Monday, August 7, 2017

Elevating the art

Computers and fabrication: 3-D printing at the 2006 Maker Faire, via Edutopia.

Trump's hard at work during his working vacation, nine tweets before breakfast, which is a lot, apparently kicked off by this morning's New York Times, and Sheryl Gay Stolberg's well-made piece

Many Politicians Lie. But Trump Has Elevated the Art of Fabrication.

"Inept" is a pretty cute word choice. The Times did not apologize for anything in its letter to subscribers of November 13, and it's bizarre that he keeps claiming they did, though of course a good example of the phenomenon Stolberg writes about. It's funny how he takes the media failure to predict his victory as a personal insult to himself instead of an unpredictable weirdness in the results (that his share of the vote should distribute itself into just the right counties in those four states to add up to a win, even though he was three million votes behind). It was not a big win. Peter Baker at The Times doesn't speculate on what predictions are meant by "every wrong prediction",  and I'm not going to try.

Looks as if Kelly can't stop people from dumping clippings on the emperor's desk when he's in Jersey.

No it's not, judging from this study by the Republican firm Firehouse Strategies, which shows severe shrinkage in Trump's base with likely midterm voters in the key swing states of Florida, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Ohio, reported by Axios:
Four tweets on that subject, and then one on how hard he's working:

Of course it is true that the White House renovations had been planned for a long time. They were scheduled for August because everybody knew that the president would be taking an August vacation. The notion that he's not taking a vacation at all but merely moving into his New Jersey offices while the work is going on because they've thrown him out of the White House. is fatuous beyond belief. Anyway they can't stop him from posing for selfies with the customers at his real job, keeping the Trump Organization jolly:

The impetus behind today's attack on The Times could also have been Saturday's report on Pence quietly working for the 2020 nomination, which has apparently gotten Pence in trouble, because Pence came out very anxiously to deny it yesterday.

Yes, that naked and extremely early ambition is pretty disgraceful and offensive, Mike, but you don't have to apologize to us.

Or it could have been Alan Rappeport's piece on how Trump seems to have abandoned the promises he made on plans for bilateral trade deals to bad NAFTA and bad TPP and so on, because like peace negotiation in the Middle East or health insurance policy it turns out to be difficult:
“I think what the Trump administration has learned is that trade policy is really, really hard and when you actually start to think about making policy changes, any policy change that you make is going to hurt somebody and they are going to make that known,” said Chad P. Bown, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “Any time you implement a tariff or take a tariff away, there’s going to be winners and losers.”

Then came five tweets screaming at Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut on spurious grounds he often likes to repeat—Blumenthal mistakenly said once or twice in 2008 that he served in the military in the Vietnam War when he meant during the Vietnam War and had to apologize, as I noted last time Trump brought it up in February, or as Trump put it, "never fought in Vietnam when he said for years he had (major lie)" (while Trump, as we kmow, had military training after doing an unnamed something bad enough to get him sent to military school but took a pass on actual service during the Vietnam War, taking four student deferments and then one for some possibly imaginary heel spurs).

Now he's turned his original lie about that (Blumenthal never said he "fought", didn't say it "for years" and it wasn't "major") into an astonishingly melodramatic fiction that has almost no contact wih reality at all, that ought to be read in the tearful voice of a North Korean radio announcer: "Never in U.S. history has anyone lied or defrauded voters like Senator Richard Blumenthal. He told stories about his Vietnam battles and.... conquests, how brave he was, and it was all a lie. He cried like a baby and begged for forgiveness like a child."

What he meant in February was that Blumenthal had hurt his feelings by telling everybody what Judge Gorsuch really thought about him ("disheartening and demoralizing"). What he means now is that in the first place he was bummed out when rain kept him off the links. Mom let him watch all the TV he wanted, but he saw something disagreeable:

So now he has to turn his Blumenthal lie up to eleven, because somebody just needs to be punished. He seems determined, all day, to prove Stolberg is right: he's taken the lying of politicians into unprecedented new territory, and nobody in US history has ever lied or defrauded voters the way he does on a daily basis, even when he ought to be on vacation.

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