i was a member of the capitol

2

The GOP warmed to investigating Flynn and Russia. That just got more complicated for them.

  • Michael Flynn’s resignation, over a phone call with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak, gave Republicans on Capitol Hill an opening on Russia.
  • Flynn’s resignation from his position as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser opened the door to calls for an investigation.
  • That Flynn was a bad apple, not that the administration was a bad bunch, gave Hill Republicans some wiggle room, and they began to writhe through.
  • Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged Tuesday that an investigation into Flynn’s ties with Russia was “highly likely.” (CNN)
  • “I think the fundamental question for us is what is our involvement in it, and who ought to look at it,” McConnell said. Other Republican senators, including members of the Senate intelligence committee and the body’s ranking member, called for a probe.
  • Then things changed on Tuesday night. The bad apple dynamic that allowed Republicans to limit the investigation to Flynn got harder to maintain. Read more (2/15/17 8:36 AM)

anonymous asked:

Any fic/scenario rec?? :)) idc about the genre

That is… a very serious question my friend. Let me change into my comfy pants (no pants) and I will give you the tip of the iceberg.

@btssmutgalore - Zaddy - Sugar Daddy, Kim Taehyung. 

I CAN NOT HYPE THIS STORY ENOUGH. I actually 100% blame this story for my obsession with Taehyung. I didn’t even consider him before and now… I am wrecked. 

@chanyeolspout - Anything for Her - Single Dad, Park Chanyeol

I would like to reiterate that I didn’t know who Chanyeol was before this story. Literally didn’t know who he was and still fell head over heels for it. That’s how good this story and the writing is.

@kittae - Bon Appetit - Dirty, filthy Zhang Yixing

Okay, so I am sensing a theme, bare with me. I didn’t know who Lay was (I know, I was young and I was so stupid) my EXO bias was Kai because he was the first member I saw. Then I read this story and a monster was awoken inside me. Actual thought process after reading this drabble, “Damn. I should look up a picture of this guy. *Googles Yixing* *falls desperately in love* *dies and is resurrected every time I see his GOD DAMN BEAUTIFUL FACE*” Thanks @kittae, I used to think that there wasn’t anyone that could compete with my Love (capitol L) for Jiyong, but Yixing tho…. 

@kpoppantydrop Strap in nonnie. 

Eyes On Me - Daddy AF Choi Seunghyun 

I almost didn’t write Angels and Demons because after reading Eyes on Me I doubted that I would ever be able to create a comparable Seunghyun. I am still not convinced I did. Bottom line, read this. 

Partition - Dom! Park Jinyoung. 

You know what’s not done enough (besides fat girl fiction)? Stories whose titles are also Beyonce songs that I can listen to the entire time I’m reading it, which only emphasizes the mood. Also… Jinyoung smut, not done enough. 

Sweat, Thighs, Tears - Park Jimin

I’m not going to say much about this. It’s short, just read it. If your sense of humor is anything like mine, it will bring you endless joy. If not…  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Curaçao - Park Chanyeol

I once said that I want this story read at my funeral. I stand by that. My family and friends all know I live a life of filth and sin. They will not be surprised, they will be blessed. You may want to read this in a ice bath that’s been blessed by the pope. 

@noona-la-la-la - Unexpected -  Min Yoongi

How does one summarize this masterpiece… they don’t. Just read it. 

@smutfictionaddicted - 

Eyes on the Prize Zhang Yixing (Lay), Kim Minseok (Xiumin), Kim Jongdae (Chen) and Byun Baekhyun. 

The lineup on this fic should be more than enough to intrigue you tbth. The first story I read by CL and I don’t regret it for a second. Came for Yixing stayed for this amazing writer.  

This Could Be… - Kim Namjoon

This story is…*sigh*… so good. There’s a lot of dirty dom!joon out there which is great, DO NOT GET ME WRONG, but I live for smart/nerd!joon and she provides.  

@tabi-ears - Let’s Not Fall In Love - Choi Seunghyun

I tend to stand by the belief that the best stories are ones where the writer is writing about their bias. I binge read this entire series in a matter of hours. Hours in the middle of the night when I should have been sleeping and then some of the ones when the sun was just coming up. I will wait however long it takes for the next part with bated breath and so should you. 

@eureka-its-zico - Fighter - Jeon Jungkook

I have lost count of the amount of times I have read this story. Aggressive Kookie has never been done so well. C'est vraiment magnifique!

@versigny - Miss Dial - Fratboy! Min Yoongi

The build up is so excruciating and somehow still completely satisfying. If you enjoy pain and suffering, you’ll probably enjoy this too. 

@waitinginthedarke - Exposure - Min Yoongi

This is another series that I binge read until my eyes were practically bleeding. It’s so good. Who doesn’t love fluffy Yoongi stories?? He’s such a smol squish. heart eyeeeees. 

@war-of-hormoan - I did genuinely consider just screen-capping her masterlist and then posting that but I will do this properly. And by properly I mean with a series of gifs that mirror my reactions to the stories because I just love her so much that I get too excited for real words. I’ve said it before and I’ll no doubt say it again, I crush hard on Rams. 

Weights & Measures - Min Yoongi

Originally posted by heyyhaleyheyy

The City - Kim Namjoon

Originally posted by livelovecaliforniadreams

For You - Kim Taehyung 

Originally posted by whynooooot

Enjoy! I hope you find something you love!

About Mor

The most interesting line to me about Mor in ACOMAF was when they encountered Jurian and he said to Mor, “‘Liar…You were always such a liar, Morrigan.’“  While at the time, Jurian was the enemy, I thought the line was important.  Morrigan was supposed to have the “gift of truth,” so why would Jurian - someone with whom they fought during the war - say she was “always” a liar?  It seemed ironic, and irony in SJM books is almost always important.

It was clear Mor was hiding something throughout ACOMAF, with her various disappearances, snapping at Cassian if he asked where she was, refusing to tell Azriel as well.  Spending all night out “drinking” but being fresh as a daisy in the morning.  I suspected she was betraying the Inner Circle, and to some degree I was right: while she wasn’t betraying them to Hybern, she was still lying to them.

I know many people are upset with how she was portrayed in ACOWAR and feel it came out of left field, but personally I disagree.  SJM laid a very careful trail that Mor was hiding something and was going behind the backs of the others.  Some feel that it was not an accurate representation of LGBTQ+, and I will not comment on that as it’s not my place.  However, as someone who is 15-20 years older than most people in this fandom, I will say that her experience does fall into a pattern of some of the people I’ve known in my life.

In my lifetime, I’ve been fortunate to witness a drastic increase in acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community.  When I was a teenager, the concept of gay marriage being legal was unbelievably foreign.  Through high school and college, gay and trans kids getting beaten - even to death - was not uncommon.  I was a senior in high school the first time a same-sex couple went to prom in my area, and it made the newspaper (and not in a good way).  After I graduated, my now-husband and I marched in our state Capitol and we went door to door in support of marriage equality, and we held off on getting married until civil unions were legal in our state (one of the earliest to adopt them and then a couple years later, true marriage equality).  I know many people who remained in the closet until they were older because of fear of their families, fear of persecution in their neighborhoods, fear of losing their jobs.  They married members of the opposite sex and had children and did all of the things Mor was pressured to do, all while hiding their true selves.  Eventually many of them came out, divorced their spouses, and found their true partners.  Some remain in the closet. 

I’m telling this story because to me, Mor’s confession to Feyre rang true as that of some of my friends who realized who they were in a time and place where that particular trait could make their lives miserable or even dangerous.  They didn’t have to worry about being sold in marriage, or tied down and forced to submit for the sake of an alliance, but that pressure to “breed their bloodlines,” the idea that they would be selfish not to, was high.  And many of them succumbed.  Mor is afraid of this deepest, most intimate part of herself being shamed by her family.  This is why, after hundreds of years, she dreads going back to the Court of Nightmares.  Even Rhys commented that it’s been long enough Mor should’ve gotten over it, but she hasn’t - because she hasn’t faced the source of her fear.  Not that they abused her, half-killed her, and nailed a note to her body - but that they would find out her true self and demean it. 

