February 10th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Weird Covid Rules, Trump's Fight Club

“In our always-on, always-connected world, it no longer makes sense to expect employees to work an eight-hour shift and do their jobs successfully. Whether you have a global team to manage across time zones, a project-based role that is busier or slower depending on the season, or simply have to balance personal and professional obligations throughout the day, workers need flexibility to be successful.” And with that, Brent Hyder, Salesforce’s chief people officer, made the work from home era a little more permanent. Salesforce declares the 9-to-5 workday dead, will let some employees work remotely from now on. “An immersive workspace is no longer limited to a desk in our Towers; the 9-to-5 workday is dead; and the employee experience is about more than ping-pong tables and snacks.” (I’m not even sure the life experience is about more than that.)

+ Axios: “Salesforce said most employees will work from the office only one to three days a week, while some will work fully remotely. It now foresees that only the smallest share of its workforce will come to an office each day.” (For me, it’s less about getting back to an office and more about getting the hell out of the house.)


Truth or Bear

“Another new measure also in place: a ban on solitary outdoor exercise, which was not in place during the initial lockdown period.” We’re a year into this pandemic nightmare. Yet, some officials still seem to have zero idea what causes its spread. Police in dorms, outdoor exercise ban: UC Berkeley extends dorm lockdown with stricter mandates.

+ And many people still think fighting Covid-19 is about disinfecting surfaces. Derek Thompson: Hygiene Theater Is Still a Huge Waste of Time.

+ It’s in the air. So… masks should fit better, or be doubled up to protect against coronavirus variants.


Fight Club

In America, you’re entitled to a jury of your co-conspirators. At least that seems to be one of the messages of the trial of Donald Trump in which his jury includes fellow seditionists like Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley. That makes the conviction an uphill climb even though the evidence is laughably obvious. House impeachment manager Joe Neguse: “When he saw firsthand the violence that his conduct was creating, he didn’t stop it. He didn’t condemn the violence. He incited it further. And he got more specific. He didn’t just tell them to ‘fight like hell.’ He told them how, where and when. He made sure they had advanced notice — 18 days advance notice. He sent his save the date for Jan. 6. He told them to march to the Capitol and ‘fight like hell.'” (Trump broke the first rule of fight club. He talked about it nonstop.) Here’s the latest from CNN, and The Guardian.

+ The only thing more laughable than the obvious evidence is the performance of Trump’s remarkably unqualified lawyers. Even GOP Senators mocked their trial skills. And yet, only 6 of them voted to continue with the trial even though no serious constitutional scholar questioned whether or not an impeachment trial could take place after a president was out of office. Comedically ridiculous defenses supported by power-hungry, cowardly enablers. If this feels familiar, it’s because you just finished four years of it.

+ She said, ‘Dad, I don’t want to come back to the Capitol. Of all the terrible, brutal things I saw and heard on the day and since then, that one hit me the hardest.” The Atlantic: Why Jamie Raskin’s Speech Resonated. (Hint: Because the America we love was soiled almost beyond recognition.)


Peach Fuzz

“Fulton County’s top prosecutor launched a wide-ranging criminal investigation into Donald Trump’s efforts to reverse his presidential election defeat in Georgia, notifying state officials she was investigating ‘attempts to influence’ the results weeks after the Republican demanded that Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger ‘find’ enough votes to overturn the outcome.” Trump went looking for votes. Maybe he’ll find justice. Fulton’s DA opens criminal investigation into Trump attempt to overturn Georgia’s election.


Paper Cut

“With those last three words, the Times lost its foothold for criticizing a politician for flip-flopping. In his initial assessment of the McNeil case, Baquet wrote, ‘It did not appear to me that his intentions were hateful or malicious.’ Now, suddenly, intent means nothing.” Donald McNeil, one of the key reporters on the pandemic, has been fired from the NYT for some comments he made during a trip with students in 2019. He had already been reprimanded. But when the story went public, the Times management changed its punishment. My gut tells me that this story would be getting a lot more attention if people weren’t generally afraid to discuss such topics these days. But based on the publicly available information, it’s worth asking if the punishment fits the crime. WaPo’s Erik Wemple: What happened with New York Times reporter Donald McNeil?


Cold Caseload

“By the time she heard from a Dallas homicide detective in 2018, French House had been mourning her mother for two years. The cases connected to Chemirmir had gone cold. Victims’ bodies had been cremated or buried, and their apartments cleared. And all those previously undetected homicides had become part of a larger national problem: a backlog of more than 250,000 unsolved murder cases, a number that increases by about 6,000, nationwide each year.” Texas Observer: Undetected.


Pop Fly Swatter

“MLB anticipates the changes will be subtle, and a memo to teams last week cited an independent lab that found the new balls will fly 1 to 2 feet shorter when hit over 375 feet. Five teams also plan to add humidors to their stadiums, raising the total to 10 of 30 MLB stadiums equipped with humidity-controlled storage spaces.” MLB slightly deadening ball amid HR surge.


Bhutaned Up Operation

“In March, the Bhutanese government also started issuing clear, concise daily updates and sharing helpline numbers. It barred tourists, closed schools and public institutions, shut gyms and movie theaters, began flexible working hours, and relentlessly called for face masks, hand hygiene, and physical distancing. On March 11, the WHO tardily deemed COVID-19 a pandemic. Five days later, Bhutan instituted mandatory quarantine for all Bhutanese with possible exposure to the virus—including the thousands of expatriates who boarded chartered planes back to their homeland—and underwrote every aspect, such as free accommodation and meals in tourist-level hotels. It isolated all positive cases, even those who were asymptomatic, in medical facilities, so early symptoms could be treated immediately, and provided psychological counseling for those in quarantine and isolation.” Madeline Drexler in The Atlantic: How did a tiny, poor nation manage to suffer only one death from the coronavirus? (By doing the exact opposite of the large, rich nation that suffered the most.)


Shell Shock

“It was incredible. I don’t know how they did it. I was amazed they were in as good as shape as they were.” Coast Guard rescues 3 Cubans from deserted island where they lived off coconuts for 33 days. (Cut to three months from now when the Coconut Diet is all the rage in Hollywood…)


Bottom of the News

I’m here live, I’m not a cat,” says lawyer after Zoom filter mishap. “I can see that,” responds judge. (This lawyer had a less embarrassing day than Trump’s lawyers…)

+ The Winners Of The 2021 Underwater Photographer Of The Year Contest.

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