuality. But while the Reagans looked the other route even when a friend asked for help it was was queer activists who were loud as hell in New York and San Francisco who forced the nation to face the plague.

Clinton said she could really appreciate Nancy Reagans very effective low-key advocacy that penetrated the public conscience on Aids. But current realities is, the people who really started the conversation are still not low-key. They were not polite. They were not quiet in any way. They staged die-ins. They shut down streets. They threw the cremated ashes of their loved ones, already killed by Aids, over the fence of the White House to demand action.

Clinton subsequently apologized, saying she misspoke about the Reagans on HIV/ Aids. But what was she trying to gain by praising the Reagans in this way in the first place? I fear that she was engaging in a kind of dog-whistling, utilizing the moment of Nancy Reagans death to appeal to voters who nostalgically loved the Reagans and dream of morning in America again. I fear by invoking a false Aids history, she was appealing to those who want a simpler time before homosexuals get uppity. Perhaps she wants to peel off some of the white men voting for Sanders in the primary. Perhaps she is trolling for Reagan Democrats who might consider her over Trump in building America great again.

I have been frightened for some time that the crisis of AIDS is not over, especially for black America, and yet it has again largely been erased from our national political consciousness. Aids, which is projected to infect one in two black lesbian American men, is virtually invisible from the presidential race. And now even the Democratic frontrunner has diminished Aids history herself.

Will gay voters and political groups, especially the Human Right Campaign( which endorsed the other HRC months ago) demand that Clinton do more than say sorry, but demand that she audibly start their own nationals conversation on Aids in America in 2016 a day when it is still hard to talk about HIV? Will they question her praising Reagans Aids policies as a harbinger of deadly incremental things to come, devoted her claims to pragmatically run across the aisle in a manner that is she says Bernie Sanders never, ever could? Will they hold their own, in this time, to as high a standard as they do the deceased leader of their opposition party especially given her own pathetic past opposition on lesbian rights? This would be the only sincere way to begin to undo the damage Clinton has done to the men and women who fought, and still fight, Aids in the vacuum of political leadership.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Republican push ahead with plans to hinder insurance coverage for abortions

A proposed bill would enforce a far-reaching prohibit on private insurance coverage for abortions under Obamacare, and could see tens of thousands lose out

Republicans in Congress are advancing a bill that imposes a far-reaching prohibition on private insurance coverage for abortion services for as long as the Affordable Care Act remains in effect and would induce permanent a longtime forbidding on the use of Medicaid to cover abortions.

The bill, H R7, would allow Donald Trump to fulfill a promise that helped his volatile presidential campaign procure the support of major anti-abortion rights activists. In an open letter published in September, he vowed to sign the Hyde amendment, a perennial budget rider that Congress has approved every year for 40 years, into permanent law. Since 1976, the Hyde amendment has prevented millions of women who rely on Medicaid, the government-funded insurance for low-income individuals, from utilizing it to cover their abortions.

But if the bill passes, the most immediate changes will be feel on insurance policies exchanges where millions of women buy healthcare coverage.

HR7 prohibits insurance carriers from offering policies that contain abortion coverage on the exchanges set up under Obamacare to sell insurance coverage to people. It proscribes low-income women who qualify for a healthcare subsidy from receiving it if they purchase a healthcare plan that covers abortion. And it would withhold the small business taxation credit from employers who offer policies with abortion coverage.

Critics of HR7 fear it could enforce a widespread forbid on private insurance coverage of abortion by banning abortion coverage in the small subset of private insurance policies that are sold on the Affordable Care Act exchanges.

Because many insurance carriers offer policies to individuals on the exchanges that are similar to the group policies they sell to companies, encompassing abortion in one case but not the other requires an extra layer of administration.

Health experts said they could not be certain that would be the outcome.

What that would do to other schemes, we dont actually know, said Laurie Sobel, the associate director for womens health policy for the Kaiser Family Foundation, a healthcare think tank. But she noted that after Obamacare began involving health care policies to offer contraceptive coverage, insurance carriers enforced the coverage in the same way across the market for group and individual policies alike.