Velaris is a safe place for her - the real reason she was so upset about Rhys allowing Keir to enter it.  It’s her one safe place.  But of course Rhys couldn’t know _how_ important it was because she has never been honest with him.  However, I do not for one second believe the Inner Circle is entirely naive.  Amren advised Feyre that “’There are some truths that even Morrigan has not herself faced.’”  And while we all feel sorry for Azriel, do we honestly believe he doesn’t know?  With his shadows and his own disappearances?  Do we really believe that Nuala and Cerridwen don’t know, and wouldn’t have told Az?  I would bet Cassian suspects, and it’s only Rhys who is truly naive.  Rhys, who is connected with the Court of Nightmares, who loves Mor and believes in equality but who is still so interconnected with her family.  Who will make his own decisions about what’s best for his Court without necessarily taking into account the needs of the individuals around him (except Feyre).

Was Mor cruel to Az?  Yes and no.  Only in that she should know she could trust him and new she was confusing him by sleeping with men openly.  But she was afraid, for excellent reason, and traumatized, and then it was just beyond awkward.  People complain that this was poorly written, and I would love to know why.  SJM had laid the foundation of Mor’s secret in ACOMAF; had outed her as a liar at a fundamental level; had dropped hints she did not return Az’s feelings (remember her surprise and then guarded behavior when Feyre asked her if she’d ever slept with him); and then Mor confessed a totally realistic and understandable fear that she had not yet overcome.  Remember, we’re reading from Feyre’s perspective.  She didn’t see it, so neither did we.  Doesn’t mean it was out of character or unrealistic.

Thoughts?

anonymous asked:

Hi there! I'm about six months from graduating and I'm very interested in doing a nurse residency. I live in California right now but I am willing to move. A big thing holding me back though is the horror stories I've heard about nurse-patient ratios. How are they in your state? Are they manageable? Do you know anything about other states?

Dear Anonymous,

That’s a complicated question with a complex answer. As far as I know California is the only state in the country with laws and regulations that mandate nurse-to-patient rations in all units (lucky ducks). Thirteen other states (CT, IL, MA, MN, NV, NJ, NY, OH, OR, RI, TX, VT, and WA) also have laws and regulations addressing safe staffing ratios, but none as thorough as California. And my state, Virginia, has nothing. Every hospital is different, so it just depends on where you work. Some are good, some are not so good.

Outside of those 14 states, it’s pretty much the wild west and you’re right, it can be scary and downright dangerous.

Originally posted by thosevideogamemoments

When I first interviewed with my current facility, I applied for a PCU RN position, but they ended up offering me an ICU RN position and that was my goal, so I jumped on it. During the interview, I asked about PCU’s typical nurse-to-patient ratio and they told me they tried to keep it to 1:4, but there were times when nurses would carry six patients. My jaw dropped. 

Originally posted by harta-romaniei

Six to one is something I would expect on a med-surg floor, not a PCU. I told them that I wouldn’t feel comfortable taking that many patients on a step-down unit. Perhaps that’s why they ultimately offered me an ICU position. I’m fine with that.

As for you and looking to travel to the wild west of nursing, there are a lot of us here who do it and it can be done safely. Ultimately, it’s up to you. Research any hospital you plan to apply to and ask the management team if you can interview the nurses on the unit. Ask them about the staffing ratios. Ask what happens if you refused to take an unsafe patient load? Is that grounds for dismissal or do they have a system in place to bring in additional staff?

If you don’t feel safe taking more than the recommended patient load, you need to stand up for yourself and put your foot down. I did that the other night. They tried to give me three ICU patients, including one that was ventilated. I told them, “no.” The safe ratio in an ICU is 1:2 and I refused to put my license on the line because they failed to staff the unit properly. They ended up calling in another nurse.

Legislatively speaking, I should point out there is a Federal regulation, 42 Code of Federal Regulations (42CFR, 482.23(b)), that’s been on the books for quite awhile. It addresses nurse staffing ratios for any hospital facility that accepts Medicare, but the language is nonspecific and open to interpretation. It reads as follows:

(b) Standard: Staffing and delivery of care. The nursing service must have adequate numbers of licensed registered nurses, licensed practical (vocational) nurses, and other personnel to provide nursing care to all patients as needed. There must be supervisory and staff personnel for each department or nursing unit to ensure, when needed, the immediate availability of a registered nurse for bedside care of any patient.

“Adequate numbers of licensed registered nurses.” What does “adequate” mean? See? The language is not specific, which is why those 14 states decided to take things a step further and to help address the problem.

There are two safe patient ratio bills sitting in Congress: Senate Bill 864 (S.864) and House Bill 1602 (H.R.1602). Both bills were introduced on their respective floors on March 25, 2015. S.864 was introduced by former Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California), who retired earlier this year after the new Congress was sworn in. H.R.1602 was introduced by Rep. Janice Schakowsky (D-Illinois). The Senate bill was sent to a committee and the House bill to a subcommittee where they’ve sat for nearly two years.

What can we do? We can act. We can get involved. I have lobbied on Capitol Hill for nurses and I plan on being back up there again soon. It is an empowering feeling when you sit down to talk with a member of Congress about your concerns. Yes, there is the skepticism that they’re not listening, but they are. They do keep track of every meeting and they keep track of how many people are voicing their concerns about particular topics. Nothing, I repeat NOTHING, gets the attention of a member of Congress like a large group of people from their district or state that may vote against them in the next election. There are more than 3 million nurses in this country. We have tremendous potential, but only if we come together and present a united front.

Here’s what you can do - visit this website: http://www.nationalnursesunited.org/issues/entry/ratios and educate yourself on the topic and the bills currently in committee, and then call your Senators and/or Congressperson and tell them to support S.864 and H.R.1602, respectively.

TL;DR - There are no Federal laws enforcing safe nurse-to-patient ratios. California is the only state that does. There are two bills that would change that, but they’ve been in congressional purgatory for two years. Call your representatives today and tell them to vote/support H.R.1602 and S.864!

Sincerely,
Mursenary Gary

In The Name of Love (Chris Jericho x Reader)

Context: Would you risk it all to protect the one you love? Reader’s job is dangerous…but this time it may come at the cost of Chris’ life.

**A/N: ** I had about three thousand television shows and movies running through my head for this one: Hunger Games, Criminal Minds, Codename Kids Next Door, 24. I just took all of them and ran with. Anyways, the song choice is “In The Name of Love” by Martin Garrix and Bebe Rexha.

**SB: ** I know I said this will be written in the next two weeks but hey, it’s done now. I might write a sequel. I might not. Chris doesn’t get enough stories involving him.

***WARNINGS *** MYSTERY; CONSPIRACIES; MURDER; SLIGHTLY NSFW (Idk what else. If you watched any of the shows named above then yeah. That’s what I’m going with.)

Originally posted by prowrestlingnow

**Tags: **  @gamer705 ; @the-geekgoddes ; @crookedmoonsaultpunk ; @laochbaineann ; @squirrel666 ; @livingthestrongstyle ; @nickysmum1909 ; @wrestlingnoob ; @j3r1ch0-y2j ; @theelitevillian ; @hardcorewwetrash


“If I told you this was only gonna hurt

If I warned you that the fire’s gonna burn

Would you walk in?

Would you let me do it first?

Do it all in the name of love”…

Case File: Romeo-Echo-Victor-Echo-November-Golf-Echo (REVENGE)

Good evening to all members of the Secret Society,

     We have found the second in command agent, who successfully infiltrated our ranks, before we were able to take over the Capitol. Because of this agent, many of our former leaders lost their freedom in the fight. This is our new mission for revenge. Eliminate the agent and everything she loves. She’s extremely talented. The plans for the future have changed and are in motion. You know where to find me.

–B.


         Being married to an FBI agent, especially one who was second in command of an entire branch, is difficult when you’re already in the public eye. Chris Jericho is a man who is more than a professional wrestler, musician, and an actor. He is my husband and an amazing one at that. For that reason, I was always worried about him, about me, about our family, and the current state of the government. I couldn’t risk a thing; not after the last incident.

Keep reading

Finnick Odair and Forced Prostitution

The topic of forced Prostitution is a theme found within the last novel of The Hunger Games Trilogy, Mockingjay, through Finnick, when he exposes this dark secret for a propo. I will be analyzing the section below from Chapter 12 of Mockingjay. Hope you like it!

I’ve been sufficient, if not dazzling. Everyone loves the bread story. But it’s my message to President Snow that gets the wheels spinning in Plutarch’s brain. He hastily calls Finnick and Haymitch over and they have a brief
but intense conversation that I can see Haymitch isn’t happy with. Plutarch seems to win—Finnick’s pale but nodding his head by the end of it.

