Weekend Reading: 3/5/2017

Trump’s wiretapping accusation may backfire:

Schumer: ‘The president is in trouble’ (Politico): President Trump’s wiretapping accusation seems poised to backfire. Though the claim is likely false, it seems like a no-win situation for the president even if it is true. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer:

If it’s true, it’s even worse for the president. Because that means that a federal judge, independently elected, has found probable cause that the president, or people on his staff … have probable cause to have broken the law or to have interacted with a foreign agent.

President Trump’s tweet seems to be driving further divides between him and his allies in congress as  congressional Republicans were caught off guard, though they seem to be willing to investigate the matter.

Preliminary reports from CNN also say that the FBI has asked the justice department to refute President Trump’s claims, according to unnamed sources.

 

Weekend Reading: 3/4/2017

We have lost our sense of normality (Axios): Donald Trump accuses Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower during the election, possibly stirred on by this Breitbart story. Evidence:

The allegation is bizzarre, and leads to a point that BBC Newsnight’s Evan Davis made to Trump’s deputy advisor Sebastian Gorka: Does president Trump realize he won the election?  

Trump fumes over Sessions’ recusal from Russia probe (Politico): More evidence of disorganization among the current administration, also evidence of the challenges of a  non-politician faces when ascending to the highest office in the land. Jeff Sessions’ recusal, regardless of whether he had inappropriate contact with Russian diplomats, was a conventional move for an established politician – however there’s overwhelming evidence suggesting that Trump’s governance style is anything but.

US suspends expedited processing of H-1B visas (CNN): The first concrete move (that I’m aware of) around the Trump’s administration’s rumored efforts to curb  the number of H1-B visas administered to foreign workers. ( H1-B visas are typically given to highly skilled workers). The move eliminates the expedited processing program, where applicants can pay $1,225 to ensure a response from the US Citizenship and Immigration services within 15 days. Supporters of the the move will point to outsourcing firms that flood the system with applicants who who take home lower wages then their  American counterparts.

The Curious Case of Sebastian Gorka, Trump’s New Terrorism Guru (Foreign Policy): Interesting analysis of Sebastian Gorka’s (deputy adviser to President Trump) role in the White House, as well as the numerous ways he seems to contradict himself when he gives interviews. Gorka  seems to have underwent a significant policy shift over the past decade: In a 2007 doctorate dissertation, he called the use of the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” deeply problematic in the fight against extremism; now, he berates the media for not using it.

Author Colin Kahl, former adviser to president Obama, also wastes no time throwing shade (“When I was a deputy assistant to President Barack Obama and national security advisor to Vice President Joe Biden, I didn’t have a lot of time for media appearances or keeping up with my Twitter feed [we had a lot of meetings]. That doesn’t seem to be a problem for Gorka”)

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Coding

I’m re-learning how to program, and it’s a blast.
 
When I was younger, I studied simple programming. I bought introductory books on C and C++, and I took a BASIC class in Jr. High. But around 9th or 10th grade, I stopped once I learned that writing a game, which is what I really wanted to do, would take forever.
 
I’ve decided to give JavaScript a go. It’s easy to pick up and it’s pretty similar to C. What’s surprised me most is how many free resources are available for aspiring programmers who want to get fluent in JavaScript. Code Academny and Kahn Academy both have excellent free courses, and there are many YouTube channels devoted to teaching people how to code in JavaScript.
 
I don’t blog much so I won’t promise any updates on my progress, but I’ll try to link to any noteworthy programs I write in the future.
 

Did it

December 21, 2012.
 
3 years after I graduated college.
 
6 months as a freelance writer, 2 teaching jobs, 2 internships and a short stint as a hotel receptionist.
 
I’m finally employed full time at a PR agency.
 
It was one hell of a journey.

How to Start Over [Career]

Your career is in shambles. You have no money. You’re living with your parents. Where do you go?

Step 1: Make a plan

Head to a coffee shop and write out the steps you need to take to be successful. Too broke for a coffee shop? Brew a pot at home and write out how to get where you want to go. You need a plan for when depression hits. Plus, a plan will make you feel a lot better.

Step 2: Perform Step 1 of your plan

It sounds simple, right? But it’s strange how procrastination, depression or other external factors can get in the way of starting over. Build up your courage, psyche yourself up, kick yourself out the front door; whatever you have to do, make sure you do perform the first action item on your plan. You’ll be surprised the amount of confidence you gain from making the first step.

Step 3: Create a side-goal

Odds are that your plan will take some time to come to fruition. So set a side goal that will fill the time between steps. Finish a book, set a fitness goal, or make it a priority to finish your spring cleaning. Don’t let yourself mope about where you’re not, and don’t let yourself daydream about the future too much.

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Street Photography: Portraits

Street photography can be intimidating. You’re out on the street with a camera trying to capture interesting moments, but at the same time you’re trying to blend into the background and not look like a creep with a camera. After all, it would be disconcerting if you were taking a stroll downtown and saw someone trying to snap your picture without you knowing it.

I think the best way to get over this fear is to do street portraits. In street photography, you’re trying to capture moments without anyone noticing. With street portraits, you have to confront the issue of consent directly.

Getting up the nerve to do this can be difficult (Danny Santos has an awesome post on how to overcome your fear of approaching someone for their portrait). But once you do get up the nerve, you will get some pretty unique photographs.

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Hunger and Perspective

Two conflicting ideologies are battling for prominence in my life. To me, they epitomize “yin” and “yang” in that I need a healthy balance of both.

Staying hungry

I’m at a  good spot in my career. I feel like I’m at a great company doing an internship that’s relevant to the field I want to break into. But being a PR pro isn’t all I want. I feel like there are three areas in my life I want to develop:

1. Physical – I want to be in the best shape of my life this time next year. I’ve been off-and-on with my diet in terms of what I eat and my daily calorie intake, but I feel like I can hit my goals 100 percent of the time if I try. On top of that, I want to be stronger.. a lot stronger than how I am. It’s always been a goal of mine, but I feel like I finally have the tools to make the physical transformation I want to make. Continue reading