November 1, 2017

'This degree means nothing' / Born abroad, radicalized here / 'He had so much power over me'

‘THIS DEGREE MEANS NOTHING.’ A long-ago City Colleges of Chicago student reacts to the Better Government Association’s discovery

that Mayor Emanuel’s team created a “grand illusion” the system’s graduation rate has risen—partly by awarding degrees to students who didn’t know they’d received them.
… And the rich get richer: The University of Chicago’s econ department is getting a new name—the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics—after getting a $125 million donation from the state’s richest man, whose name is Kenneth C. Griffin.

HOSPITALS GRADED. A Chicago hospital is one of only 15 nationwide to get an F for safety in a nonprofit evaluation. But 10 in Illinois got As for the fifth year in a row.
Happy Obamacare Enrollment Opening Day.

BORN ABROAD, RADICALIZED HERE. Updating story: New York’s governor says the immigrant accused of mowing down people on a bike path near New York’s World Trade Center became an ISIS acolyte after he entered the U.S.
CBS News: From his hospital bed, the suspect told police he’s pleased with his actions.
He was interviewed by the FBI in 2015.
USA Today: Things to know about his native Uzbekistan.
President Trump is blaming the suspect’s presence in the U.S. on Democratic New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, but a Republican says Trump’s wrong.
Uber says the driver had passed its background check.
One teacher has now seen three deadly attacks from inside New York’s Stuyvesant High School.
A New York columnist: Cities can do more to protect bike paths.

‘WE’RE GOING TO … MAKE A CASE THAT THE PRESIDENT SHOULD BE IMPEACHED.’ Chicago Rep. Luis Gutierrez says that, by Thanksgiving, Congress will have articles of impeachment. (See his speech to the City Club here.)
Neil Steinberg: “Russia did not interfere in the American election because it felt Donald Trump would be the best person to lead the United States. … They did it because … they knew what a disaster Trump would be as president.”
Sen. Al Franken loses it in a hearing on social media’s role in the 2016 election: “How did Facebook … not make the connection that electoral ads paid for in rubles were coming from Russia?”
Updating story: Today’s continuing hearings on Russia and social media.
Poynter columnist James Warren profiles the blogger who helped nail Paul Manafort.

‘HE HAD SO MUCH POWER OVER ME.’ A victim rights advocate has provided the Sun-Times with hundreds of Facebook messages that she says demonstrate how an Illinois state senator used “mind games” to harass her.
At least one state lawmaker refuses to undergo anti-harassment training.
Six women are accusing moviemaker Brett Ratner (Rush Hour, X-Men: The Last Stand, The Revenant) of harassment and misconduct.
NPR’s news chief Michael Oreskes is on leave after at least two women accused him of harassment when he worked at The New York Times—whose former editor now regrets not confronting him at the time. (Personal note: Oreskes last year presented me with an Edward R. Murrow Award.)
-- Update: 11:22 a.m.: He’s out.

ROYAL RECEPTION. Michelle Obama and Prince Harry, in town for the first Obama Foundation Summit, yesterday paid a surprise visit to the South Side school across the street from the future location of the Obama Center.
An Obama Center architect says he’s considering relocating a controversial garage.

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ANNOUNCEMENTS.
Yesterday’s Chicago Public Square erroneously stated that “All counties in Illinois are among those where the Kaiser Family Foundation concludes the lowest-cost bronze plan premium will cost $0 after a 2018 tax credit.” That should have said “almost all counties …”
Most-clicked link in yesterday’s edition? This one.
Don’t miss that $5 discount for Square readers on tickets for the Nov. 20 interview of Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me! host Peter Sagal at Dominican University.
Today marks the 25th anniversary of my first interview with Pulitzer-winning columnist Dave Barry, who explained his distinctive approach to grammar, typography and punctuation: “I want it to look like a raving lunatic is writing.” (2011 photo: Amazur.)

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