The Wires
The Ledes

Sunday, September 15, 2019.

New York Times: "Juanita Abernathy, who helped organize the Montgomery bus boycott and took part in other pivotal protests at the outset of the civil rights era alongside the Rev. Dr. Ralph Abernathy, her husband and a leader of the movement, died on Thursday at a hospital in Atlanta. She was 88."

Public Service Announcement

September 5: Washington Post: "State and federal health officials investigating mysterious lung illnesses linked to vaping have found the same chemical in samples of marijuana products used by people sickened in different parts of the country and who used different brands of products in recent weeks. The chemical is an oil derived from vitamin E. Investigators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found the oil in cannabis products in samples collected from patients who fell ill across the United States. FDA officials shared that information with state health officials during a telephone briefing this week, according to several officials who took part in the call." The NPR story is here.

New York Times: "A solid 18-karat gold toilet, titled 'America' by its creator, Maurizio Cattelan, was stolen early Saturday [September 14] from an exhibit at Blenheim Palace, the Oxfordshire birthplace and family home of Winston Churchill.... The artwork is based on a common Kohler toilet and was created by a foundry in Florence. The work’s value was not disclosed, but [Guggenheim artistic director Nancy] Spector described it as 'millions of dollars’ worth of gold.'... The police said in a statement that they were investigating the burglary and that a 66-year-old man had been arrested but not charged. The toilet has not been recovered. Jess Milne, a detective inspector, noted that the toilet had been plumbed to the building, so the theft 'caused significant damage and flooding.' He said the police believed a 'group of offenders' using at least two vehicles was behind the theft." the Hill's story is here.

Modern Art. CNN: "Hillary Clinton's emails ... have become art -- and the former secretary of state herself went to take a look.The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee looked through printed copies of her emails and sat at a replica of the Oval Office's Resolute Desk during a visit Tuesday to an art exhibit in Venice, Italy, titled 'HILLARY: The Hillary Clinton Emails,' according to the exhibit's creator and curators. 'Hillary Clinton spent an hour yesterday reading her emails at my exhibition of all 62,000 pages of them in Venice,' American poet and artist Kenneth Goldsmith tweeted Wednesday. 'She is pictured here at a replica of the Oval Office Resolute Desk, stacked with her emails.' Francesco Urbano Ragazzi -- the collective name for two men who are working as the exhibit's curatorial team -- told CNN that Clinton came in for a private tour of the exhibit Tuesday morning."

... Related Washington Post story here.

     ... Thanks to NJC for the lead.

Washington Post: "the 2019 U.S. Gymnastics Championships were no different — especially Sunday night, the final night of the two-day [U.S. Gymnastics Championships]..., [Simone] Biles aced a skill no other woman (and only two men in the world) has successfully landed in competition — a triple-twisting, double somersault that capped the first tumbling pass of her floor routine like a cymbal crash":

 

Washington Post: White Southern plantation visitors who pay good money "to learn about the history of life on a plantation" are very upset guides mention slavery. Mrs. McCrabbie's recommendation: put on your MAGA caps & hoop skirts, watch the first 10 minutes of "Gone with the Wind," & practice saying "Fiddle-dee-dee."

Here's one for contributor Jeanne. "Margaret Atwood joins Deborah Treisman to read and discuss 'Corrie,' by Alice Munro, from a 2010 issue of the [New Yorker] magazine":

Nick Schager in the Daily Beast: "Premiering on Netflix and in select theaters on July 24, The Great Hack is the most enraging, terrifying and — I don’t use this term lightly — important documentary of the year. Directed by Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim..., its subject is the Cambridge Analytica data scandal—a story that’s galling on the surface, and infinitely more bone-chilling when one considers its far-reaching ramifications. That’s because Cambridge Analytica’s deceptive and criminal relationship with, and conduct on, Mark Zuckerberg’s social media platform had world-altering consequences: helping launch the Brexit movement, and successfully aiding the election campaign of Donald Trump.” 

