President Pence? / Bernie Sanders' surgery / Red meat

President Pence? Politico’s Bill Scher ponders the prospect of Vice President Pence’s ascendance to the presidency and concludes—among other things—that it “would be a godsend to Pete Buttigieg.”
In what a Libertarian think-tanker labels “a dumb thing to say,” President Trump calls the congressional impeachment inquiry “a coup.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo admits he was on that July phone call in which Trump pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate Joe Biden.
Trump reportedly called, among others, the man who’s now Britain’s prime minister to seek help discrediting the Mueller investigation into Trump’s 2016 campaign.
A State Department inspector general has requested an “urgent” meeting with congressional committees this afternoon.
Vox breaks it down: “Don’t let the flurry of news confuse you: This a clear, straightforward, and politically devastating scandal.”
Chicago Congressman Mike Quigley suspects “This is the greatest crime a president has committed in my lifetime.”
Trump’s named all but one of Illinois’ four Republican congressmen to chair his state reelection campaign.
Sun-Times columnist Phil Kadner fears “Americans care more about health care, the economy, the environment, immigration and education than they do about impeachment.”
The New York Times: In Trump’s obsession with border security, he suggested soldiers shoot migrants in the legs.

A mouse fell from the ceiling of the White House press area yesterday. (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor. Vote for him in the Reader’s Best of Chicago poll.)

Bernie Sanders’ surgery. Developing coverage: After suffering what his campaign calls chest discomfort during an appearance last night, Sanders underwent surgery to have two stents inserted to address arterial blockage.
He’s canceled campaign events until further notice.

‘The ultimate form of protest.’ Mayor Lightfoot says getting Chicagoans counted in the 2020 census is an important rebuke to Trump’s policies, so she’s proposing to spend millions on improving the city’s showing.
Lightfoot’s unapologetic about handing a six-figure job to an alderman unseated in the last election.

‘Someone needs to go to jail for it.’ The mother of a 9-year-old boy is outraged by surveillance video showing a Chicago elementary school security guard shoving her son toward an exit—as the school’s principal and a counselor looked on—minutes before staff called 911 to report the kid missing.
Chicago teachers are just one of three groups of city workers poised to strike this month.

Red meat. The Sun-Times says federal agents who visited several suburbs last week were asking questions about a well-connected Chicago-based red-light camera company whose single largest campaign donation went to besieged Illinois Sen. Martin Sandoval.
WBEZ: The Senate president has released the warrant related to last week’s FBI raid of Sandoval’s offices, but blacked out “virtually every key detail about what agents seized.”

‘These buildings are as much a part of Chicago as Wrigley.’ A new book from journalist and architecture critic Lee Bey, Southern Exposure, celebrates the buildings of Chicago’s South Side. (Photo: Lee Bey.)
And check out Bey’s great gone-but-not-forgotten podcast series on black pop culture gone by, Lee Bey’s Soul Closet (created at Chicago-based Rivet, where he was a teammate of your Square publisher).
There’s now a “James R. Thompson Center Historical Society” aiming to save the state’s much-maligned Illinois HQ from destruction.
Aaron (West Wing) Sorkin is working on a movie about The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Need something to read at Starbucks? Now that the chain has stopped selling newspapers, it’s offering paywall-free Wi-Fi access to several newspaper websites.
A court decision upholding internet companies’ right to block, slow or charge more for access to some websites nevertheless leaves states the right to regulate that behavior.

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