Paper or plastic? Seemingly overnight, plastic straws were declared Bad and banned in cities across the country. Just as quickly, they’ve become a flashpoint in America’s culture wars, as well as a Trump campaign fundraising gimmick. Seth Stevenson explores the controversy and the race to develop the perfect paper straw to replace plastic.
I’m still here: Another debate night, another chance for Bernie Sanders to be patently Bernie Sanders. Ben Mathis-Lilley reminds us that—unlike the Establishment Favorite, Joe Biden, and the Surging Insurgent, Elizabeth Warren—the Vermont senator is still, resolutely, the Exact Same Guy He Was Last Time. And that could work to his advantage.
Tested: In her new memoir, The Education of an Idealist, former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power reflects on her service in the Obama administration and the hard lessons she learned in her conversion from an activist who criticized America’s foreign policy decisions to a diplomat who had to make them. Joshua Keating reviews the book, which ponders whether it was, after all, “worth being in the room where it happens.”
Not Flavortown: Yesterday, in the wake of recent lung injury deaths that appear to be linked to e-cigarette use, the president announced a reactionary ban of e-cigarette … flavors. What will that accomplish? Jeremy Samuel Faust says: Nothing, and it makes no sense because “it’s the wrong solution to the wrong problem.”
I would like a failure pile in a sadness bowl,