1. Isn’t it moronic?
In her hit song Ironic, Alanis Morissette sings: Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think. A little too ironic…The irony is there really aren’t any examples of irony in her song. In DC, we have an opposite problem. We’ve seen examples of moronic behavior, but we can’t be quite sure whether or not the secretary of state called the president of the United States a moron. Welcome to reality in 2017. Elon Musk has suggested that we’re all living in a simulation. At this point that sounds like wishful thinking. The latest interpersonal spat slash global crisis was sparked by an NBC News report suggesting that Tillerson had referred to Trump as a “moron” and the sec of state required an intervention by the veep to keep from departing. Tillerson denied that he’s ever considered leaving. And about the name-calling: “We don’t deal with that kind of petty nonsense.” The problem, of course, is that his boss spends hours on Twitter dealing out precisely that kind of petty nonsense; even when it comes to issues as serious as North Korea and Puerto Rico. Now that’s ironic.
+ David Ignatius on why Tillerson kissed Trump’s ring today (and why this is a very big story, albeit with some pretty petty details): “Tillerson’s desire to remain on the job is a stabilizing move, at a moment when the United States is locked in a potential nuclear confrontation with North Korea and Trump is headed for a key November meeting in Beijing. Although Tillerson has been a poor public communicator at the State Department, he knows the world and can speak the language of America’s global partners and potential adversaries. His departure now would be widely seen as damaging to America’s already fragile position in a world disrupted by Trump’s erratic policies.”
+ Put more succinctly by GOP Sen Bob Corker: “I think Sec. Tillerson, Sec. Mattis, and Chief of Staff Kelly are those people that help separate our country from chaos.”
+ “They owe a lot of money to your friends on Wall Street. We’re going to have to wipe that out. That’s going to have to be—you know, you can say goodbye to that. I don’t know if it’s Goldman Sachs but whoever it is, you can wave goodbye to that.” How Trump’s comments on Puerto Rican debt (since walked back by the White House) made for a wild day in the bond market.
2. Jail birds
“The programs promise freedom from addiction. Instead, they’ve turned thousands of men and women into indentured servants.” The latest investigation from the Center for Investigative Reporting: They thought they were going to rehab. They ended up in chicken plants.
3. Not today
The LA Times: From “shots fired” to all clear: 72 minutes of terror in Las Vegas. “From the first reports of gunshots at 10:08 p.m. Sunday, it would be 72 chaotic minutes until a SWAT team crept down a carpeted hallway on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel and blew open the hotel room occupied by suspected gunman Stephen Paddock.”
+ “A 20-year-old aspiring nurse who fell into her high school sweetheart’s arms. A Navy veteran haunted by the memories of war. A mechanic who loved the outdoors and held a stranger’s hand as he died. A mom of four with a newborn at home, still out on maternity leave. A husband celebrating his anniversary, taking a bullet for his wife.” NPR with some of the stories of the ones who were lost.
+ “By the time the night’s final act took the main stage, the fast friends had settled into a spot about 20 yards from the right side of the stage, nestled between a few cuddly married couples and a rambunctious bachelorette party. Then the first shots were fired.” From WaPo: Two strangers bond over country music and beer. Then the gunshots started.
+ Investigators have turned to the shooter’s girlfriend to try to work their way towards understanding a motive.
+ Congressman (and excellent guy) Jim Himes in WaPo: “We can’t wait for the bloodshed to pause to start talking about the change that might save lives. The time to have these conversations and make the necessary reforms is now. Or many years ago, when real action might have saved hundreds of thousands of lives.” Why I boycotted Congress’s latest empty moment of silence for gun victims.
+ USA Today: Las Vegas shooter bought 33 guns in last 12 months.
+ President Trump visited survivors and praised the heroism of first responders: “Americans defied death and hatred with love and with courage.” When asked if he was planning to address the broader issue of gun violence in America, Trump responded: “We’re not going to talk about that today.” Maybe tomorrow.
4. Do not pass go
Way, way after the fact, Yahoo informed its users (and its acquirer, Verizon) of a massive hack that affected a billion accounts. Now we’re learning that the hack actually included all accounts—about three Billion users. (Sadly, current me is too stressed out about all the recent hacks for 15 years ago me to give a shit about this one.)
+ Speaking of hacks, here’s a headline you might not have seen coming: IRS awards multimillion-dollar fraud-prevention contract to Equifax.
+ The only thing that could make the Equifax story any more disturbing would be if the Monopoly guy showed up in the Senate hearing.
5. Soho fomo
“New York prosecutors were preparing a case. Then the DA overruled his staff after a visit from a top donor: Trump attorney Marc Kasowitz.” ProPublica, The New Yorker, and WNYC teamed up on this investigation into an old case that has a remarkably familiar ring to it (including Russia ties): Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. were close to being charged with felony fraud. Even just this line…”The Trump SoHo was beleaguered from the start: Named for one of Manhattan’s trendiest neighborhoods, the development wasn’t really in SoHo.”
+ CNN: Russian-linked Facebook ads targeted Michigan and Wisconsin.
6. C section inflection
A third of people get major surgery to be born. That is hundreds of thousands of women every year who get surgery they never need in the first place. That’s crazy. We can do much better than that.” From The Guardian: Caesareans have transformed from a life-saving intervention into a risky procedure performed for one in three births—and often geography is the deciding factor.
7. Barring granola
“Your Nashoba Granola label lists ingredient Love,’ the agency wrote in the Sept. 22 letter. ‘Love’ is not a common or usual name of an ingredient, and is considered to be intervening material because it is not part of the common or usual name of the ingredient.'” Bloomberg: The FDA warned a bakery company that love is not an ingredient. (Maybe it should be…)
8. Jack, off
Google announced a series of new hardware products today, heading full steam into competitions with Amazon and Apple. Digg has a rundown of all the new products that were announced. Those hoping that Google would save your headphone jack are in for some bad news.
9. Put a sock in it
“Stance has become the go-to hosiery of Hollywood actors, hip-hop stars, pro athletes, skateboarders, motocrossers, and now at least one global leader. The San Clemente, California, startup accomplished this by making socks that promise durability, arch support, and clever designs—and by cultivating a roster of celebrity investors, who promote the brand to fans.” From Businessweek: Silicon Valley’s next target for disruption is socks. (If someone doesn’t disrupt disruption soon, I’m out of here…)
10. Bottom of the news
Jerry “Rice is the NFL’s all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns. Many would say that the former San Francisco 49er and Oakland Raider is the greatest player to ever put on football pads and a helmet. He also happens to be a hall-of-fame wedding crasher.” (It would be pretty cool to say you caught a bouquet over Jerry Rice…)
+ The Princess Bride turns 30. (Now that was the wedding to crash…)