End of Show Mixes: UKPMX - Gx2 -Oh My Bosh - Danny Loos-Secret Agent Paul-Stepford Wives-PlaceBoing- Dave Courbanou - Able Kirby - Jungle Jones - Chris Wilson - Tom Starkweather - Conan Salada - Future Trash - Phantomville Billy Bon3s
After 108 years, the Boy Scouts program is set to drop the gender from its name and re-emerge as "Scouts BSA," a more "inclusive" group that will also soon welcome girls in its ranks.
Boy Scouts of America, the parent organization of the Boy Scouts program, made the announcement Wednesday. Though the decision to toss "Boy" aside was considered controversial by some, Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh said the new name came about after an "incredibly fun" deliberation.
"We wanted to land on something that evokes the past but also conveys the inclusive nature of the program going forward," he said. "We're trying to find the right way to say we're here for both young men and young women."
The name change is expected to take effect next February. Boy Scouts of America and Cub Scouts will keep their titles. Cub Scouts '' the program for 7- to 10-year-olds '' has already started to admit girls.
The 11- to 17-year-olds who join Scouts BSA will likely start referring to themselves as scouts without a gender modifier, Surbaugh said.
The program will have separate units for boys and girls, which Surbaugh said should alleviate concerns that girls joining the new program might be at a disadvantage in seeking leadership roles.
The Girl Scouts said their organization was blindsided by the move and are planning an aggressive campaign to ramp up recruitment numbers
"We're trying to find the right way to say we're here for both young men and young women."
- Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh
"Girl Scouts is the premier leadership development organization for girls," Sylvia Acevedo, the Girl Scouts' CEO, said. "We are, and will remain, the first choice for girls and parents who want to provide their girls opportunities to build new skills...and grow into happy, successful, civically engaged adults."
Boy Scout leaders have cited busy and diverse families as a reason to make the change. They said they hoped the switch would give parents more options. The Boy Scouts began offering co-ed programs in 1971. Leaders have said participation has been at 2.3 million '' down from 2.6 million in 2013.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Ryan Gaydos is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @RyanGaydos.
School to hand out 'Modesty Ponchos' for teens dressed inappropriately for prom - Story | WJBK
DEARBORN, Mich. (WJBK) - WEB UPDATE: After receiving backlash, Dearborn Divine Child has changed course, saying it will not have 'modesty ponchos' at prom. Divine Child High School no longer says they will not be passed out in a letter to parents dated May 1. For the most recent story detailing the change, CLICK HERE. The original story is below.
Female students at a Dearborn Catholic high school who are deemed to be dressed 'inappropriately' for prom will be handed Modesty Ponchos by the school to wear over their dresses.
Students at Divine Child High School say they're being shamed by their own administration before they even walk in the door for prom: If they're not dressed appropriately enough by the school's standards, they'll be handed Modesty Ponchos to wear over their dresses.
The ponchos are on display on mannequins inside the school. A note is attached to them that reads: "If your dress does not meet our formal dance dress requirements - no problem! We've got you covered - literally. This is our Modesty Poncho, which you'll be given at the door. :)"
An anonymous student, who didn't want to be identified out of concerns about retaliation by the school, told FOX 2 that teachers will determine whether what they're wearing is compliant or not when they walk in the door.
"I do believe the school has gone too far with this," she said. "As we walk into prom, we are to shake hands with all the teachers and if you walk through and a teacher deems your dress is inappropriate you will be given a poncho at the door."
She says that what the school is doing is a form of shaming and is concerned about voicing her opposition publicly.
"Who knows what will happen to those who try and speak out against it," she said.
The school already requires students and parents to sign off on a detailed agreement of dress guidelines for the dance next month.
The poncho is an add-on that theology teacher Mary Pat O'Malley came up with. She says the school put the ponchos on the mannequins in school to a give girls enough time to get a dress that fits their parameters.
"We are trying focus on the inner beauty and not draw attention to something that doesn't need attention drawn to it," O'Malley said. "It was really intended as a deterrent and a light hearted one at that."
Both O'Malley and the high school principal say parents have not complained. However, at least one parent agreed with the student that came forward.
"It's a method of shaming, a method of building and degrading to females and its interpretation what's modest and what isn't," the parent, who also asked to be anonymous, said.
The student who talked with FOX 2 says her classmate was disciplined for taking her complaints about the policy to social. The administration could not confirm nor deny that.
The student says she knows she's going to do if she's handed a Modesty Poncho.
"I would refuse the poncho and go to dinner somewhere else dressed up," she said.
The school's prom is set for Saturday, May 12th.
UPDATE: According to a letter sent by the school to parents, the Modesty Ponchos were never intended to be handed out, despite telling FOX 2 the opposite on Monday. Read the letter below:
Letter sent to Divine Child parents about the ''Modesty Poncho'' says they were on display to warn NOT to be passed out at prom but during our interview Monday it was clearly stated they would be passed out & some students have already requested & received them @FOX2News pic.twitter.com/MOtswuHKhu
'-- Jessica Dupnack (@JDupnackFOX2) May 1, 2018
Pinterest now lets users filter results by skin tone | The Independent
Social media platform Pinterest has announced it will allow users to filter beauty inspiration pictures by skin colour - meaning users will no longer have to scroll through hundreds of pictures till they find a look that suits them.
As the go-to for fashion, beauty, and design inspo, Pinterest's update will make it more user-friendly - and more helpful when it comes to picking your makeup look for a night out.
Previously, users had to scroll through hundreds, if not thousands, of images to find photos of makeup that would complement their own features.
But now, thanks to an option to filter skin tone from a choice of four palettes near the search bar, beauty lovers can find and pin pictures of models that have similar complexions.
The new feature is the result of a collaboration with a third-party Face AI library, ModiFace, ''a company specialising in augmented reality and machine learning for beauty applications,'' according to the press release.
In addition to making it easier to find makeup inspiration, the update also proves Pinterest's dedication to inclusivity on the platform.
Pinterest will now offer users four skin tone choices to narrow results (Pinterest)
In the press release, Pinterest said: ''We've heard from Pinners that it's not always easy to find the most relevant ideas among the 8 billion beauty and hair Pins on our site.
"That's why we're rolling out a way to customise your beauty search results by a skin tone range."
Since the announcement, people on social media have been praising Pinterest for listening to its users and for working towards creating a more inclusive platform.
#Media @Pinterest made a HUGE shift towards diversity + inclusion today! When you search on Pinterest you can now filter by skin tone.Ex: You search "orange lipstick" you can filter according to your complexion to see results of orange lipsticks on ppl with your skin toneðð½ pic.twitter.com/k7BuLJ2AT7
'-- Shelby Ivey Christie (@bronze_bombSHEL) April 27, 2018''So important,'' wrote one person.
Another said: ''I've always wished I could Google by skin tone, hair texture, etc. Pinterest making that a reality is everything!''
However, according to Pinterest, this is just the platform's first step towards a more inclusive future.
More about: Pinterest inclusivity beauty skin tone Inspiration Reuse content
Donald Trump is a Hoax, Only a Bit Gay and Jewish as Well - Veterans Today | News - Military Foreign Affairs - VA
The real ''ring of truth.'' Let's say you are a testosterone-charged ''man's man,'' visiting Moscow with two of the best of the best of Russia's call girl community in your hotel room. Every drug imaginable is available and your history is exactly that, or is claimed to be, drug and sex orgies with supermodels, prostitutes, porn queens and even ''not so willing'' hotel maids.
Instead, you pay them to urinate on a bed. Some might call it a waste. Others might call it something else, a minor ''in the closet'' secret for some, but a ''huuge'' secret for the former ''Queen'' of New York's underground club scene of the 70's and 80's.
Christopher Steele's ''dossier'' is, in fact, the only real information we have on Donald Trump's sexual proclivities that can be verified and sourced as fact. There is nothing else that isn't paid for with cash or threats.
This is all we know about the guy other than his history in New York in the 70s and 80s, the ''party years,'' a history that places ''Donald'' in the midst of Jewish New York, but also ''Gay Jewish New York.''
Trump's companion, Roy Cohn, one of the most frightening characters out of American history, mob boss, phony commie hunter and someone who described himself as ''straight'' but who loved having sex with attractive young men.
Was Donald an attractive young man during the 70's and 80's or, as some say, one of the most personally unpleasant and insulting people on earth. We start with April 2018. It is Trump's America, and he has done a complete reversal, filling his cabinet with swamp dwellers, con men and the leftovers of Bush 43's ''gay mafia'' of Neocon war mongers.
The ''gay mafia'' thing isn't a guess. VT had people in the White House and Pentagon. The entire Jewish lobby is gay, AIPAC, the ADL/JDL, all of it. When the FBI took a look at them circa 2004-7, all they picked up on their wiretaps was bragging about bathroom trysts and ''glory holes.''
The agents investigating theft of nuclear secrets from the Department of Energy, thefts that traced directly to not just the Israeli Embassy in Washington and AIPAC, but to the ''highest of the highest'' himself in Israel, found themselves sickened.
When their investigation reached into the White House itself, cabinet members, presidential advisors, even a counter-terrorism czar, the whole thing was shut down and the Houston-based grand jury issued gag orders that expire next month. Book deals are being shopped as we speak and the secrets that can now be told await book deals, silencing payoffs or mysterious ''Boston Brakes'' car accidents. Then the Macron visit, the hand holding, how sickening.
The French president loves Trump, yet both Koreas are willing to reunite in order to get 30,000 Americans and a few dozen missiles ''gone'' and forgotten. Trump may end up uniting the planet in one cause '' ''hating Trump'' and despising the United States.
Trump, who spent his life in New York, son of a notorious slumlord, a life of utter self-indulgence, unpaid bills, cheated partners, mob enforcers running interference for him every step of the way, is now in the only place worse than New York.
He is now in Washington, at least occasionally, poor Melania in tow having left her mobster roost now protected by Secret Service as well, playing ''the Great Dictator'' among his admitted lessers, the thieves, liars and lunkheads of America's phony capital.
Here are the two questions:
Is Trump gay?Is Trump Jewish?Analysis of press coverage and the wall built around Trump brings his sexuality into question. This is a man totally immune to accusations of sex crimes against women, even those under 13. He brags about them. In fact, controlled press assets we know to be working for Trump lead the attacks against him, painting him as a sexual predator.
As for the ''Jewish'' charge, we are told that Trump converted to Judaism decades ago. It is one thing being a convert, another in keeping it secret. Now we are faced with a man who outwardly brags of a life of rape and debauchery who hauls a bible around under his arm but lives a Talmudic existence.
The real issue, however, isn't the ''hidden Jew,'' but rather the ''closet gay neocon.'' Jews make great food, good films and can even be fun. Neocons kill people.
Analysis by experts in counter-intelligence and ''cover and deception'' methodologies say there can be only one answer, Trump hides behind his ''man's man'' front, hiding a highly insecure gay ''fatboy'' with impulse control issues. This is where Jimmie and I spent the late 1960s:
Captain Jim Hanke, USA SF, South Vietnam 1967Lance Corporal Gordon Duff, A Company, 2nd Platoon, BLT 1/26 Marines, Vietnam 1969 at LZ Rockcrusher30 million Americans have served in the armed forces, 2.9 million of them in Vietnam though only 250,000 of those survive into their mid 60's and beyond. +
This is not intended to disparage gays in the military. Those who have served in combat are more than aware not everyone around them seeks the same interests during ''off time.''
The issue here is not gays or if Bush43, where evidence is preponderate, and Trump where clarification has taken a long and bumpy, careful as well, road. This might well account for a life spent ducking shirtless basketball games, military service and a visible athletic personal life.
Obama actually has a bathing suit and wears it. He also is seen shooting hoops without a shirt. He ain't Putin but he sure ain't Trump neither'...From there, assuming both are true, we then ask; ''Why should anyone care?'' Was the relationship between Trump and Cohn ''more than friends'' and did Trump convert to Judaism, as we are now starting to learn from source after source.
Beyond this, is the Trump smokescreen as a serial philanderer and whoremonger, as the Israeli controlled and totally Trump loving press is pushing a rerun of the Larry Flynt attack on Bush 43. For those who don't remember, Flynt accused Bush of getting 5 women pregnant and forcing them to have abortions.
Flynt got suckered on that one, bought it all, hook line and sinker just like those who think ''pissboy'' is going to ''go down for the count'' for his ''womanizing.'' In the intelligence world, this is called ''creating a legend'' or false persona.
Additional context comes into focus every day as Trump, a reality TV star with a ''massive fortune'' nobody has ever seen, cloaked in bankruptcies and invisible backers, recreates the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Bolton disaster, replacing the obviously gay and moronic Bush with the ramblings of a psychopathic narcissist.
Both appear to be puppets, with Bush 43 playing on his father's standing as a heavy-hitter while Trump, well we know nothing of Trump, not really. Endless hours on Howard Stern, bragging about having sex with supermodels while in gay nightclubs; none of it adds up to those who really know New York of the 1980s, the real players.
Ugly and deformed as he is, Trump as we see him is most probably a ''Dorian Gray'' figure, a toupee, photoshopping on a massive scale across the internet and continual lipo.
Our sources tell us that Bush 43 and White House correspondent Jeff Gannon were a ''couple'' for some time and that those surrounding Bush, and this is from sources in the FBI and National Security Council, were ''gay mafia.''
With Clinton it was Monica and her ''knee pads;'' with Bush it was rooms in the White House for ''quickies'' or ''nooners'' with male interns and evening parties with gay escorts delivered by Secret Service. But how does this impact policy and national security? So what if Trump is gay, protected by the Mossad and given a ''beard'' by Israeli-controlled press?
The answer to that is what is frightening, the story of two young men who entered the White House is elections rigged by Israeli intelligence, in 2000 and 2016, both prot(C)g(C)es of Roy Cohn, de facto head of America's real Mafia, the man who controlled J. Edgar Hoover's blackmail empire and the real impetus behind the cult of ''neo-conservatism.''
The doctor who said Trump weighs 200 pounds wants to run the VA?In fact, according to our sources in the White House and later the Pentagon at the time, including Africa bureau chief Alex Powers, a longtime Bush insider, the entire Neocon gang is not only gay, but predators with a proclivity for young, sometimes very very young males.
Thus, when Trump began filling the White House with Bush 43 gay prot(C)g(C)es, and the list is growing each day, all arch-Zionists, all war mongers, all with ties to the Kosher Nostra, the debacle of 9/11 and the wars that the Bush ''swamp'' drowned the world in have become more than a reality.
Cohn, former ''Red-Baiter'' for ''Tail Gunner Joe'' McCarthy and the witch-hunt of the 50s, Cohn ruled the New York bathhouse world and inherited the mantle of Meyer Lansky's ''Murder Incorporated,'' the enforcement arm of the Jewish mob and its Italian underlings.
Cohn took both Trump and Bush 43 under his ''wing,'' introducing them into the circles of the old Jewish mob that founded and ran Las Vegas under Bugsy Siegel.
Lansky's relationships reached into the Bush family and its drug relationships in South Florida. From Webster Tarpley's ''BushBook,'' Chapter XX. First I might add this from the Washington Post. Tarpley had plenty of sources on Cohn, Bush and Trump and had to be silenced:
''First lady Melania Trump settled her defamation lawsuit against a Maryland blogger, who agreed to apologize to the Trump family and pay her a ''substantial sum,'' her attorneys said Tuesday.
''I posted an article on August 2, 2016 about Melania Trump that was replete with false and defamatory statements about her,'' the blogger, Webster Tarpley, said in the statement provided by Trump's attorneys.
Tarpley, 71, could not be reached for comment by phone or email. His attorneys, Danielle Giroux and John Owen, confirmed that a settlement had been reached.
The blogger's article in August reported about unfounded rumors that Melania Trump once worked as a high-end escort and stated that Trump may have suffered a nervous breakdown after her speech at the Republican National Convention.''
The real assertion, we believe, is that Melania was bought into the US as a ''beard'' for gay Trump. This is why Tarpley had to be silenced. Those who don't think erasing Melania's life history in Slovenia, a job reputedly done by Israeli intelligence, didn't involve killing dozens, isn't paying attention.
Back to Tarpley:
''The drug plague is an area in which the national interest requires results. Illegal narcotics are one of the most important causes of the dissolution of American society at the present time. To interdict the drug flows and to prosecute the drug money launderers at the top of the banking community would have represented a real public service. But Bush had no intention of seriously pursuing such goals.
For him, the war on drugs was a cruel hoax, a cynical exercise in demagogic self-promotion, designed in large part to camouflage activities by himself and his networks that promoted drug trafficking. A further shocking episode that has come to light in this regard involves Bush's 14-year friendship with a member of Meyer Lansky's Miami circles who sold Bush his prized trophy, the Cigarette boat Fidelity'...
Documents found by Burdick in the Dade County land records office show that USA Racing, the company operated by Aronow which built the Blue Thunder catamarans for the Customs service was not owned by Aronow, but rather by a one Jack J. Kramer in his capacity of president of Super Chief South Corporation. Jack Kramer had married a niece of Meyer Lansky. Jack Kramer's son Ben Kramer was thus the great nephew and one of the putative heirs of the top boss of the US crime syndicate, Meyer Lansky.
Ben Kramer was also a notorious organized crime figure in his own right. On March 28, 1990 Jack Kramer and Ben Kramer were both found guilty of 23 and 28 counts (respectively) of federal money laundering charges. In the previous year, Ben Kramer had also been sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for having imported half a million pounds of marijuana. Bush had thus given a prime contract in waging the war on drugs to one of the leading drug-smuggling and money-laundering crime families in the US.''
Tarpley connected the Bush family, known for their ties dating to 1927 to the Rothschilds' banking empire (Brown Brothers/Harriman) along with endless rumors, ties to the Kennedys' murders, the Colombian cartels, more than rumors, so much more than rumors.
We all know by now that Trump is no genius, certainly not an adult and without a doubt, a sociopath. There is no controversy in any of this.
This is another ''mystery man,'' a great leader, great athlete, a human ''sex-machine'' who hides behind the most comprehensive press management empire imaginable, one traced entirely to the Israel lobby and one that uses ''muscle,'' not just from crackpot lawyers but mobsters who all are known Israeli intelligence assets.
They exist around Trump because he is a brand, a pure facade, and absolutely everything about him is not only false, but intended to be false from the beginning.
Trump's wasn't born, he was ''scripted.''
It has been long enough that it has to be clear now, Trump simply isn't who he says he is. This is a man, and I am using the term most carelessly, ''man,'' that lives inside a lifelong bubble of managed press and false persona.
The results are in. Some will be surprised, others, not so much. Data is private sources, including a careful analysis of Christopher Steele's ''pee tape'' and an extensive study on how Israeli assets have managed the press around Trump.
At times it seems CNN entirely exists, as does Saturday Night Live, to keep focus on ''Trump the Clown.'' As long as those who remain standing are mollified by petty mudslinging at a modern day T-Rex who, from his Palm Beach County brothel, oversees half a dozen wars and ethnic cleansings'....
Then again, time to hit publish on this and hope nobody reads it.
Frank Rich: Roy Cohn Was the Original Donald Trump
Ad will collapse in seconds'... / power April 29, 2018 04/29/2018 9:00 pm By Frank Rich Above: Cohn in 1986, a few months before he died.
Amid the aftershocks of Donald Trump's firing of James Comey last May, I went to see Angels in America at the same theater in London, the National, where I'd first seen it as a New York Times drama critic some 25 years earlier. The play didn't transport me quite as far from the lamentable present as I'd hoped. The new production, now on Broadway, doesn't radically depart in tone or quality (high) from the first. But the play's center of gravity had shifted. While Tony Kushner's epic had been seared into my memory by the frail figure of Prior Walter, a young gay man fighting AIDS with almost the entire world aligned against him, this time it was Roy Cohn who dominated: a closeted, homophobic, middle-aged gay man also battling AIDS but who, unlike the fictional Prior, was a real-life 'ber-villain of America's 20th century. ''The polestar of human evil,'' as one character describes him. ''The worst human being who ever lived'¯'... the most evil, twisted, vicious bastard ever to snort coke at Studio 54.''
What has changed is not Angels but America. Even if you hadn't known that Cohn had been Trump's mentor and hadn't read the election-year journalistic retrospectives on their toxic common tactics (counterpunch viciously, deny everything, stiff your creditors, manipulate the tabloids), you'd see and hear the current president in Cohn's ruthless bullying and profane braggadocio. That isn't because Nathan Lane, a Cohn for the ages, is doing a Trump impersonation. The uncanny overlap between these two figures is all there in the writing. ''Was it legal? Fuck legal,'' Cohn rants at one point, about having privately lobbied the judge Irving Kaufman to send Ethel Rosenberg to the electric chair. ''Am I a nice man? Fuck nice. They say terrible things about me in the Nation. Fuck the Nation. You want to be Nice, or you want to be Effective?'' It turns out that in his rendering of Cohn a quarter-century ago, Kushner had identified an enduring strain of political evil that is as malignant in its way as the AIDS virus, just as dangerous to the nation, and just as difficult to eradicate.
Cohn, after all, was supposed to have been washed up in 1954, after he and his superior in witch-hunting, Joe McCarthy, imploded in the televised Army-McCarthy hearings. McCarthy drank himself to death, and Cohn fled Washington a pariah, his brief career in government service in ruins. Yet as Kushner accurately picks up the story three decades later, Cohn had reinvented himself as a power broker after returning to his hometown of New York, and he would remain so right up until disbarment and AIDS finally leveled him in 1986. How could that be? Sure, the right-wing resurgence of the 1980s gave him a late-in-life boost. Cohn's juice with Ronnie and Nancy, as Kushner dramatizes, gained him access to the experimental medication AZT denied most everyone else. (He may have been the only AIDS patient the Reagan White House lifted a finger to help.) But the question of how Cohn both survived and flourished as a Manhattan eminence in the quarter-century between McCarthy and Reagan is beyond the play's already-considerable scope.
It's an ellipsis that gnawed at me because the same question applies to Trump. Cohn thrived throughout a New York second act rife with indictments and scandals that included accusations of multiple bank- and securities-law violations, perennial tax evasion, bribery, extortion, theft, and even precipitating the death of a young man in a suspicious fire. Trump may never have been suspected of manslaughter, but he also flourished for decades despite being a shameless lawbreaker, tax evader, liar, racist, bankruptcy aficionado, and hypocrite notorious for his mob connections, transactional sexual promiscuity, and utter disregard for rules, scruples, and morals. Indeed, Trump triumphed despite having all of Cohn's debits, wartime draft dodging included, but none of his assets '-- legal cunning, erudition, a sense of humor, brainpower, and loyalty. (The putz-cum-fixer Michael Cohen, who is to Cohn what Dan Quayle was to Jack Kennedy, boasts none of these attributes either.) And Trump, like Cohn, got away with it all under the ostensibly pitiless magnifying glass of New York. Much as one hates to concede it, it's no small achievement that he succeeded where so many of his betters failed in becoming the first New Yorker to catapult himself to the White House since Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The story of Trump's ascent complicates the equation for those who want to believe that it was exclusively a product of his genius for publicity, or his B-stardom in a long-running reality show in NBC's prime time, or a vast right-wing conspiracy abetted by deplorable voters like those in Wisconsin who sent McCarthy to the Senate in 1946 and helped Trump take the Electoral College in 2016. Nor is Trump's New York backstory comforting to those of us in the habit of quarantining the blame for his unlikely victory to Russian and/or Comey's interference, the ineptitude of the Clinton campaign, the Fox News''Breitbart complex, and the cynical, feckless Vichy Republicans who stood by as Trump subverted every principle they once claimed to have held dear.
There are Vichy Democrats too. From the mid-1970s to the turn of the century, well before Trump debuted on The Apprentice or flirted more than glancingly with politics, he gained power and consolidated it with the help of allies among the elites of New York's often nominally Democratic and liberal Establishment '-- some of them literally the same allies who boosted Cohn. Like Cohn (a registered Democrat until he died) and Trump (an off-and-on Democrat for years), their enablers were not committed to any party or ideology. Their priority was raw personal power that could be leveraged for their own enrichment, privilege, and celebrity. Cohn's biographer Nicholas von Hoffman described what he called the ''Roy Cohn Barter and Swap Exchange'': It specialized in ''deals, favors, hand washings, and reciprocities of all kinds.'' And while Cohn is gone, the exchange never shut down. Its unofficial legislative body is the floating quid pro quo Favor Bank that has always made New York tick at its highest levels, however corruptly, since Tammany Hall. It's a realm where everyone has his (or her) price, and clout is always valued higher than any civic good. All that matters is the next transaction. Since time immemorial, those who find it unsavory are invariably dismissed as na¯ve.
The more I've looked back at the entanglements of Trump, Cohn, and their overlapping circles and modi operandi, the more I think the crux of their political culture could be best captured if Edward Sorel were to create a raucous mural depicting the Friday night in February 1979 when Cohn celebrated his 52nd birthday at Studio 54. That sprawling midtown Valhalla of the disco era, a nexus for boldface names, omnivorous drug consumption, anonymous sex, and managerial larceny, was owned by Cohn's clients (and soon-to-be-imprisoned felons) Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager. The guest list? ''If you're indicted, you're invited,'' went the comedian Joey Adams's oft-repeated joke about Cohn's soir(C)es. Among the (all-white) Democratic revelers joining Republican and Conservative party leaders at Cohn's black-tie testimonial were the borough presidents of Queens (Donald Manes), Brooklyn (Howard Golden), and Manhattan (Andrew Stein), not to mention the former Democratic mayor Abe Beame and a bevy of judges, including the chief of the U.S. District Court. The investigative reporter Wayne Barrett, who covered the scrum from the sidewalk for the Village Voice, noted that, among the usual Warhol celebrity crowd, politicians, and fixers, was a ''surprise'' attendee '-- ''newcomer Chuck Schumer, a 'reform' assemblyman from Brooklyn who insisted he was just the date of a gossip columnist.'' Also in attendance, less surprisingly, and camera-ready for the paparazzi, was the 32-year-old Trump, who by then had been in Cohn's orbit for six years.
Like the other developers on hand, Trump had sought and won favors from some of the older, more powerful Democrats who were present. With Cohn's imprimatur, Trump gained easy access to the ostensibly nonpartisan press Establishment as well. Si Newhouse, the chairman of Cond(C) Nast magazines and Cohn's best friend since their high-school days at Horace Mann, showed up for the Studio 54 blast. Earlier in the day, Abe Rosenthal, the executive editor of the Times, had brought his companion, Katharine Balfour, to pay homage to Cohn over lunch at the '21' Club. In years to come, Rosenthal would enjoy Trump's hospitality at Mar-a-Lago.
Neither the Newhouse magazine-and-newspaper empire nor Rosenthal's Times was in those days conspicuous for prying too deeply into the shadows surrounding Cohn or Trump. Some journalistic big guns preferred to be behind velvet ropes with McCarthy's former henchman than out on the pavement casing the joint like Barrett. A few months after the Studio 54 bacchanal, Morley Safer would front a soft 60 Minutes Cohn profile in which, among other euphemisms, viewers were informed that Cohn had never tied the knot with his oft-rumored fianc(C)e Barbara Walters because ''he's just not the marrying kind.'' In its effort to be ''balanced,'' the piece came off as a free ad for Cohn's supposed legal wizardry and cast him as something of a victim. (Intriguingly, this 60 Minutes segment cannot be found on YouTube, while a tougher, if tardy, Mike Wallace profile, made as Cohn was dying seven years later, can be.) By that point, Walters had long since delivered for her platonic fianc(C) with her first promotional profile of his shiny young prot(C)g(C) for ABC's 60 Minutes rival 20/20. Titled ''The Man Who Has Everything,'' it was, in the Trump biographer Michael D'Antonio's description, ''wealth pornography.'' Among other superlatives, it floated the dubious claim (for the 1970s) that ''the Trumps are treated like American royalty.''
For years it's been a parlor game for Americans to wonder how history might have turned out if someone had stopped Lee Harvey Oswald before he shot JFK. One might be tempted '-- just as fruitlessly '-- to speculate on what might have happened if more of New York's elites had intervened back then, nonviolently, to block or seriously challenge Trump's path to power. They had plenty of provocation and opportunities to do so. Trump practiced bigotry on a grand scale, was a world-class liar, and ripped off customers, investors, and the city itself. Yet for many among New York's upper register, there was no horror he could commit that would merit his excommunication. As with Cohn before him, the more outrageously and reprehensibly Trump behaved, the more the top rungs of society were titillated by him. They could cop out of any moral judgments or actions by rationalizing him as an entertaining con man: a cheesy, cynical, dumbed-down Gatsby who fit the city's tacky 1980s Gilded Age much as F. Scott Fitzgerald's more romantic prototype had the soign(C) Jazz Age of the 1920s. And so most of those who might have stopped Trump gawked like the rest of us as he scrambled up the city's ladder, grabbing anything that wasn't nailed down.
It was Democrats in New York who taught both Cohn and Trump that they could buy off politicians and try to get away with anything. Cohn's father, Al, was a Bronx and then New York State Supreme Court judge. The elder Cohn's roots in the party's machine were hardwired into his son: Young Roy figured out how to pull strings to fix a parking ticket for a teacher while still in high school. Trump grew up with a father who had been intertwined with the Brooklyn Democratic machine while building his residential-real-estate empire. By the time the clubhouse hack Beame arrived in City Hall in 1974 after the reform mayoralty of John Lindsay, Fred Trump had known him for 30 years. The new mayor immediately gave both Trumps a license to steal by declaring that ''whatever Donald and Fred want, they have my complete backing.'' Never mind, as the Trump biographers Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher observed, that Donald Trump didn't have the financing to snag the real-estate prize he then sought, the properties of the bankrupt Penn Central railroad. The Beame deputy mayor Stanley Friedman pushed through an enormous 40-year, $400 million tax abatement '-- this at the city's bankrupt nadir '-- and in his waning weeks in office fast-tracked the agency approvals Trump needed to rebuild the decrepit old Commodore Hotel as the Grand Hyatt, his first big deal. Roy Cohn served as the closer: The day after the Beame administration was succeeded by Ed Koch's in 1978, Friedman was paid off for his Trump handiwork with a new job as a partner in Cohn's law firm. (It was not enough to save Friedman from federal prison a decade later, when he was convicted in unrelated kickback scandals the year after Cohn's death.)
