In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

RIP Anton Yelchin, whose New York Times obituary is here. The young actor was killed in what was described in early reports as a freak auto accident, but it may not have been so "freak" after all, as the NYT reports that his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee "was a model that Fiat Chrysler has recalled for a gearshift issue that has confused drivers, leading them to accidentally leave the car in neutral when they think it is safely in park." So deeply sad. My condolences to his family, friends, colleagues, and fans (among whom I count myself).

[Content Note: Racism] Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor brought the fire in a scathing dissent in Utah v. Strieff, a Fourth Amendment illegal-stop-and-search case: "By legitimizing the conduct that produces this double consciousness, this case tells everyone, white and black, guilty and innocent, that an officer can verify your legal status at any time. It says that your body is subject to invasion while courts excuse the violation of your rights. It implies that you are not a citizen of a democracy but the subject of a carceral state, just waiting to be cataloged. ...We must not pretend that the countless people who are routinely targeted by police are 'isolated.' They are the canaries in the coal mine whose deaths, civil and literal, warn us that no one can breathe in this atmosphere." Fuck yeah. Imagine listening to your colleague make this argument but deciding to rule the other way, as the majority of the court did. Unfathomable.

[CN: Guns] President Obama did not mince words on the Senate gun vote: "'Gun violence requires more than moments of silence,' President Barack Obama said on Twitter. 'It requires action. In failing that test, the Senate failed the American people.' Earlier, White House spokesman Josh Earnest appeared on morning television news shows excoriating the U.S. Senate for rejecting on Monday four gun bills aimed at keeping firearms away from people with suspected ties to militants. 'What we saw last night on the floor of the United States Senate was a shameful display of cowardice,' Earnest said on MSNBC." Yup.

Of course: "When Trump flies, he uses his airplane. When he campaigns, he often chooses his properties or his own Trump Tower in New York City, which serves as headquarters. His campaign even buys Trump bottled water and Trump wine. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee has been on the campaign trail for a year now, and federal finance reports detail a campaign unafraid to co-mingle political and business endeavors in an unprecedented way—even as he is making appeals for donations. Through the end of May, Trump's campaign had plunged at least $6.2 million back into Trump corporate products and services, a review of Federal Election Commission filings shows. That's about 10 percent of his total campaign expenditures." So he's using campaign contributions as his own personal slush fund, basically. By which I presume exactly zero people are surprised.

[CN: Racism; disablist language; death penalty; sexual assault] Once upon a time, Donald Trump said "that if he were starting off in business at this point in time, he would 'love' to be 'a well-educated black.' He explained, 'I really believe they do have an actual advantage today.'" Oh.

[CN: Misogyny] This is one of the worst Politico articles I've seen this cycle, which is REALLY saying something. It's about how a bunch of dudes who won't go on record don't want Hillary Clinton to choose Elizabeth Warren as her running mate. An actual excerpt: All of the donors and senior Democrats interviewed for this story demanded that their names not be used both because they were not authorized to speak about the Clinton campaign's internal deliberations and because they feared Warren's wrath. 'There is no upside to my talking to you on the record,' one big donor said. 'Either I piss off the Clinton campaign or I piss off Warren, or both.'" WOMEN'S WRATH!!!

[CN: Death; video may autoplay at link] Ughhhhhhhh: "It was 100-plus degrees by 7 a.m. in parts of the Southwest today." Nope. And, naturally, there are dire consequences to a heatwave like this: "The record-setting heat that came in like an inferno on the first day of summer has killed at least five people, strained power demands, and helped fuel massive wildfires in several states." Damn.

This news just makes me ridiculously happy: Rick Astley has another hit album at age 50. And the first single is AMAZING!

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Cool: "A distant, Neptune-size planet 500 light-years from Earth appears to be the youngest fully formed exoplanet ever found crossing its star, raising questions about how it formed so close, so quickly. Researchers first found the planet, which whisks around its star every five days, using the Kepler space telescope currently orbiting the sun alongside Earth. Its star is only 5 million to 10 million years old, suggesting that the planet is a similar age—incredibly young, on a cosmic scale."

[CN: Moving gifs at link] And finally! "Raccoon Family Forms a Chain to Help a Baby Raccoon Get over the Wall." Awwww! Raccoons are so clever!

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