Thursday, October 10th, 2019


A Visit From the Goon Squad

So far, we can fault the whistleblower for one thing: He didn't seem to understand broad scope of the wrong-doing, and the nature of those involved. WaPo on the latest shoe to drop: Two business associates of Trump's personal attorney Giuliani have been arrested on campaign finance charges. "The two men, who helped Giuliani investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, were arrested Wednesday night in Virginia, according to a person familiar with the charges." (Maybe Trump is trying to get revenge on federal law enforcement agencies by making them work overtime.) Meanwhile, in another brewing scandal, Bloomberg reports that "President Donald Trump pressed then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to help persuade the Justice Department to drop a criminal case against an Iranian-Turkish gold trader who was a client of Rudy Giuliani."

+ Will this series of Rudy awakenings cause cracks in the support Trump still enjoys from his enablers? For the answer, it might be informative to look back and see how long it took for Nixon's key supporters to finally kick Dick. FiveThirtyEight:
It Took A Long Time For Republicans To Abandon Nixon.

+ There are countless differences between Nixon's Watergate and Trump's Everything-gate (not the least of which is that Nixon tried to hide his crimes). But the way Watergate unfolded is remarkably informative, and a great way to look back on that era is by listening to Slate's Slow Burn, a riveting podcast that tells the story of what it felt like to watch a president fall


Rx Marks the Spot

"In a dramatic demonstration of the power of personalized medicine, doctors in Boston created a treatment just for her. In only eight months, they found the genetic cause of Mila's disease, designed a drug to overcome the error, and began giving it to Mila via an injection in her spine, in what's believed to be first individually tailored treatment of its kind." Doctors created a drug so specific it is named after its only patient. MIT Tech Review: This girl's dramatic story shows hyper-personalized medicine is possible—and costly.


Trump’s Circle Turk

The New Yorker's Robin Wright with a lede for the ages. "Two of America's closest allies in the Middle East went to war on Wednesday—and Donald Trump didn't seem to care." Defying the World, Turkey Launches a War Against a US Ally in Syria.

+ US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft says Trump didn't endorse Turkey's military action into Syria. "We just finished our consultations on Syria, and as the President has made abundantly clear, the US has not in any way endorsed the decision of the government of Turkey to mount a military incursion into northeast Syria." This despite the fact that her boss is owning the decision, and defending it because the Kurds "didn't help us with Normandy." (Idiocy like that was sort of funny before it started costing lives.) Here's the latest from CNN.


Speech Impediment

The NBA/China story isn't just about the NBA. It's about where American corporations will draw the line (or erase it) between their values and their revenues. Buzzfeed: Apple Has Removed A Mapping App That Let Protesters In Hong Kong Track Police. "Apple removed the app days after the company was criticized in Chinese state media for aiding 'rioters' in Hong Kong. An editorial in People's Daily, a government-run newspaper, said: 'Letting poisonous software have its ways is a betrayal of Chinese people's feelings.'" Also, from the LA Times: Apple pulls Taiwanese flag emoji from iPhones in Hong Kong. (First they came for the Emojis...) And from The Verge: Apple removes Quartz news app from the Chinese App Store over Hong Kong coverage.

+ "It's unlikely many basketball fans in the US were paying close attention to the months-long protests in Hong Kong." But they are now. Quartz (not banned from NextDraft): The NBA may have just thrown Hong Kong's protesters a new lifeline.


A Peacock and Bully Story

"Weinstein wanted to bully NBC News into killing the story. He needed leverage. Howard pulled out several thick manila envelopes and laid out their contents on the table. The men huddled for hours, strategizing quietly. Weinstein had found a pressure point: Matt Lauer." The Hollywood Reporter: Ronan Farrow Strikes Again: A New Book Targets NBC News and How Harvey Weinstein May Have Leveraged Matt Lauer. (Still the six most feared words in Hollywood: Ronan Farrow is on the phone.)


Bird Scooters

"Each state in America has an official state bird, usually an iconic species that helps define the landscape. Minnesota chose the common loon, whose haunting wails echo across the state's northern lakes each summer. Georgia picked the brown thrasher, a fiercely territorial bird with a repertoire of more than 1,000 song types. But as the planet warms and birds across the country relocate to escape the heat, at least eight states could see their state birds largely or entirely disappear from within their borders during the summer." NYT: These State Birds May Be Forced Out of Their States as the World Warms.


STDeja Vu

"According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were nearly 2.4 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis reported in the United States in 2018 — the highest cumulative number ever recorded. The leap in cases over the last few years is truly eye-popping." (And the eye-popping is like the least upsetting symptom.) Vox: 5 reasons why 3 STDs are roaring back in America.


Time Warp

"The personalization of time may seem like a petty concern, and indeed some people consider it liberating to set their own hours or spend their "free" time reaching for the brass ring. But the consequences could be debilitating for the U.S. in the same way they once were for the U.S.S.R. A calendar is more than the organization of days and months. It's the blueprint for a shared life." The Atlantic: Why You Never See Your Friends Anymore. (It's either the personalization of time or the combination of social media addiction, legal marijuana, and a backlog of TV to binge...)


Power Trip

"In an effort to avoid sparking deadly wildfires—and to protect itself from future liability—California utility company Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) shut off power to much of the Bay Area on Wednesday afternoon." CityLab: Why the Bay Area Is Having a Massive Power Outage. (I've been down for almost two days and the weather in my town is absolutely perfect.)


Bottom of the News

"Their findings show that our wastewater can reveal a lot about the way we live, revealing details about our diets, drug use, and even our propensity for artificial sweeteners. Combined with demographic data, our waste can reveal large-scale insights about income, health, and more. In many ways, underground waste is a direct reflection of life above." FastCo: Your sewage can reveal a lot about you—starting with your income. (After the last few years of news consumption, my sewage has been nothing but bricks.)

+ Related: Anxiety Pop Is The Sound Of 2019.

+ OneZero: The Last True Sticker Factory in America.