Netflix’s The Politician is a mess. But it may be a deeply meaningful one.

Late in her new book God Land, author Lyz Lenz articulates the particular relationship that people who grew up in the Midwest have to the power structures of the Midwest as well as anybody I’ve ever seen.

Lenz’s book is an attempt to understand the results of the 2016 election — and the dissolution of Lenz’s own marriage in the wake thereof — by researching the decay of the Midwestern church. She hoped to discern why these stalwart heralds of tiny farm towns are hollowing out like so many other things in the region where I grew up and …

DIY vape juice mixing is on the rise in the face of a federal vaping crackdown

In the past two months, a sudden outbreak of vaping-related illnesses has placed e-cigarette use under a critical spotlight. Millions of American adults vape, and a subset gravitate to online communities to share their habit. They congregate on online message boards like Reddit and the comments section of popular YouTube “vape influencers,” discussing their favorite products and flavors.

Inside this vaping community, there is a niche group of vapers who’ve adopted a do-it-yourself mentality when it comes to creating their own vape juice — a flavored nicotine mixture sometimes referred to as e-juice or e-liquid. It’s the modern equivalent of …

Storm Area 51 weekend had neither raids nor aliens. But it wasn’t a bust.

Despite what I was promised by the meme that inspired the trip, I did not “see them aliens” in the middle of nowhere, Nevada.

Storm Area 51 weekend was the IRL outgrowth of a viral Facebook joke that implored all interested parties to “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All Of Us” — but all I found were the offline remains of an online phenomenon. An ever-dwindling number of people who were committed enough to trek out into the Nevada desert, some 100 miles away from urbanity, spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday dithering around the near-empty towns of Rachel and …

The Good Place sets up its endgame in its final season premiere

Somehow, as The Good Place kicks off its fourth and final season, the fate of the human race has come down to four weirdos, a genderless being of pure creation, and a reformed demon. If someone had told you is how season four would begin back when the show debuted, you would have said, “What?” but here in “A Girl from Arizona, Part 1” (the season four premiere), it’s more, “Sure. Sounds about right.”

As always with this funny, frenetic show, The Good Place treats its premiere as a hard reboot, doing everything it can to slide certain elements of …

The US will admit just 18,000 refugees in the next year

The United States will accept fewer refugees over the coming year than ever: 18,000 at most, down from a cap of 110,000 just two years ago. And a new executive order from President Donald Trump will allow state and local authorities to block refugees from settling in their areas.

The administration announced Thursday that it will lower the annual cap on refugees to 18,000, from 30,000 this year, in the coming fiscal year, which starts October 1. And local governments that do not have the resources to support refugees in becoming “self-sufficient and free from long-term dependence on public assistance” …

Vox Sentences: A whistle blown

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The whistleblower report is released; US intelligence confirms Syrian government chemical weapons attack in May.

Plus: Our Netflix show, Explained, is back for its second season! Catch new episodes each Thursday.

A complaint and a committee

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  • The whistleblower’s complaint in the unfolding Trump-Ukraine scandal contains two main allegations: One, that during the phone call with Ukranian President Zelensky on July