Good Tuesday morning.
Here is what's on the president's agenda today:
- The president and first lady participate in the presentation of the National Thanksgiving turkey
- The president and first lady travel to Mar-a-Lago
I thought this was settled and determined not to be illegal or unethical. Ivanka Trump used personal account for emails about government business
Historical picture of the day:
Opposition list grows to 16 Pelosi’s bid for speaker imperiled as public opposition grows
They don't need to agree with the rules, do they? White House says there are new 'rules' for reporters, but press members haven't agreed to them
And that's all I've got, now go beat back the angry mob!
No doubt the Trump-loathing New York Times is running this Maggie Haberman story because they think it makes the president look bad. And they point out twice, without evidence, that Trump said something or other "without evidence." All part of the ongoing war between the White House and the press:
President Trump told the White House counsel in the spring that he wanted to order the Justice Department to prosecute two of his political adversaries: his 2016 challenger, Hillary Clinton, and the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, according to two people familiar with the conversation.
The lawyer, Donald F. McGahn II, rebuffed the president, saying that he had no authority to order a prosecution. Mr. McGahn said that while he could request an investigation, that too could prompt accusations of abuse of power. To underscore his point, Mr. McGahn had White House lawyers write a memo for Mr. Trump warning that if he asked law enforcement to investigate his rivals, he could face a range of consequences, including possible impeachment.
The encounter was one of the most blatant examples yet of how Mr. Trump views the typically independent Justice Department as a tool to be wielded against his political enemies. It took on additional significance in recent weeks when Mr. McGahn left the White House and Mr. Trump appointed a relatively inexperienced political loyalist, Matthew G. Whitaker, as the acting attorney general.
To any reasonable person following the bouncing ball between Hillary Clinton and James Comey, there appears to be plenty of reason for suspicion, if not an actual investigation from the "typically independent" Justice Department (e.g. Eric Holder); the fact that Comey overstepped his legal authority to give Mrs. Clinton a pass on her illegal email server during the campaign cries out for greater understanding. Meanwhile, the "typically independent" Justice Department is still held in thrall by Rod Rosenstein, whose memo to Trump outlining his legal grounds for firing Comey triggered the entire Mueller fiasco, which we still have not seen the last of yet.
It is not clear which accusations Mr. Trump wanted prosecutors to pursue. He has accused Mr. Comey, without evidence, of illegally having classified information shared with The New York Times in a memo that Mr. Comey wrote about his interactions with the president. The document contained no classified information.
Mr. Trump’s lawyers also privately asked the Justice Department last year to investigate Mr. Comey for mishandling sensitive government information and for his role in the Clinton email investigation. Law enforcement officials declined their requests. Mr. Comey is a witness against the president in the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.
Mr. Trump has grown frustrated with Mr. Wray for what the president sees as his failure to investigate Mrs. Clinton’s role in the Obama administration’s decision to allow the Russian nuclear agency to buy a uranium mining company. Conservatives have long pointed to donations to the Clinton family foundation by people associated with the company, Uranium One, as proof of corruption. But no evidence has emerged that those donations influenced the American approval of the deal.
The fact is, as the Times story notes, the president is perfectly within his authority to order such an investigation. But, of course, that would be unseemly:
The lawyers laid out a series of consequences. For starters, Justice Department lawyers could refuse to follow Mr. Trump’s orders even before an investigation began, setting off another political firestorm. If charges were brought, judges could dismiss them. And Congress, they added, could investigate the president’s role in a prosecution and begin impeachment proceedings. Ultimately, the lawyers warned, Mr. Trump could be voted out of office if voters believed he had abused his power.
The greatest failure of the Trump administration to date has been a failure of nerve to act when the consequences would have been the least; as Shakespeare has Macbeth say: "If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done quickly."
If you want to see an example of progressivism eating its own, you need look no further than Eastern Michigan University, where the "Vagina Monologues" show has been canceled because not all women have vaginas or something.
Eastern Michigan University's Women's Resource Center will no longer host productions of "The Vagina Monologues," noting that the play's version of feminism excludes some women.
The WRC announced its decision in an email, which came after the center evaluated responses from a survey. Survey respondents opposing the production consistently indicated they were concerned that the play centers on cisgender women, that the play's version of feminism excludes some women, including trans women, and that overall, "The Vagina Monologue" lacks diversity and inclusion.
"This created a need to ask the question: Do we still need 'The Vagina Monologues?' And, are 'The Vagina Monologues' still relevant to next generation feminists?" the email from the WRC says.
Some survey participants wanting the production to continue said the play is the first introduction into feminism for many, challenging individuals to think differently about a variety of issues affecting women.
The WRC's email noted that "many of the same people" in support of the production felt that the "The Vagina Monologues" should be modified or accompanied by a series of workshops that address the diversity and inclusion that it is lacking.
In my experience nothing good ever comes out of workshops — doubly so on university campuses. On a related note, years ago when my son was visiting colleges, I'd give him a stern warning every time we passed a "women's studies" building and admonish him never to date anyone who walked through those doors. Nothing good ever comes out of those, either.
Luckily, I -- as a card-carrying non-vegetarian -- don't have to worry about this. But you might:
Romaine lettuce is unsafe to eat in any form, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday in a broad alert in response to a new outbreak of illnesses caused by a particularly dangerous type of E. coli contamination.
The CDC told consumers to throw away any romaine lettuce they may already have purchased. Restaurants should not serve it, stores should not sell it, and people should not buy it, no matter where or when the lettuce was grown. It doesn’t matter if it is chopped, whole head or part of a mix. All romaine should be avoided.
The CDC alert, issued just two days before Americans sit down for their Thanksgiving dinners, reported that 32 people in 11 states have become sick from eating contaminated romaine. Of those, 13 have been hospitalized, with one patient suffering from a form of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.
The origin of the outbreak is unknown and remains under investigation. The CDC did not limit the warning to romaine from any particular agricultural area.
A common strain of E.coli was detected in six of the sickened people, and appears to match the bacterial strain found in an outbreak of illnesses from contaminated leafy greens late last year that affected people in both the U.S. and Canada. That outbreak was declared over in January.
But hey, let's abolish ICE and keep those "migrant" workers coming with their exotic third-world diseases and quaint standards of hygiene coming!