Boosterism / ‘A bloody mess’ / Code switching

Boosterism. Sleeves up, America—again: The Biden administration was reportedly ready to recommend COVID-19 booster vaccines for everyone eight months after their initial round.
The Sun-Times’ Maudlyne Ihejirika, who was horrified to learn that her NorthShore University HealthSystem medical tech hadn’t been vaccinated, reports NorthShore has now joined most major Chicago-area hospital and health care systems in requiring vaccinations for workers.
Sign on a door at FitzGerald’s Nightclub in Berwyn, which is now requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test for admission: “The future of the live music industry depends on kicking COVID’s ass, and murdering its shitty mutant sibling.”
Journalist Charlie Warzel assesses how the pandemic has changed us all: “I know that I’m not going back to the way I was before.”

‘Line in the sand’ no more. The average number of new COVID-19 cases in Chicago has passed 400—the point at which Chicago’s top doc last year said all students would learn remotely …
 … but she says this year is different.
An epidemiologist says schools can reopen safely if they’re mindful of what works and what’s not worth the effort.

‘Don’t let your guard down.’ Illinois Senate President Don Harmon, in a Facebook post: “I am recovering nicely from a breakthrough case of COVID-19.”
Politico’s Shia Kapos: “The news complicates this week’s political festivities” in Springfield.
The Union of Concerned Scientists has launched a petition campaign pressing Harmon to “get Illinois off fossil fuel-powered electricity.”

‘A bloody mess.’ That’s an assessment of the American exit from Afghanistan in a Sun-Times editorial that nevertheless concludes, “Not one more American soldier should die in a war that Afghan soldiers won’t fight themselves.”
The Taliban now have some fine U.S. weaponry …
Conceding “this did unfold more quickly than we anticipated,” President Biden says he stands “squarely behind” his decision to end the war.
In an attempt to persuade Afghans they’ve changed, the Taliban have declared a nationwide “amnesty” and are encouraging women to join their government …
 … but Facebook says it considers the Taliban a terrorist organization and will continue to ban content promoting it.

‘This has been a disaster.’ Ex-Obama strategist David Axelrod on CNN: Biden had no choice in Afghanistan, but “you cannot defend the execution.”
Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan: “Maybe the pullout from Afghanistan really will go down as Biden’s Waterloo. But maybe deciding that should take more than a few hours.”
Stephen Colbert says Afghanistan has been the war no one wants to discuss: “This talk show … our self-imposed mandate is to talk about whatever the national conversation was on a daily basis. [Addressing his director:] Jim, play the sizzle reel of all the times I’ve talked about Afghanistan on The Late Show.” [Cue animated tumbleweeds to the sound of coyote howls.]

‘You will be ticketed for going 0.001 mph over the speed limit.’ Tribune columnist Rex Huppke mocks Chicago’s draconian new speed-limit cameras: “Also, to protect all Chicagoans, the cameras will issue tickets to anyone traveling more than 0.001 mph below the speed limit.”
The Cook County treasurer’s office says the next round of property tax bills will reflect a burden shifting to businesses and suburban Blacks and Latinos.

‘This is going to send a ripple.’ Chicago Park District Superintendent Michael Kelly has benched two managers and disciplined dozens of others in connection with charges of physical abuse and sexual harassment involving lifeguards.
The young woman who filed the initial complaint tells WBEZ that Kelly is mainly “trying to protect his job.”

Code switching. People who live in Chicago’s western and southern suburbs are running out of 708 phone numbers—so get ready for 464.
If you already have a 708 number, you won’t have to change it, but—as soon as October—you’ll have to use 10 digits to dial your neighbors.

‘I did urge him to resign.’ CNN’s Chris Cuomo returned from vacation to address the scandal that is ending the gubernatorial reign of his brother, Andrew Cuomo …
 … concluding with, “This will be my final word on it.”
On the road in California, Patch columnist Mark Konkol catches up with a former WGN Radio producer who moved to Hollywood in pursuit of fame and/or fortune … and won a washer and dryer.

Notes on yesterday’s Chicago Public Square.
Two editions—the original and a second corrected dispatch—failed to make it easy for readers to hear the segment of Ben Joravsky’s podcast in which he makes good-natured fun of Square. This YouTube link will take you right to the start of that long and rambling segment. (Be patient.)
You know that hat-tip to Bob Dylan at the bottom of yesterday’s edition—so aptly titled “Everything is broken”? Yeah, Square regrets that, too.

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