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Zack Rosebrugh

Good afternoon.

SCOTUS update

The world's eyes are on a US child abduction case. The supreme court will decide how to apply international law in the case of a mother taking her daughter from Italy to the US to flee her allegedly abusive ex-husband.

A case about international child abduction law has the world watching SCOTUS

There is something especially heartening about a cross-cultural love story. It shows that humans are all essentially the same and that our differences are merely superficial.

But when love turns into hate and parents of differing nationalities break up, there's nothing more terrifying than the idea

There is something especially heartening about a cross-cultural love story. It shows that humans are all essentially the same and that our differences are merely superficial.

But when love turns into hate and parents of differing nationalities break up, there's nothing more terrifying than the idea that your once true love will take off with your child to another land.

This week the US Supreme Court will consider just such a horror story, the tale of a small child separated from her mother and at the center of an international custody dispute of global significance.

Trump and the courts

Objectivity is on trial in Trump's impeachment hearings. A republican congressman sought to undermine a panel of four legal experts by asking whether they voted for Donald Trump—attacking a core principle of the judiciary system that people can put biases aside and act impartially.

The concept of objectivity is under attack at the Trump impeachment hearings

On Wednesday I attended the hearing on constitutional grounds for impeachment of Donald Trump. It was a heartening affair because it shows a lively republic in pursuit of truth and it's always fun to see civics in action.

But it was disheartening because Republicans attacked the constitutional scholars

On Wednesday I attended the hearing on constitutional grounds for impeachment of Donald Trump. It was a heartening affair because it shows a lively republic in pursuit of truth and it's always fun to see civics in action.

But it was disheartening because Republicans attacked the constitutional scholars testifying, questioning their objectivity and suggesting that they could not possibly be unbiased if they didn't reveal how they voted in the last presidential elections. And with each observer they manage to convince of this impossibility, we all lose a little bit more.

Trump's taxes will stay secret, for now. Trump argues that, as the president, his financial records are special. Lower courts have disagreed—but the US Supreme Court has granted the president's legal team more time to work on their petition.

The Supreme Court grants Trump’s emergency stay in financial records case

US president Donald Trump yesterday got what he wanted from, of all people, Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The progressive jurist granted the Republican president's request for a stay that would suspend an order in a lower court allowing his financial records to be reviewed.

But RBG was't

US president Donald Trump yesterday got what he wanted from, of all people, Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The progressive jurist granted the Republican president's request for a stay that would suspend an order in a lower court allowing his financial records to be reviewed.

But RBG was't signaling her approval of Trump's legal stance, just giving him time to file a petition for review, and it happened to be her because the justices rotate duties with respect to emergency applications. Now the House of Representatives must respond by Dec. 11 and the justices will ultimately have to decide if they want to walk into this political landmine and accept review of three financial matters dealing with Trump's records and his claims the executive is special.

Metals.com scam

Amazon attrition

At the movies

Fashion forward

Reshaping society

Electric cars make their mark

2019 was the year electric vehicles grew up. From budget Kias to fleets of e-trucks, this was the biggest year for vehicular electrification yet—but several blockbuster launches belie a hard road ahead as automakers are forced to reinvent themselves.

2019 was the year electric cars grew up

Tesla flexed its muscle in the market even as overall EV sales softened. Global automakers have committed $225 billion toward electrification -- well past the point of no return despite 2019's worrying dip in EV sales (at least for cars not built by Tesla). Overall, it was the year things got serious

Tesla flexed its muscle in the market even as overall EV sales softened. Global automakers have committed $225 billion toward electrification -- well past the point of no return despite 2019's worrying dip in EV sales (at least for cars not built by Tesla). Overall, it was the year things got serious for EVs.Tesla has done the yeoman's work of proving you can sell a million or so electric cars to the masses. Its Model 3 accounted for 1 out of every 6 EVs sold worldwide. Now VW, GM, Ford, and others have painted a giant target on Tesla's back. Let the race begin.

EV vehicles seem to be following the same adoption trends as solar panels. The public scoffed and laughed at solar panels that were 9% efficient and cost $1MM per square inch. But incrementally over 10-15 years they got better and more affordable. Now those same people who scoffed at solar panels before

EV vehicles seem to be following the same adoption trends as solar panels. The public scoffed and laughed at solar panels that were 9% efficient and cost $1MM per square inch. But incrementally over 10-15 years they got better and more affordable. Now those same people who scoffed at solar panels before are considering a small loan to have them installed on their home roofs. EVs are incrementally getting more practical and reliable and the bulk of consumers will move that way before we know it.

Canopy branches out

Get smart about parenting

Raising a child is hard. But the “parenting is hard” trope, which feeds memes and dinner conversations, can be dangerous. It frames the problem as the individual failure of a single parent rather than as a social issue.

The hardest part of being a parent has nothing to do with raising kids

I always say we have to raise our girls to be brave, not perfect. But it's not enough for parents to try to do this work alone, we have to change as a society because our kids are getting messages from everywhere - media, school, classmates - so it's on all of us together.

See you later!

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Does Journalism Have a Future?

Does Journalism Have a Future?

Read more on The New Yorker

Contributions

  • First came conglomeration, then the dot.coms, then the fall to online aggregators. Finally, social media could see the end of modern journalism, as “chaotic information becomes free and good information is expensive.” 🗞

  • Brutal and essential reading for anyone interested in the news. Make it one of your ten free articles per month (said with full irony).

  • Journalists as a community must wake up to the crisis of trust they face in America and the West. Reputation is no longer considered a valid source of credibility. Journalism has been politicized and sensationalized for decades, and now it's gone so far the public doesn't trust newspapers, much less

    Journalists as a community must wake up to the crisis of trust they face in America and the West. Reputation is no longer considered a valid source of credibility. Journalism has been politicized and sensationalized for decades, and now it's gone so far the public doesn't trust newspapers, much less TV news, as a reliable source. This isn't because of the public, but because standards of journalistic integrity have plummeted in favor of trying to get the story out first, truth be damned. Independent media is almost a myth: rather than the government, mass-media narratives are determined by a handful of oligarchs who own the companies which own the papers.

    "There’s no shortage of amazing journalists at work, clear-eyed and courageous, broad-minded and brilliant, and no end of fascinating innovation in matters of form, especially in visual storytelling. Still, journalism, as a field, is as addled as an addict, gaunt, wasted, and twitchy, its pockets as empty as its nights are sleepless. It’s faster than it used to be, so fast. It’s also edgier, and needier, and angrier. It wants and it wants and it wants. But what does it need?"