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The Daily Countable: The Friday News Dump

by Countable | 10.6.17

Good morning, friends, from everyone here at Countable, and from me, Managing Editor Andrea Seabrook. A few stories we're watching right now, that may have slipped through the cracks:

  • Salmon sold in Aldi and Walmart stores was processed in North Korean slave labor camps, located in China. Big problems there, both in terms of human rights and because it funnels U.S. money to nuke-happy North Korea. That story here.
  • Is the NRA support of restriction on bump stocks an important breakthrough in the gun control debate? Or the least the NRA could do? Make your voice heard here.
  • Five key positions in the executive branch are still unfilled by the Trump administration. We explain here.
  • And you really should read this lovely story about celebs using their money and fame to help Puerto Rico recover, if only to see the picture of a very young, very nerdy John Oliver.

Take a Breath

Let's all be thankful we're reading (or ignoring) The Daily Countable right now, because hey, that means we're still here. Yeah, that says something about the sheer volume of scary, existential threats we've faced this past week. And I mean 'We.' Even those of us who didn't know anyone in the Las Vegas massacre, or don't have people in Puerto Rico, or who can usually ignore vague international nuclear threats. Being an engaged and informed citizen, watching and trying to affect our government, is really hard sometimes. Personally. But there's a kind of civic heroism to what you're doing that drives us forward at Countable and in our democracy. Thank you.
Hey, it's Friday! which, among DC media types, is also called,

Dump Day!

Listen, being a reporter is great, especially if you're like me and can barely contain your fascination with people and their stories. But if you're a fan of Friday evenings — if you like to slice a little time off your workday, get a jump on the weekend, or pop-out for drinks or treats — do not become a political journalist.

Here, let me quote the NBC drama The West Wing:

Donna: What’s take out the trash day? Josh: Friday. Donna: I mean, what is it? Josh: Any stories we have to give the press that we’re not wild about, we give all in a lump on Friday. Donna: Why do you do it in a lump? Josh: Instead of one at a time? Donna: I’d think you’d want to spread them out. Josh: They’ve got X column inches to fill, right They’re going to fill them no matter what. Donna: Yes. Josh: So if we give them one story, that story’s X column inches. Donna: And if we give them five stories … Josh: They’re a fifth the size. Donna: Why do you do it on Friday? Josh: Because no one reads the paper on Saturday. Donna: You guys are real populists, aren’t you?

via GIPHY

Yeah, back in the olden days of Y2K, it may have been about column inches and morning newspapers, but it's an apt description of what we all call The Friday News Dump. Here are a few stories the Trump Administration has dropped on a Friday afternoon:

  • The pardon of convicted Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio.
  • The resignation of HHS Secretary Tom Price, amid the private jet scandal.
  • The DOJ report that there had been no evidence backing up Trump's claims that he had been wiretapped by the previous administration.
  • The announcement that the White House will no longer make its visitor logs public.
  • The re-banning of transgender people joining the military.

So, you can see why, here in Washington, it's less TGIF than TFND — The Friday News Dump. What could it be today? Stick with us at Countable and we'll make sure you know. The fastest way to get word is to turn on push notifications for the Countable, on your phone and your web browser.

Your Gov at a Glance 👀

The White House: Trump in DC

  • Participates in Hispanic Heritage Month event.
  • Signs a proclamation of National Manufacturing Day.
  • Meets with Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin.
  • Meets with the U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman.

The House of Representatives: OUT

  • The House will return Monday, October 9.

The Senate: OUT

  • The Senate will return Monday, October 9.

Have a relaxing weekend, friends. We all need it after this week. And you and I both know, the week isn't over until after TFND.

— Andrea Seabrook, Managing Editor

Send questions, thoughts, tips and musings via Twitter, @RadioBabe

Countable

Written by Countable

Leave a comment
(31)
  • Chris
    10/06/2017
    ···

    Walmart and Aldi need to be held accountable for selling product processed by North Korean slave labor. This supply chain must be reconfigured. This situation represents both human rights violations on behalf of China and North Korea as well as Walmart and Aldi. It also undermines our national security in providing money to a regime, under sanctions, that poses a threat to the US.

