June 29th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

The Capital Gazette puts out a damn paper, plus Weekend Whats and Feel Good Friday.

For years, the editors and reporters at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Maryland managed to publish a thriving local newspaper, staying ahead of one American trend. Sadly, they couldn’t stay ahead of another as the epidemic of gun violence burst into their newsroom. With five people dead and more injured, the survivors of the attack chose to do what they always do. Reporter Chase Cook summed it up. “I can tell you this: We are putting out a damn paper tomorrow.” And so they did.

+ Aside from covering a topic that hit so close to home, the one thing that changed about the newspaper on Friday was the opinion page. It was blank. Today, we are speechless.

+ “I remember telling our attorneys, ‘This is a guy who is going to come in and shoot us.'” Baltimore Sun: Alleged Annapolis Capital shooter Jarrod Ramos had long-running feud with paper. (The thing that will make this so ominous for reporters is that these days, almost everyone in the business receives agressive social media messages or outright threats.)

+ “Journalists, like all Americans, should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their job.” So said President Trump following the attack. He added, “There are no words to express our sorrow.” No words is an optimal outcome in this case, since previously, the president’s words have called journalists the enemies of the American people, and sick people who “don’t like our country.”


Ease on Down the Robe

“President Trump singled him out for praise even while attacking other members of the Supreme Court. The White House nominated people close to him to important judicial posts. And members of the Trump family forged personal connections.” The NYT takes you Inside the White House’s Quiet Campaign to Create a Supreme Court Opening.


Weekend Whats

What to Stream: Middle Kids are an excellent alt rock band from Sydney. Lead singer Hannah Joy is great, has major charisma on stage, and plays a right handed guitar left handed (without swapping the string order). Their single Edge of Town is a good place to start. I also dig this cover of Don’t Dream it’s Over. And here’s their latest album on Spotify. I saw them this week at a small club in SF. I’m pretty sure that’s the last time they’ll be playing a small place around here. And while you’ve got your headphones on, the new album by Florence and the Machine is out. I’m about to listen to it, but I already know it’s excellent. (I choose to believe there are still a few norms we can count on…)

+ What to Book: “That meal is why we still eat a meal together in November. Celebrate it as a nation. But that one wasn’t a thanksgiving meal. It was a land deal meal. Two years later there was another, similar meal, meant to symbolize eternal friendship. Two hundred Indians dropped dead that night from supposed unknown poison.” Tommy Orange is getting rave reviews for his debut novel, There There. They’re well deserved.

+ What to Read: “It was the start of a journey that one reporter would call “a bizarre tale of hijinks, of abduction, of physical threats, and finally of arrest.” When Jones arrived hot and tired in Melbourne, Florida, Hardy dropped the bomb. There was no Aretha, he admitted. Jones would impersonate the ‘Queen of Soul.'” Jeff Maysh in Smithsonian Mag: The Counterfeit Queen of Soul.


Fortune Bookie

“While the U.S. government is taking an increasingly hard line against Chinese acquisitions of U.S. public companies, investments in startups, even by state-backed entities, have been largely untouched. That may well be poised to change as the U.S. Congress finalizes legislation that dramatically expands the government’s power to block foreign investment in U.S. companies, including venture investments.” Reuters: China’s penetration of Silicon Valley creates risks for startups. (It’s worth watching every move in the increasingly fierce, epic heavyweight battle for global economic dominance. The US, undisputed champion of the world for decades, enters the ring as an underdog.)


It’s a Vlad, Vlad, Vlad World

“Banks’s journey from a lavish meal with a Russian diplomat in London to the raucous heart of Trump country was part of an unusual intercontinental charm offensive by the wealthy British donor and his associates, a hard-partying lot who dubbed themselves the ‘Bad Boys of Brexit.’ Their efforts to simultaneously cultivate ties to Russian officials and Trump’s campaign have captured the interest of investigators in the United Kingdom and the United States.” WaPo: How the Bad Boys of Brexit forged ties with Russia and the Trump campaign — and came under investigators’ scrutiny.


