Weekend Links

“She turned to the sunlight
    And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
    “Winter is dead.” 
― A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young

London is GLORIOUS this weekend so I’m keeping this intro short and sweet. I’m putting the finishing touches on this post sitting in my front room with all the doors and windows open, listening to the cheering for the London Marathon. The whole vibe today feels ridiculous positive and I’m living for it.

This weekend I’ve finally taken my summer purchases to the tailor for some tweaks, found some vintage designer scarves in a charity shop, done laundry, cleaned and aired out the house, and finally watched Westworld. It would take a lot to ruin my mood right now.

In case you really are that late, the Queen performed at Coachella. There are a million clips online, but here’s an excellent write up on why her performance is important.

 

I think this is an important article in The New Yorker about the likely scope and scale of the Trump Organization’s likely criminality and how it stacks up with other past crises of public information. You don’t have to dig hard to find the shady deals. I’ve spent several years now working in and around the property and development industries and to say that Trump is a joke in that world is an understatement. As Linda Holmes of NPR shrewdly pointed out, the idea of Mr. Trump as a successful businessman is a pop culture narrative fabricated by reality TV, and not by actual business success. However, I’m not convinced (I’m desperately sorry to say) that better reporting will lead to the unraveling of this narrative about him, or will result in the “end” or even the curtailment of his presidency. That’s the job of the legislative branch of the government and that is either currently retiring in droves and running away from the problem, or making themselves over as candidates in his image (on both sides of the aisle).

Oh no, Carl!

Londoners are cheeky bastards.

In almost any other time and place, the assessment of a former FBI director that a sitting president was acting like a “mob boss,” while also being the subject of at least two federal investigations, and news that a prominent supporter and pundit has been whipping up furore against those investigations while also being provided “free” legal services by the president’s personal lawyer who is himself under investigation for unethical behaviour…would have sent the world spinning right off its axis.

NPR’s Steven Inskeep asks the good questions…

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11 GOP lawmakers have called for criminal charges against a long list of people.

This in depth coverage on the practical, economic, and social effects of gender ratio imbalance is fascinating. And sad. And disturbing.

Fab, can we also have his tax returns?

Technology is amazing, but some developments scare me than others.

Oh no, what if there are more babies?! Can you imagine how horrifying?! (sarcasm, in case unclear)

Finally, what do we make of the Comey media blitz? My “hot take” is not terribly exciting and possibly a little disappointing for those who share my political persuasion. I agree with the FiveThirtyEight team that we haven’t really learned anything new in the release of his book. Mr. Comey strikes me as a fairly principled man overall, who is therefore caught in a strange place of defending choices he made because he believed them to be the right thing to do at the time, while not really confronting the idea that he may have chosen wrongly. He has been remarkably consistent in his interviews. However, the fact remains that he made a series of choices motivated (at least in part) by political assumptions that may have affected the outcome of an election. He doesn’t seem to able to say those words aloud, bluntly and without a lot of caveats. And I get it, because acknowledging that fact make his narrative sound a lot less heroic and a lot more like a man who should not have had a hand on the wheel at all trying to steer the ship of state.

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