The Wires

Mrs. McCrabbie: This actually seems crazy to me:

New York Times: "A shiny stainless steel sculpture created by Jeff Koons in 1986, inspired by a child’s inflatable toy, sold at Christie’s on Wednesday night for $91.1 million with fees, breaking the record at auction for a work by a living artist, set just last November by David Hockney. Robert E. Mnuchin, an art dealer and the father of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, made the winning bid for Mr. Koons’s 1986 'Rabbit' from an aisle seat near the front of the salesroom."

Might as well just get this -- it's vintage! it's "authentic"! -- and give it pride-of-place in the front hall. Sure, visitors will think you're tasteless & nuts, but in such a vintage, authentic way.

UPDATE: (May 19): New York Times: Mnuchin would not reveal the identity of his client; i.e., the purchaser of Stainless Bunny is. During an NYT interview, "He was near tears when asked about his son Steve and refused to comment about their relationship. But friends said that he is in an impossible predicament, conflicted over his sense of duty about being a loyal father and his concern as a citizen that President Trump is bad for America."

David McCullough Is a Crap Historian. Rebecca Onion of Slate reviews his book on the history -- okay, make that "hagiographic platitudes" -- about the settlement of the Northwest Territory. "Its success (it is No. 10 on Amazon’s best-seller list for books, as of Friday) shows how big the gap between critical history and the “popular history” that makes it to best-seller lists, Costco, and Target remains.” Mrs. McC: Onion doesn't mention it, but I get the impression all the "settling" was done by men; apparently the women's tasks were of no account. Somehow I don't think most of the "ladies" sat around drinking tea & doing needlepoint in their pretty parlors.

Guardian: "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have introduced their newborn son to the world and revealed he is to be called Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. The name was announced shortly after the Queen met her eighth great-grandchild for the first time at Windsor Castle, where earlier the couple showed him off to the cameras."

Guardian: “The Duchess of Sussex has given birth to a baby son, weighing 7lbs 3oz. Mother and child were both doing well, Buckingham Palace announced. The Duke of Sussex was present for the birth, which happened at 5.26am on Monday. The child is seventh in line to the throne, and an eighth great-grandchild for the 93-year-old Queen.”

Washington Post: "Cheap Chinese caviar is flooding the U.S. market, causing prices to plummet, and with it, the product’s cachet. Wholesale prices have fallen more than 50 percent since 2012, down 13 percent just in the past year. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the import price has gone from $850,000 per ton in January 2012 to $350,000 per ton in November 2018." Mrs. McC: This makes me very happy. I love caviar (I've only had the cheaper kind), but I seldom buy it because of the expense. I have some in the pantry now, but I'm going to check the price at the grocery store now in hopes it's something I can enjoy more often. Status symbol? I couldn't care less.

New York Times: "Pulitzer Prizes were awarded on Monday [April 15] to news organizations that uncovered instances of malfeasance and outright fraud in President Trump’s financial past, a nod to journalists’ perseverance in the face of the president’s ever-sharper attacks on a free press. The New York Times received the explanatory reporting prize for an 18-month investigation that revealed how the future president and his relatives avoided paying roughly half a billion dollars’ worth of taxes. The Wall Street Journal won the national reporting prize for disclosing clandestine payoffs by the president’s associates to two women who were said to have had affairs with Mr. Trump in the weeks before the 2016 election. The South Florida Sun Sentinel won the prize for public service, considered the most prestigious of the Pulitzers, for documenting the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. The paper’s in-depth articles revealed a series of failures by local officials and law enforcement that, the paper wrote, cost children their lives."

Medlar's Sports Report. New York Times: "Tiger Woods’s comeback from personal and professional adversity is complete: He captured his fifth Masters title and his 15th major tournament on Sunday, snapping a championship drought of nearly 11 years. It was a monumental triumph for Woods, a magical, come-from-behind win for a player who had not won a major championship since his personal life began to unravel on Thanksgiving night in 2009, when a marital dispute led to a car accident and a succession of lurid tabloid headlines. On the golf course, he had a series of back and leg injuries that led to an addiction to painkillers and culminated in pain so searing that, before surgery in 2017, he had questioned whether he could play professionally again." ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: Oh yeah? Trump can beat Tiger any day.

Tom Jones of Poynter picks the top 25 movies ever about journalism.

New York Times: "For 340 days, Scott Kelly circled the Earth aboard the International Space Station, gathering data about himself." His twin brother Mark Kelly, planted on Earth, did the same. "On Thursday..., NASA researchers reported that [Scott Kelly's] body experienced a vast number of changes while in orbit. DNA mutated in some of his cells. His immune system produced a host of new signals. His microbiome gained new species of bacteria. Many of these biological changes seemed harmless, disappearing after he returned to Earth. But others — including genetic mutations and, after his return, declines in cognitive test scores — did not correct themselves, provoking concern among scientists."

