‘Morally unfit.’ In a much-hyped interview with ABC News, fired FBI Director James Comey rejects suggestions Donald Trump is mentally unfit to be president—“dementia and what-not”—but says “a person who sees moral equivalence in Charlottesville, who talks about and treats women like they’re pieces of meat, who lies constantly about matters big and small and insists the American people believe it” is “not fit to be president … on moral grounds.”
■ Chicago journalist Craig Newman in his Nuzzel newsletter: “It is possible to understand that James Comey is a sanctimonious s__tbag and yet still be right about the level of fitness of Donald Trump to serve as president of anything.”
‘Use often!’ President Trump is defending his
■ Satirist John Oliver: “What? It does not fill you with confidence to have a president who announces, ‘I know I’m repeating one of the most notorious political blunders in recent history. I meant to do it, everyone should do it, and I’m gonna do it again forever’?”
No-go, Blago. The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear disgraced ex-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s last-chance appeal of his conviction for shaking down campaign donors and lying to the FBI.
■ Charlie Pierce in Esquire: Trump’s pardon of former Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff, Scooter Libby, for lying to the FBI and obstruction of justice in 2007 “fashions an unbreakable link between the malfeasance and misfeasance of the Bush administration and the malfeasance and misfeasance of the Trump administration.”
■ … and may have been a move by Trump to protect himself from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Chicago’s wet mayor.* As next year’s election nears, Mayor Emanuel is supporting a plan to double Chicago’s “publicly-accessible riverfront space”—but not a more ambitious call for a 24-acre public riverfront park.
■ Emanuel’s administration brags that complaints about O’Hare Airport noise are down by 90 percent—but anti-noise activists say that’s because the city has made it tougher to complain.
‘I cried that night.’ Sun-Times columnist Laura Washington—then a reporter, later deputy press secretary to Mayor Harold Washington (no relation)—remembers Washington’s election 35 years ago.
■ Audio flashback: How WXRT-FM News reported the election that night—including the long-forgotten detail that he was locked out of his limo.
Clipboard-grabber shortage. A lack of candidates means more than half the Chicago Public Schools’ Local School Councils will have at least one empty seat after this week’s elections.
■ U.S. News: “The Secret to Chicago’s School Success.”
‘What a scandalous reign atop an historic newspaper company.’ Former Chicago Tribune editor Ann Marie Lipinski (your Chicago Public Square publisher’s former boss) weighs in on Michael Ferro’s departure from the chairmanship of the former Tribune Publishing—now Tronc, which will nevertheless continue to pay him $5 million a year.
■ Ferro’s departure brings the McCormick family back into the Tribune fold.
Well, it was Friday the 13th.
■ Friday’s emailed edition of Chicago Public Square arrived without a subject line. Here it is. (Interestingly, readers opened and clicked on that issue at rates above average; here are the numbers as of 7:50 this morning.)
■ Be first to email Squerror@ChicagoPublicSquare.com about an error in Square and see your name here.
■ Have you told a friend—heck, two friends—about Square? Subscribing is free, and why deprive friends of a free thing?
* From 2010: Columnist Eric Zorn explains the “wet mayor” joke.