The next wave / This may hurt / Off the beat

The next wave. As more people spend time indoors during cold weather, coronavirus cases are on the rise in every region of Illinois.
Gov. Pritzker’s returning to daily 2:30 p.m. COVID-19 briefings.
Pandemic precautions have triggered a surge in Illinois teacher retirements.
But COVID-19 means more business—and, in the Chicago area, 250 job openings—at CVS.
Block Club Chicago has launched a coronavirus hotline to which you can call or text questions.

Unfortunately, just during the debate. President Trump is unhappy with a Commission on Presidential Debates rule change that will periodically mute his microphone.
The president yesterday dismissed the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, as a “disaster” and one of “these idiots” …
 … and he trashed CNN’s reporters as “dumb bastards” for talking so much about the pandemic. (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)
The Tribune’s Rex Huppke: “When it comes to a pandemic, I am very much a coward. And proud of it.”

‘I’m a Republican voting for Joe Biden.’ Ex-Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele: “Trump has posited a single purpose for the GOP—the celebration of him.”
USA Today makes its first—and, it says, hopefully its last—presidential endorsement … for Biden.

Cash coyness. The New York Times says Joe Biden’s campaign is markedly mum about the millions it’s collecting from donors giving at least $100,000 …
 … including the fewer-than-two-dozen people who joined an intimate online Biden chat hosted by billionaire financier—and guy who brought you Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (2018 link)—Haim Saban.
Axios: “Facebook and Twitter’s frantic attempts to stop the spread of the New York Post’s Hunter Biden story” didn’t prevent massive online engagement.
Vanity Fair: “Even longtime journalists” at the Post “wanted to be nowhere near” the article.

Live in the suburbs? Vote in the city. Cook County has for the first time opened a polling place at Chicago’s Union Station for commuting suburbanites.
Vox: “Democrats are cheering a Supreme Court ruling on mail-in ballots … but the 4-4 vote should scare Democrats.” (Another Keith J. Taylor cartoon.)
Don’t vote dumb. Before you ballot, consult the Chicago Public Square voter guide.

This may hurt. As Chicago grapples with a pandemic-provoked budget hole, Mayor Lightfoot is reportedly weighing a 3-cent-a-gallon hike in the city tax on gasoline.

OK, Google. Updating coverage: The Justice Department was set to filed suit today against Google, accusing the company of abusing its dominance in search to cripple competition.
Tech news site The Markup will pay 1,200 volunteers to use a web browser designed to track which content tech companies amplify.
You can sign up here to learn more.
More from The Markup: Why you can’t fix your own phone, toaster, tractor or hospital ventilator.
The Verge reviews the new iPhone 12: “The one you should get.”

Off the beat. CNN’s chief legal analyst and New Yorker reporter Jeffrey Toobin has been suspended by the magazine and is taking personal time off from CNN …
 … after reportedly masturbating on a Zoom video chat among New Yorker and WNYC radio staffers …
 … sending Twitter users scrambling to get a handle on the story …
 … including veteran Chicago sports reporter Julie DiCaro, incredulous at “all the ‘there but for the grace of God go I’ dudes defending Toobin.”
From 2018: Mashable’s list of 50 euphemisms for masturbation.

‘Pseudo-local’ news. A Times investigation turns a spotlight on disgraced Chicagoan Brian Timpone’s nationwide network of conservative propaganda-driven websites.
From the Times report: “Many of the stories are directed … to promote a Republican candidate or a company, or to smear their rivals.”

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