OK, this isn’t exactly a case of #playingwhileblack or #beingakidwhileblack even though a biracial child was involved. But something wrong went down when a woman walked out of her apartment building in Cambridge, Mass., and asked an apparently white woman with a biracial child to move from where they were playing on the sidewalk because the child was noisy.
Alyson Laliberte, the mother of the child, wrote on her Facebook page about the encounter, “Y’all here is another Permit Patty trying to kick me off my own property because she’s having a hard time getting her kids to take a nap at 3:30 in the afternoon on a Saturday.”
After a testy exchange during which Laliberte continues to say she won’t leave, the woman stares at her in exasperation, then asks: “Are you in one of the affordable units? Or are you in one of the Harvard units?”
Reacting to a bipartisan chorus of condemnation over his calamitous comments in Helsinki about Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, President Trump on Tuesday claimed that he misspoke.
On Monday, at a news conference with Vladimir Putin, Trump said: “My people came to me, [director of national intelligence] Dan Coats came to me and some others and they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin; he just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be.”
But on Tuesday, in remarks before a meeting with congressional Republicans, Trump offered “some clarification.”
On Monday, Vladimir Putin offered — more rhetorically than seriously, I suspect — to assist Robert S. Mueller III in his investigation of 12 Russian military intelligence officials if Russia was allowed, in turn, to interrogate people “who have something to do with illegal actions on the territory of Russia.” In particular, Putin said, he would like to interview U.S. intelligence officials about one man: William F. Browder.
(Trump’s response? “I think that’s an incredible offer.”)
Browder is an American-born financier, the billionaire CEO of Hermitage Capital who made much of his money in Russia after the fall of the Soviet regime. After his friend and colleague, Russian tax lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, was arrested and imprisoned — and subsequently died at age 37 — Browder led the campaign in the U.S. to pass the so-called Magnitsky Act, which imposed sanctions and froze assets of people deemed to have been involved in Magnitsky’s imprisonment. Since then, Browder has been an outspoken critic of Kremlin corruption.
The drama surrounding President Trump’s meeting Monday with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin centered, understandably, on whether Trump would confront Putin about Russian meddling in the 2016 election. I think Trump’s comment Monday that “President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today” qualifies as a “no.”
But Putin’s focus was no doubt on other things. For example, how to fend off Trump’s challenge to the new Gazprom natural gas pipeline dubbed Nord Stream 2 that will connect Russian gas producers with European buyers in Germany.
You may recall Trump blasting the pipeline deal at last week’s NATO summit in Brussels. There, Trump said the pipeline would supply so much of Germany’s energy, the country would become “a captive of the Russians.”
It’s safe to say that Ajit Pai isn’t going to be named Man of the Year from internet advocacy groups in 2018. Or ever, for that matter — his drive to eliminate net neutrality rules has made him Public (servant) Enemy No. 1 for the likes of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Free Press.
But on Monday, Pai did something that should at least stop his critics from claiming he’s completely in the pocket of Sinclair Broadcast Group. He registered his opposition to Sinclair’s blockbuster acquisition of Tribune Media’s television stations, a deal that would have allowed Sinclair to broadcast its right-wing (or perhaps more accurately, Trumpian) pronouncements into more than 60% of U.S. homes. If his colleagues agree with Pai, the deal will head to an administrative law judge for what’s likely to be a contentious review, rather than going to the commission for a vote to approve.
The sole Democrat on the commission, Jessica Rosenworcel, quickly agreed. A longtime critic of the deal, Rosenworcel took the occasion to lay into Pai: “As I have noted before, too many of this agency’s media policies have been custom built to support the business plans of Sinclair Broadcasting,” she said in a statement. “With this hearing designation order, the agency will finally take a hard look at its proposed merger with Tribune. This is overdue and favoritism like this needs to end.”
The Democratic Party has been focused on building a blue wave to wash over the midterm elections and flip the U.S. House of Representatives. Maybe that’s why they didn’t notice the progressive swell sneaking up.
Late last month, it overtook Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), a party stalwart representing parts of New York City, who lost the primary to newcomer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old Latina. The upset was written off by some as a rogue wave, a one-off that was merely a reflection of the changing demographics of that particular House district and not a referendum on the party’s neoliberal platform.
Scott Pruitt may be gone from the Environmental Protection Agency, but his work dismantling environmental safeguards is still inspiring lawsuits — or at least threats of lawsuits.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and a dozen other state attorneys general fired off a letter to the EPA demanding the agency withdraw a decision Pruitt issued on his last day that would allow fleets of super-polluting trucks to stay on the road. The states have threatened legal action if the EPA does not reverse course.
Pruitt’s successor, Andrew Wheeler, a former industry lobbyist, also appears to believe in less stringent regulations, so don’t expect a quick reversal.
Mayor Eric Garcetti has been jetting off to Boston, Chicago, Berlin — and especially to presidential battleground states, such as Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
From September 2016 through August 2017, Garcetti logged 112 days, or nearly one-third of his time, away from California, Times reporter Dakota Smith found.
There’s nothing wrong with the mayor traveling out of state or out of the country on city business. This is Los Angeles, the nation’s second largest city and a global economic force. The mayor should be out building relationships across the country and the world, not cloistered in City Hall.
At his joint news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday, President Trump said that he would raise the issue of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election with Vladimir Putin when the two leaders meet in Helsinki next week. Later in the day, Deputy Atty. Gen. Rod Rosenstein gave Trump some ammunition if he’s willing to use it.
“Will we be talking about meddling? I will absolutely bring that up,” Trump said. “I don’t think you’ll have any, ‘Gee, I did it, I did it, you got me.’ There won’t be a Perry Mason here, I don’t think.” (Mason was the fictional defense attorney who cleared his clients by extracting confessions from the real killers.)
Nevertheless, Trump insisted that he would “absolutely firmly ask the question.”
Then-candidate Donald J. Trump said he was just joking in July 2016 when he called on Russia to “find the 30,000 emails” that Hillary Clinton had not turned over to State Department investigators, ostensibly because they were personal correspondence and not government business.
Now that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has obtained indictments against 12 Russian intelligence officers in connection with hacking into multiple Clinton campaign-related email accounts in the four previous months, it puts Trump’s comments in a different light.
The indictment alleges that the Russian agents broke into accounts for the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and various volunteers and employees at Clinton’s campaign — including the email account of her campaign chairman, John Podesta. It goes into some detail on how it identified the responsible parties, adding weight to the allegations.