September 6, 2018

Posted by orrinj at 9:12 PM

Posted by orrinj at 9:08 PM


White House officials flagged Trump's behavior to psychiatrist last year (DENIS SLATTERY, 9/06/18,  NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

Dr. Bandy Lee, who edited the best-selling book "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President," told the Daily News Thursday the staffers contacted her because the President was "scaring" them.

Lee's revelation comes as Trump fumes in response to an anonymous op-ed about administration insiders White House tell-all by journalist Bob Woodward that claims there are grave concerns among the highest ranks of the Trump administration about the President's judgment.

Lee briefed a dozen lawmakers from the House and Senate last December about Trump's fitness to be President. But lawmakers on Capitol Hill weren't the only ones alarmed by the President's erratic behavior, his troubling tweets or his temper.

A pair of West Wing representatives contacted her two separate times on the same day because they believed the President was "unraveling."

Posted by orrinj at 5:18 PM


In search of Trump's Deep Throat (Mark Silk, 9/06/18, RNS)

Did I mention that he and John McCain were buddies, and that, unlike his boss, he issued a statement praising McCain after he died?

What we know about the provenance of the op-ed comes from James Dao, the Times op-ed editor, in an interview on The Daily, the Times podcast, Thursday.

"It began with an intermediary, who I trust, and know well," said Dao. "And they told me that there was this individual in the Trump Administration who was very interested in writing an op-ed."

My surmise is that the intermediary was Michael Gerson, the former top speechwriter for President George W. Bush who is now a columnist for the Washington Post. Previously, Gerson had served as a speechwriter for Coats. Both are graduates of Wheaton College, the Illinois college that likes to style itself the "evangelical Harvard."

Gerson has made himself into Trump's most prominent evangelical critic. Column after column has assailed the President's moral character and the concomitant moral culpability of the those who support him, not least his fellow evangelicals.

It hardly strains credulity to think that Gerson has stayed in close touch with Coats. Indeed, just as he once worked with Coats on his speeches, so he would likely have helped him with the op-ed.

It will be poetic if it turns out Maverick's funeral was the motivation.

Posted by orrinj at 3:02 PM


Republican congressman had lengthy dinner with extremist anti-Muslim politician during London trip (Andrew Kaczynski and Christopher Massie, 9/06/18, CNN)

DeWinter, who is known for his anti-Muslim views, is a prominent member of the far-right Flemish party Vlaams Belang -- a successor party to Vlaams Blok, which disbanded after being sanctioned as "racist" by Belgium's high court in 2004.

DeWinter has said Islam doesn't belong in Europe, using the hashtag"#BanIslam." He caused an uproar in June of 2015 over a racist tweet about a festival in Antwerp and spoke at the white nationalist American Renaissance conference in 2016. Even the anti-Muslim American activist Robert Spencer has noted, "Filip DeWinter has said some things I deplore."

Gosar, a dentist by trade who has served in the House since 2011, is currently seeking his fifth term. CNN currently rates his race as solid Republican. A member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and an immigration hardliner, Gosar called on Capitol Police earlier this year to arrest undocumented immigrants at President Donald Trump's State of the Union address. In 2017, he claimed that the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, was a left-wing plot.

Posted by orrinj at 10:39 AM


Jury Fines Man $1 For Punching Charlottesville Rally Organizer (BILL CHAPPELL, 9/06/18, NPR)

For the crime of striking "Unite the Right" organizer Jason Kessler, a Charlottesville, Va., jury says Jeffrey Winder must pay a fine of $1 - falling far short of the maximum penalty in the case. 

The citizenry ought to determine what violence we wish to encourage as a society, just as the authorities ought to enforce the laws.

Posted by orrinj at 8:51 AM


Government Photographer Edited Inauguration Pics to Make Crowd Look Bigger: Documents (Daily Beast, 9/06/18)

A U.S. government photographer edited the official pictures of Donald Trump's January 2017 inauguration to make the crowd appear bigger, following a personal intervention from the president, according to newly released Interior Department documents.

