Monday, March 6th, 2017


Tap Happy

In case there was any doubt, President Trump firmly cemented his position as the editor in chief of fake news over the weekend when he pulled another diversionary rabbit out of his tin foil hat. Trump added another chapter to his fictionalized biography of Barack Obama and accused the former president of wiretapping Trump Tower. Here's the NYT on a conspiracy theory's journey from talk radio to Trump's Twitter.

+ "A White House official told The Post that the president was in a brighter mood on Sunday morning than he was on Saturday because he was pleased that his allegations against Obama were the dominant story on cable and led the newspapers." In a very good overview (including important mentions of Roy Cohn's influence), WaPo explains how using the same old strategy might backfire this time. (Here's my simple rule for drug lords and fake news merchants: Don't get high off your own supply.)

+ The New Yorker: What to make of Donald Trump's early-morning wiretap Tweets.

+ WaPo: The president rages at leaks, setbacks and accusations.


Trashing Euro

"I never thought we would see this again. I never thought there would actually be this concern. You can see where the debate is surfacing from. There is a logic to it." Max Fisher in the NYT: Fearing U.S. Withdrawal, Europe Considers Its Own Nuclear Deterrent.


Getting the Ban Back Together

One country is off the list, and several changes have been made to a rewrite of the Trump travel ban that the White House hopes can survive the courts. From The Atlantic: The Trump administration's dramatic narrowing of its travel ban.

+ Quartz: Five ways Trump's new travel order is different from the earlier "Muslim ban."

+ I'm less concerned with the different ways the new ban will be enforced and more interested in why we need the ban in the first place. Sec of State Tillerson called the ban a vital measure for strengthening our national security. I'm all for that. But is there any evidence it's true? As I wrote last week, this ban is likely to create more terrorists than it blocks.


The Antisocial Network

"Scrubbed of the eugenics ideology or race war rhetoric that may have helped spawn them, and freed from the stigma that comes from being the clear intellectual property of Nazi skinheads or the Ku Klux Klan, many of these messages about the otherness of immigrants have gained an expansive audience among Americans who might not embrace them in their raw form." FastCo on how the internet fueled the rise in hate crimes in California.

+ Slate: Twitter's New Order. Inside the changes that could save its business -- and reshape civil discourse.


Who Are You?

"About 300,000, or less than 3 percent of the 11 million undocumented, have committed felonies. (The proportion of felons in the overall population was an estimated 6 percent in 2010." NYT Upshot with some numbers and data to describe the reality about illegal immigrants in the United States.

+ "He's more American than most of us standing here, because he did pick up arms to defend this country." ABC News: A veteran is fighting deportation after 2 tours in Afghanistan.

+ WaPo: Thousands of ICE detainees claim they were forced into labor, a violation of anti-slavery laws.


Ven(ice) Diagram

"On one side are residents who say they find homeless people urinating on their front lawn and allege, like Mark Ryavec, that the new city services are only drawing more homeless people into the community. As Ryavec put it: 'I do not want to see the city of LA become the trailer park of last resort for everyone who has chosen either involuntarily or voluntarily to live in their vehicles.'" Now known as Silicon Beach, Venice has become a magnet for tech workers. It's also the scene of a rising homeless population. And politicians are picking sides and drawing lines in the sand. From The Guardian: Trouble in Venice: can this trendy LA enclave reconcile a deep divide?


The Other Dave

"I just think, Are you kidding me? Look, you're a human, I'm a human. We're breathing the same air. We have the same problems. We're trying to get through our day. Who the f*ck are you to throw a log in the road of somebody who has a different set of difficulties in life?" David Letterman talks to NY Mag through an increasingly enormous, somewhat foreboding, and completely ZZ-topian beard. (Warning, this interview is gonna make you miss him). In Conversation: David Letterman.


Do as I Do

"Green, 63, has never met Steve Kerr, the coach of the Warriors, nor has he had the chance to watch the N.B.A.'s highest-octane team play in person. But the Warriors' growing influence is apparent here in Levelland, a small city of 14,000 set amid cotton fields and oil rigs about 30 miles west of Lubbock." Scott Cacciola in the NYT: Team Plagiarizes Golden State Warriors. Team Is Undefeated.


Blanket Coverage

Is a Snuggie a blanket that people sometimes choose to wear? Or is it a full-fledged article of clothing? A lot of money could be at stake depending on how that matter of dispute is settled. WaPo: Why a weird legal dispute about whether the Snuggie is a blanket actually matters a lot. (At this point, I don't think anyone is shocked that weird things can matter.)


Bottom of the News

"I went to a store that promised prescription lenses in under an hour. I found a nice pair, I got them in less than the time promised. And they look, work and feel really great." So I wrote the most unusual Internet post of all time.

+ The sport is called Tricking. And, well, just watch. If that's not your thing, try skiing with a jetpack. (It's a good way to skip the lift lines.)

+ McSweeney's: I have traveled here from the present to warn you about global warming.