‘Not a chance for these towns’ / Big Google’s watching / Cookies!

Correcting and updating yesterday’s Chicago Public Square:
Here’s the right link to nominate Square for best newsletter and best blog in the Reader’s Best of Chicago poll.
It took ’em a while to fulfill the promise of yesterday’s most-tapped item, but WXRT-FM late in the day did get around to posting Lin Brehmer’s moving audio essay marking his return to the airwaves after a four-month leave to contend with cancer.
And now the news of today:

‘Not a chance for these towns in the future.’ Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin is among lawmakers expressing concern that a proposed merger of the Jewel and Mariano’s grocery chains will leave small communities and inner-city neighborhoods without access to fresh produce.
The Center for Public Integrity traces how four decades of tax cuts—beginning under Ronald Reagan—fueled inequality.
At President Biden’s bidding, Congress was moving quickly to head off a strike by rail workers, imposing a labor agreement that four of 12 industry unions rejected.
One Iowa locomotive engineer tells The Guardian: “What Congress is going to say  … is you are pretty well tied to your job for the rest of your life.”
Popular Information: “Major railroad companies could provide every worker with a week of paid sick leave for $321 million—less than 2% of their annual profits.” (Cartoon: Mattie Lubchansky at The Nib.)

‘A step forward for religious freedom.’ Those are the words of a Republican U.S. senator from North Carolina—one of 12 who helped send the House a bill that would protect existing same-sex marriages …

‘Like faulting porn actors for … having sex on camera.’ Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg says blaming Donald Trump for cozying up to haters is futile: “Hatred works.”
The Republican leaders of the Senate and the House, Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy, are condemning Chicago-area-spawned racist/sexist lonelyboy Nick Fuentes, who had dinner with Trump last week …

‘Force and violence are no match for our country’s justice system.’ An assistant FBI director hails the conviction of Oath Keepers founder—and Yale law school grad and disbarred attorney—Stewart Rhodes for seditious conspiracy in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.
Conservative columnist Charlie Sykes: “The government now has a stiff wind at its back, and the walls of Mar-a-Lago are likely smeared again with ketchup.”
Add a suburban man to the roster of jamokes convicted for actions at the Capitol Jan. 6.
The South Carolina Supreme Court is ordering Trump’s former chief of staff to testify about Trump’s efforts to influence the 2020 election outcome.

‘A sophisticated crime.’ A former employee of the Cook County agency responsible for redeveloping vacant property faces charges of selling land to “straw buyers” acting on his own behalf.
The Tribune nods to Shakespeare with a winning editorial headline: “Exit Ald. Ed Burke, pursued by the feds.”
Chicago business leaders are up in arms about the prospect of a left turn by the City Council.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is a Square advertiser.

This season, shop Chicago at the MCA Store. Featuring gifts and products from local designers and artists, shopping at the MCA Store sustains Chicago’s creative ecosystem and supports the museum’s programs and exhibitions as well. Shop online now.

Big Google’s watching. The Guardian: “Googling abortion? Your details aren’t as private as you think.”
A new Consumer Reports app for the iPhone (Android version to come), Permission Slip, aims to “act as your agent and demand the removal of your data, or request it not be sold for profit behind your back.”

‘If protected tweets stop working, run.’ A top Twitter executive who quit under Elon Musk’s regime urges users to monitor key safety features as early warning signs of the platform’s breakdown in the wake of Musk’s massive layoffs.
Add actor Jim Carrey and musician Moby to the list of celebrities abandoning Twitter.
Also gone: The self-described “angriest man in Hollywood,” The Wire creator David Simon, who signed off earlier this month with a post titled “Die Of Boils, Mr. Sparky Car” …
 … and who, 25 years ago this week, told your Square columnist the “war on drugs” was a failure.

‘A difficult time for everyone.’ CNN’s new chief this morning announced the beginning of layoffs …
 … just the latest sign of looming trauma for the TV biz.

Cookies! The Trib’s named winners in its annual Holiday Cookie Contest.

Whatever you think Square’s worth, pay half. A holiday special continues.
And, regardless of how little you chip in, you get $5 off the perfect gift: A limited-edition Square cap or T-shirt.
 Pam Spiegel made this edition better.

A Chicago Public Square classified ad.

Going somewhere? Don’t forget Faye travel insurance. Whether your plans change before leaving or you experience in-trip medical emergencies, lost luggage or flight delays, Faye gives you real-time, 24/7 customer support——plus flight alerts, weather updates, COVID-19 destination info and more. And you can file claims digitally for fast reimbursement. Getting a custom quote online for full-trip coverage takes less than a minute.

Want an ad like this of your own? It’s yours for $25.

Subscribe to Square.