Trump's other major political ally as he erected a new, Manhattan real-estate empire on top of his father's outer-borough fiefdom was the Democratic governor Hugh Carey. Trump engineered a brazen conflict-of-interest that you'd be tempted to call mind-boggling were its contours not being replicated on a far grander scale within the current White House. In the 1970s, Trump hired as his lobbyist Carey's chief political fund-raiser, Louise Sunshine, even as he and his father were the second-biggest contributors to Carey's 1978 reelection campaign (only a Carey brother, an oilman, gave more). ''He'll do anything for a developer who gives him a campaign contribution,'' said Trump of Carey. And so he did. Trump was unstoppable, though he kept writing checks to other useful Democrats, including a record $270,000 (for a Board of Estimate election) to the Cohn crony Andrew Stein, who served as Manhattan borough president and then New York City Council president from 1978 to 1994 and ''whose varied public performances for Trump were a metaphor for gutter government,'' in Wayne Barrett's estimation. (Stein would years later plead guilty to un-Trump-related tax evasion.) Trump would also give to (among others) Schumer, Eliot Spitzer, and Andrew Cuomo, who took Trump as a client even as his father was governor and Trump was conniving to develop the West Side yards and build a domed football stadium in Queens.
Unlike Trump, Cohn had no interest in building anything. He wanted to tear down institutions and people for fun and profit. To shield him from repercussions, legal or otherwise, he didn't have just a retinue of politicians from both parties in his pocket but a client list whose breadth was no doubt aspirational to the young Trump '-- the Catholic Archdiocese of New York, the self-described ''boss of bosses'' Carmine ''Lilo'' Galante, and the city's reigning real-estate titans (the Helmsleys, LeFraks, et al.), as well as the Newhouse publishing empire and Studio 54. This coterie either looked the other way or gave Cohn cover during transgression after transgression, some of them proto-Trump financial flimflams in which he looted banks or companies; others involving unpaid bills to creditors as varied as the IRS, Dunhill Tailors, and a local locksmith; still others more sensational. In the late 1960s, Cohn took a loan of $100,000 from a client for whom he negotiated a suspiciously parsimonious divorce settlement from a billionaire, and fought paying it back until the case threatened his law license in the early 1980s. In the 1970s, a Florida court ruled that Cohn had pushed an elderly friend in mental decline, Lewis Rosenstiel, the founder of the Schenley liquor empire, into signing a will that made Cohn a trustee of his estate. It was in 1973, the year he met Trump, that perhaps the most sinister of the Cohn horror stories of his post-McCarthy career unfolded. A yacht leased by a shell company Cohn controlled was sent to sea despite having been judged in dire disrepair by its previous captain. A suspicious fire broke out, the yacht sank, a crew member died, and Cohn collected both legal fees and a back-channel insurance payout.
Some of these escapades would figure in the disbarment proceedings that finally ended Cohn's legal career in 1986, though in truth it was over anyway, since AIDS would finish him off six weeks later. But until then he was often protected by the press. Through a fluke, he had friendships dating back to childhood with Generoso Pope Jr., the owner of the very same National Enquirer whose current CEO, David Pecker, now tries to protect Trump, and Richard Berlin, the CEO of Hearst, as well as Si Newhouse. Before he joined McCarthy in Washington, the young Cohn had been an acolyte of and tipster for the mighty Hearst gossip columnist Walter Winchell, who demonstrated by example how the press could be enlisted into the Favor Bank of the powerful. As Thomas Maier writes in the 1994 biography Newhouse, Cohn used his influence in the early '80s to secure favors for himself and Mob clients in Newhouse publications '-- even writing an IRS-trashing cover story in its national Sunday-newspaper supplement, Parade. After Rupert Murdoch bought the New York Post in 1976, Cohn wielded the paper as his personal shiv, slipping tips about friends and enemies to ''Page Six.'' His own ensuing image rehabilitation was at least as effective as his many face-lifts. ''For younger people,'' Nicholas von Hoffman wrote in the 1980s, Roy Cohn was no longer the McCarthy smear artist but ''another name for a tr¨s smart lawyer, for Disco Dan, for the international, I-go-by-private-plane man.'' The journalist Ken Auletta, in an unflinching 1978 dissection for Esquire, tried to puncture Cohn's makeover, and was invited by 60 Minutes to be the contrarian in Safer's sanitizing profile. Nonetheless, CBS's piece ended with a generous summation, read onscreen by Dan Rather, that firmly humanized him: ''Roy Cohn is not an enigma. He's simply a man who is seen differently by different people. If you engaged in amateur analysis, you might say that Roy Cohn was the kid on the block that all the bullies beat up on. And so, when Roy Marcus Cohn was growing up, he was determined to get rich, and get even, and he has.'' Tick tick tick tick.
During his steady rise in New York from the 1970s into the 1990s, Trump was tracked by some Aulettas of his own in addition to the Voice's Barrett, from Neil Barsky at the pre-Murdoch Wall Street Journal and Daily News to the dedicated Trump-baiting magazine Spy. But these journalists, like many to come, could be outshouted and bulldozed by Trump's relentless lies and self-mythologizing. With the aid of Cohn's own compliant press pool and the contacts he courted at the television networks, Trump would continue to promote himself on his own terms in the pre-digital media era. Magazines, New York prominent among them, grabbed the commercial rewards of exploiting his latest stunts as glossily as possible. The most powerful news organizations and media barons often let Trump have his way. In a scathing editorial this month, the Times observed that ''Mr. Trump has spent his career in the company of developers and celebrities, and also of grifters, cons, sharks, goons and crooks.'' While the Times would start covering his corruption in earnest in the 2000s after Timothy L. O'Brien, the author of the hard-hitting 2005 book TrumpNation, was hired, the paper's coverage was anything but aggressive during the crucial decades when Trump was amassing his power.
Exhibit A of the Times' credulousness is the puffy feature that put him on the media map in 1976. ''He is tall, lean and blond, with dazzling white teeth, and he looks ever so much like Robert Redford,'' read the lead. At this early date, Trump had only proposed ambitious projects, not built them or closed any of the requisite deals, but the profile christened him ''New York's No. 1 real estate promoter of the mid-1970's'' nonetheless. The article accepted Trump's word that he was of Swedish descent, ''publicity shy,'' ranked first in his class at Wharton, made millions in unspecified land deals in California, was worth $200 million, and with his father owned 22,000 apartment units. None of this was remotely true, but the sexy brew of hyperbole and outright fantasy, having been certified by the paper of record, set the tone for much that was to come.
In 1981, for instance, the Times could be found quoting an unnamed ''real-estate official'' (John Barron, perhaps?) furthering the implausible notion that Prince Charles and Diana were considering the purchase of a 21-room condo in Trump Tower for $5'¯million '-- a useful bit of free false advertising as the development's condos went on the market for a 1983 opening. A 1984 Times Magazine profile christened Trump ''the man of the hour'' just as he was embarking on his financially reckless (and ultimately catastrophic) expansion into Atlantic City. Along the way, Trump continued to inflate his net worth. He was so obsessed with the Forbes annual list ranking the wealthiest Americans that he had Cohn muscle the magazine to fix it, a tale recently recounted in full by a former Forbes staffer, Jonathan Greenberg, in the Washington Post. By the 1990s, no less a television personage than ABC's Diane Sawyer courted an exclusive PrimeTime Live interview with Marla Maples, complete with a best-sex-you-ever-had question, to facilitate the promotion of the Trump brand '-- ''one of the low points in television journalism history,'' in the judgment of the PBS anchor Robert MacNeil. The ultimate result of such fake news retailed by real-news outlets, as Michael D'Antonio would conclude just before Trump's presidential run, is that ''no one in the world of business '-- not Bill Gates, not Steve Jobs, or Warren Buffett '-- has been as famous for as long.'' And one might add: No one as famous in business has been famous for a portfolio of low-rent businesses that included the likes of Trump University and Trump Steaks.
Trump knew he could get away with snookering the ostensibly liberal press Establishment because he'd seen Cohn do so. One of the most memorable examples occurred on Sunday, November 17, 1985 '-- the same day that Trump was the subject of his own first Mike Wallace 60 Minutes profile. That morning's Times contained a gentle, reflective interview with the dying Cohn at a ''Washington-area hospital'' in which it was stated as fact that he was ''fighting liver cancer'' '-- a fiction Cohn vehemently maintained, much as Trump now tells staff members that the Access Hollywood tape is a hoax. The unnamed Washington-area hospital was the National Institutes of Health, where the Reagans had helped him cut to the front of the line for AIDS treatment. It was a given under Rosenthal's editorship that the Times would bring up none of this to protect the criminally hypocritical Cohn, who had threatened closeted gay government officials with exposure in the McCarthy era and loudly fought gay rights ever since. Meanwhile, the star Times columnist William Safire had joined William Buckley Jr. and Barbara Walters among the three dozen celebrated character witnesses opposing Cohn's disbarment. Trump, however, had distanced himself from his dying mentor, for a while dropping him altogether. ''I can't believe he's doing this to me,'' Cohn said. ''Donald pisses ice water.'' With the help of a new young factotum, Roger Stone, Cohn's last favor for Trump may have been securing his sister Maryanne Trump Barry a federal judgeship from the Reagan administration in 1983 despite her having received the tepid Bar Association rating of ''qualified.''
Eventually, the Times' coddling of Cohn and its institutional homophobia before and during the AIDS epidemic would be aired thoroughly '-- a process facilitated by Larry Kramer's landmark 1985 play The Normal Heart, Rosenthal's retirement in 1986, and Kushner's portrayal of Cohn in Angels. But much of the similarly embarrassing history of media collusion with Trump has been either forgotten or whitewashed. Look back no further than the obituaries and eulogies in the Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Cond(C) Nast magazines that followed Si Newhouse's death last October at the age of 89. Not only was his history with Cohn omitted but, more pertinently in 2017, so was his considerable role in transforming Trump from a local celebrity into a national figure. After he added Random House to his family's holdings, it was Newhouse, having met Trump through Cohn, who had the idea of signing up the book that became The Art of the Deal, an often-fictional exercise in self-promotion billed as an autobiography. At the time the book was published, in 1987, Trump was so vaguely known outside of the tri-state area that publishing insiders worried whether Random House would get back its investment. They hadn't reckoned, as Newhouse had, that Trump had the ability to market himself with a zeal beyond the imagination of authors who write their own books. The press ate it up. ''Mr. Trump makes one believe for a moment in the American dream again,'' enthused the Times's daily book reviewer.
The actual author of The Art of the Deal, Tony Schwartz, is the rare prominent collaborator in the burnishing of the Trump myth in those pre-Apprentice decades who has expressed public remorse at having put ''lipstick on a pig,'' and he tried to make amends by trolling Trump in 2016. ''This is the most perilous moment in modern American history,'' tweeted Richard Haass, the president of the Council of Foreign Relations, in March of this year, as the Trump presidency careered into danger on nearly every front. ''And it has been largely brought about by ourselves, not events.'' You don't hear many others in such circles on the Upper East or West Sides assuming any responsibility. It's all someone else's fault.
During his campaign, Trump made a cause out of the corruption intrinsic to pay-for-play political donations like those he used to give. ''Nobody knows the system better than me,'' he claimed, ''which is why I alone can fix it.'' The second half of that sentence was a lie, but the first was true. As he'd elaborate in pitch-perfect Cohn-speak, he gave to ''everybody'' because ''when I want something, I get it. When I call, they kiss my ass.'' At the first Republican presidential debate in August 2015, he fine-tuned his target: ''Well, I'll tell you what, with Hillary Clinton, I said, 'Be at my wedding,' and she came to my wedding. You know why? She had no choice, because I gave.''
He was referring to the fact that either he or his ''foundation'' gave at least $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation. He could have added that between 2002 and 2009, he had also contributed six times to Hillary Clinton's political war chest. And that he had given Bill Clinton, whom he met with to discuss fund-raising as far back as 1994, free access to his northern-Westchester club, Trump National, and on occasion played golf with him there. Even without that degree of incriminating detail, Trump's accusation of a quid pro quo stung Hillary Clinton '-- so much so that after her defeat, she felt compelled to revisit Trump's wedding invitation, sort of, in the opening pages of her postelection self-autopsy, What Happened. ''He was a fixture of the New York scene when I was a senator '-- like a lot of big-shot real-estate guys of the city, only more flamboyant and self-promoting,'' she writes of Trump. ''In 2005 he invited us to his wedding to Melania in Palm Beach, Florida. We weren't friends, so I assume he wanted as much star power as you can get. Bill happened to be speaking in the area that weekend, so we decided to go. Why not? I thought it would be a fun, gaudy, over-the-top spectacle, and I was right.''
Let's posit that Clinton is telling the truth when she says that she attended the wedding only because ''Bill happened to be speaking in the area that weekend'' and she wanted to take in a campy spectacle '-- an explanation that clears her of Trump's charge that his contributions compelled her to turn up. Let's also give her a pass for choosing not to regurgitate her and Bill's financial history with Trump. Even so, everything else about this breezy and disingenuous paragraph epitomizes the honor-among-celebrities ethos of the bipartisan New York Establishment that helped Trump get where he was by 2005. To say that Trump was typical of ''big-shot real-estate guys of the city'' but merely ''more flamboyant and self-promoting'' is tantamount to saying that Robert Durst was typical of the big-shot real-estate guys in the Durst family but more prone to being accused of murder. The Clintons had to know that there was a more malevolent side to Trump's so-called flamboyance than his boorishness, vulgar properties, television stardom, tawdry tabloid antics, and even his brazen destruction of bas-relief sculptures he had promised to the Metropolitan Museum when demolishing Bonwit Teller for Trump Tower. None of it was secret. If the Clintons didn't know, it's because they didn't want to know.
After all, it had been front-page news, including in the Times, when the federal government sued the Trumps under the Fair Housing Act in 1973 for refusing to rent apartments to black applicants (whose paperwork they coded ''C'' for ''colored''). This suit was filed just after Trump had met Cohn, who took on the case and filed a frivolous countersuit demanding $100 million from the government for ''defamation.'' The Trumps retreated two years later by signing a consent decree '-- and soon violated that, too, forcing the Department of Justice to file new complaints of racial discrimination in 1978. The Clintons might have also heard how in 1989 Trump, running amok in a trademark rage, tried to help toss the city into turmoil by taking out a full-page racist ad in the four daily papers demanding a reinstitution of the death penalty for ''roving bands of wild criminals'' after five black male teenagers were charged (erroneously, as DNA would confirm in 2002) in the rape of a white female Central Park jogger. The Clintons may have even encountered the news, as did most Americans, that Ivana Trump had accused her husband of rape in a sworn divorce deposition uncovered by Harry Hurt III for his 1993 Trump biography.
So to return to Hillary Clinton's flip rhetorical question: Why not go to the Trump-Melania wedding in 2005? These incidents are just a few of the many reasons why a former president and sitting United States senator with presidential ambitions should not have gone to this particular ''fun, gaudy, over-the-top spectacle'' in Palm Beach. But they just couldn't stop themselves, any more than so many Democratic leaders of a quarter-century earlier couldn't resist dressing up for Cohn's fun, gaudy, over-the-top birthday gala at Studio 54. In the bipartisan New York political culture that nurtured Cohn and Trump, the statute of limitations for nearly every crime or outrage lasts about 48 hours. Nothing sticks; even repeated racist bygones can be bygones. Whether Hillary Clinton attended the wedding (Bill showed solely for the reception) because she'd taken Trump's money, or because she wanted to be in the mix of power and celebrity no matter how tacky, or because she hoped there might be more favors to extract from Trump or someone else in the wedding party, doesn't matter. Whatever the explanation, the then''New York senator, sitting in a reserved seat in the front row, lent a touch of civic legitimacy to Trump that the other glitzy celebrities on hand could not. He got what he'd paid for. He had written his checks knowing that the Clintons could be counted on not to bite the small hand that fed them '-- at least not until their own self-interest was threatened in 2016.
In an aside that's tucked into the Oval Office pyrotechnics of Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff offers a glimpse into a representative back channel in the bipartisan Barter and Swap Exchanges of the Trump era: He points out that it was the flack Matthew Hiltzik, ''an active Democrat who had worked for Hillary Clinton'' and who ''also represented Ivanka Trump's fashion line,'' who gave Trump's prized aide Hope Hicks her start in public relations. Wolff also helpfully (and accurately) reports that Hiltzik had represented Harvey Weinstein, another major New York player in Democratic politics (and a Trump-wedding attendee), during those years when Hiltzik and his staff were expected to ''protect him'' from accusations of sexual harassment and abuse. Weinstein was further protected by his contributions to Democrats, led by those to the Clintons. Everyone in New York who had professional dealings with him knew he was a pig and a bully, much as they knew about Trump. But the parties, screenings, and star schmoozing were too much fun for Democratic politicians to resist. It's because Weinstein had good reason to believe that his political donations and liberal bona fides would serve as a get-out-of-jail-free card for even criminal behavior that he released that bizarre statement vowing to turn his ''full attention'' to fighting the NRA after the Times and The New Yorker uncovered his history of sexual assaults.
Wolff might have added that Hiltzik's r(C)sum(C) featured stints as deputy executive director of the New York State Democratic Committee, as a consultant on Middle East issues for Kirsten Gillibrand and ''Jewish outreach'' for Clinton, and as a shill for Jared Kushner's real-estate company. In December 2016, Hiltzik took on a month's employment for David Pecker's American Media Inc. at a time when its flagship, The National Enquirer, was dealing with the aftermath of its coverage (and suppression) of the alleged affair between Trump and the Playboy model Karen McDougal. Hiltzik is also a ''longtime friend'' of Bill de Blasio, according to the Washington Post, but what are conflicts of interest or politics among clients and friends in pursuit of power? The same strange bedfellows may be useful to de Blasio should he try to pursue Trump's New York path to the White House.
As Cohn says in Angels, the questions that count are not matters of principle but ''Who will pick up the phone when I call? Who owes me favors?'' Cohn's Favor Bank was such that he even gained access to the floor of the 1968 Democratic National Convention and briefly sat in the unoccupied box of the liberal Eugene McCarthy. His extended circle included figures as diverse as Cardinal Francis Spellman, various members of the Gambino crime family, Norman Mailer, George Steinbrenner, and the inevitable Alan Dershowitz, who had requested and received Cohn's help in gaining entr(C)e into Studio 54. Cohn even became pals with the CBS News executive Fred Friendly, who decades before had produced the legendary Edward R. Murrow special that helped rid America of Joe McCarthy. Had Cohn not been struck down by AIDS, Trump might have arrived in Washington far faster.
Some of the rich, connected, and powerful New Yorkers who failed to stand up to Trump before it was too late tried to cover their tracks once the music stopped and he had won the Republican nomination for president. When in April 2016 The Hollywood Reporter called 89 guests who had been at his 2005 wedding to request a comment, it did not receive a single response. One attendee who did speak up during the election year was the novelist Joseph O'Neill, who had attended as the plus-one of an invited Vogue editor. Writing in The New Yorker, he suggested that ''a revisionist remembrance'' was called for given Trump's ''metamorphosis into a would-be dictator.'' A wedding that he had viewed ever since as ''an anomalous and trivial item of personal recollection'' now struck him ''as the stuff of historic testimony,'' perhaps to be reviewed ''in the spirit of a Hannah Arendt or a Victor Klemperer.''
Had Cohn not been struck down by AIDS, Trump might have arrived in Washington far faster.I was not at Trump's wedding, but O'Neill's perspective resonated with me because of another wedding, one that I attended in 2012 '-- indeed the largest and most lavish wedding I've ever been to. It, too, calls for a revisionist remembrance. The two men getting married, acquaintances of mine from show business, held their ceremony in a large Broadway house, followed by a vast seated dinner in the old Roseland Ballroom a few blocks away. The mother of one of the grooms was a theater producer who had co-produced a Broadway revival of The Normal Heart a year earlier. Larry Kramer was there, and so were celebrities like Barbara Walters and such politicians as Christine Quinn, the out Speaker of the New York City Council, and her spouse. Quinn was then collecting chits for what would be her unsuccessful Democratic mayoral campaign.
There was premium seating at the ceremony, as it happened. Just before it began, the congregants were treated to the spectacle of Donald and Melania Trump swooping down the aisle to their seats down front. The Trumps were no doubt there because the father of one of the grooms and the host of the wedding was Steven Roth, a far more successful New York real-estate titan than Trump. Roth has also been in business with the scandal-and-debt-plagued real-estate family of Trump's son-in-law, the (non-Tony) Kushners, themselves profuse Democratic donors until the family patriarch, Charles, went to prison for multiple felonies in 2005.
Three and a half years after this wedding, in February 2016, Trump appointed Steven Roth to his campaign's economic-advisory team. Once Trump took office, Roth would remain a visible supplicant, appearing with the president at a public event in Ohio to lend credence to his bogus infrastructure initiative. By then, Trump was piling up the most aggressive of record assaulting LGBTQ rights since the era of Reagan and Cohn. His Justice Department would soon file a brief at the Supreme Court supporting the case of the Colorado baker who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding like the one Roth hosted and Trump attended for Roth's son.
It's easy for me, and I imagine a fair number of this wedding's other attendees, to say that we would never drink a glass of Roth's Champagne again. But then, we're not looking for any invitations, favors, or money from him. There's no sign, however, that Roth is being shunned by the city's most powerful elites, including those who practice a showy rhetorical liberalism that is a somewhat lower priority than advancing their own social and financial interests. So what if Trump is translating homophobia into federal law at every opportunity, from the transgender military ban to the en masse elevation of gay-rights opponents to the federal bench to the creation of a federal ''religious freedom'' office to defend health workers who don't want to treat gay patients? The wedding was fabulous! Let's move on.
Contrast the Vichy passivity of New York's elites with the mind-set of the citizenry of Abington, Pennsylvania. As the Times reported this month, this Philadelphia suburb was outraged to learn that another billionaire Trump economic adviser, the New York financier Stephen Schwarzman, had purchased the naming rights of its public high school, his alma mater, in exchange for a $25 million gift. As one horrified Abington graduate put it to the Times, if the school's name can be auctioned off, ''what else is for sale?'' The local protests were so loud that the school district rescinded the renaming. Needless to say, no such questions or qualms prevented Schwarzman's name from being plastered all over the New York Public Library's 42nd Street flagship in exchange for a gift of $100 million.
In Angels in America, Prior Walter, these nights embodied by Andrew Garfield, declares that ''the world only spins forward.'' It can also spin in circles, as it turns out: Steven Roth's son, married at a gay wedding attended by Roy Cohn's prot(C)g(C), is a co-producer of the current Broadway revival. Cohn is dead at the end of Angels, as is the Cold War in which he first thrived, but Prior is still standing, frail but determined, an apostle of hope. Yet the specter of Donald Trump casts a pall over this eight-hour epic, as it does over nearly everything else in America. Watching Angels now, you can't help but be struck by how the strain of evil that Kushner identified a quarter-century ago has only metastasized in both political parties, albeit in different degrees and in different ways, ever since. Nor can we escape the realization that the cancer now consuming Washington was incubated not in that city's notorious swamp but in the loftiest Zip Codes of New York.
A Teller at the Favor BankFrom the personal notebooks of Christine Seymour, a switchboard operator in the office of Roy Cohn from the late 1960s until his death. Seymour died in 1994.
'½ Maryanne Trump Barry (Donald Trump's sister): Roy got the White House to give her her judgeship. Roy was out and the call came in to tell her she got it. I took the call and called her to tell her. Ten minutes later, Donald called to say thank you.
'½ Roger Stone: Worked with Roy very heavily before and after elections. He was the one, with Roy, to find out the dirt on [Geraldine] Ferraro. Roger did not like Donald Trump or Si Newhouse '-- told me they were losers '-- but if Roy used them, he would, too. His wife's name is Bitsy. Roy called them Itsy and Bitsy. Roy was very fond of Roger, and I think he saw a little of himself when he was younger. [Reached for comment, Stone denied all of this. ''I never said Trump was a loser.Why would I say that?'']
'½ Ed Rollins (Reagan campaign adviser) and Lyn Nofziger (White House adviser): Whenever Roy needed an appointment at the White House, that's who he called. Roy was in constant touch with these two during both elections.
'½ George Steinbrenner: He got snotty when you didn't recognize his voice immediately. So what was one to do? I always asked, ''Who's calling, please?'' and listened to him scream.
'½ Charles Wick (director of U.S. Information Agency): Roy put Barbara Walters in touch with him, and that's how she was introduced to the White House crowd.
'½ Steve Rubell: When he and Ian [Schrager] were in jail, Steve would call me at home '-- collect '-- and since I had a conference phone '... I would connect Steve to whoever he wanted to talk to. Once he called Liza Minnelli, who was staying at Halston's house out on L.I., and they were talking about her song ''New York, New York'' and how she was furious with Frank Sinatra. ''Mine is so much better'' '... With Steve calling me every night I had to laugh because '... there was an article in New York Magazine about Steve calling people and the A-, B-, and C-list. Which list was everyone on? I certainly was on the A-plus-list '-- I connected him to these people.
'½ Rupert Murdoch: Whenever Roy wanted a story stopped, item put in, or story exploited '-- i.e., Ferraro and her family '-- Roy called Murdoch. Roy was also Rupert's attorney.
'½ Paul Laxalt (senator from Nevada): 60 Minutes was going to be doing a story on him, not favorable '... Roy called the producer of 60 Minutes and had it taken out of their schedule.
'½ Gloria Vanderbilt: One day, she called me [looking for] the attorney Tom Andrews. She said, ''This is Gloria Vanderbilt.'' I said, ''Tom isn't in '-- may I please take a message?'' She again repeated, ''This is Gloria Vanderbilt,'' so my dander got up, and I said, ''How do you spell that?'' '... She slammed the phone down and I later heard she demanded that I be fired. Roy just laughed. He loved it when you gave them what they deserved.
'½ The Kennedys: Roy hated them '... but Roy was going to finally get even when Aristotle Onassis came to see him to handle his divorce from Jackie. But he died before anything could be done.
[Source: Marcus Baram]
*This article appears in the April 30, 2018, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!
Rich: Roy Cohn, Donald Trump, and the New York Cesspool Promoted links by Taboola No, Michelle Wolf Didn't Joke About Sarah Huckabee Sanders's Looks
The Original Donald Trump
Michelle Wolf's Best Jokes at the 2018 White House Correspondents' Dinner
Homeland Season-Finale Recap: God Bless America
How Many Marvel Movies Do I Have to See Before Infinity War?
WHCA Issues Statement Confirming They're Not Huge Fans of Michelle Wolf's Monologue
The Most Memorable GIF Reactions From the White House Correspondents' Dinner
DOJ Erases 'Need for Free Press and Public Trial' From Internal Manual
The Last Slave
Westworld Recap: A Place Hidden From God
Latest News from Daily Intelligencer 5:28 a.m. Twin Suicide Bombings in Afghanistan Kill 29, Including JournalistsThe second bomber targeted people rushing to cover the first blast. AFP's chief photographer in Afghanistan was among the seven journalists killed.
4:01 a.m. Former W. Bush Ethics Lawyer Running for Franken's Senate Seat as a DemocratRichard Painter, a lifelong Republican, is expected to challenge Senator Tina Smith, who was appointed to the seat when Franken resigned.
1:09 a.m. WHCA Issues Statement to Members Criticizing Michelle Wolf's Monologue''I also have heard from members expressing dismay with the entertainer's monologue and concerns about how it reflects on our mission.''
12:15 a.m. Nominating Ronny Jackson to Lead VA Cost Trump His PhysicianIt's unclear if he'll leave the White House, but he won't be attending to the president any longer.
Yesterday at 9:00 p.m. Frank Rich: Roy Cohn, Donald Trump, and the New York Cesspool That Created ThemThe city's Establishment will ignore unscrupulous acts to serve its interests '-- just look how it treated the onetime lawyer to the president.
Yesterday at 9:00 p.m. Think Manhattan's DA Goes Easy on the Rich? Look at How He Prosecutes the Poor.Cyrus Vance Jr., who styles himself a progressive reformer, is actually far more punitive toward poor and minority defendants than his counterparts.
Yesterday at 6:12 p.m. DOJ Erases 'Need for Free Press and Public Trial' From Internal ManualThese requirements are totally outdated!
Yesterday at 4:57 p.m. John Bolton Says U.S. Is Considering 'Libya Model' for North Korea''Libya's giving up its nuclear arms was used as an invasion tactic to disarm the country,'' a North Korean official said in 2011.
Yesterday at 3:15 p.m. Sprint and T-Mobile Announce MegamergerThe two companies are betting that Trump administration regulators will be friendly to their ambitions.
Yesterday at 1:11 p.m. Joy Reid's Missed OpportunityHer apology for having once held homophobic views was both incomplete and instructive.
Yesterday at 11:36 a.m. Trump Casually Implies He Could Ruin Jon Tester's CareerThe Montana senator has become one of the president's go-to targets in recent days.
Yesterday at 9:43 a.m. Kim Jong-un Wants U.S. Promise Not to Invade in Exchange for NukesBut his rhetorical ramp-up to peace talks should be considered style without substance until proven otherwise.
Yesterday at 9:00 a.m. Preet Bharara's Former Deputy on His Old Boss's Firing and Michael Cohen CaseFormer acting U.S. attorney Joon Kim discusses leading the Southern District of New York under the Trump administration.
4/28/2018 at 5:20 p.m. Trump's Reality Distortion Field Could be a Huge Asset for Democrats This FallThe president simply refuses to consider that Republicans are on the brink of losing big.
4/28/2018 at 11:04 a.m. Trump Wants Senator Jon Tester to Resign Over the Ronny Jackson DebacleIt turns out that nominating an unqualified candidate who is alleged to have been drunk on the job was all a Democrat's fault.
4/28/2018 at 8:00 a.m. California GOP Hopes Gas Tax Repeal Will Drive Voters to the PollsWith a Democratic wave building for 2018, Golden State Republicans are banking on a ballot initiative to repeal a controversial gas tax increase.
4/27/2018 at 7:51 p.m. Another PA GOP Congressman Resigns, Triggering Another Special ElectionIn this really bad year for Pennsylvania Republicans, two more special elections are imminent before a terrible-looking November.
4/27/2018 at 6:31 p.m. Scott Pruitt Faces Yet Another InvestigationIt's getting harder and harder to keep them straight.
