Scott Pruitt Has Become Ridiculous ~ NYT

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Credit Illustration by Mike McQuade; Photograph by Tom Brenner/The New York Times

Despite stiff competition, Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, is by common consensus the worst of the ideologues and mediocrities President Trump chose to populate his cabinet. Policies aside — and they’re terrible, from an environmental perspective — Mr. Pruitt’s self-aggrandizing and borderline thuggish behavior has disgraced his office and demoralized his employees. We opposed his nomination because he had spent his career as attorney general of Oklahoma suing the federal department he was being asked to lead on behalf of industries he was being asked to regulate. As it turns out, Mr. Pruitt is not just an industry lap dog but also an arrogant and vengeful bully and small-time grifter, bent on chiseling the taxpayer to suit his lifestyle and warm his ego.

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Watergate Lawyer Richard Ben- Veniste: Trump Is Going Full Nixon on Mueller

Like his predecessor, Trump appears eager to fire the man investigating the White House—and he seems one false move away from following through.

A 1973 political cartoon by Jean-Claude Suares depicts a huge reel of audio tape crashing into the White House.
A 1973 political cartoon by Jean-Claude Suares depicts a huge reel of audio tape crashing into the White House.Corbis Historical / Getty Images

He Was a Crook ~ HST ~ RollingStone/Atlantic

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MEMO FROM THE NATIONAL AFFAIRS DESK

DATE: MAY 1, 1994
FROM: DR. HUNTER S. THOMPSON
SUBJECT: THE DEATH OF RICHARD NIXON: NOTES ON THE PASSING OF AN AMERICAN MONSTER…. HE WAS A LIAR AND A QUITTER, AND HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN BURIED AT SEA…. BUT HE WAS, AFTER ALL, THE PRESIDENT.

“And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.”
—Revelation 18:2

Richard Nixon is gone now, and I am poorer for it. He was the real thing — a political monster straight out of Grendel and a very dangerous enemy. He could shake your hand and stab you in the back at the same time. He lied to his friends and betrayed the trust of his family. Not even Gerald Ford, the unhappy ex-president who pardoned Nixon and kept him out of prison, was immune to the evil fallout. Ford, who believes strongly in Heaven and Hell, has told more than one of his celebrity golf partners that “I know I will go to hell, because I pardoned Richard Nixon.”

I have had my own bloody relationship with Nixon for many years, but I am not worried about it landing me in hell with him. I have already been there with that bastard, and I am a better person for it. Nixon had the unique ability to make his enemies seem honorable, and we developed a keen sense of fraternity. Some of my best friends have hated Nixon all their lives. My mother hates Nixon, my son hates Nixon, I hate Nixon, and this hatred has brought us together.

Nixon laughed when I told him this. “Don’t worry,” he said, “I, too, am a family man, and we feel the same way about you.”

It was Richard Nixon who got me into politics, and now that he’s gone, I feel lonely. He was a giant in his way. As long as Nixon was politically alive — and he was, all the way to the end — we could always be sure of finding the enemy on the Low Road. There was no need to look anywhere else for the evil bastard. He had the fighting instincts of a badger trapped by hounds. The badger will roll over on its back and emit a smell of death, which confuses the dogs and lures them in for the traditional ripping and tearing action. But it is usually the badger who does the ripping and tearing. It is a beast that fights best on its back: rolling under the throat of the enemy and seizing it by the head with all four claws.

That was Nixon’s style — and if you forgot, he would kill you as a lesson to the others. Badgers don’t fight fair, bubba. That’s why God made dachshunds.

These come in at least two styles, however, and Nixon’s immediate family strongly opposed both of them. In the traditionalist style, the dead president’s body would be wrapped and sewn loosely in canvas sailcloth and dumped off the stern of a frigate at least 100 miles off the coast and at least 1,000 miles south of San Diego, so the corpse could never wash up on American soil in any recognizable form.