Farhad Manjoo of the New York Times: now does his first drafts of columns as well as other traditional writing tasks by speaking into his phone. "I open RecUp, a cloud-connected voice-recording app on my phone.... Every few days, I load the recordings into Descript, an app that bills itself as a “word processor for audio.” Some of my voice memos are more than an hour long, but Descript quickly (and cheaply) transcribes the text, truncates the silences and renders my speech editable and searchable.... New advances — like smarter and more ubiquitous voice assistants; better text-to-speech synthesis; easy-to-use audio and video production apps like Descript and Anchor; and gadgets that burrow the internet into your ears, like Apple’s AirPods and Amazon’s reported forthcoming AirPod clones — point to a profound shift in computing. Soon it might be possible to conduct a large slice of digital life, including work, without being glued to a screen."

New York Times: "In a cave in the Philippines, scientists have discovered a new branch of the human family tree. At least 50,000 years ago, an extinct human species lived on what is now the island of Luzon, researchers reported on Wednesday. It’s possible that Homo luzonensis, as they’re calling the species, stood less than three feet tall. The discovery adds growing complexity to the story of human evolution. It was not a simple march forward, as it once seemed. Instead, our lineage assumed an exuberant burst of strange forms along the way.Our species, Homo sapiens, now inhabits a comparatively lonely world. 'The more fossils that people pull out of the ground, the more we realize that the variation that was present in the past far exceeds what we see in us today,' said Matthew Tocheri, a paleoanthropologist at Lakehead University in Canada, who was not involved in the new discovery."

Monday
Apr222019

The Commentariat -- April 23, 2019

Afternoon Update:

Robert Barnes & Mark Berman of the Washington Post: "The Supreme Court's ideological divide was on full display Tuesday, and it seemed from their questioning that the court's conservatives were likely to defer to the Trump administration on adding a question concerning citizenship to the 2020 Census form sent to every American household. The court's liberal justices were skeptical of the case offered by Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco, who represented the administration. They peppered him with questions, and the exchanges between Francisco and Justice Sonia Sotomayor at times seemed tense.... 'Enumeration is how many people reside here,' Sotomayor said. 'Not how many are citizens.'... [Commerce Secretary Wilbur] Ross has maintained that the information is important for several reasons, including enforcement of the Voting Rights Act." The confederate judges seemed to buy that argument. ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: Too bad Trump broke my hypocrisy meter. The idea of the Trump administration's showing concern for voting rights caps only the conservo-Supremes pretense that their side -- who struck down most of the VRA -- now suddenly propose that supporting voting rights is an excellent argument. The likely outcome is just another piece of wingers' efforts to put their thumbs on the scales of actual voting rights. ...

... The New York Times story, by Adam Liptak, is here.

Darren Samuelsohn, et al., of Politico: "Dozens of overlooked nuggets are buried deep inside the special counsel's 448-page report that raise yet more intriguing questions about Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and shed new light on charges Mueller considered and dropped, who dished on the president, who evaded Mueller's attempts to secure an interview, what happened to the FBI's mysterious counterintelligence investigation and why a Russian Olympic weightlifter mistakenly ended up on the public radar." The reporters highlight some of those "nuggets."

Paul Krugman: "The fact is that the occupant of the White House betrayed his country. And the question everyone is asking is, what will Democrats do about it? But notice that the question is only about Democrats. Everyone (correctly) takes it as a given that Republicans will do nothing. Why? Because the modern G.O.P. is perfectly willing to sell out America if that's what it takes to get tax cuts for the wealthy."

Let's Ask Jared. Allan Smith of NBC News: White House senior adviser Jared Kushner said Tuesday that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation was worse for the country than Russian electoral interference, which he downplayed as 'a couple of Facebook ads.' Speaking at the Time 100 Summit, Kushner ... was asked repeatedly about Mueller's report."

Michael Schmidt of the New York Times: "Mr. Trump and his surrogates began attacking [former White House counsel Don] McGahn shortly after the report by ... Robert S. Mueller III revealed he was the chief witness to the president's attempts to undermine the inquiry. In an interview on Monday..., Rudy Giuliani challenged Mr. McGahn's motives and memory and accused investigators of ignoring inconsistencies in his assertions.... Mr. Giuliani acknowledged that he was amping up attacks on Mr. McGahn in an attempt to undermine the Mueller report as Democrats called for their congressional leaders to use it as a basis for impeachment proceedings."

Mike Memoli & Allan Smith of NBC News: "Former Vice President Joe Biden will announce his presidential bid on Thursday morning with an online video, two sources close to Biden with direct knowledge of the planning confirmed to NBC News."

