‘False claims and factual omissions’ / Amazon under fire / 25 years ago …

‘False claims and factual omissions.’ The Sun-Times puts the lie to a Republican-controlled congressional hearing on crime in Chicago.

‘Police increasingly fail to comply with the law.’ WBEZ and the Investigative Project on Race and Equity: Traffic stops of Black drivers in Illinois have hit a 20-year high.
 Block Club Chicago: Critics say a series of tweets calling out people for driving on Promontory Point bike paths and parking on green spaces “essentially targeted non-white parkgoers relaxing at the park.”

‘Trump’s Golden Tower of Fraud.’ That’s The Bulwark’s Charlie Sykes on a New York State judge’s ruling that the real estate empire that propelled Donald Trump to the White House was built on a foundation of deception committed for decades.
 Attorney George Conway—ex-husband of Trump apologist Kellyanne Conway—calls it “the equivalent of the corporate death penalty for the Trump organization.”

‘A Swiftie Sway or a BeyoncĂ© Bump’? Columnist Rex Huppke: Republicans have reason to fear voters who register at the urging of the day’s two most influential pop stars.
 The AP: The debaters face a “growing urgency” to stop Trump—who won’t be there.

‘Biden should not have been there.’ A Tribune editorial says the president’s decision to join auto workers on the picket line cost him “the subsequent ability to act as an honest broker.”

‘The $100,000 worth of gold bars are because I was briefly afflicted with the Midas Touch. I got better. But by the time I was better, I had already touched a lot of bars.’ Washington Post satirist Alexandra Petri scripts an out for New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez (gift link, courtesy of Chicago Public Square supporters).
 Add Illinois Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth to the list of more than half the Senate’s Democrats calling on Menendez to quit.
 Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Will Bunch: Leaders of the Republican Party don’t want him to leave—because “imposing a rigid ethical standard … would call attention to the raging fires of corruption that currently engulf its own house.”

Not so welcoming? A couple of City Council members want a vote on whether Chicago should continue to offer official protection for undocumented immigrants.
 The Sun-Times spells out how a looming shutdown of the federal government could affect Chicago and Illinois.

Amazon under fire. On the 109th anniversary of the Federal Trade Commission’s creation, the FTC and 17 states—not including Illinois—filed a landmark case accusing the company of abusing its dominance and crippling competitors.
 Blaming “theft and organized retail crime,” Target is closing nine stores across four states—not including any in Illinois.

CPAP perils. ProPublica: The manufacturer of breathing machines that went to kids, the elderly and close to three-quarters of a million veterans—many during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic—breathed not a word publicly about internal warnings that the devices posed an “unacceptable” risk.
 A man dealing with long COVID tells WTTW, “I feel like we’ve been abandoned and forgotten.”
 Politico: Cholera’s back.

New life for old Macs. Apple’s unleashed a free operating system upgrade for its Macintosh computers.
 Jason Snell at Six Colors: “Apple has gone above and beyond what was required to bring a little delight.”

A Square advertiser
The Headline Club is hosting a Movie Night at the Music Box Theatre
Thursday. The event will feature a screening of the film She Said, based on the book by Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times investigative reporter Megan Twohey, who’ll be on hand for a VIP reception, the screening and a conversation afterward. Tickets and donation information can be found here.

One strike down. Even though union members haven’t voted on a new contract, the Hollywood writers’ walkout is over …
 … setting the stage for (link updated, dates confirmed) talk shows’ return as soon as next week.

About paywalls. A reader of Eric Zorn’s newsletter despaired at the paywalls Chicago Public Square readers sometimes encounter …
 … prompting Square reader G.J. to offer another solution: The “12ft ladder.”
 Columnist Matt Baron analyzes a Tribune blurb that got a football score wrong and perceives “a lesson in following the facts, not relying on presumptions.”
 The Florida chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists says the national organization is broke, “and they don’t want you to know this.”

25 years ago today …
 Square’s spiritual ancestor made its debut.

End pledge tyranny. Some websites dictate how much you pay to express your support. But you can back Squarerecurringly or with a one-time tip—for any amount you choose.

Congrats! Here are the winners of Conversation stickers for their promptly excellent scores in last week’s news quiz: Ed Sackley, Eric Hochstein, Sue Gregoire, Teresa Savino and Mark Petersen. Yay, you all!

‘Fearmongering and lies’ / ‘The Klan murdered my protector’ / Presidential first

… and we’re back. Did you miss Chicago Public Square yesterday? Consider supporting this service to ensure it always comes back after a break. And now the news:

‘Fearmongering and lies.’ Gov. Pritzker is among those condemning U.S. House Republicans’ gathering in Chicago for a forum on crime instead of doing something to, you know, keep the government from shutting down.
 Surprise (not): It’ll be held at Fraternal Order of Police HQ.
 Chicago’s overnight crimes include the case of a North Side AT&T store where robbers zip-tied the staff as they stole phones and other products.
 As of next week, DePaul’s going to require IDs to enter campus buildings.

