Who are these people?

If the aim of the Russian election interference was to sow chaos, to widen the gaps in American culture, to make us dislike and distrust one another even more than we already do, is it playing into their hands to believe the evidence in front of one’s own eyes? Just asking. I read David Brooks, oh boy:

So if you want to stop school shootings it’s not enough just to vent and march. It’s necessary to let people from Red America lead the way, and to show respect to gun owners at all points. There has to be trust and respect first. Then we can strike a compromise on guns as guns, and not some sacred cross in the culture war.

O, rly? Why do I have to show respect for gun owners who defend armor-piercing bullets, extra-capacity magazines, plastic guns? Who is being unreasonable here, anyway?

The people who defend gun rights believe that snobbish elites look down on their morals and want to destroy their culture. If we end up telling such people that they and their guns are despicable, they will just despise us back and dig in their heels.

If defending teflon-tipped bullets isn’t despicable, what is it? I’m seriously baffled. The rest of the column goes on to describe a program called Better Angels, aimed at bringing “red and blue tribes” together. But guess who’s the real tribe with the Sadz?

Doherty says that the Reds feel shamed by the Blues to a much greater degree than the Blues realize. Reds are very reluctant to enter into a conversation with Blues, for fear of further shaming, but they often come to the table when they are told that this will be a chance to “de-monsterize” themselves.

At that session one Blue said she was really grateful to hear a Red acknowledge the Republican history on race. When Blues are asked about the stereotypes thrown at them, they tend to list “against religion and morality,” “unpatriotic” and “against personal responsibility” among their responses. They, too, relish the chance to clear the air.

I have to put this stuff aside because it makes me crazy to think about it too deeply. It’s the ultimate both-sidesing and it can make a reasonable person feel like they’re being gaslit. I’m happy to de-monsterize anyone, but I’m not willing to ignore the evidence in front of my eyes. And…

Oh, well. Can’t do this now. Here, have a kitchen picture.

We’re in the homestretch now. They put in the backsplash yesterday.

Grout today, then the new appliances, then lights and finishing touches. All told, three weeks. Then I can start eating vegetables made by my own little hands. I’m hoping my abdominal bloat from three weeks’ worth of pizza and sandwiches will go down shortly thereafter.

Work meeting, then editing. Congrats to Sherri, our commenting-community celebrity of the week. Great story.

Posted at 9:05 am in Current events | 45 Comments
 

Meatballs for lunch.

For those of you who own Aeron chairs, a tip: Those mesh seats allow dust to fall through, and one day you will drop a pencil, bend down to pick it up and be so consumed with shame at the sight of its undercarriage caked in dust that you must stop what you’re doing this instant and clean that shit up.

I hate finding long-hidden dirt. When we took down the framed artwork in the kitchen, there were dust bunnies behind the frames. But who the hell cleans behind pictures? And needless to say, when we pulled the fridge out, there were horrors lying in wait.

No dead mice or anything, though. We are told that we’ll have a functioning kitchen by the end of the week. I’ll settle for a stove and running water. Alan has a plan to refit two closets, so most of Saturday was consumed with a trip to Ikea.

“The best thing about a trip to Ikea?” I said as we got into the car. “Swedish meatballs for lunch.”

And that was, indeed, the best thing about driving 45 minutes each way to get to goddamn Ikea — bland meat orbs in a powder-based gravy. That’s because they were out of the shelving we wanted, even though the website said they had nine sets in stock. “Uh, I guess the website hasn’t caught up,” the apologetic warehouse worker offered. We also got some silverware trays for our new kitchen drawers, but once we got them home, found they didn’t quite fit. So really, the meatballs were the best part of the day.

But lunch for two only cost $18. And we even split a dessert.

Hope springs eternal, and today Alan cobbled together another configuration of shelving, Ikea promised it was in stock, and he headed back out to get it, ill-fitting silverware trays in tow. I stayed home and cleaned up construction dust to the best of my ability.

To better weekends, once this is over.

In the meantime, there was some bloggage:

I am shocked, shocked to learn that Australians were involved in this:

A violent brawl that broke out on a Carnival Cruise Lines ship bound for Melbourne, forcing the vessel to dock early in NSW, may have been sparked by a dispute over a thong.

(That’s a flip-flop to some of you. We called them thongs when I was a kid.)