Jim Tankersley of the New York Times reviews some of the extreme sexist writings of Stephen Moore, whom Donald Trump has said he would nominate for the Federal Reserve board. Maybe not the most disgusting, but the most on-point, since part of the Fed's mandate is to "promote effectively the goals of maximum employment," is this: "His more recent writings include an early version of what has become a popular argument among some conservative media figures, such as the Fox News host Tucker Carlson, that rising wages for women could have adverse consequences for men, and society. In 2014, Mr. Moore critiqued a Democratic proposal to combat gender discrimination in a column for National Review. 'The crisis in America today isn't about women's wages; it's about men's wages,' he wrote."

Dave Philipps of the New York Times: "Navy SEAL commandos from Team 7's Alpha Platoon said they had seen their highly decorated platoon chief commit shocking acts in Iraq. And they had spoken up, repeatedly. But their frustration grew as months passed and they saw no sign of official action. Tired of being brushed off, seven members of the platoon called a private meeting with their troop commander in March 2018 at Naval Base Coronado near San Diego. According to a confidential Navy criminal investigation report obtained by The New York Times, they gave him the bloody details and asked for a formal investigation. But ... the troop commander and his senior enlisted aide -- both longtime comrades of the accused platoon leader, Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher -- warned the seven platoon members that speaking out could cost them and others their careers, according to the report." Among the heinous crimes the men accused Gallagher of committing: "Stabbing a defenseless teenage captive to death. Picking off a school-age girl and an old man from a sniper's roost. Indiscriminately spraying neighborhoods with rockets and machine-gun fire."

