Something’s rotten / Battleground Skokie / ‘Shameless mutual back-scratching’

Greetings from pandemic purgatory—again. Now the news:

Something’s rotten.
The Sun-Times and WBEZ are taking a microscope to the problem of Chicago cops with ties to extremist groups.
Of at least 27 officers linked to the anti-government Oath Keepers, at least nine are still on the force.
When officers joined the Ku Klux Klan 55 years ago, the city moved to fire them quickly.

Battleground Skokie. Tensions over war in the Mideast boiled over last night as separate rallies supporting Israel and the Palestinian movement led to the arrest of one person accused of firing a gun into the air, and several others—including a cop—suffered pepper-spraying.
The Sun-Times: The past two weeks have brought Chicago-area Muslims and Arab Americans “dark memories of the hate they felt in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks 22 years ago.”
■Ex-WLS and WIND radio host John Howell says he’s not surprised at reports that the alleged killer of a Palestinian American boy had been listening to conservative talk radio.
Chicago journalist Ethan Michaeli, who was in Israel to honor his mother’s life at the time the war began: “My family conducted her funeral and shiva while the rocket barrage continued, occasionally going into bomb shelters whenever the sirens and phone apps let us know a projectile was headed our way.”
Gov. Pritzker—who’s Jewish—today addressed the Arab American Bar Association (updated links).

Babies at risk. The AP: Dwindling fuel supplies for Gaza’s hospital generators put premature babies’ lives in jeopardy.
Discourse and Nation editor Jack Mirkinson: Sen. John Fetterman’s insistence that “now is not the time to talk about a ceasefire” amounts to “Israel, do whatever you want to Gaza.”
Columnist Steve Sheffey: “Calls for a ceasefire now … are unintended calls for Hamas to remain in place.”
Popular Information’s Judd Legum: “In light of the experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is no guarantee that the situation in Gaza will be any better after many years of war.”

TV’s ‘war machine.’ The Lever says cable news networks are relying on a team of defense industry consultants to explain the war in Gaza—without mentioning that those analysts may have a financial stake in the conflict.
HBO’s John Oliver last night condemned a retired U.S. Army brigadier general who took to CNN to back the notion of starving Palestinians into surrender: “What you’re describing is a war crime” …
… and Oliver then went on to eviscerate the sprawling consulting firm founded in 1926 by a University of Chicago professor, McKinsey & Co.—“so deeply entrenched in the government of Saudi Arabia … Saudi Arabia’s planning ministry has been dubbed the ministry of McKinsey.”

What Republicans say / What it really means. Columnist and former Tribune and Sun-Times editor Mark Jacob offers a brief glossary.
Republicans’ internal tension over how and whom to name the next U.S. House speaker led to an Illinois representative reportedly cursing and lunging at Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz.

‘Stop this shameless mutual back-scratching between lawmakers and utilities.’ A Trib editorial calls on the General Assembly to sustain Pritzker’s veto of an “unwarranted gift” to scandal-scarred Commonwealth Edison Ameren Illinois, the utility serving all of downstate.
Also on the veto session agenda: A fight over whether to extend the tax break for people who donate money to private school scholarships
… an issue on which Springfield-watcher Rich Miller says the governor’s now flip-flopped.

O’Hare’s virtual struggles. Take a pandemic, add growing comfort with virtual tech, mix in companies’ desire to cut travel spending and air travel emissions … and you have a recipe for a continuing slump in business at Chicago’s bigger airport.
Maybe hot air balloons could help?

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Columnist Matt Baron praises Square for making a mistake—and then correcting it: “A model of doing it right when getting things wrong.”
Thanks to Charlie Pajor, who caught today’s goof, corrected above.

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