(A fellow passenger) said she believed the violence had all been instigated by one large family group of at least 20 people who “came onto the boat wanting to fight people” and were using any excuse to start trouble.

Travelling with her partner and another couple, she said their group became targeted two days ago after one member accidentally brushed past a member of the “violent” family.

I’ve known people like that, but they usually confine themselves to local taverns. The captain of the ship was quoted in another publication saying to a passenger who wanted the group put off the ship, “What do you want me to do? Throw them overboard?” In this case, I think that would have been a splendid remedy. And quite entertaining to watch.

In public discussions of higher ed, the comments swing wildly from “every child should have the opportunity to attend” to “not every child is suited for college, you know.” Both can be true, you know. Sarah Vowell strikes the right balance with this nice ode to Montana State, her alma mater, and land-grant colleges everywhere.

We are not fashion bloggers here, but we like fashion, so here’s a great shot of Helen Mirren, looking amazing.

Finally, I know the man is uncoachable, but can no one persuade him to stop doing this? Maybe by telling him it makes his hands look even smaller?

Onward into the week. Hope yours is great.

Posted at 5:42 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 96 Comments
 

Ten firehoses.

Another Friday, another late post. Well, there’s always the weekend ahead.

Truth be told, we’re even more confined to the second floor of the house as this kitchen project lurches on, although I hope it’s better this weekend. Yesterday was the absolute worst, with the appliances being delivered (one of them, anyway) along with the cabinets, which together filled every inch of space in the living and dining room. The cabinets are being built and hung today, so some of the footprint is reduced, but I have a stove in my living room and pretty much everything is filthy now.

And so I am not a very happy person. I need order. I have chaos. They tell me relief will come next week. We shall see.

This is what my chaos looks like, in the meantime.

Another reason I’ve not been motivated to write: The news just keeps coming. The portrait unveilings, subject of the last post, feel like they happened in 2012, now that they’ve been eclipsed by the school shooting, the Playboy Trump mistress and the Russia indictments, all in 48 hours. I read the Playboy-mistress story at 5:30 this morning, and the Russian indictments dropped during the lunch hour. I feel dizzy.

That’s not even counting ancillary stories, like Scott Pruitt flying around the country in first class because someone was mean to him the last time he sat in coach, “mean” being “told him to stop ruining the environment.”

Does it seem like something in the air has finally changed, though? I’m wary of epistemic closure, and I try to pay attention to the other side, I really do, but it does seem we’re in a different place now, public opinion-wise, than we were a year ago. Every parent I know with a school-age child is incandescent with rage. But I don’t get out nearly enough to qualify as a public-opinion expert.

In the meantime, even though Jolene posted this already, I want to bring it to your attention again: Just because you agree with a particular organization doesn’t mean they’re playing by the rules. In this case, it’s Everytown for Gun Safety, and their oft-quoted statistic that there have been 18 school shootings this year. No there hasn’t:

Everytown has long inflated its total by including incidents of gunfire that are not really school shootings. Take, for example, what it counts as the year’s first: On the afternoon of Jan. 3, a 31-year-old man who had parked outside a Michigan elementary school called police to say he was armed and suicidal. Several hours later, he killed himself. The school, however, had been closed for seven months. There were no teachers. There were no students.

Which makes it not a school shooting, in my mind. The organization I work for now has a hashtag: #FactsMatter. They really do. You can’t build good policy on a weak foundation. Keep that in mind the next time the news blows up, which will probably be in…about eight minutes.

Have a good weekend, all.

Posted at 5:46 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 55 Comments
 

Everyone’s a critic.

Not gonna lie — I’m amused by all the art critics in the world. Who knew, in a country with so few college degrees, that so many were qualified to pass judgment on a couple of portraits?

Of course, anyone can pass judgment on art, and you don’t need a college degree to do it. But a 100-level humanities class will probably cover the 1913 Armory Show, and the debate over traditional representational vs. nontraditional modern art. You could hear echoes of it in the many who said, “But that pitcher don’t look nothing like Michelle Obama.”

I am showing my cards here, not that they were ever in doubt. I loved Kehinde Wiley before he was announced as POTUS 44’s official portraitist, and I was willing to give Amy Sherald the benefit of the doubt on the FLOTUS portrait. I knew both paintings would be nontraditional, which would befit a nontraditional first couple. We all knew that once the drape was dropped, the usual suspects would find something, anything to hate about them, because that’s what they do. Their vinegary souls are fed in the dankest basements of the internet, and it sucks to be them because they are crabbed, broken people.

