Pandemic freeze-out / ‘A God-view vantage’ / Flutes in the news

Pandemic freeze-out. As a brutal arctic blast makes itself at home in Chicago, the city is closing its COVID-19 test facilities through Wednesday.
Chicago library workers want to be bumped up on the priority list.
The Trump administration’s lousy math on long-term care facilities’ staffing means an unexpected boost of vaccine doses for others …

No thaw for teachers, Lightfoot. The mayor and the Chicago Teachers Union had yet to come to terms on reopening schools in the pandemic.
The Wall Street Journal: Remote or in-person, fewer kids are attending school—especially students of color, those with special needs and elementary school children.
All of Illinois is now under relaxed COVID-19 restrictions that match those in place over the summer.
But it’s not summer, so take some precautions to protect water pipes through the deep freeze.

Democrats flex muscle. With Vice President Harris breaking a tie, the U.S. Senate early today approved a resolution that’ll speed passage of President Biden’s pandemic relief plan without the need for a single Republican vote.
Politico: “Two weeks into his presidency, Biden has collaborated with the left, co-opted it and, for the time being, won it over.”
Historian Heather Cox Richardson observes with amazement a suggestion yesterday from Republican Sen. Mitt Romney—caught on tape as a 2012 presidential candidate complaining that “47 percent of the people … are dependent upon government”—to give American families at least $3,000 per year per child.

‘The terrible, awful things I have said and done and enabled and incited over and over again for most of my life and right up until a few days ago do not represent me as a person in any way.’
McSweeney’s mocks the speech deranged Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene gave to the House—an address The Associated Press describes as “a mixture of backpedaling and finger-pointing”—before representatives voted along mostly party lines to deprive her of her prime official duties …
 … which—despite her school-shooting conspiracy hogwash—gobsmackingly included a seat on the education committee. (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)
Illinois Republican Adam Kinzinger was one of just 11 Republicans who voted against her.

‘The Earth is round. Two plus two equals four. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the 2020 election for President and Vice President of the United States.’ The Above the Law blog hails that “sick burn” at the start of a stunning $2.7 billion defamation suit filed by election tech company Smartmatic against Fox News, its “personalities” and Donald Trump’s legal team.
Esquire’s Charlie Pierce: “Not only is this lawsuit a whopper … hell, it’s written better than a lot of New York Times opinion columns.”
Read the complaint here.
CNN’s Brian Stelter doesn’t see a threat to the First Amendment: “This case is about entertainers who gave fuel to lies in a desperate bid to keep Trump in power.”

‘A God-view vantage of that dark day.’ A source has given The New York Times smartphone data tracking the movement of thousands of Trump supporters, rioters and passers-by in Washington Jan. 6.
An AP fact-check blows away social-media-fueled lies about U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s account of her whereabouts that day.
That guy who wore horns to the Capitol went on a jail food strike until he got organic food.

‘Thank you.’ That was the two-word response from the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists to Trump’s resignation from the union—before it could expel him.
Trump’s reportedly planning a revenge tour to target Republicans who backed his impeachment.
Trump lickspittle Mike Lindell faces competition for his MyPillow company: A sustainability-focused, union-friendly pillow in the works from Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivor and gun-control activist David Hogg—who, by the way, wants Marjorie Taylor Greene’s resignation.

Flutes in the news. A graduate music student from Boston who lost his $22,000 flute on a CTA train last week returned to the city to reclaim it …
 … expressing his gratitude by playing for police and CTA riders.
But this flute mystery remains unsolved.

One weekend to go. Voting ends Monday in the Chicago Reader’s Best of Chicago poll. Kick a vote or two Chicago Public Square’s way, won’t you?

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

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