Daily Briefing

Deep buzz for the content-deprived

Every weekday, while you get showered and dressed, we pluck these dewy- fresh, breaking stories from the info-clogged byways of the datasphere. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and stoke up on everything you need to know, or at least enough to fake it.

JFK Still Dead, Baby Boomers Still Self-Absorbed
Nick Gillespie, The Daily Beast | JFK Still Dead, Baby Boomers Still Self-Absorbed | November 18, 2013

Kennedy assassination nostalgia reveals the deeply engrained generational arrogance of the baby boomers. After 50 years, let's hope the fever is breaking.

If there’s one November tradition less digestible and more shart-inducing than Thanksgiving dinner (sorry, Mom!), it’s the seasonal and ritualized fixation over the assassination and broad legacy of John F. Kennedy...

The Cult Of Outrage
Michael Moynihan, The Daily Beast | The Cult Of Outrage | November 18, 2013

When someone in the public eye tries to offend you these days, you can bet they're trying to sell something. Outrage isn't about values, it's about marketing.

We can’t make her go away because we don’t want her to go away. And there she is again, the tedious pop sensation Miley Cyrus—whose name I cannot escape, whose music I cannot identify—with her bovine tongue hanging out of her mouth, this time at the European Video Music Awards in Amsterdam. Like most other 20-year-old Americans embarrassing themselves in the Dutch capital, Cyrus was rather amused by the availability of semi-legal marijuana and puffed a joint on camera, a stage-managed bit of outrage that was only considered outrageous for the grave sin of flouting EU regulations banning smoking indoors. (The Dutch government is indeed investigating Cyrus because, according to a government spokesman, “employees have the right to a smoke-free environment and this includes camera and sound personnel.”)...

New York Observer
Pete Hamill, The New York Times Book Review | Pete Hamill, The New York Times Book Review | November 18, 2013

To enter the world of this wonderful memoir is to leave the dull certainties of home and go wandering. The author’s destination is always the great wide world Out There, and through his sharp, compact prose, Roger Rosenblatt takes the reader with him. He is, after all, what some 19th-century Parisians called a flâneur, a stroller sauntering through anonymous crowds in the noisy, greedy, unscripted panoramas of the city...


An Afghan Interpreter's Flight To America
George Packer. The New Yorker | An Afghan Interpreter's Flight To America | November 15, 2013

Janis Shinwari, the Afghan interpreter I wrote about a couple of months ago, finally had his U.S. visa restored, and he’s now in Virginia with his wife and two children. That’s a success story of sorts. But the effort it took to get them out of danger and over here shows how deep the betrayal of Afghans and Iraqis like Shinwari really runs...

A Lost Hiker Ate His Dog To Survive. Why Does This Infuriate Us So?

Canadian outdoorsman Marco Lavoie spent three months stranded in the wilderness of the Nottaway River in Western Quebec. His plight began when a bear attacked and wrecked his boat, ravaging his supplies. Lavoie’s pet German shepherd apparently helped drive off the bear. Eventually Lavoie, starving and dehydrated, struck his dog on the head with a rock and ate him. Lavoie’s actions earned him a torrent of criticism when he was finally found, 90 pounds thinner and dogless, earlier this month...

I've Got Whooping Cough. Thanks A Lot, Jenny McCarthy.
Julia Ioffe, The New Republic | I've Got Whooping Cough. Thanks A Lot, Jenny McCarthy. | November 15, 2013

At this writing, I have been coughing for 72 days. Not on and off coughing, but continuously, every day and every night, for two and a half months. And not just coughing, but whooping: doubled over, body clenched, sucking violently for air, my face reddening and my eyes watering. Sometimes, I cough so hard, I vomit. Other times, I pee myself...

What You're Not Allowed To Talk About in Washington
Jim Wallis, The Huffington Post | What You're Not Allowed To Talk About in Washington | November 14, 2013

Business leaders, law enforcement officials, and evangelical Christians -- key constituencies that are typically part of the Republican base -- have been at the forefront of immigration reform. Given the obvious benefits of, and broad public support for, immigration reform, why are many arch-conservatives in the House of Representatives refusing to address the issue in a serious way? The answer may point to an issue that we still hesitate to talk about directly: race...

How Republicans Rig The Game
Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone | How Republicans Rig The Game | November 14, 2013

National Republicans have waged an unrelenting campaign to exploit every weakness and anachronism in our electoral system. Through a combination of hyperpartisan redistricting of the House, unprecedented obstructionism in the Senate and racist voter suppression in the states, today's GOP has locked in political power that it could never have secured on a level playing field...

Rejecting Billions, Snapchat Expects A Better Offer
Jenna Wortham, The New York Times | Rejecting Billions, Snapchat Expects A Better Offer | November 14, 2013

What business makes no money, has yet to pass its third anniversary and just turned down an offer worth billions of dollars? Snapchat, a social media service run by a pair of 20-somethings who until last month worked out of a beachfront bungalow in Venice, Calif.

Thanks to today’s rabid rat race for the hottest social media start-ups, Snapchat has joined the list of tech companies — like Tumblr and Instagram — with no money coming in but multiple sky-high takeover offers...

Pictures of Typhoon Haiyans' Wrath
The International New York Times | Pictures of Typhoon Haiyans' Wrath | November 12, 2013

Typhoon Haiyan, which cut a destructive path across the Philippines on Friday, is believed by some climatologists to be the strongest storm to ever make landfall, with winds of at least 140 m.p.h. and a storm surge as high as 13 feet. Thousands are feared dead or missing. The storm has upended the lives of millions, as shown in the following photographs.