Long, elegant fingers.

I have my own disappointments. I wish Wiley had just walked out in his windowpane-check suit and said, “It’s yours now. Your meaning is your own,” instead of explaining the symbolism of the various flowers in the background. The world is full of sleuths who would have been comparing them to floral databases and have them named within the hour, and we would have at least have the pleasure of figuring it out for ourselves.

But the people whose opinions really chap my ass are the ones who say the paintings are somehow “lacking in dignity,” or some other bullshit. I was in the Michigan state capitol shooting photos a few weeks ago, and took a lap of the gubernatorial portraits. They had all the dignity these littlebrains want, the stuff they can explain to fourth-graders: “He’s looking out the window, which represents the future. And his hand is resting on a globe, because he was interested in foreign affairs. The stack of books on his desk shows his commitment to education…” And so on. Blech. All but one was utterly forgettable, a white man in a business suit and a tie. The one that wasn’t was remarkable only because it was of a white woman, and look, her hand is on a globe. Only this globe represents tax incentives. OK.

I notice some of the conservative “news” sites posted a composite of presidential portraits, including the newest one, asking “which one doesn’t belong?” Well, Obama’s, obvs, because it’s the one that actually qualifies as art instead of a wall-filler in some national museum.

At least in the opinion of this art critic.

There was a painter in Fort Wayne I wrote about once. Nice guy, very Catholic, extremely traditional. I forget what the angle was — he was trying to give an altarpiece to the Diocese, or something. He explained the panels to me: “Now this represents pro-life,” he said, pointing to a bunch of intertwined babies. Thanks for explaining that, because man that would have been impenetrable otherwise. I don’t know what he’s doing now. Maybe he morphed into this guy, who’ll surely be tapped to paint 45’s portrait.

There may be more to Michelle’s picture than you think, and it’s all in the dress.

What else? Louise Linton, Bond villainess of the current administration, explains herself. She lives at SoulCycle!

My best friend used to work at a magazine dedicated to the good ol’ days, almost all the content written and submitted by readers, who had one thing in common: Rose-colored glasses. It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that the good ol’ days really were swell, and in the course of her time there, the magazine published a book all about the Depression, which readers remembered quite fondly. I understand that one good thing about times that hard is that almost everyone is going through it together, and poverty isn’t so obvious and painful when your neighbors are in the same boat. But man, some of these old people were weird. They loved, loved their memories of public assistance, when you didn’t get food stamps or an EBT card or cash for clothing, but actually had to go to the local fairgrounds, stand in line and carry your allotment home in boxes. (You all remember government cheese, right? Like that, only all your groceries, not just cheese.) It was better this way, the old people all said. So I guess they’re going to love the new idea for a downmarket Blue Apron for the poor.

You know what was really weird about that Depression book? Some readers recalled that if you got “relief,” as it was called, you had to eventually pay it back, and oh that was just wonderful, when daddy made the last payment! Why don’t we do that now? And so on.

OK, have to walk Wendy and figure out what frozen dinner to make in the microwave. Man, I want this project to be capital-O Over.

Posted at 4:34 pm in Current events | 126 Comments
 

In my other life, I skate.

So what’s your parallel-destiny Olympic sport? The one you’d be playing if your life had taken a couple of different sliding-doors turns? Mine is speed skating – original-recipe speed skating, not short-track. (In the summer games, modern pentathlon.) There’s something about that Hans Brinker pose, the smooth crossovers, the blades biting into the ice – it’s mesmerizing. And a good use for my stocky-leg genetics. The hunky Scandinavians taking all the medals don’t hurt, either. I’d figure out a way to train with them.

Either that, or biathlon. Talk about a combination of two practical sports.

Elsewhere in South Korea, our vice president proved there is little this administration is incapable of screwing up. Olympics diplomacy? That’s the easiest one in the book — you show up, you applaud, you shake hands. You don’t get snitty. And now the gay athletes are doing the same to him. Another triumph!

As you can imagine, nine inches of snow, plus more on Saturday, plus freezing rain on Sunday, really made for a good weekend to stay close to home. But with no kitchen, we had to venture out, if only for food. I’m glad for the floor protection the workers put down, because otherwise the snowmelt would be ruining them. This has been a character-builder of a last few days. Heaps of snow everywhere. And coming midweek? A thaw. So the slush will not end anytime soon.