Posted by orrinj at 8:43 AM


Exclusive: Trump's nightmare: "The snakes are everywhere" (Jonathan Swan, Mike Allen, 9/06/18, Axios)

The big picture: He should be paranoid. In the hours after the New York Times published the anonymous Op-Ed from "a senior official in the Trump administration" trashing the president ("I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration"), two senior administration officials reached out to Axios to say the author stole the words right out of their mouths.

"I find the reaction to the NYT op-ed fascinating -- that people seem so shocked that there is a resistance from the inside," one senior official said. "A lot of us [were] wishing we'd been the writer, I suspect ... I hope he [Trump] knows -- maybe he does? -- that there are dozens and dozens of us." [...]

For some time last year, Trump even carried with him a handwritten list of people suspected to be leakers undermining his agenda.

"He would basically be like, 'We've gotta get rid of them. The snakes are everywhere but we're getting rid of them,'" said a source close to Trump. our forlorn hope that the folks enacting and enabling his racist agenda are secretly fighting it.

Posted by orrinj at 8:32 AM


Does 'lodestar' guide us to anti-Trump op-ed author? (BBC, 9/06/18)

Journalist Dan Bloom searched for utterances of "lodestar" by other senior Trump officials, such as White House chief-of-staff John Kelly and Defence Secretary James Mattis, but found nothing.

Mr Pence by contrast had regularly been guided by lodestars, Mr Bloom found. They include "the first words of the UN charter 'to maintain international peace'" during a speech at the UN, an "unwavering belief in fundamental equality and dignity" at an awards dinner, "vigilance and resolve" alongside Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, a "balanced budget" in a 2011 address, and "established principles for sound analysis" in a 2001 comment.

Bookies place odds on identity of anonymous author of NY Times op-ed (David K. Li, 9/06/18,  New York Post)

Pence was listed at 2-to-3 odds on the site MyBookie as the fifth column official who claims to be working behind the scenes to stop some of Trump's policies that they find wrongheaded.

The biggest favorite, at 1-3 odds, is "the field," someone not listed among the 18 administration officials listed by the Costa Rica-based operation.

At 2-to-3 odds, a winning bettor investing $1 would profit 66 cents. At 1-to-3, a gambler wagering $1 would net 33 cents with a win.

"What tipped us off was 'lodestar,' " MyBookie head oddsmaker David Strauss said of Pence. "When you search members of the administration (who have used that word) only one name comes up - and that name is Mike Pence. He's used in multiple speeches this year."

The other 17 named potential moles, listed by MyBookie, are: Education Secretary Betsy Devos (2-to-1), Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (4-to-1), Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (4-to-1), chief of staff John F. Kelly (4-to-1), Defense Secretary Jim Mattis (5-to-1), Attorney General Jeff Sessions (5-to-1), Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke (6-to-1), Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue (6-to-1), Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross (7-to-1) Labor Secretary Alex Acosta (7-to-1), HHS Secretary Alex Azar (8-to-1), HUD Secretary Ben Carson (8-to-1), VA Secretary Robert Wilkie (8-to-1), Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen (10-to-1), Ivanka Trump (12-to-1) and Jared Kushner (12-to-1).

Posted by orrinj at 8:00 AM


Trump Calls for Change  To Libel Laws Over Book (John Wagner, 9/05/18, The Washington Post)

President Donald Trump suggested on Wednesday that Congress should change libel laws so that he would be better positioned to seek "retribution" against Bob Woodward, the author of the explosive new book that portrays a presidency careening toward a "nervous breakdown."

At the core of every policy and problem that gets him in trouble is the simple reality of Left/Right: they hate the America the rest of us love.

Posted by orrinj at 7:52 AM


The brutal apartheid of the French banlieues (Peter Franklin, 9/06/19, UnHerd)

In the post-war period, it got worse - not the smell, but the geographical inequality. As in many other countries, the effort to build new housing was led by the state. But unlike, say, London where, social housing is spread throughout the capital, the Parisian approach was build on the outskirts.

In part this was because of where the available land was - Paris having been spared the bomb damage suffered by London. However, the scope for large scale development also gave the French planners a chance to implement the theories of modernist architects such as Le Corbusier.

