Thursday, March 23, 2017

Fish in the Ocean of Story

Julia Zanes, Fish in the Ocean of Story II, 2008.
The way things have been going this week, anything anybody says is likely to be outdated about five minutes after you hit "publish", but I have a couple of things that might work out, riffing off Marcy Wheeler/Emptywheel—first, a post on Rep. Adam Schiff's remarkable narrative which impressed me so much on Monday—maybe I'll get to Rep. Devin Nunes later on.

On Schiff, she's skeptical about what she calls a "temporal feint" in the story, or "fudging the timeline". Respectfully—I think she's the smartest person over there on the edges of the Forest of Greenwald, and she certainly knows many things I don't, but this is narratology—she's poking at holes that really aren't there in the
passage which — if it were accurate — would be a tight little presentation of quid pro quo tied to the change of platform at the July 18-21, 2016 RNC. But it’s not.
This is the central sequence of July:

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Old Trump pops off

Wunschmädchen: Iréne Theorin as Kellyanne Conway and Thomas Mayer as President Trump in Andreas Kriegenburg's July 2012 staging of Die Walküre for the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich, via Likely Impossibilities.
Poor old Rex, patiently bearing the cross God and Mrs. Tillerson gave him, as reported with tons of literary color commentary by Erin McBride for Independent Journal Review, whose editors apparently don't believe in cutting, or possibly don't exist, but innocently revealing, as has been widely noted this morning, that he doesn't really want his new job:
So why, then, did he want the gig?
“I didn’t want this job. I didn’t seek this job.” He paused to let that sink in.
A beat or two passed before an aide piped up to ask him why he said yes.
“My wife told me I’m supposed to do this.”

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Passover without Jews

The Four Sons. From An Amsterdam Haggadah, 1695, via University of Chicago.
Just three years ago, former New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote a Passover column in which he managed not to mention the story of the first 18 chapters of Exodus, the biblical narrative of the Hebrews' escape from slavery in Egypt that is central to this key Jewish holiday—instead he made it about the rest of the book, in which God gives Moses the Law, which is celebrated on a completely different holiday later in the year, Shavuot or the Feast of Weeks.

Today he makes up for it with a Passover column (a couple of weeks early, it begins April 10) in which he manages to discusss Exodus without mentioning Passover ("The Unifying American Story"), or Jews at all, let alone Egyptians, like the Trump administration celebrating the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27 without mentioning Jews. It's a very remarkable performance:

Monday, March 20, 2017

Note on the Narratology

From Dino Felluga, "Introduction to Narratology"
The conventional wisdom on our side seems to be that the climax of today's House Intelligence Committee hearing was FBI director James Comey acknowledging, as he has seemed so unwilling to do for such a long time, that the FBI and other agencies are indeed conducting an investigation of Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election, including with reference to the question whether anybody from the Trump campaign was personally involved in it.

But to me it came before that, in the opening statement by Rep. Schiff, laying out with such clarity what the public evidence consists of, and why the committee investigation has to take place: especially where he shows how documents from the Steele dossier compiled last summer essentially prophesied the events that would take place in the fall:

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sonnet: On Reading. By President Donald J. Trump

Photo by Steve Round, via RSPB.

What do we mean when we say the words of President Donald Trump should be taken seriously, but not literally? I mean, I don't actually say it, but if I did, would I mean anything?

I'd like to stipulate one possibility, that we have a word for language that is to be understood seriously but not literally, and that word is "poetry". When Shelley addresses a skylark with the words, "Hail to thee, blithe spirit! Bird thou never wert!" we don't assume that Shelley is too stupid to realize that a skylark is not a bird, or that he's lying about it.

We see that we're reading a poem, and we look for the words to be doing something other than merely meaning what they say; in this case, that there's something uncannily unphysical about the bird singing, so high up in the air he'd practically be in Heaven, if Shelley believed in Heaven; so high he can't be seen, as if he weren't a bird, hot little bundle of muscle tissue and feathers, but truly disembodied:
Hail to thee, blithe Spirit!
    Bird thou never wert,
   That from Heaven, or near it,
    Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.
And speaking of profuse strains of unpremeditated art...

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Roll over, Beethoven

You've got company.

These are so raw and happy and unproduced you might find them disturbing. RIP Chuck.


