A ‘celebration of democracy’ / Vaccine scenes / ‘Sexist and condescending’

A ‘celebration of democracy.’ The Electoral College is doing its thing today.
Illinois’ delegates—including Mayor Lightfoot—were to meet at 10 a.m. to cast their ballots for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
A step-by-step guide explains why this isn’t the end.
The Washington Post: “Biden’s Obama-era Cabinet picks frustrate liberals, civil rights leaders” …
 … but ex-Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s prospects are reportedly on the wane.

‘Forces of hate.’ Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser condemns vandals who hit Black churches during pro-Trump rallies over the weekend.
Critics hope this is the beginning of the end for the “old, ugly mess” that is the Electoral College.

The chair of the Chicago Medical Society’s COVID-19 Task Force tells columnist Neil Steinberg the pandemic is running hospital workers “ragged.”
The Atlantic: The vaccine has been a triumph of science—but not without cost to other research.

‘America has given Black people very little reason to believe.’ Tribune columnist Dahleen Glanton says not to blame African Americans for doubting the vaccine’s effectiveness.
At least two aldermen are demanding Mayor Lightfoot and Gov. Pritzker “correct big mistakes” in plans to distribute shots to communities of color.
Trump has reversed a decision to give his top administrators early doses of the vaccine.

Whoops. The Better Government Association and Chalkbeat Chicago report that, in the early heat of the pandemic, Lightfoot personally vouched for a campaign contributor who landed a $1.6 million no-bid deal with Chicago Public Schools—and then delivered computers that didn’t work for virtual learning.
Many Google services—including Gmail, YouTube and Google Docs—went down overnight.
Computer networks at the U.S. Treasury and Commerce departments were compromised by a monthslong cyberspying campaign.

‘It’s time to save ourselves.’ The Sun-Times’ Laura Washington calls on the Illinois House Black Caucus “to step up and step out” of scandal-scarred House Speaker Michael Madigan’s shadow.
The Illinois House Democratic Women’s Caucus hopes to replace Madigan with a woman.

Rough rides. The Trib reports that, even as the number of crimes on the CTA has dropped—along with ridership—in the pandemic, the crime rate has doubled.
Providers of help for the homeless see Chicago’s first full COVID-19 pandemic winter as a “really unique opportunity.”

‘Incredibly … sexist and condescending.’ Poynter’s Tom Jones is at a loss to explain why The Wall Street Journal published a “ridiculous” opinion piece calling on Jill Biden to drop “Dr.” as an honorific.
Northwestern University: That guy hasn’t taught here since 2003.
Merriam-Webster details the twisted history of the word doctor.
Chicago journalism veteran Allison Hantschel, assessing the plight of local news: “John Kass … used to not be so terrible. And then all of a sudden decided … he was just going to go straight down the Newsmax rabbit hole.”

Indian blink. After 105 years, the Cleveland baseball team is reportedly ready to change its racist name.

‘Chicago ballerinas doing pretty bad things.’ But a new Netflix drama dropping today was mostly shot in Toronto.
The Trib’s Christopher Borrelli waxes kind of enthusiastically about the pandemic holiday trend toward “drive-thru” light displays: “Are you familiar with walking and looking? Well, this is easier!

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Thanks to Pam Spiegel for making this edition better.

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