Pay attention / Surge overkill? / Oops

Pay attention. If you’ve ever complained about Illinois government, you should watch tonight’s first live TV debate among the Democrats in the race to become governor, on-air and online at 6 p.m.

Columnist Mark Brown: “Six candidates are too many for a thoughtful political debate.”
Candidate Chris Kennedy is backpedaling after giving Gov. Rauner credit for “speaking truth to power.”
Rauner pledges a rollback of last year’s state income-tax increase.
How much did Illinois’ budget shutdown under Rauner cost taxpayers? At least $1 billion in late-payment charges.
Sun-Times editorial: “$1 billion in return for—nothing?

Trump’s ‘blow to clean energy.’ His decision to slap an extra 30 percent tax on foreign-made solar cells and panels could drive up pollution and in fact hurt the U.S. solar energy biz, where most of the jobs are in installation of those cheap products.
Shutdown scorecard: Republicans won the messaging war because “Trump (mostly) stayed out of [the] way.”
The Washington Post spotlights how one Chicago Democrat’s shutdown quandary fury reflects a broader problem for the party between now and 2020.
To manage debate during interparty negotiations to end the shutdown, senators used a “talking stick.”

‘The kids walk up and down the streets smoking dope, and nobody says anything.’ Testifying to Illinois lawmakers in favor of legalizing marijuana, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle related her daughter’s incredulous report from the campus of Northwestern University.
America to Me, a documentary series from filmmaker Steve James (Hoop Dreams) capturing “a yearlong look at one of [the] Chicago [area]’s most progressive and diverse public schools,” has landed a $5 million deal with Starz.
The Tribune’s Michael Phillips calls the series “remarkable, heartbreaking, inspiring.”

Surge overkill?
Mayor Emanuel’s administration is looking for a company to raise O’Hare Airport parking revenue by imposing “dynamic pricing.”
And now some restaurants are exploring the notion of higher prices during peak demand times.
Chicago’s getting its first Culver’s restaurants this week.

We’re No. 1! A new ranking concludes Chicagoans are more likely than residents of any other major U.S. city to miss a credit-card payment.
Bank of America: A new survey finds millennials far more financially savvy than stereotypes would suggest.
New NPR series The Rise of the Contract Workers: Will Work for No Benefits.”

Oscars list. Here’s the full list of nominees, released this morning. And here’s where to see (many of) the contenders online.
Pioneering feminist Germaine Greer is criticizing the #MeToo movement for “whingeing.”
Facing retrial on indecent assault charges, Bill Cosby last night delivered a surprise stand-up appearance in Philadelphia.

Oops. Hawaii’s governor didn’t correct that false missile alert sooner because he didn’t know his Twitter password.
Twitter’s CEO COO is quitting.
Apple says its Alexa competitor, the HomePod, will reach stores Feb. 9—but orders begin Friday.

Musical passages.
South African trumpeter and anti-apartheid leader Hugh Masekela (“Grazing in the Grass”) is dead at 78.
Neil Diamond (“Sweet Caroline”) is retiring from touring after a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.

Yesterday’s flashback to an early, prelaunch edition of Chicago Public Square gave hawk-eyed readers like Mike Braden a chance to unearth old typos—like a missing period (now fixed).
Most-clicked item in yesterday’s Square? This one.

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