Quote of the Day postsSunday July 23, 2017
Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary (Jan. 20 2017–July 20, 2017)
Spicer, as we'll always remember him.
Via Ryan Lizza:
Spicer began his tenure as press secretary with a bizarre rant about how Trump's Inauguration audience “was the largest audience to ever witness an Inauguration, period.” (It wasn't.) For someone who was never fully inside the Trump circle of trust, the performance had the ring of an eager gang initiate committing a crime to please the boss. ...
Spicer defended Trump's lie about how there were three million fraudulent votes in the 2016 election. He spent weeks using shifting stories to defend Trump's lie about President Barack Obama wiretapping Trump Tower. In trying to explain the urgency of the attack on Syria, Spicer explained, “You had someone as despicable as Hitler, who didn't even sink to using chemical weapons.”
Last week, he lied about the nature of the meeting at Trump Tower in June, 2016, between senior Trump-campaign officials and several people claiming to have information about Hillary Clinton from the Russian government. “There was nothing, as far as we know, that would lead anyone to believe that there was anything except for discussion about adoption,” Spicer claimed, bizarrely, because Donald Trump, Jr., had already admitted that the meeting was about Russian dirt on Clinton. On March 10th, Spicer came to the lectern wearing an upside-down American flag, which is a signal of dire distress.
The piece is called “Sean Spicer Will Be Remembered for His Lies.” It doesn't pull punches.
Quote of the Day
A reminder of the big bullet we all dodged, from the New York Times article, “How the Senate Health Care Bill Failed: G.O.P. Divisions and a Fed-Up President”:
Senator Susan Collins of Maine criticized the Trump administration's often specious descriptions of what the [GOP healthcare] bill would actually do, bolstering other more quiet critics' resolve.
“The only change that Obamacare made in Medicaid was to give states the option of expanding coverage with increased federal funding,” said Ms. Collins, who opposed the Senate legislation. “Yet the Senate bill would have cut hundreds of billions of dollars from this program, imposed an entirely new formula and reduced the reimbursement rate below the cost of medical inflation.”
The changes, she added, “would have been made without the Senate holding a single hearing to evaluate the consequences on some of our most vulnerable citizens, rural hospitals and nursing homes.”
I'd also like to know who put pressure on McConnell and company to try to push this bill through. What awful moneymen behind them wanted this?
Keillor on Baseball
Garrison Keillor had eye surgery recently, and he wrote about the experience, and the necessity of a touch of kindness, for The Washington Post last week. But this is the graf that reached out to me. It's my world view. He describes those awful carnival-barker voices eminating from the television set so well, as well as the tonic to them, which is my tonic:
Back in the room, I hung up my jacket, opened my laptop and I couldn't see the keys that would increase font size to where I could read the text. I lay on the bed and contemplated the prospect of life as a man in a blur. I dozed. I turned on the TV. I couldn't watch it, only listen. I clicked around, hoping for a friendly voice, and everyone sounded hyped-up and weird, canned laughter, big carnival barker voices, big woofers and screaming meemies, and then I found a ballgame. Two men, talking nice and slow in level tones, describing actions taking place before their eyes. Players I didn't know playing games I didn't care about, but those were the voices of my uncles discussing cars, gardens, future construction projects, the secret of pouring concrete, and that was reassuring, to know that the country has not come unhinged.
Good thing Joe Buck wasn't announcing.
Keillor concludes by talking about the unkind acts of so-called Christians voting for a vainglorious, bullying solipsist, and a Congress of rich men trying to make other rich men richer at the expense of health care for the many. A blind man knows that. The above is a good paragraph but the conclusion is off: one-third of the country has come unhinged and their representatives are in power. The voices of Vin Scully, Dave Niehaus and Ernie Harwell isn't balm enough for that.
Quote of the Day
“It is no overstatement to say that my conversations with [GOP operative Peter] Smith shocked me. Given the amount of media attention given at the time to the likely involvement of the Russian government in the DNC hack, it seemed mind-boggling for the Trump campaign—or for this offshoot of it—to be actively seeking those emails. To me this felt really wrong.
”In my conversations with Smith and his colleague, I tried to stress this point: if this dark web contact is a front for the Russian government, you really don't want to play this game. But they were not discouraged. They appeared to be convinced of the need to obtain Clinton's private emails and make them public, and they had a reckless lack of interest in whether the emails came from a Russian cut-out. Indeed, they made it quite clear to me that it made no difference to them who hacked the emails or why they did so, only that the emails be found and made public before the election.“
-- Matt Tait, ”The Time I Got Recruited to Collude with the Russians," on Lawfare, about the lead-up to the 2016 election. Tait is currently the CEO and founder of Capital Alpha Security, a UK based security consultancy. This story is not getting enough attention.
Quote of the Day
“The thing [the Russians] did that matters the most gets the least attention, which is that they had tens of thousands of fake Facebook and Twitter accounts, and they were micro-targeting individual voters in individual swing districts, shaping their opinion: psychological warfare on a grand scale. They conducted the largest psychological warfare campaign and they won.”
-- Former terrorism czar and author Richard A. Clarke on “Real Time with Bill Mahr”