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You Just Lived Through the Three Hottest Days on Earth—and More Is Coming

Experts predict things will only get worse from here.

Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
A passenger plane is landing during sunset in San Francisco as a heat wave overtook California on June 30, 2023.

What’s difficult about living through history is you often don’t know the magnitude of it all until it’s over. But at this rate, things being “over” might mean us not being around to look back at it at all.

In this particular case of living through history, Earth just logged the hottest global temperature ever recorded three days in a row—and perhaps the hottest it’s been in some 125,000 years. The earliest-known human use of symbols dates to around the same time.

On Monday, the average global temperature reached 62.62 degrees Fahrenheit (17.01 degrees Celsius). On Tuesday, it went even higher, reaching 62.94 degrees Fahrenheit. And that number continued to climb into Wednesday.

Those numbers come after June was already the hottest month on record—and experts predict things will only get worse.

The temperatures recorded over the last week, from the University of Maine’s Climate Reanalyzer, are the highest in the tool’s 44-year history. The European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service has since confirmed that Monday and Tuesday’s temperature readings broke the records in its own data, which spans back even further, to 1940.

Data collected from tree rings, ice cores, coral reefs, and other sources strongly suggests that the temperatures are indeed the hottest in more than 100 millennia.

“These data tell us that it hasn’t been this warm since at least 125,000 years ago,” Paulo Ceppi, climate scientist at London’s Grantham Institute, told The Washington Post.

Jennifer Francis, senior scientist at Woodwell Climate Research Center, affirmed Ceppi’s claim, saying the records were likely the warmest in “at least 100,00 years.”

The heat is part of an ongoing and increasing threat. Copernicus said Thursday that last month was the hottest June since its records begun. “The month was the warmest June globally … exceeding June 2019—the previous record—by a substantial margin,” the organization said.

This extreme heat is partially caused by a regular El Niño weather pattern, which is helping temperatures to surge across the globe. But the skyrocketing temperatures are also thanks to human fossil fuel use and excess carbon emissions. Measurements of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere averaged a whopping 424 parts per million in May—yet another historic peak in a steady climb scientists have recorded for decades.

It cannot be overstated how very real the misery of climate change is. The impacts are being felt worldwide; if you haven’t felt them, you can just ask a longtime resident of virtually any city what the weather was like years ago versus today. But the effects, of course, are much more than people needing to tug at their collar a bit more than before.

Seminole County, Florida, has already exceeded last year in the number of days it had to activate an emergency weather plan—something only initiated when the heat index is 108 degrees or higher. Texas and other Southern states have reached such dangerous levels repeatedly. On Tuesday, at least 57 million Americans were exposed to dangerous levels of heat.

In China, historic weeklong heat waves have scorched millions of residents; days inching toward 110 degrees have halted outdoor work, and initiated heatstroke and even crop-protection measures.

Parts of North Africa peaked up to 122 degrees, while Antarctica’s temperatures inched toward 50 degrees. Chari Vijayaraghavan, a polar explorer and educator who has visited the Arctic and Antarctic regularly for the past 10 years, told the Associated Press that global warming is obvious at both poles, existentially threatening the lives of wildlife like penguins.

By mid-June, at least 96 people in India had died from heat-related conditions—in just two of India’s 28 states.

With all that being said, the heat may only dial up, unless we make dramatic changes to how society runs and who gets to run it.

Robert Rohde, lead scientist at environmental data science organization Berkeley Earth, urges us to consider what it means for a record to break, and break again, and continue to stay at that record-breaking level. “We may well see a few even warmer days over the next six weeks.”

“We’re Ready to Fight”: January 6 Defendants Say Trump Called Them to Riot

A new report finds that many of those charged with attacking the Capitol on January 6 said they were just listening to Donald Trump’s orders.

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Pro-Trump protesters gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C.

Nearly 200 people from across the country who were charged for participating in the January 6 riot have said they were responding to a callout by former President Donald Trump.

