Washington is leaking bigly

Leaking information to the press is a long-standing Washington practice. It is the means by which trial balloons are floated, agendas are pushed, and careers are advanced and demolished. The response as to whether leaks are a good thing or a bad thing is usually a partisan one depending on who is doing the leaking and who the targets of the leaks are, rather than on broad general principles of whether the leaks are in the public interest. What is unusual is such a high level of leaks so early in an administration.
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Well, that was awkward

Just before the Federation Cup tennis match played between the US and Germany in Hawaii, the version of the German national anthem associated with the Nazis was sung, instead of the current version.

A male soloist at the match on the Hawaiian island of Maui sang the verse beginning with the lines “Deutschland, Deutschland uber alles, uber alles in der Welt”, which translates as “Germany, Germany, above all, above all in the world”.

Although the words were written long before the Nazis ruled Germany, they became closely identified with Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich in the period before and during the second world war.

The offending verse, which traditionally began the anthem, is now considered anachronistic.

The third verse of the 19th century Deutschlandlied, the words of which were written in 1841, is the only one performed in modern-day Germany and is officially classed as the national anthem.

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Trump is already bored and frustrated with his job

The Trump administration has its first casualty with his National Security Advisor Michael Flynn being forced to resign amidst charges that he lied about his conversations with the Russian ambassador. He must be feeling pretty aggrieved since his boss lies brazenly and repeatedly and he must have thought that it was ok for him to follow his lead. What is extraordinary is the flood of news leaks leading up the resignation that, to me at least, suggested that leaks have become the weapons of choice in the Trump administration’s bureaucratic warfare. Robert Mackey says that the leaks by current and former intelligence officials are also aimed at Trump himself and that he is finding it increasingly irksome.
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Trump vs. Truth

John Oliver dissects Donald Trump’s lies and the sources of those lies. Don’t omit to watch at the 21:00 minute mark where Oliver produces a series of ads to be actually aired on the cable news shows that Trump watches, where the actor in a pseudo-commercial provides Trump with accurate information.

Transgender spotlight

The ACLU of Ohio has come up with a set of videos where members of the transgender and gender non-conforming community tell their own stories. They have also provided a page that lists resources that are available. It says that there are “approximately 1.4 million transgender adults in the United States, but only 22% of Americans say they know someone who is transgender, compared to nearly 90% who know someone who is lesbian, gay or bisexual.”
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Saturday Night Live goes full Trump

It looks like Saturday Night Live has decided to portray as many male members of the Trump administration as possible with women, knowing that this gets under Trump’s skin. In addition to Melissa McCarthy reprising her role as press secretary Sean Spicer, yesterday saw Kate McKinnon as Jeff Sessions. Can Rosie O”Donnell as Steve Bannon be far behind?
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Trump losses pile up

Josh Marshall writes that in the past week Donald Trump has had to stomach three reversals, something he hates to acknowledge. One is of course the defeat that was handed to him by the Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal over his immigration Executive Orders. After tweeting his defiance suggesting that he would appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court, now there are suggestions that he might issue new orders instead.
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