Lazy Caturday ReadsPosted: December 7, 2019
How can a person whose brain is this dementia-ravaged actually be “president?” Bloomberg: Trump Orders Toilet Rule Review Over Low-Flow Flushing.
The president on Friday said he ordered a federal review of water efficiency standards in bathroom fixtures and complained that “people are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times as opposed to once” in homes with low-flow appliances.
He said other bathroom fixtures have slowed water to a trickle.
“You can’t wash your hands practically, there’s so little water comes out of the faucet, and the end result is you leave the faucet on and it takes you much longer to wash your hands, you end up using the same amount of water,” he said at an event with small-business owners at the White House.
He said the Environmental Protection Agency was looking into the issue on his recommendation….
Trump said Friday it was “common sense” to review standards he said resulted in showers with water “quietly dripping out” and toilets that “end up using more water” because of repeated flushing.
The Bloomberg article made the Trump rant seem less crazy than it actually was. He also complained about light bulbs.
He also wants American cars to be less fuel-efficient.
Can we please put him out to pasture before he blows up the world?
Trump also defended Saudi Arabia after a Saudi national killed 3 people at Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida.
How awkward for the king and Trump that 6 other Saudis are being questioned in the attack–some of whom were seen filming it. The New York Times: Six Saudis Said to Be Questioned After Pensacola Navy Base Shooting.
A United States military official identified the suspect, who was killed by a sheriff’s deputy during the attack, as Second Lt. Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani. He was one of hundreds of military trainees at the base, which is considered the home of naval aviation.
Six other Saudi nationals were detained for questioning near the scene of the shooting, including three who were seen filming the entire incident, according to a person briefed on the initial stages of the investigation. A group that monitors online jihadist activity said that shortly before the shooting, a Twitter account with a name matching the gunman’s posted a “will” calling the United States a “nation of evil” and criticizing its support for Israel….
The attack by a foreign national inside an American military installation raised questions about the vetting process for international students who are cleared by the Department of Defense and is likely to complicate military cooperation between the United States and Saudi Arabia at a time when relations with the kingdom are already tense.
In recent months, President Trump has held fast against bipartisan congressional efforts to rebuke his fierce support for Saudi Arabia and its de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has pressed for his kingdom to rise as a global player in international finance and politics.
Trump values his relationships with dictatorships like Saudi Arabia and Russia far more highly than he does our traditional allies. We saw how little those allies respect the idiot “president” during the recent NATO summit. At The Washington Post, Brian Klaas writes: America’s allies despise Trump — and that’s a threat to NATO.
Such outbursts, which have a devastating effect on the United States’ reputation overseas, make it far harder for our allies to be seen as close to Trump. And because their citizens see Trump as the current representation of the United States, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for the leaders of Germany, or Britain, or Canada, or France to sell pro-American positions to their own voters. Just witness Boris Johnson’s carefully choreographed dance to avoid Trump’s company during the NATO summit, knowing that any all-too-obvious association with the U.S. president could doom the prime minister’s chances in the approaching British election. For the leaders of our allies, proximity to Trump is electoral poison.
There are foreign policy consequences to Trump’s toxicity. Since he took office, global support for U.S. leadership has plummeted. According to Pew Research in a late 2018 study, there has been a collapse in global confidence that the U.S. president will “do the right thing in world affairs.” From President Barack Obama to Trump, such confidence has fallen 76 percentage points in Germany, 75 percentage points in France, 58 percentage pointsin Canada, 52 percentage points in Australia, 51 percentage points in the United Kingdom and 48 percentage points in Japan. In Russia, by contrast, confidence in the U.S. president has increased by 8 percentage points.
Justice Ginsburg granted Trump’s request for an emergency stay on a lower court’s order that his financial records be released to Congress. Politico:
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg temporarily blocked a lower court ruling ordering two banks to release President Donald Trump’s financial records to House Democrats.
Trump had asked Ginsburg to consider the emergency request earlier Friday. The temporary stay sets the issue on hold pending full consideration by the high court, it does not reflect how judges will rule in the underlying case.
The stay is ordered until 5 p.m. on Dec. 13, and the court ordered that a response must be filed on or before Dec. 11 by 11 a.m.
The emergency filing came after a federal appeals court in New York ruled on Tuesday that Deutsche Bank and Capital One should comply with subpoenas from the House Financial Services and House Intelligence committees seeking information about Trump’s finances.
The House subpoenas seek documents including tax returns, evidence of suspicious activity and, in the case of Deutsche Bank, any internal communications regarding Trump and his ties to foreign individuals.
Trump-related requests are piling up at the Supreme Court — and the outcomes could set precedent on significant questions related to separation-of-power issues and whether a president is immune from state-based criminal investigations while in office.
Recently it was reported that Cover-Up General Bill Barr made some chilling remarks about law enforcement. Florida Rep. Val Demings responded in a Washington Post op-ed yesterday: What William Barr doesn’t understand about law enforcement.
This week, Attorney General William P. Barr honored 19 law enforcement officers selected by the Justice Department for “Distinguished Service in Policing.” I’m glad he did. I have no doubt that each officer earned the distinction. Law enforcement is a tough and dangerous job, and we are unwaveringly grateful for those who go above and beyond the call of duty.
Unfortunately, while speaking to the officers, the attorney general showed that he simply does not understand the foundational values of modern American policing. “If communities don’t give . . . support and respect” to law enforcement, he said, “they might find themselves without the police protection they need.”
I hope this statement was made in ignorance rather than malice. It is a knife in the heart of decades of painstaking work to develop bonds of trust between police and the communities they serve.
Law enforcement is not a protection racket. It is a sacred charge. We take an oath not to any individual or faction but to the Constitution, or, in other words, to society at large. Because, at the end of the day, law enforcement and the community are the same. The police are the community, and the community is the police.
Read the rest at the WaPo.
Here’s an interesting related article at The New York Times: ‘I Got Tired of Hunting Black and Hispanic People.’
At a police station tucked into an end-of-the-line subway terminal in South Brooklyn, the new commander instructed officers to think of white and Asian people as “soft targets” and urged them to instead go after blacks and Latinos for minor offenses like jumping the turnstile, a half-dozen officers said in sworn statements.
“You are stopping too many Russian and Chinese,” one of the officers, Daniel Perez, recalled the commander telling him earlier this decade.
Another officer, Aaron Diaz, recalled the same commander saying in 2012, “You should write more black and Hispanic people.”
The sworn statements, gathered in the last few months as part of a discrimination lawsuit, deal with a period between 2011 and 2015. But they are now emerging publicly at a time when policing in the subway has become a contentious issue, sparking protests over a crackdown on fare evasion and other low-level offenses.
The commander, Constantin Tsachas, was in charge of more than 100 officers who patrolled a swath of the subway system in Brooklyn, his first major command. Since then, he has been promoted to the second-in-command of policing the subway system throughout Brooklyn. Along the way, more than half a dozen subordinates claim, he gave them explicit directives about whom to arrest based on race.
Those subordinates recently came forward, many for the first time, providing signed affidavits to support a discrimination lawsuit brought by four black and Hispanic police officers.
Click the NYT link to read the rest.
Those are my recommended reads for today. What stories have you been following?