4/27/2018 at 3:49 p.m. Israeli Military Kills Three, Wounds Hundreds More at Gaza BorderThe killings come as the U.N. criticizes Israel's ''excessive force'' against demonstrators.
4/27/2018 at 12:44 p.m. Conservative Leader Seems to Rule Out Catholics '-- and Women? '-- for Chaplain JobMark Walker thinks clergy that haven't ''walked in the shoes'' of the married men who dominate Congress can't relate to them adequately.
Kathy Griffin's comeback show at New York's Carnegie Hall sells out in 24 hours - MarketWatch
The comedian sold out the lion's share of the five-tier, 2,894-seat Stern Auditorium in New York's iconic Carnegie Hall in just 24 hours. The tickets went on sale Friday morning for the June 26 show in the president's home town and were sold out by Saturday morning. Just a smattering of seats with obstructed views and those reserved for people with disabilities and their companions are left.
The U.S. tour comes after she badly misjudged a stunt on May 30, 2017 in which she posed with a fake bloody mask resembling the head of President Trump. As the backlash was gathering momentum, Griffin posted an apology on Twitter TWTR, +4.52% and Facebook FB, -0.92% : ''I went way too far.'' Carnegie Hall tickets cost between $45.50 and $149.50.
She has since rolled back that apology for the photo, telling the Hollywood Reporter in January, ''I didn't commit a crime. I didn't rape anybody. I didn't assault anybody. I didn't get a DUI. I mean, my God, there are celebrities that f****ing kill people.'' Of the shoot, she said, ''When you're in between gigs and trying to stay on the map, you have to think of ways to stay in the spotlight.''
I just found out that my Carnegie Hall show sold out in a day. I'm in shock. For most of the past year I was convinced that my career was over...I have felt moments of despair that I can't describe in a tweet. Thank you from the bottom of my heart...I am so grateful.
'-- Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) March 17, 2018The latest show is presented by Live Nation LYV, -0.23% and is part of Griffin's 2018 tour of North America and Mexico with her provocatively entitled, ''Laugh Your Head Off World Tour.'' Last year, she completed the first leg in cities across Europe, Australia and Asia. Toward the end of her marathon two-hour, 15-minute stand-up performance in Dublin last November, Griffin fainted.
The infamous photo, shot by the Tyler Shields, was followed last year by a slew of venue cancellations, citing security concerns. She was replaced on CNN's annual New Year's Eve show, which she co-hosted with Anderson Cooper, by Bravo TV CMCSA, -1.32% host Andy Cohen. Griffin ended her friendship with Cooper and she said they have not spoken since the photo scandal.
In this highly politicized environment where stories go global on social media in a matter of hours (or minutes), advertisers are under pressure to take a stand. ''Corporate America has been a little on edge since the election,'' said Marcus Messner, social media professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. Even a tweet from the president can impact market prices, at least temporarily, he said.
''That's why we have these sensitivities,'' he said. There's a lot of pressure from the far right media outlets and the far left, so it's almost like a no-win situation. The safest thing for them is to retreat to the sidelines.'' Cable news has become distinctly politically divided in recent years. Griffin made her major TV booking since May 2017 on HBO's TWX, +0.21% ''Real Time With Bill Maher.''
Corporations must try to occupy this gulf between red and blue states, said Aram Sinnreich, an associate professor at American University's School of Communication in Washington, D.C. Different brands appeal to different social and political demographics'--Apple AAPL, +1.81% versus Android, for example'--but TV networks have a more difficult challenge.
Read also: 'Roseanne' returns March 27'--how families have changed since 1988
And if that photo stunt happened a year later? ''The toxicity level is now so high it probably wouldn't even hit the news cycle In 2018,'' Sinnreich said. The latest controversy surrounding the president concerns his alleged affair with Stormy Daniels, an adult movie actress whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, and the $130,000 payment made to her by Trump's lawyer.
After selling out Carnegie Hall, Griffin's live career is back in play. TV is a more complicated bet. ''The nation's divided halves are barely on speaking terms,'' Sinnreich said. ''Brands that have historically stayed out of the political fray, aiming for that increasingly elusive 'mass' in the middle, are finding it more and more difficult to discover 'safe' celebrities, events and institutions to partner with.''
Of her 2017 date at the London Palladium, the Guardian's Brian Logan wrote that her show is styled as a ''glove's off'' Griffin. In a piece entitled ''Trump's nemesis laughs away the pain of persecution,'' he said some ''will savor the spirit with which she has defied an ugly act of public shaming, and how'--give or take a tear or two'--she recasts that trauma as a catalyst for cathartic laughter.''
In 2018, Griffin is more polarizing, political and more famous than ever before.
Also see: The depressing reason women outearn men in these 7 places in the U.S.
New York Times prints Donald Trump campaign insults - Business Insider
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at the third and final debate. Thomson Reuters The New York Times used two full pages of Monday's paper to print out every person and organization insulted by Donald Trump on Twitter since his presidential campaign launched more than a year ago.
The list contains 281 "people, places, and things" the Republican presidential nominee has insulted on Twitter, including Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton ("Crooked," "very dumb," "totally confused," etc.), media organizations ( "so dishonest" Wall Street Journal, "failing" Vanity Fair, etc.), and entire countries ( "terrible" China, "totally corrupt" Mexico, "a total mess-big crime" Germany, etc.).
The Times first published the list online in January and has updated it throughout the campaign.
Trump has tumbled in the polls after a trying month for his campaign that has included revelations that he may have avoided paying federal income taxes for nearly two decades and that he bragged in a 2005 recording about kissing and groping women. Since Trump described his remarks in the tape as "just words" at one of two debate performances that failed to help him in the polls, several women have come forward accusing him of sexual assault.
The data journalism website FiveThirtyEight forecasts that Clinton has an 86.2% chance of winning the presidency, while a RealClearPolitics polling average has Clinton leading Trump by 6 points nationally.
Here's what the insult list looks like in print: More: Donald Trump New York Times Twitter election Powered By Sailthru
The co-founder of WhatsApp '-- the messaging app that Facebook bought for $19 billion in 2014, its largest-ever acquisition '-- is leaving the company.
Jan Koum said in a Facebook post on Monday that it was time to "move on" and take time to do things outside of technology.
"And I'll still be cheering WhatsApp on '' just from the outside," he wrote.
The Washington Post, which earlier reported details of Koum's departure, said Koum would leave both WhatsApp and Facebook's board. An SEC filing also showed that Koum will not stand for re-election on Facebook's board.
Koum's departure comes at a crucial time at Facebook as the company reels from revelations of Russian election manipulation, fake news, data leaks and more. Koum has long been an advocate of privacy, writing in 2014 about his experience growing up in the USSR when he feared communications would be monitored by the KGB. In 2012 he posted a salvo about Google's data collection, writing, "Your data isn't even in the picture. We are simply not interested in any of it."
Koum's Monday post announcing his departure did not mention privacy concerns, and did not specifically address his roles in Facebook outside WhatsApp. But according to the Post, Koum was "worn down by the differences in approach," particularly around data targeting, encryption, ad-based revenue and mobile payments.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to the post on Monday, writing he was thankful for what Koum taught him about "about encryption and its ability to take power from centralized systems and put it back in people's hands."
"Those values will always be at the heart of WhatsApp," Zuckerberg wrote in a comment on Koum's Facebook post. But Zuckerberg has also pushed WhatsApp to "move faster" to grow its business base, despite scrutiny from the European Commission surrounding the company.
Koum is leaving Facebook less than two months after fellow WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton told his followers to delete Facebook's app. Acton left Facebook to help launch the Signal Foundation, which supports secure messaging service Signal.
Koum's 2014 employment offer from Facebook included restricted stock units with a four-year quarterly vesting period, indicating those options should be free by the end of the year. Kuom sold almost $2.83 billion in shares in 2017, far more than most technology executives.
Koum told an audience in January that the team missed Acton, but said he still goes to work because it's like he "won the lottery."
Facebook did not offer additional comment to CNBC on Koum's departure.
Here's Koum's full post:
It's been almost a decade since Brian and I started WhatsApp, and it's been an amazing journey with some of the best people. But it is time for me to move on. I've been blessed to work with such an incredibly small team and see how a crazy amount of focus can produce an app used by so many people all over the world.
I'm leaving at a time when people are using WhatsApp in more ways than I could have imagined. The team is stronger than ever and it'll continue to do amazing things. I'm taking some time off to do things I enjoy outside of technology, such as collecting rare air-cooled Porsches, working on my cars and playing ultimate frisbee. And I'll still be cheering WhatsApp on '' just from the outside. Thanks to everyone who has made this journey possible.
Here's Zuckerberg's response:
Jan: I will miss working so closely with you. I'm grateful for everything you've done to help connect the world, and for everything you've taught me, including about encryption and its ability to take power from centralized systems and put it back in people's hands. Those values will always be at the heart of WhatsApp.
This is a developing story, please check back for updates.
WATCH: WhatsAPP co-founder says time to delete Facebook
Facebook employee fired over bragging about access to user information | Reuters
(Reuters) - Facebook Inc on Thursday said that it fired an employee accused of bragging on matchmaking app Tinder about his access to private user information.
FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of laptop users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo/File PhotoThe incident comes as Facebook faces global concerns about personal data privacy, including Congressional hearings at which Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg testified.
A Twitter user earlier on Wednesday posted here about the Tinder conversation along with screenshots, saying Facebook's security engineer is "likely using privileged access to stalk women online".
In the unverified screenshot, the employee in question writes of being a ''professional stalker'' searching for hackers.
In a statement, Facebook's Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos said the company quickly investigated the situation and immediately fired the person.
Access to sensitive data is logged, and the company has automated systems designed to detect and prevent abuse, Stamos said.
''Employees who abuse these controls will be fired '-- period.''
The firing was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr
Carole Cadwalladr on Twitter: "BREAKING: This is pretty extraordinary. Parliament issues ultimatum to Facebook. Either Mark Zuckerberg comes voluntarily. Or, he'll face a summons next time he enters British territory. Facebook really couldn't have handled
Since it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed the personal data of millions of Facebook users, one question has lingered in the minds of the public: What other data did Dr. Aleksandr Kogan gain access to?
Twitter confirmed to The Telegraph on Saturday that GSR, Kogan's own commercial enterprise, had purchased one-time API access to a random sample of public tweets from a five-month period between December 2014 and April 2015. Twitter told Bloomberg that, following an internal review, the company did not find any access to private data about people who use Twitter.
Twitter sells API access to large organizations or enterprises for the purposes of surveying sentiment or opinion during various events, or around certain topics or ideas.
Here's what a Twitter spokesperson said to The Telegraph:
Twitter has also made the policy decision to off-board advertising from all accounts owned and operated by Cambridge Analytica. This decision is based on our determination that Cambridge Analytica operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices. Cambridge Analytica may remain an organic user on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter Rules.
Obviously, this doesn't have the same scope as the data harvested about users on Facebook. Twitter's data on users is far less personal. Location on the platform is opt-in and generic at that, and users are not forced to use their real name on the platform.
Still, it shows just how broad the Cambridge Analytica data collection was ahead of the 2016 election.
We reached out to Twitter and will update when we hear back.
How a Pentagon Contract Sparked a Cloud War - Defense One
Amazon and Google are taking on defense contractors in a heated battle for billions in government contracts.
Next month, the Defense Department is expected to bid out a lucrative contract that will task a single cloud provider with building the cloud the U.S. military will use for war.
The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract'--perhaps worth as much as $10 billion over 10 years'--will put a commercial company in charge of hosting and distributing mission-critical workloads and classified military secrets to warfighters around the globe.
Many experts believe Amazon Web Services is considered the odds-on favorite to win JEDI because it already hosts classified data, yet public jockeying for the department's business spotlights a larger battle among industry for dominion over a growing federal cloud market.
The Defense Department awarded about $2.3 billion in cloud computing contracts in fiscal 2017, according to an estimate from Deltek, a research firm that crunches government spending data. Deltek predicts Defense spending on cloud could grow 20 percent year over year through 2022 and a total potential cloud market across the federal government of more than $6 billion. Those estimates came before the department released JEDI and another cloud contract with an $8 billion ceiling.
Receive daily email updates:
Subscribe to the Defense One daily.
Be the first to receive updates.
In any case, the Trump administration's quest to modernize decades-old technology and close all but the most necessary of 11,000 federal data centers created a new cloud market sought primarily by two types of companies.
On one side, established tech and defense contractors like Leidos, General Dynamics, Oracle, Microsoft and IBM , whose systems and software already underpin huge swaths of government and military services. They aim to keep a hold on their market shares.
The old guard is being challenged by West Coast disruptors, led by Amazon and Google, which host their own technology ecosystems with thousands of commercial customers and partners.
''There is definitely increased competition based on new companies with new offerings coming into the market, and the Defense Department is looking for new options,'' Alex Rossino, senior principal research analyst at Deltek, told Nextgov. ''But I would not underestimate the experience established companies have in the marketplace and the Defense Department's familiarity with them.''
Companies from both sides have nabbed important government cloud contracts. Amazon Web Services arrived as a major government player in 2013 when it landed a $600 million contract to build a commercial cloud for the CIA and intelligence agencies. IBM , General Dynamics and Microsoft each have multimillion-dollar military contracts to host sensitive information on their platforms.
Yet JEDI represents perhaps the most lucrative government cloud contract to date, and a flashpoint in the battle between traditional contractors and new companies.
A Game of Influence
In public, trade groups like the Professional Services Council and IT Alliance for Public Sector'--which represent a mix of old and new contracting blood'--encouraged the Defense Department to pursue a multi-cloud contract instead of a single award. Yet these groups tow a fine line for fear of alienating members on either side.
These members could be called frenemies: They sometimes partner for business and lobbying but otherwise compete against each other. JEDI has magnified the animosity.
''It's a balancing act,'' one representative told Nextgov. ''We have to be very careful in our messaging.''
Behind the scenes, the battle gets more interesting and less cordial.
Bloomberg reported Oracle is leading an anti-Amazon lobbying campaign, in conjunction with Microsoft, IBM , Dell and HPE . According to the report, the campaign's goal is to get the Defense Department to award the JEDI contract to multiple companies instead of just one.
Oracle, whose co-chief executive met with President Trump in April, took legal action in February against a $950 million Defense Department cloud migration contract awarded to REAN Cloud, an Amazon Web Services partner company. While the case is pending, the Defense Department reduced the value of the contract to $65 million.
Kenneth Glueck, vice president of Oracle, told Nextgov the Defense Department's ''strategy to move to the cloud is the right one.'' Oracle, however, continues to take issue with the decision to award JEDI to one company. Oracle, Microsoft, IBM and other ''incumbent companies'' operate the ''vast majority of workloads that make government work,'' he said.
''It seems a bit of a shame to exclude what would be perhaps the best solutions,'' Glueck added.
Amazon is organizing its own industry group called the Alliance for Digital Innovation. Federal News Radio reported the group will consist of Amazon partners and resellers, and will advocate the company's positions on government issues. In addition to increasing its federal cloud revenue, Amazon is interested in providing e-commerce services to the federal government.
The Internet Association, an industry group that represents internet companies including Microsoft, Amazon and Google, is also ramping up its presence in Washington. One of the group's goals is helping its members secure government business.
Financially, companies from both sides are spending big on efforts to influence lawmakers on a variety of issues, including defense and information technology policy.
Google, which is racing to meet government requirements to compete for JEDI and other government contracts, spent $18 million'--more than any other company'--on federal lobbying in 2017. Amazon spent $13 million last year and has increased its lobbying spend each year since 2012. In 2016, Amazon made a concerted effort to lobby the White House on defense and cloud procurement, according to Bloomberg.
Oracle spent $12.3 million lobbying last year, focusing primarily on the National Defense Authorization Act. IBM spent $5.3 million on a mix of internet and defense policy issues. General Dynamics, which purchased competitor CSRA for $9.7 billion in large part to better compete for defense IT contracts, spent $11 million lobbying almost entirely on defense and tech issues. Microsoft spent $8.7 million lobbying officials.
The point is to ensure lawmakers are on their side. Sources on Capitol Hill tell Nextgovcompanies have been meeting with staffers from the Armed Services committees, pleading their respective cases.
Congress creates budgets and appropriates funds'--or if it's not satisfied with a program, withholds them. Lawmakers already signaled they're watching the JEDI procurement, using the omnibus spending package to mandate two reports. The first must outline details such as budget requests while the second directs the defense secretary to outline the department's cloud plan from best practices to exit strategy. The second report also tells the department to justify a single award instead of multiple awards, something it has not yet done publicly.
The reports are due back to Congress in May, around the same time the Defense Department says it wants to bid out the JEDI contract. Defense Department Comptroller David Norquist told the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday that the Pentagon will send a justification for the single-award JEDI cloud contract on May 7.
Throughout the acquisition, Defense officials have stood by a timeline to award JEDI by September and initiate migrations by the beginning of fiscal 2019. When asked by the SASC about the ''rush'' to award JEDI at Thursday's budget hearing, Defense Secretary James Mattis said it was needed for ''lethality.''
More Clouds to Come
Defense Department Deputy Secretary Patrick Shanahan told reporters Tuesday that the Pentagon will continue its single-award approach to JEDI . However, Shanahan said the contract would ''represent less than 20 percent'' of the Defense Department's cloud capacity, and said the Pentagon would strengthen its relationship with multiple cloud suppliers in the coming years.
The initial JEDI contract gives the winning company two years to prove its worth and options to extend work for an additional eight years. While Defense officials have not assigned a value, market analysts estimate JEDI will be worth approximately $1 billion per year, larger than any previous government cloud contract.
The Defense Department also is pursuing a second multibillion-dollar cloud contract called the Defense Enterprise Office Solution. DEOS , with an $8 billion ceiling, which will also pit old guard companies against new ones. Microsoft, IBM and Google, three contenders for JEDI , are also early favorites to win DEOS , according to contracting experts.
''I would characterize the cloud as we're ushering in a new age of technology,'' Shanahan said. ''It's a small step of many steps that are going to occur over the next many years. I don't think any of us has a crystal ball that'll even be able to say what it's going to be like two years from now.''
Time's Up movement's Women of Color committee and more join campaign #MuteRKelly.
Smartphones are an integral part of most people's lives, allowing us to stay connected and in-the-know at all times. The downside of that convenience is that many of us are also addicted to the constant pings, chimes, vibrations and other alerts from our devices, unable to ignore new emails, texts and images. In a new study published in NeuroRegulation, San Francisco State University Professor of Health Education Erik Peper and Associate Professor of Health Education Richard Harvey argue that overuse of smart phones is just like any other type of substance abuse. ''The behavioral addiction of smartphone use begins forming neurological connections in the brain in ways similar to how opioid addiction is experienced by people taking Oxycontin for pain relief '-- gradually,'' Peper explained.
On top of that, addiction to social media technology may actually have a negative effect on social connection. In a survey of 135 San Francisco State students, Peper and Harvey found that students who used their phones the most reported higher levels of feeling isolated, lonely, depressed and anxious. They believe the loneliness is partly a consequence of replacing face-to-face interaction with a form of communication where body language and other signals cannot be interpreted. They also found that those same students almost constantly multitasked while studying, watching other media, eating or attending class. This constant activity allows little time for bodies and minds to relax and regenerate, says Peper, and also results in ''semi-tasking,'' where people do two or more tasks at the same time '-- but half as well as they would have if focused on one task at a time.
Peper and Harvey note that digital addiction is not our fault but a result of the tech industry's desire to increase corporate profits. ''More eyeballs, more clicks, more money,'' said Peper. Push notifications, vibrations and other alerts on our phones and computers make us feel compelled to look at them by triggering the same neural pathways in our brains that once alerted us to imminent danger, such as an attack by a tiger or other large predator. ''But now we are hijacked by those same mechanisms that once protected us and allowed us to survive '-- for the most trivial pieces of information,'' he said.
But just as we can train ourselves to eat less sugar, for example, we can take charge and train ourselves to be less addicted to our phones and computers. The first step is recognizing that tech companies are manipulating our innate biological responses to danger. Peper suggests turning off push notifications, only responding to email and social media at specific times and scheduling periods with no interruptions to focus on important tasks.
Two of Peper's students say they have taken proactive measures to change their patterns of technology use. Recreation, Parks and Tourism major Khari McKendell closed all of his social media accounts about six months ago because he wanted to make stronger face-to-face connections with people. ''I still call and text people but I want to make sure that a majority of the time I'm talking to my friends in person,'' he said.
Senior Sierra Hinkle, a Holistic Health minor, says she has stopped using headphones while out walking in order to be more aware of her surroundings. When she's out with friends, they all put their phones in the center of the table, and the first one to touch theirs buys the drinks. ''We have to become creative and approach technology in a different way that still incorporates the skills we need but doesn't take away from real-life experience,'' said Hinkle.
This article has been republished from materials provided by San Francisco State University. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.
Peper, E., & Harvey, R. (2018). Digital addiction: Increased loneliness, anxiety, and depression. NeuroRegulation, 5(1), 3.
WhatsApp founder plans to leave after broad clashes with parent Facebook - The Washington Post
SAN FRANCISCO '-- The billionaire chief executive of WhatsApp, Jan Koum, is planning to leave the company after clashing with its parent, Facebook, over the popular messaging service's strategy and Facebook's attempts to use its personal data and weaken its encryption, according to people familiar with internal discussions.
Koum, who sold WhatsApp to Facebook for more than $19 billion in 2014, also plans to step down from Facebook's board of directors, according to these people. The date of his departure isn't known.
It ''is time for me to move on,'' Koum wrote in a Facebook post after The Washington Post reported his plans to depart. He has been informing senior executives at Facebook and WhatsApp of his decision, and in recent months has been showing up less frequently to WhatsApp's offices on Facebook's campus in Silicon Valley, according to the people.
The independence and protection of its users' data is a core tenet of WhatsApp that Koum and his co-founder, Brian Acton, promised to preserve when they sold their tiny start-up to Facebook. It doubled down on its pledge by adding encryption in 2016. The clash over data took on additional significance in the wake of revelations in March that Facebook had allowed third parties to mishandle its users' personal information.
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg replied to Koum's post by crediting Koum with teaching him ''about encryption and its ability to take power from centralized systems and put it back in people's hands. Those values will always be at the heart of WhatsApp.''
Facebook, though, needs to prove that its investment in WhatsApp '-- its largest acquisition ever '-- was worth it.
''Part of Facebook's success has been to digest acquisitions, successfully monetize them, and integrate them into their advertising machine,'' said Daniel Ives, chief strategy officer and head of technology research for research firm GBH Insights. But WhatsApp has been more challenging because of resistance from the founders, he said. ''This was a massive culture clash.''
Koum's exit is highly unusual at Facebook. The inner circle of management, as well as the board of directors, has been fiercely loyal during the scandals that have rocked the social media giant. In addition, Koum is the sole founder of a company acquired by Facebook to serve on its board. Only two other Facebook executives, Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, are members of the board.
Facebook declined to comment on the reasons for Koum's departure but didn't dispute the accounts.
In his Facebook post, Koum said he would take some time off from technology to focus on other pursuits, ''such as collecting rare air-cooled Porsches, working on my cars and playing ultimate frisbee.''
Acton left the company in November. He has joined a chorus of former executives critical of Facebook. Acton recently endorsed a #DeleteFacebook social media campaign that has gained force in the wake of the controversy over data privacy sparked by Cambridge Analytica, a political marketing firm tied to the Trump campaign that had inappropriately obtained the private information of 87 million Facebook users.
Though the Cambridge Analytica revelations contributed to a climate of broader frustration with Facebook among WhatsApp employees, Koum made his decision to leave before the scandal, the people said.
WhatsApp, with 1.5 billion monthly users, is the largest messaging service in the world. It is most popular in countries such as India, Egypt and Brazil, as well as in Europe, where it is used for phone calls and text messaging with friends and businesses, as well as news distribution and group chats.
Koum and Acton, former co-workers at Yahoo, founded WhatsApp in 2009. It promised private communications for 99 cents a year. By 2014, the tiny company had almost 500 million users. It caught the attention of Zuckerberg, who was looking to expand the social network overseas. After a dinner at Zuckerberg's house, Zuckerberg made an offer for WhatsApp that turned Acton and Koum into instant billionaires.
But even in the early days, there were signs of a mismatch. WhatsApp had less than $20 million in revenue at the time of the acquisition. Facebook was making billions of dollars by selling advertisers access to its users, on whom it had collected large amounts of information.
Koum and Acton were openly disparaging of the targeted advertising model. In a WhatsApp blog post in 2012, they wrote that ''no one wakes up excited to see more advertising; no one goes to sleep thinking about the ads they'll see tomorrow.'' They described online advertising as ''a disruption to aesthetics, an insult to your intelligence, and the interruption of your train of thought.''
The WhatsApp co-founders were also big believers in privacy. They took pains to collect as little data as possible from their users, requiring only phone numbers and putting them at odds with data-hungry Facebook. At the time of the acquisition, Koum and Acton said Facebook had assured them that WhatsApp could remain an independent service and would not share its data with Facebook.
How and if WhatsApp would make money was left an open question. ''WhatsApp will remain autonomous and operate independently,'' the founders wrote in a blog post announcing the acquisition. ''And you can still count on absolutely no ads interrupting your communication.''
Eighteen months later, the promise not to share data evaporated. Facebook pushed WhatsApp to change its terms of service to give the social network access to the phone numbers of WhatsApp users, along with analytics such as what devices and operating systems people were using.
WhatsApp executives were comfortable sharing some data with Facebook to measure who was using the service, according to the people. But they opposed using WhatsApp's data to create a user profile that was unified across Facebook's multiple platforms, which also include Instagram and Facebook Messenger, and that could be used for ad-targeting or for Facebook's data-mining.
Acton and Koum acquiesced, enabling Facebook to recommend that users' WhatsApp contacts become their Facebook friends and making it possible for Facebook to collect more data about those relationships. The changes also allowed advertisers to feed lists of phone numbers into Facebook's advertising system, known as Custom Audience, and find new people to target with ads.
Last year, the European Commission, the European Union's regulatory authority, fined Facebook $122 million for making ''misleading'' statements when the E.U. approved the WhatsApp takeover.
Conflicts soon arose over how WhatsApp would make money. Facebook scrapped the 99-cent annual charge, and Koum and Acton continued to oppose the advertising model. The service still has no ads, but WhatsApp has embarked on experiments to make money: In January, Facebook rolled out a tool, called WhatsApp Business, to allow businesses to create a profile and send messages to their customers on WhatsApp. The founders also clashed with Facebook over building a mobile payments system on WhatsApp in India.
Another point of disagreement was over WhatsApp's encryption. In 2016, WhatsApp added end-to-end encryption, a security feature that scrambles people's messages so that outsiders, including WhatsApp's owners, can't read them. Facebook executives wanted to make it easier for businesses to use its tools, and WhatsApp executives believed that doing so would require some weakening of its encryption.
Ultimately, Koum was worn down by the differences in approach, the people said. Other WhatsApp employees are demoralized and plan to leave in November, four years and a month after the Facebook acquisition, when they are allowed to exercise all their stock options under the terms of the Facebook deal, according to the people.
Acton donated $50 million of his money to Signal, a rival messaging app that is geared toward security and privacy. In a recent blog post announcing his donation and role as the executive chairman of the nonprofit Signal Foundation, Acton said his goal was to build ''the most trusted communications experience on the planet.''
Julie Tate contributed to this report.
Wifi pings reveal who you are
I work in the building automation space and thought you
might like to know another avenue to track the stupid slaves.
In the race to continue building more sophisticated AI deep learning models, Facebook has a secret weapon: billions of images on Instagram .
In research the company is presenting today at F8, Facebook details how it took what amounted to billions of public Instagram photos that had been annotated by users with hashtags and used that data to train their own image recognition models. They relied on hundreds of GPUs running around the clock to parse the data, but were ultimately left with deep learning models that beat industry benchmarks, the best of which achieved 85.4 percent accuracy on ImageNet.
If you've ever put a few hashtags onto an Instagram photo, you'll know doing so isn't exactly a research-grade process. There is generally some sort of method to why users tag an image with a specific hashtag; the challenge for Facebook was sorting what was relevant across billions of images.
When you're operating at this scale '-- the largest of the tests used 3.5 billion Instagram images spanning 17,000 hashtags '-- even Facebook doesn't have the resources to closely supervise the data. While other image recognition benchmarks may rely on millions of photos that human beings have pored through and annotated personally, Facebook had to find methods to clean up what users had submitted that they could do at scale.
The ''pre-training'' research focused on developing systems for finding relevant hashtags; that meant discovering which hashtags were synonymous while also learning to prioritize more specific hashtags over the more general ones. This ultimately led to what the research group called the ''large-scale hashtag prediction model.''
The privacy implications here are interesting. On one hand, Facebook is only using what amounts to public data (no private accounts), but when a user posts an Instagram photo, how aware are they that they're also contributing to a database that's training deep learning models for a tech mega-corp? These are the questions of 2018, but they're also issues that Facebook is undoubtedly growing more sensitive to out of self-preservation.
It's worth noting that the product of these models was centered on the more object-focused image recognition. Facebook won't be able to use this data to predict who your #mancrushmonday is and it also isn't using the database to finally understand what makes a photo #lit. It can tell dog breeds, plants, food and plenty of other things that it's grabbed from WordNet.
The accuracy from using this data isn't necessarily the impressive part here. The increases in image recognition accuracy only were a couple of points in many of the tests, but what's fascinating are the pre-training processes that turned noisy data that was this vast into something effective while being weakly trained. The models this data trained will be pretty universally useful to Facebook, but image recognition could also bring users better search and accessibility tools, as well as strengthening Facebook's efforts to combat abuse on their platform.
How to Block the Ultrasonic Signals You Didn't Know Were Tracking You
Dystopian corporate surveillance threats today come at us from all directions. Companies offer "always-on" devices that listen for our voice commands, and marketers follow us around the web to create personalized user profiles so they can (maybe) show us ads we'll actually click. Now marketers have been experimenting with combining those web-based and audio approaches to track consumers in another disturbingly science fictional way: with audio signals your phone can hear, but you can't. And though you probably have no idea that dog whistle marketing is going on, researchers are already offering ways to protect yourself.
