Khan Job!!

found online by Raymond

 
From Max’s Dad:

…I normally would dismiss this as hyperbole, but Khizr Khan , the man who offered not only his son’d life to his country but offered an orange talking pile of mucus a copy of his constitution, has cancelled a speech in Toronto because his “travel privileges” are being reviewed. Mr. Khan, who has been an American for 30 years, is justifiably concerned if he leaves the country, that a band of fascists in the United States Government led by a revenge minded talking Pomeranian would not let him back in. The Pakistani native probably never dreamed that the United States of America would be governed by a cabal of white supremacists hell bent of keeping his kind out.

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WH and GOP Try to Block Russia Probe, Like 9/11 Commission

found online by Raymond

 
From Jon Perr at PERRspectives:

When it comes to defending their party against scandals, no one gets in line like Republicans. That’s why it’s no surprise that GOP leaders in Congress are doing their best to head off any independent probe into President Trump’s rapidly propagating Putin problems. Last week, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus called allegation of Team Trump contacts with Russian officials “complete garbage,” a claim he said he was authorized to make “by the top levels of the intelligence community.” Meanwhile, White House press secretary Sean Spicer deployed House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) to make the case that “there’s nothing there.” It’s wonder that former CIA and Pentagon spokesman George Little warned:

“It’s doubtful that Congress can conduct an objective and independent investigation into ties between this White House and the Russian government if it is collaborating so closely on media pushback with the White House press secretary.”

If these developments seem hauntingly familiar, they should.

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Tapping Trump?

found online by Raymond

 
From Julian Sanchez:

Once again, Donald Trump has kicked off a media firestorm with a series of early-morning Tweets, this time leveling the serious accusation that “President Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower” just prior to the presidential election.

Though Trump asserted he had “just found out” about this surveillance, he appears to be referencing a series of reports that began with a piece by Louise Mensch in Heat Street back in November, which was later corroborated by articles published by The Guardian and the BBC in January. The reports may have come to Trump’s attention by way of a Breitbart story that ran on Friday, summarizing claims of a “Deep State” effort to undermine the Trump administration advanced by conservative talk radio host Mark Levin.

If it were true that President Obama had ordered the intelligence community to “tapp” Trump’s phones for political reasons, that would of course be a serious scandal—and crime—of Nixonian proportions. Yet there’s nothing in the published reports—vague though they are—to support such a dramatic allegation. Let’s try to sort out what we do know.

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“What do the Russians…

found online by Raymond

 
From The Big Empty:

…have on Donald Trump?”

Sen. Al Franken really asks the central question here. Obviously, it could be any number of activities. But if I were to pick one especially egregious activity, it would be money laundering in coordination with various mob connections, both American and Russian. Here’s one very detailed example by Todd Gitlin. But there are many more examples.

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Middle Schooler Who Wrote GOP Health Plan Not Yet Paid

found online by Raymond

 
From Andy Borowitz:

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—The middle-school student who wrote the Republican health-care bill that was unveiled earlier in the week complained on Friday that he still has not been paid for his work.

Kevin Tenco, a seventh grader from House Speaker Paul Ryan’s congressional district, in Wisconsin, said that Ryan hired him two weeks ago to write the American Health Care Act with the promise that it “wouldn’t be too much work” and that he would be paid handsomely for his effort.

“He said I would get paid, like, five hundred dollars, and I could buy a Nintendo Switch,” Tenco said.

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Sing, Sing, Sing – Benny Goodman Would Be Proud

found online by Raymond

The song as composed was intended to be a vocal piece, a change of pace within the Big Band sound. But musicians added incremental flourishes until it became completely instrumental, one most identified with that era, and with Benny Goodman.

Also: these kids are really good, dancing to the piece in June, 2006.

The Unraveling

found online by Raymond

 
From nojo Stinque:

Our guest interlocutors are John Dean and Richard Nixon, speaking in the Oval Office on March 21, 1973. Their conversation has been condensed for obvious pointed contemporary comparison.

DEAN:
I think, I think that, uh, there’s no doubt about the seriousness of the problem we’re, we’ve got. We have a cancer — within, close to the Presidency, that’s growing. It’s growing daily. It’s compounding, it grows geometrically now because it compounds itself. Uh, that’ll be clear as I explain you know, some of the details, uh, of why it is, and it basically is because (1) we’re being blackmailed; (2) uh, people are going to start perjuring themselves very quickly that have not had to perjure themselves to protect other people and the like. And that is just — and there is no assurance—

PRESIDENT:
That it won’t bust.

DEAN:
That, that it won’t bust.

PRESIDENT:
True.

DEAN:
We’ve — I don’t know if Mitchell has perjured himself in the Grand Jury or not. I’ve never—

PRESIDENT:
Who?

DEAN:
Mitchell. I don’t know how much knowledge he actually had. I know that Magruder has perjured himself in the Grand Jury. I know that Porter has perjured himself, uh, in the Grand Jury.

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Peg: a Minor Character

found online by Raymond

 
From Vincent at A Wayfarer’s Notes:

Every novelist is God over his characters, but the art of Powys is to imitate the inscrutability and particularity of life, and not impose a philosophy. As in life, the reasons and the answers are anyone’s guess. His characters are defined by their introspection and their insights into one another, not by the author’s own commentary:

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