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The Presidency: the hardest job in the world • The Atlantic
John Dickerson interviewed multiple people who have worked in the White House to wonder about how the job has arguably become too big:
<p>Eisenhower sorted priorities through a four-quadrant decision matrix that is still a staple of time-management books. It was based on his maxim “What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important.”

Sage advice, but antique for any president trying to manage the office after the attacks of September 11, 2001. The Cold War presidents monitored slow-moving events that had flashes of urgency. Now the stakes are just as high, but the threats are more numerous and fast-moving…

…Presidents now start their day with the President’s Daily Brief, an intelligence assessment of the threats facing America. How the PDB is delivered changes with each president. Early in his term, Trump reportedly requested a verbal digest of the brief. During the Obama years, the PDB was wrapped in a stiff leather binder and looked like the guest book at a country club. Inside was a grim iPad containing all the possible ways the president could fail at his most essential role. Satellite photos tracked terrorists’ movements, and pictures of failed laptop bombs demonstrated the pace of awful innovation. At the end of the briefing with intelligence officials, a president might be asked whether a specific person should be killed, or whether some mother’s son should be sent on a secret raid from which he might not return.

John F. Kennedy requested that his intelligence briefing be small enough to fit in his pocket. Since 2005, the PDB has been produced by an entirely new entity in the executive branch, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which itself includes several intelligence agencies founded since Kennedy’s era, among them the vast Department of Homeland Security.

Monitoring even small threats can take up an entire day. “My definition of a good day was when more than half of the things on my schedule were things I planned versus things that were forced on me,” says Jeh Johnson, who served Obama as homeland-security secretary. An acute example: In June 2016, Johnson planned to travel to China to discuss the long-term threat from cyberattacks. Hours before takeoff, he was forced to cancel the trip so he could monitor developments after the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

“The urgent should not crowd out the important,” says Lisa Monaco, Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser. “But sometimes you don’t get to the important. Your day is spent just trying to prioritize the urgent. Which urgent first?”</p>
politics  america  presidency 
18 hours ago by charlesarthur
Egyptian Faience: Technology and Production | Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art
“In ancient Egypt, objects created with faience were considered magical, filled with the undying shimmer of the sun, and imbued with the powers of rebirth.”
museum  gallery  archaeology  egyptian  ceramics  faience  history  art  culture  new-york  america 
yesterday by asaltydog
A Report to the U.N. Reveals Deep Racial Disparities in America's Criminal Justice System - Pacific Standard
Significant racial disparities persist in all aspects of the American criminal justice system, according to a new report issued to the United Nations by the Sentencing Project. The report finds discrimination against people of color in the policing, pretrial, sentencing, parole, and post-prison stages of the country's justice system.

The Sentencing Project, a criminal justice reform non-profit, sent the report to E. Tendayi Achiume, the U.N.'s racism watchdog.

There are 2.2 million incarcerated individuals in the U.S.—more than any other country. In 2016, African Americans comprised 27 percent of all individuals arrested in the U.S., double their share of the population.

The report attributes these statistics to "disproportionate levels of police contact with African Americans," especially regarding drugs. More than a quarter of those arrested for drug violations in 2015 were African American, though drug use rates "do not differ substantially by race and ethnicity," the report states.
america  race 
yesterday by corrales
Is the Senate Bill to Protect Mueller Constitutional? - The Atlantic
Congress can’t limit the president’s firing power, because the Constitution vests all executive authority in the president. Mueller and other federal prosecutors are “inferior officers” under the Constitution, and therefore can be dismissed by a “superior” officer.

Whether or not one agrees with Amar’s argument, there may be enough votes on the Supreme Court for it to carry the day. The reason why, according to Amar, is that much of the high court has already endorsed precedents that suggest Trump would prevail in any legal conflict over his authority to fire the special counsel.
politics  america 
yesterday by corrales
James Shaw Jr. on why he rushed the Waffle House shooter: ‘He was going to have to work to kill me’
Unbelievably moving video.

They talk about people who do the right thing and then don't really think of it as anything special. This man is one of those people.
politics  people  america 
2 days ago by sandykoe
James Shaw Jr., Waffle House shooting hero, describes what happened in the restaurant - The Washington Post
“You don’t get to meet many heroes in life, Mr. Shaw, but you are a hero, you are my hero,” Ehmer said at the news conference. “I’ve talked to some of those people you saved today and they will think of you for the rest of their days, as will I. We’re forever in your debt.”

Shaw rejected this description of his actions.

“I want people to know I did that completely out of a selfish act,” he said. “I was completely doing it just to save myself.”

“I’m not a hero. I’m just a regular person, and I think anybody could have did what I did if they are just pushed into that kind of cage,” Shaw said as he became emotional. “You have to either react or you’re going to fold, and I chose to react because I didn’t see any other way of living, and that’s all I wanted to do. I just wanted to live.”

After leaving the hospital, Shaw went home, changed his clothes and then attended church with his family about 10:30 a.m., according to the Tennessean.

When asked about it later, he said he wasn’t particularly religious. He went to church to get past the shooting, he said.


“I don’t want this to be the focal point of my life,” he said. “I don’t want this to be a major moment in my life.”
america  guns 
2 days ago by corrales

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