May 17, 2019

Posted by orrinj at 12:59 PM


Second U.S. appeals court rules Trump cannot end protections for 'Dreamers' (Tom Hals, 5/17/19, Reuters) 

A U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday that President Donald Trump cannot end a program that shielded from deportation immigrants brought into the country illegally as children, the second time the administration has lost an appeal on the issue.

Posted by orrinj at 12:01 AM


Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


We're Laughing At Trump, Not With Him (CHRISTIAN SCHNEIDER  MAY 16, 2019, The Bulwark)

In crafting his famous "Matt Foley, Motivational Speaker" sketch for Saturday Night Live, Chris Farley stumbled--literally--onto a name for his style of comedy. The portly actor, who combined a graceful athleticism with a preternatural ability to crash through things, explained his popularity succinctly: "Everybody laughs when fatty falls down." [...]

But the only time Trump is truly funny is when he's trying to be deadly serious. Watching him try to explain U.S. trade deficits with China is as adorable as viewing a rat on the New York City streets try to drag a piece of pizza up a flight of stairs. It's funny because we're not laughing with him; we're laughing at him.

If SNL understood comedy it would not impersonate Donald, just show clips of him speaking.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


White House Suffering 'Unprecedented' Job Vacancies Under Trump (Alex Henderson, May 15, 2019, Alternet)

(Dareh Gregorian for NBC News)  reports that presently, there are "138 nominees awaiting confirmation by the Senate" and "132 positions that have no nominee at all." And according to Max Stier, president of Partnership for Public Service (a nonprofit that tracks presidential appointments), "what we have seen is unprecedented, with consistent vacancies across the government."

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Bad news, journalists: Robots are writing really good headlines now (BRYAN CLARK, 5/16/19, Next Web)

Primer, an AI company, recently built a tool capable of writing headlines that look like those a human would produce. It's not perfect, but in speaking with Axios, the examples it came up with were often quite good -- those that didn't miss the mark entirely, that is.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Paul Rosenzweig, Former Starr Prosecutor, Shreds Trump's Obstruction (Emily Singer, May 15, 2019, National Memo)

Trump's attempts to stonewall Congress and block the legislative branch from conducting oversight are blatant acts of obstruction of justice and are in violation of the Constitution -- according to conservative Republican lawyer Paul Rosenzweig, who served as a senior counsel on the team led by Kenneth Starr that investigated former President Bill Clinton back in the 1990s. [...]

"Adherence to the rule of law means that rules have to be applied even-handedly, regardless of whether a political party or other interest is immediately benefited," Rosenzweig said in a witness statement to the House Judiciary Committee. "It means not invoking privileges to conceal wrongdoing; and it means not invoking them to frustrate legitimate congressional inquiry."

Rosenzweig went on to say that he believes Trump's attempts to assert executive privilege, such as trying to retroactively declare special counsel Robert Mueller's report to be secret, are unconstitutional.

"If you continue to think that President Clinton's use of the privilege to avoid scrutiny of his actions was violative of his oath of office and deserving of condemnation -- as I do -- you can say no less about President Trump," he said.

Rosenzweig concluded: "Sadly, today, it increasingly appears that the president is acting in a manner designed to denigrate and disregard checks on his use of executive authority. To date, his actions appear unable to distinguish between the public interests that undergird the privilege and his own personal and political interests."