Tow trick. Chicago police say scammers are using tow trucks to steal cars from crash scenes downtown.
 The AP: “New cars are supposed to be getting safer. So why are fatalities on the rise?
 The Lever: California’s governor’s veto of a safety bill governing driverless trucks illustrates the rise of the robotruck lobby.

Hands off, Trump. Visiting a South Carolina gun store yesterday, the former president said he wanted to buy a Glock handgun—but federal law says he can’t …
 … so the Trump campaign is walking back a claim he did.
 USA Today columnist Rex Huppke: Brace for this week’s “veritable tsunami of GOP stupidity.”

‘The Klan murdered my protector.’ In a heartbreaking account of his childhood as a bullied kid, former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich recalls how his benefactor went on to be killed while campaigning to register Black voters in Mississippi.
 The Supreme Court today allowed the drawing of a new Alabama congressional map—replacing a Republican-drawn version that diluted Blacks’ votes.
 ProPublica: “Wisconsin’s Republicans went to extremes in gerrymandering. Now they’re scrambling to protect that power.”
 Pro-Israel Political Update columnist Steve Sheffey: “The GOP Is antisemitism central.”
 Meanwhile, across the aisle: The Bulwark’s Charlie Sykes gleefully declares indicted Democratic New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez “an old-school crook.”

‘The heart of the dry rot afflicting our political coverage.’ Esquire’s Charlie Pierce condemns an ABC/Washington Post presidential poll. (If you hit a paywall, copy that link into an incognito browser window.)
 Columnist Isaac Schorr: “Stop giving bad, misleading polls attention.”
 NewsGuard: Twitter’s X’s engagement “soared by 70% for Russian, Chinese and Iranian disinformation sources following a change by Elon Musk.”

‘A brief tornado’? The National Weather Service says that’s a possibility today …
 … as the Chicago area faces the prospect of severe storms, with hail and heavy rain.
 The Heat Rising newsletter: Despite more bad weather, “people are still buying houses in hurricane-prone and wildfire-prone areas … [as] state-operated insurers have been … effectively propping up housing markets.”

Pandemic puzzle. Your Local Epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina says the first winter with COVID-19 that we’re not in a public health emergency poses a big question for hospitals and nursing homes: “Do we reinstate mandatory masking?
 COVID gets part of the blame for a cutback in flights at London’s Gatwick Airport.
 Free at-home COVID tests are back, baby …
 ProPublica: A New York security guard who enforced a school district’s mask mandate wound up facing a criminal charge.

Florida library purge. Popular Information: One school district has ordered librarians to remove all books featuring LGBTQ characters—even those where “a character has, for example, two mothers or … a gay best friend.”
 Columnist Matt Baron: “I love Wikipedia … a champion of creating accurate information for all.”

Move over, Hal. Amazon’s teaming up with the University of Illinois to launch a new center for artificial intelligence research.
 Author and columnist Cory Doctorow: Apple “is dreaming up new ways to sneakily sabotage electronics repair while claiming to be a caring environmental steward, a lie that covers up the mountains of e-waste that Apple dooms our descendants to wade through.”

Presidential first. In what filmmaker and author Michael Moore calls “The Day the Filthy Rich Were Sure Would Never Come,” Joe Biden was set today to do something no one can recall another chief executive doing: Walk the picket line with United Auto Workers.
 Chicago writers are celebrating the tentative end of their long strike against Hollywood …
 … which could bring the return of late-night TV shows next month …
 … although actor-y guests may be in short supply because their separate strike continues.

‘I was not informed of the hoops the public would be asked to jump through—and if I had been, I would not have encouraged my audience to go through all of this.’ Moore apologizes for telling his readers—in a post shared Friday by Chicago Public Square—that they could watch a new show on Apple TV+ for free.
 Brace yourself for ads on Amazon’s Prime Video—unless you’re willing to pay even more.

Heal quick, Rick. Author and media columnist Rick Kaempfer, who on Sept. 15 declared himself on break, has unfortunately taken that word literally—breaking his arm in three places while mountain biking.
 His Facebook post: “Guess I’m not a teenager anymore.”
 Columnist Eric Zorn mourns: “The major news outlets in Chicago no longer pay much attention to developments in local media … even though the local media scene is more diverse and multi-dimensional than ever, and facing more challenges than ever.”

Ciao, Gina’s. Berwyn-area residents are mourning the shuttering of Gina’s Italian Ice.
 Owner Gina Tremonte on Instagram: “It’s been a pleasure serving you for the past 46 years.”
 The closure followed an unsuccessful effort to sell the building and business (June link).

A Square advertiser
The Headline Club is hosting a Movie Night at the Music Box Theatre
 Thursday. The event will feature a screening of the film She Said, based on the book by Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times investigative reporter Megan Twohey, who’ll be on hand for a VIP reception, the screening and a conversation afterward. Tickets and donation information can be found here.

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