More than 1,000 people have been arrested for taking part in the insurrection. Thousands of people went to Washington, D.C., after Trump tweeted there would be a “big protest” and told people, “Be there.” On January 6, 2021, he spoke to the rally, which quickly turned into a deadly mob that swarmed the Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of the 2020 election results.

An investigation by the nonprofit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, has found that 174 defendants explicitly said they were responding to Trump’s tweet when they descended on Washington. Of those people, 94 specifically said Trump’s speech to the crowd was what prompted them to storm the Capitol. These numbers could be even higher because they do not include people who participated in the riot but have not yet been arrested.

On December 19, 2020, Trump tweeted, “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!” Many of his supporters apparently interpreted the post as marching orders.

One defendant, Nicholas Languerand, tweeted a video of himself a few days later saying, “We’re picking up your messages, and we’re listening. We’re ready to do this thing. We’re ready to fight to defend our republic against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

Trump’s fans also included members of the extremist groups the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys.

Oath Keepers Florida leader Kelly Meggs said in a Facebook message, “He called us all to the Capitol and wants us to make it wild !!! Sir Yes Sir !!! Gentlemen we are heading to DC pack your shit !!”

The group’s founder, Stewart Rhodes, repeatedly called for the “violent overthrow” of the government. Rhodes was ultimately sentenced in May to 18 years in prison for seditious conspiracy, the longest sentence yet handed down in connection to January 6. Meggs was sentenced to 12.

Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio coordinated with Trump ally Roger Stone and members of the pro-Trump Stop the Steal campaign to have members of his group attend the January 6 rally. He also worked with Rhodes on a “proposal to storm Congress.” Tarrio was convicted of seditious conspiracy in May, but he has not yet been sentenced.

When Trump addressed the crowd, he urged them to “walk down to the Capitol” and “fight like hell.” Soon after, the angry mob stormed the building. One rioter, Douglas Austin Jensen, later told investigators that Trump “got us all fired up to go to [the Capitol].”

Another defendant, Stephen Ayres, told the House committee investigating the insurrection that the only thing that got the crowd to finally disperse was Trump’s tweet telling them to “go home.”

The House January 6 committee has laid the blame for the riot squarely at Trump’s feet, recommending the Justice Department pursue him on four criminal charges. Special counsel Jack Smith is also currently investigating Trump for his role in trying to overturn the 2020 election, including whether he incited the insurrection. But Trump seems to have no regrets.

You can read CREW’s full report here.

Eric Adams’s Staff Used Coffee to Create Fake Photo of Fallen Cop: Report

The mayor told the media about a cherished photo in his wallet, then made his staff create one to cover his tracks, according to The New York Times.

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Congressman George Santos has gotten all the attention for being the liar extraordinaire of New York’s political scene, but Mayor Eric Adams is giving him a run for his money.

The New York Times reports that Adams has misled the media about a photo of a fallen police officer that the mayor suggested he’s been carrying in his wallet for decades. In fact, Adams allegedly instructed his staff to print the image after he first alluded to it last year, as a way of covering his tracks.

The deception began in January 2022, after two NYC cops were killed in action. Adams told reporters of another officer who had faced a similar fate in 1987: his friend Robert Venable. “I still think about Robert,” Adams said at a City Hall press conference. “I keep a picture of Robert in my wallet.”

A week later, Adams posed for a photograph for the Times, holding said photo. And he has repeated the story over and over since, even showing his apparently long-held photo of Venable at a Police Academy ceremony last year.

“I carry around a picture of Robert Venable, my close friend, that was shot several years ago during my early days of police, and I always have Robert’s picture,” Adams said on News 12 last April. “The pain never dissipates.”  

And apparently it’s all just a sham, the Times reports. According to close sources, Adams’s staffers were directed to produce the photo after the mayor’s news conference. They printed a black-and-white photo of Venable off of Google, and then made it look worn—even apparently splashing some coffee on it, to get that nice aged look.

