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Petri Dishes with Alexandra Petri (Oct. 27)
Humor columnist Alexandra Petri takes your questions on the news and political in(s)anity of the day.
1m
washingtonpost.com
Battleground states take center stage and final presidential debate wrap-States of America
Which candidate is more empathetic to the unemployed during this pandemic? A polling deep dive into battleground states. Also, final debate analysis.        
usatoday.com
A 19-year-old with a van full of guns and explosives plotted to assassinate Biden, feds say
According to federal officials, Alexander Hillel Treisman ended up at a Wendy’s within four miles of Biden’s home in Delaware and penned a checklist that ended with one word: “execute.”
washingtonpost.com
Jo Jorgensen's Big Idea: A truly market-based system of health care, like Lasik surgery
The Big Idea is a series that asks top lawmakers and figures to discuss their moonshot — what’s the one proposal, if politics and polls and even price tag were not an issue, they’d implement to change the country for the better?   Jo Jorgensen, the Libertarian Party's 2020 presidential nominee, discusses a market-based health care vision.
foxnews.com
GOP Arkansas Senate Candidate Was Dismissed From High School Over KKK Costume
Charles Edward Beckham III, who is running in Arkansas' District 12, made students suffer "emotional harm" after they saw him in the outfit in 2000.
newsweek.com
Malarkey! These are the words Americans looked up during the debate
Though a lot happened during Thursday evening's presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, data from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Dictionary.com have shown us what actually stuck.
edition.cnn.com
Trump's Harsh New Sanctions on COVID-Stricken Iran Leaves Diplomatic Wreckage for Next President
After years of 'maximum pressure', the political narrative in Iran is beginning to favor local hardliners, forecasted to win the presidency in June. Trump may have pre-emptively torpedoed American diplomacy for the next Administration.
newsweek.com
5 things to know for October 23: Debate, election, coronavirus, immigration, Poland
Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.
edition.cnn.com
U.S. Nears Record, With More Than 75,000 Virus Cases
The tally is the second-highest daily total since the pandemic began, as eight states set single-day case records. Here’s the latest.
nytimes.com
Virginia Tech is the best rushing team in the Power Five after four games
The Hokies are second nationally and first among Power Five schools in rushing entering Saturday's game against Wake Forest.
washingtonpost.com
Editorial: Five years after the Aliso Canyon methane leak, California is still too reliant on fossil fuels
The Aliso Canyon leak was an environmental disaster. It forced local and state officials to reckon with the risks and consequences of relying on fossil fuels.
latimes.com
Pope Francis says he supports gay civil unions. For many, it's 'exhilarating' but changes little.
Pope Francis inspired many in his support for same-sex unions. But it changes nothing as gay marriage is still not recognized in the Catholic church.       
usatoday.com
Letters to the Editor: Your humor is edgy? Here's how to tell if it might also be racist
Readers respond to an op-ed article on internalizing racist stereotypes from schoolyard jokes.
latimes.com
Letters to the Editor: If Disneyland wants to reopen, make it pay for COVID-19 patients' healthcare
Large theme parks like Disneyland evidently value their own profits over the public's health. Gov. Newsom is right to keep them closed.
latimes.com
Why voters in Joe Biden's home state don't have to wear masks at the polls
Mask-less voters can go into the polls on Nov. 3 because mandating masks would deny Delawareans their right to vote, according to elections officials.        
usatoday.com
Halloween was her late son’s favorite holiday. She was too tired to decorate this year, so neighbors stepped in.
"I had people showing up on my front porch telling me, ‘Absolutely not — you have to decorate this year, and we’re going to help you,’ ” said Crystal Conover, whose 13-year-old son was hit by a car on Halloween 2011.
washingtonpost.com
Op-Ed: Barrett's confirmation would seal a Catholic court supermajority. It's all about timing
Polarized Christians and the end of Protestant hegemony have ushered Catholics onto the Supreme Court.
latimes.com
A powerful argument for wearing a mask, in visual form
Real-time pandemic data paints a vivid picture of the relationship between mask-wearing and the prevalence of covid-19 symptoms.
washingtonpost.com
Letters to the Editor: Liberals should panic about another Trump win. It'll get them to vote
The thought of giving Trump another four years rightly nauseates Americans, who are turning their anxiety into a resolve to oust the president.
latimes.com
Letters to the Editor: Protesters showed up at David Lacey's home. He had a gun. Can you blame him?
