Zelensky Conditions: WaPo: U.S. privately asks Ukraine to show it’s open to negotiate with Russia. “The encouragement is aimed not at pushing Ukraine to the negotiating table, but ensuring it maintains a moral high ground in the eyes of its international backers.” (There are a lot of takes about this story. Here’s mine. I’m guessing it means Biden is seeing numbers that suggest a more pro-Putin, and less pro-democracy group might be about to take control of the House. That’s a hunch. I’m much more certain that the message that appeared on the front page of the Washington Post was not private.)

+ Mail Pattern Boldness: “Republican officials and candidates in at least three battleground states are pushing to disqualify thousands of mail ballots after urging their own supporters to vote on Election Day, in what critics are calling a concerted attempt at partisan voter suppression.” And here we go… (Time to bring back my 2020 election guide: Vote for those who want you to vote.)

+ Chronicling Chronic: “You never forget the first time a doctor gives up: when they tell you that they don’t know what to do—they have no further tests to run, no treatments to offer—and that you’re on your own.” Kieran Setiya in The Atlantic: Why Does Chronic Pain Hurt So Much?

+ Tapped Out: Walt Disney once came pretty close to opening an amusement park in St. Louis. He just had one stipulation that didn’t go over too well. There would be no beer. Hence, no park. Riverfront Square, the failed Disneyland Park successor that beer helped kill.

+ Blowing the Lid Off: “Exactly how the US got its public bathroom problem is difficult to untangle — but certainly, it wasn’t always like this. In the early 1900s, American cities were flush with public toilets.” The fight to build more public bathrooms in America. (I may not know how many there are, but as a neurotic middle aged Jewish man, I can definitely tell you where the closest one is at any given moment.)