Annals of derp: When Obama's approach to HUD budget was the same as Trump's, except for a couple of details

Facepalm photo by Robert Sikora.
It's Jim "Crème" DeMint's house propaganda organ, the Heritage Foundation Daily $ignal, wondering why Trump gets criticized for doing exactly the same crap that President Obama did:
The president’s budget called for slashing funding for a block grant program primarily because it was difficult to determine whether it was getting the desired results.
That was President Barack Obama’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2012. It justified the $3.7 billion cut in the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program by asserting:

What part of "deconstruction of the administrative state" don't you understand, Brooksy?

Age of Wonders 3, just right for Yale Professors of Grand Strategy, screenshot.
Former New York Times columnist David Brooks (his formerness may not be obvious as he continues to drool down the Times pages twice a week, but the evidence remains) has the hottest of hot takes on Emperor Trump's endorsement of the Ryan tax cut health care bill and the "skinny budget" proposal the White House released yesterday. He thinks he sees a pattern in the devastating cuts proposed in more or less everything constructive the government does, and it's that working-class hero Stephen Bannon has lost all his influence on the Emperor ("Let Bannon Be Bannon!"):

[Bannon's] governing philosophy is being completely gutted by the mice around him. He seems to have a big influence on Trump speeches but zero influence on recent Trump policies. I’m beginning to fear that he’s spending his days sitting along the wall in the Roosevelt Room morosely playing one of those Risk-style global empire video games on his smartphone.
Because instead of doing what Brooks heard the No True Conservative say he was going to do, sticking it to the "hedge-fund guys" taxwise, insuring everybody, and mounting that trillion-dollar infrastructure plan ("Many of us wouldn’t have liked that agenda—the trade and immigration parts—but at least it would have helped the people who are being pummeled by this economy"), Trump seems to have signed on to the most reactionary agenda you can imagine, as if—as if he were some kind of Republican!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Make Ireland Great Again—Bring Back the Druids

St. Patrick (in halo) reclines on a hillock, while the beasts of the vision he is having frolic underneath. Wauchier de Denain, Lives of the Saints, Paris, 2nd quarter of the 13th century; British Library, Royal MS 20 D. vi, f. 213, via University of Notre Dame.



Thursday, March 16, 2017

Political hypochondriacs: Optimism report

Roller Coaster, by gechalx/DeviantArt. Nowhere to go but up! What's that you say?

It's so weird how we live now, like political hypochondriacs, constantly checking the national temperature for clues to how sick we are.

And that goes for Team Optimist as well as the despairing. I'm really pumped because yesterday was a Good Day, where Dutch voters decisively rejected fascism, I think, and Judge Derrick Watson in Honolulu and Judge Theodore Chuang in Greenbelt, Maryland both concluded in separate cases that President Trump's "travel order" is meant as the fulfillment of his often repeated campaign promises of a "complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering this country until our country's representatives can figure out just what in the hell is going on."

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Fine-tuning our consensus

Matt Shuham at Talking Points Memo:
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said Wednesday that he was confident that Republicans’ proposal would pass the House of Representatives, though he hedged that Republican members of Congress were “fine-tuning our consensus" on the bill.



Doing better than "repeal and replace", anyhow

Dissection at University of Montpellier, from the Chirurgia Magna of Guy de Chauliac, 1363, via BBC.

This, from Michael Hiltzik/Los Angeles Times—is big news for Obamacare fans, or ought to be:
Moda Health, a small Oregon health insurer, just won a $214-million judgment against the federal government. Normally that wouldn’t be worth reporting, except that in awarding Moda the money, the federal judge in the case dismantled the most cynical attack on the Affordable Care Act that congressional Republicans had devised.
The cynical attack is, of course, the attempt to defund the "risk corridors" with which insurers under the ACA were supposed to be reinsured against unexpected losses in the first years of the program, before the risks of a new market were clearly understood, just as had been successfully done with Medicare Part D in 2006.

