She’s Not Mad. She’s Just Not Using Exclamation Points.

A couple of other women joined me in going exclamation-free and learned quickly what employees expect of women bosses.

Feedback was immediate for one, a communications executive at a large San Francisco tech company. “Good job. You managed that well,” she wrote to one staffer who had deftly handled a tricky matter. The woman’s instant reply: “Are you mad at me?”

.. Perhaps her male colleagues wondered, but only women admitted to feeling discomfited by her tone, a reaction that echoes the work of Georgetown University linguist Deborah Tannen. Ms. Tannen has found that women (and men) expect emphasis and enthusiasm from other women, frequently in the form of exclamations or all-caps type.

.. Going without felt great, even freeing, at times. I stopped short of boss email—immediate, terse replies lacking context or punctuation, usually sent to underlings—but it was nice to be just another manager, making sure work gets done.

Maybe it even made me a better manager. I ended emails with questions for recipients to make clear I was interested in them, and I cheated with exclamations in disguise (“What would we do without you?”).

For the new staffer on my team, sending kudos without exclamation points prompted me to walk to her desk and praise her work—hardly revolutionary, but effective. Other times, I ditched email for that classic-but-ignored piece of office technology, the telephone.

Still, I was nagged by the sense that my tone was off-putting, despite my workarounds. That came into sharp relief at midmonth when our babysitter nearly quit, thinking she was about to be fired.

 

An estimated 5,000 Honduran migrants set out yesterday from southern Mexico toward the U.S. border.

From reporter Juan Montes:

The migrant caravan has become a hot political issue in the U.S. just days from the midterm elections. But for anyone on the ground hearing migrants’ stories, it is also a human drama. The wave of people we saw walking has no precedent in the region, at least in recent times.

One young mother broke down in tears telling me her story. She said she left Honduras after several men threatened to kill her two small children—one, she said, even pointed his gun at her 10-month-old son. The men wanted to be sure she didn’t talk about a murder she had witnessed. “Do you think that if we had a good life in our countries we would leave, risking our children’s lives?” she asked. “What would you do?”

Rosenstein Defends the Mueller Probe

For all of the president’s Twitter tantrums about how the investigation is supposedly “rigged,” Mueller has never alleged that the Trump campaign was complicit in Russia’s election meddling.

This is not for lack of thoroughness on the prosecutor’s part. Mueller has brought two sweeping indictments against Russian operatives. Rosenstein made these charges a point of emphasis in the interview. It is noteworthy, then, that these narrative “speaking indictments” appear to preclude the possibility of a conspiratorial relationship between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign. They indicate that Russia was conducting influence operations before Trump entered the campaign, that it orchestrated some against Trump, and that it wanted deniability.

Clearly, Rosenstein has been fixed on something often ignored by the president: Trump would benefit from being exonerated after a searching investigation by Mueller.

