5 Things To Read Today

5TtRT: McConnell & Chao, Bernie Sanders, the ‘national emergency,’ climate change, & ‘The Newsroom’

So Bernie Sanders threw his hat in the ring, to no one’s surprise, and, I mean… Okay, let’s be honest here. I’m voting the Whomever Isn’t Trump 2020 ticket almost irregardless of who the Democrats run. They could run a literal turnip, and that’s probably who I’m voting for.

I mean, at least a literal turnip is not in a criminal conspiracy with Russia, right? That seems highly unlikely.

But am I excited for another Bernie Sanders run? Not really. I was done with Sanders when I realized what a pile of rabidly awful fanatics his fanboys were. No one who inspires that kind of behavior is going to be at the top of my Happy Favorites List.

Anyway…

  1. Politico: Emails reveal coordination between Chao, McConnell offices
  2. NBC News: Bernie Sanders enters 2020 presidential race: ‘Complete the revolution’
  3. NPR: Poll: 6-In-10 Disapprove Of Trump’s Declaration Of A National Emergency
  4. National Centers for Environmental Information: January 2019 was third warmest on record for the globe
  5. AV Club: The Newsroom might come back to finally fix journalism once and for all
5 Things To Read Today

5TtRT: National emergency, Andrew McCabe, North Carolina, LA mega-storm & Monsters, Inc.

Of particular interest today is item number 3, from the News & Observer, which is live-blogging the investigation into the absentee ballot tampering scandal in North Carolina. Also worth a look is #5, where an engineer on Twitter tackles the Monsters, Inc. “scare floor” and redesigns it for better safety and efficiency.

  1. CNN: California AG Becerra says states to sue over Trump’s national emergency declaration
  2. Politico: McCabe: ‘I was fired because I opened a case against the president’
  3. News & Observer: Bladen County operative ‘told us what we were to say’ at hearing, worker testifies
  4. LA Times: Rare L.A. mega-storm could overwhelm dam and flood dozens of cities, experts say
  5. Twitter: Engineer takes on Monsters, Inc. “scare floor”

5 Things To Read Today

5TtRT: Camp Fire, climate change, romaine lettuce, tear gassing immigrants & the weekend’s political news

Is there anything worse than the Monday after a long weekend? We spent our weekend being lazy and stuffing our faces with leftovers while watching the second season of MST3K on Netflix, and this did not prepare me for a Monday, y’all.

5 Things to Read Today

🌀 The Atlantic: The Three Most Chilling Conclusions From the Climate Report
The Trump administration issued their climate change report, dumping it out on Black Friday when no one would be paying attention. They didn’t want you to pay attention to it because the report basically says, “Hey, if we don’t start doing something about all this right now, we can all kiss our asses goodbye.”

🇲🇽 NPR: U.S. Agents Spray Tear Gas At Migrants, Briefly Close Tijuana Border Entry
There about 5,000 migrants now camped on the southern border near Tijuana. Sunday morning, Border Patrol closed the busiest port of entry, the San Ysidro port, to car and foot traffic for awhile. For reference, that port has around 90,000 people a day passing through.

The migrants, many of whom are trying to seek refugee status – legally, mind you – were irate and headed towards the border. Things escalated. There were Mexican police in riot gear, Border Patrol, and rock-throwing, and a group of migrants tried to sneak under the fence at the border. So Border Patrol started firing tear gas into the crowd.

The crowd which was at least partly made up of mothers and young children. They fired across the border into a sovereign nation.

So that happened. And it kind of sounds like this isn’t the first time it’s happened? Like, is tear gassing attempted refugees a regular thing? I don’t know, and I’m not finding any information about it.

At any rate, we tear gas women and children at the border, now. That’s a thing America does.

But don’t worry – Fox News says it’s fine. One of their Sunday commentators said, of tear gas, “It’s natural. You could actually put it on your nachos and eat it.”

I mean, you can eat sriracha sauce, too, but I wouldn’t recommend putting it in a child’s eyes.

🔥 Earther: Camp Fire Now Completely Contained, With 85 Confirmed Dead and Hundreds Still Missing
The fire isn’t out yet, but they’ve established a firm fire line around it, so it’s not expanding anymore. So far, the fire has burned “13,696 single residences, 276 multiple residences, 528 commercial properties, and 4,293 other structures had been destroyed, with 153,336 acres burned.”

🥗 Vox: It’s still not safe to eat romaine lettuce
You still can’t eat any romaine lettuce, although the CDC is getting closer to nailing down the issue. Maybe it’s safe if you spray tear gas on the romaine?

📰 NPR: The Political News Didn’t Stop Over Thanksgiving. Here’s What You Missed
To wrap things up, here’s a quick round-up of what happened over the holiday weekend. Highlights include Chief Justice John Roberts chewing out Trump, Trump going to bat for Saudi Arabia, who definitely murdered the hell out of a US resident journalist, House subpoenas for former FBI Director James Comey and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and more.

Detective Pikachu

5TtRT: Hate crimes, CA’s fires, Jim Acosta, John Kelly & Kirstjen Nielsen, & the attorney general controversy

Apropos of nothing else in this post, the 2019 Game of Thrones teaser trailer is out this morning. The season’s scheduled for April 2019. Let’s all hope we make it that long.

Also, a trailer dropped yesterday for Detective Pikachu, a live-action Pokemon movie starring Ryan Reynolds as the voice of Pikachu. This movie is going to be a white hot mess and I am here for it, y’all.

5 Things to Read Today

⚖️ AP: FBI: 17% Spike In Hate Crimes In 2017 Marks Rise For 3rd Year In A Row

Hate crime reports were up again for 2017, making three years for increases in hate crimes. Hate crimes against Jewish people were up 37% in 2017.

