Don’t Think These Two Will Last Much Longer


One Believes in Science

In emotional speech, CDC’s new leader vows to uphold science:

Robert Redfield Jr., the new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gave a deeply personal agencywide address Thursday in which he repeatedly underscored the importance of science and data and said the CDC’s most critical public health mission is to protect Americans “from that which we don’t expect.”

The 66-year-old Redfield, a longtime AIDS researcher appointed to the job a week ago, was overcome by emotion twice during his brief remarks and a question-and-answer session. The University of Maryland medical professor had sought the top job at the CDC and the National Institutes of Health for more than a decade.

About 30 seconds into his address, he choked up and then regained his composure. He spoke of the honor of leading the best “science-based, data-driven agency in the world. I’ve dreamed of doing this for a long time.”

One is a Jerk, But Not Enough of a Jerk to “Be on Trump’s Wavelength”

Kelly Loses White House Clout as Trump Blazes Own Path:

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has lost some of his clout following recent missteps and wasn’t at President Donald Trump’s side for crucial decisions on staffing and policy moves, according to several senior aides. …

Aides say Kelly mishandled Porter’s departure, first by revising a statement that praised the aide after news reports surfaced that he’d been accused of domestic violence, and then by giving reporters an inaccurate timeline of the events leading up to Porter’s dismissal.

Lately, Kelly is less aware of what’s on Trump’s mind and what he’s planning to do next, according to several aides, with one describing the men as sometimes on different wavelengths.

The New Republic Poses the Burning Question of the Day

Two New Republic writers suck their thumbs for many paragraphs asking, Is “Porn Star” the Best Way to Describe Stormy Daniels?

Read them if such is your wont. But the correct answer is: no, “porn star” is not the most apt term. The aptest term is “entrepreneurial sex worker.” Like a person who begins her career driving trucks, and ends up owning and managing a small fleet of trucks.

Defamatory Imputation of Chastity

And now for your daily bonus.

Defamation, as you may know, is oral or written speech that damages another person’s reputation. The claim may be true or false: if it damages the reputation, it’s defamatory. (That said, truth is always a defense.)

During the nineteenth century the law evolved a category of the most serious forms of defamation, termed “defamation per se.” There were four of them:

  • saying that someone is a criminal
  • saying that someone exhibits qualities or behavior inconsistent with whatever line of business they are in
  • saying that someone has a loathsome disease, or, last but not least,
  • imputation of unchastity to a woman.

In an interesting legal twist, Miss Daniels has sued Trump’s lawyer for defamation, based on his assertion that she did not have sex with Trump.

I suppose that the imputation of chastity to a sex worker falls into the category of claiming that she exhibits behavior or qualities inconsistent with her chosen profession.

Still Gonna Be Dershowitz


It was splitsville with John Dowd on Thursday. DiGenova, he of Faux News bloviation, was going to take over.

Sunday, no more diGenova. Out of the Fox News frying pan, into the fire, was a bridge too far.

Maybe Ted Olson, Republican lawyer extraordinaire, of the disginguished firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, would sign on. Gibson Dunn’s web site boats of 127 years of excellence. Their management committee didn’t want to mess it up now.

No nope, said Ted Olson, fastidiously holding his nose.

Who’s next? A logical choice was Dan Webb, known in some circles as the best business litigator in the whole of these Newnited States. Dan hangs his shingle at a powerhouse called Winston & Strawn (where, BTW, some of Aardvark’s former partners have taken refuge).

When asked about the possibility of representing Trump, Winston’s management committee responded by inquiring whether the pope shits in the woods.

Tonight we learn that Mr. Webb has, with the deepest of regret, graciously declined the great privilege and high honor of representing the President.

It’s still gonna be Dershowitz. Doesn’t report to a management committee. In love with the sound of his own voice. Thinks he can win any argument. Any argument. Claims to be a liberal, but loves pissing them off. Really, really enjoys representing famous criminals.