‘Unadulterated evil’ / Wanted: ‘Double haters’ / History fading

‘Unadulterated evil.’ That’s how a lawyer for 60 plaintiffs in legal action against Highland Park Fourth of July shooting massacre suspect Robert Crimo III describes Crimo’s surprise decision to reject a guilty plea that would have spared them and the community the trauma of revisiting the horrors of that day in court.
 Columnist Eric Zorn calls it “another disgusting act of cruelty” by Crimo …

Supreme Court vs. clean air. In a 5-4 vote, justices today suspended an Environmental Protection Agency rule championed by the Biden administration and Democratic-controlled states aimed at protecting downwind residents from power plant and other industrial pollution.
 In another blow to federal regulation, the court ruled 6-3 to limit the Securities and Exchange Commission’s power to fight fraud.
 Justices also killed a nationwide settlement with the maker of the addictive opioid OxyContin, Purdue Pharma—a deal that would have sent billions of dollars to victims and government agencies, but that also would have shielded Sackler family members who own the company from civil lawsuits.
 As prematurely leaked on the court’s website yesterday, a limited ruling clears Idaho hospitals to perform emergency abortions—for now.

‘Any canny, corrupt public official will simply arrange to accept gratuities after the fact instead of bribes upfront.’ Law professor Joyce Vance reflects on a Supreme Court decision that stands to overturn major political corruption cases in Chicago and Illinois.
 Politico’s Shia Kapos’ paraphrase: “It’s not a bribe. It’s a thank-you.”
 Zorn again: “Convicted pols … are doing touchdown dances.”
 WBEZ investigative reporter Dan Mihalopoulos reflects on convicted former Chicago City Council member Ed Burke’s gift of earmuffs—an example of the “chits” Burke cashed in to get off with a light sentence for corruption.

Wanted: ‘Double haters.’ Those are the voters—Democrats and Republicans disenchanted with both Joe Biden and Donald Trump—that the Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet says the candidates will aim to persuade in tonight’s presidential debate.
 PolitiFact will be flagging debate lies in real time.
 Wired: However many watch live, “millions more … will see clips on their YouTube subscription feeds of their favorite creators breaking it all down” …
 … some of whom have been spreading debate conspiracy theories …
 … not to mention AI-manipulated video spewed by a Russian propaganda network.
 The Onion lists rules the candidates must follow tonight—beginning with “No candidate may climb the chain link enclosure for any purpose.”

‘Delegates … need to hear this message.’ Abortion rights activists are celebrating Chicago’s decision to give them a better protest route …

Ouch. As new Cook County property tax bills hit mailboxes, the south suburbs face a median jump of nearly 20%—the county’s biggest leap in 29 years.
 The Chicago City Council’s taken a baby step toward new taxes or fees to solve its budget puzzles.

‘A clown show from start to finish.’ That’s how a classmate in Northwestern University’s Prison Education Program describes the death in a heat wave of graduate Michael Broadway …
 … at Illinois’ Stateville prison, parts of which a state report last year dubbed “not suitable for any 21st century correctional center.”

Walgreens shrinking. The company says it’s considering “imminent” changes or closures for a “significant” number of its 8,600 U.S. stores.
 It says about a quarter of those stores aren’t contributing to its long-term growth.

History fading. Struggling Paramount has killed ComedyCentral.com—including clips from every episode of The Daily Show since 1999 and the whole run of The Colbert Report.
 The nonprofit Internet Archive—home to, among other things, Chicago Public Square content—is fighting in court for the right to keep lending digital copies of half a million books.
 Chicago historian Robert Loerzel scours a south suburb for clues to an Al Capone alias.

‘How the world’s greatest businessman drove his newspaper into a ditch.’ Veteran media reporter—and CNN alumnus—Brian Stelter shares the story behind the story of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post fiasco.
 Activists protesting Amazon’s $1.2 billion cloud computing contract with Israel disrupted a company executive’s speech in Washington yesterday.
 Analyzing 133 breaking news stories about recent extreme weather, Heated concludes the news biz is falling short on climate coverage.

Correction. Yesterday’s Square got the year wrong on the Heritage Foundation’s—and Trump’s—“Project 2025.”
 Thanks to many (many!) readers who noted the error—the first of whom was the redoubtable Mike Braden.
 We hate making mistakes, but love having readers who take the time to set things right.

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