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Monday Morning Brew

Good morning. For decades, Central New Jersey residents have languished in the liminal space between the youse guys of South Jersey and the strip-mall bagel joints of North Jersey.

But now, the state is finally telling its neglected middle child: “You exist.” Last week, NJ Gov. Phil Murphy literally put Central Jersey on the map by ordering the state’s tourism department to redraw its map to include the region and promote it in all marketing campaigns.

Glad you’re finally getting the recognition you deserve, Central Jersey. Round of Sanchezes on me at Hoagie Haven.


Tour de headlines

Tropical Storm Idalia


 Idalia could hit Florida as a powerful hurricane. The west coast of Florida is warily eying Tropical Storm Idalia, which meteorologists predict will grow into a hurricane and lash the state’s Gulf Coast with dangerous winds and rain on Tuesday and Wednesday. Idalia is currently projected to make landfall as a Category 2 hurricane, but forecasters are concerned it could rapidly intensify due to record-high ocean temperatures. This Atlantic hurricane season has been unusually active, recording 10 storms about a month earlier than typical, per the Hurricane Center.

 A racist gunman killed three Black people at a dollar store. A white man in his 20s killed two men and a woman at a Dollar General store in Jacksonville, FL, in what authorities described as a racist crime. The gunman had written manifestos detailing his hatred toward Black people and had drawn swastikas on the two firearms he brought with him into the store. The Jacksonville shooting happened two days before the 60th anniversary (today) of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington. Thousands of people traveled to the National Mall to mark the pivotal civil rights event.

 Bob Barker died. The longtime Price is Right host who kept us company when we were home sick from school died at 99, his publicist said. You know about his easygoing demeanor and that famous Happy Gilmore scene, but you may not know about his activist side: He had the show only give away American-made cars during the Gulf War in 1991, and as an influential animal rights advocate, banned fur coats as prizes. The Los Angeles PETA office is named the Bob Barker Building.


Unwanted soccer kiss sparks Spain’s #MeToo moment

Players of Atletico de Madrid and AC MIlan pose with a message in support of Jennifer Hermoso

Angel Martinez—AC Milan/AC Milan via Getty Images

#SeAcabó, Spanish for “It’s over,” is trending across Spanish social media after a nonconsensual kiss following its women’s World Cup win has spiraled into a broader conversation about women’s equality in the country.

The latest: FIFA suspended Spanish soccer federation president Luis Rubiales for 90 days after he grabbed forward Jenni Hermoso’s head and kissed her on the lips during the event’s victory ceremony. Rubiales claims Hermoso gave him consent but Hermoso denied that conversation took place and said she was “the victim of an aggression.”

A defiant Rubiales refused to resign, prompting the World Cup champions to declare they would not play again until he was removed from his position.

Meanwhile, politicians across political lines and the team’s corporate sponsors voiced support for Hermoso and condemned Rubiales’s actions.

Big picture: Through the #SeAcabó hashtag, women in Spain are using the controversy to spotlight their mistreatment by men that’s never made public. Spain’s acting equality minister called the kiss a “form of sexual violence that we women suffer on a daily basis and until now has been invisible.” And Spanish player Misa Rodríguez shared a cartoon that depicts a girl asking her grandmother, “Grandma, tell me about how your team won the World Cup.” The grandmother replies, “We didn’t just win the World Cup, little one. We won so much more.”


The week ahead

US Open Tennis

Al Bello/Getty Images

The US Open begins today: Tennis hits the bright lights of NYC for its final major of the year. With Serena Williams and Roger Federer retired, the budding rivalry between Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic has become the most gripping storyline in the sport. Plus, American Coco Gauff is playing lights-out. See you in Queens.

A high-stakes US trip to China: CommerceSecretary Gina Raimondo flew to China over the weekend for a four-day trip. While there, she’ll try to strike the tricky balance between promoting US–China business ties and defending widespread trade restrictions her department has slapped on China in the name of national security. Fun fact: Raimondo started the first venture capital fund in Rhode Island before becoming the state’s governor.

Jobs, inflation in focus: Jerome Powell will be poring over fresh inflation data (Thursday) and the August jobs report (Friday) to guide his next interest rate move. And we’re in stoppage time of earnings season, but a few companies, including Salesforce, Lululemon, and Dollar General, still have to report.

Everything else…

  • College football kicks off for real with a full slate of games on Saturday.
  • September begins on Friday, and Billie Joe Armstrong will go to sleep.
  • But before that, August’s second supermoon will be visible this week.


Key performance indicators

Bottles of French wine

Philippe Lopez/AFP via Getty Images

Stat: France is about to spend about $216 million destroying nearly 80 million gallons of surplus wine, enough liquid to fill more than 100 Olympic-sized swimming pools, the Washington Post reported. The problem is that higher production costs and shrinking demand for vin have made it impossible for French wineries to sell their spiked grape juice for a profit, even if it does have tantalizing hints of oak and leather. The average French citizen drinks about 40 liters of wine per year, compared to 136 liters in 1926.

Quote: “I see the right trying to characterize me as one of their own, and I see the left trying to discredit me, I guess in retaliation. That sh*t’s gotta stop.”

Oliver Anthony, the previously unknown singer who rose to fame with his anti-elite anthem “Rich Men North of Richmond,” said he was aggravated by Republicans claiming him as one of their own. He also called it “funny” that his song was played at the GOP’s first presidential debate last week because the song “is written about the people on that stage.” Anthony previously said he sits “pretty dead center down the aisle” politically and thinks both parties have flaws.

Read: How social science explains why tribalism took over our politics. (Wall Street Journal)


What else is brewing

  • Three US Marines were killed in a plane crash during a training exercise off the coast of Australia.
  • Zillow is dangling a 1% down payment loan to homebuyers feeling squeezed by the affordability crisis.
  • SpaceX launched its 11th crewed mission. This one took four astronauts to the International Space Station.
  • Simone Biles won her eighth US Championship in gymnastics yesterday, an entire decade after her first title.


Monday to-do list image

 Look: A showcase of unusual and interesting manuals.

 Life tips: The best advice from every profession.

 Guess: Find the mystery animal before your 20 questions are up.

 Remember: The DeathList 2023 (a little morbid but intriguing).

 Excel hacks: On September 13, we are partnering with Miss Excel to bring you a free, live one-hour Excel class. Learn all the hidden Excel hacks you can use daily, from pivot tables to data cleaning. Register today.


 Intensify intimacy: Presenting MysteryVibe’s Crescendo 2, a doctor-recommended, FDA-registered vibrator. Clinically proven to improve arousal and alleviate dryness, it bends to your needs and brings home awards. Here’s 25% off—you’re welcome.*



The puzzle section

Turntable: Today’s puzzle is X-tra challenging because every word must contain the letter “x.” Play it here.

Fruit trivia

Here’s a simple question: What is the most popular fresh fruit in the US?


Bananas. And they’re incredibly popular around the world, too, with 100 billion of them consumed each year. This Lit Hub article is a great deep-dive into the bananas world of bananas.

Word of the Day

Today’s Word of the Day is: liminal (right at the top!), meaning “barely perceptible or capable of eliciting a response.” Thanks to Jay from Reno, NV, who suggested it. Submit another Word of the Day here.

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