Wednesday, July 14th, 2021


Euro Step

"The most radical, and possibly contentious, proposal would impose tariffs on certain imports from countries with less stringent climate-protection rules. The proposals also include eliminating the sales of new gas- and diesel-powered cars in just 14 years, and raising the price of using fossil fuels." Europe is moving to take the lead in the global efforts to counter climate change. (In fairness, there's not a ton of competition for the pole position in this race.) NYT (free gift article for ND readers): Europe Rolls Out Plan to Shift From Fossil Fuels, an Effort That Could Impact Trade.

+ Interesting tool from the NYT: How Much Hotter Is Your Hometown Than When You Were Born? (My hometown wasn't covered. Try Los Angeles for a good example.)


Fent on Destruction

"The spike in deaths was driven by the increased presence of the dangerous opioid fentanyl into the illicit drug market in the US, along with increased isolation among people who use drugs and overwhelmed public health agencies during the pandemic." More People Than Ever Died Of Drug Overdoses In The US In 2020.

+ "Though they are widely reviled for profiting from a public health crisis that has resulted in the death of half a million Americans, they have used their money and influence to play our system like a harp. It is hardly news that our society treats people like Darnell Washington with sledgehammer vengeance, and people like the Sacklers with velvet gloves." Patrick Radden Keefe in the NYT (free gift article for ND readers): This Is What Billionaire Justice Looks Like.


Poetry in Motion

"If you took an Uber in Washington, D.C., a couple of years ago, there was a chance your driver was one of the greatest living Uyghur poets. Tahir Hamut Izgil arrived with his family in the United States in 2017, fleeing the Chinese government's merciless persecution of his people. Tahir's escape not only spared him near-certain internment in the camps that have swallowed more than 1 million Uyghurs; it also allowed him to share with the world his experience of the calamity engulfing his homeland." A special series from The Atlantic: One by One, My Friends Were Sent to the Camps.


Pot Heads in Right Direction

"On Wednesday, Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) released a discussion draft of legislation that proposes sweeping reform to marijuana policy in the US. The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act would decriminalize marijuana federally, expunge federal non-violent cannabis convictions (and encourage states to do the same), and create 'new grant programs to fund nonprofits that provide services to those adversely impacted by the War on Drugs.'" (Those adversely effected by the war on drugs is a hell of a big list.) Democrats have a new plan to legalize marijuana federally.

+ It's a step. But there's a long, long way to go. Axios: "Any weed legislation will likely face a difficult path forward in the Senate, where Republicans have expressed opposition and some moderate Democrats may be skeptical. President Biden has not endorsed the bill."

+ The budget bill is less of a longshot, but still has a tough road as the Dems must secure all 50 of their Senate votes. Democrats Propose $3.5 Trillion Budget to Advance With Infrastructure Deal.


Koozie Q

"Fox News host Tucker Carlson suggested that he should be criminally investigated. Republican members of Congress introduced a 'Fire Fauci Act' to remove his salary.
Now White House medical adviser Anthony S. Fauci — a polarizing figure in the U.S. response to the coronavirus — is also part of a rising GOP star's political branding.
'Don't Fauci My Florida,' read drink koozies and T-shirts that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis's campaign team rolled out." (We're living through a sick and stupid age at exactly the wrong time.) WaPo: DeSantis sells ‘Don't Fauci My Florida' merch as new coronavirus cases near highest in nation.

+ Summer setback: COVID deaths and cases rising again globally. (Quick, someone order more koozies.)


Scheduling Conflict

"A 1972 MIT study predicted that rapid economic growth would lead to societal collapse in the mid 21st century. A new paper shows we're unfortunately right on schedule." But don't worry, they don't mean societal collapse in terms of us ceasing to exist. But growth could stop.


Morgan Grinder

"Cue swift public condemnation from any record labels, booking agents, and other money-making groups with ties to Wallen. Roll the tape of theatrical apologia: A week after the incident, Wallen posted an emotive video saying he had been on 'hour 72 of a 72-hour bender' when he shouted the racial slur and wanted to 'fully accept any penalties I'm facing.' But Wallen's offense, hot off the heels of a year of grievous racist violence committed, by and large, by white men, proved too seismic to gloss over. It was shocking, on its own, and also emblematic of an uncomfortably visible national crisis. The music industry cast him out. Awards shows, executives, music critics, fellow artists, and all the other usual suspects involved in the making and boosting of a star gave him radio silence — literally, in the case of stations that refused to hand him airplay." That's one part of the Morgan Wallen story. The other part is that he's the number one selling artist in America. Rolling Stone: Morgan Wallen, the Winner No One Can Admit.


A Hiccup in the Process

"The Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has been admitted to hospital complaining of abdominal pain after being struck down by an unremitting bout of the hiccups which has lasted for more than 10 days." (They say the best way to get rid of hiccups is to breathe into a paper bag, do something to save your people from Covid, and stop destroying the rainforest.)


Lego Block Glock

"A Utah gun company has halted sales of a Lego-themed pistol kit, after facing fierce backlash from the public and a request from the Danish toy maker to remove the product. With the colorful "Block 19" pistol kit, owners would have been able to use Lego blocks to create their own sights and designs on top of a Glock 19 pistol's slide." A Toy-Like Gun Covered In Legos Sparks An Uproar.


Bottom of the News

"Training to be a cashier starts with the Top 100 — a list of produce items most purchased by customers. When they start, trainees have seven days to commit all 100 codes to memory ... The challenge: Berkeley Bowl carries somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,000 different produce items at any given time." How Berkeley Bowl cashiers memorize literally everything in their legendary produce department.

+ "The medals will not be given around the neck. They will be presented to the athlete on a tray and then the athlete will take the medal him or herself." Olympic athletes to put on own medals at Tokyo ceremonies.

+ Airplane drops thousands of fish into lake. (Thursday throwback?)