Cracked, &c.

The Nutcracker balloon hovers above the crowd during the 93rd Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, November 28, 2019. (Caitlin Ochs / Reuters)
On a cancellation of The Nutcracker; Russia’s threat to Ukraine; the screwiness of the Women’s March; the bravery of J.K. Rowling; and more
Now they have come for The Nutcracker. What I mean is, did you see this? The Berlin State Ballet has canceled Tchaikovsky’s ballet on grounds that the Chinese dance and the Arab dance give offense. Well, they give offense to those who are truly dying to take offense.

Read original

There’s a huge hole in the debate over how Democrats can save themselves

Politico reports that some Democrats want Biden to draw a sharper contrast with Republicans. They want him to attack Republicans for opposing popular items in his Build Back Better bill — expanded access to health care, lower prescription drug prices, more support for families and children — and frame this as the response to GOP attacks on Biden over inflation.

But Politico also reports this:

Story continues below advertisement

Democrats argue that Biden’s willingness to make more aggressive attacks against Republicans will be key to their success in 2022.

Read original

How will the media cover Trump in 2024? Insiders are sounding the alarm.

This debate has now been placed squarely on the public agenda by two mainstream journalists: Jon Karl of ABC News and Brian Stelter of CNN. Stelter recently asked Karl how the press should cover a Trump 2024 run, and Karl said this:

It’s an immense challenge because you’re covering — you’re covering essentially an anti-democratic candidate, you’re covering somebody running in a system that is trying to undermine that very system and somebody who is going to be perpetually lying.

Karl noted that he doesn’t have the answer to this yet.

Read original

The Great Escape

The first thing you should know about Caroline Potts of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, is that she loves her pets. “I have five cats and three dogs,” she told me, proudly. “The only thing I don’t have is birds.”
So when she needed a job, PetSmart seemed like the perfect solution. “My sister worked at PetSmart and I was in there so much,” she said.
She started as a bather, and showed enough promise to be invited to the company’s dog grooming academy, where they teach how to cut hair. “I knew it was what I wanted to do with my life,” Caroline said.

Read original

The Forgotten Pandemic Roars Back to Life

In a pre-Thanksgiving poll from Yahoo News and YouGov, 74 percent of respondents said their lives had “returned to normal” since the pandemic. As we learned on a particularly Black Friday, that was an inaccurate and even destructive fiction.
The desire for normalcy is human, and reasonable. Most of us are not conditioned to isolating ourselves from friends and loved ones, and require social interaction. The 2020 election was predicated on a new president returning the country to normalcy, a century after Warren Harding ran and won explicitly on that theme.

Read original

How the Infrastructure Bill Will Help the West Manage Megafires

Cal Fire troops battle the Dixie Fire in Plumas County, California, July 2021.Noah Berger/AP

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.
This story was originally published by High Country News and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
Zack Bashoor was 19 years old when he joined the US Forest Service in northwestern Montana to fight wildfires.

Read original

What Does the Recent Set of Exonerations Tell Us About the Criminal Justice System?

A number of high-profile exonerations have made national headlines this month.
Among November’s exonerations was that of David Morris, a Maryland man whose murder conviction was secured when the prosecutor illegally withheld crucial exculpatory evidence from his defense.
Two weeks after the judge in the Morris case threw out his conviction, on Nov. 17, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office announced that two men convicted of killing Malcolm X in 1996  would be cleared of all charges, due to misconduct by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the prosecutors in their cases.

Read original

Hunter Biden raises more questions of profiting off politics and climate change corruption

Hunter Biden’s ties to China, along with the administration’s conflicts of interest in its climate change agenda, are in the news once again.
Earlier this week, the New York Times reported that an investment firm Biden helped establish had helped a Chinese company purchase one of the world’s richest cobalt mines located in the Congo from a U.S. company. The Washington Free Beacon previously reported on this in January 2020, after months of the Congolese military torching houses and silencing dissent in the region to prevent illegal mining.

Read original

Biden just made one of the best decisions of his presidency

On Monday morning, President Biden made the most important hiring decision of his first term, at least so far as the economy is concerned: He announced that he would be reappointing Jerome “Jay” Powell as chair of the Federal Reserve. Lael Brainard, a fellow Fed board member widely rumored to be the runner-up for Powell’s job, would be tapped as his vice chair.
The Fed is perhaps the most underappreciated policymaking body in Washington.

Read original