The technology, called ultrasonic cross-device tracking, embeds high-frequency tones that are inaudible to humans in advertisements, web pages, and even physical locations like retail stores. These ultrasound "beacons" emit their audio sequences with speakers, and almost any device microphone---like those accessed by an app on a smartphone or tablet---can detect the signal and start to put together a picture of what ads you've seen, what sites you've perused, and even where you've been. Now that you're sufficiently concerned, the good news is that at the Black Hat Europe security conference on Thursday, a group based at University of California, Santa Barbara will present an Android patch and a Chrome extension that give consumers more control over the transmission and receipt of ultrasonic pitches on their devices.
Beyond the abstract creep factor of ultrasonic tracking, the larger worry about the technology is that it requires giving an app the ability to listen to everything around you, says Vasilios Mavroudis, a privacy and security researcher at University College London who worked on the research being presented at Black Hat. "The bad thing is that if you're a company that wants to provide ultrasound tracking there is no other way to do it currently, you have to use the microphone," says Mavroudis. "So you will be what we call 'over-privileged,' because you don't need access to audible sounds but you have to get them."
This type of tracking, which has been offered in some form by companies like Silverpush and Shopkick, has hardly exploded in adoption. But it's persisted as more third party companies develop ultrasonic tools for a range of uses, like data transmission without Wi-Fi or other connectivity.1 The more the technology evolves, the easier it is to use in marketing. As a result, the researchers say that their goal is to help protect users from inadvertently leaking their personal information. "There are certain serious security shortcomings that need to be addressed before the technology becomes more widely used," says Mavroudis. "And there is a lack of transparency. Users are basically clueless about what's going on."
Currently, when Android or iOS do require apps to request permission to use a phone's microphone. But most users likely aren't aware that by granting that permission, apps that use ultrasonic tracking could access their microphone---and everything it's picking up, not just ultrasonic frequencies---all the time, even while they're running in the background.
The researchers' patch adjusts Android's permission system so that apps have to make it clear that they're asking for permission to receive inaudible inputs. It also allows users to choose to block anything the microphone picks up on the ultrasound spectrum. The patch isn't an official Google release, but represents the researchers' recommendations for a step mobile operating systems can take to offer more transparency.
To block the other end of those high-pitched audio communications, the group's Chrome extension preemptively screens websites' audio components as they load to keep the ones that emit ultrasounds from executing, thus blocking pages from emitting them. There are a few old services that the extension can't screen, like Flash, but overall the extension works much like an ad-blocker for ultrasonic tracking. The researchers plan to post their patch and their extension available for download later this month.
Ultrasonic tracking has been evolving for the last couple of years, and it is relatively easy to deploy since it relies on basic speakers and microphones instead of specialized equipment. But from the start, the technology has encountered pushback about its privacy and security limitations. Currently there are no industry standards for legitimizing beacons or allowing them to interoperate the way there are with a protocol like Bluetooth. And ultrasonic tracking transmissions are difficult to secure because they need to happen quickly for the technology to work. Ideally the beacons would authenticate with the receiving apps each time they interact to reduce the possibility that a hacker could create phony beacons by manipulating the tones before sending them. But the beacons need to complete their transmissions in the time it takes someone to briefly check a website or pass a store, and it's difficult to fit an authentication process into those few seconds. The researchers say they've already observed one type of real-world attack in which hackers replay a beacon over and over to skew analytics data or alter the reported behavior of a user. The team also developed other types of theoretical attacks that take advantage of the lack of encryption and authentication on beacons.
The Federal Trade Commission evaluated ultrasonic tracking technology at the end of 2015, and the privacy-focused non-profit Center for Democracy and Technology wrote to the agency at the time that "the best solution is increased transparency and a robust and meaningful opt-out system. If cross-device tracking companies cannot give users these types of notice and control, they should not engage in cross-device tracking." By March the FTC had drafted a warning letter to developers about a certain brand of audio beacon that could potentially track all of a users' television viewing without their knowledge. That company, called Silverpush, has since ceased working on ultrasonic tracking in the United States, though the firm said at the time that its decision to drop the tech wasn't related to the FTC probe.
More recently, two lawsuits filed this fall---each about the Android app of an NBA team---allege that the apps activated user microphones improperly to listen for beacons, capturing lots of other audio in the process without user knowledge. Two defendants in those lawsuits, YinzCam and Signal360, both told WIRED that they aren't beacon developers themselves and don't collect or store any audio in the spectrum that's audible to humans.
But the researchers presenting at Black Hat argue that controversy over just how much audio ultrasonic tracking tools collect is all the more reason to create industry standards, so that consumers don't need to rely on companies to make privacy-minded choices independently. "I don't believe that companies are malicious, but currently the way this whole thing is implemented seems very shady to users," says Mavroudis. Once there are standards in place, the researchers propose that mobile operating systems like Android and iOS could provide application program interfaces that restrict microphone access so ultrasonic tracking apps can only receive relevant data, instead of everything the microphone is picking up. "Then we get rid of this overprivileged problem where apps need to have access to the microphone, because they will just need to have access to this API," Mavroudis says.
For anyone who's not waiting for companies to rein in what kinds of audio they collect to track us, however, the UCSB and UCL researchers software offers a temporary fix. And that may be more appealing than the notion of your phone talking to advertisers behind your back---or beyond your audible spectrum.
1Correction 11/3/2016 6:20pm EST: An earlier version of this article stated that the cross-device tracking companies 4Info and Tapad use ultrasonic tracking. Both companies say they don't use the form of tracking the researchers describe.
Lindsey Metselaar broke up with a boyfriend after he commented on a scantily clad colleague's Instagram picture. Michael SofronskiSometimes it's best to just keep your iPhone in your pants.
Behavior on social media, particularly Instagram, has become a sticking point for couples.
Some say liking a sexy Instagram picture of a friend or acquaintance is no big deal. Others view such behavior, called microcheating, as infidelity or a path to it.
Lindsey Metselaar, 27, falls in the latter camp. When she was scrolling through her Instagram in May 2017, she noticed that her boyfriend liked a scantily clad photo of his coworker wearing a crop top and booty shorts.
Upon further inspection, she saw that he had also commented, ''Up late looking at this.'' It immediately set her off. She sent her then-boyfriend a screenshot of his comment and texted him.
''I was like, 'What the f '' '' k,' '' Metselaar, who's based in Union Square and muses about her personal life on her podcast, ''We Met at Acme,'' tells The Post. '''I deserve more respect than this.'''
He then tried to gaslight her, texting her it wasn't a big deal, before calling her a stalker. Ten minutes later, he called her and apologized. But even after they reconciled and agreed not to post flirty comments on people's Instas, she was never able to get over his initial digital faux pas.
''It showed me that he put himself before me,'' she says. Four months later, they broke up.
Others have no problem with such behavior.
''[Trying to exert] control over social media is just a waste of energy,'' says Brittany, a 25-year-old publicist based in Soho who declined to give her last name. She's been in a relationship for two months and doesn't care about her boyfriend's social-media activity. ''If you're a millennial in a relationship, you should be able to accept that there are a lot of good-looking people on your lover's [Instagram] feed,'' she says.
And besides, she adds, ''I don't get jealous of other hot girls. Chances are I am liking their photos as well.''
'You should be able to accept that there are a lot of good-looking people on your lover's [Instagram] feed.'
It's an issue for celebs, too. This past winter, hip-hop couple Cardi B and fianc(C) Offset faced cheating and breakup rumors related to Offset's online escapades. The pair are still engaged, but in her latest single, ''Be Careful,'' Cardi laments, ''I thought you would've learned your lesson/'Bout likin' pictures.''
Since microcheating is such a gray area, Vienna Pharaon, a therapist at Mindful Marriage & Family Therapy in Midtown, says that couples should set their own boundaries.
''Move your covert expectations out into the open,'' she says. ''We need to be clear about the impact our interactions on social media have on each other '... so that we feel aligned and honored and respected.''
And if someone in the relationship is particularly bothered by a partner's online activity, understanding is key.
''If that person is reacting to something, there's a story there,'' she says. ''Maybe they were hurt and someone stepped out on them [in a past relationship] and you liking a photo is a story that keeps them stuck there.''
Metselaar, who is currently single, puts it more succinctly.
''It just doesn't make you feel good,'' she says. ''When you enter a relationship, you have to start thinking about the other person.''
AcuityBrands Media Center - Acuity Brands Adds Advanced Mapping and Analytics to Bytelight' Indoor Positioning Solution
ATLANTA '' April 25, 2016 '' Acuity Brands, Inc.' (NYSE: AYI) today announced newly enhanced ByteLight' Services, featuring GeoMetri® Analytics and the Navigator mobile application. The integration of indoor positioning and navigation capabilities, along with visual maps to track visitor movements and enable real-time analytics, makes ByteLight a full-stack Platform-as-a-Service that helps retailers deliver a tailored, mobile-enabled omnichannel shopping experience to their customers.
ByteLight Services provide ultra-precise LED-based indoor positioning and RF-based wayfinding and beaconing technology. GeoMetri Analytics utilize robust and comprehensive map analytic tools to visualize ByteLight indoor positioning data on actual retail floor plans. This capability enables retailers to identify, measure and track pedestrian foot traffic. Real-time customer behavior data helps retailers and brand marketers make key marketing and product decisions based on traffic patterns, customer loyalty visits, in-store dwell times, new customer exposure, sales correlations and overall customer satisfaction. Retailers can also use ByteLight Services data to understand the impact of placing products, merchandising tables, or end caps in certain physical areas '' and then organize floor plans and define space utilization to optimize merchandising strategy.
''ByteLight Services offer an understanding of how consumers interact within a retail space, creating new levels of two-way interaction between retailers and their customers, while also providing data analytics that can identify opportunities to optimize operational efficiencies,'' said Steve Lydecker, Acuity Brands Lighting Senior Vice President of IoT Solutions. ''Our ByteLight platform is providing real-time information and insight, through a superior indoor positioning solution and powerful spatial and statistical engine, to major retailers in over 12 million square feet of retail spaces.''
In addition to the analytics capability provided by the GeoMetri Analytics, the GeoMetri Navigator app helps create searchable indoor and outdoor maps for retailers and their customers, and enables retailers to provide location-based promotional offers. The mapping software optimizes indoor floor plan information so shoppers can search for and navigate to points of interest using a smartphone. Indoor routing and navigation options support floor plans with multiple floors, stairs, escalators, elevators and other alternative paths to reach the desired destinations.
The enhanced positioning, mapping and analytics data that ByteLight Services offer can also help venue owners get the most out of their real estate decisions. The data provides foot traffic analysis, co-tenant traffic analysis, and site-to-site comparisons, which can be used to optimize rent per square foot and common area space utilization. This optimization can ultimately lead to maximized lease and ad revenue.
Click here '' for more information on lighting-based indoor positioning services and other Acuity Brands lighting solutions. Also, Acuity Brands will be demonstrating ByteLight Services (Booth #3217) during LIGHTFAIR® International, April 26-28, at the San Diego Convention Center.
# # #
Ministry of Truthiness
FAT FACTS WAS REASON BIASED HEARING You Can't Bully These Motherfuckers
Photo: Tasos Katopodis (Getty)When I write that CNN politics writer Chris Cillizza is the rankest assbrain in the Western Hemisphere, I am not being nice to him. When I write that God clowned Chris Cillizza before he was born by making him Chris Cillizza instead of a shit-eating maggot, I am being unkind. When I say that Chris Cillizza himself is the punchline to the cruelest work of absurdist comedy in the history of the fucking universe, and that the title of that work is On the Origin of Species, I am being mean. Likewise it probably is downright nasty for me to write that on the whole American society would benefit greatly by Chris Cillizza being fired out of a large cannon into an even larger cliff face. But I am not bullying Chris Cillizza. Categorically, I cannot do that.
''Wolf's treatment of Sanders was bullying,'' Cillizza wrote on CNN's website yesterday, because he is an obsequious slimeball even more slovenly with language than his forebears were in the dispensation of their chromosomes. He's referring to the standup set Michelle Wolf, a comedian, performed at the White House Correspondents' Dinner on Saturday night, somewhat at the expense of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a brazen, knowing, and hugely powerful enemy of the free press and deceiver of the public by trade. As you've surely read by now, Wolf joked that Sanders's makeup'--her ''perfect smoky eye'''--is made of the ashes of the facts she burns.
That's about as gentle a way as anyone could come up with to lampoon the single most relevant fact about Sanders and what brought her to a station in life that would make her a reasonable subject of lines in a White House Correspondents' Dinner monologue in the first place. A frank and honest description of who she is and what she does would be much more harsh: Every day, Sarah Huckabee Sanders plants herself, by choice, between the public and the facts of what's being done at the very highest levels of American executive power, and does her damnedest to break and delegitimize the means by which the two are brought together. She is one of the most visible and powerful people in American civic life, and she uses her visibility and power'--she chooses to use her visibility and power'--to confuse the public and degrade its grasp on the truth, rather than to inform or empower or serve it. Her willingness to do this on behalf of Donald Trump, day after day, and the unmistakable teeth-gnashing relish with which she does it, are the substance of her power, and the reason why anybody knows who the fuck she is at all. What history will remember about Sanders is that she is the scum of the fucking earth, and not the jokey means by which one comedian pointed out this inarguable fact'--and that's only if the senile rageaholic pissbaby moron on whose behalf she shames herself on television every day doesn't annihilate the human race, first.
It should surprise no one that Cillizza, an amoral rat whose professional existence, like Sanders's, is predicated entirely on cynical indifference to truth or fact or consequence, would recoil at that indifference being the subject of vocal scorn, or at the possibility of that scorn receiving praise from any sector of the public. The possibility that there might be even as mild a social tax as a hired comedian firing a few acerbic but harmless owns in your direction attached to the business of cosseting and flattering entrenched power must be scary for him, because he is a coward and because, if the well-earned opprobrium of actual real human beings can penetrate the social strata he's spent his life sliming his way into, it implies he might get his literal fucking head chopped off somewhere down the line, and that people will be broadly okay with that. But it isn't bullying. Michelle Wolf can't bully Sarah Huckabee Sanders any more than I can bully Chris Cillizza.
Bullying happens along a gradient of existing power and reiterates it. That's the difference between bullying and a fair fight: The bully is bigger and stronger and safer, and wields those advantages over someone smaller and weaker and more vulnerable. Michelle Wolf got off some zingers at Sarah Huckabee Sanders's expense at an ultra-exclusive social event entirely filled by people whose livelihoods Sanders holds in her hands. Beyond that, as a basic function of her job, Sanders enjoys access to the water main of American political consciousness unmatched by pretty much any living person not named Donald Trump'--a privilege she uses only and entirely for the purpose of pumping poison into it, aided by a healthy plurality of the people in that room but not by Michelle Wolf. I doubt there is a forum in existence in which Wolf could do anything that would qualify as ''bullying'' the press secretary of the President of the United States, but even if there is, the fucking White House Correspondents' Dinner isn't it.
This isn't only a semantic point. It gets right to the heart of what makes Chris Cillizza an almost inconceivably atrocious and failed human being. Bullying is a real thing with real consequences; by definition, its victims need help from those with the power to give it. Arranging the events of Saturday night's awful scumbag party such that the relatively unknown truth-voicing comedian is the bully and the vastly powerful press secretary is the victim provides a rhetorical basis for Chris Cillizza, himself the holder of an exclusive and relatively powerful station in American political life, to do what he always does and always has: give aid to the powerful at the expense of the weak. That it's a false and dishonest basis matters less to Cillizza than to perhaps any other living person. To even accuse him of knowing it's bullshit would be to grant, in the absence of any evidence, that he has any concept of truth in the first place.
You can't bully these people. It's simply not possible. You can only smash and annihilate every trace of the structures that empower them.
WHCA president backs away from Michelle Wolf, who she refers to only as ''the entertainer.''
April 29, 2018 04/29/2018 3:30 pm By Jen Chaney @chaneyj As soon as Michelle Wolf finished delivering her blistering White House Correspondents' Dinner roast of the Trump administration and the members of the press that cover it, she was, not surprisingly, criticized for much of what she said. Oddly, however, a lot of that criticism zeroed in on something that Michelle Wolf did not actually say: a joke about Sarah Huckabee Sanders's appearance.
After Wolf's scathing, unapologetic, and often funny remarks, several prominent journalists called her out for mocking the White House press secretary because of her looks. Maggie Haberman, the New York Times White House correspondent, weighed in with this tweet.
That @PressSec sat and absorbed intense criticism of her physical appearance, her job performance, and so forth, instead of walking out, on national television, was impressive.
'-- Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) April 29, 2018MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski '-- whose engagement to her Morning Joe co-host, Joe Scarborough, Wolf described in her speech as ''like when a #MeToo works out'' '-- voiced a similar concern.
Women who use their government positions to spread lies and misinformation deserve to face the same withering criticism as men. But leave our looks out of it. Watching from home, I hurt for Sarah, her husband and her children.
'-- Mika Brzezinski (@morningmika) April 29, 2018Like-minded criticisms were sounded from other corners of the political Twitterverse, causing a number of people '-- including New Yorker TV critic Emily Nussbaum, Kumail Nanjiani, and, less importantly, me '-- to express confusion followed by outrage. I was baffled and irritated by this particular critique of Wolf's performance because, again, and I cannot stress this enough, Michelle Wolf did not criticize Sarah Huckabee Sanders, or any other woman, about her appearance. Wolf herself even clarified this point earlier today on Twitter.
Why are you guys making this about Sarah's looks? I said she burns facts and uses the ash to create a *perfect* smoky eye. I complimented her eye makeup and her ingenuity of materials. https://t.co/slII9TYdYx
'-- Michelle Wolf (@michelleisawolf) April 29, 2018The two jokes that seemed to irk critics were her Handmaid's Tale dig '-- ''I have to say I'm a little starstruck. I love you as Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid's Tale'' '-- and the aforementioned line about Sanders's smoky eye, which went like this: ''I actually really like Sarah. I think she's very resourceful. She burns facts, and then she uses the ash to create a perfect smoky eye. Maybe she's born with it, maybe it's lies. It's probably lies.''
Neither of these jokes are about Sanders's appearance. The first one suggests that, like the character Ann Dowd plays on the Hulu series based on Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel, Sanders acts as a complicit oppressor on behalf of an authoritarian government. The other joke riffs on a Maybelline slogan to highlight the fact that Sanders lies to the American people on a regular basis on behalf of her boss. You can be offended by either of these insinuations, but at least be offended by what Wolf actually insinuated.
For the record, when Wolf took aim at White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, she didn't say a single thing about her appearance either. Instead, the focus was on Conway's dishonesty: ''You guys have got to stop putting Kellyanne on your shows,'' Wolf told a ballroom filled with cable news producers, anchors, and reporters who repeatedly put Kellyanne Conway on their shows. ''All she does is lie. If you don't give her a platform, she has nowhere to lie. It's like that old saying: If a tree falls in the woods, how do we get Kellyanne under that tree? I'm not suggesting she gets hurt. Just stuck. Stuck under a tree.''
It would have been easy for Wolf to take a cheap shot at either of these women for some superficial offense, like the way they dress or talk. As Nussbaum points out, that's what Trump would have done, and has done on many occasions. But nothing about what Michelle Wolf did on Saturday night was easy. It was hard, harder even than the truthtelling that Stephen Colbert did to President George W. Bush's face at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Dinner. True, Colbert was dressing down the commander in chief in his actual presence, something Wolf didn't have the opportunity to do since Trump, for the second year in a row, couldn't muster the courage to show up for this event. But Colbert could at least hide behind his alter ego as the conservative host of The Colbert Report. Wolf had to go out there as only the fourth female comedian to perform solo at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, drop a bunch of truth bombs, then sit back down with no shield to provide cover.
She wasn't always successful. Her first joke about abortion, for example, was a groaner: ''[Mike Pence] thinks abortion is murder, which, first of all, don't knock it till you try it. And when you do try it, really knock it. You know, you got to get that baby out of there.'' But Wolf's swipes at the media were genuinely hilarious. Honestly, the bit that made me laugh the hardest was the one she did about MSNBC: ''MSNBC's news slogan is, 'This is who we are.' Guys, it's not a good slogan. 'This is who we are' is what your mom thinks the sad show on NBC is called. ''Did you watch This Is Who We Are this week? Someone left on a Crock-Pot and everyone died.''
Not surprisingly, though, it's the jabs that Wolf threw at Sanders and other Trump staffers that are getting criticized today, not just because some of them were funny but because they legitimately stung. To acknowledge what actually made the smoky eye line funny meant that some of the people in that ballroom had to reflect on the fact that they either lie, enable liars, or act nicely to liars because that's what they sometimes have to do to get the information the public deserves to know. That's the sort of situation that makes people itchy.
But here's the thing: If the worst thing that happens to you while you're working for Trump is that a woman from The Daily Show says a few mean things about you while you're wearing a nice dress, eating a free meal, and drinking some wine, you are still having a better day than a hell of a lot of people in this country. Also, this is part of the job when you're a public servant. When Don Imus addressed the Radio and TV Correspondents Association back in 1996, he made all kinds of controversial comments about President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton, both of whom were sitting right there on the dais. Imus was not nearly as incisive or funny as Wolf was last night '-- one of the biggest laughs he got was a joke about Sally Struthers being fat, the kind of punching-down humor that Wolf was accused of committing but didn't. The Clintons took all of his pot shots, everyone fretted afterward about how inappropriate it was, and then life in Washington moved on.
Life in Washington will move on from this, too. But before it does, I want to pause and make sure it's clear why I and others reacted the way we did to the backlash against Wolf's speech. It wasn't because the White House Correspondents' Dinner is so important to our nation '-- I'm guessing most of the country, if not the vast majority, has no idea it even happened last night '-- or because Wolf is the most brilliant comedian who's ever lived. I thought she was pretty funny, but that's not really the point. The issue is that those who expressed shock about her performance could not see the obliviousness and hypocrisy in their responses.
Take the lead item in Mike Allen's Axios newsletter, which noted, in a critical tone, that Wolf ''made several uses of a vulgarity that begins with 'p,' in an audience filled with Washington officials, top journalists and a few baseball legends (Brooks Robinson, Tony La Russa and Dennis Eckersley).'' The word pussy has become part of the national lexicon because Donald Trump said it in an Access Hollywood video. It's since been uttered in news broadcasts, printed in newspapers, and spoken in an episode of Roseanne that aired at 8 p.m. on network TV. The idea that Wolf is vulgar because she said it in a room full of ''top journalists,'' while possibly sullying the virginal ears of the great Brooks Robinson, is utterly ridiculous.
But what's even worse than misguided pearl-clutching is the fact that Wolf is getting criticized for things that she never even said. It's not unlike the experience that plays out when Trump and his staff, including Sanders, peddle ''alternative facts'' to the public: If you're paying attention to the actual facts, it makes you question your own sense of reality. This is why, after seeing the criticism of Wolf's jokes about Sanders, I felt like I had to rewatch that portion of her speech again because surely I must have missed something.
On a night designed to celebrate the importance of journalism, somehow, what some people heard was a jab about a smoky eye. They're missing the underlying point of Wolf's comedy: That what should concern every American are the smokescreens that Sarah Huckabee Sanders and other members of the Trump administration create, and that make it so hard for White House correspondents to uncover the actual truth.
No, Michelle Wolf Didn't Mock Sarah Huckabee Sanders's Looks
The White House Correspondents' Dinner ended with a barrage of vulgar anti-Trump jokes by comedian Michelle Wolf, who attacked the appearance of White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, who was sitting with her at the head table.
What they're saying: White House officials in the audience thought Wolf's patter went too far, and thought the attacks on Sanders and Kellyanne Conway were too personal.
Be smart: That creates a new hurdle for the White House Correspondents' Association to lure President Trump, who has snubbed the dinner the last two years.
ABC's Jon Karl, a WHCA board member, said on "Good Morning America": "I think the comedian crossed the line and this went from poking fun to being mean-spirited."Drudge's banner headline: "SMUT STAND-UP SHOCKS DC!"Trump tweets: "While Washington, Michigan, was a big success, Washington, D.C., just didn't work. Everyone is talking about the fact that the White House Correspondents Dinner was a very big, boring bust...the so-called comedian really ''bombed.'' [Fox's] @greggutfeld should host next year! @PeteHegseth."Why it matters: If the dinner can only attract liberal presidents and liberal comedians, the conclusion is inevitable.
Reality check from Jon Favreau, Crooked Media co-founder and "Pod Save America" co-host:
"Comedian ends comedy dinner by saying that Flint still doesn't have clean water, an attempt to point out Washington's continued neglect of people who need help. Washington responds with a rigorous debate about the tone and civility of the comedian's jokes. Perfect.""I really don't know if I can handle a week of fighting over a comedy speech at a dinner."How things went off the rails:
The Gridiron Club, which hosts another major dinner for Washington reporters, has a rule for its roasters: "Singe, don't burn."And one guest told me a good rule of thumb for comedy is not to attack how people look or who they are.Wolf '-- an alumnus of "The Daily Show" who has a Netflix talk show coming May 27 '-- didn't follow either of those, and said after an anatomical joke: "Should've done more research before you got me to do this."She made several uses of a vulgarity that begins with "p," in an audience filled with Washington officials, top journalists and a few baseball legends (Brooks Robinson, Tony La Russa and Dennis Eckersley).Among the printable jokes:
''Just a reminder to everyone: I'm here to make jokes. I have no agenda. I'm not trying to get anything accomplished. So everyone who's here from Congress, you should feel right at home.''"I'm 32 years old, which is an odd age: 10 years too young to hostthis event, and 20 years too old for Roy Moore.''"It's 2018 and I'm a woman, so you cannot shut me up [applause] '-- unless you have Michael Cohen wire me $130,000. Michael, you can find me on Venmo under my porn-star name: Reince Priebus.""It is kind of crazy that the Trump campaign was in contact with Russia when the Hillary campaign wasn't even in contact with Michigan.''Wolf was panned by journo-twitter:
CNN's Jeff Zeleny: "It was an embarrassment in the room and surely to the audience at home."N.Y. Times' Maggie Haberman: "That @PressSec sat and absorbed intense criticism of her physical appearance, her job performance, and so forth, instead of walking out, on national television, was impressive."N.Y. Times' Peter Baker: "I would vote to leave the comedy acts to comedy shows and stick to journalism at journalism dinners."Trump held a counter-programming rally in Washington Township, Mich., where he said:
"You may have heard I was invited to another event tonight, the White House Correspondents' Dinner. But i'd much rather be at Washington, Michigan, than in Washington, D.C., right now '-- that I can tell you." [Cheers]Something new from the rally ... In addition to "Lock her up" (still a thing at Trump rallies), the crowd chanted "Nobel!" when Trump talked about North Korea.Correspondents' association president Margaret Talev '-- standing under a banner that said "CELEBRATING THE FIRST AMENDMENT" '-- began the evening by saying:
"The journalists we're celebrating tonight help keep our democracy healthy.""We reject efforts by anyone, especially our elected leaders, to paint journalism as un-American, to undermine trust between reporter and reader, to cast doubt on the relevance of facts and truth in the modern age. An attack on any journalist is an attack on us all.""This isn't about protecting the business of journalism. It's about protecting the rule of law."The bottom line: Watch for big debate whether to end the dinner as we know it, and whether some news organizations announce they will no longer attend.
Kwart amusement publieke omroep haalt de norm niet - NRC
E(C)n tegen 100 (AVROTROS) voldoet niet aan de eisen van de nieuwe Mediawet. De quiz, waarin (C)(C)n speler het opneemt tegen honderd anderen, trekt te weinig kijkers onder de vijftig jaar. Dat blijkt uit een toets die de publieke omroep (NPO) vorig jaar voor het eerst heeft uitgevoerd. Het resultaat staat in de Terugblik 2017. Verandert er niets, dan verdwijnt het spel in 2019 van de tv. Hetzelfde geldt voor zes andere NPO-programma's, waaronder Smaakt naar meer (MAX), het napraatprogramma bij Heel Holland Bakt.
Vier vragen over amusement bij de publieke omroep.
1 Wat is de 'amusementstoets' van de NPO?
De publieke omroep mag sinds vorig jaar alleen amusement maken als het nut heeft. Voormalig staatssecretaris Sander Dekker (Media, VVD) wilde af van 'plat vermaak'', van programma's als Ranking the Stars en Bananasplit. Amusement behoort niet meer tot de kerntaken van de publieke omroep. Die heeft namelijk als functie om de publieke waarden uit te dragen, en de kijkers bij te lichten. Daar hoort een avondje lekker lachen niet bij. Verder zou de NPO met puur amusement oneerlijke concurrentie bieden aan de commercile omroepen, die leven van vermaak. In de nieuwe Mediawet is daarom vastgelegd dat amusement alleen is toegestaan als de kijker er iets van opsteekt, of als een programma bovengemiddeld veel 'moeilijk bereikbare kijkers' naar de publieke omroep trekt.
Voor het eerst heeft de NPO vastgesteld om welke programma's het nu eigenlijk gaat: wat is 'amusement', en dus niet 'cultuur', 'educatie' of 'informatie'? Vervolgens is er getoetst of die programma's voldoende moeilijk bereikbare kijkers trekken. Per zender is die groep anders gedefinieerd. Voor NPO 1 valt iedereen tussen de 13 en 49 jaar in die categorie. Voor NPO 3 is dat iedereen tussen de 13 en 34 jaar.
2 En, wat zijn de eerste conclusies?
De publieke omroep zond vorig jaar 27 amusementsprogramma's uit, zoals Wie is de Mol? en Boer zoekt Vrouw. Een kwart daarvan haalt de norm niet. Voor NPO1 gaat het behalve om E(C)n tegen 100 en Smaakt naar meer, ook om reisprogramma Van A naar B (KRO-NCRV) en goochelshow MAX Magic Show. Op NPO 3 haalde de Graham Norton Show (BNNVARA) de norm niet, net als twee programma's over de Britse illusionist Dynamo.
Die programma's hoeven niet meteen weg. Dat moet pas als je twee jaar achtereen de norm niet haalt. Ze hebben dus tot het voorjaar van 2019. En dan volgt eerst nog een goed gesprek. Wie bijvoorbeeld kan aantonen dat andere zenders gelijktijdig een succesrijk jongerenprogramma uitzonden, krijgt een nieuwe kans.