As Finnick moves to take my seat before the camera, Haymitch tells him, “You don’t have to do this.” ”Yes, I do. If it will help her.” Finnick balls up his rope in his hand. “I’m ready.” I don’t know what to expect. A love story aboutAnnie? An account of the abuses in District 4? But Finnick Odair takes a completely different tack.
“President Snow used to…sell me…my body, that is,” Finnick begins in a flat, removed tone. “I wasn’t the only one. If a victor is considered desirable, the president gives them as a reward or allows people to buy them for an exorbitant amount of money. If you refuse, he kills someone you love. So you do it.” That explains it, then. Finnick’s parade of lovers in the Capitol. They were never real lovers. Just people like our old Head Peacekeeper, Cray, who bought desperate girls to devour and discard because he could. I want to interrupt the taping and beg Finnick’s forgiveness for every false thought I’ve ever had about him. But we have a job to do, and I sense Finnick’s role will be far more effective than mine.”I wasn’t the only one, but I was the most popular,” he says. “And perhaps the most defenseless, because the people I loved were so defenseless.

…………

OMG such a sad scene. I am positive that I am not emotionally and physically prepared to see what Sam Claflin is going to do with it (curls up in a ball and starts crying). But I gotta finish this for you! 

So, Plutarch seems to be the one who has come up with the idea of Finnick exposing this secret. So it is highly possible the prostitution of the Victors was common knowledge amongst the higher members in the Capitol in addition to those who could afford it (but for the sake of my headcanon and making this post easier in writing it let’s say it is common knowledge). 

Based off of the body language Katniss explains, we understand Finnick is uneasy to share this secret at first and that this side job President Snow has forced him into has taken its toll on him (but he heroically does it to save his love!). Also, we know it is possible the other Victor’s know about the Prostitution since Haymitch objects against Finnick sharing it for the propo. So for me and my headcanon, it can be safe to assume Annie, Mags, Beetee, Johanna, etc. knew about the Victor Prostitution but of course had to keep it under wraps. Going off of this “common Victor Knowledge” branch, throughout the Hunger Games Trilogy we can see Victors have a sort of basic understanding of how the Capitol Works (specifically President Snow) and the whole know the enemy. Well almost everyone in Panem is probably thinking this. But with the Victors they know and understand they are basically puppets for the Capitol, because everyone in Panem is watching them. They’re celebrities stuck in the system of promoting a cause (the Games) and a Government they all hate.

Now back to Finnick and his prostitution. In Mockingjay, Beetee even states, “If you knew what Finnick’s been through the last few years, you’d know how remarkable it is he’s still with us at all” (Mockingjay, Ch. 5).  What the hell is this supposed to mean? I personally believe Beetee is referring to his forced prostitution, and that the rape Finnick endured probably took a huge hit on him psychologically and physically after years and years of following Snow’s orders. So if this is the case, it definitely fuels to my headcanon that Victor Prostitution was common knowledge amongst all the Victors. 

Since Finnick was forced to sleep with Capitol Citizens it created this image of the “District 4 Playboy” which we evidently see through Katniss and her introduction for Finnick in Catching Fire, Ch. 15. This personality President Snow creates for Finnick is something he cannot put down and has to always live up to all the time in public (definitely in the Capitol and on television, but possibly in his own District). A Hunger Games blog I follow (which you should too), buttercupisbrainless, posted great responses to an Anon and their questions about the perception Finnick had within Panem/Katniss which you can find here and here (I found them on my dash and was completely mind-blown by the comparison they made lol). So his relationship with Annie was probably a well kept secret from the general population (except President Snow and his creepy ways most likely found out about it such as Katniss’ and Gale’s Kiss in Catching Fire. This leads to my headcanon of Finnick and Snow having a deal to keep Annie safe and out of the Capitol). In Mockingjay, Katniss states at the CrestaOdair Wedding:

“Who can look past the radiant faces of two people for whom this day was once a virtual impossibility?” (Mockingjay, Ch 16). 

If the war hadn’t happened, it’s highly likely Finnick would’ve never been able to escape his role as the “District 4 Playboy” and could have never married the love of his life even for the short amount of time they had together. President Snow would have never allowed for the two of them to get married, because he knew it would decrease the appeal the fabulous Finnick Odair had amongst the Capitol Citizens, which meant Snow losing loads of money. That selfish bastard lol. 

Recap if you got lost throughout my rambling lol: forced Victor Prostitution was common knowledge amongst Capitol Elites/Clients and the Victors (So Annie and Mags probably knew). Finnick was forced to keep up the “District 4 Playboy” face which forbid him from pursuing relationships with others, but he stayed with Annie anyways (suck it Snow). 

Former CIA director: I was concerned about 'interactions' between Russians and the Trump campaign

(Former CIA director John Brennan testifies before the House Intelligence Committee to take questions on “Russian active measures during the 2016 election campaign” in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., May 23, 2017.Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
Former CIA Director John Brennan, in testimony Tuesday before the House Intelligence Committee, said that he was concerned by some of the “interactions” between Russian officials and members of the Trump campaign that took place during the election last year.

Brennan’s testimony on Russian interference in the election came two months after he was originally scheduled to testify in an open hearing that was unexpectedly canceled by the committee’s chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes. He told the committee that he warned his Russian counterpart, FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov, in an August 2016 phone call against interfering in the presidential election.

“It should be clear to everyone that Russia brazenly interfered in our 2016 presidential election process,” Brennan said in his opening statement, “and that they undertook these activities despite our strong protests and explicit warning that they do not do so." 

Republican Rep. Tom Rooney asked Brennan if he ever found "any direct evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Putin in Moscow” while he was the CIA director.

Brennan replied that “there was intelligence that the Russian intelligence services were actively involved in this effort … to try to get individuals to act on their behalf either wittingly or unwittingly.” He added that he was “was worried by the contacts that the Russians were having with US persons” and “had unresolved questions” by the time he left office about whether" the Russians had succeeded in getting Americans to do their bidding.

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, ranking member of the committee, asked Brennan whether he was concerned by reports that Trump shared classified information with Russian diplomats during a meeting in the Oval Office on May 10.

“If the reports are true that the president decided to share classified intelligence with the Russians, then he violated two protocols,” Brennan replied. “The first is that this kind of intelligence is not shared with visiting foreign ministers or local ambassadors. It’s shared through intelligence channels. The second is that, before sharing any classified intelligence with foreign partners, it has to go back to the originating agency to ensure that revealing it won’t compromise sources, methods, and future collection capabilities." 

Brennan also said he was disturbed by the leaks coming out of the White House, especially the one that identified Israel as the apparent source of the intelligence Trump shared.

Rep. Trey Gowdy asked Brennan, again, whether he had seen evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Brennan replied: "I don’t do evidence.”

Pressed further, however, Brennan said that “the information and intelligence revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and US persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals. It raised questions in my mind about whether the Russians were able to gain the cooperation of such individuals.”

(Former CIA director John Brennan testifies before the House Intelligence Committee to take questions on “Russian active measures during the 2016 election campaign” in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., May 23, 2017.Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Brennan said he doesn’t know if collusion ever occurred, but he said that he saw "information that was worthy of investigation by the [FBI] to determine whether such collusion took place.“

"People on a treasonous path ….don’t always realize they’re on that path until it’s too late,” Brennan said. He added that the House Intelligence Committee “now has access to the type of information I’m alluding to here." 

Brennan later confirmed to Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley that it wasn’t just the fact that Trump campaign officials communicated with Russians that concerned him — it was which Russians the Trump associates spoke to.

That, in addition to the "backdrop” of Russia’s election interference, raised Brennan’s concerns about the communication that occurred between Trump campaign associates and Russia, he said. 

Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell asked Brennan whether he knew if any of the US persons who spoke to the Russians either made “false statements” about those contacts or failed to disclose them. Brennan replied that he thinks “that’s something we can pursue in a closed session.”

The hearing was held one day after Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, announced that he had obtained evidence that Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, misled Pentagon officials about his contacts with Russians when he was renewing his security clearance in early 2016.

(Michael FlynnWin McNamee/Getty Images)

The Washington Post also reported on Monday that Trump had asked Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers to publicly rebuke former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony on March 20 that the Trump campaign was being investigated for possible collusion with Russia. 

Republican Sen. John McCain asked Coats during a separate Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday whether the Post report was true. Coats declined to answer the question directly, but did not deny that Trump made the request.

