November 7th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

America needs a mirror, not a wall, and the Senate just passed something - unanimously.

After a gang attack that left several members of the same family dead, President Trump offered to send the US military into Mexico to help with “cleaning out these monsters.” One of the victim’s relatives had a couple other ideas for how the US could help. “Want to help? Focus on lowering Drug Consumption in US. Want to help some more? Stop the ATF and Gun Law loopholes from systematically injecting high powered assault weapons to Mexico.” (America doesn’t need a wall. America needs a mirror.)

+ “On Monday, it became clear that no agreement could insulate La Mora from Mexico’s rising violence. That morning, gunmen stopped three vehicles on a dirt road outside of town and killed three women and six children, shooting babies at close range and targeting a mother as she begged for her children’s lives.” WaPo: How Mexico’s cartel wars shattered American Mormons’ wary peace.


Town Crier

“The canary in the coal mine is our rural hospitals. Bigger hospitals are going to start having the same issues.” Texas Observer on the growing (and entirely preventable) closures of rural hospitals. A Dying Town. When a rural hospital dies, the community around it starts to follow suit.


Motion Sickness

“The motion called for the establishment of an extraordinary commission in Italy to combat all forms of racism, anti-Semitism, incitement to hatred and violence on ethnic and religious grounds. Ms Segre said after the vote that the abstentions made her feel ‘like a Martian in the Senate.’ … ‘I appealed to the conscience of everyone and thought that a commission against hatred as a principle would be accepted by all.'” It turns out that people had another reaction to the effort to combat hate. BBC: Italy Holocaust survivor Liliana Segre under guard amid death threats.


Stuff Happens

“In an era of wild inequality, sputtering wages, and rising rents and health-care costs, the American working class has had one consistent financial respite: ‘stuff,’ broadly defined, is cheap … Or perhaps not. A new analysis from a prominent group of economic researchers suggests not only that rising prices have been quietly taxing low-income families more heavily than rich ones, but also that, after accounting for that trend, the American poverty rate is significantly higher than the official measures suggest.” The Atlantic on The Inflation Gap.


Whistling in the Dark

An aide to VP pence testified behind closed doors on Wednesday, John Bolton was a no show (but hinted that could change), and the GOP is focusing on two points of deflection: First, there’s the idea that the whistleblower must be outed and testify publicly (even though the testimony of others who have provided firsthand accounts has rendered the whistleblower’s identity and motives meaningless). And second, there are new demands that Hunter and Joe Biden must testify. (In legal circles, such requests are referred to as ‘complete and utter bullshit.’) For more nonsense, here’s the latest from the impeach pit from CNN and WaPo.

+ “Trump, of course, called us liars. He attacked our looks. At one pumped-up rally, he said of me: ‘Look at her. Look at her words. Tell me what you think. I don’t think so!’ We got hate mail, death threats. And what did he get? The keys to the office once held by Washington, Lincoln and the Roosevelts.” Natasha Stoynoff in WaPo: Women were the first Trump whistleblowers.

+ And here’s a lede that truly captures the mood of the era. “After the White House cut off military aid to Ukraine, Donald Trump’s top officials scrambled to get it restored but were unable to organize a meeting with the president, in part because his staff were too busy pursuing his interest in buying Greenland.”


Whoa Whoa Whoa Feelings

The Verge: “Something strange is happening with text messages in the US right now. Overnight, a multitude of people received text messages that appear to have originally been sent on or around Valentine’s Day 2019.” (Honey, I’m pretty sure something similar happened to the flowers and candy I sent…)


Spying on Exhibitionists

“The case represents the first time that federal prosecutors have charged Saudis with deploying agents inside the United States.” NPR: 2 Former Twitter Employees Charged With Spying For Saudi Arabia.


Animal Backers

“There is no place in a civilized society for maiming and torturing animals – period … Senator Toomey and I have spent years working to hold the barbaric individuals who commit these crimes accountable, and I’m glad that Congress is now finally sending our bill to the president’s desk to be signed into law.” You want bipartisan? I’ll give you bipartisan. I’ll even give you unanimous. ABC: Senate unanimously passes bill making animal cruelty a federal felony.


Cardigansta Rap

“Fred was, let’s not forget, a rather peculiar man, and it is not just his goodness but rather the peculiarity of his goodness that has made him, 16 years after his death, triumphant as a symbol of human possibility, although just about everything he stood for has been lost.” Tom Junod: My Friend Mister Rogers. “I first met him 21 years ago, and now our relationship is the subject of a new movie. He’s never been more revered—or more misunderstood.”


Bottom of the News

“They would not be eating. They would not look at any screens. They would not listen to music. They would not exercise. They would not touch other bodies for any reason, especially not for sex. No work. No eye contact. No talking more than absolutely necessary. A photographer could take their picture, but there could be no flash. The number of things to not do is potentially endless.” The NYT’s Nellie Bowles on the latest Silicon Valley fad (and the latest example of tech bros thinking that giving an old idea a new name means that you invented it). A Day of Dopamine Fasting in San Francisco. How to Feel Nothing Now, in Order to Feel More Later.. (Some ideas make me want to feel nothing ever.) “‘Your brain and your biology have become adapted to high levels of stimulus so our project is to reset those receptors so you’re satiated again,’ he said. Mr. Sinka returned to resting. ‘Yeah, man, drop down that cortisol,’ Mr. Scicali said as encouragement. After the fast, Mr. Sinka finds that everyday tasks are more exciting and fun. Work is pleasurable again. Food is more delicious.” (Even embarrassing yourself can be more enjoyable than ever!)

+ Inspired by the Monday Night Football cat… Animals on the Playing Field.

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