3 Wat is er gebeurd met de lijst van 2016?
In de lijst met 27 amusementsprogramma's ontbreken een aantal namen, zo lijkt het. Want waarom staat Bed & Breakfast (MAX) er niet op? Of Heel Holland Bakt? Toen in februari via De Telegraaf een lijst opdook met amusementsprogramma's uit 2016 die bij wijze van proef aan de nieuwe Mediawet waren getoetst, stonden daarop niet 27, maar 43 titels. Een woordvoerder van de NPO legt uit dat de titels destijds 'min of meer toevallig'' zijn gekozen '' de lijst moest slechts inzichtelijk maken 'hoe je selectiviteit kunt meten''. Bed & Breakfast heet nu 'service' en valt in de categorie 'informatie'. Heel Holland Bakt is volgens de NPO 'artistiek spel', en dus 'cultuur'.
4 Wat is amusement en wie bepaalt dat?
Onder amusement vallen programma's die de kijkers vermaken, en weinig tot geen andere doelen hebben. De NPO bepaalt zelf wat amusement is. Daarvoor is de Werkgroep Classificatie opgericht, die alle programma's indeelt in genres. Van de 2.017 programma's die de NPO vorig jaar uitzond, werden er slechts 27 gemerkt als amusement: 1,3 procent. E(C)n op de vijf dagen komt er een amusementsprogramma langs. Dit duidt erop dat de werkgroep een nauwe definitie hanteert. Naast Heel Holland Bakt blijken ook De Kwis en het Eurovisie Songfestival te vallen onder 'cultuur, expressie'. Die hebben dus geen last van de amusementstoets.
Michelle Wolf Defends White House Correspondents' Speech - Rolling Stone
Michelle Wolf discussed the controversy in the aftermath of her scathing White House Correspondents' Dinner speech in a new interview where she defended the performance.
"I wasn't expecting this level [of controversy], but I'm also not disappointed there's this level," Wolf told NPR's Fresh Air in an interview that will air Tuesday.
"I wouldn't change a single word that I said. I'm very happy with what I said, and I'm glad I stuck to my guns."
In the hours after the White House Correspondents' Dinner, Wolf drew criticism on social media for her abrasive roasting of the Trump administration and Washington D.C. lawmakers, with Donald Trump calling Wolf a "so-called comedian" in one of three tweets that lashed out at the annual gala.
"The White House Correspondents' Dinner was a failure last year, but this year was an embarrassment to everyone associated with it. The filthy 'comedian' totally bombed (couldn't even deliver her lines-much like the Seth Meyers weak performance). Put Dinner to rest, or start over," Trump, who once again declined to attend, tweeted. "The White House Correspondents' Dinner is DEAD as we know it. This was a total disaster and an embarrassment to our great Country and all that it stands for. FAKE NEWS is alive and well and beautifully represented on Saturday night!"
"I wanted to do something different. I didn't want to cater to the room. I wanted to cater to the outside audience, and not betray my brand of comedy," Wolf told NPR. "A friend of mine who helped me write, he gave me a note before I went on which I kept with me which was, 'Be true to yourself. Never apologize. Burn it to the ground.'"
Wolf's speech was also condemned for its jokes at the expense of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders' physical appearance, although Wolf didn't actually say anything that mocked how Sanders looks.
"If there is two people that I actually made fun of their looks on Saturday it was Mitch McConnell and Chris Christie and no one is jumping to their defense. I made fun of Mitch McConnell's neck and I did a small jab at Chris Christie's weight and no one is jumping to their defense," Wolf explained.
Wolf added, "I think one of the things about being a comic is getting to actually, as a woman, I have access to hit women in a way that men might not be able to hit them with jokes. I don't mean physically hit. But you know, because I'm a woman, I can say things about women because I know what it's like to be a woman, if that makes any sense."
LA Has Criminalized Poverty By Making It Illegal To Sleep In Cars and RVs
Raising rent prices and low wages have resulted in thousands of people across the city of Los Angeles becoming homeless, many of them now living in cars and RVs if they were able to keep it together that well.
According to the most recent counts by the KPCC, there are at least 7,000 people live in their cars in Los Angeles.
Many of these people still maintain jobs and try to live the most fulfilled lives that they can, but they are constantly facing problems from authorities.
It is such a common issue that many churches have opened up their parking lots to people living out of their cars. For example, the New Beginnings Counseling Center opened up their parking lot for a ''Safe Parking program,'' which was intended to provide a safe and welcome parking place for people living out of their cars. Unfortunately, under new legislation passed in Los Angeles, programs like this will be illegal, because sleeping in cars and RVs have been entirely outlawed.
Under the new laws, it is illegal to sleep in a car or RV that is parked in a residentially zoned area from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Areas within one block of a park, daycare, or school are entirely off limits. Fines will range anywhere from $25 to $75 which is impossible to pay for most people in these situations.
In 2014, LA lawmakers attempted to pass a similar bill but it was shot down in a federal appeals court. The judge in the case ruled that the legislation was ''broad enough to cover any driver in Los Angeles who eats food or transports personal belongings in his or her vehicle. Yet it appears to be applied only to the homeless.''
The policy is up for debate and reconsideration in July, where homeless advocates are expected to strongly protest for an appeal.
Policies like this can have disastrous consequences, in Canada where laws like this have been implemented for some time, one man racked up over $110,000 worth of fines for essentially being homeless.
Last year, The Mind Unleashed reported that the city of Seattle was planning to set up razor-wire fencing to keep homeless populations from camping. Then, earlier this year we reported that San Francisco was using Robots scare homeless people away from encampments and report them to police.
Not soon after that, the city of San Francisco spent $8,700 installing large boulders under overpasses to prevent homeless people from setting up camps. There were numerous homeless encampments in the area until they were recently forced out of the area, and now the City's government is doing everything they can to keep the camps out of the area.
Image: Daniel Stindt/wweek.com.
Mueller Has Dozens of Inquiries for Trump in Broad Quest on Russia Ties and Obstruction - The New York Times
WASHINGTON '-- Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating Russia's election interference, has at least four dozen questions on an exhaustive array of subjects he wants to ask President Trump to learn more about his ties to Russia and determine whether he obstructed the inquiry itself, according to a list of the questions obtained by The New York Times.
[Read the questions here.]
The open-ended queries appear to be an attempt to penetrate the president's thinking, to get at the motivation behind some of his most combative Twitter posts and to examine his relationships with his family and his closest advisers. They deal chiefly with the president's high-profile firings of the F.B.I. director and his first national security adviser, his treatment of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and a 2016 Trump Tower meeting between campaign officials and Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton.
But they also touch on the president's businesses; any discussions with his longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, about a Moscow real estate deal; whether the president knew of any attempt by Mr. Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to set up a back channel to Russia during the transition; any contacts he had with Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime adviser who claimed to have inside information about Democratic email hackings; and what happened during Mr. Trump's 2013 trip to Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant.
The questions provide the most detailed look yet inside Mr. Mueller's investigation, which has been shrouded in secrecy since he was appointed nearly a year ago. The majority relate to possible obstruction of justice, demonstrating how an investigation into Russia's election meddling grew to include an examination of the president's conduct in office. Among them are queries on any discussions Mr. Trump had about his attempts to fire Mr. Mueller himself and what the president knew about possible pardon offers to Mr. Flynn.
''What efforts were made to reach out to Mr. Flynn about seeking immunity or possible pardon?'' Mr. Mueller planned to ask, according to questions read by the special counsel investigators to the president's lawyers, who compiled them into a list. That document was provided to The Times by a person outside Mr. Trump's legal team.
A few questions reveal that Mr. Mueller is still investigating possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia. In one of the more tantalizing inquiries, Mr. Mueller asks what Mr. Trump knew about campaign aides, including the former chairman Paul Manafort, seeking assistance from Moscow: ''What knowledge did you have of any outreach by your campaign, including by Paul Manafort, to Russia about potential assistance to the campaign?'' No such outreach has been revealed publicly.
Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for Mr. Trump, declined to comment. A spokesman for the special counsel's office did not respond to a request for comment.
The questions serve as a reminder of the chaotic first 15 months of the Trump presidency and the transition and campaign before that. Mr. Mueller wanted to inquire about public threats the president made, conflicting statements from Mr. Trump and White House aides, the president's private admissions to Russian officials, a secret meeting at an island resort, WikiLeaks, salacious accusations and dramatic congressional testimony.
The special counsel also sought information from the president about his relationship with Russia. Mr. Mueller would like to ask Mr. Trump whether he had any discussions during the campaign about any meetings with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and whether he spoke to others about either American sanctions against Russia or meeting with Mr. Putin.
Through his questions, Mr. Mueller also tries to tease out Mr. Trump's views on law enforcement officials and whether he sees them as independent investigators or people who should loyally protect him.
For example, when the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, was fired, the White House said he broke with Justice Department policy and spoke publicly about the investigation into Mrs. Clinton's email server. Mr. Mueller's questions put that statement to the test. He wants to ask why, time and again, Mr. Trump expressed no concerns with whether Mr. Comey had abided by policy. Rather, in statements in private and on national television, Mr. Trump suggested that Mr. Comey was fired because of the Russia investigation.
Many of the questions surround Mr. Trump's relationship with Mr. Sessions, including the attorney general's decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation and whether Mr. Trump told Mr. Sessions he needed him in place for protection.
Mr. Mueller appears to be investigating how Mr. Trump took steps last year to fire Mr. Mueller himself. The president relented after the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, threatened to resign, an episode that the special counsel wants to ask about.
''What consideration and discussions did you have regarding terminating the special counsel in June of 2017?'' Mr. Mueller planned to ask, according to the list of questions. ''What did you think and do in reaction to Jan. 25, 2018, story about the termination of the special counsel and Don McGahn backing you off the termination?'' he planned to ask, referring to the Times article that broke the news of the confrontation.
Mr. Mueller has sought for months to question the president, who has in turn expressed a desire, at times, to be interviewed, viewing it as an avenue to end the inquiry more quickly. His lawyers have been negotiating terms of an interview out of concern that their client '-- whose exaggerations, half-truths and outright falsehoods are well documented '-- could provide false statements or easily become distracted. Four people, including Mr. Flynn, have pleaded guilty to lying to investigators in the Russia inquiry.
The list of questions grew out of those negotiations. In January, Mr. Trump's lawyers gave Mr. Mueller several pages of written explanations about the president's role in the matters the special counsel is investigating. Concerned about putting the president in legal jeopardy, his lead lawyer, John Dowd, was trying to convince Mr. Mueller he did not need to interview Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the matter.
Mr. Mueller was apparently unsatisfied. He told Mr. Dowd in early March that he needed to question the president directly to determine whether he had criminal intent when he fired Mr. Comey, the people said.
But Mr. Dowd held firm, and investigators for Mr. Mueller agreed days later to share during a meeting with Mr. Dowd the questions they wanted to ask Mr. Trump.
When Mr. Mueller's team relayed the questions, their tone and detailed nature cemented Mr. Dowd's view that the president should not sit for an interview. Despite Mr. Dowd's misgivings, Mr. Trump remained firm in his insistence that he meet with Mr. Mueller. About a week and a half after receiving the questions, Mr. Dowd resigned, concluding that his client was ignoring his advice.
Mr. Trump's new lawyer in the investigation and his longtime confidant, Rudolph W. Giuliani, met with Mr. Mueller last week and said he was trying to determine whether the special counsel and his staff were going to be ''truly objective.''
Mr. Mueller's endgame remains a mystery, even if he determines the president broke the law. A longstanding Justice Department legal finding says presidents cannot be charged with a crime while they are in office. The special counsel told Mr. Dowd in March that though the president's conduct is under scrutiny, he is not a target of the investigation, meaning Mr. Mueller does not expect to charge him.
The prospect of pardons is also among Mr. Mueller's inquiries, and whether Mr. Trump offered them to a pair of former top aides to influence their decisions about whether to cooperate with the special counsel investigation.
Mr. Dowd broached the idea with lawyers for both of the advisers, Mr. Flynn and Mr. Manafort, according to people with knowledge of the discussions. Mr. Manafort has pleaded not guilty on charges of money laundering and other financial crimes related to his work for the pro-Russia former president of Ukraine.
Mr. Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general who was ousted from the White House in February 2017 amid revelations about contacts with the Russian ambassador to the United States, ultimately pleaded guilty last December to lying to federal authorities and agreed to cooperate with the special counsel.
''After General Flynn resigned, what calls or efforts were made by people associated with you to reach out to General Flynn or to discuss Flynn seeking immunity or possible pardon?'' Mr. Mueller planned to ask.
A version of this article appears in print on
, on Page
of the New York edition
with the headline:
Questions for President Show Depth of Inquiry Into Russian Meddling
. Order Reprints | Today's Paper | Subscribe
Politie mag stroomstootwapens blijven gebruiken, met goedkeuring van de SP | Doorbraak.eu
Rond de jaarwisseling publiceerde ik twee artikelen over de daklozen in Nederland die worden uitgesloten van hulpverlening omdat ze ''zelfredzaam'' zouden zijn: ''Gemeenten plakken daklozen etiket 'zelfredzaam' op en weigeren hen opvang'' en ''Daklozen neergezet als probleem voor de openbare orde''. De problematiek van de dakloosheid wordt door de overheid sterk benaderd als ''openbare orde''-probleem, waarbij de politie stroomstootwapens (tasers) inzet om verwarde mensen in GGZ-instellingen en op straat tot rust te brengen.
Een rapport van de Amsterdamse Rekenkamer daarover heeft blijkbaar weinig effect gehad, want nog steeds komen op het spreekuur van de Bijstandsbond daklozen die niet geholpen worden omdat ze ''zelfredzaam'' zouden zijn, dat wil zeggen: ze scoren hoog op de krakkemikkige ''zelfredzaamheidsmatrix''. Zo was er een dakloze die wanhopig op het spreekuur kwam omdat hij niet meer bij HVO terecht kon en de GGZ zei tegen hem: ''We kunnen je niet helpen, want je bent niet verslaafd of psychisch gestoord, je bent zelfredzaam''. Amnesty International reageerde in eerste instantie met het standpunt dat men niet in alle gevallen tegen het gebruik van stroomstootwapens is. Maar omdat het een in potentie levensbedreigend wapen is, vond Amnesty wel dat het alleen in de openbare ruimte (en dus niet binnen) gebruikt mag worden, en dan alleen onder strenge voorwaarden. Amnesty vond dat alleen goed getrainde politieagenten het mogen gebruiken, en dan niet bij kwetsbare mensen die extra risico lopen, zoals mensen onder invloed van drank of drugs. Ook mocht men het wapen van de organisatie alleen op afstand inzetten, en niet van dichtbij op het lichaam, enzovoorts. Men vroeg om uitstel van de invoering van de tasers.
In de Tweede Kamer is men geschrokken van de inzet van het stroomstootwapen in GGZ-instellingen. Kamerleden stelden vragen en wilden op korte termijn een antwoord. Naar aanleiding van een tussentijdse rapportage van de politie over het gebruik van het wapen stelde CDA-Kamerlid Chris van Dam vragen over het gebruik van de ''drive stun''-mode (direct op het lichaam) en over de schaal waarop de taser in GGZ-instellingen wordt ingezet. Het zou gaan om minstens tien gevallen. De vragen en de antwoorden daarop van minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus van Justitie en Veiligheid staan hier. Uit zijn antwoorden blijkt dat de pilot met het wapen in ieder geval nog tot 1 januari 2019 duurt. In zijn antwoorden gaat hij geheel voorbij aan de voorwaarden die Amnesty stelde. Grapperhaus heeft het slechts over een betere training van agenten. Het blijkt verder dat het stroomstootwapen zelfs is ingezet in ziekenhuizen, en dat er dit voorjaar een evaluatierapport komt op basis waarvan wordt beslist of men het wapen wil blijven gebruiken.
Kamerleden kondigden eerder aan dat als de regering niet op korte termijn antwoorden zou verstrekken, er in december een motie zou worden ingediend om het gebruik van het wapen in GGZ-instellingen te verbieden. Dat hebben ze op 21 december inderdaad gedaan. En die motie, waarin stond dat het gebruik van tasers in GGZ-instellingen niet langer is toegestaan, werd door de Tweede Kamer aangenomen. De steun voor de motie was vrijwel Kamerbreed. Tegen stemden alleen de VVD en de PVV (wat je wel kan verwachten), maar ook'... de SP. Ik heb ge¯nformeerd bij de partij waarom dat was, maar heb nog geen antwoord gekregen.
Inmiddels neemt Amnesty een heel wat fermer standpunt in. ''Gebruik taser door de Nederlandse politie onaanvaardbaar'', kopte de website van Amnesty op 19 februari. De manier waarop de politie dit stroomstootwapen gebruikt, brengt onaanvaardbare gezondheidsrisico's met zich mee, aldus Amnesty. Dat blijkt uit het op 19 februari door Amnesty gepubliceerde rapport ''Een mislukt experiment: De taser-pilot van de Nederlandse politie''. Per 1 februari dit jaar is officieel de evaluatiefase van het taser-experiment beindigd, maar zoals we al zagen in de antwoorden op de Kamervragen mogen de verschillende politieteams het stroomstootwapen blijven gebruiken tot 1 januari 2019. Amnesty vindt dat onaanvaardbaar in het licht van de bevindingen uit haar rapport en vraagt daarom om onmiddellijke opschorting van het gebruik van de taser. Het wachten is nu op het evaluatierapport dat binnenkort moet verschijnen. De alarmkreten van Tweede Kamer-leden en van Amnesty lijken vooralsnog weinig invloed te hebben op het beleid van Grapperhaus.
Piet van der Lende(Dit is een iets geredigeerde versie van een artikel dat eerder op de site van de Bijstandsbond verscheen.)
We zijn erg benieuwd naar je reactie.
Why Did the U.S. and Its Allies Bomb Libya? Corruption Case Against Sarkozy Sheds New Light on Ousting of Gaddafi.
Seven years after the popular uprising against Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi and the NATO intervention that removed him from power, Libya is extremely fractured and a source of regional instability. But while Congress has heavily scrutinized the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi a year after Gaddafi's overthrow and death, there has been no U.S. investigation into the broader question of what led the U.S. and its allies to intervene so disastrously in Libya.
However, a corruption investigation into former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is opening a new window into little-known motivations in the NATO alliance that may have accelerated the rush to oust the Libyan dictator.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is welcomed by Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi at his Bab al-Azizia compound during an official visit to Tripoli, Libya, on July 25, 2007.
Etienne de Malglaive/Getty Images
Last month, French police detained and questioned Sarkozy about illicit payments Gaddafi is said to have made to Sarkozy's 2007 presidential election campaign. A few days after Sarkozy was released from detention, he was ordered to stand trial for corruption and influence-peddling in a related case, in which he had sought information on the Gaddafi inquiry from an appeals court judge. The scandal has highlighted a little-appreciated bind that Sarkozy faced in the run-up to the Libyan intervention: The French president, who took the lead among Europeans in the military campaign against Gaddafi, was eager to compensate for diplomatic blunders in Tunisia and Egypt and most likely angry about an arms deal with Gaddafi that went awry. Sarkozy, it now appears, was eager to shift the narrative to put himself at the forefront of a pro-democracy, anti-Gaddafi intervention.
Libya today is divided between three rival governments and a myriad of armed groups backed by external powers like the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. Security gaps have allowed terrorist groups to step up operations there and permitted a flow of weapons across the Sahara, contributing to destabilizing the Sahel region of northern Africa. The lack of political authority in Tripoli has also opened the door for the migrant crisis in Europe, with Libya serving as a gateway for migrants to escape Africa via the Mediterranean Sea. Although far fewer people have died in the Libyan conflict than in Iraq or Syria, the problems Libya faces seven years after NATO's fateful intervention are no less complex, and often have more direct impact on Europe than what's happening in Syria and Iraq.
A History of CorruptionThe story of Sarkozy's strange relationship with Gaddafi begins in 2003, when the United Nations lifted harsh sanctions against Libya that were imposed in the wake of the Lockerbie bombing.
After the sanctions were gone, Gaddafi looked to foster a cleaner, more legitimate image in Western circles. He found particularly eager suitors in British oil and gas companies, as well as Tony Blair, then the British prime minister, who saw lucrative business possibilities in the country. Libyan spy agencies also closely collaborated with MI6, their British counterpart, under the broad umbrella of counterterrorism.
France was also developing a close business and intelligence relationship with Libya. In 2006, Gaddafi bought a surveillance system from a French company, i2e, which boasted about its close ties with Sarkozy, who at the time was France's interior minister. In 2007, after he was elected president, Sarkozy received Gaddafi for a five-day state visit, Gaddafi's first trip to France in over 30 years.
President Nicolas Sarkozy, left, meets with Moammar Gaddafi on Dec. 10, 2007, in Paris.
Photo: Jacky Naegelen/AFP/Getty Images
During the visit, Gaddafi said Libya would purchase $5.86 billion of French military equipment, including 14 Rafale fighter jets made by Dassault Aviation. Military sales ''lock in relations between two countries for 20 years,'' noted Michel Cabirol, an editor at the French weekly La Tribune, who has written extensively on arms sales. ''For Sarkozy, it was important to sell the Rafales because no one had sold them to a foreign country. In the case of Libya '... it was one of his personal challenges at the time.'' Cabirol reported for La Tribune that negotiations were still ongoing in July 2010, but Sarkozy never did complete the sale of the Rafales to Gaddafi.
Revelations about the Libyan payments to Sarkozy surfaced in March 2011, when the specter of an imminent NATO intervention loomed large. Gaddafi first asserted that he paid Sarkozy's campaign in an interview two days before the first NATO bombs were dropped. His son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi made similar claims shortly thereafter. In 2012, the French investigative news website Mediapart published a Libyan document signed by Moammar Gaddafi's spy chief, Moussa Koussa, arranging for 50 million euros to support Sarkozy's campaign, which French authorities later found to be authentic.
Businessman Ziad Taki(C)ddine arrives at the anti-corruption police office in Nanterre, France, on November 17, 2016, for a hearing after admitting he delivered three cash-stuffed suitcases from Libya's Moammar Gaddafi to former French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Photo: Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images
Since the initial revelations, Ziad Taki(C)ddine, a French-Lebanese arms dealer who had helped arrange Sarkozy's visit to Libya when Sarkozy was interior minister in 2005, has testified in court that he fetched suitcases stuffed with millions of euros in cash in Libya and delivered them by hand to Sarkozy in late 2006 and early 2007, when Sarkozy was still interior minister but preparing his presidential campaign. Sarkozy's aide at the time, Claude Gu(C)ant (who became interior minister after the election), had opened a large vault at BNP in Paris for seven months during the campaign. The former Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi Mahmudi has asserted in media interviews that payments were made.
French authorities have also examined handwritten notes by Gaddafi's oil minister, Shukri Ghanem, that detailed three payments totaling 6.5 million euros to Sarkozy.
The body of former Libyan Oil Minister Shukri Ghanem, who was found dead in the Danube river in Vienna, is carried during his funeral in Tripoli, Libya on May 4, 2012.
Austrian police found Ghanem's body in the Danube in Vienna on April 29, 2012, one week after the first round of presidential elections that the incumbent Sarkozy was contesting, and one day after Mediapart revealed the document signed by Koussa. The American ambassador to Libya at the time, the late Chris Stevens, wrote in an email to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in June 2012 that ''not one Libyan I have spoken to believes he flung himself into the Danube, or suddenly clutched his heart in pain and slipped silently into the river. Most believe he was silenced by regime members or else by foreign mafia types.''
One of the Libyans who is said to have organized the payments, the head of the Libyan investment portfolio at the time, Bashir Saleh, was smuggled out of Libya and into Tunisia by French special forces, according to Mediapart. Sarkozy confidante Alexandre Djouhri then flew Saleh from Tunis to Paris on a private jet shortly after Gaddafi was toppled. Saleh lived in France for about a year and reportedly met with Bernard Squarcini, head of France's secret services, despite an Interpol arrest warrant against him. ''The judicial investigation shows that within the Gaddafi regime, Bashir Saleh had the most thorough records relating to French funding,'' said Fabrice Arfi, one of two Mediapart journalists who has covered the affair since 2011. ''He is suspected of having swapped the records for help from France to save him from the jaws of the revolution.''
Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi listens to his private secretary at the Arab summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt on March 1, 2003.
Photo: Marwan Naamani/AFP/Getty Images
In 2012, Paris Match published a photograph showing Saleh walking freely in Paris despite the arrest warrant, and he was forced to leave the city. He flew to Johannesburg, where he has been living ever since. In March, shortly after his ally, former South African President Jacob Zuma, was ousted from power, Saleh was shot while coming back to his house from the airport in Johannesburg. Saleh is wanted for questioning in the Sarkozy affair by French judges.
Even Sarkozy's successor, Fran§ois Hollande, has implied that Gaddafi funded the Sarkozy campaign. In Hollande's book, ''A President Shouldn't Say That,'' while comparing himself to Sarkozy, Hollande wrote that ''as President of the Republic, I was never held for questioning. I never spied on a judge, I never asked anything of a judge, I was never financed by Libya.''
Sarkozy's corruption in Libya is not the first time a French president or top political figure has received illicit funds in exchange for political favors. Indeed, ''Sarkozy's corruption fits into a deeply ingrained, time-honored tradition in Paris,'' said Jalel Harchaoui, Libya scholar at Paris 8 University. ''In the 1970s, you had the scandal of Bokassa's diamonds, which President [Val(C)ry] Giscard accepted and took. You also have the ''Karachi affair'' involving kickbacks paid to senior French politicians via French weaponry sold to Pakistan in the 1990s. You also had Omar Bongo's tremendous influence in Paris politics for years on end.''
Sarkozy and the Bombing of LibyaSarkozy was an early and vocal advocate of the Western decision to intervene in Libya, but his real military zeal and desire for regime change came only after Clinton and the Arab League broadcasted their desire to see Gaddafi go and showed that they ''wished to avoid the limelight,'' said Harchaoui. The Arab League had suspended Libya on February 22, 2011, and in the following days, calls for a no-fly zone grew louder. This ''create[d] a framework in which France knows the war is likely to get initiated soon,'' said Harchaoui.
By February 26, William Burns, under secretary for political affairs at the State Department, had spoken with Sarkozy's top diplomatic adviser, Jean-David Levitte. Burns reported in an email to Clinton's team that ''on Libya, French strongly supportive of our measures,'' but that there were ''Fr concerns on NATO role,'' likely meaning that France didn't want a full-blown NATO intervention at that point.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy speaks with British Prime Minister David Cameron, right, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, second left, on March 19, 2011, before a summit at the lys(C)e Palace in Paris on implementing a U.N. Security Council resolution for military action in Libya.
Photo: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images
Two weeks later, Sarkozy made his first significant move to show that France, rather than being hesitant, had decided to take the lead in the fight against Gaddafi. On March 10, 2011, Sarkozy became the first head of state to recognize the National Transitional Council as Libya's legitimate government. At the time, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said recognizing the NTC was ''a crazy move by France.'' Crazy or not, France was now in the lead in Europe. According to a British parliamentary inquiry into the intervention in 2016, ''UK policy followed decisions taken in France.''
Sarkozy's foreign minister at the time, Alain Jupp(C), then introduced United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which called for a no-fly zone over Libya, ostensibly in order to protect an impending massacre of civilians in Benghazi by Gaddafi. Although American diplomats drafted the resolution, Jupp(C) was the Western diplomat who argued most passionately for it, telling the Security Council that ''we have very little time left '-- perhaps only a matter of hours'' to prevent a massacre against civilians in Benghazi. The French emergence to the front line of the diplomatic push was an apparent reflection of Barack Obama's doctrine of ''leading from behind'' and letting Europe occupy the limelight. Arab League support for the resolution helped create a broad coalition of powers, beyond just the West, and the Libyan deputy ambassador to the U.N.'s defection against Gaddafi helped push the resolution forward.
Two days after the resolution passed, Sarkozy held a meeting at the lys(C)e Palace on May 19 to plan the military strategy with Obama, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, other NATO leaders, and leaders of the Arab League. According to Liam Fox, the British defense secretary at the time, the summit ''finished mid-afternoon and the first French sorties took place at 16.45 GMT.'' A gung-ho Sarkozy had sent 20 French jets to carry out the first sorties without informing Fox, four hours ahead of schedule; the U.S. and U.K. launched cruise missiles shortly thereafter. By showcasing the Rafale jets in the Libya campaign and other wars in Mali and Syria, France ended up attracting eventual clients in Egypt, India, and Qatar.
''Sarkozy has done a great job in getting the Rafale out there and hitting a convoy early on,'' Reuters quoted a defense executive from a rival nation as saying at the time. ''He will go to export markets and say this is what our planes can do.''
Why Sarkozy Went to WarSarkozy's zeal for military action stemmed from more than humanitarian concerns for rebellious Libyans in Benghazi who were endangered by Gaddafi's wrath. Sarkozy's reasoning included a mix of domestic, international, and personal reasons.
Sarkozy had found his administration out of step when the Arab Spring broke out in Tunisia. He had a strong relationship with Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, and when security forces fired on massive street protests in January, instead of condemning the violence, Sarkozy's foreign minister offered to share the ''savoir-faire'' of France's security forces ''in order to settle security situations of this type.''
''Sarkozy's image as a modern leader was sullied by the Arab Spring,'' said Pouria Amirshahi, a former Socialist deputy in the National Assembly who in 2013 had called for a French parliamentary inquiry into the Libya intervention. The Libyan war allowed him ''to forget his serious political mistakes during the Tunisian revolution of January 2011.''
Arfi, the Mediapart journalist, cautioned against treating Sarkozy's involvement in the war as strictly personal, though it's also a vital element. ''I don't believe that Sarkozy brought France and other countries to war in Libya exclusively to whitewash himself,'' said Arfi, who co-authored a book, ''Avec les compliments du Guide,'' which details the Gaddafi-Libya investigation. But, Arfi said, ''It's difficult to imagine that there wasn't some kind of personal or private dimension to Sarkozy's pro-war activism in 2011.''
The personal dimension that Arfi refers to would be Sarkozy's interest in shifting the narrative that he had initially cultivated '-- as close to Gaddafi '-- to one that distanced him from the regime and any questions about his former proximity to Gaddafi, once he realized just how seriously the U.S. and Arab states wanted to get rid of the Libyan leader. ''Once the war was triggered, [Sarkozy's] attitude is deeply impacted by the scandal that he is the only one aware of at the time. So, it gives rise to a very uncompromising France pursuing a scenario where everything would be destroyed and everything related to the Gaddafis would be discredited,'' Harchaoui said.