But with lots of time to read, of course I read this amazing puff piece on a person who has turned up here far more than I’d have ever imagined – Mary Cunningham, or rather, Mary Cunningham Agee, widow. Whatever shred of doubt I might have had about whether this woman is truly the bullshit artist I thought she was, it blew away when I read this. She tries to latch on to the #metoo movement, which is the sort of ballsy move only a real grifter would try. The story confirms what was hidden in plain sight in her husband’s obituary – they were separated at the end, which is the root of the dispute between Agee’s first family and his second wife.

I don’t often say, “read the comments,” but read the comments on that story. They’re great. One:

Those of us who lived through the horror of working for what was then called Morrison Knudsen, under Bill Agee, will wonder at this strange article. The real story that should be covered in detail in Business Day and every MBA school is how one man could destroy a thriving company and bamboozle a corporate board. I wouldn’t have believed it could happen if I hadn’t been forced to watch. Watching from below, Bill and Mary seemed like goofy cartoon characters who knew nothing about the business they were destroying. There were so many amazing and fascinating aspects to this story. As a much younger engineering program manager, fairly recently arrived to MK, I got to spend 15 min with Mr. Agee in a locomotive cab. I went home and told my wife, “We’re in big trouble,” and warned her to be ready for the worst. My worst fears all came true.

Two:

Those of us who met Mary Cunningham realized quickly she was a greedy con artist. We hired her to speak after her book was published and she acted like a female Trump. Demanding, dishonest, bizarre, like a spoiled rock star. Her hotel bill included an unauthorized fancy dinner for twelve friends with expensive champagne. We were a charity. She was rude to us, downright nasty, and her presentation was mediocre. She created a success persona that the press magnified. Bill Agee got what he deserved. With all that money he ended up in an assisted living facility separated from his children. If he was paranoid he certainly would have had reason to be.

And there are more.

One more piece of bloggage: What happens when you make your house as smart as it can be? It gets dumber:

It took at least two hours to get all of our Christmas lights plugged into smart plugs from WeMo and Sonoff, and then to get those plugs online with their apps, and then to get those apps to talk to the Alexa app. The first night I said, “Alexa, turn on the Christmas lights,” they all turned on in sparkly synchronicity and it was magical. But one day, Alexa stopped recognizing “Christmas lights” as a group, and I could not figure out how to fix it, so I had to ask Alexa each night to turn off the lights one-by-one. (“Turn off kitchen Christmas lights.” “Turn off living room Christmas lights.” “Turn off bookcase lights.”) This was way more annoying than turning them off manually. The fantasy of the smart home is that it will save us time and effort, but the friction involved in getting various devices from different companies to work together meant that many things took longer to do.

So, we now have a floor and grout and about half a paint job. The next time we meet here, I’m hoping we have cabinets. Me, I’m on the hunt for some decent takeout.

Posted at 5:43 pm in Current events | 86 Comments
 

Snowed in.

Two questions I am tired of:

Why don’t women speak up about these things? Here’s why. And also here.

Where do I want to eat? The answer is the same: Somewhere with vegetables, because we don’t have a kitchen, but we do have a floor:

It’s gray. The countertops will be gray, too, and the walls, a very pale gray. I’m worried about too much gray, but we’ll have white cabinets and white doors/woodwork, so I’m hoping it won’t remind us of a cement factory. If I were describing it in a real estate listing, I would call it a cool, urban gray. Neutral gray. Gray-not-greige. I am losing my shit here. We’re in the midst of a projected 5- to 9-inch snowstorm, I’ve been working my (taupe) bedroom for a week and either Alan or I have blown snow all but one day this week, but I’ll probably have to do it twice more today, so.

At least the guys are back at work on the kitchen, having slogged through the weather like it ain’t no thing. Man, what they say about immigrant labor is true. It’s particularly noticeable as I met a woman the other night who is in her first year of retirement from teaching. At 46 years old. Alan was not pleased to hear this. “Well, teaching is a demanding job,” I said, weakly, and he replied “I HAVE A FUCKING DEMANDING JOB.” Can’t argue with that. She said she began accruing seniority years while still in college, when she worked as a lifeguard at a public-school pool. That’s the old Michigan there, when the cotton was high and the good times went on and on. Over now.

