News & Politics

The Morning Briefing: NorKs Continue Threats, Trump Sasses McConnell and Much, Much More

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Good Thursday Morning.

Here is what’s on the President’s agenda today:

In the afternoon, President Donald J. Trump will have lunch with Vice President Mike Pence.

The NorKs push back

The North Koreans have responded to President Trump’s “fire and fury” warning, which they called “absolute nonsense,” replying that “only absolute force can work on him.”

According to a translation of the statement on South Korea’s Yonhap News, North Korea is “seriously examining the plan for an enveloping strike at Guam through simultaneous fire of four Hwasong-12 intermediate-range strategic ballistic rockets in order to interdict the enemy forces on major military bases on Guam and to signal a crucial warning to the US.”

The statement said it would fire four missiles that would fly over Japan before crashing down in the waters 18 to 25 miles from Guam, a more specific threat than what the Hermit kingdom had said Tuesday.

The statement said it would complete plans for the launch by mid-August, at which point they would be submitted to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

A September surprise, perhaps?

Google’s a cult

Someone ought to put together a quiz: Google or Scientology. A former employee describes Google as a religious cult. Says one employee:

Google is run like a religious cult. Conform and carry out the rituals, and you’ll be rewarded and praised; ask any uncomfortable questions or offend the wrong people, and the threats and public shaming will be swift and ruthless. The religion in this case is a kind of intersectional feminism, its central tenets are Diversity and Inclusion, its demonic enemy is Bias, and its purifying rituals include humiliating forms of “training” that resemble Maoist struggle sessions.

This might sound crazy to a lot of your readers, but college students should understand, since it’s a similar culture.

Says a former Googler:

I remember engineering manager Adam Fletcher bragging about how (a) he’ll never work with people like me (which he refers to as “hostile voices”), and (b) how people like me were being blacklisted *outside of Google* (I assume because he and others like him were using gossip to coordinate industry-wide blacklists). Note that Adam’s position is widely-shared instead of reprimanded by management. Paul Cowan…also got away with posting comments in support of that.

I remember Colm Buckley…dismissing a well-written post by a colleague of mine, with the single sentence “Isn’t it nice to be white.” I also remember him being condescending to an employee who posted an innocuous message of skepticism about social justice. I should note that the employee Colm condescended to was eventually forced out of the company…

I remember Kim Burchett (high-ranking manager with a lot of reports) posting about how she’s “considering creating a list of people who make diversity difficult”. Two things you should know about her (okay, there’s tons, but two that stand out). First is commentary she posted on promotion committees, where she literally boos men and white people. Second is that, once upon a time, she had this epic Freudian slip, in which she accidentally wrote that terms like “diversity” and “unconscious bias” are actually stand-ins for “prejudice” and “white supremacist patriarchy”. Interesting, eh?

I remember Peter Goett entirely unironically posting a reply to a list with over 10,000 Googlers: “congratulations on your white penis.”

Here’s another current employee:

A lot of social justice activists essentially spend all day fighting the culture war, and get nothing done. The company has made it a point to hire more people like this. The diversity gospel has been woven into nearly everything the company does, to the point where senior leaders focus on diversity first and technology second. The companywide “Google Insider” emails used to talk about cool new tech, but now they’re entirely about social justice initiatives. Likewise, the weekly all-hands “TGIF” meetings used to focus on tech, but now they’re split about 50/50 between tech and identity politics signaling.

Sounds like a great place to work.

Meanwhile: over half of Google’s employees don’t think James Damore should have been fired.

Trump sasses McConnell back

President Trump has responded to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s remark that the president doesn’t understand the legislative process, is very slow, and that he came into office with “excessive expectations.”

I’m old enough to remember when Barack Obama came into office in 2009 and Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told him to cool his jets because the Democrat-controlled Congress and Senate couldn’t manage to pass legislation for his agenda.

Just kidding — because that never happened.

He has a point.

Debbie Downer

The scandals orbiting around former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz have piled up. She was disgracefully run out of the DNC after leaked emails revealed the committee was helping Clinton win the party nomination. She also hired and protected the very sketchy Awan family. Her colleagues don’t like her.

Wasserman Schultz is again on defense after steadfastly refusing to explain why she continued to employ Imran Awan, an IT staffer who was under a federal investigation for alleged equipment and data scam in the U.S. House since February. She finally fired him on July 25, one day after authorities arrested him on a seemingly unrelated mortgage fraud charge. He was at the airport leaving for Pakistan, after wiring $283,000 there.

“We wish she would go away and stop being so public by doubling down on negative stories,” said Nikki Barnes, a progressive DNC member from Florida. About the IT scandal, Barnes said “none of this makes sense. It doesn’t sound like racial profiling … there must have been something for her.”

This adds to Debbie being re-branded as the Democrats’ disastrous destruction,” Barnes said. “Those of us on the DNC know we have to rebrand ourselves and earn the people’s trust. And unfortunately Debbie’s name does not scream trust. It screams power. It screams limited access. It screams WikiLeaks now. DNC lawsuit. It screams a lot of negative things to the public. That’s not how we want to rebrand ourselves.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz is still a national figure, but unfortunately for her it’s because so many people around the country see her as playing a devastatingly bad role in the last election,” said R.T. Rybak, the former mayor of Minneapolis and former DNC vice-chair who clashed with Wasserman Schultz. “I can mention her name in Minneapolis and it gets a viscerally negative reaction, and I’ve found that to be the case in other parts of the country, too. Sadly, I think she deserves the negative reputation.

DWS released a statement about her questionable protection of the Awans.

As a mother, a Jew, and a Member of Congress, if there is one thing I know for sure, it’s this: my commitment to doing what’s right and just — even if it isn’t what’s easy and simple — is unyielding,” Wasserman Schultz said. “Undoubtedly, the easier path would have been to terminate Mr. Awan, despite the fact that I had not received any evidence of his alleged wrongdoing. Over time, the investigation raised troubling concerns for me about fair treatment, due process, and potential ethnic and religious profiling.

Gimme a break.

Picture of the day:

This Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017, photo provided by the Arkansas Department of Transportation shows Arkansas highway Interstate 30, a cross-country route that was shut down in both directions for a time Wednesday, after an 18-wheeler was sliced open during an crash and spilled frozen pizzas across the road south of Little Rock, Ark. The interstate, was closed for several hours while crews cleaned up the mess. (Rusty Hubbard/Arkansas Department of Transportation via AP)

Other morsels:

Transgender service members sue President Trump over military ban

Michelle Obama’s policy director running for governor in Maryland

Amazon sued by transgender woman, husband for workplace harassment

CNN And Politico jump on completely normal Russian spy plane flight In DC

Maryland city may let noncitizens vote, a proposal with precedent

Here’s a list of the 5 biggest NY Times screw ups this year

Top Trump donor ponies up to take out Flake

FaceApp removes ‘ethnicity filters’ after backlash

O.J. Simpson’s infamous Bronco to be sold by former agent on ‘Pawn Stars’

Conservative Koch brothers are secret investors in ‘Wonder Woman’

And that’s all I’ve got, now go beat back the angry mob!