Check Yourself Before You Insurrect Yourself
September 8, 2022
Donald Trump And The Never-Ending Stash Of National Security Documents
The national security drama caused by the raid on former President Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago continues to unfold. Late Tuesday night, the ex-leader of the free world was revealed to have a document describing a foreign government’s military defenses and nuclear capabilities at his Florida residence, lending even more credibility to the concern that Trump might have troves of classified materials hidden elsewhere at the resort.
Alongside the intelligence report on the (as yet unnamed) country, other documents found at Mar-a-Lago include highly classified documents on U.S. operations that even senior security officials are not allowed to know about them, according to sources near the search. Some of the information found was so top-secret that the FBI agents reviewing their Mar-a-Lago haul weren’t even authorized to look at them. Such records are generally stored in secure information facilities, with security officers keeping tight watch over them. Trump’s security measures are unspecified so far.
As the Justice Department continues its criminal probe into Trump’s hoarding of national security papers, U.S. District Court Judge Aileen M. Cannon, a Trump appointee, has approved Trump’s request to appoint a third-party “special master” to weed out documents that may be protected under attorney-client privilege. This process, which the Justice Department usually handles internally, will pause the investigation until the special master is done with their task. To justify her appointment of the special master, Judge Cannon said that “future indictment, based to any degree on property that ought to be returned, would result in reputational harm of a decidedly different order of magnitude” due to Trump’s status as a former president and possible contender in the 2024 election. (WaPo, $)
“There are three classes of men; lovers of wisdom, lovers of honor, and lovers of gain.” – Plato
Dodge Sanctions? Aluminum Can
- Despite multiple waves of international sanctions on Russia following the invasion of Ukraine, the E.U. and U.S. have both increased their imports of Russian industrial metals compared to 2021 during the war, according to a report by Reuters. E.U. imports of Russian aluminum increased by 13% in the March-June period of this year, while U.S. imports of Russian nickel grew by 70% compared to the same period in 2021.
- These increases account for $1.98 billion headed to Russia in exchange for the metals. The news comes as the Russian economy bounces back after being buffeted by sanctions following its invasion of Ukraine – the Russian ruble stabilized last month as oil and other exports helped the country’s economy stabilize even in the face of broad international sanctions.
- While international sanctions hit a variety of Russian industries, they did not target the industrial metal sector. Russian companies are the biggest exporters of both metals, leaving businesses with few other options. Also, at least for the U.S., the next largest exporter of aluminum in the world is China, and the U.S. is very hesitant to get anything from there. (Reuters)
- September 7 is Brazil’s Independence Day, when the country usually holds parades and military demonstrations to celebrate its independence from colonial Portugal. This year, those parades were less celebratory and more partisan thanks to President Jair Bolsonaro.
- On July 23 this year, Bolsonaro gave a speech asking his supporters to “give their lives” for him on Independence Day. “I call on all of you, on September 7, to take to the streets for the last time … All of you here have sworn to give your life for your freedom. Repeat with me: I swear to give my life for freedom,” he said after accepting the Liberal Party’s presidential nomination.
- The speech and parades come as the Brazilian presidential election heats up, with voting day just a month away on October 2. If Bolsonaro’s left-wing rival Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva claims victory at the polls next month, some political experts fear a January 6th-like retaliation from Brazil’s right wing. “Bolsonaro and Trump share the same authoritarian populist playbook,” said one Brazilian political science professor. (CNN)
Additional World News
- Two Iranians sentenced to death, including LGBTQ activist (CNN)
- Europe Is Sacrificing Its Ancient Forests for Energy (NYT, $)
- Rural Indians join rush to study abroad as prospects dim at home (Reuters)
- Nearly 8 million kids lost a parent/primary caregiver to the pandemic (NPR)
- Fire at karaoke parlor in southern Vietnam kills 14 (AP)
- North Korean ammo will stretch Russia’s supply, but with clear limits and drawbacks (NPR)
- Putin casts doubt over Ukraine grain deal and gas for Europe (Reuters)
Some Good News
- Miracle ‘farm dust’ pill could prevent childhood allergies (Guardian)
- Country singer Maren Morris uses Tucker Carlson insult to raise $100K for trans youth (The Hill)
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- This week, Seattle became the latest in a slew of cities with teacher strikes disrupting the school year after the Seattle Education Association, which represents about 6,000 teachers and other school professionals, began a strike on Wednesday morning. The union is working with the school district to reach an agreement “as fast as possible.”
- Washington’s largest district was set to begin the school year Wednesday, but its 50,000 students will have to wait a bit longer as teachers demand better compensation, smaller classes, workload balance, and more support for higher needs students. The district told parents in a statement that it “respects our educators and staff.” (CNN)
Check Yourself Before You Insurrect Yourself
- On Tuesday, a New Mexico judge removed Couy Griffin from his elected role as county commissioner. The Cowboys for Trump founder was found to be in violation of the 14th Amendment due to his participation in the January 6 chaos. He’s also barred from holding any positions in the future, state or federal.
- This is the first time an elected official has been removed from office because they participated in or supported the insurrection, and the first time a judge has formally ruled that the events of January 6, 2021, were an “insurrection.” Griffin is “shocked” that he’s been asked to vacate his office. (CNN)
Additional USA News
- Dr. Oz bought Palm Beach mega-mansion with help of man embroiled in immigration fraud scheme (CBS)
- Eliza Fletcher: Suspect in Memphis teacher’s abduction and death to be arraigned on murder charges today (CNN)
- Post Politics Now: Obamas returning to White House for official portrait unveilings (WaPo, $)
- Tropical storm Earl strengthens into a hurricane (CNN)
- Temperatures smash records in US west as brutal heatwave continues (Guardian)
- Trump-backed Diehl to take on Healey in Mass. governor race (AP)
- Teens were sent to Wyoming ranches for therapy. They say they found a nightmare of hard labor and humiliation. (NBC)
The TikTok Generation — Of Teachers
- The hashtags #teacher and #teachersoftiktok are hot topics on TikTok, with both garnering a combined 72.1 billion views on the platform. While some of the videos under these tags are just teachers talking about their work, many other videos are shot in the classroom, showing off students or their schoolwork.
- These videos are largely harmless and fun on the surface, but they do raise some ethical questions – should teachers be able to share their students’ lives with the internet? Did their parents consent to the teacher posting the videos? Does this count as twenty-first-century child labor?
- Many TikTok teachers face backlash when viewers find out where they work, with one school district bringing a teacher into disciplinary meetings for her videos. While there are obvious downsides to taking videos of students to post online, some teachers have found them to be a useful tool for engaging with students. One teacher struggled with talking to her screen during remote learning, which often felt “like staring at a blank wall.” When she began posting TikToks of some interactions, her fame-hungry students became more excited to come to class and speak up. (Wired)
- Mathias Dopfner has a ‘contrarian’ plan for Politico and global media (WaPo, $)
- Here’s why it’s taking NASA so long to attempt another Artemis I launch (CNN)
- Genealogy technology identifies killer of Michigan woman missing for 33 years (ABC)
- Why Brendan Fraser’s Hollywood comeback story is both warming hearts and raising ire (NPR)
- Runaway chimpanzee returned to Ukrainian zoo on a bike (WaPo, $)
- Sue Bird’s career ends as Las Vegas Aces quell Seattle to reach WNBA finals (Guardian)
- A 225 million-year-old mammal is the oldest ever identified (CNN)
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