DC Dirt, Food Waste
"Why is Dan Snyder still an NFL team owner? And how has he managed to survive allegations of a toxic club culture, sexual harassment, accounting misdeeds and the bungling of a new stadium proposal?" That's a question posed by Don Van Natta Jr and others in an ESPN investigative report. Here's the short answer. We're living in an age of a**holes and Dan Snyder is particularly suited to thrive in this environment. The slightly longer answer is that the only way that a professional team owner gets squeezed out is if the other owners decide they've had enough. Dan Snyder knows this, so he's been preparing. When he feels cornered, he "paces in a hotel suite, or on his superyacht, or at River View, his $48 million Virginia estate. Cradling a drink in one hand, he tells members of his inner circle about the dirt he has accumulated on fellow owners, coaches, executives, even his own employees -- all the stuff he's learned from other sources, including private investigative firms. He never says exactly what he knows, only that in his 23 years as owner of the Washington Commanders, he knows a lot. And that in the zero-sum world of billionaires, this is how you survive. Snyder recently told a close associate that he has gathered enough secrets to 'blow up' several NFL owners, the league office and even commissioner Roger Goodell. 'They can't f--- with me.'" It's too bad he's not as good at owning a football team as he is at digging up dirt. What's the fun of being an NFL owner when just about every player, fan, journalist, and cheerleader can't stand you? If he wants to live this kind of life, Snyder might as well run for office. Snyder recently told an associate: "The NFL is a mafia. All the owners hate each other." Another owner responded: "That's not true. All the owners hate Dan." That probably hurts. But don't worry. Snyder will just rub some dirt on it.
2. Waste Case
"Throwing away crops that have been planted, watered, harvested, packaged and shipped is a relatively new problem in human history. For centuries, people used everything they could: the stalk of a banana tree, vegetable peels, a carrot that grew twisted underground. Today, 31 percent of food that is grown, shipped or sold is wasted." Meanwhile, "Worldwide, food waste accounts for 8 to 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, at least double that of emissions from aviation." This is why, around the world, lawmakers and entrepreneurs are taking steps to tackle two of humanity’s most pressing problems: hunger and climate change. NYT (Gift Article): Inside the Global Effort to Keep Perfectly Good Food Out of the Dump.
3. Alex Post Facto
"Jurors ordered conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on Wednesday to pay nearly $1 billion to Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims’ relatives and an FBI agent, who said he turned their loss and trauma into years of torment by promoting the lie that the rampage was a hoax." Let’s hope this really happens and Jones and other creeps like him end up penniless and platformless.
+ Jones is the most terrible perpetrator of lies in an era of liars, and yet, unsurprisingly, he has plenty of fans in high places. WaPo: How the right built up Alex Jones — even long after his Sandy Hook comments.
+ A thread worth your time: "My name is Erica, I am the daughter of Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, the principal of sandy hook school — and as I was testifying about the rape threats that were sent to me because of Alex Jones’ lies, he was on the steps of the courthouse holding a press conference spreading his hate and further pushing his dangerous agenda." (A billion is an undercharge.)
4. Ice Chips
"The US action takes advantage of a decade-long boom in artificial intelligence in which new breakthroughs have become coupled to advances in computing power. Pioneering new projects often involve machine learning algorithms trained on supercomputers with hundreds or thousands of graphics processing units (GPUs), chips originally designed for gaming but also ideal for running the necessary mathematical operations. That leaves China’s AI ambitions heavily dependent on US silicon." Wired on the heart of the American cold war with China. US Chip Sanctions ‘Kneecap’ China’s Tech Industry.
5. Extra, Extra
No Parkland Death Penalty: "Several people in the courtroom – including families of the victims — shook their heads in disbelief and had tears in their eyes as it became clear that the jury had recommended a life sentence for Cruz rather than the death penalty." A jury recommends life in prison for Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz.
+ Courage Unveiled: "Every time I leave my home, I hide my keys, I give my laptop to someone else, and I tell friends and family that I’m going out. We all know anything could happen to us when we step out onto the street." NY Mag: Iranian protesters on what brings them back to the streets four weeks in. And from AP: Who is leading the crackdown on Iran’s protests?
+ Trump Drops a Deuce: "With his business empire, the Trump Organization, in civil and criminal jeopardy in New York, Donald Trump has come up with an apparent solution that has angered state officials: He has formed the Trump Organization II." This is not The Onion, and if history is any indicator, he'll probably get away with it.
+ Ctrl Salt Delete: "A $140 million desalination plant is expected to be approved by California regulators on Thursday as the U.S. state contends with how to convert ocean water into drinking water amid the worst drought in 1,200 years." (Maybe we can drink our way out of the rising seas threat.)
+ The Accomplices: "In 2010, Adams confessed to his bishop, John Herrod, that he had sexually abused his daughter, according to legal records. Herrod reported the abuse to a church “abuse help line” and was advised not to report it to police or child welfare officials. The abuse was kept secret, and Adams continued raping his older daughter and her younger sister for several years. Adams was later charged by federal officials with posting videos of the abuse on the Internet." Lawsuit: Utah firm and lawmaker helped Mormons hide abuse.
+ Plate Tech-tonics: "Why would anyone want a digital license plate? Users can change the messaging at the bottom of their plates through a phone app, and even give safety notices and alerts, such as marking the car as stolen." Digital License Plates Become Legal for All Cars in California. And how Animated Googly Eyes Could Make Autonomous Cars Safer For Pedestrians.
+ Bait and Switch: "Two men who made headlines around the world when they were caught stuffing lead weights inside their fish during an Ohio tournament have been now charged with a slew of crimes." (Literally every crime gets punished except whichever Trump commits.)
6. Bottom of the News
"Fourteen members of Republican Senate candidate and former Attorney General Adam Laxalt’s family announced Wednesday that they would collectively endorse his Democratic opponent."
+ WaPo: Marmalade sales surged as mourners left sandwiches for Queen Elizabeth II. (Crazy is our jam.)
+ The winners of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.