34 amazing first lines of famous books.

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ever wonder how to get your book reviewed?

Ever wonder “How to get my book reviewed”?

So you’ve published your book. Its been edited and published, and now you’re trying to figure out how to get to your potential readers. While starting your marketing campaign usually happens well More »

‘People are hungry for real bookstores’: Judy Blume on why US indie booksellers are growing

At 78, the multimillion-selling author has begun a new career, opening her own bookshop and joining a business sector thats flourishing again in the US   She might be a beloved and More »

Its not Harry and Meghan. Its the monarchy I oppose | Gary Younge

As a republican Id like to steer clear of the royal wedding. That doesnt seem to be an option, says Guardian columnist Gary Younge

The royal wedding, as we now know it, was born in 1922. The marriage of Princess Mary to Viscount Lascelles was, it is said, less an arranged union than a forced one. Lascelles bet his friends that if he asked King George Vs only daughter to marry him shed say yes. Mary was not keen. But the king insisted. Whatever private anxiety there might have been was buried deep beneath the public ceremony.

Monarchies elsewhere had fallen foul of popular uprisings; Britains royals felt they had to work for their privileges. Five years earlier, during the first world war, the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha had rebranded itself the House of Windsor to establish some distance from their German lineage.

Marys wedding was another opportunity to connect with the public. For the first time in a long time a royal wedding was held at Westminster Abbey, with a full procession and coverage by Path News. It is now no longer Marys wedding, wrote her brother, the future George VI. But (this from the papers) it is the Abbey Wedding or the Royal Wedding or the National Wedding or even the Peoples Wedding.

Royal weddings are no more about two people being in love than a presidential inauguration is about a politicians first day in a new job. That doesnt mean the couple in question dont necessarily love each other. Only that it is not a prerequisite for the ceremony.

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Six royal weddings in one to mark Harry and Meghan’s big day – video

When it comes to royal events it is not individuals but the institution the monarchy that really counts. So the nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are a private ceremony only in the formal sense that it is not an official state occasion. It will be televised, has received acres of newspaper coverage, has 600 guests, costs 32m, and 1,200 commoners have been nominated to join in.

I wish it was private. Then they could have their seclusion and I could ignore it. But then what would the point of that be? To be invisible, wrote the 19th-century constitutionalist Walter Bagehot, is to be forgotten To be a symbol, and an effective symbol, you must be vividly and often seen.

I for one have already seen enough. Im a republican for all the obvious reasons. A monarchy establishes inherited privilege at the heart of government and embeds patronage at the centre of power. The royals are a class act. And thats the problem. Im not a very passionate republican many things bother me more than the monarchy. But as principles go it is unwavering. We have a class problem in Britain and the monarchy exemplifies it. If its a guilty pleasure Im after, I dont turn to betrothals in real-world feudal dynasties: I have Netflix. The political scientist Benedict Anderson described countries as imagined communities. Call me a misery guts, but Id rather imagine one in which I am born a citizen, not a subject, and others are not born to govern me.

Id be fine leaving the whole thing alone; the trouble is it wont leave me alone. Last week Harry and Meghan showed up in both my kids book bags theyd been invited by their schools to celebrate their wedding by wearing red, white and blue or buying cupcakes or both.

A Megharryccino, sold by a coffee shop in Windsor. Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

This is propaganda through tasty pastry. The purpose of these highly scripted and tightly choreographed weddings is twofold: to renew the monarchys sense of legitimacy and to establish its relevance. Those who claim God has ordained that they should rule over everyone else will always have to worry about credibility. The Russian tsar executed by the Bolsheviks was the Queens grandfathers cousin. Her husband, Prince Phillip, was evacuated from Greece as a baby on a warship in a cot made from a fruit box. So she knows a thing or two about what can happen when legitimacy is lost.

It is worth noting that the wedding in which the most royal PR capital has been invested between Prince Charles and Lady Diana was for the marriage that failed most publicly and calamitously. The uncertain response to Dianas death was the one occasion in recent memory the institution looked vulnerable. For all that, the monarchy seems safe. Half of Britons think it is good for Britain and even more believe it should continue.

