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why kanye’s rightward turn matters

the alt-right in this country has been reeling since august, when the unite the right rally in charlottesville erupted in violence that ended with the death of one young counter-protester. since then, nearly every week brings another obituary for the reactionary wave that carried richard spencer and milo yiannopoulos to national prominence. but the ideologically adjacent infrastructure of new voices on the cultural right is still thriving and growing. jordan peterson, a canadian psychologist and a glorified motivational speaker given to babbling about “dragons of chaos” and tangents about how wearing makeup is an invitation to being sexually pestered, is one of the year’s biggest publishing successes and currently on a cross-countr...




the era is back

two weeks ago, the illinois senate voted to ratify the equal rights amendment. if it passes in the state house of representatives, illinois would become the 37th state to approve the era, just one short of the 38 needed to pass the constitutional amendment. given that the deadline congress established to push it through expired in 1982, and some states have since rescinded ratification, it’s unclear what would happen if it crossed the 38-state threshold. regardless, it would be a mistake to see the era as a relic of a time that’s long since passed. in this era of #metoo and nondisclosure agreements, it seems like a refreshingly modern document. last week, the new york times editorial board called for the ratification of the era as ...




van jumps curb, speeds down busy toronto sidewalk killing at least nine people

a van jumped the curb at a busy thoroughfare in toronto monday afternoon and sped down the sidewalk, hitting and killing nine pedestrians and injuring 16 more before the driver was taken into custody. the incident took place around 1:30 p.m. in the north york section of toronto and left behind what a first responder described as “pure carnage” after the driver, reportedly identified by police as 25 year-old alek minassian, sped down the sidewalk at 40 miles per hour, hitting pedestrians one by one. police say within 90 minutes the suspect was in cust...




hannity’s real estate empire is hypocritical. it’s also the new normal for wealthy investors.

in 2008, in an advertisement for a three-day, $1,495 trump university workshop, the future president was quoted as saying, “i’ve always made a fortune in foreclosures, and you will too.” it appears the president’s most ardent televised defender, sean hannity, took his advice. on sunday, the guardian uncovered public records suggesting that the fox news host is behind or affiliated with shell companies that, over the past decade, have spent more than $90 million on 870 homes in seven states, including dozens of foreclosed houses. it also offers an explanation why hannity said last week that he had consulted michael cohen, donald trump’s personal lawyer who is under criminal investigation, to ask some questions about real estate....




is the current tainted romaine panic affecting people’s salads?

last week, salad lovers everywhere found reason to fear their ruffage when a centers for disease control report identified romaine lettuce as the source of a multistate e. coli outbreak that has sickened at least 60 people from connecticut to california. while no deaths have yet been reported, five people have developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. officials haven’t determined the exact path of the outbreak, which is why a recall hasn’t been issued yet, but officials believe that it started with produce from the yuma, arizona growing region. by last friday, the agency had expanded its warning from just chopped romaine to all types of romaine from the area, including whole heads and hearts and salad mixes. ...




help! my husband got a vasectomy without telling me.

mallory ortberg is online weekly to chat live with readers. here’s an edited transcript of this week’s chat.  mallory ortberg: good morning, campers. the ropes course is closed. everyone please report to the lakeside for mandatory problem solving. q. another child: when my twins were born, it was very traumatic. i was on bed rest for five months and both our boys were in the hospital for weeks afterward. five years later, they are happy and healthy. i want another baby, but my husband reacted badly to the idea. we fought about it for months, and counseling didn’t help much. my husband is stubborn and says we have a good life now and that he doesn’t want it to change. he keeps bringing up the agreement we made when we were enga...




