A ‘massive gift’ to Trump / 11 tornadoes / Oprah’s weighty problem

Happy Leap Day. We got you an extra day of February news:

A ‘massive gift’ to Trump. That’s how columnist and Pod Save America co-host Dan Pfeiffer sees the Supreme Court’s decision to consider Donald Trump’s claim that presidents are immune from criminal prosecution for things they did while in office.
The court’s decision could push his trial for interference in the 2020 election close to—or after—Election Day 2024 …
 … or, in Politico’s words: “As voters cast ballots this fall to decide whether … Trump should win another presidential election, a federal jury may be weighing whether he attempted to steal the last one.”
But Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin says the court’s wording “sets up the case to disadvantage Trump.” (Gift link, paid for by Chicago Public Square supporters—of which you could be one.)

Trump dumped. A Cook County Circuit Court judge has ordered his name stripped from the Illinois primary ballot …
 … but she put her order on hold pending Trump’s appeal.
Historian Heather Cox Richardson: “This moment looks much like the other times in our history when a formerly stable two-party system has fallen apart.”
Ex-Illinois Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger: “It’s OK to be politically homeless.”
The Sun-Times has uncovered a list of perks in store for big donors during the Democratic Party’s Chicago convention this summer.

Don't bar groups want to influence voters with their ratings?’ Invoking Star Trek and Japanese animation along the way, law blogger Jack Leyhane calls out lawyer associations for their tardiness in publishing judicial candidate ratings—even though early voting’s already begun.

Mitch unhitched. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s decision to step down as Republican leader—but not from his Senate seat—is a victory for Trump-aligned senators.
Vanity Fair’s Bess Levin: “Never forget: McConnell could have rid us of … Trump, but simply chose not to.”
Daily Beast’s self-identified “pro-life Reagan conservative” columnist Matt Lewis: “McConnell could have been one of the greats, but Trump beat him.”
President Biden says he’ll miss McConnell.
Stephen Colbert: McConnell’s “not stepping down till November because, at 82, that’s how long it takes him to step.”
Odds are good McConnell’s successor will be someone named John.

11 tornadoes. That’s the National Weather Service’s count of just how many twisters descended on Illinois Wednesday.
Temps may hit 70 again by the weekend …
 … which could make Chicago’s “Polar Plunge” … um … not so polar.
A couple of environmental studies professors explain how comedy can help address the world’s climate crisis.

Pritzker: Get your babies here. Illinois’ governor invites aspiring parents in other states—like Alabama, where in vitro fertilization is an endangered practice—to come to Illinois.
But if you’re a migrant family in need of shelter, bring your own diapers.
Popular Information: “Trump’s pick for chair of the Republican Party opposes ‘the destruction of human embryos.’”

COVID shot time again? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people over 64 “should” get a booster with the updated vaccine that became available in September—if it’s been at least four months since their last.
Your Local Epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina says “may” might’ve been better than “should.”
In its first look at Medicare, the Arm and a Leg healthcare podcast finds that “some folks who pick Medicare Advantage later regret it, big-time—but find there are no do-overs” (January link).

‘Urinating on our legs while telling us it’s raining.’ Columnist Eric Zorn is skeptical of WBEZ’s rationale for cutting its flagship show, Reset, by half.
Alt-news organizations The Intercept, Raw Story and AlterNet are suing OpenAI, accusing it in essence of stealing their journalism to train chatbots to answer user questions.

Oprah’s weighty problem. Weeks after disclosing her use of a prescription drug to manage her weight—apparently in violation of a multimillion-dollar deal—Oprah Winfrey’s quitting her seat on the Weight Watchers board of directors …
 … and donating her stock in the company to the National Museum of African American History …
 … sending the company’s stock downward in early trading.

Clutch that phone. Chicago police have sounded an alert about armed street robberies during weekend mornings on the Near North Side—where suspects first engaged victims with conversation, then took cell phones by force or deception before using banking apps to steal cash …
 … which you could consider a reminder to turn on an iPhone’s Stolen Device Protection.
Consumer Reports flags doorbell cameras that let others spy on you (link corrected) …

Thanks. Mike Braden and Judith Graf made this edition better.

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