Magma Come Loud
A show of lava force, the debt ceiling, and Cats, the musical, somehow gets even worse.
Let's get into the flow with a visual story that shows that, even in the age of increasingly violent climate disasters, Mother Nature still has the power to shock—even in slow motion. "After nearly two weeks, the volcano erupting on a Spanish Island near Morocco is showing no signs of stopping. On Tuesday, lava and smoke continued to spill out onto La Palma in the Canary Islands, destroying homes, infrastructure and livelihoods." From WaPo: Lava burns through an island in the Atlantic as volcanic eruptions continue. Magma Mia, this is something else.
+ "They will see twice as many wildfires, 1.7 times as many tropical cyclones, 3.4 times more river floods, 2.5 times more crop failures and 2.3 times as many droughts." Today’s kids will live through three times as many climate disasters as their grandparents.
2. Raise the Roof
The GOP has blocked what is usually the pro-forma raising of the debt ceiling (which doesn't refer to spending more, it only refers to paying off what we already spent). Janet Yellen: "Nearly 50 million seniors could stop receiving Social Security checks for a time. Troops could go unpaid. Millions of families who rely on the monthly child tax credit could see delays. In a matter of days, millions of Americans could be strapped for cash." Here’s what the debt limit standoff means for you. (If the GOP forces America to default on its debts, they will have finally remade the country in the image of Trump Org.)
3. Between a Rock and Heart Place
"Asked why the United States did not foresee the rapid collapse of the Afghan army, Milley said that in his judgment the U.S. military lost its ability to see and understand the true condition of the Afghan forces when it ended the practice some years ago of having advisers alongside the Afghans on the battlefield. 'You can’t measure the human heart with a machine, you have to be there.'" Joint Chiefs chairman calls Afghan war a strategic failure. (It's lot easier to measure the human heart to fight when that heart has the support of US airpower.)
+ "Top military leaders confirmed in a Senate hearing Tuesday they recommended earlier this year that the U.S. keep 2,500 troops in Afghanistan, and that they believed withdrawing those forces would lead to the collapse of the Afghan military." (We didn't know the Afghan army would collapse that fast. But we did know it would collapse that fast so we advised keeping troops on the ground. But the war was a strategic failure and it was right to move to a diplomatic mission, which means no more troops on the ground. Welcome to the Kabullshit post-war blame game everyone knew was coming.)
4. Coin Toss
"The Daily Stormer website advocates for the purity of the white race, posts hate-filled, conspiratorial screeds against Blacks, Jews and women and has helped inspire at least three racially motivated murders. It has also made its founder, Andrew Anglin, a millionaire. Anglin has tapped a worldwide network of supporters to take in at least 112 Bitcoin since January 2017 — worth $4.8 million at today’s exchange rate." AP: Far-right cryptocurrency follows ideology across borders.
5. Cheer Madness
"There is no one who looks particularly virtuous in this disastrously mishandled saga, just idiotic law enforcement, a gullible press and public, a mom who (allegedly) sent questionable tattling and malicious messages, and a couple of teens who did not ask for any of this but will now have their names attached to a notorious case and possible lifetime of unfortunate SEO. The actually real—and terrifying—thing? In the future, those teens could be any of us." The World Thought This Cheer Mom Created a Deepfake to Harass Her Daughter’s Rival—but the Real Story Is Way More Confusing (and Bizarre).
6. Crash Test Dummies
"Driving is the most dangerous thing most Americans do every day. Virtually every American knows someone who’s been injured in a car crash, and each year cars kill about as many people as guns and severely injure millions. It’s a public health crisis in any year, and somehow, the pandemic has only made it more acute. Even as Americans have been driving less in the past year or so, car crash deaths ... have surged." America’s car crash epidemic. (And the things we could do to make it less terrible.)
7. Will a New Day Begin Already
The latest book you should NOT buy or support comes from Stephanie Grisham, the Trump press secretary who held no press conferences. She describes Trump's phoniness with Putin (surprise). "Okay, I’m going to act a little tougher with you for a few minutes. But it’s for the cameras, and after they leave we’ll talk," and how show tunes could calm his moods. "At one point, she writes, Mr. Trump’s handlers designated an unnamed White House official known as the 'Music Man' to play him his favorite show tunes, including 'Memory' from 'Cats,' to pull him from the brink of rage." NYT: Stephanie Grisham’s Book Details Trump’s ‘Terrifying’ Temper. Of the book, Trump said, "Like everyone else, she gets paid by a radical left-leaning publisher to say bad and untrue things." (Her publisher is HarperCollins, owned by NewsCorp.) It's pretty obvious why this song from Cats is Don's fave. You've got the layers of caked-on makeup, plenty of "pussies" to grab, and of course, the apropos lyrics: Sunlight through the trees in summer, Endless masquerading.
8. U-Turn Ahead
When placed beneath the above story, I'm about to create the world's most agressive segue. This Year's MacArthur 'Genius Grants' Were Just Announced—Here's The Full Winner List. (Oh well, there's always next year...)
9. When I'm Out On the Streets
"From a giant eyeball on the subway to a winged dog at a wedding, here’s the year’s best photography at street level." Surreal scenes and broken dreams: 2021’s best street photography.
10. Bottom of the News
Ted Lasso's team shrink recommended he perform the 4-7-8 breathing method. Here's what it is and how it could help you fall asleep.
+ Lou the coonhound breaks record for longest ears on a dog. (I have two beagles, so I get roughly the same amount of ear flappage with none of the invasive media coverage.)