Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020


Mitt’s Creek

"The historical precedent of election year nominations is that the Senate generally does not confirm an opposing party's nominee but does confirm a nominee of its own. The Constitution gives the President the power to nominate and the Senate the authority to provide advice and consent on Supreme Court nominees. Accordingly, I intend to follow the Constitution and precedent in considering the President's nominee." And with that, Mitt Romney, who opposed his party and president during the impeachment trial, stands with the president on considering a new Supreme Court pick. The move essentially leaves Dems up Mitt Creek without a paddle, other than the ones used to row towards November 3.

+ Speaking of voting, it's National Voter Registration Day (not to be confused with I've Been Standing Outside My Polling Place Since 2016 Day), so make sure your registration is up to date and check in with friends and family. And score yourself a NextDraft get out the vote shirt: Let There Be Light


Make the Medicine Go Down

"In 1800, an average American would have lived and died never having encountered a single manufactured candy, let alone the array of sugar-sweetened yogurts, snacks, sauces, dressings, cereals, and drinks that now line supermarket shelves. Today, that average American ingests more than nineteen teaspoons of added sugar every day. Not only does most of that never come into contact with our taste buds; our sweet receptors are also less effective than those for other tastes. Our tongues can detect bitterness at concentrations as low as a few parts per million, but, for a glass of water to taste sweet, we have to add nearly a teaspoon of sugar." We eat too much sugar. The artificial stuff hasn't done the trick. Can science redesign the real thing to fool our tastebuds? The New Yorker: The Race to Redesign Sugar.


Finding Humanity Without Math?

Some parents have sent their kids back to school. Others will be facing difficult decisions in the coming weeks. So What do we know about coronavirus cases in K-12 schools so far? Not nearly enough. NYT: "More than a month after the first school districts welcomed students back for in-person instruction, it is nearly impossible to tally a precise figure of how many cases have been identified in schools."

+ Also, from the NYT: A Covid-19 Vaccine for Children May Not Arrive Before Fall 2021. So far, the vaccine has been tested on adults. Testing on children will come later.


Don’t Glove Compartmentalize This

"They work 12-hour shifts, six days a week, on factory floors where temperatures can surpass 100 degrees. Lunch breaks are brief, sick days highly discouraged. Take too long coming back from the bathroom and it'll be docked from the next paycheck. When the shift ends, they collapse onto bunk beds in crowded dormitories far from home, staring up at ceiling fans, knowing that the next day they'll do it again — all for less than $1.50 an hour." They're making our rubber gloves. LA Times: These gloves help fight COVID-19. But they're made in sweatshop conditions.


Naple Gazing

"Avellino houses many criminals affiliated with the Camorra, the mafia chapter of the Campania region and its capital, Naples. Using a phone smuggled into their cell, the unidentified inmate's TikTok went viral and was taken down, although it's still on YouTube. It's one of many instances of young Camorristi using TikTok to broadcast the mafia lifestyle and make themselves known to the higher-ups in the mafia world – a quasi audition for positions of power and leadership." Even The Italian Mafia Is on TikTok. (This isn't a surprise. Everyone is addicted to this shit. Why would criminals be an exception?)


The Sharks and the Jet Engines

"The Cares Act, which Congress passed earlier this year, gave the Pentagon money to 'prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.' But a few weeks later, the Defense Department began reshaping how it would award the money in a way that represented a major departure from Congress's intent." WaPo: Pentagon used taxpayer money meant for masks and swabs to make jet engine parts and body armor. (Maybe health care workers should use those jet engines to fly somewhere where their lives are respected...)


Insane Clown Posse

"Ren Zhiqiang, former chairman of a state-owned real estate group, disappeared from public view in March, after publishing an essay online that appeared to refer to President Xi Jinping as a 'clown.' The essay came after Xi announced orders for combating the coronavirus crisis via video conference." Ren Zhiqiang, critic of Chinese leader Xi Jinping, sentenced to 18 years on corruption charges.


Zucker Punch

Since 2015, my dad has argued that CNN was aiding Trump with endless hours of live coverage. He will be unsurprised by this article from Ben Smith in the NYT: Jeff Zucker Helped Create Donald Trump. That Show May Be Ending. "The story of Mr. Trump and Mr. Zucker is a kind of Frankenstein tale for the late television age, about a brilliant TV executive who lost control of his creation. And it illustrates the extent to which this American moment is still shaped not by the hard logic of politics or the fragmented reality of new media, but by the ineluctable power of TV." (What is it about democracy and people whose names start with Zucker?)


Aid and a Debt

"Just days after after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis won a court victory to keep felons from voting until they've paid off fines, restitution and court fees, billionaire Mike Bloomberg has stepped in to help them pay off the debts."


Bottom of the News

Does Mickey Mouse have his own pair of Air Jordans? Those and other questions are answered in this look at How Bugs Bunny Became One of America's Most Enduring Style Icons. I'm all ears since he basically invented hip hop.

+ This is a pretty cool visual discovery.

+ Darius Leonard Accidentally Gave Colts Fan Wedding Ring While Gifting His Gloves.