Eighty-eight degrees out there at the moment. I just walked the dog and didn’t die. Sweating, but still ambulatory. I must be getting older, my decaying body craving heat like the dying husk it is, like an old man craves young women. Soon I’ll start setting my thermostat to 85 and wearing a cardigan sweater with an old tissue shoved up one sleeve.
Which is to say: It wasn’t the greatest Tuesday, but it wasn’t terrible, either. There’s a piece of salmon in the fridge and I’m thinking it’s going to be dinner. Which will help a lot.
But I have a case of the mid-weeks, which means I have a story due at the end of it, my notes are kind of a mess and I have to un-mess them and I’d rather make some of that salmon and open a bottle of white.
What are today’s outrages? What drinks can I put up on the bar to get today’s party started?
SAVE WHITEY! Jefferson Beauregard Sessions shows his worth at the Justice Department, sticking up for poor, poor, discriminated-against white kids. When I was a Fellow, one of U-M’s lawyers did a seminar for us, talking about the SCOTUS argument they made, that diversity was an essential part of the education a student should expect at a university. He convinced me, but Jefferson Beauregard Sessions was not in attendance that evening.
The secretary of defense and new chief of staff had an ad hoc adult daycare going there for a while.
I don’t know if this will be available to all, but a good WSJ story on the chaos of the Indian court system. You lawyers might appreciate this.
And a moment of grim levity from the WashPost: An oral history of last week:
At 4:58 p.m., Ryan Lizza publishes a story on NewYorker.com that recounts his curse-laden conversation with Scaramucci the previous night. By the 6 o’clock hour, chyrons on CNN were including Scaramucci quotations like “F—–G PARANOID SCHIZOPHRENIC,” in reference to Priebus, and “I’M NOT TRYING TO S**K MY OWN [EXPLETIVE],” a reference to Scaramucci’s putdown of Trump adviser Steve Bannon.
Tommy Vietor, former Obama spokesperson: [Former Obama speechwriter] Jon Favreau and I had recently finished recording our Thursday podcast when the story with Ryan Lizza and the Mooch popped up. . . . This was just the latest example of huge breaking news happening every time we finish a show.
I click through and am just flabbergasted. . . . We grabbed [fellow Obama alum Jon] Lovett and read him some choice lines. He couldn’t believe it was real. How can this be real?
And that’s only three paragraphs! There’s much, much more.
Finally, just to leave you with a midweek glance into the void, Jared Kushner on the Middle East, surreptitiously recorded by a White House intern:
Later in the clip, Kushner expresses frustration at others’ attempts to teach him about the delicate situation he’s been inserted into, saying, “Everyone finds an issue, that ‘You have to understand what they did then’ and ‘You have to understand that they did this.’ But how does that help us get peace? Let’s not focus on that. We don’t want a history lesson. We’ve read enough books. Let’s focus on, How do you come up with a conclusion to the situation?” He then goes on to lament the press’s treatment of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a family friend who he’s known since childhood.
Kushner’s dismissal of the nuances of the conflict has already been an issue. Last month, when Kushner met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a Palestinian official told Haaretz that Kushner “sounded like Netanyahu’s advisers and not like fair arbiters” and that they were “greatly disappointed” after the meeting. Abbas himself was “reportedly furious.”
Finally, Kushner closed with the following statement of reassurance: “So, what do we offer that’s unique? I don’t know … I’m sure everyone that’s tried this has been unique in some ways, but again we’re trying to follow very logically. We’re thinking about what the right end state is, and we’re trying to work with the parties very quietly to see if there’s a solution. And there may be no solution, but it’s one of the problem sets that the president asked us to focus on. So we’re going to focus on it and try to come to the right conclusion in the near future.”
It’s moments like this that I feel us trembling, teetering on the edge of something terrible. Back on Friday, when the weekend will be in view. Let’s party then.