Back to Rob Porter for a minute, the nice Mormon White House staff secretary who likes to abuse women. What is Hope Hicks doing with this loser? And before this, she was with Corey Lewandowski? You’d think a beautiful young woman with the world at her feet might choose more wisely. But of course, then she wouldn’t have the world at her feet. And she may yet end up learning legal terms like allocution and time served. So there’s that.

Sorry for this thin gruel today, but I am stir-crazy and should maybe write something else. Have a good weekend, everyone.

Posted at 9:45 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 78 Comments
 

Covered in dust.

One day you have a kitchen, an outdated and ugly one:

And the next day, you don’t:

Of course, the best thing about a kitchen renovation is kitchen archaeology. Wallpaper from days of yore:

Justlikethat, the process has begun. I worked at home Monday and Tuesday, while Wendy stayed close by my side, unnerved by the sounds of demolition downstairs. This crew works at a blistering pace. Monday: Demo. Tuesday: Subfloor. Today: Floor. Sas and his crew – Igor, Sergei and the other guy whose name I forget – are very nice. They speak Russian to one another all day but politely switch to English when I stick my head in. And of course it has snowed every night this week, and is snowing now, hard. I’ll go out and clear it once it stops. Three more inches coming Friday.

Thanks for all the advice. I’m trying to keep a semblance of normalcy, but it’s damn hard. I have the coffeemaker set up in the dining room, but am resigned to a lot of pizza and standup meals. It’s harder on Alan, but it’s like chair pose in yoga — it won’t last forever.

And now I have yet another day of work ahead. I was kind of looking forward to this project, if only because tile, cabinets and backsplashes probably stands the best chance of pushing you-know-what out of my head, but NOOOOOO. I am speaking, of course, of the military parade. Cadet Bone Spurs strikes again.

Have a good one, all.

Posted at 8:53 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 70 Comments
 

Appliance heaven.

Sorry no post on Friday. I wrote something, read it over and declined to hit Publish. More people should do that from time to time. Not everything that can be said, should be said. More to the point, I’m not sure I said what I meant to say. But by then it was late, and work had piled up.

It remains in the Drafts folder. It may yet live.

I always thought of that as the sign of a true writer: That you don’t know exactly what you think of something until you write about it, because writing and thinking are so inextricably linked that it’s hard to do one without the other.

What a weekend. On Saturday, we spent a fair amount of money on a stove and dishwasher. We didn’t buy a fridge, because the one we have is only a few years old. Besides, I took one look at this…

…and laughed out loud. I asked the salesman who pays the hefty premium for a fridge that will take a photo of its contents, keep track of your shopping list and otherwise make you dependent on yet another electronic device. “Younger people,” he replied. Of course. It reminded me of when I was shopping with my mom in…I guess it was 1984, because the Apple Macintosh had just been released. We were playing with one in the computer store near our home. I explained that you could use it to write, paint and draw.

“There’s also a program you can get, where you put in all the food you have in your fridge and pantry, and it tells you what you can make from it,” I said.

“I do that every day, only I use my head,” she said. I had to admit I do the same thing. The few times every year that I duplicate-buy something I forgot I already have don’t add up to the $3,500 or so one of these things cost.

And then it was home to start clearing out the kitchen, because demo starts tomorrow. (Allegedly.) My kitchen gets a thorough cleaning every couple months, with a clean-as-you-go policy the rest of the time, but man, nothing like pulling that microwave out from its space on the countertop to feel a wave of shame wash over you. There aren’t dead mice or anything back there, but especially in the pantry, let’s just say some people like to eat snacks while standing in the doorway assessing other snacks, and Wendy can’t get every morsel that drops. If I lived in Florida, where (I’m told) the rinse-and-hold setting on the dishwasher gets used after every meal, lest cockroaches be drawn to a dirty plate within, well – I wouldn’t live in Florida.

Photos to come.

As to bloggage, well, I’m throwing in the towel today. Hot takes on the memo are so thick on the ground you can barely move, and it already feels like we’re hunkering down for the next disaster. Perhaps it will come in the form of a pandemic we’re unprepared to face because funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been slashed to finance tax cuts. Maybe it’ll be next year’s flu — wasn’t the 1918 pandemic preceded by a mini-pandemic in 1917? One of my colleagues just returned to work after his flu adventure, and he’d gotten the shot. I told him that next year he’d be safe, while I would die.

