Tag: Weekend

Weekend Links

“. . . the newspapers of Utopia, he had long ago decided, would be terribly dull.” 
― Arthur C. Clarke, 2001: A Space Odyssey

Kittens! Friday is upon us!

A major hurricane has struck the Gulf Coast and Florida, a prominent journalist has been killed by (apparently) Saudi Arabian order, Princess Eugenie got married (wearing hella emeralds), the stock market is veering all over the place, and Taylor Swift is political now. Just another week in 2018…

Share your weekend plans with me in the comments. I’m still dealing with a collapsed ceiling and we have set up camp in the living room at the moment. It’s all very exciting and uncomfortable. Keeping a household running when you’ve lost a third of your living space and the rest has been compromised is not a walk in the park, believe me.

HIGHLY relevant to my interests, childhood and other wise.

I’m still not over the new direction of Celine.

This piece better articulates than I could ever could why the rise in social tensions (spearheaded by racist and sexist language and policy) are so frightening in the larger context of Western democracy: “…a leader can more easily create political and legal hierarchies if there are other social hierarchies.” Strongmen rise to power on the shoulders of men mobilized to hate and diminish marginalized groups.

How nationalist populism has been on the rise since the 1980s, and why it isn’t going away anytime soon.

This past week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on climate change was issued, and the takeaway is sobering. In terms of agricultural shifts, natural disasters, coastal region changes, and ecological damage, the scientific consensus is that we will begin tracking even more noticeable and rapid changes in the next twenty years. So, what will produce viable change? Virtue arguments about natural preservation have been only moderately effective in addressing climate change, I wonder if issues of human migration and economy are the only ways to frame the risks in ways that the current political reality will accept or engage. That doesn’t speak well of us as a species…

Friend of the Blog Caitlin Kelly wrote a reported, but also deeply personal piece for the New York Times on her experience with a scary medical scenario and the importance of touch in the medical profession.

I am so excited for this show.

Helena Fitzgerald writes for my soul.

This is a hell of a security breach to simply not tell anyone about for this long! We need to lose the narrative that big data is going to save anything, they are just as muddled as the rest of us.

Denials aside, insert the “she’s running” jokes here. Maybe not just yet, or maybe just for future Secretary of State, but she’s running for something.

I’d absolutely spend money on this.

Woof, this beauty news story keeps spiraling…

I argue the premise with this headline. The NYT story didn’t bomb, it’s relevant. Any under-reaction is further testament to the reality that rich people can get away with operating in the shades of gray because people, governments, and even law enforcement don’t care to look into the machinations and side effects of wealth in the same way that they want to police the side effects of poverty.

Hurry up and get here, already!

What an utterly bizarre article

Although, this piece thoughtfully explores, maybe being bizarre and over exposed is the point. It’s working. The president doesn’t have supporters in the old way, he has a fandom in the new. And the thing about fans is that they are, well, fanatic in their love. That’s the point.

Weekend Links

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” 
― Elie Wiesel

Remember last week? Approximately thirty years ago?

My god, even in 2018-adjusted terms, this was a hell of a roller coaster and I’m having a hard time trying to put this post together when all I’ve been doing is working, watching the Kavanaugh hearings, and dealing with a fresh set of water leaks in our apartment in my “spare” time. I’m tired and I’m getting sick, which usually happens when the seasons change.

In happier news, a seasonal change means cold weather clothing, and I am ready! Don’t roll your eyes, kittens, in this day and age we need to take whatever trivial joys life gives us with both hands and run.

Here is an extra big heaping does of links for your weekend reading. I will just leave you with the following salute: I adore and am sustained by other angry women–in a way I find hard to explain to even my most sympathetic male friends. Angry women change worlds.

 

Glamour (going out of print, sob!) has a fantastic video series about how women at different salary levels spend their money. It’s interesting, insightful, and is a welcome resource. It’s alarming how little information was out there in terms of financial advice or context geared specifically towards women a few years ago, but I love content that redresses that balance. I really enjoyed their latest especially.

Deeply relevant to my interests and history.

