‘America isn’t full.’ Vox founder Ezra Klein says President Trump is wrong: Half the counties in the U.S. are shrinking each year …
■ Time: Why Trump fired Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and is considering even more dramatic action on immigration …
■ … even as the Times reports the president’s resort empire is quietly trimming its undocumented workforce. (Cartoon: Keith Taylor.)
■ An ACLU advisory warns immigrants they risk violation of their constitutional rights if they travel to Florida.
■ A Muslim member of Congress who condemned Trump adviser Stephen Miller as “a white nationalist” for his hard line on immigration drew fresh charges of antisemitism because Miller’s Jewish.
■ But he is a white nationalist.
■ The Onion: “Nielsen Reminds Herself She A Private Citizen Now After Instinctively Detaining Mexican Child On The Street.”
‘This could be a disaster.’ A consumer-activist tax attorney condemns a bill that would, with support from Democrats and Republicans, permanently keep the IRS from developing its own free online tax filing service—and ProPublica says you can thank TurboTax and H&R Block.
■ Politico: Heavy-duty dickering over Gov. Pritzker’s progressive income tax plan for Illinois has begun.
■ The Better Government Association: The last time Illinois raised its existing flat income tax rate, the poor left and the rich thrived.
■ Bank of America is raising its minimum wage to $20 an hour over the next two years.
Fungus among us. The Tribune reports a deadly infection is spreading rapidly through Chicago-area health-care facilities—and Illinois now ranks second in the nation for cases of Candida auris.
■ NPR: Reusable cloth bags can be even worse than plastic bags for the environment.
■ The Guardian: Two-thirds of the Alps’ glacier ice “will melt by 2100” … but Republicans are treating climate change like a joke.
■ Politico: Democratic lawmakers who’ve pledged not to take corporate political action committee cash are letting lobbyists for oil companies, among others, write them personal checks.
■ A new projection estimates recovery from a human-triggered, climate-change-driven mass extinction event could take 10 million years.
CTA DJs. The finishing touches at the overhauled 95th Street station on the Red Line include a performance space and broadcasting booth to feature DJs playing soul, funk, house and gospel music.
■ Despite the concerns of Mayor-elect Lightfoot, a City Council committee has advanced a plan to let Lyft extend the Divvy bike-sharing system citywide …
■ … and approved what the Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman describes as “a baby step” toward ethics reforms for aldermen.
Cops vs. suicide. Coming to terms with a cluster of seven officer suicides since July, Chicago police have released a video in which cops speak frankly about the challenges they face and encourage their colleagues to get counseling help.
■ A 14-year-old girl was shot and seriously hurt after gunfire broke out at a Chicago apartment complex where she lives.
■ Police say an intruder stabbed two teenagers at their home in the suburb of Sleepy Hollow.
Angry Cubs fan. A guy who had paid $18,000 for four season tickets complains to the Trib that the team priced him out by raising the price to $106,000 …
■ … and the team ticked off others by posting a historic “No Women Admitted” sign in the press box.
In otter news … Tickets for Shedd Aquarium’s “sea otter encounter” program sold out through August in just hours yesterday.
■ Stormtrooper alert: The annual Star Wars Celebration fan convention runs through the weekend at McCormick Place West.
Chicago Newsroom shutdown. Ending a nine-year run, WBEZ veteran Ken Davis is closing shop at his celebrated all-volunteer weekly political talkfest on Chicago Access Network TV.
■ Two times your Chicago Public Square publisher substitute-hosted Newsroom and a bunch of other times was honored to appear as a guest.
Free ice cream, cheap cake.
■ It’s Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry’s.
■ The Portillo’s chain marks its 56th anniversary today with Famous Chocolate Cake slices for 56 cents.
… And don’t forget your special opportunity to join Square at the Chicago Headline Club Lisagor Awards dinner.
Thanks … to reader Mike Braden for noting that the phrase “baby step” above was originally improperly hyphenated.