Monday, March 13, 2017

SNL: Trump vs. Aliens

This weekend's edition of Saturday Night Live had some great moments, and Scarlett Johansson is awesome, as always. But I can't help being a little disappointed by this and last weeks' episodes. With so very much material to choose from, they just came up a little light, in my opinion. And by giving us Melissa McCarthy not once but twice as Press Secretary Sean Spicer, they set our hopes too high.

Still, there were choice bits. Such as this fairly spot-on critique of Donald Trump (Alec Baldwin), if he had to face a real crisis. It would go pretty much exactly like this.


Breaking: Trump White House Trolls for "Obamacare Disaster Stories"

I've gotten a lot of emails from The White House. The Obama White House, mostly. But apparently, Cheetolini must've inherited the mailing list. And just minutes ago, he used it to push out the most hyper-partisan, push-poll-feeling email I've ever gotten from that source.

"Share Your Obamacare Disaster Story"


That's the subject line. Isn't that nice? It assumes that you have such a story. Or, that if you have an Obamacare story, it must be a disaster. Or, more likely, that they only want stories from people who consider it a disaster. And here, ladies and germs, is a primo example of how the Trump White House differs from Obama's.

Firstly, the Obama version wouldn't have been so ham-handed and obvious about the desire to get only one sort of response. But secondly, the Obama team would have wanted examples of all types. They'd want to know if you have had good experiences or bad experiences. They did so. They helped people who were having difficulties and obstacles with that plan, and other issues. Not Trump! Tell me how awful it is!

In truth, clearly, this is about bolstering the need for (Please Don't Call It) TrumpCare. Trump's claims that it would cover everyone regardless of income, and that it would be cheaper and better are. Not. True. But in Trumpland, that's a minor detail. His followers have been remarkably willing to give him massive latitude on the exact wording of his promises. They will on this as well. And if you give them a few juicy stories to repeat ad nauseam for the next 8 years? Even better.

The letter:



https://click.mail.whitehouse.gov/?qs=b05db1f0b53272ca852fedc87ffdc49a688a37d66be6ba304b49a6ba3b3409761159d0baaef5cc94d82b60bdf2758f7853fd784debf8d2b9

Obamacare has been a complete failure since the beginning, and things are only getting worse.

Today, President Donald J. Trump held a listening session to hear directly from Americans who have experienced significant hardship as a result of Obamacare's poor coverage and rising prices.

President Trump wants to hear from hard-working Americans like you. How has Obamacare affected you? Share your Obamacare disaster story.

https://click.mail.whitehouse.gov/?qs=b05db1f0b53272ca852fedc87ffdc49a688a37d66be6ba304b49a6ba3b3409761159d0baaef5cc94d82b60bdf2758f7853fd784debf8d2b9

During the meeting, one woman revealed that she had her health insurance cancelled three times since Obamacare became law. Another attendee had her insurance jump from $17,000 a year to a devastating $52,500 a year for her struggling family, while yet another said her health insurance now costs more than her mortgage.

Obamacare came packaged as the healthcare solution for all Americans. Instead, the country was given hundreds of pages of broken promises.

Millions of hard-working Americans have been impaired by soaring costs, cancelled plans, and overbearing mandates. As one of those innocent Americans, President Trump wants to hear your story about how this disastrous law has affected you and your family.

Share Your Story



So, I propose we share all kinds of stories! Who's with me?


Monday, March 6, 2017

Rachel Maddow: Trump's Real Potential Scandal is Azerbaijan and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard

I don't care if you are a hard-right Republican who thinks Rachel Maddow is "our" version of Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity (tip: she's not), or if it's your knee-jerk reaction to a) call her MadCow, and/or b) make fun of her sexuality or gender, watch this clip. For one thing, it's fascinating as an instruction on how to tell a story, and make it interesting. It's also fascinating to see the connections between things you'd never considered (and I'm not even yet talking about the political stuff). But it's stunning to see where she's going with this one. [Story continues below]



The Rachel Maddow Show is currently experiencing an upsurge in popularity, vying for and sometimes surpassing actual network prime time television. Part of the reason is that she's elected not to focus on Trump's latest tweets, and the incendiary things 45 says. She's been reporting what they're up to; in some cases what they seem to be up to, sure, but that's part of investigative reporting. Connecting the dots. And not in the boring (and crazy) Beck chalkboard way, but by linking actual, real events.