Given the parlous state of our political class, the polarised nature of our political culture and the absurd figure we cut on the world stage following the Brexit vote, institutions such as the monarchy can be reassuring for some. A royal wedding provides a semblance of stability and the hope of unity for those whod favour the certainties of a benign dictatorship over the vagaries of democracy.

The royals relevance relates to their ability to adapt their elite entitlements to the popular mood. The Queen, for example, used clothing ration coupons to pay for her wedding dress (the government gave her 200 extra). Meanwhile both the Duchess of Cambridge and Markle have university degrees, the first royal brides who can claim such erudition. Being black, Markle is the first who can claim such melanin. These attributes, were told, illustrate the institutions capacity to evolve. If anything they reveal the opposite. Women with university degrees and interracial marriages are neither recent nor rare in Britain. The fact they are remarkable at this level of the aristocracy is itself remarkable.

Asked in a survey which words best describe their feelings about the wedding, 46% said indifferent, the most popular answer, followed by 29% who described themselves as happy. Those who prefer their matrimony with a dose of class deference mistake this ambivalence for curmudgeonliness. That is incredibly self-serving. Weddings are my favourite life-cycle event particularly British ones. Multi-generational, diasporic, boozy, flirty, with dad-dancing and simmering family drama Im more fond of them than the institution of marriage itself.

But the weddings I enjoy are the ones where I know the people getting married. I have no more inclination to be interested in this wedding than to wander into a random church on a Saturday afternoon and become engrossed in the ceremony of anyone else I dont know. I dont begrudge anyone feeling differently. I understand that all sorts of people see all sorts of things in her, him, them and it. And I get the intrigue over Charless late entry as the candidate to walk Markle down the aisle. A princely marriage is the brilliant edition of a universal fact, and, as such, it rivets mankind, wrote Bagehot. A royal family sweetens politics by the seasonable addition of nice and pretty events.

Once upon a time maybe. But at this stage the appeal for many seems to lie in a cross between Red Nose Day and the Eurovision song contest a camp and kitschy licence to be lowbrow on a national scale. If they can derive pleasure from the elite marriage of strangers, thats great. I bear no animus towards the happy couple on their big day.

I am a republican and a humanist. Indeed, I am a republican because I am a humanist. I wish the individuals well and the institution ill.

Gary Younge is a Guardian columnist

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/19/harry-meghan-republican-royal-wedding

Germaine Greer calls for punishment for rape to be reduced

Feminist academic tells Hay festival that most rape is just lazy, careless and insensitive

Germaine Greer has called for the lowering of punishment for rape and said society should not see it as a spectacularly violent crime but instead view it more as lazy, careless and insensitive.

She suggested that a fitting sentence for the offence might be 200 hours community service and perhaps an r tattoo on the rapists hand, arm or cheek.

Speaking at the Hay literary festival, the feminist academic argued that rape is rampant in society and the legal system cannot cope with it because it always comes down to the issue of consent, with the victims becoming little more than bits of evidence.

She said the system was not working and radical change was needed. I want to turn the discourse about rape upside down. We are not getting anywhere approaching it down the tunnel of history, she said.

Most rapes dont involve any injury whatsoever, Greer said. We are told that it is a sexually violent crime, an expert like Quentin Tarantino will tell us that when you use the word rape youre talking about violence, a throwing them down… it is one of the most violent crimes in the world. Bullshit Tarantino.

Most rape is just lazy, just careless, insensitive. Every time a man rolls over on his exhausted wife and insists on enjoying his conjugal rights he is raping her. It will never end up in a court of law.

Instead of thinking of rape as a spectacularly violent crime, and some rapes are, think about it as non consensual that is bad sex. Sex where there is no communication, no tenderness, no mention of love.

Rape trials were foundering and not ending in convictions as lawyers argued over the issue of consent, she said. Why not believe the woman and lower the penalty?