New York Times: "The Islamic State claimed responsibility on Tuesday for the Easter Sunday bombings at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, as the government there raised the number of people killed to 321. The group's Amaq news agency called the bombers 'Islamic State fighters.' The government said the bombings might have been in retaliation for the killing of 50 people last month at mosques in New Zealand, and that two Islamist extremist groups might have been involved, not one. The F.B.I. has joined the investigation, officials said, as recriminations continued over the Sri Lanka government's failure to act on warnings that terrorists were planning to attack churches. The country's highest Roman Catholic prelate joined those chastising the government." This is a liveblog.

~~~~~~~~~~

Nicholas Fandos of the New York Times: "Speaker Nancy Pelosi, acknowledging that the Democrats are divided over new findings from Robert S. Mueller III, appeared to urge her caucus to hold off impeaching President Trump for now, even as she denounced his 'highly unethical and unscrupulous behavior.'... In her first extended comments since the release of the special counsel's report last week, Ms. Pelosi counseled caution to Democrats as she tested for cracks among Republicans. In a letter to colleagues, she said, 'Congressional Republicans have an unlimited appetite for' the 'low standards' set by President Trump. 'The G.O.P. should be ashamed of what the Mueller report has revealed, instead of giving the president their blessings,' she wrote. But she also urged Democrats not to put a specific punishment -- namely impeachment -- ahead of lining up the facts.... Underscoring the alternative avenues, the Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee announced Monday afternoon that it had issued a subpoena to compel Donald F. McGahn II, the former White House counsel, to appear at a public hearing in late May." ...

... Rachel Bade & Karoun Demirjian of the Washington Post: "In an evening conference call, the [House Democratic] leaders ... told rank-and-file lawmakers -- who were ... back in their districts for a two-week congressional recess -- that investigative committees would continue their inquiries and see where they lead. Even House Financial Services Chairman Maxine Waters, who last week warned that 'Congress' failure to impeach is complacency in the face of the erosion of our democracy and constitutional norms,' did not push the matter.... Some House Democrats pushed back on the leadership decision on the call, arguing that Congress has a duty to impeach the president. Judiciary panel member Val Demings (D-Fla.), for example, argued that as someone with more than 25 years of experience in law enforcement, she thought the House had enough evidence to proceed now." ...

... Mrs. Bea McCrabbie: BTW, Madame Speaker, after House Republicans impeached Bill Clinton for under-the-desk misdemeanors, the GOP lost net-two House seats in the next Congressional election. That's two, Nancy. Two.

The Obsessed. Matthew Choi of Politico: "... Donald Trump undertook a retweeting blitz on Monday night, surfacing 24 posts in about 30 minutes that went back as far as a year and covered topics from the Mueller report to Easter festivities at the White House.... The rapid-fire retweets stood out for their sheer number and range. Among them were comments from Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, on Joe Biden's election history; a series of posts from conservative commentator Tom Fitton decrying the Mueller investigation; and a message of condolence from Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) for the victims of the Sunday terrorist attack in Sri Lanka.... The most common topic, however, was special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.... Since Attorney General William Barr released a redacted version of Mueller's report last week, the president has increasingly portrayed himself as the victim of an illegal investigation." ...

     ... Update: According to MSNBC, Trump has tweeted & retweeted more than 50 times, beginning Monday night. What a nut.

Katie Galiato of Politico: "... Donald Trump on Monday insisted that 'nobody disobeys my orders,' apparently disputing the assertion from special counsel Robert Mueller's report that that his former White House counsel twice refused to follow through on the president's order to dismiss Mueller. Trump issued the declaration ... during a brief exchange with reporters at Monday's White House Easter egg roll. It was the first time the president has answered reporters' questions since Mueller released his report ... last week." Mrs. McC: "Nobody disobeys my orders" is the best authoritarian statement coming out of the White House since then Secretary of State Al Haig, following the shooting of Ronald Reagan, declared "I am in control here." Congratulations, Donald. And BTW, you were both lying. (Also linked yesterday afternoon.) ...

... Aaron Blake of the Washington Post: "By essentially ignoring the boss on potentially obstructive acts, the narrative holds, Trump aides may have saved Trump from himself. Needless to say, this is not the kind of narrative a proud man like Trump prefers. So, he did what he always does on stuff like this: Deny it, no matter how ridiculous that denial might be.... The Mueller report includes many instances of aides declining to carry out Trump's orders.... It's worth running through which ones actually involved orders that aides disobeyed." Blake lists 15 instances in which Trump ordered aides to do something, & they ignored the orders. The list includes some "previously known incidents of top aides declining to carry out Trump's orders." ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: Back when we had real presidents, you may recall that top aides & department heads who objected to their presidents' orders, resigned their posts rather than weakening the presidents by defying orders. This President* is so feeble that staff & Cabinet members quite often just don't do the crazy, illegal things he tells them to do.

Isn't it amazing that the people who were closest to me, by far, and knew the Campaign better than anyone, were never even called to testify before Mueller. The reason is that the 18 Angry Democrats knew they would all say "NO COLLUSION" and only very good things! -- Donald Trump, in a tweet Monday

The president is wrong on multiple counts here. Plenty of people close to him, including in his own family, interviewed with Mueller's team or were at least asked to appear. And of those who did, some said not very good things about their interactions with the president.... The White House has not yet said to whom Trump was referring in his tweet. -- Eric Tucker of the AP

