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the scalia factor

to listen to this episode of amicus, use the player below: listen to amicus via apple podcasts, overcast, spotify, stitcher, or google play. in the first of a series of deep dives into great legal reads this summer, dahlia lithwick talks with rick hasen, author of the justice of contradictions: antonin sc...




trump says cohen tape is “perhaps illegal,” insists he “did nothing wrong”

president donald trump broke his silence on news that his former lawyer and personal fixer michael cohen recorder a conversation the two had about paying off a former playboy model. in a tweet, he said that the recording, which was reportedly made two months before the presidential election, was “perhaps illegal.” regardless, he confidently said he “did nothing wrong.” “inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer’s office (early in the morning)—almost unheard of,” trump tweeted in reference to an fbi raid into cohen’s office in april. “even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client - totally unheard of & perhaps illegal.the good news is that your favorite president did nothing wrong!” trum...




the best cookbooks for kids, according to chefs with children

if you’ve ever tried looking for kid-friendly recipes online, you know how hard it can be to find recipes for kids to make that everyone in the family will actually enjoy eating, yet are simple enough for a child to help make. and though there are plenty of them out there, most kids’ cookbooks aren’t very helpful either. they can be gimmicky, with stunt foods rather than real food, or recipes that are so oversimplified that they’re confusing even for an adult who’s got a handle on the basics. that’s why i asked chefs with children to share the cookbooks they use in their own kitchens when making meals as a family, along with the titles their own kids like reading. so whether you’ve got a child or teenager in your life...




the trailer for star trek: discovery’s second season abandons the angst and lightens the mood

star trek: discovery’s first season was bold, changing up the look and feel of the franchise under the watchful eyes of its meticulous fans. it was ambitious, squeezing an entire war into a tightly serialized season. it was complicated—yes, sometimes a little too complicated—throwing some head-scratching science and wild plot twists at viewers. but was it … fun? while there were certainly some fun moments in season 1 of discovery (the actors leaning into their mirror universe roles, the classically trekkian time loop episode, any scene with mary wiseman) it’s not an adjective i would use to describe the season as a whole, which was consistently dark and occasionally dragged. and yet the first trailer for season 2, which is set t...




the mobile monopoly money edition

listen to slate money via apple podcasts, overcast, spotify, stitcher, or google play. slate plus members: get your ad-free podcast feed. on this week’s episode, felix salmon, emily peck, and anna szymanski discuss: “e.u. fines google $5.1 billion in android antitrust case” “how politics and bad decisions starved new york’s subways” “all...




the trailer for star trek: discovery’s second season lightens the mood

star trek: discovery’s first season was bold, changing up the look and feel of the franchise under the watchful eyes of its meticulous fans. it was ambitious, squeezing an entire war into a tightly serialized, graphically violent season. it was complicated—yes, sometimes a little too complicated—throwing some head-scratching science and wild plot twists at viewers. but was it … fun? while there were certainly some fun moments in season 1 of discovery (the actors leaning into their mirror universe roles, the classically trekkian time loop episode, any scene with mary wiseman) it’s not an adjective i would use to describe the season as a whole, which was consistently dark and occasionally dragged. and yet the first trailer for sea...




disney fires guardians of the galaxy’s james gunn over controversial twitter jokes

disney has fired james gunn as the director of the third guardians of the galaxy movie over tweets from several years ago that make light of rape and pedophilia. “the offensive attitudes and statements discovered on james’ twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him,” walt disney studios chairman alan horn said in a statement. gunn had already begun writing the script for the movie, which was planned for a fall shoot. conservative personalities mike cernovich and jack posobiec posted screenshots of several now-deleted tweets, evidently written by gunn between 2009 and 2011, on friday. “i’m doing a big hollywood adaptation of the giving tree ...




what it was like to be called out by putin during the helsinki press conference

on this week’s trumpcast, jacob weisberg talks to bill browder, who was mentioned by name by russian president vladimir putin in the press conference with donald trump on monday in helsinki. browder is the author of the book red notice, which tells the story of the murder of his lawyer, sergei magnitsky, in a russian prison, and his efforts to bring the killers to justice through the sanctions law known as the magnitsky act. putin offered to arrange for special counsel robert mueller to travel to russia to question 12 russian intelligence officers in exchange for the u.s. handing over browder. as weisberg notes in the podcast, “instead of expressing any kind of visceral reaction at this diabolical proposal, trump was just kind of n...




bobcat revival

listen to episode 1,039 of slate’s the gist: slate plus members: get your ad-free podcast feed. listen to the gist via apple podcasts, overcast, spotify, stitcher, or google play. on the gist, ideals are better when kept as general as possible because the more specific the get, the more exclusive they become. bobcat goldthwait made a name for himself with an oddball stand-up act complete with shrieks, grunts, and experimental jokes. but some 10 years after burying that character, his latest work is as a writer and director. his trut...




democrats should ignore mitch mcconnell’s ultimatum on kavanaugh

senate democrats are in the midst of negotiating with republicans over the amount of paper records that should be made available ahead of supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing. the two sides are not particularly close. judiciary committee chairman chuck grassley says that democrats “ought to have any records that are relevant to [kavanaugh’s] appointment to the supreme court.” democrats essentially believe that they should have any records that kavanaugh has ever touched. since kavanaugh managed the paper flow within the george w. bush administration, that could mean a lot of documents. and so senate majority leader mitch mcconnell, sensing a dilatory fishing expedition, has issued an “ultimatum,” pol...




