What We’re Following
Planet Earth: Hurricane Michael, which made landfall Wednesday in one of Florida’s poorest regions, is the strongest recorded hurricane to hit the Panhandle. (It was only a month ago that another destructive hurricane of a different shape had come ashore north of Florida, in the Carolinas; the pace of recovery has been uneven there.) Such “random acts of weather” will only become more regular and more ruthless. Here’s why Hurricane Michael intensified so rapidly within a day. For a lighter moment of awe: In the darkness of the total solar eclipse last summer, bees fell completely silent (that silence, recorded).
Midterm Promises: The Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land. Now many Republican lawmakers are caught between a promise to repeal it, and constituent support for its protections for people with preexisting conditions. How will Democratic candidates fare in these states that Donald Trump flipped two years ago? And here’s what some who find the American Senate increasingly unrepresentative of the American people are proposing.
Finally, call it what you want—a declaration of her own politics, a stand of the most modest variety, a successful push for better voter turnout—Taylor Swift’s recent endorsement of Democratic candidates in Tennessee is best understood within the context of how she’s shaped her own public image over the years.