1. The suck stops here
Steve Bannon says he issued his resignation several days ago. President Trump said that he made the decision to push Bannon aside. It’s probably more likely that this was John Kelly’s decision. Either way, this is Steve Bannon’s last day in the administration. (Luckily, he was squeezed out before any of his white nationalist views could take hold in the White House.) Here’s a running list of the firings, resignations and withdrawn nominations of the Trump White House.
+ Ryan Lizza: Firing Steve Bannon Won’t Change Donald Trump. (Maybe not, but Sebastian Gorka now has five openings for lunch next week…)
+ Meanwhile, the fallout from the president’s comments on Charlottesville continues. Following the statements against hate and bigotry from the Joint Chiefs and all the top military leaders, secretary of state Tillerson also distanced himself from the president’s position.
+ Members of the president’s Arts and Humanities Commission have resigned.
+ Mitt Romney called on president Trump to apologize (can you imagine that and a full eclipse happening in the same week?) “The potential consequences are severe in the extreme. Accordingly, the president must take remedial action in the extreme. He should address the American people, acknowledge that he was wrong, apologize.” (How would that go? “Hey, sorry about the birther thing, the dog whistles, the campaign rhetoric, and my suggestion—over the course of three days, several comments, and a bunch of tweets—that those who oppose Nazis are just as much to blame as the Nazis. It just slipped out.”)
+ “I can’t even believe I have to write this: standing up to Nazis is essential; there are no good Nazis. Or Klansmen, or terrorists.” That comment, along with a million dollar donation to the ADL, came from Fox CEO James Murdoch. (Oddly, there was no mention of Murdoch’s comments on Fox News’ site, either last night or today.)
+ In the spirit of full disclosure, and in an effort to break free of the echo chamber of my own media bubble, I should report that not everyone is breaking with Trump. From VP Mike Pence: “In president Donald Trump, the United States once again has a president whose vision, energy and can-do spirit is reminiscent of president Teddy Roosevelt.”
2. Barcelona manhunt
From the BBC: “The suspects in the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils were planning one or more bigger attacks than those that were carried out, police say. They said blasts on Wednesday in a town south of Barcelona deprived plotters of bomb material, so they executed simpler attacks using vehicles to ram crowds.”
+ Five terror suspects have been killed and four arrested. A manhunt continues for at least four more people. Here are the latest details from The Guardian.
3. Weekend whats
What to Shine: Trust me, what you need this weekend is to sit down and listen to Mondo Cozmo’s album Plastic Soul on Spotify (or your music service of choice). Mondo Cozmo is the alias of Josh Ostrander, a long time artist from Philly who recently hit it big with the song Shine. I was lucky enough to see Josh play in a room filled without about 25 people at Outside Lands in SF last week. Here’s my recording of an acoustic version of Shine.
+ What to Wear: Mondo Cozmo Josh and I bonded over the fact that we both wear the same hat brand (him, because they’re cool, me, because of the bald spot). Goorin really does make the best baseball caps.
+ What to Hear: Letterman talking to Stern for an hour and a half. What more do you want!?
+ What to Watch: Feel like you need a leader to give a good, level-headed, thoughtful speech about the Confederate statue issue? Well, here’s some good news. NOLA’s Mitch Landrieu already did it a couple months ago.
+ What to Dave: And if you missed it earlier, please give a quick read to the post I wrote about this week, my parents, and you: The Looking Glass.
4. Get your move on
In his most famous routine, comedian Sam Kinison used to advise starving people to “move to where the food is.” You can almost hear someone telling people in unemployment zones to move to where the jobs are. But there’s a problem with that advice. For most people, it’s too expensive to live where the jobs are. Vox with an interesting look at the real driver of regional inequality in America.
5. Joules for Jesus
“Right now the most desirable battery materials are ones we can’t use. For example, there are very desirable materials for lithium batteries that would give them more capacity, but they’re not safe in a liquid. Basically, all of a sudden maybe a half dozen things that people have been trying to do with lithium batteries that weren’t possible are possible. You can make better lithium batteries.” From Steven Levy in Backchannel: Bill Joy Finds The Jesus Battery.
6. Djibouti Call
“Analysts say Djibouti’s geostrategic location and its stability in a volatile region has made it an important playground for world powers.” From Quartz: How a tiny African country became the world’s key military base.
7. Bing’s cherry condition
“The company claims that fully one-third of searches in the US are powered by Bing, either directly or through Yahoo or AOL (both of which provide results generated by Microsoft).” From Ars Technica: Bing is bigger than you think. (It’s true, I googled it.)
8. Who turned out the lights?
“As for the eclipse, I’m honestly not sure what I think creates the eclipse or what it means, but I’m very interested to observe and contemplate and share theories. Actually, a bunch of us…are getting together this Sunday night to talk thoughts and theories about the eclipse.” I know, I know. You think you’ve read everything there is to read about Monday’s eclipse. But wait. You forgot to check in with the flat Earthers.
+ (Tangentially) Related: Total Eclipse of the Heart was almost a Meat Loaf Song.
9. Reading assignment
My kids: “Daddy, will you read us a bedtime story?” Me: “I have a better idea. Let’s ask George Guidall to do it.” From the NYT: Why George Guidall is the Undisputed King of Audiobooks. “I’m creating accidental intimacy. The people listening feel so close to me. I’m the furthest thing from a rock star, but I’m a rock star.” (I have zero clue why the NYT didn’t have Guidall provide an audio version of this article.)
10. Bottom of the news
“Someone has to stand up and speak truth to power. I can’t stay silent because someday, I want my children to be able to look back at this moment and know that their father had the courage to stand on the shoulders of the great leaders in human history. I want my parents to know that their son lived his life with the steadfast courage and moral determination of the likes of Ghandi, Mandela, and MLK. I want my nephews and nieces to know that their uncle refused to say uncle.” At long last, a profile in courage: To My Fellow Americans…
+ “Interestingly, there are a lot of fans that are actively theorizing and creating spaces for its adult fans to consider what this all means. While the mainstream has made it seem as if 1D only has teen fans, there have always been older fans—and, at this point in its ‘extended hiatus’ moment, there’s clearly an appetite for more like-minded dialogue.” Everything you need to know about the inner lives of adult One Direction fans.
+ “Adding a few drops of water would therefore continue to increase the concentration of guaiacol molecules at the surface, potentially improving the taste.” You should add a little water to your whiskey. Chemists say so.
+ Politico: The agonizing, 8-page memo on how to chauffeur a congressman.