Rhymes with fearmongering: President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address was long, a little weird, and full of farce as well as falsehood. Fred Kaplan called the speech, with its meandering foreign policy angles, one of “pretentious grandeur … and such soulless vision,” while Will Saletan pointed out all the alarming flavors of authoritarianism in Trump’s rhetoric. Jordan Weissmann demolished the president’s “deluded” and patently false or misleading economic claims. Meanwhile, Christina Cauterucci homed in on why Stacey Abrams’ response could help Democrats in the fight for abortion rights, and Jim Newell identified cheap rhymes as, perhaps, the lowest form of wit. Read more of our Tuesday night coverage here.
Go home, Virginia: As calls mount for resignations from Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, and Attorney General Mark Herring, some Democrats wonder whether it’s worth potentially losing the governorship to the GOP, a party seemingly disinterested in its own problematic politicians. It all feels a bit like “ridding an overflowing septic tank of one single turd,” writes Christina Cauterucci. But the short-term losses are worth it, she argues. Dr. Ann Arthur-Andrew, a Black physician, also weighs in on how the news exposes a larger, systemic problem in the world of medicine. And Lili Loofbourow looks at what a white, male medical student would be trying to convey with that yearbook photo: Northam was making a gamble he assumed he’d never lose on.
You and what army: Over the past few weeks, Amazon Fulfillment Center employees designated as “FC Ambassadors” have been sending multiple tweets saying that they are satisfied with the company’s working conditions and do not feel the need for union protections. Curious about the prevalence of these tweets, Aaron Mak sought to figure out whether this could be a coordinated effort from top brass. The answers he uncovered show something even weirder.
Rock boxin’: In an excerpt from his new book, Walk This Way, Washington Post arts reporter Geoff Edgers recalls the making of the music video for Run-D.M.C. and Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way,” the song that placed rap firmly in the mainstream and changed popular music forever. Among the fun tidbits behind the scenes: fake members of Aerosmith, a director who once played drums for Billy Joel, a broken wall, and a literal teenage riot.
For fun: We should all wear nametags.
Complete with pronunciation symbols, please,