Georgia matters / Rudy down / Good as gold

Georgia matters. If you’re not thinking about the outcome of Georgia’s two U.S. Senate runoff elections in January, Tribune columnist Dahleen Glanton runs down reasons you should be.
The candidates in one of those races met in debate last night …
 … and Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler—an Illinois native—repeatedly refused to concede Donald Trump’s loss.
American Public Media: Private money—including millions from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg—helped save the election.

Rudy down. Trump lawyer Rudolph Giuliani, who’s been blitzing Georgia and other battleground states in the president’s impotent quest for another term, has reportedly contracted COVID-19 …
 … which has killed former Democratic State Sen. Martin Sandoval, who earlier this year pleaded guilty to corruption charges and was helping prosecutors nail others. (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)
The Trib looks back at vaccine shortages through the years: Theft, smuggling and favoritism for the famous over the needy.
A suburban hotel has been handed warning notices for hosting a 150-person wedding reception last week.

‘Take Off Your Mask So I Know How Much to Tip You.’ That’s the title of a study—in Illinois, four other states and Washington, D.C.—that found more than 80% of tipped workers in the service industry report a decline in tips during the pandemic and more than 40% say they’ve suffered increased sexual harassment.
Substitute teacher shortages across the Chicago area have reached crisis levels.
A Trib editorial: Illinois’ unemployment website is still “a pandemic mess.”

‘For Black History Month, a photo of Trump hanging out in the Oval Office with his favorite Negro, the rapper Kanye West.’ Sun-Times columnist Laura Washington—who’s Black—envisions her unofficial Trump 2021 calendar.
Washington colleague Neil Steinberg revisits a Dec. 7 past: “The same sort who cherish Pearl Harbor’s fading infamy, and gripe to see it overlooked, turn around and shrug off … the treachery, self-interest and cowardice of our president.”
Trump’s on track to become what the AP calls “the most prolific execution president in over 130 years.”

Ricketts’ gov play? A source tells Politico that Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts is mulling a run for Illinois governor.
PolitiFact: Yeah, Gov. Pritzker was right to accuse conservatives of sharing false information about his daughter.

Good as gold. As climate change raises the prospect of water shortages around the world, water this week is joining other precious-commodity futures traded via contracts launched by Chicago-based CME.
The hunt’s on for $7 million to keep Lincoln Park’s North Pond from drying up.
Governors of states adjoining the Great Lakes—the world’s largest freshwater system—have less than three weeks to derail a Trump administration plan excusing cargo ships from spreading invasive species.

Got a Gambit habit? Columnist Rick Kogan talks to the Chicago-born and -raised filmmaker who executive-produced Netflix’s blockbuster series The Queen’s Gambit …
 … which Netflix says has become its most-watched series ever.

Nominations end Tuesday. If you haven’t cast your ballot for Chicago Public Square in the first round of the Chicago Reader’s Best of Chicago poll, now’s the time.
Thanks to friends of Square Chris Koenig, Mike Braden and Pam Spiegel for making this edition better.

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