With very limited exceptions, health insurance companies essentially did the same thing with everybody, Sobel said. That is worrisome in terms of, if abortion coverage was restricted in the marketplace, insurance companies might just adopt that policy across the board.

The ban on using subsidies or taxation credits toward policies with abortion coverage could also consequence significant changes, because carriers could be reluctant to design plans that so many women or small business owners would be ineligible to purchase. In 2016, there were 871,000 uninsured women eligible to buy policies containing abortion coverage use subsidies, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Under the bill, tens of thousands more who have already utilized their subsidies to purchase insurance would lose abortion coverage.

The bills restrictions on the health insurance exchanges would cease to apply if and when legislation passed by Republican in Congress repeals the Affordable Care Act. But the bill is almost certainly a preview of the lengths to which Republican will go to restrict abortion when they come to replace Obamacare.

Its a pretty sweeping bill, said Destiny Lopez, a director of All Above All, a alliance of abortion rights groups that opposes the Hyde amendment. Its an attempt to withhold abortion from nearly all women in the US through burdensome regulation intended to stop insurers from covering abortions. It could restrict abortion for nearly every woman in this country in some manner, and do significant damage in particular to low-income women.

Insurance coverage for abortion is already limited in a way that forces thousands of women to pay for abortions out of pocket. Twenty-five nations limit the sale of insurance policies encompassing abortion on their country exchanges. And exchanges in six other states dont offer any plans that encompass abortions, perhaps because Congress imposed extra administrative hurdles under the ACA for abortion coverage.

A 2013 study found that only about a quarter of abortion patients who had insurance used it to cover their procedure. Those who didnt use their insurance overwhelmingly said their insurance did not cover abortion or they werent sure.

The bill would also convert a slew of existing, provisional bans on abortion coverage into permanent law. These include bannings on abortion coverage for women on federal insurance, such as many Native American girls, women in the Peace Corps, in federal prisons, or those enrolled in Medicare or the Youngster Health Insurance Program, and prohibit the towns of Washington DC fromusing its own local funds to subsidize abortion services.

The House of Representatives approved a version of the bill on Tuesday, and the Senate will consider similar legislation next week. But Republicans in that chamber will need to peel off eight Democratic or independent votes for the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster. Unless Republican leaders change the Senates regulations to eliminate the filibuster, the fate of the bill may lie with Democrats facing re-election in 2018 in states that voted for Trump.

Were confident that the Senate will continue to be a firewall on this matter, said Lopez.

Also on Tuesday, Republicans introduced a federal heartbeat bill that they say would effectively eliminate abortion, but is less likely to pass even the House.

Despite Hydes longevity, progressive lawmakers in recent years have adopted efforts to see it overturned. Even Hillary Clinton, in her 2016 bid for the presidency, promised to attempt to remove Hyde from future budget bills. HR7, although it does not change the fact that women on Medicaid have long been forced to pay for any abortion services out of pocket, would make it harder for a future Democratic Congress or president to do so.

HR7 is titled the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2017. Republican congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey introduced the bill in early January, as he has for several years running.

At an event to announce the bill, Smith said he supports repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, but that it is necessary to restrict the ways in which the law facilitates abortion coverage until that time.

No one knows how quickly the replace proportion will actually occur, Smith said. In the meantime, the unborn child is about to be killed with public funding. We need to enact a ordinance that takes abortion out of[ Obamacare ].

Such articles has been amended on 25 January, 2017, to correct an assertion that the contraception mandate did not apply, initially, to all insurance schemes.

Is Trump moving to the centre on handguns? Don’t hold your breath

The president seemed ready to take on the NRA but experience should construct us wary of his inconsistency and inability to master detail

Donald Trump stunned Washington this week by espousing a series of gun control measures long opposed by the National Rifle Association and most Republicans on Capitol Hill. The predominating question remained how long it would last.

Senate Democrats breathed a sigh of relief on Thursday when they awoke to find Trump had not backtracked on gun control in an early morning tweet. (” Background Checks a big part of the conversation ,” he said .)

