'America isn't full' / Fungus among us / Free ice cream, cheap cake

‘America isn’t full.’ Vox founder Ezra Klein says President Trump is wrong: Half the counties in the U.S. are shrinking each year …

 … and, The New York Times reports, an aging population and a declining birthrate mean a shrinking workforce in many parts of the country.
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.