Trump fined / ‘Fantasy football with our money’ / The Daily Show, too

Trump fined. The judge in Donald Trump’s criminal hush money trial slapped him to the tune of $9,000 for violating the court’s gag order …
 … and left dangling the prospect of jail if Trump keeps it up.
AP’s updating today’s proceedings live through the day.
Mary Trump lists (maybe) all the reasons she’s tired of her uncle.
Strange Bedfellows Dept.: House Democratic leaders say they’ll block Republicans’ efforts to oust Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson.

‘The biggest political deception of 2024.’ Popular Information says it’s Republicans’ fearmongering about a “migrant crime” wave.
Facing a use-it-or-lose-it deadline for federal pandemic cash, Mayor Johnson’s administration plans to bring back Chicago’s guaranteed income program, under which low-income families get $500 a month, no strings attached.

‘Johnson is playing fantasy football with our money.’ Community activist* Marj Halperin calls foul on the mayor’s support for a new Bears stadium on the lakefront.
Columnist Eric Zorn shares insight from the Reader’s Ben Joravsky: Johnson’s assertion that the project won’t cost Chicagoans because it relies on hotel tax revenue is hooey—because, in Joravsky’s words, “If we choose to use it for the Bears … you’re going to have to raise another tax … to pay your police, pave your roads, pay your fire department. It’s not free money.”
Johnson’s pitch sent Chicago historian Cate Plys back to an eerily apt Mike Royko column from almost exactly 52 years ago.

Northwestern protesters’ deal. Pro-Palestinian demonstrators have agreed to scale down their encampment on the campus’ Deering Meadow …
 … after the administration agreed to concessions that may be a first for a major U.S. university.
University of Chicago students have set up camp on the quadrangle there.
Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik: Calling the cops on campus protests shows college presidents haven’t learned a thing since the ’60s.
Columnist—and 2003 college grad—Anne Helen Petersen: “Some of these students … had to start college from their bedrooms, on Zoom, still terrified. When they did return to campus, it was to a quasi-surveillance state, with … arbitrary rules about how many people could gather and for what.”
An Israeli Holocaust scholar calls says of Israel’s post-Oct. 7 assault on Gaza, “a textbook case of genocide” Yes, it is genocide.”

‘Deny, deny, deny.’ A former medical director blows the whistle on health insurance giant Cigna, telling ProPublica her bosses threatened to fire her if she didn’t step up her reviews—and rejections—of patient requests for coverage.
Columnist and science fiction author Cory Doctorow: “Cigna has transformed itself into a care-denying assembly line”—providing a cautionary tale about the appeal of artificial intelligence.

‘Political suicide.’ Those close to Trump tell The Daily Beast that South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s boast that she murdered a puppy because it wasn’t good at hunting may have killed her bid to be Trump’s running mate.
Semafor: “The median reaction when we checked around Trump world was ‘WTF.’
Columnist Julia Gray: “Trump hates and is afraid of dogs, so Noem is THE perfect VEEP choice!
At The Washington Post, Alexandra Post Petri channels Cruella De Vil: “Kristi, darling, I understand completely.”
Late-night hosts went to town.
Stephen Colbert, spraying water from a bottle: “No! Bad, psycho governor!
Two months after frustrating fans by delaying YouTube posts of John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight, HBO’s putting full episodes of the show on YouTube—but they’re a decade old.

The Daily Show, too. Following Stephen Colbert’s lead, Jon Stewart and company will bring their show to Chicago for the Democratic National Convention in August …
 … after hitting Milwaukee for the Republican convention in July.
As with Colbert’s show, tickets will be available—probably, eventually—here.
Seinfeld alumnus Jason (“George Costanza”) Alexander explains what brought him here to play Chicago Shakespeare Theater beginning Wednesday.

Thanks. Mike Braden, Jay Beyda and Garry Jaffe made this edition better.

* And former WXRT teammate to your Chicago Public Square columnist.

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