But on Thursday night, an NRA executive left the White House with a quite different impression of where the president stood on gun control legislation.

” I had a great fulfilling tonight with @realDonaldTrump& @VP ,” Chris Cox, the executive director of the NRA’s lobbying arm, tweeted.” We all want safe schools, mental health reform and to keep handguns away from dangerous people. POTUS& VPOTUS support the Second Amendment, subsistence strong due process and don’t want gun control .”

An hour afterward, Trump tweeted:” Good( Great) meeting in the Oval Office tonight with the NRA !”

The president has been under pressure to reform America’s firearm statutes in the wake of the 14 February high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 people dead. On Wednesday, Trump convened a meeting with a bipartisan group of senators to identify various legislative proposals on what ranks among the most politically contentious issues in Washington.

The discussion was televised for full impact, casting Trump once more as a deal-making chairman willing to buck members of his own party. But to skeptics, the display was reminiscent of Trump’s approach to immigration earlier this year- when he similarly adopted a softer tone before veering back to the right.

” It was just this January where the president held a bipartisan session on a thorny issue, immigration, and seemed interested in find common ground ,” the Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, said here on Thursday.” He said he was willing to buck the extremes, and encouraged lawmakers to act .”

” Unfortunately the president was pulled back by the hard right, and avoided a bipartisan proposal from emerging ,” Schumer added.

” That happened several times. That cannot happen on guns .”

For Trump, vacillating constantly between vying policy positions is far from new. As a candidate, Trump repeatedly contracted himself while also doing away with the views he previously held as a Manhattan real estate mogul who donated to Democrats.

Since taking office, Trump has maintained a reliably conservative record and largely acted on the protectionist agenda that defined his presidential campaign.

So when Trump stated his support on Wednesday for universal background checks, taking away handguns from the mentally ill, new age restrictions for purchasing certain handguns, and even flirted with banning certain assault weapons, Republican balked.

” We have the second amendment and due process of law for a reason ,” said Senator Ben Sasse, a Republican from Nebraska.

” Strong leaders do not automatically agree with the last thing that was said to them .”

In one particularly striking exchange, Trump castigated Pat Toomey, a Republican senator from Pennsylvania, for resisting a proposal that would raise the age limit for buying certain guns from 18 to 21.

” You know why? Because you’re afraid of the NRA ,” Trump said.

The White House was left doing damage control. Trump’s aides reportedly told Republican on Capitol Hill to recall the immigration debate, when the president appeared to side with Democrat on a pathway to citizenship for young, undocumented immigrants before returning to a decidedly hard-right framework.

Trump’s allies weren’t the only ones describing parallels to the president’s handled with immigration.

Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat who was deeply to participate in immigration talks at the White House, expressed skepticism that Trump’s newfound positions on firearm safety would stick.

” I wouldn’t bet the farm on it ,” Durbin said.

Others gun control advocates were more hopeful.

Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut who has led the fight for stricter firearm laws, said he is anticipated to” take the president at his term “.

” Republicans are feeling the hot even more than ever ,” Murphy said.” This debate is different after[ Wednesday’s] session .”

Read more: www.theguardian.com

What kind of first lady will Bill Clinton be if Hillary becomes chairwoman?

If Clinton becomes USs first female chairwoman, she wont be the only one breaking a gender obstacle: her husband will step into a role no man has held before

Rolled oats propelled Hillary Clinton to victory in 1992. They were the game-changing ingredient in her recipefor chocolate chip cookies, which she submitted to Family Circle magazine in a bake-off against then-incumbent first lady Barbara Bush.

The bake-off was an attempt to appeal to stay-at-home moms following her controversial response to California governor Jerry Browns criticism that she owed her professional success to her husband, Bill. I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had tea, she told a reporter in a soundbite that was reported around the world. But what I decided to do was fulfill my profession. Many women responded with outrage, and perhaps thats why, shortly thereafter, Clinton participated in the traditional Family Circle first lady bake-off. And won.