House Republicans snuck a rider into a 2014 budget bill stipulating that risk corridor payments to insurance companies could only come out of the profits of insurers that had made more successful bets, not out of general government funds, saying they were preventing a "bailout", in the more or less explicit hope of strangling the program in its infancy; as Senator Marco Rubio (who claimed, probably falsely, to be the originator and leader of the effort) later said:

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Cheap shot


Snow Day, Pi Day



Ray with James Taylor



Country pie with a bit of BWV 1051

And BWV 1051 itself, with real gambas (but an ad between movts. 2 and 3, sorry, but it's such a lovely performance, all the other ones sound like mud)


The Eggs Benedict Option

Wendy Goodfriend's Springtime Eggs Benedict with Asparagus, Ham, and Quick Lemony Hollandaise Sauce on Meyer Lemon–Rosemary Toast, via KQED San Francisco. I've used this gag before and I'm sure I'm not the only one but what the hell.
Shorter former New York Times columnist David Brooks, "The Benedict Option", March 14 2017:
The most important religious book of the decade is The Benedict Option by my friend Rod Dreher, which argues that we are entering a new Dark Age, as the struggle over gay rights drives Christian merchants out of business, threatens the tax exemptions and accreditations of Christian schools and colleges, and threatens to blacklist Orthodox Christians and Jews from many professions and corporations. The L.G.B.T. armies have won the culture war, and the only option for the faithful is to follow the example of St. Benedict of Nursia, who organized monastic communities around Europe as the Roman Empire collapsed in the sixth century, and withdraw from the wider society into scattered settlements in which the fires of doctrinal purity can continue to burn. But that's only because he hates the gay, unlike me. I think we should adopt Orthodox Pluralism, in which each of us surrenders to some orthodoxy that will overthrow the obsessions of the self and put one's life in contact with a transcendent ideal, while staying friendly with those who disagree with us.
I guess that's why it's the most important religious book of the decade even though the decade has almost four years to go and even though, as Brooks makes clear, it presents an absurdly false view of the current state of the world, pushes a preposterous proposal that the author obviously has no intention of carrying out, and is based on the stoking of irrational fears of our fellow human beings to arouse hatred and paranoia. It's really important because it enables Brooks to display what a wonderful person he is, with his tolerant magnanimity, being infinitely superior to Dreher but loving and respecting him all the same.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Even if there was a point in doing it

There were progressives who didn't know how to spell in the Progressive Era too. Nasty, but let's live with it. Undated William Jennings Bryan campaign print, via The American Yawp.

Zack Beauchamp for Vox
 criticizing Bernie Sanders and others:
Sanders had a simple answer. Democrats, he said, needed to field candidates who would unapologetically promise that they would be willing “to stand up with the working class of this country and ... take on big-money interests.”
Democrats, in other words, would only be able to defeat Trump and others like him if they adopted an anti-corporate, unabashedly left-wing policy agenda. The answer to Trump’s right-wing populism, Sanders argued, was for the left to develop a populism of its own.
I think Sanders was being (and continues to be) pretty simple-minded too, not least because he tested the hypothesis out so thoroughly last year, and as we know he couldn't even capture the Democratic party.

But Beauchamp is trying to draw a moral out of this that is completely wrong, when he goes on to say,

Coping strategies for tweet risk

Grift Mill: the paper mill "De Grift" in Wapenveld-Berghuizer, Netherlands. in an undated postcard via Delcampe.net.

Business plan (Elizabeth Williamson, New York Times):

For a fee, Corey Lewandowski, President Trump’s pugilistic former campaign manager, and Barry Bennett, a former Trump senior adviser, will protect you from “tweet risk” — what happens to the stock price and reputation of your company when the president tells his 26 million Twitter followers that you’re killing factory jobs or refusing to sell Ivanka Trump handbags.
“If he’s gonna come after you, there’s nothing we can do to stop it,” Mr. Bennett said of Avenue Strategies, the firm he and Mr. Lewandowski opened in offices overlooking Mr. Trump’s White House bedroom window. “But if you want to figure out how to win in this environment, we can help you.”
They'll advise you on how to “call Jared Kushner and tell him you’re gonna build a new factory,” or get the Emperor to “fly somewhere, cut a ribbon, and high-five 200 employees,” which “drives optimism, and it drives his power.” Yes, for a fee they'll help you out in your effort to make Trump more powerful, and maybe get a cut of some of the profits. Those rightwing grift mills never stop grinding.

Mr. Lewandowski, who declined to be interviewed, has called any suggestion that he’s cashing in “absolutely disgusting.”

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Health Care Sunday

Alexander Sharpe Ross (1908-90), "A Visit from the Doctor", undated. Via.
Because I'm not going to get anything else posted, it's just been that kind of day:



Why did the White House deny Trump got the idea from watching TV?

Maybe because he didn't. But then...