“I don’t feel it’s appropriate to characterize discussions and conversations with the president,” Coats said, noting that he and Trump “discuss a number of topics on a very regular basis.”

Trump fired Comey earlier this month, just over nine months into the FBI’s probe of Russia’s hacking and disinformation campaigns that targeted Democrats during the election. That probe began in earnest when Robert Hannigan, then the chief of Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters, passed Brennan material related to conversations Trump associates had with suspected or known Russian agents in late 2015 and early 2016, according to The Guardian.

Brennan was so concerned about the intercepted communications that he established a counterintelligence task force, which included the FBI and the National Security Agency. (Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified earlier this month that those communications had been picked up and handed over to US agencies, but he could not elaborate due to the “sensitive” nature of the intelligence.)

“We set up a group within the CIA, and I spoke with [FBI Director] Comey and [NSA Director] Rogers to get their best people involved so that they could share information” with the agency. Brennan said he “wanted to make sure that there would not be any barriers" to sharing information between intelligence and law enforcement officials.

In August — more than eight months after British officials were alerted to the Trump-Russia contacts — Brennan briefed the US’s top lawmakers on the material, which he said showed that Russia had interfered in the US election to help Trump win, The New York Times has reported. 

Around the same time, former British spy Christopher Steele was collecting intelligence from his sources in Moscow about Russia’s attempts to cultivate Trump and his associates as foreign assets in their mission to undermine Clinton. Brennan told Gowdy he didn’t know who commissioned the Steele dossier, but he asserted that it was "not in any way used as the basis for the intelligence community’s assessment” in January that Russia interfered in the election to help elect Trump.

Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier asked Brennan about Russian oligarchs investing in the United States, and whether he was aware of efforts by the Russians to cultivate Trump while he was a real estate developer.

Brennan replied that he could not comment. But he noted later that the Russians have long engaged in money laundering “in a number of countries” and that the intelligence community has seen more collaboration recently between Russian intelligence services and organized criminals.

Democratic Rep. Denny Heck asked Brennan to tell the committee "why my constituents should care" about Russia’s election interference. “Why do you care, sir?”

“Because for the last 241 years, this nation and its citizens have cherished the freedom and liberty that this country was founded on,” Brennan replied.

“Our ability to choose our elected leaders as we see fit is, I believe, an inalienable right we must protect with all of our resources and all our authority and power,” he continued. “And the fact that the Russians tried to influence the election so that the will of the American people was not going to be realized by that election, I find outrageous, and it is something that we need to resist." 

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Ex-Jock: Part 1

I wanted to get out of Lakeview my whole life. I began puberty at an earlier age than most boys and discovered very quickly that I was attracted to men. Having developed broad shoulders, some face hair, and a deep voice at a young age granted me the admiration of fellow classmates. This, coupled with my love of sports in high school, resulted in no one ever suspecting I was gay. Pardon the figure of speech, but for all intents and purposes I’ve “passed” as a straight man most of my life. Lakeview is a small, conservative town in central Washington state. So, “passing” saved me a lot of teasing and fights, but it also made me feel incredibly shut off from an entire aspect of my being.

Throughout high school I played baseball, lacrosse, and volleyball. All of which got me in great shape. When I wasn’t playing I rarely worked out, other than running and doing a few push-ups in the morning. I wasn’t ripped by any means, but I was in pretty good shape. I constantly had female suitors who were trying to get in my pants and I had respect from all the guys due to my build and thick stubble. In fact, the guys always expressed envy at how I could grow a beard in a few weeks while they were still trying to grow a moustache. Overall, it was nice not being bullied in high school, but I was never able to truly express myself. And, let’s be real, the biggest bummer of being closeted is never getting any cock.

My parents were not well-off, so after I graduated high school I began working for a moving company in an adjacent town. It was a college town so there was always people moving in and out, which was great; it kept me busy, it kept me super in shape, and it allowed me to meet a few guys that I would end up fooling around with. However, I was still living at home and commuting to work. I needed to get out and actually begin my life in a real city. I had my sights set on Seattle.

For years I saved almost every penny I made. I knew housing prices in Seattle were rough and I’d need several months rent in advance so I could find a job. Just before my 21st birthday, I felt I had saved enough to begin looking for apartments. I didn’t realize the hardest part would be actually finding an affordable apartment in a good area of town. I ended up searching for months. My birthday came and went without much fanfare. I was becoming very discouraged and the only silver lining I could find was that the longer it took to find a place, the more money I was saving. Finally, after three months, I found the perfect little studio apartment smack dab in Capitol Hill- the gayest neighborhood in Seattle.

I packed what little belongings I had, bought some new, tight, clothes that showed off my biceps and thighs, said goodbye to family members, and caught a bus to Seattle.

I wasted no time, or money, when it came to partying. I felt a little guilty about going out and blowing a hundred dollars on drinks in one night, but I compensated by applying to jobs almost daily. It even became part of my hangover routine: coffee, donut, jerk off, search for jobs on Craigslist. I had heard so much about all the job opportunities in Seattle, but for some reason no one was calling me back. My first month and a half in Seattle I was living off the rapidly depleting money I had saved. I didn’t even buy furniture other than a bed. And eventually I stopped buying as much food so that I could continue to go out and drink. I did, however, make lots of friends and I also had lots of sex.

It was great besides money woes. I felt completely liberated and was having the time of my life. I had lots of hook-ups, which is all I was looking for. I had also lost some weight from not buying as much food and this brought me loads of attention from men. For the first time in my life, I had abs. I also started doing push-ups and sit-ups in the mornings to maintain muscle tone. My body garnered me lots of attention, and while I knew it was superficial, I still reveled in it. People would tell me I should model, or even ask if I was a model. I bought the tiniest, tightest, clothes to show off my physique and never shied away from taking off my shirt and prancing around topless at clubs.

Everlark Drabble Challenge - Beneath Your Beautiful

Alright! I am waaaay beyond the 48 hr limit. First off, I was tagged by the amazing titania522 with the prompt “Beneath Your Beautiful.” If you haven’t heard the song, I highly recommend it! 

I’d like to tag flip-fantasia, wistfulweaverwoman, and famousfremus (if any of you would like to sit this one out, no pressure!). The prompt is Retail Everlark and you’ve got 48 hours. :)

This quickly morphed into a full-fledged tale. I am incapable of being brief, so this is the first part (unbetaed), which is still entirely too long to be a drabble, but what the heck. I’ll be putting the whole thing up on ff.net and A03 soon.

This is a 74th Games AU involving tribute!Katniss and Prep team!Peeta. Thanks for such a great prompt titania522, and to the anon who started it all!

Each time the female members of her prep team tittered over length of her leg hair or looked scandalized by the dirt under her nails, the male member would change the subject, asking them about some unfathomable Capitol product or event that had them all aflutter. This did not go unnoticed by Katniss.

Nor did his blue eyes, always on her, and curious.

He touched her gently when he rubbed ointment on her skin, and was the only one who looked at her like a person. There were light orange streaks running through the ashy blond whorls of his hair, and he’d accentuated the dusting of freckles on his pale face with a soft sheen of gold powder. Like his name – Peeta, to their Octavia and Venia, he was Capitol, but different.

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Shadowhunters Au!

Based on the Mortal Instruments Series and tv show, I have split up a whole bunch of the characters as the different breeds of the shadowworld. Enjoy!

Shadowhunters

Suga and Daichi, parabatai since they turned fifteen and met for the first time at the Japan Institute. Daichi is technically in charge of the younger shadowhunting members on their team but lbr, Suga runs that shit. Suga is actual Izzy with less boob and more cooking skills. He also swears Daichi is an actual angel.

Lev and Yaku, newly bonded parabatai- much to the older’s eternal aggravation. Yaku is an actual boss when it comes to fighting. Lev just moved from the capitol and has the social tact of a bull. He is also full of very wrong sterotypes and prejudices Yaku is trying to beat out of him.

Oikawa and Iwaizumi, parabatai since they were old enough to do the ceremony.  Oikawa is literally Jace, hot badass who thinks far too highly of himself but is shit as emotions and the self-sacrifice poster child. Iwaizumi is his gruff  grumpy partner with a heart of gold who will shit on his life(Alec + even gayer)

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Brújula: Lyndon and Lady Bird's Love Story

He was coarse and obnoxious.  A big, overbearing, profane, restless, ambitious Texan who pushed and prodded and wheeled and dealed his way from poverty in the Texas Hill Country to the most powerful office in the world.

