Donald Trump’s Outrageous Reading of Executive Privilege Can’t Save Steve Bannon

Steve Bannon believes that he can defy a congressional subpoena because Donald Trump told him so. That, at least, is what Bannon’s lawyer Robert Costello told the House select committee investigating the events of January 6th, in a letter saying that Trump had instructed Bannon and others not to testify, citing a vague claim of executive privilege. The committee, understandably, disagrees. Bannon, Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman and sometime White House strategist, was closely involved in the planning of Trump’s Save America rally, which preceded the march and assault on the Capitol.

Read original

Colin Powell’s Fateful Moment

It’s a terrible paradox in the life of Colin Powell, who died Monday, that the most important moment of his celebrated career came not when he led troops under fire in Vietnam, or when he orchestrated the successful expulsion of Iraqi invaders from Kuwait in 1991, or when he became the nation’s first African American national-security adviser and Secretary of State.

Read original

Colin Powell’s Fateful Moment

It’s a terrible paradox in the life of Colin Powell, who died Monday, that the most important moment of his celebrated career came not when he led troops under fire in Vietnam, or when he orchestrated the successful expulsion of Iraqi invaders from Kuwait in 1991, or when he became the nation’s first African American national-security adviser and Secretary of State.

Read original

Joe Biden’s Afghanistan Problem

When President Joe Biden announced in the spring that he planned to pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan, it appeared to be a politically deft decision from an Administration rapidly replacing the chaos of the Trump years with competence. The nearly twenty-year war had long faded from American headlines and consciousness. Voters on the left and the right were eager to end a largely forgotten conflict that Biden’s predecessors had allowed to become, through a combination of inattention and shoddy strategy, America’s longest war.

Read original

William Shatner Reacts to a Real Space Trip as Only He Can

When William Shatner returned to Earth, on Wednesday morning, from a four-minute sojourn into space aboard a Blue Origin rocket, he appeared genuinely and profoundly moved. Shatner touched down in the West Texas desert with the crew’s other three members, Audrey Powers, a former space-station flight controller who is now a Blue Origin vice-president, and two paying passengers: Chris Boshuizen, a former NASA space-mission architect and the co-founder of Planet Labs, and Glen de Vries, a software entrepreneur. Jeff Bezos, who stepped down as Amazon’s C.E.O.

Read original

William Shatner Reacts to a Real Space Trip as Only He Can

When William Shatner returned to Earth, on Wednesday morning, from a four-minute sojourn into space aboard a Blue Origin rocket, he appeared genuinely and profoundly moved. Shatner touched down in the West Texas desert with the crew’s other three members, Audrey Powers, a former space-station flight controller who is now a Blue Origin vice-president, and two paying passengers: Chris Boshuizen, a former NASA space-mission architect and the co-founder of Planet Labs, and Glen de Vries, a software entrepreneur. Jeff Bezos, who stepped down as Amazon’s C.E.O.

Read original

When Will We Have the Last Oil Spill?

Perhaps the first serious shadow to fall on the oil age came in the winter of 1969, after a blowout on a well, six miles off the coast of Santa Barbara. At least two million gallons of crude coated beaches and killed everything, from gulls to sea lions, and the resulting uproar fuelled the first Earth Day, in 1970, and also the first broad environmental laws in the United States, which were soon copied around the world.
Half a century later, oil has again coated the beaches of Southern California, this time from a ruptured pipeline near Newport Beach.

Read original

The Increasingly Wild World of School-Board Meetings

Late last month, the National School Boards Association, a group that has represented school boards since 1940, made an unusual request of the federal government. “Threats of violence and acts of intimidation” directed at school officials were escalating across the country, the association said, and it asked the Biden Administration to investigate and use “existing statutes, executive authority,” and “other extraordinary measures” to combat a phenomenon it likened to domestic terrorism. On Monday, Attorney General Merrick Garland decried such incidents and ordered the F.B.I.

Read original

The Increasingly Wild World of School-Board Meetings

Late last month, the National School Boards Association, a group that has represented school boards since 1940, made an unusual request of the federal government. “Threats of violence and acts of intimidation” directed at school officials were escalating across the country, the association said, and it asked the Biden Administration to investigate and use “existing statutes, executive authority,” and “other extraordinary measures” to combat a phenomenon it likened to domestic terrorism. On Monday, Attorney General Merrick Garland decried such incidents and ordered the F.B.I.

Read original

The Facebook Whistle-Blower’s Testimony and the Tech Giant’s Very Bad Week

Last month, after the Wall Street Journal published a series of articles drawn, in part, from tens of thousands of pages of leaked internal Facebook documents that purportedly show the ways in which the company sometimes prioritizes profit over the public good, and after the Senate Commerce Committee used those documents to grill Facebook’s head of global safety, Antigone Davis, about the company’s knowledge of the harm it causes, one question remained: “What happens now?

Read original