Too Venal for Words category archive
Josh Marshall thinks he has figured out the “White House Gift Shop,” recently in the news in relation to the Trumpled North Korean summit “commemorative coin.”* A snippet:
Thanks to a number of emailers but particularly TPM Reader JB, I think I now have the answer. There was once an actual ‘White House Gift Shop’ in the basement of the Old Executive Office Building. But the current ‘The White House Gift Shop’ is a private for profit company which has no connection to the White House or the Secret Service or any other government entity, despite that fact that it seems to go to some lengths to give the impression that it does.
*AFAIC, the coin mostly commemorated hideous in design.
Jay Bookman marvels at the corporations who quite willingly helped fund Michael Cohen for no discernible reason. A snippet:
Pharmaceutical giant Novartis now acknowledges that it paid $1.2 million in carefully structured payments to Trump fixer Michael Cohen, allegedly for Cohen’s expertise on “U.S. health-care policy matters.”
That’s odd. Beyond financing the occasional abortion for girlfriends of GOP bigwigs, Cohen has no discernible expertise on “U.S. health-care policy matters.” Nor has he ever registered as a lobbyist. For its part, Novartis is so comfortable and proud of its just-uncovered association with Cohen and his company, Essential Consultants, that it quickly moved to distance current management from the deal.
Follow the link for more.
In the more stuff you can’t make up file, cops in Illinois threaten to euthanize their drug-sniffing dogs if Illinois legalizes marijuana. Elie Mystal comments.
That’s the sound of the broom sweeping sexist pigs out the door at Nike. A nugget:
While the #MeToo movement has led to the downfall of individual men, the kind of sweeping overhaul that is occurring at Nike is rare in the corporate world, and illustrates how internal pressure from employees is forcing even huge companies to quickly address workplace problems.
As women — and men — continue to come forward with complaints, Nike has begun a comprehensive review of its human-resources operations, making management training mandatory and revising many of its internal reporting procedures.
Nowhere that I ever worked did I witness conduct like that described in the article.
Writing at Psychology Today Blogs, Susan Krauss Whitbourne describes how Facebook profiled its
users victims. Here’s a bit of the article:
As part of the expose now coming to light, one study, in particular, has not received a great deal of attention, but in some ways is even more ominous than the Cambridge Analytica story alone. In 2015, Kogan published a scientific article (link is external) with collaborators from well-respected academic institutions as well as his company, and Facebook researchers, in which the claim was made that people of higher social status have fewer international friends. The underlying theory was that people with greater wealth and power don’t need to affiliate with people who aren’t like them; i.e., people from other nations. The authors didn’t seem to think that using data from millions of Facebook data, without their awareness, would constitute an ethical violation. See what you think after reading the details of this paper.
Robert Reich notes a malignancy in our society, one exemplified by the “Pharma Bro, Martin Skrelly. A snippet:
Shkreli will do whatever it takes to win, regardless of the consequences for anyone else. He believes that the norms other people live by don’t apply to him. His attitude toward the law is that anything he wants to do is OK unless it is clearly illegal — and even if it’s illegal, it’s OK if he can get away with it.
He’s contemptuous of anyone who gets in his way — whether judges, prosecutors, members of Congress or journalists. He remains unapologetic for what he did. He is utterly shameless.
The Seattle Times rounds up some #metoo moments. Here’s one:
Ali Cho, in contrast, has no doubt that an Uber driver entered into #MeToo territory when he kept pressing her for a date during a drive to the airport. Cho, a University of Washington senior who heads a leadership program, was headed home on spring break.
“I love Asian girls,” the driver said. She told him she had a boyfriend. He suggested it might not last.
All the while, she thought in the back of her head, “He knows where I live.”
More moments at the link.
Frankly, this is a new one on me.
And it’s not the first time.
Almost a year ago , over 3 feet of hair was cut from Chloe’s 4-foot tail. Back then, the tail of the Hollars’ black-and-white Tennessee Walking horse, Matt, also was shorn.
The owners think the tails were stolen because “the flaxen color is especially prized for use in hair extensions and craft projects.” The story goes on to point out that such thefts have been reported sporadically in the past. They are cruel, also, as the horses’ tails are now too short to brush away insects and may take four or five years to grow back.