- After wrapping up the evacuation of civilians and rebels, Assad's forces have moved into and begun securing the devastated Syrian city of Aleppo.
- The death toll following a chain of explosions at a popular fireworks market on the outskirts of Mexico City has risen to 35. Mexican fireworks are no joke, guys.
- As police in Berlin identify Tunisian immigrant Anis Amri as the prime suspect for the recent deadly vehicular terror attack on a popular Christmas Market, police in Melbourne, Australia, claim to have disrupted an ISIS-inspired terror plot to bomb multiple targets there on Christmas Day. Seven are in custody.
A DEEPER DIVE
- Actor/director Lena Dunham cracked a joke about wishing she'd had an abortion, and conservative pundits -- for whom whining about the overly sensitive and politically correct delicate snowflakes of "the Left" makes up approximately half their shtick -- collectively lost their fucking minds. Not that they had much to lose in the first place, but still. Meanwhile, as a withering torrent of abuse was hurled her way from both her Right and Left flanks, Dunham responded in the worst possible way: She apologized.
- Global Warming has shifted into overdrive up at the roof of the world, in the Arctic region, with numerous records being shattered this year, and scientists are declaring that there will be increasingly grave consequences that will soon be impossible to ignore.
- Among the countless ways in which Trump's ascendancy to the White House has been, and continues to be, unprecedented, perhaps the most ominous break with tradition is his insistence on maintaining his own private security force instead of relying on the Secret Service, as basically every modern President has done. For students of history, the ominous parallels should be plainly obvious.
1. In March of this year, Slate re-published “Trump: The Ultimate Deal -- In which we see the world through the eyes of Qaddafi’s pilot”, a story that was written by Ron Rosenbaum way back in 1987 for the now defunct Manhattan INC Magazine. In his March introduction to the piece, Rosenbaum writes:
Donald Trump with his finger on the nuclear trigger. Donald Trump with the nuclear “football,” the so-called black briefcase of doom, always within reach. The briefcase with the nuclear targeting codes: China yes? Moscow no?
Donald Trump with the power to destroy life on earth. At the heart of the near hysterical (and mostly justified) Fear of Trump that escalates as he approaches the Republican nomination is the Fear of Trump With the Trigger. That explosive temperament combined with that explosive capability.
But it has largely been forgotten that Trump is not new to nuclear matters. He has been thinking about how he’d handle nuclear weapons and nuclear proliferation for more than a quarter-century, at least since 1987, when he claimed to me that he was “dealing at a very high level” with people in the White House (that would have been the Reagan White House) on doomsday questions.
It seemed like a joke, when I first heard of it back then. But at the very peak of the Cold War, when the U.S. and the then Soviet Union had an estimated 25,000 nukes to target at each other, thousands of them on hair-trigger alert (no Trump jokes about “hair trigger” please), Donald Trump announced that he had the know-how to solve the world’s nuclear problems.
Trump … to the rescue? ... I used to laugh when I thought back on Trump and me in "21" talking nukes. I'm not laughing anymore.
And his preamble was written before Trump's purloined victory in November. Anyway, it makes for fascinating reading, particularly if you're a masochist.
2. In case you were curious, the image at the top of today's Executive Summary, created by Twitter's ChrisTheBarker, features many of the celebrities who died in the year 2016 -- the shittiest year within living memory for most -- along with a few other non-death-related markers, such as a BREXIT floral arrangement and a bright red MAGA ballcap. See if you can identify all the corpses, or any of the other in-jokes included in the above image!
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"You've been hearing me say it's a rigged system but now I don't say it anymore because I won, okay? It's true. You know? Now I don't care! I don't care."
- Trump isn't even in the White House yet, and he's already begun alerting his poor, deluded followers that they got cucked, and hard, by a fast-talking fat-headed arrogant member of the East Coast Establishment elite. Man, somewhere deep down inside, you know that's gotta hurt.
- Savanah falls! The Dreyfus Affair begins! Bernie Goetz lets loose! And the Shoe Bomber makes a fool of himself! Read all about it in today's Paracultural Calendar, over at the Useless Eater Blog!
2016 can't come to an end soon enough.