Topics and articles chosen with care. Linked articles in bold purple
◆ Today in Trump Turmoil
The Mueller appointment has been widely applauded. The only exceptions, and they are few, are not to the person selected but to the idea of appointing a special counsel (Dan Henninger of the WSJ) or the fact that Mueller is formally under the authority of the DOJ (Nancy Pelosi). The latter point is loony. If anyone holds a whip hand, it is Mueller. If he resigns over any interference, it’s Archie Cox redux and a Constitutional Crisis.
In the short term, this lowers the temperature. Anybody who faces legal jeopardy will avoid testifying to Congress while Mueller is on the case. That leaves the stage to Comey, who wants to testify and take his revenge in public for the shabby way he was treated.
There are three larger concerns for us citizens. We need to know
- We need to know the scale of Russia’s intervention in our 2016 election
- We need to know about Russia’s connections, if any, with the Trump campaign
- We need an expeditious investigation. It should not drag on for years. And it should not go off on tangents like the infamous Patrick Fitzgerald investigation.
◆ Today in over-reaction: Talk about impeachment is not only premature, it shows a cavalier disregard for the gravity of overturning a democratic election. That should only be done if there is strong evidence of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
It should never be done for lesser reasons: because you think Pence would be a more stable and reasonable leader, because you think Democrats would do a better job, or because you have deep (and sincere) questions about Trump’s policies or personality. He was elected President of the United States for a four-year term. Unless he committed a serious crime to win that election or has committed one since then (such as obstructing justice), or has a debilitating illness, then we live with the voters’ choice in 2016.
If large numbers of Trump supporters think he is being hounded out of office, overturning the election results, there will be hell to pay.
Short of that, the Democrats want to overturn control in both Houses in 2018. Undermining Trump and blocking Republican policies are crucial stepping stones to that goal.
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◆ Antarctica “starting to turn green,” reports a New Zealand paper (New Zealand Herald)
Researchers in Antarctica have discovered rapidly growing banks of mosses on the ice continent’s northern peninsula, providing striking evidence of climate change in the coldest and most remote parts of the planet.
Amid the warming of the past 50 years, the scientists found two species of moss undergoing the equivalent of growth spurts, with mosses that once grew less than 1mm a year, now growing more than 3mm a year on average. . . .
The moss growth is still modest compared to what’s happening in the Arctic, where a large-scale greening trend has even been captured by satellite. There’s so much plant growth there that scientists hope it will at least partially offset the loss of carbon from thawing permafrost beneath those plants. –New Zealand Herald
◆ Trey Gowdy keeps rising. Likely to head House Oversight Committee after Jason Chaffetz leaves Congress this summer. (Politico)
Comment: One tough investigator. One tough cross-examiner.
◆ Biomedical innovation–this one on diabetes
The body-location of the transplant is particularly promising:
By using the omentum, a fatty membrane in the belly, as the transplant site, the researchers were able to avoid complications associated with the traditionally used site, the liver.
The longterm goal of the research is to identify a suitable location for a pancreas-mimicking mini-organ called the BioHub.
Based on this patient’s response, the omentum is looking like it just may be the ideal spot. –Science Alert
♥ Hat Tip for helpful suggestions:
◆ Michael Lipson for the Antarctica story