While You Were Offline: Devin Nunes Has a Cow (Kinda)

Last week California Rep. Devin Nunes filed a lawsuit against Twitter and some of its users.

Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Good day, readers! Ready to dive into what happened online last week? It was a doozy, and not just because New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Hillary Clinton dunked on Jared Kushner and his use of WhatsApp for government business. Outside of Washington, it was a week where New Zealand managed to do what the United States has not and moved to ban assault weapons just days after a mass shooting. It was also a week where Disney finalized its purchase of huge chunks of 21st Century Fox, bringing the first of potentially many layoffs. Oh, and as with many weeks prior, nearly everyone wondered where Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report was. (They finally got their answer late Friday.) You're not alone if you're thinking that's already a lot. But there was so much more. Let's get started.

Devin Nunes Has a Cow. Well, Sorta

What Happened: Last week saw the return of a political figure who is beloved by some, and very much not beloved by others. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome back Devin Nunes' Cow.

What Really Happened: The week started, as these weeks do now, with a story that feels like it would have been rejected from a comedy show two years ago for being too unrealistic. So, remember Devin Nunes? Sure you do. He's the Republican congressman from California who was formerly in charge of the House Intelligence Committee and who was himself under investigation for potentially sharing classified info. He also worked with the White House to exonerate the White House while withholding information from Democratic lawmakers. Oh, and he is the author of the infamous Nunes Memo. Yes, that guy. Well, he's back in the news for the dumbest of reasons.

https://twitter.com/HalpernAlex/status/1107795135780155392

No, that's not a joke. Well, not an intentional one. Nunes is indeed suingand some users, to bootover parody accounts.

https://twitter.com/bradheath/status/1107817703404961793

https://twitter.com/TimOBrien/status/1107830064450863104

The lawsuit was, as should only be expected, an immediate target for comedy on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/JordanUhl/status/1107784381823881219

https://twitter.com/TheDweck/status/1107811197645193216

https://twitter.com/MarkAgee/status/1107800253900775425

https://twitter.com/barry/status/1107784522945478662

https://twitter.com/KrangTNelson/status/1107785515036823552

https://twitter.com/rolandscahill/status/1107849116116226048

https://twitter.com/andylassner/status/1107828063776067589

Surely, this wouldn't backfire horribly, howe—oh, never mind.

https://twitter.com/grantstern/status/1107817683184164865

https://twitter.com/dceiver/status/1107986980229521408

Indeed, by the end of the week, the meteoric rise of the @DevinsCow account had become the actual story, more than the lawsuit itself. Which, to be fair, seems somewhat fitting.

https://twitter.com/andylassner/status/1108913500661833730

The Takeaway: If nothing else, perhaps everyone can agree that the lawsuit does finally determine whether or not Devin Nunes should be taken seriously.

https://twitter.com/amandacarpenter/status/1107786783570493440

The Mueller Report

What Happened: The ultimate Friday evening news dump: Special Counsel Robert Mueller sent his report to Attorney General William Barr. No, seriously.

What Really Happened: Finally, after all manner of hand-wringing, the bombshell report finally dropped.

https://twitter.com/nakashimae/status/1109195566242779137

OK, that tweet doesn't make the report sound like much of a big deal at all. But trust that it is. It's far too early to speculate as to what this report really means, or whether or not the American people will ever see its full findings, but Barr was—as of this writing—signaling that he hopes to make as much of it public as possible.

https://twitter.com/davidjoachim/status/1109201300040962054

Speaking of, there were two notable things about Barr's letter:

https://twitter.com/ryanstruyk/status/1109204665734975488

https://twitter.com/LauraLitvan/status/1109200953994104832

While everyone waits for the next development on that front, there's something more pressing to deal with: The Twitter jokes. Take it away, social media mavens!

https://twitter.com/markmackinnon/status/1109201086479511553

https://twitter.com/morninggloria/status/1109201705143422977

https://twitter.com/EvieN/status/1109201326330638336

https://twitter.com/ParkerMolloy/status/1109204943972589570

https://twitter.com/poniewozik/status/1109206102267301893

Hm, wonder what politicians are doing about this …?

https://twitter.com/jdawsey1/status/1109202252428967936

https://twitter.com/sahilkapur/status/1109206992722317314

...and the president?

https://twitter.com/thehill/status/1109207383367139331

Of course, by the time you read this, that'll almost certainly not be the case. Watch his Twitter, everyone. But, as the news made its way around the internet on Friday, there was just one question: What next? The answer: Just wait.

https://twitter.com/ZoeTillman/status/1109206757463810049

The Takeaway: Leave it to Dan Rather to be the voice of reason. Or maybe buzzkill? It is admittedly hard to tell.

https://twitter.com/DanRather/status/1109200931906678784

Tweets Do Not Equal Endorsements, Except When It Comes to US Foreign Policy

What Happened: For everyone who joked about President Trump making significant foreign policy announcements on Twitter once he took office, the joke's on you. Well, it's on everyone, actually.

