Mail wail / Stay home, Chicago / Macy's dismay

Mail wail. President Trump’s confession that he’s deliberately crippling the U.S. Postal Service to stem a pandemic-driven mail-in voting surge that could cost him reelection is …
 … “undermining our democracy by destroying a basic function of government” (Stephen Colbert).
 … “a page straight out of the playbook of fascists and dictators, and it must not stand” (Sun-Times editorial).

Tribune columnist Eric Zorn: “The scandal of our times is that, so far, he’s getting away with it.” (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)
Witness moves under Trump’s handpicked postmaster to—without explanation—yank mail-sorting machines from postal facilities around the country.
Close to a quarter-million Chicagoans have applied to vote by mail in November.
So have the president and his wife.
The Atlantic: “The Postal Service Can Handle the Election—If It’s Allowed To.”
Correction: Yesterday’s Chicago Public Square erroneously referred to “county clerks … ‘swamped’ by mail-in ballots.” That should have read “mail-in ballot requests.”

‘Trump will never leave office peacefully.’ That’s an assertion in an excerpt from the forward to a forthcoming book by the president’s convicted “fixer,” Michael Cohen.
Read the text here.
Developing story: The Government Accountability Office says the top two officials at the Department of Homeland Security aren’t legally eligible to hold those jobs.

‘Shut up, Mr. President.’ Columnist Charlie Madigan takes on Trump’s promulgation of a false and racist “birther” theory about vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris.
The Trib’s Heidi Stevens: How to pronounce Kamala—and why it matters.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson, widely slammed for mangling her name, noted that Joe Biden’s guilty, too.

‘We are constantly fighting for our health.’ In a novel new action under the Fair Housing Act, environmental activists are filing a civil rights lawsuit against Chicago for letting polluting industry cluster on the Southeast Side, fueling housing segregation.
Case in point: The city’s support for nuisancy General Iron’s move from mostly white Lincoln Park to a mostly Latino neighborhood.

‘How Chicago cops might get more people to like them.’ Columnist Irv Leavitt makes the case for “weapon-mounted cameras.”
Newly released video from a Minneapolis cop’s body-cam conveys what The Associated Press describes as “the growing horror of onlookers” as police allegedly murdered George Floyd on Memorial Day.
The Chicago agency charged with investigating police abuses has launched 170 cases—out of more than 1,000 complaints—since protests over Floyd’s death began in May.
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx has approved 42 felony cases against those arrested for recent looting.

Stay home, Chicago. As part of a clampdown on unrest, downtown will remain mostly closed evenings through the weekend.
ProPublica Illinois’ Mick Dumke: “In Lori Lightfoot’s Chicago, bridges have become barricades.”
What the Trib describes as “a thick wall of police” turned away more than 100 students who tried to march on the mayor’s block in protest of cops in schools.

Dissing Link. Politico: Illinois Sen. Terry Link’s indictment on income tax charges may seem “like small potatoes,” but it could have “a domino effect” on corruption in state government.
Link’s quitting the state Legislative Ethics Commission, which is now considering a round of major reforms.

‘Absolutely chilling.’ Poynter’s Tom Jones praises a sports columnist’s account of his fight against the coronavirus.
Read it here: “During phone calls I would get confused and just stop talking. I would begin crying for no reason. I lost my sense of taste, smell, and five pounds in the first four days.”
A surge in COVID-19 cases among children casts shatters assertions from the president and his allies that kids aren’t at risk.
Illinois is among the nation’s top seven states for kids coming down with the COVID-related “multisystem inflammatory syndrome.”
The Trib rounds up what to know about kids and the pandemic.

Macy’s dismay. Crain’s reports that, unhappy with police response to looting, Macy’s is ready to shrink or leave its space in Chicago’s Water Tower Place.
Rainforest Cafe is abandoning its River North spot a year ahead of schedule—but it’s leaving a gorilla behind.
The Conversation: Can the U.S. economy, which since World War I has been “heavily dependent on a single source of economic activity—consumption,” survive a pandemic?

Introducing the Chicago Public Square tip jar. Not everyone can make an ongoing commitment to keep this thing going. If you’re more of a one-and-done supporter, the Square tip jar is now open—and now you can name your own price. Thanks for reading.
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Thanks to Square supporter Paul Clark for flagging yesterday’s error and to Ken GoodSmith for making this edition richer.

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