‘An incandescent spotlight of batshittery’ / Nice job, Chicago / Square hoodies?

‘An incandescent spotlight of batshittery.’ Among columnist Neil Steinberg’s 13 takeaways from last night’s Republican presidential debate: “Vivek Ramaswamy … was probably the big winner … if drawing attention to yourself, your destructive hopes and fierce, misplaced self-regard can be considered winning.”
 But Charlie Sykes at The Bulwark says Ramaswamy “was utterly and thoroughly gutted by Nikki Haley” …
 … whom the Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet declares the night’s real “big winner.”
 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s “ringside scorecard” gives top marks to Haley and Chris Christie.
 Semafor: Everyone hates Vivek.”
 USA Today’s Rex Huppke: “Ron DeSantis needed to be someone else at the Republican debate. Sadly, he was himself.”
 The Washington Post’s Dan Balz: “Republican voters … looking for clarity about who might be best equipped to challenge Trump for the nomination … were hard-pressed to get past the interruptions and insults.”
 The Conversation: Careful listeners last night would have heard “a chorus of dog whistling on issues of race.”
 Media writer Tom Jones: Fox’s debate painted “a depressing picture of America.”
 For Biden’s campaign, the debate was an advertising field day.

On the other hand … Columnist Lauren Martinchek says Donald Trump had the best debate night—even though he wasn’t even there.
 In a recorded interview with Fox exile Tucker Carlson—released online during the debate—Trump derided his political opponents as “savage animals.”

Trump’s curious choice. [Correction:] Ahead of the ex-president’s surrender at a Georgia jail today—becoming the first U.S. president captured in a mug shot—he’s replaced his top lawyer in the case witha self-proclaimed liberal who’s previously criticized Trump on social media …
 … and with one who’s previously represented Howard Stern.
 Yesterday, it was his lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s turn to smile for the camera—which he did not.
 An Orland Park minister indicted in Georgia along with Trump and 17 others plans to turn himself in Friday.

Hot spot. The record Chicago heat yesterday continues today …
 … but rain could bring some relief late in the day.
 The Sun-Times spells out what to do if your apartment’s too hot.
 Cook County’s recorded its first death this year from the mosquito-borne West Nile virus.
 At The Nib, cartoonist Charis JB checks in on New Jersey’s innovative requirement of climate change education for kids across all grade levels:

‘It’s a sh**ty situation.’ Block Club Chicago: Despite the heat, the city’s been telling migrants to get out of police stations during the day.
 A Sun-Times editorial: Time for the state to “be more aggressive in coordinating efforts to find suburbs, or even downstate communities, willing to take in asylum seekers.”

Nice job, Chicago. In a refreshing change of pace, the city’s inspector general gives high marks to government treatment of Chicago’s homeless encampments.
 Read the report here.
 The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless says the city’s homeless population is on the rise.

‘Seawater Pump A activated.’ With those words, a Japanese utility company confirmed its release into the Pacific Ocean of radioactive water from a tsunami-ravaged nuclear power plant …
 … prompting China, at least, to outlaw seafood from Japan.

‘Everything that happened since June 24 had been … designed to dupe Prigozhin into … believing that … he was so very special … that maybe he wasn’t a traitor, and, if he was, the fate meted out to other traitors wouldn’t be his.’ But Puck’s Julia Ioffe says the deaths of Russian mutineer Yevgeny Prigozhin and a who’s who of his comrades, whose jet was downed yesterday, was inevitable (gift link, courtesy of Chicago Public Square supporters).
 A Wall Street Journal editorial: “This is no coincidence, comrade.”
 A USC international relations professor: “It wouldn’t be the first time someone who crossed Putin met a suspicious demise.”

‘We know viruses are coming.’ Your Local Epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina takes a shot at predicting COVID-19’s effect into this winter: “I wouldn’t be surprised if the Northern Hemisphere saw a repeat of last year.”
 It’s Aug. 24. Do you know where your mask is?

‘OK then. Congress should ban it.’ Columnist Robert Reich sees extraordinary bipartisan support for ending “preferences that prestigious colleges and universities give to children of rich alumni and wealthy donors.”
 The Tribune: As student loan repayments resume this fall, Chicagoans are staring down a financial cliff.

News news.
 CNN’s launching a breaking news channel on the Max streaming service next month.
 News media watchdog NewsGuard: Low-quality websites are using artificial intelligence to deceptively rewrite mainstream news outlets’ stories.
 The Beast: “Two decades after saying she regrets that Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh didn’t destroy The New York Times’ headquarters,” Fox host Ann Coulter got a Times byline.

Thanks. To Eric Zorn, for his weekly spotlight on Chicago Public Square.
 You can subscribe to his newsletter free, here.

Correction. Yesterday’s Square misidentified the company IBM is selling: It’s The Weather Company—once part of an organization co-founded by long-ago Chicago TV meteorologist John Coleman.
 Thanks, Jerry Role, for catching the error.
 Mike Braden and Laurie Bunkers made this edition better. 

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