News Updates

Matt Taibbi: America This Week, September 5-September 11

The furious Trump-FBI battle continues, John Podesta becomes the world’s hugest venture capitalist, labor disputes intensify, Europe hungers for LNG, Shorter NPR, Three Finance Headlines, and more

Clockwise, from top left: EG Marshall in iconic role as Queen Elizabeth II, John Podesta learns size of new climate fund, shape-shifting judicial demon Aileen Cannon captured briefly in human form, Gavin Newsom explaining how awesome he is, Disney’s Bob Iger after irreversible shrinking experiment, Tony Blinken conceals boogers at NATO conference

It wasn’t us. Queen Elizabeth II is dead, and we promise, this is one international fatality we Americans had nothing to do with.

Of course there have always been people in the States who’d gladly put Britain’s royals in zoos and sell tickets, or sign up to watch them devoured on pay-per-view by Komodo dragons, or cheer them devouring their own epaulettes for cash on game shows. However, we’ve mostly grown out of that phase. Our attitude toward the British has mellowed over the years. A pure vassal state, they produce great nature show hosts and action movie villains for us, and we no longer have to worry about them taking over our magazine business, because no one reads magazines in this country anymore anyway. Therefore, we can be generous this week and say, We feel for you. We still don’t get the whole Queen thing, but we’ll try not to be jerks about it at least.

In any case, apart from the royal tragedy, this was a big week in news. The top stories:

Heads Explode as Special Master Named in Trump Case Judge Aileen Cannon of the Southern District of Florida caused widespread shrieking horror among the caretakers of American conventional wisdom when she appointed a Special Master to review seized documents in the investigation of Donald John Trump. The ruling by Cannon, appointed by Trump in 2020, would permit the Special Master to prevent materials seized from the famed Mar-a-Lago raid from being used for any “investigative purpose” until they’ve been evaluated not only for potential Attorney-Client issues, but potential Executive Privilege issues. The decision is widely expected to “significantly delay” the Trump investigation, and as such is inspiring unprecedented rhetorical furor among a commentariat that has fairly drooled with expectation for indictment since the raid news broke. Vanity Fair’s Trump’s Special Situation is Shady as Fuck, Say Legal Experts” is typical of pundit reactions this week. Americans have lived through endless permutations of the we-got-him/we-lost-him/we-got-him-again narrative with Trump across six years, so these developments don’t feel unfamiliar, but the cacophonous intensity of coverage is clearly reaching new heights, or depths, depending on your point of view.


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