Guardian: “The businessman Arron Banks and the unofficial Brexit campaign Leave.EU have issued a legal threat against streaming giant Netflix in relation to The Great Hack, a new documentary about the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the abuse of personal data. The threat comes as press freedom campaigners and charity groups warn the government in an open letter that UK courts are being used to 'intimidate and silence' journalists working in the public interest. In a joint letter to key cabinet members, they call for new legislation to stop 'vexatious lawsuits', highlighting one filed last week by Banks against campaigning journalist Carole Cadwalladr.”

Friday
Sep062019

The Commentariat -- September 7, 2019

Kyle Cheney, et al., of Politico: "The House Judiciary Committee is preparing to take its first formal vote to define what Chairman Jerry Nadler calls an ongoing 'impeachment investigation' of ... Donald Trump, according to multiple sources briefed on the discussions. The panel could vote as early as Wednesday on a resolution to spell out the parameters of its investigation. The precise language is still being hammered out inside the committee and with House leaders. A draft of the resolution is expected to be release Monday morning."

The Most Corrupt President* in U.S. History, Ctd.

** The Turnberry Grift. Natasha Bertrand & Bryan Bender of Politico: "In early Spring of this year, an Air National Guard crew made a routine trip from the U.S. to Kuwait to deliver supplies. What wasn't routine was where the crew stopped along the way: ... Donald Trump's Turnberry resort, about 50 miles outside Glasgow, Scotland. Since April, the House Oversight Committee has been investigating why the crew on the C-17 military transport plane made the unusual stay -- both en route to the Middle East and on the way back -- at the luxury waterside resort, according to several people familiar with the incident. But they have yet to receive any answers from the Pentagon. The inquiry is part of a broader, previously unreported probe into U.S. military expenditures at and around the Trump property in Scotland. According to a letter the panel sent to the Pentagon in June, the military has spent $11 million on fuel at the Prestwick Airport -- the closest airport to Trump Turnberry -- since October 2017, fuel that would be cheaper if purchased at a U.S. military base. The letter also cites a Guardian report that the airport provided cut-rate rooms and free rounds of golf at Turnberry for U.S. military members. Taken together, the incidents raise the possibility that the military has helped keep Trump's Turnberry resort afloat -- the property lost $4.5 million in 2017, but revenue went up $3 million in 2018.... The potential involvement of the military takes the issue to a different level.... Prestwick Airport has long been debt-ridden. The Scottish government bought it in 2013 for £1, but it has continued to lose money in the years since. In June, the government announced its intent to sell the airport, which the panel's letter described as 'integral' to the success of the Turnberry property, 30 miles away."

The Doonbeg & Doral Grifts. Nicholas Fandos of the New York Times: "House Democrats, furious over President Trump's continued promotion of his branded properties for government business, said on Friday that they would scrutinize whether two recent cases would violate the Constitution's ban on presidents profiting from domestic or foreign governments. Two chairmen acting in tandem [-- Elijah Cummings of the House Oversight Committee & Jerry Nadler of the House Judiciary Committee --] sent letters to the White House, the Secret Service and the Trump Organization asking for documents and communications related to Vice President Mike Pence's decision to stay this week at Mr. Trump's resort in Ireland during an official visit, as well as Mr. Trump's recent statements promoting Trump National Doral, near Miami, as a possible site for the Group of 7 summit of world leaders next year.... The Constitution's emoluments clauses prohibit presidents from accepting any payment from federal, state or foreign governments beyond their official salary.... Nadler ... said his committee was considering potential violations of the ban on profiting from the presidency as part of its impeachment investigation." ...

... Kevin Breuninger of CNBC: "House Democrats are investigating Vice President Mike Pence's stay at ... Donald Trump's golf resort in Ireland, as well as Trump's recent promotion of another property he owns as a possible venue for the next G-7 summit. In letters made public Friday, leaders of two Democrat-led House committees requested documents and other information from the White House, the Secret Service and the Trump Organization about the two matters. Both committees raised concerns about possible violations of the Constitution's so-called emoluments clauses, which bar federal officials from accepting payments from foreign governments or profiting beyond their salaries." (Also linked yesterday.) ...

