Cubs' Kavanaugh Curse? / Trump's 'fraud' / Potty animal

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.

Cubs’ Kavanaugh Curse? The Chicago Cubs are done for the season after losing an epic 13-inning wild-card playoff overnight
… 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: รข€”. It’s a MailChimp problem the company says it’s working to address …
still.