He ain’t goin’ nowhere / ‘Don’t despair. Vote.’ / COVID rising

He ain’t goin’ nowhere.
President Biden’s written a letter to congressional Democrats, declaring in no uncertain terms: “I am firmly committed to staying in this race … and to beating Donald Trump.”
 Time: Biden’s “clean-up operation” is not working.
 Puck’s John Heilemann on Biden’s Friday sit-down with ABC News: “Was he awful? No. … But was he … up to … saving American democracy from an out-front, wannabe autocrat? F**k no.” (Requires free log-in.)
 Politico columnist Shia Kapos: “In Illinois, the talk has shifted from protests outside of the Democratic National Convention to worries about mutiny inside the United Center.”
 Things won’t get easier for Biden with late-night comics’ return after a weeklong hiatus.

‘12 reasons why this is the biggest story in the world.’ Stats and polling guru Nate Silver addresses those who complain journalists are making too much of Biden’s age and capabilities.
 The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin (gift link): “Biden’s debate and post-debate conduct have given the media every justification for focusing solely on him, not on Trump’s greater personal defects and menace to democracy.”
 Slow Boring columnist Matt Yglesias, conceding that he was wrong to champion Biden’s fitness to run: “The stupidest response to all this … is the people asking why nobody is calling on Trump to drop out” …
 … but former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich asks why news media aren’t reporting on Trump’s growing dementia.
 Semafor flags “a secretive local media network with ties to high-profile national Democratic operatives” running a network of left-leaning “news” websites.
 A Philadelphia radio host has resigned after conceding that, in a post-debate interview, she asked Biden questions prepared by his campaign.
 Press watchdog Mark Jacob suggests that news organizations “stop saying ‘conservative’ when you mean fascist.”

‘Don’t despair. Vote.’ Law professor and former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance: “Thinking Trump will just steal the election is a form of suppression.”
 Axios: A Trump victory would empower his “dream regime” and “sweeping change in governing power.”
 Public Notice on the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s upending the balance of power between the branches of government: “The destruction of the regulatory state is already happening.”

No independence from violence. At least 19 people were killed and 86 others wounded by gunfire over Chicago’s extended Fourth of July weekend …
 … at least 24 in mass shootings.

COVID rising. Axios Chicago: Cases are heating up this summer.
 Flashback to Chicago Public Square on this date in 2021: “Illinois this afternoon will pick the first four winners in its weekly lottery for the COVID-19 vaccinated.”

Award-winning—and burglar-targeted. Logan Square’s Lula Cafe—honored just last month with a James Beard Award—was hit by thieves who stole a safe.

‘Barely anyone showed up.’ A star-studded lineup for Chicago’s NASCAR Chicago Street Race concerts drew what reporter Selena Fragassi says was just a fraction of what Lollapalooza pulls to Grant Park.
 For the second year in a row, rain delayed and shortened the main event …
 Some downtown streets could remain incapacitated for another 10 days.
 Meanwhile, Block Club reports, South Siders are mourning the loss of two huge music festivals.

Unplugged for the weekend? Here’s some of what you missed if you weren’t following the Chicago Public Square Facebook page:
 Joyce Vance on Trump’s attempt to distance himself from Project 2025: “How do you ‘know nothing’ about the Project and have no idea who is behind it, but also know that you disagree with some of the things they’re saying?”
 Columnist Jeff Tiedrich: “Republicans are running away from Project 2025. Let’s make the bastards own it.”
 Former Obama adviser David Axelrod: “If he does not, it will be Biden’s age, and not Trump’s moral and ethical void, that will dominate the rest of this most important campaign and sully the president’s historic legacy.”
 Pod Save America co-host Dan Pfeiffer reviews the president’s ABC interview: “He mangled several answers. … He made no argument about Trump.”
 Veteran D.C. journalist and Chicago native Jonathan Alter: The interview “showed a selfish president in denial.”
 In a decision “likely to have large ramifications on the 2024 presidential election,” the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned a ruling that barred most ballot drop boxes.
 Columnist Parker Molloy: “The fate of MTV News is a prime example of why we cannot take digital archives for granted.”
 Comedian John Belushi’s widow, Wheaton High School grad Judy Belushi-Pisano, is dead at 73.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Time again to call the roll of Square readers whose support keeps this service coming. Over the next several editions, we’ll publish their names—in random order, except that the most recent new donors’ names will appear first. Pitch in now—even just $1, once—and your name will lead this space tomorrow:
 Bill Paige, Paul Teodo, Deirdre Walton, Judy Karlov, Kathleen Hogan, Kevin Weller, Mary Godlewski, Keith Huizinga, Mana Ionescu, Anne Rooney, Allan Hippensteel, Jeff Baker, Maureen and Jerry Peifer and Kaiser, Mena Boulanger, Jim Moriarty, Christine Hauri, Alison Thomas, Ann Spittle, John Culver, Alex Riepl Broz, Kevin Shotsberger, Nancy Burns, David Heisler, Stephanie Kiesling, Bob Izral, Susan Karol, Susan Beach, Bennett Hart, Linda Baltikas, Libbey Paul, Dave Connell, Richard M. Bendix Jr. and Catherine Johns.

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