New year, same fight, still tired

It’s the new year and a busy time for reporters covering the midterms — slightly trimmed newsletter as a result! And, warning, yours truly is observing Yom Kippur and then traveling for the next three weeks, so publication might get wonky. We’ll return with more consistency some time in mid-October, stay tuned.

Blues Buzz

Queer the vote. For plenty of women, backpacking alone in the wilderness is the safest place to be. Stephen Miller’s rabbi joins Stephen Miller’s uncle. Susan Sontag’s FBI file. Half of trans teen boys have attempted to commit suicide, per a new study. This essay, on how more people are like Julia Salazar than would like to admit it, stuck with me — partially because I think there’s something in there for all of us (me included), partially because I know many people who have done this at my expense and I am still angry with most of them. Waffle House, a Southern beacon, knows Florence is a disaster.

Shana tova, from my family to yours, here are the results of hours of Rosh Hashanah baking. © E.A. Crunden

Shana tova, from my family to yours, here are the results of hours of Rosh Hashanah baking. © E.A. Crunden


Hurricane Florence came, but the storm’s real danger lies in its lingering rains and storm surges. The Trump administration plans to roll back methane leak regulations. The Cruz-O’Rourke race in Texas offers voters two widely opposing environmental visions. As other residents evacuated the Southeast this week, incarcerated people were left behind, as usual. The Florida gubernatorial candidate who wants to have it both ways on climate. Coastal immigrant communities are being hit on all sides.


Around the Globe

Africa. Tanzania’s president wants everyone to quit birth control. Unrest in Anglophone Cameroon is sparking widespread violence. A cholera outbreak hits Zimbabwe and the country is crowdfunding to fight the disease. Sudan is facing an economic crisis.

Americas. Former Brazilian president Lula will no longer stand for election from prison. Much of the Southeastern U.S. evacuated in anticipation of Hurricane Florence. A police officer shot and killed a Black man after she attempted to enter his home thinking it was hers. On-again NAFTA negotiations seem to be going a bit better, although that’s subject to change. Not linking to the tweet, but POTUS did indeed argue Democrats inflated the number of Puerto Ricans who died in Hurricane Maria’s aftermath.

Asia. The PLO's headquarters in D.C. will be shuttered by the Trump administration. China’s mistreatment of its Muslim minorities is drawing international scrutiny. Around 70 people were killed by a suicide bombing in Nangarhar, Afghanistan.

Europe. Sweden's far-right gained in the country's national election, but not as much as feared. Russia’s Siberian war games. Hungary’s far-right government faces off against the E.U. Spain will exhume its former dictator, Francisco Franco.


Green Scene

Karachi’s water crisis is a larger story about Pakistan’s water crisis. Texas polluted site cleanup criteria is significantly worse than in surrounding states. Can an organic farmer win in Appalachian Virginia? A super typhoon is heading right for the Philippines. Salt water is fighting fresh water in the Everglades.


Spoken & Written

“Honestly, Mr Miller, you’ve set back the Jewish contribution to making the world spiritually whole through your arbitrary division of these desperate people. The actions that you now encourage President Trump to take make it obvious to me that you didn’t get my, or our, Jewish message. This is the season of apology, and to get to an apology, shame over past actions is necessary. Some shout at others when they are self-righteous enough: you should be ashamed of yourself! That’s not something I would ever shout or demand.” — Stephen Miller’s rabbi bring it home


I had a long, exhausting, frustrating week, which seems to be the theme in my house these days. After breaking fast for Yom Kippur this Wednesday night, I’ll have three weeks of travel across three states, with little to no breaks in between. I’ve got my eyes on November, when I’ll finally be able to breathe and take an extended, leisurely trip to the wonderful city of New Orleans, but until then I’m just concentrating on powering through.

Until then:

Try not to create opportunities in anything you write that could lead to a lengthy internet fight — and if you do, just try to be nice about it, you’ll get farther. | Bake, eat, especially lovely challah. | Stay patient, stay gracious.