Couch Potato–in-Chief: Image via Daily Beast

As the drama of yesterday's US attorney firings progressed, one of the things you had to keep thinking about was the firings of eight US attorneys by George W. Bush and Alberto Gonzales in 2006, for their refusal to join in the prosecution of fake "voter fraud" cases at the urging of the Department of Justice and vile worm Hans von Spakovsky.

OK, it wasn't at all the same thing—this week's massacre is at the beginning of a presidential term, when it's normal for all the working US attorneys to leave, and half of them have already done so. The odd thing is that the Trump administration is so peremptory and almost violent in ordering them out, not only not allowing them to wrap up the cases they're currently working on and waiting until they have successors lined up, which would be the normal procedure since the Clinton administration, but demanding that they vacate the physical office space by the end of the working day.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

I blame Obama

Elisabeth Geertruida Wassenbergh (1729-81), The Doctor's Visit.
Shorter David Brooks ("The Republican Health Care Crackup"), March 9 2017:
The Republican health care bill could signal the crackup of the old order of American politics, the end of everything since 1974. I blame Obama, who pigheadedly insisted on having his own health care bill instead of doing what I wanted him to do. If he'd just left well enough alone, the Republicans wouldn't have to do one now.
See, according to the former New York Times columnist (I'm going to keep calling him that even if it turns out he's not really leaving), the time for thinking about universal health care was in 1974, when Nixon proposed it (in the hope of persuading Democrats not to impeach him), or as Brooks puts it, censoring the Nixon name for some purpose of his own,

Friday, March 10, 2017

Reason to write jokes for conservatives:

They'll pay for anything that makes them feel smart.

How we bankrupted Starbucks by spending money in there all day. Via.
Supplement to Steve M's piece on Amazon no. 1 bestseller "Reasons to Vote for Democrats", which many Republicans mysteriously believe is getting bought up by Democrats eager to know the answer, only to find out all the pages are blank. "Blast it, Eleanor, we've been snookered!" Like Steve, I don't think it's Democrats who are buying it:



Bad enough to fail

Victorian children. Via.
Dr. Krugman:

Given the rhetoric Republicans have used over the past seven years to attack health reform, you might have expected them to do away with the whole structure of the Affordable Care Act — deregulate, de-subsidize and let the magic of the free market do its thing. This would have been devastating for the 20 million Americans who gained coverage thanks to the act, but at least it would have been ideologically consistent.
But Republican leaders weren’t willing to bite that bullet. What they came up with instead was a dog’s breakfast that conservatives are, with some justice, calling Obamacare 2.0. But a better designation would be Obamacare 0.5, because it’s a half-baked plan that accepts the logic and broad outline of the Affordable Care Act while catastrophically weakening key provisions. If enacted, the bill would almost surely lead to a death spiral of soaring premiums and collapsing coverage. Which makes you wonder, what’s the point?
Hey, maybe that's the point! To furnish us with what they call a teachable moment—to demonstrate the truth of the sacred conservative axiom that government interference with the provision of health care is bound to lead to disaster.

Thanks for clarifying

From Segundo de Chomón, Voyage sur Jupiter (1909). Via rebloggy.
Have you been bemused by this new preoccupation on the part of the Trumpies and the WikiLeaks and some of the irredentist Berners, zooming in on the CIA's apparent ability, as revealed in the latest document dump, to make an electronic intrusion into your digital porn stash look as if you were being intruded upon by Russians?

Not that I doubt the CIA might well be able to do something like that for some particular purpose, but I think these guys are telling a story they don't quite mean to tell about the 2016 election.

Where it was actually CIA spooks who stole all those emails from the Democratic National Committee and turned them over to the WikiLeaks, making it look—not necessarily to the savvy hands of WikiLeaks, but to some future American investigators, I guess—as if they were agents of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, so that when Hillary Clinton inevitably lost the election, the CIA and the other 16 intelligence agencies trying to understand what had happened would think the Russians were to blame! Instead of figuring out that they'd done it themselves.

Of course they wouldn't suspect themselves, because they had no idea they were determined to defeat Hillary Clinton and put Donald Trump into the White House—everybody kept telling them it was the other way around. Nurse, they're having a narratological emergency on the fifth floor, for God's sake get me some continuity!

I'm glad Trump and WikiLeaks have been able to straighten us out on this, though, and expose the CIA for the terrible thing that they've done, if that's what happened, or I would be glad, if I felt a little more straightened out than I do.

More on the CIA dump in this useful piece from Zeynep Tufekci (the revelations aren't that big, and the main thing techies learn is that Signal and WhatsApp are rather stronger against hacking than was realized).

