September 18th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

An invitation to the reopened Kavanaugh hearings, new money heads to Puerto Rico (with its owners), and the Fonz finally gets his Emmy.

“Select a neutral investigative body with experience in sexual misconduct cases that will investigate the incident in question and present its findings to the committee. Outcomes in such investigations are more reliable and less likely to be perceived as tainted by partisanship.” That’s some advice on how to handle the soon-to-reopen Brett Kavanaugh hearings. And it comes from one of the few people who has firsthand experience with such matters. Anita Hill: How to Get the Kavanaugh Hearings Right. (It will be tough to get the hearings right if they happen in the absence of any real investigative effort.)

+ To place the Ford-Kavanaugh hearings into context, you have to go back and watch some outtakes from Anita Hill’s testimony. On one hand, Christine Blasey Ford will testify in the age of the MeToo movement and during what one assumes is a more generally woke era. On the other hand, Anita Hill didn’t have to contend with the constant onslaught of social media.

+ As of now, the hearing is scheduled for Monday, although Christine Blasey Ford has yet to respond to the invitation.

+ From President Trump: “I don’t think the FBI should be involved because they don’t want to be involved.” (If only there were someone in a position to compel them to get involved…) During a press conference, Trump added: “I feel so badly for him that he is going through this to be honest with you. I feel so badly for him. This is not a man that deserves this. Honestly I feel terribly for him, for his wife who is an incredible lovely woman. And for his beautiful young daughters. I feel terribly for them.” Here’s the latest.


Bill Pusher

These days, any signs of bipartisanship are big news. And on Monday, “in a rare moment of bipartisanship, the Senate overwhelmingly passed … a sweeping package of bills aimed at addressing the nation’s deadly opioid epidemic.” WaPo: Senate passes sweeping opioids package.


No Refuge From the Storm

“More than 25 million refugees around the world have had to flee their origin country due to war, famine, or persecution. Many will spend years in refugee camps, while others—those who can never return home—are placed elsewhere. For millions of refugees, their ultimate destination has been the United States, which has historically been committed to the resettlement of the world’s most vulnerable people. But not anymore.” The US announces it will admit, at most, 30,000 refugees in fiscal year 2019.


Common Kor

“Moon and Kim embraced, drove together through the streets of the city amid fanfare and waving flags, and have received standing ovations wherever they’ve gone. Of course, North Korean authorities usually threaten their citizens to act happy and appreciative when they’re near Kim, so it may not be as genuine as it appears. Still, Moon is the son of North Korean refugees who escaped during the Korean War in the early 1950s. Seeing him go to Pyongyang and receive such a warm welcome is quite moving, and certainly a positive sign for relations between the two countries.” Vox: Five powerful images from Kim Jong Un’s historic meeting with South Korea’s president.


Rico Suave

“The mainlanders who have relocated are not quite Forbes-list billionaires, who have access to more complex tax strategies than leaving town; they belong to the middle class of the ultra-rich. They are new-money people who might not have their congressman’s cell-phone number back home but who wield influence here in Puerto Rico. ‘Back in the States, I’m just one of 300 million voters,’ James Slazas, a hedge-fund quant, told me at the party. ‘Here I’ve already met a lot of the key players.'” GQ: How Puerto Rico Became the Newest Tax Haven for the Super Rich. (It’s not uncommon for wealthy people to find an island-based safe haven for their money. But they rarely move there with it.)


Kneel Diamond

“I was showing that I support his right to do that, I support the message behind what he’s demonstrating for. But I’m also standing with pride because I feel differently in a lot of ways too. But there’s nothing wrong with feeling differently and believing different things. We can still work together to make this place better.” Sam Farmer in the LA Times: The ex-Green Beret who inspired Colin Kaepernick to kneel instead of sit during the anthem would like to clear a few things up.


Tie Goes to the Showrunner

Netflix and HBO seem to dominate our discussions about the future of TV. So it makes sense that those two would would share the Emmy crown on Monday night. Here’s a list of all the winners. It was a pretty boring show, and I’m not sure the lineup of nominees accurately reflects the quality of television these days. But let’s pause to give a shout-out to Henry Winkler who won his first Emmy for his (often hilarious) role as Gene Cousineau in Barry. (Yes, it’s true. The Fonz never won an Emmy…)

+ Here’s my pick for best TV actress over the past few years: Carrie Coon’s Existential Journey to TV Stardom.


I Must Be in the Front Row

“A CBC News and Toronto Star investigation reveals how box-office behemoth Ticketmaster uses its own bag of tricks — which includes partnering with scalpers — to boost its profits at the expense of music fans. Data journalists monitored Ticketmaster’s website for seven months leading up to this weekend’s show at Scotiabank Arena, closely tracking seats and prices to find out exactly how the box-office system works.” CBC: A look inside Ticketmaster’s price-hiking bag of tricks. (Tech has made buying tickets so much more convenient. But there really was something more fair about lining up outside a record store on a Sunday morning trying to be the first person in the neighborhood to score some Doobie Brothers’ tickets.)


Let’s Rap This Up Already…

“She wondered: If science could map the sources of love in her brain, could it somehow make that love go away?” NPR: This Rapper Tried To Use Neuroscience To Get Over Her Ex.


Bottom of the News

“Other highlights included bone tossing, hunting with eagles and 17 types of wrestling, including bare-chested horseback wrestling, where the weaker competitor often clings desperately to the animal’s head as spectators roar in anticipation of him hitting the dirt.” The NYT: Horseback Wrestling. Bone Tossing. Dead Goat Polo. Let the Nomad Games Begin!

+ It’s called Times Newer Roman and it looks like a teacher-approved font — just, uh, bigger. (Just in time for my son’s first year writing long essays in school…)

+ BBC: How do you decaffeinate coffee? (The more perplexing question: Why would you decaffeinate coffee?)

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