Clintons cookies are good: my best friends mom used to make them for her school lunches. No doubt Hillary could have won any number of bake-offs with her recipe, but politics have paid off far more for her: in less than a year, she may be the first female president of the United State. But if that happens, she wont be the only one violating a gender barrier: her husband Bill will step into a role no human has ever held before. So what kind of first lady will Bill Clinton be?( Besides, of course, a manly one ).

The role of first lady is officially unofficial: theres no constitutional requirement that the president have a partner, and the person occupying the role has never received a salary. The task has evolved over the years. In the 18 th and 19 th century, the first lady was primarily expected to be a lovely and capable hostess, just like any spouse of a distinguished, wealthy American man. These women were expected to bake cookies, host teas, select china patterns, manage household staff and smile graciously at fancy dinners. In the 20th century, however, things began to shift, and some first ladies began to dig in to more substantial issues than menus and flower arrangements.

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First ladies of the United State: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Eleanor Roosevelt, Florence Harding and Edith Wilson. Photograph: AP

Different girls leveraged the position in different ways: some argue that Lady Bird Johnson was the first to modernize the job when she campaigned on behalf of her husband Lyndon B Johnson in the mid 60 s, but others exerted significant political clout before her. Eleanor Roosevelts run as a novelist, activist, public speaker and social reformer is perhaps most famous. But other notably hard-working first ladies include Florence Harding, wife of Warren G, a passionate suffragette who edited all of her husbands important speeches and pushed hard to influence his appointments.

But when Hillary Clinton moved into the White House in 1993, she was not awarded the same flexibility. As the chair of the Task force on National Health Care reform, she was slammed in the press for stepping beyond the reaches of her role, in spite of her clear qualifications to work on policy: the implication was that she was being unladylike. To many Americans, the revelations about her husbands extramarital sexual proclivities confirmed their notion that Hillary was failing to fulfill the remit of the first lady: to be a pleasant and decorative hostess who represents a traditional and anachronistic household: a man in charge, a faithful and helpful woman by his side( even though a number of other presidents and first dames have also had notable affairs ). Indeed, Clinton blamed the affair in part on herself for failing as a wife.

Michelle Obama also a highly-qualified lawyer, and an expert in health care has, by contrast, taken a less policy-oriented approach to the role. Shes championed family-oriented causes like healthy eating, and maintained her distance from Capitol hill.( In this, she followed more closely the model set by her predecessor Laura Bush, who campaigned for literacy and rarely expressed an opinion .) But Obama has nevertheless been the subject of gendered and racist criticism: of her clothes, of her hair, for being scary, for devoting Queen Elizabeth a hug and for needing to drop a few pounds. Thats a lot to take for a volunteer task.

Ultimately, the base nation of the job of first lady is gendered, a model of wifeliness. The women who have given the role breadth and depth have done so by reimagining or extending the role of a spouse a role that only exists because of a relationship to a husband. What, then, will happen to this anachronistic role if its filled by man?

Former
Former US president Bill Clinton speaks to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clintons advocates during a rally in Bridgeton, Missouri on 8 March 2016. Photograph: Michael B. Thomas/ AFP/ Getty Images

The idea of a former chairman championing Americas dental health, giving tours of White House Christmas decorations or pledging to take care of the president as Jacqueline Kennedy did, seems preposterous. Its notable, but not surprising, that the male partners of female global leader arent burdened with the same kind of responsibilities that females are. Though hed be smashing the glass floor for men in America by becoming the first gentleman( which would be his official title ), Bill Clinton would be far from the worlds first first human. In Germany, Angela Merkels husband, Joachim Sauer, has continued his run as a chemistry prof, although he does attend country occasions alongside her. Earlier, Margaret Thatchers husband, Denis Thatcher, was known for his total devotion to his wife, his remove from politics, and his expression of hard-right positions in private. No one ever cared about what he wore.

