ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.



March 2018



What I’m Reading – 18 March 2018

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading

Tr*mp Administration

“Herridge’s narrow reading of the order appointing Mueller as special counsel does not match its text. Mueller’s appointment gives him express authority to investigate “any links and/or coordination bet ween the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump” and “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”” Minutes after blockbuster report on Russia investigation, the knives are out for Rod Rosenstein (by Judd Legum for Think Progress)

“[McCabe] insisted he had done nothing wrong in organising the October 2016 interview, saying “it was the type of exchange with the media that the Deputy Director oversees several times per week”. He said of the subsequent justice department investigation that he tried to answer the questions “truthfully and accurately” and “when I thought my answers were misunderstood, I contacted investigators to correct them”.” FBI ex-deputy director Andrew McCabe sacked days before retirement (BBC)

Correcting Past (and Present) Wrongs

“The history of slavery in the United States justifies reparations for African Americans, argues a recent report by a U.N.-affiliated group based in Geneva. This conclusion was part of a study by the United Nations’ Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, a body that reports to the international organization’s High Commissioner on Human Rights. The group of experts, which includes leading human rights lawyers from around the world, presented its findings to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday, pointing to the continuing link between present injustices and the dark chapters of American history.” U.S. owes black people reparations for a history of ‘racial terrorism,’ says U.N. panel (by Ishaan Tharoor for Washington Post)

“What Mason found in short was that until the 1970s National Geographic all but ignored people of color who lived in the United States, rarely acknowledging them beyond laborers or domestic workers. Meanwhile it pictured “natives” elsewhere as exotics, famously and frequently unclothed, happy hunters, noble savages—every type of cliché. Unlike magazines such as Life, Mason said, National Geographic did little to push its readers beyond the stereotypes ingrained in white American culture.” For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist. To Rise Above Our Past, We Must Acknowledge It (by Susan Goldberg for National Geographic)

Gun Violence

“The walkouts, which came 10 days before a march on Washington that could draw hundreds of thousands of students to the nation’s capital, are unprecedented in recent American history, not seen in size or scope since student protests of the Vietnam War in the late 1960s. Supporters say the walkouts and demonstrations represent a realization of power and influence by young people raised on social media who have come of age in an era of never-ending wars, highly publicized mass shootings and virulent national politics.” Thousands of students walk out of school in nationwide gun violence protest (by Joe Heim, Marissa J. Lang and Susan Svrluga for Washington Post)


“A whistleblower has revealed to the Observer how Cambridge Analytica – a company owned by the hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, and headed at the time by Trump’s key adviser Steve Bannon – used personal information taken without authorisation in early 2014 to build a system that could profile individual US voters, in order to target them with personalised political advertisements.” Revealed: 50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach (by Carole Cadwalladr and Emma Graham-Harrison for The Guardian)

Politically Motivated Murders

“Marielle Franco, 38, was a groundbreaking politician who had become a voice for disadvantaged people in the teeming favelas that are home to almost one-quarter of Rio de Janeiro’s population, where grinding poverty, police brutality and shootouts with drug gangs are routine.” Protests held across Brazil after Rio councillor shot dead (by Dom Phillips for The Guardian)

“Investigators have said the three blasts that killed two people and wounded two others could have been hate crimes since all the victims were black or Hispanic. But they also said they have not ruled out any possible motive. Draylen Mason, 17, was killed and his mother wounded when a package bomb was opened Monday in their kitchen. The teen’s grandfather is Norman Mason, a prominent dentist in east Austin. He was friends with Freddie Dixon, stepfather of 39-year-old Anthony House, who died in a similar attack in another part of the city on March 2, said Nelson Linder, president of the Austin chapter of the NAACP.” Families of 2 Austin package bomb victims knew each other (by Will Weissert and Paul J. Weber for AP)

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