News Digest For Saturday, April 21, 2018

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“This president is not in command of himself. He’s obsessed with his own problems. He seethes with rage and resentment for all the world to view—and those emotions are visibly distorting his decision-making.” @davidfrum on a president unfit to command: theatln.tc/2H0tJXR


Reading aloud to young children has benefits for behavior and attention

The New York Times
Perri Klass

It’s a truism in child development that the very young learn through relationships and back-and-forth interactions, including the interactions that occur when parents read to their children. A new study provides evidence of just how sustained an impact reading and playing with young children can have, shaping their social and emotional development in ways that go far beyond helping them learn language and early literacy skills. The parent-child-book moment even has the potential to help curb problem behaviors like aggression, hyperactivity and difficulty with attention, a new study has found.

The researchers, many of whom are my friends and colleagues, showed that an intervention, based in pediatric primary care, to promote parents reading aloud and playing with their young children could have a sustained impact on children’s behavior.


Michael Cohen has said he would take a bullet for Trump. Maybe not anymore.

The New York Times
Maggie Haberman, Sharon LaFraniere, and Danny Hakim

For years, a joke among Trump Tower employees was that the boss was like Manhattan’s First Avenue, where the traffic goes only one way.

That one-sidedness has always been at the heart of President Trump’s relationship with his longtime lawyer and fixer, Michael D. Cohen, who has said he would “take a bullet” for Mr. Trump. For years Mr. Trump treated Mr. Cohen poorly, with gratuitous insults, dismissive statements and, at least twice, threats of being fired, according to interviews with a half-dozen people familiar with their relationship.

Now, for the first time, the traffic may be going Mr. Cohen’s way. Mr. Trump’s lawyers and advisers have become resigned to the strong possibility that Mr. Cohen, who has a wife and two children and faces the prospect of devastating legal fees, if not criminal charges, could end up cooperating with federal officials who are investigating him for activity that could relate, at least in part, to work he did for Mr. Trump.


President Trump: Don’t let history repeat itself

Republicans For the Rule Of Law

Firing Mueller, Rosenstein or Sessions would be a fundamental blow to the rule of law in the United States. Trump should learn a lesson from President Richard Nixon, who in 1973 fired Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor investigating Watergate, in an attempt to curb or end that investigation. Instead, that move marked the beginning of the end of Nixon’s presidency. An assault on the Mueller investigation would have the same disastrous outcome for Trump.


‘Imploding’: Financial troubles. Lawsuits. Trailer park brawls. Has the alt-right peaked?

The Washington Post
Terrance McCoy

Eight months after a white-nationalist rally in Charlottesville ended in the death of a counterprotester, the loose collection of disaffected young white men known as the alt-right is in disarray.

The problems have been mounting: lawsuits and arrests, fundraising difficulties, tepid recruitment, widespread infighting, fierce counterprotests, and banishment from social media platforms. Taken together, they’ve exhausted even some of the staunchest members.

One of the movement’s biggest groups, the Traditionalist Worker Party, dissolved in March. Andrew Anglin, founder of the Daily Stormer, the largest alt-right website, has gone into hiding, chased by a harassment lawsuit. And Richard Spencer, the alt-right’s most public figure, canceled a college speaking tour and was abandoned by his attorney last month.


Lobbyist whose wife rented to Pruitt lobbied EPA despite denials

Politico
Theodoric Meyer and Eliana Johnson

The prominent lobbyist whose wife rented a condominium to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt lobbied the agency while Pruitt was leading it, contrary to his and Pruitt’s public denials that he had any business before the agency, according to a Friday filing by his firm.

The disclosure from the lobbying firm Williams & Jensen contradicts Pruitt’s public statement last month that the lobbyist, J. Steven Hart, had no clients with business before the EPA, and comes hours after Hart’s resignation from the firm.

It’s the latest blow to Pruitt, whose job is already in jeopardy because of multiple investigations into his stewardship of the agency, ranging from spending on a 20-person security team and first-class travel to the installation of costly office furniture and a soundproof phone booth. The Government Accountability Office said earlier this week that the purchase of the booth, which cost $43,000, violated federal law.

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Why you should get the new shingles vaccine

The New York Times
Jane E. Brody

A new shingles vaccine, Shingrix, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration last October after studies involving 16,600 people, showed it to be far more effective at preventing this disease than the first shingles vaccine, Zostavax. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people 50 and older, including those previously immunized with Zostavax, should now get the Shingrix vaccine.

Many millions of Americans, especially those older than 40, are susceptible to an eventual attack of shingles, caused by the very same virus that causes chickenpox. Once this virus, varicella zoster, infects a person, it lies dormant for decades in nerve roots, ready to pounce when the immune system is weakened, say, by stress, medication, trauma or disease. One-third of Americans eventually get shingles, but the risk rises with age, and by age 85 half of adults will have had at least one outbreak of shingles.