Day 461


(Matt Kiser) #1

Updated 4/25/2018 6:44 AM PDT

1/ A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration must resume accepting new DACA applications, saying the Department of Homeland Security's legal explanation for ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was "arbitrary," "capricious," and predicated on "virtually unexplained" grounds and therefore "unlawful." DHS now has 90 days to better explain its reasoning for canceling the program, or the judge will rescind the government memo that terminated the program. (New York Times / Politico / Washington Post / NBC News)


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://whatthefuckjusthappenedtoday.com/2018/04/25/day-461/

(nina) #2

From the Plum Line Washington Post - not sure if this is Opinion or not.

But there is a more language on the bill to protect Mueller’s Investigation, which is described below.

"…I’ve obtained the relevant language. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, is backing an amendment to the Mueller protection bill that requires the special counsel to prepare “a report detailing the factual findings of the investigation” to the attorney general and to the bipartisan leaders of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.

This goes farther than the current regulations governing the special counsel, which merely call for Mueller to provide a “confidential” report to Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein (who is overseeing the Mueller probe because Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself) and provide for Rosenstein to then explain the decision to end the probe to Congress."


#3

The story of Melania’s white hat. Welcome to the world of fashion designer and stylist, Hervé Pierre.

What FLOTUS will wear to host the Macrons remains a question mark but Pierre dismissed any Internet comparisons’ to Kerry Washington’s “Scandal” persona. “What happened? Kerry Washington? She’s an actress? I will have to Google something.”

After the white Michael Kors suit that Melania Trump wore Tuesday morning was agreed upon and purchased, Pierre said he asked Michael Kors for additional fabric for a hat made. "They were so lovely. They gave me two yards of fabric and I had the hat made in an atelier in New York. It was a hatmaker with no brands. I did a mock-up with proportions and then it was done," he said.

To be a designer working under your own name for the first time is a scary thing. I feel for this designer. Politics aside, I actually really love his work. That white hat and suit was a glorious moment.


(nina) #4

Yes, happy for the designer…but I have to admit, not my favorite made to be a show stopper. But as a former model and showgirl type, it worked for her. Maybe for the Kentucky Derby? Sorry, my contempt for all things T are hard to reverse.

I can not" un see" this version of it…Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface

Trump%20Melania%20Scarface

All things being equal though, Melania has not brought shame on this house, as has her scurrilous orange-toned husband.


(nina) #5

I find this contemptable…

HUD Secretary Ben Carson to propose tripling rent for some low-income Americans receiving federal housing subsidies

By Tracy Jan 4.25.18

@johnjharwood
HUD preparing rent hike of up to $100 a month for 4.5-million families receiving federal housing assistance, per WashPost

Administration has cut taxes by $7.9K a month for the roughly one million households in top 1% of earnings
https://t.co/LK6yYH9uzo


#6

I’m not sure how to articulate this, while it’s true that she was a former model, that doesn’t mean she’s less of a person or undeserving of praise when she has done something well. It just feels disparaging to me. Like she doesn’t have value because of her chosen profession. Had she been First Lady to any other President, the commentary would be different. Team FLOTUS put together beautiful event in spite of Trump’s strange behavior. Lol.


(nina) #7

Well, I am being a bit harsher than you about it. I find fault with her level of participation, but acknowledge that she did put on a good event last night. BUT she had planners and event people who do help her do this.

I may be too bold and critical of her and notwithstanding that she had different career choices than the others, I find her less than effective in her role. I do see that there is a huge PR push to get us to see the really great role she is doing.

*She is a reluctant First Lady (see coming to DC 5 months into the term).
*Her choice of “Anti-Bullying” flies in the face of what her husband does ALL the time…where is her message going to? Who respects her on this?

  • Who was the Senior Aide to Melania who had to be let go because of the questionable $26 million spent on the inauguration? Was she set up to be the fall person??
    “The East Wing has let go of its own senior adviser, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff”

And "Melania Trump’s additions bring into question whether she is planning to step up her role in politics and in the public realm. Some have doubted whether she wanted the responsibility. She was slower to move into the White House than most wives of presidents, waiting nearly five months after her husband was sworn in to officially leave New York. The first lady seemed to fully embrace duties like decorating the White House for the holidays, and in December visited Hurricane Harvey victims without her husband.

The new hires represent one of the biggest expansions the first lady has made to her East Wing staff, according to POLITICO. However, her staff is smaller than that of former first lady Michelle Obama, who reportedly had at least 16 people on her payroll by the same period of time in her tenure."

Regardless of my take on her doing her job well or incredibly, I find it so weird to relate to a 3rd wife, ex-model, from a foreign country, who has literally not stood any ground as a strong female role model, and plays to the ‘look pretty’ position.
Just a weird administration all over.

