PocketWatch / Trump's 'SNL' gripe / Gun lobby's plight

’Tis the season. Seeking a gift for that friend who wants nothing for Christmas? Chicago Public Square is the answer. Or just join the fun yourself. And now, the news:

PocketWatch. The Tribune’s Mary Wisniewski says last month was the worst November in 15 years for pickpocketing on the city’s mass-transit system.
A CTA train killed a man at the Belmont station today.

‘I fear for the safety of myself.’ A former high school girlfriend of 19-year-old Chicago aldermanic candidate David Krupa won an order of protection against Krupa, who she says was “controlling” and dismissive of her friends, whom she says he labeled “liberal faggots.”
Tribune columnist and Krupa champion John Kass on the end of an unprecedented challenge to Krupa’s petitions: “College kid beats back the Chicago machine and Boss Madigan blinks.”
Sun-Times columnist Laura Washington: “If you aren’t tough enough to surmount a pile of paperwork, you aren’t ready for City Hall.”
Scorecard: What’s next in petition challenges to 11 mayoral candidates.
PolitiFact rates mayoral candidate Bill Daley’s pledge to “put a moratorium on tax hikes to keep families in their homes” Half True.

Trump’s SNL gripe. Saturday Night Live’s opening skit—envisioning a world where Donald Trump wasn’t elected president—has prompted him to complain
… and to suggest a legal challenge to the show’s satirical free speech—a notion The Week columnist Joel Mathis calls “kind of scary.”
The A.V. Club’s review of the whole show: “Particularly smooth and funny.”
After an alarming Instagram post, cast member Pete Davidson made a brief appearances in the episode.
The Intercept’s Jon Schwarz celebrates today’s farewell for an iconic conservative magazine by listing “The 10 Most Appalling Articles in the Weekly Standard’s Short and Dreadful Life.”

Trump-Russia link. The Washington Post says a leaked draft of a Senate report concludes Russians “used every major social media platform … to help elect President Trump—and worked even harder to support him while in office.”
A business partner to Trump’s former national security adviser has been charged with illegally lobbying for Turkey.

A ‘loyalty oath that every American should instinctively shudder upon reading.’ The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald shares the story of a Texas elementary school teacher who lost her job after refusing to sign a state-required pledge not to boycott Israel
… an oath with an analog in Illinois (2015 link).
An Illinois congressman is defending U.S. support for Saudi Arabia—despite findings its leader was behind the dismemberment of a journalist.

Gun lobby’s plight. The Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne Jr. says “2018’s voters changed the political calculus on the gun issue.”
The Tribune’s ongoing reporting on the aftermath of an August weekend that left 75 people shot in Chicago illustrates the long road to justice for victims and their families.
Prosecutors say a man who reported being stabbed on Michigan Avenue last month cut himself.

‘As long as he wears clothes that are not obscene in nature, he should be able to dress as he pleases.’ A Kankakee Daily Journal editorial congratulates the Bears on their first NFC North Division title since 2010—but says the team made the wrong call on a fan who likes to dress in Packers green and gold.
The CEO of the HQ Trivia game app is dead, apparently of a drug overdose.
In his honor, the game canceled last night’s $25,000 contest and will donate that amount to the Humane Society.

Correction. Attentive editor and Christmas song curator Beth Kujawski reported a reversed quotation mark in Friday’s Square.