Bloom Briefing 38: North Korea, Mueller, Russia, Inequality, and Much More

Welcome to the 38th edition of The Bloom Briefing. I don’t have any of my own commentary for you this week, but I do have quite a few articles that are worth a read.

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At Vox, Yochi Dreazen has written about what war with North Korea would like today. Chilling.

At Wired, Garrett Graff has provided an update on what we know about the Mueller investigation. He argues that there are at least five different lines of inquiry that are part of the investigation:

  1. Pre-existing business deals and money laundering

  2. Possible coordination between the Trump campaign and the deployment of Russian trolls/internet bots

  3. Russian hacks of the DNC and John Podesta (and potential coordination with the Trump campaign)

  4. Contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian government officials

  5. Obstruction of justice

At NPR, Tim Mak reported on the latest Russian meddling in American politics.

In the March issues of the Atlantic, Jonathan Rauch and Benjamin Wittes, two anti-partisan small-c conservatives, have written about how the only responsible thing to do now is fully support Democrats.

“The Republican Party, as an institution, has become a danger to the rule of law and the integrity of our democracy. The problem is not just Donald Trump; it’s the larger political apparatus that made a conscious decision to enable him. In a two-party system, nonpartisanship works only if both parties are consistent democratic actors. If one of them is not predictably so, the space for nonpartisans evaporates. We’re thus driven to believe that the best hope of defending the country from Trump’s Republican enablers, and of saving the Republican Party from itself, is to do as Toren Beasley did: vote mindlessly and mechanically against Republicans at every opportunity, until the party either rights itself or implodes (very preferably the former).”

At the Washington Post, Christopher Ingraham has reported on a series of studies showing that income and wealth inequality are bad for everyone.

At The Guardian, Jonathan Watts has written about the drought that may result in water being shut off to over a million homes in Cape Town.

At BuzzFeed News, Albert Samaha has reported on the 35 states where it is legal for police officers to have sex with someone in custody.

At Wired, Tom Simonite has written about the racism of facial recognition software. It's great at identifying white faces.

At the Boston Globe, Margery Eagen has offered a potentially inflammatory take on the roots of evangelicalism’s conservatism. She claims it is race, rather than abortion, that provided the origins and maintains the support for evangelicalism’s embrace of right and far-right politics.

In 1990, photographer Ted Jackson came up Jackie Walker, a homeless former NFL player, in New Orleans. The Times-Picayune has published Jackson’s story of Jackie’s life before and since that chance encounter. It is captivating.