Biden’s big bet / ‘You … are worse than excrement’ / $350

Chicago Public Square will take Monday off in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We’ll rejoin the fray Tuesday.

Biden’s big bet. The president-elect has outlined a $1.9 trillion plan to solve the pandemic and reboot the economy, ending what he calls “a crisis of deep human suffering.”
Historian Helen Heather Cox Richardson: “He made a sharp contrast with the current president, not only by sharing an actual plan to confront real problems, but also by empathizing with Americans … who are hurting.”
Vox: Progressives want even more, in the belief that “the real risk is doing too little.”
If he can get it through Congress, Biden’s plan could spare Chicago City Hall some furloughs.

Ex-defenders of liberty. Among the rioters at the Capitol last week, The Associated Press has identified at least 21 current or former members of the U.S. military or law enforcement.
A retired Pennsylvania firefighter’s been charged with throwing a fire extinguisher at a group of cops during the assault.
The Justice Department’s internal watchdog is opening a probe of what went wrong last week.

‘You … are worse than excrement.’ After exchanging email with a reader who began things that way, Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg sees a path forward for America.
Captain America co-creator Jack Kirby’s son condemns insurrectionists’ appropriation of Cap’s image: “My father … would be absolutely sickened.”
Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey. Trump’s White House staff is packing up.
Breaking recent tradition, the Pentagon (link fixed) won’t toss an Armed Forces Farewell party for Trump.
The Trump administration has executed its last prisoner.

D.C. flight fears. Airlines are tightening security on trips to the capital approaching Biden’s Inauguration Day.
Biden’s inaugural celebration broadcast has added more (remote) stars—including Bruce Springsteen, Foo Fighters and John Legend.

Cops suspended. The Chicago Police Department has taken 17 officers off-duty for lounging in a congressman’s office as the neighborhood outside was being looted.
In Chicago and across the country, more cops are hanging it up.

‘You probably need a better mask, too.’ Vox: “Still going to the grocery store? With new virus variants spreading, it’s probably time to stop.”
The Washington Post: When Trump’s Health and Human Services secretary announced this week that the government would release its coronavirus vaccine reserve, no such reserve existed.
Illinois representatives and staff are under a self-quarantine advisory after someone tested positive at their meeting place Thursday.

$350. That’s about what each of about 1.6 million Illinois Facebook users can expect in the settlement of a class-action suit accusing the company of illegally collecting their face-ID data.

30-plus years of eating professionally takes its toll.’ Trib restaurant critic* Phil Vettel has filed his farewell column.
Square remains a fan of his earlier work as the Trib’s board game critic.
Review: A new Marvel TV series on Disney+, WandaVision, “wraps an intriguing superhero mystery in throwback sitcom trappings.”

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 Thanks to Chris Koenig, Pam Spiegel and Mike Braden for making this edition better.

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