Desperately wanting to push pause

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Desperately wanting to push pause
April 8th, 2019 View in browser
Muck Rack Daily

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Floundering uncontrollably

Well, she’s out. Paula Reid broke the story yesterday at CBS News that DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has resigned after clashes with Trump on immigration (146,000+ shares). Reid notes that Nielsen’s departure also means acting heads will soon be running DHS, the Pentagon and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

According to the reporting by Maggie Haberman and Noah Weiland of The New York Times, “[Nielsen’s] entire time in the job was spent batting back suspicion from the president.” Carol Pogash calls it “The Rise of Stephen Miller & Jared’s continued influence. No surprise, if you read Kushner Inc by Vicky Ward.”

Many have been highlighting the part in Haberman and Weiland’s piece about Trump calling Nielsen at home in the mornings to demand that she do something — including “things that were clearly illegal” — about migrants trying to enter the country. “She repeatedly noted the limitations imposed on her department by federal laws, court settlements and international obligations,” they write. “Those responses only infuriated Mr. Trump further.” To which Greg Sargent tweets, “Floundering uncontrollably.” Dan Janison adds, “Hidden in plain sight: The implicit admission Trump’s refugee policies are failing -- and he can do nothing effective without Congress, with which he does not work, negotiate, or cooperate.”

Nick Miroff, Josh Dawsey and Seung Min Kim have more details in their piece at The Washington Post, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen leaving Trump administration amid surge of migrants.

And on Twitter, Dara Lind notes, “Kirstjen Nielsen will, and should, be remembered as the most aggressive DHS Sec in history — presiding over innovative, envelope-pushing tactics to crack down on border-crossers. But Trump is blaming DHS for the reality of migration, and so she’s out.” Read Lind’s piece at Vox, Kirstjen Nielsen: Homeland security secretary resigns as Trump rage continues.

Matthew Yglesias says, “Reading @DLind’s overview of the Nielsen Era at DHS and her ouster, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Trump fired her because he’s looking for someone who’ll not just be hardline but actually break the law.” Adds Edward Alden, “Thoughtful, comprehensive take on the Nielsen resignation by @DLind. Beats me how she turned this around in an hour!”

Nature wins one

Another headline-making story over the weekend was about karma in the Wild Kingdom. As Christopher Mele reports at The New York Times, a rhino poacher was killed by an elephant and devoured by lions (182,000+ shares). Teamwork! Rangers at Kruger National Park and other searchers found only a human skull and a pair of pants. In other words, “Nature wins one,” says Trip Gabriel. Patrick LaForge is calling it “Jungle justice,” while Justine McGuire gives us the reliable, “That escalated quickly…” Yes, tweets Simon Samano, “Instant karma.” It’s gonna get you.

And another

While we’re on the subject of nature’s vengeance, next up, LaForge links to your “Germaphobic nightmare read du jour” by Matt Richtel and Andrew Jacobs of The New York Times, A Mysterious Infection, Spanning the Globe in a Climate of Secrecy (149,000+ shares). From this piece we learn that a fungus called Candida auris preys on people with weakened immune systems, and it is quietly spreading across the globe. In other words, “Just in case antibiotic-resistant bacteria weren’t worrying enough, please meet antifungal-resistant fungi,” tweets Carl Zimmer. Or how about this: “Climate change not scary enough for you? How about a mysterious globe-trotting infection, drug-resistant supergerms, secrecy & denial, rampant misuse of antibiotics?” offers James Cobb. Anyway, as Tiffany Hsu tweets, “Good luck sleeping after reading about germs like C. auris, which outlives the people it infects, survives blasts of hydrogen peroxide and is described as ‘a creature from the black lagoon’ that is suddenly everywhere.” Happy Monday, everyone!

A leading Brexiteer recants

Justin Williams links to “An incredible read - the estimable Peter Oborne changing his mind on Brexit. Thoughtful, grown-up and brave.” That’s Daily Mail columnist and former chief political writer at the Telegraph Peter Oborne, who writes at Open Democracy, I was a strong Brexiteer. Now we must swallow our pride and think again (52,000+ shares). “Peter Oborne on voting for Brexit now desperately wanting to push pause,” as Bella Mackie puts it. Tweets Catherine Mayer, “A leading Brexiteer, @OborneTweets, recants. And it’s a fascinating read, not least for what he now sees about the damage threatened by #Brexit and what he still can’t see about the damage inflicted by the mythos of British history.”

