Breathe (a bit) easier / Chicago’s ‘wrong raid’ problem / NASCAR tragedy

Breathe (a bit) easier. The outlook for Chicago’s air quality—rendered awful by smoke from Canadian wildfires—eases a bit tomorrow …
 … but stands to be no better than moderate through Sunday …
 … as the weather gets rougher.
 One doctor compares breathing Chicago’s air this week to smoking (correction) half a pack of cigarettes a day …
 … which is why masks are back, baby.
 Here’s the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance for protecting yourself from wildfire smoke …
 … and you can sign up for The Daily Breather for email updates on local air quality.
 Even with international reinforcements, Canadian firefighters have been overwhelmed.
 Conceding the present onslaught of dirty air is beyond Illinoisans’ immediate control, a Sun-Times editorial calls on the state to work harder to cut its own air pollution.
 The Guardian: Texas has avoided rolling blackouts through its latest heatwave—partly by doubling its solar power supplies since last year.
 A new Museum of Science and Industry exhibit illustrates the menace plastic waste poses to oceans and lakes, including Lake Michigan.

Chicago’s ‘wrong raid’ problem. A new report from the city’s inspector general concludes the police department’s search warrant files are “incomplete, paper-based and decentralized,” keeping the department from getting a handle on just how often cops screw up.
 A Chicago police sergeant who pinned a teenager to the sidewalk outside a Park Ridge Starbucks—and was acquitted of criminal charges—now faces a civil lawsuit from the family.

‘Bidenomics.’ That’s the theme of President Biden’s Chicago fundraising blitz today.
 The Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet says Biden wants to show strength when end-of-the-quarter campaign funding reports are due at the end of the week.
 Politico: Branding (don’t say Brandoning) the economy with his name might not be all upside.

‘A resounding, reverberating victory for American democracy.’ That’s a conservative former federal judge’s take on the Supreme Court ruling that yesterday rejected a theory that would have given state legislators almost unlimited power to write their own election rules.
 Popular Information: Democracy dodged a bullet—with an asterisk.
 Public Notice notes that this was the second time this month that Justices Roberts and Kavanaugh joined with liberals to block Republicans’ push for one-party rule.
Columnist Neil Steinberg on Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s twisted view of a past that never was: “The crisis years of the 1970s might seem hazy to someone who turned 9 on the day Ronald Reagan became president. But he was shot two months later. And Pope John Paul II was shot two months later.”

When insurance companies say ‘No.’ A ProPublica investigation shines a light on the secrecy surrounding coverage denial rates …
 … by companies such as Cigna, which it says saves millions by having its doctors reject claims without reading them.
 It explains how you can get documents explaining why your claim was denied …
 Gov. Pritzker’s signed a bill giving Illinois more power over health insurance policies.
 A federal watchdog’s updated estimates peg the total stolen from two big pools of relief money at more than $200 billion.

‘RY_N  SE_CREST.’ Poynter’s Tom Jones assesses the naming of Wheel of Fortune’s next host …
 … giving Chicago native Pat Sajak more time to spend overseeing a Michigan college that forbids gay relationships (June 16 link).
 Without explanation, a woman who accused ex-WTMX-FM morning host Eric Ferguson of coercing her to perform sexual acts has dropped the lawsuit that forced him off the air.
 Veteran Chicago and network TV correspondent Jim Avila assesses Fox’s lineup change: “A sad—even desperate—attempt to bring back angry viewers who left in droves over the last year.”

NASCAR tragedy. Seven-time champ Jimmie Johnson has dropped out of the impending Chicago race after the shooting deaths—an apparent murder-suicide combination—of his in-laws and 11-year-old nephew.
 The Sun-Times’ Steve Greenberg: Yes, we all must root for NASCAR’s only Illinois driver this weekend.
 A Tribune editorial mourns billionaire James Crown’s death Sunday while driving a racecar around a track: “Another cruel blow for the city’s efforts against gun violence” …

‘Dazzles at every turn.’ Sun-Times critic Catey Sullivan gives four stars to The Goodman Theatre’s new production of The Who’s Tommy …
 … as does the Tribune’s Chris Jones.

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 Mike Braden made this edition better.

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