America’s news deserts

Sorry to start things off on a down note today, but this is a revealing piece: “We just published a graphic that shows how much local news is suffering,” tweets Justin Ray, referring to Columbia Journalism Review’s America’s growing news deserts. “Rural America isn’t the only place local news is disappearing. It’s also drying up in urban areas around the country,” CJR notes, highlighting closures and layoffs at papers in Boston, Denver and Cincinnati. See the full graphic here.

HOLY SCOOP

That's Charles Ornstein, responding to Peter Elkind’s reporting for ProPublica, Comey’s Testimony on Huma Abedin Forwarding Emails Was Inaccurate. As ProPublica tweets, “Comey testified Huma forwarded ‘hundreds and thousands' of Hillary emails to her husband. But it's not true,” and “Now FBI scrambling.” To which Benjamin Hart asks, "How much of the FBI's time is spent debating whether to send goddamn letters to Congress?”

In an AP exclusive, Alicia Caldwell reports that “The Trump administration is taking the unusual step of hunting for evidence of crimes committed by Haitian immigrants as it decides whether to allow them to continue participating in a humanitarian program that has shielded tens of thousands from deportation since an earthquake destroyed much of their country.” Tweets Brad Heath, “This a sign the admin. is trying to decide on protected status for Haitians, or defend a decision it's already made?”

Meanwhile, “If you think H. R. McMaster is standing between us and civilizational collapse, you should probably read this,” advises Graeme Wood, who links to Washington Loves General McMaster, But Trump Doesn't, scoop from Eli Lake in Bloomberg. Says Bradd Jaffy, “Must-read: Trump's livid with McMaster—screaming, accusing him of undermining him, regrets picking him.” And Jacob Weindling notes, “The Trump administration's official position on the NSC is literally ‘this is fine.’”

The call is coming from inside the house

So “This is quite something,” says J Vicens. John Ivison of the National Post writes that, according to multiple Canadian government sources, White House staff urged Trudeau to call Trump over threat to withdraw from NAFTA. In other words, “Cries for help from the White House staff,” as Henry Fountain tweets. Or, as Brian Beutler puts it, “Haha, Trump is so unstable his own aides have to violate the Logan Act to stop him from doing dangerous things.”

This seems bad

Sari Horwitz and Devlin Barrett of the Washington Post report from the Yates/Clapper hearing, Yates says foreign interference in U.S. elections poses ‘serious threat to all Americans.’ Says Jeremiah Oshan, “I’m not a security expert, but this seems bad,” highlighting this quote from Yates: “The Vice President was knowingly making false statements to the American public, and General Flynn was compromised by the Russians.”

When in doubt, bomb Afghanistan

“So let's change the subject, @realDonaldTrump?” tweets Don Seiffert. In U.S. poised to expand military effort against Taliban in Afghanistan, Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post reports, “President Trump’s most senior military and foreign policy advisers have proposed a major shift in strategy in Afghanistan that would effectively put the United States back on a war footing with the Taliban.” “Yes, because the last 15 years have gone so well,” notes Andy Kroll. Noah Shachtman sees a pattern: “Year 1 of Bush admin: send troops to Afghanistan Year 1 of Obama: send more troops to Afghanistan Year 1 of Trump:” “When in doubt, bomb Afghanistan,” says Jeffrey St. Clair.

Business as usual in Trump's America

As Robert Pear reports in The New York Times, 13 Men, and No Women, Are Writing New G.O.P. Health Bill in Senate (24,000+ shares). Or “Business as usual in Trump's America,” as Kara Swisher says. Meanwhile, Matt Fuller at HuffPost tweets, “If you were counting on the House and Senate to never be able to agree on health care... I would not count on that,” referring us to his article,  Yes, It Is Definitely Possible For The House And Senate To Agree On Health Care. Tweets Sam Stein, “Some real breaking news. Freedom Caucus chair working with Senate Rs on their health care repeal.”

Turns out, it wasn't exactly the economy, stupid

“What motivated white, working-class voters to back Trump—economic anxiety or cultural anxiety? We have numbers,” says Yoni Appelbaum. Spoiler alert: “Turns out, it wasn't exactly the economy, stupid,” tweets Helen Ubinas, linking to Emma Green’s piece in The Atlantic, Cultural Anxiety, Not Economic Anxiety, Drove White Working Class Voters to Trump.

As good as you've heard

Tweets Alana Massey, “This by @BrandyLJensen is A+ and I'm snatchin ‘she doesn't have a personality—she has a content strategy’ for my bio.” She’s referring to Why Are You People Surprised That Ivanka Trump Sucks?, Brandy Jensen’s piece in Broadly, of which Jensen herself tweets, “I've never written anything before, but Broadly asked me to review Ivanka's book, so I did that.” Says Sean Collins, “.@BrandyLJensen's essay on Ivanka Trump's hideous book and the perils of success feminism is as good as you've heard.” Or as K. Thor Jensen puts it, “Got damn.”

A bad sign when they take away the cookies

At Quartz, Alison Griswold takes us Inside Maple’s improbable dream of delivering a better office lunch. Tweets Tim Fernholz, “A very timely feature from @alisongriswold: Maple is dead, and this is how it died.” Joe Weisenthal says, “Yeah, I could see why that was disappointing to customers,” highlighting this point from the piece: “Customers were dismayed to find the company had replaced the cookie in their meals with a brochure bearing a glossy photo of one.” Sarah Todd notes, “It's always a bad sign when they take away the cookies.” Says Kira Bindrim, “I will sporadically think about these cookies for a very long time.”

He’ll get his needed nuggs

"I laughed, I cried, and then I made it to the end of this lead," says Kelsey Thomas

“Internet joins in to satisfy 16 yo's desire for free chicken nuggets,” says David Beard. Or is it, “area teen dies from chicken poisoning,” as Tim Donnelly puts it? Either way, Jared Keller tweets, “let it be known that @bydanielvictor is a national treasure.” In Step Aside, Ellen DeGeneres: The New Retweet Champion Is a Nugget-Hungry Teenager, Daniel Victor of The New York Times “talked to Nugget Kid about his newfound fame, which he knows won’t last. He said he’s trying to do good with it,” as Victor himself tweets. And in case you’re not familiar with Nugget Kid’s fame, Victor tweets, “Nugget Kid just passed the Ellen selfie for most RTed tweet ever. Wendy’s confirmed he’ll get his needed nuggs.” “And people say journalism is dead,” tweets Colin Campbell.

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