Here is some stuff in the news today...
[Content Note: Wildfire; displacement; video may autoplay at link] Awful: "California's newest huge wildfire advanced on thousands of homes Wednesday, feeding on drought-stricken vegetation and destroying an untold number of structures as it expanded to nearly 47 square miles. CBS Los Angeles reports the fire sweeping San Bernardino County is zero percent contained. Flames from what has been dubbed the Blue Cut Fire climbed the flanks of the San Gabriel Mountains toward the town of Wrightwood, where authorities said that only half of the community's 4,500 residents have complied with evacuation orders. Officials estimated that more than 34,000 homes and some 82,000 people were under evacuation warnings."
[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Goddamn, Mikhail Baryshnikov's endorsement of Hillary Clinton is incredibly powerful.
[CN: White nationalism] More on Trump mainstreaming white nationalism: "In a major foreign policy speech on Monday, which offered few details and many inaccuracies, GOP nominee Donald Trump attacked his Democratic opponent's stance on immigration and refugees by comparing her to the chancellor of Germany. 'Hillary Clinton wants to be America's Angela Merkel,' he said. ...The line of attack 'baffled' political analysts, who wondered why Trump would possibly think referencing a largely-unknown European leader Merkel would help him win votes in the United States. ...But there is at least one group of Americans well familiar with Merkel, her immigration policies, and her connections to Hillary Clinton: white supremacists. To white nationalist communities that fervently support Trump, Merkel has been a popular villain."
Unreal: "The big health care news this week came from Aetna, which announced on Monday it was dramatically scaling back participation in the Affordable Care Act―thereby reducing insurer competition and forcing customers scattered across 11 states to find different sources of coverage next year. Aetna officials said the pullout was necessary because of Obamacare's problems―specifically, deep losses the insurer was incurring in the law's health insurance exchanges." BUT! "Last month, in a letter to the Department of Justice, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini...made a clear threat: If President Barack Obama's administration refused to allow [Aetna's potentially lucrative merger with Humana] to proceed, he wrote, Aetna would be in worse financial position and would have to withdraw from most of its Obamacare markets, and quite likely all of them."
[CN: Racism] Whut. "Donald Trump offered a blunt explanation for why he wants retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn at his side as he gets his first classified briefing at FBI headquarters on Wednesday—he doesn't trust intelligence information coming from those currently in charge. 'I think he's a great guy. I've gotten to know him. He's been a real fan of mine and defender of mine and he's a terrific guy, a terrific general—tough, smart. Feels like I do about illegal immigration, in particular,' Trump told Fox News' Ainsley Earhardt in Milwaukee on Tuesday night. 'He wants to make sure the right people are coming into our country, not the people that we're probably taking in right now. We don't even know who we're taking in. I mean, we have people coming into our country, we have no idea who they are, where they come from and he's somebody that I believe in.'" That literally doesn't make any fucking sense at all. It has nothing to do with why he wants Flynn "at his side" for an intelligence briefing.
[CN: Carcerality; abuse; misogyny; racism] "Women held in local jails represent the fastest growing population of incarcerated people in the US, according to a new study. The researchers found that trauma, sexual violence, and mental health issues were all closely wrapped up with the swelling numbers. 'While we started to see a decline in the incarceration and jailing of men, we haven't seen a comparable kind of trend for women,' said Laurie Garduque, director of Justice Reform for the MacArthur Foundation, which co-published the report with the Vera Institute. Since 1970, the number of women in US jails has increased by 14 times, far outstripping the growth in the male prison population, even though in raw numbers there remain many more men locked up."
At Colorlines: "Does Team USA's Olympic dominance surprise anybody anymore? Do the pivotal contributions and wins for athletes of color shock anyone? No? Then let's jump into the latest edition of Rio 2016's #POCMedalWatch." Woot!
And finally: OLYMPIC SQUIRRELS! LOL.