Documents, Documents and Damage Control
The White House clams up about the latest batch of Biden papers, airports are still reeling from first nationwide ground stop since 9/11, and why a post-credits scene was cut from 'Glass Onion'
Thanks for rising up this Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. Today, my son, my firstborn, turns 24, and I could not be more proud of this amazing young man.
In a coincidental twist, he shares a birthday with his eldest cousin, my goddaughter, as well as my godfather, the late, great Mick Ennis, who was also my uncle. They all share a birthday with my former CNN colleague Christiane Amanpour, Howard Stern and Jeff Bezos!
Here Now The News
WHOOPS! LOOKIE WHAT WE FOUND! Aides to President Biden discovered a fresh batch of classified government records at a location that’s different from where the original batch was found. That cache of about 10 documents was located in a locked closet at the Penn Biden Center, a Washington, D.C. think tank, in November. What’s unclear is when or where these additional files turned up, and so far, the White House isn’t talking about the growing political embarrassment for the president. “This is under review by the Department of Justice," said Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. "I'm not going to go beyond what the president shared [Tuesday]." No comment from the DOJ either. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is calling for Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate. — BBC
New Airport Code: FUBAR
‘SAFETY SYSTEM’ IS WHAT BROKE: The Federal Aviation Administration says the widespread disruptions in domestic air travel yesterday has been traced to a damaged database file in the Notice to Air Missions system, or NOTAM, a key computer system designed to make air travel safe. It was the second time in two weeks that airports nationwide suffered a meltdown, and the first time since 9/11 that the government ordered a ground stop on all flights from coast to coast. While the FAA is still trying to pinpoint the exact cause of the issue, first discovered on Tuesday, the White House and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said they do not suspect a cyberattack or foreign interference. Buttigieg said the FAA ordered the ground stop out of an abundance of caution, a decision that led to thousands of flights getting canceled and caused travel chaos all day yesterday. More details in the Washington Post.
Stay Home, Californians (If it Isn’t Flooded, or Destroyed or…)
CATACLYSM CONTINUES: Even more rain is on the way following back-to-back atmospheric rivers that have battered California and killed at least 18. At least 40 state roads and freeways were closed statewide as of last night, said Will Arnold, spokesman for the state’s department of transportation. “We’re asking the public, if you don’t need to be on the roadways, please stay home and avoid any non-essential trips,” Arnold said. California has experienced 50% to 70% of the amount of precipitation the state would usually get in a whole year, in just the last 16 days, according to the National Weather Service. Isolated areas, especially in the mountains near Santa Barbara, have recorded more than 90% of their annual precipitation. - CNN
SURELY THIS MEANS THE DROUGHT IS OVER? NO, AND DON’T CALL ME… The New York Times reports it’s still too soon to say if the current drought is at an end after three long years. But if it does end, experts say the bigger question is, for how long? Not long enough, if history is any guide: Between each historical drought there were only a few years of wet weather — and it was often extremely wet, as is occurring now. “What we’re seeing is what I and others are calling weather whiplash,” said Peter Gleick, co-founder of and senior fellow at the Pacific Institute, a research organization specializing in water issues. “We don’t seem to get average years anymore.”
FLOTUS On the Mend
SUCCESSFUL CANCER SURGERY FOR DR. JILL BIDEN: First lady Jill Biden had three skin lesions removed yesterday, two of which were found to be cancerous. But as NPR reports, the cancerous tissue was removed surgically without any trouble. A week ago, the White House announced that the first lady would be having what's known as Mohs surgery to remove a small lesion above her right eye that had been found during a routine skin cancer examination. Basal cell carcinoma was confirmed in that lesion, said the physician to the president, Dr. Kevin O'Connor. "All cancerous tissue was successfully removed, and the margins were clear of any residual skin cancer cells," he said, noting the first lady will continue to be monitored.
Gas Stove Debate: POTUS Turns Down Flames
BIDEN IS A ‘NO’ ON ANY TALK OF A BAN: The White House pushed back yesterday on accusations by Republicans who say the Biden administration wants to ban gas stoves in U.S. households. “The president does not support banning gas stoves,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. “And the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is independent, is not banning gas stoves. I just want to be very clear on that.” This all stems from comments by Richard Trumka Jr., a member of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, who called the appliances a "hidden hazard" in an interview with Bloomberg News. Also, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.) is proposing a ban on gas-powered heating and appliances in future construction, as a means of responding to climate change.
CHECK THE MAP BEFORE YOU MOVE: Erin Reed of the Erin In the Morning Substack created a map to illustrate and inform the likelihood a state will pass anti-trans legislation in the next 2 years. “If you are moving or looking to move, or make other decisions,” she writes, “please use this map!” See her Substack post for more information about risk assessment by clicking here, and subscribe!
BRITISH JOURNALIST IMPLIES TRANS YOUTH SUICIDE RISK ISN’T REAL: Hadley Freeman describes herself as “Gender Critical,” which is British for TERF (and that in turn is an acronym coined by opponents of transgender women, meaning “trans exclusionary radical feminist”). Pink News reports Hadley shared her disturbing and dangerous perspective about a difficult subject impacting parents and friends of trans youth: “Suicide is a subject I know more about than I’d like,” she wrote. “In the summer, my 21-year-old cousin killed himself, and I’ve lost three friends to suicide. None of them talked about suicide beforehand, ever.”
Freeman claims trans youth use suicide ideation as a threat “if their parents didn’t help them get sex change hormone and surgery” – both of which are unavailable for trans kids in the U.K. “Suicide threats should always be taken seriously, but as a cry for help, not a demand for compliance.” As you can imagine, there’s been huge blowback to counter Freeman’s dismissive claims, including from parents of trans kids and survivors of suicide themselves.
Get the facts about LGBTQ+ risk for suicide from The Trevor Project by clicking here. And if you or someone you know is in crisis, call the new national suicide hotline 988, or the Trans Lifeline at (877) 565-8860.
PRINCE HARRY THE ALLY: I’ve mostly avoided any coverage of Harry’s book, Spare, and all the breathless gossip about how awful the Royals are, but this caught my eye: Harry enjoys a close friendship with out gay singer-songwriter Sir Elton John, but they had a row over Elton’s deal to serialize his autobiography in the dreadful Daily Mail. Another story reported by Pink News is how Harry came to the aid of a gay soldier being bullied by fellow troops. Click here to read all about it.
What You Didn’t See In ‘Glass Onion’ (SPOILER!)
THE END-CREDITS SCENE THAT GOT CUT: Please stop reading NOW if you haven’t seen the film (and you should!) or you just don’t want to know the ending: Director Rian Johnson reveals in a new podcast that he filmed an end-credits scene, but decided not to include it in the movie because it would have, in his opinion, ruined the ending (HERE COMES THE SPOILER):
"We also shot a little coda which we decided not to use, with Blanc on the phone speaking French and getting a little affirmation of 'ah, oui, oui, merci' and cutting to an office in the Louvre where the real Mona Lisa is, with the security guards saying 'well, back to work’, but that pulls a punch, I like that the real painting gets destroyed in the movie.” There’s much more to this story! If you want to read more, click here for the full story at Movieweb.
And don’t say I didn’t warn you about the spoiler!
Thanks for rising up with me! Back tomorrow with more. Until then, may your news be good news!
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