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August 27, 8:50 a.m.
Here, there’s only a light rain and wind outside. But the local Fox channel is reporting that Tropical Storm Isaac is picking up power and headed for New Orleans, on the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. This will, of course, provide an amazing opportunity for President Obama. Will it be that—even as G.O.P. keynote speaker and Official Blowhard Christopher Christie denounces him for not understanding America, or not liking white people enough, or some such sin—the networks and the cable news will be breaking away to shots of the president, in his shirtsleeves, sternly rallying FEMA workers as they throw up sandbag barricades, comfort the victims, and provide lifesaving sustenance and shelter? Could we safely conclude from this that God hates Republicans???
More from Kevin Baker:
Appreciation — June 26, 2014, 8:00 am
From Johnny Cash to “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”
Freddie Gray’s relatives arrived for the trial in the afternoon, after the prep-school kids had left. By their dress, they seemed to have just gotten off work in the medical and clerical fields. The family did not appear at ease in the courtroom. They winced and dropped their heads as William Porter and his fellow officer Zachary Novak testified to opening the doors of their police van last April and finding Freddie paralyzed, unresponsive, with mucus pooling at his mouth and nose. Four women and one man mournfully listened as the officers described needing to get gloves before they could touch him.
The first of six Baltimore police officers to be brought before the court for their treatment of Freddie Gray, a black twenty-five-year-old whose death in their custody was the immediate cause of the city’s uprising last spring, William Porter is young, black, and on trial. Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing.
Average speed of Heinz ketchup, from the mouth of an upended bottle, in miles per year:
After studying the fall of 64,000 individual raindrops, scientists found that some small raindrops fall faster than they ought to.
The Playboy mansion in California was bought by the heir to the Twinkie fortune, and a New Mexico man set fire to his apartment to protest his neighbors’ loud lovemaking.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”