Tuesday, May 1st, 2018


Boss Examination

You have the right to remain silent. In addition to its original usage, maybe that line should be part of the presidential swearing in ceremony; because Robert Mueller's list of questions for Trump makes it clear that the president's words (and Tweets) can and will be used against him. That's just one of the things that stands out in list of questions the special counsel has for Donald Trump. From Michael Schmidt at the NYT: Mueller Has Dozens of Inquiries for Trump in Broad Quest on Russia Ties and Obstruction: "The open-ended queries appear to be an attempt to penetrate the president's thinking, to get at the motivation behind some of his most combative Twitter posts and to examine his relationships with his family and his closest advisers."

+ Interro-Gate: The topics cover so much ground that even Siri and Alexa would get sick of all the questions. Flynn, Comey, McCabe, Manafort, Sessions, Don Jr, Michael Cohen, Felix Sater, Putin, Stone, Assange, Erik Prince. Bobby Three Sticks has so many lines of inquiry about so many people that I was a bit surprised not to see Kanye West on the list. More from the NYT: The Questions Mueller Wants to Ask Trump About Obstruction, and What They Mean.

+ The Art of the Spiel: Trump took to Twitter to rail about the questions being leaked (even though the leak probably originated with his own legal team). He also claimed that there are no questions about collusion (there actually are, bigly, including this whopper: "What knowledge did you have of any outreach by your campaign, including by Paul Manafort, to Russia about potential assistance to the campaign?"). In another tweet, Trump explained that "It would seem very hard to obstruct justice for a crime that never happened." (Editor's note: that's not actually how the law works.)

+ You Can't Handle the Truth: Now that we have an idea of what Mueller wants to know, the big question is whether Trump will ever sit down for an interview. That would be a risky proposition. Consider that Trump has made 3,001 false or misleading claims so far as president. And the pace of those lies has actually accelerated over time. (Trump might be better off skipping the Mueller interview and just doing a Reddit AMA instead...)


Me, Myselfie, and I

"Loneliness isn't just a fleeting feeling, leaving us sad for a few hours to a few days. Research in recent years suggests that for many people, loneliness is more like a chronic ache, affecting their daily lives and sense of well-being." About half of all Americans report being lonely. And, as NPR reports, young people bear the heaviest burden. (This is another example of how the Internet is upside-down world. We're more networked than ever, and more alone than ever...)


Border Order

From Reuters: "Hopes rose on Tuesday among a caravan of migrants who traveled from Central America to seek asylum in the United States after US border authorities allowed the first small group of women and children entry from Mexico overnight."

+ "They all planned to seek asylum in the United States. But someone had to be at the front of the line. And in end, they picked her." The migrants selected Gabriela Hernandez to be among those to go across the border first. "Hernandez had fled a threat of violence in Honduras with her sons, ages 6 and 2."

+ "They're doing this to make a point: 'Don't come here. We don't want you.'" The New Yorker on the Trump administration's hard line on refugees.

+ "Over the past month, the Trump administration has taken aim at a previously uncontroversial set of child protection laws created to protect young people who cross into the United States without a parent or guardian." A joint investigation by The Marshall Project and the NYT: Trump's Quiet War on Migrant Kids.


Help Wanted

"In this new phase of the U.S. economy, one marked by a shortage of workers rather than jobs, civic leaders in Hamilton and elsewhere are asking themselves: Why not pay people to move here?" How Bad Is the Labor Shortage? Cities Will Pay You to Move There. (This must be why we're trying so hard to recruit immigrants looking for work. Oh, wait...)


A Tense Exchange

"These facts are consistent with what the United States has long known: Iran has a robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program that it has tried and failed to hide from the world and from its own people." That was part of an incredibly bold White House statement concurring with Benjamin Netanyahu's PowerPoint presentation on Iran's nuclear program. But shortly after it was circulated, a corrected version was released. It changed one word: From Iran has a robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program, to Iran had a robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program. The change was chalked up to a clerical error.


Schoolyard Wooly

"If they were to go through with this, he would have to change his birth date. And if he was going to change his birth date anyway, how would he feel about claiming to be a full five years younger than he was? Further, if they were to do him this solid, they would need for him to enroll in the local high school, too." GQ's Daniel Riley on The Great High School Impostor.


Parker Spot

"The appeal of the DTC movement goes like this: By selling directly to consumers online, you can avoid exorbitant retail markups and therefore afford to offer some combination of better design, qual­ity, service, and lower prices because you've cut out the middleman. By connect­­ing directly with consumers online, you can also better control your messages to them and, in turn, gather data about their purchase behavior, thereby enabling you to build a smarter product engine." Inc on how Wharton became the key incubator for a movement that includes more than 400 startups are trying to become the next Warby Parker.


Buy Backdraft

"While there are pockets of the economy where investment is picking up — among large tech companies and in shale oil business, for example — corporate spending on buying back stock is increasing at a far faster clip." The NYT: Investment Boom From Trump's Tax Cut Has Yet to Appear.

+ WaPo: Rare trifecta of soaring stocks, cheap loans and low inflation coming to an end. (It was damn fun while it lasted...)


Tony Hawks

This year's Tony Award noms feature a lot of familiar titles, even if you never go anywhere near Broadway. Mean Girls, SpongeBob SquarePants, Frozen, and Harry Potter are all among those vying for trophies.

+ Another familiar name on the Tony's roster: Bruce Springsteen. He's set to receive a special honor for his show that has grossed more than $55 million to date.


Bottom of the News

"Do you think you'll go faster by honking?" It probably won't work, but people will certainly keep trying. In this video, a dude walks around New York City and asks drivers why they're honking their horns. (And he lived to tell about it...)

+ AP: CEO caught on TV singing ‘We're in the Money' after takeover. (What, a business deal that was done to make money???)

+ What's in This? Mountain Dew edition.

+ And that time the president's personal bodyguard raided his personal doctor's office two days after the doctor admitted that he prescribed hair growth medicine to the president. (Because, before that admission, no one would have guessed...)