This McMaster fellow seems kind of sane. What the hell is going on?
Hail to the Hairpiece
— Lynn Sweet (@lynnsweet) February 18, 2017
“Unhappy is the land that needs a hero.”
During “normal” times, people tend to regard the press as, at best, a bunch of prying busybodies, and at worst a pack of tattle-tales. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) But for a brief shining moment after Watergate (and not, I would add, necessarily to the benefit of the profession), investigative reporters were swashbuckling young rebels who brought down an evil cabal which had threatened the very foundations of our democracy. Since some people mistook the movie version of All the President’s Men for a documentary, earnest suburban youngsters with adequate SATs dreamed of becoming the next
Robert Redford Bob Woodward or Dustin Hoffman Carl Bernstein. Journalism became a credential-requiring career, not just a job for oddballs too literate for the factory floor and too stubborn or damaged to climb into the better white-collar ranks.
But if Trump and his handlers, on both sides of the Atlantic, are determined to reenact Watergate (second time as farce!), maybe we’ll at least get an influx of bright young minds interested in actual investigative reporting, as opposed to cocktail-party scrumming to join the ranks of the Media Village Idiots…
Reince Priebus makes Ron Ziegler look like Abraham Lincoln
— Norman Ornstein (@NormOrnstein) February 19, 2017
Was there in 1970 at Nixon’s San Clemente w/ Herb Kaplow, Tom Jarrel, WH traveling press & beleaguered Ziegler. Seeing lots of parallels. https://t.co/b6gyNxQN71
— Wayne Slater (@WayneSlater) February 19, 2017
What did the President know and when did he interrupt who was telling him about it to brag about his terrific Electoral College victory?
— Rocky Mountain Mike (@RockyMntnMike) February 17, 2017
— Don Klyne (@klyne_donald) February 18, 2017
It's the one thing he's been successful at politically? https://t.co/4sdl3QPvEm
— Schooley (@Rschooley) February 18, 2017
Not even a month in and President Snowflake needs to throw a white power rally to feel better about himself.
— Scott Tobias (@scott_tobias) February 18, 2017
CNN [warning: autoplay] “Trump gets what he wants in Florida: Campaign-level adulation“:
… Trump, who just months ago finished campaigning for the office he now holds, was both selling what his administration has done in its first 30 days and trying to change the subject after a chaotic month. The President was forced to fire his national security adviser, struggled to roll out his travel ban and strained to explain a growing story about how members of his 2016 campaign made repeated contact with Russian individuals known to US intelligence…
What was unclear Saturday was what exactly Trump was campaigning for. The event was being run by Trump’s 2016 campaign, Donald J. Trump for President Inc.
Before taking the stage, Trump was asked if it was too early to do another campaign event. His response: “Life is a campaign.”
“Making our country great again is a campaign,” Trump added. “For me, it’s a campaign. To make America great again is absolutely a campaign.”…
We have a crazy person as President.
I’m trying to pretend he does not exist and focusing on all the decisions I have to make about the house, but multiple times during the day I remember that a certifiable nutjob is President.
Apparently he made up a terrorist attack in Sweden tonight. Either that, or he blabbed about an operation that occurred in Sweden (or hell Somalia- who knows if he even got the name right) and didn’t know he was talking about something classified. The fact that EITHER of those is not only possible but believable is terrifying.
Looking forward to the Florida rally tomorrow. Big crowd expected!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2017
Your father never loved you. https://t.co/sdKT1v5esp
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) February 18, 2017
A far more pleasant story, via commentor Aleta — from the NYTimes, “Opening the Heart’s Floodgates, With a Paw”:
The quiet young man had come to me looking for love, ideally at first sight. I asked my usual questions about his work, where he lived, how he spent his free time. I asked about his great loves of the past, what had worked, or not worked, in those relationships. Then I asked how he felt about being jumped on, slobbered on or getting mud all over his couch.
“I’m O.K. with that,” he said. “Can I meet Chance?”
Ah, Chance. The young lab-mix, with a puppy’s zeal for life, who loved to chew on the shelter volunteers’ hands as we leashed him.
“Behave yourself for once,” I urged Chance as I opened the kennel.
He was quiet as I slipped on a harness, but when we turned to leave he began to buck wildly. My heart sank. Then I saw the face of the young man waiting by the door. He’d gone all moony. He only had eyes for Chance.
Much to my surprise, I have become a matchmaker. On Saturday afternoons I pull on my gray T-shirt and head to the Animal Rescue League of Boston, where I help people find their canine soul mates amid the barky din. Doing this work, I’ve not only learned how to pair up people and canines, I have received a master class in the expansiveness of the human heart, a lesson that I very much needed…
What’s on the agenda for the beginning of the (for some of us, three-day) weekend?
I’ve now watched the Trump presser yesterday three times. Not because I am a masochist who enjoys inflicting as much pain as possible on himself, but because I don’t think I appreciated the full madness of it the first time. The surreality of it all just overloaded my senses and I really couldn’t take it in.
It was like the first time I went to New York City as a teenager. When I was 16, I left little old Bethany to head to upstate NY to live on a farmhouse with my friend Jason and his father Nick In Verbank, NY (east of Poughkeepsie, west of Millbrook). Jason’s parents were divorced, and his mom lived in Bethany and taught there, and he lived here and went to school here, and then in the summers we would go up there and get jobs. At any rate, I would go to the bus station in Wheeling with my big old backpack (the old kind with a frame) and a dufflebag filled with all my possessions for the summer, head up to NYC, and then I would navigate my way to the train to take me up to Poughkeepsie.
