Friday, May 18th, 2018



One of the trademarks of NextDraft is that the meaning of the headlines are often not clear until you've read the blurb. This headline was likely an exception. If you hear that a big story in America is simply titled Again, there's a decent chance you know there's been another school shooting. There has been an average of one a week so far this year. Here are the details on this one: The school: Santa Fe High School outside of Houston. The dead: At least ten, including students and teachers. The shooter: A 17 year-old student in custody. Here's the latest from CNN. A student named Paige summarized her reality when she was asked by a reporter from a local TV station if she was surprised a shooting happened at her school. "No ... it's been happening everywhere. I always felt like eventually it was going to happen here too."

+ President Trump addressed the issue: "To the students, families, teachers and personnel at Santa Fe High School – we are with you in this tragic hour, and we will be with you forever..." (So, seemingly, will this American scourge.)


The Half and the Half Nots

It's the best of times. It's the worst of times. It just depends on who you ask. According to a recent study, almost half of US families can't afford basics like rent and food. "Many of these folks are the nation's child care workers, home health aides, office assistants and store clerks, who work low-paying jobs and have little savings, the study noted. Some 66% of jobs in the US pay less than $20 an hour."

+ The Atlantic: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy.


Weekend Whats

What to Read: This era is shadowed by an impending showdown between two men who are the ultimate study in contrasts. One, you hear from all the time. The other rarely makes a sound these days. Wired's Garrett Graff on The Untold Story Of Robert Mueller's Time In Combat. "His father was a DuPont executive who had captained a Navy submarine-chaser in World War II; he expected his children to abide by a strict moral code. 'A lie was the worst sin,' Mueller says." (Like I said, contrasts...)

+ What to Shop: Boon Supply is a new platform that allows publishers and organizations to host stores that sell fab products while raising money for their favorite non-profits. A full fifty percent of the purchase price goes to the organization of choice. In this case, the store is hosted by my wife's awesome company, The What. And benefit flows to 826 Valencia, an organization I can definitely vouch for (I'm on the board). It's a win, win (at the very least), so what are you waiting for? Shop the Boon Supply Store for 826 Valencia.

+ What to Watch: As I mentioned on Monday, I was really lucky to see (and record) an amazing performance of Adele's When We Were Young by Dave Grohl and his daughter Violet at the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Benefit at the Fox Theater. Apparently I wasn't the only one who dug the performance as it's been viewed more than 305,000 times so far. Bonus: Grohl's mother was in the audience too. (Grohl also played an acoustic version of The Sky is a Neighborhood with Violet and her younger sister Harper.)

+ And speaking of singing... wow.


Balls to the Wall

"Most of his ideas stem from a gnawing anxiety around gender. 'The masculine spirit is under assault," he told me. 'It's obvious.'" (Editor's note: What's under assault is sanity.) The NYT's Nellie Bowles spends a couple days with Jordan Peterson, Custodian of the Patriarchy. He and the poor bros who follow him don't know that custodianship has sailed...

+ "The sexual revolution urged women to seek liberation. The self-esteem movement taught women that they were valuable beyond what convention might dictate. The rise of mainstream feminism gave women certainty and company in these convictions. And the Internet-enabled efficiency of today's sexual marketplace allowed people to find potential sexual partners with a minimum of barriers and restraints. Most American women now grow up understanding that they can and should choose who they want to have sex with." And that has some men feeling angry. The New Yorker's Jia Tolentino on The Rage of the Incels.


Planned Obsolescence

"Clinics that provide abortions or refer patients to places that do would lose federal funding under a new Trump administration rule that takes direct aim at Planned Parenthood, according to three administration officials." Trump Administration to Tie Health Facilities' Funding to Abortion Restrictions.

+ Vox: The new Trump plan to defund Planned Parenthood, explained.

+ Marketwatch: In these American cities, women must travel more than 100 miles for an abortion.

+ In other DC news, President Trump "tapped Robert Wilkie, a veteran GOP aide and acting veterans affairs secretary, as his choice to become the permanent leader of the scandal-plagued agency." (Doesn't the whole Dr. Ronny Jackson whirlwind seem like it was about three years ago?)


Prime Suspect

From WaPo: Trump Personally Pushed Postmaster General To Double Rates On Amazon. (I consider myself a patriot, but I don't know if I want to live in an America without free shipping.) "Brennan has so far resisted Trump's demand, explaining in multiple conversations occurring this year and last that these arrangements are bound by contracts and must be reviewed by a regulatory commission, the three people said. She has told the president that the Amazon relationship is beneficial for the Postal Service and gave him a set of slides that showed the variety of companies, in addition to Amazon, that also partner for deliveries." (Nevertheless, he persisted.)


Sperm Counts

"While donors in the '80s and '90s most often planned on staying anonymous, in the time since McKinney and Sanchez were born, the rise of consumer DNA testing has made this much less certain. Meanwhile, industry practice and consensus among psychologists are moving away from anonymous donations, such that the era when anonymity is the expectation appears to be over." The Atlantic: Finding the Lost Generation of Sperm Donors. (My kids have a slightly different twist on this. They've been trying to identify the man they wish were their father...)


Give Peas a Chance

"The resulting powder ends up blended into waffle mixes, sports drinks, nutrition bars and protein shakes - small examples of a much larger push by the world's biggest agriculture firms to find alternative plant-based proteins to feed people and livestock worldwide." You want more protein. And they have it. The next food to dominate your diet (or at least the marketing in your grocery store): Peas.


Hat Trick

"Make sure you have a hat. But not too much hat." That's just one of the priceless bits of advice found among these 20 Pieces of Etiquette Every Royal Wedding Guest Needs to Follow.


Feel Good Friday

"This is really an amazing time for my patient population and for general neurologists treating patients with migraines." NYT: FDA Approves First Drug Designed to Prevent Migraines.

+ Half of the women running in House primaries have won so far.

+ Deadline: "This pilot season marked a breakthrough with 14 of the 42 broadcast drama pilots going to female directors, reversing an alarming trend -- four pilots directed by women in 2015, two in 2016 and just one last year."

+ "In 2015, the last bookstore in the Bronx, a Barnes & Noble, announced it would be closing. That was the last straw for Fennell." The woman bringing the Bronx
its first book festival

+ AP: 93-year-old makes first hole-in-one in 65 years of golfing.