SCOTUS’ 1-2 Punch | Facebook’s Fascist Fumble | China Takes On…Sweden
June 19, 2020
“The President and the Congress are all very well in their way. They can say what they think they think, but it rests with the Supreme Court to decide what they have really thought.” ― Theodore Roosevelt
“The people made the Constitution, and the people can unmake it. It is the creature of their will, and lives only by their will.” ― John Marshall
SCOTUS 2, Trump 0
(Drew Angerer via Getty Images)
On Thursday, the US Supreme Court handed the Trump administration its second defeat this week. (Monday’s ruling said the 1964 Civil Rights Act grants employment protection to gay and transgender workers, a position the administration opposed.)
This time, Chief Justice John Roberts again joined with the court’s four liberal justices in determining that the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) was arbitrary and capricious, under the Administrative Procedure Act.
Roberts relied on precedent in finding that the administration had failed to address important factors in its decision to shut down the popular program started in the Obama administration. “The appropriate recourse is therefore to remand to DHS so that it may reconsider the problem anew,” Roberts wrote. The ruling is a temporary reprieve for hundreds of thousands of undocumented young adults brought to America as children.
Unsurprisingly, President Trump lashed out soon after the decision was announced, turning the ruling into a reelection battle cry. He tweeted: “These horrible & politically charged decisions coming out of the Supreme Court are shotgun blasts into the face of people that are proud to call themselves Republicans or Conservatives. We need more Justices or we will lose our 2nd. Amendment & everything else. Vote Trump 2020!” He then tweeted: “Do you get the impression that the Supreme Court doesn’t like me?”
Trump frequently touts his success at placing two conservative justices on the court during his tenure, thereby securing a conservative majority on most issues. But, when decisions haven’t gone his way, he politicizes them. Former national security advisor John Bolton notes in his forthcoming book: “I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision … that wasn’t driven by re-election calculations.”
- US Supreme Court Ruling On DACA Program Explained (KPBS)
- ‘Sigh Of Relief’ Or ‘Slippery Slope’: Advocates and Opponents React To DACA Ruling (NPR)
- Trump administration’s ‘sloppy’ work has led to Supreme Court losses (Reuters)
- Recent Supreme Court decisions show it can be hard for presidents to dictate its direction (WaPo, $)
- Trump Faces a Decision on Whether to Keep Fighting DACA, but Not on Attacking the Courts (NYT, $)
- How the Supreme Court Is Quietly Enabling Trump (NYT, $)
Allow Me to Sweden the Deal
- Ten years have passed since Swedish carmaker Volvo was saved by Geely Auto Group, a Chinese manufacturing subsidiary of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. Li Shufu, the man who sealed the deal, has announced plans to merge his company with Volvo. The announcement triggered national debate, as Volvo has been the face of Sweden’s automobile industry.
- Many are concerned that the headquarters may be moved to China or that the company may be renamed to Volvo-Geely, but major concerns surround the “people sitting at the top making decisions.” The autonomy of the company would be gone, and decisions would be made by foreign executives. Volvo has refused to comment on the proposed merger, saying the details were still being debated.