... Elizabeth Warren Is Still Doing Her Day Job. Kimberly Atkins of WBU Boston: "Sen. Elizabeth Warren is demanding the State Department disclose its role in Vice President Mike Pence's trip this week to meet with Irish leaders in Dublin, which included a stay at the Trump International Hotel in Doonbeg, some 175 miles away. 'This is only the latest instance in which government officials, companies or special interest groups have patronized the President's hotels - enriching the President and his family - in numerous cases, with taxpayer funds,' Warren wrote in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, obtained by WBUR." (Also linked yesterday.)

** The Ukraine Shakedown. Worse than RussiaGate. Washington Post Editors: Despite his sweeping plan to instate pro-Western reforms, Ukraine's new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, "has so far failed to win the backing of President Trump.... Mr. Trump ... has suspended the delivery of $250 million in U.S. military aid to a country still fighting Russian aggression in its eastern provinces. Some suspect Mr. Trump is once again catering to Mr. Putin, who is dedicated to undermining Ukrainian democracy and independence. But we're reliably told that the president has a second and more venal agenda: He is attempting to force Mr. Zelensky to intervene in the 2020 U.S. presidential election by launching an investigation of the leading Democratic candidate, Joe Biden. Mr. Trump is not just soliciting Ukraine's help with his presidential campaign; he is using U.S. military aid the country desperately needs in an attempt to extort it.... The White House claims Mr. Trump suspended Ukraine's military aid in order for it be reviewed. But, as CNN reported, the Pentagon has already completed the study and recommended that the hold be lifted. Yet Mr. Trump has not yet acted."

Still Crazy After All These Days. Caitlin Oprysko of Politico: "The president on Friday continued to defend his misleading prognostication for the path of Hurricane Dorian, assailing the news media and in the process, digging in and reviving the controversy for a sixth day. 'The Fake News Media was fixated on the fact that I properly said, at the beginnings of Hurricane Dorian, that in addition to Florida & other states, Alabama may also be grazed or hit.' Trump said in a series of tweets. 'They went Crazy, hoping against hope that I made a mistake (which I didn't). Check out maps. This nonsense has never happened to another President,' he continued, complaining that he'd been subjected to 'four days of corrupt reporting, still without an apology. But there are many things that the Fake News Media has not apologized to me for, like the Witch Hunt, or SpyGate!'... Despite Trump's assertion that he'd originally suggested Alabama could be 'grazed or hit,' the nearly weeklong controversy originated in a Sunday tweet that declared Alabama was among a handful of Southeastern states that 'will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated.' The National Weather Service almost immediately debunked the president's claim, but he repeated the assertion twice more that day...." (Also linked yesterday.) ...

     ... Update. The NOAA Strong-arm. Peter Baker & Sarah Mervosh of the New York Times: "Late Friday afternoon, the parent agency of the National Weather Service issued a statement declaring that its Birmingham, Ala., office was wrong to dispute the president's warning that Alabama 'will most likely be hit' by the hurricane despite forecasts to the contrary. 'The Birmingham National Weather Service's Sunday morning tweet spoke in absolute terms that were inconsistent with probabilities from the best forecast products available at the time,' the parent agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, said in the statement. Neither the White House nor NOAA responded to inquiries about whether the statement was issued at the direction or in consultation with the president's aides. But it followed a concerted effort by Mr. Trump and his team to use the levers of government to back up a presidential claim that has been widely discredited and ridiculed, including posting outdated weather maps and having his homeland security adviser issue a statement backing him." ...

     ... Justine Coleman of the Hill: "The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a statement Friday evening disavowing a days-old tweet from the National Weather Service that contradicted President Trump over the reach of Hurricane Dorian. The NOAA statement ... was unsigned and posted to the agency's website on Friday...." Emphasis added. Mrs. McC: NOAA is an agency within the Commerce Department. I'd say Wilbur Ross bowed to His Dimwittedness. And if you think the "deep state" -- a/k/a ordinary public servants -- won't bend to political pressure, then read the next linked story about the DOJ's "inquiry" into auto companies agreeing to meet California's emissions standards. ...

