Dont even think about it.
Don't even think about it. Getty

Protests In Iran: Mass protests have broken out all over Iran. "The demonstrations were initially about the failure of President Hassan Rouhani's government to revive Iran's struggling economy, address high unemployment and inflation, and combat alleged corruption," the BBC reports. "Protesters also asked why the country was spending a lot of money on conflicts elsewhere in the Middle East when people were suffering at home. But quickly the protesters moved on to politics, criticising leading figures in the Islamic Republic. In Tehran on Sunday, people chanted "death to the dictator" - an apparent reference to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Some have even called for a return to the monarchy that was overthrown in 1979." Women are also protesting being forced to wear the hajib. More than twenty people have been killed and hundreds have been arrested. Today Iran's supreme leader — the dude crowds have been calling for the death of — blamed Iran's enemies for the unrest. Donald Trump expressed support for the demonstrators while taking a shot at President Obama (because of course he did) but good luck to any Iranians who have to flee the country as a result of these demonstrations: Iranians are barred from entering the US under Trump's travel ban.

The Battle for Iran: Karim Sadjadpour's piece at The Atlantic is required reading for anyone who is interested in what is happening right now in Iran. "In Iran, the obstacles to success are daunting," Sadjadpour writes. "Whereas most Middle Eastern countries are ruled by secular autocrats focused on repressing primarily Islamist opposition, Iran is an Islamist autocracy focused on repressing secular opposition. This dynamic — unarmed, unorganized, leaderless citizens seeking economic dignity and pluralism, versus a heavily armed, organized, rapacious ruling theocracy that espouses martyrdom — is not a recipe for success." If you can't make it through the piece, Sadjadpour's new year's day tweet storm provides a good summary.

Flying Is Safer Than Ever: "In a year when more people flew to more places than ever, 2017 was the safest on record for airline passengers," The Independent reports. "The Dutch-based aviation consultancy, To70, has released its Civil Aviation Safety Review for 2017. It reports only two fatal accidents, both involving small turbo-prop aircraft, with a total of 13 lives lost. No jets crashed in passenger service anywhere in the world." You'll never guess who tried to claim credit for this news...


There hasn't been commercial airline accident that claimed a life in the United States since 2009. And since taking office Trump has proposed rolling back "burdensome" aviation safety regulations and privatizing air-traffic control. So the fact that there wasn't a mass casualty commercial airline disaster in the United States in 2017 isn't thanks to the president, it's despite him.

Safe But Miserable: While 2017 may have been a safe one for airline passengers — we mostly got there alive — the airlines did everything they could to make flying miserable. From passengers being dragged off airplanes to pets dying on airplanes to women being sexually assaulted on airplanes, Mashable has the receipts.

Headline of the Day: "Trump tweets a white nationalist ransom note to immigrants" — Think Progress

"This Guy Is Insane": Tell us what you really think of our president, world leaders.

Meanwhile In Iowa: The state — formerly a reliably Democratic state — went red in the 2014 midterms and all-in for Trump in the 2016 calamity. "[But] Iowa has seemingly soured on the president and his party," the Washington Post reports. "The end-of-year Iowa Poll, an industry standard conducted by Des Moines-based Selzer and Co., found Trump with just 35 percent approval in the state. Only 34 percent of Iowans said they would back Republicans for Congress in 2018, and 61 percent said they were turned off by politics altogether. The discrepancy between the rosy economic picture and the public’s distaste for Trump in Iowa has confounded both parties and complicated one of the major political stories of the decade — the Republican romp through the Midwest."


Awful People Embrace Awful Person: Young Trump supporters on college campuses are taking over College Republican groups — where trolls hung out before the Internet came along — and "falling in line" behind Trump because of course they are.

The Suicidal White Working Class: This short Paul Krugman tweet storm is worth posting in full...





Armpits of the Day: Addison Ector, dancer.

Logoff Paul: Logan Paul, a YouTube celeb with 15 million subscribers, visited Japan's "suicide forest," stumbled over a recent suicide victim, and then posted a video showing the dead body — all in an effort, the vlogger claimed, to "raise awareness" about suicide. "Paul and his friends, who are filming from various locations in Japan, reportedly came across the body moments after entering the ancient forest," The Guardian reports. "Their video showed the body of a man, whose identity is unknown, from several angles but blurs his face. A member of the group is heard remarking that he 'doesn’t feel good.' Paul replies: 'What, you never stand next to a dead guy?' and then laughs." Logan apologized and pulled down the video. When will his hairdresser apologize?

Reckoning Watch: White man fired for sexual misconduct, woman of color hired to replace him. [thumbs up emoji here]

Tragic: Five members of a Tacoma family were among 10 people killed in a fiery crash on a coastal highway in southern Mexico," the Seattle Times reports. "Two other members of the same family were critically injured in the Friday night collision, on a two-lane highway between the coastal resort of Zihuatanejo and the city of Acapulco."

Put Down Your Damn Phone: Drivers in Washington state will now be ticketed for texting or talking — for even having a cell phone in hand. "The first offense will cost drivers $136. A second ticket will cost $234," King5 reports. "Between July, when the law first took effect, and November, WSP stopped more than 5,000 drivers for breaking the law."

It's a Beautiful Day: Local captures & shares first back-to-work sunrise from King County Water Taxi...