The Clintons have alluded to some possible roads that Bill could take: in September, Hillary even told appointing himas her vice-president had crossed her intellect. More recently, at the Democratic debate in South Carolina, she stated that hed be one of her key advisers: Im going to ask for his ideas, Im running ask for his advice, and Im going to use him as a goodwill emissary to go around the country to find the best notions weve get, because I do believe, as he said, everything thats wrong with America has been solved somewhere in America, she said. What hell be called in that role remains unclear: Bill himself has suggested Adam, after the biblical first man.

American girls are increasingly taking the breadwinning roles in their households, but is the model of the dominant wife and supportive husband one that were ready to find palatable in the White House? Since the conclusion of his presidency, much of his time has been taken up with his eponymous foundation, which is run out of an office in New York: its raised nearly$ 2bn. Would propriety and tradition genuinely involve him to step aside from his work during his wifes term in office, as Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton gave up their jobs to move to Washington with their development partners? In an America that had achieved gender equality, one might hope that this would happen. But thats not an America in which we live. It seems unlikely that anyone is going to ask Bill Clinton for his best cookie recipe, and not just because hes a vegan.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Chicago cheers adopted son Obama as he returns for farewell speech as president

Many Chicagoans swell with pride for Barack Obama, whose life and run were enshrined as the best of the south side long before his last presidential address

Zariff can remember cutting Barack Obamas hair for his breakthrough speech at the Democratic national convention address in 2004. I cut it real short for that one, the barber said. He went from medium to short. I thought it should be different.

On Tuesday, Obama will again sit calmly as Zariff, his personal hairdresser for more than two decades, prepares him to walk out before an ecstatic, expectant crowd. This time it will be to deliver his last address as US president. He will reflect on what he got done, what went undone, and what a Donald Trump future portends for America and the world .

Hopes are high that he has one more great speech left in him.

Unlike Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton or George W Bush, Obama has opted to give his farewell address not in the White House but in his adopted home. Chicago, Americas third largest city, is guaranteed to give the president an adoring, raucous, never-let-me-go sendoff.

Such is the strength of feeling for Obama here he will always be Chicagos chairwoman ,~ ATAGEND a city newspaper headline announced last week that rivalry for seats at the primetime event rivalled that for the Broadway musical Hamilton. Swaddled in heavy wintertime coats, hats and gloves, people queued in the frost cold from 4.30 am on Saturday for one of the 7,000 free tickets some of which are now being sold for thousands of dollars online.

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People wait in line for tickets to Barack Obamas parting address in Chicago, most for two or more hours in subzero gust chill temperatures. Photograph: Scott Olson/ Getty Images

One man certain to be in attendance is Zariff who declined to give his full name or age who works at the Hyde Park Hair Salon in Obamas home neighbourhood. Although the shop changed premises a few years ago, it has its most famous patrons regular chair on prominent showing, autographed and behind protective glass, along with photos, newspaper cuttings and even a painting, almost like a shrine.

Zariff said he can recollect very vividly the first time the young lawyer and community organiser strolled in. He never dreamed Obama could be president. But then arrived the convention in Boston in 2004. Thats when I knew it was possible, he reflected. A very bright, very sharp, very focused individual outside the guy who told jokes all the time.

Zariff, who is African American, cut Obamas hair again before his acceptance speech in Grant Park, Chicago ,~ ATAGEND on the night in 2008 he became the first black president in US history. He had to look his best. It was a very special feeling of watching something come to fruition from the beginning.

Since then Zariff has constructed regular journeys to the White House to ensure Obama does not have a hair out of place. When you find a good barber, you hang with him, he explained cheerfully. Its important for a world leader to hold his looking consistent.

Tuesday nights speech will evoke a heap of memories, Zariff added. I will go back all the way to the first time he strolled in the door, to the time of Illinois senator, to the time of senator, to the time of president: all this I will think about. Hes still standing upright, confident, and looking to the future.

Chicago is booming by various measures but grappling with a soaring assassination rate ,~ ATAGEND persistent racial segregation and, last week, a shocking Facebook Live broadcast that apparently proved a person with physical disabilities being bind, gagged and beaten.

