What leadership looks like
We’re obsessed with 2020 these days in the U.S., but just what kind of a leader do we need? Yesterday the Editorial Board of The New York Times offered this: America Deserves a Leader as Good as Jacinda Ardern, writing, “After this and any such atrocity, the world’s leaders should unite in clearly condemning racism, sharing in the grief of the victims and stripping the haters of their weapons. Ms. Ardern has shown the way.” Monica Attard notes, “It’s really something when the Editorial Board of the @nytimes comes out so strongly for (or against) a world leader. New Zealands justly gets the tick of approval.”
Meanwhile, “Mass shooting NZ: Let's ban military style rifles USA: Let's try live shooter drills in schools where we shoot teachers with non-lethal ammo.” Yes, that’s a real thing. Read Tim Dickinson’s piece for Rolling Stone to believe it: Mock Executions? Real Screams and Blood? Just Another School Shooter Drill.
If you think that’s something, Katelyn Polantz has something else for you: “HOLY MOLY, #appellatetwitter @JoanBiskupic reporting that before Chief Justice John Roberts wrote majority opinion to uphold the Affordable Care Act, he voted to strike it down. Wild account of SCOTUS behind-the-scenes after ACA arguments in 2012.” In The inside story of how John Roberts negotiated to save Obamacare, CNN gives us an excerpt from Joan Biskupic’s new book, “The Chief: The Life and Turbulent Times of Chief Justice John Roberts,” and it’s getting lots of all-caps reactions. Tweets Dan Berman, “BIG: John Roberts changed his vote on Obamacare TWICE and even negotiated with liberals Breyer and Kagan to save the law! @JoanBiskupic with explosive deets in her new book.” Adds Andrew Kaczynski. “Wild reporting from @JoanBiskupic on before John Roberts’ majority opinion to upholding Obamacare, he voted in a private conference to strike it down — then changed course multiple times.”
You probably didn’t think the word “wild” would be used so often to describe Supreme Court deliberations, but here we are. As Michelangelo Signorile notes, “For anyone who believe the Supreme Court isn't political/horse-trading. Kagan and Breyer flipped, voted vs. Medicaid expansion, to secure Roberts would flip, uphold mandate.”
In another big story yesterday, the Los Angeles Times got copies of internal memos from Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller, who says that deploying troops to the U.S.-Mexico border poses ‘unacceptable risk’ (69,000+ shares). Molly O’Toole gives us those details and the memos themselves, which reveal what happens “When a fake emergency potentially causes real ones,” as Christopher Orr tweets. Doyle McManus calls it, “An important story from @mollymotoole of the resurgent @latimes.”
This whole #Brexit shitshow
For the latest Brexit developments, we start with Jennifer Rankin and Daniel Boffey at The Guardian, who highlight, ‘It was not clear if she had a plan at all’: how May’s night at the summit unfolded. A lot of people are also sharing this quote, from an EU source who we think wasn’t too pleased: “It was 90 minutes of nothing. She didn’t even give clarity if she is organising a vote. Asked three times what she would do if she lost the vote, she couldn’t say. It was fucking awful. Dreadful. Evasive even by her standards.”
George Parker, Alex Barker and Laura Hughes of the Financial Times reveal How Theresa May decided she was willing to accept a no-deal Brexit, and Mark Stone highlights this quote: “‘She’s not bluffing…’ fascinating detail from the @FT.” William Booth, meanwhile, wonders, “Did the FT just suggest that Theresa May is losing it? ‘The fact Mrs May’s decision was taken in the early hours of Wednesday without formal cabinet approval has fuelled concerns in the Treasury about Mrs May’s judgment....’”
For “A must-read ‘tick-tock’ of how the EU leaders reached their new Brexit deadlines,” John Aglionby recommends another piece at the Financial Times, this one by Barker and Mehreen Khan on How the EU leaders reached a decision on Brexit.
If you’re looking for “A brutal summary of the prime minister's time in office,” Robert Hutton links to The EU knows it, so do our own MPs – Theresa May is finished, Rafael Behr’s piece at The Guardian. Jonathan Haynes is left with just one question: “How long until she is gone?”
No matter what you’re looking for, never miss Marina Hyde at The Guardian. In her latest cinematic take, she writes, Apocalypse it is, then. Not now, but probably next week. Hyde takes us from the heart of darkness to “Meaningful Vote 3: this time it’s meaningful” to the logical conclusion: “We are all Renton from Trainspotting now, diving down the worst bog in Scotland in search of the suppository.” “All killer no filler from @MarinaHyde as per, but extra marks for Corbyn’s emotional support terrorist,” tweets Andrew Mueller. We agree with Anil Seth, who says, “Perhaps the only good thing about this whole #Brexit shitshow is that’s its inspired @MarinaHyde to still new heights. She writes so well it seems unfair. This is outstanding commentary and absolutely on the mark.”