“The Times’ efforts to attack the mayor here would be laughable if it were not so utterly offensive,” Adams spokesman Fabien Levy said in a statement on Wednesday, criticizing the newspaper’s reporting as part of a “campaign to paint the mayor as a liar.”

Levy did not, however, respond to any questions from the Times regarding the authenticity of the photo, or about whether it was manipulated to look older.

The tale adds to the long list of “contradictions,” as Politico calls them, or downright lies from Mayor Adams. He’s a self-proclaimed strict vegan who apparently also eats fish at high-end New York City restaurants. It wasn’t clear he actually lived in New York City when he running for mayor. He has said New York City schoolchildren “start their day going to the corner bodega buying cannabis and fentanyl,” and recently said that nearly half of the city’s hotel rooms were occupied by migrants, implying that asylum-seekers were hurting tourism.

And that’s just a taste of all the hyperbole or downright lies Adams has peddled—often for no apparent reason. “Stretching the truth in this context does question an elected official’s credibility, and that might be a problem for voters,” Betsy Gotbaum, executive director of Citizen Union, told the Times. “I don’t see why he does it. He doesn’t need to do it, so why does he do it?”

Conservatives’ White House Cocaine Theories Are Getting More Absurd by the Day

Trump, Fox News, and other right-wingers are suspiciously motormouthed about the news.

SSPL/Getty Images

It’s Hunter’s. It’s Jack Smith’s. It’s laced with fentanyl. It’s something else entirely.

Republicans are pushing theory after theory about the cocaine found in the White House earlier this week—and each idea is more bananas than the last.

A small amount of a white, powdery substance—first feared to be anthrax and later identified as cocaine—was found over the weekend in a busy area of the West Wing that both staff and visitors have access to. The Secret Service is investigating, but an anonymous law enforcement official told Politico that it’s unlikely the drug’s owner will ever be identified, given how highly trafficked that area is.

That hasn’t stopped right-wingers from speculating. Many have sought to pin the cocaine on President Biden’s son Hunter. Biden “continues to have somebody with a history of drug addiction in the White House,” Republican California Representative Darrell Issa told Fox News on Wednesday. “It is not a small problem that we find cocaine after Hunter Biden has been in the White House.”

Many right-wing activists have also shared an undated video of Hunter Biden scratching his nose while standing on the White House balcony. They either rhetorically ask who the cocaine might belong to, or they claim the clip shows Hunter actively snorting cocaine.

Some people are casting a slightly wider net. Conservative commentator Dan Bongino did not try to explicitly blame Hunter, but he did insist that a member of the Biden family brought in the cocaine. “There’s absolutely ZERO chance anyone other than a family member brought that cocaine inside the White House complex. No chance that would make it past the mag/security checkpoints. Family bypasses those,” he tweeted Wednesday night.

Former President Donald Trump had a different theory: “Has Deranged Jack Smith, the crazy, Trump hating Special Prosecutor, been seen in the area of the COCAINE?” he demanded Wednesday on Truth Social. “He looks like a crackhead to me!”

Trump has repeatedly tried to smear Smith since he was appointed to investigate Trump for allegedly mishandling classified documents and for his role in trying to overturn the 2020 election.

Fox News joined the reckless speculation race on Thursday, positing that the cocaine may have been laced with something more deadly. “We don’t know if there’s fentanyl in that cocaine too, that’s the problem,” Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade said Thursday morning, citing zero evidence.

“It’s scary!” former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany agreed. “This is a huge national security threat, and the press, well, they’re just laughing it off. But what would you expect?”

Peaky Blinders Slams DeSantis for Using Clips in Homophobic Campaign Ad

The team behind the Netflix show says it “strongly disapproves” of the presidential candidate’s anti-LGBTQ campaign ad.


