Biden needled / Now, the feds / Email's little secret

This is it. The first round of the Reader’s Best of Chicago poll ends at noon today. It’s your last chance to cast a ballot that can help Chicago Public Square reach new readers. And now the news:

Biden needled. Vox’s Zack Beauchamp says Joe Biden’s strangest answer in last night’s Democratic presidential debate came after a question about his record on slavery, when he encouraged parents to “make sure you have the record player on at night.”
Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich says the words “record player” were the night’s most damaging. (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)
Poynter’s Tom Jones: Julián Castro’s “cheap shot about Biden’s age … went over like a burp in church.”
The Washington Post: Castro was on a kamikaze mission that failed.
Cory Booker reached back almost a century last night for the expletive dagnabbit …
 … but ABC had warned the candidates about obscenities.
Beto O’Rourke put some meat on the bones of gun-lovers’ fears: “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.”
In a putdown of President Trump, Kamala Harris seemed not to know that “the really small dude” behind the curtain in The Wizard of Oz was, um, The Wizard of Oz.
Andrew Yang’s Oprah-like offer to give away cash may have violated election law.
The Tribune’s Steve Chapman: “Democrats sound indifferent to the victims of crime.”
Talking Points Memo monitored Twitter last night to determine nine moments that set off conservatives.
Music biz analyst and social critic Bob Lefsetz: “Bernie’s Metallica. … But Elizabeth Warren is closer to Ariana Grande.”
In a competing speech last night in Baltimore, Trump said of Warren: “It looks like she could beat Sleepy Joe” …
 … and Trump delivered a fresh batch of lies.
Hundreds turned out last night to protest ex-Trump spokesman Sean Spicer’s appearance at Northeastern Illinois University—and one jumped the stage.
A man Trump once called “my African American” is quitting the Republican Party.

‘We have soviet-made RPG launchers, AK47 automatic rifles and molotov cocktails. AND WE ARE GOING TO USE THEM.’ [All sic.] The Sun-Times reviews nearly a century of FBI-investigated threats to Chicago politicians.
Mayor Lightfoot’s latest blast at Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who’s waffling on her invitation to visit Chicago before he complains again about gun violence here: “If you’re not gonna learn the facts, keep our name out of your mouth.”

Now, the feds. WBEZ reports a federal grand jury is looking into actions a bankruptcy judge has suggested amount to “dishonesty” and “gross mismanagement” by clout-heavy Chicago Rev. Leon Finney Jr.
Trib columnist Eric Zorn: Illinois’ next Supreme Court chief justice, Anne Burke, still has some explainin’ to do.
Zorn colleague John Kass: “Is there anything more Chicago Way than … power couple Anne and [indicted Ald.] Ed Burke?”
In a session yesterday’s Chicago Public Square should more accurately have described as “closed,” rather than “secret,” Cook County circuit court judges have given a record seventh term as chief judge to 76-year-old Tim Evans—whose math regarding the average age of Supreme Court justices was way off.

‘Chicago Public Schools have inexcusably failed.’ And so the system has signed a formal agreement with the U.S. Education Department promising to reform its process for protecting students from sexual misconduct.
An editorial at the Tribune, whose reporting blew the lid off the problem: “CPS should welcome the feds.”

‘The Cannabitches.’ A state lawmaker who championed the legalization of marijuana in Illinois says she and five female colleagues have begun calling themselves that, instead of the “Marijuana Moms” label reporters have been bestowing on them.
But they weren’t first.

‘I am in shock.’ A 15-year veteran of now-Amazon-owned Whole Foods reacts to news the company’s cutting medical benefits for hundreds of part-timers.
Amazon’s hiring for a “greatest hits” store at Oakbrook Center.
Chicago-based Groupon might buy Yelp.
Slate: Kickstarter fired two union organizers in eight days.

Email’s little secret. A new publication about technology, The Markup, exposes the reality that most email marketing services—like MailChimp, which distributes Chicago Public Squaregather a lot more about what you open and click than you might have realized.
WikiHow explains how to block email tracking.
Square’s pledge: We will never share or monetize your personal information. But knowing what readers open and click in the aggregate helps guide editorial decisions that keep Square relevant and interesting.

Riot Fest cometh. Block Club Chicago rounds up Douglas Park neighbors’ tips on how not to be a jerk if you go this weekend.
10 bands not to miss, as picked by the Sun-Times and the Trib.
Documentarian Ken Burns’ latest series, Country Music, debuts Sunday, and critic Aaron Barnhart says “there’s not a false note” in any of its 16 hours.

Public Narrative is a Chicago Public Square advertiser.

Thanks …
 … to Mike Braden for spotting a misspelling of Julián’s Castro’s name and a missing preposition above …
 … and to Ted Cox for flagging a misspelling of Cory Booker’s name.