In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Pulse shooting; bigotry] There is, of course, an abundance of news about the gunman in the Pulse Nightclub shooting. I am reluctant to link to any articles in the corporate media, because they either show pictures of Omar Mateen, so ubiquitous that you would think he's a hero rather than a mass murdering fuck, or because they show pictures of survivors in their moments of absolute grief. I frankly don't want to support either one of those habits. So, here is some relevant (and verified) news in brief: Mateen has a history of domestic violence, which makes him like most other domestic terrorists. Both his ex-wife, his coworkers, and his father confirm that he was virulently homophobic, misogynist, and racist. He passed background checks to secure employment as a security guard. His coworkers expressed concerns about his violent rhetoric. He legally acquired the weapons that he used to slaughter and wound dozens of people.

[CN: Continued from above, plus terrorism] This is important commentary, care of New York Times correspondent Rukmini Callimachi, on how the Islamic State's "lone wolf" appeal works. Essentially: Anyone can now claim to be a "lone wolf" working for IS, and then IS just takes credit. Which has a number of significant ramifications, including making "lone wolves" much more difficult to thwart, and the promise of being elevated as an international terrorist acting as enticement for violent men who are disposed to commit heinous acts of violence already.

[Continued CN] Meanwhile, Donald Trump has implied that President Barack Obama may be intentionally sabotaging the US. Rage seethe boil. Because precisely what we need in this moment is accusations that the President who has, more than any President before him, challenged othering rhetoric, and who has tried to enact gun reform, is committing treason. JFC.

[CN: Racism; misogyny; Islamophobia] Meanwhile, Trump surrogate Roger Stone says that Hillary Clinton's chief aide and friend Huma Abedin, who is Muslim, could be a "Saudi spy" or a "terrorist agent." I honestly do not even have words to explain how enraged this makes me. I have never met Huma Abedin (although that would be awesome!), and she is a very private person, but I feel reasonably confident, based on the role she has long played at Clinton's side, that she is probably one of our country's greatest patriots.

In other news:

"The Supreme Court said on Monday Puerto Rico cannot restructure the debt of its financially ailing public utilities to help overcome a decade-long economic crisis. The 5-2 ruling means the US territory must wait for Congress to pass debt-relief legislation to help ease its fiscal woes."

"How unusual is the Republican blockade of the nomination of Judge Merrick B. Garland, President Obama's pick for the Supreme Court? After a comprehensive look at every past Supreme Court vacancy, two law professors have concluded that it is an unprecedented development. ...In every one of the 103 earlier Supreme Court vacancies, the professors wrote, the president was able to both nominate and appoint a replacement with the Senate's advice and consent."

[CN: Climate change] "Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 will shatter the symbolic barrier of 400 parts per million (ppm) this year and will not fall below it our in our lifetimes, according to a new Met Office study. Carbon dioxide measurements at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii are forecast to soar by a record 3.1ppm this year—up from an annual average of 2.1ppm—due in large part to the cyclical El Niño weather event in the Pacific, the paper says. The surge in CO2 levels will be larger than during the last big El Niño in 1997/98, because manmade emissions have increased by 25% since then, boosting the phenomenon's strength."

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] "Microsoft Corp. is acquiring the professional social network LinkedIn Corp. for $26.2 billion, one of the largest technology-industry deals on record, as the maker of Windows software attempts to put itself at the center of people's business lives. ...LinkedIn will retain its brand, culture, and independence and Jeff Weiner will remain chief executive officer of the company, Microsoft said in a statement Monday. The deal is the most expensive relative to earnings of any takeover valued at more than $5 billion this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg."

And finally! "Cat Becomes Friends with a Chipmunk." Aww.

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