Showtime / ‘I think, Would an idiot do that?’ / Meet the B*AI*tles

Showtime. Updating coverage: Donald Trump was set this afternoon to become the first former president to face federal charges before a judge.
The curtain was to rise at 2 p.m. Chicago time.
The Bulwark’s Charlie Sykes predicts: “He will then be released into a country that has to grapple with the prospect that this man who has been charged with 37 new felonies (on top of two impeachments, a civil verdict holding him liable for sexual assault, and 38 felony counts …) may once again be president.” (Link corrected.)
Daily Beast: “Trump advisers quietly worry courthouse protest could be a ‘disaster.’
Popular Information scrutinizes arguments against Trump’s indictment and concludes, “None of them hold water.”
PolitiFact: Espionage Act charges don’t mean prosecutors are accusing Trump of spying.
Media critic Mark Jacob condemns coverage of the case: “Liars get to lie on national television.”

Underride deaths. A joint ProPublica/Frontline investigation exposes federal regulators’ failure for decades to take simple steps to prevent gruesome roadway crashes in which small vehicles crash into—and under—big trucks.
The Frontline doc debuts tonight on TV and YouTube. (Image and hyperlinked video: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.)
A pedicab driver struck by a party bus driver after a Dead & Co. concert at Wrigley Field tells Block Club Chicago she may not work Wrigley again.

‘The Great Bank Robbery of 2023.’ The Lever’s David Sirota calls your attention to the miserly interest rate—if any—your bank’s granting you, even as the gap between what banks pay on deposits and what they charge on loans is at a record high.
He suggests the government embrace this 2018 proposal to let any citizen open a Federal Reserve account that “would pay the same interest rate that commercial banks receive on their balances.”

‘I think, Would an idiot do that? And if they would, I do not do that thing.’ Delivering a commencement address at Northwestern University, Gov. Pritzker invoked quotes from The Office—with star Steve Carell in the audience.
See the speech here.
Pritzker’s predecessor, Bruce Rauner, also got some laughs yesterday at the unveiling of his Capitol portrait.

He’ll take an X … it. Wheel of Fortune host—and Chicago native, Farragut High and Columbia College grad—Pat Sajak is hanging it up …
But maybe it’ll be someone with fewer problematic political views (2022 link).

Hunger games. Chicago-based GrubHub is cutting 400 jobs—some here.
The New York Times-owned Athletic website is trimming staff—and abandoning its commitment to assign a reporter to every major-league baseball and hockey team.

Reddit revolt. Much of the news aggregation and discussion website went dark yesterday as users voluntarily blacked out their groups to protest the company’s plan to charge for third-party app access.
Platformer’s Casey Newton: The site’s self-governing ethos has come back to bite it.

Meet the B*AI*tles. Paul McCartney says artificial intelligence tech helped create what he calls “the last Beatles record,” to be released later this year.
Allow cartoonist Tom Tomorrow to introduce you to “the physical manifestation of an AI chatbot … to assuage any anxiety you may be experiencing about this exciting new technology.”
His colleague at The Nib, Brian McFadden, envisions the next generation of wearable tech.

Correction. Yesterday’s Square got the title wrong for departing NPR staffer David Schaper: He’s been Chicago bureau reporter.
Thanks to David himself for the correction.
■ And thanks to John Meissen for flagging the bad link above.

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