Tim Samuelson, the citys official culture historian, told: So much of Barack Obamas formative years were in doing public activism here in Chicago. The challenge of urban life in the city became an environment that shaped him.

Chicago is the newcomer city in the US and grew up virtually overnight. Its always been concerned about how people regarded it. Its induced its mark in many ways, including culturally and artistically, but surely the presidency of Barack Obama is going to be the most lasting and memorable achievement.

Obama was born in Hawaii and spent part of his childhood in Indonesia but afterwards endeavoured to Chicagos south side, which he regards as home . It is where he met his future wife, Michelle Robinson, taught at university, started as a community organiser and has chosen for his presidential library. Today in the Hyde Park neighbourhood there are signs of affection, physical and emotional, for the local hero.

Outside a mundane strip mall, a 3,000 lb lump of granite sits in a flower bed, embedded with a plaque. On this site, President Barack Obama first kissed Michelle Obama, it extol. For good measure, it includes a quotation from Obama:

obamas
A plaque marking the location where Barack and Michelle Obama shared their first kiss in 1989 in Hyde Park, Chicago. Photograph: Scott Olson/ Getty Images

Baskin-Robbins has moved to a new locating a few doorways away. Standing behind a bank of ice cream on a cold day, cashier Bianca Smith, 29, carried a sentiment true for many here: regret at Obamas departure and trepidation at what is to come. I wish he could run again for chairperson. Trump just dont have any experience, especially campaign experience. He cant operate his own damned hotel and now hes going to run the world? Im kind of nervous.

Down the street is Valois ,~ ATAGEND a restaurant that opened in 1921, another favourite Obama haunt. Today it has a menu poster that proclaims, President Obamas favorites, including NY steak and eggs for $9.95 and two flapjacks for $6.25. More photos adorn the walls. Sitting at the window on Monday was Herb Robinson, a property investor, wearing a shirt that blended four Chicago sports teams.

Robinson, 65, who worked on Obamas first campaign and was among the 240,000 people in Grant Park on election night, satisfied the president at Valois. He has an excellent memory and he recollected me from when I was campaigning for him, he said. People here wish he could stay, but he served two terms and thats the most a president can serve.

But Robinson, too, is wary of the next chairman. I dont think very highly of him. Hes a big liar, an exaggerator. America is definitely going to make a change for the worse. I dont trust him. I dont believe a word he tells. Full of shit. It astounded me how he got in.

Below street level, the low-ceilinged 57th Street Books ,~ ATAGEND meanwhile, is where Obama launched his two volumes. For the first, Dreams from My Father( 1995 ), only about half a dozen people turned up, according to urban legend. For the second, The Audacity of Hope, the crowd was more substantial.

The shop is part of Seminary Co-op Bookstores, of which Obama has been a member since the 1980 s. Its director, Jeff Deutsch, will be at the speech on Tuesday night. There are a couple of different Chicagos, he said. What Obama means to history is the best of the south side: a wonderfully diverse community that has deep roots and cares about notions, justice, empathy, compassion. Hes been incredibly inclusive and thats been part of this community as well.

At Medici ,~ ATAGEND a restaurant with faux medieval decor that promoted customers to write graffiti, one section of wall has been framed behind glass: it is signed, Malia Obama with a heart. The family are applied to dine here but not all todays patrons are fans. Diner Joel Smith, 65, a retired technologist, will not be watching the parting address. Im glad hes run, he said. It was eight years of nothing.

Jobs have gone abroad, the countrys in a sad state militarily and hes promulgated all sorts of antisemitic policies. Why do you think Trump got elected? Now Obamas going to build a library in the park, so he can still rule and people will kiss his ring.

Strictly speaking, however, Obama will go back to what he was: a citizen.

Jon Arnold, 57, a journalist and historian, recalled a sighting in Hyde Park long before the world had heard the name Barack Obama. He was standing with a clipboard petitioning to be state senator. I said, There goes another sleazy legislator wholl never get anywhere.

Read more: www.theguardian.com