Tuesday, January 8th, 2019


Wall to Wall Coverage

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you ... a rerun. Leading up to the 2016 election, Candidate Trump got near nonstop coverage as he traveled from rally to rally enthralling crowds with promises of a big, beautiful wall. As president, Trump has continued to press his case (even after briefly agreeing to a budget deal that contained no wall funding). And the US government is now approaching a record-long shutdown over ... drumroll please ... the wall. And yet, on Tuesday night, all the major networks have set aside a chunk of their primetime schedules so that the president can make his case for the wall. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer will deliver the Democratic response (which you've also heard by now). Here's the latest on the wall to wall coverage.

+ Would you put the boy who cried wolf in charge of the emergency broadcast system? Or to put that question another way: should the networks give a habitual liar an extra few minutes to mislead? The Atlantic's James Fallows says no. The Networks Blew the Call.

+ As featured in NextDraft yesterday, there is a crisis at the Southern border. It's just not the one you'll be hearing about on Tuesday night.

+ NBC News: "Overall, 41 people on the Terrorist Screening Database were encountered at the southern border from Oct. 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018, but 35 of them were U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. Six were classified as non-U.S. persons. On the northern border, CBP stopped 91 people listed in the database, including 41 who were not American citizens or residents." (So maybe we need a wall along the Canadian border first?)

+ Quartz: What happened to the border wall money Congress already gave Trump?

+ Trump claimed former presidents told him they should have built a border wall. All four living presidents say that's not true. (Whoa, we didn't see that coming...)


Shut Flows Down Hill

During this politically motivated, sad shutdown, it pays to remember the apolitical federal employees who serve and love America, day in and day out. We need them now more than ever. They aren't getting paid. Their sacrifice is a constant. They're holding this thing together. WaPo: As Government Shutdown Persists, Americans Feel the Bite.

+ WaPo: Trump's government was a very bleak workplace for many. Then it shut down.


Noxious Uncoupling

"Fossil fuel emissions in the United States have fallen significantly since 2005 and declined each of the previous three years, in part because of a boom in cheap natural gas and renewable energy, which have been rapidly displacing dirtier coal-fired power." But, as one climate and energy analyst explains, "we haven't yet successfully decoupled U.S. emissions growth from economic growth." NYT: U.S. Carbon Emissions Surged in 2018 Even as Coal Plants Closed.


The Poor Get Poorer

"You think about what we want to define us as Americans: equal opportunity, equal protection under the law. But what we're seeing in these situations is that not only are the poor in the United States treated differently than people with means, but that the courts are actually aggravating and perpetuating poverty." NYT Mag: How Cities Make Money Fining the Poor.


Speaking the Same Language

"Kenya follows in the footsteps of South Africa which began teaching the language in schools in 2014 and Uganda which is planning mandatory ... lessons." Quartz: Kenya will start teaching Chinese to elementary school students from 2020. (Anyone know how to say "shithole countries" in Mandarin?)


Class Action Movie

"In all, she fires about 700 rounds over 27 hours of instruction, which includes an evening crash course in trauma medicine. If someone in class is bleeding out, she learns, a sturdy ruler is great for tightening a tourniquet." Jay Willis in GQ: When You Give a Teacher a Gun. "The question is no longer 'should we arm teachers?' Now, it's 'how many armed teachers are already out there?'"


The Empire Strikes Out

"'When did you feel that you had broken their will?' ... 'When did you feel that you guys had complete and total control of the game?' These are the types of questions you would like to ask a boa constrictor about the small mammal it just strangled and ate. For a decade, Alabama has been the boa constrictor; Monday, the most dominant college football program of the century was relegated to the role of the deceased mouse.'" A few freshmen rebels who were in high school this time last year led Clemson to a crushing win over Darth 'Bama. The Ringer: How an Alabama Rout for the Ages Ushered in a New Day in College Football.


Cog the Bounty Hunter

"The bounty hunter sent the number to his own contact, who would track the phone. The contact responded with a screenshot of Google Maps, containing a blue circle indicating the phone's current location, approximate to a few hundred meters." Don't let all the focus on Facebook distract you from the fact that plenty of tech companies are playing fast and loose with your personal data. Motherboard: I Gave a Bounty Hunter $300. Then He Located Our Phone.


Hardboiled Crime Story

"Beneath his shirt, they discovered ribbons of surgical tape wound around his abdomen. The tape encased three woolen socks containing a total of 14 smallish eggs ranging in color from brick red to marbled brown. The man claimed they were duck eggs, and he offered the police a curious explanation: his physiotherapist had recommended that he wear the eggs pressed against his belly to force him to keep his muscles taut and strengthen his lower back." Outside's Joshua Hammer on The Egg Thief. "For decades Jeffrey Lendrum helicoptered up and rappelled down to aeries on cliff faces from Patagonia to Quebec, snatching unhatched raptors and selling them."

+ The New Yorker: The French Burglar Who Pulled Off His Generation's Biggest Art Heist.


Bottom of the News

"And then he thought: 'Well maybe it's not driftwood.' And then he looked down and saw that his whole leg was inside a shark's mouth. His hand was inside the shark's mouth as well. And he said that once he saw that, he experienced the most intense pain that you could possibly imagine." Unless you either have a really good imagination, or you've felt worse. Gizmodo asked a bunch of pain doctors, What's the Worst Pain?

+ What do American men do with their extra half hour of daily leisure time? Mostly watch TV.

+ A Would-Be Robber Targeted A Female MMA Fighter. (Emphasis on Would-Be...)

+ And CES is going full CES.