Monday, July 8th, 2019


Deja View

In The Atlantic, Peter Beinart makes the case that "the return of a vanquished disease reflects historical amnesia, declining faith in institutions, and a troubling lack of concern for the public good." What the Measles Epidemic Really Says About America. "Our amnesia about vaccines is part of a broader forgetting. Prior generations of Americans understood the danger of zero-sum economic nationalism, for instance, because its results remained visible in their lifetimes. When Al Gore debated Ross Perot about NAFTA in 1993, he reminded the Texan businessman of the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, which raised tariffs on 20,000 foreign products—prompting other countries to retaliate, deepening the Great Depression, and helping to elect Adolf Hitler. But fewer and fewer people remember the last global trade war. Similarly, as memories of Nazism fade across Europe and the United States, anti-Semitism is rising. Technology may improve; science may advance. But the fading of lessons that once seemed obvious should give pause to those who believe history naturally bends toward progress." (Keep this in mind as we see nationalism and fascist behavior surge around the world. Many argue the threat is overstated. But to those still around who have seen it with their own eyes, the signs are all too familiar.)


Taking Rapinoe For an Answer

"Obviously, getting to play at the highest level in a World Cup with a team like we have is just ridiculous. But to be able to couple that with everything off the field and to back up all those words with performances and back up all those performances with words, it's just incredible. I feel like this team is just in the midst of changing the world around us as we live, and it's just an incredible feeling." That's Megan Rapinoe on the incredible run by America's Women's World Cup champions. At one point during the tournament, President Trump admonished Rapinoe (because of course he did): "Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job!" Well, she won. But the job continues. Sports Illustrated on a team for the ages, and for this age. Unflappable. Unapologetic. Unequaled. (Sending Americans abroad who don't embarrass us… Now that's winning!)

+ NYT: US Wins World Cup and Becomes a Champion for Its Time.

+ The World Cup crowd started chanting 'equal pay' right after the US women won.

+ "The US has found itself with a huge number of phenomenally talented female soccer players: how did we get them?" The Guardian: USA's formidable women's soccer team is no accident. It's a product of public policy. (Luckily, Women's Soccer wasn't in Jared's portfolio...)


Child Rapist Indicted

"While the charged conduct is from a number of years ago, it is still profoundly important to the many alleged victims, now young women. They deserve their day in court, and we are proud to be standing up for them by bringing this indictment." So said US Attorney Geoffrey Berman as Jeffrey Epstein was indicted in NY. NPR: Wealthy Financier Jeffrey Epstein Charged With Sex Trafficking Of Minors. (Editor's Note: I've seen many headlines that use words like abuse or sex trafficking. Those are poor substitutes for words -- like rape and molestation -- that better describe the kinds of monstrosities we're dealing with here. And he's not a Billionaire charged with sex trafficking. He's a child molesting monster who happens to have more than a billion dollars.)

+ Great investigative reporting kept this case alive and could dredge up facts a lot of powerful people don't want dredged. Keep your hands and feet in for this ride. Here's the Miami Herald story that really got things rolling. How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime.

+ More alleged victims have come forward in the last 36 hours. Here's the latest from CNN.


Glint of a Stint in Clint

"'I can't tell you the number of times I would talk to agents and they would get teary-eyed,' said one agent, a veteran of 13 years with Border Patrol who worked at Clint. Mary E. González, a Democratic state lawmaker who toured the Clint station last week, said that Border Patrol agents told her they had repeatedly warned their superiors about the overcrowded facility, but that federal officials had taken no action. 'They said, 'We were ringing the alarms, we were ringing the alarms, and nobody was listening to us.'"NYT: Hungry, Scared and Sick: Inside the Migrant Detention Center in Clint, Tex.


Gnarly Waves

"Wildfire and drought dominate the climate change debates in the state. Yet this less-talked-about reality has California cornered. The coastline is eroding with every tide and storm, but everything built before we knew better — Pacific Coast Highway, multimillion-dollar homes in Malibu, the rail line to San Diego — is fixed in place with nowhere to go." LA Times: The California coast is disappearing under the rising sea. Our choices are grim.

+ The Guardian: Tree planting 'has mind-blowing potential' to tackle climate crisis. (And in the meantime, we can at least climb the trees to avoid the tides.)


Lawyers in Gov

WaPo: "The Justice Department is swapping out the lawyers who had been representing the administration in its legal battle to put a question about citizenship on the 2020 Census, possibly signaling career attorneys' legal or ethical concerns over the maneuvering ordered by President Trump."

+ Garrett Epps with a good overview of how we got here, and where we could be headed. The Census Case Could Provoke a Constitutional Crisis.


Crop Topped

"The crop had once yielded profits beyond any other. But a price drop of about 90 percent over the past year and a half has plunged farmers in this village and hundreds of others scattered across the rugged slopes of La Montaña, into extreme poverty. Many of them have joined the soaring numbers of Central Americans and others who have migrated north." NYT: Mexican Opium Prices Plummet, Driving Poppy Farmers to Migrate. (Everything is connected and nothing is quite what it seems.)

+ CNN: Recreational marijuana legalization tied to decline in teens using pot.


Jumping Beans

"Before Jarret Stopforth takes his first sip of coffee, he adds cream and sugar to mask the bitterness. But then, he thought, why settle for a regular cup of joe? So the food scientist decided to reengineer coffee, brewing it without the bitterness — or the bean." Scientists Engineer A Smooth, Beanless Coffee.


The Facts of Strife

"Gottfried explained that the partisan divide seen in these results can be traced back to 2017. 'In 2016, the difference was much smaller,' he said. '2017 was when this huge split happened.'" Poynter: Most Republicans don't trust fact-checkers, and most Americans don't trust the media.


Bottom of the News

Tired: Celebrating your familial traditions by cooking recipes from your grandmother. Wired: Having a grandmother deliver food from your favorite fast food joint. Bloomberg: Grannies in Running Shoes Are Delivering Ramen for Uber in Japan.

+ LA Times: The official spicy snack power rankings.