PM Roundup: Isaac churns toward New Orleans; Ex-Fla. governor to speak at DNC; Crowdsourced Porn; and more.

Slatest PM: Isaac's Gulf Path; Crist's DNC Plans; Britain's "Supposed Lion"; and More.

Slatest PM: Isaac's Gulf Path; Crist's DNC Plans; Britain's "Supposed Lion"; and More.

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The Slatest
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Aug. 27 2012 4:37 PM

Slatest PM: Isaac's Gulf Path; Crist's DNC Plans; Britain's "Supposed Lion"; and More.


Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City.

*** NOTE: We've revamped our afternoon Slatest newsletter to deliver a text-heavy recap of the day's top stories to our subscribers' inboxes. Monday's edition, the sixth under the new format, is below. You can sign up here to receive it in your inbox daily. ***


SEVEN YEARS LATER: Not-just-yet-but-soon-to-be Hurricane Isaac is currently on track to make landfall along the Gulf Coast as soon as tomorrow tonight, nearly seven years to the day that Hurricane Katrina did its worst to the region. You can follow along with the National Weather Service as it tracks Tropical Storm Isaac here.

"Because of its large size and slow forward movement, a prolonged period of strong wind and heavy rains will likely wreak havoc in Louisiana, Mississippi and possibly Alabama," reports Weather Channel hurricane specialist Carl Parker.

COLD WATER: The Houston Chronicle explains why we should all calm down with the 2005 comparisons: "For starters, Katrina was a bit ahead of Isaac. When it was about at the same position as Isaac, Katrina had already strengthened to a 100-mph hurricane. And perhaps most importantly, Katrina had warmer water, and water warmer at depth, to cross before reaching the coast." 

THE BIGGEST DANGER: NYT: "[T]he most significant problems may not be devastating winds, officials said, but extensive flooding caused by storm surge." 

IF ONLY SOMEONE COULD LIGHTEN THE MOOD: "Isaac doesn't appear to be a Republican, and not only because it presents on the weather map as a throbbing purple penis surrounded by a rainbow." Thank you, Andrew Sullivan

SPEAKING OF THE GOP: CNN wonders if Republicans jumped the gun when they decided to cancel Day One of their convention and instead cram four days' worth of activities into three days.

MSM PROBLEMSNYT: "Put yourself in the shoes of a network news president for a moment. There’s a tropical storm bearing down on the Gulf Coast, reviving memories of Hurricane Katrina seven years ago. But there’s also a political convention beginning in Tampa, Fla., representing the start of a two-month sprint to Election Day. Where do you send the symbols of your news division, your news anchors?"

WE SENT OURS TO TAMPAJohn Dickerson kicks off Slate's RNC Breakfast Table: "Having spent so much time in the hall, I've come to the conclusion that the convention stage is destiny. ... There are a dozen or so high-definition screens wrapped in warm-looking wooden frames. They float in the air offset from each other like a mobile you might buy in the gift shop at Fallingwater. Everything on the stage has had the same applied black-walnut wood surface poured over it—the lectern, the stairs, and the desk, which looks like it needs a receptionist to welcome you for your weekend at the mountain lodge. ... [I]t looks like the basement movie room of a dot-com mogul who has just had a very successful IPO. You can watch the 49ers game and play Diablo 3 at the same time." 

Happy Monday and welcome to the Slatest PM. Follow the whole team at @slatest and your host at @JoshVoorhees. You can also fill his inbox with links, mini-explainer requests and anything else that's on your mind at

THE OTHER CONVENTION: Former GOP Gov. Charlie Crist (who left his party back in 2010 during a failed Senate run) announced Monday that he'll be speaking next week at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. The AP: "It's news that comes as Republicans hold their convention to nominate Romney as their presidential candidate—an event being held across Tampa Bay from Crist's St. Petersburg home. 'I think so much of what the president has done and the good he's tried to do for Florida,' Crist said."


A PORTRAIT OF JAMES HOLMES: The New York Times has published a nearly 4,000-word profile on the Aurora shooter that is well worth your time. 

An appetite-whetting snippet: "Those who worked side by side with him saw an amiable if intensely shy student with a quick smile and a laconic air, whose quirky sense of humor surfaced in goofy jokes—'Take that to the bank,' he said while giving a presentation about an enzyme known as A.T.M.—and wry one-liners. There was no question that he was intelligent. 'James is really smart,' one graduate student whispered to another after a first-semester class. Yet he floated apart, locked inside a private world they could neither share nor penetrate."

THE NEWSY TAKEAWAY: In a text to a fellow grad student a few weeks before the shooting, Holmes appeared to suggest that he was suffering from a form of bipolar disorder known as dysphoric mania, which the paper explains combines "the frenetic energy of mania with the agitation, dark thoughts and in some cases paranoid delusions of major depression."

THE SMALLER ONE: The suspected mass killer became enraptured with a four-minute trailer for a low-budget movie called Suffocator of Sins in the weeks before the Aurora shooting, at least according to the film's director. "He told me he’d watched it 100 times," said Dave Aragon. You can watch the trailer here, if you so choose.

MOVIE REVIEW: Dave Weigel takes a look at 2016: Obama's America, the conservative documentary of the moment.

JUST TRY NOT CLICKING ON THIS ONE: Can Cindy Gallop's Crowdsourced Porn Take Down Mainstream Pornography? XX Factor contributor Amanda Hess investigates.



WaPo: "The extent of Arctic sea ice reached a record low Monday, according to the University of Colorado National Snow and Ice Data Center, and is on track to decline further in the next two weeks."

NYT: "France’s president urged the Syrian opposition movement on Monday to create a provisional government and vowed to extend official recognition once it was formed."

WSJ: "A structural shift sweeping U.S. health care—hospitals acquiring physicians' practices—is leading to sharply higher fees as the new owners levy outpatient and other costs often for no change in services."

AP: "Four Army soldiers based in southeast Georgia killed a former comrade and his girlfriend to protect an anarchist militia group they formed that stockpiled assault weapons and plotted a range of anti-government attacks, prosecutors told a judge Monday."


IRRESISTIBLE HEADLINE OF THE DAY: "British Police Call Off Search For Supposed Lion"

HISTORIC LOSS: That's what Karl Rove is predicting for Todd Akin.

ONE "SMALL STEP" FOR WHO?: Joel Shurkin with the fascinating story of how reporters dealt with the confusion of the missing "a" in Neil Armstrong's first-man-on-the-moon quote: "Clearly, this was to be one of the most famous quotations in history and we had to get it right. More important at the moment, we had to be consistent. We could not have one news service say one thing, the other two something else, or have the New York Times have one version and the Washington Post another. Forget history, we had to deal with editors."

WHAT YOUR HOST WILL BE (RE)READING AFTER HE HITS SEND: Seth Stevenson's account of his 2011 trip to Burning Man.

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