Mueller Report predictions
Back in the U.S., James B. Comey has written an op-ed for The New York Times outlining What I Want From the Mueller Report. Ramesh Ponnuru says, “Comey's argument against impeachment is a common one but I don't think it makes sense,” while Quinta Jurecic tweets, “A+ troll.”
Regardless of What Comey Wants, though, Jonathan Karl tells us, “You don’t need to speculate about what’s in the Mueller report. Rod Rosenstein has already given us a road-map. Bottom Line: Do not expect a harsh condemnation of President Trump or any of his associates who have not been charged with crimes.” Karl has the spoilers at ABC News, Letter from deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein offers potential road map to special counsel Robert Mueller's probe. Sources tell him there are no more indictments expected, but Laura Rozen “Wonder[s] if those sources are Rudy and Giuliani.” Adds Ken Dilanian, “This is a smart piece but I think there is a chance Mueller decided the ‘indict or shut up’ standard doesn’t apply to the president, who can’t be indicted. And that he therefore will plumb the depths of Trump’s behavior regarding Russia.”
Details of Ducagate
And now we turn to “.@annamerlan with the ‘best known, least reported media gossip story of our time,’” as Pamela Engel tweets. At Jezebel, Anna Merlan sits us down and says, We Should Probably Talk About Lauren Duca. Or as Tom Gara puts it, “Jezebel with the full, never before seen details of Ducagate.” Laura Nahmias offers, “My takeaway from this piece: Why is NYU J-school hiring people to teach students to ‘establish the imperative of interconnected motivations in the ideology of feminism and practice of journalism in the totality of the writer’s communication with the world?’” But beyond whatever that means, Bradford Pearson says, “I appreciate the way Anna grapples with the media gossip vs. news aspect of this story. A lot of young writers have looked at Duca’s path admirably, which means I think finally opening this story to the public is important.” Adds Cale Guthrie Weissman, “i have been waiting for this piece to drop for literally years.”
Mother of Dragons indeed
“Early morning cry courtesy of... Emilia Clarke? Yup.” Jeff Sneider isn’t crying, you’re crying, as you read Emilia Clarke’s essay in the New Yorker on surviving two life-threatening aneurysms (81,000+ shares). As Kara Swisher says, “Woah. Mother of Dragons indeed.” And Kevin Fallon tweets, “This is one of those WOW stories. Emilia Clarke tells it beautifully.” Sharon Epperson is “Shaken... shocked... inspired.”
Hard to fathom
Bryan Menegus of Gizmodo got access to a leaked memo revealing, Kickstarter Union Opposed by Senior Staffers, and, for starters, “it's hard to fathom how Kickstarter could possibly fail considering that it is literally just a website that simply takes 5% of all the money given to the people that use it,” as Jason Koebler says. Josh Barro points out, “A funny thing about this memo is that high-margin companies like tech firms are ones where a union is likely to be *especially* effective at diverting profits into wages and benefits.” Also, as Casey Johnston says, “‘The effort to unionize Kickstarter hasn’t felt transparent or fair’-management. respectfully, come the fuck on.”
Into the wild
It’s Friday, so take a little break. As Alex Hern says, “I love this good-natured piece of fun.” Also at Gizmodo, Joe Veix writes, I Rode an E-Scooter as Far From Civilization as Its Batteries Could Take Me (“into the wild,” as he tweets), and Shira Ovide notes, “I'm heartened to learn that you *can* ride an e-scooter to freedom, for $34.50.* *Plus the possibility of an additional $25 penalty.” “This is true service journalism,” tweets Alissa Walker.
And finally, “This is simply inspired,” Dan Primack says. Be like Stefan Cheplick, who reveals, “Bought my new kit before the next bull market starts”: Go get your very own VC Starter Kit.
- NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik talked with former News Corp. senior vice president Joseph Azam, who says he quit over Fox News’s anti-Muslim rhetoric.
- But what about his WhatsApps? Josh Dawsey links to “The latest chapter w/@thamburger in the Jared and Ivanka use private email/apps to communicate about government business.” That’s his Washington Post story with Tom Hamburger, Kushner lawyer told lawmakers that Trump’s son-in-law uses WhatsApp for White House business, Cummings said.
- After writing about the 737 Max safety feature that Boeing has been charging for, Hiroko Tabuchi and David Gelles of The New York Times now report that Boeing Will Stop Charging to Install Safety Feature After Deadly Crashes.
- “As Palm Beach turned into a presidential retreat, disgruntled police officers left in record numbers. The town hired replacements with questionable backgrounds, including at least two w/ criminal histories.” Ian Cohen’s latest for the Palm Beach Post takes a look at how questionable hires and low morale are plaguing the Palm Beach police.
- Rob Hopkins says, “It is hard to find words to describe how vile these people are. Very nice at home most likely, and lovely to their mums, but at work? Sociopaths, vandals, monsters.” He links to the report by Sandra Laville of The Guardian, which reveals, top oil firms are spending millions lobbying to block climate change policies.
- Oliver Darcy of CNN explains How Twitter’s algorithm is amplifying extreme political rhetoric.