🔥 Lifehacker: What Trump Gets Wrong About California’s Wildfires

Trump’s been blaming “bad forest management” for the California wildfires, which is BS. These are “urban interface” fires, which means they started in areas where people had built homes around flammable areas. The reason the fires are so bad is – drum roll, please – climate change, of course.

📰 CNN: CNN sues President Trump and top White House aides for barring Jim Acosta

CNN just filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration to get Jim Acosta’s access to the White House restored.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration has changed their story about why Acosta’s press pass was taken in the first place. The White House initially said they yanked Acosta’s press pass because he hit one of the press interns, and tired to back that claim up with an altered video of the incident. Clearly that wasn’t going to fly, so now they’re trying to say Acosta’s press pass was pulled because he wouldn’t yield the mic to the intern.

🏛️ ABC News: Trump planning shakeup, eyeing new chief of staff and DHS secretary: Sources

Apparently Trump’s fixin’ to fire John Kelly, his Chief of Staff, and Kirstjen Nielsen, Kelly’s handpicked replacement at Homeland Security.

Trump’s decided he hates Kelly, and that’s fine, because Kelly’s a hateful trash person. Unfortunately, he’s also one of the so-called “adults in the room,” and god only knows what slow-motion train wreck Trump’ll get to replace him.

Kirstjen Nielsen is the hardline hate machine responsible for enacting Kelly’s plans for separating children from their parents at the border, the child concentration camps, and other atrocities, and she’s apparently being fired for not being enough of a hardline hate machine.

Hold on, kids. Shit’s gonna get real rocky before the Dems take the House in January.

👨‍⚖️ NBC News: State of Maryland asks judge to declare Rosenstein acting attorney general

To wrap things up, Maryland is asking a federal judge to declare Rod Rosenstein the acting attorney general, instead of Matt Whitaker, the toady Trump tired to – possibly unconstitutionally – appoint to the job.

I’m not sure that’ll actually work? I dunno, folks, we’re getting deep in the weeds when it comes to the legal guts of government.

As far as I can tell, Rosenstein should have become acting attorney general when Sessions was fired, and Trump should not have appointed a replacement, because there was already a chain of command in place. That seems to be the prevailing argument at any rate.

E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial

5TtRT: the ‘MAGAbomber,’ Trump’s iPhone, the refugee caravan, Super Typhoon Yutu, & E.T.

We’re almost finished with the second season of “The Good Place,” and this show is delightful. We’re apparently the last people to know that. But in case we’re not, and you haven’t watched it either, you should. It’s on Netflix.

5 Things to Read Today

💣 NBC News: Two packages sent to Joe Biden, one to Robert De Niro match other mailed pipe bombs

More mailed pipe bombs, this time to former VP Joe Biden and Robert De Niro, Bombs have also been sent to the Clintons, the Obamas, George Soros, John Brennan/CNN, former AG Eric Holder, and Rep. Maxine Waters. You can read more about this in the New York Times, Vox and NBC News. JJ McNab, extremist expert, has some thoughts in this Twitter thread, too.

📱 New York Times: When Trump Phones Friends, the Chinese and the Russians Listen and Learn

Trump’s using an unsecured iPhone to make calls to whatever passes for his friends, and the Chinese, Russians, and let’s be honest here, probably others, are listening in. Not a guess, this is apparently a thing our intelligence people know. The good news is that since Trump doesn’t read anything and can’t be bothered to learn anything, he’s probably not giving away that much. (That’s a joke. You know he’s bragging up any classified information he’s managed to retain, constantly, to everyone.)

🇲🇽 CNN: Mattis expected to send 800 more troops to southern border

You must be aware by now that there’s an extremely large caravan of refugees, mostly from Honduras, headed our way. There are several thousand of them, and they plan to seek refugee status when they get here. They’re weeks away. Also, unarmed, and likely exhausted. Probably sick and hungry, too. Mattis is sending troops to the border to “stop them.” It’s a political stunt. You can read more about the caravan itself at Vox.

🌀 Vox: Super Typhoon Yutu, one of the strongest storms ever, just pulverized a US territory

I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but there’s a frickin’ massive typhoon tearing ass through the Pacific Ocean right now, and it just wiped out a couple of islands that are US territories.

👽 Nerd Processor: E.T. Is Secretly the Scariest Movie of All Time

And finally, to wrap things up on a lighter (?) note, Rob Bricken explains in his new column, Nerd Processor, that E.T. is actually a monster, and I really can’t argue with it.

5 Things To Read Today

Today: Elizabeth Warren, Trump’s ’60 Minutes’ Interview & More

I’ve got a busy day ahead and I stayed up too late last night, so we’ll make this one quick.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren released DNA test results that show she has at least some Native American ancestry. Trump doesn’t care.

Also, Trump “promised” back on the campaign trail that he’d give a million bucks to Warren’s charity of choice if she took a DNA test and it showed she had Native American ancestry. When asked about it today, Trump said it never happened, despite the fact that it’s on tape.

Meanwhile, Trump did an interview on 60 Minutes last night where he pretended the Russian interference in the 2016 elections wasn’t a big deal; ignored humans rights abuses in favor of getting along with dictators and murderers; claimed General Jim Mattis was “sort of a Democrat” and dodged answering if Mattis was leaving the administration; crapped on our international allies again; denied climate change and tried to claim it would reverse itself anyways; and admitted that the White House is a swirling storm of chaos, that he doesn’t trust anyone there, and that he likes it that way. Read about it here.

Want to give to charity? Find out how to give to good charities and get the most bang for your buck right here.

Hurricane Michael basically scrubbed the Florida panhandle flat. You can read about the destruction here, here and here. Trump’s on his way to visit.

And, to wrap things up, Sears declared bankruptcy.