January 16, 2020
“Most successful people are people you’ve never heard of. They want it that way. It keeps them sober. It helps them do their jobs.”
“The only guarantee, ever, is that things will go wrong. The only thing we can use to mitigate this is anticipation. Because the only variable we control completely is ourselves.”
– Ryan Holiday
Don And The Giant Impeach
This week the House took final steps in the impeachment of President Trump, voting along party lines to deliver two articles of impeachment to the Senate for trial, and to approve managers who will prosecute the case. The seven diverse managers chosen by Speaker Nancy Pelosi are all experienced attorneys; fellow Californian, former prosecutor, and current Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff will take the lead.
Senators announced new rules on behavior and movement in the Capitol during the trial, which include restrictions affecting journalists, and even conversations on the Senate floor. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has worked closely with the White House to keep witnesses and documents from Congress and the public. Some key GOP senators said they would like to hear from witnesses, but won’t decide until after opening arguments.
On Tuesday House Democrats unveiled new evidence they plan to send to the Senate floor as part of their case. The trove of documents includes text messages and hand-written notes from Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, that show how Parnas sought to set up a meeting between Giuliani and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and connect with members of his government. The records also add more details about Giuliani’s push to oust then US ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, including text messages between Parnas and a new actor, Connecticut GOP congressional candidate Robert Hyde, implicating Hyde in surveillance of Yovanovitch.
Hours after the new evidence release Pelosi criticized Republican tactics, tweeting: “There can be no full & fair trial in the Senate if Leader McConnell blocks the Senate from hearing witnesses and obtaining documents President Trump is covering up,” adding: #DefendOurDemocracy. The trial will likely start Tuesday, January 21.
- Trump ‘knew exactly what was going on’ in Ukraine, says Giuliani associate (Guardian)
- Pen-t up anger: Republicans pounce on Pelosi over ceremonial writing tools (Guardian)
- Its Reputation Tattered, Polarized Senate Faces a Steep Impeachment Test (NYT, $)
- William Barr, Trump’s Sword and Shield (New Yorker, $)
India Tries To Hack Themselves
- Americans have almost no control over all their financial information that is used by banks and companies, and shared with third parties. But around the globe there has been a handful of initiatives to return control of data to consumers, notably with the “open banking” movement in Europe and Australia.
- In India, top banks are preparing to roll out a system that gives consumers access to a wide swath of their financial data and allows them to share it instantly. Backed by the Reserve Bank of India, it’s an ambitious approach that combines privacy protection with credit reporting: if it works, it could unlock the credit market for millions of Indians while offering new levels of data security and consumer control.
- The approach is unique — it relies on third parties to mediate the often complicated process of information sharing — and so is its target population, which is predominantly poor and currently excluded from the formal banking system. (Bloomberg)
A Big Red Scare In The Big Blue
- For the second time in seven months a Russian warship has ignored warnings and come dangerously close to an American ship. The US Navy said that last week a Russian navy ship “aggressively approached” the USS Farragut while it was conducting routine operations in the North Arabian Sea.
- The Farragut gave five warning blasts on its horn before the Russian warship changed course and avoided a collision.
- Russia’s Defense Ministry denied any wrongdoing, saying the crew of its warship acted professionally to avoid a collision with “the intruder ship,” and that the US Navy was “grossly in violation of international rules. ”
- In June 2019 a Navy spokesman told of a near collision in the Pacific: “A Russian destroyer …. made an unsafe maneuver against USS Chancellorsville, closing to 50-100 feet, putting the safety of her crew and ship at risk,” and forcing Chancellorsville to “execute all engines back full and to maneuver to avoid collision.” (CNN)
Additional World News
- Dmitry Medvedev: the rise and fall of the Robin to Putin’s Batman (Guardian)
- The Center Blows Itself Up: Care and Spite in the ‘Brexit Election’ (NYbooks)
- Here Are 20 Headlines Comparing Meghan Markle To Kate Middleton That Might Show Why She And Prince Harry Are Cutting Off Royal Reporters (Buzzfeed News)
- News about Japan
- This is not news about Japanese people: Man requests sword fight with ex-wife and lawyer to settle legal dispute (Guardian)
- Five things that aren’t in the US-China deal (BBC) & Concerns linger after U.S. and China sign initial trade deal (Retuers)
- The longest bull market in US history keeps raging on despite the fears of machines taking over jobs but main street America for the most part does not seem to have benefited from this great stock market: Dow closes above 29,000 as market rally continues (BBC)
- Are you sick of Urinary tract infections (UTIs)? So is Uqora. That’s why they make products to help you get ahead of the whole ordeal.