What Really Happened: On Thursday morning, the president took to Twitter to broadcast some foreign policy. Because, you know, we do those things via Twitter now. (Somewhere, Jack is very pleased.)

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1108772952814899200

This was news because although Israel captured the region in 1967 and annexed it in 1981, it has been considered occupied territory by the international community for the past three-plus decades.

https://twitter.com/BillNeelyNBC/status/1108784594277593095

If you want another reason why this is new, there's also this.

https://twitter.com/jmhansler/status/1108773838698016773

https://twitter.com/mitchellreports/status/1108777645196623872

https://twitter.com/GlennKesslerWP/status/1108778877898420224

Whatever the reason, people were talking about Trump's tweet and what it might mean in real terms. So, what exactly was going on here? Some people had some theories, unsurprisingly.

https://twitter.com/sahilkapur/status/1108778081781772288

Of course, there's also the (admittedly very large) possibility that perhaps it's something far more obvious altogether.

https://twitter.com/Yair_Rosenberg/status/1108777323950690304

https://twitter.com/Elizrael/status/1108774831502360581

That's not a joke about the indictments, by the way; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is currently facing corruption charges from three separate investigations.

https://twitter.com/MairavZ/status/1108779079195516928

https://twitter.com/TVietor08/status/1108783543604281344

https://twitter.com/pdanahar/status/1108783411769102342

https://twitter.com/ilangoldenberg/status/1108798609238228998

As Syria condemned Trump's position—perhaps the least surprising element of all of this—others began wondering if folks were jumping to conclusions too quickly. After all, is anyone really sure if this is Trump actually announcing new foreign policy or just riffing? Can he even do that? It was at best somewhat unclear.

https://twitter.com/ianbremmer/status/1108807420015460352

https://twitter.com/eugenegu/status/1108790377211789312

The Takeaway: Well, at least someone is happy.

https://twitter.com/netanyahu/status/1108777011227619329

Trump Goes After John McCain, Because Reasons

What Happened: What is the best way for a president to regain strength amongst his supporters? Everyone who said "Start a fight with a dead man," you’re right.

What Really Happened: When not making friends abroad, President Trump was making enemies back home last week. First, he started publicly attacking Kellyanne Conway's husband (who, to be fair, is fighting back just as hard). Then, in what was one of the more unexpected political moves of the week, Trump reignited his feud with none other than the late John McCain. It all started with this unexpected tweet last Sunday:

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1107260609974943745

As people noted the classy move, McCain's daughter wasn't impressed.

https://twitter.com/MeghanMcCain/status/1107030813198217217

And neither was anyone who cared about … you know, facts.

https://twitter.com/NatashaBertrand/status/1107306259869564929

https://twitter.com/Alex_Panetta/status/1107267272270376964

https://twitter.com/Alex_Panetta/status/1107266304237551617

The tweet got people thinking about the contrast between the two figures once again.

https://twitter.com/dwallbank/status/1107270517902307328

https://twitter.com/jdawsey1/status/1107076589270040576

https://twitter.com/svdate/status/1107275302546345984

As if the president's weekend tweets weren't enough, he came back for more later in the week.

https://twitter.com/markknoller/status/1108044925382377472

https://twitter.com/LisaMirandoCNN/status/1108046277378486274

And, genuinely shockingly, he returned for a third attack not too long after that.

https://twitter.com/mkraju/status/1108456862024761344

Please note that the funeral comments also didn't actually have much to do with reality.

https://twitter.com/LeoShane/status/1108452890807623680

https://twitter.com/PeterAlexander/status/1108807729789972480

You know what they say: Attacking a dead man multiple times over the course of a week is the only way to truly demonstrate … uh … something? Dunno.

The Takeaway: If nothing else, perhaps it's time to reflect on the fact that Trump is highly focused on a man for whom he was barely a footnote in an otherwise long, often distinguished, career.

https://twitter.com/BresPolitico/status/1108047643912097792

If Anyone Knows Economics, It's Bruce Wayne and … John Cleese?

What Happened: It's said that only the best people work at the White House, that's not a joke. Apparently, the administration is even employing superheroes—and, bizarrely, Jabba the Hutt—in its economic office.

