Public servants behaving badly / MAYhem / ‘One of the worst films of the decade’

Public servants behaving badly. Remember those Chicago cops who signed up for the racist, extremist, anti-government group the Oath Keepers? They’re off the hook.
 Illinois’ inspector general says it’s uncovered hundreds of cases of state workers faking their way into fraudulent loans under the pandemic-era Paycheck Protection Program.

Sure, take the stand—if you want. The judge in Donald Trump’s criminal trial set him straight on what he’s allowed and what he’s not allowed: “The order restricting extrajudicial statements does not prevent you from testifying in any way.”
 Law professor Joyce Vance on yet another day with no jail time for Trump despite his flouting of the gag order: “From the judge’s perspective, today’s proceeding was a win. He’s got Trump under his thumb.”
 Public Notice, revisiting why Trump’s team was so desperate in October 2016: “The $130,000 hush payment made on his behalf to adult film performer Stormy Daniels … may have changed the course of U.S. history.”
 Jimmy Kimmel was delighted at his mentions in evidence submitted in the trial yesterday: “Johnny Carson didn’t get that with Nixon. We got it here.”

‘Student protest movements … tend to be on the right side of history.’ Tribune foreign affairs columnist and former U.S. diplomat Elizabeth Shackleford warns that “if President Joe Biden doesn’t take the anti-war protests more seriously, he is likely to end up on the wrong side of … the November election.”
 Historian Heather Cox Richardson traces many of the Mideast war protests to work by the Republican-dominated House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
 NOTUS: Biden’s remarks yesterday on the protests weren’t “likely to please Republicans or the left … but he made them anyway.”
 Acknowledging protesters’ right to free speech, Biden said his support for Israel is unwavering and “order must prevail.”
 The Sun-TimesNeil Steinberg: “College protesters seem to think that Israel will just magically disappear and the Palestinians will get their great-grandparents’ olive groves back. Israelis, meanwhile, look away and let their settlers nibble what land the Palestinians have managed to retain.”
 American Prospect editor-at-large and Columbia University alumnus Harold Meyerson (no relation): “The thuggish subset of Jewish ultranationalists … emerged from its particular sewer to attack UCLA’s pro-Palestinian protesters.”
 Police were moving in today on a New York University protest encampment.
 The ACLU’s suing Chicago over its Democratic National Convention security plans, which it says seem so vague as to suggest it’s just not ready for all the protesters likely headed this way.

 … pushing the ban back to 15 weeks—at least until a November referendum that could restore full abortion rights.

Protect your car. The owners of Hyundai and Kia cars—which have proven astonishingly easy to steal—can get free anti-theft upgrades today and tomorrow at Guaranteed Rate Field.
 Politico: Gov. Pritzker’s announcement of electric carmaker Rivian’s expansion in Normal carried “a subtle lesson in dealmaking” for the Bears.

Keep your trunks dry. Citing the Chicago Park District’s six-figure permit charge, the organizers of Chicago’s Friday Morning Swim Club near Montrose Harbor have canceled it for the year.
 The executive director of the nonprofit Prairie Rivers Network asks why Illinois blocks public access to 98% of the state’s waterways.

6,000 square feet of dino fossils. Renowned University of Chicago paleontologist Paul Sereno has opened his archives to the community in Washington Park

‘Questions involving turmoil, stress and nuttiness around the world.’
Past Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions winner Fritz Holznagel has assembled this week’s news quiz around the theme of MAYhem.
 Your Chicago Public Square columnist scored an unimpressive 6/8. Can you do better?

Dingus of the Week. Lyz Lenz’s pick is South Dakota’s governor: “We have a lot on our minds. There are protests. Some wars. A presidential election is coming up. Kristi Noem could have stayed quiet and said nothing. But instead, she just barged into the news cycle like, ‘HEY I SHOT A PUPPY!’”
 Stephen Colbert: “I was conflicted about whether or not I should keep talking about it. Because unlike Kristi Noem, I don’t like beating a dead horse.”

Facebook: ‘Zombie internet.’ 404’s Jason Koebler created brand-new “burner” accounts on Facebook to test the theory that it’s populated by “bots talking to bots,” and he found “a decaying, depressing hall of horrors full of viral AI-generated content that seemingly gets worse every day.”
 Tech watchdog Cory Doctorow: “Google is (still) losing the spam wars to zombie news brands.”
 Journalism professor and pioneering news blogger Jeff Jarvis sounds an alarm about a California bill that he says would “demonize and tax the collection of information” and get government more all up in journalism’s business.
 A Tribune editorial explains why it, other newspapers and publishers, and authors are suing to force Open AI and its primary backer, Microsoft, to pay to train artificial intelligence programs with their work …
 … which, come to think of it, probably includes stuff like this.

‘One of the worst films of the decade.’ Sun-Times critic Richard Roeper warns you not to watch Jerry Seinfeld’s new Netflix movie, Unfrosted.
 Roeper’s colleague Catey Sullivan on Seinfeld alumnus Jason Alexander’s Chicago Shakespeare Theater debut, Judgment Day: “A mildly amusing 30-minute sitcom inflated to fill two hours.”
 The Trib’s Chris Jones calls it “gutsy and wickedly funny.”

We’re No. 11. That’s where Chicago ranks in online lawn care services platform LawnStarter’s assessment of the top U.S. cities for naked gardening—ahead of tomorrow’s (no kidding) World Naked Gardening Day.
 See where other Illinois towns fell here.

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