What We're Reading

Morning Reads: We Enter the Anthropocene; Trump Supporters Get Scammed

A roundup of some of the stories we're reading at BillMoyers.com HQ...

Morning Reads: We Enter the Anthropocene

Stratocumulus clouds above the northwestern Pacific Ocean. Geologists have announced a new epoch in Earth's life, the Anthropocene. (Photo by NASA/Wikimedia Commons)

Welcome to the Anthropocene –> You may recall learning in school about the Paleozoic period, when the first vertebrate life emerged on earth, or the Mesozioc, when dinosoars roamed. Now, humans have had such an impact on earth’s life and atmosphere that a group of geologists has decided that we’ve initiated a new epoch all our own. The Anthropocene began around 1950, the scientists said, “and was likely to be defined by the radioactive elements dispersed across the planet by nuclear bomb tests, although an array of other signals, including plastic pollution, soot from power stations, concrete, and even the bones left by the global proliferation of the domestic chicken were now under consideration,” Damian Carrington writes for The Guardian. “We have lived most of our lives in something called the Anthropocene and are just realizing the scale and permanence of the change,” said Professor Jan Zalasiewicz, a geologist at the University of Leicester and chair of the Working Group on the Anthropocene.

ISIS strike in Yemen –> “A suicide bomber killed more than 50 people and wounded dozens of others Monday in Aden, Yemen. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack that killed recruits to a pro-government militia,” Krishnadev Calamur reports for The Atlantic. Yemen has been in chaos since a group allied with Iran seized the capital in 2014; since then, the country has been immersed in a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia that has seen an upsurge in radical ideologies.

Primaries today –> In Arizona, longtime senator and former presidential candidate John McCain is facing a challenge from Kelli Ward, a tea party-aligned state senator. Establishment forces are spending millions on McCain’s behalf, including a campaign linking Ward with fringe ideas like the “chemtrails” conspiracy theory. Politico is saying the race could be a “squeaker.”

Meanwhile, in Florida, two Democratic congressmen — Alan Grayson and Patrick Murphy — also are in a costly Senate primary to run against Marco Rubio in the general election. Sen. Rubio became the state’s Republican candidate despite initially claiming he did not want to keep the job.

And: former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz is in a Florida primary race to hold onto her congressional seat against Tim Canova, a Sanders-aligned challenger who has had the benefit of fundraising pitches from the former presidential candidate. Wasserman Schultz looks likely to win.

Today in Trump –> Benjy Sarlin reports for MSNBC: “Donald Trump’s new $10 million TV ad cites two contradictory tax plans — one that Trump has explicitly ruled out and another that he has yet to endorse — raising more questions about what policies the GOP presidential nominee supports.” Much of the ad seems to be talking about House Republicans’ tax plan — which Trump has not yet made his own.

Meanwhile, Ian Hawes, a 25-year-old Maryland man, has set up a PAC linked to a website he owns, dinnerwithtrump.org. He has collected more than $1 million from more than 20,000 people who hope to have dinner with the candidate. Politico reports: “By late July, Hawes — who in his Twitter bio calls himself a ‘registered genius, board certified hacker, and grape soda connoisseur’ — had launched another website, crookedhillary2016.org, according to internet domain registration records, and began promoting a contest to revoke her security clearance. The group’s Facebook page copies the ‘Crooked Hillary’ logo that is used on Trump’s official LyingCrookedHillary.com site. ‘We’re raising $1 million from small donors to fight Crooked Hillary’s campaign of lies,’ reads Hawes’ site. Hawes also registered imwithtrump.org in late June, records show, though that site remains dormant.”

Take us to your leader –> Eric Berger for Ars Technica: “It remains only the barest of probabilities that astronomers have just found evidence of extraterrestrial, intelligent life. Nevertheless, in the community of astronomers and other scientists who use radio telescopes to search the heavens for beacons of life there is considerable excitement about a new signal observed by a facility in Russia. According to Paul Gilster, author of the Centauri Dreams website, the Italian astronomer Claudio Maccone and other astronomers affiliated with the search for extraterrestrial intelligence have detected ‘a strong signal in the direction of HD164595.'” That’s a star in the Hercules constellation, just 95 light years from Earth.

No comment –> The Hill: “Former Texas Gov. and presidential candidate Rick Perry (R) will appear on the next season of the reality competition show ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ Entertainment Tonight reported Monday. Perry will join the 23rd season of the ABC show, along with rapper Vanilla Ice. The fall cast will also include Olympians Laurie Hernandez and Ryan Lochte, ET reported.”

Morning Reads was compiled by John Light and edited by Michael Winship. See a story that you think should be included in Morning Reads? Tell us in the comments!

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