A huge degree of difference
We know there’s a lot to worry about these days, but, well, this isn’t something you can ignore. According to U.N. scientists, The world has barely 10 years to get climate change under control. Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis bring us that story for The Washington Post in a piece that begins, “The world stands on the brink of failure.” As Julie Garcia tweets, “There’s no emoji to accompany this.”
Coral Davenport covers the report at The New York Times in her piece, Major Climate Report Describes a Strong Risk of Crisis as Early as 2040 (69,000+ shares), tweeting, “A major new IPCC report says that severe impacts of #climate change will hit by 2040, and that avoiding the damage requires transforming the world economy at a speed and scale that has ‘no documented historic precedent.’”
Samer Kalaf notes, “Always remember that the ‘debate’ over climate change has been years of scientific research, precisely laying out how it'll irreversibly damage our world, versus some people saying, ‘See? We're fine’ every time it snows.” For a local perspective, Robert Mann points out, “Few places on Earth as vulnerable to the effects of climate change as coastal Louisiana. An entire culture is imperiled. And most of our state and federal leaders are doing squat about it.” Adds Tara Anderson, “Literally could not sleep last night because of this. I have young children. What will they live through?”
As Matt McGrath of BBC News reports it, this is the final call to save the world from ‘climate catastrophe’ (72,000+ shares). For the one big takeaway, he quotes Kaisa Kosonen of Greenpeace: “Scientists might want to write in capital letters, ‘ACT NOW, IDIOTS,’ but they need to say that with facts and numbers. And they have.” Tweets Nick Stockton, “This headline and every other headline is an understatement.”
For some context, Brad Plumer and Nadja Popovich of The New York Times explain in a new interactive piece Why Half a Degree of Global Warming Is a Big Deal. And as AP’s Seth Borenstein tweets, it’s “A huge degree of difference. New #IPCC #SR15 report spells out difference in harms between another 0.9 and 1.8 dF of warming. Lost lives, coral & maybe ice sheet. But it is unlikely world can limit warming to lower goal.” His story: UN report on global warming carries life-or-death warning.
Repair, rinse, repeat
Back to Louisiana, Kevin Sack and John Schwartz of The New York Times provide what Dan Barry says is a “Powerful, eye-opening story by @ksacknyt and @jswatz about FEMA’s cycle of repair, rinse, repeat. Exhibit A: Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana.” That piece finds, As Storms Keep Coming, FEMA Spends Billions in ‘Cycle’ of Damage and Repair. Eric Lipton calls it “Tremendous, important accountability journalism here by NYT's @ksacknyt and @jswatz. This is your federal tax dollars being burned, in big piles at a time.”
In her column at The Washington Post, Margaret Sullivan writes, The planet is on a fast path to destruction. The media must cover this like it’s the only story that matters. Tweets David Malitz, “.@Sulliview on the only story that matters, the impending death of the planet. With this enraging reminder: ‘Recall that in the three presidential debates, not a single question was asked about climate change.’”
Sickening, but not unexpected
Before we move on, take a moment out and Read Jamal Khashoggi’s columns for The Washington Post. As Maria Bustillos says, “When a journalist is murdered for his writing, read that writing.” According to Kareem Fahim of The Post, Turkey concludes Saudi journalist Khashoggi killed by ‘murder’ team, sources say. “Sickening, but this is not unexpected. It’s time for the US to reconsider why we sell our souls to maintain an alliance with a regime that is no less barbaric than its regional rivals,” says Emma Ashford.
Meanwhile, Robin Wright of the New Yorker tweets, “I've known #JamalKhashoggi for decades. In August he said he feared for his life. I thought he exaggerated. Turkey now claims he was murdered in the #Saudi consulate. In @newyorker, I collect warnings he’s given me in the past about the kingdom.” Read those in her piece, Did the Saudis Murder Jamal Khashoggi?
And, unfortunately, more sickening news, as POLITICO’s Lili Bayer reports on the rape and murder of Bulgarian investigative journalist Victoria Marinova, who was reporting on an investigation into alleged corruption involving EU funds. She was 30 years old. Read the Committee to Protect Journalists’ statement: Bulgarian TV host Victoria Marinova raped and killed.
Julia Macfarlane links to a “Big piece by Dexter Filkins of the New Yorker out today, looking at communication between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank - a Russian state bank. Three billionaires with stakes in Alfa Bank are named in the Steele Dossier.” That New Yorker piece, by Dexter Filkins, digs deep to find out, Was There a Connection Between a Russian Bank and the Trump Campaign? Franklin Foer’s take: “Dexter Filkins does a meticulous job revisiting the Trump/Alfa Bank server connection--and lands at about the same conclusion I did a few years back: This wasn't random.” Adds Kevin Dugan, “Turns out the Alfa bank connection to the Trump campaign probably isn’t as easy to explain away as some marketing emails. Cameos here by Betsy DeVos & Erik Prince.”
Did someone say emails? A new scoop by Byron Tau, Dustin Volz and Shelby Holliday of The Wall Street Journal reveals, GOP Operative Secretly Raised at Least $100,000 in Search for Clinton Emails. Volz summarizes: “Deceased GOP operative Peter Smith secretly raised $100k from 4 donors in Oct. 2016 as part of a project to obtain Hillary Clinton’s emails, an effort that documents and sources say is being actively probed by Mueller.” But Natasha Bertrand notices something else: “Wait, what?! Buried lede: ‘This $100k total with the $50k received from you will allow us to fund the Washington Scholarship Fund for the Russian students for the promised $150K.’” Volz also highlights the fact that “Smith died 10 days after speaking to the Journal last year, a death police ruled a suicide when he was found in a Minnesota hotel room with a hand-written note that read: ‘NO FOUL PLAY WHATSOEVER.’ Some who spoke to Smith in his final days remain shocked.”
