Sometimes writers mourn the loss of “ the web we lost .” They get sad about blogs. They remember a time before Facebook. They sigh and sip their pour-over. I believe in the motivating power of nostalgia. It can often move people to conserve ideas and objects that are of value. But I believe, too, in appreciating what we have now. It’s summer and fat cumulus clouds skim the sky and green leaves hang lazy on the maples. And so: I am thankful for Instagram. A few years ago, a friend of mine called Instagram “the best social network” without any irony. “It’s just the best, Rob,” he said. “The best.” I was perplexed. Instagram was fine—some friends were there, sure, and I guess I liked looking at pictures of food and mountains—but it didn’t actually teach me anything. It wasn’t full of immediate, thoughtful, or lovely writing. It wasn’t even full of particularly lovely pictures. And Instagram broke nearly every rule of the beloved web. It disables hyperlinks, except for the … [Read more...] about Instagram Is the Best Social Network
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What would Schoolhouse Rock! have to say about the reconciliation process? The old animated educational short was a useful introduction to “regular order” in Congress. Add a little additional knowledge on committees, filibusters, hearings, and lobbying, and you’d have a working basic understanding on how laws are passed in the United States. That’s regular order. What’s happening on the Senate floor now is nothing close to that. As Senate Republicans try to push through a law replacing or repealing Obamacare, they are relying on a byzantine set of procedures and tactics that are often indecipherable for the senators themselves. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s strategy to avoid a sure Democratic filibuster involves the reconciliation process, which itself necessitates tricky things like Congressional Budget Office scores, parliamentarian rulings , and the Byrd rule. Despite Arizona Senator John McCain’s rousing speech Tuesday urging a “return to regular order,” two procedural … [Read more...] about How Does the Senate’s Obamacare Repeal Process Work?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that it will reauthorize the use of sodium cyanide in wildlife-killing devices known as M-44s, or "cyanide bombs." The devices are designed to kill certain animals for predator control purposes. They use a smelly bait to lure in wildlife before releasing deadly sodium cyanide into the mouth of any animal that takes a bite. But critics say that the traps "inhumanely and indiscriminately" kill thousands of animals every year, posing a danger to endangered species, domestic pets and even humans. In a statement published on Thursday , the EPA announced a "revised interim decision on sodium cyanide that includes new requirements to ensure continued safe use of the device." But campaigners have described these restrictions as "minor" and limited. "This appalling decision leaves cyanide traps lurking in the wild to threaten people, pets and imperiled animals," Collette Adkins, carnivore conservation director at the Center for … [Read more...] about EPA reauthorizes use of “dangerous” “cyanide bombs” that kill thousands of animals every year
President Trump on Tuesday called the impeachment inquiry into him a “lynching,” using a term associated with the murders of black people to describe a process enshrined in the Constitution. In an early morning tweet, he added that the impeachment inquiry is “without due process or fairness or any legal rights,” and he encouraged Republicans to remember this in the future. The term lynching invokes the decades-long racist history of white mob murders of black people beginning in the late 1800s and through the late 1960s. It was a remarkable term for the president to use to describe a legal process laid out in the Constitution. Mr. Trump’s Twitter outburst comes as pressure builds with the stream of testimony from current and former administration officials about his efforts to use the power of the White House for personal gain. The president regularly uses his Twitter feed to make hyperbolic declarations, but he has not used the term “lynching” in a tweet since … [Read more...] about Trump Calls Impeachment Inquiry a ‘Lynching’
America’s tidal wave of Omicron infections seems to have crested, but it’s still in a bad place. Even as coronavirus cases are beginning to tick down nationwide, so many Americans have tested positive for COVID since Christmas Day that they account for a quarter of all cases recorded in the United States. Thanks to the immunity America has—through shots and prior infections—most of these people came out of it largely unscathed. And they got an immunity bump too: We’ve long known that an infection with COVID spurs the body to churn out more antibodies. While public-health officials are still urging all Americans to be cautious with so much of the virus around, guidance for people who have already recovered from COVID this winter is sorely lacking. That has left Omicron survivors to deal with a confusing question: What now? I reached out to a handful of epidemiologists, and they all agreed that getting Omicron isn’t a golden ticket to normalcy. However, the immune boost from an … [Read more...] about You Recovered From Omicron. Now What?