The Elephant Out of the Room, Weekend Whats
It's a little hard find light news these days, so we'll start with heavy news instead. In short, we need to talk about the elephant in the room. Actually, it's an elephant out of the room. Liwonde National Park is overcrowded. Kasungu Park has plenty of space. But since the two parks are more than 200 miles apart, it takes a mammoth effort to move 250 proboscideans from one park to the other. How do you move 250 elephants to their new home? Very carefully. Luckily, the elephants were transported by truck. Given the air travel horror stories this summer, taking a plane would have risked losing a trunk.
+ CBS News: A baby elephant was dramatically rescued from a manhole in central Thailand this week after its mother was sedated to allow the operation to proceed.
2. This is Gonna Sting
"A scorpion wants to cross a river but cannot swim, so it asks a frog to carry it across. The frog hesitates, afraid that the scorpion might sting it, but the scorpion promises not to, pointing out that it would drown if it killed the frog in the middle of the river. The frog considers this argument sensible and agrees to transport the scorpion. Midway across the river, the scorpion stings the frog anyway, dooming them both. The dying frog asks the scorpion why it stung despite knowing the consequence, to which the scorpion replies: "I am sorry, but I couldn't resist the urge. It's in my nature." Let's expand this fable a bit with Joe Manchin playing the part of the scorpion and the role of the frog being played by Earth. "Manchin told the Democratic leadership on Thursday that he would 'not support an economic package that contains new spending on climate change or includes new tax increases targeting wealthy Americans or corporations.' What’s left, then? Not much." Joe Manchin to Planet Earth: Drop Dead.
+ Ron Brownstein in The Atlantic: Mother Nature Dissents. "The paradox is that precisely as these events are dramatizing the rising costs of inaction on climate change, Washington faces more difficulty to act. That’s not only because of the Supreme Court but also because of the resistance to sweeping legislation in the Senate from every Republican as well as Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who represents one of the top coal-producing states, West Virginia. Adding to the strain: The states most integrated into the existing fossil-fuel economy—almost all of them controlled by Republicans—are escalating their efforts to block action on climate change from the federal government and even the private sector." Or put another way: "In a world where facts are no longer the currency, it actually is very hard to make arguments in favor of doing what seems very logical."
+ Meanwhile... WaPo: Rome hits highest temperature on record as heat wave sweeps Europe.
3. The Rape of Things to Come
We knew terrible abortion stories would start to emerge after SCOTUS overturned Roe. But we didn't know they'd come this soon or be this monstrous. The anti-abortion crowd tried to pretend that the story of a 10 year-old girl who had to cross a state line to get an abortion after being raped was fake news. Once the perpetrator was arrested, they aimed their ire at the doctor who performed the abortion and at the girl herself. (No ire was left for the rapist.) Here's a National Right to Life lawyer explaining why the 10 year old rape victim should have the baby. "She would have had the baby, and as many women who have had babies as a result of rape, we would hope that she would understand the reason and ultimately the benefit of having the child." (Wait, so little girls who get impregnated while being violently raped should have the baby. And little boys who get violently raped should keep quiet or be ignored to protect serial rapists. Am I getting the tenets of this religion right?)
+ "She followed all relevant policies, procedures, and regulations in this case, just as she does every day to provide the best possible care for her patients. She has not violated any law, including patient privacy laws, and she has not been disciplined by her employer." Doctor’s lawyer defends steps in 10-year-old girl’s abortion. The fact that a lawyer has to defend the doctor in this case is beyond sick. And we're just getting warmed up.
+ Unimaginable abortion stories will become more common. Is American journalism ready?
+ Let the Mother Die: "Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, R, sued the Biden administration over federal rules that require abortions be provided in medical emergencies to save the life of the mother, even in states with near-total bans."
4. Weekend Whats
What to Watch: RRR is an acronym for Roudram Ranam Rudhiram. The Telugu alliteration literally translates to Rise Roar Revolt. And all three happen a lot in this unique and action-packed movie. What a ride. Check out RRR on Netflix.
+ What to Book: The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz is the story of three triplets who hate each other. And it's a lot more than that too. Korelitz' writing is funny and snappy and the issues in the novel are timely.
+ What to Doc: I love nothing more than sitting on my couch with a large bowl of pasta and watching extreme athletes do their thing. The Edge of the Earth is a new docuseries on HBO. Episode one features people who spend weeks getting to the top of Mount Bertha so they can snowboard and ski down its near vertical avalanche ridden slopes. (I suggest you pair this with a nice penne alla arrabiata...)
5. Extra, Extra
Lawyer, Client: "The day after he was forced to resign from the firm, the police said he asked one of his distant cousins to kill him on the side of the road and stage the act as if it were a murder so that his other son, Buster, could collect on his life insurance policy. The plan failed — Mr. Murdaugh was apparently wounded in the shooting but not seriously hurt — and he and the cousin, Curtis Edward Smith, were charged with several crimes in the scheme." I'm not sure what will come first: The trial or the Netflix series. NYT (Gift Article): South Carolina Lawyer Alex Murdaugh Charged With Killing Wife and Son.
+ Putting the Secret in Service: Secret Service erased text messages from January 5 and 6, 2021 -- after oversight officials asked for them, watchdog says.
+ Terror State: "Russia, a legitimate, recognized world power—a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council—is directing constant, repetitive, visible terrorist violence against civilians, many of whom are nowhere near the fighting. The attacks are not errors or accidents." Anne Applebaum in The Atlantic: Russia’s War Against Ukraine Has Turned Into Terrorism. (It may have started as that...)
+ M...BS: "President Joe Biden touched down in Saudi Arabia on Friday, preparing to meet for the first time with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, an encounter intended to reset their two countries’ longstanding partnership despite U.S. criticism of human rights abuses in the oil-rich kingdom." MBS is gaining a lot of legitimacy out of this visit. Let's hope Biden gets something out of it, too.
+ Guac and Awe: "Far more fascinating than the cultural lore of the avocado are its own amorous propensities, uncovered in the centuries since by sciences that would have then seemed like magic, or heresy." Chance, Choice, and the Avocado: The Strange Evolutionary and Creative History of Earth’s Most Nutritious Fruit.
6. Feel Good Friday
"Over the past 20 years, I’ve taught women (and a few men) how to give world-class head while also becoming self-empowered and having a blast." Women Pay Me To Teach Them How To Give Great Head. (And Their Boyfriends Thank Me.)
+ Neural sleeve developed in Bay Area helping patients walk again.
+ Lego is releasing an incredible set based on The Office.
+ A self-serve grocery store helps feed a small Minnesota town.
+ In a Twist, Old Coal Plants Help Deliver Renewable Power. Here’s How.
+ Child of refugees becomes Germany’s first black female cabinet minister.
+ One place you won't find inflation: The ever-reliable $1.50 Costco hot dog combo.
+ Cat saved with animal oxygen mask after Paddington fire.