** "The Picture of Dorian Trump." Garrett Graff of Wired: "... as Mueller laid out in his 448-page report, Trump's behavior ... makes clear that Trump was not simply a 'useful idiot,' a clueless pawn manipulated to Russia's ends. It's worse than that. Mueller paints a detailed, consistent, and compelling portrait of a man so immoral that while campaigning ... he 'expected' to benefit from an attack by America's leading traditional adversary, even asking publicly for more help from Russia; a man who promised to 'make America great again' but who was so unpatriotic that his campaign fielded numerous inquiries and offers of help from Russia, without ever once contacting law enforcement or US intelligence; a man who swore to uphold the Constitution at his inauguration, but was so insecure that despite evidently not even doing anything wrong, his first instinct was to obstruct the justice process repeatedly...." Read on.

Dana Milbank: "After two years of investigation, Mueller's findings about Team Trump can be roughly summarized as follows: Too stupid to conspire. Too incompetent to obstruct. These findings are entirely consistent with what I've found covering the Trump campaign and administration. I'd submit only one addendum: Too dumb to govern.... Mueller captured the essence of Trump. Some of Trump's actions are hateful, some are ideological and some stretch the bounds of constitutionality. But above all, Trump is bumbling.... Trump, with his 'enemy of the people' shtick, might talk like Joseph Stalin, but -- fortunately -- he governs more like Homer Simpson."

Chuck Todd, et al., of NBC News: "The Mueller report makes a damning case about Trump's dishonesty: One of the unmistakable takeaways after reading the Mueller report is how the president of the United States wasn't honest with the American public when it came to Russia and the entire Russia probe. During the 2016 campaign and afterward, Trump raised doubts that Russia really interfered in the election.... Trump denied that Putin and Russia wanted him to win.... Trump said he had no business ties with Russia.... Trump and his team said former FBI Director James Comey was fired because of his handling of the Clinton email investigation.... And Trump wasn't forthcoming -- especially early on -- about that June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians." (Also linked yesterday afternoon.)

Ashley Parker & Josh Dawsey of the Washington Post: "The events of the past week, following the release of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's dramatic 448-page report, are threatening to redefine the legal and ethical standards that have long served as constraints on the American presidency. And they suggest that few, if any, of the traditional guardrails that have kept Trump's predecessors in check remain for this president and possibly those who will follow him.... President Trump repeatedly tried to undermine the Russia investigation, but the special counsel overseeing the probe declined to say whether he broke the law -- and the attorney general declared that he had committed no crime. Trump's campaign showed a willingness to work with a foreign power -- something his personal lawyer now insists is perfectly okay. And Trump has furiously rejected congressional scrutiny of his presidency -- taking the unprecedented step Monday of suing a Democratic committee chairman to block a subpoena for his financial records."

Jeremy Herb of CNN: "Democrats have rebuffed the Justice Department's offer to see a less-redacted -- but not fully unredacted -- version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report, but that didn't stop... Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, [who] went to the Justice Department Monday morning to read the less-redacted Mueller report in the department's secure spaces. Leaving the department, Collins said nothing he read on Monday changed the results of Mueller's report finding of 'no collusion' and deciding no to charge ... Donald Trump for obstruction of justice.... Collins has battled with [Committee Chairman Jerry] Nadler over the subpoena for the full report, and he's sided with [AG William] Barr on the grand jury fight, accusing Democrats of asking the attorney general to break the law by handing over grand jury material.

Manu Raju & Sara Murray of CNN: "The White House has instructed a former official who was in charge of the security clearance process to not comply with a House subpoena demanding his appearance for an interview, the latest move by the Trump administration to thwart Democratic-led investigations into all aspects of the presidency. After a day of tense negotiations, the White House late Monday told the former official, Carl Kline, who now works at the Defense Department, to not appear at Tuesday's deposition, contending that Democrats were seeking access to confidential information that should be off limits. The move raises the prospect that the House Oversight Committee could seek to hold Kline in contempt, a step that Chairman Elijah Cummings warned Monday he would take." ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: What with all these refusals to answer subpoenas, the best thing would be for the House sergeant at arms to lock Trump in the basement of the Capitol building, like the way courts lock up journalists for not revealing their sources. And no Fox "News."

Rebecca Shabad of NBC News: "Lawyers for ... Donald Trump and the Trump Organization are suing House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings to block a subpoena for years of financial records from accounting firm Mazars USA.... Earlier this month, Cummings, D-Md., issued the subpoena to Mazars regarding Trump's finances to corroborate the testimony of his former personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, in February." (Also linked yesterday.)

Steven Shepard of Politico: "... Donald Trump’s approval rating has dropped 5 points, equaling his presidency's low-water mark, since last week's release of the special counsel report into the 2016 election, according to a new Politico/Morning Consult poll. Despite his sinking poll numbers, however, there is little support for removing Trump through the impeachment process, the poll shows. Only 39 percent of voters surveyed in the new poll, which was conducted Friday through Sunday, approve of the job Trump is doing as president. That is down from 44 percent last week and ties Trump's lowest-ever approval rating in Politico/Morning Consult polling -- a 39 percent rating in mid-August 2017, in the wake of violence in Charlottesville, Va.... Only 34 percent of voters believe Congress should begin impeachment proceedings to remove the president from office, down from 39 percent in January. Nearly half, 48 percent, say Congress should not begin impeachment proceedings."

Mrs. McCrabbie: "Here are some of the "prepared"?? remarks Donald Trump made to the kiddies at the annual Easter egg roll yesterday: "We're setting record stock markets. We're setting records with jobs, and unemployment numbers are the lowest they've ever been. Fifty years in many groups, in historically the lowest numbers we've ever had. Regulations, low taxes.... We are completely rebuilding our military. It was very depleted, as you know. A lot of the military folks can tell you, and it is being rebuilt to a level that we have never seen before, all with great product." Remember that time Trump showed up in public with a bloody bandage on his hand & Sarah Liar Sanders claimed the cause of the wound was that "The President was having fun and joking around with his son Barron and scratched his hand"? I don't believe Trump has ever interacted with young children, and he certainly doesn't know how to talk to them: "Unemployment numbers, regulations, low taxes"? And, no, those weird hugs & kisses with then-teenager Ivanka don't count.

