Sunday, August 30th, 2020


Dog Grooming

There are 64 days until the election. The madness associated with that buildup is not going to de-escalate. I'm sad to report that we may soon feel nostalgic for the soothing, tranquil vibes of August. So, on this Sunday, let's lead with a love story from the NYT: "When Mr. Failor asked Ms. Raines for coffee in late March, he wanted to be up front about his devotion. 'I thought, if she's really going to understand who I am, I better bring some of my teammates with me,' he said. He loaded three dogs into the cab of his truck and drove to Anchorage." After that ice breaker, it was smooth sledding for a reporter and an Iditarod racer. You, Me and 53 Dogs. (I have two beagle brothers, which is the equivalent of having 53 dogs, just a little louder.)


The Escalator

"A man was seen with a gunshot wound lying motionless on the ground in the downtown area near where the opposing groups had clashed, and where mace had been deployed. He was wearing a hat that said 'Patriot Prayer,' the name of a far-right group based in the Portland area. The stated aim of Patriot Prayer, organized in 2016 to bring pro-Trump rallies to liberal bastions, is to 'liberate the conservatives on the West Coast.'" WaPo: One person shot dead in Portland following clashes between pro-Trump supporters, counterprotesters.

+ Needless to say, the Potus saw the fire as an opportunity to pour some gasoline, to the tune of about 90 tweets. "'The big backlash going on in Portland cannot be unexpected after 95 days of watching and incompetent Mayor admit that he has no idea what he is doing,' Trump tweeted in response to one such video posted by New York Times reporter Mike Baker, who wrote that the Trump supporters 'shot me too.'" (Trump began his presidential campaign on an escalator and he's been escalating things ever since.)

+ "When law enforcement reacts leniently to far-right militant organizations, those groups tend to believe any violence on their part is authorized, says Michael German, a retired FBI agent who spent months in the early 1990s working undercover among white supremacists and right-wing militants. Consistent leniency, he told me, 'has created a monster that's going to be hard to contain.'" The Atlantic: The Violence Could Get Much Worse.

+ Slate: A Conservative Student Group at ASU Is Raising Money for Kenosha Shooter. "The group, which is not part of the main ASU College Republicans, described the accused murderer as a 'community volunteer' and a 'citizen who attempted to help in a city of chaos.'"

+ Meanwhile, Trump plans to visit Kenosha on Tuesday. (You might want to scroll back up and re-read the love story...)


Tally Woe

"India's single-day tally of 78,761 new coronavirus infections on Sunday exceeded the one-day increase of 77,299 reported by the United States in mid-July. The south Asian country's surge took the global caseload to 25,074,751. The official number of global coronavirus cases is now at least five times the number of severe influenza illnesses recorded annually." A sad milestone, but imagine what the numbers would be like if no one was social-distancing or wearing masks. Global coronavirus cases surpass 25 million.


Welcome to the Jungle

"When ceremonies reach a crescendo, the room often feels like a state of controlled pandemonium. Bouts of loud vomiting pierce the singing. There is sometimes audible weeping in one corner and ecstatic laughter from across the room." (Based on that description, I thought this might be an article about family karaoke at my house.) NYT: ‘A Hail Mary': Psychedelic Therapy Draws Veterans to Jungle Retreats. "Ayahuasca, a vomit-inducing hallucinogenic brew, draws thousands of people each year — including former soldiers — to jungle retreats that have become an unlicensed and unregulated mental health marketplace."


Flex and Balances

"House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said Sunday it is possible the House could subpoena intelligence officials to testify on election interference, a day after Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe informed members of Congress that the nation's top intelligence office will no longer deliver in-person briefings on election security issues." (We've gone from three equal branches to one locked trunk.)


Chicken Coop

"The outbreak at the Central Valley facility has persisted for at least two months, according to the county health department. Officials said the company did not complete the widespread testing of employees that the county first recommended and then ordered." Foster Farms to temporarily close poultry plant after 8 workers die of COVID-19. (Eight of their employees died. Eight. And still they had to be ordered to shut down. The chickens are treated better...)


Lukashenko Dependent

"Trapped inside their country by the coronavirus pandemic, many Belarusians began to chafe at the inhumanity in Mr. Lukashenko's rule and language that had once been easy to ignore. Then came the presidential election campaign, which exposed his sense of vulnerability; of Mr. Lukashenko's three main challengers, two were arrested and the third fled the country." NYT: ‘Something Broke Inside Belarusians.' Why an Apolitical People Rose Up.

+ "19 Belarusian journalists had their accreditation to work for the BBC and other foreign media outlets removed by the authorities, with two Associated Press reporters being deported from the country on the same day." Putin passes on 'warm wishes' to embattled Lukashenko, as tanks are seen in Minsk amid protests.


Tennis? Anyone?

""It feels like I am back in juniors,' Serena Williams, who is seeking to win her 24th Grand Slam singles title, said of playing without spectators. Diego Schwartzman, who was eliminated from the Western & Southern tournament on Tuesday, has spent the past five days trying to fill idle time around the Long Island Marriott in Uniondale, N.Y. 'Playing cards with my team, watching Netflix, a few movies — not much to do when we are on the hotel site,' Schwartzman said. 'We are in the tennis bubble.'" NYT: Will the U.S. Open Show Big Events Can Return to New York?

+ Paire out of US Open after positive COVID-19 test.

+ The strangest Tour de France sets off.


Rent Control

"As we analyze how our workplace will change in a post-COVID world, we are specifically rethinking where future employees could be based. A more distributed workforce will give us the opportunity to hire people from a wider range of backgrounds and experiences." Pinterest pays $89.5 million to terminate San Francisco office lease.


Bottom of the News

"CAD is dedicated to the belief that dinosaurs never existed at all but are, in fact, a scam perpetrated by scientists, possibly as part of some liberal plot against religion." Despite what you may have read on the internet, one of Tucson's most beloved fast-food landmarks is not about to be torn down by an angry mob of dinosaur deniers.

+ Everything you need to know about tonight's MTV video music awards (including that there's still an MTV and it still hosts the VMAs.)