Chicago Public Square arrives an hour later than usual today and then will take the next few days off. Back to the regular schedule Tuesday.
■ … just days after the revelation a nonprofit closely associated with the Ricketts family, which owns the Cubs, spent $650,000 for a TV ad praising President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, for his “honor, integrity and strong moral character.” (Image: JayCoop.)
‘Appalling.’ Republicans holding pivotal votes on the Kavanaugh nomination aren’t down with Trump’s condemnation of Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford.
■ See the video, in which Trump also calls Kavanaugh a “perfect person.”
■ CNN analysis of the Republican plan to save the nomination: “Deflect. Discredit. Discombobulate.”
■ Lawfare editor-in-chief Benjamin Wittes: “I have a long relationship with Kavanaugh, and I have always liked him … but … my conscience would not permit me to vote for him.”
■ Dozens of potential witnesses to Kavanaugh’s behavior have yet to be contacted by the FBI, which reportedly is winding down its investigation.
■ A New York Times critic reviews Kavanaugh pal Mark Judge’s long out-of-print account, Wasted: Tales of a GenX Drunk, and finds it “not even close to being a good book.”
Trump’s ‘fraud.’ A massive and, until yesterday, highly secret Times investigation documents the president’s participation in “dubious tax schemes … including instances of outright fraud, that greatly increased the fortune he received from his parents” …
■ … and explains how the story unfolded, beginning with a disclosure form filed by his sister, who’s a federal judge.
■ Neiman Lab: Why the Times TL;DR’d its own investigation.
■ New York: “That the Times presents these conclusions so baldly … is a testament to the power and clarity of its findings.”
■ Bloomberg executive editor Timothy O’Brien: “The president … has spent about five decades pretending not only that his father never rescued him from bankruptcy but that he played a minimal role in his business successes.”
■ A Times editorial: “Now let’s see your tax returns, Mr. President.”
■ Forbes: “Trump Is Trying—And Failing—To Get Rich Off His Presidency.”
■ At 1:18 p.m. Central time, your phone may buzz with a “Presidential Alert”—but it won’t be from Trump.
Cops gird. As the murder trial of Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke heads to the jury for a potentially explosive verdict, the Police Department is stretching officers’ shifts from 8 1/2 to 12 hours.
■ A 3-year-old boy, his dad and his dad’s friend are dead—killed by a car fleeing the cops.
■ Police have linked one gun to two seemingly random killings in Rogers Park.
Potty animal. Gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker says he’ll repay the $330,000 tax break he got in part by disabling toilets in a Chicago mansion he owns.
■ The Tribune’s Eric Zorn: That “will have at least some Democrats wishing they had a candidate without this baggage.”
■ The Sun-Times’ Phil Kadner: “You’ll be pulling the toilets out of your own home to lower your property tax bill before the politicians make any significant changes.”
■ In a turnaround, Gov. Rauner is now calling for shutdown of a polluting plant that is co-owned by his former company.
■ New records show Gov. Rauner’s office sat on news about a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at a state veterans home.
■ Pritzker and Rauner meet at 6 p.m. in their first one-on-one TV debate.
■ An alliance of Chicago improv comedians from The Second City, iO, and Annoyance Theater team up for a free get-out-the-vote rally tonight.
The politics of Amazon’s pay raise. The Verge says that new $15/hour minimum wage could be designed to fend off antitrust threats.
■ The parent of the Mariano’s grocery store chain is testing a scheme under which online shoppers can pick up groceries at Walgreens.
■ Chicago has more grocery stores than it did three years ago, but they haven’t helped neighborhoods that needed them most.
■ Toys R Us is not (completely) dead yet—maybe.
Svengoolie goes Mad. Chicago’s esteemed horror-movie host takes the spotlight in a six-page spread of the December issue of Mad Magazine. (Last item in media critic Robert Feder’s blog.)
■ From April: Mad’s reboot “looks and feels very different than the one you grew up with.”
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■ A hat-tip to excellent news briefings by Politico’s Shia Kapos and CNN’s Brian Stelter.
■ If you’re reading this by email, you’ll note some characters in recent editions have been garbled, like this: â€”. It’s a MailChimp problem the company says it’s working to address …