She was soft-spoken and eloquent.  A gentle, quiet, polite, and comforting presence for her father, her husband, her children, and her country.  As the social fabric of the United States began to tear during her husband’s Administration, she found a way to literally beautify the nation.

On November 17, 1934, Lyndon Baines Johnson was a 26-year-old secretary to Congressman Richard M. Kleberg, the member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the 14th Congressional district of Texas.  Johnson was a tall, gangly, anxious, antsy young man.  So driven was Johnson that he made sure to personally answer every letter which arrived in Kleberg’s office – whether the Congressman deemed them important or not.  Johnson had started his career as a teacher, but it was politics that he was drawn to and politics which he was obsessed with.  Very few people truly knew Lyndon Johnson, but everyone who came in contact with him knew that he was somebody.  Lyndon’s confidence in himself was never quite as high.  Throughout his entire life, Johnson felt he needed to press on further and faster in order to prove himself.

On November 17, 1934, Claudia Alta Taylor was 21 years old.  When she was born, Claudia’s nurse said “She’s as purty as a lady bird” and the nickname had stuck.  Almost nobody called her “Claudia”, she would always be “Lady Bird” and it was a fitting name.  Lady Bird’s mother died when she was just five years old and her beloved father, a wealthy man actively engaged in business, couldn’t provide all of the attention she must have hoped for.  What he could provide for his lonely daughter was opportunity.  Although she came of age in a time (during the Great Depression) and a place (southern Texas) where women rarely received a thorough education, Lady Bird was able to make the most of her intelligence and determination.  Not only did she attend college, but Lady Bird graduated from the University of Texas with two bachelor’s degrees – one in history and one in journalism.  Following her graduation, Lady Bird hoped to teach in an exotic locale such as Hawaii or Alaska, “But all that never happened because I met Lyndon.”

On the night of August 1, 1934, Lyndon and Lady Bird met for the first time, introduced by a mutual friend, Eugenia Boehringer Lasseter in Austin.  Though their initial meeting was brief, Johnson asked Lady Bird if she would meet him for coffee the next morning and she agreed.  Lady Bird nearly had a change of heart on the morning of August 2, 1934 and was close to leaving Johnson stood up on what was supposed to be their first date.  That morning, Lady Bird was scheduled to meet with an architect in downtown Austin who the Taylor family had hired to remodel their mansion, the Brick House in Karnack, Texas.  The architect’s office happened to be next door to Austin’s Driskill Hotel and Johnson – sitting alone inside the hotel’s coffee shop – spotted Lady Bird walking by.  Johnson urged Lady Bird to join him and when she did, one of the more unique marriages and partnerships in American political history truly began.

Lyndon Johnson hated wasting time.  His entire life seemed like a race against the clock.  Most of the men on the Johnson side of his family tree had lived relatively short lives before dying of a heart ailment.  Johnson always felt that he would not live long, and he often lived each day as if he were going to die that night.  Whether it was in the jobs he worked prior to entering public service or in his political career, Johnson wanted results and answers, and he wanted them immediately.  In his personal life, Lyndon Johnson was really no different.

As they enjoyed coffee and breakfast at the Driskill Hotel during their first date, Johnson peppered Lady Bird with dozens of questions and bombarded Lady Bird with his own feelings, goals, worries, and intentions.  Lady Bird was a well-refined, polite young lady with impeccable social skills, so she must have been taken aback by Johnson’s unabashed energy and intensity.  Yet, she was also captivated by Johnson’s passion.  After breakfast, Lady Bird accepted an invitation to take a drive through the rural areas surrounding Austin.  An early version of LBJ’s legendary “Johnson Treatment” persisted throughout their whirlwind afternoon together.  By the time Lyndon dropped Lady Bird off – after spending just a few hours together and meeting her for the first time only 24 hours earlier – he had proposed marriage. 

Lady Bird said no to his immediate proposal.  Not only did she barely know Lyndon Johnson, but earlier that morning she had even considered skipping their coffee date.  But while she declined Johnson’s marriage proposal, she didn’t deny her interest in him.  Later, she would say of their first date that Lyndon “told me all sorts of things that I thought were extraordinarily direct for a first conversation…about how many years he had been teaching, his salary as a secretary to a Congressman, his ambitions, even about all the members of his family, and how much insurance he carried.  It was as if he wanted to give me a complete picture of his life and of his capabilities."  In truth, that’s exactly what Lyndon wanted to do.  Although she turned down his proposal, Lyndon and Lady Bird spent several days together that week before Lyndon returned to Congressman Kleberg’s office in Washington.  Johnson couldn’t leave her alone because he wanted "to keep her mind completely on me until the moment I had to leave for Washington."  By the time Johnson went back to the Capitol, Lady Bird had met Johnson’s parents in Johnson City and Lyndon had met Lady Bird’s father in Karnack.

Lady Bird’s father, Thomas, was an old-fashioned Southern gentleman and Lady Bird was his youngest child and only daughter.  A successful businessman and self-made man, Thomas Taylor didn’t seem like the type who would mix well with impatient, boorish Lyndon Johnson from the Hill Country.  Lyndon himself was full of nervous energy as he and Lady Bird drove to Mr. Taylor’s Brick House mansion near the Texas/Louisiana border.  He was worried about whether the wealthy Mr. Taylor would look down on the Johnson family’s hardscrabble roots and hoping to conduct himself in a way that would impress both Lady Bird and her father.

Thomas Taylor told his daughter exactly how he felt about Lyndon Johnson.  After Taylor, Johnson, and Lady Bird had dinner at the Brick House, Mr. Taylor excused himself and asked to speak privately with his daughter.  With Lyndon no doubt concerned in the other room, Mr. Taylor held nothing back.  "Daughter,” he said, “you’ve been bringing home a lot of boys.  But this time you’ve brought a man."  Mr. Taylor adored Lyndon Johnson.

Scheduled to return to Washington, D.C. the very next day, Lyndon again proposed to Lady Bird that night.  Once again, she turned down the idea of a quick marriage, but she encouraged him with a kiss before he started his long drive back to the nation’s capital.  They had only known each other for a few days and she had declined two marriage proposals during that time, but Lady Bird "had a queer sort of moth-and-flame thing” she later said.  “I knew I had met something remarkable, but I didn’t know quite what.”

Once Lyndon Johnson returned to Washington, he continued his pursuit of Lady Bird Taylor.  If he didn’t talk to her on a long-distance telephone call from Congressman Kleberg’s office, Johnson wrote a letter to her every single day.  Lyndon was always consumed by work – particularly answering the Congressman’s correspondence – but things had changed after his visit to Austin.  Johnson would still work on the mail as soon as he arrived at the Capitol each morning, but before he did anything else he would find a quiet room and write his daily letter to Lady Bird.  To his co-workers, it seemed that every conversation or event or issue would remind him in some way or another of Lady Bird.  It was so unusual for Johnson to put so much focus on one of his own interpersonal relationships that the people he worked with at the time would distinctly remember the change in his ways even years later after he had been President of the United States.

Back in Texas, Lady Bird Taylor was having a similar experience.  “I had never before considered myself a lonely person,” she later said.  But she “had spent so much of my life by myself that I had gotten used to being alone."  The whirlwind that was Lyndon Johnson made an immediate impact on her.  "Lyndon came into my life and in one week’s time he had become so much a part of me that when he left, I felt his absence terribly.  It was embarrassing to admit that so much could happen in such a short time.  Here was this man I barely knew talking about marriage and I was seriously considering the idea.”

While Lyndon kept pressing the idea of marriage, Lady Bird’s heart agreed with Johnson while her mind told her that perhaps she should wait.  She still barely knew the man, and being married to the secretary of a member of the United States House of Representatives wouldn’t have provided any woman with a sense of security.  Lady Bird had inherited money from her mother’s estate and her father was a wealthy man, but she was unsure of how Lyndon might be able to support her.  She was also unsure about being a political wife, telling Lyndon in one letter, “Oh, I know I haven’t any business – not any proprietary interest – but I would hate for you to go into politics.”

Lyndon was certain of two things that he wanted and needed in his life.  One was politics and though he was just a Congressional secretary, he was also intensely studying how Congress worked and building a foundation and network of political contacts back in Texas with his voluminous correspondence from the office of Congressman Kleberg. 

