Pablo Cruises

Due to Spring Break, delivery of NextDraft will be very limited through next week.

The great Congressional exodus of 2018 continues with Speaker Paul Ryan's announcement that he will retire at the end of his term. In what seems like an apt metaphor for his recent tenure, President Trump lauded the exiting speaker in between Tweets threatening Russia with missile attacks and rants about Robert Mueller and the Justice Department. The never-ending madness alone makes this a decent time for Ryan to trickle down and out.

+ FiveThirtyEight: Paul Ryan gave up one of the most powerful jobs in politics. It totally makes sense.

+ Ronald Brownstein sums it up: "Paul Ryan, who once aspired to advance the vision of conservative icon Jack Kemp, will leave Washington carrying a more tarnished legacy—as the most important enabler of Donald Trump."

+ For a long time, Paul Ryan has been dedicated to the kinds of tax cuts he helped pass. But he was also a deficit hawk who leaves America with one that is exploding. Derek Thompson on the legacy of a speaker who was all about the economy.


Meal Plan

"For the past four years, Costco has been selling pallets of shriveled vegetables, fruits, grains, and meats that promise to feed a single family for up to a year—and if you're not a member, you can purchase similar survival kits, many of which boast a 20- to 30-year shelf life, at Walmart and Target." And don't be embarrassed that you might look like you're preparing for the apocalypse. You're far from alone. Emilie Friedlander in Vice: I Lived Exclusively Off Doomsday Prepper Food for a Week. (Free name for any company looking to sell these food kits: Apocalypse Chow.)


Goon, Grifter, Crook, Shark Week

As Mueller closes in and the news cycle reaches another fevered pitch, President Trump used Twitter to taunt Russia with threats about smart missiles. "Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!' You shouldn't be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!" The Atlantic: Trump's Dangerous Threat of War. Trump later explained that the bad blood with Russia is mostly caused by the "Fake & Corrupt Russia Investigation." On Twitter, Trump is conflating the issues of his own legal jeopardy and the Syria situation. (Editor's note: This is reason for concern.)

+ "I will put this as bluntly as I know how: There is no way that the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York would have sought or executed a search warrant against the president's lawyer without overpowering evidence to support the action." Benjamin Wittes in Lawfare: How the Cohen Raids and Trump's Reactions Edge Us Toward Confrontation.

+ CNN: Senators introduce bipartisan legislation protecting Mueller.

+ The NYT Editorial Board is not pulling punches. "Mr. Trump has spent his career in the company of developers and celebrities, and also of grifters, cons, sharks, goons and crooks. He cuts corners, he lies, he cheats, he brags about it, and for the most part, he's gotten away with it, protected by threats of litigation, hush money and his own bravado. Those methods may be proving to have their limits when they are applied from the Oval Office." The Law is Coming, Mr. Trump.


Mark Week

WaPo's Margaret Sullivan on Mark Zuckerberg's first day of testimony: Members of Congress can't possibly regulate Facebook. They don't understand it. The House was a little tougher on Zuck. Here's a rundown of day two.

+ At least he's one of us. Zuckerberg says his personal data was sold to Cambridge Analytica. And he overshares too! Yesterday, he left his notes out during a break in the hearings.

+ "The Facebook property is worth about $650 million today, according to municipal records, accounting for nearly half of the entire town's value. But only about 250 people work there, in a town with a population of 7,400. Forest City has more computer servers than people." Facebook has a lot of data about you. And this is where they keep it.

+ As I mentioned yesterday, the privacy issue is important. But part of the reason you don't care about these Facebook hearings is because you know it's not the real tech issue we have to worry about. Facebook could disappear tomorrow and we'd just build a new toy we couldn't put down. A junkie doesn't quit because one dealer gets busted. So Let's Talk About The Real Technology Problem.



"According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, 33% of 25-29 year olds lived with their parents or grandparents in 2016. This is almost three times as many as in 1970." Quartz: The share of American young adults living with their parents is the highest in 75 years. (Moving back home is a great way to get your mom to stop complaining that you never call.)


Pot Stickler

Paul Ryan isn't the only speaker making big news today. John Boehner, who has been a staunch opponent of legalized marijuana, just joined the board of a cannabis company. "I'm joining the board of AcreageHoldings because my thinking on cannabis has evolved. I'm convinced de-scheduling the drug is needed so we can do research, help our veterans, and reverse the opioid epidemic ravaging our communities."

+ Quartz: 420,000 people were arrested for selling marijuana while John Boehner ran Congress.


Wait For It…

"The past 10 years were all for this day. The times when he wondered if this was all worth it, when he made less than $30,000 a year to play basketball, living with roommates sometimes a decade younger than him, were for this." Andre Ingram waited a hell of a long time to get his first shot in an NBA game. It went in. So did a lot more. So great.


Open Mic Drop

"The list of careers Shore influenced included those of Letterman and Leno as well as Jimmie Walker, Andy Kaufman, Robin Williams, Bob Saget, Richard Lewis, Garry Shandling, Elayne Boosler and dozens of other readily identifiable names. Richard Pryor used the club almost exclusively to prepare for his 1974 breakthrough album." Quite simply, comedy wouldn't be comedy without her. From the LA Times: Comedy Store owner Mitzi Shore dies at 87.


Lead Zeppelin

"Many students already experience anxiety while taking exams such as the SAT, and disruptions in testing may further increase this anxiety for students." The NYT on how testers and test-takers are gearing up for the post Number 2 pencil era.


Bottom of the News

I tried to get out a family trip by saying I had to stay home and think about what to do about Syria. No dice. And so, this is a quick reminder that I'll be hitting the road with the fam for a Spring Break vacation. I'll try to squeeze in a couple editions during the next week. But delivery will be sporadic.

+ For me, this baseball season couldn't come soon enough. For Chicago White Sox fans, it can still wait a little longer. Only 974 people showed up for a recent home game.

+ "By studying dozens of fossilized ostracods, Maria João Fernandes Martins from the Smithsonian Institution and her colleagues have found that species where males are disproportionately bigger than females—and so invest more heavily in sex, and have larger penises—disappear far more quickly." When a Bigger Penis Means Swifter Extinction. Ugh, I already have travel anxiety, and now this...