This excellent story about obesity and how we as a society have failed on multiple levels (medically, scientifically, agriculturally, and culturally) to acknowledge and manage it is damning.

Men are cancelled.

The awful things Kavanaugh allegedly did only imperfectly correlate to the familiar frame of sexual desire run amok; they appear to more easily fit into a different category—a toxic homosociality—that involves males wooing other males over the comedy of being cruel to women.” POW. Right in the feels.

Wanting to be part of the solution requires knowing when you’re part of the problem.

What are we saying? What are our girls hearing?

Thank god for male allies. Though I will accept this rebrand.

THANK GOD FOR ANGRY WOMEN. To support the foundation that one of these brave souls serves as executive director, click here. Here’s to Senator Jeff Flake doing…the absolute bare minimum but thank goodness he is and at time of writing it appears there will be a (weirdly limited) investigation into allegations of poor behavior by Judge Kavanaugh. That is literally how these things are supposed to work: an accusation, and investigation, and a weighing of evidence. My cynicism suggests he will still be seated to the Supreme Court, however. Meanwhile, McKay Coppins of The Atlantic was there to snag the interview.

Literally saw this news alert at 9:30pm last night and logged off of everything but Netflix. There is simply too much happening too quickly

What some of the undercurrents of the 40-year mission to stock the courts with conservative justices look like and why.

This was an actual media event here in Britain while we’re debating how much sexual assault is TOO much sexual assault in the US.

In other men behaving badly news: Elon Musk.

And in businesses screwing up again: Facebook. Again. Oy.

What is the connection between Brexit and religion? You may be surprised!

A fantastic collection of photos–I’m struck at how incredibly American these shots look and feel. It feels poignant, especially given the circumstances.

The President gave a BONKERS hour and a half press conference, which I callously and cynically interpreted as a (slightly unhinged) attempt to grab control of the news cycle the next day…just in time for the Kavanaugh hearings and his much hyped meeting with Mr. Rosenstein. Which was subsequently cancelled, probably because of the Kavanaugh hearings.

Being bad at stuff.

I could be reading this wrong, but is the attitude towards climate change literally, “Well it’s happening and we’re all fucked so why change anything” here?

Long live Misty

Let’s talk about tea. (Editor’s note, this is not about tea.)

And finally, I had a bit of a grim realization this morning. Unlike in the Anita Hill hearings, the strategy was never to attack or discredit Dr. Ford, indeed many republicans said that they didn’t doubt her account exactly, they just doubted she was attacked by Brett Kavanaugh. Which is doubting her account. But no matter. They weren’t going to smear her, they were going to let her speak her piece…and then move on and appoint this man regardless. Yesterday I wrote a piece talking about the decision before us all as a society in this moment, not just with Kavanaugh but certainly typified by his hearings: are women acceptable collateral damage? It hadn’t fully hit me that the decision had been taken and the answer was yes. I am not sure what to do with this realization except to remind every last one of you to vote in the midterms. Confirm your registration today, inform yourself of your local ballot, and get ready.

Weekend Links

“Our major obligation is not to mistake slogans for solutions.” 
― Edward R. Murrow

Happy September, darlings! Both Jeff and I have to work this weekend, but I have put together an extra long batch of weekend reading to tide you over until regular posting resumes…unless I desperately need to procrastinate and decide to bang out a few hundred random words.

Here are you links, tell me what you’re up to in the comments!

In the “This Should Have Been a Bigger Story,” portion of the weekly links, the President tweeted conspiracy theories from The Daily Caller as fact and the FBI had to go on record to correct the statement. Reporting by The Atlantic also outed (yet another) white nationalist who has subsequently retired, and I shan’t link to that because fuck that ideology.

The political news is once again, almost all bad. This take from Crooked Media  on the confluence of courtsis a bit drastic…but a lot of it feels plausible and correct to me.

