July 18, 2017

'Body' trouble / Health care adrift / 'It needs to be stopped'

‘BODY’ TROUBLE. In the continuing shakeup of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s team—a process one insider describes as staffers “dropping like flies”—the governor’s newly hired “body man” (travel assistant) is out, fired in his first day on the job after the administration learned of his “history of writing racially-charged, homophobic and sexually explicit tweets.”

The latest round of hateful staff emails disclosed in a City Hall investigation includes an ex-Chicago alderman’s son’s use of city email to describe African-Americans as “wild animals.”
The Tribune’s Dahleen Glanton, an African-American: “I love it when white people get more upset than black people do over racist comments.”

GAME MISCONDUCT. Chicago Inspector General Joe Ferguson reports penalties for 13 city employees in a scheme to block off a street near the United Center so friends and relatives could park for free during Bulls and Blackhawks games.
An autopsy concludes the widowed cop whose cop husband was shot and killed drowned in her bathtub after drinking alcohol and taking an antidepressant.

HE’S BAAAAACK. Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert is out of the Minnesota prison where he’s spent 13 months for breaking banking laws to hide his sexual abuse of teenage boys.
At least eight “registered sex offenders” have worked for the city since 2003, but City Hall doesn’t track whether they’re obeying legal restrictions.

THEY AIN’T LEAVIN TILL THEY’RE … Chicago-area waterfront residents who love their homes despite repeated flooding tell the Daily Herald why they stay.
The start of 2017 is now tied for the second-most storm disasters on record.
Arctic heat is now a thing.
A host of startups is itching to turn Los Angeles into a lab for dealing with the scorching temperatures that accompany global warming.

HEALTH CARE ADRIFT. The latest Republican effort to overhaul the Affordable Care Act has collapsed.
Esquire’s Charlie Pierce: “Mitch McConnell’s latest dead fish appears to be not merely dead, but really most sincerely dead.”

‘I FEEL LIKE I’M CHEATING ON MY WIFE.’ The only guy playing President Trump’s Southern California golf club on a recent afternoon exemplifies the challenges Trump’s businesses face.
The Trump family hasn’t revealed where its new brand of budget hotels will go or who its partners will be. ProPublica explains how you can join a crowd-sourced effort to figure that out.
As the president proudly declared “Made in America” week, Trump-branded items were notably among the missing.

THE 8th MAN (OR WOMAN) MYSTERY. The hunt’s on for the identity of one still-unidentified person in that meeting among Russians and the president’s son during last year’s campaign. CNN updates the lineup.
Ex-Clinton and Romney campaign chiefs are teaming up to fight election hacking.
Columnist Rex Huppke to Trump: If Hillary Clinton “is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, then she should be charged, tried and, if guilty, locked up. But if you’re going to do none of those things, you can’t really say, ‘What I’m doing might look bad, but what she did was criminal!’”

‘IT NEEDS TO BE STOPPED.’
Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown wants your help finding out who’s behind The Illinois Chronicle, a political campaign vehicle masquerading as a legitimate news organization.”
An executive of Sinclair Broadcast Group, the demonstrably conservative outfit jockeying to buy the parent of Chicago’s WGN-TV and Radio, says “biased” news organizations have “an agenda to destroy our reputation.”
Why “fake news” isn’t really a thing: Your Square proprietor expounds in a Deerfield Public Library podcast.

GOOGLE GLASS REUNION. Version 2.0 of the company’s smart eyewear aims to become a workplace tool for factory and warehouse workers.
Amazon plans to hire 800 for a Chicago-area shipping center set to open this fall.
… And one of its next frontiers looks to be meal kit delivery.
One of the hottest sectors in tech: Developing voice-command “skills” for Amazon’s Alexa smart speakers.



BOB AND DOUG, REUNITED. In a sold-out show, Bob and Doug McKenzie (the fictional brotherly Canadian comedy team played by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas) take the stage together for the first time in years tonight at Toronto’s Second City.
(Photo: Your Square proprietor, Thomas, Moranis and Terri Hemmert at WXRT-FM studios in the 1980s.)

CORRECTIONS.
Yesterday’s Square misspelled “bred,” as in “Chicago-bred.” To Square’s slight credit, your proprietor was first to catch the error. But vigilant book publisher and former Kansas City Star TV critic Aaron Barnhart was the first reader to report the problem. The reliable Mike Braden caught an extra word in that lead item, too.
Yes, “New York” is still two words.
Also: An errant period in the subject line.
Reminder: If you’re first to email Ouch@ChicagoPublicSquare.com about a goof in Square—no matter how trivial (we love trivial!)—you can see your name here in pixels.

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