Good morning; it’s Thursday, February 16, 2017—National Almond Day. And in North Korea it’s the Day of the Shining Star: the claimed but uncertain birthday of the late Kim Jong-il. And the latest from the Government Follies is that Andrew Puzder, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Labor, has withdrawn from being considered. The New York Times reports:
The toppling of one of President Trump’s cabinet picks was a victory for Democrats, unions and liberal groups that had been attacking Mr. Puzder’s business record and his character since he was chosen in December. Conservative publications, including National Review and Breitbart, had also expressed resistance, zeroing in on Mr. Puzder’s employment of an undocumented immigrant as his housekeeper.
And records from his 1988 divorce, disseminated Tuesday night by opponents, resurfaced spousal abuse accusations that made some Republican senators uncomfortable. His ex-wife had recanted those accusations, but senators from both parties privately screened a videotape from “The Oprah Winfrey Show” that featured her laying out the charges while in disguise.
The opposition from Republicans was broad, and the reasons varied. Among the senators who expressed concerns were John Thune of South Dakota, Rob Portman of Ohio, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine, Johnny Isakson of Georgia, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Tim Scott of South Carolina, more than enough to scuttle the nomination.
As one of my Japanese friends wrote me in endearing English, “It seems to never calm down after the President was replaced with a new one in the United States.”
On this day in 1923, archaeologist Howard Carter opened the burial chamber of King Tut. Famously, when he was asked by the expedition’s sponsor, Lord Carnarvon, “Can you see anything?”, Carter replied “Yes, wonderful things!” Among the items in the tomb, discovered only in 1925, were Tutankhamun’s gold death mask (top) and his mummy (bottom), which remains in the burial chamber:
Tutankhamun became Pharaoh at age 9, ruled for 9 years, and died at 18, perhaps from malaria (DNA tests show he was infected), an infection of the bone (he had a clubbed foot), or a combination of maladies.
On February 16, 1933, Prohibition officially ended in the U.S. In 1959, Fidel Castro became Premier of Cuba, and precisely 19 years later, the first computer bulletin board system was created here in Chicago.
Notables born on this day include two biologists, Francis Galton (1822) and Ernst Haeckel (1834), as well as Sonny Bono (1935) and science writer Natalie Angier (1958). Those who died on this day include sexologist William Masters (2001) and Lesley Gore (2105). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, the Princess is having a tussle with a rug. Like Hitler, she’s become a Teppichfresser.
Hili: One day I will win with this rug.A: And that means?Hili: I will bite it to death.
Hili: Kiedyś w końcu wygram z tym dywanem.
Ja: To znaczy?
Hili: Zagryzę go.