High marks

TGIF. On this day in 1973, a Delta DC9 crashed on approach to Logan, killing all 89.

The election is postponed for one year because of the coronavirus. That just happened in Hong Kong.

Although Governor Charlie Baker is a Republican, he’s held in high regard by by both parties in Massachusetts -but especially by Democrats. On how he handled the coronavirus, 74% of Republicans in a MassINC poll approved of his leadership. That’s a pretty respectable number. But it pales in comparison to how Democrats think he did. They give him an approval rating of 91%. Ninety One!

The Trump campaign has suspended buying ads. Does this mean that the notoriously cheap Trump is going to pull an LBJ? Unlikely, but then again, lots of unlikely things have happened during this administration.

I called it a couple of weeks ago. The MA legislature is going to extend its session. There’s that little matter of the state budget that still needs to get done.

And it’s a butterfly! In space!

License and registration

Thursday morning. Today’s word is catastrophe. (Hopefully not a prophetic choice.)

Is Madonna still an influencer? I really hope not.

The city of Cambridge is considering allowing unarmed city employees to conduct vehicle stops. I don’t think it’s the presence of a gun on the person conducting the traffic stop that raises tensions in the situation as much as it is the potential for ticket or fine, but otherwise this might be an interesting experiment.

Mark Zuckerberg didn’t look especially comfortable in his suit, but overall the tech titans held up under the pressure of being grilled by Congress yesterday. Although both republicans and democrats came at them hard, at the end of the day there are partisan differences on how to reign the big tech companies in. So don’t expect much to come of it. One Florida congressman had his own “series of tubes” moment, when he questioned the CEO of Google about how to use Gmail.

When Zoom was in heavy use, early in the pandemic, it was pretty easy to hack through a password vulnerability that has now been closed. The vulnerability was discovered by Tom Anthony after Boris Johnson tweeted a screenshot from a Zoom virtual cabinet meeting.

And this could have been a story from The Onion. But sometimes the truth is more entertaining than comedy.

Do your jobs

The Wednesday hump. Birthdays, today, for Bobby Sherman and George Clinton.

We’re all struggling to interpret the constantly shifting data on Covid-19 spread. Journalist are too. ProPublica has some tips. Meanwhile, the WSJ runs through the numbers to try to nail down fatality rates.

Everyone’s talking about the police reform bill but there’s also the small matter of passing a budget for the fiscal year that has already started. Come on, Legislature. You know what Belichick would say.

The Australian version of The Onion is called The Shovel and they take a well-aimed shot at the NRA.

Steve McQueen’s Mustang, from the movie Bullitt, sold for $3.7 million dollars earlier this year, setting a record. That record has been left in the dust by another recent auction of a Mustang, the one once driven by Ken Miles and Carroll Shelby of Ford vs. Ferrari fame.

Elon Musk wants to get into your brain.

And if you’ve ever wondered how Apple became such a hugely successful company, this example of long-term thinking may enlighten you.

An American story arc

Today is Tuesday, July 21st, 2020. It’s the anniversary of both the first moonwalk and the last Space Shuttle mission.

No summer blockbusters this year, only re-runs of Jaws at the drive in. And, maybe that’s a good thing.

Fifty one years ago an American walked on the moon. Today we’re struggling with the not very complex problem of whether to wear a mask. Delta is doubling down on requiring them on flights while Winn Dixie says, come on in without one. (Update – they changed their mind and now require a mask). The governor of Texas is taking heat from local counties for his statewide mask-wearing mandate while the governor of Georgia is going out of his way to prevent local municipalities from implementing mask mandates. And the president, who was against masks, is now for masks. I can’t wait to see how we handle vaccine distribution.

The AG’s office in Massachusetts doesn’t do many criminal investigations. And from what I’ve seen, there’s a political angle to what investigations they do take on and how they approach them. So designating them to be point for deadly force investigations is either a cynical or a clueless decision by legislators.

When the Democratic National Convention came to Boston in 2004, planning started more than a year in advance. Same thing for the RNC in New York that same year and the DNC in Denver in 2008. There are a lot of moving parts. So I don’t envy the Sheriff in Jacksonville who’s trying to put together a security plan for the RNC in less than two months. Not to mention current government disfunction, today’s unrest and all the precautions needed for social distancing. That’s a triple-decker shit sandwich.

And now, here are some cute penguin photos to cool you off on a hot day.

Partners in crime

Today is Wednesday. It’s high summer. Enjoy.

The Massachusetts Senate stayed up late and passed a police reform bill designed to make everyone happy, which of course made no one happy. Now it’s on to House committees. Where it goes from there on Beacon Hill is anyone’s guess.

The Reverend Gene Rivers and Christopher Winship step up with a lesson in local history that many people seemed to have forgotten. The police in Boston have put in a lot of hard work over the last several decades to become the community’s police department and to be effective by working with the people in the communities. Is everything perfect? Of course not. There’s always more to be done and there always will be. But lumping the BPD in with regressive departments in other states does a disservice to all that hard work and risks a backslide into a ‘them vs. us’ approach, the thing which, ironically, distinguishes our police department from those regressive forces.

There’s scientific research and then there’s scientific research on hot dog eating contests. Here’s the backstory from the Times.

CBS broke into the local news last night to broadcast a hastily scheduled Rose Garden address by the president. Something serious and impactful for the nation? No, just a weird, rambling campaign speech. Bizarre. Another guardrail demolished.

And I admit that I forgot to wear a mask the other day when I stepped into the gas station to pay. Blame absent-mindedness. I was a little embarrassed but at least it didn’t cause a fight. What’s wrong with these people. Just wear your mask.