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  • Steve
    10/06/2017
    ···

    Someone was elected, drain the swamp, it is getting deeper each day, no legislation of consequence, and stop protecting citizens

    Like (15)
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  • Edward
    10/06/2017
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    In big business, it's what ever way to get it cheaper. How and why be damned.

    Like (14)
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  • James
    10/06/2017
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    Do the right thing and pull those products from the shelves!

    Like (13)
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  • Nathan
    10/07/2017
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    The two store chains, Walmart and Aldi, should 1. Be forced to remove these products from their shelves, 2. Be fined, and 3. Be unable to sell salmon until they locate a new supplier. It is understandable that the labor is cheapest in North Korea, where slaves are doing the labor for nothing, but this is inhuman and should not be supported by supermarkets. Aldi is supposedly a store that uses its own brands to make the products cheap, so they should be dignified enough to supply their stores with fish from suppliers that aren’t located in corrupt countries that enforce slavery.

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  • Wallace
    10/06/2017
    ···

    Why are U.S. corporations helping to violate human rights!! Just because they didn’t actually do the human rights violation , they are accessories before and after the fact!!

    Like (8)
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  • Penny
    10/06/2017
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    Not a surprise.

    Like (8)
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  • NQuiterio
    10/06/2017
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    The US should take action against Walmart and push Germany to take action against Aldi.

    Like (7)
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  • Doreen
    10/07/2017
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    Thank you Countable for accurate, up to date easy to understand news. I've told many about countable and get many thanks for the tip. Please keep doing what your doing!

    Like (4)
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  • Loretta
    10/06/2017
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    So when is the US going to fine Walmart and Aldi? If we would take swift action against China. How about our own big businesses.

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  • Shawn
    10/08/2017
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    An amendment should be made to over turn Citizens United so the NRA doesn’t have so much influence over our elected officials. They own this congress and this president.

    Like (3)
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  • JayinNC
    10/06/2017
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    We need to punish the companies that are doing business with North Korea and I would make it more difficult for companies to manufacture goods in China, remember China has and been a communist country

    Like (3)
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  • Jim2423
    10/07/2017
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    Folks don’t investigate where they shop. When things are cheaper somewhere you have to wonder why. Buyer beware, folks nothing is really Free. Shop Walmart and support China.

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  • James
    10/06/2017
    ···

    We have plenty of salmon both fresh water and salt water here in our own oceans, rivers, and Great Lakes! Why are we importing this from anywhere but our own waters so we can support American fisherman? You know why because the Enviornmental movement is such a major stick in the spoke of our own interests and people listen to those goofs! Until then enjoy your North Korean Salmon!

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  • RadicalModerate
    10/06/2017
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    Hold all wicked regimes accountable by withholding your money. Walmart Aldi, the federal government.

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  • Brandon
    10/06/2017
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    Praying

    Like (2)
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  • Ethan
    10/07/2017
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    I can’t help but notice that whenever there’s a day of recognition for minority groups this President does or says something atrocious about that minority group. I wonder if he’s using those days as an agenda reminder.

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  • YorEl
    10/06/2017
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    Not sure if I 100% believe this. Walmart, maybe, but Aldi has been pushing with their initiative to be using more natural products that are safely produced, this would be counterintuitive. Secondly, who is producing this information, someone with a stake in competing food locations or a neutral party?

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  • Azrael
    10/06/2017
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    Is it just me or does every intelligent individual wake up every morning since November 2016 thinking what fresh he’ll will we suffer today?

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  • Michael
    10/08/2017
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    If we expect China and Russia to enforce critical sanctions against North Korea, America must lead the way. Any Walmart connection, no matter how small it may be considered, must be severed. Any American funds that support North Korea is any fashion need be stopped. Now.

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