This was around 1986, and NYC was a markedly different place than it is now, and this was the first time I had ever been out on my own. I think prior to my trip to NYC, the most people I had ever seen in one place might have been a rock concert down in the old Wheeling Civic Center. To cut to the point, my senses were just overloaded the moment I got off the bus. Everything was bright, loud, moving, smelly, crazy. All I really remember is keeping my hand in my front pocket over my wallet and just trying to get to the train alive. It was chaos and just too much to take in, and it wasn’t until I had been to NYC about 4-5 times that I started to actually notice things and be able to really pay attention to what was going on, and even then I am sure I had just scratched the surface.
That’s how I felt watching the press conference yesterday, and why I had to watch it so many times to fully appreciate the crazy on display. The third time I was watching it, I was also reading the local (somewhatish) newspaper, the Charleston Gazette Mail, and came across this story:
Poor roads cost the average Charleston driver $1,357 a year in additional expenses, according to the latest TRIP report on West Virginia roads.
Statewide, deficient roads cost West Virginia drivers $1.4 billion a year for additional vehicle repair and maintenance costs, crashes where road deficiencies are a contributing factor, and lost time and fuel from traffic congestion, the report from the national transportation association concludes.
“The quality of life of state residents, visitors and businesses is significantly affected by the quality of the state’s road and bridge network,” Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director, said during a news conference Thursday to release the latest report on state roads.
In what has become something of a tradition during legislative sessions, the TRIP report outlines the costs of deficient roads and bridges on the state’s economy and quality of life. The release of the report frequently coincides with the annual West Virginians for Better Transportation rally at the Capitol, scheduled this year for Friday morning.
In past years, the call for additional funding for highway construction and maintenance has gone unheeded, but the advocates this year have an ally in Gov. Jim Justice, who wants to sell $2.8 billion in road bonds to build and upgrade West Virginia’s highways.
On Thursday, Justice administration Transportation Secretary Tom Smith called the TRIP report “alarming.”
“Roads are getting worse. Bridges are getting worse,” he said. “It really makes the point Governor Justice has asked us to make.”
In his State of the State address, Justice proposed the massive highways construction program through bond sales that would be financed through a $20 increase in the annual license plate renewal fee, a 10-cent a gallon increase in the state gasoline tax (estimated to cost average drivers about $130 a year), and a $1 increase in tolls on the West Virginia Turnpike.
Justice called the proposal the “800-pound gorilla” of his legislative agenda, saying it will create 48,000 jobs and cause an explosion in growth for the state’s tourism industry.
Smith said Thursday it is important to invest now in upgrading highways, paraphrasing Justice by saying, “The longer you wait, the behinder you get.”
Taking care of roads is the most basic of government services. It’s quite literally one of the lowest level responsibilities that the government has, but the state of West Virginia, much like the rest of the nation, can’t even fucking do that because we have gone quite literally insane. And this insanity goes back to tax cut Jeebus, our lord and savior, the deal the Republicans made with the devil years ago to keep together the racists, the godbotherers, the war hawks, the nihilists, the glibertarians, and the uninformed. From the trickled down words of Saint Ronnie of the Alzheimers, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem, government IS the problem.”
In 2012, Garry Wills wrote a splendid piece called “Our Moloch” about the deference and sacrifices we make to our blood God, the gun. I’d argue that there is a higher power, one that even “Our Moloch” serves, and that is tax cut Jeebus. That’s how we found ourselves where we are now- where even Democrats dance around the concept of raising taxes to pay for basic services and a cheeto dusted lunatic rants incoherently on national tv in front of the world and a solid portion of the Republican party says nothing and goes along with it. That’s why Republicans are so dead set on killing ACA. It’s why they want to gut social security and medicare. Tax Cut Jeebus demands it, and so it must be done
Gonna be harping on this for a while yet, cuz there’s a lot to pick apart…
Trump on uranium in his presser just now. Read it at least twice. pic.twitter.com/PgiIicSasM
— J?ST?R ? ?CTUAL³³º¹ (@th3j35t3r) February 16, 2017
In re Trump's bogus claim about Hillary forking over 20% of U.S. uranium to Russia, that's InfoWars staple: https://t.co/zjPdO7CqsS
— ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) February 16, 2017
Trump's exchange w/reporter asking about 48 bomb threats to Jewish centers: "A very insulting question." pic.twitter.com/4lJsfE2Z5h
— David Nir (@DavidNir) February 16, 2017
That image of @realdonaldtrump shouting down a Haredi Jewish reporter as a liar for calling him an anti-Semite, when he didn't…oy
— (((Ron Kampeas))) (@kampeas) February 16, 2017
(Why it matters that the reporter was Haredim)
Bibi is thinking: Wow, this is a truly useful idiot. I will put him to good use.
— Scot Lehigh (@GlobeScotLehigh) February 17, 2017
Self-described “Former independent presidential candidate, CIA operative”:
So far today, President Trump is avoiding repeating his denial of contact with Russians during the campaign. This is a president in trouble.
— Evan McMullin (@Evan_McMullin) February 16, 2017
Meanwhile, out in the real world…
— Hiroko Tabuchi (@HirokoTabuchi) February 16, 2017