FBI official taking the fifth. Congress wants testimony from Andrew McCabe (probably for partisan show). However, the Department of Justice is considering charges against him, so he'll probably take the fifth in front of Congress.Normally, I'd think that is terrible, but considering he's likely to be facing charges, it makes good sense. I'm not sure why, but I have a somewhat good impression of McCabe. Maybe because he hasn't showboated or thrown anyone under the bus. However, the current director of the FBI demoted him, so it seems like there is something questionable there. And the reaction from the new FBI director? 'We need more rigorous training in being fair.'
How bad is James Clapper? Clapper is one of the many boogeymen according to those in conservative circles who believe in the horror of the 'deep state.' There's him, Comey, Loretta Lynch, Brennan, Rosenstein, and probably countless others. What exacting did Clapper do to earn that reputation? I had to look it up because no one was repeating it, just that he was evil. Supposedly his huge sin was lying to Congress about the NSA data gathering programs. His real sin was saying that Trump is a liar and unserious (my paraphrase). In this write-up of an interview, Clapper makes a lot of sense. Michael Flynn was probably played by the Russians, the Russians probably did tip the election, but we're probably going to survive this and come out stronger afterward. Sensible and reasonable.
Round-up on Inspector General's report. CNN has a series of short, readable clips about the significance of the report. Alan Dershowitz, legal savant and media whore, blasts Comey based on information from the report. Nice to know that Dershowitz has an infallible sense of how to handle fraught situations. He thinks Rosenstein has to recuse himself, and then oversight will fall into the lap of someone who will oversee the Mueller probe with perfect judgment. No, wait, there shouldn't even be a special counsel because there are people in the Justice Department who can handle the investigation without bias... if we're lucky enough that they're the ones who are appointed to do it and nobody interferes with them, like firing them or pointing a biased person in to supervise them.
Educated observer's report on Russia. Just the kind of rationality we need to read sometimes. Strip away hype, fear, and posturing, and you get this kind of reporting. It's great to have non-hyped, non-scary reporting about Russia.
Educated analysis of Pax Americana. This is a fairly long read as my links go, but worthwhile in that it asks questions and looks behind the explanations and mythology of US policies. I read it with an eye to what realistic expectations should be, not idealized expectations. After all, we live in a real world with many dangers, and you have to respond to danger in ways that are effective.
History lesson about altruism. The US helped a lot of countries through the Marshall Plan, and benefited from the peace and prosperity it fostered. Or we could have had a lot more communism.
Resegregation via charter school. Some places in the US, segregation never ended. Now there is a new way to create it or support it, and it's funded via tax dollars.
Football kneeling protest. I'm a supporter of this protest, which I find to be very dignified and respectful. In fact, I can't find anything disrespectful in it. I liked this statement from one of the leaders of the Philadelphia Eagles about the controversy around the protest. I compare this with the insults leveled at players, and it's no contest whom I respect more.
Helpful information for a rare situation. A woman was recently killed by an alligator in Florida. This report tells how to avoid that (stay far enough away from waterfront at dusk, nighttime, and dawn), how to run, and how to fight if you need to. Not much to remember. Good advice.
Copy-paste internet threat. I didn't realize this was a thing. I don't believe the threats made against me over the internet. A few people may be savvy enough to figure out who I am, but very few. So the threats are so likely to be rubbish that I've never worried. But it's incredible and ridiculous to find out there is a meme of threat--a veritable script that people copy and adapt. I guess it's too much work to make up your own bizarre threats, so just borrow something.