First impressions stay…unfortunately.


(nina) #8

Not sure of InterCept as a source, but have see it listed here before.

Wonder what this sale of emails and data from Hillary comes with a lot of protections, ie, no release of list anywhere? Hard to think that this would be possible.

"The Democratic National Committee is paying $1.65 million for access to the email list, voter data, and software produced by Hillary for America during the 2016 presidential campaign, Xochitl Hinojosa, a spokesperson for the DNC, told The Intercept. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has paid more than $700,000 to rent the same email list.

“Clinton is legally entitled to rent her list to the party, rather than hand it over as a gift, but in 2015, Barack Obama gave his email list, valued at $1,942,640, to the DNC as an in-kind contribution.”


#9

This made me wonder about the antiquated “role” of FLOTUS. It is an unpaid position that each wife of the President simply inherits. How much effort are we supposed expect from such a role? Is First Lady a political position? Are we expecting too much from First Ladies?

Thanks for entertaining this conversation, it’s been something I’ve been thinking about…


#10

This news isn’t exactly a “headliner,” but is more of a “watch this space” placeholder. To Mueller investigation wonks like me, it certainly is intriguing.

Gregory Craig’s departure from Skadden may simply represent a long-planned retirement move or it may have deeper implications. My feeling is that Craig could actually be in pretty hot water and Skadden may be making a move to distance themselves from him.

According to the sentencing memorandum filed in March for Alex van der Zwaan (who also worked at Skadden and teamed with Craig, Rick Gates and Paul Manafort to do “damage control” on the shady Ukrainian report), “. . . van der Zwaan had taken the precaution of recording the conversations with Gates, Person A, and the senior partner who worked on the report.” As described in the above articles, this “senior partner” is undoubtedly Gregory Craig. “Person A” has been identified as Konstantin Kilimnik an aide to Manafort and Gates. The court filing asserts that “Person A has ties to Russian intelligence service and had such ties in 2016.” This means that Craig, wittingly or unwittingly, worked alongside an active Russian intelligence agent and recordings of his conversations relating to that work are now in Mueller’s hands. Not a good place to be.

We don’t know if Craig was simply an innocent bystander here, but we do know that the payments for the report are highly suspicious. Skadden only recorded a receipt for $12,000 for their work, but in reality, they appear to have received more than $4 million via third-parties (as alleged in the sentencing memorandum). Skadden has even tacitly admitted wrongdoing here because they have returned a portion of those payments to the Ukrainian government (see the National Law Journal article above).

As for the timing of Craig’s sudden departure, perhaps it’s related to Monday’s court filing in which Mueller pushes back against Manafort’s attempt to declare a cache of seized documents as inadmissible. The memorandum reveals that during the search of Manafort’s files, Mueller was specifically targeting documents related to the report Craig authored (emphasis in the following excerpt is mine):

[p. 5, Item] d. Records relating to efforts by Manafort, Gates, or their affiliated entities to conduct activities on behalf of, for the benefit of, or at the direction of any foreign government, foreign officials, foreign entities, foreign persons, or foreign principals, including but not limited to the Party of Regions and Viktor Yanukovych.

As of Monday, Craig and Skadden may have felt the heat cranking up and decided it was time to make a move.


(nina) #11

Being FLOTUS reflects who you are as a person. Regardless of being “unpaid” the role does come with nice benefits -paid staff, arbiter of all things related to entertainment and probably wardrobe. But it is a "traditional’ female role - beautified, nurturer, kindly, selfless, caring.

Since it has never been a male, we have kept these expectations one I believe.

However for each administration, the traditionally female role as FLOTUS reflects who they are individually. Less memorable -Pat Nixon, Mamie Eisenhower, Bette Ford, Rosylyn Carter, and Laura Bush.- who were less outgoing and/or sure of themselves. Issues about drinking and breast cancer were put into the national spotlight though.

For this FLOTUS group - Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, and Michelle Obama -they exuded way more savvy about their jobs. They empathized better, steered people into literacy, better health, the arts and were more combative. Traditional yes, and forces to be reckoned with for sure. Not sure if Nancy Reagan’s message was anything but tone deaf (Just say No) but she acted from strength and presented Reagan well.

But if you are asking is FLOTUS really doing a job…? More than anything, I believe they help shape the moral fiber of the country. Ie., Helping others, reading helps you learn, eating healthy food makes for a healthy life (and nation), HIgher education gives you more opportunities and jobs.

Regardless of politics, Barbara Bush was beloved because she exuded strength, honesty etc. Eleanor Roosevelt was beloved because she went to bat for people, stood her ground and pushed an agenda.

