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At Least He Wasn’t, You Know, “Hormonal.”

From the Washington Post, by Monica Hesse:

“Throughout the 448-page Mueller report, the president is very emotional. He is forever “becoming angry” or “expressing anger” or “expressing frustration.” He “was furious” at Jeff Sessions for not protecting him. He “screamed” at and “lambasted” his attorney general, demanding, “How could you let this happen?” Regarding perceived “horrible treatment” of an adviser, the president was “upset for weeks.”

At one point, the president became so “unhappy” and “upset” with then-national security adviser Michael Flynn that “he would not look at him during intelligence briefings.”

I see almost no benefit in imagining parallel universes. Hypotheticals are difficult and not always comparable. But, my God: Can you imagine if a female president became so paralyzed by her emotions that she was notably upset for weeks? Can you imagine if a female politician’s strategy for dealing with her staff involved screaming at them, then lambasting them in public, and then not looking at them?

Can you imagine how hard she would have tried not to put herself in that situation, knowing how eager people have been throughout our political history to hold women’s emotions against them? Anti-suffragists claimed women’s rash temperament should exclude them from voting. Stubborn voters claimed women’s rash temperament should exclude them from running for office (Hillary Clinton spoke of learning to “control her emotions” as far back as college). In a Georgetown University study released just this week, 13 percent of Americans still believed that women were less emotionally suited to political office than men.

Can you imagine if the president was a person of color? If an attorney general waved away a black man’s bombastic behavior in the Oval Office by explaining he was often just really angry?

Here is why it matters now, though. The attorney general of the United States of America has stated that the president’s emotions are relevant to the legal analysis of the obstruction case. And there’s a way we tend to talk about the emotional displays of men in power: as if they’re extremely relevant. Righteous, even. Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s outraged, tearful outbursts during his confirmation hearings last summer could have been taken as a sign that he lacked the dispassionate mien one would hope for in a Supreme Court nominee. But instead of putting a damper on the judge’s outraged approach, committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) mirrored it, shouting and literally shaking a finger at his Democratic colleagues. His anger was rewarded. “Lindsey Graham may have single-handedly saved Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation,” read a CNN headline.

As much as Barr’s statements about President Trump are about the specifics of the Russia investigation, they also reflect broader questions: Whose emotions are valid? Whose anger is righteous, and whose anger is hysterical? Whose frustration is “sincere,” and whose is a sign that they are unfit to serve?

The answer isn’t for female politicians to start screaming, or male politicians to become robots. It’s to recognize that we can’t dignify emotion in one sex and dismiss it in another. It can’t be righteous indignation for some people, and hysterics for others. The president is an emotional man. What a luxury. So many of the rest of us are forced to just be crazy women.

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Trump Finally Got His Roy Cohn With Barr

From Esquire, by Jack Holmes, Associate Editor:

‘Frustrated and angered’: Barr says Trump believed the investigation was fueled by illegal leaks and propelled by his opponents.

“So if the president is “frustrated,” he can break the law? If the world’s most powerful man is having a sad, he can obstruct justice? Of course he can’t, unless you’ve been hired to ensure the president is not charged for breaking the law—or if you believe, as it seems Barr might, that the president is above the law. The corruption and doublespeak on show today was a typical disgrace to the United States of America, an assault on the concept we are a nation of laws that, in truth, has never really applied to the most powerful people in this nation. But to watch the nation’s most powerful law enforcement figure run interference for the president—rather than just fucking RELEASE THE REPORT—is a new low.

It will only be matched by the fact that this toad delayed the release two hours after his press conference, enough time for the spin machine to kick into gear. The Beltway Media better shake off the Goldfish Brain approach they normally take to coverage and understand that the president and his administration are operating in bad faith and are not playing by the rules of their game. Read the report and see what’s in it. There are things that aren’t conspiracy with a hostile foreign power that we may still be concerned about. The president doesn’t set the bar, the public does.”

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Trump Administration Want Ad

From the Washington Post, by Dana Milbank:

“Flailing administration seeks Cabinet secretary willing to sacrifice dignity for employer’s vanity. No relevant experience needed. Successful candidate must be morally flexible. Familiarity with abusive personalities a plus. Willingness to be publicly humiliated required. Employee will be fired in about 12 months and thereafter be permanently unemployable. Non-disclosure agreement mandatory. Interested candidates should contact the prison warden.”

