Thoughts & Essays

5TTRT: Michael Cohen & Donald Trump, tariffs, climate change, James Gunn, & free speech online.

Busy days ahead, so blogging will continue to be light. Probably. At any rate, today’s articles cover the Cohen tape that dropped last night, more tariffs, climate change, Gamergate and James Gunn, and free speech online.

5 Things to Read Today

🔊 CNN: Exclusive: CNN obtains secret Trump-Cohen tape
A tape of Michael Cohen and Trump talking about hush money payments to Karen McDougal has somehow mysteriously leaked to CNN. About half the Internet thinks Trump leaked it. I think Cohen leaked it, myself. Anyway, Trump claimed he never had an affair with McDougal, has denied it repeatedly, his administration has denied it, he says he never paid money, you know the rest of the song. FYI, McDougal is the gal who had her story bought by the National Enquirer, and the Enquirer buried the story, clearly on Trump’s behalf and orders.

🚗 Washington Post: Trump pushes 25 percent auto tariff as top advisers scramble to stop him
Trump wants to slap a 25% tariff on foreign-made cars. This is a hella bad idea, and the GOP is warning Trump that it’s a hella bad idea (he won’t listen, natch), and that he might face a GOP revolt if he goes ahead (he probably won’t, because the GOP is whipped).

🌡️ Grist: A groundbreaking study outlines what you can do about climate change.
TL;DR: For low impact, do things like upgrade your lightbulbs to those ugly corkscrew ones that save money and energy. Moderate impact actions include hang-drying your clothes, recycling, washing clothes in cold water, and getting a hybrid. High impact actions include going vegetarian, switching to an electric car, buying green energy, and skipping one transatlantic flight a year. The highest impact actions you can take to help put the breaks on climate change are to go car-free and have one fewer kid than you were going to. (Which actually puts me in the negative on kids, so I’m not sure how that works out.)

🎮 Vox: James Gunn’s firing shows we’re still living in the Gamergate era
You wanna know where the alt-right came from? It’s Gamergate. You wanna know where Gamergate came from? Nazis online. Nazis and the “men’s rights” yahoos, anyway, which are kinda turning into the same thing, these days. It’s nazis all the way down, folks. Women and non-white people have been warning y’all about this for years, and you didn’t listen.

📰 Jeff Jarvis: Finding the Line
On the heels of the last link, here’s Jeff Jarvis trying to figure out where to thread the needle between allowing free speech online and on social platforms, and keeping frickin’ nazis and other hate groups and harmful fools out of our hair. It’s a great read with a lot of interesting thoughts.