This story does involve Donald Trump, in a rather grave way. and it's worth your full attention, if you are an American, I don't care what party you are.

And if you won't watch that, at least read the article from The New Yorker that inspired it.


Image from The New Yorker
[Excerpt]

Donald Trump's Worst Deal

Heydar Aliyev Prospekti, a broad avenue in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, connects the airport to the city. The road is meant to highlight Baku’s recent modernization, and it is lined with sleek new buildings. The Heydar Aliyev Center, an undulating wave of concrete and glass, was designed by Zaha Hadid. The state oil company is housed in a twisting glass tower, and the headquarters of the state water company looks like a giant water droplet. “It’s like Potemkin,” my translator told me. “It’s only the buildings right next to the road.” Behind the gleaming structures stand decaying Soviet-era apartment blocks, with clothes hanging out of windows and wallboards exposed by fallen brickwork. . .

Read more at: The New Yorker

EDITED TO NOTE: In an epic Freudian slip, my original headline said "Republican," rather than "Revolutionary" Guard. I do not regret the error.

President Crazypants Loses His Shit, Fans Stick With Him

This hasn't gotten any less surreal. And I'm still baffled at how
anyone can look up to this buffoon. Image from source.
What can even be said anymore, about what's actually going on in the country?

Traditional news outlets have been deemed "Fake News" by no less than the president himself, and the phrase is repeated by his cult of personality acolytes. Likewise, they refuse to believe anything that doesn't either conform to their already preconceived notions, or to the narrative the president wishes to be true.

Meanwhile, absolutely untrustworthy outlets like right wing talk radio and FOX "News" are now considered to be real news. This would be an awesome time to be a nutbag radio talker. They've got the president's ear! Anything they think might light his fire will be played up, and he's likely to believe it, hook, line and sinker, no evidence necessary.

Always bad at analogies and false equivalencies, conservatives are now apt to make wild comparisons that make apples and oranges seem like an inapt cliche. Maybe apples and Buicks? They're usually that far off. For instance, the comparison now being drawn between the Russia/Trump story--a story with many tangents, and lots of meat on the bone--to Trump's post-midnight Tweet-storm about President Obama having wire-tapped him illegally. There's literally nothing to the latter, and tons of info on the former. Yet, they're comparable as topics to conservatives.

People who were saying there should be no investigation into the Russia charges, because there "is no evidence" are now demanding an investigation into Trump's bizarre Twitter accusations! It's preposterously inconsistent. But, let's circle back to that lame argument, that you can't have an investigation if you don't have hard evidence. Really? Nearly the entire CBS prime time lineup is devoted to police procedurals on the eternal quest for evidence where none had existed. And I know these people watch TV!

[Excerpt]

Congress will investigate Trump's wiretap claims

Key members of Congress say they will honor President Donald Trump's request to investigate his unsubstantiated claim that Barack Obama overstepped his authority as president and had Trump's telephones tapped during the election campaign. A US official said the FBI had asked the Justice Department to dispute Trump's allegation, though no such statement has been issued. . .

Read more at: Business Insider

Over Time with Bill Maher: March 3, 2017

Thursday, March 2, 2017

So, The Whole Trump/Russia Thing is Raining Shoes

Image from source, Politico
There are quite a few times during the breakings of scandals when you just wonder when the other shoe will drop. Well, it sort of seems to be raining shoes right now. Every day, sometimes a couple of times a day, we have further parts of the puzzle that seem to be falling into place, more people are revealed to have connections, more officials have to resign, recuse, re-explain. There's something here all right, the question is, how far does it go, how deeply?

The only way to get to the bottom of that is investigations, both by journalists and by elected officials. Time and again, we hear, "no evidence has been presented." Well then, investigate. Find out. If this was a Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton administration with identical circumstances, there would be no question. It would be THE. ONLY. STORY. FOX "News" would be on fire. So would talk radio. Is there anyone who doubts this?