Home on the Range

“The U.S. is the only country I know of that has experimented on any kind of serious scale with deliberately detaining children as a deterrent to their parents.” But in other ways, America’s conflicted views on refugees trend towards the norm. And this is happening at a time when there are a whole lot of refugees. Uri Friedman in The Atlantic: The World Bargain on Asylum Is Unraveling.

+ Vox: “Under the plan, people would be barred from getting asylum if they came into the US between ports of entry and were prosecuted for illegal entry. It would also add presumptions that would make it extremely difficult for Central Americans to qualify for asylum, and codify — in an even more restrictive form — an opinion written by Sessions in June that attempted to restrict asylum for victims of domestic and gang violence.” Trump administration plan would bar people who enter illegally from getting asylum.


Domino Effect

“Ramon Hernandez has been sitting in a fold-up chair on his Harlem block every summer for decades. One recent evening, the 105-year-old had an evening dominoes game going with a couple of his neighbors as music played out of a nearby parked car. It’s a tradition in the historically Latino neighborhood that has been largely undisturbed for decades. That is until ‘the cops started coming about two years ago.” Lam Thuy Vo in Buzzfeed: They Played Dominoes Outside Their Apartment For Decades. Then The White People Moved In And Police Started Showing Up.


Living Room

“If there’s a fixed biological limit, we are not close to it.” NYT: How Long Can We Live? The Limit Hasn’t Been Reached, Study Finds. (I’ve got to make it to at least 135 just to get through what’s currently in my Netflix queue.)

+ A Stanford researcher says we shouldn’t start working full time until age 40. (Thankfully, I retired at 39…)


Everything is Awesome

“It suggests a changing of the guard in the Democratic Party and alters how upcoming candidates will run. Also, from now on, clickbait links will always lead to something entertaining, inspiring, and informative.” After seeing a few hundred think-pieces about the wider meaning of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s upset win in New York, I decided to write one of my own. Sans the think part. 20 Things Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Upset Win Means for Humanity. (Number 4. The NYC Subway: Now like brand new.)

+ “The three key hot button issues the president will ask you about directly will include: abortion, affirmative action, and what you think the message on the back of Melania’s Zara jacket really meant.” Welcome to the only course that prepares potential Supreme Court picks for their meeting with the president.


Feel Good Friday

Carpool Karaoke is always pretty fun. But Carpool Karaoke with Paul McCartney driving around Liverpool is just ridiculous. It brought James Corden to tears. It will definitely bring a much-needed smile to your face.

+ Hey little Danny don’t you cry. I am you from much later in your life. I know your hair is wild, I know you have no style. You’re still a virgin and you will be for a while. Danny don’t you know that you are hot as f*ck on the inside.” Ninja Sex Party is an epic band and this is their most epic song. Trust me, it’s the ultimate nerd anthem. Danny Don’t You Know.

+ “All year round, this man works hours on end to provide us with a clean working space in which to study. But most importantly, his undying positive energy and chit-chat has managed to turn many students’ dark days into positive ones filled with joy.” Students raise $2,000 to send ‘jolly’ janitor on vacation.

+ After searching for years, a Wisconsin woman learns her sister lives next door. Nuts.

+ “While at Westhaven Nursing Home, Lewis told employees that she had always dreamed of being in a parade. After learning about her dream, the employees sprung into action.” She loved it. So did her 90 year-old son.

+ “I was never really scared of reaching out to companies, because someone needed to do it. If no one else is doing it, then I’ll do it.” WaPo: A Girl Scout wrote to companies with a heartfelt request. As a result, they cut down on millions of plastic straws.

+ Iran goalkeeper goes from being homeless to blocking Ronaldo’s penalty kick.

+ The Berkeley family (with at least one NextDraft subscriber) that led the drive to legalize the first cannabis-derived drug in the US.

+ Imagine reality TV where no one screams, no one makes a fool of themself, and no one becomes president. It exists in Japan. It even has a chill name: Terrace House.

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