Amanda Holpuch of the Guardian: "US detention centers that hold migrant parents and children have been nearly empty for months, despite Donald Trump's administration repeatedly warning that the US-Mexico border is at a 'breaking point' because of the surge in Central American families fleeing poverty and violence. There were nearly 2,000 empty beds in two detention centers last week, with a facility in Dilley, Texas, at 26% capacity and a facility in Berks county, Pennsylvania, at 19% capacity. On 1 April, the third family shelter was temporarily changed into a facility for adult women only. This, combined with reports of aid agencies at the border overwhelmed by the food, shelter and medicine needs of migrants, has advocates warning that the government could be manufacturing a crisis to justify its hardline immigration policies."

Julian Borger of the Guardian: "The US is threatening to veto a United Nations resolution on combatting the use of rape as a weapon of war because of its language on reproductive and sexual health, according to a senior UN official and European diplomats. The German mission hopes the resolution will be adopted at a special UN security council session on Tuesday on sexual violence in conflict. But the draft resolution has already been stripped of one of its most important elements, the establishment of a formal mechanism to monitor and report atrocities, because of opposition from the US, Russia and China, which opposed creating a new monitoring body." Thanks to Aunt Hattie for the link.

All the Best People, Ctd.

Politico: "... Donald Trump said Monday that he would not nominate Herman Cain to the Federal Reserve.... Senate Republicans had warned the White House against naming the businessman and 2012 presidential hopeful to serve on the body's board of governors. 'My friend Herman Cain, a truly wonderful man, has asked me not to nominate him for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board,' Trump tweeted. 'I will respect his wishes. Herman is a great American who truly loves our Country!'" (Also linked yesterday.) ...

... Jim Tankersley & Alan Rappeport of the New York Times: "The decision on Mr. Cain came as the former pizza chain executive battled old charges of sexual harassment that had halted his 2012 presidential campaign. His withdrawal bows to political reality in a moment when Mr. Trump has faced mounting criticism for tapping Trump partisans to join the historically independent Fed. And it moved a spotlight to the other man Mr. Trump has said he wants to put on the Fed, his economic adviser Stephen Moore, who faced scrutiny on Monday for a series of magazine columns that denigrated women, including his then-wife.... White House officials have insisted in recent weeks that Mr. Moore's nomination was on track, despite controversies over a $75,000 tax lien filed against him by the Internal Revenue Service and a judge finding him in contempt of court several years ago for failing to pay more than $300,000 in past-due child support and alimony." ...

... Andrew Kaczynski & Paul LeBlanc of CNN: "One of ... Donald Trump's picks to serve on the Federal Reserve Board has written that women should be banned from refereeing, announcing or beer vending at men's college basketball games, asking if there was any area in life 'where men can take vacation from women.' Stephen Moore ... made those and similar comments in several columns reviewed by CNN's KFile that were published on the website of the conservative National Review magazine in 2001, twice in 2002 and 2003. In a 2000 column, Moore complained about his wife voting for Democrats, writing, 'Women are sooo malleable! No wonder there's a gender gap.' In another column in 2000, Moore criticized female athletes advocating for pay equality, writing that they wanted 'equal pay for inferior work.'... Moore told CNN's KFile in an email, 'This was a spoof. I have a sense of humor.'" (Also linked yesterday afternoon.) ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: There's no indication in Moore's writings from the early 2000s that these were jokes or "spoofs." He later defended some of his written remarks by making more super-sexist comments. ...

Davis Richardson of the Bulwark (an anti-Trump confederate publication): "Stephen Moore ... has met considerable criticism for his unconventional views on the gold standard, his comments like 'capitalism is a lot more important than democracy' and his overt partisanship. But there's more. Outside of the realm of economics, the Fed nominee spent the past year cozying up with nefarious far-right creatures, raising questions over whether it's all part of the MAGA grift or something more sinister." Richardson provides specifics.

Presidential Race 2020

Stephanie Murray of Politico: "Five presidential hopefuls squared off in back-to-back televised town halls on Monday night, showing divides in how each Democratic candidate wants to address issues ranging from student debt to the possible impeachment of President Donald Trump. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., took turns on the stage during the event, hosted by CNN, at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H.... Here are some of the highlights of the evening[.]"

Steve Peoples & Hunter Woodall of the AP: "California Sen. Kamala Harris joined the call for ... Donald Trump's impeachment on Monday as five leading Democratic presidential contenders clashed in a series of prime-time town hall meetings that exposed deep divisions in a party desperate to end the Trump presidency."


Special Shoutout
to confederate opinionator Philip Klein of the Washington Examiner, who writes, "In the escalating battle of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to see who can offer the most free stuff, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has taken the extraordinary step of calling for having the government forgive student loan debt. This pander ... will be a slap in the face to those who have already struggled to pay off their student loans without government assistance." That's similar to saying that the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery was "a slap in the face to those who" escaped slavery by some other means or were born subsequent to passage of the Amendment. A big reason people are "conservative" is they just can't stand the idea of other people getting breaks they didn't get. (Also linked yesterday afternoon.)