If we are going to say trust us, believe us, if we do say that our accusation should stand as evidence, then we do have to reduce the tariff for rape.

Greer acknowledged her thesis would be controversial. It is moments like these, I can hear the feminists screaming at me, youre trivialising rape!

Well Ill tell you what You might want to believe that the penis is a lethal weapon and that all women live in fear of that lethal weapon, well thats bullshit. Its not true. We dont live in terror of the penis A man cant kill you with his penis.

She said that, in cases of obviously violent rape, the courts should concentrate on the violence which should attract bigger sentences, rather than having long trials in which women are humiliated for long periods.

Greer is publishing her full argument on rape in a new book, coming out in Australia in September.

She said some might see her attitude to rape as flippant, but she reminded the silent Hay audience of her own experience when she was 18 and was raped. She was beaten repeatedly by a man telling her say fuck me a dozen times. Did she say it? I dont think I did, but maybe I did. How would that look on my mobile phone in court saying fuck me? Greer did not make a complaint to police.

She questioned a statistic which said that 70% of rape victims had suffered post-traumatic stress disorder compared with 20% of conflict veterans.

What the hell are you saying? Something that leaves no sign, no injury, no nothing is more damaging to a woman than seeing your best friend blown up by an IED is to a veteran?

Society wanted women to believe that rape destroyed them, she said. We havent been destroyed, weve been bloody annoyed is what weve been.

Greer has long divided opinion, since she published her landmark work The Female Eunuch in 1970, and her Hay talk shows no sign of changing that.

She said the world was full of bad sex, that people were not talking and loving as they should. Love-making is not a matter of an organ, it is a matter of communication and somehow weve got to rescue it. It is in deep trouble, heterosex.

It is more of a crisis for women, she added. Women love men, more than they [men] love women. We are more aware of our men, more than they are aware of us. We are more easily pressured into pleasing them, or trying to please them. We tend to love our sons more than our daughters, we hope it doesnt show, but it nearly always does.

Greer was pessimistic about the Harvey Weinstein case, predicting that the only winners would be lawyers. They will break down the witness.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/may/30/germaine-greer-calls-for-punishment-for-to-be-reduced

Mystery Of The Leaning Tower Of Pisa Has Finally Been Solved

A team of engineers has finally unlocked the puzzle of why the seemingly unstable Leaning Tower of Pisa is still standing despite the central Italian region’s long history of powerful earthquakes and the passage of more than 600 years.

Led by Roma Tre University, the investigation went beyond previous studies of the tower’s unexpected stability by analyzing the available structural and seismic data records and examining the physical, mechanical, and chemical properties of the construction materials and the rock and soil underneath.

Their results, slated to be presented at the 16th European Conference in Earthquake Engineering next month, revealed that the Tower’s ability to withstand strong seismic vibration comes from a phenomenon called dynamic soil-structure interaction (DSSI).

Essentially, due to a remarkably serendipitous interplay between the tower’s height (55 meters or 183 feet), the soft soil it is anchored in, and the rigidity of the marble constituting most of its structure, the tower has vibrational characteristics that prevent it from resonating – aka shaking – when seismic waves pass through the ground.

“Ironically, the very same soil that caused the leaning instability and brought the Tower to the verge of collapse, can be credited for helping it survive these seismic events,” said Professor George Mylonakis, from Bristol’s Department of Civil Engineering, in a statement.

Construction of the bell tower, located on the grounds of the Piazza dei Miracoli cathedral, began in 1173. The structure is said to have started leaning by the time workers had crafted the third of the eight planned stories, and the soft soil underneath – composed of sand, mud, and clay – was quickly identified as the cause. At the time, the tower leaned north, so the architect (whose identity remains up for debate) tried to compensate by crafting smaller columns and arches on the north side of the third level. But before the builders could complete the fourth story, construction was halted by the outbreak of a series of religious wars.

Attempts were made to complete the bell tower when the dust settled in 1272. Then leaning south due to soil movement over the previous century, the tower’s new engineers also tried to compensate for the angle but had to stop building – after completing the seventh story – when political drama erupted once again in 1278. The north-tilting eighth story was finally completed around 1370, giving the south-leaning tower its characteristic curved appearance.

