‘A shit show’ / ‘Will you shut up, man?’ / An ‘avalanche of repeat lies'

‘A shit show.’ That’s how CNN’s chief political correspondent describes last night’s “debate” between Joe Biden and Donald Trump …
 … a confrontation in which the president refused to condemn white supremacists and in fact encouraged them to “stand back and stand by” because “somebody’s got to do something about … the left” …
 … and that BuzzFeed News says fall into “his campaign’s pattern of dog whistles.” (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)
Jimmy Fallon’s take on the evening: “The only person who enjoyed that was Vladimir Putin while he was stroking a cat.”

‘Will you shut up, man?’ Debate moderator Chris Wallace’s ineffective discouragement of Trump’s repeated interruptions prompted Biden to issue his own desperate plea …
 … which has quickly become a meme and a T-shirt.
The Atlantic’s James Fallows: “This was a disgusting moment for democracy. Donald Trump made it so, and Chris Wallace let him.”
The Washington Post’s Philip Bump describes Wallace’s demeanor as that of “someone unexpectedly pulled from the audience to ride a bronco at a rodeo.”
The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah offered Wallace his sympathy: “Thank you for your service and I hope that you have a lot of money for your therapy.”
Words that trended on Merriam-Webster.com last night: logorrhea and moderator.

‘Cancel the Debates.’ The Atlantic’s David Graham: “Tonight was the first presidential debate of the 2020 election, and if there is any sense or mercy left in this nation, it will be the last.”

An ‘avalanche of repeat lies.’ CNN’s debate fact-check needed the big shovels to assess the president’s performance.
The president took credit for the return of Big Ten football, but at least one university president says “Trump had nothing to do with our decision.”

‘If you look at Chicago … it is crazy what’s going on.’ Trump’s invocation of the city in his rants about “law and order” triggered a harsh mid-debate tweet from Mayor Lightfoot.
The Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet: “Trump hijacked this debate, but it doesn’t mean he won it.”
Trump’s planning big rallies in Wisconsin this weekend despite his own task force’s concern about such events there.
Chicago’s adding Texas and three other states to its travel quarantine order …
 … and Northwest Illinois faces tougher pandemic restrictions as of Saturday.

‘The Fair Tax isn’t punishment for the rich.’ One Illinois takes a critical look at billionaire Ken Griffin’s opposition to an overhaul of Illinois’ income tax structure on the November ballot.
Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown on the Illinois House speaker’s fate in the face of scandal: “Madigan needs to go.”
Madigan refused to participate yesterday in a marathon legislative hearing at which ComEd explained how it used bribery to influence him.

She was woman. Singer Helen Reddy—declared by the Tribune the “queen of ’70s pop”—is dead at 78 …
 … news that, coming on the heels of the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is particularly poignant for “a generation of pioneers for equality.”
Answering a Senate questionnaire, potential Ginsburg replacement Amy Coney Barrett declined to commit to recusing herself from cases related to the presidential election’s outcome.

Warm regards. The Arctic is the hottest it’s been in 3 million years.

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