Senator John McCain passed away after his public battle with brain cancer. The internet was immediately swarming with hot takes on his status as a great man, a “great man,” and as a failed great man–think a person can be all of these things and more at once. I disagreed with much of his politics, but I sincerely admired many things about him and considered him an Elder Statesman of his party in the best sense of the term. We need elder statesmen, they carry institutional knowledge and perspective, as well as the ability to work towards pragmatic compromise–something our Congress seems to be systematically dismantling. With his passing, I have no idea who can step into the role he held in the way that he held it. His parting statements are worthy of a read and consideration, and it’s impossible not to read a rebuke in them of our current political landscape right across the spectrum.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

We have a gun violence problem. We have a toxic masculinity problem. Our society has combined the two into a epidemic of violence against women. It’s everywhere. It crosses age and class and race and ideology.

This is the end of an era

We need to talk about whether or not Serena Williams’ catsuit violates…anything?

Science is amazing!

And I’m sure, seeing as we handled the crisis in the Mediterranean so well, that there will be no social, racial, or economic backlash to this in the Americas.

This thread was a wild, wild ride…

The global water crisis is already here.

Lawfare has a thoughtful take on the strangeness of the office of the American presidency in determining what may or may not be law.

J. Crew is trying to win us back–written from the male perspective!

A democrat and a republican face off in Texas

I wrote about Sharp Objects as one of my monthly favorites this past week, but there is so much more I wish I could say about this series if only I could string the words together better. One of my favorite summary pieces on the finale came from Vulture and is well worth a shout out. Obviously don’t read unless you’ve watched the series or don’t mind some serious spoilers, but if you have, enjoy diving into the editing, music, and deep dive thoughts. The last line absolutely floored me.

HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS?!

This is maddening. Republicans released a list as a mobilizing scare tactic, documenting all of the things that Democrats may investigate if voted into power. Read more cynically, this is a list of a lot of things that, as the ruling party THEY should be investigating.  But of course they can’t, because so many of them have tied their political fortunes to a capricious president who has given them a lot of bad PR and a tax cut that made a lot of donors happy, but rings pretty hollow to the populist base they have embraced.

Oh my. Hard not to read some of this story as a blatant demand for a pardon, or else.

I really liked this piece at Man Repeller at the social media driven shift in our culture to reactions–or rather, how we perform reactivity and outrage for wider consumption, and how that drives our culture progress (or lack thereof).

Again, this new friendship of ours seems to be going super well...

He’s not even being subtle at this point.

Is anyone surprised by this? Anyone? Bueller?

Also, is anyone surprised by this leak?

In lighter news, the Fug Girls put together an edit of fall floral frocks…and I might be into florals suddenly? Who am I any more?!

AMEN, REBECCA TRAISTER. These men are mostly still free, still wealthy, and still influential. They are fine. They are better off than almost all of the rest of us. Six months in the wilderness does not a consequence make and they do not deserve special treatment. In my workplace, if a colleague harassed me, he would come under review at the very lease (depending on the severity). If he assaulted me, he would lose his job. Celebrities and powerful men do not deserve differently. Boys, bye. Roxanne Gay also has thoughts worth reading.

In religion news, another child sex abuse scandal is rocking the Catholic church. Aside from the absolute horror and extent of these stories, which are grim, there are political implications for the church as internal factions try to use these crises to different ends. This episode of The Daily which delves into the topic is worth your time.

What is the role of the magazine editor now?

This story is scary as fuck. Anyone who claims the privilege of a passport needs to thoughtfully consider the implications because if birthright citizenship can be taken away or doubted for one group, it can be taken away from anyone. Due process applies to all of us or it applies to none of us.

A profile I did not realize I needed!

An insider looks upon his work and has opinions.

This to me does a much better job of summarizing my thoughts on performative patriotism (which I’ve written about before) and what is worth our time, attention, and outrage as a society: clean water and working municipal sysems may be a better indicator of freedom than any number of other measures.

Some days you’re the cat, some days you’re the bag.

And finally…

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Weekend Links

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” 
― John Lubbock, The Use Of Life

What a week, ducklings. Work shenanigans, news shenanigans, and life shenanigans, all colliding into a potpourri of nutty. That is a dreadful mixing of metaphors, but true nonetheless.

