'Institutional racism' / Rolled away / R.I.P., AIM

‘INSTITUTIONAL RACISM.’ A group of public-interest lawyers is suing Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios, accusing him of producing inaccurate property tax assessments that punished poor and minority homeowners—under a veil of secrecy that “undermines public trust and confidence.”
The Tribune’s Eric Zorn dissects a complaint Berrios is spreading a “malicious lie” about one of his challengers.

‘WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON IN CHICAGO?’ The president carted out one of his favorite lines this morning as he spoke at the FBI training academy.
Before that speech, the president opened the door to pardoning his former adviser Mike Flynn for lying to the FBI.
In Senate testimony, a Trump judicial nominee flunked basic questions about the law.

TAX TROUBLE. With a threatened loss of a key Senate vote—every vote is key with Republicans’ slim margin of control—the party’s plan to overhaul the nation’s taxation structure is in jeopardy.
Small victory for Democrats: Republicans have abandoned a provision that would have let churches back political candidates.
In one day, the president’s education secretary was hit with two lawsuits over the backlog of federal student loan forgiveness applications.
Is the president’s son-in-law about to leave the White House?

ROLLED AWAY. Chicago’s River North Rock ’n’ Roll McDonald’s is closing for remodeling at the end of the year—to reopen in the spring without the rock theme. (2007 photo: Antonio Vernon.)
Meanwhile, in the South Loop, the new Wintrust Arena—billed as a boost to an emerging entertainment district—is pissing off the district’s other businesses and customers.

‘SEARCH ALL YOU WANT, YOU WON’T EVER FIND IT.’ Jimmy Kimmel had a skeptical response on Twitter to a report that House Speaker Paul Ryan is searching his soul about his political future.
In Esquire, Charlie Pierce on Ryan: Good Riddance to the Biggest Fake in American Politics.”

R.I.P., AIM. The app that introduced generations to instant messaging is dead as of today.
Stephen Colbert, along with other late-night hosts, mourns the FCC’s decision to end internet neutrality regulations: “The only thing that should slow your internet speed is the number of people also sitting at Starbucks working on their screenplays.”
What the FCC vote could mean for you.
Conservative media conglomerate Sinclair’s poised to win OK today to take over Tribune Media, parent of Chicago’s WGN-TV and Radio.

‘WLS IS BETTING ON THE WRONG HORSE.’ Neil Steinberg mourns a Chicago radio station’s decision to dump broadcast veterans Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano—“the latest example of huge media companies … deciding that what is easiest and cheapest to offer is also best for listeners everywhere.”
Microsoft’s Bing search engine is wading into the “fake news” wars with a feature one PC World columnist fears could be gamed.

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