Tuesday Reads And Reading WomenPosted: March 6, 2018
I’m still digesting the news from yesterday and preparing myself for the upcoming nor’easter. This one will drop snow on us. Luckily I got out to the store yesterday, so I have plenty of supplies.
Could Wednesday’s nor’easter unleash 2 feet of snow on Massachusetts? Newly released weather maps have dropped a load of fresh information on the upcoming storm, including rapidly increasing snow forecast totals that are beginning to get out of control.
The National Weather Service on Tuesday morning released a new snow total map that increases the high-end totals in parts of northern Mass. to 18-24 inches while moving the rain/snow line farther east, meaning heavier snow totals in parts of Eastern Mass. Communities north and west of Boston could now be getting up to 18 inches, while the Boston area itself is still looking at 6-8 inches.
Areas south of Boston, many of which make up the more than 20,000 still without power from the last storm, are expected to get primarily rain.
Our beloved Pat will be dealing plenty of white stuff on Thursday.
I woke up early this morning and made the mistake of turning on MSNBC. Joe Scarborough thinks it’s impossible for anyone not to feel sorry for Sam Nunberg, whom he refers to as “a kid.” Nunberg is 36. Scarborough also empathizes with Michael Flynn because he’s selling his house to cover his legal fees. ABC News:
Michael Flynn, the retired Army general and ex-Trump national security adviser who pleaded guilty last year to lying to FBI agents about his Russian contacts, has put his Virginia home up for sale to pay mounting legal fees, friends and family members told ABC News.
Flynn’s 13-year-old, three-bedroom townhouse in Old Town Alexandria outside Washington, which he bought three years ago, was listed for sale in December with an asking price of $895,000 — money he will use to pay his high legal defense debts, his brother Joe Flynn said Monday.
The retired three-star general and former Defense Intelligence Agency director withdrew to his hometown of Middletown, R.I., last year after he was dismissed by President Donald Trump 24 days into his role as national security adviser, later becoming embroiled in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
In other words, Flynn is trying to sell his second home? Well, boo hoo. I don’t care if he ends up in a trailer park. Maybe he should have thought twice before acting as a foreign agent for Russia and Turkey, not to mention leading “lock her up” chants at Trump rallies.
As for Nunberg, McKay Coppins reports that “the kid” was celebrating his publicly televised meltdown last night: Sam Nunberg’s Spectacular Stunt.
“By the way, you know I’m the number one trending person on Twitter?”
It was just after 8:00 p.m. on Monday night, and the suddenly-famous Sam Nunberg had phoned me from Dorrian’s Red Hand Restaurant, a yuppie hangout on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where he was reveling in his triumph.
After announcing earlier that day his intention to defy a grand-jury subpoena he says he received in the Russia investigation (“Arrest me,” he’d dared prosecutors), the former Trump aide had spent the day conducting a manic media blitz—popping up on multiple cable-news programs, granting interviews to dozens of journalists, and hijacking the news cycle with a car-crash procession of blustery soundbites. Legal experts were warning that his failure to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation could put him in serious legal jeopardy—but at this moment, it seemed, Nunberg was in a celebratory mood.
As we spoke, Nunberg alternated between this unalloyed bravado and a kind of meta amusement at the media frenzy his performance had commanded. He seemed to take special pleasure in speculating about how Mueller might be reacting to the spectacle. “You know what the funny thing is?” he boasted. “He’s thinking I’m, like, playing eight-dimensional chess with Donald Trump.”
Well, I asked, are you?
He guffawed. “No!”
Nunberg seems to think he’s become a junior version of his mentor Roger Stone. Coppins:
The mystery of his motivations had hovered over the day’s astonishing events, and theories attempting to explain his bizarre behavior had proliferated quickly. Some believed he was responding to being caught in a genuine conspiracy—auditioning for immunity, perhaps, or covering up crimes committed by allies in the president’s orbit….
I won’t venture a guess as to which theory best explains his actions. But as anyone who’s known Nunberg for a while can attest, his behavior Monday doesn’t necessarily require special explanation. He’s been pulling stunts like this for years—this is just the first time he’s gotten the kind of audience he’s always craved.
Whatever. But do I feel sorry for Nunberg like Joe Scarborough does? Hell no! I hope Mueller throws the book at him.
CNN has a shocking story out of Tennessee: Tennessee school removes Confederate flag, lynching murals.