..  He appointed Mueller at the end of a frenetic week in which, reportedly distraught, he discussed the possibility of covertly recording Trump at meetings to demonstrate the latter’s instability. This would be a prelude to invoking the 25th Amendment
.. The Mueller appointment — after Rosenstein considered naming former Obama deputy attorney general James Cole — was designed to signal to the Washington establishment that Rosenstein (confirmed 94–6, thanks to overwhelming Democratic support in the Senate) was still on the team.
.. For Trump’s part, moreover, it would be foolish to believe that the president’s drumbeat against the investigation means he fails to grasp the potential benefit of being cleared by Mueller. He surely gets it. Yet, unlike Rosenstein, Trump has had to live with the challenges of governing under a cloud of suspicion
.. he may well believe these costs have outweighed any benefit he’d get from being cleared for something there was never much evidence he did. Plus, the president is nothing if not shrewd. There are political advantages in ripping the probe. He does not forfeit the upside of exoneration by stressing that his campaign and administration have been targeted by an investigation rife with leaks and other irregularities. Even if the riled-up Trump base believes the probe is a witch hunt, it would still credit him for being cleared.
.. Rosenstein maintains — in the Journal’s words — that “the investigation has already revealed a widespread effort by Russians to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.”
.. In fact, the indictments are more in the nature of publicity stunts than charging instruments. Foreign powers are subjected to counterintelligence investigations, not criminal probes, in part because they are essentially immune from prosecution. Mueller’s indictments against Russians enable Rosenstein and the special counsel’s other cheerleaders to argue that the dozens of people charged show that the special-counsel appointment was — as Rosenstein claims — “appropriate and independent.”
.. But they don’t. An indictment is just an allegation; it does not prove anything. More to the point, everyone — very much including Rosenstein and Mueller — is well aware that Vladimir Putin was never, ever going to turn his operatives over to the American justice system for trial. As I’ve pointed out before, there are another 143 million people in Russia, and if Mueller were to charge every one of them, he’d have very impressive indictment statistics but he won’t have proved anything, and he won’t have come close to establishing that anyone in America, let alone the president of the United States, colluded in election interference.
.. there is no reason the indictments against Russians could not have been filed by the Justice Department without the appointment of a special counsel
.. Rosenstein refused to discuss well-sourced reports that he suggested covertly recording the president. It is not apparent whether he was asked about proposing that the 25th Amendment be invoked against Trump. Nor is there indication that Rosenstein was pressed on such flashpoints as whether he actually read the FISA surveillance warrant against a former Trump campaign official that he approved in June 2017
.. (The warrant expressly said that the FBI believed that Trump campaign officials were likely complicit in Russia’s election interference.) And was Rosenstein asked about the Justice Department’s stonewalling of congressional inquiries into apparent investigative irregularities? We don’t know.
.. a reader who had not been following the storms engulfing Rod Rosenstein’s tenure as deputy attorney general would come away come away from the Journal’s interview wondering why there is so much fuss about such a dedicated, unassuming public servant.

The Price of BernieCare

Democrats object that Republicans are telling voters the truth about single payer.

Mr. Trump noted in his op-ed that the plan would cost the federal government $32.6 trillion over 10 years.

That figure is from an analysis by the Mercatus Center’s Charles Blahous, a respected researcher and a former Social Security and Medicare trustee who sometimes writes for us. His findings are in the ballpark of every serious analysis.

.. That spending figure amounts to 10.7% of GDP in 2022

.. National defense—routinely derided as too expensive and wasteful—is a mere 3% of GDP today.

.. As in every socialist system, the real “savings” would come from price controls and wait lists for many health-care services. Have a cold? Come on in. A hip replacement or breast reconstruction? Get in line.

.. Maybe Democrats should have looked at the results in Vermont when Bernie’s home state tried to set up single payer. A Democratic Governor abandoned the idea in 2014 once he was looking at an 11.5% payroll tax, plus a 9.5% income tax, and more increases to come.

.. Progressives couldn’t even get single payer up and running for about 625,000 people in a state with a decent health profile. In 2016 nearly 80% of voters rejected a referendum to set up single payer in Colorado.

.. The GOP ideas that would cover pre-existing conditions include high-risk pools that subsidize tough-to-insure patients directly.

Defining Defense Down

Across the spectrum of military technologies, the U.S. is losing its edge as competitors gain ground.

This, combined with America’s failure to build its own fortified islands in the South China Sea and line their shores with a gauntlet of antishipping missiles, will amount to the de facto surrender of international waters to a covetous competitor.

.. If the U.S. cedes international waters, watches as parts of Europe fall away (as in Crimea and the Donbas), deploys a defenseless fleet, and by default opens vulnerabilities in its nuclear deterrent, the international system will shatter as allies defect to rivals for whom American capitulationists will arise to do the rivals’ bidding and adopt their principles. We have seen the dawn of such things in the Iran deal, “strategic patience,” apology tours and fundamental transformation.