Last weekend, Ron DeSantis’s rapid response team shared an insane manospheric video going after twice-impeached and twice-indicted former President Donald Trump for his previous expressions of support for the LGBTQ community—proudly contrasting that record with DeSantis’s own relentless crusade against LGBTQ people in his home state.

The incredibly weird ad featured headlines like “DeSantis is evil” interspersed with recognizable pop culture figures, including Cillian Murphy as Thomas Shelby in the popular Netflix show Peaky Blinders. Murphy and his team say the footage was used without permission and that they “do not support nor endorse the video’s narrative.”

Murphy himself has not been too active in the political arena throughout his career, save for a few notable exceptions, including on the topic of abortion. The Peaky Blinders star strongly urged men to “come out and support women” by voting to affirm abortion rights in Ireland’s 2018 abortion referendum.

Earlier this year, DeSantis signed a six-week abortion ban in Florida, one of the most extreme bans in the country, which applies before many people even know they are pregnant.

Who would’ve thought the star of a show depicting the rise of fascism and nationalism, and the literal and psychological ravages of war and violence, might not be totally aligned with DeSantis?

The Florida governor is standing by the ad. Going after Trump in the video was “totally fair game,” he told conservative commentator Tomi Lahren in an interview.

Wisconsin Governor Increases School Funding for 400 Years in Brilliant Use of Veto Power

Peak chaotic good

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers stands in front of a school bus
Scott Olson/Getty Images
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Wednesday partially vetoed the new state budget—a move that actually guarantees funding increases for public schools for the next four centuries.

The Republican-controlled state legislature had passed a budget bill that included a funding increase of $325 per student for the 2023–2024 and 2024–2025 school years. It also implemented a $3.5 billion tax cut that would primarily provide relief to the wealthiest Wisconsinites.

But Evers, a Democrat and a former public school educator, used his line-item veto power to make about four dozen changes before signing the bill into law. First up, he struck out a hyphen and the “20” in the reference to the 2024–25 school year. As a result, Wisconsin public schools will now get an annual funding increase of $325 per student until 2425.

The bump of $325 per student is the highest single-year increase in revenue limits in state history, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The paper said that Evers’s move will create a permanent annual revenue stream for public schools, as well as potentially end a major debate between Democrats and Republicans during budget writing.

Evers also slashed the proposed tax relief. Wisconsin has four income tax brackets, the lower three of which have seen tax rate reductions in recent years. The budget pill would have condensed the brackets down to three and cut rates for all of them.

With Evers’s partial veto, the four brackets remain, and the top two brackets will not see a rate reduction. The budget now only accounts for $175 million in tax cuts.

Evers’s move to secure public school funding is welcome news, particularly as Republicans nationwide seem bent on kneecapping public education. State governments are gutting what can be taught and read and banning discussions of gender and sexuality and books about racism.

In June, Republicans on Capitol Hill proposed eliminating universal free school meals.

UPS Workers Could Soon Deliver One of the Biggest Strikes in U.S. History

Contract negotiations between UPS and its unionized workers broke down, and workers have already authorized a strike.

UPS truck
Ron Wurzer/Getty Images

UPS workers may be on their way to delivering the largest labor strike in America since the 1950s.

On Wednesday morning, the Teamsters union announced that contract negotiations between workers and the company broke down, after “UPS walked away from the bargaining table after presenting an unacceptable offer to the Teamsters that did not address members’ needs. The UPS Teamsters National Negotiating Committee unanimously rejected the package.”

UPS, meanwhile, blamed Teamsters for rejecting the offer and walking away from the table.

Either way, the UPS Teamsters contract is set to expire in just over three weeks, with no additional negotiations on the calendar. There are over 340,000 workers covered by the contract.

And just weeks ago, an overwhelming 97 percent of workers voted to authorize a strike if a contract was not agreed upon.

“This vote shows that hundreds of thousands of Teamsters are united and determined to get the best contract in our history at UPS. If this multibillion-dollar corporation fails to deliver on the contract that our hardworking members deserve, UPS will be striking itself,” said Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien. “The strongest leverage our members have is their labor and they are prepared to withhold it to ensure UPS acts accordingly.”

