Extra, Extra

Whole Greater Than the Sum of Parts: “While the two battlefronts may look very different, they actually have a lot in common. They reflect a titanic geopolitical struggle between two opposing networks of nations and nonstate actors over whose values and interests will dominate our post-post-Cold War world — following the relatively stable Pax Americana/globalization era that was ushered in by the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet bloc, America’s chief Cold War rival. Yes, this is no ordinary geopolitical moment.” Tom Friedman explains how the wars in Gaza and Ukraine are connected (and bigger than you think). NYT (Gift Article): A Titanic Geopolitical Struggle Is Underway. Meanwhile, the CIA director is meeting with Israel intel chief and Qatar’s PM to try to reach a hostages breakthrough.

+ Growth Mindset: “The economy grew at a much more rapid pace than expected in the final three months of 2023, as the U.S. easily skirted a recession that many forecasters had thought was inevitable.”

+ Meanwhile, Back at the Court: Trump testified in his latest E. Jean Carroll damages trial, briefly. He was shut down by the judge for breaking the rules and as he left the courtroom, he muttered repeatedly, “This is not America. This is not America. This is not America.” (I said the same thing on loop for four years.) In other Trump-related legal news, Peter Navarro was just sentenced to 4 months for contempt of Congress. (He served in the Trump White House. This should be easy time.)

+ Affairs in Order? Even prosecutors are being subpoenaed these days. CNN: Willis, Wade and others expected to be subpoenaed for hearing on Fulton County DA affair allegations.

+ Are You Almost Done In There? Let’s take a break from crazy national politics and focus on crazy local politics. “Fifteen months after city officials were ready to throw a party in the Noe Valley Town Square to celebrate funding for a tiny bathroom with a toilet and sink, nothing but mulch remains in its place. The toilet project broke down the minute taxpayers realized the city was planning an event to celebrate $1.7 million in state funds that local politicians had secured for the lone 150-square-foot structure. That’s enough to purchase a single-family home in San Francisco — with multiple bathrooms.” Heather Knight in the NYT (Gift Article): San Francisco Tried to Build a $1.7 Million Toilet. It’s Still Not Done. (And, seriously, I can’t hold it much longer.)

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