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The Antidote to Trump? More T Swizzle.
Plus: Turning Russian Money into Ukrainian Ammunition
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JILL D. LAWRENCE: Taylor Swift Is the Antidote We Need in the Age of Donald Trump.
WHEN A HARD DAY’S NIGHT CAME OUT during the first throes of Beatlemania, my cousin and I were dropped off to see it in a suburban theater. We happily screamed our adoration of John, Paul, George, and Ringo (mostly Paul, tbh) in what amounted to 87 minutes of tweenage catharsis. The theater was half empty, which should have been our first clue, but it was only later that I realized most of the screaming was on the sound track.
I had a flashback to that moment last weekend during an early evening showing of Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour. The screaming, tearful, overcome fans onscreen—over 210,000 at three of six sellout concerts recorded for the film at SoFi Stadium near Los Angeles—immediately brought me back to the inexplicable emotional punch of the Beatles era. It was the same, but also completely different. These were not girls expressing unrequited puppy love for a few cute guys. They were devoted to a strong, successful woman who loves them back. That seems a lot healthier than obsessing over the hair-tossing male superstars of my girlhood.
LINDA CHAVEZ AND URIEL EPSHTEIN: Turning Russian Money into Ukrainian Ammunition.
RIGHT NOW, ROUGHLY $38 BILLION in frozen Russian assets is sitting in the coffers of American financial institutions. With the stroke of a pen, President Joe Biden can send those funds to Kyiv, and so turn an authoritarian adversary’s wealth into a defensive weapon for besieged Ukrainians—and democracy.
The White House’s power to do this, especially useful now that war in the Middle East guarantees increased competition for foreign aid, comes from the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) of 1977. President George H.W. Bush used this statute in 1992 to transfer frozen Iraqi assets after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait; the funds were later transferred to a United Nations commission created to help rebuild Kuwait.
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BILL RYAN: The Unflinching Horror of Stephen Gregory.
STEPHEN GREGORY BURST—if such a word really applies here—onto the horror fiction scene in 1986, with the publication of his first novel, The Cormorant, which was based on his short story of the same name. The novel won the Somerset Maugham Award, a distinguished literary prize that had previously been won by such respected writers as Kingsley Amis, Doris Lessing, B.S. Johnson, and Seamus Heaney. It was well deserved: The Cormorant is an excellent novel, establishing themes and a style of folk horror (Gregory seems to have an obsession with birds; subsequent novels include The Plague of Gulls and Wakening the Crow) that are uniquely his own.
CATHY YOUNG: Water and Suffering in Gaza.
MORE THAN TWO WEEKS after the horrific Hamas raids in Israel, the anticipated Israeli ground offensive into Gaza has not begun and is reportedly indefinitely delayed. Meanwhile, international attention is still focused on the plight of the civilian population in Gaza, which is not only caught in the crossfire between Israel and Hamas but often deprived of basic necessities including water. Israel has been harshly criticized—by, among others, former President Barack Obama—for cutting off food, water, and electricity to Gaza’s population, a decision that Obama warned would not only cause suffering but “play into the hands of Israel’s enemies” by eroding support for the Jewish state. Meanwhile, defenders of Israel’s actions say that it does not owe water or electricity to Gaza since it has not been an occupying power in the sector since 2005—and that it certainly has no such obligations after being targeted for vicious attacks by Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip and has the allegiance of a large portion of the population.
Happy Friday! It’s the end of baseball as the October Classic begins tonight. I guess I’m rooting for the Rangers. I respect the DBacks and their comeback (too reminiscent of 2016 for my taste….) but I agree with this column. (And I’m a W alumni, very excited to see him tonight.) Whether you care a lot or a little, enjoy the show!
Maine Manhunt… The tragedy continues as the manhunt enters a second day, and the U.S. / Canada border is on heightened alert.
Retirement alert!! Longtime MD Congressman John Sarbanes is retiring.
How Hamas broke through Israel's border defenses… during Oct. 7 attack
Dean Phillips has a warning for Democrats… Read Tim Alberta in The Atlantic profiling this North Star State longshot.
State Department urges Americans leave… Lebanon.
Meanwhile, in that state up north… MI State rep. pays tribute to men acquitted in governor kidnap plot
Charlottesville's Robert E. Lee statue met its end… in a 2,250-degree furnace.
If you love dogs… Maybe don’t get one? A controversial new column is rankling the dog community. It’d be unconstitutional, but effective form of gun violence prevention: if you don’t think a person should have a dog, they definitely shouldn’t have a gun. (And not everyone should have a dog.)
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