Richard W. Painter and Norman L. Eisen: Reports that President Trump ordered the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, to bring about the firing of the special counsel Robert Mueller last June are deeply troubling -- not only as evidence of what the president has already done, but what he may yet do to obstruct justice and undermine the rule of law. ... It is critically important that Congress act now to pass legislation protecting the special counsel from being fired before his investigation and the ensuing prosecutions are concluded. read more
Matthew Yglesias, Vox: President Donald Trump's first non-Fox television interview in a long time, conducted with CNBC's Joe Kernen from Davos, Switzerland, is in many respects weirdly devoid of substance. And much of the substance that's there consists of misstatements of fact. But lurking in that is an important insight: Trump is holding the office of president, but he's not doing the job of president. He seems to have no real idea what's going on, even with his own signature policy moves. read more
"The scene is the gym of Evanston Township High School, in Evanston, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. The Evanston, uhh, Wildkits are down 44-42 to the visiting Hawks of Maine South, with seconds on the game clock and Maine South at the free throw line. Have a look at this craziness:" -- Deadspin read more
On Jan. 12, a few days after registration opened at Yale for Psyc 157, "Psychology and the Good Life," roughly 300 people had signed up. Within three days, the figure had more than doubled. After three more days, about 1,200 students, or nearly one-fourth of Yale undergraduates, were enrolled. The course, taught by Prof. Laurie Santos, 42, a psychology professor and the head of one of Yale's residential colleges, tries to teach students how to lead a happier, more satisfying life in twice-weekly lectures. read more
Russian-linked Twitter bots shared Donald Trump's tweets almost half a million times during the final months of the 2016 election, Twitter Inc. said in a submission to Congress. The automated accounts retweeted the Republican candidate's @realDonaldTrump posts almost 470,000 times, accounting for just more than 4 percent of the re-tweets he received from Sept. 1 to Nov. 15, 2016. Hillary Clinton's account got less than 50,000 retweets by the Russian-linked automated accounts during the same period of time, the company said in documents posted Friday by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
GOP Missouri Senate candidate Courtland Sykes dished up some enlightening comments about women's rights this week, saying he expects "a home-cooked dinner every night at 6" and opposes "nail-biting manophobic hell-bent feminist she-devils." Sykes, 37, who bills himself as a Trump-style populist and "constitutional conservative," aims to face off against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in November. Sykes said he doesn't "buy into radical feminism's crazed definition of modern womanhood" and claimed feminists "made it up to suit their own nasty, snake-filled heads." As for those home-cooked dinners, Sykes said he expects to have daughters one day who will serve these meals as they "become traditional homemakers and family wives -- think Norman Rockwell here and Gloria Steinem be damned."
Kentucky Fried Chicken has yet another new face donning the iconic persona of Colonel Sanders. This time, the restaurant chain is using country music star Reba McEntire. She will be the first female to take the revolving role, CBS News reported. In the new ad, McEntire also has a cameo as herself after teasing that there's no resemblance to a famous singer before finally singing "I swear I'm not a famous woman." McEntire is being used to promote KFC's new Smoky Mountain BBQ fried chicken. She is following in the footsteps of Rob Lowe, George Hamilton, Darrell Hammond and Jim Gaffigan who have also helped introduce new types of chicken, Entertainment Weekly reported. "We picked Reba McEntire because she is a perfect fit for KFC and Smoky Mountain BBQ. She embodies the qualities of the colonel with her showmanship and entrepreneurial spirit," KFC Chief Marketing Officer Andrea Zahumensky told USAToday. read more
President Trump was booed Friday when he called the news media "vicious," "mean" and "fake" during a brief question-and-answer session following his pro-America speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The president, who as a New York businessman was long a mainstay of the city's tabloids, said that over his career he's gotten a "disproportionate" amount of press. Yet it wasn't until he got into politics, he said, that he saw "how nasty, how mean, how vicious and how fake the press can be." The comment sparked a smattering of boos and hisses from the crowd, which included world leaders, heads of global companies, intellectuals and foreign media. While such anti-media remarks are familiar to Americans, Trump's attack was extraordinary for being made before an international audience, given that U.S. presidents historically have been global clarions for a free press.
A senior adviser to Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign who was accused of repeatedly sexually harassing a young subordinate was kept on the campaign at Clinton's request, according to four people familiar with what took place. Clinton's campaign manager at the time recommended that she fire the adviser, Burns Strider. But Clinton did not. Instead, Strider was docked several weeks of pay and ordered to undergo counseling, and the young woman was moved to a new job. read more
Far from backing Trump, Manhattan was one of the most heavily pro-Hillary Clinton counties in the country in 2016, supporting her by a 77-point margin. (In his home county, Trump won only 9.7 percent of the vote; for every 2.6 votes he got, a third-party candidate got one.) We don't hear much about how Manhattanites have responded to the first year of Trump's presidency, though, despite how much we've heard about how regions central to Trump's candidacy are still home to people who stand by their choice. There are a lot of reasons for not focusing on the views of people in Manhattan, including that the city is not without a voice in the media and that how it voted was not particularly surprising (compared to the fervent support Trump enjoyed in the Rust Belt). read more
The Saphir, a French nuclear attack submarine, reportedly penetrated the defenses of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and scored simulated torpedo hits on her. The incident, originally reported by the French Navy, was later suppressed. ... According to U.S. Naval Institute News, Carrier Strike Group 12 (CSG 12) departed Naval Station Norfolk and Naval Station Mayport on March 5 for a Middle East deployment. CSG 12 included the carrier Roosevelt, the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Normandy and Arleigh Burke class destroyers Winston S. Churchill, Forrest Sherman, and Farragut from Destroyer Squadron 2 provided escort. read more
A snake owner was killed by an 8-foot pet python he called his "baby," an inquest has heard. Daniel Brandon, 31, died from asphyxiation at his home near Basingstoke, Hampshire, on August 25. One of the pets -- a female African rock python named Tiny -- was found near his body, out of its pen. Coroner Andrew Bradley said there was no doubt Brandon died "as a result of contact with Tiny" and he recorded a verdict of misadventure. Brandon had kept snakes for 16 years and Tiny was one of 10 snakes and 12 tarantulas he kept in his room at the family home, North Hampshire Coroner's Court heard.
Prior to receiving notice from Gizmodo this morning, [Kansas Secretary of State] Kris Kobach's office was leaking sensitive information belonging to thousands of state employees, including himself and nearly every member of the Kansas state legislature. Along with a bevy of personal information contained in documents that, according to a statement on the website, was intended to be public, the Kansas Secretary of State's website left exposed the last four digits of Social Security numbers belonging to numerous current and former candidates for office, as well as thousands -- potentially tens of thousands -- of high-ranking state employees at virtually ever Kansas government agency.