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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Ellis (R) has resigned following a sexual assault accusation. Ellis announced his decision, which is effective immediately, in a brief letter submitted to the Pennsylvania House Speaker on Monday, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. The woman said in the complaint that she woke up in Ellis's bed naked and in pain in October 2015 after going to a bar with friends. The woman stated that she had fewer than two drinks, but later "was in a state of blackout." The woman, who works in state government but remains unidentified, said Ellis told her they had sex. The Inquirer, citing the complaint, reported that the woman believes she was raped.


The two-decade-long relationship between Deutsche Bank and Donald Trump has been rocky and clearly beneficial only to Trump, the New York Times detailed Monday night. One branch of the giant German bank after another stopped doing business with Trump, after loan defaults, creative litigation, and other red flags and hiccups. ... Trump told Deutsche Bank his net worth was about $3 billion, but when bank employees reviewed his finances, they concluded he was worth about $788 million, according to documents produced during a lawsuit Trump brought against the former New York Times journalist Timothy O'Brien. And a senior investment-banking executive said in an interview that he and others cautioned that Trump should be avoided because he had worked with people in the construction industry connected to organized crime. -- The Week


Peter Wehner, The Atlantic: It doesn't take a person with an advanced degree in psychology to see [Donald] Trump's narcissism and lack of empathy, his vindictiveness and pathological lying, his impulsivity and callousness, his inability to be guided by norms, or his shamelessness and dehumanization of those who do not abide his wishes. His condition is getting worse, not better -- and there are now fewer people in the administration able to contain the president and act as a check on his worst impulses. This constellation of characteristics would be worrisome in a banker or a high-school teacher, in an aircraft machinist or a warehouse manager, in a gas-station attendant or a truck driver. To have them define the personality of an American president is downright alarming.


Priorities. The Department of Homeland Security didn't keep meticulous records of families they had separated at the border, leading to problems reuniting stolen children with their parents. Yet the Trump administration did keep an incredibly creepy database of pregnant teenage girls' last menstrual cycles and the gestational ages of their fetuses, according to a report over the weekend from Rachel Maddow -- a likely effort to be able to block abortions should these girls have requested them while in custody. According to Maddow's report, the Office of Refugee Resettlement -- which was at the time led by anti-abortion zealot Scott Lloyd -- tracked menstrual cycles and gestational ages of refugees in custody who were between the ages of 12 and 17. The data was tracked in a 28-page-long spreadsheet, which contained information of whether the pregnancy was the product of consensual sex or sexual abuse, and whether or not the girls had asked for an abortion.


Monday, March 18, 2019

The GOP, a party with a hard-earned reputation for prejudice of every stripe, decided to break out an old-school form of bigotry for St. Patrick's Day -- anti-Irish animus. read more


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