Saturday, June 20th, 2020


The God(awful) Father

The Constitution, the rule of law, and a liberal democracy walk into a Barr… the question is what will be left of each when they walk back out. In the latest Friday night assault on justice by Justice, William Barr falsely indicated (that's media-speak for lied) that Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, had resigned and would be replaced by SEC Commission Chair Jay Clayton (a person with no prosecutorial experience). But it turned out that the administration, now being fully run like a crime family, made Berman an offer he could refuse. "I will step down when a presidentially appointed nominee is confirmed by the Senate. Until then, our investigations will move forward without delay or interruption." Was this about the SDNY investigation into Giuliani? Trump's taxes? Jeffrey Epstein? Money laundering? Deutsche Bank? (Did I mention that Jay Clayton used to represent Deutsche Bank?) Among other things, America is now in urgent need of quantum computing advances because we're gonna need more processing power to keep up with the crimes coming out of DC.


Mortgaging Our Future

"The trends foreshadow a broader reckoning. The question that matters, according to researchers, isn't whether the effects of climate change will start to ripple through the housing market. Rather, it's how fast those effects will occur and what they will look like." NYT: Rising Seas Threaten an American Institution: The 30-Year Mortgage.


Body Bagman

"Last month, prosecutors in Ecuador announced they had identified a criminal ring that had colluded with health officials to win a contract selling body bags to hospitals at 13 times the real price." NYT: The coronavirus has devastated Latin America. And it has only been worsened by a wave of graft and profiteering.


Mood Enhancing Substance Abuse

Saturday night's Trump rally will go on as planned, despite top members of the administration's own coronavirus task force advising against it. Masks will be optional. Can such an event be held safely in a city where Covid19 is on the rise? I wouldn't hold your breath (although I'd advise attendees to hold theirs...). CNN on the broader meaning of the rally: "I guarantee you after Saturday, if everything goes well, he's going to be in a much better mood," a Trump political adviser said. "He believes that he needs to be out there fighting and he feeds off the energy of the crowds."

+ Meanwhile, in the case of Devil v Satan, a federal judge denied the Trump administration's attempt to block release of Bolton's book.


Baltimore or Less

"Here's a key question for the Rev. Derrick DeWitt, director of the Maryland Baptist Aged Home in West Baltimore, a 100-year-old nursing facility that has had no coronavirus infections: What was the moment you realized the threat was real and that you had to take action to protect your residents and staff? 'Right after President Trump said we had 15 cases and it would soon be down to zero.'" Baltimore Sun: How a West Baltimore nursing home has zero COVID-19 infections.


Play it Again, Uncle Sam

The insanity of the mask controversy afflicting America is not new. In the 1918, a similarly absurd battle took place across the country. Recount takes you back.

+ WaPo: The battle over masks in a pandemic: An all-American story.

+ Stat: How many needless Covid-19 deaths were caused by delays in responding? Most of them.

+ Meanwhile, while we're pretending the virus has gone away... MLB to Close All Spring Training Facilities for Sanitizing. 23 Clemson football players tested positive. And UCLA football players demanded an independent advisor because they don't trust the school when it comes to Covid.


Summer School Assignment

"There are other questions. Should kids be allowed to visit their grandparents? Or is it the middle-aged people who pose a greater risk to the elderly? Indeed, perhaps the most critical unknown: What role do youngsters have in the spread of COVID-19?" NPR: Coronavirus Mystery: Are Kids Less Likely To Catch It Than Adults Are? That part seems obvious. But why they're less likely to catch it is a lot less obvious. As is whether they spread it as easily as adults. As is whether or not my wife and I can survive another semester of Zoom school. And we're not likely to have great answers to these mysteries before school is scheduled to start.


Billy Didn’t Lose That Number

"The move comes just over two years after Mitchell's records were expunged following an investigation by Twin Galaxies International Scoreboard, which partners with Guinness to adjudicate video game records. That investigation found that recordings of some of Mitchell's record performances on Donkey Kong were not achieved on legitimate arcade hardware" Guinness reinstates Billy Mitchell's Donkey Kong, Pac-Man records.

+ If you haven't seen the doc, The King of Kong Fistful of Quarters, do so now.


Bucking Bronco

Ford has delayed the debut of its long awaited reintroduction of the Ford Bronco. Why? The original date landed on OJ Simpson's birthday.


Feel Good Saturday

"She has a huge heart and simply wanted to be of help in whatever way she could." A 9-year-old and her friends have raised nearly $100,000 selling bracelets to help black-owned businesses.