Monday, April 15th, 2019


Feel it Still?

"What about those who have come here for reasons of need?" That was the Facebook question Militia leader Ammon Bundy asked about one of the migrant caravans heading towards America's southern border. His followers were so unpleased with this hint of empathy that they basically drove him from Facebook. So who's the outlier: Bundy, who suggested people consider walking a mile in someone else's shoes, or his followers, who preferred to keep wearing their own steel-toed boots? NPR Hanna Rosin on how our mantra has changed from walk a mile, to never give an inch. The End Of Empathy. "It's strange to think of empathy – a natural human impulse — as fluctuating in this way, moving up and down like consumer confidence. But that's what happened. Young people just started questioning what my elementary school teachers had taught me." (I distinctly remember my elementary school teachers having a lot of empathy for my parents.)

+ Does Empathy Have A Dark Side?


Read Between the Lines

"The plan to release the redacted report on Thursday means that all of Washington will be on edge this week anticipating the nearly 400-page report from the special counsel." The Mueller Report is expected to drop in a few days. (When my daughter was two, she got ahold of a black Sharpie and basically redacted our entire house in 5 minutes. Barr's had about a month.)


Guantanamo Bay Window

"Had Wood remained as a regular guard, in one of the regular cellblocks, he might have finished his deployment with his understanding of the global war on terror more or less intact. Instead, he began to wonder whether what he was actually protecting at Guantánamo was one of the government's darkest secrets: that its highest-value military detainee was being held essentially by mistake, and that his isolation in Echo Special was intended to cover up the hell that had been inflicted upon him." Ben Taub in The New Yorker: Guantánamo's Darkest Secret.


Notre Damage

"The soaring spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has collapsed in flames, and a church spokesman says the entire wooden interior of the 12th century landmark is burning and likely to be destroyed." Here's the latest on the fire from AP and CNN, and shots of the scene from Buzzfeed. Some reactions from leaders. London Mayor Sadiq Khan: "London stands in sorrow with Paris today, and in friendship always." President Emmanuel Macron: "Like all of our fellow citizens, I am sad tonight to see this part of us burn." Donald Trump: "Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!"


Mother’s In-tuition

"Loughlin's not guilty plea to charges of conspiracy to commit fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering ... Prosecutors say she and Giannulli paid $500,000 to a fake charity to get their two daughters accepted into the University of Southern California, falsely designating them as crew recruits." Lori Loughlin pleads not guilty in her first response to the college admissions scam. (She's gonna wish she had bought Olivia Jade into law school...)


All Googly Eyed

"Technology companies have for years responded to court orders for specific users' information. The new warrants go further, suggesting possible suspects and witnesses in the absence of other clues. Often, Google employees said, the company responds to a single warrant with location information on dozens or hundreds of devices." NYT: Tracking Phones, Google Is a Dragnet for the Police. "The tech giant records people's locations worldwide. Now, investigators are using it to find suspects and witnesses near crimes, running the risk of snaring the innocent."


BiBi Kings

"Just as Netanyahu provided Trump instruction on the political possibilities of right-wing populism, Trump has provided Netanyahu with instruction on the possibilities of outrageous invective, voter suppression, and disdain for the law. Netanyahu now delights in the use of such phrases as 'fake news.' Investigations into his financial adventures are 'witch hunts.' To suppress the Arab vote in last week's election, his supporters mounted more than a thousand cameras at polling places where Arab citizens ordinarily vote, the better to intimidate them. And, of course, both men like a wall." The New Yorker's David Remnick on The Trump-Netanyahu Alliance.


From Bad Back to Comeback

"Nobody who was here on this surreal Sunday will ever forget the way the earth moved or the way the roars rose above the towering pines. Nobody will ever forget the scene of Woods' son, Charlie, falling into his father's arms like Tiger fell into his father's arms after his record-shattering, barrier-blasting victory as a 21-year-old in 1997. Woods had said his children thought of him as a 'YouTube golfer,' as a dynastic force on internet highlights and video games but as something entirely different in the flesh ... 'They only knew that golf caused me a lot of pain,' Woods said of his children." Now, like the rest of the world, they know a different side of their dad's relationship to golf. ESPN: How Tiger made the earth shake again at the Masters.

+ Tiger and the Masters victory even he never saw coming.

+ Some bookmakers, from Nevada to New Jersey, didn't believe Tiger Woods would win the Masters. It was an expensive miscalculation.


Death Star

"Dayna West knows how to throw a fabulous memorial shindig. She hired Los Angeles celebration-of-life planner Alison Bossert — yes, those now exist — to create what West dubbed 'Memorialpalooza' for her father, Howard, in 2016 a few months after his death ... And how Howard was remembered! There was a crowd of more than 300 on the Sony Pictures Studios. A hot-dog cart from the famed L.A. stand Pink's. Gift bags, the hit being a baseball cap inscribed with 'Life's not fair, get over it' (a beloved Howardism). A constellation of speakers, with Jerry Seinfeld as the closer (Howard was his personal manager). And babka (a tribute to a favorite Seinfeld episode)." WaPo: The funeral as we know it is becoming a relic — just in time for a death boom.


Bottom of the News

"Every generation gets its own Keanu Reeves, except every generation's Keanu Reeves is this Keanu Reeves." GQ: The Legend of Keanu Reeves.

+ "The 40-year-old man last week filed a lawsuit in federal court in Michigan, where he moved in with his parents in 2016 following a divorce." Man sues parents for throwing out p-rn collection.

+ Bloomberg: Gold, War and Dragons: Ranking the Richest Families in Game of Thrones.