Tuesday, October 19th, 2021


Out The Wazzu

Washington State football coach Nick Rolovich was having a pretty decent season by Washington State football standards (a very good season by my Cal Bears standards), but he and four of his assistant coaches just got fired for refusing to get vaccinated—a requirement for all Washington State employees. It may have had something to do with religion (we all know god is not a fan of vaccinations and doing whatever you can to help save the lives of those around you), but Rolovich hasn't given many details to back up his refusal. It must be a huge letdown players and the team's fans. It's also going to hit Rolovich in the pocketbook as he had one of the highest salaries of any state employee: $3.1 million. (Maybe that salary is bigger news than the firing.)

+ Even if you're not a college football fan, you're probably familiar with the achievements (or at least the voice) of Ed Orgeron. Well, just "twenty-one months after going undefeated, winning a national championship and putting together perhaps the greatest single season in college football history, LSU announced that it had reached an agreement to part ways with Orgeron at the end of this season." This is a story about a remarkable fall from grace, but it's also a story about the remarkably outsized role of football at some universities. If you have a subscription to The Athletic, here's a deeper look into an interesting story (with an even more interesting editor's note): He lost track of who he was': Inside Ed Orgeron's fall from celebrated son of Louisiana to LSU coaching pariah. Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that the woman Ed Orgeron encountered at a gas station was not pregnant, as previously reported.


Mutate Modern

When it comes to Covid numbers, I'm in the best county in the best state. And it's really starting to feel like the worst of the pandemic is over. But is it? Well, that depends. It depends on us, and it really depends on the virus. WaPo (Gift Article for ND Readers): A drop in infections offers hope that the end of the pandemic is in sight. The virus may have something to say about that. From one Harvard epidemiologist: "We'd have to be idiots to think the virus is done with us." (Idiots? Us? In terms of developing a clearheaded and united front against Covid? Idiots? How dare he!)

+ OK, maybe he has a point... Miami school says vaccinated students must stay home for 30 days to protect others.


Abbey Road

"Mr. Sappenfield's emotions rise and fall with each message from P, who tried and failed three times to reach the Abbey Gate, one of the Kabul airport's main entries, during the American evacuation. 'I tell my students in 11th grade that they are the only ones who can betray their integrity. It's theirs to give away if they choose to lie or cheat. But in this case, someone else broke my word for me. It just irritates the heck out of me.'" For most of us, the Afghan evacuation is a story that's over. But for many vets, the fight goes on. NYT (Gift article for NextDraft Readers): These U.S. Veterans Won't Rest Until They've Kept a Wartime Promise. (This story is both deeply depressing and very inspiring.)


Did This Courtship Sail?

The Biden administration is taking the Texas anti-abortion law back to the Supreme Court. But didn't we go through this before? Yes, but as Vox explains, "there are some important legal distinctions between the current challenge to SB 8, known as United States v. Texas, and the Court's previous order in Whole Woman's Health v. Jackson allowing SB 8 to take effect. Specifically, the Justice Department argues in its request for relief that the United States is allowed to sue Texas directly, even if private parties may not." (It's still a law that was designed to withstand challenges and a SCOTUS that was designed to crush Roe.)


Contemptation Island

"Trump is aggressively trying to block the committee's work by directing former White House aide Steve Bannon not to answer questions in the probe while also suing the panel to try to prevent Congress from obtaining former White House documents. But lawmakers on the House committee say they will not back down as they gather facts and testimony about the attack." Jan. 6 panel plans contempt vote as Trump sues over probe. (People will get away with as much as they're allowed to get away with. Make laws great again.)


Truth or Jair

"A Brazilian congressional panel is set to recommend mass homicide charges against President Jair Bolsonaro, asserting that he intentionally let the coronavirus rip through the country and kill hundreds of thousands in a failed bid to achieve herd immunity and revive Latin America's largest economy." NYT: Brazilian Leader's Pandemic Handling Draws Explosive Allegation: Homicide. (I'd settle for criminally negligent manslaughter charges in the U.S. I'm willing to believe none of it, even the UV lights and the Lysol, was premeditated.)


Who is it for?

"My mum's favorite cold cream was Nivea, and I love it to this day. That's the cold cream I was thinking of in the description of the face Eleanor keeps 'in a jar by the door.' I was always a little scared by how often women used cold cream." Paul McCartney in The New Yorker: Writing Eleanor Rigby. (My dad used Nivea, pronounced Ni-vay-a in our house, every morning for decades. I can smell it as I type this.)


Extended Mix Version

"The research found that boosters, even when given to people who got a different brand originally, led to an increase in antibody count." US to allow Americans to ‘mix and match' boosters of Covid vaccine.


Sword Fishing

"It was found encrusted with marine organisms, but is apparently made of iron. It is exciting to encounter such a personal object, taking you 900 years back in time to a different era, with knights, armor and swords." An Israeli scuba diver discovered a sword that likely belonged to a Crusader knight.


Bottom of the News

"The 'Spirit' name was pure coincidence. Marver wasn't inspired by Halloween ghosts, but by the name of his shuttered store (Spirit Women's Discount Apparel)." The Hustle: How Spirit Halloween became a $500m plus business.

+ Rapper formerly known as Kanye West is now just Ye. You may be thinking, "Yeah, but who gives a ck?" Well, you'll still enjoy his new look.