The Mother of All Bombs has, predictably, become the mother of all news stories.
While we don't yet know how the decision was made, what was accomplished, or how many enemy combatants — or civilians — were killed, we know the one thing that matters above all else: We dropped a really, really big bomb today, and kaboom.
The U.S. military's decision to use the most powerful ordnance in its arsenal is a legitimately big deal.
Still, if there's one thing guaranteed to stoke the embers of 24/7 cable news coverage, it's setting off a massive explosion in a foreign country — no matter how long we've already been blowing things up in said country.
And it really doesn't help that the bomb has a cute nickname.
With a moniker like the Mother of All Bombs, or MOAB, it's no wonder we're talking about it to the exclusion of pretty much everything else happening in the world. How can health care funding, cuts to women's health, and a potential foreign espionage racket compete with a humongous explosive device that also happens to be a member of your family?
There's a lot going on today that shouldn't be drowned out — stories I've taken the liberty of rebranding here so that, like the giant bomb, they get as much attention as humanly possible.
1. The Father of All Obamacare Funding Debates.
While the U.S. military was busy unleashing mayhem in the Afghan desert, President Trump was initiating the FOAOFD by threatening to eliminate a key program that provides federal subsidies to insurers, helping them cover low-income customers, unless the Democrats negotiate with him on an Obamacare replacement plan.
It could be argued this isn't as exciting as kicking up the biggest fire-and-dust cloud since Nagasaki. Still, a lot of poor people could have trouble seeing the doctor if he follows through, which, you know, eesh.
2. The Brother-in-Law of All Abortion Restrictions.
President Trump signed the BILOAAR into law today. While incapable of penetrating and obliterating subterranean concrete bunkers, the BILOAAR does allow states to deny funds to organizations that provide contraceptive and reproductive health services, which, hey, is still pretty destructive!
3. The Sister's Ex-Boyfriend of All Turkish Constitutional Referenda.
The SEBOATCR, which goes to a vote Sunday, would overhaul Turkey's constitution, granting President Erdogan the power to appoint his own cabinet officials and dozens of judges, to make sweeping changes without legislative approval, and to dissolve parliament.
Many Turks aren't convinced the vote will be fair, anticipating shenanigans from Erdogan's camp, which has been purging officials since a failed coup last July. If it goes through, many opponents fear the changes will mark the country's transition from kind-of-maybe-dictatorship to full-on dictatorship.
Despite the fact that the referendum is not an 11-ton exploding metal tube, Turkey is a NATO ally, as well as one of the main power brokers in the ongoing Syrian civil war, so the vote could be fairly important.
4. The First Cousin Once Removed of All Potentially Shocking Developments in the Russia Investigation.
An anonymous source told The Guardian that U.S. investigators now have "specific concrete and corroborative evidence of collusion" between members of the Trump campaign and Russian operatives.
The FCOROAPSDITRI, as it's come to be known, could open the door to criminal prosecutions of associates of the president of the United States, which could turn out to be almost as consequential as pushing a bomb the size of a couple of pick-up trucks out of a plane.
5. The Grandmother's Friend Who Always Comes to Holidays and Whose Name You Definitely Should Know by Now but Don't of All New Money Streams for Programs That Enrich the Lives of Girls of Color.
There's even some good non-bomb news! And it comes in the form of the GFWACTHAWNYDSKBNBDOANMSFPTETLOGOC.
Two of Warren Buffett's children pledged $90 million to organizations that serve girls of color, allowing them unprecedented flexibility with the funds and freedom to determine their own needs.
In one fell swoop — and with little fanfare — the Buffetts managed to strike a blow for justice and promote equality without immolating any human beings.
Interested now, America?
That's what I thought.