- For years, Sweden has taken pride in forging ties with Chinese cities in an effort to promote tourism and business connections, but also democracy and human rights. However, a sharp increase in Chinese acquisitions of Swedish companies lead the Swedish Security Service to label China the biggest threat to national security after Russia. (NYT)
- Europe Takes Steps to Block Chinese Bargain Hunters: Amid fear that companies backed by Beijing will use the pandemic to acquire assets on the cheap, political leaders are putting up legal hurdles. (NYT, $)
Additional World News
- Trump again threatens to cut China ties after US official ruled it out (Guardian)
- China not forthcoming in Hawaii talks, but made commitment on trade: U.S. diplomat (Reuters)
- China Slams Trump Over Uighur Law Amid Bolton Accusations (NYT, $)
- Australia cyber attack: PM Morrison warns of ‘sophisticated’ state hack (BBC)
- Colonial abuses haunt France’s racism debate (BBC)
- Galwan Valley: The soldiers killed in the India-China border clash (BBC)
- Anger Surges in India Over Deadly Border Brawl With China (NYT, $)
- Ten Indian soldiers reportedly released by China (BBC)
- The Philippines Shows How Democracy Dies (Atlantic, $)
- How Two Russians Got Caught Up in Libya’s War, Now an Action Movie (NYT, $)
- Piracy Surges in Gulf of Mexico, Prompting U.S. Warning (NYT, $)
- One of world’s rarest dolphins rebounding in Pakistan (National Geographic)
- Covid-19 Is Bad. But It May Not Be the ‘Big One’ (Wired, $)
- Japan lifts coronavirus travel curbs to help economy bounce back (Reuters)
- Canada hits 100,000 coronavirus cases, major challenges remain (Reuters)
- Back To School For Real? Texas Officials Say Yes (NPR)
- ‘It may save your life’: Facing virus surge, more U.S. states mandate masks (Reuters)
Republican Party Advertising or Fascist Party Advertising?
- Facebook has removed dozens of ads placed by President Trump’s reelection campaign which included a symbol once employed by the Nazis to designate political prisoners in concentration camps. In the 1930s, Nazis used a red inverted triangle to identify Communists, as well as Social Democrats, liberals, Freemasons, and other members of opposition parties that they had imprisoned.
- The red triangle appeared in paid posts on Facebook pages sponsored by Trump and Vice President Pence, and by the “Team Trump” campaign; it was featured alongside text warning of “Dangerous MOBS” and asking users to sign a petition about antifa and “far-left groups.”
- Eighty-eight ads with the inverted red triangle ran in total, and targeted all 50 states. The ads, which began running Wednesday on Trump’s and Pence’s pages, had garnered well over a million impressions by the time they were deactivated on Thursday for violating Facebook’s policy against organized hate. (WaPo)
- Facebook Groups Are Destroying America (Wired, $)
- Former Facebook exec thinks big tech will get broken up ‘over the next 10 years’ (TechCrunch)
Ohio is Over the Counter Protest
- A small, peaceful demonstration organized by a Cincinnati school teacher to show support for the “Black Lives Matter” movement was met by hundreds of counter-protesters who harassed the group with rifles, baseball bats and racial slurs. The rally was intended to show solidarity with the minority black community in Bethel, Ohio, a mostly white town of about 2,800 people 30 miles east of Cincinnati.
- The Cincinnati protesters were overwhelmed when some 700 counter-protesters turned up to show their opposition to the kind of rallies and marches against racism and police brutality sweeping the nation since the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis policeman. A widely circulated video of one ugly encounter showed a man wearing a Confederate flag bandana sucker-punching a protester in the back of the head — right in front of a police officer who did nothing.
- Ohio senator Sherrod Brown tweeted: “These officers’ inaction is shameful. This is why we need the Justice in Policing Act — to hold police accountable,” Brown added, referring to legislation introduced by House Democrats earlier this month. (Guardian)
Additional US News
- U.S. lawmakers offer bill to block Trump from German troop withdrawal (Reuters)
- Four reasons why this was a bad week for Trump (BBC). Will Trump’s Tulsa rally Saturday round the list out to 5?
- Trump Campaign Pushing for Four Debates With Biden (NYT, $)
- Trump’s Vacuous West Point Address and the Revolt Against It (New Yorker, $)
- High School Students and Alumni Are Using Social Media to Expose Racism (NYT, $)
- Trump administration paid millions for test tubes, got unusable mini soda bottles (Ars Technica)
Black Lives Matter
- Juneteenth: activists across US inherit a historic battle for racial justice (Guardian)
- What is Juneteenth? The 155-year-old holiday, explained. (Vox)
- Usher: Why it’s so important that Juneteenth become a national holiday Additional Song: Usher – Chains ft. Nas, Bibi Bourelly. Most people know Usher as just another R&B singer, but the singer-songwriter has been very politically active, from using his platform to discuss social injustice to his calls to end the cash bail system.