Josh Gerstein of Politico: "The Supreme Court has agreed to take up a set of high-profile cases involving gay rights and the rights of transgender people in the workplace. The justices announced Monday that they will consider whether existing federal law banning employment-related sex discrimination also prohibits discriminating against individuals on the basis of sexual orientation or because they are transgender.... The cases are expected to be argued in the fall." (Also linked yesterday afternoon.)

Simon Romero of the New York Times: "Before the F.B.I. arrested Larry Hopkins, the leader of the right-wing militia that detained migrant families in the New Mexico desert, he'd had so many run-ins with the law that his police record stretched across much of the United States.... Mr. Hopkins finally came under the scrutiny of federal authorities in 2017, after the F.B.I. received reports that his group was 'training' to assassinate Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and George Soros, according to documents unsealed Monday in federal court." Mrs. McC: Your typical Trump supporter.

Reader Comments (15)

Re: “nobody disobeys my orders”

What perfect modeling for all of those kiddies and their accompanying adults at the Easter Egg Roll.

Likewise, having Sarah Slanders indoctrinate her young audience, if lacklusterly. (Yet imagine HuckaDaddy was still proud.)

I may have heard the very first authentic words pass from those lyin’ lips when, after asking “Are you guys cold?” (the children replied “Yeah”) she said “Me too”. Aiyup. A very warm madonna, she.

(Experienced mental whiplash trying to tally the Jesuses enunciated per hastily turned page. But enjoyed a hearty laugh when one child, in full camera frame, stood up and exited before the grand finale.)

April 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAuntHattie

“US threatens to veto UN resolution on rape as weapon of war, officials say” | United Nations | The Guardian

Thanks oh so very much, Donnie.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/22/us-un-resolution-rape-weapon-of-war-veto

April 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAuntHattie

@Aunt Hattie: Hats off to you for giving us the Easter Egg roll out in such a colorful way. Last year Trump gave a similar speech to the kiddies–-no one? not even his wife would remind him that talking to children is different than talking to adults?

But it was the link you gave us re: the U.S. threatening to veto a U.N. resolution on combatting the use of rape as a weapon of war. "We used to count on the U.S." they said, now the Americans are more in sync with Russia and the Saudi's. This move makes me furious! Do we know whose stinking hands are behind this move?

I remember reading a true story about a German woman who tells her fiancee about how she and her female friends were all raped by Russian soldiers.

"You've all turned into a bunch of shameless bitches," he grimaced in disgust. "It's horrible being around you. You've lost all sense of measure." Then he leaves. She is surprised how little she minds.

I, on the other hand, DO mind that somehow, after all we've been through these past years pertaining to sexual harassment, bright young women gaining House seats and showing their mettle, more women than ever before running for President, we now have our country ready to veto this resolution (it had already been watered down) because some still want to CONTROL our bodies. Makes me sick!

April 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

An addition to above story:

American human rights activist Noor Sheikh said that she was “ashamed” of her home country for undermining the healthcare needs of sexual violence survivors.

“The possibility that the U.S. could veto the resolution is all the more shocking when you consider the contexts described in the report — widespread and systematic gang rapes of Rohingya women and girls in Burma; institutionalized sexual slavery of Yazidi and other minority communities by ISIS in Syria and Iraq; and the rape of young girls in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan by state armed forces and militia groups alike,” Sheikh wrote in a Saturday op-ed.

“Any country denying abortion to women who have become pregnant after rape would be subjecting them to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. By forcing victims of rape to carry the pregnancy caused by their sexual abuse, the U.S. will also be directly contributing to more suffering of countless victims of such violence,” she added.

April 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

Me too, PD. My mother, the feminist before it was popular, would not even recognize this country. She was a great believer in the UN as an institution greatly needed by the world, and it was a source of pride that the US was such a leader for standing up for the poor and downtrodden, the ones in need of justice. You'd think that even the members of that other party would call this one out, but I guess you'd be wrong. They don't do a thing that could be construed as bucking the lunatic at the controls... Again, I'm sure this will "deeply trouble" Susan Collins...

April 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJeanne

Ditto, PD et Jeanne!

I learn much from (second hand) “the front lines”: One of my dearest friends works for the UN. (The guy’s walked through mine fields, teaching how to identify and diffuse those merciless killers / mame-ers whose “shelf life” is infinite.)

He’s been deeply involved with issues of world population and reproductive health - - bearing witness to testimonials from women who have been conflict-collateral (raped). And then discarded by their fellow-nationals as tarnished goods. And, should these women give birth as a result, both children and mothers become personae non gratae.

Once again, thank you so very much Donnie. My gratitude, as well, extends to your international BFF’s.

April 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAuntHattie

The Children's Hour

I had it in mind, given the Trumpster's astonishing lack of the slightest ability to interact in any meaningful way with children, to work up Longfellow's sweet paean to fatherhood as a satire with Trump as the dad, but I couldn't do it. Trump defaces everything he touches and far be it from me to abuse such a lovely poem by including the narcissistic, thin-skinned, ignorant shadow of this thuggish clown.

His address to children (at an Easter egg event, fer crissakes!) had little to do with anything else but the topic that dominates Trump's every waking moment: himself. But as with his address to a gathering of Boy Scouts a couple of years ago, during which he regaled the youngsters with tales of "hot parties" in New York City, to which he was invited, of course, because, well, isn't it obvious, his concerns had nothing to do with the young people in attendance. He raved about himself and ranted about his enemies, and talked about "hot" people. To the Boy Scouts.

One can never forget that Trump is always talking to one group, and no one else, no matter who is sitting in front of him: his base. If he has to talk over, around, and under an audience of children and parents, he does it, because his topic is always the same, himself, his wonderfulness, his grievances, his hatreds, his exultation at being The Donald, and his audience is always the Trump voters.