Readers say David Lacey's action against the predawn Black Lives Matter protest at his home on March 2 was understandable, if regrettable.
latimes.com
African citizens expect more from their lives — and their governments, Afrobarometer surveys find
Follow our new Friday series for insights on African views on democracy, the economy, social media and other topics.
washingtonpost.com
Being Black lowers the value of my home: The legacy of redlining
Homeownership, which is so central to the American Dream, has been and far too often still is an unequal experience for Black families, in large part because of discriminatory policies endorsed by the federal government.
washingtonpost.com
‘Bad Hair’ and 9 other scary movies where Black characters actually survive until the end
The horror movie genre has historically undervalued its black characters. In films such as "Get Out" and "Night of the Living Dead," they shine.
washingtonpost.com
Advice for Trump and Biden to Close Out the Race | Opinion
The important thing for each candidate is how he closes the race, as it is likely to make the difference between victory and defeat.
newsweek.com
Bruce Springsteen and the Art of Aging Well
I recently saw a photo of Lyndon B. Johnson in the first year of his presidency. He looked like a classic old guy—wrinkled, mature, in the late season of life. It was a shock to learn that he was only 55 at the time, roughly the same age as Chris Rock is now. He left the presidency, broken, and beaten, at 60, the same age as, say, Colin Firth is now.Something has happened to aging. Whether because of better diet or health care or something else, a 73-year-old in 2020 looks like a 53-year-old in 1935. The speaker of the House is 80 and going strong. The presidential candidates are 77 and 74. Even our rock stars are getting up there. Bob Dylan produced a remarkable album this year at 79. Bruce Springsteen released an album today at 71. “Active aging” is now a decades-long phase of life. As the nation becomes a gerontocracy, it’s worth pondering: What do people gain when they age, and what do they lose? What does successful aging look like?President Donald Trump is a prime example of an unsuccessful older person—one who still lusts for external validation, who doesn’t know who he is, who knows no peace. Nearly two millennia ago, the Roman statesman Cicero offered a more robust vision of what elders should do and be: “It’s not by strength or speed or swiftness of body that great deeds are done,” he wrote, “but by wisdom, character and sober judgment. These qualities are not lacking in old age but in fact grow as time passes.”[David Brooks: Bruce Springsteen’s playlist for the Trump era]Springsteen is the world champion of aging well—physically, intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally. His new album and film, Letter to You, are performances about growing older and death, topics that would have seemed unlikely for rock when it was born as a rebellion for anyone over 30. Letter to You is rich in lessons for those who want to know what successful aging looks like. Far from being sad or lachrymose, it’s both youthful—loud and hard-charging—and serene and wise. It’s a step forward from his Broadway show that debuted three years ago and his memoir, released four years ago. Now he’s not only telling the story of his life, but asking, in the face of death, about life’s meaning, and savoring life in the current moment.It’s the happiest Springsteen album maybe in decades. “When I listen to it, there’s more joy than dread,” Springsteen told me. “Dread is an emotion that all of us have become very familiar with. The record is a little bit of an antidote to that.” The album generates the feeling you get when you meet a certain sort of older person—one who knows the story of her life, who sees herself whole, and who now approaches the world with an earned emotional security and gratitude.The album, and the film that recorded the making of the album (I recommend watching the film first), was occasioned by a death. From 1965 to 1968, when rock was in its moment of explosive growth and creativity, Springsteen was in a band called the Castiles. Two years ago, Springsteen found himself at the bedside of a member of that band, George Theiss, as he died of cancer. After his passing, Springsteen realized that he is the sole remaining survivor from that band—the “Last Man Standing,” as he puts it in one of the songs on the new album.The experience created an emotional vortex and the music poured out of him. “The actual mechanics of songwriting is only understandable up to a certain point,” Springsteen told me, “and it’s frustrating because it’s at that point that it begins to matter. Creativity is an act of magic rising up from your subconscious. It feels wonderful every time it happens, and I’ve learned to live with the anxiety of it not happening over long periods of time.”On the album, Springsteen goes back in time to those mid-’60s years when he, Theiss, and the Castiles would play in the union halls, hullabaloo clubs, and bowling alleys around Freehold, New Jersey. He goes further back, to his childhood, and reminisces about the trains that used to rumble through town; the pennies he’d put on the tracks; and when he first became familiar with death as a boy, going to the funerals of his extended clan, walking up semi-terrified and kneeling before the casket and then walking back home with a sense of trembling accomplishment.