While you slept / 'America's birth defect' / A Python passes

While you slept. As the first round of Senate impeachment hearings wound down—around 1 a.m. Chicago time—Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts laid into both sides.

But, in the end, the Republicans slapped down 11 Democratic proposals and approved Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s blueprint for the proceedings …
 … opening statements for which were set to begin at noon today. (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)
CBS bailed out on yesterday’s live broadcast coverage first.
Former Illinois Congressman Tom Railsback—a Republican who played a pivotal role in the impeachment of Richard Nixon—is dead.

‘This isn’t the first time Rush has backed a wealthy, white guy.’ Politico’s Shia Kapos takes a closer look at Chicago Congressman Bobby Rush’s decision to endorse Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign “all the way.”
Backing off from her assertion that “nobody likes” Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton now concedes—without naming him—that she’ll “do whatever I can” to support him if he’s “our nominee.”
Sanders: “On a good day, my wife likes me, so let’s clear the air on that one.”
Sanders and Joe Biden have been going at it, too.
Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard is suing Clinton.
Elizabeth Warren promises half her cabinet would be female.

‘America’s birth defect.’ Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg talks to the author of a new book analyzing racism’s role in the roots of Chicago violence.
Want a say in Chicago police reforms? Mark your calendar for four community meetings next month.
Tribune critic Chris Jones calls Theater Wit’s new play about a police-involved shooting “a bang-up, must-see and intensely emotional production.”

We’re No. 10. U.S. News & World Report ranks Chicago among the country’s most racially and ethnically diverse cities.
Illinois lawmakers want Secretary of State Jesse White to explain how 545 self-identified non-U.S. citizens somehow were registered to vote.
A Sun-Times editorial: Immigration works best when college is affordable.

‘He is the guy who pushed me in the pool.’ State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz has been sworn in to replace her mentor, retiring Sen. John Cullerton …
 … whose role as Senate president is going to Oak Park’s Don Harmon.
A Chicago alderman’s brother has been suspended—accused of skipping out on his city Water Department job.

Air lines. O’Hare is now on the growing list of U.S. airports screening travelers from China for the deadly coronavirus.
Forget 98.6: The average human temperature has been dropping over the last 150 years.
And the next few days of Chicago weather won’t help.

Forever poisoned. A new report finds the contamination of U.S. drinking water with man-made “forever chemicals”—substances linked to cancer, liver damage and low birth weight—is far worse than previously estimated.
Illinois lawmakers are considering a bill to derail a Trump administration plan that could force the state to raise electric rates to bail out the coal industry.

A Python passes. Monty Python co-founder Terry Jones is dead after a long fight against dementia.
Fellow Python Michael Palin calls Jones “the complete Renaissance comedian.”
 Hear a very funny audio interview with Jones—and his creative co-conspirator, the also-late Douglas Adams—during a Chicago visit in 1997. (Photo: Richard Blanshard.)

‘I don’t want that damn thin-crust.’ The matriarch of Chicago’s first family of pizza, Donna Marie Malnati—who died Jan. 3—left explicit instructions for this Sunday’s celebration of her life.
Tribune critic Phil Vettel lists 30 eateries to visit during Chicago Restaurant Week, which begins Friday (and actually runs more than two weeks).
Yelp is now flagging Chicago restaurants that have blown their health inspections.

Thanks to reader Chris Koenig for an ongoing flood of great suggestions that make this roundup better.