June 12th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

The stats 50 years after Loving v Virginia. Spoiler alert: Loving is winning.

It’s been five decades since the Loving v Virginia ruling that made interracial marriages legal across the country. So this seems like a reasonable time to check in on some of the related stats. According to Pew, “in 2015, 17% of all U.S. newlyweds had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity, marking more than a fivefold increase since 1967, when 3% of newlyweds were intermarried.” As you’d imagine, many more Americans now say marrying someone of a different race is good for society, and the number of those who indicate an opposition has dropped: “In 1990, 63% of nonblack adults surveyed said they would be very or somewhat opposed to a close relative marrying a black person; today the figure stands at 14%.” (Full disclosure: I’m Jewish and my wife is Samoan; so our son overpowers people in sports, but then feels really guilty about it.)

+ The NYT shares readers’ reflections on being in a mixed-race marriage: Loving, 50 Years Later.

+ Last week, Bill Maher was rightfully taking heat for using the N word during his weekly show. There were calls to fire him. HBO didn’t do that. Instead, Maher had Michael Eric Dyson and Ice Cube on his show. Each of them led discussions on the topic that were endlessly valuable. Sometimes, firing does less good than talking. The admonishments Maher received from Dyson and Ice Cube were representative of an increasingly endangered species: Honest conversation.


Grid Pro Quo

“At midnight, a week before last Christmas, hackers struck an electric transmission station north of the city of Kiev, blacking out a portion of the Ukrainian capital equivalent to a fifth of its total power capacity. The outage lasted about an hour—hardly a catastrophe. But now, cybersecurity researchers have found disturbing evidence that the blackout may have only been a dry run.” This is a reminder of what the whole Russian hacking story is really about: Russian hacking. Wired on the malware that took down a power grid.


A Child’s Place

“Jacqueline once poured soap and hair dye into Angel’s bottle and decided to drink the toxic mix, too. She wanted everything to go black. But instead they vomited, and Jacqueline reluctantly decided to keep going.” WaPo’s Danielle Paquette with a moving story that his both horrifying and hopeful. Rwanda’s children of rape are coming of age — against the odds.

+ Also from WaPo, John Woodrow Cox tracks the impact gun violence in schools has on an often forgotten group of kids: the survivors. Twelve seconds of gunfire: “Recess had finally started, so Ava Olsen picked up her chocolate cupcake, then headed outside toward the swings. And that’s when the 7-year-old saw the gun.”


Ban Not Getting Back Together

“The Order does not offer a sufficient justification to suspend the entry of more than 180 million people on the basis of nationality.” The Ninth Circuit upheld the block on Trump’s travel ban. And once again, the president’s tweets were cited in the ruling.

+ WaPo: “Attorneys general for the District of Columbia and the state of Maryland sued President Trump on Monday, alleging that he has violated anti-corruption clauses in the Constitution by accepting millions in payments and benefits from foreign governments since moving into the White House.”

+ Jeff Sessions will testify before the Senate Intel Committee on Tuesday.

+ “Never has there been a president, with few exceptions — case of FDR, he had a major depression to handle — who has passed more legislation and who has done more things than what we’ve done.” President Trump held his first full cabinet meeting on Monday. There was a lot of praise.


Uber’s Cultural Drive By

One of Uber’s top (and most controversial) execs is leaving the company, and there a chance that Travis Kalanick could be taking a leave of absence. Meanwhile, the company appointed a new outside board member and agreed to adopt of the recommendations in the Holder Report during a lengthy board meeting over the weekend. (It must have been quite a board meeting. When it was over, half the attendees got picked up in a Lyft.) ReCode is updating all the stories related to Uber’s culture crisis.


Meanwhile, Back at the (other) Branch

While most of DC has been fixated on Russia-related testimony, a group of Senators has been quietly coming to terms on a health bill that is gaining steam. From Vox: Obamacare is in real danger. Mitch McConnell wants a vote by July 4. But so far, no one outside of room has seen a draft of the bill.

+ Bloomberg: America’s health-care crisis is a gold mine for crowdfunding.


Orange Julius

BofA and Delta swiftly pulled their support for this season’s production of Shakespeare in the Park’s Julius Caeser from NYC’s Public Theatre. The controversy erupted when sponsors realized that the play would be adapted to feature a Trump-like character as Caesar, for whom (spoiler alert) things don’t end well. (The comparison itself is a stretch. If Trump were a salad dressing, it wouldn’t be Caesar, it would be Russian.) From The New Yorker: In Defense of The Trumpian Julius Caesar.

+ And yes, there was once an Obama-starring production of Julius Caesar too.


Mugging Up on Mug Shots

“The U.S., paradoxically, professes a belief in blind justice while eagerly distributing photos of its accused. It’s not that police departments in, say, England or Canada don’t collect photographs of the people they’ve arrested; they just only release them when there’s an important reason to. There’s a jailbreak, say. Or a murderer on the loose.” From The Marshall Project: How your ugly booking photos (and Tiger’s) became a commodity for cops, hustlers and journalists.


Wham, Bam, Thank You Gram

“The report shows what we all knew intuitively: that celebrities, even the super popular ones with managers and lawyers who know better, are doing ads and not disclosing it.” From Buzzfeed: 93% of top celebrity instagram ads aren’t properly disclosed.


Bottom of the News

“For we are living in a golden age of sexual creativity — an erotic renaissance that is, I believe, unprecedented in human history. Today you can, in a matter of minutes, see more boners than the most orgiastic member of Caligula’s court would see in a lifetime. This is, in itself, enough to revolutionize sexual culture at every level. But seeing isn’t even the whole story — because each of us also has the ability to replicate, share, and reinvent everything we see. Taken as a whole, this vast trove of smut is the Kinsey Report of our time, shedding light on the multiplicity of erotic desires and sexual behaviors in our midst.” NY Mag on how P*rnhub became the Kinsey Report of our time. And what we learned about sexual desire from 10 years of P*rnhub user data. (Interesting. I only visit that site for the articles…)

+ You can go back and use an original Macintosh in 2017. (For many people I know, this story is more titillating than the one above…)

+ The word Perennial is getting picked up far and wide and now has its own Wikipedia entry. Next stop the OED.

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