Pritzker’s rage / Hopeful signs / Conan the contrarian

Pritzker’s rage. After fighting back tears, Illinois’ governor yesterday turned—in the words of Playbook Illinois’ Shia Kapos—“as angry as your Playbook host has ever seen him in my 10 years covering him” to denounce “radio shock jocks” and a conservative-backed online site for spreading false and hateful rumors about his daughter.

Beginning Friday, the governor is reimposing tighter restrictions on stores, bars, restaurants, gyms, hotels …
 … canceling indoor sports …
 … and no dancing.
Pritzker boils it down this way: “If you don’t need to do it, don’t.”
Asked by Chicago Public Square about a strain on Illinois’ COVID testing capacity as the holidays approach, Pritzker said he hopes people nevertheless will keep getting tested. (At 53:09 in this video.)

It’s everywhere. A new estimate holds that more than 3 million Americans are now contagious with the coronavirus.
Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley—third in line for the presidency—has it.
Wired: An epidemiologist foresees “a hellish winter followed by a better year ahead.”

‘Cancel your traditional Thanksgiving.’ That’s the plea from Chicago’s health commissioner in the face of rising COVID-19 numbers.
The Tribune’s Eric Zorn recommends the U.S. learn “a thing or two about Thanksgiving from our friends in Canada.”

Hopeful signs. Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech, say the latest numbers show their coronavirus vaccine is 95% effective and safe—especially for the older people most at risk.
They say they plan “within days” to seek FDA approval for emergency use.
Chicago Public Schools are planning to reopen Jan. 11 for prekindergarten kids and Feb. 1 for elementary students.
For the first time since looters trashed it in May, Chicago’s South Side Walmart is set to reopen Friday.

‘Chickens coming home to roost.’ Veteran Sun-Times City Hall reporter Fran Spielman says Mayor Lightfoot is having trouble passing her budget partly because “the bank of good will is running on empty for a mayor who used her inaugural address to portray the City Council as corrupt.”
Aldermen have advanced an ordinance that would limit what delivery companies like UberEats and GrubHub can charge restaurants.
Chicago-area food pantries report rising demand in the pandemic—but also more volunteers and donations.

‘I’m not a f—ing socialist.’ Politico quotes a state senator who is among Florida Democrats coming to grips with one of the party’s worst election performances nationwide.
The Trib’s Clarence Page: “Defund the police” sabotaged Democrats.
President Trump has fired his top election security official, who defended the vote’s integrity.
Updating coverage: Trump faces a deadline today in his quest for a recount in Wisconsin—if he foots the bill. (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)
Neil Steinberg in the Sun-Times comes up short in his quest for historic counterparts to “the Republicans who support Trump as he tries to overturn an American election.”
The Conversation: Trump’s staff purges threaten national security.

‘They are taking our complaint seriously.’ The executive director of Chicago’s Southeast Environmental Task Force is cheered by a federal request that the city hold off on a final permit for an air-polluting metal-shredding operation’s move from Lincoln Park to the South Side.
Environmental journalist Emily Atkin: “For $25K, you can publish climate denial in The Washington Post.”

Conan the contrarian. Conan O’Brien’s leaving late-night TV, and Variety’s Michael Schneider says he’s probably ahead of the curve.
WLS-AM’s Mancow Muller on his approaching departure from the airwaves: “Any joy in doing radio has been squeezed out of me.”
Coming this weekend to the now-online Chicago Underground Film Festival: A documentary about Chicago’s long-playing Dusty Groove record store.
14-year-old MasterChef Junior star Ben Watkins is dead of cancer in Chicago three years after his parents’ death in a murder-suicide.
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