Democrats’ setback / Buzz in / Dr. Ye? No.

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And now the news:

Democrats’ setback. The Democratic Party’s grip on the U.S. Senate will be less firm now that Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has taken to the pages of The Arizona Republic to announce her departure from the party.
 … but she says she won’t caucus with Republicans—leaving Democrats with what Politico calls “a workable Senate majority in the next Congress.”
It spares her the prospect of a grueling 2024 Democratic primary.
Meanwhile, Congress is sending President Biden the Respect for Marriage Act—protecting same-sex and interracial marriages.

‘Maybe we shouldn’t leave these power stations just sitting around like this.’ Esquire’s Charlie Pierce sees a pattern in attacks on power stations across the country.
Three weeks before the most recent attacks in North Carolina, another station was deliberately disabled.
British economist Umair Haque: “Where does Trumpism go now? It becomes terrorism.”
Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Will Bunch: “Flunking social studies is how America got the Big Lie and QAnon.”

Overheard. Audio of an alleged phone call with Chicago mayoral candidate Willie Wilson’s paid consultant Rickey Hendon suggests Hendon offered Ja’Mal Green’s campaign a bribe if Green dropped a petition challenge against Wilson.

Nice work if you can get it. Chicago Public Schools chief Pedro Martinez is getting a $10,200 raise.
Chief Cook County Judge Tim Evans has launched an investigation into reports court employees defrauded the pandemic Paycheck Protection Program.
A National Defense Authorization Act headed to Biden’s desk would end the requirement that members of the military be vaccinated against COVID-19.

‘The cynicism was breathtaking.’ A trove of documents released by a House committee lifts the curtain on oil companies’ climate change hypocrisy.
 The Sun-Times and Inside Climate News: More than a year after Gov. Pritzker signed the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, the state has yet to launch its promised workforce development programs to advance minority contractors and workers.

The union has turned off the no-Wordling light. The one-day walkout at The New York Times is over, but not before some Wordlers were outed on social media.
Two top Times reporters didn’t join the stoppage Thursday.
New York’s Shawn McCreesh: “If the union really wants to draw blood, they will have to go on a real strike.”

Buzz in.
If it’s Friday—and it is, right?—it’s time for a new news quiz.
Your Square columnist nailed a perfect score. How’d you do?

‘The world is a friendlier place than … the news will make you think.’ Trevor Noah has signed off from The Daily Show.
See him tell the audience how he knew it was time: “When I started the show, I had three clear goals: I’m going to make sure Hillary gets elected, I’m going to make sure that I prevent a global pandemic from starting and I’m going to become best friends with Kanye West.”
The Hollywood Reporter recaps the show moment by moment.

Dr. Ye? No. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago has yanked the honorary doctorate it gave the Nazi-loving guy formerly known as Kanye West.
Following rape charges against Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter, ABC has yanked a special planned for next week, A Very Backstreet Holiday.

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