Well this is something
“If you haven’t read it yet…” tweets Dante Chinni, “Fusion GPS fires back,” tweets Blake Hounshell. In The Republicans’ Fake Investigations, an op-ed for The New York Times, Fusion GPS founders Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch write that there are credible allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. “The target is a big bear; Republicans prefer to fish for red herrings,” tweets Pat Bagley. Adds The Reagan Battalion, “Looks like we know why Trump tweeted about button sizes tonight.”
Or maybe it’s this: “Well this is something,” says Kadhim Shubber. It’s “Bannon’s revenge on Kushner and others,” tweets Jacob Heilbrunn. In Trump Tower meeting with Russians ‘treasonous’, Bannon says in explosive book, David Smith of The Guardian reveals some of Steve Bannon’s comments in the forthcoming book by Michael Wolff, “Fire and Fury.” One prediction from Bannon: “They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV.” “Did @realDonaldTrump expect this publication & that's why he tried to set the world on fire last night?” Asaf Ronel wonders. “With friends like Bannon, who needs enemies?” says Peter Kadzis. Also worth noting, “Wolff writes that Thomas Barrack Jr, a billionaire who is one of the president’s oldest associates, allegedly told a friend: ‘He’s not only crazy, he’s stupid.’”
Stirring the pot on nuclear war
So back to those nuclear button tweets. As Peter Baker of The New York Times reports, Trump Again Taunts North Korea With Threat of Nuclear War. Russell Goldman of The New York Times breaks it down for us: The ‘Nuclear Button’ Explained: For Starters, There’s No Button. And Daniel Dale of The Toronto Star recaps all the tweets for us in Happy 2018! Trump begins the new year with a bizarre Twitter storm. As he tweets, “I tried to summarize the president's morning.”
Understandably, Some White House officials fear accidental war, reports Axios’s Mike Allen. “Well, when you’re stirring the pot on nuclear war…” tweets Adam Vaccaro. Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic offers a solution: Ban World Leaders from Twitter.
Meanwhile, “There is a legit red phone,” tweets Donie O'Sullivan. He links to North Korea Reopens Border Hotline With South, by Choe Sang-Hun of The New York Times. “More important than a tweet,” say Alex Burns.
Flamed, spiked and buried
James Risen’s piece for The Intercept, My Life as a New York Times Reporter in the Shadow of the War on Terror, is a “#mustread First hand account of the war btw the @nytimes and the US gov post 9/11 told by the legendary James Risen,” tweets giulia paravicini. “This is an infuriating piece of first-person writing and reporting,” tweets Ryan Grim. “Globe-rattling reporter James Risen somehow managed to keep living as his stories were flamed, spiked and buried,” notes David Jackson. Adds Jake Sherman, “there will be a lot of buzz about this James Risen story in @theintercept. it’s well worth a read.”
Orrin Hatch to Retire from Senate, Opening Path for Mitt Romney, reports Jonathan Martin of The New York Times. Tweets Laurie Goodstein, “Our Sclerotic Congress: it is actually surprising news that a 7-term octogenarian decides not to run again.” And now, as Alex Isenstadt of POLITICO writes, Trump-Romney rivalry set to take center stage again. He tweets, “NEW: Trump tried to ease tensions w/recent 10-min phone call to Mitt. Instead, he intensified sky-high suspicions.”
Meanwhile, it “Boggles the mind that NSA Dir. Rogers still has managed to keep his job,” tweets Nicole Perlroth. She links to NSA’s top talent leaving because of low pay, slumping moral and unpopular reorganization, by Ellen Nakashima and Aaron Gregg of The Washington Post.
William Westhoven is referring to Roy Moore’s Jewish lawyer voted for Doug Jones, raised money for his campaign, as Mandy Mayfield reports for The Washington Examiner. Tweets Daniel Drezner, “This helps to explain why Roy Moore’s brief asking for a recount in Alabama was so God-awful.” “actually 2018 is turning out to be pretty good,” tweets Inkoo Kang. “#ALSEN is the gift that keeps on giving,” tweets Nicholas Riccardi.
Like, the scary part
Get ready because a Monster storm is going to blast East Coast before polar vortex uncorks tremendous cold late this week, as Jason Samenow reports for The Washington Post. Oh, and it’s called a “bomb cyclone.” For the record, “I am not down with any weather system that is predicted to ‘be explosively intensifying,’” says Tal Kopan. “Ok but on the plus side, the mosquitoes are finally all dead,” notes Gabe Rubin. Adam Clark Estes asks, “Isn’t this what happened at the end of The Day After Tomorrow? Like, the scary part.” Tweets Neil Greenberg, “Don't sugarcoat it @capitalweather, is this ‘monster storm’ going to be bad or not?” “I like headlines where it gets worse with every single word,” tweets PJ Vogt.
OK, we know what you’re thinking, but AP’s Seth Borenstein explains Why there’s a big chill in a warmer world. As Bill McKibben points out, “Anchorage Alaska is currently warmer than Jacksonville Florida. But otherwise everything is very normal…”
Does the death of Hugh Hefner spell the death of Playboy in print? Lukas Alpert of The Wall Street Journal reports that Playboy Might Kill Magazine to Focus on ‘World of Playboy.’ “Fascinating are the various business deals entered into by Playboy Enterprises over the years,” tweets Andrew Nusca.
James Miller of The Hollywood Reporter takes a look Inside an ESPN President’s Shocking Exit (and Bob Iger’s Possible Role). Richard Sandomir calls it a “Smart, sharply reported and deeply analytical piece by @JimMiller on John Skipper’s departure.”
Emily Steel of The New York Times has the story as Vice Media Places Two Executives on Leave. And “TODAY'S A GOOD DAY TO TALK ABOUT EQUAL PAY,” as Isabelle Chapman tweets. Bobby Finger of Jezebel reports that Hoda and Savannah’s Combined Salaries Are Reportedly $11 Million Less Than Matt’s. Tweets Taylor Lorenz, “Hoda Kotb will make $18 million less than the man she replaced.”
No lies detected
Justin Timberlake is rebranding as a white man, writes Ann-Derrick Gaillot for The Outline, and “wow, i did not see this coming,” says Erik Hinton. Don’t believe her? “Check out this Bon Iver-looking motherfucker,” tweets Jeremy Gordon. “No lies detected,” says Anson Ling. “This is fucking incredible,” tweets Joshua Topolsky. “This writer deserves a raise for this headline alone,” says Maria Del Russo.
Stephanie Saul of The New York Times reports, As Flow of Foreign Students Wanes, U.S. Universities Feel the Sting. Daniel Gross points out, “higher education is one of america's great export industries.”
Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund Makes Big Bet on Bitcoin. Rob Copeland has the story for The Wall Street Journal.
For a “Great explainer,” as Jon Gambrell tweets, read 2009 vs now: How Iran’s new protests compare to the past, by AP’s Lee Keath.
And “How bad are those Toby Young tweets? Here you go,” tweets Judy Friedberg, who links to Toby Young quotes on breasts, eugenics and working class people, by Martin Belam at The Guardian.