“Memory is many things,” the Benedictine nun Joan Chittister has written. “It is a call to resolve in us what simply will not go away.” Springsteen has made a career, and built a global fan base, out of going back and back, to Freehold and Asbury Park, and digging, digging, digging to understand the people he grew up around and who made him, for good and ill, the man he became. “The artists who hold our attention,” he told me, “have something eating away at them, and they never quite define it, but it’s always there.”Even in his 70s, Springsteen still has drive. What drives him no longer feels like ambition, he said, that craving for success, recognition, and making your place in the world. It feels more elemental, like the drive for water, food, or sex. He talks about this in the movie: “After all this time, I still feel the burning need to communicate. It’s there when I wake every morning. It walks alongside of me throughout the day … Over the past 50 years, it has never ceased. Is it loneliness, hunger, ego, ambition, desire, a need to be felt and heard, recognized, all of the above? All I know, it is one of the most consistent impulses of my life.”[David Brooks: How music made Bruce Springsteen]With the Castiles, he not only learned how to do his job but also found his mode of emotional communication and a spiritual awareness. He found his vocation, and his vehicle for becoming himself. A lot of the music on this album is about music, the making of it and the listening to it, the power that it has. The songs “House of A Thousand Guitars” and “Power of Prayer” are about those moments when music launches you out of normal life and toward transcendence. For a nonreligious guy, Springsteen is the most religious guy on the planet; his religion is musical deliverance.Like every successful mature person, Springsteen oozes gratitude—especially for relationships. The film is largely about the camaraderie of the E Street Band, men and women who have been playing together off and on for 45 years and who have honed their skills and developed a shorthand for communicating. We watch them discussing and arguing over how to put each song together, then savor the end result. The band sounds fantastic, especially the powerful drumming of Max Weinberg.The film intersperses clips of Springsteen recording and performing with the same guys four decades ago, when they were young and lithe, and today, when they’re a bit grizzled. “We weren’t immune from the vicissitudes. We had the same ups and downs as most rock bands,” Springsteen told me. “It’s like a marriage. The ups and downs have deepened us. The band is as close now as it’s ever been. We had to suffer.”Letter to You is a sincere and vulnerable album. It conveys Springsteen’s appreciation for the conversation he’s had with his audience, and his appreciation for the dead and the debts we owe them. The core of the album comprises three songs about how the dead live on in us and in the ensuing generations. “It’s just your ghost / Moving through the night / Your spirit filled with light / I need, need you by my side / Your love and I’m alive,” Springsteen sings in “Ghosts,” the best track on the album.“When you’re young, you believe the world changes faster than it does. It does change, but it’s slow,” Springsteen told me. “You learn to accept the world on its terms without giving up the belief that you can change the world. That’s a successful adulthood—the maturation of your thought process and very soul to the point where you understand the limits of life, without giving up on its possibilities.”Attaining that perspective is the core of successful maturity. Carrying the losses gently. Learning to live with the inner conflicts, such as alternating confidence and insecurity. Getting out of your own way, savoring life and not trying to conquer it, shedding the self-righteousness that sometimes accompanies youth, and giving other people a break. The owl of Minerva flies only at dusk, as they used to say.That perspective is evident in the movie’s “bright sadness,” to use a term from the Franciscan monk Richard Rohr. Directed by Thom Zimny, the film cuts again and again to overhead shots of snow-covered forests—Old Man Winter coming. But inside the studio, everything is warm and full of music. The dreams of Springsteen and his band came true times a thousand; they have good reason to be content in old age. But studies show that most people do get happier as they age. They focus more on life’s pleasures than its threats.[Arthur Brooks: What to do when the future feels hopeless]As you watch the film, you may think of not only personal maturity but also national maturity. America has always fancied itself as wild and innocent; youth, Oscar Wilde observed, is the country’s oldest tradition. After the past 20 years, and especially after the presidency of Donald Trump, we’ve become jaded, and look askance at our former presumption of innocence. But, taking a cue from Springsteen, maybe we can achieve a more mature national perspective in the years post-Trump.“Joe Biden is like one of the fathers in the neighborhood I grew up with as a kid,” Springsteen told me. “They were firemen and policemen, and there was an innate decency to most of them that he carries naturally with him. It’s very American.”Approaching 80, Biden is pretty old. Seventy-seven is probably not the ideal age to start such a grueling job as president of the United States. But making the most of the not-ideal is what maturity teaches. The urge to give something to future generations rises up in people over 65, and a style of leadership informed by that urge may be exactly what American needs right now. Today, being 77 doesn’t have to be a time of wrapping things up; it’s just the moment you’re in, still moving to something better. Maybe this can be America—not in decline, but moving with maturity to a new strength.
theatlantic.com
Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant can’t tell you the twists in ‘The Undoing.’ But even they were shocked by the story.
