‘Trump was stupid and ignorant long before he got old’

Trump was stupid and ignorant long before he got old.’ That was Gov. Pritzker at the United Center this morning (at 2:27 in that video), welcoming reporters to a “media walkthrough” for this summer’s Democratic National Convention.

Chicago Public Squares there today, which is why this edition is … different.
As always, watch the Square Facebook page (no need to be a Facebook member) for news updates through the day. 
You’ll find lots new there this morning—including that video of Pritzker.

But we don’t want to leave you empty-handed. So because the Square mailbag coincidentally overflowed yesterday, let’s dive in:

Tim Baffoe: While you didn’t write the CNN piece about Red Lobster and endless shrimp in Tuesday’s newsletter, you did share it, and many others around the interwebs have shared or joked about something to the effect of “all-you-can-eat shrimp bankrupted Red Lobster” to the point that the common understanding is that the shrimp and customer gluttony are what killed the joint. … It was a different form of gluttony. Private equity did the restaurant chain in because private equity sucks. … Red Lobster did take an $11 million quarterly bath on the endless shrimp last year … but $11 million pales in comparison to hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars it lost having to pay rent on its own restaurant locations after a private equity company sold all of the chain’s real estate properties. This is the private equity formula when it comes to chain businesses: Buy the struggling company and pretend to be saving it, sell off its real estate at a profit, the chain then has to lease the properties that used to be their own, the chain slowly bleeds to death, new parent company does little to no upkeep (because there’s no profit in that) and in fact cuts costs, thus hastening the bleed, and the husk is scrapped or sold for parts when it finally dies. Private equity nonchalantly moves on to do this to a new business like … the mob doing to a poor restaurant owner in Goodfellas or the aliens to a planet in Independence Day. … It’s sexier to devote about 1,400 words to shrimp as a culprit instead of unfettered capitalism.

John Robinson: Massively disappointed in your characterization of Red Lobster’s bankruptcy. … Wall Street did it. Check this Business Insider column. While the CNN story to which you linked does eventually get to the point of how disastrous private equity investment often is to established companies, simply tacking “The shrimp did it” onto the story does a major disservice to the facts. Red Lobster’s bankruptcy is another chapter in private equity’s plunder, alongside Sears, Toys R Us, and the Chicago Tribune. … You chose to go with the easy joke. Disappointing.

Barry Koehler: Thanks so much for that link on how to remove personal results from a Google search. I searched myself and immediately found my name and phone number in a search from one of those “people finder” websites. I went to the link you provided, navigated to the Google request page, submitted it, and within 5 minutes got a confirmation that Google removed the search result. I was quite surprised at how fast and easy this worked!

Chicago Public Square returns to business as usual Thursday.

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