Wednesday Night #1846

Written by  //  July 26, 2017  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

We never thought that one of the major news items for a Wednesday Night would be one that dealt with Boy Scouts of America, but like so many events over the past months, we have been surprised once again.

The Atlantic’s daily round-up  refers to the disgusting display by DJT at the Boy Scout Jamboree:
Investigation Station: As the Justice Department’s Russian-interference probe heats up, President Trump may be close to firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller to stop it—and that might be a politically expedient move. Meanwhile, Trump continued his criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Twitter in an apparent attempt to force Sessions to resign. That’s surprising in light of Sessions’ long-time support for Trump—but the president’s comments Monday night at the Boy Scout Jamboree shined (sic) a light on his contradictory views on loyalty.
As many of you know, we have a close connection with Scouts Canada. Said connection reacted to the news of the Trump speech: “ I hung my head in shame as Trump spoke. I felt horrible for those young Scouts to have to be polite and clap. Interesting fact; Scouts Canada and Mexico will cohost the next World Jamboree because the US’ don’t qualify as World Scouts organization because they are exclusive (no girls). But it will be at US BSA site, so if Trump is still in office he will be one of the VIPs. Proud that Scouts Canada is non-partisan. Our Patron is the GG – pretty excited to have Julie Payette as our next patron. “

Health Care:
We are now very confused about who is voting on what, where and when.
UPDATES Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare 2017

The Senate voted narrowly to start debate on a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the first step toward passing legislation that many had considered certain to fail. Senator John McCain, who returned from his home state of Arizona for the vote after being diagnosed with brain cancer, cast one of the key votes to proceed (David Frum was not impressed)—and then delivered a passionate critique of the hyperpartisanship exhibited by the GOP’s push for the bill.
The New Yorker’s  John Cassidy does a good job of sorting  out the facts in The Senate Health-Care Vote and John McCain’s Tragic Contradictions

The Russia Connection
Many thanks to Catherine Gillbert for Married to the mob a fascinating look at money laundering in the Trump world.
Which brings us to THE numerous inquiries into the Trump family and campaign connections to assorted (or ill-assorted) Russians. Almost as confusing as the political gymnastics over healthcare. What is clear is that Donald Trump is really, really unhappy with his “beleaguered AG” (when did he learn that big word?) and wants Jeff Sessions gone. If you think that is a good idea, consider that the rumored replacement is Rudy Giuliani, but then again, maybe not, as it seems Rudy has told CNN that Sessions “made the right decision under the rules of the Justice Department” in recusing himself from the investigation.
Ryan Lizza tackles How Jared Kushner Helped the Russians Get Inside Access to the Trump Campaign. The investigation is almost as confusing as the healthcare vote. Young Jared met on Monday with the Senate Intelligence Committee. On Tuesday, he had a date the with House Intelligence Committee. He has not impressed Slate’s William Saletan who believes that “Kushner, like Don Jr. and the rest of the Trump family and its enablers, is blind to moral significance.” (Jared Kushner’s Deafening SilenceThe president’s son-in-law claims he likes to stay out of the spotlight. That’s because he’s always hiding something.)
Former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, met with investigators from the Senate Intelligence Committee. And the Senate Judiciary committee issued a subpoena for him to appear at a hearing on Wednesday.
And while all that is going on, rumors are rife that Rex Tillerson is chafing over at State as he discovers that being The Donald’s SecState is not exactly like being boss of Exxon. What is unbelievable is that Mr. Tillerson is taking some time off (after six months in the job? Hillary must be having a bit of a chortle over that).

The New York Times helpfully has “scoured the internet for the best political writing from the right and left on Mr. Sessions, Jared Kushner and other names in the news this week.”
On the topic of political writing, Thomas Frank of The Guardian makes the case that The media’s war on Trump is destined to fail. Why can’t it see that?. He argues that “The news media’s alarms about Trump have been shrieking at high C for more than a year. … It hasn’t worked. They correct and denounce; they cluck and deride and Trump seems to bask in it. He reflects this incredible outpouring of disapprobation right back at the press itself. The old “liberal bias” critique, a minor deity in the pantheon of Republican paranoia since the days of Trump’s hero Richard Nixon, has been elevated to first place. Trump and company now use it to explain everything. And the news media’s reputation sinks lower and lower as they advance into their golden age.”

But for really bad news, see Snopes Faces an Ugly Legal Battle The internet’s favorite fact-checkers are caught in a messy dispute This is terrible news; we have relied on Snopes for years.

We have not raised the issue of the $10+M payment to Omar Khadr , nor that of Peter Kent & Michelle Rempel airing their views in US conservative media. We agree with Evan Solomon writing in Maclean’s – or at least the headline – Omar Khadr: a political inkblot test  Our only suggestion (and we know that others have also put this forward) is that Khadr would be much more likeable if he donated some of the settlement to the widow and injured American soldier.

Management theories always interest and sometimes entertain us with the outstanding obviousness of the conclusions arrived at after months/years of study. One of the more recent is Google Spent 2 Years Studying 180 Teams.
Insights from Google’s new study could forever change how teams are assembled.
We are sure that you will be shocked, shocked, that they found that The Most Successful Ones Shared These 5 Traits
Dependability. Team members get things done on time and meet expectations.
Structure and clarity. High-performing teams have clear goals, and have well-defined roles within the group.
Meaning. The work has personal significance to each member.
Impact. The group believes their work is purposeful and positively impacts the greater good.
Psychological Safety. This is not immediately obvious, but makes complete sense once it is defined.

Not a lot of good news stories this past week, but here is one: Afghan Girls Robotics Team  – What The Saga of the Afghanistan Girls Robotics Team Can Teach Us About Girls Education Worldwide

We also recommend the profile of Angela Merkel in Vogue, How Angela Merkel Became the Most Powerful Woman in the World  Admittedly an unlikely pairing, but it’s a good read.

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