September 27, 2017
you wake up tomorrow morning and learn that a 5,000 square mile area of U.S. land, inhabited by about 3 1/2 million U.S. citizens, has been hit by the equivalent of a 10-megaton warhead. And now imagine that the area was hit not just once but once every 20 minutes - for weeks! Do you think such an event might immediately get the complete attention of our nation's president and every member of our congress? - You'd think so, wouldn't you?
Well, over the past few weeks such a disaster has actually played out in the U.S. Territory of Puerto Rico. I admit that mixing a nuclear weapons reference into a discussion of Puerto Rico's hurricanes may be a stretch, but I wanted to make the point that the power behind the devastation that just hit Puerto Rico was of a size almost beyond our comprehension.
According to my amateur scientific research, the amount of energy released by an "average" hurricane (category 3) is equal to the energy released by the detonation of a 10-megaton nuclear warhead, once every twenty minutes, for days. And, the two hurricanes that hit our Caribbean territory over the past few weeks were both dramatically stronger than category 3.
Category 5 Irma glanced by the island on September 6, and knocked out 70% of Puerto Rico's electrical infrastructure. Then on September 20, Maria, -- a category 4 storm when it hit - further flooded the land and further flattened everything, destroying virtually all of the remaining electrical power grid, thousands of homes and large swaths of vegetation across the island.
The mega-tonnage punch of these tandem disasters has left all Puerto Ricans - remember, they're fellow American citizens - facing many months, if not years, of daunting hardship. It will be like a society recovering from a war. Millions of these human beings will be facing a future of rebuilding a chunk of American land the size of Connecticut from scratch.
So where was President Trump as the scope of this destruction became urgently clear? He was in Alabama, reveling in the applause of his voter base. The President was focusing his time and energy on campaigning for Luther Strange, the President's choice to replace Jeff Sessions in the U.S. Senate. (Luther lost.) Trump's adoring fans were applauding him for his patriotic stand against all of those NFL player "S.O.B.'s" who have been kneeling in protest during pre-game U.S. flag presentations.
It seems the only time our President is completely confident is when he's slinging the pugnacious rhetoric his voter base loves. And in Alabama, combining Trump's bravado with any subject connected to football is a sure-fire winner. Especially when it also includes criticism of "uppity" black sports entertainers who should know better than to disrupt the pleasurable experience of NFL game viewers.
But don't kid yourself. I'm convinced Donald Trump couldn't care less about The Flag or the National Anthem or patriotism in general. If he possessed such passions it's unlikely he'd have five very questionable draft deferments in his past. Trump's first (and maybe only) passion is for Trump. But he does possess a natural instinct for "playing" his audiences, and that is all he was doing in Alabama. No more, no less.
So, now that the media and more of the public has begun to question President Trump's priorities concerning the Puerto Rican disaster, will his attention span allow him to lead serious recovery efforts in the coming months, not just for Puerto Ricans but for the victims of hurricanes in Texas and Florida? Or, will his unquenchable need for attention and applause keep launching him in new irrelevant directions? Members of Congress - both Republicans and Democrats - can and should keep a spotlight on the need for this recovery work. Will they? We shall see.
At this point I've accepted the reality that our President is an insecure, incomplete man. He will never be what a great president should be. And unfortunately it looks like his personal needs will lead him to create new divisive issues (real or imagined), public anger and distrust, and distractions from the serious work at hand.
Ironically, Trump's rant in Alabama has renewed discussion of exactly why NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and now a number of other black athletes, are "taking a knee" during pre-game flag ceremonies. Kaepernick's actions were inspired by the Black Lives Matter Movement, a movement that was losing the general public's attention. Now Trump's Alabama bravado may have unintentionally reinvigorated a national discussion of the racist, and too often fatal, undercurrents that continue to exist between law enforcement and black Americans.
If that national discussion gains new energy, then this time for a change, our President's loud mouth will have actually produced something positive.
NTDO member since 1973
P.S. Last Monday night, a crowd of sociable Democrats gathered at
the Tudor Pub in Glencoe
. The event was co-sponsored by the New Trier Dems and the Tenth Dems. A lot of interesting conversation took place. And with what we've been witnessing lately here at home and around the world, everyone agreed that a drink now and then isn't a bad idea.
There are plans to continue having these events from time to time. Let the
know if you like the idea or have any suggestions.
Are your NTD annual dues up to date? You can only vote at endorsement meetings if you're paid up.
Check with the NTD office if you're not sure when your "annual dues date" is.
To renew your NTD membership or to become an official member of the New Trier Dems for the first time,
. You'll see information on all your membership options.
Mark your Calendar &
Get your tickets now!
For The NTDO Annual Dinner
With Illinois' Gubernatorial Race underway
and U.S. House investigations
of Russian election meddling going on,
this will be an NTDO Dinner
you won't want to miss!
Sunday, October 8
Reception at 5:00pm; Dinner at 6:15pm
Where: Maggiano's Little Italy Restaurant,
4999 Old Orchard Center,
Old Orchard Shopping Center, Skokie, IL
New Trier Dems host our 2017 Annual Dinner and fundraiser with Featured Speaker U.S. Representative Mike Quigley from Illinois' 5th Congressional District. Rep. Quigley is a Member of the influential House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which oversees the activities of the entire Intelligence Community. He will address current national security issues and provide an update on the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. For more information about Rep. Quigley, please visit his website.
