November 2nd – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Why does one more lie really matter? Plus, Weekend Whats and Feel Good Friday.

“My family has been very blessed. And we know that we are all brothers. What God gives us, we should share. But we do it with a lot of love” … “This is a poor town, but we still did all this” … “Today it’s them. Tomorrow it could be us.” While President Trump sends more troops to the border to defend against the caravan of migrants, a small town in Mexico is responding differently: With tarps, tortillas, and medicine. From WaPo: Mexicans shower the caravan with kindness.

+ Escalating efforts to demonize the caravan are in full swing with real troops headed to the border to protect us from an imaginary threat, and President Trump indicating that the military may fire on migrants who throw rocks. (They’re about a thousand miles away, so they’ll need a really good arm…)

+ It’s all politics, right? So why does it matter? We’re talking about a guy who has made 6,420 false or misleading claims over 649 days. What’s the point of taking the bait and getting upset about yet another hollow declaration based on an invented set of circumstances? There are plenty of answers to that question. Here’s one: Nigeria’s army just used Trump’s comments about shooting at rock throwing migrants to justify the killing of 45 protesters.


Labor Pool Party

“Employers added 250,000 jobs in October, more than analysts expected, as the jobless rate remained at 3.7 percent, a nearly 50-year low.” Employment numbers continue to be strong as we head into the holiday season. But there’s one notable exception. From Bloomberg: Millennial Men Leave Perplexing Hole in Hot U.S. Job Market.


Weekend Whats

What to Sandman: There’s been a lot of heavy news lately and you’re due for an escape. Adam Sandler has one for you. It’s not another meh movie. It’s stand-up. It’s fun. It’s like the Hanukkah song for an hour. On Netflix, Adam Sandler, 100% Fresh. (This recommendation will be especially appreciated in those states where recreational marijuana is now legal.)

+ What to Anticipate: Next month, Bruce Springsteen’s amazing Broadway show will end its run. But that means a Netflix special and a new album based on the show will be released. For a taste of what’s to come, here’s Land of Hope and Dreams from Broadway.

+ What to Consider: My friend (and high school student) Odessa Goldberg put together a short tribute in honor of those who have lost their lives to violence – and a call to the rest of us not to remain silent. First They Came.

+ What to Watch: This could be the most Buzzfeedy, YouTubey, Internety story ever. How I Became A Celebrity In China By Losing My Cellphone.


Game of Bone Spurs

“The Trump administration is announcing the reimposition of all U.S. sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal. The sanctions cover Iran’s shipping, financial and energy sectors. They’re the second batch of penalties reimposed since President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in May.” The announcement was made via a tweeted movie-style poster featuring President Trump and an homage to Game of Thrones. (No, seriously…)


Hungary, Like a Wolf

“I knew I was entering a waning democracy that’s become increasingly authoritarian. I knew that Prime Minister Viktor Orban won a third term in April by convincing voters that a phantasmic combination of Muslim migrants, the Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros and European Union bureaucrats was coming to get them. But I only understood how Mr. Orban pulled this off when I spoke to Hungarian journalists. They explained that Mr. Orban first criticized the press for being biased against him. Then he and his allies took over most of it.” Pamela Druckerman in the NYT: The News Is Bad in Hungary.

+ USA Today: How a lie about George Soros and the migrant caravan multiplied online. This is the life a lie.

+ NYT: How the Vilification of George Soros Moved From the Fringes to the Mainstream.


Adding Injury to Insult

“Asia Bibi’s sentence was reversed on Wednesday in Islamabad. Almost simultaneously, followers of a hard-line Pakistani religious group rushed onto major highways across the country to paralyze traffic in protest of the decision.” Pakistan’s Supreme Court acquitted a woman who had spent eight years on death row for insulting Islam. Now she is in hiding as crowds have called for her to be killed (along with the 3 judges who issued the verdict). “Bibi, an illiterate Christian farmhand, was convicted and sentenced to death in 2010 after her fellow Muslim farmworkers accused her of insulting Islam. She was held in solitary confinement for more than eight years.”


Four Letter Words

“American names are shrinking. The two most popular names in the US for baby boys in 2017 were Liam and Noah; for girls, Emma and Ava were two of the three most popular. That’s a dramatic shift from just a few decades ago. In 1990, no name in the top ten had less than five letters.” Quartz on the rise of the 4-letter baby name. (Those short words seem great as names, but the parents will never be able to get the associated domain names. That’s why I named both of my kids after a long, random string of characters…)


Runner’s Sigh

Wired’s Nicholas Thompson: An Aging Marathoner Tries To Run Fast After 40. “In running, the evidence is right there: We ran the same distance and we went slower. What took 10 minutes now takes 11; what took three hours now takes three and a half. The evidence of the damage that time does to our bodies shows up implacably on our watches. I’ve been running for decades, and after almost every slow race I worry that I’ve stepped onto an escalator headed inexorably downward.” (Poor Nick. Over the years, I’ve been able to achieve that exact same sensation just sitting right here on my couch…)

+ Average People Try To Keep Up With World-Record Marathon Pace, Fail Miserably. (Even really good athletes can’t keep a top marathoner’s pace for more than 800 meters or so…)


Beanie Babies

“In New York, where I live, it’s almost like a plague out of a horror movie. Uptown. Downtown. Brooklyn. Queens, presumably. The young men all have it, drawling dead-eyed through Tinder dates as if they don’t even know it’s there. “It” is not seasonal affective disorder, nor a near-fatal addiction to Sweetgreen, though we presumably all have those, too. “It” is something perhaps even scarier: a beanie.” GQ on my least favorite fashion trend: Why Do Guys Wear Beanies on the Tops of Their Heads Now? (Between the beanies and the tats and the beards, it’s now impossible to tell whether someone is a dock worker or a barrista…)


Feel Good Friday

“Abell, an experienced backpacker who lives in nearby Sultan, Wash., hiked alongside Groene for two hours. As they swapped stories and got to know each other, Abell tried to persuade Groene to turn around. But Groene was insistent that she had to keep going: With less than 200 miles to go, she was so close to making it to Canada. Eventually, they parted ways. Abell went home but kept an eye on the weather in the mountains.” A hiker in the Cascades thought she would die in a snowstorm. But a stranger was looking out for her.

+ A doughnut store owner had to keep working long days and couldn’t visit his ailing wife. So the neighborhood starting buying out all of his doughnuts in the morning so he could leave early.

+ Fisherman jumps on entangled whale’s back, cuts it free.

+ Indiana vending machine dispenses clean clothing and blankets to people without homes

+ How A Dog Could Stop The Global Spread Of Malaria.

+ Babs does Carpool Karaoke.

+ Nebraska’s new state slogan: Honestly, it’s not for everyone.

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