Sorry for ‘my offensive words’ / High expectations / California creamin’

Sorry for ‘my offensive words.’ Reportedly-under-federal-investigation Chicago Ald. Jim Gardiner took to the City Council floor yesterday to apologize for profane text messages in which he demeaned women with words including c*nt and b*tch.
His defense included: “I have never acted on those rants.”
Patch columnist Mark Konkol: “Chicago taxpayers who can’t count on their government to police itself will probably get stuck paying Gardiner a salary.”
A tip of the cap to the Northwest Side watchdog site that broke the story: The People’s Fabric.
The Chicago Park District’s inspector general is quitting—as she herself was under investigation.

Report a cop anonymously. Among the reforms in the new police contract aldermen passed yesterday is a return—for the first time in 40 years—of citizens’ right to complain about officers without signing an affidavit.
A Chicago police officer who complained a superior ordered cops to protect his home during last summer’s riots is suing the city, contending he was subject to retaliation.

‘A public health emergency of epic proportions.’ The southern region of Illinois reports that it ran out of intensive care unit beds—a first in the pandemic.
In the first two weeks of Chicago’s school year, more than 5,600 students were ordered to quarantine.
Mayor Lightfoot’s picked a new schools CEO.

Wait—there are parties???? A guy writes to Dear Abby: “During lockdown, I forgot how to talk to people at parties.”
The Conversation: Forceful vaccine messages are backfiring with holdouts.
The White House is praising Fox for giving its employees a message it’s denied its viewers: Get vaccinated or face a daily COVID-19 test.

High expectations. A Trump Tower penthouse listed for $30 million is Chicago’s most expensive actively listed home ever.
Nine years ago, when it was listed for $2 million more and billed as the highest residential space in the Western Hemisphere, your Square columnist walked around the joint—filing audio and video.
A design contest—which has no official sway on the ultimate outcome—has named three winning submissions in a call to reinvent Chicago’s Thompson Center. (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)

‘The most environmentally friendly thing … is to hold onto your iPhone for as long as humanly possible.’ The Information pokes a hole in Apple’s environmental boasts as it launched a new product lineup.
A new ordinance in Chicago means that if you want plastic utensils or napkins with takeout restaurant food, you’ll have to ask.
High praise for Illinois’ new energy bill from the Union of Concerned Scientists: “A truly transformational piece of legislation and … a blueprint for other Midwest states looking to take action on climate and clean energy in a just and equitable way.”
Gov. Pritzker was set to sign it this morning at Chicago Public Square’s email deadline.

‘Did anyone have Dan Quayle saves the Republic on their 2021 hellscape bingo card?’ Variations on that theme have been bouncing around the internet since the revelation in a new book by journalists Bob Woodward and Bob Costa that ex-Vice President Quayle talked then-Vice President Mike Pence down from the ledge Jan. 6—telling Pence not to give in to Donald Trump’s demands that he avoid certifying Joe Biden’s election Jan. 6.
More from the book: On Jan. 8, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley took secret action to keep Trump from launching nuclear weapons.
Popular Information: The Jan. 6 attack never ended.”

Galactic twist. A special investigator hired by Republicans to examine Wisconsin’s 2020 presidential election has been talking to a conspiracy theorist who’s linked the election of Joe Biden to a central joke in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy …
 … written by the late Douglas Adams—subject of one of my favorite interviews ever.

California creamin’. The Associated Press rounds up five takeaways from California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s easy deflection of a recall vote—including “COVID precautions can help Democrats.”
A pivotal email may have turned the tide …

‘The only comedian I know who could get away with a Norm Macdonald is dead joke is Norm Macdonald.’ Stephen Colbert is among the parade of personalities paying tribute to Saturday Night Live alumnus Macdonald, who died yesterday after a nine-year run with cancer.
Ten years ago, Macdonald made clear—in his funny way—how he felt about the phrase “lost his battle” against cancer.
George Wendt, a Fenwick High School teacher and legendary swimmer who shared a name with his famous TV star cousin, drowned in Lake Michigan.
Critic Aaron Barnhart on Trevor Noah’s return to a studio: “The Daily Show remains the same mirthless consciousness-raising seminar that it’s been throughout the pandemic.”

A cap off the old block. Remember those Chicago Public Square caps that were available first in white and then in black? Coming soon: A new batch of … a different color. Stay tuned.
■ Thanks to Pam Spiegel for making this edition better.

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