In the 1920s, the Godfather of Brutalism drew up a plan to flatten a stretch of downtown Paris and replace it with a grid featuring 18 identical concrete towers. Thankfully, that never happened. After the war, however, modernism was unleashed on those powerless to resist. And thus we come to the third meaning of banlieue - a specific reference to the vast 'concretopias' constructed around the edges of Paris and other cities in the 50s, 60s and 70s .

At the heart of each of these banlieues, is the cité - an inward facing cluster of dehumanising, brutalist tower blocks. Following modernist dogma, the new neighbourhoods were heavily zoned: the residential, commercial and other functions of the community built as separate centres, instead of evolving together organically as they do in a traditional mixed-use neighbourhood. In theory - and modernism is all about the theory - the different centres were to be linked together by bus. In practice, the links were inadequate, as were those from the banlieues into central Paris.

The first inhabitants left as soon as they could and they were replaced by people with no other option. From the 1960s onwards, that has increasingly meant immigrants, especially those from France's former colonies in North Africa. Thus to the geographical, social, economic and architectural segregation of greater Paris - ethnic and religious divisions were added too.

It's hard to think of a worse physical context for the successful integration of millions of incomers. The banlieues may as well have been designed as ghettoes.

Cities were a mistake.

Posted by orrinj at 7:43 AM


The Silly Debate About Socialism (Froma Harrop, September 6, 2018,  Creators)

What's with all this socialism business? A handful of lefty candidates are calling themselves socialists without a single radical socialistic item on their promise lists. They seem to have little idea of what socialism is. And most of the conservatives talking back to them don't seem to know, either.

Socialism in America in 2018 is too conservative for Richard Nixon.

Posted by orrinj at 7:40 AM


Judge orders independent candidate off the ballot in Va. congressional race, citing 'out and out fraud' (Gregory S. Schneider, September 5, 2018, Washington Post)

A Richmond Circuit Court judge on Wednesday ordered independent candidate Shaun Brown removed from the ballot in Virginia's 2nd District congressional race, finding that her qualifying petition was tainted by "forgery" and "out and out fraud."

Many of those signatures were gathered by staffers working for the incumbent Republican, Scott Taylor, who is seeking a second term. Five current or former staffers for the congressman declined to answer questions in court, invoking their Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination. A separate criminal probe into the matter is ongoing; a state police investigator attended the civil hearing.

...all the fraud is on the right.

Posted by orrinj at 7:37 AM


Roy Moore Sues Sacha Baron Cohen for $95 Million (Gene Maddaus, 9/06/18, Variety)

Moore alleges that he was lured to Washington, D.C., on the pretense of accepting an award for his support for Israel. Instead, he found himself being interviewed by "Col. Erran Morad," a Cohen character. During the taping, Cohen waved a "pedophile detector" at Moore, which beeped, at which point Moore ended the interview.

"This false and fraudulent portrayal and mocking of Judge Moore as a sex offender, on national and international television, which was widely broadcast in this district on national television and worldwide, has severely harmed Judge Moore's reputation and caused him, Mrs. Moore, and his entire family severe emotional distress, as well as caused and will cause Plaintiffs financial damage," the lawsuit states.

Posted by orrinj at 7:36 AM


New poll says Russians' social panic hasn't spiked so sharply since eve of 1998 financial collapse (Meduza, 6 september 2018)

A new national survey by the independent Levada Center indicates that social tensions across the country are rising at levels not seen since the eve of Russia's 1998 financial collapse. Seventy-two percent of Russians say they worry about rising prices, 52 percent cited growing impoverishment, and 48 percent say one of the nation's biggest problems is unemployment.

Posted by orrinj at 7:22 AM


How Buddy Teevens '79 Transformed Football Forever: A few years ago, Coach Teevens looked like a goner. Then he reorganized his staff and started a radical experiment: no tackling in practice. (BRAD PARKS '96 | SEP - OCT 2018, Dartmouth Alumni Magazine)

No one expected a quick fix. Still, as the years went by and the 2-8 seasons piled up, Teevens was in trouble. "I never doubted that what we were doing would work," says Teevens. "It was just whether I would be around to see it through." Coming out of that 0-10 season in 2008, Dartmouth did what institutions often do when they need to fire someone they don't really want to fire.

