Here is some stuff in the news today...
[Content Note: Stories related to the Pulse Shooting; next four paragraphs. If you want to skip over these, just begin after the triple asterisk.]
If this isn't the (second) best argument for not treating this guy like he's a celebrity by running his face all over the news, I don't know what is: "An official familiar with the timeline told CBS News that Mateen was active on social media before and during the rampage. ...[A]fter the gunfire began, Mateen paused. Sources told CBS News he searched for 'Pulse Orlando' and 'shooting,' perhaps to see if the massacre was trending online." For much more on this subject, see Peter Daou: "A Post-Orlando Reckoning: The Media and Republicans Have Done the Killer's Bidding."
A JetBlue flight attendant recounts what happened on a flight on which the grandmother of victim Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo was a passenger: "I had the idea to pass around a piece of paper to everyone on board and invite them to sign it for this grieving grandmother. I talked it over with Melinda and she started the process from the back of the plane. As we took beverage orders, we whispered a heads up about the plan as we went. Halfway through, Melinda called me, 'Kel, I think you should start another paper from the front. Folks are writing PARAGRAPHS.' So I did. Then we started one in the middle. Lastly, running out of time on our hour and fifteen minute flight, we handed out pieces of paper to everyone still waiting. When we gathered them together to present them to her, we didn't have just a sheet of paper covered in names, which is what I had envisioned. Instead, we had page after page after page after page of long messages offering condolences, peace, love, and support." Blub.
John McCain goes full Trump and blames President Obama for the attack. I don't even know what to say anymore about the Republican response to this. I really don't.
Anderson Cooper takes down Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi a second time after the complained about their first interview: "After the segment aired, Bondi called in to WOR 710 radio and blamed Cooper for misleading her about the interview’s objective and editing her in a bad light. One problem, Cooper had his receipts and showed them on air that night." Whoooooooops.
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[CN: Wildfires] "A wildfire in Santa Barbara County that's threatening homes and closing major highways more than doubled in size overnight to 4,000 acres, federal officials said early Friday. Chewing through vegetation that hasn't burned since the 1950s and pushed by 40 mph winds, the Sherpa fire crawled toward Highway 101 between El Capitan State Beach and Gaviota, forcing the California Highway Patrol to shut down the coastal route overnight. ...The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office said mandatory evacuations for El Capitan, Refugio, Venadito, and Las Flores canyons north of Santa Barbara remained in effect, while residents of neighboring communities such as Las Llagas, Gato, Las Varas, Dos Pueblos, and Eagle canyons received evacuation warnings." Damn.
[CN: Video may autoplay at link] "Sanders' Long Refusal to Endorse Clinton Hurts His Leverage." Haha no kidding.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle: "Dozens of GOP Delegates Launch New Push to Halt Donald Trump." Y'all, this election is going to continue to get uglier and uglier. There is no way the Republican Party is going to just sit on their butts and watch their nominee go down in flames. Hillary Clinton is never going to be allowed to take an easy stroll into the White House: Not by the GOP and not by the media. Something is going to upend this race. And I strongly suspect it's going to involve Trump not being the nominee anymore, followed by the installation of a "moderate" who will become the superhero of the GOP and the new BFF of the media. Get ready. The next few months are not going to be easy.
[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Relatedly: "Florida Rep. David Jolly on Friday announced he will pull out of the Republican primary to replace Sen. Marco Rubio. Jolly instead will for reelection to his seat in Congress, citing 'unfinished business' in an email to supporters Friday afternoon. He said he had been convinced to run for Senate by insiders who told him redistricting made his reelection to the House too difficult, but decided he wanted to continue doing the job he has. The move, though, comes as Rubio has in recent days signaled he might accede to pressure to run for reelection to his seat." Get out of the way, Jolly! At the moment, Rubio polls poorly next to the Democratic challenger. As do a number of Republican Senate candidates. This is the Trump Effect, and the GOP ain't gonna sit idly by.
Cool: "Oxygen has been detected in a galaxy from long, long ago and far, far away. 13.1 billion light-years away, to be exact. This galaxy—which we're observing as it was just 700 million years after the birth of the universe—shows the oldest signs of oxygen scientists have ever seen. That's a big deal: In the immediate aftermath of the Big Bang, only the lightest elements—helium, lithium and hydrogen—existed. Heavier elements, such as carbon and oxygen, are necessary for the formation of life as we know it. But these elements didn't form until the first stars had aged enough to produce them by way of fusion."
Heads-up, Ghostbuster nerdz: The cast of Ghostbusters will be on The Graham Norton Show tonight!
And finally! "Human Chain Pulls Dog out of Deep Channel in Heartwarming Rescue." Precisely as advertised. ♥