     ... Jason Samenow, et al., of the Washington Post: "The federal agency that oversees the National Weather Service has sided with President Trump over its own scientists in the ongoing controversy over whether Alabama was at risk of a direct hit from Hurricane Dorian.... The NOAA statement Friday makes no reference to the fact that when Trump tweeted that Alabama was at risk, it was not in the National Hurricane Center's 'cone of uncertainty,' which is where forecasters determine the storm is most likely to track. Alabama also had not appeared in the cone in days earlier, and no Hurricane Center text product ever mentioned the state.... Many meteorologists, recognizing Alabama was at no risk, expressed their ire on Twitter, stating Trump should have instead focused on communicating Dorian's hazards to the Southeast coast and dispensed with his preoccupation with Alabama."

The DOJ Bootlick. Hiroko Tabuchi & Coral Davenport of the New York Times: "The Justice Department has opened an antitrust inquiry into the four major automakers that struck a deal with California this year to reduce automobile emissions, according to people familiar with the matter, escalating a standoff over one of the president's most significant rollbacks of climate regulations. In July, four automakers -- Ford Motor Company, Volkswagen of America, Honda and BMW -- announced that they had reached an agreement in principle with California on emissions standards stricter than those being sought by the White House. The announcement came as an embarrassment for the Trump administration, which assailed the move as a' P.R. stunt.'... The investigation comes amid a battle over the Trump administration's effort to drastically roll back Obama-era rules intended to reduce emissions from cars and light trucks that contribute to global warming, a rollback that major automakers have publicly opposed.... Legal experts and people close to the Trump administration agreed that the investigation was meant as a show of force to companies that have displeased the president." ...

     ... Joe Nocera of Bloomberg: "I don't know how else you can characterize the news, reported by the Wall Street Journal on Friday, that the DOJ is investigating four major automakers that agreed to abide by California's stringent tailpipe-emissions standards -- and chose to ignore less onerous rules the Trump administration has proposed.... The sad degradation of the Department of Justice's antitrust division continues. An agency charged with upholding the nation's antitrust laws, without fear or favor, has become just another tool ... Donald Trump uses to reward his friends and punish his enemies in corporate America.... It could well be true that the White House wasn't consulted before the antitrust division acted. Before he was the named the Justice Department's antitrust chief, Makan Delrahim was the deputy counsel for the Trump White House. Maybe he doesn't have to talk to the White House to intuit what Trump wants. He knows who butters his bread. ...

... MEANWHILE. Jana Winter & Hunter Walker of Yahoo! News: "The FBI is monitoring groups on the border that are protesting U.S. immigration policy, according to a document obtained by Yahoo News.... The note, which was produced by the FBI office in Phoenix and sent to other law enforcement and government agencies, said there are indications these groups are 'increasingly arming themselves and using lethal force to further their goals.' However, almost all of the evidence cited in the report involved nonviolent protest activity. The intelligence collected and cited in the FBI document, dated May 30, 2019, is worrisome to activists and civil rights advocates who say that the government is classifying legitimate government opposition and legally protected speech as violent extremism or domestic terrorism.... The FBI intelligence note described the border protest activity as coming from 'anarchist extremists.'" --s ...