Reading over the Children's Hour once again, I just didn't have the heart to tear it apart, even as a joke, by replacing Longfellow's loving and tender daddy, eyes glinting as he hears his daughters descend the stairs in an attempt to surprise him with hugs and kisses, enveloping them in his heart for all time, with the smirking, salacious, self-absorbed, hateful figure who lives for nothing and no one but himself.

But he likely does see himself as a father figure of sorts, to his own "children", his base, with whom he communes in regular orgies of adoration (on their part) and self-congratulations (on his). He promises them vengeance, he denounces their enemies and gives his word that they will suffer.

And as he peers out from his perch in the White House, he could, if he cared to look, spy a sea of arms waving in his direction, arms of all the Americans he considers beneath him, or his enemies, or those simply unworthy of his god-like attention. Likely, if he deigned to look, he'd imagine they were all cheering for him. But as another poet, Stevie Smith, once put it, if one cared to look more carefully, those people are "not waving, but drowning".

Life in Trump's Amerika. Not waving, but drowning.

April 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

The Children's Hour, cont.

It's no surprise that Trump is threatening to vote down a UN resolution decrying rape used as a weapon. Of course he will. Those horrible UN libs aren't taking into account Trump's base who will have no mention of sexual and reproductive health.

So in order to satisfy his base that no mention of reproductive health, which could include options for abortions for women raped repeatedly and viciously (serves them right!), he will condemn thousands more women to this fate.

Last year he arm-twisted other countries that were attempting to push for breastfeeding of babies because his pals in American industries that make baby formula were pissed. Let's not allow poor women the option of a healthy baby as long as there's a chance that Trump's billionaire pals might not make as much money off their misery.

What is human suffering compared to votes and donations for Trump?

Despicable doesn't come close.

April 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

I think we are over and over again aghast that one person can have zero redeeming qualities, and grab everything in sight and use to praise himself. ...the best economy EVAH and also, he has single-handedly rebuilt the entire military-industrial complex... People like this exist in literature, but not in the White House. That's why we are amazed and upset daily. He's not just larger than life-- he degrades life with everything he touches. We remain in an uproar of chagrin because he even exists.

April 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJeanne

Same ol', same ol'.

Among the many laughable lies told by Rudy the Mob Lawyer over the weekend is a retread of one of Trump's hoariest cons, the "We have our own (report, plan, legislation, version of whatever) ready to go at any moment".

In this case, it's Trump's very own version of the Mueller report, this time, all true, because it's written by Trump hacks. Or would be, if they actually had anything to show.

We saw the same thing with healthcare. "Greatest plan in the world...ready in two days!" or more often "all ready to go".

They're constantly pretending that they've actually done some work and have it "all ready to go". Funnily enough, no one ever sees these amazing documents.

Trumpbots still buy his bullshit, apparently, so he'll keep on selling it.

April 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Too stupid to even be funny...

Even as Trump and his lackeys in congress and the right-wing media echo chamber deny that any obstruction ever took place, he orders his underlings to obstruct legal, valid, and necessary congressional investigations.

"No obstruction! Hey, you guys over there, don't give those Democrats in congress shit. Don't even answer the phone. We'll show them to talk about obstruction! Let them subpoena us, we'll break every law in the book if we have to."

April 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

@Akhilleus: You have to give Rudy a lot of credit for coming up with a great way to make a million dollars (give or take) without doing squat.

First, get a scummy client who can't read. Tell him you're writing a vital 150-page (or whatever) rebuttal to accusations against him. Then tell him it would be better to keep it short & rack up more billable billable hours pretending to winnow down the long-form report to 50 pages (or so). Then tell the client the report isn't necessary because he's been totally exonerated! Then send the million-dollar bill to the client's campaign. Collect the money.

April 23, 2019 | Registered CommenterMrs. Bea McCrabbie

In a US Navy clinic, at the time just after Pol Pot, they used to take in the Laotian and Cambodian refugees who had been given asylum in the US. All of the men had had injuries of their heads and all of the women had been raped. Each came to the clinic for treatment of their headaches caused by their different traumas.
In the clinic there was a waiting room with an urn for tea. The women were offered help for the trauma, but they would never talk about that. Their issues were that, even in the US, they were repudiated by their husbands because they had been raped. They needed support, and no one spoke the various languages they spoke. After a while, a social worker noticed that the women were coming in and having tea with each other, even on days when they didn't have appointments. The waiting room was the support they created for each other.
Women will find a way.
The UN has said for years that in wartime, women are raped. Of course this is an important issue to work with. The US threat to veto this is unnecessary cruelty. Typical Trump.
May the Evil Eye crush him.

April 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria

Here's "a couple." Jared:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/30/technology/facebook-google-russia.html?

One hundred twenty six million--and that's just Facebook.

April 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes

Victoria -

Thank you for sharing this visceral narrative. Such attitudes still prevail in our so-called non-Third World nations. And this crime continues to touch (too) many, either by way of personal knowledge of such women or being, oneself, a victim of assault.

As PD noted, one would hope / expect that, by this juncture, attitudes would have changed. But female battery - supported by misogynistic (and superstitious) belief systems, which blame, physically hide, mutilate and segregate women - prevails.

Now, to generate mood-lifting endorphins. Grateful to have had time and attention to more deeply delve into / with RC today.

Peace

April 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAuntHattie
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