‘Vaccine favoritism.’ After ex-Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner pumped a quarter-million dollars into Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ campaign fund, Rauner’s ultra-exclusive neighborhood got hundreds of early COVID-19 vaccinations.
■ A DeSantis spokesperson tells the Miami Herald DeSantis wasn’t involved in the decision, but she didn’t explain how the enclave was selected.
■ After some early glitches, thousands have registered for shots at the United Center.
■ The U.S. Army has assigned 200 soldiers to help out at the UC.
■ Those pistol-shaped fever scanners security people have been pointing at your forehead? They could be hindering efforts to control the coronavirus.
■ Midwestern universities are moving toward a more normal campus experience this fall.
■ PolitiFact says MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow was wrong when she said “President Trump never encouraged Americans to get vaccinated.”
■ The Onion: “COVID Announces Plan To Move Operations To Texas Full-Time To Escape Burdensome Regulations.”
‘Not the year.’ Chicago’s top doc is urging people not to hold big St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
■ 60-degree weather is on the way next week.
‘Not fair!’ That guy photographed mugging at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s
desk office during the Jan. 6 insurrection—a man who once described himself as prepared for a violent death—sounds kinda whiny after a few weeks in jail.
■ The first member of the Trump administration to face criminal charges in connection with the Capitol riot is a former State Department aide.
■ House impeachment manager Rep. Eric Swalwell is suing Trump, his son, his lawyer and a Republican congressman whose actions he says led to January’s insurrection.
■ A University of California professor explains why white supremacists and QAnon enthusiasts are obsessed with—but wrong about—the Byzantine Empire. (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)
‘Ending the forever wars.’ Days after President Biden used his authority to attack Iranian-backed militia in Syria, his press secretary says he’s ready to replace that broad presidential power “with a narrow and specific framework.”
■ The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple: “When will Biden hold a press conference?”
‘I was 134 pounds when I started. Today I am 117 pounds.’ A month-long hunger strike to protest a move of the polluting General Iron metal-shredding business to the Southeast Side is over …
■ … but the fight isn’t.
■ The Discover credit-card company is opening a customer care center in a former Target store on the South Side, with plans to hire as many as 1,000 people over the next three years.
■ The Tribune: “About 40,000 people just lost unemployment benefits in Illinois. Here’s why, and who will lose them next.”
Keep Chicago Public Square on your mind. We’re giving three of an extremely limited run of Square caps to supporters who step up before midnight Sunday. Here’s how.
‘Danger to the thousands of young people served.’ Accused of failing to take accusations of sexual assault seriously, two top leaders are out at Young Chicago Authors—maybe best known for its youth poetry festival, Louder Than a Bomb.
■ Trib columnist Mary Schmich on the retirement of certain Dr. Seuss books: “His work is from a different time / He did not mean it as a crime / But in this time there’s no excuse / For certain books by Dr. Seuss.”
■ The Sun-Times’ Neil Steinberg: “Why endanger the huge sales of The Lorax to keep a third-rater like If I Ran the Zoo in stock?”
Fix-it fight. The movement to keep manufacturers from blocking users’ ability to repair their products—including cell phones—is coming to Illinois, where lawmakers are considering the Digital Fair Repair Act.
■ A coalition of tech activist groups is making it easy to contact your legislator.
■ Farmers are on-board, too, looking for the right to fix their tractors.
■ The Tribune: House Speaker Michael Madigan’s retirement is accelerating “a shift in Chicago politics from old-school machine to new-era progressives.”
■ The Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet recounts how U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly won control of the Illinois Democratic Party—with “a high-stakes head fake.”
‘As gloriously funny … as the original.’ The Sun-Times’ Richard Roeper likes Eddie Murphy’s Coming to America sequel on Amazon Prime.
■ NPR’s Aisha Harris differs: “A convoluted, awkwardly rendered plot and some truly backwards perspectives.”
Midway Minute is a Chicago Public Square partner.