‘They risked everything.’ As he closed the first day of opening arguments in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump, Rep. Adam Schiff implored senator-jurors to consider the government workers who put their careers on the line to hold the president accountable: “I know what you’re asked to decide may risk yours, too. But if they could show the courage, so could we.”
■ A Republican senator’s take: “I didn’t hear anything new.”
■ The Democrats’ challenge: Keeping the attention of fidgety senators who are flouting the trial’s rules of behavior.
■ CNN analyst Stephen Collinson: Republicans are in a race “to end this impeachment trial before … Trump confesses to anything else.”
■ The president’s counsel in the trial, Pat Cipollone, is a University of Chicago graduate …
■ … whose legal arguments came under fire from a fellow ex-Chicagoan, Stephen Colbert.
‘With me, there’s no lying.’ And yet, in Switzerland yesterday, President Trump made at least 14 false claims.
■ Trump Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, also in Switzerland, schmuckily dismissed teen climate activist and Time Person of the Year Greta Thunberg: “After she goes and studies economics in college she can come back and explain that to us.”
■ Author Mark Caro says the impeachment trial doesn’t render his novelization of Robert Mueller’s Report on the Investigation Into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election outdated: “It’s like all those crazy things that happened in season two of Breaking Bad. The Mueller report is season one. You have to go back and watch from the beginning.”
‘I just don’t have the time.’ The new president of the Illinois Senate, Don Harmon, says he’s “stepping away” from his private law practice …
■ … which the Sun-Times reported in 2017 had netted him millions “for doing legal work for state agencies, government workers’ pension funds and local governments whose citizens he represents in the Senate.”
■ An editorial in Harmon’s hometown paper, Oak Park’s Wednesday Journal*: “Now that he has this power, there is no room for allowances, for excuses, for favors or second chances. Root out corruption.”
■ Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is giving the heave-ho to the volunteer chair of the county’s Board of Ethics—who happens to have been a donor to Preckwinkle’s rival in Chicago’s last mayoral election, Lori Lightfoot.
Underground overhaul. Chicago’s beloved but bewildering Pedway network of subterranean walkways is in for a multimillion-dollar upgrade.
■ After the resignation of Oakbrook Terrace’s mayor in an unfolding red-light camera scandal, the
‘I sit in bed thinking about my kid in a jail cell.’ A Chicago architect talks to the Sun-Times about his son, a Northwestern University-educated journalist imprisoned in Indonesia while reporting on environmental issues.
■ The Guardian documents “special favors” for the National Rifle Association at Trump’s Interior Department.
Picard’s Chicago link. Tribune critic Michael Phillips reviews today’s debut on streaming CBS All Access of a new Star Trek series—the first three episodes of which were directed by a Lake Forest College alum.
■ TV critic and Chicago Public Square progenitor Aaron Barnhart: “Patrick Stewart shows why he’s in charge again” …
■ … but Entertainment Weekly calls the premiere “bafflingly bad.”
■ Illinoisan and Monty Python confidant Kim “Howard” Johnson remembers the late Python Terry Jones: “He couldn’t pass a homeless person on the street without putting money in their hands.”
‘This is not your typical winter event.’ A meteorologist says Chicago’s snowfall over the next few days merits a weather eye.
■ Curbed Chicago: Tips for winter bicycling.
* For which your Square publisher has hosted a series of on-stage interviews and podcasts.