... MEANWHILE. "Twitter's Own Uriah Heep." Virginia Heffernan of the Los Angeles Times: "Rod Rosenstein, the former deputy attorney general once known for setting the Trump-Russia investigation in motion, retired in May. After a long career as a public servant, he wanted to spend more time with Twitter.... [T]he Rosenstein who shows up on Twitter is the accomplice who stood behind Barr on April 18, immobile and glassy-eyed as Barr extravagantly lied about Mueller's findings.... His tweets have become a punctilious, prickly and mean-spirited, as if he had something to prove, decisions to justify, a guilty conscience.... He's Twitter's own Uriah Heep, insisting he's nothing but a humble servant of justice, all while hitting Trump's enemies with the chops-licking gusto of a partisan hack." --s ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: Rosenstein's Twitter account is here. As Heffernan writes, "To censure [Jim] Comey for sharing a memo about a dangerous president is to miss a galaxy-sized forest for a few twigs." Also, if you don't have an LA Times subscription & don't want to waste one of the few "free articles" on Heffernan, David Choi of Business Insider, in an August 29 post, discusses & links to the Rosenstein-to-Grassley letter re: Comey that features on Heffernan's column. Rosenstein appears to be one of those people who manages to sound like the voice of reason as he violates common sense & marches to the tune of whoever has the loudest band. That's a dangerous skill. Do remember that Rosenstein cut his teeth as a staffer on Ken Starr's investigation of Bill Clinton.

Julie Davis & Michael Shear of the New York Times: "The White House is considering a plan that would keep most refugees who are fleeing war, persecution and famine out of the United States, significantly cutting back a decades-old program, according to current and former administration officials. One option that top officials are weighing would cut refugee admissions by half or more, to 10,000 to 15,000 people, but reserve most of those spots for people from a few countries or from groups with special status, such as Iraqis and Afghans who work alongside American troops, diplomats and intelligence operatives abroad. Another option, proposed by a top administration official [-- John Zadrozny, in the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services --], would reduce refugee admissions to zero, while leaving the president with the ability to admit some in an emergency. Both options would all but end the United States' status as a leader in accepting refugees from around the world.... In a letter to Mr. Trump on Wednesday, some of the nation's most distinguished retired military officers implored the president to reconsider the cuts, taking up the national security argument that [former Defense Secretary Jim] Mattis made when he was at the Pentagon." Mrs. McC: The xenophobes will get together this coming Tuesday to make their decision.

Sam Levin of the Guardian: "Jose Segovia Benitez survived two tours of duty with the US Marine Corps, a bomb blast, and a traumatic brain injury. But the US is not helping him recover. On the contrary, the government may be leading him to his death...The 38-year-old veteran is [in ICE detention] facing deportation to El Salvador, a country he left when he was three years old and where his loved ones fear he could be killed...During his 21 months of detention in the southern California facility, Ice has failed to provide adequate care for Segovia's serious heart condition, denied him proper treatment for his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and repeatedly placed him in isolation, according to the former marine and his lawyers. The consequences, they fear, could be fatal." --s

Caroline Kelly & Jim Acosta of CNN: "Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would defend funding for a new middle school in his home state of Kentucky after it was selected as one of the military projects the Trump administration will delay in order to fund border wall construction.... 'Senator McConnell recently talked to Secretary [of Defense Matt] Esper regarding the issue and is committed to protecting funding for the Ft. Campbell Middle School project,' a spokesman for McConnell said in a statement....The Kentucky Republican voted to support Trump's national security declaration in March, which allowed the President to use military funding for border wall projects. The spokesman for McConnell blamed the delayed military construction projects -- a funding decision made by Trump to secure his long-sought-after funding for a border wall -- on Democrats." Mrs. McC: Sorry for any delay in linking the story. I've been running around the room trying to catch my hypocrisy meter, which is bouncing off everything.

Jeremie Richard of Truthout: "[F]or the first time in recorded history, Alaska's sea ice has melted completely away. That means there was no sea ice whatsoever within 150 miles of its shores, according to the National Weather Service, as the northernmost state cooked under record-breaking heat through the summer." --s

Presidential Race 2020

Isaac Stanley-Becker of the Washington Post: "Beto O'Rourke's presidential campaign sent letters to major technology companies Friday morning imploring them to do more to root out disinformation ahead of the 2020 election. The pointed appeals, from campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon, came after a conspiracy theory falsely linking the former Texas congressman to the gunman who killed seven people in two west Texas towns on Saturday was allowed to spread on social media this week, garnering thousands of shares.... Among those who amplified the deceptive claim, which appeared to originate on Twitter with the charge that the gunman was a democratic socialist with an O'Rourke sticker on his truck, were Anthony Shaffer, a former Defense Intelligence Agency officer and member of an advisory board whose mission is to promote President Trump, and Sebastian Gorka, who worked briefly in the White House." Mrs. McC: That figures. The CBS News story is here. (Also linked yesterday.)

