david a. johnston

Rachel Maddow, Trump’s 2005 Taxes, and a Reminder about Watergate

So, half the Internet lost its damned mind tonight, howling that Rachel Maddow didn’t produce the silver bullet that would bring down the DJT White House in the course of one broadcast. 

It’s too early to tell whether DJT’s 2005 tax returns she obtained via Pulitzer Prize winning journalist David Cay Johnston are part of a larger forthcoming leak, whether DJT leaked them to Johnston himself, or what, exactly, the deal is. 

However, it’s worth highlighting and circling and writing in neon that Watergate entailed dozens of reports over roughly a year. Neither Nixon–nor Agnew before him–were brought down in one 60 minute segment.

Maddow did a fine job of underscoring why DJT’s tax returns from any year might or might not indicate whether he either colluded with the Russians or whether he is beholden to foreign banks and why all of this is a matter of national security. 

I keep saying this, but it’s worth reiterating: the Boomers brought down Agnew and Nixon and ended the Vietnam War. This is our Watergate/Vietnam War and we’ll  likely be at it for years. 

It sucks SO hard, but that is the reality. 

We either fight smart and hard and think longterm or the American experiment dies on our watch. 

I firmly believe we’ll rise to the occasion. 

Digital Eye in the Sky: Watching "Over" Antarctic Animals

The Duke University Marine Lab is the first to win Federal Aviation Administration certification to operate scientific drones and provide training. Their biggest drone is an amphibious plane with a 9-foot wingspan that can fly for 90 minutes at a time. Like several of their other drones, this one can fly itself back and forth within a predefined area, like “mowing the lawn” for data. David Johnston, assistant professor of the practice of marine conservation ecology at Duke University, has found that drone technology allows his research team to collect huge volumes of data from remote or extreme locations. He believes this is transforming how people study and learn about marine ecosystems.

Spring officially starts in 19 days and we know you’re SO ready to leave the cold behind. Luckily, we know just what you need. Read on for 9 books about the strength of the human spirit that will propel your winter-ravaged soul through these last few weeks!

1. Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston

Hermione refuses to be anyone’s cautionary tale after she gets assaulted at cheer camp – and she’ll face a wrenching decision to regain the control she’s always had.

2. I Was Here by Gayle Forman

Cody’s journey to find out why her best friend Meg decided to take her own life is one of loss, bravery, and redemption.

3. Mosquitoland by David Arnold

When Mim Malone hops on a 1,000 mile bus ride to find her mother, she’ll end up facing all of her demons along the way.

4. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

At the end of WWII, 3 young people fight to survive a tragedy that history has forgotten.

5. The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith

Ariel is a refugee and the sole survivor of an attack on his small village who now lives in West Virginia, and his story will have you questioning what it is to be human.

6. The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

After moving around for 5 years to escape the demons of her father’s PTSD, Hayley and her dad are finally settling down. But is this truly her chance at a normal life?

7. The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly Stephanie Oakes

A hard-hitting yet ultimately hopeful story about the dangers of blind faith…and having faith in yourself.

8. Blind by Rachel Dewoskin

Emma lost her sight in a nightmare accident, and after her classmate is found dead, she’ll have to untangle what happened in order to see for herself what makes life worth living.

9. Pointe by Brandy Colbert

When Theo’s oldest friend returns home after four long years with his kidnapper, Theo must choose between telling the truth and keeping quiet – both options with unfathomable consequences.