As part of my goal to do better at using my holidays, I took Friday off in advance of the Bank Holiday weekend and indulged in some market wandering and long walks in the neighborhood. The weather has turned a bit cooler and more moody, a sure sign that fall is on the way! I’m ready for the jumpers and boots and hot drinks. However I ended up still having to do a bit of work and emails…c’est la vie.

We had plans to try and squeeze in a short trip to Bath or somewhere else this weekend, but between our ceiling leaking and a few other unexpected adventures, we’re behind on…everything that requires even a modicum of planning. We’ll be playing the weekend by ear and see what we can salvage. Let me know what you’re up to in the comments!

There is not nearly enough coverage of this story. This is slow moving “cleansing.”

Queer Eye is doing some heavy lifting for society right now.

Truly, how do we know what we’re supposed to slather all over our bodies or eschew eating forever, anymore?!

Thank god, a beautiful Yo-Yo Ma Tiny Desk Concert is exactly what I needed this weekend.

Oh dear…this is very sad.

More than you ever wanted to know about pockets and sexism!

Ancient Egyptian fashion was en pointe!

What to do when your #MeToo heroes let you down.

Choose your own Brexit adventure. This made me want to scream into a pillow somewhere.

GOOD political news!

Trump News. Ugh.

Alright, let’s do Trump news. Monday and Tuesday were spent dealing with the weekend revelations in the New York Times that Mr. McGann (White House lawyer) had been interviewed by Mr. Mueller’s team and what the implications of that may be. Then on Tuesday…you couldn’t script this better if you tried. I can’t tell if that makes it highly suspect or not. This news broke almost simultaneously to news breaking that the jury returned verdicts in eight out of eighteen counts in this case (this guy has another trial coming up later this year). We live in a reality show now. Russia turns out to be less than entirely friendly, who knew? The president is handling all of this with his customary truth telling and good humor. Also, a second sitting member of was indicted for crimes in a week. I can’t imagine what else is going to drop by the end of the week, but the following is now fact:

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On Wednesday, the President continued to shoot off at the mouth. Honestly, though, I feel like this underpins my theory that as a run-of-the-mill presumed-committer of white collar crimes, he is used to getting away with a shocking degree of shady or criminal behavior and literally doesn’t know how to deal with scrutiny when it turns on him. Speaking of I am going to repeat this until I’m blue in the face: there is so much money in the world and an alarming portion of it is being criminally managed as an open secret. ProPublica also wrote a good piece on this topic.

Thursday: how indeed

Friday: a tale in three Time covers. Meanwhile the President and his Attorney General traded quips like perfectly normal public servants and a second person in as many days was granted immunity in the Mueller investigation, this one is the Trump Organization’s CFO. Woof. This is a man who potentially knows a lot about what money has gone where over the years, it’s big. I really recommend a listen of this Vox podcast if you haven’t heard it already. There are now state, federal, and organizational investigations into the Trump Organization, the RNC (of which Mr. Cohen was an official, recall), and several individual persons in the Trump orbit. It is entirely possible that none of them will lead to any evidence of wrong doing of the President, either in his current office or in his life as a private citizen/media personality…but the longer it goes on, the less as less statistically likely this is to be the case. And as Crooked Media put it, the overlaps are becoming such that he can’t fire or pardon his way out of this web anymore.

Weekend Links

“In the land of the ostriches, the blind are king. When politicians bury their head in the sand, ignorance rules the country.
― Erik Pevernagie

Darlings, another Friday is upon us! As usual I’ve put together a melting pot of news and pop culture for your weekend reading and am dropping it before anything else upends the news cycle. This has been an unexpectedly busy week for me and I am looking forward to the weekend. I have a weeklong series coming to you starting tomorrow which I hope you enjoy. It’s a bit of a new thing for me, so while I’m sure it will be flawed, I hope it will still be fun.

Share your favorite pop culture finds and weekend links with me in the comments!

Mr. Manafort’s trial kicked off this week, filled with ostrich leather jackets and sleazily moving money all over the world and all principles stealing from one another in the process. There are no heroes here.

As of Monday, this is the story and the timeline. Let’s see what happens this week as to whether it shifts…or falls out of the collective public consciousness. Whatever happens, it’s yet another narrative shift on this point and what’s already in the public domain is damning. Or would be if it weren’t 2018 and all of us in the upside down.