Yet, if you go dip a toe into Right Wing World, you'd barely know there was anything to look at in the first place. "Nothingburger" is a favorite phrase. You will find people who simultaneously will say that there was no collusion, and that it doesn't matter if there was. People who will, "yeah, but..." and throw a false analogy about something Clinton or Obama is alleged to have done. You get people like Trump himself, who will say it's all "fake news," but that "the leaks are real." What?

These are people who would still ask for more investigations of Benghazi, who would still say "lock her up," about Hillary Clinton, with no charges. And let's ponder her alleged "crime." Possibly--maybe--having shared classified documents unwittingly. Compared to possibly colluding with a hostile government to subvert an United States election, and who knows what else? Sorry, no. This isn't going away, this isn't a nothingburger, and it must be investigated.

[Excerpt] 

Sessions recuses himself from Trump-Russia probe

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Thursday that he will recuse himself from any investigations related to campaigns for president, including any probe into contacts between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian officials. “I have recused myself in the matters that deal with the Trump campaign,” Sessions told reporters Thursday at a news conference at the Justice Department. . .

Read more (with video) at: Politico

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Right Wing World: The Downfall of Milo Yiannopoulos

I know the whole world knows that twerpy alt-right troll, Milo Yiannopoulous has suffered a career setback or three. But since I last wrote about him on Saturday, I just had to comment on how far little Milo has fallen. As I said in the previous post, there is little redeeming value in Milo's oeuvre. He's a self-admitted troll. He played Ann Coulter's game, a game even she has at times come close to setting onfire. And he really got burned.

He went from the start of a book tour, on the heels of a career-boosting liberal protest/riot at Berkeley, to headline the most recent episode of Real Time with Bill Maher. He succeeded in getting liberals pissed at Maher, just for the appearance. He got a distinguished former spy Malcom Nance to tell him to fuck off! And Milo lives for that kind of thing. And since then, he's:

To borrow a question from BoyCulture.com,
"Why the long face, Milo?"

- Had a lucrative book deal cancelled
- Been announced as keynote speaker of 2017 CPAC and then immediately have the offer withdrawn; and
- Resigned/been fired from Breitbart.com, both his claim-to-fame, and his Visa qualifying job

Conceivably, Milo could get a new publisher, could turn his misfortune into tour fodder, get a new job, and possibly get to stay in the country. Britain probably doesn't really want him back. But it is doubtful that he'll ever be on top of the heap as he surely felt he was. See, he has always been awful. And his awfulness has never been a secret, not even the thing--seemingly endorsing sex between men and boys--that brought him down. It's just that he became instantly more famous, the trashier parts of his escapades were more publicized, and it was conservatives leading the charge. The very ones he was catering to, and those who made him a "star."

Milo, ultimately, is irrelevant to anything that matters much in the world. He's an unfortunate symptom of how politics works right now. He's further evidence that conservatives will elevate anyone to star status in their charisma-starved ranks. And he would seemingly show that there are certain lines you can't cross, even in today's Right Wing World. But not so fast.

Remember the Duggar family? In this era of a reality TV "celebrity" somehow becoming president, even those who decry the genre have a thing for a particular kind of reality show. 19 Kids and Counting was right up there with Duck Dynasty in conservative "culture," such as it is. The "wholesome" Duggars had an absurd number of of kids, and a fuzzily odd religion, but conservatives loved 'em.  And then older son Josh really got any particular treatment for his disturbing issue.
Image from source, Washington Post
was found to have been a repeated sex offender, who preyed upon a couple of his sisters (among others). Worse, Mom and Dad not only didn't turn him in, he never

The public outcry eventually got the show canned. But the conservative wave of support was loud, public, and very disturbing. Clearly, even child sex abuse and incest can be glossed over if you swear that Jesus has cleansed your soul. Or something. So, don't be so quick to congratulate right wingers for any kind of moral aptness.

It was always a matter of time with Milo. No way an effeminate gay man gets to stay a right wing star after a while. His time ran out.

