Looking back at the tumultuous 2010s

Was there a decade that moved faster than the 2010s? Was there a period of time that brought so much change, upheaval, heartache, and renewal of the spirit? Was there a decade so exhausting? Here, at the very end of it all, it hardly seems possible.

If the 2010s had a common theme, it’s safe to say it was technology, which propelled us forward with occasionally uncomfortable force, giving us the means to share selfies and record police violence, to shout “Me Too” and be duped by disinformation, seemingly all at once.

In the midst of all the noise, the …

Bill Cosby’s publicist calls Eddie Murphy a “Hollywood slave” after SNL barb

Bill Cosby’s publicist lashed out at Eddie Murphy after Murphy took potshots at Cosby while guest hosting this weekend’s Saturday Night Live.

In his opening monologue, Murphy contrasted himself with Cosby — formerly a comedian and now an imprisoned sex offender — as he discussed how the world had changed in the decades since the last time he hosted the show in 1984. Murphy, who has long been critical of Cosby, joked, “If you’d told me 30 years ago that I’d be this boring stay-at-home housedad and Bill Cosby would be in jail, even I woulda took that bet.” Then, …

A leaked State Department memo opposes a bill that would resettle Syrian refugees in the US

The Trump administration opposed a bill that would allow Kurds and other Syrian refugees to immigrate to the US more easily as Turkey’s recent offensive in the war-torn country has left tens of thousands of civilians displaced, according to a leaked State Department memo first reported by the Daily Beast’s Betsy Swan.

The bill, co-sponsored by Sens. Jim Risch of Idaho and Bob Menendez of New Jersey, would allow certain Syrians to obtain US visas in return for aiding US military efforts in the ongoing Syrian civil war, and to come to the US as refugees more quickly. …

Amazon warehouse workers doing “back-breaking” work walked off the job in protest

More than 30 Amazon workers at a Sacramento warehouse walked off the job this morning, demanding they receive paid time off.

Around 2:45 am on Monday local time, 36 workers — out of around 100 in total on the shift— left work two hours early after they read a letter to management out loud stating their demands to be granted paid time off (PTO) and meet with management to discuss their concerns, according to a worker at the site.

These workers — who say they lift hundreds of packages a day in “back-breaking” labor —currently receive zero PTO days a …

The nuanced political impact of wine cave fundraisers, explained

The dustup over South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s high-dollar wine cave fundraiser is just one round in a long-running argument about the influence of donors and fundraising on American politics.

The view on the left is that the public is crying out for progressive change and is blocked by the influence of big donors — specifically, the influence donors have on the Democratic Party, which shies away from adopting a winning populist platform because of the insidious impact of money.

The Intercept journalist Ryan Grim’s recent book We’ve Got People: From Jesse Jackson to AOC, the End of Big

How Iron Man and Captain America took Marvel from upstart to juggernaut

A little over a decade ago, all Marvel Studios had in its catalog of potential movie stars was a third-tier armored hero and the movie rights to other JV-level supers: a thunder god, an American patriot, and a KGB assassin. In an attempt to pull itself out of bankruptcy in the late ’90s, Marvel sold the movie rights to its most popular comic book characters, including Spider-Man, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four, to established entertainment giants like Sony and Fox.

Imagining Marvel, now a bona fide entertainment juggernaut, as an underdog is difficult, if not hilarious. But that …

The geoengineering question

Most analyses of how to “solve” climate change start from a single, crucial assumption: that carbon emissions and global warming are inextricably linked. Geoengineering is a set of technologies and ideas with the potential to shatter that link.

Can we use them? Should we? Could they be used in concert with other solutions, or would simply opening the door drain support from those ideas? Even if we did want to deploy geoengineering, who would govern its use? And is mucking with the Earth at this level more dangerous than climate change itself — which may, ultimately, be the choice we …

Future generations will look back on Trump’s latest wind turbines rant in awe and horror

President Donald Trump has pushed a dizzying amount of misinformation about wind energy in 2019 — including, perhaps most memorably, his claim about wind turbines causing cancer — but if you’re looking for an encapsulation, you won’t find a better example than the speech he delivered on Saturday night to the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit in West Palm Beach, Florida.

During a rant about how bad the Green New Deal would purportedly be for the country, Trump made a series of false and bizarre claims about wind, including, among others, that the manufacturing of turbines creates “fumes” that …

The downfall of Roe v. Wade started in 2010

This year, five states passed laws banning abortion before most people know they’re pregnant. Alabama passed a ban on the procedure at any stage of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape or incest. In Ohio, lawmakers introduced a bill that would create a crime called “abortion murder,” punishable by life in prison.

For many, restrictions like these would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. But as we look ahead to 2020, the anti-abortion movement could be on the brink of its biggest success yet: dismantling the landmark Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade.

To understand how we …