This is unacceptable in a democracy
Breaking news this morning, starting with the report by William K. Rashbaum at The New York Times, explosive devices were found in mail sent to Hillary Clinton and Obama. Law enforcement officials say the devices were similar to the one found on Monday at the home of the billionaire philanthropist George Soros. Tom Buerkle thinks “This would be a good time for the president to stand up and say this is unacceptable in a democracy.”
Minyvonne Burke, Jonathan Diens and Tom Winter of NBC News are now reporting that a suspicious package has also been found near the New York home of Bill and Hillary Clinton in Chappaqua, New York. The Washington Post’s Cleve Wootson and Devlin Barrett are following that story, Bomb sent to Bill and Hillary Clinton’s home in New York City suburb.
And CNN’s offices at the Time Warner Center building in New York were evacuated this morning after a suspicious package was found there.
Tucker Higgins of CNBC reports that reports of a suspicious package addressed to the White House are ’incorrect,’ Secret Service says.
Clarifying and sad
Sheila Bair calls this a “Must read. A clear eyed view of what ails our government,” and as you can imagine, it’s a little depressing. Andrew Ross Sorkin of The New York Times spoke with former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker, and he says he sees ‘a hell of a mess in every direction’ (62,000+ shares). As Sorkin says, “Sitting w/ Paul Volcker for this column was clarifying and sad. ‘Respect for government, respect for the Supreme Court, respect for the president, it’s all gone.’ Paul is one of a kind.”
Meanwhile, in an interview with Michael Bender, Rebecca Ballhaus, Peter Nicholas and Alex Leary of The Wall Street Journal, Trump Steps Up Attacks on Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. Tweets Kwanwoo Jun, “(So, Mr. Trump is regretting his own pick after all.) Asked why he thought Mr. Powell was raising rates, Mr. Trump paused, then said, ‘He was supposed to be a low-interest-rate guy. It’s turned out that he’s not.’”
Scrutiny and shame
A couple of stories today on Georgia’s Secretary of State and Republican nominee for governor, Brian Kemp. At Rolling Stone, Jamil Smith has the exclusive on leaked audio from a ticketed campaign event last week that reveals Brian Kemp Expressing Concern Over Georgians Exercising Their Right to Vote (99,000+ shares). In the audio, he says that his Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams, “continues to concern us, especially if everybody uses and exercises their right to vote"
And Dale Russell of FOX 5 Atlanta found out that Brian Kemp owes more than $800,000 in insider loans to a bank he helped start. Or as Bill Harnsberger puts it, “ooof!!!” Adds Smith, “Remember when folks were all bent about @staceyabrams owing the IRS carrying more than $200,000 in student debt? @BrianKempGA owes more than $800,000 in insider loans. Certainly, Kemp will be exposed to the proportional amount of scrutiny and shame. Right?”
It was sort of inevitable
Next up, a couple of stories from Florida’s gubernatorial race. “Just two weeks before the election, a lawyer for a lobbyist at the heart of a Tallahassee FBI probe dropped more than 100 pages of records relating to @AndrewGillum's state ethics investigation.” Lawrence Mower links to his report in the Tampa Bay Times, Records show FBI agents gave Andrew Gillum tickets to ‘Hamilton’ in 2016 (36,000+ shares). Nick Confessore says, “I guess it was sort of inevitable that ‘Hamilton’ tickets would eventually get a cameo in a corruption investigation,” while David Larter points out, “I think the real question is, how did the FBI score Hamilton tickets?”
Amanda Terkel at HuffPost reports on the Shockingly Racist Robocall Against Andrew Gillum In Florida (40,000+ shares). A white supremacist group based in Idaho is behind the calls. On Twitter, she notes, “Ends up that music in the background of the racist Andrew Gillum ad is from Amos ’N’ Andy.” “This is a new level of disgusting,” says Andrew Joyce.
On that note, “David Thomas apparently never Googled the name ‘Nathan Bedford Forrest.’ An exclusive from The Post’s @Reinlwapo.” Andrew deGrandpre links to the story by The Washington Post’s Lisa Rein, ‘I thought it was very nice’: VA official showcased portrait of KKK’s first grand wizard.
And now, “This guy!” tweets Jonathan L. Fischer. Meet David Gelernter: The Yale Professor Who Knows “the Real Reason” Liberals Hate Trump Defends His Op-Ed, the President, and Birtherism. As Jamelle Bouie says, of Isaac Chotiner’s Q&A with Gelernter for Slate, “so @IChotiner asks a few fairly gentle questions and this guy has a complete meltdown.” Or as Max Rosenthal puts it, “Okay the Chotiner thing really is bananas in multiple ways you would not even anticipate.” Tweets Jeet Heer, “I don't know how he does it but @IChotiner has a gift for making people say the stupidest things imaginable.”
Meanwhile, “Who would have guessed that Richard Spencer is a terrible person?!” Evan Siegfried links to the report by Talal Ansari of BuzzFeed News, White Nationalist Richard Spencer’s Wife Says In Divorce Filings That He Physically and Emotionally Abused Her (28,000+ shares). Andrew Beaujon highlights, “Things Richard Spencer allegedly said to his wife, Nina Kroupiianova: • ‘The only language women understand is violence.’ • ‘I’m famous, and you are not! I’m important, and you are not!’”
