Is this thing on? Oh wow. It’s roomy here. Lots of space. Not a lot of rules. Is this an Outback Steakhouse or a Montessori classroom?
As you can see, we’ve transitioned from MailChimp to Substack in our quest to create Bulwark+, our new membership program to help us grow this little concern and keep it moving forward.
In recent years, I’ve changed between editorial publishing products Drupal, News Edit Pro, Ditto, Brightspot, Salesforce, other proprietary email systems that were not so good, WordPress, Mail Chimp, and now Substack... I have converted between platforms more times than Sohrab Ahmari has in recent years.
That means the format of my newsletter, Overtime, is going to change. A lot will remain the same, but Substack is like a blank canvas for writers. It’s not like the corporate tools you suits or recipients of the suits are used to seeing when you engage in e-commerce.
So that means it’s going to look a little different. It’s going to be longer, at least if you read it on your phone, but it’s going to have the same elements as the old Overtime. It’s a work in progress, and I always welcome your feedback. Send me a note: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or shame me on Twitter.
A college friend of mine, and I wasn’t sure if he was joking because I’d like to think everyone in my personal orbit knows of my newsletter, saw my post of the appeal for Bulwark+ and basically asked: “Wait, you have a daily newsletter? What is it about?”
Here was my elevator pitch:
What don't I cover? Sports, restaurants, food, recipes, pop culture, a whole lot of politics, groceries, dogs, stories, people who I think are bad, among other things. My newsletter will remain free, so sign up for the free version of Bulwark+ and you'll get it.
Nick, who first encountered me back in college when I was a rabble rouser freshman on student government, signed up for the newsletter! Welcome, Nick! And so did my middle sister, who has known about it for years.
My newsletter remains free. The format changes because it has to, but do not worry: your Overtime fix will still hit your inbox each evening with the best of The Bulwark website (which is also remaining free), and my random asides.
We’ve had tremendous support from our 70+ thousand subscribers in the first 24 hours since launching Bulwark+. We hope you will join us.
I considered proposing that a random paying subscriber over a certain threshold be given a temporary role on the hiring committee as we expand the site, but that was the HOA board member in me thinking that was a good thing. Nobody likes more meetings except masochists on their HOA board. Like me.
Following Buckley’s being governed by random names out of the phonebook theory is a bad idea, even if our phone book is chock full of good people.
While we’re a small shop and we talk about hirings and writers and stories very closely, you’re pretty much already part of that if you’re a longtime reader. We love hearing what you have to say and writing us... Me, Charlie, JVL, Sarah... Whether you like it or don’t like it, a random idea for a story, we appreciate how communicative you guys are with us.
Please, keep it up.
Speaking of communication... Reader Jean R. sends this item from Kaiser Health News about how the lack of uniformity in reporting leaves us “blind” to the pandemic. A scary read.
“You guys are awful.” This is how incumbent appointee Martha McSally, facing an election, handles questions about the President lying about Coronavirus to the American public. If she thinks that’s what Arizonans want.... Good luck?
Trump remade the look and feel of the presidency... Will it ever be the same? In the Washington Post, Dan Zak takes a deep dive.
Being depressed is exhausting. Let’s face it. None of us are “all there” these days. These are challenging times that really have strained our psyches. Writing in The Players Tribune, Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers wrote a follow up to a story he did a while back about his bouts with depression.
This is an NBA All Star, with a championship ring, worth at least $50 million. And he has battled depression for years.
His advice? Talk to somebody.
Even if you don’t think you have Capital-D, full stop, Depression... You can feel depressed. I know I have.
I’d be lying if I told you that everything was on the up and up with me in the last four years. Trump destroying the GOP, where I’ve worked and advocated for since I was a teenager? Depressing. When my former employer was shut down by its owner and I lost my job with a bunch of friends? Depressing! I subscribed to TWS starting in 1999. We all have ups and downs, and I’m a pretty happy person generally.
I’m not a millionaire sports star like Kevin Love. I’m not rich. I am not even a well known name in the world of politics and journalism, unless you love niche conservative journalism and live a little too much online. (If that’s the case we can talk about whether that’s healthy, too.)
Love’s items are helpful to understand that it is normal to have ups and downs. Especially during times like these. I’ve heard more from some lifelong friends during the pandemic than I have for a decade prior. People are lonely. They’re scared. And sometimes they’re depressed or sad.
And I’ve heard from some of you, our readers who are exhausted and worried about the future of our country. As my wife and siblings can tell you, I am not always exactly the best shoulder to lean on. I can be a little distant, emotionally. While I cannot always offer hope, I can offer my truth and honesty. And I hope you’ve come to expect that from me here in this space.
Not My Party! Tim Miller has another great episode of the Bulwark show that’s taking Snapchat by storm. Check it out and subscribe!
Yikes. The anti-big tech wing of the GOP has lost it. Conspiratorial, not thoughtful. And sadly, the future of the Josh Hawley wing of the GOP.
Oh, and one last thing... You’re going to get a lot more emails from us, but you can still customize what you get. Please bear with us, but if you know you like X but not Y, or X, Y, and not Z, just click below to customize what you get, click here.
This week, Sonny talks to “Feeding the Dragon” author Chris Fenton. For seventeen years, Fenton served as president of DMG Entertainment Motion Picture Group and GM of DMG North America, internationally orchestrating the creative and business activities of DMG—a multi-billion dollar global media company headquartered in Beijing. He is currently CEO of Media Capital Technologies and a Trustee of the US-Asia Institute.
FROM THE AGGREGATOR
Virginia Democrats Declined To End Qualified Immunity. Police Unions Are Alive and Well. – Billy Binion, Reason
Trump blames blue states for the coronavirus death toll — but most recent deaths have been in red states – Philip Bump, The Washington Post
Call Me the Joan of Arc of Coronavirus Vaccine Trials – Molly Jong-Fast, The New York Times
Barr calls coronavirus lockdowns the ‘greatest intrusion on civil liberties’ since slavery – Quint Forgey, Politico
There Won’t Be a Clear End to the Pandemic – Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic
U.S. Intel Repeatedly Warned About Rudy’s ‘Russian Agent’ Pal – Erin Banco Sam Brodey Spencer Ackerman Asawin Suebsaeng, The Daily Beast
LEADING THE BULWARK
Brent Orrell: We have a vigilante problem. We need to talk about it.
Helpful Editor’s Note: Images won’t be clickable anymore. Click the things that are underlined. Normally, I’ll lead with the stories from the site, but because its Bulwark+ launch day and Constitution Day, we’re doing things backwards in honor of Attorney General Barr.
Shay Khatiri: Conservatism is dead. Long live conservatism.
Brian Stewart: Critics of U.S. foreign policy attribute the world’s ills to American power.
Robert Tracinski: If rational debate breaks down in the centers of learning, how can we expect it to last everywhere else?
And hey, now that I’m here, you can share this newsletter with your friends (or you sister) so they can get it, too. For free.