Give Me an F!

Ready? Okay! We've got spirit, yes we do. We've got spirit, and free speech too! The Supreme has made its Snap judgment. After she failed to get promoted to the varsity cheer squad, then 14 year-old Brandi Levy expressed her frustration on Snapchat with the rather poetic: F*** the school ... F*** cheer, F*** everything. "Suspended from the team for what was considered disruptive behavior, Brandi and her parents went to court. They argued that the school had no right to punish her for off-campus speech, whether it was posted online while away from school, as in this case, or spoken out loud at a Starbucks across the street from school." Today, in an 8-1 decision, the Supreme Court agreed. Of course, Clarence Thomas was the one who F***ing dissented. (He gets the Bronx cheer.) NPR: Supreme Court Rules Cheerleader's F-Bombs Are Protected By The 1st Amendment. (Save the cheerleader, save the world.)

+ "The content produced by the women was banal by the standards of Western social media use and included dance videos and photos of the two women posing in fashionable attire." Egypt sentences TikTok star to 10 years in prison for 'human trafficking'.


Ballot Box Out

"The Republican blockade in the Senate left Democrats without a clear path forward, and without a means to beat back the restrictive voting laws racing through Republican-led states." NYT: Republicans Block Voting Rights Bill, Dealing Blow to Biden and Democrats. (And Democracy.)

+ Not every state is limiting voting access. Some are expanding it. WaPo: States across the country are dropping barriers to voting, widening a stark geographic divide in ballot access.


The Delta Charlie Foxtrot

"Delta drives an even wider wedge between vaccinated and unvaccinated people. They have already been living in separate worlds, facing vastly different risks of illness and death; now, their risk levels will diverge further. People who've been fully vaccinated can, by and large, feel confident in the immunity that they've received. But those who remain susceptible should understand that, for them, this is probably the most dangerous moment of the pandemic." Dhruv Khullar in The New Yorker: The Delta Variant Is a Grave Danger to the Unvaccinated.

+ Fauci warns dangerous Delta variant is the greatest threat To U.S. COVID efforts.

+ "'If people elsewhere in the country are looking to us and saying, ‘No thanks' and they are getting vaccinated, that is good,' said Erik Frederick, chief administrative officer at Mercy Hospital Springfield, which has been inundated with COVID-19 patients as the variant first identified in India rips through the largely non-immunized community. 'We will be the canary.'" Unvaccinated Missourians fuel COVID. (In this case, Missouri doesn't love company.)

+ While Americans shun the vaccine, people around the world are literally dying for it. Global herd immunity remains out of reach because of inequitable vaccine distribution – 99% of people in poor countries are unvaccinated. Supply is not the main reason ... distribution is.


Carl Marks the Spot

Finally is one of the most over- and misused words in headlines. But in this case it fits. Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib on Monday became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Finally!

+ 'Proud of you': NFL players welcome Carl Nassib's decision to come out.

+ Carl Nassib has top-selling NFL jersey at Fanatics in day since announcement.


An Apple a Daily

"The paper, Apple Daily, had managed to survive the arrest of its founder and of its editor in chief, and of several top executives. But last week, the government froze its bank accounts, crippling the paper's operations." Hong Kong's Apple Daily To Shut Down This Weekend. (These attacks on the press, specifically, and free speech and democracy, generally, are increasing and going largely unchallenged.)


Leaving the Job Corpse

"It was a really dismal time, and it made me realize this isn't worth it. My life isn't worth a dead-end job." WaPo: Retail workers are quitting at record rates for higher-paying work. "Some 649,000 employees gave notice in April, the sector's largest one-month exodus in over 20 years."


Bachelor, Et Tu?

"I was a lawyer. My father was a federal judge. I had a squeaky-clean record. I had to be a good Black girl, an exceptional Black girl. I had to be someone the viewer could accept. And I was a token until I made sure I wasn't. The thing is, the day I went on the show, I didn't wake up and say, You know what? I'm going to start standing up for myself. I was taught at a very young age to speak up about injustices. It was no different with Bachelor Nation. And I don't think they ever saw it coming." Rachel Lindsay Has No Roses Left to Burn. "I thought I could change The Bachelor franchise from within. Until I realized I was their token."

+ Netflix Is Making a Dating Show Where People Wear Animal Prosthetics. (As far as I can tell, only on their heads. But who knows.)


That Flo Jo Glow

"Twitter was quick to praise Richardson not just for her athletic skill but also her emotional bravery in being able to compete just days following her mother's death. Others chimed in expressing that they admired Richardson's unique and unapologetic style as she ran her way to victory complete with her fiery orange hair, statement acrylic nails, tattoos, and piercings." Sha'Carri Richardson Is Now The Fastest Woman In America. (In a few weeks, she may be one of the most famous, too.)


Arctic Tock…

"The Arctic Circle is known for viciously cold winter temperatures that can cause frostbite within minutes—but this summer, parts of the area are so hot that touching the ground could burn your skin." It's 118 Degrees in Siberia.


Bottom of the News

"The male elephant, named Boonchuay, appeared to be looking for something to eat. His trunk rummaged through the kitchen drawers, knocking pans and cooking paraphernalia to the floor. He chewed on a plastic bag as Ratchadawan, unsure what to do, filmed the episode on her phone." Elephant in the room: visitor crashes through kitchen wall in Thailand.

+ "The affair allegedly continued until spring 2020 and was kept secret through 'burner phones,' first discovered by Yawn's wife. All the while, the pastor continued to serve as a counselor to Ben Zobrist." Ex-Cubs Star's Lawsuit: Pastor Bilked My Charity, Slept With My Wife Amid Marriage Counseling.

+ "President Trump went further than simply tweeting his displeasure with the late-night comedians and SNL writers' room. The internal discussions that followed, between the former leader of the free world and some of his political and legal advisers, once again underscored just how much Trump wanted to use the full weight and power of the U.S. government to punish his personal enemies." Trump Wanted His Justice Department to Stop SNL and Jimmy Kimmel From Teasing Him. (And nearly an entire political party is still being controlled by this guy.)

+ Harrison Ford suffers shoulder injury while filming Indiana Jones 5. (At this point, I thought that was part of the plot...)