Trump fires intelligence community watchdog who flagged Ukraine whistleblower complaint

It’s just unbelievable how much this guy gets away with. While all the news is paying attention to the pandemic, he fires the inspector general.

President Trump has fired the inspector general for the intelligence community, saying he “no longer” has confidence in the key government watchdog.

Michael Atkinson, who had served as the intelligence community inspector general since May 2018, was the first to alert Congress last year of an “urgent” whistleblower complaint he obtained from an intelligence official regarding Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. His firing will take effect 30 days from Friday, the day Trump sent a notice informing Congress of Atkinson’s dismissal.

“This is to advise that I am exercising my power as President to remove from office the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, effective 30 days from today,” Trump wrote to the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Intelligence committees in a letter obtained by The Hill.

Dr Fauci: security reportedly expanded as infectious disease expert faces threats

Fauci has been walking the tightrope fairly well in my opinion. It’s obvious that he’s one of the few grown ups left in this administration and he’s doing everything he can to try to rein Trump’s more ludicrous comments in a measured way as to not just get fired and be replaced by Gary Busey. But to Trump’s cult base, if you’re not sucking orange ass, you should fear for your life.

Security for Dr Anthony Fauci, the 79-year-old infectious disease expert who has become a calm, reassuring foil to Donald Trump at coronavirus briefings, has been expanded, according to multiple reports.

While Fauci’s straight talk and willingness to gently correct the president’s outrageous exaggerations has drawn admiration from late-night talkshow hosts, professional basketball players and doughnut shop owners alike, the doctor has received threats and unwelcome communications from both critics and fervent admirers. The Washington Post first reported the news.

At a coronavirus taskforce briefing at the White House on Wednesday, Fauci declined to comment on whether he was receiving security protection, deferring to the health department’s inspector general.
Advertisement

Trump interjected, saying that Fauci “doesn’t need security, everybody loves him”. If anyone were to attack Fauci, Trump added, “they’d be in big trouble”, touting the disease expert’s high school athletic career.

“He was a great basketball player, did anybody know that?” Trump said. “He was a little on the short side for the NBA but he was talented.” As basketball captain at Regis high school in 1958, Fauci had helped lead the team to an unlikely victory.

Books I Read in March

Ok, my reading for the year has been abysmal. But, in my defense, this has been one abysmal year so far. So, I read this one:

The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson. So, it got off to a rocky start. It’s a new release and somehow I received the ebook version from my library right away. Score. I read about 60% of it (page numbers have no meaning with ebooks, do they?) very quickly. I was really into it. So much that I decided to return a different book I was not into on my Kindle. And, you know how sometimes the Kindle can take a while to change icons….. So I returned the wrong book. Which pissed me off to no end because since it was a new book, I would have to go back to the end of a very long line to get it (like 114 people long line). I could have just bought it but I was over the halfway point and irritated that I did something so stupid. Luckily, my library has networks with smaller libraries so I found one with less demand.

Oh, the book? It’s a fine book. I’m always in for a Battle of Britain/Churchill story. I found the parts about his relatives to be less interesting and my eyes went into skim mode for those.

Let’s see if I can actually concentrate a bit more in April to fill out these posts with more than a title or two.

What have you been reading?

How to Spend 42 Days Stuck in Your Room

From Lithub:

A Journey Around My Room was written in 1790 by a young French officer named Xavier de Maistre, who had found himself in some trouble over a duel (illegal) and was sentenced to house arrest. (I read it in a translation by Andrew Brown). In the centuries before ankle-monitoring bracelets and the like, the authorities relied on the honor of young noblemen to fulfill their sentences after they had misbehaved. De Maistre, then 27, was a man of honor and did, indeed, stay inside his Turin room for the full 42 days the court had ordered. With nothing else to do, he wrote a guidebook to his room, visiting over the course of those weeks various bits of furniture, paintings, his bookshelf, letters he’d kept, and his own memory of a charming and slightly rakish life—albeit one studded with war and loss as well.

De Maistre makes a case for traveling around his room as the truest kind of travel—and also the most democratic type of travel that has or will ever exist:

The pleasure you find in traveling around your room is safe from the restless jealousy of men; it is independent of the fickleness of fortune. After all, is there any person so unhappy, so abandoned, that he doesn’t have a little den into which he can withdraw and hide away from everyone? Nothing more elaborate is needed for the journey.