Following a series of stabilization efforts throughout the 20th century and early 2000s, the tower’s lean has been lessened. As of today, the top of the tower is offset from the center of the base by 3.9 meters (12 feet 10 inches).

The Leaning Tower, cathedral and baptistery of Piazza dei  Miracoli, Pisa. Vintage engraved illustration. Trousset encyclopedia (1886 – 1891). Morphart Creation/Shutterstock


Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/physics/mystery-of-the-leaning-tower-of-pisa-has-finally-been-solved/

movies from books

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Fox Military Guest: Torture Is Good, It Worked on John McCain

According to a frequent Fox Business Network military commentator, torture is good because it worked on Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

McCain, who was tortured while a prisoner of war in Vietnam, has been outspoken in opposing Gina Haspel, President Trumps pro-torture nominee to lead the Central Intelligence Agency.

Appearing Thursday morning on the Fox Business Network, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney took an ugly swipe at McCain for his opposition to torture, telling Varney & Co. host Charles Payne: The fact is, is John McCainit worked on John. Thats why they call him Songbird John.

The fact is those methods can work, and they are effective, as former Vice President Cheney said, McInerney continued, in a clip first spotted by Media Matters. And if we have to use them to save a million American lives, we will do whatever we have to.

Contrary to McInerneys claim, however, there is no evidence McCain ever gave up accurate information while being tortured in North Vietnam. In fact, the senator wrote in one of his books, Pressed for more useful information, I gave the names of the Green Bay Packers offensive line, and said they were members of my squadron.

Experienced interrogators frequently cite that story as a demonstration of how ineffective torture is in producing reliable information.

Hours after the segment aired, Payne released a statement apologizing to the McCain family. This morning on a show I was hosting, a guest made a very false and derogatory remark about Senator John McCain. At the time, I had the control room in my ear telling me to wrap the segment, and did not hear the comment. I regret I did not catch this remark, as it should have been challenged. As a proud military veteran and son of a Vietnam Vet these words neither reflect my or the networks feelings about Senator McCain, or his remarkable service and sacrifice to this country.

McInerney, once a top TV pitchman for President George W. Bushs Iraq War, recently served as a paid analyst on Fox News. He is no longer in that position, but continues to make frequent appearances across both Fox News and Fox Business, and has a penchant for outlandish claims related to military and foreign policy.

The former number-three commander of the Air Force was a frequent source of birther conspiracies about President Obama, often suggesting he was secretly a radical Muslim.

I feel I have an obligation to the American people to be a part of the discourse and discuss these important national security issues because they are complex, especially on radical Islam, McInerney told The Daily Beast shortly before appearing at a 2016 Trump rally. As a nation we have not had it. We have a president that has suppressed it.

McInerney also infamously claimed on Fox News that missing passenger jet MH370 was actually hijacked by terrorists and flown to Pakistan to be used for jihadist activities.

More recently, in late 2017, while appearing on Fox News star Sean Hannitys radio show, McInerney dismissed host concerns about how millions could potentially die in a U.S. war with North Korea: Yeah, but they'll be mostly North Koreans, the retired lieutenant general said.

Correction: Fox News pointed out that McInerney has not been a paid analyst for nearly a year.

Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/fox-news-military-analyst-torture-is-good-it-worked-on-john-mccain

20+ Times People Couldnt Believe Their Luck In Thrift Stores, Flea Markets And Garage Sales

If you think thrift stores, yard sales, and flea markets are filled with nothing but piles of junk, you’re missing out. Some incredibly lucky people discover the best things there, but those who search second-hand shops without finding the things they’re looking for usually stumble upon the next best thing – laughter. Bored Panda has collected some of the funniest thrift store finds ever, and the pictures will definitely make you run to that garage sale you walked by.

From “unusual” chocolate molds that look like pee pees to stoner books disguised as reads about cats, these gems were probably bought the second they drew the buyers’ attention. Scroll down to check out the hilarious items and upvote your faves!