One more thing: I've said it before, and I'll say it again, conservatives, find better heroes!

[Excerpt]

Milo learns the First Amendment isn’t a get-out-of-jail-free card for foolishness

Speech is free, but not consequence-free. Milo Yiannopoulos managed to skirt this reality for years, but eventually it comes for us all. A quick recap for those who have not been following this sordid tale: MILO, as he’s best known (all-caps his own), is an Internet personality and now-former Breitbart News senior editor best known for his glibly offensive remarks about minority groups, his hatred of “political correctness” and his support of Donald Trump. . .

Read more at: Washington Post

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Milo Yiannopolous Inadvertently Proves a Point on Real Time with Bill Maher (and Over Time with Bill Maher), February 17, 2017

My favorite picture of Milo. Video capture by me.
Usually, once a week, I like to post Over Time with Bill Maher on the blog. It's the internet only portion of HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, and is (or at least used to be) the only portion that was free to post. I realized not everyone seeks it out, and often it's the best part of the "show." So, this week, I'm doing the same, but this time with some commentary.

One of the guests on the program this week was Milo Yiannopoulos, a right-wing "star" of rather recent vintage. He's some sort of big-wig at Breitbart "News," and considers himself a (at best) provocateur, and (in reality) a troll, something he sort of owns as his "thing." He--like his (allegedly) female counterpart Ann Coulter--lives for controversy. He absolutely thrives on getting a rise out of people, pissing them off, and making news for saying or doing (or causing) something dreadful. He thinks of himself as clever, funny and cute. He has a fraction of the wattage on any of those attributes that he thinks he has.

[Story continues below]



The fact that Milo is flamboyantly gay, and yet has a fan base (and preferred political alignment with) people who would otherwise hate him, is also likely an irony that delights him. This write-up of him, for instance wouldn't ruffle his feathers at all, in fact it's probably too kind to even rise to his attention if he saw it. And this week, he was a guest on Bill Maher's show, which led to the public disassociation of prospective guest, writer Jeremy Scahill. Milo digs that as well. And while I applaud Scahill's effort, it's also counter-productive. The way to go was how both Larry Wilmore and Malcom Nance responded to Milo on this clip. Though Milo himself said he'd be literally masturbating to the attention later. Seriously.

But Milo also kind of inadvertently proved a point. And it was backed up by Bill's final New Rule, which was basically that anything is OKIYAR (okay if you are Republican). ANYTHING. In Milo's case, it's fine to be, as Wilmore said, "a douchey little ass," if it's in the service of conservatism. He pisses off the right people. He makes the right people complain and cause a shitstorm. And though it may just be a side effect, it distracts people from the serious stuff. The exact same thing is happening with Donald Trump, and it may be equally inadvertent.

It may be by their very nature that both just crave any attention, and in many cases, negative attention is easier. And again, pisses off all the "right" people. But while left-wing ire is boiling over on their antics, serious shit is either happening, or being ignored. And, we're also "proving a point," at least to the skewed perspective of Trump, Yiannopolous, and their twisted fans. See, if you watched Milo on Bill's show, he actually said that Democrats/liberals are the "party of Lena Dunham." In reality, most liberals and Democrats have little or only tangential notions of who Dunham is. The right, per usual, takes their exaggerated imagery of what it means to be a liberal, paints all liberals as that, and then tailors their rhetoric around it. Ever wonder why conservatives often seem like they're operating from a completely different reality? It's because they've created one. One where we all bow in allegiance to some obscure HBO actress, where we all have "safe spaces," and "triggers," and are all delicate "snowflakes" and "buttercups."

[Story continues below]



Reality is quite different. And if Malcolm Nance is right, and this whole Russia thing is the biggest scandal in American history? Trump may find himself a pariah, and Milo and his fans and ilk just about as bad. Here's hoping. Oh, and by the way, I concur with both Nance and Wilmore: Milo can go fuck himself. But I'm sure he'd both love the sentiment, and the literal act.

