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Vox Sentences: Bye-bye, Bannon

Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what's happening in the world, curated by Ella Nilsen. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions.

Steve Bannon departs the White House after another tumultuous week; white supremacists are getting shut down on the internet; a solar eclipse is coming to the United States.

Totality is upon us

Scott Olson/Getty Images
  • Everyone get your special glasses ready and prepare your pinhole cameras — if you have somehow not heard, there’s a solar eclipse coming to the United States! [Vox / Joss Fong]
  • On Monday, the moon’s shadow will fall on the surface of the Earth and block out all or part of the sun. A total solar eclipse hasn’t happened in North America since 1979, and the last solar eclipse to cross the entire US hasn’t happened since 1918. [Business Insider / Leanna Garfield]
  • Depending on where you live, you’ll get to see a partial or total eclipse. The path of the total eclipse traverses parts of the United States, and people in states including Wyoming, Idaho, Nebraska, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, and South Carolina are right in the path of the total eclipse. [NASA]
  • People in these states and the ones surrounding them are preparing for huge crowds and intense traffic on highways. Officials at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming are anticipated record crowds. [Vox / Lauren Katz]
  • California’s solar industry is also prepping for the phenomenon, which could temporarily deprive the grid of a lot of energy. [Curbed / Patrick Zisson]
  • For a full map, plus a handy tool to find out how much of the eclipse you’ll be able to see depending on where you live, check out this awesome interactive from the Vox team. [Vox / Casey Miller, Ryan Mark, and Brian Resnick]
  • An evergreen reminder: You cannot look directly at it without protection for your eyeballs, so that you don’t burn a hole in them. You need solar eclipse glasses (which are pretty cheap), or you can make a pinhole camera pretty easily. [Wired / Rhett Allain]
  • Also, for all you Snapchat- and Instagram-happy people out there — don’t even try to waste your time pulling out your iPhone to get a picture of totality, because guess what it’s going to look like? A whole bunch of darkness. [Vox / Brian Resnick]

Bannon gets voted off the island

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
  • Another Friday, another Trump administration official gone. [Vox / Andrew Prokop]
  • White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is out, officials confirmed today. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that new Chief of Staff John Kelly and Bannon “mutually agreed” that Friday would be Bannon’s last day. [Washington Post / Ashley Parker, Philip Rucker, Robert Costa, and Damian Paletta]
  • Bannon's departure signifies not only a signal that his brand of nationalist thought is waning in the White House, but also that Trump is focused more on infighting than driving a concrete policy agenda. [Vox / Ezra Klein]
  • There were hints of a possible Bannon departure for a while, including a strange interview he did this week with the left-leaning American Prospect, where he called out other administration officials by name, threatened to fire people from the State Department, and questioned Trump’s stated policy on North Korea. [American Prospect / Robert Kuttner]
  • Bannon has been one of the most controversial White House officials, owing to his past heading up the far-right news website Breitbart and being one of the big players behind the Trump travel ban. [Bloomberg / Joshua Green]
  • There are also many questions about Bannon’s future — and a rumor that he’ll be returning to Breitbart, which essentially became a mouthpiece for Trump during the 2016 election. [Gabriel Sherman via Twitter]

Judging from the tweets of Breitbart editors since Bannon’s firing, it looks like a publication that once could say nothing bad about Trump is stepping up its critiques. The site has already started to suggest this is the beginning of a liberal pivot on Trump’s part. [Breitbart / Joel Pollak]

The internet vs. neo-Nazis

Zach D Roberts/NurPhoto via Getty Images
  • When white supremacists descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend, some told reporters that it was the moment they were taking their message off the internet and into physical space. [Vice News / Elle Reeve]
  • But in the wake of Charlottesville, white terror groups are finding their internet presence is rapidly shrinking, as web hosting companies are kicking them off en masse. [NPR / Aarti Shahani]
  • Hosting services like Google, GoDaddy, and CloudFlare pulled the domain of the neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer off their platforms, effectively shutting it down. The Daily Stormer also tried to register its domain in Russia, but it was taken down there too. [CNN Money / Ivana Kottasová]
  • Meanwhile, the social media giant Facebook is actively monitoring postings about Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer and taking down ones it deems to be hateful, as well as suspending page of hate groups, while the music streaming service Spotify axed white supremacist bands. [Washington Post / Hazma Shaban]
  • That is creating a big debate over free speech online, and some tech CEOs are publicly wondering if they’ve gone too far. [Ars Technica / Timothy Lee]
  • As CloudFlare CEO Matthew Prince wrote, he believes his own “arbitrary” decision to remove the Daily Stormer from the internet shouldn’t be so arbitrary, because free speech is at stake. In a blog post, Prince said there needs to be an established process to determine what can and can’t be on the internet, so that a group of tech CEOs aren’t the only ones deciding. [Ars Technica / Timothy Lee]

Off the internet, officials in Boston are preparing for another “free speech rally” that will draw conservative activists and members of the alt-right, as well as counterprotesters. Police have warned people not to bring any weapons, and are keeping the groups confined to separate areas. [WBUR / Max Larkin]


  • Thieves with a sweet tooth are on the loose in Germany, where a truck containing 20 tons of Nutella and Kinder Eggs was stolen, as well as another truck containing 30 tons of fruit juice. [NPR / Colin Dwyer]
  • How do countries around the world deal with statues put up during dark periods of their history? Some have constructed entire parks devoted to monuments that were taken down, so they can be viewed with the proper historical context. [Atlas Obscura / Erik Schilling]
  • In today’s top news for ridiculous vanity, an Indiana Congress member distributed an eight-page memo to his aides with specific details on how he likes to be driven around, with instructions for a smooth ride and all the things he likes to have (toothbrush, “petty cash,” stapler, and staple remover included). [Politico / John Bresnahan and Rachael Bade]
  • For people who don’t know when to stop working: There’s a persuasive case that you get more done when you work less (think cutting the typical eight-hour workday in half). [The Guardian / Oliver Burkeman]
  • In rural Washington, Trump voters are still facing addiction and poverty, and are growing frustrated with the seemingly endless chaos coming from the man they voted for. [Associated Press / Clare Galofaro]


  • “I'm not talking to the president now. I'm sorry. After what he said about my child.” [Susan Bro, mother of Heather Heyer to Good Morning America / Robin Roberts]
  • “I am not a hawk nor a dove. I am not a bird at all, again. I am not affiliated with any sort of organization with ‘coo’ or ‘clucks’ in its name, neither for racist reasons nor for the reason that these are noises a bird would make. I distance myself from both of those things equally.” [Washington Post / Alexandra Petri]
  • “Excessive worry can lead to fatigue, lack of concentration, and muscle tightness. The interesting thing is the fatigue and lack of concentration are the opposite of what people are trying to promote when they’re advocating for vigilance.” [Scott Woodruff to the Atlantic / Julie Beck]
  • “Modern archery is like you’re shooting a machine; with traditional, you feel it.” [Sebnum Salika Cakiroglu to NYT / Monique Jaques]
  • “For the past 20 or 25 years two central themes in rap have been having money and finding ways to show it off; it makes sense that certain artists known for a dandyish flair in their music would gravitate toward the realm of European high fashion, which is nothing if not exclusive, distinctive, and expensive.” [NYMag / Frank Guan]

Watch this: How a recording studio mishap shaped ’80s music

Warning: This is an unapologetic ode to gated reverb drums. [YouTube / Estelle Caswell and Carlos Waters]

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