That is all I have…

entertainment-on-FLOTUS-R-US :slight_smile:


#12

I agree. We set these expectations within the bounds of a traditional female role. That would have changed had Clinton won. How? We won’t know until it happens. :woman_shrugging:t2:

However, as a person with a traditional female job (interior design/event designer) I can’t imagine being the only person in the room not being paid. :pensive: It’s a lot of work! We should pay her before we critique her work. Otherwise it feels a bit disingenuous.


#13

Breaking news…

Michael Cohen asserted his protection against self-incrimination in a filing with the California district court hearing the former porn star’s defamation lawsuit.

“Based on the advice of counsel, I will assert my 5th Amendment rights in connection with all proceedings in this case due to the ongoing criminal investigation by the FBI and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York,” the filing by Mr. Cohen reads.


#14

Following the news today that the President’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, will be “taking the 5th” in a case that allegedly involves the President, these quotations from Trump himself seem especially relevant (Huffington Post, Sept. 29, 2016):

“Now the people who destroyed [Hillary Clinton’s] emails are all pleading the Fifth Amendment in front of Congress today,” Trump said earlier this month at a rally. “Have you seen that is going on before Congress? Fifth Amendment, Fifth Amendment, Fifth Amendment — horrible, horrible.”

On Wednesday, Trump likened anyone who takes the Fifth to a criminal. “So there are five of them taking the Fifth Amendment, like you see on the mob, right?” he said at another rally in Iowa, inflating the number by two. “The mob takes the Fifth Amendment. If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?”

Thank you, Mr. President, for your timely wisdom regarding the Fifth Amendment. We’ll be sure to take it to heart.


(nina) #15

These quotes do come back and they will haunt him…touche.


#16

Perhaps unintentionally Mulvaney has defined the “swamp” as those not able and/or interested in contributing large sums to one’s campaign fund. A statement of government by, of and for the money rather than the good of the people. Drain the swamp and you have an oligarchy. [quote=“matt, post:1, topic:3233, full:true”]

Updated 4/25/2018 6:44 AM PDT

1/ A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration must resume accepting new DACA applications, saying the Department of Homeland Security's legal explanation for ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was "arbitrary," "capricious," and predicated on "virtually unexplained" grounds and therefore "unlawful." DHS now has 90 days to better explain its reasoning for canceling the program, or the judge will rescind the government memo that terminated the program. (New York Times / Politico / Washington Post / NBC News)


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://whatthefuckjusthappenedtoday.com/2018/04/25/day-461/ [/quote]

(Martha Nieman) #17

Why is anyone commenting on what the F Melania was wearing, period!!! Who gives a crap! And wearing white to a funeral is a no no! She wanted to make a statement! Here I am! She said during the campaign, there were 4 billion reasons why she loves T. She may be a genius, but no comman sense! T is rubbing off on her! Very Dangerous!!


#18

Wasn’t a funeral, it was the first State Dinner at the White House since Trump was elected. This was the first major event planned by FLOTUS and her team, in which she wore a ten gallon hat. I only highlighted it because that hat received so much attention. I was half joking and half trying to tell the story of that big ass hat. A lot of folks online were reading into the symbolism of wearing her that white hat, I just wanted to point out that Melania’s designer didn’t have any peticular reference in mind, so there was no intended symbolism. He just wanted her to wear a giant hat. :smirk:


(Martha Nieman) #19

Still who gives a crap about her or her hat! Concentrate on what is important! Now if she was divorcing crazy man, that would be news!


(nina) #20

I don’t mind talking about the ‘players’ in his life, and wearing a LARGE WHITE HAT is a WTF moment as well. To be a spouse within anyone’s administration is well a curious position. What is consequential to one, well maybe not to another…so the discussion gets closed.

…here’s an excerpt from Brigitte Macron on what Melania was like…suggesting she seemed more like a prisoner. Brigitte does not really have an agenda to say such things…but there is great curiosity (for some) as to what’s really going on.

"Speaking to Le Monde at the end of the French presidential couple’s three-day state visit to Washington, Macron said the 48-year-old former model from Slovenia was “actually really fun. We have the same sense of humour. We laugh a lot together.”

But Melania “cannot do anything”, the French first lady said. “She can’t even open a window at the White House. She can’t go outside. She’s much more constrained than I am. I go out every day in Paris.”

Brigitte, a former French and drama teacher who recently celebrated her 65th birthday and is 25 years older than Emmanuel, her former student, insisted that contrary to popular opinion, Melania was “kind, charming, intelligent and very open”.

It was understandable she looked grim in public, she said. “Everything is interpreted, over-interpreted. She’s someone who has a strong personality, but works hard to hide it. She laughs very easily, at everything, but shows it less than I do.”

The French first lady said she, too, was aware that she had to “be careful what I say. "

IMHO