Alex Isenstadt of Politico: "Four states are poised to cancel their 2020 GOP presidential primaries and caucuses, a move that would cut off oxygen to Donald Trump's long-shot primary challengers. Republican parties in South Carolina, Nevada, Arizona and Kansas are expected to finalize the cancellations in meetings this weekend, according to three GOP officials who are familiar with the plans. The moves are the latest illustration of Trump's takeover of the entire Republican Party apparatus. They underscore the extent to which his allies are determined to snuff out any potential nuisance en route to his renomination -- or even to deny Republican critics a platform to embarrass him." (Also linked yesterday.)

Nikita Richardson of New York: "Howard Schultz Reminds Nation He Was Running for President by Dropping Out." (Also linked yesterday.)

Beyond the Beltway

Texas AG Ken Paxton (R) Ignored Explicit Threats to Murder Latinos. Nicole Goodkind of Newsweek: "A [totally firewalled] report out Wednesday by the San Antonio Express-News found that a gun owner in Texas had sent more than 100 pages of racist and violent letters to the Texas Attorney General's office threatening to kill undocumented immigrants over the course of a year and a half, and that nothing was done to stop him or to communicate the threat to local authorities. 'We will open fire on these thugs,' the white man who allegedly sent the messages wrote in an email to the office. 'It will be a bloodbath.' Over the same period, local officers in San Antonio responded to 911 calls made by and about the man, and visited his house, on at least 35 occasions. However, because he had never seemingly committed a crime, police did not arrest him or take legal action. Nearby neighbors told the Express-News that the man's home is covered in security cameras and that he often emerged holding a shotgun. When alerted by a reporter at the Express-News of the threats made to the Attorney General's Office, the police force did respond. 'Since you've made us aware of those threats, our fusion center and our mental health unit have reached out to the AG's office and are trying to work something to make a case against [the alleged suspect Ralph] Pulliam,' Sargent Michelle Ramos told the paper. 'They're going to investigate that.' The threats and lack of communication by Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to local police takes on a new light in the wake of two mass shootings in Odessa and El Paso." ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: Makes you wonder how many other similar threats Paxton & other Texas GOP officials have ignored. If a Latino had written such threats against "white people," would Paxton have kept quiet? There's something really, really wrong here. Think the FBI will investigate Paxton? Uh, maybe not.

Way Beyond

** China/Iran. Make China Great Again. Juan Cole: "Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was in Beijing recently for what turns out to have been the biggest triumph of his career. China ... has decided to incorporate Iran into its One Belt, One Road plan with investments totaling some $400 billion. I suspect Iran would rather have had this deal with Europe, but Trump ... has been bullying big European firms.... Iran had to seek its economic future with China, whether it likes it or not. To guard the China-built oil and gas facilities, China will put 5,000 People's Liberation Army troops into Iran. This troop presence ... will be as big as the US military footprint in today's Iraq.... It is likely meant as a deterrent ... as any major US military strike on or action against Iran would risk hitting Chinese army personnel and spiking tensions with a nuclear power." --s ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: This is a good example of why the next real president will not be able to just waltz into the Oval & sign a pile of executive orders undoing or reversing Trump's horrible policies to get the U.S. back to the status quo.

France, Earth. Rym Montaz of Politico: "... Donald Trump may have upended the international world order, but it's French President Emmanuel Macron who has turned America First to his advantage. In recent months, Macron has become increasingly active on the world stage. He played a key role in brokering an agreement over EU top jobs, launched a risky diplomatic initiative on Iran, reinvigorated efforts on Ukraine and hosted a G7 summit that at least managed to preserve the unity of the seven, unlike its two predecessors." (Also linked yesterday.)

