'The uglier, the better' / Rauner breakup / Facebook's 'downvote' test

[Square will take a few days off. Next issue: Tuesday, Feb. 20. And soon thereafter, fun galore.]

‘The uglier, … the better.’ The Tribune’s John Kass, Chicago’s self-styled Judge Dibs, updates the city’s honored but technically illegal system for using junk to reserve shoveled-out space on public streets.
The weather means the region’s real judges have the day off, and so do people at a lot of other institutions.
A charity benefitting Chicago’s homeless is auctioning off custom-made dibs chairs.

Up to 10 inches could fall before this storm passes, and another wave’s on the way late tonight and early Saturday.
Snow totals so far.
The Onion: Snowstorm In Chicago Delays Hundreds Of Morning Murders.”

‘Forget about ever balancing the budget.’ One federal budget expert says the shutdown-ending budget passed overnight ushers in a “new normal” for U.S. politics and spells doom for the conservative House Freedom Caucus and “other deficit scolds.”
The deal includes a lot more money for Democrats’ priorities than had seemed possible just weeks ago.
… but no resolution for more than half a million undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as kids.

Rauner breakup. Illinois’ governor says that, following a report of shady financial dealings, he won’t give “another nickel” of taxpayer money to an organization run by an old friend, John Tillman.
Tillman still has his fingers in a statewide news organization, the Illinois Radio Network.

Bucky’s free rides. Beginning next fall, Wisconsin residents admitted to the University of Wisconsin-Madison won’t have to pay tuition if their family’s annual income totals less than $56,000.
The Milwaukee Brewers are giving Wisconsin residents first dibs on tickets to home games against the Cubs.

Amazon vs. FedEx and UPS. The Wall Street Journal says Amazon plans to compete with its longtime partners.
New to Chicago: A company that delivers gas to your car.
In urban neighborhoods, preferences in dog breeds track with neighborhoods’ demographic changes.

Facebook’s ‘downvote’ test. TechCrunch says the company’s experimenting with a negative reaction for comments.
A high school principal who “liked” a pornographic video on Twitter is out of a job.

‘The only thing stiff in the theater I was in was the dialogue and acting.’ Rivet’s Rob LaFrentz finds Fifty Shades Freedunfulfilling.
The Sun-Times has cut entertainment reporter Bill Zwecker after 26 years.

Reminder. Square will take a few days off. Next issue: Tuesday, Feb. 20. Thereafter, more fun. Including this:

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