Corporations behaving badly / Unleash the tumblers! / News quiz

Chicago Public Square’s taking a week off. Back March 13.

Corporations Behaving Badly Dept.
The Guardian: Leaked audio caught a Union Pacific manager telling a worker to skip railcar broken-bearing inspections because they were slowing things down.
A Tribune editorial asks whether an East Palestine, Ohio-type rail disaster could happen in Chicago: “The short answer is yes, though what’s maddening is that it doesn’t have to be this way.”
 CNN: Despite actions that would be considered “a major scandal at an actual news organization,” corporate shareholders at Fox—including Vanguard, whose website brags it advocates “for the highest standards of corporate governance”—have been silent.
 You know that ballyhooed second headquarters complex for Amazon—the one Chicago sought so fervently (2018 link)? The company’s pausing construction.
 Dow Inc. pledged to recycle old sneakers—but Reuters’ inspired reporting, relying on hidden AirTags, showed it didn’t happen.

Unleash the tumblers! Former Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White—a Black Democrat who, as the Sun-Times notes, was the state’s leading vote-getter in four elections—is backing Paul Vallas for mayor of Chicago …
 … providing, in Politico’s words, “cover for other Black elected officials to endorse Vallas, who is white, over Brandon Johnson, who is Black.”
A longtime ally of White’s, Ald. Walter Burnett, was set to back Vallas Saturday.
Vallas’ loan of $100,100 to his own campaign removes limits on contributions to either of the candidates.
The Atlantic: Lori Lightfoot’s defeat is a sign that America’s big cities are ungovernable.
Columnist Neil Steinberg can’t detail his off-the-record conversation with the mayor—but he can share some of his questions …
 … and a photo he took: “I think it shows her as she is: Skeptical, aloof, slightly amused perhaps. She tried her best. We’ve had worse, and might again. We may come to miss her.”
Axios Chicago: City Council election results remain in flux as thousands of mail-in votes are uncounted.

Murder and more. An 18-year-old faces charges in the shooting death of a Chicago cop …
 … whose family remembers him as “always a proper man.”
The shooting was witnessed by kids at a grade-school playground.
Fighting a challenge to Illinois’ assault weapons ban, the state contends the Second Amendment couldn’t have protected the right to own those killing machines because they weren’t around in the Founding Fathers’ time.

Could have been worse. Highland Park Fourth of July massacre suspect Robert Crimo III allegedly told the FBI he considered using homemade explosives in the horrific assault …
 … and a federal search warrant alleged that agents found “bomb-making materials” in his apartment.
Injustice Watch: Time to subject Illinois courts to public-records law.

An ‘unusual amount of uncertainty.’ Chicago’s chances for up to eight inches of snow remained iffy …
 … and, at Square’s email deadline, the city seemed likely to dodge the worst of it.

‘A sad, toxic wasteland.’ Press watcher Dan Froomkin condemns The Washington Post opinion section as “a bevy of unoriginal right-wingers who make stuff up, defend the indefensible, and bore the tears out of you, all at the same time”—and makes his case, columnist by columnist …
 … but he concedes in email to Square that Alexandra Petri is “one of the good ones.”
A Florida Republican’s bill would require bloggers who write about the state’s elected officials to register with the state.
Lyz Lenz’s Dingus of the Week: “The ‘liberal’ who is forced to be conservative.”

‘Joe Biden has had fewer what than any U.S. president in recent memory?’ That’s Question No. 1 in this week’s news quiz.

Why is Chicago Public Square still here after six years? Because a relative few keep pitching in to show they find it valuable—people including Arthur Golab, Valerie Denney (again!), Analeah Rosen, Rupa Datta, Peggy Conlon-Madigan, Alison Price, Paul Buchbinder, Bruce Robert Pfaff, Christine Hauri, Peter Fuller, Stephanie Goldberg, Lisa McNulty, Jennifer Fardy, Darold Barnum, Deborah Montgomery, Ron Magers, Victoria Engelhardt, Anton Till, Jeanne Mcinerney, Robert A. Shipley, Bill Oakes, Lisa Krimen, M. Braun, David Protess, Shara Miller, Deb Abrahamson, Stephanie Textor, Daniel Forden, Tom Pritchett, Jeffrey Langer, Sandy Heitzman, Maureen Kelly, Jeffery Angevine, Julie Martin, Deborah J. Wess and Sheridan Chaney.
Join their ranks here and see your name in the next edition (March 13).
 Michael Rosenbaum made this edition better.

A Square public service announcement
Know a newsroom that could use an intern? The Chicago Headline Club and the Chicago Headline Club Foundation are accepting applications for grants to support internship programs. Deadline next Friday. Nonprofit Chicago-area print, broadcast and online news organizations can apply here.

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