- What Kind of Society Values Property Over Black Lives? (NYT, $)
- How Moderates Failed Black America (NYT, $)
- How Minneapolis Plans To Tackle Racial Inequity And Climate Through Housing (NPR)
- Some California DAs Want To End Political Contributions From Police Unions (NPR)
- Seattle police union expelled from large labor group (Associated Press)
- How Black N.Y.P.D. Officers Really Feel About the Floyd Protesters (NYT, $)
- Amid the George Floyd protests, imagining the nonviolent state (Vox)
- How Police Brutality Gets Made (Atlantic, $)
(Clive Maison via Getty Images)
- A thorough reading of children’s literature will tell you: if you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to ask for a glass of milk. But what happens if you give your pet monkey a handle of liquor?
- Just ask pedestrians from India’s Mirzapur region. After years of receiving hard liquor from his occultist owner, Kalua the monkey developed a severe alcohol addiction. Once his owner passed away, Kalua was forced to quit the bottle cold turkey. The alcoholic ape did not take the intervention well, and grew aggressive towards humans in search of his next drink. What began as a loveable drunky monkey quickly turned dangerous, as Kalua began to terrorize Mirzapur.
- Before officials at the Kanpur Zoo were able to wrangle up the primate, Kalua reportedly bit over 250 people throughout India’s Uttar Pradesh region, even killing one of his victims. Once zookeepers were able to capture the killer monkey, swift justice was enacted.
- Kalua is currently serving a “life sentence,” and will remain behind bars at the Kanpur Zoo for the rest of his sober life. And while citizens of Mirzapur can sleep tight knowing this violent alcoholic is off the streets, the latest reports from the region reveal that Kalua has refused to befriend any caregivers, likely due to the Kanpur Zoo’s lack of cheap vodka.
- Too much sitting raises your risk for cancer, study finds (CNN) We’ve recently become fixated on making sure we hit 10,000 steps a day and also trying to do a 13 hour fast. It’s too early to see if this helps us stay healthy, fit, and not pack on extra weight.
- How to Build a Stronger Memory (Harvard Business Review) We don’t trust our memory so we try to document as much as possible. It’s much easier to write down one’s notes, then to try to recall a conversation.
- The Fish That Took a Century to Name (Nautilus)
- Going to a Protest? Here’s How to Protect Your Digital Privacy (Time) And don’t forget to wear a mask. To protect our health and it also protects your identity.
- They Live Alone in Ghost Towns (NYT, $) & Riding Out Quarantine With a Chatbot Friend: ‘I Feel Very Connected’ (NYT, $)
- How TikTok’s ‘For You’ Algorithm Works (Wired, $) Apparently the algorithm can’t be hacked by kissing up to it’s corporate overlords and home country origin: TikTok Users Gush About China, Hoping to Boost Views (WSJ, $)
- ‘Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over’ shortcut makes it easy to record police (Verge) This shortcut is made by utilizing the Shortcuts App. The genesis of the Shortcuts App is an app called Workflow. Apple acquired the company and team in early 2017, and that team then went on to update Workflow at Apple, and then rebrand it as Shortcuts. Daily Pnut’s Tim worked at Workflow before Daily Pnut. Tim’s notes: I’m not easily impressed but, without the slightest exaggeration, I can say that Workflow had an incredible team and I’m very lucky to have been able to meet and work with them. They are amazing developers and people, and I’m 100% confident that their best work is ahead of them. We will bear witness to even more of their engineering, design, and impact in the years and decades to come. Here’s a video about Workflow’s team and I’m briefly interviewed in it: Skipping school to become tech giants (CBS News)
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