"This raccoon accidentally dissolving candy floss is a welcome start to raccoons of 2016," muses BuzzFeed's Rachael Krishna, sharing what arguably is the first meme sensation of the new year (and at 9,700+ shares right now). "Watching a raccoon accidentally dissolve his candyfloss in a puddle has really put my troubles in perspective," admits Ryan Nelson. And everyone was projecting their problems onto this poor varmint. "This raccoon is actually me on #Whole30," explains Newsweek's Polly Mosendz. "When you remember to deflate your now not so killer stat," alternatively suggests Soumaya Keynes with The Economist. "Me, when I have a 'great' story idea and then sit down to actually write it," NYT's Dan Saltzstein offers yet another comparison. At Rolling Stone, Tim Dickinson saw "Jeb Bush seizing the 2016 nomination." But regardless of what we took away from this little guy, none of us could tear our eyes from his plight. Andrew Coyne at the National Post calls it "Coonenfreude. I could watch this for hours," while SB Nation's Matt Ufford laments, "Still emotionally shattered from this Vine. GET THAT RACCOON MORE COTTON CANDY. Please, I need to sleep."
In other absurdity, a militant in one of the Islamic State videos is believed to be a former British "bouncy castle" salesman. Quite a "Career change," as noted by Foreign Policy's Pedro da Costa. Another important takeaway: his name is Sid. Meanwhile, authorities are plan to cut off power to the militia at the occupied Oregon refuge. "Update on the Oregon snacksurrectionists who, it turns out, have been enjoying government heating up till now," observes Oliver Burkeman at the Guardian US. And yet, interestingly enough, the leader of the Oregon armed "protest" has benefited from a federal loan program. "This, from @russchoma, is the Oregon militia version of 'keep your government hands off my Medicare'," realizes Aaron Wiener from the Washington City Paper.
In politics, Donald Trump's very first actual ad may shows migrants "at the southern border," but they're actually in Morocco. "We need a wall in the middle of the Atlantic to stop people running into the US from Morocco," declares The New Yorker's Nicholas Thompson. Contrast that with Ted Cruz's latest spot, which instead depicts bankers, lawyers and journalists running over border into the U.S. "Strong ad from Ted Cruz. Raises good point: would UK/US tolerate mass immigration that drove down elite-high wages?" wonders Politico Europe's Ben Judah. "New Ted Cruz ad floats crazy hypothetical scenario where there is downward pressure on journalism salaries," snarks American Spectator's John Tabin.
And on that media note, the controversial "manager" of the Review-Journal's parent company has been removed from the job while staff have been told to ease up on coverage of its new owner -- a.k.a. "Adelson's editors told to lighten up on the scoop volcano they work for," elaborates Karen Beninato at Forbes.