Mythbuster Adam Savage Has Made a Bag, and It’s Beautiful

Adam Savage is clearly overjoyed about his new bag. I met up with the gear-obsessed designer, former Mythbusters host, and Tested.com editor in chief at his workshop in San Francisco to see his latest creation. He's designed his first carryall utility bag, the EDC One, and launched a new brand, Savage Industries, to market it. With the same childlike glee he exudes on camera, Savage flipped the thing around on the workbench, opening and closing it, zipping and unzipping, as he pointed out all the features.

Yes, the bag is white. It only comes in white, at least for now.

It's constructed almost entirely out of upcycled cloth from boat sails, so each bag has some unique quirks, and every specimen comes off the production line with a broken-in look. The handles are held together by magnets instead of snaps or velcro, which, if you've fiddled with those types of closures on your own bag, is a welcome innovation. You just bring the handles near one another and they jump together with a satisfying clonk. Also clever: The straps are stiff enough that the clasped handle stays propped upright like a little pup tent frame. Unzip and pry open the bag, and it holds its shape in that configuration too, thanks to a pair of spring steel inserts that run around the lip and keep the mouth agape like the jaw of a whale shark.

There's a pocket inside to hold your notebooks (Savage adores Tom Sachs Ten Bullets notebooks, though he says his pocket is brand-agnostic) and, via a stack of horizontal loops, your pens and pencils. On the Kevlar-reinforced bottom, there are strips of velcro. This detail hints at accessories to come, like some padded bays for camera equipment or a waterproof bucket-like insert for toting a 12-pack.

Savage Industries

Savage designed it so it could carry absolutely everything he needs for a day, from tools to books to lunch. He says he drew inspiration from two places: First is the old tool case he used when employed as a model-builder at Industrial Light & Magic. It too had the clamshell top that flopped open for full access to the goods inside. He's tried to find something like it on the market, but he was disappointed enough in the options to just build his own version. The other inspiration is the purse given to Apollo astronauts on the missions to the moon. Called the Temporary Stowage Bag or, colloquially, the McDivitt Purse, this tote was mostly forgotten until Neil Armstrong's widow discovered it while going through her recently deceased husband's belongings. Savage borrowed a few elements from the NASA design—the simple shape, the steel closure, and the near-total absence of pigment.

None More White

Yes, the bag is white. It only comes in white, at least for now. It's striking, but it seems impractical for something that's bound to soak up dirt and grime and oil. Savage sells me on it. It will develop a patina, and patinas are cool. Also, you can't find tools at the bottom of a black bag, he says. He certainly didn't want to make something that fell in line with the current fashion trend of "tactical" and "urban camo" that seems to dominate bags and accessories. A white bag stands out as unique. It isn't hyper-masculine like the ubiquitous Cordura messenger. Rather, it's almost feminine, or at least nonbinary.

Savage has been sewing since he was in middle school (he regularly makes his own costumes) but for this project the heavy lifting and stitching was done by Mafia, a company also based in San Francisco that makes a whole line of gorgeous bags primarily out of recycled sailcloth. Mafia has produced a few hundred Savage bags for this first run, and each one gets Mafia's standard lifetime warranty.

The bags are available on Savage's website. Each costs $225. Once the first run sells out, they'll go on backorder until Mafia can catch up. Each one will be hand-numbered for extra collector cred.

So this is a new brand, this Savage Industries. There's more to come, Adam says: a smaller version of this bag and a larger one too, though the big version will still be sized to meet FAA regulations for carry-ons. What else? He wouldn't say, beyond these bags and the accessories that will Velcro into them. Whatever arrives next, I just hope it comes in white.

Read more: https://www.wired.com/story/savage-industries-bag/

‘Describe yourself like a male author would’ becomes a hilarious Twitter challenge

Read more: https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/describe-like-male-author-becomes-twitter-thread/

Trump Aims Directly at Mueller in Ramped-Up Criticism of Probe

  • Firing of FBI’s McCabe prompts president to attack the bureau
  • McCabe may have evidence that could prolong Mueller’s probe

President Donald Trump made his most direct attack to date on the Justice Department’s investigation into Russian election meddling being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the latest sign that a showdown may be brewing over the probe.