Daniel Biss, Chris Kennedy, J.B. Pritzker and possibly others will reveal their plans for Illinois.
Democratic gubernatorial candidates
make a reservation for our
Annual Dinner, please visit the New Trier Dems' ActBlue page.
Note: This year the Dinner is introducing a new category of
"Next Generation" tickets for Democrats under 40 years of age:
-- Just $100 each.
For immediate action! --
Call Gov. Rauner. Tell him to sign HB40!
A message from New Trier 18th Dist. State Rep. Robyn Gabel:
"This is urgent. Reproductive rights are on the line in Illinois.
HB40, the bill that protects a women's right to abortion if Roe v Wade is overturned, is now on Governor Rauner's desk.
After promising to sign a bill like this during his campaign, Governor Rauner is now undecided. We need you to help him decide to support a women's right to choose. The opposition is urging the Governor to veto HB40.
Call Governor Rauner and demand that he uphold his campaign promise to protect reproductive rights for women and SIGN HB40.
He can be reached in Springfield at
or in Chicago at
Thanks for all you do,
Upcoming Events of interest:
Wednesday, Oct. 4 in Northbrook -
An Evening with Mike Papantonio
Wednesday, October 4, from 6:30 - 9:00pm
Pinstripes, 1150 Willow, Northbrook
Tenth Dems and United for Democracy sponsor an evening with
Mike Papantonio, an expert on the corporate media, who will address the power of the media in determining the messages they want us to hear. Mike, a practicing attorney, is one of the hosts of "Ring of Fire" on WCPT radio, and is president of the National Trial Lawyers Association. He has received honors for his trial work on behalf of consumers.
Admission includes food and a free glass of wine.
FYI: The NTDO Events Calendar
for the rest of 2017
Oct. 8 2017 NTDO ANNUAL DINNER
Maggiano's Old Orchard, Skokie, 5 pm-9 pm
Nov. (Date & Place TBA)
"HEAD START FOR 2018" CONFERENCE
All North Shore Democrats Invited
Have you visited Senator Biss' website "The Road Back" --
click on the link to his video -- then, throughout the summer follow his plan's development on the website.
Daniel explains a lot about how Illinois got where it is today and how we can begin the journey on the road back toward achieving our state's tremendous economic potential.
who represent New Trier Township in
Washington, Springfield and Cook County
You'll be hearing a lot from these exceptional public servants. --
And they want to be hearing a lot from you.
The fact is, they need to hear from you and want to hear from you in order to represent you most effectively. So, the first thing you can do is get to know who these people are. The links below to their campaign websites are a good place to start.
, 9th U.S. Congressional District Representative
and Chief Deputy House Democratic Whip. The new Ninth District boundaries include all of New Trier except for Glencoe.
, 10th U.S. Congressional District Representative which includes a number of precincts in Glencoe.
Julie Morrison, State Senator for Illinois' 29th State Senate District
State Senator for Illinois' 9th State Senate Distric
t.The Ninth District includes all of New Trier Township.
. The district includes New Trier's northernmost precincts.
IL 18th District State Representative
. The 18th District includes much of New Trier up to Hazel Avenue and Dundee Road.
, IL 17th District State Representative.
The 17th District includes the East Glenview and West Wilmette areas of New Trier Township.
IL 58th District State Representative.
The 58th District includes the northernmost precincts in Glencoe.
Larry Suffredin, Cook County 13th District Commissioner. The 13th District includes all of New Trier, Evanston and Niles Townships.
Dear Fellow Democrats,
If you are not already an NTDO member, and enjoy our Newsletter, we hope you consider joining us as a dues-paying member. NTDO is a not-for-profit political action organization. We depend on our membership dues to support our Democratic causes and candidates.
There are two options for dues payments: by check or credit card.
By Check: Make check payable to NTDO and mail to our office:
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By Credit Card: visit our website by clicking here
Click on the "Join/Contribute" button
Find the link for "contribute with ActBlue"
or go directly to ActBlue by clicking here.
|Still not a member of the New Trier Dems? Your participation in grassroots political action will make a difference. -- Come join us.
When you're a member of the New Trier Democratic Organization, you have an active role in affecting the political process; participating in grassroots campaigns, staying in touch with elected officials, playing a role in deciding which candidates are endorsed. You'll also gain free admission to select forums and events throughout the year.
Come be a part of New Trier's grassroots political community.
The New Trier Democratic Organization is made up of hundreds of grassroots volunteers dedicated to advancing progressive ideals through the political process. We welcome your participation.
Dean T. Maragos, Committeeman New Trier Township
We are located at 800 Oak Street, Suite 112, in Winnetka, IL. Ph: 847-446-8030
*This Internet communication paid for by the New Trier Democratic Organization and not authorized by any federal or state candidate or campaign committee. A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is available for purchase from the State Board of Elections in Springfield, Illinois.