The Dog Days

Money is hushed, TikTok doesn't stop, and Greene is gridlocked. It's all in this week's news.

The Dog Days
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Hey Friends,

This week, my very smart daughter reminded me that I am old and sound like it. Based on recent issues, she asked, "What did college kids do to hurt you?"

I followed up with this:

When Nancy Pelosi announced she would retire I used the headline “hanging up the dentures” and I got angry comments from my elders. When congress was trying to elect a speaker from a list of all bad choices I used the headline “Bluetooth for speaker” and I got angry comments from audio equipment companies. Every issue offends someone. My job is to write what needs to be written, and to offer a word to the wise even at the risk of cracking it.

I accept all thoughtful feedback. Her opinion (and her blog) is always high on the list, especially when we have a different view. I welcome yours as well, here in the comments or in my inbox.

Now, Today's Episode.

Today's issue has evolved into a couple of mini-articles rather than the standard format.

Welcome to The Lorem Ipsum. Watch out for K9 killer Kristi Noem because we are now entering the dog days of summer.

I'll get to that in a minute...

Let's get to The News.

Hot Takes

Week 19 of 2024

The Eye of the Stormy

Trump continues to fart on the regular while his hush money trial plays out, but a request to hush his bum has evidently been overruled. But that's not the only weather pattern happening in the courtroom this week. The central figure, Stormy Daniels, took the stand to talk about the birds and the bees with a twist. In question is whether Donald Trump covered up an affair with Stormy to keep the story from clouding his 2016 campaign for president.

At the beginning of the week, the jury was presented with images of Trump's most private parts – the actual checks paid to Michael Cohen to pay off Stormy. That was followed up with two days of Stormy's graphic testimony about their sexual encounter and their arrangement to cover it up. Next week, we’ll hear from Cohen, the fixer whom Trump might say didn't Fix anything. (more)

Graduating In Gaza

No less than one of my kids graduated from university last weekend with no less than two degrees while surrounded by at least one protest that sought to disrupt Indiana University's regularly scheduled programming. Don't worry, the protests, which seemed mostly calm, did not disrupt. Congrats to smart daughter number two!

Since the topic of Israel v Gaza has stayed like a fever in the US, rife with bad takes and faulty data, I've decided to give myself a little bit more space to examine the issue while linking to a very detailed conversation with better data than most of us TikTok war cabinet members have.

When it comes to campus protests, the debate that I've been most keenly tuned into is whether they will sufficiently pressure universities to change their war policies.

It's unclear to me what the criteria for divestment are or if it's even possible. A statement from Columbia students demands divestment in companies that "profit from Israeli apartheid" and includes companies like Airbnb, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon. To be clear, that means ultimately every mutual fund that exists. It's unclear to me if an investment in, for example, a civilian Israel-based medical device manufacturer would be an investment in war or just medical supplies, but in either case, Palestine is a big recipient of such exports from Israel, for example.

Where are these protests going, you ask? Back home to their parents after school is out. I suspect the news will die off in a matter of a week for this particular chapter.

On the other hand, the war in the Middle East will continue for somewhere between a few more weeks and another two thousand years, depending on more details TBD.

This week, Israel advanced on the southern city of Rafah, where it believes it can destroy the last of its military targets in Gaza. In response to the military advance in what is believed to be a densely populated area, Biden said that the US will withhold weapons. The damage in Gaza has been vast, and the level of civilian deaths is unacceptable.

According to copious documentation, including videos provided directly by Hamas militants themselves, Israel was not pestered by the lowly oppressed. They were subject to a sophisticated invasion, with over 22 points of their border breached by thousands of soldiers. They began indiscriminately raping and killing civilians while taking a few remaining alive as hostages.

What now? What is a country supposed to do when it is invaded? Join a book club? Divest from their businesses? Should they, perhaps, do nothing and allow the world to be a safer place with Hamas planning their next attack?

The answer is actually very easy. It’s to do what literally every other country would do under all circumstances when invaded. Respond at a level that ensures it never happens again.

The logistical options are limited, according to the experts, but Israel's actions are being evaluated through the lens of TikTok and bad data.

When the opposition chooses urban warfare by intentionally positioning their military capabilities in the most densely populated areas, refusing civilians entry to their underground facilities, even to protect them from their own bombs, it's naive to blame this war on anyone else. Israel is, unsurprisingly, not innocent of atrocities in this war, but war is hell, and their enemy would rather have that than a ceasefire.

There's no such thing as a just war. The only good result of war is its ending. And that is only possible when one side is defeated. (more)


  • TikTok, You Don't Stop. The media giant has sued the federal government for putting them on blast, sending them a message, and leaving them on read. (more)
  • Forever Hold Your Peace. Marjorie Taylor Greene forced a vote as promised in an attempt to remove Mike Johnson as Speaker of the House. Almost everyone, including Democrats, voted to save him. (more)
  • Hate The Drake. Drake's security guard was shot this week in front of the rapper's home for a yet unknown motive. (more)
  • Old Hat. Senator Bernie Sanders is 82 years old and running for another term in office. I plan to be splitting my time between golfing, eating soft foods, and sleeping by that time in my life. (more)

That's it for the news. Now, here's this week's Feature.

(Dead) Dog Days

Feature Story

Before this week, no one had paid much attention to the Governor of South Dakota, Kristi Noem, unless they needed a case study for a plastic surgeon. The lip flip was one of her most outstanding features, both in physicality and notability, until she released her memoir this week. The book has faced a critical roast from her worst enemies, her closest friend, and most of all from man's best friend. She recalls the story of when she shot her dog in a gravel pit, which might have gained her points with gun advocates if many of them didn't have pets, too. Instead, she's faced criticism for discussing meetings that didn't happen, disputes she didn't have, and the enemies her book has created in her own party.

The story of Noem is everywhere, and I won't say much to belabor it. Noem, overrun with collagen, is more fake than most. Her memoir is all the more fake. In the book, she mentions a meeting with Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which she has since admitted never happened; however, to make matters faker, her spokesperson indicated the errors would be corrected, specifically saying that they would be informing their "ghostwriter" and editor to fix it, leaving her team to take the fall while the next printing of her book receives a facelift.

Unfortunately, not only was Kristi too busy climbing the political ladder to write her own book, but she also couldn't even find the time to read it. Now, she is faced with a big splash release that is punctuated by more criticism than praise. Yet, more than likely, it will result in something other than the downfall of her political career. I expect no press has been bad press, and the next thing you know, we might just find out we have one more liar in office to tell us what we want to hear instead of telling us the truth.

That's it for this week.

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Have a great weekend!

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