Illinois strike? / Department poor / New 'Hamilton' tickets

ILLINOIS STRIKE? Members of the state’s largest employees union, AFSCME, have authorized their leaders to call a walkout if they can’t come to terms with Gov. Bruce Rauner’s government on a new deal.

Eric Zorn to AFSCME: Work a full 40 hours/week.
 Rauner says he backs an “Obama Day” for Illinois—so long as it doesn’t mean time off for state workers.
 The national AFL-CIO is laying off dozens of employees as membership declines.

DEVELOPING: In a speech this morning to the conservative group CPAC, President Trump clarified his “enemy of the American people” slam. He says he meant that just for the “fake” media. And he took aim again at Chicago’s violence problems.
 Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson says “We’ve made requests to the White House and the Justice Department for them to support our work” against violent crime. But, he says, “We are still waiting.”

IMMIGRATION ‘CHAOS.’ One immigration expert says that’s the only consistent characteristic of the Trump administration’s message.
 … and it may cost the U.S. tourism industry $3 billion.
 Rauner and other Illinois government leaders say they won’t do much to implement Trump’s immigration crackdown plans.
 An underground network is forming to hide immigrants.

‘THIS IS THE GOVERNMENT LASHING OUT FOR NO GOOD REASON AT VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES.’ But Neil Steinberg finds some good news in the Trump administration’s moves on immigration and student bathroom use—at least for Americans not in “the Old South which, denied the fun of grinding down black folk … has had to get creative.”
 Chicago rally for transgender rights set for Saturday.
 Potential Illinois gubernatorial candidate Pritzker backs down from tweet suggesting “everyone should use the other gender’s bathroom.”
 Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan backs a bill to make harassment on Facebook, Twitter and other social media prosecutable.
 U.S. Education Secretary DeVos says university professors are infringing on First Amendment rights.

‘CARTOON LUNATIC.’ ABC-7 Chicago sportscaster Mark Giangreco’s tweet about Donald Trump and the “simpletons” who elected him has earned him a suspension from the station.
 Hundreds of protesters demand Illinois Democrats do more to oppose Trump.

 JCPenney is closing at least 130 stores.
 Sears is cutting 130 jobs.
 Nordstrom is tightening its belt. (Presumably not this one.)

‘BLATANT MERYL STREEP WORSHIP.’ That’s one of the squares in Vanity Fair’s downloadable Academy Award Bingo sheets.
 12 potential Oscar firsts.
 Jordan (“Key and”) Peele’s new “social horror movie” is earning raves for being “more fun, and more provocative, than it is scary.”
 What’s coming to and going away from Netflix next month.

NEW ‘HAMILTON’ TICKETS. Blocks of passes to four months’ worth of Chicago shows go on sale Monday.

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