Off-year angst / ‘The stupidest possible thing’ / Straight-A hospitals / Last call

Off-year angst. State and local elections today will provide clues better than some premature and unreliable polls about the political state of the nation.

 Politico: Those races have been “fully nationalized” …
 Embattled libraries are on a bunch of ballots.
 Also: Taylor Swift.
 Axios: Gov. Pritzker’s donations to a mayoral candidate in Charleston, South Carolina—first in the Democratic presidential primary calendar—signal his White House ambitions.

‘The stupidest possible thing.’ MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell says Donald Trump did himself no favors with his one-word answer to a question at Trump’s civil fraud trial in New York.
 Ex-federal prosecutor Shan Wu: Judge Engoron made the right call in letting Trump rant.
 Seth Meyers: “Trump … swore to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and then everyone just laughed and laughed.”
 Columnist and journalism critic Mark Jacob rewrites Washington Post Trump coverage that “showed how established news reporting habits can play into the fascists’ hands.”
 CNN’s Oliver Darcy praises ABC’s George Stephanopoulos for demonstrating how to interview 2020 election deniers.

60 days in jail—and surrender of his weapons. That’s the unprecedented sentence handed down to Robert Crimo Jr. after he pled guilty to reckless conduct in signing the gun ownership card for his son, who’s accused of killing seven people and wounding 48 others in Highland Park on July 4, 2022.
 Columnist Eric Zorn: Crimo’s plea deal fails to address “the question of what parents’ legal responsibility is for the horrific acts of their adult children.”
 WTTW: “Gun owners in Illinois are now required to register assault weapons. What happens if they don’t?
 Hanging in the balance before the U.S. Supreme Court: A law that keeps guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.
 The Reload: “Israeli civilians … are turning to personal firearms at an unprecedented rate. And the government has responded by making it easier to do just that.”

‘We are equally satisfied with his atonement, remorse and decision to resign.’ The Chicago City Council Black Caucus is good with Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa’s contrition over his treatment of the Council’s longest-serving Black woman.
 Sun-Times City Hall reporter Fran Spielman explains why Mayor Johnson dumped Ramirez-Rosa from his leadership roles.
 The contentious proposal that fueled the confrontation—a referendum on Chicago’s “sanctuary city” status—could inflame today’s Council meeting.

‘They’re all kind of crooked, I guess.’ As ex-Ald. Ed Burke’s corruption trial finally unspools, the Sun-Times talks to residents of the ward he represented for more than half a century.
 Columnist Cate Plys plunges deep into the Chicago history rabbit hole to correct the modern misconception that the city’s first convicted City Council member was Fred Hubbard 50 years ago.

Straight-A hospitals. Three in Illinois kept their top rankings in Leapfrog’s new safety report.
 Search for your favorite hospital here.

‘Your bank traps you. Here’s the fix.’ The Lever spotlights a proposed new federal regulation that would slice through restrictions and fees that banks use to keep their customers from shopping around.
 You can file your comments with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau here.
 Heated: “Surprise! Billionaires aren’t solving climate change.”

‘Mr. Sanders is a nice young reporter.’ Calumet City’s attorney has dropped tickets against a Daily Southtown reporter accused of asking too many questions about flooding.
 An editorial in the Southtown’s corporate sibling, the Tribune, calls the ticketing “clownish.”
 Marion County (Kansas) Record publisher—and former U. of I. journalism professor—Eric Meyer: “It sure seems like there’s a bright orange target painted on the back of every journalist in the United States these days.”
 Digiday: Advertisers’ lazy keyword block lists are crippling black-owned publishers.
 Poynter’s Tom Jones takes a critical look at Gannett’s hiring of a reporter specifically to cover Taylor Swift.

Last call. Midnight tonight rings to a close the nomination round for the Reader’s Best of Chicago awards—and your final chance to give Chicago Public Square nods for Best Email Newsletter and Best Independent Website.
 Wednesday marks the start of a new roll-call for those who’ve chipped in—any amount—over the last year or so to help keep Square coming. Do it now and you’ll be listed first.

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