"People aren't using drugs to get blasted into outer space. In a small amount, people are finding they are having more focus, instead of that typical cannabis experience when they're a little distracted and hazy." Bloomberg's Rebecca Greenfield makes the case for eating weed at work: It's like a cup of coffee, but marijuana. Editor's note: If you open up seventy-five browser tabs worth of news each morning, weed isn't even strong enough to be your appetizer.
The media is fully consumed. The president is lashing out on Twitter. And the Russia story gets more complicated (and confusing) every day. Whether you view the glasnost as half full or half empty depends largely on your political party. In WaPo, Philip Bump provides an update on the web of relationships between Team Trump and Russia.
+ Jeff Sessions recused himself from investigations into any campaign-related probes. Interestingly, he also broke with intelligence agencies saying he doesn't know if Russia wanted Trump to win. Also problematic is this report courtesy of the WSJ: Sessions Used Campaign Funds for Trip to Meet With Russian Envoy.
+ There have been several comparisons between the scandals of Mike Flynn and Jeff Sessions. But you really can't compare the two when it comes to influence in the current administration. The LA Times has a useful chart showing how Jeff Sessions' influence flows through the Trump administration.
+ "He has become a lightning rod for suspicions about Donald Trump's ties with Russia, inadvertently bringing down one of the president's closest allies and now threatening another." Get to know Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. (I already don't recall linking to this story.)
What to Watch: TV reviewer Tim Goodman recently said it's safe to say that Legion is the best show on TV. That was enough to pique my interest. But after I realized the show is from Noah Hawley (who has made appearances in this spot for his excellent novel Before the Fall and his great show Fargo), I raced to check out the show. I'm one episode in and, man, is this show a trip. Definitely give it a try: Legion on Fx. (I watched the first episode using the Fx app on Apple TV.)
+ What to Read: "Want to hear a sick joke? A husband and wife walk into the emergency room in the late evening on Sept. 5, 2015. A few hours and tests later, the doctor clarifies that the unusual pain the wife is feeling on her right side isn't the no-biggie appendicitis they suspected but rather ovarian cancer." Amy Krouse Rosenthal in the NYT: You May Want to Marry My Husband. Wow...
+ What to Check Out: George W. Bush's Painted Atonements: "The quality of the art is astonishingly high for someone who -- because he "felt antsy" in retirement .... took up painting."
Bomb threats and cemetery desecrations have marked a resurgence of antisemitism in America. Now at least one of the perpetrators has been caught. From WaPo: "Authorities investigating recent bomb threats against Jewish institutions nationwide arrested a former journalist Friday morning and said he was behind at least some of the threats, describing them as part of the man's campaign to harass a woman."
I'm not going to pretend this is a big story (much in the way I didn't pretend the other email saga was a big story). But it's definitely ironic. From IndyStar: "Vice President Mike Pence routinely used a private email account to conduct public business as governor of Indiana, at times discussing sensitive matters and homeland security issues." But wait, it gets better. His account was on AOL, and the "account was actually compromised last summer by a scammer who sent an email to his contacts claiming Pence and his wife were stranded in the Philippines and in urgent need of money."
+ Instead of rehashing history's most infamous private email server story, let's go another direction and find out what the guy behind the "You've got mail" message is up to these days: He drives an Uber.
"The document, from the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, makes the case that most foreign-born, U.S.-based violent extremists are likely not radicalized when they come to the U.S., but rather become radicalized after living in the U.S. for a number of years." A newly leaked report hammers home the point that the travel ban is totally unrelated to making us safe.
+ It's more than the fact that the ban is (and always has been) based on a fictional threat. It's that it very likely increases the threat of domestic terrorism. Here's my take: Heavy Vetting or Aiding and Abetting?
+ You can be in favor of the deportations. But you should know who's being deported. From the Houston Chronicle: "The government's decision to remove the 31-year-old father, who has no criminal record and is married to an American citizen, is the latest indication that President Donald Trump's administration plans to deport practically any immigrant here illegally." And here's a story of an undocumented dad arrested while dropping his kids of school.
+ "An immigration judge granted his release only hours before, during a hearing in Kansas City, Mo., noting that he had received a surprising array of supportive letters about Mr. Hernandez from leaders in West Frankfort, Ill., including the county prosecutor, deputy chief of police and a retired member of the Illinois State Police." From the NYT: Backed by Law Enforcement, Undocumented Immigrant Gets Reprieve.
"After a 12-year interruption in executions, Arkansas plans an exceptional rush in late April, putting eight men to death over 10 days." What's the rush? The state's lethal injection drugs are about to expire.
"The board of the high school in Mountain View agreed to invest $15,000 in seed money in Snap in 2012 based on a recommendation of Barry Eggers, a venture capitalist who was also a parent of a student at the school at the time." Sounds like Barry is a pretty valuable board member. A Silicon Valley high school just made $24 million from the Snap IPO. (Hey, if Snap can survive this association, they will never be uncool with teens...)
"The result is a strong propensity for holding grudges. It protects us from being taken advantage of again, but can also make for some uncomfortable, anxiety-inducing moments at high school reunions." From Quartz: An evolutionary psychologist explains why you will always be haunted by high school. (Don't kid yourself. You'll be way more haunted by what you shared on social media...)
Jimmy Buffett created an incredibly valuable brand largely leveraging off of one song: Margaritaville. Well, now you can waste away at Latitude Margaritaville, a mixed-use senior development currently under construction in Daytona Beach, Florida. (I wonder if those with high blood pressure can get their margaritas with a salt substitute?)
+ Even the Atlanta Falcons think this high school basketball team suffered a pretty tough loss.
+ Nothing I do will ever be as cool as this Mets player bare-handing a flying bat.
+ Walden Pond is now a video game. Perfect.