Both full- and part-time workers have been vying for a contract guaranteeing higher wages, more full-time jobs, an end to forced overtime and harassment from management (like surveillance cameras on trucks), the elimination of a two-tier wage system, and protections from hazards like dangerous heat.

Hundreds of delivery workers have been known to have fallen sick and even hospitalized from heat exposure while on the job. Last year, a UPS driver collapsed to his death one day after his twenty-fourth birthday; his family believes he died of heat stroke.

Days ago, UPS did agree to some of the demands, including ending the two-tier wage system, establishing Martin Luther King Day as a paid holiday, and ending forced overtime on unscheduled workdays. Last month, UPS made the brave commitment to install air conditioning and fans in most trucks.

“But make no mistake—we are not done,” O’Brien still said after those demands were met. “UPS knows we must reach full agreement on other economic issues, including higher wages, within the next few days.”

And it seems UPS was not willing to budge any further.

While there are still a few weeks left, and some demands have been met, the pressure is on for the shipping giant to ensure it will take care of its hundreds of thousands of well-recognized workers. If not, the company may cede massive ground to competitors, all while dramatically upending the U.S. economy.

“Is Barbie Communist?” How One Scene Dragged the Barbie Movie Into Controversy

She’s a Communist. He’s just Ken.


Is Barbie a Communist? According to Republicans, the answer seems to be, “Most likely.”

A growing number of voices on the right are accusing the upcoming Barbie movie of pushing Chinese propaganda. The film, which comes out July 21, stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Barbie and Ken, who leave Barbie Land to explore the real world. In one scene before they leave, a rough, hand-drawn map of the world can be seen in the background. The map includes the so-called nine-dash line, a much-disputed division of territory in the South China Sea.

“I guess Barbie is made in China …” Ted Cruz tweeted Monday.

The next day, a spokesperson for the Texas senator told the Daily Mail, “China wants to control what Americans see, hear, and ultimately think, and they leverage their massive film markets to coerce American companies into pushing [Chinese Communist Party] propaganda—just like the way the Barbie film seems to have done with the map.”

Fox News anchor Rachel Campos-Duffy, while covering Cruz’s reaction, mused on air, “Is Barbie Communist?”

“Maybe!” her colleague replied.

China has used the nine-dash line to mark its controversial territorial claims in the South China Sea. Over the years, Beijing has tried to claim sovereignty over 90 percent of the region. Even though The Hague ruled in 2016 that China has no legal basis for its claims, the country has pressed on, building military installations on otherwise uninhabited islands in the sea.

Vietnam has already banned the Barbie movie for its inclusion of the nine-dash line. Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Brunei all say the marker violates their sovereignty.

The Philippines is also considering banning the film. “If the invalidated nine-dash line was indeed depicted in the movie Barbie, then it is incumbent upon the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board of the Philippines to ban the same as it denigrates Philippine sovereignty,” Filipino Senator Francis Tolentino told CNN Philippines on Tuesday.

For those wondering, this is the shot in question of the nine-dash line:

Republicans Are Already Blaming Trans People for the Philadelphia Shooting

There is no evidence that the mass shooter was trans, but that isn’t stopping the far right.

Kyle Mazza/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Officials from the Crime Scene Unit investigate the mass shooting in Philadelphia on July 3.

Republicans are spreading false information about one of Philadelphia’s deadliest mass shootings in order to push their own transphobic agenda.

A shooter opened fire on a neighborhood Monday night, killing five people including a 15-year-old boy. It is the deadliest attack in Philly since 2000. The alleged gunman has been identified as Kimbrady Carriker, and it is not yet known what his motive was.