Hungary. Shaun Walker of the Guardian: "Procreate or face extinction: that is the message from central European leaders to their shrinking populations, as across the region rightwing governments implement so-called 'family first' policies to incentivise childbearing. Hungary's ... nativist prime minister, Viktor ... Orbán, who has based his political campaigns in recent years on anti-refugee and anti-migration sentiment, said other European politicians saw immigration as the solution, but he firmly rejected this, tapping into the far-right 'great replacement' theory." --s ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: Several years back, the American Papal Nuncio Ross Douthat & some of his "reasonable, conservative" cronies were pushing tax "reform" aimed at further privileging taxpaying families with lots of children. I didn't get it then, but I do now: this was their way of not only raising the U.S. birth rate but also ensuring that the U.S. didn't have to rely on immigrants to boost the economy.

News Ledes

Weather Channel: "As Hurricane Dorian made landfall along North Carolina's Outer Banks as a Category 1 storm Friday morning, powerful winds and storm surge had major impacts on the coastline, especially on Ocracoke Island, where serious flooding inundated buildings and stranded residents who chose to ride out the storm. The worst impacts were reported on Ocracoke and in Hatteras, where the storm made landfall. 'Finally Hurricane Dorian has left North Carolina,' Gov. Roy Cooper said in an evening press conference. 'We're getting a look at the damage it brought. The hurricane has left behind destruction where storm surge inundated Ocracoke Island. Currently the island has no electricity and many homes and buildings are under water.' Earlier, Cooper said hundreds were believed to be stuck on Ocracoke Island. North Carolina National Guard Maj. Gen. James Ernst said the Guard had flown six missions to Ocracoke as of 4:30 p.m. One of those missions was an airlift for a 79-year-old man with a medical emergency. The other missions included reconnaissance and dropping off communications equipment and medical personnel. Search and rescue teams were en route to check houses and buildings."

... The front page of the Weather Channel links Dorian stories. ...

... NBC News: "The number of confirmed dead after Hurricane Dorian rose to 43 Friday, and the figure was expected to grow 'significantly' as recovery efforts continued in the devastated Bahamas, the prime minister's office said. Some 70,000 people are in need of aid on Abaco and Grand Bahama islands, and thousands are desperately trying to find loved ones, with many gathering on social media and one main website in hopes of finding any news." CNN's story is here. ...

... Washington Post: "With time running out to save stranded survivors of Hurricane Dorian, Bahamian and U.S. rescue crews combed through rubble in the hardest-hit areas Friday and braced for the death toll to rise. Five days after the storm made landfall in the Bahamas as a Category 5 hurricane, authorities said it was unclear how many people were in need of assistance and how many had died. Officials and aid organizations struggled to reach remote towns in the sprawling island nation, with logistical issues preventing the deployment of rescue boats and aircraft."

Reader Comments (10)

Reading the reports on what has rained down from above on those who had the temerity to suggest something the Pretender said might have been wrong, I'm reminded of those scenes in gangster movies where hired thugs vist the local store owners to sell "fire" insurance.

I have written many times about how the Pretender is indeed running the government like a business--where anything goes.

And the longer he's there, the more embedded he becomes, and the more our government, top to bottom, is becoming an outright criminal enterprise.

September 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes

I hereby retract my previous cautious optimism expressed last week that Agent Orange's insanity would lead him to defeat.

Since then:
Dem are limp dicks,
The insanity has intensified,
More bootlickers, more grift, and "meh",
Rudy & Trump are blackmailing Ukraine and "meh",
Wild, blatant "emoluments clause" infractions and "meh"
His DOJ Roy Cohn is loyal, vengeful, and highly competent,
No one with any standing will blow any semblance of a whistle,
The Pentagon is putting Mad King Baby above troops and "meh",
The FUCKING MILITARY BRASS is now running interference for his corruption.

Let's run down those completely cowed and willing to debase themselves, potentially destroying their careers, all in the service of Mad King Baby's quest for reelection and 4 more fucking years of this insanity:

-The entire GOP (half the entire political apparatus of the country)
-The DOJ AG and his army of lawyers
-The Pentagon
-Military brass
-Numerous wing-nut judges
-NRA
-Oligarchic donors
-85%+ of the conservative electorate
-All shameless, disinformation conservative media, willing to run Great Lies.
-Not to mention Netanyahu, Putin, Mohammed Bone Saw, Kim Jong-Un...