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Why the Treasury?


The Vanity Fair post doesn't say this, but what else would it mean? When Trump takes the trouble to think coherently, he's always thinking about Trump. And it's not much different from the way his avatar Silvio Berlusconi worked, driving legislation to benefit his companies and protect himself from criminal prosecution and lawsuits. Keeping his tax returns secret is now the administration's central goal.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Waiting for *Le Pivot*


Stephen Colbert and Patrick Stewart did a lovely thing last week with "Waiting for Godot's Obamacare Replacement", above, but then the Obamacare Replacement actually showed up, and, like even the worst fart, seems to be already dissipating. What really corresponds to the hopelessness of absent meaning in Samuel Beckett's great play is the fantasy of the Trumpian pivot, the moment where our president begins displaying a capacity to hold a political office beyond the ability to read aloud in public for an hour without taking his pants off or barking like a seal, for which our Washington press has been hankering, miraculously without hanging themselves yet, for a year or more.

And it works better in French (En Attendant le Pivot).

Monsignor Ross Douthat, who I once cast as Estragon in a production of Godot (former New York Times columnist David Brooks was the ebullient Vladimir), is still gaming it out ("Why Republicans Can't Do Health Care"):

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Romantic Regime Change: Bye-bye, Brooksy

SCOOP! I'm not even kidding.

According to David Brooks's Facebook page, he doesn't work at the New York Times any more. (Also, there's Jordan's Episcopal summer camp, the only other job he's proud to have held.)


You're saying, "He hasn't worked at the New York Times for years," I know. Still, you don't change your FB profile for nothing. His most recent update, and the only one since he put up his new profile picture (to include Snyder) on November 22, is from February 6, and it's a Bruce Springsteen video covering Chuck Berry's "You Never Can Tell". For whatever it's worth.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Cheap shots: Daily Caller trying to terrorize us


This movie exists! Though it was a pretty pathetic flop. I bet it's great. It's an adaptation originally by Arthur Miller of Henrik Ibsen's great play, in which McQueen's character is a scientist who exposes the bourgeoisie of a Norwegian town profiting from water pollution. making him the enemy of the title. Let's all be #EnemiesOfThePeople.



The citation is from AP story in USA Today.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Most Unkindest Cut

The real reason the emperor had such a meltdown Friday morning over the recusal of Attorney General Sessions, per whatthefuckjusthappenedtoday.com:
Trump angry and frustrated at staff over Sessions fallout for stealing his thunder in the wake of his address to Congress. “Nobody has seen him that upset,” one source said, adding the feeling was the communications team allowed the Sessions news, which the administration deemed a nonstory, to overtake the narrative. (CNN)
It distracted the media from their job of talking about how great Trump was on Tuesday night. Unforgivable!

Image via Head of State/Kos.
Then there's this sublime line from CNN, quoted by Atrios:
Trump is upset because he doesn't believe he is getting the credit he thinks he deserves for his time in office so far because of self-inflicted wounds and missteps, the source said. An informed presidential ally outside government but close to the President said Trump was really angry about having a "mini disaster" a week. The President's mood is adding to tremendous pressure inside the West Wing and aides have been seen in tears in recent days at multiple meetings.
His "time in office so far", all 42 days, is getting spoiled by "self-inflicted wounds" so naturally he's furious at everybody except himself.

Gaslight

With new improved ending (h/t Jordan for making me revise it)

Charles Boyer as Stephen Bannon snatches the President's Daily Briefing out of the dainty hands of Ingrid Bergman as Donald J. Trump in the classic thriller. Via uafairbanks
Or not exactly, the Ingrid Bergman character was a sweet and deserving lady, not a violent emperor, but you know what I mean. Struggling through the trees of yesterday's long post, I wasn't clear what kind of forest we were contemplating, but I see now that it belongs to this family of stories.

Everybody gaslights Emperor Trump in one way or another, in fact. It's the only way you can live with him, he doesn't have garden-variety human relationships. You have to whisper him into modeling some kind of simulacrum of a relationship that you can work with.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Emperor Donald Gets Scared

Classic, via TheWrap.
So sometime yesterday morning, before flying off to Orlando at 10:30 for his gig at St. Andrews Catholic School, the Emperor apparently "went ballistic" with his senior staff in the Oval Office over the recusal of attorney general Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III from any investigations of relations between the 2016 Trump presidential campaign and agents of or with the Russian government—he didn't think Sessions should have done it, and the recusal only "emboldened his enemies". In the course of the tantrum he disinvited Bannon and Priebus from the weekend at Palm Beach, or they "volunteered" to stay in Washington and work, and then he went out to the South Lawn and climbed into Marine One with his daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren and disappeared.