.. it isn’t merely a question of money but of its proper allocation, of strategic clarity and of political will. According to Rep. Adam Smith (D., Wash.), “We are not in a position to have the defense budget that a lot of people envision when they start spelling out these nightmare scenarios.”
.. But that is not all. The unremediated military decline in relation to potential enemies is the cause of a dangerous alteration in doctrine, which in itself is a form of early, if unconscious, appeasement. The new doctrine is expressed by Gen. John Raymond, chief of Air Force Space Command, who stated in April that the U.S. will respond to an attack on its assets in space “at a time, place, manner, and domain of our choosing.” He called this “a huge change in our overall strategy,” and it is.
.. These are admissions that the U.S. cannot proportionally and equally defend itself in space, cyber, and response to tactical nuclear weapons except through the threat of escalation and intrusion into other domains. At the beginning of the nuclear age, American withdrawal of conventional forces in Europe led to reliance on strategic nuclear weapons as a response to Soviet invasion. As the Soviets acquired their own nuclear arsenal, doctrine matured and it became obvious that a flexible response, restricted as much as possible to matching methods and means of the challenge, was necessary to avoid disastrous escalation.
.. As Michael Griffin, the Pentagon’s undersecretary for research and engineering, succinctly warns, if the U.S. fails to shape up in regard to, for example, defense against hypersonics alone, China and Russia will “hold at risk our carrier battle groups . . . our entire surface fleet . . . our forward deployed forces and land-based forces,” with the only choice “either to let them have their way or go nuclear.”
.. Thus the U.S. will have put itself in the position of Russia, which has continued the promiscuous and dangerous Soviet nuclear doctrines upon which it relies because of weakness in its conventional forces and a dearth of “soft” powers. In short, American failures in vigilance may force a doctrinal step up the escalation ladder, and a step back into a more perilous nuclear age.
.. Save for the near miracles of ingenuity that have in the past served the U.S. so well, the only way to prevent this is with a massive, properly directed, long-overdue infusion of funds that will allow us to avoid the knife edge of risk upon which otherwise we will soon be dancing.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh: In His Own Words

This article could be useful as a CiteIt.net example

In a lengthy dissent, he wrote:

There is no meaningful or persuasive constitutional distinction between semiautomatic handguns and semiautomatic rifles. Semiautomatic rifles, like semiautomatic handguns, have not traditionally been banned and are in common use by law-abiding citizens for self-defense in the home, hunting and other lawful uses. Moreover, semiautomatic handguns are used in connection with violent crimes far more than semiautomatic rifles are.

Tech’s ‘Dirty Secret’: The App Developers Sifting Through Your Gmail

Software developers scan hundreds of millions of emails of users who sign up for email-based services

Google said a year ago it would stop its computers from scanning the inboxes of Gmail users for information to personalize advertisements, saying it wanted users to “remain confident that Google will keep privacy and security paramount.”

.. But the internet giant continues to let hundreds of outside software developers scan the inboxes of millions of Gmail users who signed up for email-based services offering shopping price comparisons, automated travel-itinerary planners or other tools.

.. One of those companies is Return Path Inc., which collects data for marketers by scanning the inboxes of more than two million people who have signed up for one of the free apps in Return Path’s partner network using a Gmail, Microsoft Corp. or Yahoo email address. Computers normally do the scanning, analyzing about 100 million emails a day. At one point about two years ago, Return Path employees read about 8,000 unredacted emails to help train the company’s software, people familiar with the episode say.

.. Letting employees read user emails has become “common practice” for companies that collect this type of data, says Thede Loder, the former chief technology officer at eDataSource Inc., a rival to Return Path. He says engineers at eDataSource occasionally reviewed emails when building and improving software algorithms.

.. Gmail is especially valuable as the world’s dominant email service, with 1.4 billion users. Nearly two-thirds of all active email users globally have a Gmail account
.. Gmail has more users than the next 25 largest email providers combined.