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 25 – July 31, 2016.
GOOD READS: The Five Best Articles We’ve Read All Week.
1) Sorry, We're Closed
In 1987, Ronald Reagan gave a pivotal speech: “There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Now, Donald Trump speaks about building walls. But “America is not alone. Across Europe, the politicians with momentum are those who argue that the world is a nasty, threatening place, and that wise nations should build walls to keep it out.” From The Economist: The New Political Divide.
This is a story from 1995: “A Wal-Mart store pulled a popular T-shirt proclaiming ‘Someday a woman will be president’ off its shelves, saying it was offensive to some shoppers.” Now, twenty years later, Wal-Mart spokesperson Danit Maquardt reflects on that decision: “Wow, it still pains us that we made this mistake 20 years ago. We’re proud of the fact that our country – and our company – has made so much progress in advancing women in the workplace, and in society.” From Elise Foley in The Huffington Post: 91-Year-Old Who Designed ‘Offensive’ Shirt Saying a Woman Would Be President Is Ready to See It Happen.
3) All About the Hamiltons
“Every performance of Hamilton is a miniature Super Bowl, in terms of demand and resale activity. Fans can still get a seat at Hamilton for less than a thousand dollars, if they are willing to wait for it – either buying months in advance from the theater or just hours before a performance, as scalpers drop their asking price.” From Tiff Fehr in the NYT Upshot: How Scalpers Make Their Millions With “Hamilton.”
4) The Wrath of Khan
“Donald Trump, you’re asking Americans to trust you with their future. Let me ask you: have you even read the United States Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy.” Last night, Kazr Khan explained why this election is not just another battle between two parties better than I ever could. Watch the speech, and read this important article covering the speech, over at the NYT.
5) A German Perspective
“[Angela Merkel’s] open-door immigration approach has done more to protect Germany from terrorism than any other counter-terrorism policy because it has helped to reassure Muslims (living inside German borders and jihadis living abroad) that the German government is not at war with Islam . . . This is not something that can be said of the marginalized and radicalized Muslim communities of the run-down suburbs Brussels or Paris which breed and harbor terrorist networks.” From Robert Verkaik in the Independent: How Angela Merkel’s Open-Door Immigration Policy Protects Germany From Terrorism in the Long-Run.
BY THE NUMBERS: Five Telling Numbers Tucked Inside the News.
10,000 cans. In the state of Michigan, when you return an aluminum can to get recycled, you get 10 cents back. This is not the case in many other states, where the deposit is 5 cents. In a story straight out of Seinfeld, a Michigan man attempted to exploit this arbitrage by hauling 10,000 cans across the border to deposit for profit. One problem: doing so is illegal under the state’s bottle deposit law. Now, that man is facing up to five years in prison. The prosecutor handling the case declined to comment. but said his office “has never had a case like this.” [The Guardian]
2,838 delegates. Hillary Clinton was officially nominated to be the Democratic Party’s nominee for president on Tuesday, winning the support of 2,383 delegates to Bernie Sanders’s 1,843. In case you were wondering, yes, that number includes the dreaded “Superdelegates.” But Clinton bested Sanders in pledged delegates as well – 2,205 delegates to 1,846, respectively. [ABC News]
32 percent. Pokémon Go has taken the world by storm – including the stock markets. Nintendo shares skyrocketed after the games release and instant transformation into a global cultural phenomenon. But last Friday, Nintendo reminded investors that it doesn’t actually make the game, and that it only owns 32 percent of The Pokémon Company. The announcement caused shares to plummet on Monday, with stock dropping 17 percent at one point, representing about $6.4 billion in value. [The Verge]
$4.8 billion. It’s the end of an era for a web pioneer. This week, Yahoo agreed to sell its core internet operations and land holdings to Verizon Communications for a reported $4.8 billion. If that sounds low to you, it’s because it is. Yahoo shareholders will still hold about $41 billion in investments in the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, as well as Yahoo Japan and a small portfolio of patents. But it’s worth noting that, just 16 years ago in January 2000, the company was worth about $125 billion. [The New York Times]
5 years old. Here’s a story for you. This week, a five-year-old boy got his head stuck in an “Introductory Panel” at the (appropriately named) Hall of Advanced mammals at the American Museum of Natural History. Museum staff freed the boy by loosening the panel from the wall. [AM New York]
If you read an interesting story or see a significant number in the wild, send it to [email protected].