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The Big Boomer Theory
- A big part of the American Dream was always that each generation will do better than the one preceding it. But for Millennials — born between 1981 and 1996 — that’s only true half the time. Studies show their generation is on track to be the first one not to exceed their parents in terms of job status or income, despite 76 percent of Americans believing the economy is doing better than it has in decades.
- Millennials came of age at the worst possible moment — when the economy collapsed in the Great Recession. According to a sociology professor at NYU, the US economy is not supporting a continuing increase in occupational status to the extent it once did.
- Among Americans born in the late 1980s, only 44 percent were in jobs with higher socioeconomic status than their parents when both were age 30, while 49 percent had positions of lower status.
- A 2017 study found that only half of those born in 1984 earned more than their parents at about age 30, a big factor in why homeownership among Millennials is lower than previous generations.
- Democratic presidential candidates have seized on that reality of stalled upward mobility. They’ve announced plans for erasing crippling student loan debt, guaranteeing health care, even a guaranteed monthly income, all designed in large part to appeal to a generation that feels it can’t get ahead. (CNN)
- Chief Justice Roberts: Is ‘OK, Boomer’ Evidence Of Age Discrimination? (NPR)
Do They All Play Nice Living In An Amish Paradise?
- Over the past year journalist Sarah McClure interviewed almost three dozen Amish people, as well as law enforcement, judges, attorneys, outreach workers and scholars. She learned that the Amish, who number roughly 342,000 in North America, are dispersed across rural areas of states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, New York, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Because of their high birth rate — and because few members ever leave — they’re one of the fastest-growing religious groups in America.
- There is not one centralized leader; they live in local congregations or “church districts,” each made up of 20 to 40 families. It is a patriarchal, insular and isolated lifestyle that shuns any type of modern convenience — electricity, technology, automobiles, television.
- There is no socializing outside the community, or reliance on outside law enforcement. Education is in a one room schoolhouse and stops at the eighth grade.
- The culture is one of victim shaming and blaming, while following a religion that prioritizes repentance and forgiveness over actual punishment or rehabilitation. Most importantly, McClure learned that incest, rape and sexual abuse in Amish communities is an open secret that spans generations. (Cosmopolitan)
Additional USA News
- After Debate, Warren Told Sanders: ‘I Think You Called Me A Liar’ (NPR)
- “Like, I’ll Tune In When There’s Two Weeks Left”: Why Trump Has a Huge Advantage Over Dems With Low-Information Voters (Vanity Fair)
- The Decimation of Local News Has Lawmakers Crossing the Aisle (NYT, $)
- Virginia Ratifies The Equal Rights Amendment, Decades After The Deadline (NPR)
- NPR’s sanitizing of Trump’s Milwaukee rally shows how he’s broken the media (Vox)
- Technology & Politics: it is no longer possible to separate the two topics
- Mike Bloomberg plans to make a secret pitch to Silicon Valley billionaires like Ron Conway (Vox), the gathering of billionaire bon vivants.
- Why Silicon Valley and Big Tech Don’t Innovate Anymore (The Atlantic, $)
- Cities outside Silicon Valley begin to get more venture capital investment (Axios)
- Facebook’s problems moderating deepfakes will only get worse in 2020 (The Verge) & Why are engineers so narrow-minded? New research has an idea (Zdnet)
- The Best and Worst U.S. Airlines of 2019 (WSJ), we agree with the top 3 rankings: Delta, Alaska, and Southwest. We try to avoid the other airlines.
- Aaron Hernandez Netflix documentary: What we learned (WaPo, $)
- Why Is There No Anti-Alcohol Movement? (The Atlantic, $) Daily Pnut’s Tim foreswore alcohol after seeing so many of fellow service members lose themselves to alcohol.
- The Concentration Camp Victim Who Never Was – DER SPIEGEL – International (Spiegel)
- Man Survives 3 Weeks Alone After Alaska Cabin Burns Down (NYT, $)
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