The other want and need was Lady Bird Taylor’s hand in marriage.  On October 23, 1934, Johnson wrote Lady Bird a letter from Kleberg’s office that expressed both of those wants and needs.  “This morning I’m ambitious, proud, energetic and very madly in love with you,” wrote Johnson.  “I want to see people – want to walk thru’ the throngs – want to do things with a drive.  If I had a box I would almost make a speech this minute.  Plans, ideas, hopes – I’m bubbling over with them."  The hope that bubbled most intensely was his dream to walk down the aisle with Lady Bird.

An overlooked aspect of Lyndon Johnson’s life and character is his sensitivity.  In later years, that sensitivity was highlighted by insecurity and moodiness.  In the autumn of 1934, that sensitivity allowed him to articulate his feelings to Lady Bird with astonishing clarity and demonstrated an impressive ability to recognize and express exactly what he was doing and why he was proposing marriage so quickly:

"I see something I know I want.  I immediately exert efforts to get it.  I do or I don’t, but I try and do my best.  You see something you might want.  You tear it to pieces in an effort to determine if you should want it.  Then you wonder why you want it, and conclude that maybe the desire isn’t an ‘everlasting’ one and that the 'sane’ thing to do is to wait a year or so, and then if you still want it, to decide at that time whether or not you should make an effort to get it.”

At the beginning of November 1934, Lyndon Johnson couldn’t wait any longer.  It was obvious to him that Lady Bird loved him, and he knew he loved her.  Lady Bird was still turning down Lyndon every time he pleaded with her to marry him immediately.  They had only known one another for about three months, but Lyndon forced the issue by pulling his Ford roadster into the long driveway at Lady Bird’s father’s mansion, the Brick House, in Karnack, Texas.  “Let’s get married,” Lyndon said.  “Not next year, after you’ve done over the house, but about two weeks from now, or right away.  We either get married now or we never will  And if you say goodbye to me, it just proves to me that you just don’t love me enough to dare to.  And I just can’t bear to go on and keep wondering if it will ever happen." 

Lady Bird was still torn and turned to her father for advice.  "Bird,” said Mr. Taylor, the successful businessman who admired the guts and determination of Lady Bird’s suitor.  “Some of the best deals are made in a hurry."  Thomas Taylor’s words seemed to validate one of Lyndon Johnson’s frequent exhortations in his letters to Lady Bird, "Why must we wait…to begin to do the things we want to do forever and ever?”.  On the evening of November 16, 1934, Lady Bird Taylor finally said, “Yes”, and agreed to become Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson.

Just because Lady Bird agreed to marry him didn’t mean that Lyndon was satisfied.  The very next day, November 17, 1934, the newly-engaged couple drove nearly 400 miles to San Antonio, Texas.  Lyndon had a friend in San Antonio who owed his political career to Johnson.  Dan Quill had been appointed postmaster in San Antonio after Johnson recommended his nomination to his boss, Congressman Richard Kleberg.  Johnson knew it would be difficult to find someone who would agree to marry him and Lady Bird on such short notice, but Quill was determined to return the favor for Lyndon.  As the couple drove to San Antonio from Karnack, Quill used his influence to acquire a marriage license for Lyndon and Lady Bird on almost no advance notice.  More impressively, Quill was able to talk an Episcopalian priest into marrying a couple that the priest had never met and who had only been engaged to be married for a few hours.

With obvious reluctance because he had no prenuptial meetings with Lyndon and Lady Bird, the Reverend Arthur E. McKinistry nevertheless officiated a wedding on the evening of November 17, 1934 at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in San Antonio.  Quill served as Johnson’s best man, a surprised local friend of Lady Bird’s served as Maid of Honor, and there was just one other witness to the ceremony.  When Reverend McKinistry asked for the rings, the wedding ceremony was paused as Quill ran across the street to Sears, Roebuck and brought back a selection of wedding bands for the couple to choose from.  After paying $2.50 a piece for the temporary rings, Lyndon and Lady Bird placed them on each other’s fingers and were officially proclaimed husband and wife.

The Johnsons – lanky Lyndon in a perpetually rumpled business suit and petite Lady Bird in a basic lavender dress – celebrated their wedding with a dinner at a restaurant on the rooftop of St. Anthony’s Hotel two blocks south of the church.  They spent their first night of marriage together at San Antonio’s Plaza Hotel.  The next morning, the newlyweds drove to Corpus Christi and caught a train to Monterrey, Mexico for a brief honeymoon.  One of the earliest pictures of the couple shows them standing in a boat while visiting the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco.  For Lady Bird, the honeymoon was an eye-opener in many ways.  A passionate lover and advocate of natural beauty and wildlife, Lady Bird was thrilled to explore the scenery and culture in Mexico.  The honeymoon, however, also gave her an indication of the life she was beginning.  Lyndon spent a significant amount of time talking about politics and itching to get back to Washington.  As Lady Bird would later say, “I was a born sight-seer, but Lyndon was a born people-seer.  He indulged me on that trip, but the truth is he wasn’t much intrigued."  After Mexico, Lyndon and Lady Bird moved into a one-bedroom apartment in Washington, D.C., and their life together truly began.



It is impossible to do justice to the story of the relationship of Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson in just a simple essay.  It is worthy of (and has been the sole subject of) entire books.  There are so many levels, so much depth, and such extraordinary complexity to their marriage that a definitive history requires thorough study and an ample commitment of time and space.

We do know that Lyndon Baines Johnson was not always the greatest husband.  Just as apparent, however, is that Lady Bird Johnson was indeed one of the greatest, most influential, most loyal wives in American political history.  As First Lady, she not only understood her position in her home, but recognized the opportunities that she had to serve her country.  "The Constitution of the United States,” Lady Bird said, “does not mention the First Lady.  She is elected by one man only.  The statute books assign her no duties; and yet, when she gets the job, a podium is there if she cares to use it.  I did." 

Exceedingly capable, Lady Bird expanded the role of First Lady and marshaled all of her intelligence, ability, and beliefs in order to become a transformational activist in American life.  Every First Lady since Lady Bird has played an influential role in the lives of Americans, and that’s not solely because of Lady Bird but mostly so.  Whether it was her campaigns for environmental protection and conservation, beautification, her support for civil rights, or her advocacy for those suffering from poverty or social injustice, Lady Bird was a force for positive change.

It is her most important role, however, which is often overlooked.  Lyndon Johnson was not easy to live with.  His larger-than-life personality and overflowing ego was constantly engaged in a see-saw battle with insecurity, a lack of confidence, and an overpowering fear of failure.  In every election that Johnson ever contested, there came a point where he was dominated by the thought that he would lose and all but decide to quit the race before Election Day.  In almost every one of those elections (and he only lost one election in his long political career), LBJ fell seriously ill shortly before Election Day.  Whether it was due to Johnson’s tendency to work himself to exhaustion or partly due to a psychosomatic condition is not completely clear, but Doris Kearns Goodwin would later write that "Personal rejection was so unbearable to Johnson, so mortally threatening, that withdrawal was necessary…Episodes of rejection, actual or apprehended, seem[ed] to cripple Johnson’s faculties and even, at times, interrupt his normal state of physical health and vitality.”

It was Lady Bird who could calm him in troubled times.  While Lyndon Johnson is remembered as a political maestro, particularly in legislative politics, Lady Bird had great political intuition and knew how to handle Lyndon himself.  LBJ could be cruel and coarse – not just to his colleagues and staff, but to Lady Bird.  In a 1994 interview with The Washington Post, Lady Bird admitted as much.  “Our was a compelling love,” she said.  “Lyndon bullied me, coaxed me, at times even ridiculed me, but he made me more than I would have been.  I offered him some peace and quiet, maybe a little judgment.”

That humility was not false humility; it was Lady Bird’s characteristically earnest belief.  Yet, she arguably offered him more than he offered her.  When he was sick, she helped care for him.  When he was depressed, she helped make his life as easy as possible.  She motivated him in a way that nothing else could – not even his intense drive to prove himself or ceaseless ambition for the power to help change things.  If Lyndon Johnson was a hurricane – a force to be reckoned with, Lady Bird Johnson was the quiet breeze and warm sunshine which helped settle everything in the storm’s wake.  I’m not sure Lyndon Johnson made Lady Bird more than she could have been, but I’m positive that Lady Bird helped LBJ become who he was.

In many of the books and interviews that I’ve read about the lives and times, accomplishments and failures of Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson, I have frequently come across the word “anchor” to describe her influence on the 36th President of the United States.  The intent of that description is to demonstrate how she helped LBJ remain grounded.  It’s a positive label, but it’s not the word that comes to my mind when I think about their unique relationship.

