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Get those reading lists out and prepare to add some feminist, lesbian, queer sci-fi:
Trump Campaign Manager and convicted felon Paul Manafort will plead guilty to avoid a second trial and has agreed to cooperate with federal investigators (CNBC). In an unusually lengthy superseding criminal information document (PDF), the Special Counsel's office charges him on two counts: conspiracy against the United States from 2006 to 2017, with Rick Gates and GRU operative Konstantin Kilimnik (FARA conspiracy), and conspiracy to obstruct justice (witness tampering). In a 17-page cooperation agreement, Manafort promises to give interviews and briefings to the Special Counsel, turn over documents, and testify in other proceedings—and he has waived right to have lawyers representing him present at any interviews. In exchange, the agreement calls for a 10-year cap on Manafort's prison sentence and for concurrent time served for his separate Virginia and Washington cases (Politico). Manafort will also give up $46 million in criminal and civil forfeitures, making his plea deal effectively pardon proof. From the courthouse, CNN reports: “He's not smiling at all. He's glum and quietly responding, 'yes, your honor'” [more inside]
Though McCain's farewell statement asked his fellow Americans to "give each other the benefit of the presumption that we all love our country", Trump rejected initial plans for a White House statement praising his rival (Washington Post). Earlier today, ABC's Karen Travers (@karentravers) noted, "Flags at the White House were lowered to half staff this weekend for the passing of John McCain but this morning they are back to full staff.", while CBS's Mark Knoller (@markknoller) reported that Trump "[w]as asked to reflect on the legacy of Sen. McCain, but declined. Sat silent and cross-armed as press pool herded out of the Oval Office." But late this afternoon, the White House issued a statement that Trump "signed a proclamation to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff until the day of [McCain's] interment". However, CNBC's Eamon Javers (@EamonJavers) observed that although "the White House flag is now at half staff, [the f]lag atop the White House’s Executive Office Building is still fully raised now[….]" Trump will not attend McCain's funeral, as per the late senator's request (NY Daily News). [more inside]
Culinary innovator and podcast host Georgia Hardstark asked the Internet "What’s a weird thing your family did that you thought was normal till you moved out?"
The Supreme Court confirmation hearing continues Wednesday with the questioning of nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Despite low popularity, views out of step with the majority of the country, tens of thousands of pages of documents produced at the last minute, and over 100,000 pages of documents withheld from the Senate (with all the documents reviewed not by the National Archives, but by a lawyer who represents the Bush Library, White House Counsel Don McGahn, Reince Priebus, and Steve Bannon), his confirmation appears to be on cruise control. The Times examines How Brett Kavanaugh Would Transform the Supreme Court. SCOTUSBlog offers a liveblog of the hearings and a 16-part series on Kavanaugh's record. Wednesday's questioning can be streamed live on C-SPAN starting at 9:30 ET. [more inside]
Brett Kavanaugh, nominee to the Supreme Court, faces more and more allegations of sexual assault. Michael Avenatti has entered the fray. Something's up with Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein. A UN General Assembly Meeting is this week, and Trump is set to chair a Security Council meeting. And among other things, the Trump administration seeks another tightening of immigration rules. [more inside]
5 Minutes that will Make you Love Classical Music. "I posed a deceptively simple question to our writers and editors, as well as some artists we admire: What are the five minutes or so — longer than a moment, shorter than a symphony — that you’d play for a friend to convince them to fall in love with classical music?" - Zachary Woolfe, NYT classical music editor. [more inside]
A 17 year old solo student pilot loses part of her landing gear at takeoff. ATC audio/radar SLYT. Some days you're the geese. Some days, though, you're Sully.
