Three Quick Things

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I have three quick things on my mind that aren’t really worth a full blog post each:

Wall. DC insiders know not to use definite articles in front of agency names. It’s “CIA says,” not “the CIA says.” Now this bit of grammar policy has spread to Trump’s border wall. Josh Marshall explains:

For reasons that are not entirely clear to me the word has apparently come down from the White House that the wall, as in the wall to be built along the southern border, must now be called “wall”….Today in a congressional hearing, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told Rep. Tom Marino: “From Congress I would ask for wall. We need wall.”

Nicotine vaping. Writing yesterday about vaping, I said that although it’s better than tobacco smoking (no lung cancer = big win), nicotine addiction is still pretty bad. But is it? I’ll make two quick remarks about that. First, the effects of nicotine per se on health are fuzzy. It appears to have some harmful effects, but probably not terrible ones. This isn’t really why I think the Juul fad is potentially so bad.

So here’s remark #2: Nicotine is wildly addictive. Withdrawal symptoms are between those for heroin and cocaine, and the difficulty of quitting is higher than for any other common drug. This is what I mean when I say it’s “very bad.” Kids who start vaping as teens are likely to get addicted pretty quickly, and that means they’ll be spending $1-2,000 per year on their nicotine habit for the rest of their lives. Even if nicotine has no negative health effects at all, I still count that as “very bad.”

Syria withdrawal. I’ve gotten several responses about Syria explaining that our troops there basically act as a tripwire: Working with the Kurds, they’ve stabilized the northeast part of the country, and all other combatants stay away because they know that killing a significant number of American troops would result in a massive reprisal. I’m not entirely convinced of this, and in any case it prompts my usual question: how long? We’ve been there four years. We’ve been in Afghanistan for 17 years. The Middle East is obviously not going to stabilize anytime soon, so does that mean we stay there forever? Or what?

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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