He's an asshole. And not in a good way.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

BREAKING: Trump Campaign's Repeated Contacts with Russian Intelligence Revealed

Trump looking (not terribly) presidential, while everyone else
apparently colludes with Russia? Or is he part of it?
Image from source, New York Times
When drip, drip, drip becomes "kerplunk, SPLASH!" Y'think?

[Excerpt]

Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence

Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.

American law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time that they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee, three of the officials said. The intelligence agencies then sought to learn whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election. . .

Read more at: New York Times

Trump Gives Press Credentials to "Fake News" Purveyor, Gateway Pundit

Image from source, Joe.My.God.
Proving that even the stupidest thing you think the Trump Administration could do can be topped, apparently they've given press credentials to a man known variously as The Stupidest or The Dumbest Man on the Internet. Yes, recently-outed-as-homocon Jim Hoft, of the ridiculous Gateway Pundit is apparently the Trumpian antidote to "fake news," even though he fulfills the very definition of it. Hoft's site traffics in stuff that would make Breitbart blush (though they're not above using him as a source), and is basically the UFOs and Bat Boy variant to other right-wing blogs' National Enquirer. He is about as trustworthy and accurate as Kellyanne Conway. Which is to say, not at all. I would be a better example of a journalist. And I don't even purport to be.

[Excerpt]

Erick Erickson Blasts Trump For Giving Press Credentials To Homocon “Fake News Cesspool” Blogger Jim Hoft

Right wing commentator Erick Erickson writes: I think the White House does the American people a great disservice by inviting Gateway Pundit in to the press briefings. . .

Read more at: Joe.My.God.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Michael Flynn, Trump's National Security Advisor, Resigns Amid Russian Controversy

Earlier today, we were told by Kellyanne Conway that
Michael Flynn had the complete confiedence of the Trump White House
It's week three, folks. Week three.


[Excerpt]


Senior Trump adviser Flynn 'quits role'

White House national security adviser Michael Flynn has resigned over his contacts with Russia, US media are reporting. Mr Flynn is alleged to have discussed US sanctions with the Russian ambassador before Mr Trump took office. He is said to have misled officials about the conversation. . .

Read more at: BBC News

SNL Casts Kellyanne Conway in Glenn Close Fatal Attraction Role

Wonderfully inventive, weaving bits of Fatal Attraction and Death Becomes Her, maybe even a taste of The Thing. Appropriate for Trump flack, Kellyanne Conway.

Over Time with Bill Maher, February 10, 2017

Bill and his Real Time panelists –  John Waters, Karine Jean-Pierre, Piers Morgan and Jim Jefferies – answer viewer questions after the show.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Donald Trump a Prisoner in the White House?

My perfect dream casting (were she not dead): Rue McClanahan
for Donald J. Trump. Photo from source, Raw Story
It would seem by all outward indications that President Donald Trump (a phrase that still sounds like it comes out apocalyptic fiction) is not having a good time. He wanted the praise, the accolades, the title, the crown. I don't believe, and never believed for a minute, that he wanted the actual job. Oh sure, he'd take the bows, he'd love for "TRUMP" to be emblazoned upon monuments and memorials, and no doubt he'd like to leave a mark in the history books via Make America Great Again™ policy and appointments to courts.

But you can't guarantee a good legacy, and make good policy as a bull in a china shop. This is, I should note, what his followers wanted, partly. They claimed they wanted to shake things up, some went so far as "blow it up." And by his behavior, Trump certainly seems to be doing that. He is absolutely heedless of protocols, traditions, decorum, diplomacy. . .he is no different a sitting President than he was a brash candidate. He tweets and says things no other president (or upwardly mobile elected official) would say or do. He stomps all over regulations, policies and even laws, and that will probably be his undoing. Whether he quits, gets bounced, or croaks in office, it's going to be interesting (and horrifying) to see just how much damage he does on purpose versus how much he stumble-bums his way through, crashing like the Kool-Aid Man through every American institution.

And the worst part for him, is that he's apparently hating it bigly. Good. Stew, you ignorant man-baby, stew.

