Law professors torch Trump legal memo

So much of this is not normal, but if this is the reality we must amplify those fighting to defend the institutions that make America a thing.

The Office of the President is not a get-out-of-jail free card for lawless behavior,” the professors wrote in their letter, obtained by POLITICO. “Indeed, our country’s Founders made it clear in the Declaration of Independence that they did not believe that even a king had such powers; they specifically cited King George’s obstruction of justice as among the ‘injuries and usurpations’ that justified independence. Our Founders would not have created — and did not create — a Constitution that would permit the President to use his powers to violate the laws for corrupt and self-interested reasons.”

https://politi.co/2sFQWol

Tools of Trump’s Fixer: Payouts, Intimidation and the Tabloids – The New York Times

This article does a good job of explaining what Michael Cohen does for Donald Trump. What the article does not do is explain how dangerous this is.  This is right out of the organized crime playbook, but instead he is the president.  That is having a lawyer who is not doing any legal work, but instead just uses his degree as a way to try and keep some information privileged.  The courts have not been kind to this in the past, but Michael Cohen and Donald Trump are still living in 1970s New York.  

Also it’s really something that we have people in 2018 that look at Roy Cohn as some kind of heroic figure.  That said Nathan Lane will be playing him on Broadway starting in late March in “Angels in America: Millennium Approaches” and I am 100% interested in seeing it! 

Live Look at the Oval Office

The media told us General John Kelly was going to be the new grown up in the White House. He was the new moderating voice.  Well this is who is the Chief of Staff is, and I wonder how some like Maggie Haberman would have covered the closing scene of “A Few Good Men” if it was not fiction and she was assigned to cover?

via GIPHY

How to Handle All That News

So much news, so many sources, so much to read, so where does one start? If you are a news junkie as I am this is the ultimate question of our times (tad exaggeration).
My system for trying to keep up is not complicated, but it works for me and something similar might work for you. First I have 3 “old media” sources that I subscribe to so I read those as you would have in 1950 at the kitchen table. Those would be The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. These three are also the only news apps that I allow to send me notifications on my phone, breaking news only of course!

The next bit is how I take in the rest. It pretty much works like this. I see a link in a number of places and save it to Pocket. There are a few services that allow you to save items to read later, but Pocket works everywhere and has the best tools. Then a few times a day I go into Pocket on my phone or PC and read away.

I have two primary ways to find stuff I want to send to Pocket. That would be my RSS app (RSS explainer) and Twitter. Since the death of Google Reader I have used Feedly as my RSS service. I do however use third party apps to use Feedly though they provide more than adequate first party apps. On the MAC and iOS I use Reeder, and on Windows I like Nextgen Reader. Both apps do a great job of syncing with the Feedly service and most importantly make it easy to save to Pocket. For Android I still have not found anything better than Feedly for Android.

Those that know me understand I like and use Twitter a lot. While the social stuff is fun, I have found it be a useful place to see what news is breaking in the now. With the right Twitter app you can save anything that looks interesting with one quick click. On the Mac and iOS I use Tweetbot, on Android I like Talon, and on Windows I like Tweetium.

While a setup like this can take time to curate it is quick and easy to use. During the day or when I am busy I just quickly scan my Twitter and RSS feeds. If I see a headline or lede that draws my attention, I just click save to Pocket. Then when I have a few minutes I open Pocket and read!

Like anything the news is only as good as the sources you choose to follow and read. Don’t just read the sites and authors who you know you will agree with. Push your boundaries, remember there is a world outside of the borders you live within, and become an informed citizen.


Apps and services mentioned above:

What I’m Reading Today

iOS 11: The MacStories Review – MacStories

With iOS 11, Apple’s iPad vision feels resolute again. Multitasking is blending with multitouch, giving drag and drop a new purpose; the Mac’s best features – from file management to the dock – have been rethought, simplified, and extended specifically for iOS. The iPad’s mission is to reimagine the very concept of a portable computer by empowering a new generation of users to do their best work wherever they are, whenever they want.


I am creating a video on my phone showing how easy this was to post.

Edited to add the video of me creating the post:

What I’m Reading Today

Why Hurricane Irma wasn’t far worse, and how close it came to catastrophe – The Washington Post

Leading up to its back-to-back landfalls in the Florida Keys and on Marco Island, several twists of fortune eased the pain the storm inflicted on the state. And only slight deviations would have made the storm’s outcome much more severe.


The Capital Weather Gang is a must read and must follow on all weather. This like all of their stuff is really good, and explains what 24/7 TV news missed.

What I’m Reading Today

Mic’s drop | The Outline

Mic started riding the Facebook wave early in 2012. Individual stories kept going viral, pulling in 2 million, 3 million, 5 million unique visitors per piece. Former staffers described the viral power of Mic’s stories as a fluke, something they’d never witnessed before and have never seen again. Every month brought a new record, former staffers told me. It felt like Mic was unstoppable — but it was not to last. In August 2015, Mic’s Facebook traffic dropped dramatically, former staffers said. This happened every so often; traffic would dip, the audience and editorial teams would adjust a bunch of levers, and the crisis would blow over. This time was different, possibly due to changes made by Facebook that included a penalty for clickbait, as indicated by readers clicking on a story but not spending much time with it.


Detention of famous director upsets Russia’s artistic world | McClatchy Washington Bureau

MOSCOW
In a move that sent a shockwave through Russia’s art community, investigators on Tuesday detained a prominent theater director famous for his biting satire of Russian officialdom on charges of embezzling $1.1 million.


The story behind a great Jerry Lewis obit in The New York Times – Poynter

To whom might one compare their fame today? It’s hard to come up with any apples-to-apples comparisons. Beyonce and Jay-Z? Nope. Not really close (and they’re not a combo act, anyway). The now-split Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt? Same deal. Penn and Teller? Closer but, still, the magicians are not even in the same universe of national renown as Martin and Lewis were. They truly were household names in a smaller country without such media fragmentation.


Palestinians have spent decades battling Israel. Now they’re battling each other. – Vox

The harsh rhetoric means that Abbas is taking a risky gamble, hoping these punitive measures would bring Hamas to its knees and force it to join a national unity government with the Palestinian Authority. But the plan backfired quickly and spectacularly. Hamas refused to give in, and let the coastal enclave sink into darkness. Gaza’s 2 million residents were forced to get used to 20-hour blackouts and scorching summer days without air conditioning. Its already decrepit infrastructure deteriorated so severely that sewage overflowed into the sea.