Opinion: The Neil Young/Joe Rogan divide
The battle lines over truth and falsehood aren’t just cutting across the political sphere, they are dividing people in media, music and sports.
At a rally against vaccine mandates in Washington, DC, last Sunday, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. “claimed that the Biden administration’s policies on vaccines were worse than the Nazis’ persecution of the Jews, saying, ‘Even in Hitler Germany (sic), you could, you could cross the Alps into Switzerland. You could hide in an attic, like Anne Frank did,'” wrote Peter Bergen.
When quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ Green Bay Packers lost in the NFL playoffs last weekend, the discussion wasn’t only about what happened on the field. “Rodgers’ road from being one of the best-liked and most respected players in the league to being a target of derision shows how prevalent and polarizing Covid-19 misinformation has become,” wrote Dean Obeidallah.
For more on Covid-19:
How Trump changed the Supreme Court equation
Eight days after Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in September 2020, then-President Donald Trump walked into the White House’s Rose Garden and introduced Amy Coney Barrett as his choice to fill the seat.
Trump had promised to nominate conservatives to the Supreme Court and had already put Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh on the bench. The Republican-controlled Senate moved quickly to confirm Barrett just days before the 2020 election.
The impending vacancy created by Justice Stephen Breyer’s announcement Thursday that he’ll retire this summer is very different. Biden is taking more time to choose a judge with lifetime tenure, saying he will make his pick by the end of February. And more importantly, Breyer’s replacement won’t change the ideological balance of the court — unlike Barrett, who took the place of a liberal. Her confirmation gave conservatives a 6-3 advantage on the bench, raising the question of whether precedents like the one established by Roe v. Wade would be upheld.
If Biden is unable to attract Republican votes for his nominee, he’ll have to rely on the two Democrats who have defied him in recent months, Julian Zelizer noted.
“With the midterms approaching, Senate Republicans are likely to oppose the nomination — whoever it is — and use it to rally the base. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his troops could warn that Biden’s pick will threaten constitutional rights…”
Worry in Kyiv
For much of the world, the massing of Russian troops on Ukraine’s border prompts an uneasy guessing game: what will President Vladimir Putin do — and when? But for Ukrainians it is much more personal.
Writing from Kyiv, Olesia Markovic said, “Many citizens choose to follow commonsense survival rules: stocking up on food and setting up meeting points with their loved ones in case communication is down…The key facility designed to be a mass shelter in case of air strikes is the underground infrastructure of the Kyiv subway. Yet, its capacity is limited to ‘hosting’ about 200,000 people, which is not enough for Kyiv’s population of at least 3 million.”
Mark Twain described October as “one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February.” This January, the markets seem gripped with anxiety about the Federal Reserve Bank’s impending move to raise interest rates in an attempt to tame the worst inflation in nearly 40 years. But not all the economic news is dire — unemployment is low and the US economy grew 5.7% last year, the largest annual increase since 1984.
And just like that…
Rebecca Bodenheimer said she it could see it coming “from a mile away.”
“On last week’s episode of ‘And Just Like That,’ the HBO Max reboot of ‘Sex and the City,’ Miranda Hobbes (played by Cynthia Nixon) blew up her marriage.”
“Nixon’s performance was stunning in this scene, the most well-written, honest moment of the whole reboot for me. With her voice catching, Miranda confesses to feeling trapped in her marriage to Steve (David Eigenberg), telling Carrie, ‘I don’t want to be this person anymore, I want to be something more. This isn’t enough.'” (Like CNN, HBO Max is owned by WarnerMedia.)
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