ta-nehisi coates is leaving the atlantic

the writer ta-nehisi coates has announced he’s leaving the atlantic, where he is currently a national correspondent. from the washington post’s erik wemple: in a note to staff, top atlantic editor jeffrey goldberg wrote, in part, “our colleague, and dear friend, ta-nehisi coates is stepping down as a national correspondent for the atlantic. as he has explained to me — and as he’s written in the recent past — the last few years for him have been years of significant changes. he’s told me that he would like to take some time to reflect on these changes, and to figure out the best path forward, both as a person and as a writer.” coates told wemple that he had become increasingly concerned about his prominence as a write...




new reporting on the devonte hart case suggests his biological family was treated unfairly by the adoption system due to race

in the months that have passed since devonte hart, his adoptive parents, and three of his siblings were found dead, details have continued to emerge of the abuse the children suffered and the ways in which it was systematically overlooked by authorities. a 42-page report released in april described in aching detail the multiple run-ins sarah and jennifer hart had with child welfare officials, as well as the lack of action taken after each one. in fact, the harts were allowed to adopt three of their children, including devonte, after an allegation of abuse had already been made against them. by the time jennifer drunkenly drove her gold yukon suv off the edge of a 100-foot cliff in northern california, three different state authorities had b...




disney fires guardians of the galaxy’s james gunn over controversial twitter jokes

disney has fired james gunn as the director of the third guardians of the galaxy movie over tweets from several years ago that make light of rape and pedophilia. “the offensive attitudes and statements discovered on james’ twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him,” walt disney studios chairman alan horn said in a statement. gunn had already begun writing the script for the movie, which was planned for a fall shoot. conservative personalities mike cernovich and jack posobiec posted screenshots of several now-deleted tweets, evidently written by gunn between 2009 and 2011, on friday. “i’m doing a big hollywood adaptation of the giving tree ...




trevor noah responds to french ambassador over world cup joke

trevor noah, the host of the daily show, responded to criticism over a joke he made about france’s world cup victory, in a “between the scenes” segment (which are web-exclusive, shot during the broadcast commercial breaks and are more casual than the aired, scripted segments). on monday, he joked that africa had won the world cup, due to the large number of players of african descent on the team. the comment hit a nerve with quite a few people, most notably, the french ambassador to the u.s., gérard araud, who said noah’s comments echoed that of france’s far-right. so, in response, he sent noah a letter: i heard your words about an african victory. nothing could be less true. their parents may have come from another ...




lori mckenna is back to wreck you

there’s no way lori mckenna could write the kinds of songs she does and be cool. it would be that way even if she weren’t the middle-aged mom of five kids, living with her plumber husband of nearly 30 years, in the small town of stoughton, 17 miles outside boston. cool requires a haze of mystique, a staunch aversion to cliché, an aura of originality. but there’s nothing truly original about the human condition. every variety of joy and suffering a person can experience has been undergone by innumerable others. that common stock of pleasure and pain is mckenna’s box of paints, the stuff of near cliché that she renders into vivid three-minute portraits and landscapes. at the intimate scale where she does her best work, any whiff of ...




this time, the government says it will tell us if a foreign power is trying to muddy our election with disinformation

on thursday evening, deputy attorney general rod rosenstein shared a new prong of the department of justice’s plan to fight foreign hacking and disinformation campaigns: they’ll actually tell the public, political groups, and u.s. companies about them. the idea, according to rosenstein, is that if it’s safe to share information about election interference like the russian effort to muddy the 2016 presidential election, doing so can be “an important way to neutralize,” such attacks, he said at the aspen security forum in aspen, colorado. “if this disclosure requirement had been around in 2016, i firmly believe that it would have served as a meaningful deterrent after russia’s interference was first discovered, and it would ha...




new mattis statement stops juuuuust short of saying everything trump did this week was a bad idea

as you probably know if you’re reading a news blog right now instead of enjoying a summer friday afternoon, donald trump followed up a sensationally deferential summit and press conference with russian president vladimir putin earlier this week by complaining in a fox news interview that nato commitments require the united states to defend allegedly inessential countries like montenegro. (nato, of course, has historically existed as a deterrent to potential aggression by the country that’s now russia.) on thursday, director of national intelligence dan coats more or less said that he didn’t support any of trump’s recent decisions regarding putin; today, secretary of defense james mattis took his turn doing the implicit disavow...




how one of the internet’s biggest history forums deals with holocaust deniers

there can be no debate with holocaust deniers. that is a core principle of moderating the askhistorians subreddit, one of the largest history forums on the internet—and a crucial lesson mark zuckerberg seemingly does not understand. zuckerberg got into hot water on wednesday when he stated that facebook wouldn’t necessarily remove holocaust deniers from its platform because people “get things wrong” and because it’s not always possible to understand the deniers’ intent. this position fundamentally fails to grasp how holocaust deniers spread anti-semitic propaganda, underscoring a flaw in how the purportedly neutral platform thinks it ought to handle particularly odious ideas. conversation is impossible if one side refuses to a...




the angle: good plan edition

pens and lotion: the sierra club used foia to shame scott pruitt out of office. aaron mak finds out how they did it—and asks how effective this tool may actually be. best interests: mitch mcconnell is trying to persuade democrats that they should give up on their attempt to gain access to a full array of brett kavanaugh–related documents. jim newell thinks democratic senators shouldn’t listen to a word he says. old form: hannah gadsby’s...




when will it be safe to undelete uber?

another day, another senior departure from uber: prabir adarkar, the ride-sharing company’s top finance executive, has left to become the cfo of doordash. he’s treading a well-worn path out the door, following in the footsteps of hr chief liane hornsey, who resigned on july 10, and brand head bozoma saint john, who quit last month. as for coo barney harford, he hasn’t left yet, but don’t be surprised if he does. in the departures of at least three of those four executives—hornsey, saint john, and harford—racial issues were front and center; they seem to have taken over from sexism as the most important crisis for uber to resolve. meanwhile, inbound traffic remains low. most notably, the crucial cfo spot remains vacant, even as...