In a new longform piece, Laurie Penny explains why debate is not going to save us from fascism, that arguments defending bad faith debate are disingenuous, and why she won't debate those operating in bad faith. (SLLongreads) [more inside]
Gary Shteyngart's View From Hedge Fund Land - "I grew up in a socialist country—not Danish-style socialist, but idiot-style socialist in the Soviet Union. That doesn't work. Venezuela doesn't work, either. There has to be a compromise. But it has to be capitalism with humane characteristics. And it works! Certain components of it are always there; there're always strong unions, for example. There's always a strong social sector, in terms of free education and free health care. These are not poor societies. I know the right-wing media is going bananas with it and trying to smear all of these things, but those things all work. I'm not a socialist; I think making money is fine, and there are certain incentives. But people have to recognize that, beyond a certain amount, there will be no more pleasure derived from that money, other than keeping a scorecard, the same way you keep a scorecard in a sport. But life isn't a sport; there are people whose lives are impacted by your game-playing." [more inside]
Not Another Women in Rock Article: A new generation of rising young women rock stars—including Mitski, Soccer Mommy, Snail Mail, Waxahatchee and Camp Cope—has emerged. And they’re redefining what it means to own the room. "Female" is not a musical genre, it's a strength. Lindsay Zoladz, writing for The Ringer, finds inspiration in a quote from Mitski: "When I say [that my album is a] feminine album, immediately the perception is that it must be soft and lovely, but I mean feminine in the violent sense." [more inside]
10 Brilliant Retellings of Classical Myths by Female Writers [Literary Hub] “There’s something about our oldest stories that never gets old. Rereading classical mythology is for me an exercise in surprise and recognition mixed together. There are things I’ve always missed in a myth, the previous time around, that strike me as utterly vital to understanding its meaning. I believe that myths hit us somewhere below the brain, at some irrational, dreamlike level that somehow feels truer than ordinary stories. When I read Ovid’s myth of Apollo pursuing Daphne, “one made swift by hope and one by fear,” and the nymph metamorphoses into a laurel tree to escape the amorous god forever, it disturbs and thrills me in ways I find hard to explain.* [...] The books in this list are the smartest, most beautifully wrought adaptations of classical myths I’ve ever encountered—and they all just happen to be by female writers.” [more inside]
"I know that sounds absurd, like PC culture gone amuck. Men are, on average — and I don’t mean to disparage the capability of individual men here — less competent on the battlefield. Their higher center of gravity makes them less stable. Their voices are too guttural and low to carry well across the din of battle. Testosterone makes them prone to irrational behavior and leaves them poor candidates not just for leadership roles but even subordinate roles. Their larger body mass makes them easier targets for missile weapons and less capable of the sorts of guerrilla tactics that vikings favored on their raids. To say nothing of how men are socialized to constantly bicker with other men."- Some Viking Warriors Were Probably Men
Science Twitter presents the DnD-style alignment chart we never knew we needed: the nine types of 'Reply Guys.' [more inside]
Soo, this made me tear up on the way to work this morning, so y'all get to do so as well: a short comic about going back in time to talk to your younger self by Samantha Richardson, found via.
Professor of Social Geography, Alastair Bonnett, presents a stunning testament to how mysterious our planet still is. From forgotten enclaves to floating islands, from hidden villages to New York gutter spaces, ‘Off the Map’ charts the hidden corners of our planet. [more inside]
"No major American crime requires as much travelling as that of stealing rare books from libraries." Rare book-theft expert and author Travis McDade "can name dozens of famous and lesser-known book thieves but here are his top five." [more inside]
It costs about a dollar. A day after Heather Heyer was killed during the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville last year, the event's neo-Nazi organizer, Jason Kessler, held a stomach-turning press conference where he blamed her death on the cops. But as you might remember, Kessler was forced to cut his own press conference short after a protester bum-rushed the white supremacist and punched him in the head. On Tuesday, a jury decided that his punishment for punching a neo-Nazi would only amount to a paltry $1 fine, local NBC affiliate WVIR reports.
Last year, Vice's Motherboard debuted a podcast with science reporter Kaleigh Rogers devoted to talking to the scientists about mysteries they've solved, from the "Sailing Stones" of Death Valley to Antarctica’s Blood Falls. Links to the episodes, their source articles and bonus links below the break. [more inside]