When you have all these people & institutions in your pocket, complicit, cowed and afraid to speak up, you've got a giant machine and many levers to pull in your favor.

We're up against a true Frankenstein.

September 7, 2019 | Unregistered Commentersafari

@safari: Quite right. Not to mention some anonymous NOAA official & the Coast Guard admiral who is Trump's counterintelligence adviser. (Of course, someone who accepts a job as "Trump's counterintelligence adviser" has to be someone willing to say every day, "No Sir, the Russians had nothing to do with your magnificent, unprecedented election. The real scandal is the Canadians who were helping Hillary."

September 7, 2019 | Registered CommenterMrs. Bea McCrabbie

Neither NYT nor WaPo have the Turnberry story up that I can see. I am seeing this news and my head is exploding.

In WaPo Other Stories, our Defense Secretary is urging allies to pick up the tab on projects whose funding got diverted to Wall. So maybe those projects _were_ important?

September 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterNiskyGuy

RE: Hungary's Orban and Douthat on fear of being outbred by brown people.

The account of Cordelia Scaife May's money (linked here a month or so back) backing similar eugenically-approved initiatives is another part of the story, but the story has been around for a long time. I remember an article forwarded to me by a conservative friend more twelve or so ago (from "Foreign Policy" magazine, maybe, but I can't find the link) that made the same racist argument. It didn't say it directly, but the import was that the U.S. and Europe were in danger of losing their identity.

I responded at the time that it seemed we had enough people on the planet. We didn't need more....

I've concluded since that it isn't just the left that is playing at identity politics. Everybody does. Like so much of out politics, it's just color-coded.

September 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes

Amanpour had an interview with George Takei who has written a book about his and his family's time in the Japanese Prison Camps. Listening to him recount the sheer horror and degradation of that experience brought back the unbelievability of this act by our government. How could the U.S. enact this draconian measure we said––surely this kind of thing would never happen again.

Reading today's news and the comments above the "this kind of thing" is happening right before our eyes–-increment by increment until WHAM! it's actually here. We have allowed it to happen and those that we thought would be the protectors have succumbed to protect the Mad Hatter––the one who has the barbed wire and the guards.

Time is running out––it's not only the ice that's melting.

September 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

A morning logic test:

If the government goes after a state (CA) that sets higher emission standards than those proposed nationally and hectors companies that choose to comply with those higher standards, wouldn't it make sense to treat similarly all states that set pay standards higher than the national minimum wage of $7.25 an hour and all businesses that voluntarily pay more than that minimum?

After all, what's fair is fair, isn't it?

And it would also keep the Injustice Dept. busy for a while.

September 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes

@Ken Winkes: Yes, but only if the higher minimum wage made Trump mad, which I assume it would for states where he has businesses. (On the other hand, Trump -- assuming he followed state law (which might not be a valid assumption) -- would be one of the "colluders," so I'm not sure how that would work.) I guess there would have to be an official Trump exemption because "I'm president & the Constitution says I can do anything I want."

Under the Trump antitrust theory, I think a lot of manufacturers would be in trouble. Oftentimes, when one manufacturer of a product comes up with some improvement that is popular with customers, that company's competitors begin including the improvement in their products, too.

September 7, 2019 | Registered CommenterMrs. Bea McCrabbie

@Nisky Guy: The story just showed up in the WashPo (after you wrote your comment). The WashPo story is less detailed than the Politico report.

September 7, 2019 | Registered CommenterMrs. Bea McCrabbie

All the righteous anger, weeping, wailing, and hand wringing over Iran exceeding the limits of the 2015 pact seem to ignore one thing. Namely that the major signatory to the pact unilaterally left and reimposed sanctions that the pact ended. It all seems to be ignoring a simple case of "you broke it, you bought it".

September 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBobby Lee
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