July 20th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Trump rips Sessions and others, McCain gets a tough diagnosis, and how arresting El Chapo made things worse...

By popular demand, I try not to lead NextDraft with Trump news. But we’ve arrived at our first serious Trump era crisis: There’s no more room under the bus. In an(other) epic interview with the NYT, Trump ripped Mueller, Rosenstein, Comey, and most notably, Jeff Sessions — one of his earliest and most influential supporters: and the one non-family member even longtime Trump-observers were surprised to see thrown under the bus. Trump said if he had known Sessions would have recused himself in the Russia investigation, he wouldn’t have appointed him.

+ Here are the excerpts from the interview. Interestingly, Trump mentions Hillary Clinton within the first twenty words of his first answer. The question: “How was your lunch?”

+ Sessions gave no indication that the latest remarks by his boss would push him to resign: “We love this job, we love this department, and I plan to continue to do so as long as that is appropriate.”

+ Trump also indicated that he believed Mueller would be crossing a red line if his investigation moved into his private financial dealings. According to Bloomberg, that red line is already in Mueller’s rearview mirror. And from the NYT: Big German Bank, Key to Trump’s Finances, Faces New Scrutiny.

+ And, in the midst of all the scandals and bluster, some policy news from Reuters: Trump ends CIA arms support for anti-Assad Syria rebels: “The U.S. decision, said one of the officials, is part of an effort by the administration to improve relations with Russia, which along with Iranian-supported groups has largely succeeded in preserving Assad’s government in the six-year-civil war.”


McCain’s Tough Diagnosis

“I greatly appreciate the outpouring of support. Unfortunately for my sparring partners in Congress, I’ll be back soon, so stand-by!” John McCain remains steadfast and tough (as you’d expect) after receiving news that he has brain cancer. There was an outpouring of good wishes and support from both sides of the aisle.


City of Mencho

“Over 25 years of working in Mexico, you’d run into guys who had met Chapo, who would talk about him. But with Mencho, you don’t hear that. He’s kind of a ghost.” The arrest of El Chapo and other key cartel players has changed the landscape when it comes to the drugs and violence in Mexico. It’s gotten more violent. Rolling Stone on The Brutal Rise of El Mencho.


Bill Paid to Society?

“You know? It’s — it was my property. I wasn’t there to steal from anybody. And I would never, ever pull a weapon, ever pull a weapon on anybody.” After serving nine years (of a 33 year sentence) for robbery, OJ Simpson was granted parole on Thursday. (It’s a sign of the times that even OJ can barely make a dent in the nonstop Trump coverage.)

+ Should Simpson have been granted parole? The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin: “The American legal system is not supposed to be a karma-based organism of retribution for unpunished bad deeds, but that’s how it worked in Nevada. The Las Vegas case was a transparent attempt by the local authorities to issue payback for Simpson’s acquittal in the 1994 murders.”


Mind Tricks

“The message is that conditions like dementia are not immutable and are substantially modifiable by the environment.” From WaPo: Healthier living could reduce worldwide dementia by a third.



“It doesn’t matter if you make a million dollars or have a billion followers … That’s great, but [there are] life skills you’re gonna learn, and you learn so much. This is your first business, as a YouTuber. This is your brand. You’re an entrepreneur by nature.” The Verge takes you inside the first summer camp geared towards helping you become an Internet star. Back in my day, all you had to do was either release a sex tape or run for higher office.


Seared Stake

Sears stock price soared higher for the first time in recent memory. What happened? The struggling retailer announced that they’d start selling appliances through Amazon. Nike announced a deal to sell products through Amazon last month. Anyone sensing a trend here?



From Pitchfork: “Chester Bennington, best known as the lead singer of Linkin Park, has died, TMZ reports and bandmate Mike Shinoda confirms. His death was a suicide by hanging, according to the report. Bennington was 41 years old.” Another sad reminder that mental health issues don’t care who you are or what you do.


We Should Land Here, Eh?

A couple weeks ago, there was a close call at SFO when an Air Canada plane almost crashed into several other planes on the tarmac. How close? Here’s a pretty jarring look.

+ That thing where a plane merges in front of you while you’re driving down the highway.


Bottom of the News

“Since 2012, it has experienced at least 5% growth in sales every year, according to data provided by Euromonitor. That leaves other condiments — think mustard, mayo, and ketchup — in the dust.” From Quartz: Americans are divided about almost everything — except hot sauce.

+ The Atlantic’s Ian Bogost (rightly) praises a subtle but great toaster feature. “The A Bit More button doesn’t reinvent the appliance’s form. It finds its soul instead.” Now we just need an A Bit Less button for the Internet…

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