Thursday, September 24th, 2020


Power Deranger

Of course Trump will dispute the results if he loses the election. He disputed the results in the election he won. So, while sickening and sad, this should be the least surprising headline of the campaign season: Trump won't commit to peaceful transfer of power if he loses. In fairness, I can't promise that my celebration as Joe Biden transitions into power will be peaceful (although I can promise it will be lit.) What Trump says isn't the key issue. What he's doing is. If you missed it yesterday, check out Barton Gellman's look at The Election That Could Break America. "Trump's state and national legal teams are already laying the groundwork for postelection maneuvers that would circumvent the results of the vote count in battleground states. Ambiguities in the Constitution and logic bombs in the Electoral Count Act make it possible to extend the dispute all the way to Inauguration Day, which would bring the nation to a precipice. The Twentieth Amendment is crystal clear that the president's term in office 'shall end' at noon on January 20, but two men could show up to be sworn in. One of them would arrive with all the tools and power of the presidency already in hand."

+ What Trump says can, however, have a big impact on how his most ardent supporters view election results. Trump's comments send a signal to his supporters about how to react if Biden prevails. (Just to be safe, I'm lining my NPR tote bag with bullet proof metal.)

+ Trump's actions and words have had quite an impact on those who have worked for him. 2 retired 4-star officers who served under Trump endorse Biden. They are part of a group of nearly 500 national security experts who just endorsed Biden.

+ Trump met with boos as he goes to honor Ginsburg. (I guess accusing her granddaughter of lying about her final words before trying to get a photo op in front of RBG's coffin wasn't the best idea.)


We are Young (Heartache to Heartache)

"From June through August, the incidence of Covid-19 was highest among adults aged 20 to 29 years old, according to research published on Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Young adults accounted for more than 20 percent of all confirmed cases. But the infections didn't stop with them, the researchers found: Young adults also seeded waves of new infections among the middle-aged, and then in older Americans." NYT: Infected young people begin waves of the virus that sicken older people, C.D.C. report says.


The Sorrow and the Pitiful Explanation

"The outcome demonstrates the vast disconnect between widespread public expectation of justice and the limits of the law when police use deadly force. 'Criminal law is not meant to respond to every sorrow and grief,' Attorney General Daniel Cameron, the first African American elected to the job in Kentucky, told reporters after the grand jury announced its decision on Wednesday. 'And that is, that is true here. But my heart breaks for the loss of Miss Taylor.'" (I'm a pretty wealthy white guy in an affluent suburb and I gotta tell you, for people like me, the law does a lot better job of addressing sorrow and grief.)

+ Scenes from the protests, and scenes of the anguish.

+ CityLab: "More than half of cities are boosting police spending or keeping it the same from the last fiscal year."


Greased Palms

"An Associated Press investigation found many like Jum in Malaysia and neighboring Indonesia – an invisible workforce consisting of millions of laborers from some of the poorest corners of Asia, many of them enduring various forms of exploitation, with the most serious abuses including child labor, outright slavery and allegations of rape. Together, the two countries produce about 85 percent of the world's estimated $65 billion palm oil supply." AP: Palm oil labor abuses linked to world's top brands, banks.


Rock Down To Electric Avenue

"As California continues to battle ever more deadly and destructive wildfires up and down the state, California governor Gavin Newsom has issued a sweeping executive order that will effectively ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel-driven vehicles by the year 2035 by requiring that any car you drive off the dealer's lot be zero emission." (By 2035, we may all be driving boats...)

+ The forgotten history of how automakers invented the crime of jaywalking.



"When employees found they would be unable to deliver on Abovitz's vision, Magic Leap went from being one of the most intriguing tech startups outside of Silicon Valley to a parable about believing one's own hype." Bloomberg: Magic Leap Tried to Create an Alternate Reality. Its Founder Was Already in One.

+ Sexual Assault Accusations Drive Ex-Nikola CEO To Delete Twitter Account A Day After Resigning In Response to Accusations He Misled Investors. (Aside from that, it was a decent week.)


Getting Off

It's got to be a load off for Robert Kraft who, in a stroke of luck, learned today that he will do no hard time as his happy ending had a happy ending. Florida prosecutors are no longer pursuing prostitution case against him.


Cruel Lack of Punishment

"Two adult Missouri brothers of an Amish community who admitted to having sex with their 13-year-old sister have received suspended sentences because the prosecutor feared they would 'be eaten alive' behind bars." (A close reader will notice that today's edition contains a series of stories that indicate how different kinds of people get different forms of justice.)



"Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu have developed a reputation for lugging bags and suitcases of dirty clothes on foreign trips to be laundered at another country's expense, a practice noticed by staff at the White House guesthouse ... 'The Netanyahus are the only ones who bring actual suitcases of dirty laundry for us to clean,' the paper quoted an unnamed US official as saying. 'After multiple trips, it became clear this was intentional.'"


Bottom of the News

"'Can't make it rain if you locked up on some bullshit,' Imani says, before the women illustrate how elections for school board officials can shape students' job opportunities and how elections for sheriffs and county officials could help end cash bail." These Atlanta Exotic Dancers Urge You to Get Your Booty to the Poll.

+ Man dies from eating more than a bag of liquorice a day.

+ Secret ‘Man Cave' Discovered Below Grand Central Platform.

+ Police confiscate 345,000 recycled condoms in Vietnam.

+ OK, OK, Everyone, shut up for a second. Bruce has a new song.