Meanwhile, the Hansard Society’s audit of political engagement warns that the UK is poised to embrace authoritarianism, Peter Walker reports at The Guardian. When people were asked whether “Britain needs a strong ruler willing to break the rules,” 54% agreed and only 23% said no. “1984 or 2019?” Catherine Modesto wonders.


Anne Helen Petersen says, “Siri, show me the most Dad piece of Dad content on the internet right now,” and here’s what that brings us: At The Atlantic, Rick Reilly explains how Donald Trump Made Golf Gross Again. As Dante Ramos tweets, “And from elsewhere in the @TheAtlIdeas universe, which contains multitudes, here's a meditation from @ReillyRick on the outrageousness of Donald Trump’s cheating at golf.” On Twitter, Reilly notes, “Losing is to Trump what a shower is to the Wicked Witch of the West. He’ll do ANYTHING not to lose. Cheat, Lie, Erase. Narcissists are like that.  My piece for @TheAtlantic #CommanderInCheat.” Jill Geisler says, “This is quite a read from quite a writer. What do golfers think of this?”

Streets of San Francisco

And now a story about “Trickle-down America: A veteran who makes his living picking trash from Mark Zuckerberg’s and other wealthy people’s homes.” Anand Giridharadas links to the new piece by Thomas Fuller of The New York Times, In San Francisco, Making a Living From Your Billionaire Neighbor’s Trash. For three months, Fuller followed Jake Orta, a military veteran who became homeless and is now a full-time trash picker, “part of an underground economy in San Francisco of people who work the sidewalks in front of multimillion-dollar homes, rummaging for things they can sell.” Kara Swisher says, “Man. Exactly the SF story that tells you what you need to know.”

More Monday reads

Hurricane Maria was nearly 18 months ago, but “[t]he languishing Vieques hospital is one of many places where rebuilding has stagnated,” writes Patricia Mazzei of The New York Times in her new piece, Hungry People and an ‘Abandoned’ Hospital: Puerto Rico Waits as Washington Bickers.

Fiona Sturges links to some “Brilliant, sad but also uplifting writing here.” At The Guardian, Sarah Hughes writes about Game of Thrones, cancer and me… “This article will stay with me for some time,” says Alison Gow.

Erika Smith says, “I had wondered what led #NipseyHussle to move from gang life to being an activist and entrepreneur in South L.A. This excellent piece from ⁦@AngelJennings⁩ connects some dots.” At the Los Angeles Times, Angel Jennings explains, Nipsey Hussle had a vision for South L.A. It all started with a trip to Eritrea.

In A Mentor Challenged Bright Math Students And Changed Their Lives, NPR’s Joe Palca tells us about George Berzsenyi, a retired math professor living in Milwaukee County, who has mentored thousands of high school students, including some who became among the best mathematicians and scientists in the country.

MVP? The GOAT? Most overrated? For the inaugural NBA edition of The Athletic’s player poll, Sam Amick reveals how 127 players answered these questions and more. Amick tweets a “Huge thanks to our 30 @TheAthleticNBA beat writers for hustling to gather this incredible insight: 127 players - more than a quarter of the league - on MVP, defense, overrated/underrated players, best/worst coaches, refs, and more, in our anonymous poll.”

A few more (mostly politics)


Question of the Day

On Friday, we asked: Which actress recently toured with the band Chicago?

Answer: That was Rita Wilson.

Congrats to…Mark Harper, first to tweet the correct answer.

Your question of the day for today is…What did Danny DeVito initially go to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts to study?

As always, click here to tweet your answer to @MuckRack.

Career Updates

Squatriglia, Kennedy, Belloff join Popular Science

Popular Science Editor-in-Chief Joe Brown recently announced the additions of Chuck Squatriglia as Senior Editor, John Kennedy as DIY Editor and Katie Belloff as Art Director.

Squatriglia, who will be focusing on long-form content, previously spent ten years at WIRED and more than seven years at the San Francisco Chronicle before working for CNN Money (now CNN Business).

Kennedy previously covered construction law for Law360 and local news for the Journal Inquirer in Connecticut.

And Belloff was most recently a designer on the publishing team at creative agency M Booth. Prior to that, she was the Associate Art Director and Production Manager at Footwear Plus and Earnshaw’s Magazine.

Don’t forget - if you change your job in journalism or move to a different news organization, be sure to email us (hello [at] muckrack [dot] com) so we can reflect your new title. News job changes only, please! Thanks!

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