However, Adam Holloway, a Conservative member of the British House of Commons who was on the Foreign Affairs Committee when it published its 2016 report on Libya, ruled out the personal angle, saying that ''if Mr. Sarkozy had taken money from Gaddafi, you might expect it to make him less likely to intervene, if anything. For this reason, I don't really think this is a factor. '... Indulging in regime change had nothing to do with intelligence (which should have said 'Don't do it'), but with David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy's need to 'do something.'''
For the Obama administration, the intervention in Libya was a humanitarian decision to stop Gaddafi from carrying out an assault against the besieged city of Benghazi. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates wrote in his autobiography that ''Hillary threw her considerable clout behind Rice, Rhodes, and Power'' and tipped the scale in favor of intervention. Clinton, national security adviser Susan Rice, White House adviser Ben Rhodes, and U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power were instrumental in pushing the war forward; regime change was the goal regardless of Sarkozy's personal relationship with the dictator.
''They were aggressive in pushing for the resolutions because they felt that they were the right thing to do. '... It seemed a very realistic possibility that the regime was going to re-establish control throughout the country, particularly in eastern Libya, and if they did, there would be very harsh consequences for people deemed to be rebels,'' said Libya historian Ronald Bruce St. John. The ''timing of the intervention was dictated by the move on Benghazi by Gaddafi's armored column,'' explained New Yorker journalist Jon Lee Anderson.
But civilian protection is not always enough to warrant a NATO intervention, as violent repression of protests in Bahrain and elsewhere in the Arab world have shown. The U.K. parliamentary inquiry found that there was little hard evidence that Gaddafi was actually targeting civilians in his campaign to take back cities held briefly by rebel forces. Gaddafi's long antagonistic relationship with the U.S., the fact that there were no prominent Libyans advocating for him in the U.S., and the fact that Gaddafi didn't have strong allies like Syria's Bashar al-Assad does in Russia and Iran, made him an easy target to rally against, said St. John.
People look over the crater left by a NATO airstrike on a building at the Khamis Brigade HQ, on August 29, 2011 in Tripoli, Libya.
Photo: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images
The French position was nonetheless notable. Rather than have a key ally oppose intervention, as France had done with the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, France was pushing hard for military action. A country that had previously acted as a partial brake on American intervention was now serving the opposite purpose of encouraging an intervention that turned into a catastrophe.
(Former deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken, Nicolas Sarkozy's former diplomatic advisor Jean-David Levitte, former Director for War Crimes and Atrocities on the National Security Council David Pressman, former deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Jake Sullivan, William Burns, and French Ambassador to the U.S. G(C)rard Araud all either declined to comment or did not respond when contacted for this article.)
Top photo: Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi and French President Nicolas Sarkozy arrive for a dinner at the Elys(C)e Palace in Orly, France on Dec. 10, 2007.
Dogs are People too
From Producer Beth
I'm so sorry I'm emailing on a show day and it's taken me so
long but I have to pass along a conversation I had with a Millennial couple on
Saturday, right before the last show.
We have 2 kids and just got a puppy. We were spending the
night out with a couple about 8 years younger than us, early 30s with no kids
and a dog. I was talking about how great our puppy is etc and one of them said,
"Isn't it great? And it's always that way. They are always sweet. It's not
like having kids, they won't hate you some day." I thought that was a
fascinating thing for them to say! I couldn't help thinking if the struggle
that kids are, the rejection you inevitably feel from them, puts off young couples.
They know it's hard, they don't live in a bubble, they get it. But instead of
choosing to feel the good and bad having kids brings, they only want the good.
Just thought you'd find what they said interesting since
it's been an ongoing topic.
Stormy Daniels sues Trump for defamation over 'con job' remark on Twitter
Adult film actress Stormy Daniels speaks outside court in New York on April 16. (Craig Ruttle / Associated Press)
Stormy Daniels sued President Trump for defamation on Monday, the latest in a string of legal challenges stemming from his alleged extramarital affair with the porn actress more than a decade ago.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, alleged that Trump defamed her in a tweet that mocked her for saying a man once physically threatened her on Trump's behalf.
She cited Trump's tweet about a forensic artist's sketch of a man who she says confronted her in a Las Vegas parking lot in 2011. The man suggested she would be harmed if she went public with her story about having a one-night stand with Trump in 2006, Daniels said.
"A sketch years later about a nonexistent man," Trump wrote in the April 18 tweet to his 51 million followers. "A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!"
Daniels' complaint, filed in Manhattan federal court, says it's "reasonable to infer that the person who threatened Ms. Clifford could have only been acting directly or indirectly on behalf of Mr. Trump" or his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.
If Trump was unaware of the threat, the suit alleges, then he posted his tweet in reckless disregard of whether it was true or false, exposing Daniels to hatred, contempt, ridicule, shame and death threats.
The complaint says Trump effectively accused Daniels of committing a crime by fabricating her allegation that a man made an illegal threat.
"In making the statement, Mr. Trump used his national and international audience of millions of people to make a false factual statement to denigrate and attack Ms. Clifford," the suit says.
Trump "meant to convey that Ms. Clifford is a liar, someone who should not be trusted, that her claims about the threatening encounter are false, and that she was falsely accusing the individual depicted in the sketch of committing a crime, where no crime had been committed," the complaint alleges.
The White House press office did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
Cohen, a former executive vice president of the Trump Organization, arranged to pay Daniels $130,000 just before the November 2016 presidential election in return for her silence about the alleged affair. Cohen is under federal criminal investigation for his orchestration of the payment, among other things.
Michael Cohen leaves court in New York on April 16. (Mary Altaffer / Associated Press)
Daniels is suing Trump and Cohen in Los Angeles federal court in an attempt to nullify the nondisclosure agreement. A judge agreed last week to postpone the case for 90 days after Cohen said he would need to invoke his 5th Amendment rights in the lawsuit to protect himself in the potential criminal prosecution.
The Trump tweet that triggered the new lawsuit was a response to a tweet posted by "DeplorablyScottish," which compared the artist's sketch of the man who reportedly threatened Daniels to her husband.
A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)! https://t.co/9Is7mHBFda
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 18, 2018Daniels first shared the story of the alleged Las Vegas threat in March on "60 Minutes."
In 2011, a few weeks after Cohen learned that she'd told her story to a magazine, a stranger approached her in the Las Vegas parking lot, she told the CBS show.
Daniels, who was heading into a fitness class, was getting her infant daughter out of a car seat, along with a diaper bag, she said.
"A guy walked up on me and said to me, 'Leave Trump alone '-- forget the story,' and then he leaned around and looked at my daughter," Daniels said.
"That's a beautiful little girl," she recalled the man telling her. "It'd be a shame if something happened to her mom."
Daniels said she never saw the man again, but would easily recognize him if she did. She said she was too scared to report the incident to the police.
The magazine, In Touch, did not publish Daniels' story until January 2018, after the Wall Street Journal reported that Cohen had paid hush money to Daniels.
The new suit came as ABC News reported Monday that Trump's reelection campaign has spent nearly $228,000 to cover Cohen's legal expenses. At the same time, the National Enquirer, a tabloid run by Trump's close friend David Pecker, released an issue with a nasty headline about Cohen on its cover: "Trump fixer's secrets and lies!"
Daniels' complaint, filed in New York because of Trump's longtime residence in Manhattan, is the second defamation lawsuit that the president is fighting.
Summer Zervos, a former contestant on "The Apprentice" who accused Trump of trying to force himself on her at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2007, says he defamed her just before the 2016 election by calling her a liar. In March, a New York state judge rejected Trump's request to dismiss her lawsuit.
4:15 p.m.: The story was updated to add the rationale for the lawsuit being filed in New York.
The story was originally published at 12:55 p.m.
Actually, Seth Rogen Doesn't Think North Korea Was Behind the Sony Hack
It's long been the general consensus that North Korea was responsible for the devastating 2014 Sony hack, an event that shook Hollywood and rustled up scores of industry secrets and gossip. The catalyst for the attack was, apparently, The Interview, a satirical comedy starring James Franco and Seth Rogen as a pair of American journalists whom the C.I.A. asks to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. However, not everyone believes that the massive hack was actually North Korea's doing'--and Rogen himself, you might be surprised, is one of those people.
In a new interview with Vulture, the comedian explained that he never really bought the North Korea theory, for a handful of reasons. Though it does seem that North Korea hacked into Sony's system in order to view The Interview long before the film's actual release, the nation may not have been behind the leaked e-mails'--because it wasn't until closer to the film's premiere that hacked messages began to surface. ''Then, months later, when the movie itself finally came out, all this hacking shit happened,'' Rogen said. ''This was months after North Korea had probably already seen the movie. Why would they wait [to leak the e-mails]? And they never did anything like that before and haven't done anything like it since. So things just never quite added up.''
According to a cyber-security expert Rogen hired, there's also no way the hack could have been done remotely, given the amount of stuff that was pilfered. Instead, the expert told Rogen, it must have been ''a physical act.''
''It required plugging shit into other shit,'' Rogen recalled. ''And the hack also seemed weirdly targeted at Amy [Pascal], which seems fishy'--of all the people to target? Why not me? Why not Michael Lynton [Sony Pictures Entertainment's former chairman and C.E.O.]?
It's fair to say that Pascal, who was then the chairperson of Sony Pictures Entertainment's film division, endured more criticism'--for a racist e-mail exchange with Scott Rudin about President Barack Obama, among other things'--in the hack's aftermath than anyone else at Sony whose e-mails were published. Shortly after the hack, Pascal announced that she was stepping down from her position. The fallout was one of the reasons Rogen re-assessed his thoughts on the hack.
The culprit, he posited, might actually have been ''a disgruntled Sony employee'' rather than North Korean forces. ''I've also heard people say that they think someone was hired to do the hack as a way of getting Amy Pascal fired. I don't know if I subscribe to those theories, but I kind of don't think it was North Korea.''
Still, the comedian doesn't regret making the movie; he just wishes the film itself had been better.
''Creatively we could have done things to help the tone,'' he said. ''There was a joke in Hilarity for Charity [his Netflix special] that we wound up cutting out where Nick Kroll was yelling at me about The Interview, and he's like, 'Your failure to wrangle James Franco's performance gave the whole movie tonal problems.''' Clearly, Rogen agrees with that, at least.
The Begum (Yvonne Labrousse) at Cannes, 1952
RDA/RETIREDPrincess Grace of Monaco with the Mayor of Cannes, 1955
Fox PhotosGrace Kelly at Cannes, 1955
Keystone-FranceBrigitte Bardot at Cannes, 1956
Haywood MageeMike Todd and Elizabeth Taylor at Cannes, 1957
FPGSophia Loren at Cannes, 1961
Gilbert TOURTECatherine Deneuve at Cannes, 1964
REPORTERS ASSOCIESUrsula Andress at Cannes, 1965
REPORTERS ASSOCIESMichael Caine at Cannes, 1966
RDA/RETIREDCatherine Deneuve at Cannes, 1966
KeystoneBrigitte Bardot and Gunter Sachs at Cannes, 1967
RDA/RETIREDAlfred Hitchcock at Cannes, 1972
RDA/RETIREDJane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg at Cannes, 1974
Michel GINFRAYJodie Foster and Robert de Niro at Cannes, 1976
Michael Ochs ArchivesCharlotte Rampling and Tennessee Williams at Cannes, 1976
Gilbert TOURTEArnold Schwarzenegger at Cannes, 1977
AFPFrancis Ford Coppola and family at Cannes, 1979
RDA/RETIREDPrince Charles and Princess Diana at Cannes, 1987
Tim GrahamWim Wenders at Cannes, 1989
RDA/RETIREDMadonna at Cannes, 1991
Dave HoganKyle MacLachlan and Linda Evangelista at Cannes, 1995
Richard BlanshardLea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos at Cannes, 2013
VenturelliCate Blanchett at Cannes, 2015
Kristina NikishinaJulianne Moore, Susan Sarandon and Naomi Watts at Cannes, 2016
ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULATJulia Roberts and George Clooney at Cannes, 2016
Gisela SchoberRussell Crowe at Cannes, 2016
Ian GavanUma Thurman at Cannes, 2017
Vittorio Zunino CelottoElle Fanning and Nicole Kidman at Cannes, 2017
Pascal Le SegretainPedro Almodovar at Cannes, 2017
April 30, 2018 04/30/2018 8:00 am By David Marchese Seth Rogen is 36 years old, hasn't starred onscreen in a comedy in a couple of years, and his newest project is Hilarity for Charity, a Netflix special intended to raise awareness of Alzheimer's disease. None of that, though, should be taken for signs of maturity. ''The special pretty much starts with me vaping weed through my cock,'' says the impressively bearded Rogen, enjoying a cheeseburger at a quiet restaurant in downtown Manhattan. ''My mother did express some dismay over that.''
Whatever his mom thinks, Rogen's raunchy but good-hearted stoner sensibility has served him well so far, as evidenced by hit comedies like Knocked Up, Superbad, and This Is the End (and maybe served him less well in the infamous The Interview, which was widely believed to have goaded North Korea into hacking Sony Pictures). ''But the truth is,'' he says, whether he's writing, acting, directing or, increasingly, producing, ''I don't know how to do anything other than make the things I think are funny.'' Then he laughs his big, booming laugh. ''Things like cock-vaping.''
What thoughts get kicked up when you see North Korea in the news these days?It does kick stuff up for sure. Honestly, I really don't think North Korea hacked Sony .
Why's that?When the trailer for The Interview came out we were called into a meeting at Sony, where they told us that North Korea had probably already hacked into their system and seen the movie and that the statements they'd put out was their response. Then, months later, when the movie itself finally came out, all this hacking shit happened. This was months after North Korea had probably already seen the movie. Why would they wait? And they never did anything like that before and haven't done anything like it since. So things just never quite added up. The guy I'd hired to do my cybersecurity even told me, ''There's no way this was a hack. It had to be a physical act.'' The amount of stuff that was stolen would have had to have physical mass to it.
In the sense that whoever stole the information needed to have his or her hands on a server at some point?Yeah, it wasn't something you could've hacked remotely. It required plugging shit into other shit. And the hack also seemed weirdly targeted at Amy [Pascal], which seems fishy '-- of all the people to target? Why not me? Why not Michael Lynton ?
Has anyone given you a plausible theory for who else might be responsible?I've heard that it was a disgruntled Sony employee. I've also heard people say that they think someone was hired to do the hack as a way of getting Amy Pascal fired . I don't know if I subscribe to those theories, but I kind of don't think it was North Korea.
Did the Sony hack change anything about the way you do business?No. It literally did not create one hitch as far as work. The hack happened in November , I started shooting Steve Jobs that January. We directed the Preacher pilot that April. We got into Neighbors 2 a couple months after that. When I look back at that whole situation, the thing I regret is that Sony convinced me to pretend to the press that we didn't know what we were doing when we made The Interview. They wanted us to act like we were just trying to make a silly comedy and didn't know we were making something controversial.
They were asking you to play na¯ve?They were asking us to look like these dumb stoner filmmakers who just happened to make a movie about Kim Jong-un without really thinking about it. Like, we had no idea North Korea might be mad!
So why'd you play along?Look, I mean it all was happening in real time. They [Sony] were not protecting us very well. They pulled the movie from theaters when I was in a green room about to go on Colbert. No one from Sony came up to me being like, ''Yo, we're doing this.'' They totally floated us out on our own. They just kept saying, ''Say [The Interview] wasn't meant to be controversial. Say the controversy was an accident.'' And that's what we did! Just because it was all happening so fast and we didn't know what the fuck was going on. So that's what I honestly regret: not just saying, ''We knew exactly what we were doing with The Interview.''
Maybe this question doesn't quite apply if North Korea wasn't responsible for the hack, but did your experience with The Interview make you think any differently about the stakes of satire? Just insofar as realizing that there can consequences for taking shots at people.Maybe. But even if the hack was North Korea, I don't regret doing the movie. The other regret I do have is that we could have made the movie itself better. Creatively we could have done things to help the tone. There was a joke in Hilarity for Charity that we wound up cutting out where Nick Kroll was yelling at me about The Interview, and he's like, ''Your failure to wrangle James Franco's performance gave the whole movie tonal problems.''
Is there truth to that?I do think it's true! I think I could now make a better movie, but as far as the actual content of the movie goes, I don't regret anything.
James Franco is something I have to ask you about. Were the recent allegations against him in keeping with the person you know?The truth is that my perspective on this is the least relevant perspective. I'm friends with these people and I'm a dude. All that combined makes me the last person who should be talking about this.
Is it fair to say that the allegations didn't change anything about your willingness to work with him in the future?Yes.
Can you tell me about the experience of seeing someone you know so well involved in a controversy like that?There are so many people with real things to contribute to the #MeToo discussion that anything I say is not going to add anything useful.
What you're saying about your perspective as a white guy not being the most relevant to these larger cultural discussions '-- how does your awareness of that affect how you think about your work?I just try to be with the curve, not behind it. This is not in any way about pandering, but I think Neighbors 2 had an incredibly progressive message . I think Blockers has an incredibly progressive message . We hired Kay Cannon to direct it and she did an amazing job. We're hyperaware of trying to be as representative as possible in the directors and writers and actors we work with. I'm sure we could definitely be doing more to be ahead of the curve in that way, but, again, I couldn't be more aware that my perspective is not one people are clamoring for.
So much of the work that you've done is rooted, on some level, in trying to put characters onscreen that are antidotes to Hollywood clich(C)s. Like, Superbad was your attempt to show teens you actually recognized instead of teens as they appeared in American Pie. Or Pineapple Express put plausible real-life stoners in an action-movie setting. So what antidotes are you most eager to put onscreen next? What gaps need filling?Evan [Goldberg] and I talk about this a lot. We're trying to make the movies that we wish we could be seeing but aren't. This movie I did that's coming out with Charlize Theron called Flarsky '-- what titles puts asses in seats better than random Jewish last names? But anyway, it's a big R-rated romantic comedy like Pretty Woman, which is something you don't see a lot of anymore. It's for adults, unabashedly, and it's the exact type of thing that I would love to go see with my wife. And it's also the exact type of thing that's barely in existence right now.
How is Invincible going to be novel in that way? There's no shortage of superhero movies.The idea to do Invincible came from our wanting to do a very traditional superhero movie '-- suits and capes and flying around '-- and include elements that are incredibly antithetical to traditional superhero movies. We want to participate in genres but also approach them differently than how they're normally approached.
Does ''we'' mean you and Evan?Yeah, sorry, me and Evan. I make very few autonomous decisions in my career.
Got it. On the subject of superhero movies, is there a part of you that's glad The Green Hornet didn't land? If it'd done well, you'd probably still be making Green Hornet movies.It's more that I'm glad that we did that movie when we did it. We were a little before the superhero curve. We did that once, and it went as bad as you would imagine, for all the reasons you would imagine, and now we know it's not for us. So many people's careers get sucked into these giant movie franchises, but we've learned that it's a fucking nightmare when you're making a studio's most expensive movie. The studio involvement on a project of that size is just not worth the trouble. It's a lot better to be making the studio's least expensive movie.
How close was Nicolas Cage to playing The Green Hornet's villain ?Really close.
Oh, man.Yeah, that shit was crazy. Which is funny, because in retrospect maybe what he'd wanted to do wouldn't have been any worse '-- the movie didn't turn out so great, so maybe he would've made it crazier. Which would've at least been interesting.
Wait, what are you talking about?Basically, when you're making a movie that expensive the studio has a real say in who you cast. So the studio was like, ''You gotta make the villain a star. We want you to cast Nicolas Cage.'' So we thought, let's talk to him. And we do, and he tells us that he wants to do the movie, but he wants to play the character as, like, a white Bahamian or Jamaican. Which to us was a little worrisome.
Oy.Yeah, not that there aren't white Bahamians, but it seemed perhaps insensitive. So then we were going to have a big dinner with Nicolas Cage at Amy Pascal's house to talk about the movie. And I remember driving to the dinner with Evan and saying, ''If he does the white Bahamian thing at the dinner, I'm going to lose it.'' [Laughs.] I was like, ''I can't deal with being face-to-face with Nicolas Cage as he's doing a Bahamian accent.''
So what happened?Within 20 minutes of getting to the dinner he's fully doing it.
Was the accent good?It was good! But I think he could so viscerally tell that we didn't like the idea that he just left right in the middle of dinner. He was just like, ''I gotta go.'' It was as if I just stood up right now with you and walked out. That's how abrupt it was. Then he called me two days after that and said, ''I'm getting the sense that you don't want me in this movie.'' That's what happened. But God bless Nicolas Cage. I'm a huge fan.
What's good and what's bad about how much superhero movies are dominating Hollywood?I think Evan and I have managed to avoid feeling the pressure from them. We make reasonably budgeted movies that, so far, have made those budgets back. But you know what's funny? When we used to schedule our movies' release dates, the idea was always that we didn't want to come out near another R-rated comedy, and now there's only like three big R-rated comedies a year, and sometimes we produce two of them. But every once in a while a major piece of IP will come up to us through our agents, and they'll say, ''Do you guys want to have a meeting about this?'' And because of The Green Hornet our answer is always ''no.'' We've been served well by trying to stay on the lower end of budgets rather than get back into the hundreds of millions of dollars budget game.
You did a joint interview with Judd Apatow a few years back where you said, I think only partly joking, that you hadn't gotten any funnier since you were a teenager writing Superbad . Do you really think that's true? And if it is, then what have you gotten better at over the years?Am I much funnier than when I was 17? Probably not. But I do things less by accident than I used to. It used to be that I'd come up with stuff almost just through sheer quantity. I remember hearing a quote once '-- I'm going to get it wrong '-- but it was something like, ''You know you've gotten better at something when you're actually able to make the thing your taste is telling you to make.'' In the past, we'd have ideas but weren't able to get them across exactly how we wanted. More and more, we can actually achieve the things we imagine making. That's been a shift I'm proud of.
So using that criteria, what movie of yours are you proudest of?This Is the End is the craziest movie conceptually that we could've made at that time, and the fact that it seemed to function and be received well was very surprising. Because we were like, ''This was a big swing,'' you know? I don't know if that's our best movie '-- Superbad I'm sure has more fans and Pineapple Express is probably the movie people mention most when they come up to me on the street '-- but as far as my own feelings, This Is the End had the most ways it could go wrong, and we avoided most of the pitfalls.
You've also said previously that you're aware of how some of the jokes in Superbad haven't aged that well. But is it possible to write edgy comedy with an eye on what might age badly? Especially now, it feels like a joke can go from basically being okay to being irredeemably offensive in the space of weeks.I have accepted that a lot of what I do just won't age well , but the thing is, nothing ages well. Animal House is one of the best comedies of all time and you watch it today and it's appalling. There's tons of shit in that movie that back then was ''edgy'' and today feels categorically wrong. That's just part of comedy. But I also accept that some people won't like what we do, and those people will express that, and I'll listen to what they say. I try to understand where the lines in the culture are. I want to know when I am crossing the line, and I also want to convey to the audience, in some subtle way, that I'm aware of the lines. Audiences get nervous when they don't trust that the filmmakers fully understand what they're doing; you want to know that the people making the offensive jokes understand what's offensive about them. It's hard because, like you said, the line is always moving, but I think having the lines is right. I'm not one of these comedians who's like, ''People are too PC and it's ruining comedy.'' The man is not cracking down on my jokes.
Are there jokes you've come up with but didn't use because they were too offensive?Probably tons!
What's one of them? I'm always curious about where individual comedian's lines are.Actually I don't think we've ever not used a joke because it was too offensive. There would also have to have been another reason. If the joke was pushing the line and was also not funny enough then we wouldn't use it. But if it was pushing the line and everyone was laughing and it served the story and no one complained afterward, then it'd be okay. It's almost like you need for there to be a negative symptom before you can determine that a joke is a problem. But we have taken jokes out of movies when test audiences just went, ''That's too fucked up.''
Like what?There was an early version of Sausage Party where Douche captured the group and was going to torture someone. So he got a rat, lifted up its tail and fingered the rat's butt. Then took his rat-butt finger and swooshed it around in Lavash's mouth. You could tell the test audience would have preferred if we hadn't done that. So we took it out.
Do you ever wonder about the shelf life of the raunchy stoner-comedian persona? It's like, it's great to be your generation's Tommy Chong while you're in your 20s and 30s. But at some point no one but Tommy Chong should be their generation's Tommy Chong. Do you know what I mean?Yeah. That's very true. I don't think it's gotten sad for me yet '-- but it's close! Like I said, we've always made the movies that we would want to go see and seeing comedies where people are high all the time is not at the top of my list of shit to go see anymore. But it helps me to know that we've got things in the pipeline that are moving things in different directions for me. Like, I'm 35 now and the movie we just made is about a 35-year-old.
You're talking about the romantic comedy '-- what was it? Lipschitz?[Laughs.] Goldenfarts.
Flarsky!Yeah, the movie soon-to-be-called-something-other-than-Flarsky '-- that name is going to change. But that movie is a step in a more adult direction. It's definitely an R-rated movie but it's drawing humor from new areas. Our sensibility is evolving. It just may be that it's happening glacially.
Is a romantic comedy where you and Charlize Theron play the leads going to invite some of the same negative criticisms that bubbled up when you and Katherine Heigl played opposite each other in Knocked Up? Probably! We'll see how progressive people have gotten regarding my attractiveness over the last ten years.
Did you find those criticisms offensive?I got what people meant. What I was shocked by was that people didn't seem to understand that we didn't invent that dynamic. As much as I would like to think we were the first to put a fucking Jewish dude and a shiksa in a movie together, we were not. Did those people not see When Harry Met Sally? That's been a comedy formula for a long time: the schlubby guy and this woman who maybe is out of his league in some capacity. Every movie I watched growing up was like that. Every Woody Allen movie. John Candy movies. All the Bill Murray movies. I was surprised that people were acting like it was this new thing in Knocked Up.
I think the question was not really about whether or not that dynamic had existed prior but about whether or not its existence in movies is inherently messed up.It was one of those things where if I really wanted to intellectualize how silly the discussion was, I could, but I would have been fighting someone else's fight. I personally wasn't offended.
Fair enough. I have what's maybe a stoner-y question about weed for you: How much of your comedic sensibility was enhanced by drugs and how much was it actually formed by them?That's hard to know. What I do know is that I've started reading more about drugs as I've gotten older and what I've read has made me think, Man, I did a lot of shrooms when I was like 13 and 14 years old '-- dozens of times at a formative age. It's a real consciousness-expanding drug, so maybe it's had pretty deep effects.
Do you still regularly take hallucinogenic drugs?I don't know if I'd say regularly, but I do them, yeah.
For fun or insight?Shrooms are a very insightful drug '-- very introspective.
What's an insight you've gotten from them?I did shrooms recently and then quit a job the next day. So yeah, I've made some real-life decisions as a result.
Can you say what the job was?No.
How important is weed to your creative process?What I've found, more than anything, is that weed makes me willing to work. When I was young I found that a lot of people I knew were trudging through the workday. They were just waiting to go home so they could do what they really wanted to do and smoke weed. At some point I was just like, ''If I smoke weed while I'm working, then I don't have to do the trudging part.''
A two-birds, one-stone situation.Exactly. If I'm stoned I'll happily work all day long. I don't really smoke when I'm acting because I can tell I look stoned, but other than that, being high makes me more willing to spend ten hours doing something that could otherwise get laborious.
Do you ever write sober?Probably just by nature of time passing every once in a while.
You mean in the time between one high wearing off and the next one kicking in? Yeah, moments arise organically where I find myself sober but I never will be like, ''I'm gonna write sober today.''
High or sober, what are the funniest things you've seen lately?The Good Place I really like. It's totally insane and interesting. Big Mouth is emotionally resonant, it's hilarious, it's outrageous. I couldn't enjoy it more. Rick and Morty is super smart and funny. I rarely like to use the phrase ''next-level shit'' but Nathan for You and ''Finding Frances'' was next-level shit. I watched it three times. I honestly think Nathan for You is the most brilliant thing on television.
Was it clear to you back in high school that Nathan Fielder was a genius?I thought so. Being in high school with him was, like, imagine him the way he is on the show but there's nothing telling you it's a bit '-- no cameras, it's not on Comedy Central. He came across to a lot of people as awkward or weird but I could tell it was a shtick. We were on the improv team together and he would do his thing. You knew he understood what he was doing, too, because he used it to make audiences laugh. It wasn't like he was just a weirdo. When I saw Nathan for You, I was like, ''Oh yeah, Nathan's found the perfect vehicle.''
While we're talking about comedians with whom you have somewhat random associations: Did you ever figure out why Rob Schneider picked a fight with you on Twitter ? I never did. My best guess is that '-- is he very conservative politically?
That's my understanding.Yeah, so the best I could do was that maybe he was preemptively cutting off what he thought was an avenue for conflict if I were to go after him. The truth is, I've said so many mean things about so many famous people that I have a hard time keeping track. I'm working with Jon Favreau right now, and he was like, ''That joke you made about me in Funny People actually hurt my feelings.'' And I was like, ''I honestly don't know what the fuck you're talking about.'' For the life of me I didn't remember making a joke about him '-- even one that wound up in a major motion picture.
Just to go back to the subject of how your sensibility has evolved: Your movies are comedies before they're anything else, but they nod to serious subjects. This Is the End involves people having to look back at their lives and determine if they've been good people. And Sausage Party, in addition to having a sexually explicit animated orgy between food products, touches on how we rationalize death. What other big human ideas are you interested in right now?Evan and I are definitely drawn to the political climate right now, and how exactly to approach that is a question that some projects we're working on might address. But the thing Evan and I have been talking about the most is that we want to make a silent movie. Like a Buster Keaton movie.
Why?I'm sick of fucking watching people talk. And our comedy has grown very reliant on dialogue. So the idea is ''Can we make a movie that plays like Sausage Party or This Is the End, but where no one talks?''
How far along are you?We've been working on the concept for two-and-a-half or three years. We have a pretty solid outline, but with almost all of our movies there's always been one idea that ends up locking everything into place, and we haven't found it yet with the silent movie. With This Is the End, for years we couldn't think of what would happen in the third act. But once we thought of, the characters figure out they can still go to heaven, we finished the script within a month.