And then, of course, there’s the Super Bowl. Ring in on the best ads. And go Iggles.

Posted at 1:30 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 83 Comments
 

Testing, 1 2 3.

I had to stick close to home today. I was taking a test. A medical test. Not the infamously gross one everybody should do starting at 50 – did that one a few weeks ago – but a less well-known one. You’re regulars, and we share a lot of our lives here, so here you go:

It’s the Tankard of Pee test.

AKA, 24-hour urine, and it’s pretty much what it sounds like: You have to collect every drop of pee you make in 24 hours. It has something to do with my early-stage osteoporosis, seeing how much calcium I’m losing with every trip to the loo. It’s not nearly as gross as it sounds; they give you a bowl and a big ol’ bottle, the aforementioned tankard. You pee into the bowl, then pour it into the bottle, and then stick the bottle in the fridge. The fridge part is important. You could put it outside if the day is cold enough, but it was too cold today, and the nurse told me not to let it freeze. So I spent the day with my bowl and my tankard and the fridge, where I had a special place for it, next to the orange juice. I’m very careful, and have yet to spill a drop on either my hands or any other surface.

There’s something about this ritual — this is my third Tankard of Pee test — that makes you philosophical. You think: Now I have something in common with Howard Hughes. You think: I’m going to run out of space in this tankard; shouldn’t have had that third cup of coffee. You think: At least I can pee, right? I mean, the alternative is much worse. You think: I want to go to the gym, but what if I have to pee? I’ll have to run home. To my bowl and tankard. You think: I never knew 24 hours could last this long.

I also thought: No way am I watching the State of the Union tonight. I’ve had enough excretory functions for one day.

Read this New Yorker story on Jahi McMath, the 16-year-old girl who’s been in a persistent vegetative state for five years. It’s fascinating.

I see some of you have posted the Chicago Reader story that takes a look back at Bobwatch, which is full of linky goodness of Neil Steinberg’s career interlude writing the column of the same name. I spent an hour reading those 20-year-old clips. It made me happy and sad; such good writing, but such a bygone era in alt-weeklies. Hardly any are that good anymore.

OK. So. The speech has started. I’m going to the refrigerator one…more…time. Maybe two.

Posted at 9:31 pm in Uncategorized | 92 Comments
 

Gut the room.

Like (I hope) many of you, the Nall/Derringer Co-Prosperity Sphere has seen its investment portfolios go a little nutty in recent months. Blessed with all this new “wealth,” we’ve decided to spend a little bit of it, remembering the lessons of recent downturns. One lesson: My sister had a colleague who liquidated a bunch of stock in a red-hot market to buy a BMW. The stock (and many others) went south soon afterward, and he said, philosophically, “At least I got a car.”

We, however, are getting a kitchen. It’ll be the last big project left on the Big Projects list, and it’s time for this 30-year-old Home Depot cheap-ass shit to GO. The contractor is Ukrainian, and references say he brings an eastern European work ethic to the job, but any free advice you have to offer, I’m listening. The estimate arrives later today.

I had a busy-busy weekend. A charity nonprofit I serve on the board for had its main fundraiser this weekend, and it blotted out the sun. In reality, the sun (and moon) shone down benevolently on us, and I took some pictures before the party got started, so enjoy a couple of them. The temperature was mild, and the ice was on the move. It was quite a sight:

Even prettier as the sun went down:

This was at a local yacht club, so hence the waterfront setting. We raised about $15,000.

Not much bloggage today, although it seemed when I wasn’t partying this weekend, I was reading the news with a perma-furrowed brow. Just one story, today, which would seem to indicate another Night of the Long Knives may be coming in the Justice Department:

WASHINGTON — A secret, highly contentious Republican memo reveals that Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein approved an application to extend surveillance of a former Trump campaign associate shortly after taking office last spring, according to three people familiar with it.

The renewal shows that the Justice Department under President Trump saw reason to believe that the associate, Carter Page, was acting as a Russian agent. But the reference to Mr. Rosenstein’s actions in the memo — a much-disputed document that paints the investigation into Russian election meddling as tainted from the start — indicates that Republicans may be moving to seize on his role as they seek to undermine the inquiry.

These people do not act like they have nothing to hide.

Have a good week, all.

Posted at 10:04 am in Same ol' same ol' | 64 Comments