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Get a weekly roundup of the best Substack posts, by hacker news affinity:

Letters from an American's top posts of the week

By hacker news affinity
day week month year all
Letters from an American 10 HN points 26 Mar 23
On March 25, 1911, Frances Perkins was visiting with a friend who lived near Washington Square in New York City when they heard fire engines and screams. They rushed out to the street to see what the trouble was. A fire had broken out in a garment factory on the upper floors of a building on Washington Square, and the blaze ripped through the lint in the air. The only way out was down the elevator, which had been abandoned at the base of its shaft, or through an exit to the roof. But the factory owner had locked the roof exit that day because, he later testified, he was worried some of his workers might steal some of the blouses they were making.
Letters from an American 9 HN points 21 Mar 23
As rumors swirl about what may be an upcoming indictment against former president Donald Trump from Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg, Republican Party leaders are in a bit of a pickle. For years now, they have gone along with—and some have fed—Trump’s insistence that the government is stacked against him and therefore against the right wing. Some have gone along out of conviction, undoubtedly, but others almost certainly were trying to keep the base voters without whom the Republicans cannot win an election.
Letters from an American 7 HN points 23 Mar 23
This week, news has been focused on the former president’s possible indictment for paying $130,000 in hush money to adult film performer Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about their 2006 affair before the 2016 election. The information currently being thrown about has been shaped by Trump himself and is obviously suspect (among other things, he has apparently raised $1.5 million since he claimed he would be arrested on Tuesday).
Letters from an American 6 HN points 22 Mar 23
As you know, I try to write this record of modern America from the perspective of what stories will matter in 150 years (about the span between the present and the Civil War). So, for all the chop in the water about the former president facing indictments, the story that really seems uppermost to me today is the visit China’s president Xi Jinping made today to Moscow for a meeting with Russia’s president Vladimir Putin.
Letters from an American 6 HN points 25 Mar 23
A follow-up to last night’s examination of the confusion among the Republicans about their budget plans: today when a reporter said to House speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) that the chair of the House Budget Committee, Jodey Arrington (R-TX), had said that he and McCarthy were finalizing a list of proposals to give to President Biden about spending cuts, McCarthy answered: “I don’t know what he’s talking about.”
Letters from an American 6 HN points 24 Mar 23
While the latest machinations from Trump are taking up oxygen, the debt ceiling crisis hasn’t gone away. Indeed, just as it is becoming more and more urgent, Republican far-right extremists are becoming more committed to using the opportunity to blow up the economy as a way to get their wishes.
Letters from an American 4 HN points 27 Mar 23
Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff landed midday today in Accra, the capital of Ghana, a country of about 33 million people slightly larger than Michigan on Africa’s west coast. The 54 countries in Africa vary widely in language, religion, and culture, and Harris will visit three countries which initially seem unrelated. During her week on the African continent, in addition to Ghana, Harris will also visit Tanzania, a country bigger than Texas of about 62 million people on the east coast that is known for its natural wonders—Mount Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti plain are both on the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List. She will then visit neighboring Zambia, a landlocked country slightly larger than Texas with about 20 million people, where about one third of the country is game management areas or national parks, including one that protects the famous waterfall Mosi-oa-Tunya, or Smoke that Thunders—also known as Victoria Falls.