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Christoph Niemann’s “Trompe-l’Oeil” ~ The New Yorker

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Christoph Niemann’s “Trompe-l’Oeil”

German magazine Der Spiegel shows Trump as devolved man in ‘March of Progress’ spoof

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The German magazine Der Spiegel mocked President Trump on its latest cover this week, depicting the president as a devolved man.

The magazine shared the latest cover in a tweet on Saturday. Beneath the illustration is the subtitle “In the age of Fire and Fury,” a reference to journalist Michael Wolff’s book on the Trump administration, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”

n the image, Trump is depicted last in a line of devolving humans, a spoof of the scientific illustration “March of Progress.”

Der Spiegel’s cover comes just two days after Trump caused international outrage when it was reported that he referred to Haiti, El Salvador and several African nations as “shithole countries” during a meeting with lawmakers.

The liberal German magazine has attacked Trump before, including in August of last year when it depicted Trump wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood in response to the president’s comments on white nationalist violence in Charlottesville, Va.

Deputy foreign desk editor Mathieu von Rohr posted an image of August’s cover on Twitter at the time, which was titled “the true face of Donald Trump” in German. The same editor dubbed Trump’s White House a “Confederate presidency” in an earlier tweet.

new cover of New York Magazine

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New York Magazine is taking a harsh swipe at President Trump with its new cover depicting the president as a pig.

The April 2 issue of the magazine features a close-up photo of Trump with a pig’s snout replacing his nose.

“Not Collusion… Not Incompetence… Not Cruelty… It’s the Corruption, Stupid,” the headline reads. “Why His Self-Dealing is His Biggest Political Liability.”

March for Our Lives as Students Protest Guns

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Tens of thousands of protesters, outraged by a recent massacre at a South Florida school and energized by the students who survived, are thronging streets across the globe in public protests on Saturday, demanding action against gun violence in their most ambitious show of force yet.

In New York, marchers bundled in bright orange — the official color of a gun control advocacy group — charged toward Central Park. In Washington, protesters held signs with the messages “Arms Are for Hugging” and Never Again.” And in Parkland, Fla., less than a mile from where the shooting took place, one protester’s eyes brimmed with tears, surrounded by the echoing chant, “Enough is enough!”

By late morning, counterprotests were also gaining steam. In Salt Lake City, demonstrators carried pistols, flags and toddlers swaddled in blankets. One of their signs read: “What can we do to stop mass shootings? SHOOT BACK.” In Boston, opposing groups of protesters shouted at one another before the police intervened.

Here’s what we’re watching as protests unfurl around the globe:

• More than 800 protests are planned in every American state and on every continent except for Antarctica, according to a website set up by organizers. Here’s a map of planned protests.

• The National Park Service has approved a permit for the Washington march that estimates 500,000 people could attend. Called March for Our Lives, the main event there kicks off around midday, and some of the most prominent student activists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where a shooting left 17 dead last month, will speak.

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Yes, John Bolton Really Is That Dangerous ~ Washington Post Op/Ed

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The good thing about John Bolton, President Trump’s new national security adviser, is that he says what he thinks.

The bad thing is what he thinks.

There are few people more likely than Mr. Bolton is to lead the country into war. His selection is a decision that is as alarming as any Mr. Trump has made. His selection, along with the nomination of the hard-line C.I.A. director, Mike Pompeo, as secretary of state, shows the degree to which Mr. Trump is indulging his worst nationalistic instincts.

Mr. Bolton, in particular, believes the United States can do what it wants without regard to international law, treaties or the political commitments of previous administrations.

He has argued for attacking North Korea to neutralize the threat of its nuclear weapons, which could set off a horrific war costing tens of thousands of lives. At the same time, he has disparaged diplomatic efforts, including the talks planned in late May between Mr. Trump and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. He not only wants to abrogate the six-party deal that, since 2015, has significantly limited Iran’s nuclear program; he has called for bombing Iran instead. He has also maligned the United Nations and other multilateral conventions, as Mr. Trump has done, favoring unilateral solutions.

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