Tuesday, November 12th, 2019


Fraught Milk?

To everything (churn, churn, churn)/There is a season (churn, churn, churn). For milk, it was a time to gain for decades, but we've officially entered a time to lose. America's number one milk producer just filed for bankruptcy. Why? For one thing, even the woke people are acting pretty lactose intolerant these days. There's the oat milk, the pea milk, the almond milk, the soy milk, the coconut milk, the cashew milk, the rice milk, and of course the hemp milk. (I'm sure affogato few others...) And then there are the protein bars and other cereal killers that have altered the form of the once homogenized American breakfast, and left an entire industry holding a glass that's calf full. In short, America has abandoned the curds. "Since 1975, the amount of milk consumed per capita in the U.S. has tumbled more than 40%. Americans consumed around 24 gallons per year in 1996, according to government data. That dropped to 17 gallons in 2018." Another market in udder mayhem is a reminder that any trend can change over time, leaving us with nothing but the mammaries. (Don't have a cow about this cheesy intro. Milking it is my brand. If it's not your thing, you can always try the skim.)


Potus Bogus on Scotus

"The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in a highly anticipated set of cases that threatens the legal status of some 700,000 young immigrants — often called DREAMers — who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. It's a program that President Trump tried to rescind seven months after taking office, only to have the lower courts block his action." NPR: DACA Recipients Look To Supreme Court For Hope.

+ President Trump provided the court with an amicus brief and a writ of certiorari. Just kidding, he tweeted. And ... wait for it ... lied in the tweet. "Many of the people in DACA, no longer very young, are far from 'angels.' Some are very tough, hardened criminals." Fact check: "Dreamers have a lower-rate of incarceration than native-born Americans, according to a 2017 study by the libertarian CATO Institute. And only qualified dreamers who have 'not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor or three or more other misdemeanors' can even be considered for DACA status." (If Trump is looking for hardened criminals, he might want to start with Señor Manafort, Caballero Cohen, and Don Stone...)


Inlaw Units

In addition to Wednesday'a opening salvos in the public impeachment hearings, Washington will welcome President Erdogan of Turkey. From the NYT: Behind Trump's Dealings With Turkey: Sons-in-Law Married to Power. "Turkey's finance minister, is the son-in-law of its strongman president and oversees his country's relationship with the United States. Another is the son-in-law of a Turkish tycoon and became a business partner to the Trump Organization. Now he advocates for Turkey with the Trump administration. And the third is Jared Kushner."

+ Meanwhile, "U.S. military officials watched live drone feeds last month that appeared to show Turkish-backed Arab gunmen targeting civilians during their assault on Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria, attacks the Americans reported to their commanders as possible war crimes."


Marshall Law of the Jungle

"The concrete coffin, which locals call 'the Tomb,' is at risk of collapsing from rising seas and other effects of climate change. Tides are creeping up its sides, advancing higher every year as distant glaciers melt and ocean waters rise. Officials in the Marshall Islands have lobbied the U.S. government for help, but American officials have declined, saying the dome is on Marshallese land and therefore the responsibility of the Marshallese government." An investigative report from the LA Times: How the U.S. betrayed the Marshall Islands, kindling the next nuclear disaster. "More than any other place, the Marshall Islands is a victim of the two greatest threats facing humanity — nuclear weapons and climate change ... The United States is entirely responsible for the nuclear testing there, and its emissions have contributed more to climate change than those from any other country." (These areas used to be called the Pacific Proving Grounds. Sadly, this situation is proving a lot.)


Moon River of Data

"The secret scheme, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, involves the transfer to Google of healthcare data held by Ascension, the second-largest healthcare provider in the US. The data is being transferred with full personal details including name and medical history and can be accessed by Google staff." The Guardian: Google's secret cache of medical data includes names and full details of millions. Guys, relax. If you can't trust a tech company with your privacy, who can you trust? (I always knew big tech was coming for my physical data. That's why I kept the gown open in the back.)


Demographic Scene

"What has caused such rancor? The stresses of a globalizing, postindustrial economy. Growing economic inequality. The hyperbolizing force of social media. Geographic sorting. The demagogic provocations of the president himself. As in Murder on the Orient Express, every suspect has had a hand in the crime. But the biggest driver might be demographic change. The United States is undergoing a transition perhaps no rich and stable democracy has ever experienced." Yoni Appelbaum in The Atlantic: How America Ends. (Stick around for the bloopers...)


Hearing Aid

"The first round of witnesses includes three career public servants who have testified behind closed doors that President Trump did link military aid and a White House meeting for Ukraine with a promise to investigate one of the president's domestic political opponents." From NPR: An Impeachment Hearing FAQ and A Guide To Key People, Facts And Documents.

+ Here's the latest from the impeach pit from CNN and WaPo.

+ In the heat of all this, we have two (weirdly) related stories. First, Rudy Giuliani is thinking about launching an impeachment podcast (Too bad Marc Maron already uses the title, WTF). And second, Sean Spicer was finally voted off Dancing with the Stars. "After Spicer's expulsion, Donald Trump, who had urged viewers to vote for Spicer, sent his congratulations but deleted a mid-show tweet that had encouraged viewers to vote for his hapless former spokesman." (Yes, this is how the President of the United States spent his Monday night.)



"When the person/people viewing the footage believed they deciphered the opposing team's signs, the expected pitch would be communicated by some type of loud noise, often hitting a trash can sitting in the tunnel." The Astros Stole Signs Electronically During 2017 MLB Season.


Disney Spell

After a few technical issues, Disney's much-anticipated streaming service is up and running. Disney+ Is Live. Here are 25 Great Things to Watch. When you're done with those 25, here's everything arriving to Disney+ on day one. (At long last, something to watch on TV...)


Bottom of the News

"I'm standing outside the Hall of Justice in an astronaut costume, checking and re-checking my phone to see if I've misread the meet-up instructions. I'm supposed to rendezvous with a man named 'the Grim' here at the stroke of midnight to fight street crime with a group of costumed civilians known as Xtreme Justice League (XJL), but midnight was five minutes ago and I'm beginning to wonder if they're as made-up as they sound." Mel: Fighting Crime With San Diego's Real-Life Superhero Squad.

+ "Why don't we let the elephants do the hard work of collecting all these botanicals and we will make gin from it?" AP: Special South African gin is infused with elephant dung. (If that's the gin, I can guess the juice.)

+ And, with help from my new roommate, Bones, I'm pleased to introduce The NextDraft Cat Platform.