Just riffing about nuclear war

Aug 10, 2017

“Of course,” says Paul Szoldra, who links to Trump’s Threat to North Korea Was Improvised (67,000+ shares), by Peter Baker and Glenn Thrush of The New York Times. “Just riffing about nuclear war? Now I'm even more worried,” says Burt Herman. Alexander Zalben is “Currently on a fjord far from anything, please let me know if I should start my new life as a goat farmer thnx bye.”

Surprised by the “fire and fury” language? Well, join the club: “‘among those taken by surprise, john kelly’ cc: all those pushing Kelly has already transformed White House line,” tweets Susan Glasser. Speaking of, in the new TIME cover, Michael Duffy takes a look at Why John Kelly Signed Up to Save the Foundering Trump Presidency, and why he’s Trump’s “last best hope.”

And so, “WE'RE saying THIS to THEM??” asks Pat Loeb. Jonathan Chait of New York Magazine writes, Ignore Our Crazy President, U.S. Tells North Korea (18,000+ shares). It’s “.@jonathanchait on the strangeness of a moment where top officials are trying to say ignore the president,” as Maggie Haberman puts it.

Now’s probably a good time to point out, Trump Hasn't Appointed An Ambassador To Korea And Now It’s A Big Problem, as John Hudson reports for BuzzFeed. Tweets Hudson, “As North Korea threatens war, the lack of a US ambassador to South Korea is causing a lot of heartburn.”

Democracy Dies in Polled Hypotheticals

“The divide is too big to shout across,” tweets Elizabeth King. As The Washington Post’s Ariel Malka and Yphtach Lelkes report, In a new poll, half of Republicans say they would support postponing the 2020 election if Trump proposed it. “Constitutionally, it would've been just as useful to ask voters if Trump should postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” says Matt Ford. Tweets Gabriel Snyder, “Here's a scenario for how American democracy dies…” Brian Fung captions it, “Democracy Dies in Polled Hypotheticals.”

“‘Why are we like this?’ Short answer is Americans can believe anything they want. Long answer is more complicated,” tweets Adrienne LaFrance. She links to The Atlantic cover from Kurt Andersen, which explains How America Lost Its Mind (49,000+ shares). “What a time to be alive,” says Sonia Smith. Jeffrey Goldberg calls it “the definitive story explaining why Americans are so often suckered by charlatans.” 

Oh, did we mention that a massive, inflatable chicken with orange hair is staring down the White House (65,0000+ shares)? That's from CBS News’ Kathryn Watson. “God bless #America,” as Erik Hyrkas tweets.

Less than pleasant

Meanwhile, Alex Isenstadt of POLITICO is reporting, Top Trump donor ponies up to take out Flake. He tweets, “Billionaire hedge-funder Bob Mercer (Trump/Bannon benefactor) puts up $300K to beat Flake.” “America, where 1 person can donate $300,000 to help elect a single candidate for political office. #corruptpolitics,” tweets Peter Gleick. “Pass the popcorn…” says Joshua Holland.

Also, “‘Attacking the Senate majority leader of your own party is utterly incomprehensible.’ And yet,” Matt Flegenheimer tweets, linking to his piece in The New York Times with Maggie Haberman, Mitch McConnell’s ‘Excessive Expectations’ Comment Draws Trump’s Ire. Tweets Haberman, “Trump had a less than pleasant phone call w McConnell today prior to that tweet.”

And in #TrumpRussia news, Tom Schoenberg of Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports, Trump’s Legal Team Is No Match for Mueller’s. Or as Blake Hounshell puts it, “Trump's legal team is woefully understaffed and outgunned by Mueller's A-Team.” Tweets Justin Miller, “Mueller has 16 lawyers and a grand jury. Trump has two attorneys and no law firm.” The piece quotes Nicholas Allard, a former Washington attorney, now the dean of Brooklyn Law School, who says that dealing with Mueller without a high-powered legal operation “is like going to a knife fight with a stick of butter in your hand.”

Slow down, take a breath, get it right

John-Erik Koslosky warns of “The perils of playing up an exclusive — when it ain't....” He links to the piece by The Washington Post’s media critic, Erik Wemple, New York Times guilty of large screw-up on climate-change story. “The press hands critics a club in the rush to be first, biggest, baddest. Slow down, take a breath, get it right,” says Les Zaitz. “This is what happens w/barebones editorial staff,” tweets David Lepeska.

Before you get too alarmed by this story, “The lede on this story really takes the, uh, air out of the headline, to be honest,” tweets Mike Madden. In Unarmed Russian Air Force jet overflies the Pentagon, Capitol, CIA, CNN’s Jon Ostrower, Noah Gray and Peter Morris report that the aircraft was flying at a low altitude “as part of a longstanding treaty that allows the militaries of the United States and Russia to observe the other from the air.”

Here’s a “Heckuva piece by @BetsyMorris2 @dseetharaman on how FB squashes competition. ‘That would scare the crap out of me,’” tweets Scott Austin, who links to The New Copycats: How Facebook Squashes Competition From Startups, by Betsy Morris and Deepa Seetharaman of The Wall Street Journal.

Goldman Sachs, a yacht and an oil tycoon

“Honey, Goldman Seized The Yacht; Banks’ latest gold rush: Loans to wealthy clients backed by Warhols & wine,” tweets Daisy Maxey. She’s referring to Why Goldman Sachs Seized a Client’s 217-Foot Yacht, by The Wall Street Journal’s Liz Hoffman. You know, “The one about Goldman Sachs, its billionaire client and his 217-foot yacht. Great story by @lizrhoffman,” as Nabila Ahmed tweets. Says Ben Eisen, “This great story by @lizrhoffman is about Goldman Sachs, a yacht, and an oil tycoon. Need I say more?“

“Whether a parody or not, this craigslist ad sums up SF in 2017,” says Stephanie M. Lee. She links to a San Francisco Craigslist ad, Personal Assistant MUST LOVE DOGS. “Willing to carry a 40lb dog up stairs & clean its vomit? Apply here with a video and all your social media accounts!” tweets Sheera Frenkel. “JOB ALERT: Babysitter needed for two 30-somethings in San Francisco,” says Steve Kovach. “1 of the most insane things I've ever seen. It's like an amalgam of all millennial stereotypes,” says Jacob Weindling. “The Devil Wears Allbirds,” says Kevin Roose.

“lol this rules,” says Eve Peyser. “Read this and realize how little ground we've gained since the days of patent medicine and snake oil,” says Nancy Nall Derringer. She’s referring to We Sent Alex Jones' Infowars Supplements To A Lab. Here's What's In Them, by BuzzFeed’s Charlie Warzel. Spoiler alert from Will Sommer: “A lab reviews Alex Jones's nutrition supplements: ‘"worthless,’ ‘there's no proof that this works.’”

And finally today, “alright folks. it's been a vitriolic week over at google. time for a little laughter to lighten the mood,” tweets Aarti Shahani. Head over to McSweeney’s to read Ben Kronengold’s essay, I’m a Google Manufacturing Robot and I Believe Humans Are Biologically Unfit to Have Jobs in Tech.


About the author

Nashville-based writer, marketing communications consultant, and all-around word nerd. Usually covered in dog and/or cat hair.

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