There are tapes / Bearded / Something’s rotten in local news

There are tapes. In conversations secretly recorded by filmmaker Lauren Windsor and a colleague posing as conservatives, Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito can be heard agreeing that people “have got to … return our country to a place of godliness” …
 … and his vexillologistic wife is caught whining about June: “I want a Sacred Heart of Jesus flag because I have to look across the lagoon at the Pride flag for the next month.”
Windsor explains for The Intercept how she they got the justice to open up: “When he said that one side was gonna win, I was like, gotcha” …
 … and she tells Rolling Stone the covert recordings were justified “because the Supreme Court is shrouded in secrecy, and they’re refusing to submit to any accountability in the face of overwhelming evidence of serious ethics breaches.”
Columnist Robert Reich: “She is right, but it is still a shame we have come to this.”
Law professor and former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance: “If Justice Alito is making comments like this to a random person at a public dinner, what is he saying to his close confidants? What is he doing on the bench?
Chief Justice John Roberts, also recorded by Windsor, didn’t take the bait.
Speaking of audio: PolitiFact says a purportedly leaked recording of President Biden talking to Special Counsel Robert Hur was a deepfake.

Not even the length of an Apprentice episode. Donald Trump’s mandatory pre-sentencing interview yesterday reportedly lasted less than half an hour.
Stephen Colbert questions the value of a report designed to tell a judge more about a convict: “How could any part of Donald Trump still be a mystery, especially to Judge Merchan, who … could pick Trump out of a lineup by smell?
Jimmy Kimmel: “Things got off to a rough start when Trump offered the probation officer $130,000.”
Seth Meyers: “If a probation officer is basing their sentencing guidelines on remorse, mental state and character, and the recommendation is a day less than 1,000 years … Trump is getting off easy.”
USA Today’s Rex Huppke on comparisons of Trump to Jesus: “I don’t remember from my Catholic upbringing the biblical story of Jesus being convicted on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to cover up an affair with an adult-parchment star.”
Columnist Jeff Tiedrich on Trump’s weekend rally: “If your own grandfather started babbling like this about sharks and batteries, you’d be googling for … a world-class memory care center.”
Live updates: Jury deliberations had resumed in presidential son Hunter Biden’s trial on federal firearms charges.

Don’t bet on it. Talking to the Sun-Times editorial board, Mayor Johnson expressed skepticism that Bally’s can deliver on plans for a permanent casino on the Chicago River.
He also turned thumbs down on an 8 p.m. curfew for unaccompanied minors downtown.

Bearded. Chicago’s only James Beard Award winner this year: Logan Square’s Lula Cafe.
Last Week Tonight host John Oliver’s stunt purchase of a closed Red Lobster Restaurant’s contents drew a complaint from the owner of a nearby bakery, but Oliver offered to make things right—for a price.
Naperville’s Ribfest is a no-go for this year.

‘The United States lost more than 1 million lives—worse per capita than any other developed nation. We deserve to know why.’ But Your Local Epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina says last week’s “unhinged harassment” of Dr. Anthony Fauci in a Republican-led inquisition about the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t help.
Chicago Public Square four years ago today: “Senate Republicans want to force the state’s reopening during the pandemic by tomorrow—a thing Gov. Pritzker rejects because science.”

‘Forever chemicals are poisoning your insurance.’ The Lever explains that, as concerns have risen nationwide about the dangers of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, insurers have been quietly cutting coverage for the pollutant’s risks.
The American Prospect pulls back the curtain on big banks behind the rising cost of credit.

Something’s rotten in local news. Popular Information says the Sinclair Broadcast Group—you may recall its unsuccessful bid to control formerly Tribune Co.-owned WGN-TV—has been injecting deceptive attacks on President Biden into its stations’ newscasts.
Now that the also formerly Tribune Co.-owned Baltimore Sun is owned by Sinclair CEO David Smith, that paper’s begun publishing ethically questionable work by Sinclair’s Baltimore TV station.
The paper’s staffers are demanding management “ensure that all stories published in The Baltimore Sun adhere to the same journalistic standards that we are held to as union members.”
Flashback (2023 gift link): How Tribune Publishing has changed since 2006.

No cell service? No problem. The next version of Apple’s iPhone operating system will let you send texts via satellite.
That’s one of 14 new features headed to the company’s operating systems this fall …
 … none of them particularly “gotta-go-get-a-newer-iPhone” exciting, but tech columnist Casey Newman says the artificial intelligence initiatives Apple saved for the end offer “hints of a much different future for computing.”

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Thanks. Mike Braden made this edition better.

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