2017-05   113

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Turns out the Svalbard seed vault is probably fine | Popular Science
“Flooding is probably not quite the right word to use in this case,” says Cary Fowler, who helped create the seed vault. “In my experience, there’s been water intrusion at the front of the tunnel every single year.”
2017-05  climate_change 
5 days ago by Weaverbird
Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner 'person of interest in Russia investigation' | The Independent
Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has reportedly been identified as a “person of interest” in the ongoing investigation into possible ties between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign.
2017-05 
6 days ago by Weaverbird
Russia probe reaches current White House official, people familiar with the case say - The Washington Post
The law enforcement investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign has identified a current White House official as a significant person of interest, showing that the probe is reaching into the highest levels of government, according to people familiar with the matter.

The senior White House adviser under scrutiny by investigators is someone close to the president, according to these people, who would not further identify the official.

The revelation comes as the investigation also appears to be entering a more overtly active phase, with investigators shifting from work that has remained largely hidden from the public to conducting interviews and using a grand jury to issue subpoenas. The intensity of the probe is expected to accelerate in the coming weeks, the people said.
2017-05 
6 days ago by Weaverbird
Trump-Russia investiigation: Coverup is now part of it | McClatchy Washington Bureau
Investigators into Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential elections are now also probing whether White House officials have engaged in a cover-up, according to members of Congress who were briefed Friday by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

That avenue of investigation was added in recent weeks after assertions by former FBI Director James Comey that President Donald Trump had tried to dissuade him from pressing an investigation into the actions of Trump’s first national security adviser, retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, members of Congress said, though it was not clear whom that part of the probe might target.
2017-05 
6 days ago by Weaverbird
Trump Told Russians That Firing ‘Nut Job’ Comey Eased Pressure From Investigation - The New York Times
President Trump told Russian officials in the Oval Office this month that firing the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, had relieved “great pressure” on him, according to a document summarizing the meeting.

“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”

Mr. Trump added, “I’m not under investigation.”
2017-05 
6 days ago by Weaverbird
Trump attorney didn't want him to sign financial disclosure
Attorney Sheri Dillon said she saw no need for Trump to sign his 2016 personal financial disclosure because he is filing voluntarily this year. But OGE director Walter Shaub said his office would only work with Dillon if she agreed to follow the typical process of having Trump make the certification. That is standard practice for the thousands of financial disclosure forms OGE processes each year.
2017-05 
6 days ago by Weaverbird
The Inside Skinny on How America Got (Roger) Stoned
Over the course of the five-and-a-half years that we followed him for our new Netflix documentary Get Me Roger Stone, Roger Stone went from being a down-and-out, has-been political dirty trickster to the individual most responsible for making Donald Trump the president of the United States.
The transformation was shocking to all of us, Stone included—though he’s likely never to admit as much.
2017-05 
7 days ago by Weaverbird
Stop Making Sense, or How to Write in the Age of Trump | Village Voice
The negotiations with the new order accelerate precisely as it’s becoming unalterable: Maybe it won’t happen; maybe it can’t be any other way; maybe it won’t be that bad; maybe it was all a conspiracy, which, when exposed, will make people see they were wrong and go back to being their good old selves; maybe there is a position from which everything will look almost the way it used to be; maybe I won’t be affected; maybe they won’t break down my door but only my Muslim neighbor’s.
2017-05 
7 days ago by Weaverbird
The Autocrat's Language | by Masha Gessen | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books
Donald Trump has an instinct for doing both of these kinds of violence to language. He is particularly adept at taking words and phrases that deal with power relationships and turning them into their opposite. This was, for example, how he used the phrase “safe space” when talking about vice-president-elect Mike Pence’s visit to the musical Hamilton. Pence, if you recall, was booed and then passionately—and respectfully—addressed by the cast of the show. Trump was tweeting that this should not have happened. Now, the phrase “safe space” was coined to describe a place where people who usually feel unsafe and powerless would feel exceptionally safe. Claiming that the second most powerful man in the world should be granted a “safe space” in public turns the concept precisely on its head.

Trump performed the exact same trick on the phrase “witch hunt,” which he claimed was being carried out by Democrats to avenge their electoral loss. Witch hunts cannot actually be carried out by losers, big or small: the agent of a witch hunt must have power. And, of course, he has seized and flipped the term “fake news” in much the same way.

But Trump also has a talent for using words in ways that make them mean nothing. Everyone is great and everything is tremendous. Any word can be given or taken away. NATO can be “obsolete” and then “no longer obsolete”—this challenges not only any shared understanding of the word “obsolete” but our shared experience of linear time.

And then there is Trump’s ability to take words and throw them into a pile that means nothing.
2017-05  language  politics 
7 days ago by Weaverbird
A Special Prosecutor Is Not the Answer to Trump and Russia - The Atlantic
Rather than an inquiry focused narrowly on criminal conduct, the way to resolve questions swirling around President Trump and his associates is to impanel an independent commission.
2017-05 
7 days ago by Weaverbird
Under Trump, inconvenient data is being sidelined - The Washington Post
The Trump administration has removed or tucked away a wide variety of information that until recently was provided to the public, limiting access, for instance, to disclosures about workplace violations, energy efficiency and animal-welfare abuses.

Some of the information relates to enforcement actions taken by federal agencies against companies and other employers. By lessening access, the administration is sheltering them from the kind of “naming and shaming” that federal officials previously used to influence company behavior, according to digital experts, activists and former Obama administration officials.
2017-05 
7 days ago by Weaverbird
Preet Bharara: Are there still public servants who will say no to the president? - The Washington Post
Finally, I join in the common-sense call for an independent and uncompromised special counsel to oversee the Russia investigation. Given the manner of Comey’s firing and the pretextual reasons proffered for it, there is no other way.
2017-05 
7 days ago by Weaverbird
Trump Fires Comey and Putin Smiles - The New York Times
Russia’s leaders have earned their moment of mirth. A campaign to undermine the legitimacy of the West’s democratic institutions and leaders has succeeded in the United States itself beyond anything they could have imagined. In nine months, the virus unleashed by Moscow has managed to sow doubt about the American electoral system; help defeat Hillary Clinton, the candidate Mr. Putin despised; bring down President Trump’s first national security adviser; prompt multiple counterintelligence investigations; and now, cause Mr. Trump to fire the man in charge of investigating him, further shredding his already self-tattered credibility.
2017-05 
7 days ago by Weaverbird
At a Besieged White House, Tempers Flare and Confusion Swirls - The New York Times
The president’s appetite for chaos, coupled with his disregard for the self-protective conventions of the presidency, has left his staff confused and squabbling. And his own mood, according to two advisers who spoke on the condition of anonymity, has become sour and dark, and he has turned against most of his aides — even his son-in-law, Jared Kushner — describing them in a fury as “incompetent,” according to one of those advisers.
2017-05 
7 days ago by Weaverbird
Another Bomb Drops: Initial Thoughts on Trump Asking Comey to Kill the Flynn Investigation - Lawfare
The New York Times is reporting that President Donald Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to drop the FBI’s investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. The conversation allegedly occurred in a February meeting in the Oval Office, the day after Flynn was removed from his post when it came to light that he had lied about conversations he had during the transition with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
2017-05 
7 days ago by Weaverbird

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