From 'Heatwave' to Climate Crisis

The usual hot news and politics takes and cartoons, plus film trailers, Paul McCartney, Los Lobos and Linda Ronstadt, too.

And away we go for Thursday. To subscribers: I have updated a good deal my reporting yesterday on various overhyped claims on the “lost” and “ignored” footage for the great Summer of Soul. Or if you missed that report entirely, check it out. Then the usual: comment, share, tweet, subscribe if you haven’t (it’s still free).

News & Politics

Samantha Bee on news that Fox is launching a weather channel: “Another channel where they can yell about snow flakes.”

The Onion: Dream Crushed Over Trivial Bullshit Represents Nation Better Than Gold Medal Ever Could.

Delta’s Dawn: Delta is now the dominant variant of the virus in the U.S., the C.D.C. estimates. Meanwhile, Japan just declared a COVID state of emergency through Aug. 22 — including for the entire Olympics. Fans may now be barred from events. And police in Japan have charged a woman after she allegedly tried to extinguish the Olympic flame with a water pistol during the official torch run. It was an apparent protest of the Tokyo Games.

From front page of Washington Post: "Their neighbors called covid-19 a hoax. Can these ICU nurses forgive them?"

Trump targets chumps (again): His new “class-action” lawsuits against Google, Facebook et al is nothing but a fundraising ploy—already in high gear. Tim O’Brien: “Discovery will be a joyride for Facebook, Twitter and Google's lawyers in this one. They can vet his Jan. 6 actions and anything he did before the insurrection that helped incite it..." But Trump will drop suits before then after raking in millions—the usual.


Dry Land: 100% of California is suffering some degree of drought. 33% of the state is categorized as "exceptional drought," the worst level.

If you missed latest report: Tucker Carlson was talking to U.S.-based Kremlin intermediaries about setting up an interview with Putin shortly before he accused the NSA of spying on him.

Remember the Alamo (in a different way): Politico reports,

Today Texas Gov. Greg Abbott included a ban on critical race theory in schools on the agenda for a special legislative session that starts Thursday. He’s already signed a bill that prescribes a list of founding documents that Texas students must be taught. And last week the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin canceled an event, after pressure from Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, for the authors of Forget the Alamo, a newly published book that is part of an effort to recast the Texas creation myth as a battle for white slaveholders.

Blink 2021: NY Times reveals, “The spontaneous synchronization of certain species of fireflies has long baffled humans who observed the peculiar mating ritual, in which blinking males strive to attract the attention of ground-level females. Research has shown that when a swarm reaches a certain density, the fireflies begin to blink in unison.To better understand what’s behind this synchronicity, scientists set up cameras in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to capture the fireflies’ flashes in three dimensions.”

Headline of the Day, from Rolling Stone: “U.S. Capitol Lego Model Seized From Home of Alleged January 6th Insurrectionist.” It’s unclear whether Robert Morss, who faces multiple federal charges, used the model to plan for the storming of the Capitol.

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Six-part doc series on Sir Paul McCartney coming from Hulu on July 16 (in one batch). Here in trailer he discusses with Rick Rubin some of his famous little tunes with short-lived group The Beatles.

The Bleachers and Jason Isbell cover each other’s songs on a split single for charity, preview here.

Los Lobos cover Jackson Browne on new Native Sons album focusing on California songwriters and bands.

The next hit song you hear could be co-written by A.I. You mean half of the current ones are not?


The film, The Sound of Us, on producing music in times of crisis and featuring interviews with Patti Smith, Ben Folds, Jason Mraz, Sarah McLachlan, and more, is set to receive the Movie That Matters Award at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival later this week. Here is trailer just out today:


Song Picks of the Day

For another steaming week, why not Linda Ronstadt covering “Heatwave.” And then the original from Martha & the Vandellas.

“Essential daily newsletter.” — Charles P. Pierce, Esquire

“Incisive and enjoyable every day.” — Ron Brownstein, The Atlantic

“Always worth reading.” — Frank Rich, New York magazine, Veep and Succession

Greg Mitchell is the author of a dozen books, including the bestseller The Tunnels (on escapes under the Berlin Wall), the current The Beginning or the End (on MGM’s wild atomic bomb movie), and The Campaign of the Century (on Upton Sinclair’s left-wing race for governor of California), which was recently picked by the Wall St. Journal as one of five greatest books ever about an election. His new film, Atomic Cover-up, just had its world premiere and is drawing extraordinary acclaim. For nearly all of the 1970s he was the #2 editor at the legendary Crawdaddy. Later he served as longtime editor of Editor & Publisher magazine. He recently co-produced a film about Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.