Manafort, Flynn, Sally Yates, and Let’s All Take Photos with the Football

Here’s the New York Times’ Andrew E. Kramer, Mike McIntire and Barry Meier way back in August of 2016. They’re describing how Trump’s campaign manager at the time, Paul Manafort, was involved with a pro-Russian party in the Ukraine:

Handwritten ledgers show $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments designated for Mr. Manafort from Mr. Yanukovych’s pro-Russian political party from 2007 to 2012, according to Ukraine’s newly formed National Anti-Corruption Bureau. Investigators assert that the disbursements were part of an illegal off-the-books system whose recipients also included election officials.

In addition, criminal prosecutors are investigating a group of offshore shell companies that helped members of Mr. Yanukovych’s inner circle finance their lavish lifestyles, including a palatial presidential residence with a private zoo, golf course and tennis court. Among the hundreds of murky transactions these companies engaged in was an $18 million deal to sell Ukrainian cable television assets to a partnership put together by Mr. Manafort and a Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, a close ally of President Vladimir V. Putin.

This was after Russia had attempted to annex part of the Ukraine. Manafort was forced to resign a few days later on August 19th.

Today, Trump’s national security adviser Michael T. Flynn resigned. Here’s the Times again:

But on Monday, a former administration official said the Justice Department warned the White House last month that Mr. Flynn had not been fully forthright about his conversations with the ambassador. As a result, the Justice Department feared that Mr. Flynn could be vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow.

In his resignation letter, which the White House emailed to reporters, Mr. Flynn said he had held numerous calls with foreign officials during the transition. “Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the vice president-elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador,” he wrote. “I have sincerely apologized to the president and the vice president, and they have accepted my apology.”

The Justice Department was helmed by Sally Yates when it warned the White House about Flynn. Trump got rid of Yates when she wouldn’t enforce his illegal ban on Muslims from 7 nations that he doesn’t do business with (because he lied about divesting himself of anything) and they aren’t terrorists.

Flynn was one of the lunatics encouraging an audience at the RNC to continue chanting “Lock her up!” in regards to Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server. Flynn was giving information to Russia regarding sanctions, and that’s why he resigned. It’s more than “incomplete information.” It’s the height of hypocrisy on his part, and terrifying considering that national security agencies are supposedly (can’t find confirmation at any big paper) witholding information from the Trump administration because the agencies are said to believe the administration can’t keep secrets secret.

I wonder why.

The Definition of Genius

Ashton Applewhite has an article for the New York Times about ageism in hiring preventing good workers from working. In it is this incredible story of a former Apple engineering lead who couldn’t get a tech support job at Apple’s retail stores: 

I’m lucky enough to get my tech support from JK Scheinberg, the engineer at Apple who led the effort that moved the Mac to Intel processors. A little restless after retiring in 2008, at 54, he figured he’d be a great fit for a position at an Apple store Genius Bar, despite being twice as old as anyone else at the group interview. “On the way out, all three of the interviewers singled me out and said, ‘We’ll be in touch,’ ” he said. “I never heard back

What possible reason could there be that Apple wouldn’t hire Scheinberg into a retail tech support role after having accomplished the incredible hardware and software feat of the transition from IBM’s PowerPC to Intel’s x86? 

Unless he had literally shit on a colleague’s desk on the way out of his previous job with the company, I can’t imagine any legitimate reason for him to not be hired.

The one issue I have with this article is that it doesn’t burn the hiring practice of “Culture Fit” more. Here’s the one mention of it:

“Culture fit” gets bandied about in this context – the idea that people in an organization should share attitudes, backgrounds and working styles. That can mean rejecting people who “aren’t like us.” Age, however, is a far less reliable indicator of shared values or interests than class, gender, race or income level. Discomfort at reaching across an age gap is one of the sorry consequences of living in a profoundly age-segregated society. 

Jeff Guo found the Genius anecdote and pointed it out on Twitter.

Shameful Internet Shaming

Jon Ronson’s How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life:

In the early days of Twitter, I was a keen shamer. When newspaper columnists made racist or homophobic statements, I joined the pile-on. Sometimes I led it.

The journalist A. A. Gill once wrote a column about shooting a baboon on safari in Tanzania: “I’m told they can be tricky to shoot. They run up trees, hang on for grim life. They die hard, baboons. But not this one. A soft-nosed .357 blew his lungs out.” Gill did the deed because he “wanted to get a sense of what it might be like to kill someone, a stranger.”

I was among the first people to alert social media. (This was because Gill always gave my television documentaries bad reviews, so I tended to keep a vigilant eye on things he could be got for.) Within minutes, it was everywhere. Amid the hundreds of congratulatory messages I received, one stuck out: “Were you a bully at school?”

Still, in those early days, the collective fury felt righteous, powerful and effective. It felt as if hierarchies were being dismantled, as if justice were being democratized. As time passed, though, I watched these shame campaigns multiply, to the point that they targeted not just powerful institutions and public figures but really anyone perceived to have done something offensive. I also began to marvel at the disconnect between the severity of the crime and the gleeful savagery of the punishment. It almost felt as if shamings were now happening for their own sake, as if they were following a script.

Every mistake is a learning opportunity. When somebody doesn’t get the opportunity to recover because their career and life get destroyed by public shaming, they don’t get a chance to learn.

Even Sam Biddle, the person who initially brought the public shaming to the subject of Ronson’s article realized his mistake and publicly apologized.

All Tomorrow’s Parties

Mr. Grimes is one of many Tea Party members jolted into action by economic distress. At rallies, gatherings and training sessions in recent months, activists often tell a similar story in interviews: they had lost their jobs, or perhaps watched their homes plummet in value, and they found common cause in the Tea Party’s fight for lower taxes and smaller government.

via With No Jobs, Plenty of Time for Tea Party – NYTimes.com.

Hoping to Make iPhone Toys as a Full-Time Job

The New York Times has an article up about the “iPhone Gold Rush”. It features iShoot developer Ethan Nicholas, and is pretty well written, go check it out. I’m not quite sure why it is in the fashion section, but at least it has some good sources. Like Ars Technica’s Erica Sadun.