The College hired a consultant.

His name was Rick Taylor. An assistant coach at Dartmouth in the 1970s, he'd had a long career as a football coach and athletic director, finally retiring from Northwestern.

Taylor's report noted improvements to facilities and in admissions. But Dartmouth's nonconference schedule was too difficult. The team needed more money for recruiting. And Teevens, who also served as quarterback coach and offensive coordinator, needed to relinquish those duties and concentrate on being head coach.

In other words, the College didn't need to fire Buddy. It needed to help him. The team lured two longtime Ivy League assistants to Hanover by offering them better salaries: Don Dobes came from Princeton to be defensive coordinator, and Keith Clark came from Yale to coach the offensive line. Teevens, who admits he can be "a micromanager," says being forced to step back from a more hands-on role was "frustrating at times, professionally." But it also freed him to focus on his strengths: recruiting and fundraising. "I was very, very fortunate to be allowed to continue," he says. "If it wasn't my alma mater, and if people didn't look deeply in terms of what we were doing, I would have been unemployed."

Teevens' position remained tenuous entering the spring of 2010. Having digits at the end of his name would not help him much longer if he didn't start winning. This was probably not the moment to embark on a radical experiment to dramatically change the entire sport of football.

Yet it was around this time that CTE was bursting into the national conversation. Football entered the bizarre paradox where it finds itself today: It's the most popular sport in America, by a wide margin, and it's also in deep crisis. As injuries mount, nervous parents are steering their kids away, causing participation levels to plummet.

The Mike Webster story hit a nerve with Teevens. So did conversations with fellow coaches--including his former boss at Florida, Steve Spurrier, and his mentor at Stanford, Bill Walsh. His players were going on to careers in medicine, finance, and engineering, where they would need their brains. Researchers were finding that repeated subconcussive hits, such as those that doomed Webster, were leading to later-life CTE.

And the majority of those hits (60 percent, according to studies) didn't take place during games. They happened in practice, during barbaric-but-common drills such as "Oklahoma," in which a defensive player lines up 10 yards from an offensive one, then attempts to knock the snot out of him--a time-honored method of teaching tackling.

But what if they could find a new, less-violent way? One that took player-on-player contact out of the equation?

"It was a cumulative thing. And the sum of it all was, why are we doing this?" says Teevens. "And so I just decided we're not going to tackle in practice anymore."

The reaction was something less than universal recognition of his genius. Teevens says fellow head coaches called him an idiot and told him he was going to get fired. Even his own assistant coaches asked him what the punchline was.

Then they got to work. No college program had ever eliminated tackling from practices. Dartmouth's coaches started breaking down film, studying tackling like never before. They learned that the historical archetype of a so-called "perfect form" tackle--which begins when the defensive player drives the crown of his helmet into the opposing player's chest--almost never happens in a game. Most tackles were, in fact, distinctly imperfect.

Back out on the field, they used dummies and crash pads to replicate what they'd seen players do on film. No human athletes. "It was a learning process," says Teevens. "There was no template to steal from. It was just coming up with stuff as we went along."

Then a funny thing happened to the team that no longer tackled in practice. Players started tackling much better in games. In 2010, missed tackles dropped by half, according to Teevens. The players were also healthier, fresher, and missed far fewer games due to injuries. Dartmouth finished 6-4 that year, its first winning season since 1997.

The coaches kept tinkering. Before long, Teevens used what he now called "the Dartmouth Way" of teaching tackling to win something else: recruiting battles. Take, for example, linebacker Jack Traynor '19. The leading tackler in Illinois high school history, he was wooed by Harvard, Penn, Princeton, and Yale. Late in the process, he got a visit from Teevens, who sat down with Jack and his parents, Carl and Darcy.

"Jack has been a fan of contact since he was in the second grade. When Jack heard about the no-tackle thing, there was disbelief," says Carl. "For Darcy? Holy smokes. She was sold. When Coach Teevens left our home, Darcy just looked at me and said, 'Jack needs to go to school there.' "