Shut up to me about draining the swamp. Just stop. Not another word.

Ah good old Nunes, always saying the stuff that’s supposed to be secret out loud. I predict zero consequences.

Interesting. I’m not sure how seriously to take the claims in the lawsuit, and here is some more reporting for additional information, but it is interesting. Let’s send them some thoughts and prayers. (ETA: yeah, this is why I doubt this claim)

Would you eat lab-grown meat? If you don’t eat meat for ethical reasons of any kind, would lab grown meat feel different to you? I’m genuinely curious.

I’m an Air Force brat and a geek and even I think a Space Force is stupid. So do the Russians apparently (and we may suddenly be beefing with them over sanctions again?).

Asking the smart questions: why does the media keep giving this man a platform?

Speak of men and their platforms, Alex Jones lost a chunk of his this week. This was a rolling story, but the most intellectually interesting piece I read on it came on the first day of the fallout. As one tech writer for the New York Times put it, “Facebook follows Apple in banning Infowars, giving up the game after weeks of sanctimonious lectures about free speech. This was always about being too scared to go first.”

I was utterly entertained and charmed by this story.

This op ed by a farmer was particularly interesting to me because of the line, “The world markets, which the president is now tearing down in the name of fairness, were built and paid for by farmers to ensure agriculture had outlets for our production so we didn’t have to come to the American taxpayer for support.” The word “fairness” stuck out to me because the same day I read this piece by a NPR political reporter on the notions that Mr. Trump seems to have around the idea of “fairness,” and how it (and its counterpart, grievance) have informed his decisions in office.

Another op ed that feels relevant. If you want people to stop flirting with socialism, you need to make capitalism more attractive as an option. We can argue theory until the cows come home, but people don’t turn on systems unless they feel that system has let them down in some way.

A lovely and thought provoking read.

Climate change is here, people. It’s not a single cataclysmic event, it is a permanent change in probability and statistical likelihood of certain weather patterns.

An important element of today’s American political landscape is the almost systematic loss of experience in our Congress. This is not a Trump era problem alone and it probably has its nascence in the 1990s and the rise of hyper-partisanship, but this Politico piece delves into what this loss of institutional knowledge and procedure is turning out to mean for the country, practically. I think there is a good case to be made about our congresspeople increasingly not knowing how to govern.

The September issues are starting to drop and the covers are gorgeous. Beyonce, Rhianna, Lupita, Christy Turlington Burns, pregnant women, power couples…my god, I’m buying all of them!

MAKE IT SO, INDEED.

Weekend Links

“The lawyer with the briefcase can steal more money than the man with the gun.” 
― Mario Puzo, The Godfather

What a week. Paul Manafort is on trial for financial fraud, Michael Cohen is dangling stories about other Trump associates to the media, Rudy Giuliani is shooting off at the mouth and revealing things that his client would probably prefer him not to reveal while trying to move the goalposts from “There was no collusions,” to “If there WERE collusions, would it really be that bad?” Meanwhile the president’s tweets have, ah, intensified. A reminder for everyone, whatever your political persuasions or opinions on the several scandals involved in this story: every single one of these main actors has proved themselves to be an unreliable narrator.

On to the links, kittens, I have a cracking round up for you with only the socially acceptable amount of cynicism! And once again, I’m dropping this early because goodness knows what else is going to land and this thing is over 1,000 words already. There’s a lot going on.

Reminder: the stock market is not the economy and there is a case to be made that it’s stronger and bigger at the moment, at the expense of things like wage increases. There is a LOT of money in the world, and it is concentrated in surprisingly few hands.

Let’s talk about a couple of gun stories this past week. I’m very liberal, but believe it or not, I’m not anti-gun. I am virulently anti the ways in which the second amendment has been weaponized (pun very much intended) to change the nature of our public discourse and therefore our society. I believe firmly that interested parties have weaponized (again, intentional) fear to line their own pockets and build political power, and I also believe that norms about who can or should be armed are clearly tinged with racist, sexist, and class overtones. There are more guns than actual people in the United States, while less than a third of citizens actually own them. Finally, I believe we should not be able to print them.