[Excerpt]

He doesn’t like this sh*t’: Trump reportedly hates his job and his staff after less than a month

After just three weeks on the job, President Donald Trump is reportedly frustrated with the realities of trying to run the U.S. government the way he manages his family-owned business.

Politico interviewed nearly two dozen people who have spent time with the former real estate developer and reality TV star since his inauguration — and they said Trump’s “mood has careened between surprise and anger as he’s faced the predictable realities of governing,” according to the report. . .

Read more at: Raw Story

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

"Intolerant Liberals" and Other Alternate Realities

Examples of anti-liberal conservative memes with little sting to actual liberals. Source: Medium
Writing this blog has taken a backseat to a lot of things lately, but part of my problem is I feel like I've been hit by some kind of reality prism, something that makes it impossible to focus on just one thing. My mind shoots in a hundred different tangents on any subject. Succinct debate on just about anything lately is impossible. There is so much askew, so much off-track, linear arguments are next to impossible to make. Maybe I shouldn't be so hard on our new President for having parentheticals inside parentheticals in virtually each and every utterance? No, not going there.

Another strange meme in a world where the president
and his followers are hyper-sensitive to virtually
any criticism or slur.
But part of what I'm getting at is the absolute gaping divide between right and left. People pretend we were divided by Obama in some Machiavellian plan to destroy America. Nope. He had nothing to do with the vastly different way conservatives and liberals see the world, see each other, see virtually everything. And I know I'm biased, but I think--I'm pretty sure--the left (not the uber-left, just the left) is more securely moored to objective facts, to reality as it is. Conservatives (of most flavors) tend to see the world as a) they want it to be, b) they feel it to be or c) how they perceive it to be despite all evidence. Oh, and d) elements of all of the above.

I'm not trying to slander here, I'm talking about a group of people who look at something that happened, and either believe it to have happened differently, or even more bizarrely, have remembrance of it that is almost a complete invention. It happens with things big and small. An obvious example, is hearing and seeing Donald Trump say something completely untrue, easily disprovable, and then call him a "truth teller," a straight-shooter who "tells it like it is," and "says what I'm thinking." Further, they can look to Trump as "one of us," while seeing, say, Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren as "elites."

Another common one, that starts with the non-"fact"
that liberals want to take away all guns.
I think this very strange dichotomy is responsible for why conservative humor (or rather Conservative with a capital C, politically-motivated attempts at humor) fails so badly. It starts with misconceptions about liberals, exaggerates them, and then adds a layer of meanness. The result is rarely funny because it has so little truth to it. On the other hand, conservatives themselves--who believe the misconception to start with--roar with laughter. Oddly, even if it's the ten thousandth time they've seen "Rachel MadCow." You see more evidence of this in memes, like those featured here from the excerpted article. And even more in the current short-list of alt-right insults (cuck, beta, snowflake, buttercup, safe space, etc.). It takes a perceived notion of "how liberals are," exaggerates it, and then paints every contrary opinion with the same brush.

Anyway, all of that is a convoluted way of me saying: the twain will never meet between right and left, until something unifies them enough to see the same basic thing as the same thing. So long as Trump looks like an absurd, buffoonish clown to one side, and a strong dynamic leader to the other, we're not going to understand each other. Frankly, seeing Trump the liberal way used to be fairly standard for him, even part of the way through 2016. Seeing him the conservative way is actually a fairly recent invention. Dare I say,
artificial. It's a conservative prism, I can't think of anything else to explain it.

[Excerpt]
Intolerant Liberals

. . .I have some difficult news for everyone: Progressives aren’t interested in diversity. We aren’t interested in inclusion. We aren’t interested in tolerance. The progressives I know give exactly zero shits about those things. We have no interest in everyone getting treated the same. We have no interest in giving all ideas equal airtime. We have no interest in “tolerating” all beliefs. I don’t know where this fairy tale comes from, but it’s completely disconnected from every experience I’ve had with progressive liberal folks in my lifetime. . .

Read more at: Medium

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Over Time with Bill Maher, February 3, 2017

Bill and his guests, Sam Harris, Jason Kander, Tomi Lahren, Rick Wilson and Michael Eric Dyson answer viewer questions after the show.

