‘This cannot be real life!’ / Big Brother’s not watching / ‘This shit ain’t right’

‘This cannot be real life!’ Last night’s debate between President Biden and ex-President Trump left plenty of Americans disillusioned—but none moreso than The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart.
The New Republic: “Biden’s job at Thursday’s debate should have been easy. He failed on every level.”
HuffPost calls it “the debate from hell.”
A political science professor and former presidential speechwriter: “I’ve been to multiple presidential debates and watched many more on television over the years, and have never seen anything like this.”
The American Prospect’s Harold Meyerson (no relation): “Trump had a preposterous debate … and yet, he emerged the undisputed winner, because Biden was simply too old and infirm.”
A former Obama campaign aide quoted by Semafor sees the night as a mixed bag: “If it gets Biden not to run, then it was very good. Otherwise it’s bad.”
Veteran Tribune reporter and editor Charlie Madigan: “God help us! … It was that bad.”
Matt K. Lewis at The Daily Beast: Biden’s re-election is doomed.”
Pod Save America co-host and former Obama senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer: Biden’s performance “raised serious questions about his ability to be a candidate who can make a clear and compelling case against the most flawed politician in history.”
Political stats wizard Nate Silver: “Biden should drop out.”
Columnist Matt Baron: “Time to go, Joe.”
Time: Calls like that are “about to get deafening.”
Obama campaign veteran David Plouffe calls it “a Defcon 1 moment.”
The staunch anti-Trump conservatives at The Bulwark: “It’s not too late. Biden should step aside.”
Aaron Rupar at Public Notice: “But don’t give up hope.”
Politico: Awakening to “a nightmare,” Democrats are looking for alternatives to Biden.
Among names being floated: Illinois Gov. Pritzker.
Erik Wemple at The Washington Post: Democrats’ freakout is “unquestionably” warranted.
Democratic strategist Melissa DeRosa: “SOS to Clinton and Obama: You can end the Biden nightmare.”
CNN: What would happen if Biden dropped out?

‘Moderators Jake Tapper and Dana Bash barely bothered to do their job.’ The Hollywood Reporter’s Frank Scheck says they let “Trump’s litany of lies go unchallenged” …
 … but Poynter’s Tom Jones says they had a good night: “At one point, Bash asked Trump three times if he would accept the results of the election.”
Both candidates got some things wrong …
 … but PolitiFact gave Trump the night’s only “Pants-on-Fire” rating.
Historian Heather Cox Richardson: “He lied … incessantly throughout the evening.”
Lynn Sweet at the Sun-Times: “Trump didn’t realize the prejudice and racism that goes with saying that newly arrived migrants were ‘taking Black jobs’ and ‘Hispanic jobs.’”
NOTUS: “Trump’s most effective line of the night was him simply pointing out that he couldn’t understand what Biden was trying to say.”
Heated’s Arielle Samuelson and Emily Atkin: “If preventing climate catastrophe depends on keeping Donald Trump out of the White House, the world may very well be fucked.”
For a couple of old guys, the debate got juvenile as they talked about golf.
The Washington Post rounds up the debate’s most memorable moments …
 … one of which has already been memorialized on a breaking T-shirt from Raygun.
Here’s CNN’s transcript …
Men Yell at Me columnist Lyz Lenz’s Dingus of the Week: Whoever watched the debate.

Meanwhile. Politico’s Shia Kapos notes: “Some oldsters took the stage last night—and killed it. … The Rolling Stones at Soldier Field.”
Here’s one gushing review.
The lineup for this summer’s Chicago Jazz Festival’s out.

Big Brother’s not watching. Despite signs to the contrary, the Sun-Times reports that no speed cameras are monitoring traffic on the Kennedy Expressway and the Illinois Tollway.
Something that should have happened decades ago has won a six-month trial run: A pass granting commuters unlimited rides for a day on the CTA, Metra and Pace.
A petition to the Illinois Pollution Control Board would ban the sale here of all new gas-powered cars and many diesel trucks by 2035.
Columnist Matt Stoller connects a 2004 Supreme Court ruling to a software hack attack that has for days brought much of the car-buying business to a standstill.
 The court today handed business a big win, reversing a 40-year-old decision that empowered federal regulators to oversee environment, public health, workplace safety and consumer protections.

Chicago schools layoffs. About 600 employees are out of jobs—but with guarantees of different jobs or at least pay through the next school year.
Records obtained by the Trib show a lobbyist with the Chicago Teachers Union—of which Mayor Johnson has been an employee—wielded an unusual degree of influence in crafting a pivotal letter from Johnson to Illinois Senate President Don Harmon.

Meet the new boss. WBEZ and Sun-Times parent Chicago Public Media gets a new CEO in September …

‘This shit ain’t right.’ Daily Show alumni are protesting elimination of the show’s internet archives.
The founder of sibling MTV News calls the disappearance of its archives a tragedy.
The University of New Hampshire’s eliminating its English/journalism major.
Columnist Parker Molloy asks, “With fewer journalists, where is our information coming from?

They ain’t makin’ Jews like Kinky Friedman anymore. Chicago-born singer and satirist Friedman—who gave the world the song “They Ain’t Makin’ Jews Like Jesus Anymore”—is dead at 79.
Also gone: The Chicago-area founder of Gloria Jean’s Coffee …
■… and Chicago house music legend Chuck “The Voice” Roberts.

‘I hope the family is now sued into oblivion.’ A Chicago Public Square reader writes of the Supreme Court’s rejection of a nationwide settlement with the maker of the addictive opioid OxyContin, Purdue Pharma: “I am in recovery (alcohol) and three people I met in treatment, two of whom became good friends, are now dead due to the poison that the Sacklers pushed for their blood money. I know the majority of the plaintiffs are frustrated, but it was wrong to shield the family from their crimes.”
Here’s the court’s ruling.

‘Welcome to AKA Week.’ Your latest challenge from The Conversation’s quizmaster, past Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions winner Fritz Holznagel: Eight questions about things that are “also known as” other things.
Your Square columnist would’ve been perfect this week had he not laid an egg on an Easter Island question.

Shirts found. A few more of those almost-gone SquareToo far left for me” T-shirts have shown up. So if you’d like one in small, medium or (just rediscovered) large—free—pitch in your support at the Enthusiast level or better before Monday.

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