A shot in the arm

Tuesday, February 2nd. Ground Hog Day.

Wooden windows. Who woulda thought.

We’re still running behind on vaccinations. So far, 26 Million people in the US have received one. New centers are opening every day so the numbers should start to pick up. It looks like the Russian vaccine is pretty effective. But there are early warning signs that mutations of the coronavirus might make all the vaccines less effective.

It was a day in the White House like no other. Jonathan Swan recounts a meeting that went off the rails. Who is this Herschmann guy? Sounds like quite a character.

It looks like the Apple car is a real thing. But we won’t see it until at least 2025.

And a poll of students in Massachusetts reveals that most of them want to go to school especially when they can’t. Makes sense to me.

The Castle

Wednesday. Happy birthday to Bill Rogers.

That Solarwinds hack gets more interesting. A second, unrelated compromise was found within the software, presumably put there by a second actor. Customers must be thrilled.

I recently watched the episode of The Crown where Margaret Thatcher is ousted after former allies turned against her. Then I was rewatching the first season of Borgen as Birgitte Nyborg became Prime Minister of Denmark after a Machiavellian shakeup. In light of all that, Ron Mariano‘s rise to Speaker of the Massachusetts House turned out to be quite a snore.

If I were a cynic, I’d say this is very swamp-like behavior.

When Joe Biden takes over he’ll get access to the @POTUS Twitter account but not the followers, as Trump did when he took it over from Obama. Apparently Twitter has changed its policy and the incoming POTUS will have to start from scratch. That doesn’t seem fair.

And the next time you find yourself snacking on some Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, remember the story of Richard Montañez, the janitor at Frito Lay who invented them and made the company a fortune.

Solidarity brother

It’s a beautiful sunny summer Saturday morning. Today’s word is beholden.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board slams Trump’s new trade war with Canada.

The Globe editorial workers union is upset with owner John Henry. They’re taking the fight to his other big franchise, Fenway Park, where there’ll be picketing outside the mostly empty ballpark. MLB’s Players Association has come out in support of the writers. (Not sure if any of the local police unions have taken a position yet.)

When and why did pickup trucks get so damm big. They’re everywhere. The grill on some of these monstrosities looks like a Mac truck coming down the road at you.

So now China and Russia get to participate in our presidential elections. Very democratic of us.

The Wonder Wheel is 100 years old, but there’ll be no celebration this year.

And for some reason I don’t think Joe Solomon really cares what the Methuen City Council thinks about him.

Simple solutions

Saturday. It will be sunny for most of the day. So put on those glasses.

The Forth of July TV special from the Esplanade will be, mostly, a rerun this year.

David Scharfenberg goes beyond the slogans to examine possible solutions to the issues in policing today. “America’s policing problem is really a set of complex, interlocking problems. And they will not yield to a “defund the police” slogan or a hastily conceived 10 percent cut to the police budget,” he writes. His article starts and ends with a victim of an unsolved violent crime. Because we shouldn’t lose sight of what’s at stake.

First murder hornets and a global pandemic. Now giant stinging jellyfish are arriving under the shadow of a killer Saharan dust cloud. I can’t wait to see what the second half of 2020 has to offer.

Jason Cipriani takes us through the process of adding stacked widgets to your home screen in iOS 14, which will be available for public beta sometime in July.

And it doesn’t look like you’ll be able to take a European vacation this summer. You probably wouldn’t want to get on an airplane anyway. (But Iceland is still an option if you do.)

Knee deep in the big muddy

Whew. Friday. Today is Festival of Popular Delusions Day.

Brooks Brothers is facing tough times. The company is considering closing factories, one of which is located in Massachusetts. It would be a shame if they went under.

In 1968, as the country was bogged down in Vietnam, Walter Cronkite gave his dire assessment of the war effort to the American people on the evening news. Shortly afterward Lyndon Johnson decided not to seek reelection. “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America,” he was reported to have said. No one watches the evening news anymore. But if there is a comparable bell-weather these days it might be The Rock. And it looks like Trump has lost The Rock.

Condoleezza Rice is speaking out.

More on police unions from Ed Davis and Frank Hartmann. Brianne Fitzgerald is a nurse who works with Boston Police and she has some thoughts about the department. Patrick Skinner is a cop in Savannah and he wrote an op-ed describing his version of community policing. A local councillor in Minneapolis wants to abolish the police department in the city. And Alex Vitale, author of The End of Policing, discusses reform, noting that changing how the police operate, and reducing the scope of their responsibilities, will be complex and politically charged.

Qualified immunity is also on the table. People on both / sides of the ideological gap have questioned the legality and fairness of the practice and now the Supreme Court is considering taking a case to address the issue. That would be a game changer.

And even cop shows on TV are a hot-button issue. Reruns of Barney Miller may be just what the country needs.