Thursday, June 25th, 2015


The Rubber Glove Hits the Road

After what must have felt like the political equivalent of the world's longest and most invasive prostate exam, President Obama can finally lift his elbows from the examination table and give his legacy a round of applause. The Affordable Care Act survived its latest (and possibly last) Supreme Court challenge as a 6-3 decision affirmed the "administration's view that subsidies should be available for all low and moderate-income Americans wherever they live, not just in states that have set up their own health insurance exchanges."

+ From Scalia's scalpel to Roberts' Rx, here are the 8 best lines from the huge Obamacare ruling, from applesauce to jiggery-pokery. The key line for the majority: "Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them."

+ Obama's domestic legacy was essentially cemented during this one single week when Obamacare survived the court, the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal was fast-tracked on a course towards completion, and Obama appeared on Marc Maron's WTF podcast. (There have been times when I didn't accomplish that much in two weeks.)


Love in Paris

Taxi drivers around the world are unhappy with Uber, but in France, that unhappiness has been taken to a new level with a massive strike, traffic jams, destroyed vehicles, blocked airport access, fires in the streets, and what has to be the headline of the day: French Taxi Drivers Rampage Against Uber -- Burning Tires, Flipping Cars, And Inconveniencing Courtney Love.

+ The Verge on Courtney Love's Paris getaway (and probably the end of any hopes she may have had of one day being named ambassador).


War is Sell

"The real problem ... was with the handheld bomb detectors being used at just about every Iraqi-run checkpoint in the country. They were toys. They had never worked. It had all been an expensive charade -- costing the Iraqi government tens of millions of dollars and hundreds of lives" (Not necessarily in that order.) Vanity Fair's Jeffrey E. Stern on the $80 million fake bomb-detector scam -- and the people behind it.


There Froze the Neighborhood

When it comes to things like quality schools, services, transportation, and parks, it's not just about how much money you have, it's about where you live. That's why this surprising stat from NYT Upshot is worth noting: "The typical middle-income black family lives in a neighborhood with lower incomes than the typical low-income white family."

+ Speaking of notable stats, the majority of American babies are now minorities.


Take This Job and Shovel It

"She estimates that she spends 90 percent of her day scrubbing, sweeping, mopping, and disposing of the feces of dozens of species of animals. Yet, when she talks about her work, she practically vibrates with excitement." If you want to understand what makes work meaningful, you might want to ask a zookeeper.


You Live in the Desert!

"It was so desolate that one knoll was known then, and still is today, as the 'hill of the only tree.' The only water for growing vegetables was the runoff from a primitive shower house." Christa Case Bryant with the very interesting story of the invention of the drip system (less water, more growth) and the other ways Israel defies drought.

+ The latest evidence of climate change is that Alaska is entering a new era of wildfires (confirming my suspicion that we will finally convince most Americans that climate change exists just moments before Earth explodes into a massive fireball).


Ooh, Ooh, Ooh … Oh.

In the midnight hour, she cried more, more, and ok, we're good. According to this piece in the NYT, some sex can be important to one's happiness, but more sex does not necessarily make one more happy. After some study partipants reported a 40% increase in intercourse "their well-­being declined, especially in measures of energy and enthusiasm, as did the quality of the sex."

+ Also from the NYT, Confessions of a Seduction Addict: "I can't even say it was the sex. Sex was just the gateway drug for me, a portal to the much higher high I was really after, which was seduction." (For me, the gateway drug was begging which led me to rejection.)


Network To Dump Rump from Chump Trump

Univision and Donald Trump are at odds after the former announced plans to end its relationship with the Miss Universe Organization because of Trump's "insulting remarks about Mexican immigrants." Trump is arguing that the network has no way out of its contract, and that its executives are merely capitulating to pressure "put on them by various sources in Mexico." (Those various sources include the Mexican people, their leaders, and the rest of the world.)

+ Seriously, for that headline alone you should take a second out of your day and share NextDraft on Facebook and/or on the Twitter machine.


On Fairy’s Tail

"Just because he is a well-known artist does not take away the fact that he is also a vandal." In Detroit, police have issued an arrest warrant for for Shepard Fairey for tagging various areas around the city. (He should have tagged it Banksy; instead of jail, they'd be trying to put him in a museum.)


Bottom of the News

AB InBev has settled a class action suit brought by customers who were disappointed to learn that "imported beer" can mean it was imported from Missouri.

+ It was recently International Yoga day, and InFocus has a collection of photos.

+ And speaking of striking a pose, here's the NYT on growing older with Madonna.

+ A man screaming for more crackers, a 24-hour delay, 13,000 gallons of fuel dumped from the air... Yup, we've got another story about a United flight.