Money For Nothing

I'm sitting here with my mind on my money, and my money on my mind, and I still don't quite understand what's going on. And it's not because I'm rollin' down the street, smokin' indo, sippin' on gin and juice. It's because money has become so complicated that I'm not quite sure what money is. All I know is that there are a lot more kinds of it, and it's in a lot fewer hands. Max Read in NY Mag: There's Nothing to Do Except Gamble. Welcome to the non-fungible, memeified, cryptodenominated, degenerate future of finance. "For all the ways that this particular moment in the history of markets feels strangely futuristic — computer dollars buying cyberart on the digital marketplace! — the basic dynamic at work here is a recognizable one. There are a lot of suckers who want to get rich fast without much work."

+ Why Delaware is the sexiest place in America to incorporate a company. "Nearly 1.5m companies are incorporated in Delaware. How did this tiny state become a mecca for corporate activity?"


Shot in the Dark

Baltimore is trying to deal with serious crimes by letting less serious ones slide. And not everyone is happy about the results. "For years, Baltimore's leaders have faced daunting challenges that include poorly performing public schools, blight, widespread heroin and crack addiction, and corruption scandals that forced out two mayors and tarnished the police department. No issue has dominated civic discourse as much as gun violence, as homicides have surpassed 300 in each of the past six years." WaPo: In crime-battered Baltimore, a halt to some drug and prostitution prosecutions is causing fresh anxiety. (The intense 24-hour coverage of mass shootings in America actually distracts us from the true scope of the problem. In Baltimore, 300 people are murdered a year. In Chicago, they often have the equivalent of a mass shooting multiple weekends a year. Little of this gets covered, which adds to the hopelessness and alienation.)


Bibi Sting

"We have seen reports of an incident at the Natanz enrichment facility in Iran. The United States had no involvement, and we have nothing to add to speculation about the causes." The U.S. is distancing itself from explosion at Iranian nuclear site. It sure looks like an Israeli operation and a clear effort by Netanyahu to test the Biden administration with U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin onsite for meetings in Jerusalem.


Tased and Confused

In the shadow of the Derek Chauvin trial, "a Black man died after being shot by police during a traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb, sparking violent protests that lasted into Monday as officers in riot gear clashed with demonstrators and the man's mother called for calm ... Police ... say the officer who fired intended to use a Taser, not a handgun. Police Chief Tim Gannon described the shooting as 'an accidental discharge.'"

+ NPR: Officer Who Handcuffed And Pepper-Sprayed Black Army Lieutenant Is Fired.

+ "He received this egregious sentence despite the fact that he was never a threat to anyone." After 20 years in prison for stealing two shirts, a Louisiana man is free.


And the Horse You Rode in On

"Dr. Hart argued that most of what you think you know about drugs and drug abuse is wrong: that addiction is not a brain disease; that most of the 50 million Americans who use an illegal drug in a given year have overwhelmingly positive experiences; that our policies have been warped by a focus only on the bad outcomes." NYT: This Heroin-Using Professor Wants to Change How We Think About Drugs. (And no, he wasn't high ... at least at that exact moment.)


Magnus Come Loudly

Relations between Magnus and the Border Patrol have been frosty, according to three current and former CBP officials ... The Border Patrol's union officials called him 'an ultraliberal social engineer who was given a badge and a gun by the City of Tucson,' in a 2018 Facebook post." Biden picks Tucson police chief to run U.S. Customs and Border Protection. (This confirmation process will be heated. Magnus is the opposite of everything Trump.)

+ Want someone who thinks differently about big, intractable issues? Magnus is your guy. Here's a look at how he changed things in the city of Richmond.


Whoever Smelt It, Felt It

"The poison was bound to enter his body. The amount of lead in the air was seven times what Autery's company-issued respirator could handle. Autery is among hundreds of workers at Gopher who have been exposed to extreme amounts of lead. They've inhaled it, been burned by it, been covered in it. And no one has stopped it." A special report from The Tampa Bay Times: Poisoned. "Hundreds of workers at a Tampa lead smelter have been exposed to dangerous levels of the neurotoxin. The consequences have been profound."


Speak Softly and Carry a Big Club

"The new Masters champ is so down-to-earth he drives a minivan. He is so private that no one knew anything about his love life until well after he was married; probed why he had kept it a secret for so long he said, 'Because no one asked.' The new Masters champ is so soft-spoken the joke among the press corps is that while he doesn't speak much English he speaks even less Japanese." Masters 2021: Hideki Matsuyama, quiet star, makes a loud statement for his nation and for himself. (Matsuyama was playing poorly before a weather delay on Saturday. After the break, he was unbelievably good. When asked what he did during the break to get his game on track, he answered that he just sat in his car looking at his phone until the weather passed. There but for the grace of god go I-Phone.)


Who We Been

"He was the dark, troubled, cathartic soul of hip-hop, sharing a lifetime of pain and struggles with a gruff voice and blunt lyrics that changed the sound of the music seemingly overnight. But he never quite left the pain and struggles behind." Redef with a selection of articles about DMX, who died of an overdose at the age of 50.

+ My fave: Who We Be.


Bottom of the News

"Why can't we just keep a first-down line on the screen the whole game?" he asked. Everybody shrugged their shoulders. Somebody said it'd be too distracting. Somebody else said the technology wouldn't allow it. "You're wrong -- we should do it," Madden said, shaking his head. He let it hang in the air, and producers in the room started to wonder whether maybe Madden was right. "The yellow line is a direct descendant of that moment." As he turns 85, we look back on the career and quotes of one of the most colorful people in sports. Inside the legacy of John Madden.

+ Line of 2021 so far: Colin Jost, "Who's next, the ghost of Jeffrey Epstein?" Jost and Michael Che are the best SNL news deliverers ever, by a mile. (By the way, I need to make contact with Michael Che if anyone has a connection, please let me know.)

+ The Iceberg that sank the Titanic, Bowen Yang, stops by Weekend Update to discuss his new album. (I can't explain this, but it's amazing.)