It looks as if the Americanization of the fighting in Iraq, and possibly in Syria, is beginning in earnest. The New York Times writes that the United States is putting together a broad coalition of allies and will begin bombing in Northern Iraq, where ISIS has 12,000 Turkmen under siege. There are dangers, of course. And one of those, writes Fred Hof in the New Republic, is that Bashar Al Assad is laying a deadly ambush for Obama. Hof says that Assad’s plan is for Syria to pose as one of those allies in fighting ISIS while finishing off the rest of the opposition.
Nate Silver writes that there are many reasons to worry about the accuracy of polls and what the future holds, but so far, he says, polling is actually holding up pretty well. And if you don’t believe him, he’s got a long, long, long list of graphs to prove he’s right. And the good news for political junkies (and you know who you are): He’s promising a lot more. Via fivethirtyeight.com
The climate “swerve”: It looks as if concerns about climate change are finally taking hold. But, Robert Jay Lifton writes, that may not mean anything much will actually change. Via the New York Times.
Yesterday, the findings of a draft U.N. report prepared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was leaked to the New York Times. Its conclusions are chilling; its tone is dire. “The new report found that it was still technically possible to limit global warming,” the Times reports. “But continued political delays for another decade or two will make that unachievable without severe economic disruption… Rapid growth of emissions in coming decades could conceivably lead to a global warming exceeding 8 degrees Fahrenheit, the report found… Warming that substantial would almost certainly have catastrophic effects, including a mass extinction of plants and animals, huge shortfalls in food production, extreme coastal flooding and many other problems.”
Where’s the beef? Senator Dick Durbin says Burger King’s merger with Tim Hortons and planned move to Canada is unpatriotic. Via the National Journal.
The big question, Victor Fleischer writes in the New York Times, is how consumers will react to the Burger King move and what the verdict will be on Twitter. (And besides, he writes, this inversion isn’t really about taxes.)
Jeffrey Goldberg writes in the Atlantic of Europe’s “slow surrender to intolerance.” The new anti-semitism, he says, is much like the old anti-semitism.
France went on an austerity drive, and the government imploded. What happens next? Via the New Yorker.
He was kidnapped while a reporter covering the war in Syria. Tom A. Peter now sadly reports that the risk wasn’t worth it. Via the New Republic.
According to rankings by the Spectator, if Great Britain were a U.S. state, it would be poorer than every state except Mississippi. Via the Washington Post.
In May, the world learned that Michael Sam would be the NFL’s first openly gay player — if he ends up making the St. Louis Rams’ final roster this month. Cable sports station ESPN can’t get enough of the story. Football players are sick of it. Sam’s team member, star defensive end Chris Long, started a Twitter meme on Tuesday by deadpanning his annoyance. Mashable reports that Long’s tweet made the phrase “Dear ESPN” trend worldwide.
Colorado Springs Education Association—the local teachers union of school district 11—was selected to participate in a national pilot program to develop ways for teachers to take on leadership roles in the quickly evolving education landscape. Via the Gazette.
A top executive from Xcel Energy quelled fears that the company might sell its Glenwood Canyon hydroelectric plant at a meeting of the Colorado Basin Roundtable water-planning group on Monday. The plant has a 1905 water right, making it a controlling factor in how much water will flow in the Colorado River at different times of the year. Via the Grand Junction Sentinel.