The most important news of last week was, of course, that The Good Place writer, and Twitter master, Megan Amram got one step closer to her dream of winning an Emmy. It was that or the massive protests against President Donald Trump when he arrived in the UK, complete with the massive Trump Baby balloon which will surely go so viral that everyone will be sick of it within a week. What else would we talk about? England losing its World Cup semi-final? Twitter's bot purge? That would be ludicrous. Instead, come with me now, dear reader. It's time to explore what the blinkin' heck everyone's been yapping their digital gums about over the past seven days.
The New Supreme (Court Nominee): Revealed
What Happened: As promised, the next nominee for the US Supreme Court was named live on television, and the internet got into its feelings about the choice.
What Really Happened: Longtime readers may or may not recall that, as last week started, the US was anxiously awaiting the announcement of President Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court. Because it’s this particular president, it was announced that he'd reveal the name live on television on Monday evening in prime time. But, as with all great TV reveals, this one was spoiled online ahead of time.
If that rattled President Trump, he didn’t let it show when it came to the actual announcement, which seemed to go as planned.
So, yes! The selection was Brett Kavanaugh, launching a plethora of explainers about who he is. Given that conservatives were pushing against his selection, some were wondering why the president selected Kavanaugh in the end.
Well, OK, sure, but maybe it wasn’t really about th—
If this is the kind of thing that comes out in the first week after Kavanaugh was named, we can only imagine what kinds of things are lying in wait.
The Takeaway: It’s going to be a very long confirmation process, isn’t it?
Meanwhile, Over at the NATO Summit…
What Happened: To the surprise of a dwindling few, President Trump’s latest appearance at an international summit was a rocky ride. And that's not even getting into the apparently lousy NATO breakfasts!
What Really Happened: After nominating his Supreme Court pick, Trump hightailed it out of the country. It wasn't because he was running away from the whole thing, but because there was a NATO meeting to harass. Wait. Sorry, attend. As he headed out, Trump did his best to downplay the impression that he wasn’t into the Western alliance, and preferred Russia.
This comment seems all the worse considering that Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russians for hacking the DNC and also a state's election records on Friday, but it's not as if the president knew that in advance, aside from the fact that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein made a point of telling everyone that he told him. But let's put that aside for now. For those wondering if things got better when Trump arrived at the NATO meeting, well…
So, yes, the president went after Germany for being "controlled" by Russia, but some were distracted, having noticed that the current White House Chief of Staff didn’t look too happy with what was going on.
But the White House had the, uh… "true" story of what was behind that reaction, apparently.
After all that, the only way was up, and the rest of the summit went perfectly. Or, at least, that’s what the president said as he was leaving.
To the surprise of many, the President didn’t actually have his facts straight…
Even beyond the failure of basic math, the reality might be something different, especially if you consider the emergency session he provoked. Oh, and the fact that the extra defense spending Trump was boasting about might be fictional.
Still, at least the president and the White House are happy.
Let’s not talk about reports that the Pentagon is in "damage control" mode and that Trump’s private behavior was at odds with his public anger, cool?
The Takeaway: Back in the US, some Republican politicians were watching what was happening and getting so close to an epiphany about the whole thing…
Come Out of the Darkness, Baby
What Happened: In a rare moment of good news, the 13 people trapped in a cave in Thailand saw the light of day last week, literally. And all without a submarine!
What Really Happened: Let's stay outside of the US for a little bit and consider some good news for a change. In Thailand, 12 kids and their soccer coach who were trapped in a cave were discovered last week after being missing for nine days. Rescue attempts had been delayed because of the health of the kids, but finally got underway at the start of the week. Indeed, the initial success of the rescue surprised some:
As an amazing Twitter thread explained, the rescue was not going to be easy, no matter what. Here are some highlights from the thread, but you should check out the whole thing.
The next day, footage of the rescued kids was released as they waved to their parents.
While all this was going on, Elon Musk was getting in on the action with an idea for a mini-submarine.
Although the sub was deemed "not practical" for the job at hand, apparently it may yet be used. But what might be the most interesting, and unlikely, takeaway from this is that Elon Musk apparently can't resist a dare.
Wait. Could this somehow end up being a story with two happy endings? Stay tuned.
The Takeaway: Meanwhile, in the US, authorities failed to meet the court-mandated deadline to reunite migrant children under 5 separated from their families at the border with their parents. So, not every kid gets a happy ending.
The Rematch You Didn’t Know You Wanted
What Happened: It was a second round of FBI agent Peter Strzok vs. the House of Representatives last week, and unlike the first, this one was public. It got ugly, humiliating and… well, good viewing, it can’t be denied.
What Really Happened: FBI agent Peter Strzok was back in front of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committee on Thursday, in theory to talk about his actions in both the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails, and potential Russian intervention in the 2016 election. In reality, it was … well, a lot more personal.
Before the hearing started, America's journalists were all over the most important issue at hand:
But never mind pronunciation concerns, because the hearing was filled with fireworks to distract from any concerns about how to say someone's name.
Of course, the media was all over what was unfolding in front of everyone, and even though the general consensus—aside from those who paid attention to Fox News, although even there some weren’t into it—was that it was an embarrassing moment for the Republicans, and a long and exhausting time was had by all. Still, at least everyone was glad that it was happening, right?
The Takeaway: Let’s look to Mother Jones journalist David Corn, named in the hearings as a potential source for the infamous Russia dossier, for the Galaxy Brain view of what happened on Thursday, shall we?
Doing That Thing You Do
What Happened: Not everyone fully understands how journalism works, but most of them aren’t politicians at the center of a scandal who go on Twitter to boast about that fact.
What Really Happened: Jim Jordan, Republican congressman for Ohio's 4th district, has not been having a good week. He’s been named by multiple parties as someone who knew about sexual abuse at Ohio State University when he was assistant wrestling coach there in the late 1980s and early ‘90s, and has repeatedly denied it even as additional allegations surface.
Jordan went on to claim that CNN's reporting on the story was an attempt to drum up fake news, which, um, doesn't quite compute?
It was a tweet that quickly went viral, for obvious reasons.
The Takeaway: To make matters worse, someone popped up to remind Jordan that he has appeared on CNN multiple times in the past.
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