McCarthyisnt / 1:20 p.m. / Halloween outfit suggestion

McCarthyisnt. With Republican Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy out in a historic vote driven by reactionaries, Congress is all fouled up.
 Historian Heather Cox Richardson: “Wow.”
 Charlie Sykes at The Bulwark: “Kevin would be a tragic figure, if he were not so utterly and clownishly pathetic.”
 Late-night hosts—including Jimmy Kimmel—had a field day: “Do you know how much you have to suck to get AOC and Matt Gaetz on the same side of something?”
 Matt Yglesias at Slow Boring: “Joe Biden is old, but he runs a competent professional administration. Republicans are running a shit show.”
 Columnist Noah Berlatsky: “McCarthy is, personally, an incompetent doofus. But … the next GOP House speaker is likely to be worse.”
 The Daily Beast lists four names to watch …
 … including a guy linked to the Ku Klux Klan …
 … but not including Gaetz, channeled by Washington Post satirist Alexandra Petri: “I thought that if I sucked all attention into myself like a vortex and produced nothing of value in return, that meant that I was a hero, above criticism and you would be willing to threaten all my enemies with violence!”

Gagged, and back for more. Updating coverage: Ordered by a judge in his New York fraud trial to knock off personal attacks on court staffers, Donald Trump was to return to court today.
 Esquire’s Charlie Pierce: “I am no fan of gag orders per se, but this one had to happen.”
 USA Today columnist Rex Huppke: “Face facts: The Republican Party is a mess.”

‘Make up your mind, mainstream!’ The Reader’s Ben Joravsky perceives hypocrisy in Republican-leaning thought leaders who complain about Chicago’s “horrific demographic crisis of falling population” but who then whine about the influx of migrants “as though it’s one more bit of Armageddon being dropped on our doorstep.”
 Mayor Johnson’s named Chicago’s first chief homelessness officer.
 Gov. Pritzker’s calling for Illinois Democrats to end squabbling over the state’s response to the flood of asylum-seekers.

‘An environment of distrust.’ A federal court monitor’s report concludes Chicago police have abused their stop-and-search powers.
 Read the report here.

1:20 p.m. That’s when (Central time) phones across the country will begin blaring over the course of half an hour (once per phone, just not all at once) today as the Federal Emergency Management Agency tests its national emergency alert system …
 … and, no, it’s not part of a sinister plot (Sept. 29 link).
 Want to avoid the disruption? Turn your phone off, set it to airplane mode or disconnect it from the cellular network.

A-hole in one. An ex-Cook County worker faces up to five years in prison after admitting he helped businesses cheat on taxes in exchange for a couple of free golf outings.
 Block Club Chicago: “While the CTA flounders, its leader keeps getting pay hikes”—60% over eight years.
 Updating a Tribune investigation: Cook County courts have agreed to start tracking how criminal cases get strung out years and years.

‘Banned any good books lately?’ Columnist Neil Steinberg is marking Banned Books Week by reading a banned book.
 Popular Information calls out a couple of Fort Myers, Florida, TV stations that—rather than correct stories that disputed Popular Information’s (accurate) reporting on Florida librarians ordered to remove books with LGBTQ characters from libraries—simply yanked the stories off the web.
 Evanston’s bestselling author Scott Turow tomorrow gets a Chicago Literary Hall of Fame lifetime achievement award.

Quantum dots. That’s the subject of work that landed three researchers today’s Nobel Prize in chemistry.
 The next round of “genius grants”—more formally, MacArthur Foundation fellowships—goes public today, and you can see the list here at 11 a.m.

 A Sun-Times editorial: Any sense of Illinois “as a bubble cocooned from most of the vile forces that inflame hatred … is only an illusion.”
 At least 16 TV stations owned by Sinclair, the company that almost bought WGN-TV and -AM, ran sponsored gold investment segments from an antisemitic and white nationalist streamer—before pledging to review policies on sponsored content.

‘Everything I’ve learned from 3 years in the newsletter mines.’ Columnist Lyz Lenz marks the anniversary of Men Yell at Me: “My newsletter draws more traffic per day than the place I previously wrote for.”

Halloween outfit suggestion. How about going door-to-door as a Chicago Public Square fan?
 Square supporters—at any level or frequency—save $5 off the purchase price. ranks the top three most popular brands of candy in every state—and its No. 1 for Illinois might leave a sour taste in your mouth.
 Looking ahead a holiday or two, the Trib’s launched its 2023 cookie recipe contest …
 … which you can enter here.

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