At this stage of your career, as opposed to back when you didn't know anything, who do you go to for advice?Jon Favreau is someone I talk to a lot. The funny thing is that when I was young and wanted to be an actor he was one of the guys I remember looking at and thinking, I kind of look like him. If he's an actor, I could be an actor. Who else? Judd [Apatow]. He's like family at this point. [Laughs.] With all the good and bad of a family relationship. And Sacha Baron Cohen gives me a lot of advice. During the whole The Interview predicament he was by far the most helpful person advice-wise.
What'd he tell you?To not say anything. Everyone was calling me and saying, ''You've gotta talk to this person. You've gotta do an interview with these guys. You've gotta do a press conference with these people.'' Sacha was the only one who said, ''Do you want more attention?'' ''Nope.'' ''Then shut the fuck up.'' That was good advice. We didn't do any press. We didn't tweet. We just kept working and didn't bring any more attention to ourselves than we had to.
Where has Sacha Baron Cohen been lately? I always wonder if he's struggling to find his next character or if he's just rich and doesn't need to work.I know the answer and I can't tell you what is. I literally can't talk about it.
That's awfully enigmatic.You'll understand why.
All right. Are you ever curious about going back to stand-up ? That's where you started, and you haven't touched it in years, but there are aspects of what you do in the Netflix special that are sort of stand-up-like.What you're talking about with the special is more me commenting on funny props and introducing other people and stuff like that. I was actually adamant about was not having any moments where it seemed like I was doing stand-up because I didn't think it would be fair to other comedians who actually regularly do stand-up. But I am curious about doing it again. I just don't know if my ego could handle not being good at it. Not that I'm the best at everything I do, but I have a pretty good handle on something like writing. When I watch great stand-ups, I know I am not as good as they are. I never was. That's why I stopped.
Not because you had the chance to do other kinds of work?It was because as soon as I moved to L.A. and was on the same shows as Zach Galifianakis, Sarah Silverman, and David Cross I thought, I can't do what they do. But then I started writing screenplays and realized I could do that really well and that I just got it more. But maybe I'd try it again. You know, we had to do stand-up for Funny People, and I remember Louis C.K. sitting me and Jonah [Hill] down for 45 minutes and explaining to us why we weren't good.
What'd he say?''The delivery is not good. You seem nervous up there. You're rushing. You're not taking your time. You're sweating. Your jokes are structured badly.'' It was all the reasons someone isn't good at stand-up comedy! I really get curious about doing it again but it's just not my skill set. It's like Kanye: Just make great music, man. Actually, no, I'm wrong. Kanye should do everything. He should not put himself in any corner.
What about dramatic acting? Are there roles you've seen that you would've liked a shot at?If that's happened it's been with a role Jonah got, and he's a better actor than I am, so it's okay.
He must lord those Oscar nominations over you.Oh, yes! Very much! But the truth is that I produce a lot of stuff, so if there's something I really want to make happen, I can probably find a way to make it happen. Like, there's a movie now that I hope we get to make '-- I'm obsessed with the fact that in the '70s I probably could have been an action star. Big Jewish dudes used to be the most masculine thing there was. Elliott Gould could play a hard-boiled detective! So there's a movie we're working on that's a completely straight, violent underbelly '70s type of movie, and I'd be in that. But working with other people outside of the stuff we produce is what I can't control, and it's always so fun when I get to do it because I can see how other people work and steal from them.
Whenever I talk to filmmakers, I'm fascinated by how much of a crapshoot moviemaking is. Nobody ever seems to know if something is going to turn out well. I know you've talked before about how there were clues during the making of The Guilt Trip that the movie wasn't coming together, but can you remember specifically what those clues were? On that one it just felt like the tonal approach was not how I'd originally seen it. I saw that movie as being more dramatic '-- almost like an Alexander Payne''type movie '-- than how it wound up. The conversations we'd had going in made me think that everyone was on the same page, and then when we started actually filming, I knew enough about camera placement and how things get put together to realize that it wasn't going to be the kind of movie I'd thought it was. But for there to be a disconnect between the perspectives of the people making a movie is not weird. I've done rewriting work on other people's movies when I was convinced that the approach the filmmakers were taking was wrong, and then I saw the finished movie and realized, Oh no, I was definitely the one who was wrong.
At least on Guilt Trip you got to hang out with Streisand.The coolest thing about making that movie was being in a car with Barbra Streisand all day. I would just shamelessly extract stories from her: ''Did you meet Elvis?'' And yeah, she knew Elvis. She was saying she wanted to cast Elvis in '-- what was it?
A Star Is Born, I think.Yeah, yeah. And people thought Elvis was too dangerous or something. She had amazing stories about almost everybody. Pierre Trudeau, she had fling with him. She went on a road trip with Marlon Brando. That was a good story. Her and Brando went on a road trip across America, staying at shitty motels and stuff. Yeah, and she and, I think, Elliott Gould got high with Peter Sellers. Maybe Julie Andrews was involved? Maybe Blake Edwards? I don't 100 percent remember, but they all smoked weed at Peter Sellers's apartment and then went out to dinner. [Streisand] said, ''All I remember is laughing uncontrollably the entire time.''
I have a feeling that when you get older, people won't be as intrigued to hear that you smoked weed with different celebrities.You'd be surprised. People still ask me if I smoke.
Really? It seems like a given that you're getting high with everyone.At this point, it should be. [Laughs.]
This interview has been condensed and edited from two conversations.
Photograph by Koury Angelo/Netflix.Annotations by Matt Stieb.
Directed by Rogen and Goldberg, 2014's The Interview stars Rogen and James Franco as journalists traveling to North Korea to interview Kim Jong-un, who are co-opted by the CIA to assassinate him. In June of that year, North Korea threatened the United States, calling the film's release an ''act of war.'' In November, the DPRK-affiliated group ''Guardians of Peace'' hacked into Sony, dropping executive salary numbers and a few unreleased films. (It also revealed a huge gender and racial gap at the company.) Sony eventually decided not to widely release the picture in theaters, and made it available as a digital rental in December 2014. Lynton was the CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment at the time of the hack, and was largely spared. He's currently the CEO at Snapchat. As the chairperson of Sony Pictures' film division at the time, Pascal took the brunt of the alleged North Korean hack. Her Amazon purchase history was published. In one exchange with producer Scott Rudin shortly before Pascal was set to meet Barack Obama, Pascal suggested that the president would enjoy Django Unchained and The Butler, contemporary Sony films about slavery and the civil-rights movement. Accused of racism, she resigned in February 2015. In 2012, Rogen and his wife Lauren Miller founded Hilarity for Charity, a nonprofit dedicated to the care and research of Alzheimer's, and to raising awareness among millennials. Miller, whose mother has the neurodegenerative disease, is an actress who's appeared in Superbad and Master of None and wrote, directed, and produced the 2018 film Like Father. At this year's Golden Globes ceremony, James Franco wore a Time's Up pin during his acceptance speech for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for his role in The Disaster Artist. Shortly after, five women accused Franco of sexual misconduct. Subsequently, Franco did not attend the Oscars. For the 2016 sequel to their frat-comedy hit, Rogen tried to upend female comedic stereotypes like the nagging wife. ''[Rose Byrne] pointed out that it was always the woman trying to stop the man from doing what he wanted to be doing,'' Rogen told New York in 2016. Directed by Kay Cannon and co-produced by Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the 2018 comedy inverts the male-centered high-school movie, with three girls trying to lose their virginity on prom night despite their parents' efforts to shut it down. Goldberg is a writer, producer, and frequent collaborator with Rogen. They met at a bar mitzvah class as 12-year-olds in Vancouver, and began writing Superbad together in high school. He co-wrote Pineapple Express, The Interview, and Neighbors 2, and co-directed This Is The End with Rogen. Slated for release in 2019, the film stars Rogen as an unemployed journalist who tries to hook up with his former babysitter, played by Charlize Theron, who is a now a Washington big shot. Last year, Rogen and Goldberg announced they will write, direct, and produce an adaptation of the comic series Invincible for Universal. Written by The Walking Dead's Robert Kirkman, the comic asks what it's like to be the teenage son of a superhero, who develops powers during puberty. The 2011 superhero film starred Rogen as the failson of a media tycoon who, la Batman, buys a bunch of toys to defeat bad guys and the corrupt. The twist? The Green Hornet pretends to be evil to get close to the villains. Making a modest $107 million on a $120 million budget, Sony didn't pursue a sequel. Christoph Waltz, the archetypal villain of Inglourious Basterds and Spectre, ended up playing the antagonist Bloodnofsky, a Mob figure who emerges from a midlife crisis as a supervillain. Rogen and Goldberg began writing the breakout comedy when they were 13 years old, incorporating details from their own high-school gossip. Rogen tweeted that ''the period blood on the leg scene in Superbad actually happened'' to a friend, and that when their buddy was the first to get hold of a working fake ID, ''It was awesome.'' In 2016, Rogen said, of a movie that uses the word faggot several times, ''There are probably some jokes in Superbad that are bordering on blatantly homophobic at times. They're all in the voice of high-school kids, who do speak like that, but I think we'd also be silly not to acknowledge that we also were, to some degree, glamorizing that type of language in a lot of ways.'' Critiques of Knocked Up ranged from the literally superficial '-- Rogen and Heigl aren't a believable couple because they aren't on the same level of hotness '-- to the more fundamental: the film's women are two-dimensional, compared to its complicated portrait of male idiocy. In a Vanity Fair profile, Heigl called Knocked Up ''a little sexist,'' tipping off a press feud with Rogen and the writer and director, Judd Apatow. Born in Vancouver a year apart, Fielder and Rogen were both children of social workers, met in first grade, and were on the high-school improv team at Point Grey Secondary School. In the summer of 2017, Rogen tweeted a screenshot showing Rob Schneider had blocked him, writing, ''What the fuck?!'' The same day, Schneider tweeted, ''I'll unblock you if I can meet James Franco,'' and later, ''thanks for hooking me up with Franco. You're right, he is dreamy.'' Rogen never responded. In the 2009 comedy, Rogen's character encourages Jason Schwartzman by telling him he looks like Jackson Browne, and that he, Rogen, looks like Jon Favreau. In a 2015 interview on The Howard Stern Show, Rogen said that Favreau once confronted him about the joke: ''It hurts '... you're in a theater full of people, they all laugh, it sucks.'' Rogen began performing stand-up at 13, when his mom would drive him to shows. He says his first gig was at a lesbian bar; he thought it was ladies' night. Somehow, he had timing, stage presence, and decent material. By the age of 16, when he appeared on Freaks & Geeks, Rogen was the family breadwinner. Seth Rogen on His Netflix Special and Working While Stoned
Trump keeps some JFK documents sealed until 2021 as Archives release final batch | Politics | Dallas News
Updated at 2 p.m. to clarify the number of documents remaining under seal.
WASHINGTON '-- President Donald Trump issued an order Thursday, keeping some of the most sensitive records from the Kennedy assassination files sealed for another 3 1/2 years, as the National Archives released a final batch under a law meant to force most of the records into the light by last fall.
In 1992, Congress set a 25-year deadline for releasing remaining documents stemming from John F. Kennedy's murder in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.
When the deadline arrived '-- Oct. 26 last year '-- Trump gave federal agencies a six-month extension to plead the case for keeping selected records sealed, if they could assert a vital national security interest. The FBI and CIA in particular had pressed for more time.
Some 15,884 records that have now been partially released, some with heavy redactions, will be subject to yet more review over the next three years under Trump's order.
The National Archives released 19,045 documents Thursday. Those can be downloaded here, along with previously released records, such as secret 1978 testimony from a former CIA station chief in Mexico City, David Atlee Phillips, a Fort Worth native.
He called assassin Lee Harvey Oswald "loony" and insisted that as far as he could tell, Oswald had acted alone.
"God knows I would like for it to come out that Fidel Castro was responsible or that the Soviets were responsible," Phillips testified before the House Select Committee on Assassinations, under questioning by Rep. Floyd Fithian, an Indiana Democrat. "But I know of no evidence to show that the Cubans or the Soviets put him up to it, and I just have to go along on the side that he was a kind of loony fellow who decided to shoot the president, and he did."
The transcript of the four decade-old testimony was in the batch of documents released Dec. 15. Historians, assassination buffs and conspiracy theorists are still digging through those and other previously secret files for insights into the investigation and countless unrelated topics, from the U.S. escalation in Vietnam to assassination plots and meddling with unfriendly regimes in Cuba, Chile and other nations.
(Hat tip to Bud Kennedy of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for flagging the Phillips testimony.)
19,045 documents subject to the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 have been posted on @USNatArchives website. Released documents are available for download: https://t.co/E5lR7OzeWI
'-- US National Archives (@USNatArchives) April 26, 2018According to the National Archives, 520 documents remain under seal under one of two provisions of the 1992 law. Some were sealed by a federal court and can only be unsealed by a judge. Others involve tax records. Of the 15,834 released only in redacted form, "most are currently less redacted than prior to October 26, 2017."
Some of the newest documents have only the Social Security number of a witness blacked out, for instance.
Much of the latest release involves organized crime case apparently unrelated to the JFK killing or investigation.
Since last July, the archives has released 13,371 documents in full.
In a presidential memorandum Thursday, Trump wrote that the Archivist of the United States had, over the last 180 days, reviewed records that remained sealed in the collection that agencies had sought to keep sealed or redacted "because of identifiable national security, law enforcement, and foreign affairs concerns. The Archivist has reviewed the information agencies proposed to withhold and believes the proposals are consistent with the standard of section 5(g)(2)(D) of the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992. ...
"I agree with the Archivist's recommendation that the continued withholdings are necessary to protect against identifiable harm to national security, law enforcement, or foreign affairs that is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in immediate disclosure."
"I am also ordering agencies to re-review each of those redactions over the next 3 years," and to immediately release records that no long warrant ongoing withholding, Trump wrote.
The president signaled a willingness to allow some records to remain sealed beyond Oct. 26, 2021.
But, citing the 1992 law, he added, " 'only in the rarest cases is there any legitimate need for continued protection of such records.' The need for continued protection can only grow weaker with the passage of time."
Records released in the last year included FBI and CIA reports on Soviet spies, the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and Lee Harvey Oswald's trip to Mexico City a few weeks before he murdered Kennedy.
For decades, debate has raged not only over whether Oswald acted alone but also whether the FBI and CIA could have stopped him. The voluminous record shows unequivocally that he was in their sights, though none of the records unsealed in the last year has fully put to rest conspiracy theories.
For instance, a 1975 CIA memo marked "top secret" shows that Oswald was on a "watch list" of people whose mail would be intercepted from Nov. 9, 1959, to May 3, 1960, and again from Aug. 7, 1961, through May 28, 1962.
The Phillips testimony from 1978, released Dec. 15, counts on the Oswald acted alone side of the ledger.
"The American public doesn't want to believe that one man could murder Camelot," he told House investigators.
Sign up here instead
Saul Montes-Bradley on Twitter: "(19) ''Toscas and Tashina Gauhar, the DA attorney general for intelligence, have offices next to each other and say they are in constant communication. The division is the liaison between Justice Department headquarters a
(9) Not even Roosevelt was that crazy.Not even the Wagner Act had gone that far.It took the Fascist son of a Hitler admirer to push it forward.
View conversation · (10) The unionization of government employees created a new class of American citizen:A mass of untouchables who ran the daily business of government and who, through the alliance of their unions with the Democratic Party, created a state within the state.
View conversation · (11) Government contracts flowed in one direction guaranteeing the unions ever increasing revenues, and these let the campaign contributions flow at the same rate; and an army of ''operatives" was ready to stuff envelopes, slash tires or, more recently, write absentee ballots.
View conversation · (12) If an opponent was elected by chance, he or she'd have to confront a sea of molasses slowing their every move.Staffers, secretaries, managers, attorneys...doing what they could, at every turn, to hamper their work.
View conversation · (13) This nameless, faceless bureaucracy; this American nomenclature, is what we may rightfully call the Deep State.Let me give you a couple of examples that I think will be in the news soon.
View conversation · (14)Apparatchik No 1: Tashina Gauhar.Apparatchik No 2: George Toscas.The Siamese twins of the DoJ.The Dinamic Duo of the FISA courts.
View conversation · (16) She had a BA from Loyola College and was admitted in the Law School of the University of Maryland in 1997. Do the math.Now you know what I mean by briefly. Oh, yes, she was an ''associate'' at DLA Piper (then Piper Marbury Rudnick and Wolfe, LLP.
jnslp.com/2009/09/29/oma'... View conversation · (18) In 2006, she and George Toscas were moved to a new office, a ''partnership with U.S. attorneys' offices and the FBI - in what are considered broad national security investigations."Not bad for a bankrupcy gal friday.
View conversation ·
Goldman Sachs Says Bitcoin 'Is Not A Fraud', Plans Trading
Goldman Sachs has said Bitcoin ''is not a fraud'' as it unveiled plans to buy and sell cryptocurrency, the New York Times reported May 2.
In a move which sets the investment banking giant apart from its Wall Street competitors, Goldman will initially offer various contracts with Bitcoin exposure before rumoredly entering the trading arena.
Commenting on the decision, Rana Yared, an executive involved in creating the offerings, said the bank had been ''inundated'' with client requests.
''It resonates with us when a client says, 'I want to hold Bitcoin or Bitcoin futures because I think it is an alternate store of value,''' she told the publication.
''...It is not a new risk that we don't understand. It is just a heightened risk that we need to be extra aware of here.''
She added that Goldman ''had concluded Bitcoin is not a fraud,'' a poignant statement in an industry where competitor JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon's infamous description of Bitcoin still resonates.
Nonetheless, even Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein publicly stated Bitcoin ''is not for him'' during its all-time price highs in December 2017, and Yared appeared quick to dispel any myths that the bank was a 'Bitcoin believer.'
''I would not describe myself as a true believer who wakes up thinking Bitcoin will take over the world,'' she added.
''For almost every person involved, there has been personal skepticism brought to the table.''
Meghan Markle's brother warns Prince Harry to cancel royal wedding | Daily Mail Online
Thomas Jnr, 51, who is the American actress' half-brother has warned the 33-year-old royal to ditch the May 19 union with 'Suits' actress Meghan
Meghan Markle's estranged half-brother has shared a handwritten letter telling Prince Harry it's 'not too late' to cancel the wedding to his sister.
Elder sibling Thomas Markle Jr has warned the 33-year-old royal to ditch the May 19 union with the 'Suits' actress.
Mr Markle slammed the American star, insisting that 36-year-old Meghan is a 'jaded, shallow, conceited woman that will make a joke of you and the royal family heritage.'
The letter, shared with In Touch magazine reads: 'As more time passes to your royal wedding, it became very clear that this is the biggest mistake in royal wedding history.'
'Meghan Markle is obviously not the right woman for you.
'I'm confused why you don't see the real Meghan that the whole world now sees.
'Meghan's attempt to act the part of a princess like a below C average Hollywood actress is getting old.'
The 51-year-old, who is from Oregon in the US, then went on to claim that their father went into debt in order to support Markle's acting dream and is still struggling financially.
He also claims that their father was not invited to the wedding.
In a letter sent to In Touch, Mr Markle slammed the American star, insisting that 36-year-old Meghan is a 'jaded, shallow, conceited woman that will make a joke of you and the royal family heritage'
The 51-year-old, who is from Oregon in the US, then went on to claim that their father went into debt in order to support Markle's acting dream and is still struggling financially in a letter he sent to In Touch
'What kind of person starts out by using her own father until he's bankrupt, then forgets about him in Mexico leaving him broke, over mostly all her debts,' the letter continued.
'And when it's time to pay him back she forgets her own father like she never knew him.
'It's very apparent that her tiny bit of Hollywood fame has gone to her head.
The letter by Mr Markle, shared with In Touch magazine reads: 'As more time passes to your royal wedding, it became very clear that this is the biggest mistake in royal wedding history'. The couple is seen here last month
'Not to mention, to top it all off, she doesn't invite her own family and instead invites complete strangers to the wedding. Who does that? You and the royal family should put an end to this fake fairytale wedding before it's too late.'
Mr Markle finished with: 'Meghan is still my sister. She is family. So whatever happens is up to her, whether she wants to forget knowing me or the rest of her family, family comes first.
'Also, you would think that a royal wedding would bring a torn family closer together, but I guess we're all distant family to Meg.'
Meghan's half-brother has previously hit out at his sibling after revealing that her royal wedding snub has 'torn the family apart'.
Meghan Markle's brother Thomas' open letter to Prince Harry in fullDear Prince Harry,
It's not too late, Meghan Markle is obviously not the right woman for you.
As more time passes to your royal wedding, it became very clear that this is the biggest mistake in royal wedding history.
I'm confused why you don't see the real Meghan that the whole world now sees.
Meghan's attempt to act the part of a princess like a below C average Hollywood actress is getting old.
What kind of person starts out by using her own father until he's bankrupt, then forgets about him in Mexico leaving him broke, over mostly all her debts.
And when it's time to pay him back she forgets her own father like she never knew him.
My father will never recover financially from paying Meghan's way, nor emotionally from disowning him. Meg is showing her true colours.
It's very apparent that her tiny bit of Hollywood fame has gone to her head, changing her into a jaded, shallow, conceited woman, that will make a fool of you and the royal family heritage.
Not to mention, to top it all off, she doesn't invite her own family and instead invites complete strangers to the wedding. Who does that? You and the royal family should put an end to this fake fairytale wedding before it's too late.
Her own father didn't get an invite, whom should be walking her down the aisle.
She forgets if it wasn't for my father she would be busing tables and babysitting to pay her old debt off.
The whole world is watching Meg make bad decisions and choices, it's not too late Harry.
Meghan is still my sister. She is family. So whatever happens is up to her, whether she wants to forget knowing me or the rest of her family, family comes first.
Also, you would think that a royal wedding would bring a torn family closer together, but I guess we're all distant family to Meg.
Sincerely Tom Markle Jr
Mr Markle accused his sibling of turning her back on the family and said she is 'falsely' trying to portray herself as the new Princess Diana.
He told the Daily Mirror: 'She's clearly forgotten her roots. It's torn my entire family apart. Meg likes to portray herself as a humanitarian, a people's person and a charitable person but she is none of those things to her family.
Extended family: Meghan has been estranged from most of her dad's side of the family for years. Above she is pictured as a young girl with her father Thomas Markle, Thomas Markle Jr's son Thomas and Tyler Dooley, and his ex-wife Tracey Dooley
'She is giving the greatest performance of her life. She is acting phoney. I've read that Meg wants to be like Diana.
'Diana was worshipped by everyone in the world. She was loved for the right reasons.
'That's what Meg wants, but I don't think that's going to happen. She's not genuine like Diana.'
Mr Markle has not seen his sister since 2011 when the pair '' and Meghan's film producer ex Trevor Engleson, 41 '' attended the Los Angeles funeral of their grandmother, Doris.
Markle believes that his brushes with the law may have embarrassed his half sister who is avoiding him.
He was in the news at the start of the year when he was thrown in jail for two days for a drunken brawl with his fiancee Darlene Blount on New Year's Eve.
Last year Markle was also arrested for brandishing a gun at his fiancee during another drunken fracas, although the charges were later dropped.
He blamed his behaviour on struggling to cope with the extra pressure and scrutiny he and the rest of his family have faced since Meghan's royal engagement.
VIDEO - Comey: 'I Think I Would Still Be the FBI Director' If Clinton Had Won the Election - YouTube
LONDON (Reuters) - WhatsApp, the popular messaging service owned by Facebook Inc (FB.O ), is raising its minimum age from 13 to 16 in Europe to help it comply with new data privacy rules coming into force next month.
It is not clear how or if the age limit will be checked given the limited data requested and held by the service.
Facebook, which has a separate data policy, is taking a different approach to teens aged between 13 and 15 in order to comply with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law.
It is asking them to nominate a parent or guardian to give permission for them to share information on the platform, otherwise they will not see a fully personalized version of the social media platform.
But WhatsApp, which had more than 1.5 billion users in January according to Facebook, said in a blog post it was not asking for any new rights to collect personal information in the agreement it has created for the European Union.
''Our goal is simply to explain how we use and protect the limited information we have about you,'' it said.
WhatsApp, founded in 2009, has come under pressure from some European governments in recent years because of its end-to-end encrypted messaging system and its plan to share more data with its parent, Facebook.
Facebook itself is under scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers around the world since disclosing last month that the personal information of millions of users wrongly ended up in the hands of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, setting off wider concerns about how it handles user data.
FILE PHOTO: The WhatsApp app logo is seen on a smartphone in this picture illustration taken September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File PhotoWhatsApp's minimum age of use will remain 13 years in the rest of the world, in line with its parent.
GDPR is the biggest overhaul of online privacy since the birth of the internet, giving Europeans the right to know what data is stored on them and the right to have it deleted.
Apple Inc (AAPL.O ) and some other tech firms have said they plan to give people in the United States and elsewhere the same protections and rights that Europeans will gain.
European regulators have already disrupted a move by WhatsApp to change its policies to allow it to share users' phone numbers and other information with Facebook to help improve the product and more effectively target ads.
WhatsApp suspended the change in Europe after widespread regulatory scrutiny. It said on Tuesday it still wanted to share the data at some point.
''As we have said in the past, we want to work closer with other Facebook companies in the future and we will keep you updated as we develop our plans,'' it said.
Other changes announced by WhatsApp on Tuesday include allowing users to download a report detailing the data it holds on them, such as the make and model of the device they used, their contacts and groups and any blocked numbers.
''This feature will be rolling out to all users around the world on the newest version of the app,'' it said.
The blog post also points to safety tips on the service, such as the ability to block unwanted users, and delete and report spam.
Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Adrian Croft
VIDEO - Would We Be Better Off If We Didn't Rely On 1 Social Network? : NPR
As Facebook problems have spilled into the open, some technology experts are starting to think about what a real alternative to Facebook might look like.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Some technology experts are asking what it would mean to create an alternative to Facebook. The social network has had a rough couple of years. It faces criticism for the way it shared users' data and the way it was used during the presidential campaign. It faces a movement to quit Facebook. But, of course, the question is, quit Facebook in favor of what? If the people you know are all on Facebook, quitting it would be like quitting the power grid - possible, but not so easy - for now. NPR's Laurel Wamsley reports.
LAUREL WAMSLEY, BYLINE: When Mark Zuckerberg was grilled last month on Capitol Hill, Senator Lindsey Graham asked him a question a lot of people are asking in one way or another.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
LINDSEY GRAHAM: If I buy a Ford, and it doesn't work well and I don't like it, I can buy a Chevy. If I'm upset with Facebook, what's the equivalent product that I can go sign up for?
WAMSLEY: Zuckerberg said, well, there are a lot of companies that do some form of some part of what Facebook does. But the short answer to the question of - what's a Facebook that's not Facebook? - is, there isn't one. Two-thirds of American adults use Facebook, and three-quarters of those use it every day. I'm one of them, even though I'm uncomfortable with how much the company knows about me and how I'm targeted with advertising based on that data. But I use Facebook for my job, and I also don't want to miss out on party invites from my friends. So despite my misgivings, it's hard to think of quitting the platform for good. But Facebook is only 14 years old, and knowing what we know now about the flaws in its design, how might we go about creating the next social network, one that doesn't have those same problems?
CATHY O'NEIL: I really think Facebook is destructive.
WAMSLEY: That's Cathy O'Neil. She's a mathematician and the author of a book about the potentially dangerous consequences of algorithms. She says she imagines the next social network as having the best parts of Facebook without the worst parts of Facebook.
O'NEIL: Basically, a town square where people can interact, they can keep up with each other but without the sort of commercial, predatory aspect.
WAMSLEY: Her envisioned social network would have a moderator curating the conversation, and it would be a nonprofit. But she doesn't really want the government to run the system either because then they'd probably collect too much data about all of us. Another person thinking about building a better social network as Ethan Zuckerman. He's director of the Center for Civic Media at the MIT Media Lab. He thinks it's a problem that Facebook is so big.
ETHAN ZUCKERMAN: Facebook has an awful lot of power by virtue of the fact that you have a single company making decisions for about 2 billion people.
WAMSLEY: He says the next iteration of social networks could be decentralized instead of run by one company. A good example of this is a network that already exists, an open-source software called Mastodon.
ZUCKERMAN: You can install it, put it up on a Web server. At that point, you're running a Mastodon node.
WAMSLEY: It's a sort of replacement Twitter where anyone can create their own community with their own rules. Another problem that he'd fix...
ZUCKERMAN: We don't really have control over the algorithms that sort our information and choose what we see or don't see.
WAMSLEY: Zuckerman and his MIT colleagues have built an experimental platform called Gobo, which allows you to tinker with the algorithms on your Facebook and Twitter feeds as you see fit.
ZUCKERMAN: So you can say things like, I'd like to hear from more women. Mute all the men. I'd like less rude content and more civil content.
WAMSLEY: It's both fun and tricky to think about what a better social network looks like. Should it be bounded by geography so it's easier to meet your neighbors, or is it a place to meet far-flung kindred spirits? Is it a space to share news articles and funny videos, or is it politics- and meme-free? Do you use your real name, or do you keep personal data out of it? Maybe you pay to use it, or maybe it pays you to use it. Zuckerman says we might be better off if we didn't rely on one social network to do everything.
ZUCKERMAN: We might choose to have a bunch of different networks and figure out how to link them together. It's a bit crazy that we have one social network that tries to do everything.
WAMSLEY: It can be hard for a new social network to take off because of something called the network effect, which says we tend to go where our friends already are. And when innovative social networks have threatened Facebook's dominance, it's simply bought them, as it did with Instagram and WhatsApp.
ZUCKERMAN: The trick is right now, Facebook has a quite effective monopoly, so one possibility on this could be to try to constrain Facebook from swallowing other competitors.
WAMSLEY: And that network effect can cut both ways. So if my friends started leaving Facebook, it'd be easier for me to leave, too. I asked Cathy O'Neil if she could imagine a scenario in which a real alternative to Facebook emerges, and she said yes, including one where people simply lose interest.
O'NEIL: It was kind of a temporary insanity that we all went through where we wanted to do this in the first place.
WAMSLEY: And in that future, perhaps we'll look up from our phones, walk outside and hang out together in real life.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
Laurel Wamsley reporting here on MORNING EDITION from NPR News.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio record.
