Fond farewell / Why ‘everyone has COVID’ / Dingus of the Week / Quiz

Chicago Public Square will take Monday off. Back Tuesday.

Fond farewell. Before we get to the rest of the news, let’s hail the insightful daily cartoon site The Nib, whose founder, Matt Bors, has kindly shared his talented team’s work with Square readers for the last year-and-a-half and whose super-sized final daily email dispatch begins this way:
 Your contribution to The Nib will help preserve this creative work online for the ages.

Hidden in plain sight. The Sun-Times pulls back the curtain on a curtained-off “overcrowded, unsanitary” migrant shelter at O’Hare.
 Block Club Chicago: A year after Texas’ governor began sending buses of migrants here, the city’s still just not ready.

Need a new driver’s license? Effective today, that and many other functions performed by the Illinois Secretary of State’s office will now require appointments …
 … which you can schedule here.
 The department’s Loop office, at State and Randolph, is the only one still welcoming walk-ins.
 Block Club: “Illinois has historically not referred to Secretary of State facilities as DMVs—until now.”

Why ‘everyone has COVID.’ CNN says this wave is probably worse than statistics make it look.

‘If Mayor Brandon Johnson were on his game, he would have been there last Friday in a striped 1890s swimsuit, back-flipping into the lake as a city fireboat spouted its approval.’ The Sun-Times’ Neil Steinberg mocks the city for killing the Friday Morning Swim Club.
 A Tribune editorial: “Focus instead on making the swim club work, safely. Support it and improve it; don’t shut it down.”

Dingus of the Week. Lyz Lenz’s pick: The gerontocracy.
 Politico’s Jack Shafer: “Why is nobody doing anything about Mitch McConnell?
 Katherine Krueger at Discourse: This Mitch McConnell shit is getting ridiculous.”
 But Congress’ attending physician has cleared McConnell to keep working—if you define this as “working.”
 President Biden says he’s not concerned about McConnell’s ability to serve.
 Vanity Fair’s Chicago-based contributing editor Eric Lutz: “McConnell’s second freeze-up is going to be very hard for Republicans to ignore.”

Protect your library. The Literary Activism newsletter offers a guide to keeping your local school and library board aware of repressive actors.
 Another parting shot from The Nib’s Brian McFadden envisions a “Stochastic Republican Textbook Fair.”
‘Big Pharma’s American Con.’ The Lever: Drugmakers are charging foreigners far lower prices for drugs that they want shielded from U.S. price cuts.
 Injustice Watch and WBEZ: Despite a new law designed to free hundreds of terminally ill and medically incapacitated prisoners in Illinois, only a few dozen have been released.

How hard will you labor … to answer a special Labor Day-themed news quiz?
 Can you beat your Square columnist’s meager 75% score?

Beanie Babies breakthrough. The company’s reclusive Chicago-born founder, Ty Warner, has granted the New York Post his first interview in decades.

What you missed. If you don’t follow Square on Facebook—a good idea, especially through the holiday weekend—here’s a sample of developments and commentary you might otherwise have caught between editions:
 “Proud” goeth before a fall: Two ex-Proud Boys leaders have been hammered with some of the longest sentences yet in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection.

Subscribe to Square.