Tuesday, August 25th, 2020


Guilfoyle Hats

"They want to destroy this country and everything that we have fought for and hold dear. They want to steal your liberty, your freedom, they want to control what you see and think and believe so that they can control how you live. They want to enslave you to the weak, dependent, liberal victim ideology to the point that you will not recognize this country or yourself." So yelled (and I mean YELLED) Kimberly Guilfoyle in a speech that aptly summed up the tone of night one of the GOP convention. (For all I know, this stuff works...)

+ Three takeaways from the first night of the GOP convention.

+ The theme of the evening was that Donald Trump is awesome. A few outtakes: "I am so in awe of your leadership" ... "There's only one person who has empathized with everyday Americans and actually been fighting for them over the past four years, and that is President Donald Trump" ... "Just imagine what 2020 would have looked like, fighting for your life, without Donald Trump fighting for it too. In January, there would have been no China travel ban. Millions would have died. Millions more would have been infected. There would have been no record levels of testing … no fast track for a vaccine" ... "We will build a future where America remains the greatest country ever to exist in the history of the world. All of that is within our grasp if we secure four more years for the defender of Western civilization." WaPo: 7 cultish moments at Trump's convention. The Democrats pitched Joe Biden as a good, honest guy who eats ice cream and calls his granddaughters a lot. The GOP pitched Trump as Zeus.

+ Night two will feature more Trump family members and Sec of State Pompeo chiming in from Jerusalem. (Sidenote: "Senate confirmed Presidential appointees may not even attend a political party convention or convention-related event.")


Face Timeless

Vice: How Police Are Using 'Super Recognizers' Like Me to Track Criminals. "I always knew I was good at recognizing faces. I'd be in the street and I'd see a face and know that it was my friend's sister from when we were six. The last time I saw them could've been over 30 years ago. I'd go up to them and say "Oh my god, Amber, I can't believe it, how're you doing?" and she'd look at me blankly. It happened so often that I just thought I took more notice of people and I was completely forgettable. But it turns out that from a tiny millisecond—I don't even need to get a good look at someone, I can just glance over my shoulder and back again—I'll know who they are from decades ago." (I have the exact opposite characteristic. My wife regularly has to tell me the names of people I've known for decades.)


Laura and Hardy

"More than 385,000 residents were told to flee the Texas cities of Beaumont, Galveston and Port Arthur, and still more were ordered to evacuate low-lying southwestern Louisiana, where forecasters said as much as 13 feet of storm surge topped by waves could submerge entire communities." California has the fires. The Gulf is about to get the floods. Hundreds of thousands ordered to flee coast ahead of Laura.


Plasmable Deniability

"Responding to an outcry from medical experts, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn on Tuesday apologized for overstating the life-saving benefits of treating COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma. Scientists and medical experts have been pushing back against the claims about the treatment since President Donald Trump's announcement on Sunday that the FDA had decided to issue emergency authorization." After being called out by basically everyone who knows about the topic, the FDA chief apologizes for overstating plasma effect on virus. (A breakthrough medical announcement delivered by Donald Trump on the eve of a convention. Who would have guessed it would contain misleading information?)


Brazilian Wacks

"Even in the unpredictable world of Brazilian politics, where alliances are fleeting and politicians routinely go to prison, Bolsonaro's mounting popularity has been stunning. For the first time in more than a year, more Brazilians approve of his performance than disapprove." WaPo: The coronavirus has hammered Brazil. But somehow, Bolsonaro is getting more popular. (For Americans, this seems worth noting...)


Fortnite Stand

"His mission to rein in the power of the tech companies has now reached a fever pitch. Mr. Sweeney is preparing for a protracted legal battle after Apple and Google banned Fortnite, which is played by more than 350 million people, from their stores this month for trying to get around its payment systems. In response, Epic sued both companies, accusing them of violating antitrust laws by forcing developers to use those payment systems. Mr. Sweeney's yearslong public crusade against the tech Goliaths suggests that the issue is not something he will easily drop. People close to him said the fight was not about money or ego. Instead, they said, it is firmly about principle." NYT: To Fight Apple and Google's Grip, Fortnite Creator Mounts a Crusade. (He should draft some of the Call of Duty fighters as reinforcements.)


Stimuli Detector

"'We have come to you many times throughout the pandemic, often with sobering updates on a world none of us could have imagined,' wrote American Airlines CEO Doug Parker and its president, Robert Isom, in a staff note announcing the cuts. 'Today is the hardest message we have had to share so far.'" In many industries, stimulus dough is running out and business is not coming back. American Airlines is cutting 19,000 jobs when federal aid expires in October.

+ "The number of workers lining up for jobless aid has been rising. The retail and delivery sectors, which especially benefited from laid-off Americans spending the extra cash, have cut back on hiring. Walmart, the nation's biggest retailer, reported record profits in the second quarter thanks to government aid to consumers but now says sales growth is slowing." Politico: Economy hurting after Congress fails to act on stimulus.



"Jacob Blake, the black man shot by police in Kenosha, has been paralyzed from the waist down, his father said, as protesters in the Wisconsin city were met with police using teargas and flash-bang grenades on Monday night." (This story is going to get a lot bigger.)


Hoop Reams

"I think there's an element of explanation where younger people like the NBA, but the liking of the NBA doesn't necessarily translate into them sitting down and watching two hours of an NBA game. If the NBA can figure out a way to make money off people enjoying seeing highlights over YouTube or highlights over Twitter, then, you know, good for you. It just doesn't seem like they've been really able to do that." The NBA playoffs are going on right now, but even with the dearth of live sports, there's a decent chance you're not watching. Ratings in general are down, and that follows a consistent trend. The NBA brand is huge. Its live games are going down in viewership. Maybe NBA2K and highlights are too good. Why Are the NBA's Ratings Going Down?


Bottom of the News

"In a statement, KFC said during an unprecedented year during which the COVID-19 pandemic has upended businesses and lives around the globe, use of the slogan 'doesn't feel quite right.'" KFC suspending use of 'Finger Lickin' Good' in advertising amid coronavirus pandemic. (That doesn't suck.)

+ A 4-year-old named Charlie has gone viral on TikTok because of her legendary recent dance performance, during which she refused to move a single muscle. (This is me during the GOP Convention...)

+ Declared dead by paramedics, young woman found alive at Detroit funeral home. (Hope for America after 2020.)

+ Lucky Charms has new bags of just magical marshmallows cereal. (This is the equivalent at of giving your kid a bowl of angel dust for breakfast.)