On HBO’s “The Undoing,” the actors had to trust each other implicitly — as their characters in the show struggled to do the same.
washingtonpost.com
Kristen Welker saved ‘the show,’ but let’s not ever forget that TV debates need to change
Thursday’s debate gets points for seeming a tiny bit normal. That’s how warped we’ve become.
washingtonpost.com
My Family Members Think Their Votes Don’t Matter. How Do I Get Them to Cast Their Ballot?
It turns out, talking to your friends and family might be the best tactic.
slate.com
A Historic Case Against Google
For the first time in two decades, the federal government is trying to loosen Google’s grip on search.
slate.com
A GOP state Senate candidate was expelled from high school for wearing a KKK outfit on Halloween
“I just remember being petrified to the point of tears,” Victoria Brown, who is Black and witnessed the incident, told the Arkansas Times this week.
washingtonpost.com
Think You’re Smarter Than the Editor of Slate Plus? Find Out With This Week’s News Quiz.
Test your knowledge of this week’s big stories.
slate.com
'First Ladies': Eleanor Roosevelt was a FLOTUS rebel
For more, watch CNN Original Series "First Ladies" on Sundays at 10 p.m. ET.
edition.cnn.com
Michael Goodwin: At Trump-Biden debate we saw president we should have seen weeks ago
In Thursday’s debate as the president finally found his stride. He was substantive, measured and relatively calm — a combination that enabled him to give the best debate performance I’ve ever seen from him.
foxnews.com
Jon Rahm searches for 'magic formula' to win debut major
If it hadn't been for the 1997 Ryder Cup, Jon Rahm might never have tried golf.
edition.cnn.com
America Has a New No. 1 Song, and For Once the Reason Isn’t TikTok
24kGoldn and Iann Dior’s “Mood” is uniting rap fans, rock fans, and fans too young to care about the difference.
slate.com
Grandfather Killed in Fight at California Starbucks
The victim, reportedly a 69-year-old grandfather from Citrus Heights, was knocked unconscious in a Starbucks parking lot on Sunday and died in hospital three days later.
newsweek.com
How Is It All Going to End?
The country has seen enough, and it’s time for the courts … we mean, it’s time for the voters to pick the next president!
slate.com
Suspected Pedophile Arrested Over 160 Child Rapes, Police Say
Detectives say man abused children over a 14-year period as they open 122 investigations.
newsweek.com
'Borat 2': How Kazakhstan Has Reacted to the Character
"Borat 2" sees Kazakhstan's most famous fictional resident return, but his home country has not always liked the way it has been portrayed by Sacha Baron Cohen.
newsweek.com
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Says Trump Shows 'Disrespect of Women' by Calling Her AOC
President Trump called Ocasio-Cortez "AOC" twice during the last presidential debate of the election.
newsweek.com
Donald Trump's Abraham Lincoln Comparison at Debate Sparks Wave of Memes
Joe Biden mocked the comparison and called Trump "one of the most racist presidents we've had in modern history," in the final presidential debate.
newsweek.com
Rick Santorum Says Nobody Called Trump Racist Before He Was President Except For 'The Central Park Thing'
Panelists on CNN show tell former GOP senator "that's not true" after he suggested the president had only attracted criticism for his approach to issues of race since occupying the White House.
1 h
newsweek.com
Bernie Sanders eyeing potential Biden Cabinet role: report
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is reportedly interested in serving in Joe Biden’s Cabinet if the Democrat wins the presidency -- with plans to push for more “progressive voices” in the nation's leadership.
1 h
foxnews.com
N.Y.C. Early Voting: When it Starts, and What to Expect
From Saturday to Nov. 1, city voters can cast their ballots at their assigned sites. Absentee ballots can also be dropped off at those sites.
1 h
nytimes.com
'He shot himself in the foot': Seniors repelled by Trump’s pandemic response
In the lead up to the election, President Donald Trump's campaign aides have grown weary over the president’s dip in support among older Americans.
1 h
abcnews.go.com
Jon Rahm searches for 'magic formula' to win debut major
Former world No. 1 golfer Jon Rahm has never won a major, but he tells CNN Living Golf's Shane O'Donoghue that he's "getting closer."
1 h
edition.cnn.com
Police hunt for Greek far-right party member evading prison sentence
Christos Pappas considered a fugitive after being sentenced, with 13 other ex-Golden Dawn lawmakers, to prison for running party as a criminal organization.
1 h
cbsnews.com
Ex-Tory MP Suggests UK Government Voted Against Free School Meals Over 'Scum' Comment
Former Cabinet minister Nicky Morgan was condemned for defending the decision not to extend free school meals for children in poverty.
1 h
newsweek.com