Monday Reads: Storm’s a’brewingPosted: September 3, 2018
Good Afternoon Sky Dancers!
Well, I woke up with the news we’re under a Tropical Storm warning and all the models point it straight at us. It’s a rain event–which normally wouldn’t bug me–except I need to get this new roof on my house yesterday. I’ve spent the last 3 days with water coming on to my bed again. My turkey roaster comes in handy for brief storms but I have no idea how I’m going to bail things out from what’s projected from Gordon. I’m trying to find a few people to put more tarps on the roof. I have the roofing guy coming tomorrow oddly enough. I’ve had a hard time scrambling for my deductible and I’m at the point it just needs to be done whatever other bill has to go unpaid.
I used to find these things oddly exciting but I’m not sure if old age or the number of hurricanes/tropical storms I have to deal with, but, this is getting to me. Karma died during the last one and I was without electricity for quite a period. This is the first one I will go through without Miles too. Anyway, I’m a bit of a wreck already and it’s just over the tip of the Florida peninsula headed to us some time tomorrow. Hopefully, it just blows right through and goes away quickly.
Our infrastructure sucks here and costs plenty. I’m expecting a lot of flooding here too. I’m not in danger of that but I know a lot of people that will be. Our Sewage and Water Board is in a state of collapse and the head of the Electric company has been fired. Basically, both utilities are rudderless. I’m just hoping and praying that the people that actually do the hard work are going to be able to do it.
So, here’s a few things you might want to read today.
From the New Yorker and Courts watcher Jeffrey Toobin: How Rudy Giuliani Turned Into Trump’s Clown. The former mayor’s theatrical, combative style of politics anticipated—and perfectly aligns with—the President’s.” Do shit storms count? At least, this one is not aimed at me.
Since joining Trump’s team, Giuliani has greeted every new development as a vindication, even when he’s had to bend and warp the evidence in front of him. Like Trump, he characterizes the Mueller probe as a “witch hunt” and the prosecutors as “thugs.” He has, in effect, become the legal auxiliary to Trump’s Twitter feed, peddling the same chaotic mixture of non sequiturs, exaggerations, half-truths, and falsehoods. Giuliani, like the President, is not seeking converts but comforting the converted.
This has come at considerable cost to his reputation. As a prosecutor, Giuliani was the sheriff of Wall Street and the bane of organized crime. As mayor, he was the law-and-order leader who kicked “squeegee men” off the streets of New York. Now he’s a talking head spouting nonsense on cable news. But this version of Giuliani isn’t new; Trump has merely tapped into tendencies that have been evident all along. Trump learned about law and politics from his mentor Roy Cohn, the notorious sidekick to Joseph McCarthy who, as a lawyer in New York, became a legendary brawler and used the media to bash adversaries. In the early months of his Presidency, as Mueller’s investigation was getting under way, Trump is said to have raged, “Where’s my Roy Cohn?” In Giuliani, the President has found him.
Giuliani’s behavior has provoked disgust among some of his former fellow-prosecutors. “He has totally sold out to Trump,” John S. Martin, a predecessor to Giuliani as U.S. Attorney who later became a federal judge, said. “He’s making arguments that don’t hold up. I always thought of Rudy as a good lawyer, and he’s not looking anything like a good lawyer today.” Preet Bharara, who served as U.S. Attorney from 2009 until 2017, when he was fired by Trump, told me, “His blatant misrepresentations on television make me sad. It’s sad because I looked up to him at one point, and this bespeaks a sort of cravenness to a particularly hyperbolic client and an unnecessary suspension of honor and truth that’s beneath him. I would not send Rudy at this point in his career into court.” Giuliani’s desire for attention and publicity has always been at odds with the buttoned-up traditions of the Southern District of New York. In 2014, some seven hundred current and former prosecutors for the Southern District met for a gala dinner to celebrate the two-hundred-and-twenty-fifth anniversary of the office. Almost every former U.S. Attorney still living gave a speech—except Giuliani, who sent a video, with the excuse that he was attending to his duties as an “ambassador” to the U.S. Ryder Cup golf team. The announcement was greeted with derisive laughter.
The Kavanaugh nomination barrels forward with so much aplomb and gall that it’s really disturbing. Hearings start tomorrow. There’s likely to be a battle of some kind per ABC.
Democrats are expressing alarm over the Trump White House decision to claim executive privilege and withhold some 100,000 pages of documents from Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s time with the George W. Bush administration.
That decision, relayed in a letter late Friday, just days before confirmation hearings are set to begin Tuesday, is a move top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer of New Yorkcalled a “Friday night document massacre.”
More than 400,000 other pages have been handed over to the Senate Judiciary Committee, but Democrats say the withheld documents would give details and color to Kavanaugh’s time as White House Counsel in the Bush White House — when he was involved in some of its most controversial decisions and judicial nominations.
It’s a time Democrats say is key in giving context to his time as a partisan Republican.