Annnnnnd we’re back to this
Katie Rogers links to the report by Katie Benner of The New York Times, Rod Rosenstein to Join Trump Aboard Air Force One on a flight to Florida today, which leaves them “Plenty of time for them to talk about how sarcastic Rosenstein was being when he suggested secretly recording their conversations and removing the president,” as Benner tweets.
Scott Clement and Dan Balz have the details on a new Washington Post-Schar School survey of battleground House districts, which shows Democrats with narrow edge. They note, “Women are driving Democratic support in the battleground districts, favoring the party’s candidates by 54 percent to 40 percent. Men in these districts favor Republicans by 51 percent to 46 percent.”
One woman who doesn’t usually get political is also showing support for the Democrats — Taylor Swift. On Instagram, Swift posted her endorsement of former Tennessee governor Phil Bredesen for Senate, with some pretty tough words about his opponent, Marsha Blackburn. No mention of the governor’s race, but she also endorsed Rep. Jim Cooper. As Mara Davis tweets, “.@taylorswift13 is finally getting political in Tennessee. You are in good company with the unhinged @JasonIsbell.” Sure, Jason Isbell, but as Kevin Robillard says, “guys I was not anticipating a Taylor Swift endorsement of Phil Bredesen.” Anyway, Betsy Klein has put together “the definitive thread of headlines for @taylorswift13’s political post,” so be sure to check that out on Twitter.
And if you live in Georgia, you’ll want to head to this website ASAP, because it will tell Georgia voters if they were purged… but they must reregister by Tuesday. At Salon, Matthew Rozsa writes, “If you're a voter in Georgia, there is a 1 in 10 chance that you were purged from the voting rolls at some point in 2017. Thanks to journalist Greg Palast, there is now a website where you can type in your name and find out if your constitutional right was stripped away from you.” As Palast, who began the investigation for Al Jazeera and Rolling Stone, writes at Truthout, “It’s no coincidence that Georgia’s Purge’n General is also running for Governor: The Republican candidate is fighting a dead-even race against Stacey Abrams, Democratic House Minority Leader. Abrams, if she wins, would become the first Black woman governor in US history.”
Over at The Atlantic, Tom Nichols explains Why I’m Leaving the Republican Party, but Michael Hobbes notices, “Every ‘Why I'm Leaving the GOP’ take contains seeds of the inevitable ‘Why I'm Voting For Trump in 2020’ take.” He highlights some choice phrases here.
Truly idiotic crap
So, “Here’s North Dakota’s choice in November,” tweets Matt Ford. He highlights the contrast between Kevin Cramer and Heidi Heitkamp in Jonathan Martin’s piece for The New York Times, #MeToo Is a ‘Movement Toward Victimization,’ G.O.P. Senate Candidate Says. As Martin tweets, “NEW: Cramer dismisses #metoo as ‘victimization,’ laments that women should be believed just by making an accusation. Prairie women, he says, are tough Heitkamp responds in searing terms, emotionally invoking her own prairie mom’s sexual assault.” Also, says Kimberly Harrington, “Every day I feel more and more grateful that Future Me couldn't communicate with High School Me to tell me that the truly idiotic crap I was hearing out of white male mouths WOULD GO ON LITERALLY FOREVER.”
While we’re at it, for the record, Avi Selk writes, researchers say Christine Blasey Ford is not misremembering. His piece in The Washington Post explains the junk science Republicans used to undermine Ford and help save Kavanaugh, quoting Richard Huganir, a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine: “There’s a total consensus in the field of memory ... If anything, fear and trauma enhances the encoding of the memory at a molecular level.” But Dana Nuccitelli notes, “To become a Republican politician you need a PhD in Junk Science.”
Meanwhile, Rossalyn Warren asks, “remember that video of a Russian woman pouring bleach on men on trains as a way to stop manspreading? turns out it was staged Kremlin propaganda intended to provoke anti-feminist reactions, and men in the video were paid to act as victim.” She links to that story, at EU vs Disinfo, Viral “Manspreading” Video is Staged Kremlin Propaganda.
More Monday reads
In what Edward Wong of The New York Times writes is “a startling move that could set back the country’s efforts to expand its global presence,” Interpol Chief Meng Hongwei Quits and Is Detained by China. Alan Yuhas highlights the fact that “The president of Interpol sent his wife an emoji of a knife before he vanished, she told reporters, her back to their cameras so that no one would film her face.” “Good lord,” as Nicholas Riccardi tweets.
Get ready for “A streetside dispatch from the ‘Land of the living dead’ - riveting, must-read journalism via @thomasfullerNYT & @jwnyt.” David Jackson links to Life on the Dirtiest Block in San Francisco, by Thomas Fuller of The New York Times. Tweets Austin Ramzy, “A friend used to live two blocks from here. It was always bad but it seems to have turned apocalyptic.” And we’re sensing a theme today.
Pamela Colloff links to “A must-read story by @LJBeil about the surgeon who’s the subject of the chilling podcast @DrDeathWondery.” That’s Laura Beil’s piece for ProPublica, A Surgeon So Bad It Was Criminal.
And finally, here’s “An amazing, uplifting story at a time of unremitting tragedy, gloom and despair,” tweets Matthew Fisher, of The Nazi Downstairs: A Jewish Woman’s Tale of Hiding in Her Home, by Colin Moynihan of The New York Times. Danny Shameer points out, “The woman profiled in this article in The New York Times (‘The Nazi Downstairs: A Jewish Woman’s Tale of Hiding in Her Home’) is a great-grandmother of journalist @SarahWhitesk — formerly of Arkansas Public Media.” “Wonderful tale of surviving the war, and art,” tweets Michaela Boland.