‘Democracy is at risk’ / Tweet sanely / Holidays with COVID

‘Democracy is at risk.’ Delivering what the AP calls “a darker, more urgent message,” President Biden charged Americans with using their Nov. 8 ballots to defeat “ultra MAGA” forces.
Politico calls the speech “a closing argument for Democrats”—especially as they aim to keep control of the House.
Acknowledging that “issues of democracy are hugely important,” Biden’s longtime ally, David Axelrod, nevertheless tweeted: “As a matter of practical politics, I doubt many Ds in marginal races are eager for him to be on TV tonight.”
Relentless optimist Michael Moore: “Since 2004, young voters have overwhelmingly leaned Democratic. … This year all signs are pointing to history exceeding itself.”
Media writer Tom Jones: Don’t expect results on Election Day, and instead “think of it as ‘election week’ or ‘election month.’
Actors who play Marvel heroes are uniting for a livestream event Sunday to support Democrats in Mark “Incredible Hulk” Ruffalo’s home state, Wisconsin.

‘A vulgar, disturbing threat.’ Republican gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey blames Democratic rhetoric for a horrific voicemail menacing him and his family.
Pritzker condemned the suspect in a tweet: “Hatred in any form has no home in Illinois.”
A Proud Boy from Aurora faces the prospect of years in prison after pleading guilty to some of the most serious charges filed against an Illinoisan in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.
The Sun-Times digs deep into the sources of fake newspapers flooding Illinoisans’ mailboxes.
A fresh addition to the Chicago Public Square voter guide: Veteran political activists Jon Hale and Lynn Kamenitsa’s “Election + Action Guide”—even for those who’ve already cast their ballots.

‘Vastly underestimated.’ A new analysis from a former employee of Chicago’s Office of Financial Analysis suggests Chicago’s budget falls far short of conveying just how much the city’s biggest budget item—the police department—really costs taxpayers …
 … and yet, an independent monitor reports, the department’s staffing shortages are crippling the office supposed to oversee police reform.
The city inspector general’s office finds major shortcomings in programs to support cops’ mental health and wellness.

‘A collection of discredited talking points from the fossil fuel industry.’ The Popular Information and Heated newsletters team up to dump on a New York Times columnist who’s come around to believing global warming is created by humans but who nevertheless “emphasized the benefits of fracking and natural gas.”
Mayor Lightfoot’s budget—including a beefed-up office on the environment—is moving ahead in the City Council …
 … even as environmentalists complain it’s not enough.

Tweet sanely. Columnist Eric Zorn refuses to abandon Twitter just because Elon Musk is now at the helm and hate speech seems on the rise—and he offers five tips for having a pleasant experience there.
True, Chicago Public Square is refraining from tweeting—for now—but Twitter remains an invaluable source of incoming intel, under these circumstances:
 … and let apps like TweetShelf and NewsLit.co share with you the content they’re sharing.
R.I.P., Zite (killed by Flipboard) and Nuzzel (killed by Twitter).

Everybody’s doing it. Google’s getting into the artificial intelligence text-to-art business …
 … pioneered by services like DALL-E (which created that image).

The Arm and a Leg podcast tackles the question “Could not having insurance be a better deal?

From St. Louis to Naperville to SNL to HBO—in St. Louis. Chris Redd’s standup special gets three stars from critic Richard Roeper.
Sesame Street enters its 53rd season amid questions about where its shows will be seen.
Flashback to 1997 for 17 minutes with Sesame Street’s late co-creator and first head writer, the Emmy Award-winning Jeff Moss.

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Chicago Public Square mailbag. Reader and Square supporter Sarah Russe, who assures us she’s “not generally a curmudgeon, truly,” writes about yesterday’s edition: “I have to get cranky about one thing: How long is it necessary to describe philanthropist MacKenzie Scott as ‘Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife?’ … Perhaps there could be a soft transition, like to ‘educator Dan Jewett’s soon-to-be ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott?’ Kidding of course, but seriously, please let her stand on her own!”
Square is a labor of love. But love alone doesn’t keep it coming. No, for that you can thank readers whose financial support covers part (but not all) of the cost—including Sarah, but also Deborah Barragan-White, Steve Carlson, Gordon Walek, Sarah Hoban, Jill Chukerman, G C Bien, Ben Segedin, Bob Konold, Robert A. Shipley, Patricia Winn, Ed McDevitt, Anna Tarkov, Deb Humiston, Bruce Robert Pfaff, Ted Slowik, David Jones, MJ Garnier, Maureen Kelly, Martha Intrieri, Cynthia Farenga, Ann Johnson Arellano, Leslie Sutphen, Alison Price, John Metz, Keith Huizinga, Kathy Wyman & Doug Waco, Paul Zavagno, William Wheelhouse, Lisa Colpoys and Catherine Schneider, Frank Heitzman, Denise Pondel, Helen Marshall, Laurie Casey and Sharon Halperin.
Join them for any amount you choose—one-time or recurring—here.

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