VIDEO - "I Take My Apology Back, F**k Him" - Kathy Griffin Returns on "The View" to Destroy the President - YouTube
Things for Tesla just went from bad to worse when in one of the most bizarre conference calls since Jeff Skilling had some choice words for Richard Grubman, Elon Musk unexpectedly and abruptly cut off the earnings call when he encountered a question he appeared to find "uncool."
Just as a Bernstein analyst was asking one of the most important questions to emerge from this earnings release, namely what does it mean for battery and production capacity now that Tesla has cut its capex estimate, and just as CFO Ahuja started to provide some semblance of a response, the analyst was suddenly cut off, only it wasn't because the line was dropped but because Musk literally cut off the analyst mid-question, saying "boring bonehead questions are not cool."
"We're going to YouTube. These questions are so dry. They're killing me", the petulant Musk said interrupting the next question in the queue which wanted more information on Model 3 reservations, at which point Musk proceeded to go to the Youtube channel for retail investors that had been arranged over Twitter.
<Q - Joseph Spak>: Thank you. The first question is related to the Model 3 reservations, and I was just wondering if you gave us a gauge as maybe some of the impact that the news has had. Like, of the reservations that have actually opened and made available to configure, can you let us know like what percentage have actually taken the step to configure?
<A - Elon Musk>: We're going to go to YouTube. Sorry. These questions are so dry. They're killing me.
Operator: Thank you. Our next question is from Galileo Russell with HyperChange.
<Q - Galileo Russell>: Hey. Great quarter. Thanks for having me on the call to represent retail investors. I was wondering with Waymo's plans to launch an autonomous taxi service in limited markets this year if you could give us an update on the Tesla Network? And any details surrounding the launch date or geographical rollout? Thanks.
<A - Elon Musk>: Sure. Thank you for an interesting question.
Here is the recording of Musk mask of sanity slowly slipping off.
But at this point, the Musk meltdown only accelerated, as Musk attacked media stories questioning the safety of autonomy, i.e. the company's overhyped autopilot - which as Musk will tell you should never be called an autopilot if it results in a deadly accident - calling them "outrageous" and slamming "irresponsible" journalists who write about the dangers of autonomous vehicles, blasting that "people might actually turn it off and then die." Or, as the recent tragic incidents have shown, die after assuming the autopilot actually knows what it is doing.
At this point, Musk found a question that "wasn't boring" when someone on the Youtube channel asked how Tesla was competing with Porsche; the flamethrower man then gingerly pivoted into yet another non-sequitur, stating that "not being profitable is a good criticism that has been leveled at TSLA" and would be even greater if Musk had some answer to it, then claiming that "moats are lame" and what matters is the "pace of innovation", however by this point the stock of Tesla was in freefall, sliding 5% after hours as increasingly more investors experienced a proverbial light bulb moment, realizing just what an "unstable genius" Elon Musk is.
And then, as if the above wasn't enough, the absurdity really escalated when in response to Baird's Ben Kallo asking for more frequent production updates - i.e. when Model 3 production hits 3k or 4k a week - Musk said investors should be focused on long-term things, and snapped that he has "no interest" in satisfying the interests of day traders.
"Please sell our stock," he advised them, just as they were doing precisely that in the after hours.
Musk's meltdown continued by stating that "Tesla is a leaky sieve of information", and made another trade recommendation, saying that "if people are concerned about volatility, they should not buy our stock."
The full bizarre exchange below:
Operator: Thank you. Our next question comes from Ben Kallo with Baird.
<Q - Ben Kallo>: Hey, Elon. So I remember the Baron story, I don't know if it was fake news or not, what you hung up on about your battery costs. And I don't want to ask the same question, but I think it's important because one of your stakeholders are shareholders right now, and so far we've had a couple of push-outs in production. Is there a way that you can update us when you get to that 3000 number or 4000 number per week? I mean you're active on Twitter. Can you just let us know because we are going to have a big back in here, and there's a lot of news flow out there that makes volatility into the slot, it makes it hard for people to own, even though you have a lot of believers out there. And so even though we'd be in my office right now, I think it's very important to give those kind of updates. And so that's -- I think that's my question. Can give us an update when you get to 3000 or 4000 per week on the Model 3.
<A - Elon Musk>: Yeah, actually, Tesla is such a leaky sieve of information that I think the news will leak pretty quickly. I also feel the track registrations quite closely. So at most any information that we provide would be a week or two in advance of what will become public knowledge just due to vehicle registrations and shipments that are tracked very carefully.
So really the point is like people get too focused on what's happening in the space of a few weeks or a few months. There's the whole maxim of investing, you should not be focused on short-term things, you should be focused on long-term things. We have no interest in satisfying the desires of day traders. I couldn't care less. Please sell our stock and don't buy it.
I think that if people are concerned about volatility, they should definitely not buy our stock. I'm not here to convince you to buy our stock. Do not buy it if volatility is scary. There you go.
And with that the most bizarre earnings call in years was mercifully, finally over and Musk can get back to his favorite Teslaquilla, or was it red wine and some ambien?.
VIDEO - Cambridge Analytica declares bankruptcy, will shut down following Facebook scandal - National | Globalnews.ca
WATCH: Cambridge Analytica announced Wednesday it would be shutting down and was declaring bankruptcy, only months after it became the centre of the wide-scale Facebook data scandal involving the improper use of 87 million Facebook users' data.
Cambridge Analytica announced Wednesday it is declaring bankruptcy and shutting down.
The consultancy firm was at the centre of this year's Facebook data scandal.
WATCH: Would making users pay for Facebook fix its privacy problem? Cambridge Analytica scandal explained
The controversy over the improper use of data on 87 million Facebook users by Cambridge Analytica in U.S. President Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign has hurt the shares of the world's biggest social network.
It has also prompted governments around the world to launch investigations.
In the aftermath of the scandal, both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica have been heavily criticized.
WATCH: Whistleblower apologizes for role in Cambridge Analytica, says company could impact elections
Story continues below
Facebook has tightened its privacy rules, and taken several steps to make its policies more transparent.
Cambridge Analytica, however, denied any wrongdoing. But the British firm suspended CEO Alexander Tayler in April amid investigations.
READ MORE: What to do if you're caught up in the Cambridge Analytica scandal
The firm has also said it is committed to helping a U.K. investigation into Facebook and how it uses data. But U.K. Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said in March the firm failed to meet a deadline to produce the information requested.
Denham said the prime allegation against Cambridge Analytica is that it acquired personal data in an unauthorized way.
'-- With a file from Reuters, The Associated Press
(C) 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
VIDEO - Katy Tur Confesses: I'm Not Sure There's Any Smoking Gun of Collusion
Matt Vespa at Townhall reports MSNBC host Katy Tur expressed doubt about whether Robert Mueller is going to find collusion in his investigation of the Trump campaign's associations with Russians. In an Australian interview, her questioner brought up "the holy writ of the Mueller investigation" [!] and that "a lot of people are hoping it will lead to an indictment" (of Trump).
First, he mentioned the possibility of Oprah running against Trump in 2020, and Tur gave a small digression into how Democrats need to figure out if they need a scrappy Joe Biden to get down into the mud with Trump or an unemotional policy wonk who takes the high road.
"As for the Mueller investigation," she then declared, "As an American, as a citizen, I am fascinated to know what he finds. I'm not so sure that he's going to find this smoking gun of coordination or collusion. Then again, I wouldn't be surprised if he did."
Liberals rarely admit when one of their beloved scandals isn't exactly blossoming. In this case, it's possible Tur was simply trying to tell her "Holy Mueller" interviewer from Down Under that he should calm down a bit about his expectations. Tur then suggested that the "solution" to defeating Trump isn't necessarily in court, but in convincing Trump voters to abandon him.
Tur said "The question is not what he finds, but how damning does it need to be to convince five, ten percent of the hard-rock 30 percent of Americans who believe in Donald Trump and who think the Mueller investigation is a bunch of BS that it's real and that it matters. And until we can get to a point where we can chip off that certain 'I'm going to believe in you no matter what happens, we're gonna be in a rough situation. I just don't know how it ends."
Don't miss the royal "We" in "we can chip off" Trump's supporters. This is exactly how the liberal media elite is functioning. It's their mission to end the "rough situation" of Trump being in power.
VIDEO - Trump is Doing What Kennedy Tried To Do '' Kevin Shipp | Greg Hunter's USAWatchdog
By Greg Hunter's USAWatchdog.com (Early Sunday Release)
Former CIA Officer and whistleblower Kevin Shipp says what is going on with Donald J. Trump ''is an ongoing coup to remove a duly elected President.'' Shipp contends, ''This is a huge constitutional crisis like the country has never seen before. This makes Watergate look like a Sunday school class.''
On Friday, Shipp and other retired top officials at the CIA, FBI, DOJ and NSA held a press conference and demanded Attorney General Jeff Sessions prosecute top Obama era officials for obvious crimes against the incoming Trump Administration. Shipp says, ''We have a coup within our government right now at the senior levels at the CIA, DOJ and the FBI attempting to unseat a duly elected President who was elected by the American people and remove him from office. . . .This is, at worst, treason with senior officials in the shadow government or Deep State . . . to attack Donald Trump and remove him from office. . . . We have not seen anything like this since the Presidency of John F. Kennedy (JFK), when CIA Director Allen Dulles attacked him, and we saw what happened there. . . . There is crystal clear evidence that the CIA was, at least, involved with the cover-up of the JFK assassination. Now, we have the same thing happening again. . . . Remember what Chuck Schumer said, and it was chilling. He said, 'If you cross the intelligence community, they can hit back at you six ways from Sunday.' That's what we are seeing now. It's collusion or a coup with senior officials at the FBI, DOJ and CIA along with Robert Mueller to unseat an elected president.''
Shipp goes on to explain, ''There is essentially a civil war involving parts of senior management and upper parts of our government that is occurring in the United States. It's between the 'Dark' side and the 'Constitutional' side. There has never been anything like this in history. It is extremely serious, and this is an extremely serious hour for our government and especially for our constitutional freedoms. . . . This essentially is a global criminal cabal that has penetrated into our government and now has senior level officials colluding and, I would argue, conspiring to unseat this president.''
In closing, Shipp says, ''People need to understand that the Democrat Party today is not the Democrat Party of John F. Kennedy. The Democrat Party with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is more Marxist than anything else. They think the Constitution should be a 'progressive' document. In other words, the Constitution is outdated and should be redone. They are both directly connected into George Soros, who wants to destroy the sovereignty of the U.S. government. . . . The Democrat Party is now made up of Marxists and leftists that have penetrated that entire organization. . . . Their entire goal is to change our form of government and destroy our sovereignty.''
Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with CIA whistleblower Kevin Shipp, founder of the website ForTheLoveofFreedom.net.
(To Donate to USAWatchdog.com Click Here)
After the Interview:
You can keep up with Kevin Shipp at his website ForTheLoveofFreedom.net. You can buy his book called ''From the Company of Shadows.'' There is also free information as well. Two sites that Shipp recommends and mentioned in the interview are AmericaRestored.org and JTFMAGA.com.
About the Author Greg HunterGreg is the producer and creator of USAWatchdog.com. The site's slogan is ''analyzing the news to give you a clear picture of what's really going on.'' The site will keep an eye on the government, your financial interests and cut through the media spin. USAWatchdog.com is neither Democrat nor Republican, Liberal or Conservative. Before creating and producing the site, Greg spent nearly 9 years as a network and investigative correspondent. He worked for ABC News and Good Morning America for nearly 6 years. Most recently, Greg worked for CNN for shows such as Paula Zahn Now, American Morning and various CNN business shows.
VIDEO - YELLOW CLAW - KROKOBIL ft. SJAAK & MR. POLSKA (prod. by Boaz v/d Beatz) - YouTube
News Latest Video US World Politics Entertainment Health MoneyWatch SciTech Crime Sports Shows CBS Evening News CBS This Morning 48 Hours 60 Minutes Sunday Morning Face The Nation Video CBSN Watch Live CBSN Originals CBSN On Assignment LIVE More In Depth Photos Podcasts Mobile Radio Local Shop Alerts Log In CBSN
VIDEO - MAXINE WATERS: Republicans will have to 'prove their patriotism' by impeaching Trump - Blunt Force Truth
Aging Congresswoman Maxine Waters is insisting Republicans will soon have to ''prove their patriotism'' when ''the facts are revealed'' about allegations of the Trump campaign colluding with Russians to steal the 2016 election.
Waters told MSNBC host Joy Reid the recent House Intelligence Committee report dismissing claims of collusion between Trump and Russia is worthless, and she's relying on special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation in the Justice Department to fulfill her promise to ''Impeach 45!''
That investigation, she claims, will eventually put Republicans in Congress on the spot. ['...]
Read full story here
Want more BFT? Leave us a voicemail on our page or follow us on Twitter @BFT_Podcast and Facebook @BluntForceTruthPodcast . We want to hear from you! There's no better place to get the #BluntForceTruth.
VIDEO - Mueller's former assistant says grammatical errors prove leaked questions came from Trump | TheHill
Michael Zeldin, a CNN legal analyst and former assistant to Robert Mueller Robert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE , said Tuesday he believes President Trump Donald John TrumpWhite House revises statement saying Iran 'has' secret nuclear weapons program DOJ files charges against 11 suspected 'caravan' members for illegal border crossing Mueller planned to ask Trump about Manafort's campaign outreach to Moscow: report MORE leaked the list of nearly 50 questions the special counsel allegedly wants to ask Trump.
''I think these are notes taken by the recipients of a conversation with Mueller's office where he outlined broad topics and these guys wrote down questions that they thought these topics may raise,'' Zeldin said on CNN's "New Day."
''Because of the way these questions are written... lawyers wouldn't write questions this way, in my estimation. Some of the grammar is not even proper," he continued. "So, I don't see this as a list of written questions that Mueller's office gave to the president. I think these are more notes that the White House has taken and then they have expanded upon the conversation to write out these as questions.''
Zeldin worked as special counsel to Mueller in the early 90's when he served as the Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department's Criminal Division.
His comments come after The New York Times on Monday reported that it had obtained a list of questions Mueller plans to ask Trump as part of the investigation into Russian election meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Some questions focus on Trump's communication with his campaign staffers and Russia, while others discuss Russian hacking during the election and Trump's past business dealings.
Trump early Tuesday morning called the release of the list "disgraceful" and asserted, as he has in the past, that the investigation is a "witch hunt".
''So disgraceful that the questions concerning the Russian Witch Hunt were 'leaked' to the media,'' Trump said. ''No questions on Collusion."
''Oh, I see...you have a made up, phony crime, Collusion, that never existed, and an investigation begun with illegally leaked classified information. Nice!''
VIDEO - Kathy Griffin Says She is Taking Back Her Apology for Trump Photoshoot | The View - YouTube
New York Times reporter Amy Chozick is the author of a revealing new memoir, "Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, And One Intact Glass Ceiling." It is a personal, frank, and often funny account of her time covering both of Hillary Clinton's presidential runs. While she is does not shy away from criticising Clinton and Clinton's campaign machine, she does admit that the media's focus on her private e-mail server (a story the Times broke) was excessive.
Get the new RNZ appfor easy access to all your favourite programmes
Subscribe to Nine To Noon Podcast (MP3) Oggcast (Vorbis)
VIDEO - CRISPR: The gene-editing tool revolutionizing biomedical research - CBS News
It's challenging to tell a story about something that's invisible to the naked eye and tricky to explain. But it's one we undertook, because rarely does a discovery come along that could revolutionize medicine. It's called CRISPR and it stands for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats. CRISPR sounds more like a refrigerator compartment than a gene-editing tool, but it's giving scientists power they could only imagine before - to easily edit DNA - allowing them to reprogram the genetic code of living things. That's opening up the possibility of curing genetic diseases. Some researchers are even using it to try to prevent disease entirely by correcting defective genes in human embryos. We wanted to see for ourselves, so we went to meet a scientist at the center of the CRISPR craze.
"There are about 6,000 or more diseases that are caused by faulty genes. The hope is that we will be able to address most if not all of them."Bill Whitaker: This is CRISPR?
Feng Zhang: This has CRISPR in it.
Bill Whitaker: So-- this is what's revolutionizing science and biomedicine?
Feng Zhang: This is what many people are using-- in research -- and trying to develop treatments.
Bill Whitaker: That's wild.
Feng Zhang: Yeah.
That little vial is igniting a big revolution that is likely to change the way doctors treat disease in the future. One of the brains behind it, is baby-faced Feng Zhang.
Feng Zhang speaks with correspondent Bill Whitaker CBS News At 36, he's already a tenured professor at MIT and a scientific celebrity because he figured out a way to override human genetic instructions using CRISPR.
Bill Whitaker: So, the CRISPR is not the liquid, the CRISPR is in the''
Feng Zhang: It's dissolved in the liquid. There are probably billions of molecules of CRISPR'...
Bill Whitaker: Billions?
BOTH: In here.
Feng Zhang: That's right. And the way we use it is we take the liquid and apply it to cells.
For the last seven years, Zhang has been working on CRISPR at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It's a research mecca brimming with some of the brightest scientific minds from Harvard and MIT on a mission to fight disease. CRISPR is making medical research faster, cheaper, easier. Zhang's colleagues predict it will help them tackle diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's.
Bill Whitaker: How many diseases are we talking about that this could be used to treat?
Feng Zhang: There are about 6,000 or more diseases that are caused by faulty genes. The hope is that we will be able to address most if not all of them.
Bill Whitaker: Most if not all of them?
Feng Zhang: That's the long-term hope.
Bill Whitaker: So we're talking diseases like Huntington's'--
Feng Zhang: Uh-huh.
Bill Whitaker: Sickle Cell.
Feng Zhang: Yup. ALS'--hemophilia.
Eric Lander: I think CRISPR, it's fair to say, is perhaps the most surprising discovery and maybe most consequential discovery in this century so far.
Eric Lander, director of the Broad Institute, speaks with correspondent Bill Whitaker CBS News To understand exactly what CRISPR is, we went to Eric Lander for a quick science lesson. He's director of the Broad and Zhang's mentor. He's best known for being a leader of the Human Genome Project that mapped out all of our DNA, which is like a recurring sequence of letters.
Eric Lander: During the Human Genome Project, we could read out all the human DNA, and then, in the years afterwards, find the misspellings that caused human diseases. But we had no way to think about how to fix 'em. And then, pretty much on schedule, this mind-blowing discovery that bacteria have a way to fix those misspellings, appears
Bill Whitaker: This comes from bacteria?
Eric Lander: This comes from bacteria. Bacteria, you know, they have a problem. And they came up with a real clever solution. When they get infected by viruses, they keep a little bit of DNA, and they use it as a reminder. And they have this system called CRISPR that grabs those reminders and searches around and says, "If I ever see that again, I am gonna cut it."
Zhang used that same bacterial system to edit DNA in human cells our DNA is made up of chemical bases abbreviated by the letters A, T, C, and G. As you can see in this animation from Zhang's lab at MIT, a mutation that causes disease reads like a typo in those genetic instructions. If scientists can identify the typo, they can program CRISPR to find it and try to correct it.
Bill Whitaker: You program it? You say--
Feng Zhang: That's right.
Bill Whitaker: "I'm looking for this string of letters."
Feng Zhang: Uh-huh.
Bill Whitaker: And the CRISPR will go in, and out of all of the billions and billions and billions of-- of letters on your DNA, find the exact ones that you have programmed?
Feng Zhang: That's right. CRISPR will allow you to-- do many different things. You can cut it-- to edit it.
Bill Whitaker: So you can snip out the bad part and you can add something that you want as well?
Feng Zhang: That's right. You can give the cell a new piece of DNA that carries the sequence you want to incorporate into the genome.
Bill Whitaker: You say this so matter of factly. This is amazing.
Feng Zhang: It is pretty cool.
Bill Whitaker: How many other labs around the world are working with CRISPR like this?
Feng Zhang: Many. One of the things that we have been doing is to make the tool available to researchers. To date I think we have gotten it out over-- 45,000 times, to 2,200 labs, in 61 countries.
Bill Whitaker: What are they doing with it?
Feng Zhang: They are using it to do everything. A lot of applications of CRISPR. It's really a Swiss army knife.
Cue the worldwide CRISPR frenzy. At the University of California, scientists used a form of CRISPR to edit mosquitos so they can't transmit malaria. Their colleagues are modifying rice to better withstand floods and drought. In China, scientists tweaked a gene in beagles to make them more muscular.
A CRISPR vial from Zhang's lab made its way to Dr. Kang Zhang. He is an ophthalmologist and a professor at the University of California, San Diego and wanted to see what all the hype was about.
Bill Whitaker: What did you think when you first heard of CRISPR?
Kang Zhang: I was a little bit skeptical.
Bill Whitaker: Why skeptical?
Kang Zhang: It worked so well. Too well to be believable.
He decided to experiment on mice with retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic form of blindness. He conducted a vision test using a mouse with the disease.
Bill Whitaker: This is the blind mouse?
Kang Zhang: This is the blind mouse. And-- obviously, you can see that he is ignoring the rotating stripes.
Inside the 60 Minutes CRISPR storyHis researchers injected CRISPR into the eye of another blind mouse. The CRISPR was programmed to find the main gene associated with the disease and turn it off. It takes three months to see the results.
Kang Zhang: Now, let's see how he's responding to the light.
Bill Whitaker: He's following it around.
Kang Zhang: Yes.
Bill Whitaker: Look at that. You're sure that he is seeing these lights?
Kang Zhang: This is actually a very commonly used test for vision.
Bill Whitaker: How much of their sight do they recover?
Kang Zhang: About 30, sometimes even 50% of the sight for-- for mice.
The next phase of Dr. Zhang's research is to see how CRISPR works on one of our closer relatives. He sent us this video from his lab in China where he's studying monkeys with retinitis pigmentosa. The blind monkey ignores the food. He says this monkey was treated with CRISPR and it's easy to see the difference. Dr. Zhang hopes to try this on humans soon.
If CRISPR is used to treat disease or make a drug it could mean big bucks. The Broad and Feng Zhang hold a primary patent for CRISPR's use in human cells in the U.S. but no technology is developed in a vacuum. Biochemist Jennifer Dounda at the University of California, Berkeley and her team made landmark CRISPR discoveries.
This week, they are challenging Zhang and the Broad in court for the rights arguing in part that Zhang's advance was derived from her team's breakthrough. It's a high stakes battle. CRISPR is projected to be a multi-billion dollar market in a decade.
Bill Whitaker: Does that mean big business for you?
Feng Zhang: I think we're-- we're still-- quite a ways away from developing-- CRISPR into a real therapeutic.
Bill Whitaker: I think you're being a little bit modest. I mean this is sparking an incredible boom in biomedicine. And you're in the center of it.
Feng Zhang: I think there is still really a lot of work that still needs to be done, developing the systems so that they are efficient enough, making sure that they are safe enough, but these are things that-- that we're working hard to-- to make possible.
"While it's not gonna affect somebody who might be dying of a disease today, this is gonna have a real effect over the course of the next decade and couple of decades."But, what if it were possible to stop disease from even occurring? That sounds like science fiction, but a team of researchers in Portland, Oregon say with CRISPR, it's now a reality.
Bill Whitaker: You correct it at the very, very earliest stages of life.
Shoukhrat Mitalipov: Right.
Bill Whitaker: In the womb.
Shoukhrat Mitalipov: Even before the womb.
Manipulating embryos has been the focus of Shoukhrat Mitalipov's career. He runs the Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy at Oregon Health and Science University. Mitalipov is a maverick. He regularly makes headlines with his innovative, sometimes controversial methods to prevent genetic disease.
Use CRISPR for treatment, not prevention?Shoukhrat Mitalipov: Preventing is always more effective-- so there would be no-- no recurrence of new disease. Particularly when we're talking about heritable-- diseases that parents pass to children.
So Mitalipov and an international team of scientists decided to use CRISPR on human embryos to correct a single genetic mutation that causes a deadly heart disease called hypertropic cardiomyopathy.
They got healthy eggs from donors and sperm from a man who carries the disease. At the same time the eggs are fertilized, they also get an injection of CRISPR. Mitalipov enlarged the microscopic procedure over three hundred times so we could see it.
Shoukhrat Mitalipov: Here we have our pipette with sperm inside, which has been already exposed to CRISPR. And this is a egg. And so what we need to do is pierce through, and then we break membrane. And now -
Bill Whitaker: Release the sperm into the egg.
Shoukhrat Mitalipov: Yeah. And now this is the sperm coming in.
Bill Whitaker: Wow.
Shoukhrat Mitalipov: Now it's inside there
Bill Whitaker: Just like that, that egg has been CRISPRed?
Shoukhrat Mitalipov: CRISPRed, fertilized.
Bill Whitaker: And you have changed the genetic destiny of that embryo.
Shoukhrat Mitalipov: Yes, we believe so.
These embryos will never be implanted, but they are grown in an incubator for three days and then checked to see if they carry the disease mutation.
Normally, 50 percent would. Mitalipov says with CRISPR, 72 percent were free of the mutation that would cause the heart disease.
Bill Whitaker: This is a huge-- advance in science and medicine.
Shoukhrat Mitalipov: We hope so. I think we-- we're still kind of in the early stages. I wouldn't say that we are ready to-- to go to clinics now.
He knows his results have to be replicated by an outside lab before they're accepted by the scientific community. But if they hold up, one day CRISPR could be used to help families that have been plagued by inherited disease for generations.
Bill Whitaker: Is that what drives you?
Shoukhrat Mitalipov: Yes. Of course, it's a suffering of children, but also the guilt the parents have at saying, "I passed it to my child." So it's like, "I caused this disease." And I think now, we have a tool where we could help these families.
Mitalipov wants to use CRISPR to eliminate disease, but the concern is his research has created a blueprint for less scrupulous doctors to design human beings '' to edit embryos to make babies that are smarter, taller, stronger. Mitalipov says that's not even possible right now.
The risks of using CRISPR to edit embryosBill Whitaker: Your critics say that you're playing God.
Shoukhrat Mitalipov: I think-- you could say to-- to every treatment that they-- humans and doctors develop that-- we-- we're playing God. God gave us brains so we could find a way to eliminate suffering of human beings. And if that's-- you know, playing God, I guess that's the way it is.
Bill Whitaker: So what do you think about editing an embryo to prevent disease?
Feng Zhang: We don't really understand how complicated biology is. There's a gene called PCSK9. If you remove PCSK9, you can reduce cardiovascular disease, heart attack-- risks significantly. But it also has been shown recently to increase risk for diabetes. So how do you make the judgment call between these tradeoffs? And there will likely be other'--impacts we haven't yet identified. So I think we need to wait and be more cautious.
Eric Lander: I don't think we're close to ready to use it to go edit the human population. I think we've gotta use it for medicine for a while. I think those are the urgent questions. That's what people want right now, is they want cures for disease.
Those urgent questions might soon be answered. A small clinical trial, the first in the U.S. using CRISPR to target certain types of cancer, is now enrolling patients.
Eric Lander: I wanna always balance hope versus hype here. While it's not gonna affect somebody who might be dying of a disease today, this is gonna have a real effect over the course of the next decade and couple of decades. And for the next generation, I think it'll be transformative.
Produced by Nichole Marks. Associate producers, Kate Morris and Jaime Woods.
On Sunday, former Asst. FBI Director James Kallstrom appeared on 'Sunday Morning Futures' and told host Maria Bartiromo he has ''no doubt'' fired FBI Director James Comey conspired with former Director of National Intelligence and Former CIA Director John Brennan both conspired with Comey to take down Trump.
Kallstrom said: ''I think he's lost his mind, Jim Comey. I don't understand what his act is'... His conversation with the President of the United States is automatically classified. At least it was when I was in the government. Unless they've changed rules like that. But Maria we're in a three-act play and it's not a comedy. It's a tragedy'... Who are they (Clapper and Brennan) to be threatening the President of the United States?'... And I have no doubt that they've conspired with others including Jim Comey, and others unnamed at this point.''
Brennan, Clapper, and Comey'...thought they were the Three Musketeers, found out they were just the Three Stooges. The FBI never did a real investigation into the Clinton email scandal, and only ''re-opened'' it after the missing emails were found on Weiner's laptop because the NYPD was about to blow the whistle. And again, the FBI simply ran cover for Clinton and didn't do any investigative work. Meanwhile, the coup attempt by the DOJ, FBI, and Obama administration continued.
Luckily, it takes just one whistleblower to bring down the house of cards. Any reasonable person can see exactly what is going down here. The rats never dreamed they would be outed since Hillary would win in a cakewalk. Now that Trump has ascended, those same rats are trying to bring down Trump before the ship sinks.
The Trump conspiracy is actually more of a cover-up for Hillary, Obama, Comey, Lynch, Brennan, Clapper, and the rest of the not-so-merry band of political crooks, liars, and conspirators. At this point, the ''investigation'' is so tainted that it would ironically serve to indict and spotlight the accusers, not President Trump. Perhaps there will be a sublime day when they are all perp walked on camera. Now, THAT would be a start to get justice.
What do you think? Scroll down to leave a comment below!
Natalie D. is an American conservative writer who writes for USA Supreme and Right Journalism! Natalie has described herself as a polemicist who likes to ''stir up the pot,'' and does not ''pretend to be impartial or balanced, as broadcasters do,'' drawing criticism from the left, and sometimes from the right. As a passionate journalist, she works relentlessly to uncover the corruption happening in Washington.She is a ''constitutional conservative''.
Natalie D.Natalie D. is an American conservative writer who writes for USA Supreme and Right Journalism! Natalie has described herself as a polemicist who likes to "stir up the pot," and does not "pretend to be impartial or balanced, as broadcasters do," drawing criticism from the left, and sometimes from the right. As a passionate journalist, she works relentlessly to uncover the corruption happening in Washington.She is a "constitutional conservative".
VIDEO - Q&A Lillian Cunningham, Apr 3 2018 | Video | C-SPAN.org
April 3, 2018 2018-04-29T20:00:00-04:00 https://images.c-span.org/Files/bd8/20180429200050001_hd.jpg Lillian Cunningham, host and creator of the Washington Post's ''Presidential'' and ''Constitutional'' podcasts, talked about the two series.Lillian Cunningham, host and creator of the Washington Post's ''Presidential'' and ''Constitutional'' podcasts, talked about the two series.