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 July 11 – July 17, 2016.
GOOD READS: The Five Best Articles We’ve Read All Week.
1) Cheech and Wrong
“There’s a body of research showing that painkiller abuse and overdose are lower in states with medical marijuana laws . . . Now a new study, released in the journal Health Affairs, validates these findings by providing clear evidence of a missing link in the causal chain running from medical marijuana to falling overdoses . . . They found that, in the 17 states with a medical-marijuana law in place by 2013, prescriptions for painkillers and other classes of drugs fell sharply compared with states that did not have a medical-marijuana law.” From Christopher Ingraham in The Washington Post: One Striking Chart Shows Why Pharma Companies Are Fighting Legal Marijuana.
2) Cohn Heads
“If he feels his adversary has been unfair, it is war to the death. No white flags. No Mr. Nice Guy. Prospective clients who want to kill their husband, torture a business partner, break the government’s legs, hire Roy Cohn. He is a legal executioner – the toughest, meanest, loyalest, vilest, and one of the most brilliant lawyers in America. He is not a very nice man.” This piece ran in the December 1978 issue of Esquire, and was re-posted this week. From Ken Auletta in Esquire: Dont Mess With Roy Cohn.
3) Bastille My Heart
“In response to the latest terrorist atrocity, Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, and quite possibly the next secretary of state, suggested that the U.S. should investigate American Muslims to ascertain their level of commitment to sharia, or Islamic law . . . ‘Western civilization is in a war. We should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in sharia, they should be deported,’ Gingrich told Fox’s Sean Hannity. ‘Sharia is incompatible with Western civilization. Modern Muslims who have given up sharia, glad to have them as citizens. Perfectly happy to have them next door.'” From Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic: Sharia Does Not Mean What Newt Gingrich Thinks It Means.
4) Up Next
“The algorithm that can judge the merits of new Gucci Mane, or intuit that you want to sing ‘A Thousand Miles’ by Vanessa Carlton in the shower, has yet to be written. Until that day comes, the job has fallen to an elite class of veteran music nerds.” From Reggie Ugwu: Inside the Playlist Factory.
5) My Name is Boris
The UK’s new foreign secretary has a history of insulting foreign leaders. On President George W. Bush: he’s “a cross-eyed Texas warmonger, unelected, inarticulate, and epitomizes the arrogance of American foreign policy.” On why he’s hesitant to visit New York City: “the only reason I wouldn’t go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump.” On Hillary Clinton: “She’s got dyed blonde hair and pouty lips, and a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital.” From David A. Graham in The Atlantic: A Short History of Boris Johnson Insulting Foreign Leaders.
BY THE NUMBERS: Five Telling Numbers Tucked Inside the News.
1,871. This is the number of accidental gun deaths recorded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nationwide in 1981. That number steadily declined over the next three decades. In 1991, it was 1,441. In 2001, it was 802. In 2011, it was 591. The annual tally has since leveled off, “but the reduction that preceded it is impressive, mysterious, and almost never discussed, even among gun policy experts.” [FiveThirtyEight]
2 men. Pokémon Go! Right off that cliff over there. Two men fell several stories off a crumbling sandstone bluff in Encinitas, California. “The men, who were in their early 20s, were playing ‘Pokemon Go’ at the time and likely were led to the cliff when they were trying to catch characters, said Sgt. Rich Eaton of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. [Los Angeles Times]
31. This is the number of campaigns for Congress that have received at least 75 percent of their monetary contributions from out of state in the 2016 election cycle. It’s pretty typical for campaigns to do this, but that number is up from 16 campaigns in 2012. Home, it seems, is not always where the heart is. At least, it’s not always where the money is. [The Center for Responsive Politics]
$4 billion. UFC, the mixed martial arts league, has been sold to talent agency WME-IMG as well as several other parties for a reported $4 billion. Considering the MMA organization was originally purchased for $2 million in 2000, that’s a heck of a return on investment. [The Washington Post]
55 percent. So, there’s some bad news about Pokémon Go (see above). But now for some good news – that is, good news if you are a Nintendo stockholder. Share’s of Nintendo’s stock soared 55% this week, the fastest bounce in at least a decade for the company. Thanks to these gains, Nintendo’s shares have far outpaced other game developers this year. Its stock is up 52% overall. [Wall Street Journal]
If you read an interesting story or see a significant number in the wild, send it to [email protected].