What Really Happened: Let's turn our attentions to a more frivolous matter for a second. Like, say, this year's Economic Report of the President, from the Council of Economic Advisers. People get super psyched about this kind of stuff!

https://twitter.com/byHeatherLong/status/1107854941295661056

https://twitter.com/Ben_Geman/status/1108057254656442373

And, yes, that's definitely what it was about the report that got everyone talking this week. It certainly wasn't the crazy list of interns at the end or anything.

https://twitter.com/marthagimbel/status/1108086527236530176

https://twitter.com/dylanlscott/status/1108092339933851649

https://twitter.com/shaun_bisson/status/1108095013299372036

https://twitter.com/qhardy/status/1108093342846341120

https://twitter.com/marcus_noland/status/1108105518407655432

https://twitter.com/PaulaChertok/status/1108106189827506176

For what it's worth, the CEA decided to pretend that all of this was intentional.

https://twitter.com/WhiteHouseCEA/status/1108102108086190081

https://twitter.com/WhiteHouseCEA/status/1108104032361631744

https://twitter.com/WhiteHouseCEA/status/1108103092795568128

If you're as unconvinced by that excuse as many others were, here's some food for thought: The same thing happened last year.

https://twitter.com/SaraBond/status/1108097546608472064

The Takeaway: A mistake or a joke that no one actually took in the manner it was intended? We may never know (but chances are, it's somewhere between the two; a joke that slipped through vetting a couple of years in a row), but if there's one thing everyone could learn from the kerfuffle, it's this:

https://twitter.com/stephgwhiteside/status/1108091118565163009

It's the Final Countdown (Unless There's an Extension)

What Happened: As the United Kingdom hurtles towards Brexit, the level of chaos and confusion that has marked the end of its relationship with the European Union stepped up a couple of notches. Forget good deal, bad deal, or no deal, everything has reached a point of "What even is the deal?"

What Really Happened: So, here's where all things Brexit were at the start of the week: The UK Parliament had voted to extend Article 50, meaning that Brexit—currently still scheduled for March 29—would be delayed until some later point. Prime Minister Theresa May asked for a delay through June 30, and European Union President Donald Tusk agreed … kind of. But there was a twist.

https://twitter.com/BBCPolitics/status/1108401782303031296

https://twitter.com/DPJHodges/status/1108400557390061569

https://twitter.com/michaelsavage/status/1108400936051986433

Then there was another twist. Tusk only actually agreed to delay until May 22, not June 30. But that kind of detail would be meaningless if the UK Parliament didn't pass May's deal, preferably as soon as possible. With nothing less than the fate of the United Kingdom on the line and Brexit nine days away, May announced a meeting of the leaders of all British political parties Wednesday night to discuss just what was about to happen. Let's just say that things didn't go well.

https://twitter.com/PaulBrandITV/status/1108447950659899393

Not the best look for the Labour Party leader, really.

https://twitter.com/jessicaelgot/status/1108454309744791559

https://twitter.com/vincecable/status/1108467415820562432

https://twitter.com/jamesrbuk/status/1108450544853704704

But not to worry; if the Labour leader wasn't too impressive in dire straits, Theresa May was ready to prove that no one can compare when it comes to own goals. After the meeting, she gave a statement that was much anticipated, with many expecting it to offer some element of olive branch to those in Parliament, and especially her own Conservative Party, in an attempt to get them to please, please, vote for the damn deal. That wasn't actually the speech she gave.

https://twitter.com/Peston/status/1108468620177432576

How bad was it? Everyone agreed, pretty bad might be an understatement.

https://twitter.com/BethRigby/status/1108501352311869441

https://twitter.com/faisalislam/status/1108470743250227206

https://twitter.com/lisanandy/status/1108483900970594304

https://twitter.com/bbclaurak/status/1108468721562079237

https://twitter.com/helenlewis/status/1108704758469140480

https://twitter.com/campbellclaret/status/1108819856714018818

It was also, arguably, dangerous in its positioning.

https://twitter.com/wesstreeting/status/1108480028533293057

Turns out, that wasn't actually an "if," but a "when."

https://twitter.com/lloyd_rm/status/1108786423379972097

https://twitter.com/lloyd_rm/status/1108786426613768193

Remember, violence against MPs isn't a new thing, nor a trivial matter, in the United Kingdom, as everyone who remembers Jo Cox would tell you. As May went to Europe to try unsuccessfully to argue her case—

https://twitter.com/JasonGroves1/status/1108843234116227072

—an online petition started being widely shared across social media to try and counteract what was happening in a last-ditch attempt.

https://twitter.com/davidschneider/status/1108509557209399297

https://twitter.com/caitlinmoran/status/1108517121577889794

https://twitter.com/DavidLammy/status/1108655105795129344

https://twitter.com/sturdyAlex/status/1108744287326474240

Late on Thursday, the European Union laid out new terms for the next three weeks—

https://twitter.com/eucopresident/status/1108860241008050176

—but, as is now traditional, the British government seemed to have its own agenda altogether, as was clear Friday.

https://twitter.com/KateEMcCann/status/1109077848210456576

So, where will the UK be this time next week? Your guess is as good as anybody's at this point, but there's a reasonably good chance that the answer involves still being part of Europe for a little while longer. At least there's a flow chart to make sense of it all.

https://twitter.com/BBCPolitics/status/1109064814964281344

The Takeaway: Honestly, if there is a takeaway to be found here, it's that nobody knows anything for sure about Brexit anymore.

https://twitter.com/mrjamesob/status/1109083171608506372

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