Released every Sunday, The Five is a weekly roundup (of sorts) of the political landscape in the United States. It is a compliment to The Weekly Column and The Two Minute Drill and includes Good Reads (the five best articles we’ve read all week) and By the Numbers (a weekly digest of the telling numbers inside the news). Thanks for reading!
This is The Five for the week of June 27 to July 3, 2016.
GOOD READS: The Five Best Articles We’ve Read All Week.
1) Mess with Texas
“We conclude that neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes. Each places a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion, each constitutes an undue burden on abortion access, and each violates the Federal Constitution.” So wrote Justice Stephen Breyer as the Supreme Court struck down Texas abortion clinic restrictions designed to close abortion facilities. Read the opinion here: Whole Woman’s Health et al. v. Hellerstedt (2016). We wrote about the Hellerstedt case after oral arguments in March: Anti-Abortion Legislation is a Threat to Public Health.
2) Better off Ed
“[Edward] Snowden’s body might be confined to Moscow, but the former NSA computer specialist has hacked a work-around: a robot. If he wants to make his physical presence felt in the United States, he can connect to a wheeled contraption called a BeamPro, a flat-screen monitor that stands atop a pair of legs, five-foot two in all, with a camera that acts as a swiveling Cyclops eye. Inevitably, people call it the ‘Snowbot.'” From Andrew Rice in New York Magazine: I, Snowbot.
3) 13 Hours
“While it contains voluminous additional details of what happened before, during and after the attacks on State Department and CIA compounds in Benghazi, the report’s overall narrative does not substantively differ from previous investigations and numerous news accounts over the years.” In other words, the much-anticipated, and quite exhaustive, Benghazi report from the Republican-led House of Representatives again failed substantiate Republican held Benghazi conspiracy theories. From Karen DeYoung in The Washington Post: House Republicans Issue Report on Benghazi Attacks but Find No New Evidence of Wrongdoing by Clinton.
4) Another One Byte's the Dust
“I was surprised at how aware and reactive it was. It seemed to be aware of my intentions and reacting instantly to my changes in flight and my missile deployment. It know how to defeat the shot I was taking. It moved instantly between defensive and offensive actions as needed.” From Coby McDonald in PopSci: A.I. Downs Expert Human Fighter Pilot in Dogfight Simulation.
5) Divided We Brawl
“Democrats now rely on an urbanized coalition of Millenials, minorities, and socially liberal college-educated and single whites (especially women). Republicans thrive among older, non-college educated and religiously devout whites, especially outside of major cities.” From Ron Brownstein in The Atlantic: Culture Is Replacing Class as the Key Political Divide.
BY THE NUMBERS: Five Telling Numbers Tucked Inside the News.
H.B. 1547. New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan recently signed H.B. 1547 into law, calling into question its status as the “live free or die state.” The bill “bans all sexual contact with animals, including offering an animal for this purpose. It also requires mental health counseling and registration on the sex offender registry for those convicted of this crime.” Bestiality is still somewhat legal in nine states and D.C., which begs the question: who on earth is lobbying for it? [The Humane Society]
$25,000. This is the amount of money Mike Huckabee’s campaign was required to pay the rights-holder of the Survivor song “Eye of the Tiger” after the former presidential candidate played it at a rally for Kim Davis last year without permission. [KVVU-TV]
3 films. Close your eyes and imagine The Tetris Cinematic Universe. How does that make you feel? Originally, filmmakers planned to make a single film based on the 1980s video game “Tetris.” But for the same terrible, inexplicable reasons a studio would even make a movie based on ’80s nostalgia, that idea has now been expanded to a trilogy of films. Because why the hell not. [Empire Online]
4 hours 31 minutes. This is the average amount of time the average American adult spent watching live television per day in the first quarter of 2016, according to Nielsen. Add in DVR time, and that number gets up to a staggering 5 hours a day. [Recode]
$650 million. Religious exemptions to property taxes in New York City add up to over $650 million. That’s roughly 1 percent of the city budge that is exempted from taxation. $476 million of which is for “houses of worship.” [iQuantNY]
If you read an interesting story or see a significant number in the wild, send it to [email protected].