We need to talk about this, because crimes like this should make us as a society reevaluate ourselves.

Lock him up. He assaults women and destablizes governments. I’m not interested in allowing him to escape the consequences of his actions.

Speaking of, one of the most powerful figures in the US Catholic hierarchy resigned this week. GOOD.

Godspeed, Admiral.

Ronan Farrow is doing powerful and important reporting on abuse in high places, and he dropped his latest this past week. He definitely warranted his own profile piece (originally published in January of this year, but which I missed at the time).

Relevant to my interests: “The thing is, the world can’t afford to waste perfectly good clothes anymore.”

This is me. No exaggeration.

Theresa May’s Impossible Choice. In some ways I have a lot of sympathy for Ms. May while still not liking her very much. She did not seem to want the job of prime minister, she was left with a hot potato after others of her party literally fled from government after the Brexit vote, and she doesn’t have enough of a consensus nationally (to say nothing of within her own party) to take any action that won’t likely end her political career. I don’t agree with her politics at all, but from time to time, I get a strange and temporary twinge of emotion around her.

Fuck this noise!

The great and good Sali Hughes wrote about her lifelong relationship with red lipstick for this month’s British Vogue. It’s brilliant.

This piece on the decline of Civil War reenactments is fascinating. Living in Virginia as my family did, this sort of thing was fairly common when I was younger and I enjoyed the events that I did see. The current cultural tenor is probably forcing a lot of people to confront the things they enjoy and to examine why.

I’m well over the various sleaze scandals of the administration (in as far as we’re dealing with consensual sleaze), and more interested in following some of the implications of new fiscal policy to their logical conclusions. At the end of the day, the current administration’s political support comes from an alliance of very wealthy people who want to hold on to more of their wealth through changes in tax law and removing restrictions to corporations, and working class people to whom the president promised a populist message of government care on issues like healthcare and stoking grievances for fun. A Washington Post reporter summed it up as, “Trump is the embodiment of the culture-wars-for-the-poor, tax-cuts-for-the-rich approach to politics.”

That full article is worth a read: “…this is part of Trump’s political gambit. He’s a blue-collar guy who lives in a gold-plated penthouse. He is the embodiment of the political pitch he makes: obsessed with cultural issues as the policies he passes benefit his enormous wealth. Neither his wealthy nor his poor supporters seem to care about the inherent tension in that duality — any more than Trump does.” I think eventually the duality will become unsustainable. I can’t guess when, but I think that history shows that you can’t stoke grievance indefinitely without it eventually erupting. Whether that’s towards the marginalized (which we already see in the rise of hate speech and crimes, or animosity towards certain communities)…or the rich and powerful.

The evolution of the super rich, through the prism of the Financial Times’ How To Spend It magazine.

On the other side of the spectrum, meanwhile

I don’t love everything about the Green Brothers, though I admire their ability to build and grow platforms, but this talking-to-the-camera video Hank Green did sums up what I think is the great challenge that many in the media and social media spaces are grappling with at the moment.  Platforms are not governments…they are businesses. They are undemocratic and regulated spaces, but we consumers seem to intuitively want them to behave like governments (both in protecting certain rights and curtailing certain freedoms).

In Mormon news this week, exactly the kind of content I want!

Bow to the queen.

Kid Fury is one half of The Read podcast, which is absolutely roll-on-the-ground-laughing funny and powerful, and I am SO glad for the good things coming for the team that make it.

A jewel heist happened, team!

Damn it! I really want this experiment conducted!

If given the tools to monitor your social media usage, would you use them?

Weekend Links: No One Else Was in the Room Where it Happened

“After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see all the other fellows busy working.” 
― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

Guys, it’s my last officially day of holiday (weekends are just lovely bonuses) so I’m dropping the links post early. I’m spending the day reading, writing, and generally goofing off.

My second week of holiday did not include a glamorous vacation, but it DID include fantastic calls and chats with friends, some insanely good vintage shopping, a bit of a health reset, and general errand running. It’s been a very good break. Let’s catch up on the week that was together, shall we?

