Trump’s lawyers seem like they’re not super great at this law stuff. The worst legal team in history is currently failing to steal the election for Donald Trump and looking like complete fools in the process. Is simply this the result of being a bad lawyer or something deeper? Tim Wu wonders: Is the lawyer bad? Or is it the terrible client who made them this way?

The process of lawyering has potentially powerful effects on one’s conscience and character. To be someone’s lawyer — especially a personal lawyer — is to agree to take their side in a deeply unconditional way. It is to inhabit your client’s world, not in an impartial or balanced manner, but with the stated goal of advancing their interests.

Ashley C. Ford has long been obsessed with teen magazines. She would buy them with her allowance from her grandma, hoping that one day he would see herself reflected in them. She was always disappointed but tried not to let her disappointment show.

Now she collects these 1990s-era magazines—Seventeen, YM, Teen People, even the Delia’s catalog—and she’s finally in possession of her Holy Grail, the August 1998 issue of Seventeen with Drew Barrymore on the cover, promoting her iconic girl-power twist on Cinderella, Ever After.

Twitter will transfer the POTUS handle to Joe Biden on January 20, no matter what. President Trump never used the handle, which is archived by the Library of Congress and has 32.8 million followers, as his main account. He has continued to tweet unhinged rants from his personal account, which has 88.9 million followers, and POTUS retweets the most cogent of these missives.

Joe Biden’s personal Twitter has 19.3 million followers, so the POTUS handle will bump his following. Barack Obama currently has 126.5 million followers. Both Biden and Obama joined Twitter in March 2007, the month it was given a huge publicity push at South by Southwest. Donald Trump sent his first tweet in May 2009 to promote his appearance on David Letterman.

Medium 101

You have more flexibility than you think with your new profile pages

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We’ve been having a lot of fun experimenting with Medium’s new publishing tools at GEN. We publish a lot of different kinds of writing about politics and culture, including longform investigative features, opinion pieces, big ideas essays, interviews, series—anything from 500 words to 5,000 words.

But sometimes the news is moving fast and we want to respond in kind. Or we want to shout out a great piece from one of our fellow anchor publications or platform writers. We want to write short, usually under 100 words. Here’s how we’re going about it, and why.

Some goals for shortform

  • Vary the writing on your profile page. Not all of our articles are created equal, right? Sometimes we want to respond to breaking news with a quick comment, other times we’ve seen a great piece floating around that relates to something we’ve already published. Think of your profile page as a feed. What’s long, what’s medium length, and what’s short? Your new Medium profile isn’t just a gathering of your writing — it’s a living, breathing thing. …

We’re a household with One Big Bowl. The Bowl is stainless steel, nothing fancy, and gets used at least twice a day, for morning yogurt and evening yogurt. I can’t even get the Bowl into the dishwasher before it needs to be used again. The Bowl needs to be lovingly hand-washed, preferably right away. It is the bowl to rule them all.

Maya Kosoff explains the culture of having One Big Bowl and recommends the best ones for your lifestyle. I am now rethinking if this bowl we have is even large enough. Should we go….larger? Should we invest in TWO big bowls? I mean, the sky’s the limit!

I was doing a periodic panic rewatch of Contagion last night and was struck by the method used by the government to distribute the vaccine: a Powerball lottery of birthdates, not unlike how the United States drafted civilians for the Vietnam War — a random array of distribution designed to lead to herd immunity.

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Screenshot: ‘Contagion’ (2011)

Is this where we’re headed? Not exactly. Contagion exists within a world where the federal government is a leader in fighting the virus, which is much more deadly and widespread. Usually, vaccines are first distributed according to need. …

The future will be battery-powered—and it’s closer than you think. Introducing The Mobilist, a new blog from GEN and Marker contributor Steve LeVine that goes deep into the world of super batteries and electric vehicles. The electric vehicle was in reach more than a hundred years ago when Thomas Edison went up against Henry Ford’s gas-powered car. But this time it looks like batteries may win the day: “Human mobility appears to be on the cusp of the next shift — to electric and perhaps driverless propulsion.”

And just like that, we’re back to TV. Kyle Chayka unpacks just what makes TikTok so bingeable—it reinforces entertainment outside the algorithm, neither programmed nor curated, just…random, weird, and delightful.

I’ve thought a lot about how media remakes itself in the end, not just in content but in form. Gather enough newsletters together and you’ve got….a magazine. A non-linear Netflix? Now you have a cable channel. It’s like we’re all trying to invent the shoe from scratch; everyday items we’ve grown familiar with, but this time it took $100 million to get there.

300,000 people mobilized on Facebook to challenge election results and spread misinformation. And Facebook has just shut the group down, reports Sarah Emerson, “on the basis of attempting to delegitimize the election process, and its role in potentially instigating physical violence.”

This doesn’t mean this messaging has been squashed because people move off the site and onto places like MeWe, a “free speech” alternative to Facebook that has been drawing militia organizers, OneZero reported earlier this week.

These ballot measures look to shift the balance of power involving law enforcement. Columbus, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Akron, and Seattle all have measures in response to the killing of George Floyd. The Momentum Blog Team has the rundown on how likely these measures are to pass, and what that change they could really mean:

“Many people are calling for the total abolition of police. Others are calling for stronger accountability. And that’s why this election is an important precursor to whatever happens next.”


Michelle Legro

Deputy Editor, GEN. Previously an editor for Topic, Longreads, The New Republic, and Lapham’s Quarterly.

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