A Sense of Where We Are: Lost, Probably

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Louisville, Kentucky—With yesterday’s detour into Ohio! and Indiana, our total number of states has climbed to 12. Included within that is a former independent republic that kind of sort of wants to become a sovereign nation again (Vermont), a giant chunk of space that could be its own state (upstate New York), a state that used to be part of another state (West Virginia), a state that was almost a state but for the all-consuming 18th century real estate market (“Franklin” in East Tennessee), and a state that nearly sold itself to the king of Spain in exchange for a few noble titles and access to the Mississippi River (Kentucky). A little bit of everything, in other words.

My host in Lexington made a funny face when I told her I was in Kentucky “to see the sinkholes,” but it’s really no joke—they’re everywhere in Kentucky, where water and limestone have teamed up to produce a bevy of preposterous geological activity. Case in point: We’re headed south to Mammoth Cave today, which, if our navigational talents hold up, will probably be the last place we’re ever seen alive. I’m told the WiFi signal is a little spotty that close to the Earth’s core, but watch this space for the full report on our trip to the Creation Museum and the last resting place of America’s worst-dressed head of state.

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LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

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It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

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