3 Stories You Should Read 4-1-2019: Border Closing, Beto O’Rourke, Tricia Newbold
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In the category of: Who’s in charge???
Cummings: Whistleblower says White House pushed for security clearances despite ‘serious disqualifying issues’
Cummings released a memo Monday detailing an interview with Tricia Newbold, a White House employee who has worked for 18 years in Republican and Democratic administrations and currently serves as the Adjudications Manager in the Personnel Security Office. According to the memo, Newbold, whom Cummings described as a whistleblower, alleges that the White House has overturned the denials of 25 individuals, including two current senior White House officials, saying those decisions were occurring “without proper analysis, documentation, or a full understanding and acceptance of the risks.”
“I would not be doing a service to myself, my country, or my children if I sat back knowing that the issues that we have could impact national security,” Newbold told the committee, according to the memo.
Newbold’s lawyer says she does not have official whistleblower protection because her case is still making its way through the Office of Special Counsel adjudication, which can take a long time. The lawyer, Ed Passman, says there’s no such thing as official whistleblower protection but that the office can offer some protections.
In the category of: Inquiring minds want to know.
A political scientist makes the case for political forecasting.
On the day Beto O’Rourke announced his candidacy for president, I went on Twitter and made a prediction: The El Paso Congress member would be the next president of the United States, propelled into the Oval Office by his narrative gifts and charisma.
My prophecy took my Twitter followers by surprise and earned me a few sneers, and, for my sins, I was ratioed. Some took it as an endorsement (it wasn’t). It was instead my attempt to elaborate on a working theory about what drives success in today’s politics, and to make a prediction based on it, far enough in advance so it actually means something.
Most scholars and commentators these days are overly cautious about venturing predictions. It’s understandable: After so many got so much wrong in 2016, the natural response is to step back and “get out of the prediction business.”
This is too bad. If anything, we should make more predictions — if so many once-reliable theories crumbled in 2016, there’s all the more need to come up with new ones.
In the category of: Should be obvious.
A top White House economic adviser declined to specify Monday what economic impacts the administration expects if President Donald Trump closes the US-Mexico border this week, as he has threatened to do.
“It’s something that I’m sure we’ll be looking into and studying,” Kevin Hassett, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, told reporters Monday.
Trump said on Twitter last Friday that he would be “CLOSING the Border, or large sections of the Border,” in the coming week if Mexico does not crack down on illegal border crossings.
It is unclear when or if Trump will make good on his threat, but the economic impact would likely be significant if he follows through. The US and Mexico are major trading partners, and along with Canada, joined together last year for a ceremonial signing of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a potential replacement for NAFTA.
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