Before police had even officially identified Carriker, the far right seized on a few pictures posted on his now-deleted Facebook account that show him wearing a stereotypically feminine outfit, with his hair in long braids. Despite there being no other evidence, Republicans are now claiming Carriker was transgender and are blaming the LGBTQ community, and trans people specifically, for the violence.

“Another trans shooter,” tweeted Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, linking to an article from the far-right conspiracy blog the Post Millennial.

Libs of TikTok founder Chaya Raichik and director turned right-wing activist Robby Starbuck also shared the false claim on Twitter. Right-wing influencer Rogan O’Handley insisted it was time to “start having a national dialogue on Trans mass shooters that target children.”

This isn’t the first time that Republicans have sickeningly used a tragedy—one with very obvious political implications—to push their own prejudiced agenda. In March, a shooter opened fire at a private Christian elementary school in Nashville, killing at least three children and three adults. Police have identified the attacker as Audrey Hale, a former student. Officials said they believed Hale was trans, but they didn’t know if that played a role in the attack.

Republicans immediately seized on Hale’s identity, insisting that the real problem in the United States is the existence of trans people, not the state of gun regulation. Many falsely claimed that there has been a rise in trans shooters in recent years. In reality, the vast majority of mass shootings are carried out by cisgender white men.

Now Republicans are similarly ignoring the fact that Carriker repeatedly posted online about his support for the Second Amendment and former President Donald Trump (who is under investigation for allegedly encouraging violence from his followers to overturn the election).

Meanwhile, the real problem is—as always—the lack of gun control. “It is disgusting, the lack of proper gun legislation that we have in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said during a press conference Tuesday. “It is time for everybody in our legislature, including the ones who would like to walk around with an AR-15 lapel pin, it is time for every one of them to face the voters. And if they’re not going to do something, then the voters are going to have to vote them out.

“Because that’s what that lapel pin means, it means ‘Vote me out. I am against you, and I am against your safety.’”

Josh Hawley Quotes White Nationalist Magazine to Celebrate 4th of July

The Republican senator claimed the quote came from Founding Father Patrick Henry.

Senator Josh Hawley
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Senator Josh Hawley

On the Fourth of July, Senator Josh Hawley decided to celebrate America by posting a fake quote from a Founding Father. Even a minute of critical thinking should have stopped him from doing so.

Beyond Hawley using his Independence Day message as a vessel to rear for Christian nationalism, he also attributed the quote to Founding Father Patrick Henry.

Henry, known for declaring at the Second Virginia Convention, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” passed away in June 1799. This was famously before America had built any history of affording “asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship” to anyone. Nevertheless, Hawley seems to think that it made sense for Henry to hail America for somehow doing all that just years after the nation was founded.

The quote Hawley tweeted is actually from an article written almost 200 years after the revolutionary war, a 1956 piece from the viciously antisemitic and white nationalist magazine The Virginian.

The article was responding to what it calls an “insidious campaign of false propaganda being waged today, to the effect that our country is not a Christian country but a religious one—that it was not founded on Christianity but on freedom of religion.” The author cited Henry’s will, in which he wrote about how he wishes he could also give his family “the Christian Religion,” as apparent proof of this notion.

As Seth Cotlar, a professor of U.S. history at Willamette University, pointed out, The Virginian is certainly not the kind of magazine you’d want to be citing from. Beyond its yearning for America to be a Christian nation, it has decried “race mixing in [the] army” and made a donation pitch to readers by whipping up fears about “the conspiracy to mongrelize white America [that] lies in the powerful, wealthy Jewish organizations.”

Besides either the stupidity or malice behind the tweet, the core message is not an aberration for Hawley. Just two weeks ago, he appeared at a religious-right activist conference where he asserted that Christianity had “formed the soul of this country” and cried that “the time for Christians to rise is now.”

Either Hawley (or his staff) didn’t know that Henry never actually said the quote (and they didn’t bother to think more than five seconds about the basic logic behind it), or Hawley willfully misquoted Henry and even knew where the quote came from and was happy to do so.