Lots of stuff to check out on the web this week. Among other things, be sure to give the following a look:
Quartz offers Aamna Mohdin’s piece, “The richest families in Florence in 1427 are still the richest families in Florence.” It seems that a recent study has shown that the same families have controlled the city’s wealth and power for six hundred. This follows another recent study which shows the families that came with William The Conqueror still control the UK. In other words, social mobility ain’t as easy as it looks.
And back with the Washington Post, we have In fundraising speech, Trump says he made up trade claim in meeting with Justin Trudeau by Josh Dawsey, Damian Paletta and Erica Werner. Yep, folks, he really is making it up as he a goes along. The terrifying thing? He probably doesn’t see that as a problem.
Jason Le Miere, in Newsweek, tells us that Barron Trump’s School Signs Open Letter Asking His Dad to Act on Gun Violence, Oppose Arming Teachers. It seems that the head of the school that Barron attends joined the ongoing anti-gun effort that’s so pissed off the NRA. Rather embarrassing for the White House, don’t you think?
For something really funny, though, check out a recent Borowitz Report on The New Yorker’s website. In a wonderful bit of satire, Borowitz gives us the following headline, Rex Tillerson: I Hope Trump Finds Out He’s Impeached on Twitter. The final, hysterical line is, “Composing himself, Tillerson added, “Let me make something clear. I’ve done well for myself. I’ve lived a full life and, by any measure, a successful one. But, if there’s one last thing I have on my bucket list, it’s that Donald Trump finds out he’s being shitcanned on Twitter. I mean, you want to talk about sweet.”
Far less funny, but living down to low expectations, Betsy DeVos continues her race to the bottom. Michael Stratford in Politico writes that DeVos defies White House in dismantling Education budget office. It seems that she’s outdoing even the White House in her attempt to destroy her own department. Stratford notes, “Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is moving to break apart her agency’s central budget office despite objections from the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.” In other words, DeVos will be able to control her Department’s budget without a hint over oversight. Feel free to shudder at that thought.
Moving into a still darker place, consider Peter Savodnik’s story, Putin Already Has Trump in a Soviet Sleeper Hold, on Vanity Fair’s The Hive page. In it, Savodnik notes that Putin has already used military grade weapons for the purpose of assassination in Europe (with very little response from Trump.) So what, Savodnik asks, will Trump do when…not if…Putin tries something like that here?