In Case You Missed It: The Absolute Gold That Was Saturday Night Live This Weekend

Emmy worthy.
So, yeah. I'm so mouth agape at the endless parade of bizarre and freakish happenings emanating from our nation's capital, I've completely neglected the blog since the end of January! Sorry, I've been sitting slack jawed, disbelieving, unable to focus even on The Rachel Maddow Show, reading my Twitter feed, bouncing between devices and screens, trying to keep up, commenting in little bursts on social media.

It's nuts. Quite simply nuts. Evidence abounds, but this past weekend's Kristen Stewart-hosted Saturday Night Live stands as a testament to the treasure trove of material they have to work with. Top of the list, of course, is Melissa McCarthy's surprise turn as Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Enjoy.




Saturday, January 28, 2017

More Reports on the Dishonesty of the Trump White House, and Calling a Lie a Lie

Watch out, girl, your face might just freeze like that. . .
Image from source, NYT.
It can't be said often enough. For a candidate and campaign that tried to use "liar" as the main criticism of their opponent, and "truth teller" as a description of their own candidate, Donald Trump and Company continue to show themselves as the gang who can't go a day without lying. It's endless and blatant. They lie about things that don't matter. They lie about hugely important things. They lie about things that are easily and instantly disproven. They even lie about things that have already been admitted to be untrue. That's actually a hallmark of the far right, the resurrection of lies that have been long debunked. It was one of the biggest tools used against Hillary Clinton in the campaign, the Zombie Lie, as Bill Maher has called it.

But this many lies don't come without consequence. I mean just look at Kellyanne Conway's face, if you don't believe the toll it can take. And only a week in, we already have the press being more and more willing to call lies for what they are. Here's a story that goes into how these things are talked about and why. I've got to think that the more heat that Trump puts into demonizing "the media," the more willing they're going to be to say, "screw access," and just start calling his lies lies.

[Excerpt]
In a Swirl of ‘Untruths’ and ‘Falsehoods,’ Calling a Lie a Lie

Words matter.

And from the moment he became president, Donald J. Trump has unleashed so many of consequence that the public has barely had time to parse their full implication. Words about the dishonest media, the end of Obamacare, the construction of that border wall with Mexico — this is an abbreviated list, and he hasn’t even completed his first week in office. . .

Read more at: New York Times

Donald Trump's Lies in His First Week As President

Surreality, thy name is Trump. Image from source, Boston Globe.
Before we get to the meat of this story, I want yo to look at this picture. This is the picture that would accompany a news report in a sci-fi story about time travel gone horribly wrong. Or about a parallel Earth "over there," where things are not quite as they are "over here." It's an image you might expect if a crucial historical figure died (or lived) when they weren't supposed to, causing a ripple-effect in the time stream, resulting in bizarre news reports where the Nazis won World War II or New York City was bombed in the Cuban Missile Crisis. You could even expect it in a self-contained fictional universe, like Marvel's Cinematic Universe, or the DC Comics "Arrowverse." But we somehow ended up here, and I'm frankly still a bit outside myself wondering how.

How indeed. The man is clearly--especially now, having witnessed his first complete week--unfit to be President of the United States. He's still "candidate Trump," still bleating asinine statements on Twitter, still floating ridiculous policy statements and retracting them. Still making enemies of other countries and world leaders. Still lying his ass off on a daily basis. But now, it matters.  It's horrific, it's alarming, and it's basically unsustainable at this rate. I quite simply can't imagine this going on unabated for four years without huge damage to our country and to the world. And we thought Barack Obama had a lot to mop up. Who is going to want to come in after Donnie, and squeegee up the mess?

[Excerpt]

Fact checking Trump’s inaccurate statements

Regular readers know that candidate Donald Trump had difficulty with facts. Now that Trump is president, he continues to make misleading statements, based on incomplete information, inaccurate statistics or flights of fancy. Here’s an accounting of his public statements in the first seven days as president, not counting his error-plagued inauguration speech (which had eight problematic claims). . .


Read more at: Boston Globe
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