The Unborn Ultimatum

Not tonight, honey, I've got a pandemic. Historically, pandemics have led to fewer babies being born. The same is true for deep recessions. Well, we've got both right now. "Using the skyrocketing unemployment rate as a baseline and factoring in the additional effect of an ongoing public health crisis with no end in sight, Kearney and Levine estimate we're in for a decline of anywhere from 300,000 to 500,000 births." WaPo: ‘Covid baby bust' could lead to half a million fewer births next year.

+ Economics are the primary driver of the impending baby bust. But maybe it's also that people just aren't in the mood. Watching John Bolton and Donald Trump exchange critiques is not exactly effective foreplay. And the two kids fighting, the two beagles howling, and the two cats starting down from the top of the padded headboard is not a scene that lends itself to the kind of lovemaking we've come to associate with our personal brands. Sorry, this may have just slippery sloped from a news blurb to a diary entry, and you don't want to think about middle aged people having sex. You want to think about young, toned, and still marginally hopeful people having sex. Sadly, they're not doing it either. For the younger generation, it's less about the economy or the pandemics or the babies, and more about social media, electronic gaming and binge-watching. There's so much Netflix, there's no time left to chill.


Duda, Where’s My Czar

It's highly unusual for a US president to meet with a foreign leader just four days before an election and in the middle of a pandemic. But, when you throw in the fact that Poland's Andrzej Duda is a "law & order" populist, who is virulently anti-LGBT, and trades in anti-semitic tropes, you can see why this meeting was just too much for Trump to resist. AP: Polish leader's Trump card: a pre-election U.S. invite.


Daca Con

"Roberts and the court's four liberal justices said the Department of Homeland Security's decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, was arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act." NPR: Supreme Court Rules Against Trump Administration In DACA Case. The decision just made this a top 2020 campaign issue. Trump immediately served up a twitter sample of what's to come: "These horrible & politically charged decisions coming out of the Supreme Court are shotgun blasts into the face of people that are proud to call themselves Republicans or Conservatives. We need more Justices or we will lose our 2nd. Amendment & everything else." (This whole presidency is a shotgun blast to decency.)

+ "The DACA situation is a very very, it's a very difficult thing for me because you know, I love these kids. I love kids. I have kids and grandkids and I find it very, very hard doing what the law says exactly to do." Donald Trump, a month after taking office.


External Organs

"Plenty of scientists are trying to grow organs. But what sets Kamen's group apart is that he's working a step ahead: He's making the tools and machinery to mass-produce those organs, if and when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves them for patients. He wants to pump out hearts and kidneys much the same way factories produce smartphones: in high-tech assembly lines." The Segway's Inventor Has a New Project: Manufacturing Human Organs. (He's invented a lot more than the Segway, so this isn't quite the career segue that it seems...)


Militiamen and Boys

"When the march unfolded earlier this month, bringing more than 400 people to a park opposite the public library, an armed militia stood guard — at ground level but also atop nearby roofs, as if ready to act as snipers. 'Honestly, it was terrifying,' Espinoza said. 'They claimed they were there to protect the city from outsiders, but it felt more like preparation to kill.'"WaPo: As protests spread to small-town America, militia groups respond with armed intimidation and online threats.

+ "They have no leaders, no local chapters, no manifesto or even unified ideology. That's why their values are vague and flexible enough for them to glom onto and attempt to hijack any moment of tension that comes along—from Second Amendment anxiety to quarantine concerns to Black Lives Matter. Still, that doesn't mean the Boogaloo movement isn't cause for concern, especially now that their level of violence is escalating. In fact, being an amorphous blob might increase the Boogaloo movement's chance of survival as they hit the public consciousness." Wired: The Meme-Fueled Rise of a Dangerous, Far-Right Militia. (Oddly, they wear Hawaiian shirts. I'm not sure they really get the Aloha spirit.)


Nut and Bolton

Favors to dictators, an openness to serving more than two terms, enthusiasm about China's concentration camps, and thinking it might be "cool" to invade Venezuela are just some of the stunning (but not really) claims in John Bolton's book on Trump. Of course, with every indictment of Trump, Bolton further indicts himself for trading America's wellbeing for book sales. Sadly, Bolton's whistle blow took about a year to get through his mustache. As I said yesterday, to keep Bolton from profiting off this crap, one person should buy one copy of Bolton's book and read it to America over Zoom.


You’re Not Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

"Almost everything at this American shipyard exists at enormous scale. Vessels are constructed over years. Experience is developed over decades. The work is so spread out across the yard and over time that, to the untrained eye, it can be difficult to tell what is being hammered, wired or welded — and whether it's right-side up or upside down." The NYT with a really cool photo essay on How Giant Ships Are Built.


Jock Ring

"The Oura ring is lined on the inside with sensors to measure physiological metrics like temperature, respiratory rate, sleep time, and heart rate variability, and it uses those measurements to sync with a smartphone app to produce an overall assessment of rest and recovery. It wasn't designed as a tool to diagnose disease, but this data might allow the ring to detect the symptoms related to COVID-19." GQ: Here's How the NBA's Coronavirus-Fighting Ring Might Help.

+ Fauci on Football: "Unless players are essentially in a bubble -- insulated from the community and they are tested nearly every day -- it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall. If there is a second wave, which is certainly a possibility and which would be complicated by the predictable flu season, football may not happen this year."


Call of ADHDuty

"Physicians can prescribe it to children between the ages of 8 and 12 who have an ADHD diagnosis and have demonstrated an issue with attention." In a landmark decision, FDA greenlights a video game for kids with ADHD. (My kids seem to be getting the same impact from Fortnite and Call of Duty. I haven't seen either one of them since summer break started.)


Feel Good Thursday

"Young kids are drawn to the sign, Tom said, as he sometimes hears children who are about 5 or 6 stopping by and carefully sounding out the words. One mother told him she counted the sign as part of her daughter's school-required 15 minutes of daily reading. And Darcy once ran outside to comfort a youngster who arrived at the sign on his bike ahead of his big brother but was crying because he didn't know how to read yet." He's renowned for his bad dad jokes. Now he's hunting for the worst dad jokes of all — for a good cause.

+ Nike, Target, Twitter and more make Juneteenth a paid company holiday.