sierra boggess drops out of west side story concert after whitewashing controversy

as modern conversations about cultural representation expand and evolve, whitewashing continues to be a hot topic. the racist phenomenon, in which a white actor is cast to play a person of color, stretches from the birth of a nation through mickey rooney’s mr. yunioshi in breakfast at tiffany’s to last year’s megaflop ghost in the shell. on monday, broadway actress sierra boggess decided not to join that offensive legacy when she withdrew from a west side story concert performance in which she would play maria. four days ago announcements stated that boggess, who got her start as ariel in broadway’s the little mermaid in 2007 before joining the casts of phantom of the opera and school of rock, would play maria in a royal albert h...




what is denuclearization anyway?

with each passing day, the impending trump-kim summit takes another dip toward disaster. in just a month or so, president donald trump will meet with north korean leader kim jong-un, an unprecedented event of great risk and opportunity. yet trump, who leapt at the offer of a meeting with unstudied speed and enthusiasm, shows no signs of deciding what he wants from these talks—and seems unaware of what kim’s quite clear objectives are. as has been clear from the moment the subject came up, one obstacle to a successful summit is that both leaders are going into it with conflicting premises. kim thinks trump is caving to the reality of a north korean nuclear arsenal; trump thinks kim is caving to the pressure of u.s. sanctions and thr...




macron’s strategy of flattery

french president emmanuel macron is in washington this week, meeting with donald trump—the man he has been trying to woo since the french election last year—and speaking to congress. macron, a former socialist minister, struck out on his own when he ran for president, creating a centrist platform (en marche!) and triumphing over trump’s favorite, marine le pen, and more establishment figures. in office, he has pursued an ideologically eclectic agenda, including reforms of the french state (e.g., its railways) that have enraged much of the left, as well as a determined effort to convince trump to moderate on iran and global warming. so far, he doesn’t have much to show for his efforts on the latter front. to discuss macron’s vis...




it’s confederate memorial day in alabama

bust out your civil war bugles and start whistling dixie, because it’s confederate memorial day in alabama. the official state holiday is one of three alabama celebrates related to the confederacy. robert e. lee’s birthday is observed on the same day as martin luther king jr.’s in january, and confederate president jefferson davis’ birthday is observed on the first monday in june. alabama isn’t alone in its celebration. it has mississippi, which more progressive residents of the state often sardonically thank, for company. (mississippi will celebrate its memorial day next monday.) florida, south carolina, and georgia also have unofficial celebrations. according to al.com, the largest news source in the state, the celebration ...




accessing the munchie mainframe

this post is part of nosh, a special pop-up blog about snacks. read more here. for proof that a heist needn’t involve jewels, paintings, or bank vaults to qualify among history’s greatest, look no further than the cia contractors who hacked into agency vending machines and stole $3,314.40 worth of snacks over a period in 2012 and 2013. when their handiwork was revealed last year in a declassified report, the contractors were hailed as folk heroes, in no small part because they did something we’ve all, in our heart of hearts, dreamed of doing: they scammed their way into a regular supply of free snacks, and for a little while, they got away with it. i have a theory that most people have a kind of affection for vending machines, or a...




republican ad accuses wisconsin senator tammy baldwin of wanting to abort the next martin luther king jr.

the times has published an overview of the effort to unseat democratic sen. tammy baldwin, which, like every close senate race this year, could end up tipping control of the upper chamber. a lot of it is what you’d expect—well-financed right-wing groups will attempt to portray baldwin as a radical leftist whose leftist values are out of step with the blue-collar ways of wisconsin’s humble cow people. but there’s also this, which will blow the ol’ hair back: by july [2017], a milwaukee radio station was carrying audacious ads about ms. baldwin’s support for abortion rights. “did you know one out of three babies aborted in american are black? one out of three. and tammy baldwin is a big reason why,” the ad said. “tha...




the angle: bad dream edition

bad year: drew littman thinks trump won’t fire bob mueller because he’s terrified of his party losing the 2018 midterms, which would leave him exposed to democratic oversight in the house. here are at least 10 reasons why his fear is justified. it’s the environment: shania twain is getting it from all sides after saying she likes trump—a notorious liar!—because he’s no “bullshit.” yascha mounk finds her attitude, which flourishes where people don...




