Friday, August 27th, 2021


Give Me More Than Five

"Rest assured: When the histories are written, there will be enough blame for all to share. For today, too much sorrow." In WaPo (gift article for ND readers), David Ignatius on the the attack the administration saw coming but couldn't stop : At a badly shaken White House, ‘sadness and horror.' It was a tragic day for Afghans and an unthinkable loss for the military families whose loved ones were just days away from leaving Afghanistan. It was also sad that the loss of life was met with the same old political finger pointing in DC. Terrorists attack America. And Americans attack each other. Our biggest threat is from within. I also couldn't help but think that if all service deaths in Afghanistan had been covered this urgently and completely, we would have been gone a long time ago. During all of last year, the national evening newscasts on CBS, ABC, and NBC devoted just five minutes to Afghanistan coverage.

+ Meanwhile, under continued threats, the evacuation continues. More than 110,000 people have been airlifted out of Kabul. The latest from BBC.

+ Tom Nichols in The Atlantic: "This operation was never going to go smoothly, but we will need to know, in the aftermath of the biggest single day of U.S. casualties in 10 years, whether it had to be this bad. The more immediate question, however, is what to do next. Blame-storming might be satisfying, but it's not a policy." A Bungled Mess.

+ The Conversation: What is ISIS-K?

+ "Like a black hole with its own gravitational pull, Afghanistan could draw the C.I.A. back into a complex counterterrorism mission for years to come." NYT (gift article of ND readers): Amid Afghan Chaos, a C.I.A. Mission That Will Persist for Years.


The Volunteers

"After succeeding with helping dozens of Afghan commandos and interpreters get into the protective ring of the airport created by the 6,000 American troops President Joe Biden dispatched to the airfield after Kabul fell to the Taliban, the group initiated an ambitious ground operation this week aided by U.S. troops inside. The objective was to move individuals and families through the cover of darkness on the "Pineapple Express." The week-long effort and Wednesday's operation were observed by ABC News under the agreement of secrecy while the heart-pounding movements unfolded." US special operations vets carry out daring mission to save Afghan allies.

+ Of course, the refugees who have gotten out face long and painful transitions, but it's nice to know some folks are welcoming them. WaPo (gift article for ND readers): Teddy bears, clothes and messages of love: Afghan refugees receive warm welcome in some countries.

+ Here's a weird twist from WaPo (gift article): Lawyer for Afghan girls' robotics team tells Oklahoma woman to stop taking credit for rescue.


Weekend Whats

What to Watch: I liked White Lotus more, but it was basically satirizing me (the jerk newlywed husband was right, he should get the room his mother paid for!). Nine Perfect Strangers on Hulu leaves me unscathed. I've never willingly participated in wellness.

+ What to Hear: CNN chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward on Fresh Air discussing, What It's Like To Be A Woman Reporting On The Taliban: 'They Don't Look At You.'

+ What to Pickle: I'm a pickle fanatic. But they can take a lot waiting. Not these. Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles. (Crinkle cutting is mandatory.)

+ What to Support: It's no joke. California is burning. Tahoe is in danger. My artist friends Annie and Eric have been raising money for fire victims and fighters for years. This year, they were among those required to evacuate. Their response? An art sale to raise money for fire fighters and victims.

+ What to Dave: Norman Lear said, "I can't recall a more engaging read." Norman is my hero. But you shouldn't need anyone else to convince you pre-order my book! Order Please Scream Inside Your Heart today. (And save your proof of purchase. It will be good for something soon.) Pick your favorite online bookstore or order it from Green Apple Books for a signed copy (it can be mailed or picked up in the store). IndieBound | Amazon | | | Powells


Rent Comes Due

"The court's action late Thursday ends protections for roughly 3.5 million people in the United States who said they faced eviction in the next two months." Supreme Court allows evictions to resume during pandemic.


Surge Protectors Available

There are definitely two Americas when it comes to Covid. And right now, you don't want to be in one where the virus surge is breaking hospital records and taking a rising toll on kids. We thought Covid was in remission. It was in intermission.


Breyer’s Patch of Indecision

"In particular, Breyer pointed to a comment the late Justice Antonin Scalia once made about his hopes for his successor. 'He said, 'I don't want somebody appointed who will just reverse everything I've done for the last 25 years,' Breyer said, adding that this will 'inevitably be in the psychology' of his decision. 'I don't think I'm going to stay there till I die — hope not.'" Stephen Breyer hints at retiring from the Supreme Court. (How about ... NOW!?)


The Secret to My Succession

We need some good news! Well, here's some. Succession is returning soon. Get ready with this New Yorker piece on how the writer Jesse Armstrong keeps the billionaire Roy family trapped in its gilded cage. The Real C.E.O. of Succession.


Werking It

"A judge has ordered a western Michigan couple to pay $30,441 to their son for getting rid of his pornography collection ... After moving to Indiana, David Werking learned that his possessions were missing. "Frankly, David, I did you a big favor getting rid of all this stuff,' his dad said in an email." David! David! Have you ever heard of the Internet, David? (If my parents accessed my porn collection, I'd pay them 30 grand to never mention it again.)



"When I was a younger actor and I would get Moneyball or something, I'd be like, I'm going to walk around as the character for two years. Now I'm like, F-ck that, dude. I just come off as pretentious. It doesn't help. I take my work seriously. But we should be having fun, and if we're not, we're just being miserable for some fake artistic pretentious reason, and I actually don't think that's rad." GQ: Jonah Hill Is SuperGood.


Feel Good Friday

Florida Judge Throws Out Gov. Ron DeSantis' Order Prohibiting Masks In Schools. You're allowed to protect your kids in Florida!

+ 1 Crore And Counting: India Achieves New Single-Day Covid Jab Milestone. (That's 10 million shots in a day.)

+ This Australian Farmer Isn't Sheepish About Showing Love For His Late Aunt.

+ Alone in the sky, pilot and fiancee save 17 in Tenn. flood.

+ HBCUs clear student balances and cancel debt with federal funds.

+ Campbell River girl pursuing hockey dream after being raised in Congo orphanage.