Pandemic heroes / Not so smart / ‘Rahm’s an asshole. But …’

Pandemic heroes. In a fascinatingly detailed account, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professor Zeynep Tufekci celebrates “Chinese scientists and healthcare workers who gave us a uniquely precious gift—time and information—at great risk to themselves,” making possible this fall’s “excellent news” about COVID-19 vaccines.
Gov. Pritzker says he won’t be relaxing Illinois’ pandemic restrictions until after the state can assess how Thanksgiving affected the state’s caseloads.
Illinois Public Health Dr. Ngozi Ezike recommends anyone who gathered for Thanksgiving with people outside immediate family get tested a week later.
President Trump’s astonishingly unqualified (Nov. 17 link) pandemic adviser, Scott Atlas, is quitting.

Bash crashed.
The City of Chicago calls an illegal Wicker Park gathering of hundreds of people broken up over the weekend “a slap in the face to … millions of Chicagoans.”
The city’s closed at least nine businesses since renewing limits on indoor service at restaurants and bars.
Axios: Vocabulary tweaks may help persuade people the pandemic means business. (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)

Not so smart. The Illinois Public Interest Research Group says scandal-scarred Commonwealth Edison’s so-called “smart grid” and other modernization programs have increased consumers’ delivery charges—even as energy prices have fallen nationwide.
Illinois State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, who’s leading a House investigation of the ComEd scandal and Speaker Michael Madigan, has COVID-19.

Black out. Someone cut the word Black from an Evanston church’s “Black Lives Matter” banner—and then an anonymous donor stepped up.
A coalition of political and religious leaders is calling on Illinois and the federal government to prioritize COVID vaccine delivery to minority communities.

‘Even if you somehow assume that forcing people who voted Republican to apologize constitutes a viable political strategy, forcing Democrats to apologize because they share demographic traits with people who voted Republican surely does not.’ New York’s Jonathan Chait rips apart complaints that “white women voted for Trump” …

‘Rahm’s an asshole. But he’s a professional asshole.’
Chicago Public Square reader and lifelong CTA fan Mike Gold writes to differ with those opposed to ex-Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s possible ascendance to the role of U.S. Transportation secretary: “Rahm running Transportation would be a boon to Chicago—as well as to New York and other ancient cities where there’s no place to build more highways and even if there were, we shouldn’t. Rahm gets this. Most congresspeople certainly do not. But Biden probably does.” As for Emanuel’s complicity in the coverup of the Laquan McDonald murder, Gold writes: “Horrible malfeasance, but Chicago just marked its 101st anniversary of the bloody race war between the cops and the Black community. The broader issue isn’t any of the mayors, it’s their subservience to the dictatorship of the police ‘union.’ As it is in New York, Minneapolis, St. Louis … you get the idea.”
Among the factors weighing against Emanuel: Biden’s commitment to name a diverse Cabinet.
Esquire’s Charlie Pierce: “Biden Seems to Be on Board With This Blog’s First Rule of Economics: F*ck The Deficit. People Got No Jobs.”
Biden finally has access to the President’s Daily Brief.
Video shows Arizona’s governor apparently ignoring a call from Trump while certifying Biden’s victory.

‘I want to … think about my next chapter.’ Veteran Chicago broadcast journalist John Dempsey is retiring after 38 years—the last 13 at WLS-AM.
Critic Aaron Barnhart assesses TV’s denials, disruptions and delights through the pandemic.

Rudy Giuliani hasn’t challenged this vote—yet. Help Square earn repeat honors in the Chicago Reader’s Best of Chicago poll. Cast your nominating ballot now (link corrected).
And if you’re in a giving mood, Chicago Public Square’s always ready to receive.
 Thanks to reader Kent Anderson for catching the bad link above.
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