constance wu flies high in crazy rich asians official trailer

as hollywood diversity inches forward, romantic comedy crazy rich asians will mark significant progress for broader racial representation on screen. the film, which follows rachel (constance wu) as she discovers her longtime boyfriend nick (henry golding) is exorbitantly wealthy, just dropped its first official trailer today. from the looks of it, this romantic romp, which centers on a destination wedding in singapore and features an entirely asian cast, will be every bit as insane and captivating as the eponymous novel by kevin kwan. as snl’s stefan would say, this trailer has everything. muscular dudes! catty mothers-in-law! sassy awkwafina! gatsby-esque p...




police searching for tennessee mass shooting suspect used site of different, earlier mass shooting as staging ground

quite an image here in the tennessean’s update on the search for 29-year-old travis reinking, who is believed to have killed four people at a nashville -area waffle house on sunday. local and federal authorities are looking for travis reinking, 29, the suspect in a shooting that killed four people early sunday morning. officers with nashville police and the atf were using burnette chapel church of christ as a staging area monday morning, with a swat truck and other vehicles stationed in the parking lot. burnette chapel was...




facebook’s ties with kogan and cambridge were even cozier than we thought

when he testified to congress this month, facebook ceo mark zuckerberg portrayed cambridge university researcher aleksandr kogan as a rogue app developer who deceived the social network by harvesting data on users’ personalities that he then sold to the consulting firm cambridge analytica. he assured lawmakers that kogan had been banned from the platform. and, as techcrunch’s natasha lomas noted at the time, he went on to take a shot at cambridge university more broadly, testifying that facebook has uncovered “a whole program” associated with cambridge in which a number of researchers were building similar apps. what zuckerberg didn’t mention was that facebook itself had worked directly with kogan and his cambridge colleagues fo...




still the one

shania twain, the country singer who has sold more than 100 million records and is in the midst of attempting a big comeback, is probably wishing that she had steered clear of politics right about now. being canadian, she even has a great excuse for declining to comment on american debates. and yet, in a wide-ranging interview with the guardian this weekend, she volunteered that she would have loved to vote for donald trump: i would have voted for him because, even though he was offensive, he seemed honest. do you want straight or polite? … if i were voting, i just don’t want bullshit. i would have voted for a feeling that it was transparent. and politics has a reputation of not being that, right? so polarized is our politics...




youtube’s performative sociopaths

this article is the final installment of watching youtube, a slate series about youtube. for as long as home video cameras have existed, kids have used them to film themselves doing very stupid things. it’s part of growing up, or at least it was when i was growing up. my high-school television and video production classes were stuffed with goofy teenagers who liked to film themselves cavorting atop mail trucks parked outside the post office, bathing in tubs filled with milk and cereal, annoying the shopkeepers in my hometown’s business district, and eating any number of inedible substances. these videos were gross and immature a lot of the time, but they were also really fun to watch—delightfully dumb and transgressive in the way l...




tennessee waffle house shooting suspect has been captured

nashville police have captured travis reinking, the 29-year-old who is suspected of having killed four people at a waffle house on sunday. reinking was reportedly apprehended in a “wooded area.” reinking has a history of erratic behavior and has been involved multiple previous run-ins with law enforcement, including a july 2017 arrest outside the white house. reinking reportedly referred to himself as a “sovereign citizen” when que...




the fast and the furious movies are becoming a cartoon tv series, because family

given that it has featured such physics-defying stunts as a car smashing through the side of one skyscraper and jumping into another and several other cars being chased across the ice by a freaking submarine, the fast and the furious series has often been referred to as a live-action cartoon. so it only makes sense that dreamworks and netflix are taking the logical next step and turning it into an actual animated tv series. scheduled to debut later this year, fast & furious will follow the adventures of teenage tony toretto...