Instead, the word that comes to my mind is a word that Lyndon Johnson probably heard many times when he was just out of college and teaching at a small school for impoverished Mexican children in Cotulla, Texas.  The word is “brújula” and it is the Spanish word for “compass”.  Lady Bird wasn’t Lyndon’s anchor.  She was his “brújula” – the compass which helped him find his way. 

Lyndon Baines Johnson could never stay in one place, so an anchor wasn’t what he needed.  LBJ was always on the move, always going somewhere.  Perhaps that’s why he knew he needed Lady Bird before she realized how she felt about him.  He recognized what she could be for him, and he couldn’t let her get away.  For Lyndon, in a life full of historic accomplishments, it might have been his best decision.  Until the day he Lyndon Johnson died in January 1973, whenever he was lost, whenever he was disoriented, whenever he found himself wondering where he was, where he was going, and if he could go on, there was Lady Bird – his brújula, his loving compass, his most important adviser, his closest friend, his indispensable partner – to guide him on his way.

Conservative radio host grills Trump's health secretary over journalist arrested after asking questions

(Radio host Hugh HewittKirk Irwin/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
Hugh Hewitt wanted to drive home a point in an interview with Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price on Friday morning.

The conservative radio host brought up an incident in which a reporter was arrested while trying to shout questions during Price’s appearance at West Virginia’s state capitol.

The reporter, Dan Heyman, was taken into custody on Tuesday after he allegedly followed Price, senior White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, and others down a hallway at the capitol, asking questions about healthcare policy.

Heyman was charged with willful disruption of state government processes.

Hewitt took up the incident with Price on Friday.

“I am a journalist, so I have to start with what happened to a member of my tribe, Dan Heyman, in West Virginia this week,” Hewitt said. “Do you think the charges should be dropped against Mr. Heyman?”

Price deferred the question to local authorities.

“Look, this fellow, we were walking into the state capitol, and a fellow was yelling at us, which is not necessarily unusual from the press,” he said. “But I turned the corner to head on into the round table, and something happened afterwards.”

Price did not elaborate. Hewitt pressed Price again.

“I know we can be jerks, and I know we can yell, etc., but we shouldn’t be arrested even when we are totally off the charts screaming at people,” Hewitt said, suggesting to Price that his staff should “nudge” West Virginian authorities to drop the case.

Price seemed to suggest the reporter was out of line for asking questions outside of a scheduled press conference he and Conway were going to. “Our detail was making certain that we were able to get to the round table and to the press conference. This wasn’t in the press conference, you know, Hugh,” Price said. “This was, this gentleman was not in the press conference.”

Hewitt implored Price one last time: “Arresting a journalist is not something we do in the United States. That’s what I would hope you would consider that.”

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It’s FRIDAY FASHION FACT! Several weeks ago, I talked about fashion plates (read here) and how they were used to spread the latest trends in the time before you could flip through Vogue, or browse your favorite fashion blogger’s Instagram. But what happened before then? Fashion plates didn’t become popular until the end of the 18th Century, yet fashions would spread across countries long before then. How? Enter the pandora.

Put simply, a pandora was a doll, typically around 15-17 inches tall, dressed in the latest fashions. Nearly a foot and a half in height sounds large for a doll, but they were meant to be large enough not only to be prominently displayed, but also to accommodate every detail of the fashion they miniaturized; from the lining to the pleats, buttons, and trim. Also known as Queen Anne dolls (due to the Queen’s love of them) these dolls needed to be small enough to be practical in price, but more importantly, they needed to be portable.

Pandoras were created in Paris, which as I have mentioned before, was the undisputed fashion capitol of the western world throughout history. There is some debate as to when pandoras were created. They were popularized in the 17th Century, but there is evidence they may have been used as early as the 14th Century. They were created by the top Parisian dressmakers and shipped to both elite members of society and dressmakers across Europe and beyond.

The dolls themselves were most commonly made out of wood, but some early models were made out of wax, while later version were sometimes plaster. In the 18th Century, they commonly had carefully crafted porcelain faces. The dolls also had hair (typically made of wool) styled in the lasted fashion. They came complete with all the appropriate underpinnings, even little shoes. They were the complete look. The pandora was so in demand that it ultimately became the most desired and elite French export. It even rose above all political strife. When France and England were at war at the beginning of the 18th Century, all immigration and importation between the two countries was halted, with the exception of pandoras. The dolls were granted immunity, and escorted into England with full military guard.

Pandoras reached their peak during the Rococo Age, when opulence was most desired. However, they fell out of use at the beginning of the 19th century with the rise of fashion plates. Additionally, the style at that time was neoclassical fashion. The simplistic looks were easily conveyed in fashion plates, rendering the dolls unnecessary. Even as fashion grew more elaborate again, pandoras were not revived, as various developments in technology meant they continued to be unnecessary. However, over a century later, pandoras made an unexpected comeback.

During World War II, the Paris fashion industry was nearly completely destroyed due to German occupation (as I mentioned in my post about fashion shows, here) They needed a way to revive Parisian couture, though they had almost no resources to work with. The solution was the pandora. All of Paris’ top couturiers created their latest design in miniature, accessories and all. The doll’s bodies were made of wire, to make it clear that they were not toys. However, their faces were shaped by top artists, with expertly crafted hair. They were placed in complete scenes and put on display for the public. It was a massive success, dubbed Théâtre de la Mode, and effectively revived Paris’ claim as fashion capital of the world. The Théâtre went on tour, and while they were a novelty for a while, pandoras eventually faded into obscurity once again. However, the cultural impact is far reaching, and pandoras are often credited as being the precursor to modern fashion dolls, like Barbie!

Have a question about fashion history that you want answered in the next FRIDAY FASHION FACT? Just click the ASK button at the top of the page!

Donald Trump’s Firing of James Comey - New York Times Editorial Board

James Comey on Capitol Hill last week. CreditGabriella Demczuk for The New York Times

The American people — not to mention the credibility of the world’s oldest democracy — require a thorough, impartial investigation into the extent of Russia’s meddling with the 2016 presidential election on behalf of Donald Trump and, crucially, whether high-ranking members of Mr. Trump’s campaign colluded in that effort.

By firing the F.B.I. director, James Comey, late Tuesday afternoon, President Trump has cast grave doubt on the viability of any further investigation into what could be one of the biggest political scandals in the country’s history.

The explanation for this shocking move — that Mr. Comey’s bungling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server violated longstanding Justice Department policy and profoundly damaged public trust in the agency — is impossible to take at face value. Certainly Mr. Comey deserves all the criticism heaped upon him for his repeated missteps in that case, but just as certainly, that’s not the reason Mr. Trump fired him.

Mr. Trump had nothing but praise for Mr. Comey when, in the final days of the presidential campaign, he informed Congress that the bureau was reopening the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s emails. “He brought back his reputation,” Mr. Trump said at the time. “It took a lot of guts.”

With congressional Republicans continuing to resist any serious investigation, Mr. Comey’s inquiry was the only aggressive effort to get to the bottom of Russia’s ties to the Trump campaign. So far, the scandal has engulfed Paul Manafort, one of Mr. Trump’s campaign managers; Roger Stone, a longtime confidant; Carter Page, one of the campaign’s early foreign-policy advisers; Michael Flynn, who was forced out as national security adviser; and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused himself in March from the Russia inquiry after failing to disclose during his confirmation hearings that he had met twice during the campaign with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

We have said that Mr. Comey’s atrocious handling of the Clinton email investigation, which arguably tipped the election to Mr. Trump, proved that he could not be trusted to be neutral, and that the only credible course of action would be the appointment of a special prosecutor. Given all that has happened — the firing of the F.B.I. director, on top of Mr. Trump’s firing of the acting attorney general, Sally Yates, and his dismissal of nearly all United States attorneys — the need for such a prosecutor is plainer than ever. Because Mr. Sessions is recused, the decision to name a special prosecutor falls to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, whose memo, along with a separate one by Mr. Sessions, provided Mr. Trump with the pretense to fire Mr. Comey.

This is a tense and uncertain time in the nation’s history. The president of the United States, who is no more above the law than any other citizen, has now decisively crippled the F.B.I.’s ability to carry out an investigation of him and his associates. There is no guarantee that Mr. Comey’s replacement, who will be chosen by Mr. Trump, will continue that investigation; in fact, there are already hints to the contrary.

