Monday, June 11th, 2018


Weekend Warrior

President Donald Trump is in Singapore to make peace with North Korea after failing to make peace with Canada. In another series of events that could only happen in this era, Trump deep-sixed the G-7 by inviting Russia back in to be number eight. And that was just for openers. Trump left early and then refused to sign the allies' joint statement in an angry tweetstorm that seemed to turn Justin Trudeau into a sparring partner ahead of Trump's main event with Kim Jong Un. Other than that, the weekend was pretty chill. David Frum on how the G-7 turned allied democracies into something worse than frenemies. "Like some nightmare family Thanksgiving from which the most difficult relative departs first, everybody breathed easier when the president at last left. Perhaps after all, it was sort of a success? Then, something happened."

+ NYT: "If a president of the United States were to sketch out a secret, detailed plan to break up the Atlantic alliance, that plan would bear a striking resemblance to Trump's behavior."

+ CNBC's John Harwood: "Vladimir Putin tried to help Donald Trump win the presidency. As president, Trump is helping Putin achieve a top strategic goal. And the question is: Why?"

+ How newspapers around the world reacted to the unusual G-7.

+ It's "not only a characterologically accurate collective self-appraisal—the gangster fronting, the casual misogyny, the insupportable confidence—but it is also perfectly Rorschachian." The Atlantic: A Senior White House Official Defines the Trump Doctrine: We're America, Bitch.


Rocket Plan

The New Yorker: "Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un—the leaders of two countries that have technically been at war for the past seventy years—will make history, on Tuesday, just by shaking hands."

+ Evan Osnos: "Kim is under growing pressure to raise the living standards of the population. In his attempt to unleash the economy and hold on to his dictatorship, he seems to be taking a lesson from China's Communist Party: change, or die." Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un's Nuclear Summit and the Bid for History.

+ NYT: The Nine Steps Required to Really Disarm North Korea.


The Art of the Spiel

"Every word matters, and a slip-up can have monumental consequences." For the first hour or so, the only people in the room will be Trump and Kim ... and their interpreters. NPR: The Pressures Of Being An Interpreter At A High-Stakes Summit. (In this case, we'll need the usual semantic interpretation and some psychoanalytic interpretation.)

+ A Buzzfeed headline that captures the conflicting feelings about the meeting: Kim Jong Un Posed For A Selfie. He's Also Probably Guilty Of Crimes Against Humanity.

+ Trump tweeted that, "Excitement is in the air." Kim Jong Un took a nighttime tour. And Dennis Rodman, wearing a t-shirt promoting a cannabis cryptocurrency, landed in Singapore. "I'm just happy to be a part of it because I think I deserve it, I think I brought awareness on a lot of things around the world, and I think North Korea has given a lot of people the opportunity to do this conference now." Here's the latest on the summit from CNN, NYT, and The Independent.


Use It or Lose It

"It is now likely that thousands of Americans will show up to the polls in 2018 hoping to cast a ballot—only to be told that they have been purged from the rolls because they skipped the last few elections." Slate: The Supreme Court, in a 5–4 Decision, Allows States to Purge Voters for Their Failure to Vote. (Because if there's one thing western democracies need right now, it's lower turnout...)

+ Some extensive analysis from Vox: With the Supreme Court's ruling, other states plan to follow Ohio's lead on voter purges.


The Beholden Age of Television

"TV has gone through major transformations in the past ... but this leap dwarfs all others. Netflix doesn't want to be a streaming, supersized clone of HBO or FX or NBC. It's trying to change the way we watch television. Whether it can do that while turning a profit is another matter, given the more than $6 billion in debt it's amassed during its expansion. But Wall Street seems optimistic: In recent weeks, its overall market capitalization has at times grown past $150 billion, surpassing Disney to become the most-valued media company in the world." Hollywood is being powered by Netflix's massive and growing debt. It's a good time to be a content creator. It's an overwhelming time to be a content consumer. And it's the perfect time to learn how it all works Inside the Binge Factory.

+ The Verge: Net neutrality is dead — what now?


Ice Pact

"The day Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents raided the Southeastern Provision plant outside the city and sent dozens of workers to out-of-state detention centers was the day people in Morristown began to ask questions many hadn't thought through before — to the federal government, to the police, to their church leaders, to each other." From the NYT, a very interesting look at one of the biggest workplace raids since President Trump announced a crackdown on illegal immigration. ICE Came for a Tennessee Town's Immigrants. The Town Fought Back.

+ Ozy: The Most Successful Ethnic Group In The US May Surprise You


Northern Exposure

"Like many Alaska communities far removed from the road system, Selawik does not have a traditional police department. But state regulations allow Alaska's most remote local governments to hire special public safety employees. These officers, whose duties and titles vary, generally wear badges, make arrests and keep neighbors safe in a crisis." But sometimes they create the crisis. And then the closest help is at least a flight away. Anchorage Daily News: From criminal to cop, and back again, in Alaska's most vulnerable villages.


Clay Pigeon Shooting

"Rafa was first triumphant at this event in 2005, when he wore sleeveless shirts and pirate pants and didn't convince the competition of his melodies so much as he made it accept them. We're so far from the beginning, and somehow, it doesn't feel like we're approaching the end." After Rafa slides to his 11th straight win, The Ringer considers The Incomparable Greatness of Rafael Nadal at the French Open.


Nailed It

"Ironically, nail biters may be more perfectionist and more prone to be dissatisfied with themselves and their performance. This may trigger biting." Racked: Why Is It So Hard to Stop Biting Your Nails? (Biting nails is for rookies. I'm all about honing the nubs.)


Bottom of the News

"Armed with rolls of clear Scotch tape, Lartey and his colleagues would sift through large piles of shredded paper and put them back together, he said, 'like a jigsaw puzzle.' Sometimes the papers would just be split down the middle, but other times they would be torn into pieces so small they looked like confetti." Politico: Meet the guys who tape Trump's papers back together. "The president's unofficial 'filing system' involves tearing up documents into pieces, even when they're supposed to be preserved."

+ NYT: The Ascension of Cauliflower.

+ Watch all the performances from last night's Tony Awards.