Also, at some point or another after around 5:00 yesterday evening and before 6:00 this morning he seems to have been reading stories from Breitbart News in the little pile of Trump-themed printouts Ms. Hicks supplies him with so he doesn't have to use a computer, and the Emperor went nuts by around 6:30 this morning:

That was from a Breitbart story pointing out (fairly enough, I guess) that it wasn't Trump who originally invited Ambassador Kislyak to the Republican National Convention—

Friday, March 3, 2017

Tiens, v'là une Marine

Not another secret Muslim (in the shahadi the thumb is not supposed to stick out like that). Photo by Reuters via Independent.
Monsignor Ross Douthat, Apostolic Nuncio to 42nd Street ("Can Populism Take Paris?"), has a crush on the sweetheart of European neo-fascism, French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen. Maybe you could call her an angular Reese Witherspoon type:

Le Pen’s pessimism about mass migration may be too dark, but it’s a needed corrective to Merkelism, and much more reasonable in the European context than Trump’s overhyped warnings about refugees. Her brief against the follies of the euro is almost inarguably true (for reasons that you can about read about on Vox, not Breitbart). Her party platform overall suggests what Trumpism would look like if it were more coherent — and, for that matter, more responsible, since she’s actively tried to distance her movement from the sort of toxic bigotry that Trump’s campaign saw advantages in winking at.
That last bit is so Ross. He too specializes in non-toxic bigotry. Le Pen was prosecuted in 2015 on not at all toxic charges of
“incitement to discrimination over people's religious beliefs”, for comparing Muslims praying in public to the Nazi occupation of France during the Second World War. 
The charges were dropped, but at the moment she's under investigation by French authorities for tweeting pictures of ISIS executions, including that of the journalist James Foley, which violates a French law against the publication of violent images, and that seems more serious (she could get three years and a €75,000 fine). The European Parliament is likely to take away the immunity she enjoys as a member, as they did over the recent case in which she's been charged with defrauding the European Union by paying campaign employees out of EU funds for imaginary jobs, where French police raided the party headquarters last week and the European Parliament has demanded repayment of almost €340,000 (she won't pay, so they're docking her wages).

Trumpism with a Chaser

Douglas Fairbanks in The Black Pirate (1926), via Twisted Sifter.
Analogical David Brooks, "Trumpism at Its Best, Straight Up", March 3 2017:
Now that we've seen the authentic Trumpian ideological stance at his address to the joint session of Congress, in the form of a speech prepared for him by flunkeys which he read without his usual interpolations so that we're not distracted by evidence of what the man himself actually thinks, we can say with confidence that he is not an odd single-digit number. Because for centuries, the odd single-digit numbers have been a coalition of tendencies, 3, 5, 7, or 9, and Donald Trump is none of these. What do you mean I left something out?
Yes, it's part 7,142 of How We Know Donald Trump is No True Republican. Really:

Thursday, March 2, 2017

It's the coverup that tells you there's a crime

Down in Mobile, December 17; photo by Stephen Crowley/New York Times.
So we already knew Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III lied to Senator Franken in his confirmation hearing for the attorney general gig in early January.

No, not about his contacts as a Trump surrogate with the Russian ambassador, reported in the Washington Post last night, about his record as a defender of civil rights:
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) grew testy when questioning Sessions about several civil rights lawsuits Sessions had listed on his Senate questionnaire as examples of “significant” cases that Sessions personally litigated during his career.
The Trump transition team later said that the cases were worthy of being mentioned, even though Sessions had not been actively involved in them.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Ryan Owens died for Trump's applause

At least that's what Trump said:
And Ryan is looking down right now, you know that, and he’s very happy because I think you just broke a record. For as the Bible teaches us, there is no greater act of love than to lay down one's life for one's friends. Ryan laid down his life for his friends, for his country, and for our freedom –- and we will never forget Ryan.


Yes. Yes, he did. It didn't bother Chris Cillizza, who was too busy swooning over the stagecraft (h/t Captain Steve Rogers):

Archangel Michael. Via Radio Bulgaria.