Elections Are Important But They’re Not Everything 

Seth Masket:

If you’ve been making the “republic not a democracy” argument and believe that American political institutions and values matter, that Congress can actually check or remove a dangerous president even if he was legitimately elected, that the oath of office and national sovereignty and the rule of law have meaning, now’s the time to speak out and be heard.

Mike Pence’s Role in the Ukraine Scandal Is Disgraceful 

David Frum writing for The Atlantic:

If the Senate ever could muster the integrity to remove Trump from office, there would be no Ford to put in his place, only a vice president who participated in Trump’s dirty schemes, from staying at a remote resort to direct government funds to Trump’s failing Irish golf course to extorting an invaded country to fabricate political dirt to help Trump’s reelection.

If You Could Be Any Superhero, Who Would It Be? 

The one I identify with most is Spider-Man, because he’s a relatively regular, kind of nerdy guy who finds himself in a position of power and it complicates his day to day life but he’s trying to figure out how to do good with it. But who would I want to be? Obviously, Batman is a billionaire and he’s got all the great gear, so that’s appealing. Then again, he doesn’t really strike me as happy, so, yeah, I’m going to stick with Spider-Man.

— Pete Buttigieg (via Political Wire) who clearly doesn’t understand the pathos Spider-Man very well

How to Make the Most of Apple’s New Privacy Tools in iOS 13 

Brian Chen concludes in a column at The New York Times:

It’s disturbing to realize by getting all these new privacy tools now that our data was ever exposed like this to begin with. These are all features we have desperately needed in the constant struggle to protect our digital privacy.

I know that Brian Chen is the most popular pundit around these days, but this is a solid take.

Counterfeit Capitalism 

As a kid, when I heard the fable of the emperor with no clothes, I never bought the lesson, because I just couldn’t believe adults would go along with a sham that their own eyes told them wasn’t true. Turns out it happens all the time, over and over.

– John Gruber

Americans Are Getting Ripped Off 

Jordan Weissmann writing for Slate:

If you account for the vast amounts of money we channel into employer-based health insurance, it turns out that Americans are taxed like Europeans and spend on social welfare like Europeans. And in return, we get a system where hospitals regularly sue patients and parents have to worry about getting hit with a several-thousand-dollar surprise medical bill if they decide to take their feverish kids to the ER. We get ripped off.

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