Wednesday, September 6th, 2023


Surgical Strike

Make sure your doctor's bag holds a thermometer, a stethoscope, a tongue depressor, an ophthalmoscope, a tourniquet, an otoscope, a patella hammer, and a loaded gun. Wait, make that three loaded guns. "To be a physician who performs abortions in a small southern town is to be in a state of rational hypervigilance, a whisper of worry pervading the everyday. That has persisted even after Adams was cornered into retirement last summer — itself another reminder of the not-normal-ness of his life. He is his own security detail: That day, he had one gun in his pocket, another in his jacket, and a third in his car. At a town meeting earlier this year, some locals compared his work to the Holocaust, while an elected official mentioned him by name, called him a serial killer, and talked about how easy it was to look up the tax records for his home." The gun-toting isn't Wes Adams' only characteristic that might surprise you. He's a reminder of a time, not that long ago, when abortion wasn't an entirely partisan issue. Eric Boodman in Stat: How a conservative, gun-toting doctor defended abortion access in Appalachia.

+ "In 1973 the lines were more blurred. Republican and Democratic voters were equally likely to say abortion should be legal, while it was easy to find Republican officials who supported abortion rights and Democrats who opposed the procedure." Explainer: How abortion became a divisive issue in U.S. politics. (This was before everything became a divisive issue in U.S. politics.)

+ How political has this issue become? Maybe bigger than defense. It's at the heart of Sen. Tommy Tuberville blocking the confirmations of our most senior military officers. The civilian leaders of the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Space Force and Army have had enough. WaPo (Gift Article): Stop this dangerous hold on senior officers. "Senators have many legislative and oversight tools to show their opposition to a specific policy. They are free to introduce legislation, gather support for that legislation and pass it. But placing a blanket hold on all general and flag officer nominees, who as apolitical officials have traditionally been exempt from the hold process, is unfair to these military leaders and their families. And it is putting our national security at risk."


Need a Boost?

"Hospitalizations are rising. Deaths have ticked up. Wastewater samples are picking up the virus, as are labs across the country." It's not as dangerous as it was, but there's no doubt that Covid cases are picking up again. But there's some good news. "Four preliminary laboratory studies released over the weekend found that antibodies from previous infections and vaccinations appear capable of neutralizing the [latest] variant, known as BA.2.86." NPR: Lab data suggests new COVID booster will protect against worrisome variant. And here's some more good news: COVID-19 booster shots expected as early as next week.


Search Warrant

"The case centers on whether Google illegally cemented its dominance and squashed competition by paying Apple and other companies to make its internet search engine the default on the iPhone as well as on other devices and platforms. In legal filings, the Justice Department has argued that Google maintained a monopoly through such agreements, making it harder for consumers to use other search engines. Google has said that its deals with Apple and others were not exclusive and that consumers could alter the default settings on their devices to choose alternative search engines." NYT (Gift Article): In Its First Monopoly Trial of Modern Internet Era, U.S. Sets Sights on Google.

+ This is, of course, a very big case and very big deal. But it's ironic that it comes at a time when the way we interact with the internet is starting to change in some fundamental ways. I covered this last week in, Sole Searching.


Ozempics or It Didn’t Happen

For years, Bernard Arnault's luxury goods giant LVMH has been Europe's most valuable company. Well, that changed this week. What could possibly knock luxurious fashion out of the top spot? Here's the skinny. The maker of Wegovy and Ozempic is now Europe's most valuable company.


Extra, Extra

Stand Back and Stand By (for 22 years): "Former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio was sentenced Tuesday to 22 years in prison for orchestrating a failed plot to keep Donald Trump in power after the Republican lost the 2020 election, capping the case with the stiffest punishment that has been handed down yet for the U.S. Capitol attack." They got the orchestrator. The legal system is still working it's way up to the conductor.

+ A Bad Scene: Caterers, dry cleaners, drivers ... it's not just actors and writers being impacted by the Hollywood strike. Hollywood walkouts have wiped $5 billion from California's economy.

+ Market Attack: "Russian missiles kill 16 at Ukraine market as Blinken visits to show support, offer more U.S. help." (The more progress Ukraine makes the more citizens Putin tries to kill.)

+ Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is: "Four months after a civil trial jury found that Donald Trump sexually abused and defamed advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday that still more of the ex-president's comments about her were libelous. The decision means that an upcoming second trial will concern only how much more he has to pay her." This isn't the only case where Trump's inability to STFU could hurt him. Trump's posts ‘threaten to prejudice jury pool' in federal 2020 case, complaint says. This garbage may play with the base, but it is only going to hurt him in court.

+ A Bit More Coin: Were there any financial winners in last year's crypto collapse that has landed some CEOs in jail? Yes. Lawyers. NYT: A $700 Million Bonanza for the Winners of Crypto's Collapse.

+ Faulty Service: "But, I don't know if it's legal or illegal, but — I have to find a way because I cannot watch it on TV — so I got internet and this pirate website or something, so I watched tennis there. I had no other choice." Thanks to Disney's Spectrum blackout, Daniil Medvedev was unable to keep up with other US Open matches from his hotel TV and had to find more dubious ways of watching the action. The content wars have come. And we might just be warming up. (None of us who has stolen a cable signal knows if it's legal or illegal, right?)

+ Course Correction: "The runners were disqualified after missing checkpoints that were placed every 5 kilometers. Some runners allegedly used vehicles or public transport to cut the course." 11,000 runners DQ'd from Mexico City Marathon, per report.


Bottom of the News

"He's also bought an old, closed-down bowling alley, which he fixed up and sold, hoping it would one day reopen. 'My wife told me you can buy anything you want if you sell this bowling alley,' he said. 'I bought me a bridge.'" WSJ (Gift Article): The Government Has a Bridge to Sell You. Or Give You. (I'll definitely take the Brooklyn Bridge when they're done with it.)

+ An adventurer who tried to walk from Florida to London in a hamster wheel at the onset of a hurricane was arrested after a bomb threat and a three-day standoff with the US Coast Guard.

+ Hurricane Idalia blows flamingos as far as Ohio.

+ The Stones just released their first new song in 18 years.