“Why does the Mueller team have 13 hardened Democrats, some big Crooked Hillary supporters, and Zero Republicans,” Trump said early Sunday on Twitter. “Does anyone think this is fair?”

In other tweets, the president questioned the integrity of former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. “Wow, watch Comey lie under oath,” Trump said. He also said that accounts kept by McCabe and Comey detailing their interactions with him were “Fake Memos.” McCabe, said Trump, “never took notes when he was with me.”

John Dowd, Trump’s personal lawyer, said on Saturday that Mueller’s investigation should be shut down after the late-Friday firing of McCabe by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Trump’s response since then suggests he’s lost patience with the months-long investigation that’s cast a dark shadow over his presidency.

Trump’s lawyers, who’ve been negotiating terms for Mueller to interview the president, had assured their client for most of last year that the investigation would wrap up by the end of 2017, said a person familiar with the matter. Trump was talked out of firing Mueller back in June, but there are strong signals that the special counsel and his team of 17 prosecutors have at least several months more work ahead of them.

“The Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime,” Trump said Saturday, using Mueller’s name in a tweet for the first time. “It was based on fraudulent activities and a Fake Dossier paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC, and improperly used in FISA COURT for surveillance of my campaign. WITCH HUNT!”

Firestorm Possible

Any move to fire Mueller is expected to ignite a political firestorm in Washington. Democrats have warned of a constitutional crisis, and even most Senate Republicans have cautioned Trump against doing anything to curtail the special counsel’s investigation.

It’s unclear whether Republicans would take steps to rein the president in if he took drastic action, although some, including Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, said on Sunday that McCabe’s firing was wrong.

Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, a frequent critic of Trump, said Sunday that removing Mueller would be “a massive red line that can’t be crossed.” Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina repeated a previous comment that removing Mueller would be the beginning of the end of Trump’s presidency.

Republican leaders have been silent so far, although Speaker Paul Ryan issued a statement through spokeswoman Ashlee Strong: “As the speaker has always said, Mr. Mueller and his team should be able to do their job.”

McCabe’s firing also adds fresh fuel to Mueller’s probe. Michael Bromwich, a former Justice Department attorney now serving as one of McCabe’s lawyers, said that the veteran FBI agent was fired after the disclosure that he’s a cooperating witness against Trump. McCabe documented his interactions with Trump in a series of memos, according to a person familiar with the matter, and those memos could play into Mueller’s investigation. The memos have been provided to the special counsel’s office, according to AP.

Your Guide to Understanding the Trump-Russia Saga: QuickTake

Now that McCabe has lost his job and possibly a substantial portion of the pension accrued in more than two decades with the FBI, he has little reason not to speak out — starting with the lengthy statement Friday night where he noted that he could “corroborate former Director Comey’s accounts of his discussions with the president.”

McCabe is “a loose cannon right now. Talk about a guy who has nothing to lose — literally, nothing to lose,” said Jeffrey Cramer, a former federal prosecutor who’s now managing director of the international investigation firm Berkeley Research Group LLC. “If he was holding anything back out of loyalty to the FBI or a sense of duty, well that just walked out the door. If he has any information he hasn’t revealed out of a sense of loyalty, that might be told now.”

Comey, meanwhile, is about to embark on a high-profile publicity tour and series of television interviews to promote his memoir, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership,” which is being released on April 17. “Mr. President, the American people will hear my story very soon,” Comey said Saturday in a tweet. “And they can judge for themselves who is honorable and who is not.”

‘No Collusion’

The White House on Saturday did nothing to clear up the confusion about Trump’s stance toward Mueller’s probe.

“I pray that Acting Attorney General Rosenstein will follow the brilliant and courageous example of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility and Attorney General Jeff Sessions and bring an end to alleged Russia Collusion investigation manufactured by McCabe’s boss James Comey based upon a fraudulent and corrupt Dossier,” Dowd said in an emailed statement early in the day.