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Hey, If It’s Good Enough for the President…

From The Washington Post:

Stephen Moore, President Trump’s planned nominee for the Federal Reserve Board, was found in contempt of court in 2013 for failing to pay his ex-wife more than $330,000 in alimony and child support, court documents show.

Numerous economists have raised concerns that Moore is unfit to serve on the Fed board because he doesn’t have much expertise in central banking, also arguing he could taint the Fed’s independence with his close ties to Trump. His seeming failures to follow the law have also raised some questions about his ability to be one of the nation’s top economic policymakers.

Stephen Moore has repeatedly praised marriage and homes with a “devoted husband and wife” as the best cure against poverty and other social ills. He wrote a commentary in the Washington Examiner titled “Marriage, the surest economic stimulus,” in October 2014, about a year after the court had to compel him to pay his ex-wife child support and alimony.

Allison Moore says her husband slept with his mistress in the family home and stated at a graduation ceremony for one of their sons, “I have two women, and what’s really bad is when they fight over you.”

 

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Does This Man Understand Anything?

From CNN:

President Trump on Friday referred to the Flores Settlement as being decided on by “Judge Flores,” but the settlement was named after the plaintiff in the case, Jenny Lisette Flores, who fled El Salvador as a teenager.

“We’ve had some very bad court decisions. The Flores decision is a disaster, I have to tell you. Judge Flores, whoever you may be, that decision is a disaster for our country. A disaster. And we’re working on that,” Trump said during a roundtable near the southern border with border officials.

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Pot Meet Kettle

From CNN:

President Donald Trump, dismissing the potential hypocrisy, said Friday he thinks he “is a very good messenger” when asked whether he is the right person to be criticizing former Vice President Joe Biden amid recent allegations from several women that he made them uncomfortable.

“I think I’m a very good messenger, and people got a kick out of it,” Trump told reporters before leaving the White House for a trip to the US-Mexican border. “He’s going through a situation, let’s see what happens. But people got a kick … we gotta sort of smile a little bit, right?”

 

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Sounds Good to Me

From the Washington Post:

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) urged President Trump to hold off on pushing for a court-ordered destruction of the Affordable Care Act, advice the president ultimately ignored, according to a senior Republican official familiar with the conversation.

The unheeded counsel, which McCarthy recounted to fellow lawmakers in recent days, underscores the angst that has set in among Republicans now that Trump is pursuing the politically precarious strategy with no plan in hand to replace Barack Obama’s signature health-care law.

During a closed-door lunch on Tuesday, Trump relayed to Senate Republicans that he had come up with a slogan — “Republicans are the party of health care” — on the short ride over from the White House to the Capitol, said people familiar with the gathering, who requested anonymity to discuss private conversations.

Trump told the Republicans that he “owned” the issues of the economy and border security, but the party is vulnerable on health care. He said he wanted to get a new plan during the election, according to those familiar with the gathering.

Trump’s strategy has hardly been universally embraced.

“It’s the dumbest thing I have ever heard,” said a senior GOP aide, who requested anonymity to speak candidly. “It is the equivalent of punching yourself in the face repeatedly.”

 

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William Barr Reads “Moby-Dick,” Finds No Evidence of Whales

From The New Yorker, by Andy Borowitz in “The Borowitz Report”:

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Attorney General William Barr has just read the classic American novel “Moby-Dick,” by Herman Melville, and found that the book contains “no evidence whatsoever of whales,” Barr stated on Tuesday.

The Attorney General issued his statement on the absence of whales in the Melville classic in a two-paragraph book report released to the news media.

“Those who read ‘Moby-Dick’ looking for whales will be sorely disappointed,” Barr wrote. “There are no whales here.”

To illustrate his point, Barr quoted the book’s first sentence: “Call me Ishmael.”

“As you can clearly see, that sentence does not have a whale in it,” Barr wrote.

The Attorney General indicated that he hoped his report would put an end to “reckless speculation” about the existence of whales in “Moby-Dick.” “It’s time to move on,” he wrote.

Barr disclosed that, after waiting years to read “Moby-Dick,” he was able to finish reading it in approximately fifteen minutes.

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