Before serving in the Bush White House, Kavanaugh had been a key deputy to Independent Counsel Ken Starr and advocated for tough questioning of President Bill Clinton about his sexual encounters with then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
Later, he said, after seeing the pressures inside the Bush White House, he wrote in a 2009 article for the Minnesota Law Review that any civil and criminal investigations of a president should be deferred until they’re out of office because they’re “time-consuming and distracting.”
The just over 100,000 pages of material was withheld after the Trump White House “directed that we not provide these documents,” wrote William Burck, the lawyer handling the document release on behalf of the Bush administration.
WAPO has an interesting feature that discusses how the Trump presidency has caused the “Trump Effect” which is basically seen in all that Wypipo outrage about black people in what they consider white spaces. This discusses the small town and “Pool Patrol Paula” who was outraged that young black children would be swimming in their neighborhood pool.
Darshaun’s aunt said she noticed that none of the adults at the pool seemed to be doing anything to help him. She called over Darshaun’s mother to watch. Darshaun told them that he and two friends had been invited to the pool by a family that lives in the subdivision. They were just sitting down at a table and kicking off their shoes when Strempel approached them, asked them if they lived in the subdivision and then accused them of trespassing.
Darshaun’s mother took him to the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office to file an assault complaint.
His aunt looked Strempel up on Facebook and dashed off a quick message.
“Good evening, Stephanie. Is this you in the video?” she asked.
After four hours passed without a response, Darshaun’s aunt posted it to her Facebook page, tagging local activists, two television news stations, the NAACP and the Coast Guard unit where, she had learned, Strempel’s husband was serving.
“This kind of behavior is unacceptable and we WILL NOT TOLERATE IT!!!! PLEASE SHARE!!!!” she wrote. “. . . Racism at its best.”
She hit post at 11 p.m., flipped off her computer and went to sleep.
Online, Strempel would soon be dubbed “Pool Patrol Paula,” joining “ID Adam,” “BBQ Becky,” “Permit Patty,” “Coupon Carl” and others branded as exemplars of racism and white entitlement.
It was 10 the next morning when Strempel, who declined to comment for this article through her attorney, sent her first message to Jovan Hyman. She denied hitting Darshaun — even though the video showed her doing so — and defended herself as an involved member of the community.
“I have children,” she wrote. “My husband is a respected coast guard officer. I have a special needs son. . . . My husband and I are being threatened and slandered all over social media [and it] is not okay.”
By this point, Hyman had watched the video several times, and he had no doubt that Strempel had targeted the boys at the pool because of the color of their skin.
Today, Reminisce is reminiscent of a typical Southern suburb, where blacks and whites live side by side but usually avoid sensitive topics such as race and politics. It’s a precinct where Trump took nearly two-thirds of the vote, is mostly white and made up of schoolteachers, police officers, and employees of the nearby Air Force base and Boeing plant.
What follows is a tick tock of how the town dealt with and is still dealing with its race issues.
A devastating fire has leveled a 200 year old museum in Brazil. It was a repository of many artifacts that cannot be replaced.
“It was the biggest natural history museum in Latin America. We have invaluable collections. Collections that are over 100 years old,” Cristiana Serejo, one of the museum’s vice-directors, told the G1 news site.
Marina Silva, a former environment minister and candidate in October’s presidential elections said the fire was like “a lobotomy of the Brazilian memory”.
Luiz Duarte, another vice-director, told TV Globo: “It is an unbearable catastrophe. It is 200 years of this country’s heritage. It is 200 years of memory. It is 200 years of science. It is 200 years of culture, of education.” TV Globo also reported that some firefighters did not have enough water to battle the blaze.
It wasn’t immediately clear how the fire began. The museum was part of Rio’s Federal University but had fallen into disrepair in recent years. Its impressive collections included items brought to Brazil by Dom Pedro I – the Portuguese prince regent who declared the then-colony’s independence from Portugal – Egyptian and Greco-Roman artefacts, “Luzia”, a 12,000 year-old skeleton and the oldest in the Americas, fossils, dinosaurs, and a meteorite found in 1784. Some of the archive was stored in another building but much of the collection is believed to have been destroyed.
Paul Blumenthall–writing for Huffpo–outlines the number of investigations surrounding the Trump Family Crime Syndicate. “It’s Not Just Robert Mueller. President Donald Trump Faces Six Separate Investigations And Lawsuits.Prosecutors are digging into the president’s business from which he refused to divest.”
There are currently five separate investigations into Trump and his associates from four different investigative bodies. An additional lawsuit brought by two state attorneys general challenges whether Trump is in violation of the U.S. Constitution. There are further reports about probes into the financial dealings of the president’s eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, and his second eldest son, Eric Trump.
It’s a great list and description of all the investigations from obstruction of justice to emoluments clause violation.
So, I know you’re all likely having a great long weekend. I’ve got to start working on getting ready for this and finishing up my grades. I have no doubt this will likely take me offline for a few days.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?