- Challenging the narrative -- Out of the gate, while the world focuses on Judge Kavanaugh and President Trump’s controversial remarks at one of his political rallies last night, the story that fascinates me is the extensive New York Times piece on how Donald Trump made his fortune, or, perhaps more accurately, how it was made for him. Nothing shocking here, really, he’s a New York real estate developer, and the son of one, so you’d expect every trick in the book, and some you might even have thought of, would be used to expand and protect the family fortune. But this is a truly exhaustive piece of journalism, definitely worth reading.
- Under the weather? -- Hard to believe, but the “Spanish Flu” outbreak happened a century ago. The Economist had a great article this week not only detailing the scope of the epidemic, but also the attempts over the last 100 years to determine where it all began. I’ve always been fascinated by this era of history, the loss of the world’s innocence, in a way. It was all brought home to me, however, as I began to learn about my own family’s history. My own great great grandmother was a victim of the flu.
- Forehead smacker -- ESPN had a report this week out of Tennessee, where a high school athletic director has been placed on administrative leave after saying girls "pretty much ruin everything" in a video address to students. Seriously. You’d like to think, even if you had these thoughts, in this day and age you’d realize not to utter them in public. Regardless, this guy is an educator.
- Getting to the point — Is there anything more American than the iconic yellow number 2 pencil? Well, yes, a lot of things, apparently. The Washington Post has a fascinating read on how Dixon Ticonderoga uses loopholes in the law to produce almost all of its pencils in Mexico, while reaping benefits to the tune of $5 million.
- We are programmed to receive -- If you have a cell phone, you got the alert. Now your president can send you alerts in times of national emergency. Now, the law states the President can’t send you one of his famous tweet-quality personal messages, but really, that’s OK. I, for one, welcome my great orange Trumpian overlord.
- Once a Striper, always a Striper -- That was the mantra of one of my colleagues back in my days at Stars and Stripes. And it’s true. This week, at the Newseum, a documentary about the paper — “The World’s Most Dangerous Paper Route” — premiered. I’ve heard good things, and look forward to checking it out. Gen. David Petraeus and Sen. Lindsey Graham joined narrator (and Stripes alum) Steve Kroft of CBS News's "60 Minutes" and journalist Tom Philpott in a panel discussion. Enormously proud to have played a small part in that papers amazing history.
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