‘I’m still trying to process watching someone nearly die on the field’ / Capitol cliffhanger / Weather whiplash

Chicago Public Square is back. A special welcome to readers who subscribed after hearing about Square on the radio—at 2:00:02 here. And now the news:

‘I’m still trying to process watching someone nearly die on the field.’ Political analyst Lauren Martinchek, who says she absolutely loves football, doesn’t know “how the NFL is ever viewed the same” …
 … after Buffalo defensive back Damar Hamlin’s heart stopped during a game that has been postponed indefinitely. (AI illustration: DALL-E.)
Poynter’s Tom Jones and Al Tompkins: “ESPN’s coverage … was responsible and yet awkward.”

Capitol cliffhanger. Updating coverage: Before a new Republican-dominated House can begin its work, the party needs to pick a speaker—and its ability to do so remained in shadow …
 … and without a new speaker, there is no new House.
Activist author and filmmaker Michael Moore encouraged people to call Congress—at 202-224-3121—to insist that those who sought to block President Biden from entering the White House be prohibited from taking a seat in this new session.
Before shutting down, the Democratic-controlled Jan. 6 Committee has unleashed a tide of new evidence …
 … including a text message from former White House aide Hope Hicks to a colleague during the insurrection, lamenting that “we all look like domestic terrorists now.”
According to a committee report leaked to Rolling Stone, “in the immediate aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack, Twitter employees raged at their own company and its leadership, blaming them for … inept handling of Donald Trump and other top MAGA figures’ incitement to violence.”

‘I don’t know how she could ever show her face in public after this.’ Columnist Neil Steinberg hails a New York Times profile of Rep. Elise Stefanik: “Nothing I have to say is as important as this article.”
Sun-Times D.C. bureau chief Lynn Sweet in 2021: “I knew Rep. Elise Stefanik when she was a college student. And what I never saw coming was her decision to put herself on the fast track by becoming a truth-denying acolyte of Donald Trump.”

‘Money for weapons the Pentagon does not want.’ Popular Information tracks your tax dollars at work, with members of both parties giving unquestioning support to massive increases in military spending.
On the threshold of his second term as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin gets credit for bringing “stunning” diversity to the federal bench.

‘We don’t want to leave.’ But residents of Chicago’s rapidly gentrifying working-class neighborhoods tell Block Club Chicago that huge property tax increases may leave them no choice.
A report from Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas’ office spotlights the areas hurting the most.

‘Being poor is not a crime.’ Columnist Eric Zorn: “Cash bail would be unthinkable if it weren’t already traditional.”
Illinois’ criminal justice reform law—including bail reform—remained in limbo—its enforcement suspended by the state Supreme Court.
Here’s a full list of other state laws taking effect in 2023.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is a Square advertiser.

Make sure to visit Forecast Form: Art in the Caribbean Diaspora, 1990s–Today at the MCA in 2023. Called “both ravishingly beautiful and discomfiting,” in Hyperallergic’s “Top 50 Exhibitions of 2022.” Vogue also featured it saying, “what the exhibition does well is invite an open dialogue: [Curator Carla] Acevedo-Yates and the 37 artists cast light on the intricacies of the Caribbean in a way that is both imaginative and literal.” Learn more and then book your tickets today.
Gone with the wind. Chicago-born Earth, Wind and Fire drummer Fred White is dead at 67.
Here he is performing in 1979.

Weather whiplash. After a rainy, spring-like day today, NBC 5 predicts snow tomorrow.

Ready to dump your tree? Here’s a roundup of Chicago-area places you can responsibly dispose of a Christmas tree past its prime.
And here are other spots in Illinois.

Square T-shirt in paradise. Reader Len Jaster writes:
“On my recent trip to Hawaii, I brought my almost brand-new Chicago Public Square shirt. One day while we were out and about—I was there in part for business and also in part to visit with my brother Gary—I was surprised at how many comments I received on the shirt. I think the best of the bunch was from a man who said, ‘Excuse me, but you have some big kahunas wearing that shirt around here!’ When I asked him what he meant, he said most of the islands are very liberal and that this was a surprise that somebody would wear such a thing. So of course I had to give that shirt to my brother, who will now wear it proudly.” (Photo: Gary Jaster, by Len Jaster—who now has a replacement for the shirt he left in the Pacific.)
Want a shirt of your own? Here you go.

A classified ad. If you click—even if you don’t buy—Square gets paid.

Babbel will be the most productive 10 minutes of your day if you’ve always wanted to learn a new language. Trusted by more than 10 million subscribers worldwide, it’s a language-learning platform that can get you conversing confidently in just three weeks. Plus, speech recognition tech helps perfect your accent. Sign up now and get up to 60 percent off your subscription.

Subscribe to Square.