Even by 2018 standards, this week’s political news was nuts. In one week, President Trump destabalized the NATO alliance, trashed and undermined a key ally, legitimized and supported an adversarial leader, and disputed the analysis of his entire intelligence community on the world stage. The statements at the joint press conference in Helsinki were so bad that his team had to spend a day in the Situation Room to develop a media clean up operation and the best they could come up with was the claim that the president misspoke…a claim which he managed to bungle further by ad libbing statements that basically mirrored the ones that got him in hot water in the first place.

I’m completely unsure what to say about this week’s political news that isn’t uselessly “shouty.” I don’t expect to be able to convince anyone who thinks the administration’s sloppy summit, sloppy attempts clean up, and internal consistency problems are acceptable that they aren’t. that ship has sailed. But if some of the more extreme parts of the internet are already road testing the idea that “it’s fine for Russia to have interfered because a democratically elected opponent who I disagree with would have been worse,” then I genuinely fear for the next few years of the country.

The tacit agreement between Mr. Trump and the GOP (they wink at his outrageous behavior and probable personal enrichment in exchange for getting their legislation signed) has worked domestically. It’s breaking down spectacularly internationally. At some point, they will have to make a call as to whether or not this bargain continues to be worth it. Conscious tool, or useful idiot doesn’t matter if both options are awful for the country.

The July 17th episode of The Weeds is fairly measured and thoughtful discussion on the wider situation with the President and Russia, and what the actual range of potential issues are ranging from outright kompromat to the (far more probably and likely) that both parties have kind of ended up in this situation through a years’ long series of events and relationships that neither party dreamed would end up where it has.

Out of curiosity, how dumb does does the White House think the rest of the world is? It is absurd to say that the president misspoke one word in one line and take that explanation at face value, when he’s been parroting the same lines for years at rallies, in interviews, at (rare) press conferences, and across his Twitter feed. Here, the NPR Politics desk breaks this story down.

Finally, the New York Times published a pretty amazing article claiming that the president was briefed on the intricacies of the Russian operation to spread disinformation well before his inauguration, and also claiming information from sources connected to the Russian president himself. Which makes Mr. Trump’s continued muddying even stranger and frankly suspect. Here’s the thing, since the beginning of this investigation, I haven’t thought it likely that Mr. Trump ordered “collusion” or cooperation with foreign governments during the election (I believe his business ties to Russian oligarchs are of far more interest and a potential source of opinion influsence). I think it’s far more likely that people around him may have done so more blatantly, the question being was Mr. Trump aware of it and to what extent. But he certainly makes things worse for himself at almost every turn. He’s made the Mueller investigation personal when its remit is Russian interference in the election and not Mr. Trump; if he stopped tweeting about it, it wouldn’t get nearly as much airtime. He goes on stage and flatters the dictator who his own intelligence community says is waging information warfare. He flounders his own half-hearted corrections. He has connected the idea of his presidency being legitimate to Russian interference. He’s a walking self created crisis.

I love Gillian Flynn.

There is a lot of ugliness in the world

UNLESS.

With my past work in the property industry, I am fascinating by reporting into this aspect of the Trump Organization. What property it’s bought, how, and with whose money. This piece on his investment in the Turnberry golf property is particularly interesting for all of those reasons.

I am very curious to follow this pilot project, as there is very interesting research about there about the positives and negatives about this concept. It’s one I support in theory but want some real world evidence on.

A deep dive into the decision by the Obama administration to not make a bigger deal, either internally or internationally, of presumed election interference. Interesting that they use the same excuse as Mr. Comey: the best of the bad options. In both instances, I’m not sure I agree.

This bonkers story dropped the same day as the bonkers news conference in Helsinki. Bonkers. The official paperwork.

Royal watchers have a jewel-based theory about the Queen’s inner workings on Mr. Trump’s recent visit. It’s an entertaining thread if nothing else.

In related news, oh please, you narcissistic windbag.

British politicians aren’t in the clear here. I present you this story of “things getting out of hand.”

They fill the stage and that’s not even all of them. Their bravery is inspiring.