A painting of a Confederate flag and a mural depicting a lynching have been removed from the walls of a Tennessee school gymnasium.
The mural showed a white man, dressed in blue, hanging from a rope tied to a tree branch. Another person was standing nearby, in a red jersey, and holding a Confederate flag.
The painting was intended to depict an athletic team rivalry.
It’s unclear how long the paintings have been inside the South Cumberland Elementary School, located 100 miles east of Nashville, but a complaint was first made in December by a concerned janitor of a nearby elementary school.
On Friday, after months of calls and emails to the superintendent and the school board, David Clark, took his concerns public.
“Germany does not display Nazi symbols. This is not heritage, it is racism,” he wrote on a Facebook post.
“No action has been planned or taken as of today so I am asking people to call and let them know in a respectful manner, how you feel about these racist symbols being on full public display where children can see them.”
Less than 24 hours later, the post had at least 500 comments and more than 200 shares. Later that same day, the Confederate flag was gone and the mural was repainted to scrap the lynching.
WTF?! What happens to kids who are exposed to images like this in elementary school? Here’s a story from NPR that should serve as a warning: 5 Killings, 3 States And 1 Common Neo-Nazi Link.
At first glance, five killings in three states since last May appeared to be unrelated, isolated cases.
But a common thread is emerging. Three young men have been charged, and all appear to have links to the same white supremacist group: the Atomwaffen Division.
Atomwaffen is German for “atomic weapons,” and the group is extreme. It celebrates Adolf Hitler and Charles Manson, its online images are filled with swastikas and it promotes violence.
A video on its website shows young men in face scarves and camouflage firing rifles during military-style training. The video begins with group members shouting in unison, “Race War Now,” and concludes with the tag line, “Join Your Local Nazis.”
“Atomwaffen no doubt takes some of the white supremacist rhetoric to another level. The views that they articulate are white supremacists on steroids,” said Joanna Mendelson, who follows extremist groups for the Anti-Defamation League in Los Angeles.
“And what is the change they want to see? Real-world violence. Real-world apocalyptic violence,” she added.
Read the rest at NPR.
Of course, as long as we have a white supremacist in the White House, nothing is going to be done about these white extremist groups.
Nothing will be done about Russian influence in our elections or on our foreign policy either. At Crooked Media, Brian Beutler makes some important points: If Russia Owns Trump, It Owns American Policies. Beutler notes that for the first time Paul Ryan is making a half-hearted attempt to stand up to Trump–over trade issues.
For the first time in the two years since people began asking questions about Trump’s relationship with the Russian government, Ryan has taken a lonely stand against the president and his benefactors in Moscow. Not by forcing Trump to divest from his businesses, or to disclose his opaque finances, or by replacing House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes with a competent investigator who hasn’t himself been compromised.
Instead, Ryan is using at least some of his official heft to oppose Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum. His office has publicly implored Trump to reverse himself, and is distributing news articles to reporters tying the tariffs to bad economic and financial news.
But the reason it probably won’t work is that Trump doesn’t care. He’s making U.S. policy based on what’s best for Russia.
The problem, for Ryan and the rest of us, with treating Trump’s behavior as mere heterodoxy, is that it offers no redress for the likelihood that Trump isn’t making policy in the public interest. Ryan can slap back at unwelcome policy proposals as they arise, but as long he allows Trump’s underlying corruption to go unaddressed, they will keep coming, and we’ll have no way of knowing what Trump’s true motives are.
What do steel and aluminum tariffs have to do with Russia? Possibly nothing! But straining ties within the Western alliance, and specifically between the U.S. and Europe, has been a Russian geopolitical goal for decades. Fostering a trade war between America and the E.U. fits that bill perfectly.
And because people like Ryan have allowed Trump to reach the pinnacle of global power without submitting to the most basic transparency norms, we’re all left to wonder whether Trump is being stubborn about tariffs for legitimate political reasons, or for genuinely corrupt ones.
That’s the problem all right. At this point, I’m completely convinced that Trump is acting as an agent of Putin and his oligarchs. We’d better hope the Democrats can win big in the midterms, despite Russian interference.
More headlines to check out:
Dana Millbank at the Washington Post: President Trump is blessedly weak
The Washington Post: Trump’s name is stripped from Panama hotel
So . . . What stories are you following today? Please share!