Enablers gonna enable
And now, “A story where White House and GOP staffers brag about how they’ve tricked the media into spreading propaganda.” Jon Favreau links to the new piece by Lachlan Markay, Asawin Suebsaeng, Sam Stein and Will Sommer at The Daily Beast, Trump’s Own Teams Know His Caravan Claims Aren’t True, Don’t Particularly Care. Tracy Connor highlights, “A quote for our times. ‘It doesn’t matter if it’s 100 percent accurate,’ a senior Trump administration official told The Daily Beast.”
In a similar vein, Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker of The Washington Post report, ‘In the service of whim’: Officials scramble to make Trump’s false assertions real. In this piece, we learn that “Making Trump’s fantasies seem like reality is a full time job for administration officials,” as Nick Fox tweets. Of course, “Enablers gonna enable,” Kara Swisher points out. (While we’re at it, on Medium, Trevor Davis writes about how Clarence Thomas’s Wife is Sharing Fake News About the “Caravan.” )
Jay Rosen says, “The news system is not designed for this. It's built to start with what the president said and then seek detail, get reaction, check facts. What it should do instead is go to the president last, as the least reliable component in a policy-making machinery.”
So many disheartening stories
Marc Hogan says he “Wrote about a piece of evidence in the XXXTentacion case that was not public record until after his death. I don't really have any other words for it.” Read his piece at Pitchfork, which reveals, XXXTentacion Confessed to Domestic Abuse and Other Violent Crimes in Newly Obtained Secret Recording (47,000+ shares). James Bennett II thinks “It’s insane how many young cats — 22 and under I’d guess — that wanna stan for this man. This CANNOT be the hill you wanna die on because it is far from a good luck. More baffling is the ‘gentlemanly’ crowd that curses those for speaking ill of the dead.” As Dee Phunk puts it, “You can take your sympathy for XXX and shove it.”
In The British #MeToo scandal which cannot be revealed, The Telegraph’s Claire Newell reports that “a leading businessman” has been granted an injunction against the paper to keep it from revealing alleged bullying, intimidation and sexual harassment, allegations that The Telegraph spent the past eight months investigating. Helena Horton calls it “Sickening that this man has used his wealth and the law to hide his identity.” Patrick LaForge tweets, “Tell us here,” and links to The New York Times’ confidential tip line.
China's hidden camps, the new interactive BBC News piece by John Sudworth, takes a look at what’s happened to the vanished Uighurs of Xinjiang. Tweets Julia Macfarlane, “This is a shocking, unbelievable story by BBC’s @TheJohnSudworth @producerKathy. Now that we're suddenly re-evaluating our trade relationships with countries that have abhorrent human rights issues, the question over China is astoundingly absent.”
On Twitter, Jason Schreier tells us, “I've talked to nearly 90 current and former Rockstar employees. Although their experiences varied, a pattern has emerged: Rockstar has a culture of intense overtime. Those who work there say they hope that by speaking out, things will change. My story.” His piece for Kotaku goes Inside Rockstar Games' Culture Of Crunch. “This is a remarkable article. So many disheartening stories and info,” says Keshav Bhat. Adds Gita Jackson, “i'm still reading this incredible article from @jasonschreier but basically every sentence is more fucked than the last.”
What a story
“It took a £1 payment to uncover one of the world’s biggest money-laundering scandals.” That’s the lead of the new piece by Bradley Hope, Drew Hinshaw and Patricia Kowsmann of The Wall Street Journal, How One Stubborn Banker Exposed a $200 Billion Russian Money-Laundering Scandal. “What a story,” says Micah Maidenberg.
And if you’re looking for a good longread, here’s a murder mystery to dig into. In his new cover story for Bloomberg Businessweek, Matthew Campbell searches for answers in the unsolved murder of an unusual billionaire. He finds that, when it comes to the murder of Canadian pharmaceutical executive Larry Sherman and his wife, no one knows who did it or why, but everyone has a theory.
Need a break? Here’s Jeff Bridges, John Goodman and Steve Buscemi talking about The Big Lebowski at 20, over at Open Culture.
Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announces she has been diagnosed with dementia, “probably Alzheimer’s.” CNN’s Ariane de Vogue has that story.
Why would you want to see C-SPAN footage of President Trump Signing a Water Infrastructure Bill? Well there’s this: “Trump has been referring to John Bolton as ‘Mike Bolton.’ Did so in the Oval again today. He also called Steve Doocy ‘Pete Doocy’ the other night,” Maggie Haberman points out.
Alexis Madrigal of The Atlantic takes a look at new research by Pew, which finds, Older People Are Worse Than Young People at Telling Fact from Opinion. But “So what if a large share of all the problems on the internet are about Baby Boomers being on Facebook :/” asks Ben Smith. Some helpful advice, courtesy of David A. Graham: “*Eat the boomers.* * Note to boomers, since you apparently might be confused: This is not a literal statement.”
Alan Rappeport of The New York Times is covering Saudi Arabia’s global investment conference, where bankers kept their name tags obscured behind ties, and many tried to keep a low profile and avoided talking to the news media. And then, “the crown prince himself, Mohammed bin Salman, appeared at the summit meeting and received a standing ovation.”