Dowd quickly clarified that he was speaking for himself, not for the president. Even so, Trump cheered the firing of McCabe, calling the FBI corrupt, and claiming the House Intelligence Committee found “there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.” The full committee released no such finding, although Republicans on the panel said they found no evidence of collusion.

Sekulow’s Show

The White House didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment. White House lawyers have said in the past they plan to cooperate fully with Mueller’s probe, but Trump’s other personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow, has used his daily radio show to chip away at Mueller’s investigation for months.

The show, which Sekulow has broadcast for more than two decades to an audience of more than 1.5 million daily listeners, has become a key venue for challenging the basis for Mueller’s investigation. Sekulow has regularly attacked the credibility of McCabe and other FBI officials looking into Russian election meddling, as well as the use of a surveillance warrant against a Trump campaign adviser.

Democrats said they were alarmed by the latest attacks on the investigation.

“Any attempt by the president to obstruct or remove the special counsel would create a constitutional crisis and represent an attack on the core American principle that nobody, including the president of the United States, is above the law,” warned Democratic Senator Chris Coons of Delaware.

The president can’t fire Mueller directly, since he answers to the Justice Department official who appointed him, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Usually a special counsel would report to the attorney general, but Sessions recused himself from the inquiry because he advised and supported Trump’s 2016 campaign. But Trump still has options.

Can Trump Fire the Special Counsel? A QuickTake Q&A

A series of potentially pivotal events are on the horizon for the investigation. Beyond a possible interview of the president, Mueller still hasn’t had wide-ranging interviews with members of Trump’s family who were witnesses to some of the issues he’s investigating.

While Mueller is believed to be nearing the end of his investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice, he may hold off on releasing any conclusion until other parts of his probe are settled, current and former officials said.

Mueller also appears to be looking into Trump’s business, including asking witnesses about a proposed Trump Tower Moscow. The New York Times reported Mueller issued a subpoena for documents to the Trump Organization several weeks ago. Dowd had previously said it would be outside Mueller’s mandate to probe into Trump’s business dealings. He declined to comment on the subpoena.

Obstruction Case

Given McCabe’s role as an important witness with details about the firing of Comey, his termination could add to — but not derail — an obstruction of justice case, said William Yeomans, a 26-year Justice Department veteran who’s served as an acting assistant attorney general.

“If anybody had any doubts about the integrity of this process, they were put to rest by the president’s tweet, which basically announced he had forced this, and it was a good thing that this long-serving FBI employee who had done some wonderful things during his career was going to be forced out two days before he qualified for his retirement,” Yeomans said in an interview.

Sessions fired McCabe ahead of his planned retirement on Sunday at age 50, a move that Trump celebrated on Twitter as a “a great day for Democracy.” Sessions said he was responding to a report by the Justice Department’s inspector general and finding by the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility. Those offices found that McCabe hadn’t been fully forthcoming with investigators in discussing his contacts with a reporter, according to a person familiar with the matter.

McCabe, who joined the FBI in 1996, became a Republican target partly because he helped oversee the investigation into Democrat Hillary Clinton’s email practices in 2016, even though his wife had accepted donations from Democratic political organizations during a losing campaign for the Virginia state Senate the previous year.

“How many hundreds of thousands of dollars was given to wife’s campaign by Crooked H friend, Terry M, who was also under investigation?” Trump said in an earlier tweet. Twitter. “How many lies? How many leaks? Comey knew it all, and much more!”

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-17/trump-mueller-showdown-looms-as-lawyer-urges-end-to-russia-probe

Another Round of 20 Lord of the Rings Facts That You Should Know (Part 3)

Part three of these LotR facts lists. I guarantee you’ll learn something and end up going back to read the books again anyways. 

Part 1

Part 2

Read more: http://cheezburger.com/1660933/another-round-of-20-lord-of-the-rings-facts-that-you-should-know-part-3

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