Closing The Book On The Bush Legacy
The final word on Bushonomics and poverty.
The final word on Bushonomics and poverty.
The class divide is already toxic, and is fast becoming unbridgeable. You’re probably part of the problem.
1. The Aristocracy Is Dead …
For about a week every year in my childhood, I was a member of one of America’s fading aristocracies. Sometimes around Christmas, more often on the Fourth of July, my family would take up residence at one of my grandparents’ country clubs in Chicago, Palm Beach, or Asheville, North Carolina. The breakfast buffets were magnificent, and Grandfather was a jovial host, always ready with a familiar story, rarely missing an opportunity for gentle instruction on proper club etiquette. At the age of 11 or 12, I gathered from him, between his puffs of cigar smoke, that we owed our weeks of plenty to Great-Grandfather, Colonel Robert W. Stewart, a Rough Rider with Teddy Roosevelt who made his fortune as the chairman of Standard Oil of Indiana in the 1920s. I was also given to understand that, for reasons traceable to some ancient and incomprehensible dispute, the Rockefellers were the mortal enemies of our clan.
The myriad Trump scandals can obscure the fact that they’re all elements of one massive tale of corruption.
The sheer volume of Trump scandals can seem difficult to keep track of.
There’s the ongoing special-counsel investigation into whether the Trump campaign aided a Russian campaign to aid Trump’s candidacy and defeat his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton; there’s the associated inquiry into whether the president obstructed justice when he fired former FBI Director James Comey, whom he had asked not to investigate his former national-security adviser; there are the president’s hush-money payments to women with whom he allegedly had extramarital affairs, made through his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, and facilitated by corporate cash paid to influence the White House; there is his ongoing effort to interfere with the Russia inquiry and politicize federal law enforcement; there are the foreign governments that seem to be utilizing the president’s properties as vehicles for influencing administration policy; there’s the emerging evidence that Trump campaign officials sought aid not only from Russia, but from other foreign countries, which may have affected Trump’s foreign policy; there are the ongoing revelations of the president’s Cabinet officials’ misusing taxpayer funds; there is the accumulating evidence that administration decisions are made at the behest of private industry, in particular those in which Republican donors have significant interests.
The many signs of flagrant corruption that surround the president and his associates demand a separate probe.
Roughly one year ago, Special Counsel Robert Mueller was charged with investigating any links or coordination “between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump,” as well as any “matters” or “federal crimes” that “may arise directly from the investigation.”
That probe now divides the right.
Conservatives like David French believe that the facts continue to justify its existence. As he noted last week in National Review, Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee have now confirmed that Russia attempted to aid Trump in the 2016 election, that Donald Trump Jr. “received a direct and unambiguous invitation to collude with Russia,” and that “he took the meeting.” What’s more, members of his campaign team, including Paul Manafort, George Papadopolous, Carter Page, and Michael Flynn, all interacted with Russia in ways that, at the very least, cry out for further inquiry. That demands a thorough probe that sets all relevant facts before the public.
Sites like Wish.com are taking out the middleman in retail. Will customers like this new dynamic?
The package came in a small black box, covered in tape. It had no return address. Under layers of packaging, there was a box labeled Smart Watch, with no brand name. Inside the box was the watch itself, which looked nothing like the inexpensive Apple Watch I’d hoped it would be. Instead, the large digital face featured icons for Twitter, Facebook, a pedometer, and a photo-taking app called “Camina” rather than “camera.” It was about what you’d expect for a smart watch that cost less than $20.
I ordered the watch from Wish.com, one of a growing number of sites that allows consumers from around the world to buy deeply discounted goods from China, directly from sellers or manufacturers there. After receiving promotional emails from Wish offering bikinis for $4 (marked down from $75!), camera drones for $29 (down from $1,399!), and, for some reason, a spoon that says “My Peanut-Butter Spoon” for $1 (down from $12), I could no longer resist. I ordered the smart watch, advertised as “Hot Sell New product Q18S Smart Wrist Watch” for $18, marked down, supposedly, from $896. The product had more than 8,000 reviews in dozens of languages, averaging four stars. “Its cool I like it for the price,” read one.
A new book from Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz argues that removing a president, even when justified, can be an unwise move.
The title and timing of To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment might lead the unwary reader to expect a polemic. But no. Inside these covers is a learned, judicious, and surprisingly cautious study of the impeachment power by Laurence Tribe, who ranks high among America’s leading constitutional scholars, and his former student, Joshua Matz. Their message: Impeachment is a very, very dangerous thing. Proceed with caution.
Worse: “Well-justified calls to impeach the president can simultaneously empower him, harm his political opponents, and make his removal from office less likely … Because removing a truly determined tyrant may unleash havoc, the risks of impeaching a president are apt to be most extreme precisely when ending his tenure is most necessary.”
