Sunday, July 26th, 2020



There are teargas canisters in the streets, deadly germs in the air, and we're all socked in by the fog of an exhausting dread that feels like it will never burn off. So this seems like the perfect time for a NextDraft first: I'm leading with a wedding announcement: The NYT on a couple that met on a train platform, but didn't exchange names or numbers. Next Stop: Marriage. "When they matched on Hinge last October, he nearly dropped his phone. 'I was so happy,' he said. Ms. Ziff had only recently posted her profile at the urging of friends who convinced her she shouldn't give up on dating. Mr. Young introduced himself through the app: 'This may be a little creepy,' he wrote, 'but I'm almost positive we've already met.'" (At least it was a little creepy, so it's not entirely off-brand for me...)

+ After two years of walking, they took a boat to Antarctica. The Great Big Story: Why One Man Is Walking Around the World With His Dog.


Campaign and Suffering

OK, from the beautiful people back to the ugly truth. There are now 100 days until election 2020. With the president facing headwinds in nearly every poll measuring every key metric, these final hundred days are destined to be the craziest hundred days of the Trump presidency. And since, in 2020, every day lasts about two weeks, you're gonna wanna keep your hands and feet in, strap on a seatbelt, wear a mask and any other protective gear you can find, and hold on tight. The 2020 roller coaster just creaked to its highest point on the tracks.


Rio Grande Valley of the Shadow of Death

"It's Saturday morning in South Texas, and the corpse of a 60-something-year-old needs to get to a funeral home — specifically, a refrigerated truck behind a funeral home that's run out of storage space. The deceased coronavirus patient goes in the back of the Escalade, and Lopez heads to retrieve a body from another hospital's morgue. These are the first jobs of the day — and far from the last. Lopez will pick up 16 bodies Saturday, wake up at 2 a.m. Sunday and transport 22 more, including a husband and wife both infected with the virus. Lopez, 45, is a courier of the dead, contracting with funeral homes and the county to pick up and deliver bodies. In normal times, he handled around 10 jobs a week. But this isn't a normal time." The Texas Tribune: These 'last responders' deal with the bodies as coronavirus deaths surge in the Rio Grande Valley.


The Answer My Friend, Is Blowing in the Wind

Wall of Moms, meet Leaf-blower dads. WaPo: How Portland protesters are fighting back against tear gas. "The loud, pressurized air machines typically used to clear grass, leaves and other lawn debris are surprisingly effective tools at clearing caustic chemicals from the air. They're so effective that on Friday night, federal agents frustrated at being caught in up in a redirected cloud of tear gas, showed up to the demonstration with their own handheld blowers. The leaf-blower wars were on." (You just know someone on NextDoor was complaining about all the yard cleaning being done at an unreasonable hour.)

+ At least 45 arrested after protesters throw explosives and rocks at police in Seattle.


Starved for Justice

"More than four long months since the 26-year-old black ER tech Breonna Taylor was gunned down in her home by police in a middle-of-the-night raid, Amira Bryant ate a couple of pieces of cheese wrapped in prosciutto and had no idea when her next meal would come. Along with three others, Bryant sequestered herself in a Louisville Airbnb rental on Monday to carry out an open-ended hunger strike to protest about Taylor's death and call for the three officers involved in her killing to be fired and stripped of their pensions." Breonna Taylor killing: call for justice intensifies after months of frustration.

+ Competing armed protesters converge on Breonna Taylor's hometown.


Living in Sinclair

"I recognize that this segment does need to be reworked to provide better context, and as such we are delaying the airing of the episode for one week." So said Sinclair Broadcasting's Eric Bolling as the network of local TV news outlets delayed a segment featuring 'Plandemic' conspiracy theory after facing a social media onslaught of complaints. The nonsensical conspiracy theory—so crazy that it's been banned from social networks, the home of nonsensical conspiracy theories—basically blames Anthony Fauci for the creation of the coronavirus. These are the wanton lies and sick distortions that sane America is up against. (Ready for some more wedding stories yet?)


Bridge Builder

"The line of troopers walked forward, billy clubs out. They knocked Lewis to the ground and struck him on his head. He tried to get up; they hit him again with the billy club. His skull was fractured." Fifty-five years later, the body of John Lewis crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge one last time. It won't be long before it will be called the John Lewis Bridge.



"By almost any measure — ubiquity, longevity, versatility, popularity — he succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of a stickball-playing kid from the Bronx. Near the end of his career, Forbes put his net worth at $150 million, and Guinness World Records said he was the most-watched person in television history, with more than 17,000 hours of airtime — equivalent to two full years, night and day." NYT: Regis Philbin, TV's Enduring Everyman, Dies at 88. I've seen a few pubs call Regis an everyman. And I guess in terms of what he talked about, he sort of was. But that fact that he could make any topic interesting on TV made him wholly unique.


A Nose for Trouble

"Eight dogs from Germany's armed forces were trained for only a week and were able to accurately identify the virus with a 94% success rate." Bloomberg: Dogs Can Sniff Out Coronavirus Infections. (If this is true, my beagles can easily cover the western United States from my balcony...)


Bottom of the News

"I painted myself drawing myself painting myself painting myself painting myself. Oil on canvas." Guy Paints Himself Painting Himself Over And Over, Dominates Reddit's Front Page.

+ Tom Hanks lending voice as vendor at Oakland A's games.