The obvious historical parallel to Mr. Trump’s action was the so-called Saturday Night Massacre in October 1973, when President Richard Nixon ordered the firing of the special prosecutor investigating Watergate, prompting the principled resignations of the attorney general and his deputy. But now, there is no special prosecutor in place to determine whether the public trust has been violated, and whether the presidency was effectively stolen by a hostile foreign power. For that reason, the country has reached an even more perilous moment.

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Louis Tomlinson heads to studio as he becomes last member of 1D to go solo
LOUIS TOMLINSON is the fifth member of ONE DIRECTION to go solo. I can reveal the megastar boyband’s most prolific songwriter has been in the studio working on his own material. The news will delig…

LOUIS TOMLINSON is the fifth member of ONE DIRECTION to go solo.

I can reveal the megastar boyband’s most prolific songwriter has been in the studio working on his own material.

The news will delight 1D fans as it means all past and present members of the band — Louis, HARRY STYLES, LIAM PAYNE, NIALL HORAN and quitter ZAYN MALIK — will now have solo careers. Bosses at SIMON COWELL’s record label Syco are very impressed with what he has been working on and are keen for a release.

New dad Louis, who runs his own record label within Syco, is the only member of the band who has stayed loyal to his X Factor mentor.

Last night our source revealed: “Louis is a brilliant songwriter and had not initially planned his own solo career.

“But he’s been back in the studio and has been working on some really amazing music.

“He’s played some to the powers that be at Syco, who are really excited.

“They think he could be a real success as a solo artist, given his proven ability to write hit records and massive fanbase as part of 1D.”

Louis certainly has plenty to write about.

The Doncaster lad has had the most interesting life out of all of 1D since I revealed the band were going on an extended break.

He became the first 1Dad in January with son Freddie Reign but dumped baby mama Briana Jungwirth and started dating US actress DANIELLE CAMPBELL. He also relocated to LA and divided his time between supporting Briana during the pregnancy and visiting his new girlfriend in Chicago.

Louis missed out on the chance to join the judging panel on this year’s X Factor to focus on being a first-time dad and developing his label.

In April the budding businessman added a new teen girl band to his roster, which also includes 2014 X Factor finalist JACK WALTON.

The same month he made his debut as a judge alongside Simon on America’s Got Talent, earning rave reviews.
It won’t be long until he is back to being the talent himself.

How they’re getting on all by themselves…

Harry

Went straight from 1D to Hollywood debut Dunkirk and also signed £60 million record deal.

Working with BRUNO MARS and super-producer MAX MARTIN.

Niall

Won remaining lads’ race for first solo single with This Town.

Quit Syco for Capitol Records. Is only band member to stay with 1D’s Modest Management.

Liam

Shocked Simon Cowell by leaving Sony for Universal.

Is expected to be most experimental ex-1Der – has already teased rap and R&B songs online.

Zayn

Left 1D in March last year so already way ahead in solo stakes.

Signed with RCA and debut single and album both hit No1 in UK and US.

Liam Payne Joins Ariana Grande & the Weeknd on Republic Records Roster: Exclusive

10/17/2016 by Gil Kaufman

Nearly 10 months after One Direction went on hiatus, Liam Payne is ready to get back into the game. Republic Records announced on Monday morning (Oct. 17) that Payne has signed to the label in North America, joining a star-packed roster that includes Drake, Ariana Grande and the Weekend, among others.

The label said that Payne will release new music “soon” through an alliance with the Capitol UK label. The singer/songwriter’s manager, Simon Oliveira, said in a statement, “With Republic’s track record of launching powerhouse talent in the U.S. including superstars like Drake, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, The Weeknd, Ariana Grande, Lorde, and countless others, I am more than confident we have assembled the best possible team alongside Capitol’s UK label to launch and shepherd Liam’s solo career.”

Republic co-founder and CEO Monte Lipman added ,“Being a member of the most successful group of the last decade, Liam has a tremendous opportunity to make an even greater impact on pop culture.  We’re honored by LIAM’s decision to join Republic Records, and have extremely high expectations for his solo career.”

News of Payne signing comes a week after fellow 1D member Niall Horan released his first solo track, “This Town.” While Harry Styles has signed an $80 million record deal with Columbia Records, no music has emerged from that pact just yet as Styles has been busy filming the Christopher Nolan war drama Dunkirk. Louis Tomlinson announced plans to start a girl band through Louis imprint on Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment label.

Y'all TAU fuckers really love your glitter, dontcha.

When one thinks of glitter in relation to the Pines family, the person who immediately comes to mind is the eccentric but lovable warrior mom, Mabel.

One does not, generally, think of the wheelchair-bound sarcastic but lovable old man who took the Pines twins and their family in as his own, but after the events of one memorable June, it would take a few years to shake the association of him with glitter from their minds.


Mabel was always creative, but every few weeks she tended to have moods that the rest of the family learned to dread: sudden bouts of increased inspiration, and her canvas was everything. During one, she repainted the kitchen a rather garish shade of blue and did her best at sponging in clouds–Stan had Dipper reverse the action for his emergency supply of junk food a few days later. During another, each triplet had gotten a unique makeover. “Unique makeover” being roughly translated to “I look like someone straight out of the Capitol in the Hunger Games, plus multiludes of glitter make-up and worse hair.” Acacia went with it, but both Hank and Willow refused to be seen outside for days even after Dipper helped them clean up.

When the Pines woke up Sunday morning the first week of June, a feeling of dread hung over each member. Tired as they were, no one recognized the feeling until Miss Imagination herself pranced into the kitchen bearing armfuls of glitter, ribbon, and other crafty materials.

The entire family, halfway through breakfast, merely stared for a moment as a shit-eating grin spread across Mabel’s face. Then she started forward, Dipper yelled “Scatter!” and everyone lunged for one doorway or another.

The triplets and the resident demon got away relatively safely, some pelted with the one container of glitter that had been open, but Stanley was having trouble maneuvering his wheelchair through the doorway without help. This happened often due to his aversion to asking for assistance. Unfortunately, today was probably the worst day to have troubles.

“Grunkle Stan…” Mabel approached him slowly, an all-too-sweet sing-song tone to her voice. She brandished her glitter threateningly. The evil glint in her eye showed she knew exactly how much her family hated her moods, and that she didn’t care one tiny bit.

Dipper and his niblings determinedly avoided the kitchen for as long as possible, ignoring Stanley’s pleas for mercy. When Mabel finally emerged into the living room, it was with a wicked grin plastered to her face along with multicolor glitter. A few ribbons were draped around her shoulders, and her wild brown hair was even more so. The triplets dreaded to see what Grunkle Stan would look like if she looked this messy.

“Who wants to see my latest masterpiece?” Mabel asked, flinging herself onto the couch beside her brother. Acacia and Willow looked at each other nervously while Dipper picked at his claws. Hank tried to appear busy by picking up the nearest book, but he quickly put it down–it was one Dipper had obtained in a deal that Henry hadn’t gotten around to finding a place for yet. Mabel frowned indignantly before grabbing Dipper’s wrist. “Come on!”

The triplets hesitantly followed as their uncle was forcibly dragged towards the dining room where Stanley sat in shame. They heard a sharp “Oh dear,” before they finally stepped through the doorway, and each let out their own cry of surprise.

Grunkle Stan sat in all his glittery glory, face buried in his hands. His wheelchair was bedazzled generously, ribbons draped across every available spot and decorating the spokes on the wheels. Glitter adorned the fabric of the wheelchair and clung to the handles and armrests. Stan himself had recieved a manicure of a lovely array of colors that didn’t necessrily go together, and his customary bowtie was replaced with a loud yellow ribbon tied into a bow. Mabel had fashioned him a sash of red and dark blue ribbon that proclaimed “MR. MYSTERY” in foam stick-on letters that were sprinkled with glitter. His suit jacket (which he often wore with just briefs accompanying it) was given a fine coating of yellow and pink glitter. What really stuck out to everyone who had just entered the room, however, was also probably the most mortifying aspect for Stanley.

His thinning gray hair had been pulled into pigtails tied with red ribbon, purple glitter sprinkled on his scalp. It was made funnier by the sheer lack of hair he had, so that it was ridiculously small clumps that were tied off. Stanley groaned in misery while Mabel simply beamed.

Needless to say, the incident would remain fresh in the Pines’ minds for months to come.