‘Under-prepared and ill-equipped’ / ‘Dingus of the Week’ / Personal note

‘Under-prepared and ill-equipped.’ A scathing report from Chicago’s Office of the Inspector General concludes the city’s police force failed in nearly every way last year as it responded to protests after Minneapolis officers killed George Floyd.
A Sun-Times editorial on the report: Mayor Lightfoot and Police Supt. Brown’s decision to raise downtown bridges during the rioting backfired bigtime.
Some aldermen want Brown fired.
Lightfoot’s catching heat for spending close to 60 percent of the discretionary cash the city got from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act on police personnel costs.
The Chicago Reader:51 women murdered in Chicago, zero arrests.”

Thousands served. The University of Illinois’ Chicago arena is doing gangbuster biz as a mass COVID-19 vaccination site, with shots available to qualified Chicago residents who register online.
The number of Illinois cases linked to a more contagious UK variant of the virus are is on the rise.
New research suggests the Pfizer/BioNTech SE vaccine delivers strong immunity after just one dose and can be stored in ordinary freezers.
Arizona State University professors: A month in, President Biden has transformed U.S. management of the COVID-19 disaster.
Remember how car insurance companies cut rates when people stopped driving during the pandemic? Yeah, that was nice while it lasted.

‘Resign immediately.’ Congressman Bobby Rush is among those calling for the departure of Chicago’s postmaster general in the wake of widespread lousy mail delivery.
It’s also a problem in the suburbs.

More snow. Sunday will dump another round on the Chicago area—but then a warmup …
 … which raises the risk of flooding and falling ice.

‘Dingus of the Week.’ Men Yell at Me columnist Lyz Lenz bestows that honor on Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who fled to Cancun to escape his state’s multi-pronged weather crises.
Cruz concedes his family vacation “was obviously a mistake.”
Funny thing, CNN reports: Cruz has repeatedly slammed politicians for vacationing during crises.
Media writer Tom Jones: “Did he really think the media wasn’t going to get to the bottom of it all?” (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)
Electricity’s coming back in Texas, but water’s still a problem.
The Conversation: Texas’ electricity system produced low-cost power but left residents out in the cold.

Maybe there’ll still be life here when its haul returns. NASA’s Perseverance rover has landed safely on Mars, tasked with extracting rock samples containing possible signs of bygone life—for return to Earth as early as 2031.
It’s tweeting (kind of).

A ‘never mind’ budget. Better Government Association CEO David Greising is disappointed Gov. Pritzker’s spending plan “makes no bold moves and puts little political capital at risk.”
Columnist Mark Brown: Retiring scandal-scarred ex-Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s contention that he’s “been resolute in my dedication to public service and integrity” will be “a hard sell.”
The Sun-Times: Ex-Mayor Richard M. Daley’s nephew, Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson, is under investigation for a secret deal from a Bridgeport bank shut down for “massive fraud.”

Best cars. Consumer Reports is out with its annual rankings for performance, safety and reliability …

‘Please don’t cancel your subscription.’ Tribune columnist Eric Zorn offers better ways to protest the paper’s imminent assimilation by the parasitic hedge fund Alden Global Capital.
Chicago’s comedy spawning ground, The Second City, has been bought by a media-oriented private equity firm.

A personal note from your Chicago Public Square columnist. I got a COVID-19 shot yesterday afternoon—the first of two. Little did I dream in December 2011, when I filed this ribbon-cutting story, that I’d wind up—during a pandemic—back at Rush University Medical Center for a vaccine administered in its “futuristic … ground-floor ‘Advanced Emergency Response’ area” that could be “transformed into a treatment center … to deal with a massive threat to public health.”
It didn’t hurt …
 … but I shed a few tears …
 … of sadness—for those we’ve lost, for those still waiting …
 …and of gratitude—for science, for frontline workers, for better things to come. (We can hope.)
A hat-tip to Rush for a well-run process—from online registration to efficient delivery of shots. Everyone should have access to such care.
The shots are free; the parking should be, too—at least for the needy.

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