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Today's Takes: Tuesday, July 20

Today's Takes: Tuesday, July 20

Vol. I, No. 49 • A Journal of Freedom • Mask On, Mask Off • General News • Fresh Faces • On Second Thought... • Space Balls • Much More!

Good morning, everyone.

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📰 General News

  • 🚴‍♂️ Tadej Pogacar Claims Second Straight Tour de France Title (NY Times)
  • 📉 Wall Street has its worst day since May, as markets are jolted by the Delta variant. (NY Times)
  • Biden Administration Blames Hackers Tied to China for Microsoft Cyberattack Spree (WSJ)
  • Garland bars prosecutors from seizing reporters’ records (AP)
  • Extreme heat bakes the Northern Rockies as wildfires rage in the West (NY Times)
  • The Daily Wire debuts morning podcast to compete with "The Daily" (Axios)
  • Senate Infrastructure Bill Drops IRS Funding, Raising Pressure for New Revenue (WSJ)
    • This is excellent news

🆕 Fresh Faces

  • Blake Masters: ‘Experience holding elected office forever is overrated’ (Spectator)
    • Peter Thiel acolyte running for the US Senate in Arizona
    • He intends to reform US manufacturing policy, prioritize onshoring, restrict legal and illegal immigration and engage in a trade war with China, if necessary.

💭 On Second Thought...

  • It’s Not a Border Crisis. It’s a Climate Crisis. (Politico)
    • It's not a crisis. It's a celebration!
  • LA County sheriff slams new mask mandate (NY Post)
  • Entrance of vaccinated to Israel postponed again amid outbreak (JPost)
    • Israel just doing some lockdown calisthenics
  • Delta COVID Surge Fuels Renewed Calls for Mask Mandates in NYC, Elsewhere (NBC NYC)
    • Everyone older than age 2 should wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, when schools reopen in the fall, according to updated guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released Monday.
    • They're really serious this time: "Yeah. Sorry about that. Big Science just spoke to the head of AAP in a dream."
  • Amazon asked Apple to remove an app that spots fake reviews, and Apple agreed (CNBC)
    • Bezos with the Big Rocket Energy
  • England's 'freedom day' marred by soaring cases and isolation chaos (Reuters)
    • Freedom, but with a "meh"
    • Boris Johnson's retired circus elephant schtick wears on
  • Why Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise cultural changes aren’t just ‘woke’ — they’re necessary (LA Times)
    • So we're finally admitting that wokeness is not necessary and just plain weird

🌎 What a Wonderful World

  • Jeff Bezos says he can't wait to see what space launch is 'going to do' to him (NBC)
    • The Great Billionaire Rocket Measuring contest continues
  • Beds to be installed in Tokyo Olympic Village will be made of cardboard, this is aimed at avoiding intimacy among athletes (Twitter)
    • The floors are reportedly made of lava
  • The Anthony Bourdain audio deepfake is forcing a debate about AI in journalism (Quartz)
    • The use of AI in journalism and other "fact generating" fields betokens terms like factiness or fact-like
    • "This reminds me of a fact. Yes, indeed, it must be correct."
  • Branding the U.S. left: AOC makes a push into political merchandise (Reuters)
    • Only in special cases does selling t-shirts land you in the national news
  • Prince Harry to write 'intimate and heartfelt' memoir (Telegraph)
    • From prince to grifter. How far the mighty do fall.
  • Blinken to diplomats: It’s OK to admit U.S. flaws when promoting rights (Politico)
    • Secretary of State Antony Blinken is telling U.S. diplomats to make the promotion of human rights and democracy a priority, even in countries with abusive governments that happen to be U.S. allies.
    • A laughably naive approach to foreign policy that is destined to fail in crucial areas of the world like the Middle East and Southeast Asia

Nashville Politics

  • Governor Bill Lee’s Re-Election Campaign Hauls in Almost $685,000 During First Half of 2021 (Star)
    • In line with a national trend: Midterm-Election Ad Spending Poised to Soar as Streaming TV Attracts Campaigns (WSJ)

Nashville News

  • Bill Frist took to Twitter to urge Tennesseans to vax up (Twitter)
  • Midstate teen preparing for American Ninja Warrior semi-finals (WSMV)
  • Average annual Tennessee teacher salary eclipses $52K (Main Street)

Nashville Development

  • Plans modified for Music Row project (Post)
  • Spring Hill lands first brewery (Post)
  • Residential building slated for Midtown (Post)
  • Arcade bar to open on east side by month’s end (Post)
  • North Davidson townhome project eyed (Post)
  • Tiny house hotel Ironwood Grove opening in East Nashville on Riverside Drive (Channel 5)

One Short Read

📉 Creating Your Own Deflation from Tyler Cowen (Read)

Stat of the Day

✝️ Over the last few decades, the proportion of the U.S. population that is white Christian has declined by nearly one-third. As recently as 1996, almost two-thirds of Americans (65%) identified as white and Christian. By 2006, that had declined to 54%, and by 2017 it was down to 43%. The proportion of white Christians hit a low point in 2018, at 42%, and rebounded slightly in 2019 and 2020, to 44%. That tick upward indicates the decline is slowing from its pace of losing roughly 11% per decade. (Read)

Reporting Tactics from Crises Past

🦠 Data released 5 days after the 2020 election indicated that Pfizer knew the effectiveness of its vaccines in late October, but held on to the data until after the election. Coincidentally, at the time, Harris and Biden both spread anti-vaccine gospel simply because vaccines were then associated with Trump. Were Pfizer to announce the successful trials before the election took place, it would have vindicated Trump's Operation Warp Speed. Are people really puzzled why many Americans do not trust the regime? (Read)

On Measuring Contests

⚔️ Branson vs. Bezos (Watch)

Have a great Tuesday