Sunday Morning Coffee, 20 January 2019

What I read while having my coffee this morning:

Over at Emptywheel, Marcy Wheeler lays out the reasons why Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel Office pushed back on the BuzzFeed story claiming that Donald Trump directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress.  It boils down to a need to rehabilitate Cohen’s credibility in the event Mueller calls him as a trial witness and to protect the Mueller team’s reputation as a tightly-run ship that doesn’t leak.  If you want to keep up with developments in the Mueller investigation, by the way, you should read this website daily.

“Boys in ‘Make America Great Again’ Hats Mob Native Elder at Indigenous People’s March” reads the headline in the New York Times.  On a field trip from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky to participate in the March for Life yesterday, these thugs surrounded and mocked the man, a Vietnam War veteran, screaming “Build that wall!”at him while he played a ceremonial song.  In the video you can see many of them making fun of him while one punk stood in front of him smirking.  We’ve seen this look before, as Ruth Graham points outat Slate, and it’s yet another example of Christians completely ignoring the core teachings of their faith.  Or maybe these boys are just from families who don’t want their kids in desegregated public schools.

Perhaps in an effort to distract the media from yesterday’s Women’s March, Donald Trump offered temporary relief for Dreamers and other limited immigration changes in return for the $5.7 billion he wants to build a border wall.  This pleased no one, including Ann Coulter, who whined that conservatives “…voted for Trump and got Jeb!”  Of course, Trump is worried enough about what Coulter and other immigration hardliners thinkthat he felt the need to respond on Twitter.  I spend a good bit of time trying to figure out how conservatives think, and I’m frankly wondering how this works for them.  They complain constantly about ineffective government but think it can successfully complete a massive project like a thousand-mile long wall. They whine every day about government spending, deficits, and debt but happily advocate borrowing tens of billions of dollars for a wall that won’t solve the problem anyway.  And they prioritize property rights over community needs but don’t seem to mind that a border wall project on Trump’s scale would require confiscation of private land in the millions of acres.  Could it be racism all the way down?

On a somewhat lighter note, at least one Harvard scientist seems to think an object first spotted by University of Hawai’i astronomers could be an interstellar probe sent from another galaxy.  If so, whoever is behind it must have started the project quite a long time ago.  Since we’ve launched a few of these ourselves, it’s hardly beyond imagination.  Wonder what our interstellar counterparts will think as they watch Voyager 1 fly by?

And finally, today is the penultimate week of National Football League play.  If I were in Las Vegas (or Virginia had already legalized sports betting) I’d take the Chiefs giving up threeand the Rams getting three and a half points.  And the over on both.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

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