Newsletter: Bars Can Reopen, Sell Until 1 A.M.

Chicago Bars
Patrons at Sluggers World Class Sports Bar Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, are reminded to wear a mask right along with the sports news of the day. Starting Thursday, bars can serve alcohol until 1 a.m. Charles Rex Arbogast / Associated Press
Chicago Bars
Patrons at Sluggers World Class Sports Bar Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, are reminded to wear a mask right along with the sports news of the day. Starting Thursday, bars can serve alcohol until 1 a.m. Charles Rex Arbogast / Associated Press

Newsletter: Bars Can Reopen, Sell Until 1 A.M.

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Hey there! It’s Monday, and how much will my dog hate me if I buy him this Halloween costume? Here’s what you need to know today.

1. Chicago bars can resume indoor service and restaurants can increase capacity Thursday

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced today that some restrictions will be lifted on Thursday because the city has made “sufficient progress” against COVID-19.

Restaurants, fitness centers and nonessential retail can increase capacity to 40%. Restaurants and bars can serve alcohol until 1 a.m. And salons and barbers can resume facials and beard trims. [WBEZ]

Across the state, coronavirus cases remain low. Illinois officials today reported 1,709 new cases and 13 additional deaths in the past 24 hours. The seven-day positivity rate is 3.7%. [WBEZ]

But elsewhere in the Midwest, several states are reporting positivity rates over 25%. [Reuters]

Meanwhile, COVID-19 tests that give results in 30 minutes are expected to be rolled out worldwide. [The Guardian]

2. How will Trump answer questions about his taxes during tomorrow’s debate?

President Donald Trump paid just $750 in taxes in 2016 and 2017, according to a bombshell report from The New York Times, and the president will inevitably face questions about his taxes when he debates Democratic nominee Joe Biden for the first time tomorrow night.

The newspaper’s investigation could bolster Biden’s narrative that the president is out of touch with working Americans. His campaign quickly capitalized on the news, selling stickers saying “I paid more income taxes than Donald Trump.” [AP]

And other top Democrats wasted no time tweeting about the story. [NPR]

Trump today falsely accused the Times of using “illegally obtained information” after initially saying the report was “totally fake news.” [New York Times]

Here’s a breakdown of the Times’ key findings. [New York Times]

3. How Michael Madigan went to bat for the wife and mother of the chairman investigating the ComEd scandal

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan tried to get state jobs for a half-dozen people with close ties to the chairman of a special House committee investigating Madigan’s links to a Springfield bribery scandal, reports WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos.

Correspondence obtained by WBEZ show that Madigan’s office suggested Gov. JB Pritzker hire five people recommended by the chairman, Democratic state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, including Welch’s wife. Madigan’s office also sent Pritzker’s staff the resume for Welch’s mother.

House Republicans initiated the special panel investigation after Commonwealth Edison admitted to an eight-year bribery scheme to win support for lucrative state legislation. According to court records, the corruption was designed to win favor for the giant electric utility with “Public Official A” — a clear reference to Madigan. The speaker has not been charged and has denied wrongdoing. [WBEZ]

TK story about tomorrow’s hearings coming from the politcis team

Meanwhile, with all 118 Illinois House seats and 22 of 59 state Senate seats on the ballot this fall, Illinois Republicans are hoping an anti-Madigan campaign strategy might finally work. [Chicago Tribune]

4. Distrust for Chicago police manifests itself along racial lines

A recent survey on policing in Chicago found that 80% of white residents believe police made them feel safer, but less than half of Black residents felt the same.

Black Chicagoans reported the most negative experiences with police, particularly Black men between the ages of 18 and 25.

The survey — which took place before the police killing of George Floyd on May 31 — was conducted by the independent monitor who is overseeing the federally court-mandated Chicago Police Department reform. The survey will be repeated every other year to assess police performance. [Chicago Tribune]

5. The MLB playoffs start tomorrow, and both the Cubs and Sox can make the World Series

Major League Baseball’s playoffs start this week and — yay Chicago! — both the White Sox and Cubs are contenders in the same season for the first time in more than a decade. If either team wins their best-of-three series, they’ll advance to playoff bubbles in Texas or California.

After missing the playoffs last year, the Cubs are once again National League Central champions. But the window could be closing as some key contributors will have their contracts expire after next season.

And the Sox young hitters stole the show at times this season, but the team will also need solid pitching in the playoffs. Right-hander Lucas Giolito has the second-most strikeouts in the American League and is expected to start Game 1.

Here are other things to watch for in these unusual playoffs. [WBEZ]

Here’s what else is happening

  • Taylor Swift surpassed Whitney Houston as the woman with the most weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. [Billboard]

  • Fifty people were shot, eight fatally, in Chicago over the weekend. [Chicago Sun-Times]

  • Two-thirds of voters said they would support a national mask mandate. [New York Times]

  • United Airlines pilots accepted a deal to avoid nearly 3,000 furloughs. [Chicago Tribune]

Oh, and one more thing …

A new paper proposes that time travel can’t actually lead to paradoxes — like the one that caused Marty McFly in Back to the Future to accidentally stop his parents from meeting, jeopardizing his own existence.

A group of researchers at the University of Queensland “ran the numbers” (cue a furrowed brow and stress headache). They found that even if you change the past, the timeline would self-correct. But don’t jump into your DeLoreans just yet.

For example, if you tried to stop the first coronavirus patient from being infected, “in doing so you would catch the virus and become patient zero, or someone else would,” said scientist Germain Tobar.

“No matter what you did, the salient events would just recalibrate around you.” [NPR]

Tell me something good …

Speaking of Back to the Future, my favorite Halloween costume ever was this one. Surprisingly, my now-husband had all of the costume components already in his closet.

Which has me thinking, what’s your favorite costume? Feel free to email or tweet us, and your response might show up here this week. Thanks for reading and have a nice night! We’ll see you tomorrow.