“Bird hunting” has become a pastime and a side hustle for teens and young professionals, but for some it’s a cutthroat business.
Every afternoon around 4 p.m., when school lets out, Brandon, an 18-year-old high-school senior in Los Angeles who asked to be referred to only by his first name, goes “Bird hunting.” He heads for his minivan and, on the drive home, he’ll swing through convenient neighborhoods, picking up about 13 Bird electric scooters along the way, tossing them into the back of his car.
“I have a whole system,” he says. “I’ll go home, put the 13 I initially caught on the chargers. They’ll charge for about three hours until around 7 or 8 p.m.”—when Bird makes more scooters available for charger pickup. “Then I’ll go back out.”
Over the course of the next few hours, Brandon loops around his Santa Monica, California, neighborhood collecting as many scooters as possible. He brings back his bounty and, as his parents sleep, neatly sets them up to charge in batches overnight.
As long as there is easy access to guns, there’s no way parents, teachers, and other specialists can thwart every violent teenager.
The 17-year-old who killed 10 people at Santa Fe High School, in Texas, allegedly used his father’s shotgun and .38 revolver. After a firefight with police, he surrendered, saying he did not have the courage to kill himself, as he had planned, Governor Greg Abbott told reporters.
In the hours after the May 18 attack, some students were shocked that Dimitrios Pagourtzis felled his classmates and two substitute teachers with buckshot. He played defensive tackle on the football team. He made honor roll. He is not known to have a criminal record, according to Abbott. Just the day before, he had been joking around with friends on a field trip to a waterpark. Others found him disturbing, often wearing a trench coat, said his classmates, and, on that day, a black T-shirt with the haunting message BORN TO KILL.
Astronomers have found tantalizing new evidence that strengthens the case for a ninth planet beyond Neptune—but some still doubt its existence.
In 2016, when astronomers made the case for a ninth planet, orbiting far beyond Neptune, that could explain a strange clustering of objects in the outer reaches of our solar system, they were hopeful it would be found in less than five years.
The search is more than two years in now. “Planet Nine,” thought to be 10 times the mass of Earth, has yet to show itself, but the planet hunters have just found a new clue.
Astronomers have discovered an object beyond Neptune with quite a different orbit compared to the rest of the solar system, according to a paper recently published on ArXiv. Nearly all of the inhabitants of our system orbit on the same plane, giving it the appearance of a pancake. This new object, known by the license plate–esque name 2015 BP519, is highly tilted. Its orbit juts out 54 degrees above the plane of the solar system. Which makes it quite remarkable.
Judea Pearl helped artificial intelligence gain a strong grasp on probability, but laments that it still can't compute cause and effect.
Artificial intelligence owes a lot of its smarts to Judea Pearl. In the 1980s he led efforts that allowed machines to reason probabilistically. Now he’s one of the field’s sharpest critics. In his latest book, The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect, he argues that artificial intelligence has been handicapped by an incomplete understanding of what intelligence really is.
Three decades ago, a prime challenge in artificial-intelligence research was to program machines to associate a potential cause to a set of observable conditions. Pearl figured out how to do that using a scheme called Bayesian networks. Bayesian networks made it practical for machines to say that, given a patient who returned from Africa with a fever and body aches, the most likely explanation was malaria. In 2011 Pearl won the Turing Award, computer science’s highest honor, in large part for this work.
Vegans popular on social media often get bullied when they fall short of their fans’ diet demands.
Stella Rae looks back at her old YouTube videos and cringes. These are the videos that built her career: At 19, she has hundreds of thousands of subscribers to her main channel, which she has dedicated to promoting veganism for several years. But her approach has changed dramatically. Today, she says, she wants to show people “that you can be vegan and just live your normal life.” But her earliest work was much less sympathetic.
Rae is one of dozens of young “influencers” who have amassed followings by chronicling their lives as vegans. Across platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook, they share vegan recipes, beauty products that weren’t tested on animals, and even recommendations for vegan leather handbags. Like many people in this online community, Rae entered into veganism with evangelical flair: After struggling with an eating disorder in her early teens, she came to see veganism as morally righteous, and took to aggressively “spreading the vegan message,” in her words, by posting confrontational videos like “Dumb Things Meat Eaters Say,” in which she tells non-vegans, “Eggs are literal chicken periods. Why would you want to eat that? That is so disgusting!”
There is a new American aristocracy, and it's bigger than previously thought.
After her husband was killed in a hate crime in Kansas, an American immigrant reevaluates her dream of the country.
Modeling respectful conflict can foster creativity in children.