‘Lost and mad’ / False / Merry Christmas

‘These people are simply lost and mad.’ Esquire columnist Charlie Pierce says the Republican Party’s lost “the last shreds of common decency” and “the prion disease has jumped from one subject population to the general public.”
The Editorial Board’s Lindsay Beyerstein: Pelosi’s alleged attacker “embraced the Revolutionary War kitsch beloved of J6 [Jan. 6, 2021] insurgents.”

‘They should pay me.’ Count author Stephen King among those condemning Twitter czar Elon Musk’s proposal to make prominent figures pay for their blue checkmarks of verification.
FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver was similarly profane.
Musk’s counteroffer: “How about $8?
The Tribune profiles a left-leaning trucking company owner with more than a million TikTok subscribers who got a guy that threatened him fired: “We’ve got to let these (bleeping) people know that they’re not going to get away with this (bleep).”

False. University of Illinois professors and others put the lie to assertions that this election’s so-called “Amendment 1,” a constitutional update protecting workers’ collective bargaining rights, would increase property taxes.
ProPublica: “The Biden administration caved to Republicans on fighting election disinformation.”
WTTW: Ex-House Speaker Michael Madigan faces federal corruption charges, but he’s still raking in campaign cash.
Ready to vote—or at least to decide how to vote? Here’s the Chicago Public Square voter guide.

‘We do not have any motive.’ Police were at a loss to explain the East Garfield Park shooting of 14 people Halloween night—including kids 3, 11 and 13.
Police Supt. David Brown: “It was over in about three seconds.”

Hideout out. In the aftermath of a former employee’s complaint of a toxic work environment, Chicago’s celebrated bar and performance venue The Hideout is closing for the rest of the year.
That followed a wave of artist cancellations.

‘Permanently barred from doing business in Washington.’ Block Club updates the maddening tale of a Chicago-area company that operated hundreds of shady COVID-19 pop-up testing sites across the nation.
The head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tested positive for COVID—again.

‘A legally binding debate—one that will force President Biden to bend to our ultimate decision or face immediate imprisonment.’ The Onion breaks in a new format: A parodic roundtable discussion of the question “Should Biden Run Again?” …
 … including an entry mockingly attributed to Barack Obama: “I Mean, Sure, Who Gives A Shit?

Gift of Thrones. Northwestern University graduate and Game of Thrones novelist and producer George R.R. Martin is giving the school $5 million to create a writing workshop and professorship.
A federal judge has blocked publisher Penguin Random House from buying rival Simon & Schuster.
 30 years ago today, this interview with author and Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist Dave Barry—who’s been published by both companies—aired on Chicago’s WNUA-FM.

Merry Christmas. Today—the earliest date in the stunt’s history—brings seasonal music to Chicago’s WLIT-FM.
Your Square columnist on Christmas Day 1991: “The words gnaw at me: Have a good holiday.

All saints. Thanks to readers whose financial support keeps Chicago Public Square coming—such as these, who’ve given permission for their names to be published: Gene Kannenberg Jr., Jim Peterson, Alex Riepl Broz, Jeanne Mcinerney, Teresa Powell, Andrew Mitran, Roy Plotnick, David Boulanger, Lawrence Perlman, Tom Mulcahy, Sandy Ridolfi, Virginia Mann, Paul Buchbinder, Bill & Laurie Bunkers, Susan Benloucif, Kurt Wehrmeister, Elaine Soloway, James Madigan, Tom Marker, Mark Nystuen, Libbey Paul, Catherine Johns, Susan Karol, Mike Dessimoz, Paul Pasulka, Emily Blum, Stephanie Springsteen, Joe Hallissey, Peter Fuller, Laurie Huget, Jim Grimes, Deborah Montgomery, Nancy W. Cook, Joan Berman and Valerie Denney.
You can join their hallowed ranks—and see your name in this space tomorrow—for any amount you choose here.

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