Help nail corrupt pols / Nazis in the news / ‘Celebrating its terribleness’

Help nail corrupt pols. Illinois State Police have launched a new online form letting citizens accuse government officials of criminal misconduct.
 But, a veteran University of Illinois political scientist warns WTTW, “The mandate they’re claiming is incredibly broad. … If you’re overloading your plate, you’re not being as effective.”

Poison pen. Soil at Chicago’s emerging Brighton Park migrant camp is plagued by high levels of mercury, arsenic and lead.
 A report buried at the bottom of the city’s page of frequently asked questions about “new arrivals” explains the city’s pouring a 6-inch layer of “crushed clean stone” (downloadable file link) over the property.
 A Tribune editorial: The Brighton Park project exemplifies “poor decision-making emanating from Mayor Johnson’s administration,” and Gov. Pritzker should kill it.
 Sun-Times analysis: The migrant crisis is at the heart of “real frustration” on both sides of a tense relationship between Pritzker and Johnson.

‘It must be depressing work to be a COP protestor.’ At the international climate conference in Dubai, Chicago’s Mike Fourcher reports “a tussle over science belief while financiers gab.”

Nazis in the news. Popular Information reports that the Texas Republican Party has rejected a ban on its association “with any individual or organization that is known to espouse anti-Semitism, pro-Nazi sympathies, or Holocaust denial.”
 The Atlantic, last week: “Substack Has a Nazi Problem.”

‘If we’ve gotten to the point where we admire anyone who’s not Donald Trump, we’ve fallen to a very low place.’ Media critic Mark Jacob punctures “the media’s momentary fascination with Nikki Haley.”
 Fox on Saturday cut off a live broadcast of Trump’s Iowa rally to correct his lies about the 2020 election …

‘Your body might be carved up … for the entertainment of a grown man in a fedora.’ Last Week Tonight host—and proud organ donor—John Oliver took a critical look last night at shortcomings in U.S. programs overseeing the donation of organs and bodies.
 Illinois played key roles in Oliver’s report, which included callbacks to a June story—“3 severed heads from donor bodies left at employee’s desk after complaints raised about alleged misconduct”—and a 2017 account, “Organ recipient gifts heartbeat recording to donor family.”
 Oliver nevertheless encouraged viewers to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor after their deaths, and to consider making a living donation of a kidney.

‘Celebrating its terribleness.’ Critic Richard Roeper praises a new documentary—available Tuesday—about “the looniest, most disjointed, garish, ill-conceived and at times indecipherably bizarre and undeniably dreadful television programming in the history of the medium,” 1978’s Star Wars Holiday Special
 … which aired just once, but endures on YouTube.

‘We only make the smallest of plans.’ An item in Friday’s Chicago Public Square about plans for more bus-only lanes prompted reader Benjy Blenner to bemoan the state of Chicago-area mass transit: “We seem to be constantly falling short of what we should be doing. … When I look at pictures of Chicago from decades and centuries past, I am struck by the plethora of surface rail, street cars and elevated lines. We even had the electric buses before we gave in to the obsession with gas power. I can’t help but think about how, despite its price tag, we should be going out of our way to build more rail. So long as a car, non-city bus or truck can get into a ‘bus only’ lane, buses will continue to be stuck behind cars and in the middle of crosswalks while we are forced to breathe in ever-more-polluted air.”
 Streetsblog Chicago: “Los Angeles, a larger but historically much more car-centric city than Chicago, has finally overtaken us for transit ridership.”

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